Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Box

I read a Vice article today where a woman who survived Jonestown recounted some of her memories and experiences.  One of her statements really jumped out at me when she referred to what was called 'the box', which was a 6 x 4 x 3 plywood box where adults considered to have 'disciplinary problems' were placed.  Followers of Jim Jones also called him 'Father', the same as Source Family members called Jim Baker.  Similarly, a plywood box was also used in The Source Family as a disciplinary measure, but children were put into that box, not adults.  A few of the women who had small children, while in 'the family' have expressed to me how upsetting 'the box' was to have their child placed in it and how that was something they thought was wrong.  But, again as I've written about many times---that's what happens in a cult:  people surrender and go against their own moral feelings and beliefs to obediently follow and obey their cult leader's, who is perceived to be 'spiritually superior'.  Putting children who were 'acting out' into a plywood box, in order to get them to behave was either Jim Baker's idea, or perhaps one of the women whom he appointed to 'the council'.  The council, as it was called consisted of several of the women, whom Jim Baker had decided to sexually penetrate and then claimed to be 'one of his women'----a position that gave some women a sense of power and control within the social order of 'the family'.  So, it was decided that children who exhibited behavorial problems such as not doing as they were told or who exhibited excessive crying were placed into 'the box', until they calmed down and became compliant and apologetic for their behavior, because Jim Baker believed that children were 'little animals'.  I have stated before that I didn't like that damn box and thought it was a cruel and scary form of behavior control to use on children, but my son was only an infant, during the times that 'the box' was utilized both at The Father House in LA and again at the Hilo Country Club on the Big Island.  In the hot, humid conditions of Hawaii, I do not think it would have been very comfortable being placed into a plywood box.

But, that's the kind of thing that diehard followers of Father Yod/Yahowha choose to omit from their idealized fairy tale narrative saying how wonderful and ideal life was within The Source Family, and how 'ahead of its time' and 'aquarian' the lifestyle was.....hardly.  Placing small children into a plywood box as a disciplinary measure is hardly 'ahead of its time' or 'aquarian', and yet it's one of the things that went on in 'the family' that some want to keep hidden from view and kept secret, or at best have some kind of 'spiritual' meaning or purpose attached to the many unhealthy and detrimental things that took place within The Source Family, under the direction and complete control of our 'spiritual' leader.

My recent post comparing Jim Baker's predatory sexual behavior towards the women in The Source Family, to that of Harvey Weinstein really caused an uproar among a few of Father Yod/Yahowha's most entrenched devotees.  I was accused by one former male 'family' member for betraying a vow that he claims everyone took in The Source Family not to divulge Jim Baker's deviant sexual ritual called qudosh that he imposed on the entire group.  I never took any vow of silence to never speak about qudosh, but that is the lame argument that a few diehards are using, in defense of one of Jim Baker's most disturbing 'teachings' in a desperate attempt to try and silence, shame or intimidate other former family members from speaking out.  Any former member who falsely claims that 'we all took a vow of silence' never to reveal the practice of qudosh are terrified that their friends, family members and co-workers will find out what was really going on within The Source Family and that it wasn't the cool, rock and roll 'new age' utopian ideal which has been presented to the public.  Using a quote that I just saw on a website where a husband and follower of Yogi Bhajan wrote about how his wife had to endure years of sexual demands and abuse at the hands of one of Bhajan's 'teachers'; which reads: "I'd rather be hated for telling the truth, than loved for telling a lie"----that's exactly how I feel about exposing qudosh and the truth about many other things that went on within The Source Family, that some would rather be kept buried and hidden in the past.

Hide, deny or obfuscate---those are the ploys that a small handful of diehard Father Yod/Yahowha followers are using, because admitting the truth and accepting the fact that those of us who found ourselves in The Source Family cult for years willingly participated in what now the majority of former members realize was textbook cult behavior is just too much for some to bear, and the reality flies in the face of those who want to cling to their delusional belief that Jim Baker was 'spiritually' superior or an enlightened 'new age' avatar which includes themselves---a delusional belief they've clung to for the past forty years.  As I've stated before, most people would never want to admit they were in a cult, much less that the cult leader imposed a sexual ritual on all of his followers or allowed babies to die without medical treatment of any kind.  Honestly, I get it.....who would want to admit to being part of something that became harmful and deleterious to the health, well-being and safety of babies, small children and women---who were the ones that suffered the most under the so-called 'teachings' and directives of Jim Baker.  But, hiding or denying the truth doesn't help the victims of abuse, no matter how long ago it happened.

I wanted to end this blog post by including a link to a very concise and comprehensive assessment of cults which describes different kinds of cults and their power structures and most importantly why people find themselves unable to leave a cultic group.  The article describes perfectly the kind(s) of cult The Source Family was: a combination of an Eastern/New Age/Occult/Cult of Personality, since it contained elements of four of the cults that are described.  Especially for any former Source Family members who are reading this and who are continuing to try and make sense/understand why they stayed/remained in The Source Family for as long as they did, even after realizing that much of what Jim Baker was 'teaching' and extolling was either unhealthy or detrimental to the health and well-being of themselves and their children---I strongly encourage them to read the section Bounded Choice:  The True Believer's Predicament that explains why people find it difficult to leave a cult, after adopting what's described in the article as, "the transcendent belief system" or ideology of the cult leader, because it provides answers to why so many of us remained in The Source Family for as long as we did.

"Most importantly, cover-ups and whitewashing won’t help former cult members evaluate or recover from their experiences in a whole and healthful manner."

Sunday, October 22, 2017

An Aquarian Harvey Weinstein

Sadly, the case of Harvey Weinstein using his position of power and influence in Hollywood to sexually harass, abuse and take advantage of women around him did not come as a surprise.  The women who have finally decided to come forward with their stories about Harvey Weinstein reminds me though, of all of the women who were in The Source Family, who have chosen to remain silent and never come forward or publicly talk about the sexual abuse they suffered and endured in the hands of a man who saw himself as their spiritual 'father' and who used his position of 'spiritual' power to initiate sex with most all of the females who populated The Source Family at one time or another.  As in the case of Harvey Weinstein, it was also an open secret within The Source Family that Jim Baker initiated sex with one woman after the next, and also like Harvey Weinstein, Jim Baker was often naked and wanted women to give him a massage, and the same 'wall of secrecy' has surrounded revealing the extent of Jim Baker's sexual abuse of women---the same secrecy that surrounded Harvey Weinstein's behavior.  There are still some former Source Family members who want to maintain a 'wall of secrecy' especially about the sexual ritual called qudosh that was adopted by Jim Baker that he imposed on all of the women within 'the family' with the expectation for them to perform with the men or 'sons' in the family.  For me, it is tragic to see former Source Family members continue to defend and explain away Jim Baker's sexual predilection for grooming very young women to engage in sexual relationships with him and/or his 'sons'.

