According to news reports and former members,
the national (UK) and international leadership of the Baha’i
branch of Islam were solidly behind the removal of Saddam in
Iraq, but for their own reasons. Islamic religionists were
frozen out of Saddam’s secular Baath socialist government. The
Baha’i leadership saw the removal of Saddam as an opportunity to
expand their worldwide membership of over three million. It is
not clear what the Baha’i attitude is toward the occupation of
Iraq now that Saddam is gone and the Baath Party has been
One of the minor controversies raised during
the course of the Hutton inquiry was the allegation that Kelly
had made disparaging remarks about the “dossier” at a private
meeting in the home of a fellow member of the Baha’i, Roger
Kingdon. About thirty invited members of the Baha’i were
present. Kelly had given a slide presentation on Iraq WMD, but
the alleged remarks were made during a question and answer
portion of the meeting.
However, potentially the most controversial
item to come out of the Hutton inquiry is a little noted piece
of “evidence” submitted by the Thames Valley Police (TCP).
Listed among the items submitted by the TVP is an exhibit titled
“TVP Tactical Support Major Incident Policy Book.” The name
given to the effort is Operation Mason.
In 1997, Tony Blair’s election manifesto
promised to compile a register of freemasons in public life. In
February 1998 Blair’s new government (put out by then Home
Secretary Jack Straw) required all new appointments to the
judiciary, police, legally qualified staff of the Crown
Prosecution Service and probation and prison services to declare
membership in Masonic organizations. Existing government
employees in those categories were encouraged to voluntarily
announce such membership. Few have come forward.
The government’s action was the culmination
of anti-Masonic fervor dating back as far as 1869 when Rev. C.G.
Finney in his book, “The Character, Claims and Practical
Workings of Freemasonry” inveighed against the Masons with the
“Can a man who has taken and still adheres to
the oath of the Royal Arch degree be trusted in office? He
swears to espouse the cause of a companion of this degree when
involved in any difficulty, so far as to extricate him from the
same, whether he be right or wrong. He swears to conceal his
crimes, murder and treason not excepted. He swears to give a
companion of this degree timely notice of any approaching danger
that may be known to him. Now is a man bound fast by such an
oath to be entrusted with office? Ought he to be accepted as a
witness, a juror--when a Freemason is a party, in any case--a
sheriff, constable, or marshal; ought he to be trusted with the
office of judge or justice of the peace? Gentlemen, you know he
ought not, and you would despise me should I not be faithful in
warning the public against entrusting such men with office.”
Another author, Anthony Beevor, was told by a
leading Mason that all thirteen members of the Army Management
Board were Masons (in 1991). The board comprises a mix of
politicians and top army officers. It exercises authority over
all forms of appointments, ranking and promotion in the army.
The chairman of the Commons Home Affairs
Committee, Chris Mullin, is said to have been considering
legislation to mandate that members of the criminal justice
system be required to reveal if they are freemasons.
However, that proposal was dropped (at least
temporarily) after 5,000 Masons from London’s 1,585 lodges met
to establish a new central organization. They were led by Prince
Edward George Nicholas Paul Patrick Windsor, Duke of Kent. He
and his wife present the trophies at Wimbledon every year and is
less well known in his position as head of the English
Freemasonry movement. The Duke and Duchess, after selling their
own home in Coppins, now live in two residences supplied by the
Queen at Anmer Hall and St. James Palace.
At the meeting, the Masons protested the
contemplated mandatory declarations as a violation of the 1998
Human Rights Act. There are an estimated 300,000 Masons in
England and Wales.
An Italian government was brought down
following a 1981 investigation of the (former) P2 Masonic lodge.
Consecrated in 1895, the P2 lodge included elite members from
the Italian government, military and intelligence services and
bankers serving the Vatican and mafia. The P2 Grand Master, an
Italian named Licio Gelli joined the CIA and worked in league
with mafia banker Michele Sindona and president Roberto Calvi of
the Banco Ambrosiano, which collapsed in the Vatican banking
scandal. Gelli himself was expelled from Masonry in 1976. As a
result of the scandal, the Italian government banned secret
Calvi, twenty years ago, was found hanging
from a bridge over the Thames River in what was thought to be a
suicide. However British authorities have reopened the case and
are now calling it murder and may prosecute three men and a
woman for the crime. The motives conjectured include his
mishandling of mafia money and/or potentially blackmailing P2
The timing of the reopening of the Calvi case
could be more than a coincidence considering the civil trial due
to begin next month against the Bank of England for its role in
the supervision and closing of BCCI. The mafia, CIA, British
intelligence, the Mossad an assorted terrorist and drug
trafficking organizations used BCCI for laundering money.
However, Lord Hutton’s report on his inquiry
into the circumstances surrounding the death of microbiologist
David Kelly is due out in the same time frame. It undoubtedly
will dominate news coverage as BBC and politicians try to blame
each other for the supposed “suicide” of Kelly and the debate
over the “dossier” justifying the war against Iraq. The capture
yesterday of Saddam Hussein and its attendant publicity may be a
wild card in the public relations battle.
It is not clear why the TVP named its
tactical support Operation Mason. It could be a red herring or
just a taunt to the anti-Masonic movement. It possibly could be
a straightforward reference to support of a Masonic operation.
But what was that operation?
One thing this writer can confidently
predict, the Hutton report will label Kelly’s death a suicide
giving no credence to any of the evidence that points
conclusively to murder.
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Part 2 | Part 3
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5 | Part 6 |
Part 7 | Part 8 |
Part 9 | Part 10
Correspondence with Rowena Thursby
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