Author Topic: "Goddess" temples busted in prostitution sting - many arrests & charges  (Read 173504 times)

Offline nemesis

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The Sedona Temple, fronted by Baba Dez Nichols, has been raided and closed by cops as has the Phoenix Goddess Temple.

News stories below:

9/8/2011 3:26:00 PM
Sedona Temple closed as brothel

SEDONA -- The Phoenix Police Department has been conducting a lengthy investigation into the activities at the Phoenix Goddess Temple in Phoenix. During their investigation it was discovered that some of the individuals suspected of criminal activity in the Phoenix Temple were also traveling to and from locations in Sedona.

On Wednesday, three search warrants were served at West Sedona addresses at the same time Phoenix PD was executing a search warrant at the Phoenix Goddess Temple. The three Sedona locations were the Sedona Temple at 2945 Southwest Drive, the Sedona Temple Parsonage at 185 Roadrunner Drive and a residence at 395 Inspirational Drive.

Among individuals arrested in Sedona was Goddess Temple founder Tracy Elise, 50, who was involved in a similar suspected brothel in Seattle, shut down by law enforcement in 2009. She was arrested in Sedona based on a Maricopa County Grand Jury warrant. Elise faces charges of prostitution, illegal control of a criminal enterprise, pandering and operating a house of prostitution.

Also arrested in Sedona were Tamara Brusso, 53, and Niki Faldemolaei, 51. Brusso was arrested based on a Grand Jury warrant from Maricopa County, and Faldemolaei was arrested on charges of participating in a criminal syndicate, keeping a house of prostitution, receiving earnings of prostitution, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Sedona Police Commander Marlayne Hatler says, the investigation involving Phoenix undercover officers and Sedona PD surveillance has been ongoing and more arrests are expected to be made. The Maricopa County indictment listed 33 names.

The Phoenix police investigation began in early August. Once it became apparent that Phoenix Temple also has operations in Sedona, it became a joint investigation.

The Phoenix Temple began in the Phoenix jurisdiction and moved to Scottsdale, but ran afoul of zoning violations there and returned to Phoenix.

An explicit review of the Phoenix Temple in the Phoenix New Times caused police to investigate further.

Police Reveal More Details of "Operation Goddess Temple"; More Prostitution Indictments to Come
By Niki D'Andrea Thu., Sep. 8 2011 at 3:02 PM
Categories: News

Eighteen people were arrested yesterday after police raided two so-called Arizona "temples" on suspicion of prostitution, and there will be more arrests and indictments coming, according to the Phoenix Police Department.

Police revealed some details of their investigation, dubbed "Operation Goddess Temple," at a press conference at Phoenix Police Headquarters today.

The Phoenix police vice unit and police in Yavapai County have been conducting undercover investigations for the past six months at the Sedona Temple in Sedona and the Phoenix Goddess Temple at 24th Street and Thomas Road (we detailed some of the latter temple's "sessions" in February, in the New Times cover story, "Sexual Healing.")

Practitioners at Phoenix Goddess Temple have said their "sessions" (which can include "prostate massage," among other things) are for spiritual healing and part of their religious freedom.

At the press conference today, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, who will assist in prosecuting the suspects, made it clear the authorities see the temple's practices quite differently.

"This was no more a church than Cuba was fantasy island," Montgomery said.

Police Reveal More Details of "Operation Goddess Temple"; More Prostitution Indictments to Come -

source with photos:

There is also an important news story from Feb 2001 describing some of the "sexual healing" on offer at the "Goddess Temple".  It is a few pages long so I'll just link to it but it is definitely worth a read, up there with the "Sacred Orgasm" expose of Harley Reagan in the New Phoenix Times, funny, very well written and yet fairly disturbing to read.  There are no explicit images but the text is very explicit.

Phoenix Goddess Temple's "Sacred Sexuality" Is More Like New Age Prostitution
By Niki D'Andrea Thursday, Feb 17 2011
On a brisk Sunday morning in mid-January, Wayne Clayton arrives at work at Phoenix Goddess Temple wheeling a brown piece of luggage.

