Devil-Worship in France/Chapter II
THE MASK OF MASONRY
The identification of the cultus of Lucifer with devil-worship pure and simple is not, as we have seen, at first sight an entirely just proceeding, but at the same time it is inevitable. As already observed, the source of all our knowledge concerning Modern Diabolism exists within the pale of the Catholic Church; the entire literature is written from the standpoint of that church, and has been created solely in its interests. Some of that literature has been put forth with the special marks of high ecclesiastical approbation, and to some this guarantee is wanting, but the same spirit informs the whole. To insist on this point is important for many reasons which will become apparent at the close of our enquiry, and for one which concerns us now. It is impossible for the Catholic Church to do otherwise than brand the cultus of Lucifer as identical with that of Satan, because, according to her unswerving instruction, the name Lucifer is an equivalent of Satan, and, moreover, the Luciferian cultus is so admittedly anti-Christian that no form of Christianity could do otherwise than regard it as a worship of darkness and evil. While, therefore, the adoration of a good principle under this discredited name may in one of its aspects be merely an error of judgment, and not the worship of a devil, apart from other facts which destroy this consideration, we must all agree that from the standpoint of Christian and Latin orthodoxy the Luciferian is a diabolist, though not in the sense of the Satanist.
The doctrine of Lucifer has been tersely described by Huysman as a kind of reversed Christianity—a Catholicism à rebours. It is, in fact, the revival of an old heresy founded on what we have most of us been accustomed to regard as a philosophical blunder; in a word, it is a Manichæan system having a special anti-Christian application, for while affirming the existence of two equal first principles, Adonaï and Lucifer, it regards the latter as the god of light and goodness, while the Christian Adonaï is the prince of darkness and the veritable Satan. It is inferred from the condition of the world at the present time that the mastery of the moment resides with the evil principle, and that the beneficent Deity is at a disadvantage. Adonaï reigns surely, as the Christian believes, but he is the author of human misery, and Jesus is the Christ of Adonaï, but he is the messenger of misfortune, suffering, and false renunciation, leading ultimately to destruction when the Deus maledictus shall cease to triumph. The worshippers of Lucifer have taken sides in the cause of humanity, and in their own cause, with the baffled principle of goodness; they co-operate with him in order to insure his triumph, and he communicates with them to encourage and strengthen them; they work to prepare his kingdom, and he promises to raise up a Saviour among them, who is Antichrist, their leader and king to come.
Such is the doctrine of Lucifer according to the testimony of witnesses who have come out from his cultus; it is not an instruction which à priori would seem likely to commend itself to a numerically powerful following, but the society which is concerned with its propagation is affirmed to have spread over the whole world, and to be represented in all its chief cities. It is that which we have already found mentioned by M. Huysman as possessing a demonstrated existence and being a proof positive of modern Satanism, namely, the Palladian Order. Having broadly ascertained its principles, our next course is to discover its alleged history, and here it is necessary to admit that it is a matter of some difficulty to place the position in such an aspect that it will be a tolerable subject for inquiry among readers in England. The mystery of modern Diabolism and the Cultus of Lucifer is a part of the mystery of Masonry as interpreted by an Anti-Masonic movement now at work in France. The black magic, of which we hear so much, involves a new aspect of the old Catholic Crusade against the Fraternity of the Square and Compass, and by the question of Lucifer is signified an alleged discovery that Masons diabolise.
Now, we are all well acquainted with the historical fact that the Latin Church has long been hostile to Masonry, that popes have condemned the order, and have excommunicated its initiates. Having regard to the position of the brotherhood here in England, most of us have been content to infer in this respect that the ripe old age of the Church is passing into a second childhood; some, however, have concluded that there may be more in Continental Freemasonry than meets the English eye, and here the Church herself comes forward to assure them that the fraternity abroad is a hotbed of political propaganda, and is responsible for the most disastrous revolutions which have perplexed the modern world; that it is actually, as the exploded Robison described it, a conspiracy against crowned heads; and that it is at the present time the most potent, most secret enemy which checkmates and hinders herself.
