CESNUR - Centro Studi sulle Nuove Religioni diretto da Massimo Introvigne

Dan Brown and the London Court Case: After Many Bogus Conspiracies, A Real One Finally Surfaces

by Massimo Introvigne


dan brownDan Brown is currently (March 2006) defending himself in a London Court Case against accusations of plagiarism by British authors Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, co-authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail (1982). With co-author Henry Lincoln, as told elsewhere in this Web site, Baigent and Leigh combined the documents about the Priory of Sion fabricated in 1967 in France with the theory, advanced in the French esoteric occult milieu in the 1970s, that Jesus had a sexual relation with one of his female disciples and was perhaps married. No reference to the Priory of Sion as an organization (led during the course of its existence by many famous people, including Leonardo da Vinci, 1452-1519) protecting the Merovingians and their legitimate claims to the throne of France against the Carolingians and further usurpers is recorded in history before the fabrication of the 1967 documents. The Priory of Sion itself was founded in 1956 by the key architect of the 1967 forgery, Pierre Plantard (1920-2000), but with different aims and by-laws. And no reference that the Merovigians protected by the Priory of Sion and mentioned in the 1967 documents are the physical descendants of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene ever appeared in print before the 1982 book Holy Blood, Holy Grail.

Dan Brown’s witness statement, typically heavily edited by lawyers, is a fascinating autobiography of the author. Its main claim is that he derived the basic plot for The Da Vinci Code from other sources, and only discovered Holy Blood, Holy Grail in the final stage of his writing the novel. This defense is somewhat silly, since the books he mentioned as primary sources for the novel (by Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince, Richard Andrews and Paul Schellenberger, and others) have been published well after Holy Blood, Holy Grail and derive from the latter all their material about the Priory of Sion, Leonardo as Grand Master of the Priory, the Merovingians, and their alleged Jesus Christ – Mary Magdalene bloodline. Brown’s statement is fascinating in what he keeps defining as scholars and authoritative sources folks like the above mentioned teams of Picknett-Prince and Andrews-Schellenberger who have produced some of the worst crap about the Priory of Sion mythology (although they did not invent it). Andrews and Schellenberger even suggested that Jesus Christ himself is buried under a French mountain and recommended that the French government dynamite the mountain in order to prove their theory.

Brown may well still win the London case for a technical reason. Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln claimed that their book was factual and historical rather than fictional. There is no copyright on history (genuine or bogus) as fact, and U.K. courts are more generous than their American or continental European counterparts in allowing books about history to be largely used for creating a work of fiction. Ironically, Baigent and Leigh should admit that Holy Bood, Holy Grail was bogus history – but real fiction – in order to have a chance to win the case.

There are two other interesting points in the statement, which in itself amounts to an almost complete (if self-serving) autobiography of Brown. He is still a true believer in the Priory of Sion, claiming that there are “historians” making claims about its role (not a single academic historian in the world believes in the Priory of Sion mythology, i.e. that it existed before 1956), and more gullible than Langdon himself in Angels & Demons about the Illuminati. He really believes that they existed before 1776, and that the Illuminati established in that year in Bavaria were based on a much older order representing the struggle of science versus organized religion. Writes Brown: “Some histories claim the Illuminati vowed vengeance against the Vatican in the 1600's. The early Illuminati - those of Galileo's day - were expelled from Rome by the Vatican and hunted mercilessly. The Illuminati fled and went into hiding in Bavaria where they began mixing with other refugee groups fleeing the Catholic purges -- mystics, alchemists, scientists, occultists, Muslims, Jews. From this mixing pot, a new Illuminati emerged. A darker Illuminati. A deeply anti Christian Illuminati. They grew very powerful, infiltrating power structures, employing mysterious rites, retaining deadly secrecy, and vowing someday to rise again and take revenge on the Catholic Church.” Again, no academic historian would condone this, and the founder of the Illuminati, Adam Weishaupt (1748-1830), admitted in writing that he invented a mythological history of the order which never existed before 1776 (also, there were no Muslims in Bavaria in 1776, and Bavaria was an arch-conservative Catholic monarchy, the worst place in the word for “fleeing the Catholic purges”). See elsewhere on this site for the whole Illuminati mythology.  And, despite countless academic books that have debunked the Code’s claim that before Emperor Constantine (280-337) Jesus Christ was not regarded as God and the four canonical Gospels had not been widely recognized as the only authoritative source about His life, Brown keeps proclaiming his faith in these theories as a broken record, without answering the critics. He even mentions as authoritative sources about the Catholic Church and early Christian history some unidentified Rome tour guides. The claim that “the Gnostic Gospels [were] essentially those parts of the Bible that were drafted, but ultimately did not appear in the final version and, therefore had not been widely read” would appear as ridiculous even to the most ardent supporters of the Gnostic Gospels’ relevance.

Finally, Brown does answer the question why his previous novels were fiascos and The Da Vinci Code was a big hit. Here, he reveals a real conspiracy, perhaps for the first time. It is, he explains, all about publicity. He claims that Angels & Demons may have been a better book than Da Vinci, but the publisher did not promote it as it should have. Claims Brown: “It is impossible to ignore the fact that The Da Vinci Code launch was one of the best orchestrated in history. It is still talked about in the industry. Articles have been written specifically on The Da Vinci Code launch (0.362). Steve Rubin and his team should get the credit for the success, (Steve is president of Doubleday, which is, part of Random House, Inc.) He made me meet all the booksellers months before the book came out. Many booksellers were in love with the book when they read the ARC [Advance Reading Copy]. To release 10,000 ARCs is, I understand, unheard of and this was only on the basis of a first draft. I am sure that the publicity would have had the same effect with Angels & Demons.” Why a publisher should have made the greatest investment in history for a book by an author coming out of three subsequent fiascos is the only real mystery left here, and those suspecting ideological motivation and biases may not be entirely wrong.

Dan Brown's London Statement Follows






I, DAN BROWN, care of Random House, Inc., 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019, United States of America, WILL SAY as follows:-

1. I am the author of four novels, Digital Fortress (1998), Angels & Demons (2000), Deception Point (2001), and The DaVinci Code (2003). In this statement I make reference to all four of my books, and I assume that the reader has some familiarity with my books but, in particular, has read The Da Vinci Code.

2. I live and work in the United States. I am a graduate of Amherst College and of Phillips Exeter Academy, where I also spent time as an English teacher before turning to writing full time.


3. My father is a teacher emeritus at Phillips Exeter Academy and also has published more than a dozen well-known academic texts used around the world. He received the Presidential Award for excellence in mathematics teaching. Both of my parents are musicians, and both have served as church choir masters. My mother has a master's degree in sacred music and was a professional church organist. My father sings and was an actor in musical theatre. To this day, both continue to sing and are members of a Symphony Chorus that will be touring Europe this summer. This love of music, like many things my parents loved, was inherited by me. When I was at Amherst I was very interested in music composition and creative writing. I also loved languages.

4. I grew up on the campus of Phillips Exeter Academy, where my father was a teacher. By chance, the school has a very strong tradition of writing and has a number of famous writers as alumni, including John Irving, Gore Vidal, Daniel Webster, and Peter Benchley. It is also known for the strictness of its regulations and code of conduct, especially with respect to plagiarism. I notice from the school's website that plagiarism is still considered a "major offence", exactly as it was in my day.

5. While at Phillips Exeter and Amherst College, I pursued advanced writing courses and was published in school literary magazines. At Exeter, I chose "creative writing" as my senior project. At Amherst, I applied for and was accepted to a special writing course with visiting novelist Alan Lelchuk.

6. I studied English and Spanish at school. During my high school summers, I travelled to Spain on two exchange programs and fell in love with the country. In 1985, while I was still a student at Amherst College, I spent the school year abroad in Seville, Spain, where I enrolled in a two semester art history course at University of Sevil1e. This art course covered the entire history of World Art- from the Egyptians to Jackson Pollock. The professor's slide presentations included images ranging from the pyramids, religious icons, renaissance painting and sculpture, all the way through to the pop artists of modem times.

7. This course opened my eyes to the concept of art as "communication" between artist and viewer. The artist's language, I learned, was often symbolism and metaphor, and the professor's revelation of the hidden meanings of the violent images in Picasso's "La Guemica" has stayed with me to this day, as has his passion for the absolute pain of Michelangelo's Pieta. The course covered many other works that resonated with me as a young man, including the horror of Goya's Saturn Devouring His Son and the bizarre anamorphic sexual nightmares of Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights. I was surprised by the unexpected "dark quality" of Leonardo daVinci's The Last Supper. I remember the professor pointing out things I hadn't seen before, including a disembodied hand clutching a dagger and a disciple making a threatening gesture across the throat of another.

8. The course was a chronology of art history, and I took a specific interest in the renaissance masters of Bernini, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Leonardo da Vinci.

9. Both the art course and the country itself had a great influence on my writing. In fact, I was so taken with the architecture of Seville that, ten years later, when I wrote my first novel (Digital Fortress), I set much of the action in Seville. There are scenes in the Cathedral of Seville, atop the Moorish tower La Giralda, the ancient alleyways of Barrio Santa Cruz, Parque Maria Luisa, and the Alfonso XIII. I was taught early on at Phillips Exeter that "one must write what one knows". Like many aspects of my life, scenes from my childhood, my relationship with my parents and family, my student years, and my time in Spain all later emerged in my books.

10. I took piano lessons since the age of six and wrote music throughout high school and college. Once I had finished college in May of1986, I focused my creative energies on song writing. I left home and moved to Los Angeles, the heart of the song writing industry, where I had limited success in music and paid my rent by working as an English teacher at Beverly Hills Prep School. Over the course of the ten years after college, I wrote and produced four albums of original music. I met my wife, Blythe, through the National Academy of Songwriters, where she was the Director of Artist Development. Blythe, like me, loved art. She also was a very talented painter. Despite the Academy's best efforts to promote me, my music career never really took off.

11. In 1993, Blythe and I vacationed together to Tahiti. I remember reading a book called The Doomsday Conspiracy, by Sidney Sheldon. Up until this point, almost all of my reading had been dictated by my schooling (primarily classics like Faulkner, Steinbeck, Dostoyevsky, Shakespeare, etc.), and I'd read almost no commercial fiction at all since The Hardy Boys as a child. The Sheldon book was unlike anything I'd read as an adult. It held my attention, kept me turning pages, and reminded me how much fun it could be to read. The simplicity of the prose and efficiency of the storyline was less cumbersome than the dense novels of my schooldays, and I began to suspect that maybe I could write a "thriller" of this type one day. This inkling, combined with my musical frustrations at that time, planted the seed that perhaps I could write books for a living.

187 Men to Avoid

12. As an Easterner, I felt like a fish out of water in Los Angeles. I lived in a low- rent "artists", apartment complex, whose hallways overflowed with unusual individuals-aspiring rock stars, male models, drama queens, and stand-up comics. Amazed by this new world, I thought it might be fun to compile a list of some of the more bizarre sightings. Over the course of a few days, I wrote a list and called it: 187 Men to Avoid. Blythe thought the list was hilarious. She quickly wrote several literary agents and included a portion of the list. To my astonishment, I immediately got calls from a number of agents, including George Wieser, who told me he had already spoken to Putnam Books and could get me $12,500 for manuscript. Having faced disappointment in the music industry, this quick success in publishing surprised and encouraged me. I agreed to sell the manuscript and chose to use a female pseudonym (albeit a pretty obvious one, Danielle Brown).

13. 187 Men to Avoid was published in August 1995 by Berkley Publishing Group. Around the time of publication of 187 Men to Avoid, my new literary agent, George Wieser, came across an article I had written for the Phillips Exeter Magazine entitled: "Goodness and Knowledge on the Sunset Strip". The article was a humorous look about the travails of a "preppy geek from New Hampshire" who had been transplanted to Los Angeles. George told me over lunch that he had seen the article, loved my writing style and "power of observations". He strongly encouraged me to write a novel. He told me that he had been in the business a long time and "knew a novelist when he saw one". Although I still had aspirations of writing a mainstream novel that was as fun to read as the one I'd read in Tahiti, I was still focused on song writing and felt I should give my music career a fair chance to catch on. In addition, I had no idea what I would write about.

Digital Fortress (published 1998)

14. The "big idea" for my first book came to me by chance. In around 1995 I was on the campus of Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. At that time, the U.S. Secret Service came to campus and detained one of the students claiming he was a threat to national security. As it turned out, the student had sent a private email to a friend saying how much he hated President Clinton and how he thought the president should be shot. The Secret Service came to campus to make sure the boy wasn't serious. After some interrogation the agents decided the student was harmless, and not much came of it. Nonetheless, the incident really stuck with me. Email was brand new on the scene, and like most people, I assumed email was private. I couldn't figure out how the secret service knew what these students were saying in their email.

15. I began doing some research into where organizations like the Secret Service get their intelligence data, and what I found out astonished me. All roads led to a powerful intelligence agency larger than the CIA, but which few Americans knew existed - The National Security Agency (NSA) - home to the United States' eavesdroppers and code breakers.

16. I continued researching NSA more in depth. A particularly influential book, at the time, was James Bamford's The-Puzzle Palace (D.26), which although dated, is still one of the seminal books on the covert world of America's premier intelligence agency, describing how the NSA pulls in intelligence data from around the globe, processing it for subversive material.

17. The more I learned about this ultra secret agency and the fascinating moral issues surrounding national security and civilian privacy, the more I realized it could be a great backdrop for a novel. I remember Blythe commenting that life seemed to be trying to tell me something. The music industry was clearly rejecting me, and the publishing industry seemed to be beckoning. The thrill of being a published author (187 Men To Avoid), combined with George Wieser's words of encouragement, my newfound fascination with NSA, and the vacation reading of Sidney Sheldon's The Doomsday Conspiracy, all had begun to give me confidence that I could indeed write a novel. I quite literally woke up one morning and decided to write a thriller that delved into NSA. That's when I started writing Digital Fortress.

18. NSA is home to the world's most potent computers as well as some of the most brilliant cryptographers, mathematicians, technicians, and analysts. Digital Fortress is about a brilliant female cryptographer (Susan Fletcher) who works for NSA and the adventures she and her partner (David Becker, a linguist and lecturer) have in parallel throughout the book.

19. So, I had my "big idea" for the book. The novel explored what I consider to be a fine line between civilian privacy and national security. My first reaction had been that the security methods used in. the U.S. were a gross invasion of  civilian privacy. When I found out, however, that the NSA helped thwart terrorist attacks, my view changed. Initially, I had been indignant that the NSA was reading emails. But subsequently I realized their work constituted a fascinating moral grey area.

