Ramtha videos trigger a political uproar

by Bruce A. Smith

 A wave of highly edited video clips from several teachings of Ramtha the Enlightened One have ignited a firestorm in local political contests, especially the battles for Thurston County Council and the state senate race in the 2nd LD.

 The first video was produced by Virginia Coverdale, a former student at Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment (RSE), and apparently was expanded by other disaffected ex-students.  A two-minute-plus clip compiled from at least three different events at RSE was delivered to the Republican Party by Ms. Coverdale and subsequently used by the Republicans to attack several Democratic candidates in local races, most notably incumbent Sandra Romero in her bid to keep her Thurston County Council seat, and Bruce Lachney, who is challenging Randi Becker in the 2nd Legislative District for the state senate.

 Both Romero and Lachney spoke at the Ramtha School in September and have received some financial support from Ramtha’s channel, JZ Knight.  The Lachney campaign confirms that he received $3,600 from Knight, and published reports list that Romero has received $1,800.

 In addition, Knight gave the Washington State Democratic Party an additional $50,000 and the Obama campaign $45,000.  Reportedly, Knight also gave Democrat Denny Heck $3,500 for his campaign in the new 10th Congressional District, and Supreme Court Justice Susan Owens received $1,800.

 At the core of the controversy are exceptionally profane remarks by Ramtha against the Catholic Church in which he lambastes priests engaging in pedophilia.  Coverdale expanded her attacks on Friday, October 26, when she joined forces with the conservative Freedom Foundation and released a second video of Ramtha, this time castigating Catholics of Mexican decent. 

 Those outraged by these videos make no distinction between JZ Knight and Ramtha, and they claim that her political contributions are so contaminated by polemic vitriol that the recipients of her donations should return the money and distance themselves from Ramtha’s remarks.

 “If I had said what she (JZ Knight/Ramtha) said, I’d be run out of town on a rail,” Kirby Wilbur, chair of the Washington State Republican Party told the Mountain News this week; and he is calling for the Democratic candidates to return the money.

 In rebuttal, officials at the Ramtha School say the video clips take Ramtha’s teachings out of context, and should be seen as highly doctored documents that serve a fierce political agenda.

 Still unresolved at this point, however, is the overall context of Ramtha’s teachings – what did he say and what does he really teach.  Nevertheless, RSE officials state that the videos are copyrighted material and private property, and are being improperly used by the Republicans and Coverdale. 

 Andrea McNeeley, a Tacoma attorney retained by RSE, told the Mountain News that her firm is investigating this unauthorized use and is considering taking legal action against Ms. Coverdale.  In addition, Ms. McNeeley said that she would be contacting the Republican Party and asking them “to take down” the videos.

 For her part, Coverdale feels that she has done nothing wrong, and claims that her actions are covered by “Fair Use” doctrines even though those provisions are generally reserved for teachers who want to use copyrighted materials in their classrooms or for academics conducting research.

 For the moment, RSE is putting the issue into a framework that Coverdale is an angry ex-student driven primarily by unrequited love.

 On October 24, RSE released a letter from Coverdale’s brother, Dave Champagne, which seemed to explain his sister’s release of the videos as part of her emotional response to having an affair with JZ Knight’s former long-term romantic partner, James Flick.  Mr. Champagne’s letter suggests that in the aftermath of her liaison with Flick his sister became disaffected with Ramtha, befriended other wayward RSE students and that she then became immersed in the political campaign of Sandra Romero’s Republican challenger, Andrew Barkis.  Eventually, her passions led her to find the means to discredit Romero through the Ramtha videos.

 However, Coverdale’s statements to the Mountain News reveal that more than just lust and love is at stake, and her actions may be the opening salvos in an effort to discredit JZ Knight, Ramtha, and all of RSE.

 “I was over James Flick a long time ago,” she said.  “That was four years ago.”

 Now, Virginia says that she wants to destroy what she considers a cult, and expose JZ Knight as a fraud.

 Virginia says that she began being “processed out of the cult” in February of 2012 when Ramtha delivered an eleven-hour teaching during which he harshly criticized Coverdale for her relationship with Flick.

 “Ramtha twice called me a whore – you call that being enlightened?” she said.

 Coverdale says that she then began associating with about 400 disaffected Ramtha students who still live in the Yelm area and found solace.

 Then, several weeks ago she received “anonymously” a flash drive copy of the momentous February event.  She took it to some of her ex-RSE friends, and a small group began composing the video that was delivered to the Republicans.  Some footage was added from the Romero-Lachney presentation in September. 

 In addition, video clips circulating on Facebook and YouTube show a third section that has Ramtha wearing a brightly-colored floral tunic and claiming that he purposefully sought to become outrageous to protect the school.  This piece seems to be from an older video known as the RSE “Rockumentary,” which was released about ten years ago.

 Nevertheless, there are multiple versions of the video that Coverdale and her associates produced, and it is unclear how many different Ramtha events were accessed and how many videographers amended the tapes.

 As for attacking JZ Knight, along with the new video that features what she characterizes as ethnic slurs against Mexicans, Coverdale is accusing JZ of  criminal wrongdoing, including unemployment fraud with RSE staff and money laundering,

 “I want her exposed as a con-artist and put in jail,” Coverdale said.

 Along those lines, Virginia’s brother Dave told the Mountain News that his sister feels that JZ Knight gave the money to Romero and the others to curry political favor, in particular for county officials to “look the other way” regarding code violations at the Ramtha school.  Champagne scoffs at his sister’s accusations, but they reveal the depths of her intentions.

 However, Ms Coverdale has not offered any evidence to support those claims.  Further, Ms Coverdale is threatening to release all eleven hours of the video that she obtained surreptitiously.

 ©  2012  Bruce A. Smith

Disclosure Notice:  I have been a student at Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment since 1988; however, I have not attended regularly since 2008. – BAS.

 Addendum

 1.  Here is a link to Virginia Coverdale’s first video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zMn8wOfrSM&feature=share

 2.  Here is the second video:

 http://www.myfreedomfoundation.com/index.php/can/view/jz_ramthas_enligtened_view_on_mexicans

3.  RSE has hired a public relations firm, Wynne Communications, which has released the following statement regarding the videos:

“The quotes were taken out of context and not meant to disparage Catholics.  The comments were meant to draw attention to the abuses and subsequent cover-ups of the Catholic Church and not intended to criticize any individuals of any persuasion.  JZ Knight has always supported the rights of the LGBT community including marriage equality and legal benefits.

 “JZ Knight is a private citizen and like, all Americans, has the right to support the candidates of her choice.  JZ Knight is very concerned about the choices in this election, nationally, statewide and locally.  She supports the rights of women, the poor, the elderly, the middle class and the environment.  JZ has publicly urged hundreds of thousands of people on the importance of voting this year and she supports an honest and open election where all citizens have the right to vote.”

4.  Dave Champagne’s letter describing his sister, Virginia Coverdale, actions is reproduced below:

 “I was a student in the Ramtha School for approximately ten years, from 1991 to 2001. I am not a current student and don’t represent the school.  I remember the Ramtha School as very unorthodox but as a place of peace and empowerment.  Although I no longer attend the school, most of my friends and family have attended at one time and we all think the world of the work they do there.

 “Virginia Coverdale is my sister.  She is largely responsible for the creation and distribution of recent videos about the Ramtha School.  These videos are deliberately edited to make it seem that the school is a dangerous haven for child abuse and homophobia.  Firsthand I can say that is not even remotely true.

“I am deeply saddened that my sister has allowed her personal unresolved hurts and grudges to taint and distort the truth and actions of this school of thousands of innocent people worldwide, many of whom I know to be decent and loving people.  What is more disturbing to me — and the reason I am finally speaking up after many months of silence — is that the motivation for my sister’s actions is based purely on bitterness and anger.

“Virginia had an affair with JZ Knight’s partner, James Flick, a couple of years ago.  James had left my sister within weeks of the affair being found out.  She felt humiliated and became rageful and angry, not just at James but at JZ Knight as well.  Virginia spent much of her time obsessing over them both and she couldn’t let it go.  In the past year Virginia’s obsession took the form of blogging with other disenfranchised ex-Ramtha School students about JZ Knight.

“A few months ago, she told me and my family that she was working on the Andrew Barkis Campaign for Thurston County Commissioner.  She said she was hoping if she did a good job helping him get elected, he would offer her a job after the election.  We were all glad she was pursuing productive work and getting on with her life.  She said part of her objective was to oust current County Commissioner Sandra Romero.

“When we saw the videos she posted on YouTube and distributed to state and local officials, we were shocked and sickened but we were not surprised.  I tried to convince myself this was just dirty politics . . . but the videos clearly showed us that she is taking her rage against JZ and the Ramtha School to a broader audience under the guise of a political agenda.  Sandra Romero and the campaign against her was just a convenient excuse.

“I never wanted to have to say these deeply personal things about my sister but I just can’t allow such blatant distortions of the Ramtha School to go undefended by someone who has both been there and knows Virginia’s motivations.

“I’d like to add that I know BOTH Sandra Romero and Andrew Barkis personally.  I don’t feel either one of them deserves to be attacked in any manner like this.  Sandra Romero, especially, has my deepest sympathies.”

