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Propaganda Due

Propaganda Due or P2 was a Masonic lodge operating under the jurisdiction of the Grand Orient of Italy from 1877 to 1976 (when its charter was withdrawn), and a pseudo-Masonic or "black" or "covert" lodge operating illegally from 1976 to 1981. During the 1980s, when the lodge was headed 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 and banker Roberto Calvi. P2 came to light through the investigations into the collapse of Michele Sindona's financial empire.

P2 was sometimes referred to as a "state within a state" or a "shadow government". The lodge had among its members 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 Raul 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; Jose Lopez Rega, minister of Social Welfare in Peron's government and founder of the Argentine Anticommunist Alliance ("Triple A"), and Guillermo Suarez Mason, in charge of the Batallon de Inteligencia 601 as members).


"Propaganda" was originally founded in 1877, in Turin, as "Propaganda Massonica". This lodge was frequented by politicians and government officials from across Italy who were unable to attend their own lodges. and included prominent members from the Piedmont nobility. The name was changed to "Propaganda Due" following the Second World War when the Grand Orient numbered its lodges. By the 1960s, however, the lodge was all but moribund, holding few meetings. This lodge has, however, little to do with the one Gelli established in 1966, two years after becoming a freemason himself. He took a list of "sleeping members"members who were not invited to take part in masonic rituals anymore, as Italian freemasonry was under close scrutiny by the reigning Christian Democrats. From these initial connections, Gelli was able to extend his network throughout the echelons of the Italian establishment.


It has been argued that the Grand Orient of Italy expelled Gelli and P2 in 1976. In 1974 it was proposed that P2 be erased by the Grand Orient of Italy, which was carried overwhelmingly. However in 1975 a warrant was issued for a new P2 lodge by the Grand Master. In 1976, The Grand Orient of Italy suspended, but did not expel, the lodge on Gelli's request. Gelli was still active in the Grand Orient's national affairs in 1978, financing the election of a Grand Master. In 1981 a masonic tribunal decided that the 1974 vote had meant that the lodge had already been erased and that the lodge had been illegal all along.


"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 , 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.

Criminal organization

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. Allegations of surreptitious international relationships, mainly with Argentina (Gelli repeatedly suggested he was a close friend of Juan Peron) 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 , 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 DAli, owner of Banca Sicula

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 Les USA derriere les "annees de plomb", Resistances, note 2

Aldo Alasia, Buenos Aires

Federico Carlos Barttfeld, Buenos Aires, 479

Luis Alberto Betti, Buenos Aires

Antonio Calvino, Buenos Aires

Cesar De la Vega, Argentina

Raul Alberto Lastiri, Argentina's interim president from July 13 1973 until October 12 1973.

Emilio Massera, with Orlando Ramon Agosti, he was part from 1976 to 1978 of the military junta in Buenos Aires, led by Jorge Rafael Videla

Jose Lopez Rega, Argentinian minister of Social Welfare in Peron's government, founder of the Argentine Anticommunist Alliance ("Triple A")

Alberto Vignes, Argentinian minister

Argentinian amiral Carlos Alberto Corti

Guillermo Suarez Mason, Argentine army officer in charge of the Batallon 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 Ruspoliin 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

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

Further reading

deHoyos, Art. "The methods of anti-Masons." 1997. [*], accessed 23 December 2006

Jones, Tobias. The Dark Heart of Italy. New York: North Point Press, 2003.

Unger, Craig. "The war they wanted, the lies they needed." Vanity Fair. July 2006. [*], accessed 23 December 2006

Philip Willan, The Last Supper: the Mafia, the Masons and the Killing of Roberto Calvi, Constable & Robinson, 2007(ISBN 978 1 84529 296 6)

See also

Banco Ambrosiano scandal

Licio Gelli, P2 grand master

Iran-Contra affair

Savings and Loan crisis

Strategy of tension


Dirty War


Conspirator: The Story of Licio Gelli

External links

Article by Gianni Barbacetto

(mentions P2 as part of its storyline)

Philip Willan, personal website of journalist and author with information on Roberto Calvi, Banco Ambrosiano, Licio Gelli, Propaganda Due.

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