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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Silencing the Da Vinci Code
by Kalavai Venkat, India-Forum, May 29, 2006

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 07, 2006 05:13:21 AM

The Da Vinci Code
The Da Vinci Code


hristian groups want The Da Vinci Code banned. A pliant Censor Board of India insists on a disclaimer at the beginning and end saying the film is “a work of pure fiction and has no correspondence to historical facts of the Christian religion.” The Censor Board did not insist on any such disclaimer when Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, with its vividly anti-Semitic libels, was released. So, the Censor Board considers the story the Christian Bible peddles as historically accurate, and Dan Brown’s story as a fiction. For either version of the Jesus story to be true or false, there must be historical evidence that Jesus existed. As Professor G. A. Wells demonstrates, there is none.[i] Historians of that period have recorded events in detail, yet they are unaware of Jesus Christ, who remains an elusive and shadowy figure.


Is the Christian story credible?


How credible is the Jesus story the Christian Bible tells? It claims:


  1. Jesus was born and lived in Palestine.

  2. He was crucified. He died for our sins and was resurrected. So, we must accept him as our savior.


This is the outline of the story the canonical gospels tell. Luke (2:2) claims that Jesus was born when Quirinius carried out the census in 6 CE. Matthew (2:1) claims that Jesus was born during the reign of Herod, who had died in 4 BCE. Should we believe Luke or Matthew?



The canonical gospel writers pretend to be eyewitnesses

 to what Jesus supposedly did. But they are unfamiliar with Palestine or the Hebrew language. This is illustrated by the title they bestow upon Jesus: Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 2:23). Josephus wrote extensively about every city and town of Palestine but does not mention a place called Nazareth. As the Gnostic Gospel of Philip shows, in those days, there was a sect of Gnostics called Nazarenes, meaning those who reveal inner secrets.[ii] Ignorant gospel writers mistook that for a place name, and made it Jesus’ hometown!


Until after the time of Justin Martyr (~150 CE), no Christian writer even used the word gospel.[iii] Only the Gnostics did. Martyr does not mention the four canonical gospels. The celebrated philosopher, Celsus (~ 170 CE), mentions the gospels of Helen, Mariamme, Salome etc, but is completely unaware of the four canonical gospels.[iv]  A little later, Irenaeus declares, “It is not possible that the gospels can be either more or fewer than in number than they are, for there are four zones of the world and four principal winds.”[v] This illustrates the shaky foundations upon which the four ‘authentic’ gospels were built. From there on, the Church systematically suppressed all the other gospels as heresy. For example, Clement of Alexandria (150-215 CE) tells us that originally three gospels of Mark existed. Only one of those made it to the Christian Bible. The four canonical gospels themselves were repeatedly edited, and attained their current shape only in the fourth century CE. The oldest, fairly complete manuscript of the Christian Bible is also from the fourth century CE.[vi]


The Crucifixion of Jesus


It is evident that the early Gnostic Christians practised the ritual of symbolic death by crucifixion. It was meant to destroy one’s identification with the body and realize the true self within. Gnostics considered Christ allegoric and not as a historical person. Paul, a Gnostic later appropriated by the Church, declares, “The secret is this: Christ in you (Colossians 1:25-28.)” Paul makes it clear that Jesus was merely an allegory when he declares, “If Jesus had been on earth, he wouldn’t have been a priest.(Hebrews 8:4)” As Freke and Gandy point out, had Paul considered Jesus historical, he would have said, “When Jesus was on earth, he was not a priest.” This explains why Paul never quotes the words of Jesus which he should have had there been a historical Jesus.


