The definition of a conspiracy theory, according to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary is, “a secret plot that is largely unknown to the general public” (Webster 84). Dan Brown focuses on an unusual conspiracy in his novel, The Da Vinci Code. The religious conspiracy theories suggested in this novel discuss secrets of epic proportions that have the potential to shatter the foundations of Christianity. “Behold the greatest cover-up in human history!” (270). Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code proves everybody loves a conspiracy.
Throughout the novel, secrets are revealed that pose great threats to the credibility of Catholicism and the modern day church. In his article, “Breaking the Code”, Maurice Timothy Reidy states, “Completely turned my opinion of the Bible and the Catholic Church upside down.” In this article, Reidy explains the influence The Da Vinci Code has over people’s views of Christianity. The doubt Dan Brown’s novel instilled in people created an uproar from the church. In Joseph King’s article, “Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code Spawns New Religion” he explains, “The Roman Catholic Church denounced the ‘lies’ propagated by Brown.” After the book’s release, the Catholic Church quickly jumped to the defense of their religion and spread the word that Dan Brown’s novel was nothing but propaganda and lies trying to weaken Roman Catholicism.
The controversy surrounding the release of The Da Vinci Code created several different reactions from religious people. “Some have taken offense at its religious content” (Reidy 1). The reaction described by Reidy is the most common reaction of those of the Christian faith. Readers more open to the possibility of there being truth in Brown’s novel become huge fans of the book. In Reidy’s article, he quotes reviews from readers found on amazon.com, “The Da Vinci Code is, in many ways, a further exploration of the Bible” (Reidy 1). The differing reactions from religious readers shows the different levels of truth people are willing to see in conspiracy theories. Brown’s stance in all of this seems to be that he would like to lead people away from the Christian faith. Author of the article, “Dismantling The Da Vinci Code”, Sandra Miesel, critiques, “[Brown] presents Christianity as a false root and branch.” The doubt Brown has instilled in readers appears to be exactly what he was aiming for.
While members of the church have dismissed The Da Vinci Code as fiction and lies, Dan Brown claims otherwise. In defense of his novel, Brown starts out the book by stating, “All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate” (Brown 3). By making this statement in the beginning of his book, Brown is setting himself up to be questioned by skeptics. Many critics of the novel are quick to point out every flaw they can find in the novel and quote it as misinformation. The article, “Masterplots II: Christian Literature” by Suzanne Araas Vesely, explains, “It is important to be aware...