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For those looking for information beyond the façade presented by JZK Inc..
Here is a description of the working structure of RSE
Although this information is circa 2002..
it is still may help an outsider understand what goes on behind those gates.
Posted by anonymous..
FactNet Thursday, November 14, 2002.
I will describe the structure as clearly as I can. The nature of the events at the school seems to change. Likely due to enrollment levels and the vibe from the students. More on that later.
1. Beginner introductory weekend
2. Beginning retreat
3. Beginner follow up weekends
4. In some cases Beginner makeup events
1. Primary retreat
2. Primary follow up
1. Assay 1
2. Assay 2
3. Assay 3
1. Blue College Tryout
2. Blue College Primary
3. Blue College Follow Up
These are the four main event categories. Of course, there are many McRamtha (i.e instant events) that take place at the school. As well, many times events are scheduled and then cancelled at the last minute. In the event that an event is cancelled the fee is forwarded to some sort of makeup event.
While this may be oversimplified, it is safe to say that to move forward in the program you must complete a beginner retreat and a follow up and primary retreat in the first year. This would be the ideal attendance and you would be considered in good standing. It is difficult to explain, not because of its complexity, but rather because of the constantly moving target of being "current".
If you do not complete a minimum of two events in a given year, you are left to attend only beginner events. Kind of a go to the back of the line program. Eligibility, or being "current" generally requires, after you get past the beginner hurdle, a Primary Retreat and a follow up event in a given year.
To achieve Blue college status you must complete a Blue College Tryout Event. Then you must attend Blue College Event and then a Blue College Follow Up.
In the old days of the school, and different names were attached to status levels. For example the Elohim's were the highest stature followed by the Ak-men-Ras followed by beginners.
The new structure is basically you are either a beginner, current, or Blue College. The result is the same, their is a hierarchy in the school which sets up a competitive atmosphere.
Now you can imagine that once you have achieved Blue College status, if you lose it by failure to attend a required event, you must go to the back of the line so the need to participate looms large. However, there is the possibility that the school will call a make up event which allows you to keep your current status. This, I believe, is where the student vibe comes in. RSE is a shrewd business and they seem to have sense of the need for customer service to keep market share.
More on RSE:
Yelm is located about 45 miles south of Seattle. About 25 miles south of Tacoma. About 10 miles East of Olympia, WA. the state capitol. Yelm while being a rural area is close to a significant population base and Interstate 5. Olympia is the home of Evergreen State College. Evergreen is an appropriate term. It is a nonconventional state University with a collaborative approach. I would describe it as sort of a free form university program. Many of the students hold far left eco liberalist views and can be compared to activists of the 1960's Berkley era in mindset.
RSE is located as you are heading East about 10 miles off of Interstate 5. It is a two lane highway. The area is very wooded and you will see quite a bit of land which is fenced off as it is part of Fort Lewis and the area is used to conduct training exercises.
RSE is located on the very west end of Yelm as you are almost to Yelm proper. You round the bend and you will find a very large home on the right side of the road. It is difficult to see the home due to the stone wall and large trees that line the wall. As you come up to the "Ranch" there is a small side road. If you take a right on this road, you can drive down past the entry gate for the students and get a better view of the facility. If you drive past the side road, you will come upon a different gate which is access to the stable area. I can assure you the place is very impressive and upkeep is no doubt very expensive. Other than the front walled entrance area, the remainder of the site, about 50 acres, is surrounded by an 8 to 10 foot chain link fence. There are numerous signs posted around the fence line warning that the property is patrolled by security. There is a large riding arena near the main home and stable area which is called "The Great Hall". This is the location for most of the inside events. There is a large parking area (grass field). There is a large field where the "cards" are pinned and searched for. There is a significant brightly colored blue building located about 1/4 mile east of the gate and about 1/4 mile south of the main house. The fields, once intended for horses are pretty well overgrown with tall grass.
