Dan Browns work accuracy?

I dont know whether this issue was raised ealrier. But I recently read Dan Brown’s “Angels and Demons” and “Da Vinci Code”. I was startled to find all those symbolic war fare of 15th-16th centuries that have gone on. Brown states all these are facts that can be verfied. But I have seen some comments by people saying his research is flawed.

What is the general opinion about these books in western world? How does the Roman catholic church responds to the accusations and alternate theories about Jesus christ. Most of all, IS THIS IS TRUE?

Somebody please enlighten me.

The Roman Catholic Church’s response to the DaVinci Code is, “it is a novel and a work of fiction.”

This can be accepted , given the factual evidence Dan brown presented?

Dan Brown is full of poppycock. There have been nearly a dozen books written just to debunk the crap in Da Vinci Code. Here’s some of them. I’ve only read the first two, but they were quite informative, well-written and copiously researched.

I don’t think so. Cite?

And this factual evidence is what?

Dan Brown’s own website clearly states that “The Da Vinci Code” is a work of fiction; he does not claim it to be true and doesn’t even claim the theories and conspiracies and such are true. About the various theories he says only that some “may have merit,” but he does not claim any are proven facts.

The Master speaks about Dan Brown a little bit here http://www.straightdope.com/columns/040618.html. While the article mainly mentioned Phi, the general idea is most of the book is written to entertain.

At the link below a professor, at the request of his students, reads the Dan Brown books, and then lists all the errors he found in them. (The first link is in PDF format; for those who can’t stand Acrobat Reader (myself included) the second link is the same page in HTML format.)

Dan Brown’s Novels PDF

Dan Brown’s Novels HTML

Dan Brown doesn’t believe the conspiracy theories in his books. He writes fiction.

But he knows the value in hinting that they just might, possibly, be true and accurate. People will then hopefully conclude that he really wants to reveal it all as fact, but “they” won’t let him.

People love conspiracy tales.

There is some degree of truth in Dan Brown’s fiction: there really is a place called Europe. Beyond that, his books descend into the realm of make-believe.

SPOILERS for The Da Vinci Code

I’ve read only Brown’s Da Vinci Code, but he’s clearly drawing on lots of pre-existing sources. That doesn’t mean any of it’s true. The Knights Templar really existed, and Brown relates accurately the history/legend of the Templars – that they went to Jerusalem, when they came back they began a very successful recruiting campaign, that the order was extraordinarily wealthy and powerful, and that they were rounded up on a single day in 1307 and eventually the order was dissolved. But there are perfectly good mundane political reasons for their power and wealth other than the magic of the grail or hush money from the Pope to keep quiet about the Bloodline – the Templars were very popular because everybody loved crusaders, and that lead to an increase in numbers, which led to greater military power, which led to wealth from conquered lands (and enough political juice with the Holy See that they got to keep the use of their wealth). And similarly, there were perfectly good reasons for their fall; the secular royalty didn’t like such a large, rich, and heavily armed force spread throughout Christendom which didn’t answer to the Crown.

Similarly, “Holy Blood, Holy Grail” is a real book, and the San greal/Sang real connection has been around since the Middle Ages. Brown didn’t invent the Priory of Sion, either – it probably doesn’t really exist, most likely being a hoax developed in the 1950’s, but it’s been a regular part of Grail lore since then. Of course, the Freemasons are real, and at times may have been a force to be reckoned with (George Washington and a handful of other of the Founding Fathers were masons), but like most fraternal organizations today (the Elks, Knights of Columbus, college fraternities, Skull & Bones, etc.), it’s mostly a mixture of social club and charitable organization. Of course Opus Dei is a real organization of Catholics which has sometimes been criticised for its conservativism (and its embrace of self-administered injury as a pathway to righteousness). And finally, the Golden Mean is real, it shows up frequently in nature (although Conan link debunks some of Brown’s claims about it), and it’s important in art and mathmatics – I remember watching a filmstrip about it (starring Donald Duck, IIRC) in my math class in 1985.

Brown took all this stuff, jumbled it together, and came up with an enjoyable potboiler. It all existed before him, and people were writing conspiracy theories about it before him, and some of it (the masons, the Golden Mean) really exists, some of it (masonic power, sang real, the Priory) is almost certianly bull, but bull that’d been around for decades or centuries before Brown got his hands on it.

Personally I always loved this mysticism stuff, and I spent many hours in college when I should have been studying reading about the Klysty, Christian Rosenkreuz, and The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, but, y’know, none of it’s true.

