... The Da Vinci Hoax. The May 22, 2006, feature article, "Debating Da Vinci," was written by Jeffery L. Sheler, who quotes from our book a couple of times in the course of addressing some of TDVC's main assertions. Entire article is available online here.
John Mallon, contributing editor of Inside the Vatican magazine, has written a fine essay about the Coded Craziness, the nature of faith, and our culture's obsession with conspiracy theories. He writes:
But what really got me thinking was the nice old-fashioned expression
the editor used about “those weak in faith.” It got me thinking about
the nature of faith. I could imagine readers of this book, including
Catholics, falling into an infinite loop of doubt, asking, “But how do
you know?” when someone tries to explain that the book is false
regarding Catholicism. For example, the novel asserts that Jesus was
not God, but fell in love and married Mary Magdalene and had a child
with her, and from the very beginning the Church has sought to cover
this up. Why? Critics of the Church would argue because it is a threat
to the “male hierarchy’s” “power base” and that the Church has a
“negative” view of women and sexuality.
No need to imagine that some readers (both Christian and otherwise) have fallen into doubt and confusion because of the novel. It has happened and is happening. In addition, millions of readers are having their understanding of the Catholic Church and Christianity tainted, even warped, by the claims made within TDVC. Here is just one of many possible example, an e-mail sent to me by a fan of the Coded Craziness:
Dan’s books are an excellent read. My wife loves him. Read Angels and Demons first.
Have I read the Gospels of Thomas and Mary... Yup! At least translations of the fragments found.
Joseph Campbell introduced Thomas to us PBS types some 20 years ago and referred to the Nag Hamadi [sic] library.
Drink from my lips and you will be as me....
Now that works for me. Epinoae: direct knowledge! That tracks with Jesus’ Buddhist training in India. And the Vedic teachings that I have read.
Then years of Elaine Pagels’ wonderful books.
Her “Beyond Belief” introduced me to the Gospel of Mary. Now this makes sense! Jesus true second... a balanced yin/yang...opposite, yet the same... the two again becoming the One.
But that little hoser, Peter, was having none of that. Equality with a women?? Not this narrow minded patriarch. Like most men of the House of David, he probably preferred goats. In a hissy fit, he declared that only what he knew was true. And, of course, he didn’t know anything because Jesus didn’t give him anything. OOOOOh, he was miffed!
But the followers of Mary grew happily until Iernaeus decided that one size must fit all and ( in memory of the toasted Polycrap) declared believers of views other than his as heretics = ‘able to choose’. Say what?? One little pinhead decides for us all? the killing in the name of Jesus begin!
Then, several years later, Constantine, ever the political realist, saw in this a simple way to control people. Divide them into the blessed and the cursed. Give the blessed, through the supervisor, a license to kill the cursed ( ohh, the sweetness of killing in the name of God!!). Works off much animus, that. Veeery clever. Then those who killed feel bad, as they should. The supervisor sez ‘ya done good! now bow down to God....and his rep here on Earth, me....and the emperor too who allows you to kill them free thinkers!’
Nicea froze this insanity for 1600 years with several, politically inspired tracts of quite dubious provinance.
Dan Brown is just a very happy coincidence. He said what many of us believe the orthodox church is all about power and nothing about God. Why would he debate with you? Your noise sells more of his books!
So we are exploring the true Jesus without the incumberance of parisite-priests trying to keep their bellies fed. Light and sweet! We’re just the meteor at the end of the age of ‘the church’. ...
Remember, Dan is a storeyteller capitalizing on a growing movement to bring Mary (the sacred feminine) back home again. He didn’t start it. Attacking him just shows your denial of what is really going on: ‘the Rock’ crumbling into sand as the Goddess commands. Evolution. I love it.
The Code and Gnosticism: A Response to Steve Kellmeyer |
Carl E. Olson | April 17, 2006
When Sandra Miesel and I wrote The
Da Vinci Hoax,
we expected to be criticized by fans of The Da Vinci Code (TDVC). And we expected that some of that criticism would be uncharitable and illogical. We haven't, so to speak, been disappointed. But when a fellow Catholic and
critic of TDVC recently wrote a column titled "Does Ignatius Press promote Gnosticism?" and made a number of dubious and incorrect statements about The Da Vinci Hoax, I was both surprised and disappointed. Continue reading "The Code and Gnosticism"...
Apparently Steve Kellmeyer, a Catholic apologist and author of Fact and Fiction in The Da Vinci Code, thinks so. Yesterday he published a column, "Does Ignatius Press promote Gnosticism?",
on the Renew America website. This came fast on the heels of a series
of comments made by Kellmeyer on the Insight Scoop and Da Vinci Hoax
blogs (go here and here
for the pertinent posts and comments). In his article, Kellmeyer makes
a number of strange and sensational statements, including:
Recently, Carl Olson wrote a column for Ignatius Insight complaining
about the uproar over the Gnostic Gospel of Judas. Since his column
accepts comments from readers, I pointed out that the uproar was in
part fueled by his erroneous book and DVD — he and Ignatius have been
promulgating information on a heresy that the Da Vinci Code never even
refers to. Two years of Ignatius' hype concerning this straw-man
argument undoubtedly played no small role in the rising interest in
Gnosticism. [emphasis added]
That's an amazing and wild claim, without a doubt. He also writes:
So, when I heard about Carl's column, in which he laments the existence
of an uproar he and Ignatius helped to create, I asked Carl and Mark to
give me one example of Gnostic philosophy, theology or even general
thought in the Da Vinci Code. They couldn't.
Since I have yet to respond to Kellmeyer's comments and column (all of
which were published in the last three days, when I've been both buried
with work and away from my computer for long stretches dealing with
various responsibilities), I'm not sure why Kellmeyer is so confident I
cannot respond adequately. In fact, I now have a lengthy response
written, but have decided to wait until Monday to post it — I think it
can (and should) wait until after the Easter Triduum. But I did want
curious readers to know that I'm aware of Kellmeyer's column and will
be responding first thing next week.
The perfect antidote for fascination with the "vibrant" Gnostic Gospels would be to actually read the silly things. The Nag Hammadi Library ed. James Robinson handily collects the manuscripts found in Egypt in 1945. These include the Gospel of Philip and the Gospel of Mary which Dan Brown cites and the Gospel of Thomas which he doesn't.
Da Vinci Code fans who actually persevere through the 475 pages of the collection are likely to wind up with throbbing headaches or even the beginnings of brainrot. But they will know not a particle of new information about the "real" Jesus because he isn't here.