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About the Secrets Series

secrets of Angels and Demons

Before there was The Da Vinci Code, the was Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons. Here, too, the novelist took on the “facts” of Western history – this time “exposing” the secret history of the Vatican, the Illuminati, the suppression of Galileo’s most secret manuscripts, and much more.  And it, too, left readers wondering what to make of it all.

So, with Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons once again atop the bestseller lists, the “Secrets” team set out once to write a definitive guide: Secrets of Angels & Demons. This time to present the collective wisdom of more than 40 world class experts who to the heart of the new interest in the increasingly complex nexus of religion, politics, science, life, death, morality and ethics in our culture.

“Our contributors have provided thought-provocations that allow Dan Brown readers the keys to understanding the mysteries behind the novel,” says Dan Burstein, co-editor of SECRETS OF ANGELS & DEMONS. “Our experts offer insights into the question most often asked by readers of the novel: ‘what is fact, and what is fiction?’”

Dan Brown’s thriller Angels & Demons is a fictional murder mystery set against the backdrop of the death of a fictional pope, and the secretive conclave process that has been used for centuries to select a new pope. It also takes on the age-old question of whether religion and science can inform each other or must stay forever as two competing realms. Published three years before The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, is a kind of “prequel” to The Da Vinci Code and includes many of the same themes, issues, symbols, and mysteries from the history of Christianity.

Vatican authorities have denounced The Da Vinci Code, with one prominent official, Cardinal Bertone of Genoa, even going so far as to call for banning it.

“If you read the commentaries of the experts we interviewed for Secrets of Angels & Demons, you quickly realize that Cardinal Bertone’s sudden call for banning The Da Vinci Code—two years and 25 million copies after it was published—is more likely to have been a product of the subtle art of Vatican politics, practiced on the eve of a conclave and designed to influence it.” observed Dan Burstein. “Although it is easy to quibble with many of Dan Brown’s “facts,” the reality is that he wove into this novel many real-life debates and issues within the Catholic Church. From the Terry Schiavo case to stem cell research, to debates over how to view Darwin and the theory of evolution, almost every contemporary aspect of today’s headlines about the increasingly heated clash of religion, science, and politics is reflected in the public discussion—and in the conversations we have presented in our Secrets of Angels & Demons.”

Secrets of Angels & Demons is published in the U.S. by CDS Books in association with Squibnocket Partners LLC. The book has appeared on The New York Times extended bestseller list and is being published in 12 foreign languages. It is also the basis for a special “Collector’s Edition” of US News & World Report, a DVD, and a television program. Together with Secrets of the Code, there are now over a million “Secrets” books in print worldwide. More than 75 world class experts with widely varying viewpoints—historians, theologians, art experts, scientists, philosophers, linguists, occultists, medievalists, Bible text experts, and other specialists—have contributed articles, interviews, and book chapters to the two books. Several new titles in the “Secrets” series are planned for 2005-6.

Introduction: Angels & Demons: Rough Draft for The Da Vinci Code, Road Map for Dan Brown’s Next Book
by Dan Burstein

1. The Vatican: An Insider’s View

Conclave 101: The Past, Present, and Future of the Papal Elections

by Greg Tobin

Angels, Demons, and the Next Pope

by Amy D. Bernstein

Handicapping the First Papal Election of the 21st Century

Who are the Papabili?

by Greg Tobin

Papal Chase: Will the Next Pope Be Black, Hispanic, American, or a Jew?

by Steven Waldman

Pontiffs Past, Present, and Future

An Interview with Richard P. McBrien

Who Is Buried in St. Peter’s Tomb?

