Vol. LXXI No. 6 — June 1993
S. Brent Morris, P.M.
Have you heard the sad story about the dog that someone tried to dry off in a microwave oven? What about the one where a jealous husband poured concrete into a new convertible, not realizing it was a surprise anniversary gift from his wife? Or maybe you've read about Albert Pike's so-called "Luciferian Doctrine," which teaches Masons that Lucifer is God?
These stories have one thing in commmon: they're all false. The first two are harmless "urban myths," innocently retold as cautionary tales. The story about Albert Pike and Lucifer, however, is a lie that will not die. Gabriel Antoine Jogand-Pages (writing as Leo Taxil) conceived the hoax and designed it to slander Freemasonry and to embarrass the Catholic Church. It has been repeated for a century by anti-Masons who accept with child- like eagerness any slur against our gentle craft.
No other lie has captured the imagination of anti-Masons quite like this Leo Taxil hoax (just one of many he perpetrated against Freemasonry and the Catholic Church). Once our critics have twisted logic to convince them selves that Freemasonry is the work of Satan, they are ready to accept this perversion. It usually comes in the form of a quotation that starts,
"On July 14, 1889, Albert Pike, Sovereign Pontiff of Universal Freemasonry, addressed to the 23 Supreme Confederated Councils of the World the following instructions....." That is all you need to read to know the author has fallen prey to this infamous hoax.
It is not entirely certain when the quote was fabricated nor where it was first published. We can, however, trace its modern appearances to Edith Starr Miller who wrote Occult Theocrasy in 1933 under the pen name "Lady Queensborough." Her work is excerpted and treated as the gospel truth, usually without attribution. Such practices are known as plagiarism in other disciplines, but neither serious research nor intellectual integrity stand in the way of the headlong rush to slander Free Masonry.
Ms. Miller found her quote in the 1894 book by Abbe Clarin de la Rive, Le Femme et L'Enfant dans la Franc-Maconnerie Universeile (Woman and Child in Universal Freemasonry). Abbe de la Rive, like Ms. Miller, was duped by the hoax; they are guilty only of incompetent research and an eager willingness to believe the worst about Freemasonry. The ultimate source was the pornographer, anti-Mason, and anti-Catholic Leo Taxil (Gabriel Antoine Jogand-Pages). Taxil publicly confessed his deception in 1897; his story is widely available for anyone willing to look for the truth. Just a few of the many references are listed below.
- R. Limouzin-Lamothe. The New Catholic Encyclopedia, s.v. Taxil, Leo.
- Henry W. Coil, et al., Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia (Richmond, Va.: Macoy Publishing & Masonic Supply Co., 1961), s.v. Taxil, Leo.
- Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd ed., s.v. Taxil, Leo.
- Arthur E. Waite, A New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, new & rev.ed. (New York: Weathervane Books, 1970), s.v. Palladian Freemasonry.
- Alec Mellor, "A Hoaxer of Genius-Leo Taxil." Our Separated Brethren, the Free-Masons, translated by A. W. Barnett and C. N. Batham (Richmond, Va., Macoy Publishing & Masonic Supply Co., 1964), pp. 149-155.
The entire passage from Ms. Miller is not worth quoting, though we will give the portion most repeated.
The Bogus "Luciferian Doctrine" of Albert Pike from Edith Starr Miller (Lady Queensborough) Occult Theocracy 2 vols, 1933. Reprint. Hawthome, Calif.: the Christian Book Club of America, 1980.
"In La Femme et L'Enfant dans la Franc-Maconnerie Universelle page 578, A.C. De La Rive states that on July 14, 1889, Albert Pike, Sovereign Pontiff of Universal Freemasory, addresseed to the 23 Supereme Confederated Councils of the World the following instructions, which we quote herewith in part.
That which we must say to the crowd is:- We worship a God, but it is the God that one adores without superstition.
To you, Soveveign 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 its initates 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, Babarism and repulsion for science, would Adonay and his priests calumniate him?
