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Cristina A. Montes

Sometimes I wonder if the one honorable way to get Dan Brown off the hook, or at least to mitigate the amount of damages he would have to pay, is for his lawyers to allege and prove their client's insanity :P

On a more charitable note, in the words of Frodo: "Now that I see him, I do pity him..."

Mark Brumley

You said it, Sandra. Not much more can be said.

Ed Peters

Wow, CAM. That's EXACTLY right.


Mr Justice Peter Smith was born in 1952 and educated at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He was called to the Bar in 1975, lectured at Manchester University from 1977-83 and practised thereafter as a barrister on the Northern Circuit. He was appointed a QC in 1992; Assistant Recorder 1994-7; Deputy High Court Judge 1996; Recorder 1997 and a Justice of the High Court in April 2002.

Yes Sandra, the judge is an educated man!

Mark A. York

Well I mean this sort of ad hominem doesn't help your case much. It's clear his wife lifted most of the books to weave together new versions of existing books. Commercial success usually comes to the most superficial among us. That's some thing you and your partner here better get used to. He sold the books though, after a shaky history at mainstream publishers that many authors have including Lew.

Carl Olson

Mark: What exactly is ad hominem in the article? Methinks your accusation of ad hominem smacks of ad hominem.


clive - If it is (as it appears to be) the case that his wife did most of the (rather poor) spadework for the book, I'd love to be around for the divorce proceedings.

Mark A. York

That's sounds a bit circular Carl to a scientist. Such as "Brown is the slow child in a bright household." And the circumstantial ad hominem of his music publication "never released by a professional label." It's obvious as he says it was a failed career. I think Brown lifted much of his books and that should be the crux of the complaint. Many previously unsuccessful writers and musicians advance albeit not in the megatron way. That's the whole problem really. Isn't your book self-published? There's enough to indict Brown on without resorting to schoolyard catcalling. That's all I'm saying.

Cristina A. Montes

If ad hominem is a fallacy, so is ad misericordiam. The fact that Dan Brown's TDVC is his lucky break after a lifetime of struggling as an artist does not mean he could not have committed fraud in writing it, nor that he should not be liable for whatever fraud he committed. He deserves pity, yes, but fraud is still deplorable.

Mark A. York

If A then B? Yes. He did but it's not a special pleading. It's a real one but of a vey limited scope, not a get out of jail free card. These two authors are concerned for the injustice to Catholicism, but I'm much more concerned with author integrity. I think he has a serious problem here and since I've seen real evidence of misappropriation of others' work, coupled with his testimony I think yes. I'm saying there is no need to get petty here. A real crime was committed.

Carl Olson

"That's sounds a bit circular Carl to a scientist."

As does the dogma of the Trinity. :-)

"Isn't your book self-published?"

No. It's published by Ignatius Press, one of the largest Catholic publishers in the world (over 1200 titles published since 1979) and the English publisher of Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI since 1981.

"These two authors are concerned for the injustice to Catholicism, but I'm much more concerned with author integrity."

The two go hand-in-hand in this case, as we outline in detail in our book and in various articles. Brown's lack of integrity, which has been evident almost from the very beginning (i.e., aspects of his biography, his sloppy and amatuerish attempts to play historian on television, etc.), calls into questions his claims about deep research and viable sources. The case in London, especially Brown's testimony and witness statement, further confirm that he has deliberately skewed the record regarding his accomplishments, his research, his sources, and his knowledge of the many topics he addresses in his novel (and has addressed, at times, in interviews).

BTW, the above article was written by my co-author, medievalist Sandra Miesel, who has MAs in medieval history and biochemistry, and has published some 500 articles (both scholarly and popular) in her writing career. As for myself, I have a Masters in Theological Studies, and undergraduate degrees in Biblical studies and art. And, if I may say so, my first book, _Will Catholics Be "Left Behind"?_, was selected by the Associated Press as one of the best religious titles of 2003.

