Dear Churches: Stop Using NDAs and Other Silencing Strategies

Melissa J. Hogan
9 min readSep 1, 2022

Sunshine versus silencing. Light versus dark. Open versus sealed. Free versus gagged. There is a tension between each of these concepts that I think is woven throughout the Bible.

I recently had a conversation with Amy Fritz of the Untangled Faith podcast about the use of different types of silencing strategies — non-disclosure agreements and non-disparagement agreements and clauses, protective orders, gag orders and other means to silence people — by churches, self-proclaimed “Christian” organizations, and other parties of faith.

[Read my NDA mega-thread on twitter that compiles articles, podcasts, and other resources on the use of NDAs in Christian organizations and generally]

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

This conversation came as a result of a series of articles I’ve written here on medium that identified a theme of silencing strategies being used in the court cases and generally involving Ramsey Solutions, Dave Ramsey’s financial empire. This was consistent with my own experience of being silenced by Dave Ramsey’s team via a legal gag order imposed on me in 2019 during my divorce from former Ramsey personality, Chris Hogan.

Read my series of articles on the Case(s) Against Dave Ramsey: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

The final question we faced on the podcast episode: Is there any circumstance in which a Christian organization should use silencing strategies?

Listen to this episode of the Untangled Faith podcast.

To get to the answer, we should first define what exactly we’re talking about. What do I mean when I refer to “silencing strategies”?

I developed my own working definition in order to be precise.

Silencing strategies are efforts by a party with greater resources to use their own power and/or to leverage the power and authority of the legal system to prevent someone with fewer resources from sharing truthful information they otherwise have a right to share.

Let’s break that down. What are we talking about here?

A party with greater resources

Melissa J. Hogan

Attorney. Advocate. Author, “Afraid of the Doctor: Every Parent’s Guide to Preventing and Managing Medical Trauma.” Find me at