It may be compared in some degree to such European societies as the Carbonara, Young Italy, the Tugendbund, the Confreries of France, the Freemasons in Catholic countries, and the Vehmgericht.
The Socialists and the Freemasons were largely responsible for the agitation, and they filled the country with stories of other priestly and coriventual immoralities, nearly all of which, except the original case at Greco, proved to be without foundation.
Anti-clericals and freemasons, divorce being regarded not as a social institution but as a weapon against Catholicism.
Signor Giolitti wished to conciliate the Vatican by facilitating religious education, which was desired by the majority of the parents, but he did not wish to offend the Freemasons and other anti-clericals too much, as they could always give trouble at awkward moments.
By his practical experiments and by his writings he gained a considerable reputation as an economist; but his ambition was not content with this, and he sought to extend his influence by joining first the Freemasons and afterwards (1779) the Rosicrucians.