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Leo Taxil and Anti-Masonry
by Wor. Bro. Dennis Stocks, Barron Barnett Lodge.

We must all be aware of the anti-Masonic trends in our society ... especially from our friends in the Fundamentalist religions and others such as A. James Wilson at Buderim, even from the misguided individual who threw those litres of red paint through the grill and into the foyer of Grand Lodge in early March 1993.

And when we think of anti-Masonic foci, the name of Stephen Knight is at the forefront.

Knight's book on Jack the Ripper Jack the Ripper - The Final Solution (filmed as Murder by Decree) and his spin-off The Brotherhood have promulgated the dark visions the cowans have of our fraternity. In fact, when I once said that Knight had died of a brain tumour, one of the people I was with remarked "How did the Masons organise THAT?"

We should not laugh; because Martin Short in a radio interview I heard in November 1990 suggested we Masons had used an ultra sound death ray on Knight to induce his brain tumour.

It is, of course, a "no-win" situation. It has been suggested that, when the various official investigations into Freemasonry fail to uncover anything overtly sinister, there follows an aggrieved sulkiness from the media at somehow of being cheated and each future exposure is greeted with an salacious eagerness usually reserved for Pop stars, bulimic Royalty or the owners of multi-national corporations and brewing empires, failed entrepreneurs with bad backs living in luxury in Majorca, or penis amputees, or former sporting heroes now in trial for murder, film stars caught performing "lewd acts" in cars or ex-Prime Ministers with new girl friends. To give an example: Knight's book The Brotherhood was issued in October 1983 and was withdrawn within hours of going on sale. When it appeared in January 1984 all manner of stories began circulating as to why it had been originally withdrawn including a story that a Masonic Hit Squad had broken into the binders and muddled the pages before binding. It is important to note that the work was originally published by Grenada, a publishing house known for its pronounced and uncritical hostility to Freemasonry.

The simple truth was that the publishers and Knight himself had had to withdraw the book and drastically revise one chapter for legal reasons.

Of course, this was not referred to in any subsequent media story.

And we, ourselves, are not immune. There is, in fact, a persistent rumour among Freemasons dealing with this book. It claims that the Grand Lodge in the UK had banned all brethren from buying and reading this book. Another urban legend has it that the Grand Lodge forbade any bookseller who was a Freemason from purchasing and selling this title.

The truth is that prior to 1984 the British Grand Lodge supported a policy of silence on any criticism. This policy has unfortunately allowed falsehoods to become established in the public consciousness as uncontested facts.

In dealing with the public face of Freemasonry we must remember that we are not dealing with realities, but with received impressions.

The intractable critics of Freemasonry have closed minds and will never be persuaded that there is another opinion other than their own, let alone that their views might be wrong. "Jack the Ripper" as a Freemason will persist for some considerable time, despite the fact that Melvin Harris has convincingly demolished Knight's researches and the conclusions drawn therefrom.

Our concern should be with the middle ground public for whom Freemasonry has no meaning or interest until the media forces the subject before their eyes.

Brother J.M. Hamill in his presentation "The Sins of Our Masonic Fathers..." has argued that the current problems with Freemasonry can be broken down into three main areas:

-- Accusations of secrecy
-- Misunderstanding the relationship of Freemasonry to religion.
-- Insinuations of corruption, malpractice etc. through misuse of membership by Freemasons.

Of course, these are a summation of our modern problems though it may be said that they or something like them have been the basis of attacks on Freemasonry in the past. Fortunately we are not confronted by attacks from our civil authorities as our past Brethren in the 18th and 19th centuries. The sheer violence and irrationality of the anti-Masonic lobby in those centuries is almost beyond our understanding. Yet, in one case, an enterprising con-man was able to capitalise on that irrationality.

In 1884 Pope Leo XIII issued the most damming and vitriolic of all papal attacks on Freemasonry, Humanum Genus. John Hamill and R.A. Gilbert have argued that such a response from the Vatican was almost inevitable. The upsurge of anti-clericalism in the French Grand Orient leading to the 1877 constitutional change removing "God" from the first article of those constitutions and from the first three Craft degree rituals, coupled with the hostility to the church by Italian Freemasons, had sparked this latest in Papal encyclicals against Freemasonry.

Pope Leo claimed all non-Catholics "followed the evil one" and Freemasons, in particular, aimed to overthrow all Christian religious and social orders. He urged civil rulers to resist Freemasonry's promotion of democracy and secular education (from which "universal revolution and subversion must come").

In the previous century, the Holy See had gradually been suffering material losses. Gold and Silver mines, plantations, real estate and millions of acres of farming land in South America and Mexico had been lost when revolutions in those countries curtai led the flow of riches to Rome. Indeed, even the Papal states had gone, and the pope was no more than the bishop of Rome.

Pius IX (Leo XIII's immediate predecessor) had attempted to stem the tide of rising secular power in 1870 by calling a Vatican council which proclaimed papal infallibility. Now Leo clearly saw the Freemasons were behind this rise in the power of vox populi. He was especially offended by the Freemasons' democratic ideals:

(Freemasons taught) .....that men all have the same rights, and are perfectly equal in condition; that every man is naturally independent... that it is tyranny to keep men subject to any other authority than which emanates from themselves. Hence, the peo ple are sovereign; those who rule have no authority but by the commission and concession of the people; so that they can be deposed, willing or unwilling, according to the wishes of the people. the origin of all rights and civil duties is in the people or in the State, which is ruled according to the new principles of liberty.

As John Robinson writes, "It is perplexing to realise that the pope in 1884 was condemning the foregoing as satanic."

Leo called upon all Catholic bishops to teach the people, especially the young, that Freemasonry was evil:

We entreat and pray you, venerable brethren, who co-operate with us, to root out this poison, which spreads widely throughout the Nations... the first thing to do is to strip from the Masonic sect its mask and show it as it is, teaching orally and by past oral letters the people about the frauds used by these societies to flatter and entice, the perversity of its doctrines, and the dishonesty of its works.

Leo had not provided his bishops with much ammunition to use in carrying out this exhortation, other than his claim that Freemasons were Satanists. But, he had said the same about all non-Catholics.

But the Bull was followed a flood of articles, pamphlets, books and exposures aligned for and against (mostly against) Freemasonry and according to the allegiance of the author. But none were more strange or exotic than the works of one Gabriel Jorgand-Pages ("Leo Taxil" to use his pseudonym - "Leo" after his grandfather, and "Taxil" after a Hindu ally of Alexander the Great). Robert Gilbert, commenting on Newman's The Church of Rome and Freemasonry, has argued that one immediate effect of Humanum Genus was to inspire Taxil to create an intricate and outstanding anti-Masonic hoax.

Although the son of a Freemason, Taxil had been raised as a Roman Catholic -- the Archbishop of Lyons had even officiated at his confirmation. At school he read the Revue des Deux Mondes ("The Review of the Two Worlds") by Lord Bishop de Segur which claim ed that the 1.6 million Freemasons in France celebrated the Devil's Mass. The dichotomy of what he read about Freemasons' devilish practices in the Catholic books and pamphlets and what he knew about his father could not be reconciled. One had to be wrong.

