Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #thefamilynetflix

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1. It's the end of the month, so I'm gonna do a little monthly recap of what I've been up to this month and make a little pitch for supporting me via @Patreon if you find my work valuable and can afford to:

#MondayMotivation #EmptyThePews #crowdfunding
@Patreon 2. If I had to summarize what I've been up to this month, I'd say my work has primarily focused on pushing back against attempts to whitewash Christian nationalism and the dangerous anti-democratic views of the Christian Right. I did so in @jdforward here…
@Patreon @jdforward 3. And I followed up further on what's wrong with attempts to represent white evangelicals' Christian Zionism as benign in this piece for @RDispatches:…

#exvangelical #EmptyThePews #Resist
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A subject I regret we couldn't include in #TheFamilyNetflix is the encroachment of politicized fundamentalism on the U.S. military, subject of a chapter in my book C STREET along w/ efforts of those such as @MikeyWeinstein & the Military Religious Freedom Foundation to resist.
@MikeyWeinstein Mikey's wife, Bonnie Weinstein, has just published a book about their work, and the anger it engenders among some fundamentalists: WHEN CHRISTIANS BREAK BAD.…
@MikeyWeinstein Bonnie's book, a collection of hatemail to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation & its responses, is horrifying, & sometimes horrifyingly funny. An email to Bonnie's husband: "Your the devil in the flesh Mr. jewish and you can just go back to he## with Carl Marxist & Lenin!!"
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Strongly recommend #TheFamilyNetflix doc series, based on book by @JeffSharlet, which reveals 1930s anti-union origin and growth of the secretive Christian org that runs the Nat'l Prayer Breakfast & has influenced presidents & political leaders for decades
@JeffSharlet A side item, #TheFamilyNetflix has cameo of Sam Rohrer, President American Pastors Network, calling Russian Orthodox Church 'the moral leader of the world'

In 2017 Andrey Artemenko did a FARA filing to hire American Pastors Network's Dale Armstrong
@JeffSharlet Artemenko was involved in Ukraine peace plan w/Felix Sater, Manafort, Michael Flynn

Artemenko is linked to Skyway Int'l a company associated w/Vadim Trincher, Anatoly Golubchik, Jacob Gitman - Trincher was arrested for running gambling ring in Trump Tower
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We keep trying to explain away American fundamentalism. That is, those of us not engaged in one of the biggest political and cultural movement of our times keep trying to come up with theories to discredit the evident allure of this punishing yet oddly comforting god. (a thread.)
His invisible hand is everywhere, say His citizen-theologians, caressing & fixing every outcome: Little League games, job searches, the spread of STDs, the success or failure of terrorists, victory or defeat in battle, at the ballot box, in bed. #TheFamily
This God's followers, we try to reassure ourselves, must be dupes, or saps, or fools, their faith illiterate or misinformed, their strength fleeting, hollow, an aberration. We don’t like to consider the possibility that they are not newcomers to power but returnees... #TheFamily
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Fans of #TheFamilyNetflix have been asking why there's not more mainstream media coverage. Director @djessemoss & I've done CNN, MSNBC, PBS. But no question less coverage than 2009, when story was 2 political sex scandals. Sex="news"; real power is too complicated.
@djessemoss So here's a short history of #TheFamily & press (non)coverage... From The Family's POV, its secrecy is not conspiracy but efficiency. "The more invisible you can make yr org," sez #DougCoe, "the more influence it'll have." True; that's why we have lobbying & disclosure laws.
@djessemoss It's also theoretically why we have the Fourth Estate, the press, to hold the powerful accountable. If the press can't comfort the afflicted, as the saying goes, it may, on occasion, afflict the comfortable. Theoretically...
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We're nearly 20 years into the new millennium and instead of enjoying flying cars and self-cleaning kitchens, we're all hostages to a bunch of racist pedophiles who are kidnapping children and locking up American citizens based on their ancestry.
Have you learned about Putin's oligarchs? This is very important.


