Cameroonians recently invented a new word to characterize the state of their country: anusocratie (the rule of the anus). This became central in the moral panic from 2000 onwards over a supposed proliferation of homosexuality. Anusocratie links such same-sex practices to illicit enrichment by the national elites and their involvement with secret associations of Western provenance, such as Freemasonry, Rosicrucians and the Illuminati. This article tries to unravel this conceptual knot of homosexuality, the occult (Freemasonry) and illicit enrichment: first, by historicizing it. Of interest in the Cameroonian case is the fact that a similar link is mentioned in one of the first ethnographies, Günther Tessmann's Die Pangwe. Freemasonry is clearly a colonial imposition on the country, but the link between same-sex practices and enrichment has a longer history. Second, a comparison with similar ideas elsewhere on the continent can also open up wider perspectives. The link with illicit enrichment does not figure in classical conceptions of ‘homosexuality’ as developed in Europe, yet it strongly emerges from examples from all over Africa. Both Achille Mbembe and Joseph Tonda show that this image of the anus – anal penetration – articulates popular concerns about staggering inequalities. Yet, this aspect is ignored in debates about growing ‘homophobia’ in Africa. A confrontation with classical texts from Western queer theory (Bersani, Mieli) can help us discover other layers in African discourses, notably an emphasis on sexual diversity as an answer to homophobia. It can also serve to relativize the linking of sexual practices to sexual identities, which is still seen as self-evident in much queer theory of Western provenance.