"These are all my healing tools," he says.

Among them are a clear plastic bag stuffed with white latex gloves and a bottle of lubricant. He will use them later in one of his "trauma healing" sessions. But first, he'll receive his own session with a temple "goddess" who calls herself Aphrodite. Clayton says it's common for practitioners at Phoenix Goddess Temple to do sessions for each other. It helps "recharge energy" and maintains an all-important balance.

Practitioners at this self-styled church near 24th Street and Thomas Road say that what they do is sacred work to balance energy and heal people, and Clayton really seems to believe it — at least enough to let New Times watch two of his all-too-revealing sessions.

Clayton's title is "touch healer." He's in his 50s, about 5-foot-8, heavyset, with glasses and salt-and-pepper hair. Aphrodite is one of about 14 women who work at the temple. Like the majority of the goddesses, she appears to be in her late 30s to early 40s. She's tan, blond, and blue-eyed, with faint crow's feet in the corners of her eyes. She says she conducts up to three sessions per day.

Just what is a "session," you ask? Step into the "Persian Room" with Aphrodite and Clayton.

the rest of the story (explicit) and photos (non-explicit) here:

I believe Baba Dez is here in the UK at the moment.  His associate Niki Faldemolaei has been charged with a range of offenses.  I imagine Baba Dez will be charged when he returns to the US.  Baba Dez interests me because of his links to the tantric THB networks MISA and Ashram Shambala / Universynergy Arts.

Another news story, this one with 2 videos, here

Church was front for a house of prostitution, police say

One by one, members of the Phoenix Goddess Temple were led away in handcuffs Wednesday as Phoenix police raided its building.

During a news conference Thursday, Phoenix police said the church was really a house of prostitution.

"Instead of johns, they were called seekers. Instead of sexual intercourse it was called sacred union," said Phoenix Police Sgt. Steve Martos. "The women were not called prostitutes, they were called goddesses."

the rest of the story with videos here

Offline SouthwestSkeptic

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Re: "Goddess" temples busted in prostitution sting - many arrests & charges
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2011, 03:39:56 am »
When I first heard about this, I thought it was something from The Onion!
The Fox vid is even funnier. This guy calls himself a “spiritual warrior”

There’s every element of New Age fraud here – they don’t charge for their sexual ceremonies, they just ask for love donations!
“If you want to get rich, you start a religion.” – L. Ron Hubbard

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Debunking non-NDN bunk, one nut at a time!

Offline SouthwestSkeptic

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Re: "Goddess" temples busted in prostitution sting - many arrests & charges
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2011, 03:56:00 am »
Here’s more: looks like Arpaio’s goons broke down the door with a battering ram.

Is Phoenix‘s ’Goddess Temple’ Actually a Brothel?
Nothing Holy going on inside Goddess Temple

Some wannabe is claiming that they’re part of a “Native American church”.
 The officer responds, “so that’s what you’re gonna claim next?”

I'm not a bird, I'm not a plane, I'm super NDN skeptic -
Debunking non-NDN bunk, one nut at a time!

Offline nemesis

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Re: "Goddess" temples busted in prostitution sting - many arrests & charges
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2011, 10:14:32 am »
Just sharing a few thoughts...

Personally I do not believe that the law should be concerned with what consenting adults get up to sexually.

My concerns about the Phoenix Goddess Temple and the Sedona Temple are that they are part of a movement that seeks to legitimise various types of "body psychotherapies" that are unconventional to say the least.  

The people who call themselves sacred sexual healers, intimacy coaches, Dakas, Dakinis, Shaktis, Goddesses, tantric healers, sexual shamans, Taoist Masters (the list of euphemisms is endless) claim to be able to treat a range of problems, from psycho-sexual problems to PTSD and serious illnesses including cancer.  

The methods used by "sacred sexual healers"  may involve intimate massage, the acting out of traumatic events in role plays, spanking, whipping, meditation, guided fantasies and various sexual acts.

