27

The Chinaman Report

A bizarre incident occurred in early July 1981. Gelli's daughter Maria flew into Italy under her own name, knowing she would be instantly recognized. She was arrested at Fiumicino Airport, Rome, and her luggage was seized. In a compartment in a false-bottomed suitcase, Customs officers discovered five packages of documents relating to P2. They included statements from several , Swiss banks in the names of Italian politicians and political parties, and also a document which appears to have been a forged 'secret report' by the CIA on attempts to subvert western Europe in general and Italy in particular. Why would Signora Gelli return to Italy with incriminating P2 documents that had already been safely removed from the country? What motive was so pressing that she took the step knowing she would be imprisoned on charges of espionage? For an answer to this, and to the question of what Gelli really was up to, we must also look at what was not contained in all the bundles of documents from the Villa Wanda, nor in Maria Gelli's suitcase, nor any of the other P2-related papers.

Without the benefit of inside information such as I was later to have, journalist Peter Hebblethwaite came close to the truth in his article 'Gelli's Babies', which appeared in The Spectator on 6 June 1981:

We know that he [Gelli] did business with east European countries. ... As we have already seen, he boasted about his friendship with Ceausescu. Yet there are no names of any Italian Communist politicians or any east Europeans in this vast store of material. But no one can do business with a Communist country without such intermediaries. It follows that their names have been deliberately suppressed. By whom? Not by the Italian Government, which would have every interest in revealing them. By Gelli himself? If so, the suspicion would be aroused that Gelli deliberately 'planted' all this material, arranged for his disappearance, and is now observing the fascinating consequence of his handiwork from some safe villa on the Black Sea coast.

Licio Gelli - ruthless Fascist, torturer of partisans in the Second World War, friend and adviser of Peron and co-ordinator of right-wing corruption in Italy - was an agent of the KGB. This alone answers all the questions that rise up around his sinister figure. It explains how a document describing the structure of the KGB came to be among the Venerable Master's files; why Maria Gelli returned to Italy - to throw the country, and its attempts to recover from the scandal, into further confusion. She even brought with her a forged letter to her father that alluded to purported arrangements for bribing the members of the judiciary actually investigating P2. It explains how the P2 affair, described by many as the most damaging of all Italy's scandals, was linked with the attempted assassination of the Pope on 13 May 1981, even as P2 was coming to the boil. Western intelligence experts are now generally agreed that the attempted killing was inspired by the KGB.

Loyal to no one, obsessed with power for its own sake, Licio Gelli was determined to use whatever means he could to achieve his ambition: the ruin of those colourless weaklings, the Christian Democrats, who for nearly forty years had run the country which had spawned him, then spurned him for his turpitude. A man filled with such

hatred can become a precision instrument in the hands of the Soviet Secret Service, intent as it is on implanting the seeds of disruption wherever it can in the West. According to an impeccable source within British Intelligence, Gelli was recruited by the KGB soon after he set about the task of building up Raggruppamento Gelli Propaganda Due. Britain's Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) has closely monitored P2 since its inception. It detected KGB involvement in the affair at an early stage.

From the beginning, Lodge P2 was a KGB-sponsored programme aimed at destabilizing Italy, weakening NATO's southern flank, sweeping the Communists into power in Italy and sending resultant shock waves throughout the western world. It achieved its first aim, partially succeeded in its second, came close to realizing the third, and all but failed in the fourth.

MI6 and other western intelligence services have been trying to convince their governments of the enormous growth of the KGB's activities since 1965 (P2 was formed in 1966). Senior officers in British Intelligence regard the KGB as the 'biggest conspiracy in the world', according to one well-placed informant. But their warnings have so far fallen on muffled ears. Even the more hawkish western leaders like Reagan and Thatcher are reluctant to accept the enormity of the threat as it is assessed by MI6 and America's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

I have obtained a copy of a secret memorandum written by a British diplomat who worked with MI6 for nearly twenty years during the Cold War, largely in South-East Asia. A First Secretary in the Diplomatic Service, this officer had a secret service training, chaired several subcommittees of the Joint Intelligence Committee QIC) and worked closely with the legendary former head of MI6, Sir

Maurice Oldfield. He is a specialist in the methods of secret societies and an expert on China, in which he has travelled widely.

