Freedom Foundation uses tactics of intimidation – TNT opinion pages

Press, Yelm and Thurston County Issues

Tacoma News Tribune
By JZ Knight
Contributing writer
August 2, 2014

Many right-wing groups use it in their names, including Freedom Works, Faith and Freedom Institute, Faith and Freedom Coalition, Freedom Federation, Freedom March, Freedom Works, Freedom Watch and many others.

Here in Washington we have the Freedom Foundation. You may have heard of it. I certainly have. In 2012, I donated funds to Democratic candidates after which the Freedom Foundation became involved in the illegal recording and distribution of videos from Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment that were heavily edited and posted online.

Two people who illegally disseminated the pirated videos admitted to editing the originals in two separate courts of law. One of the two lost a lawsuit and was ordered to pay more than $600,000 in attorney’s fees and costs.

The Freedom Foundation still continues to petition the courts to post more of these videos online. It has certainly used its freedom to attack me. But I’m just one of many citizens in Thurston County and Washington state on its list of people it opposes.

I’m an easy target. I’m a public person who donates to Democrats like Mary Hall, the first Democratic auditor in Thurston County in 71 years. In the 2012 election, she defeated a Republican candidate backed by the Freedom Foundation.

There is a common thread that runs through the Freedom Foundation and similar ideological groups, including:

• Freedom from taxes for corporations and wealthy people.

• Freedom from regulations so industry can pollute our air and water.

• Freedom to oppose the minimum wage.

• Freedom to attack the voting rights of minorities.

• Freedom to misrepresent the Affordable Care Act.

This is nothing new. What we are seeing in Thurston County today echoes recent history. The book, “Dallas 1963,” examines right-wing groups that conspired to oppose President John F. Kennedy 50 years ago. The New Yorker magazine noted that the same right-wing terms from 1963 are in use today:

“Now, as then, there is said to be a conspiracy in the highest places to end American Constitutional rule and replace it with a Marxist dictatorship, evidenced by a plan in which your family doctor will be replaced by a federal bureaucrat.… There is also the conviction, in both eras, that only a handful of Congressmen and polemicists (then mostly in newspapers; now on TV) stand between honest Americans and the apocalypse, and that the man presiding over that plan is not just a dupe but personally depraved, an active collaborator with our enemies, a secret something or other, and any necessary means to bring about the end of his reign are justified and appropriate.”

In the 1960s, Claire Conner’s parents were the leaders of the Chicago branch of the John Birch Society. In her book, “Wrapped in the Flag: What I Learned Growing Up in America’s Radical Right,” Conner writes that modern right-wingers promote the same agenda as those who revered Senator Joseph McCarthy and other right-wing stalwarts.

In a book review, the Tampa Bay Times noted “today’s tea party is the modern-day rebirth of the John Birch Society. They share a worldview, (Conner) says. The same paranoid distrust of government. The same desire to protect the rich. The same cruel streak that blames the poor for their poverty and seeks to deny government help on that basis. The same willingness to believe all manner of bizarre claims against political leaders they don’t like.”

If right-wing groups like the Freedom Foundation called themselves the John Birch Society II, it would be cause for alarm. By wrapping themselves in the American flag and shouting “Freedom!” they seek to soften their agenda by making it sound patriotic.

Here in Washington, the Freedom Foundation’s tactics of attempting to intimidate its enemies – opposing the SeaTac minimum wage, opposing working people who join labor unions, drowning the IRS in paperwork, promoting voter ID laws to make it harder for minorities to vote – isn’t patriotic; it is destructive.

Thurston County and Washington don’t need their brand of “freedom.”

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VOTE

Yelm and Thurston County Issues

Washington State’s vote-by-mail Primary closes
this Tuesday, August 5 at 8 p.m.

PLEASE VOTE!

–JZ

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Hartman for State Rep.

Yelm and Thurston County Issues

Greg Hartman

Please support Democrat Greg Hartman for Washington State Legislative District 2. He is worthy of your vote.