I just think it is very worrying to think that vulnerable, depressed people with terminal illnesses or PTSD could end up being exploited by predators.

One of the people arrested in the raids is Wayne Clayton who amongst other things, has skills in anal and vaginal reflexology.  Okaaay

Well Mr Clayton claims that his healing powers caused a woman's breast to grow back after a mastectomy.

If people were running a brothel quietly and discretely and were all consenting adults acting with no coercion then I wouldn't feel that it was my right to have an opinion on it.

The claims to treat and cure serious illnesses and emotional traumas and mental illnesses are very worrying and the methods used are potentially traumatising and damaging to people on the receiving end of them.  

Re James Flaming Eagle Mooney

There is a very interesting video of him here. I would very much appreciate the thoughts of native people on the claims he is making.

edited to add, there is a thread on this guy here in Frauds

« Last Edit: September 11, 2011, 10:46:54 am by nemesis »

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: "Goddess" temples busted in prostitution sting - many arrests & charges
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2011, 05:57:42 pm »
The people who call themselves sacred sexual healers, intimacy coaches, Dakas, Dakinis, Shaktis, Goddesses, tantric healers, sexual shamans, Taoist Masters (the list of euphemisms is endless) claim to be able to treat a range of problems, from psycho-sexual problems to PTSD and serious illnesses including cancer.

Just a clarification here. The other problem with the con artists, pimps and prostituted people using some of these terms is that it is cultural misappropriation of the basest kind. Some of these titles are legitimate roles in religions that have nothing to do with sex with strangers, sex trafficking or exploitation. Just like the frauds, exploiters and predators who call themselves by stolen NDN names, these appropriators are harming the people of the cultures they steal from, and they are harming the cultures themselves. I cringe at the idea that someone involved in a legitimate Hindu or Taoist religion would have someone who's only seen the frauds use these titles see that person as tainted, simply due to this stolen terminology... That a member of an Eastern religion would simply talk about their religion and have people mistakenly believe they are some kind of pervert, pimp, or advocate of people being trafficked into sexual slavery. 

What these human trafficking groups do with the stolen mystique of cultures they find "exotic" is profoundly racist. Why not Catholic butt massage? How about communion wine transpersonal ritual with sex on the altar at a fake Pentacostal church? They could even throw in snake handling and speaking in tongues. But no, they always have to use people's ignorance and romanticization of those "exotic, dark" people, who of course must have all kinds of kinky secrets that the outsiders can buy into. The fact that they are crossing that appropriative urge we see from the pay-to-pray consumers with sexual slavery and sexual exploitation is particularly horrifying.

Maybe their attempts to mask the human trafficking in a facade of spirituality, "empowerment" and "healing" makes some of the johns feel less guilty about taking pleasure in a prostituted woman's pain.

Even worse, it seems like these groups brainwash the prostituted women into believing the pain is pleasure and "empowerment". This "exotic, spiritual, healing" trend among sex traffickers is so deeply disturbing, on so many levels.

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: "Goddess" temples busted in prostitution sting - many arrests & charges
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2011, 06:32:28 pm »
Ah, I stand corrected on the topic of exploiting Christianity:
There are two floors and eight rooms called "transformation chambers," each decorated in a different theme, including the "Judeo-Christian room" (all white with paintings of Jesus), the "Egyptian room" (black and gold), and a blue "water chamber" featuring a big bathtub. Every room includes a massage table (which they call an "altar of light"), as well as a bed (called the "grand altar").

Though, "Judeo-Christian" with pictures of Jesus is pretty vague. Then again, their whole pseudo-religious front is purposely vague. Wonder what the saner Christians think of butt massage with Jesus.

Offline nemesis

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Re: "Goddess" temples busted in prostitution sting - many arrests & charges
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2011, 11:36:54 am »
I share your concerns about racism cultural appropriation.

In this case things are much worse once you dig a little deeper.

I found a pagan blog that covered the news story of the brothel raid.

