Thursday, March 09, 2006

DVC/HBHG 0, Judge Peter Smith 3.

Don't you just love Mr Justice Peter Smith, the judge in the Da Vinci Code case? Somewhere buried in the Times today, after splashes about tiny sticking plasters in Kate Moss's ears and the resurgence of rhubarb, is today's update. It is the best story I've read in the main news sections of the paper in ages. Mr Smith had already read both books before the trial began, but adjourned it for six days so he could read them both again. Armed with copies full of yellow stickies, he is wiping the floor with Michael Baigent and his lawyer(s). When the defendants got onto the early kings of France, and the issue of whether they were direct descendants of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, the judge said to counsel, " You have to get to page 345 of DVC to get the first mention of the Merovingian bloodline." Matters moved on to the Priory of Sion, a secret organisation protecting the descendants of Jesus with a view to restoring them to the French throne. Baignent argued that the Priory's political ambitions, which in HBHG are to create a United States of Europe with the help of the freemasons, are "implicit" in DVC (and hence copied). The judge said " In DVC the Priory is only a society dedicated to protecting a secret. There's no politics in it. That's the impression I get." He went on to tell Baigent: "Your conclusion about the Priory of Sion is exactly the opposite of DVC. You can't get away from that." Isn't it lovely? This judge has the case of a lifetime, and, boy, is he making the most of it. Mind you, the more one hears about how Baigent can't even remember what was in his own book, or backs down on yet another point, or raises issues like the "at least one" car chase in DVC compared with none in HBHG, the more one becomes convinced that the whole thing, as has been said more than once, must be a Random House publicity stunt -- and, from the plot snippets provided, what a load of old tosh both books are. Much better reading the judge's take on them than having to read either.