Researching and Writing Digital Fortress

20. I have followed a very similar approach to researching and then writing each of my four novels. The first step is to select a theme that I find particularly intriguing, this is generally the "big idea". Because my novels are so research intensive, they take up to two years to write, if I am going to stay focused on a two year project, it is imperative that I remain excited about the subject matter. Therefore, I choose a subject which is not black and white, but rather contains a grey area. The ideal topic has no clear right and wrong, no definite good and evil, and makes for great debate. The one aspect of writing that is by far the most difficult is staying motivated over the entire time that it takes to research and write a novel. I keep myself interested by writing about things that interest me. I have some favourite subjects, which I wove into the Digital Fortress story once I had my "big idea" in place. For me, the "must have" themes include codes, puzzles and treasure hunts, secretive organizations, and academic lectures on obscure topics.

21. For me, writing is a discipline, much like playing a musical instrument; it requires constant practice and honing of skills. For this reason, I write seven days a week. So, my routine begins at around 4:00 AM every morning, when there are no distractions. (The routine of writing early began while I was writing Digital Fortress; I had two daytime teaching jobs to pay the bills, and the early mornings were my only free time; I found I liked working at that hour, and though I no longer teach, I have remained faithful to that routine.) By making writing my first order of business every day, I am giving it enormous symbolic importance in my life, which helps keep me motivated. If I'm not at my desk by sunrise, I feel like I'm missing my most productive hours. In addition to starting early, I keep an antique hour glass on my desk and every hour break briefly to do push-ups, sit-ups, and some quick stretches. I find this helps keep the blood (and ideas) flowing.

22. I did all of the research and background reading for Digital Fortress. I found that much of the data on the NSA was unclassified and in the public domain. There are a number of intelligence sources who have written extensive white papers on NSA. For the background reading on computers, viruses, codes and cryptography, I found helpful Bruce Schneiers's famous book Applied Cryptography: Protocols, Algorithms, and Source Code in C. (D.56)

23. After the basic reading is done and my theme or "big idea" is in place, I start researching and writing in earnest. I erect the frame on which to build the plot I try to sketch out the overall shape of the story. When I taught creative writing, I told my students they could not select the veneer for the cupboards before they'd poured the foundation for their houses.

24. Because my novels are very "location driven", I always select a series of key settings that I want to use in the novel (e.g., NSA, the Seville Cathedral, La Giralda, etc.). The hero of Digital Fortress, David Becker, finds himself on the run through a landscape of ancient Moorish towers, Sevillian barrios, and the Cathedral of Seville. Much of the early work is to place these locations in a workable sequence such that the characters can move from one to the next in a logical manner.

25. In trying to craft a suspenseful framework, I decided to throw Becker into a world he did not understand. I also took him away from the heroine, his fiancée, Susan Fletcher. A lot of the suspense of this novel derives from wondering if these two will be reunited. In general, my plots drive my need for specifics (such as the precise vehicle a character will use to move from point A to B) rather than vice versa.
26. Although Digital Fortress was very much my first attempt at writing a compelling thriller (and there is plenty I would do differently if I were writing it today), it contains some themes that I return to in all of my books.

27. With the NSA in place, I had the right backdrop to include my favourite theme (which is in all of my books) --codes and treasure hunts. My books are all "treasure hunts" of sorts. In each of my books, the treasure is an object. In Digital Fortress it is a gold ring; in Angels & Demons, it is antimatter; in Deception Point, it is a meteorite; and in The Da Vinci Code, it is the Holy Grail. I think people enjoy this sort of quest, especially trying to stay a step ahead of the hero by deciphering the clues along the way.

28. I have always been interested in secrets and puzzles. They played a large part in my life growing up in New Hampshire. I grew up in a house of mathematics, music and language; codes and ciphers really are the fusion of all of those things. In our house there was no television, and I used to spend hours working out anagrams and crossword puzzles. My father has a passion for brain puzzles, and I have inherited this passion. My father inspired my early passion for codes by creating elaborate treasure hunts for our birthdays and Christmas. On Christmas morning when most kids would find their presents under the tree, my siblings and I might find a treasure map with codes and clues that we would follow from room to room and eventually find our presents hidden somewhere else in the house. If properly solved, these clues would lead us to a secret location in our house -or sometimes even lead us to ride around town on our bicycles from one clue to the other, before finding where the presents were hidden. It was wonderful fun - for me codes and treasure hunts have always been a passion.

29. This early love of codes means that there is a short jump to another favourite subject, namely secrets and secret organizations. All four of my books have the thread of secrecy. All deal with secretive topics - covert spy agencies, conspiracy theories, classified technologies, and secret history.

30. An example of what I mean by "secret history" appears in the opening and closing chapters of Digital Fortress I describe how David Becker, the hero, signs his messages to his lover, Susan Fletcher, the NSA cryptographer, with the words "without wax". This vexes Susan, much to David's delight. Only at the end of the book do I decode the words and reveal a nugget of history:
"During the Renaissance, Spanish sculptors who made mistakes while carving expensive marble often patched their flaws with cera - 'wax'. A statue that has no flaws and required no patching was hailed as a 'sculpture sin cera' or a 'sculpture without wax'. The phrase eventually came to mean anything honest or true. The English word 'sincere' evolved from the Spanish sin cera 'without wax'. David's secret code was no great mystery - he was simply signing his letters 'Sincerely.' Somehow he suspected Susan would not be amused."
(Digital Fortress, Corgi, page 508)

 31. I remember at the time getting a kick out of the combination of the hidden code and the "nugget" of history. As I explain below, this idea of revealing interesting pieces of information so that the novel becomes a "thriller as academic lecture" really took off in my second book, Angels & Demons. In my first book, I was still paddling around trying to work out how to write a book and also to find out what I liked to write about. In Digital Fortress there is, for example, a little history, about Galileo, but this is merely window dressing.

Editing of the manuscript of Digital Fortress

32. Once I had stitched together the whole story, I asked Blythe to read the completed manuscript. I also gave a copy to my parents. I incorporated some of their comments and then sent the manuscript to my then agent, George Wieser, in New York. To my great surprise, George called to tell me the first editor who read the manuscript had made an offer to buy it. Digital Fortress was signed to a publisher - St Martin's Press -in only about 20 days after I finished it.

33. I am very careful about what I send to my publisher. I work a manuscript as far as possible before showing it to anyone (rather than submitting rough drafts). By the time my editor sees pages, I have rewritten and polished them many times. For this reason, the first draft normally provokes few suggestions for substantive changes. My editor will take a look at the overall structure of the book and how the whole thing hangs together. He or she might say, for example, "these three chapters in the middle are very slow, it might be a good idea to combine them"; or "this is a very good point, you should expand".

34. Once I get the feedback from my editor, I completely re-writes and re-submit the manuscript. My editors for Digital Fortress were Thomas Dunne and Melissa Jacobs. They both described my submitted manuscript as "exceptionally clean" and requiring very little editing. One thing they did do was suggest that I change the name from "The Worm" to "Digital Fortress', which was the name I had chosen for the unbreakable code described in the book, Once the editor is finished with the manuscript, it is sent to copy editors and fact checkers to review grammar and accuracy.

35. Once my work on the novel is finished, I may take a vacation, in the early days, funds permitting, or start thinking about the next book. Of course, at this point -Digital Fortress was published in 1998 - I was an unknown, unpublished author. I was still teaching English, and some Spanish, to make a living. Money was tight, but we had enough to travel, something Blythe and I both love, and we decided to visit Rome. I had either finished or almost finished Digital Fortress, I am not sure of the time line.

Angels & Demons (published 2000)

36. Sometime after completing Digital Fortress, I had several other ideas in development but hadn't yet decided on a direction. I had enjoyed writing about the NSA, computers, technology and, of course, "secrets". I had read about CERN -Conseil European pour la Recherche Nucleaire - which is the world's largest scientific research facility. It is located in Geneva, Switzerland and employs over 3,000 of the world's top scientists. In addition, CERN is the birthplace of the World Wide Web. Also CERN was researching antimatter, an enormously volatile substance which I found fascinating. I read that CERN was regularly producing small quantities of antimatter in their research for future energy sources. Antimatter holds tremendous promise; it creates no pollution or radiation, and a single droplet could power New York City for a ful1 day. With fossil fuels dwindling, the promise of harnessing antimatter could be an enormous leap for the future of this planet. Of course, mastering antimatter technology brings with it a dilemma: this science could be used for good or evil; to power the world or create a deadly weapon. I thought this would make a good plot element for a novel.

37. I still had not decided on the main topic for my new novel when Blythe and I visited Rome. We were beneath Vatican City touring a tunnel called il passetto -a concealed passageway used by the early Popes to escape in event of enemy attack. It runs from the Vatican to Castle Saint Angelo. According to the tour guide, one of the Vatican's most feared ancient enemies was a group of early scientists who had vowed revenge against the Vatican for crimes against scientists like Galileo and Copernicus. History had called them many things - the enlightened ones, the Illuminati, The Cult of Galileo. I added the Illuminati to my mixing pot of ideas.

38. Upon my return home, I started looking into the Illuminati, and what I found was material for a great thriller. I read conspiracy theories on the Illuminati that included infiltration of the British Parliament and U.S. Treasury, secret involvement with the Masons, affiliation with covert satanic cults, a plan for a New World Order, and even the resurgence of their ancient pact to destroy Vatican City. However, as much as I liked the idea of the Illuminati (and using Rome as a dramatic stage), I still had all the material on CERN and antimatter, which I did not want to go to waste. The question was how to combine the two ideas.

39. Both in prep school and college, I had studied science, including that of Galileo, modem cosmology, and Darwin. I also attended church camp and was trying to reconcile science and religion in my own mind. My parents' opposing views (my father an agnostic mathematician and my mother a religious church musician) made for an interesting childhood. I grew up surrounded by the paradoxical philosophies of science and religion, and though I wanted to believe in Christianity, as I got older and studied more science, I had a hard time reconciling the two. I once asked a priest how I could believe both the "the Big Bang" and the story of Genesis, and the "matter of faith" type response I received never answered my questions. At college, I completed a cosmology course that included a section on Copernicus, Bruno, Galileo, and the Vatican Inquisition against science. Science and religion was a very large part of my life from grade school all the way through college, and I wanted to make them harmonious on a personal level.

40. So, I began reading books on science and religion, including The God Particle (D.47), The Tao of Physics, The Physics of Immortality, The Quark and the Jaguar, and others. The recurring theme that excited me was the idea that science and religion were now dabbling in common areas. These two ancient enemies were starting to find shared ground, and CERN was at the forefront of that research.

41. This was how I ended up writing Angels & Demons - a science vs. religion thriller set within a Swiss physics laboratory and Vatican City. The grey area that interested me was the ongoing battle between science and religion, and the faint hope of reconciliation between the two. This was my "big idea" and my "grey area". Much more so than with Digital Fortress, I thought I had hit on 'something that really would keep my attention for the next two years.

42. Looking back at my notes and the first pages of a proposal for Angels & Demons (D.243), I see from my 'Partial Bibliography that at the time I was reading three broad categories of books - those concerning science v. religion (The God Particle (0.47) etc.); those concerning symbology (Dictionary of Symbols, by Chevalier (D.30)); and books about The Illuminati and the Masons (e.g., The Illuminati, by McKeown; Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry, by Mackey). I used the description 'Partial Bibliography' as a lot of my research comes from conversations, research trips, online sources, etc. - essentially sources that are hard to cite - as well as books. I found some of the science v. religion books so interesting that I mentioned them by name in Angels & Demons as a tribute, much like that I paid to several texts in The Da Vinci Code. In both novels, the books appear on a, character's book-shelf.

Robert Langdon

43. Robert Langdon is amalgam of many people I admire. In the early 1990's, I first saw the art work of John Langdon. John is an artist and philosopher, a close friend of my father and, I think, one of our true geniuses. He is most famous for his ability to create "ambigrams" - words that read the same both right side up and up side down (see, for example, his book Wordplay (D.46)). John's art changed the way I think about symmetry, symbols, and art - he looks at art from different perspectives. I was so impressed by the artwork of John Langdon that I commissioned him to create an album cover for my new CD of music (called Angels & Demons), which dealt with many of the religious themes that already interested me. John did the artwork, and the CD was released in 1999 with John's ambigram on the cover. Later, when I. published a novel of the same name, Simon & Schuster used the same ambigram on the hardcover edition.

44. John and his name as part of the inspiration for the protagonist of Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon) who also appears in The Da Vinci Code and in my next, as yet unpublished, book. John also created the ambigrams used in Angels & Demons. I commissioned him to create ambigrams for the word "illuminati", as well s the Illuminati diamond-the fusion of the elements, earth, air, fire and water, which represents the fusion of science and religion historically, and features in Angels & Demons (Corgi, page 520).

45. As a tribute to John Langdon, I named the protagonist Robert Langdon. I thought it was a fantastic name. It sounds very "New England" and I like last names with two syllables (Becker, Langdon, Sexton, Vetra, et al). Every character has his purpose, and with Langdon I wanted to create a teacher. Many of the people I admire most are teachers --my father is the obvious figure from my own life. My father had introduced me to the artwork of M.C. Escher (he lectured worldwide on symmetry and M.C. Escher). (I mentioned the Mobius Strip -a twisted ring of paper, which technically possessed only one side - in Angels & Demons, Corgi, page 133.) John Langdon is also a teacher.

46. Another teacher I greatly admire is Joseph Campbell, a religious historian; symbologist, and partial inspiration for my character. Roughly around about this time, I watched a TV program, "The Power of Myth", in which Bill Moyers interviewed Joseph Campbell about the deeper meanings of symbols and art from many different cultures and creeds. I recall being impressed by Campbell's open-minded and unthreatening delivery, especially when he spoke about controversial topics like myths and untruths in religion. I recall thinking that I wanted my character Robert Langdon to have this same open-minded tone.

47. In choosing what characters to include in a novel, I select characters who have sets of skills that help move the plot along and also permit me to introduce information. Robert Langdon is a symbologist and art historian for the same reason that the heroine in Digital Fortress is a cryptologist; these characters help decipher clues and teach the reader.

48. For my heroine in Angels & Demons, I chose the name Vittoria Vetra. Vittoria is a scientist - a Marine Biologist who specializes in the new field of Entanglement Physics. I've spoken to physicists about this new field and the incredible experiments they are now running, some with the hope of proving' God exists. Some experiments have been run in hopes of proving unseen communication between separate animal entities. One such experiment I read about involved a sea turtle egg. Sea turtle eggs are unique in that a nest of hundreds of eggs will all hatch at the exact same moment. In an effort to determine how this took place, scientists removed one egg and placed it in a terrarium halfway around the globe with a video camera. As soon as the eggs in the nest started hatching, the eggs on the other side of the globe started hatching simultaneously. I find these kind of experiments fascinating. I wanted a character who could credibly share this kind of information with my readers.

49. Angels & Demons is the first Robert Langdon novel - The Da Vinci Code was the second. It was a real joy for me to write, and a breakthrough in terms of finding my own style (although I can only say that with hindsight). I intend to make Robert Langdon my primary character for years to come. His expertise in symbology and iconography affords him the luxury of potentially limitless adventures in exotic locales. It was also a book in which Blythe could be more involved, as she has a great love of art and art history. In Angels & Demons I was able to really develop the "nuggets" of information idea that I had started to play with in Digital Fortress. In that book I found the history behind the phrase "without wax" fascinating, and with this new book there was a lot more to play with. I thought, with the right background, story and characters, this could make for a lot of fun for both me, in researching and writing the book, and hopefully for any readers of the book.

