Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Part One: Elizabeth Holmes: The CEO Who Treated Your Blood Like a Phone

Part One: Elizabeth Holmes: The CEO Who Treated Your Blood Like a Phone

Tue, 02 Apr 2019 10:00

Part One: Elizabeth Holmes: The CEO Who Treated Your Blood Like a Phone

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Hey there. I'm Scott rank, host of the podcast history unplugged. Now, it really is a dream come true to get paid to talk about history without all the stress while still being able to make a living. And I did it with Spreaker from iheart. Not only did they make it super easy to monetize my podcast, but ad revenue is 3 to four times higher with spreaker than with any other host I've worked with. So if you want to turn your passion into a podcast and give this a try, that's get paid to talk about the things you love. In the 1980s and 90s, a psychopath terrorized the country of Belgium. A serial killer and kidnapper was abducting children in the bright light of day. From Tenderfoot TV and iHeartRadio, this is La Monstra, a story of abomination and conspiracy. The story about the man who simply become known as. Lamaster. Listen for free on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Want to say I don't know less? Listen to stuff you should know more. Join host Josh and Chuck on the podcast packed with fascinating discussions about science, history, pop culture, and more episodes. Dive into topics like was the lost city of Atlantis Real? And how does pizza work? Say goodbye to I don't know, because after listening to stuff, you should know you will. Listen to stuff you should know on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Intro I'm Robert Evans. This is behind the ******** show, where we tell you about the bad people you don't know enough about or you want to know more about. That's the show. That's it. That's the show. OK. Today my guest is Jamie Loftus. Hi, Jamie. Eating a salad, Loftus. Yeah, eating a salad. I can already anticipate all the furious comments that I'll get to dip into about my, what's the word? My? Misophonia. Oh, really? Yeah. Oh my God. Anytime anyone ever eats. Unlike. There's 900 comments about, like, my misophonia, I can't listen to someone eating, and I was like, I had this is the smallest problem. Well, you you've hit upon a secret, which is the secret ******* of this episode is Jamie. I was like the thing I'm blaming everything on. Yeah, no, you are a a working person and. My misophonia. I've eaten a lot of Doritos on this show. That's true. I mean, but that's a satisfying ASMR induced crunch. It is. Well, it is, but so is the satisfying taste of a I don't. I can't find a brand on your salad. You should brand yourself. You don't know what it is. I know. Frustrating. There's not enough. There's not enough visibility with this salad. Yeah, Speaking of branding, today we're talking about one of the all time great branders up until about a year and a half ago. Elizabeth Holmes. Holmes, man, she's gone mainstream. E home me, he is there, I hope. Mandy Holmes connection here. It's crazy how quickly she is become a central like a focus of the world. It seemed to all happen very quickly. Yeah. It really all kicked off in about like 2014 is kind of when she blew onto the stage. That was when I became a stand. That's what you were. You were. You stand here for a while. I was a I was a stand. Yeah. Yeah. And there's elements of her that I still stand a little bit. Yeah. Changed my mind. No. You know what? What, what? What? We'll get into what she is later. Let's let's start by talking about her back story. Little bit here, let's I love a story of wealth, a story of wealth and privilege and and what I will call I will say her ethnicity is rich, like she's she, she's she's of that background. I'll talk a little bit more about that later. Too cool. So Elizabeth Anne Holmes was born on February 3rd, 1984 in Washington DC Her father was Christian Holmes the 4th, which might keep you in on the fact that her family was rich as **** which I wrote down before he spoiled that factor for our audience. I just didn't. I didn't head. Of it. So, you know, listen, I'm sorry for spoilers. I'm just so excited to talk about Elizabeth I know. I know. You're very you're big. You're big, Stan. I'm a big Stan. I play her on stage a lot. I know you do. Yeah. Yeah. You've you've got a great lab coat. I've got a I don't wear a lab coat now. It's the, it's the, it's the turtleneck. Turtleneck. Yeah. Yeah. That's kind of the iconic look. The turtleneck and the bad hair. That's something we have in common. What? The the frizzy hair. I mean, she needs to like her whole thing. And I know that, you know, we come down harder on women because of their appearance, but it's like there could have been an instructional on how to use a hair straightener more responsibly. I guess I never OK is neither here nor there. It's crazy how many billionaires have split ends. Like, get the **** together. I guess I never noticed that. But, like, I never do anything to my hair and I always look like a ******* like, you have infinitely better hair than Elizabeth Holmes. That's so mean, dude. To E Holmes. I know. And to owe money. So her great, great, great grandfather, the first Christian Holmes, was a World War One, veteran inventor and a surgeon. Part of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center is named after him, and he seems to have been a legitimately impressive dude. The family fortune, however, went back further than that to an ancestor named Charles Lewis Fleischman, a Hungarian immigrant who founded the Fleischman Yeast Company back in the 1800s. So I forgot she was a yeah, she's a yeast, a fortune. Which is too on the nose if you're I gotta. Say like, if you're like a rich a rich girl going to private school, having your money come from a used forges, that's a cross to bear. That's a that's a real, like, hashtag girl boss. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now, pretty much regardless of where you live, you can walk into a grocery store and pick up a packet of fleischmanns bread yeast. I actually used to use it when I was 1819 and 20 to ferment hobo jug wine in my garage. In other words, Elizabeth Holmes is descended from America's greatest hero, only cost like a dollar, so you can make a lot of really cheap gut rot wine with it. Is it just like a kool-aid package style of kool-aid packet styling? No. I wonder what kind of font work they've got. Just you just put sugar in a bucket with water, some Fleischmann's bread yeast, stick an airlock on that ****** let it sit two weeks. Then you can get ******* wasted for like $4. Ohh you can get like a room full of people wasted for $4. We used to brew 30 or so gallons at a time and get like huge groups of people drunk on this. Like terrible, terrible, terrible. Been good. Yeah, no, because we would get like canned, frozen, like like you. Those. Hands like concentrated orange juice and stuff. Yeah, he dumped like five of those into a 5 gallon bucket and we do like six of those at a time. Fleischmann's bread yeast making the ******* yeast. And then yeah, he'd get to like 6 or 7% alcohol. So you can get, you get like a 5 gallon bucket of that you can ruin some people. Yeah, you can really ruin some lives and and break up some marriages that way. Your mind me at the end of this story I'll tell you how we used Fleischmann's bread yeast to murder the Flash when I was a 20 year old. Ooh. OK all right. So, so this is some good, some good utilitarian yeast. Great E good. We're not, we're not against the yeast. I well, listen, there's a lot of situations in which yeast or is not welcome. This yeast is very welcome. This OK. This is welcome. Yeast. I like their font. I just had to look at solid font. It's timeless. They've clearly been added a while. Yeah. Yeah. So in this CEO is out for blood, the 2014 Fortune article that ignited public interest in Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos. Her father was described as a man who quote, has devoted most of his life to public minded government service. Disaster relief in Africa, International Development projects in China, environmental work in this country, and is currently the global water coordinator for the US Agency for International Development. He met Elizabeth's mother, Noel, on Capitol Hill, where she worked as a congressional committee staffer. So that's his parents. Distinguished, distinguished ****. Some distinguished ****. Depending on who you hear from, you'll run into two very different pictures of her childhood. In early interviews, Elizabeth would claim that her famous, great, great, great granddad's example was her earliest motivation. She read a biography of him when she was a little kid. Later told Fortune he ultimately worked himself to death, but he was so passionate in what he did. I wondered, would I want to be a doctor? Since her family was rich and connected as **** some of her family friends were able to arrange for her to watch surgeries in order to see if she really wanted to get into medicine as a career. Wait, how? When she was, how old? I think when she was like a like a kid and like, like, like grade school, you're going to watch surgeries. Yeah, you can do that ****. Why not? I I don't know. I wouldn't let a child do that. Oh, man. If I ever have a kid, that's what they're doing from day one. They're watching straight up. No kindergarten or first grade, just surgeries. They're they're going to theaters. Yeah, they're just going to be sitting in that. Or you watch him take that gallbladder out. It would be kind of cool. Do you think when they had like surgeries like in in theaters that you could like have your own box there? Like wasted? Yeah, you can get like bored up in like cheer people on and be like just kill him. I would love to like Pop pop a couple of oxy and like a bottle of steel reserve and then like smoke a cigar and watch a surgery like that. Sounds like someone getting gallbladder surgery. ****. Talk the surgeon. Call that a ******* incision, you ******* foul play. So, nilly stuff, you could make a lot of money selling that as a business. Like poor people get free surgeries and the rich get drunk and Heckle them. I feel like that's like what America is ready for that. Well, I say we're reaching a point in society where I feel like that may in fact be welcome. We just need to find a way to add some sort of, we have to add the cloud to it to make it seem vaguely tech adjacent. It's going to have that Twitch thing where everyone can comment while the surgery is going. Exactly. Oh, or like a Facebook live stream where it's like, vote Heart for. William we get 500 likes in the next hour. The surgeon will dab before he yeah, figure 1000 likes. The surgeon will not perform surgery. He'll chug a 40. You can just kill people. Facebook. Might as well make it that direct. Rather than like nuts killing people on Facebook and using their platform to spread it, just have Facebook. Yeah, now you can just kill people. Cut out the middleman. Let's just do what we were trying to do the whole time. This has gotten off the rails a little bit well, so Elizabeth claims that she did not enjoy watching surgeries. She was utterly revolted by the sight of blood and developed a phobia of it quote. The concept of sticking a needle into you and sucking your blood out, Holmes says, has always been profoundly disturbing to her as a child, she says. When I knew I needed to get a test, I would really be focused on that for weeks in advance. She had a real big thing about blood, which I guess a lot of people do. I've never had any. I was sick as a kid, so I just grew up used to it. But