I’m writing this after having acquired several stories from various staff. Many people have been very talkative, often in a negative fashion. These are their stories, told by them and heavily edited by me to appear as formal at times, and informal at others. This is done to remove any idiosyncratic forms of speech that might identify them. As such, the topics may skip around and I’m sorry if it is difficult to follow at times.
There’s not a single staff member there who is interested in continuing under the despicable management of BA and IP. Even I plan on leaving before too much longer, if I’m not already gone by the time you post this.
It’s rather ironic, given how BA and IP bemoan the lack of loyalty from their staff, but in their next breath deride subordinates as overly demanding, unrealistic in their expectations, and ultimately replaceable due to the amount of
people lining up out of the gate who want to work here. You should be proud of the fact that we thought you might be good enough to make a decent instructor. More on this topic later.
First, let’s talk about what everyone wants to know.
Where did the money go?
Hopefully the forensic accountants can provide some exacting numbers. All I have is what is visible from our side of the company.
Let’s start with some background. Front Sight Firearms Training Institute is in the business of selling memberships, not training.
The business side just isn’t interested in training at all.
Comfort in skill at arms is only a marketing phrase. Just like
Any gun will do, if you will do, and yet there are entire classes of weapons that are not allowed (anything black powder,
Pocket Pistols, arm braces, binary triggers, and PCCs). The business side is only interested in syphoning money as rapidly as possible, while returning only the bare amount to keep the doors open.
The support staff and the
boots on the rocks staff are on the same page in providing excellent customer service. Not in the way of
the customer is always right, but in providing as optimal of an experience as possible. The range staff have been heavily focusing on this and numerous technical skills in the last decade, but over 90% of staff training has been shut down since BA returned in early 2021. And the policies set forth by BA are often unnecessarily obtuse. But the staff convey these topics and often de-escalate misunderstandings with our students in a perfectly professional manner.
The entire business model is built around the idea that a client purchases a membership, without being promised a product other than the potential for attendance. Anything else that is included must often be walked back, shortly after being promised, while burdensome limitations are added. Much in the same vein of a college degree, with the underlying assumption that YMMV.
No one can guarantee identical outcomes when it comes to training. And the business would rather not train anyone. To paraphrase: If we’re
lucky, they never show up and that money is
free. At most, FS wants a student to,
attend 3 courses or less, otherwise we’re losing money on them. (BA)
Here’s how this works. The target revenue goals are $50k–$60k per day. It’s never been specified if this is every day or every normal business day (Monday-Friday). Which is why the payment plans of such silly and low monthly numbers are acceptable. It’s better to have a level cash inflow, in order to create a stable and predictable business income.
The business accounts are emptied into Piazza’s personal accounts at regular intervals, (a process known as commingling) with only some slush left to maintain accounts open to deal with things such as payroll errors and petty cash. This has been the common course of events, so far as anyone remembers.
The thinking is that creditors and lawsuits can only collect on what the company currently owns. That’s why the few million dollars he’s collected from Gold Status members (fewer than 6,000 people) and the recent donations are nowhere to be found. It was his last chance to personally collect any funds for the duration of the Chapter 11.
Which, by the way, has been told to us that it will take no more than 6 months to complete. IP even stated that we can do it faster (4 months or less) than other businesses for no actual specified reason. Also, staff were told that we had secured all necessary financing for the duration of the time we would be in Chapter 11. This was the week after the bankruptcy was filed. Whatever fundraising IP’s involved with at this point is supposedly unnecessary and irrelevant according to him. Just icing on the cake.
Allegedly, this is why he started becoming a resident of Texas. I’m not sure of the ins-and-outs, so please look further into it, but here are a pair of links forwarded to me that may put some of it into perspective:
On another note, recently the bank in town (where our local account is located) reported that some people, on IP’s instructions, were trying to close out the account. Apparently, the bankruptcy judge had ordered the bank not to do so, and the bank employees refused. Just food for thought.
Back to commingling. This extends all the way to payroll. It’s often been commented as odd that we were not paid until at least two weeks after the completion of the work period. This goes back all the way to when our pay was in physical checks. We didn’t move to direct deposit until someone showed IP that he could actually save money by doing it this way. It’s amazing how much he’s stuck in the past.
An organized staff member showed me an old pay stub that proves this point. For example, if you worked from January 1st to January 15th, you would receive a check in late January, but it wasn’t valid until February 1st. In fact, it was a firing offense to cash/deposit your check before that date.
The reason given? The payroll account didn’t have the money in it yet, and the check would bounce. This would cost the company more money, and, as such, is forbidden. There’s more string in that ball of yarn, we might return to it.
While we’re on the topic of payroll, let’s break that down so everyone understands it. There are multiple stages of evolution on this topic, so I will only cover the most current one here. Others may be located in a section devoted to the character of IP/BA. But here is a webpage for reference:
- Move to RED Nye County NV and work for Front Sight. We just hired 6 instructors and looking for more
Please remember that these were done within the year leading up to current events.
- Support staff (Maintenance, Ammo Bunker, Armorers, Rentals, Pro Shop, Concierge, Security, Janitorial): Start at $12/hr. Capped at $16/hr. Salaried individuals end up around $22/hr equivalent.
- Instructors (Line Coaches, Instructor levels 1-3): Start at $12/hr. Capped at $16/hr. No salary at these levels.
- Rangemasters (Levels 1-3): Starts at $21.50/hr. Capped at $26/hr. Salaried individuals end up around $27/hr equivalent.
- Senior Rangemasters: $25/hr. + $50 per diem (for an equivalent of roughly $30/hr
Because everyone outside of salaried positions is considered seasonal, there are approximately 10 weeks without work per year. These weeks are primarily in the summer, but Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day add up to a couple of those 10 weeks. This brings us to an average of 42 weeks per year.
Most of the support staff are around 38 hrs/week, while range staff are locked in at 37.5 hrs/week. The difference is that range staff are expected to have the ranges ready by 7:15 most mornings, which is when the pay clock starts. That means showing up around 7 and not getting paid for it.
There are even times when people in Rentals have to stay a little late, and they get forced by their managers into amending their time cards back into the normal pay week hours and removing any extra hours or potential OT that was actually worked. This practice is common. Once in a while, someone will be needed to work overtime and not log it. In return, Management will sometimes authorize extra time off to offset this discrepancy.
It’s a toss-up if the people get it. Often it’s turned around on the employee as a moral failing, so they get told that they don’t deserve the pay or the time off. There are around a hundred examples of this, but no state/federal agencies have thought it was worth their time to show up and investigate.
Back to the topic at hand. This means that the expected gross pay for hourly employees is as follows:
|Support Staff||$19,152 – $25,536 per year|
|Instructors||$18,900–$25,200 per year|
This is assuming no OT or extra work during the off season (which sometimes exists). In fact, OT and full summer hours are the only way an RM could come close to the $50k that BA mentions in the video. His statement of having over 200 range staff on payroll is also false. There are over 150 range staff on the books that haven’t worked there in years (I’ve been told that, since this Restructuring fiasco started, we are down to less than 50 range staff).
This is done for two reasons: First, to artificially inflate the amount of employees, which shows that FS is a bigger contributor to employment in Nye County than it really is. Second, is to attempt to fight unemployment claims by counter-claiming fraud due to still being employed, when people are simply not scheduled anymore and are
Front Sight fired. Basically a soft and unofficial termination.
No medical, dental, vision, life, retirement, or other benefits. Well, you could get an employee discount on ammo, but as BA said,
Why would staff buy ammo from us? And all of the gear in the Pro-Shop is cheap stuff that DY (IP’s personal assistant) found on Amazon or discussed with his industrial contacts in China to have it made for us.
They even approached some of the supervisors to collaborate on these projects, to develop items that were junk, but that could be sold just under the price tag of the superior items. Really sounds like someone who believed his own
America First! Go Trump! rhetoric, huh?
The only things with American components in the Pro-Shop are the Dry Practice Manuals, target rolls, GI 1911 for raffle, and the SP1 Piazza Glock (which is a pile of junk and needs lots of tuning to make it function). But, like IP said in one of his gun training reports, if someone is trying to sell you a Service Pistol, they’re just trying to pull something over on you. I believe that is quite fitting.
Again, where did the money go?
It most certainly was not spent in full force on the company. All of Phase 3 and the accompanying road work only cost around 1.2 million.
The appraiser that came out to deliver an assessment of $26 million on the whole property was a joke. It was some dude in a ratty pickup from Virginia who was paid to make the amount whatever IP wanted. He even lied to some of the staff and said that he was out here to scout the place for some people who wanted to train out here. Which, of course, led to the intentional rumors that some high-powered company out of Virginia wanted to use our facilities. IP and BA never disclosed this dude’s purpose to us at all.
There isn’t one.
For any department.
In fact, many of the managers have been encouraged to use personal credit cards to purchase necessary equipment. Reimbursement happens later, to keep the outbound cash flow relatively level. Most recently, Scott and Vicki Dunham (SD and VD) have been purchasing toilet paper, paper towels, printing paper, wood for target frames, and various other materials out of their own pockets.
