Gregory Stanton, of Genocide Watch, discussed the striking similarities between The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and QAnon's core conspiracy theory.
September 15, 2020

Brianna Keilar gave a thorough rundown of the horrifying and ever expanding body of evidence that QAnon continues to gain momentum and influence in American politics and daily life. In particular, their latest terrorism took the form of rumors that Antifa and/or Proud Boys started the wildfires in the West, leading them to set up illegal road bocks in Oregon where they are demanding ID from people at gunpoint.

Keilar explained QAnon's core conspiracy, which is that "a secret cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles is kidnapping children and is run by a deep state of rich celebrities and politicians." If that sounds familiar to you, you aren't alone. Gregory Stanton has been working to prevent genocide for 40 years as a founding president of Genocide Watch, and it sounded familiar to him, too. Keilar asked him why.

STANTON: When I saw the conspiracy theory that QAnon was putting forward, the one that you've just talked about, I said, "I've seen this one before. This is The Protocols of the Elders of Zion." This is the most effective anti-Jewish pamphlet ever published. It was a fraudulent pamphlet invented by Russian anti-Jewish propagandists about 1902 and it was picked up by the Nazi party. Hitler incorporated its series into his Mein Kampf. The Nazis had it republished as a children's book. It was published in a Nazi newspaper, Der Stürmer. It was a theory that is exactly like what QAnon is putting forth. That there is a cabal of Jews in that case that are trying to take over the world. They kidnap children, they slaughter and eat them to gain power from their blood. They control high positions in government, banks, international finance, the news media and the church. They want to disarm the police. They promote homosexuality and pedophilia, and they plan to mongrelize the white race. This is exactly the narrative that QAnon is putting forth. So when I saw this, I said, "This is Nazism."

Keilar zeroed in on what she called the "repurposing" of the Blood Libel conspiracy, and asked how any mainstream person could fall for such things. (I have news for you, Brianna, Blood Libel never stopped being popular with anti-Semites.) But the question needs an answer, since people do, indeed, still believe it.

STANTON: Well, it's very hard to believe, of course. That an ordinary person would fall for this. But what people don't understand is that in groups, people aren't always rational. When people are in difficult times, as we are right now in the United States, they will fall for conspiracy theories. They will follow after narcissistic demagogs who they think will save them, which is what QAnon thinks President Trump is going to do. Just as the Germans thought that Hitler was going to do. So what we have here is a use of a conspiracy theory to explain the crises that we now are in.

Stanton wrote an in-depth article about these similarities, infinitely worth reading, entitled QAnon is a Nazi Cult, Rebranded.

I keep thinking of all the people who told us we were overreacting when he was running, then elected. All the reprimands that I shouldn't dare compare Trump to Hitler, or anything at all to the Holocaust — that it was disrespectful to the memories of those who suffered. Well, what is the point of "Never Forget" if you refuse to remember the clues that could lead to such a thing again? How on earth to avoid it? On the day we learn that we have our very own Dr. Mengele in Georgia?

Shame on us if we ignore the similarities. Shame on us.

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