Monday, March 13, 2006

Holy blood, holy grail, holy crap!

The authors of the book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail are suing Dan Brown who wrote The Da Vinci Code. Authors Richad Leigh and Michael Baigent say Brown stole ideas from their book.

Leigh and Baigent could win their suit easily if they make one confession. If they admit the book is a work of fanciful imagination and fiction they have a good case. But they want to pretend it's history and if they do I think they have a problem, or ought to have a problem if the law is rational (which is not assumed).

If the book is history then they have a much heavier burden of proof. If I wrote a play about John F. Kennedy and key incidents in his life I would, out of necessity, discuss ideas and incidents that would appear in every standard history about Kennedy. What other alternative is there unless I just make it up?

Now if the Leight/Baigent theory of Christ is correct history then merely including historical facts in a work of fiction can't be considered a crime.

Personally I think they all wrote fiction. But if Brown copied incidents or theories which Leigh and Baigent claim are historical facts I wouldn't hold Brown guilty of copyright violations. You can't copywrite facts themselves.

Of course Leight and Baigent borrowed their characters from the Bible. And the Bible borrowed most the stories of Christ from other myths in the area. I have a century old copy of Arthur Weigall's The Paganism in Our Christianity which outlines how Christian doctrines were borrowed from earlier mystery and pagan cults. Jesus was not the first messiah who it is claimed was murdered for his people and rose on the third day. Nor was he the first born of a virgin, etc.

In 1999 Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy wrote, The Jesus Mysteries, which covers the same theme. The dust jacket has a stunning photo of an ancient amulet showing a crucified god. While to the modern eye it looks like a very old image of Jesus on the cross it is actually from 300 years before Christ and represents the crucifixion of the god-man Osiris/Dionysus. Ancient images of the god with his virgin mother exist as well but they don't represent Christ but pre-date him.


Blogger Pirate said...

sounds a lot like greed to me. Their book was on the shelves collecting dust. Brown's book put new interest in the tale so their sales went up again. Now that they are making money they can afford an attorney.

Have you read Brown's book. Real page turner. I have gotten a kick out of watching the Vatican attempt to squash the movie.

March 13, 2006

Blogger GodlessZone said...

My thoughts exactly. I think they figured they would either win a settlement or get a lot of publicity for their crappy little book. Either way they figured they would win. I have not read Brown's book. I had such a bad taste from reading the other, along with a couple of other books on the theory, that I wasn't much interested. Of course I give Brown credit for labeling his work fiction.

March 13, 2006

Blogger Pirate said...

What cracks me up about brown's book is the way it sets off the Vatican.

Personally as a life long Christian i have no problem with Jesus having sex or taking a wife. I have less of a problem if he had a daughter. I think its a more enlightening point of view then most of the stories many people take as the literal word; gospel. But I am a free thinking Christian that worries little of conformity.

Anything in the Christian faith that hints of man made perception or tenents i tend to view with a skeptic eye.

March 13, 2006


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