Please disregard the website on which this is found. Were these "rules" actually found in 1919?

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From: http://www.fromthetrenchesworldreport.com/newspaper-clipping-from-oct-13-1975/104739

A reader who has kept a copy since we first published it in April 1970, has suggested that "lest we forget" the following be published again:

In May 1919 at Dusseldorf, Germany, the allied forces obtained a copy of the Communist Rules for Revolution. Fifty years later the Reds are still following these rules.

A. Corrupt the young, get them away from religion. Get them interested in sex. Make them superficial, and destroy their ruggedness.

B. Get control of all means of publicity thereby:

  1. Get the peoples minds off their government by focusing their attention on athletics, sexy books and other trivialities.

  2. Divide the people into hostile groups by constantly harping on controversial matters of no importance.

  3. Destroy the people’s faith in their natural leaders by holding the latter up to contempt, ridicule and obloquy.

  4. Always preach true democracy, but seize power as fast and as ruthlessly as possible.

  5. By encouraging government extravagance, destroy its credit and produce fear of inflation with rising prices and general discontent.

  6. Foment unnecessary strikes in vital industries, encourage civil disorders, and foster lenient and soft attitude on the part of government toward such disorders.

  7. By Specious argument cause the breakdown of the old moral virtues, honesty, sobriety, continence, faith in the pledged word, ruggedness.

C. Cause the registration of all firearms on some pretext, with a view towards confiscating them and leaving the populace helpless.

  • 1
    A lot of those elements can be found in the book 1984, which was published in 1949, so this idea is not new at least. That could confound the truth.
    – user11643
    Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 17:11
  • Just as an aside: 'allied troops' in Düsseldorf May 1919? Who would that be? 20/21 the British went into Dusseldorf to underline their insistence on reparations, and everything west of the Rhine was occupied by various allied troops, (though even west of the Rhine, American troops would have been far to the south of Düsseldorf, around Mosel River/Koblenz). Düsseldorf is on the eastern side of the Rhine, and was not part of the four allied 'bridgeheads' of occupation.
    – bukwyrm
    Commented Jun 27, 2023 at 9:45
  • also, i found a German publication on this, but they reference the 1970 article, and their german version of the Rules seems to be a translation from English, which makes it exceedingly hard to search for a supposed german original in newspapers from before 1945 blaetter.de/sites/default/files/downloads/zurueck/… - p.807
    – bukwyrm
    Commented Jun 27, 2023 at 12:02
  • Sorry if this is spamming, but i find it fascinating. I was looking into the actions of the Allies in Düsseldorf 1919 (deutsche-digitale-bibliothek.de/search/…), and while there was a lot of Spartakus activity (beginning of 1919 Düsseldorf was under Spartakus control), fighting, and intrigue, there is absolutely no hint that the Allies physically interfered in this. the notion of an Allied raid on some Düsseldorf communist hideout in 1919 just does not fit the vibes of that time and place.
    – bukwyrm
    Commented Jun 28, 2023 at 6:59
  • Also MRA says New World News was published only 1948 and onwards: foranewworld.org/material/publications/new-world-news-magazine
    – bukwyrm
    Commented Jun 28, 2023 at 7:01

2 Answers 2


While it would be impossible to prove that no communist ever said anything like this, the answer is still not at all legitimate.

This appears to be a recurring myth used to discredit political opponents every so often since the 1970s. From snopes:

[N]obody has ever managed to turn up the mysterious issue of Examiner-Enterprise that supposedly printed this list. When columnist Bob Greene checked out this piece with Russian specialists at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University in the mid-1980s, they said the list was "a total fraud," "an obvious fabrication," and "an implausible concoction of American fears and phobias." (Greene also wrote: "I always wanted to meet a communist who was carrying the list around, so I could ask him what 'obloquy' means.")

Besides the alleged source not containing this list, it has never appeared anywhere else either:

When The New York Times ran an article on this piece back in 1970, it had already been circulating for about twenty-five years. The Times reported that neither the National Archives, the Library of Congress, nor university libraries had a copy of any such document. When Montana senator Lee Metcalf looked into the issue back then, he checked with the FBI, CIA, and the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee; he found that "exhaustive research" had proved the rules to be "completely spurious," and he declared that "the extreme right also follows rules, one of which is to make maximum use of false, misleading and fear-inspiring quotations." Nonetheless, numerous members of congress have received copies of the Communist "rules" list from alarmed constituents over the years and, believing that nobody else was yet aware of them, have inserted them into the Congressional Record. This list has also been reproduced in many newspaper columns and letters to the editor.

