'The Lost Symbol' looks set to create a huge uproar across the USA, with its allegations that far from being the country's 'founding father,' Washington was actually a traitor who had been secretly negotiating with the British during the American War of Independence.
His treachery – revealed in a deathbed confession – was apparently concealed by his fellow Freemasons.
Worse still, assertions that the original confession was concealed in George Washington's coffin is creating panic around the grounds of Mount Vernon where Washington is buried.
Historian Robert Cooper, curator of the Grand Lodge of Scotland and a world authority on Freemasonry says, "It seems they're planning security precautions to safeguard against what has become known as the 'Rosslyn effect,'" referring to the way that, after the publication of Brown's bestseller 'The Da Vinci Code,' Rosslyn Chapel in Midlothian was deluged by grail seekers and treasure hunters.
"Of course I could be the victim of a double bluff but I don't believe so. My knowledge of the source convinces me of its reliability, and of course there is some conjecture on my own part, based on the comprehensive knowledge I have of the background to the story."
He claims his recent book 'Cracking the Freemason's Code – The Truth about Solomon's Key' caused Dan Brown to change the title of his new novel from 'The Solomon Key' to 'The Lost Symbol.'
The facts about the American Revolution show that in the early days, in the mid 1770's, the colonialists suffered a series of defeats. Strategic secrets were being passed to the British. The facts also show that an American army general, Benedict Arnold, was a traitor who plotted to surrender the fort at West Point to the British and turn the tide of war against his own side. The facts link Washington with Arnold when it comes to Freemasonry and the facts show that the day the plot was discovered, Washington was due to meet Arnold at West Point. "The hard facts stop there." says Cooper
It seems that in 'The Lost Symbol' Washington has been working with Arnold and passing secrets to the British. But why on earth would Washington want to subvert the cause of American freedom?
"Ah, that I'm not clear about," admits Cooper. "I don't know what Brown has up his sleeve there, but I've been led to believe he's suggesting George Washington could be bought like anyone else, and the English Tories had made him an offer he couldn't refuse.
When Arnold was rumbled, Washington did a huge about-turn, covered his tracks and wholeheartedly embraced the cause of American independence."
The rest, as they say, is history – except that in the novel, it appears Washington has a crisis of conscience on his deathbed and writes a detailed confession to be published after his death. His personal physician and friend, Dr James Craik – also a Freemason – is known to have attended the dying president, whose sealed coffin is buried at Mount Vernon. In true Dan Brown tradition, details of the confession and the events surrounding it have been hidden somewhere, and veiled references to it are found a couple of centuries later by a researcher working at Mount Vernon.
He seems to think something highly secret and important has been buried in Washington's coffin. This secret – and the details surrounding it – have been concealed within Freemasonic codes of reference and the researcher can't make sense of the symbolism disguising what he knows is a significant find.
He contacts symbologist Robert Langdon but is murdered before he can explain his findings.
Langdon, the CIA and the FBI are now in a race to find the confession, which the secret services must destroy to safeguard the integrity of the country's founding father and the creation of the world's first democracy.
Langdon is the front runner since he's been contacted by a high ranking Freemason with knowledge of the symbolism of the Order. Apparently there's a surprise twist when it comes to the identity of this Freemason – a twist which has more orthodox members of the craft siding with the CIA and FBI in suppressing the truth.
"If this plotline is anywhere near accurate," says Cooper, who insists again that he has no reason to doubt his source, "then it's going to create a huge uproar across the USA."
I will simply add that the clues released by Brown's publisher on Twitter and Facebook so far don't seem to lead in this direction. But we'll all know soon enough.