JZ Knight Tirade Videos Submitted to Politicians She Supports

(This article was originally published on the Freedom Foundation blog on May 8, 2014, written by Glen Morgan, while he was the Property Rights Director at the Freedom Foundation.  The original article posting was deleted by the Freedom Foundation in 2017.  It has been reposted here exactly as it was originally written. Some links no longer work and have been removed and some original images are no longer included in the article)

May 8, 2014

gmorgan's picture
Glen Morgan, Property Rights Director, Freedom Foundation

“However bizarre the facts, Freedom Foundation believes in transparency and accountability for public officials, even when a 35,000 year old warrior would prefer to keep it secret.”

JZ Knight, a local curiosity in Yelm, Wash., recently became the single largest donor to the Democrat Party in Thurston County. Her recent donation of $65,000 is notable because just 18 months ago, Washington State Democrats and a variety of local Democrat candidates rejected contributions from Knight.

Knight, who has built a multi-million dollar business around her claim to channel a 35,000-year-old warrior named “Ramtha,” gave generously in 2012 to liberal candidates at the national, state, and local levels. When disenchanted former members of the “Ramtha School of Enlightenment” (RSE) released videos showing Knight in profanity-laced tirades against Mexicans, Catholics, and other minorities, most candidates and the Washington State Democrats publicly disavowed Knight and gave her money away to charities.

Dwight Pelz rejected JZ Knight's donations in 2012
Dwight Pelz, Chair, Washington State Democratic Party, rejected JZ Knight’s donations in 2012

Freedom Foundation became involved in the story through work on behalf of local business and property owners. Many locals believe Knight’s political cash and connections have protected RSE from the same level of regulatory scrutiny faced by other businesses and property owners in Thurston County. Because of Knight’s close connection with policymakers, Freedom Foundation believed the videos of her tirades were relevant to the public and helped make them available online. (Knight attempted legal action against the Freedom Foundation, which ended last year when she lost and was ordered to pay the Freedom Foundation’s legal costs.)

After dithering and turning a minor story into a week of bad press, Dwight Pelz, then the chairman of the State Democrats, finally made clear the videos of Knight demonstrated values inconsistent with what the Democrat Party believed. Pelz emphasized that the Party had not solicited funds from Knight. Most candidates divested their campaigns of funds from Knight. In fact, the only candidates to keep Knight’s money were State Supreme Court Justice Susan Owens and President Barak Obama.

Political memories are short. Add to that the success of Knight’s legal persecution of former RSE followers and the video record of Knight’s bizarre and bigoted statements has all but disappeared. This has allowed the latest recipients of Knight’s political cash to claim she was somehow taken out of context in the previous controversy.

This creates an odd and troubling scenario.

Organizations like JZ Knight can clearly buy significant influence within a political party, but should they be able to completely suppress the truth? By spending millions of dollars on litigation and harassment of hundreds of former members and others, should they be able to “put the genie back in the bottle”?

I don’t think so. This is why I took the extraordinary step of submitting the original videos to Thurston County and other government entities involved in this controversy. This forces the politicians involved to confront the views of one of their major supporters, but it also means any citizen can request the videos as a public record and judge for themselves.

If you want to get a copy of these videos, download this information request document, fill in your contact information, and send it to Thurston County.

Fortunately for everyone who lives in the United States, we have a constitution that protects free speech. This includes Knight and her ancient warrior whom she claims travels through space and time to Yelm to make nasty comments about Mexicans, Catholics, Jews, and organic farmers. With freedom comes responsibility. However bizarre the facts, Freedom Foundation believes in transparency and accountability for public officials, even when a 35,000 year old warrior would prefer they remain secret.

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