The dubious suicide of God’s banker: there is one secret society who some conspiracy theorists believe are behind this mysterious death ... of Roberto Calvi, who was a member of the defunct Masonic Lodge P2 ... On the 18th June 1982 Blackfriars Bridge in London became the focus of a murder mystery that put Freemasons in the line of fire. A discovery is made at dawn: the discovery of a well-dressed body found hanging under the bridge. His wallet is stuffed full of cash. A fake passport and his pockets are full of bricks. Freemasons on Trial
This was one of the most high-profile deaths of the twentieth century. Some believe that freemasonry stems from stone-masonry, and for that reason some people thought that the bricks found in Roberto Calvi’s pockets were a possible link to freemasonry. And there is London itself which is the spiritual home of freemasonry, where the idea of this modern secret brotherhood was born. Then there’s Blackfriars Bridge, just a Tube stop from the Grand Lodge of England and within sight of St Paul’s Cathedral. Built by masons under the supervision of the brotherhood’s greatest architect, Sir Christopher Wren. Roberto Calvi was a member of P2, a renegade Masonic Lodge. And Friars was apparently a nickname P2 called themselves. London police soon ruled his death a suicide, a desperate man on the run. His life collapsing around him. It could have been possible that Roberto Carlo chose to end it all: but to his son Carlo it all didn’t add up. ibid.
These allegations whether true or not eventually led the authorities to become suspicious and the scandal was derailed. P2 was officially shut down in the summer of 1981 after police raided Gelli’s home and found a list of P2 members. This had drastic consequences for Roberto Calvi and ultimately lead to his downfall. ibid.
On the 18th of June 1982 Blackfriars Bridge in London became the focus of a murder mystery that put the Masons in the line of fire. A grisly discovery is made at dawn: the body of a well-dressed man is found hanging under the bridge. His wallet stuffed full of cash along with a fake passport and pockets filled with bricks. The body was identified as Roberto Calvi. Calvi was the chairman of Banco Ambrosiano, Italy’s largest private bank, with close ties to the Vatican. The tabloid press exposed a mass of scandal and financial embezzlement. Calvi was also a member of P2, a clandestine quasi-Masonic Lodge run by a powerful Italian financier Licio Gelli, a former envoy of Mussolini’s. Lost Symbol: Fact or Fiction
This is the body of God’s banker. At 7:30 a.m. June 18th 1982 his body was found swinging from Blackfriars Bridge. The cause of death – asphyxiation by hanging ... Roberto Calvi was the man people called God’s banker. Now technically he was more like the Pope’s banker but that doesn’t sound quite as impressive. Anyway, he earned his rather grand title by becoming head of Italy’s largest private bank, and more importantly, getting mixed up in the Vatican’s complicated finances. Now he was a powerful and well-connected man. So why did he end up hanging from scaffolding here under Blackfrairs Bridge in London? Calvi wasn’t just connected to the Vatican. He also had links with the Mafia and Italian Freemasons. He had a lot to hide and a lot of secrets to tell. Simon Reeve, Conspiracy: The Pope and the Mafia Millions, 2006
Everything really started to go wrong for Calvi when the debts at his bank spiralled out of control. It got worse: Calvi was arrested for currency fraud. During his time inside he started to talk. He committed the ultimate banker’s crime and began spilling his clients’ secrets, With his bank facing financial collapse Calvi now had every reason to flee Italy ... The Vatican, the Mafia, the Italian Freemasons, he knew all their darkest secrets and was threatening to expose them. ibid.
He had enough drugs back at his flat to do the job quietly and probably painlessly. There was also no suicide note. Calvi’s family found it hard to accept the original Inquest verdict of Suicide. A second Inquest returned an Open verdict ... There were no struggle marks on Calvi’s body. ibid.
There was no shortage of suspects. When Calvi fled to London he took a briefcase along with him ... It was full of incriminating documents linking Banco Ambrosiano to all sorts of shady dealings. And the contents were said to be so important to Calvi that he even slept with the briefcase; he never let it out of his sight. But after Calvi’s death the briefcase was nowhere to be found. ibid.
Then in a bizarre twist the briefcase surfaced on Italian television. The contents were poured over live on Italian national TV. It had all sorts of interesting stuff in it – Calvi’s wallet, his driving licence, even a false passport. But by this stage of course most of the incriminating documents had vanished. So could Calvi really have been killed for the contents of his briefcase? ibid.
Calvi was a member of a Masonic Lodge in Italy the members of which wore black robes and called each other Friars – Black Friars. ibid.
The head honcho at the P2 was this man – Licio Gelli. Gelli got Calvi to join his P2 Lodge so that he could turn Calvi’s bank into the perfect vehicle for financing the P2’s rather questionable activities. Like backing right-wing dictators in Latin America. And accepting CIA money to cement terrorism. And then there’s the arms dealing. P2 were alleged to have supported the Argentine government in the Falklands war, even supplying them with Exocet missiles. All of these funds passed through Calvi’s bank. ibid.
