In Thurston County, JZ Knight Among President Trump’s Biggest Donors


JZ Knight, the notable head of Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment and channeler of the Lemurian warrior Ramtha, has made roughly $59,075 in contributions to GOP-affiliated political action committees (PACs) and President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign.

According to filings from the Federal Election Commission, Knight has produced roughly $70,275 in political contributions from August 2019 to October 2020 to various groups including Trump’s campaign, the Republican National Committee and WinRed.

The school leader also made four refunds between September and December last year totaling $11,200. Those refunds came from Trump’s campaign.

In a county that has leaned reliably blue in presidential races for many decades, the leader of the new age school in the small city of Yelm is among Trump’s biggest donors when looking at fundraising from Thurston County’s 12 ZIP codes.

This is notable seeing as how Knight didn’t contribute a cent in 2016, according to FEC filings. (While Knight didn’t, those employed at JZK Inc. made at least 20 contributions that year to ActBlue, totalling $279.)

While contributing to Republican groups is relatively new to Knight, political financing has been a staple of the school leader in past years. Before the 2016 election, Knight was a notable financier to the Democrats on the local, state and federal level.

Knight and students seemed to be at one time ardent contributors to the Democrat Party, though in recent years — with the rise of Trump-style Republicans — they’ve leaned in toward the right.

In 2014 and in 2016, Knight gave multiple donations to Democrats at both the county and state level, even after she was ousted by the party in 2012 following a leaked video which appeared to show her making disparaging remarks.

In 2014, according to a Nisqually Valley News article, Knight made two contributions to the Thurston County Democratic Central Committee totalling $65,000. In 2012, she also contributed $70,000 to the state Democratic Party.

Even before that, Knight was a hefty Democrat contributor. According to FEC filings, between 2008 and 2012, Knight made nearly $174,000 in contributions to the Democrats, including multiple checks to the Barack Obama campaign, with one being a $35,000 contribution made Aug. 18, 2012.

Mike Wright, a spokesman for Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment and a close associate of Knight, said it’s important to characterize Knight as an “individual” who is not beholden to any one party or side of the political spectrum.

“At the time, she was encouraging people to get in the process and do their homework,” he said. “She supports individuals because she likes what they’re representing regardless of their affiliation.”

In 2018, a $10,000 donation in Knight’s name was made to a private GoFundMe campaign to help build Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico.

The campaign has since been taken down from the website for public view, though, according to a story by the Tacoma News Tribune, it had raised at least about $12 million and had a goal of raising $1 billion.

Wright said he doesn’t know if the contribution on GoFundMe was actually submitted by Knight.


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