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.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Inure Circle

I had a conversation with someone recently who used the term 'inner circle' to make a distinction between me, whom she said was part of the 'outer circle' of The Source Family and those whom she had been lead to believe belonged to the 'inner circle'.  Ha ha ha.  Wow, I thought that person had really drunk the Kool-Aid and been influenced by the one person who perpetuates that kind of belief, in order to convince people of her own 'specialness' and perceived status of having been part of some imaginary 'inner circle'.

There was no 'inner circle' within The Source Family; only the imagination and obsessive need for one woman to convince people of her being above and more important than the rest of the riffraff in the family.  What a load of hogwash!  The term 'inner circle' is something that has been adopted and used by one person who has desperately wanted to differentiate herself from the other former 'family' members and saying that she belonged to the 'inner circle' helps her to achieve that.  It also adds to the mystic of it being a mystery school where 'secret teachings' were being passed on to only the most deserving of initiates.  But, the truth is; there was no 'inner circle' within The Source Family with the exception of a few women who were privy to seeing Jim Baker's junk more often than others, and having to watch him have sex with other women while being in the same room waiting their turn.  Yeah, no thanks.  I did not want to be part of THAT 'inner circle'.  If anything, I would have called it an 'inured circle' of women who had to accept and habituate themselves to enduring Father Yod having sex with multiple women often with more than one at the same time!

There was certainly no 'inner circle' as if to convey a small cadre of people possessing esoteric secrets that the lesser 'family' members were not privy.  How can you have an 'inner circle' when absolutely everyone knew what everyone else was doing?!  All crammed together like sardines stacked on top of one another where everyone knew everyone's business.  Although, claiming to have been part of an 'inner circle' does convey a sense of 'specialness' and being 'chosen'.

But, if I had to be part of a 'circle' within The Source Family, then the 'outer' one suited me just fine, because I wanted nothing to do with all of the machinations of some of Father Yod's 'women'.  Yet, even the notion of there being an 'inner circle' within The Source Family would confirm the fact that a class system or clique of division grew from Father Yod claiming 'his women', along with a few of the men or sons whom he had nurtured and groomed to be carbon copies of himself.

The entire dynamic of 'the family' where some acquired and had more than others was a complete contradiction to the 'aquarian' values that everyone belonged to 'one tribe' and where everything was shared equally.  But, some egos thrive in having a sense of their own importance; especially if they can convince other people of their heightened importance.  Father Yod did incessantly stroke people's egos by telling them how 'special' and 'chosen' and 'apart from the rest of humanity' they were, which helped to shore up their devotion and commitment to him, because feeling special, chosen and apart from the rest of humanity was a consistent theme of Father Yod's big talk.

Many people wanted to sit in Father Yod's presence all day long and be seen as invaluable to him at carrying out all of his orders or directives; some with an almost cruel precision.  One former member told me about the time that he was supposed to do 'guard duty' at the compound on Kauai, but did not show up because he was sick, and when one of the 'inure circle' women confronted him she said to him, "you make me sick, you don't deserve to live" brutally chastising him for being unable to show up for guard duty.  That was the gung-ho extremism and severity in carrying out Yahowha's edicts that some people in The Source Family willingly embraced.  Because, anyone who didn't perform a task or duty given to them by Father Yod was seen as being weak and lacking the spiritual strength or resolve that some felt they possessed more than others.  Spiritual elitism riding roughshod over those perceived to be lesser or weaker was rampant in 'the family.'  There were a few bullies in The Source Family who would intimidate people and even force them to leave the group.  That was the climate that existed in The Source Family and that produced a few who came out of the experience with the belief that they still belong to some imaginary 'inner circle' which has entitled them with a special position and special powers.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Being Overweight Or Gay

Jim Baker was obsessed with all of the women in his 'family' being thin, as he was with the men and women in his group having specific gender roles that definitely did not include gay people.  I have a cassette tape recording where he is addressing one of 'his' women who happened to be a couple of dress sizes larger than most of his other women where he says', "I forgive her for being a little overweight."  Excuse me? He forgave her for being a little overweight?!!  But, that was the message that Jim Baker sent to every woman in 'the family'; that we should all strive to be skinny.

