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BNL, P-2 & the Gnomes of Zurich

(excerpted from Chapter 14: Saddam’s Banker in Atlanta: Big Oil & Their Bankers…)

Banca Nacionale de Lavaro (BNL) had its US offices at the posh Peachtree Center in Atlanta.  From 1983-1989 BNL busied itself financing Saddam Hussein’s arms procurement efforts in tandem with the Iraqi Central Bank and Rafidain Bank of Iraq, which had numbered accounts at Bank of America, Bank of New York, Chase Manhattan and Manufacturers Hanover Trust. BNL’s clearing agent on all transactions was Morgan Guaranty Trust.

When Saddam defaulted on these US government-backed loans, the multinational corporations which benefited from BNL loans were paid in full, while US taxpayers were charged $347 million. [1]

BNL was Italy’s largest bank.  Its headquarters was across from the US Embassy in Rome.  The Rothschild-controlled Bank of America was first known as Bank of Italy. After founding the sleazy Bank of Credit & Commerce International (BCCI), it helped BNL arm Saddam Hussein.

A report by the Italian Senate stated that BNL Rome ran the Iraqi weapons procurement program and that BNL Atlanta was launched by “some circles in the American political-military-industrial complex”.  BNL was 96%-owned by the Italian government. It often transferred funds to Iraq using BCCI, where Saudi intelligence officers laundered drug money for the Medellin Cartel.

A 1981 Italian investigation revealed that five top BNL Rome executives, including director general Alberto Ferrari, were members of the Italian P-2 Freemason Lodge. [2]  P-2 had a penchant for working with South American dictators, fascist death squads and drug traffickers.

P-2’s activities affected the European continent as well.  P-2 Grand Orient Lodge leader Robert Calvi controlled Banco Ambrosiano.  Calvi was once invited to John Connelly’s Texas ranch where the two founded another P-2 front called Committee for the Defense of the Mediterranean.

Calvi was referred to as “God’s banker”. When Pope John Paul I launched an investigation into Banco Amrosiano and its connection to the Vatican bank Instituto per le Opere di Religione (IOR), he was found dead only thirty-four days after becoming the Holy See.

Calvi was shortly thereafter found hanging from scaffolding beneath Blackfriars Bridge in London with $15,000 cash in his pockets and a brick (a Masonic symbol) hanging around his neck.  Hours earlier Calvi’s secretary, Graziella Corrocher, was pushed through a 4th story window at Ambrosiano’s Milan headquarters.  She kept the books for the P-2 Freemasons. [3]

Nixon Treasury Secretary David Kennedy’s good friend Michelle Sindona was Robert Calvi’s partner at Banco Amrosiano.  Sindona funneled CIA cash to the Vatican and to European Christian Democratic Parties, which the CIA much preferred to the Socialists.  Sindona teamed up with IOR and the Vatican’s chief US banker Continental Illinois to buy Milan-based Banca Privata Finanziara (BPF) and Geneva-based Banque de Financement.

The consortium launched Moneyrex in Rome, which over 850 international banks used to move Italian mafia and P-2 heroin proceeds out of Italy. Much of this was laundered through the Vatican to Switzerland. [4]

Sindona had close ties to the Gambino crime family. He looted Franklin National Bank which, according to former Nebraska State Senator John DeCamp’s book The Franklin Cover-up, was at the epicenter of an international pedophile ring.

In 1969 Sindona was financial adviser to Pope Paul VI and the Vatican Bank became Ambrosiano’s biggest shareholder. [5]  In 1986 Sindona was convicted for ordering the death of estate liquidator Giorgio Ambrosoli, who was shot in 1979 after finding evidence of criminal activity while working at Sindona’s home.  Two days after being sentenced to life in prison, Sindona was found dead in his jail cell from cyanide poisoning.  Just before his death Sindona stated, “They are afraid I could reveal some very delicate information that they don’t want divulged.”[6]

In 1967 Continental Illinois sent $4 million through BPF to finance a CIA-sponsored right-wing coup in Greece that toppled the Socialists and gave rise to the November 17 underground left, which has since killed both US and British military officers and bankers.  During the 1972 elections Continental used BPF to channel $10 million in CIA funds to the Italian Christian Democrats.  In 1973 Continental CEO David Kennedy joined the board of FASCO, the Liechtenstein holding company which controlled Banco Ambrosiano.  FASCO was a CIA conduit for funding the Italian P-2 and had close ties with Gulf & Western Corporation, controlled by Chiquita cocaine moguls Carl Lindner and Max Fischer.

