Summary: Part two of a series addressing the fallacies of Dan Brown’s Novel The Da Vinci Code
The Da Vinci Code
Faith, Fact or Fiction
Series Part 2
Text: Luke 1:1-4
This morning we are going to play the Match Game. We’re going to look at several of the subjects presented in Dan Brown’s book The Da Vinci Code and find out which are Faith, Fact or Fiction.
I can’t possibly cover all of the questionable text or discrepancies of Brown’s book – I don’t possibly have that much time nor am I qualified to comment on some without further research, So I’ve condensed the list down to those few that I think are paramount to faith and to some that I think will be most discussed by your neighbors, friends, family and colleagues.
Before we begin, turn with me again to the scripture…
How many of you have read the book? How many plan too?
Someone said the other day, “I haven’t read the book yet so please don’t spoil it for me”. Well, there is a plot I’m probably going to spoil but it’s not written in Brown’s book, and the information I’m going to give, I truly believe you need when reading this novel.
So let’s get started! “Are you ready to play!!” We might as well start from the beginning.
The Da Vinci Code pg 1
Brown sets the stage even before the prologue with these words…
The Priory of Sion--- a European secret society founded in 1099 --- is a real organization. In 1975 Paris’s Biblotheque Nationale discovered parchments known as Les Dossiers Secrets, identifying numerous members of the Priory of Sion, including Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo and Leonardo da Vinci.
The Vatican prelature known as Opus Dei is a deeply devout Catholic sect that has been the topic of recent controversy due to reports of brainwashing, coercion and a dangerous practice known as “corporal mortification”. Opus Dei has just completed constructions of a $47 million National Headquarters at 243 Lexington Ave in New York City.
All descriptions of Artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.”
So what does that tell us right from the start?
1. All of the historical accounts and references to artwork and documentation presented in the book are true and factual?
In fact, there is only about 5% of the referenced “proofs” that are in deed actually true.
2. The Priory of Sion really exists?
b. But that it is a millennium old secret society?
Some of this might get a little “heady” but stick with me.
Priory of Sion or Priory of Zion, has, since the 1970s, been an elusive protagonist in many conspiratorial works of pseudohistory. It has been characterized as anything from the most influential secret society in modern Western history to a brilliant hoax created by Pierre Plantard. Further, the Priory was established on July 20, 1956 rather than 1099. Most of the evidence presented in support of claims pertaining to its historical existence, let alone significance, has not been considered authentic or persuasive by established historians, academics and universities. The Association was dissolved sometime after October 1956 but Plantard continued to revive it between 1962 and 1993 for various purposes. It wasn’t until the 1960’s that Plantard began producing (in more ways than one) parchments and documentation linking the Priory (and he personally) to the 10th century Kingdom of Jerusalem and to the bloodline of the Kings of France.
As a side note, it would be rather difficult for men such as Sir Isaac Newton and Leonardo da Vinci to be part of a secret society founded some 200 years after Newton and 400 years for Leonardo’s death
3. Opis Dei is an order of Catholic Priests and Monks headquartered in New York City.
Fiction and Fact!
It is reported that a mere 2% of the membership of Opis Dei are priests and no monks are reported in the membership. According to Brown’s book the Vatican was pulling it’s support of Opis Dei yet in 2005 (a year after the book was published) Pope Benedict 16th declared that the teaching of Opis Dei have lead "to overcoming the great temptation of our time: the pretence that after the ’big bang’ God retired from history." Renewing Papal support of the organizations mission to “spreading the Catholic teaching that everyone is called to become a saint and an apostle of Jesus Christ”, and that “the one and only mission of Opus Dei is the spreading of this message which comes from the Gospel. And to those who grasp this ideal of holiness, the Work offers the spiritual assistance and doctrinal and apostolic training which they need to put it into practice."
And that my friends is, as I mentioned earlier, discrepancies found BEFORE the prologue.
There are just so many, let’s hit just a few more highlights. We will be covering more in the weeks to come.