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

December 4, 2013 in Movies / Television, With Video by Dead C


CLICK HERE TO READ PART 3


The Source: A Documentary screening @ Triad Theater in Yelm, Wa 10.20.13

Isis at a screening for The Source: A Documentary @ Triad Theater in Yelm, Wa [10.20.13]

A while back, Isis Aquarian informed me that she would be embarking on an extensive trip, taking her from her home in Hawaii to select locations across the continental US.  Several weeks long, these travels (which she is currently still on, as I write this) seem to be fairly densely packed and organized, involving everything from stops in cities like Los Angeles, Portland, and New York; photo shoots; a visit with her daughter’s family in South Carolina; having an honor bestowed on her in Washington DC for being the sole Miss US Savings Bond ever; and a number of meetings with folks regarding the numerous projects that are in various stages of discussion and/or production.  Once the schedule was all worked out, she wouldn’t be making her way all the way out to Seattle, as I initially expected, after all.  However, there would still be a special screening of the The Source documentary in Yelm, Wa, about an hour-and-a-half South of where I currently live.  It looked like the family and I would be making a short trip of our own.  I’ve been communicating with Isis for months, but this would be my first time actually meeting her in person; not to mention a great opportunity to take a header photo of her (pictured above) for this final installment, myself.

Omne with mic.  Behind him [L to R]: Makushla, Jodi Wille, and Isis

Omne with mic. Behind him [L to R]: Makushla, Jodi Wille, and Isis

Yelm is home to Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment, where occult “master teacher”/leader JZ (Judy Zebra) Knight claims to channel the wisdom from a 35,000-year-old Lemurian warrior (“Ramtha”) and counts among her followers such figures as Linda Evans, Salma Hayek, and a man named Robert, who was known as “Omne” back when he was a faithful member of the Source Family.  Also currently residing in the Yelm area is Susan/Makushla, Father Yod‘s main woman and “mother angel,” who took over the reigns in the family during the last 2 years between his passing and their eventual dispersal.  Omne and Makushla were the unofficial hosts of the evening, their inclusion more than warranting a screening at the intimate Triad Theater in a town that is, otherwise, somewhat off the grid, in the middle of nowhere.

The Yelm event marked the third time that I would see the documentary, so I was surprised to still be noticing new details this time around.  But the most revealing portion of the evening, for me, came after the screening of the film, during the Q&A section.  As someone who has been experiencing their own journey, of sorts, delving into the family’s history, I found value in hearing director, Jodi Wille, discuss her own personal account of entering into the overwhelming archive of information for the first time.  Not unlike Isis, both Robert and Susan seemed fairly centered and willing to share their insights, each offering up their own perspectives and answering questions with a remarkable level of clarity and without aversion.  Neither of them renounce their time in the commune, viewing it as an essential component in their evolution.  The opportunity to interact directly with the panel can provide a whole new level of understanding for the attendees at these screenings.  But, throughout it all, the most powerful moment of the night came during a detailed discussion of Father Yod‘s death, wherein Makushla was overcome with tears, prompting Isis to come across the stage to comfort her.

Isis-seated-by-Makushla-on-mic-Omne-foreground
It was a brief moment, but it reflected a lot to me.  The first thing that it brought into palpable 3-dimensional focus was the heavy, contrasting realness of something that was just so artfully presented through the dreamlike magic of the motion picture.  The moment that we see someone on screen, it can be almost as if they exist in another realm; one that, in some ways, can amplify the overall emotional impact, while simultaneously, both elevating and dismissing the subjects as surreal, abstract entities, in the viewers mind.  They are, unavoidably, reduced to little more than characters, even in the documentary format, to some extent.  The truth, of course, is that a man actually died, that people honestly love(d) him and were/are legitimately saddened by it; that is an aspect that is far too easily overlooked.  Regardless of how superhuman the tales of Yod may seem, or how fascinating it all becomes within sensationalized, sociological, or historical contexts, the story of the Source involves real life individuals who continue to experience that history on truly human/emotional levels, and that’s not something to be discounted.

