Another Secrets of The Lost Symbol!

We’re very pleased to announce our inclusion in US News & World Report’s special collector’s edition: Secrets of The Lost Symbol.

The magazine includes our interview with the artist Michael Parkes, whose painting The Three Graces, hides the entrance to Mal’akh’s basement lair in The Lost Symbol.

It also contains our essay by contributing editor Lou Aronica, who explores the story of the co-founding of the Institute for Noetic Sciences–and the birth of noetics–by astronaut Edgar Mitchell in the 1970’s.

Other contributors to our book, featured in the US News & World Report special, include Masonic experts Mark Tabbert and Arturo de Hoyos, historian and Smithsonian specialist Heather Ewing, and Mitch Horowitz, a leading author of spiritual and metaphysical books.

Buy Secrets of The Lost Symbol or download it as an e-book.


Dan Burstein’s World Talk Radio Interview

Secrets of the Lost Symbol co-editor Dan Burstein appeared recently on World Talk Radio’s Be The Star You Are.

In a wide-ranging interview, Dan discusses how our Secrets team correctly predicted some of the major themes of The Lost Symbol, years before it was published, and some of the many interesting facts we discovered about the history of Freemasonry, its links to American history, and its influence on Washington DC architecture.

He also talks about our discoveries from exploring a central element of Dan Brown’s novel, noetic science, and the spiritual and material issues noetics raises in people’s search for meaning in life.

You can hear the interview, in full, below.

Photo Tour :: George Washington National Masonic Memorial

The George Washington National Masonic Memorial (© Julie O'Connor, 2009)

The George Washington National Masonic Memorial stands atop Shutter’s Hill in Alexandria, Virginia. Built in three distinct tiers of increasing architectural complexity from bottom to top–Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian–the structure stands as a physical symbol of man’s intellectual ascent. Inspired by the ancient Pharos lighthouse of Alexandria, Egypt, this soaring tower is capped by an Egyptian pyramid with a flamelike finial.

So, here we are, on Day Nine of Julie O’Connor’s Magical, Mystical, Masonic Photo Tour of Washington, DC. We have reached Chapter 78 of The Lost Symbol. Robert Langdon and Katherine Solomon have just rushed from a taxi, dashed onto the map of Washington DC at Freedom Plaza, and then run into the Washington Metro, headed, they say, for Alexandria.

CIA agent Turner Simkins quite sensibly guesses that the pair are headed for the most famous Masonic destination in Alexandria, the George Washington National Masonic Memorial:

The statue of George Washington is 17 feet tall (© Julie O'Connor, 2009)

Inside the spectacular marble foyer sits a massive bronze of George Washington in full Masonic regalia, along with the actual trowel he used to lay the cornerstone of the Capitol building.

Unfortunately for agent Simkins, the George Washington National Masonic Memorial is a red herring, purposely suggested to throw the CIA off Langdon’s and Katherine’s trail. Which is a shame really because it could have made an incredible setting for Langdon and Katherine to explore. Here’s a view inside the memorial.

Inside the George Washington National Masonic Memorial (© Julie O'Connor, 2009)

And here’s a view of the Masonic symbol, the square and compass, cut into the memorial gardens.

View from the observation deck of the George Washington National Masonic Memorial (© Julie O'Connor, 2009)

Want to see more? Click here for previous stops on our Lost Symbol Photo Tour of Washington, DC.

Buy Secrets of The Lost Symbol or download it as an e-book.

Secrets of The Lost Symbol Videos

If you look in the righthand sidebar of the blog you will notice that we now have four videos of Secrets of The Lost Symbol co-editor Dan Burstein discussing Dan Brown’s novel and our book.

In An Introduction to Secrets of The Lost Symbol, Dan talks generally about Secrets of The Lost Symbol and about the coded messages and hidden comment buried on the Lost Symbol cover.

In Washington DC and the Freemasons, he talks about Washington sites covered in Secrets of the Lost Symbol, such as the House of the Temple, the Capitol Rotunda, the Library of Congress, the Washington Monument, the George Washington National Masonic Memorial and the National Cathedral.

In Codes on the Lost Symbol Cover, he reveals and explains more of the codes hidden on The Lost Symbol jacket and inside the book, as well as exploring the meaning of a few of Dan Brown’s characters’ names.

