Feedback from the Issue of Thursday, March 3, 2011

TEMPLE TEMPEST

Therapy doesn't include sex: This isn't sex therapy ("Sexual Healing," Niki D'Andrea, February 17). Sex therapy is practiced by licensed practitioners of clinical mental health, each of whom must — by law — have a copy of HIPAA guidelines, as well as a pamphlet titled "Professional Therapy Never Includes Sex."

The Phoenix Goddess Temple may address the same concerns addressed in sex therapy, just as I may have seen a few photos of brains and report to have studied the same material as brain surgeons. But the criteria for becoming a certified sex therapist include licensure by your state as a mental-health practitioner and don't include the touching of clients inappropriately.

If anyone paid for services from a person who claims to be a "sex therapist" and is invited or engages in any sexual activity with this person, I would urge you to call your local sexual assault recovery (rape crisis) center or otherwise report this person.

Therapy doesn't include sex. There are many good reasons for this.
Ly-Lan Lofgren, city unavailable

No sex in O.C.: Niki D'Andrea included the Goddess Temple of Orange County as "one of" the types of temples mentioned in her article on the "Phoenix Goddess Temple." We put this in quotes because we don't consider the "Phoenix Goddess Temple" to be a legitimate temple of spirituality in the form ours is.

It is just as the article described — it offers sexual services in exchange for money, with some goddess information and ceremony offered in an attempt to bring it some form of legitimacy.

Those who run it, and other so-called "temples" like it, are using our religion — a very old form of spirituality for thousands of women — as a sly cover to avoid the legal implications of prostitution. If your reporter had actually looked on our Web site, (goddesstempleoforangecounty.com), she would have clearly seen that we are a spiritual temple for women honoring the Ancient Goddess. We have no sex or sexual services available at any time to anyone.

Our temple, one of very few real goddess temples in the modern world, is now inundated with men looking for sexual services. This is highly offensive to us and to the form of spirituality we have been practicing for many years. [There is a] vast world of difference between so-called "temples" and our church, which is registered as a church with the federal government.

There is no sex offered at our temple at any time under any circumstances. Our Sunday Services are for women only, as are our nine Holy Day Ceremonies each year.

We now have to have a conversation with the police of Irvine, proving once again what our organization is and does. Your reporter's careless mistake has caused this.
Reverend Ava Park, Irvine, California

Well, it's not below us: I found the photo by Jamie Peachey [on the cover of the "Sexual Healing" edition] to be offensive, and not because I'm some kind of Christian conservative, but more because I think it's a case of using an image of a woman's body to get more readers. Why not take a picture of one of the priestesses of the temple instead of some ridiculously large-breasted picture of an unknown woman?

I also found the title of the article leading, in that you obviously want readers to think of this temple as a place of prostitution. Why try to cause an uproar over something like this? Why not try to get readers through more cerebral means?

It should be below you to use blatant sexuality to sell your product. Pathetic.
Iris Dove, Mesa

Despicable practices: This is so sick. I am a licensed massage therapist [and had] to learn and practice so many draping rules and personal boundaries. To think that these people can get away with this is just despicable.
Rabina Kahn, city unavailable

Good luck to the temple: I wish [the Phoenix Goddess Temple] luck. Our society is so deeply troubled and confused about sexuality that [it] will sorely need it.

The wounded people who can't tolerate consensual activities between adults that they don't personally approve of will demand [the temple's] persecution.
William Roentgen, city unavailable

Honoring viewpoints: Thank you for writing this article. I honor your [writer's] role as a person of this world, in sharing [her] perspective.

There are many points in the article I disagree with. [But] in the realm of my own personal beliefs about inclusion and honoring everyone as a part of this spiritual world, I honor each viewpoint as part of God.
Kris Ellen, city unavailable

John defends his buddies: I would like to call you out on the puerile pap foisted on your readers as investigative journalism. It rather reminded me of the kind of bullshit papers that I used to crank out at the last second in college.

It is clear that Niki D'Andrea already had made her judgment about the Goddess Temple before she ever put pen to paper; simply put, this was a hatchet job by a second-rate hack from the word "go."

I am familiar with the temple, both in Phoenix and Sedona, and count many of the practitioners as friends. These people are, by and large, kind, giving, compassionate people driven not by the almighty dollar but by a deeply held system of beliefs and a desire to contribute something good to the community and the world.

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5 comments
Allyndp
Allyndp

Regarding the Article about El Mirage. Lana Mook was elected mayor by voters. If the people of El Mirage didn't like her relationship with Luke Air base then they had the opportunity to NOT elect her. So why is this article even relevant? It seems NewTimes gives every Gadfly a stage or is it just those who are not wasps.Allyn Plowe Gilbert AZ

mkdever
mkdever

Does anyone think it's fortuitious that Gov. Brewer was on vacation while the "Walk for Life" rally held yesterday? Also, as a public school employee, my pay has been frozen for the last four years. I can't afford a vacation. So, no, local news channels, I don't care to have my eyes assaulted with pictures of our 'Grande Dame" rubbing noses with Eskimos. The only good thing coming from her vacation is that, for a few days, she can't reek havoc in our lives.

Dennis Neff
Dennis Neff

We lease a condominium at The Summit at Copper Square, 310 S 4th ST. Our complaint is that we are being overcharged for our monthly utility bill. There is one meter at this building and it is up to the HOA to divide the bill between the common areas and the units in the building. Our January 2011 bill was $321.54. Last year's January utility bill was $170.08. Our unit is 1217 square feet. The winter bill for a condo this size in Phoenix is $80. Our neighbors at 7th St and Palm live in a 1600 square foot condo and they pay around $80 for their utilities. Before we moved into this unit in September of 09, I was told by Mike at AMBS (The sub-metering company at the time) that the average utility bill for this unit was $150.00. We live very “green” and don’t use much energy, so it’s extremely frustrating to see we have no control in this situation. The individual condo meters are not functioning and aren’t scheduled to be replaced anytime soon. We didn’t find this out until after we moved in and questioned the bill.

Brad Wick (Community Manager) has offered us several explanations:

"The chilled water company has raised the rates 52%".

This would add $52 to the (chilled water) portion of our bill. Our bill has increased $150 over last year.

"It’s Christmas season and people are running extra lights".

"AMBS had been miscalculating the utilities at the prior Property Management’s direction. One could argue that the charges were kept low to the current residents in order to make the building more attractive to prospective buyers….that was all smoke & mirrors".

We are very fearful the hot summer months will bring an outrageously high utility bill, a bill we can’t afford to pay.

If downtown Phoenix wants to bring in more residents, something needs to be done about utility issues. People need to be told all the facts before buying or leasing at The Summit.

Sincerely,

Dennis and Cynthia Neff Unit 906

480-208-7901

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