One woman like me who also spent years in The Source Family told me about the time that she went to 'Father Yod's' bedroom upstairs at The Father House seeking advice or solace about one of the men/'sons', and as soon as she sat down/lay down next to him (Jim Baker was often reclining or sitting in his room surrounded by women); he began kissing her and trying to initiate sex with her....much to her surprise and horror, because there were other women present in the room.....but, that never made any difference to 'Father Yod', because he touted that it was 'Aquarian' where women should be able to lower their inhibitions and engage in 'sex magic' with him in the presence of others.  The woman who recounted this episode to me, said that 'Father Yod's' advances made her so uncomfortable, and there was no way that she wanted to have sex with him, so she made up a reason to excuse herself from the room.  But, that was not the only story that women have shared with me about how 'Father Yod' initiated sex with them; others have told me how, "they never wanted to have sex with him....that sex with him was the last thing they wanted to do", but it was what was expected of them, and so Jim Baker was able to live out his sexual fantasies within his own 'Aquarian' cult he called a 'family', by imposing 'sex magic' as the most important of his made-up-along-the-way faux 'spiritual teachings'.

Those former members who continue to exalt and deify Jim Baker like to say that women were drawn to 'Father Yod' and physically attracted to him, because he was the most 'powerful' and 'magnetic' male and how women were always attracted to the most powerful men---a subject that Jim Baker would also constantly talk about.  But, the reality was that many of the women who Jim Baker sexually groomed were not physically attracted to him and only submitted, because he said it was necessary for their 'spiritual' growth.  Sexual abuse in the form of a loving, caring and 'spiritual' father figure.

The same scenario played out again and again in The Source Family where 'Father Yod' would either summon a woman to his room, or wait until they were alone with him and his 'other women' where he would invariably try to initiate sex; something that became part of the culture within The Source Family' and normalized as being acceptable behavior---the same thing that happened within Harvey Weinstein's companies.  Again, some former members will try and say that it was the 'women' who initiated sex with 'Father Yod' and that it was always consensual sex, but the culture that Jim Baker had created and nurtured within his 'family' was one where sex played a significant and major role, and the women were pressured by a group compliance that took hold, and were expected to be willing and receptive whenever 'Father Yod' ordered them to perform the sexual ritual qudosh----a debased sexual ritual based on some deviant and erroneous occult belief of Aleister Crowley's and adopted by Jim Baker, who believed that a woman was like the moon----barren and dark needing to have her cup filled by a 'sun/son' of 'Yahowha' which was an occult analogy of men ejaculating into a woman's vagina and 'filling her cup'.  The practice of qudosh (something which most ALL the women from 'the family' agree was disgusting) that was imposed by 'Father Yod' is the main reason that former members would rather maintain a 'wall of silence', but it is also the same kind of delusional belief that some former members are still trying to foist upon new followers, which is difficult for me to see happening.  I've read/seen where a couple of men are claiming to be 'second generation' Source Family members, after being handed out or choosing for themselves an 'Aquarian Source Family' name saying how they are part of some 'initiatory circle'.  It's time that the truth is told, in order to stop perpetuating sexual abuse veiled as being occult or esoteric 'secrets' and exposed for the mistreatment and abuse of women that it was.

Harvey Weinstein's case is shining a huge Hollywood spotlight on the culture of men using their power, fame and fortune to extort sexual favors from the women around them, and Jim Baker was no different----he just hid behind the persona of being a 'spiritual father and teacher' who claimed he had returned to earth to gather his children and spread his teachings about the 'new age' and create the 'Aquarian race', and being the owner of a very successful vegetarian restaurant and looking the part of a modern day Moses/he used the profits from his restaurant to support and finance his own 'family' or cult of personality.  Because very shortly after the formation of Jim Baker's family cult, he began grooming one of the first young women (a teenager) to help him fulfill his misguided vision that he was supposed to create the 'Aquarian race'.  I really wish that other women would come forward to share their stories like I have done, rather than remaining silent in fear of being judged or looked down upon by those fervid former members who insist that airing the 'dirty laundry' of The Source Family should not be done.  Just like women in Harvey Weinstein's company who were expected to maintain silence, and who suffered from various forms of PTSD, there are many women who had sexually abusive experiences in The Source Family and are expected to maintain silence.

I have written before, about how shocked I was when one woman who had joined The Source Family when she was a teenager stated to me that Jim Baker had, "raped her and ruined her life."  I was actually stunned when she said that to me, because I had shared/swapped stories with many other 'sisters'/women from the family, but no one had ever come out and said that she had been raped.  But, that woman will never come forward or openly tell her story, because of the pressure and judgmental attitude of other former members who believe that we should remain silent about 'Father Yod's' sexual activities and just leave it in the past.  Some women do not want to be seen as a 'traitor' by openly revealing how they may have suffered, while in The Source Family.  But, as for me; I don't give a damn about trying to maintain some kind of phony hero worship of Jim Baker or promoting The Source Family as being some kind of example of healthy 'new age' living.

Several years ago there was a private website meant only for former 'Source Family' members where the two people administering to the site had become 'spiritual' surrogates of 'Yahowha' tried to get former members on the site to agree to 'stick to the same script', which meant agreeing on the same idealized and sanitized storyline which left out anything that some regard as the 'dirty laundry' of The Source Family.  This was just before the film came out in 2012.  I was even verbally chastised by one of the producers of the film for speaking out and not toeing-the-source-family-line which she believed was to maintain and promote some imaginary 'Source Family values', because there are some who basically 'drank the Kool-Aid' about Father Yod and think/believe that former members like me should adhere to only 'positive' statements about the experience---one that leaves out the darker and more disturbing aspects like babies dying without medical attention or the most important of Jim Baker's delusional 'teachings' which involved ingesting the menstrual blood of women!  How could anyone leave those two very important elements out of the story of The Source Family??!!

