Related:Editorial - Secrets, Sin, and Shame in the Shadows:
By Melissa Genson: South Thurston Journal, November 11, 2013.
It’s been twenty-five years since JZ Knight asked on ABC’s 20/20, "How could murder be wrong?"
Then she explained that people shouldn’t ever feel sorry about anything they’ve done.
ABC’s Judd Rose dubbed JZ Knight’s Ramtha School of Enlightenment (RSE) a “no-fault cult.” Knight teaches that there is no good or bad, no right or wrong. Nothing is evil.
In the years since then, tragedies and scandals have continued to come out of JZ Knight’s RSE. Hardly a surprise for a no-fault cult, whose leader doesn’t see a problem with murder.
We can apparently now add child sexual abuse, rape, assault with a deadly weapon, perjury, fraud, xenophobia, lies, threats, bigotry, greed, and hate speech to JZ’s okay-by-me list, as well as murder.
That hasn’t prevented RSE from flourishing all these years, with little interference from county and state government. No matter how many times various government officials have been warned about dangerous activities within the cult, and dangerous people coming out of the cult.
And in spite of the Thurston County Commissioners’ Mission: Continuously improve services that sustain and enhance safe, healthy, diverse, and vital communities.
Keeping an eye on hell bent hate cults doesn’t seem to be part of that plan. Even twenty-five years after the leader outs herself on national TV.
Thurston County Commissioner Sandra Romero had been repeatedly warned about dangers at RSE before she joined a cult gathering last September and flashed big smiles while on stage with JZ Knight—her largest campaign donor. In particular, Romero had been warned about dangers to children at RSE. With good reason.
JZ Knight got some negative press a year ago when secret videos appeared on YouTube, showing her screaming profanities and hurling hate speech against Catholics, Jews, Mexicans, gays, and more. But her New York PR guy dashed off a few lines and JZ’s lawyers managed to get the videos taken down, and all appeared forgotten.
All appeared forgotten—except for a few of us who just wouldn’t let it go.
My husband Steve and me. Pastor Jeff Adams. Glen Morgan. None of us have ever set foot in RSE.
But we saw the dangers. The secret videos. And we did everything we could to learn about what was taught behind the high walls in Yelm—so we could tell our community.
Because if the Thurston County government doesn’t see any problem with a secret cult who believes that there is no right and wrong, not even murder, and whose members are brainwashed to hate and fear everyone, and freely act on their impulses—where would our county government draw the line? Anywhere?
Who is going to settle here next? Will the Thurston County Commissioners welcome a Jihadi Training Compound, like the one in Onalaska? I’m sure they give campaign contributions, as well.
And when it comes to JZ Knight, we just didn’t buy her campy circa-1970s witchy woman routine. Complete with Stevie Nicks hair, dark capes, funky boots, blindfolds, wine goblets, candles, cards, and deadhead dancing. JZ Knight tries to pass off her cult as this kind of harmless retro fun.
Our local government has been more than happy to accept this explanation, especially when it was tightly wrapped around hefty donations.
And even though JZ Knight’s vague explanations never really matched her desperate need to enforce her ironclad secrecy contracts.
It is not unusual for dangerous cult leaders to hide behind a laid-back hippie persona and mingle with celebrities, who are looking for a little edginess. Charles Manson hung with musicians like Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys and Terry Melcher, Doris Day’s son. Manson and his group even lived in Wilson’s house for a while. (Terry Melcher owned the home where Sharon Tate and her friends were murdered by Manson’s followers.)
It’s also not unusual for these cults to settle in liberal, artsy towns like Olympia. Sante Fe, Sedona, and other similar communities have the same problem.
JZ Knight has never hesitated to trot out her celebrity followers to lend credibility to her cult —Salma Hayek, Shirley MacLaine, Linda Evans, Richard Chamberlain, Mike Farrell.
But it’s time for our community to talk of other people, who should be more important to us than the celebrities.
