Chris Hodapp, author of Freemasons for Dummies has an explanation of the Scottish Rite on his Web site.
With Dan Brown's book The Lost Symbol displaying the double-headed eagle and 33rd degree shield of the Scottish Rite on its cover, along with the release date of the book 9/15/09 adding up to the number "33," it's a fair bet to say that Brown will place 33rd degree Masons in an important role in his novel. Good or bad remains to be seen. And since literally millions of people will read it and think Brown's version of Freemasonry and the Scottish Rite is "factual," as he has claimed in the past about his treatment of the Illuminati, the Priory of Sion, the Knights Templar and Opus Dei, I figured it was worthwhile to post a brief explanation of just who and what the Scottish Rite is.
You car read it by clicking here.