In researching QAnon, I became intrigued by a connection some academics and reporters were making between QAnon and the old Nazi propaganda text "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion."
I tried to read it, but that is one evil book. Also incredibly badly written.
So I found a summary and only read a few sections.
But what I found was concerning--not because these teaching have been used for centuries in various societies to work people toward genocide (interestingly, and according to researchers other than me), and not just because they seem to have been compiled and plagiarized by someone (possibly Russian Intelligence, who also apparently are being increasingly connected to QAnon), and not just because the stuff is nonsense and dangerous. I found it concerning in part because in all my infiltrating far-right groups over the summer to see what they were thinking and turn them in, I found these things taught on a daily basis. I did not know they were old Nazi propaganda, repackaged to target Democrats, BLM, and antifa.
So here's the summary of the contents of the Protocols, with the words "Jews," "Elders," "Masons," and "Zion" replaced with "Democrats," "BLM," and "antifa." See if it sounds familiar to you. It did to me. Sadly and scarily familiar.
Now that I know where these teachings came from, I'm going to be taking them with an even bigger grain of salt.
PLEASE NOTE: This is the most horrible propaganda, and it is not true. This the stuff that made genocide possible, and the Holocaust possible, and if we find ourselves defending any of these beliefs, we MUST remember where they came from and reject them for more correct, true, nuanced, and loving ideas.
Protocol I: Democrats are deceptive and evil. Democrats believe that non-Democrats are "alcoholised animals" who have been indoctrinated by conspiracies. Democrats don't care about what is good and moral and are willing to participate in bribery and deceit. Democrats and the Deep State are liberal by design--it's part of the plot--and are anti-autocratic, again, as part of the plot to take over the world. Liberalism is the philosophy that enables them to take over the world. Kings and dictators are the only defense against the Democrats and liberals taking over the world. The Democrats have created a new aristocracy made up of the elites, the educated elites, and the wealthy.
Protocol II: The Deep state are working toward financial control of the world. The Democrats control education and have filled public education with Marxist philosophy, which is inherently and eternally dangerous for the rest of us. The Democrats control the media and exploit violence and tragedy to increase their viewers in the media.
Protocol III: Democrats use socialism to their advantage. They use socialism as a promise and a recruiting tool to get people to join them. Ultimately, they turn them into antifa fighting soldiers who they can sacrifice for their wars to gain power. They also recruit people to communism and anarchy for the same reasons.
Protocol IV: Democrats want to destroy religion and all religious people. They will take our religion from us and refuse to let us practice it. They will replace religion with science, math, and materialism. Destroying religion will increase their power over education and business.
Protocol V: The Deep State (Democrats and liberals) have already infiltrated our government and most of the world governments. They are controlling the media all over to hide their rise to power.
Protocol VI: Democrats have created large monopolies (like Big Pharma and Big Tech) in order to exert control over the rest of us. They are also destroying our credit and savings. They are also raising wages to convince people they are helping everyone, but quietly also raising the cost of necessary goods as a trick.
Protocol VII: Democrats have used the press to create public opinion and also to move governments in a progressive, liberal direction. They will fight a big war to keep this control
Protocol VIII: Democrats get to know what the rest of us live like just so they can manipulate us. They surround themselves with so-called experts, economic powerbrokers, and millionaires.
Protocol IX: Democrats and Antifa orchestrate protests and acts of violence against THEMSELVES to increase compassion for them so that nobody will realize who they really are. In reality, they want to control every aspect of our lives--especially our own children. Their primary motivation (and weapons) are hatred, malice, vengeance, greed, and ambition.
Protocol X: Democrats want to increase access to voting and help everyone have a greater chance of voting. They want to increase access to voting just to make sure they win elections so that their world domination will appear to be political. Liberalism destroys the safeguards of the non-Democrats, so they push liberal ideology. The Deep State will install puppet presidents who have shady histories. Democrats use blackmail to further their purposes.
Protocol XI: Once in power, Democrats will remove our rights, including freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and access to voting. Democrats believe the rest of us are sheep. Democrats are wolves who will destroy us if we let them get power. Democrats are using outside organizations (they cite Freemasonry) to recruit an army of faithful followers who will go along with their plots without questioning.
Protocol XII: The media is so under control of the Democrats and the Deep State that no single announcement will reach people without their input and control over the content and messaging. Democrats and the Deep State control practically every form of media, so you can't trust any of them. They tailor the message to the audience to keep them fully involved, and all messages are designed to subtly further their nefarious goals.
Protocol XIII: The Deep State has introduced all kinds of gaming and entertainment--they control the entertainment and gaming industries in order to keep people calm and distracted. They promote progress to obscure truth.
Protocol XIV: Democrats do not want most religions to exist. They will constantly point out the flaws of Christianity and other religions, but only speak positively and never accept criticism of their chosen religions.
Protocol XV: The Russians and Catholics are the main aristocrats that are stopping the Democrats. BLM is creating chapters worldwide to spread their message and recruit followers, but the leadership is centralized and controlled by a few. They are planning to recruit all the most powerful and influential people into their organization, which will legitimize them but also give advantages and acceptance to BLM. If anyone tries to stop BLM, Antifa, or the Democrats, there will be clandestine executions.
Protocol XVI: Democrats must infiltrate and take over Universities, re-educating people in a new direction. There, they will teach revisionist history and not teach civics, politics, or the constitution so as to keep people unaware of their rights and unable to fight back against their schemes.
