The Brady Bunch of Cultists


Another expose' on the reality behind the blissful lives of TV shows. This one examines America's favorite blended family (except possibly for Step by Step) who solved all their problems in thirty minutes.

Max: We'll be a family, Lucy... your boys and my boys...

Edgar: Oh great, the blood-sucking Brady Bunch!

-Edgar Frog in Lost Boys

Was this comment mere comedy? Or was Edgar Frog onto something. While it is less likely that the Brady family were vampires, there does exist the alarming possibility that they (the Bradys) are much more than the happy suburbanites portrayed in another Sherwood Schwartz comedy (see also The Prisoner of Gilligan's Island). Lets take a look at the Mike and Carol Brady Family.

It's the story of a man named Brady

While it's not crystal clear, the implication of the title song is that this is a story, a cover, a fabrication, what he would have local townsfolk and law enforcement agents believe.

In the title song, the singers (allegedly the Brady children) tell how Mike Brady met Carol and wedded bliss shortly followed. First off, when does a man raising three normal boys have time to date? Between working 2 jobs to feed these tasmanian devils, and visits to the dentist, doctor, home repair center, the Principal's office and the police station, no ordinary man has the time, let alone the energy to date. If the boys were all under 5 maybe, but in the initial episode, Bobby (the youngest male) seems to be at least 6 if not 8 or more. The answer is simple: Brainwashing and/or a steady diet of sedatives.

Carol Brady seems to have to no occupational skills and does not appear to be into the bar scene. How did she find Mike Brady? Granted raising 3 girls is probably easier with respect to finding date time, and her lack of employment makes her desire to find a money-winner much more important.

In the initial episode again, there is no friction between the boys and the girls. Obviously Carol explained to the girls the desperation of their situation and the boys were super-sized on their medication. Bobby expresses concern that his dead mother will be upset by his "new mom", but is convinced to put the picture away and it is never seen again. Additionally, neither the boys' mother nor the girls' father is ever mentioned again, except in the second movie when Carol's first husband, presumed dead returns from somewhere.

At this point, Mike Brady is supporting 6 children and a wife and employing a housekeeper and doing it with just one job as an architect. Further it can be assumed that the family is dining well, as the housekeeper is on a first name basis with the butcher, rather than having hamburger from the market. It could be argued that the money he saves by living in a 3 bedroom/2 bath/no toilet home allows him the luxury of better food and a domestic servant, but the great-room disallows the concept of this being a modest house. More likely is that Mike has, in some way, controlled his boss and pays himself an extravagant salary, while his boss lives in squalor. Before you disregard this notion, this is the same boss that hired 16 year-old Greg based on a portfolio of 1 drawing.

In addition to not fighting amongst themselves, the children never seem to complain about what Alice has prepared for dinner. There are families with one child that would love to see that situation, but menu matching for 6 is not reasonable. At least, not reasonable without supernatural help.

The Revelation We All Saw Coming Since the Title

Mike Brady is the leader of a Cthulhu-esque cult.

His boss is mostly a gibbering mass now that merely shakes hands with customers and is then shuffled off to his padded office while Mike takes care of the real business, and pays himself accordingly. He keeps the boss around in case of a lawsuit. He can find another company with another boss, but rebuilding a reputation is not easy. Also several times throughout the series, he is able to clear up complications by speaking to Mr./Mrs. Whatever and there are no further repercussions.

He killed his first wife because the woman had stopped producing children and more were needed. Carol's desperation and proven breeding utility made her a perfect choice. The mind control was not even needed.

Having had years to practice his mind affecting spells and brainwashing techniques it was a snap to bring three girls into line with the cult. The girls even rapidly discarded the name of their birth father and assumed the name of their new devotion. These techniques sometimes had detrimental side effects. While most of the children aged about 6 years during the course of the series, Cindy remained forever 6 (or less).

Even beyond the oddities of the family is the house itself. The house was designed by Mike using advanced non-Euclidean techniques. If one looks at the size and shape of the rooms, position of the stairway, etc., there is no way to fit them into the exterior view using scientifically accepted geometry. This is not even accounting for 9 people, 3½ bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and no toilets. The boys have everything they own in 1 not crowed closet and 1 dresser. There are no toys with the exception of Kitty Carryall (Cindy's symbiotic doll, that feeds on her age, keeping her young and stupid), a football (used to break Marsha's nose and for Joe Namath's career-ending visit), and a basketball (used to smash a vase into few enough pieces that it could be repaired). Few friends ever visit the house, and never twice (perhaps when they leave they go to Sam the Butcher's and become long pork, discounting the bill for the cult). The children sang in an unholy choir in a couple episodes. Nobody knows what unholy being was being summoned by those eerie sounds.

As final consideration, they celebrate no holidays, mention no religion, have no weekends, do not drink or smoke (very popular in the 1970's), and are all present at every meal.

Author's Note: This treatment of the Brady Bunch is not as pleasing to me as the Scooby-Doo or Gilligan's Island Articles, but I do hope that some degree of enjoyment can be derived.

The "Cult of Brea D'i" has some points which might make it interesting if you were in the inside, but for most adventures you would be on the outside looking in. How could they be integrated into an adventure?

Many of the show's original plots revolved around failings of human nature: greed, lust, envy, sloth, pride. From there it becomes easy to find a weakness in the characters' personas to exploit.

Introduce one of the Brae D'i to the character based on which sin you need to exploit and use that to draw them into the cult:
Pride: Greg. Who lords his position as senior male child over the others
Envy: Jan. Who is forever 'Not Marcia'
Gluttony: Bobby. The child lives to eat.
Lust: Marcia. Which pop star is shein love with this week?
Anger: Peter. Sufffers from chronic 'middle child' syndrome.
Greed: Cindy. Forever complaining about what others have that she does not.
Sloth: Carol. She doesn't work, she has no clubs, She doesn't clean (that is what the housekeeper does).

Once you have the character introduced to his/her mirror sin you start to feed their sin back to them. Greg plaaces them in a position of power within a mutual organization. or Peter enrages them agasint a common enmy. Marcia seduces them or Carol distracts them from meaningful progress in an adventure.

These all lead back to the boss: Mike. Mike steps in and resolves the conflict in the only way he knows how...either mindwiping (perhaps taking out some vital piece of one's soul in the process) or integration. The player is absorbed into the clan (perhaps as some unwanted cousin Oliver) for a short while before being pushed into a volcano on a tropical isle or deep-sixed into a vast canyon.

LateNightGames - Social Role Playing
"When you are tired of playing with yourself"

Excellent insight MrDave. I only wish you'd revealed this blatant reality to me before I wrote the article. I am considering this sort of treatment for Step By Step, but now it seems derivitive.