The document is fourteen pages long and is typed on ordinary plain A4 paper with a manual typewriter. It is dated 4 June 1981, a time when there was much undercover activity by MI6, the CIA and Israel's Mossad focused on P2. For reasons of security I shall refer to the author of the document by a codename: 'Chinaman'.

By way of background he states:

... as a result notably of the loss of the war in Vietnam, and the economic problems of the non-Communist countries which have been exacerbated by the cost of oil, the Soviet Union - despite grave and presently growing problems of its own - has embarked on a further phase in its major concerted effort to exploit to its own advantage the weakness and confusions in the non-Communist world by all means short of war. It can be argued that the Soviet leadership itself has come to regard the Cold War as a race to determine who buries whom - accepting that both sides, not just the 'capitalist' side, suffer severe internal 'contradictions' and vulnerable areas.

Writing on information received up to 4 June 1981, Chinaman was unable then to state with certainty that the KGB had been behind P2, but merely confirmed that 'the affair has so far been to the considerable advantage of the Soviet Union and of the Communists, which alone of the political parties has no known members among the listed names published by order of the [Italian] Prime Minister'.

Since then I have had many long meetings with him and developments have persuaded him that the original strong suspicion that the KGB was responsible for P2 is now inescapable.

Freemasonry has been a factor in Russian political thinking since long before the establishment of the Soviet state.

The February 1917 Revolution was provoked by Freemasons and was operated from the few masonic Lodges left after decades of persecution from Tsarist Secret Police. Alexander Kerensky, Justice Minister in the provisional government of Prince Georgi Yevgenievich Lvov, was a Freemason. After the Petrograd uprising in July 1917 which led to the resignation of Lvov, Kerensky took over as Prime Minister and appointed exclusively Masons to the government. When, chiefly because of Kerensky's inability to control the economy and his refusal to withdraw from the European war, the Bolsheviks took over the country in October, Kerensky and most of the Masons involved in the earlier revolution fled to France, where they established Lodges under the aegis of the Grand Orient of France.

As soon as the Bolshevik State was declared, Freemasonry was proscribed. This anti-masonic stand was enshrined in a resolution of the fourth Congress of the Communist International:

It is absolutely necessary that the leading elements of the Party should close all channels which lead to the middle classes and should therefore bring about a definite breach with Freemasonry. The chasm which divides the proletariat from the middle classes must be clearly brought to the consciousness of the Communist Party. A small fraction of the leading elements of the Party wished to bridge this chasm and to avail themselves of the masonic Lodges. Freemasonry is a most dishonest and infamous swindle of the proletariat by the radically inclined section of the middle classes. We regard it as our duty to oppose it to the uttermost.*

*Quoted by Eugen Lenhoff, The Freemasons, 1934.

Freemasonry was thoroughly investigated by the CHEKA, the first Soviet intelligence organization, as a matter of priority. This enquiry led to the formal outlawing of the Brotherhood in 1922. It is known that in its successive incarnations as GPU, NKVD, GUKR ('Smersh'), KGB and the rest, the Soviet espionage machine has made a priority of infiltrating every kind of organization in every country of the world. Its prime target, in every country where it existed, was inevitably Freemasonry. 'Any organization, and in particular any secretive organization,' says Chinaman, 'must come to the notice of the KGB, whatever its political, social, spiritual, criminal or subversive aims.'

There is abundant evidence not only that this has been true from the very beginning of the Soviet state, but that it is a continuing phenomenon, and that the Russian government is pouring ever more funds into the KGB coffers to expand this penetration and manipulation of foreign organizations. KGB defector Dr Vladimir Sakharov describes modern KGB operatives as the 'creme de la creme of Soviet society', top experts in the language, customs, religion and way of life of the country in which they operate.*

The exploitation of Freemasonry by the KGB is not restricted to Italy. I can reveal that senior officers of British Intelligence are concerned that the KGB has been using Freemasonry in England for decades to help place its

*It has recently been revealed that the KGB runs its own religious centres for training appropriate agents to be sent to western and Third World countries. These centres are at Feodosia in the Crimea, Lvov in the Ukraine and at Constanza. In Lithuania there is a school for agents bound for Britain and other English-speaking countries. The Lithuanian centre is almost certain to be the centre of any training in the exploitation of English Freemasonry. Bulgarian defector Mikhail Gloechov has disclosed that Stalin had the centres set up as early as 1936.

agents in positions of responsibility and influence. The areas the KGB is most interested in penetrating are delineated by Chapman Pincher in his controversial study of Russia's infiltration of the West's secret defences, Their Trade is Treachery: '. . . when Soviet Intelligence secures a promising recruit, he or she is urged to get a job in MI5, the Secret Service, Government Communication Headquarters (the radio-interception organization), The Times, the BBC, the Foreign Office or the Home Office - in that order of preference'.

