In Devil-Worship in France, Waite attempts to discern what is genuine from what is fake in the evidence of 19th century Satanism. To get the answers he spends a great deal of time investigating the French Masonic echelon, debunking a “conspiracy of falsehood” and determining what should be understood by Satanism and what not. Huysmans’ diabolical novel Là-Bas (1891) inspired Waite to write this sceptical analysis. His main motive to write this book, however, could very well have been its use as a lubricant for a Masonic career.
Waite took a leading role in a counterattack, after French rumour spreaders had accused Golden Dawn founders William Wynn Westcott and MacGregor Mathers of being chief Lucifer-worshippers. This was much appreciated by them. In the end, Waite’s Devil-Worship in France debunked the whole accusation affair - and this a year before Gabriel Jogand Pages (Leo Taxil in the book) admitted the allegations were indeed a hoax.
Arthur Edward Waite (1857 - 1942) was a scholarly mystic, Freemason, Rosicrucian and Golden Dawn member who wrote extensively on occult and esoteric matters, mostly in academic style. A certain irony is glued to this book forever, as it was Edward Arthur Waite, who showed Aleister Crowley “The Way” when he advised the Beast 666 to read Eckhartshausen’s Cloud upon the Sanctuary, about the mysterious hidden church inside the visible church, when his foe in later days had just finished reading Waite’s Book of Black Magic and Pacts…
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