In my previous post on The Road To Jerusalem by Jan Guillou I said that I am wary of reading books about the Knight Templars – my most recent read on this subject confirms my wariness. David S. Brody’s Cabal of the Westford Knight takes Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code idea and puts a North American spin on it.
The book is basically about how a real estate attorney, Cam Thorne, and a Knight Templar expert, Amanda Spencer, try to prove that a Scottish prince tied to the Templar Knights discovered America before Columbus and that he brought many Templar secrets with him. They try to prove their theory and get the “truth” out while a right-wing Vatican group tries to prevent them from doing either task.
The book has some strengths. Brody knows how to tell a story. It is hard to guess what will happen next. In addition, Brody has researched his subject well – he has supporting “evidence” and the addition of photographs of the actual historical sites adds an air of authenticity to the story. Finally, the story (and the evidence put forth in the story) makes a compelling argument that Prince Henry did explore North America before Columbus – I would not be shocked if this was soon proven to be true.
I have many criticisms of the book – mainly on the religious aspect of the book. I know that the book is historical fiction and thus should be read as a fake story. However, the way Brody writes it and includes the photographs, he seems to be making an effort for people to actually believe it and many will believe it – just look at how the Da Vinci Code was embraced as truth by many people.
Let me point out a few of the points in the book that are hard to believe as a Christian. First, the whole premise that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalen and they had a child is laughable. I won’t get into theology, but the idea is preposterous because Jesus came to be in the world, not of the world. Thus, why would he get married and have a child.
Second, the idea that God is a female is just wrong. Moses said in the Old Testament God the FATHER, not God the mother. Jesus himself prayed to God his Father. No where in the Bible does it state that God was female. Simply put this assertion is blasphemous.
Third, if Brody is going to write an alternative origin of Christianity, he should know what he is talking about with regard to Christianity. One of the minor characters is a Catholic priest who has doubts about the origins of Christianity (ignore the fact that he should not be a priest if he doubts the foundations of Christianity). The priest discusses how there was an argument in early Christianity about whether Jesus was of the Father or rather from the Father. The priest says the issue is rather pedantic – it is not pedantic, it is a base belief of Christianity that God and Jesus are one not two separate beings.
Fourth, I am not a conspiracy person so I do not see coincidences as some well-thought out plan. Brody feeds on the ideas of conspiracy theorists by tying together totally unrelated items. For example, in the book, the Newport Tower is purported to be built by Prince Henry as some type of symbol for the beliefs that he was trying to bring to North America. Many of the connecting ideas for the Tower seem to be far-fetched at best.
One final, but minor point about Brody’s research, in the course of the story one of the characters asserts that Popham Beach in Maine was the first English colony in the New World (this is significant for purposes of the story), but this is not true because the Lost Colony of Raleigh was the first. So, in order to tell a complete story based on historical facts, one must have all of the facts right.