In March 1981, two Milanese prosecutors were investigating a fake kidnapping incident from 1979, in which an international banker disappeared. The Sicilian-born Michele Sindona was a financial adviser to the Vatican and thought to have links to the Mafia. The prosecutors made an interesting discovery: While on the run from the authorities and hiding in Palermo, Sindona suddenly traveled to Arezzo, a town 600 miles north, where he met with the textile manufacturer Licio Gelli.
If a personality like Sindona leaves the safety of his hiding place to meet Licio Gelli, then this Gelli must be an important person indeed. For this reason, prosecutors ordered the investigation of Gelli.
On March 17th, the investigating police officer searched this industrialist’s office and found a list containing the names of 962 people. No ordinary list, it gave the names of the members of the Propaganda Due Masonic lodge-P2, for short-of which Gelli was the Grand Master.
What was really surprising was, the list contained the names of some of the most important persons in Italy: three ministers, 43 members of parliament, 43 generals, eight admirals, secret service chiefs, hundreds of top bureaucrats and diplomats, the police commanders of Italy’s four largest cities, industrialists and financiers, the editor and publisher of the newspaper Corriere della Sera and 24 other journalists and TV personalities.
Michele Sindona was also listed. Another member of the lodge was banker Roberto Calvi, later to be found hanged from the Blackfriars Bridge in London, in the Masonic style of ritual execution, and only a few hundred yards away from a church that in the Middle Ages had once belonged to the Templars.
As far as could be understood, every member of the P-2 had sworn loyalty to Gelli and to do anything that he might ask of them. These 962 members were grouped into 17 cells, each with its own Master. Gelli ran the lodge with such secrecy and professionalism that even the members themselves knew no one outside their own cells; only the Grand Master of each cell knew all its members.
But who was Licio Gelli, the Grand Master of the lodge? He was a militant who had fought in the Spanish Civil War on the side of the fascists, and had been a fervent supporter of Mussolini. Later, after the war, when his involvement in the torture of Italian partisans was discovered, he was forced to flee the country for Argentina, where he became a close friend of the president Juan Perón. And now here he was, the Grand Master of the P-2 Masonic lodge.
These revelations shook Italy to the core. The investigation further revealed that the lodge was participating in the government affairs and was central to Italy’s endless corruption scandals. With the aid of their Masonic cardinal brothers, the lodge had turned the Vatican into a money-laundering institution and the lodge was also the strongest branch of the legendary Italian Mafia. The P-2 was behind many assassinations, acts of terror like bombings and was closely linked to the contra-guerilla cell Gladio.
For a long time the P-2 had been channeling CIA and Vatican funds to fascist groups in Europe and Latin America. Lodge Member Michele Sindona was later arrested on charges of the murder of an Italian lawyer, and died in prison after drinking a cup of poisoned coffee. He was not only the treasurer of the P-2, but also the investment advisor to the Vatican. Sindona was responsible for selling the Vatican’s Italian assets and investing the proceeds in the US. He was working for the Mafia as well as the CIA and had previously channeled funds to his Yugoslavian “friends” and to the Greek military junta that came to power in 1967.
The parliamentary commission investigating this affair discovered that the P-2 was an international organization influential in everything from arms trading to crude oil prices. Ligio Gelli, the dark name of banking scandals and the secret and illegal P-2 Lodge, received a prison sentence of 12 years.
The P-2’s Secret Lodge and Strange Rituals
The P-2’s political activities and murders make horrific reading, but its organizational structure and ritualistic practices are equally so. This far-from-ordinary lodge had been building in great secrecy and every member was required to maintain this secrecy when coming or going. In his book St. Peter’s Banker, Italian journalist Luigi Difonzo explains the P2, based on former members’ confessions, with its activities of money laundering and links to the Mafia. About the lodge’s location, he has the following to say:
In interviews two former members have described the oaths they took. They were taken to a compound, a Villa hidden in the Apennines in the region of Tuscany. A 12-foot wall seals the neatly manicured grounds from view. In the centre of the main courtyard stands a fountain shaped like a tree trunk. The cobra-like sculpture, with its inflated hood, watches over the compound in a protective posture, as if ready to strike. The cobra’s head is twice the size of a human skull. It has a single eye, which is blue during daylight and red after nightfall, for inside the cobra’s hood and behind its eye there is a closed-circuit camera that follows a visitor, invited or unwelcome, as the fountain rotates in the direction the intruder moves.
The fountain-camera is controlled from a room within the villa where eight monitors, each with five stations, cover eight guest rooms, patio, pool, dining room, sitting room, and party room. Approximately ten cameras, including the one inside the cobra, have infrared lenses.
