‘The Source Family’, Father Yod’s commune: 140 subjects, 13 wives and 65 LPs of extreme psychedelia

VALENCIA. Week of sects in the papers. First, Putin another Edelweiss to, in the absence of mirrors, launch accusations of Nazis. In Spain we had Nazis under that name, a sect that mixed Nazism, pedophilia and aliens. It ended with their leader having his throat slit by a teenage hustler. Second, in Gran Canaria, the police have arrested the leader of a sect new age with shamanic rituals in which dangerous substances were consumed. Three in The Évole thing It was discussed whether behind Vox, as he has assured Federico Jimenez Losantos, there is the ultra-Catholic sect El Yunque. There are more examples, but enough with these.

So many sects remind me of a documentary about one that, without ceasing to be so, had a curious story behind it, quite prosaic. To begin with, because of his legacy, he recorded a good collection of psychedelic rock records. Then, because a good part of his income came from a fashionable restaurant that his leader had set up, the Father Yod. Of all the crazy biographies you can find in the 20th century, this one certainly deserves a place of honor.

Veteran of World War II, although it seems that he was made up that he had received a decoration, expert in martial arts, Jim Baker he opened several restaurants in Hollywood fleeing his past as a bank robber. One of them, vegetarian and organic, became fashionable, especially among celebrities –Woody Allen came to make fun of him Annie Hall, sitting on the terrace and asking for alfalfale- it went so well that he decided to go further and, following another fashion of the moment, he introduced himself to oriental wisdom, to call it something, and by giving classes in the restaurant in the restaurant. meditation, he ended up becoming a spiritual leader. a guru.

After founding a commune with his acolytes, which included a music group that released records currently coveted by collectors, and moving around in an outrageous white Rolls Royce, he went to Hawaii with “the family” where he died after jumping into hang gliding off a cliff. His life, I don’t know anything else, but it didn’t look much like that of an official in a Spanish provincial capital.

The change from businessman to guru in a robe was thanks to the hippie revolution. More specifically, the rise in drug use that occurred in those years. He was a fifty-year-old with life more or less directed, an owner, with a family he had previously left behind, and suddenly, based on acid and speed, he began to see the world in a different way.

in the documentary The Source Family of Maria Demopoulos y Jodi Wille, from 2012, numerous former members of the sect appear, generally speaking well of the experience. Or not too bad. The only shocking thing was Father Yod’s refusal to use medicine. With children involved, and several were born in the commune, that was not funny. This is what a member of the group says, who had a child with an ear infection, and the ban on giving him antibiotics was going to take him away. The man decided to leave the commune and go to a doctor.

However, the curiosity of the documentary is in the sex. Although orgies were not the objective of the commune, its leader ended up directly or indirectly setting up a good harem. First, he married his girlfriend, very young, but later, after time and seeing that the commune worked, he warned her that the rest of the women would also be his wives. So up to thirteen, some of them minors. Translated, an astute individual, facing the midlife crisis, sees the doors that the hippy era opens for him, far from the conservative morality of the time, and takes advantage to the point of procuring a court of very young women for what called “sexual magic” and an army of faithful subjects for the rest. This is a master move and not those derived from the mid-life crisis of our unspeakable compatriots.

The documentary is a visual treat because the vast majority of the footage is actual photography and film. Father Yod commissioned one of his disciples to record the experience and she did so for years, until she photographed her slow death after crashing on a beach with a hang glider. The photographs are very charming due to the time and the paintings. They were dressed as Templars, oriental monks, half-naked… but also because of the beauty of their subjects. It seems that there were among the 150 people people of all kinds, but what Isis, the photographer, paid special attention to the good-looking ones. In this way, some images are iconic.

The music group has also had great prestige among fans of psychedelia. They recorded more than fifty records in a home studio. Now they have been released in a box of thirteen CDs and, loosely, vinyl for collectors. Most of the material is a fine turra under the pretext of extreme psychedelia, but there are not without findings that are not bad. In fact, among the members of the commune there were renowned musicians, such as Sky Saxonof the Seedsknown to his brothers as annoying. At the time, every record label in Los Angeles slammed the door in their face, but that didn’t stop them from playing live shows at college fraternities and student proms. A video of one of these shows appears, with Father Yod hitting the drum and singing in front of an audience of 15-year-old kids who don’t know where to go.

Without taking into account the magufadas with serious danger to health and sex with minors, the story can be approached from an almost humorous perspective. However, ironic jokes aside, it is a good example of everything that goes on in the branch of populism and moving away from boring, soporific and ineffective human reason. Boys who are looking for total liberation end up subjected to an old despot who fucks them in an orderly fashion. It is an extreme example, but teachers are recommended to sit down and discuss it with students to analyze the concepts of liberation and servitude and their contradictions or, above all, their paradoxes.

The members of the group, in any case, stand apart from other cases of communes such as that of Charles Manson or the one that gave rise to the documentary Wild wild country. Some say that thanks to Yod’s teachings they were able to gather the courage for the rest of their lives to achieve their dreams. One actually founded a software company and sold it for millions of dollars. Very good, but there is no doubt that the one who achieved his dreams was Yod. Some theory suspects that the hang glider was a suicide. It would be supported by a proven fact, pleasure as a habit ceases to be.


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