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Synopsis

Lead Us Not Into TEMPTATION is the story of Jacob and Esau -- Jake and Red -- disparate twin brothers who return from separate places and pursuits to their Ozark birthplace. Red, once music director for a celebrated then dishonored evangelist, is conned into the service of John Hingman Hughes, a famous anti-Semitic preacher and hate monger; Jake, an anthropologist, works to thwart the preacher's ambitions to create an artificial lake that would flood an area sacred to a Native American tribe. Abner Wayne Sleuter, a voluble protege of the preacher, is a prototype of today's politicized, evangelical talk show hosts. Strong women characters include a preacher's wife who says that he “swings both ways” and allows her to find partners for her own sexual needs; a high school senior who takes urinary revenge on a would-be rock star who has insulted her; a hippie girl whose soft beauty leads to the fall of a flourishing religious enterprise; and a smart Jewish graduate student who is more than a match for the men who love her and the ones who would thwart her. The twins also tangle with a hippie commune and a Judas character who betrays it to Sleuter and Hughes, who in turn destroy it. There is a thicket of love relationships -- familial, religious, and sexual; violent action that results in bloodshed, the burning of a grand, new church, and the demolition of a 70 ft. statue of Jesus, a cherished object erected by Hughes. Red destroys his own most cherished object, a 1959 Cadillac Fleetwood, a gift of his evangelist, in the blast that topples the monument. Fellowship is literary and a social commentary on religion in America at the end of the 1960's.

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