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Freemasonry A Political Force

Scottish Rite Freemasonry

Scottish Rite Freemasonry

1. Chevalier Andrew Ramsay
2. Jacobite Freemasonry
3. The Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite
4. Templarism

Revolution and Controversy

1).The Ideal Political Structure
2. Anti-Masonic Movements
3. P2 Lodge and the Vatican Banking Scandal

(1) Chevalier Andrew Ramsay

"...There was a bitter conflict between England and Scotland around the turn of the fourteenth century, and from that time Scotland's cultural orientation shifted from England to the Continent. This change in perspective is observable in the Scottish architecture of the period - Melrose Abbey, for example, exhibits much French influence; and it is likely that the French masons involved would have come with their philosophical as well as their practical workings."
     - W. K. Kirk MacNulty, Freemasonry - A Journey through Ritual and Symbol

"...Peculiar is the claim that Scottish does not has any reference to Scotland and that the Rite takes its origins from English Masons, whom have in Scottish, Trustworth Scottish, and Chosen Scottish their distinctive peculiarity, while in Bordeaux, a city under English dominion for three centuries (1154 - 1453), the City Cathedral is consecrated to St. Andrew, patron saint of Scotland..."
     - Maurizio Nicosia, The Sepulchre of Osiris

"Decades before the English Grand Lodge was created, many Masons in Scotland were already known to be helping the Stuarts. These Scottish loyalists used their lodges as secret meeting places in which to hatch political intrigues. Pro-Stuart Masonic activity may go as far back as 1660 - the year of the Stuart Restoration (when the Stuarts took the throne back from the Puritans). According to some early Masons, the Restoration was largely a Masonic feat. General Monk, who played such a pivotal role in the Restoration, was reported to be a Freemason."

Michael "Ramsey was a Scottish mystic who had been hired by James III to tutor James' two sons in France. Ramsey's goal was to re-establish the disgraced Templar Knights in Europe. To accomplish this, Ramsey adopted the same approach used by the Mother Grand Lodge system of London: the resurrected knights Templar were to be a secret mystical/fraternal society open to men of varied occupations. The old knightly titles, uniforms, and 'tools of the trade' were to be used for symbolic, fraternal and ritual purposes within a Masonic context."
     - William Bramley, The Gods of Eden

Charles Radclyffe, an alleged Grand Master of the Priory of Sion, presided over the Freemason lodge at which Chevalier Andrew Ramsay (a friend of Newton
     - Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail

"From its beginnings, which only shortly antedated Ramsay's intervention in 1736, French Masonry had been patronized by the highest aristocracy; this may have owed something to the Jacobite Scottish peers who had been Grand Masters of some early French lodges. The craft was supposed to have grown from 'operative' stonemasons, but in addressing a noble audience Ramsay naturally looked for something more dignified than a lineage of humble British artisans. So he gave Freemasonry a fictitious crusading parentage, suggesting that some medieval Crusaders had been both stoneworkers and knightly warriors."
"It was Ramsay, in a speech to French Freemasons ['Apology for the Free and Accepted Masons'], who suggested "that the Freemasons had access to ancient wisdom which was partly biblical in origin, and connected with the Old Testament patriarchs and the builders of the Temple, but which also reflected Egyptian and Greek mysteries, and other hidden secrets of the pagan world....He did not refer to the Masons of crusading times as a class of humble artisans but as 'religious and warlike princes who wished to enlighten, edify and build up the living Temples of the Most High'...The apparent literalness of his earlier reference to the 'Temple of Solomon' has been dropped in favor of a transparent metaphor for nobility of character and aims."
     - Peter Partner, The Murdered Magicians

"It was Ramsay's conceit that the Crusaders were Masons as well as Templars and that the secret words of Freemasonry originated as the watchwords of military camps. He said that by the end of the Crusades, several Masonic lodges had already been built on the European continent. Prince Edward, son of the English king Henry III, allegedly took pity on the vanquished Christian armies in Palestine after the last Crusade and brought them back to Britain in the thirteenth century. In his homeland, according to Ramsay, the prince - who later reigned as Edward I - established a colony of brothers renaming themselves Freemasons."
     - Ancient Wisdom and Secret Sects

