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Morals & Dogma Ch. XXX, pp818-819
It is absurd to suppose that men of intellect adored a monstrous idol called Baphomet…. Their symbolism, invented ages before, to conceal what it was dangerous to avow, was of course misunderstood by those who were not adepts, and to their enemies seemed to be pantheistic. The calf of gold, made by Aaron for the Israelites, was but one of the oxen under the laver of bronze, and the Karobim on the Propitiatory, misunderstood. The symbols of the wise always become the idols of the ignorant multitude.
—Devil Worship in France, by A.E. Waite
I should add that Leo Taxil in one of the illustrations represents a lodge of the Templar-Mistress Rite, wherein the altar is over-shadowed by a Baphomet which is a reduction in facsimile of the frontispiece to Lévi's Rituel, and all reasonable limits seem to be transgressed when he quotes from Albert Pike's "Collection of Secret Instructions," an extended passage which swarms with thefts from the same source, everyone of which I can identify when required, showing them page by page in the originals. Leo Taxil tells us that the "Collection" was communicated to him, but by whom he does not say. We are evidently dealing with an exceedingly complex question, and many points must be made clear before we can definitely accept evidenced which is so mixed and uncertain in character.
—Isis Unveiled, H.P. Blavatsky
How little the philosophy of the old secret doctrine was understood, is illustrated in the atrocious persecutions of the Templars by the Church, and in the accusation of their worshipping the Devil under the shape of the goat--Baphomet! Without going into the old Masonic mysteries, there is not a Mason--of those we mean who do know something—but has an idea of the true relation that Baphomet bore to Azaze, the scapegoat of the wilderness, whose character and meaning are entirely perverted in the Christian translations. "This terrible and venerable name of God," says Lanci, librarian to the Vatican, "through the pen of biblical glossers, has been a devil, a mountain, a wilderness, and a he-goat." In Mackenzie's Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia, the author very correctly remarks that "this word should be divided into Azaz and El," for "it signifies God of Victory, but is here used in the sense of author of Death, in contrast to Jehovah, the author of Life; the latter received a dead goat as an offering." The Hindu Trinity is composed of three personages, which are convertible into one. The Trimurti is one, and in its abstraction indivisible, and yet we see a metaphysical division taking place from the first, and while Brahma, though collectively representing the three, remains behind the scenes, Vishnu is the Life-Giver, the Creator, and the Preserver, and Siva is the Destroyer, and the Death-giving deity. "Death to the Life-Giver, life to the Death-dealer. The symbolical antithesis is grand and beautiful," says Gliddon. "Deus est Daemon inversus" of the kabalists now becomes clear. It is but the intense and cruel desire to crush out the last vestige of the old philosophies by perverting their meaning, for fear that their own dogmas should not be rightly fathered on them, which impels the Catholic Church to carry on such a systematic persecution in regard to Gnostics, Kabalists, and even the comparatively innocent Masons.