The other thing that resonated so strongly with me, during that moment, was Isis expressing the importance of recognizing that Makushla hasn’t had the same benefit of working through a lot of this history, as she has.  Whereas Isis has done numerous public appearances and maintained extensive involvement in Source-related projects in recent years, this public exhumation of the past is still somewhat fresh for Makushla.  The record keeper is neither oblivious to what her pursuits have afforded her, as far as personal clarity and growth, or to the potential benefit of what she has archived to the growth, clarity, and understanding for others, who are directly connected to the family, or otherwise.

Makushla and Isis during their Source Family days

Makushla and Isis during their Source Family days

While other members may have felt their way through the world in other ways, Isis remains so closely associated with her time in the commune that it has the potential to prompt many to assume that she might be “stuck in the past,” or has found an inability to move forward in life.  That conclusion does not ring true to me.  I believe that, rather than deny or circumvent her history, the 71-year-old has chosen to walk directly through it, coming out the other end much more aware of herself, as well as of the through-lines of her past to both her present and her future.  Ultimately, her identity was not lost because of her work, but forged and strengthened through her pursuance of it.  From Isis‘ perspective, she has simply been responding to what she believes to be her destiny, or, even more accurately, remaining loyal to an obligation she’s had placed on her by both Father Yod and the universe at large.  But when one is responding to destiny, they can often feel like little more than selfless conduits, or vessels, and the fundamental steps that they find themselves compelled to taking are rarely the most comfortable.

I feel that it’s important to recognize and reiterate that any widespread and/or positive acknowledgments that Isis‘ efforts may have yielded for her, in recent years, did not come without sacrifice or adversity.  Not only that, but the fact that they’ve occurred at all, is little more than the fortuitous by-product of trudging forward for decades toward an end goal that was anything but crystal clear.  Exposing herself to opposition and critique, there was no reasonable expectation that there would ever be any substantial amount of appreciation, let alone any monetary payoff for her work, on any notable scale.  While The Source may seem like a “cool” association to have today, that was definitely not the case, until recently, anymore than it was back in the seventies, when the commune faced head-on opposition from the local community and law enforcement, with regularity.  One major difference is that, back in their heyday, there was a great deal more support coming from the structure of a united family.

isis throne

The Source documentary was birthed out of research for Isis‘ book The Source: The Untold Story of Father Yod, Yahowha 13, and the Source Family, after Jodi jumped on board to help publish it.  But even that project evolved out of a separate book that the archivist had been assembling with her Source family partner, Electricity Aquarian, prior to that.  I just recently stumbled across a quote from an interview where she speaks about where her head was at during the creation process for that original version of the book.

We originally thought of it as being for the family, so that, after 30 some years, people could have all of the pieces.  The first version was called The Legend of Father and the Source Family.  About seven years after we began working on it, Jodi contacted me.”

As addressed previously, the majority of former Source members didn’t seem interested in having that past exhumed, or believe in the ability for it to be done respectably.  Isis, however, views the collective history as something greater than any one individual, even herself; her motivations driven by the respect for that legacy and the obligation that she feels to protect and sustain it.  This is a responsibility that she took on when she was appointed as the family historian/record keeper by Father Yod, 40 years ago, and one that she’s continued to take just as seriously since, regardless of any opposition.  She has always had a very clear perception of her time with Yod, her time in in the family, and her role within it.

Here’s how she once explained it to me.

It was [Yod's]  journey.  It was his way of doing it.  [I'm] not saying it was right or wrong, but I am not judging it, nor am i responsible for it .   My commitment to him was to do the work and have his back while he figured out his destiny.  And that is what I did, and still am doing.”

washed out portrait

At this point, Isis has more than fulfilled her duty as the record keeper, resuscitating the Source Family legacy through the formation of the foundation and the release of literature, a film, albums, meditation tapes, and more.  She made this journey without question, following her intuition about what needed to be done.  Now that the responsibility has been lightened with the essential groundwork already laid, it seems like she’s finally being able to look back and, not only recognize what’s been accomplished, but also to accept a little acknowledgment as an accomplished individual in her own right.  It’s a no-brainer to praise Jodi Wille for the great work that she has managed to do with the film, or someone like Werner Herzog for the tremendous documentary films that he’s created in his own career, but it’s a lot easier for Isis Aquarian‘s contributions as a documentarian to go unseen, credited as little more than home movies and journal entries.  With the need to sustain the life-support of such a magnificent, extensive, and multi-layered archive, it’s not surprising that one might find themselves buried beneath it.  Her commitment to what she’s seen as Yod‘s destiny, has transitioned into a destiny of her own; her tireless work as a “legacy saver,” unfolding into her own legacy.  Many will remain reluctant to credit Isis for her accomplishments, and such praise was never the intention of her efforts, but the most important thing is that she is finally allowing herself to acknowledge them, for herself.

