An Arizona church named Phoenix Goddess Temple has been accused of practicing sex in the name of healing practices in exchange for monetary donations.
The church has been under investigation for six months and as a result 20 people turned out to be a part of the prostitution enterprise.
Goddess Holly Aslop said, “I call myself a shaman. I believe in earth-based healing.
A record of the neighborhood complaints and the temple’s Web site prompted the authorities to conduct the investigation.
The Web site says at some point, Sex is a holy, sacred and divine healing force at the core (of) our beings. Once we embrace this force instead of deny it, we become successful, happy and powerful manifestors.
The Web site features several unclothed women along with their residing states under a “Goddesses” section. The Web site also described the services in the church as “body centric.”
Tracy Ellise, the founder of the church is also involved in the practice, police said.
Elise was allegedly involved in a suspected brothel in Seattle, Washington which was shut down in 2009.
Phoenix Police spokesperson, Steve Martos said, “They were committing crimes under the guise of religious freedom. It's a sad situation when people are trying to hide behind religion and church to commit a crime.”
Alex Averill, another member of the church who calls himself a “spiritual warrior” said, “I say people call me what you will, but at my church, I'm labeled a practitioner. At my church, I'm labeled a shaman.
No, I do not charge for sex. I work off donations. I work off of what people can leave me as offerings.”
Four of 20 people arrested are men and two of the four are alleged prostitutes, police said.