Synopsis of "The Family" by Jeff Sharlet

by Alexis Rohlin

"The Family" is the non-fiction book written by author and journalist Jeff Sharlet about the politics of religion and the rise of Christian Fundamentalism in America. Sharlet covers the untold story of the elitist religious political organization that has described itself as an "invisible network dedicated to a religion of power for the powerful."

The Family

The Family was founded in 1935 by minister Abraham Vereide as a political group in opposition of FDR's New Deal. It is a self-identified "Christian Mafia" that has operated behind the scenes in American politics for over 70 years. The Family has great influence over politicians and has shaped the U.S. into what they believe it should be. Members of the Family are evangelists, rich businessmen and political power brokers who model their work after the lifetime achievements of infamous genocidal figures such as Genghis Khan and Adolf Hitler.

Family Roots

The Family's original members came from a group of businessmen and political leaders who came together in Seattle, Washington, to fight the influence of unionized longshoremen during the Great Depression. Over the years, The Family's financial power and political influence grew to the point where it advised and influenced the policies of President George W. Bush. They were the ones behind the Bush policy of the "Faith Based Initiatives" that privatized government assistance programs for the poor.

Prayer Groups

The Family operates in cells, or prayer groups, that quietly spread their influence and religious agenda to political leaders throughout the world. The Family prayer groups have met in the Pentagon and the Department of Defense. At prayer groups they recruit "elites" who are "worthy of leading the world" and foster deals and alliances while providing a safe space for men of power to live in.

Abuse of Religion

Members of the Family believe that they are chosen by God, and because they walk with Jesus Christ, it's perfectly all right to harm people or sleep with their wives because people of the Old Testament of the Bible did bad things and God still loved them. According to the Family's former leader, Doug Coe, "We (members of the Family) elect our leaders. Jesus elects his... If you're a person known to be around Jesus, you can go and do anything."

Bloody History

Family members provided political favors to unsavory characters like Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier. Papa Doc subjugated the people of Haiti by twisting the values and beliefs of traditional voodoo practices and using them as a justification for killing thousands of people who either didn't fit into his ideology or questioned his motives. They even helped Nazis during the trials after WWII. Currently they support tyrants and fascists in power in Latin America, Southeast Asia and Africa.

Mask of Charity

Supporters of the Family claim that it does positive and good work. They provide a safe place for powerful people to get "spiritual care." Their "Quiet Diplomacy" facilitated peace between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They even help the poor and promote human rights in the world. However, Jeff Sharlet's book exposes them as power-hungry frauds hiding behind a mask of charity and religion, who would love nothing more than to crush the world beneath their boots on their rise to the top.