Black Catholicism: Forthcoming New Book by Madeleine LeDespencer on Abbé Boullan and French Diabolism


(Author and witch Madeleine Le Despencer)

Because I like plugging others’ work as well as my own on this blog, I thought I would share the recent announcement of a forthcoming new book by my favourite Catholic witch Madeleine Le Despencer.

Madeleine’s book Le Catholicisme Noire: The Devotional Blasphemies of Abbé Joseph-Antoine Boullan, which will be published by Three Hands Press towards the end of this year, deals with the life and practices of Abbé Boullan, a 19th century defrocked Roman Catholic priest and Luciferian Gnostic mystic who was accused of Satanism and generated considerable scandal in the occult scenes of fin de siecle France. Following his departure from the Church, along with his spiritual consort Mme Thibault, Boullan effected miraculous cures through Marian intercession and at times the ritual use of human waste products. The couple preached about a ‘New Age of the Paraclete’, an era of Redemption through Divine Love, in which souls could be individually and collectively repaired and returned to a condition of Edenic purity through recourse to forms of initiated and ritualized sacramental sex whose procedures transcended the limits of vulgar laws of marriage or society. Human initiates of Boullan and Thibault’s Order engaged in sanctified sexual intercourse with higher and lower spirit entities in order to fuel their own and these beings’ spiritual perfection respectively. In yet further parallel with Indo-Tibetan practices, sacramental sexual union could also involve the mingling of consecrated male and female sexual fluids to produce a miraculous elixir.

Boullan lived a fascinating life: he inspired J.K. Huysman’ novel about the French Satanic underworld La-bàs and was hounded by prominent French occultist Stanislas de Guaïta who was scandalized by Boullan’s sexual practices and engaged in protracted magical and legal battles with him (some also accused de Guaïta of having used black magic to murder the Abbé).


(Joseph-Antoine Boullan, 1824-1893)

The much later and secular-ish esotericism of Laveyan Satanism has received the lion’s share of attention in media and academic treatments of ‘Diabolism’, just as Aleister Crowley has tended to dominate the few existing studies of so-called Western sex magic. Boullan’s spiritual practices influenced a number of his contemporaries in various ways, and have also played an important part in the magical cosmologies of more contemporary practitioners like Kenneth Grant and Michael Bertiaux. Madeleine has devoted a great deal of time to studying and reviving Boullan’s contributions and her book promises to advance our understanding of French occultism, diabolism and esoteric Christianity in particular, and antinomian and transgressive spirituality more generally, to a considerable extent, so this is exciting news.

For readers who would like to learn more about Madeleine and her work more information can be found at her blog.