Beyond the Grave by Tom Mueller

“Upon This Rock”

by Deirdre Good

The Vatican in the Era of Galileo and Bernini

An Interview with John W. O’Malley, SJ

The Church Since Galileo: Problems Then Are Still Problems Now

An Interview with John Dominic Crossan

2. Galileo: The Pious Heretic

Galileo Opened the Skies to the Mind of Man

by John Castro

On the Copernican Trail

An Interview with Owen Gingerich

Galileo: Right Message at the Wrong Time

An Interview with Steven J. Harris

The Myth of Galileo

An Interview with Wade Rowland

Blind Ambition and Sincere Piety

An Interview with Marcelo Gleiser

Avenging Galileo

by Stephan Herrera

3. Of Conspiracies and Conspirators: The Illuminati Illuminated

On the Trail of the Illuminati: A Journalist’s Search for the “Conspiracy That Rules the World”

by George Johnson

The Fact-Fiction Reversal: The Illuminati, the New World Order, and Other Conspiracies

An Interview with Michael Barkun

An Occultist’s Guide to the Assassins and the Illuminati

An Interview with James Wasserman

Secrets of the Tomb: Inside America’s Most Powerful Secret Society 

An Interview with Alexandra Robbins

“I Didn’t Go Looking for the Illuminati; They Came Looking for Me” 

An Interview with Robert Anton Wilson

4. Two Windows on the Same Universe? The Science vs. Religion Discussion

Leonardo Vetra’s Bookshelf

by Arne de Keijzer

Worshipping in the Church of Einstein, or 
How I Found Fischbeck’s Rule

by George Johnson

Is There a Need for a Divine Designer?

by Paul Davies

Holy Wars

by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Religion—the Mental Equivalent of a Computer Virus 

An Interview with Richard Dawkins

The God Gene

An Interview with Dean Hamer

Cognitive Science Takes On Religion:
 A New Approach to an Age-Old Question

by Hannah de Keijzer

Adam vs. Atom

by Josh Wolfe

5. Robert Langdon’s Rome: Art and Architecture

A Bernini Expert Reflects on Dan Brown’s Use of the 
Baroque Master

by Tod Marder

Bernini and His Angels

An Interview with Mark S. Weil

The Magical and Mythical in Bernini’s Sculpture

An Interview with George Lechner

The Secrets of the Vatican Library

It Isn’t So Secret After All by Michael Herrera

A Scholar Visits the Vatican Library

by Tod Marder

Bernini’s Symbology and Angels & Demons

by Diane Apostolos-Cappadona

Rome: City of Angels and Demonic Imaginings

by David Downie

“Let Angels Guide You on Your Lofty Quest”

by Susan Sanders

6. The Science and Technology of Angels & Demons

Death Comes to the Cardinals: A Forensics Expert on Murder, 
Mayhem, and Survival

An Interview with Cyril H. Wecht

Eyeball to Eyeball: The Use of Biometrics in Angels & Demons 

by James Carlisle and Jennifer Carlisle

The Technology Toys of Angels & Demons

by David A. Shugarts

Science as an Evolving Narrative: From Galileo to the Big Bang 

An Interview with Marcelo Gleiser

A Day Without Yesterday: Georges Lemaître and the Big Bang

by Mark Midbon

Antimatter Matters

by Stephan Herrera

Untangling Dan Brown’s Entanglement Theory

An Interview with Amir D. Aczel

7. Angels & Demons, Dan Brown, and the Art of Fictionalizing “Fact”

The Plot Holes and Intriguing Details of Angels & Demons 

by David A. Shugarts

What’s in a Name?

by David A. Shugarts

The Secrets of Ambigrams

by David A. Shugarts and Scott Kim

Adverbs & Demons: Just How Good Is the Former English Teacher’s English? 

by Geoffrey K. Pullum

Novelistic Metaphysics

by Glenn W. Erickson

Vox Populi: Commentary on Angels & Demons from 

by Leigh-Ann Gerow

Angels & Demons and the Emerging Literary Genre of Art Fiction 

by Diane Apostolos-Cappadona


Dan Burstein is the coeditor, with Arne de Keijzer, of Secrets of Angels & Demons: The Unauthorized Guide to the Bestselling Novel. He was also the editor of Secrets of the Code: The Unauthorized Guide to the Mysteries Behind The Da Vinci Code, which spent more than five months on the New York Times bestseller list 
in 2004 and has so far appeared in nineteen foreign-language editions.

The founder and managing member of Millennium Technology Ventures Advisors, a New York–based venture capital firm, Burstein’s day job is as an investor in innovative new technology companies. He is also an award-winning journalist and author of numerous books on global economics and technology, including a forthcoming book on the blogging phenomenon, BLOG! How the Web’s New Mavericks Are Changing Our World.

