JZ Knight's Teacher Has a Dark Past in Ireland
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 South Thurston Journal

JZ Knight's Teacher Has a Dark Past in Ireland

November 13, 2013
“Thus the one who needs to molest and the one who needs to be molested—because he needs to understand it—are brought together for the experience. In the understanding called God, nothing is evil.”
- JZ Knight’s "Ramtha—The White Book."


In 1988, JZ Knight told ABC’s 20/20, “If a person is ever sorry about what they ever did, then they will never learn, and they never progress and go forward.”

Those words must have had a ring to them.

The following year, Irish Monsignor Michael Ledwith began a double life, commuting half way around the globe to study under JZ Knight at Yelm’s Ramtha School of Enlightenment (RSE).

That was quite a coup for JZ Knight. At the time he joined RSE in 1989, Monsignor Ledwith was President of the National University of Ireland at Maynooth, and head of the National Seminary in Ireland. He was one of a small handful of theological advisors to Pope John Paul II. There was talk of him becoming Archbishop. He had risen very quickly through the ranks, and was still quite young for all his achievements.

Others in RSE’s 1989 beginners’ group, Ahk Men Ra, said that Michael Ledwith started off in the rank and file. Soon enough, though, his remarkable credentials quickly vaulted him into JZ Knight’s inner circle. He became one of RSE’s most esteemed teachers.

Other RSE students felt honored that such an important man was part of their fledgling school in Yelm. They felt that Michael Ledwith’s presence gave legitimacy to RSE and JZ Knight’s teachings. Invitations to dinner parties with Ledwith were eagerly sought. He regaled the other RSE students with stories of his adventures around the world, hobnobbing with the upper echelons of power and prestige.

It’s a good guess that Monsignor Ledwith had kept his connection to JZ Knight a secret from his other life in Ireland and the Vatican. Knight teaches that there is no right or wrong, that not even murder is wrong. That there is no good or bad. That you should think only of yourself.

All of that didn’t jibe with the teachings of Jesus, to which Ledwith had pledged his life when he was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1967.

It turned out that Monsignor Ledwith had other secrets in his life, besides RSE. Dark, ugly ones.

Secrets that, when finally revealed, made him a hated man in Ireland. The Irish press reported that Ledwith “fled” Ireland to come…here. Where JZ Knight waited with open arms. No more double life. He apparently needed JZ for real, this time. And she certainly knew how to make good use of him.

When Michael Ledwith’s dark secrets finally came to light, angry Irish citizens demonstrated against the Church leadership who had punished and banished a whistleblower priest many years earlier. That brave priest’s life was ruined when he had tried to report Ledwith’s ugly secrets in the early 1980s. Meanwhile, Ledwith’s career had skyrocketed.

These same secrets were later discussed on the floor of the Irish Senate, with the Minister of State in attendance.

Ledwith's Dark Secrets Finally Come to Light -

Irish Senator and Medical Doctor Mary Henry spoke on the Senate floor on November 10, 2005, responding to a weighty government report that had finally exposed decades of tragic, heartbreaking cover-ups of the worst of crimes:

“I welcome the Minister of State to the House. I cannot say I welcome this report because it is utterly appalling.

Senator Glynn is correct to say that the effects of child sexual abuse on a person last forever. I do not think repayment can do them lasting good but the recognition that wrong was done to them does seem to be the one thing we can do…

Under the Constitution the churches in this country are permitted to order their own affairs and that is as it should be. However, when the authorities within the church neglect their duties to the most vulnerable people in their flock, we must speak out and take immediate action…

One of the most serious aspects of the Ferns report is the section dealing with former Monsignor Ledwith, who we learn later was involved in the sexual abuse of children.

This is significant because for the ten years between 1985 and 1995, the then Monsignor Ledwith was President of Maynooth College, the most important Irish institution for the training of priests. This begs the question as to what type of training on sexual matters priests studying in Maynooth at the time received from this man.