Paul further confirms that he considered Jesus’ crucifixion symbolic where he declares, “I have shared Christ’s crucifixion. The person we once were has been crucified with Christ. (Colossians 1:24, Galatians 2:20, Romans 6:7)” He also tells Galatians, a community that lived hundreds of miles away from Palestine, that they too witnessed Jesus’ crucifixion (Galatians 3:1). Since Paul had never met Jesus, the crucifixion his audience in

Galatia witnessed could not have been an historical event. It has to be allegorical. Ptolemy (~140 CE), disciple of Valentinus, reveals that Pilate merely made an image of Jesus and crucified it instead of crucifying Jesus himself.[vii] Basilides (116-161 CE), a Gnostic saint, writes that those who believe Jesus was physically crucified are enslaved to myths, and those who treat it as symbolic are liberated.[viii]  


All of these illustrate that the Gnostics considered crucifixion and the subsequent resurrection as symbolic acts leading to liberation, and Christ allegorical. The canonical gospel writers misappropriated those profound teachings and created the libelous fiction that Jesus was physically crucified!


Even the ubiquitous image of Jesus with his flowing locks is an eighth century CE Roman Church fabrication. Paul says, “Flowing locks disgrace a man (1 Corinthians 11:14).” He couldn’t have said that had Jesus sported flowing locks. Flowing locks became popular after the second century CE Roman Emperor Hadrian wore them in imitation of Greek philosophers. Ironically, that makes Jesus the first god ever created in the image of man!


Minucius Felix (160-215 CE), an early Church father, unequivocally rejects the claim that Jesus was crucified. He tells his opponents, “When you attribute to us the worship of a criminal and his cross you wander far from the truth.”[ix] This shows that even until the second century CE, Christians did not believe in the crucifixion of Jesus as a historical event.


Discussing several such examples of fraud, Freke and Gandy conclude that the Christian Bible is the product of the Holy Forgery Mill.[x] In summary, the Christian Bible’s account of Jesus is neither contemporary nor truthful. This should not be surprising because Tertullian (160-220 CE) best summarized the Church position: “Thirst for knowledge is a vice.”[xi]


Is the Dan Brown Story Credible?


How credible is the Jesus story that Dan Brown tells? His premises, the ones that the Church fears, are:


  1. Jesus did not die crucified. 

  2. Jesus married Mary Magdalene and created a lineage.


We have seen that the Christian story is one of fiction because their sources have been forged. What do the sources that were not forged, and which the Christian Church suppressed as heresy, tell?


Emperor Claudius
Emperor Claudius (10 BCE - 54 CE)


Professor Alvar Ellegard demonstrates that the original schools of Christianity were those of the Essenes and Gnostics. The Gnostic collection of the Nag Hammadi Library, whose oldest texts date back to the first century CE and the youngest to the third, helps us understand what early Christians thought of Jesus. These texts are older than the Christian Bible as the early Church writers themselves confirm. Justin Martyr confirms that Simon Magus, a Gnostic teacher, was a contemporary of Emperor Claudius (10 BCE – 54 CE).[xii] While several Gnostic texts treat Jesus as allegorical, some tell a story quite different from what the Christian Bible tells. Interestingly, despite all efforts at suppression, some of these facts have survived in the canonical gospels too.


The Gospel of the Beloved Disciple (John 13:23)  portrays Jesus and Mary Magdalene as so intimate that during the Last Supper Mary is lying in the lap of Jesus. The Gospel of Philip (2:3:63-64) confirms that Jesus often kissed Mary on her lips, arousing jealousy in his other disciples. Even Luke (7:38) admits that Mary wiped Jesus’ feet with her hair. Discussing this episode, Freke and Gandy point out that according to Jewish customs a wife could untie her hair only in the presence of her husband. Untying it in the presence of other men would result in divorce.[xiii] This too confirms that Jesus and Mary were either married or were rebellious lovers.


Some schools of Gnostics practised ritualistic nudity and indulged in sacred sexuality, at times even violating social norms. In the Gospel of Thomas (37), disciples ask Jesus, “When will you appear to us? When will we see you?” He replies:


“When you strip without being ashamed, and you take your clothes and put them under your feet like little children and trample them, then you will see the son of the living one and you will not be afraid.”


