Straight From The Source: Conversation(s) with ISIS AQUARIAN of The Source Family [Part 3/4]


Isis and Father Yod

Isis and Father Yod

Time is a fascinating concept and one that is no less abstract than the idea of love, and no more tangible.  Depending on your level of romanticism, it can be one or the other that conquers all.  Is it time or love that trumps the other in a game of philosophical Roshambo?  Both are relative and influenced by proximity.  Is love eternal, or is it fleeting?  Does time heal all wounds?  Does love make time pass, or does time make love pass?  Does love freeze time… evaporate it?  If your feelings have changed over time, does that render the past any less authentic?  Is love anything more than just biological reactions and neuroscience?  Is time bigger than just a biological oscillation–circadian rhythm?

For 40 years, Isis Aquarian has maintained a timeless connection to Father Yod/Yahowha, even though the physical man has now been deceased for 38 of them.  But while her thread with the leader of The Source Family has remained unsevered and strong, the same cannot necessarily be said for all of the other respective members involved in the commune.  As addressed more thoroughly in the previous installment, the Source was held together as a unit by an energy field, referred to as “circumvent force,” under Yod‘s conduction.  Once their spiritual father passed, the adhesive weakened substantially, leaving them at somewhat of a loss about how to move forward as individuals throughout the world, and their lives in general.

Members did their parts to step up, trying to retain that balance as a bonded unit, but everyone ultimately dispersed, 2 years later (1977), with various levels of success.  Alone and confused, the individuals were mostly left unprepared for their re-entry into the outside world and there was a difficult reassimilation process for most of them to face.  This, undoubtedly and understandably, affected not only how they would come to view the world, their current situations, and their futures within it, but also had the potential to readjust how they viewed their past and the lives that they were forced to step out of.  By extension, this could also influence the way that each of the members viewed the others that were connected to that past, depending on how fondly they still looked upon it, to what degree they had chosen to remain connected to it’s defining principals, and how much they attributed to that past, regarding their current circumstances and abilities, or inabilities, to thrive, after stepping out of it.

Isis holding morning meditation.  After Yod's passing, members would alternate the responsibility.

Isis holding morning meditation. After Yod’s passing, members would alternate the responsibility.

But above all else, perhaps the idea that they now were going to have to deal with time at all, was the biggest adjustment.  As Isis has explained, time and time again, within the Source Family, they lived in a world “outside of time,” or in what they referred to as The Eternal Now.  It’s true that the family had their schedules and their routines, but it was structured that way to put everyone in sync with each other.  In the early days, when The Source Restaurant was paying the bills and Yod was able to foster a self-contained community, of sorts, with limited outside intervention, that mindset of timelessness was able to be sustained and the outside stresses were less of a factor.  Where each of the individuals came from didn’t matter; their pasts were irrelevant.  The idea of future successes or failure’s measured by physical, monetary, or ego-based achievements in a more superficially-minded world, were wiped from the radar; eliminated from the equation.  Each individual mattered then, not because of who they were before, or who they would become, but who they were in that moment.  Their evolution as entities would come from a focus on the present and by tapping into energies that existed in the present, as much as they were timeless and eternal.  When that safety net of a supportive (financially, emotionally, and spiritually) community crumbled, time hit hard and the day-to-day issues became reality.  The outside world moves fast and a change that drastic, going from a standstill to being hurled through space, can crack a human mentally, physically, and/or spiritually, just like a pane of glass experiencing a temperature shift.

