THE CONFESSION OF LEO TAXIL

Translated from Le Frondeur, April 25, 1897

by

Alain Bernheim, A. William Samii, and Eric Serejski

Reprinted from Heredom
The Transacations of the
Scottish Rite Research Society
vol. 5, 1996, pp. 137-168

(c) 1997 Scottish Rite Research Society
All Rights Reserved
1733 16 St., N.W., Washington, DC 20009-3103


Australian Introduction

We thank those involved in producing this document and post it on this page for all Australians to read. This is the full article originally published in the French journal Le Frondeur, April 25, 1897. Taxil's hoax caused a great deal of misunderstanding of Freemasonry and Freemasons have an obligation to point out the truth in this matter and to demonstrate that Freemasonry is good.

In brief, Leo Taxil created a hoax that caused a great deal of damage to the reputation of Freemasonry during the late 19th century. Although he admitted to this hoax in 1897, anti-Masonic writers have continued to draw on his hoax - either directly or through secondary sources - to sustain misinformation about the objectives of Freemasonry.

Due to its size, this article is posted on this plus six other sites. It is best to read the Introduction first and then move to the following sites in order (part 6 provides 20 translators notes that would be useful along side the previous 5 parts):

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6 - translator's notes, list of refences, and publications that rely on Taxil's hoax as evidence that Freemasonry is evil.

If you have any questions or comments regarding this issue, please use this form:

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Comment about Leo Taxil's Confession:


Some other sites regarding Taxil:
  • The tale of the Pope and the Pornographer
  • A short bit at MIT "The Taxil Hoax"
  • A short talk on the matter
  • The Confessions of Leo Taxil (at a website I maintain
  • The atheist slant

    Later Taxil, in an interview, says:
    "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 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 humour. 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."


    INTRODUCTION

    A good practical joke can produce weeks of laughter; a grand joke is retold as the centerpiece of later get-togethers; a few jokes be-come legendary. Gabriel Jogand-Pages, better known as Leo Taxil, played a legendary practical joke a century ago. He chose to ridicule the Roman Catholic Church's credulity about Freemasonry, and he seemed to have thought it all good fun. On April 19, 1897, Taxil confessed everything at a public meeting in Paris. His confession, however, hasn't stopped anti-Masons from rediscovering the hoax and reusing it to attack the Craft. Monsieur Taxil, like Dr. Frankenstein, could not foresee what his creation would do.

    A transcript of Taxil's confession was published in the weekly Parisian newspaper, Le Frondeur, on April 25, 1897. It is a long, rambling speech that has never been published in English until now. Taxil's confession is both amusing and appalling and gives the reader a glimpse of the magnitude of his deceit. This translation represents many hours of tedious work by three ardent students of masonry. Taxil's text is colloquial and ungrammatical in many places, as well as being a verbal presentation. The translators have tried to be faithful to the original format while producing a readable text. Headings and subheading have been added to help readability. No other changes have been made in the text.

    It is a sad commentary on the intellectual integrity of Freemasonry's enemies that they continue to regurgitate Taxil's hoax with such zeal. A bibliography of anti-Masonic uses of this hoax is appended to this translation together with a bibliography of explanations of how Taxil duped the enemies of Masonry.

    S. Brent Morris
    Editor, Heredom


    THE CONFESSION OF LEO TAXIL

    Translated from Le Frondeur, April 25, 1897

    by

    Alain Bernheim, A. William Samii, and Eric Serejski

    Reprinted from Heredom
    The Transacations of the
    Scottish Rite Research Society
    vol. 5, 1996, pp. 137-168

    (c) 1997 Scottish Rite Research Society
    All Rights Reserved
    1733 16 St., N.W., Washington, DC 20009-3103


    To Part 1 of 6