«THE QUESTION OF LUCIFER A RECORD OF THINGS SEEN AND HEARD IN THE SECRET SOCIETIES ACCORDING TO THE EVIDENCE OF INITIATES BY A R T H U R E D WA R D WA ...»
In the year 1886 another ecclesiastic, Dom. Benoit, published two formidable volumes on "Freemasonry and the Secret Societies," forming part of a vaster work, entitled "The City of anti-Christ in the Nineteenth Century." Like D’Estampes and Jannet, he distinguishes between a small number of initiates and a vast crowd of dupes who swell the ranks of the Fraternity. "Many Masons ascend the ladder of the grades without receiving the revelation of the mysteries." The highest functions of most lodges are said to be given to the dupes, while the ruling chiefs are concealed behind humble titles. It is further represented that in certain countries there are secret rites above the ordinary rites, and these are imparted only to the true initiates, which sounds like a vague and formless hint concerning a directing centre; but so far from supposing that such an institution may exist in Masonry, the author affirms that unity is impossible therein:—"Image of hell and hell anticipated, Masonry is the realm of hatred, and consequently of division. The leaders mutually despise and detest one another, and universally endeavour to deceive and supplant each other.
Some time previous to 1888, Paul Rosen, a Sovereign Grand Inspector-General of the 33rd and last degree of the French rite, had come to the conclusion that the mysteries of Freemasonry are abominable, and in that year he published a work, entitled "Satan and Co.," suggesting that in this case a witness to the desired point had at last come forward, and, as a matter of fact, the writer does take us a few paces beyond the point reached by Benoit. So far as I am aware, he is the first French anti-Mason who mentions Albert Pike, with one exception, to be considered separately in the next chapter. He describes him as the Sovereign -Grand Commander of the Supreme Mother Council of every Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scotch Rite, and he tells the story of the foundation of that Rite, but he knows nothing of Isaac Long, the Palladium, or the skull. He cites also certain works which Pike wrote for the exclusive use of initiates, apparently of the higher grades of these rites, namely, "The Sephar H’Debarim," "Ethics and Dogmas of Freemasonry," and "Legenda Magistralia." But so far from accrediting the order with a supernatural aspect, he affirms that its war-cry is annihilation and anathema thereto. The end of Freemasonry is, in fact, social anarchy, the overthrowal of monarchical government, and the destruction of the Catholic religion. The Satanism imputed to Freemasonry by Paul Rosen is therefore of an arbitrary and fantastic order, having no real connection with this inquiry. Two years later the same author published a smaller volume, "The Social Enemy," which contains no material of importance to our purpose, but is preceded by a Pontifical Brief, conveying the benediction of Leo XIII.
to the writer of "Satan and Co."
We pass now to the year of revelation 1891.
CHAPTER 4. EX ORE LEONISFOR over ten years past Leo Taxil, that is to say, M. Gabriel Jogand-Pages, has been the great accuser of Masonry, and he possesses an indistinct reputation in England as a man whose hostility is formidable, having strong points in his brief. During the entire period of his impeachment, which is represented by many volumes, he has uniformly sought to identify the Fraternity with the general purposes of Lucifer, but until the year 1891, it was merely along the broad and general lines mentioned in the last chapter. Now, in presence of such attributions as, for example, the Satanic character of tolerance in matters of religion, I, for one, would unconditionally lay down my pen, as there is no common ground upon which a discussion could take place.
From the vague imputation Leo Taxil passed, however, to an exceedingly definite charge—and it is beyond all dispute that by his work entitled. "Are there Women in Freemasonry?"—he "has created the Question of Lucifer in its connection with the Palladian Order. He is the original source of information as to the existence of that association; no one had heard of it previously, and it is therefore of the first importance that we should know something of the discoverer himself, and everything as to the particulars of his discovery, including the date thereof.
