Włodzimierz Rędzioch talks with prof. Massimo Introvigne from Religious Freedom Observatory

WŁODZIMIERZ RĘDZIOCH: - Another book of Dan Brown came out entitled ‘Inferno’ (‘Hell’), which, as the previous stories, is another attack on the Catholic Church…

PROFESSOR MASSIMO INTROVIGNE: - That’s true. The feeling of antipathy to ‘Vatican’, that is, to the Catholic Church is what connects all stories by Dan Brown. In ‘Angels and demons’ – the first book in the whole series – we find out that the Church has been an enemy of science for centuries. Whereas in ‘Code of Leonardo da Vinci’ – the most famous story by Brown – the author is trying to pry the most important fundaments of Christianity insinuating that Jesus had a wife, Mary Magdalena, he did not consider himself as God and he did not intend to establish the Church.

– ‘The lost symbol’, another story about which we were talking last time (‘Niedziela’ no 3/2010), is a criticism of the Church and also a propaganda of freemasonry….

– In this book the author shows freemasonry – a traditional rival of the Church – as an organization which is very friendly, clever and favourable to progress. Therefore, it is not accidental that this time, Brown wanted to present a story ‘Inferno’ in Freemasons’ Hall in London – the main headquarters of the world freemasonry, expressing his feelings of admiration and emotional relationship with this organization.

– So, what does Brown study in his story?

– In order to present the anti-Christian ideology of the story, I must say something about the plot of the book. Its main character is – like in the previous three books – Robert Langdon, a history professor and an expert of symbology at Harvard University, who is a spokesman of the idea of Dan Brown. This time - in the beginning of the story we see Langdon in hospital in Florence because he lost his memory – he takes quick actions in order to prevent the outburst of the world epidemics, which a Swiss scientist Bertrand Zobrist wanted to cause. This scientist – who later committed a suicide – is a famous biochemist belonging to a radical wing of trans-humanism.

– What is ‘trans-humanism’?

– It is a movement which is really existing – its founder is a biologist Julian Huxley(1887 – 1975), whose aim is physical and intellectual ‘improving’ a man with the usage of genetic engineering applied without any restrictions. Zobrist finds out that he will not be able to achieve purposes of trans-humanism because much time is needed for it, and humankind is endangered by a disaster caused by overpopulation. As another scientist explains to Langdon, ‘the end of the human species is forthcoming and it will not be caused by fire or sulfur – an apocalypse or a nuclear war (…) A total disaster will come as a result of overpopulation on the Earth – as it is proved by mathematical calculation’.

– These statements reflect catastrophic predictions of the Roman Club from before 40 years which announced ‘a demographic bomb’ putting humankind in danger…

– But for Zobrist the danger by the catastrophic overpopulation was something realistic, so he invented a drastic solution – he hid a small dissolving bag containing a virus in water, in a frequently visited place, and this virus was to spread all over the world in a very short time, and in this radical way it was to solve the problem of overpopulation. Langdon starts his action a few days before the date of the bag opening. A beautiful woman helps him in it – in every story a woman appears with him – in whom he falls in love. So, he starts to look for the lethal bag – first of all – he manages to decode signs left by Zobrist, a great lover of ‘Hell’ by Dante Alighieri (1265 – 1321), which are connected with ‘Divine comedy’, with a painter and Renaissance art historian Giorge Vasari (1511 – 74)and with a clever and controversial Doge of Venice Enrico Dandol (1107 – 1205) and which lead him to Florence, Venice and Istambul. It is not known why Zobrist – if he wanted the bag not to be found – had left signs which the symbology expert could decode easily.

– Does Langdon manage to find the bag?

– Brown tells about breath-taking chases because beside Langdon, agents of the World Health Organization are looking for the bag and are coordinated by a woman, dr. Sinskey, a mercenary of the private organization ‘Consortium’ and trans-humanists – students of Zobrist, who want to be sure that after the suicidal death of the master his project will be implemented. However, for the first time, actions of Langdon turn to be a failure – in fact he manages to find the place where the bag was hidden, but it is already opened, and its content – the virus congested nearly all inhabitants of the Earth. However, it turns out that the virus is not lethal but causes infertility. However, some people are resistant to its effects, so only 1/3 humankind are subjected to this compulsory sterilization.

