"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."


Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Author Dan Brown Addresses the Scottish Rite

Author Dan Brown was invited to speak at the House of the Temple in Washington D.C. during the Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction's biennial meeting over the weekend. He posted this photo on his Facebook page on Tuesday.

For those of you who were hiding under a rock in the early 2000s (or weren't born yet - a chilling thought), Brown's art- symbolism- and history-laden thrillers The DaVinci Code and Angels & Demons were worldwide publishing phenomenons that motivated untold throngs of readers to discover the Freemasons, the Knights Templar, the Illuminati, and a bushel of other esoteric topics. Almost overnight, Scotland's Rosslyn Chapel was stuffed to the gills with tourists all asking where the basement was. Tour busses began marauding through the little French village of Rennes Le Chateau. And internet enquiries started to tumble in to Masonic lodges and grand lodge offices.

The DaVinci Code soon became the sixth most popular book in the history of the English language, and Brown's publisher teased its Masonic-themed sequel for another five years. Whether it was marketing savvy or writer's block, the delay in publishing The Lost Symbol caused an avalanche of new books, TV programs and films (like the two National Treasures) to flood the marketplace with new, mostly positive material about the Masons.

Keeping all of that in mind, it made perfect sense for the Scottish Rite to invite Mr. Brown to speak at this gathering, and in this particular place. After all of the hype and waiting, it turned out that The Lost Symbol was a 509-page love letter to our fraternity. 

Its cover featured the double-headed eagle of the Scottish Rite and its motto, Ordo ab Chao. Its original hardback release date was very deliberately 9/15/09, which add up to the number 33. And the thriller's climax unfolded in the House of the Temple itself. 

Since someone invariably asks whenever Dan Brown gets mentioned, to my knowledge he is not, and never has been, a Freemason. But even as a non-Mason, he has achieved pop culture pinup boy status with Brethren for managing to stoke unparalleled interest in all things Masonic.

While big, bloated movies with Tom Hanks were made from both The DaVinci Code and Angels & Demons, Sony Pictures skipped over The Lost Symbol and adapted Brown's NEXT novel, Inferno, instead. Masons collectively wept. For a long while it seemed that Freemasons just weren't interesting to Hollywood anymore. Our fleeting flareup in the pop culture sunlight just as quickly extinguished. 

Not as fast as Dexy's Midnight Runners did, but still it was depressing.

But back in June it was suddenly reported here that NBC has given a production commitment to Langdon, a new TV drama based on The Lost Symbol and revolving around Brown's recurring symbologist character, Robert Langdon

We shall see. 

While you're waiting, I have this book called Deciphering The Lost Symbol...



  1. The event was timed to occur at 8:33pm and in coinciding with the Sessions big happenings( a new Grand Commander) it held a neat connection to the first chapter of the Lost Symbol. He spoke about writing books, The Lost Symbol, and his thoughts on Freemasonry and th Scottish Rite in today’s world.

    1. I'm sure he left with a suitcase full of lodge, grand lodge, and grand master pins, and more blank petitions than he ever wants to see again...

  2. Actually, kudos to him, as we function better as an esoteric and mystical society than competing with the Lion's Club. More symbolism and less fevered efforts to prove relevance by used bottle drives are much in order.

  3. Tony Barstow here, a brother from ENGLAND ( yes, Mr President - England still exists ! ) . I couldn't agree more with the comments Of Paul Rich. Although our late and still lamented Bro Michael Baigent had his much publicised run in with Dan Brown , both writers did our Craft in England a huge service by focussing in their writing on the esoteric ethos of speculative Freemasonry. Since Michael's demise , FREEMASONRY TODAY, of which he was editor for a number of years, has erased the word esoteric from its lexicon and proscribed all its former contributors who dared to express Freemasonry's inherent mysticism and spirituality, the 'darkness visible' which Michael so eloquently wrote about in one issue, I remember. Yes, Kudos to Dan Brown and to the leaders of your Scottish Rite for inviting him.


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