He ran away from school, only to be brought back by the police and sent to the Mettray reformatory colony. There Taxil wrote his first anti-clerical tract, The Psalms of Vengeance and privately took an oath of hate against Catholicism.

Over the next few years, Taxil was the source of a number of elaborate hoax's which tapped human credulity and presaged things to come. For example:

Fake reports of shark attacks were received from areas ranging from the Catamans to the beach at the Prado. These inspired an expedition of one hundred fully-armed men to put to sea from Marseilles, naturally, without encountering anything like to number of viscous man-eaters reported to be cruising the area.

Having fled to Switzerland, Taxil reported the existence of an entire Roman town at the bottom of a lake between Nyon and Coppet. With a clear resonance of what was to happen later, people not only believed him, but claimed themselves to have seen parts of a road and remains of a forum. A Polish archaeologist wrote that he had seen what was probably the remains of a statue of a horse.

As "Jean-Pierre", Taxil wrote several articles for the magazine, The Battle, claiming to be the secretary of the Archbishopric of Paris who was obliged to go into hiding. The articles were concerned with fictitious political manoeuvrings within the Church to ensure the succession of the Archbishop and to the Church's response should the legitimate monarchy of France be restored. All of which was totally believed and dutifully published.

In 1879, Taxil (then aged 26) was prosecuted but acquitted on publishing a pamphlet Down with the Clergy which had had a circulation of 130,000 and was denounced in parliament. He had been arrested under the provisions of an old law of 17 May 1819 which proscribed "Outrage against a religion recognised by the state." His defence lawyer successfully argued that Taxil had not published an "Outrage", but an "Attack". The predominantly Voltairian jury agreed.

This was the second time Taxil had appeared in court - called to account for one of his published tracts. Some years earlier he had been found guilty of plagiarism of the poet Auguste Roussel's work The Sermons of My Parish Priest). Roussel's widow complained before a civilian Court of Justice, in this case the Tribunal of the Seine. Taxil was fined 1000 francs and 2000 francs damages for the benefit of the widow. The Court of Appeal later raised the latter figure to 4000 francs.

But, for all his brushes with the law on his writings, he was a regular contributor to The Lantern and The Southern Republican as well as editing his own magazine, The Anti-Clerical. two years later he was again prosecuted when he wrote and published the salacious Secret Love Life of Pope Pius IX. The Pope's nephew, Count Masta complained and the Court of Montpellier condemned the work as obscene.

Even the Freemasons felt he had gone too far this time. On 1 August 1881, Worshipful Brother Esprit Eugene Hubert (who, in 'civilian' life, was Counsellor to the Prefecture of Police and editor of the magazine The Chain of Union) presided over a Fraternal jury to consider Taxil's future. On a vote to 20 to 12, Taxil was permanently expelled from his lodge, Les Amis de l'Honneur Francais. He was still an Entered Apprentice.

His anger at his expulsion was further inflamed when his donation of 100 francs to the charity box was refused. One can only wonder at the psychological tensions established by all this. On one hand he loves his father, but the Church tells him his parent is a member of a Satanic organisation. Apparently coming to an accommodation with this, he joins that organisation and attacks the attacker, only to be rejected by the very organisation he is attempting to help in his peculiarly unique manner.

In using pornography against the Church, Taxil was not unique Based in Paris, a flourishing anti-clerical publishing industry was churning out titles such as The Priest's Testicles, The Whores of the Third Estate and the Solicitors of the Fourth, Extraordinary Correspondence of the Ecclesiastical F**ckers and so on.

But after his expulsion from Freemasonry Taxil formed the Anti-Clerical League in September 1881 and remained an active and productive member for three years.

In reality, the anti-clerical business was becoming less and less remunerative for Taxil and even some of his fellow travellers were beginning to shun his company. One way to fame and glory was to stage a dramatic and public conversion which would be taken as a special miracle of grace. Taxil was expelled from the Anti-Clerical League on 27 July 1885, but reminded its members that, while they did not understand his motives at that time, they would later.

Following the release of Humanum Genus in 1884, increasingly shunned by other members of the League for his outrageous attacks on the Church and realising he was at a dead end, Taxil decided yet another grand gesture was necessary. He arranged the sale of his entire stock of pornographic and anti-clerical books etc and stage-managed his own conversion to Catholicism and reconciliation with the Church to the shock of the League. He apparently turned his literary talents against Freemasonry and in 1886 he produced five exposures and eight bitter attacks against the Craft. These included The Three-Point Brothers (or The Brethren of the Three Points), The Cultus of the Great Architect, Sister Masons (published in 1886), Freemasonry Unveiled and Explained, The Vatican and the Masons, The Anti-Christ and the Origin of Masonry, The Masonic Assassins and The Legend of Pope Pius IX as a Mason. Later, as Paul Rosen, he published The Social Enemy and Satan and Company. This last work was dedicated to Leo XIII and purported to be all the secrets of Freemasonry as revealed by a "M.Ill. S.G.I.G. of the 33rd and Last Degree of Freemasonry." A presumably satisfied Leo XIII granted him a private audience in 1887. Between 1846 and 1878, Pope Pius IX had issued 145 pontifical condemnations against Freemasonry. Leo XIII carried on this tradition, issuing 228 between 1878 and 1903.

At this time in France, people had never talked so much about the Devil. Numerous books, plays and songs all dealing with Satan were flooding the market such as Abbe Decanu's History of Satan, and Meyerbeer's Robert the Devil. It may be argued that this was coupled to the coming new century lurking on the temporal horizon. For Taxil not to involve Satan in his works would have appeared to make him ill-informed.

In 1891, Taxil expanded on an earlier work on Adoptive Masonry (Les Soeurs Maconnes - "Sister Masons") and published Are There Women in Freemasonry? (Y a-t-il des femmes dans la Franc-Maconnerie?) Answering his own question, Taxil proceeded to reveal intimate (in every sense of that word) details of an androgynous rite called the "New and Reformed Palladium" which was directed from Charleston by one Albert Pike, the "Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite". This presumed Satanic rite had been imported into France by one Phileas Walder who founded the Mother-Lodge of the Lotus with the aid of the occultist Eliphas Levi who claimed to have, on 24 July 1854, raised the spirit of Apollonius of Tyre. Beyond the first three degrees are two virulently an ti-Christian grades which involve the initiate in blasphemy, sacrilege and - in the Temple-Mistress Grade - ritualised sex to show "that the sacred act of physical generation is the key to the mystery of being".

On the basis of this absurd misinformation, Bishop Fava, the impetuous Bishop of Grenoble, published a booklet in which he stated that women's lodges constituted a sort of harem for the men's lodges.

