A secretive fundamentalist religious organisation wielding enormous power at the heart of American politics is the scary conspiracy story, much of it based on fact, which is highlighted in a Netflix five-part documentary series. It’s based on the 2008 book The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power by American journalist Jeff Sharlet. In it he says the Family or Fellowship fetishizes power by comparing Jesus to “Lenin, Ho Chi Minh, Bin Laden” as examples of leaders who change the world through the strength of the covenants they had forged with their “brothers.
A year after the book’s publication, sex scandals of prominent political members of the Family and accusations that it was illegally subsidizing the rent of members of Congress and involved in the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which would have imposed the death penalty for homosexuality in Uganda, pushed it into the national spotlight.
What is noteworthy astrologically is that it was started in 1935 by a Norwegian preacher who held breakfast prayer meetings, which spread across the US and later presidents took up. At that point tr Uranus had just moved into Taurus to which it has only recently returned for the first time; and tr Pluto was in last decan Cancer so not dissimilar to now with Pluto half a zodiac on and in hard aspect to the fanatical, demagogic (rabble-rousing) US Mercury opposition Pluto. There was also the neurotic, creative Saturn opposition Neptune which Ebertin describes as a struggle between the lower and higher nature.
The founder Abraham Vereide claimed to have been directed in a vision by God to shift his Christian ministry away from the “down and out” and toward the “up and out.” He then evangelized among wealthy and politically powerful individuals who shared his concerns about socialism and other “subversive” forces. In The Family’s eccentric theology, the world is run by “key men” who have been chosen by God to rule over the rest of us, in imitation of Jesus, who they believe to have been a muscular leader interested only in power.
Doug Coe took over and was for decades the highly discreet almost invisible driver of the early vision until he died in 2017. He is on videotape idolizing fascist rulers of the twentieth century and spreading a “covenant” in which Christian fundamentalism is popular because of its similarity to the Nazi brotherhood.
Coe was born 20 October 1928 in Oregon, and was a late Sun Libra with a Half Grand Sextile of Mercury in Scorpio opposition Jupiter, sextile/trine Neptune and Mars – a persuasive speaker. He also had a Yod of Mercury sextile Neptune inconjunct Uranus – suggesting a catalyst for change, a trailblazer, who was intolerant of convention, even lawless at times. He also had a seductive Venus in Scorpio opposition Node square Neptune in Virgo hinting at a shapeshifter, with a chameleon-like tendency to insert himself into situations without causing waves.
Abraham Vereide was born 7 October 1886 so was another Sun Libra conjunct Jupiter Mercury square Saturn in Cancer; with the signature Neptune Pluto of his generation trine Venus with Pluto in an innovative trine to Uranus – he’d also be seductively charming with a Libra Sun and Venus trine Pluto Neptune. More significantly he has a ruthlessly ambitious Mars opposition Pluto square North Node – tying him into the zeitgeist.
Seriously scary stuff – there’s nothing worse than religious zealotry being twisted to cosmeticize power-hungry greed and elitism, never mind condoning private sexual misbehaviour while preaching morality in public.