I guess a lot of people like that's a thing. I've always been very squeamish with stuff like that. You had leeches on your body at one point. I've had leeches on my body at one point. I'm all about immersion therapy. Yeah, OK, yeah, but I I don't like blood. I can't like watch Grey's Anatomy. I can't either, but for totally different reasons. Because I hate surgery and I hate sex. Two at least favorite things. I hate sex and I love surgery. That well, there's plenty of shows for you. There's a million shows for you. Oh yeah, I just watch house and touch myself all night long. It's great. When she was 9, Elizabeth's dad took a private sector gig with Tenneco, a giant automotive equipment manufacturer. The family moved from DC to Houston. Christian Holmes the 4th felt bad about forcing his children, Elizabeth and Christian homes. The 5th to move to Texas, which is a reasonable way to feel about moving your children to Texas. But like, rich white people in Houston are like chaotic evil. Like, they're fine. I mean, have you? I don't want to throw too much shade on Houston because I have a lot of friends there, but I don't know anything. I don't know anyone in Houston. It's like if you built a city, the density of downtown LA, but on a swamp. Interesting. Yeah. How does that affect you as a person? Well. I see. You'd rather not say it's not my favorite city, but other people like it quite a lot right now. Christian Holmes the 4th, was really concerned about moving his kids to Texas. Elizabeth tried to reassure her dad by sending him a letter assuring him quote I love adventures. She said she was excited to move to Texas because it was big on science, which might be the most glaring misconception about Texas that I have ever heard. Is that Elizabeth Holmes's biggest lie? Yeah, that that, that right there. Nothing comes close to that. I have had more people than I can account explain to me angrily that the world is 6000 years old in Texas, so I do not get that interesting. Anyway, in every interview that Elizabeth has ever given, basically she's made sure the interview reported on the 1st sentence that she wrote in that letter to her dad. Quote. What I really want out of life is to discover something new, something mankind didn't know was possible to do. So this is the homes approved version of the story. It's the one most reporters and journalists and quote UN quote journalists reported or repeated in super positive articles about Holmes and Theranos back in 2014. But it is not the only version of her story. Doctor Richard Fuse is a psychiatrist who has known. Elizabeth and her family, since she was a wee little child, he also got embroiled in a gigantic nasty lawsuit with Theranos over a patent issue in 2011. The whole thing was a nightmare for his family and kind of tore his life apart for years. It cost him $5 million. So fuse is the furthest thing in the world from an unbiased, objective commentary on the life of Elizabeth Holmes. But a number of other people's stories back up things that he says. So he also like grew up, like she grew up alongside him. So he's got, he's got some perspective, I believe some things he says. I'm more questioning about others, so here are some. Scripts from a poorly written Forbes article that interviewed Fuse about Holmes's background. I'm sorry, a poorly written Forbes. I know this is the only one quote. Few said that Elizabeth parents were striving to improve their position in the world. As he said quote the Holmes family parents were Christian and Noel were our neighbors in Virginia. They were very political and aspired to use their Washington connections to get money. Our kids grew up with their kids. They were jealous of our family. I was a physician who had many patients and made money off of them and knew Arabic. OK. Seems like a lot of bragging about himself. Bragging? He seems like that. And a guy few says that Holmes's mother tried to push Elizabeth to be like him. Doctor Richard Hughes. Quote Noel programmed Elizabeth to be like me and Vinton learn a language. I'm a psychiatrist and a family practitioner and would tell a father and mother not to treat their child that way. She'll be what she'll be. Don't drive her into something she doesn't want to do. The pictures I have with our family, she's withdrawn. She's always pulled to the side and was not naturally emotive as a child. I don't know. I mean, I I. I'm always had, like, if you think about like, how your neighbor would describe you as a child, like if if Kevin O'Connell, the retired Brockton cop, were to describe me as a child and presented like 20 years later as Canon, I don't know. I don't. I don't love he did that. Yeah, I don't love it either. It's also, though, that, like, we have the stuff that she approved and told journalists, and we have the other side of this from this other guy. So I'm going to present you with both and with some other stuff in between. Yeah, because. Because. They're like, approved story is so mythic. It is. And so, like, you have to try to anyway, I'm going to present a number of different totally, like, to attempt. And again, like, fuse is obviously the most biased source we have on Holmes's background, but he also knew her her whole life. How many more times does he say he's a physician? Like, it gets a little bit less pretentious after that. OK, yeah. Yeah. So the book bad blood by John Kerry Rue provides. It's a really good book, provides additional context to Holmes's childhood. Ambition. It paints a picture somewhere between how Holmes wanted to be known to fortune and how Doctor Fuse paints her quote. When she was nine or ten, one of her relatives asked her at a family gathering. The question every boy and girl has asked sooner or later. What do you want to do when you grow up without skipping a beat? Elizabeth replied. I want to be a billionaire. Would you rather be president? The relative asked. No, the president will marry me because I'll have a billion dollars. These were not the idle words of a child. Elizabeth uttered them with the utmost seriousness and determination, according to a family member who witnessed the scene. So. Cool biz, the baby. I yeah, I mean, I just billionaire. The way people build up people's childhood stories is always so weird to me. Like, anyone could have been like, Jamie told us that she was going to, like, marry Daniel Radcliffe, and she sounded pretty ******* serious about it. Like when I was like 9 or 10 years old, for me it would be Robert wanted to make dinosaurs like in the Essex Park books, and that's the only thing he talked about was becoming a scientist, and he really wanted to make some ******* dinosaurs. And I still do, right? If I ever get a billion dollars. All of it's going to die. So the President will marry you. And then the dinosaur thing. God, I just think about his his warm, rasping lips on my on my the back of my neck and Jamie. Nothing warms my heart more than that. I mean, we will feel bad for the money when she's displaced, but you know what? You know what? Players got to play. That's true. That's what I'm gonna it's true. It's true. Kerry Rees interviews with people who knew homes as a child revealed that she was a huge fan of Monopoly and was famously competitive at the game. One of those people who demands you actually finish the game even once it becomes clear that they're going to win because you can't roll the die without landing on one of their properties. She usually won, but when she lost, she would run off in a huff. Kerry Rue notes that more than once she ran through the screen of the condos front door. Oh my God, that's pretty ombre. Yeah, that's very like that one, I believe, because that both sounds like someone who grows up to do what she did and also sounds like a 9 year old. Exactly. Sounds like a child who isn't totally sure how to deal with failure at all. Exactly. Yeah, that tracks. In those early fawning articles, a lot of hay was made out of the fact that Elizabeth Holmes learned to speak Mandarin while she was young during a study abroad, well before and during a study abroad program in China. The 2014 Fortune article made it sound incredibly impressive. Quote Elizabeth and her brother, who is now director of product management at Theranos, totally aboveboard. There had both been intrigued by their father's work in China. So when Elizabeth was about. And her parents found them both a tutor to teach the Mandarin on Saturdays. Elizabeth been supplanted those lessons with summer language programs at Stanford and later at 2 universities in Beijing. Captivated by computer programming in high school, she was struck by how the Chinese University's information technology facilities lagged behind what she was used to. To rectify that situation, she started her first business while still in high school, selling C++ compilers to Chinese universities. So it always starts with like a weird early scam. One of my favorite, because I have like, a vested interest in compilers. Chinese universities. So it always starts with like a weird early scam. One of my favorite because I have like a vested interest in girlboss scammers, right? And one of my favorite examples of that is at Lisa Frank in college, like the Unicorn Art, Weird thing like 90s posters and stuff, all the trapper keepers. She started by, like basically stealing art and design from Native American artists and selling them at an uptick. And then, like later based a lot of her designs and stuff like it. Just like there's always, like an early scam. Yeah, there's always with everyone. I mean, of all genders. It's always like a proto scam. Same with John McAfee. If you go back to where he was like, yeah, they always, they're like, Oh no one's gonna say anything. OK, cool. Moving along. That's why they get good enough to do billion and multimillion dollar scams is because they start when they're ******* 12. I mean, there's even like a case to be made for, like Billy McFarland doing something like that where you're just, Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. The firefest guy. Yeah, yeah. Like you're just dipping. Towing like, Oh no one's checking this. OK, great. Let's see how far we can. Yeah, yeah. How far? How much further can we can we push this? Liz? Liz, you Rascal, you Rascal. So fuses, recollections, make that period of her life sound like it's at best a little bit inflated. He alleges that she was enrolled in the study abroad program as a back door into Stanford quote. She was a fair student with low grades. Her parents had heard through their channels that she could improve her chances if she took a summer program there and learned a language while in high school. They put her in the summer program at Stanford to study Mandarin. About Kerry rues book makes it sound a little better than that. According to his reporting, she talked her way into the Stanford summer program. Whatever the truth, she eventually went abroad to China to continue her studies. Fuse does not believe she thrived there. Quote Elizabeth would call the house from China crying. Noel would take the calls from Elizabeth and ask my ex-wife to pick up. Elizabeth said the people are dirty, the hotel is filthy, and I want to come home, but Noel would tell her to stop complaining and get with the program. OK, so sounds like a bratty rich kid abroad. Bratty rich kid abroad. I'm not sure what to make of her Mandarin. Some people say she was good at it, but it's one of those things like Mark Zuckerberg learned Mandarin and you hear reports from my Chinese people that like, yeah, you know, he's not great, but like, he's able to hold a conversation and stuff. Like, he's got, like a basic level. And that's impressive because it's really hard to learn. I haven't run into any Chinese people commenting on Elizabeth Holmes's level of Mandarin. I mean, does she have really much of a history in that country other than, like, early in her life? Not really. She went there several times and stuff. That's where she met Sonny Bono because that was like, talk about. Yeah. Yeah. Like, he's like, oh, you speak Mandarin. Hi, I'm old, a lot of girlfriends. And that's part of why I'm a little questioning about how good she was at it because, like, everyone who's impressed by her Mandarin is a person who doesn't speak Mandarin. Right. It's like, I know Mark Zuckerberg has like, I don't like Mark Zuckerberg, but I know he's acquired an impressive level of it because Chinese people are like, yeah, no. He was able to give a speech and it was like comprehensive work in China. He does a lot of work in China. He married a Chinese woman, like he put in the time. I don't know about homes. He is a hero. He's a hero here. He wore a tie for a whole year during the financial collapse. Ohh yeah, what OHS so gross. I don't stand down. Nobody can. God, that chinless dork. I'm sure he has like a 30,000 square foot house because no one in his family wants to be that close to him either. Do you think that he has one of those Bitcoin ties? Like that guy in the Elizabeth Holmes HBO documentary codependent? We gotta talk about the Bitcoin tie guy. I'm going to fight him and I'm going to win. If you wear a Bitcoin tie. Who the **** do you think you are? What are you playing? ************. Yeah. What's your ******* game here? Also, I want one of those times you are the only person I would let be on if when they do the documentary about all the scams I'm running, I I will be offended. You don't wear a Bitcoin, Bitcoin time just yeah, we had no idea. I'm going to play very dumb. We're Bitcoin till anything with the NASA T-shirt that you're wearing. Yeah, and then I'll just get off and then I'll be like Robert was always saying, the earth is flat. I don't know why everyone's so surprised. It is, though. OK. So given the recent revelations about rich families paying millions of dollars to find ways to sneak their kids in the fancy colleges, you might be wondering, why didn't Holmes's family just pose her in the swimming pool playing fake water polo to get her into Stanford? Well, it's because that kind of scamming cost money, and by the time she was looking to get into college, the Holmes family was, if not really broke, then at least rich people broke. So, like, upper middle class, well, it's more that, like, this is what I was talking about with, like, ethnically rich, as opposed to, like, just have a lot of money, like, if you're in the NFL. You become a movie star and you get like 10s of 1,000,000 or hundreds of millions of dollars. A lot of those people, or you win the lottery. A lot of those people wind up broke eventually, right? If you're born Rich if into like, if if that's like, really your background, your culture, your ethnicity, like a yeast family. You're like a yeast family. You may never have much in the way of liquid cash, but it's impossible for you to ever be poor because of the connections that you have from growing up. Always. Yeah, yeah, bounce back. And that's like her dad used his connections in the early aughts to get an executive gig at Enron. That did not end well. *******. And some people say, fuse included, that the collapse of Enron basically wiped out the family fortune. Fuse claims that when he came back after Enron failed, like that, he and his wife had to live in one of fuses. Extra houses, rent free because, like, they didn't have any money after Enron. He's actually don't know if you know this about him. He's a physician. He is a physician and a psychiatrist. Yeah. Yeah. So he actually like an inventor. Yeah. Yeah. So anyway, whichever version of her. The background you choose to believe, we know for a fact that in the fall of 2218, year old Elizabeth Holmes started at Stanford University and that is where we will continue from when we come back from. Produce Bitcoin ties. Ohh yeah, I mean, we we really, we're actually this this podcast is all to to advertise for my new cryptocurrency ******* coin. Yeah, each each is we have actually, like, embedded a blockchain in the decomposing bones of Saddam Hussein buried under an Iraqi desert near Kirkuk. And so, as the winds of time gradually decompose his bones, new blockchains are created, thus releasing more ******* coins into the the coin ecosystem. Well, see, I actually knew that, because if you read every 14th word in Saddam Hussein's romance novel, it tells you the exact location of that. So, yeah, I got you did it. You did it, you did it. All right, well, pick up some ******* coins. You can use them to buy drugs on the Internet, like all cryptocurrency. And, uh, check out these fine products. Hey guys, I'm Kaylee short, I'm a singer-songwriter in Nashville, TN and I host a podcast called Too much to say, which is very aptly titled. I write songs most of the time, but I can't keep my feelings to three minutes and 30 seconds, so to have a whole podcast, it's just amazing. So I share stories from my music career, my childhood. I've been known to read diary entries, play unreleased songs, but no matter what I'm doing, I'm sharing a strong opinion I have on something. So I share my thoughts on everything. The music to martinis, social media to social anxiety, regrets to risky text, and so much more. Sometimes I even have some really special guests on to share their craziness and what they have too much to say about so you guys can listen to new episodes of too much to say every Wednesday on the Nashville podcast network, available on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to your podcast. In the 1980s and 90s, a psychopath terrorized the country of Belgium. A