association . . . organized around publicmen” (18). Two dozen prominent U.S.officials identified as members (18-19 &395-96n). It is a “private” associationthat avoids the label “Christian” (19).Meetings have been held in thePentagon; it has “strong ties withbusinessmen in the oil and aerospaceindustries” (19). It is organized, indeliberate imitation of Communistsubversives, in “cells” (19-21). Foundedby Abraham (Abram) Vereide; its leadersince 1969 has been Doug Coe [born1928] (21), who believes Jesus preferspower to piety. The Family is the contextof money flows but is not a financialentity (21-22). Its only publicizedgathering is the National PrayerBreakfast, an annual power networkingevent (22-27). The ethos at “theCedars,” which Ivanwald cares for (27-30). Doug Coe indoctrinating Todd Tiahrt(R-KS 4
) (30-31). Bible reading atIvanwald (31-33). Initiation (33-35).David Coe (Doug Coe’s fortysomethingson) on election and obedience (35-38).Portrait of Jeff C., house leader (38-42). The family consists of non-sectarian“neo-evangelicals” who are resistant to“any kind of ethics,” for whom humanbeings are “nothing,” good only forobedience to the Lord (42-44). Thefamily might be considered non-sectarian“neo-evangelicals” but at Ivanwald“appear closer to . . .
” (44,emphasis in original). Family documents(44-47). Revising an essay by Bengt,Sharlet concludes that “Not foraesthetics alone . . . did Bengt and theFamily reject the label
Theirfaith and their practice seemed closer toa perverted sort of Buddhism, their Christeverywhere and nowhere at once. . . .And what the Family desired, fromAbraham Vereide to Doug Coe to Bengt,was power, worldly power, with whichChrist’s kingdom could be built, cell bycell” (51; 47-51). Doug Coe visitsIvanwald, speaks on
Ch. 2: Experimental Religion.
Havingstumbled into it by chance, Sharlet hasbeen “chasing the story” of the Familyever since (56). “The Family’s long-termproject of a worldwide government underGod is more ambitious than Al Qaeda’sdream of a Sunni empire” (57). Americanpiety’s most important roots are in Jonathan Edwards [1703-1758], “theauthor of the Great Awakening,” in whichChrist is “a feeling, a conviction, asentimental commitment to manifestdestiny on a personal level, with nationalimplications” (59; 60; 58-61). “[T]heFamily began [in 1935] as abusinessmen’s antilabor alliance inSeattle,” but its origins ultimately lie in“the dream of a Christian nation” (61). Jonathan Edwards’s notion of religion (61-63). Edwards and the conversion of Abigail Hutchinson, discussed in his
(1737) (63-68).Edwards’s later life (68-72).
Ch. 3: The Revival Machine.
CharlesGrandison Finney [1792-1875], founderof the Broadway Tabernacle in New YorkCity and of modern public revivalism (73-83).
II: JESUS PLUS NOTHINGCh. 4: Unit Number One.
Abraham(Abram) Vereide [1886-1969], born 60miles north of Bergen, Norway, was apreacher and immigrant in Seattle who in1935 felt a call to minister to the “topmen” of society and pursued “an elitefundamentalism” (91; 87-92; throughoutthis book Sharlet refers to him as“Abram”). Vereide’s early life (92-96).Director in the 1920s of Seattle’s divisionof Goodwill Industries (96). In 1932, headvised Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt onNew York about organization and met James A. Farrell, president of U.S. Steel,who spoke of America’s need for religiousrevival (96-97). He focused on the RedMenace and identified the enemy as “B,”apparently an amalgam of Seattle Teamster leader Dave Beck and Wobbly-