Phoenix Goddess Temple Raided; 16 People Detained

Categories: News
goddess temple_sized.jpg
Jamie Peachey
One of the goddesses in the "green Chakra room" at Phoenix Goddess Temple
Phoenix Goddess Temple, the "sexual healing" church featured in the New Times' story Sacred Sexuality in February, was raided by Phoenix police officers Wednesday. 

Sixteen people -- five men and eleven women -- were detained for questioning. Among those arrested was temple practitioner Wayne Clayton, who is one of 12 people being indicted on grand jury charges including illegal control of enterprise, maintaining a house of prostitution, and receiving the earnings of a prostitute. 

Phoenix police sergeant Steve Martos confirmed that officers served a search warrant at the temple, located near 24th Street and Thomas Road yesterday afternoon. Sgt. Martos said not all of the 16 people being questioned are employees of the temple. 
clayton.jpg
photo by Jamie Peachey and mugshot courtesy of Phoenix Police
Temple founder Tracy Elise and "touch healer" Wayne Clayton (left); Wayne Clayton's mugshot (right)
In 2009, police visited the Goddess Temple's previous location in a residential area of Scottsdale after neighbors complained. The temple moved to its current location in March 2010. 

No one at Phoenix Goddess Temple could be reached for comment, but practitioners at the temple and "Temple Mother" Tracy Elise have long maintained that the "sessions" they have with clients are part of their religion and are for "healing" purposes.  

Also arrested during Wednesday's raid were Heidi Winemiller, Sandra Brown, Marilyn Hussey, Amanda Twitty, Jamie Baker, Theresa Eakin, Holly Alsop, Patricia Boyko, Dawn Colwell, Janet Craven, and Alex Averill. 

In addition to the raid on the Phoenix Goddess Temple, search warrants were served Wednesday at the Sedona Temple, a similar "church" where Goddess Temple practitioners have worked. Police have not said what they were looking for during the raid, only that the warrant is part of an ongoing investigation. 

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37 comments
NewtimesSucksAss
NewtimesSucksAss

What is really ironic here is that the Newtimes would actually call the temple to solicit the Temple to place ads in the Newtimes. What even more ironic is that if you pick up a New Times, you will find the last 4-5 pages to be that of Escort Ads.  Really New Times?  Your a scummy news organization.

Anneiwantyounow
Anneiwantyounow

The ACLU needs to step in. I encourage everyone to contact the Phoenix branch with your concerns. I went to several Sunday services there, and I'm a female high school teacher who has taught sex Ed. They were normal, and led by a real ordained minister. The problem is little minds, unfortunately the writer who originally exposed the Temple was a very fat man who had a lot of anger and shame.

goddessisabella
goddessisabella

Anneiwantyounow, you are close but actually it was a very fat WOMAN who had a lot of anger, shame and confusion related to her own sexuality.

peacemaker
peacemaker

what is the big deal...I think we should all leave them alone

Misty
Misty

These temples exist in other states, not just Arizona. They are not new and have been around for ever since people have worshiped the Goddess.

I have been to this particular temple myself in AZ and have taken classes there. The classes I took were based on meditation and ancient Oriental and Native Indian practices were taught in these classes. There was no talk of sex or any sex acts going on at that time.

I was aware that tantra yoga was taught and practiced there to people for sacred sexual healing (alot of times to help in recovery for sexual abuse &/or self acceptance) including couples looking to re-connect through tantric breathing practices.

The people who work there are very spiritual people and do not charge for even their classes, but accept donations for these workshops.

For Sheriff Joe Arpaio to come in and claim that this is a brothel because of these practices is just absurd! All the people who work here have taken this very seriously and truly believe in what they teach. I feel bad for the people I know who have been arrested and called prostitutes. I don't know where this is going to go or what proof they have against them. The media is saying things that are not true and this is very, very sad indeed!

goddessisabella
goddessisabella

Sheriff Joe came in alright (long before the new county prosecutor was appointed and needed to make a name for himself) and for a completely different reason. Joe is probably quite bummed out that the temple is closed.

