Skip to comments.The Da Vinci Hoax: A Tour de Distortion
Posted on 03/08/2006 6:14:03 AM PST by Mr. Silverback
G. K. Chesterton famously said something to this effect: When people stop believing in God, they dont believe in nothingthey believe in anything. A good example of this is Umberto Ecos novel Foucaults Pendulum, in which a group of friends program a computer to write a book about secret hidden knowledge. Titled The Plan, the book is the result of random links between things like Kabbalah, Rosicrucianism, the Knights Templar, and other crackpot ideas. While The Plan was intended as a prank, other people take it seriously, with tragic results.
Well, Foucaults Pendulum shows us how gullible unbelieving people are. And this is particularly so in our postmodern age when truth doesnt matter. This phenomenon partly explains the remarkable success of The Da Vinci Code. Like Ecos novel, its about a heretofore hidden knowledge that promises to let us in on the true history of Christianity.
Author Dan Brown gives us a Jesus who neither died on the cross nor rose from the dead. Instead, He married Mary Magdalene and had children by her. This sacred blood line is the treasure safeguarded by groups like the Knights Templar and the Masons. And the Catholic Church, in a desperate attempt to cover up this secret, murders those who threaten to expose it.
Devotees of The Da Vinci Codelike the fictional fans in Foucaults Pendulumhave trouble distinguishing fact from fiction. They visit places mentioned in the novel, and Da Vinci Tours are a booming business. With the upcoming film, interest in The Da Vinci Code will explode. Christians need to seize this teaching opportunity, preparing ourselves to answer questions readers are asking.
The first is: Are the historical events portrayed in Browns story true? Brown claims to have done extensive historical research and gives his readers no reason to doubt the novels accuracy. Since the average person knows almost nothing about Christian history, theyre vulnerable. For example, when Brown says that Knights Templar were put to death by the Catholic Church because they knew the true story about Jesus, people have no basis to question it, never having heard of the Knights Templar. Or when Brown says that at the Council of Nicea, the Vatican consolidated its power, most people are unaware that the Vatican didnt even exist in A.D. 325.
It is our job to expose the falsehoods. We can learn to answer Browns lies with the truth by reading books like Darrell Bocks Breaking the Da Vinci Code and Erwin Lutzers The Da Vinci Deception.
People flock to stories like The Da Vinci Code in part because all humans are searching for the secret knowledge that answers the mysteries of life. And when The Da Vinci Code debuts in May, millions more Americans will get a condensed tour de distortion. Knowing our neighbors will see this film, churches ought to begin to get ready nowpreparing to answer questions about it and to tell our neighbors that there is no secret knowledge about God. Its all in the Bible and all true.
The good news is that The Da Vinci Code readers and viewers are seeking answers to the central questions of life. The challenge is for us to supply the true answers.
The links at the source document for this one are great. Plenty of material to use to debunk this crap.
If anyone wants on or off my Chuck Colson/BreakPoint Ping List, please notify me here or by freepmail.
it's every bit as true as the "blair witch project"
BreakPoint/Chuck Colson Ping!
If anyone wants on or off my Chuck Colson/BreakPoint Ping List, please notify me here or by freepmail.
You could be right.
IT'S A NOVEL! Novels are fictional stories. They aren't true. They are made up. They are figments of the author's imagination. They are not factual. IT'S A NOVEL! For Pete's sake!
Your point is...?
Are you saying that a contention that the Resurrection is a fairy story is not something we should concern ourselves with?
If my neighbor comes to me and tells me he read a non-fiction book "debunking" the Resurrection (such as The Passover Plot), should I just let him go to Hell instead of correcting him, because I wouldn't want to violate Titus 3:9 by engaging in a "contention?"
Dan Brown, however could seem to be touting it as non-fiction. If he did "historical research," perhaps he needed guidelines to dink with, to make it a juicy novel.
