The nastiest litigation saga by the most litigious cult leader – JZ Knight – finally came to an end last month. Knight lost her final legal effort in Federal Court to turn former cult member Virginia Coverdale into a perpetual indentured servant. Federal Judge Brian Lynch wrote in his findings of fact filed December 15th:
“Overall, this Court’s conclusion is that JZK was intent on suppressing efforts by Coverdale to expose tenets and practices of RSE because it might cause serious damage to its reputation. JZK attempted to use its superior financial resources to intimidate its dissident ex-students by its lawsuit. Coverdale had the temerity to defend herself in a lawsuit pursued vigorously by J.Z. Knight and JZK.” The 31-page court findings of fact and conclusions of law document (linked here) is a damning rebuke of JZ Knight’s abusive harassment of a former cult member.
JZ Knight claims to channel the 35,000 year old homicidal Lemurian warrior spirit named “Ramtha.” JZ Knight claims to channel Ramtha from her compound, located near the City of Yelm in Thurston County, Washington State. Virginia Coverdale was a former member who left the cult and attempted to warn local government officials and current cult followers about JZ Knight’s racist and bizarre behavior. JZ Knight initiated aggressive legal action against Coverdale in an attempt to silence her and intimidate other followers from exposing the truth about Knight.
Coverdale had few resources and sparse legal representation during most of the five year legal drama. JZ Knight spent nearly a million dollars to harass Coverdale over the past five years, and it is difficult to prevail in Washington State’s court system with such a disparity of resources. Eventually Coverdale was forced into bankruptcy by Knight’s relentless legal harassment.
“While JZK attempts to portray Coverdale’s primary purpose as an attempt to expose and discredit J.Z. Knight and RSE, that is a bit of the pot calling the kettle black. There is more evidence that JZK used the lawsuit and the damages award as an attempt to dissuade Coverdale and other ex-RSE members from speaking out about RSE and J.Z. Knight’s statements, teachings and behaviors…” Judge Lynch Dec 15, 2017 (Western District Federal Court Case No. 16-44453-BDL “JZK , Inc vs. Coverdale”)
However, this wasn’t enough for Knight, who took the unusual step of attempting to force the Federal court to uniquely recognize Knight’s hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal bills as “non-dischargeable” debt. If Knight had succeeded in this effort, Coverdale would have been forced to pay Knight for decades to reimburse the cult leader for it’s litigious harassment. Knight claimed in court documents that Coverdale’s efforts to defend herself in court constituted “malicious defense.” Federal Bankruptcy Judge Brian Lynch rejected Knight’s efforts in the scathing 31-page decision (linked here).
Knight was first publicly exposed in 2012 when videos were posted on Youtube showing her racist and hateful speeches about Mexicans, Catholics, Jews, and others. Knight was one of the largest donors to the Washington State Democratic Party at the time, and was on President Obama’s state reelection committee. Shortly after these videos were released, the Washington State Democratic Party divested themselves from JZ Knight and her Ramtha cash stash. Coverdale released one of the original videos exposing Knight at the time. This author, receiving additional videos from former cult members also released additional videos. Litigation against everyone the spirit channeler didn’t like was JZ Knight’s reflexive response.
Judge Lynch effectively summarized Coverdale’s JZ Knight lawsuit drama in his final decision. This author’s lawsuit experience was less dramatic. Just a wasteful and foolish effort by Knight to pretend she had some type of copyright protection for her racist speeches in Federal Court. After floundering through the early stages of what was certain to be an epic legal disaster, Knight dropped her lawsuit against this author and the Freedom Foundation, which employed me at the time.
Knight spent an impressive fortune attempting to mitigate and reduce the public exposure of her racist tirades. Her threats of litigation against Youtube, Vimeo, and other video service providers ensured that the videos would be hard to find on the internet. Additionally, her threats against local governments also ensured they would not expose her weird, racist behavior.
Her attempt to control the Democratic Party did not stop there, however. The Washington State Democratic Party was wise enough to avoid overtly tainting themselves by further association with the cult leader and the ancient warrior spirit named Ramtha. However, the Thurston County Democratic Party was less discriminating. From 2014 to 2016 the Thurston County Democrats and their local candidates continued to accept over $216,000 worth of donations and support from Knight. JZ Knight/Ramtha was the largest donor to the Thurston County Democratic Party in its entire history. These local candidates included Olympia City Council member Jim Cooper, failed Thurston
County Commissioner candidate Kelsey Hulse, Thurston County Auditor Mary Hall, and 22nd Leg District Representative Dolan from Olympia. Additionally, Knight funded a local failed political action committee called “People for Thurston PAC” which was managed by Jay Manning, the former Director of the Washington State Department of Ecology and former Chief of Staff for former Governor Gregoire.
The price for selling out to JZ Knight/Ramtha
The association with JZ Knight and her shady political cash also appeared to have legal repercussions for most of the candidates she supported. For example:
- The Thurston County Democrats were sued by the Washington State Attorney General for campaign finance violations based on a series of complaints filed by this author. They remain in litigation. The previous chair, Katie Nelson resigned.
- Olympia City Councilman Jim Cooper lost his 2016 campaign to become Thurston County Commissioner. He was also sued by the Washington State Attorney General for campaign finance violations based on complaints filed by this author. He remains in litigation today. He has also continued to violate the law during his recent re-election campaign to the Olympia City Council.
