Brent Bozell

Howard complained that the Catholic League "accuses us of lying when our movie trailer says the Catholic Church ordered a brutal massacre to silence the Illuminati centuries ago. It would be a lie if we had ever suggested our movie is anything other than a work of fiction."

Check the "we" and the "ever" in that sentence. Howard is easily exposed as dishonest by a sentence on Dan Brown's own website about the book: "It is historical fact that the Illuminati vowed vengeance against the Vatican in the 1600s. The early Illuminati -- those of Galileo's day -- were expelled from Rome by the Vatican and hunted mercilessly." (Emphasis mine.)

The trailer lies exactly like that. The announcer introduces the Tom Hanks character: "He exposed one of the greatest coverups in human history." A woman whispers, "DaVinci!" Hanks explains: "The Illuminati were a secret society dedicated to scientific truth. The Catholic Church ordered a brutal massacre to silence them forever." At the end of the trailer, Hanks proclaims: "This is it. This is the truth!"

So who is doing the lying, Opie?

Movie watchers are going to think large chunks of this story are actual human history, and the trailer has no disclaimer about how this scientist-murdering-church narrative is pure fantasy. The real Illuminati originated in Bavaria in 1776 (long after Galileo died) and fizzled out a decade later. The Catholic Church never murdered a single member of the Illuminati.

A Catholic blogger who calls himself the Curt Jester ably underlined how audacious and ridiculous Howard sounds. He satirically proclaimed his own film project: "I am producing a movie on Ron Howard's family. In the movie based on my research I say his father was a drug pusher, and his mother is a prostitute, and that Ron Howard engages in S&M … I will present the Howard family as something totally based on lies, and question whether his parents really were his parents in the first place." And "of course this is just a movie, so people should not be upset about my portrayal of the Howard family at all."

He then predicted the Howard family would enjoy it as an exciting mystery. Ron Howard should read this and understand exactly what his cinematic versions of Dan Brown hate-speeches feel like to Catholics.

Brent Bozell

Founder and President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America.
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