Masons already addressing common misconceptions
With Dan Brown’s newest novel, The Lost Symbol, hitting bookstores Sept. 15 — much of it rumored to revolve around Masonic myths — the Masons are in pre-emptive damage-control mode, Religion News Service reports.
Although Brown — of Da Vinci Code fame — and his publisher, Doubleday, are being tight-lipped about the book’s contents, some Masons are preparing for an onslaught of negative press. And because Brown is known for tying religious themes to his thrillers’ plots, Masons are carefully addressing common misconceptions about their religious affiliations.
Mark Koltko-Rivera — a Mason from New York City and author of the upcoming book Discovering the Lost Symbol , which tries to anticipate charges leveled in Brown’s novel — created a blog to discuss and interpret each Twitter clue.
Based on those clues, Koltko-Rivera is convinced that Freemasons, particularly the Scottish Rite branch, “will take it in the chops.”
One blogger explicitly warned readers about the “Dan Brown Effect” — the response that followed The Da Vinci Code by misinformed and sometimes gullible readers who take historical fiction as historical fact.
The Da Vinci Code sold more than 80 million copies worldwide and stirred up controversy by suggesting a romantic relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene, upsetting Christian groups and historians who argued against the plot’s historical and biblical inaccuracies.
Whether Brown makes Masons the good guys or the villains, members of the brotherhood seem to agree that the attention could nonetheless pique people’s interest and lead to increased membership requests.
Never mind ‘misinformed and sometimes gullible readers.’ Dan Brown himself apparently lost the plot when he claimed that The Da Vinci Code was historically accurate.
The problem, it seems, is that some people have taken the story to be true.
Indeed, Brown has encouraged this confusion by insisting upon the book’s historical accuracy. Asked in an interview how much of the novel is based on fact, he replied: “All of it.”
Brown has argued that historical arguments are themselves suspect because history is written “by those societies and belief systems that conquered and survived.” This is a cop-out. It is disingenuous for Brown to present his book as factual and then hide behind questions like “how historically accurate is history itself?” He should stick to fiction.
Matter of fact, Brown’s Da Vinci Code is an incredible rummage sale of accurate historical nuggets alongside falsehoods and misleading statements, Margaret M. Mitchell, PhD, wrote in Lake Magazine, Fall 2003.
And Sandra Miesel, in Crisis (Sep. 1, 2003) wrote, So error-laden is The Da Vinci Code that the educated reader actually applauds those rare occasions where Brown stumbles (despite himself) into the truth. […] In the end, Dan Brown has penned a poorly written, atrociously researched mess.
Will Brown do any better at representing facts on Freemasonry?
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