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The Protocols of
Elders of Zion
By Nesta Webster
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The Protocols of The Elders of Zion,
Nesta Webster
to the assertions of certain writers, I have never
affirmed my belief in the authenticity of the Protocols, but have
always treated it as an entirely open question.
The only opinion to which I have committed myself is that, whether
genuine or not, the Protocols do represent the programme of world
revolution, and that in view of their prophetic nature and of their extraor-
dinary resemblance to the protocols of certain secret societies in the past,
they were either the work of some such society or of someone profoundly
versed in the lore of secret societies who was able to reproduce their ideas
and phraseology.
The so-called refutation of the Protocols which appeared in the Times of
August 1922, tends to confirm this opinion. According to these articles
the Protocols were largely copied from the book of Maurice Joly,
logues aux Enfers entre Machiavel et Montesquieu,
published in 1864.
Let it be said at once that the resemblance between the two works could
not be accidental, not only are whole paragraphs almost identical, but the
various points in the programme follow each other in precisely the same
But whether Nilus copied from Joly or from the same source whence Joly
derived his ideas is another question.
It will be noticed that Joly in his preface never claimed to have originated
the scheme described in his book; on the contrary he distinctly states that
it “personifies in particular a political system which has not varied for a
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single day in its application since the disastrous and alas! too far-off date
of its enthronement.”
Could this refer only to the government of Napoleon III, established
twelve years earlier? Or might it not be taken to signify a Machiavellian
system of government of which Napoleon III was suspected by Joly at
this moment of being the exponent?
We have already seen that this system is said by M. de Mazères, in his
De Machiavel et de l’influence de sa doctrine sur les opinions, les
moeurs et la politique de la France pendant la Révolution,
published in
1816, to have been inaugurated by the French Revolution, and to have
been carried on by Napoleon I against whom he brings precisely the same
accusations of Machiavellism that Joly brings against Napoleon III. “The
author of
The Prince,”
he writes, “was always his guide,” and he goes on
to describe the “parrot cries placed in the mouths of the people,” the
“hired writers, salaried newspapers, mercenary poets and corrupt minis-
ters employed to mislead our vanity methodically”—all this being carried
on by “the scholars of Machiavelli under the orders of his cleverest
disciple.” We have already traced the course of these methods from the
Illuminati onwards.
Now precisely at the moment when Joly published his
Dialogues aux
the secret societies were particularly active, and since by this date
a number of Jews had penetrated into their ranks a whole crop of literary
efforts directed against Jews and secret societies marked the decade.
Eckert with his work on Freemasonry in 1852 had given the incentive;
Crétineau Joly followed in 1859 with
L’Eglise Romaine en face de la
reproducing the documents of the Haute Vente Romaine; in
1868 came the book of the German anti-Semite Goedsche, and in the
following year on a higher plane the work of Gougenot Des Mousseaux,
Le Juif, le Judaïsme, et la Judaïsation des Peuples Chrétiens.
in 1860 the Alliance Israëlite Universelle had arisen, having for its
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ultimate object “the great work of humanity, the annihilation of error and
fanaticism, the union of human society in a faithful and solid
fraternity”—a formula singularly reminiscent of Grand Orient philoso-
phy; in 1864 Karl Marx obtained control of the two-year-old “Interna-
tional Working Men’s Association,” by which a number of secret
societies became absorbed, and in the same year Bakunin founded his
Alliance Sociale Démocratique on the exact lines of Weishaupt’s Illumi-
nism, and in 1869 wrote his
Polémique contre les Juifs
Etude sur les
Juifs allemands)
mainly directed against the Jews of the Internationale.
The sixties of the last century therefore mark an important era in the
history of the secret societies, and it was right in the middle of this period
that Maurice Joly published his book.
Now it will be remembered that amongst the sets of parallels to the
Protocols quoted by me in World Revolution, two were taken from the
sources above quoted—the documents of the Haute Vente Romaine and
the programme of Bakunin’s secret society, the Alliance Sociale Dé-
mocratique. Meanwhile Mr. Lucien Wolf had found another parallel to
the Protocols in Goedsche’s book. “The Protocols,” Mr. Wolf had no
hesitation in asserting, “are, in short, an amplified imitation of Goed-
sche’s handiwork” and he went on to show that “Nilus followed this
pamphlet very closely.” The Protocols were then declared by Mr. Wolf
and his friends to have been completely and finally refuted.
But alas for Mr. Wolfe’s discernment! The Times articles came and
abolished the whole of his carefully constructed theory. They did not,
however, demolish mine; on the contrary, they supplied another and a
very curious link in the chain of evidence. For is it not remarkable that
one of the sets of parallels quoted by me appeared in the same year as
Joly’s book, and that within the space of nine years no less than four
parallels to the Protocols should have been discovered? Let us recapitu-
late the events of this decade in the form of a table and the proximity of
dates will then be more apparent:
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1859. Crétineau Joly’s book published containing documents of Haute
Vente Romaine (parallels quoted by me).
1860. Alliance Israëlite Universelle founded.
1864. 1st Internationale taken over by Karl Marx.
† Alliance Sociale Démocratique of Bakunin founded (parallels quoted
by me).
† Maurice Joly’s
Dialogue aux Enfers
published (parallels quoted by
1866. 1st Congress of Internationale at Geneva.
1868. Goedsche’s Biarritz (parallels quoted by Mr. Lucien Wolf).
1869. Gougenot Des Mousseaux’s
Le Juif,
† Bakunin’s
Polémique contre les Juifs.
It will be seen, then, that at the moment when Maurice Joly wrote his
the ideas they embodied were current in many different circles.
It is interesting, moreover, to notice that the authors of the last two works
referred to above, the Catholic and Royalist Des Mousseaux and the
Anarchist Bakunin, between whom it is impossible to imagine any
connexion, both in the same year denounced the growing power of the
Jews whom Bakunin described as “the most formidable sect” in Europe,
and again asserted that a leakage of information had taken place in the
secret societies.
Thus in 1870 Bakunin explains that his secret society has been broken up
because its secrets have been given away, and that his colleague Netchaï-
eff has arrived at the conclusion that “in order to found a serious and
indestructible society one must take for a basis the policy of Machiavel-
li.” Meanwhile Gougenot Des Mousseaux had related in
Le Juif,
that in
December 1865 he had received a letter from a German statesman saying:
Since the revolutionary recrudescence of 1848, I have had relations with
a Jew who, from vanity, betrayed the secret of the secret societies with
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