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In Monday’s news RPJ linked to an article in The Scotsman which supposedly has “leaked information” from the plot of The Lost Symbol. The article says that Masonic authority Robert Cooper has access to an inside source who had told him that Brown’s upcoming book would show that “the country’s ‘founding father,’ Washington was actually a traitor who had been secretly negotiating with the British during the American War of Independence.”

The cloak and dagger tone of the article feeds well into the feel of a Brownian mystery, but the reality may leave a bit to be desired. When questioned about this inside knowledge about the book, Cooper had this to say in a comment on the “Key to the Lost Symbol Clues” blog:

In short the piece in the Scotsman was all mine save a casual exchange with a fellow Freemason at the begining of the year. I come to the conclusion I simply asked the question what would be the most outragous thing Brown could claim about Washington? A criminal? Not pwerful enough. A womaniser? Nothing really sensational about that. An alien? Too extreme. A traitor? Ah… If you told the average US citizen that Washington was a traitor, that the founding father of the USA was a liar, cheat and a traitor I think that you can imagine the reaction. It is that kind of reaction that Brown wants. Outrage = sales. But then, you have to remember that I am an arch cynic and so could be misleading myself!

It’s unclear if Cooper is playing this down to protect his “source”, or whether the story is simply a major beat-up. Certainly, it seems that these “leaks” should probably be taken with a few grains of salt, for now at least.

And when Cooper claims that “his recent book Cracking the Freemason’s Code – The Truth about Solomon’s Key caused Dan Brown to change the title of his new novel from The Solomon Key to The Lost Symbol,” he might want to at least acknowledge the guy who wrote a book about The Solomon Key/The Lost Symbol two years previous to him in 2004…

For the updated version, check out the Kindle edition of The Guide to Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol. (Shameless self-promotion)