 -Dave Champagne

 Dave’s letter can be accessed at the RSE web site:

http://www.rse-newsletter.com/2012/10/david-champagne-7-family-brother-of-virginia-coverdale-shares-his-story-in-his-own-words/

 5.  The question of what degree of responsibility a political candidate has to accept or reject the ethics of those who donate money is addressed by Republican James Vaughn, who lost in the State Senate primary to Randi Becker.  The letter was given to the Mountain News by officials at RSE, and is reproduced in full, below:

 “I am not a fan of JZ Knight and understand your position.  However, the fact that Bruce (Lachney) gave a speech to a group of JZ Knight Followers should be commended.  With that in mind, I did not hear any complaints or see Bruce Lachney attack Randi Becker for speaking to “The League of Women Voters” that tends to be extremely liberal.  Bottom line is that elected officials represent everyone.

“I object to the false presentation that superimposed more than one video to create a distorted and disgusting attack on Bruce Lachney.  I am even more distressed that the Republican Party “Paid for and Authorized” this attack.  As a Republican, I am embarrassed and offended by this attack.  Personally, I am fed up with both parties.  I vote for the person not the party.

“Bruce (Lachney) spent 6 years defending our country and has led an exemplary life.  He does not deserve this attack.  In my 58 years, I have never seen a more disgusting act of dirty politics.  We have real and serious problems and I want the most qualified person to represent me.

“Randi Becker’s term as Senator was a disaster.  With a budget deficit, problems with healthcare, education and so on, her only claim to fame in four years was to get a bill passed so all the yellow traffic lights would go on and off at the same rate of speed.

“After getting $2400 in campaign contributions from Premera Blue Cross she tried to submit an amendment that would deny citizens access to information on increases in their health insurance.

“Randi Becker also tried to get a bill passed that would force nursing homes to use recycled medicine.  After, Federal investigators have raided pharmacies in Seattle and Bellingham looking for evidence that potentially dangerous returned drugs were being resold to elderly and disabled patients without their knowledge Becker retracted Senate Bill 6048.

“The fact that someone objects to a candidate willing to represent everyone in opposition to Randi Becker that is a puppet for the special interest groups, willing to screw the citizens of our state amazes me.  I vote for the person, not the party.  The fact that we paid her salary for four years in which she accomplished zilch is a waste of taxpayer dollars. Bruce Lachney has my vote.

Jim Vaughn
Former GOP Candidate for WA State Senate 2LD
US Army Retired

6.  JZ Knight has issued a second press release in response to the airing of the second video

Yelm, Washington. October 26, 2012 — JZ Knight and Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment have learned today that a group responsible for disseminating a misleading and heavily edited video has plans for another posting.  The group has now threatened to post a new video that includes several hours of footage from an online event sponsored by the School.  The School’s attorneys believe that this may violate copyright law and be in breach of a contract signed by one of the group’s members.  The School is investigating and will seek legal protection if necessary.

About Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment
Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment (RSE) was established in 1988 by Ramtha the Enlightened One as an academy of the mind that offers retreats and workshops to participants from all over the world and from all walks of life.  Using ancient wisdom and the latest discoveries in neuroscience and quantum physics, RSE teaches students how to access the extraordinary abilities of the brain to “Become a Remarkable Life®.”  Ramtha’s teachings are not a religion.  They offer a unique perspective from which to view the mystery of life.  For more information, please visit www.ramtha.com.

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36 Responses to Ramtha videos trigger a political uproar

  1. Gregory says:

    Another good article Bruce…Thanks.

  2. Sean says:

    Good for Virginia Coverdale. She’s doing exactly what “Ramtha” says is the most important commandment: “Make known the unknown.” The more people learn about JZ Knight and her flimflammery, the less likely they’ll be to fall for her nonsense.

    • saralondono - iris campesino-londono says:

      I think Virginia is still like a 4 year old children whith a tantrum, nobody is
      agreeing with you, you get really angry and you want to destroy everithing around you because your emotions are driving you crazy!! and you want to destroy the undistructible and we now who we are and we now who Ramtha is. and dont think that she is making known the unknown, she is an angry woman with an agenda!!!
      This is from Iris,i am in RSE school for ten YEARS and i am ten YEAS OLD, i do nont now what virginia is talking about when she say that in R.S.E they abuse the children. i ‘ found 143 cards in the fild bindfolded , i hit the center 5 times in archery, i went to the tank when i was 5 and when i was 8 and made it to de void the center of the takn, i never been abuse by been blinfold and they put ducktape around my blainder becuse they dont want me too peek and see where the door was and i really had fun and really loved the school.

      • Virginia Coverdale says:

        To Iris:
        Focus works! Focus is great! For thousands of years people have done these exercises to expand their minds. If Ramtha is real don’t worry sweetheart, Ramtha can take care of himself right? There is nothing to be afraid of. If you think I am wrong that is okay but I am not doing this because of what you have been told. They are lies. I am doing this because I found out that JZ lies all the time and I don’t believe her anymore. You get to believe what you want to, that is what is great about America.