Since The Source Family ended/disbanded after Jim Baker died, I have stayed in contact and reconnected with many women from the cult, and I have never had a conversation with one of them where Father Yod hadn't sexually penetrated them or continually tried, it became a common theme among all of the women who populated The Source Family, just as in the case of Harvey Weinstein and the women who were in his company.  Although, there are still a few women who cherish the sexual relationship they had with Jim Baker and continue to exalt in his memory.  Jim Baker relied on the loyalty and commitment of the 'sons' and 'daughters' who surrounded him, which were the familial terms that he used for all of the men and women who comprised his pseudo family, and expecting women to perform 'sex magic' with him helped him to maintain his power and control.  Many gurus and 'spiritual teachers' had done exactly the same thing as Jim Baker, although most of the time it was kept hidden from view.  Just like Harvey Weinstein, gurus and 'spiritual' teachers have used their perceived power and influence to take sexual advantage of the people around them.  It's something that has been going on historically for a very, very long time and more than not, is seen as acceptable even normal behavior, or at best something to never be spoken of.  It's still a sad state of affairs, how men like Harvey Weinstein and Jim Baker believed that their elevated status and positions of power automatically meant that women should be receptive to their sexual advances and so they would continually seize every opportunity to satisfy their own carnal needs and desires.

I was recently contacted by a young woman, who had gotten involved with a guy whose parents claimed to have been in The Source Family, and soon found herself caught up in a sordid threesome forced to perform qudosh with a couple of guys who wanted to practice the deviant sexual ritual that Jim Baker had adopted from Aleister Crowley and touted as being a 'sacred occult teaching'.  The young woman was finally able to escape the situation, but feeling traumatized by the experience she began searching online about The Source Family and found my blog and reached out to me asking for help in understanding and making sense of what had happened to her.  The young woman felt that she had been sexually abused by two men who took advantage of her free-spirited, loving and giving female nature (the same loving, free-spirited nature that many young women had during The Source Family) and expected her to perform the sexual ritual of qudosh with both of them!  It was the same kind of deviant sexual practice that Jim Baker had expected women in 'the family' to perform with multiple men/'sons'.  In wanting to regain her own personal power and to try and make sense of what she had experienced, the young woman began searching online and found me, and so I will continue in my efforts to expose the sexual abuse of women that was hidden behind a veil or smokescreen of being 'sacred, occult teachings' which Jim Baker imposed on his cult followers back in the 70's.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Escaping The Downward Spiral

One thing that Jim Baker seemed to be good at was leaving or escaping situations that he no longer wanted to be in, like his escape from his wife and children early on....his escape from being married to just one woman, and I guess that you could say his escape from any moral or ethical rules of society when he created his own little fiefdom where he was the supreme ruler.  Yet, once he had created his fiefdom and called it The Source Family; he would also escape from that whenever things became too stressful for him, or if he became too restless within the confines of his little 'family' and wanted to travel abroad seeking the recognition as a 'great spiritual teacher' that he so eagerly sought and had expected to find in India where he believed that he would be easily recognizable as a great 'holy man'.  So, when things became too much for him on Kauai; Jim Baker split with a small entourage of 'essential' women and a couple of 'chosen' sons, who would take care of everything along the way, because having people attend to him and wait on him who virtually revered him as being their divine 'earthly spiritual father' was something that Jim Baker had become accustomed to and enjoyed immensely.  I mean, who wouldn't enjoy being the constant center of attention and even seen as God incarnate by some people!

The photo below taken on Kauai conveys a lot about what it was like in The Source Family where our 'spiritual leader' Father Yod would 'hold court' in his often loud and bombastic way either imparting his brand of fiery 'new age' beliefs or chastising someone whom he felt was threatening his 'family' like local public officials or anyone who was against having a cult move in next door to them.  The day this photo was taken was when Father Yod had extended an invitation for local Kauai citizens to an 'open house' at the compound where we were all living, in order to show them just how benign and harmless we were; which is why the scene is staged with Father Yod set up with a microphone (I guess he was expecting a huge crowd and wanted to make sure the people in the back could hear him).  But it's the somber and pensive expressions on most everyone's face which tells the story more than anything.  I was standing at the very back that day; my own face turned downward finding it more and more difficult to look at or listen to Jim Baker as he spouted off like he incessantly did, but like many who had remained in The Source Family for years; I felt trapped and fearful of what might happen, if I were to leave 'the family', because Jim Baker would continually warn of the dangers of leaving....even death or insanity and so like many others who have found themselves trapped in a cult unable to extricate themselves.....remained and endured whatever situation their cult leader lead them into.

Jim Baker's delivery of his 'teachings' became more and more bombastic and was something that he did every single day either during 'morning class' or throughout the course of each day where anyone who remained in The Source Family was expected to stand around, or sit at his feet, or follow him around attentively listening to him preach or 'teach'......whatever you chose to call it.  But, everyone who joined The Source Family was expected to display the same adoring and loving reverence for our leader, Jim Baker, because we were his 'little kitties/kiddies' and he had given us everything, and nothing but the utmost respect and elevated reverence was to be shown to our most valued and venerated leader.  An atmosphere of utter and complete devotion to our 'earthly spiritual father' was expected at all times and so he could never be wrong or mistaken about could he when it was believed that Father Yod had become the voice of God.  So, Father Yod was preparing to put on a good show for any locals on Kauai who might show up....he was ready to 'blow their minds' with his profound 'wisdom' and then perhaps they would see him for the great Godman that he believed he had become.

But over time the constant and expected reverential behavior and attitude towards Jim Baker's fire-and-brimstone way of conveying his 'teachings' became more and more contrived; especially whenever there were people present who were non-family members where Jim Baker would really put on a show.  The members of Jim Baker's cult of personality labeled The Source Family had followed him to Kauai to live on acreage with one main house where he and 'his women' lived more comfortably than everyone else, who were scattered around in the other structures.  Life in The Source Family had disintegrated into living isolated and cut-off in a compound on Kauai, after living in relative prosperity back in Los Angeles where we all lived off the proceeds from The Source Restaurant.  But now, many of us had begun to question what we were all doing there continuing to follow, obey and worship this former Los Angeles restauranteur turned 'holy man' who had convinced us that he was our 'spiritual father' and how we were leaders of the 'new age', when we barely had enough food to eat on a daily basis, and were having to live with the stress and fear of some kind of violent retaliation from the Kauai locals where Jim Baker began talking about being prepared to 'kill' anyone who tried to harm his family, and where the nursing mothers were forced to apply for birth certificates all using the last name of Aquarian, in order to receive welfare payments from the state of Hawaii for their babies who were born while in 'the family' none of whom had birth certificates----those welfare payments becoming one of the main sources of income for the remaining family members on Kauai. 