There is a lot of interesting information in the responses posted, some supporting the "temple" and some critical of it.

One guest, apparently having some inside information posted the following:
Yep. In addition to Phoenix Goddess Temple, they also raided Sedona Temple owned by an unrelated guy named Nichols. They also raided the parsonage of the Sedona church as well a private home belonging to a Sedona Pagan.
Now, here is where things get even more interesting.
aWhen police (apparently withouny real probable cause) raided the Sedona Temple, what they found inside what the media is calling a “Pagan Brothel” or “sex church” were a group of Native Americans performing a traditional ceremony for a Swedish film crew!
In media interviews this morning you can find on Google news, arrested “practitioners” claim that they were not engaging in prostitution nor any legal activity, but this this is about the freedom of sexual expression as part of their religious beliefs. One female practitioner added that she practices “Earth based religion.”
The new witch hunt is on, it seems. Is YOUR church ATF approved?
source (scroll down to about 3/4 way down the page)

This person is clearly either ignorant of, or lying about the fact that the Phoenix Goddess Temple and the Sedona Temple are related.  They are and this is why the cops raided both "temples".

Obviously I was wondering who these "Native Americans" are who were at the Sedona temple with a film crew.

Then I discovered an interesting snippet (if true) on the website
Unsurprisingly for a newage site called tantranews they defend the "temple" however they have some interesting info re Mooney (emphasis mine)

Fortunately, the Goddess Temple holds legal status as a church. They will likely mount a defense based on religious freedom, which seems appropriate as in essence this is the state attempting to legislate one morality over another morality. And freedom of religion has trumped the law before - for example, there are Native American tribes that are legally protected in their religious use of peyote, an otherwise illegal substance. In fact, James "Flaming Eagle" Mooney from the Oklevueha Native American Church, which is allowed to use peyote as a sacrament, has recently blessed the Phoenix Goddess Temple as a member church, giving its members the right to use Church sacrament such as Peyote, Marijuana, Mushrooms, and Ayahuasca. Not only that, he bailed all of them out of jail as well!


Then I found this on the website of the International School for Temple Arts (ISTA - a subsidiary of the Sedona Temple that was raided by cops)
ISTA collaborates with the Native American Church Tweet 
Oklevueha Native American Church (ONAC)
Maintain the integrity of bona fide American Native Indigenous ceremonies, thus serving the communities that we reside in.
Insure all Independent Branches, Spiritual Leaders, Authorized Participants and American Native ancient ceremonial grounds, receive ‘all’ rights and / or protections as explicitly stated in the United States Constitution, its Bill of Rights and even more clearly  and concisely outlined in the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000”
Native American Spirituality:  Ceremonies, Sacraments, Pipe, Dance, Lodge
Legal Affairs:  Religious Land Use, Right to Gather, Hands-On Anointing, Due Diligence, Laws & Statutes, Opinions
Founder: James Warren "Flaming Eagle" Mooney

there is a thread in Frauds about Mooney here

I understand that Mooney is not the only pretendian / fraud associated with the Sedona Temple.  I will post more on the others when I have a moment
« Last Edit: July 18, 2020, 07:35:38 pm by NAFPS Housekeeping »

Offline nemesis

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Re: "Goddess" temples busted in prostitution sting - many arrests & charges
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2011, 11:54:10 am »
Oh well, as I'm on a roll

Another pretendian fraud who works with the Sedona Temple

Rod "Bearcloud" Berry

The Star Nation 7 Chakra System - presented Sunday May 1, 2011 from 3:00pm-4:15pm
Location:  10th Anniversary Conference at the Lodge at Cliff Castle, Sedona Verde Valley, exit 289 of I-17
Everything is made up of energy.  Life force energy is the basis for all that is.  All indigenous cultures revere source or Creator as that from which is within.  Bearcloud will share the 7 Chakra System of the Star Nation, showing how these power centers channel life force energy for the purpose of thriving on this earth, in these bodies, from earth to sky and beyond.
Bearcloud's paintings come to him as visions from deep within his spirit, and he considers them to be a gift of the Universe, the Great Mystery. He has great concern for seeing the Earthmother heal and the people as well.
Bearcloud speaks at the Conference of Sexuality and Consciousness