Yen!, Burstein’s first book, focused on the rise of Japanese financial power. It was an international bestseller in more than twenty countries in the late 1980s. His 1995 book, Road Warriors, was one of the first books to analyze the impact of the Internet and digital technology on business and society. His 1998 book, Big Dragon, written with Arne de Keijzer, outlined a long-term view of China’s role in the twenty-first century. Burstein and de Keijzer launched their own publishing enterprise, Squibnocket Press, and are currently working on a variety of pathbreaking new projects in the “Secrets” series, as well as other topics.

Burstein was a longtime senior adviser at The Blackstone Group, one of Wall Street’s leading investment banks. He is also a prominent corporate strategy consultant and has served as an adviser to CEOs, senior management teams, and global corporations including Sony, Toyota, Microsoft, Boardroom Inc., and Sun Microsystems.

Arne de Keijzer’s published work reflects his wide-ranging interests. He has written and edited books and articles spanning many disciplines, from business to travel and from religion to boating. He was managing editor of the previous book in this series, the New York Times bestseller Secrets of the Code: The Unauthorized Guide to the Mysteries Behind The Da Vinci Code. He and Dan Burstein were the coauthors of Big Dragon, an innovative look at China’s economic and political future and its impact on the world, and The Best Things Ever Said About the Rise, Fall, and Future of the Internet Economy. During his career as a China business consultant, he wrote China: Business Strategies for the ’90s, and the China Guidebook. He resides in Weston, Connecticut, and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, with his wife, Helen, and daughter, Hannah.

Amir D. Aczel, PhD, was a professor of mathematics and statistics at Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts, from 1988 to 2003. His works of nonfiction include the international bestseller Fermat’s Last Theorem, translated into nineteen languages. His other books include The Mystery of the Aleph, God’s Equation, The Riddle of the Compass, and Entanglement: The Greatest Mystery in Physics, all of which have appeared on various bestseller lists 
in the United States and abroad. Aczel is a frequent guest on the lecture circuit, radio, and television. He recently received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship to support 
the writing of his forthcoming book, Descartes’ Notebook.

Diane Apostolos-Cappadona is an adjunct professor of religious art and cultural history at the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and an adjunct professor of art and culture in the Liberal Studies Program of Georgetown University. A widely published cultural historian specializing in the study of religious art, she is currently completing a book, Mary Magdalene Imaged Through the Centuries, Or How the Anonymous Became the Magdalene. She contributed the foreword for the reprint edition of Sacred and Profane Beauty: The Holy in Art by Gerardus van der Leeuw, and is editing two anthologies of sources and documents in the history of Christian art and symbolism. Professor Apostolos-Cappadona also contributed to the previous book in this series, Secrets of the Code.

Michael Barkun is a professor of political science in the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. He has written widely on conspiracy theories, terrorism, and millennial and apocalyptic movements. His book A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America was published by the University of California Press in 2003 and published in Japan a year later. He has also written Religion and the Racist Right, Crucible of the Millennium, and Disaster and the Millennium. Barkun has served as a consultant to the FBI and is the recipient of fellowships and grants from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Paul Berger is a British freelance writer and journalist based in Brooklyn, New York. He is a former reporter for the Western Morning News, in Cornwall, England, where he won the Society of Editors’ Award. In the United States he has contributed to the Washington Post, US News & World Report, and the Gotham Gazette.

Amy D. Bernstein is a writer and academic who specializes in Renaissance literature and history. A graduate of Wellesley College, she earned her doctorate from Oxford University in sixteenth-century French literature. Her doctoral work, completed in 2004, comprised a new edition of the sonnets of Jacques de Billy de Prunay, a Benedictine monk, author, and translator of Gregory of Nazianzus and other patristic writers. She has also written for US News & World Report, contributed to Secrets of the Code, and edited Quotations from Speaker Newt: The Red, White and Blue Book of the Republican Revolution.

Peter W. Bernstein, a partner with Annalyn Swan in ASAP Media, was a contributing editor for this book. Founded in 2003, ASAP Media is a media development firm whose clients include Reader’s Digest Association, US News & World Report, and the Boston Globe, as well as other companies and nonprofit organizations. Before founding ASAP he served as an editor at US News & World Report and Fortune magazine. He was also publisher of Times Books, a division of Random House, Inc. In addition, he is a bestselling author. He is the editor and publisher of The Ernst & Young Tax Guide, the country’s number one annual tax guide. He coauthored the Practical Guide to Practically Everything and, with his wife Amy, edited Quotations from Speaker Newt: The Red, White and Blue Book of the Republican Revolution.

