Takoma Pork Winter 2006 Issue
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Reiki Parlor a Front for No-Touch Brothel

Winter 2006

Clients of the former Reiki Center will have to travel farther for a laying off of hands.

TAKOMA PARK, MD—A raid by Takoma Park police and members of the FBI’s Vice Division brought to a close a two-year investigation into the services offered by the Takoma Park Center for Healing Through Reiki.  Reiki practitioners place their hands near the client’s body in a series of hand positions intended to transmit “life force energy” and improve physical, emotional, and spiritual health.  Unlike other healing methods, actual physical contact is unnecessary.

Opened in 2002 on Poplar Avenue, the Center had many high-profile clients and enjoyed an unusual level of foot traffic—leading to suspicions that the Reiki parlor was a front for a no-touch prostitution ring. 

Neighbors of the quiet storefront on Poplar Avenue gathered in shock as police led the alleged Madam away in handcuffs, shielded from view by an Indian print blanket.  Most were reluctant to speak to reporters, but the gathering exuded a palpably angry vibe.  An employee of the Reiki parlor, who refused to give her name, offered to dissipate the negative energy for a small fee, but she left after a woman in the crowd shouted, “You keep your hands away from my husband’s chi!”

A spokesperson for the TPSS Food Coop, the main supplier of the Reiki parlor’s incense and chi-permeable hand creams, said that the Coop would consider scrutinizing more closely its relationship with other new age businesses in the area.  A Coop board member, who asked to remain anonymous, said that he was angry and embarrassed at having participated in keeping the Reiki business afloat.  “They really put the ‘ho’ in holistic,” he complained.  “Usually we encourage people to ‘shop local,’ but I hope Takoma Park residents will take this kind of business into downtown DC from now on.”

Dr. Paul Johnson, whose midwifery practice was closed last year after more than a decade in Takoma Park, was allegedly a frequent client of the Reiki parlor after his practice dissolved amidst scandal [“Stealth Obstetrician Scandal Dilates,” Takoma Pork, Fall 2005].  Dr. Johnson could not be reached for comment, but his lawyer issued a statement saying that after more than a decade of passing for a woman, the life force energy in Dr. Johnson’s loins had been depleted.  “My client’s spiritual malaise was centered in his crotch.  He trusted his Reiki provider’s judgment in where and how long to focus the energy.  Bob Dole boosted his life force energy with Viagra.  My client’s situation is no different.”

Though the Reiki parlor remains closed, police spokesperson Carol Bannerman issued a press advisory stating that no charges have been filed in the case.  “While we have more than enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the Takoma Park Center for Healing Through Reiki was in fact providing sexual services to its clients, unfortunately it’s not illegal without physical contact or nudity.”

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