Taxil claimed that the virulently anti-Christian and satanic Palladium had been brought to France by Phileas Walder with the aid of occultist disciples. The Palladium ritual involved blasphemy, sacrilege and ritualised sex. However absurd this was, the Catholic hierarchy took it seriously and it led to another surge of anti-Masonic books. Other authors such as Adolphe Ricoux confirmed the existence of the Palladium and expanded on Taxil's background. Ricoux went on to described Pike as the "Pope of the Freemasons" sending secret messages to his followers. Other anti.Masonic authors, such as Father Leon Meurin, a Jesuit bishop who had come from Mauritius, began seeking Taxil out to confirm their theories as to the satanic nature of Freemasonry. In his book Freemasonry, the Synagogue of Satan, the pious Bishop Meurin, who was an erudite Orientalist, was quite sure Freemasons worshipped the Devil, having discovered satanic allusions in everything pertaining the Freemasonry: passwords, aprons, collars etc. Taxil gave him everything he wanted. As late as 1957, this work was still being published in Spanish translation.

Of course there was no primary source material to support all this. There never could be since the whole thing was a premeditated and carefully planned hoax on the part of Taxil.

You may wonder at the ready acceptance by the French of this somewhat strange Masonic order. However, recall that, following Andrew Ramsay's Oration on 24th March 1737, there arose over 1100 different Masonic degrees forming part of more than 100 different rites were compiled/created before the end of the eighteenth century, and a further 300 in the first half of the nineteenth. Many were little more than variations of one another, so that often almost identical ceremonies might be worked under different names. The reverse is also true and it is often difficult to distinguish between quite different degrees of the same name. For example, there was the "Red Cross of Babylon", the "Red Cross of Jerusalem", the "Red Cross of Patmos", the "Red Cross of Rome", the "Red Cross of Palestine", the "Red Cross of Daniel", the "Red Cross of Constantine" etc. etc. So when you read in one of the old rituals that the opening ceremony was performed "in the Red Cross", to what is being referred?

Many of these 1100 degrees were mercifully short-lived. Most of the remainder were preserved, temporarily, by being organised into Rites, some of which in turn became extinct.

As the anti-Masonic fervour rose, not to be left behind by the movement his brainchild had created, in 1891 Taxil collaborated with Doctor Charles Hacks and produced another sensational expose The Devil in the Nineteenth Century or the Mysteries of Spiritualism, in other words Luciferian Freemasonry. They wrote under the collective pseudonym of "Doctor Bataille" -- who had supposedly entered the Palladium and seen its wonders.

And what wonders there were. There are wonderful elements of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells in Bataille's work.

"In his house, Gallatin Mackey once showed me that Arcula Mystica (the Mystic Box), of which there are only seven examples in existence, at Charleston, Rome, Berlin, Washington, Monte Video (sic), Naples and Calcutta.

"The exterior of this small box resembles a liqueurs receptacle. A spring catch opens simultaneously its two doors and lid. Inside, in the middle, stands a telephone mouthpiece in silver, which, at first sight one would take for a very small trumpet or hunting horn. At the left is a little rope made of twisted silver threads, one end of which is attached to the machine while the other extremity ends in a kind of little bell which one hold to one's ear to hear the voice of the person with whom one is s peaking, just like the telephone of today. At the right is a toad, in silver, with its mouth open. Placed around the opening of the mouth-piece, stand seven statuettes in gold, each on a small separate silver pedestal symbolically the seven cardinal virtues of the Palladian Ladder.

"Each of these seven statuettes designates one of the Directories. The statuette Ignis (sacred fire) divine endeavour, stands for the Supreme Dogmatic Directory of Charleston: Ratio (Reason, triumphant over superstition), the Sovereign Executive Director y of Rome; Labor (Labour) the Sovereign Administrative Directory of Berlin; Ubertas (fecundity); Caritas (Masonic Charity), Emancipatio (the emancipation of Humanity, shedding the yoke of all despotisms) and Felicitas (Happiness derived from virtuous prac tices) representing the four Grand Central Directories of Washington, Naples, Monte Video and Calcutta.

"When the Supreme Dogmatical chief wishes to communicate, for example, with the head of political action, he presses his finger on the Statuette Ignis and on the Statuette Ratio: these sink into their sockets and at the same instant, a strong whistling is heard in Rome, in the office where Lemmi keeps his Arcula Mystica; Lemmi opens his box and sees the statuettes of Ignis sunk, while tiny, harmless flames issue from the throat of the silver toad. then he knows that the Sovereign Pontiff of Charleston wi shes to speak to him. He presses down the statuette of Ratio in his box and from then on, the conversation between the two chiefs proceeds, each speaking directly into the mouthpiece described above, while at the same time holding to his ear the small silver bell.

"At the end of the conversation, each chief replaces the golden statuettes by pulling them up by the head.

" Every Sovereign Grand Master of a Directory travels with his Arcula Mystics. This box is personally confided to him...."

They wrote that the control of the Palladium in France had shifted to Sophie Walder, daughter of its founder in France, lover of the demon Bitru and great grandmother of the Anti-Christ (!). Dr Bataille's revelations were published in 240 parts, issued over the space of a year. The public were told of satanic rituals, Masonic murders, a visit from the demon Asmodes and the appearance at a Masonic meeting of a demonic, winged crocodile who later entertained the members by playing the piano while perving at the ladies present (!). Readers were told how Pike had regular Friday afternoon discussions with his own personal demon who had been sent as a liaison contact by Satan.

"At St Louis, we operated the grand rites, and through Sister Ingersoll, who is a first class medium, received astonishing revelations during a solemn Palladian session at which I presided, assisted by Brother Friedman and Sister Warnburn. Without putting Sister Ingersoll to sleep, we saturated her with the spirit of Ariel himself, but Ariel took possession of her with 329 more spirits of fire and the seance from then on was marvellous. Sister Ingersoll, lifted into space, floated over the assembly and her garments were suddenly devoured by a flame which enfolded, without burning her. We saw her thus in a state of nudity for over ten minutes. Flitting above our heads, as though borne by an invisible cloud, or upheld by beneficent spirits, she answered all questions put to her. We thus soon had the latest news of our very illustrious brother himself, flying beside our medium and holding her hand. He breathed upon her and her clothes, returning from nowhere clothed her again. Finally, Astaroth vanished and our sister fell gently on to a chair where, with her head thrown back she gave up Ariel and the 329 spirits who had accompanied him. We counted 330 exhalations in all at the end of this most successful experiment"

Taxil and Hacks (predominantly Taxil) embellished their creation with lurid illustrations showing not only fictitious Palladists in their full Luciferian glory, but provide their public with portraits of real, living Freemasons together with a fine collection of both true and invented Masonic documents. No bureaucratic detail was omitted with the Palladium reported to have seven organisational centres - Berlin, Rome, Washington, Monte Video (sic), Naples, Calcutta and Charleston. (Note that Waite in his encyclopedia's citation on the Palladium adds Port Louis in Mauritius for African control).

Not satisfied with having regained the pinnacle of the anti-Masonic crescendo, Taxil now introduced to the world his most complicated and ingenious deception -- a reformed and repentant ex-Palladist who would reveal the full depths of wickedness, depravity and perversions practised by the Freemasons.

