Friday, June 26, 2009

Welcome to the "Key to The Lost Symbol Clues" Blog

Dan Brown's forthcoming novel, The Lost Symbol, the long-awaited sequel to The Da Vinci Code, will be published on September 15, 2009, with a first printing of 5 million copies -- the largest first print run in the history of Random House. As part of the marketing campaign created by Brown's publishers, beginning on June 23rd, a series of clues to the content of the novel is being sent out on Twitter. (These clues are collected on the novel's Twitter page.)

The "Key to The Lost Symbol Clues" blog takes each of the novel's Twitter 'tweets' and comments on them. I post solutions to the coded messages, describe the significance of the historical clues, and so forth. For many clues, I take the blog reader to "The Next Level," showing the material associated with the clue that might escape attention on a casual viewing. Finally, I show what each clue tells us about what direction The Lost Symbol might take.

Who I Am

I am Mark Koltko-Rivera, and I write a number of blogs regarding my areas of interest, including the fraternal society known as Freemasonry.

Yes, I am a Freemason. Because people occasionally claim Masonic membership falsely, please let me take a few moments to establish my Masonic credentials.
(Having returned recently to New York City, I am grateful for the hospitality shown to me as a visitor by St. John's Lodge No. 1, Ancient York Masons, F&AM -- the folks who care for the Bible on which George Washington took his oath as first President of the United States -- and by the Valley of New York, Scottish Rite, Northern Jurisdiction.) I have published articles on the origins of Freemasonry and on the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.

This is all relevant to Brown's novel because The Lost Symbol is set within the world of Freemasonry, as Brown years ago said it would be -- and as shown by the clues!

[Additional note: As the U.S. cover unveiled on July 7 demonstrates, The Lost Symbol is not only set within the world of Freemasonry, it is specifically set within the world of the Scottish Rite in the Southern Jurisdiction--an organization of which I am a member, and in whose research journal and major magazine I have published.]

Finally, I have a doctorate in psychology (NYU, 2000), and have been received recognition from the Division of Psychology of Religion in the American Psychological Association for my work in that area. Of course, a background in religion, especially esoteric religion, always comes in handy when it comes to considering Dan Brown's novels.

Why I Am Writing This

I am writing this blog for a couple of reasons. First, I have the background to explain the significance of a lot of the arcane history hinted at in the Twitter clues (and Dan Brown certainly is one for arcane history). Second, this is a way to promote my own book, Discovering The Lost Symbol, which will be the only book exploring the issues raised in Brown's novel, written by someone who is both a Freemason and a specialist in the psychology of religion. (Publication details will be forthcoming.)

Reboot ('Version 2.0') of This Blog on August 6

After a couple of weeks filing posts on this blog regarding the Lost Symbol clues, on July 13 I removed all the posts. I did this because it came to my attention that, essentially, I was doing other writers' research for them. However, at this point, I think I have more to gain by building this platform for my work than I have to lose by sharing it.

In order to protect my own contributions for future publication, I will not comment on every clue on this blog. Rather, every day or two, I will comment on a clue that is particularly intriguing, from among the clues that have been posted in the preceding 24 to 48 hours. In addition, I have reposted some of my previous responses to some especially interesting clues.

I am glad to be returning to this blog. I very much enjoyed the back-and-forth of the comments, and the opportunity to be part of the public community commenting on the Twitter clues.

The Rules

Anyone is welcome to comment on this blog. However, civility rules: I tolerate no vulgarity, and no personal attacks, especially on others who have commented on a post.

With those guidelines in mind -- have at it. Enjoy. Dan Brown has quite a ride in store for us, judging by the Twitter clues.


  1. Hello Mr. Koltko-Rivera. Congratulations on your blog, great work. I am ajtrcbecg, you mention me on figuring out the invisible college tweet. Good luck with your book.

  2. Dr Koltko-Rivera, what a wonderful blog. I do look forward to your book, when it is published. I do have a non-Lost Symbol question that I almost hesitate to ask; At one point you indicate that you are a Latter Day Saint, with all due respect how did you reconcile your LDS temple presentations with your Masonic rituals. I truly hope this question does not offend you, that is certainly not its intent, but out here in Nevada it is very rare to find a Masonic Morman. In fact I have long held the belief, perhaps misguided, that in Utah LDS members were specifically banned from the Lodges because of the historic connection between Temple Rituals and Masonic Rituals. If this is not the appropriate forum for a question such as this and I certainly understand if you would prefer not to address it, but I am sincerely interested in hearing your point of view on what out west still seems a controversial subject. Respectfully yours

  3. I love Dan Brown's writing, and am doing my own research before reading the book

  4. finally!!!!
    i'm half way on reading this book. the plot are similar to 'angel and demon' and 'da vince code'. so it's kinda predictable. but i bow to dan brown for picking neotic science as topic for his newest novel.

  5. Interesting read... I was looking forward to reading the Lost symbol but is it as good as the Da vinci code?

  6. I just finish the lost symbol not a good book.Rehash of all his other books, the emperor has no cloths.

  7. You are a Mason?
    It's said that the identity of the members is highly confidential, isn't it?
    I am very intrigued with the Freemasonry, but I do find it confusing.
    Please, do reply.


  8. I know it's two years after the fact but I just finished Lost Symbol and I must weigh in on this book. I am a big Dan Brown fan but I see him more as a peer than an iconic writer. This ending is pretty diluted and unrealistic if you ask me. Peter Solomon has just killed his son, his hand is missing and has been tortured for days. It sure seems odd that he would be so cognizant and cheery while taking the hoodwinked Langdon on his discovery of our big payoff ending which fizzled like limp cauliflower. The sister, Langdon and Peter had all been pretty messed up to be so quickly recovered and running around DC late at night when Peter should be down at the police station answering questions as to why he wasted his son. Is it just me, or is Dan trying to write the Hollywood screenplay before he even finishes what could have been a great ending?

  9. Forget about the clue I like your mens suit look so elegant.

  10. The book is called the Lost Symbol; but it was never mentioned. It was always the lost word, and then that ended up being something else. So what is the lost symbol? And I couldn't help but wonder if Brown was trying to see how many condradictions he could fit into one book. For one thing it was pointed out that the book of Genesis had God's name Jehovah stated thrirty-three times. I don't know how many times; but Brown left off the "h" at the end because the Hebrew spelling translates YHWH. So now we know that God's name is Jehovah and He is the "one true god"; but then he has the tattooed man who believes the bible saying that "amen" is the name of a god? Why would Jehovah, the only true god, have the name of another god in his word the bible?


No spoilers, please!

Remember the rules: No profanity, and no personal attacks, especially regarding anyone who has posted a comment. In addition, please do not discuss Masonic passwords or signs of recognition in your comments. Thank you.

The entire content of this blog is Copyright 2009-2013 Mark E. Koltko-Rivera. All Rights Reserved.