According to the evidence now available the undoubted 'jobs for the brethren' aspect of British Freemasonry has been used extensively by the KGB to penetrate the most sensitive areas of authority, most spectacularly illustrated in the years since 1945 by its placing of spies at the highest levels of both MIS and MI6. Even today, members of the security services privately admit that they have no idea of the extent of this penetration.

Although one senior and decorated MI6 officer, based in London, has been actively researching Freemasonry's influence in Britain since the Chinaman Report came into his hands, no investigation has so far been started by MI5, which as Britain's internal security service must conduct any official enquiry. MI6 is empowered to act only abroad.

Former KGB officers who have defected to the West confirm the endless patience the organization expends on gathering information on every aspect of life in Britain. Even the tiniest details are filed away at the great KGB headquarters building at 2 Dzerzhinsky Square, Moscow, for possible use in its vast programme of destabilization in the West.

These facts are known, but what MI6 failed to appreciate before the Chinaman Report was the vital corollary to its knowledge that organizations, especially of a secretive nature, Were being used by the KGB: a fact so obvious it was never even considered - that the largest and most important organization of a secretive nature in Britain was Freemasonry.

The 'old boy network', the favouritism and the use of Masonry for professional and social advancement - all proscribed by the Constitutions but all nevertheless widespread, as this book has shown - are of obvious value to Englishmen recruited to spy for a foreign power.

I have spoken to five currently serving officers of MI6, two of them senior men but not of the highest stratum. Posed the question, 'If you were a KGB agent in England, given the nature of Freemasonry, what would you do?', four them agreed independently that becoming a Freemason would be an obvious priority. The fifth said, 'I haven't heard of this, but obviously if there hasn't already been an enquiry there should be now. I know of only two Masons in 6. Naturally, it's not often spoken of.'

This is an interesting point. As I learned from a former Home Secretary (the Home Secretary is responsible for MI5), it is forbidden for any member of either of the intelligence services to be a Freemason.

Pages three to four of the Chinaman document contain this:

I was required when I joined the Foreign Service and when I was given access to increasingly delicate material to 'sign the Official Secrets Act' and make declarations that I was not and never had been a member of certain listed extreme organizations of both left and right wing aims. But I was never required even orally to state whether I was or ever had been a member of any secret society whether of the Masonic type or not. This is less surprising given the social respectability of Freemasonry and the assumption by both members and non-members alike that it could not possibly come to represent in any way a threat to the established order.

This assumption is well illustrated by a comment made by

James Dewar, author of a book on Freemasonry entitled The Open Secret, when interviewed by the Sunday Telegraph in May 1981 at the height of the publicity about P2. He said, 'Any secret society has in it the seeds of menace. But it is very unlikely that a similar clique could operate here, as the movement is headed by so many people of obviously good repute . . .' And Judge D. H. Botha, who carried out an enquiry into Freemasonry in South Africa in 1964, had to rely largely on the evidence of four Freemasons. He entertained no doubts about their evidence as to what occurred at masonic meetings because of the 'exceptionally high esteem in which each of these persons is held in society and because of their obvious integrity'. Referring to this, Chinaman states:

This cannot be the view of any trained intelligence officer. It is of course inconceivable that, given the present composition of the British Grand Lodges and indeed other Lodges and chapters, the movement as a whole could possibly be suborned or persuaded to act consciously in any way to Soviet advantage. The dangers arise from numerous possibilities for covert exploitation of a movement which is almost conterminous with 'The Establishment' in common parlance:

1.     Any KGB officer with an agent recruited, say at university, must be concerned to arrange for that agent to have access to the highest priority on the list of targets provided by KGB headquarters that the particular agent is considered suitable to work against. If it is believed by so many Masons themselves that recruitment to many organizations, promotion, and other forms of success can be assisted by membership of Freemasonry, there can be little doubt but that the KGB shares this view. It must be expected therefore that the KGB instructs any agent, whom it believes could benefit from doing so, to become a Freemason.

