Margaret has taken Eric Van Lustbader’s The Testament out of the library in order to brief me on the latest claimant to the Dan Brown Award for Disproportionate Literary Success. In this deplorable travesty — which, like Brown’s tripe, claims to be based on historical research — Lustbader proposes that the two opposed secret societies (one a Gnostic Franciscan group whose goal is universal democracy — yes you heard that right, “Gnostics for Democracy”) and the other a military Order in favor of fascistic dictatorships (paradigmatically,. the Pope), these two factions operate in what they call the “Voire Dei” which supposedly means “the truth of God.” Is there any language of which this is an intelligible claim? “Voire” is evidently an Old French word for “truth,” which has migrated to modern usage in the legal expression “voir dire,” so I take it that we’re supposed to recognize the Latin form “Dei” and go along with this macaronic pseudotheological term? (Quick check: Google does not reveal any other use of the phrase “Voire Dei” than Lustbader’s novel. I guess that’s because, you know, it’s an über-secret.) Sheesh. . .