Having a Safe Space to Work Real Sexual Issues Out Made the Community Safer

Wed, 03/09/2016 - 16:09
Submitted by Lawrence Lanoff

I’m angry.

Not because of Trump.

I'm angry because this week, my friend Tracy Elise, who was arrested in 2011, was found guilty of 22 charges - including 12 counts of money laundering, six counts of pandering and one count each of conspiracy to commit illegal control of an enterprise, illegal control of an enterprise, prostitution and operating a house of prostitution.

The head priestess at the Phoenix Temple, (you can see my original article on D&R here), who wanted to free her follower’s sexual energies and clear their chakras, was found guilty by a jury of her, uh, “peers” who said they believed that Tracy and her the rest of the goddesses were not healers - but prostitutes.

She faces 70 years in prison, which means, depending on her sentencing, Tracy could die in prison. She's 51 now.

But the truth of this story runs deep. Really deep. Far beyond the religious indignation of finger waving Christian values decreeing that “we need to teach those evil prostitutes a lesson."

Like so many things, if we look below the surface, we will discover a truth that would blow our minds. Because it's not the black and white story of the dirty whores vs. the pure Christians. So many "pure Christian" men and woman sought out healing at Tracy's temple.

Regular church going folks seeking sexual healing from sexal abuse (including from priests), psychological abuse, neglect and sexual shame. And thanks to the bible and other religious doctrine, sex is shame filled.

I don't know anybody who doesn't have some shame around sex, their body image or their genitals. Shame around their deepest desires. Shame around pleasure.

And freeing people from sexual shame and sexual guilt is the territory that Tracy built her life's mission around: helping "seekers" find sexual healing.

For that mission, Tracy will be punished. She may do life in prison. For sex. And that pisses me off, because we MUST extract ourselves from our fossilized thinking of our ignorant ancient ancestors who created all these ridiculous rules and laws around our bodies and what we consenting adults are allowed and not allowed to do with our bodies.

Which leads me to Sedona, Arizona. You may remember a story of James Arthur Ray. He's the guy who killed 3 and injured 18 others because of his psychological delusion that he was a human god, listening to the direction of god, and doing god’s work.

During his spiritual warrior clearing weekend, James was releasing people of their sins and dark energies while holding them hostage - and ultimately cooking several to death in a Native American style sweat lodge. They screamed to get out. He held the door shut. He knew they were “just releasing energy.”

This white male, also tried in Arizona, got away with 3 murders. He only did two years for killing 3 people, and I recently saw him out at a grocery store, wandering around like the entitled, spiritually enlightened white guy he still thinks he is. Superior in moral content and capable of getting away with murder. I guess he should feel entitled.

In fact, he's teaching again. Suckering in more followers because he was given the Oprah seal of approval back in the day.

So what's the difference between James Ray and Tracy Elise? Both were tried in Arizona. Both have a mission to save people. Both have some delusion of godlike self importance. Both believe in the wisdom of ancient ancestors. But one has the potential to do life in prison and the other is walking around a free man.

One human killed people. The other human fucked them.

You with me on this? We can kill in the name of self delusion, but we can’t fuck in the name of self delusion?

So what's the big difference that locks a woman up for life because of how she uses HER OWN vagina? Our beliefs about sex. The laws around sex. The fact that we adult humans are not allowed to receive any type of sexual gratification in exchange for money.

To reiterate, in Arizona specifically, you can kill somebody, claim it wasn't your fault, and get away with murder. But you fuck somebody and exchange cash, and that's punishable with a potential life sentence.

Does anybody else think this is absurd?

Tracy didn't kidnap her seekers. There were no charges of kidnapping leveled against her. She wasn't treating pigeons at the Phoenix Temple. She was working with regular people. People came to her of their own free will. In droves. You can't be accused of "laundering money" if you ain't making money.

Day after day. Christians, Muslims, Jews and a whole sea of other kinds of people. Rich and poor. Young and old came for healing.

