We all know conspiracy theorists love to pin all sorts of nefarious dealings on us Freemasons.
The accusations are manifold, but essentially they devolve into three main camps, more or less extensive.
One, the Masons are a vehicle used by the Illuminati to take over the world, destroying all religions and national sovereignties to set up the antichrist enthroned in opposition to everything right and holy. Two, by accepting multiple faiths into a Masonic Lodge, Freemasonry is a tool of Satan himself, wielded to contravene Christianity, particularly the literalist interpretation of John 14: 6, where Jesus says, “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” And three, most Masons are unwitting fools, condemning their souls one pancake at a time. All that money we give to charity? It can never buy back our souls because we just don’t know what is really going on up there, over Heredom, at those dizzying heights of the 33º!
The logical fallacy of these absurdities notwithstanding – if someone really wanted to take over the world, there are much better options than Masonry – yet anti-Masonry appears as old as the Fraternity itself.
The first consolidated move against Freemasonry appears when Holland banned membership in the Fraternity as a criminal offense, a mere eighteen years after the formation of the Grand Lodge at London in 1717. We might presume due to suspected Jacobite leanings against the Protestant House of Orange. This is ironic considering the main opponent of Freemasonry next to emerge, the Catholic Church.
The Roman See issued a Papal Bull in 1738, condemning all Freemasons, and those who aided them in any way, to “pain of excommunication… from which no one can obtain the benefit of absolution, other than at the hour of death, except through Ourselves [Pope Clement XII] or the Roman Pontiff of the time.”
The main issue, it seems, was not devil worship or aspirations of global domination, but secrecy pledged under oath upon the Bible. This left the doors of the Society closed, except perhaps to overactive imagination.
This secrecy Clement is wont to interpret in light of John 3: 20, qui mala agit odit lucem – he who does evil hates the light. The assumption appears to be that, while the church can’t prove there’s anything nefarious ongoing, the fact that it’s a secret means we Masons must be hiding something.
Pope Clement writes:
“Thus these aforesaid societies or conventicles have caused in the minds of the faithful the greatest suspicion and all prudent and upright men have passed the same judgment on them as being depraved and perverted. For if they were not doing evil they would not have so great a hatred of the light.”
Clement goes on to authorize his underlings, including the Inquisition, to “pursue and punish them with condign penalties as being most suspect of heresy.”
By his own pen, he bases his contempt on “rumors” and “common gossip” and authorizes use of “condign penalties”, a.k.a. “torture” at the hands of the Inquisition, because we Masons are “most suspect of heresy.”
One might ask, then, whether or not Freemasonry weighs the same as a duck?
And the scales were certainly mercilessly applied. Testimony is extant from John Coustos, for example, a Swiss Jeweler who, after founding a Lodge in Lisbon, suffered at the hands of the Inquisition for over a year before being released in 1744 by intervention of King George II of England. According to his own testimony he was tortured on at least nine occasions. But he was luckier than some of his Brethren, who met the gallows and hanged the year before.
The main complaint of the Inquisition, it seems, was use of Biblical lore in a format unrecognized and unsanctioned by the Church. This was blasphemy. And such Biblical injunctions were commonplace in the early Operative Craft. We know, for example, from Etienne Boileau, Provost of the Corporations of Paris, from his Code of the Usages and Customs of the Masons, the Stone Masons, the Plasterers, and the Mortarers, collated c. 1260 at Paris by order of King Louis IX, that the Operative Craft guilds made use of oaths as early as the high middle ages.
In a time when literacy was a luxury enjoyed by a ruling class, use of mystery plays for instilling moral teachings was everywhere remarkable. The Noachite Rite of early Masonry, from which John Coustos’s Masonry no doubt evolved, for example, owes much to the mystery plays of the preceding age. So it should come as no surprise, really, that obligations and ritualistic initiations that acted out Biblical scenes were part and parcel of the early Speculative Craft.
Clement XII’s ban on Masonic membership would be ratified by Popes Benedict XIV, Pius VII, Leo XII, Pius VIII, Gregory XVI, and Pius IX. But still, the charge remained that Freemasonry concealed its membership from the world and therefore must dwell in the shadows.
But a century later, Pope Leo XIII wrote Masons were now working to “overthrow…that whole religious and political order of the world”. But not really finding much proof of this, he goes on to add that the “Masonic federation is to be judged not so much by the things which it has done, or brought to completion, as by the sum of its pronounced opinions.”
Again, if she weighs the same as a duck… she must be a witch!
So what are these opinions by which Freemasonry is to be judged and by which our overarching disruption to the “whole religious and political order of the world” may be exposed? By Leo’s own admission in his encyclical, Humanum Genus, “natural philosophy”, Humanist reason, popularized in the Enlightenment, and not by any means peculiar to Freemasonry. Leo’s entire attack on Masonry is based against the humanist idea that, the “Church and State ought to be altogether disunited” which, from the modern perspective at least, certainly seems like a good idea.
Thus, unequivocally, earliest anti-Masonry, arising in the century after the iconic meeting at the Goose and the Gridiron pub, seems entirely fixed against the secrecy of Masonic members, the oaths and obligations binding men together, and the meeting of men to discuss subjects other than Church Canon.
In the US, the formation of the Anti-Masonic Party in 1828, the only major third party to emerge in the US, bespeaks concerns that in-dealing and Masonic nepotism were polluting the political process here.
Rallied by the disappearance and suspected death of Masonic exposer, William Morgan, in 1826, the Anti-Masonic Party rose to prominence in opposition to the candidacy of M. W. Bro. Andrew Jackson. But the furor was oriented at the influence Masons could disproportionately wield in favor of their Brethren. This is a similar concern as for the Church, only the party affected in this instance is the State, but the charges leveled are nonetheless almost equivalent. Significantly, devil worship is not one of them.
For almost two-hundred years, then, after the formation of the first Grand Lodge in England, accusations of devil worship and luciferianism were not overtly made. Not until the turn of the 20th century, when the work of a self-confessed hoaxer, Leo Taxil, was seized upon by every anti-Masonic enthusiast the world over, does this peculiar strain of anti-Masonry appear on the record.
We have to look at this hoax, because almost all the luciferian madness hinges upon it.
Léo Taxil was one of several pseudonyms for Marie Joseph Gabriel Jogand-Pagès. He was a French journalist and staunch anti-Catholic. He pretended to convert to Catholicism in the latter 19th Century, and famously wrote against Freemasonry under various names (about the time of the Pope Leo XIII’s Humanum Genus, as it happens) alleging preposterous crimes at the door of the Lodge; amongst these, accusations of devil worship.
Taxil claimed to have a written confession from one Diana Vaughan, detailing her libidinous involvement with a Satanic cult connected to a Masonic lodge. In April 1897, at a convention assembled specifically to introduce Diana Vaughan in person (her phantom had risen to some notoriety by this time), Taxil surprised everyone by confessing that Vaughan, and in fact the whole of his anti-Masonic propaganda, was just a hoax, deliberately devised to expose both the contumacy of the Church and the ridiculousness of the Fraternity.
It was too effective a campaign, though – despite his own public confession this myth remains alive today, ardent with the simpleminded awash in false opinions, absurdity and longing.
A fine example of the evolution of this luciferian lie among anti-Masons is evinced in transmission from one of Taxil’s pamphlets.  Taxil claims to expose a nefarious letter written by none other than Albert Pike to an Italian politician, Giuseppe Mazzini. The letter, the pamphlet says, stressed designs for dismantling the Catholic Church and proves a Masonic conspiracy to secularize the world.