– JZ

Visit Hartman for State Rep for more.

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Rob Simone Interviews Ramtha – Free audio archives

Free, JZ Knight News

For all of you – my angel folkies – please go and listen to this wonderful interaction. You will learn more about the mystery of who you really are – who we all really are. You will also learn about the great things ahead and the challenging things ahead that we will all be a part of on this dynamic and evolving earth.

There are four parts, the audios are about one hour each. It’s free and fantastic!

- JZ

Click here for all four links

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Greg Dempster’s letter published –
“GOP: Republicans are no friend to the GLBTQ community”

Yelm and Thurston County Issues


Greg Dempster

“Have Republicans Found a New Way to Thwart Democrat Fundraising?”
“WA Republican Club Smears Local Dem Donor as Racist Homophobe”

Click here to read Mr. Dempsters’ letter published on YAHOO!.

“GOP: Republicans are no friend to the GLBTQ community”
Greg Dempster’s letter for a national audience was published today in the Tacoma News Tribune (TNT).
Click here

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Phoenix Rising School Auction raises $120,000 – JZ Knight Donates $45,000

JZ Knight News, Press, Yelm and Thurston County Issues


Photos courtesy: Phoenix Rising School

From the Phoenix Rising School:
“…This year’s sold out event on June 7th was a joyful community celebration that brought in over $120,000.

‘I couldn’t be happier with the result,’ says auction chair Heidi Smith. ‘So many people came together to make this happen and all of the guests seemed happy to be there and to support us in whatever way they could.’ Nearly two hundred people attended the event, which took place at a new venue, the Campbell and Campbell Building in Tenino. ‘We got a lot of comments on the building,’ says Heidi. ‘It worked very well for our needs.’

Before the auction even began, almost $55,000 had been donated by several supporters who were unable to attend.* Things only went up from there. ‘The greatest accomplishment beyond the total amount we raised was the energy of the evening and palpable sense of community,’ says Executive Director Aaron Rodriguez.”

*Anyone else who was unable to attend but still wishes to contribute can contact our office at 360-446-1500.
Read more

- “Community Support Fills Financial Gap for Phoenix Rising”
“$120,000 Raised at Auction; JZ Knight Donates $45,000″

“Cindy Schorno held the “cashdown,” which is a way for people to donate cash without actually bidding on anything. She announced JZ Knight pledged $45,000 to the school and followed by working her down from pledges of $10,000 and lower. The cashdown event surpassed the previous year’s pledges by a respectable margin,” quoting Cindy Teixeira, Nisqually Valley News Correspondent
Read more

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UPDATE: JZK, Inc. v. Glen Morgan & the Freedom Foundation

JZ Knight News, Press, Yelm and Thurston County Issues

At an initial hearing Tuesday, May 21, JZK, Inc. requested a temporary restraining order, essentially asking the judge to call a “time out” on the behavior of Evergreen Freedom Foundation (EFF). Judge Settle declined to do so this early in the proceedings.

“We were surprised at this ruling today [May 21, 2014], but pleased that Judge Settle warned the defendants that further dissemination would not be without risk,” said Mike Wright, Legal Affairs Manager for JZK, Inc. “While the judge was unwilling to grant this emergency request, he did allow an expedited track to a hearing on a preliminary injunction in a few weeks so he could study the matter in more detail,” Wright said.

Wright concluded, “The efforts by the Freedom Foundation to engage in partisan attacks and their attempts to disenfranchise voters while wrapping themselves in a flag is the antithesis what they claim to represent. Just last week, their managing editor wrote in his blog about Pope Francis ‘it is impossible to legitimately redistribute what belongs to someone else.’ Yet today, they claimed otherwise with JZK, Inc.’s proprietary property.”