Groove
Groove

Well said Misty.

Jivana
Jivana

In 1941 Franklin Delano Roosevelt offered the Four Freedoms, which he said that we must be vigilant to defend...

Among them was the freedom of speech, another was the freedom to worship as we see fit...

I think that both of these freedoms have been violated by these arrests.

I do not agree with the activity of sex for money, because it is very difficult to see the sacredness in that, however I do not see that people should be persecuted for a harmless activity between consenting adults.

On another post someone said, "Is it any more devious to accept money for salvation when, in fact, salvation cannot be promised and delivered in anyway..."

The people being arrested here are not malevolent people....

Perhaps society needs to reexamine its laws and see where these biases are coming from.

While sex for money is repugnant to many, and in fact it is to me, it seems that this issue, which is not going away anytime soon, needs to be looked at again in a more contemporary and expanded way..

Drrick78
Drrick78

I wish I could  find a church like that

Sumion3k
Sumion3k

Friends, Lovers, and Fellow Countrymen and Women,The arrest of sexual healers in Sedona and at the Goddess Temple inPhoenix wakes me up to the reality that we need to do something aboutthe laws that are still on the books, all over this country,criminalizing something that is everyone's right to engage in, and noone's right to moralize about or dictate, which is: how people spendtheir money, who they have sex with, and whether or not those twointersect. Sixteen practitioners were arrested in a sting operation that lastedsix months. I know many of these people, they are sincere, havereceived training in the healing arts (for which there is not yet certification since it goes against the dominant culture's sex-negative stance), attend annual sacred sexualityconferences, and are dedicated to helping heal the second chakrawounding that almost every culture has inflicted on society. However,even if that were not the case, even if they were simply providing aopportunity for sexual expression to those who feel that they need it,WHO'S BUSINESS IS IT? Does it not anger you that we are being told how to behave when itcomes to our sexuality? Does it not infuriate you that sex between twoconsenting adults, whether or not money passes hands, can becriminalized? Don't you think that it is time that we call ourlegislators, senators, the office of the President and tell them to get the hell outof our sex lives? These outdated laws need to be changed and they need to be changednow! We should not be willing to live under puritanical, fear based,rules that restrict sexual expression, done in private between twoconsenting adults. Some use the argument that all prostitution must beillegal because if not, it encourages sex slavery; that could not befurther from the truth. It is only in countries like ours, whereprostitution is illegal that sex slavery still goes on. However evenhere, sex slavery is very rare. Additionally, where prostitution isillegal, women who practice it are marginalized, used and abused, anddo not receive protection from society or from the police. Instead ofbeing seen as offering love, comfort, or just plain pleasure to thosewho, for whatever reason, are sexually disenfranchised, they arelooked upon as pariah, lowly ones. You say that prostitution lowers the value of women? I say thatoffering sex, love, pleasure to those in need, could not be more inline with the essence of the feminine, which moves in the heart ofwoman. Rather than trying to 'elevate' women to where men are in the"man's world", allow us make our own choice for to how show up in theworld, elevate healing modalities, teaching, caring for, and creatingto the same level we have placed running corporations, courtrooms, andarmies. If I had to say what I would rather my daughter do, providecomfort and care to those in need, or prostitute herself as an adexecutive (I know there are some good ad executives out there whowould never create ad campaigns for coke or Dolce & Gabbana, so pleasedo not take offense), my choice would be clear. I'm asking you to look inside, to evaluate how you feel about this subject, and to respond to this post as a public forum, letting me and the community, know your thoughts. I am asking you to contact your representative, and I'm asking you to talk about this in order to bring it to the public's awareness.Thank you for your time in considering this issue.Namaste

elektron
elektron

You can try to defend being a whore all you want, but they are still whores.  If I contact my representatives it will be to tell them to send these people away for a long time.  Im sure sex is real sacred to them when they have sex with everyone.  Your a joke!

