Former Teacher Sues Spiritualist Knight

TACOMA - A former schoolteacher is suing J.Z. Knight, claiming the Yelm spiritualist and the 35,000-year-old warrior she "channels" defrauded her.

Betty Nunnery, 46, contends in her lawsuit filed in Thurston County Superior Court that Knight and the omniscient being Ramtha induced her to give up her career, marriage, home and assets under false pretenses.

Followers of Ramtha say the being is channeled through Knight, who relays his spiritual counsel at gatherings and seminars Knight conducts.

Nunnery, who formerly taught junior-high-school students in Spokane, said she learned of Knight and Ramtha in 1984 when she viewed a videotape of a session with Ramtha. She attended her first live session with Knight in January 1985. She attended 27 more in Yelm, about 15 miles southeast of Olympia, and outside of Washington through summer 1989, she said.

Nunnery said she became so caught up in Knight's teachings that she left her job in 1987 and divorced her husband, John, in 1988. Her attorney, John Messina, said Nunnery spent her assets, including her retirement fund, while under Knight's influence.

He said she remains under psychiatric care nearly four years after her last Ramtha session. "She's still in a very delicate condition," he said.

The suit seeks unspecified damages.

Knight lost a case last year brought by her former husband, Jeffrey Knight, who contended he was induced to accept too small a divorce settlement.

A Pierce County Superior Court judge awarded him about $800,000 in additional funds.