More Info on Frank B. Gigliotti and Associates
by Terry Melanson, Dec. 27, 2019
I’m not sure what impact my previous investigation on the life and times of Frank Bruno Gigliotti has made in the relatively closed community of deep politics (or parapolitical) research. A few mainstream historians have privately given it praise, however.
Since “Frank Gigliotti: Minister, Freemason, OSS and CIA” was published in late 2015, there’s been a few relevant developments that are worth reporting.
Gigliotti’s 1950 autobiography, The Fabulous Frank Gigliotti, was posted by Giacinto Butindaro. Gigliotti’s ability to self-promote was unmatched, so much of the information in the short 22-page booklet had previously been published in newspapers. He’s a “[s]trange mixture of mystic and showman,” says the booklet. “Frank has always had that flare, that spark that touched off reporters’ typewriters.”
A Sept. 1952 letter Gigliotti sent to President Truman, is posted below in its entirety for the first time. (Previous excerpts were printed in Daniele Ganser and Michele Metta). Gigliotti was friends with Gen. Harry H. Vaughan who in turn happened to be best friends with President Truman. All three were masons and it was Vaughan who’d personally vouched for Gigliotti, more than once, to the CIA in early 1950.
Dr. Frank B. Gigliotti
3777 Gigliotti Drive
Lemon Grove, California
September 30, 1952
Hon. Harry S. Truman
President of the United States
My dear President Truman:
Some months ago while talking with Margaret Vaughn [sic] at their home, I told her that I felt that General Bedell Smith would let you down the first opportunity that he had, and that I had definite and positive information that the Dulles Brothers who had engineered the investigation against Harry Vaughn [sic] would take advantage of their official position to cut you to ribbons.
During this last year while National Commander of the Regular Veterans Association I had at my disposal considerable information that I felt was very pertinent to the security of the United States. I passed this information on through Harry’s office with the intent that it should get to the top of the C.I.A. It was always pidgeonholed [sic] and no consideration was given to it because I was considered one of the Donovan boys.
I want you to know, my dear President, that we loved you and respected you and defended your flanks in season and out of season, through the churches, through political organizations, and before the general public, for after all, I feel that no President of the United States has given of himself more wholeheartedly than you have in solving the problems that have confronted us as a sovereign people.
The statement of General Bedell Smith last night that “There is no security organization in the government of the United States into which Communists have not infiltrated themselves,” is a shame upon him for you gave him every opportunity to clean them out. What has he been doing all this time besides nursing his ulcers if this is true, and to a certain degree it is true? The only exception may be the F.B.I.
You will remember that a little over a year ago I made the statement that what we needed to head Central Intelligence was a man who gave ulcers to the enemy and not who allowed the enemy to produce ulcers in his own system and in thinking of the Nation. I feel that though he has rendered a great service as a General in the field during World War II and though the Nation owes him a great debt, as Ambassador to Russia and now as Chief of C.I.A. he has been a perfect dud.
I once made this statement that Hillencotter [sic] should go and drown in the sea of blood of American soldiers and sailors that he was responsible for because of his unwillingness to listen to people who knew what the score was for we had given him information before the attack came on Korea of when Communists would strike (information which we had received from missionaries who were in the field). You may check the accuracy of this statement with a telegram of a La Mesa editor of pictorial news to Harry Vaughn [sic].
General Bedell Smith has made Central Intelligence a boarding house for retired admirals and generals at a rate of $50 a day or more, plus their retired pay that they are already receiving to the extent that the consultant staff of C.I.A. is often referred to as Smith’s boarding house for broken-down flag officers. There has been time after time when accumulated material was ready to be presented to Smith at staff conferences and did not appear because of his ulcers and his prancing prima donna deputy, Mr. [William Harding] Jackson who had been out to all hours at social functions had to sleep in the next day and did not appear either. Colonel after Colonel commanding sections of C.I.A. became so disgusted that they asked to be transferred to the field. Another large number have had nervous breakdowns, so-called, and this should be checked immediately because I am informed that it is the largest number of breakdowns of any branch of the government.
I am sending you this information as your friend, and I am asking these questions not only as your friend, but as one who has consecrated and dedicated his life to helping lake our beloved America a place where future generations will be proud of the fact that you were President of the United States, and that those who lived before them did, under God, the things that they felt were right so that free institutions might be preserved.