Thus, the doctrine of Satanism is heresy; and the true and pure philosophic 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 Darkenss and Evil.
There are several problems with this quotation, some obvious and some subtle. To start with, about 1,000,000 out of 2,500,000 Ameri-Masons have the 32° in the Scottish Rite, including ministers, rabbis, bishops, and other devout worshippers of God, It is inconceivable that there would not be mass resignations if these men were taught this disgusting "Luciferian doctrine." It it believable that the millions of Scottish Rite Masons during the last two centuries could be cowed into such total silence!
The quote is riddled with logical inconsistencies. There is no position of "Sovereign Pontiff of Universal Freemasonry." There is no "Confederation of Supreme Councils." In the United States virtually all Scottish Rite Masons receive the 32° so why would Albert Pike suggest special treatment for 30°, 31°, and 32° Masons, when that would have included everyone?
The real evidence of a hoax comes in De La Rive's footnote, which neither Ms. Miller nor anyone else bothers to quote. It refers to Diana Vaughan, the matchless creation of Leo Taxil's twisted mind. The footnote (and a translation) are printed below.
"Ce fut la Soeur Diana Vaughan a'Albert Pike, - au fin de lui donner la plus grande marque de confiance, - chargea d'apporter son encyclique luciferienne, a Paris pendant l'Esposition Universelle." Abbe Clarin de la Rive. La Femme et l'Enfant dans la Franc-Maconnerie Universelle, Paris: Delhomme & Briquet, Editeurs, 1894, p. 589.
It was the Sister Diana Vaughn that Albert Pike, — in order to give her the greatest mark of confidence, — charged to carry his luciferian encyciical, to Paris, during the Universal Exposition."'
The Diana Vaughn hoax is well known and has been explained time, and time again for nearly a century. Here's what the New Catholic Encyclopedia (R. Lilmouzin-Lamothe, s.v. Taxil, Leo) says about Leo Taxil.
Taxil purported to reveal the existance of "Palladium," the most secret Masonic order, which practicerd devil-worship, He recounted the story of its high prestess Diana Vaughan: and ended by publishing the Memories d'une ex-Palladiste after her conversion to Catholicism. When doubts began to spread, Taxil realized the time had come to end the deceit. In a conference in Paris (April 19, 1897), he cynically admitted his hoax, whose aim, he said. was to hold up Catholisim to derision.
After Taxil's public confession, Abbe de la Rive expressed his disgust and recanted his writings on Diana Vaughan in the April 1897 issue of Freemasonry Disclosed, a magazine devoted to the destruction fo the Craft. As much as he hated Freemasonry, de la Rive had the integrity to admit Taxil's hoax.
After Taxil's public confession, a person we shall not name here (Taxil) declared before an assembly especially convened for him that for twelve years he had prepared and carried out to the end the most extraordinary and most sacrilegious of hoaxes. We have always beern careful to publish special articles concerning Palladism and Vaughn. We are now giving in this issue a complete list of these articles, which can now be considered as not having existed. Quoted in Alex Mellor, Strange Masonic Stories (Richmond, Va. : Macoy Publishing & Masonic Supply Co., Inc., 1982),p. 151.
Anyone interested in the plain truth can easily discover the story of Leo Taxil. Recent critics of Masonry, however, are not interested in simple facts. These detractors have convinced themselves that Freemasonry is the work of the devil. Thus they apparently justify their perversions with the thought that they are doing the Lord's work — saving an unsuspecting world from Satan, No misquotation, no distortion, no lie is too great if it accomplishes what they perceive as their holy mission. This includes gleefully perpetuating the bogus "Luciferian Doctrine" of Albert Pike. All this is done in the name of Him who said, "'I am the way, the truth, and the life."
Freemasonry teaches its members tolerance, even of its assailants. If you are presented with the story of Pike and Lucifer, quietly but firmly state, "It's a lie." Don't let it pass without comment, but don't provoke an argument. The truth is on our side.
But remetnber the words attributed to Edmund Burke: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.