father hug eye white markedOne of the laziest and most obvious rocks to throw at a group like The Source involves complaining that the members were “forced” to “abandon” and “cut ties” with their pasts and everyone in it.  While that isn’t necessarily true, it also isn’t necessarily that intense of a concept.  You won’t hear that sort of rage directed toward a football team for requiring members to partake in their own rigid scheduling, structures, rituals, and health routines, even eliminating the intake of certain substances, or associations that they deem detrimental to the individual and the mission of the unit at large, if they want to remain part of the organization.  Clergies have vows, Muslims and Jews don’t eat pork, Rastafarians may adhere to a strict I-tal diet… the list goes on and on.  So, those more immediate pasts of the individuals, which didn’t serve them anymore, were abandoned and thrown to the wayside.  Meanwhile, broader concepts and lessons were still pulled directly from history, and adopted/adapted from other cultures and teachings, as influences on the Source, both aesthetically and within their spiritual practices.  This may seem contradictory, but those concepts that they draw from a more collective history seem to be tied more to the “eternal” aspect of The Eternal Now.  Whereas the more immediate pasts of the individuals, which they were walking away from to join the family, dealt more with quicker moving “ego time,” the Source looked to concepts rooted more in aeonic time and moving further toward what Romanian philosopher/professor/historian of religion/author, Mircea Eliade would refer to as the “illud tempus,” an even more eternal and abstract level of time that straddles the timeless center, where there is no motion and time ceases to exist at all.

Of course, there’s still that idea that the act of documenting everything requires one to look toward the future and outside of the present, even if it’s done with the intention of preserving the present for the future.  One of my primary focuses when entering into my interview with Isis pertained to such dualities and perceived contradictions.  In a second phone conversation that I had with her, two days after the initial interview, she stated something to the effect of actually feeling more present through the lens of the camera, as if that filter didn’t remove her from her environment, but placed her deeper within it.  After asking her to elaborate on that further, here’s how she responded via email:

I felt more focused with no distractions.  It was like being one-pointed; it actually was very zen.  It was like a heat seeking missle finding its target, no matter what.  That was the creative genre I felt when I locked onto a shot.  I was one with it.  Then there was my role and commitment of knowing that I needed to document, that i was saving a legacy and that would be my destiny.  So, even at times like [Father’s] hang gliding or his passing over, I knew those sensitive situations had to be caught, as those are the ones that usually do not get shot, as people allow their emotions to take over.  I just had my emotions take over in another way.  I did not react in the moment, but did so when it was over.   Hope that makes sense also(?)  I can share with you that, in the now.  As I look back and over and go through and present these shots and film footage and stories, I am able to experience two realms at once within it:.the realm we lived in, and the realm that was there that we left and we had to come back to and are now living in once again. So i can–spiritually and physically, the earth and spirit part of it–appreciate, enjoy, feel in a whole other way, now.

Yahowha 13 @ Beverly Hills High School in 1973

Yahowha 13 @ Beverly Hills High School in 1973

Yod may have devoted his life to transcending the physical limitations of this Earthly plane, but he never fully rejected it, understanding that the body and the spirit are flip-sides to the same human experience.  In fact, the trailer to The Source Family doc begins with archived audio of him addressing his followers, by stating,  “It’s a game, play it.  Not by killing out pleasure, by using  pleasure fearlessly.”  Locking into that zen-like timeless center can move one further from ego-time and allow them to experience the world in a way that is less reliant on the physical senses, but as Isis explains above, it can also allow that physical world to become much more immersive.  Likewise, the reverse is true, with the physical senses made available to us to assist in our experience of the spiritual.  Family musical projects like Yahowha 13 were recorded, but those physical pressings were to assist the listeners in transcending their physical states.  With the aid of those improvisational recordings, a listener in 2013, hypothetically, has the potential to use an experience from the past to re-experience a transcendental experience now (in the future) to more fully experience the present–just add water to reactivate it, if you will.  In the same manner that the teachings which the Source drew from assisted them, then, in the 70s (and have continued to serve many members to this day), the teachings and music that the family themselves generated, back then, and which Isis has archived, can also be used as tools for us in the present, because the principals are timeless and universal.  So, while the commune worked to remain in The Eternal Now, that “now” exists in a thread that is strung throughout time and endless incarnations.  And while the family documented their present for the future, that past is something that is as equally relevant now, if not more so, than it was then.  [Still with me?]

