Meet the most powerful religious organization you’ve never heard of. The Family are a secret group of influential, affluent and powerful people in America, comprising senators, congressmen, businessmen. They help to run the country, and want to run the world. They compare themselves to a Christian Mafia, and base their leadership cadre on a covenant inspired by Hitler. They believe that they are the “new chosen”, put into positions of power by God himself, in a theocratic arrangement comprising the world’s elite. They believe morality is for the little people, not for them. They’ve been tied to sex scandals, third-world dictatorships and oppressive regimes, and run the National Prayer Breakfast at which the President of the United States speaks every year.

Jeff Sharlet lived with the family for a while, and has written an exposé of the group called The Family: Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. This is my interview with him about his time with The Family and what they believe (press play, below, 18 mins).