Published November 14, 2012
Injunction bars ex-student from releasing more Ramtha videosJEREMY PAWLOSKI
A judge has barred a former student at Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment from releasing more materials belonging to the school. The ex-student posted videos showing Ramtha leader JZ Knight making derogatory comments about Mexicans, Catholics and others this year, igniting a political firestorm before the Nov. 6 election. The reposting of the videos by a local conservative think tank, the Freedom Foundation, prompted Republicans to call for Democratic candidates to give back campaign contributions they had received from Knight. A number of Democrats gave away Knight’s donations before the election. As of early November, they had given away about $70,000. During a court hearing Wednesday, Thurston County Superior Court Judge James Dixon ruled that the preliminary injunction will remain in effect until a breach-of-contract lawsuit filed by the school’s attorneys is settled. He emphasized that the injunction merely preserves the “status quo” and does not allow the school to be further damaged if its lawsuit succeeds. The lawsuit alleges that Virginia Coverdale breached a contract she signed upon enrolling when she posted videos of Knight channeling Ramtha in 2012. Knight claims to channel Ramtha, a 35,000-year-old warrior. In 1988, she founded a school in the Yelm area to teach others about her beliefs. The school has tens of thousands of followers. Dixon also ordered that Coverdale must ask her Internet service provider remove any videos belonging to Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment that she already has posted, in violation of a contract. Dixon emphasized that the order doesn’t apply to other groups that might have reposted the videos. Spokesman Glen Morgan said Wednesday that the Freedom Foundation has posted many videos of Knight that didn’t come from Coverdale. “We’re not taking them down,” he said. “In fact, we should probably post more, it looks like. At this point in time, it’s public domain.” School attorney Jeffrey Grant said Wednesday that Coverdale has “25 to 30 hours” of additional materials that were in danger of being posted if the injunction was not granted. Coverdale’s attorney, Shawn Newman, has argued that the suit is designed to stifle Coverdale’s free speech and intimidate her into not criticizing the school. Grant argued that Coverdale can say whatever she wants about Ramtha or Knight, as long as she does not use Ramtha’s proprietary materials.