It is now further affirmed that behind the Masonry of to-day—here in England posing as a benefit society, and political or not upon the Continent, but everywhere disclaiming any connection with a religious propaganda—there is affirmed to be another Masonry, of which the ordinary Mason knows nothing, secretly directing the order, and devoted to the cultus of Lucifer. This organisation, which has sprung up within recent years, is largely, though not exclusively, recruited from Masonry; it works through the powerful Masonic apparatus, and, according to the evidence which has been put in, it has obtained a substantial and masterful control over the entire Fraternity. It has focussed the raw material of Masonic hostility towards the Catholic Church; as it is anti-Christian in religion, so is it revolutionary in politics; and once more, it is called the Palladian Order.
This exceedingly grave and important accusation, together with its side issues, has perhaps all the more claim on our consideration because, apart from actual diabolism, which is in itself so paralysing as almost to arrest discussion, it conflicts with all that we know or believe concerning the Masonic constitution. Let me briefly collect the points. (a) Masonry possesses a secret directing centre—which has been strenuously denied by the Fraternity. (b) It has a religious mission and a doctrinal propaganda—which has also been invariably denied. (c) It is concerned with political objects—which, for the most part, is denied. (d) It has a transcendental teaching—which is generally denied, and (e) is concerned largely with transcendental practices and phenomena—which would be denied absolutely, had the question been seriously raised till this day. (f) It initiates women—which, except in a very secondary, occasional, and insignificant manner, is in toto and at all times denied. The last point is brought within the scope of our inquiry because the Palladium is an androgyne order.
Now, it will be fairly well known to many who are not within the ranks of the fraternity that the Grand Lodges of every country are supposed to be autonomous, and that there has been no previous impeachment of this fact; that, ostensibly at least, there is no central institution to which they are answerable in Masonry. Individual lodges derive from a single Grand Lodge and are responsible thereto, but Grand Lodges themselves are supreme and irresponsible. It will be known also that the Masonic system in England differs from that of France, that the French rite has always occupied a somewhat heterodox position, and that since the Grand Orient expunged the Grand Architect of the Universe, so to speak, from its symbolism, official communication has been suspended by the Grand Lodge of England. It will be known further that outside recognised Masonic systems many rites have arisen which are only Masonic to the extent that their point of departure is from the Master-grade. As a special instance may be cited the Supreme Oriental Rite of Memphis and Misraim. In England the Lodge meetings of these rites are never suffered to take place in the great central institution of Freemasons Hall; in France, the Grand Orient has consistently forbidden its members to participate in the Memphis system. To hold Masonry responsible for irregularities or abuses which from time to time may obtain in these fantastic developments from the parent institution, would be about as just and reasonable as to impeach the Latin Church on the score of corruptions now existing in the heresies which have separated from her.
Having established these points in view of the result of our inquiry, let us now trace the manner in which a supreme authority, frequently termed by the accusers Universal Masonry, is alleged to have grown up. Upon this subject not only the most complete information but the only formal narratives are provided by the later witnesses, so that the following account, while in no sense translation, is based exclusively upon the works of Domenico Margiotta and Dr Bataille.
On the 20th of May, 1737, there was constituted in France the Order of the Palladium, or Sovereign Council of Wisdom, which, after the manner of the androgyne lodges then springing into existence, initiated women under the title of Companions of Penelope. The ritual of this order was published by the Masonic archaeologist Ragon, so that there can be no doubt of its existence. At the same time, so far as I am aware, there are few materials forthcoming for its history. In some way which remains wholly untraceable this order is inferred to have been connected by more than its name with the legendary Palladium of the Knights Templars, well known under the title of Baphomet. In any case it failed to spread, and it is uncertain whether the New and Reformed Palladium, also an androgyne order, with which we shall presently be concerned, is a metamorphosis or reconstruction of the original institution, but a connection of some kind is affirmed. For a period exceeding sixty years we hear little of the legendary Palladium; but in 1801 the Israelite Isaac Long is said to have carried the original Baphomet and the skull of the Templar Grand Master Jacques de Molay from Paris to Charleston in the United States, and was afterwards concerned in the reconstruction of the Scotch Rite of Perfection and of Herodom under the name of the Ancient and Accepted Scotch Rite, which subsequently became widely diffused, and it is stated that the lodge of the thirty-third degree of the Supreme Council of Charleston has been the parent of all others, and is therefore, in this rite, the first supreme council of the entire globe.