I listened with dismay to the Vincent Browne programme last night as a moral theologian from Maynooth appeared to suggest, as he did in an article in The Irish Times earlier in the week, that the bishops may not have understood that child sexual abuse was a crime. It is beyond belief that he should make this suggestion or suggest that Vatican II was somehow responsible for making sexual sins a form of emotional aberration. I query that anyone should teach theology of that nature nowadays…

The issue must have been discussed with all the bishops when it first arose because they took out insurance at the time to deal with it.

I encourage the Minister of State to ensure legislation is introduced as soon as possible making provision for the crime of willful endangerment of children.

The Minister of State will have a little laugh when he learns that at the time the South Eastern Health Board was not in a position to investigate gross abuses against children…the board should have been addressing what was happening to children who had been disgracefully abused.”


Michael Ledwith was fired from the National University of Ireland in December 1994, after the years of cover-up finally began to unravel. He had refused their request that he check himself into a U.S. treatment center for child molesters. He denied everything.

Prior to being fired by the University, Michael Ledwith had entered into a confidential financial settlement with “Raymond,” who stated that Ledwith had sexually abused him for two years in the early 1980s, starting when Raymond was thirteen years old. The Catholic Church in Ireland also paid for counseling for Raymond and his family.

Raymond’s accusations were separate and unrelated to the other boys’ accusations against Ledwith, which had caused the whistleblower priest to be fired and banished, over ten years earlier.

That whistleblower priest, Father Gerard McGinnity, had been Senior Dean at the National University of Ireland at Maynooth at the time. He was an accomplished and respected scholar—and he had been trusted by the seminary students to stick up for the boys. Which he did. It became his undoing.

In December 1994, Irish Bishop Comiskey notified their Health Board about Michael Ledwith.

In January 1995, Bishop Comiskey notified the Archbishop of Seattle, after learning that Ledwith had moved here, into the Seattle diocese.

In 1996, the Irish bishops developed a new set of policies for handling child molestation allegations against priests, including a mandate to inform law-enforcement officials of all credible reports of abuse. Ledwith was eventually defrocked.

When the Seattle Diocese got a new Archbishop in 2000, a repeat notification about Ledwith was sent from Ireland.

In June 2002, the trustees of the National University of Ireland confirmed that Ledwith had made confidential settlements with two former seminarians, in 1995 and 2000, following allegations of sexual abuse—which Ledwith continued to deny. Like he had always denied everything.

Over twenty years after being fired and banished for reporting Michael Ledwith in the early 1980s, Father Gerard McGinnity finally received an apology from the Church.

Father McGinnity responded, “It is easy to utter words, but when you've been ousted from your position and for twenty years are denigrated as a result, how can a few words melt away the incalculable damage suffered?"

Demonstrators gathered to demand financial reparation for Father McGinnity, as well. He didn’t participate.

Ledwith’s Dark World in Our Community -

It’s been nearly twenty years since Michael Ledwith fled Ireland to come here. During these years, he settled in comfortably at the Ramtha School of Enlightenment (RSE), and has been glorified by JZ Knight. He has traveled the world with Knight, sharing stages with her. He has been proudly featured in her videos.

In March 2011, Ledwith and JZ Knight made a joint two hour presentation during a sixteen hour RSE wine ceremony. Knight introduced him to the cheering crowd as an “indisputable man.” That audience included children.

Also in that 2011 audience was a fifteen year old boy, who had been attending RSE events since he was six years old. He had been raised to firmly believe in JZ Knight’s teachings, and to revere Knight’s teachers, such as Michael Ledwith.

This past April that same RSE teen, now seventeen years old, confessed to a Thurston County detective that he had repeatedly molested a little boy. (see “A Mother’s Nightmare, A Child’s Terror”)

The small child said that when he would try to scream during the attacks, the teen covered his victim’s mouth and nose with his hand, cutting off his air.

His attacker gagged him with his tongue until the child vomited. The teen smeared feces on his face and threatened to hold his head in a sink full of water, if he told.

The teen had also taken a photograph of his two year old sister, and on the photo he drew a penis going into her mouth.

The young victim’s mother received a letter from a JZ Knight follower, explaining that the RSE teen didn’t really do anything that bad, and he shouldn’t be punished.

On May 7, the Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney charged this RSE teen with two felony counts of first degree child molestation.

On September 30, the teen pled guilty to both felony counts of first degree child molestation. He is a registered sex offender before his eighteenth birthday.

At his sentencing, he said he didn’t “think” he would do it again.

And according to JZ Knight’s teachings, this RSE teen really had no reason to think that this horrible, sick sexual abuse of an innocent child was wrong. Since the age of six, this felon had been raised to follow someone who teaches that there is no right or wrong, and that such crimes are not wrong. That his little victim had “created his own reality,” meaning that he had brought it all on himself.

As JZ Knight’s Ramtha—The White Book states, “Thus the one who needs to molest and the one who needs to be molested—because he needs to understand it—are brought together for the experience.”

On December 2, 2006, “Nature Girl” posted the following statement on the online forum F.A.C.T.net about an RSE experience with JZ Knight and Michael Ledwith – (JZ Knight is also called “Ramtha” by her followers):

“Personally, I was in a wine event and Ramtha had Micael Ledwith stand up and he said that he had sex with a young boy. This was during the truth session that Ramtha had going on, when we would drink wine and tell the truth. So during that time he confess on stage and I was suprise to hear it, but we all have our stuff. Thank God that is not a part of my world. Now what is going on with him now, I do not know because I left the school a couple of years ago.”

Others have told me they attended that same wine ceremony, and remembered it in the same way.

The reports from Ireland included multiple accusations against Michael Ledwith—not just one boy.

Multiple boys who, in JZ’s world, just needed to experience it and understand it.

Reports over the years suggest that the Irish boys and their families didn’t understand it quite as well as JZ thought they should. Their lives were shattered. They are still afraid to speak out in public, because they still feel deep shame and humiliation.

And the RSE teen’s small victim still can’t sleep through the night, even though he is now more than a thousand miles away. He screams in terror, afraid that his attacker will return, and smother him again.

Michael Ledwith’s Bizarre Teachings with JZ Knight –

In the years following his disgraced flight from Ireland, Michael Ledwith has appeared to lose touch with reality. He has also spoken with increasing bitterness about God, the Judeo-Christian ethic, the Bible, and even the Irish Catholic Church hierarchy that fiercely protected him for so long…and punished another, in his stead.

The same Church hierarchy that punished and banished a righteous priest, Father McGinnity, because he had tried to speak up for the boys.

Father McGinnity, who was ostracized for decades because of Michael Ledwith’s dark sins, did not lose his faith in God. He was upset with some people, understandably. But he did not lose his faith in God.

As far as anyone knows, Father McGinnity has yet to receive an apology from Michael Ledwith.

And as far as anyone knows, none of the Irish boys—now long grown—have yet to receive an apology from Michael Ledwith.

But Michael Ledwith’s past seems to be taking its toll on him.

In the 1999 JZ Knight video The Two Paths, Michael Ledwith gives a rambling talk about how wine grapes are not native to planet Earth. He solemnly explains that the original grape vines were brought here 450,000 years ago by space aliens on UFOs. These space aliens hung around long enough to make wine and mate with the locals.

According to JZ and Ledwith’s teachings, the wine grape is not all that came here from outer space. JZ Knight has long taught that Jesus was actually a space alien who came here on a UFO, and who hated God just like she does. Ledwith agrees.

Both JZ and Ledwith shared the stage for two hours, and revisited the Jesus-as-alien theme during a March 2011 RSE “wine ceremony”—what participants define as pounding a lot of wine, bottle after bottle. And chasing it with tequila, cocaine, marijuana, and Prozac. Among other things.