Mr. Smith should be brought to task. Again I say, if these things were true, why didn’t he tell them to you before instead of giving them to the newspapers just before elections. I feel that he has betrayed all of the confidence that you have placed in him.
With regards and prayers, I remain
Frank B. Gigliotti
Past National Commander
Regular Veterans Association
Frank reminds Truman that he is close with the Vaughan family, had warned them about Gen. Bedell Smith and the inevitable intrigue of the Dulles Brothers. Gigliotti informs the president that he’d passed on to the CIA, through Harry Vaughan, intelligence pertinent to national security but speculates the plan was shelved due to his previous association with William Donovan and OSS.
Privately acknowledging US intelligence organizations had been infiltrated by the Soviets, Gigliotti agrees with the essential details of Bedell Smith’s slip up while testifying at a deposition (and the subsequent headlines the morning after).
He has disdain for Bedell Smith and the previous DCI Hillenkoetter: the latter was warned about imminent attacks in Korea by Gigliotti and others, but did nothing; and Smith was a Roman Catholic which was reason enough for caution and distrust in Gigliotti’s world view.
Further complaints against Bedell Smith, besides the continuous disparaging of his health, is cronyism, unprofessionalism and extreme mental fatigue within the ranks. It also appears Gigliotti was indeed employed by the CIA during this period, having intimate knowledge, at the highest level, of the agency’s day-to-day workings.
The last recommendation that Bedell Smith be “brought to task” was accomplished only after Truman left office, into the second month of President Dwight Eisenhower’s tenure. Smith’s replacement was Allen Dulles; Gigliotti no doubt disapproved of that pick as well.
Michele Metta published CMC. THE Italian Undercover CIA AND MOSSAD Station and the Assassination of JFK in 2018. There are certain inflated interpretations of events surrounding Gigliotti and associates, as originally recorded in the P2 Investigation documents and interviews, scholarly and newspaper articles and historical investigations of FOIA requests and other secret services and state archives.
Metta sets the stage early announcing a main argument, leaving the reader hopeful that evidence to substantiate will soon follow. After having acquired business documents of Centro Mondiale Commerciale (CMC, Permindex etc.), he proclaimed his text will recount “the clearest and most innovative picture of the death of John Kennedy ever made: a conspiracy fueled by an international masonic pact against JFK, and involving the CIA, Mossad, and Italian Intelligence” (p. 10-11).
Some masonic documents were turned over to the P2 Commission which recounted how Frank Gigliotti had spoken against Kennedy and his Roman Catholicism, essentially trying to again meddle in official Italian politics, religion and policy. In America such rhetoric was par for the course since the beginnings of catholic immigrants to the new world. Gigliotti was a born again pentacostal and thought that his fellow Italians might be persuaded, especially given the fact that most of his contacts were fellow freemasons traditionally at odds with the unchecked power of monks and priests.
Michele Metta writes that after Kennedy became a candidate, “articles and letters began to come out of the US crying foul.”
America, a country built with the contribution of Masonry, where every President before becoming one must become a Freemason, could actually have a Catholic President! An American President cannot follow two Masters! America and the Pope. (Metta 13; neglected citation of the P2 document, however.)
“[T]he collaboration requested from the European Freemasons” was worrisome to Enzo Milone and his native brethren; encouraging the masons to propagate “the Protestant idea as much as possible – to find every possible reason to attack the Catholic Church – to influence Italian emigrants in the U.S. to vote against Kennedy” (Commissione Parlamentare D’inchiesta Sulla Loggia Massonica P2, Volume VI, Tomo XIV, p. 874ff).
Gigliotti might have turned a blind eye to the fact that there were official channels with Presidential envoys in the 1930s, and during WWII, OSS and Vatican (not to mention mafia) cooperation was crucial.
Journalist Gianni Cipriani wrote in l’Unita Nov. 1991, formal relations between the Vatican and the US can be traced from 1939 with mutual exchange of intelligence reports. Communism was a common threat to traditional western values, and political stability. The Pope’s Jesuits could be counted on for discrete intrigue; the CIA funded them as well, according to Cipriani. The cooperation was a form of “Gladio bianca” [White Gladio] during the cold war and indeed into the years of lead. As reported by Peter Tompkins, an OSS agent in Italy during WWII, Harold Tittman was representing the Vatican on behalf of Pope Pius XII, forming an organization to fight communists and control domestic politics. Tompkins even provided an “organizational chart.” Directed by Enrico Gasparri, it included “Monsignor Montini [future Pope Paul VI], father Roberto de Boynes, Jesuit general, Pietro Boetto, cardinal and archbishop of Genoa and the right-wing fundamentalist, Cardinal Camillo Caccia-Dominiani.”