If you drive down the road to the main gate you will see something striking. There are numerous RV's and trailers parked permanently at the facility. On the right side of the road there are several very small shall we say eclectic looking homes. This little road has a backwater feel to it. Almost as if you were to drive into reservation setting with shanty homes and trailers. Just before you turn off the main road you will find a couple of small homes/stores which seem to come to life on event weekends. It appears that there are several students who live in trailers at the school or leave the trailers there between events. It is not clear but let's just say it appears somewhat communal, although RSE insists it is not.
On the weekend of a recent Beginner Event there were roughly 20 vehicles in the parking area for the students. Recall the instant event. RSE had announced that morning that Ramtha had called an event for the evening. If I recall, it was the last day of the Beginner Retreat. This would be the oh so hoped for, but not guaranteed, appearance of the Ram for the beginner students. It is typical that RSE will call these events on very short notice via their website and phone message. (I can't seem to rationalize how JZ knows how she will be channeling Ramtha unless she is channeling Ramtha which means she must spend all of her time channeling Ramtha which she claims she doesn't. Oh well, how stupid am I?)
Back to the Beginner Retreat and the instant event. Recall, it had been announced just that morning. The retreat appeared to have drawn 20 vehicles. At the time of registration for the instant event, yes you must pay to see the Ram (generally about $40/head for these evening sessions), the parking area came alive. By 4:00 PM the parking lot went from the few vehicles described above to perhaps 150 vehicles or more. Clearly, local students change any plans they had and headed to the school when RSE announced that the Ram would appear. This willingness springs from the devotion students hold for the Ram and, especially for Blue College students, the competitive need to be seen at events and curry favor and attention from JZ Knight and the staff. No doubt, this is also very impressive to the students who are at the end of a 7 to 10 day indoctrination at the school and likely helps with the enrollment levels at the school.
So what is a typical Ramster, not in terms of demographics, but in terms of personality. Within the group, I would describe them as huggy types. They present as overly friendly, excessively warm and gregarious. A common theme of the philosophy espoused is truth, choice and responsibility. However, the form of truth is what is considered "subjective truth" rather than the more commonly understood, fact based "objective truth" system. In otherwords, subjective truth allows everyone to have a different view of what is true. What is true to you may not be true to me and since we are all entitled to our own truth there is no point in engaging in discussion about what is right and what is wrong. There is no right or wrong, there is only truth and we may have different views on that. When you throw choice and responsibility into the mix then the belief system begins to break down. I have engaged students in this triad of truth, choice and responsibility and you can actually see them begin to struggle emotionally with rationalizing these three ideas. What goes out is light love and joy and what comes in is narcissism, anger, and revenge.
When Ramster's dialogue they take turns talking or "sharing". One after another they espouse their version of the "truth" and that is the extent of the dialogue. There is no challenge, nor can there be any debate as this would fundamentally challenge the concept of everyone having their own truth. When you throw an RSE student out of this comfort zone of subjective truth where there is no right or wrong, you challenge their belief by throwing them into the reality of objective, fact based, truth then the cards begin to fall and the student begins to break. Typically they become hostile and angry and will blurt out something to the effect that "I speak the truth".
Similar with responsibility. Responsibility with a Ramtha student is generally along the lines of "I am responsible for xyz BUT I did xyz BECAUSE my history has been oppressed by the conspiracy of abc." I call it the take responsibility and blame someone else syndrome.
Similar with choice. Choice to Ramtha students is naturally occuring choice. I liken it to the type of choice attributed to an anarchist society. There must be no outside influence on your choice as then the choice is influenced by another individuals truth and someone elses reality and this is not the belief system of an enlightened soveriegn person. I believe this combination of subjective truth, along with limits on responsibility and need for naturally occuring choice manifests in the paranoia and conspiracy views held by students and the spiteful behavior directed at those who challenge this structure.
To borrow a street term. Ramsters are VIC's. (ie victims of the oppression of their history) Now check out the ecofeminist view, and the anarchist view, the libertarian socialist view, etc. See anything similar?
Also keep in mind that the program structure does not reflect the internal dynamics and workings of the school. The school is rife with internal politics, and pettiness.
FACTNet Message Board November 14, 2002