What to watch

The Source Family: A Documentary About a Cult Group From The 70’s


A few days ago, while browsing Netflix, I came across a picture in the documentary section, titled The Source Family. The film brings unique insight onto the 70s where many major cults manifested themselves, especially among the youth.  The documentary revolves around the Source family, a cult group from the seventies. The leader of this cult group was named Father Yod, and this documentary delves deep into the lives of the individuals related, or affiliated to this group.

The Source Family documentary was released in 2012, and it was directed by Jodi Wille, and Maria Demopoulos. The Source family was a radical experiment in the 70’s for utopian living. The family had outlandish style; they owned a renowned restaurant that was visited by absolutely everyone from people to celebrities. Beautiful women worked, and were around the source family restaurant. They practically owned Hollywood’s sunset strip.

The cult leader of The Source Family was originally named James Edward Baker, and he was born in Ohio. He grew to become one of the first healthy restaurant owners in the states. He was called Father Yod. The cult was based on Father Yod’s own philosophy, as well as western mystery tradition. He promoted natural health, organic food, communal living, and of the things he adopted was monogamy, so by 1970 Baker was married to Robin Popper, with whom he had a child. He then was surrounded by heaps of women, and broke his wedding vows, breaking Robin’s heart. Robin later exclaimed “he was a dirty old man on a lust trip”.

Music was also part of the family, Baker also created a band that he named YaHoWha 13, and they released nine albums together, which were sold at The Source Family restaurant.

The documentary is highly entertaining as it delves into minor aspects of the everyday lives of the cult group, providing insight on their manner of living, their definition of utopia, and their application of utopia as well. It is important to see such things manifest in documentaries, as they transport us onto another space and time, providing us with good thoughts ideas, and morals to continue with.

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