Specifically, this example is since the bankruptcy filing, but the practice has been going on for some time. BC and BK both had multiple credit cards in use at any given time. Even MM was involved in this practice, which is a disturbing course of action for a CFO to regularly do and encourage the same from their subordinates.
Even better, much of this spending from personal funds ends up going to various vendors, because FS will make an order and then not pay it. Until we need something else and then we’ll have to haggle and negotiate the price down, before not paying them for another 3-6 months. At this point, we’ve been blacklisted by most dealers, distributors, and even local businesses. Our account with The Home Depot was an employee’s personal account, since the business credit cards and accounts were still unpaid.
An excerpt from an email:
Question #2: Were you aware that even though Front Sight has been profitable every year throughout its 25 year history, and built the amazing Front Sight facility, a million dollars at a time with its cash flow, Front Sight has never been able to secure first tier (institutional banks like B of A, Wells Fargo) or second tier (pension funds, hedge funds) construction financing to complete the resort for the sole reason that Front Sight is in the firearms training business and those lenders have strict, discriminating policies against lending to gun related businesses?
Question #3: Were you aware that the discrimination in the lending community against gun related businesses left Front Sight, our attorneys, and advisors vulnerable to very sophisticated con men who promised $150 million dollars in construction funding at 6% interest they claimed they would source from their vast network of foreign investors?
Go ahead and run a business level credit check on FS. That will show you all that you need to know. Last time I know that it was looked into, the FS business credit score was a 12 (incredibly low) out of a possible 100. No wonder that speculative interest rates were all that showed up. I mean, try showing up to a bank with a personal credit score around 350 and see what you get.
But that also explains why he was courting foreign nationals (specifically from Asian countries such as Japan and China) to try raising funds or loans to complete the resort. It remains unclear if he was only using the facility as collateral or if he was promising business assets as well, such as those covered under the ITAR and U.S. munitions list. Transferring ownership, or even intimate technical knowledge of these items, even on U.S. soil, is a violation of these regulations.
Specific items include the full-auto firearms (Uzi’s, Mini Uzi’s, STG’s, M16’s, Thompson SMG’s, and MP5’s), Precision Guided Firearms (such as those from a company formerly known as Tracking Point), suppressors (external and integral), replacement parts for the above, and many of the Uzi’s are (allegedly) legal conversions from semi to full. That should give a general idea.
- Introduction to ITAR and the U.S. Munitions List
- International Traffic in Arms Regulations
- 22 CFR Part 121 — The United States Munitions List
Back to the money.
All of the daily costs must go up to the big boss and then he’ll decide if he really wants to pay for it or not. Whether it’s necessary for continued operations is irrelevant. He often demands that the staff just figure out how to make it work without the proper equipment. This gives him and his cronies (BA, BC, BK) reason to come down on people later for violating unspecified, unwritten, and/or unverbalized policies. But that’s a topic for later as well.
Now that we have some background, let’s explore this topic to it’s conclusion.
$50k/day, 20 days in an average work month (5 days/week, 4weeks/month), gives us a target revenue number of $1 million/month cash inflow. If we assume 30 days of meeting that target, well, the number increases significantly. We’ll use the first just to make the numbers simple.
Full operating costs are (allegedly) between $500k-$600k/month. This is payroll, insurance, rental agreements (as most infrastructure is on a rental agreement), website, payment processing, payroll processing (and payroll taxes), electricity, mortgage, property taxes, property and road repairs, inventory upkeep, maintenance consumables, etc.
This gives us a number of $400k-$500k/month into IP’s pockets. This would be just under $6 million per year. I doubt he was able to meet this target in the first few years, so let’s assume that this last number ($6 mil/yr) is appropriate for the last 15 years.
That leaves us with a total of around $90 million dollars that went into IP’s pockets. But that assumes operating costs were always that high, so the number is likely to be higher. A reasonable estimate is that IP has made over $100 million from FS over the years. But, the books are so cooked that it will probably look (on the surface) like he has only been paid around a million per year, with the rest going into the full operating costs.
Last, but not least, let’s tackle the idea of $100/person/day range fee system. This is actually a sustainable business model in use all over the country. Often it’s a lesser amount, somewhere around $50-$75/day. The problem is that it is incompatible with our current business model of selling memberships on the hope that no one will show.
In reality, the primary purpose of this fee is to pretend that they are co-operating with the norms of bankruptcy filing by showing a pathway to become solvent again. This won’t happen. BA shrugged these suggestions off with the statement that,
even with the daily fees, our courses will still be cheaper than others. Because, of course, travel fees aren’t increasing everywhere and no airlines are having trouble meeting their commitments.
How many flights have been cancelled in the last few holiday weekends? Both IP and BA seem to be operating under the assumption that our clientele have an extra $400 (or more, if they’re bringing multiple people, such as family members) in disposable income. These two business models are incompatible with becoming solvent again, without some seriously unethical behavior and/or settlement outside of court.
Let’s chase down the math, courtesy of a spreadsheet that was forwarded to me. These numbers are approximate to protect the original authors work. They were being overly optimistic, as their low numbers represent a higher than normal week currently. There are not
thousands of students attending courses. We were lucky to have just over a hundred at the beginning of June, and the last weeks haven’t broken one hundred.
But here are the projected numbers for 100 students/week
Income from Daily fees: $34,000
Total Staff pay: $25,000
That leads to a total of $9,000 that isn’t soaked up by payroll alone. Over the course of a single month, that means we could gross around $36,000. But then the other operating costs must be taken into account. And those are allegedly a relatively fixed $250k-$300k above and beyond payroll.
The one shortcoming here is that private classes are not included, only standard ranges. For 1 student:1 Rangemaster ratio in a 9 hr/1 Day class; the math is significantly worse.
Each private range becomes
Income from Daily fees: $100
Total Rangemaster pay: $193.50-$234
Now, we begin hemorrhaging money at a drastic loss. And this is only for the range staff! It doesn’t account for anything else.
The idea that the range fees alone can save our bacon is purely delusional. What needs to happen is a complete restructuring, including the removal of both BA and IP. Unfortunately, with the perfect storm of current events causing severe cost-of-living increases, it won’t be possible to continue apace with pay increases. A completely different business model would be necessary. There are a few good staff with some ideas, but IP and BA are so paranoid about everyone else getting ahead that they aren’t willing nor interested in anyone else’s thoughts.
The COVID incident
Another major improper allocation of funds occurred during the COVID shutdown in 2020. IP was initially in favor of the shutdown. One of his previous statements about his business model was,
I could fire all of you right now, and still make money on this place. What he saw was an opportunity to increase revenue drastically, while reducing payroll to the lowest possible amount.
This was immediately accomplished by laying off all the non-salaried support staff, with the exception of the Concierge, who were sent (with their work computers and equipment) to work from home, and some Maintenance personnel who wanted to keep working. Unfortunately, IP was intent on further reducing payroll by indulging in a delusion of an autonomous secure facility.
This was thwarted, to a certain extent, by some dutiful instructional staff who realized that some people, in the communities of Pahrump and Las Vegas, might panic. And a facility, housing hundreds of semi- and full-auto weaponry, over a thousand standard capacity magazines, plus over a million rounds of ammunition, would make a wonderful target for opportunists looking to arm themselves.
So, with the blessing of on-site management, these staff armed themselves with personal equipment, weaponry, and body armor to mount a 24/7 security patrol to deter and politely intimidate unscrupulous individuals. This started with the COVID shutdowns on March 18th and continued even after the George Floyd riots, until the end of August/beginning of September.
But this was not well received by IP. He demanded that on-site management,
send everyone home. We’ve never been broken into in 20 years and it’s not going to start now. BA echoed many of these sentiments at the time. However, on-site management compromised, and only reduced the instructional staff to their ideas of a minimal amount. This angered IP further and he mounted a marketing campaign to encourage donations from his email crowd, because he needed help,
keeping all of the instructional staff employed.
In reality, over 80% of the total staff were laid off, and placed on unemployment, if possible. Due to labeling range staff as teachers, even though they are not DoE recognized (and certainly not recognized by DETR) as such, many never received unemployment for this stunt, and went elsewhere for work. This was an exceptional case of fraud in and of itself. But the best was yet to come.
Remember the Payroll Protection Plan? IP can’t pass up free money like that. As soon as it passed, he applied for it. Also, remember all of the inflated employee numbers that are still on the payroll, since we don’t actively terminate people? Amazing what someone can do with creative bookkeeping.
Once the money hit the business account, it bounced to IP’s personal account before the close of business that same day (allegedly the same hour). But, it gets better. In September, when all of this was relatively over, IP jumped on-board with the COVID-is-a-hoax-and-never-existed crowd and launched a lawsuit against Nevada OSHA.
Amazing how he suddenly has chops when everyone else agrees with him. He was also showing off his brand new Panoz supercar during this time. The cars start at around $3.5 million. On the subject of supercars, he also started showing off a new Bugatti (estimated price $5.5 million) the next year (2021).
