Judy Zebra Knight (born Judith Darlene Hampton on March 16, 1946, in Roswell, New Mexico), usually known as JZ Knight, is an American mystic teacher and author, and is known for claiming to be channel of a spiritual entity named Ramtha.
Knight has appeared on US TV shows, such as Larry King, MSNBC and The Merv Griffin Show, to offer spiritual insight and inspiration, as well as media such as Psychology Today. Her teachings have attracted figures from the entertainment and political world such as Linda Evans and Shirley MacLaine.
Knight claims to bridge ancient wisdom and the power of consciousness together with the latest discoveries in science. Some of the ideas are similar to those of Shirley MacLaine, which have in turn been criticized for being "kindergarten metaphysics" by mathematician and skeptic Martin Gardner. Ramtha's teachings have further been criticised by scientists and skeptics around the world.
Knight lives in a 12,800-square-foot (1,190 m2) French chateau-style home and, next door, teaches courses and runs Ramtha's School of Enlightenment.
Knight has been married three times and is the mother of two children from her first marriage (Brandy and Christopher), which was ended in divorce due to her husband's alleged alcoholism and infidelity.
Knight grew up in poverty and was unable to go to college. After graduating from high school, she dropped out of business school. She later worked at the cable television industry, and due to her work moved to Tacoma, Washington, where a psychic told her the 'Enlightened One' would appear to her in the future. Ramtha allegedly appeared to her for the first time in 1977, in her kitchen.
Knight appeared on The Merv Griffin Show in 1985 and later wrote the autobiographical A State of Mind in 1987. Time called her "probably the most celebrated of all current channelers". Ramtha's School of Enlightenment website says that since 1988, through the JZ Knight Humanities Foundation, Knight has donated $1,181,068 to 200 graduating high-school seniors "that they may pursue their educational goals". In 1996, a total of $280,000 was given to 39 graduating seniors.
Knight is currently a cult leader and the president of JZK, Inc and Ramtha's School of Enlightenment, located near the town of Yelm, Washington, and the name of Ramtha is copyrighted under JZ Knight. She also won a court case which affirmed that she is the sole legal channeler of the entity Ramtha. There have been over 120 books and 40 DVDs released by RSE, JZK Inc. or independently in the past twenty-five years. She also appeared in the 2004 movie What the Bleep Do We Know!?, produced by members of the Ramtha School, which has been heavily criticised by the scientific community. Knight has a store in Yelm, Washington, along with an online store which sells products not connected with Ramtha's teaching. The store sells kitchen utensils, women's apparel, cosmetic products and pet supplies, among other products.
After an absence from public view for several years, she returned to public speaking on radio and in magazines and workshops. She was recently a guest on Coast To Coast AM with George Noory on August 14, 2011. Show notes and audio are available at the Coast to Coast AM website.
Ramtha (the name is claimed to be derived from Ram and to mean "the God" in Ramtha's language) is an entity whom Knight claims to channel. According to Knight, Ramtha was a Lemurian warrior who fought the Atlanteans over 35,000 years ago. Ramtha speaks of leading an army over 2.5 million strong (more than twice the estimated world population at about 30,000 BC) for 63 years, and conquering three fourths of the known world (which was allegedly going through cataclysmic geological changes). According to Ramtha, he led the army for ten years until he was betrayed and almost killed.
Ramtha says he spent the next seven years in isolation recovering and observing nature, the seasons, his army making homes and families, and many other things. He later mastered many skills, including foresight and out-of-body experiences, until he led his army to the Indus River while in his late fifties. Ramtha taught his soldiers everything he knew for 120 days, he bid them farewell, rose into the air and in a bright flash of light he ascended before them. He made a promise to his army that he would come back to teach them everything he had learned. JZ Knight says that in 1977 Ramtha appeared before her and told her that he had come to help her over the ditch. JZ Knight became his first student of what he calls the great work.
Ramtha is the central figure (the "master teacher") of Ramtha's School of Enlightenment, started by Knight in 1987 near the town Yelm, Washington. Classes (or "dialogues") had been held around the world for the previous ten years. There are currently over 6,000 students of Ramtha's teachings and many more have been to retreats in the past.
A central theme of Ramtha's teachings involves the internalization of divinity (God is in Us, You are God, Behold God). Ramtha is described as having brought his knowledge to many ancient civilizations in the world such as the Ancient Egyptians. The website also suggests that traces of the lineage of the original teachings and philosophies he taught 35,000 years ago have appeared throughout history in the schools of philosophers like Socrates, religions like Hinduism and Judaism, and the works of great minds such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.
The four cornerstones of Ramtha's philosophy are
The statement 'You are god'
The directive to make known the unknown
The concept that consciousness and energy create the nature of reality
The challenge to conquer yourself
All of the above are similar to the list of common messages stated by claimed channelled entities written by Russell Chandler:
The basic messages of the channeled entities exhibit a striking commonality:
Death is unreal.
All is One in the synergy of Deity.
We are Divine Beings but have chosen to exist as physical humans.
In this life there are no victims, only opportunities.
We can control reality through the powers of Universal Mind.
