by Steven Hale
It seems the rumors are true. There's no peace at Financial Peace Plaza.
In a piece for The Daily Beast that is at turns bizarre, distressing, and hilarious, Matthew Paul Turner — whom you may know as @JesusNeedsNewPR — has chased down the details of evangelical financial Pharisee Dave Ramsey's apparently frenzied effort to make sure no one says anything bad about him ever.
Ramsey is a popular and divisive figure in the Christian community and beyond, thanks to his radio show, his financial philosophy, and his personality. For weeks now, there have been tweets and whispers suggesting he was on a rampage after several parody Twitter accounts had popped up and started skewering him anonymously. And after "interviews with nearly two dozen current and former employees of his Nashville-based Lampo Group," Turner has confirmed that and more.
It's really quite something:
According to interviews with nearly two dozen current and former employees of his Nashville-based Lampo Group, Ramsey has engaged in what they describe as an increasingly paranoid campaign to identify and silence several critics—mostly former employees—who have appeared on Facebook and Twitter. Bizarre episodes allegedly involving online spying, gag orders, random firings, and offers of large cash bounties for information have created a climate of fear inside the Lampo headquarters, intensifying a discomfort many employees have felt the past several years with Ramsey’s management.
Turner goes on to tell of Ramsey's infiltration of a private Facebook group made up of his former employees, two threatening staff meetings — one of which includes a loaded pistol — contact with the FBI, and attempts to exploit people's faith to maintain power over them.
Almost sounds like a cult leader, huh?