Knight, Judy "Zebra"

Knight, Judy “Zebra” (b. 1946)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Judith Darlene Hampton was born in Roswell, New Mexico, on March 16, 1946. Living in Roswell, she grew up with a belief in flying saucers. She was also interested in pyramidology, wearing a pyramid on her head for spiritual enhancement and enlightenment. As a young girl, she was abandoned by her alcoholic father and claims to have been molested by her uncle. Her mother tried to give her a Christian upbringing in the midst of all this. She had an older sister who drowned in an accident.

In 1977, Knight was a thirty-one-year-old housewife living in Tacoma, Washington. She was standing in her kitchen with a miniature pyramid on her head when she was visited by a spirit calling itself “Ramtha.” This entity claimed to have lived as a warrior 35,000 years ago, on the lost continents of Lemuria and Atlantis. According to Knight—who saw him clairvoyantly—he said to her, “Beloved woman, I am Ramtha the Enlightened One, and I have come to help you over the ditch. It is called the ditch of limitation, and I am here, and we are going to do a grand work together.” Knight’s husband was with her in the kitchen but did not see the apparition.

From then on, Knight acted as a channel for Ramtha, relaying his messages to the world. Her nickname as a child had been “Zebra,” so she took the initials of Judith and Zebra to form her professional name “J. Z. Knight”. She appeared on national television and gave hundreds of performances on stage and by way of private seminars at a reputed $1,000 per person. Today she is the founder and Director of The Ramtha School of Enlightenment, also known as The American Gnostic School, is President of JZK, Inc., and Chairman of the J. Z. Knight Humanities Foundation. Knight has copyrighted the name Ramtha and claims that no one else can channel him.

Ramtha’s messages started out as the usual benign words of love and hope common among channeled entities. Gradually, however, his words changed to those of doom and gloom, predicting a dire future for both California and Florida, the former falling into the ocean and the latter becoming a vast sinkhole. He also spoke of “getting rid of” homosexuals. Knight, meanwhile, built up a multimillion dollar mansion, with Arabian horses kept in a barn lit with chandeliers. She drove a Rolls Royce while exhorting her followers to dispense with earthly comforts. Laura Foreman reports that one of Knight’s staff resigned after hearing Knight practicing Ramtha’s voice. Another left when she saw Knight suddenly assuming the Ramtha mantle without first going into trance, as was the usual procedure.

Ramtha’s messages are even more vague than many channeled messages. When asked about his true nature, he replied, “I am Ramtha, the Enlightened One, indeed, that which is termed servant unto that which is termed Source, to that which is termed the Principal Cause, indeed, unto that which is termed Life, unto that which is termed Christos—God experiencing that which is termed Man, Man experiencing that which is termed God—am I servant also.”


Foreman, Laura (ed): Mysteries of the Unknown: Spirit Summonings. New York: Time-Life Books, 1989
Leonard, Sue (ed): Quest For the Unknown—Life Beyond Death. Pleasantville: Reader’s Digest, 1992
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