There's a quite good novel by Umberto Eco (author of "The Name of the Rose" which became a movie) called "Foucault's Pendulum"...it's sort of "The DaVinci Code" for intelligent people...and has a sort of clever, unusual take on secret societies and conspiracies - has nothing to do with any purported family of Jesus or anything, but does center on the Templars.
It's long, and the first 50 pages are pretty boring, but then it gets good and you'll learn more about the Templars, Assassins, Rosicrucians, Bavarian Illuminati, etc. than you ever wanted to know.
That's old hat. The guy who hands out the free commuter paper at my Metro stop tells me from time to time about the 33 1/3 degree Masons. Now that's a secret order!
A badly edited, nonsensical piece of crap. SOB better not plan on doing any promotion in my town.
Another good'un: FLICKER, by Theodore Roszak. It covers a lot of the same territory, but looks at the whole secret-society/Gnostic subject from the angle of moviemaking and the control of imagery and memes. And the theological and historical viewpoint is the exact opposite of THE DAVINCI CODE, i.e., it's based on accurate and verifiable information, and doesn't cater to Noo Age silliness.
Yes, not an easy book to get into, but once there, it's really quite a good book.
So is it another book that takes the usual cheap shots at the RCC?
Wonderful book, and I had a hard time taking DaVinci Code seriously having read Eco's book first.
Umberto Eco is as prolific as Stephen King with about ten times the vocabulary.