💭 For info about Putin's oligarchs & the Russian mafia, watch Active Measures, read @craigunger, listen to @gaslitnation, search the internet.
Why is Pelosi trying to prevent Trump from being impeached? Why aren't we seeing "public hearings for public men?"

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I'd respectfully argue that the entire series is about patriarchy.
I wrote a thread last week on why there aren't more women representing #TheFamily in #TheFamilyNetflix -- that was the choice of this patriarchal organization, the self-declared "core" of which subscribes to variations of the misogynist concept of "male headship."
What we attempted to show in #TheFamilyNetflix was how the *men* of #TheFamily's "brotherhood" understand their influence, justify it, deny it, wield it, hurt one another with it, excuse it, eroticize it, and claim it as God-given. That, to me, is patriarchy on display.
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I’m thrilled people are watching #TheFamilyNetflix & asking tough questions. But please remember that what’s there requires no exaggeration. The Family is 1 power center among many. The work is understand how power converges & diverges - not to imagine a grand conspiracy.
Please don’t claim #TheFamilyNetflix explains more than it does. That allows those who’d like to dismiss it to do so. If you don’t have verifiable facts to back up a claim, don’t make it. That will make your arguments stronger.
Remember Occam’s Razor — the principle that the explanation that requires least speculation is most likely. Trump didn’t call himself “the chosen one” because #TheFamily told him to. He did so because he’s a grotesque narcissist who #TheFamily mostly supports.
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A viewer of #TheFamilyNetflix asked me about their work in the Philippines. I knew they were very close to dictator Marcos, but hadn’t looked at present. Took just a quick google to see the Prayer Breakfast org they made is now serving strongman Duterte well.
Philippines strongman Duterte, a Filipino Trump whose “drug war” has killed 12,000+ — many minor users, bystanders, & political opponents — uses the Prayer Breakfast org to dress brutality in faith, & sends allies to US Prayer Breakfast to use platform to argue for support.
Duterte’s emissary uses a private meeting with then Sec State Rex Tillerson at the 2017 National Prayer Breakfast to bring messages for Trump from his strongman boss, who Trump would later express admiration for.
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"In the mid-1990s, Ross led a group of investors who bought a large stake in News Communications, a publicly traded media co that owned 23 weekly newspapers in...NY and D.C."…

News Communications Inc. publishes The Hill - was Wilbur Ross involved in this?
"...unbelievable emails in this same evidence pile that...get into communications w/ a US Senator..."


9/19/12 "Resolution - Calling for the release from prison of former Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko"…

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Week after our show #TheFamilyNetflix drops Trump confirms our conclusion about the Christian nationalism, declaring himself “the chosen one.” Nice timing! But of course he was “joking.” Sort of. Here’s how it works...
Trump, as we show in #TheFamilyNetflix, isn’t *exactly* as irreligious as he seems. Rather, he takes the biblical capitalism of his childhood pastor, Norman Vincent Peale, seriously. Money+power = God’s anointing - & that’s all that’s required...
So on one hand, let’s be real — Trump was joking when called himself “the chosen one.” On the other, for him “God” is simply the name for the forces of the universe that he believes bless him. It’s a joke, but he means it, too.
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Maybe now is a good time to mention that Netflix had to shut down comments on the trailer for #TheFamilyNetflix because it was overwhelmed by anti-Semitic trolls.
When I published THE FAMILY in 2008, anti-Semitism was a fringe element of the pushback. Now, in response to #TheFamilyNetflix, it began like a tsunami and has continued as a strong current.
The anti-Semitic swarm against #TheFamilyNetflix continued here on twitter against me & in my email inbox. To be clear this wasn’t #TheFamily, the anti-Semitism of which tends toward the genteel; it was a new wave of anti-Semites looking for anything to hate at all.
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The Family Research Council is abhorrent. It’s President, Tony Perkins, is also president of the Council for National Policy (to which Bannon, KA, the Mercer’s & Wayne LaLierre of the NRA belong). FRC is attacking @splcenter, which exposed both groups for what they are. 1/
2/ The Council for National Policy (CNP), a secretive networking group for the Religious Right & billionaires, has ties to:

