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Licio Gelli

<em><b>Born</b> April 21, 1919 - <b>Died</b> </em>

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 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. At the time he was also the Worshipful Master of Propaganda Due, more commonly known as P2. It was through P2, Gelli had contact with various high level individuals in the Italian Government and abroad. One of those was Juan Perón, the twice President of Argentina who himself was ousted in a coup d'état. Gelli claimed close ties with Perón. He stated Perón was a mason and he was the one who introduced him to the fraternity. There was never confirmed.

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 they are alleged to have been associated with are:

The 1980 October Surprise Conspiracy - It is claimed P2 aided then candidate Ronald Reagan by making sure American Hostages in Iran, a hot button topic in the 1980 election, were held until after Reagan's inauguration. There is no solid evidence of this.

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

P2 was allegedly involved with the plot which removed the hands of Perón after his death. The hands were held for ransom after being removed 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 Government 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 the allegations 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, fleeing 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. 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 them overturned. If the original punishments had stood on all of the crimes he was initially convicted of, he'd have spent 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 Silvio Berlusconi was bringing about the changes 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.