        To your parents: I never said that anyone abused children. I said the situation at the ranch is dangerous because many believe that “ramtha” will protect them there and that gives them a false sense of security. The disciplines your child is doing, all STOLEN from somewhere else right down to the blue webs. WE have done our research. Please, keep teaching your child focus but know that skill did not come from JZ Knight. Look up Adler and others. Its all right in there.

  3. joshmagill says:

    Bruce, I’m curious, and it was not explained in the article or additional material, why Coverdale’s brother or you have attended since 2001 and 2008, respectively. What stopped you from going? Could there be more that has happened since? Let’s hear from some of those “wayward” students and their thoughts. I feel that just as past spiritual leaders have been held accountable in the past for their words when they speak, especially after involving themselves in the political arena, so should JZ Knight (Ramtha). It hasn’t been proven that they are not one in the same person, but only Knight’s word that she is channeling. Because of that I feel Knight must take responsibility for the words that come from her mouth, no matter who she says is talking. I saw the videos and was discouraged by it. I’m not sure what context you could put it in to make it sound okay.

    • joshmagill says:

      This should say why you and Coverdale “haven’t” attended.

      • brucesmith49 says:

        Ah, Josh, great minds do think alike, and your comments reflect my current thinking – that I should begin to put down on paper what I have learned at the Ramtha School. It’s a long story and daunting to tell, I suppose, but it’ll be a good story.

        Short version: I’ve learned a lot. I am wiser and more trustworthy. I am more insightful and resilient. I know more about myself and the world. I know a ton more about quantum physics, neurobiology, and the psychology of me. I know more about Big Power and Big Money, especially the power-tripping of the Catholic Church. It’s been a grand ride and worth every penny I have spent, which is about 30 grand the last time I counted, which is about what I paid for my Masters, to put it all into “context,” financially.

        That said, I stopped going because I ran out of money. But at a deeper level I needed to stand on my own two feet and not be anyone’s student, not even Ramtha’s. I had to become my own teacher, one might say in a kind of Zen-Buddhist way, but in the language of RSE I had to find my own way as the path to enlightenment is an “alone journey.” At some point you have to walk just by yourself, and I started doing that on a grander scale a couple years back.

  4. Rob Brown says:

    I have been a student at the Ramtha’s school since 2003 and I have attended all of the events that were spliced to make these tapes. Although the words are harsh and obscene, there is an underlying truth to them, at least for some people listening to them. Hypocrisy is a target for Ramtha no matter how politically incorrect it may seem to the sensitive listener. There are many, many Mexicans in the school. There are also some Catholic priests, a bunch of Jews and many homosexuals. There are also straights and white Anglo Saxon Protestants too. People from all over the world attend the school and relish the teachings. Ramtha takes his students away from their national, cultural, sexual and religious social consciousness and has them consider higher levels of consciousness. The teachings are profound and have meaning on many levels, depending on one’s attitude.. If Ramtha and JZ are one and the same, then JZ would have an uncanny intelligence and an unearthly perspective. I do think JZ is an extraordinary woman with great intellect, but she is not Ramtha…

    • Josh Magill says:

      And it is fine that you feel that way, Rob. But Knight cannot separate herself from comments “made by Ramtha” and her political donations. There is a connection and I’m glad we can see who is donating. If RSE feels the comments were out of context, then they should show it in context. Or do we have to pay for that?

  5. Virginia Coverdale says:

    I feel it was unethical Bruce that you did not inform me that you are a follower of JZ Knight. We all know that not being “current” does not mean you are an ex member. Ex members are the brave people trying to expose this charlatan of which I am only one of 400.
    I do not see you denouncing the horrendous comments she has made.

    Also, I have said over and over and over that I did NOT give these videos to the Republican party. WE (400 ex members of Ramtha School from Yelm and around the world) put this out and circulated it and the republicans picked it up. Finally the only people that continue to attack the whistle blowers (mostly me of course) are either cult followers or people trying to rescue the corrupt commissioners of Thurston County….or both. I see you made an attempt to balance this story but I find again, I find it to be unethical that you did not reveal your extreme biased in this story. Perhaps in the future as more information comes to light you will put the focus back on the person who most deserves it, JZ Knight.

    • brucesmith49 says:

      I debated with myself about telling you of my affiliation with RSE, Virginia, as we spoke. I chose not to, obviously, because I felt that I would then become the story, or mixed into yours, and that is not why I called you. I wanted to focus on your story, solely.

      This kind of dilemma arises frequently for journalists. Do I tell Republican candidates that I voted for Obama? I say, No, and I say that because as a reporter I am seeking to determine other people’s stories and to tell them in a way that is fair and impeccable. I believe my actions speak louder than my affiliations, and I believe the manner in which I conducted my interview with you is testament to my professional standards. We spoke at length and covered a variety of topics. I believe you felt heard, respected, and were getting a fair shake from me.

