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The Family
The Family: Power, Politics and Fundamentalism's Shadow Elite | Jeff Sharlet
11 posts | 4 read | 14 to read
A journalist's penetrating and controversial look at the untold story of Christian fundamentalism's most elite organisation: a self-described 'invisible' global network dedicated to a religion of power for the powerful. They are 'the Family' - fundamentalism's avant-garde, waging spiritual war in the halls of American power and around the globe. They consider themselves the 'new chosen': congressmen, generals and foreign dictators who meet in confidential 'cells', to pray and plan for a 'leadership led by God', to be won not by force but through 'quiet diplomacy'. Jeff Sharlet is the only journalist to have reported from inside its walls. The Family is about the other half of American fundamentalist power - not its angry masses, but its sophisticated elites. In public, they host Prayer Breakfasts; in private they preach a gospel of 'biblical capitalism', military might and American empire. Citing Hitler, Lenin and Mao as leadership models, the Family's current leader, Doug Coe, declares, 'We work with power where we can, build new power where we can't'. Part history, part investigative journalism, The Family is a compelling account of how fundamentalism came to be interwoven with American power and the no-holds-barred economics of globalisation. No other book about the Right has exposed the Family or revealed its far-reaching impact on democracy, and no future reckoning of fundamentalism will be able to ignore it.
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review
keithmalek
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Bailedbailed

Boring.

Readers who enjoyed this book (as well as those who didn't) should read "The Good News Club" by Katherine Stewart. But unlike The Family, Stewart's book is actually worth reading.

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keithmalek

This is what she found romantic: a father who gives his teenage daughter a purity ring only to take it back on her wedding day and hand it over to his daughter's new husband, her vigininity passed from man to man like a baton. Therein lies the paradox of the purity movement. It's at once an attempt to transcend cultural influences through the timelessness of scripture, and a painfully specific response to the cultural revolution.

Chrissyreadit I can‘t tell if this book will terrify me or anger me more. I would count it as an October horror read for sure. 3mo
keithmalek @Chrissyreadit It will do both. Either way, I don't recommend it. It's quite boring, and I'm thinking about bailing on it. 3mo
Chrissyreadit Thanks! There‘s a Netflix program I will try to find instead. 3mo
9 likes3 comments
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keithmalek
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(VAT stands for Values Action Team, a Senate caucus that gathers on Tuesdays before the Family cell meeting. Everything that is said is strictly off the record, and even the groups themselves are strictly forbidden from discussing the proceedings. The VAT is a war council, and the enemy, says one participant, is "secularism.")

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keithmalek

Dismissed as "civil religion" by observers who know it only by the National Prayer Breakfast's annual broadcast on C-SPAN, the Family's long-term project of a worldwide government under God is more ambitious than Al Qaeda's dream of a Sunni empire.

Suet624 Ugh 4mo
9 likes1 comment
blurb
Megabooks
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This book is crazy so far. It‘s powerful men‘s interpretation of what Jesus wants. Jesus, not Christianity, Jesus the person who lived 2k years ago.

And, obviously as a woman and feminist, I find it even crazier that they exclude 50% of the population outright because Jesus doesn‘t want women to lead. Duh.

I get the feeling this will be 17 hours of rage at the patriarchy! 😡 #audiobook

AlaMich There‘s a documentary based on this book, which I‘m trying to decide whether I want to watch. I suspect it will make want to break things, however. 😡 4mo
Megabooks @AlaMich I‘m listening to the book first. It‘s interesting because you have to be recommended into the organization by a friend and the author was recommended in despite that they knew he was a journalist working on a book about Christian groups. 🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️ 4mo
AlaMich @Megabooks Maybe they thought they could make him see the light. In more ways than one. 4mo
See All 6 Comments
Scochrane26 I really don‘t understand why some denominations don‘t allow women to be pastors. They‘ll allow “women‘s ministry” but not let them be elders/pastors. Weird. Anyway, this book would prob make me rage, too. 4mo
Megabooks @AlaMich it seems that way. They have a really interesting interpretation of Jesus from a theological perspective. It‘s just scary about how much control they extent over world affairs! 4mo
Megabooks @Scochrane26 What‘s interesting is that while The Family are fundamentalists, the consider themselves more a mafia for Jesus. They‘re Jesus‘s inner circle. The leader kinda thinks he‘s the rebirth of the apostle John. “Mainstream” fundamentalists are too populist for The Family. They‘re true Protestant 1%ers that are all F the poor unless we can use them, which is kinda un-Jesus to me. (edited) 4mo
74 likes2 stack adds6 comments
blurb
Megabooks
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Why do something as simple as watching a Netflix documentary when you can listen to a 17 hour #audiobook?? 🤣🤣 #creditsincreditsout #audible

Amiable Yes! That‘s the option a real reader would take. 👍🏼 4mo
Megabooks @Amiable As Bartles & Jaymes would say, “Thank you for your support!” 4mo
Amiable @Megabooks “If you don‘t like the name, don‘t tell us because we already printed it on the labels.” 😀 (Yes, I‘m old enough to remember those commercials! 😄) 4mo
Megabooks @Amiable 😁😁👍🏻 4mo
77 likes1 stack add4 comments
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keithmalek
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EchoLogical 😯 4mo
Megabooks I‘m dying to watch this. Stacking the book! 4mo
11 likes2 comments
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keithmalek
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Some members of the Family. Other members include Senator Sam Brownback (R. Kansas), Representative Joe Pitts, Senator Jim Demint, and "Faith-based" Democrats Bill Nelson of Florida and Mark Pryor of Arksnsas.

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keithmalek
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keithmalek
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9 likes1 stack add
blurb
Christine
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Has anyone read this (or any other books by the author)? The related Netflix docuseries is very 😳!!

4thhouseontheleft No, but now I‘m curious! 5mo
Christine @4thhouseontheleft Yes, me too. I binged the doc and am still trying to process it all. 5mo
ChasingOm Ooooooooooh. Gonna add that to the queue. I almost never watch tv, but I‘m a sucker for documentaries! 😂 5mo
See All 12 Comments
DivineDiana No, but it sounds fascinating! 5mo
MicheleinPhilly I have not but I‘ve had it for AGES. When we were scrolling through Netflix last night I literally said, “Shit, I should probably read that.” 5mo
Emilymdxn I just watched the show! I binged it while home sick from work. really liked it and want to read the books it was based on for sure. It was A Lot to process but very well made, I‘ve been recommending it to everyone since I watched it. (edited) 5mo
Megabooks I watched the trailer and, while I wasn‘t surprised, I was fully freaked out and terrified. It‘s on my TBW (to be watched)! 5mo
Christine @ChasingOm Me too!! This one is so crazy. 5mo
Christine @DivineDiana Based on the docuseries, it really is! Disturbing on so many levels, but fascinating. 5mo
Christine @MicheleinPhilly LOL! Really? I hadn‘t even heard of the book! I will be very interested in your review if/when you do read it. It is a MESSED UP story and unfortunately I now have a whole new thing to fear. 😝 5mo
Christine @Emilymdxn Isn‘t it a crazy story?? Things like the National Prayer Breakfast always made me go “Hmm...” because, well, I‘m fond of the separation of church and state, but I had NO idea of what was really going on. 5mo
Christine @Megabooks YEP. To all of that. I‘ll be interested in your thoughts if/when you watch! 5mo
43 likes4 stack adds12 comments