* The NRA
* Russia
* Voting machine vendor ES&S,
* Cambridge Analytica
* Massive recent voter data leaks

It has a 2020 deadline...
Like the Family Research Council, the Council for National Policy is virulently anti-LGBTQ, and Trump does their bidding. 3/
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Me, too, and you’re right. I’m able to write more about gender in my books, but not enough. #TheFamily leader #DougCoe’s wife, for instance, appears only once in 40 yrs of correspondence I read: praise for her ability to wait in car. They erase women.
That said, there are women involved w/ #thefamily. For instance, Janet Museveni, wife of Ugandan dictator Yoweri Museveni whom we see in #TheFamilyNetflix, is more involved than her husband, & even more dedicated to #TheFamily’s misogynist & homophonic “family values.”
Then there are the women who work with #TheFamily not as members but as “realists” who recognize the group’s grip on Washington religion. Most noticeably self-proclaimed friend of The Family Hillary Clinton, as @kathrynajoyce & I reported for @MotherJones:…
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To write #TheFamily, I made a massive timeline based on years of work with their archival documents.*Their* documents, their own account of their work to transform American democracy into "government by God," through "totalitarianism for Christ." This is a thread of some finds.
Among influences,for #TheFamily founder Abraham Vereide was preacher William Bell Riley."Today in our land many of the biggest trusts, banks and manufacturing interests are controlled by Jews. Most of our department stores they own. The motion pictures..."
Abram, as Vereide was called, didn't absorb Riley's anti-Semitism--he disliked Catholics more than Jews--so much as Riley's anti-communism. Riley saw reds, AKA Jews, everywhere. Abram just saw red. That's why he started #TheFamily.
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Dear @MSNBC and @CNN. With LUCK. the success of #THeFamilyNetflix will lead to many more documentaries about how these far-Right actors and their cabals have gamed our nation for decades. You own us more for our eyeballs than the cheap dreck like #AmericanSwamp. … 1/9
@MSNBC @CNN May I suggest a few such programs relating to the founding, funding, missions, and impact of:

