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Angels And Demons
Reviewed by: Lindricks/Pseudonym
April 2, 2004 ©
Author Dan Brown’s melodramatic tactics used in his writing style in his novel Angels & Demons sensationalizes the on going battle between church and science. The mystifying plot created emotive power of reasoning in the mind of the reader to question the fundamental philosophies set forth by social norms of the church. Many facts were used to develop a fictional plot, but the flawless story line leads one to question just how much of the book is truth, or fiction. However, it is very obvious that the characters are fictitious, Brown is able to create a mind-teasing saga that challenges critical thought, and opens the door to life's age-old question about the existence of a greater power.
The debate about God’s existence does not over shadow the action packed thriller leading one to dissuade their belief system all together, but it does shed reasonable doubt on blindly following a system that mandates total submission without question. It does persuade the reader to ask the question: What is divinity all about, and how does it effect the humanity of life? Secrets destroy trust, and the storyline develops paranoia in who to believe in, or trust in.
The modern day cloak and dagger story portrays a world-renowned religious iconologist from Harvard University, named Robert Langdon, as a heron saving the Catholic Church from total destruction by a medieval adversary of the church called the Illuminati, an ancient brotherhood believed to be once extinct.
The legendary myth about the Illuminati is a popular story in Church history that scholars have sought to unfold the likelihood of the ancient brotherhood’s existence for centuries. The plot begins with startling evidence that the brotherhood did, and does still exist only to lay to rest at the end of the saga that the likelihood of its’ survival to modern times is a farce.
Brown may have laid to rest the ideology of a modern day Illuminati brotherhood existence in the plot of his storyline, but he has posted alarming evidence about the ancient brotherhood’s history on his Web Site; that information is excerpts from: Peter Prey/Master of Wilder Lodge, Ancient Free & Accepted Masons, Leominster, MA, Editor of Masonic Digest, about the history on the Illuminati brotherhood. This information is located at the URL address: http://www.danbrown.com/secrets/bizarre_fa
He also, wrote a synopsis about the alleged infiltration of the Illuminati into American government: The "All-Seeing Eye" Conspiracy?. He points the finger at Vice President Henry Wallace; historians credit an unseen hand of Illuminati influence that appears symbolically in the design elements of American currency. It is believed that the Illuminati brotherhood had infiltrated the Masons, and Vice President Henry Wallace was an upper echelon Mason at the time. The Great Seal that appears on the back of the American dollar bill is credited as baring the brand of Illuminati symbology. I have provided an excerpt below from Dan Brown’s Web site describing the symbol ionic properties of Illuminati branding on the American dollar bill:
The "all-seeing eye" above the pyramid is a well-known Illuminati symbol called the Shining Delta. The eye signifies the Illuminati's "all-seeing" infiltration of government and community. The triangle (or delta) around the eye is the mathematical symbol for change (the Illuminati's ultimate goal was to bring about massive change in the form of a secular New World Order.) And finally, the rays of light shining off the triangle signify enlightenment and illumination (i.e., intellectual freedom from the dangerous "myth" of religion.)
The Angels & Demons novel was published in 2000, at the height of a media frenzy discussion about a secular "New World Order." The "New World Order" phrase floods the lyrics of popular music, and the Internet is inundated with both pro and con positions on the issue. I find it ironic that Illuminati symbology is the design on the most commonly used currency in America. I have devised my own philosophy, and that is "there is a reason for everything that happens in life." This book brings to light a controversial issue of a "One-World Order", and informs the public about issues in a creative and entertaining way. There is enough facts used in a fictional setting to reveal that the Illuminati is a real brotherhood that has infiltrated every sector of life. The author has provided additional data on his Web Site about the topic, and about all the other information he researched to create his storylines. I recommend you take a look at his Web Page at http://www.danbrown.com, and follow all the links. You will find out startling information not known to the general populace.
One can conclude that the author has the ability to write truth in a fictitious style, and still maintain the validity, and integrity of the subject. The intense research about artifacts, data, places, and organizations provides him with tools to create life-like imagery that captivates the reader by making the stage appear real. He employees hyper technology, and mystery surrounding legend in Angel & Demons to fortify the scene then he places his characters into the set through a cat and mouse chase across Rome to solidify the drama. The statues, monuments, the Vatican, cathedrals, churches, catacombs, antimatter, and CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire) organization, just to name a few, are real artifacts, institutions, and places; Brown uses these elements to paint a masterful picture through words. The reader is able to connect to the story in real-time and experience the drama. The accurate imagery of the scenes creates an action packed masterpiece in a literary work.
