Tag Archives: The Lost Symbol

Secrets of the Lost Symbol Out in Paperback!

Secrets of the Lost Symbol has just been published in paperback, in time to make the perfect holiday gift for Dan Brown fans. By Dan Burstein and Arne de Keizer, with contributions from more than two dozen distinguished scholars, historians, and experts. Available from Harper, on Amazon, in a Kindle edition, and wherever books are sold.

What secrets lie at the heart of America?

Discover the hidden reality behind Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol . . . and America itself. Just as there is only one Dan Brown, there is also only one secrets team that has achieved worldwide bestselling success by exposing the truth beneath Brown’s bestselling novels. Dan Burstein and Arne de Keijzer have gathered together world-class authorities—from scientist Richard Dawkins, noetics expert Lynne McTaggart, and religious scholar Karen Armstrong to journalist Jeff Sharlet (author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power), mathematician and science historian Amir Aczel, FBI consultant Michael Barkun, 33° Freemason Arturo de Hoyos, and a host of renowned philosophers, symbologists, code breakers, art historians, writers, thinkers, and experts on the occult—to give readers the essential tools to understand the conspiracies, codes, cutting-edge science, cultural controversies, and suppressed history at the center of The Lost Symbol . . . and the very founding of the United States of America.

Which Founding Fathers were members of secret societies?

What is the true background of the Ancient Mysteries?

Does The Lost Symbol have a hidden religious agenda?

What is the actual role of Freemasons in American history?

What do the hidden codes embedded in the novel tell us?

All this and much much more in Secrets of the Lost Symbol, now available in paperback

Secrets of The Lost Symbol in Weston Magazine

Don’t miss this month’s Weston Magazine for an in-depth Lost Symbol photo tour of Washington DC.

Written by Secrets of the Lost Symbol co-editor Dan Burstein, with stunning images by Julie O’Connor, the article covers every major DC sight in The Lost Symbol.

If you don’t happen to be in the Weston area, you can see a pdf version of the article here. And if you want to look back over the photo tour we conducted here on the website, you can find our full Photo Tour archive here.

Discussing The Lost Symbol (Video)

For those who missed the recent Secrets of The Lost Symbol discussion in New York (mentioned previously here), it’s now possible to see an edited version of the panel’s opening comments (below).

Moderated by Time magazine’s Lev Grossman, the speakers discussed a range of ideas, including Dan Brown’s skill at weaving contemporary moral dilemmas into his narrative and also the suggestion that, despite the sneering of many literary critics, The Lost Symbol may be one of the most important works of American literature to emerge in the past few years.

The panelists for the evening were: Dan Burstein, co-editor of Secrets of The Lost Symbol; Mitch Horowitz, author of Occult America and a contributor to Secrets of The Lost Symbol; Ron Hogan, founding curator of literary website, Beatrice.com and, until recently, editor of Galleycat (also a contributor to Secrets of The Lost Symbol; and young adult author Maureen Johnson.

Secrets of The Lost Symbol 92nd St Y Panel (YouTube)

Photo Tour :: Smithsonian Castle

Smithsonian Castle Gates (© Julie O'Connor, 2009)

Welcome to Day Eleven of Julie O’Connor’s Magical, Mystical, Masonic Photo Tour of Washington, DC. We’ve reached Chapter 111, where Robert Langdon is having a flashback to an old lecture delivered by his friend Peter Solomon, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.

“This wondrous castle,” the voice said, “was America’s first real science museum. It was a gift to America from a wealthy British scientist who, like our forefathers, believed our fledgling country could become the land of enlightenment. He bequeathed to our forefathers a massive fortune and asked them to build at the core of our nation ‘an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.’ ” He paused a long moment. “Who can tell me the name of this generous scientist?

The answer, of course, is James Smithson. Like Albert Pike, Smithson is a fascinating historical character, who merits more than the passing reference he gets in The Lost Symbol. Undoubtedly, Brown did his research on Smithson and, for whatever reason, left out the intriguing questions that still surround Smithson and his unusual bequest today.

Smithson was born during the 1760′s, the illegitimate son of a British aristocrat. He was a brilliant scientist who, at the age of 22, became the youngest member of the Royal Society in his day. Smithson made many discoveries, including “an improved method of making coffee” and a zinc carbonate, smithsonite, which is named after him.

His work made Smithson a prominent figure in European scientific circles and a very wealthy man. Yet, there are huge gaps in our knowledge about him.

Though we know that Smithson’s father was the Duke of Northumberland and that his mother was a cousin of the Duchess of Northumberland, no one knows exactly when he was born. More intriguingly, no one has come up with a concrete explanation why Smithson should have bequeathed his entire fortune–about half a million mid-19th century dollars–to the United States, a country that he had never visited.

What we do know is that that fortune was used to build the Smithsonian Castle, pictured above, and to sow the seed for an institution that now spans 19 museums, a zoo, and nine research centers.

Also not mentioned in The Lost Symbol is the fact that, like the Washington Monument and other DC landmarks, the Smithsonian had a Masonic cornerstone-laying ceremony. President Polk even used the same gavel that George Washington had used when he laid the cornerstone for the Capitol and he wore Washington’s Masonic apron as well.

To find out more, read our interview with Smithson biographer Heather Ewing in Secrets of The Lost Symbol.

Photo Tour :: Washington National Cathedral

We have arrived at Chapter 79 of The Lost Symbol:

Washington National Cathedral, Langdon thought, feeling an unexpected anticipation at being back after all these years. Where better to ask about One True God.
“This Cathedral really has ten stone from Mount Sinai?” Katherine asked, gazing up at the twin bell towers.
Langdon nodded. “Near the main altar. They symbolize the Ten Commandments given to Moses on Mount Sinai.”
“And there’s lunar rock?”
A rock from heaven itself. “Yes. One of the stained-glass windows is called the Space Window and has a fragment of moon rock embedded in it.”

The Space Window, Washington National Cathedral (© Julie O'Connor, 2009)

Welcome to the tenth day of Julie O’Connor’s Magical, Mystical, Masonic Photo Tour of Washington, DC. Robert Langdon and Katherine Solomon have given the CIA the slip and reached Washington National Cathedral where they seek answers to the pyramid’s riddle Jeova Sanctus Unus–One True God–from the dean of the cathedral, Reverend Colin Galloway.

Candles in the Cathedral (© Julie O'Connor, 2009)

The Cathedral is a magnificent setting. One can easily imagine Dan Brown taking one of his anonymous tours of DC and being captivated by its possibilities. Here, in Chapter 82 and in true Brownian fashion, is the author’s description of the cathedral’s architectural statistics:

Washington National Cathedral is the sixth-largest cathedral in the world and soars higher than a thirty-story skyscraper. Embellished with over two hundred stained-glass windows, a fifty-three-bell carillon, and a 10,647-pipe organ, this Gothic masterpiece can accomodate more than three thousand worshippers.

Washington National Cathedral, Interior (© Julie O'Connor, 2009)

The space is magnificent. It won’t be long now before Tom Hanks and his yet-to-be-announced female companion are led down the aisle.

Reverend Colin Galloway–dean of the cathedral–looked like he had been alive forever. Stooped and withered, he wore a simple black cassock and shuffled blindly ahead without a word. Langdon and Katherine followed in silence through the darkness of the four-hundred-foot-long nave’s central aisle, which was curved ever so slightly to the left to create a softening optical illusion.

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