2.     Equally clearly the KGB, if it recruits an agent who already has some access to a target, must consider whether membership of Freemasonry could assist in improving his access.

3.     In any long-term penetration the question of 'the Succession' is always in a case officer's mind. In addition to the ordinary risks of life and inevitable ageing, espionage and other covert activity carries its own risks of being 'blown', and mental strain leading to breakdown. Therefore an agent in place who is a Mason may very well be considered more likely to be able to assist in placing his own successor to best advantage.

1.     The KGB must consider in each case whether membership of Freemasonry would afford any particular agent increased protection. For example, whether membership would confer on the agent additional respectability which would stifle or help to stifle suspicion, and whether membership could provide useful cover for other secret activities; or indeed, whether membership would assist in any necessary cover-up - other members of the Fraternity doubtless believing they were only assisting a brother over some dereliction of duty or other relatively minor infringement.

2.     The KGB will also consider whether Fraternal relationships can be used to obtain information or to cause actions desired by its headquarters. That is to say, to use the masonic bond apparently for the normal purposes of mutual advancement and mutual protection, but in fact for the benefit of the KGB. In particular the KGB will be aware that Masons may well be less on their guard when talking outside the Lodge to other Lodge members and other Masons generally than they would be speaking to others about their professional and personal concerns.

3.     It follows from this that the KGB may through masonic contacts come by information which would greatly assist in any blackmail attempt against an individual. Indeed, were the KGB to become aware of any improper actions by two or more Masons in regard to cover-ups, e.g. in the administration of justice, such blackmail could be applied to a group. The threat of exposure could then lead to further masonic involvement in order to preserve the movement's good name. As Watergate showed, cover-ups generally start small but tend to grow uncontrollably.

4.     An agent in any movement enjoying such diverse support at such varying levels of the social hierarchy provides (a) ideal opportunities to 'talent spot', and (b) the means to contact some specialist in almost every field where assistance may be needed, and in a manner most conducive to obtaining any 'favour' required.

It will be noted that in all these cases there is no need for Freemasonry as an institution, or indeed for any other member of the movement to be 'conscious' to KGB's use of Masonry. KGB will simply be riding the 'lift' that Masonry supplies ready installed to enable its members to arrive at higher floors more quickly and with less effort than those, perhaps better qualified, who are hurrying up the stairs. During the 'lift ride', others in the 'lift' may be examined and contacted in a relaxed atmosphere. It is clearly unlikely that once KGB found ... the masonic 'lift' they would not use it again several times. But once again there is no need for one conscious KGB agent within Masonry to know or even know of any other. Unless there is some overriding 'need to know', the KGB will obviously make every effort to prevent this happening.

Through an intermediary, I asked former KGB spy Ilya Grigevich Dzhirkvelov, who defected to the West in 1980, about Freemasonry. The Soviet authorities are well aware of the size and influence of Masonry in the West. Dzhirkvelov was based in Geneva for most of his thirty-year career as a KGB agent, so was not in direct touch with espionage activities in Britain. Switzerland's Grand Lodge 'Alpina' is based at Lausanne. The entire country has only fifty-two Lodges - compared with London's 1,677. There are about 3,450 Swiss Masons. Dzhirkvelov spoke of the 'vast' scale of the KGB's espionage activities in the UK, and said that if Freemasonry was such an important part of the Establishment as I said, there was no doubt at all that the KGB was exploiting it, even to the extent of instructing its British recruits to become Masons.

Among the currently serving and former officers of both services I met was one much respected officer of MI6, recently retired, who was more cautious. We met next to the fish pond on the first floor of Coutts & Co in the Strand early in 1982. He had agreed to meet me only on the understanding that we did not discuss matters covered by the Official Secrets Act. He was not a Freemason. He said that he had never been aware that Freemasonry could be an advantage in government service, nor felt the need to become a Mason to advance his career. He added, 'But perhaps that is because I have never thought about it.'

He told me that he had never come across a case of the KGB using Freemasonry in England, and added, 'But of course that does not mean it has not happened.' The fact that he had never even considered such an obvious possibility did not surprise me. It seems that nobody prior to Chinaman had. Even Sir George Young, former Vice Chief of MI6, told me that the extent of his knowledge about Freemasonry was that 'the Royal Family are all in it'.

