4: The Da Vinci Code

According to McGill the standard technique for identifying allusion is.

“…to pursue readings that are plausible in terms of textual strategies of the work in question and the culture and moment in literary history that produced the text”

The Culture and Moment in Literary History

In 2003 the book ‘The Da Vinci Code’ was released.  It is a detective / conspiracy story about the search for the hidden tomb of Mary Magdalene. The location and secret of the tomb was protected by the Knights Templar.

This book is still the best selling book of the 21st century and one of the best-selling books of all time.

In May 2006 the film ‘The Da Vinci Code’ starring Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou was released to great worldwide success.  It was the second highest grossing film of the year and on the back of its success the author Dan Brown was named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

By May 2007 the story of the messianic Magdalene and all of its ideas had become firmly embedded in popular culture and a staple of modern conspiracy lore.  Its popularity was peaking and then the Madeleine McCann story broke.

“Madeleine is the French form of Magdalene, which is well known as a name because of Saint Mary Magdalene.”

In May 2007 the Madeleine McCann story broke.  It is a detective / conspiracy story about the search for the unknown location of Madeleine.  The news story was covered internationally and was one of the biggest news stories of the decade.  Initial reports informed us that Madeleine was from Rothley – a town famous for Rothley Temple and its historical links to the Knights Templar.

The Grand Priory of the Knights Templar even left a wreath at the memorial cross in Rothley with the words:

“For the McCann Family, our prayers are with you”

The Knights Templar

The fictional conspiracy ‘The Da Vinci Code’ took inspiration from books like ‘The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail’ and ‘The Templar Revelation’ in linking the Knights Templar with Mary Magdalene.  The story informs us the Knights Templar had secret documents that proved the sacred bloodline of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.

Rothley Temple:  As you can read for yourself, this preceptory has links to the Knights Templar and the Freemasons.  These links gave rise to many conspiracy theories – the most famous one being that Gerry McCann is a Freemason.  A theory that cannot be true, surely it is just part of the story and the kind of theory that the writers would want people to believe.

It’s like this image of Gerry explaining the ‘wider agenda.’  As many observers have noticed, his diagram was shaped like the Masonic set & compass.

I believe that has been deliberately set-up to fuel the theory that he is a Freemason.

The story is littered with these Knights Templar / Masonic conspiracy “clues” because that is the nature of the story.  It is alluding to modern conspiracy lore and playing to the beliefs of conspiracy culture.


In ‘The Da Vinci Code’ our two protagonists find their way to Scotland where they meet the guardian of Rosslyn Chapel.

“Since the late 1980s, the chapel has featured in speculative theories concerning a connection of Freemasonry, the Knights Templar and the Holy Grail.”

This guardian turns out to be the grandmother of Sophie Neveu, a woman who was long presumed dead due to a pact she agreed on to protect her grandchildren and the secret of their royal (Magdalene) bloodline.

Madeleine also has a Scottish grandmother Eileen McCann.  Madeleine even went to stay with her one Christmas:

“When she was two, Madeleine spent Christmas at my house and it was lovely”

Gerry McCann, Madeleine’s father, is often portrayed as an archetypal kilt-wearing Scotsman.  This would obviously make Madeleine half Scottish.

So not only does Madeleine live in Rothley, a town well-known for its Templar links, she is also heavily linked with Scotland.

The reported involvement of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown caused all manner of speculation.  We are told that Scotsman Gordon and Scotsman Gerry frequently spoke on the phone.  We are also told that Gordon Brown spoke directly to former Portuguese PM José Sócrates about the Madeleine case.

All of this information fuelled speculation regarding Scottish Freemasons and their involvement in the cover-up conspiracy.  Again, I don’t believe any of it as it all seems to be alluding to ‘The Da Vinci Code’ and modern conspiracy lore.


In the 2006 movie ‘The Da Vinci Code’ the main protagonists Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu are played by Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou.

1. The character Sophie Neveu is from the sacred bloodline of Magdalene.

2. At the time of film’s release (contemporary culture) the actress Audrey Tautou was most well-known for her role as the title character in the film ‘Amelie.’

We are told that Madeleine McCann’s biological sister is named Amelie – a cleverly devised double allusion.


