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Just finished the Da Vinci Code

Postby reynolds80 » Tue May 02, 2006 12:00 pm

It was an entertaining page-turner of a book, but it had several glaring inaccuracies that I won't get into.

(***If you haven't read it and plan to, you might not want to keep reading***)

But one of the main parts that jumped out at me was this idea of the sacred feminine, and its omission from the last 2000 years of male-dominated western culture. The author writes about how the last 2000 years of male-dominated western culture has brought the world only wars, disease, famine, etc., and that it's been a world out of balance because the feminine half has been missing.

At first glance it sounds true, but if you stop and think about it, it's really absurd. Consider the supposedly balanced cultures of more than 2000 years ago, or the non-western cultures like the Native Americans. These cultures had the propensity to be just as brutal as the last two millenia of the West. The pagan worshipping cultures of Europe and Asia were anything but peaceful with their human sacrifices to the rain gods and such. The American Natives played a sport where the winner got his head cut off and used as a sort of soccer ball for the next match. Wars and savages have existed in every culture and time period, regardless of the amount of power held by women.
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Postby bigh0rt » Tue May 02, 2006 12:05 pm

It's a good read, but anybody taking it as anything more than a nice work of fiction, I call into question (you seemingly agree, on your glaring inaccuracies quote).
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Postby knapplc » Tue May 02, 2006 12:31 pm

I was in Paris last September and visited many of the sites in the book (there's a walking tour I could recommend if you find yourself in Paris). To say that there are glaring inaccuracies in this book is a vast understatement. Just about everything he talked about physically or geographically regarding Paris itself, the Louvre, St. Sulpice, et al, are just flat wrong. You can tell he had never been to Paris prior to writing the book, and he had certainly not seen any pictures of St. Sulpice (especially the altar, the candlesticks on the altar, the “rose line,” etc.). I have pictures of this stuff at home if anyone wants me to post them.

Then if you get into the historical aspects of the church that he relates he again is dead wrong – the history of the church which he cites is either fancifully exaggerated or simply untrue, especially regarding Constantine’s role in the church, the books of the bible, etc. To assert that Jesus Christ was married and that it was covered up by the church is also extremely offensive to Christians. Imagine if he had said that about Mohammad - what would the response have been?

I liked his writing style and I found the story engaging, but what bugs me about it is his assertion in an interview I’ve seen where he says that what he wrote about is all true. It’s just plain NOT, and to purport otherwise ruins what was a decent book.

***Major Spoiler***



The Priory of Sion, the main protagonist in the story, is entirely a work of fiction. It simply does not exist as a clandestine organization doing what Brown alleges it does. From Wikipedia’s entry:

Wikipedia wrote: Recently, due to Dan Brown's best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code, there has been a new level of public interest in the Priory of Sion. In a short preface, Brown lists a series of "facts" underlying the fiction of the novel. He declares that "the Priory of Sion—a European secret society founded in 1099—is a real organization. In 1975 Paris's Bibliothèque Nationale discovered parchments known as Les Dossiers Secrets, identifying numerous members of the Priory of Sion, including Sir Isaac Newton, Sandro Botticelli, Victor Hugo and Leonardo da Vinci."

If this is not a mere marketing trick, it would seem that Dan Brown takes the fantastic claims of the Secret Dossiers more or less at face value, like the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail did before him. In the body of the novel itself (chapter 48), it is said that "the Dossiers Secrets had been authenticated by many specialists and incontrovertibly confirmed" that the famous people listed were indeed former Priory leaders—something "historians had suspected for a long time." It should be understood that this fictionalized treatment completely reverses the judgment of real-world researchers, who (with the exception of dedicated conspiracy theorists) have rather dismissed the Dossiers as obvious forgeries. Nor had any "historians" ever suspected that Newton, Botticelli etc. were members of any "Priory of Sion"; this claim first appeared in the Dossiers themselves.