I was a little overweight when I joined 'the family' more chubby than anything, and so Jim Baker repeatedly tried to put me on a diet that consisted of only vegetable juices and cottage cheese.  A vegetable juice and cottage cheese diet was something that he would put many of the women on whom he felt were overweight in his 'ideal aquarian family', because interfering in every aspect of his 'family' member's lives is something that Father Yod did consistently; especially when it came to the appearance of the women.

Father Yod wanted everyone in The Source Family to be representative of health and vigor, which meant all of the women should be svelte, and although he constantly extolled the benefits of exercise and diet; I never actually saw him exercising, with the exception of swinging on the gravity bars once in awhile, but he always seemed rather out of shape to me with his big stomach and flaccid arms.  He certainly didn't look as muscular and virile as seen in photos from when he was younger, but he was middle-aged when he started The Brotherhood of The Source with his wife, Robin Baker.  I also never recall Father Yod putting any of the men on any diets to lose weight.  But, it wasn't like I was obese or that my health was at risk; so I rebelled and refused to remain on any of the diets that Jim Baker tried to put me on, and didn't drop my few extra pounds until a year or two after 'the family' ended, and then I did it for myself and not for anyone else least of all a spiritual blowhard who tried to impose his idealized female body type on to all of the women in The Source Family!  I resented a fifty-year old man whom himself seemed rather out of shape, telling me that I needed to diet.  Anyone can judge just how overweight I was from the early 'family' photos that I have posted on this blog.

But, Father Yod was continually imposing dietary restrictions on the entire group, as well as his own sexist generational views of what a woman should wear and look like and what her 'duties' to a man should be.  Yeah, welcome to the 'Aquarian Age'!  Gloria Steinem would have been aghast at the outdated and regressive male views that Jim Baker held about what the role of women in The Source Family should be!  Because Jim Baker believed that all of the problems in the world between women and men had to do with them not fulfilling their 'duties' to one another; duties which to me seemed more like a throwback to another era and subjugated women more than anything else when women didn't really have any rights; especially over their bodies and were expected to behave more like servants and handmaidens waiting on and attending to a man's every need doing his bidding while relegated to a protected and sequestered existence which consisted of bearing and raising children and doing all of the menial household chores.

So, being gay certainly did not fit into the specific gender roles which Jim Baker believed men and women should perform.  Welcome to The Source fat chicks or gay people wanted!  It's no wonder that so many people even mildly interested didn't stick around, because of the many stringent requirements for becoming a forerunner of  'the aquarian age'!  You shouldn't be either gay or fat.  I remember one morning in San Francisco when a couple of gay men showed up for morning 'class' and Father Yod reigned down like a fire-and-brimstone preacher in his very loud and bombastic way about what an abomination it was for men to sleep with other men.  Needless to say, they never returned.  So, for anyone who wants to believe that Father Yod and The Source Family were cultural icons and forerunners of anything; especially of an enlightened 'new age', they have been mislead and bamboozled---taken in by all of the hype surrounding the film, along with the overembellished narrative given in the plethora of interviews done by just one person; someone who themselves can barely remember much of anything, yet presents themselves as being the authority on Jim Baker and spokesperson for every former 'source family' member.

I realize that this blog is going to disillusion many people who would rather believe all of the hyperbole, because it can be very deflating and disappointing to learn about the darker, more disturbing aspects of someone or something; especially if it conflicts with their idealized notions about The Source Family.  I realize there will be some people who would rather cling to the fairy tale gloss over image of The Source Family and Father Yod; people who would rather not have their illusions about all of it destroyed.  But, people should know that up until now, they've only been fed an exaggerated and idealized version of what life was really like in The Source Family, a version that has left out anything that the public might find unpalatable or disgusting, because gaining fans and followers and selling source-branded products/merchandise is the most important thing for some people; who believe they are spreading 'the teachings of Yahowha' to the rest of the world.

But, rather than being forthright and honest and telling the truth----shining a light on everything that was inherently wrong, unjust and harmful about being in The Source Family; only the seemingly ideal and attractive aspects of the entire story were used in one person's book or rendition of life in The Source Family, which the documentary was based on, but which is a story that has been sanitized and whitewashed leaving out anything the public might find disgusting or revolting, and where the same two people who compiled their book believe they are 'doing the work of Yahowha' actually believed they could control any and all information pertaining to either Jim Baker or The Source Family assuming that none of the other former members would dare challenge or speak out against anything they published or did such as entering into licensing agreements with entities giving the impression they owned all of the rights to every single song to come out of the experience.

But it's my feeling that you can only hide the truth about something for awhile, until the truth or reality about something finds its way to the surface, and where no amount of hype can undo or make things right.  After having one longtime member of 'the family' who joined The Brotherhood of The Source when she was in her early teens, say to me about Jim Baker, "he raped me and ruined my life"; I realized that I could no longer remain silent or go along with any of the promotion of Father Yod being some kind of cultural hero being perpetrated by a few individuals who are trying to pawn off Father Yod and The Source Family as being leaders or pioneers of the 'new age' movement, much less possessing any 'magical' ancient know-how, when it really has just been about promoting themselves.

Because, using women as sexual pawns in one man's need or desire to seek spiritual fulfillment through practicing sexual ceremonies which he imposed on an entire group of people where he believed that using his own semen and the menstrual blood of women would convey the ultimate spiritual awakening or attainment, and where children became the victims and recipients of one man's experimentation in having a group of people live out his ideal, new age lifestyle that shunned the use of modern medicine is hardly worthy of praise, much less repeating!

People should be informed and know about what really went on in The Source Family, before they begin to tailor their own lives in emulating this supposed ideal 'aquarian' existence that a few are trying to fob off onto the public.  It is impossible for people to make any kind of informed decision about either Jim Baker or The Source Family being vanguards of the entire 'new age'/vegetarian movement in this country, when they've only been fed a whitewashed and fantastical version of the story.

But, if you were not gay, and you were a female, especially a thin one or a celebrity or you had a lot of money; you would have been welcomed with open arms by Father Yod and even coveted by him, because money, women and power seemed to be his greatest motivators.

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Disempowerment of Robin Baker

As was the case with several of the young women who joined The Brotherhood of Source, Robin Baker was their inspiration to want to join; not only because she looked terrific and looked really 'together', but also because she exuded confidence and assurance in the 'spiritual' path that she had adopted, along with the man whom she was thoroughly and dedicatedly in love with her husband, Jim Baker.  Robin was called 'Mother' in the early days of 'the family', a title that was well-deserved by her treatment of everyone who joined 'the family' with the kindness and concern of a mother hen attending to her brood.  Because in the early days of the group, Robin was seen as the group's spiritual 'mother' and Jim Baker as its spiritual 'father', and although Robin is only a couple of years older than me; she always seemed much older and wiser, as someone who had suffered quite a lot in her own life, and had acquired her own innate wisdom and insight.  Robin Baker adopted her role as spiritual mother of the group with energy and enthusiasm and most everyone who knew her, became very fond of her; which made it that much more difficult for some like me, to watch Jim Baker displace and replace her with another woman who joined 'the family', something that I felt Robin bore extremely well.  Some of my best memories from the early days of being in 'the family' were going with Robin and a handful of other women to the local flea markets or to Olvera Street to shop for the all-white Mexican clothing that most of us wore in the early days of the brotherhood, or to buy fabric, but all of those fun outings and excursions soon stopped and things began to change dramatically; once Jim Baker decided that he needed to create a 'super race' of 'aquarian' children and in order to do that; he believed that he needed to impregnate other women within 'the family.'  At that point for me, I began to lose any respect or admiration that I might have had for the man; especially when he sent Makushla to summon me to his upstairs bedroom one day to have sex with him; where it became very clear to me that he was nothing more than a debauched middle-aged man who was using his position and power to sexually take advantage of the women in 'the family'.  I felt embarrassed and ashamed for him, and I lost all respect that I ever had for the man, at that point.  But, when Robin was demoted from her position as spiritual 'mother' and was replaced by Makushla at her husband's side; I was never able to view either Makushla or any of the other women whom Jim Baker began to accumulate around himself with any degree of respect.  Here is a radio interview that Robin Baker did a couple of years ago that I wanted to share with those people who have become captivated by all of the idealized hyperbole that has been spread around like so much manure about how wonderful, wise and loving Jim Baker was, or how enlightened or inspired life in The Source Family was supposed to have been; in order to give them a better understanding of the role that Robin Baker played and all that she was forced to endure and sacrifice throughout The Source Family; but most of all having to powerlessly watch her own husband, and the father of her child die in front of her.
Below shows Jim Baker on his way to go hang gliding with a grave-looking Robin next to him.

Monday, March 7, 2016

A Dissolution of Relationships

***This post is to give voice to all of the women who invested their lives and bodies into forming and having relationships and marriages (and children) that were destroyed while being in Jim Baker's 'source family'.***  In order to write this blog, I have had to relive many of the distressing moments and emotions that I experienced during the course of The Source Family, in order to write about those experiences; something that has not been easy to do.  I can only attest from firsthand experience that the long-term effects of following and obeying Jim Baker's directives did not have any lasting healthy or positive effect in people's lives, but rather left behind a wake of dysfunctional relationships, emotional suffering and physical scars, because families were torn apart while being part of Jim Baker's Source Family, which is why it's even that more unfathomable to me why some would want to continue in the folly of extolling the virtues of life in 'the family'.  I didn't really want to revisit many of the emotions and experiences that I felt and had during the six years that I spent in The Source Family, and like other women experienced anguish, distress and separation as we watched and witnessed men that we loved follow and obey the maladaptive belief system of Jim Baker's for the men to engage in sex with as many women as possible; some who even abandoned their own wives and children, in order to follow and carry out Father Yod's edict of 'his son's' having more than one woman.  Because Father Yod believed that only by destroying or deconstructing the matrimonial bonds and emotional bonds and ties between the men and women in his 'family' and their children; would they be living his ideal of an 'aquarian' new age family; and so I witnessed the dissolution of many relationships and marriages throughout the years that The Source Family was in existence.  People would enter 'the family' married or in close, committed relationships only to have their relationships or marriages torn apart/destroyed due to the misguided, self-serving directives of Jim Baker/Father Yod, because he believed that an open, sexual environment where both men and women having multiple sexual partners was healthy and represented the 'new age of Aquarius', and where he would continually assign women to be with and 'serve' men other than their own spouses; to become an interloper in a man's already established relationship or marriage with another woman; and women were expected to 'buck up' and just endure it, and even 'be happy' about it!  As I've stated before, Jim Baker was continually messing with people's personal lives and relationships within his 'family' believing that he was setting an example for the men in the 'family' how they should treat women, along with a more hands-off impersonal attitude towards their own children; relationships that should have been sacrosanct and left alone.  Although, Jim Baker's belief in himself and the other men in 'the family' having multiple women seemed to glaringly contradict his very own commandment that he penned in 1969 that read, "The Man and His Woman are One, let nothing separate them.'  Which begs the question, "Even another woman?"  This commandment was later changed to, "The Man and His Women are One, let nothing separate them."  Ha!  How convenient.  Although there are still a couple of women who still cherish their days spent as one of 'Yahowha's women', but that is because they were never able to deprogram themselves enough to see that women were treated more like chattel in The Source Family than anything else; women who were seen as only a resource or commodity by Father Yod to direct or place with those whom he valued most:  the men.  Because, deep down Jim Baker was more an old school sexist who was more concerned about 'his son's'/the men in his family and whether or not they had 'angels' or women to take care of them (especially sexually), than with anything else.  So, the women in Jim Baker's 'aquarian family' were relegated to a servile, albeit protected status; something which became a constant part of his rhetoric about how it was a man's duty to protect and provide for 'his woman' and a woman's 'duty' was to obey and serve a 'man', of course Jim Baker had to change the singular 'woman' to the plural 'women' to accommodate the many that he began to accumulate around himself.  