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AG complaint letter: reply from lawyer of JZK Inc
This is the reply from the lawyer employed by JZK Inc.
Jan 4th, 2007 - 4:29
Telephone: (253) 848458 I
Attorney General of Washington
Consumer Protection Division
ATTN: Gail Feagins
P O Box 2317
Tacoma, WA 9840I-2317
Law Offices of
DOUGLAS J. KAUKL
ATTORNEY AND COUNSELOR AT LAW
14705 Meridian E
Puyllup, Washington, 98375
Re: Complaint of name deleted:
Your File: TAC-257291
Dear Ms. Feagins:
I represent J.Z. Knight, JZK,Inc., and the Ramtha School of Enlightenment,
who have referred the referenced complaint to me for reply.
Ms. name deleted:
complaint comprises some 16 pages of single-spaced type, is largely supported by hearsay reports regarding events at the School from persons
who have not joined in the complaint, and is so general and diffuse that identifying the substantive basis of her actual complaint is quite difficult.
However, it appears that her chief complaint is that after intermittent attendance at RSE events from 1988 through 20O5
she has concluded that the Teachings imparted by the School do not "work? in the sense that they have failed to improve her life.
As a threshold matter, it is my informed opinion that Ms. Knight's School, at which the Teachings of Ramtha are presented, is religious in nature and hence
beyond the regulatory authority of the Attorney General. Although Ms. Knight does not represent that the School is an established religion, the body of
Teachings developed through her over the last several decades and regularly presented at the School represent, collectively, a spiritual belief system related
to man's place in the universe and his relationship with God. As such, I believe the advocacy of the Teachings are clearly protected by Article 1, S 1 1 of
the Washington State Constitution, which provides in relevant part: Absolute freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment,
belief and worship, shall be guaranteed to every individual, and no one shall be molested or disturbed in person or property on account of religion;
but the liberty of conscience hereby secured
shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness or justify practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the state.
I am enclosing a copy of the entry concerning Ramtha's School of Enlightenment appearing in the Encyclopedia of American Religions, 2OO2l2OO3 edition.
This work is a standard reference resource found in virtually every public research library. It is edited by J. Gordon Melton, Ph.D., an ordained Methodist
minister and director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion in Santa Barbara, California, and a research specialist associated with the Department
of Religious Studies a the University of California. Dr. Melton is a nationally recognized expert on American religious movements and has authored
more than 25 books, including encyclopedias, handbooks, and almanacs on American religion.
As will be seen, Dr. Melton characterizes the Teachings a unique metaphysical system of thought:
We say that Ramtha's Teachings are metaphysical in nature because they address the fundamental questions about human existence
and the human person, about our destiny and origins, about the nature of good and evil, the soul, death and life, the world, and
our relationship to others...Ramtha uses the concept of the Observer effect from quantum physics to explain his concept of consciousness
and energy. He also uses the concept of God as creator and sovereign to describe the human person as consciousness and energy.
In 1992, Ms. Knight's former husband brought a CR 60 motion to vacate the property settlement agreement incorporated in the 1989 decree dissolving their
marriage. Among the grounds advanced to vacate the decree, Mr. Knight contended that his wife, as Ramtha, used the Teachings to brainwash him, depriving
him of the volitional will to intelligently negotiate a fair division of the marital property. In the course of an 8-week trial, in which I had the honor to represent
Ms. Knight, the Court heard testimony surprisingly analogous to many of Ms. name deleted: contentions, and some that were even more outrageous (such as,
to criticize Ramtha is to invite having one's tongue turn black and fall off, and that Ramtha caused reptilian creatures to emerge from Mt. Rainier to abduct those critical of him). The principles and tenets of the Teachings were extensively examined at this trial, as were every conceivable claim or criticism of
them that Mr. Knight and his counsel could summon. At the conclusion of the trial, the presiding judge, the Hon. Bruce Cohoe, entered an express finding that the Teachings of Ramtha are religious in nature, although not part of mainstream Judeo-Christian belief. He also found that Ms. Knight did nothing
to defraud or brainwash her husband and that she had been scrupulously honest in all of her dealings with him, rejecting all of Mr. Knight's claims for