Continental made frequent loans to the Four Horsemen and was conduit for Chicago diocese funds controlled by CIA asset Bishop Paul Marcinkus, who helped the Company bankroll the Polish solidarity movement and now presides over the National Bank of Cicero – the BCCI immaculate resurrection based in the “Al Capone land” Chicago suburb of Cicero.  P-2 leader Calvi was paymaster to the Polish solidarity movement and helped the Vatican buy US properties, including the Watergate complex.  When Continental went under in 1973 Bank of America took control of it for pennies on the dollar at a bankruptcy auction.

The Vatican’s secretive Opus Dei, often referred to as the “saintly Mafia” was behind the ascent of Polish Cardinal Karol Wojtyla to Pope John Paul II.  The new Pope launched an Opus Dei/Vatican offensive to roll back Latin American liberation theology movements and East European communism. Robert Calvi had been on his way to meet with Opus Dei financiers the night his brick-laden body was discovered.

In its January 2004 issue, Counterpunch revealed that US Supreme Court Justice Anton Scalia is a member of Opus Dei.

Further south Calvi P-2 associate Stephen Delle Chiaie founded Patria y Libertad in Chile.  Delle Chiaie met frequently with Chilean fascist Augusto Pinochet, while P-2 worked with the CIA Trak II program to overthrow socialist President Salvador Allende.

Patria y Libertad and Delle Chiaie associate Michael Townley delivered P-2 violence to the streets of Washington in 1973 when he planted a car bomb killing Pinochet critic Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffit of the leftist Institute for Policy Studies. Letelier was on a hit list that was part of the same Operation Condor under which Chilean DINA agent Carlos Cardoen was smuggling weapons to Iraq.

Others on the CIA hit list were Chilean General Carlos Prats, Argentinean nationalist Juan Torres, Uruguayan politicians Hector Gutierrez and Zelmar Michelini, and Bolivian General Joaquin Zenteno. [7]

CIA Director George Bush, who’d already helped cover up the JFK hit, now suppressed evidence of DINA role (and possibly his own) in the Letelier and Moffit assassinations.  The bloodshed was far worse in Chile where Pinochet unleashed a reign of terror on the Chilean left.

Lucio Gelli, a pro-Franco Spanish Civil War veteran, was P-2’s founder.  He helped the OSS lay down the “rat line”, by which Nazi war criminals escaped to South America.  Gelli was an early version of Carlos Cardoen, negotiating numerous arms for oil deals on behalf of the Four Horsemen and CIA.  He served as economic consultant to Argentine strongman Juan Peron and was Ambassador of the Knights of Malta to Uruguay, a major South American drug money laundry where Vatican chum Umberto Ortolani owns a major bank.  Gelli was a business partner of Klaus Barbie and an honored guest at the 1980 inauguration of President Reagan.  Gelli claimed to be friendly with George Bush – honorary P-2 member and 33rd Degree Mason.

By 1981 Italian authorities had uncovered what one court document described as “a secret structure (that) had the incredible capacity to control a state’s institutions to the point of virtually becoming a state-within-a-state”.  In a search of Lucio Gelli’s home, police found a list of fellow Freemason collaborators that included three cabinet ministers, forty members of Parliament, forty-three military generals, eight admirals, intelligence heads, police chiefs of four major cities, industrialists, bankers, diplomats and celebrities. [8]

They also found a document titled The Strategy of Tension, which proposed fabricating terror to discredit the leftist Italian Red Brigades and to compel Italians to demand a more authoritarian fascist government.  The plan evolved from Gladio, a secret NATO strategy implemented after WWII that advocated an alliance between the mafia, CIA, Vatican and Knights of Malta.

