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Decoding the Da Vinci Code

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Ah, The Da Vinci Code, isn’t it fun? If you haven’t read it but plan to, don’t read on. This might spoil it.

If you’re still reading that means that you’ve either read it and just can’t get enough or you haven’t and probably won’t. OK. This contribution to the ever growing stack of stuff about Dan Brown’s famous book comes to us from The Disinformation Company, whose medium is the fascinating conglomeration of all of the current conspiracy theories. Naturally, they have taken up Dan Brown’s standard and here work to build on this greatest and oldest alleged conspiracy of Western civilization.

As you know, the shocking secret brought to the mainstream by The Da Vinci Code is the Jesus was married to Mary Magdelan. It is a compelling idea made even more interesting by the idea that his descendents are still with us. Dan Brown’s slow pulling back of that curtain is what keeps us turning the pages of his book. We certainly don’t do it for the two-dimensional characters or the predictable action sequences. So, for those of us that yawned and rolled our eyes when the albino (No, really?) assassin/monk carried his wounded superior through the rain but sat up and paid attention to the lectures about the Knights Templar, here is this little DVD.

It is primarily talking head scholars recounting what they put in their books that none of us have read. They not only support the basic idea of the Da Vinci Code, but they go far beyond. These experts range from intentionally bored scholars to a gently spoke Catholic housewife and they all have the same basic message: Dan Brown is interesting enough, but you haven’t heard the half of it. Each is given the lectern and each breathlessly recounts what their studies have revealed.

As for the content of their message, I must admit that I walked away shaking my head in amazement. The DVD is a mind numbing barrage of information refuting almost every basic element of modern christianity, at least those that touch on the life of Jesus which, of course, is just about all of it. They make it clear that there has been 2000 years of manipulation brought to the religion by a number of different parties, all trying to twist it to fit their interests. What are missing here are those that disagree. Not one of the experts held a contrary opinion, though I’m sure that there are a number out there that do. It would have made the message more compelling and believable.

As to the production quality, it was a bit lacking. The chattering experts were interesting but they began to wear on the nerve after awhile. Most of the documentary appears to have been shot with a video camera and the artwork and photography used to illustrate their points made was used repeatedly to the point of distraction.

For someone swept up in the Code phenomenon, I would recommend this DVD. Even if you feel that you’d rather read about the subject than have it spoon fed to you, I would still encourage you to watch it. Every expert on the documentary is there because they wrote a book directly related to the subject matter; just think of it as an interactive bibliography.

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About Bryce Eddings

  • These petty pranksters and their disinformation – the best rendition of all the conspiracy theories together was in the book that Salman Rushdie called ‘the future of the English novel’ – Umberto Eco’s “Foucault’s Pendulum”.

    The documentary sounds interesting, if boring – one will check it out. Thanks

  • I’ve read the novel (Da Vinci Code) and I do admit it was difficult to put it down. The plot however seemed a bit over contrived to me. About three quarters of the way through to book, the boredome began to creep in as the predictibility you mentioned became unbearable. It was however an interesting premise exploiting the growing popularity of writing in the genre of what I call “Confusionalism”. That’s where the writer creates entertainment (and makes money) by simultaneously manufacturing and interweaving complex details of fact and fiction in an attempt to re-write conventional wisdom,opinion or beliefs.

    The issue with some of these “quasi historical”, “Fiction-Non-Fiction” cross overs is that while they are: 1) entertaining and 2) thought provoking, young people are increasingly having trouble distinguishing between entertainment and true documentary work. Oliver Stone movies are a case in point. The result, subtle distortions that creep into mainstream society, where “entertainment” is crossing over into “politics” to drive agendas whether they are on the left or on the right.

    Say almost anything long enough and often enough in today’s media and eventually almost any untruth can be percieved AS truth.

    The fact that a “decoder ring” follow up book now exists speaks is a case in point.

    Conspiracy theories not withstanding, one wonders if the aim is to eventually strike the words “faith” and “trust” from the english dictionary?

  • Nick Jones

    “Conspiracy theories not withstanding, one wonders if the aim is to eventually strike the words “faith” and “trust” from the english dictionary?

    Woo hoo, another conspiracy!

  • JR

    Say almost anything long enough and often enough in today’s media and eventually almost any untruth can be percieved AS truth.

    Yeah, the churches have sure worked that angle, haven’t they?

  • Vern Halen

    Definitely the Eco book is the all time great conspiracy theory book. Dan Brown’s Code is absolutely lightweight in comparison.

  • Nick Jones

    I found Foucault’s Pendulum an empty bore myself.

  • Once the Pendulum is removed from the shaft, you have an empty bore – perhaps you should focus on the pendulum and not the bore