- Kelsey Hulse failed in her campaign to become Thurston County Commissioner in 2016. She was also sued by the Attorney General based on a complaint
filed by this author. She recently settled this lawsuit after paying a fine.
- Jay Manning, in addition to being sued by the Attorney General for his own failure to follow Washington State’s campaign finance laws based on a complaint filed by this author, was also forced to settle an additional lawsuit for a wide variety of campaign finance violations he committed while directing Knight’s failed Cult PAC effort in Thurston County. Strangely, the Washington State Democratic Party financially bailed him out of the fines and penalties.
- Representative Dolan is also a serious violator of the state’s campaign finance laws during her 2016 election campaign based on a complaint also filed by this author.
Knight’s efforts to control Thurston County after she had purchased the loyalty and support of the Thurston County Democrats appear to have failed for now, but she continued to litigate, threaten, and harass Coverdale in order to ensure that the steady stream of cult members who were leaving Ramtha’s orbit would remain silent as they departed. No kiss and tell memoirs here. The message was heard loud and clear, and to JZ Knight and Ramtha, it was worth the cash Knight squandered in the process.
The final effort to put Coverdale in permanent indentured servitude to Ramtha has failed. Coverdale, a single mom who dared to stand up to a wealthy, powerful cult figure, should feel vindicated after this final stage of the legal marathon has concluded. It has taken its toll on Coverdale for sure, but there are very few left in Thurston County who see Knight as just another weird, eccentric, harmless fringe mystic living behind the walls of her compound in Yelm. Most people now see this Cult leader as the weird, racist, vindictive person she is.
Even the Thurston County Democrats are avoiding the allure of cult cash this time around. Recently elected Democrat Chair Boudicca Walsh, a self described Trans Radical Witch, is no fan of the JZ Knight/Ramtha Cult. Boudicca appears to be steering clear of the drama and strings that cult cash would bring. This is just another reason, among many, that Boudicca Walsh is this author’s favorite Democratic County Party Chair in the entire State of Washington.
The people of Thurston County and Washington State should thank Coverdale for persevering through this nasty, bullying legal assault by Knight. Coverdale can finally move on with her life. Knight will continue to fleece her followers of their hard earned cash during her secretive and hidden Ramtha channeling tirades – while hopefully making some effort to avoid too many more racist tirades.
The Democratic Party will work hard to bury its past association with this diminishing cult leader (the cash was great while it lasted). It finally took a fearless woman willing to expose Knight for who she really was for people to notice. It finally took a clear eyed Federal judge to put an end to the legal warfare conducted by this wealthy cult leader. And, finally it took a Trans Radical Witch to stand up to a racist Cult leader claiming to channel a 35,000 year old warrior spirit named Ramtha in order for the Democratic Party to go cold turkey from the cult cash.
Nobody can ever claim the political scene in Thurston County is boring.
OUR CONSTITUTION BEGINS WITH THE PHRASE “WE THE PEOPLE.” IT WAS THE FOUNDER’S INTENT THAT GOVERNMENT BE CREATED BY THE PEOPLE, TO SERVE THE PEOPLE. IT WASN’T THEIR INTENTION FOR THE PEOPLE TO SERVE THE GOVERNMENT. IT WAS ALWAYS INTENDED THAT GOVERNMENT WHICH FAILED TO SERVE THE PEOPLE SHOULD BE “ALTERED OR ABOLISHED.” UNTIL WE RETURN TO THE FOUNDER’S INTENT, WE REMAIN WE THE GOVERNED…
Background articles (Additional Source Docs Below):
Thurston County Democrats Campaign Finance Lawsuit – Original AG lawsuit – March 6, 2017 – Thurston County Superior Court #17-2-00972-34 (Same Document can be downloaded from this site here)
Thurston County Democratic Commissioner candidate Jim Cooper Campaign Finance Lawsuit – Original AG lawsuit – December 19, 2016 – Thurston County Superior Court #16-2-04960-34 (Same Document can be downloaded from this site here)
Thurston County Democratic Commissioner candidate Kelsey Hulse Campaign Finance Lawsuit – Final Settlement – March 2, 2017 – Thurston County Superior Court #17-2-00848-34 (Same Document can be downloaded from this site here)
Jay Manning/JZ Knight SuperPAC “People for Thurston PAC” – Financial Disclosure Documents (C3) filed with the PDC August 11, 2017 – shows $5,320 donation from Washington State Party (Same Document can be downloaded from this site here)
(Full Disclosure: Ramtha and JZ Knight sued the author in 2014 in Federal Court for providing videos of various racist tirades she/it made in previous years to her/it’s followers as part of a public record to the Thurston County Commissioners (whose political campaigns she/it funded). Ramtha/JZ Knight claimed that the videos were selectively “edited.” She/it refused to release a full unedited video to prove the clips were edited out of context. Finally, she/it wisely chose to drop the hopeless lawsuit in 2015 since it was obvious all JZ Knight/Ramtha claims were bogus. The author also filed the PDC complaints which led to AG litigation against the Thurston County Democrats, failed commissioner candidate Jim Cooper, and failed commissioner candidate Kelsey Hulse, and Senator Sam Hunt, among others. The author was hopeful to see common sense restored to Thurston County once again despite the large sums of money spent by JZ Knight/Ramtha and supervised by Jay Manning. Life can truly be stranger than fiction).