Interestingly enough, this was during the 2018 to 2022 time, when he claims to have taken a loss by spending $2 million dollars of his own money. Simultaneously, he claimed that FS was profitable every year.
Excerpt from one of the
survey emails, intended solely to cast himself in the role of the Cry-Bully,
Question #1: Were you aware that Front Sight has been profitable every year throughout its 25 year history, has never canceled a scheduled course, and built the Front Sight facility, a million dollars at a time with its cash flow?
We have canceled scheduled courses on over a dozen occasions and it was all local decisions to save money on courses that were more staff intensive than normal (like Ropes). So that is a sincere falsehood. He may not know that the cancellations occurred. But, since all that money landed in his accounts, and all of the payroll went back out, things in this statement do not add up. Unless he’s just really bad with accounting.
Character of IP
Obviously fits the mold of a comically entrepreneurial conman. His overdone and laughable attempts to reach people with a charisma that is only matched by his disdain for the same people are off-putting to many, with good reason. These are the same traits shared by the sort of people that he attracts to his inner circle.
Many people have documented his shortcomings, in detail, elsewhere. I only want to cover some topics that chafe me.
It’s hard to find a starting point, but let’s try this one:
First, I would like to apologize for all the upset Front Sight’s Restructuring Announcement caused with our members. There was no easy way to bring to your attention the immediate need to make changes in Front Sight’s policies, procedures and fees to defeat the unscrupulous people attempting to steal Front Sight in a fraudulent foreclosure action, and ensure Front Sight operates successfully for generations to come.
Well, this is false on numerous statements. Many companies make sweeping changes to their fees, policies, and contractual obligations, usually by planning it out months or years in advance, and even giving warnings that changes will be coming in the future. Instead, we apparently chose to rely on the idea that good news gets views from current clients, but bad press will get everyone involved and ultimately increase marketing reach, as admitted in a later paragraph:
The Restructure email, although very painful for me to send and equally painful for you to receive, was NEEDED and extremely effective in directing EVERYONE’s attention to the seriousness of the current situation. The Restructure email allowed our most loyal and supportive members to immediately identify themselves to Front Sight. The Restructure email immediately drew into the light all the members who were enemies of Front Sight lurking in the shadows, waiting for any opportunity to try to destroy Front Sight for their own twisted reasons. We have NOW IDENTIFIED these enemies within our own ranks and are legally and equitably removing them from Front Sight so they will never be involved in my plans to transition Front Sight to a member-owned facility.
First off, if you gauge how loyal and supportive your members are by how much money they send your way, there’s a problem. That’s no different from extorting money from someone else so that they can be your friend. Also, wouldn’t you already have access to that kind of information? Or is your record keeping so trashed that you can’t trace all of the money you’ve received back to the original client? Having seen the records, yeah, it’s definitely the latter. There’s money appearing and disappearing through various means throughout the accounts. Good luck following all of that.
If the Gold Star (cough, I mean Status) members want to know where their money went, it was through sending out refunds during a witch hunt by the Concierge (who were directly ordered to do it), spearheaded by the Concierge managers Robert Morales and Daimon Nelson (members of the Facebook Front Sight Lawsuit page, ironically enough. That’s how they ferreted all of you out, just so you know) to find anyone bad-mouthing IP.
If you were one of the mistaken ones that blamed EL for all of this, he resigned months ago, not long after the restructuring email. That was primarily due to the threats he & his family were receiving, since his name was on the refunds. If you were one of the misguided ones that blamed him, you do owe him an apology. He wasn’t happy that his job revolved around being the bad guy to any of you, and jumped ship at the first opportunity.
The primary warning sign on property here was BA’s return as IP’s fixer and enforcer. Every time that there are sweeping changes, BA is placed in charge to streamline operations in accordance with IP’s wishes. The last time was the end of the First Family memberships and the beginning of the Ambassador program (which was an abject failure to change the business model without telling anyone that was what they were trying to do).
Also, nothing has changed in our policies or procedures except the ability to charge the fees.
The long-term FS business model is predicated on the assumption that someone would purchase a membership, attend a maximum of 3 courses and never return, according to IP. Even better,
purchase a membership and never show up.
When staff inquired about a possible pay raise for long-term employees, who hadn’t seen a raise in 5 years or more, the question was,
Why? Apparently long term employment and exemplary performance isn’t enough of a reason. Even after being told (as recently as 2021) that the cost of living was increasing greatly, and we were no longer competitive in the job market, his tone conveyed disbelief. He even accused staff of being greedy. Greedy, when so many are choosing to work in this industry at a loss because they believe in the mission, even if they don’t believe in the boss. Greedy, when the range staff are touted as
Finest Instruction Staff In the Industry — Bar None and
Come out to the world’s greatest firearms training facility, and experience the world’s finest firearms training, delivered by our stellar instructional staff, in the courses of your choice. And the instructors get paid the numbers listed above. Here are a few examples of pay in the local town of Pahrump: KFC-$12/hr+benefits, Taco Bell-$14/hr+benefits, Burger King-$14/hr+benefits, Smith’s grocery stocker-$16/hr+flexible hours. These are just a few examples. Once we go over the mountain into Las Vegas, FS pay is a joke.
His famous words on this score were,
I could fire all of you right now, and still make money on this place. That’s part of the reason why RM’s will tell students to continue training where ever and with whomever they can, not necessarily needing to come back to FS.
In fact, it gets crazy when you add it into certain other things that have been said. Such as the absolute ban on accepting any tips at all. It’s certainly not required or expected to tip, but most of the staff will accept it in the same spirit in which it is given. The justification given for the ban was that,
all staff are professionals and are being paid professional wages. So please don’t feed the animals. The quote is from BA to the attending students in a morning lecture, but the policy is from IP.
Here’s an excerpt from an email/blog:
We have full and part time positions available. We especially appreciate retired military and law enforcement who live or wish to relocate to Las Vegas or Pahrump to work and grow with Front Sight.
This is a flat out lie. When recently asked about full time staff continuing to work after the bankruptcy filing, or if people should just stay on unemployment after the summer, even if student numbers dropped, BA replied with,
I don’t understand this stuff about full time. No one here is full time. You all realize that you’re seasonal employees, right? And that we’re going to continue to schedule staff according to student numbers. If there’s no students, there’s no work. It’s as simple as that. I mean, we’re not going to give people a paycheck just to sit around and not do anything, right? It just wouldn’t make sense. We’re not a welfare company.
And there are two reasons for appealing to the retired Mil/LE crowd. They already have a paycheck coming in and benefits through VA/LE unions, which means FS doesn’t need to offer competitive pay or benefits. The other reason is that IP/BA get a pretty big ego boost from getting the very people to work for them, that they have been trash talking the most. There’s even a section in the opening range lecture that’s been toned down over the last few years. It used to light Mil/LE up over being poorly trained and incapable by comparison with FS instructors. Then, in the very next paragraph we asked them to self-identify in front of the whole class. The ego is absolutely staggering.
It’s rather interesting to see the mental gymnastics involved with IP and BA convincing themselves that FS will see a sudden influx of students arriving (now that the company has admitted bankruptcy) after trying to get students to not attend for so long. There are even some members who continuously send money and donations with no intention of ever attending a class. They’re just so certain that IP is fighting the good fight and doing great things. They’ve been catfished hard, and probably still don’t know it.
He also wasn’t involved with his own families training or weapons related activities. You would imagine that someone, so outspoken about the ability to perform self-defense actions under pressure, would take steps to ensure that his family was well prepared, or at least well practiced.
The would be the wrong impression.
In fact, he brought his sons out for their very first Front Sight class during the Knights of Front Sight course in 2021. I will let you figure out how old they were (Hint: over 18). Seems strange that he would not bring them out before then. Could it be that there are better people to train them? If so, this would not be their first-time handling weapons outside of a Boy Scout merit badge program, right? Strangely enough, this was their first time undergoing any training outside of the aforementioned Boy Scout merit badge program. Considering how many of the Range Staff have been involved in weapons proficiency since a young age, I find this lack of appreciation and exposure to be unbelievable.
And, remember this gem?
It is no secret that it has been my dream to transition Front Sight Firearms Training Institute over to a member-owned facility. My hope was to gently and generously do so after the resort was completed and running operationally and financially like a well-oiled machine.
The question needs to be asked, which member(s) was he talking about? Especially since much of that nomenclature is now missing from the promises made in the old memberships, now that those clauses have been removed or otherwise nullified.
Even better was the instructions given to the range staff (BV and CW) in charge of this private class, regarding how his kids were to be taught,
They need to be Front Sight perfect if they’re ever going to take over my business. This alone is enough to convince me that he never once had the intention of relinquishing control as was promised. Not that I think this is a bad thing. Having an obnoxiously large amount of people arguing over how to run FS would be a nightmare. Ever heard the old joke that a camel is a horse designed by a committee? What irks me is the obvious intent to defraud and get people to buy in, with no intention of following through on his promises.
Another topic is the Dziubla case. Can’t believe that this is necessary to explain, but here we go. Contrary to his Pro-Trump statements, IP was attempting to fundraise by using a company who engaged in headhunting for immigrants by corporations who sponsor the H and E work/investment visas, specifically by finding the types of people desired by tech companies. There’s plenty of articles elsewhere on this topic, if you want the in’s and out’s of it.