"Of the Templars Ramsay did not breathe a word. On the contrary, he spoke of intimacy between the Crusader Masons and the Knights of St John of Jerusalem, who were said to have been the occasion of giving the Masonic lodges the title of 'Lodges of St John'."
     - Peter Partner, The Murdered Magicians

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(2) Jacobite Freemasonry

"The esoteric element was more prominent in the 'Red' Masonry than in the 'Blue'. But Red or Scottish Masonry can also be seen as a return to more traditional ideas of hierarchy and social order....But the Scottish higher degrees meant the implied rejection of at least a part of the ideal of egalitarianism. The higher grades involved the subordination of the lower, and also the ignorance on the part of the lower grades of the wisdom enjoyed by the higher."
     - Peter Partner, The Murdered Magicians

"To affect their pro-Stuart political aims, the Scottish lodges changed the Biblical symbolism of the third Blue Degree into political symbolism to represent the House of Stuart. Ramsey's 'higher' degrees contained additional symbolism 'revealing' why Freemasons had a duty to help the Stuarts against the throne of England. Because of this, many people viewed Scottish Freemasonry as a clever attempt to lure freemasons away from the Mother Grand Lodge system which supported the Hanoverian monarchy and turn the new converts into pro-Stuart Masons.
"The Stuarts themselves joined Ramsey's organization. James III adopted the Templar title 'Chevalier St. George'. His son, Charles Edward, was initiated into the Order of Knights Templar on Setember 24, 1745, the same year in which he led a major Jacobite invasion of Scotland. Two years later, on April 15, 1747, Charles Edward established a masonic 'Scottish Jacobite Chapter' in the French city of Arras."
     - William Bramley, The Gods of Eden

"We, Charles Edward, King of England, France, Scotland, and Ireland, and as such Substitute Grand Master of the Chapter of H., known by the title of Knight of the Eagle and Pelican..."
     - Arras Lodge Charter

During their stay in France in 1745, the "Young Pretender" Bonnie Prince Charlie and other Stuarts "had become deeply involved in the dissemination of Freemasonry. Indeed they are generally regarded as the source of the particular form of Freemasonry known as 'Scottish Rite'. 'Scottish Rite' Freemasonry introduced higher degrees than those offered by other Masonic systems at the time. It promised initiation into greater and more profound mysteries - mysteries supposedly preserved and handed down in Scotland. It established more direct connections between Freemasonry and the various activities - alchemy, Cabalism and Hermetic thought, for instance - which were regarded as 'Rosecrucian'. And it elaborated not only on the antiquity but also on the illustrious pedigree of the 'craft'."

"...It did not, like many rites of Freemasonry, consist primarily of free-thinkers and atheists. On the contrary, it seems to have been deeply religious and magically oriented - emphasizing a sacred social and political hierarchy, a divine order, an underlying cosmic plan. And the upper grades or degrees of this Freemasonry, according to M. Chaumeil [Le Tresor du triangle d'or] were the lower grades or degrees of the Prieure de Sion."
     - Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail

"In the aftermath of the 1745 rebellion, Jacobite Freemasonry as such, with its specific political orientation and allegiance to the Stuart bloodline, effectively died out. Variations of it, however, purged of political content and tempered by the moderation of the Grand Lodge of England, survived. They survived in part through the so-called 'higher' degrees' offered by such institutions as Irish Grand Lodge. Most important, however, they survived within the Strict Observance promulgated by Hund - of which the highest degree was that of 'Knight Templar'. The Strict Observance was to spread throughout Europe."
     - Baigent & Leigh, The Temple and the Lodge

(3) The Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite

"The rite in its present form of thirty-three degrees was reorganized at the end of the eighteenth century by some half dozen Masonic adventurers at Charleston, South Carolina."
     - Charles Sotheran (1877)

The Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite (AASR) "is an appendant body of Masonry, meaning that it is not part of the Blue Lodge per se, but closely associated with Masonry. It requires that a man be a Master Mason before joining the Scottish Rite. The Scottish Rite confers the 4th through 32nd degrees. The degree work may be, but is not necessarily, completed at one time. Any Master Mason is eligible to join the Scottish Rite. The degrees of the Scottish Rite continue the symbolism of the first three Masonic degrees."
"The Scottish Rite awards a special honorary degree, the 33rd, to those it feels has made an outstanding contribution to Masonry, the community as a whole, and to mankind. There is no way to 'achieve' this degree or 'take' it, in the sense that one takes the 4th through 32nd degrees in the Scottish Rite. It is a singular honor, rarely bestowed, and greatly admired."
     - Andrew Fabbro, "Freemasonry FAQ" Version 1.2

"Scottish Rite Masonry has almost a million members in America..."
"In one jurisdiction, the Scottish Rite Mason is made a 'Knight Kadosh'. Kadosh is direct from the Hebrew, and means 'holy'. The 'Holy Knight' of this degree is the Knight Templar. The story of the final days of Grand Master Jacques de Molay, along with a brief history of the Templar order, is recounted to the candidate for the degree. The spirit of the degree is to call upon the initiate to be aware of, and to resolutely oppose, all forms of personal and religious injustice."
     - John J. Robinson, Dungeon, Fire and Sword (1991)

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(4) Templarism

"The birthplace of Templarism was Germany, where the egalitarian and rationalist thrust of Freemasonry was resisted by an old-fashioned and rank-dominated society, and there was a demand for a version of the Masonic craft acceptable to conservative doctrine and Gothic taste. During the Seven Years War a French prisoner in Germany co-operated with a German pastor who went under the name of Samuel Rosa to concoct a Templar myth to serve the ritual needs of the Masonic lodges."
"According to their story the Grand Masters of the Order had been in possession of special spiritual illumination deriving from the Jewish sect of the
Essenes. This had passed through the control of the Canons of the Holy Sepulcher at Jerusalem, and had gone thence to the Order of the Temple. Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master, was by these story-writers given the Masonic name of Hiram, which according to Masonic lore had been the name of the murdered builder of the Temple of Solomon."

"The idea of vengeance to be exacted for a wronged and murdered magus was embedded in orthodox Masonic lore in the form of the myth of the murder of the Temple-builder, Hiram, and of the despatch by Solomon of chosen masters to avenge his death. There was originally no particular political context for this supposed murder and its atonement, though the paraphernalia of swords, skeletons, and decapitated dolls which was used in some lodges to represent the events was already alarming enough."
"The idea of the Masonic 'grades of vengeance' was that certain enlightened persons, each step in enlightenment being the object of a 'grade', were formally committed to avenge the sacrilegious murder of the Temple-builder, Hiram. The thirtieth grade, for example, was that of the 'Knight Kadosch', who played at being the medieval Justiciar or Chief Justice. If Hiram was to be identified with Jacques de Molay, certain Masonic Templar knights could be regarded as pledged to revenge the Order on the French monarchy."

"The most successful organizer of German Templarism, who came for a time close to controlling the whole apparatus of German Freemasonry, was Karl Gotthelf von Hund, a substantial landowner in north-east Electoral Saxony. Hund was very different from the self-seeking charlatans such as Johnson and Rosa; he was much more of a self-deluded fanatic, said to have gone through life almost like a sleepwalker. He had begun his Masonic studies in France, and at about the same time as the invention of the other Templar myths he had produced his own."
"At the summit of Hund's organization stood an authority which could never be identified, that of the 'Unknown Superiors'. To these mysterious and in fact non-existent persons Hund demanded complete and unquestioning obedience, especially as regards the delivery of scientific information about alchemical operations. Hund appears genuinely to have believed that the Young Pretender was the Unknown head of his Order, and though, erroneously, that he had met him when he had himself been 'professed' or initiated in France. In fact, so far as is known, the Young Pretender was unaware of Hund's existence, and the Comte de Clermonot in France, to whom Hund also professed obedience, seems to have paid no more attention to him.
     - Peter Partner, The Murdered Magicians

