Things that Dan Brown Missed

Just musing to myself about a few of the things that Dan Brown missed (or omitted, for unknown reasons) when writing The Lost Symbol. I thought of quite a few while reading the book, I should have written down a list. Here's a couple that I mention in The Guide to Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol - I'll update it with more if/as I remember them:

  1. The phrase 'Laus Deo': Dan mentions how this phrase is written on the pyramidion of the Washington Monument, translating to 'Praise God'. What he doesn't elaborate on is that 'Laus Deo' is a phrase used in Scottish Rite Freemasonry. It forms part of the rituals and has also been inscribed on jewels of the Scottish Rite (see The Guide for an image).
  2. Edgar Mitchell: Dan Brown explains the strange research and history of the Institute of Noetic Science (IONS), but for some reason omits one of the more fascinating aspects of IONS - it was created by Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell after he had a mystical experience while returning from the Moon. This seems perfect material for Dan Brown to elaborate on in TLS - why didn't he use it (did his research miss this fact)? And, to double the Apollo interest factor in TLS: Edgar Mitchell founded IONS, and another Apollo astronaut, Buzz Aldrin, is a 33° Scottish Rite Mason - Aldrin even took a handmade Scottish Rite flag to the Moon on his famous mission with Neil Armstrong.

Feel free to add your own in the comments section.

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Anonymous wrote 7 years 19 weeks ago

Masonry Work

Greg, thanks for the updates, incredibly fascinating stuff.

I can't help but wonder how Wall Street has been able to economically pistol-whip the US government when there are supposedly so many honest, freedom-loving, Masonic watch-dogs at every level of society. Has the movement been corrupted at its highest levels, or are all these bail-outs and other record-setting scams really just Masonic fund-raisers to help usher in the age of world bliss?

-Charles Pope
www.DomainOfMan.com

Anonymous wrote 7 years 18 weeks ago

Hi Greg I spotted a few such

Hi Greg

I spotted a few such things...

1. Founding Father Thomas Paine wrote about the mystical origins of Freemasonry in an essay entitled An Essay on the Origins of Free-masonry. This could have tied two themes of the novel together nicely.
2. I thought it rather confusing that Brown used the term 'Ancient Mysteries' to refer to both lost wisdom in the Manly P Hall sense, and the cults and societies of antiquity.
3. I found it a bit hypocritical that Langdon is so inspired by the idea that the Washington monument resembles a circumpunct from above when he has earlier dismissed theories about shapes in the Washington street plan.
4. Mal'akh seems to be closely related to Francis Dolarhyde from Red Dragon. Aside from the tattoos, both are linked to famous William Blake watercolours, 'The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun' and 'The Flight of Moloch'.
thanks
Tim

Greg wrote 7 years 17 weeks ago

Excellent!

Thanks for these Tim! I keep meaning to get back to this, because I have more, but just can't seem to set time aside.

Some notes below:

Anonymous wrote:
1. Founding Father Thomas Paine wrote about the mystical origins of Freemasonry in an essay entitled An Essay on the Origins of Free-masonry. This could have tied two themes of the novel together nicely.

Yes, I noted this in my Guide to The Lost Symbol (originally 'Da Vinci in America') way back in 2004. I find it curious how little about the Founding Fathers was included in The Lost Symbol. It seems the perfect material, given the way Dan wrote DVC, but he only quickly touches on a few things. e.g. the Deism of the Founding Fathers gets a paragraph or two, and then is dropped. Would have been perfect material for inciting debate IMO.

Quote:
3. I found it a bit hypocritical that Langdon is so inspired by the idea that the Washington monument resembles a circumpunct from above when he has earlier dismissed theories about shapes in the Washington street plan.

I thought the same thing! Which reminds me of something I added to my Guide in the latest edition: in TLS Langdon is dismissive of the Great Seal conspiracy theories, and yet in Angels and Demons he agrees with it (and in the press for that book and DVC, Dan Brown also mentions it).

Quote:
4. Mal'akh seems to be closely related to Francis Dolarhyde from Red Dragon. Aside from the tattoos, both are linked to famous William Blake watercolours, 'The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun' and 'The Flight of Moloch'.

Nice pick-up. They also had a fixation on transformation too. Interesting - I think I read somewhere as well that DB liked the Red Dragon novel.

Thanks for sharing!

Kind regards,
Greg

Anonymous wrote 7 years 17 weeks ago

And one more...

Apologies if you've covered this elsewhere, but the Benjamin Franklin order eight magic square reproduced in Lost Symbol isn't really a magic square - the diagonals don't give the same amount as the rows and columns.

As for Brown's change of heart about the All-Seeing-Eye, a conspiracy theorist would no doubt say that Brown intended to produce an anti-Masonic novel, but chickened out when he found out what happened to William Morgan, and re-wrote the novel with a positive spin. Hence the six-year wait, hence the shift in focus to Noetics, hence the amount of anti-Masonic theories that are referenced (as though they were relevant to the plot at some point) but then dismissed. Just throwing it out there...

thanks

Tim

Anonymous wrote 6 years 48 weeks ago

Ummm

Honestly, I don't think any of that information is necessary in the story. Dan Brown did an outstanding job in breaking down symbology and touching the surface of ancient mysteries. I think his ability to incorporate as much information as he did in the story and keep it relevant was quite astonishing. He wasn't heavy handed (IMO) in the information, that would just bore you. Its a talent he has to share information while story telling. Anything more would be an intellectually egotistical of him to spew all the information he knows or has research, just cause!

Thanks for sharing.

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