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What the #$*! is up with this cult movie?

The film "What the #$*! do we know?" has continued an unprecedented run at the Bagdad theater and is now spreading to other McMenamins locations. Anecdotal reports suggest many people are flocking to see the film 4, 5 or more times. However, not a single media outlet in Portland has reported on the link between the movie and its apparent sponsor, the Ramtha School of Enlightenment. This film gives new meaning to the phrase "cult classic."
From the website of the Ramtha School of Enlightenment:

"The film, "WHAT THE #$*! DO WE KNOW?!" features Ramtha and _several of his selected teachers_ in a new type of film that is part documentary, part story, and part elaborate, inspiring visual effects and animations."


In the film "What the #$*! do we know?" the interviewee who seems to get the most screen time is a rather creepy, dyed-blond woman who is identified only as "Ramtha" in the closing credits. While every other interviewee gives a detailed synopsis of their qualifications and background, only Ramtha is exempt. Isn't that strange? Fortunately the film's website gives us the information to make us more secure in accepting what Ramtha has to tell us. You can check out: www.whatthebleep.com/scientists/#Ramtha

Here's what the website claims:

Ramtha. One of the great enigmas that scientists have studied in the last decade is Ramtha, a mystic, philosopher, master teacher and hierophant. His partnership with American woman JZ Knight, his channel, still baffles scholars. Results of their studies point to a decidedly non-local phenomenon and were presented at a conference titled "In Search of the Self - The Role of Consciousness in the Construction of Reality" on February 8 and 9, 1997. At this gathering scholars from faculties of Quantum Physics, Parapsychology, Anthropology, Sociology and Theology who had studied Knight for two years, presented their findings.

Using a sophisticated polygraph, noted parapsychologists Ian Wickramasekera and Stanley Krippner of Saybrook Graduate School repeatedly observed that while JZ Knight is channeling Ramtha, the readings of her brain-wave activity shift to delta, and that the lower cerebellum operates her body which talks, walks, eats, drinks and dances while Ramtha teaches - about the mystery of mind over matter.

Through a coherent system of thought that unifies scientific knowledge with esoteric knowledge of spirit, his students study biology, neurophysiology, neurochemistry and quantum physics. Like Bohm he declares that consciousness is the ground of all being. In his own lifetime 35,000 years ago he learned to separate his consciousness from his body, raise its frequency and eventually take it with him. He has been one of the few human beings to become an eyewitness to the seen, and, the unseen.


A little more digging on the subject reveals many, many connections between the film and the Ramtha School of Enlightenment in Yelm, WA. Just one example - the press contact for the film (see www.whatthebleep.com/press and go to the bottom of page) is Pavel Mikoloski of Amanti Communications, who is identified on other websites as a student of the Ramtha School of Enlightenment (see www.beyondtheordinary.net/journeytoramtha.shtml).

So, what we're basically looking at is a wildly popular, pseudo-scientific film in a state with a vivid history of cult associations (think Rajneesh). The film itself is produced by a cult based around a woman who claims to be channeling the spirit of a 35,000 year old warrior from Atlantis. I personally think that's a rather interesting story. And yet, not a single media outlet in Portland has bothered to cover this. What the #$*! is up with that?

great scoop! 29.Mar.2004 11:24

republic of cascadia citizen

great investigative work "ramtha is watching". i enjoyed the film very much because it often leads people to question the "approved" version of reality. we need more of that! personally, while the connections are certainly interesting, i think the film has merit because of its content and results. the ramtha connection doesn't bother me. i am much more concerned about the 9/11 cover-up than whether a fringe group of people are trying to inject their view of reality into the mainstream. congrats to the ramtha crowd for some highly effective meme seeding!

Always Think for Yourself! 29.Mar.2004 12:08

Fenbar 2

Critical Movie Reviewers out there--

If you want to be critical of What the Bleep, why not do a little investigation on hollywood movies and the cults of violence and corporate sponsorship that create the hypnotic action of films like the Terminator, The Passion of The Christ, etc. I personally enjoyed the movie because it allowed me to think for myself. And I got to see my home town on the big screen in a beautiful way. And it is really trippy fun to see the actual movie theater you are sitting in, in front of you on the big screen!