This quisling, Miss Diana Vaughan, was "born" in July 1895 and her story appeared in twenty-four monthly issues of "her" Memoirs of an Ex-Palladist. The story recounted how, on Albert Pike's death, control of the Palladium and the position as the Supreme Dogmatic Director of Universal Freemasonry had passed to Adriano Lemmi, the first post-revolutionary Italian Grand Master in Rome -- which came, no doubt as a surprise to that worthy Brother! After a quarrel with Sophie Walder, Miss Vaughan had gone her own way, forming her own "Free and Regenerated Palladium" before being, finally, converted to Catholicism.

Her revelations did not match the satanic wonders of "Dr Bataille", but she clearly outdid him in libelling living English Freemasons. Many harmless Freemasons were implicated during the course of her revelations including Dr William Wynn Westcott, the head of the English Rosicrucian Society and John Yarker, who controlled the Antient and Primitive Rite.

Westcott was accused of being "the actual chief of the English Luciferians" and the "actual custodian of the diabolical rituals of Nick Stone; it is he who is the Supreme Magus of the Socinian Rose-Cross for England." Diana Vaughan claimed to have visited Westcott's home and made copies of the rituals.

The attack on Yarker was a rather inspired touch on Taxil's part, for the Rites of Memphis and Misraim was thoroughly disliked by the Grand Orient. The Rite of Memphis had strong links to the Ancient and Accepted Rite. In 1880, the mainly Scottish Rite Supreme Council (formed in 1804 largely in competition with the Grand Orient) had sponsored the Grand Lodge of France which, itself, was spawned out of disagreements within the Grand Orient. Nonetheless, it retained the agnostic tendencies of the older body.

You will recall that, by the end of the eighteenth century, when the uncontrolled creation of "higher" degrees began to correct itself, many of the "add-ons" were ephemeral and ceased to be a problem. Others were recognised to a varying extent by official Freemasonry as part of the overall fabric of Freemasonry. Yet others formed governing bodies of their own, controlling a series of several degrees, the most exotic of which being the Rite of Memphis and Misraim. The rite derived its name from the form er royal city of Egypt. It was instituted in France in 1814, its principal promoter being Gabriel Mathieu Marconis, known as "de Negre" from his dark complexion. The original 91 degrees were increased to 92 in 1849 and to 97 in 1856, although the number was reduced to 96 a few year later, perhaps to evenly organise the Rite into three "series" containing seven "classes." Some extraordinary titles were invented for most of the degrees, although the names of the first thirty-three are generally recognisable atop those acquainted with the degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Rite. The Rite of Memphis was legally terminated in France by government decree and was at the same time declared Masonically spurious by established authority. The son of Marconis then took the Rite to America where it became the Antient and Primitive Rite. In 1859 a warning was sent to all craft lodges by the Grand Secretary warning of the arrival in England of the irregular group "The Reformed Masonic Order of Memphis, or Rite of the Grand Lodge of Philadelphes."

As for Taxil's creation: the New Illustrated Larousse encyclopedia even carried a two-column entry on Palladism and the Palladium. In Italy, some thirty-third degree Freemasons actually wanted to become Palladists -- which probably tells us something about Italian Freemasonry at that time! Imitators abounded. It seemed Taxil's spark would ignite the world into an anti-Masonic conflagration. To keep the "pot boiling", in 1896 Taxil produced (as Diana Vaughan), The Restoration of Palladism, a Transition De creed by the Sanctum Regnum to Prepare the Public Cult of Lucifer, a Book Reserved for Ecclesiastics. Taking advantage of the anti-British climate aroused by the eviction of the French explorer, General Marchand, from Fashoda, Taxil combined his attacks on Freemasonry with one against Satan, by claiming that the Devil had his earthly headquarters within the deep caves of the Rock of Gibraltar.

But, by 1896, the more rational members of the Church were becoming disturbed by the extraordinary and unsupported stories. Taxil's greatest threat was an Austrian Jesuit named Father Gruber who wrote saying that he believed Walder, Vaughan and the Palladists all did not exist and never had.

On 7 December 1895 and again on 4 January, 8 March and 6 June 1896, the Spiritualist journal Light published in its correspondence columns a series of detailed rebuttals to the Palladium by A.E. Waite. Waite analysed the whole literature about the palla dium in his book, Devil Worship in France, or the Question of Lucifer: A record Record of Things Seen and Heard in the Secret Societies According to the Evidence of Initiates (Redwing, 1896), which was a devastating expose of the whole Palladium affair, d emonstrating conclusively that it was fiction pure and simple - an "extraordinary literary swindle" in his own words - and he took justifiable pride in having "unveiled the mass of fraud, falsehood and forgery contained in their depositions, and placed the position of the Roman Catholic Church in regard to the whole conspiracy in an unenviable light".

Others felt Miss Vaughan should be canonised. The Roman Catholic Bishop at Charleston even visited Rome to assure the Church authorities that the Charleston Freemasons were not as Taxil had described them and were, in fact, honourable, peaceful and harmless Protestants.

Waite was 39 at the time and a lapsed Roman-Catholic who had turned via Spiritualism to the Theosophical Society which fascinated him, although he disliked Blavatsky's anti-Christian bias. At the time of his attack on Taxil's credibility, he was not a Freemason. Indeed, he had an uneasy love-hate relationship with Freemasonry. His interest in occultism had motivated him to publish as anthology of the writings of Eliphas Levi in 1886 - The Mystery of Magic - A Digest of the Writings of Eliphas Levi. Via these writings, he developed an interest in Rosicrucianism and freemasonry, although his attitude to the Craft was one of distain.

Originally an association for the diffusion of natural morality, [Freemasonry] is now simply a benefit society. The improvement of mankind and the encouragement of philanthropy were and are its ostensible objects, and these also were the dream of the Rosicrucianian but, on the other hand, it has never aimed at a reformation in the arts and sciences, for it was never at any period a learned society, and a large proportion of its members have been chosen from illiterate classes. It is free alike from the enthusiasm and the errors of the elder Order... it has been singularly devoid of prejudices and singularly unaffected by the crazes of the time.... It preaches a natural morality, and has so little interest in mysticism that it daily misinterprets and practically despises its own mystic symbols.

The Real History of the Rosicrucians, founded on their own Manifestos and on Facts and Documents collected from the Writings of Initiated Brethren (Redway, 1889) pp.403-4, cited by R.A.Gilbert, "The Masonic Career...," p.89

In this work Waite also printed the complete Rosicrucian Rules and Ordinances. The Secretary-General of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, Dr William Wynn Westcott, threatened Waite with legal action. Waite apologised and withdrew the offending text from subsequent editions and he joined the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn - a society of would-be magicians founded by Westcott in 1887. Waite, himself, was now attacked by the more rabid of the Roman-Catholic anti-Masons who saw him as a prime mover of the Satanic conspiracy. Other reviews were positive, although some felt he had taken a sledge-hammer to crack a nut (no pun intended!).

But now even Hacks believed the hoax had run its course. It was discovered that Hacks had cut himself adrift from the conspiracy, had married and set up as a medical practitioner in a handsome suite of rooms in Paris. He explained frankly that when he was a bachelor, doing press-work on the Petit-Journal, he was invited to join a number of other journalists in the production of Le Diable au Dix-Neuvieme Siecle and was glad to secure the unusual remuneration offered. His involvement, however, was confined to the first volume.

At the International Anti-Masonic Congress of Trent (then in Austria), begun on 26 September 1896, open doubt was expressed that Miss Vaughan actually existed. The President of the Congress was Count Felippe de Consolate, Chamberlain to His Majesty the Emperor of Austria. The discussions were to be held under four main headings: Masonic Doctrine, Masonic Actions, Prayer and Anti-Masonic Action. Bishop of Malaga presented a document containing more than 100,000 signatures condemning Freemasonry as a "dark and diabolical sect, the enemy of God, the Throne and our Fatherland (ie Spain)."

When the Catholic newspaper Univers demanded Dianna Vaughan appear, Hacks immediately wrote with the information he had previously supplied: that he had collaborated on the first volume only and that he knew nothing about Diana Vaughan. He later wrote much the same to La Libre Parole, but included a blatent solicitation for his a la carte restaurant which he had recently opened when he found the medical profession was not patronised sufficiently. (He also claimed that, prior to being a ship's doctor, he had been a clown!). He further explained that since the appearance of the Humanum Genus Encyclical, he had concluded that there was money to be made out of the "known credulity and unknown idiocy of the Catholics." However, this did not explain why he had waited six years (between the Encyclical of 1886 and his exploitation of the Catholics in 1892).

Strangely, Hacks' confessions did little to discourage the anti-Masons who believed he had been bought by the Freemasons to spread these stories that the whole thing was a hoax. Even more turmoil began when Domenico Margiotta, an Italian ex-Mason, wrote that Dianna Vaughan had remained an unrepentant Palladist, her conversion to Catholicism had not happened, and the "memoirs" were those of a false Dianna. The "real" Dianna Vaughan continued to diabolise more than ever in the Triangles (the Palladium's name for their Lodges) and had made her peace with Lemmi.

To the doubts expressed at the Congress that Diana Vaughan existed, Taxil counter-claimed that Miss Vaughan was in hiding to avoid assassination by furious Palladists. Demands were made for her certificate of birth, the name of the priest who baptised her and the bishop who authorised her First Communion. Taxil, via the continuing publication of Diana Vaughan's adventures, claimed that the laws of birth registration were exceedingly loose in America and loose above all others in Kentucky. (Unfortunately someone remembered Diana Vaughan had been "born" in Paris according to her curriculum vitae derived from the publication of her memoirs). He further claimed that, to publish the names of the priest by whom she was reconciled to Catholicism and of the bishop referred to would consequently also reveal the name of the convent into which she proposed to retire when her revelations were complete and this would endanger her life.

The Congress concluded that there was no evidence either way in support or against the writings (even the actual existence) of Diana Vaughan. Strangely, the Jesuits from Rome utterly believed Diana Vaughan existed, while the French and German Jesuits were not so sure.

But the dream run was over. On 19 April 1897 when Diana Vaughan was scheduled to present an address at the Paris Geographical Society, Taxil appeared alone on stage (after ensuring his audience had all left their sticks and umbrellas in the cloakroom) and explained how he had been hoaxing the intolerant world for twelve years!; how his sole purpose had been to discomfort the Roman Catholic Church by confronting and feeding it with its own intolerance.

Taxil left the stage under police protection with the words "The Palladium exist no more. I was it creator and I have destroyed it. You have nothing more to fear from its sinister influence". His words to the Anti-clerical League on his expulsion were now plain. Le Frondeur published his confession in full six days later and it was later published, in Spanish, as a thirty-three-page booklet in Madrid. The confession had curtailed another book by A.E.Waite, intended as a sequel to his Devil Worship, name ly Diana Vaughan and the Question of Modern Palladism.

As a penultimate twist to his hoax, before his on-stage confession, Taxil conducted a "lucky-door-prize"-type draw where the one and only prize was a superb typewriter imported from the United States. This must have been Taxil's ironic sense of humour at play, for reasons which will become apparent.

You see Diana Vaughan actually did exist. She had visited Taxil in her role as a sales representative for Remington typewriters. After her sales trip to Europe and return to America, Taxil had merely "stolen" her name. Alec Mellor in his Strange Masonic Stories claims she was aware of Taxil's plans although she took no overt or covert role in them. You may thus see the underlying message in Taxil's raffle of a typewriter prior to his denouement.

And Albert Pike also did exist, although he really was a Freemason but one with some ill-formed and almost incoherent ideas concerning comparative religions which left him peculiarly vulnerable to accusations of being a Satanist which was fully exploited and corrupted by Taxil. In reality, Albert Pike is regarded by Masonic researchers as a regular Freemason, and any accusation that he officially taught Satanism is untrue. He was head of the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States of the Scottish Rite from 1859 until his death 1891. During that period, he revised its ceremonial and gave it much of its present character. Christopher Haffner, in his book Workman Unashamed writes that "like many of the subsequent holders of that office, (Pike's) position as Grand Commander of 'the Mother Supreme Council of the World' led to a degree of megalomania".

Pike reconstruction the American Scottish Rite ceremonies was, in part, inspired by the publication of David Bernard's Light on Masonry (1829). This work contained not only the rituals of the Craft degrees, but the entire sequence of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Although this re-writing would probably have been undertaken by Pike in any case since he was intrinsically unhappy with the existing rituals.

Pike had an outstanding intellect - albeit marred by a lack of academic discipline and fine critical judgement, consequent upon the abrupt curtailment (for financial reasons) of his formal education after one year at Harvard. Born in 1809 in Boston, he later settled in Little Rock, Arkansas where he built himself a highly successful legal practice and where, in 1850, he was initiated into Freemasonry. He later turned to publishing and, in 1861, the Confederacy commissioned him a brigadier-general and appointed him its agent to deal with the Indians of Northern Texas and Okalahoma.

In March 1853 he had received the degrees 4th to 32nd at Charleston. Four years later he received the 33rd degree. But he openly expressed his profound disappointment in these rituals and from 1855 to 1868 effectively rewrote the entire rituals and liturgy.

On 14 July 1889, Pike, as "Sovereign Pontiff of Universal Freemasonry" (a position that did not, and does not exist), allegedly issued the following instructions to twenty-three Scottish Rite Supreme Confederated Councils (a body that did not, and does no t exist) throughout the world:

"That which we must say to the crowd is - we worship God, but it is the God that one adores without superstition. To you, Sovereign Grand Inspectors general, we say this, that you may repeat it to the brethren of the 32nd, 31st and 30th degrees - the Masonic Religion should be, by all of us initiates of the higher degrees, maintained in the purity of the Luciferian Doctrine.

"If Lucifer were not God would Adonay (The God of the Christians) whose deeds prove his cruelty, perfidy and hatred of man, barbarism and repulsion for science, would Adonay and his priests, calumniate him?

"Yes Lucifer is God, and unfortunately Adonay is also God. For the eternal law is that there is no light without shade, no beauty without ugliness, no white without black, for the absolute can only exist as two gods: darkness being necessary for light to serve as its foil as the pedestal is necessary to the statue and the brake to the locomotive.