Previously to the year 1891 Leo Taxil knew nothing of - the Reformed Palladium. He is the one Anti-Masonic writer named in the last chapter as preceding Paul Rosen with information about Albert Pike. This was in the year 1885, and in a work entitled, The Brethren of the Three Points," which began the "complete revelations concerning Freemasonry" undertaken by this witness. Like Paul Rosen, he represents Pike.merely as a high dignitary of the Ancient and Accepted Scotch Rite, but he does so under the incorrect title of Sovereign Commander Grand Master of the Supreme Council of the United States. He states further that the Grand Orient of France, as also the Supreme Council of the Scotch Rite of France, "send their correspondence" to the Grand Master of Washington. I conceive that no importance, as indeed no definite meaning, can be attached to this statement beyond the general and not very significant fact that there was some kind of communication between the three centres. In the year 1888 Pike was so little in harmonious relation with the French Grand Orient that by the depositions of later witnesses he placed it under the ban of his formal excommunication in virtue of his sovereign pontificate. For the rest, the "Brethren of the Three Points" contains no information concerning the New and Reformed Palladium, and this is proof positive that it was unknown at the time to the writer, for it would have been valuable in view of his purpose. The same observation applies to a second work published shortly after, "The Cultus of the Grand Architect."
Had Leo Taxil been acquainted with a worship of Lucifer subsisting' in Palladian Masonry he could not have failed to make use of it in a volume so entitled. The work in question is concerned, however, with the solemnities which obtain in Masonic temples, with the names and addresses of all French lodges, so that it is a directory as much as a revelation, with the political organisation of the Carbonari, with the Judge-Philosophers, and with certain official documents of Masonry.
But it may occur to those of my readers who are acquainted at first hand with the revelations of Leo Taxil that his knowledge was held over in view of his plan of publication, and that the Palladium would be disclosed in due course when he came to treat of androgyne or adoptive Masonry. Let us pass, therefore, to his next work, entitled, "Sister Masons, or Ladies’ Freemasonry," which appeared in 1888, and in which we certainly meet with diabolism and also with Palladism, but not in connection with Albert Pike or the Charleston Central Directory. The reference in the first case is to practices which are alleged to obtain in the Egyptian Rite of Adoption, called the Rite of Cagliostro, and in the second to the Order of the Palladium as it was originally instituted in the year 1730.
At the same time the information given is of serious importance, because it enables us to gauge the writer's method and credibility in the one case, and his knowledge at the period in the other. Once more, in the year 1886, Leo Taxil did not know of the Palladium as a reformed or revived institution; had he known he could not have failed to tell us.
I have not been able to trace all the sources of his information concerning the older Palladian Rite, but it comes chiefly from Ragon; he divides it into two systems:—(a) The Order of the Seven Sages, which was for men only, and appears as a banal invention with a ritual mainly derived from the "Travels of Anacharsis"; (b) The Order of the Palladium, composed of two masculine grades and one feminine grade, respectively, Adelphos and Companion of Ulysses for men, and Companion of Penelope for women. It pretends to have been founded by Fenelon, but at the same time claims an antiquity previous to the birth of the great Archbishop of Cambrai.
Leo Taxil accuses it of gallantry, but the flirtations described in the ritual impress an impartial reader as a species of childish theatricals, a criticism practically exhausting the entire motive of the order, which, as I have already stated, lapsed into obscurity, and, so far as can be traced, into desuetude, though our witness uniformly refers to it in the present tense, and as if it were in active operation. However this may be, the description and summary of the ritual given by Leo Taxil place it outside the possibility of a connection with Templar Masonry, and also with the Baphomet Palladium in spite of what is alleged to the contrary. Accepting the worst construction which is placed on its intention, it could have offered no point of contact with the alleged project of Albert Pike. So far, therefore, the information contained in Les Sœurs Maçonnes conflicts with the history of the New and Reformed Palladium as given in my second chapter.
It has been said, however, that Leo Taxil charges another Masonic order of the androgyne type with satanic practices. He divides the Egyptian Rite of Adoption into three grades; in that of apprentice, the discourse represents Adonaï as the Genius of Pride, and the serpent-tempter of Genesis as the eternal principle of goodness; in that of Companion, the symbolism of the ritual enforces the necessity of rehabilitating the character of the mystic serpent; in that of Egyptian Mistress, there is a pretended evocation of planetary spirits by means of a clairvoyante, and Leo Taxil affirms on his own authority that the Supreme Being referred to in the discourse at initiation is Satan. "According to the doctrine of the sect, the divinity is formed of two opposite principles, the genius of Being, who is Lucifer, and the genius of Destruction, who is Adonaï." This is so obviously the doctrine of the Luciferian Palladians that it is difficult to understand why the institution of Charleston is not connected, as to purpose, if not as to origin, with the Egyptian Adoptive Rite of Misraïmite Masonry.