Shocking allegations from former JZ Knight follower

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JZ Knight founded the Ramtha School of Enlightenment in Yelm in 1988.

YELM, Wash. — Shocking allegations have been made by a former follower of the Ramtha School of Enlightenment in a letter that just became public.

JZ Knight has thousands of followers, including many celebrities. Now, one claims the school’s founder made members drink lye, and that people got sick.

But the Ramtha School of Enlightenment is denying the allegations and threatening to take the letter-writer to the medical board.

The gated school on Highway 510 in Yelm has been here since 1988. One local doctor was so concerned about what was going on inside that he wrote a letter to the county health department, asking them to look into the health and safety of followers there.

“I’ve been in this community for a long time. Originally, I thought this cult, or whatever you want to call it, it was an interesting thing because it brought in a lot of interesting people,” Dr. Brian Keay said in an interview Friday.

Founder JZ Knight attracted Hollywood celebrities, and people from all across the country who pay big bucks to hear her speak.

Knight claims to channel a 35,000-year-old spirit, “Ramtha.”

Alluding to the teachings at Ramtha, former follower Virginia Coverdale said, “We’re more powerful than we realize, our brain can do all sorts of things, quantum theory, these things are what excited me and a lot of other people that got involved.”

Coverdale said her family started following Knight more than three decades ago. She said members were encouraged to drink a concoction of Dead Sea water mixed with Red Devil Lye to enlighten themselves. She said her mother and brother were among those who drank the lye concoction.

“This wasn’t just a onetime thing,” Coverdale said. “They were taking it for five years and Ramtha at one point told them to chug it. This was not just a teaspoon in the morning, in the evening. People were losing their hair.”

“If I feed you lye, it’s going to cause huge ulcers in your esophagus; it could kill you if you took it straight,” Keay said.

The physician said he met many of the followers through his practice and was so concerned that he wrote a letter to the Thurston County Health Department warning that followers were getting sick and, Keay claimed, even dying.

A spokesperson for JZ Knight denies she had followers drink lye and characterized the allegations as innuendo and hearsay. The group says Keay’s letter should never have become public.

“Concerning Keay’s letter,” the Knight spokesperson said, “there will be a complaint filed with the Washington State Medical Board.  Keay’s medical opinions in the letter may constitute a breach of HIPAA and the standards of professional conduct of the Washington Department of Health Medical Quality Assurance Commission.”

But Coverdale is standing by her claims.

“I would like to believe that nothing that horrible, Jonestown’ish could happen, but when people are willing to drink poison for five years, it tells you that it’s possible,” Coverdale said.


The Thurston County Sheriff`s Office confirmed the letter, sent to them in late 2012, is the subject of an active invsestigation, but would not comment on its status.

“I think that investigation is stuck in the mud,” Keay said.

“I would like to see open dialogue, a frank, honest discussion about what’s going on, and it’s not happening,” Keay added.

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office tells Q13 FOX News that the letter is part of an ongoing investigation, but that the Ramtha School of Enlightenment is not the target of that probe.

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  • guest

    why would you call anything "shocking" that comes out of these cults of nut cases? The only thing that surprises me is that people are too stupid to see it coming.

  • exit

    yes the recipe to make the mix were taught behind closed doors at rse. after people got sick ramtha called it off. jz aka ramtha encouraged people to drink it. after that the heavy wine drinking started.
    karma is real and will catch up with jz. up to now she could keep it quiet by slandering and ruining whistle blowers.i hope the exposing videos are still out there and find their way into public view. there are no 'school teachings' on them only a drunk psychotic tyrant who controls more or less her followers.

  • exit

    the mix was called seawater 11. the rich followers got red sea water the second choice was salt lake water. the average follower got water locally. from the pacific several miles off coast from a certain dept. the lye got used to fall out a white pasty concentrate of ' miraculous elements' the ph was carefully controlled. there were no immediate damage. the long term effects are probably horrific. that was 1998 so denying that is an outrage. they certainly hope that the followers from that time are dead, too sick, out of town or still in jzs controlling grip.

  • ???

    Okay how does this whole reporting thing work? Report first – then investigate the source?? The lady in this interview accused her brother and mother of drinking red devil lye for 5 years. I know her so I contacted her personally and asked why she would say such BS on TV. She said it was poor editing and she didnt actually say that??!! Well thats cute.
    Pretty hefty claims being made by a woman who did not live in this state at that time or go to the Ramtha school then. Just sain.
    I was in the school during those days – NO ONE drank red devill lye. It was used to calibrate PH meters. If anyone drank red devil lye I was certainly fortunate enough not to be involved with those idiots.
    Come on people – if you regret your own life choices and beliefs. Change em till it works for you! and stop smearing innocent people for theirs. Ridiculous!

  • exit

    It was used to calibrate PH meters.

    that is not correct. the lye got used to fall out a white substance.

    correct is that no one drank lye pure.

    you might have not been in the advanced groups in your time or totaly unaware whats going on around you.

    if you don't mind comment on the prosac and wine consumption too. that we get an insight how denial works.

    • ???

      Would be happy to comment on both but since your primary goal seems to be to dismiss MY experience and MY opinion by "demonstrating how denial works" whats the point?

      No really? What is your point?? To dismiss anyone who had a positive experiences at the Ramtha School as brainwashed cult members? To prove you can make anyone look like an idiot?? Good for you. Not impressed.

      In the spirit of TELLING THE TRUTH I invite you to contact Miss Coverdale directly and ask her if her mother and brother EVER consumed lye …

  • Tristan Luke

    No one has mentioned our own FDA allows 5g of propylene glycol per kg of body weight in processed foods: a shocking amount according to European countries, who restrict it to one fifth that amount, or that our own EPA has approved yet another Agent Orange formulation (slightly chemically different from the Vietnam exfoliant, but still causes cancer, Parkinson’s, and birth defects) including Roundup. Or that people drink fluorosalicylic acid daily in their drinking water: an insane thing to water supply and a violation of Nuremberg Codes. Or that children are permitted to drink cola drinks with aspartame in them: a potent and dangerous neurotoxin and excitotoxin. This doctor has a legitimate concern; unfortunately, he’ll have to appeal to some of the most poisonous and corrupt agencies on Earth to address them.

  • Erick Kline

    I am watching “Through the Rabbit a Hole” as I write this. One thing that strikes me is the affectations of Ms. Knight. She’s from Roswell, New Mexico yet she speaks with a faux British accent. That and the mans pipe she’s holding give me the impression she’s full of crap.

    • Jim Murphy

      The only thing I like about JZ Knight is that fine Meerschaum Pipe (her “Manly Ramtha” Prop) – I want it ! Furthermore, If Houdini’s wife could never conjure up his Spirit, then for me JZ certainly can’t Channel this “35,000 yr. old Warrior”. I say Bunkola & 1/2 – She probably thought she could make more $ off this than picking Cotton.

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