So, it was no surprise when Jim Baker decided to take off for India where an exorbitant amount of money was spent on airfares, hotels and clothing, hats and accoutrements for himself and his small, chosen entourage, while the rest of 'the family' remained behind on Kauai where myself and the other women with infants were forced to apply for welfare to support the remaining 'family' members, until we were evicted from the island completely.  But, Jim Baker escaped the conditions on Kauai under the guise of 'searching for a new home in Nepal' (of all places) to have a fun and exciting overseas adventure with his small entourage of women and token 'sons' to eat at fine restaurants and stay in nice hotels, while everyone else left behind struggled under the growing insufferable conditions on Kauai.  But, none of Jim Baker's decisions or actions were ever questioned by anyone within 'the family', because all of his actions and behaviors were elevated, excused and explained away and always had a magical 'spiritual' significance attached to every single thing that he did or said, and where nothing less than elevated and worshipful dedication and devotion to our 'earthly spiritual father' was to ever be displayed.  Welcome to Cult 101 Groupthink where the cult leader's whims and desires are always fulfilled.

Most of us just wanted to escape the worsening conditions on Kauai, and yet felt helpless and incapable of leaving out of fear of what might happen, if we were to leave the group, because our spiritual leader and ersatz father figure repeatedly warned of the dangers of leaving 'the family', and so many of us remained out of fear enduring and suffering through the worsening conditions, while 'Father Yod' jumped ship and went overseas.  The account in the one former member's hyperbolic book about The Source Family states, "They (meaning Jim Baker & his entourage) left Egypt and went to Athens, Copenhagen, Denmark, Germany, England, and Canada, then on to the Pacific Northwest, and finally to San Francisco, where the Family waited for them at the airport" making it all sound like such a happy and joyous reunion welcoming back 'Yahowha' from his European vacation, while the rest of 'the family' members had been left behind to struggle under the desperate and deteriorating situation on Kauai.  Jim Baker's excuse for his escape from Kauai was to search for better 'digs' for the entire family, but in reality what he was really doing was just extricating himself from the worsening conditions, and as always was seeking to satisfy his own grandiose delusion of being a 'holy man" looking for validation and recognition wherever he went.  Jim Baker's self-obsessed messianic complex and his subsequent behavior became apparent to anyone who wasn't blinded by a devotional worship for the man.  But, that's what cult leaders and gurus usually do---emboldened by their own grandiose self image of themselves being 'great' spiritual teachers or leaders; they afford themselves travel, luxuries and niceties, while their loyal subjects toil and wait in a holding pattern, until their leader returns to sit at his feet and worship him once again.  But, as in most cults, the cult leader's desires were always to be indulged, like the time in San Francisco where our 'earthly spiritual father' went out to eat and ordered steak tartare (which is made from finely chopped or minced raw beef or horsemeat), when his 'teachings' had explicitly been founded on being a vegetarian!  But, that's what it's like being in a cult where the followers are expected to adhere to the words & 'teachings' of their master or guru, but the same rules of conduct do not apply to the cult leader. 

After Jim Baker returned from his overseas escape/vaca and reunited with the rest of 'the family' in San Francisco, the entire group lived like a bunch of homeless people wandering around the Bay Area looking for a place to call home which ended up being an old, dilapidated mansion in San Francisco where 'Father Yod' would spend his days performing 'sex magick' with his 'women' in his upstairs meditation tower, while the rest of 'the family' members continued to struggle to bring in much needed income, in order to indulge and support Father Yod and the rest of the family members, while trying to follow and adhere to his 'aquarian teachings', even though he had just squandered thousands of dollars escaping to Europe and India to indulge his own spiritual ego.  The situation continued to spiral downwards when 'the family' was relocated back to Hawaii....this time to the Big Island moving into what was called The Doc Hill mansion where conditions continued to become dire and desperate where there was barely enough food to eat and some nursing mothers began to show the effects of malnutrition.  Again, Jim Baker escaped the conditions at Doc Hill with his entourage of chosen 'women' and 'sons' to Oahu where he took up residency in a lovely home overlooking the ocean in the bedroom community of Lanikai where he would perform his final escape when he decided to fly off a cliff one day to 'test God' leaving behind the babies he'd sired, and the gaggle of women that he'd accumulated around himself.

On this day, Jim Baker had invited the local community of Kauai for a concert and to hear him speak; hoping to win over the locals, but nobody showed up that day.  But, that didn't stop Father Yod from delivering one of his fiery speeches about an approaching Armageddon.  I circled myself standing at the very back holding my infant son, because I always hung back at these kinds of spectacles having already become extremely disillusioned with Jim Baker, so I moved to the periphery of the group just trying to take care of my infant son, hang on and survive what life in The Source Family had become:  a platform to indulge and feed Jim Baker's messianic complex and his desire and need to gather more and more followers, along with constantly having to indulge all of his whims and desires like taking off for Europe and India on a whirlwind trip while the rest of his followers stayed behind suffering and enduring the worsening conditions and the outside pressure from locals to leave Kauai.  So, the scene pictured above was part of everyday life within The Source Family, because that's what gurus and spiritual teachers do---they sit around all day doling out 'enlightenment' or their "wisdom" while their adoring and grateful followers sit at their avatar's feet soaking up their every word.....that and constantly attending and waiting on their master or avatar in every capacity whether sexually satisfying them or whatever else is required at their avatar's behest. 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Music Recollections By Octavius

All of the songs that were ever recorded, during the Source Family had one thing in common, and that was they all had the same drummer---Octavius performed on every one.  Although, Octavius wasn't just the drummer; he was also a producer and engineer.  I recently asked Chris Johnson (aka Octavius), if he would write something about the music from The Source Family to post on my blog and here is what he wrote:

Hello, I'm Octavius Aquarian. 
I would like to share some memories of being the drummer for The Source Family music journey presenting highlights of the evolution of the music and the phases of its development. I will avoid the emotional interactions of the many people involved. I have been known to be sarcastic and opinionated, so please bear with me and I will try to lay out the meandering journey of music, minds, and melodies.  Because of the things that ego’s madmen, and visionaries bring to our lives....some names and places have been left out, to protect the not-so-innocent from getting their togas and drawstring pants in a bunch.

I walked away from a job in Vegas playing for good money, room and board---to the Source Restaurant for no money or room, but I was never bored.
I walked away from the drums when I joined The Brotherhood of The Source. No one knew that I played drums, but sooner than later it was found out that I was a musician.

There was of course as in any group of people, hidden talents never before realized.
There was a member who was a very talented singer/songwriter named Lotus.  I would play bongos with her (laughing), because I no longer had a drum kit.
There was another member who was also a singer/songwriter at that time named Aladdin, who was a gifted musician.
There was a member who was a bass player of some repute in Hollywood in those days who was hiding out being a talented jeweler in the group. 
There was a member who played keyboard and his name was Magus.
Another songwriter joined, as well who had previously been writing jingles and such; he also wrote some wonderful songs. 
The group had enough talent to hobble together a musical distraction.
Artist and thinkers are the troublemakers. It's not only smart, but necessary to have these kinds of people busy doing things that keep them occupied----lest they start asking questions.  At least that is what music does to me, and it was all I was in those days....all I thought about.  It was my persona---that Jesus was a drummer kind of thing.
That is when the leader says to me, "I have a drummer, I have a band.”
I thought, Oh yay or was that Oy vey!

