Friday, June 20, 2008

Italy: Operation Hiram Links Mafia to "Masons"

The Italian Press is breathlessly reporting the arrest of "prominent" Freemasons as part of a Mafia crackdown in Palermo.

In a story from June 17th:

Eight 'prominent' arrests were made by the police of Trapani and Agrigento last night, the conclusion of an investigation by the Anti-mafia District Department of Palermo into attempts to slow down legal proceedings against members of the mafia with the help of members of the Freemasonry. One of the arrested is Michele Accomando, entrepreneur in Mazara del Vallo (Trapani), already arrested in 2007, charged with mafia membership. The man is member of the loggia "Gran Serenissima" of the Freemasonry of Trapano. An official of the Finance Ministry working in Agrigento, Calogero Licata was also arrested, as well as a businessman from Agrigento, Nicola Sorrentino, and an employee of the Court of Cassation, Guido Peparaio, employee of the registrar's office of the second penal section of the Court of Cassation. But according to the investigators the key figure is another arrested, the Roman wheeler-dealer Rodolfo Grancini.


According to another article,

The probe is investigating alleged collusion between Mafia bosses and members of masonic lodges to delay trials pending at Italy's court of cassation.

Under Italy's statute of limitations, cases automatically lapse after a certain period of time if the trial has not been completed.


Of course, the irregular and unrecognized "Freemasonry of Trapano" has nothing to do with the three competing primary grand lodges in Italy - the Grand Orient of Italy (in amity with most mainstream US GLs), the Regular Grand Lodge of Italy (in amity with the UGLE), or the Grand Lodge of Italy (in amity with the Grand Orient of France). According to Brother Aristide Luca Ceccanti, this "Gran Serenissima" is one of more than 60 different bogus groups that make up just 5% of Italy's Freemasons. But the Italian press still refers to the P2 lodge as "Freemasons" even when they know better, so it shouldn't be a surprise. Freemason-bashing still sells papers in Italy.

Other reports are referring to the arrests as part of "Operation: Hiram." Senator Giuseppe Lumia was quoted as saying, "There is a perverse relationship between the Mafia and capillary and sectors of Freemasonry in our country, but every time this button is tapped, there was, even in the media, a strange conspiracy of silence, even by the police. The mafias are powerful because of their ability to pollute and weaving relationships with other central powers, among them these secret lodges. The next Anti-Mafia Commission should investigate this connection with courage and rigour..."

5 comments:

The Millennial Freemason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jose Ruah said...

As you refer, very well, the group caught by the police in this operation is not at all representative of the Italian Freemasonry.

But selling newspapers and prime time television works much better if the Headlines are "Freemasons Caught .....".

In Italy and in some other countries, it's recurrent to have such news.

What's important for Freemasonry is to clarify that these people are not freemasons but "use the brand" for own purposes, that normally are not "kosher".

José Ruah

PS: hope your getting better

The Millennial Freemason said...

José,
What is the main purpose of these bogus Lodges? Are they used in money laundering, racketeering, etc.?
Just curious.
Nick J.

Jose Ruah said...

I´m no expert in these matters. But normally these lodges start as dissdents from the recognized Freemasonry.

There might be some that follow masonic principles and are pure dissidents, and others that start with influence exchanges and from there to crime.

But caution should be in order once not all dissidents are "maffiosi" or Criminals.


José

lambdavi said...

Hello to all.
The problem with Italian bogus Masonic Lodges is that there is no law in Italian Jurisprudence to deal with "trade corporations", so anyone can call himself "plumber" or "electrician" even if they don't know zilch about the trade. By extension of this principle, any private club can call themselves "Knights of Columbus" or "American Legion" even if they have no relation at all with the real associations in the USA bearing those names. Unfortunately, this means that the prime three Masonic Associations cannot prohibit anyone calling their freewheeling business club "Masonic Lodge"... and the real ones get into trouble because of this.