Judy Zebra Knight (born Judith Darlene Hampton on March 16, 1946), 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, as well as media such as Psychology Today. Her teachings have attracted figures from the entertainment and political world such as Linda Evans, Shirley MacLaine, and Salma Hayek.
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 (see Controversy and Criticism below).
Knight lives in a 12,800-square-foot (1,190 m) 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 ended in divorce.
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 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 (see Court Cases below). 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 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:
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:
Most books regarding Ramtha and RSE come from JZK Publishing, one of the several companies started by JZ Knight. Other books somewhat sympathetic to Ramtha, such as "Finding Enlightenment: Ramtha's School of Ancient Wisdom" by Gordon Melton, have ties to RSE in other ways. The author of Finding Enlightenment, testified for J.Z. Knight in Knight vs. Knight (1992-1995) against her former husband Jeffery Knight (see below).
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 "instead, 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 led 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.
Both cases are currently being litigated.
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.
Books by Knight:
A State of Mind, My Story Ramtha: The Adventure Begins 446 pages (1987) ISBN 1578730023,
Ramtha books - rare and out of print:
The following books are no longer in print, but may still be able to be found in used condition.
Ramtha: The Children's View of Destiny and Purpose 50 pages,
To Life 152 pages (selection of Ramtha toasts from May 1988 to May 1996 compiled by Diane Munoz-Smith),
Ramtha (1970) ASIN B007U7RNHY,
Love Yourself Into Life (1983) ASIN B00424L2XY,
Ominous Dragoon of Dothdura (co-written with Douglas Mahr and Jerry Banghart) 47 pages (1985) ISBN 0931317134,
I Am Ramtha (1986),
Ramtha Intensive Soulmates (1987),
Ramtha Intensive: Change the Days to Come (1987),
Between Two Worlds: The Message of Ramtha 125 pages (1987) ISBN 0940539063,
Voyage to the New World: An Adventure Into Unlimitedness 276 pages (co-written with Douglas Mahr) (1987) ISBN 0449131858,
Ramtha (green book) (1988),
Ramtha: An Introduction 196 pages (1988) ISBN 0932201768,
Destination Freedom: A Time-Travel Adventure, Stage II: Arrival Instruction 268 pages (co-written with Douglas Mahr) (1989) ISBN 0132022273,
UFO's and the Nature of Reality: Understanding Alien Consciousness and Interdimensional Mind (1990),
Spinner of Tales 285 pages (Ramtha stories compiled by Deborah Kerins) (1991) ISBN 0962972371,
Enseignements Choisis (1991),
Ramtha: The New Kingdom: The Masterpiece Collection of Ramtha 207 pages (1991) ISBN 0940539098,
The Plane of Bliss: On Earth as it is in Heaven 154 pages (1997) ISBN 1578730260,
The Ancient Schools of Wisdom 172 pages (compiled by Diane Munoz-Smith) (1998) ISBN 0965262138,
Ramtha: the Mystery of Birth and Death: Redefining the Self 230 pages (2000),
The Circus, An Adventure Not To Be Missed (2001) ASIN B004FVHPUS,
Who Are We Really? (2002),
A Master's Reflection on the History of Humanity, Part I: Human Civilization, Origins and Evolution 368 pages (2002) ISBN 1578730406,
A Master's Reflection on the History of Humanity, Part II: Rediscovering the Pearl of Ancient Wisdom 360 pages (2003) ISBN 1578730414,
A Message of Joy and Hope: Ramtha's Address at Seattle Center November 12, 2004 (2005),
Ramtha books - still in print:
The Mystery of Love (Booklet),
Last Waltz Of the Tyrants: The Prophecy Revisited 186 pages (1991, Revised: 2009) ISBN 1578731178,
Ramtha: A Beginner's Guide to Creating Reality: An Introduction to Ramtha & His Teachings 238 pages (1997, Revised: 2000) ISBN 1578730376,
Ramtha: the White Book 336 pages (1999, Revised: 2004) ISBN 1578730457,
That Elixir Called Love: The Truth About Sexual Attraction, Secret Fantasies, and the Magic of True Love 512 pages (2004) ASIN B0073HNNWA,
Ramtha's Fireside Series:
Defining the Master (2000) (Vol. 1, No.1),
Changing the Timeline of Our Destiny (2001) (Vol. 1, No. 2),
Forgotten Gods Waking Up (2001) (Vol. 1, No. 3),
Crossing the River (2002) (Vol. 2, No. 1),
A Master's Key For Manipulating Time (2002) (Vol. 2, No. 2),
Making Contact: Our Soul's Journey and Purpose Through Life (2002) (Vol. 2, No. 3),
Buddha's Neuronet for Levitation: Opening the Lotus of a Thousand Petals (2002) (Vol. 2, No. 4),
Who Are We Really? (2002) (Vol. 2, No. 5),
Gandalf's Battle on the Bridge in the Mines of Moria (2002) (Vol. 2, No. 6) ASIN B006H9BN3Q,
When Fairy Tales Do Come True (2003) (Vol. 3, No. 1),
Prophets Of Our Own Destiny (2003) (Vol. 3, No. 2),
Parallel Lifetimes: Fluctuations in the Quantum Field (2003) (Vol. 3, No. 3),
Jesus The Christ: The Life of a Master (2006) (Vol. 4, No. 1),
Awakening To the Extraordinary (2007) (Vol. 4, No. 2),
The New March: Developing a Mind Worth Preserving (2007) (Vol. 4, No. 3),
Ramtha on God's Only Law (CD-0230) (2002) ISBN 157873195X,
Ramtha on Love Born in the 4th Seal: Beginning The Journey (CD-9201) (2003) ISBN 1578731933,
Ramtha on How the Brain Creates Reality (Dimensional Mind V: Part 1) (CD-9227) (2003) ISBN 157873133X,
Ramtha on Demonology and the Freedom from Possession: The Neuronet of Disease (CD-9804) (2003) ISBN 1578732999,
Ramtha on The Difference Between Consciousness and Mind (CD-9215) (2004) ISBN 1578731763,
Ramtha on A Master's First Step: Achieving Clear-Mindedness (CD-9520) (2004) ISBN 1578731798,
Ramtha on Waking Up to Greatness (CD-0405) (2004) ISBN 1578731755,
Ramtha on Experiencing the Teachings of No Words (CD-9207.1) (2004) 157873181X,
Ramtha on Concepts of Predestination and Free Will (CD-0513) (2005) ISBN 1578731887,
Ramtha on The Plane of Bliss, Part 2 (CD-9716) (2005) ISBN 1578732360,
Ramtha on Animals, Music, Crystals and Mythical Creatures (CD-001) (2006) ISBN 1578732670,
Ramtha on The Brain (CD-002) (2006) ISBN 1578732689,
Ramtha on Pyramids (CD-020) (2006) ISBN 1578732700,
Ramtha on Yahweh - Jehovah (CD-029) (2006) ISBN 1578732727,
Ramtha on Winds of Change I (CD-030) (2006) ISBN 1578733006,
Ramtha on The Great Architect (CD-046) (2006) ISBN 1578732735,
Ramtha on From Suppression To Love and The Power of Change (CD-0613) (2006) ISBN 1578732913,
Ramtha on The Neuronet To The Levitating Buddha (CD-9603.2) (2006) ISBN 1578732905,
Ramtha on Where the Journey Begins (CD-0610) (2006) ISBN 1578732921,
Ramtha on Winds of Change II (CD-030.1) (2007) ISBN 1578733014),
Ramtha on Children and Parenting (CD-004.1) (2007) ISBN 1578733103,
Ramtha on Inner Earth (CD-013) ISBN 1578732697,
Ramtha on Understanding Womanhood (CD-027) ISBN 1578732719,
Ramtha on The 12 Days of Light (CD-019) (2007) ISBN 1578733022,
Ramtha on Love and Relationships (CD-018) (2007) ISBN 1578733073,
Ramtha on Winds of Change III (CD-052) (2007) ISBN 157873309X,
Ramtha on Change: The Days That Are Here (Prophecy Series) (CD-0705) (2007) ISBN 1578733286,
Ramtha on Gods Clothed As Humans (CD-0608) (2007) ISBN 1578733316,
Ramtha on Genetic Memory and the Sixth Sense: Soul Choice (CD-9303.1) (2007) ISBN 1578732948,
Ramtha on Unfolding into the Continuum of Consciousness (CD-9409) (2007) ISBN 1578733359,
Ramtha on Acceptance: The Key to Magic (CD-9411) (2007) ISBN 1578732980,
Ramtha on Cell Biology, Associative Memory, and the Personality (CD-9424.1) (2007) ISBN 1578732956,
Ramtha on The Mechanics of Creating (CD-9424.2) (2007) ISBN 1578733251,
Ramtha on Magnetic Signature & How The Soul Determines Destiny (CD-9424.3) (2007) ISBN 157873326X,
Ramtha on Taking Back Your Power (CD-0618) (2007) ISBN 1578733278,
Ramtha on The Bounty of List and Twilight (CD-9419) (2007) ISBN 1578732263,
Ramtha on Self-Discovery: Going Beyond Gender (CD-0612) (2007) ISBN 1578733308,
Ramtha on Australia - Change: The Days That Are Here (Prophecy Series) (CD-0708) (2007) ISBN 1578733340,
Ramtha on Siege Upon the City of the Blue Race (CD-037) (2007) ISBN 1578733049,
Ramtha on The Great Work: From the Caterpillar To the Butterfly (CD-0606) (2007) ISBN 1578733294,
Ramtha on Miami - Change: The Days That Are Here (Prophecy Series) (CD-0706) (2007) ISBN 1578733324,
A Look Within 32 minutes (NTSC/PAL),
This is the first video that highlights the disciplines practiced at Ramtha's School of Enlightenment. Included are interviews with students, scholars, and JZ Knight. Available in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish.
In Search of the Self: The Role of Consciousness in the Construction of Reality 8-volume video set. 9 hours, 38 minutes (NTSC/PAL),
A Conference on Contemporary Spirituality, February 8-9, 1997, Yelm, Washington. An International group of scholars from the fields of physics, psychology, sociology, and religious studies gathered.
JZ Knight/Ramtha: Intimate Conversations 27 minutes (2007)