relief. See In re Knight,75 Wn.App. 721, 880 P.2d7L (L9941 review denied,
126 Wn.2d 1011 , 892 P.2d 1089 (1995).
Because I have already participated in an extended judicial proceeding wherein complaints essentially analogous to those of Ms. name deleted:
were advanced, resulting in the finding by an experienced and respected judge that the Teachings are
essentially religious in nature, I am confident that a similar result would eventuate in any Consumer Protection Act litigation. Moreover, since the trial of In
re Knight, objective scientific evidence has been developed that Ms. Knight's
channeling activities are not fraudulent, which I gather is also one of Ms. name deleted As noted in the extract from Dr. Melton's Encyclopedia" in
1996 a team of 18 scholars, including representatives of various scientific, psychological, sociological, and religious disciplines, subjected Ms. Knight to objective testing, including the monitoring of her autonomic nervous system while channeling. The results were dramatic and unequivocally ruled out any possibility of conscious fakery, schizophrenia or multiple-personality disorders. While channeling, Ms. Knight's brain waves shifted to a state typical of the
deep-sleep state in which the lower cerebellum, the seat of the subconscious, controls her bodily actions. This scientific conclusion merely corroborated the
opinions of many others, formed from direct observation, that Ms. Knight was not engaging in fraud. As actress Linda Evans, who as a long-time student at
the School became a close friend of Ms. Knight, put it:
In the beginning I was totally suspicious. Being an actress and understanding acting, I wanted to see if this "channeling" was
trickery. I wanted to know if I could be fooled so that I could protect myself. If JZ is simply impersonating the Ramtha character,
she is the greatest actress in the world. She should be in Hollywood where she would be at the top of the profession.
Jean-Noel Bassior, "Linda Evans and JZ Knight," Body, Mind and Spirit 50
(May/June 1992) at 45.
Without prejudice to Ms. Knight's position that her activities fall beyond the penumbra of the Attorney General's authority, I will respond to those complaints
Ms. name deleted: articulates sufficiently to identify. For the most part, her criticisms parallel similar complaints advanced by others who over the years
have been ideologically opposed to the School's Teachings.
The Teachings don't work. I have studied them from 1988 through 2005 and I can't perform any metaphysical feats. Only a few students have
been able to develop metaphysical abilities.
The Teachings are not intended, and certainly not guaranteed, to develop occult powers. The Teachings are intended to allow the student to create an
harmonious relationship with God and the student's place in the universe, to the end that in daily activities at school, work, or play the student will achieve
Jan 4th, 2007 - 4:33 PM Re: Response of AG Dept. and Lawyer of JZ Knight
a sense of inner fulfillment and equilibrium. While the Teachings include instructional exercises, or disciplines, those are merely tools that some students
find helpful and others do not. For a student at the School to complain that the disciplines "don't work" makes no more sense than for, say, a Catholic to
complain that no actual transubstantiation appears to occur during the Eucharist, or that despite conscientious religious practice he does not feel a
state of grace.
The "education" has completely ruined my life.
attributes a failed marriage, an unfavorable divorce property settlement, and other misfortunes to Ms. Knight's School. There is an obvious logical
disconnect in logic here because it is fallacious to conclude that because B followed A temporally, A caused B. Literally thousands of students from dozens
of countries have attended the School, and many more have purchased educational materials from the School. And literally thousands of students
have found the experience to be enriching and fulfilling. Nothing in name deleted:
complaint begins to establish that the School is inherently injurious or that her negative experiences were the result of its influence. Mr. Knight made essentially
this same claim to the Pierce County Superior Court and it was conclusively rejected. Ironically, the Teachings themselves include the admonition
that we are all ultimately responsible for our own actions.
The School has many questionable business practices.
Ms. name deleted:
enumerates these practices:
(1) Violation of arena occupancy restrictions.