"Thus the doctrine of Satanism is a heresy; and the true and pure philosophical religion is the belief in Lucifer, the equal of Adonay; but Lucifer, God of Light and God of Good is struggling for humanity against Adonay, the God of Darkness and Evil."

The statement was attributed to Pike five years after its alleged circulation by Abbe Clarin de la Rive in his anti-Masonic tract La femme et l'enfant dans la franc-maconnerie universelle ("The Woman and Child in Universal Freemasonry"). At the time of the testament's revelation to an increasingly anti-Masonic world, Pike had been dead for three years. The Supreme Council has no record of any circular/letter/missive. According to Dr and Bro. Brent Morris, 40% of the 2.5 million American Freemasons have the 32o. With a missive such as this, you may reasonably expect mass resignations, but these simply did not occur. Further, it is doubtful that even the "great" Albert Pike would have presumed to tell other, independent Sovereign bodies what to do and it is highly likely that the whole thing was a product of de la Rive's hatred of Freemasonry influenced by Taxil.

A clue to this comes in de la Rive's footnote, which says that Pike had charged "Sister Diana Vaughan" with carrying his (Pike's) encyclical to Paris during the Universal Exposition. And, as we have seen, Miss Vaughan was nothing more than a matchless fiction.

But Albert Pike was a many-sided character. On one hand he is justly praised for his part in the development of the Southern Jurisdiction; yet he is despised by the Negro brethren of the irregular Prince Hall Freemasonry for his racist statements in connection with his own devotion to the Craft. As for his Satanist leanings, Haffner has studied Pike's work Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, an 861-page book first published in 1871, a copy of which until about 1980 was given to every new member. In spite of its turgidity and woolliness, Pike's work argues that "the conviction of all men that God is good led to the belief in the Devil, a fallen Lucifer, or Light-bearer... as an attempt to explain the existence of Evil, and make it consistent with the Infinite Power".

Haffner concludes, "His extensive knowledge of comparative religion, if undisciplined, may have led him to seek for a common ground in all religions, but Pike clearly did not advocate the worship or 'doctrine' of Satan".

Pike was so wrapped up in his knowledge of ancient faiths and philosophic systems that he tended to make the background of Freemasonry far more complex and esoteric than it was ever meant to be. He was a man with an extraordinary breadth of knowledge he wished to share. But he had difficulty in communication. This may have required explanations of his terms and curbing his vocabularial excess. When he spoke of the "Luciferian Path" or the "energies of Lucifer" he was simply referring to the morning star, the light bearer, the search for light; the very antithesis of dark, satanic evil. "Light" for Pike meant education. Robinson in his work A Pilgrim's Progress has spent a deal of effort in explaining that the Classical Roman word "Lucifer" has been badly (even deliberately) mistranslated in the King James 1611 version of the Bible and become associated with Satan. In fact, Lucifer is the morning star - the light bringer - of which, in Revelation 22:16, Jesus says, "I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star."

John Hamill and R.A. Gilbert, in World Freemasonry: An Illustrated History, write that "Pike's rituals are...colourful, dramatic and well-structured, however syncretistic they may be... His principal failings... are an inability to treat comparative religions in an objective manner and an overriding conviction that all belief systems, however incompatible they may be with one another, are somehow reducible to a common denominator in Freemasonry".

The fate of one other of the "key players" is also worthy of attention. A.E. Waite, who had so devastatingly attacked Taxil finally joined Freemasonry. On 19 September 1901, at the age of 43, he was initiated in Runnymede Lodge #2430EC at Wraysbury in Buckinghamshire. But his interests lay with the higher orders. Take 1902 for example:

10 February -- raised as a Master Mason
10 April -- joins the SRIA
1 May -- joins Metropolitan Chapter #1507 (becoming First Principal in 1913)
8 May -- becomes a Knight Templar in King Edward VII Preceptory
9 May -- joins the Order of Malta, in St George's Priory #6
30 August -- joins the Swedenborgian Rite, Hermes Lodge and temple #8

As for Taxil, the hoaxer by vocation, he retired and produced a cook book (Good Family Cooking), a guide for housewives (The Art of Good Buying) and a book on Monaco. He later returned to pornography and produced a revised edition of his Secret Love Life ... (even more vulgar than the original) and died on 5 May 1907. He was fifty-three.

The targets of his hoax were especially vulnerable.

The Catholic world lived isolated from the ordinary world. Sheltered behind specially edited newspapers with a style all of their own, careful not to read books that were not endorsed or recommended, kept in almost complete ignorance of the mechanism of their society, they were ready made for the deception in that their means of verification of Taxil's claims were almost entirely absent.

If one considers the years of work devoted by Taxil to the creation of his deception, motives of commercial profit are inadequate to account for it. In fact, Taxil never made a fortune out of his scheme. Was it vanity? In one sense that is true, but Taxil's deceptions border on aggression, both unethical and anti-social. You may recall my earlier comments highlighting the conflicting psychological tensions occasioned by his earlier life and his earlier minor-in-comparison hoaxes.

It would be satisfying to say that Taxil's plan had sufficiently embarrassed the anti-Masonic lobby into their downfall. But we all know life is not like that.

The supreme ambition of Leo Taxil had been to stultify the whole Catholic Church and to obtain from that assembly a judgement in favour of his revelations. These had been planned thoughtfully to supply the one thing wanting to complete the case of the Church against Masonry. Rome would have given, so to speak, the third part of the triple crown of Peter to find Satanism flourishing in the Lodges......

The result was mischievous to the Church, whose case against Freemasonry was, as it remains now, peculiarly difficult to sustain before the tribunal of universal opinion, and the worst thing which could befall it was a connection - however unintentional - with ridiculous accusations and proved imposture. In fine, therefore, one would think that the insensate credulity of certain Catholics had been taught a wholesome lesson, and that there was no need for Masons on their won part to enforce it further. But the lessons which the Church was prepared to learn were of another order.

In the years that have elapsed the old polemics have continued in precisely the old manner. No charge has been too ridiculous, no argument too banal... It is abundantly evident that if the legislative centre of the Latin Church does not happen to have been deceived completely by an impudent imposture it has been deceived always by its own uncritical spirit. A.E. Waite

Without evidence, primary sources, witnesses or logic, Freemasonry continued to be attacked. An ecclesiastic in England continued to expect that Diana Vaughan would justify herself, and was reported to have placed his presbytery at her disposal on the occ asion of her promised visit to London.. As late as 1928, Palladium-look-alikes could be found in the anti.Masonic literature. The director of The International Review of Secret Societies claimed he had evidence from a certain Countess of Coutanceau of the existence of Luciferian lodges. Abbe Paul Boulain produced a Diana Vaughan clone in one Clotilde Bersone who claimed in the work The Elect of the Dragon that Satan was the true political leader of France and ruled through the Freemasons' lodges. In 1908, one prominent French anti-Mason, M. Copin-Albancelli, argued that Satanism still held sway in Masonic circles, albeit "not in the sense that the devil comes to preside at their meetings, as that romancer of a Leo Taxil pretended, but in that their initiates profess the cult of Lucifer".

Recall that Taxil's confession was published at least twice. But in 1938, in Paris, it was claimed that his confession was forced upon him by threats from the Freemasons.