Isis mug shot

Isis mug shot

The point is that The Source Family now has historical value, and the reason that they have historical value is because they have sustained value in these current times.  It may appear that the 60s and 70s were more open to their communal lifestyle, and in ways that is true, but to assume that society as a whole was more welcoming of the practices of Yod and his followers, would be somewhat of a mistake.  In their faith, when somebody’s spirit passes over, their body requires a 3 1/2 day vigil before it is disposed of.  When Mercury died (about 6 months after Yod had), the authorities put a stop to the vigil, forcing their way into the Source compound to retrieve the body, even arresting Isis and others who tried to prevent them from doing so, in the process.  Much like how it can be hard for some people to remember a time before cell phones or Youtube, you might forget that there wasn’t a Whole Foods everywhere until recently.  Back in the 70s, home births weren’t exactly legal either.  Jim Baker was a health food pioneer–even being credited by some as the first person to ever put sprouts on a sandwich–and many of the practices of the Source Family were so progressive that the world is only now beginning to catch up and align itself with them.  According to Isis, Yod always prophesized that science would someday reinforce their practices, proving the value of their teachings, and the increasing focus on wholistic living and organic diets seem to be a prime example of that.  Without allowing society, or even laws, to dictate their belief systems, the commune moved forward in what they saw as the truth.  The time period that they existed in didn’t control how they existed in that time period–in ways, they didn’t even really exist in that time period, at all.  And thanks, in large part, to Isis preserving their legacy, the Source is now finding a new life in a time that is more fully willing to and capable of embracing it.

To live in the present also means being aware of when things have shifted, need to be reset or adjusted, and when to move on.  Much like how members cut certain ties to their pasts when they joined the family, they also cut ties when they left.  Most of us have ties that we should probably cut in our own lives, whether they are to relationships, situations, or paths that have withered away and now draw more energy than they provide nourishment.  It’s a sad and depressing reality for some of us to think about, but when old, played-out connections are allowed to end, they make room for new rejuvenating ones to arrive in their place.  Other times, the timing just isn’t right for certain connections to form quite yet–Isis knew Jim Baker well before she ever reconnected with him as Father Yod.  Lives come together, paths diverge, and the world moves forward.  The members of the Source have pasts that intertwined like the fibers of their birthing rope, and so much of that unraveled.  But the cosmos is a tricky thing and sometimes paths need to diverge, just so that they can come back together down the road stronger and more resilient.

In many ways, The Source Family has come full circle.  For decades, Isis held onto the archives as closely as she has her faith.  Eventually, she found partners in her endeavors, as the world became gradually more welcoming to the legacy that she sought to offer and present to it.  These days, she has a fascinating book and documentary under her belt, audio recordings and teachings continuing to be released, and all of them being well received.  It seems that the world needed this time to evolve for the times to catch up to some of the concepts that Yod and his followers embraced so long ago, and while many of the concepts and practices may still never be looked upon in an entirely positive light, who knows where we’ll be at as a society in the next 3 to 4 decades?  Similarly, the individuals involved in the family have gone on their own personal evolutions and, as the cosmos realigns to give their collective a more prominent voice than they even had in their heyday, some of their paths have begun to realign with one another’s, as well.  On a more personal and healing level, that is one of the greatest accomplishments of Isis‘ determination, preservation, and presentation of this legacy, it’s allowed for members to own their histories more fully, in turn, allowing them to live more in the present.  Through the screenings, publicity, and revisiting that past, it has actually been helping to reconverge these disparate paths, bringing some of these old family members back together again.  The level of historical value of the Source in modern times is a fascinating prospect to consider, but it’s completely understandable if many of those directly involved in its creation may only just be starting to truly comprehend their own complex histories for themselves.

The Interview (part 3)

Isis showing a spread on the Source in French mag, LUI.  The issue sold over 1/2 million copies.

Isis with a spread on the Source from French mag, LUI. The issue sold over 1/2 million copies.

Monster Fresh:
There’s this conflict of wanting to make it a key point to spread [the teachings and message], to help society outside, while trying not to let people know about rituals.  So, was it basically like the restaurant and the recordings were the way that you guys could affect the outside, without divulging all of these rituals?

Isis Aquarian::
Right.  Well, you know, we could not divulge, because everything we were doing was illegal.  You could not have a baby at home, that was illegal, and we were having home births.  We had 52 home births.  You know, you couldn’t really breast feed and you could NOT have your children do home schooling.  And the authorities were on us from day one.  You could not have 200 people living in one house; I don’t know if you still can’t but…  There were so many things that we were doing that were illegal, that we had to be really careful.  Not to be any more misunderstood with our spiritual practices, or the fact that we were all running around nude, or we were wearing robes.  You know, “Who the fuck were we?” type of thing.  And what were we gonna do; were we a threat?

One of the most—I mean, thee most, intense scene in the film is when Heaven (16 years old at the time) gives birth to Sol Ammon in the living room and you see a child stillborn.  I mean, that’s the part when you’re watching this movie that everything kind of stops.  But, one thing that fascinated me about it was that I thought, “Okay, this is the normal recording…”  But, that was only your third time at the Mother House (the family’s first mansion/collective home) right?

It was my first night into the family, but I had been to the Mother House for two days; I just reconnected with [Baker], and I never left.  I came that night with equipment and then, I never left.

But, that situation…  I understand that we’re speaking about the mindset of [being] there [in the family, as opposed to] the mindset of man’s law, and what not, but if you take it from that context, it seems like a pretty intense situation to be involved in so early on.  What did that do to make you, that day, decide that you were going to stay there?  I’m sure that you’re aware that watching that, for most people, it’s a shocking moment.

Well, umm.. no, it wasn’t shocking to me, for some reason.  When I stepped onto the Source [Restaurant] patio, two days before that, I knew I was there.  The reason it took me a couple of days was because I wanted [ex-fiance] Ron Raffaelli to come with me, but he wouldn’t.  So I was trying to figure out, am I just going to walk out and leave, which is what I did.

Ron came to the S.F. screening and watched the movie and we were able to alll connect after for dinner...this was a good clearing as we had not spoke since i left to join family..he was pretty pissed back then :)) - Isis

“Ron came to the S.F. screening and watched the movie and we were able to alll connect after for dinner…this was a good clearing as we had not spoke since i left to join family..he was pretty pissed back then :))”  – Isis

Filming the birth in the family was a very pivotal spiritual thing that happened, because nobody’d ever seen a birth.  People just didn’t see a birth, or a death.  We weren’t tribal, we didn’t have those concepts.  So, when we saw a birth in the family, and the miracle that happened because of it, that just took us all in more.  That was not a frightening thing to any of us, it was a very beautiful thing.  It was a circle of life that we were experiencing on a very tribal level, and we all just knew that for lifetimes, incarnations, this was very, very sacred.

I have a son now, who’s 21 months old, and when he was born, they immediately wanted to go toward a c-section and what not.  And, he had some issues–he had an 8 ½ inch umbilical cord, and we didn’t know the problem until later–but I knew the whole time that he was fine.  You know what I mean?  “He’s coming out and he’s fine.  And we don’t need the intervention and everything’s fine.”   Was that kind of the general feeling, when Sol Ammon came out and he wasn’t breathing, that you knew that he would be alright?

Yeah.  The fear wasn’t there, because there was no fear being projected from anybody around, like at the hospital or a birthing room.  You just said it, there’s fear, there’s this, there’s that, there’s a mentality of it not being natural.  Within that room, there was a complete force-field of spiritual knowing that this was natural, this was beautiful, and it was going to be alright.

For me watching it the first time, I was like, “Oh no!  Is this kid—is he gonna make it?

I know.

And also, looking through that lens and documenting… when you eventually did leave the family, or when it had dissolved, that had to have been like a routine for you to constantly document things.  Was it weird to just stop, or did you just kind of rechannel that [to something else]?

I never stopped.  I started documenting my family, my daughter, my granddaughter.  Wherever I go I’ve got a camera.  I am always shooting.

isis then and now

You’re still in Hawaii, correct?

I’m in Hawaii, right.  I spend a lot of time in L.A. and New York, and I love going to Seattle and Portland.

I know it wasn’t easy, after the family dispersed, on the level that it’s got to be difficult just to move out into society again, but was the community as harsh toward you? Because so many of you do live in Hawaii still.

The community wasn’t harsh to us, because nobody was out of the closet.  I mean, people were living here that nobody knew they were from the Source Family.  They weren’t using the Source Family names and they kind of integrated back into society.  People went on to figure it out; most people did.  As anybody would, once they have to leave the house of their parents and grow up.  And that’s exactly what we were supposed to be doing as our own journey.  We could not keep that hooked to Father, because that was his journey.  It was his evolutionary journey, in the way that he did it and, whether it was right or wrong, I don’t even question that; it was his journey.  I’m doing my own journey; that I’ll question.  I’m not gonna question anybody else’s, because everybody’s got to do it at their own rate.

With how much involvement did things happen, as far as the rituals developing?  Did it collectively come together?  How much input did everybody have?

You mean, while all the family was together?

Yeah, while the family was together.  How organic was that?  How much input did everybody have into that?

Everybody was on the same program.  We were all on the same frequency.  Whatever we did, we all did it together.  If you didn’t do it, didn’t want to do it, didn’t like it, then you could have left.

Oh yeah. I just mean, as those things developed…

It was exciting.  We were so excited every day to see how much fun we were going to have, see what new was going to happen, see where everything else was leading.  And the disagreements that happened—you know, there was stuff that wasn’t always on or right, but that was also a process to watch how it got worked out, and turned around, and the lessons of, “This is how you work with things, this is how they end up, this is how they’re done.”  It was the circle of life in so many ways.  It was a very tribal thing; that’s what happens when you’re tribal.  You get to see the whole friggin’ thing.

As an individual in the community, was it easy to introduce new concepts?


*both laugh*

That’s kind of what I mean, because I know that, over time, the rituals and certain things changed, or adapted.

This is what’s so great.  Okay, over time, people forgot, lost, shut it away in a closet, figured it out for their own purpose, maybe did it on their own.  But when they started getting married, and having other friends, and having other significant others, it didn’t come into play.  Unless somebody hooked up with somebody that was already spiritual, or in a group or a practice, and then they kind of shared, but that wasn’t very often.  Especially, with the kids.  The kids didn’t want to hear anything about it.

[Isis - far left]

Yahowha and his sealed 14 wives [Isis – far left]

My daughter still can’t get past me being one of 14 wives.  She just doesn’t want to even hear anything about it.  But the kids now, they’ve kind of come to all of us and said, “Look, that was your journey, that’s your path.  We’ll respect it and honor it, and we’re giving it to you, but it’s not ours.  Let us have ours.”  And that’s fair, right?  So, what happened was—oh my god, this is so brilliant—as we get into this in a few years, all of a sudden, we started noticing something called an internet happening, where everything you could ever want to know, everything you could ever want to share, you can.  The spiritual teachings–not only what we had–other people are giving.  You can find them anywhere, and you can give them.  You can do whatever you want now, with your own website.  And people are just so happy.  It’s like, “Okay, this is how we can do this” and it doesn’t matter if anybody knows who we are.  Our neighbor doesn’t know, if we don’t want him to.  It’s like, everybody now can do whatever they’re comfortable with and it’s so brilliant, I can’t even tell you.  In the 1970s, Father got us together one morning in class and he said, “September 17th 2001.”  And we all looked at each other, because, in the Seventies, what’s 2001?

A Space Odyssey?

Yeah.  He said, “You are together as a family and you’re to bring in the Aquarian age.”  Well, that’s what we did, but what I’m saying is… And then he also said that there was gonna come a time—and I have this written in his handwriting; I don’t know if I’m quoting it completely—but, he said, “There is a time when man will be able to sit in solitude and have his word go all over the world.”  That was the internet.  He knew, without knowing.  He knew, just… whatever.  He knew that this time was coming where we could all do whatever we wanted, be part of, or share.  And I’m telling you, many of us in the family, including myself, have been delighted to share with other people what they’re giving, because, not only are there so many spiritual people right now, and there are so many people giving the wisdom that they either substantiated what we had, or they’ve improved upon it, or we’ve got somebody that even knows what we’re talking about.  It’s so delightful to us, right now, what’s happening.   And to be able to embrace all spiritual practices, because they’re all needed.  You can’t put down what somebody’s going to vibrate to for their grade level.  You can’t judge what anybody’s into or what they’re doing, and that realization alone is like a savior.

To clarify if there was actually a physical reunion for the family members on Yod’s exact prophesized date of Sept. 17th, 2001, I sent the question as a follow up to Isis later on.

She responded as follows:

“It was 1973 or 1974.  I mean, back then, 2001 seemed like a space odyssey, right?  We could not even compute that timing, but we always knew what he said we had to remember, as it was for a reason.  So we did some 30 years later; we gathered as a family and said hello to the new age upon us.  About 85 of us did, with 24 of our children.  It was awesome.  It was one of the first big gatherings.  I was the host and organizer.  911 happened just a week before and no one knew if anyone could even get here, but they did.”

The Source Family in Hawaii

The Source Family at Santa Monica beach during the Mother House days

There’s that rejection of the concept by your daughter, and the children of the other members—some of them.  I’m sure it’s understandable and you respect it, but, at the same time, do you recognize that she still exudes a lot of those principals, whether she’s conscious of it or not?

Well, of course, and she knows it too.  She’ll bring them up, because she feels safe now in doing it.  Now that the book and the documentary are out and it’s quite famous, she says, “Oh my god, mom.  I joined a group the other day, they’re like midwives—“  She lives in Carolina, and she said, “When they found out who my mother was, that’s the whole talk of the evening.  ‘Oh my god, I’ve got your mothers book!  Oh my god, your mom is amazing!’”  She goes, “My friends think you’re amazing.  What do I do with that?

Yeah.  I mean, it’s got to be difficult.

It’s like rounding her edges off.  She’s feeling safe now, to maybe look at it a little bit, or come out of the closet herself.  All the kids feel the same way.  When we had our 2001 gathering, there was 24 of the children there.  They sat for 4 hours together, in the corner, and did nothing but talk and point at all of us.

They had somebody to talk to though, finally.

Yeah, finally.  [They would say,] “You understand what I’m talking about when I talk about my mother.  Oh, my god.”

Well, they want their own journey too, though.  Obviously.

Yeah, that’s what they said, “This was your journey and we’re giving it to you.  Let us do ours.”  And the L.A. premier [of the documentary] was completely off the charts, and a lot of the kids were there, and they were just beaming; they loved it so much.  So, you know, that’s it.  It is what it is.  And there’s always hindsight, “What if?”  “Could have.”  But, hey, we did the best we could.  We had a fabulous journey.  We were pioneers, or part of the pioneers–we weren’t the only ones.  But, you know, we were.  And we have historical value right now, and that’s why the documentary is doing so well.  People want to know about the sixties and seventies.  They want to know the spiritual aspect of what happened and what came out of it as pioneers and who we are.  I cannot tell you how many communal groups that were together like we were, and some of them are still together, that have contacted us and said, “Oh my god, thank you.  We’re thinking of doing the same thing now.

I read an interview with the filmmakers (Jodi Wille and Maria Demopoulos) and here’s a quote from them, “After talking to Family members, the one thing that they say to us is, ‘You know, you’re really good at capturing his outrageousness, but I wish you could have captured just a little bit more of his kindness, and his feminine qualities,’ because apparently he was very much in touch with his feminine side and has this gentleness to him.”  I was wondering if you agreed with that.  Because, I thought it was a really great film and well rounded, but there’s only so much time.  I mean, some things just don’t fit in that context as well, and you have to choose the most affective delivery, but is there anything that you wish there would have been, maybe, more time to address?

Yeah, and we all do on a personal level.  There were things that I wanted to say that didn’t get in there.  There’s things everybody wanted to say.  You know, we wanted more of the children in there, but the children didn’t really remember anything.  What are they going to say?  We were trying to focus not on the now, so much as then, so the decision was to leave the children off.  We have hours and hours of interviews that didn’t make it in, or people that didn’t make it in, and it was agonizing and it was brutal, because we couldn’t do it all.  But there will be outtakes; none of it’s going to get wasted.  We have projects coming up that’re going to utilize that.  Maybe, there could be a TV series in the works.  There could be a mini-series in the works, that will maybe address this.  And they’ll have hours and hours to be able to address it.  Who knows?  I know it’s not going to go to waste and I know it’s going to get addressed.

I know that American Apparel did something with you too.  With these projects that are being presented to you now, how much of the “Dragon Lady” is there, just making sure that everything is done right?

