News

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.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.