Although the book and film were her brainchildren, consuming years and years of her life to make a reality, they still provided platforms in which others were allowed to inject their own perspectives.  In fact, such viewpoints were included in her projects, even when they conflicted with her own outlook, or took discrediting shots at her, outright.  Electricity has provided assistance in these projects, while members like Omne and Makushla are clearly showing their support for the work that Isis has devoted to the legacy, but I can guarantee that there are still others who believe that they have an inherent right to a sizable portion of her blood, sweat, and tears, and to utilize it as a soapbox to speak their minds even further, regardless of whether or not they ever supported those efforts, or simply attacked her for making them from the beginning.  [Since our first post about the Source, I've actually even received a couple of Facebook contacts through my personal account from a family member(s), who I suspect was interested in commandeering us as a personal megaphone for their own voice].

isis yod magenta block

Isis continues to operate with the belief that each person has their own role, and that she has a duty to stay loyal to hers.  Her dedication to the work hasn’t wavered, although it has evolved, and the importance of moving forward and adapting in one’s relationships is an integral element of what she’s taken away from the Source Family teachings.  If Father Yod stayed true to one principal until the end, it’s the concept that it’s important to know when to move on and accept when a relationship has outlived its usefulness.  Regarding her history and any potential intersection of her own path with those of other Source members in the future, Isis had the following to say:

“While father was there, as the glue, we were all held in one frequency and lived in a very cosmic space.  There was no drama, or seemingly karma with us, or our relationship; it was very clear and good and understood.  But for sure, once he left and the family dispersed, we all fell back into the drama and karma of each other.  Whatever our parts or roles were this life with him, or each other, we have to remember that we had past lives together with many different roles.  We had this life and we will have other incarnations.  So, for me, at this point, it is not a war, battle or competition among us.  We all had a part with him and, when it was on, it was on (the whole of Jim baker/Father Yod adventures, with his relationships, wives, situations and even business).  And when it was done, it was done.  And each reality does not negate the others; each is right within their journey.  What I am now experiencing with people that I’m meeting in the now on my work and journey is that, it is clear, these threads have no drama or karmic working-out overtones and it is really nice.  For me, I am just having this incarnation with life being lived, shared, appreciated with all my threads. I love this older/elder part of my life; being old is something not afforded to all, so I am in honor of it.”

Not unlike a surfer tunneling through a majestic barrel and emerging from the aquatic cocoon of a 40 year tube ride, Isis is now advancing as her own strongly defined persona more freely and confident than ever before.  Unfortunately or otherwise, maneuvering through detractors is sure to remain a part of her journey in the future.  Allowing oneself to move unhindered by the demands and expectations of others can be one of the greatest and most difficult life lessons for anyone to internalize.  Recognizing the importance of your own needs and understanding the limits of your obligation to prioritize those of everybody else around you, first and foremost, can be an even greater one.  These days, Isis has a new found sense of self and purpose that is so tangible that it makes me enthusiastic about the potential for what she might achieve and produce in the future.

It’s no mystery why some might prefer to leave their time spent with such a misunderstood and controversial collective buried deep in their past, or as Isis puts it, “remain in the Source closet.”  There’s a vulnerability in leaving oneself that exposed, knowing that judgment and opposition are inevitable.  But there’s also strength in staring down such fears, and an immeasurable growth that comes from it.  The fact that Isis‘ efforts may be helping others in the family, or from similar backgrounds, to feel more comfortable and empowered in their own lives, is a great source of accomplishment for her; one that provides a new level of validation for all of the energy that she’s invested over the years.

"We had Source brotherhood cards to protect our beliefs...on the back were our tenets....do not believe in cutting our hair...no blood transfusions, no embalming and to have 3 1/2 days for a death vigils. It had the Source contact on it in case of accident etc. Yogi Bhajan did this for the his 3HO for protection and told Father to do the same:)" - Isis

“We had Source brotherhood cards to protect our beliefs…on the back were our tenets….do not believe in cutting our hair…no blood transfusions, no embalming and to have 3 1/2 days for a death vigils. It had the Source contact on it in case of accident etc. Yogi Bhajan did this for the his 3HO for protection and told Father to do the same:)” – Isis

With all that being said, it’s been a long road and a whirlwind that, on some level, might still need to be processed, from time to time.  When we finally reached the last portion of our initial phone conversation (transcribed below), the archivist was fairly relaxed, letting her guard down to vent about the sacrifices that she’s been forced to make, the negativity that she feels has been directed toward her in the process, and the band-wagoners who would seek to take advantage of her accomplishments for their own personal gain.  I’m not oblivious to the fact that, for many, such statements may come across as braggadocio, embittered, or even paranoid, at moments.  And while that was never the way that she sounded to me, as the person on the other end of that phone line, it can often be next to impossible to account for tone, while reading the transcript of a conversation on the internet.  I appreciated her willingness to be vulnerable and had no desire to exploit that trust, but I wasn’t convinced that there was any way to avoid some amount of misinterpretation.  In fact, I even considered scrapping this final installment, all together, for that very reason.  And perhaps I would have, if I didn’t genuinely consider the true message of her words to be so vital in fully comprehending Isis‘ personal legacy and journey as an individual.

What some may read as miniature Kanye-esque outbursts by someone patting themselves on the back and demanding additional praise and recognition, I couldn’t interpret more differently.  The truth is that I don’t honestly believe that half of what Isis was saying during these moments of the final installment was even really being directed solely toward me… it was being directed toward herself.  After being tied so loyally to such a responsibility for so many years, I believe that she still felt that phantom weight on her shoulders and was finding it difficult to accept, 100%, that she might actually be able to finally move on from that obligation, once and for all.  These aren’t the words of someone who’s angry and stuck in the past; this is someone who’s enthusiastic about the possibilities of the future, attempting to finally allow themselves the permission to focus on their own evolution, without feeling a responsibility for the development of everybody else’s.  This is the intellectual mind reminding the emotional self that it is relieved of it’s duty and that the spirit has earned the right to progress and move forward.

[L to R]: Electricity Aquarian, Jodi Wille, and Isis

[L to R]: Electricity Aquarian, Jodi Wille, and Isis

As I’ve gotten to know Isis better over the last several months, my initial assumptions couldn’t have been reinforced more fully.  She has demonstrated herself to be a vibrant woman with a consistently positive disposition, and an enthusiasm for new experiences and the world in general.  She genuinely cares about the well being, contentment, and just treatment of those around her.  And while the family historian may not have ever sought out the duties that she took on, she also never walked away from them either, proudly embracing her title as “the dragon lady.”  I’ve come to view Isis Aquarian as someone with an enviable drive, making it her mission to continue to learn and grow through each and every experience, each and every day.  And if there is one solitary message that I feel can be derived from knowing her, it would be to never be afraid of yourself, or your own personal truths, but rather embrace and progress from them, because that is the key to personal evolution.

Isis never demonstrates any desire to be the one and only voice for the family–she’s consistently vocalized her respectful acknowledgment for the fact that everyone possesses their own equally valid interpretations.  What she has sought and achieved, however, is something that everyone deserves; the freedom and right to possess her own voice and be responsible for that alone.  And perhaps that’s the reason that the 20-year-old words of a infamous ’90s gangster rap icon has, otherwise, inexplicably, continued to pop into my head throughout the duration of me working on this piece.

“The only way I’ve been practicing my whole life, to live my life, is to be responsible for what I do.  I don’t know how to be responsible for what every black male did; I don’t know. And yes, I am gonna say that I’m a thug, that’s because I came from the gutter and I’m still here.” -Tupac Shakur

 


The Interview (part 4)

black-and-white-isis

Monster Fresh:
There’s one more thing that I wanted to [clear up], as far as the perspective on you.  There’s this idea–and I feel not only from just a cosmic, more abstract view–that you just knew this was your role, but there are certain things that just make it logical that you should be in the role that you’re in.  The first to me is that you did have experience with [Yod] prior [to joining the family] and, instead of being dismissive by saying, “That’s just Jim Baker,” that reference actually reinforces your viewpoint, rather than diminishes how you saw him (having faith in the authenticity of his evolution, etc).  The other thing that I think is interesting [involves] two different things about your background.  You came from a background as an aid for President Johnson; as somebody that was hanging out with young, hip crowds and socialites, like Salvador Dali, and whatnot, in New York.  Then, you go to L.A. and you’re doing really well there with [former fiance/famed rock photographer] Ron (Raffaelli).  And so, you’re not the typical person that’s coming from, “I have nothing.”

Isis Aquarian:
Right.

So, it just lends more credence to everything that you’re doing.  You were a little bit older than a lot of the people [in the family], and you are somebody that was THAT quick to walk away from something, until this point [where you joined the family].  So, while that makes you more credible to be the person that documents this, because you didn’t need things in the way that people might assume that somebody would, who would gravitate to a situation like this, you’re also looked at as somebody that just held onto something from the past.  But, until joining the family, that isn’t the person you were.  You weren’t a person that clung onto these things, until you found something that you agreed with.  Then there’s this idea that you just held onto this for the last 40 years, but there was 30 years of dead… energy… or, whatever.  It wasn’t really being touched on.

They were dead archives.  We were flatlined.  We were dead.  Nobody came out of the Source closet.  Nobody did anything.  Everybody said, “No, let it lie.  It’s dead.  Why are you bringing it up?”  I was a lone warrior.  I was a lone person that stepped out and did it, was crucified, and now everybody wants to take credit for it and [hop] on the bandwagon.  And I know that’s a genre that happens when somebody steps out.  When you’re the first one to step out, and you’re brave enough to do it, and you put yourself on the line, and nobody sees that.  I don’t know what the term for it is, but there is a term.

It’s just what happens to you.  You have to do things regardless of what the outside reaction is going to be.

Yeah, and you know what?  I am now running as my own idea, my own persona.  I’m running on me.  I’m not running on the family.  I’m not working with the family.  In fact, I don’t want to.

That’s what I want to make clear is that you’ve continued to grow as an individual over the last 40 years, you haven’t hidden.

There you go.

Right?

I have such a right to do what I’m doing.  I’m one of the very few who kept [Father Yod's] picture up.  I’m the only one of his women that stayed his woman [in the way that I did it].  For the past 40 years, I became an Aquarian nun; I haven’t been with any other man–that means I’ve been celibate.  And in great joy, and it was my choice; it wasn’t hard.  It’s just, I was still connected with him.  I have been working with him.  Some in the family are now saying “But, what about… what, what, what?  We should have all been included in this.”  And I’m going, “No.”  No.  It’s like, if I was a ball player and wrote a book on my experience with my ball club and named everybody in my ball club–I can do that.  That was my experience and that’s my project.

You’ve been very fair with letting people have their voice.

Very fair.

And I’m not even saying that you did it for them, I’m just saying that you did it because it seemed like you recognized that it’s essential, that it’s necessary for people to see these different viewpoints, and to actually understand it.

Yeah, but it’s done.  I did it and it’s done, and I’m not going to do it anymore.  I’m my own person and I will go forward as my own person, and it will have nothing to do with anybody, but me and my partners.

You don’t feel like you’ve been locked in a box from 40 years ago?  You’ve continued as an individual to grow and I don’t think people see that.

No, no, no, no.  Here you go; I don’t live in the past, I have brought the past with me, and there’s the difference.  I’ve brought it with me and I’ve had a full life, a very good life.  I have a daughter and a granddaughter and I love it.  I live in Hawaii–oh my god.  I have traveled.  Before I did my book event, I took 5 months off and went all through Europe.  I have had a very full, rich, happy, orgasmic life.  You know, I might be a reborn-again virgin—which is my sense of humor, by the way—Aquarian nun, but every moment is total rapture and orgasmic to me.  If you ever met me, you’d know what I’m talking about.  I love looking at things.  I love food; don’t ever eat with me if you don’t think you’re gonna have fun, because you will.  So, it’s not like I’m a shriveled up old prune.  No, not at all.

Isis with her granddaughter, Alana

Isis with her granddaughter, Alana

It’s more like a foundation.

Yeah, it is.

Because, like I was saying, you moved and moved and moved on from everything, and this is something you’re holding onto.  And that is the possible, I guess, “negative”  by-product of being in a group is that people fail to see you as an individual, in a certain way, because they see the group, and that that’s all you are is this group.

How could people in the family see it negative, when they didn’t–?

Well, I don’t mean them.  It’s more so the people that are going to be watching this film, or the people that might read this article, that might not understand that individuality.

There are people that threw their stuff away.  One musician had the reel-to-reels and he threw them away, because he didn’t want them.  You know, the only reason that we have anything is because of what I’ve done, and it’s frightening.  I am now finding out that others do have some stuff that they have kept, so that is good, but not to the extent or responsibility that I have.  It’s frightening for me sometimes to think, “What the fuck did I just do for these 40 years?”  Excuse me for cussing.

Oh no, I’m worse than you are.

I just came back from L.A. and, when I come back from L.A., that’s just what happens; I cuss a lot, because I hang around with a lot of very young people.  Yeah, but, no, no, no… I’m coming out the other end of this just fine.  People are actually saying thank you in the family, like, “At the beginning, I didn’t think this was gonna work, but, oh my god, thank you.”  But then, some aren’t.  Some are still nailing me to the cross, because of their own processing.  Do you know that there are people that are taking my book and my documentary and using it now for their own purpose and platform?

Now, are these people that were willing to be in the film?

There’s actually one particular person and it’s really pissing me off, but he’s known for doing this.  Whatever.  One day this will all end and I know that some kind of balance and peace will be insuredBut, you know what?  There are articles being done on me and I’m getting remarks back.

I remember, 2 years ago, somebody came up to me and he said, “How does it feel to be a public figure?”  I went, “What’s a public figure?”  I had no idea what he was talking about, and it was a shock to find out that people actually thought of me now as a public figure.  It was after the Washington Post did an article on me, and they  go, “The Washington Post never does an article like this on anyone.”  It was a personal article and it was 2 pages with photos.  And everybody was going, “How did this happen?”  Do you know who Flaunt Magazine is?

No.

They’re a glossy magazine, an art magazine, and they’re out of L.A., but they’re all over Europe.  They did a spread on me, where I was as the crone, the elder, because that’s one of the teachings I’m decaulking, is the word crone.  She’s the last part of the goddess trinity.  And I was nude from the waist up.  So, at 69, I posed nude for Flaunt, and that just totally went bonkers.  So, that went, “Okay, Isis Aquarian is coming into her own, as her own persona.”  Tag lines in articles are referring to me as an “iconic legend;” “a living legend;” “a legacy saver,” for sure; an “aquarian nun;” “one of his 14 wives;” a “crone”…  Somebody called me a “hippie goddess mother” …in a good way

*both laugh*

They weren’t like, “HIPPIE GODDESS MOTHER!!!”?  It was a positive?

Oh you hippie goddess mother, I love you so much.  You’re a hero.”  I was actually called that.  In one of the articles somebody had done, “The hero of this project would be Isis Aquarian, because of the archives.  They could not have done without them.”  So, I’m going, “Wait a minute.  I am coming into my own, as my own identity.

And I’m sure that doesn’t make your detractors very happy either.

I am moving forward as my own entity, too, from now on.  And I don’t want any drama or hooks.  So, I need to figure that one out.