The upheavals of the First World War and the political chaos that followed the Russian Revolution all added fuel to the anti-Masonic fire. To the worship of Satan was now added the charge of a Judaeo-Masonic conspiracy aimed at overthrowing Christian civilisation and promoting atheistic Communism. Those who propagated such views - and they were prominent in England as well and in France - built on the older fantasies and fancies of rabid anti-Semites, some of whom were also anti-Masons; as, for example in Emil Eckert's The Real Purpose of Freemasonry (Der Friemaurer-Orden in seiner wahren Bedeutung, 1852) in which the author argued that the Jews and Freemasons were working together to destroy the existing, patriarchal social order.

The trend continued. Claims that Freemasonry was Satanic appeared in:

-- Nesta Webster's 1922 pseudo-scholarly conspiracy works such as Secret Societies and Subversive Movements.

-- 1929: Rev'd E. Cahill, a particularly nauseous Jesuit professor of history, Freemasonry and the Anti-Christian Movement.

-- The 1930 paranoid ravings of Miss C.M. Stoddart, Light-Bearers of Darkness, and

-- Occult Theocracy, published posthumously in 1933 by Lady Queenborough (Edith Starr Miller) who managed to believe implicitly every word of Leo Taxil's fictions, to see every social, political or religious society that might be in any way be construed as promoting democracy as an agent of the Jewish plot, and to see the whole conspiracy as "Jesuit-Judaic-Masonic-Gnostic-Brahman-Illuminati" inspired. (There are some interesting 'bedfellows' in that list, and it is somewhat odd in view of the eclecticism of her dislikes that she should extravagantly praise the Italian Fascists.)

In these pages, we learn that the Palladium was founded in 1730 and soon thereafter introduced in Charleston where it remained inactive until 1886. The work cites the Cyclopedia of Fraternities by Stevens who adds that the Palladium is "little known as the number of its members is strictly limited and the deepest secrecy surrounds all its deliberations" (Any wonder, the only information was coming direct from the fertile mind of Taxil and Hacks). We also find that the whole thing had been cooked up by Giuseppe Mazzini and Albert Pike when they reached an agreement in 1870 to create the Supreme Rite as an efficient organisation to abolish the temporal power of the Pope and to rule the world from the sidelines. "The act of creation is dated 20 September 1870, the day upon which the army of invasion, commanded by the Freemason, General Cadorna, entered the Eternal City. The two founders divided their power according to the following plan. To Pike was given dogmatic authority and the title of Sovereign Pontiff of Universal Freemasonry, while Mazzini held the executive authority with the title of Sovereign Chief of Political Action". ah well....

Later in this diatribe Karl Marx appears Stage Left and the "link" is made between proto-Communism at the meeting of the Internationale on 28 September 1864 and Mazzini's secret order within Freemasonry. Also appearing in the cast is De La Rive and the translation of Pike's Luciferian doctrines already discussed in this paper. To make their point, the author claims that the great Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry was not written by Albert George Mackey, but by Gallatin Mackey who was a friend and confident of Pike's. William Morgan is also invoked to remind the readers just what personal fates have been braved by the various authors in order to reveal the "truth" to the unsuspecting world....especially in these "modern" times when "the victim of their vengeance, swallowing some disease germ, meets a fate that none can prove to have been artificially contrived." (This has elements of the 'death ray' that was claimed to have been used by Freemasons against Stephen Knight to induce his brain tumour).

The author points out that Masonic Centres are used for other purposes other than Masonic meetings/Ritual. Members of the "profane public" may enter to be taught accounting, stenography etc. So the entry of women passes unnoticed. But once in side the building, certain women ("Pink Serpents" - wouldn't Freud have a field day with that title?) know where to go, and they sneak off to their androgynous rites in hidden rooms within the Centres.

And the "links" between Freemasonry and the Occult remain firmly embedded in the minds of certain authors. For example, in 1968 W.B. Crow published his A History of Witchcraft and Occultism. Chapter 29 of this work considers, in part, the Craft. But the title of the work implies that everything mentioned between its covers is concerned with at least one of the three parts of the book's title. You may best see this in the summary of Chapter 29 given on page 8:

Freemasonry - Templar Revivals - Ancient and Accepted (Scottish Rite - Order of the Palladium - The Illuminati - A Mysterious Character - Cagliostro's Egyptian Masonry - Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis and Mizraim (sic) - The Golden Dawn - Order of the Temple of the Orient - A Theurgic Rite - Martinism.

Note that Taxil's Palladium was still prevalent.

On 28 September 1995, I chanced to see a television program ("Reach out for Christ") broadcast by BRIZ-31 (a community free-to-air television station broadcasting in Brisbane) during which a Christian Fundamentalist seriously told the viewing audience tha t the Palladium continued to exist and, along with the Secret Masters of the Illuminati who were influencing world events to bring on the New World Order, were creating all the drug problems, civil unrest, lawlessness etc to cause the collapse of civilisation as we know it.

Intrigued by these suggestions I wrote to the Reach Out For Christ group, pointing out that I believed the Palladium was a hoax and it had ceased to exist in 1897 when Leo Taxil declared his creation's demise. I eventually received a reply from the Intern ational Support Ministries of the Pacific assuring me that the Palladium is "still most definitely functioning - albeit in a very secretive fashion".

I was provided with evidence (sic) that the Palladium sits between the Ordo Templi Orients (OTO) and the Illuminati in the hierarchy of control over humanity. (Should you be interested, Blue Lodge Masonry is the lowest of the 13 rung hierarchy, while "TG AOTU (Ain Soph Aur)" is at the top of pyramid.) We are told that in this hierarchy "the lower levels essentially leech off the lower levels"). I was even provided with a number of photocopied pages from Occult Theocrasy (see earlier) which, I was absolu tely delighted to find, is continued to be used by the Fundamentalists. It cites Dr Bataille (Le Diable au XIXe Siecle) as if everything he said about the Palladium was true and not the hoax dreamed up by Taxil and Hacks in 1891 as recounted earlier. I must say, though, on page 226 of this book, the author points out that some "discredit has been cast upon Bataille's writings" (ahem!).

But this link of Freemasonry to the Supernatural's: The Occult in Australia by Nevill Drury and Gregory Tillett - works which intimately link Freemasonry by clear association with the subject(s) of their titles. It must be said, however, that in defence of Drury and Tillett, there were some pretty strange characters lurking on the fringes of Freemasonry in Australia such as Frank Bennett, Vyvyan Deacon, Jiddhu Krishnamurti and others.

The psychological inadequacies of those behind these and modern hysterical attacks on Freemasonry can only be wondered at. Freemasonry has never, in all its history, persecuted or unjustly condemned anyone whether for his religious, political or any other beliefs. It is obvious that simply saying nothing and relying on the common sense of the public to see how unjust and ludicrous these fantasies and perjured arguments are does not work.

The story of Taxil's deceptions belong to the history of Anti-Masonry and therefore Freemasonry itself and in the minds of some misguided people, the devil will always be associated with the Craft.