      That said, after writing the piece I decided that all of the people I called – Kirby Wilbur, Bruce Lachney, Democrats and Republicans, you and your brother, deserved a higher level of disclosure. Hence, I described my involvement with RSE at the end of the story. As you can see, and as you well know, the ripple effects of such disclosure are huge.

      As I told one official at RSE, and wrote above, the time for me to tell my Ramtha story is coming ‘nigh – “What I learned and how I learned it.” Stay tuned!

      Lastly, I have never hidden my participation in RSE and much of my writings here in the Mountain News are peppered with references to my being a Ramtha student and what I’ve learned in his school. The question is how to engage a hotsy-totsy story in an honest manner, not get over-whelmed and still be able to tell it in a responsible way.

  6. valerie1234 says:

    Although I take issues with a few points – I think this was fairly straight-forward journalism considering the author is/was a Ramster (current or not). I appreciate that points were covered from both sides.

    I do agree with an earlier commenter that V. Coverdale and her amazingly determined team have certainly ‘made known the unknown’.

    A quote from the article reads, “At the core of the controversy are exceptionally profane remarks by Ramtha against the Catholic Church in which he lambastes priests engaging in pedophilia.” Well heck, that might have been the ONLY thing JZ Knight uttered that I do agree with. No, no … the true “core” of this controversy is hour after hour of obscene, disgusting, hateful bigotry and vulgarity in the guise of some kind of ‘loftiness’. (Oh MY is that a slippery slope!) In Knight’s defense it is obvious that she is under the influence of alcohol.
    ~ Val Champagne

    • Dominic F says:

      “Making known the unknown” does not mean taking things out of context and editing them in such a way as to not have the whole of what’s being communicated. That is not truth and you know it. That is editing. So Ramtha gets drunk and talks shit about things he doesn’t like…so what? So that discredits the whole school then? There is no truth there..no help? No tools to help the soul evolve and you know everything you need to know about the situation from these two short videos?! Seems pretty nice and neat to me. A little too neat

      • Virginia Coverdale says:

        Since JZ as Ramtha was able to get intelligent people to drink a mixture containing Red Devil Lye for Four years even thought students hair was falling out and students were going to the hospital then yes, I believe it has already been proven that we have a Jones town situation. The only saving grace may be that they don’t live at the compound. Also, to keep saying these videos (not one short one but now many) are all “out of context” while suing me to suppress
        the full context I say that is a pathetic attempt to cover up the fact that there was no context. ..just a bitter old drunk on a hate rant. If not, ask your leader to let the full context come out.

      • valerie1234 says:

        Dominic F – I assure you the comments were not taken out of contects. I watched over TWENTY straight hours of two different events (no editing – just a rolling camera). In addition to that I am WELL VERSED in the past 25 years of Ramtha. (Yes, 25 years involvement – not as a wide-eyed student but as a very close family memember of ‘students’. Don’t try to explain what Ramtha is all about to me. I LIVED IT.
        Also, you wrote “So Ramtha gets drunk and talks shit… so what?”. Um, we’re not talking about a radio personality here – we’re talking about “THE ENLIGHTENED ONE”. If you are a follower I suggest you aim a little higher in your spiritual pursuits. Oh, and the shit of which you speak is inciteful rhetoric (that is inciteful — not INSIGHTful) against protected classes of citizens so ya, as communtiy members we’re a bit concerned.

  7. Sean says:

    Bruce –

    As someone who spent an entire career in newspaper journalism, and who was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, I have to ask this question? What school of journalism did you go to? Because your understanding of the ethics of the profession is COMPLETELY wrong.

    Your article contained egregious violations of the Code of Professional Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists. The relevant sections in the section of the code entitled Act Independently, you violated the following:
    1 – Journalists should be free of any obligation other than the public’s right to know.
    2 – Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived
    3 – Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility. 4 – Disclose unavoidable conflicts

    In other words, no editor of a reputable publication would even have permitted you to cover this story because of the potential damage to the publication’s credibility. And you would have been fired if your ethical breaches had come out — even if your editors learned of the conflicts through your own self-disclosed in your article.

    Those weren’t your only ethical breaches. In Virginia’s letter, she points out to you as she has to everyone, that she never gave the videos to the Republican Party. Under the section of the Code labelled “Seek Truth and Report It” journalists are required to “Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error.” That means if you THOUGHT Virginia told you she gave the videos to the GOP – journalism ethics required you to check with the GOP to ascertain whether she was telling the truth.

    I could point to at least a half dozen further violations of the Code of Ethics, but instead I’ll just provide the link to the Code of Ethics for further reference: http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

    You were right about one thing in your response to Virginia in which you said, by way of explaining your decision not to disclose association, when you said “This kind of dilemma arises frequently for journalists.” That’s true. Except that true journalists disclose; not conceal.

    Your violations have damaged the credibility of the Mountain News.

    • brucesmith49 says:

      Thanks for responding, Sean, and for reading the Mountain News. Wow, two nominations for the Pulitzer. Congratulations!

      As for my actions in covering this story, I believe my long-standing affiliation with RSE also afforded me a unique opportunity to contact the principals in the story and discuss the issuea at levels beyond what most reporters achieved.

      You make a good point about who actually gave the Republicans the video. My reportage could have been a little sharper. I believe the communications director at the Washington State Republican Party HQ told me that Ms Coverdale was the person “who gave us the tape,” or words to that effect, but my notes are not specific enough on that to be of much help in nailing down how the actual delivery took place. Plus, Virginia’s brother Dave makes it quite clear that his sister is the source of the tape and states that she is “largely responsible for the distribution.”

      Thanks for the link to the SPJ and their ethics database. Perhaps I’ll see you at one of the Society of Professional Journalists’ conferences, or at a meet-up in Seattle. Until then.

    • Gregory says:

      Good information Sean.

      Disclosure Notice: Though I have never met Bruce, he is a personal friend of mine. I have emailed him and talked to him on the phone. I am also an ex-Catholic, have political party affiliation, used to live in Graham, know where Yelm is…et cetera

      Really? You want to play the credentials game? Why don’t you also correct any punctuation and grammar mistakes? Both are equally relevant to the content of the article.

      You left a part out of your criticisms…

      Be Accountable
      Journalists are accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers and each other.
      Journalists should:
      — Clarify and explain news coverage and invite dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct.
      — Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media.
      — Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.
      — Expose unethical practices of journalists and the news media.
      — Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others.

      The fact that your comment was allowed through shows that Bruce allows himself to be held accountable for what he writes.

      You also left out that these guidelines are voluntary. Although, they are great rules, and ones that would benefit any journalist, and even all that are not journalists.

      Though I have never been “nominated” for a Pulitzer, I don’t agree with most of your assessment.

      This is a small paper. Who else is going to write these stories? If no one else is available (working on other stories, etc) who writes? Especially a story that is time sensitive, and will be irrelevant after the elections. I know this is no excuse, but it could be considered.

      Should he never write about things in the area since he has the bias of living there? Ridiculous example I know, but where do you draw the line, and who gets to draw it?

      This was far from a puff-piece for Ramtha; couldn’t this be considered also?

      Every story in this paper is allowed online comments from the public. Comments that are moderated. Comments that he has to allow through. Comments that may cast suspicion on his journalistic integrity. Yet he allows them. Couldn’t this be considered also?

      If Bruce were still a Catholic would that have been a reason to recuse himself? Is any/every personal similarity with a news story relevant?

      What about party affiliation? Is that relevant. Reporters who report on politics don’t vote? Is it impossible for someone to be objective about something he has an assumed personal bias about.

      I am strongly against illegal immigration, yet I treat illegals with respect and am nice to them. It’s not their fault they were able to sneak into the country, is it.

      I know reporters love to say they have no bias, or don’t allow any bias in their life…But this is just a lie, isn’t it. If someone is truthfully saying this, this speaks more to their lack of self-awareness than to the accuracy of their personal perceptions about themselves.

      The honest broker will admit bias, and not allow it to effect the facts of what they are reporting. Can a vegetarian not cook an excellent double-cheeseburger?

      I see Bruce disclosing, clarifying, correcting things…not hiding them. Could Bruce have researched more and published later? I assume so, but the main facts of the Article are still not in question, and the election is just a few days away.

      I think there is a time and place for publishing what you have, when you have it. Minor details can be worked out later. Which is what is happening with our comments. The system works, don’t hamstring yourself with niggling details. Don’t paralyze your output in pursuit of the perfect presentation of a news story.

      I am not saying no care should be taken, but this story is time sensitive. I just believe Bruce consciously picked the lesser of 2 evils. Publish what I have, or keep tweaking the presentation ’till the story becomes irrelevant.

      The news media is not a court of law, it is just the court of public opinion. And now you have my public opinion…which has as much value as yours Sean.

  8. Guest says:

    It puzzles me to read that Mr. Bruce Smith as a journalist wrote this article without mentioning his strong affiliation with RSE to V. Coverdale .
    I am German and wonder whether that would be the kind of journalism a free country deserves.

    I am following this story cause I am an ex-member of RSE as Virginia and a few hundred others. This is not a one-woman-movement..
    We are not all out here posting but be assured, there is a huge international readership right now that is very attentively watching this story unfold.

    Just my short 2 cents from overseas.

  9. Virginia Coverdale says:

    Greg, although I can understand many of your points I must put this in better context. If I speak out against Montasano and a journalist who works for Mantasano they darn well better tell me that first. We are exposing a fraud and if Bruce is aligned with the perpetrators of this crime than there is a serous breech in my opinion. Although he was fair enough to allow me my response, the fact he even included a smear from my brother and his fellow cult member is bizarre. How does 400 ex members of a cult speaking up to expose a fraud get pinned on one person? It only happens when the puppet master JZ decides to discredit me will help to exonerate her of disgusting, bigoted hate speech. I can assure you it is laughable to anyone without an agenda to protect Knight and her handlers.

    • joshmagill says:

      Virginia, that is not a good example because Bruce doesn’t work for RSE. Not including the info from your brother would not give all sides. It also speaks to potential alternate motives. I dislike JZ Knight and her school, but I do not think Bruce was being specifically deceptive.

      • Virginia Coverdale says:

        http://www.myfreedomfoundation.com/index.php/can/view/jz_ramthas_enligtened_view_on_mexicans

        Please explain how my motives have anything to do with the above video. When I see video on the news exposing crime etc.. I have never cared who posted it. I have never wondered about their motivation. Why the fascination with me? Even if everything my brother said is true, which it is not….who cares? Does it take the words “f’ing Jew” out of JZ’s mouth. There is something strange about anyone who has interest in the messenger. The only thing I can conclude is…that’s all they got. I am only one of 400 ex members working to expose JZ. If you find that smear on me to have any bearing on this story than you are one of the few outside of the cult.

        Although I see your point about the fact that Bruce does not work for RSE he is a member, mentally still entrapped in their web. When interviewing cult members in Jonestown they all spoke very positively of their experiences. I would not say they were credible reports considering the next day they were all dead. How about the motivation of Bruce to interject a completely irrelevant side of the story, my brothers. I still maintain that Bruce tried his hardest to be fair and give both sides however;
        JZ;s response was necessary to give “both sides” of the story about the video. She claims it was out of context. Although context will be coming, she has the right to respond. My brothers comments were nothing short of an excuse to attempt to smear me and highly irrelevant to the story. That is what I think it smacked as biased.

    • Gregory says:

      Virginia,

      I was also involved in a cult for 17 years (the one over on OK Highway–New Testament Christian Church in Graham [NTCC]), so can understand the importance of focusing attention on the damage a Cult can cause. And saving people from their clutches. Bruce did some articles on my Cult-of-choice a few years ago, and I thought it was very balanced (much as I wanted it to all be negative)…so my bias is his reporting is balanced. I Blog about NTCC all the time, and work toward keeping the pressure on, and influencing people to leave.

      I understand the importance of Blogging and written, video and tape evidence in influencing people to leave a Cult, and hopefully ultimately shut it down.So, I think I understand your concerns.

      My first impressions of this article were it was about politics, political contributions, and hate speech (that the JZ Knight/Ramtha angle was incidental/ancillary). Some of the specifics about the article were unacceptable to some, and maybe points of the article were overstress (your involvement) to the detriment of some other points…but, this lead to people being concerned about Bruce, and JZ Knight/Ramtha, instead of people being concerned about what forces are supporting political candidates. Which is what I assumed was the point of this article.

      Cults try to discredit those they view as a threat. JZ Knight/Ramtha do it to you, and my ex-Cult does it to me. So what, at least we all now have a voice to speak out against them, and they can’t hurt us any more. Keep up your activism Virginia.

      JZ Knight/Ramtha wants to protect itself from damaging video evidence, and the politicians who have spoken at the Compound in Yelm, and have received campaign contributions, wants the controversy to go away, and to keep the money.

      I am sure we have more than 400 ex-NTCC’rs (my Cult) in the Graham area (Tacoma, Yelm, Spanaway, Seattle, Puyallup, Bremerton, etc…Pierce/King County), but there are many more of us throughout the word (like your German friend), since NTCC has churches throughout the US, and in some countries overseas. I myself live a few states away.

      I don’t think Bruce is in collusion with JZ Knight/Ramtha, even though he is still somewhat loosely affiliated with them, especially since the article is very negative toward JZ Knight/Ramtha. Just like there are some who are not with my Cult anymore, but are not activists against them, and still have many nice things to say about NTCC.

      From the little I have found out about JZ Knight/Ramtha, I do consider them a dangerous cult. I have never mentioned this to Bruce (he knows now), but is it really relevant? Though an innocent oversight (and that is all I think it is), I don’t see Bruce’s omission of the fact of his involvement with JZ Knight/Ramtha as a problem, since regular readers of this paper already know this since he has shared it many times. I don’t think he will ever take this for granted again…lesson learned.

      He will be a better reported, and we are all better for having participated in the debate.

      I hope I understand your concerns…keep up the fight for right Virginia.

    • saralondono - iris campesino-londono says:

      she is crazy, i was reading the EMF online forum, the member they have 4 o 5 passwords with diferent names, is nothing abaut 400 ex ramtha estudent, they are the same sick assholl toking eachother nonesences.