– What is the ideological message of the story?

– Langdon and dr. Sinskey think that Zobrist used controversial and even criminal methods, but purposes of its activity were right. Therefore ‘security’ against the virus should not be found. Shortly speaking, the message of the story is as follows: a fight with any methods against the alleged overpopulation is a right thing.

– This is a message of these influential political and ideological groups which think a man to be a ‘cancer of the Earth planet’…

– That’s true. Besides, at the end of the story Langdon is making reflections about a sin. A sin exists, but it is not about what the Catholic Church says – a real sin is negotiating a ‘global pandemic’, which makes us not think about the ‘time bomb’ which is overpopulation destroying humankind. This ‘sin’ distracts people’s attention from the most important problem, and attracts their attention to less important issues. Certainly, the main party responsible for this universal ‘sin’ is the Catholic Church which opposes to mass sterilizations – the virus of Zobrist is a metaphor of population sterilization – and spreading contraceptives, mainly in Africa. Dr. Sinskey states that pope and bishops ‘spent enormous amounts of money and waste their energy on indoctrination of people in the Third World and making them believe that contraception is not good’. Whereas Langdon answers with his hatred towards the Church: ‘Who else than a group of eighty-year-olds can explain people how to have sex?’. Shinkey boasts that the World Health Organization ‘spent millions of dollars to send doctors to Africa who distribute free contraceptives’. ‘It does not bring any benefits – concludes Zobrist – because a bigger army of the Catholics appeared after you to warn the Africans that they will go to hell for using contraceptives’. Luckily, Bill Gates, an owner of Microsoft, and his wife Melind started working on this issue, and who deserve ‘being canonized’ for devoting ‘560 millions of dollars for guaranteeing contraceptives all over the world’.

– The very life demented the forecasts concerning the catastrophic overpopulation, and today in many countries problems appeared which are diametrically various – low birth rate, society aging, decreasing number of inhabitants, mainly those who are active population and this all is a shadow for the future of whole nations. However, Brown pretends that these problems do not exist, and, certainly, distorting facts favors in criticizing and slandering the Catholic Church…

– It is obvious that Brown knows that the myth about the overpopulation has already been demented by many statistical surveys which show that in many parts of the world there appeared problems quite contrary. In Europe and Russia there is a low birthrate, there are too few young active people in order to provide a suitable level of production and consumption and fees for social insurance intended for people who are unemployed. The World Bank anticipates that these kinds of problems will also appear in China soon. Whereas Africa, with the better and more rational distribution of resources, could provide decent life conditions of a much bigger number of inhabitants. At the time when prominent economists warn against ‘a demographic suicide’, about which also blessed John Paul II mentioned, Brown – paradoxically – ‘jumps out’ with a story about an old demented myth which had already seemed ridiculous. Who can today take seriously the mentioned Roman Club which in 1970 anticipated that in 2000 world wars would break out, which would concern food resources which will be missing because of the population increase?

– In his story the charlatan Brown goes even further – he involves one of the biggest Italian poets – Dante, a faithful Catholic in criticism of the Church….

– In his new story Brown shows Dante as a member of secret organizations and a heretic, a man who pretends to be a Catholic in order to avoid inquisition. In fact, his religion is syncretic and esoteric which is characterized by hostility towards the Catholic Church. It is religion which is liked by Brown very much and which connects illuminati with ‘Angels and demons’, members of the Zion Order from ‘The Code of Leonardo da Vinci’ and freemasons from the ‘Lost Symbol’. The legend of Dante – a heretic and pioneer of freemasonry – was very popularized in XIX century, but, certainly, it has nothing in common with the reality which is proved by scientists studying this great poet. Shortly speaking – Brown referred to a subterfuge used towards the characters of previous stories – he shows a distorted and primitive picture of Dante, completely ignoring his deep Catholicism.

– It seems that in his writer’s activity, serving to the anti-Catholic ideology, Brown refers to the known rule of Joseph Goebbels: ‘Tell lies, tell lies, something of it will always remain’.


"Niedziela" 46/2013

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl