[UPDATE: New video surfaces in which Knight says, “Mexicans are not worthy of conscious thought.” Link to article follows this post.]
[After reading this post, click here for more recent post with further details on this developing story.]
Democrats on the bottom of the ticket in Washington state all the way to the very top are caught in a pickle: stand against religious bigotry by giving back close to $60,000 in state campaign cash contributed by world-famous spiritual channeler JZ Knight after videos showing Knight preaching hatred of Catholics became public or… don’t.
In a story that may become a national news story as soon as tomorrow morning, Knight is seen and heard on video to let loose a profanity-strewn rant against Catholics and has been a frequent and generous contributor to Democrats here in Washington and at the national level. Knight’s contributions to Democrat at all levels total more than $120,000 for the current election cycle.
As of Tuesday, Democrats are deciding to take Knight’s money and run, an equivocation that could produce significant controversy among swing voters just as many are marking their ballots to decide a very close election.
The video evidence of Knight’s tirades are difficult to watch.
“F— you, you Catholics!” Knight bellows over cheers from her audience.
“We will come on you in a terror,” Knight growls in another cut. “We will bring… St. Peter’s temple down and we will swallow it in the sea.” (“St. Peter’s temple” is a reference to the Catholic church itself.)
The entirety of hateful language used by Knight defied redaction to meet our standards for publication. For the full context, you will have to brace yourself and view the videos. We warn you use discretion when viewing these where the general public and especially small children may be present. It’s very rough stuff.
A first video (top right) is an edited assortment of clips of Thurston County Commissioner Sandra Romero receiving Knight’s anointing of her 2012 re-election bid and of Knight addressing an audience at her Ramtha School of Enlightenment. The second video (bottom right) – credited to “former students” of RSE – documents an alleged unethical relationship between Romero and Knight. At approximately the 6:15 mark of the second video, Knight makes a chilling statement that she knows how to “drop the lodestone” on “government authorities.”
Some of Knight’s remarks in the videos also use graphic descriptions of homosexual acts to disparage and threaten Catholics; others smack of anti-Semitism.
Complicating matters for Democrats is the fact that the Yelm, Wash.-based cult leader has given generously to the Washington State Democratic Party, the Democratic National Committee, Pres. Barack Obama and Democratic candidates for state and local office.
According to Federal Election Commission records, Knight personally gave a total of $60,800 to the Democratic National Committee in the 2012 election cycle, gave $5,800 to the Obama Victory Fund and has maxed out on individual donations ($5,000) to Pres. Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.
The photo (below left) of a meeting between Obama, Knight and her granddaughter was taken at a Sept. 25, 2011 event in Seattle.
State Public Disclosure Commission records also show that Knight also gave $66,300 to Democrats in Washington state. A total of $60,000 was received by State Democrats, $1,800 by 2nd legislative district state Senate candidate Bruce Lachney, $1,800 by Thurston County Commissioner Sandra Romero, $1,800 by State Supreme Court Justice Susan Owens, and $900 by the political action committee operated on behalf of Democrats in the state Senate.
Lachney and Romero also each received $1,800 from the Ramtha School of Enlightenment, Knight’s spiritual organization.
Washington State Republican Party Chairman Kirby Wilbur issued a sharply worded public request to Washington State Democratic Party Chairman Dwight Pelz to return contributions Knight has given to them in this election cycle.
“This video that was recently posted online is nothing short of repulsive,” Wilbur said in a statement released Monday. “I am personally disgusted by the sickening things uttered by Knight on the tape. She is anti-Catholic, anti-Semitic, homophobic, vulgar and profane. She donated $50,000 to the State Democratic Party this year and I am asking Chairman Dwight Pelz to return that donation.”
The strongest response from Democrats noted so far has been from State Democratic Party spokesman Benton Strong, but it doesn’t indicate much willingness to see things Wilbur’s way. From The Olympian’s Tuesday online edition:
Democratic Party spokesman Benton Strong distanced the party from Knight’s comments, but said Democrats would not give back the money.
The Olympian carried the following reaction from the Ramtha organization:
Rob Wynne, a public relations consultant employed by the Ramtha School of Enlightenment, put out two brief two statements in response to The Olympian’s query about the videotape and the Republican Party comments.
About the video, Wynne said: “The quotes were taken out of context and not meant to disparage Catholics. The comments were meant to draw attention to the abuses and subsequent cover-ups of the Catholic Church and not intended to criticize any individuals of any persuasion. JZ Knight has always supported the rights of the LGBT community including marriage equality and legal benefits.”
[UPDATE: New video surfaces in which Knight says, “Mexicans are not worthy of conscious thought.” Read our article here.]