Tadeusz Cegielski Speaks About the Freemasonry Exhibit in the Museum of Ethnography
Part Five: Anti-Masonry: Who Needs It?
Anti-Masonry: Who Needs It? (175MB)
Organised anti-Masonry is a late invention, appearing in the 19th century. It has many sources, one of them being the political downfall of the church state that occurred during the unification of Italy in 1871. Rome ceased to be the capital city of the Pope and became the capital of the king of the United Kingdom of Italy. The popes became prisoners within the Vatican and began what perhaps we can call a movement, a resistance, against the politics of unification.
The originators of this liquidation of the church state and the formation of a modern Italian nation, a nation that exists to the present day, were widely thought to be Masons. Once this accusation took hold there soon appeared persons eager to supply the evidence. One of them, who played an important role and whose influence continues to the present day, was a journalist, a French Mason, called Leo Taxil. In his search for best-selling stories, one day he came up with the idea that there existed a certain female, a certain woman, who had escaped from the clutches of the Masons, who had used her, or her body, as part of black masses that took place in lodges, on secret days, as part of certain higher degrees.
This story spread like wildfire — we are talking here of the last decade of 19th century. The demand for this kind of sensationalism was enormous. These revelations of Leo Taxil became, among other things, the topics of two anti-Masonic congresses held in France and in Italy. Taxil used these congresses to add to fuel to the fire. The affair ended in a huge scandal. Taxil held a meeting in the great hall of the Institute of Geography to provide further revelations. Over 2,000 people bought tickets to attend the meeting — journalists, politicians, etc. The summoner of this meeting, the cause of all this controversy, came on stage and announced that everything he had written on this topic was fabricated, that there was not a word of truth in it, and that he had done it deliberately to make the Catholic Church look ridiculous, and to make fun of people who believed in such nonsense.
And here we have something of extreme interest, something that demonstrates certain psycho-social mechanisms, mechanisms that control the world, that control the way we think. Of course, the scandal was tremendous. Naturally, the left-wing press leapt at the opportunity to ridicule the gullible, the believers desperately looking for evidence to support their doctrines, the conservatives, the Catholics. But it was a transient phenomenon, and it was soon forgotten that it was the fabrication of a little-known French journalist from Marseilles who sought fame at any cost. All of these stories, all of these sensational revelations of black masses, of the virgin from England, all of these became a part of the standard anti-Masonic repertoire, and here in Poland we can read about it in countless publications.
This subject is not one to be laughed at. It is worth taking a careful look at the mechanisms that create such distorted views of reality in the face of the most obvious facts, because these stories are completely untrue. But what can be done about it, when there is such a need, not only from political manipulators but also from sensation-seekers? We have only to buy a tabloid newspaper to find there many things: political scandals, theft, corruption and, of course, Satanic ceremonies, some of them held in lodges.