In 1980 P-2 operatives bombed a Bologna train station killing 85 people, blaming it on the Red Brigades.  In 1978 Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro was kidnapped and murdered – again allegedly by the Red Brigades.  Both Moro’s widow and one his closest associates say Moro was told by Henry Kissinger to halt his stabilizing policies or “you will dearly pay for it”.  Kissinger was called as a character witness by ex-Italian Prime Minister Guilion Andreotti – a close friend of Lucio Gelli’s – who was being tried for mob involvement. [9]

A London Independent article stated that Moro’s murder may have been a CIA/P-2 hit.

P-2 financed Manzur al-Kassar’s top-secret CIA COREA heroin trafficking ring in Syria. The Italian media reported that P-2 was financed through a Panamanian company called Amitalia and claimed that part of the purpose for the US invasion of Panama was to destroy documents connecting George Bush, the CIA and P-2 Freemasons to the Lockerbie bombing.

P-2 recruited high-ranking South American military officials, ran guns and drugs, and supported both extreme right and extreme left parties, utilizing this “strategy of tension” to create a climate of fear conducive to military coups which would bring “law and order” fascists to power. [10]

The Vatican’s Opus Dei had strong ties to P-2 and Patria y Libertad South American fascist movements.  The CIA and P-2 propped up the narco-terrorist regime of Alberto Fujimori in Peru during the 1990s, through their Peruvian surrogate the National Intelligence Service, whose acronym is quite appropriately SIN.

Fujimori launched a state terror campaign against the Peruvian left, temporarily obliterating two Indian rebel groups, the Shining Path and Tupac Amaru.  In 1991 SIN killed seventeen civilians in the poor Lima suburb of Barrios Altos.  Two years later SIN disappeared nine university students and a professor in La Cantuta.  The head of SIN was Vladimiro Montesinos, who defended drug traffickers in court as a sideline.

In 1996 Tupac Amaru rebels seized the Japanese Ambassador’s residence in Lima and took several hostages.  Fujimori’s chief negotiator during the crisis was Bishop Juan Luis Cipriani – a right-wing Fujimori backer and member of Opus Dei.  SIN and Peruvian Special Forces tunneled into the house and ended the month-old standoff in typically bloody fashion, killing all the kidnappers.

One hostage who was released early was Kieran Metcalfe, a Canadian mining executive.  Metcalfe said of his captors, “I’m not sure if anybody took sides with the people involved, but I think many people developed some respect for these people (Tupac Amaru)”.

In 2001 SIN Chief Montesinos was found in the pay of drug traffickers and forced to flee to Panama to avoid prosecution.  President Fujimori knew he was next and fled to Japan – his ancestral home – where he was quickly given a teaching appointment at Kyoto University.  The new Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo requested that Japan extradite Fujimori to stand trial.  The Japanese government refused.

Toledo, a former World Bank executive, became increasingly unpopular due to his privatization agenda. Earlier this year Fujimori’s daughter ran for President of Peru. She was soundly defeated by the left-leaning Ollanta Humala.

In 1993 Argentine President Carlos Menem – a close friend of Citigroup and the Bush family – resigned amidst a major drug scandal.  Menem was just the latest in a series of crooks to run Argentina, long a favorite drop point for Southeast Asian HSBC-financed heroin entering Latin America.

In 1968 the CIA began training police and right-wing death squads in Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina to attack leftist revolutionary groups.  The region became an Orwellian nexus of bloody fascist dictators and CIA/P-2 drug running.

The Argentine juntas were particularly brutal.  The CIA used August Ricord’s Corsican heroin mafia to infiltrate leftist movements.  In Argentina Ricord smuggler Christian David infiltrated the Tupamoros revolutionary group which kidnapped CIA torture experts Dan Mitrione and Claude Fry.  Mitrione was executed. [11]

David recently stated from his prison cell that he was offered a contract to assassinate John F. Kennedy, but turned it down.  He said old money Sicilian banking families ordered the Kennedy hit.

