Freethought Today · December 2017

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

FFRF referenced in Dan Brown’s latest bestseller

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is mentioned by name in author Dan Brown's latest bestseller, Origin.

Brown became an international star after the 2003 release of The Da Vinci Code, one of the top-selling novels of all time. In 2006, the book was made into a movie that has grossed more $750 million, which puts it among the top 75 highest-grossing movies of all time. The movie features Tom Hanks as the lead character, Robert Langdon, who is a Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology. Origin is Brown's fourth book to have Langdon as the protagonist. The other two are Angels and Demons, and Inferno.

Origin is currently No. 3 on The New York Times bestseller list for fiction (both hardcover and e-books).

The novel tells the story of Edmond Kirsch, a 40-year-old atheist billionaire and futurist whose high-tech inventions and amazing predictions have made him a renowned global figure. He plans a worldwide announcement that will supposedly answer the two fundamental questions of humanity: "Where did we come from?" and "Where are we going?" But before he can make his announcement, chaos ensues.

"Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion, Langdon and Ambra Vidal must evade a tormented enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain's Royal Palace itself . . . and who will stop at nothing to silence Edmond Kirsch," reads the synopsis of the book on Dan Brown's website. "On a trail marked by modern art and enigmatic symbols, Langdon and Vidal uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch's shocking discovery . . . and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us."

Here is the reference to FFRF in the book:

"Over the last decade, books advocating rationality over blind faith had sprung up on nonfiction bestseller lists. Langdon had to admit that the cultural shift away from religion had become increasingly visible — even on the Harvard campus. Recently, the Washington Post had run an article on 'godlessness at Harvard,' reporting that for the first time in the school's 380-year history, the freshman class consisted of more agnostics and atheists than Protestants and Catholics combined.

"Similarly, across the Western world, anti-religious organizations were sprouting up, pushing back against what they considered the dangers of religious dogma — American Atheists, the Freedom from Religion Foundation, Americanhumanist.org, the Atheist Alliance International.

"Langdon had never given these groups much thought until Edmond had told him about the Brights — a global organization that, despite its often misunderstood name, endorsed a naturalistic worldview with no supernatural or mystical elements. The Brights' membership included powerhouse intellectuals like Richard Dawkins, Margaret Downey and Daniel Dennett. Apparently, the growing army of atheists was now packing some very big guns."

FFRF is pleased to be among those "big guns."

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