The Strangest of Bedfellows
It was reported in the Times of Zambia that Dan Brown has chosen to partner with the defrocked Zambian Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, who was recently excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church, about an upcoming novel dealing with exorcism. Milingo, who has previously been described as a "loose cannon" by fellow Catholic clergymen, has had a history of questionable behavior.
Milingo was first ordained as an archbishop at the age of 39, which made him one of the youngest archbishops to hold the post in modern times. However, he began performing faith healing services throughout Europe and on Italian television, drawing on indigenous African rituals. Milingo also performed mass exorcisms.
In 2001, Milingo was married to a South Korean woman by, Rev Sun Myung Moon, the founder of the Unification Church, or "Moonies" as they have sometimes been called. Milingo's official Web page is still operated by the Unification church.
Now, why do I draw attention to all this? Simply because it demonstrates the depth of Dan Brown's "research" into religious topics. Whatever your position on Milingo and his trials with the Catholic Church, it should be painfully obvious that he would not be the first place you would turn to find unbiased and accurate information on things like exorcism and Roman Catholicism. There are obviously many other academic sources, both pro-Catholic and anti-Catholic, who could provide Brown with a better picture of the theological underpinnings of exorcism. However, he chose a sensationalistic self-promoter like Milingo.
On one hand, I get that Brown is striving for controversy to sell his stories and sensationalistic tales will be easier to write. But, as more people buy into Brown's "facts" about religion and the Da Vinci Code, we must remember how deep his sources really are.