The Family is Netflix’s shock new documentary, which tells the story of the Fellowship Foundation and its deep-seated ties to American political power. Jeff Sharlet (played in reconstructions by David Rysdahl) wrote two books, The Family and C Street, which the Netflix series is based on. Sharlet went undercover at Ivanwald, one of the Fellowship Foundation houses and wrote an article about his experiences there.
Jeff Sharlet, 47, is an American journalist and author who has written for publications like The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone and the New Statesman.
He is perhaps best known, however, for his two books, 2008’s The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power and 2010’s C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy.
Before writing these books, the journalist was invited to live in Ivanwald, a Fellowship Foundation house in Arlington, Virginia in April 2002.
After leaving the facility, he undertook further research at the organisation’s archive, of which he told the Chuck Warnock Blog: “What I found there both shocked and intrigued.”
Jeff Sharlet is the author of The Family (Image: Netflix)
In 2003, he wrote of his time in that house in a Harper’s article titled Jesus plus nothing: Undercover among America’s secret theocrats.
In this article, he begins describing his time in the house by saying: “It is April 2002, and I have lived with these men for weeks now, not as a Christian—a term they deride as too narrow for the world they are building in Christ’s honor—but as a ‘believer.’”
As well as relating his firsthand