As a further extension to the "Scottish Rite", the "Strict Observance" demanded "an oath of unswerving, unquestioning obedience to the mysterious 'unknown superiors'. And the basic tenet of the 'Strict Observance' was that it had descended directly from the Knights Templar, some of whom had purportedly survived the purge of 1307-14 and perpetuated their Order in Scotland."
     - Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail

"In 1782 [the Duke of] Brunswick decided to solve his doubts by holding a final Conference or Convent of the Order at Wilhelmsbad, near Hanau in Hessen. True to its aristocratic origins, the last gathering of the Strict Observance was a blue-blooded affair. But disillusion and decay were patent. The successively unveiled mysteries of the Order had yielded nothing but boring ritual; the alchemists had made no discoveries, the Templar lands would never be returned. No one expected to identify the long-concealed Unknown Superiors. The thirst for mystical illumination remained, but hope of quenching it at the Templar spring was over."
     - Peter Partner, The Murdered Magicians

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Revolution and Controversy

(1) The Ideal Political Structure

"...By the third decade of the eighteenth century, English Freemasonry, under the auspices of Grand Lodge, had become a bastion of the social and cultural establishment, including, among its more illustrious brethren, Desaguliers, Pope, Swift, Hogarth and Boswell, as well as Charles de Lorraine, future husband of the Austrian Empress Maria Theresa."
"In England, the Grand Lodge became progressively more divorced from both religion and politics. It fostered a spirit of moderation, tolerance and flexibility, and often worked hand in hand with the Anglican Church, many of whose clergy were themselves Freemasons and found no conflict of allegiance. In Catholic Europe, on the other hand, Freemasonry became a repository for militantly anti-clerical, anti-establishment, eventually revolutionary sentiments and activity....In France, for example, prominent Freemasons such as the Marquis de Lafayette, Philippe Egalite, Danton and Sieyes, acting in accordance with Freemasonic ideals, were prime movers in the events of 1789 and everything that followed. In Bavaria, in Spain, in Austria, Freemasonry was to provide a focus of resistance to authoritarian regimes, and it functioned prominently in the movements, culminating with the revolutions of 1848. The whole of the campaign leading to the unification of Italy - from the revolutionaries of the late eighteenth century, through Mazzini, to Garibaldi - could be described as essentially Freemasonic."
      - Baigent and Leigh, The Temple and the Lodge

Alessandro Cagliostro "founded the Egyptian Rite of Freemasonry, which received into its mysteries many of the French nobility and was regarded favorably by the most learned minds of Europe. Having established the Egyptian Rite, Cagliostro declared himself to be an agent of the order of the Knights Templars and to have received initiation from them on the Isle of Malta. (See Morals and Dogma, in which Albert Pike quotes Eliphas Levi on Cagliostro's affiliation with the Templars.) Called upon the carpet by the Supreme Council of France, it was demanded of Cagliostro that he prove by what authority he had founded a Masonic lodge in Paris independent of the Grand Orient. Of such surpassing mentality was Cagliostro that the Supreme Council found it difficult to secure an advocate qualified to discuss with Cagliostro philosophic Masonry and the ancient Mysteries he claimed to represent. The Court de Gebelin - the greatest Egyptologist of his day and an authority on ancient philosophies - was chosen as the outstanding scholar. A time was set and the Brethren convened. Attired in an Oriental coat and a pair of violet-colored breeches, Cagliostro was haled before this council of his peers. The Court de Gebelin asked three questions and then sat down, admitting himself disqualified to interrogate a man so much his superior in every branch of learning. Cagliostro then took the floor, revealing to the assembled Masons not only his personal qualifications, but prophesying the future of France. He foretold the fall of the French throne, the Reign of Terror, and the fall of the Bastille. At a later time he revealed the dates of the death of Marie Antoinette and the King, and also the advent of Napoleon. Having finished his address, Cagliostro made a spectacular exit, leaving the French Masonic lodge in consternation and utterly incapable of coping with the profundity of his reasoning. Though no longer regarded as a ritual in Freemasonry, the Egyptian Rite is available and all who read it will recognize its author to have been no more a charlatan than was Plato."
     - Manly P. Hall, Rosicrucian and Masonic Origins pp. 408-409

