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Olive premium weight 100% Portuguese cotton TSPTR tee with water based ink print

It was 1972, time of the cult-occult-commune explosion. By day, the Source Family dressed in colorful robes and served organic cuisine to John Lennon, Steve McQueen, Julie Christie, Frank Zappa, and many other celebrities at the famed Source restaurant on the Sunset Strip, Los Angeles. It became so influential it was parodied by Woody Allen in his 1977 classic Annie Hall (he orders alfalfa sprouts and mashed yeast). By night, in their mansion in the Hollywood Hills, they explored the cosmos with their spiritual leader, Father Yod, an outlandish figure who had 14 wives, drove a Rolls-Royce, and fronted his own psych rock band, Ya Ho Wa 13.

Father Yod aka James E Baker, was a former US Marine, World War II hero, alleged bankrobber and wannabe Hollywood actor. Baker moved to LA after World War II. While trying to find work as a stuntman, he fell in with the Nature Boys, a group of vegetarian beatniks known for their antics on Muscle Beach. In 1955, Baker killed his Topanga Canyon neighbor with a Judo kick after an argument over a dog turned violent. He managed to avoid prosecution.

It was in 1972 he surprised many by suddenly morphing from successful health food restauranteur into mystical leader of what was often described as a cult. His group of young followers lived strictly devoted to his esoteric teachings, unusual sexual practices, and philosophies of natural living and dying. Still, as controversial as he was to outsiders, Father Yod was, by inside accounts, 'a deeply loving and spiritually powerful magus who taught his Family to recognize their divinity within and their innate connectedness to all of creation'. By 1974 Father Yod had changed his name to YaHoWha and he and his followers decamped to Hawaii. The strange tale was compounded by his death in a hang-gliding accident in 1975, soon after, the Source Family's vital utopian social experiment disbanded. Whether you view Father Yod as a spiritual visionary who was ahead of his time or a con artist appropriating various cultural traditions so he could sleep with much younger women, his legacy is undeniable. His ideas about organic, local, vegetarian food have now become mainstream and clean eating, communal living and spiritualism are having a comeback amid the worlds descent into industrialism and consumerism.

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