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Has Personal Finance Goddess Suze Orman Lost Her Luster?

If she doesn't find a way to offer a mea culpa, some of her devotees may desert her shrine and find another idol.

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Orman purrs when people profess their devotion to her, and bristles when they dare to question. And yet lately, the questions will not seem to stop. The predatory side of her prepaid debit card (which charges fees for simply using customer service) has earned her a dizzying wave of criticism in headlines like “ Suze Orman’s prepaid card: Can you afford it?” Orman's other products are receiving scrutiny as well: her $50 FICO Kit has been pronounced a scam, and Felix Salmon of Reuters, among others, has called out the bad advice in her investment newsletter. Twitter exchanges have revealed an increasingly testy Orman and a growing group of disgruntled fans and pissed-off financial bloggers and reporters.

There is a Hindu saying, He is a real teacher who not only instructs others, but practices the same instructions himself.

In TV land, a smackdown can only end when the subject cracks and reveals that she has sinned and seeks repentance (check out this Orman/Octomom showdown for a classic example). If Orman doesn't find a way to offer a mea culpa, at least some of her devotees will desert her shrine and find another idol. Orman can certainly retreat along a path strewn with golden coins, but if you're used to being a goddess, that's probably pretty lonely. 

Lynn Parramore is an AlterNet contributing editor. She is cofounder of Recessionwire, founding editor of New Deal 2.0, and author of 'Reading the Sphinx: Ancient Egypt in Nineteenth-Century Literary Culture.' Follow her on Twitter @LynnParramore.

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