Recently we snickered when we learned that the organization behind that whole "C Street" house of adulterous Christian lawmakers was called "The Family." Hilarious, right? And now there's a whole new book about the organization, pictured above, left. They are so sinister! Haw, no, not really. But since it's the Big Manson Anniversary, let's look back at another great book with the same name, Ed Sanders' brilliant 1971 exposé of the Manson family, shown above, right.
At first blush, this is just a funny coincidence. But when you think about it, they're really not all that different:
- Both "families" prefer their women to be quiet, obedient.
- Both groups are composed of "lost" types seeking spiritual guidance.
- Both groups seek that guidance from a white, male, bearded messiah.
- Both authors have been featured in Rolling Stone (Sanders as a member of the Fugs, Sharlet as a contributing editor).
- Both stories suggest that certain cult-like activities might make sense within a group, but don't always go over so well in the "real world."
- Both "families" plotted to touch off an apocalyptic race war by committing gruesome, high-profile murders they thought would be blamed on blacks.*
*So far, this has not actually been confirmed that the C Street group has done this, but I wouldn't put it past them.