Eight years later, on the 29th of December 1809, a man of great importance to the history of Freemasonry was born in the city of Boston. Albert Pike came of parents in a humble position, who, however, struggled with their difficulties and sent him to Harvard College, where he duly graduated, taking his degree as M.A. in the year 1829. He began his career as a schoolmaster, but subsequently led a romantic and wandering life, his love of untrodden ground leading him to explore the Rocky Mountains, then very imperfectly known. In 1833 he settled in Arkansas, and, drifting into journalism, founded the Arkansas Advocate, wherein his contributions, both prose and verse, but the latter especially, obtained him a reputation in literature. The admission of Arkansas into the confederation of the United States was in part his work, and from this period he began to figure in politics, becoming also the recorder of the Supreme Court in that state. One year after the civil war, in which he took active part, Pike removed to Memphis in Tennessee, where he again followed law and literature, establishing the Memphis Appeal, which he sold in 1868, and migrated to Washington. His subsequent history is exclusively concerned with unwearying Masonic labours.
Now, it was at Little Rock in Arkansas that Albert Pike was first initiated, and ten years later, that is, in 1859, he was elected Sovereign Commander Grand Master of the Supreme Council of Charleston. Having extraordinary powers of organisation, he became a person of wide influence in the Ancient and Accepted Scotch Rite, and a high authority also on the ritual, antiquities, history, and literature of Masonry. Under his guidance, the Scotch Rite extended and became dominant. Hence, when the Italian patriot Mazzini is said to have projected the centralization of high grade Masonry, he could find no person in the whole fraternity more suited by his position and influence to collaborate with him. Out of this secret partnership there was begotten on September 20, 1870—that is to say, on the very day when the Italian troops entered the Eternal City—a Supreme Rite and Central Organisation of Universal High Grade Masonry, the act of creation being signed by the American Grand Master and the Italian liberator, the two founders also sharing the power between them. A Supreme Dogmatic Directory was created at Charleston, with Pike at its head, under the title of Sovereign Pontiff of Universal Freemasonry. Mazzini took over the Supreme Executive, having Rome as its centre, under the title of Sovereign Chief of Political Action.
If we now recur to the statements that the genuine Templar Baphomet and the skull of Jacques de Molay had been deposited at Charleston for the space of seventy years, and that Albert Pike was Grand Master of the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scotch Rite in that city, we shall understand why it was that the new institution was termed the New Reformed Palladian Rite, or the Reformed Palladium. Subsequently, five Central Grand Directories were established—at Washington for North America, Monte Video for South America, Naples for Europe, Calcutta for the Eastern World, and Port Louis in Mauritius for Africa. A Sovereign Universal Administrative Directory was fixed at Berlin subsequently to the death of Mazzini. As a result of this astute organisation, Albert Pike is said to have held all Masonry in the hollow of his hand, by means of a twofold apparatus—the Palladium and the Scotch Rite. During all his remaining days, and he lived to a great age, he laboured indefatigably in both causes, and the world at the present moment is filled with the organisation that he administered.
