Dan Brown and the Palmarian Church, Or What is this Thing Called Research?

Dan Brown and the Palmarian Church,  Or What is this Thing Called Research?

A religious group known as the Palmarian Church plays a quite prominent role in Dan Brown’s most recent book Origin (2017.)  Though Dan Brown’s Origin is a work of fiction, as in earlier works in the Robert Langdon series, he claims that the book is based on thorough research. Based on my long-time research into all things Palmarian, I have written an evaluation of the factual claims that Dan Brown makes about the Palmarian Church.

In the text, I first give a very short introduction to the history and teachings of the Palmarian Church to know what we are talking about. Then, I will say something about what “research” is or can be before I turn to my appraisal of Dan Brown’s assertions. There are statements that, indeed, are correct, while there are many claims that are wrong, half-wrong or at least very questionable. My conclusion is that there is nothing that indicates that Brown has done any individual research on the matter, let alone any thorough investigation, and has misunderstood several things in even the most easily available online sources.

Here you can read my text “Dan Brown and the Palmarian Church. Or What is this Thing Called Research”


Update of the WRSP Profile on the Palmarian Church

Update of the WRSP Profile on the Palmarian Church

Three years ago, I wrote a group profile on the Palmarian Church for the World Religions and Spirituality Project (WRSP), led by Professor David Bromley. The project website is a very useful resource for those who are looking for good and reliable information about a large number of religious groups, both big and small. It includes a growing number of “group profiles”, but also many other resources.

As readers of this website will know, there has been dramatic changes in the Palmarian Church in the last three years. Among many other things, Pope Gregory XVIII left the papacy and the church. He married and now he and his wife are in prison accused of attempted armed robbery. In short, it was necessary to write an updated profile.

You find the new text here.

Excellent article on the Palmarian Church

Excellent article on the Palmarian Church

In the recent 25th-anniversary issue of Immobilien Zeitschrift, a German magazine dedicated to the real estate business, there is an excellent article on the Palmarian Church, written by Friedhelm Feldhaus. You may think that a real estate magazine is not the most obvious place for such an article, but to some extent, it is focused on the construction of the huge basilica in El Palmar de Troya.

Friedhelm Feldhaus has done excellent research. He read much of the recent texts on the church, but he also went to El Palmar, entered the basilica and interviewed a number of people in the town and elsewhere. In short, the article provides the reader with an unusually good introduction to the history and current status of the Palmarians.

So if you read German, I really recommend the piece, and even if you don’t, look at the images. I have never seen a better picture of the whole church compound from above.

The full text is found here

Article on Palmar in El Confidencial

Article on Palmar in El Confidencial

On June 20, 2018, the Spanish journal El Confidencial published an extensive article on the Palmarian church, the development throughout the decades and the current situation: “Miedo y asco en el Palmar de Troya: el milenarismo va a llegar” . The article is written by Carlos Prieto and to a large extent built on my research and it includes an interview with me, too.

Ex-Pope and Wife Attempted to Rob Basilica (with links to articles)

Ex-Pope and Wife Attempted to Rob Basilica (with links to articles)

On June 10, 2018, began a new, bizarre chapter in the history of the Palmarian Catholic Church. The Palmarian ex-pope Ginés Jesús Hernández (earlier known as Gregory XVIII) and his wife, Nieves Triviño climbed over the high walls of the church compound at Palmar de Troya.

They were masked and armed, apparently planning to rob the cathedral, but were discovered by a Palmarian bishop who was outside the basilica. According to testimonies, Hernández threatened Bishop S with a knife. However, in the subsequent fight, Hernández was severely injured, while S and Nieves Triviño got less serious physical injuries.

It was on April 22, 2016, Gregory XVIII (sed. 2011-2016) resigned from the Palmarian papacy. He later claimed that he had lost the faith and that the whole church was a hoax. He left to live with Nieves Triviño, whom he later married. For details, see my book A Pope of Their Own, pp. 168‒177.

Here is a description of the events from June 10, 2018, onwards.

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Palmarian Links: TV, Radio, Websites, etc.

Palmarian Links: TV, Radio, Websites, etc.

Here is a collection of links to different types of media related to El Palmar de Troya and the Palmarians

TV, Radio, Film, Music and Photos

Antena 3 TV: Six short films on the Palmarian Church, 2016, Accessed from: http://www.antena3.com/temas/el_palmar_de_troya-1

Apostate activist: Nine short films on The Palmarian Church Opposition, 2009–2010. Accessed from: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVRYSSr X7Cwq6JGAcGkANhQ on March 30, 2017.

Cf. the 20 + short films on the Youtube account Apostateactivist. Accessed from:  http://www.youtube.com/user/ApostateActivist 

Canal Sur, 75 Minutos: La Iglesia de El Palmar de Troya,  May 10, 2016, 70 min. Documentary accessed from: http://www.youtube.com/timedtext_video? ref =player&v =mUena2Sxveg on March 30, 2017.

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Palmarian Sources

Palmarian Sources

Apart from my monograph on the Palmarian Catholic Church, A Pope of their Own and many articles on the church and its teachings, I have made a large number of Palmarian doctrinal and devotional texts available on this website. Earlier, most of them were not readily available to non-Palmarians. The full-text documents can be consulted through the following links:

Pontifical Documents of Gregory XVII (1978-1980)

The Palmarian Creed (1980)

Treatise of the Mass (in Spanish; 1992)

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