A refreshing wind of change is moving through the Craft. No longer can opponents claim that the Craft is a "Secret Society" hiding itself from public view. Of course there was nothing to hide, but our opponents would have the public believe otherwise.

I, personally, would not mind so much these diatribes against Freemasonry providing their scholarship was not so questionable. Take, for example, Brother Jack the Ripper. A recent book by Melvyn Fairclough, The Ripper and the Royals, contains so much rubbish in respect to Jack the Ripper being a Freemason that is it almost beyond belief.

For example, Catherine Eddows' body was found in Mitre Square. Fairclough finds this proof positive that the Freemasons were involved because "the mitre and the square are the tools of the stone masons and potent emblems of Freemasonry". He also finds this proof to be found in the fact that Quatour Coronati Lodge had its installation ceremony on the night of 8 November 1888; the night when the last of the Ripper victims, Mary Kelly, was slaughtered.

Oh dear! You can do almost anything you wish with these "facts". I hereby offer one for our opponents:

As each candidate for the Fellow Craft Degree recites, our Lodges usually meet at night. Dracula, as is well known, comes out at night: therefore Dracula is a Freemason. With his sartorial preference for Dinner suits, he is also obviously a member of Grand Lodge!

To return to Jack the Ripper briefly, as this is a classic example of tunnel vision by the uninformed and an excellent example of the willingness to believe that was so aptly tapped by Leo Taxil.

If Jack does prove to be a lowly labourer or fish porter then nobody is going to take a blind bit of notice, but if we can come up with a belted Earl or something similar and weave a complete and utter fantasy around him with the required amount of gore, sex and violence thrown in, then we can sit back and bathe in the glory of yet another "final solution".

A recent book by Dr David Abrahamsen on Jack the Ripper also shows elements of Taxil's techniques. Abrahamsen's book (Murder and Madness: The Secret Life of Jack the Ripper) has Prince Albert Victor Edward and his tutor, J.K. Stephen, running around Whit echapel in drag taking out their sexual resentments against prostitutes by ripping them to pieces. Unlike Taxil who invented or manipulated his evidence, Abrahamsen does not produce any evidence at all. Court circulars of the time clearly indicate that the Prince was no where near London on every single occasion the Ripper struck.

As Joseph Goebbels may have said, "If you are going to lie, tell BIG lies!" Look at the attraction and furore over the so.called Hitler Diaries and the more recent elaborate hoax attempt to produce the diary of James Maybrick, proving him to be Jack the Ripper! No one was at all interested, I am unhappy to report, in the Dennis Stocks diaries. Perhaps one prerequisite is to be a mass murderer?

There seems to be a human willingness to suspend the critical functions and wallow in the dangerous morass of misinformation that supports our deeper prejudices.

With opponents now unable to make spurious capital from the penalty clauses of the "ancient" Craft obligations, they have turned their attention to the so-called additional degrees -- seeking sinister machinations and a malevolent controlling junta operating as a secret inner cabal. Yoshio Washizu has pointed out that, in Japan, Freemasonry has been blamed for everything from UFOs to being a Jewish secret society responsible for the spread of AIDS as a microbial secret weapon.

Mind you, the attacks are not always in the one direction. John Robinson in A Pilgrim's Path, raises the claims of one Tony Alamo - "World Pastor, Evangelist, Author and renowned expert on Catholic Cults." Alamo claims that Pope John Paul II is identified as a former salesman for the I.G. Farben Chemical Company, in which capacity he reportedly sold cyanide gas to the Nazis for use at Auschwitz.

Sometimes the crazies take over the asylum.

Robert Anton Wilson is an author who has made quite a business of the Illuminati and has produced a plethora of books (mostly fiction) on the subject. As an example of how fiction can catch up with fact and be totally accepted, consider this statement by Wilson in Fortean Times #79:

Later in Dublin I met somebody who told me - on the basis of God knows what authority besides his own imagination - that above the 33rd degree of Masonry unknown to the world there is actually an illuminated inner circle which is touch with (the star) Sirius. I thought I'd invented that myself, but this guy is telling me this like it's an inner secret of Masonry! But maybe that's what Hugh Kenner calls an "Irish fact," which is quite unlike an English fact, an American fact, or a French fact, and has no connection with a scientific fact. An Irish fact has the wonderful Daliesque fluidity of a melting clock and the Joycean uncertainty of a rubber inch.

You will also have noticed how Knight, Short and others have painted the exclusively Craft Freemason as a poor dupe of the higher orders -- much to the astonishment of the members of those orders who know there is nothing incompatible or inimical to Christianity or any other religion therein.

But this internal certainty is no longer enough. We have nothing but honesty and truth and no need to emulate the moral turpitude of our opponents.

Let me close with a quotation from Dr Samuel Johnson:

The Craft can be in no danger due to a decline in numbers, neither need it fear external enemies; provided its members do not lose sight of its true nature or its ancient ideals.


Bibliography

David Abrahamsen,
Murder and Madness: The Secret Life of Jack the Ripper, St Edmonds, Suffolk, Robson Books, 1992.

Henry W Coil,
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Other Temples, Other Gods: The Occult in Australia, Sydney, Methuen Australia, 1980.

Melvyn Fairclough,
The Ripper and the Royals, London, Duckworth, 1991.

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"A Hoaxer of Genius - Leo Taxil," in Our Separated Brethren, the Freemasons, translated by A W Barnett and C N Batham, Richmond, Virginia, Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Co, 1964, pp. 149-155.

S. Brent Morris,
"Albert Pike and Lucifer: The Lie that will not Die," The Short Talk Bulletin (The Masonic Service Association of the United States), Volume 71 (June 1993), pp. 3-8,

Aybrey Newman,
"The Church and Freemasonry," AQC, Volume 104 (1992), pp.32-94,

Albert Pike,
"The Meaning of Masonry", in Little Masonic Library, Book V, pp. 1-58, Kingsport, Tennessee, Southern Publishers Inc., 1946,

John T. Robinson,
A Pilgrim's Path, New York,M.Evans, 1993.

F.W. Seal-Coon,
"Modern Anti-Masonry at Home and Abroad," AQC, Volume 102 (1989), pp.170-177,

Martin Short,
Inside the Brotherhood: Further Secrets of the Freemasons, London, Grafton Books, 1989.

H.H. Solf,
"A Bibliographical Essay on Recent French Masonic Literature," AQC, Volume 91, 1978, pp.101-115

Arthur E Waite,
A New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, new and revised edition, New York, Weathervane Books, 1970.

Yoshio Washizu
"Anti-Masonry in Japan - Past and Present," AQC, Volume 107, 1994, pp. 85-116

Dennis Wheatley,
The Devil and All His Works, Richmond, Victoria, Hutchinson Australia, 1971.

Robert Anton Wilson,
Interview, Fortean Times #79 (1994), pp.22-26.


Related pages:
  Dennis Stocks
       Dissertations: A Beginner's Guide to Freemasonry 
       Dissertations: Freemasonry and the Ripper 
       Dissertations: Russian Freemasonry 
       Dissertations: The Anti-Freemason Movement 
       Dissertations: The History of Freemasonry 
  Freemasons
       Press Reports: Star - 31 October 1888