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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/599

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A SURVIVAL OF MEDIEVAL CREDULITY.

ary deliberations were rendered piquant by dreadful blasphemies. Thus General Cadorna, a renegade priest, parodied the consecration of the host with a piece of bread, which he finally threw into the fire with the words, "In honor of Lucifer!" Thereupon Lucifer rose up in person through the floor, gazed benignantly for a moment on his faithful followers, and said, "The moment is come for firing the third salvo of cannon." A month later General Cadorna entered Rome through the breach of the Porta Via. In Luciferian lingo, the first salvo was the Reformation and the second the French Revolution, while the third victory of Satan was the overthrow of the Pope's temporal power.

Hacks relates that in Freiburg, Switzerland, there was a Masonic temple of Satan hewn in a rock and provided with altars and all the paraphernalia of this cult. There men and women assembled in the costume worn by our first parents before the fall. Attached to the lodge was a brothel, the scene of the most disgusting debaucheries. One altar, in the form of a triangle with an image of the demon Baphomet, was used for stabbing the body of Christ, in the form of consecrated wafers, with a dagger. At this altar, too, was said the so-called "black mass," an invention of the Grand Master Holebrook and Albert Pike, of Charleston. During this service hymns were sung to Satan. The consecrated wafers were procured by Miss Lucia Claraz, of Freiburg, who stole them while pretending to partake of the communion, and passed the night before committing the theft in the wildest orgies. This incredibly foolish story was published in the Moniteur de Rome, against which Miss Claraz, a lady "piously inclined and morally irreproachable," according to the testimony of the Bishop of Freiburg, brought suit for defamation. The court sentenced the editor, Monsignore Vöglin, to a fine of twenty-five thousand lire and four years' imprisonment.

These examples suffice to show the wretched stuff which Hacks hashed up for the edification of the clerical and the entertainment of the carnal-minded public. Even the silly statement that he saw a gigantic tree bow down before Sophia Walder, the predestined great-grandmother of antichrist, and present her with a bouquet, did not shake the faith of the true believers. The editor of the Revue Mensuelle declared, in 1894, that Dr. Bataille had really made all these discoveries on his travels, and that his honesty and sincerity were beyond question. This was the attitude of the whole clerical press almost without exception, as well as of abbots, bishops, cardinals, and the highest dignitaries of the Church. Even as late as July, 1897, when the imposture had been exposed and confessed, a Parisian Catholic journal continued to regard "the mys-