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JZK, Inc. sues Freedom Foundation

JZ Knight News, Press, Yelm and Thurston County Issues

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

JZK, Inc. has filed a complaint, No. 3:14-cv-05410, and request for a temporary restraining order against the Evergreen Freedom Foundation (EFF) and Glen Morgan, EFF’s Property Rights Director, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington at Tacoma. JZK, Inc. did this to protect the proprietary video materials that Morgan and EFF have unlawfully disseminated. The case has been assigned to Judge Benjamin H. Settle with an initial hearing set for 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 21.

On May 6, 2014, Morgan submitted verbatim copies of JZK, Inc.’s proprietary video materials to the Thurston County Commissioners in violation of state and federal law. Morgan told the Commissioners that EFF was also disseminating the private videos to 3,200 other officials in the state.

Morgan and EFF have expressly refused to respect JZK, Inc. and JZ Knight’s private property and legally protected interests. This is a curious stance for an organization that purports to promote the protection of private property rights. Their website proclaims, “From works of art to loaves of bread, people produce the things because they are able to own and use resources. …The Freedom Foundation stands up for property rights and property owners in Washington State.”

JZK, Inc. welcomes the opportunity to resolve this matter short of litigation. But to do so, EFF and Mr. Morgan must be willing to respect JZK, Inc.’s private contracts and JZ Knight’s right to own and use her property as she sees fit.

The EFF website states, “Government exists to protect rights, including the rights to own and use property.” That government protection also extends to those with whom EFF disagrees.

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JZK, Inc. and David McCarthy settle lawsuit in New Zealand

JZ Knight News, Press, Yelm and Thurston County Issues

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

By mutual agreement, the parties filed a joint memorandum with the High Court of New Zealand in Auckland notifying the court of a settlement and asking the court to issue an order by consent of the parties. At the parties’ request, the trial set for May 26, 2014 has also been cancelled.

Under the agreed order, McCarthy is permanently restrained from disseminating proprietary video recordings of information and techniques taught at Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment (RSE) including the videos that were at issue in the case.

“We have never disputed David’s right to lawfully criticize,” said Mike Wright on behalf of RSE. “We recognize that not everyone agrees with our philosophical model or our training. It is not meant to be for everyone.”

McCarthy, who lived in the Yelm area for many years, has been an outspoken critic of RSE since 2004. JZK, Inc. only filed suit in February 2013 after McCarthy posted portions of several private videos on YouTube and elsewhere. The complaint for copyright and contract violations was filed in New Zealand where McCarthy now lives.

Wright concluded, “Dr. J. Gordon Melton, a preeminent world religious scholar, studied RSE for several years. After careful study and exhaustive research, Melton concluded that the teachings of RSE represented a resurgence of early Christian Gnosticism. In addition to coordinating the research of other scholars, he wrote a book about his experience and conclusions. Complimentary copies of his book, Finding Enlightenment, are available at the JZ Rose store in Yelm for anyone who wants to read an objective analysis of RSE.”

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Yelm newspaper heralds defense of JZ Knight

JZ Knight News, Press, Yelm and Thurston County Issues


NVN Editor/Publisher Michael Wagar
Photo credit: The Chronicle,
Centralia & Lewis County, WA

The Yelm-based weekly Nisqually Valley News (NVN)newspaper heralded the defense of JZ Knight from RSE students and the Thurston Democrats in their Friday, May 9th print and online edition:

- RSE Students Defend Knight, Ramtha
Click here

- “Students stand-up with letters to local newspaper supporting RSE”
Click here

- RSE student letters referenced in preceding story
Click here

- “Thurston Democrats Chair Calls JZ Knight ‘Democrat in Good Standing”
Click here

– Three terrific Letters to the Editor:
* “Why Not Start Working Together as a Community?”
By Lucy Jeanne
Read more

- “JZ Knight an Asset To The Nisqually Valley”
“JZ Knight has been an asset to this community, donating large amounts of money to our EMS system. We all benefit from better fire and medical attention.”
By Deb Voyles
Click here

- “Eventually Justice Will Be Served Against Vigilantes”
By JZ Knight
Click here

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