The earliest known publication of these rules dates from February 1946, and it's significant to note that publication coincided with events such as Winston Churchill's famous "Iron Curtain" speech, in which he issued a warning to citizens of the United States that "Communist parties constitute a growing challenge and peril to Christian civilization." The timing suggests it's far more likely this list was compiled by Americans in 1946 than by Russians in 1919.

So it would appear that this is the other side of making up quotes to support your self; making up quotes to discredit your opponents. This particular case has been around for a while, and has been thoroughly researched.

  • 2
    Why does consulting with "Russian specialists" prove anything at all? This is claimed to have been found in Dusseldorf, which as far as I'm aware is in Germany - and Germany had its own large Communist party.
    – user5341
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 1:56
  • 4
    @user5341- I'm not sure, but that line wasn't remotely the most important part of the debunking. Commented Apr 18, 2018 at 19:45

If you look at the January 1947 printing of the rules in the magazine Typo Graphic, page 35, (which credits New World News February 1946) the rules are not characterized as communist. They are simply titled "Rules for Revolution".

This version starts with the story:

On a dark night in May, 1919, two lorries rumbled across a bridge and on into the town of Dusseldorf. Among the dozen rowdy, singing “Tommies” apparently headed for a gay evening were two representatives of the Allied military intelligence. These men had traced a wave of indiscipline, mutiny, and murder among the troops to the local headquarters of a revolutionary organization established in the town. Pretending to be drunk, they brushed by the sentries and arrested the ringleaders - a group of thirteen men and women seated at a long table. In the course of the raid the Allied officers emptied the contents of the safe. One of the documents found in it contained a specific outline of “Rules for Bringing About a Revolution." It is reprinted here to show the strategy of materialistic revolution, and how personal attitudes and habits of living affect the affairs of nations:

A. Corrupt the young. Get them away from religion. Get them interested in sex. Make them superficial ...

However, the 1955 Report on investigation of subversive activities in Florida by the Florida Attorney General, while still titling the rules simply "Rules for Revolution", adds "From material collected by an undercover man in the Communist Party of Dade County for the FBI".

At about the same time (November 1954) as the Florida report, and giving Florida state attorney George A. Brautigam as the source, the American Legion published (see page 6) the rules and stated they were the "official communist party 'Rules for Revolution'".

The New World News was a publication of Moral Re-Armament and the 1970 book The hoaxers: plain liars, fancy liars, and damned liars discusses the Rules and states:

In response to two letters of inquiry, Mr. H. Mead Twitchell, Jr., of Moral Re-Armament, wrote to us on October 7, 1966:

"Rules for Revolution" goes back a long ways — it is a story of 1919. It appeared in German in a German paper during the twenties or thirties, was translated into English in Britain. I believe it was first used in the U.S. in Rising Tide, a magazine published about 1937. But I cannot find a copy to check this, and do not know the name of the German newspaper.

The most plausible explanation, on the basis of what Mr. Twitchell has reported, is that "Communist Rules for Revolution" is a product of the Nazi propaganda machine, and was picked up by the British and American Ultra-Rightists as a weapon of the Cold War.

  • Some of the sources credited in the answer above cannot be viewed. Typo Graph 1947 is not available in Google Books at the link listed above (other years and issues, are, the magazine itself existed). The 1955 Flordia Report does include these rules, so indeed they were circulating before 1955, and well before a newspaper writer picked them up in 1970. They do sound more like propaganda than an edict of Vladimir Lenin (to whom they were absurdly credited where I found them, hence my visit here). Commented Mar 25, 2023 at 23:15
  • @Foliovision the link works for me, page 35 clearly says "January 1947" at the top, with "Rules for Revolution" is big bold letters beneath.
    – DavePhD
    Commented Mar 26, 2023 at 0:00
  • Alright, something is there, but it's pretty thin gruel with just the the title. "Firearms" does not appear to be on that page 35. books.google.at/… Commented Mar 26, 2023 at 0:46
  • 1
    @Foliovision yes, "firearms" is there in the center column of 3 columns, on the 6th line under the title-word "Revolution", and "firearms" is in italics.
    – DavePhD
    Commented Mar 26, 2023 at 0:55
  • 1
    Thanks for the additional references. I tried to upvote your comment but somehow the system blocked the upvote. Commented Mar 29, 2023 at 23:48

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