After all, he's in the business to make a living. It's just, like the article said, that some folks can't tell the difference.
The DaVinci code is nothing new. Gnostics have been saying pretty much the same thing for centuries and I think you can count the percentage of the population that adheres to either on one finger.
He did say that? Then, I take back what I said in my post #13. He is touting is as non-fiction. Therein lies the danger.
Just the other day, there was a guy in the local bar raving about what a great book "The Da Vinci Code" is, about how it opens you up to new ideas etc. It's amazing how people who nitpick and parse every comment by Bush will then turn around and accept without question a book that is filled with falsehoods and distortions. And if you DO question it, you're a bad guy.
> In the much-antipated sequel, it will be revealed that Jesus' wife was actually Pedro Martinez of the New York Mets.
And that Johnny Damon (looks like Jesus, throws like Mary) rose from the dead and was reborn in pinstripes.
My fans are not fictional, dammit!! They're the product of a diseased mind.
Strawman Alert! Either that, or you can't possibly have read the article or post 1. As I said, Uncle Tom's Cabin was a novel, and people have known for 80 years or more that The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was not true, but there are still folks who believe it and act on it. Should we just not worry about arguing against it?
Yeah, The DaVinci Load is a novel. And a lot of people think it's a novel based on real historical information, because that's how the author and his hangers-on have portrayed it.
Let's see if you really believe what you say. Let me give you this scenario: I'm a professional writer (true) and I write a novel. It describes how Charles Darwin and every other major proponent of evolution, all the way up to Stephen Jay Gould, were part of a vast conspiracy of Satanists bent on uniting all of human civilization in worship of the Devil, just so they could practice their favorite perversions unfettered. I've done a ton of research on the history of the last two centuries, and I weave an epic tale using many real historical events, places and people, but I distort them to support my "Darwin worships the Devil" premise. Along the way (just for starters!) I show how Darwin committed the Ripper murders, how Carl Sagan organized the JFK-RFK-MLK assassinations and how Stephen Jay Gould helped plan 9/11 from his death bed. Oh, and I'll be sure to put "All of this is fact" at the front of the book, and if people ask, I'll tell them it's a historical novel telling a true story using the novel form. Be afraid...
So...when the book sells millions of copies, and the first bus full of tourists shows up at Gould's apartment to see the room where he and Mohammed Atta sacrificed a Girl Scout to ask Satan to bless their plan, are you going to shrug and say it's just a novel, or are you going to raise a hand and object?
Isn't "fiction", by definition, a lie?
Thank you for posting.
Have run into a few lost souls who think this is the real deal. Mostly gnostics. Doubtless some buy into this, or would like others to in order to promote their gnostic, humanistic and/or outright satanic agendas.
Good idea to be able to point to factual fallacies.
"So...when the book sells millions of copies, and the first bus full of tourists shows up at Gould's apartment to see the room where he and Mohammed Atta sacrificed a Girl Scout to ask Satan to bless their plan, are you going to shrug and say it's just a novel, or are you going to raise a hand and object?"
Doesn't sound like a novel that will sell very well, but, yes, I'd say it's just a novel.
Brown's novel is fiction. It's based on a bunch of other books, the Gnostic gospels, and other sources. It's kind of a lousy detective story, frankly, but I read it, just like a whole bunch of other people did. Then I moved on to other books.
But, you see, I think that much of the New Testament is fiction, too, so what do I know?
Be careful! That kind
of reasonable thinking
doesn't fit the 'Net!
So why are all the "begats" in there?
In the real world, you don't get to practice revisionism under any guise without actually engaging the debate. Mr. Brown has said, repeatedly and in many venues, that the novel fairly represents his historical thesis. If the writer says "it's fiction" then, fine, let's analyze him on the pages of the NYT book review. But if he says "it happened like this", HE HIMSELF has interjected a comment into a different conversation.
Fair enough, then he needs to debate church historians, not Larry King. That's all.
