Allegedly J. Z. Knight channeling a spirit named Ramtha [who purportedly is some 35,000 years old] who advised followers to drink a concoction of Dead Sea water and lye.

Shadow: Ramtha Cult Allegedly Recommended Its Students Drink Lye

By Shadow State

A supporter of J.Z. Knight criticized my article on Ramtha, entitled Shadow: The Parallels Between JZ Knight’s Ramtha and Keith Raniere’s Nxivm Are Startling

Knight claims to channel a 35,000-year-old spirit named “Ramtha” who has advice and guidance to her [paying] followers.

Ramtha appears like a dangerous cult to me but Ramtha’s defender wrote, “In your article, you do not even make one footnote reference.”

Here are two stories – take them as footnotes if you will – about the cult of Ramtha:

The first is from a Seattle area TV station, KCPQ Channel 13 Fox.

Shocking Allegations From Former J Z Knight Follower [April 18, 2014]

The essence of the story is that JZ Knight and her Ramtha School of Enlightenment, which has thousands of followers, including many celebrities, recommends its members drink lye, and that allegedly got people sick.

One local doctor, Dr. Brian Keay, was so concerned he wrote a letter to the county health department.

Former follower Virginia Coverdale said members were encouraged to drink a concoction of Dead Sea water mixed with Red Devil Lye to enlighten themselves.

Her mother and brother were among those who drank the lye concoction.

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,” Dr. Keay said.

Concerning Keay’s letter,” J.Z Knight’s 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.”

Another article on the same topic adds to our knowledge about drinking lye as part of the Ramtha School of Enlightenment. Ex-RSE students claim they drank lye concoction []

Coverdale, the former RSE student, who claimed Ramtha suggested drinking lye, was also sued by Knight after posting YouTube videos of Knight making offensive remarks about Catholics, gays, Jews, Mexicans and organic farmers.

She provided affidavits of former students who claim they were given detailed instructions on preparing the mixture they were to drink so as to neutralize the lye.

The former students claimed they were instructed to memorize the instructions and that Ramtha students mixed the lye concoction while intoxicated.

The lye instructions were allegedly given to students in the late-1990s and early-2000s.

Former RSE student Janet Muller said in her affidavit that she created, and ingested, the “elixir” from 1998-2002.

Gail Andres, another former RSE student, said in an affidavit that Ramtha told students to prepare and ingest the formula to accelerate their “individual enlightenment.”

Students were allegedly told to ingest it in the morning on an empty stomach and in the evening before sleeping, claim the affidavits.

Ramtha allegedly told students to take between one quarter of a teaspoon and one teaspoon twice per day.

“This information was given to us in a general atmosphere of secrecy,” Andres wrote.

Main ingredients in the formula were sea water and 100 percent lye, “such as Red Devil (lye).”

Muller claims she was among RSE students who mixed the formula based on handwritten notes from a lecture at an RSE event held sometime between 1996-97.

JZ Knight – she channels Ramtha – who lived some 35,000 years ago. He gives advice through her to her [paying] followers.
She claims that RSE staff members told students not to buy lye at local grocery stores because “it was bringing unwanted attention to RSE from the police” because lye can be used to manufacture methamphetamine.

Muller also stated in her affidavit that the spirit of Ramtha [speaking through J.Z., Knight], at an RSE event in 2002, said that “he would no longer teach the new students the sacred knowledge of the elixir because too many students were taking it with a bad attitude which was making their hair fall out and get sick.”

“Ramtha further forbade advanced students from passing on the sacred knowledge of the elixir,” Muller said in her statement.

Another former RSE student said in her affidavit that she experienced “extreme swelling of my limbs and numbness in my arms” from ingesting the formula, initially attributing the symptoms to a difficult pregnancy.

“After giving birth, my hair started falling out, I developed a goiter on my thyroid, my hands shook constantly and my resting heart rate increased by 120 bmp (beats per minute),” she stated.

Dead Sea by David Shankbone.jpg
Mix some Dead Sea water with lye and you might obtain enlightenment, according to Ramtha.


Sodium Hydroxide (LYE).

The symptoms stopped after she ceased taking the lye formula.

Dr. Keay said the directions required the students to manipulate the pH levels of the formula, which he said is “not easy to do”.

“You have to be very precise and it will precipitate out the minerals in the water,” he said.

The concoction is then washed a couple times.

Without precise measurements students wouldn’t know if they were really washing out the lye, he said.

“If you’re inebriated, you shouldn’t being doing this stuff anyway,” he said.

