I read The DaVinci Code (2003) last year. It was a fascinating novel, but its viewpoint was not very novel. As most are aware, he’s being sued by the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail (which I owned, and read part of as a young, clueless Christian). I will not here expose the numerous factual errors perpetrated by Mr. Brown here. Others have documented the falsehoods put into the mouth of Professor Teabag and Robert Langdon.
I am currently reading The Covenant of the Flame (1991) by David Morrell. Members of the Mithraistic cult are killing polluters around the world. The protagonist, Tess Drake, met a man who was killed by this cult. In his apartment she saw, and photographed a statue. The cult is now trying to kill her before she discovers their secret. So, we have nominal Catholic Tess, visiting her old Art History professor and his wife to see if they know the meaning of this strange and obscene statue.
They tell her about how the Catholic church has destroyed the cult, and taken over many of its symbols (hmmmm- sound familiar). Then they bring up the Albigensian cult, which Pope Innocent III had exterminated in a crusade. They bring up the final battle near Montsegur (ah, wait a minute… I read about that recently) and a secret treasure that was spirited out at the last minute. They mention the various theories as to what that treasure was. The characters mention the Grail myth. “Those latter theories were made popular in a book called Holy Blood, Holy Grail. But those latter theories are nonsense, of course.” The reason being that the Albigensians were not related to Christianity (which is true), but to dualistic religions of the Middle East.
Same type of book with the same type of characters in the same type of circumstances talking about the same OBSCURE event (you usually only hear about these guys in Church History). The only thing that is different is what the treasure was. If I had not read these stories in such a short span of time, I probably never would have noticed. Have I lost my mind? Well, I did contact Mr. Morrell through his web site.
Update: I got a very quick response from Mr. Morrell. He notes the trial has revealed that Brown’s wife, who is his researcher, often does not note the sources. Apparently they also have material similar to Morrell’s Fraternity of the Stone in Angels & Demons. I may have to read Fraternity of the Stone to see if I can spot it. So, you can all rest- I haven’t lost my mind.