James Carlisle, PhD, is a venture capital investor, an adviser to CEOs, a scientist, and a serial entrepreneur. Jim has done defense research funded by ONR, DARPA, NSF, the RAND Corporation, and the Department of Defense. He has designed advanced decision support systems for executives of major corporations as well as the US secretary of defense. He has an engineering degree from Princeton and a PhD from Yale. Jim’s current investing and research activity includes biometrics applications for homeland defense, access, home automation, medical diagnosis, product marketing, and inventory control. He is a managing partner at Graystone Capital.

Jennifer Carlisle, the author of B.I.S. Biometric Identification System: A Radical Proposal for Solving the Identity Problem in a Time of Heightened Security, is an expert in biometrics, international security, and economics. She is CEO of Anzen Research, which recently completed a study on the use of biometric identity verification of passengers and employees for access control at airports. She graduated with honors degrees in international relations and economics from the University of Southern California. She has taught science and history to probation students and worked in marketing for Credit Suisse and for a dot-com later acquired by Answerthink Consulting. She is currently a graduate student at the London School of Economics.

John Castro is a New York City–based writer, editor, and researcher. He has worked on publications by civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, financial journalist Marshall Loeb, and Internet entrepreneur Charles Ferguson. John is also a theater director, actor, and playwright, with a particular love of Shakespeare. John contributed to the previous book in this series, Secrets of the Code.

John Dominic Crossan, a monk for nineteen years (and a priest for the last twelve years of that time), was also a university professor for twenty-six years. He has written more than twenty books on early Christianity and has been translated into ten foreign languages, including Korean, Chinese, and Japanese. He lectures to lay and scholarly audiences across the United States as well as in Australia, England, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand, Scandinavia, and South Africa. He is interviewed regularly about religious matters by both print and electronic media.

Paul Davies is professor of natural philosophy at the Australian Center for Astrobiology at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. He previously held academic appointments in astronomy, physics, and mathematics at the universities of Cambridge, London, Newcastle upon Tyne, and Adelaide. His research has spanned the fields of cosmology, gravitation, and quantum field theory, with particular emphasis on black holes and the origin of the universe. He has written more than twenty-five books, including Other Worlds, The Edge of Infinity, God and the New Physics, and The Mind of God. He was awarded the Templeton Prize in 1995.

Richard Dawkins, the International Cosmos prizewinner for 1997, is the first holder of the newly endowed Charles Simonyi Chair in the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. Professor Dawkins’s first book, The Selfish Gene, became an immediate bestseller and The Blind Watchmaker won the Royal Society of Literature Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Among his other bestsellers are Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, and The Ancestor’s Tale. Professor Dawkins’s awards have also included the Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London, the Royal Society’s Michael Faraday Award, the Nakayama Prize for Achievement in Human Science, and the Kistler Prize. He has honorary doctorates in both literature and science and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature as well as a fellow of the Royal Society.

Hannah de Keijzer attends Swarthmore College, where she pursues her interests in cognitive science, religion, and dance. She is also a published poet.

Judith DeYoung is a reporter-researcher for Vanity Fair magazine. She is also a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Marie Claire, McCall’s, PC Magazine, and Working Woman. She has been on staff at such magazines as Lear’s and Connoisseur. She studied art history at the Sorbonne in Paris.

David Downie is a Europe-based freelance writer, editor, and translator. His topics are European culture, travel, and food, and his articles have appeared in more than fifty magazines and newspapers worldwide. He is the author of several fiction and nonfiction books. HarperCollins USA published his latest, critically acclaimed cookbook, Cooking the Roman Way: Authentic Recipes from the Home Cooks and Trattorias of Rome. He is currently at work on a collection of travel essays entitled Paris, Paris and a food lover’s guidebook to Rome, where he has spent part of each year since childhood. Downie also contributed to the previous book in this series, Secrets of the Code.