Here’s a segment of an email:
Instead, the Court is now allowing the wrongful foreclosure action to proceed, before we have the opportunity to win this case in a jury trial, even though we have AN UNDISPUTED APPRAISAL OF FRONT SIGHT’S LAND, WATER RIGHTS, AND IMPROVEMENTS VALUED AT OVER 25 MILLION DOLLARS, WHICH SECURES OUR RIGHT TO CONTINUE OUR LEGAL BATTLE TO A JURY TRIAL.
Dziubla hasn’t been able to get an appraiser on-site until June 16th, 2022. IP’s appraiser only arrived in April, and was a joke. He made some money off of FS, but I don’t think it was legitimate at all.
Here’s another segment of an email:
Dzuibla promised $75 million dollars in phased funding to complete the resort. He knew we would need to complete the resort to pay back the $75 million because we told him we could not do the deal at all, unless he could provide the full funding. He delivered $6.375 million to get us in the deal, but then did not provide the rest of the promised funding, leaving us in a situation where he knew we could not pay back the funds or complete the project. Dzuibla then claimed we were in default, when we were not, and filed a wrongful foreclosure action, which essentially prevented us from securing any other financing to take him out. You can see that all he was trying to do was to steal our $25 million dollar property for a $6.375 million dollar loan. And in doing so, steal your membership in the process.
But it’s amazing that someone like IP (giving symposium’s on The Secrets of the Rich and Successful) would take less money from someone than what they need to complete the project and begin paying back the loan, but still use all of it. Then attempt to blame the person that they took it from of predatory lending practices. Especially when they’ve run the companies business credit score into the ground by refusing to pay vendors on-time or even at all. If you or I did that, it would be pretty open and shut, wouldn’t it? Even better is the fact that IP personally paid himself much more than the amount of the loan during the time period in question.
And, last I checked, claiming that the company will run like a well-oiled machine for generations to come, is a far cry from bankruptcy and introducing new daily fees that, while the hallmark of a sustainable business model, means that the idiot making the poor decisions is the one that stole the lifetime memberships from everyone.
We are talking about no more than a few hundred disgraced and dishonored members and employees we have shunned over the last 25 years versus hundreds of thousands of great members like you and a very loyal and productive Front Sight staff, yet with all the shamefully slanderous, libelous and defamatory comments, mostly centered around accusations of financial improprieties, I feel you need to see the truth versus their lies.
To contradict this, let me place another segment in front of you:
Question #2: Were you aware that of the 263,322 Front Sight Members, 171,842 Members have never paid Front Sight any money? Meaning, 171,842 of our 263,322 members have never purchased a membership from Front Sight, or paid for an upgrade, or purchased a special offer, or answered the call to financially participate in the Litigation Funding offers, or the Finish the Fight offers to defeat the unscrupulous people fraudulently attempting to fraudulently foreclose on Front Sight. Were you aware of this?
Seems odd that he would trash talk those same,
hundreds of thousands of great members for not paying him any money, doesn’t it? Especially since all of those memberships came from other people who paid money to FS for various upgrades. Wouldn’t someone price such things appropriately? Instead of doubling, tripling, and quadrupling memberships and credits until one member had over a quadrillion FS Credits, hundreds of people were in the billions of Credits, and thousands had millions of Credits, which effectively closed down the Pro-Shop as a respectable retail point. We had to implement sales amount restrictions and, slowly, start purchasing highly inferior Chinese products to sell. At one time, you couldn’t purchase any memberships, besides The Order of The Knights of Front Sight, directly from FS. You could only purchase upgrades.
That lasted until an enterprising person (RG) from Texas managed to start bringing thousands of people to FS and selling his extra memberships to them. IP was furious that he wasn’t getting enough money from the deal, and started the Restructuring early, just to cut him out. IP was counting on RG’s faith and honesty to force him out of continuing his scheme to bring people out to FS while we were beginning to struggle getting anyone to come out. Attendance has been dropping since late 2018. With Trump in office during those days (especially 2019), there wasn’t enough fear to drive people into sacrificing other disposable/discretionary household funds to attend FS. But I digress. However, if you’re out Texas way, look up RG and the guys at Guncraft. There’s some guys out in Florida I’d recommend, but I don’t know if they’d appreciate the endorsement (PT and DP).
And my personal favorite from this one:
In fact, one Front Sight Knight surreptitiously recorded my confidential litigation update I provided to the Knights during the July 4th event and sent it to the attorneys of our enemies to use against us.
Since IP’s ego is so easily fragile, he immediately set the entire Concierge to work on this witch hunt. Problem is, the person he named doesn’t exist in our database as either a student or even a member. That’s the only reason he became very quiet about it later. All he mentions is that it occurs, doesn’t give any more information, even though he allegedly won a resounding victory against naming Dziubla. More expansions of the truth. Frankly, I don’t believe the recording incident even happened at this point, but maybe I’m being too skeptical.
What I can say about the Knights course of 2021, is that a student (who will remain unnamed out of respect, except for the name he chose to put on his hat,
Mad Dog) died of a heart attack in the classroom, during IP’s afternoon session. They had the medical personnel take him over to the side of the classroom during some of IP’s presentations, while he was getting agitated about someone interrupting his precious speech. There were times that he wanted the medical people to remove the man from the classroom because the incident was too disruptive. Mind you, this was in July, with 100+ Fahrenheit temperatures outside. I can’t take IP seriously when he spouts nonsense in his emails that he cares about staff, students, and the people of Pahrump, especially after that incident. By the way, it’s not mentioned in our safety reports, since it was not the direct result of a class.
Next, let’s talk about the Trump’s Army fiasco. References below:
- We lost a SCOTUS battle today, but courage and resolve will win this WAR. President Trump is still fighting for you. Show YOU will fight for HIM at TrumpsArmy.US
- TrumpsArmy.US will NOT be needed. All Patriots STAY HOME, OFF THE STREETS, and OUT OF THE WAY of what is going down
Let’s start this off by reminding people that politics and religion were expressly forbidden topics from FS for a number of years. In fact, it was an unwritten, but loudly spoken, firing offense to hold forth on any topic from those two subjects. And yes, there were incidents of people being fired for bringing up personal politics in the workplace. As detailed elsewhere, though, they were,
Front Sight fired.
These items were considered divisive and that wasn’t our goal. We were intending to bring people together under the concept of self-defense and the 2nd Amendment.
Here’s how the boss man responded, when people disagreed with him:
So, apparently we’re not trying to change the image of gun ownership, we’re just trying to alienate everyone who disagrees with us. There’s not much more to take from that. Especially from the man who’s only time in court has been defending himself, not trying to further 2nd Amendment rights. You want to see an example of the people who do that? Look at the GOA, NAGR, definitely the FPC (Firearms Policy Coalition), even the NRA-ILA does more than IP.
Most of the staff signed up to drive out into the middle of the desert, between Death Valley and Las Vegas because we believed in some part of the mission. However, all we were left doing was to clutch at these ideological pearls, while enriching someone who is more interested in putting his photoshopped pictures on everything related to FS. The mission of,
Changing the image of gun ownership in our lifetime, should be a neutral item, not beholden to some far-off political figure who has mentioned all of his other
good friends, but never IP. How strange. Maybe it’s because he recognizes IP for what he is? DT is a shrewd business man, after all.
Some more excerpts:
To dispel some of the most ridiculous lies being spread by our enemies about me, Brad Ackman, our supportive staff, and our great members let me assure you that Brad has not come out of the closet as being gay. He does not hate women.
This is simply a soft sell to begin getting people to think that every topic in this vein will be equally ridiculous. It has been confirmed that BA wears women’s pants. Whatever you’re into, I guess. I mean, it’s possible that BA’s still in the closet, but his narcissism is such that he probably makes his partners wear a mask of his own face. Kinda doubt their sex plays into it at all.
As to not hating women, well, he’s had a number of HR complaints against him that were swept under the rug. That culminated in the retirement of one HR manager and the resignation of another, within only a few months of each other. Eventually he got someone in there who is only interested in keeping their job. He also doesn’t respect any woman in a managerial position, as evidenced by his extreme contentions with BS, VD, and BD. Or the fact that he has had most of the female staff act as his personal assistants to research personal topics such as doctors, including scheduling visits, for him, all on the company dime. Both IP and especially BA view the staff as their servants. More on BA in his own section.
He is not the new owner of Front Sight and he has not abandoned his duties.
That’s news to everyone! He is in town for maybe 1 week out of every 3, doesn’t show up on property before 9 a.m. (except for the odd morning meeting) and is often gone before 3 p.m. That’s assuming he even shows up, which is maybe 50% of the days that he’s in town.
He does not support nor has he initiated a hostile takeover of Front Sight.
Not quite yet anyway. He has been entertaining a lot of potential investors without IP’s knowledge. This is so that he has the funds to buy it out from under IP if the doctor can’t make the money happen.
