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-A ‘Church’ That Was Really a Brothel?

by Dr. D ~ September 10th, 2011

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When is a church not a church and a religion not a religion? According to the Phoenix, Arizona police department on Friday , a church calling itself the ‘Phoenix Goddess Temple’ was actually a house of prostitution instead. After a six-month undercover investigation, 20 arrests have been made of both men and women who worked there.

The alleged church/brothel according to reports generated of thousands of dollars a month in ‘donations.’ The Phoenix police indicated that records and evidence seized at the Phoenix ‘temple’ and two related sites near Sedona showed that:

"male and female ‘practitioners’ working at the Temple were performing sexual acts in exchange for monetary ‘donations,’ all on the pretense of providing ‘neo tantric’ healing therapies."

The ‘temple’ was set up under the guise of being a church with the expectation of First amendment ‘freedom of religion’ rights. However, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said the following in a statement:

“Freedom of religion does not allow individuals to trade sex for money, no matter how the transaction is portrayed."

The Goddess Temple also ran a website where sex was a prominent topic of ‘religious’ discussion. Here’s one quote from the site:

"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 website also was said to feature unclothed women, listed as residing in several states, under a "Goddesses" section.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery summarized his findings with the following:

"I’m going to call it like I see it. They had a brothel, they had a madam, they had prostitutes and they had johns. The johns were paying prostitutes for sex. That’s illegal. It’s a blight on the community and we took action to take it down."

"We’re not viewing this in any way as somehow protected by the first amendment. This is not religious expression. This is a criminal activity and those responsible thought they were being too clever by half by coming up with different terms."

Response: Over the years there have been plenty of charlatans running pretend churches for profit. The audacity of this one takes the cake. It is amazing to me that this enterprise was allowed to run for more than 2 years and that it took 6 months for ‘undercover’ police to determine that it was all a sham.

This one would have fit right in in downtown Corinth, Greece of the first century where ‘temple priestesses’ were actually prostitutes performing religious ‘services’ in the name of Aphrodite or some other Greek god or goddess.

The First Amendment rights of ‘freedom of religion’ are being taken advantage in this case.  It does demonstrate the limitations of ‘freedom of religion.’ One cannot break laws in the name of a ‘religion.’

Hopefully this does not become a trend.Too many situations like this and some enterprising politician will support laws that will try to more clearly define what a church is or isn’t and our first amendment rights will then be under assault.            *Top

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1 Response to -A ‘Church’ That Was Really a Brothel?

  1. church ministries

    You’ve got great insights about church ministries, keep up the good work!

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