50. Angels & Demons, like all my books, weaves together fact and fiction. Some histories claim the Illuminati vowed vengeance against the Vatican in the 1600's. The early Illuminati - those of Galileo's day- were expelled from Rome by the Vatican and hunted mercilessly. The Illuminati fled and went into hiding in Bavaria where they began mixing with other refugee groups fleeing the Catholic purges --mystics, alchemists, scientists, occultists, Muslims, Jews. From this mixing pot, a new Illuminati emerged. A darker Illuminati. A deeply anti Christian Illuminati. They grew very powerful, infiltrating power structures, employing mysterious rites, retaining deadly secrecy, and vowing someday to rise again and take revenge on the Catholic Church. Angels & Demons is a thriller about the Illuminati's long awaited resurgence and vengeance against their oppressors. But most of all, it is a story about Robert Langdon, the Harvard symbologist who gets caught in the middle. Much of the novel's story is a chase across modem Rome - through catacombs, cathedrals, piazzas, and even the Vatican's subterranean Necropolis.

51. Although there are some similarities with my first book - the murder, the chase through a foreign location, the action taking place all in 24 hours, the codes, the ticking clock, the strong male and female characters, the love interest - I think the real advances I made in the second novel were as follows.

Advances in Angels & Demons

(a) The idea of the thriller as academic lecture

52. I tried to write a book that I would love to read. The kind of books I enjoy are those in which you learn. My hope was that readers would be entertained and also learn enough to want to use the book as a point of departure for more reading. When I was researching the book, I would learn things that fascinated readers. Rome was a location that allowed me to immerse myself in the history of religion, art, and architecture. For example, I visited the Pantheon. The docent talked to me about the history of the building - specifically its use as a pagan temple before being converted to Christian church. We talked about Constantine's role in converting the pagans (including the Mithraics and the cult of Sol Invictus). Although I was familiar with Constantine, I learned about the cult of Sol Invictus, which was new to me, in particular its role in the choice of some of the dates of Christian holidays. This led to the section in Angels & Demons where Langdon is giving a lecture to his class about Christianity and Sun Worship. He mentions Sol Invictus and Christianity borrowing from the previous religions.

(b) Hidden information and secret societies

53. Angels & Demons, like The Da Vinci Code after it, features a secret society. I had played with the subject of secretive organizations and hidden information in the first book in a high-tech setting. In Angels & Demons, however, I found far more interesting aspects to include. For example, the design of the Great Seal on the U.S. dollar bill includes an illustration of a pyramid - an object which arguably has nothing to do with American history. The pyramid, I learned, was actually an Egyptian occult symbol representing a convergence upward toward the ultimate source of illumination: in this case, an all seeing eye. The eye inside the triangle is a pagan symbol adopted by the Illuminati to signify the brotherhood's ability to infiltrate and watch all things. In addition, the triangle (Greek Delta) is the scientific symbol for change. Some historians feel the Great Seal's 'shining delta' is symbolic of the Illuminati's desire to bring about 'enlightened change' from the myth of religion to the truth of science. All of this research and reading about the Illuminati led me also to learning more about Freemasons. This research was something I would come back to when I started to write and research The Da Vinci Code and also the book which I am currently writing.

54. Another group I read about while doing research for Angels & Demons was The Knights Templar. In Angels & Demons, the Templar Crusades play a major role in the back-story of one of my main characters (the Hassassin). I found Templar history fascinating. My recollection is that I had considered including more material on the Templars but decided to set it aside because I could not make all of Templar history fit into the tight framework of this novel.

55. I have asked myself why all this clandestine material interests me. At a fundamental level my interest in secret societies came from growing up in New England, surrounded by the clandestine clubs of Ivy League universities, the Masonic lodges of the Founding Fathers, and the hidden hallways of early government power. I see New England as having a long tradition of elite private clubs, fraternities, and secrecy - indeed, my third Robert Langdon novel (a work in progress) is set within the Masons. I have always found the concept of secret societies, codes, and means of communication fascinating. In my youth I was very aware of the Skull & Bones club at Yale. I had good friends who were members of Harvard's secret "finals" clubs. In the town where I grew up, there was a Masonic lodge, and nobody could (or would) tell me what happened behind those closed doors. All of this secrecy captivated me as a young man.

(c) Codes and treasure hunts

56. Angels & Demons built on the writing devices I first used in Digital Fortress. In my first book, the cracking of the code is what accelerates the reader through the pages. In Angels & Demons, I moved away from the straight binary codes into the much more interesting device of clues wrapped up in poems or riddles. The snippets of verse in Angels & Demons are useful tools for releasing information and moving the plot to the next stage. One challenge when "presenting the reader with a complicated code is to control the flow of information so the overall mystery is not overwhelming. Finding a plot device that enables me to dole out information in bite size pieces is helpful. In Angels & Demons, I accomplished this by delivering the code in short snippets of verse, which enables the reader a chance to stay one step ahead of Langdon. Langdon, as a teacher, symbologist and art historian, satisfies dual prerequisites for my hero - that of being a credible teacher and also of being knowledgeable enough to decipher the clues in the artistic treasure hunts I create.

(d) The plot and the writing

57. I think that the plot and writing of Angels & Demons is better than that in Digital Fortress. In this second novel, I laid down a very strict outline of what was going to happen in this book and worked hard to stay on track while fleshing out the story.

58. I tried to write a book that I would love to read. I wanted every single chapter to compel the reader to turn the page. I was taught that efficiency of words is the way an author respects his readers' time, and so I trimmed the novel heavily while I was writing. In Digital Fortress, the action takes place within twenty four hours, and I specifically set out to do that again in Angels & Demons. I compressed the plot and action to intensify the pace of the read, and I tried to keep the reader abreast of where the characters were physically, at all times. That seems to help the reader's feeling that he is right there the entire time. In addition, I tried to end every chapter with a cliff-hanger.

59. All of my books have a very similar style, and I believe it to be the elements of this style (e.g. doling out information slowly) to which my readers react. All of my novels use the concept of a simple hero pulled out of his familiar world and thrown into a world that he (or she, in Deception Point) does not understand. I use strong female characters; travel and interesting locations; a romance between a man and woman of complementary expertise; a ticking clock (all my novels are set in 24 hours). Structural elements are consistent in every book. I think that it is not so much what I write which is compelling but how I say it. I must admit, however, that I did not realize this until my first three novels became huge bestsellers after The Da Vinci Code. The hard part of writing a novel is not the ideas but rather the nuts and bolts of the plot and language and making it all work.

Researching and writing Angels & Demons

60. Examining religion, art, and architecture was exciting to me. I loved researching these subjects; as did my wife, Blythe. Although I had researched Digital Fortress entirely on my own, for this new book Blythe became my research assistant. This was wonderful. We were able to work together as husband and wife; I now had a sounding board and a travel partner on research trips. Although Blythe's main interest and expertise was art, I. did ask her for help researching specifics on scientific topics like Galileo, the Big Bang, particle accelerators, etc. She also served as a first pass set of eyes for new sections I was writing.

61. Architecture, art, sculpture, and religion are all intertwined, and nowhere more so than in Rome and Vatican City. Once I started to look at artwork for inclusion in the story, I began to focus on particular artists. I knew Bernini had had problems with the Church, for example, his sculpture, The Ecstasy of St. Teresa, which I mention in the book (Angels & Demons, Corgi, page 375), had been controversial. I think that this may have been the trigger for using Bernini in Angels & Demons. I had studied Bernini in Seville and knew a lot about his paintings and work. I was intrigued by the concept that Bernini's artwork might contain hidden messages; I had learned in art history classes that artists like Bernini (and Da Vinci), when commissioned to create religious art that may have been contrary to their own beliefs, often placed second levels of meaning in their art.

62. As the novel's Author's Notes says, all of the works of art, tombs, tunnels, and architecture in Rome are entirely factual. It took me two separate trips to Rome to locate what I needed. Blythe and I walked miles, took hundreds of photos, and explored the city using all kinds of guidebooks, maps, and tours. The second trip I went over with an art specialist who had ties inside the Vatican. The Vatican has a staggering collection of Renaissance masters such as Michelangelo, Raphael, and Bernini. We spent a week in Rome, and our contact facilitated our gaining special access to the Scavi, access to the unclassified sections of the Vatican archives, as well as our seeing the Pope, both at a mass and in his audience hall.

63. Unfortunately, I did not get access to the Vatican secret archives. There are only a few American scholars who have been allowed into the secret archives; Many of the books inside have been there for hundreds of years, and some have never been seen. I have read that there are four miles of shelves in the Vatican secret archives, and I became captivated by the prospect of what might be kept down there. Before my first visit, I had petitioned for access to certain documents within the Vatican Archives. Not at all surprising to me, my request was denied. Nonetheless, our contact there generously arranged for us to see several restricted areas of the Vatican, including the Necropolis (the city of the dead buried beneath the Vatican), St. Peter's actual crypt (which we learned is not where most people think it is), and some perilous sections of the roof high above the Basilica; all of which featured in Angels & Demons.

Simon & Schuster

64. After our trip to Rome, I had completed an outline for Angels & Demons, including a grand finale at CERN, which ultimately I did not use. St. Martin's Press (SMP, my publisher for Digital Fortress) wanted to buy Angels & Demons, but I had been frustrated by their lack of promotional effort on my behalf. I had taken matters into my own hands. I spent my own money on publicity. I booked more than a hundred radio interviews, doing several a day for months. Despite good reviews, a very newsworthy/timely topic, and all of my grassroots efforts, the novel sold poorly. I decided that I would change publishing houses. I got an offer from Simon & Schuster, who wanted to buy Angels & Demons based on my outline and promised me a much larger publicity campaign.

65. Because Simon & Schuster had purchased my book in advance, 1 now was writing knowing that 1 had a publisher. I was encouraged because Simon & Schuster said they were extremely excited by Angels & Demons. They promised to give the book considerably more publicity and support than my previous publishers. Their proposed publicity included a much larger print run (60,000), advertising in major newspapers, web advertising, a 12 city tour, an e-book release, and other exciting prospects.

66. Unfortunately, when the book came out, my print run was slashed down to 12,000 copies with virtually no publicity at all. I was once again on my own and despite enthusiastic reviews, the novel sold poorly. Blythe and I were heartbroken as we had put so much work into this book. Once again, we took matters into our own hands, booking our own signings, booking our own radio shows, and selling books out of our car at local events.

67. At this point, my motivation was running thin. (I was still teaching to make ends meet, and I had made little money on Angels & Demons. I still owed Simon & Schuster another novel (I had signed a 2 book deal, with Simon & Schuster having an option on a third), and so I kept going in hopes that my sales would pick up or that one of the novels would be optioned and turned into a movie. At the time, that was a big financial incentive. I did receive numerous offers for the film rights to Angels & Demons, but I turned them down as they were not enough money and not with major studios.

68. This was not an easy time financially. I remember that we were forced to literally sell books out of our car at low profile publishing events. The few readers who read Angels & Demons had gone wild for it, and Blythe and I really believed we had something - if we could only get it to a critical mass of readers. The store where we buy most of our books, The Water Street Bookstore in Exeter New Hampshire, was hand selling my books, but the superstores still did not even know my name. Doing our own publicity and self-funding a book tour was expensive and exhausting. I was seriously considering not writing again. I learned a lot about publicity during this time, none of it very encouraging. I was told that the window of opportunity in book publishing was only a few weeks and that an author needed to reach a critical mass of readers very quickly after release, or the bookstores would return his books to the publisher to make room for the next round of new books. This is why large scale, coordinated launches are needed to make a success of most books. I realised I could not do it alone, no matter how hard I tried,

Deception Point (published 2001)

69. As I said, this period around 1999 was a very difficult time for me, but I remained hopeful. I was exhausted from the research and writing of such a complicated religious thriller, and I felt like I needed a break from symbols and art history. Even though I had lots of viable material left over from all of my research on religion/art/Rome and the Templars etc. I felt like I needed a change of pace. I decided to write what I later termed a "palate cleanser". After writing about the covert National Security Agency and the clandestine brotherhood of the llluminati, I found myself hard pressed to come up with a more secretive topic. Fortunately, I had recently learned of another US intelligence agency, more covert even than the National Security Agency. This new agency, The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), figured prominently in my third novel, Deception Point.

70. The research I had completed for the first book, Digital Fortress; was a good starting point for the third book. I had a lot of information on national security, technology, funding and other government departments. At the time, the press had also been commenting on NASA's string of failures and the feasibility of private aerospace companies taking over NASA's role.

71. This debate gave me my "big idea". I became very interested in the question of whether it made sense for my tax dollars to fund trips to Mars while the very school in which I was teaching could barely afford an art teacher. Then again, could we as human beings really give up our quest for discovery in space? Deception Point centred on issues of morality in politics, human progress, national security, and classified technology. The book explored organizations such as NASA and the NRO. The crux of the novel was the link between NASA, the military, and the political pressures of big budget technology.

72. The novel was a thriller about a meteorite discovered in the Arctic - a discovery that turns out to have profound political ramifications for an impending presidential election. The set up gave me a chance to debate and explore topics of morality in politics and science.

73. Of course, there is a twist in the tale, as there is in all my books. Like its predecessors, Deception Point incorporates my usual elements - a secretive organization, a love story, a chase, and plenty of academic lecture. At the heart, however, my books are all essentially treasure hunts set within a 24 hour period.

Researching and writing Deception Point

74. Unfortunately for Blythe, the technological subject matter of Deception Point did not interest her much. She helped research some of the geology and glaciology, the architecture of the White House, Air Force One, etc., but she served more as a first pass editor and sounding board.

Editing and promotion of Deception Point

75. After the disappointment of the sales of Angels & Demons, I was nervous about the prospects for Deception Point. Simon & Schuster assured me they were going to "build me" as an author and that publicity for my new novel would be better. Unfortunately, it was not.

The Da Vinci Code (published 2003)

76. Halfway through writing Deception Point I began to think that maybe I had made a mistake with this palate cleanser. I was feeling bored by the topic. I was no longer keen on politics - which was part of the story in Deception Point - and I did not enjoy writing with a female lead. I had been far more interested in the Vatican, Langdon, codes, symbology, and art. I wasn't enjoying writing, I had no money, and I found myself wondering once again if I should give up. Fortunately, my wife has always been a tremendous support system and she encouraged me to keep at it.

77. In addition to Blythe's support, my parents (both avid readers) repeatedly assured me the novels were commercial and that I just needed to find the right publisher. My lone advocate at Simon & Schuster seemed to be my editor, Jason Kaufman, with whom I had developed a friendship and level of trust. He too had become deeply frustrated with the lack of publisher support I was receiving at Simon & Schuster.