Glenn W. Erickson has taught philosophy at Southern Illinois University, Texas A&M University, Western Carolina University, and the Rhode Island School of Design, as well as at five federal universities in Brazil and Nigeria, sometimes as a Fulbright Scholar. He is author of a dozen works about philosophy (Negative Dialectics and the End of Philosophy), logic (Dictionary of Paradox, with John Fossa), literary criticism (A Tree of Stories, with his wife Sandra S. F. Erickson), poetry, short fiction, art history (New Theory of the Tarot), and the history of mathematics. Erickson also contributed to the previous book in this series, Secrets of the Code.

Leigh-Ann Gerow is a freelance writer and graphic artist, and the webmaster of She and her partner, Nancy Ross, design and administrate a number of Internet websites. They live in Las Vegas, Nevada, with thousands of books and far too many pets.

Owen Gingerich is research professor of astronomy and of the history of science at Harvard University and a senior astronomer emeritus at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. He is a leading authority on German astronomer Johannes Kepler and on Nicolaus Copernicus. Professor Gingerich has edited, translated, or written twenty books and hundreds of articles and reviews. He is the author of The Book Nobody Read: Chasing the Revolutions of Nicolaus Copernicus, the result of a three-decade-long personal survey of Copernicus’s book Revolutions. He and his wife live in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and are avid travelers, photographers, and rare book and shell collectors.

Marcelo Gleiser is the Appleton Professor of Natural Philosophy in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Dartmouth College. He has been a research fellow at Fermilab as well as at the Institute of Theoretical Physics at the University of California. He is the recipient of a Presidential Faculty Fellows Award from the White House and National Science Foundation, one of only fifteen scientists to receive the award. He has been featured in numerous television programs, including the PBS documentary Stephen Hawking’s Universe. Gleiser is author of The Prophet and the Astronomer: Apocalyptic Science and the End of the World, and The Dancing Universe: From Creation Myths to the Big Bang. He is currently working on a historical novel based on the life and work of Johannes Kepler.

Deirdre Good is a professor of the New Testament at the General Theological Seminary in New York City. She reads Greek, Coptic, Latin, Hebrew, and some Aramaic. She has a special interest in the Greek language found in the book of Matthew and its use of both Greek idioms from the Greek translation of Hebrew scriptures (the Septuagint) and Hebrew idioms that are rendered into Greek by the author of Matthew. Her recent publications include an essay on Mary Magdalene in Secrets of the Code and an essay for the April 2004 issue of Episcopal Life: “A Visual Narrative: Is Mel Gibson’s Passion a Gospel for Our Time?” Her book Jesus the Meek King appeared in 1999 and she is presently finishing Mariam, the Magdalen, and the Mother, to be published in the spring of 2005.

Dean Hamer has done work on the biology of sexual orientation, thrill seeking, anxiety, anger, and addiction. His books on these topics, Science of Desire and Living with Our Genes, were bestsellers in the science category. Recently, Dr. Hamer has become interested in spirituality. In his new book, The God Gene, he argues that our inclination toward religious faith is no accident; it is hardwired into our genes. Chief of gene structure and regulation at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, Hamer has worked at the National Institutes of Health for more than two decades. He has appeared in national and international newspapers, magazines, and documentaries. Dr. Hamer is also a frequent TV guest.

Steven J. Harris received his BA in physics and PhD in the history of science. He has taught at Harvard University, Brandeis University, and Wellesley College, winning two awards for outstanding teaching. His main areas of interest are the scientific revolution, the history of astronomy and cosmology, and especially the scientific activity of members of the Society of Jesus in the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries. Harris is coeditor of a two-volume collection of essays on Jesuit cultural history and is the author of several essays on the history of Jesuit science. Several of the points made in his interview in this book are developed in his essay “Roman Catholicism and Science Since Trent,” in The History of Science and Religion in the Western Tradition.

Michael Herrera is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colorado. He has an undergraduate degree in history and spent several years pursuing a PhD in early Christianity before leaving academia for a career in high-tech public relations.

Stephan Herrera is a New York–based journalist with eighteen years of experience writing about science and technology for the likes of The Economist, Nature, Forbes, Red Herring, and the Acumen Journal of Science. At present he is life sciences editor at MIT’s Technology Review magazine in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His book, Closer to God: The Fantastic Voyage of Nanotechnology, will be published in the fall of 2005. Stephan earned his undergraduate degree in economics and management at Colorado State University and his master’s degree at Columbia University in the Graduate School of Journalism.

