reply has been published, demolishing the whole Masonic side of the Morning Post's argument. (See A.W. Waite: "Occult Freemasonry and the Jewish Peril" in the Occult Review, Sept., 1920.)
THE FORGED PROTOCOLS
Chief among the pièces justificatives relied upon by the demonologists of the Morning Post is an anonymous pamphlet which calls itself "The Jewish Peril." As has been stated in the previous chapter, this pamphlet is a forgery, or, rather, a garbled translation of a clumsy Russian forgery by a certain Sergyei Nilus, intended to pander to the superstition of the "Hidden Hand." There is reason to believe that it has itself been engineered by a more substantial hand reaching out stealthily from the arcanum of German Militarist Reaction.
The literary and political history of this pamphlet is quite easy to trace, though it has been a little obscured by its author's infirmities of memory. Fundamentally it belongs to a type of forgery which was common enough in the 17th and 18th centuries, when party passions ran high and the reckless scurrilities of political warfare could not be made effective without the concoction of bogus documents. In our own time this fraudulent traffic has become relatively rare, though the notorious Pigott and Dreyfus forgeries are there to show how easily it may be tempted into life when malicious controversialists venture on accusations which they cannot otherwise substantiate. This is precisely the case of "Professor Sergyei Nilus," the alleged author of the Russian original of "The Jewish Peril."
His documented "discovery" that the Jews, in conspiracy with certain secret brotherhoods, are at the bottom of all the political and religious convulsions and all the social instabilities throughout the world, has been devised to bolster up a theory which has long failed to convince. The theory itself, of which the Morning Post's "Formidable Sect" is the latest product, is at least three centuries old. It was the staple of the pseudo-Apocalyptic literature of Antichrist and the Wandering Jew which assailed the early years of the Reformation and filled the literary armoury of the League during the Thirty Years' War. It took more definite political shape in the tracts and broadsheets, afterwards collected by the German Evangelical Clericals under the title of Anabaptisticum et Enthusiasticum Pantheon, which, among other fearsome things, explained the Puritan Revolution in England—the Bolshevism of its day—as a plot against Christianity and Monarchy contrived by the Quäcker, Frey-Geister und Heil- und Gottlosen Juden. In the early eighteenth century its specifically anti-Jewish aspects were emphasised by the misapplied learning of Eisenmenger, whose anti-Semitic classic, "Entdecktes Judenthum," was published at the cost of King Frederick of Prussia. After the French Revolution and the upheavals of 1830 and 1848, a fresh impulse was given to the agitation. Meanwhile, the Illuminati had come into existence, and Freemasonry had become known, and they were promptly annexed by the scaremongers and substituted for the Quakers and Freethinkers in their new redaction of the "Hidden Hand." A number of blood-curdling works dealing in minute detail with their supposed activities as authors of the Revolutions were published by such writers as Father Barruel (1797, etc.), the Chevalier de Malet (1817), Eckert (1854), Gougenot des Mousseaux (1860), Crétineau-Joly (1863), Saint-André (1880), and Chabauty (1883). These books all fell flat. The blood of the public refused to be curdled, and to-day they are only found in second-hand bookshops or in the libraries of collectors of Masonic and Occult ana.
In 1868 an ingenious German named Hermann Goedsche conceived the idea of galvanising the agitation into effective life by giving a dramatic form to all its theoretical extravagances. Formerly in the Prussian postal service, where he also acted as a spy for the Secret Police and the Kreuz Zeitung party, he had been dismissed from his office for subornation of forgery in connection with the prosecution of the famous Democratic leader Benedict Waldeck.