Sunday, May 21, 2006

Cashing in on the `Code'
The novel's coattails grow ever wider as authors, lecturers, even mediums try to cut in on the action.
By Louis Sahagun, Times Staff Writer
May 21, 2006

CALL it "The Da Vinci Lode": an almost-anything-goes industry of spinoffs and tie-ins emerging in the shade cast by the mega-bestseller and movie.

A researcher says he can prove the story of Adam and Eve actually describes human evolution. A historian says the Holy Grail is buried in an estate near Stafford, England. A documentarian has linked the Catholic Church's sex abuse scandals to satanic images cunningly concealed in the religion's artwork.

Legions of experts are making themselves available to the press to decode "The Da Vinci Code." As the movie's May 19 opening neared, a publicist touting one biblical expert fired off an e-mail to the media pleading, "Last Call for Da Vinci Expert/Author (I Promise)." The books, TV programs, DVDs and lectures are timed to tap into the phenomenal public interest in ancient secrets and religious quests sparked by Dan Brown's book, many teasing potential audiences by embedding "code" in the title.
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