I thought that I would follow up on The Lost Symbol book review. Being a Mason myself, I had this letter from Dan Brown to the Southern Jurisdiction Scottish Rite as they had invited him to attend and address the 2009 Supreme Council Session.
I can pass on that after you have achieved the 3rd degree; you have the choice of going on with your studies of either the Scottish Rite (more on the philosophical side) or York Rite (more on one’s introspection aspect).
I do want to pass on that the Freemasons are very pleased with Dan Brown’s book and it is very well received.
There are some Masonic details that Dan Brown did get wrong but it does not detract from the story. This can be expected because Dan is not a Mason but for the most part he presented the Freemasons very well.
1. The Scottish Rite in America is governed by two Supreme Councils, not just the one in Washington.
2. The head of the Scottish Rite is the “Sovereign Grand Commander” not the “Supreme Worshipful Master.” This latter position does not exist.
3. The 32nd degree is not conferred in a local lodge. Local Lodges that you see in your neighborhood are referred to as a “Blue Lodge” and they only go up to the 3rd degree.
4. You cannot see the altar in the Temple room in Alexander, VA Masonic Temple from the double doors at the entrance, the organ blocks the view.
5. The “circumpunct” or “point within a circle” is only one of many emblems, not uniquely important.
6. The emblem of the Scottish Rite is a double-headed eagle, not a phoenix.
7. A 33rd degree ring is composed of three equal-width bands, usually with a triangle containing “33°.” In the Scottish Rite, there are only 33 of these in the Rite. One can only be elected into this level after someone dies and a spot opens up.
Should anyone have any interest I will be glad to answer any questions that I am allowed to pass on. The Freemasons are not a secret society, but a society with secrets with the motto, “Making Good Men Better.”