As far as the fear of Ramtha cults and channeling-- check it out, folks: don't you think that organized religions like the Catholic Church have done more harm to this world?! As an archaeologist I don't know how much I believe the whole Atlantis stuff, but as a human, I humble my scientific knowledge with the understanding that there is more that I don't know than what I do. Think for yourself, people, put it into a historical context and get back to me.

Birth of a Nation, the Passion of the Christ are damaging movies because they emotionally manipulate the viewer to think in certain ways. And there were no cult leaders involved in the production of those movies!

What the Bleep is a movie that challenges you to think for yourself. If a lady with a lot of make up and dyed blond hair channeling a spirit from Atlantis freaks you out for preaching self awareness, sorry. You ought to be more freaked by the President of a world power who believes in "God being with us in our fight against terrorism" or "God hating homosexuality" etcetera

Watch it again if you want and think critically based on what you are seeing, not your fear based perception of "cults."

And btw, I have never heard of Ramtha before I saw the movie, and have little interest in knowing more about her organization.

My own life and the activist struggle of us all is much more compelling.


my thoughts 29.Mar.2004 15:03


You'd think from the post that the movie was about ramtha rather than an attempt to introduce people to the implications of current theories of quantum mechanics. I suppose some people might be interested in ramtha but personally I found others in the movie much more interesting. And if anyone is interested in reading more about this subject matter you might consider "Quantum Psychology" by Robert Anton Wilson.

Responses to the above 29.Mar.2004 16:25


"Birth of a Nation, the Passion of the Christ are damaging movies because they emotionally manipulate the viewer to think in certain ways."

"What the #$*!" also works to emotionally manipulate its viewers to think in certain ways throughout the entire film. And, contrary to the previous poster's view, this was NOT just an attempt "to introduce people to the implications of current theories of quantum mechanics." This was not an attempt to help people "think for themselves" but rather a way to present the power of positive speaking precisely from the viewpoint of the filmmakers. I like the power of positive thinking - it's genuinely beneficial for human beings in many ways. However, I question the overall goals of the filmmakers and recognize that a lot of the "science" was either complete bullshit or manipulated to produce certain reactions in the audience.

All of the discussion of quantum physics and neurochemistry was driven with an exacting agenda - to break down our perception of what we think reality "is" and then make it seem that we each have the ability to remake reality in our image. The heavy emphasis in the quantum physics section (which from a scientific perspective was weak on detail and heavy on the cool graphics) was on the subjectiveness of reality, ie Schrodinger's Uncertainty Principle. All of this is accompanied by a drama about a woman who is desperately unhappy about her life and herself.

By the end of the film (after softening us up for a couple of hours with pointless drama and pseudo-science), the "scientists" have let us know that by putting human-made labels with words on things, we can change the subjective form of those things. Jars of water with "happy" words make cute forms on a slide, while jars of water with "unhappy" words make scary forms. Unhappy woman feels isolated and angry. Woman who draws lots of hearts all over her skin is happy happy happy. Then the "scientists" start in with the information that we can "unleash our inner avatar" through the power of positive thinking. And, that we can "program our reality every morning" when we wake up and then connect with the "Outside Observer" to make sure that our efforts to program our reality are going A-OK.

Look, folks, this is a film that tries to present as objective fact that the natives in the West Indies could not _see_ Christopher Columbus' ships arriving. Ships were so foreign to their experience that they could not physically see the ships (although how the #$*! did they get to those islands without boats?) Finally, a wise man saw the ripples in the water and then learned to see the ships, and then taught everyone else to see the ships. What. A. Load. Of. Crap.

This is primarily a fluff piece with lots of fun, eye-catching, computer-generated graphics. There are more interesting and substantive ways to genuinely learn about quantum physics and neurochemistry. The sob story about the poor, jilted, deaf woman who needs the power of positive thinking keeps the viewer emotionally attached, unless you're rolling your eyes at how heavy-handed it is. The "science" and drama are obviously interwoven to achieve a very precisely defined conclusion - "reality is purely subjective and we can shape it through the power of positive thinking."

Despite being a fluff piece, there are very real connections to a genuine cult. That should be a cause for alarm. People who are smart enough and have the financial wherewithal to make a movie like this should not be taken lightly. I rarely buy into outright paranoia, but my belief is to never trust anyone with lots of money to throw around. Do you really believe that these people had absolutely no other agenda than providing a public benefit through a thought-provoking and entertaining film? Especially when the Ramtha School of Enlightenment describes the movie as featuring "Ramtha and several of his selected teachers." The RSE is heavily into marketing their materials and undoubtedly looking to expand their influence. I believe they're smart and they're proactive enough to use "What the #$*!" as the first stage of an expansion effort. What are they going to do next?

Right on! 29.Mar.2004 16:42

freaked out by yelm

A couple of points to reiterate:

This movie is NOT ABOUT QUANTUM PHYSICS. It uses a few popular "facts" about physics to "prove" the existance of the soul and the nessesity of the "avitar"

If you know ANYTHING about what goes on in the Ramtha compound in Yelm, you know that it is a $1600 brainwashing designed to purge you of your "adictive emotions" if you try to get out of the cult you are told that you are falling into your adiction.

The big bleeping deal about this movies is that the ENTIRE ARGUMENT AND PRESENTATION is directly out of the cult's teachings. It is their propeganda exposed to the people of Portland. The production company is from Yelm, All of the "scientists" are people from her/his cult.

What the film DIDN'T touch upon was most disturbing. 29.Mar.2004 18:05

echo echo@save-planet.com

While i'm not a paid professional film critic, i did have some reservations about the film. None of my criticisms though really have anything to do with Ramtha or cults (Personally, i feel fear of cults can be added to the list of fears the media perpetuates to keep people weak, ignorant and divided). My main issue with the film was the very dismissive overtones of peoples' pain and repression. "Just think positive and Life will change!!!" "Look at the world in a different way and the world will be different!!!" While i do agree that there were some valid points made, and i even agree to an extent with the whole perception theory, i find it extremely flippant and racist to proclaim "anyone" in the world can change their Life by looking at Life in a new way. While this philosophy may be applicable to a large segment of this country and other developed (industrial/capitalist)nations, i don't feel it encompasses an even greater segment of the world's people. For example, let's take Haiti. Okay poor Haitians, just work on perceiving the world in a different way, and your Life will be altered in wonderful ways. Quantum physics tell us it's the truth, so it must be. Is quantum physics telling us this, or the financial interests of a privileged group that has access to a major media market(film)?

Anyway, that was my little issue with the film. Other than that, i felt the film was just mediocre. I definitely wasn't all ga ga over it like a lot of people seem to have been. Maybe i'm just looking at it wrong.

seeing what you have rather than seeing what you dont 30.Mar.2004 08:25

nagative thoughts and feelings can repress you from positive

such as believing you can change help reshape foreign policy or start a positive grass roots movement, these things take patience. negative feelings and thought patterns can seriously affect my patience and perserverance, how about you? common in spiritual growth teachings all around the world is that anger kills love heals despite the idea that "healthy anger" can push you to do somthing good .it is always a moment of healthy thinking that start the positive action. I encourage everyone to start developing a way of life and living. one doesnt have to pay thousands of dollars to learn about their own spirit.but on the other hand are you using that money to buy a G.E. tv to quelle anxiety and boredom WAY OF LIFE CANNOT BE BOUGHT AND SOLD AND IT WILL NOT BE BROUGHT TO YOU BUY OUR CORPORATE SPONSER... ONLY CAPITALISM OUR CURRENT GOVERNMENT AND WAY OF LIFE DESTRUCTION CAN ..........................OFF THE SUBJECT WATER SQUIRTERS AND random hugs to complete strangers through out the film could give this this cult film a fun twist!

ramtha is watching 31.Mar.2004 05:21

is completely correct

I noticed the extended narrative tangent away from the science into theology in the middle of the movie, and I noticed that the Ramtha lady was the only non-scientist interviewed in the film, and I'd heard about Ramtha before, and when the filmmakers at the debut were answering questions, I noticed one of them said "Ramtha is a channeled being," pretty much identifying himself as a believer. I think the mainstream film critics just never heard of Ramtha, the cult or the alleged spirit creature. I mean, it's kind of dishonest to present the film as a science movie when it's really a religious movie, but as a religious movie it's pretty okay. Compare it to, say, "The Passion of the Christ," or (I struggle for another example) to "The Green Mile." I mean, TO ME "WTFDWK" was so obviously a New Age religious film it didn't really occur to me that anybody would think it was about Bringing Science To The Masses. Silly me.

I've mentioned it to people in person when they talk about the movie, but as far as writing up an expose for indymedia, that never occurred to me. It just didn't seem that important.

I forgot about the Columbus scene. Yeah, what the fuck's up with that? They better have some historical source for that shit, dude, or it's total white racist New Age bullshit. Probably the latter.

But, like, in general, everything RIW says is true. I agree.

bridge over the river nihil[ism] 02.Apr.2004 03:14


Quite the bridge over the river nihil[ism]. The movie kept a positive axiology while insisting on revaluating "reality." Where, mind I ask, did their axiology hide (shouldnt it have ceased to then exist as a fixed phenomenon? Also, was not the color of background on the "changed water structures" different? sniff sniff MARKETING?!?! not too mention (back to axiology) the "negative" water molecule was supposed to be ugly or obviously bad - according to whose aesthetics? Isn't that just as trite as womyn thinking their large hips are ugly? Or does it confirm that they are ugly and only positive thinking, over time will slender them back to beauty? I'm glad that they found the universal aesthetic- however they only mentioned it implicitly - BOOOO! Also, gotta love the lack of historical citations as already mentioned. how can you throw all things into question, except your value system? POOR REASONING - yet to be expected. I was looking forward to the film damn it.


I've had a lot of fun.... 13.Apr.2004 00:47


I've had a lot of fun reading all posts and responses. I'm glad someone crossposted (a link) from my review to this earlier review. Thank you.
Portland indymedia provides a breath of fresh air to discuss these topics, without fear of filtering from big business, or it's buddy, the scammer. Without fear of interference from the scammer (perp) and the scam taker (victim), big business (perp) or 'walmart shopper' (victim). Most everyone has realized their role is not to be the 'rescuer'. Instead, removed from the cycle.
As one poster properly pointed out, there are more important struggles here at home. Meaning the mythical 'home' as it applies to your home. We struggle together and apart, as these homes connect sometimes. Comradeship arises naturally. We have no need to pay 1600 dollars to be 'member comrades'. Just the opposite.
For me, the purpose of playing the role of calling 'a spade, a spade', is transitory and fun. I rejoice on seeing the light cast, on the age-old charletons.

A Cult???? 25.Jun.2004 15:20

Suzanne Daniels

What exactly is a cult? Well, let me see a news media that lies, manipulates and tells everyone what they, they, the media wants to them (us) hear? It's brainwashing. Or, I'm sorry it's not considered brain washing because, what, you're sitting in front of your television in a living room getting fed all kinds of untruths? I've listened to Ramtha and seen the movie and believe me, I am a brilliant, independant black woman, here in Los Angeles, who knows for sure that anyone who espouses something different, or gives information that can expand and open the mind, is considered weird or perhaps a cult leader. A cult is "Heavens Gate" where people are forced to stay, live and cannot leave. A school is where people go to open up their minds and learn something totally new and perhaps come out more loving. The only people who believe that the Ramtha is a cult are those that have never even bothered to listen. No, I'm not a Ramtha student however, I love the website, beyond theordinary. net. They have a lot of heavy hitters speaking on that website and yes they are affiliated with Ramtha. What The Bleep Do we Know...was an excellent film and I hope it keeps going and going and going longer than even the Eveready Bunny! Whatever anyone may think, a different message and a new way of thiking is needed. This society is drownig in denial and easy fixes. We really need to know that we are all connected and how wonderful we really are. We are the richest country in the world and yet we are the most cynical, arrogant people in the world.

The source is important 26.Jul.2004 23:00


I have not seen this movie yet. However, with anything I read or view, I always first and foremost find the source. Who is the author and what are their interests and motives? The fact that this film was funded by someone who named their film company after an "Ascended Master" (Ramtha is synonymous with "Lord of the Wind"), and that all the filmakers are RSE "members", triggers that familiar feeling of manipulation. We see it all the time, everyone has a motive. Ask yourself "how is this NOT relevant?" How can you ignore the source? What if all the filmmakers were sworn Satanic cult members? You want to think for yourself, then go beyond what air-brushed and edited content of what the source intended you to see. Gather facts on your own, and just don't believe everything you see and hear.

I will see this movie, and most likely return to post another comment.

you're right. other questionable "facts" as well... 31.Aug.2004 20:31

mason spolspoc igrumpus@gmail.com

I saw the What The Bleep Do We Know and thought it was disingenuous in its science and scientists, and nauseatingly proslytizing. Oh well, to each his own i thought. then i investigated it on the web (on this point the movie succeeds: it stirs your curiosity) and it seemed like fairly transparent attempt of the Ramtha School of Enlightenment to push their agenda. That made me feel a bit like a guy in an airport getting hit on by a Hare Krisna. One point actually had me laughing though. I lived in Washington DC when the meditation/crime study discussed so admiringly in the movie took place. The movie fails to mention that the "study" was staged by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Transcendental Mediation(TM) movement. It also fails to mention that every organization that took notice of the "study" besides TM found it to be phony and found the meditation to be unrelated to the crime rate - the only site on the web that seems to believe the experiment worked is the site belonging to TM. It also fails to mention, that M M Yogi's original claim in the late claim '60's was that far, far fewer meditators could reduce hunger, war and crime all over the world within days. Everytime he's confronted with the failure of this project he ups the number of necessary until the experiment becomes essentially unworkable. I meditate myself and have no axe to grind in that regard, but, phony and skewed information make the movie seem tawdry and scheeming.

that TM study and other factoids 14.Sep.2004 23:06


mason spolspoc brings up a good point about that TM "study" in DC. apparently the study results said crime was reduced by 18% during the 2 months the TMers were meditating; by the time it got to the movie, it was 25%. aaaand, in fact, the murder rate during those 2 months set a record that hasn't been broken yet. when asked for a benchmark (18% less than what?) the study people said, basically, "well, 18% less than what it would've been if we weren't meditating." myself, i prefer a little more exact science than that.

other factoid: did anyone catch the bit about how our bodies are 90% water? it's generally assumed to be more in the neighborhood of 70% plus or minus a few points. but 90%, wow! i don't know about your body, but if mine were 90% water i'd have considerable trouble moving around without sloshing.

total piece of pseudoscientific new age cult crap 29.Sep.2004 12:32


I live in NYC and just saw this movie. I could not shake the feeling that this movie had a hidden agenda, and was total bs: understanding quantum mechanics does not mean we can walk on water. after reading this thread and googling the movie to learn more all my suspicions have been confirmed. I won't repeat all the ways the movie promotes a slipshod "logic" and faulty science to promote its hidden agenda, but I will say that the movie is absolutely, positively meant to manipulate and ultimately brainwash people. The fact that it makes no overt reference to its ties to the TM (transcendental meditation) community, and sets up a kind of sugar-coated psychobabble is really creepy. This movie is quite simply an attempt to get new members by way of "peaking" interest; it's utterly dishonest and full of shit.

New Age hooey 03.Oct.2004 19:11


I live in Boulder, CO and the entire city went flocking to see this movie. I usually just go see new releases on whims without knowing what they're about, so when I showed up at the only theater playing it here after hearing rave reviews about the so-called "documentary," I was a bit curious how I had missed all the hype. The line exceeded outside in the freezing rain and hail. It wasn't until I finally got in that I realized what a terrifying bunch I was surrounded by. People kept smirking and nodding whenever any scientific claim based on empirical evidence was "disproven." People are so defensive about this movie. Everytime I try to bring up a single flaw in the film people cringe like their sweat molecules are about to warp into an asthetically challenged molecular shape.

Undisputed facts to date re the film and film makers stay tuned! 06.Oct.2004 00:28

diggingdeeper diggingreallydeeper@yahoo.com

1. In addition to the films three directors, there were actors and others involved in the production who are long time "students" of Ramthas' School of enlightenment.