Anna Isgro is a freelance writer and editor based in northern Virginia. She was formerly an associate editor at Fortune magazine and editor of the corporate newsletter US News Business Report. She has worked on a variety of book projects, including serving as managing editor of the Practical Guide to Practically Everything and as an editor of a scholarly work on Robert Southwell, the sixteenth-century Jesuit poet.

George Johnson writes about science for the New York Times from Santa Fe, New Mexico, and is winner of the AAAS Science Journalism Award. His books include Fire in the Mind: Science, Faith, and the Search for Order and Architects of Fear: Conspiracy Theories and Paranoia in American Politics. He is codirector of the Santa Fe Science-Writing Workshop and can be reached on the Web at His seventh book, Miss Leavitt’s Stars, will be published in the spring of 2005.

Scott Kim has been a full-time independent designer of visual puzzles and games for the 
Web, computer games, magazines, and toys since 1990. His puzzles are in the spirit of Tetris and 
M. C. Escher—visually stimulating, thought provoking, broadly appealing, and highly original. He has created hundreds of puzzles for magazines and thousands for computer games. He is especially interested in designing daily, weekly, and monthly puzzles for the Web and for portable devices.

Gwen Kinkead, an award-winning journalist, has contributed to the science pages of the New York Times. While an editor at Fortune, she specialized in international affairs. She co-won the prestigious 1980 George Polk Award for cultural reporting.

George Lechner is an adjunct professor at the University of Hartford, where he teaches courses on Italian art and culture. He earned his master’s degree in art history at Bryn Mawr, specializing in religious symbolism. As a Whiting fellow in Rome, he spent two years researching Andrea Sacchi, a baroque painter and contemporary of Bernini, who was commissioned by Pope Urban VIII to create an astrology-themed fresco for his palace ceiling. Lechner discovered that the mystical images in the fresco were designed to induce good fortune and protect the pope and the Catholic Church against the challenges posed by the Protestant Reformation. His thesis on the subject was published in Art Bulletin.

Tod Marder is Professor II (distinguished professor), chair of the Department of Art History, at Rutgers University, and a fellow of the American Academy in Rome. He studied art history at UC Santa Barbara and received MA and PhD degrees from Columbia University in New York, studying with Howard Hibbard and Rudolf Wittkower. 
He has published two books on Bernini’s work: Bernini’s Scala Regia in the Vatican Palace, Architecture, Sculpture, and Ritual and Bernini and the Art of Architecture. The latter book won the Borghese Prize for the best book on a Roman topic by a foreigner in 1998. Dr. Marder is currently writing a book about new developments in Bernini studies.

Jill Rachlin Marbaix is a freelance writer and editor who covers a wide variety of topics, from business to education to entertainment. During the course of her twenty-year career, she has worked as a writer and editor at several national magazines, including TV Guide, People, US News & World Report, Ladies’ Home Journal, and Money.

Richard P. McBrien is Crowley-O’Brien Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, having formerly served three terms as chair of the Department of Theology. He is also past president of the Catholic Theological Society of America. The author of twenty books, including Catholicism, Lives of the Popes, and Lives of the Saints, he appears regularly on network television as a commentator on Catholic events, and will be an ABC News on-air commentator for the next papal election. Father O’Brien was also a contributor to the previous book in this series, Secrets of the Code.

Mark Midbon is a senior programmer and analyst at the University of Wisconsin. As a computer programmer during the early 1990s, Mark automated campus libraries at the University of Wisconsin. During this time he wrote articles for Computers and Society, a journal of the Association of Computing Machinery. His pieces focused on Israel’s computer models for the 1967 War and the rise of the computer firm IBM. Later, he worked for the Y2K project at Arizona State University, when he became more interested in pure science. It was during this time that he wrote a number of Internet articles about the priest-geologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and the priest-astronomer Georges Lemaître.