There was no discrimination. People seeking some kind of sexual healing went to the goddess temple of their own free will.

Residents of Phoenix sought the temple out.

And no harm was done, other than to the people who believed that Tracy and her sexual religion, was spitting in the face of conservative family values.

But, in reality, conservative family values itself spat in the wind, and it blew back in it's own face. People came to the temple because they were in sexual pain and sought an non-judgemental place to work that sexual pain out. They can't work out physical, sexual, gential trauma with Christ or the church. And in many cases the church caused the trauma.

Having a safe space, like a "sexual temple" to work real sexual issues out - made the community safer.

Tracy accepted any true seeker - no matter their background. She saw soldiers, quadriplegics and all kinds of sexual outsiders. She was doing important work.

And regardless of my opinions about her, the sanity (or insanity) of her mission, her delusional belief that she could flaunt a sexual religion in the land of baby Jesus, the bottom line is that Tracy is true believer in what she does. And she is good at what she does. She has lived as a sexual goddess, doing her mission and she will potentially die a prisoner with a number.

Tracy is a true believer. And believing that you are a goddess helping heal people with your hands and vagina is no different than believing that the world is flat, or that Santa Claus really does exist or that Jesus will return in your lifetime. They are each a bunch of cute stories - and none of them deserve a life sentence.

Tracy was keeping predators off the streets by giving them a safe space to work out their sexual shame. And that was a beautiful thing.

And if a guy wants a finger up his ass to massage his prostate to honor the goddess - and he gets sexual gratification from that - why does anybody care?

In fact, why the fuck does anybody care about who the fuck, fucks.

What the fuck? Oh yeah, life sentence. That’s what the fuck.

And as far as the deeper, darker story here - I will leave that to investigative journalists to tell. But it needs to be told, eventually.

President of Pleasure. Buster of shame and myths.

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Lawrence, you might be interested in this book

Tue, 03/15/2016 - 18:30

I totally agree with everything you have said. In 1975 Anne Summers published 'Damned Whores and God's Police' which sold over 100,000 copies and reignited feminst debate in Australia. It's worth searching for on Google - it contains words of wisdom indeed.

Partly as a result, prostition in Oz is legal provided it occurs in a licenced brothel. A very good friend of mine was prosocuted about 20 years ago for running an illegal brothel, which could have landed her a significant jail sentence, but when she looked around the court she said "Wow, when I look around this court I see quite a few faces I know", looking hard at the magistrate, among others. Resullt - $500 fine. That story got extensive coverage in the Melbourne press.

Also very valuabe is theconversation.com, (search for 'Anne Summers') which has a lenthy appreciation of the book, saying it is still relevant 40 years on. Google 'damned whores and god's police book' (or ... ebook) if you want to read the full text of the book.

Thank you...

Lawrence Lanoff's picture
Fri, 03/18/2016 - 14:10
Lawrence Lanoff

Thank you.
Those are some great resources. I'll see what I can pass along to Tracy. 


Tracy, come to Oz if you can

Mon, 03/21/2016 - 19:58

Not just because it is so beautiful. It's very liberal. such a thing just would not happen here. I'm an ex-pat and so happy to have found an island of sanity here. No one bloody cares what we do behind closed doors - or open ones - there's a totally legal "clothing optional" beach (ie 'nude') just up the road from where I live. Google 'Maslins beach' to see what I left behind when I moved from Adelaide to Melbourne. I'm a long distance away, but if there's anything I can do to help, I will. This is the insanity we must fight. Oh, I need to say one of my dearest friends is a sex worker and (unfortunately) a drug addict, she has been for over twenty years, the two things went together then, you needed the drugs to be able to let your body be used, but you needed the sex to get the money for the drugs. It's appaling, I now live in a country that doesn't care, but that's not good enough, we need to actively espouse sex work as a legitmate business. And I need to add that my moniker 'ASP' is short for 'Australian Sex Party' of which I am a paid up member number 6770 - so this isn't just some feminist rant, I put my money where my mouth is.