The Illuminati's Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion is often confused with its similarly named cousin, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, a fraudulent tract that supposedly details a global Zionist conspiracy and that has been used by anti-Semites to justify the murder and persecution of Jews.
The Illuminati's Protocols, however, is a different animal. According to author Doc Marquis, a secret association called the Illuminati actually plots to take over the world, but "encoded" their plan to falsely implicate the Jews. To decode the plan, he says, simply change Jew, Jewry, Jewish to Illuminist, Illuminati, Illuminism; Goyim to chattel, and Zion to Sion. The Illuminati's Protocols includes a "decodified" version of the original text, selections from The Protocols, and further information to help readers spot the Illuminati. There's even an appendix that analyses what Marquis calls "The two seals of our doom"--the Great Seals of the United States. (Hint: when carefully combined, the words "Annuit Coeptis Novus Ordo Seclorum" and the year MDCCLXXVI contain the letters M-A-S-O-N.)
Of course, all this fails to note that the text contains nothing of the sort. In 1921, Philip Graves of the London Times revealed The Protocols to be a fraud, showing it to be based on a French satire aimed at Napoleon III. In a series of side-by-side extracts printed in the Times, Graves demonstrated that the forgers took long portions of the original text, titled Dialogues in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu, and simply replaced "France" with "Zion" and "The Emperor" with "We the Jews." (Marquis takes the additional step to "Sion" and "We the Illuminati".) Further investigations by the Russian historian Vladimir Burtsev revealed other sources for The Protocols, including a fantasy novel by Hermann Goedsche and, more darkly, the hand of the Russian secret police.
Fortunately, The Illuminati's Protocols are less dangerous than the anti-Semitic Protocols. The credulous, however, will continue to believe what they want to believe, and look for signs of conspiracy everywhere. --M. Stein
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