78. The day after I submitted the Deception Point manuscript Blythe and I travelled on a much needed vacation to Mexico. It was thereon the Yucatan Peninsula, exploring the ancient Mayan pyramids and archaeological ruins of Chichen-Itza and Tulum, that I was (at last) able to leave behind the high tech world of Deception Point. We were immersed in ancient ruins and lost cultures, and this intriguing history was tickling my imagination again. I began to muster the sense that I might be able to write another novel. At that point, I had no doubt who my hero would be - I would return to the world of Robert Langdon. This sequel would ultimately become The Da Vinci Code.

79. The Da Vinci Code tells the story of professor Robert Langdon's race to decipher clues left for him by murdered Louvre curator Jacques Sauniere. Many of Sauniere's clues involve wordplay and relate to Leonardo da Vinci. The novel is, at its core, a treasure hunt through Paris, London, and Edinburgh. The story is a blend of historical fact, legend, myth, and fiction.

80. The novel's themes include: the sacred feminine; goddess worship; the Holy Grail; symbology; paganism; the history of the Bible and its accuracy, including the lost Gnostic Gospels; Templar history; the suppression of information by the church; the genealogy of Jesus; religious zealotry; and nature's grand design as evidence for the existence of God.

81. Many of the themes mentioned above have been popular topics for centuries. One can find explorations of them in many languages, including the languages of art, literature, and music (specifically the songs of the Troubadours, the game of Tarot cards, and travelling storytellers).

82. Many of the aforementioned themes from The Da Vinci Code fall in a category I often call "secret history" - those parts of mankind's past that allegedly have been lost or have become muddied by time, historical revision, or subversion. Of course, it is impossible when looking at secret history to know how much is truth, and how much is myth or fanciful invention. This blend of fact and potential intrigues me and is one of the reasons I love Leonardo da Vinci. Some of the most dramatic hints to possible lost "secret history" can be found in the paintings of Leonardo da Vinci, which seem to overflow with mystifying symbolism, anomalies, and codes. Art historians agree that Da Vinci's paintings contain hidden levels of meaning that go well beneath the surface of the paint. Of course, some "secret history" may be fact, some fiction. This idea, of course, excited me as a potential plot device.

83. The Da Vinci Code has taken a lot of this infom1ation and put it forward in a different genre - that of a work of fiction, a thriller.

Researching and writing The Da Vinci Code

84. As with all of my books, so much time has passed since I researched each of the novels that it is hard for me to be exact about what sources I used at which precise point in the research and writing of each of the novels. In the case of The Da Vinci Code, Blythe and I spent a year or so travelling and conducting research during the writing of The Da Vinci Code. On the way, we met with historians and other academics and extended our travels from the Vatican and France to England and Scotland in order to investigate the historical underpinnings of the novel.

85. In preparing this statement, what I have done is gone back to my research books and notes and thought long and hard about how these big ideas came to the surface. In doing so, I see that more notes have survived from The Da Vinci Code than from any of my previous novels. This is not surprising. I am not a pack rat; in fact, I'm the exact opposite. In the same way that I try to trim the fat from my writing, I am constantly trimming excess clutter from my life. I have discarded most of my life's memorabilia, including personal letters, grade school essays, early diaries, and even academic commendations. I trashed my first manuscript for Digital Fortress (which I now regret) and even disposed of most lyric notes and demo tapes from my years as a songwriter. This may sound surprising, but both Digital Fortress and my music career felt like creative failures (as did Angels & Demons and Deception Point), and big boxes of old notes felt like painful reminders of years spent for naught. Also, we have moved house four times since I began writing, and heavy boxes of old notes rank very high on my "to discard" list.

86. I believe another reason that I found more notes from The Da Vinci Code is that it has been the most research intensive of my novels to date. It was my fourth novel, and I was getting better at writing; in the same way a musician chooses to perform harder and harder pieces as he masters his instrument, I was eager to tackle more complicated plotlines. My research books for The Da Vinci Code are heavily marked with margin notes, sticky notes, underlining, highlighting, inserted pieces of paper, etc. A good portion of these notes (as with Angels & Demons) are in my wife's handwriting. She is passionate about art and secret history and was enjoying educating herself and being involved in the research. For example, in Angels & Demons, she may have found me the exact specifications of Berriini's Fountain of the Four Rivers. With The Da Vinci Code, however, she was reading entire books, highlighting exciting ideas, and urging me to read the material myself and find ways to work the ideas in to the plot. In particular, she became passionate about the history of the Church's suppression of women, and she lobbied hard for me to make it a primary theme of the novel. Blythe also tends to save far more memorabilia than I do; many of the research notes were now hers, and more of them found their way into safe-keeping.

87. Looking back at the books, I can see that we were highlighting all the big concepts that eventually appeared in the final draft of the book. In the following paragraphs, I have noted specific parts of source works we looked at to illustrate this point - this is not an exhaustive review of the research we did, but it gives an indication of the parameters and extent of the research.

88. In beginning to write The Da Vinci Code, I tried to place my head back in to the world of Robert Langdon - the world of art, religion, secrets, and symbols. In exploring his world anew, I began mulling over much of the information that had been leftover from my Angels & Demons research. This included my research on the brotherhood of the Masons and on The Knights Templar. As I have pointed out, the links between the Illuminati and the Masons are well documented, and one can hardly read about the Masons and not also read about the Knights Templar.

89. Blythe and I began buying additional research books on these groups. We already owned several books about the Masons (e.g. Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry, Morals & Dogma). In looking back at what we were buying at around this time, the titles included: The Hiram Key, by Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas (D.44); The History of the Knights Templars, by Charles G. Addison (D.23); The Knights Templarand their Myth, by Peter Partner; and Born in Blood, by John J. Robinson (D.55). All four books are listed in the partial bibliography I produced for the Synopsis for The Da Vinci Code, which I later submitted to publishers, including Random House (see 163).

90. From my research in Angels & Demons, I had read extensively on the Templars, including the legend of "The Money Pit" - buried Templar treasure in Nova Scotia. This well-documented legend (literally buried treasure) held my interest for a time, and I toyed with it as an element for this new novel. I soon decided that Nova Scotia was not an ideal setting for a novel because it did not afford me the many options I would need for dramatic settings. In addition, I longed to put Robert Langdon back in the world of Angels & Demons - and that meant Europe.

91. At the outset of the project, one of my desires was to explore the origin of the Bible. The Bible is, in many respects, like any other compilation - it is a heavily edited collection of many authors' works. Even so, many people accept what is said in the Bible to be absolute fact. Another reason for selecting the topic of the Bible was my fascination with religion in general. To put it at its simplest, although religion often did good things and helped a lot of people, I could see that there were also many situations where any religion could be used for evil purposes. I found this clash to be potentially fertile ground in which to plant the seeds of my novel. I thought that perhaps this would be the theme, or "big idea" of the novel.

92. The theme of the Bible and religion took me to the Gnostic Gospels (essentially those parts of the Bible that were drafted, but ultimately did not appear in the final version and, therefore had not been widely read). Since visiting Rome while researching Angels & Demons I remained fascinated by what could be buried in the Vatican secret archives - those miles and miles of books must contain something pretty interesting - what could it be? At this early stage I thought that the answer to this question would be, in essence, material contained in alternative drafts of the Bible and the Gnostic Gospels - the story we read in the Bible is a partial story and it is an edited story. Many historians believe that the Gnostic Gospels are one of the missing pieces. 

The Hiram Key - Knight & Lomas (D.44)

93. Angels & Demons had given me the chance to build on my knowledge of Constantine and the history of Christianity. I thought that it may be an idea to look at that history through a slightly different lens, that lens being the exploration of those books of the Bible that were omitted from Constantine's version. An important book for this early research was The Hiram Key by Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas. This book examines the role of the Masons and The Knights Templar in excavating and then hiding a cache of early Christian writings. It also mentions the family of Jesus (siblings as opposed to children), the origins of Christianity, the Gnostic Gospels, and Rosslyn Chapel, in Edinburgh.

94. Looking back at my copy of The Hiram Key. I can see that either Blythe or myself has underlined passages that speculate as to the nature of what the Templars found and the subsequent impact on Christianity. We also underlined sections that deal with Constantine and the importance of Sol Invictus in determining modern Christian dates and practices.

95. I can see from our copy of The Hiram Key (D.44) that there is a mix of handwriting (quite extensive in parts) and markings (pencil, pen and highlighter pens) made by Blythe and me. In my childhood, I was taught never to write in books. To this day, I still have a strong aversion to it. (In fact, when I first became published and people asked me to sign their editions, I felt funny about it.) For this reason, my margin notes often are very light or taken down on a separate piece of paper. Blythe does not share my idiosyncrasy, and she often marks books very heavily. She also often produced research documents for me as a result of her studies of the books. An example from The Hiram Key is "hiram's key notes" (D.332). It can be seen from that document that she included a number of page references which she thought I should consult.

96. The above references to my books and documents are byway of example (as are the other examples I cite in this statement). When I am researching and writing a novel I read a lot of material. There is, of course, additional material in all of these sources which I would have seen, either because I read the book or because the research would suggest I read certain sections. Usually, I carefully read the notes Blythe prepared for me, but on some occasions she prepared notes that were either too lengthy (which I skimmed or ignored), seemed off-topic (notes that were of interest to her, but for which I had no use), or were outdated (sometimes I asked for information and then changed my mind or deleted that plot point).

The Templar Revelation- Pichzett& Prince (D. 53)

97. One of the new research books we found that I found most intriguing was The Templar Revelation. I think we discovered this book by chance during one of my book signings for Deception Point at a large chain bookstore. On our copy, I see its cover includes the tagline "Secret Guardians of the True Identity of Christ". Even today, this kind of book is the type that we would pick up. The cover of our copy of Templar Revelation bears a symbol with which we were already acquainted --the ankh which is mentioned in Angels & Demons by symbologist Robert Langdon (Corgi, page 253). I think this discovery was very early on in the research process --at this stage, I did not yet have a title for the novel. I was still hunting around for the "big idea".

98. The Templar Revelation discussed secret Templar history and the possible involvement of Leonardo da Vinci. This Da Vinci connection fit well into my desire to write in Langdon's domain, the world of art. I became excited about using Leonardo da Vinci as an historical touchstone and plot device for my new novel. Bernini had been central to Angels & Demons and I had enjoyed writing that book. Moreover, I knew Blythe was an enormous fan of Leonardo da Vinci and would be eager to help me research. It was probably at about this time that I came up with the title The Da Vinci Code.

99. Leonardo da Vinci is often described as a man who awoke from a deep slumber only to find that the rest of the world was still sleeping. An artist, inventor, mathematician, alchemist, he was a man centuries ahead of his time. Perhaps the greatest scientist the world had ever seen, Da Vinci faced the challenge of being a modem man of reason born into an age of religious fervour; an era when science was synonymous with heresy. Men like Galileo and Copernicus, in studying astronomy and the heavens, were considered trespassers -invaders in a sacred domain whose mysteries previously had been reserved for the traditional scholars of heaven -the priests. The Church believed that the magic of the universe (the stars, the seasons; planets) were evidence of God's almighty design. They were miracles to be revered as such, not scientific riddles to be unravelled and de mystified with telescopes and mathematics.

100. Surprisingly, despite Da Vinci's lifelong conflict with religion, he was a deeply spiritual man. Like Galileo, Da Vinci looked at nature's miracles, and in them, he saw proof of a divine Creator. The ratio PHl is a perfect example of this. Leonardo da Vinci employed this "Golden Ratio" in much of his f religious artwork. His philosophy was one in which science and religion lived in harmony. As I have said, I have a fascination with the interplay between science and religion, and I think that's one of the reasons I became so quickly engrossed in Leonardo da Vinci as a topic. He is perhaps the perfect subject for me, given my love of codes, science, religion, art and secrecy.

101. As I stated earlier, I studied art history at the University of Seville. The course covered the entire history of World Art, including, of course, Leonardo Da Vinci. The course made a great impression on me. I was only 21 years old at the time.. but years later, reading Templar Revelation (D.S3), I recalled the professor's observations about the dark quality of The Last Supper. I was starting to sense I had another Langdon novel in the works. Angels & Demons had touched on Bernini's secrets; and now I could see a path where I could do the same with Da Vinci.

102. Da Vinci is also the connection between art and the secret society that I chose to include in The Da Vinci Code - the Priory of Sion. Like Da Vinci's paintings, the Priory of Sion and Da Vinci's involvement with it is discussed in Templar Revelation (D..S3). I had included the subject of cults and secret societies in my previous novel, Angels & Demons, by referring to the Illuminati. Both Digital Fortress and Deception Point featured secretive organizations. With Langdon the common protagonist to both Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code, and having played around with the idea of the Masons being the secret society, I decided to include a reference to another cult in The Da Vinci Code, namely the Priory of Sion. I also made the decision to shelve the Masons for another day.

103. From the moment I started conceiving The Da Vinci Code, it was a certainty that art would feature significantly. Langdon is not merely a symbologist, he is an art historian. From looking back at my documents and sources, I can see that Blythe and I purchased many books with information about art and codes in art, Templar Revelation (D.S3) being one of them.

104. There is a note on the first page of our copy of Templar Revelation (D.53) referencing Poussin, the Last Supper, Teniers and Notre Dame. In the book, there is also an analysis of the painting Virgin of the Rocks. In my printed research, one of the documents is entitled "Interesting Leonardo stories" (D.334). This features some quotes from Templar Revelation and analysis of Virgin of the Rocks. In another document "DVC -TO ADDl' (D.91!, there is information on Boticelli, the artist that features in Margaret Starbird's book The Woman with the Alabaster Jar{D.59) (a book which I mention again below).

105. Many other books were bought by Blythe, or were simply in our possession as art lovers, on Leonardo da Vinci. The partial bibliography on my website lists The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, which I know we own but cannot find. It also lists, Prophecies, by Leonardo da Vinci; Leonardo da Vinci: Scientist, Inventor, Artist; and Leonardo da Vinci, the Artist apd the Man. Itis most likely that I read these texts online, found something useful, and therefore credited them. I particu1arly recall using Prophecies for a quote.

106. More information on coded paintings was found in book The Tomb of God, by Richard Andrews and Paul Schellenberger (D.24). For example, its front cover is the painting Les Bergers d' Arcadie II by Nicolas Poussin. On the title page there is a note in Blythe's handwriting. There is a chapter on Poussin and Teniers, with a note in Blythe's hand-writing "work Poussin into Mystery?".

107. Cocteau is another artist who features in The Da Vinci Code for his coded works, particularly with regard to Notre Dame. Looking back at my notes and research texts, it would appear that most of this information came from Templar Revelation (D.53). (I know that Holy Blood, Holy Grail also examines hidden meaning in Cocteau's work, but The Da Vinci Code and Holy Blood, Holy Grail discuss different pieces.)