"I came across this great photo of Elliott Mintz and Father Yod..who were good friends from the late 60's through the 70's with the Source Rest. and Brotherhood. Elliott use to interview Jim Baker on his radio show then came to the Father House in Nicholas Canyon and did a huge T.V. interview on him and us for his T.V. program. Elliott has remained dear to some of our hearts over the years and i wanted to share this ..xxoo isis

“I came across this great photo of Elliott Mintz and Father Yod, who were good friends from the late 60′s through the 70′s with the Source Rest. and Brotherhood.  Elliott use to interview Jim Baker on his radio show, then came to the Father House in Nicholas Canyon and did a huge T.V. interview on him and us for his T.V. program.  Elliott has remained dear to some of our hearts over the years and i wanted to share this.” – Isis (via Facebook)

Back in the day, though, when the L.A. Times was interviewing you guys, did you just think, “Okay, let’s be involved in it, so that we can, at least, have our own voice involved in this article, because it is going to be written”?

Oh yeah, we were thrilled.  And that NPR article that was done on us—I don’t know if you know [about] that, when there was a 3-part–

Yeah, a little bit.

When that was done, Jennifer Sharpe said she wanted to do a 20-minute interview with me, that’s all she could do–20 minutes–and I said, “Fine, let’s do it.”  She spent 2 weeks with me, we were joined at the hip.  She goes, “Oh my god, who are you people?”  And they ended up doing a 3-part series, which is unheard of.  NPR has never done a 3-part series on anybody, or any thing.  And they haven’t since, as far as I know.

It’s just, there’s too much to this.  I mean, it might seem really one-dimensional, but there’s so much to it.

It just blows people’s minds.

Because, you start off trying to go, “Okay, this is interesting.”  And then, you try to approach it within this framework that you understand.  And then, you start to realize, “Wait a minute, here’s every single piece that disproves that misguided viewpoint that I entered into this with.”  And then, when that’s broken down, then it’s like, “Okay, what’s really happening on its own that’s unique?”  So, there are a lot of layers to it.

There’s so many layers to it, and there’s so many layers to what I’m doing right now.  Like, I’m doing a clothing line with these two designers out of L.A., with our symbols on [the clothing]; they’re gonna be unreal.  And I’m doing a perfume line.  The lady I’m working with just did Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Father John [Misty].  Do you know who he is?

Father John Misty?

Yeah.

He’s from Seattle, we used to work at the same place (at different times), actually.

Okay, well she just did his line of perfume and it’s called “Innocence.”

And I love Will Oldham.  I actually have a picture of him holding my son.

Awwww.

He’s great.

Well, I’m next.  We’re working on, kind of, a cool scent that invokes spirits, somehow.  So, I mean, there’s just so much happening right now.  And, I don’t sing—I can’t sing, I’m tone-deaf—but what I did do was I put an album out through Drag City Records called, Echoes of a Crone.

Is that out already?

Yeah.  Where I talked about the wisdom teachings and they put music to it, and it’s really, very beautiful.  They used to have a hit of it on Youtube; I don’t know if it’s still there.  You could put, “Echoes of a Crone” or “Isis Aquarian.”  Let me know if you can’t find it and I’ll send you something on it.  So, what happened was, from that, I started getting [hit up] from musicians with bands saying, “Would you do a track on our album as the Crone, and do some talking, either from your wisdom teachings or what we want you to say?  We’re gonna overdub on it and do music.”  I’ve done 3 of those and they’ve been brilliant.  The last one I did was with High Mountain Tempel; I don’t know if you’ve heard of them.

I haven’t, but I’m writing it down.  So that’s some of the stuff you have on the horizon?

Actually, have you gone to my Facebook site?

No.

Go to Isis Aquarian and friend me, because I post all of this on my Facebook, and I have photos of Eric (Nielsen of High Mountain Tempel) and them and us recording.  And Karl Anderson is doing a tribute benefit to Sky Saxon/Arelich, and I did the ending tribute thing for him on the album.

I think I saw a video of you spreading some of [Sky's] ashes somewhere.

And I do the ashes.  I do the ashes here at our home portal, Lanikai (Father Yod was also “put to rest” at this location).  People send me the family ashes and I’m the keeper of the ashes, which is very sacred to me, a very sacred rite.

Isis at Lanikai portal

(We briefly go off into details about the piece that I’m writing, during which Isis asks if I already had an idea about what I wanted to use for images and offers to accommodate us with photos as needed.  She also explains that, with so much additional information, she wanted to send some of it in a follow up email, so that I could make the determination about what, if any, to include, from there.  After that, the conversation resumed with the topic of upcoming projects.)

