J. Z. Knight in 1977 began claiming that the entity named Ramtha, a 35,000-year old disembodied entity from an ancient civilization, was channeling through her. Since then, Knight claims, through her, Ramtha has been teaching the truth about the reality of the world, and that he chose her to “help [her] over the ditch”.
Since then, JZ Knight/Ramtha has been having private sessions with students of Ramtha’s teachings, which were called “dialogues”. The dialogues were held in 24 cities between 1979 and 1988 (including Seattle, Honolulu, New York and Denver), when she decided to found Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment, on a land which was previously a ranch. By 1995 she had expanded her tours to include other countries in the world, such as Australia, Italy, Japan and South Africa. It is now a place where students can travel to and attend the more systematically organized lessons, usually staying there over the course of several days, called retreats. The campus is located on a property owned by J.Z. Knight, under the umbrella of JZK, Inc. (a corporation by J.Z. Knight). The School’s an 80-acre fenced compounds are open only to staff members and students and are not open to the public.
About 6,000 students currently attend the school’s premises yearly, mainly at classes in Yelm but also at various locations across the globe. It is estimated that the somewhere between 1,000-3,000 people who attend live within a fifty mile radius of the school in the Yelm area, and nearly a third of them live in South Sound. RSE is recognised as a US corporation, and pays taxes as such. The organization is run as a business with more than fifty employees. The school offers classes (called “events”) which can last for just an evening, a weekend, or longer. Specialized events are run twice yearly, which are required for students who wish to stay “current” in the school, which in turn allows them to be able to attend all other classes. These required retreats are now held worldwide. In addition to organizing these events, the school sells clothing, books, tapes, DVDs, and other merchandise.
Knight has been making immense profits from the School’s activities, and from sale of books, tapes, CDs and DVDs, and in 2007 Knight had reportedly made a profit of $2.6 million in sales alone.
In 2004, various Ramtha school leaders (including James Flick, her current husband) joined community groups to strongly oppose a proposed 75,000-seat NASCAR racetrack in Yelm. However, the proposal was withdrawn.
In 2008, lessons were given to the public in more than 20 countries, including the Czech Republic, Romania and Chile for the first time.
See also: J.Z. Knight – Teachings
Knight claims that through the School, the students have the opportunity to utilize their inner wisdom, focus their brains, and create their own reality.
The school’s curriculum is based on the alleged channelings by J. Z. Knight of the entity Ramtha.cult (see below), JZ Knight and her followers deny such claims, and say that the School is neither a religion nor a cult.Ramtha‘s_School_of_Enlightenment#cite_note-6″>New Age movement. Controversial religious scholar J. Gordon Melton wrote a book countering this argument, called Finding Enlightenment: Ramtha’s School of Ancient Wisdom. The school has hosted several high-profile speakers since its formation 20 years ago.
Activities undertaken in the School‘s compounds during the lessons include wine-drinking (earlier in the School‘s history)Ramtha‘s_School_of_Enlightenment#cite_note-szimhart-9″> The studens believe that they can obtain such immense powers that will allow them to raise the dead, freeze a rocket in mid-air, make gold appear out of thin air, or even predict the future. Psychic progress in the sector is said to eventually lead to “ascension” of the body into the “Void”, what Knight calls the ultimate spiritual state.psychokinesis, telepathy, clairvoyance, and other ESP skills,J.Z. Knight – Controversy and Criticism
Ramtha‘s School of Enlightenment has been called a cult by various people, including her ex-husband Jeff KnightRamtha‘s_School_of_Enlightenment#cite_note-cunningham-8″>, former students of the school (such as David McCarthyRamtha‘s_School_of_Enlightenment#cite_note-szimhart-9″>), and skeptic Michael Shermer.Ramtha‘s_School_of_Enlightenment#cite_note-melton-13″> has been criticized for siding with the School and not providing a neutral description of what is going on within the School, and has been called a ‘cult apologist’ by various opposers of cults. His position was further criticized when he took the stand as a witness in the case Knight v. Knight (1992–1995), against Jeff Knight (JZ Knight’s husband at the time – see J.Z. Knight court cases), by further supporting that the School is not a cult.Jehovah would return to earth accompanied by lizard people, in a spaceship.Ramtha‘s_School_of_Enlightenment#cite_note-larse-14″>
A further controversial issue regarding Ramtha‘s teachings involve the so-called “endtimes”, which were prophesized catastrophes. Instructions from Ramtha were given to the students, telling them to leave their friends behind if they resisted or disagreed with them. He taught that “your government is an illusion”, which encouraged some students to engage in tax evasion, and he also directed students to build and prepare individual underground shelters to protect themselves against an imminent invasion ofChinese Communist soldiers from Mexico, planning to invade Seattle and the surrounding areas.Ramtha‘s_School_of_Enlightenment#cite_note-wynn-15″>
Various incidents within the School‘s compounds have been characterized as controversial. Glenn Cunningham, in an interview with David McCarthy, describes how one night, Knight suggested that all students should stay there for the night, because she said it would be ‘good for the energy’. That was before the Great Arena (formerly used as horse stables) had been floored, and as a result there would be a lot of dust in the air. Cunningham says that there was a very old woman among the students, who begged him that she doesn’t want to do this and she wants to go home, but Ramtha said that she can of course stay, under the protection of Ramtha and her bodyguard. Leaving the arena the following day, the old woman died of pneumonia (due to the dust in the air and humidity).Ramtha‘s_School_of_Enlightenment#cite_note-cunningham-8″>Ramtha‘s_School_of_Enlightenment”>Source
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