serial killer and kidnapper was abducting children in the bright light of day. His unspeakable crimes and the incompetence or unwillingness of the police to stop him brought the entire country of Belgium to the brink of revolution. From Tenderfoot TV in iHeartRadio this is la Monstra. The story of abomination and conspiracy that led to the demise of the entire institution of Belgian federal police and rattled the foundations of its government. A story about the man who simply become known as La Monster. Listen for free on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. What's up you guys? It's your girl Betty who here? And you know this about me. It has always been very important to me to stand out and be authentically me, not only with my music, but my style and my vibe. And JBL really gets that. They know your headphones and speakers should look as original as the music you're listening to, or in my case, making. That's why I'm obsessed with my JBL headphones and speakers that help me reflect who I really am, from true wireless headphones to pulsing party boxes. Ohh yeah, party boxes guys. JBL has a wide and colourful range of products that help me feel myself when I wanna vibe my way. I literally record this entire podcast on my favorite JBL headphones. They are absolutely incredible. So JBL wants us all to listen on our terms living in the moment. Our moment unfiltered. The JBL podcast at We're back. We're back. We're back. Where's where's Lizzie? She's in. She's she just started Stanford. Oh, good. I'm sure this ends well. Yes. Fizzle. Yeah. I don't know why I'm doing that a lot today. Elizabeth Holmes was, by most accounts, a diligent student and a diligent partier. John Kerry rewrites quote outside of the long hours she put in at the lab, Elizabeth LED an active social life. She attended campus parties and dated a sophomore named JT Batson. Batson was from a small town in Georgia and was struck by how polished and worldly Elizabeth was. Though he found her guarded, she wasn't the biggest sharer in the world. Recalls. She played things close to the vest. She also wore a lot of vests. I don't think that's what he meant there, but she she definitely wore a lot of vets. There was a Freudian slip. Yeah. Yeah. She she was a big vest fan, which were a lot of us. I love a good vest vest guy myself. And she knew how to wear a vest. And she did know how to wear nobody saying she was not dressed well for the job. Where where is the conversations about how Elizabeth Holmes could really wear a vest, unlike any other scammer? I feel like you should be on your legal team. Mark Zuckerberg doesn't wear a vest. No, mark. Rickerd barely wears T-shirts. Yeah, I know. It's just disgusting. Oh. Still have nightmares about that episode? It's hell, it's hell. By her sophomore year at Stanford, Elizabeth Holmes seems to have gotten fed the hell up with college, which is understandable. Rather than dropping out to, say, smoke a ton of weed and eventually become a podcaster, home, sat down with her chemical engineering professor, Channing Robertson and said let's start a company. Right, this is Silicon Valley is so confusing to me where it's like like. Listening to a 19, like a 19 year old starting a business is a bad idea. Yeah, a 19 year old idea. Doing anything but like very basic jobs and studying is a bad idea. Bad idea. Yeah. And it like never ever leads to anything good. Yeah, it's it's a bad idea to like, let them in. The military friends who were driving tanks at 17, that's a bad idea. It's a bad, really bad idea. Like this. This is like the part of like the Silicon Valley. Narrative. We're like, why is this a lot like, yeah, why would anyone be like, and this is going to end. Great, see, this is, again, there's a government Bureau. I've suggested they should be around to, like, slap people in the face sometimes, but they should also be there just to walk up to people in times like this, like, like someone in a suit with a badge should have come up and said, Elizabeth Holmes, no, you can't. No. You got, you know, learn science first. Go wait tables for a year. Like do do a job that's like useful to people and, you know, like isn't. Starting a company and getting millions of dollars in venture capital funding and learn things and live in the real world for a while. Yeah. Learn how to, you know, be a person for a spell. Elizabeth she. Well, she might have to now. Yeah, she might have to now. That's. That's. That's. That is. And yeah. Anyway, Robertson, the guy she went to, the professor she went to and said, let's start a company had done seminars on drug delivery devices, stuff like nicotine patches and even more advanced things like small, clear contact lenses that could deliver glaucoma medication. Super advanced, noninvasive ways to deliver drugs. Cool stuff. Elizabeth approached him with the design for a wearable patch that would deliver both the drug and monitor the patient's blood in order to adjust the dosage of that drug. Now, Robertson had only known Elizabeth Holmes for a year, and she was one of many, many, many, many, many undergrads he'd worked with. But he told Fortune Magazine, quote, I knew she was different. The novelty of how she would view a complex technical problem, it was unique in my experience, I remember her saying. And we could put a cell phone chip on it, and it could to limit her out to the doctor or the patient. What was going on? And I kind of kicked myself. I consulted. In this area for 30 years, but I'd never said here we make all these gizmos that measure and all these systems that deliver. But I never brought the two together. So he was impressed with her, OK, with her moxie, with her inventiveness, but he felt that starting a medical device manufacturing company at age 19 after probably dropping out of Stanford might be not a great idea. And again, like