Hippie cult extravaganza this week

Jennifer Sharpe says:
200804071107 Various cult energies are converging this week, mostly in New York City. I've flown in from Los Angeles to watch them unfold. Back in the summer, Mark Frauenfelder posted a couple of items about an early 70s spiritual commune, or, "polygamist hippie cult" as they're often described, The Source Family.

In celebration of their recently published book, The Source: The Untold Story of Father Yod, YaHoWha 13, and The Source Family, the family's space rock band, YaHoWha 13, came back together to play their first performance in over 30 years in Los Angeles last November. Tomorrow night, Tuesday the 8th, they'll be reuniting again at New York City's Knitting Factory.

Earlier in the evening, and just a ten minute cab ride away, Ondi Timoner, director of "Dig!", will be presenting a sneak preview of her new documentary, "Join Us" that follows four families who have been brainwashed by their pastor, as they go through treatment at the world's only live-in cult deprogramming center (tickets available here and more info here ).

The following night, Wednesday the 9th, Isis the Aquarian and Electricity the Aquarian, co-authors of "The Source" book, will be showing rare archival slides and footage from the Source Family's vaults at The Shala, downtown on Broadway, accompanied by a Q & A.

And finally, you can hear the Source Family's entire story as told in a 3-part NPR series I've put together, airing April 7th, 8th, and 9th on "Day to Day." If you miss it on air, you can listen online where it will be archived with plenty of web extras, including photos of the family, an early video clip of the band, extra audio of Isis talking about what it was like being one of Father Yod's fourteen wives, and an essay by me about just how native I went working on the story. Won't you join us?


  1. Last summer was the 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love – now THAT would have been a perfect time for a reunion…

    but since they were from the early 70s, they probably don’t identify with the 67 Haight-Ashbury crowd

  2. The book is quite good, its not all that culty or scary.

    I believe Skyy Saxxon from The Seeds played with those cats.

  3. I think this group is referenced in the film “Commune”, which is about a hippy commune north of San Francisco which was founded by the scrappy radical group the Diggers (one of which is the actor Peter Coyote). Their happy commune was totally disrupted by another communal group with creepy anti-family brainwashing techniques which I think was The Source. You can find “Commune” online or through netflix — it’s a really honest document and worth watching.

  4. I was wrong — the cult referenced in “Commune” was called Shiva Lila. Can’t find any info about them online except reference to the film.

  5. You douse water on that alligator in Japan and he walks on his hind legs. You douse water on a dirty source hippy and they scurry under a rock and pray you don’t have soap. Strange.

  6. That’s my favorite cult!
    Already have my tickets for the Knitting Factory show…hoping to go see the presentation on the 8th too.
    There is also a book signing at Other Music before the show.
    The book is great, with lots of amazing photos.
    I didn’t know about the NPR series but I will check it out for sure!

  7. I don’t want to be overly picky, but as a 1965-67 resident of the Haight I assure you it’s spelled hippie, not hippy. A hippy is maybe a beatnik with a fat ass, but a hippie is what we called young wannabes seeking to be hip. And BEATNIK is of course a word we never used.

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