Oh, thank you for knowing that.  The Dragon Lady is very much a part of my persona, and I see that in a good way.  But yeah, there’s a whole dragon, iconic legend that’s from the beginning of time; it’s not bad.  The dragons were actually the royalty, they were the kings and the queens.  They were the wisdom holders, the magic holders.  “Dragon,” as well as “cult,” and a bunch of other things, is totally misunderstood.

Oh no, I thought it was a positive.

It was a positive.

isis blue yod head bun markedI mean, it’s kind of like you’re making sure that you’re preserving these things and you’re making sure that they’re protected.

I pretty much had an iron hand in the family.  I was father’s right hand.  He gave me a [role of] family administrator, and people would come all the time crying to him, and he’d go, “But is she right?”  And they would go, “Yeah.”  And he would say, “Well then, there you go.”  We all had our role and our part in the family, even with 14 women, that’s why it worked.  We all had our thread with him, he honored that thread, and we all got what we needed.

And with the new things being proposed to you, you’ve still got the fist?  You’re like, “no we’re not doing it this way.  We’ve got to make sure…”?  Because, so far what’s come out, it all seems to be released in a very respectful way.

If I’m involved in it, there’s always got to be respect.  I will allow it not to be white-washed, because I think that’s only fair.  I don’t want this to end up being just another, “Oh, Source Family film with their leader;” nobody would ever watch it.  The reason this is doing well, is because everyone was allowed to have their own point of view, their reality, and some of it wasn’t good.

And the book’s like that too.

But that’s only fair.

Yeah.  I mean, even at the beginning—and I’m assuming that’s from the first version of the book, where there’s that forward—where you do say, “This is MY perspective on this.”


Those are the types of things that I was really interested in addressing, when I spoke with you, are these things where there’s a duality to so much of this.  Because it’s communal–everybody’s trying to have a shared experience, yet everybody does have a different experience, and that can seem contradictory to people.

Oh my god.  It is contradictory, and I cannot tell you how shocked I was that other people had different ideas of the same thing that happened.  I would go, “This happened,” and they would go, “Well, that’s not the way I saw it.”  And I went, “What?  How can anybody see it different?”  And then, you know, we had to come to terms with that.  We all had our path with him, our thread with him, and it was different, and we all saw it different, because we saw it from our point of view.

But, that’s also the community experience versus the individual experience.  It’s the same as the spiritual experience versus the human.


I feel that it’s that duality that is the most easily misconstrued aspect of everything in something like this.

Oh my god, I love you.  You so get it.  You know, polarity was one of our teachings.  There’s always polarity.  There’s always the dark, light, white, black, the male, the female.  So, if there’s polarity, there has to be that other side to balance it.

Well, you asked me at the beginning [about what Monster Fresh is], and, to me, it’s a really abstract idea.  But, the only reason that I care [about any of this], is that I don’t understand talking to people that you have no interest in, on “assignments.”  I only, basically, gravitate toward the things that I feel some connection to.  I didn’t have a huge—well, at times I lived in huge homes full of people, and maybe I just ate a lot of acid and lived in a Datsun when I was 18.

*she laughs*

Which I did.  But that’s how I see the world.  And I didn’t completely find an aspect to remove myself, or reintegrate myself with [society, at large, as you all did], but it’s a daily thing where you have to realize who you are and how you operate in this world.


There is that duality and it’s one of the most interesting things.  You can take any of this stuff and spin it however you want.

And that’s what’s being done, too.

I know that [Yod] did acknowledge Jim Baker and it’s his birthday coming up in a few days ( the Fourth of July).  I was wondering if you do acknowledge his physical being as much.

Oh yeah.  I love Jim Baker, that was part of him.  I totally acknowledge that, but I loved the Father Yod/Yohowa part more.  But Jim Baker was absolutely part of him and should never be not acknowledged.  I mean, Jim Baker was awesome.


It seemed like he spent half of his life showing you what was possible as a physical person.

He was the ultimate, physical, animal, human man.  He lived at the pinnacle of that.

And then he went off and tried to show you what was possible spiritually.

You could not touch him.  You know, women loved him, men loved him.  He could hit the ground running and make millions of dollars.  All of the famous people in Hollywood loved him; they came to all of his restaurants.  He was a legend.  He was a legend before he even became Father Yod.  Before he even started the Source, he was a legend.

