The Taxil Hoax – Baphomet and the Freemasons by Stephen Dafoe
Leo Taxil’s hoax on Albert Pike in the late 1800s, still accepted by some condemning Freemasonry, falsely linked the fraternity to Lucifer and Devil worship, fueling religious zeal.
Albert Pike (1809-1891), the Grand Commander of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite for the Southern Jurisdiction, is esteemed as a Masonic genius by many Freemasons, but some perceive him as a Luciferian, preaching a hidden doctrine.
In his book “Morals and Dogma,” Pike quoted various philosophical and religious teachers, believing that understanding a concept’s history was essential to grasping the concept itself. However, the book faced criticism and misquotation, contributing to Pike’s negative reputation outside Freemasonry.
Leo Taxil, born Gabriel Antoine Jogand-Pages, was a freethinker known for writing pornographic stories. He opposed societal authority, particularly religious authority, and wrote anti-Masonic and anti-Catholic works. Taxil sought admission to the Masonic lodge but faced opposition due to his anti-Catholic reputation. After a brief membership, he was expelled, possibly motivating his subsequent Anti-Masonic works.
The following is the form of the bogus quotation that is still quoted today to slander Freemasonry, although it was later admitted by Taxil to be a hoax:
“We worship a God, but it is the God that one adores without superstition.
“The Masonic Religion should be, by all of us initiates of the high degrees, maintained in the purity of the Luciferian Doctrine.
“If Lucifer were not God, would Adonay, whose deeds prove his cruelty, perfidy, and hatred of man, 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 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.”
Instructions to the 23 Supreme Councils of the World, July 14, 1889. Recorded by A.C. De La Rive in La Femme et l’Enfant dans la FrancMaconnerie Universelle on page 588
Taxil Admits Document A Hoax
On April 17th, 1897, twelve years after the hoax’s launch, Taxil admitted its fabrication before an assembly at the Paris Geographical Hall. He revealed that the anti-Masonic literature of the past decade had been false. Despite this documented admission, the myth of Albert Pike’s alleged statement continues to be used as an instrument to malign Freemasonry.
Taxil’s hoax aimed to expose a nonexistent Masonic order called the Palladium, allegedly engaged in Devil worship and brutalities. His works, published in 1885 and 1886, intrigued the public eager for sensational stories about Freemasonry. In his book “Les Mysteries Franc Maconnerie,” Taxil incorporated Levi’s Baphomet, an often misunderstood symbol associated with Devil worship. The cover depicted Masons dancing around Levi’s demonic depiction of Baphomet, further sensationalizing the hoax. The artwork also included a woman holding a severed bearded head, linked to the esoteric tradition of the “Mistress or Mother of Blood,” believed to be the Baphomet and representing the bride of Satan. The head is said to symbolize the sinister male aspect and is severed after sexual union with the Baphomet.
Other anti-Masonic publications of the time, such as “La Femme et L’Enfant dans la Franc-Maconnerie Universal” by Abbe Clarin de la Rive, also featured Levi’s Baphomet associated with Freemasonry. This false imagery, though debunked, continues to persist among Fundamentalist Christian groups, perpetuating the myth and impacting Freemasonry to this day, much like the myths surrounding the Knights Templar.
TemplarHistory.com was started in the fall of 1997 by Stephen Dafoe, a Canadian author who has written several books on the Templars and related subjects.
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