The Source Family

  • 2012
  • Movie
  • Historical

“I thought that telling him we were having a baby would change his mind…then they started calling him ‘God.’” Yes, the crazy world of small-time crook turned health-food entrepreneur, rock & roll yoga guru, and polygamist cult leader Father Yod is opened up in this incredibly entertaining documentary. James Baker (aka Ya Ho Wa or Father Yod) might...read more

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Reviewed by Jeremy Wheeler
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“I thought that telling him we were having a baby would change his mind…then they started calling him ‘God.’” Yes, the crazy world of small-time crook turned health-food entrepreneur, rock & roll yoga guru, and polygamist cult leader Father Yod is opened up in this incredibly entertaining documentary. James Baker (aka Ya Ho Wa or Father Yod) might not be a household name, but for some, he’s the missing link between Charles Manson and the health craze of the ’80s. Psychedelic-rock enthusiasts know him for the much sought-after 65+ albums he released. L.A. residents of the ’70s will remember him for his ahead-of-its-time hippie-tinged health-food spot, the Source (as seen in Annie Hall). Behind the scenes, he was at the center of the Source Family cult, whose daily six-second weed hits led to out-of-this-world meditations and magical tantric sex, sometimes scored by their in-house tribal-rock band. Through it all, Ya Ho Wa had one of his young lovers chronicle the whole experience -- one of the products of which is this documentary.

By using real footage and not reverting to reenactments, The Source Family is engaging from beginning to end. With audio clips of Father Yod playing over silent footage of the mountain-man hippie magnet, one gets a good sense of what drew people to him -- especially disenfranchised young women of the time whose home lives made them more susceptible to his teachings. It doesn’t hurt that the movie, just like his life, keeps on progressing to wilder and wilder events. Throughout the film, old members of the Source Family reminisce about their time inside the madhouse, much of which they still see with rose-colored glasses. As for Jim Baker, his fate turned out to be just as bizarre as the rest of his life, and it’s as captivating a story as you can find. Based on the book by former Source Family members Electricity and Isis Aquarian, with footage culled from their archives, this movie may be the ultimate testament to this bonkers moment in history -- and anyone even slightly intrigued by the tale will want to run, not walk, to see it.

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  • Released: 2012
  • Review: “I thought that telling him we were having a baby would change his mind…then they started calling him ‘God.’” Yes, the crazy world of small-time crook turned health-food entrepreneur, rock & roll yoga guru, and polygamist cult leader Father Yod is opened u… (more)

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