Fr. Seraphim Rose Discusses the Jewish Question - Protocols of the Elders of Zion

"It is interesting here to note that, of all the groups in the world, the Jews are the ones who are strongest in this department, because it is not possible to mention the Jews in even a slightly critical tone without having a representative of the Anti-Defamation League come to visit you. That is why Orthodox publishers are very careful not to say anything about the Jews because they know that someone will come around and begin checking up on them, and if there is something they don’t like, they’ll start conducting a campaign of slanders and arousing public opinion and all sorts of things against you...."

This article from our archives was first published on RI in January 2020

EDITOR'S NOTE: Fr. Seraphim Rose, a well known Christian monk from America, created a popular series of lectures known as the "Orthodox Survival Course", looking at the historical movements and philosophies which have challenged the Church over time, resulting in the present state of the world today. These lectures were recorded on cassette tapes, and later transcribed. The transcripts were never formally published, but copies can be found online.

In the 9th lecture from his survival course, Fr. Seraphim addresses the topic of revolution. He discusses key people such as Marx, Engels, Hitler, Bakunin, Weishaupt, and others who played central roles in the dissolution of the modern world. He also spent time discussing a controversial document, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. In the following excerpt from this lecture, Fr. Seraphim discusses the question of Jewish revolutionary influence in the modern world.

Fr. Seraphim Rose

The Protocols of Zion

There is one last document we should look at in this period of the beginning of the twentieth century before the great revolutionaries of our century, which is a rather controversial document. It is called The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and, because it presents itself in the form of a Jewish document, it has aroused a great deal of dispute.

If you read any history book, of the two world wars especially; in fact, any history book written before the Second World War, you will find there an almost universal statement that “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” are a fabrication deliberately to discredit the Jews, that it is a totally fantastic thing which has no reality to it, and they will point out that either the person who discovered it was himself an agent of somebody and therefore deliberately fabricated them, or else — as at least one source states — that he was fooled by the Tsarist police who simply wanted to invent these in order to make an excuse for eliminating the Jews in the pogroms. There are others who take the document so seriously that they tend to go to the other extreme and they see everywhere a Jewish plot so much so that they can hardly take a step without fainting. We must try to look at this document somewhat objectively to see what is actually in it, how it was found and what is its significance.

From the Orthodox point of view, it is most interesting how it was presented to the world for the first time. It was discovered by a lady, we do not know who, who gave it to the person who printed it and it is supposed to have come from the West and to have been written in French and then translated into Russian. But the person to whom this document was given was a man by the name of Sergei Nilus who printed it together with another document which he had recently discovered, The Conversation of Motovilov with St. Seraphim. He presented these two documents to the world at the same time in order to show 1) what is the truth of Orthodoxy and the acquirement of the Grace of the Holy Spirit, and 2) what is the plot of Satan to overthrow Orthodoxy. It was printed in 1905 (1903?)

Nilus himself was a very respected ecclesiastical writer, a popular journalist who went to Optina and even lived there and various other places; and there can be no doubt that he had nothing to do with making up a forgery. He accepted this text as quite legitimate and presented it to the world as a warning.

We will see that the text has two new points in it which have not come out in previous revolutionary documents. But apart from these, it is exactly the same as the philosophy of Bakunin, Weishaupt and all these other thinkers. Some people say it is not a very original document — it’s plagiaristic, etc. — and probably so, because all these ideas were circulating and this particular document — in fact, we see that one writer [Webster] compares on one side of the page “The Protocols” and on the other side the text of Weishaupt written in 1785. The philosophy is the same.

And so, most likely this is a legitimate document which is some kind of notes taken at a lodge of people who happen to be Jews and they present the philosophy in a very Jewish way, just as earlier there were people who presented the revolution as a triumph of pan-Germania and others presented the idea that the whole world would become some sort of French republic, and this took the form of some Jewish Masons or Illuminati who represent the revolution as their plot.

There are some ideas here which are most significant for us. Whether they are actually responsible for the French Revolution as they say, and whether they are so influential, who can say? We have seen that all these secret societies are so small, so split up, so secret, so full of secret signs and handshakes and invisible ink, etc. that who can possibly decipher who is actually responsible for what? Our view is that this is most symptomatic of the philosophy which is going on at this time.

And we shall see later on that this particular document had a definite role to play in Germany. The philosophy which is described in this document is one of absolute ruthlessness in bringing about a revolutionary government and in the means used to bring it about, the using of people (like Marx used Bakunin), utter hypocrisy, killing off your enemies, spreading pornography in order to corrupt the youth, causing revolutions, taking first the side of monarchs, then the side of socialists, then the side of liberals, democrats; taking any side in order to push across your point of view and eventually come to power. They talk about the control of the press, the control of money, etc. Here follow a few excerpts to show the spirit of this document:

“He who wants to rule must have recourse to cunning and hypocrisy.”

