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In 1921 Philip Graves Exposed the "Protocols of Zion" as a Phony

by Jared Israel and Samantha Criscione

Includes links to text and PDF files of Philip Graves's three London Times articles

[Posted 26 November 2002. Edited and reposted 14 March 2006]


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For the first time, Emperor's Clothes has published on the internet Philip Grave's London Times articles on "The Protocols of Zion." It is remarkable that in these three articles, which Graves wrote in 1921, he proved "The Protocols" was a fabrication.  Remarkable because, despite his devastating proof, "The Protocols" nevertheless became the widely published bible of antisemitism in general and Nazism in particular, and it is still with us to day, disseminated, for example, to tens of millions of Arabs in written form and even on Television.

In his 1921 expose, Graves called "The Protocols" a forgery. This was an unfortunate choice of words. "Forgery" has two meanings:


n 1: a copy that is represented as the original [syn: imitation, counterfeit] 2: criminal falsification by making or altering an instrument with intent to defraud

Mr. Graves meant 'forgery' in the sense of "making...with intent to defraud," not in the sense of "a copy that is represented as the original," since the latter could be taken to suggest that there was a real "Protocols" somewhere.

Looking through the dictionary, we find it hard to pick a better word.  The closest we could find is "fabrication," combining these two dictionary definitions:


n 1: a deliberately false or improbable account [syn: fiction, fable]...
5: the deliberate act of deviating from the truth [syn: lying, prevarication]

The point is - and this was Graves's point - "The Protocols" was invented with the deliberate intent to instill an imaginary and racist view of what caused problems in the world.  The fact that we simply do not have a word in English (or for that matter in Italian, German, or French, at least that we could think of) to describe this level of deceit is part of the reason that "The Protocols" could work.  People simply do not expect to be lied to on such a scale.  It is so hard to conceive, let alone believe, that we don't have words for it

But it happened, and Graves proved it.  He showed that whole sections of  "The Protocols" was simply lifted from a book of political satire, written 50 years earlier.  The book was called "Dialogue aux enfers entre Machiavel et Montesquieu," or "Dialogue in Hell between Machiavelli and Montesquieu." It was written by Maurice Joly. 

In it, the ruthless Machiavelli and the liberal Montesquieu debate over how a ruler should maintain power.  The book was meant as an attack on the French government.  Neither that government, nor the author, Mr. Joly, nor either of the philosophers were Jewish.  And there is nothing in the book about Jewish-Gentile relations.  But Machiavelli says very harsh things, and so, as Graves demonstrates, the authors of "The Protocols" (who were  probably members of the Russian Czar's secret police) took Machiavelli's  words, as made up by Joly, and presented them as the thoughts of some imaginary "Elders of Zion". 

You can actually buy a copy of Joly's book in  French at

"The Protocols" also used material from another a book. This was a violently antisemitic novel called "Biarritz," written by a minor Prussian secret police informer named Hermann Goedsche. Mr. Goedsche had been a postal worker before turning to racist fiction:

[Start Quote from Daniel Keren]

"He had been forced to leave the postal work due to his part in forging evidence in the prosecution against the Democratic leader Benedict Waldeck in 1849. Goedsche adapted [Maurice] Joly's 'Dialogues' into a mythical tale of a Jewish conspiracy as part of a series of novels entitled 'Biarritz,' which appeared in 1868."

--"The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," by Daniel Keren at

[End Quote from Daniel Keren]

Below are links to Graves's articles, in text and PDF form.  Emperor's Clothes authorizes free distribution of these files but please credit the source.

We've also linked to some of our articles on antisemitism in general and "The Protocols" in particular.

Jared Israel and Samantha Criscione
Emperor's Clothes



* For the text file of Graves' London Times articles go to 

* For the PDF files of Graves's articles:

First page of London Times, 16 August 1921

Graves's August 16th, 17th and 18th articles in one file

Or, as separate files: 

* For articles on antisemitism and the Arab-Israeli conflict, go to 

* For articles related to “The Protocols of Zion,” see:

"In 1921 Philip Graves Exposed the "Protocols of Zion" as a Phony" [This is the present article]
Some thoughts about Philip Graves's London Times exposť, with links to the articles, unabridged, in text and PDF form.
by Jared Israel and Samantha Criscione

"'The Protocols of Zion,' Part One: Weapon Against Democracy"
by Jared Israel 

"'The Protocols of Zion,' Part Two: Illogical, Sloppy, and Incoherent..."
by Jared Israel 

"'The Protocols of Zion,' Part Three: Reader Comments: 'I am no Antisemite. Why do some parts of "The Protocols" Ring True?'"
Jared Israel comments 

* Pakistani Student Asks: Was the Egyptian TV Miniseries Really about “Protocols of Zion”?
Jared Israel replies. Includes quotes from the Egyptian Press. 


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