Rosen, (Samuel) Paul

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Rosen, (Samuel) Paul

A sovereign grand inspector-general of the 33rd degree of the French rite of Masonry, who in 1888 decided that Masonry was diabolical in conception and to prove his strictures published a work called Satan et Cie. The Satanism credited to Freemasonry by Rosen was social anarchy and the destruction of the Catholic religion.

In 1890, he published a further attack titled L'ennemie sociale; Histoire documentée des faits et gestes de la Franc-Maçonnerie de 1717 à 1890 en France, en Belgie et en Italie. He made accusations of a "supreme directory" of Freemasonry in Berlin.

Such conspiracy accusations were common from the eighteenth century onward, reflecting social unrest and the involvement of Freemasons in the various revolutionary causes of the period. Freemasonry was generally pictured as anti-Catholic, pro-Jewish, subversive, and even diabolical. Substance for these acusations was provided by the prominent role of Freemasons, from George Washington to Garibaldi, in the anti-monarchical and secularizing trends of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Rosen's delusions were soon eclipsed by the infamous and sustained hoaxes of Gabriel Jogand-Pagès, who, under the name "Léo Taxil," claimed to have exposed Satanism in Freemasonry. This plot was double-edged, since it was also designed to embarrass and compromise the Catholic Church.