Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #610 The Knights of Malta Revisited

Recorded September 16, 2007
MP3: Side 1 | Side 2

Recorded in late 1982, this program sets forth information about a powerful, but little known, Catholic order known as the Knights of Malta. Formed during the Crusades, the organization draws together influential political, military, intelligence and business officials who have (or are in a position to) influence world events in a manner benefiting the Vatican. Strongly represented in the administrations of Ronald Reagan, the knights were a lynchpin of the Cold War endgame strategy that brought about the collapse of the Soviet Union. Although the knights are citizens of many countries around the world, the organization is recognized as a sovereign state unto itself by more than 40 different nations. In the Reagan administration, the knights worked with other conservative Catholics to realize the policies of the American far right. Even though he is not Catholic, Nazi general Reinhard Gehlen was awarded the order’s highest decoration for fighting “godless communism” while serving the Third Reich and the fledgling CIA.

Program Highlights Include: Discussion of some of the most important American members of the order; an allegation in a right-wing mercenary magazine that German Nazi elements assisted in the shooting of Pope John Paul II (operating on behalf of an intelligence front allegedly involved in the shooting of President Kennedy); SMOM member Luigi Gedda’s description of the Protestant Reformation as the seed element of what was to become communism.

1. The focal point of the broadcast is the Sovereign Military Order of Malta or SMOM, popularly known as the Knights of Malta. An order of Vatican knights dating to the crusades, the SMOM consists of influential political, military, business and civic leaders who are viewed by the Vatican as key figures who either have helped, or who might someday be of great assistance in furthering the policies of the Catholic faith. Recorded in late 1982, the program highlights the significant role of the SMOM in the Reagan administrations. Figures like former CIA director William Casey, James Buckley, Alexander Haig and other knights collaborated with other conservative Catholics in the Reagan administrations. Together, they comprised a very effective engine of political reaction that helped drive the Soviet Union out of existence. Another key American knight was J. Peter Grace, who played a leading role in bringing I.G. Farben researcher (and Nazi war criminal) Otto Ambros to the United States.

2. When considering the Knights of Malta and its influence on American government, bear in mind that forty different nations recognize the members of SMOM as citizens of a separate, sovereign nation. This presents a potential conflict of interest for SMOM members serving in a government that might find itself at loggerheads with Vatican policy.

3. Nazi general Reinhard Gehlen received the Gran Croci Al Merito Conplacca—the order’s highest decoration, awarded to a small handful of recipients during the almost thousand year history of the order. Other members of Gehlen’s family were close to SMOM as well. Gehlen was not a Catholic, but was given the prestigious award for his role in fighting communism.

4. Other prominent Americans who belong to SMOM include former Treasury secretary William Simon, former CIA director John McCone and Tom Bolan, law partner of Roy Cohn (the late Senator Joseph McCarthy’s right-hand man).

5. In AFA #21 (available from Spitfire), we examined the degree of overlap between the P-2 Lodge and the SMOM.

6. A curious detail in the program concerns an allegation in a mercenary magazine called Eagle. The allegation concerns the NPD, the top German neo-Nazi organization. The article alleges that the NPD is connected to a company called Permindex, an apparent intelligence front with strong fascist connections. Alleged by Jim Garrison to have been involved in President Kennedy’s assassination, Permindex moved from Italy to South Africa following disclosure by an Italian newspaper of apparent connections between Permindex and the CIA. The Eagle article also alleged that the NPD was involved with the shooting of Pope John Paul II in May of 1981. (For more about the shooting of the Pope, see—among other programs—AFA#’s 17-21, available from SPITFIRE. For more about Permindex, see “The Guns of November, Part IV”, also available from SPITFIRE.)

7. Indicative of the mindset that prevails in the SMOM, Luigi Gedda of Catholic Action describes the Protestant Reformation as the seed element of what was to become communism and indicates that the elimination of political liberalism is necessary and desirable.

8. Two video productions are being generated by a couple of documentary filmmakers. One is a DVD of a three-lecture series called “The First Refuge of a Scoundrel: The Relationship Between Fascism and Religion.” In addition, there will soon be a documentary about Mr. Emory, titled “The Anti-Fascist.” For more about this project, visit TheAntiFascist.com.


2 comments for “FTR #610 The Knights of Malta Revisited”

  1. You don’t say…:

    Pope approves German lawyer to head embattled bank
    9:45a.m. EST February 15, 2013

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI has signed off on one of the last major appointments of his papacy, approving a German lawyer to head the Vatican’s embattled bank.

    Ernst Von Freyberg has solid financial and Catholic credentials as a member of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, an ancient chivalrous order drawn from European nobility.

    The appointment ends a nine-month search after the Institute of Religious Works ousted its previous president, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, for incompetence. The ouster came just as the Vatican was submitting its finances to a review by a Council of Europe committee in a bid to join the list of financially transparent countries.

    The Vatican said Von Freyberg had been appointed by the bank’s commission of cardinals and that the pope had “expressed his full consent.”

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 15, 2013, 8:13 am
  2. Assistant Secretary of Defense, Edward Perkins McGuire, the point man in the sale of Southern Air Transport to the CIA’s narcotics trafficking network, was a Knight Of Malta.

    Read em’ and weep:


    Posted by Robert Ward Montenegro | June 8, 2019, 7:33 pm

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