In the same vein and as an example (I hope) of fairness, I'm a christian who believes the universe I live in was intelligently designed, but creationists need to win that debate with university science faculties (and I don't think they are winning it, BTW) and not with, well, Larry King.
LoL leave it to an Arkie to cut to the heart of the matter. Of course, that leaves the easily panicked gasping in outrage.
I really have to say more because your attitude is just dressed-up flaccidity, whether you are atheist or believer.
Of course you "moved on", since you think the thing he re-wrote (the Christian kerygma) is itself fiction. So, for you, a re-fiction of a previous fiction can't be expected to be very significant.
But, here is the lazy logic of your view: you somehow expect EVERYONE to have the same reaction, even though they may not share the very premise which allows you to adopt your diffidence.
Your argument appears to be that EVERYONE should regard EVERY text labeled by ANYONE "fiction" just like you responded to this one, for no other reason than that you do it this way.
If that is not your argument, then the only alternative is be that there are SOME texts which, by their nature or author's expressed intent, enter other arenas, and should expect responses driven by all the energy in that other arena, and you must have in mind textual criteria for those legitimate cross-genre entries.
Or, perhaps you might argue that all of the critics are misunderstanding the text in question, that it really is intended by it's creator as fiction and that alone.
You see, you really haven't made any historical, literary, or genre arguments. All you've said is "I did x, because of MY premise y, therefore everyone should do x."
I would argue, rather, that all of intellectual history, sacred and secular, is the OPPOSITE of your view: you write something which is what it is. It is fair game for everyone to comment on. If it purports to revise, debunk, or add to what people feel strongly about, expect passionate argument.
You may disagree with those resultant arguments, but that they exist is not a pathology, but a sign of vitality.
Truth hides in lies. Jesus probably did have a child. Things do have meanings. What do you think the Washington Monument is?? Would you believe a missing "wee-wee."
The Da Vinci Code is about symbols and even if the story is fiction, there is truth in it because of the symbols. A lot of Christianity is committee work.
parsy, who sat in the broken chair.
No. It is our job to heap contempt and ridicule on the promoters and readers of trash pretending to be literature. That's all that's needed, no debates with philistines.
It is virtually impossible to debunk every false claim that comes along. How do you prove a negative. I cannot prove that Jesus wasn't married but I can speak the truth from the word of God.
Dialoguing with devils is a waist of time
See this column from Paul Proctor >
"The Da Vinci Code Tour"...
See the sights featured in Dan Browns best selling novels.
Vatican City - St Peter's Basilica, the Sistine chapel and the art of Leonardo da Vinci. Day trip to Castel Gandolfo the Papal Retreat in the Alban Hills
Milan - Leonardo's The Last Supper, in Santa Maria Delle Grazie Church, Castel Sforzesco, the Duomo and La Scala Opera House.
Paris - The Louvre, where Leonardo's Mona Lisa, St John the Baptist and The Virgin of the Rocks are displayed. St Sulpice and The Ritz.
Amboise - Chateau Du Clos Luce in Amboise. This is a must for those following the amazing life of Leonardo. This is where he spent the last years of his life under the patronage of the French King. This is a day trip by train to the beautiful Loire Valley.
Chartres - Day trip to the magnificent medieval Cathedral of Chartres.
London - Temple Church home of the Knights Templar and the National Art Gallery home of the second version of The Virgin of the Rocks.
Edinburgh - Mysterious Rosslyn Chapel in the village of Roslin
Brown lifted his plot directly from "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" a non-fiction book which presented the overarching conspiracy as fact. It was debunked by scholars decades ago.
My pridiction is that this movie will be the highest grossing movie of 2006 AND will make 2006 a higher box office than 2005. IMHO. Everywhere I go people can't wait for this movie to come out. I have not hear such excitement for a movie in awhile (maybe Star Wars, King Kong, Naria).
