Occult attraction

Dan Brown’s latest megablockbuster exposes aspects of our current spiritual morass in several ways.

For one thing, Brown’s growing oeuvre consistently speaks to Americans’ long-lived fascination with various supernaturally inclined secret societies like the Masons and the Rosicrucians, our paranoid fears regarding such secret groups, and our predilection for Gnostic approaches to belief. In his earlier novels, Brown has presented various organizations, including the Knights Templar, Opus Dei and the Illuminati, as practitioners of the occult, according to a loose definition. These and other sinister cabals, says Brown, have engaged in all sorts of mayhem and manipulation in their attempts to control the world and the master narratives of our history.


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