One man (one of Jim Baker's most favorite) once described being in 'the source family' like being in a 'candy store' with all of the sexually available women that were at his disposal; because that was what Father Yod was all about; moving around the 'angels' or women within 'his family' placing them with various 'sons' as some sort of reward for their devotion to him.  Women saw their own spouses and husbands, and fathers of their own children get so caught up in following Father Yod's directive of men having multiple, sexual partners within the family that their only choice was to either accept another woman being insinuated into their relationship, leave or dissociate, just to cope; because after all this was 'the aquarian' way of life as being taught by our 'earthly spiritual father.'  More like 'aquarian' bullshit!  Many married couples who joined 'the family' soon saw their marriages destroyed by following  Father Yod's derelict and irresponsible 'aquarian' morals.  Jim Baker believed that he was setting the bar or the standard for all of his 'sons' in how to attract and hold on to/keep women, which is why he was continually casting around within the family for new sexual conquests; to show off his prowess and ability to attract women.  It was practically impossible for any marriage to survive while being in The Source Family, under the sexual promiscuity encouraged and promoted by a man who believed that women were only attracted to the most constant and powerful of men; but rather than encouraging the men to be constant devoted husbands and fathers; he encouraged them to acquire as many women around them as they possibly could and to have them treat all their 'women' equally showing no preference or deference to any one woman; yet that was exactly what Jim Baker continuously did: he showed preference for one woman.  That one woman began with Robin Baker, whom he married prior to the formation of The Source Family, but soon devolved into being another whom he became sexually enamored.  So, Jim Baker had to quickly adjust and tailor the social mores within his spiritual group to where a man should have multiple women to 'serve' him; while not showing preferential treatment to any one woman in his harem; something that was supposed to also be representative of the 'new age' of 'aquarius'.  Yes, we were all brainwashed into believing 'the aquarian way of life' meant that we all belonged to one tribe where men would have multiple women to attend to their every need, and where any emotional bonds or attachments to any one individual such as a wife or husband were seen as being Piscean; something which I observed only created varying degrees of physical and emotional abandonment and neglect that arose from being encouraged by Father Yod to dissolve or shun any prior commitment to anyone they were either married to or had a child with, to be replaced with the delusional 'new age' belief that care of their children should become the responsibility of the entire group and not just their own, and that any close, personal relationships between a man and a woman could be torn asunder and usurped at any moment, by Father Yod's incessant interference and assigning of women to other men.  So, many who were in committed relationships and marriages were forced to have their relationships 'tested' by following Jim Baker's mandate that the men in his 'aquarian' family gather as many women as they possibly could.  Something that left many men who followed Jim Baker with degrees of remorse and regret for having followed the man for as long as they did, in such misguided and detrimental nonsense which inadvertently either destroyed or irreparably damaged their marriages and relationships with the women in their lives, as well as with their own offspring.  The following quote was taken from the attached pdf about cults that could not have summed up what happened in The Source Family any better, "Consequences to the spousal relationship - Intimacy between couples was also inhibited in the cult, so that when couples emerge their intimacy skills are rusty or non-existent. Showing affection was dangerous because it would call attention to the pair bond which would threaten the leader’s omnipotent control.  He would then find a way to come between them, often seducing one of the partners into a sexual relationship with him.  After all, having sex with “God” can be a powerful aphrodisiac.  Love and sex were not connected and often the leader would choose partners for members who were not suited for one another so that true intimacy could not develop.  In therapy, then, couples need help in reaffirming their commitment."