I think you are missing the point. There are plenty of authors in the religion section saying the exact same thing Brown said, but without the storyline.
IIRC, the intro page of the book claims that everything contained within is based on historical fact. Anyone got a copy handy?
It's the same double standard Oliver Stone pulls with his films, particularly "JFK". Runs behind the safety of the "it's only a movie" excuse when pressed on the historical accuracy of his nonsense (i.e.: the completely made-up Donald Sutherland CIA "Mr. X" character who holds all the secrets).
But when the heat's off he pontificates about demanding the truth; in front of Congress, to gullible audiences, on TV, etc. He even has the gall to to have Kevin Costner turn to the audience at the end of the movie to say "it's up to you" to get to the real truth! After he created fictional characters and made-up scenarios that fit his theories!
You can't have it both ways.
You're right. The book was written around a number of non-fiction writings that said much the same thing. Same thing if you write a novel set during the Revolutionary War. You put some historical stuff in there for verisimilitude.
Here's the thing: The Gnostic Gospels, one of the sources for these oddball theories about Jesus, are contemporaneous with the writings that became the Christian Canon. The Gospel of Mary is especially interesting, in my opinion.
So, one set of old writings becomes "true" while the other is "false"
Oh, well. So it goes.
The faithful would certainly be unphased, but generations hence would forever argue and reinforce the doubt of the divinity of Christ, because of this hoax. Dan Brown is seemingly acting out this plot, which he is doubtless very familiar with. The only way to do this is to publish "fiction", with a wink and a nod, fully intending to evolve this "novel" into something more... as a new belief system, based on distrust of Christian Church traditions, the curiosity and thirst for "secret knowledge", and for the same purpose as the fictional forger portrayed in "The Word." Namely, discrediting the very basis of Christianity, the Resurrection.
What are the "Articles of Faith?" The "Virgin Birth", the "Divinity of Christ", and the "Resurrection" itself. Only one is vulnerable in any way to debunking, though many have tried to attack the concept of the Virgin Birth. Dan Brown is doing this, behind the veil of a "fictional" story, that is none the less meant to be taken seriously. If Christ actually survived the cruxifiction, then... he did not rise from the dead, and the whole basis for Christian Western Civilization dissolves at its linchpin. Any doubt that Brown is fully aware of this?
The facts that Brown cavalierly missuses and distorts are his ultimate downfall, and so his fictional belief system returns to that status after only short examination. The threat is always that Brown and others like him are fully aware of the power that ignorance can have, and so they exploit it to the maximum. Perhaps Dan Brown only meant to use this exploitation of ignorance to make a bundle for himself, and maybe there is more to it. The inevitable controversy surrounding the movie will certainly give us clues, to what will happen next.
I know a little about Christian history but not enough to refute the claims adequately. However, I NEVER get taken in by this kind of thing. I saw a documentary on the subject, and it was clear there was NO hard evidence to support the contentions regarding the Da Vinci Code - just a lot of suspicions and myths strung together to create the story.
Exciting? Not exactly.
It is a monument to poor editing, lousy grammar, and just all around bad writing. When the plagiarism suit was announced, I immediately understood. This work is a ridiculous patchwork of others' ideas.
I'll give the devil his due. The advertising and publicity were brilliant. Christian-bashing crap, which is what I am going to beat out of this jackanapes should our paths ever cross.
Yep, a very wealthy crackpot indeed.
I enjoyed the DaVinci code, it was a great read and thought it would make a great Indiana Jones type movie. And I'm sure that it will be a good movie considering all the sodomite material that has been out there to compare it to. I don't understand why it was necessary for Dan Brown to prove to the world that he was a charter member of the tin-foil hat brigade.
Thanks for the ping. Already heard the rap sheet on "Da Code", so I decided not to read the book or see the movie.
Some may call me prudish, but I don't need to evaluate lies. My heart tells my this is better left to those that have already rejected Christ and are just looking for "proof".