Metta further quotes Milone: “For this purpose, to Italy came Doctor Frank Gigliotti, protestant pastor and a representative of American Masonry” (Metta 13). That is, to conspire against the Church and indeed the candidacy of Kennedy. Quoting from Milone’s previous sentence (not in Metta), Gigliotti was there to use “existing Protestant organizations in Italy and the Communists” and that gaining control of Palazzo Giustiniani was part of that plan because it was the traditional headquarters of the Italian Grand Orient whose many members were known socialists and communists.
In reality Gigliotti was there to right a wrong — the confiscation of the masonic headquarters — and on behalf of the Sovereign Grand commanders of the Northern Jurisdiction of Scottish Rite Freemasonry, to unite the varying Italian factions into one rite, gaining recognition from regular grand lodge masonic bodies. Gigliotti was a passionate defender of masonry and an adept persuader and negotiator. The attachments at the end of Milone’s letter are articles from the New Age Magazine (official organ of the Scottish Rite Council) during the era. Scottish Rite masons were more political throughout the 20th century, especially when it came to church and state matters. Papal paranoia was there lurking every few articles, as opposed to many catholic publications that could be entirely based upon fear of a masonic agenda.
As an evangelical, a main theme of Giglioti’s pastoring was thwarting various encroachments of catholicism in political and diplomatic discourse. This activism was at variance with official secret US policy of cooperation. The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), of which Frank Gigliotti was vice-chairman of the Commission on Christian Liberty had long been opposed to the unofficial ambassador Myron Taylor and admonished their flock in sermons, journals and pamphlets to oppose it on political and spiritual grounds. After concerted efforts to sway public opinion through the press, Taylor was forced to resign, prompting a quick approving response by NAE signed by Gigliotti, and Frederick C. Fowler, Chairman of the Commission on Christian Liberty. Essentially, they objected to Taylor’s inability of acknowledging other faiths in Italy besides Roman Catholicism, turning a blind eye to certain abuses in villages where missionaries were trying to establish themselves (The Covenanter Witness, Vol. XLIV, Num. 1, Jan. 4, 1950, p. 64).
Michele Metta cites an interview of P2 member Bruno Rozera in l’Espresso but doesn’t quote directly, summarizing it as: “Rozera, who was a member of the P2 lodge, revealed that the organizer of Gigliotti’s mission in Italy to sign the pact against JFK, was Giuseppe Pièche.” (p. 17) I cited this, as well, in my first article. “Rozera goes on to discuss both Elvio Sciubba and Gigliotti,” I wrote. “Rozera admitted to having been friends with Sciubba and was under the impression that it was the latter who brought Gigliotti to Italy, perhaps with the aid of General Giuseppe Pièche.” The Italian article was more specific (as best a translation that I can provide): “I believe he came to Rome at the expense of General Pièche, or Sciubba, or Freemasonry itself. And Gigliotti made contact with Malfatti, Francesco Malfatti, diplomatic adviser to the President of the Republic, Giuseppe Saragat.”
Of all the documents and accounts I reviewed and searched for, Gigliotti is never associated with General Pièche. Malfatti, I can believe; given how Gigliotti had official diplomatic dealings with Giuseppe Saragat and also on behalf of his evangelical/freemasonic lobby. Metta overreaches when he writes “Rozera … revealed that the organizer of Gigliotti’s mission in Italy to sign the pact against JFK, was Giuseppe Pièche.” Rozera’s impression was noncommittal, at best, plus there are many masonic documents that outline the purpose of the meetings, and submitted into evidence at the P2 Investigation. Further details are fleshed out in my early study in the sections titled “Pressure Politics: Evangelical-Scottish Rite Alliance” and “Of Grand (Orient) Concern.”