"...The United States was not created as a republic of the kind implied by that word today. Most of the men responsible for creating it were staunch Freemasons, and the new nation was originally conceived as the ideal hieratic political structure postulated by certain rites of Freemasonry. The state as a whole was seen as an extension, and a macrocosm, of the Lodge."
     - Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Messianic Legacy

"...St. Andrew's Lodge of Boston, which had perpetrated the Boston Tea party in 1773 conferred a Templar degree already on August 29, 1769 after applying for the warrant in 1762 from the Scottish Grand Lodge in Edinburgh. That application was made almost a decade before the American Revolution began. Some Templars were not only anti-Hanoverian, they sought the abolition of all monarchy."
     - William Bramley, The Gods of Eden

"At the beginning of 1776, the more moderate Freemasonic-oriented factions in the Continental Congress still prevailed. Their position had been enunciated once again the previous December, when congress again defied Parliament but continued to affirm allegiance to the crown. Now, however, the mood began to change and more radical elements began to gain the ascendancy. Thomas Paine's pamphlet, 'Common Sense', did much to polarize attitudes and convert many hitherto loyal colonists to the principle of independence from the mother country."
"On 11 June 1776, the Continental Congress "appointed a committee to draft a declaration of independence. Of the five men on this committee, two - Franklin and...Robert Livingston - were Freemasons...The other two - Thomas Jefferson and John Adams - were not, despite subsequent claims to the contrary....The nine signatories who can now be established as proven Freemasons, and the ten who were possibly so, included such influential figures as Washington, Franklin and, of course, the president of the Congress, John Hancock. The army, moreover, remained almost entirely in Freemasonic hands."
     - Brian Francis Redman ("The Big C")

"While in France, Dr. Franklin was privileged to receive definite esoteric instruction. It is noteworthy that Franklin was the first in America to reprint Anderson's Constitutions of the Free-Masons, which is a most prized work on the subject, though its accuracy is disputed. Through all this stormy period, these impressive figures come and go, part of a definite organization of political and religious thought, a functioning body of philosophers represented in Spain by no less an individual than Cervantes, in France by Cagliostro and St.-Germain, in Germany by Gichtel and Andreae, in England by Bacon, More, and Raleigh, and in America by Washington and Franklin. Coincident with the Baconian agitation in England, the Fama Fraternitatis and Confessio Fraternitatis appeared in Germany, both of these works being contributions to the establishment of a philosophic government upon the earth."
     - Manly P. Hall, Rosicrucian and Masonic Origins pp. 408-409

Mayer Anschel "Rothschild made a fortune from various activities while serving under William IX. The French Revolution and the wars it triggered created many shortages throughout the Hesse. Rothschild capitalized in this situation by sharply raising the prices of the cloth he was importing from England. Rothschild also struck a deal with another of William IX's chief financial agents, Carl Buderus. The deal enabled Rothschild to share in the profits from the leasing of Hessian mercenaries to England."
"According to Jacob Katz, writing in his book, Jews and Freemasons in Europe, 1723-1939, the Rothschilds were one of the rich and powerful Frankfurt families appearing on a Masonic membership list in 1811."
"Special Jewish lodges were created, such as the 'Melchizedek' lodges named in honor of the Old Testament priest-king...Those who belonged to the Melchizedek lodges were said to be members of the 'Order of Melchizedek'."
     - William Bramley, The Gods of Eden

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(2) Anti-Masonic Movements

"In 1738 Pope Clement XII issued a Papal Bull condemning and excommunicating all Freemasons, whom he pronounced 'enemies of the Roman Church'....In its text the pope declares that Masonic thought rests on a heresy...- the denial of Jesus's divinity. And he further asserts that the guiding spirits, the 'masterminds', behind Freemasonry are the same as those who provoked the Lutheran Reformation."
     - Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail

"In 1740, the Grand Master of the Order of Malta caused the Bull of Pope Clement XII. to be published in that island, and forbade the meetings of the Freemasons. On this occasion several Knights and many citizens left the island; and in 1741, the Inquisition persecuted the Freemasons at Malta. The Grand Master proscribed their assemblies under severe penalties, and six Knights were banished from the island in perpetuity for having assisted at a meeting."
     - Commander Gourdin,

"Citizens of Northwestern New York acted swiftly in 1826 when they heard the news that William Morgan had disappeared. Morgan, described by an historian of politics as "a somewhat down at heel citizen of Batavia," was a disgruntled Mason who had written a book alleged to be an expose' of Masonic secrets. Rumors contended that the Masons had murdered Morgan. The Order, for its part, maintained a stolid and uncooperative silence, and so local political organizations campaigned to keep support from office- seeking Masons. One new organization, the Anti-Masonry Party, attracted those in the populace who distrusted the Masons and other secret societies. It grew almost overnight, and the party's power base soon stretched from western New York to Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Vermont.

"In the rush of growth of the anti-Masonic movement, the initiating impetus for it was submerged, and neither the fate of Morgan nor the culpability of the Masonic Order was ascertained. Instead, the new and liberal Anti-Masonry Party became the voice of the poorer citizen against the well-to-do (and most Masons were regarded as rich), the spokesman for the orthodox against Unitarianism and other liberal sects, a supporter of temperance and anti-slavery activities, and a cheerleader for some features of Jacksonian Democracy against the autocratic Federalists. It opposed not only secret societies and government-in-secret, but also imprisonment for debt and drafts for state militia service.
"But as the party gathered strength it also began to move from the 'left' to the 'right', supporting tariffs on imported goods to prevent the collapse of local industries, better canals for more efficient transport, and banks free from regulatory taxes. As such, it was vainly used by politicians for their own ends, chiefly anti-Jacksonian: Thurlow Weed and William H. Seward tried unsuccessfully through the Anti-Masonry Party to overthrow Martin van Buren's Albany Regency (informal group of Democratic leaders in New York), and politician Thad Stevens in Pennsylvania tried to use it to increase his power. Soon the new party was voting with the National Republican Party against the Jacksonians; by 1834 it had moved entirely to the 'right', for it helped found the reactionary Whig Party, which absorbed the Anti-Masonry Party in 1836."
     - Brian Francis Redman ("The Big C")

"By the 1880s eight Popes had already condemned Freemasonry when Freemasons urged that these condemnations had been based on erroneous information and were excessively severe. This led Pope Leo XIII to issue his famous encyclical Humanum Genus in 1884. Leo XIII classed Freemasonry as a grouping of secret societies in the 'kingdom of Satan' and, like the Greek Orthodox Church half a century later, stated that it wished 'to bring back after eighteen centuries the manners and customs of the pagans.'"
     - Stephen Knight, The Brotherhood

"There was nothing nefarious or subversive on the pope's part, Leo XIII was a troubled man. He felt deeply the great losses in church power, privilege, and wealth brought on by the democratic revolutions and developed such profound mistrust that he kept all of the gold of the Vatican in a box under his own bed. He truly believed democracy was evil, part of the 'kingdom of Satan', and that the Catholic church had a right and duty to oversee every secular government."
     - John J. Robinson, Born in Blood

"The principles of social science follow. Here naturalists teach that men have all the same rights, and are perfectly equal in condition; that every man is naturally independent; that no one has a right to command other; that it is tyranny to keep men subject to any other authority than that which emanates from themselves."
     - Pope Leo XIII, "Humanum Genus"

VATICAN CITY (1985) "The Vatican, clarifying its position on membership in Masonic lodges, said yesterday that Catholics who join such organizations commit 'grave sin'. The new reminder, in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, appeared to be aimed mainly at Catholics in the United States, where some have interpreted recent church statements as relaxing the 247-year-old ban on Masonic membership imposed by Pope Clement XII. A new code of Canon Law outlined on Nov. 25, 1983, omitted membership in the Masons in the list of offenses that incur automatic excommunication."
     - (UPI)

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(3) P2 Lodge and the Vatican Banking Scandal