I have not spent all of Front Sight’s money on street drugs and patronizing brothels. In fact, I have NEVER used ANY recreational drugs and at the age of 62 do not take ANY prescription medication either. I have never even seen the front door of a brothel let alone ever walked inside one.
Can’t speak to the recreational drugs, but that’s why he uses and promotes RDS on handguns (see the SP1). He won’t even go under anesthesia for surgery on his eyes as they are failing.
However, the front door of a brothel thing is an absolute lie. Back when he purchased the current FS properties, the only road out to them went right past a couple of brothels. So he would have needed to drive right past them, even if he never went in.
No, our employees have not walked off the job or threatened a mutiny to take over Front Sight.
False and false. There’s been some staff that have walked off the job and many more are resigning or being terminated as a result of the downsizing and elimination of positions. One of those being terminated include a Rangemaster who has trained more staff and students, while also writing more curricula and lectures, than BA and IP combined (see the attached Termination Letter that was sent to me). This has caused many staff to put forth the idea of simply pushing out either BA or IP and continuing on as a separate entity. These statements started in earnest back when BA attempted to shove an incomplete employee handbook (that had non-existent departments, policies, and positions) down everyone’s throats. He even queried in a manager’s meeting,
How do we force everyone to hurry up and sign this? This episode was followed much later by an updated Non-Disclosure and Non-Compete (see attached documents) after the first Restructuring email. The staff simply outright refused to sign it and the sounds of mutiny grew stronger.
And here is a section about posers (like IP/BA) that surround themselves with the trappings of Martial Pageantry
To THANK these members, who during a very challenging time, stepped up and made the decision to support Front Sight for the greater good, I have already designating them as GOLD STAR MEMBERS.
One should be aware: Much of the image of Front Sight is nothing more than IP/BA surrounding themselves with the trappings of Tactical Pageantry. Reference to the term:
Everything that they have chosen in the Instructor uniforms are examples of this attempt to convey competence amid heavy amounts of self-assuredness. Let’s start with the old black and gray uniforms. We have a black ballcap with all of them having the exact same image and logo. It’s pretty common these days, but it was gaining popularity due to it being a military uniform item. Next is name tapes on a police style shirt. Followed by black BDU pants, with polished (every day) black leather boots that were bloused. Not a very common affectation and, frankly, rather ridiculous in the civilian world. Even the various scrollwork and badges on the different membership levels are reminiscent of military officer hats in a couple of branches.
Fast forward to the,
park ranger, (-BA) outfit. We’ve finally gotten away from wearing heavy (nearly canvas weight) shirts and black pants in the desert, but what gets added? A shield on one arm, which just happens to look like the local Nye County Corrections patch. On the other side? An American flag patch, just like the Mil/LE uniforms would sport. All of the times that I have seen such patches, they’ve been on the shoulders of those who have sworn an oath of service, either to the country or at least their communities. It is dishonorable to claim this affectation for a group that has no relevant oath to the country.
We next have the Instructor levels that are placed above the shield on the arm. This was necessary so that people could pull rank on each or something. No one is really sure what the purpose is, but we are all aware that it is a direct copy of the U.S. Army Ranger Scroll. This was by IP’s design, to associate ourselves with an elite unit by copying their insignia.
As if this wasn’t enough, he specifically used the Gold Star title, along with the Texas Ranger Star imagery to attempt yet another case of valor association (but not actually claiming it, just the symbols). All he wants to do is pretend that his accomplishments are equivalent to those who actually did all of the things necessary to earn such accolades (or at least that he was capable of it in his own mind). Once he received enough backlash, the title was adjusted to Gold Status member, but the imagery of the Texas Ranger Star remained.
Whatever delusions he has in his head are only getting stronger. His weird statements are very reminiscent of President Biden. But I suppose that’s no surprise when BA has been channeling Governor Newsom’s denial and ridiculous disdain for so long.
Lastly, knowing that FS was going into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which would absolve him of all current contractual liabilities, he put out this statement in February, after announcing that we were going through Restructuring:
PATH 1: For those members, who for whatever reason, cannot or will not accept my request to support Front Sight with needed changes in our policies, procedures and fees, so we may defeat the unscrupulous people attempting to steal Front Sight through a fraudulent foreclosure, and ensure Front Sight successfully operates for generations to come, Nothing Changes in Your Membership. NOTHING. Your membership terms, with your TBD Memberships, certificates, benefits, credits/patronage points etc., REMAIN AS THEY WERE. NOTHING CHANGES. Enjoy your membership under the original terms. You do not need to do anything. In a week or so, if you do not opt in for Path 2, anything that changed in your account will be restored and you will enjoy your membership as you did in the past.
And then he removed this path in it’s entirety by formally filing for bankruptcy in May. Bad hype, good marketing, and lies are the reason we say caveat emptor, I suppose. At this point, I can only reach the logical conclusion that
successfully operates for generations to come, really means that whoever is in charge of the company can simply send half-panicked emails begging for money and receive it, regardless of the cause or reason.
Character of BA
BA is an enforcer. Lacking any substance beyond appearance, he will not engage in meaningful conversation or discussion on any topic if he believes that you are in a position of advantage against his. Rather, his feelings of empowerment stem from being able to brow-beat people into submission, or simply bask in the accolades of a third party recognizing his importance because he was able to get the same wonderful people working for him that he holds in derision. And, somehow, a single anecdote is enough to create a full-blown stereotype.
When he returned to FS, many people asked him why he came back. He had a simple response,
Front Sight is all I have left. So, growing up on his dad’s oil money, acquiring a degree in geology tuned toward the oil industry, and FS is all he has left? I find that hard to believe. But he’s not one to make the best decisions.
As Exhibit A, there is the fact that he often has two trucks up at his place on the grounds of the Pahrump Valley Winery, one is his rental and the other is unknown. Frankly that’s not really any of our business, except that he’s been giving someone ammo, from both the Ammo Bunker and the super secret training safe, as some sort of arrangement. We know it’s not him, because he’s only taking 9mm, while simultaneously disparages it, as he only chooses to shoot .45 ACP,
Because it’s a man’s caliber. At the least, it’s distasteful to take ammo (in a common caliber) from the stash that’s meant to reimburse your staff, just to honor some kind of secret arrangement.
For more examples on the condescension & scorn that he heaped on others, while using heavily flawed logic to make decisions, here are some quotes from the 2021 Knights of Front Sight course:
I attended a law enforcement course in Las Vegas a number of years ago where the instructor actually saidLook, if you are hitting low-left, just hold a little high right.No kidding! There’s gotta be a good cop joke in there somewhere!
Years ago I took a course under Larry Nichols who was the Range Master at Burbank P.D. in California. When it came to malfunctions, he taught his guys only one procedure to clear.
Well, if you are going to have a default malfunction clearance, which one must it be? Correct, a Type 3. When I asked himWhat about a Type 1, Type 2, Type 4, and Emergency Reload?He repliedNo, no. People are too stupid under stress to remember all that.
At Front Sight, we disagree. Having those different clearances engrained into muscle memory is strictly a function of proper Dry Practice.
And where did that idea come from? It couldn’t have been from IP and BA. They’ve never worn a uniform, let alone dealt with that level of stress of people depending on them to get it right the first time, with no or at least minimal mistakes. Their only metric of success is a shot timer, not an adversary. Not to say that certain things are unlearnable without looking down your sights at a dirtbag, but to express such an absolute, when you lack any real-world, non-square range experience is astounding.
All of this come from a man who spends hours scripting his delivery on mundane points and isn’t convincing even after all that work. For example, he needed to address the staff at a Day 1 morning meeting about some of the changes. Most of the staff were stunned and incredulous at what he was spouting, but they kept a good poker face on. With the exception of FC, who let’s emotions play across his face quite readily. His maw gaping in disbelief, BA started to become agitated and later told BD to fire FC immediately, just because he didn’t like FC’s looks and response to BA’s statements. Of course, BD told him to pack sand, politely.
Any kind of negative comment, feedback, or statement, even if constructive and eloquent, is met with dismissal and hostility by BA. At one point, supervisors and managers were approaching BA with concerns that his actions, coupled with his inconsistencies, were causing whiplash and contention amongst the various departments. He brushed off most people, but some people were met with the hostile accusation,
Who are you to bring this up?
The necessary context here is that some people have discussed unionization of the instructional staff in the past. Each time that BA has heard even an inkling of this, he would have them
Front Sight fired and begin a damage control campaign to include accusing the person in question of disloyal, unsafe, and insubordinate actions.
By far the best example of inconsistency show up slightly behind the scenes, even from the viewpoint of some of the staff.
The best example is the controversy surrounding our
Pocket Pistol and minimum caliber policies. Before BA returned, we weren’t concerned with
sub caliber weapons, they simply didn’t count on the skills test toward earning a G or DG. It wasn’t a big deal, especially since these calibers were often chosen by people with strength issues, children that weren’t developed enough to handle full-size caliber weapons all day, or those lacking confidence in their ability to handle recoil from common defensive calibers. As for
Pocket Pistol sized weapons, these were allowed or prohibited on a case-by-case basis. If it was too small for the student to handle safely, it was disqualified. Certainly the smaller weapons are not conducive to rapid learning and are much more difficult to handle. But, as long as it’s safe for the shooter to handle, who cares?
