Dan Brown was speaking tonight about Freemasonry at the United Grand Lodge of England's Freemason's Hall in London, and revealed that Masons had left the door open for him to join.
From the Independent in the UK:
His best-selling novels illuminate the shadowy organisations that supposedly run the world. But Dan Brown was “honoured” to receive an invitation to join the Freemasons, the arcane fraternity whose tentacles are said to extend into the highest echelons of power.
Tonight the Da Vinci Code author made a rare public appearance, discussing his latest Dante-inspired blockbuster, Inferno, in front of 1,500 fans in London.
The choice of venue, Freemason’s Hall, the headquarters of the United Grand Lodge of England, reflects the author’s fascination with the male-dominated medieval society, founded in London, which has long been the centre of conspiracy theories about its supposed global influence.
“I would be honoured to be a Mason,” Brown told the Independent before the event. “You don’t get ‘invited’ by the Masons but they sent a clear message that the door is open if I ever want to join.”
Brown’s 2009 novel The Lost Symbol suggested that the government in Washington was secretly run by a coven of Freemasons practising sinister rites.
However Brown said: “I’ve nothing but admiration for an organisation that essentially brings people of different religions together, which is what they do."
“Rather than saying ‘we need to name God’, they use symbols such that everybody can stand together.”
Everybody except women, who are refused entry. “I guess it’s a little oxymoronic,” said Brown. “But there are certainly women’s organisations and I think there’s a place for men to be together alone.”
Brown portrayed Opus Dei as a sinister Catholic cult in the Da Vinci Code. Inferno introduces The Consortium, a secretive organisation pulling strings behind the scenes which the book claims is an amalgamation of real groups. Yet Brown sees the Masons as an entirely benign fraternity.
“Freemasonry is not a religion but it is a venue for spiritual people to come together across the boundaries of their specific religions,” he said. “It levels the playing field.”
The author’s only hesitation before undertaking the notorious Masonic initiation ritual is that he would have to take a “vow of secrecy” and would be unable to utilise his masonic insights in future novels.