Michael Ledwith had to be helped to his feet and guided to the stage for this 2011 joint presentation with JZ Knight. It was now seven hours into JZ’s sixteen-hour wine ceremony. Ledwith wobbled on unsteady feet in disheveled clothes, and he stared at JZ with glazed eyes. Once on stage, he held himself up by clutching onto the back of JZ’s throne.

At that point, though, Ledwith appeared to be holding up better than his hostess. JZ’s hair straggled around her face. Her make-up was streaking. Her words were slurred. Her sentences rambled nonsensically, and were laced with profanities, like “f-ck Jehovah.”

Once Ledwith was safely escorted onto stage, JZ returned to her teaching that Jesus really was an alien, who came to this planet to teach the opposite of what is in the Bible. JZ and Ledwith explained that Jesus actually came here to teach the same things that JZ Knight teaches, and that the Bible got it all wrong.

During their joint presentation, Micheal Ledwith called the God of the Bible “fickle, capricious, psychotic, neurotic, and insecure, and we are supposed to believe that He is the Creator God.” JZ added that God is a “psychotic, insecure son of a bitch,” and Ledwith laughed.

Michael Ledwith was still laughing a couple hours later, when JZ Knight told her audience, “I’m pissing my pants right now.” She had just blown mucus and phlegm on the stage and the front row of the audience. Ledwith was having great difficulty remaining on his feet at that point. It was now nine hours into the sixteen-hour wine ceremony. Two hours into their joint presentation.

JZ had just made a rambling death threat against, in her words, a Hindu creature of politics with plagiarized books, a Los Angeles mansion, Rolls Royces, dyed hair, Chardonnay, and celebrity followers. She ordered him to kill his cat and mark the blood on his door to protect himself from her.

Her followers later said they assumed had she was talking about Deepak Chopra—but they couldn’t be sure.

JZ then instructed Ledwith to talk to Southern butt h-les. Ledwith told his own version of the Sermon on the Mount, then JZ interrupted to complain that she was bored, and “We can dismiss all of Christ’s-ez bullsh-t.” She warned that she was “mis-CHEE-vee-ous” when bored. She needed entertainment.

To repair her boredom, Ledwith and JZ then danced on the stage to Elvis Presley’s “It’s Now or Never,” each swaying alone in their own private dance. Ledwith clutched a pipe and sang along with Elvis. JZ danced with both her middle fingers protruding, poking into the air above her head. Flipping off the heavens.

For all of his flaws, Elvis Presley probably wouldn’t have approved of JZ and Ledwith using his song that way. He said, "I ain't no saint, but I've tried never to do anything that would hurt my family or offend God...I figure all any kid needs is hope and the feeling he or she belongs. If I could do or say anything that would give some kid that feeling, I would believe I had contributed something to the world."

Those were not contributions that JZ Knight and Michael Ledwith appeared to care to make.

“A Slight Moral Infringement”

In a more serious moment during his 2011 presentation, Ledwith honed in on his hatred for the God of the Bible, calling Him a God “who will send us to hell for all eternity for a slight moral infringement.”

Michael Ledwith did not specify what would constitute a slight moral infringement.

Perhaps it has something to do with Irish Senator Mary Henry’s speech. And everything that led up to it.

It is not part of the Judeo-Christian ethic for God to send someone to hell for all eternity for a slight moral infringement. With his impressive theological background, one would think that Michael Ledwith should know that.

But it is interesting that he spoke of someone going to hell for all eternity.

Maybe it’s just the old saying…you can run, but you can’t hide.

Even if you run halfway around the world.

And like my friend Pastor Jeff Adams says, God can track you down. Even so far as Yelm, Washington.

With my warm gratitude to Irish Times correspondent Patsy McGarry, for his help and support. And all my great respect for Patsy’s incredible perseverance during the years he spent tirelessly pursuing the truth about Michael Ledwith, in spite of all the obstacles that were laid before him, by those in power. Without Patsy McGarry’s tenacity and commitment, Michael Ledwith could have succeeded in keeping his dark secrets from Ireland and the rest of the world.
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