I generally don’t get too riled up. That’s probably because after all these years of freelancing, being required to write about both sides of any given issue, I tend to be more of a watcher than a participant. This is especially true when I’m confronted with particularly volatile subjects. Once things get interesting, I step back and observe; trying to understand both sides. It takes me quite a while to select a position and even longer to get riled up about it.
I mention this because although I’ve never met Bradlee Dean, he is one of the few people who have managed to rile me up in a matter of seconds.
The madness began as my long suffering husband and I approached the local Walmart to pick up a few provisions for the upcoming week. I just love their powdered peanut butter (don’t judge me) and I was in the mood to get me some, a fairly innocuous scenario.
Outside the front door stood a table filled with reading material, DVDs, and CDs, with two nice looking people standing next to it, waiting to interact with people entering the store. My dh picked up his step, and much to my chagrin, I paused for just a moment, wondering what these kids were selling.
That’s when it happened.
The female behind the table sprung into action, grabbing a couple brochures, and hit me up for a donation to “You Can Run but You Can’t Hide” ministries. She said their goal was to get into public schools with an inspiring and empowering message, then pull a switcheroo and hit the kids with the “gospel of Jesus Christ.”
“Isn’t that a breech of church and state separation?” I asked.
I’m not sure what she said at that point, but I remember grabbing her literature, high tailing it into the store, and walking with my head down as she followed, evidently lecturing me on something to do with Thomas Jefferson. My dh wasn’t particularly pleased at that point.
After she left, that’s when I got riled.
I found a store manager and complained. “I came in for powdered peanutbutter, not a lecture on Thomas Jefferson,” I told her. When this exchange didn’t reduce my angry attitude, I approached another manager and lodged a second complaint. This manager mentioned this group was banned in her previous store for annoying so many customers.
After my purchase, we exited via another door, only to be confronted with yet another team from this organization. Gah.
So, it was with great interest that I read this article in the Twin Cities’ City Pages:
According to a source close to the situation, Dean’s “You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International” staffers have all walked out on him. Yes, that includes his notorious street teams and Dean’s “Sons of Liberty” radio cohost Jake McMillan, who our source says put in his two weeks notice and moved out of Minnesota. (McMillian, for some reason, sometimes went by the name Jake MacAulay.)
Our source said the beginning of the end came when two former Dean staffers — a husband-and-wife team including his former director of donor relations — had a falling out with Bradlee. The couple stayed friends with some “You Can Run” employees and began trying to persuade their friends to leave the ministry. They had incremental success, culminating with the resignation of McMillan, and as a result Dean no longer has anybody working for him.
His headquarters were put up for rent earlier this month, too.
Another former staffer calls the ministry a “cultic sham ministry” and have presented evidence to the Minnesota Attorney General. They also want to make sure Dean will “never hold another leadership position with a ministry.” He may also face criminal charges.
Meanwhile, the street teams have been disbanded and Dean has no choice but to try and forge ahead with his radio show on his own, our source said, adding that Bradlee “is pretty much done.”
I guess I’ll be able to pick up my powdered peanutbutter in peace from now on. 🙂
Here’s a bit of Rachel Maddow vs Mr. Dean: