Dave Champagne, the brother of Virginia Coverdale, contacted the media earlier this week but they did not share his side of Virginia’s story. He and his family asked RSE to forward his letter to you.

JZ Knight News, Press, Yelm and Thurston County Issues

I was a student in the Ramtha School for approximately ten years, from 1991 to 2001. I am not a current student and don’t represent the school. I remember the Ramtha School as very unorthodox but as a place of peace and empowerment. Although I no longer attend the school, most of my friends and family have attended at one time and we all think the world of the work they do there.

Virginia Coverdale is my sister. She is largely responsible for the creation and distribution of recent videos about the Ramtha School. These videos are deliberately edited to make it seem that the school is a dangerous haven for child abuse and homophobia. Firsthand I can say that is not even remotely true.

I am deeply saddened that my sister has allowed her personal unresolved hurts and grudges to taint and distort the truth and actions of this school of thousands of innocent people worldwide, many of whom I know to be decent and loving people. What is more disturbing to me — and the reason I am finally speaking up after many months of silence — is that the motivation for my sister’s actions is based purely on bitterness and anger.

Virginia had an affair with JZ Knight’s partner, James Flick, a couple of years ago. James had left my sister within weeks of the affair being found out. She felt humiliated and became rageful and angry, not just at James but at JZ Knight as well. Virginia spent much of her time obsessing over them both and she couldn’t let it go. In the past year Virginia’s obsession took the form of blogging with other disenfranchised ex-Ramtha School students about JZ Knight.

A few months ago, she told me and my family that she was working on the Andrew Barkis Campaign for Thurston County Commissioner. She said she was hoping if she did a good job helping him get elected, he would offer her a job after the election. We were all glad she was pursuing productive work and getting on with her life. She said part of her objective was to oust current County Commissioner Sandra Romero.

When we saw the videos she posted on YouTube and distributed to state and local officials, we were shocked and sickened but we were not surprised. I tried to convince myself this was just dirty politics . . . but the videos clearly showed us that she is taking her rage against JZ and the Ramtha School to a broader audience under the guise of a political agenda. Sandra Romero and the campaign against her was just a convenient excuse.

I never wanted to have to say these deeply personal things about my sister but I just can’t allow such blatant distortions of the Ramtha School to go undefended by someone who has both been there and knows Virginia’s motivations.

I’d like to add that I know BOTH Sandra Romero and Andrew Barkis personally. I don’t feel either one of them deserves to be attacked in any manner like this. Sandra Romero, especially, has my deepest sympathies.”

Dave Champagne
Olympia, WA

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