Yesterday, July 23, I decided to cease writing about Tesla (TSLA) here at the Seeking Alpha web site. I also deactivated my Twitter account, where I was @MontanaSkeptic1. Here is what prompted those decisions.
Yesterday afternoon, the principal of the family office in which I am employed received a communication from someone purporting to be Elon Musk. Doubtful that Elon Musk could actually be attempting to contact him, my employer asked one of my colleagues to investigate and respond.
My colleague then spoke by phone with Elon Musk (it was indeed him). Mr. Musk complained to my colleague about my writing at Seeking Alpha and on Twitter. Mr. Musk said if I continued to write, he would engage counsel and sue me.
My colleague then spoke with me about the phone call. We both agreed that Mr. Musk’s phone call and threatened lawsuit were actions that would tend to involve our employer in matters in which he has had no part. To avoid such a consequence, I offered to immediately cease writing at Seeking Alpha and to deactivate my Twitter account.
How did Mr. Musk learn my identity, and that of my employer? It appears to me his information came thanks to the doxing efforts of some of his followers on Twitter.
Neither Mr. Musk nor Tesla has ever attempted, at any time, to contact me. Instead, Mr. Musk determined to go directly to my employer.
I do not know what Mr. Musk’s precise complaints are about me. I do not believe he has any valid legal claim, and I would have no trepidation in defending myself vigorously were he to bring any claim. My response to his threats was simply to protect my employer and preserve my employment.
And so, you might say, Elon Musk has won this round. He has silenced a critic. But he has many, many critics, and he cannot silence them all, and the truth will out.
I am proud of everything I wrote at Seeking Alpha, and have immensely appreciated the extraordinary support of so many SA members and contributors.
It more than makes up for the endless mendacity and vicious personal attacks I have endured from many Tesla cultists and from publications such as Electrek and Teslarati.
All the articles and blog posts I have already published will continue to be available to Pro subscribers. These four articles, along with the blog posts, will remain on this side of the firewall:
To anyone tempted to short Tesla, I urge you to again read the cautions in Part V of the second linked article.
I am hopeful my magnificent collaborator, CoverDrive, who has been loath to himself become a contributor, will find a new home at Seeking Alpha under the aegis of another contributor.
With sadness, I say farewell. And, I thank you for the splendid ride.
Disclosure: I am/we are short TSLA.
Additional disclosure: I am short TSLA via long-dated options