Ramtha's teachings appear to be a mixture of Jungian philosophy, Western occult traditions and contemporary positive-thinking attitudes (such as New Age beliefs) and have yet to stand against elementary skepticism or scrutiny. Predictions made by the disembodied entity have either failed to come true (e.g. predicting that a holocaust would take place in 1985, or that the USA would be involved in a major war in 1985) or the predicted scenarios are too wide to evaluate and/or have too large an error margin to be considered, which is usually the case with channelers.
When Knight says she is channeling Ramtha she speaks mostly in English in what sounds like an accent from the Indian Raj, sometimes in a simplistic way. The claimed entity "Ramtha" has expressed confusion about modern items (or even the ability to read English), although he seems to have clear understanding of complex issues of modern physics, such as the quantum field or neurology, which appear frequently in his speeches. During the channeling of Ramtha, JZ Knight behaves a bit differently and speaks in a deeper and stern voice.
In his teachings "Ramtha" has made several controversial statements such as that Christianity is a "backward" religion, that Jesus' parables can be explained by means of photon waves and probability, that "murder isn't really wrong or evil" (if one believes in reincarnation), or (during the court case JZ Knight v Jeff Knight) Jeff Knight stated that Ramtha had declared that HIV is Nature's way of 'getting rid of' homosexuality.
Controversy and criticism
Skeptics point to Ramtha's story as proof that he does not exist. Ramtha claims to come from the continent of Lemuria and to have conquered Atlantis. The existence of the two locations are considered of legendary nature, and neither have been found. Furthermore, the claim that Ramtha led an army of 2.5 million contradicts estimates of the world population at 33,000 BC, and her claims of clairvoyant, telepathic, telekinetic and other ESP abilities, for which there is no scientific support, have been heavily criticised by skeptics and scientific communities across the world.
Ramtha's claim that every person can learn to create their own reality is itself a philosophical paradox. Julian Baggini, in his book "The pig that wants to be eaten" argues that if everyone was capable of creating their own realities with their minds, it would be problematic as one person could then create a reality in which no one was allowed to create their own realities.
Magician and skeptic James Randi said that Ramtha's believers have "no way of evaluating [her teachings]", while Carl Sagan in his book The Demon-Haunted World says that "the simplest hypothesis is that Ms. Knight makes 'Ramtha' speak all by herself, and that she has no contact with disembodied entities from the Pleistocene Ice Age." He goes on to write a list of questions that Ramtha's answers would help us determine whether he is actually a disembodied entity from the paleolithic times (such as "What were the indigenous languages, and social structure?", "What was their writing like?" or "How does he know that he lived 35,000 years ago?"), and ends by saying that "nstead, all we are offered are banal homilies."
JZ Knight's ex-husband, Jeff Knight, in an interview in 1992 with Joe Szimhart, said that Ramtha's teachings are a "farce" and that they are "just a money making business for JZ Knight". He also said that students of Ramtha's School of Enlightenment are "involved in a very dangerous, very evil corrupt thing".
Attacks and criticism against Ramtha's teachings and Ramtha's School of Enlightenment have also been made by former students of the school. David McCarthy, a Yelm resident and former student of the School between 1989 and 1996, has accused the School of being a cult. He further claims that he was intimidated during his studies there, and he felt like mind control was being exerted by JZ Knight and the school. He said "At one point I was running around scared I was going to get eaten by the lizard people." McCarthy became disappointed, not only with his own experience of Ramtha's teachings but also as he had cut ties from his family to become a student as they lived in a different country. This lead McCarthy to form a group called "Life After Ramtha's School of Enlightenment", which questions the authenticity of Ramtha and encourages people to come out and express their experiences after their realisation that the RSE is a cult. The School has also been characterised as a cult by acclaimed skeptic Michael Shermer, in his book Why People Believe Weird Things.
Glenn Cunningham, a former bodyguard of JZ Knight's, in an interview with David McCarthy details the inner workings of the Ramtha's School of Enlightenment, and criticizes various activities (such as trademarking ideas and phrases that had been coined by other authors many years before - for example, the idea of "Blue Body", or mixing quantum physics with new age ideas, which can be found in Vera Stanley Alder's "From the Mundane to the Magnificent", first published in 1979) of JZ Knight's and aspects of Ramtha which he simply saw as JZ Knight acting. Among the things he mentions is the fact that Ramtha mispronounces the same words that JZ Knight mispronounces, and that Ramtha quotes the same books that JZ Knight has read. Glenn Cunningham admits in the video interview, that he was prone to lying to students when he saw fit or thought that it may help them.
Furthermore, Ramtha's teachings as they are portrayed in the movie What the Bleep Do We Know!?, not only in the general gist of the film (which was directed and funded by students of Ramtha's School of Enlightenment) but also in instances where Ramtha is interviewed on screen, have been heavily criticised by the scientific community across the globe, and skeptics, such as James Randi.
JZ Knight has been involved in several court disputes, some personal and others business-related. Knight brought suit against a woman from Berlin named Julie Ravell for disturbing Knight's psychic state and leaving her "hanging in spiritual limbo" during the five years Ravell claimed she was also channeling Ramtha. The case was brought to the supreme court in Vienna and lasted over five years, at the end of which Austria's supreme court awarded copyright to J.Z. Knight as the sole channelor of Ramtha, and Ravell was made to pay $800 in psychic damages to J.Z. Knight. Another case involving copyright and trademark ownership was JZK, Inc vs. Glandon, in which Joseph Glandon was accused of distributing copyrighted teachings of Ramtha.
In Knight vs. Knight (1992–1995), Jeff Knight alleges that he lost years of his life by postponing modern medical treatment for his HIV infection, due to advice from his wife that Ramtha could heal him. The court decided against him, but he died before he could appeal the court's decision.
Knight, through JZK Inc., accused WhiteWind Weaver, a Thurston County citizen, of stealing Knight's ideas and using her and Ramtha's teachings in her workshops. A trial began on March 10, 2008 in Thurston County Superior Court, and at the end of it Knight was awarded about $10,000 after the court's decision against WhiteWind Weaver.
JZ Knight also refused to attend court as a witness, in a case involving a 15-year old who claimed rape against two students of Ramtha's School of Enlightenment. The 15-year old girl had written a letter to Knight, which mentioned that Wayne Allen Geis, her dancing and acting teacher, had engaged in sexual intercourse with her between 1995 and 1997. The illicit activities had also involved Ruth Beverly Martin. They had apparently told the girl that sexual intercourse would help her to relax and improve her acting ability. Knight invited the girl to a retreat at the school in November 1999.
In the retreat, Ramtha questioned the girl, her father, Geis and Martin. This inquiry took place on stage in front of an audience of over 800 people for about an hour. Geis and Martin confessed to having molested the girl, and the school contacted authorities. Charged with 10 counts of first-degree sexual misconduct with a minor, Geis and Martin pleaded not guilty and the case went to trial.
Prosecutors were reluctant to have Knight appear in court due to the "circus atmosphere" that would have been created. Knight herself claimed that she had been in a trance and did not remember anything of what was said in the retreat inquiry.
Earlier this year in Feb, 2013 JZK inc filed suit against a group of ex members of her school Ramtha's school of enlightenment, The case was against Virgina Coverdale whom JZK also held a grudge against for luring away one of her many mates. Knight alleges Ms. Coverdale had something to do with the release of some very controversial videos on line which showed Ms. Knight teaching as Ramtha, therefore allegedly breaching her contract with the cult. Ms. Coverdale denies there was any breach. These were the videos that created the political uproar that followed. The group that Ms. Coverdale belongs to is a support group for ex cult members called Enlightened Europa (EE), a private Facebook site.
Ms. Knight also went after another group of ex-members called Enlightenmefree.com who have for many years, in addition to being a support group for hundreds of ex members, they also bring attention to what they see as dangerous conditions existing at the school with regard to fire, health and safety in addition to their concerns for children in the group. As well as exposing the political connections of JZK, Inc. in the Washington State area. Their website is http://enlightenmefree.com
Both cases are currently being litigated with Virginia Coverdale being represented by Breckan Scott http://www.breckanlaw.com/ and Enlightenmefree being represented by well known attorney Joshua Koltun http://koltunattorney.com/ . He has prevailed against similar organizations attempting to silence those making facts about the organizations part of a public record.
During the 2012 Washington State general elections, Knight and RSE donated to various Democratic campaigns. Knight and the school subsequently came under scrutiny when videos surfaced on YouTube suggesting deep-seated bigotry, antisemitism, and anti-Catholicism.
Knight has authored a number of books under the author name of "Ramtha". Below is a rough outline in progress with estimated publishing dates in brackets.
Ramtha, the White Book is a work by Steven Weinberg which helped to form "Ramtha's" teachings. It was the first introduction to "Ramtha's" teachings ever put together and includes a glossory of terms and concepts used in the as well as a detailed index.
Open for discussion and exchange of views.
Appears to be in his mid-fifties, a true New Age entrepreneur that learned from Tony Robbins
http://www.geneticmatrix.com/human-design-about/Human Design has impacted every facet of John’s own life, from personal to business, in ways that have aided his own self understanding and growth. John’s life, from the very beginning of his musical training, has involved learning, teaching and practicing profound personal development technologies that can measurably increase human health, wealth, performance and happiness.
He is a qualified NLP trainer (studying with Anthony Robbins) and has been teaching and giving Human Design readings since 1998. He has been dedicated full-time to giving Human Design readings since 2006.
The horse fraud was instrumental for two reasons. It was were Jeff Knigt began to see that the Ramtha myth is a bunch of hot air. Jeff knew as an experienced horse trainer that the horses were losers and that Ramtha's supposed endorsements of the animals was ridiculous. It was also the turning point for Judy Knight where she realized after the horse failure that the Ramtha brand could be a marketable product completely in and of itself rather than a tool for propping up Knight's other money making schemes.
I would also like to recommend Skeptico's 2011 interview with Joe as an excellent reading to complement the biography above.
http://www.skeptiko.com/religious-cults ... periences/