From South Africa—Constable Jacob Boleme and his family. Officer Glenwald duToit and his family
Farmer Gerhardu du Plessis and his family. (see “JZ’s Rules of Murder, Hate, and Fear”)
From Ireland—Father Gerard McGinnity and the boys he tried to defend. “Raymond” and his family. Others who may have never come forward, and are still suffering in silence. (see “JZ Knight's Teacher Has a Dark Past in Ireland”)
A small boy in Minnesota who cries, has nightmares, and then can’t sleep at night, in terror that his molester will find him from halfway across the U.S. (see “A Mother’s Nightmare, A Child’s Terror, Part 1")
The rape victims. (see “JZ’s Rules of Rape, Hate, Perjury, and Fraud”)
And those who lost everything to brainwashing, fear, and fraud. (see “JZ’s Rules of Hate, Fraud…Salma and Linda”)
There will be many more stories about JZ Knight and RSE. But you get the general idea by now.
Our Thurston County Commissioners seem far too busy with trivial matters to turn their attention to their local hate cult, whose members have acted on their leader’s criminal, even deadly, teachings. Even though the cult leader has stated that she has thousands of followers—with many living throughout our county.
Our Thurston County Commissioners seem too concerned with protecting the four-footed rodents tunneling through the prairie, to worry about the two-footed rodents walking around on the prairie.
We need true leaders like Irish Senator Mary Henry, M.D., who was able to blast through politics as usual, and set the Irish government’s priorities straight. (see “JZ Knight’s Teacher Has a Dark Past in Ireland”)
It is ridiculous for the concerned citizens of Thurston County to continue relying on the antiquated process of the Commissioners’ public hearings, to have their voice heard.
It is ridiculous for concerned citizens to take time off of work, to wait through a hearing’s cattle call, to spend a few brief minutes speaking to elected servants who obviously aren’t listening. Elected servants who are too busy to listen to speakers at hearings—playing with cell phones, staring off into space, or rolling their eyes.
There are better ways to get things done, these days. We don’t need to rely on eight-track methods in the facebook age.
Our County Commissioners seem quite distracted by their grandiose visions of themselves as latter day
Teddy Roosevelts, proudly preserving their rodent-filled patch of prairie weeds, like it’s Mt. Rainier or the Tetons. Ruining helpless people’s lives in the meantime, and probably knowing full well their efforts will be reversed when they are gone. There is only so long common sense can be held at bay.
They should actually appreciate their kinship with JZ Knight. She speaks of her Great Work as well.
But while the Commissioners and JZ Knight busy themselves with their various Great Works, we will be sitting down with people who want to set real priorities in our community. School boards, church leaders, civic groups, business owners, community volunteers, non-profits, concerned citizens. Worried parents.
We will be reaching out through facebook and other social media. We will be turning to experts for help. This will not be a simple task.
The Stealthy Sin of Hate -
The violent crimes and other felonies that have been inspired by JZ Knight’s teachings are tragic, horrifying, and irreparable. But there are the quiet sins that concern us as well. The cruel hate that can hide itself well…until it finally shows itself, in all of its evil.
In front of a huge audience in Yelm that included children, JZ Knight called Mexicans “poison, who breed like f—ing rabbits because you’re a Catholic…all Mexicans are not worthy of conscious thought.” She talked about how the Mexicans are ruining California.
Children repeat what they hear. Especially when the words are spoken by their all-wise, all-knowing god, who stands before them. A god who is idolized and glorified by their parents.
Imagine that you are a Mexican parent, seeing your child step off the afternoon school bus in tears. Who wants to hear that you are poison? That you are here because your parents breed like f—ing rabbits? That you aren’t wanted in your community?
Now imagine that you are that Mexican child, waiting for the school bus the next morning.
When Steve was seven years old, he was tormented by a neighbor child for being Jewish.
When Steve was fifteen, his father’s Chicago store was burned to the ground, because of more hate. His family lost everything in one night.
Perhaps that child and those arsonists had learned something similar to what JZ Knight teaches about Jews, to her huge Yelm audience that included children: “F-ck God’s chosen people! I think they have earned enough cash to have paid their way out of the goddamned gas chambers by now.”
After the Holocaust, many Jews asked themselves why God did not redeem His people from the gas chambers. Was God all powerful, but not all good? Was God all good, but not all powerful?
If we believe that God is good, but perhaps not all powerful in this life—then we need to try to do good, even when we are not powerful.
We are not powerful.
But we will try to do good.
Editorial - Secrets, Sin, and Shame in the Shadows
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