108. I should mention that Blythe wrote similar notes in many of our research books, usually urging me to take note of some interesting fact she had found. She was becoming more and more intrigued by the information we were learning, and she wanted me to incorporate all of it (which I could not possibly do). She often playfully chided me about my resolve to keep the novel fast-paced (always at the expense of her research). In return, I jokingly reminded her that I was trying to write a thriller, not a history book. In the end, we found a comfortable balance of pace and history, and we had a wonderful time throwing ideas back and forth. Blythe's female perspective was particularly helpful with this book, which deals so heavily with concepts like the sacred feminine, goddess worship and the feminine aspect of spiritually.

109 Somewhere during the research for The Da Vinci Code (and well before I started writing anything), I learned that Mary Magdalene was not in fact a prostitute (as I had been taught in Sunday school) - this is alluded to in Templar elevation and The Woman with the Alabaster Jar. This stunned me I was amazed that this piece of mis-information had survived so long. I was curious about what other mis-information remained part of official church doctrine once again, I was motivated to dig deeper. So we purchased some of the books instead in Templar Revelation, including The Woman with the Alabaster jar, by Margaret Starbird. I can't remember how we found this book - perhaps by Blythe searching in the internet, or perhaps simply by seeing it mentioned in Templar Revelation. The Woman with the Alabaster Jar focuses on the story of the misrepresented Mary Magdalene. I am fairly sure that it was his book which led us to the second Margaret Starbird book, The Goddess the Gospels (0.58).

110. As I read more about the lost books of the Bible, I was reminded of the old truism that since the beginning of recorded time, history has been written by the "winners" (those societies and belief systems that conquered and survived). Despite an obvious bias in this accounting method, we still measure the "historical accuracy" of a given concept by examining how well it concurs with our existing historical record. I was becoming more open to considering different versions of history.

111. Although I was sceptical at first about Margaret Starbird's books, Blythe reacted to them with enormous passion and enthusiasm. In fact, I'm not sure I had ever seen Blythe as passionate about anything as she became for the historical figure of Mary Magdalene (particularly the idea that the church had unfairly maligned her). Blythe even bought a painting of Mary Magdalene and hung it over her desk. Margaret Starbird's books opened our eyes to the concept of the Church's subjugation of the sacred feminine. But I still needed some convincing. At about this time my wife ordered a series of three historical films by the film maker Donna Rea ~ (Women & Spirituality). I found the films absolutely fascinating. I was amazed to learn of the existence of a church publication called The Malleus Maleficarum (D.45), a book that counselled people how to identify and murder women who fit the church's broad definition of "witch". I began to realize that history barely mentioned the Church's systemic subjugation of the sacred feminine. The films also mentioned the Gnostic Gospels, pre-historic art honouring the female as life giver, the symbol of the inverted triangle - the womb, Catholicism, symbols, the serpent being linked to religion, the obliteration of 25,000 years of goddess worship by the ancient Greeks (Athena, formerly a goddess of love becomes a war goddess and - strikingly - sprang from the head of Zeus, as Eve came from Adam's rib).

112. My eyes were now wide open to the idea of the suppression of the sacred feminine. My reading convinced me that there was a great case to be put forward that woman had been unfairly treated in the eyes of society for hundreds of years if not longer, and that religion had played a big part: in this. An example of where I worked this conception into The Da Vinci Code is on pages 173- 74 {Corgi).

113. However, my "big idea" had not yet fully formed itself. At this point, I might have toyed with writing a few sections of the book (in no particular order) to get a feel of the characters or setting, but I still wasn't entirely decided on the backbone of the story. It seemed to be evolving into something much more interesting than simply Da Vinci's paintings and the origins of the Bible. I could not imagine how this information about suppressing the sacred feminine had been done or why it was not known in the mainstream. Blythe, as well as helping e with the research, encouraged me to incorporate the theme of the sacred feminine and the goddess. From looking back at my documents and sources, I can see, for example, that on a note inserted into the inside cover of The Woman 's Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects, by Walker (0..60), Blythe has written a note "goddess section" (0.238); and on page 202, she has  written "read all" by the Goddess entry. Further, in a document entitled "DVC 16 - TO ADDI" (D.91); sections of material either Blythe provided or I toyed with include references to themes such as the sacred feminine, fairytales, lsis, and other topics which feature abundantly in the Margaret Starbird books.

114. Margaret Starbird's books were a big inspiration -the image she created of Mary Magdalene being the bride, the lost sacred feminine, was very elegant - it seemed like the "big idea" --like the core of a classic fairy tale or enduring legend. This concept of the lost sacred feminine became the backbone of The Da Vinci Code and would become the central theme of the novel --in the Acknowledgements I thank my wife and my mother and note that the novel "draws heavily on the sacred feminine". Also, the reason why Sauniere is so keen for Sophie to meet with Langdon is because of a shared interest in goddess worship. In the book Langdon's yet to be published manuscript is called "Symbols of the Lost Sacred Feminine" (The Da Vinci Code, Corgi, pages 42 -143)

115. Indeed, at the very start of my Synopsis, for The DaVinci Code (0.4), which I refer to below, I included the quote from Genesis "God created man in his own image male and female". I did this to reinforce the central theme of the book, which was there right from the start of the writing. In The Da Vinci Code, I. also decided to describe the Priory as "the pagan goddess worship cult" (Corgi page 158) in order to further steer the emphasis of the novel towards Mary Magdalene and the lost feminine. This portrayal of the role and ideology of the Priory was my personal interpretation,

116. I also included a quotation attributed to Pope Leo X, which appears in The Hiram Key "It has served us well, this myth of Christ", because the book would feature the history of Christianity. My dad is a great sounding board, and I still remember talking to him about the idea of writing a novel about the lost sacred feminine. He seemed uncertain but noted (tongue in cheek) that if I wrote a book with the central theme of the sacred feminine, I may sell more books and able to pay my rent because most book-buyers were women.

Opus Dei

117. In The D Vinci Code I also wanted to include the grey area in religion and did so by including Opus Dei. This grey area was also explored in Angels & Demons. Opus Dei is a very devout Catholic group, which like many fervent religious groups is met with suspicion and mistrust; only some of which is justified. While Opus Dei is a very positive force in the lives of many people, for others, affiliation with Opus Dei has been a profoundly negative experience. Their portrayal in the novel is based on books written about Opus Dei as well as my own personal interviews with current and former members. In both books I wanted to demonstrate that very few things are black and white; all bad or all good.

118. As an extension to the theme of a religious gray area, I also referred to corporal mortification -vthe practice of self flagellation. For most people, the practice sounds abhorrent. Yet, from my years living in Spain I saw that it is a big part of modem Catholicism in Spain. Every year on Easter prominent bankers and lawyers put chains on their legs and march through the streets as their yearly penance. The practice itself is not uncommon.

The Bloodline

119 I reached a stage in my research where I had plenty of material for the next novel-- perhaps even too much. Blythe had been a great advocate for the novel focusing even more on the area of the suppression of the sacred feminine -he also lobbied hard for me to find a way to use a theory which concerned e legend of the Holy Grail --the so-called "bloodline theory". This is a well documented theory which, by this stage in the research process, we had read about in many books. for example, in The History of the Knights Templars" by Charles G. Addison (D.23), the Introduction (written in 1997 by David Hatcher Childress) says that "Different versions of the legend exist with the two mo t prominent stating that the Holy Grail is the cup or chalice used by Christ at the Last Supper or, alternatively, the genetic blood-lineage of Jesus." The "bloodline theory" is what Hatcher Childress describes as "the genetic blood-lineage of Jesus'

120. Initially, I was reluctant to include the bloodline theory at all, finding it too incredible and inaccessible to readers - I thought it was a step too far. However, it after much discussion arid brainstorming with Blythe, I eventually became convinced that I could introduce the idea successfully. Blythe had suggested introduce it as a part of the Goddess worship theme -the lost sacred feminine being embodied by the Church of Magdalene that never was. The more I read on this topic - both in Blythe's notes and independently in the books and on the internet - the more plausible I found the storyline.

121. I am positive that Blythe and I read about the bloodline theory in many sources before reading any of Holy Blood, Holy Grail. From looking back at my source, all of which I am sure I looked at while researching The Da Vinci Code, I have found numerous references in other texts and materials to the theory.

122. The theory appears in all of the following books: The History of the Knights Templars, by Charles G. AddjsoniD.23); Templar Revelation, by Picknett & Prince (D.5 ); The Goddess In the Gospels, by Margaret Starbird (0.58); The Woman with the Alabaster Jar, by Margaret Starbird (D. 59); and The Tomb of God, by Andrews & Schellenberger (D.24). It also is noted in my research documents, for example, documents entitled "Holy Grail Info" called "grail%2fjeusbloodline info" (D.330); "Myths and Stories of the Knights Templar" ( .235); and "MASONS" (D.261).

123. In preparing this statement, I have also looked at my Synopsis for The Da Vinci Code (D4) (I refer to this document in more detail in 161 below), which I wrote in January 2001 long before we bought or consulted Holy Blood, Holy Grail. This has helped me to work out what were the main sources for he bloodline point. In the Synopsis, I refer to the fact that Merovingian comes from "MER = sea and VIGNE == vine" (which is referenced The Woman with the Alabaster Jar, page 62). Furthermore, when Langdon is explaining the bloodline theory to Sophie on the Seine, I included a note to readers: "including countless biblical references to Jesus as 'bridegroom" Mary Magdalene as the bride and the vine bearing his sacred fruit, and dozens of Vatican-banned gospels...." This material is all dealt with comprehensively in Margaret Starbird's books. The first three chapters of The Woman with the Alabaster Jar are called: The Lost Bride, The Bridegroom, and The Blood Royal and the Vine.

124. I am certain that I read the above books and documents before I looked at Holy Blood, Holy Grail. All of my early research came from other sources, which included those listed above and many related websites and articles. (I describe below how I eventually used Holy Blood, Holy Grail).

Secrets, treasure hunts, symbology, codes

125 As with m earlier books, there is a lot in The Da Vinci Code that is familiar - a murder, a chase through foreign locations, the action taking place all in 24 hours, a code a ticking clock, strong male and female characters, and a love interest. The book also builds on what I saw as the great leaps forward I made in Angels & Demons. Again, it is thriller as academic lecture, there is plenty of hidden formation, symibology, codes and treasure hunts. And even more so than in Angels & Demons, the reader is accelerated through the book - I used short chapters, ideally with some form of cliff-hanger at the end of each one.

126. In the following paragraphs I have highlighted some of the many other things that appear The Da Vinci Code - they are all important, and I think they are all reasons why the book has had the impact that it has. The list, however, is not exhaustive - for that, the book itself should be consulted.

127. In The Da Vinci Code, Sophie Neveu witnesses Sauniere taking part in a Hieros Gamos ritual; an event that is to set the background of her relationship with her grandfather, and also combine the bloodline theory with that of Goddess worship. Starbird's books in particular view the bloodline theory from a Lost Sacred Feminine perspective. While the history of Hieros Gamos is well documented, I made up the idea that it was practiced by the Priory. The description of the ritual itself was inspired by Stanley Kubrick's film 'Eyes Wide Shut'.

128. In my synopsis (described below) I tell readers to imagine this movie, which is probably because I had recently written a synopsis for Angels &; Demons that was geared to film producers (in an attempt to sell the movie rights), and conjuring that image seemed an effective way to convey the mystery and scope of what I was imagining. The images of the clothing I describe came from Blythe, who found them on numerous magical or ritualistic websites, quite apart from anything Priory related. The white and black of the male and female costumes were described on these websites. I recall being pleased that this dove-tailed so nicely with the white and black Cryptex I had planned.

129. The first place I look for ideas on symbols is The Dictionary of Symbols, by Chevalier (D.30). This enormous tome is essentially a dictionary that tells us the origins of symbols that we see every day. Looking at my copy I can see that Blythe has written a note in the inside cover saying "pentagram - the key to higher knowledge and opened door to what was secret". She has also written: chalice, womb, Vulva - MM as vessel". These are all symbols that appear in The Da Vinci Code. Another symbology text I used a lot in writing The Da Vinci Code is The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects(Q,,60), mentioned above. I feel that one of the most effective ways of putting forward a theory, is demonstrating the symbology substantiated in it. Suggesting the "chalice" of the Holy Grail is Mary Magdalene's womb is far more convincing if one understands the symbology behind the image of a chalice.

130. Another significant symbol which I wanted to include is the mathematical symbol PH , the Divine Proportion. As with other symbols in The Da Vinci Code, PHI ties nature to religion, the divine feminine and art. It also links directly with the pentagram and hence Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man. I know about PHI from my father, from my early studies in art and architecture (although my art teachers called it "The Golden Ratio"), as well as from books such as Huntley's The Divine Proportion (D.40)

131. While on the subject of symbology, in one of my documents, "DYC -TO ADDI" (1.91) is a passage I contemplated including about the Fleur de Lis: a significant symbol in The Da Vinci Code.

132. As I state above codes are very much a relic from my childhood and have always fascinated me. For the same reasons that I made Vittoria Vetra an entanglement physicist in Angels & Demons and Robert Langdon a symbologist, I made Sophie Neveu a cryptologist. In Angels & Demons I was particularly keen on the idea of using codes, but did not have as much occasion for it - in that book, I made more use of poems and riddles. In The Da Vinci Code, I decided to explore the device further. As a result, codes feature most prominently in The Da Vinci Code and it therefore seemed appropriate to have Sophie as an 'expert' or teacher in order to help solve them; just as Vittoria explained the scientific concepts in Angels & Demons. As a plot device, it also linked her to Langdon. In addition, Sophie's relationship with Sauniere - solving codes and embarking on treasure hunts - is reminiscent of my own with my father. I wanted to portray this relationship in the novel.

133. I believe another reason I decided to make Sophie a cryptologist is that I recalled how much fun I'd had writing the "cryptologist heroine" (Susan Fletcher) in my first novel Digital Fortress. Back then, there was a naive joy about the writing process (before the frustrations of the publishing business set in), and I think part of me wanted to revisit that by using my new-found plotting skills to reinvent my original character archetype and really put her through her paces. .

134. Poems and anagrams were again two forms of codes or riddles that featured prominently in my childhood. As I have already mentioned, my father used poems in annual Christmas treasure hunts to lead us to our "hidden treasure'. I found among my Da VinciCode research my father's Christmas Treasure hunt from 1982, Chapter 23 of The Da Vinci Code was directly inspired by one of my childhood treasure hunts.

135. An important code in The Da Vinci Code is the Fibonacci sequence, my knowledge of which came from books such as The Divine Proportion by H. E. Huntley (40), and my father. Not only did I think Fibonacci was an interesting code which fit in comfortably with symbols such as PHI, but it was a plot device used .to introduce Sophie to Langdon. I found among my Da Vinci Code research a document entitled "Leonardo daVinci and the Fibonacc lequence" (0.183), which is a series of specific questions I prepared for Blythe to research on things such as Fibonacci and the Vitruvian Man. PHI, Fibonacci, the Vitruvian Man and Da Vinci all complement each other; they can be linked to so many of the same themes.