"...The Agency, through some of its priest 'assets' in the Vatican, had placed six bugging devices in the Secretariat of State, the Vatican Bank and the Apostolic Palace, where the Pope actually lived and worked. The devices were sufficiently powerful to enable conversations to be overheard within rooms with walls thick enough to withstand artillery-fire. Working from 'safe houses' in high-rise buildings overlooking the Leonine walls of the tiny city-state, CIA operatives had recorded often highly confidential discussions about papal plans.
"The Agency's surveillance had increased since 5 July 1979, when Walesa [future president of Poland] telephoned the Pope asking whether John Paul would approve of the name 'Solidarity' being used for the fledgling union. Walesa had explained that he had selected the word from the pontiff's encyclical, 'Redemptor Homis' - a treatise devoted to the redemption and the dignity of the human race. At its core had been an appeal for 'acting together'. The significance of Walesa's request was not lost on the pontiff - or on the 'Department D's electronic eavesdroppers."
     - Gordon Thomas, Journey into Madness

The Italian Masonic Lodge P2 "provided a means of furnishing anti-Communist institutions in Europe and Latin-America with both Vatican and CIA funds. Calvi [who was found hanging under Blackfriars Bridge in London in 1982] also claimed that he personally had arranged the transfer of $20,000,000 of Vatican money to Solidarity in Poland, although the overall total sent to Solidarity is believed to have exceeded $100,000,000. Prior to his indictment for murder [of an Italian investigator], Michele Sindona was not only P2's financier, but the Vatican's investment counselor as well, helping the church to sell its Italian assets and re-invest in the United States. His services for the CIA included passing funds to 'friends' in Yugoslavia, as well as to the Greek colonels prior to their seizure of power in 1967. He also channeled millions of dollars into the funds of the Christian Democrats in Italy."

In March 1981, Italian police raided the villa of Licio Gelli, the ultra-right leader of P2. Although his files had vanished the index was discovered. Some of the headings included the Opus Dei, "Giulio Andreotti, currently Italian Foreign Minister and be a member of the Prieure de Sion. And they included the organization known officially as the Sovereign and Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem - the organization, that is, which today claims a direct lineal descent from the Knights Templar."
     - Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Messianic Legacy

"A list of [P2] members drawn up by Gelli contained the names of nearly a thousand of Italy's most powerful men. One prosecutor's report later stated: 'Lodge Propaganda Due is a secret sect that has combined business and politics with the intention of destroying the country's constitutional order.' "Among the names were three members of the Cabinet (including Justice Minister Adolfo Sarti; several former Prime Ministers including Giulio Andreotti who had held office between 1972 and 1973 and again between 1976 and 1979; forty-three Members of Parliament; fifty-four top Civil Servants; 183 army, navy and air force officers including thirty generals and eight admirals (among them the Commander of the Armed Forces, Admiral Giovanni Torrisi); nineteen judges; lawyers; magistrates; carabiniere; police chiefs; leading bankers; newspaper proprietors, editors and journalists (including the editor of the country's leading newspaper Il Corriere Della Sera); fifty-eight university professors; the leaders of several political parties; and even the directors of the three main intelligence services. "All these men, according to the files, had sworn allegiance to Gelli, and held themselves ready to respond to his call. The 953 names were divided into seventeen groupings, or cells, each having its own leader. P2 was so secret and so expertly run by Gelli that even its own members did not know who belonged to it. Those who know most were the seventeen cell leaders and they knew only their own grouping."

"Of the many political groupings in Italy, Gelli's files showed that only the Communist Party had no links with P2."
"Magistrates sifting the documents from the Villa Wanda [from whence Gelli had fled] found hundreds of top secret intelligence documents. Colonel Antonio Viezzer, the former head of the combined intelligence services, was identified as the prime source of this material and was arrested in Rome for spying on behalf of a foreign power."
"Fascist, torturer of partisans in the Second World War, friend and adviser of Peron and coordinator of right-wing corruption in Italy - was an agent of the KGB." "From the beginning Lodge P2 was a KGB-sponsored program aimed at destablizing Italy, weakening NATO's southern flank, sweeping the Communists into power in Italy and sending resultant shock waves throughout the western world."
"With the failure of the ministers, generals and admirals to cooperate with investigators, "NATO was forced to support the attitude of the corrupt Freemasons in Italy's armed forces. Officials in Brussels and Washington suggested discreetly that it was not the right moment to create a vacuum of power in the Italian army, navy and secret services."
     - Stephen Knight, The Brotherhood

