Ramtha's School of Enlightenment or RSE, is a school based in the rural town of Yelm, Washington, in the United States. The school's curriculum is based on the alleged channelings by JZ Knight of the entity Ramtha. The school has denied being a religion or a cult. It is estimated that the somewhere between 1,000-3,000 people who attend live within a fifty mile radius of the school in the Yelm area. RSE does not hold the status of a non-profit and so pays the required taxes for a US corporation. The organization is run as a business with more than fifty employees. The school offers classes (called "events") which can last for just one evening, a weekend, or more. Specialized events are run twice yearly for students to stay "current" in the school which allows them to be able to attend all other classes. These required retreats are now held worldwide. In addition to organizing these events, the school sells clothing, books, tapes, DVDs, and other merchandise.
According to the school's website, Ramtha's School of Enlightenment was founded in 1987. Before that time, classes (or "dialogues") were arranged nationwide and worldwide. The school was then formed and settled into one location where students traveled to attend events. The school's campus is located on a property owned and managed by JZ Knight. The school falls under the umbrella of JZK, Inc., a corporation formed and operated by JZ Knight that exists as the parent organization to several other business ventures.
Ramtha's School of Enlightenment teachings have been described as part of the New Age movement, and the organization's practices have been criticized by religious and media groups as being similar to established cults. Controversial religious scholar J. Gordon Melton wrote a book countering this argument, called Finding Enlightenment: Ramtha's School of Ancient Wisdom. The school has hosted several high-profile speakers since its formation 20 years ago.
In 1999, during one of the events at the school, Ramtha elicited a confession from two of the students in the school involving sexual misconduct with a 15 year old girl. Knight claimed that she had no recollection of the confession even though the young girl had sent her a letter detailing the events. JZ Knight claimed she never saw the letter and was only told about it by her publicist. She claimed she did not tell Ramtha (the entity she channels) about it. Since she claimed to have no knowledge of the event which took place in front of 800 people, she said she could not testify to the confession.[Associated Press report source cited below]
In 2004, three members of the RSE produced a controversial film that combined documentary interviews and a fictional narrative to posit a connection between science and spirituality, called What the Bleep Do We Know!?. The film has been criticized heavily by the scientific community due to its presentation of quantum physics.