Category Archives: Mount Vernon

Was George Washington a Double Agent? Mt. Vernon in Panic?

george_washington_dollarA theory about The Lost Symbol focusing on George Washington’s alleged treachery and role as a double-agent for the British has been bouncing around the internet for a month now.

This theory is based on an August 7 report in the Scottish newspaper, The Scotsman, which quotes historian Robert Cooper, curator of the Grand Lodge of Scotland and a world authority on Freemasonry, offering a theory about Washington-as-double-agent.

Worse still, assertions that the original confession was concealed in George Washington’s coffin is creating panic around the grounds of Mount Vernon where Washington is buried.

Historian Robert Cooper, curator of the Grand Lodge of Scotland and a world authority on Freemasonry says, “It seems they’re planning security precautions to safeguard against what has become known as the ‘Rosslyn effect,'” referring to the way that, after the publication of Brown’s bestseller The Da Vinci Code, Rosslyn Chapel in Midlothian was deluged by grail seekers and treasure hunters.

You can think what you want about the theory (the article follows below). And you can think what you want about all of the Dan Brown official web advance clues suggesting themes of double agents and treachery.

But one item that calls some of this reasoning into question is the statement in the Cooper/Scotsman piece that there is “panic” on the grounds of Mt. Vernon, the national landmark where George Washington lived and is buried.

Our investigative reporter for the Secrets team, Dave Shugarts, contacted Mt. Vernon officials and determined there has been no panic and no special security precautions are in place. In fact, Dave posted as follows on The Scotsman website–with no response to date.

On blogs in the U.S., Mr. Cooper has retreated from some of the most important statements made in this story.

The story clearly says he was claiming a “reliable source” for a plot leak of the book. At, Mr. Cooper now apparently says he never claimed a “reliable source,” leaving the implication that the reporter was either very inaccurate or very inventive.

Additionally, this article claimed that at Mount Vernon the security personnel have had to take special new measures to protect George Washington’s tomb. I contacted the Mount Vernon staff and they completely deny this.

In an effort to find out whether The Scotsman and Kath Gourlay stand behind the story, I contacted them and asked them to clarify. In an effort to learn Mr. Cooper’s side of the story directly, I contacted him at two different e-mail addresses. None of the parties has responded.

I would have expected that a reputable newspaper and reporter would want to stand behind their accuracy and veracity. The Scotsman has my address.

See excerpts of the Scotsman article below and let us know what you think. Continue reading