Ron Howard Lies About Angels and Demons

Ron Howard, director of Angels & Demons, the movie version of Dan Brown’s book by that name, attacked Catholic League president Bill Donohue [Monday] on the Huffington Post.

Referring to a booklet on the movie that Donohue authored, Angels & Demons: More Demonic than Angelic,” (click here) Howard wrote: “Mr. Donohue’s booklet 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….” Howard also said that “most in the hierarchy of the Church” will enjoy his film; he denies being anti-Catholic.

Donohue responded today:

“Dan Brown says in his book that the Illuminati are ‘factual’ and that they were ‘hunted ruthlessly by the Catholic Church.’ In the film’s trailer, Tom Hanks, who plays the protagonist Robert Langdon, says ‘The Catholic Church ordered a brutal massacre to silence them forever.’ Howard concurs: ‘The Illuminati were formed in the 1600s. They were artists and scientists like Galileo and Bernini, whose progressive ideas threatened the Vatican.’

“All of this is a lie. The Illuminati were founded in 1776 and were dissolved in 1787. It is obvious that Galileo and Bernini could not possibly have been members: Galileo died in 1647 and Bernini passed away in 1680. More important, the Catholic Church never hunted, much less killed, a single member of the Illuminati. But this hasn’t stopped Brown from asserting that ‘It is a historical fact that the Illuminati vowed vengeance against the Vatican in the 1600s.’ (My emphasis.)

“Howard must be delusional if he thinks Vatican officials are going to like his propaganda—they denied him the right to film on their grounds. Moreover, we know from a Canadian priest who hung out with Howard’s crew last summer in Rome (dressed in civilian clothes) just how much they hate Catholicism. It’s time to stop the lies and come clean.”

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  • dennisofraleigh

    Messers Brown and Howard have discovered a market and they are milking it for all its worth. That lucrative market is the great mass of book-reading and movie-going public whose grasp of history is no deeper than “In fourteen hundred ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue.”

    The Brown/Howard axis panders to the deepest prejudices of a significant segment of the U.S. and European population: namely an abiding contempt for the institutional Church, particularly the Catholic Church. If there isn’t a fanciful black legend to appeal to (“The Catholic Church burned millions of heretics at the stake in the Spanish Inquisition!”) Brown simply makes one up (“The big, bad Catholic Church brutally supressed a secret soceity of the really civiized people of the 15th century, namely the Illuminati!”)

    So far Brown/Howard have succeeded in playing both ends against the middle as they claim out of one side of their mouths that this is all so much “fiction,” yet feel compelled to insist out of the other side how “true” the “historical facts” are that underlie their stories’ premises. Never mind the movie reviewers found “The DaVinci Code” a rather laughable attempt at turning a bestseller into a movie.
    Brown/Howard could care less. Just let the royalties roll in, and oh, let the critics like Donahue and even secular historians rant and rave. All the better. That sort of thing never kept Brown/Howard off Oprah or Entertainment Tonight before. Why should it now? Quite the contrary, actually. With a rise in controversy comes a rise in book royalties and box office receipts, and, be honest Mr. Brown (you too Mr. Howard). Isn’t this what it’s *reeeeally* all about? Bigotry in Cinemascope and Dolby Sound coming soon to a theater near you.

  • Warren Jewell

    Go over to for the Curt Jester’s clever response to Howard, Brown, et al.