136. When I was writing Digital Fortress I researched cryptology and came across Caesar boxes, invented by Julius Caesar. I was also familiar with the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, who created many ingenious machines most of which were never made. At some point I had seen a blueprint of portable safe. It was my idea that Sauniere and Sophie call it a Cryptex. It was used as a dramatic vice to release information slowly. It is essentially a Da Vinci invention with the vinegar and the papyrus. However, it was never made, and I did elaborate a bit on the design. The black and white of the Cryptex were used to symbolize the masculine and feminine theme that runs throughout the novel.

137. The Atbash Cypher is an ancient substitution code based on the Hebrew alphabet. I used it in The Da Vinci Code as the code required to open the Cryptex. The keyword was "Baphomet", a headstone worshipped by the Templars as a pagan fertility god, traditionally represented as a ram or goat's head. Application of the Atbash Cypher to the word "Baphomet", results in the word Sophia - the ancient Greek word for wisdom. I was really amazed by how this code worked, particularly as Baphomet ties in so well with themes of the Templars and sex rites. I acquired information on the Atbash Cypher, Baphomet and Sophia from Templar Revelation and Tomb of God. On page 399 of my copy of Tomb of God(D .24), Blythe has written the notes "Sophia/wisdom, Baphomet/Sophia" and "very cool. Also see TR". It is dealt with on p.109 Templar Revelation (D.53), which Blythe has also underlined. During the preparation of this statement, I have been told that Holy Blood, Holy Grail also mentions Baphomet in the context of Templar worship - the Templars were accused of worshipping fake gods. However, in Holy Blood, Holy Grail, Baphomet is suggested to be a "bearded male head".

138. In The Da Vinci Code another device I used to maintain suspense was the mysterious "keystone" that the characters are searching for - a rosewood box, containing the Priory's greatest secret. "Keystone" is an architectural term used to denote the central stone in an archway, supporting the archway and preventing it from collapsing. Its significance in TheDa Vinci Code was entirely my creation, and has no bearing on the actual meaning of the word. It was my idea to link it with the Priory and the bloodline, and it was also my idea that the Grand Master and his seneschals would keep the Priory secret to the exclusion of all others. I decided that the keystone would be the means of keeping the secret. In The Da Vinci Code it is called a clef de voute, because Sauniere is French. It is far more plausible that the Priory would use the French nomenclature.


139. Locations are very significant to me when writing. In both Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code, the locations are often as important as the art itself in telling the story and solving the codes. In my Synopsis for The Da Vinci Code, instead having numbered chapters, I used location headings. Locations not only make the read more enjoyable (in my opinion), they add to the credibility of the ideas put forward. They also give the character of Robert Langdon a further opportunity to "teach" readers. Most people are unaware of the pagan origins of the Pantheon, for example, or the existence of demons' holes in some churches.

140. In The Da Vinci Code, I wanted to pay homage to the Louvre; a work of art itself. In the novel it is the final resting place for the Holy Grail. I spent time researching I. M. Pei, the architect of the famous and controversial Pyramid. I do not actually own any books, about or by Pei, and I recall doing most of the research online at an architectural website (I believe the site was www.greatbuildings.com, which I see is still active today and still offers the I. M. Pei renderings). This enabled me to download CAD renderings of famous buildings, including the Louvre Pyramid. I remember this because I became very frustrated that my inexpensive computer was too weak to fully display these spatial models without crashing. Nonetheless, I could scroll through the rendered frames slowly, and I became very excited about the Internet as a tool for researching the architecture of the buildings that I would be writing about (Notre Dame, the Louvre, Westminster Abbey, etc). In addition, I found among my research a document that refers to various other sources - presumably from the internet, entitled "Pyramid. The Mona Lisa. Louvre Info. Mitterrand" (D. 192).

141. Other sites that feature or are mentioned in the book, for example St. Sulpice, Notre Dame and Westminster Abbey, I either visited myself, researched on the internet or used guide books. One useful research source was Fodor's Guide to Paris 2001 (D.35), which particularly has information on the Louvre, St. Sulpice, and Notre Dame.

142. A location that kept resurfacing during my research was that of Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland, famous for its symbology and links to the Templars. Rosslyn is one of the last locations visited in The Da Vinci Code, where Sophie finds her grandmother and brother, and her history and heritage are revealed. The predominant source for my Rosslyn information was The Hiram Key, a lot of which is devoted to Rosslyn. Looking back at my copy, Blythe has made copious notes inside on Rosslyn. She also compiled two research documents called "Rosslyn Castle Info (plus notes at end on RBS and HK)" (D.181) and "Rosslyn highlights" (D.349), much of which appears to come from The Hiram Key. I also took information from the Rosslyn Chapel website (www.rosslynchapel.org.uk).

143. In The Da Vinci Code, Rosslyn is just another location, whereas in other texts, including Holy Blood, Holy Grail, it is suggested that Rosslyn is the final resting place for the Grail. It seemed more appropriate to me that Mary Magdalene would be returned by the Priory to France. The symbolism of the inverted angle at Louvre - a chalice - appealed to me, so I returned to focus to the Louvre, where the thriller began.

Review of research sources for The Da Vinci Code

144. A lot has happened since I researched this book, and I cannot remember every detail about which sources I used for what aspects of the novel. In general, however, the history and theory in The Da Vinci Code was readily available in texts other than Holy Blood, Holy Grail at the time I wrote the book. Moreover, Blythe and I studied these texts prior to seeing HolyBlood, Holy Grail.

145. I did look at Holy Blood, Holy Grail (D.25) before completing the book (and in the text I refer to it as being "perhaps the best known tome" on the topic of the bloodline theory (The Da Vinci Code, Corgi, page 339-340)). But the fact remains that my sources for the ideas which I am alleged to have copied from Holy Blood, Holy Grail did not include Holy Blood, Holy Grail.

146. When I did finally look at a copy of Holy Blood, Holy Grail I was surprised by what I read on the cover. This surprise found its way into the pages of The Da Vinci Code. Characters in my novels often speak for me, or reflect my experiences (for example, I have mentioned Sophie and her childhood treasure hunts). In Da Vinci Code, Sophie first sees a book called Holy Blood, Holy Grail in Sir Leigh Teabing's study -she notes that the cover is emblazoned with the words: INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER. Sophie is puzzled and comments, "An international bestseller? I've never heard of it." (Corgi, page 340). Sophie's words echo my own personal surprise when I finally saw the cover of Holy Blood, Holy Grail and realized it was an international bestseller. I'd never heard of it until I'd seen it mentioned in some of our other research books.

147. I chose to include the title of Holy Blood, Holy Grail in this chapter (along with three other non-fiction books - The Templar Revelation (D.53), The Woman with the Alabaster Jar (D. 59), and The Goddess in the Gospels (D.58) in the hope that any readers who became curious about the some of the ideas in my book, a fictional thriller, would know where to turn to find jump-off points for additional reading material and more details. Maybe it's because I have been a teacher, but I have always enjoyed suggesting books to people, especially on esoteric topics. Offering the reader a glance at someone else's bookshelf seemed like an entertaining way to offer other reading material. I did the exact same thing in Angels & Demons, in which I described a bookshelf bearing three books (The God Particle (D.47), The Tao of Physics, and God: the Evidence (D.37). In that case, my hope was that readers who wanted to know more about the subject matter of that book would know where to look for additional reading material.

148. Holy Blood, Holy Grail maybe a well known source, but it is not one I consulted until the storyline of my book was very well developed. I found most of the relevant ideas in my Templar and Masonic books (such as The History of the Knights Templar (D.23), The Knights Templar and their Myth, Born in Blood (D.55), and The Hiram Key (D.44)); The Templar Revelation; Margaret Starbird's books - Woman with the Alabaster Jar (D.59) and Goddess in the Gospels {D.S8).

149. I also looked at Donna Read's programs, Women & Spirituality, and my books on codes and symbols (Dictionary of Symbology, by Chevalier (0.30), Codes, Ciphers and other Cryptic and Clandestine Communication, by Wrixon (0.61), The Divine Proportion, by Huntiey (0.40), Dictionary of Symbols, by Liungman (D.48), The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects, by Walker D.60).and for some basic information about gargoyles, Fodor's Guide to Paris, 2001 (D.36)). I also looked at The Malleus Maleficarum, by Kramer and Sprenger (D.45), The Gnostic Gospels, by Elaine Pagels (D.51) (I had already read one of her books --The Origins of Satan (D.52), while researching Angels & Demons), and The Tomb of God, by Andrews & Schellenberger (D.24). To a lesser extent I relied on and got ideas from other books and materials, such as Joseph Campbell's book Transformations of Myth Through Time (D.29), and a TV show I saw of him being interviewed called "Power of Myth"; and Rule by Secrecy, by Marrs .(D.50) (this last book I read late in the writing of the novel).

150. Also, I made full use of the internet and what it offers. In the research and writing of The Da Vinci Code I looked at numerous online sources. I find the internet a great source of factual information, if used carefully. For example, if I needed to find a restaurant in Zurich for a particular scene, I would be able to find out the address and even what's on the menu by conducting as search online. This all adds detail to the descriptive parts of a novel that makes it all the more credible or realistic to the reader. I try to get these details right (even though do not always achieve this).

151. I often use the internet to give me a sense of whether or not an idea has potential. For example, if I hear a fact that sounds interesting and yet suspect, I will run a narrow search for that information and determine the credibility of people who have written about it. Invariably a narrow search will pull up specific passages from online excerpts of other books (promotional excerpts, commentary, reviews, Amazon, articles, etc.).

152. Large portions of the supporting research for The Da Vinci Code was performed online because of the ease of searching large numbers of documents or specific data and references. For example, with respect to information on I. M. Pei, while I do not actually own any books about or by M. Pei, I was able to find the relevant information online on architectural websites, online excerpts of books about Pei and other websites.

153. In addition I was helped in my research not only by Blythe but by Stan Planton, a librarian based at the University of Ohio. Stan had access to an incredible amount of online material and did "key-word searches" for me via his access to Lexis-Nexis. He sent me literally hundreds of texts from newspapers, journals, magazines, and other articles (including many European sources). In the preparation of this statement, I contacted Stan and spoke to him by telephone. He told me that he recalls doing keyword searches for -- (in his words) "Merovingian", "Magdalene", "Priory of Sion", "Templar"', "Grail", "Opus Dei" "bloodline of Christ" and many more. I asked him if he had copies of our correspondence. He looked for them but said that he had sent these emails to me more than three years ago and that they had been long since deleted. It is possible that some of the documents I have made available in the litigation include research papers that Stan found. I have searched my own computer files for electronic copies of Stan's research, but have found no such records. I believe that those records were stored on my old computer, which was damaged following a serious flood in about March 2004 when I also lost many of my documents and other materials. Two emails of the type of research that Stan said he completed for me are attached as Exhibit DB1.

154. In the late stages of writing The Da Vinci Code, Blythe and I started to use email more frequently to share ideas with each other. The reason for this is that more of our research was taking place on the Internet, and email became the most efficient way of sharing information. For Blythe, sending me cut-and-paste text or a clickable link to a large website was easier than printing out dozens of pages in hardcopy. This was especially true for websites that had lots of photographs (photos were very helpful in writing my descriptive passages, but they printed poorly and ate up expensive printer toner; I preferred to see them online). For some topics, Blythe pulled together many points and typed up a research document, usually covering the research that I had asked her to do on a particular topic. This new tool of email now meant that those research notes appeared in all kinds of different forms - her own extracts, clips from the internet, scans from source books, and website resource files. Sometimes I got a paper copy of those notes, usually an emailed copy, and sometimes both.

155. I don't like reading things on screen - my eye, sight is pretty good, but I find it tiring to look at the screen when reading. So, if I am at a point where I want to introduce a nugget of information on a work of art, or of a tube station, or of an airfield n Kent, I usually print out the page from the Internet, or from Blythe's notes and move away from my desk and computer, sit down and read the material. I may highlight points with a pen, or I may move back to the screen to insert some bullet points. Sometimes I can become rather frustrated when presented with too much information. If Blythe's research is voluminous, I will sometimes read Blythe's note and ask her to produce something more concise and focused so that I have the very essence of the points.

156. I add Blythe's research to my own, and then I attempt to distil and make palatable to the reader the raw subject matter. I estimate that I weed out the vast proportion of the research, and present only what I regard as the most interesting bits for the reader. This painstaking process of researching and writing a novel has been described by me as a lot like making maple sugar candy. You have to tap hundreds of trees ...boil vats and vats of raw sap… evaporate the water ...and keep boiling until you've distilled a tiny nugget that encapsulates the essence. Of course, this requires liberal use of the delete key.

157. In many ways, editing yourself is the most important part of being a novelist - carving away superfluous text until your story stands crystal clear before your reader. For every page in each of my novels, I probably wrote ten that ended up in the trash. All of this work leads to the production of a manuscript, revised drafts, and then finally the finished novel. My tendency toward heavy editing ("trimming the fat" as I called it) fuelled the ongoing push-and-pull between Blythe and me. Blythe constantly urged me to add more facts and more history. I was always slashing out long descriptive passages in an effort to keep the pace moving. I remember Blythe once gave me an enormous set of architectural / historical notes for a short flashback I was writing about Notre Dame Cathedral. When I had finished the section, she was frustrated by how little of work actually made the final cut. In these situations, I always remind Blythe I was trying to write a fast-moving page-turner.

Writing The Da Vinci Code

158. My editor Jason Kaufman, has helped me piece together the dates of various events, from the point that I started writing in earnest, through to my move to Doubleday and the launch of The Da Vinci Code. He prepared for me a timeline, and the dates below are taken from that timeline.

159. In January 2001, I had submitted the Deception Point manuscript to Jason and was in Florida visiting my parents. I remember I was swimming in my parents' pool when Jason called. He told me that Pocket Books loved my Deception Point manuscript and wanted to sign me up for two more books. Jason told me he would call my literary agent and make the offer. I remember asking Jason not to call my agent quite yet. I had been thinking about my agenting situation for some time now, and I had a decision to make. My original literary agent George Wieser had passed away shortly after Digital Fortress had been published. By this point in my career, I had learned enough about publishing to know that if I were ever going to be a successful novelist, I would need team who could orchestrate a large-scale release of my novels.

160. I had been t inking of getting a new agent for some time now, and I had begun to make some inquiries. One agent's name - Heide Lange - had come up several times through various sources. Only a day or so after I had spoken to Jason, I remember reading online that Heide Lange recently had signed a new thriller writ Brad Thor to a million dollar publishing deal with Pocket Books. I was stunned. I wondered if Heide could get the same kind of money for my new thriller idea. As I researched Heide more carefully, I became very hopeful. On her website I noticed that she had agented several non-fiction books about art (including the classic bestseller "Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain") as well as books on feminism, (including the famous international bestseller The G Spot, as well as The Feminist Memoir Project.) I recall becoming excited about Heide as a prospect. My new novel --The Da Vinci Code -- was all about art and the sacred feminine. Who better to sell it than a woman who had already sold books on these same themes? Then I realized Heide's last name -- LANGE -- was an anagram of ANGEL. I am not superstitious, but I recall thinking this was a very good omen.

161. I got Heide's number off the Internet and phoned her office. I remember leaving her a voice mail that I hoped would persuade her to call me back. Rather than telling her I wanted her to be my agent, I shared with her that Jason Kaufman at Pocket Books wanted to offer me a multiple book publishing deal, and that I needed someone to negotiate the contract. I figured that even a busy agent would jump at the chance to make 15% on a book deal without having to shop the manuscript. Sure enough, Heide called back within a few hours. I was impressed right from the start. In that short time span, Heide had already researched me online and sent her assistant out to buy one of my novels -- Digital Fortress. In fact, Heide had already read a few chapters when she called. I was captivated by Heide's enthusiasm, energy, and motivation. I immediately told Heide not to read Digital Fortress but rather to read Angels & Demons. I told her that the character and settings in Angels & Demons was "what I was all about"-- in particular the art and religious overtones. So Heide bought Angels & Demons, read it and loved it (as did her husband, John Chaffee). She signed me as a client immediately, and I had a good feeling that my career was at last going to turn the corner.

162. Heide and I were negotiating with Pocket, a division of Simon & Schuster that had an option on my next novel. As a part of that process, she suggested that I prepare several proposals to put forward in the hope of getting a multiple book deal. In early January 200l, I prepared short proposals for the novel ideas.

163. Heide asked me to expand upon the short outline I had drafted for The Da Vinci Code before submitting it to Pocket, in the hope that with a longer proposal I could get a better deal. I remember being very eager to impress Heide as much as she had impressed me, and so I plunged into writing this new synopsis with lots of energy. Unfortunately, because I was visiting my parents, I had no office space, and the only private place in their house was a tiny laundry room. I remember writing the expanded outline for The Da Vinci Code inside this tiny laundry room, sitting on a lawn-chair that had been set up at a makeshift desk made out of an ironing board. It was in this laundry room that I wrote an extensive 56 page outline, or Synopsis, fot The Da Vinci Code (D.4). I remember trying hard to make the Synopsis exciting and cinematic. I had already written a similar synopsis of Angels & Demons in hopes of selling the novel to Hollywood, but that had never happened. When I finished The Da Vinci Code Synopsis, I sent it to Heide later in January 2001. This was considerably before the Da Vinci Code was actually written.

164. My Synopsis of the entire novel includes an initial bibliography for The Da Vinci Code. The initial, or 'partial', bibliography lists the books I used to lay out the rough story line. In this bibliography, Holy Blood, Holy Grail does not appear. That is because when I wrote the Synopsis I did not own a copy of Holy Blood, Holy Grail nor had I, or Blythe, read it. The partial bibliography is limited to 7 books:

(1) The Templar Revelation - Picknett & Prince (D.53)

(2) The Goddess in the Gospels - Starbird (D.58)

(3) The Woman with the Alabaster Jar - Starbird (D.59)

(4) The History of the Knights Templars - Addison (D.23)

(5) The Hiram Key - Knight & Lomas (D.44)

(6) The Knights Templar - Partner

(7) Born in Blood - Robinson (D.55)

165. I have my copies of all of these books, save for The Knights Templar, by Peter Partner which I can't find. We have moved house three times since The Da Vinci Code research began -- and perhaps that book was lost during one of the moves. It is possible we loaned it out or misplaced it travelling. Also, it is possible that the Partner book was damaged and disposed of at the time of the flood.

166. The bibliography is "partial" in the sense that much of the research for the novel came from conversations, research trips, online sources and essentially sources that are hard to cite. I prepared a similar "partial" bibliography for Angels & Demons. This is not an unusual practice in circumstances where it is impossible to be absolutely specific about sources used; as is particularly the case where the internet is concerned and quoted authors are often not referenced.

167. The absence of Holy Blood, Holy Grail in my Synopsis' "partial" bibliography is in line with my clear recollection of referring to it only at a later time - it was not a crucial or important text in the creation of the framework of The Da Vinci Code.

168. Despite being certain that Holy Blood, Holy Grail (D.25), was not consulted until long after this outline was written and submitted, I have carefully gone through every point of this outline to ensure that there is nothing in here which suggests that, contrary to my recollection, I had seen Holy Blood, Holy Grail. Certainly no information or themes present in the outline are to be found only in Holy Blood, Holy Grail.

169. In the Synopsis, the murder in the opening scene features a ritualistic Masonic murder, based on that of Grand Master Hiram Abif. This points to The Hiram Key (D.44), which features Abif in its opening chapters. Also, the presence of elements such as the 'shroud", Sophia and Atbash in my Synopsis points very persuasively to Templar Revelation (which pays much attention to such topics) being an important source. By contrast, I have been told during the course of this litigation that Holy Blood, Holy Grail, barely mentions the shroud or Hiram Abif, and does not mention Atbash and Sophia. These sort of points illustrate to me that I was using The Hiram Key (D.44) and The Templar Revelation (D.53) as sources at the time (as well as the others in my partial bibliography) and indicate to me that I am correct in my recollection that I did not look at Holy Blood, Holy Grail until much later.

170. In February 2001, my editor, Jason Kaufman, moved to Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. He has told me that he showed my 56 page Synopsis to his boss, Bill Thomas, who loved it. Heide and I, however, were still negotiating with Pocket, who had an option on my next novel. Once the option period was complete, Doubleday made me an offer, slightly lower than that of Pocket, but I decide to accept it. The reasons for this were twofold: firstly, I wanted to continue working with Jason, in whom I have great faith; secondly, I had been so disappointed by Pocket's promotion of Angels & Demons and Deception Point, I felt I would have better luck starting afresh with a new publisher. I moved to Doubleday in mid-May 2001.

171. Between May 2001 and March 2002, I launched myself completely into the writing of The Da Vinci Code. During this period, Jason was not shown anything and I had very little contact with him or Heide. On March, 15, 2002, I sent Jason a draft of the first. 190 pages of The Da Vinci Code, so that he could distribute it in advance of Doubleday's in-house pre-launch meeting for books published in Spring 2003. Jason then edited the draft and, after talking to me, distributed it on March 21, 2002.

172. A notable difference between the Synopsis and the final draft I submitted was the murder in the opening scene. In the final version of The Da Vinci Code I used the Vitruvian Man as a model for the opening murder scene (placing a dead character on the Louvre floor in the same body position as Leonardo da Vinci's the Vitruvian Man.) This idea was in my mind very early as the Vitruvian man has always been a favourite of mine; I even have personal stationery featuring it.The Synopsis, as I have said, features a ritualistic Masonic murder, based on that of Grand Master Hiram Abif, featured at the beginning of The Hiram Key (D.44). The murder is still set in the Louvre, but I was having problems making this work, and I thought the Vitruvian man would be a far better murder victim.

173. Some of the action scenes are also different. For example, in the Synopsis I have Langdon and Sophie escape the assassin by jumping onto one of the Bateaux Mouches, on the Seine. It is here that Langdon reveals to Sophie the bloodline theory.

174. Another difference if that the peripheral characters are not as developed in the Synopsis; many are un-named or have different names. The Albino monk Silas, is a "massive Spaniard assassin" called Oedipus (an anagram of Opus Dei), Fache is the Capitaine of French Securite. In the final version the character of the Consul General does not exist, instead I included the Teabing character for reasons explained below. Aringarossa (spelt Arangirossa in the Synopsis - perhaps a typo) also plays a different role that is omitted from the final version of the novel.

Chapters 37, 55, and 58

175. By the time we obtained a copy of Holy Blood, Holy Grail (0.25), I had already written the Synopsis and the opening of the novel and had in place the themes of the sacred feminine, the bloodline, and secret history.

176. One of my favourite ways in which to share information with a reader is to have Langdon give an "academic lecture" on the topic. Writing one of his academic lectures is always a lot of fun but requires a firm grasp of specifics. Invariably, when I am preparing to write one of these academic lectures, I ask Blythe to collect and compile as much information as possible on the lecture topic. The Da Vinci Code includes lots of lectures - some long, some short -on topics such as Opus Dei (page 50 and see D.96, D.97, D.178 D.383, D.385 and D.387), the Mona Lisa (chapter 26, and see D.188, D.192 and D.338), goddess worship and suppression of the feminine (chapters 28 and 56, and D.174 and D.186), symbology (chapter 56), PHI (page 131), Fibonacci (page 92 and see D.180, D.183 and D.37), hidden meanings in paintings and other art (chapters 58 and 61, and D.189 and D.191), and Rosslyn (chapter 104, and 0.181 andD.349)

177. There are three "academic lecture" chapters of The Da Vinci Code which contain information that is also in Holy Blood, Holy Grail (D.25). Those are chapter 37, which deals with the Templars, the Priory and the Grail, chapter 55, which deals with Christianity, Constantine and the Bible, and chapters 58, which deals with lost history, Jesus' marriage and the Grail as bloodline.

178. In each case, we turned to a number of books we now owned on the topics, including The Hiram Key (D.44), The Templar Revelation (D. 53), the Margaret Starbird books (D.58 & D,59), Holy Blood, Holy Grail (D.25), which --as I have explained above --was suggested reading in The Templar Revelation, and many others and which, by now, we had bought.

Chapter 55 -the origins of Christianity, Constantine, and the Bible lecture

179. Chapter 55 features Langdon revealing to Sophie his ideas about the origins of Christianity, Constantine and the Bible. These ideas also appeared in the Synopsis, and I re-wrote them for the final version of The Da Vinci Code. I was already familiar with much of this information, particularly that about Constantine, the Council of Nicea, and the surrounding politics. In general terms I have been aware of Constantine's role in the origin of the Bible as we know it for many years. In addition, I researched the topic while preparing the content of Angels & Demons. But I read a lot more about the topic while writing The Da Vinci Code.

180. On reviewing my research materials, it is clear to me that in the context of researching this particular "lecture", I also looked at The Hiram Key (D.44), The Templar Revelation (D.53), Holy Blood, Holy Grail (D.25), The Gnostic Gospels (D.51), and he Woman with the Alabaster Jar (D.59).

181. In the preparation of his statement, I have been shown a document entitled "Constantine". This as produced for me by Blythe (D.177 and D.322). It is obvious to me that the Constantine document is not in her words, but has been taken from other sources. It is not unusual for her to do this when we are working together. I will tell her the outline of a section of a book I have written and then ask her to go away and make a note of more specific information about the topic which I can use to elaborate my text. At this stage both of us will have read a good deal about the topic, but she is better than me at producing a good summary of the material which we have looked at. If she finds a particular source which has many of the relevant facts collected together, she will make her note from that source. Sometimes she combines a number of sources in her notes to me. Sometimes she adds notes to me to look at other sources as well. There is no fixed pattern.

182. Returning to the "Constantine" document, I can tell from the style that it was not written by Blythe. Again, it was not at all uncommon for Blythe to send me text that was not her own (often she would transcribe paragraphs verbatim from sources in an effort to provide me the exact data I had requested). It has been pointed out to me that much of this particular Constantine document came from Holy Blood, Holy Grail. I would have known at the time that this was a summary of research she had prepared for me.

183. I would usually take a document like this, read it, consider it, and blend it in my mind with all the other material that I had read on the topic, I would cross reference or look again at other notes or other source material and then write a draft of my section of the book. There would usually be several drafts before a section was finished and for each draft I might refer again to notes or other source materials.

184. Throughout this exercise, I would sometimes mark up copies of Blythe's notes to me, and if I did I would often clear my desk of them when I had finished with them. Because many of the notes Blythe was preparing covered topics about which I was (at first) quite sceptical, I usually looked at Blythe's notes in conjunction with other sources. I was uncomfortable including specific information in the novel unless I could corroborate it in at least a couple of sources. I do not recall precisely how I used the Constantine document, but it is almost certain that I used it in conjunction with other materials.

185. The Constantine document looks to me like a good summary of what I had been reading about Constantine at the time, and the shift from paganism to Christianity.

Chapter 37 -Templars -Priory -Sangreal, and Chapter 58 - lost history, Jesus' marriage and the Grail as bloodline lecture

186. As I have said, Chapter 37 includes material on the Templars, their history, their connection with the Priory, and the word 'sangreal'. Chapter 58 features Langdon and Teabing revealing to Sophie the bloodline theory, as well as some of the imagery in Da Vinci's paintings. Again, these ideas also appeared in the Synopsis, and I re-wrote them for the final version of The Da Vinci Code.

187. I prepared the lecture parts of these chapters in the same general way as I prepared the lecture in chapter 55. A document that I would very likely have looked at while writing such chapters is that entitled "Langdon reveals to Sophie" (D.185 and D.336). Again it was prepared for me by Blythe - she had gotten the material from the sources we were looking at. The first part of the document deals with the history of the Knights Templar and it goes on to give an explanation for what they were looking for under the Temple of Solomon. A lot of this information (including some of the text), I believe, had come from The Hiram Key (D.44), as did some of my research on the Templars. The document then goes on to look at the Priory of Sion, San Graal, and marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene; I understand that this information (and some text) appears to have come from Holy Blood, Holy Grail (D.25).

188. This document is an example of one in which Blythe adds a number of notes of her own to tell me to keep in mind points in addition to those which she has set out. The document says "keep in mind these important references" and then there is a list of several points or themes and a corresponding source and page number. Holy Blood, Holy Grail is referenced as well as The Templar Revelation (D.53), Born in Blood (D.55) and The Hiram Key (D.44). For points on the Council of Nicea, Blythe has referenced both Holy Blood, Holy Grail and Templar Revelation. I found Holy Blood, Holy Grail extremely detailed and hard to read, and so I usually went to other books, especially Templar Revelation and The Woman with the Alabaster Jar, to remind myself what they had to say about the subject (by this stage I had already read these books at least once - I still have not read all of Holy Blood, Holy Grail).

189. There is also a note to the effect that the Priory List of Grand Masters can be found on page 131 of Holy Blood, Holy Grai1. At this stage, I had already seen the list many times (for example, Les Dossiers Secrets are available online and I frequently used the internet as a second or third source) and Blythe would have been telling me a convenient way to access it. I do not recall now whether or not I got the list which is primed in The Da Vinci Code from that in Holy Blood, Holy Grail or somewhere else.

190. A further note to me in the document says: "Throughout my readings of all my books, this smell or perfume for some reason keeps: coming up in relation to Mary Magdalene. I have seen this many times." Here she is reminding me that during her research she has seen lots of references to a perfume coming up in connection with the Mary Magdalene. However, I did not work this into my book.

191. The "Constantine" (D.177 and D.322) and "Langdon Reveals to Sophie" (D;185 and D.336) documents are just two of the more than a hundred documents which Blythe prepared for me. I have dealt with them because they contain material from Holy Blood, Holy Grail. Lots of the others she prepared contain material from other books, online sources or other texts. I have described above how I used this type of document and I do not believe my methods of writing are in any way unusual. I will be very surprised if Messrs. Baigent and Leigh did not make copious notes from the sources which they consulted.

