International School of Temple Arts

A nexus for spiritual and sexual awakening, embroiled in controversy and transformative practices.

The International School of Temple Arts (ISTA), founded in 2007 by Baba Dez Nichols, operates as a modern mystery religion centered around the spiritual aspects of sexuality. With its headquarters in Sedona, Arizona, ISTA presents itself as a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting sexual healing and fostering healthy attitudes towards sex. The organization offers workshops and training sessions that explore various dimensions of sexual shamanism, aiming to empower individuals by reclaiming power, ecstatic joy, and authentic truth. These sessions are designed to meet the soul’s mission and cultivate new-paradigm leaders, emphasizing love, freedom, and power as core values.

However, ISTA has not been without its controversies, which include accusations of creating a covert harem culture and instances of sexual misconduct. Reports have emerged of senior members engaging in or pressuring participants into unwanted sexual acts, leading to allegations of rape and abuse. These accusations highlight a disturbing pattern of behavior where power dynamics and the guise of spiritual and sexual liberation may have been exploited. In response to these criticisms, ISTA has reportedly implemented policies to prevent facilitators from engaging sexually with participants during training sessions.

ISTA’s trainings attract a diverse audience, from various backgrounds, ages, and sexual orientations, drawn by the promise of deep, transformative experiences. These workshops are held in numerous locations worldwide, reflecting the organization’s global reach and the widespread appeal of its teachings. Despite the controversies, ISTA continues to offer a range of courses and events aimed at expanding consciousness and exploring the intersections of spirituality and sexuality.

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