Well the floodgates were opened. Our spiritual sugar daddy/producer/leader told me to get instruments and outfit a band.  Can you say 'gift horse'?  Guitar Center here we come in our robes and long hair waving cash around, so as to be taken seriously.

All the people who could do anything showed up for an audition at some point or another.  It surprises me how evaluating ourselves can sometimes be so skewed.  As I remember, it was nerve-racking at times a bit like the Gong Show.  I was designated to be the executioner of musical egos.  After purchasing recording equipment, building a studio area and sound booth; we recorded our first album.
Aladdin was never part of the wannabe crowd.

Most all the songwriters and singers made up our 1st musical level.
From there we focused on the individuals who had more than one song. 
Arranging and making them band-worthy.  We were having a good time playing the rehearsed music.
So much so, we even managed a gig at the Whiskey a Go Go on Sunset. It was The Tubes night off.  It was the only gig we had.

As I recall, there were 13 people in the band named "Spirit of Seventy Six” - the 2nd musical effort.
It was during rehearsal days, when the leader of our group started to hang out in the band room.
He did not have a singing voice.
He did not play an instrument.
He wasn’t going to take no for an answer.
He bought a timpani drum to play along!!!!!!
We didn’t have any material that called for timpani drum.
So, he would start playing by himself and we could join in!!
It was less difficult for me at the beginning....both being percussion.
Unfortunately, he didn’t have timing either.
Everyone faked (whatever) the best they could. 
Since the guitar player had never really played electric, he made strange sounds with it like squealing and scratching with wha-wha and echo through a B3 cabinet twirling horns vibrato.
He fit right in.
We just kept playing hoping it would end without a scene of freak out or storming off.
That's when our leader said how fantastic that it was.
We had just had our first taste of YaHoWa 13 spontaneous music - the 3rd musical effort.
This is what we presented as our contribution to the music palate of Hollywood in the 70’s.
This spontaneity continued till in the end we had a band member change up.
I observed that the guitar and the sounds made were pushing to dominate and control with no way out.
I went to the leader and said, "Either he goes or I go." 
The next day we switched things up and played some music with Arelich (Sky Saxon) and Fire Water Air - the 4th musical effort.
With a different guitar player. Those were in the last days of YHV13 in Hollywood.
We made many albums. Others even took the music and redistributed it.  There was even a book about the family, and a music tour for a couple of years 2012-ish, and a documentary movie.  The spontaneous music is what we were known for.

There was also a star in the beginning that continued doing what he always did....sing and play his music, but Aladdin now had a new name Hom (pronounced home).  When YHV13 was not making a splash anymore, Hom's music came to the front.
We put together a band called BREATH and made some great music - the 5th musical effort.
We presented a demo to A&M records. They liked it. They wanted to give us a contract.
As things go, we were not to take their offer. In retrospect, its obvious our leader was selling the family package not the music.
If the musicians were to sign, they would leave the community. Then what would the group do without their music and their band.
Breath did a few gigs in the last days. We opened for Bread at the Hawaiian International Convention Center, and the Crater Festival in 1976 on New Year's Day in Honolulu Hawaii.
Breath was the most commercial, and relatable music the Source Family ever made.
Short and sweet.
Well, thanks. 
Making sure the stories remain true.
Chris Johnson

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Cultural Denuding

I realize there is no actual term 'cultural denuding', but with the term 'cultural renewal' recently being used by one of the filmmakers to describe The Source Family cult; the only opposite word of renewal that I could think of was denude - to strip (something) of its covering, possessions, or assets; make bare.....a word that I feel best describes what happened to Source Family members where we were all stripped of our possessions and assets to assimilate and absorb a preponderance of occult, Hindu and theosophical beliefs and sayings that were supposed to convey ancient knowledge or understanding at the hands of a man who saw himself as a modern day Moses, who claimed that he had returned from Atlantis to 'gather his children', and who just like Moses penned his own ten commandments and then set about gathering a following of devoted acolytes to abide by those commandments.

The definition of 'cultural renewal' is the following:  The act of reviving a dying culture by trying to restore it to it's original state.  Jim Baker spoke about God continually, and he elaborated on how those of us surrounding him would 'be at the head of the class' as leaders when Armageddon came, but he only succeeded in instilling an 'us versus them' belief among his followers creating a spiritual elitist mindset.  The belief among those who comprised The Source Family was one of having been 'chosen' and being 'forerunners of the new age', as repeatedly told to us by our spiritual guide, Father Yod which resulted in an imperious and superior 'spiritual' ego being fomented in many who found themselves in The Source Family----an attitude which some still possess----still thinking and believing that they are the 'saviors of the world'. 

When a cult forms around the personality of one person, in this case Jim Baker; than everything becomes more about that person rather than actually giving back to society or renewing it in any way, while creating an atmosphere that the outside world poses a threat.  Denying the use of modern medicine which saves lives doesn't contribute to a cultural renewal, but rather it casts us back in the past when there were no drugs or medical procedures that could save human life, and so returning to practically 'biblical times' using only faith healing to cure the sick and injured hardly qualifies as cultural renewal; especially when those antiquated beliefs lead to the deaths of infants who might have gone on to have healthy and 'meaningful lives' had they been given medical attention.  Which is why the whole notion of The Source Family cult contributing to the cultural renewal in this country ludicrous.  If denying sick infants medical care contributes to cultural renewal, than please explain to me how.  If instructing men and women to ingest semen and menstrual blood contributes to cultural renewal, than please explain to me how.  If denying children with staph infections any medical help contributed to cultural renewal; again please explain to me how.  Because, after spending six years following Jim Baker's 'spiritual' tenets and belief system and witnessing firsthand the detrimental effects that many of his directives and beliefs had in the lives of those surrounding him; I absolutely cannot understand how some people can continue to exalt and worship the man.  Although, films tend to have an impact on people which is why many who watched the film titled a documentary became mesmerized and enthralled by the entire story and have chosen to idealize or romanticize it.