2. A disproportionate amount of time was given in voice and film to Ramtha, Dr. Joe dispenza, and Miceal Ledwith.

3. Dr Joe Dispenza and Miceal Ledwith are both long time students and "appointed teachers at Ramthas' school of enlightenment (RSE)

4. Dr Joe Dispenza (the one who creates his day) has gone to court and testified that his teacher (ramtha) has told him that terrible times are coming and that he needs to protect his family. He also invested over $10,000.00 in an infamous scam that infected RSE and was touted by Ramtha as a vehicle to gain fabulous wealth and many of the schools membership lost substantial sums of money. Some lost their entire life savings.
This is the person who teaches the brain science in RSE.

5.Miceal Ledwith a clergyman with a rather dubious past (see  link to unison.ie) is the one chosen by the film makers to be the theological spokesman. He is also the theologian in residence of RSE.
He also has been marketing several products within the school and its followers. Guess that could not have been done to easily in the Catholic church.

6. The following persons in the film have all spoken at RSE and sold books there.

Fred Allen Wolf
Dr Candice Pert
Amit Gotswami
John Haglin
Joe Dispenza
Miceal Ledwith
and of course the big guy himself, Ramtha

7. One of the scientists who was in the film and had never appeared at the school is Dr David Albert Professor and Director of Philosophical Physics at Columbia university.
He has stated in several venues that his views were totally misrepresented in the film. He claims that in over 5 hours of interviews he explained to the film makers why their concept of how Quantum Physics works has virtually no support in the scientific community.
He even called in to a radio program the director was on to discuss this and was cut off. The host of the show said this was done because it was "negative"
so much for no good or bad, that is unless it is convienent.

8. To date, there has been no response as to where the information which lead to the story about the indians not being able to see the ships of Columbus originated from. There appears to be no evidence to support this claim. In addition, the film mentioned "clipper ships" which were not even in existence at that time. Perhaps that is why they couldn't see them.

There were many more, but I will leave them for others. If anyone has any information to refute any of the facts laid out here, I will be more then willing to retract them.

They are relevant because of the deliberateness on the part of the film makers to keep certain facts unknown (ironically, it is I making the unknown know) and misrepresent others.

Take what you need 07.Apr.2005 13:09

master311 tald@edaw.com

Have just viewed the film.

I am an open minded person (very). The second I see the word channeler and channeling my fraud radar goes on.
I have read about the work and research done on 'Ramtha' and proving this lady is not a 'Fraud'.
This work was lead by theologians (who are not scientists) and a parapsychologists. While I am open minded, this starts to bend the nature of this truth.

The movie is thought provoking and worth seeing for the discussion you can have with friends. If it is indeed a marketing tool for the organization, well, so what. People need to research and educate themselves. Thats our responsibility. If the sheep of our world take this film and swallow it whole without looking behind the curtain to see the 'wizard' that is their mistake and part of their lesson in life.

I believe that channeling is a believable phenomena to the person who is the channeler. Beyond that take it with a grain of salt. Many of these channelers are just after fame and fortune.

At least this bit of propaganda and marketing is better than 99% of whats on tv and in the movies now, does not promote hate, asks people to ask questions and think for themselves, interjects its belief with conviction and if your smart enough to educate yourself without having to run to an organization to give you salvation, will at least allow you to contemplate a life out side the box.

Throw away what you don't need.

Reality in the eye of the beholder 15.May.2005 20:41

Ray Coulombe

it seems compelling that the speakers in this film are convinced of their correctness. any criticism of such beliefs it can be imagined, is countered by the accusation of a less than open mind.

those who produced and acted in the film are for the most part, adherents of the jz knight/ramtha enlightenment group. this fact is nowhere mentioned.

believing myself to be reasonably open-minded, i have no criticism regarding those adherents who. believe as they do. i then assume they have no problem with others who may disagree with them. my guess is that the great majority of professional scientists believe that the discussion of science in the film is not supported as true. the same can be said of channeling and the validity of tests that have been cited elsewhere as supporting the main issues of the film.

*giggles* Oh how scared the collective ego speaks! 05.Apr.2006 07:36


How hard it is for us humans to even remotely accept that for most of us it is impossible to think/feel or express outside "the box" of 3D perception. I think what the bleep and Ramtha mearely do one thing, and that is invite us to al least try. And to me this is more origional and love based than much of anything I've seen or heard on planet earth. Pulling the stick of fear and lack from our own arsse is buy far the biggest challenge there is today.