The Times, London UK
December 27 2017
Tom Kington, Rome
Strong links between Italy’s secretive freemasons and the mafia have been exposed by police raids, with 193 crime bosses found to be members of lodges in Calabria and Sicily.
The investigation has confirmed long-standing accusations by magistrates and mob turncoats that freemason lodges in southern Italy are often venues for secret deals with corrupt judges, politicians and business owners.
The mafia’s enthusiastic participation in freemasonry “has led some to believe that the two have become one and the same”, according to a report this month from an anti-mafia parliamentary commission. Masons were “acquiescent” and “tolerant” of the takeover, it added.
The raids were ordered after the heads of Italy’s four main freemasonry orders refused to hand over their membership lists. “It was impossible to get…