The Da Vinci Code, a novel that was subsequently turned into a film, brings to light a theory held by some conspiracists regarding the hidden truth of Jesus’ sexual involvement with Mary Magdalene.  In the movie, Robert Langdon, a Harvard symbologist, while evading arrest, seeks to solve the murder of his acquaintance, coming across an elaborate scheme of symbols within ecclesiastical art.  The symbols are purported to be placed within the art by the Priory of Sion, a group who, in the preface of the novel, Brown claims to exist as a secret society dedicated to protecting the blood line of none other than Jesus Christ[1].  If what is stated in the movie and novel is true, Dan Brown is presenting to the world the most controversial of issues, a theory that offends the largest religion in the world, Christianity.  History if full of controversial myths, ranging from the involvement of the Free Masons in the founding of the United States, to as recently as the culprits in the bombings of the twin towers in 2001.  Myths that cannot be proven or disproven with the documents available to historians, and therefore must be left to speculation.

As has been previously stated, the Da Vinci Code is centred on the existence, as well as the methodology of the Priory of Sion.  If Dan Brown is correct, The Priory was founded in 1099 during the First Crusade by the Knights Templar, and has existed to the present protecting the Holy Grail, or more correctly, the blood line of Christ[2].  However, historical evidence proves that Pierre Plantard forged and planted documents around France to fake the existence of the priory[3].  These fake documents were discovered and disproven in 1956[4], causing the notion of the priory to be dismissed by all but a few select conspiracy theorists.  As this is the case, it is hard to substantiate the so called facts produced by Dan Brown as facts, which is why the novel was classified is fictitious.

Dan Brown is renowned for bringing these obscure theories to light, also doing so in his best sellers Angels and Demons and The Lost Symbol.  Brown pieces together a few select facts, and weaves them into an entertaining story line.  While researching for this piece, I came across many such theories.  On youtube.com, there exists a movie called Zeitgeist, a documentary created by people who believe that they have uncovered the existence of a secret organization of investment bankers that control the world money supply, calling themselves the Illuminati[5].  The movie was entertaining, however, if presented to a university history class as fact, impending failure would be imminent.

Though these events cannot be empirically proven, it does not mean that they cannot be speculated over.  At the very least, it can be highly entertaining producing alternate reasons for historical events, or interpreting decorative or metaphorical decorations as a code.  However, existing in the time after the Enlightenment, for an idea to become mainstream, it must be proven, substantiated by facts.  The reason that these myths are only myths, is that there only exists hearsay and circumstantial evidence to validate the claims, and as such, people rightly seclude the ideas to the fringes of society, and only allow them to exist in fictitious novels like the Da Vinci Code.


  • [1] Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code, Doubleday, 2003. (pg ix)
  • [2] Ibd.
  • [3] http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/04/27/60minutes/main1552009.shtml
  • [4] Ibd.
  • [5] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dmPchuXIXQ

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