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Friday, January 25, 2008

"Freemasonry will survive Dan Brown"

The Wall Street Journal has an article today about the world wide wait for Dan Brown's sequel to The Da Vinci Code, which everyone is still saying will be called The Solomon Key, and will presumably still involve the Freemasons and Washington DC. The entire publishing world is impatient, since book sales are down, and the Harry Potter franchise is supposedly now dead and buried. This was the first year since DVC debuted in 2002 without some kind of sales bump from Brown's book.
Now, the publisher is hinting that a manuscript is close. "Dan Brown has a very specific release date for the publication of his new book, and when the book is published, his readers will see why," says Stephen Rubin, president of Bertelsmann's Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group, whose Doubleday imprint publishes Mr. Brown. Mr. Rubin declined further comment.

What date could that be? Since some of the leaders of the American Revolution were masons, including George Washington, an obvious reference point would be July Fourth. In addition to it being Independence Day, the cornerstone of the Washington Monument was laid on July 4, 1848 in a ceremony hosted by the Freemasons.

There are other more obscure dates that could be significant, however: On Sept. 18, 1793, President Washington led a Masonic parade down Pennsylvania Avenue to lay the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol. It is considered one of the most important events in Masonic history. A third choice? The cornerstone of the White House was laid on Oct. 13, 1792, during a Masonic celebration. (On that date in 1307, the King of France ordered the arrest of Knights Templar. There has been speculation connecting the Knights and the origins of the Masons, although the matter is in question.)


Mr. Brown's income from all four books, including "The Da Vinci Code" and revenue from the film, has made him a rich man. Forbes magazine estimated Mr. Brown earned $88 million between June 2005 and June 2006, minus management, agent and attorney fees. Dan Burstein, editor of the best-seller "Secrets of the Code: The Unauthorized Guide to the Mysteries Behind The Da Vinci Code," thinks Mr. Brown may have earned as much as $250 million to $300 million from all related properties.


"The Da Vinci Code" was also criticized for factual miscues; this time, he may be taking particular care. "He has toured a number of Masonic temples to get the historical facts correct," says Akram Elias, grand master of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the District of Columbia.

The Masons are a fraternal society dedicated to self-improvement and charitable works. Membership is open to all religions and political parties. Although Mr. Brown portrayed the secretive Roman Catholic group Opus Dei in a negative light in "The Da Vinci Code," Mr. Elias says he isn't worried. "Freemasonry will survive Dan Brown," he says.

One of the Masonic Temples Brown toured was the one in Salt Lake City. But the Mormons better watch it, because he made an extensive tour of the Mormon Temple there as well, noting the great similarity between Masonic and Mormon symbolism.


  1. Let me clarify something about the visit of Dan Brown to the Latter-day Saint ("Mormon") Temple in Salt Lake City. Only observant Latter-day Saints who hold valid passes (which the LDS call "recommends") from their clergy can actually enter the Temple itself, or witness / participate in its ceremonies. Dan Brown was not admitted to the interior of the LDS Temple, and thus of course did not witness the temple ceremonies themselves.

    From the exterior of the building, he would have noted several interesting architectural features carved into the granite: clasped hands; the All-Seeing Eye; the sun, phases of the moon, stars; the constellation of the Big Dipper and the North Star. For further details, see James Talmage, The House of the Lord.

    This all opens the thorny subject of the relationship of Freemasonry and the Latter-day Saint religion. Look for my (Mark Koltko-Rivera's) forthcoming book on the subject, not long after Dan Brown's novel.

  2. Greetings,

    Here's something new and very interesting that both Dan and most Freemasons seem to have missed:


    It's called: "The Mona Lisa, Freemasonry, and the Sigil of Saturn."

  3. Hmmm...what makes you think that the Freemasons missed it?

  4. I think Dan Brown will be hard pressed to top Mike Hockney's "The Armageddon Conspiracy" - it reveals the full Masonic history of America and it comes up with the most ingenious conspiracy theory I've ever encountered...a ten-thousand-yeal-old plot to kill God.

    Complete nonsense of course, but immensely entertaining. Hope "The Solomon Key" can spring a few surprises.

  5. Oh great "Another" Masonic conspiracy, Let me see now, Masons are linked to spreading the swine flu, aids hiding the truth about aliens, world domination with Washington D.C as the capital of course, pro-Zionist conspiracies (an anti-Semite theory), setting up 9/11, relishing in devil worship, being totally satanically inspired and committed to black magic, using mind control, eventually the culprits behind Armageddon, they are the clever and swindling villains behind the world financial crises. They are the vile masterminds behind some the wars around the world, and evil revolutions. My personal favourite Masonic conspiracy, that masons are not even human; they are, in reality, aliens from outer space in human form whose sole purpose is the total annihilation of the human race.

    That is only one fraternity; I wonder what the other fraternities are up to. For example, what are the Elks or the Rotary club doing, are they committing themselves to conspiring, what about the Lions club or Alpha Beta Kappa what are they up to, do they want a piece of the cut ? Is their an internal fraternity war for world domination? What are the Shriners up to, Aren’t they masons too?

    I know these ideas seem completely foolish, and I like conspiracy theories for entertainment sake, but I am blown away on the number of people take these conspiracy theories for fact. I must say, I am afraid of people who think that every evil in the world is due to a group of men that are committing inconsequential ceremonies, in very clearly marked temples, whose sole mantra is to help their community. In other words, in my opinion there is a thin line between conspiracy theories for either the sake of entertainment or a socio-psychological release, and purposefully scapegoating a group.

    I hope that Dan Brown’s book will be received as an amusing piece of fictional work that it is, and not to be taken as a factual encyclopaedia on masonry. It would be an absolute absurdity.

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