Los Angeles in the 1970s was an era of many self-styled spiritual groups and communes. One of the most visible was based around the popular, celebrity-filled, Sunset Strip vegetarian restaurant, The Source. Owner Jim Baker was a former karate champion, World War II vet, and ex-con with a knack for the hospitality business. Once he underwent a spiritual transformation and became “Father Yod,” he also showed a knack for gaining followers. Baker staffed The Source with members of his spiritual community. Many of them lived together in a rented Los Feliz mansion.
The new documentary, “The Source Family,” tells the story of a man who saw himself first as a guru, then as God, and, finally, as a very flawed man. Members of the commune are interviewed about what drew them to the Family. It’s a look back at an L. A. decade unlike any other. What was the appeal of commune living? Why couldn’t it sustain?
Isis Aquarian, Source Family member
Electricity Aquarian, Source Family member
Jodi Willie, director of The Source Family