“We must not stop short before bribery, deceit and treachery, if these are to serve the achievement of our cause.”

And this very philosophy can be found in the Talmud which says that anything is possible; you can deceive any non-Jew, a Goi, for your own purposes.

“The end justifies the means. In making our plans we must pay attention not so much to what is good and moral, as to what is necessary and profitable.”

“With the press we will deal in the following manner.... We will harness it and will guide it with firm reins; we will also have to gain control of all other publishing firms....” 

“All news is received by a few agencies, in which it is centralized from all parts of the world. When we attain power these agencies will belong to us entirely and we will only publish such news as we allow....”

“No one desirous of attacking us with his pen would find a publisher....” cxxvii

It is interesting here to note that, of all the groups in the world, the Jews are the ones who are strongest in this department, because it is not possible to mention the Jews in even a slightly critical tone without having a representative of the Anti-Defamation League come to visit you. That is why Orthodox publishers are very careful not to say anything about the Jews because they know that someone will come around and begin checking up on them, and if there is something they don’t like, they’ll start conducting a campaign of slanders and arousing public opinion and all sorts of things against you. There are some people who talk about the “Jewish peril.” Of course, they go overboard about it — like Gerald K. Smith whose main emphasis is the Jewish peril; and he is crazy about it.

“Our programme will induce a third part of the populace to watch the remainder from a pure sense of duty and from the principle of a voluntary government service. It will not be considered dishonorable to be a spy; on the contrary, it will be regarded as praiseworthy.”

“We will transform the universities and reconstruct them according to our own plans. The heads of universities and their professors will be specially prepared by means of elaborate secret programmes of action....”

“We intend to appear as though we were the liberators of the laboring man.... We shall suggest to him to join the ranks of our armies of Socialists, Anarchists and Communists. The latter we always patronize, pretending to help them out of fraternal principle and the general interest of humanity evoked by our socialistic masonry.”

“In the so-considered leading countries we have circulated an insane, dirty, and disgusting literature.”

“In the place of existing governments we will place a monster, which will be called the Administration of the SuperGovernment. Its hands will be outstretched like far-reaching pincers, and it will have such an organization at its disposal that it will not possibly be able to fail in subduing all countries.”

“We shall have an international super-government.” cxxviii

This is back to Weishaupt, the French Revolution and the idea of internationalism.

“We will destroy the family life of the Gentiles....”

“We will also distract them by various kinds of amusement, games, pastimes, passions, public houses, etc.”

“The people of the Christians, bewildered by alcohol, their youths turned crazy by classics and early debauchery, to which they have been instigated by our agents, . . . by our women in places of amusement . . .”

“The masonic lodge throughout the world unconsciously acts as a mask for our purpose.”

“Most people who enter secret societies are adventurers, who want somehow to make their way in life, and who are not seriously minded. With such people it will be easy for us to pursue our object, and will make them set our machinery in motion.” cxxix

Of course, this is the idea behind many of these people and groups, that “we have the real secret society and we are going to manipulate all these other people.” The Communists are constantly infiltrating the anarchists; the anarchists, the socialists; the socialists, everybody else; and nobody can trust any more; nobody knows who is behind what.

“We employ in our service people of all opinions and all parties; men desiring to re-establish monarchies, Socialists, etc.”

“We have taken great care to discredit the clergy of the Gentiles in the eyes of the people, and thus have succeeded in injuring their mission, which could have been very much in our way. The influence of the clergy on the people is diminishing daily. Today freedom of religion prevails everywhere, but the time is only a few years off when Christianity will fall to pieces altogether.”

“We must extract the very conception of God from the minds of the Christians....”

“We must destroy all professions of faith.”

“We persuaded the Gentiles that liberalism would bring them to a kingdom of reason.”

“We injected the poison of liberalism into the organ of the State....”

“We will pre-arrange for the election of . . . presidents whose past is marred with some 'Panama Scandal' or other shady hidden transaction.” cxxx

They go on to talk about their creating a universal money crisis, using the masonic lodges.

“We must take no account of the numerous victims which will have to be sacrificed in order to obtain future prosperity.” cxxxi

There are two new things in this whole plan. Of course they ascribe all this to Jewishness and power; and undoubtedly there are Jewish groups like that who think that they are going to conquer the world. The two new ideas in them, however, are:

1. They are not atheistic. They believe in one world religion.

They say in the 14th protocol,

“When we come into our kingdom it will be undesirable for us that there should exist any other religion than ours of the One God with Whom our destiny is bound up by our position as the Chosen People and through Whom our same destiny is united with the destinies of the world. We must therefore sweep away all other forms of belief. If this gives birth to the atheists whom we see today, it will not, being only a transitional stage, interfere with our views, but will serve as a warning for those generations who will hearken to our preaching of the religion of Moses, that, by its stable and thoroughly elaborated system has brought all the peoples of the world into subjection to us. Therein we shall emphasize its mystical right....” cxxxii

Of course, this is in accord with the more profound revolutionaries who saw that the revolution must become religious in the end. Atheism is only a transition in order to get rid of previous religious views.

“In the meantime while we are re-educating youth in new traditional religions and afterwards in ours, we shall not overtly lay a finger on existing churches, but we shall fight against them by criticism calculated to produce schism.” cxxxiii

2. They seek one world monarchy.

The second new ingredient in this revolutionary proposal is that there will be one world monarch. The third protocol reads as follows:

“Ever since that time we have been leading the peoples from one disenchantment to another, so that in the end they should turn also from us in favor of that King Despot of the blood of Zion, whom we are preparing for the world.”

“It is probably all the same to the world who [is] its sovereign lord, whether this be the head of Catholicism or our despot of the blood of Zion. But to us, the Chosen People, it is very far from being a matter of indifference.” cxxxiv

We see here that this is already a rival to the Pope as a world ruler.

Tenth protocol:

“The recognition of our despot may also come before the destruction of the constitution; the moment for this recognition will come when the peoples, utterly wearied by the irregularities and incompetence — a matter which we shall arrange for — of their rulers, will clamor: ‘Away with them and give us one king over all the earth who will unite us and annihilate the causes of discord — frontiers, nationalities, religions, State debts — who will give us peace and quiet, which we cannot find under our own rulers and representatives.’

“When the king of Israel sets upon his sacred head the crown offered him by Europe he will become patriarch of the world. The indispensable victims offered by him in consequence of their suitability will never reach the number of victims offered in the course of centuries by the mania of magnificence, the emulation between the Goi governments.”

“Our king will be in constant communion with the peoples, making to them from the tribune speeches which we will in the same hour distribute all over the world.” cxxxv

“The supreme lord who will replace all now-existing rulers,” it says in the 23rd protocol, “dragging on their existence among societies demoralized by us, societies which have denied even the authority of God, from whose midst breaks out on all sides the fire of anarchy, must first of all proceed to quench this all-devouring flame. Therefore he will be obliged to kill off those existing societies, though he should drench them with his own blood, that he might resurrect them again in the form of regularly organized troops fighting consciously with every kind of infection that may cover the body of the State with sores.”

“This Chosen One of God is chosen from above to demolish the senseless forces moved by instinct (and not reason, by brutishness) and not humanness. These forces now triumph in manifestations of robbery and every kind of violence under the mask of principles of freedom and rights. They have overthrown all forms of social order to erect on [the ruins of] the throne of the King of the Jews; but their part will be played out the moment he enters into his kingdom. Then it will be necessary to sweep them away from his path, on which must be left no knot, no splinter.”

“Then will it be possible for us to say to the peoples of the world: ‘Give thanks to God and bow the knee before him who bears on his front the seal of the predestination of man, to which God himself had led His star that none other but Him might free us from all the aforementioned forces and evils.’

All this is deeply in accord with the philosophy of the Talmud, of the desire of the Jews for a Messiah who is of this world; and it is not surprising that there should be some kind of Jewish organization which has this philosophy. The philosophy is actually that of Marx; the ruthlessness, the using of everybody else for its own purpose, the establishing of one world rule — everything except the fact that Marx did not believe in God.

The interesting thing about this document is the historical [significance] it was placed to in the twentieth century. A certain man named Rosenberg who came from Russia to Germany after the Revolution brought this book with him and showed it to Hitler who immediately saw in this something which he could use from two points of view:

  1. By showing this to the people, it would enflame their hatred for the Jews — because they are trying to establish a world monarchy; and he could blame all the problems of Germany on them — the currency crisis, the depression, the unemployment, etc. — and say this is a secret society trying to take over Germany, and
  2. He admitted the book was very well written, “I will use that as my philosophy to govern.” cxxxvi

And so this document became one of the very important sources for the National Socialism of Hitler who placed himself in the place of the world monarch of the Jews.

Now we will look at these three great movements in the twentieth century which prove that all these philosophers are not simple idle thinkers; they were speaking of things which were entering into reality — the three great totalitarian systems in the twentieth century...

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