No one in The Source Family had the ability or wherewithal to create 'meaningful lives' for themselves, with the exception of those who either managed The Source Restaurant and had their own vehicle and access to money; but there were only a small handful of Jim Baker's coveted and favored 'sons' whom he indulged.....everyone else ended up leading lives isolated and sequestered within the confines of the group.....never going anywhere having no money or transportation to go anywhere or do anything; especially the women, because Jim Baker did not believe that women were emotionally equipped to deal with what he called 'the outside world' so spent most of their days doing menial chores like cleaning, laundry or childcare relegated to their servile and obedient positions within The Source Family.  Working in the restaurant did allow some of the women to venture outside the bounds of the compound, and a few women were allowed on occasion to conduct 'outside business', but overall a woman's entire existence within The Source Family was to be of service to one of Jim Baker's 'sons', but forget about women having their own individual life making autonomous decisions for themselves---those days were over whenever a woman joined The Source Family.  Women were supposed to be obedient and subservient to their 'godman', as Jim Baker would continually refer to his 'sons' within 'the family'; which is why he would often move women around/place them either with specific 'sons' and even command them to leave their partner to go and 'serve' him to be impregnated by the great, almighty Father Yod!  Which is why I encourage any woman reading this to stop and consider how you would feel, had you been in The Source Family and Father Yod either ordered you to perform qudosh with multiple 'sons' or to return from Hawaii in order for him to impregnate you, because that is exactly what life was like in 'the family'.

Those of us who decided to join The Brotherhood of the Source joined for varying reasons; I was seeking a metaphysical meaning of life, after having several extraordinary experiences, while on LSD and like many others who ingested psychedelics were searching for something else in their lives that might offer a glimpse into the mystical aspects of life, and Jim Baker was eager to provide his adapted and adopted versions of 'ancient knowledge' to all of us, and so we dropped everything and left our lives and our 'real' families to follow and join Jim Baker as our 'earthly spiritual father'; although he was also providing us all with a place to live and food to eat; so what if all we needed to do was get up at 4am every morning to attend class where Jim Baker began to impart his particular brand of 'wisdom'.  At first, in the early days life in The Brotherhood of The Source seemed idyllic and pleasant.....even fun; but things began to change, as more and more people began to join, and especially when Jim Baker decided that he wanted to have more than one woman.  But, having beautiful women prostrate themselves at his feet was too enticing and so Jim Baker began to acquire other women within 'the family' by engaging in 'sex magic' with them.  I doubt there were very many women whom Jim Baker did not 'try it on' with, throughout the six years. But, when Jim Baker decided to impose a deviant sexual ritual he called qudosh onto the entire 'family'; people started to leave.  Although, sadly many of us stayed and endured the worsening circumstances where life in The Source Family became stifling and enervating.

In a recent interview, one of the filmmakers of the 2012 film stated how she believes groups like The Source Family contribute to 'cultural renewal', and how those groups also 'provide people with meaningful lifestyles and direct access to 'god' or 'other beings', and where people with previously materialistic lives; reassess their lives within the cult.  Yeah, that sounds all fine and good but denouncing materialism was hardly what Jim Baker was about!  Jim Baker was all about acquiring/having wealth, not the other way around.  He wanted us to all be 'rich' hippies, which is why he wanted to give the appearance of affluence and wealth by driving around Hollywood (for a short time) in a used Rolls Royce to help give that appearance.  But, once the income from the Source Restaurant became strained from supporting so many people; Jim Baker began to look for other ways to bring in wealth/money and life within The Source Family became tenuous and insecure.

One of Father Yod's money-making efforts was when he decided that a band called Breath should be formed around the songs of both Tim Garon and Les Adam, and so he added the drummer from YaHoWa 13 (Octavius) and the bass player (Sunflower), along with a talented violinist (Lovely).  A demo tape was made at The Atherton Mansion in 1975 and sent to all of the record company contacts that had been made in Los Angeles when the Yahowha 13 albums were being shopped around; although no record label was interested in signing Yahowha 13.  But, A&M Records sent one of their people to San Francisco to hear Breath where they performed for the guy in the basement of the Atherton Mansion, and per Octavius was 'blown away by not only the music, but the whole scene'; and they/A&M records wanted the musicians to fly to LA to record and to sign them to a recording contract.

But, Jim Baker said no to the entire deal once he heard that the record company wanted the band members to fly to LA where they would not be under his control or influence, but more importantly that A&M Records was not willing to make it a 'Source Family' contract---something that Jim Baker was counting on in order to bring a large infusion of cash into The Source Family, so knowing the contract would not be under his control; Jim Baker said no to the entire deal giving the Breath band members some lame excuse how they were 'too spiritually young' to leave and go off on their own, because he was continually warning of the dangers for anyone leaving what he called 'the circumvent force' of the family.  It wasn't until later that the truth was revealed about why Jim Baker put the kibosh on Breath having a record deal.  But, that's what happens to people who join a cult---their decisions are no longer their own, but rather decisions that effect their lives are made by their cult leader/father/guru.  Perhaps Breath band members might have created 'meaningful lifestyles' for themselves had they been allowed to have a recording deal with A&M Records, rather than only having their songs and performances ripped off, sold and used years later by other former Source Family members who saw an opportunity to make money for themselves. 

Although, in 1976 it was the band Breath that performed at the Crater Festival, and then shortly after they opened for the band Bread at the HIC - the Hawaiian International Conference Center being the last band from The Source Family to perform.  It wasn't YaHoWa 13, it was Breath.

So, I do not want to hear anymore myths about how being in The Source Family cult helped people to have 'meaningful lifestyles' when everyone gave up/abandoned their previous lives to end up living in dire conditions with barely enough food to eat, where outbreaks of staph infections lead to the deaths and disfigurement of babies and children.  I don't want to hear anymore about the 'meaningful lifestyles' that people were supposed to have found in The Source Family, when everyone became completely dependent and were rendered incapable of making a living for themselves when the whole thing finally ended where many resorted to dealing drugs in order to support themselves and their families, and where some women slipped into prostitution, no doubt due to the sexual grooming and promiscuity encouraged by Jim Baker, or where some children were physically and psychologically abandoned by their own parents, after The Source Family cult came to an end.  I do not want to hear anymore of the hype and mythos by some who although they left the group have now become zealous devotees and followers of 'Yahowha' once again intent on respreading his so-called lofty spiritual 'teachings'.

If Father Yod's 'teachings' were so powerful and magical, then why didn't any of those 'teachings' produce healthy and productive 'meaningful lives' for the people who populated The Source Family?  Why did so many 'family' members proceed to descend into years of extended drug and alcohol abuse?  Although, there are still a few former 'family' members who have humongous 'spiritual' egos who proclaim they are 'living the teachings' and yet the reality behind their exhortations is something entirely different, because so much of presenting and displaying an 'aquarian' or 'spiritual' persona is a chimera.

