Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Source Family Weekend

My undying, everlasting love for Halloween hasn't waned despite being well past the age when putting on a wig and assuming the identity of someone else can be considered normal. This year we were loyal disciples of Father Yod, members of the Source Family, a hippie new-age cult that opened the first organic health food/salad joint on Sunset Boulevard in the 70s. It was cutting edge stuff back then, and frequented by hollywood stars like Marlon Brando and Julie Christie. Their guru, Father Yod was a 6'5" WWII veteran trained in Jiu Jitsu, which basically made him the world's least likely figure to lead a bunch of pot smoking hippies to total spiritual enlightenment, but there you go. They lived together (all 150 of them) in Father Yod's home in the Hollywood Hills, and their spiritual practices included eating an organic, vegetarian diet, and healing themselves with crystals. Oh yeah, and old Father Yod had 14 wives, natch. He also fronted an experimental psychedelic rock band called YaHoWha 13, and they recorded 9 completely unlistenable albums that featured Father Yod banging various percussion instruments and wailing like an injured animal. 

But overall, The Source Family were pretty tame for a cult, especially a 70's cult. When Father Yod finally lost his marbles, he just killed himself instead arranging a mass suicide, which I guess is pretty considerate. There's a fascinating documentary about them on Netflix if you like that kind of thing.

Point Reyes served as the perfect mise en scène for the weekend. We rented a small family cabin and went hiking in the misty, deserted woods. The clocks fell back, plunging us into a darkness that felt premature and welcome at the same time. It rained one night, which if you live in California is a rare treat. It was a nice escape, both from my daily look and from my daily reality.