Friday, December 2, 2016

Submit At Sea

Needless to say, I was horrified when I saw that three former Source Family cult members were actually going to present Father Yod and The Source Family at the recent Summit At Sea 2016 floating conference!  The sheer lunacy of inviting three former members of a seventies cult to what was touted as being, "the annual cruise for thought leaders and the millennials" beggars belief.  Inviting people to present The Source Family as being aligned with Summit's sustainable, utopian vision would have been laughable, except that it was true.  The only logical explanation for these three people being invited to attend Summit At Sea was that someone knew someone who knew someone and got them invited, while unbeknownst to any of the organizers the darker truths and facts behind the story of Father Yod and The Source Family to have prevented this kind of thing from happening.  It would have made more sense to invite the filmmakers to have them talk about what it was like for them making a film about The Source Family and the restrictions and limitations of that process; especially with so many factors and the diverse pool of former cult members, whom were either not invited or not interviewed for their film, and the filmmakers retrospect on the whole thing, rather than having three former cult members trying to convince conference goers of their whitewashed and sanitized version of things.

I lived in Utah for many years and it is an extremely conservative family-oriented state which would certainly have disdain for the beliefs and practices that went on in The Source Family cult.  The fact that Summit is based in Eden, Utah and their manifesto is the following: “We believe the future will only be as great as the communities that shape it"---it was a shock to see three former members of a cult known as The Source Family actually being invited to Summit At Sea, because nothing that Jim Baker/Father Yod created in his seventies cult was the kind of future that most people would want for their children!  The only future being shaped by Father Yod in his cult of personality was the daily kowtowing and obsequious pandering and servile behavior of a group of sycophantic women and men around an older bearded man, who saw himself as a 'new age' messiah; none of which was either sustainable or healthy!  Certainly none of the so-called 'teachings' of Father Yod which were based on occult and esoteric beliefs many with an almost satanic nature would be acceptable in the state of Utah.  But, as often seen in popular culture, if someone has written a book and then a film is made based on that book, and where many reviews were written about the film; people will accept the superficial appearance of something lacking any understanding beyond the surface, so it's easy to see how these three former cult members got invited to represent the entire defunct Source Family at a conference of millennials. 

How can you present a cult from the seventies as being sustainable, when the entire thing deteriorated into the regular performance of a sexual ritual which involved ingesting semen and menstrual blood; where everyone barely had enough food to eat, after the restaurant was sold and the entire group was relocated to subsist in Hawaii, where there were regular outbreaks of staph and hepatitis with absolutely no medical treatment of any kind?! How can anyone try and pass off The Source Family as being a forerunner of the entire health/natural foods movement going on in the country today, when we did not farm or grow any crops and none of the food that we ate was organic.  The diet in The Source Family was vegetarian, but Jim Baker also heavily believed in everyone eating copious amounts of milk, cream (with coffee), cheese, yogurt and cottage cheese; although those dairy products became scarce, after everyone was sent to Hawaii. 

If the whole purpose of Summit At Sea was 'to create partnerships that will help build a better world' than The Source Family should have been used as an example of the detrimental effects that an authoritarian guru cult had in people's lives certainly not a blueprint for building a better world.  Most of us wanted to forget that we had ever been part of The Source Family, when the whole thing finally ended and were embarrassed even ashamed admitting that we had accepted and followed the deluded and misguided beliefs of Jim Baker, who could not keep his you-know-what under his robe and yet for years many of us had handed over our personal power and decisions to him.

It is my belief, that to build a better world you should NOT do any of the following:  1)  allow one man to collect/gather followers around him where that man is seen as a 'spiritual' teacher or father 2) allow one man to dictate what everyone will eat/wear/behave; especially with regards to sexual behavior 3) have a sexual ritual imposed on everyone which involved ingesting the menstrual blood of women 4) allow babies to languish and perish because of some medieval belief in avoiding medical treatment and modern medicine 5) castigate and disenfranchise anyone in the group who doesn't strictly adhere to one man's beliefs and teachings 6) direct and instruct women their only true purpose or duty in life was to be of service to a man 7) instill in all male followers they are gods and that women are there to serve them 8) allow staph infections and hepatitis to go untreated 9) to hold magical and delusional beliefs and to instill those beliefs into the minds of children.  I could go on and on, but the above nine items are enough to give anyone interested in building a better world to understand that presenting The Source Family as being a bellwether or forerunner in anything healthy or sustainable was a complete contradiction.  People should learn from the past, not try to promote something that became unhealthy and unsustainable as being a forerunner or leader of the future.  The Source Family should be seen as the poster child of what happened when people joined a guru cult from the seventies and the detrimental effects it had in their lives, not a shining ideal or example for the future.  Having one older man demand that any young women, whom that man learned were having their monthly periods were then ordered to perform a sexual ritual called qudosh often with not one, but multiple men or 'sons', as the man called his male disciples who were told they had to ingest the women's menstrual blood; although all of that is hidden and kept from view from the public, because absolutely everything that has been published about The Source Family has been sanitized where any mention of the sexual ritual called qudosh has been carefully removed by those who continue to promote Father Yod and The Source Family.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Spiritual Bypassing At Its Finest

Although the term spiritual bypassing was not coined until 1984, it is a term that probably describes/sums up the entire Source Family experience better than anything else that I've found.  After intimately living with everyone who comprised the core members of The Source Family for six years, along with having continued interaction and involvement with many beyond The Source Family days, I can safely say that most/many had varying degrees of emotional or psychological issues in one way or another.  Although sadly many who were in The Source Family came away from the experience more traumatized or damaged than when they joined.  A perfect example were the women who lost their babies while in 'the family' after adhering to Father Yod's edict of family members not using modern medicine, medical treatment or doctors of any kind.  It is my belief that a couple of those women never fully recovered from the trauma of losing their babies while in The Source Family.  But, one of the worst results of spiritual bypassing was found among a few of the men where they found fertile ground in The Source Family to view and treat women as being less than equal to them on a spiritual level, along with giving them the 'green light' to go ahead and freely exploit women sexually, because Jim Baker drummed it into the men----his 'sons' that they were gods and deserving of being worshipped and waited on/pampered just as he was.  Jim Baker didn't feel that women needed to contemplate 'spirit' or even participate in any kind of 'spiritual' exercises, because their lives were about keeping the 'earth trip' of men together which entailed cleaning, preparing meals, serving, childcare and of course, sexual servicing.  Jim Baker did not see women as being equal to the men, when it came to achieving illumination, thus cultivating and encouraging male-gender bias behind a smokescreen or façade of being 'the aquarian way.'  Men who had unresolved emotional issues with women, found the social order created by Jim Baker within The Source Family helped them to bypass any much needed psychological work they needed to do on themselves: particularly their deep seated hatred or bias towards women, and the servile role of women within The Source Family that was put into place by Jim Baker enabled any abusers of women to flourish.  Because Father Yod believed that men were like the sun----all powerful and life-sustaining and that women were only emotional and lacking the emotional stability to withstand the vicissitudes of life who needed to serve a 'son of Yod' in order to thrive.  Jim Baker expected total submission and contrition from women towards the men or 'sons' where quite often he would direct/place women to be with and serve certain 'sons'.  One man flush with the idea and power of himself being a 'god' became a bully and because of his intransigent devotion and love for his newfound 'spiritual' leader used bullying and intimidation tactics during 'the family' and continues to this day to try and bully and intimidate anyone who speaks out against his messiah, 'Yahowha'; especially any of the women, whom the guy also blames for the failure of The Source Family and even worse as being abusers of the children often using the worst kind of labels to describe the women who were in The Source Family.   I was willing to 'let sleeping dogs lie' and would have left this guy alone, had he done the same and left me alone to write about/express what it felt like to be a woman in The Source Family and just how awful it was being forced to perform a sexual ritual with men that you hardly knew....which is something that I feel needs to be told.  But, no; this devote and entrenched follower of 'Yahowha' decided that he couldn't allow that.  Denial now seems to be the only option left for the small handful of devoted followers of 'Yahowha' who desperately want to silence anyone who speaks out against the ongoing promotion and perpetuation of The Source Family; especially a couple of former male members who when pressed quickly reveal their abusive and aggressive natures, because they've never dealt with their own emotional issues about women.  A couple of former Source Family members who claim having attained spiritual enlightenment and of possessing ancient knowledge and truths are presenting themselves as being representatives of the entire defunct collective of The Source Family in order to pass if off as being 'ahead of its time'-----which is the perfect ruse or cover for hiding their own deep-seated, underlying psychological problems in what is an epic display of spiritual bypassing.  Even in the wake of damaged relationships and claims of abuse and misappropriation of personal items, photographs, videos and music, the former Source Family members who continue to maintain they are spiritually awakened and in possession of immense love and compassion professing love to all around claiming to possess secret teachings and wisdom while using 'new age' saccharine platitudes are lying and deceiving themselves and others.  The Source Family produced a good many of those kinds of egos----those who operate from a place of spiritual superiority/hiding behind a mask or façade of them possessing wisdom and love for all, when just below the surface are the worst kinds of behavior and pathological lying that just keeps getting worse and worse the more these people ignore and deny their emotional and psychological problems.  It was much easier to adopt Jim Baker as a surrogate father surrendering and handing over your personal power to him obediently following his edicts and doing whatever he instructed them to do in a childlike way.  But, that kind of spiritual bypassing has had negative consequences in some former member's lives.  In the sixties and seventies, many of us baby boomers were trying to self-medicate and/or heal ourselves by using either drugs or meditation to help resolve our own emotional and psychological issues (most of the time not even aware that's what we were doing) believing at the time that strict adherence to some kind of spiritual doctrine or belief system and surrendering our lives and our personal power over to our chosen guru or spiritual teacher/leader; we would gain freedom or liberation from any underlying issues or problems through that spiritual practice, but that was not what happened.  People who join cults even unwittingly who become convinced the leader of their cult has the ability to heal and transfer enlightenment to them usually end up disillusioned and victims of emotional abuse, because the cult leader or guru use their perceived power to take advantage of their followers most often taking sexual advantage of the women around them.  Unfortunately, many people who got into a pursuit of spiritual enlightenment have foregone ever doing any self-analysis or psychological/emotional work on themselves.  As I've stated before, the entire 'new age' consciousness expansion that's been going on since the late sixties is ripe with people who have never dealt with their own unresolved emotional or psychological problems, and yet they are sure they can fix everyone else....if you just listen to them and follow their lead, which in this case means adopting Father Yod/Yahowha as your spiritual 'father' along with hiding behind an 'aquarian' persona while denying that anything dark or disturbing, unhealthy or detrimental went on in The Source Family, because denial is the only option left for the most rabid and ardent followers/devotees of 'Yahowha':  people who condemn anyone who doesn't speak lovingly or ideally about Jim Baker or their experience in 'the family'.  One such staunch follower and epic spiritual bypasser recently stated that anyone who doesn't come from a place of 'love and kindness' towards the ongoing promotion of Jim Baker must surely have gone insane and that it was something that Jim Baker predicted would happen.  Oh yes, how convenient to say that Jim Baker prophesied that anyone who was in The Source Family who does not go along with the continued promotion of The Source Family or does not come from a place of loving kindness (no matter how phony or contrived) cannot 'handle' the energies bombarding the planet are therefore deemed as having gone insane.  Wow.  That is the kind of delusional, rambling spiritual BS that is being spread around, in order to diminish or discredit any former member of The Source Family who doesn't agree with the continued promotion and presentation of what was essentially a hippie cult from the seventies that failed miserably because its leader wanted to have sex with as many young women as he possibly could using spiritual bypassing to avoid facing the fact that the guy had a serious womanizing problem; a man who was continually sleeping around and could not maintain a monogamous relationship or marriage with one woman where his philandering lead to deaths of men on two separate occasions, a man who bragged about how he robbed banks in order to bankroll The Source Restaurant where in a short amount of time he set himself up as a spiritual 'father' where any beautiful, young woman who joined his 'family' would be vulnerable and fair game in his sexual escapades, all behind a veil of spiritual pursuit and claiming himself to be their 'earthly spiritual father'.  Please.  Of course some of the most devoted male followers of Jim Baker idolize and revere him for exactly that kind of behavior; men who display the same aggressive, male-dominate behavior as displayed by their messiah, Father Yod/Yahowha.  The Source Family was the perfect setting for encouraging male domination and female submission.  Jim Baker created an unbalanced and unhealthy social order where women were expected to serve the men most of all to sexually service them, whether or not the women barely knew the men that Father Yod directed them to serve.  Yes, male domination under the pretense of being a spiritual lifestyle at its finest.  So, I will not be silent or intimidated or bullied by any rabid followers of Jim Baker.  Anyone who loudly claims they are 'doing the work' of Father Yod/Yahowha and has set themselves up as being spiritual surrogates of the man, and who are intent on gathering their own followers are the greatest examples of spiritual bypassing.  Which is why I discourage anyone from listening to or following any former Source Family members who are presenting themselves as being representatives/surrogate leaders of Father Yod in order to present The Source Family as spearheading or leading the entire new age movement in this country, when these individuals hide behind their 'source family' façades as being loving or concerned and full of spiritual wisdom and truths when these same individuals have never dealt with their own psychological and emotional problems.  In my opinion, Jim Baker was a man who spiritually bypassed his own bleak treatment/abandonment of the women and children in his own life to create a new surrogate family of devoted followers who would never question his motives or his behavior, but only worship and idolize him.....where he could persuade his group of followers to adopt and follow his hodgepodge jumbled virtual pick and choose of Hinduism, occultism, esotericism and theology thrown in with the obsessive pursuit of raising your kundalini which helped him successfully ignore/avoid/elude having to deal with his own psychological and emotional problems.  Welcome to the New Age!  You too, can use spiritual bypassing to ensure that you'll never have to face or deal with any dark, disturbing underlying emotional or psychological problems in a fix one/fix all recipe concocted in varying forms by every guru/cult leader to gather their own following.  That was the reality of The Source Family and that is what some diehard 'Yahowites' simply cannot come to grips with, which is why some continue using their pseudo 'source family' names, because it helps them to continue in their own spiritual bypassing completely avoiding ever having to deal with their own personal stuff.

---Being a good spiritual practitioner can become what I call a compensatory identity that covers up and defends against an underlying deficient identity, where we feel badly about ourselves,  not good enough, or basically lacking. Then, although we may be practicing diligently, our spiritual practice can be used in the service of denial and defense. And when spiritual practice is used to bypass our real-life human issues, it becomes compartmentalized in a separate zone of our life, and remains unintegrated with our overall functioning

---Others may unconsciously use their spiritual brilliance to feed their narcissistic inflation and devalue others or treat them in manipulative ways.

Here is a wonderful interview with John Welwood on spiritual bypassing

Sunday, July 31, 2016

My Own Moral Outrage

Today I read an article in Harper's titled The Ideology of Isolation where I read the following statement that I felt perfectly described Jim Baker's own attitude and belief towards the women in The Source Family cult; "The loner taketh not, nor does he give; he scorneth the social and relies on himself alone. Himself. Women, in this mode of thinking, are too interactive, in their tendency to gather and ally rather than fight or flee, and in their fluid boundaries. In fact, what is sometimes regarded as an inconsistency in the contemporary right-wing platform — the desire to regulate women’s reproductive activity in particular and sexuality in general — is only inconsistent if you regard women as people. If you regard women as an undifferentiated part of nature, their bodies are just another place a man has every right to go."  Man, nothing summed it up better with regards to Jim Baker's 'good old boy' mentality towards the women in The Source Family; something that he was able to hide/cloak behind the outward presentation of himself being a holy man; but make no mistake he decided as the group's head honcho how women's bodies would be utilized in his cult/group.  So, that statement in Harper's hit a nerve and addressed the gnawing, unsettling feeling that I've always had about the way that Jim Baker imposed his outdated male gender bias and views that he had carried with him throughout his life about the role of women, and injected those views into what was supposedly 'new age' and 'aquarian'....please.  There was nothing sexually 'liberating' in having one man impose his deluded belief that the menstrual blood of a woman gave him superhuman consciousness!  But, the deeper that Jim Baker delved into the extreme occult beliefs of Aleister Crowley and his own plunge into ritualized sexual madness; the more Jim Baker became convinced that was the way to achieve ultimate consciousness.  Men have dictated how women's bodies should be used throughout history and Jim Baker was no different; he just hid it behind a façade or veil of 'spiritual' precepts.  Jim Baker decided that all the women in his 'family' should be impregnated and produce what he believed would be a new race of 'aquarian' children; yet he never once ask what any of us wanted/he just expected everyone to obey his directives, along with instructing the women on what their roles or duties were to be; which was to be of service to the men.  The most egregious edict of Jim Baker's was when he decided to impose a sexual ritual called qudosh on the entire group; ordering/instructing women in 'the family' to perform often with multiple men/sons; quite often one after the other.  Jim Baker decided that it was his role to decide and direct how women's bodies would be used in his so-called 'family' believing that he possessed the inalienable right as the group's leader to make those decisions for us.  When I became a nursing mother, I also distinctly recall Jim Baker referring to me as 'one of the milk cows' of the family, because he would routinely make distinctions about many of the men & women in his 'family.'  Fervent former devotees of Jim Baker balk at any statement made that portrays their savior and God in an unfavorable light saying things like, "no one was holding a gun to anyone's head."  True, no one was holding a gun to any of our heads to remain in The Source Family or to obey and abide by everything that Jim Baker imposed on the group; but that is what happens in a cult/that's what happens when people blindly and obediently obey and follow a cult leader; people end up doing things/behaving in ways that are contrary to their own moral and ethical beliefs and standards.  It was not until 'the family' ended and we all dispersed and went our own separate ways that many former 'source family' members were able to deprogram themselves and look back critically and objectively at what we had been made to do/coerced to do while in 'the source family.'  To their credit, a few got out early when they saw the disturbing direction that Jim Baker was taking the group.  The behavior of everyone in The Source Family was dictated to and controlled by Jim Baker in what he saw as being the 'aquarian' way of life.  There was never any overt dissension within 'the family' as that was seen as being negative or out-of-your-center (a 'source family' term for being angry), because everyone was expected to comply with every one of Jim Baker's edicts; edicts that he would change almost on a daily basis.  There was never any forum or 'women's groups' within 'the source family' to discuss or talk about our feelings or views; just the expectation for everyone to obey and comply with the dictates of our 'earthly spiritual father', Jim Baker and of course the 'council' comprised of women he designated as 'his women.'  So, you either got onboard and did whatever 'Father' instructed and directed everyone to do, or you faced being diminished or ostracized from the group in what became an intolerance of anything other than what 'Father' decreed in saying, "So mote it be."  The reason that so many women who were in The Source Family do not openly speak out about their experiences from being in 'the family' is out of embarrassment or a sense of shame and not wanting their own children to learn or know more about what their mothers had to endure while in 'the family.'  But, the majority of us have simply tried to forget about being forced to service men/sons; some we hardly knew, and know in our heart of hearts there is no way in hell that we would ever repeat the experience and certainly would not want our own children or grandchildren to follow or believe in anything that Jim Baker was extolling; the only exception might be the benefits of adhering to a vegetarian diet and perhaps a handful of other things that did not transgress the physical, personal and psychological boundaries of women.  So, I have chosen to speak out and verbalize the embarrassment that many of the women felt, from their time spent in 'the source family' and their regret for allowing a man from the WWII generation who believed that women should sexually service and serve men to decide how their bodies would be used; an attitude that is still seen in many men which continues to disempower and disenfranchise women within our society.  The Source Family may have had the appearance or window dressing of being 'new age' with our long hair and white homespun garb of robes and handmade dresses parroting whatever Jim Baker extolled about either the 'mysteries of the Pyramids' or how we were heralding in the new age of aquarius, but below the surface for anyone who actually lived in the group and spent any length of time in the group; the loss of personal choice and freedom ensued primarily among the women, who were forced to 'obey the teachings of their earthly spiritual father' and 'love their earthly spiritual father more than themselves' which meant performing whatever acts or actions that Jim Baker/Father Yod/Yahowha (all three of him!) purported to have 'pulled from the ethers.'  The moral outrage that I felt over forty years ago in The Source Family cult has remained with me to this day.  There are still some things that I just cannot bring myself to write about simply because some things are just too embarrassing, but remain as a constant reminder and the reason that I will not remain silent in the face of the continued efforts by some to promote life in 'the source family' as being the bellwether or pioneer of the 'new ageism' or conscious healthy living, or mind-expansion revival taking place in the world today.  Aside from adhering to a vegetarian diet, many of Jim Baker's beliefs and dictates were for his own self-gratification and have no place in any current relevant dialogue or progressive movement/conversation that is going on today; aside from it serving as a warning.  It is deceptive for those who continue to present only the window dressing of The Source Family to make it look appealing and to be viewed in a favorable light by the public leaving out entirely the fact that Jim Baker expected men and women to perform a sexual ritual which caused more harm than good and that was the equivalent of a physical and psychological abuse of power.  I have conceded that when I first joined 'the brotherhood of the source' that I enjoyed being part of a group and the camaraderie and joyful feelings of being with other free spirits who were happy to have found what appeared to be a healthy & wholesome group, at first.  But Jim Baker, empowered by his new role as our savior-cum-spiritual father decided that in his newfound role he would make decisions about how men and women would behave and interact with each other; never asking any of us if we were 'ok' with his edicts or if we felt 'comfortable' with anything he imposed, because Jim Baker also believed that he needed to 'test' a person's loyalty or commitment to him, because he was convinced that all his decisions were being 'channeled' from God.  The public is being duped into believing that Jim Baker was ahead of his time and that The Source Family were shiny examples of wholesome, healthy living leading the way for the entire new age movement, and the sexual ritual/practice of qudosh which became the most important practice extolled by Jim Baker is left out entirely; something that the handful of diehard 'Yahowites' (devoted followers) neglect to tell people about this most predominate and important of their leader's so-called teachings.  You would think the fact that babies were allowed to die without receiving any medical help would be enough to dissuade people from wanting to promote Father Yod or The Source Family as being forerunners of anything, much less a healthy 'new age.'  It is my feeling that now, more than ever there needs to be more moral outrage; a combination of disgust and anger towards men who continue to believe that they have the right to make decisions about women's bodies.  The Source Family was a travesty of women's rights and the rights of children to receive medical treatment; especially when it was available.  It is time that people felt a moral outrage about men who think/believe that they should be the ones to decide what happens to a woman's body or to the bodies of their own children.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

A Product of Environment

Jim Baker loved old movies, especially movies like The Ten Commandments starring Charlton Heston, probably because Jim Baker saw himself in the role of Moses.  I recall when The Ten Commandments was showing at a local theatre in Hollywood and we all had to accompany Jim Baker to see the film.  Another time in 1972 a few of us had to accompany Jim Baker to see the production of Jesus Christ Superstar at the Universal Amphitheatre.  Sitting in the audience with his long hair and beard wearing his robe looking very biblical surrounded by his own group of look-alike followers; Jim Baker no doubt hoping to draw attention to himself that the audience would make a connection between the central character in the show and himself.  Heavily influenced by biblical themes; Jim Baker even scripted his own Ten Commandments in his new role as a 'spiritual' messiah.  Jim Baker also really loved the old Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald films and in the early days at The Mother House he would have a movie projector brought in so the entire 'family' could watch his beloved old films.  Everything was always tailored around what Jim Baker wanted, because after all The Brotherhood of The Source was his own production.  It's easy to see how much films and plays with a biblical theme had an impact on Jim Baker, and how he began to see himself as a modern day Moses leading his own tribe of 'chosen people', because he was a product of Hollywood where showmanship and appearance were everything.  A man with questionable moral character; someone who decided that robbing banks was the best way to bankroll his next restaurant venture who looked the part of Moses as portrayed in Hollywood films; deciding to gather his own group of 'spiritual children' (as he called them) fit very well into Jim Baker's wheelhouse and the attention that it gained him, from the people who began to follow him.  It was exactly the kind of 'savior' role that he wanted to play giving him the ego boost and attention that he desired.  Always the showman, Jim Baker put on a good show presenting himself as a 'spiritual' father figure, and the heady lure of working in his restaurant on the Sunset Strip frequented by rock stars and movie stars alike had an exciting and intoxicating effect.  For me, it was extremely easy joining The Brotherhood of The Source where I found immediate acceptance by a seemingly loving 'father' and his beautiful counterpart called 'mother.'  The very early days in 'the family' were like being in a safe, warm cocoon where everything was provided for you.  But, as more people kept joining the entire thing grew into more spectacle than anything else, because Jim Baker was intent on having more and more people join his 'family'; something that would burn-out in a relatively short span of time.  I was nineteen-years-old when I joined 'the brotherhood' in 1970 already a vegetarian having dabbled in transcendental meditation; I was on my own 'spiritual quest' having given away all my worldly possessions in an exercise in non-materialism; so for me it was an easy transition from being a young 'spiritual' seeker who was living a relatively homeless life to joining Jim Baker and The Brotherhood of The Source.  Although, I never really had a close affinity for Jim Baker, nor was I particularly impressed or overwhelmed by him, but I did like the vibe and the energy or feel of what was going on at The Source Restaurant, and I liked the people who were already there, and it felt safe; so I remained from the very first day that I ever went to 'meditation' class (more a recruitment tool) that was held at the restaurant.  But, that was how easy it was to join Jim Baker's 'family' and becoming part of the motley crew who showed up.  Many were just like me; lost and seeking looking for some kind of haven or communal situation; some were unkempt and spaced out; a few borderline schizophrenic, from ingesting too many hallucinogens who were looking for a free and groovy place to land.  But, for many of us who were on our own 'spiritual quests' in search of someone or something that would satisfy our desire for metaphysical understanding; what Jim Baker was offering fulfilled that need; especially since looking for 'spiritual' teachers or groups where dabbling in Eastern mysticism was the hip thing to do in the late sixties and early seventies.  People were casting around for anything that might produce 'spiritual enlightenment' and when an older man sporting a beard and longish hair hung out his 'open for business' sign that read 'all spiritual seekers welcome'/inquire within/delicious fresh food available and females being groomed to serve and inspire'; it was enticing.  Jim Baker was offering 'spiritual enlightenment' to everyone who showed up and devotedly followed him and adopted his 'teachings' and he provided them with a place to live and food to eat.  All anyone had to do was accept Jim Baker as their 'earthly spiritual father.'  It was all so easy, and at first everything felt safe and comfortable.  But, not very long after the formation of 'the family', especially as more women joined; our new leader or 'earthly spiritual father' believed that it was his role to create a super race of 'aquarian' children and he would do that by trying to impregnate several of the young women who had joined his 'family.'  Many of the women who joined 'the family' who saw Jim Baker as their 'spiritual father' became conflicted when he changed the rules and decided that he needed to have sex with them and/or impregnate several of them; all under the guise of their participation in helping him create a new 'aquarian' race.  Many of us threw ourselves into following and adopting Father Yod as our 'earthly spiritual father' where unflagging devotion and obedience to the man became absolutely essential for anyone who wanted to remain in 'the family.'  There was never any room for anything but whatever Jim Baker/Father Yod/Yahowha 'channeled' from the ethers to impose on his group of gung-ho prostrating followers.  Your only choice was to 'get on-board' with whatever Jim Baker devised or leave, or be kicked out.  Absolute commitment and adherence to the words and directives of Jim Baker, who we all called 'Father' became mandatory.  But, for many of us who joined; we became inured to the conditions in 'the family' that went from aplenty for everyone to only those pampered and favored by 'Yahowha' benefitting where life in The Source Family became increasingly stressful, indolent and dubious and many of us found ourselves incapable of extricating ourselves or our loved ones from 'the family' as things grew progressively worse.  As more people joined who were solely into venerating and deifying Jim Baker; life within The Source Family became about positioning; getting next to 'Yahowha' and about 'spiritual' one-upmanship of whose kundalini would rise up their spine first claiming 'enlightenment' so sought after, by those who hovered around their new found 'spiritual father' in ever-increasing honorific ways feeding Jim Baker's messianic complex even more and more.  The hero-worship and/or deification of Jim Baker grew to ludicrous proportions where life in 'the family' was all about indulging his ego, like being a rock star/lead singer of Yahowha 13 and going out to play concerts at local high schools trolling for new converts, while trying to look cool performing with a pair of shades and his shirt unbuttoned just enough to expose his huge medallion looking more like a new age pimp than spiritual father; while the rest of the members of 'the family' sat on the sidelines as spectators.  The majority of people who joined The Source Family had absolutely nothing when they joined and were mostly just people looking for an alternative or free place to land, or who had joined only because they followed their spouses, siblings or friends in joining and remained because of those familial connections.  Many people who joined The Source Family remained simply because everything was provided for them, and they only had to obey and comply with whatever edict Father Yod/Yahowha imposed on the group.  But, for anyone who joined The Source Family, it quickly became apparent that everything revolved around the veneration and hero-worship of Jim Baker and the catering to his every whim or desire where the entire group dynamic became one of ever-increasing worship of the man, who renamed himself 'Yahowha' as he nurtured a group bubble of delusion around himself.  Towards the end of his life living in a luxury Hawaiian setting in the expensive bedroom community of Lanikai on the island of Oahu; Jim Baker spent the remainder of his days sitting/holding court surrounded by his most loyal followers where on occasion 'outsiders' would be brought in and presented to him where those family members surrounding him would laugh and giggle as if they were privy to something the 'outsiders' were not.  Giving the appearance that 'Yahowha' and only his most devoted followers possessed something that people outside The Source Family did not was crucial in maintaining the illusion.  The illusion that people in The Source Family were 'leaders of the new age' who possessed secret, occult 'teachings' they had gleamed from 'Yahowha' that became the group mentality that was fomented in The Source Family; something that persisted in several of his followers well beyond the death of their avatar.  An imperious smugness and sense of superiority was embedded in a few who had loyally followed and worshipped Jim Baker and was the outward expression of 'the source family' experience more than anything else.  The entire 'source family' experience had come to its inevitable end, due to the incessant worship and adulation of Jim Baker and the pervasive groupthink that everyone in The Source Family obey and abide by the man's deluded 'teachings.'  After The Source Family disbanded a year after Jim Baker died there were a couple of former members who desperately wanted to continue living exactly as they had, while in The Source Family; especially a couple of the men and women who had been treated like rock stars and royalty while in 'the family' who wanted to maintain their perceived status and so with a heightened sense of themselves being 'spiritual' teachers; they ended up creating abusive situations in trying to gather their own group of 'followers' trying to replicate life in The Source Family.  But, that is something that the film doesn't show.  Many people from The Source Family had a difficult and arduous time adjusting back into normal society when the whole thing finally ended.  Those of us who remained in The Source Family had become products, or rather victims of the biblically-themed environment/collective bubble of delusion that had been created by Jim Baker; something and someone that crash-landed in the short span of six years.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Protective Role of A Father

Once in awhile, I get an email from someone who wants to know more about 'Yahowha' or The Source Family and they ask me, if I would be willing to share something.  Of course, I send them a link to this blog, warning them that if they're hoping to find a magical and glowing endorsement; they won't find it on my blog.  It's painful to watch people begin to follow 'Yahowha' though; people who have been fed a steady diet of 'spiritual' embellishment about the man, along with exaggerations about 'life in the source family' that leaves out anything that might be considered untoward or disturbing.  But, feeding people only magical, happy, glowing accounts about Father Yod and The Source Family is deceptive; it is simply not being honest.  Although, I do understand why people choose to block out the harsher realities of things; opting for a more idealized, Pollyannaism view thinking and believing that they have to be uber positive, happy and uplifting about virtually everything, in order to feign some kind of 'spiritual' consciousness.  By blocking out anything that is unsavory or disturbing and presenting only the happy and ideal aspects of something is symptomatic of many 'new age' thinkers or cosmically-conscious spiritual seekers; some people who see themselves as 'channels' of love and light often block out the realities of life, which places them in a perpetual state of disconnect or delusion; a delusion which becomes impossible to maintain.  Choosing to only use magical thinking towards every aspect of life, while completely ignoring or blocking out anything that is harmful, unhealthy or detrimental only succeeds in perpetuating a delusional state of mind which often excuses bad behavior and detrimental practices, rather than god-forbid finding fault in someone or something or worse being labeled as 'negative.'  Most people would rather bury their heads in the sand, along with anything from the past that is sordid or unsavory, in favor of adopting a fairyland perspective, after all it's a much happier and ideal scenario.  But, the wrong kinds of behavior often continue unchecked; as long as people refuse to take a critical look at something.  When 'new age' thinkers and 'spiritual' seekers stop using critical thinking choosing to ignore and block out anything that conflicts with their happy Pollyanna, magical view of things; they are perched on a precipice of delusional disorder.  Some people want to have the mystically magnified illusion of 'Yahowha' and The Source Family reinforced, in their yearnings to find someone and something to idolize; but I cannot give that to them, because babies died in The Source Family, due to the beliefs & teachings of 'Yahowha'; something which I refuse to block out or ignore in exchange for hero-worshipping the man.  A man who was deemed as being our 'earthly spiritual father' became more consumed with his 'spiritual children' following and abiding by his 'teachings' and 'beliefs'; than concerned with the fact that infants might die without medical attention.  Because no matter what 'magic' or wonder that anyone may claim to have experienced, during the time they spent in The Source Family and no matter how much so-called 'wisdom' some profess to having gained from following Father Yod; none of it outweighs the fact that women lost their babies, because they followed and adopted the misguided 'teachings' of 'Yahowha.'  Whether anyone believes or feels that 'Yahowha' was the living embodiment of Christ, or had the ability to channel 'the word of God'; none of that matters when faced with the reality that he believed an infant was better off dying and it's soul 'being liberated', than receiving medical treatment of any kind.  What kind of father does that?  What kind of father would stand around and listen to infants scream and cry, while ensconced in their own comfortable surroundings being waited on by multiple, adoring females who prostrated themselves at his feet 24/7? Most fifty-year-old men who are fathers, especially of young girls would have paused and considered what impact it might have in a young woman's life by engaging in sexual relations with her.  Just because a young girl/woman consents to a fifty-year-old man sexually penetrating her; doesn't make it ok; even if some kind of magical or spiritual meaning is attached to the act; at least not any father that I would honor on Father's Day; which is exactly what one new follower of 'Yahowha' did on his facebook wall; he posted a photo of 'Yahowha' honoring him and presenting him as the ideal example of fatherhood!  When a man has his own children and becomes a father; he begins to look upon all children in a fatherly, protected way; especially if they have daughters.  Most men with daughters would never consider having sex with young women the same age as their own daughters or granddaughters; yet that was exactly what 'Yahowha' did.  Which is something that in my book of life; a fifty-year-old man/father should not do. But, it's that kind of behavior that is being 'swept under the rug' and dismissed and excused in order to continue deifying and hero-worshipping 'Yahowha'; anything to shove the notion of him being an uber father down the throats of an unsuspecting public.  I understand people wanting to find idols and heros to worship and follow; it's what we do in our culture; but let's not idealize or idolize a man who doesn't deserve such reverie.  In my book of life, the father who should be honored and admired is the one who looks upon all children in a protective and fatherly way and who is capable of discerning what is healthy and age-appropriate behavior for themselves; a man who stops and considers what the impact might be, if they were to engage in sexual relations with a young person the same age as their own daughters or granddaughters.  Father Yod/Yahowha blurred the lines of what was sexually appropriate behavior when he decided that he would orchestrate and decide the sexual behavior of everyone in his group, and where he took sexual advantage of the women who joined, who had become enthralled by the perceived power and position of a man who professed being their 'loving spiritual' father.  I will never understand how people can be so intent on the hero-worship of a man who did not look upon the young women surrounding him in a fatherly, protective way; but more in a sexual way, under the guise of being a holy man.  I choose to honor fathers who would never choose magical thinking over medical necessity where children are concerned.  I choose to honor those fathers with daughters; who would never engage in sexual relationships with young women the same age or younger than their own daughters.  That is the kind of man who deserves to be honored on Father's Day; not the construct of 'Yahowha'; a name that Jim Baker adopted, after he became convinced that he had become God and needed to procreate with several of the young women who surrounded him.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Deteriorating Conditions and Omissions

Just the idea of a country club conjures up images of swimming pools, golf courses and tennis courts and having drinks at the bar.  But, for anyone who remained in The Source Family after its leader died; life at The Hilo Country Club was anything but enjoyable.  Everyone was still reeling from the death of Father Yod/Yahowha; where the women who comprised the council of 'his women' closed ranks around the woman he deemed his mother/angel looking to her as the group's new leader where all sycophantic and fawning attention was then focused.  The Hilo Country Club was a big, empty place located outside Hilo, Hawaii that was large enough to house what remained of The Source Family.  As usual, there was not a stick of furniture anywhere to be found in the entire place; everyone sat, ate and slept on the floor.  But, then most of the houses The Source Family occupied never contained furniture, beyond the early days at The Mother House in Los Angeles.  But, that was especially true in Hawaii where there was barely enough money to house and feed the entire languishing group.  People would devise ways to go into Hilo to find food or simply escape the lassitude, where life in The Source Family had become a dubious plight.  Most everyone who had remained in 'the family' for years no longer had any means of support and were completely dependent upon whatever was allotted or allowed to them, but the payments from the sale of The Source Restaurant were not enough to support the entire group and since the men were the only ones Father Yod would allow to go out and look for work; support for the entire group fell to the men.  Where it turns out that a few members had continued to maintain their own banks accounts; most everyone who had spent years of their life in The Source Family no longer had any viable means of support and had no money in which to buy themselves or their own children food or basic necessities.  Everyone was completely dependent, but money being received from the sale of the restaurant, along with the welfare payments of the women with children that were being collected from the state of Hawaii was simply not enough to house and feed the entire group.  Yahowha's mother-angel and the trove of other women whom he deemed as being his wives now had to look to the men in the group to look after them; as well as the remaining indigent group of family members.  The same pandering worshipful obeisance that was shown to Father Yod/Yahowha had been shifted to his replacement: the woman designated as his mother/angel.  The pecking order in The Source Family was supposed to be that all food/resources were to go to the children first, then to the nursing or pregnant women, then to the women, and lastly the men; but in actuality it was often 'Yahowha's' mother/angel and his other women, who were often provided for first and foremost; especially the women who had given birth to 'Yahowha's' biological children conceived and born in 'the family'; who were viewed by some as being superior to all of the other children in 'the family.'  Yes, the children conceived by Father Yod were considered to be superior; not only because of his belief in the genetic superiority of his own sperm where early on he became convinced that it was his mission to produce a super race of  'aquarian' children, but largely due to the family members who believed that he was the messiah.  Deluded thinking had taken a firm hold within The Source Family and it effected the thinking and behavior of everyone.  With the death of Jim Baker, there really was no point in The Source Family continuing any longer; yet many of us remained for another year clinging to the magical beliefs touted as the 'teachings' of Jim Baker in what could only be described as a conflicted state of confusion and uncertainty trying to 'stick it out' while having to endure increasingly difficult and tenuous circumstances which resulted in an enervated torpor among family members who were unable to extricate themselves from the worsening circumstances.  Yet, even with the death of Jim Baker; the woman seen as his mother/angel surrounded by 'the council' of women who considered themselves 'wives of Yahowha' insisted that the practice of 'sex magic' be continued and even tracked or charted which 'sons' had been 'serviced' in the performance of the ritualized 'sex magic' that had been so highly lauded by their god-man 'Yahowha'; which seemed to me more a way for them to shore-up the support of the men, since the council of 'Yahowha's' women and his mother/angel now relied on the men or 'sons' for their support.  To me the continued emphasis on ritualized sex being performed seemed bizarre; to place so much emphasis on the performance of 'sex magic', when there was barely enough food for everyone to eat.  Which is why it was no wonder that a couple of 'Yahowha's women' got into prostitution towards the end of 'the family' and after we all dispersed, due to the seedier elements that were being attracted to 'the family.'  A couple of men who were drug dealers turned pimps became attracted to the open, sexually inviting allure of the women in The Source Family; women who had been induced by Father Yod to perform 'sex magic' with any number of men in 'the family' in a detached and impersonal way; so it was easy to see how some women could easily make the transition from being 'mothers' in The Source Family expected to have sex with multiple 'sons' to being prostitutes in the real world.  So, really; why would anyone want to exalt or idolize Jim Baker for creating any of that?  Looking back, I envy those people who left and got out early, before the whole thing degenerated into what became a pressured compliance for everyone to perform 'sex magic', while often lacking food or basic necessities, along with the possibility of contracting hepatitis or a serious staph infection and the constant looming threat of being raided by the local authorities.  Which is why it's all that more unfathomable to me why a small handful of people continue to try and make out life in The Source Family as having been 'ahead of its time' or that we were 'forerunners of a new age.'  There was nothing ahead of its time in an entire group of followers who ended up suffering from a lack of food living crammed and cramped together in conditions which resulted in rampant staph infections, all while trying to adhere to and uphold the magical 'teachings' or beliefs of one man.  All of the occult magic extolled by Father Yod and the ritualized sex, along with the constant chanting and magical incantations that were used were only distractions which perpetuated the delusion that The Source Family was 'being of service to humanity.'  Delusional beliefs and magical thinking staved off the reality that the entire thing had become a cult and was doomed for failure.  Although one former zealous follower of Jim Baker proclaims and blames the 'other' family members for the failure of the group; proclaiming himself to have been superior to everyone else.  A perfect example of the residual delusion that some former member's exhibit.  Those of us who remained in 'the family' after Jim Baker died had become inured to the living conditions, after having lived removed from normal society sequestered away by the words and dictates of our spiritual 'father' in a childlike and dependent way with him directing and guiding us all, which ended up having a debilitating effect.  So, remaining in the group and clinging to the magical, delusional beliefs that we had all adopted and integrated into our daily lives while being in The Source Family seemed less frightening and uncertain, than the prospect of having to go back out into the world; something that all former cult members experience....the fear and consequent challenge of integrating and adjusting back into normal society.  But, that is what being in a cult does; it creates a false belief that only the group or cult can offer safety and security, and that the outside world poses a threat.  So, the people who remained in The Source Family endured worsening conditions when faced with the fear and uncertainty of what might happen to them outside of the group/cult.  Life at The Hilo Country Club consisted of Father Yod's mother/angel leading morning meditation, then the men going into Hilo town everyday to look for food and work, and where many family members looked for ways to escape into town to find food or relief even for a day, from what had become oppressive living conditions; while the women with babies or small children remained at the 'country club' all day sitting around waiting for one of the men to return with food.  Mothers spent the day watching over the children utilizing 'the box' whenever a child became unruly or disobedient.  Everyone walked around in a dazed and distracted way some combating 'golden spell', the term used for hepatitis, without medical treatment.  Again, I want to emphasize for anyone who has watched the film thinking/believing that life in The Source Family was some kind of idealized 'new age' utopia; that had they been there in Hilo and had to endure the conditions at both The Doc Hill mansion and The Hilo Country Club they would feel differently about the whole thing.  But, people have been given a false impression fed only a glamorized version of the story; one that left out the fact that Jim Baker sexualized his so-called 'teachings' so much so that he began to order women that he referred to as his 'daughters' and his 'wives' to sexually service multiple men or 'sons' within 'the family'; many practically strangers to the women who were compelled to follow their 'spiritual father's' directive.  If the filmmakers had been given all of the facts initially where every aspect of what went on in The Source Family had been revealed to them, rather than only being fed one former member's whitewashed and sanitized version or narrative; then perhaps the film labeled a documentary would have been a more truthful and honest rendering, rather than a film that gives the viewing public the impression that life in 'the family' was a magical wonderland or harmless having very few negative effects on its members.  Instead, the filmmakers had certain things hidden and withheld from them, by a woman and her partner (both former members) who wanted to gain media attention for themselves, so they conveniently left out aspects of the story while glorifying themselves, and the film contained nothing about how babies had died or how ingesting a mixture of semen and menstrual blood became the apex of Father Yod's so-called 'teachings.'  Two former 'source family' members highjacked the entire story to use to their own advantage leaving out/omitting anything they wanted left out.  I don't think that any young parent nowadays would tolerate or allow their infant or small child to go without food, or suffer from an untreated staph infection or put into a wooden box with holes, because of the directives of one man and the peer pressure to comply; but that was what life was like in The Source Family.  Parents were put under tremendous pressure to follow Father Yod's edicts regarding their own children.  The publicity photos that surround the film that the public are so taken with and impressed by were taken to promote the music of Yahowha 13, and were merely a form of propaganda meant to attract new members; hopefully people with money or fame.  Father Yod wanted to give the appearance of The Source Family being a wealthy and affluent group.  Yet, it's hard to understand why anyone would want to idolize or hero-worship a man whose beliefs and directives allowed babies to die without receiving medical treatment, and how anyone can ignore the fact that young women were thirteen and fourteen-years-old when Jim Baker insisted on penetrating them sexually; convincing them it was for their own 'spiritual growth' or that he needed to impregnate them in order to create a super race of 'aquarian' children.  Women who now feel as though they were taken advantage of by an older man are dismissed and peer pressured to remain silent, by those former Source Family members who are intent on immortalizing Jim Baker.  The women who believe they were victimized by Father Yod by his own sexual misconduct and his sexualized so-called 'teachings' are told to 'forget about it' and 'leave it in the past', in exchange for their adopting a fairyland narrative; anything to not besmirch the memory of Father Yod/Yahowha.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Spiritual Arrogance

One of the results of sitting in front of Jim Baker day in and day out in a meditative state listening to him drone on and on in a subliminal, trance-like and hypnotic way convincing his group of followers they were all part of a 'guardian wall' that protected humanity and how they were the forerunners of the 'aquarian age', and how they outshone the rest of humanity; was that he began nurturing a false spiritual pride and ego in his devoted followers where chests began to puff up and arrogant, superior attitudes and a self-satisfied, condescending smugness became the by-product of what Jim Baker was saying; a spiritual smugness which still exists today in some of his more fervid followers.  The spiritual ego or pride that Jim Baker fostered in those who sat in front of him became the signature behavior and attitude of the entire experience.  The entire new age movement and trendy 'spiritual' awakening in this country is fraught with people who suffer from a false, magnified sense of their own 'spiritual' knowledge, enlightenment or accomplishment; some claiming to have a direct connection or channel to God, or other disembodied 'ascended' masters.  Jim Baker saw himself as a 'holy' man; a spiritually awakened man who had received a divine transmission or message that he needed to gather together and foster/father the lost and seeking young souls who were wandering around looking for a spiritual mooring in which to anchor themselves, and in doing so he was able to convince his followers that they had been divinely chosen by God to lead the rest of humanity, and from that grew an arrogant and spiritually superior attitude that is symptomatic of many who pursue a spiritual path to enlightenment.  The attitude fostered by Jim Baker among his followers was that they were better than the rest of humanity, and that they were the 'chosen ones' meant to lead mankind.  Many of Jim Baker's followers believed that he was a direct 'channel' to God.  Spiritual ego or pride is something that is rampant among the multitude of new age/self-help and enlightened milieu of the 'new age' movement that began in the late sixties/early seventies; especially if someone can attach a PhD after their name.  Nowadays self-proclaimed enlightened and cosmically awakened individuals abound everywhere churning out videos and books holding retreats and symposiums on how to attain or achieve and maintain 'God-consciousness' transferring special knowledge or techniques only they alone seem to possess.  It often becomes confusing trying to find just the right avatar or 'spiritual' leader/teacher or expert to follow.  In 1969/70 the pool of spiritual teachers especially Western gurus was limited and so Jim Baker stood out with his long hair and beard bearing a striking resemblance to a modern-day Moses coupled with his business acumen and proceeds from his successful first-of-its-kind all vegetarian restaurant situated propitiously right on Sunset Boulevard frequented by every Hollywood star or rock musician who were either staying up the street at the Chateau Marmont or who happened to be driving by on their way to the Whiskey A Go Go......voila!  The Brotherhood of The Source began to form around Jim Baker, who began attracting and taking in/harboring some of the young, lost souls who had been floundering around the streets of Los Angeles or who had travelled cross-country in search of the promise of illumination in finding and following an Eastern guru or mystical 'teacher' who had found a home among the freewheeling counterculture abundantly found in California; people looking for groovy and fantastical experiences that psychedelics such as LSD and mescaline had given some a glimpse into something otherworldly and cosmic in origin, and so delving into meditation, yoga and the occult, along with theosophy and metaphysics became the new drugs of choice.  Joining Jim Baker to help him run his restaurant while becoming one of his disciples in his newly formed 'religion of the eternal now' was a perfect storm, where all of the external forces came together at the same time and produced something that would end up wrecking more havoc and destruction in people's lives, than it having any true, lasting positive effect.  Many people from the sixties/early seventies got into Eastern 'spiritual' pursuits and the occult believing that once they were 'illuminated' that they were then qualified to lead others as their 'spiritual' guide or master, often with disastrous results.  People little qualified with nothing more than their own claim of 'illumination' and/or a direct connection with either God or some other ascended deity began to gather followers.  Many who had deep, emotional problems and issues which they had never dealt with or addressed were now leading people in finding spiritual fulfillment!  Which is exactly what Jim Baker did, who went from being a Hollywood 'player' would-be bank robber to someone who after spending a few months with Yogi Bhajan started to believe that he, Jim Baker had now become a 'holy' man destined to lead a group of his own 'spiritual children'.  It's my view that Jim Baker was psychologically and emotionally ill-equipped to 'teach' or lead an entire group of people; mainly because he let his male organ make his decisions for him, and was a man who believed that his semen was superior and that he was destined to create a super race.  Men and women with profound psychological problems even sociopaths have claimed to be 'spiritually enlightened' or having attained cosmic-consciousness; people who try to gather their own followers for their own egotistical desires and need for attention often become 'spiritual leaders'; something that was indicative of many of the so-called 'spiritual' leaders of groups and cults that began to pop up, during the late sixties/early seventies. Simulated messianic figures proclaiming they had the ability to transfer divine knowledge and wisdom; people claiming to being reincarnated from thousands of years ago and to being 'channels' of ancient and secret 'keys' for unlocking the secret mysteries of life began to appear everywhere, due to the 'new age' movement.  Many people were searching for a quick, cosmic fix; someone or something that would transform them into superconscious and awakened beings and finding someone who offered that up became too good to pass up.  That was what Jim Baker was offering, but what happened after he died and the entire 'source family' ended was that quite a few former members ended up living dissolute and drug-induced/alcoholic lifestyles, a residual effect for many who joined Jim Baker's 'aquarian' tribe, because nothing that Father Yod/Yahowha was espousing actually dealt with or addressed anyone's underlying emotional problems.  None of the magical thinking or ritualistic practices that were indicative of life in The Source Family addressed people's individual psychological and emotional problems, but only succeeded in creating a temporary and illusionary living situation where Jim Baker, the ersatz father decided what everyone would wear, and what everyone would eat and how everyone should conduct themselves sexually; especially in having the men and women in his 'family' practice the sex magic that he began to covet that would become the pinnacle of his so-called 'teachings'.  So, when Father Yod/Yahowha died and The Source Family ended; the maladapted relationships of men having multiple wives or women and virtually all of the delusional magical beliefs found in 'the family' left many floundering trying to figure out how to adjust back into normal, mainstream society most importantly reconnecting with their own estranged family members.  I believe there is a downside in pursuing enlightenment or cosmic-consciousness without also dealing with your own underlying emotional problems and issues; something that I have observed can produce sociopaths who feign a state of being enlightened and possessing infinite wisdom, while hiding or masking who they really are.  When a pathological liar or a womanizer adopts and feigns the mantle of 'spiritual' attainment and profess themselves as being enlightened; it is an easy way for them to hide or cover-up aspects of themselves.  People operating under a false sense of their own enlightenment and of their own spiritual superiority to others, excuse themselves from the moral conduct that applies to the rest of society, to the extent that their own bad behaviors are perfectly acceptable to them.  It's very prevalent to find haughty, arrogant and intransigent egos among the many spiritually 'realized' beings around today, who have managed to gather their own following.  The cases of spurious spiritual leaders taking sexual advantage of the women among their followers has become textbook behavior; sexual misconduct of men who proclaim themselves to be either Jesus Christ reincarnated, or God.  I've included an article written by Mariana Caplan titled 10 Spiritually Transmitted Diseases where I found that although all applied to Jim Baker and The Source Family numbers 8 and 9 were dead-on.  But, it's approaching fifty years, since Father Yod/Yahowha ruled over his quasi family, and people have now become more self-aware and know more about the pitfalls of choosing and following a guru or spiritual master, but rather than trying to elevate/idealize and idolize someone and something that was flawed from the very beginning and that got progressively worse over time, due to the spiritual arrogance and deluded, magical thinking that was fed and nurtured; it's time to expose what went on in The Source Family with frank and honest dialogue.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Mothers and 'Suns'

Probably the most absurd and contrived pseudo-relationship that Jim Baker devised within The Source Family was that of the Mother/Sun.  Jim Baker referred to any man who joined The Brotherhood of The Source as being his 'son', but he also likened a man to the sun shining life-giving rays on to woman, whom he equated with the moon having no light of her own only capable of reflecting her man or sun's light and so he referred to the men as both his sons and suns.  So, I decided to use suns in the title, since the mother/sun relationship contrived by Father Yod within The Source Family was hardly a maternal one, because I'm not talking about the relationship between a woman and her biological child or son; but a spurious one concocted by Father Yod between the women in the family whom he gave the title of mother; comprised of the women he was having sex with on an ongoing basis whom he also began to refer to as his 'wives', and the men in his family deemed as his suns.  When Jim Baker decided to adopt and introduce the ceremonial 'sex magick' that he had gleaned from reading Aleister Crowley; he also decided to designate his 'wives'/any of the women whom he started to have sex with from the pool of women within 'the family' as mothers, whose primary purpose was to perform the ceremonial 'sex magick' called qudosh with any one of the men, or suns.  Yes, that was exactly what life was like, being in The Source Family.  Every single woman could have her relationship usurped and undermined at any moment by Father Yod assigning one of his women deemed a mother to engage in ceremonial 'sex magick' with another woman's partner, husband or father of her child.  Absolutely no relationship was respected, but rather continuously transgressed by the often unsettling directives laid down by our self-appointed 'earthly spiritual father', Father Yod because he believed that the role of women a subservient one, as quoted from several passages in his book Liberation,"the Woman's whole life revolves around, and is dependent upon, her Man", and "He(man) is Her security....Her Life....Her reason for BEING", and "the woman's way to Liberation is to serve and inspire Her Man", and "The perfect Woman is both Wife and Mother, to Her Man."  The same kinds of postulations made about women found in other male-dominated faith-based belief systems throughout history; belief systems that believe women are subordinate to men.  Oh, Jim Baker loved to give the appearance of treating women as though they were 'the mothers of all living' espousing how all women should be respected and not lusted after; yet his own behavior and actions appeared to always contradict his own words, and always seemed more self-serving designed to accommodate his own lustful desires masked by the pretense of attaining 'spirit.'  But Father Yod made a distinction between the women labeled as mothers, and those labeled as angels, because the title of mother per Father Yod which had nothing to do with the mothers of babies and small children; implied that the women he was having sex with had a higher status than the rest of the women in The Source Family as though they had received some sort of imaginary transmission (or rather emission) from their seemingly divinely ordained godman Father Yod/Yahowha.  I felt the role of mother as assigned by Father Yod completely undermined the women who were either married or who had formed close, intimate relationships or partnerships with men in 'the family', because those given the title of mother were to be treated and viewed as being special or above everyone else; a belief based on the deluded and erroneous magical thinking that was the mainstay of The Source Family.  Because every aspect of life in Jim Baker's Source Family was originated and fueled by magical thinking along with talismanic ritual belief and repetition.  None of the women who were having sex with Jim Baker were any higher or more evolved or enlightened than those women who did not have sex with the man.  The entire thing was complete and utter poppycock devised and implemented by Father Yod in his ever-increasing desire to control the man/woman relationships within his so-called 'family' by manipulating the sexual behavior of absolutely everyone!  Many of the women who comprised The Source Family lost respect for the men whom they were involved with, due to Father Yod's contrived mother/sun maladaptation.  If a woman was labelled as being an angel within The Source Family, she was seen as having a lesser social position; which is also why some women clamored around 'Yahowha' for the distinction of being called one of 'his women' and given the title of mother.  An angel was not seen as equal in status to that of their counterpart the mother.  I saw the mother and angel distinctions devised by Father Yod create discord, confusion and feelings of disempowerment among the women in 'the family' whose husbands and partners could be randomly 'scooped up' (a cutesy 'source family' term meaning a woman initiating sex with a sun) by a mother assigned by Father YodWomen were expected to acquiesce and standby/allow the men in their lives to be regularly 'scooped up' by their designated mother to engage in ceremonial 'sex magick'.  Yet, Father Yod absolved his own angel, Makushla from having to serve any of the other men/suns or perform 'sex magic' with any of them; so she was given a special dispensation and given a new title of mother/angel and appointed and anointed as being his very own special mother/angel.  Although, Father Yod only allowed Makushla to be called his mother/angel elevating her status within the entire group above all the rest, to such an extent that she was seen as being his spiritual equivalent to be showered and treated with the same reverence and respect, as shown to him.  I believe that the ritualistic 'sex magic' that Jim Baker expected the women to perform with the suns in The Source Family transgressed the personal boundaries of all the women who comprised 'the family' putting us all in stressful, uncertain, compromising and sexually unprotected situations.  Because Father Yod used his power and control as the 'spiritual' leader and ersatz father of the entire group to mandate that both men and women obey and comply with his 'teachings' that he believed would lead to a higher 'spiritual' consciousness.  But, the only woman whose status was elevated within The Source Family was that of Father Yod's own mother/angel; whereas the rest of the women were expected to perform something which his own mother/angel was exempt from having to perform.  It's no wonder that the one woman designated as being 'Yahowha's mother/angel' was left with pleasant memories of being in The Source Family, because she was the only one who had a get-out-of-jail-free card.  Only Father Yod's mother/angel was exempt from having to perform ceremonial 'sex magic' with any number of men within The Source Family; nor did she have to take care of the children during 'children's duty', or do laundry, cleaning or any of the other menial chores performed by the other women within The Source Family; but instead was treated like a queen being pampered and waited on and afforded the luxury of accompanying Father Yod to Europe and India.  Yet, there are some who proclaim that life in The Source Family was 'ahead of its time' and that it was representative of a new 'aquarian age'.  The faux mother/sun relationships devised by Father Yod gave a few women status and perceived power over other women and undermined the man/woman relationships that had already been established within The Source FamilyThe public can now get a better understanding of why so many men and women who were in The Source Family are embarrassed by having been part of such a group and want nothing to do with any of it feeling only degrees of regret and embarrassment for having followed Jim Baker to the extent they did and for having willingly participated in what most consider to have been deviant, sexual practices.  Because the reality was that the only relationship that Father Yod treated as sacrosanct within The Source Family was that of his own with Makushla, but where none of the rules or expected behaviors for the rest of the family members applied to her, because he elevated her above all others.  For me, Jim Baker's behavior resembled more that of Henry VIII minus the beheadings than that of a man claiming to be the "earthly spiritual father' of a new age.  Because, removing and replacing one woman for another whom he had become sexually enamored showing favoritism and allowing special treatment and luxuries for some, but not others certainly applied to life in Henry VIII's court, as well as in Jim Baker's court or rather cult.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Copyright Infringement and 'Source Family Music'

I met with a lawyer last week who specialized in music copyright law, where I obtained the above copy of the copyright law under section 202 which applies to all of the albums that were produced at The Father House circa 1973-74; who informed me that 'possession of a tape or recording does not automatically transfer any copyrights to the songs or material', which was 'music to my ears', especially since so many other people have felt they have the right to enter into agreements to license, distribute and sell albums that were produced while The Source Family was in existence; in order to make a profit for themselves from albums which contain original songs written and performed by a few of the individuals who were in 'the family' at the time!  Copyright Law reads that as soon as a person's song is recorded on to tape, it automatically conveys copyright of that song to the individual who wrote and performed that song; not to any individual who comes into possession of the 'object' ie album or tape.  Per the copyright law of this country, simply having recordings or tapes in ones possession does not convey any 'rights' to the songs on that medium; especially where no signed contract or agreement has been put into place.  The albums that are being marketed and sold labeled as 'Source Family Music' are in reality albums where no 'mechanical' license or agreements were EVER put into place; until not long after a 'box set' of all the albums was released where a couple of former family members appointed themselves as 'president' and 'vice president' of their recently (supposedly) dissolved 'source foundation' were able to inveigle a couple of the individual songwriters/musicians into signing over their 'rights' to the two people heading the 'source foundation' giving said 'president' and 'vice-president' the rights to sell and license their original songs or performances; but these 'source foundation' agreements were not all-inclusive, because a couple of the songwriters and musicians refused to sign anything!  Yet, somehow these same two individuals felt that conveyed to them the 'rights' to sell and license ALL the songs contained on all of the albums produced circa 1973-74.  But, several of the songwriters and musicians who contributed to the albums produced back in and around 1974 at The Father House in Los Angeles, never signed one of these 'source foundation' contracts, or any licensing agreements with any of the parties who continue to sell what are called 'source family' albums!  In my mind, it has all been a huge copyright infringement; because of the attitudes of entitlement exhibited by a few individuals who believed they could make money from the sale of the music made by individuals other than themselves who they shared space with while being in The Source Family over forty years ago.  I believe that once and for all, the inherent copyrights of each individual's songs and/or performances need to be looked at closely and examined, and administered to correctly where legal licensing agreements are put into place with either the artist themselves, or with their respective heirs, if that artist is deceased; rather than anymore of the continued wholesale sales of albums being marketed and sold as 'Source Family Music'.  Anyone currently selling albums under the banner name of 'Source Family Music'; people who believe they have carte blanche permission to distribute and sell albums which contain original songs written and performed by actual individuals really should investigate and take a closer look, rather than just accepting the belief that all of the songs were 'made by the group' which somehow invalidates the claims of any individual songwriter, singer or musician; any persons who are presently involved with the sales of any of the albums that were produced during the brief period of time at the Father House in Los Angeles circa 1974 really need to determine whether or not they actually have licensing agreements in place with all of the individual songwriters whose songs are featured on those albums, rather than just taking the word of a couple of individuals who have wanted to profit from the sales of the music, and who have also presented themselves as being 'representatives' of the individual songwriters and musicians.  Because in the 'real' world, an individual artist/songwriter is acknowledged and compensated for the use of any of their songs.  None of the original songs on ANY of the albums being marketed and sold as 'Source Family Music' belong to ANYONE but the person(s) who wrote the songs!  But, a very bad precedent was set back in the nineties when Sky Saxon and another former family member took it upon themselves to enter into a deal with a Japanese record label to release a 'box set' of all of the albums that had been made during 'the family'; a deal which netted them both thousands of dollars; but where nothing was paid to any of the individual songwriters or musicians who performed on the albums in this 'box set'; I believe this action set into motion what I see as a continued 'pleasant form' of piracy where other former 'Source Family' members saw an opportunity for themselves to also profit off music which they had nothing whatsoever to do with!  It is my belief, that it is long overdue that things are put right in the continued licensing and sales of original songs contained on all of the albums deemed as 'Source Family Music', along with the correct recognition given to the individual songwriters, singers and musicians of those albums.

