Yeah...I attended a talk on the refutal of the theories which were described in the popular and highly criticized book by Dan Brown - Da Vinci Code. The talk was held in none other than my parish church and the speaker was the guy who actually submitted the article " Da Vinci Code -Debunked" to both The Star and also The Sun, with sound data to backup his opinions on the theories which surfaced in the book.
So, as I found out, this guy, Rufus Bruno Pereira is actually a lawyer by profession and the church was soon busting with people as the time of the talk approaches. Earlier on, there was the Novena mass in conjunction with the celebration of the Pentecost feast day. The crowd started coming in after the mass to attend the highly anticipated talk which has clearly challenged the roots and origin of Christianity and more so, the Roman Catholic Church in particular.
Sharp at 8.30p.m, Rufus turned up and began with 2 questions for the audience:
1. Who has read the Da Vinci Code?
- A few hands shot up....mind you, it was only a very small number considering the rising popularity of the book and also the amount of publicity it received. I can even conclude that the count is not more than 10 - but then again, since the Church has called for all Catholics to boycott the book as a sign of protest, I think some are even embarassed to admit that they have read the book.
I raised my hand; since I did read the book, out of curiosity :p
Now comes the second question:
2. Who has read the Bible?
- Hahaha...boy, that really got everyone in the hall laughing...kind of like those "gotcha" trick to pull on everyone....*giggle*
Well, there were a few hands in the air...more than the 1st question (of course!!)
Anyway, then there were those lengthy talks about history to refute the famous claim about the secret affair between Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene. This is an obvious relationship, as he stated in his book and that the whole hunt for the Holy Grail is not for the chalice or the cup but rather, the Holy Grail lies in the womb of Mary Magdalene in which she bore the child of Jesus, a daughter in the royal bloodline. This, as Dan mentioned, is a shame to Christianity which led to the Catholic Church using its authority to prevent this from being publicized, they amended history and allowed only certain gospels to be included in the Bible...the ones which depicted Jesus as being saintly and saying that the Church disallowed all the other gospels with the mere mention of the possible relationship between the duo.
So, Bruno went on to talk about the history and also displayed evidence that historical facts cannot be falsified and that those crooks who do that can be caught easily and punished severely. Therefore, there is no way that the gospels can be false and also the influence of the Church to "select" the gospels to be published.
Point No.2 : The highlight of the book....the obvious and yet encrypted depicted relationship between Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene in The Last Supper which Dan alleged that Leonardo Da Vinci, the famous painter ingeniously tried to reveal in his painting.
1. The person sitting to the right of Jesus (left in the painting) is actually Mary Magdalene and not John as claimed in the Bible.
Dan pointed out that the figure looked feminine and also they were both clothed in matching outfits; both in blue and red.
- Bruno struck the claim with the theory and also fact that this painting was done during the Renaissance era whereby all the artists often exude feminism as a soft touch to their paintings. He even commented that if you take a good look at the picture, the one on the far left of the picture actually looked "pretty" and another somewhere on the right of picture...even "sexy"...hahaha...the guy is really a riot:D
2. Simon Peter is actually holding a knife towards John/Mary(as in the book) out of spite and jealousy that Jesus is actually favouring John/Mary.
Explanation: Everyone was busy eating and Simon Peter was actually cutting the loaf of bread with his knife...if you look at the picture, you will see a bread cut in half on the table in front of him in that position and at that same moment, Jesus made the shocking announcement that one of the disciples will betray him that night. So, if you eye the whole picture, it makes sense that everyone looks shocked and disbelieving. Since Simon Peter had just cut his bread, he was still holding his knife and was leaning towards John to verify Jesus's earlier statement -> and not as claimed that he was threatening John/Mary.
3. There is no cup/chalice on the table as the Holy Grail is actually represented by the womb of Mary Magdalene which bears the child of Jesus Christ and is represented by the "V-shaped" distance between Jesus and the so-called Mary on his right.
Explanation: Leonardo Da Vinci came from this particular art school(cannot remember the name which Bruno mentioned) and it seems to be the same art school which the other famous painters went to as it was a highly prestigious school back then. In this school, they were taught that there should be no chalice or cup at the Last Supper as the supper is not equivalent to the Passover Meal. If you obtained other paintings of the similar title by other artists of that time, you will notice the absence of the cup on the table as well.
Secondly, on the V-Shape distance which seemed delibrate between Jesus and John(Mary), it is nothing much - if you notice to his left, there's also a distance, somehow also in the shape of V between him and the other disciple. This is due to the shock they are actually in after Jesus's announcement on the possibility of a betrayal among the disciples and they were all taken aback...everyone felt shocked that the traitor could be one of them at the time and also the disciples on both sides of Jesus felt fearful; logically that's how a normal human being would react - as would you in the same situation; you will have the thought that you may be one of the suspects and hence the shock.
Furthermore, if you notice, the main highlight from the top of the ceiling which formed the triangular shape of light/highlight is actually descending in the form of focus on the middle figure; which is Jesus - probably not that clear in this picture posted.
Bruno went on with his explanation on the origins of Mary Magdalene and the place she came from compared to the so-called royalty descent and place of birth of Mary as claimed in Dan Brown's book and also the fishing village environment she was brought up in. Also, he explained on all the geographical factors and also how she could not be of the place which Dan claimed.
Well, all in all, Dan made a confusing remark in his book about how all the facts in his book about those societies, etc are accurate and no mere mention that it was entirely fictional - which was so misleading to all the readers. This is one of the main cause that the Church is against the publication and showing of this story; it could shake the roots of the long-time belief in the Christianity and in Christ himself as the Son of God.
Yeah...if you're strong in your faith, what is there to worry about.....BUT, there's always a but, religion is always a context sensitive issue and there's no doubt that this is a highly controversial book which clearly strikes its claim on the Catholic Church.
For me...I am skeptical...I believe in my own faith and also, just take it as leisure reading....I took to reading the book since I am a bookworm and a book lover....furthermore, this is such a popular book by demand, I will not miss the opportunity to read and see what the uproar is all about. My verdict? Well, it's an enjoyable read (with an occasional bout of disbelief and hrmmpphhh at the dispute of Christ) and I must admit that Dan Brown is ingenious with the flow of his writing and also the creation of the codes :D
Dan Brown and Tom Hanks in the movie itself - heard that the movie received bad reviews and criticsms.....haha...I didn't watch it....hehe, probably in support of the Vatican's call to boycott the movie...hahaha:P Not really, just didn't feel like watching - and good riddance too since it's not that good....Dan Brown is even criticized by the albinos by stereotyping them as murderous lot...also the Priory of Sion denied having anything as claimed in the book....poor Dan Brown...he should've got his facts right before writing:P