All of the exterior cameras are camouflaged by the landscaping. The Villa’s interior is magnificent. Every room has marble floors and is furnished with antiques. Observing the high ceilings, the finely crafted gold-leaf moldings, the portraits of Mussolini, Hitler, and Peron, the visitor experiences a feeling, a sort of living, breathing odor of danger and power that penetrates the soul and cell by cell contaminates the mind with fear. The year is 1964.
In this lodge were conducted hair-raising rituals:
In the meeting room, twelve members of P-2, dressed in satin ceremonial robes and wearing black hoods reminiscent of those worn by members of the Ku Klux Klan, sit in leather chairs at a red marble conference table. They are the elite members of the Wolf Pack, Gelli’s disciples-some say his execution squad. None of the black-clad disciples knows the identity of any of his eleven brothers.
Grand Master Licio Gelli is the only one who bares his face. Two Masons stand post at the entrance to the meeting room. Their faces are also covered… They are … personal bodyguards, some say his death squad-former Mussolini Fascists whose job is to protect the Grand Master and kill any of the twelve disciples who betray the cause “Il Momento di Passare all”(The Time for Real Action)… Each bodyguard carries an axe; they also bear automatic weapons.65
In the admission ceremonies for the initiates to the P-2, which is organized like the Mafia, one could witness the lodge’s merciless methods and political ideals:
The ceremony begins. There is an uneven series of knocks at the door. “Your Worshipful,” a disciple announces, “a pagan wishes to enter.” The Grand Master strikes the table with one blow with his axe. Immediately the oversized door swings open and slams against the inner wall. Two guards escort the initiate to the center of the room where he faces the twelve Masons with his back to the grand master’s throne. The Pagan, as he is called, is wearing a plain black hood and a blindfold. His identity is known to Grand Master Licio Gelli, but to no one else. He is asked one question by each of the disciples, but the Pagan does not answer, instead, one of the guards speaks for him.
Once all the ritual questions about purpose and belief and reason for wanting to become a member of Propaganda Due are answered, the Pagan is turned to face the Grand Master, who asks, “Pagan, are you prepared to die in order to preserve the secrets of Propaganda Due?” The initiate now answers for himself: “I am.” “Do you have the necessary quality of contempt for danger?” “I do.” “Do you have the necessary quality of courage?” “I am courageous…”. “And Pagan, are you prepared to fight and perhaps face shame, even death, so that we who may become your Brothers may destroy this Government and form a Presidency?” “I am.” Then the blindfold is removed.
It takes a moment for the initiate’s vision to clear, because this is the first time since entering the compound that he has been allowed to see light. The blindfold serves a purpose other than security. It also represents the power of P-2: “Without membership one is blind; with the help of the order, however, the way is clear.”
P-2 and Mossad
Banker Roberto Calvi was executed by the P-2 Lodge
Along with the darker sides of the P-2, the lodge had also an Israeli connection. The July 1981 issue of The Middle East International Journal established that the P-2 had close links with Israel, especially with Mossad, and that the Jewish community in Italy played an important role in this connection.
In later years, Carlo de Beneditti, the second richest man in Italy, was discovered to have had a close relationship with the P-2 Lodge and also very good contacts with the Jewish communities in Europe and the US.
The foremost names who had contact with the P-2 are Henry Kissinger, Edmond de Rothschild, and David Rockefeller. The Italian journal Panorama wrote that Ellie de Rothschild arranged the necessary amount of money for the Masonic hanging of banker Roberto Calvi, who either had or was about to “talk” against the P-2.67 Henry Kissinger was directly involved at the top of the lodge.
In Papa, Mafya, Agca (The Pope, The Mafia and Agca), Ugur Mumcu, a prominent Turkish journalist wrote, “Henry Kissinger is a member of the Monte Carlo lodge, which is the P-2’s ‘board of directors,’ also known as the Monte Carlo Committee. All the members of this lodge are Grand Masters and Masons of the 33rd degree.”68
The alliance between the P-2 and Israel or to be more specific, with Mossad is illustrated by ex-Mossad agent Victor Ostrovsky in The Other Side of Deception, published in 1994 after his other greatly controversial book, “By Way of Deception”.
Ostrovsky writes that Licio Gelli, P-2’s Grand Master, was the ally of Mossad in Italy and that Gelli also had a close relationship with the Gladio contra-guerilla group, allied with Mossad and that Mossad used this Gelli-Gladio alliances for its arms dealings with Italy in the 1980s.
