Incidental incuiry-Freemasonry

David Bruce dave_bruce at
Tue Aug 3 03:23:35 MDT 1999

At 02/08/99, you wrote:

>I sometimes think that the rituals of many of the marxist sects are
>reminiscent of Masonery.
>Jim Monaghan

Debatable - ritual aside, the general standard of personal conduct among
the leaders of freemasonary is probably higher than it is amongst many
recent self-styled leaders of the left-leaning sects. I speak from

Masons are known for rolling up the legs of their trousers whilst "leaders"
of the political sects seem more prone to taking them off at inappropriate

Freemasonary is an interesting story, which has its origins in anti-feudal
currents in the Enlightenment. It is now, of course, right-wing from top to
bottom although possibly rather less pervasive than some conspiracy-theory
journalists like to suggest.

However, do you remember the scandals around Roberto Calvi, director of the
Vatican's bank, Banco Ambrosiano? He, Chicago's Cardinal Marcinkus and
others bled the bank dry in disastrous speculation in the 1970s and early
80s. Calvi was heavily involved in P11, an elite Italian Masonic Lodge, as
were other senior officials and clerics at the Vatican. Membership was
supposedly punishable by excommunication.

Calvi ended up in London in 1982 looking either for funds or for a way out.
Instead he was found hanging from a bridge over the Thames in what was
widely seen at the time as a Masonic killing, with rumours of arms dealing
in the recent Falklands war, etc etc.

It was, of course, entirely conicidental that, soon afterwards, the Duke of
Kent, the Grand Master of whatever it is that makes you the boss, quietly
obtained papal dispensation for his divorce, despite his masonic links.

Earlier, Pope John-Paul I had promised to clean up corruption in the
Vatican, especially in its banking, when he was elected in 1978. (He also
undertook to reform the church's rulings on birth-contol, which he regarded
as brutal and oppressive.) But he was dead within a month of taking office.
Rumours that he was assassinated still persist. The first American Pope,
John-Paul II, has been the incumbent ever since and his less liberal record
is well known.

As I recall, Marcinkus was wanted by the Italian authorities and could not
set foot outside the Vatican. (There is no extradition treaty.) As I
remember, he stayed there, almost a prisoner, until he died.


David Bruce, Strathaven ML10 6QF, Scotland
Tel: +44 1357 440459 Fax:+44 1357 440464

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