I want to do a coffee table art book, with all the photos that I have, because our photos are so beautiful.  And use this project to help do a memorial for Father Yod and the family, maybe a bench at Hollywood Forever cemetery.

You have thousands of photos, right?

I have thousands, yeah.  And pamphlets, and hand written stuff from Father… and graphics… and….  To me, I think it would be cool, but I also just want to get it out of my archives–the dead archives–and then it will be alive and well.  I got the tapes out.  They’re being done.

Are these the meditation tapes?

Yeah, yeah.  Yep.  I’ll send you information who’s doing that.  And that’s where they took, for the documentary, all of him talking—it’s from the tapes.  I mean, who saves that kind of stuff?  Who has it?

I just feel like you probably knew that there was a reason for it.

Yeah, of course I did.  I did, but I didn’t.  It was like, I didn’t know how it was going to work, or what was going to happen.  I just had to do it, I did it, it was my agreement with that soul, before incarnating, and it was something we both knew immediately.  And… you know, that was my destiny.  I was fulfilling my destiny and I really, kind of, feel now that’s been pretty well secured, and I’m feeling really good about it.  And I’m almost feeling like I can go on now, maybe, a little bit more as my own person–my own persona.  You know, without all this weight on me.  And to have my legacy, my own destiny.  You know, to be a legacy saver is huge and that’s not something you should just throw around lightly.

I mean, I’m sure that there’s a pride in it, but there’s also an unacknowledged weight involved in it.  And that’s why it’s easy to understand your daughter’s feelings.  Because, I grew up feeling like I was the residue of somebody else’s choices, at times.  You know?

Yeah.  “Residue,” I love that word, I use it all the time.

But, I mean, you are your own individual and there is a weight to that.  There isn’t just this running around and going, “Look at me, I’m gonna take all the credit for this.”  It’s a responsibility that you’ve chosen.  Or, that’s chosen you, more so.

Yep.  That’s the first thing I said.  I turned to Jodi after the premier, and I said, “Jodi, you have no idea what a weight has just been taken off of me.  I feel free.  I feel like Martin Luther King, when he said, God almighty, free, free at last.”  And that’s exactly what I said to her, before I left that night.

And that weight is a little less heavy when you have people around you supporting you, but when they’re not there to reinforce this decision, it’s a lot worse.

Yep.

You’re basically having to lift somebody else’s legacy up with the possibility of having it weigh you down and disappear behind it.

Well, there’s an evolutionary process in it.  When I did the book, that was one evolution of realizations.  The documentary, I ended up with a whole other.  So, you’re catching me now, after the fact, where I’ve been able to assimilate everything and come out the other end really clear.  So, I think this is a really important conversation and interview, if you want to know the truth.

I like that you’re getting a viewpoint of the aftermath.  “Okay, it’s done.”  It’s over, but it’s not.  It’s going to take on a whole new life of its own, in a different way now, with me going forward in a different way of my own persona and my own projects.  I feel like I’ve done what I did representing the legacy and for the whole, but now, I’m going forth more as my own self.

Even though this next step is about me, it’s never ever gonna really, really be entirely, all about me, because I’m so tied to [Father] and the Source and I’m still working on the Source legacy materials.  The coffee table book… the tapes.

What it really comes down to is that, if anybody feels that your voice shouldn’t be seen as the voice of the legacy or of this project, then they should have made sure that they had their own.

That’s exactly right.

You documented it, so to me, you’re the person to ask.  You’re the authority.  And, if nothing  else, you’re the authority on yourself and your own life.


I recently contacted Isis, via email, to inform her that I was finally getting ready to publish this last installment of the piece that I’d been working on about her and the Source.  In response, she offered the following statement:

“This is a journey I had 40 years ago with Father Yod and the source family.  It was a thread that remains very strong in its purpose and life experience for me and most of us.  However, there is no Source Family in the now, we all have gone on our own path and on our own journey.  I can say we do hold that time in space sacred in our hearts and we are now working on just letting the drama of it go and allow each their own process within it all.  For ultimately, we are each only responsible for our own evolutionary process. I loved my life in that timing and I really love my life in the now.” – Isis



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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