After P-2 – P-3?
The P-2 scandal had educational value for Italy as well as other countries. Now, there was no doubt that the Masons could become an invisible government in any country and, like a Mafia organization, empty the coffers of the state.
Quickly enough, Freemasonry lodges around the world were distancing themselves from the P-2 by claiming, for example, that the P-2 Lodge was an exception and not a true Freemason’s lodge, that it had developed its own organization independent of Masonry, and so forth.
All these statements were just attempts at erecting smoke screens around Masonry’s true nature. English journalist and writer Martin Short states that P-2 was a regular lodge, founded and run according to the rules by which Masonic lodges abide. With plenty of details, he reveals the close relationship between the P-2 and the English Grand Lodge. Short states that P-2 was different from other lodges only in that it was to remain a secret lodge. In 1977 Lino Salvini, Grand Master of the Italian Grand Lodge, instructed Gelli to continue its work-albeit in secrecy and isolated from the other Italian lodges.
After the P-2 scandal exposing the Masons’ links to the Mafia, their relationship continued. A legendary politician like Giulio Andreotti, often addressed as “the Godfather,” had also been exposed as a Mason. The list continues, with the Social Democrat Prime Minister Bettino Craxi’s connection to the Masons being revealed, along with many more at lesser levels. All this was evidence enough that the P-2 was no exception, and for this reason, the Italian media discussed whether there might be a P-3. In the last days of 1993, the Italian police caught the Mafia’s boss of bosses, the legendary Salvatore Riina. He too was exposed as a Mason. The newspaper La Stampa printed excerpts of Riina’s confessions in which he stated that many Italian Mafia bosses were Masons like him-but because many judges were Masons too, the legal system didn’t not prevent judges from aiding their Mafia brothers instead of prosecuting them. After this revelation, Italy’s highest court ruled it illegal for judges or prosecutors to be-or become-Masons.
After all these Mason-connected corruption scandals came an attempt to clean up Italy’s political and legal institutions-Operation Clean Hands, which didn’t go very far either: After this, media mogul Silvio Berlusconi of his Forza Italia party was elected Prime Minister. He too had been a P-2 member and had some interesting connections with Israel.71
In short, the P-2 is not an “exception” or “accident” as the Masons say in an attempt to cover up the scandal. On the contrary, they need these “secret and isolated lodges” to accommodate the top government officials in a country. What is an “exception” or “accident” is that the P-2 was exposed.
Evidence to this effect came also at the middle of 1990’s from England. Lord Nolan was appointed by the Prime Minister John Major in 1994 to lead a Committee on Standards in Public Life to investigate allegations of corruption in British politics. Realizing that Masons were at the center of the allegations, he decided to focus on their involvement in politics. The newspaper Independent’s 21st January 1995 issue gave it a headline article, launching an inquiry into Freemasonry for the first time in British history. It reported that the Masons were an organization 300,000 strong, represented at the top of the police force, in the government, the House of Lords, the high court, banking, the boardrooms of the largest companies and every part of the establishment, even the Royal family!
Nolan’s committee also established that, just as with the P-2 in Italy, along with the ordinary English lodges there were more secretive ones. Some were very selective about where they recruited their members. One of these lodges, for example, was recruiting only from the Ministry of Defense, among high-ranking officers, and the senior management of the arms industry.
A similar scandal hit the front pages in France. For years the corruption of Roland Dumas, former French Foreign Minister and Mason, had been covered up by other high-ranking government officials who were also Masons. Le Point, the French weekly magazine, exposed other cases of corruption, revealing how the Masons covered up for each other in their illegal activities.
Clearly, the P-2 scandal in Italy wasn’t a series of coincidences. Considering other scandals in Britain and France, it can safely be said that these weren’t isolated cases. This leads to the question of whether every country has its own P-2s.
Although the member-list of P2 contained names from highest ranks of politics, the judiciary and the economy in Italy, no Catholic clergy member were on it, only lay persons working for the Vatican as bankers and financial advisors.
How much any high-level Church official knew about the money-laudering schemes, is not quite clear.
The connections of their bankers to the Mafia, to weapon smugglers and false-flag terrorists, was definitely not known by Church officials.
However, the subsequent scandal has done great harm to the Church.
The P2 Masons could infiltrate the financial institutions of the Church, not the clergy.
This is no suprise, since the stated goal of many Masonic lodges is the destruction of the Catholic church.
The Church forbids members explicitly to join Masonry, threatening them with ex-communication. Every member of clergy who is found out to have entered a Masonic lodge is dismissed immediately.