Keay said RSE students were told to use industrial-quality lye — used as a cleaning agent — as opposed to food-quality lye, which is used to prepare lutefisk and other foods.



About the author


News and art, national and local. Began as alternative weekly in 1990 in Buffalo, NY. Publishing content online since 1996.


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  • Sounds dreadful. Never take anything if you can help it. I don’t even drink or have tea/coffee nor smoke (never mind the contracceptive pill, statins or anything like that ) and not surprisingly have only seen a doctor once in 12 years.

  • Good Article Shadowstate,

    Lye is frequently used by murder suspects to dissolve the victim’s body. The murders use a stronger concentration of course.

  • Thanks for that, Shadow. My customized Ramtha experience was so spooky looking back on it with clearer eyes years later, I’m not surprised. I was a little shocked at how many others who, later, found themselves in NXIVM were also dipped in Ramtha first. And a few other mind poison mixes in my case and prolly theirs.

    There’s something about those Ramtha books. Or maybe the mushroom retreat and book combo meal I imbibed. I distinctly remember having lucid dreams of mid-evil Times each night I read Ramtha as a bedtime story.

    Alleged past life regressions could represent layers of consciousness beneath one’s outward persona and I can see now where accessing and tweaking those through hypnosis, method acting, role assignments, emotional triggers, etc. could be tapped into to change one’s values. Notice how much Ramtha in her younger years resembled classy lady icons like Linda Evans with the rich, conservative “look” of the day.

    Gina used to say we are “informed by our choices.” Odd how all these cults do focus on recruiting the “IT” icons, film and music stars, of the day.

    • The books!! The early ones are really good for anyone in that mindset. But once you look closely, it seems her philosophies resemble those of an author Vera Stanley Alder, at times, verbatim!! (Ahem). Her ramtha backstory comes right out of Spartacus! JZ Knight is an avid reader, with a photographic memory….much like myself! Peculiarly, Vera’s books never made it onto the “recommended” reading lists!?!

    • Heidi,
      (Silly Story) Back when I was a kid and in 1980s San Diego, my folks were way into Terry Cole Whittaker and all sorts of soul searching, I suppose. I am not sure how but JZ came on the scene. I remember very clearly when I saw her that she looked like a Dynasty TV character. For whatever reason my mom was not enchanted by Ramtha and so her interest ended there. However we were given a red rabbit around that time and my mom named her JZ, because when you put a rabbit on it’s back they go into trance. Our rabbit did not speak or have any profound words though. ?

    • Heidi, phenomenon like past life regression and supposed channeling tap into a mixture of subconscious memories and ideas, and the imaginative abilities of the mind – some pretty good research showing how that works, was done late in the 20th century, which fits with what I came to understand through some earlier reading, and dabbling of my own.

      The infamous Bridey Murphy case of the 1950s, which was widely publicized and then thoroughly debunked through some good research, is a classic example – google will bring up links to good accounts on Wikipedia and other sources.

      • google will bring up links to good accounts on Wikipedia and other sources.

        Exactly your MO. You seem to have an expert opinion on everything. Of course opinions are like ……

        • I happen to have followed and studied issues relevant to high control groups or cults for decades, including having some relevant experience – for instance, as far back as high school I experimented with self-hypnosis, have tried regression techniques, and have direct knowledge of a couple of groups including having extensively interviewed ex-members.

          I’m trying to share my sources of information and knowledge. There’s no point in the midst of a topic like this, of doing a full-write up referring to the original sources that I have on my bookshelf, so a reference to what can be found online seems appropriate – though I always try to respond with specific citations when people ask. Do you have a better suggestion for sharing relevant points?

          Or are you just upset with me pointing out the falsity of pseudo-science that you believe in?

    • Heidi,
      I noticed how Ramtha used my post last week as an opportunity to sell her books and recruit new cult members.
      I suppose he/she believes there are rootless NXIVM people eager to join another cult now that NXIVM is on the ropes.
      And it is noteworthy that NXIVM has ties to both Ramtha and Scientology.

      • They have also tried to hook into the QAnon movement, as of late. She has invited a few of the top leaders to come to the ranch to give a talk and perform. The word spread last week amongst the Q crowd, and they are all REJECT her support! They created #rejectramtha, and apparently came down so hard on JZ, she had to close her twitter account! She may have stayed under the radar with these guys if she didn’t try to take credit by telling her students that Ramtha was responsible for creating QAnon (Olympic eyeroll)

        • the truth is, Ramtha did in fact create QAnon and they now reject it trying to keep the truth from their followers

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