Susy Buchanan has a story at Alternet about JZ Knight, the ridiculous con artist who has become very wealthy telling people that she’s channeling the voice of a 35,000 year old warrior named Ramtha. It seems some video leaked of a drunken Knight going on a bigoted rant about Jews, Mexicans and gay people.
The blonde on stage is J.Z. (for Judith Zebra) Knight, a 65-year-old former rodeo queen and cable TV saleswoman. The words coming from her mouth aren’t hers, the assembled crowd believes, but rather those of the ethereal being she channels, Ramtha the Enlightened One. Knight goes back and forth between herself and the supposedly channeled Ramtha.
During the 16 or so hours the students spend in a spiritual drinking game (students must drink every time Ramtha/Knight does), Knight will disparage Catholics, gay people, Mexicans, organic farmers, and Jews.
“Fuck God’s chosen people! I think they have earned enough cash to have paid their way out of the goddamned gas chambers by now,” she says as members of the audience snicker. There are also titters when she declares Mexicans “breed like rabbits” and are “poison,” that all gay men were once Catholic priests, and that organic farmers have questionable hygiene.
These are not the kind of cosmic revelations that have drawn students to Knight for 38 years. For the most part, RSE students are thoughtful and well-educated, not apt to embrace a bigoted guru. For decades, the message had been more about finding the god within than disparaging minorities, and the blend of science and New Age Gnosticism made J.Z. Knight millions well before the drunken homophobic, anti-Catholic, anti-Semitic racist rants began to make their way into her preachings.
What happened at RSE would have stayed at RSE had it not been for the Internet. In 2012, livestreamed videos of Ramtha’s hate speech were posted to the Web, first by ex-students Virginia Coverdale and David McCarthy, then by a libertarian-leaning think tank called the Freedom Foundation that is based in Olympia. The excerpts from that wine ceremony left Thurston County residents shocked and wondering if there was a more sinister side to their kooky neighborhood cult.
Does it need a more sinister side? She is defrauding people with bullshit. That’s sinister enough for me. And apparently she doesn’t like it when others horn in on her territory:
Knight is fiercely protective of her kingdom. When a woman in Berlin, Germany, Judith Ravell, claimed that she was also channeling Ramtha, Knight took her to court and won the copyright to Ramtha’s teachings. Later, after another woman, Whitewind Weaver, who had attended a dozen events at RSE, imparted Ramtha’s teachings in an event of her own, Knight sued her as well, and was awarded $10,000 in 2008.
But how can she show that Ramtha wasn’t talking to Ravell? Because Ramtha says so, but only to her? Ravell has precisely the same evidence that she is speaking to Ramtha that Knight has, which is none whatsoever. I’m almost tempted to claim that I am channeling Bullshitha, Ramtha’s older brother who says that Ramtha is just a prankster whispering stupid things to Knight to make her look ridiculous.