Thursday, March 3, 2016

An Invasion of Privacy

The entire 'source family' experience was a huge invasion of privacy.  From having every aspect of your personal life controlled and dictated to by one man and the 'council' of women who policed the entire group, to the past few years as one person took it upon themselves emboldened with their humongous sense of entitlement and delusional belief of their own status decided to write a book using the photographs and personal stories of the individuals who populated The Source Family, regardless of whether or not anyone approved or signed off on anything.  One woman who had been a long time member had her story published in that book, after categorically stating that she did not want to have her story published!  But, trespassing upon the personal boundaries of individuals was one of the signature features of life in The Source Family where any newbies joining 'the family' were converted into becoming steadfast 'followers' and worshipers of Father Yod, and where any woman was to view it as an honor and a privilege to be summoned to have sex with him, after all Father Yod was seen as the temporal, godlike, spiritual leader/father of the group, which I guess transferred some unseen power or authority over all of the women's bodies within his 'spiritual' group!  No one's personal space was respected within The Source Family and life was one big invasion of privacy after the next.  The childbirth of every woman became a group spectacle.  One woman who was in the throes of childbirth had one of the most controlling 'council' women barge in with a couple of complete strangers so they could 'witness' a 'natural, home' birth!  This was just one example of how the personal boundaries of each and every individual were trespassed upon.

Robin Baker started recording morning meditations or 'class' as it was called in the early days, but when another person also began recording Father Yod allowed it for awhile, but then one day he ordered that all recorded cassette tapes be thrown into the garbage, although after one person went dumpster diving to retrieve those cassette recordings he eventually acquiesced and indulged people recording.  But, the same woman who went dumpster diving decided to publish/release hours upon hours of recordings calling them a 'meditation tape' series in another of her efforts to profit off either Jim Baker or The Source Family in anyway she can.  But those tapes don't just contain the voice of Father Yod imparting his particular brand of wisdom---they also contain the dialogue and conversations between him and other 'family' members at the time, something which I see as a continued invasion of privacy.  The majority of people who populated The Source Family for years who now regret that experience and are embarrassed by it all, and who want no association with it anymore may not want to have their voices and their conversations published for public consumption.  But, that does not make one iota of difference to the one person obsessed with commandeering every aspect of not only Jim Baker's life, but the lives of each and every person who joined The Source Family over forty years ago.  Also, who do you think profits off the sales of those 'meditation tapes', Jim Baker's children?  I don't think so.  But again, that makes no difference whatsoever to the one person who continues to sell and profit off 'source family' merchandise.  But, certainly nobody signed any kind of release or waiver of any kind, because again it is just one person's gargantuan sense of entitlement to take and use/sell something that happened over forty years ago during 'the source family' to use for their own self promotion.  After all who is pictured on the cover of the 'meditation tape' series?  One person was constantly invading even Jim Baker's personal space and would never allow him to have a moment to himself---someone who continually would insinuate herself into every single moment the man tried to be alone and someone who was constantly pushing and shoving her way into the personal space of absolutely everyone who comprised The Source Family and is something that continues unabated.

Just within the last couple of years, an email letter writing campaign was waged (I was asked to participate) to stop/block the publication of the series of naked 'tarot card' photos that Father Yod wanted taken, during the height of his 'sex magic' fervor and is something that the two people leading the charge of 'all things source for sale' have no qualms about publishing, regardless of what the person/the woman who posed for those photos with Jim Baker wanted all these years later.  The only concession the two would make was that they would wait until 'the woman was deceased' and then they would publish the naked tarot card photos of her, but there is always hope the latter happens to those two first and those embarrassing naked photos that were taken back at The Father House in 1973 are not put out on public display just to satisfy the insatiable need of one person to profit off absolutely anything having to do with the long dead Source Family.

Because life in the family was supposed to be one of impersonal nonattachment, the needs and voice of the individual were subverted by that of the whole.  God forbid you were to disagree with any of Father Yod's directives, because everyone in 'the family' were expected to be positive to whatever directives were passed down from our illustrious, spiritual leader, Yahowha.  If you did express your disagreement or displeasure with anything that went on in 'the family', then you were automatically labeled as being 'negative' or 'out of your center' and so people in the family were not supposed to express themselves except with a smiling countenance feigning some sort of enlightened state passive-aggressively using phrases like, "I'm just a reflection of you."  Because becoming angry or expressing yourself in any way other than with a smiling, benign countenance was seen as the worst offense.  So, many adopted a phony smiling countenance in order to give the appearance of having achieved an 'enlightened' state---a feigned countenance that many supposedly 'enlightened' self-help and 'spiritual' gurus seem to share.  A pious, smiling insincerity accompanied by flowery new agey speech infused with positivity statements and affirmations became the 'standard' mien of all new agers and self-help gurus around and became the standard within The Source Family in order to appear 'enlightened' and so a 'herd mentality' veiled in spiritual attainment ensued within The Source Family with the belief that we were all of 'one mind' which has made it that much easier for one person to exploit the entire experience by trying to present a unified front of former 'source family' members as still being of 'one mind' and by constantly referring to 'we'.  One person in particular refers to themselves as one of the 'the old guard' in order to portray themselves as some sort of 'spiritual' pathfinder leading the way for a younger generation.