another fraud, this time a recruiter and senior member of the Russian human trafficking network Ashram Shambala aka Universynergy Arts aka School of Goddesses aka a zillion other names, fake Siberian Shaman Chekes Rada aka Master Chekes aka Soledad
August 24, 2010, 8:24 am
Filed under: Healing, Practitioner, School, Shamanism, tantra, Uncategorized, Yoga | Tags: chekes, crystal dawn morris, ecstatic dance, ista, sedona events, sedona temple, tantra
Ecstatic Tantra Dance, Aug 24 & 25, 2010 at 7:30pm with Master Chekes. This is a free donation event is an experiential journey to free minds from limiting beliefs and get bodies moving and feeling. Master Chekes is an international Shamanic, Tantric life force coach.

Also free on Wed Aug 25 is a women’s talk. Master Chekes will discuss how women can master their power and attract the right relationships.

Details: Location: Sedona School of Temple Arts, 2945 Southwest Drive, Sedona AZ 86336.

source (scroll down)

another event featuring both Chekes and "Master Perun", 2 very senior recruiters from the Russian THB network who seem to be using their Universynergy Arts name at the moment
The Path of Modern Gods and Goddesses - WEEKEND SEMINAR
Saturday, September 11, 2010, 10:00 AM
School of Temple Arts
2945 Southwest Drive, Sedona, IL (map)
Price: $350.00/per person
Refund policy
Sedona Temple
185 Roadrunner Dr, Sedona

Saturday and Sunday
September 11th and 12th
10:00 AM until 6:00 PM

Saturday – The men will be taught by Master Perun & Master Chekes will teach the women separately. Sunday, the workshop will be taught “co-ed”.

For Women: Awakening Feminine Essence
Dances of Shakti and Tantric yoga. ? Special dances to open feminine essence and sensuality. ? Marriage, celibacy, free relationship, monogamy, polyamory: Understanding your individual essence ? Sexuality as a high and subtle art: What can we learn from Geishas, Devadassi, Haeteras ? Exploring two powerful archetypes: The Amazona and the Geisha. ? Practices to unblock women sexual energy ? Overcoming fears, anger and feelings of rejection towards intimate relationships ? Creating state of harmony, wisdom and self sufficiency ? Flower of passion: When we have passion, life is an act of love.

The nature of male sexual energy and the reasons that a man loses this energy.
3 roles of Shiva - ideal appearances of male power.
Understanding the different energetic types of women.
What destroys masculine power and makes a man lose this energy.
Exercises of tantric yoga to control sexual energy and enrich the "oceanic orgasm"
The principles of keeping masculine power for many years. Secrets of longevity.

Sunday Program for Both Men and Women: Sacred Art of Relationships and Selectivity- What do men really want? What do women really need? How can you find the relationships you are dreaming of? How can you continue to grow passion in your relationship? Ancient secrets of the male and female psychology of relationships, that helps you be most attractive to your partner, so you both may find bliss.

The Seminar will be taught by Master Perun and Master Chekes, Raja Yogis, Masters of Tantra, Altai-Tibetan Healing and Aharata. They are Masters with the school UniverSynerngy Arts, based in the Northern Himalayan Mountains, at the border of Russia Mongolia and China. To find out more visit

so not only does the Sedona Temple not bother to check on the credentials of their "native American" friends but the Sedona temple co-hosted, organised and advertised a grooming and recruitment event on behalf of a huge internationally active network of pimps and people traffickers who disguise themselves as Siberian Shamans.  

