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.