1) The Powell Memo
2) @NRA (and Gun violence movements)
3) @Heritage Foundation
4) @Cato Institute
5) @RupertMurdoch & NewsCorp (not just FoxNews)
6) Richard Viguerie and … 2/9
@MSNBC @CNN @NRA @Heritage @Cato @rupertmurdoch right wing mass mail in 70s-90s.
7) Rise of hate radio from Bob Grant to Wally George to Morton Downy, Jr to @RushLimbaugh and @ingrahamAngle
8 ) @NewtGingrich/Contract for America
9) Helmet law repeals (Lou Kimzey * ABATE)
10) Christian political extremist … 3/9
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In the final minutes of Ep. 5 of #TheFamilyNetflix, we see a photo of founder Abraham Vereide with a very large bald man. That's Gustav Adolf-Gedat, a German perhaps second only to Vereide in the 50s despite what Vereide was warned were Gedat's "former Nazi connections."
Gedat was a towering man, his shoulders sharp and so broad that his hairless head looked like a boiled egg made to stand on its narrow end between them. His face was made for sternness and his soul for discipline.
At war’s end, Gedat was a "staatsfiend," declared an enemy of the Nazi regime, and on this basis he built a brilliant postwar career, not to mention a castle in the Black Forest, built w/ funds from the Americans, eager to support "good Germans." #TheFamilyNetflix
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Ep 1 of #TheFamilyNetflix we see #TheFamily leader David Coe (dramatized) give an unusual take on King David. "Why do we revere this man?" he asks. "Here’s this guy who slept with another man’s wife—Bathsheba, right?—and then basically murdered her husband"... 1/
David Coe continues that we revere King David not because he was good--he was an adulterer, by many interpretations a rapist (he sent armed men to seize Bathsheba, the married woman he coveted) & a murderer--but because he was chosen by God...
As, David Coe believes, members of #TheFamily are "chosen" by God. This is the justification by which they're able to support & strengthen those they acknowledge as "dictators, murderers, & thieves." Mark Sanford invokes the King David story to justify remaining in power...
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Such as the fact that World Vision, a "sister organization" to The Fellowship (per The Fellowship Foundation 2001 990 tax form) is integrated into US foreign policy and gets several hundred million dollars a year in in-kind donations from USAID. #TheFamilyNetflix
2) Now, World Vision US, which gets that yearly USAID support, is nominally secular and denies evangelizing the people it aids. But WV US gives the bigger part of its funds to World Vision International that, by its own description (per its 990), is a church.
3) And top World Vision US leaders have publicly talked about how World Vision is indoctrinating millions of people, in Africa, in the "biblical worldview". They described this as a project to extend Christian dominion over every sector of society.
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In episode 4 of #TheFamilyNetflix we learn about The Family's creation of the "Kill-the-Gays" Bill in Uganda. Here's a thread on what we couldn't fit into the show. It's scary...
#TheFamily's "Kill-the-Gays" Bill was the most draconian in the world. Death penalty for homosexuality; prison for "promotion of homosexuality" (this tweet wld count); prison for knowing a queer person and failing to report them...
In ep 4 of #TheFamilyNetflix, we meet the author of the #KillTheGays bill, MP David Bahati ID'd as a Fellowship Associate. Worse: He's the head of the Ugandan branch, a frequent guest at the Cedars. Here's the story I reported from Uganda for @harpers:…
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An odd response to the years of reporting that led to #TheFamilyNetflix: People calling me brave. If only! What I was, when I began, was a privileged young white man who didn't imagine harm could be on the horizon. A short thread on bravery, blueberries, & journalism...
As #TheFamilyNetflix shows, I stumbled into the story. Hardly "undercover," I went under my own name, through a man I'd known for years, identified as a writer writing about religion. (The Family, ironically, calls *this* "infiltration.) I didn't imagine "bravery" was required.
Even as the political power of #TheFamily became evident--I met Senator Ensign, Attorney General Meese, several congressmen, ambassadors--it didn't occur to me that there was anything to fear *personally.* The erosion of democracy? Yes. My personal wellbeing? No. I was naive.
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This is an annotation thread for #TheFamily, the new doc series based on my books THE FAMILY & C ST. Context & behind the scenes w/ the most powerful & secretive Christian conservative organization in Washington from more than a decade of reporting.
As ep 1 of #TheFamily opens, “First Brother” #DougCoe preaches about Hitler's "covenant," in what looks like a castle: Glen Eyrie. It belongs to The Navigators, a major evangelical ministry w/ which The Family has deep ties; Coe was a protégé of Navs founder Dawson Trotman...
The Navigators, like #TheFamily, were born out of Trotman's deep hatred for FDR's New Deal. He loved hierarchy & revered strength; "love," he taught Coe, means "Obey." That's why Coe's preaching here about Hitler & Mao...
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It gets so much worse. The Family bought their Christian Right Black Panther rip-off org The Black Buffers matching dashikis. The all-white funders called them their "street dudes." Black radicals, meanwhile, called them "spies."
Organizing the Black Buffers for The Family was a black scholar named John Staggers. He claimed "the biggest problem that blacks face in this country [is] the black man himself." He opposed legislative response to racism, opting instead for submission to Christ. #thefamilynetflix
#TheFamily's leader, #DougCoe, wrote that his secretly white-funded "Black Buffers" "will present an alternative to Black Power." Only white men, including Coe, were allowed to sign the organization's checks. #thefamilynetflix
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"Internally, it is spoken of primarily as a 'recruiting device' with which to draw 'key men' into smaller prayer cells to 'meet Jesus man to man.'

Practically, the Prayer Breakfast has functioned from the very beginning as an unregistered lobbying festival."
"The Prayer Breakfast isn't the only way the Fellowship has infiltrated the highest levels of the U.S. government."
"It’s so different than our popular impression of the Christian right, it's different than the image of the sweaty pulpit pounders... Those are mass movements, this is the opposite of that."
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