« Last Edit: September 13, 2011, 01:35:27 pm by nemesis »

Offline nemesis

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Re: "Goddess" temples busted in prostitution sting - many arrests & charges
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2011, 12:13:38 pm »
Interesting video here showing a closing circle at the end of an ISTA event

In the video are Baba Dez Nichols, (founder of the Sedona Temple and ISTA - currently here in the UK), Rod "Bearcloud" Berry (the one with the drum), "Grey Eagle" (no idea who he is but I expect he's the one with the bird's wing) and Niki Faldemolaei (Senior person involved in ISTA and Sedona Temple - currently charged with a range of serious criminal offenses after the raids), Wayne Clayton (Senior person involved in ISTA and Sedona Temple and the Phoenix Goddess temple- currently charged with a range of serious criminal offenses after the raids)

here is another video of Niki Faldemolaei, filmed during a workshop at the Sedona Temple with trafficking recruiter Chekes Rada  (no explicit content - safe for work)

here is a video with Chekes Rada from the same event (safe for work)

These videos were uploaded almost exactly a year ago.  

I do not have the resources to properly investigate the business relationship between the Sedona Temple, ISTA and the Russian trafficking network, but it is cause for extreme concern IMO.

At best the Sedona Temple has been negligently allowing trafficking networks to use their temple and has been allowing the network to recruit victims via workshops and retreats at the Sedona Temple.

At worst, well, given that this is an ongoing legal case, it is better that I do not say.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2011, 12:41:13 pm by nemesis »

Offline educatedindian

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Re: "Goddess" temples busted in prostitution sting - many arrests & charges
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2011, 12:58:11 pm »
Bearcloud is Rod Berry, who says he is Osage. There are videos of him at the Star Conferences with "Golden Light Eagle" and another site of him with Zulu fraud Credo Mutwa. He also talks about crop circles, pyramids, you name it.

Berry is briefly mentioned here.;wap2

Offline nemesis

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Re: "Goddess" temples busted in prostitution sting - many arrests & charges
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2011, 01:10:43 pm »
Thanks Al
Much appreciated.

I found out who Grey Eagle is (there are a lot of Grey Eagles apparently)

I would appreciate any thoughts on this guy and his video

Grey Eagle presents a sacred point of view about sexuality and consciousness for the ISTA 10th Anniversary conference in Sedona.

wow! I just watched a couple of minutes of it and am very concerned to hear his claims that he receives a grant to provide counselling to Native people who are victims of crime.  

It is a very long video and I can't watch it all but would really appreciate any thoughts.  

The video is hosted on his own youtube channel, I have no time to check out the other videos but would appreciate any help / info in reviewing them

also, just found this video of Grey Eagle (apparently a Choctaw Sundance Chief) talking about UFOs

Looks like he is also part of the Star Conferences group of frauds

The video suggests that he is a failed actor and stand up comedian who decided on a career change in pursuit of the newage $$$$

« Last Edit: September 13, 2011, 01:36:49 pm by nemesis »

Offline nemesis

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Re: "Goddess" temples busted in prostitution sting - many arrests & charges
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2011, 03:28:36 pm »
The Phoenix Temple's advertisement for new "practitioners" in the Adult Jobs section of Phoenix Back Page speaks volumes

NEW TRAINING Starts June 28 Learn to be a Goddess Healer * - 100
Posted: June 19, 2011, 03:19 PM

WE are one of the largest goddess temples in the US, serving 4000+ members in the greater Phoenix area. Our membership is interested in uplifting women, knowing more about sexual energy and life force mastery. WE teach men how to be with women and they love it! YES this is a religion, in which there is a God and His Goddess! Find out more by sending your photo and a short note of interest:
You must be beautiful inside and out, caring for humanity, willing to learn about the human light body. We are here 7 days, 12 hours each day so scheduling around your life is easy! Most of our sacred sexual healers earn $500+ during a 6 - 7 hour shift, top healers earn double that. This is not just a great financial opportunity, you will prosper your whole life and your soul!
On-going training from the country's BEST Tantra teachers, sexual Shamans & Goddess Her-Story Priestesses. PLEASE be mentally kind, physically fit/healthy, drama free, and into being part of a caring family & sisterhood of empowered women! Adult experience not necessary, but we do welcome women with a sexy past & present! Call Mystic Mother Tracy Elise 206.271.5837 or phone the temple Gate Keeping Ministry 602.956.0600
Poster's age: 100