Apparently, BA did. Once he realized what was going on, he went ballistic about how all of the above criteria was unacceptable and we couldn’t have these things on our ranges. He even went so far as to send out emails and sizes to explain why and what was unsafe in his mind. Please remember, this is all based around his opinion. Because, as he said during the Knights of Front Sight course in 2021,
Dr. Piazza and I have about 75 combined years in the firearms industry. We know what’s real and what’s not. Regardless, BD and some others constantly battled him on this topic, until he suddenly changed his mind almost a year later.
After having instructed the staff to enforce the established parameters on multiple occasions, he finally saw the light. While we still have the
Pocket Pistol policy in place, we no longer have the caliber restrictions in place. When he informed the staff that we would no longer be turning people away from using
sub caliber weapons, he added this statement,
I don’t even know why we were enforcing that in the first place. No joke, this guy has a memory like Joe Biden.
A topic that wasn’t able to get resolved on this end was the pistol caliber carbine, and whether it could be used in the rifle courses. Of course, it’s less than optimal, but one of the supervisors did a write-up on why it might be a logical and reasonable choice for some people. BA wasn’t interested and commented that,
It’s stupid to have all the weight of a rifle and not have it in a real caliber. Just a dumb idea all around. And who cares about your opinion? It doesn’t cause a safety issue. If you don’t like it, just don’t allow it for score on the skills test. Simple. Doesn’t make any sense to turn them away from gaining the
Comfort of skill at arms.
Even some range staff were admonished to stop helping students get better by BA. In the words of BA,
If they come back for more, we’re losing money, and we just can’t have that. This goes back to the idea that if a student attends more than 3 courses, staff are supposed to start discouraging them.
Which is strange since neither BA nor IP came up with the curriculum, or even the lectures. The originals came from the likes of Gabriel Suarez, Chuck Taylor, and others that I couldn’t track down. This is especially obvious when you look at the copyright dates for the Handgun Combat Master and Four Weapons Combat Master (Hint: they were copyrighted in the early 1980s by Chuck Taylor). After an attempted (and failed) hostile takeover, IP fired the old guard. Enter BA and his influence. By his own admission (in person and in his book), he left Gunsite at IP’s request to teach at FS. In so doing, he brought people, curriculum, and lectures from Gunsite as well. Even the targets used are closer to Chuck Taylor’s versions than anyone at FS wants to admit. IP/BA just made a few tweaks to them & called it their own. CT created the first main three targets, LN created the fourth, and all of the current photographic targets came from AU and his experiences in Venezuela. Here are some quotes from BA, again from the Knights of Front Sight course 2021:
Dr. Piazza gave me very clear direction as to the goals of this course. He said flatly theKnights of Front Sightneed to knowwhy we do what we do.They need to come away from this weekend with the firm understanding that the Front Sight curriculum and teaching approach are the result of years of dedicated effort and polish. It wasn’t just handed down from some other shooting school or from some other instructor.
Every block of instruction is scripted. That includes every word spoken in the classroom and every word spoken out on the range. I’m not talking about outlines, I’m talking about legitimate scripts. And they are huge. For example: 72 pages for 4-Day Defensive Handgun, 56 pages for Rifle, 45 pages for Shotgun, 17 pages of the Morning Opener, 12 pages for Color Code and Combat Mindset, 14 pages in moral and ethical decisions, 13 pages on Problems 2 and 3, 30 pages of Tactical Movement, and lastly, 9 pages for the Night Shoot.
I’ve been told his page numbers are way too high, but that he doesn’t care. And aside from some minor tweaks (usually contradicting his previous lecture blocks), neither IP nor BA has been involved in any significant way in the current lectures and curricula.
And many of these were so hidden from staff that back in the early 2000s, staff were required to sign the lectures out to study them, and then return it, like a library book. It was so hidden that a few years ago, the person in charge of some of these programs had to re-write these, since the ones BA is referring to here were lost.
To follow up with that, we didn’t even have curricula for some of the advanced courses at all, until fairly recently. We do now, but it wasn’t a result of BA or IP developing such things. They have spent much more time and energy on legal loopholes and shoving out anyone who can significantly contribute, once they have enough material from that person and can afford to shoot the golden goose. Neither BA nor IP have the creative ability to create these tools from scratch. They require others to do it for them, and are quite helpless, really.
But, according to them, everyone else is incompetent and untrustworthy. Just read the next section to understand our collective neuroses about time.
When we say 8:00, that means 8:00. Not 7:55, not 8:05.
Here’s why. Let’s say I’m lecturing to a classroom full of 400 students and I start my morning lecture not at 8:00, but rather at 8:02. I’m already 2 minutes late, right? Wrong!
Let’s do the math: 400 students × 2 minutes = 800 minutes ÷ 60 minutes/hour = 13.3 repeating hours. I just stole over 13 hours of collective training time from my students! Some of your students will always be late. But if you are ever in charge of the curriculum, never be late!
To further ensure punctuality, the Range Masters are all provided with course outlines specifying the exact time that all lectures and range exercises will start and stop.
This should be enough of an explanation. However, it’s interesting to note that he mentions,
if you are ever in charge of the curriculum, which doesn’t track with other things. For example, in both the 2019 and 2021 Knights of Front Sight courses, multiple staff asked BA if IP was serious about turning over the company to the Knights. His reply was astounding, but not exactly the same, so I’ll combine them as best I can.
It was something to the tune of,
F*ck no. There’s no way that Dr. Piazza would turn over a multi-million dollar business to people that can’t run their own. He’s only offering it so that people will buy the memberships. Eventually it’ll go away, just like the weapon storage bullsh*t. This whole ‘Knights’ thing is ridiculous. These people should be grateful that they can live vicariously through our success for such a relatively small buy-in. The company and the curriculum will still be in the hands of whoever is running the facility at that time, not this bunch.
This dismissive attitude is a common theme from BA. It’s almost as though he uses it to imply a sense of superiority on his part by being dismissive of everything that isn’t his own idea. Often he takes it to such an extreme that even his own ideas are dismissed when coming from someone that he doesn’t respect.
As an example of this dismissive attitude, let’s take the Saga of SG. It takes place around September 2021. This young man decided to come down to Nevada, on his last few dollars and having never lived on his own before, for the sole purpose of being hired on as an instructor at FS and showing his family (in Washington State) that not all gun owners are crazy. By now, you should already be getting some warning signs from this guy. But it gets much, much worse.
He showed up for the first ID class of the new season, late. But the staff initially look past this and allow him to continue for a while longer. One of the topics covered is how to successfully perform your self-introduction for the class. This is a process that usually involves trimming stuff out of the intro. But this guy doesn’t have anything to distinguish himself at all. When asked about his greatest achievement, all he could offer was having a maxed out character in some MMO. That was it. But he was kept in the class for a little longer.
Once they reached the point of going over after-action drills, a little more eccentricity showed up. CC had just finished the lecture and asked if anyone had any questions. SG speaks up and asks about how to decide whether or not a grenade is necessary before entering a room and, if so, what part of the room do you throw it into? To his credit, CC kept his composure and explained how we were only going to keep the explanations relevant to topic at hand. When SG persisted, CC shut him down and continued into the practice portion of the training.
Eventually, the staff relent and simply cut this guy loose from the class, placing him into a 4-Day handgun course to finish out his time on this trip. During that time, he’s disruptive and belligerent, but not enough to get himself removed. On Day 4, during lunch on the range, he ends up engaging PB (his Rangemaster) in conversation. One of the topics that comes up is the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse. SG begins making statements that the jurors had better acquit KR or they deserve to be hunted down and murdered. PB’s response was,
Dude, you can’t be saying things like that. It’s just not right to be thinking that way. Those people have to live with their decisions, that’s a big part of this country. You can’t just get rid of people who disagree with you. SG’s response was,
What are you talking about? We’re all patriots here. And PB reiterated his points. Eventually SG relented and went silent. This incident was kicked up the chain and subsequently given a
wait and see response.
Until SG signed up for the next ID course. He was very determined to become an instructor. Someone noticed that he was signed up, and the day before the course began, one of the Concierge contacted him by phone. They explained that we were very sorry, but he wasn’t what we were looking for in an instructor. However, we could place him in a different course of his choosing. He chose the rifle class.
So, he shows up to the rifle class in the late summer, wearing an orange knit ski mask. He’s told to remove, primarily to see if he’ll comply in light of his other obvious aberrations. At first, he does. But it’s back on his face the second day and another manager is brought out to deal with him. He complies, but is quite unhappy with FS at this point. By the time Day 3 ends, he has scared some students to the point that they all stay away from him on the range, and a few to the point that they left the class early, and didn’t return the next day. Apparently his rhetoric had expanded to include the families of the KR trial jurors.
Up to this point, BD had been informing BA of these problems and had been directed, by him, to allow SG to stay. But scaring students off was where she put her foot down. After informing BA that this behavior would not be allowed to continue, she demanded that he step in to deal with something that had escalated this far, since it would deal with ejecting a student from property. His response?
I need all day tomorrow to prepare for a meeting with Dr. Piazza on the day after. How disorganized and unprepared could you be to need an entire prep day for a meeting with just the boss? Not a bunch of investors or a court date, just the boss? Eventually BD shamed him into promising to show up at the gate the next morning. But she wasn’t convinced that he would follow through.
Not knowing just how unhinged SG really was, BD brought along some backup as well. However, BA actually showed up for this one. In fact, when SG showed up, BA nonchalantly leaned into his vehicle and explained that the staff had some concerns, so he wasn’t allowed to show up for class that day. Afterward, he tried to make BD and her backup feel silly for needing him to deal with this particular incident. Being dismissive of your subordinates is definitely not a recipe for good leadership.
Later, at a manager’s meeting, the subject was brought up about follow-on actions. BA was confused about why we needed to do anything as SG was,
just your average garden variety whack-job. He’s harmless and just spouting off. There’s nothing wrong with that. Of course, BD took an entirely different view and, for once, BK agreed with her. He pointed out that our standard policy for dealing with such people was to inform the FBI that someone was making credible threats against specific people. Begrudgingly, BA agreed that someone should inform them and exasperatedly asked,
Can we just be done with this already?
In conclusion, as of this writing, SG is still living in Pahrump, behind the Nugget casino and hotel, in the homeless enclave back there.
Again, BA just doesn’t respect BD and is stupid for being that way. I hope this saga explains why we all believe this. BD is better in every managerial and leadership way than BA.
For further examples, let’s move on to the topic of BA’s house. In his defense, right inside the front gate was not his decision, it was IP’s to quiet down detractors who were upset that he wasn’t continuing to build. However, many other related items are directly BA’s responsibility.
Let’s start with the steel in the walls. At one point, way back before the foundation was laid, SD approached some staff and asked them if they could shoot some steel for him. BA had found this steel in the Boneyard and wanted some protective plates to put into the walls of his new home. The staff obliged, shooting it with 5.56 green tip and some 7.62 x 39. It dented the steel, but didn’t penetrate. However, when this was reported to BA, he became very upset that they didn’t shoot with a real caliber like a .308. This was upsetting enough that BA took the steel out and shot it with a .308 to test it. When the bullets went through the steel, he lost his temper and started swearing about how he couldn’t believe that we didn’t have anything big enough that could stop a .308 just lying around.
When SD asked why he was so insistent upon that caliber, BA responded by saying,
If someone is coming after me, they’ll be using a .308. Eventually, he capitulated and agreed to having the steel placed in the walls. But it would be months more before the walls could be put in.
The contractors were not consulted on changing the floor plans, but change them BA did. And he used the rapidly diminishing Maintenance staff to do so. Remember that I mentioned how IP and BA view the staff as their personal servants? Here’s another example. SD is an accomplished construction worker who came out to FS for many of the same reasons that others do. However, here he is, modifying floor plans, building brackets in walls for steel plates, tearing out walls, reinforcing others, placing handicap bars in the bathroom, all for the peanuts that they pay him. And much of the materials are being purchased out of his pocket and then, sometimes, being reimbursed.
That’s the short version of why that house is still not completed. At other times, BA has wanted staff to sweep out the house or garage (even when the windows and doors were not installed), or clean out the construction dust from the electrical j-boxes. All on the company dime. I suppose it’s better than picking up his dry-cleaning from out in town.
Another poor decision from BA was bringing back DC, a Senior Rangemaster who had left (in 2020) due to debilitating health issues and couldn’t keep up anymore. On a long enough timeline, that will happen to everyone. No one held any ill will against DC, even after BK (and to a lesser extent, BC) leaned on the range operations crew to have DC assigned to ranges where he could leave or rest in his car for extended periods of time, usually 2-6 hours at a time. This was decided in late 2019, and all of the staff were supportive of him in his time of need after all of the time he had put in.
When he decided to leave in 2020, and was able to use the time during the COVID shutdown to get his health and strength back, we were all thrilled to hear it. But, even still, he wasn’t going to come back and subject himself to the rigors of range work. No one blamed him. Until BA returned. For some reason, he took it upon himself to attempt recruiting people who had left, into returning as his
spies (DC’s public admission).
Needless to say, this didn’t go well and ended worse. For starters, DC had a very divisive personality. You loved him or hated him. Even the most professional people had trouble maintaining neutrality toward him, and he went out of his way to exacerbate these feelings.
For context, let’s give some history. DC sponsored BK in his home when BK was just starting out. So DC felt that BK owed him some gratitude, which just isn’t in BK’s nature. So when BC and BK approached MM with a proposal to oust BA as the ineffective administrator that he was, DC thought that maybe his stock would improve. As such, he made it public that he didn’t like BA and that BC/BK were really going to turn things around.
BC and BK didn’t fall for such a blatant example of brown-nosing, so after a short time, DC embarked upon a campaign to discredit them. Especially after the ascension of JW to the position of range manager. All of a sudden, DC was JW’s new best friend and biggest supporter (or at least, the most vocal). This didn’t last for more than a few years, when DC realized that he wasn’t getting what he wanted, and started in on how JW was a despicable human being.
On this count, he was closer to the truth than most. After JW was ousted for some moral failings between him and a subordinate (who was sleeping around with over a dozen other staff), LM was selected to head range operations. During the summer training session, DC was back at it again, spouting off about how wonderful LM was. Even to the extent of collecting donations, and picking up the amount we were short out of his own pocket, to purchase a beautiful and expensive watch for LM as a commemorative trophy of his accomplishments (LM is an extreme stickler for time management).
Once again, this didn’t last long either, but it was a little more toned down. Since LM took little time in fortifying his entrenchments and quietly rallying even his most vocal opponents, DC didn’t have much of an angle to attack him. Especially since there wasn’t a significant clique forming to strongly oppose LM. Without a horse to back, DC instead focused on maintaining friendly working relationships with LM’s management team. After LM retired, and BD took over as the range operations manager, DC continued trying to weasel his way up the ranks. Which was funny considering that he was earning more than the supervisors hourly equivalent already.
As mentioned, his health took a turn for the worse (especially after the motorcycle collision and CC helping him fix his motorcycle at a significant personal cost for no reimbursement, except being bad-mouthed later) and he was sent off as a fond memory, more or less. However, upon BA’s return, DC came back for no discernible reason. Supposedly he wasn’t promised anything, just was asked to come back.
This time was different, at least in his head. By now, I’m sure that you see his pattern. Which he followed to a T. Before, he was on great terms with BD, even shared a hug once in a while. Also, he’d conned a supervisor (CW) into working on DC’s personal vehicles with no reimbursement, except being bad-mouthed. Now, according to DC, BD was hopeless, worthless, and didn’t know anything about the job. BA was now the savior that was going to set everything straight. After settling in for a few months, DC started flexing his influence with BA. Even to the point of leaving his position at weapon inspection, arguing with BD, finding BA and getting confirmation that BA agreed with him (even though the policy he disagreed with came from BA), returning back to BD, pointing his finger in her face and shouting,
You’re wrong! in front of God and everybody. I’m not sure how she kept her composure, but she did and took it in stride to de-escalate the situation.
Apparently this was continuing, but worse, with all of her supervisors. DC would disagree with something, get confirmation from BA, and then start bragging about to anyone who would listen. It even got so bad that he showed one of the supervisors a text, proving that BA agreed with DC. But it also had a statement to BA that none of the supervisors knew anything and what else could they expect from LM appointees? BA replied,
The insubordination didn’t stop there. As a result of the uncertainty about the company continuing to operate, many staff were calling in sick, for various real reasons outside the scope of this discussion. Well, one Rangemaster called in, leaving a very senior instructor in charge of the range, as there were no immediate replacements. Once the issue became know, BD dispatched CC to that range. Somehow the story got spun around, and DC caught wind of a strange story about how BD was leaving ranges unstaffed, and not taking any action about it.
Suddenly, he’s telling people that BD is abandoning her duties and that he’s going to talk to BA and get her fired. This escalates to the point that BD and CB have a sit-down with DC to warn him that he’s on thin ice. In fact, they had gotten permission from BA to take whatever steps were necessary to get this under control. So, when DC started running his mouth about how everything was wrong and he was only trying to do things right, CB stepped in and reminded him that he still needed to follow BD’s direction, since she was his boss. At this point DC gets even louder, and states that she’s not his boss, he only takes direction from BA. Well, that was enough to finally get him canned.
In conclusion, BA didn’t understand a situation, introduced unnecessary chaos to implement radical changes quickly instead of working toward long-term solutions that strengthen the entire workforce. And the cherry on top is that he cut his instrument loose as soon as the situation became difficult. Gotta have loyalty before you can expect it from anyone else.
For the epilogue, a few months later DC texted CW later and told him to be careful, because,
BA’s a backstabber.