Four persons are cited as having been coadjutors in his own country—his old friend Gallatin Mackey, in honourable memory among Masons; a Scotchman named Longfellow, whom some French writers have ludicrously confused with the poet; one Holbrook, about whom there are few particulars; and, finally, Phileas Walder, a native of Switzerland, originally a Lutheran Minister, afterwards said to have been a Mormon, but, in any case, at the period in question, a well-known spiritualist, an earnest student of occultism, as were also Holbrook and Longfellow, and, what is more to the purpose, a personal friend and disciple of the great French magus Éliphas Lévi. Albert Pike was himself an occultist, whether upon his independent initiative, or through the influence of these friends I am unable to say. Miss Diana Vaughan, who is one of the seceding witnesses, affirms that it was an early and absorbing passion. However this may be, the New Reformed Palladium was kept most rigidly separate from all other Masonry, the Scotch Rite included; that is to say, no initiate of even the highest grade had, as such, the right or opportunity of entrance into the occult order, which, at the same time, was chiefly recruited, as already stated, from the higher ordinary grades, but the recipients of the new light became silent from the moment that it was imparted. Now, it was exclusively in the Palladian order that Albert Pike and his confidants propagated transcendental religion, as it is said to have been understood by them. In other words, while the Scotch Rite continued to speculate, the Palladium betook itself to magic and succeeded so well that there was a perpetuity of communication between Charleston and the unseen world. It does not appear from the evidence either when or why Albert Pike and his collaborators transferred their allegiance from the God of the sages to Lucifer. The Catholic Church regards all magic as diabolism, and makes or tolerates no mystic distinction between the black and white departments of transcendental practice, but the specific character of the Palladian cultus is so clearly defined in the depositions that it cannot pass as a presentation of magical doctrine distorted by prejudice. It is almost stripped of correspondence with any existing school of occult teaching, and it is either the true statement of a system founded by Pike, or the deliberate invention of malice. The thaumaturgic phenomena tabulated in connection therewith are of an extremely advanced kind, including the real and bodily presence of Lucifer at frequent and regular intervals.
When Mazzini died he indicated to Albert Pike a possible successor in Adriano Lemmi, who became in due course the chief of the Executive Department, and when in the fulness of years the pontiff of Luciferian Freemasonry himself passed on to the higher life of fire, which is the Palladian notion of beatitude, and in the peace and joy of Lucifer, the sovereign pontificate itself, after resting for a short period upon incompetent shoulders in the person of Albert George Mackey, was transferred to the Italian; the seat of the Dogmatic Directory was removed to Rome; a split in the camp ensued, inspired by a lady initiate, since famous under the name of Diana Vaughan, and to this we owe most of the revelations. Furthermore, with the death of Albert Pike the cultus of Lucifer is said to have undergone a significant transfiguration. For him the conception of Satan was a blasphemous fiction, devised by Adonaïte priestcraft to obscure the veridic lustre which inheres in the angel of the morning-star; but this view represented, as it is said, rather the private opinion of the Masonic pontiff, impressed by his strong personality on the lodges he controlled, and propagated by the instruction of his rituals. The more discerning among his disciples regarded it as the besetting weakness of their grand old man, and surreptitiously during his life-time the cultus of Satan pure and simple, that is, of devil-worship, the adoration of the evil principle as evil, was practised at numerous Palladian centres. After his death, it is said to have unmasked altogether, and Adriano Lemmi himself is depicted as an avowed Satanist.
Now, I believe it will fairly interpret the feeling of all readers to admit that when the authority of a great church has been brought into operation to crush a great institution by charges which most seriously discredit it—which represent it as diametrically and in all respects opposite in its internal nature to its ostensible appearance—we must by no means make light of the impeachment; we must remember the high position and the many opportunities of knowledge which are possessed by such an accuser; we must extend to that accuser at least the common justice of an impartial and full hearing; a priori considerations of probability and inferences from our previous knowledge, much less from opinions obtained at second-hand, must not be permitted to prejudge a case of so great importance; we must be prepared, if necessary, to admit that we have been egregiously deceived; and if the existence of Palladian Masonry can be proved an undoubted fact, we must assuredly do full honour to the demonstration, and must acknowledge with gratitude that the Church has performed a service to humanity by unveiling the true character of an institution which is imposing on a vast number of well-intentioned persons within its own ranks, who are admittedly unaware of the evil to which they are lending countenance and support. On the other hand, the same spirit of liberality and justice will require that the demonstration in question shall be complete; in support of such terrible accusations, only the first quality of evidence can obviously be admitted.
In the chapters which follow immediately, I shall produce in succession the evidence of every witness who has anything to tell us about Palladism, including those whose experience is of a personal kind and those whose knowledge is derived. Where possible, the testimony of each witness will be weighed as we proceed; what is unconvincing or irrelevant will be dismissed, while that which is important will be carried over to the final summary. In two cases only will it be found necessary to reserve examination for special and separate treatment.