  10. Virginia Coverdale says:

    Thank you Gregory. I hope Bruce, my brother, and all of JZ’s followers can wake up one day and realize we are doing this not only to take our power back but to prevent anymore people like them from wasting their money and losing their critical thinking. If Bruce is as nice and decent as his friends remarks suggest, and he can watch these videos and not be repulsed, then he should recognize that something is wrong. The justifications have to stop somewhere.

    You can keep the message “thought creates reality”, it wasn’t JZ’s message to begin with, but stop and really look at her messages now, do they really want to keep defending the indefensible? I know there will be a day when they can really be free. Time has not done it but perhaps as more and more information surfaces they will see what we all finally can see with uncorrupted eyes.

    Our thoughts are with all the followers and for them, and for our own rehabilitation we will continue. If anyone should need help processing out of RSE please visit: http://www.enlightenmefree.com. We know “ramtha” told you not to look at this site, that in itself should be a huge red flag.

  11. Victor Gagnon says:

    I started to read all of the BS that is being written here about the Veronica scenario and you know you are all RIGHT, you are all RIGHT. What an amazing DRAMA, academy award winning for sure. Most of you can’t see the bigger picture especially Veronica, its called being unconscious, its called being a victim, even I at this moment is caught up in your dramas but simply as an entertaining story,and you think they are real. They’re simply your consciousness creating your realty. ITS IN YOUR HEAD.
    I read your (usa) stories in the press everyday and most think that its the truth.The Ram may have pushed your buttons and believe me the Ram knows how to push your buttons, don’t you see, and now your are all reacting to your past emotions, all of you, its what you know. He is teaching something to all of you but you can’t see it. All of these comments are so human that even those that have attended the school of Ramtha are caught up in the BS that is now playing out. As humans we want to be right and will go to any extent to do so, even kill. Just check out all of the WARS we have had in the past. Just notice the arguments in your political system as its always about making someone wrong, the EGO needs to be right. What you say about the Ram or JZ is not going to change anything as you have no power over them but all of you are powerless, you are giving away your power by being who you are. You want to blame the outside world for the feelings you are now experiencing. I don’t have to defend anybody, especially the Ram and JZ, but most of you just piss me off that you say you have attended the school and then go on about these trivial stories. Have you learnt nothing, are you still unconscious. WHY??? You are all the reason why the world is in such a predicament a mess if that is your reality. Power over others, whether it be religion, or government takes your power away. When you have no power, you are simply a sheep, or cattle being manipulated and look for someone to justify being powerless. Don’t you understand that what the Ram is trying to teach us/you is that we have to have the balls to speak up for ourselves and be responsible for ourselves. Say what you chose but be responsible for your feelings, your reality,They belong to you. Nobody makes you feel anything and that is why we like to blame others for our feelings as it is much easier to blame someone else for our feelings, then we have no responsibility to ourselves, its always their problem. Emotions are chemical reactions that belong to each of us. Its time we take responsibility for ourselves. Don’t you think. You can comment all you want about my comments but what people think of me is really none of my business and I will never give you my power but will always give you my love. If Veronica had an affair than Boo hoo get over it, be responsible for your emotions, Veronica did you not have a part to play in this story. Find love in others instead of hatred because what you see in others is what you are. We are your mirrors. Is love not a better path than hatred but in order to see love you must be conscious. I love the way the Ram pisses people off. Its time to wake up and smell the roses, don’t you think. Think about it for just a minute, 1/2 a minute, if you have an emotion for whatever reason, who is having that emotion, not the Ram or JZ for sure or even me. If your world is outside of you then you will have a problem and you will certainly die. If you think like a human, you will suffer, and you will live in fear of dying. So choose which one feels better, LOVE, or HATRED, GOD or Human. The Ram says we are GOD. To me there is no contest. I love you all.
    What you resist will always persist, and look within to find that message. I love my comments!!! Do you!!!
    Cheers
    I love the quote: The universe is made up of stories not atoms.
    Have the greatest day ever.

  12. Kathleen Clare says:

    Oh my god – finally a rightous devoted beautiful woman carries a liberating message, and she is getting cruxified by jealous women and greedy men, just like Jesus did over 2000 years ago – sad. And women seem to be the most vicious – like Virginia Coverdale who tried to steel JZ’s partner – disgusting!

    • Virginia Coverdale says:

      Did you just compare JZ Knight to Jesus? WOW, now there is some brainwashing for you.

      • Dominic F says:

        Virgina you earlier compared RSE to Jones town..and you believe you are thinking clearly?

      • saralondono - iris campesino-londono says:

        i thinkg that you are a very sick women, grow up you are still 2 3 year old baby, you really need help……………

  13. jay dixon says:

    Virginia,
    I Believe every word. I have heard stories from ex students and have some really important questions and things to talk about. please email me back at your earliest convenience. If you Were ever worried about getting the Word out enough to save at least one person from that Devil, its me. Just made an Email for you to contact me , i really need your help. please.

    Jay Dixon
    jdixon2300@gmail.com

    more info from there.

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