Then, in 1925, Taxil’s pamphlet is cited as fact by Cardinal Rodriguez of Chile in his book, The Mystery of Freemasonry Unveiled. Rodriguez elaborates the lie, bringing the secular designs in the pamphlet to bear on the Bolshevik uprising in Russia at that time. Now Pike’s plan suddenly includes Communism. Cardinal Rodriguez embellishes further, the letter, he claims, is in the property of the British Museum in London (it isn’t). The letter is never specifically cited, only contextually referenced in support of the divisive narrative Rodriguez allows.
Then, in 1956, Rodriguez is cited in the book Pawns in The Game, by guy Carr. Carr also outlines what the letter says, without actually citing it. With Carr driving the lie, the letter now morphs into a massive plot aimed at global domination to enthrone the antichrist over his New World Order. According to Carr, Pike told Mazzini the Illuminati would instigate three world wars to bring about this ultimate aim – a fitting paranoia for the 1950s, but one not mentioned at all in either of the earlier iterations of the lie.
Today, in 2016, you can actually read the letter online! It is interesting to note terms, such as “Nazi Party”, not used until after Pike’s death. Of course, Pike, as a grand wizard of the black arts, probably drew these words from some black obsidian plate….
It is dumbfounding how some people grow delusions like rose gardens, and defend them as if defending their life’s work. (In some cases, it actually is). The lie is powerful when the liar wants to believe it. But it is insurmountable when it defines the liar.
If there is a luciferian conspiracy, I venture such zealous self-righteousness as comes from these conspiracists would serve it well.
I will leave you with the words of Leo Taxil himself, from an interview with National Magazine in 1906. In so doing we will come to realize that Taxil’s not the one to blame, but, alas, as is all too evident presently, a somnambulist public.
“The public made me what I am; the arch-liar of the period for when I first commenced to write against the Masons my object was amusement pure and simple. The crimes I laid at their door were so grotesque, so impossible, so widely exaggerated, I thought everybody would see the joke and give me credit for originating a new line of humor. But my readers wouldn’t have it so; they accepted my fables as gospel truth, and the more I lied for the purpose of showing that I lied, the more convinced became they that I was a paragon of veracity.
“Then it dawned upon me that there was lots of money in being a Munchausen of the right kind, and for twelve years I gave it to them hot and strong, but never too hot. When inditing such slush as the story of the devil snake who wrote prophecies on Diana [Vaughn]’s back with the end of his tail, I sometimes said to myself: ‘Hold on, you are going too far,’ but I didn’t. My readers even took kindly to the yarn of the devil who, in order to marry a Mason, transformed himself into a crocodile, and, despite the masquerade, played the piano wonderfully well.
“One day when lecturing at Lille, I told my audience that I had just had an apparition of Nautilus, the most daring affront on human credulity I had so far risked. But my hearers never turned a hair. ‘Hear ye, the doctor has seen Nautulius,’ they said with admiring glances. Of course no one had a clear idea of who Nautilus was I didn’t myself but they assumed that he was a devil. Ah, the jolly evenings I spent with my fellow authors hatching out new plots, new, unheard of perversions of truth and logic, each trying to outdo the other in organized mystification. I thought I would kill myself laughing at some of the things proposed, but everything went; there is no limit to human stupidity.”
 In eminenti apostolatus specula, Clement XII, April 28, 1738
 See Monty Python’s Monty Python and the Holy Grail, released May 23, 1975
 Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia, Henry Wilson Coil, Macoy Publishing & Masonic Supply Co., Inc., 1996, pg. 56
 See The History of Freemasonry, Its Antiquities, Symbols, Constitutions, Customs, Etc., Robert Freke Gould, Vol. I, London, 1883, pg. 198
 Humanum Genus, Pope Leo XIII, Rome, April 20, 1884.
 See Le Palladisme by Domenica Margiotta, 1895, pg. 186. Cited at http://wideshut.co.uk/albert-pikes-3-world-wars-letter-hoax-wideshut-webcast/. Accessed Sept. 11, 2016.
 National Magazine, Vol. 24, May 1906, Pg. 160-161.