The Taxil hoax was an ongoing hoax from 1885 to 1897 , which involved an alleged disclosure of secret satanic rites of Freemasonry by Léo Taxil (1854–1907). After Taxil's exclusion from Freemasonry, he drew financial benefit from the suspicion of the Roman Catholic Church towards Freemasonry through his fraud and at the same time was able to satisfy his aversion to both sides.
On April 20, 1884, Pope Leo XIII published an encyclical Humanum genus , which postulated that humanity was made up of two different, opposing parts; one fights steadfastly for truth and virtue , the other for lies and vice. One is the kingdom of God on earth, the Church of Jesus Christ , the other is the kingdom of Satan , led or supported by Freemasonry.
Previously widely known as a fighter against Catholicism , according to this encyclical in 1885, Taxil supposedly publicly opted for Catholicism and declared that he wanted to make good the damage it caused to the true faith. In addition, he announced that he would go to a Trappist monastery . This impressed the apostolic nuncio in Paris so much that he asked him to use his skills as a writer in the service of Rome. Taxil obtained an audience with Pope Leo XIII at the beginning of his anti-Masonic campaign. Taxil's intention was either to publicly slander Freemasonry for having disfellowshipped him after three visits for unclean business, or to embarrass the Roman Catholic Church.
The first book Les frères Trois-Points (1885) was the four-volume story of Freemasonry, freely invented in larger passages, containing fictional eyewitness accounts of a supposedly androgynous "Palladian Freemasonry" with Luciferian orgies and black masses .
In 1891 he published the book Les Sœurs Maçonnes , in which he devised "palladistic satanic boxes" and Éliphas Lévis Baphomet , an androgynous figure, from 1854 took up. An invented Sophie Walder is said to be the Palladistic grandmaster and "great-grandmother of the Antichrist".
Together with Taxil, the German Dr. Karl Hacks under the pseudonym “Dr. Bataille ”in 200 sequels, the work entitled Devil in the Nineteenth Century , which had 10,000 subscribers. The work contains many implausible claims. A Diana Vaughan, born in 1874, was invented, who is said to have been the daughter of the "Devil Bitru". When she was ten, she was consecrated to Satan and accepted into an American Palladian box. Her encounters with incarnated demons were also described, one is said to have written prophecies on her back with his tail , another demon in the form of a crocodile played the piano. She would later have resigned when one day she professed to worship Joan of Arc , by whose name the demons would have been put to flight. As Diana Vaughan, Taxil published her supposed memoirs of an ex-Palladist and a book called Eucharistic Novena , a collection of prayers praised by the Pope. In 1896 it was the focus of the Trento Anti-Freemason Congress in the residence of the Prince-Bishop of Trento , Eugenio Carlo Valussi. This congress was opened after the publication of the encyclical Praeclara gratulationis publicae by Pope Leo XIII. at the request of the President of the Italian Anti-Masonic League Gullino Luigi on September 27th. 36 bishops, episcopal delegates, cardinals and more than 700 mostly spiritual envoys were present.
In 1896 the Catholic Cologne People's Newspaper exposed Taxil as a swindler and Miss Diana Vaughan as his wife. Her editor-in-chief, Hermann Cardauns , held public lectures on “literary curiosities” from 1901, in which he also discussed Taxil in great detail.
On April 19, 1897, Taxil himself revealed in the Geographical Society's hall that his spectacular revelations about Freemasonry were fictional , cynically declared that Diana Vaughan never existed, and thanked the clergy for their support by promoting his wild claims .
To this day the hoax is held to be true by various groups and used against Freemasonry. The fundamentalist Protestant publisher Chick Publications publishes tracts such as The Curse of Baphomets .
- WR Jones: Palladism and the Papacy. An Episode of French Anticlericalism in the Nineteenth Century . In: Journal of Church and State 12, No. 3 (1970), pp. 453-73.
- Eugen Lennhoff, Oskar Posner, Dieter A. Binder: International Freemasons Lexicon. 5th revised and expanded new edition. Herbig Verlag, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-7766-2478-7 .
- Thomas Raff: The devil Bitru, the taxil fraud and the "Simplicissimus". In: Quatuor-Coronati- Jahrbuch 40 (2003) pp. 217-223.
- Manfred Eder: Taxil, Leo. In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 11, Bautz, Herzberg 1996, ISBN 3-88309-064-6 , Sp. 585-591.
- Josef Schnelle: impostor Léo Taxil. Inventor of fake news . Süddeutsche Zeitung, March 18, 2019. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
- C. achieved great fame outside the Catholic camp through the uncovering of the anti-Freemason swindle by the French Leo Taxil ... In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon , Volume XXII (2003) columns 161–170 Author: Gunnar Anger
- Eugen Lennhoff, Oskar Posner, Dieter A. Binder: Internationales Freemaurer Lexikon . 5th edition 2006. Herbig Verlag, ISBN 978-3-7766-2478-6 . P. 831.
- The Curse of Baphomet at chick.com