The fact that Madeleine’s sister is named Amelie means that all three McCann females have French names that can be connected to ‘The Da Vinci Code’ – Marie, Madeleine and Amelie.

The character Sophie Neveu (the descendant of Mary Magdalene) is French and the story begins in Paris, ends in Paris and half of the characters are French.


The French poster for ‘The Da Vinci Code’:

The story begins and ends at The Louvre.  The male protagonist Robert Langdon kneels at ‘La Pyramide Inversée’ – an implication that beneath this structure is the final resting place of Mary Magdalene.

‘The Da Vinci Code’ interprets ‘La Pyramide Inversée’ as symbolising the chalice and the blade.  The inverted glass pyramid being the chalice and the stone pyramid underneath as the blade – a representation of the union of sexes.

Here is an image of Gerry and Kate McCann stood in front of a pyramid whilst holding hands:

Isn’t that something?  If that isn’t an allusion to ‘La Pyramide Inversée’ then I don’t know what is.

Pyramid aside, there are hundreds of pictures of the McCanns holding hands and observers to this will assume that is normal / expected, but with regards to ‘The Da Vinci Code’ the V-shape is the symbol of the chalice / womb.  The V-shape is the symbol of Magdalene… especially if you’re holding hands when stood in front of a pyramid.

Stating the obvious here, but Kate and Gerry are the parents of Madeleine.  Their union of sexes produced a ‘Magdalene’ which makes that single image a multiple allusion.  It also makes every image of them holding hands a multiple allusion.

Additionally, twice in Kate McCann’s book ‘Madeleine’ Kate refers to her children in terms of a pyramid.

“Obviously, as they got older they would ask more searching questions and, as we continued to respond, they would gradually build up a picture of the situation in their own heads – a kind of ‘pyramid’ of information.”  p.142

“It had recently emerged that they believed Madeleine was at our house in Rothley.  Worried that the ‘pyramid of information’ they were building in their heads might not be structurally sound.”  p.222

Robert the Translator

At the beginning of ‘The Da Vinci Code’ we are introduced to Robert Langdon.  He is called upon to assist the police translate a message.  He is also the first person to be suspected of the crime.

At the beginning of the Madeleine McCann story we are introduced to Robert Murat.  He is called upon to assist the police as a translator.  He is also the first person to be suspected of the crime.


The creator of this allusion likes to use numbers to confirm this is not coincidence. We have seen this practice already with Fatima’s witness statement and the writer performs the same trick with ‘The Da Vinci Code.’


Leonardo Da Vinci was born in 1452.

There are 1452 days between Madeleine’s date of birth and her reported disappearance.

You can check that information for yourself if you like – Madeleine’s date of birth is given as 12th May 2003 and she disappeared on the 3rdMay 2007.


Leonardo Da Vinci died in 1519.

The DNA results 15/19 convinced many people that Madeleine McCann died.

“…citing 15/19 matches of Madeleine DNA profile.” source

“In the sample collected in the boot area of the vehicle, 15 of the identified DNA components coincide with the corresponding components in the DNA profile of Madeleine McCann, this of [having] 19 components.” source

“Of these 19 components 15 are present within the result from this item.” source

Transworld Publishers Inc.

Kate and Gerry McCann signed a deal to write a book about the disappearance of their daughter.

“Transworld, home to best-selling authors including Dan Brown and Frederick Forsyth, secured the rights to the couple’s story after a bidding war.  The McCann’s are part-way through writing their account” source

Transworld Publishers secured the rights to Kate’s book ‘Madeleine’ and also published Dan Brown’s ‘The Da Vinci Code.’ What a coincidence! And Dan Brown even gets a name-check in the article.



‘The Da Vinci Code’ fulfils the criteria of the allusion being aligned with contemporary literature. The interplay between the two texts is undeniable. The author of the Madeleine McCann story has woven theme and content using a wide range of allusions.

If you’re familiar with both stories then you will know there is much more I could add, but for the purpose of this article I am going to leave it there and move on to the final chapter.


1: The Messianic Theme

2: Fatima

3: The Roman Catholic Church

4: The Da Vinci Code

5:  The Story of David


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