Oklahoma Masons prepare to handle curiosity sparked by Dan Brown's novel

BY CARLA HINTON Published: September 12, 2009
GUTHRIE — The statewide organization representing about 250 Freemasonry groups in Oklahoma is preparing to deal with curiosity that may be sparked by Dan Brown’s latest novel, "The Lost Symbol.”

Jim Tresner, a longtime Mason who serves as the Oklahoma Grand Lodge’s publication’s editor, said pamphlets and brochures have been prepared to give out to people who wish to know more about Masons, and the lodge’s Web site also will include additional information for the inquisitive. He said the lodge also has an informal speaker’s bureau that will handle any requests for speakers to share information about the fraternal organization.

Tresner said he expects Brown’s book to draw interest to local groups because that’s what happened after the release of Brown’s two previous books, "The Da Vinci Code” and "Angels and Demons,” and the 2006 movie based on "The Da Vinci Code.”

Also, the two "National Treasure” movies (2004 and 2007) starring Nicolas Cage created widespread interest in Masons, Tres-ner said.

He said the lodge found the attention to be a good thing, spurring an increase in membership and opportunities to educate the public about masons.

"There’s been a 70 percent increase in petitions (to join) since ‘National Treasure,’” Tresner said. Tresner said he read Brown’s two previous books and enjoyed them. He said he is as curious as many others about how "The Lost Symbol” will characterize masons or whether the fraternal organization will even be mentioned.

It could be great, "or it can be a catastrophe if he says ‘those no good so-and-sos,’” Tresner said, laughing. "You just never know. I wish I knew.”

Tresner, 67, said he’s not surprised that people connect Masons with religion because there is a connection.

He said this is reflected in one of the Masons’ standard symbols of a square and compass with the letter "G.



Video
To watch a video interview with Jim Tresner, go online to Today’s Paper on NewsOK:

newsok.com/theoklahoman

To learn more
For more information about the Oklahoma Grand Lodge and affiliated groups, call 282-3182 or go online to www.gloklahoma.com.

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