Another person who was championed by BA was CD. With a background in Martial Arts taught by his pastor father, who claimed that he was trained in it by Bruce Lee’s star pupil, CD has a peculiar delusion of superiority. This goes all the way to his interactions with students. After being in other instructors courses, and then coming back to CD’s, they will often pick up an alteration or diagnostic tool different than what he preaches. So he’ll ask them,
Who taught you that? Was it me? Because your litmus test should always be, ‘Did (CD) teach me to do this?’ And if the answer is no, then don’t do it. His chutzpah is nearly impossible to accurately describe.
Let me give another example. During the 2021-2022 winter, he was teaching an empty hand class. Fairly common, since he had been tasked with revamping it a few years ago, but has yet to develop anything besides some scattered notes, and alienate the few staff with street fighting or hand-to-hand experience in combat. Quite the feat for someone who had never even been punched in a sparring session before this incident. Which is the point of sparring, just saying.
During the class, a mouthy teenager challenged CD’s techniques and saw a weak point. He tried to point it out, CD began arguing with him. Ultimately, CD decided to make the kid prove his point. So they squared off and began to spar. Shortly thereafter, CD was on the ground with a dislocated bicep. Yeah, you read that right. It took a surgery and months of physical therapy on Worker’s Compensation to get him back up and moving around well. But, of course, he’s still faster than everyone else… according to him.
The following is an email excerpt, with permission to reprint from the original author:
In consideration of confidentiality and privileged information, I have told people,I can’t tell you that,in order to be a consummate professional. However, by continuing to be professional, it is contributing to a culture of insubordination and unprofessionalism spearheaded by none other than Brad Ackman. His inability to see that his actions (by forming cliques, fomenting divisiveness, and preferential treatment by ignoring misconduct and extolling insubordinate and unsafe conduct by individuals such as CD, DC, & KC) directly contribute to the attitude of a high school interpersonal drama episode (which he constantly decries) is an interesting display of denial and hypocrisy.
For those of you who are wondering about the transgressions of KC, here they are. First, approaching a supervisor in 2018 to co-ordinate an attempt to take over the Range Ops Training team by undermining LM, and pushing the other supervisors out, primarily by creating situations that are impossible to control appropriately and remain professional. Whichever response they chose would provide the catalyst for the next incident.
Second, refusing to teach according to the curriculum, often leaving the curriculum & radio on the dashboard of his truck, then lying to staff/students (who had inquired about the seeming lack of direction) that we did not give him a curriculum.
Another point in that vein, was moving various drills around because he felt like it, and then defending it with the inappropriate statement of,It doesn’t matter the order we run the exercises, as long as everything is covered by the end of Day Four.He later claimed that this direction came from BA during their time in Alaska.
Third was his inability to follow through with things that he promised. Every time an attempt was made to allow him to bring along proposals during a curriculum change, he contributed the least, or not at all, contrary to his outsized claims and promises.
Fourth, and last, was his request to use the Pro Shop during a Tactical Scenarios class. Thinking that it was a reasonable request, it was dutifully kicked up the chain. After some consideration, the request was denied on the basis that we wanted the Scenarios class in controlled, sterile (no weapons, ammo, or dangerous gear) areas away from any other classes in progress. The denial included the statement that we couldn’t risk having people involved who were not part of the class, who were carrying weapons, ammo, or other dangerous gear, and who may not understand that it is a controlled exercise.
So, what does he do? He decides to run a series of scenarios in the Comfort Station (Restrooms), while other classes had students taking a break (during an expected break time when running ahead of schedule) who were flocking to the Comfort Station. Here he is, running simulated mugging scenarios with Airsoft guns that lack any of the traditional orange markings. I do not think it’s necessary to cover why that’s a bad idea. But, in case you aren’t sure, there was a staff member in one of the stalls who heard someone say,give me your money or I’ll shoot you here,and was starting to spring into action when they looked through the gap between the stall door and hinge, realized what it was, and backed down. Some other folks got a bit worked up about it. The emails about it were not fun.
Once KC discovered that BA was coming back to the Nevada facility, suddenly another job opportunity showed up, just so all of this would not come to light. One would think (especially after having been informed against these actions) that any of these reasons ought to be enough to justify termination. But, because he was BA’s fishing buddy, and constantly made unjustified claims against LM and BD (neither of whom BA respects) we couldn’t fire him. His conduct ran counter to BA’s demands of consistency & following the curriculum, and yet BA was actively trying to bring him back in 2021, just like he did with DC. Apparently, BA’s goal was to replace the Range Ops staff with people that do exactly the opposite of what he expects from professionals!
An example of this demand, once again during the Knights of Front Sight course 2021:
We deviate from the curriculum only when we must, and only to serve the best interests of the individual student. In other words, we deviate at the individual student level only.
We never deviate at the class level or staff level. Now, what do I mean by Class Level? If we needed to alter the curriculum for a student on a particular range, we do it only for that one student. Everyone else on the range sticks to the original curriculum.
What do I mean by Staff Level? What I mean is we never deviate from the curriculum just because a given staff member wants to do it a different way. That has happened a couple times over the years and we simply move his name from the Instructor category over to the Former Instructor category.
And these statements by BA are completely false. In fact, he encouraged known offenders of this policy, such as CD, DC, and KC, to continue in those supposedly despicable actions.
Another recent excerpt:
This email will be a breach of my normal conduct and standards, but I can no longer allow certain unprofessional individuals to exploit the stoic professionalism of myself and my peers. To whit, most of the Range Operations department are recruited due to ideology and based on a concept, sold by charisma, that this place offers a stopping point for seekers of firearms and personal defense knowledge. Those of us who were actively involved during the Great Diagnostics Development (2010-2020) started with our mentors telling us that,Firearms diagnostics are a ‘Black Art’ and can’t be taught. You will only learn it by watching, so shut up and listen. Don’t open your mouth until we let you.(Combination of quotes from DC and BK, August 2011)
In addition to all other grievances, Range Operations is not considered full-time employment. We are termed,
Seasonal Employees, and, until the COVID shutdowns, & later in Summer 2021, fired and labeled un-hirable for going on unemployment in the off-season. And, even though it is at-will employment, in order to get around terminating people, we were instructed to simply stop scheduling them for work, forcing them to find another line of work. There are well over a hundred Range Staff on our books who have never worked, and many more who have left, but have not actively terminated their employment or been terminated by us.
So how is it possible to enforce a non-compete when the employer may have accidentally or deliberately forgotten to list a termination date? This practice led to the term,
Front Sight fired, meaning that someone in management didn’t like them and wanted to deny unemployment claims by counter-claiming that they were still employed, thus leading to potential fraud investigations being brought against the former staff member.
And then there was this gem:
When this first came to light, no one thought that it would really happen. And it was a total bust, from start to finish. Editing makes some things look OK, apparently. Absolutely nothing went right and it was constantly in flux, to the point that when FS staff told the Surviving Mann crew
No, they only had to find BA in order to override it, which ended up with some fun results, like a Rangemaster (SC) having a rifle pointed at him while he was roving. I’m only going to hit the highlights.
First, they were supposed to bring their own trainers. No one knew who that was, apparently. So the FS staff assigned to it had to do some impromptu training. At the beginning, it was actually BA who stepped up to do this, but he quickly tired of it. Eventually everything was run by the supervisors who had the bad luck of being chosen for this experiment.
Second, the lack of knowledge by the suppliers about their own weapons was astounding. Almost all of the weapons needed break-in periods before they would function well. Instead, they were yanked out of the new boxes (the best supplier involved threw some oil on the weapons first), and shoved into the hands of people with (mostly) no training. Certainly not on the weapons that they were using.
Especially telling was when one of the handgun suppliers (7.5 FK BRNO) took it upon himself to chastise the hapless participants that the cause of the failure to fires that they were experiencing, was caused by a lack of firm grip pressure. The weapons don’t have a grip safety, so that isn’t an issue. Just ridiculous nonsense because none of his weapons could fire all of the rounds in a magazine without multiple malfunctions.
This was repeated with the shotguns and some of the AR platforms as well, but the suppliers here at least understand if it was the problem of the weapon or the participant. Toward the end of the first day, BA gathered CC, LN, and PH near the targets and told them that he was glad that it was a points-based elimination competition,
Because that will get rid of the n*ggers and trannies first. Not the first time that he’s said stuff like this, but he probably didn’t realize that someone was keying the radio when he said that. The supervisors were dumbfounded and asked him to repeat that, but were interrupted by the next sequence of shooters arriving downrange. At least one of them made a formal complaint to HR, but that was swept under the rug as well.
If you’ve managed to make it through this expose, then you should be warned of something. IP and BA will continue to try further schemes. The aforementioned topics need to continue following them after they leave FS. And the only ones who would choose to continue to work for them in this and other venues (after having been informed of their natures and choices) would be those of a similar disposition and character. If you’re still not sure, please take a good look at the difference between the old & new agreements (NDA/NCA) that were required to be signed, without any modifications, as a condition of employment.
Lastly, if there are staff that you have found to be particularly helpful in your endeavors, please make sure that they get away from FS safely.
I wish you all good health and happy futures.
Remember, always be honest and forthright.
— [name withheld as requested]
See Part 1 here.