goddessisabella
goddessisabella

Maybe your sexuality is a joke but mine is special to me. You have a nasty closed up little mind and a stupid name "elektron" You sound hateful and more dangerous then any person from the Goddess temple. If you call your representatives they will not answer, you will get a voicemail that noone ever listens to because they dont care about you. The temple could have helped you with your misdirected anger. Im sorry you are so offended by activity that you are so ignorant about. Sacred sex is held to your criteria in your wet dreams not in reality. 

elektron
elektron

Your temple isn't helping me do a DAMN thing.  If anything it has made my life worse.  Yeah worse and I mean personally.  Oh and you dont even know what my name means, yep pretty stupid.  I find your username very hypocritical.  maybe you dont know what goddess means.  I can tell you that you are NOT a representation of that in any way shape or form.  Also to ASSUME that I am ignorant in what is REALLY going on shows your seemingly low IQ.  If you had a higher one you wouldn't be supporting a CULT that manipulates women into believing taking money for sex is something spiritual.

outspoken
outspoken

So what is YOUR excuse about the ILLEGAL Drugs found on your so call goddesses Sumion 3k Oh yeah thats right GOD loves the drugs right????? Excuses....

goddessisabella
goddessisabella

The drugs you mention were not made by man. I think God created marijuana along with every other living thing on this planet. Maybe he made a mistake.....Or not... He doesnt love it when people who pass judgment in his behalf. What is your excuse for acting as an agent for the father?

midwestmomof2
midwestmomof2

Ancient shamans used hallucinatory drugs with their practices.  Why should it be different now?

Angela Honey
Angela Honey

actually there are plenty of religions which include "drugs".

its not our fault you chose a god with no sense of fun. You go for it!

outspoken
outspoken

@Sumion3k Seriously with your ridiculous post? I have known 1 of the females arrested for 11 yrs and by far she has been a prostitute since the age of 13. So don't tell me this is all about love and god! Prostitution is ILLEGAL! If u don't like obeying America's laws than move out of this country perhaps to Amsterdam. She is a troubled woman with a bad past  and I am sure that most of u are in the same way of thinking. Don't pursue these posts any longer Sumion 3k or else....... U r a troubled SOUL 

Misty
Misty

I know these people and I know that they take this VERY seriously! Actually, one of the women is a family member of mine and NEVER has she been a prostitute!  She is very spiritual and truly believe in what she practices and it should be her religious rite to do so! Modern day witch hunt if you ask me!

BTW Some Native American practices still use peyote.

Angela Honey
Angela Honey

seriously. you just threatened Sumion3k Don't pursue these posts any longer Sumion 3k or else......." and SHE is troubled??? WTF

OH.WAIT. You are a typical american man. Shoot, darn it. I forgit sumtaams, how durn funny you'all are.

Violence is allowed, but sex not.

Sumino3k
Sumino3k

The Arizona officials screwed up far worse than they know: 1. A Swiss film crew was present during the raid on the Sedona Temple and they are filing a complaint with the State Department AND have the entire thing on film. 2. Both the Phoenix and Sedona Goddess Temples were recently brought under the legal protection of the Oklehuevha native American Church, holding sex, birth and death as sacred. 3. Due process of law was not followed for raiding a churchThis is actually a case of national and international significance.

Inspiredwoman
Inspiredwoman

Ummm wondering why no male names on that list. The Johns weren't arrested?

goddessisabella
goddessisabella

Read the list again. The males on the list are not "Johns" they are temple men many of them lived there in the temple and or taught classes there. A few men were arrested along with the housekeeper who has the same felony charges as everyone else. She was evidently vacuuming in an illegal or offensive way. She is just another person who managed to get screwed without having sex with anyone.

MeanDean
MeanDean

To paraphrase George Carlin, oral sex is proof that there are no atheists.  After all, who are you talking to when someone is going down on you?  ("Oh god, yes!  Jesus Christ almighty, that's good!")

CreepPatrol
CreepPatrol

Touch healer...more like touch creeper.  People were paying that dude to touch them?  Ew!

david
david

Women visiting their doctors for "touch therapy" was common in the 1800s and early 1900s.  I'm sure that those old medics didn't look any better or worse than this guy.

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