not taking the science classes, you should know if that would be possible. Exactly, exactly. You figure a professor would be on that fairly like anti college, but that's. This sort of thing that you gotta go. I I think probably most people in college like the things that people should be doing in college is like studying history and the humanities to learn why you shouldn't let 19 year olds run blood testing companies and also spending eight years to learn how to, like, be a doctor and design medical devices. There's things seem like you need college, you need training. Yeah. Like you don't need college to do what I've done, which is just go put myself in dangerous places and write about it. No, I know. Yeah. We've gotten so deeply in debt to do things that require. Really? Like, just common sense? Yeah, exactly. So everyone out there drop out, drop out of college, but don't start companies. Never start a company, or at least not medical device companies. Start a podcast company. That's like, who cares? Anyone can do that if you fail. And we all will. At some point, we all will. This bubble gum burst this. Ohh I feel it. I feel it pushing against the surface of my skin every single morning. Yeah, yeah, but you know, it'll be a fun ride for them. That's just that's just the the life we chose anyway. Robertson. Yeah. Asked her why she was hell bent on. Doing all this right now, while she was still a teenager. Holmes responded quote because systems like this could completely revolutionize. How effective Healthcare is delivered and this is what I want to do. I don't want to make an incremental change in some technology in my life. I want to create a whole new technology and one that is aimed at helping humanity at all levels, regardless of geography or ethnicity or age or gender. Now I think that's really important because I think that exact sentiment. Whether or not. They've ever said. It is exactly what is constantly going through the minds of Mark Zuckerberg Elon Musk? All of these ******* guys basically all of them, but Bill Gates, like yeah, call out. No, I mean, I think he's he's the one who didn't like he was. He was always more of like a grounded kind of like like he's a decent engineer, but he's more of just like he knows how to run a business and he's like. ****** like to like he's he's he's did a lot of Dickish. Things running a business. But he wasn't like irresponsible. He was just like kind of an evil corporate Overlord and then he dedicated his life to curing malaria right? Which. Yeah, it's like sure that's something you. I guess that's something I don't know. Yeah, once she gets into like the I mean, all the like the. Tech company statements of of grandeur of like how their technology will somehow make the world a more equal place when it always does the opposite. It was freaky stuff, especially when it like comes to like a hashtag girl boss. Yeah, like Elizabeth Holmes, who constantly has to, like, leverage her own identity as a way of getting ahead. It's just so sinister and ****** and bad. When is that line in the middle? I don't want to make an incremental change in sub technology. Like that's why Elon Musk tried to build that child coffin during the rescue, because he was like, I don't want to just like give some money to experts so they can slowly and agonizingly, in a very unglamorous way, save a dozen lives. I want to build a sexy thing out of rocket parts. And and I want there to be like, be like, you know, like old school newsreel footage. Yeah, me emerging, the hero of the situation. But no, sometimes you just need to very slowly and laboriously teach kids how to use breathing devices and agonizingly pull them through tunnels to save their lives. Because that's what works. You just have to accept your own limitations and be like, OK, I have the money to make this happen. Let me give money to people and not then call them. Didn't he call, like, one of the rescuers on the Lester called him a pedophile? I'm just like, you're the most juvenile *******. You're just not looking for 420, Chad. But doesn't children. He's like, yeah, he's a pedophile. Like, is this. He's a 7th grader, Amanda. Like the US Army and like the the Thai Navy divers were all like, Oh yeah, we wouldn't have saved those dozen children without this guy. Like, ******* pedophile. It's. I mean, everyone has very different opinions of Elon Musk, but there's no there there. There's no doubt that he is always finding new ways to embarrass himself. You know, if he's like really an innovator and I think more so than. Anywhere else. He is innervated. Embarrassing yourself as as an adult. It's really incredible. It's like, just stop tweeting, man. We would all still like you if you'd never use Twitter. Log out, don't you? Elon Musk, like, shouldn't be on podcasts if he was just a guy with a cool name who owned a rocket company. Yeah, a car company. I like him. Who, like, got rich and did something about his hairline. Yeah, great. Sure. Good for you. Oh yeah, we need electric cars and rockets. Fine. That's great. Stick to that. I don't want to look at you and I don't want you to. He ruined. I used to. I liked Grimes a lot in college, and he took that. We all liked Grimes a lot in college. He took. He took that from everybody. That's painful, man. **** that guy. It's painful anyway. Yeah, probably lost a lot of listeners from the Elon Musk shade, but the episode on Him's coming. Listen, I mean there. I have no distinct opinion on him other than he's an embarrassing person. Didn't call him the PayPal mafia for entirely good reasons. Like a really embarrassing name. Yeah, but like PayPal mafia, that's kind of feels like it kind of fits, like, in the literal sense of stealing money. I look forward to that episode. Yeah, well, we'll talk about that. Right. So Robertson told Fortune that when Elizabeth