This is a story that could probably only happen in California. And even in California, it could probably only happen at this particular point in time.
You see, the Golden State is in major flux, right now. With the looming implementation of recreational marijuana legalization, lots of folks aren’t entirely certain where the legal lines lie. That makes them low-hanging fruit for scammers.
The smell of big money permeates the air. Some people tend to get, well, a little crazy at a time like this.
Meet “Queen” Heidi Grossman Lepp
Nineties porn star Heidi Grossman was literally waiting at the prison gates when Eddy Lepp was released last December.
Eddy, of course, had spent more than seven long years in prison. By June 20 they were buying a marriage license in Sacramento. Nobody who was paying attention was surprised.
They were wed three days later.What we have here is a ’90s porn actress starting a “Native American Rasta” church (yeah, they’re both things, apparently) along with her new husband, a recently released felon who just served more than 7 years for openly growing 32,000 marijuana plants.
This interesting pair, Heidi and Eddy Lepp, despite the presence of seemingly corroborating documents which were leaked to Toke Signals, deny that they are charging up to $35,000 for “branch memberships” in something they call the ONA Sugarleaf Rastafarian Church.
The group parenthetically notes it is (“formerly known as Sugarleaf Productions Industrial Hemp Research Facility and Patient Association).”
That’ll run ya $35,000… but relax! They’ll take a $10,000 down payment!
Oh, don’t forget that “10% of contributions and sacrament is tithed [yeah, they apparently want you to tithe them 2.8 grams out of every ounce you smoke] to the Sugarleaf Mother Branch,” which is, of course, Heidi and Eddy. Also, $350 per hour “consulting,” if you haven’t decided whether to go all in yet or not. They generously add, “(if you decide to use our services $350 will be applied to the flat fee).”
Check Out This Quixotic Lawsuit
But wait, there’s more!, as they say on infomercials.
The two of them — along with their dog! (to whom they referred in the legal document as a “four legged individual”) — are now suing former President Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, California Senator Kamala Harris, the State of California and numerous state officials, Yuba County and the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department, along with at least three judges and a D.A., several cops, the California Cannabis Industry Association, and the Trident Corporation.
Yeah. One of those lawsuits.
The suit, by the way, adoringly mentions Donald Trump twice, for what it’s worth. Just a factor to be taken into account when measuring this thing mentally, you understand.
Once folks have paid, they’re told they are “Protected By Oklevueha Native American Church.” It says so, right there on a “Suggested Contribution” sheet obtained by Toke Signals. The sheet “suggests” various ways in which people can “contribute” $7,000 to ONA Church.
“Suggestion 1” is “Contribute $7,000 in full.” Suggestions 2 through 4 are various permutations of a down payment then sizable monthly payments. Suggestions 5 and 6 are what seems to be the Lepps’ idea of “Hardship Suggestions,” presumably for what they think of as low-income people. It’s rather revealing that even these “suggestions” are $1,000 down and $333 a month for 18 months, or $500 down and $542 a month for 18 months. Hell, if someone didn’t have a “hardship” before taking that on, they probably would after.
ONA Sugarleaf Rastafarian Church appears to be “Amwaying churches,” according to the Oklevueha Native American Church. Joy Graves, our friend at the latter organization, isn’t happy with the Sugarleaf people.
The Oklevueha Native American Church on July 19 released the following statement:
It has come to the attention of Oklevueha Native American Church that ONA Sugarleaf Rastifarian Church, whom had recently sought a blessing from ONAC in late February, has since been selling churches to the tune of $10,000 to $35,000.00+ a piece throughout California and possibly even beyond with the promise of ONAC protections!
Though the investigation has [not] yet been concluded, as obviously much damage control must be done due to the magnitude of victims, thus far ONAC HAS received paper proof of the following facts:
1. ONA Sugarleaf Rastafarian Church is in fact offering the selling of a “Farmer’s Branch” for $10,000.00
2. ONA Sugarleaf Rastafarian Church is in fact offering the selling “Spiritual Center” Blessings for $35,000.00
3. ONA Sugarleaf Rastafarian Church is in fact charging a minimum of a “Consultation Fee of $350.00 to initiate the above offerings.
According to Oklevueha Native American Church, ONA Sugarleaf Rastafarian Church has already assisted in the registration of at least six churches with the California Secretary of State’s office.