It is Ms. Knight's policy to strictly comply with all governmental laws and regulations.
She has, over the years, created a cordial relationship with Thurston
County and City of Yelm officials through this cooperative policy. I am not personally
aware of any violation of occupancy restrictions, but if in fact an investigation of such
a complaint is undertaken and develops a finding that such a violation occurred,
I am confident that it was not done at Ms. Knight's instigation and that she will immediately
institute appropriate measures to prevent reoccurrence of the violation.
A fire code violation is hardly an unfair or deceptive trade practice which the Consumer Protection Act is concerned with.
(2) Requirement that students execute a confidentiality agreement.
The confidentiality agreement merely requests that students acknowledge that certain materials provided them are protected by copyright and registered
trademarks. Like any other person possessing valuable intellectual property rights, Ms. Knight is entitled to protect those rights. Far from being a
Questionable practice, this is a norm that permeates all industries that deal in intellectual property.
(3) No refund or event transfer policy.
The School's policies regarding refunds and transfers are clearly stated in all promotional materials. Ms. Knight is entitled to set these policies in any manner
she sees fit. The student is entitled to elect not to attend if the he or she
finds the policy offensive.
(4) I want to know where all the money goes.
Ms. name deleted:
objects to the amounts of revenue generated by the events, has heard that some employees were not paid, and that Ms. Knight owns several
businesses and numerous parcels of real property in the vicinity of her home. She wants the Attorney General to help her discover where the money goes.
Ms. Knight's corporation is a private, closely-held corporation. As such neither she nor it are obliged to disclose financial details of its operation.
What Ms. Knight does with her money is none of Ms.name deleted:
business. I respectfully suggest that it is not the business of the Attorney General, either.
(5) Wine ceremonies are held. They result in drunken bacchanalia.
Children are exposed to wine and tobacco. There have been incidents of pedophile assaults.
Wine ceremonies have been a part of events. Indeed, wine ceremonies form a core activity of most Christian liturgical activities.
Children are not allowed to attend events without a parent or guardian.
The School does not sanction providing alcohol to minors in a manner contrary to State law.
This policy was thoroughly researched and is scrupulously enforced. Similarly, the School does not sanction overindulgence.
Obviously inebriated persons are not admitted to, or allowed to remain at, events.
Ms. Knight maintains a full-time security staff for the protection of event attendees, in the arena and elsewhere on
the grounds. The only incident of pedophilia of which I am aware involved a former employee and an underage female student ward of the employee, and it
occurred at his private residence, not at the ranch. When Ms. Knight became aware of the incident from another student, she directed me to inform the
Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney's office of the identity of the witness and to advise the authorities that she would do everything in her power to assist in
prosecuting the offender.
She banned the former employee from attending any further events. As the victim of childhood abuse herself, Ms. Knight is highly
motivated to prevent any such conduct on her premises and the suggestion that she tolerates or encourages it is irredeemably preposterous.
Ms. Knight is a multimillionaire. Many students are destitute.
As observed above, Ms. Knight's personal wealth is not a factor subject to regulation by the Consumer Protection Act.
If it were relevant, its only significance would be to illustrate that her services are evidently in high demand and that they are not generally regarded as having no value.
The School does not collect or maintain any records regarding the financial condition of its students.
If I had to speculate, however, given the substantial fees charged for event attendance I would expect that few are literally destitute.
Ramtha has enormous influence over student lives. This has caused thousands to make detrimental decisions with their lives.
It is obvious that the Teachings are influential. The allegation that it has caused thousands to make detrimental decisions is unsupported and, in reality,
just another way for Ms. name deleted: to express her disagreement with the Teachings.
I believe I have addressed to the best of my ability each of the substantive complaints set forth by Ms. name deleted:
Ms. Knight is sorry that she feels disappointed by the materials and instruction provided her by the School; however, the
School, consistent with clearly-stated policy, will decline to make any refund or other monetary payment to the complainant.
If you feel that further response is needed, please advise.
Sincerely, Douglas Kaukl.