Shadow: Ramtha Cult Allegedly Recommended Its Students Drink Lye

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.

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.



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  • All you commenters are idiots. They were making ormus. Look it up. Learn something. You all read like a bunch of cackling chickens.

  • 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.

  • This story about a cult convincing people to drink poisons is a little bit personal for me.
    My grandfather died almost 30 years ago.
    He lived in an industrial city called Hammond, Indiana.
    He was not religious, in fact he was a bit of an atheist, however he knew the big preacher in town.
    A man named Jack Hyles.
    Hyles’ Baptist Church attracted 20,000 worshipers from all over the Chicago area and they piled into the church in shifts being bused in from as far as Waukegan over 50 miles away.

    One day Grand dad told me that Hyles had convinced people that he was God.
    Grand dad told me that Hyles would have people drink a liquid claiming it was a poison but that Hyles could protect them from harm.
    Of course the liquid was simple water.
    Grand dad laughed at the parishioners’ gullibility.

    Grand dad only had a high school education.
    Little different from Clare Bronfman and Allison Mack, but grand dad knew a charlatan when he saw one.

    If only the women in NXIVM used their God given common sense to realize that Raniere is a huckster.
    The same with the followers of Ramtha.

    “For the benefit of any doubters, Hyles demonstrated his power in the middle of a sermon one Sunday. “Notice the bones and the skull there,” he said as he raised a cup into which he told the congregation he was going to pour poison. “Now if I walked up to you tonight and I said to you, ‘I’ve got something I want you to drink . . .’ In fact”—he turned to Johnny Colsten, one of the men on the stage with him—“I’d like for you, if you don’t mind, to drink this.”

    Colsten, currently an associate pastor at First Baptist, did not hesitate. If Hyles wanted him to drink, he would.

    Hyles beamed.”

    Let Us Prey: Big Trouble at First Baptist Church
    A string of assaults and sexual crimes committed by pastors across the country have one thing in common: The perpetrators have ties to the megachurch in Hammond, Indiana.

  • Strange, even somewhat dangerous concoctions or treatments almost seem to have a certain place in high control groups or cults, where pseudo-science is rife. It’s also the sort of weird half-baked thing that comes out of the imaginative processes of the mind that actually produce what passes for “channeling” or “past lives.”

    Here’s what a real renowned scholar from some of the most prestigious institutions has to say about Knight and Ramtha in general, taken from the book The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark –

    The Fine Art of Baloney Detection
    by Carl Sagan

    “J.Z. Knight of the State of Washington claims to be in touch with a 35,000-year-old somebody called “Ramtha.” He speaks English very well, using Knight’s tongue, lips and vocal chords, producing what sounds to me to be an accent from the Indian Raj. Since most people know how to talk, and many — from children to professional actors — have a repertoire of voices at their command, the simplest hypothesis is that Ms. Knight makes “Ramtha” speak all by herself, and that she has no contact with disembodied entities from the Pleistocene Ice Age. If there’s evidence to the contrary, I’d love to hear it. It would be considerably more impressive if Ramtha could speak by himself, without the assistance of Ms. Knight’s mouth. Failing that, how might we test the claim? (The actress Shirley MacLaine attests that Ramtha was her brother in Atlantis, but that’s another story.)

    Suppose Ramtha were available for questioning. Could we verify whether he is who he says he is? How does he know that he lived 35,000 years ago, even approximately? What calendar does he employ? Who is keeping track of the intervening millennia? Thirty-five thousand plus or minus what? What were things like 35,000 years ago? Either Ramtha really is 35,000 years old, in which case we discover something about that period, or he’s a phony and he’ll (or rather she’ll) slip up.

    Where did Ramtha live? (I know he speaks English with an Indian accent, but where 35,000 years ago did they do that?) What was the climate? What did Ramtha eat? (Archaeologists know something about what people ate back then.) What were the indigenous languages, and social structure? Who else did Ramtha live with — wife, wives, children, grandchildren? What was the life cycle, the infant mortality rate, the life expectancy? Did they have birth control? What clothes did they wear? How were the clothes manufactured? What were the most dangerous predators? Hunting and fishing implements and strategies? Weapons? Endemic sexism? Xenophobia and ethnocentrism? And if Ramtha came from the “high civilization” of Atlantis, where are the linguistic, technological, historical and other details? What was their writing like? Tell us. Instead, all we are offered are banal homilies….
    People pay attention to these puerile marvels mainly because they promise something like old-time religion, but especially life after death, even life eternal.”

    Sagan’s point about Ramtha’s supposed age is an interesting one – and a good catch, by truly clever, inquiring and rigorous mind. One of the typical tricks of gurus and leaders is to project an aura of false authority by asserting things with certainty, specificity and detail that sound scholarly or scientific, when they’re just pulled from nowhere. We assume that everyone knows their age (though even in primitive cultures that is not necessarily true), and so Knight’s credulous followers are unlikely to think to stop and question what point of reference Ramtha would have for calculating that.

  • 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?

          • Pseudo-science is what you preach buddy. You are the number one con artist on the Frank Report. You crap so much of your redundant word salad here that you are almost in a league of your own.

    • 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

          • Proof?? Since you’re spouting through your kool-aid stained upper lip about “truth”, care to provide the link to where Rambloney “created” it? Considering he’s omnipotent, and she’s psychic, how come they didn’t foresee the entire movement turn against her? Why’d she have to close her Twitter? Her post to you all reeked of victim? They went from an “army” to a “mob”?

            Should be easy for a God to fix though….How about some proof of the Lord of the Winbag’s existence?? How about proof that JZ or any other “master” can do anything they promise? Look around at your illustrious alumni….old, sick and poor….!! Not quite what’s promised on the brochure?? Ever wonder where they’d be if they didn’t waste their lives drinking this poisoned kool-aid? JZ still smokes?? What happens when one goes backwards in time tiles?

            It’s all marketing, and since losing all her court cases to Virginia and the Freedom Foundation, she’s finding it hard to keep herself at the level of opulence she feels she deserves! A couple of million dollars to keep her worst drunken hot-mess moments from being witnessed by everyone!!

            She needs new suckers at her amusement park and in her blue rooms, so the Obama-loving cult leader switched sides to MAGA and thus Q, because she believes they’re the right kind of minds she can hook with her conspiracy theories. I mean, she’s auctioned off all she can! Next are the threats she’s closing down…so you can all worry, and scurry, and scrape the $$ to go! I’m glad someone connected these 2 cults. Now anyone who’s following this trial will also be well warned about RSE and the Botox Blonde!

          • Is that you Professor? I notice there’s no answers to my questions, yet I’m the troll? I’ll wait until I hear something “true” from you to decide what hurts and what doesn’t. I’m a firm believer that Lies hurt more than truth ever will!

            Funny story…JZs 2nd in command is guy by the name of Mike Wright. He was hocking his bs DVD about levitation to the ramsters for years. On the back of the DVD he had listed all his credentials, one on there said “Adjunct Professor” at two separate colleges. He sold this thing for years. Someone outside the cult did a check on him, and found out he never held that designation with either college.!?! Never worked there. Not quite impeccable? He’s now head of Legal Affairs! Another cult where they’re not adverse to lying to you, to get your $$$$. Oh, yes…and he’s First Web-Ranger! He has to watch the Internet night and day in case someone uploads those drunken videos again!

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

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Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083


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