“The Family” creeps me out

I’m not sure I’d ever heard of “The Family” until a couple of days ago when I saw something about it on the Rachel Maddow Show. Apparently the Family is a creepy fundamentalist Christian organization with aspirations to power that would make Dan Brown blanch with disbelief.

The Family owns property on C Street, not far from the Capitol in Washington. The property is legally considered a church, yet five to seven members of Congress actually live there (and pay very low rent, reportedly $600 a month!).  Senator John Ensign, currently embroiled in a scandal involving an alleged payoff to his mistress, is a resident there.  South Carolina governor Mark “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina” Sanford claims to have been counseled by C Street before the news of his affair went public.

Here’s Maddow’s July 9 interview with Jeff Sharlet, a contributing editor to Harper’s magazine, who infiltrated the organization and has written an expose of his experience (The Family, published by Harper Perennial):

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And here’s Maddow’s follow-up from the next day, July 10th:

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Here’s a Wikipedia entry on The Family.

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