• Location: Phoenix, 2728 N. 24th Street. Central PHX

• User first posted January 2008

• Post ID: 13771194 phoenix


edited to add

for clarity

The Phoenix Goddess Temple is the one that has gotten the most media attention and it was the subject of police attention initially.  The Sedona Temple, run by "Baba" Dez Nichols and Niki Faldemolaei subsequently became the subject of police attention after the cops realised that certain individuals were travelling between 2 "temples" / brothels.  The Sedona Temple has been on my radar for some time due to their organising, hosting and advertising various events where THB networks were represented.

I will write more re this soon
« Last Edit: September 13, 2011, 03:38:01 pm by nemesis »

Offline SouthwestSkeptic

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Re: "Goddess" temples busted in prostitution sting - many arrests & charges
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2011, 02:52:26 am »
Al, you might want to move Mooney over to the frauds section, at least that’s what the federal courts seem to think.

I was doing some research on the Native American Church in the library today and I came across this book, The Peyote Road, by Thomas Constantine Maroukis.  Univ Oklahoma press 2010 ISBN 978-0-8061-4109-1

It’s got a lot of case law regarding the Native American Church in it and this part about James and Linda Mooney was interesting:

“A more vexing case is that of James and Linda Mooney of Utah, who were arrested by state authorities in 2000 and charged with twelve first-degree felonies for possession of 12,000 Peyote buttons. They are founders of the Oklevueha Earth Walks Native American Church of Utah. Mr. Mooney claims membership in the Oklevueha Band of Yamasee Seminoles, which is not federally recognized.  The government claims the membership was obtained FRAUDULENTLY and the group has since revoked his membership. The Mooneys filed a countersuit claiming their home was entered illegally.  The NAC (Native American Church) of North America opposed the Mooneys and DISAVOWED any connection to them. In 2004 the case reached the Utah Supreme Court, which ruled in the Mooney’s favor, much to the surprise of the Peyote community and federal officials. The court ruled that Utah law had incorporated the DEA’s exemption for the religious use of Peyote by members of the Native American Church and the Mooneys were using the name of the Native American Church. This had serious implications since it meant that the non-Indian members could not be prosecuted. The NAC of North America and its attorneys began an ACTIVE CAMPAIGN to have the Utah legislature close this loophole. Church officials went to Utah to meet with state legislators. At this point, the Department of Justice became involved and after the state charges were voided, federal officials arrested the Mooneys and charged them with breaking federal law in the distribution of Peyote as they were NOT members of a federally recognized tribe.  Department of Justice officials negotiated with the Mooneys in 2006 and offered to drop all charges if they agreed never to acquire, use or distribute Peyote. On February 22, 2006 and agreement was signed. The case is of great concern to the NAC as it threatened their special exemption. In addition, if the Mooneys were ultimately successful in federal court, this could open up widespread use of Peyote and further threaten the supply.”  (Maroukis, pp. 223-224)

The chapter goes on to show how prices have been driven up by demand from white seekers and it threatens the rights to religious freedom of legitimate Native Americans.

Throughout the book, it makes it clear that the Native American Church wants an exemption only to the drug laws for sacramental use of Peyote and ONLY for members of federally recognized tribes. From chapter 6:

“If a person is not a member of a federally recognized tribe, he or she can be arrested for the use of Peyote.” The leadership of the NAC of North America makes this clear. It is in their bylaws as well as the bylaws of the state NAC organizations.” For example, the Utah NAC bylaws are very specific. One must be a member of a federally recognized tribe. Not following the law could jeopardize the church. The NAC is unequivocal about this as it continually reminds the membership about this law.” (Maroukis, p. 226)

So all these claims about it being an issue of religious freedom for nons to run a brothel because some wannabe blessed the place is just pure nonsense.  Legally, American Indians have a special political and legal relationship to the United States that outsiders do not have. The US government is obligated by law to protect Native religious freedom. Mooney hasn’t got a legal leg to stand on.

