We’re nearing the end of Julie O’Connor’s Magical, Mystical, Masonic Photo Tour of Washington, DC and we are back to where we started: The House of the Temple.
It’s Chapter 114. Langdon and Katherine have just been rescued from Mal’akh’s basement lair. Meanwhile, across town, the tattooed villain is wheeling Peter Solomon into the headquarters of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in the Southern Jurisdiction, aka The House of the Temple:
…Mal’akh tucked the blanket around Peter Solomon and wheeled him across a moonlit parking lot into the shadow of an enormous building. The structure had exactly thirty-three outer columns . . . each precisely thirty-three feet tall. The mountainous structure was deserted at this hour, and nobody would ever see them back here. Not that it mattered. From a distance, no one would think twice about a tall, kindly-looking man in a long black coat taking a bald invalid for an evening stroll.
Mal’akh takes Peter to the top floor of the House of the Temple, where he is preparing to perform the initiation right that he believes will give him extraordinary power. Of course, Mal’akh has the legend of The Lost Word all wrong. The secret is not a sign or a symbol. Instead, it lies within a religious text.
The importance of a religious text is one of the reasons why Dan Brown chose Freemasons as the heroes of his novel. Brown has stated in interviews that he admires Freemasonry because it allows people of all faiths to come together. In his, some might say, idealized version of Freemasonry, the brotherhood emphasizes tolerance, respect for many religious traditions, and diversity of belief. (A topic we explore, in depth, in our book Secrets of The Lost Symbol.)
Undoubtedly, Freemasonry places an enormous amount of emphasis on the importance of religious books from the world’s major faiths, as is evident in the photograph above of the three holy books that take pride of place in the House of the Temple.