iD magazine - - History -

It should only be a sim­ple search war­rant— for the villa of the fascist Li­cio Gelli. But in the end, none of the in­ves­ti­ga­tors could have an­tic­i­pated what would fall into their hands. It was a list of 962 high-rank­ing mem­bers of a Ma­sonic Lodge that se­cretly ruled Italy: Pro­pa­ganda Due (P2). The dif­fer­ence be­tween P2 and other lodges: P2 is purely po­lit­i­cal. Its goal is an au­thor­i­tar­ian state— and unrestricted rule by the pow­er­ful. Its tools: bomb at­tacks, for which left­ist groups are blamed. Nearly 1,000 peo­ple from the world of pol­i­tics and busi­ness are mem­bers of P2— in­clud­ing min­is­ters, judges, and gen­er­als. The Lodge is also sup­ported by the CIA— with an an­nual pay­ment of $10 mil­lion. Fur­ther­more, 121 mem­bers of the Church are con­nected with P2— even though mem­ber­ship in a Ma­sonic Lodge is pun­ish­able by ex­com­mu­ni­ca­tion. And among the 121 Church rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the se­cret so­ci­ety are al­most all the lead­ers of the Vat­i­can Bank— as well as its main ad­viser and fi­nan­cial man­ager, Mafia man Michele Sin­dona, and his suc­ces­sor, Roberto Calvi, who’d come to be known as “God’s banker.” It is an un­holy trin­ity: The Vat­i­can Bank, the CIA, and Mafia in­flu­ence the pol­i­tics of na­tions in the Lodge. When P2 im­plodes in 1981, the public finds out for the first time that a se­cret so­ci­ety ruled them. P2 is out­lawed. But the Vat­i­can Bank fears no fall­out. It has even sur­vived a rebellious pope…

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