Post WWII, Propaganda Due, or P-2, a clandestine fascist lodge grew bigger in Italy. It houses a number of influential members for most of its survival. However, it was at the center of terrible controversy and even trouble in the 1960s and 1970s, and many of its key members met unfortunate endings.
What Is Golpe Borghese?
The event that played an important role in P-2’s fate was Golpe Borghese.
In the 1960s, Italy faced many left-wing protests and labor unrest, which culminated in the Summer Autumn of 1969. The country faced hundreds of strikes, either generals or from communist-led workers. The fascist leaders of Ordine Nuovo and Avanguardia Nazionale entrusted themselves with the responsibility of stopping these attacks. Their first step was to seize power. It was then that Junio Borghese, a Mussolini loyalist nicknamed the “Black Prince”, formed another neo-fascist group called Fronte Nazionale. As expected, they borrow most of their members from Ordine Nuovo, or Avanguardia Nazionale. In 1969, National Front cells carried out a series of deadly bombings, officially accused of being carried out by anarchists and communists in accordance with the “Strategy of Tension”. Tensions continued to rise, culminating in a massive coup, Golpe Borghese, in December 1970.
The coup was codenamed “Tora, Tora”, in honor of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Although there are only about a thousand armed activists, many sections of the Italian military and security services are ready to help, since the heads of nearly all of these services are members of the P-2, to the point that Borghese and his allies later boasted. the clandestine support they get from the United States and NATO.
The fate of Golpe Borghese and P-2
Golpe Borghese’s coup plan was to seize the defense and interior ministries along with top government officials and the RAI television station. Licio Gelli, the P-2 master, leads a team tasked with capturing – or killing – Italian President Giuseppe Saragat. However, just before the coup, Black Prince Borghese canceled everything, then claimed that the government had been informed. Some people suspected that he just got cold, or maybe the original higher up architect had pulled him out. Borghese then fled to Spain and died suddenly in Cadiz in 1974. Although the official verdict was a heart attack, the signs indicated arsenic poisoning. Later, Gelli also fled to Spain, where he met the exiled Argentine dictator Juan Perón, who he later began to become a P-2.
Shortly thereafter, the P-2 reached Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. When Perón became leader of Argentina in ’73, Gelli took over the Italian embassy under his protection and made it his base of operations there.
However, Perón died in 1974, and Gelli eventually returned to Italy.
This is a transcript of a video series The Real History of Secret Societies. Watch now, at The Great Course Plus.
Italy after Gelli’s Return
By the time Gelli left, Italy had descended into the “Leading Years”, when terrorists from across the political spectrum carried out numerous bombings and assassinations. Many organizations, including the New Order, were banned. After all, it has resurrected under a new name: Ordine Nero or Black Order. The P-2 has also been watched, and the Italian Grand Orient has distanced itself by suspending lodging charters; this happened in 1976, but fell back to 1974. However, the P-2 had just returned to a clandestine inn, with Gelli at the helm, now allied with the Roman crime syndicate, Banda Della Magliana, whose leader was again a P -2 member. .
But the mischievous Masonic lodges are of the least concern to Italy.
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Money Laundering and Michele Sindona
One of the main concerns of the Italian authorities is Michele Sindona, who began working as a money launderer for the mafia in the 1950s. He was also connected to the Vatican and Pope Paul VI, who was associated with Borghese. Of course, Sindona was also a member of the P-2. His criminal empire, however, began to unravel in 1978, starting with the death of Pope Paul VI. The new administration began investigating corruption at the Vatican Bank, and focused on one of the Sindona fronts, Banco Ambrosiano.
Roberto Calvi, head of Banco Ambrosiano, is another P-2 member, as Ambrosiano’s largest shareholder is the Vatican Bank. When Ambrosiano failed, Vatican Bank lost $ 250 million.
To his surprise, the new pope, John Paul, was found dead just 33 days after his reign. Again, the official verdict is heart failure. If this sounds familiar, it’s probably because the story is only fictional in the film Godfather III.
Sindona and P-2 have also been implicated in other deaths. In March 1979, the murder of gangland journalist Carmine Pecorelli was linked to Banda Della Magliana and Stefano Delle Chiaie, the masterminds of the P-2 terror. (Chiaie, a fellow fascist from Gelli, is credited with inventing something called the “Strategy of Tension.” It imagines using terrorism, especially false terrorism, to create a state of insecurity and fear and then exploiting it.)
Interestingly, Pecorelli, too, was a member of the P-2, who apparently asked too many questions about the killing of former prime minister Aldo Moro. While the killer is known to have been a member of the left-wing Red Brigade, Pecorelli claims a major conspiracy, which he describes as “super clear powers”.
A few months later, state investigator Giorgio Ambrosoli, who had been investigating Sindona, was shot dead. Later, Sindona faked her own kidnapping and disappeared. He was finally arrested in the United States in 1980 and convicted of fraud. Four years later, he was extradited to Italy to face murder charges.
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The aftermath of the Sindona Investigation
The Sindona investigation eventually brought the Italian law enforcement agency Guardia in Finanza to Licio Gelli and registered P-2 membership. After that, Grand Orient Lodge tried to distance itself from the P-2 and officially expelled Gelli in 1981, and in 1982, abolished the P-2 entirely. Of course, none of these have succeeded in destroying thousands of members of secret societies, most of them anonymous.
In July 1982, Italian authorities confiscated a suitcase from Gelli’s runaway daughter. It hides the “Memorandum on the Italian Situation”, apparently written by Gelli.
Memorandum on the Italian Situation
The memorandum, drawn up around 1977, identified the P-2’s main enemies as trade unions and communists. Communists, then, must be kept away from government. Interestingly, Aldo Moro is an open political compromise activist. Again, this sparked more debate around P-2’s involvement in his death.
Furthermore, the P-2 was touted as the incubator of a new political and economic class to replace the rotten Italian Republic, which would be replaced by an authoritarian regime masquerading as a democratic trap. The operation will be funded by a massive war chest of 30-40 billion Italian liras, most likely provided by the Sindona company.
Controlling the media was essential, and it was soon discovered that P-2 member Roberto Calvi had financed the purchase of one of Italy’s most influential newspapers, Corriere della Sera.
Meanwhile, Calvi’s bank goes bankrupt and he flees to London, but is found dead on June 18, 1982. Although initially suspected of suicide, investigations point to clues linking his death to Masonry and Frati Neri, the secret name of P-2.
Sindona was convicted of murder in 1986, and was soon found poisoned in her cell.
Gelli, on the other hand, fled to Switzerland, then evaded Swiss authorities and fled to Chile, only to return to Switzerland in 1987, from where he was extradited to Italy.
Frequently Asked Questions about Golpe Borghese and P-2
That The Borghese Coup was a massive coup that was formulated in December 1970. Throughout the 1960s, Italy saw hundreds of strikes. While Ordine Nuovo had entrusted themselves with stopping these attacks, Junio Borghese formed the neo-fascist “Fronte Nazionale”, which borrowed most of its members from other fascist organizations.
After The Borghese Coup canceled, Junio Borghese fled to Spain and died suddenly in 1974. After that, Licio Gelli, master of P-2, also fled to Spain. From there, he deployed the P-2 to Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.
Michele Sindona, was money laundering for the mafia in the 1950s, and closely linked to the Vatican, Pope Paul VI, and also to Junio Borghese and P-2. However, with Pope Paul VI’s death, his actions at the Vatican Bank came under the spotlight, and he sought the help of Roberto Calvi, the man behind Banco Ambrosiano, another member of the P-2.
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