**Some people have been under the impression that since none of the songs recorded back in 1973-74 were copyrighted at the time through the US Copyright Office, that it meant those songs fell into 'public domain' which per the attached article 'Orphan Works' states otherwise: "Under current copyright law, if you make a recording, that work is automatically protected from the moment of its creation until 70 years after your death.  If you sign a record label contract in which your copyrights are transferred to the label (which is the typically the case), the record label owns your copyrights for the term of life + 70 years, if you do not exercise your termination rights. If someone else wanted to license or re-release your recording during that time, he/she would need to identify and locate you – or your record label – to ask permission. After the life +70 years term, your work moves into the public domain, in which no permission is needed to use your work."

Here is another site that addresses what falls into public domain, which states the following: "It is important to emphasize that copyright protection is not the only form of legal protection for creative works. Although a work may be in the public domain for copyright purposes, rights to the material may be protected under various legal theories such as trademark or unfair competition laws (which protect against confusingly similar usage by another); an individual’s right of privacy (the right to be left alone); or a person’s right of publicity (an individual’s exclusive right to benefit commercially from his or her name, voice, photograph or likeness)."

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Moral Authority and Wasted Years

One of the fundamental questions that people ask, after watching the documentary is, "why would anyone join a cult?"  Most people cannot understand how or why anyone would follow someone like Jim Baker and obey his directives; it is just unfathomable to most people.  I believe that the larger or grosser problem of cults like The Source Family is the fact that people hand over or surrender their ability for making their own personal decisions and choices; handing over all moral responsibility to one central figure to make their decisions and choices for them, even in life and death situations.  Once you surrender your personal power to another individual, then your choices are no longer your own.  One definition of moral authority is the following: "the capacity to convince others how the world should be" which absolutely sums up what Father Yod was able to achieve within his 'source family', because most of the people who devotedly followed the man believed him to have a supreme moral authority equal to that of God.  The problem with so many spiritual and quasi-religious leaders and gurus is they begin to believe they are the voice and embodiment of a supreme and almighty presence on earth, and are destined or preordained to lead people.  Which is exactly what happened with Jim Baker when people began to follow him, and because of his followers believing him to be 'the voice of God'; they willingly surrendered their will and began to adopt and adhere to Jim Baker's first two commandments of his 'Ten Commandments for the Age of Aquarius' which were:  1) obey and live by the teachings of your earthly spiritual father 2) love your earthly spiritual father more than yourself.  For many in The Source Family, Jim Baker surpassed all other gurus, spiritual leaders or teachers around at that time; but he was also offering a free place to land, where the only requirement really needed to join were working in the restaurant and attending 'class' every morning where Jim Baker began cultivating his following; attracting his own 'spiritual' children by offering a seemingly idyllic alternative lifestyle where the pursuit of 'spirit' was to have been the primary objective, but where he also nurtured a 'spiritual' elitism among his followers by convincing them they were chosen by God to lead humanity into the approaching new age of aquarius.  But, Jim Baker did own a restaurant and could provide a livelihood for everyone who showed up to join his cult, which was a sanctuary from the streets of Los Angeles for anyone who even feigned an interest in what Jim Baker was saying; people who knew a good thing when they saw it.  In the late sixties/early seventies many people like myself were wandering and moving around the country searching for communes and groups of likeminded people who had also experienced the transformative results brought on by the hallucinatory and mystical effects of LSD, psilocybin and other mind-altering drugs that many people during the sixties and seventies had experimented with and even used on a regular basis which induced feelings of peace and love towards their fellowman.  So, many people were seeking out alternative ways to live their lives that were counter to the prevailing culture.  A result of the drug-induced mind-expansion of the sixties and early seventies was that people began to search for answers to their existential questions about the meaning and purpose of life and many people were in a quandary about what to do with their life, after having 'dropped out' from mainstream society opting for 'alternative' lifestyles where returning 'to the garden' became more appealing than the materialism and consumerism found in our Western culture, which is also what lead many people to adopt Eastern philosophies and mysticism casting about for a 'teacher', master or guru to follow who might provide them with answers to life's 'mysteries' and/or lead them to nirvana.  Finding The Source Restaurant was like finding an oasis where free food and a place to stay was being offered by a fatherly-looking man who was also offering a fast track to enlightenment, and finding such a place populated by your own peers most who were wearing their hair long just like you; at first seemed like an idyllic situation.  It was a situation that made it that much easier for Jim Baker to gather his own group of followers and devotees to operate his restaurant and generate much needed income.  Thus, by providing a livelihood for people it also facilitated Jim Baker in acquiring his own 'spiritual' followers; people who were impressed with his physical appearance and the 'teachings' that he was espousing to whomever would listen.  People became enthralled by the outward appearance of a man who looked like Moses and the all-white clad disciples that were beginning to surround him:  people whom he proclaimed were the 'forerunners of a new age'; a heady and appealing 'new' prospect for many of the disaffected that showed up.  In retrospect, it was a smart move on Jim Baker's part, because he gained people to run his restaurant without having to pay them a wage, and he gained the 'spiritual' children or followers that he sought.  So, more people showed up at The Source Restaurant and joined 'the brotherhood', drawn to either the food and a free place to stay, or the promise of having 'secret esoteric teachings' revealed to them, along with the outward appeal of a group of longhaired people all dressed in white sitting around a man who proclaimed he had reincarnated from Atlantis, and many who simply followed their spouses and siblings in joining.  Jim Baker looked the part of a father; an older, bearded man with a big grin giving bear hugs telling everyone who showed up, 'welcome home' making them feel they belonged and were one of his 'spiritual' children, but where soon some of his female 'spiritual children' became sexually attractive to him.  There are many former family members who feel they lost or wasted years of their life, by stopping and dropping everything they had going on in their lives to join and follow Jim Baker.  Coming out at the end of all of it; many people felt they had lost chunks of their lives by remaining in The Source Family for years.  Because after 'the family' ended people had a difficult time trying to adjust back into 'normal' society and put their lives and careers back together; lives and careers that had been put on hold and suspended; which is one of the predominate regrets that I've heard from several former longtime Source Family members; how much they regret the years of their life spent in 'the family'; although the documentary has tried to present 'success stories' at the end of the film; which is hardly accurate and not representative of the larger majority of former members.  Anyone who joined The Source Family essentially put their lives on hold, some selling all of their material possessions or surrendering them upon joining 'the family', where they attempted to adopt and live by the 'teachings' of Father Yod allowing him to rename them while giving up their identities and individuality to adhere to and abide by the groupthink of 'the family.'  It was virtually impossible to pursue your own career or your own life, while being in a cult such as The Source Family, where individual accomplishment and personal achievement were nonexistent, unless it was acceptable and allowed within the confines of the group.  Nobody took outside jobs or pursued outside careers while being in The Source Family, because everything and everyone revolved around the decisions and choices that Father Yod made for the entire group, which is why it felt so very liberating when 'the family' finally ended.  Being liberated from the restrictive and isolating dictates of one man and his council of 'women' where group compliance became an imperative; so it felt exhilarating to make your own personal choices once again.  A childlike dependence had ensued where everyone would go to Father Yod for every little thing; looking to him and asking his consul and advice about virtually everything; something that Jim Baker was keen on doing and if you wanted to be in 'the brotherhood', you had to obey whatever dictate was handed down by the man we all called 'father'.  There was no topic or subject that Father Yod would not broach, even instructing family members how to use/fold toilet paper and wipe their bottoms!  But, as more and more people began to join 'the brotherhood' it became necessary to have everyone look and behave in a homogeneous way; where everyone began to dress alike, and everyone was allotted the most basic of  'source family' accoutrements like a sleeping pad or mattress, a copy of Jim Baker's book Liberation; and the standard issue robe for the men, which was basically just a dress:  a front and back sewed together at the sides, along with a 'meditation' shawl and for a time a coveted sheepskin to sit on during morning meditation.  Those were the standard issue accoutrements given or allotted to anyone joining 'the brotherhood' in the early days, when there was still plenty to go around, but as more and more people began to join 'the family'; there were fewer and fewer resources and less accoutrements to go around; and so unless someone still maintained connections outside of 'the family' and had access to money; they simply 'got by' or went without while in 'the family'.  But, nobody went to the dentist or the eye doctor to get glasses; absolutely none of the everyday things that people do in 'normal' society were done in The Source Family.  Women did not have ultrasounds, or access to a gynecologist; all of that was just not done, while in The Source Family.  Jim Baker wanted to be recognized as a great spiritual leader/teacher and an authority on health and nutrition, and he wielded an unquestioning moral authority over his followers and he relied on the most devoted around him to uphold and enforce his edicts and carry out his directives; something that every cult leader has found to be necessary.  In every cult throughout history, the cult leader depended on their most loyal devotees to carry out their directives in order to hold sway over their followers.