Protocol XVII: Democrats are going to destroy religion in part by discrediting religious leaders. They will also create chaos and schisms in religious organizations so they will destroy themselves from the inside. Democrats will keep order by encouraging thought police to spy on and turn in their neighbors. One third of the people will keep the other two-thirds in check, and nobody trusting their neighbors will distract them from noticing what the Democrats are doing.
Protocol XVIII: The Democrats have convinced Antifa members to assassinate political leaders they want out of the way. This is easy as antifa are sheep doing the Democrats bidding. Nobody would ever want to assassinate the Democrat leaders, though, because everyone will love them. The rank and file will be so caught up in the cult of personality that they can't see what the leader is actually doing.
Protocol XIX: The Democrats have re-interpreted history in order to control us and bring thousands of liberals onto their side to help them.
Protocol XX: Democrats are in favor of a progressive tax so that the lowly people will not feel the sting of taxation and so won't be oppose to the things they are plotting, and the rich people won't feel the sting of taxation because they can afford to lose the money. They will then redistribute the money to fund public works projects and an extensive welfare state. The Democrats have been responsible for every economic crash in world history, and every economic crisis. They do it to try to get governments to take money out of the system and move more money to their own elites. The Democrats do this because they are trying to keep the poor, poor and slaves to them.
Protocol XXI: The Democrats are in favor of over-regulating industry so they can control it.
Protocol XXII: The Democrats have stockpiled much of the world's gold and can use it whenever and however they want. Their greatest weapon is economic power.
Protocol XXIII: Democrats want to reduce access of the rest of us to luxuries. They also want to legislate morality so that we feel like they are benevolent and good and then we won't fight against them. Democrats fight to abolish unemployment so they can control people. They want to destroy big business because business has too much influence on people. Their modus operandi is to replace all existing leaders with Democrats, and then demoralize the people so that they feel like the Democrat leaders are a godsend.
Protocol XXIV: The Deep State selects the new leaders and inducts them into their secrets. The Democrats believe that nobody can be entrusted to run a government unless they are first inducted into the secret society of the Deep State. The people they choose are hard, controlling leaders with no mercy. They will control the education and therefore the thoughts of all the people.
Conclusion of the Protocols: The Democrats are filling education with materialism and removing God from schools. They control everything secretly. A quote from the 1905 English edition's conclusion: "The end of national liberty is near; therefore personal freedom is approaching its close; for true liberty cannot exist where [the Democrats] use [their] lever of gold to rule the masses and dominate the most respectable and enlightened class of society. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."
This is CRAZY stuff, and totally not true. If we believe any of it, we should at least be aware of where it came from and also where it leads.
(If you want to read more, I found summaries of most of the sections here: https://bir.brandeis.edu/bitstream/handle/10192/32311/VickersThesis2016.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y The original is a super hard text to read--badly written and full of horribleness I couldn't puke my way through most of, so the summaries were brilliantly helpful.)
That said, there are quotes from the intro and conclusion of the 1905 edition that have made their way into QAnon and other far right literature and propaganda surrounding Trump. It's spooky.
I have concluded that we are not fighting Trump or Trump supporters for the soul of the nation like some people say. We are fighting literally the same thing that motivated and informed Nazis. And that is scary and sad.
So what did I find, overarching theme-wise-in the Protocols?
I found that if you believe them, that they really are what Jews/Democrats are doing and believe, then you will have been led to:
1. Not trust your education, but instead rely on gut reactions even against all the history and science you had learned. Also not trust anyone else's evidence based on history or science because they were "corrupted" by "marxism" and therefore not trustworthy.
2. Not react emotionally or by acting to stop bad things or harms to your fellow men--especially Democrats/Jews--because they were probably attacking themselves in order to get sympathy, and the horrors aren't actually real or are self-inflicted and you wouldn't want to fall for the trick.
3. Not trust government, big business, or any large organization for fear they are trying to trick you and take away your freedoms (big tech, big pharma, banks, etc.)
4. Distrust your neighbors for fear they are spying on you. This breaks down social norms and community cohesion, which makes things like war possible.
5. Begin to find "proof" of the Protocols (which are 100% fake, and propaganda also) everywhere. The Democrats want to help people by increasing the social safety net? Nope--part of their plot. The curriculum changed at school? Must be Marxist and part of the plot. Democrats want to make it easier for people to vote? Part of the plot. Democrats want to raise taxes on the rich? Part of the plot. Democrats want to help immigrants become citizens? Nope, they're really building their army of sheep. The media shares something that makes you uncomfortable or question something you heard? No worries--they're part of the plot, too. Consequently, nothing can be understood by it's true, not-connected, simpler explanation, and nobody can have pure ideological reasons for things. Everything must be connected, must be nefarious, must be evil-influenced except the people who are ACTUALLY lying to you. This makes it Very Very Very hard to identify truth and cling to it, and it also makes it so you start living your life in fear and in a false state of finding fake connections between unconnected things that feeds the fear, distrust, and inability to distinguish falsehood from truth.
6. Unashamedly "other" people, demean people, and increase tribalism in your life and in the lives of those around you.
Guess what things we're seeing rampant in our society right now?
We got played. Same as the Germans before WWII. Hopefully we can pull away and have a different outcome, though, despite the extreme right wing, neo-nazi, QAnon attempts to start a war.