Dialogue Ireland taking a case for defamation against author Dan Brown

Dan Brown’s novel Origin deals with the Palmarian Church, a Catholic sect

Dan Brown’s novel Origin deals with the Palmarian Church, a Catholic sectGETTY IMAGES

Anti-cult group sues over claims in Da Vinci Code author’s book


Dialogue Ireland will not be commenting on this case until after the court case. We have already taken down any posts we wrote commenting on the defamation issue. We will publish any reference to the book but make no comment on them.

Aaron Rogan, Senior Ireland Reporter

September 21 2018

The Times

Dan Brown’s publisher is being sued over a suggestion in his latest novel that an Irish cult-monitoring group took money to fight a sect of the Catholic Church.

Paul Tweed, a libel lawyer in Belfast, has filed a case in Dublin against Random House on behalf of Mike Garde, the founder of Dialogue Ireland.

Origin, the latest book by Brown — who wrote the Da Vinci Code — explores the Palmarian Church, a group with its own pope that operates from a basilica compound in Spain. The church has been criticised in Ireland for alleged mistreatment of followers.

In the book a character finds “a shocking trove of private documents that outlined a brutal war that had been waged against the Palmarian Church for over a decade”.

This war “apparently included lawsuits, threats bordering on blackmail and huge donations to anti-Palmarian watchdog groups like Palmar de Troya Support and Dialogue Ireland”. The novel had an initial print run of two million copies. The reference to Dialogue Ireland has been removed from the e-book version.

Mr Garde’s case lists Random House, owners of Transworld, which published the book last October. The publisher did not respond to a request for comment. Dialogue Ireland, a registered charity, said: “In the absence of satisfactory proposals from the publishers, our instructions are to vigorously progress these proceedings to a hearing before the High Court at the earliest opportunity.”

Mr Garde said in January that the depiction of his organisation in Origin would lead people to believe that he was being paid large amounts to attack the Palmarians, which was untrue. “Reading that, it would appear the victim is the Palmarian Church, and the aggressors are groups like myself and the Palmarian support group,” he told The Sunday Times.

“It gives the impression Dialogue Ireland is making massive cash. It distorts history and it’s a lie. It gives the impression we are not a group that should be supported — that we are the aggressors against an organisation that is doing terrible damage.”

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