For anyone who’s interested in this stuff, I’d recommend Umberto Eco, specifically his book Focault’s Pendulum. Not an easy book the read because it’s clear that the author is so much smarter than you are, but it covers some of the same ground as Bown does, but with better research. Also the Gabriel Knight computer games from Sierra, if you can find them (the most recent was 1999), which, like Brown’s books, inform your investigation of modern murders with the history of secret societies and cults. (And the third game focuses on the Grail in particular.)


In Rome last year with friends who had read Angels and Demons, we raced around the city trying to follow the path laid out in the book. I hadn’t read it yet, so, really, I just liked seeing all the pretty churches. But they were horribly disappointed to discover that the path in the book is wrong – it doesn’t line up as it should. They spent some time discussing if we were wrong and had simply miscalculated, but finally concluded that, no, Dan Brown “moved” some sites to make the lines work.

If he’s willing to move verifiable landmarks in the interest of fiction . . .

There have been numerous threads here on the SDMB about Dan Brown and his books. Here are just a few:

DaVinci Code - so sorry, but here we go again. SPOILERS

Why is the “DaVinci Code” being taken so seriously as an attack on the Bible?

Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons

“Secrets of the Code” -unauthorized guide to mysteries of “The DaVinci Code.”

I was leafing through the illustrated deluxe edition of ANGELS & DEMONS in the store earlier today (I have the PB here at home) & it struck me how he totally messes up the history AND lore of the Illuminati. Basically, Brown claims they started out as medieval mystics & freethinkers & scientists who are persecuted by the Catholic Church so they band together in a protective secret society. Over the centuries, an aspect of that society turns violently anti-Catholic/anti-Christian & that aspect takes advantage of the hospitality of a society of Bavarian stonemasons, the Masonic Lodge, to thoroughly infiltrate & take it over over until they are purged out in the 1780s. This is a sad mishmash of the following facts-

Certain medieval & Reformation-era mystical groups did refer to themselves as the “enlightened”. One such group was the Alumbrados, of which Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits may have been a member. Certain Alumbrados were faithful Catholics, others regarded themselves as being too spiritual to need the Church. Thus, some groups were incorporated into the Church & others persecuted (those persecuted were usually suspected of continuing the Gnostic dualist heresy of the Manicheans/Albigensians/Bogomils/Cathars).

The Grand Lodge of London was organized in 1717 as a mystical gentlemen’s club perhaps actually having some link to the earlier stonemasons guilds. This new “Masonic” lodge took the physical tools & pariphanalia of stonemasonry & gave them a symbolic meaning of spiritual & personal character development.

A revolutionary, anti-Church, anti-royalist secret society was organized in 1776 (on May 1) by Bavarian canon law professor Adam Weishaupt. He became a Mason in 1777 & by 1782, the Illuminati had a significant presence throughout
the lodges of continental Europe. Whatever attempts to “illuminate” the lodges of England & the US did not seem as successful as the attempt in Europe. When the revolutionary plans & the moral degradation of Weishaupt & others were publicized in 1785, the authorities suppressed the order, which disintegrated & splintered. Weishaupt himself eventually returned to the Church & defended his
earlier plans as well-meaning folly. It is possible some splinters continued to either influence or actually become the Jacobins of the French Revolution, as well as the other socialist, anti-clerical, politically radical & occultic secret societies which sprung up throughout Europe & eventually England & the US. One such group, which can be said to be a clique of the US Establishment, apparently
does practice Illuminist-style initiation rites, but whose members show no united political/social program is the Yale University society of Skull and Bones.

Much as we Conspiracy buffs may like, however, we can show no definite continuation of the Illuminati- just a similarity of ideas & organization in the later occultic, revolutionary & totalitarian movements of the 1800s into today. (For instance, no proof of Rothschild membership in the Illuminati.)

There is also some superficial discussion of physics in Angels and Demons – what isn’t muddled is just plain wrong.

Here’s an article from the San Francisco Chronicle about some of the things Angels & Demons got wrong.

On TV they asked an American piest at the Vatican, who said that there’s more historical accuracy in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. this struck me as hilarious, not only because it’s true, but because a priest came up with it.

I read the book in question once, and only once. However, as I recall, the book’s preface stated “All description of rituals, and organizations in this book are true.”

In other words, he claims that the descriptions of “magical rituals”, near the end of the book are acurate to how they are described in old books, and so are the secret societies, which while they may not be around anymore, I (Brown) am describing them acurately.

This is likely to have been said in past threads, but I wanted to say it here and now.

P.S. All the history books I have read agreed that the catholic church really did steal land from the merovingians kings of franch, as described in “Holy Blood, Holy Grail.”

Any takers?

And the title at the begining of the movie “Fargo” says that it’s based on a true story. Sometimes, it’s all part of the act.