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The Elders of Zion: A ‘Secret Society’?

Huffington Post listicle confuses fact with fiction

Batya Ungar-Sargon
May 28, 2014
(Gil C /
(Gil C /

One of our readers drew our attention to a Huffington Post listicle published today, enticingly titled “The 7 Most Exclusive Secret Societies in History.” The blog post lists some well-known names, such as the Freemasons and Yale’s infamous Skull and Bones, with short description of each. To our reader’s—and our—surprise, comfortably nestled in this register of real and debatably still-operative secret societies, is an entry for “The Elders of Zion.”

That’s right, that so-called secret society of Jews “exposed” in 1920 by a newspaper owned by well-known anti-Semite Henry Ford, in an article which was later republished in Russian and disseminated throughout the Muslim world. That supposed Jewish cabal that secretly controls the purse-strings of the world and ensures Jewish world domination; that product of the greatest anti-Semitic canard ever written.

The list was composed by Alex Grecian, a mystery writer with a new book out that, perhaps not surprisingly, features a fictional secret society. “The Karstphanomen (the secret society in my new book, The Devil’s Workshop) whisper Latin phrases to one another, conveying their mutual agreement that the ‘end justifies the means,’” Grecian writes in his introduction to the list.

Grecian also includes societies—such as the 18th-century Illuminati—about whose existence there is an actual debate, adding insult to injury by the suggestion that such a debate exists about the Elders of Zion.

True, Grecian states that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was “quickly debunked as a hoax,” though he quickly adds, “but those articles were collected as a book, newly titled The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem.” He continues: “Anti-Semitic theorists around the world still believe that the Protocols were genuine and that there was once a Jewish conspiracy to achieve world domination.”

Ah, Huffington Post. What will you think of next? A list of the 10 most gag-worthy recipes, and #7 will really shock you: matzoh with Christian blood! Or a list of the world’s ten worst villains, Hitler, Pol Pot, and Shylock from The Merchant of Venice! Does your list of the seven greatest pets include unicorns? Does your list of the 15 best vacation spots include Middle Earth?

Seriously, guys. Someone fix this.

Batya Ungar-Sargon is a freelance writer who lives in New York. Her Twitter feed is @bungarsargon.