My contact pointed out that Masonry would not be used by a KGB agent as a cover, in the sense that Guy Burgess joined the Anglo-German Fellowship before the war to conceal his Communist sympathies, because by its very nature membership of Freemasonry is not something one can boast about without giving rise to suspicion. He paused and set his mind to work on the problem. At length he said: 'The records of Freemasonry in Tsarist Russia would have fallen into the hands of the CHEKA, the KGB's predecessor, in 1917. A close study of Freemasonry would certainly have been made by Soviet intelligence officers then.*

'If the KGB had a target in England - somebody they wanted to "turn" or from whom they wanted to obtain information by one of a number of means - and this person was a Freemason, I have no doubt that it would instruct an agent to join the same Lodge. That would be an obvious move. If being a Freemason makes a man more likely to bare his soul to another Freemason than to an outsider [there is ample evidence that this is the case], any intelligence service worth its salt would exploit that.

*This was the case, as already explained.

Once again, I have no evidence that this has happened. The fraternity most often exploited of course is the homosexual one - the homintern we used to call it.'

Towards the end of our meeting, my contact said, 'Is there any evidence that any of the known people were Freemasons?'

By 'people' he meant traitors, British subjects who had been recruited by the KGB either before they were in positions where they had access to delicate material, while they were rising in their careers towards such positions, or after they had arrived.

One case particularly bears examination.

Few people in MI5 now doubt that Sir Roger Hollis, director-general of the service in the crucial years 1956-65, was a Russian spy for nearly thirty years. This has been convincingly demonstrated by veteran investigative journalist and espionage expert Chapman Pincher. The government in the person of Margaret Thatcher has denied this, and a number of Hollis's old colleagues have jumped to his defence, but their evidence is weak and contradictory.

I shall not rehearse the case against Hollis here. It is proven beyond reasonable doubt in the revised edition of Pincher's book, which appeared in fuller form after various official attempts to discredit the evidence and arguments contained in the first edition.

As one MI5 officer of long standing confided to me: 'We've known about Hollis for years. Pincher has excellent sources within the service and an excellent brain. He is so close to the truth.'

Hollis was not a member of the 'homintern'. The same MI5 source told me baldly, 'Hollis was certainly a Mason.'

Of the many mysteries surrounding Sir Roger Hollis, one of the most baffling is how he was ever accepted into MI5 in the first place. He was quite the opposite of what was required. In MI5, as opposed to MI6 which operates abroad, there is a reluctance to accept candidates who have travelled widely out of the UK. In the 1930s when Hollis was recruited this stipulation was more easily met than it is today. For this and other reasons, Hollis was a most unlikely recruit. Doing badly at university, he threw in the towel in 1926 after only two years, worked in a London bank for a while and set off for China. Stranded with only £10 in his pocket in Malaya, he got a job with an international tobacco company in Penang and was later transferred to the company's offices in Shanghai. He moved around China for the next nine years, working at Peking, Hangkow and Dairen. After this, he became tuberculous, and travelled to a Swiss sanatorium by way of the Trans-Siberian Railway from Vladivostok, spending some time in Russia. All this, especially his time in Russia, should have been an insuperable obstacle to any hopes he had of joining MI5.

And so it proved ... at first. Even after his treatment his health was not strong enough for him to continue working for the tobacco company, so early in 1936 he was back in England. 'Even his friends agree that he was not particularly talented,' wrote Chapman Pincher, who describes him at the time of his return to England as 'basically a broken man': 'Though surprisingly athletic, he was to retain the look of someone who had been tuberculous and became progressively so round-shouldered that he looked almost hunched . . . He had no degree, his health was suspect and his experience in China was not likely to be helpful in securing a post in England. The only work he could find was as a clerk-typist.'

However, through an army major he met, he secured an interview with MI5. He was turned down and told that his experience abroad might be useful to MI6. He applied and was turned down for health reasons by that service.

When he applied to MI5 for the second time later that year nothing had changed . . . except the mind of MI5. This time he was taken on. The director-general of MI5 then was Major General Sir Vernon Kell, who happened to be a Freemason.

With almost everything going against him, Hollis got in. What is even more remarkable was the rate at which he was promoted within the service once he had got in. This astonished his colleagues then, and still cannot be explained by any of the MI5 officers, current and retired, with whom I have had contact either directly or through intermediaries. This is one of the great mysteries of Roger Hollis, even to those who, because they were not involved in particular events and because they liked the man, are not convinced that he was a spy.

