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Dan Brown's 'Lost Symbol' Prompts Interest in Washington Area Masonic Structures

Cities in Europe where author Dan Brown has set scenes from his past best-selling novels have been flooded with tourists eager visit the places mentioned in the stories. Here are some locations and iconic symbols in D.C. that may find a way into Brown's newest work, "The Lost Symbol."

Small problem: "There is no question of any orb in this church," Griffith-Jones says. "Knights didn't have orbs. Only kings had orbs," and it's mostly knights depicted at the temple. Griffith-Jones began offering a weekly lecture to dispel the myths of "Da Vinci" and eventually wrote a book on the subject. Still the tourists come. "I feel like King Canute, with the rising ocean tide I cannot stem."

In Italy, more of the same. One Roman tour guide describes how her tours of the Colosseum were so frequently interrupted by tourists more interested in "Angels & Demons" faux-history that she had to create a special tour for them.

Washingtonians, we are next.

Already, Old Town Trolley Tours is considering a Secret Symbols tour of Washington. Already, the Masonic Service Association in Silver Spring is readying a special truth-squad Web site to fact-check "The Lost Symbol."

"We're in the cross hairs," says S. Brent Morris, managing editor of the Scottish Rite Journal. "It could be good; it could be bad. We've decided to take a deep breath, take a chill pill and see what happens."

Back in Britain, Griffith-Jones is also keeping an eye on the release of "The Lost Symbol."

"I'm very slightly worried that if the next book focuses on the Freemasons, then there will be mention of the Knights Templar," he says.

Which would be a problem because . . .

"We were built by the Knights Templar. It will all start again."

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