Tom Mueller is a writer based in Italy. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, New Republic, BusinessWeek, Best American Travel Writing, and other US and European publications. He is completing a novel about the building and rebuilding of St. Peter’s Basilica, as well as what he calls a “user’s guide” to underground Rome—the vast realm of temples, palaces, brothels, and humble homes that lie buried beneath the modern city.

John W. O’Malley, a Jesuit priest, teaches church history at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has lectured widely in the United States, Europe, and Southeast Asia. Among his prize-winning books are The First Jesuit and Trent and All That, both from Harvard University Press. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is also past president of the American Catholic Historical Association and the Renaissance Society of America. His most recent book is Four Cultures of the West.

Geoffrey K. Pullum is a linguist specializing in English grammar. He lives in Santa Cruz, California, and is a professor of linguistics and a distinguished professor of humanities at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He contributes frequently to the popular Language Log site www., where, if you dig through the archives, you can find a hysterically funny piece called “The Dan Brown Code” about Brown’s use of language in The Da Vinci Code. He has also authored or coauthored more than two hundred articles and a dozen books. The funniest of his books is The Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax, and the most serious is a large-scale English reference grammar, The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, which in 2004 won the Leonard Bloomfield Book Award.

Alexandra Robbins is a New York Times bestselling author and lecturer whose books include Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities; Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power; and Conquering Your Quarterlife Crisis: Advice from Twentysomethings Who Have Been There and Survived. She has written for Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, and the Washington Post, among other publications. She regularly appears in the national media and lectures frequently to groups about secret societies, twentysomething issues, Greek life, and writing. She can be contacted at

Wade Rowland is the author of Galileo’s Mistake: A New Look at the Epic Confrontation Between Galileo and the Church, and more than a dozen other books. He is an award-winning journalist and television producer of news and documentary programs. He is a former Maclean-Hunter Chair of Ethics in Communications at Ryerson University in Toronto and currently lectures in the social history of communications technologies at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. Rowland is completing a book about corporations and the eclipse of morals entitled Ethics and Artificial People. He lives near Port Hope, Ontario. Dr. Rowland can be reached via

Susan Sanders is the cofounder and executive director of the Institute of Design and Culture in Rome. She received her MA in architecture from Georgia Tech and her BA in art from the University of Georgia. Over the past decade Susan has taught architectural design for the Universities of Arkansas and Kansas, and the Savannah College of Art and Design, in addition to holding the Hyde Chair of Excellence for the University of Nebraska. She was also creative director for Carrier Johnson Architects in San Diego, California. She currently resides in Rome.

David A. Shugarts is a journalist with more than thirty years’ experience, having served on newspapers and magazines as a reporter, photographer, desk editor, and editor-in-chief. He was reared in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, and obtained a BA in English from Lehigh University, followed by service in Africa in the Peace Corps, then received an MS in journalism from Boston University. His fields of expertise include aviation and marine writing. He was the recipient of five regional and national awards from the Aviation/Space Writers Association. Shugarts was the founding editor of Aviation Safety Magazine in 1981 and of Powerboat Reports magazine in 1988. As a writer, he has contributed to a dozen books, including Secrets of the Code. As an editor and production manager, he has produced hundreds of books. He lives in Newtown, Connecticut.

Annalyn Swan, a partner with Peter Bernstein in ASAP Media, was a contributing editor for this book. Founded in 2003, ASAP Media is a media development firm whose clients include Reader’s Digest Association, US News & World Report, and the Boston Globe, as well as other companies and nonprofit organizations. Swan has been a staff writer at Time magazine, music critic and arts editor of Newsweek, and editor-in-chief of Savvy. With the art critic Mark Stevens, she has also written a biography of the artist Willem de Kooning, just published by Knopf.

Greg Tobin is an author, editor, journalist, and scholar who is currently the publisher of the Catholic Advocate, the newspaper of the archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. He has written fiction and nonfiction books about the Catholic Church, including Conclave and Council, two novels about the papacy of the near future; The Wisdom of St. Patrick, meditations about the beloved patron saint of Ireland; Saints and Sinners, an anthology of writings by American Catholics in the latter half of the twentieth century; and Selecting the Pope: Uncovering the Mysteries of Papal Elections, a handbook about the history and future of the papal elections for Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist, was born and raised in New York City, where he attended the Bronx High School of Science. Tyson went on to earn his BA from Harvard and his PhD from Columbia. His professional research interests include star formation, exploding stars, dwarf galaxies, and the structure of the Milky Way. He has served on two presidential commissions on America’s future in space. Dr. Tyson is a monthly essayist for Natural History magazine, Among the books he has written are his memoir The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist, and Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution. He is the director of New York City’s Hayden Planetarium and recently served as host for NOVA’s Origins miniseries.