In 1997 Mothers of Plazo de Mayo – an Argentine group of mothers whose sons and daughters died in that country’s CIA-sponsored genocide – accused the Vatican’s Envoy to Argentina from 1974-1980 – Pio Laghi – of playing a role in the tortures, disappearances and murders of their children.  Laghi was later Vatican Envoy to the US and currently heads the Congregation of Catholic Education, which oversees Catholic schools worldwide. [12]

Decades of drug corruption left the Argentine economy in shambles.  In late 2001 Argentina defaulted on its $132 billion debt to international banks led by Citigroup.  Argentine protestors attacked banks, the Argentine peso was severely devalued and the IMF issued its typical austerity demands.  Five Presidents later, Argentina has yet to comply with IMF demands and remains cut off from international lending.

The directorate that presides over the P-2 Freemasons who terrorized South America and armed Saddam through BNL is based in Switzerland at the Alpina Lodge.  Members of the Alpina Lodge Directorate include Stephan Delle Chiaie, Lucio Gelli, Club of Rome founder and depopulation advocate Aurelio Peccei and Henry Kissinger.

The Alpina Lodge is joined by every Swiss banker worth his salt.  The Alpina power-brokers are often referred to as the Gnomes of Zurich.  The Alpina Lodge, Banco Ambrosiano, P-2 and Lucio Gelli have all been linked to Priory of Sion through a pro-Nazi French group known as Alpha Galates. [13]

P-2 predecessor P-1 was founded by Guiseppe Mazzini, the 33rd Degree Grand Master Mason of the Grand Oriente Lodge in Rome, whose name is synonymous with mafia.  Mazzini’s P-1 did not consist of the illiterate Italian restaurant goons which the US corporate media likes to pass off as the mafia, ala The Godfather, The Sopranos, etc.

Rather P-1, P-2 and Freemason lodges worldwide – which house the real mafia – are chartered by the delicate tea-sipping white glove hands of the Duke of Kent in London – who answers directly to his cousin Queen Elizabeth II, the Bush family relative who presides over the British House of Windsor. [14]

Numerous Priory of Sion documents housed in the French National Library were published by the Alpina Lodge.  French journalist Mathieu Paolio claims to have seen these same documents in the Alpina library.  A short time after publishing a book detailing the Priory’s interest in the Merovingan bloodline, Paolio was reassigned to Israel where he was executed as a spy.

Other Priory of Sion documents which list genealogies for the Merovingan dynasty were held at Silver Triangle player Lloyd’s of London until 1979.  All Englishmen connected to the Priory are executives at a huge insurance firm known alternately as Guardian Assurance and Guardian Royal Exchange Association. [15]  All have aristocratic titles or are connected to international banking, the Churchill family or British Intelligence.

[1] “Bankrolling the War”. Jim Donahue. Multinational Monitor. March 1991. p.6

[2] Shell Game: A True Story of Banking, Spies, Lies, Politics and the Arming of Saddam Hussein. Peter Mantius. St. Martin’s Press. New York. 1995. p.101

[3] Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History that Connects the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons and the Great Pyramids. Jim Marrs. HarperCollins Publishers. New York. 2000. p.258

[4] Hot Money and the Politics of Debt. R.T. Naylor. The Linden Press/Simon & Schuster. New York. 1987. p.52

[5] In Banks We Trust. Penny Lernoux. Anchor Press/Doubleday. Garden City, NY. 1984. p.146

[6] Marrs. p.259

[7] The Great Heroin Coup: Drugs, Intelligence and International Fascism. Henrik Kruger. South End Press. Boston. 1980. p.204

[8] Marrs. p.257

[9] Ibid. p.258

[10] Naylor. p.78

[11] Kruger. p.78

[12] “Group Accuses Papal Envoy of Role in Argentina’s Dirty War”. AP. Missoulian. 5-21-97

[13] Dope Inc.: The Book that Drove Kissinger Crazy. The Editors of Executive Intelligence Review. Washington, DC. 1992. p.367

[14] Ibid

[15] The Robot’s Rebellion: The Story of the Spiritual Renaissance. David Icke. Gateway Books. Bath, UK.

Dean Henderson is the author of five books: Big Oil & Their Bankers in the Persian Gulf: Four Horsemen, Eight Families & Their Global Intelligence, Narcotics & Terror Network, The Grateful Unrich: Revolution in 50 Countries, Das Kartell der Federal Reserve, Stickin’ it to the Matrix & The Federal Reserve Cartel.  You can subscribe free to his weekly Left Hook column @

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