18 people were arrested on Wednesday during the raid, and 33 people have been indicted on charges related to prostitution. The majority of the those arrested were employees, or as they like to call themselves, "practitioners" and "healers."
In an interview with Fox10 one of those so-called practitioners, Alex Averill, who has worked at the church for a year, was in shock that he is being accused of having sex for money, despite... having sex for money.
From jail, Alex, or Zander as he's called at his church, stated, "I say people call me what you will, but at my church, I'm labeled a practitioner. At my church, I'm labeled a shaman,"
"No, I do not charge for sex. I work off donations. I work off of what people can leave me as offerings."
Zander/Alex/Shaman claims he's helping other people by having sex with them, including overweight women who need some lovin'. He boasts to having "blessed hundreds" and admitted to charging more than $200 for an hour's worth of sexual healing.
"Sometimes, people just need to be hugged for an hour and a half. Is there something incriminating about that?"
Averill was emotional about the religious persecution he and his fellow Phoenix Goddess Church co-workers feel is being inflicted on them, and is committed to fighting the good fight for his faith,"Til the day I'm dead and after that because my faith believes in eternal life."
Sometimes, the jokes just write themselves.