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Chapter 1


Chapter 2


Chapter 3


Chapter 4


Chapter 5


Chapter 6


Chapter 7


Chapter 8


Chapter 9


Chapter 10


Chapter 11


Chapter 12


Chapter 13


Chapter 14


Chapter 15


Chapter 16


Chapter 17


Chapter 18


Chapter 19


Chapter 20


Chapter 21


Chapter 22


Chapter 23


Chapter 24


Chapter 25


Chapter 26


Chapter 27


Chapter 28


Chapter 29


Chapter 30


Chapter 31


Chapter 32


Chapter 33


Chapter 34


Chapter 35


Chapter 36


Chapter 37


Chapter 38


Chapter 39


Chapter 40


Chapter 41


Chapter 42


Chapter 43


Chapter 44


Chapter 45


Chapter 46


Chapter 47


Chapter 48


Chapter 49


Chapter 50


Chapter 51


Chapter 52


Chapter 53


Chapter 54


Chapter 55


Chapter 56


Chapter 57


Chapter 58


Chapter 59


Chapter 60


Chapter 61


Chapter 62


Chapter 63


Chapter 64


Chapter 65


Chapter 66


Chapter 67


Chapter 68


Chapter 69


Chapter 70


Chapter 71


Chapter 72


Chapter 73


Chapter 74


Chapter 75


Chapter 76


Chapter 77


Chapter 78


Chapter 79


Chapter 80


Chapter 81


Chapter 82


Chapter 83


Chapter 84


Chapter 85


Chapter 86


Chapter 87


Chapter 88


Chapter 89


Chapter 90


Chapter 91


Chapter 92


Chapter 93


Chapter 94


Chapter 95


Chapter 96


Chapter 97


Chapter 98


Chapter 99


Chapter 100


Chapter 101


Chapter 102


Chapter 103


Chapter 104


Chapter 105


Chapter 106


Chapter 107


Chapter 108


Chapter 109


Chapter 110


Chapter 111


Chapter 112


Chapter 113


Chapter 114


Chapter 115


Chapter 116


Chapter 117


Chapter 118


Chapter 119


Chapter 120


Chapter 121


Chapter 122


Chapter 123


Chapter 124


Chapter 125


Chapter 126


Chapter 127


Chapter 128


Chapter 129


Chapter 130


Chapter 131


Chapter 132


Chapter 133




Also by Dan Brown


Copyright Page












My profound thanks to three dear friends with whom I have the great luxury of working: my editor, Jason Kaufman; my agent, Heide Lange; and my counselor, Michael Rudell. In addition, I would like to express my immense gratitude to Doubleday, to my publishers around the world, and, of course, to my readers.


This novel could not have been written without the generous assistance of countless individuals who shared their knowledge and expertise. To all of you, I extend my deep appreciation.




To live in the world without becoming


aware of the meaning of the world is


like wandering about in a great library


without touching the books.


The Secret Teachings
of All Ages








In 1991, a document was locked in the safe of the director of the CIA. The document is still there today. Its cryptic text includes references to an ancient portal and an unknown location underground. The document also contains the phrase
“It’s buried out there somewhere.”



All organizations in this novel exist, including the Freemasons, the Invisible College, the Office of Security, the SMSC, and the Institute of Noetic Sciences.



All rituals, science, artwork, and monuments in this novel are real.








House of the Temple


8:33 P.M.


The secret
is how to die.


Since the beginning of time, the secret had always been how to die.


The thirty-four-year-old initiate gazed down at the human skull cradled in his palms. The skull was hollow, like a bowl, filled with bloodred wine.


Drink it,
he told himself.
You have nothing to fear.


As was tradition, he had begun this journey adorned in the ritualistic garb of a medieval heretic being led to the gallows, his loose-fitting shirt gaping open to reveal his pale chest, his left pant leg rolled up to the knee, and his right sleeve rolled up to the elbow. Around his neck hung a heavy rope noose—a “cable-tow” as the brethren called it. Tonight, however, like the brethren bearing witness, he was dressed as a master.


The assembly of brothers encircling him all were adorned in their full regalia of lambskin aprons, sashes, and white gloves. Around their necks hung ceremonial jewels that glistened like ghostly eyes in the muted light. Many of these men held powerful stations in life, and yet the initiate knew their worldly ranks meant nothing within these walls. Here all men were equals, sworn brothers sharing a mystical bond.


As he surveyed the daunting assembly, the initiate wondered who on the outside would ever believe that this collection of men would assemble in one place . . . much less
place. The room looked like a holy sanctuary from the ancient world.


The truth, however, was stranger still.


I am just blocks away from the White House.


This colossal edifice, located at 1733 Sixteenth Street NW in Washington, D.C., was a replica of a pre-Christian temple—the temple of King Mausolus, the original
mausoleum . . .
a place to be taken after death. Outside the main entrance, two seventeen-ton sphinxes guarded the bronze
doors. The interior was an ornate labyrinth of ritualistic chambers, halls, sealed vaults, libraries, and even a hollow wall that held the remains of two human bodies. The initiate had been told every room in this building held a secret, and yet he knew no room held deeper secrets than the gigantic chamber in which he was currently kneeling with a skull cradled in his palms.


The Temple Room.


This room was a perfect square. And cavernous. The ceiling soared an astonishing one hundred feet overhead, supported by monolithic columns of green granite. A tiered gallery of dark Russian walnut seats with hand-tooled pigskin encircled the room. A thirty-three-foot-tall throne dominated the western wall, with a concealed pipe organ opposite it. The walls were a kaleidoscope of ancient symbols . . . Egyptian, Hebraic, astronomical, alchemical, and others yet unknown.


Tonight, the Temple Room was lit by a series of precisely arranged candles. Their dim glow was aided only by a pale shaft of moonlight that filtered down through the expansive oculus in the ceiling and illuminated the room's most startling feature—an enormous altar hewn from a solid block of polished Belgian black marble, situated dead center of the square chamber.


The secret is how to die,
the initiate reminded himself.


“It is time,” a voice whispered.


The initiate let his gaze climb the distinguished white-robed figure standing before him.
The Supreme Worshipful Master.
The man, in his late fifties, was an American icon, well loved, robust, and incalculably wealthy. His once-dark hair was turning silver, and his famous visage reflected a lifetime of power and a vigorous intellect.
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