Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Jean Baptiste, Baron Clootz

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CLOOTZ, Jean Baptiste, Baron (1755-1794), better known as Anacharsis Clootz, was born near Cleves. A baron by descent, and heir to a great fortune, he was sent at eleven to Paris to complete his education. There he imbibed the theories of his uncle, Cornelius de Pauw, and of the great anarchists of the epoch. He rejected his title and his baptismal names, adopted the pseudonym of Ana- charsis from the famous philosophical romance of Abbe" Barth6lemy, and traversed Europe, preaching the new ideas as an apostle, and spending his money as a man of pleasure. On the breaking out of the Revolution he returned in 1789 to Paris. In the exercise of the function he assumed of " Orator of the Human Race," he demanded at the bar of the National Assembly a share in the federation for all nations, presenting at the same time a petition against the despots of the world. In 1792 ha placed 12.000 livres at the disposal of the Republic " for the arming of forty or fifty fighters in the sacred cause of man against tyrant." The 10th of August impelled him to a still higher flight ; he declared himself the personal enemy of Jesus Christ, abjured all revealed religions, and commenced preaching materialism. In the same month he had the rights of citizenship conferred on him ; and having in September been elected a member of the Convention, he voted the king s death in the name of the human race. Excluded at the instance of Robespierre from the Jacobin Club, he was soon afterwards implicated in an accusation levelled against Hebert and others. His innocence was manifest, but he was condemned and put to death.

Clootz left several works in which his extravagances are developed with much solemnity. The principal of these are La Certitude, des Prcuves du Mahometisme, LOrateur du Genre Humain, and La Repuhlique Universelle.