Part 1 in a series on JZ Knight and her Ramtha School of Enlightenment cult in Yelm –
– first published on November 11, 2013.
“How Could Murder Be Wrong?” – JZ Knight
In 1988, cult leader JZ Knight asked ABC’s Judd Rose on 20/20, “How could murder be wrong?”
Two of her followers acted on those words in 2011. A calm, cool, point blank assassination of a stranger, and a bullet to the spinal cord of another.
Both victims were police officers. Both had two children. Both were just having an ordinary, peaceful day at work.
JZ Knight’s followers then tried shooting four unarmed witnesses as they fled, and chased them for miles through woods. The shooters were simply acting on JZ’s teachings. They were devoted.
JZ Knight—or “Ramtha,” as she also calls herself—has remained the undisputed guru of Yelm’s Ramtha School of Enlightenment (RSE) throughout its existence. She has thousands of worldwide followers. They believe her teachings are divine. They obey her commandments without question, no matter how extreme, bizarre—or deadly.
Update:On January 15, 2016, the Seattle Archdiocese included Michael Ledwith on their published list of priests accused of sex abuse of children. Here is his name on the list, which includes notification that he had been defrocked (laicized) for his actions –
Evil travels the world to find a home here –
“Thus the one who needs to molest and the one who needs to be molested—because he needs to understand it—are brought together for the experience. In the understanding called God, nothing is evil.” – from JZ Knight’s “Ramtha—The White Book.”
In 1988, JZ Knight told ABC’s 20/20, “If a person is ever sorry about what they ever did, then they will never learn, and they never progress and go forward.”
All those words must have had a ring to them.
The following year, Irish Monsignor Michael Ledwith began a double life, commuting half way around the globe to study under JZ Knight at Yelm’s Ramtha School of Enlightenment (RSE).
“F-ck God’s chosen people! I think they have earned enough cash to have paid their way out of the g-ddamned gas chambers by now.”– JZ Knight
An unmarked DVD had been left for my husband Steve in a plain gym bag. The introduction said it was from a February 17, 2012 event at Yelm’s Ramtha School of Enlightenment (RSE). RSE founder and leader JZ Knight was the video’s chief speaker.
Neither Steve nor I have ever set foot near RSE. And like many people in our community, we had assumed that JZ Knight had left town after her scandalous 1992 divorce trial.
Much to our surprise, we learned that RSE has grown in the decades since that trial. We also learned that RSE is not all New-Age fluff and trance dancing in Harry Potter capes, which is the impression that many people have.
And cult leader JZ Knight is far from the ditsy blonde that she portrays to the public.
After watching a little of the gym bag DVD, it’s easy to figure out why JZ Knight is so desperate to keep her “teachings” a secret from the outside world—and in particular, from those of us who live in Thurston County.
“When our in-house inquiry shows that an outside, independent investigation was warranted, we asked our attorney to hire a third-party private investigation firm to conduct the interview with you and 15 other witnesses that were related to the original time period”
– JZ Knight’s manager Mike Wright explaining RSE’s rape protocol to a woman who reported that she was raped during an RSE event, by an RSE employee.
John Michael “Mike” Wright wears many hats for JZ Knight’s business interests.
Wright is Legal Affairs Liaison for JZ Knight’s corporation, JZK Inc. He is Product Sales and Services Manager for JZK’s Ramtha School of Enlightenment (RSE). He was Director and Vice President of Knight’s 2007 investment scam, RSE International, Inc. He also teaches classes at RSE.
He starred in a JZK video, directed by JZ Knight herself.
Yelm-based cult leader JZ KnightsuedGlen Morgan and the Freedom Foundation last year in federal court for copyright infringement, claiming property rights over video clips of Knight making bigoted and racist remarks at her “Ramtha School of Enlightenment.”
Ironically, JZ Knight urges her followers to put her remarks from the same event on YouTube, as show in this video: