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Licio Gelli is Born

Today in Masonic History Licio Gelli is born in 1919.

Licio Gelli was an Italian financier.

Gelli was born on April 21st, 1919 in Pistoia, Tuscany, Kingdom of Italy. In the 1930's he volunteered for the Blackshirts, Voluntary Militia for National Security, a part of the National Fascist Party, when Mussolini sent them to aide Francisco Franco's during the Spanish Civil War. When he returned to Italy he got work in a mattress factory before he founded a textile and importing business.

In 1970 Gelli was part of the Golpe Borghese, a failed coup d'état. Gelli was designated to be the one arresting the Italian President. It was at this time that Gelli was also the Worshipful Master of Propaganda Due, more commonly known as P2. It was through P2, that Gelli had contact with various high level individuals in the Italian Government and abroad. One of those people was Juan Perón, the twice President of Argentina who was himself ousted in a coup d'état. Gelli claimed close times with Perón. Gelli stated that Perón was a mason and that Gelli was the one who introduced him to the fraternity. There was never any confirmation of this.

In 1976, P2 had it's charter revoked by the Grand Orient of Italy. Despite this P2 continued on as a clandestine lodge. Although they still clung to masonic rituals and protocols P2 quickly changed into a political force under Gelli. Just some of the alleged conspiracies that Gelli and P2 are alleged to have been associated with are:

The 1980 October Surprise Conspiracy - It is claimed that P2 aided then candidate Ronald Reagan by making sure that the American Hostages in Iran, a hot button topic in the 1980 election, would not be released until after Reagan's inauguration. There is no solid evidence of this.

That Gelli worked for CIA in Italy and had paid him to instigate terrorist activities in the country. This claim was supported by an alleged employee of the CIA who confirmed this fact. Later it was discovered that the alleged CIA employee in fact never worked for the CIA.

P2 was allegedly involved with the plot that removed the hands of Perón after his death. The hands were held for ransom by the people that cut off his hands with a chainsaw.

In 1981, an event Gelli is known to have been part of, was the collapse of Banco Ambrosiano Scandal. When the police raided Gelli's villa, they discovered membership lists for P2. On the list they found various high ranking members of the Italian Governement and Italian Military. There were also Mafia bosses and other underworld figures. On the list also was future Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

After the Banco Ambrosiano Scandal broke, there were several trials for Gelli with charges ranging from financial frauds, cover ups and revealing state secrets. The biggest of all of the crimes alleged came in 2005 when Gelli was indicted for the murder of Robert Calvi. Calvi, nicknamed "God's Banker", was directly involved in the Banco Ambrosiano Scandal, the Vatican bank was the principal shareholder in Banco Ambrosiano. Calvi had been jailed for his involvement in the scandal and somehow escaped jail and fled the country making his way to London. Calvi was found on June 17th, 1982 hung by the neck under Blackfriars Bridge in London. Calvi had $15,000 in various currencies on his person when he was found. In his coat pockets were found bricks to weigh him down. Gelli, along with a Mafia boss were tried for Calvi's murder and were eventually acquitted.

With the various charges brought against Gelli between 1981 and the time of his passing, he on numerous occasions was convicted and then had convictions overturned. If the original punishments had stood on all of the crimes he was initially convicted of, he would have spend the rest of his life in jail.

In 1996, Gelli was nominated for the Nobel Peace Price for Literature. He was supported by Mother Theresa. In 2003, in an interview he stated that Silvio Berlusconi was brining about the changes that he had started with P2.

Gelli passed away on December 15th, 2015.

Gelli joined P2 when it was a regular lodge under the Grand Orient of Italy.