Jim Baker was all about acquiring and having material wealth, which initially the income from the lucrative Source Restaurant provided; but as more and more people wanted to join his cult; Jim Baker began to look for other ways to bring in money and wealth.  Also, one of the filmmakers stated in a recent interview how people previously leading materialistic lives were able to reassess their lives in cults like The Source Family---which ironically is exactly what selling and promoting Father Yod and The Source Family is all about......selling something.  But, I believe that people would rather know the truth about what was going on in the cults and communes from the sixties and early seventies; not just a fantastical sanitized storyline adapted for public viewing.  I also feel that it's arrogant and presumptuous for anyone who wasn't in The Source Family to dismiss me or other former members, because we do not agree with their idealized adaptation.....people who see themselves as being more enlightened or more in-tune with what was going on back then dismiss former members like me who do not look back positively at their Source Family experience; one woman even going so far as to explain why former members don't have a positive attitude about their Source Family experience because of one of three things:  1) they were not really following much of a spiritual path 2) they were following some 'other' spiritual path 3) they were never fully into the practices.  In their presumptive arrogance, some people who were never in The Source Family actually believe their version or narrative is more accurate, than those people who actually spent years of their lives in it.

Initially, Jim Baker did aspire to live up to lofty spiritual ideals, but like most men who find themselves being praised, elevated and worshipped as being a 'great, spiritual teacher, guru or leader' and are surrounded by fawning and adoring females and male followers---those men usually succumb to their sexual predilections and then proceed to adapt their 'spiritual' leanings and/or 'teachings' to accommodate and indulge their sexual inclinations.  But, the thing is----Jim Baker took his own sexual promiscuity and practices which he adopted after reading Aleister Crowley's 'sex magick' and proceeded to impose a sexual deviant ritual on the entire collective of Source family members......a ritual that most former members would rather forget about.  So, I don't appreciate women who never had to submit to 'feeding' multiple men/sons in succession to make assertions that I 'just didn't get it' or 'just wasn't spiritual enough'.  The majority of women who were with me in The Source Family for years agree that qudosh was disgusting and are embarrassed by the fact they/we had to perform such a thing.

The reality and truths behind the entire Source Family story are best described and summed up by the people who spent years of their lives in the cult, which are certainly more accurate and insightful than the idealistic projections of someone who became enthralled by the story after watching the film, or by anyone who has a personal and financial interest in maintaining a mythos around Jim Baker and the Source Family, but what I find to be odd are the people who left the group, but have now become what I call born-again 'Yahowites'---people who although they left 'the family' have now become fervent and devoted followers of Jim Baker's once again, along with some who spent no time in 'the family' whatsoever.  It's no surprise that someone who left 'the family' and never had to endure the hardships and deprivations that many of us endured, now worship and praise Jim Baker.  It's no surprise, a woman who was never in The Source Family and did not have to perform qudosh with a succession of men/sons believes that her idealized perspective is more accurate than someone who actually was and did.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Subjugation By A Narcisstic Cult Leader

Unconsciously, Jim Baker ended up subjugating every man, woman and child who joined his cult family by admonishing and entreating everyone to follow his words or rather his commandments.  But, like countless other so-called 'spiritual' leaders of cults, Jim Baker believed that gathering followers around him was what God wanted him to do, and that whatever he said or did or entreated his loyal followers to do was being condoned by a higher power.

I doubt that many gurus and cult leaders have malicious intent when they initially start forming and creating their own little quasi-religious following, but invariably when someone is elevated to the position of being a great avatar espousing the 'word of God' and imploring people to follow and obey them---to be swathed in that man's immense love for them; I believe that with omnipotent control and influence over other people's lives is where so many gurus went wrong.  It is always the people who willingly decide to believe in and follow a guru who end up suffering at the hands and commands of the cult leader; especially someone like Jim Baker----a fatherly figure expressing love, care and concern to all who willingly wanted to join him and to follow and obey his commands.

I understand how people have to take responsibility for their own actions and choices in life, and yet the gurus and spiritual leaders who become enthralled by their own power and who become convinced they are 'the voice of God' who then begin to gather people around them exerting absolute control in the lives of their followers and making all of their follower's decisions like what everyone should eat, wear and believe---then I believe that cult leader has to take responsibility for any and all misguided, dangerous and detrimental practices that he decides to impose.

The inflated spiritual ego impressed by his or her own great spiritual achievements begin to believe that everything they do is for the greater good of mankind, and no matter how deviant, debauched or debased their beliefs or behaviors may become; the majority of cult leaders remain confident that all of their actions are condoned by a higher power and therefore, should not be questioned or second-guessed by any of their followers, but rather their followers should be ever so thankful and grateful just to be in their cult leader's presence.  That kind of intensified and magnified glorification and idealization of Jim Baker is what happened very early on in The Brotherhood of The Source, as more and more people came to The Source Restaurant wanting to join the group who initially wore only all white clothing, because Jim Baker, the man who owned the restaurant believed that white was the highest 'vibration', and so encouraged by his new wife/bride; Jim Baker decided that he should gather or 'get his own children' (as he is heard saying in the film) to become a spiritual father/leader just like his spiritual leader, Yogi Bhajan had done.

But, the ego of a man or woman usually goes askew when they become thoroughly impressed and enthralled in the belief of their own spiritual greatness, and sadly it's the gullible and hapless yet earnest believers who end up suffering at the hands, whims and desires of the cult leader---people who no matter how much enthusiasm or idealism they may initially have about the decision to follow one man or guru, eventually begin to suffer and feel the negative results by having to 'live up to' and abide by/fulfill the whims and desires of the inflated spiritual ego of their leader---a person who convinced his followers that he wanted to create a new race of enlightened, 'aquarian' children, and that he needed to have sex with and impregnate the women in the group, in order to do that, because after all 'it was what God wanted him to do'.  That is exactly what happened with Jim Baker, and yet there are still those who cling to the notion that Jim Baker was a great visionary in possession of ancient knowledge and wisdom surpassing all other teachers and gurus around----people who still refuse to even accept the fact they were in a cult and that cult was The Source Family.  An aggrandized spiritual ego tends to hide behind a mask of 'doing God's work' believing that all of their actions and decisions are justified and only for the benefit of others. 

Joining The Source Family meant that you were entirely expected to adopt and adhere to Jim Baker's 'teachings' especially his commandments, and anything less was seen as being inferior in some way and not as 'enlightened' or 'aquarian' among his more fervent and zealous followers.  Everyone in The Source Family was expected to live by and obey Father Yod's words and teachings in an obedient, unquestioning and childlike way.