The expenses for Gigliotti’s trip to Italy to settle the dispute of Palazzo Giustiniani were amply provided by Masonic associations involved, including one founded by Gigliotti himself: American Citizens’ Committee for Justice to Italian Freemasonry (or American Friends for Justice for Italian Freemasonry) in 1958. Headed by his friend Admiral William H. Standley, with members including “Goodwin J. Knight, former governor of California; 33° Christian A. Herter, U.S. Secretary of State, former Governor of Massachusetts (1953-57), prominent CFR member since 1930 and a Bilderberg attendee … Sidney R. Baxter, Assistant to the Scottish Rite Sovereign Grand Commander, Northern Jurisdiction; Scottish Rite Sovereign Grand Commanders George E. Bushnell and Luther A. Smith, Southern and Northern Jurisdiction respectively” (Melanson, 2015). Gigliotti may very well have had dealings with General Pièche, Milone, Sciubba, and Malfatti. But there is no evidence to assume a “pact” against Kennedy.
The important part to Michele Metta is for Gigliotti to be established as a link to General Pièche, who was a member of the board of directors at CMC. “[T]he confession of Rozera about Pièche” (p. 19) isn’t really a confession at all in the original Italian interview. Rozera, in plain speak, merely says he “believes” that the trip was paid by either “Pièche or Sciubba, or Freemasonry itself.” That Pièche is CMC connected and former Finance Minister Giuseppe Trabucchi through the latter’s son-in-law, Metta writes: “Therefore, there is ample evidence so far to sustain that CMC was behind the pact against JFK.” We are only at page 19 of book. The translator must have switched the word ‘flimsy’ for ‘ample.’
Another quote from Metta regarding Gigliotti:
A member from the U.S.A. Br[other] Frank GIGLIOTTI, member of the C.l.A. – arrived in Italy, contacted [the masonic group of] Piazza del Gesu [Jesus Square] and proposed a series of political and religious obligations for the unification of Italian Freemasons (for example, an anti-clerical stance, oppose the nomination of Kennedy for President of the U.S.A., considering that, as a Catholic, he would not be able to serve two bosses: Church and State, etcetera.). While this discussion was going on, GIGLIOTTI contacted the Grande Oriente.(GAMBERINI) and [ … ] assured America that the unification of the two [masonic] families had already been accomplished. Consequently, America recognized Grande Oriente as the only legitimate Freemasonry in Italy. At the same time, GIGLIOTTI managed to obtain privileges from the Italian government for Grande Oriente (lease of the headquarters of Palazzo Giustiniani for another 23 years for 83, 100 Lire a month) as well as the recognition of Grande Oriente as the only existing Freemasonry in Italy. (p. 20)
That Gigliotti was against Catholicism and Kennedy and encouraged others to follow suit, “looks like typical election politics: encouraging a certain ethnic group to vote a certain way,” John Kowalski wrote in his review of Metta’s book. I concur, and Gigliotti would have done that anywhere and everywhere had he had the opportunity, as he did on many occasions.
“At this point the D.C. (Democrazia Cristiana) is afraid these documents could come out,” Metta quotes from the same document. My interpretation is that Gigliotti’s anti-catholic rhetoric would look bad for official diplomacy.
“All that is happening has as its matrix when it occurred in 1962,” Metta again quotes from the P2 Investigation docs. Licio Gelli actually was initiated in Grand Orient masonry, in 1959, according to his own account. (Ferruccio Pinotti (2012). Fratelli d’Italia, p. 86?)
The circumstances that aided the beginnings of P2 are in the late 50s to early 60s. Without the purchase of the Grand Orient headquarters and the unification of the different masonic obediences, Propaganda Due probably would have never been controlled by Licio Gelli as state within a state and implicated in bombings and terror strategies. There’s no direct connection between Gigliotti and Gelli however, despite assumptions.
That Gigliotti was a CIA asset (or official employee) is important in these developments. One should certainly be suspicious, but Gigliotti had been bragging about being involved with CIA before they had even cut their teeth as an agency. Also, Gigliotti was listed in Who’s Who in CIA, published in communist East Germany in 1968. It sold well over the years. Italians surely had perused it when dealing with Gigliotti. Vadim Ardatovsky, “In the Toils of Lodge P2,” New Times (Moscow: 1981), p. 120, writes about the Who’s Who book; that “Gigliotti is described as a division head in one of the departments of the agency.” “Noteworthy too,” he elaborates, “is the fact that Gelli, who, as proprietor of the Lebole clothing factory, was for the general public merely a middle-bracket industrialist, was the only Italian to be invited to attend President Carter’s inauguration.”
