Sunday, April 12, 2015


When I saw Prince Albert on 21 November 2003 in Hotel Columbus, he broached a subject that he announced to be of deep concern to him:  the influence of Freemasons in Monaco’s government and police department.  

He was particularly troubled by the notion that promotion within the principality’s government ministries and police department was being based not on merit but on Masonic membership.  

He explained that he had recently been invited to an upcoming Freemason event in Cannes, which he’d declined.  

I concurred with the Prince’s wisdom, recommending that, as royalty, he should remain above and beyond such attachments.  

An investigation of French Masonic lodges became our next requirement.

Thus, on 2 March 2004, we began a two-hour briefing with the Prince's pet peeve:  

Freemasons play an important role in French legal professions compared to other countries, where membership and especially influence of Masonic movements have been in decline.  

Freemason Lodge membership is a virtual Who’s Who of France.

There are three Freemason lodges in France:  Grande Loge Nationale Francaise (GLNF), Grande Loge de Francaise (GLF), and Grand Orient de Francaise (GO).  We determined that the lodge to which the Prince had been invited was GLF.  

Both GLF and GO operate in southern France and have been corrupt for decades, the latter believed to have been completely overtaken by organized crime.  

Only GLNF is associated with the Great United Lodge of Britain, the other two considered “irregular.”  

GLNF concentrated on philosophical matters while GLF and GO with social matters, though all gained reputations for being “affairiste” i.e. becoming involved with corrupt business practices.  

But it was particularly in the south (GO and GLF) where influence trafficking, false invoicing, creation of fictitious employees and similar matters had been rife, particularly in companies controlled by the state or provinces.  Freemasons then hampered investigations by the judiciary, which they heavily penetrated (especially GLNF in Nice).

France’s external intelligence service (DGSE) favored GLNF while domestic security services (DST and RG) gravitated to GO and GLF.  

These groups had at their disposal a number of bureaucratic measures they could take to torpedo any serious attempt at reform:  “Routine” inspections, internal investigations, and reassignments.   

Further, these measures taken at the local or regional level were often supported or generated at the Paris level by Freemasons in positions of great importance.

A report from one extremely good source concluded thus:

Many of the Prince’s friends are undoubtedly already Freemasons in one of the three major lodges.  The trust-worthiest of those friends needs to be encouraged to provide him or his designate with confidential information. It is difficult to infiltrate these lodges through new recruits because it generally takes years before they rise to inner circle levels, which is where you need to be to find out what is really going on.  Your project is a daunting one.

Not so daunting, as we actually identified one such trustworthy friend who placed his loyalty to the Prince above Masonic vows.  He revealed to us that GLF had been active in Monaco during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, but that its influence waned upon the death of its founder, Mr. Henri Die, in 1990.

These Freemasons, who gathered at Henri Die’s home—Les Villas Bleues, 5 rue de l’Abbaye, Monaco—included Victor Pastor, Michel Pastor, and Raoul Biancheri, brother of Raymond Biancheri, Prince Rainier’s long-serving chief of staff.

After Henri Die’s death, Raoul Biancheri re-launched GLF, but its influence dissipated after Gaston Carrasco, his staunch Masonic right-hand man, left his job as Monaco’s chief public prosecutor.
With regard to the Freemason situation at the time of this briefing, we gleaned this information from the Prince’s trustworthy friend:

A Masonic lodge linked to the Grand Lodge of Britain gathered once a month at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Monte Carlo.  Most of its members were Anglo-Saxon Monaco residents who did not involve themselves in local political and social life.

Monegasque Freemasons did not meet in Monaco but belonged to lodges located in France, particularly in Beausoleil, Menton, Nice, and Cannes.

We made two recommendations:  

1) to curtail Freemason influence (that is, promotion based on membership rather than merit within Monaco’s police force and judiciary), one should follow Britain’s example and create legislation that obligates all new police recruits to declare alliances to any fraternal orders or secret societies. Transparency would result.  

2) Quash any attempt to create a Masonic lodge within the Principality.

Fast forward to mid-October 2006, and a meeting with Prince Albert, by now the ruling Sovereign.

He had, the Prince told me, recently granted an audience to Franck Nicholas, his former bobsledding teammate.  A Freemason, Nicholas asked if he could bring two other Freemasons, including Conseil Nationale Vice President Claude de Boisson, for a second audience to pitch him on creating a Masonic lodge in Monaco.  

The Prince added that he had agreed to see them.
Had the Prince lost his proverbial marbles?   

A few years earlier he had instructed me to investigate French Freemasons due to his grave concern about their influence in Monaco.  

We discovered French Freemasonry was corrupted by organized crime.  

So why on earth would the Prince entertain allowing a Masonic lodge within the principality?

Resisting an urge to argue, I countered that if the Prince indeed allowed Freemasons to establish a lodge in Monaco, it should be on condition that, in the interest of transparency, all members publicly declare their affiliation.  

The Prince ventured his opinion that establishing a lodge in Monaco would keep out influence from Masonic lodges in France.  

I begged to differ, pointing out that French persons holding police or government positions in Monaco would continue to be influenced by their own lodges and would use a new Monaco-based lodge to strengthen their power.

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