Even though it was against the regulations for any officer to be a Freemason - and this, incidentally, must presumably indicate that membership was regarded as a threat to security - several officers were in the Brotherhood. Among them was a man called Potter, who was in charge of the huge MI5 card index, now computerized. Such a man would be good to have as a friend.

But was it Freemasonry that got Hollis against all odds into the service and took him, the unlikeliest of all its officers, to the very top? I believe it was. The likeliest key to the mystery of Hollis is Shanghai and the time he spent there working for the British American Tobacco Company in the 1930s.

The European community in Shanghai was small. The English-speaking community was of course smaller and very tight-knit. Virtually every Englishman arriving in Shanghai gravitated to the Masonic Hall at 1623 Avenue Road. Freemasonry had flourished among the British expatriates here and at the previous Masonic Hall at 30 The Bund, Shanghai, since the mid-1800s. In the twenties and thirties, when Hollis was in Shanghai, the tradition of Freemasonry there was at its zenith. A man who was not a Mason was at a grave disadvantage in achieving whatever social or professional ambitions he had.

Almost everyone I have contacted who knew Hollis, including MI5 officers past and present, has reacted similarly to the suggestion that the former director-general was a member of the Brotherhood - that he was just the kind of man, extremely secretive by nature, with few open friendships and with small prospect of advancement - who would join Masonry in order to exploit its covert advantages. Freemasonry, said the contacts, offered the first explanation to the Hollis mystery, his otherwise inexplicable acceptance and his phenomenal rate of promotion. This would be especially likely, I was told, if Hollis's immediate predecessor as director-general of the Security Service, Sir Dick Goldsmith White, had been a Mason. The one notable voice of dissent was that of Sir Dick White himself, whose own formidable career contains one striking anomaly. White is the only man ever to have been head of both MI5 and MI6. He moved from 5 in 1956 to take over the Secret Service from Sir John 'Sinbad' Sinclair. Despite his impressive record and qualifications, the unprecedented transfer was viewed by many within MI6 as dangerous and as something which, once again breaking all the traditional rules governing the secure operation of the two services, should never have been allowed. It was White who, on his appointment as Secret Service Chief, recommended Hollis as his successor to premier Anthony Eden. When I put it to Sir Dick at his retirement home near Arundel that Hollis's period in Shanghai made it virtually certain that he had been a member of the Brotherhood, he laughed and said, 'Oh dear me, I wouldn't have thought so at all. I can't guarantee it, but it seems to me most unlikely.' When I asked why not, he said exactly the opposite of what others had told me - that Hollis 'really didn't seem the type'. When I asked him if he himself was or ever had been a Freemason, Sir Dick seemed amused, and told me genially that he never had, adding that he hoped I 'reached the right conclusion' about Hollis.

Hollis's treachery should have come to light in the late 1940s when Sir Percy Sillitoe was director-general of MI5. As A. W. Cockerill, Sillitoe's biographer, points out, 'practically the entire effort of the Service from 1946 on, and until long after Sillitoe's retirement, was directed at identifying and weeding out Communists from positions in which they posed a threat to national security'. Cockerill states that one of Sillitoe's first actions after getting settled into the job as MI5 chief was to carry out a purge, for which he had something of a reputation in his former career in the police.

In the case of MI5, he was primarily interested in the political reliability of his staff, and a number of employees were forced to leave for one reason or another. .. Beginning with those whose credentials were 'impeccable', he carried out a systematic security check of the entire establishment. This was a programme in which the internal security officers combed through each personal file as though the person concerned was a newcomer; the individual's history was checked and rechecked, membership in clubs, societies and social organizations was investigated anew to ensure that the service itself was 'clean'.

But Sillitoe, without knowing it, was fighting an impossible battle. With the man in charge of all the personal records being a member of the Brotherhood, Sillitoe would never be allowed to learn that Hollis's means of entry to the service had been by way of a masonic Lodge in China and a masonic director-general.

It is an interesting fact that the membership lists of the

Shanghai Lodges between the wars are among the most closely guarded secrets of the United Grand Lodge. Several attempts by concerned members of the Brotherhood to get hold of these files through the ordinary channels have been blocked. It is evident that those lists of names contain something so explosive, so potentially damaging to the Brotherhood, that it will not permit them to be examined even by senior Masons. Whose name is being concealed, if not Hollis's?

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