Yeah, I’m reading all this stuff about Paul Newman being there (at Baker’s restaurant, the Aware Inn)–all these people–that you have to wonder, “Well, how did that influence Paul Newman?

Exactly.  Who knows?  When I go back and look at the [Source] menu, it’s so simple.  I don’t even know if this would fly today.  I don’t know what it was.  It was a time out of time and it worked.  And they were magnetized to his soul like we were; they were on the animal level with him.  We went on the spiritual level with him.  I love the end of the movie–and it gets overshadowed, people don’t even remember it, but subconsciously they do—where Omne says… he sums up the whole thing, Christopher.  He said, “You’re writing the script, nobody’s writing it for you.  It could be consciously or subconsciously.”  He said, “You can blame other people, you can be the victim, you can be the hero.  You’re doing it.  God just loves you.

Father was very clear on every step of the way with whatever he told us, whatever he did, whatever changes came down.  There were no surprises, he made it very clear before he did anything and why.  It was his journey and he moved that journey.  And he was very clear with his first wife in the family (Robin), that part was done [between them], he was moving on.  It was no longer the Jim an Robin show; the Jim Baker part was no more.  Makushla ­­­entered stage right; she had no drama, she was a complete pure innocent soul.  All she wanted was the same thing for him that I did, to have his back and make sure he had his journey.  She didn’t cause one ripple.

Makushla (on couch) & Isis [right]

Makushla [on couch] & Isis [right]

She’s the one that kind of tried to take over, afterward, right?  Or, I mean, tried to step into his place [to keep things together].

And, she was there for him.  She wasn’t even there for the family.  She didn’t even relate to the family.  Her eyes were on him.  And I operated the same way.  Her and I were like two wings of this person.  I was on one side, doing what I was doing, and she was on the other side, doing what she was doing.  When he left the body, it’s like, “who is to run the family?”  There wasn’t anybody that everybody respected enough to be able to do it.  None of the sons were ready to do it.  None of the women were.  I was gonna stand up and everybody freaked out.  They went, “No, you are NOT going to do it.

*both laugh*

And I said, “Well, then somebody better figure it out.”  I said, “I don’t care who does it, but somebody better figure it out, or I’m going to step up.”  That’s the same way I did the book.  And I said, “Makushla, you’re the only one people would even respect enough.”  And then, she goes, “No.  I can’t do that.”  It took me two days to talk her into it.  And the way I talked her into it, we were having an event where we were going to come forth and announce that Father left the body, and we were there, and we wanted to do good work.  And I said, “Makushla, if you do not step up on this stage to make that announcement, I will.”  I said, “Nobody wants me to do that.”  But I said, “This cannot be left vacant and you’re the only one.”  She did not step up onto the stage.  I stepped up on the stage, took the mic, but before I could get a word in, she stepped up on the stage, and took the mic from me, and took over.

Because you knew what your role was.  Your role wasn’t going be as two-sided.  Your role was to be a little bit more rigid.


I mean, just because, that’s where you fit in that dynamic.

I knew exactly what was supposed to be happening and let’s just do it.  Father took away the mother roles from everybody and from his first wife in the family, and made it very clear that this was a whole new journey in the family now [and he actually said that he was the mother and father figure].  And, he said, “I want a divorce” and, spiritually, he divorced [Robin].  So, he went on and took other women.  And this is something, maybe, people don’t really understand.  It’s not like he just wanted to fuck everybody, and he just took every woman around.

[All images used courtesy of Isis Aquarian-Source Archives]

The Source Family documentary is available now on DVD from Drag City records


Dead C

Located in Seattle, Dead C is the founder/editor, as well as the principal writer and photographer, of Monster Fresh. Creating the site in 2007, he did so with a specific dream in mind. Unfortunately, being a muscle relaxer-fueled fever dream, it's hard to recall all of the details. "I remember that my mom was there, but it wasn't actually her in the dream, it was actually 70s heart throb, Jan Michael Vincent. And everything took place here, in this room... but it wasn't actually here... it was different. The colors were washed out and, for some reason, there was a raccoon kicking it with us and it was wearing a holographic monocle."

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