Alex Ulam is a freelance writer who specializes in cultural issues. His work has appeared in Discover, Archaeology, Wired, Architectural Record, the National Post of Canada, and other publications. He lives in New York City.

Steven Waldman is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Previously he was the national editor of US News & World Report and a national correspondent for Newsweek. He has also served as editor of the Washington Monthly, an influential political magazine. Waldman was senior adviser to the CEO of the Corporation for National Service, the government agency that runs AmeriCorps and other volunteer programs.

James Wasserman is a lifelong student of esotericism. His writings include Art and Symbols of the 
Occult, and Aleister Crowley and the Practice of the Magical Diary. His Chronicle Books edition of The Egyptian Book of the Dead, edited by Dr. Ogden Goelet, features a full-color papyrus with an integrated English translation. His The Templars and the Assassins has thus far been published in five languages. His controversial The Slaves Shall Serve defines political liberty as a spiritual value and analyzes modern trends toward collectivism. He is currently collaborating with Jon Graham on a translation of The Bavarian Illuminati and German Freemasonry and writing The Illuminati in History and Myth.

Cyril H. Wecht is certified by the American Board of Pathology in anatomic, clinical, and forensic pathology. He serves as the elected coroner of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is chairman of the Advisory Board of the Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law at Duquesne University School of Law. He has personally performed approximately 15,000 autopsies and has supervised, reviewed, or been consulted 
on approximately 35,000 additional postmortem examinations. Dr. Wecht is author of more than 475 professional publications and editor of thirty-five books. He frequently provides expert testimony in court cases. He also appears regularly on national TV and radio shows and has written several books about cases in the news, including Cause of Death, Grave Secrets, and Who Killed Jon Benet Ramsey?

Mark S. Weil, PhD, a leading expert on the art of sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini and baroque imagery, teaches at the University of Washington. He wrote his dissertation on Bernini’s decoration of the Ponte Sant’Angelo (the Bridge of Angels that Robert Langdon crosses in search of the Illuminati lair), which led to his book The History and Decoration of the Ponte S. Angelo. For the past thirty years Weil has gone to Rome each year to conduct research at the Vatican Library and Archives. Weil is also the director of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University and the director of the university’s Sam Fox Arts Center.

Robert Anton Wilson is an acclaimed author of more than thirty books. He was associate editor at Playboy in the late 1960s and is a futurist, playwright, poet, lecturer, and stand-up comic. With Robert Shea, Wilson coauthored the Illuminatus! Trilogy, which the Village Voice called “the biggest sci-fi cult novel . . . since Dune.” The trilogy has been reprinted in many languages and adapted into a ten-hour epic theater piece. In 1986, only ten years after its publication, Illuminatus! won the Prometheus Award as a classic of science fiction. Wilson stars in Maybe Logic: The Lives and Ideas of Robert Anton Wilson, a film by Lance Bauscher, which won the Best Documentary award at the San Francisco Film Festival in 2004. Wilson teaches online courses at the Maybe Logic Academy.

Josh Wolfe is a managing partner of Lux Capital, where he focuses on investments in nanotechnology. He previously worked at Salomon Smith Barney and Merrill Lynch and now sits on Merrill’s TechBrains advisory board. He conducted cutting-edge AIDS research and published in Nature, Cell Vision, and the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. Josh is the author of the five-hundred-page “The Nanotech Report.” He is also editor of the Forbes/Wolfe Nanotech Report, and writes a column at Forbes magazine. As a founder of the NanoBusiness Alliance, Josh joined President Bush in the Oval Office for the signing of the 21st Century Nanotech Research and Development Act. Red Herring has called him “Mr. Nano.” Steve Forbes has called him “America’s Leading Authority of Nanotechnology.” He has appeared in BusinessWeek, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and is a regular guest of CNBC. Josh graduated with distinction from Cornell University.