Finally, in Contributors, Dan talks through the more than three-dozen expert contributors to Secrets of The Lost Symbol, highlighting some of our interviews and essays that shed new light on Freemaonsry, noetics and the ways in which The Lost Symbol connects with religion and spirituality today.

Buy Secrets of The Lost Symbol or download it as an e-book.

Photo Tour :: The Jungle

US Botanic Garden Jungle (© Julie O'Connor, 2009)

Our next stop on Julie O’Connor’s Magical, Mystical, Masonic Photo Tour of Washington, DC brings us to Chapter 69.

The Architect of the Capitol, Warren Bellamy, has been blindfolded and driven a few blocks from the Library of Congress. He is led through a number of security doors and into a building where the air is warmer and more humid, “earthy and primal:”

Bellamy now realized where they were. My God! He came here often, although never through the service entrance. This magnificent glass building was only three hundred yards from the Capitol building and was technically part of the Capitol Complex. I run this place! Bellamy now realized it was his own key fob that was giving them access.

Although it only figured modestly in novel, the jungle was a prominent stop on Matt Lauer’s pre-book release tour of the sites that would feature in The Lost Symbol.

And, indeed, the space is extraordinary. Once inside, you really are transported into different worlds and climate zones.

Despite its proximity to the Capitol, tourists to DC rarely visit the US Botanic Gardens. But it is a beautiful, magical, and restorative visit for anyone pounding the pavement on the Lost Symbol route. (Click here for more stops on our Lost Symbol  Photo Tour of DC.)

Buy Secrets of The Lost Symbol or download it as an e-book.

Discussing The Lost Symbol

The Secrets of The Lost Symbol discussion at 92Y Tribeca, one of the premier venues for New York’s intellectual life, was a great success. The main focus of the panelists was The Lost Symbol as a “novel of ideas,” focusing on issues like the separation of church and state in the thinking of America’s founding fathers, the wellsprings of religion and belief in the human mind, and the meaning and potential validity of work emerging from the field known as noetics.

Mitch Horowitz, one of the leading editors and publishers of spiritual and metaphysical books and author of Occult America, shared some fascinating insights into the history of Freemasonry, including its European roots and possible reasons why Freemasons have kept their ceremonies secret to the present day.

Ron Hogan, founding curator of one of the Internet’s first literary websites,, and, until recently, editor of the publishing industry news blog Galleycat, talked about The Lost Symbol’s importance to the publishing industry and the Masonic allegory lurking in the novel’s plot.

Meanwhile, Secrets of The Lost Symbol co-editor Dan Burstein tied many of these thoughts together, discussing the history of Freemasonry, the architecture of D.C., Dan Brown’s earlier novels, and the ideas of many contributors to Secrets of The Lost Symbol, such as noeticists Lynne McTaggart and Marilyn Mandala Schlitz.

The evening was punctuated by author Maureen Johnson’s humorous insights into Dan Brown’s “nebbishy hero” Robert Langdon, which you can read in full here.

We would like to thank all of those who came. And for those who missed it, we hope to have a video of the event up soon.

Buy Secrets of The Lost Symbol or download the e-book today.

Decoding the mysteries of The Lost Symbol

Secrets of The Lost Symbol co-author Dan Burstein appears in the Washington Post Short Stack today, talking about the codes on the Lost Symbol cover and what they mean:

Using various decryption tools we can identify these three coded phrases:



We also found on the back cover, by combining words at the top and bottom, a small but important reference to the hermetic adage:


In “Secrets of the Lost Symbol,” we explain the relevance of all these phrases.

Here’s just one example:

Pope’s Pantheon refers to a series of architectural works by Freemason architect John Russell Pope, who designed the Scottish Rite Freemason headquarters building on 16th Street in Washington where the opening scene and the climactic scene of “The Lost Symbol” take place.

But Pope also designed the Jefferson Memorial, which is in the shape of a classical Roman pantheon building. More than that: The whole idea of a pantheon ties in to the belief, stated many times in “The Lost Symbol,” that all gods, and all religions, are important manifestations of humankind’s search for spiritual connectedness to the universe. So even after you have decoded “Pope’s Pantheon,” you still have multiple meanings to contemplate.

Decoding the mysteries of ‘The Lost Symbol’ (WaPo)

Buy Secrets of The Lost Symbol or download the e-book today.