While most murder, mystery novels would not cause much of a stir, the difference here is about the claims in the very first pages of this book. Prior to the prologue, the book makes a claim of fact. Dan Brown, author of the Da Vinci Code claims these facts.
- The Priory of Sion was a secret organization founded in 1099 whose members included Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo and Leonardo da Vinci. This is based on discovered parchments known as Les Dossiers Secrets1 found in 1975 at Paris’s Bibliotheque National.
- The Opus Dei is a devout Catholic sect who recently completed construction of their $47 million dollar headquarters on 243 Lexington Avenue. New York City.
- All descriptions of secret rituals, artwork, architecture and documents are real.
Dan Brown was interviewed by Matt Lauer on NBC's Today Show, who asked, How much of this is based on reality in terms of things that actually occurred?
Brown responded, "Absolutely all of it. Obviously Robert Langdon is fictional, but all of the art, architecture, secret rituals, secret societies all of that is historical fact"
Whats the Plot?
The Da Vinci Code begins with the death of Jacques Sauniere, curator of the Louvre in Paris, by an assassin who later turns out to be huge albino monk named Silas, who is part of Opus Dei. While dying, Sauniere manages to leave a cryptic message on the
museum floor. He writes the name Robert Langdon. Robert Langdon is a Harvard
professor in Paris giving a talk at the American University. Landon’s name on the floor makes him suspect number one for French police. Paris police captain Bezu Fache, suspects Langdon is the Jacques Sauniere’s murderer, and he brings Langdon to the
crime scene. Later, at the crime scene, agent Sophie Neveu a cryptographer and the secret estranged granddaughter of Jacques Sauniere, arrives, knowing they suspect Robert Langdon, she helps him escape from the Paris police. After escaping from police, they begin a journey searching for meaning behind her grandfather’s final message, racing to find “Secret documents” before the Catholic Church destroys them. While hiding in the Louvre, before their escape, Robert Langdon explains to Sophie about Leonardo Da Vinci, painter of the Mona Lisa, how he was secretly part of an organization The Priory of Sion is a secret organization responsible for preserving the truth about the “Real Jesus”. The Church wanted to eliminate the “Sacred Feminine” the Goddess aspect, and maintain a patriarchal system Professor Langdon informs Sophie, But Leonardo Da Vinci in his artwork preserved the “Sacred Feminine” or Goddess worship--- Sir Isaac Newton, Victor Hugo, Boticelli were all Grand Masters in the Priory of Sion they were responsible for preserving the “True” identity of Jesus to be released in the future. During their escapes from the museum, Professor Langdon explains to Sophie about the socalled “Holy Grail” documents, the Sangreal,3 found under the Temple-Mount4 by Godefroi de Bouillon in 1099 when the Crusaders conquered Jerusalem. These documents Brown claims reveal the “Holy Grail” is not a chalice cup used at the last supper but Mary Magdalene herself, who preserved Jesus’ royal family line before he died on the cross. The organization founded by succeeding knights known as the “Knights Templar” was given unlimited powers by Popes, and they lived in Solomon’s Stables under the Temple mount site. Brown claims they found thousands of documents proving Jesus’ real identity and his relationship with Mary Magdalene, these documents made them very powerful, to the point where the Pope Clement V and France’s King Philippe IV destroyed them and confiscated their property on Friday 13th, October 13076. These documents, known as the Sangreal escaped destruction and are in hiding, with only the Priory of Sion having knowledge of their location. Robert and Sophie find refuge in the estate of Royal British historian, Sir Leigh Teabing, he confirms the words of Landon, and adds the following to the innocent Sophie. Teabing, continues… “The Bible is a product of man my dear. Not God” (Page 231) “More then 80 gospels were considered for the New Testament, and yet only a few were chosen” (Page 231) Constantine…held a gathering known as the council of Nicea….(325 A.D.) Until that moment in history Jesus was viewed by his followers as a mortal prophet…not the Son of God. “Fortunately for historians… Some of the gospels that Constantine attempted to eradicate managed to survive. The Dead Sea Scrolls were found in the 1950’s hidden in a cave near Qumran…and of course the Coptic Scrolls in 1945 at Nag Hamadi”…(Page 234) “I shan’t bore you with the countless references to Jesus and Magdalene’s union….Magdalene was recast as a whore in order to erase evidence of her powerful family ties” (Pages 247,249) They leave the Teabing’s Estate and head toward England on Teabing personal jet, evading French Police…On the Jet Sophie explains why she was estranged from her Grandfather… Sophie explains to Robert Langdon how she came one day to surprise her grandfather at his country estate..and found him in the center of the room, surrounded by people, having sexual intercourse…. Langdon calms her and explains….
“Hieros Gamos…it means sacred marriage. Physical union with the female remained the sole means...man...can achieve gnosis..” (Pages 308-309) Teabing, Sophie and Professor Langdon arrive in England and fail to find the thousand’s of pages of evidence…proving Jesus’ true identity….But Langdon explains to Sophie about faith and religion… “The New Testament is based on fabrications…every faith is…based on fabrications…Jesus was not born of a literal virgin birth….Those who truly understand their faiths understand the stories are metaphorical” (Pages 341-342)