"The P2 was more than a subversive political organization. The documents collected by the parliamentary commission show it was a kind of full-service international organization influencing everything from arms sales to purchases of crude oil."
     - Pino Ariacchi, sociologist at the University of Florence

Propaganda Due or P2 was "a lodge originally formed by the Italian Grand Orient as a lodge of research. In 1975 an Italian fascist named Licio Gelli was made the Venerable Grand Master of P2, and the following year that lodge was disavowed and suspended by the Grand Orient of Italy, so whatever it was, P2 ceased to be an official Masonic organization."
"...Gelli brought in Michele Sindona, the leading financial advisor to the Vatican. Then, in 1977, Sindona brought in Roberto Calvi, head of the Banco Ambrosiano in Milan, which was closely associated with the papal bank, one of its major shareholders....Calvi brought to the table his most valued contact, the Instituto per lo Opere di Religione, the Institute for Religious Works (the 'IOR'), a financial institution often erroneously referred to as the 'Vatican bank'. The IOR belongs not to the Vatican city-state, but to the pope alone."
"...The Banco Ambrosiano helped to set up foreign shell companies, including ten in Panama, which were controlled by the papal bank. Then the Banco Ambrosiano loaned these shells up to one and a third billion dollars. The papal bank also put in funds of its own, but not one in Rome will even hint at the amount or purpose of these extensive fundings."

When Archbishop Marcinkus, head of the IOR, invoked the Italian Concordat which guarantees Vatican sovereignty "when he learned he had been indicted by the Italian government." This decision was backed up by the Italian Supreme Court. "...The papal bank agreed to pay and paid over to the Banco Ambrosiano the incredible sum of 244 million dollars, while denying any guilt, or even any material involvement, in the great fraud. Together with the reputed loss of 450 million dollars, this means that the affairs between the papal bank and the Banco Ambrosiano cost the Catholic church almost 700 million dollars, over ten times the 1987 operating loss that Catholics all over the world were asked to make up with extra donations..."
     - John J. Robinson, Born in the Blood

In late 1983, "the pontiff had recently sent Archbishop Luigi Poggi to Moscow to begin secret discussions in the Kremlin on the prospect of coming to a mutually acceptable accommodation over Poland: the pontiff would control Walesa if the Church was given more freedom."
     - Gordon Thomas, Journey into Madness

"Though they are originated and resident in Italy, though they have the same duties and pay the taxes like all, the Italian Freemasons doesn't have the same rights: no more they can aspire to hold offices in a public bureau throughout the Italy, like the rest of the Italian citizens. It is the amazing conclusion of the junta of the region Marche: from the August 1996 a Freemason can work no more in the Marche's public bureaus and neither propose to hold in them any role."
"Italian Republic guarantees for whole the citizens the right to work (Clause 4 of the Italian Constitution), but the Marche's regional junta, which evidently retains of have ideas clearer than the constituent Fathers, has concluded that the Freemasons are not citizens like all the others, and therefore they could not aspire to equal right. In this region, from the fatidical 5 August 1996, it is necessary declare a "no membership in Masonic Lodges" for compete to a function in a local public bureau."

"These sinister, grim aspects have not escaped to any deputies of the Italian Parliament, that have presented an interpellation to the government on the manifest unconstitutionality of the Marche's law. The law, they affirm in the interpellation, "constitutes a serious damage to the liberty of thought and of association, guaranteed from our Constitution, and the equality of whole the citizens in front of the law; it seems instead that the Marche legislator has retained that the membership to a Masonic Lodge is equivalent tout court to be on trial or be condemned".
     - Maurizio Nicosia, WM Felsinea # 846, Grande Oriente d'Italia.

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