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Propaganda Due or P2 was an irregular or "black" Masonic lodge that operated in Italy from 1877-1981, headed in its final decades by Licio Gelli. P2 was implicated in numerous Italian crimes and mysteries, including the nationwide bribe scandal Tangentopoli, the collapse of the Vatican-affiliated Banco Ambrosiano, and the murders of journalist Mino Pecorelli, Prime Minister Aldo Moro, and banker Roberto Calvi. P2 came to light through the Banco Ambrosiano scandal. P2 was also involved in Gladio's strategy of tension (Gladio being the name of Italy's secret "stay-behind" North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) paramilitary organization). Between 1965 and 1981, the P2 lodge entered the Italian political process by sending its members into the judiciary, the Parliament, the army and the press.
P2 was sometimes referred to as a "state within a state" or a "shadow government". The lodge was peopled by prominent journalists, parliamentarians, industrialists, and military leaders -- including the then-future Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi; the Savoy pretender to the Italian throne Victor Emmanuel; and the heads of all three Italian intelligence services.
When searching Licio Gelli's villa, the police found a document called the "Plan for Democratic Rebirth", which called for a consolidation of the media, suppression of trade unions, and the rewriting of the Italian Constitution.
Beside Italy, P2 was also active in Uruguay, Brazil and especially in Argentina's "Dirty War" (with Raúl Alberto Lastiri, Argentina's interim president from July 13, 1973 until October 12, 1973; Emilio Massera, who was part from 1976 to 1978 of the military junta led by Jorge Rafael Videla; José López Rega, minister of Social Welfare in Perón's government and founder of the Argentine Anticommunist Alliance ("Triple A"), and Guillermo Suárez Mason, in charge of the Batallón de Inteligencia 601 as members).
The lodge was founded in 1877, under the Grande Oriente d'Italia ("Grand Orient of Italy"), as a lodge for visiting members unable to attend their own lodges. In the mid 1960s, it had only 14 permanent members, but when Licio Gelli took over in the 1960s and 1970s, he rapidly expanded the membership to over 1,000 (most of whom were prominent and elite Italians) within a year. The expansion was almost certainly illegal, as Italian civil servants are generally forbidden to join secret societies. 
"God's Banker" Roberto Calvi's connections with the Worshipful Master Licio Gelli became a particular focus of press and police attention, and caused the lodge (then secret) to be discovered. A list of adherents was found by the police in Gelli's house in Arezzo in March 1981, containing over 900 names, among which were very important state officers, some important politicians (four ministers or former ministers, and 44 deputies), and a number of military officers, many of them enrolled in the Italian secret services. Notably, the then future Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi was on the list, although he had not yet entered elective politics at the time. Another famous member was Victor Emmanuel, Prince of Naples, the current head of the House of Savoy. A document was also found in the possession of Licio Gelli titled "Piano di Rinascita Democratica" (Democratic Rebirth Plan) which amounted to a declaration of the lodge's intent; essentially, Gelli's goal was to form a new political and economic elite to lead Italy towards a more authoritarian form of democracy, in an anti-communist perspective. "The objective of the division of the trade-union must be a priority," the Plan stated, "in order to allow the reunification with the autonomous unions of those confederal components sensitive to the Plan's actuation".
Then-prime minister Arnaldo Forlani was forced to resign, causing the fall of the Italian government. Giovanni Spadolini of the Italian Republican Party (PRI) was then appointed, leading a center-left coalition. Spadolini was the first Italian prime minister not belonging to the Democrazia Cristiana ("Christian Democrats") party. All the secret services' heads, among them Vito Miceli, had to resign.
Parliamentary commission directed by Tina Anselmi
The lodge was then examined by a special commission of the Italian Parliament, directed by Tina Anselmi of the Democrazia Cristiana. The conclusion of the commission was that it was a secret criminal organization, even if no proof was found of specific crimes committed. Allegations of surreptitious international relationships, mainly with Argentina (Gelli repeatedly suggested he was a close friend of Juan Perón) and with some people suspected of belonging to the American Central Intelligence Agency were also partly confirmed; but soon a political debate overtook the legal level of the analysis.
New Italian law prohibiting "secret lodges"
Even though outlawed by Benito Mussolini in 1925, masonic institutions have been tolerated in Italy, but a special law was issued that prohibited secret lodges. The Grande Oriente d'Italia, after taking disciplinary action against members with P2 connections, distanced itself from Gelli's lodge and claimed to have respect for only honest Freemasons. Other laws introduced a prohibition on membership in such organizations for some categories of state officers (especially military officers). Such laws have been recently questioned by the European Court of Human Rights. Following an action brought by a serving British naval officer, the European Court has established as precedent the illegality of any member nation attempting to ban masonic membership for military officers, as being a breach of their human rights.
Banco Ambrosiano scandal
P2 became the target of considerable attention in the wake of the collapse of Banco Ambrosiano (one of Milan's principal banks, owned in part by the Vatican Bank), and the suspicious 1982 death of its president Roberto Calvi in London, initially ruled a suicide but later prosecuted as a murder. It was suspected by many that some of the plundered funds went to P2 or its members.
Aldo Moro and the strategy of tension
It has been repeatedly alleged that P2 was involved in the assassination of Prime Minister Aldo Moro, murdered by the Red Brigades, after the Italian Security Services refused to strike a deal with the abductors, but no concrete proof was ever found. It has also been suspected that P2 was involved in the 1980 Bologna massacre as part of the strategia della tensione followed by "stay-behind" secret NATO clandestine structure Gladio, which led to the opening of investigations, in the 1990s, by the Italian Chamber of Deputies.
