Inside 1970s Hollywood cult The Source Family: ‘We were daring. We were beautiful. We were the darlings of LA’

In 1969, pioneering health food restaurant The Source opened on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. It quickly became a Hollywood hot spot, attracting the likes of Steve McQueen, Goldie Hawn, Marlon Brando, Joni Mitchell and John Lennon to its famous patio. Woody Allen poked fun at the vegan menu in Annie Hall, ordering “alfalfa sprouts and a plate of mashed yeast”. But a dedication to clean living was hardly the most radical thing about The Source. What really attracted diners was the fact it was owned and run by a glamorous New Age cult known as The Source Family.

“We felt we were more famous than they were,” recalls Isis Aquarian, a Family member and their proud archivist. “They came to eat at The Source because it was the ‘in’ place to be. We were clean, positive, happy people and the whole thing put you in a different state of mind, a different frequency. When you stepped onto The Source patio, everybody felt it. It was a whole other world.”

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