Da Vinci Code in the Dock - Baigent Continues to Shoot Self in Foot
"The courtroom was less crowded today. The case is being heard in the Royal Courts of Justice, whose main building is a giant Victorian Gothic structure that is quite imposing.
"However, the court where the case is heard is Court 61 in the Thomas More Building, which sounds pretty impressive except that it is a 1970s office block and the court is a modest-sized room on the 10th floor.
"Baigent was still on the stand after yesterday's debacle. The cross-examination continued today and was probably not as bad as yesterday, but Baigent can't like being cross-examined. The consensus appears to be that yesterday went poorly for him and there were fewer reporters in attendance today.
"All-in-all it was fairly boring this morning as they went over specific pieces of DVC and HBHG to ascertain just what Central Themes existed and which were explicitly included and which not.
"While the DVC might have the 'look and feel"'of HBHG, on close examination, finding explciit mention of the themes can prove elusive. I found myself wondering during the hearing whether the barristers and judge had been English majors in college as there was a lot of close reading of texts going on.
"Two important points were highlighted today:
"(1) That HBHG's key conclusion about the Priory desiring to restore the Merovingian blood line to the throne of France and other european countries is absent in DVC.
"On that point, the judge asked Baigent at one point: 'Those points [restoring Merovingian line] simply don't feature in his book [DVC], do they?'
"(2) HBHG has the Priory with an explicit and active political program they want to promote and publicise while the DVC has the Priory trying to keep a secret hidden.
"On this, the judge asked: 'How does he use your results [about the Priory] if he reaches the opposite conclusion?'
"At another point, Baigent was forced to concede (again) that he had used 'infelicitous phraseology' in his witness statement. He seems prone to using 'infelicitous' a lot and Random House's counsel must have come up with his sound bite last night as he quickly came back with 'is "infelicitious" your long word for being incorrect?'
"Baigent frequently had long pauses of 30 seconds to more than a minute; the silence was incredibly lengthy as he contemplated his answers -- which all too often were agreeing that certain pages of DVC that he had identified in his witness statement did not explicitly contain themes from HBHG as he had claimed.