He would talk about they being after me and not being specific who they were. He didn’t really tell me anything ... This was a man who was frightened, who was hunted, and who was aware that the end probably wasn’t far off. Robert Cornwell, author, televised report of 1982 meeting with Calvi
The P2 Freemasons’ Lodge was a network of protectors – it’s the old Freemason thing – it’s a network, it’s a brotherhood, and the brothers help each other. But it was a kind of parallel and rather dodgy Freemasons’ Lodge which had as its members many many powerful people from all walks of life. Robert Cornwell
In July 1990, President Cossiga of Italy called for an investigation of charges aired over state television that the CIA had paid Licio Gelli to foment terrorist activities in Italy in the late 1960s and 1970s. Gelli was grandmaster of the secret Propaganda Due (P2) Masonic Lodge and had long been suspected of a leading role in terrorism and other criminal activities. In those years, according to a 1984 report of the Italian Parliament, P2 and other neo-fascist groups, working closely with elements of the Italian military and secret services, were preparing a virtual coup to impose an ultra-right regime and to block the rising forces of the left. Noam Chomsky, Deterring Democracy
Red Brigades (RB): Marxist-Leninist terrorist group founded in 1970. Kidnapped DC president Aldo Moro in 1978, killed him after 55 days. Terrorists always maintained they acted independently but search for Moro perhaps influenced by P2 Lodge. Il Divo 2008 starring Toni Servillo & Anna Bonaiuto & Flavio Bucci & Carlo Buccirosso & Piera Degli Esposti & Alberto Cracco & Giorgio Colangeli & Massimo Popolizio & Aldo Ralli & Giulio Bosetti et al, director Paolo Sorrentino, opening glossary
P2 Lodge: Anti-Communist Masonic secret society founded during Cold War. Run by Licio Gelli, 972 known members: politicians, reporters, businessmen, military, secret service personnel. Objective was to install an authoritarian government. Silvio Berlusconi was also member. ibid.
Roberto Calvi appropriated a substantial sum belonging to Gelli & Calo. Calvi’s suicide was staged. Calvi was strangled by Francesco di Carlo on Pippo Calo’s orders. Pippl Calo was a very important man in Cosa Nostra; he’s capable of using his brain; he was Cosa Nostra’s man in Rome. ibid.
The story of an Italian banker: for a while he had the Midas touch; he masterminded a financial empire. It enriched fascists and priests. Bankers and swindlers. When it all crashed, the scandal reached even to the inner sanctum of the Catholic church. Tonight: the story of the man called God’s Banker. Frontline PBS & BBC Panorama: God’s Banker ***** PBS February 1983
Calvi’s Italian bank was in big trouble. ibid.
It’s a puzzle to which we have some of the pieces … Power, politics and the Catholic church … The investigation was triggered by the death of Roberto Calvi. ibid.
Calvi was inducted into an illegal cell of Italian Freemasons … ibid.
It was the Vatican’s cash assets Calvi helped to manage. ibid.
This is the headquarters of Calvi’s bank in Nassau. [Archbishop] Marcinkus was a director of the bank: very unusual for an Archbishop. ibid.
Gelli was also the Grandmaster of an illegal ultra-secret political society of Italian Freemasons. In the 1970s he inducted almost a thousand of Italy’s most powerful men in clandestine rituals here in Rome’s Excelsior hotel. Gelli created an organisation of the radical right, a state within a state, taking in government ministers, generals, heads of corporations and major banks like Calvi. Even the head of the Italian secret service. They called themselves Propaganda Due, and when they were uncovered in March 1981 the scandal brought down the Italian government. ibid.
Gelli persuaded Calvi to buy 40% of Italy’s largest and most prestigious newspaper, the Corriere Della Sera. ibid.
Calvi invested heavily in extreme right-wing anti-communist newspapers in Uruguay and Argentina. Gelli’s closest contact in South America was the Argentinian dictator Juan Peron. ibid.
P2 and the ultimately respectable but also secretive Vatican were using Calvi’s bank to move money for political purposes. P2 was exposed in March 1981. ibid.
Italian authorities became suspicious of Calvi’s deals on the Milan stock exchange. ibid.
Too much was becoming public and Calvi began to fear for his life. ibid.
We don’t know why Calvi was taken to London. ibid.
The programme [Gladio] was closely linked to a Masonic league known as P2 or Propaganda Due. It was made up of military and intelligence officers, political leaders, industrialists, Mafioso, bankers and even Vatican contacts. Counter-Intelligence: Shining a Light on Black Operations s1e3: The Strategy of Tension, 2013
Milan: The massacres … where Italy lost its innocence … The start of what would become known as the Years of Lead. Years of Lead: An Italian Conspiracy, Youtube 52.11, 2022
Friday, December 12th 1969: At 4.37 p.m. a bomb devastated the central hall of the National Agrarian Bank, the Piazza Fontana. ibid.
Then within the hour four further bombs went off in Milan and Rome. ibid.
The result of a conspiracy and the template for the wave of terrorist attacks to come. ibid.
The ‘black lead’ was the one that led to the far right. ibid.
Gladio, the double-edge sword: one of the best kept secrets of the post-war period. The codename for the secret army intended to lead the resistance against any potential Soviet invasion. ibid.
July 1970: A bomb on a train in Calabria. 6 dead, 50 injured. ibid.
May 1973: A grenade outside the Milan Prefecture. 4 dead, 52 injured. ibid.
1974: A bomb on the Italicus train between Rome and Brennero. 12 dead, 44 injured. ibid.
Secret protection ensured the impunity of the true perpetrators of this terrorist plot: a small fascist group called Ordine Nuovo (New Order), a veritable nerve centre of black terrorism. ibid.
‘A hidden structure linked to the Italian and American secret services.’ ibid. convicted bomber
Bologna railway station, Saturday August 2nd 1980: 85 dead, more than 200 injured. ibid.
If the instigators of the massacre were never discovered, it is undoubtedly thanks to the manoeuvres of this man, Licio Gelli … the venerable master of a Masonic lodge known as Propaganda Due, or P2. ibid.
Gelli emerged from the shadows in 1981 during investigations into the collapse of a bank, implicating the Mafia, the Vatican’s banker and P2. ibid.