A widow and business owner from the Deep South, Lucy says that, since her husband's death, she has been fascinated with spirituality and is intent on exploring a variety of religions and belief systems.
"I believe there is a connection between our spiritual and sexual beings," she says, "not the way most humans interpret it, not through intercourse, but a sense of being at bliss. That's what I was looking for."
It was that search that brought her and her then-fiancé to Scottsdale this spring, where they had enrolled in what was billed in slick brochures as a seminar on "sacred sexual living."
But Lucy didn't find anything sacred about it. Day one was enough to make her suspect that she and her fiancé had unwittingly enlisted in a New Age sex club. Day two, she says, confirmed it.
"The first night we were told to dress like we were on a hot date," she says. "We walked in and there were all these ladies in negligees with their breasts and a lot of other things exposed."
After attendees filled out extensive paperwork, including a nondisclosure clause (Lucy is not her real name), the organizers spread towels on the floor and placed a pipe and tobacco in the center of the room. Then, Lucy says, the two female instructors quickly set the tone for the weekend. One pulled her dress above her knees, sat on the couch "and totally flashed everything. I mean everything." The other instructor was wearing a bra with no cups. Lucy says she didn't know what to think.
"On one side were these breasts just hanging out there, on the other side this woman who had never shaved in her life..."
Lucy tried to be open-minded. "I thought well, OK, maybe they're just trying to make us more comfortable with being naked. I was trying to convince myself there was nothing wrong with this."
Then came Saturday: Cowboy Day. Lucy and her fiancé arrived late, with the intention of asking for their money back and leaving. They walked into a room full of people wearing nothing but cowboy hats and bolo ties. The instructor from the previous night's cupless bra had switched to assless, crotchless chaps. Lucy decided to wait politely until the exercise was over and then ask for a refund. It wasn't easy, as the exercises were more intense than the previous evening's warm-up session.
"The smell was terrible," she remembers. "They wouldn't allow anyone to flush the toilet, and there was no air conditioning. Everyone was sweating like you wouldn't believe. It was disgusting."
But before Lucy could talk to anyone, the class segued into the next exercise chakra cleansing, which the instructor demonstrated with a male partner. "The guy grabbed the lady, laid her on her back on the floor, took her legs and made a figure four with them, putting the bottom of her foot against her knee. She had her total crotch open, and you could see everything."
Lucy remembers the instructor saying, "'Now we will clean chakra number one. Put your finger in the first chakra, inside her vagina, and turn it clockwise 21 times.'"
"She was explaining this; meanwhile, the woman was getting a great masturbation right in front of us."
Lucy and her fiancé tried to leave again but were coaxed into a back bedroom, where they were told they could try the exercise in private. They also were told that the only way to get their $1,200 back was to complete the course.
Once inside the bedroom, Lucy and her fiancé were weighing their options when two bisexual women knocked on the door. "They asked us if they could do us. They said they really wanted to have sex with us, right then and there."
Lucy declined, only to be scolded by the couple. "They said, 'C'mon, you have to be more open.' We walked out of the bedroom, and everyone was naked on the floor with their fingers inside their butts."
Welcome to the world of Harley Swift Deer Reagan, leader of an international empire of martial arts, guns, sweat lodges and sacred orgasms, all headquartered in a quiet business park in North Scottsdale.
Reagan calls his followers the Deer Tribe Metis Medicine Society. He calls their activities the Sweet Medicine Sundance Path. And he calls himself a patriot, a sorcerer, a cowboy, a Cherokee, an alchemist, and an elder of a mystical order, dating back to prehistoric times, called the Twisted Hair Society.
His critics, who include just about every major figure in Indian Country, call him a charlatan and a cult leader. They say he's more sham than shaman, and that he appropriates Native American rituals and ceremonies and markets them to New Agers.