In the chilling saga he brings to life a 400-year-old grudge that an ancient brotherhood (The Illuminati) has toward the Catholic Church. The brotherhood was thought to be extinct, but Brown uses actual monuments, places, and legend to depict the alleged vow declared by the Illuminati brotherhood to return one day with a vengeance to destroy the Catholic Church. Brown depicts the Catholic Church in the legend as brutally killing 4 Illuminati members. He describes a segment of torture bestowed on the men as the church branding the mark of the cross in the chest of them before killing them then dropping their bodies in the streets of Roman as a warning to others. This warning was to deter want-a-be Illuminati members from rising up against the Church, or deterring recruitment of new member’s altogether.
Brown points out in the storyline that the church considered the Illuminati to be the most dangerous anti-Christian force on earth, and that "the Vatican denounced the brotherhood as Shaitan." The book described the word "Shaitan" as an Islamic term meaning "adversary"; and that the church chose it to be the coinage for "God’s adversary" because they considered the Islamic language to be dirty. He also, points out that "Shaitan is the root of an English word...Satan."
Before I go any further, I would like to make it quite clear that the ancient mind-set and tactics of the early church has no place in modern church doctrine or its practices. The Catholic Church is an all inclusive institution, and discriminates against no person, place, or religious group.
I will expound a little further on the aforementioned controversy to shed some light on how the author employees the cause and effect riff between the two parties, which blossomed into all out war.
- The early church is known to have used brutal tactic against any threat that challenged the survival of the institution. Many people suffered severe forms of torture, and some were out right killed at the hands of the Catholic Church (There are numerous documented accounts in history to back that theory up.); the vicious actions deployed by the church happened to anyone believed to have committed a heretic act in private, or public demonstration that threatened the foundation of the church.
- Brown starts the storyline by defining the history of legend, and he reflects backwards to lay the foundation for the scene. He does this to build substance to base the return of an ancient brotherhood, which is the Catholic Church‘s strongest adversary. That base goes as follows: In the 1500’s men of enlightened knowledge (physicists, mathematicians, and astronomers) were believed to have risen up, and founded the Church of Illumination, which established the Illuminati brotherhood. This organization feared that the monopoly on "truth", which they believed to be inaccurately taught by the Catholic Church threatened academic enlightenment around the world, so the quest for scientific truth began. And the Catholic Church’s strongest adversary in church history emerged.
There is an interesting example in the book, Larousse Encyclopedia of Ancient & Medieval History, Foreword by Arnold Toynbee, of a picture that depicts a monk copying a manuscript during the 15th century. The caption under the picture states that the monasteries were still the primary repositories of learning in the later Middle Ages, for both religious and secular education at that time. But as printing and universities grew that ended their monopoly roll in education. This pictorial documentation briefly sheds some light on the historical account of how the power struggle began between the Illuminati brotherhood, and the Catholic Church. Two different ideologies of truth clashed with the "power of proof" being the "new burden for truth".
- Science claimed that "truth was in the burden of proof".
- And, the churches foundation was laid upon the "practice of faith," (A belief system that cannot be measured by the evaluation of its’ elements.).
The author used the controversial riff between the two parties to build a scenario of deceit and corruption at all levels of power. Cliffhangers of blame made everyone suspects until the very end. One’s emotions engaged within the plot. Uncertainty hung in the balance to who was at fault, and in the end sadness loomed over the victims in the story for their unseen roll in the event.
The main character, Robert Langdon, had some hard choices to make in the end. He had near-death experiences by the hand of both the victims that he was helping, and the villains that pursued him. This gave him the ultimate power to expose the truth; but, Langdon evaluated what effect that it would have on society as a whole, and he concluded that the devastating effect would be more harmful in the end, so the story ends in a devotion of silence.
I would like to conclude this review by saying that Angel & Demons is a novel of truth baring information that I hope the reader will look into further. ‘Truth is the key to all understanding," and people have a responsibility to stay informed to make rational choices in life. I would like to point out the charisma of Hitler led a democratic nation down the road to one of the most horrific events in history. I believe that this book had a purpose. Get involved with societal issues, and stay informed because history has a tendency to repeat itself.
I give this book a thumbs up applaud, for not only being entertaining, but evoking a fundament element of involvement within us. Thanks Dan.
— Lindricks/Pseudonym © 2004