Augustine (354-430 CE) too confirms that Adamites celebrate the Eucharist naked and because of this their church is paradise.[xiv] Paul (1 Corinthians 5:1) confirms that ritualistic incestuous sex and excessive fornication were frequently practised by early Christians. Another ancient text, Genna Marias, reveals that Jesus himself had participated in sacred sexuality. He takes Mary Magdalene to the Mount of Olives, prays, produces another woman from his side, and has sex with her. Shocked at this sight, Mary Magdalene faints. Jesus chastises her for her lack of faith.[xv]


So, it is evident from these accounts that Jesus and Mary were very intimate as lovers. It is not known whether they married, though one could argue that intimate couples often do. In summary, we can conclude that textual evidence discredits the Church story but does not confirm Dan Brown’s in its entirety. The most pertinent question to ask is how someone could subject Dan Brown’s story to scrutiny while uncritically absorbing the Christian fiction as history.


Why Does the Church Fear The Da Vinci Code?


Not only does it demolish the very premise on which Christianity has been built, it also does so in a fashion the masses can relate to. Over the last hundred years, countless academic scholars have debunked the Christian myths. But their writings remain confined to the academy. So, the Church did not have to worry about losing its stranglehold on its flocks. But Dan Brown’s work, and the movie, packaged as fiction, directly challenges the Church.


The Church has another reason to worry as well. There are several other skeletons in its closet the Church would not want the public to know. One such is its collaboration with the Nazis. The Christian Church willfully supported Hitler. After Hitler committed suicide, Cardinal Adolf Bertram ordered that in all churches of his archdiocese a special requiem, namely, “a solemn requiem mass be held in commemoration of the Fuhrer, where prayers to the Almighty that His son, Hitler, be admitted to paradise, be offered.”[xvi]


The Church also operated the notorious Ratline, which helped the Nazi fugitives escape after WWII ended.[xvii] Naturally, the Church would not want these truths to be made into popular movies. The Da Vinci Code potentially paves the path to the exposure and destruction of the Christian Church. So, it has to be suppressed. What better climate could be there to stifle the truth than the one with a devout Catholic Sonia Maino as the de facto PM, and a pliant Censor Board?



[i] Wells, G.A.: The Jesus Myth.

[ii] Robinson, J.M.: The Nag Hammadi Library, The Gospel of Philip 2:3:56.

[iii] Ellegard, A.: Jesus – One Hundred Years Before Christ, p. 187.

[iv] Freke, T. and Gandy, P.: Jesus and the Lost Goddess – the Secret Teachings of the Original Christians, p. 21, fn. 75.

[v] Stevenson, J.: A New Eusebius, p. 117.

[vi] Ellegard, A.: Jesus – One Hundred Years Before Christ, p. 187.

[vii] Irenaeus: Against All Heresies 1:5:2.

[viii] Barnstone W.: The Other Bible, p. 626.

[ix] Doherty, Earl: The Jesus Puzzle – Did Christianity Begin With a Mythical Christ? p. 287, citing Octavius chapter 9.

[x] Freke, T. and Gandy, P.: Jesus and the Lost Goddess – the Secret Teachings of the Original Christians, p. 218.

[xii] Ellegard, A.: Jesus – One Hundred Years Before Christ, pp. 31-79, 87-93.

[xiii] Freke, T. and Gandy, P.: Jesus and the Lost Goddess – the Secret Teachings of the Original Christians, p. 95.

[xiv] Ibid, p. 231.

[xv] Jordan, M.: The Historical Mary – Revealing the Pagan Identity of the Virgin Mother, p. 161, citing Panarion 2:26 8:1.

[xvi] Goldhagen, D.J.: A Moral Reckoning, the Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and Its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair, p. 200.

[xvii] Aarons, M. and Loftus, J.: Unholy Trinity, the Vatican, the Nazis and the Swiss Banks.

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Source: http://www.india-forum.com/articles/129/1/Silencing-The-Da-Vinci-Code
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Last Updated:
Wednesday, June 07, 2006 05:13:21 AM

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