192. In chapter 58 of The Da Vinci Code I cite a passage from the Gospel of Philip and another from the Gospel of Mary, which both allude to Mary Magdalene's relationship with Jesus and her important role in his Church. The Gospels of Philip and Mary both come from the Gnostic Gospels and I recall seeing them in many sources. For example, Templar Revelation; The Goddess in the Gospels; and The Gnostic Gospels. Also, one of my research documents "was mm author of 4th gospell_#2849" (D.216 and D.359) includes the passage from the Gospel of Philip.

193. I understand that the same passage from the Gospel of Philip appears in Holy Blood, Holy Grail. I cannot now recall what was my source. I do think that I was aware of the passage from the Gospel of Philip before I looked at Holy Blood, Holy Grail, because the many other sources I looked at which include the Gospel of Philip also include the Gospel of Mary.

194. As I have said, in preparing this statement I have looked back to my research sources, including our books. I see that our copy of Holy Blood, Holy Grail (D.25) is heavily marked up in Blythe's handwriting in a number of places. I am not surprised -we did use the book as a source, after the Synopsis was written and the writing was well underway. But that is not the only reason why the book is marked.

195. As soon as The Da Vinci Code was published and had become a runaway success, I found myself in a firestorm of controversy. I had never experienced this kind of media attention, and it was very difficult at times (especially the criticism from Christians). Often at my book signings, I found myself interrogated publicly by an angry Christian scholar who quizzed me on details of Bible history from the novel. I remember being attacked by one man over my description of the Council of Nicea (specifically the claim that there had been a vote on Jesus' divinity), and I recall feeling defenceless because more than a year had passed since I'd researched and written the novel, and the precise names, dates, places, and facts had faded somewhat in my memory. I quickly realized that if I were going to effectively discuss my work on an international stage, I would need something that Blythe termed "a refresher course".

196. This involved going back to our original resource materials and memorising the details surrounding those ideas about which critics were most upset - the bloodline, the Council of Nicea, Jesus as a husband, etc. Blythe again was on the front lines of gathering information for me. At this time, I know we revisited many of our relevant research materials, including Holy Blood, Holy Grail, and I have little doubt that many of the markings in Holy Blood, Holy Grail (D.25) were made during this "refresher period" after the novel was published. Blythe's help refreshing my memory paid off and after it I was more comfortable dealing with journalists or critics.

197. Also, as I have said, I don't like to write in books, but Blythe writes in books all the time. I know that if she reads a book - that we have bought for research purposes - that has anything to do with any of my novels, she underlines passages as she reads. Blythe is helping me with the research for my new novel, and she is doing just this. So, if she finds a reference to Mary Magdalene, or goddess worship... any of the old subjects, in a new book she still underlines it. She finds this a satisfying thing to do - it reinforces to her that we were on the right track with our earlier research.

198. All of the research books are different pieces of history in theory. Often the books reach the same conclusions - just in a different way. Blythe likes to mark or underline where she finds common links, as it helps her piece the big picture together. Our studies into the origins of the Christian movement and the ancient mysteries continue to this day. Our research and Blythe's note taking is a continual process.

199. Other examples of Blythe marking books in this way are the books Rule by Secrecy, by Jim Marrs (D.50), and The Secret Teachings of All Ages, by Manly P. Hall (D.38). Rule by Secrecy was published in 2000, and The Secret Teachings of All Ages in October 2003. My recollection is that I read Rule by Secrecy in Conway one summer and liked it a lot, but hated the conclusion about aliens, which I thought was somewhat silly. I think this was fairly late during the writing of The Da Vinci Code. The Secret Teachings of All Ages was published too late for me to have made use of it in the writing of The Da Vinci Code.

200. However, my copies of both books are marked in many places, including points which Blythe and I were familiar with by the time we read the books. For example, I see that on page 87 of my copy of Rule by Secrecy (D.50), Blythe has annotated the margin next to the words "Arthurian legend concerning the Holy Grail is closely connected to the controversial notion of a continuing bloodline from Jesus - the Sangreal or royal blood". I can see from one of our documents called "Rosslyn Castle Info" (D.181) that the book appears only to have been looked at by Blythe at the time I was writing the final "Rosslyn" chapters of the book. The fact that Rule by Secrecy (D.50) does not appear in the partial bibliography for the Synopsis supports my recollection. The Secret Teachings of All Ages (D.38) is marked in many places. For example, page 139 is marked despite the fact that the subject matter -the date 25th of December, Constantine and Sol Invictus, is Angels & Demons territory


201. In The Da Vinci Code, in order to amuse myself while writing, and to give added interest to readers, many of my character names are anagrams or are significant in some way.

202. I have played with names in all my books, but I did this a lot in The Da Vinci Code. For example, Jonas Faukman is an anagram of my editor, Jason Kaufman. Silas is a reference to a biblical figure named Silas who was let out of prison by an act of God (The Da Vinci Code, Corgi, page 88). Jerome Collet was inspired by a neighbour of my old pen pal, Sylvie. The Teacher is a reference to Jose Escriva who was the leader of Opus Dei and has often been referred to as "Teacher". Teabing calls himself "The Teacher" to sound more in tune with Opus Dei and thereby trick Silas.

203. Bishop Aringarosa is a play on words; this character looks like a villain, however this a red herring. "Aringa" is herring in Spanish and "Rosa" in Italian is red. Sister Sandrine Bieil was also inspired by a friend of my pen pal Sylvie. Andre Vernet was a French teacher at Exeter. Rene Legaludec was inspired by the Languedoc region in France. Simon Edwards is a dear friend from England. Pamela Gettum is a town librarian in Exeter. Sir Leigh Teabing is, of course, an anagram of the claimants, Messrs. Baigent and Leigh. The character Colbert Sostaque is based on a young boy Colby, to whom I have been a mentor through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program for the last four years. Jean Chaffee is based on my agent's husband. Edouard Delaroches is the archivist at Phillips Exeter Academy. Sauniere, as I explain below, is a playful reference aimed at conspiracy buffs, to the mystery at Rennes-le Chateau, which I did not include in The Da Vinci Code.

Sir Leigh Teabing

204. Sir Leigh Teabing, his house, and even his character did not exist in the early drafts of the book. He is not mentioned in the Synopsis. I initially conceived the character because Langdon and Sophie needed somewhere to rest and eat before moving on to London. As well as providing a safe haven for Sophie and Langdon, I needed to create a character who could say some of the more far-fetched and controversial things that I initially had Langdon saying. I wanted to preserve the integrity of my protagonist. I wanted Langdon to be able to stand back, raise questions and play devil's advocate a little, and also fill in some history. I also did not want Langdon to appear to be too anti Catholic; this is neither the message nor focus of the novel.

205. I included this allusion to Holy Blood, Holy Grail's authors (as opposed to the other three books I cited, see The Da Vinci Code, Corgi, page 339) in the form of the character, Sir Leigh Teabing (an anagram of Baigent & Leigh) for the following reasons:

·   Holy Blood, Holy Grail is an older, more traditional book than The Templar Revelation or some of my other sources. It seemed a more fitting match for my Teabing character whom I had crafted as an old British knight.

·   I noticed that the letters in "Baigent" were anagram of "Begin at" and that the signature "L Teabing" was an anagram of ' 'Begin at L". That led me to think of a clue which Sophie would decipher -"Begin at L" was to be her clue that L was the first letter of a word and she would go on to decipher that the word she was after was Louvre. As it turned out, I did not use this clue in the book.

·  In The Da Vinci Code, Sophie's grandfather called her Princess Sophie, and I thought that calling undue attention to the name "Prince" could be confusing for my readers, so I did not use a Picknett & Prince anagram or reference. I wanted to use the name Starbird, but I thought it sounded too American Indian so decided against it

206. Messrs. Baigent and Leigh are only two of a number of authors who have written about the bloodline story, and yet I went out of my way to mention them for being the ones who brought the theory to mainstream attention. I have been shocked at their reaction: Furthermore I do not really understand it.

207. Over the past ten years, I have placed in my novels the names of more than two dozen close friends and family. The names I choose are always those of people I care for or respect. When I learned that Holy Blood, Holy Grail was the first book to bring the idea of the bloodline into the mainstream, I decided to use the name Leigh Teabing as a playful tribute to Mr. Baigent and Mr. Leigh. I have never once used a novel to denigrate anyone, and most certainly my use of the name Leigh Teabing was no exception, I have seen a document which is entitled "General Statements" and which makes a number of serious allegations against me. The document contains numerous sweeping statements which seem to me to be completely fanciful. It concludes with an assertion that the overall design of Holy Blood, Holy Grail - the design of its governing themes, its logic, its arguments, has been lifted by me for The Da Vinci Code. This is simply not true.

209. There is a huge amount of information in Holy Blood, Holy Grail that I did not look at in any detail and is simply not in The Da Vinci Code. A comparison of the content of the first half of the two books establishes that. And where there is overlap of ideas, the fact remains that I used Holy Blood, Holy Grail merely as one of a number of reference sources for some of the information which The Da Vinci Code sets out. One of the ideas in Holy Blood, Holy Grail - perhaps even the central idea - is advertised on the back of my copy of the book: "Is it possible Christ did not die on the cross'?". This is not all idea that I would ever have found appealing. Being raised Christian and having attended Bible camp, I am well aware that Christ's crucifixion (and ultimate resurrection) serves as the very core of the Christian faith. It is the promise of life everlasting and that which makes Jesus "the Christ". The resurrection is perhaps the sole controversial Christian topic about which I would not dare write; suggesting a married Jesus is one thing, but undermining the resurrection strikes at the very heart of Christian belief.

210. There is a huge amount of information in The Da Vinci Code that is not in Holy Blood, Ho1y Grail, and I find it absurd to suggest that I have organized and presented my novel in accordance with the same general principles as those in Holy Blood, Holy Grail or that I have plundered not only the facts in Holy Blood, Holy Grail, but also the relationship between the facts, the evidence to support the facts. It is simply not true.

211. As well as mentioning Holy Blood, Holy Grail in The Da Vinci Code, I also mentioned by name three other books I used in my research, namely The Templar Revelation (Picknett & Prince) (D.53); The Woman with the Alabaster Jar (Starbird) (D.59); and The Goddess in the Gospels (Starbird) (D.58) (see The Da Vinci Code, Corgi, page 339). I did this as each of the books I mentioned had played a part in the research I did while writing The Da Vinci Code. I have received a letter of thanks from Margaret Starbird, and Blythe remains in friendly contact with her. Margaret's career has really taken off since publication of The Da Vinci Code. We see her on television specials all the time, and her books are now bestsellers. Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince also sent me a kind letter through their publisher, saying they were very happy with the newfound attention to their books, that they were fans of my work.

212. Henry Lincoln's name does not feature in The Da Vinci Code. There is no particular reason for this. I remember the "Begin at L" reason for using L Teabing and I also remember that Richard Leigh is the name of a friend of mine (he is a famous song writer), but I do not recall anything about Mr Lincoln. I have read an allegation that I made Leigh Teabing a polio victim and a cripple because it was my cruel way of including Mr Lincoln (who apparently walks with a severe limp) in my anagram. This is both untrue and unthinkable to me. I have never met Mr. Lincoln, and I had no idea he had difficulty walking. If I had known, I definitely would have made a different choice. Also, I did not know that Henry Lincoln had made films for the BBC until told this by my English lawyers. I used the BBC in The Da Vinci Code as a device to give Langdon and Teabing a history together. It was also to raise Teabing's status so that Langdon would automatically turn to him for advice. I used the BBC in Angels & Demons as well; the BBC is the only British news agency with which American readers are familiar, and it adds credibility.

Promotion of The Da Vinci Code

213. I am quite Sure that a great deal of the success of The Da Vinci Code is down to the excellent promotion the book received. The Da Vinci Code got a huge launch. My first three books were barely promoted. There were more Advance Reader Copies given away for free of The Da Vinci Code than the whole print run for Angels & Demons. I am convinced that The Da Vinci Code would have failed if it had been published by my previous publishers - equally, I think Angels & Demons would have been a big success if published by Random House with as much fanfare as they brought to The Da Vinci Code. Angels & Demons is perhaps even more controversial (it deals with a Pope who had a child), and many people have told me they actually prefer it to The Da Vinci Code.

214. Like The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons also touched on some controversial subjects. Angels & Demons is primarily a thriller - a chase, a treasure hunt, and a love story. It's certainly not an anti Catholic book. It's not even a religious book. Much of the novel's action takes place deep inside the arcane world of the Vatican, and some of the factual information revealed there is startling. But I think most people understand that an organization as old and powerful as the Vatican could not possibly have risen to power without acquiring a few skeletons in its closet. I think the reason Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code raised eyebrows is that both books opened some Church closets most people don't even know existed. The final message of both books, though, without a doubt, are positive.

215. It is impossible to ignore the fact that The Da Vinci Code launch was one of the best orchestrated in history. It is still talked about in the industry. Articles have been written specifically on The Da Vinci Code launch (0.362). Steve Rubin and his team should get the credit for the success, (Steve is president of Doubleday, which is, part of Random House, Inc.) He made me meet all the booksellers months before the book came out. Many booksellers were in love with the book when they read the ARC. To release 10,000 ARCs is, I understand, unheard of and this was only on the basis of a first draft. I am sure that the publicity would have had the same effect with Angels & Demons.

216. As part of the launch, Jason and I created a web quest.for The Da Vinci Code which is an online treasure hunt to support the book (D.363). This had never been done before in a launch and now all of the big books do it. I must admit, somewhat embarrassingly, that until The Da Vinci Code launch, with the tremendous support booksellers have showed my book, I did not fully understand the role of word of mouth in the process and its power to generate buzz and excitement.

217. The Da Vinci Code is a novel and therefore a work of fiction. While the book's characters and their actions are obviously not real, the artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals depicted in this novel all exist (for example, Leonardo da Vinci's paintings, the Gnostic Gospels, Hieros Gamos, etc.) characters and their actions are obviously not real, the artwork, architecture, documents, and select rituals depicted all the novel all exist (for example, Leonardo da Vinci's paintings, the Gnostic Gospels, Hieros Gamos, etc.). These real elements are interpreted and debated by fictional characters. While it is my belief that some of the theories discussed by these characters may have merit, each in individual reader must explore these characters' viewpoints and come to his or her own interpretations. If you read the "FACT" page at the beginning of the novel, you will see it clearly states that the descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals in the novel are accurate. The "FACT" page makes no statement whatsoever about any of the ancient theories discussed by fictional characters. Interpreting those ideas is left to the reader. My hope in writing this novel was that the story would serve as a catalyst and a springboard for people to discuss the important topics of faith, religion, and history.

218. In closing, I would like to restate that I remain astounded by the Claimants' choice to file this plagiarism suit. For them to suggest, as I understand they do, that I have "hijacked and exploited" their work is simply untrue.

Statement of Truth

I believe that the facts stated in this Witness Statement are true.

Full name: DAN BROWN

Position  Author

Date 21 December 2005

See also: Dan Brown Wins the London Case - where Judge Confirms that the Priory of Sion is a Hoax - Full text of the decision (April 6, 2006)