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 Family....no 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.