Skip to main content

Vaughan, Diana

Vaughan, Diana

The mythical figure in a famous nineteenth-century occult hoax initiated by Leo Taxil, pseudonym of Gabriel Jogand-Pagés, a French journalist. From 1885 to 1886, Taxil published a sensational story that one branch of Freemasonry was following a form of devil-worship called Palladianism, of which Diana Vaughan was the High Priestess. Allegedly, she was the descendent of the seventeenth-century alchemist Thomas Vaughan.

These revelations synchronized with Roman Catholic opposition to Freemasonry (based upon their support of democratic trends in nineteenth-century Europe) and were profitable for Taxil. Diana Vaughan was supposed to have repented to her Satanist background and embraced the Catholic Church. Her memoirs were read with satisfaction by the pope himself.

An announcement appeared that she would appear at a press conference on Easter Monday 1897. Instead, Taxil appeared and calmly revealed his hoax, stating that he was merely anxious to see how far he could dupe the church. News of this deception was badly received, for the plot had lasted three or four years, and Taxil had to be smuggled away under police protection. In Britain, the hoax was exposed by occult scholar Arthur Edward Waite in his book Devil Worship in France (1896).

Sources:

Waite, Arthur Edward. Devil Worship in France; or, The Question of Lucifer: A Record of Things Seen and Heard in the Secret Societies According to the Evidence of Initiates. London, George Redway, 1896.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Vaughan, Diana." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Vaughan, Diana." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 25, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/vaughan-diana

"Vaughan, Diana." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Retrieved September 25, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/vaughan-diana

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.