BARRUEL, AUGUSTIN° (1741–1820), French Jesuit and anti-revolutionary polemicist. Barruel specialized in propagating fantastic stories about the part played by Freemasonry and secret societies in the Revolution. In 1807 Barruel alerted the French Government to an alleged world Jewish conspiracy. A mysterious Italian called Simonini (whose existence is doubtful) had delivered to Barruel the "plans of world Jewry" to become "masters of the world, turning the churches into as many synagogues, and reducing Christians to utter serfdom." Barruel's fantasies received the endorsement of Pope *Pius vii and were possibly the cause of *Napoleon's sudden decision to dissolve the French *Sanhedrin. In the longer perspective it was to have graver consequences, for the "Jewish plot" theme has served as a prototype for other deliberate fabrications, last but not least the Protocols of the *Elders of Zion.
L. Poliakov, Histoire de l'antisémitisme, 3 (1968), index; dhge, 6 (1932), 937; N. Cohn, Warrant for Genocide; the Myth of the Jewish World Conspiracy and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (1967), 25–32, passim.