Polygamy Meets God in L.A. – A Film Review of ‘The Source Family’


Apparently, the Age of Aquarius has been in full swing since 2012, and as you can see, it has had a great effect on all of us. Well, not me. Not even a little bit actually. But I also don’t belong to a family that forces you to ingest the ‘Jewel of Truth’ and the ‘Wisdom of the Ages’. My family are meat and potatoes kind of people, although I can fully accept that family means something different to everyone. Dysfunctional, urban, organized, nuclear, blended – a family becomes exclusive through the bond (whatever that may be) that is shared among its members. For members of The Source Family, subject of the 2013 documentary, that bond is whatever YaHoWha says it is.

Who is YaHoWha? He is the Earthly Spiritual Father, also known as Father Yod, who was, at one time just plain old James Baker.

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The Source Family, is Jodie Wille and Maria Demoulous’ documentary that tells the story of Baker’s transformation and rise to power as head of the Aquarian family, a psychedelic, religious, polygamist cult that grew out of a health food restaurant in Los Angeles in the late 1970’s. Waiters and waitresses alike, if you worked for The Source Restaurant you became part of the family, which eventually moved into a mansion in Laurel Canyon to accommodate its growing membership. From there Father Yod, held forum with his sons and daughters, who at his command attended morning ritual or in the evening stared at the moon until their eyes would become blurry. Their mandate was a hodgepodge of every basic philosophy, theology and religion. Their energy was explosive, that of children were once lost but now have been found. In the Aquarian family religious doctrine and occult exploration found company in the rock n’ roll lifestyle of sex, drugs and music.

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The Source Family is a well formed documentary that is held tightly together through the personal footage of Isis Aquarian, deemed to be the family historian by Father Yod when she first joined. Photos, films, and sounds clips that were documented from the inside provide the collage that pulls the film together, and exposes what when on behind closed doors.

Every family has their secrets, and I’m certain the Aquarian family had their fair share. Life starts to get a tad hairy for Father Yod towards the late seventies. After crushing his first marriage, taking on 14 Spiritual Wives at once, recording 65 albums from the family band and living in a house with 140 other people, even the Earthy Spiritual Father, knew that everything had an expiry date. The Source Family (literally) comes to a crashing end.

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