Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/600

This page has been validated.

tification as more apparent than actual, and the documents adduced as chiefly authentic"; so difficult is it for minds thus constituted, with the rational faculties dwarfed and stunted by being constantly kept in the leading strings of credulity, to recognize the falsity of what they wish or are told to believe.

Another of Taxil's confederates was Domenico Margiotta, according to his own account a native of Palmi, in southern Italy, and professor of literature and philosophy. His principal work, Adriano Lemmi, Supreme Head of the Freemasons, published in French in 1894, gives a long list of his titles, designed to impress the public by indicating his high position in the Masonic order. Hacks calls him a "Member of the Sovereign Sanctuary of the Oriental Rite of Memphis and Mizraim," a purely fictitious designation. This cunning device was also crowned with complete success, and caused the fabricated disclosures to be hailed with enthusiasm. Here, exclaimed the clerical journals, we have "not an apprentice or novice like Taxil, but one of the highest dignitaries of universal Freemasonry and Luciferianism, who is initiated and instructed in all its mysteries and occult observances," being apparently ignorant of the fact that Taxil was in the main the real author of the book.

One of the most common accusations brought against the Freemasons is that of desecrating the host by stabbing it with a dagger. A German Catholic journal, The Pelican,[1] affirms that not only Masonic devil worshipers, but also Jews, infidels, and heretics in general commit this sacrilege in order to show their deadly hatred of Christianity. In proof of this charge, the following "historical fact" is published in the number for July, 1897: Several consecrated wafers were once stolen by Jews from a church at Langenses, in Silesia, and, after being pierced through with knives, were hidden in the forest. They were discovered by a Polish nobleman, whose four horses, as he was driving by, suddenly kneeled down and refused to go on, although he beat them

  1. The manner in which The Pelican makes piety profitable is most extraordinary and should win the admiration and excite the envy of the "yellow press." The editor informs the public that he entered into a compact with St. Joseph, promising to distribute fifty books in which this holy person is glorified, provided the journal receives two thousand subscribers. In less than a year the number of subscribers was twenty-five hundred. A promise to distribute one hundred books of this kind, if St. Joseph would procure eight thousand subscribers, raised the list of subscribers to twelve thousand; and this barter went on until The Pelican could boast of ninety thousand subscribers. The editor also announces that he has engaged two hundred and eighty priests to say masses for the readers of his paper and to pray for and bless their children, and concludes this astounding piece of puffery as follows: "Experience teaches us that the benediction of a single priest is effective. What, then, can not be obtained if two hundred and eighty priests unite in blessing us!"