Origins of a Fake P2 List

The Italian website and Youtube channel, Italia Misterio, is a helpful source of authentic evidence in the search for clues about Masonic infiltration into the Vatican’s financial departments. In fact, it is a good source of material on Vatican intrigues and Masonry in general.

New videos are being constantly released, which show photographs, newspaper clippings and testimonies from witnesses at the trials of some of the most infamous Vatican-related personalities like Licio Gelli, Michael Sindona and Roberto Calvi. Even Archbishop Marcinkus and Pope John Paul I occasionally get a mention.

One video entitled “The Real P2 List” caught my eye. This article looks at the content of that video, with some facts checked and a few more details added.

Licio Gelli’s List

On March 17, 1981, Gelli’s Abruzzo villa was searched by members of the Guardia di Finanza. The search had been secretly ordered by Magistrate Gherardo Colombo, who was hoping to find missing money belonging to the Vatican-swindler Michele Sindona. Sindona and the primary accomplice in his staged kidnapping, the Freemason Joseph Micalli, had both been seen in the Arezzo area prior to the raid. Apparently, Micalli was ostensibly visiting his dentist, but Colombo was suspicious.

The raid on Arezzo’s villa found nothing of interest, but a search of Gelli and Micalli’s Company Giole, which operated as a front for their illegal activities, turned up something very interesting. Police found a suitcase full of documents, the most notable of which was a list of one thousand names of men said to be members of the infamous P2 Lodge.

Immediately upon the document being found, Orazio Giannini, the General Commander of the Guardia di Finanza, confided to his employees that his name would be on the list. Among others on the list were: two government Ministers, five Undersecretaries, 33 Parliamentarians, twelve Generals of the Carabinieri, five Generals of the Guardia di Finanza, 22 Italian Army Generals, four Air Force Generals and many magistrates and state officials, including Silvio Berlusconi. Also included on the list were Gelli himself, as well as other personalities linked to financial scandals involving the Vatican Bank – Roberto Calvi, Michele Sindona, Umberto Ortolani and Mino Peccorelli.

The discovery of the list and the subsequent raid on the Grand Lodge’s Rome headquarters led Italy’s Grand Orient Lodge to cut its ties with Gelli. In 1982, it is said to have dissolved P2 completely.

Although there is little doubt that the organisation has remained active in some form, discovery of the list and legal action against its corrupt, high-ranking members was the beginning of the end of P2’s popularity. Rumours began to circulate suggesting that P2 had never been a legitimate Lodge and that it was part of a KGB plot to destabilise Europe. While it is true that P2 members were implicated in murderous terrorist attacks, it is more likely, as author Martin Short suggests, that the Grand Lodge of London started those rumours to discredit P2. Until that time, the London Lodge had enjoyed a close relationship with its Italian counterpart: later it was in danger of becoming tainted by the scandals surrounding P2.

Gelli escaped to Switzerland where he was arrested, then escaped again and fled to Chile. A bizarre story links Gelli to the desecration of the body of former Argentine President Juan Peron. Peron’s hands were removed and a ransom (which was not forthcoming) was sought. Apart from the money angle, it is thought that the removal of the dictator’s hands was related to an occult practice designed to empower the new owner with Peron’s political charisms.

Gelli Approaches the Masons

According to Italia Mysterio, Gelli later approached his old Lodge, seeking to rejoin it. Gelli allegedly took the list of names to the Grand Master of the Great East Lodge, Ennio Battelli, who flipped through the file, then thrust it back at Gelli, saying, “I’ve never seen it. Take it back.” Gelli apparently tried again with Battelli’s successor, Giuliano Di Bernardo, who also refused to have anything to do with the list.

Gelli remained on the run for many years until he was finally found guilty of a string of crimes and imprisoned. He died in 2015.

Licio Gelli’s will apparently included a map showing the location of 163kg of gold ingots buried at his property in Arezzo. The will also pointed to a huge property and investment portfolio owned by Gelli, which included 172,000 ha in Paraguay, 14 palaces, part ownership in two companies, an orange plantation in Brazil and a 30 ha residential development package in Argentina.

Where are the Cardinals?

Assuming even part of this strange tale is true, we are left with many questions: What did Gelli hope to achieve by taking the list to the Grand Orient Lodge? Blackmail? Influence? If, as the author at Italio Mysterio suggests, this list was fake, then why would Gelli risk trying to pass it off as the true list to the very men who were sure to know the identities of P2’s members, that is, the Grand Masters?

Several theories suggest that Gelli was never the real head of P2. One theory is that this was instead Giulio Andreotti, the Italian politician. There are also rumours of a super-lodge, even more secret and more exclusive than P2.

Another theory is that this was all a huge hoax designed to throw suspicion away from the man believed by Italio Mysterio to be the real head of P2, that is: Umberto Ortolani. With all of this in mind, it is possible that the true P2 list is stashed safely away in an archive somewhere in one of Gelli’s former estates in Paraguay?

If this list was accurate, then where are the prelates whom we have been told – quite credibly – were Masons: Cassaroli, Villot, Tauren, Ravasi – none of these are included in this “P2” list? Remember, Gelli’s list was found only three years after the mysterious death of Pope John Paul I: the man who was ready to completely reshuffle the Curia in order to remove the one hundred or so prelates who had already been identified as Masons.

Is there a connection between the international scrutiny of P2 and the Vatican’s weak pronouncement of the incompatibility of Masonry and Catholicism in the 1983 Code of Canon Law?

What of the presence of the many Argentinian Masons on Gelli’s list? Is it a coincidence that the man who would become Pope was Provincial of the Jesuits in Argentina at the same time P2’s active membership included a strong Argentinian presence?

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