I would have much less contempt for Brown if he did not make the bolded statements above, and reiterate that assertion in at least one interview on national TV that I have seen. If it’s just a marketing trick (as stated in the Wikipedia entry) then I wish he wouldn’t go about stating he believes it’s true. All he’s doing is confusing a lot of people who think that this book draws on facts rather than fiction.
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Postby bigh0rt » Tue May 02, 2006 12:35 pm

knapplc wrote:I was in Paris last September and visited many of the sites in the book (there's a walking tour I could recommend if you find yourself in Paris). To say that there are glaring inaccuracies in this book is a vast understatement. Just about everything he talked about physically or geographically regarding Paris itself, the Louvre, St. Sulpice, et al, are just flat wrong. You can tell he had never been to Paris prior to writing the book, and he had certainly not seen any pictures of St. Sulpice (especially the altar, the candlesticks on the altar, the “rose line,” etc.). I have pictures of this stuff at home if anyone wants me to post them.


Please do. ;-D
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Postby knapplc » Tue May 02, 2006 12:51 pm

bigh0rt wrote:
knapplc wrote:I was in Paris last September and visited many of the sites in the book (there's a walking tour I could recommend if you find yourself in Paris). To say that there are glaring inaccuracies in this book is a vast understatement. Just about everything he talked about physically or geographically regarding Paris itself, the Louvre, St. Sulpice, et al, are just flat wrong. You can tell he had never been to Paris prior to writing the book, and he had certainly not seen any pictures of St. Sulpice (especially the altar, the candlesticks on the altar, the “rose line,” etc.). I have pictures of this stuff at home if anyone wants me to post them.


Please do. ;-D


Roger! Will do, later tonight.

One of my biggest gripes about The Da Vinci Code is, now that Brown has repopularized the Mona Lisa, you can't get anywhere near the thing. It's SO CROWDED there, and the painting is so relatively small, that you may as well not waste your time trying to see it.
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Postby acsguitar » Tue May 02, 2006 1:12 pm

I thought it was a great book and it wasn't the first time I've heard that Jesus had a wife.

Anyways inaccuracies aside its fiction and very interesting.
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Postby TheRock » Tue May 02, 2006 1:16 pm

knapplc wrote:Imagine if he had said that about Mohammad - what would the response have been?


I think we all know that. I imagine assassins have been dispatched to your house for even suggesting it.

But yes, the book is a great read. He had to give a little background to make the premise of the story seem credible in the mind of the reader. It's just to bad he claimed it was all fact, and has maintained that assertion despite his "facts" being ripped to shreds by this thing caled reality.
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Postby knapplc » Tue May 02, 2006 1:30 pm

acsguitar wrote:I thought it was a great book and it wasn't the first time I've heard that Jesus had a wife.

Anyways inaccuracies aside its fiction and very interesting.


If you've heard it from a reputable source, by all means provide the link.

What people fail to realize is how offensive statements like that are to a Christian. It's OK to offend Christians because they're not going to off you for it - "turn the other cheek" and all that.
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Postby acsguitar » Tue May 02, 2006 1:32 pm

knapplc wrote:
acsguitar wrote:I thought it was a great book and it wasn't the first time I've heard that Jesus had a wife.

Anyways inaccuracies aside its fiction and very interesting.


If you've heard it from a reputable source, by all means provide the link.

What people fail to realize is how offensive statements like that are to a Christian. It's OK to offend Christians because they're not going to off you for it - "turn the other cheek" and all that.


Geez I don't know I've just heard it hear and there during catholic school
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Postby knapplc » Tue May 02, 2006 1:34 pm

acsguitar wrote:
knapplc wrote:
acsguitar wrote:I thought it was a great book and it wasn't the first time I've heard that Jesus had a wife.

Anyways inaccuracies aside its fiction and very interesting.


If you've heard it from a reputable source, by all means provide the link.

What people fail to realize is how offensive statements like that are to a Christian. It's OK to offend Christians because they're not going to off you for it - "turn the other cheek" and all that.


Geez I don't know I've just heard it hear and there during catholic school

Are you trying to be offensive?
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