There’s no index in Metta’s book, he neglects to include the exact page number in cited sources, and there’s no option to purchase an ebook to search the text. I would recommend it for those invested in the CMC/Permindex angle of the Kennedy Assassination, however, despite the shortcomings.
US Ambassador to Colombia Willard L. Beaulac wrote a secret memo, dated October 27, 1950, decrying the “[e]xtreme statements made to [Albert H.] Gerberich in Washington by such people as Gigliotti”:
who has now charged one of our clerks with giving information obtained in the Embassy to the Papal Nuncio. Gigliotti, according to Gerberich, claims to have “confidential sources” within our Government who keep him informed of the activities of such presumptive criminals as the Papel Nuncio in Bogotá. I think we ought to find out who those “confidential sources” are.
 Documents in file 821.413 for 1950 indicate that investigation of this charge failed to substantiate it.
Those confidential sources were surely through missionary work in Columbia, but could have included intelligence assets for the CIA.
The diaries of Director of Central Intelligence Lt. Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg, has a Feb. 17th, 1947 entry that reads “General [Edwin L.] Sibert reference Dr. Frank Gigliotti.” Edwin Sibert, chief of army intelligence in Germany, has the distinction of assisting Reinhard Gehlen escape prosecution and in the creation of his Gehlen Organization. Linda Hunt, in Secret Agenda: The United States Government, Nazi Scientists, and Project Paperclip, 1945-1990, writes of Gehlen and Sibert:
On one side of Washington, Hitler’s spy chief and Soviet expert General Reinhard Gehlen and other members of his wartime intelligence staff were cloistered behind high fences in Fort Hunt, Virginia. Under the direction of Major General Edwin Sibert, Army intelligence chief in Germany, Gehlen and the others were interrogated, put in a room with hidden listening devices, and left to talk among themselves as intelligence officers listened in. Along with Gehlen’s group, Fort Hunt also housed a combined CPM Branch and Navy project to interrogate four German admirals. (pp. 27-8)
The last piece of information about Frank Gigliotti discovered after my first article, is included in a 1945 Congressional Report. Earl Brennan was being honored by those whom he commanded and served with.
HONOR OSS CHIEF FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE WHO HELPED LIBERATE ITALY
WASHINGTON, November 6 – Earl Brennan, New Hampshire-born Irishman who successfully united anti-Fascist Italians in a cloak-and-dagger enterprise to help liberate their country and hasten Allied victory in World War II, received a certificate of merit medal from the Regular Veterans Association tonight for distinguished service rendered as Chief of the Italian and Albanian Section of the Office of Strategic Services.
National Commander William M. Floyd, DSC, of Unalaska, Alaska, presented the award at a banquet attended by members of Brennan’s secret team from all parts of the country, besides many prominent personages in and out of the Federal Government.
Speaker after speaker praised the modest New Englander for the 3-1/2 years of unrewarded toil in which his agents gathered information and promoted anti-Axis sentiment among the subjects of Mussolini so that Allied invaders were hailed as liberators, fascism was overthrown, and thousands of lives were saved.
“Italy can never repay you, and America must never forget you,” was the theme of the remarks by Dr. Frank Gigliotti, national adjutant of the [Regular Veterans Association] RVA, who read the citation: Judge Eugene Alessandroni, of the Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia; Dr. Charles Fama, president of the Osteopathic Medical Association; Prince Bomcompagni-Ludovisi, of Rome; Capt. Emilio Daddario, an OSS agent here; and the toastmaster, Victor Anfuso, of Italy, special assistant to the Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization.
Moved almost to tears by their tributes, Mr. Brennan accepted the decoration on behalf of “his boys” everywhere who shared in the OSS achievements. In a lighter vein he remarked that his undercover Work had given him the reputation of a combined Rasputin and Mephistopheles.
Mr. Brennan revealed he soon will return to his farm at East Westmoreland, N. H. He formerly practiced law at Keene and served in the legislature. He became acquainted with many of his Italian friends and fitted himself for his future war service as United States consul in Florence and Rome; also in Stettin, Germany; Gotesburg, Sweden; and Canada.
There exists “Declassified wartime correspondence of Boncompagno Boncompagni Ludovisi with Earl Brennan of the OSS.”