Dan Brown’s new book features a hidden Washington—does the city’s design conceal strange secrets?
Dan Brown’s new book—set in Washington—is expected to feature another secret society with an elaborate history and illustrious membership: the Freemasons.
Washingtonian | Aug 26, 2009
By Sophie Gilbert
Conspiracy theorists are awaiting Dan Brown’s new book, The Lost Symbol. Building on his super-bestsellers The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, about conspiratorial elements of the Catholic Church, Brown’s latest—set in Washington—is expected to feature another secret society with an elaborate history and illustrious membership: the Freemasons.
As a May 2006 Washingtonian article explored, the Washington area has a deep, rich history with the Masons. (To read the article, go to washingtonian.com/masons.) As the new book’s release approaches, Brown fans have been looking for hints to the plot—and some have been released on The Lost Symbol’s Twitter feed. Here’s what might come up in the novel:
1. Washington traffic is bad for a reason.
You don’t need to burn shoe leather looking for Masonic symbols in the nation’s capital—all you need are Google Maps and a Sharpie marker. It’s no secret that George Washington was a Freemason, but what about Pierre L’Enfant, the architect of DC? The layout of the city’s streets and landmarks seems to suggest as much—triangles and pentagrams abound.
Occult theorists have speculated that the six points of Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, Scott Circle, Washington Circle, Mount Vernon Square, and the White House form a pentagram (the five points of the outer star and one vertex of the pentagon inside it); the coordinates of the six places were recently posted as a clue on Twitter. Dupont, Scott, and Washington circles all have six major streets leading into them, encoding the satanic number 666 into the city’s structure.
That may sound sinister, but the pentagram is an ancient symbol occurring in the three major religions as well as a prominent Masonic feature. In the 2006 article, authors Paul Dickson and Thomas B. Allen also noted that the four points of the White House, the Capitol, and the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials form a diamond when linked on a map—the shape of the Masonic logo.
2. That pyramid on the $1 bill isn’t just a picture.
Speculation mounted when the Lost Symbol Twitter feed posted a clue: “29.979093, 31.133891.” If you put those coordinates into Google Maps, they point to the Great Pyramid of Giza, prompting guesses that pyramids will play a role in the novel. The pyramid symbol dates back thousands of years, implying not only order and symmetry but also divine unity. The pyramid on the dollar bill (also referred to in The Da Vinci Code) is a Masonic symbol for the all-seeing eye of God, which dates back to Egyptian mythology but also appears in Christianity as the Eye of Providence.
Symbologists have noted that the dollar’s pyramid has 13 steps, while the Latin script underneath reads novus ordo seclorum, or “new order of the ages.” Conspiracy theorists have long believed that the term refers to an organization of globalists seeking to rule the world, and they’ve linked this belief to Freemasonry.