Freemasonry Featured on New History Channel Series

The explosion of interest in Freemasonry and secret societies in the wake of Dan Brown’s “The Lost Symbol” has spawned another prime time television series. The  new History Channel docu-series “Brad Meltzer’s Decoded” which begins Thursday, December 2nd at 9PM CST, features the Craft in the debut episode.

The series, which was developed by Chris Hodapp and his wife Alice Von Kannon,  features some of history’s strange connections – some of which involve Freemasonry.

Writing in his blog Freemasons For Dummies, Hodapp explained,

Last December, Alice and I were hired to develop a ten episode series for the History Channel. Tentatively titled, “Decoded” (not our choice – it came with the project), the idea was to explore some of the more mysterious monuments, buildings and artifacts in America, from a different point of view. Our concept was to borrow from the structure of the classic James Burke PBS series “Connections” to show how one seemingly insignificant thought or idea or symbol led to another and another, to finally get you to the Statue of Liberty, and so on. We spent three months providing research, stories and episode outlines, and novelist Brad Meltzer (“Book of Fate”) was hired to headline the show.

The first episode concerns the missing White House cornerstone, which according to an article in The Washington Times

…was laid down [in 1792] in a Masonic ceremony. Within 24 hours, it mysteriously went missing.  For over 200 years, everyone from Harry S. Truman to Barbara Bush has looked for it, but to no avail.

Truman literally tore up the White House looking for it. He went as far as gutting the entire interior of the presidential home to search for the long lost relic.  “It’s the first piece of the White House and how is that no none knows where it is,” asks Meltzer.

What was so special about the first cornerstone?  Was it hollow? I so, what was inside, a time capsule or maybe something of even more historical significance?

The series premiere attempts to answer those riveting questions. And there’s even an appearance by history’s most notorious secret society, the Masons.

According to the Times story, the fraternity is portrayed in a positive light.  “What I want to accomplish with ‘Decoded’ is to separate what’s truth and what’s myth. Freemasons are always portrayed as bad guys but they were incredibly helpful, they couldn’t have been easier to work with,”  Meltzer said when interviewed.

Upcoming issues may feature more Masonic connections, particularly an upcoming episode on the Statue of Liberty, a subject that was featured in Disney’s National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets.

For more information:

Washington Times: Brad Meltzer Decodes History’s Greatest Mysteries

Freemasons for Dummies:  Brad Meltzer’s Decoded Airs Thursday

History Channel: Brad Meltzer’s Decoded