Heidi Denies It
Despite our being in possession of the leaked documents, Heidi Lepp denied that ONA Sugarleaf Rastafarian Church “sells churches.”
“No we do not sell churches,” Heidi Lepp responded on Wednesday. “I provide services to teach people how to set them up and what the law is and what their rights are.
I provide them support emotionally and spiritually, knowledge, paperwork, teach them about spiritual technology, give my time, my love, my understanding, and I work for FREE as you have read, for those who are in trouble even if they aren’t my members.
I give churches away to those who need help. It’s all about where they are on their path to making this world a better place and what their creator has planned for them. I don’t sell anything, but I do sell the banners cuz they are expensive unless they have no money then I donate it to the person in need.
And that document [name redacted by Toke Signals] has was the first run of paperwork I did and that was James Mooney who at the time approved all paperwork I disseminated so he said to do that and set those original prices. I though different and became my own mother, still united with ONAC, and revived Linda Senti and Eddy’s first church the government tried to shut down.
I have always used cannabis spiritually and was enlightened by Eddy’s church. So no I do not sell churches nor do I turn no one away for any reason but felonious stupidity. Sugarleaf has no set fee. Like I said I will do everything and anything to help people. Just like any other church the members donate because it has to turn on its lights, kill cases and take care of its rent and staff.
Posting separately on Facebook on Tuesday, Heidi had this to say:
Each branch of ONAC is an independent branch with their own beliefs and traditions. If one denounces me that’s totally cool and in most cases I don’t want those kind of people around me and Eddy Lepp or our people anyway. Each church is separate and individual and they answer to the creator not me, we just help guide them and provide them with knowledge.
“Im actually baffled that she’s denying selling them,” Sacramento activist Jacqueline McGowan, a past associated of Heidi’s, told Toke Signals on Thursday. “I really thought she would own it.”
Joy Graves: ‘This Is A Mockery’
Graves on Thursday told Toke Signals that Heidi’s use of traditional native headdresses is disrespectful.
“Even a fancy dancer wouldn’t wear them around — especially if not in powwow,” Graves said. “The regalia is sacred to the tribal peoples, especially so their feathers.
“This is a mockery — like a Halloween costume for a child,” Graves said sadly.
Even more disturbingly, ONA Sugarleaf Rastafarian members Heidi and Eddy, along with another unidentified person — and in a separate vehicle, associate Kevai Floyd and possibly other people — were alleged to have been spotted sitting in their cars outside Sacramento activist Shelby Lucero’s home.
Lucero, CEO at Greenway Commerce and BudTracker, Inc., and president of Sacramento NORML, said she started getting calls on her cellphone yesterday while out and about. Multiple callers told her of cars apparently watching her home Wednesday afternoon.
Though it remains unconfirmed why exactly it was that the whole posse was there, intimidation is clearly not something that should be quickly ruled out, and with it- Stalking quickly jumps to mind.
The following is quoted from ONAC KM:
“The problem with this for ONAC, is in that ONA Sugarleaf Rastafarian Church, though deeming themselves “An Independent Church from ONAC” publicly, continues to insist that those who are joining in on her exploitation of churches whom are sincerely attempting to preserve our rights to cannabis sacrament such as ONAC easily fall prey to the wolves out to profit off our sincere efforts. “In every picture and post ONA Sugarleaf posts they almost Always have the ONAC logo behind or somewhere in it, more than any other religious symbol, and the same is found true in the church paperwork she is selling to people, it literally says “Protected by ONAC” when the truth be told, ONAC has absolutely NO knowledge or record of any member she is issuing cards to Or in regards to any Church she is selling people.”
“Because ONA Sugarleaf representative Heidi Grossman Lepp sought and attained membership in September of 2016, and then sought and attained entrustment with the blessing of spiritual leader of an independent branch, which was blessed Sugarleaf ONAC – NOT ONA Sugarleaf Rastafarian Church, it is unclear as to what if any liability there may be for ONAC as far as to what she has been doing in the selling of her churches, but ONAC officials wish it made publicly known and clear that we are NOT About the selling of Churches as it is degrading to the sincere medicine persons who honorably operate as a representation of Oklevueha Native American Church.”
~ Oklevueha Native American Church