Licio Gelli's list of P2 members found in 1981
Over 900 names (including Gelli); it has been said that at least a thousand names are still secret. It included 30 generals, 38 members of parliament, 4 cabinet ministers, former prime ministers, intelligence chiefs, newspaper editors, TV executives, businessmen, bankers, 19 judges, and 58 university professors.
* Michele Sindona, banker linked to the Mafia * Roberto Calvi, "banker of God" * Antonio D’Alì, owner of Banca Sicula (his son, Antonio D'Ali Jr., is senator of Trapani, elected on Forza Italia's list) * Silvio Berlusconi, businessman, founder of the Forza Italia political party & former Prime Minister of Italy * Victor Emmanuel, Prince of Naples * Antonio Amato, Cagliari * General Vito Miceli, chief of the SIOS (Servizio Informazioni), Italian Army Intelligence's Service from 1969 and SID's head from October 18, 1970 to 1974. Arrested in 1975 on charges of "conspiration against the state" concerning investigations about Rosa dei venti, a state-infiltrated group involved in the strategy of tension, he later became an Italian Social Movement (MSI) member * Federico Umberto d'Amato, leader of an intelligence cell (Ufficio affari riservati) in the Italian Minister of Interior, former chief of the police under Mussolini  * Aldo Alasia, Buenos Aires * Luis Alberto Betti, Buenos Aires * Antonio Calvino, Buenos Aires * Cesar De la Vega, Argentina * Raúl Alberto Lastiri, Argentina's interim president from July 13, 1973 until October 12, 1973. * Emilio Massera, with Orlando Ramón Agosti, he was part from 1976 to 1978 of the military junta in Buenos Aires, led by Jorge Rafael Videla * José López Rega, Argentinian minister of Social Welfare in Perón's government, founder of the Argentine Anticommunist Alliance ("Triple A") * Alberto Vignes, Argentinian minister * Argentinian amiral Carlos Alberto Corti * Guillermo Suárez Mason, Argentine army officer in charge of the Batallón de Inteligencia 601 * Maurizio Costanzo, Italian journalist and television anchorman of Mediaset programs (Mediaset is Berlusconi's commercial television empire) * Franco Di Bella, director of Corriere della Sera * Angelo Rizzoli, owner of Corriere della Sera, today cinema producer * Tassan Din, general director of Corriere della Sera * Massimo Donelli, director of TV Sole 24 hours * Paolo Mosca, former director of "Domenica del Corriere" * Gino Nebiolo, at the time director of Tg1, has been now sent to direct RAI in Montevideo * Franco Colombo, ex-correspondent of RAI in Paris, aspirant to P2, now vice-president of the society in charge of the Montblanc Tunnel * Fabrizio Cicchitto, former Italian Socialist Party (PSI) member, now in Forza Italia * Alberto Sensini, aspirant to P2 * Roberto Memmo, who did a lot to help Michele Sindona, is now director of the Fondazione Memmo per l'arte e la cultura, based in Palazzo Ruspoli in Rome * Rolando Picchioni, ex-Democrazia Cristiana deputy, now secretary of the Salone del libro di Torino * Giancarlo Elia Valori, the only member of P2 who had been expelled (possibly because he was trying to gain a bigger role than Licio Gelli), is now president of the Associazione industriali di Roma * Roberto Gervaso, Italian journalist and writer * Colonel Giuseppe Belmonte, member of the Servizio per le Informazioni e la Sicurezza Militare military service, who maintained links with the Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari (NAR) terror group, suspected of being responsible of the 1980 Bologna massacre * Journalist Carmine Pecorelli (assassinated on March 20, 1979, he had drawn connections in a May 1978 article between Aldo Moro's kidnap and Gladio ) * Colonel Italo Poggiolini * Giovambattista Palumbo * General Pietro Musumeci * Twll Dydindi Pharoh * Giuseppe Siracusano * Giovanni Allavena * Franco Picchioni * Giulio Grassini * Colonel Antonio Labruna * Colonel Manlio del Gaudio * General Giuseppe Santovito * Judge Giuseppe Renato Croce * Judge Giovanni Palai * Walter Pelosi (director of CESIS from 1978 to 1981) * Gustavo Selva, journalist and National Alliance deputy * Pietro Longo, secretary of the Italian Democratic Socialist Party (PSDI) * Publio Fiori, Democrazia Cristiana deputy, transferred to National Alliance in 1994, minister under Berlusconi's government * Antonio Martino, minister under Berlusconi's government (aspirant to P2) * Duilio Poggiolini * Massimo de Carolis, Democrazia Cristiana in the 1970s, now member of Forza Italia, ex-president of Milan's municipal council thanks to Berlusconi's help * Angelo de Carolis, politician * Mario Tedeschi, politician * Enrico Manca, socialist politician * Pierluigi Accornero, businessman * Mario Lebole, businessman * Jorge de Souza, Brazil * Pedro dos Santos, Brazil * Claudio Perez Barruna, Costa Rica * Osvaldo Brama, Dakar * Guido Ruta, United States * Randolph K. Stone, Los Angeles, USA * Dott. Hatz Olah, Melbourne, Australia
|“||Everything which has been going on in Europe is due to a Masonic-leftist conspiracy of the political class in collusion with Communist-terrorist subversion in the social sphere.||”|
—Francisco Franco, October 1975, final speech to the Spanish people in Madrid.
- The list of P2 members
- List of P2 members
- Text of the Democratic Rebirth Plan
- Reproduction of original P2 membership card for Silvio Berlusconi
- An image listing some of the members of P2
- Article by Gianni Barbacetto
- Philip Willan, personal website of journalist and author with information on Roberto Calvi, Banco Ambrosiano, Licio Gelli, Propaganda Due.