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Dan Browns "The Lost Symbols" and Freemasonry
Like one of millions of people around the globe, I enjoy a good fictional book to read. I was particularly drawn to Dan Brown's latest book "The Lost Symbol" as I am a Mason. I wanted to better understand the types of questions that I might expect to receive from the ill-informed and uninitiated.
Firstly, I must say that Dan didn't go off on the expected Masonic bashing that I thought he would. He makes some true statements about Freemasonry, but then again he places these alongside fictional statements. The fact and fiction are close enough that to the uneducated or ill-informed that the line between fact and fiction is very blurred and nigh on impossible to differentiate.
On page 30-31 he states, "One of the prerequisites for becoming a Mason is that you must believe in a higher power. The difference between Masonic spirituality and organized religion is that Masons do not impose a specific definition or name on a higher power. Rather than specific theological identities like God, Allah, Buddah, or Jesus, the Masons more general terms like Supreme Being or Great Architect of the Universe. This enables Masons of different faiths to gather together."
He also speaks about some of the Occult that is rather interesting. Where I personally never would have chosen this line of thought (particularly since I too regularly practice this ritual), but it is true. "...on the pagan day of the sun god Ra, I kneel at the foot of an ancient instrument of torture and consume ritualistic symbols of flesh and blood. -- ...on Sunday, kneel beneath the crucifix and take Holy Communion."
Falsehoods & Fiction:
The fiction in the story starts from the very beginning. Before the story even begins, the author includes a page entitled: "Fact". It lays claim that his retelling of Masonic tradition is true, in particular in regards to Masonic ritual. What he doesn't mention, anywhere within the book, as where the lines of fact and fiction merge or butt up against one another.
I am disappointed that Dan Brown thought it fit to falsely imply the consumption of blood from skulls as part of Masonic initiation; such a statement only serves to fuel conspiracy theory and increase intolerance and hatred within society.
Sorry Dan, but hiding behind the veils of freedom of speech, and artistic license does not excuse you from your actions or words.
If on the other hand, you are a reader that is seriously interested in The facts, just the facts, then may I suggest you have a look at a new book entitled It’s No Secret – Real Men Wear Aprons. A book that reveals the history, organisation, philosophy, famous members, symbolism, surprising diversity and future directions of Freemasonry...