Mark A. York

Well unfortunately historical novels can take flights of fancy that straight history can't and shouldn't. I think you underestimate the intellect of the reader. The morning shows may play him off as a historian but he isn't. Most great scholarly efforts are lost in the publishing dustbins. I know I wrote one about 1775, and had it appropriated by a "bigger" historian even though it was about my own family. When his came out it wasn't in any store in the country. That's how history is treated in the marketplace. Don't read more into this than there is. He's no Edward Rutherford that's for sure. And no one will ever mistake Brown for him.

Mark A. York

Any dogma is circular. Yes.

Jommy Cross

To be fair, anyone going through Ms Miesel's publication history would probably find many self-published and amateur science-fiction publications that could be used (unfairly) as evidence that her work was unprofessional and deemed by an informed public as unworthy of interest.

Accusing someone of having a failed musical career because they weren't on a major label years ago bespeaks of either factual ignorance or willful calumny. To quote A E van Vogt, "I could only shake my head over these people; to me, they were obviously dilettantes who didn't understand the economics of writing science fiction."

--Oh, and saying your publisher publishes Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI is not a winning argument, either factually or in the court of public opinion.

Ross Hunter

point of fact.

You AND Dan Brown are both wrong with regards to the name of the university branch in Chillicothe.

"In both TDVC and the court statement, Brown thanks an academic librarian for help but identifies his institution as the non-existent "University of Ohio" instead of the regional branch of Ohio State University at Chillicothe where the man actually works."

It is actually Ohio University; main campus in Athens, Ohio, NOT The Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio). Different schools -- no affiliation with one another. But I won't fault you too much... it has been demonstrated how these things can be mixed up.... by ignorance lack of research or what-have-you.


Apparently the dust has settled in the debate here, but let me indulge in a few comments as this is the first time I have read this arcticle and the comments.

1. Mark A. York accuses SM of ad hominum attacks and then proceeds to issue an ad hominum against Brown:

'success usually comes to the most superficial among us'

On the other hand what he claims are 'ad hom' are not really 'ad hom' attacks e.g.

a) 'not published by a professional lablel' (it either true or false and goes to the question of credibility in padding his resume)

b) 'Slow child of a bright household', but this is only an intrerpretation (or paraphrase) of Browns claim to have relied on the research of others.

2. York claims that the 'logic is circular Carl to a scientist'. Ahh to a scientist, but what is the logic to a person: square?; rectangular?; polyhedral? Actually, circular logic means to assume what one means to prove, not that a witticism uses the term 'ad hominum' twice in a sentence -even to a scientist.

3. BTW The Trinitarian dogma is assumed and not part of a logical argument.
By your lights all science would be circular - to a scientist- for all science relies on assumptions.


Actually, it was NOT the Ohio State University of Chillicothe. It was Ohio University of Chillicothe.

So your facts are wrong, too, my dear. I know this for a fact because I work at this university library.


Well folks it was fiction you know. Also, what was he on trial for and what was the results.


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i like this part of the blog:"Brown follows Margaret Starbird in deriving the dynastic name Merovingian from the French "mer" for sea and "vigne" for vine. He seems blissfully unaware that these rulers of France in the Dark Ages didn't speak French but rather Frankish, a Germanic language akin to Dutch and weren't called "Merovingians" in their own era. The designation in fact comes from the name of their ancestor Merovech, Latinized as Meroveus." is very good


I am familiar with Ohio University and its history. I taught there over 36 years.

I am 86 years old JULY 10, 2010. I want to comment about the phrase University of Ohio. Works of fiction have used the term. At one time, that was the name of an actual university.

Best one volume history is Hoover's. Not by President Hoover. I may have the wrong author. Will check and let you know if I am wrong. I own the book. Has fascinating footnotes and citations.

Sincerely your,
jrsligo 03:53 PM MST
Gilbert AZ
Wednesday May 26, 2010.

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Dan brown is a good writer there is no doubt
I have read many books written by Dan brown
But I also dont like some issues which he explained in
Da vinci code. mainly the issues related to jesus christ.....


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