In the 2012 film about The Source Family, you hear Jim Baker say the following to the family members surrounding him, "Do you see how I absolutely need you?  And how you absolutely need me?  What would I do without you?  Do you know where I'd be?  In the looney bin."  That statement was followed by laughter, and yet it was true, because Father Yod had created a dependent situation among his followers---a situation where many became desolute when he died, because their entire lives had revolved around the man.  In that statement by Jim Baker, he confirmed that he relied on the constant praise and unwavering devoted and attention of the worshipful meiny surrounding him, many who had been following and obeying his every command for years.  The following quote from Daniel Shaw's book titled Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation summed up Jim Baker's control perfectly, "Cult leaders succeed in dominating their followers because they have mastered the cruel art of exploiting universal human dependency and attachment needs in others. The lengthy period of dependency in human development, the power that parents have, as God-like figures, to literally give life and sustain the lives of their children, leaves each human being with the memory, however distant or unconscious, of total dependency. Cult leaders tap into and re-activate this piece of the human psyche. Followers are encouraged to become regressed and infantilized, to believe that their life depends on pleasing the cult leader. Cult leaders depend on their ability to attract people, often at critically vulnerable points in their lives, who are confused, hungry, dissatisfied, searching. With such people, cult leaders typically find numerous ways to undermine their followers’ independence and their capacity to think critically."  That summarization perfectly defines the childlike/infantile dependence that a majority of Source Family member's displayed throughout the existence of the cult.  I have stated before how Source Family members would ask Jim Baker's advice/direction and guidance on absolutely everything in their lives where his tenets and decisions were to be quickly adopted and acted upon, and anything else was frowned upon and seen as being lesser for not following Father Yod's letter of the law.  Anyone who detoured from the prescribed behaviors as determined by Father Yod were looked down upon as being spiritually inferior by those in The Source Family who considered themselves more 'enlightened' among his 'sons' and 'daughters'----an imperious and often condescending spiritual arrogance was exhibited by many in The Source Family who believed what Jim Baker was telling them---that they were 'chosen' and 'forerunners of the new age' and 'children of the six root race' creating an elitist, smug attitude among the more zealous and devoted of Father Yod's followers.

From what began for many of us as something new, novel and exciting wearing all-white clothing trying to adopt a 'spiritual' persona sitting around an older, bearded man who professed being the 'father that we all wished we'd had' became an exhaustive and beleaguered existence in having to listen to Jim Baker/Father Yod/Yahowha incessantly in his bombastic way espouse his 'wisdom' on a 24/7 basis, to where everyone was constantly and exhaustively expected to 'live up to his expectations' and to please him, but most of all to maintain and feign the appearance of absolute commitment and loyalty to any and everything that Father Yod or his 'council of women' wanted or imposed on the rest of us.  So, life in The Source Family became an intolerable and unendurable situation where the circumstances of the entire group had become insufferable and unsustainable, and yet a few diehard and devoted followers of Jim Baker are still hell-bent on pretending it was all some kind of wonderland.

Here are other excerpts by Daniel Shaw from Traumatic Abuse in Cults - "In fact, the cult leader does not escape dependency. Instead, he (and also, in many cases, she) comes to depend on his followers to worship and adore him, to reflect his narcissistic delusion of perfection to him as does the mirror to the Evil Queen in the tale of Snow White. One of the ways in which this perversion of dependency is often enacted can be observed when the cult leader claims that because he needs nothing, he is entitled to everything. Thus, cult leaders claiming to be pure and perfect, without any need or attachment, use manic defenses to rationalize and justify their dependence on extravagant and grandiose trappings such as thrones, fleets of Rolls Royces, and the trust funds of their wealthy followers."  Although the income from the very successful Source Restaurant provided support for everyone who showed up and wanted to become a follower of Jim Baker, those resources became strained from supporting so many people, and from the indulgent expenditures into either his travels to India or the huge investment in musical instruments and recording equipment to facilitate and indulge Jim Baker's rock star fantasy within the cult; even though only a handful of people benefitted from the flush of cash that went into producing the albums that were made in The Source Family.  The strain on the income from the restaurant to support the entire cult compelled Jim Baker to covet and pursue people with personal wealth or celebritydom, because acquiring more and more followers became a major focus of Jim Baker's.

"Ultimately, followers act on the belief that only the leader’s thoughts and feelings matter and have validity, and the follower must exist only to serve the leader’s aims. The follower actively seeks to negate any aspect of his own subjectivity which the leader might disapprove of. To most outside observers, the leader’s aims are clearly nothing more than self-aggrandizement. Insiders, however, in spite of little or no evidence on which to base their assertions, cling stubbornly to the belief that the leader is actually pursuing lofty and noble aims. Asked to do anything to enrich the leader, including, in the case of some notorious groups, prostituting themselves, followers obey and find a way to believe that whatever they do is righteous. By remaining loyal to the leader, the followers persuade themselves that their own existence is given meaning and validity by their support of the leader’s mission."  This is chilling and a very accurate description of exactly what happened in The Source Family.

"The follower’s rewards, which are recognition from the leader and the ensuing prestige the followers gain within their group, are bestowed and rescinded at the leader’s whim, keeping the follower in a state of instability and fear about displeasing the leader and thereby losing status and favor.
One of the reasons many of the people who leave cultic groups choose not to identify their own experience as abusive is because to do so would mean acknowledging an extraordinary degree of grief over the loss of a deeply cherished, idealized attachment connected to their most cherished hopes about themselves and about life, along with the unleashing of an extraordinary degree of shame about their own self-deception and gullibility, and shame and rage about the amount of abuse they were willing to endure for the sake of maintaining their tie to the leader. Eventually, the realization that their devotion and labor within in the group led to no real personal growth, and to no significant contribution to society, will also become a source of deep shame and regret."  Another very accurate explanation/description of what it was like in The Source Family, and how many felt after the whole thing finally ended.  Many of us tried to salvage something positive from the experience of being in The Source Family like doing the 'star exercise' or adhering to a vegetarian diet, but in a kind of collective amnesia the majority of us tried to forget about many of the things that Jim Baker imposed on us/his loyal followers hoping to leave it all in the past.  But, there are still a few who only want to present an idealized picture of what life was like in The Source Family, and who are now denying that many things went on, in their need to maintain an illusion that The Source Family was ahead of its time and representative of a new age, or that our leader was an avatar or the messiah.

"For the cult leader, his ability to induce total dependence in followers serves to sustain and enhance a desperately needed delusion of perfect, omnipotent control. " Yep, that about sums it up.