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Tue Feb 7, 2012, 06:43 PM

The Family. Elite Fundamentalism and religion for the 1%. [View all]

I have recently started reading Jeff Sharlet's excellent book "The Family." In this book he details his time at the Family's retreat and the history of the group and the rise of what he terms "elite fundamentalism."

The Family was founded by Abraham Veriede, a man who believed he had been called by God to gather together the powerful of society and create, in his own words, a "new world order." Sharlet describes Veriede as a man who rode the fence of Fascism, but never jumped over.

Veriede preached a gospel of wealth, the powerful were powerful because God gave them power. To oppose them was to oppose God. In the midst of a San Fransisco labor riot, Veriede had formulated his new Gospel. A gospel of a Jesus "disentangled form church organization." A "rejection of the "Social Gospel" of good works for the poor in favor of an unhindered Christ defined by his muscles, a laissez-faire Jesus..."

Sharlet goes into to detail to discuss Vereide's scorn for organized labor, which he viewed as threat to Christ. In discussing a San Fransisco labor longshoremen strike organized by labor leader Harry Bridges, Sharlet says that in the eyes of Veriede the "thud of the billy club and shriek of the gas canister were the sounds not of repression but of Christian civilization making its last stand."

Today Veriede's Family is as strong as ever, with members of both political parties attending pray dinners at the retreat called the "Cedars." Sharlet mentions several members of the Congress who are members of the Family, including Democrats such as Bill Nelson and Mark Pryor and every President since Eisenhower has attended their prayer breakfast.


Note: all quotations are taken from Jeff Sharlet's book "The Family."

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white_wolf Feb 2012 OP
mercuryblues Feb 2012 #1
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provis99 Feb 2012 #2
riderinthestorm Feb 2012 #4
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Zalatix Feb 2012 #10
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white_wolf Feb 2012 #14