The following is an article (actually a review) from around 1946, by R. Guénon, it can be found with other reviews appended later to his book
I Protocoli dei Savi Anziani di Sion, Versione italiana con appendice e introduzione (Rome: La Vita Italiana, 1921). This Italian translation of the famous Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, published in 1921 by Dr Giovanni Preziosi, director of Vita Italiana, has just been re-edited with an introduction by J. Evola who tries to put some order into the endless discussions generated by this 'text'. He distinguishes two different and not necessarily connected questions, one concerning 'authenticity' and the other 'veracity', the second being the more important in his opinion. Authenticity is not really tenable for a number of reasons which we will not examine here, but we should draw attention to one point, which, although perhaps the most decisive, seems not to have been sufficiently taken into consideration: an organization that is truly and seriously secret, whatever its nature, never leaves a trail of written documents.
Moreover, 'sources' have been found from which many passages of the Protocols are borrowed almost word for word, for example, the Dialogue aux Enfers entre Machiavel et Montesquieu, by Maurice Joly, a pamphlet aimed against Napoleon III and published in Brussels in 1865, and the speech attributed to a Prague rabbi in the novel Biarritz, published in 1868 by the German writer Hermann Goedsche under the pseudonym Sir John Retcliffe. Another 'source' which to our knowledge has never been pointed out is a novel entitled Le Baron Jéhova, by Sidney Vigneaux, published in Paris in 1886 with the curious dedication: 'to the true gentleman A, de Gobineau, author of the Essai sur l’négaliti des races humaines, who entered Valhalla on October 13, 1882.' It should also be noted that according to information given in Miss Hersilie Rouy's Mémoires d’une alienée [Memoirs of a Deranged Woman], published by E. Le Normant des Varannes (Paris, 1886, pp 308-309), Sidney Vigneaux, like the latter, was a friend of Dr Henri Favre, whom we mentioned earlier. This strange story mentions the name of Jules Favre, who is also found to be involved in so many matters of the same kind that it is hard to see it as mere coincidence. . . In Le Baron Jéhova (pp 59-87) we find a so-called 'Testament de Ybarzabal', which presents quite striking similarities with the Protocols, except for the remarkable fact that in it the Jews only appear to be instrumental in carrying out a plan that was neither conceived nor intended by them.
We also note certain similarities with the introduction to Alexander Dumas' Joseph Balsamo, although here it is no longer a question of Jews, but of an imaginary Masonic assembly. We will add that this assembly is not unconnected with the pseudo-Rosicrucian 'Parliament' described at almost the exact same time by the American writer George Lippard in Paul Ardenheim, the Monk of the Wissahickon, and this description was reproduced by Dr Swinburne Clymer in The Rosicrucian Fraternity in America.
There is no doubt that in their more or less 'romanticized' form, all these writings draw their overall inspiration from one and the same 'current' of ideas, that their authors either approve or disapprove of these ideas, and in addition that, according to their sympathies or particular prejudices, they attribute without rhyme or reason the origins to Jews, Masons, or still others. Finally, what is essential in all this, and could be said to constitute the element of 'veracity', is the assertion that the entire orientation of the modern world conforms to a 'plan' established and imposed by some mysterious organization. Our own thoughts on this subject are well-known, for we have spoken so often of the role of the 'counter-initiation' and of its conscious or unconscious agents that we need not emphasize it further.
In truth, it did not take a 'prophet' to notice these things at the time when the Protocols were compiled, probably in 1901, nor even at the time when most of the other above-mentioned works were first published, that is to say around the middle of the nineteenth century. At that time, although these matters were less obvious than they are today, even a little perspicacious observation was already sufficient.
But here we must make a remark less than flattering to the intelligence of our contemporaries, that if anyone honestly expresses what he sees and what can be logically inferred therefrom, nobody believes him, or even pays attention. If, on the contrary, he presents the same thing as coming from an eccentric organization, it soon figures as a 'document', and as such sets the world in a bustle. How strange is the effect of the superstitions instilled into modern people by the too famous 'historical method', superstitions which themselves are definitely among the suggestions necessary for the accomplishment of the 'plan' in question!
It should be further noted that, according to the fabrications of the Protocols themselves, the organization responsible for inventing and spreading modern ideas in order to achieve world domination is perfectly aware of the falsity of these ideas. This must quite obviously be so, for it knows only too well where it stands in this regard, but then such an undertaking of lies could not in itself be its true and unique goal. This leads us to consider another point noted by Evola in his introduction and further developed in the November issue of the Vita Italiana in an article signed 'Arthos', entitled ‘Transformazioni del "Regnum"’. Indeed, the Protocols contain not only an exposition of 'tactic' directed at the destruction of the traditional world, which is only a negative aspect corresponding to the current phase of events, it also contains the notion of the merely transitory nature of this phase itself, as well as the idea of a subsequent establishment of a supranational Regnum. This last can be considered a deformation of the idea of the 'Holy Empire' and other similar traditional conceptions which, as the author of the article recalls, we ourselves have expounded in The King of the World. In order to explain this, 'Arthos' has recourse to deviations, or even real 'subversions', undergone by certain elements that at their origin were genuinely traditional but that then survive on their own, as it were, once the 'spirit' has left them, and in support of this view he quotes what we recently wrote regarding 'psychic residues.' The reflection that can be found elsewhere concerning the successive phases of the modern deviation and the possible constitution of a real 'counter-tradition' as its final term—the distorted Regnum being precisely its expression in the social order—will perhaps contribute further to elucidate more completely this aspect of the question which, quite apart from the special case of the Protocols, is certainly not without a certain interest.