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---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----all at the hands of a man who saw himself as a modern day Moses returning to 'gather his flock"; who just like Moses created 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 creating an 'us versus them' belief among his followers creating a spiritual elitist mindset.  The atmosphere 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; the result being an imperious and superior 'spiritual' ego 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 swaddled and 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 start 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 start 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 become; the majority of cult leaders remain confident that all of their actions are 'God's work' and should, therefore 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---the person who convinced his followers that he wanted to create a new race of enlightened and new age 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 stalwart believers.  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.