Also, on some of the so-called 'meditation tapes' were several song recordings of my son's deceased father, Tim Garon, which the person publishing the tapes would not even allow me to have a copy, until I launched an open, public opinion campaign involving other former family members to pressure that person to allow me to have a copy of Tim's songs for myself and our son.  The woman's argument who was holding the tapes was that she was afraid that I would 'do something'/release those songs/recordings without her involvement.  Yet, that is exactly what she did----she released songs/music without the permission or involvement of the songwriters or their heirs.  This person did not want me to have copies of subpar recordings of my son's father, because she was worried that I might release or publish those songs and leave her out.  Eventually though with pressure and a show of support from other former family members, the woman acquiesced and allowed me to have a copy of the songs, but I've no doubt this person is still clinging to/holding on to other cassette tapes which contain other songs of Tim Garon.

But, it all goes back to the same familiarity and sense of ownership or entitlement that some people from The Source Family continue to exhibit which is a hangover from 'the family' daze.  But, I refuse to be joined at the hip to anyone who was in The Source Family.  I feel no allegiance to anyone who populated 'the source family' and refuse to feign some kind of quasi-family connection with anyone who claims to be a 'source family' member, or especially be held hostage by anyone who feels they have some claim or ownership to either my son's father's music or photographs of me or my son or his father, just because one person was indulged by Father Yod and allowed to confiscate photographs and personal items of individual's who shared space over forty years ago in The Source Family.

The same creepy familiarity that was bred during 'the family' that we were 'all one' and that nobody should be attached to anything that happened is something that continues to this day, and a belief that everything belonged to the group or the whole and is a false and delusional belief exploited by a couple of former members to continue marketing and sell 'source family' branded merchandise---whether or not the sale of that merchandise transgresses the privacy of others.  Although, as I have stated before; I do feel that because many people were taking photographs and videos during the six years 'the family' existed that those photographs that were ordered by Father Yod to be kept in a centralized location, should have rightfully been made available to anyone who was in The Source Family---especially those who have lost their children, spouses or parents rather than being taken and used/published in order to promote and enrich only one person.

What I also see as another invasion of privacy, is the continued obsessive-compulsive behavior of one individual to try and locate information on any individual (many deceased) who may have had only a brief, passing interaction or involvement with either Jim Baker or The Source Family.  There is something really creepy about continually trying to attach people to The Source Family even after they're dead.  Yet, this wanting to locate personal information about other people's deceased family members only to satisfy one person's obsession with attaching that person to The Source Family is something that continues to happen.  It reminds me of how The Church of Latter Day Saints 'baptizes' deceased persons who were not church members into the LDS church.  By incessantly trying to gain or gather the personal information about anyone even remotely connected with The Source Family or who may have had any kind of interaction with Jim Baker is just another invasion of privacy, although on a much creepier level.  This invasion of privacy has been something that has been going on for a very long time.  Nobody who joined The Source Family were allowed to keep their own possessions---anything of value like automobiles or cameras/musical equipment were taken/confiscated and either sold or utilized by someone else within 'the family.'  One man who joined 'the family' for a brief time had his guitar confiscated and used, but when that man decided to leave was never allowed to regain possession of his guitar!  That kind of appropriation of people's possessions went on all of the time and it goes back to a deluded, airy-fairy spiritualized belief within The Source Family that no one should be attached to 'material' things, which for the more greedy or manipulative meant more for their taking and exploiting.