Lawrence Fossi, who criticized Tesla in blogs, says Musk called his BOSS and threatened to sue him
Elon Musk may have bought Twitter claiming he is a crusader for free speech, but an outspoken Tesla critic has claimed that Tesla’s CEO personally forced him off Twitter in 2018.
Lawrence Fossi, then a New York City-based daytime portfolio manager who had a prolific Tesla skeptical blog and Twitter account under the pseudonym “Montana Skeptic” by night, Musk said he would personally call his office and threatened to sue both Fossi and his boss if he didn’t stop his public criticism at the time.
Fossi said that when he arrived at work on July 23, 2018, a colleague told him that Musk had personally called the office to relay a message.
“Elon Musk says you’re a really bad person and you write bad things about him,” Fossi recalled to his colleague who told him in an interview with Mediate last week: “He will have to charge you and he will have to involve our boss.”
“It was hard to believe,” said Fossi, “but in fact that was what had happened.”
After the phone call that left Fossi “incredulous,” he said he agreed to shut down his Twitter account and stop writing blog posts on the Seeking Alpha platform to prevent his boss from getting involved in lawsuits.
“We both agreed that Mr. Musk’s call and impending lawsuit were actions that would involve our employer in matters he had no part in,” Fossi wrote in a goodbye article to the blog the day after the call. from Montana Skeptic.
“To avoid such a consequence, I have offered to stop writing at Seeking Alpha immediately and deactivate my Twitter account.”
Lawrence Fossi ran the Tesla-skeptical blog Montana Skeptic on the Seeking Alpha website and an associated Twitter account, until shutting down both in July 2018
Fossi alleges that Elon Musk personally called his employer and threatened to sue him and his employer. A 2018 statement from Tesla backs Fossi .’s claim
Fossi began writing carefully analyzed articles in 2015 criticizing Tesla under the pseudonym Montana Skeptic. He agreed to quit his job after Musk personally threatened prosecution in 2018
Fossi has been writing critical articles about Tesla on his Montana Skeptic blog since 2015. He also discussed his work and his skepticism toward Musk, whom he characterized as a demagogue, in a 2018 episode of Hidden Forces with Demitri Kofinas.
In dozens of his articles, he painstakingly plucked Tesla’s profit statements, claiming that the company embellished profits and disguised losses, questioned many of Tesla’s safety claims, and scrutinized its multi-billion dollar manufacturing agreements with US states.
Fossi promoted his Montana Skeptic articles through a Twitter account of the same name.
A Tesla fan scouring the internet eventually linked Fossi to his pseudonym in a… Twitter postand within a week Musk called his boss with threats of lawsuits.
“He had never tried to contact me to say, ‘I think you actually did something wrong in your article,'” Fossi told Mediaite.
“He didn’t email me and no one at Tesla let me do that.”
Tesla spokesperson Dave Arnold confirmed in a 2018 statement that Tesla had come into contact with Fossi’s employer: “[Fossi’s] employer has been a longtime Tesla supporter and was one of the first to buy a Model S. When executives at [Fossi’s place of employment] became aware of Fossi’s actions, Fossi offered to stop and did it.”
It is unclear where Fossi currently works.
Fossi discussed his work and his skepticism about Musk, whom he characterized as a demagogue, in a 2018 episode of Hidden Forces with Demitri Kofinas.
The actions against Fossi are not Musk’s first efforts to silence critics. In 2018, he called a man who accused him of using tragedy for publicity a “pedo man” and a “child molester”
While Musk wrote on Monday, “I hope even my worst critics stay on Twitter because that’s what free speech means,” after buying the social media platform, the Fossi incident isn’t the only time Musk has taken steps against vocal critics.
In June 2018, a month before the Fossi incident, Business Insider released a report that a Tesla plant in Nevada had demolished 40 percent of its raw materials during the production of the Tesla Model 3s.
The source of the information turned out to be Martin Tripp, an assembly line worker, who was sued by Tesla for $167 million. Tripp would admit to leaking trade secrets and agree to a $400,000 fine.
Later in the summer of 2018, Musk had a submarine designed and sent to Thailand to help rescue a boys’ soccer team trapped in a cave.
Vernon Unsworth, a British diver involved in the rescue operation, publicly referred to Musk’s submarine as a PR stunt.
Musk responded by tweeting that Unsworth was a “pedo man” and told a reporter he was a “child molester.”
After Musk acquired Twitter for $44 billion in April 2022, Musk expressed a wish that his critics would stay on the platform in the spirit of free speech.
On Tuesday, the billionaire criticized the “extreme antibody response” of “those who fear freedom of speech” and said it “says it all” when he launched his first public backlash against the awakened workers.
He said that if people want to further censor freedom of expression, they will “ask the government to pass laws to that effect.”
But he added that he will not go beyond the law because it “would be contrary to the will of the people.”
Musk also silenced critics on Tuesday afternoon by posting, “The extreme antibody response of those fearing free speech says it all.”
He continued: ‘By ‘freedom of speech’ I simply mean that which is in accordance with the law.
“I am against censorship that goes way beyond the law.
“If people want less freedom of speech, they will ask the government to pass laws.
“Therefore, to ignore the law is contrary to the will of the people.”
He later added: ‘Per aspera ad astra!’
The Latin phrase roughly translates as, ‘Through difficulties to the stars!’
The Tesla founder said he wanted to reinstate the principle of free speech on the platform and has joined criticism of the moderation policy accused of disproportionately targeting conservative voices, but his critics claim he will “let hate Bloom’.