There’s also this on the net:

“Some people in Utah have made a mockery of Native American religion, making money in the guise of religious freedom," Oda told fellow members of the House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Standing Committee, which advanced the bill to the House by a unanimous vote. “

“Carma Nez, a Navajo who is vice president of the local Native American Church of North America, said she has used peyote in sacred ceremonies since she was a little girl. Through tears, Nez said she felt Mooney and his followers were "making a mockery of our way of life."

“Ute religious leader Clifford Duncan told committee members he was hurt that a legal loophole was allowing peyote to be used by members of the general public.”

"I'm saddened that people will trample on something so sacred to Native Americans," Duncan said. "We need to stop our culture from being exploited."

In their detention hearing a detective testifies that he believes the Mooneys provided fraudulent documents to the court. It's here:

It is also  very interesting that the official Native American Church has moral and ethical standards derived from Christianity and one of the requirements for membership is that one lead a moral life (by Christian standards). Members of the legitimate Native American Church must live by the church’s moral code: lead a moral life and “must not lie or repeat falsehoods.”  I believe that would exclude lying about being NDN, running religious scam, pimpin & whorin.  Just sayin.

The source cited is :

“Couple agree to end peyote use if feds drop drug charges"

There are rumors around Phoenix that some type of hallucinogenic drug such as Peyote was confiscated in last week’s raid. If those rumors are true, Mooney violated his deal with the feds. There are also rumors that at least one of the “goddesses” was HIV positive. This makes this offensive cultural theft a public health hazard as well. At least the legal brothels in Nevada are regulated by the health board. 

The “church” didn’t have to test the “spiritual warriors” for diseases.

Another thing that occurred to me is that James Mooney may not even be his legal name, as James Mooney was the name of a Smithsonian ethnologist who studied the Ghost Dance and fought for the religious rights of Native Americans for the ceremonial use of Peyote in the early 1900s.  He may have just appropriated this name. He is misrepresenting himself all over the internet as a member of the Native American Church, but the book says they disavow any relationship to him. He could be using a pseudonym to cover up past scams.

As an interesting footnote, Peyote use for “religious” purposes is legal in Arizona if you can produce a membership card in the Native American Church, but it is still illegal on the reservations.

There are layers and layers of harm that these wannabes do to Native people and to the people they victimize with their lies.  Drug tourism harms legitimate Native religions in so many ways, but all of the comments from Phx liberals on the online stories are strongly in favor of the brothel.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the white courts and a predominantly white jury let them get away with a slap on the wrist.  They’ll be in business in again in another state before you know it.


I'm not a bird, I'm not a plane, I'm super NDN skeptic -
Debunking non-NDN bunk, one nut at a time!

Offline SouthwestSkeptic

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Re: "Goddess" temples busted in prostitution sting - many arrests & charges
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2011, 03:05:38 am »
The tantra community just busted him too!
Tantric teacher calls out Goddess Temple founder
I'm not a bird, I'm not a plane, I'm super NDN skeptic -
Debunking non-NDN bunk, one nut at a time!

Offline SouthwestSkeptic

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Re: "Goddess" temples busted in prostitution sting - many arrests & charges
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2011, 03:23:47 am »

O.K. They’re not a Native American Church anymore. Now, they’re a 501 C 3 legally recognized Tantric church. They found an attorney to defend their case as a “civil rights issue.”

I'm guessing that the brothel has deep pockets and that's the reason the attorney was so "inspired" by the case.
James Flaming Eagle Mooney posted bail for one of the “Goddesses”. I wonder where he got the money?

Another one of America’s funniest/craziest home videos:

Kamala Devi has declared that this  is going to be the “Stonewall” for the plastic shaman tribe. 

There is no limit to the bogus or  trivial issues that white liberals will embrace.


I'm not a bird, I'm not a plane, I'm super NDN skeptic -
Debunking non-NDN bunk, one nut at a time!