Holmes said this thing about not wanting to do incremental change was the moment he realized what Elizabeth was. I realized I could have just as well been looking into the eyes of a Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. And I do think he was half right there, but we'll get to that later. He was looking in the eyes of a shameless. Capitalist ohh, just a Steve Jobs. Yeah, Steve Jobs was a type of shameless capitalist, but she. I think she's the exact same kind of person as Steve Jobs. I don't think that was all an act. She yeah, we'll talk about that a little bit. Elizabeth decided that come hell or high water, she was going to start her own damn company. She announced this to her father during a break from classes. He was not happy to hear that she was dropping out, and he urged her to finish her degree. She responded. No, dad, I'm not interested in getting a PhD. I want to make money. In the spring of her sophomore year, she broke up with her boyfriend, explaining that this was because she was starting a company which obviously wouldn't leave her much time for, you know, ******* that D that's I actually wrote dead D ohh. JTD. RIP JT DRP. JTD. Damn. JTD is out there somewhere. Wilting, wilting, wilting. Wilting. Poor guy. Poor. I'm sure he's fine. Yeah, he's probably. I mean, I'm sure he's a rich kid too. It's ******* Stanford, right? Yeah. Yeah, you're ******* he's fine. Probably works for Facebook. Elizabeth did a summer internship at the Genome Institute of Singapore, which later proved to be her last real dalliance with higher education. Her internship coincided with the SARS epidemic, and she was frustrated by the various inefficiencies and delays caused by testing patients with syringes and nasal swabs. She decided, based on her 1 1/2 years of college, that she could do better than these damned infectious disease specialist fighting a massive outbreak. When she came home from Singapore, she spent five sleepless days at her computer in Houston. Eventually, she came up with a patent application for an arm patch that would diagnose and treat various medical conditions. Armed with this patent, she dropped out of school and incorporated a company, real time cures, which wound up printed on employee paychecks as real time curses due to a ****** oops. Yeah, well it happens to the best of us. Robertson by the way, joined the board and like supported this 19 year old in her dream to drop out of college and create a medical device this like middle-aged professor, understand this culture. I don't know a whole lot about him other than I think he's kind of a ***** ** **** he comes off that way and the interviews with him? Yeah, come on the show Robertson talked. Yeah, come on. The pod talk me out of that. He I don't know. I mean, yeah, I mean the the very, there's so many like dudes in that in the HBO documentary who just come off as super defensive. And then I mean the narrative of of just like totally 180 and being like, yeah, what a ******* dummy. Crazy. I'm like, you gave her a billion dollars Bitcoin guy. The only people in that documentary who come off well are Tyler Schultz and and John Kerry Rue. Even. Yeah, even Alex Gibney doesn't come because it's kind of a. 3 documentaries kind. It's not a great document. Using a lot of stock footage. Using a lot of stock footage. I think it's a hit piece on Errol Morris personally. Well, wait, what are you talking about? The B1 or HBO one? Yeah. Remember much? But yeah, there was some more in there. There was. Well, Errol Morris. Yeah, he did a lot of their ads. He endorsed. Yeah. I I would love to see an Errol Morris documentary about that experience and finding out that he was wrong because he's a better filmmaker. Some of that shade back on Mattis, too. Yeah. I'm ******* Henry Kissinger. How does Henry Kissinger get out? Scott? Free. I mean, in fairness, like, it's the least terrible thing. Kissinger's been like if if if killing millions of Cambodians didn't stick to kissing Jeremy, being on the Theranos board isn't. Unkillable. He's he really is Unkilled and like, how is he? I've like operated under the assumption for a few months at a time. Yeah. Throughout my adult life, thinking he's dead and then remembering he's not ever quite is. Is he getting very upset about it? He's one of those people that, like, there's just a level of like, hate, but also like respect of just like you've just you've been around for forever. You've been bad for so long you've you've been one of the most influential people in the world for almost 100 years. If he does like that Peter Thiel vampire treatment and that's why he's going to live forever, I think it's just he did some sort of like dark magical ritual with all those Cambodians we bombed and like their blood extended his life by a couple of decades. I hate him so much. He's pretty bad person. When I have like three straight weeks to read books about Henry Kissinger, we'll we'll do what? Henry Kissinger? Yeah. That's a long one. Yeah. That's that's going to be quite the episode. So the funding for real time cures came from Elizabeth Holmes's family connections, Mom and Dad. May not have been rich anymore, but they were still, as I said, culturally rich. Elizabeth was able to meet with Tim Draper, the father of a childhood friend, and convince him to invest $1,000,000. Is that Mr Bitcoin tie? I don't know. It might have been. I think it might have been. Draper was well known among the kind of rich people who invest in unproven tech ventures. Grandfather honey, that is. That is the guy. Yes, Drippers Grandpa had founded the very first Silicon Valley venture capital firm back in the 50s. Tim had invested in Hotmail early and Elizabeth Holmes, you know, with his name. Uh quickly attracted other investments. Quote in a 26 page document she used to recruit investors, she described an adhesive patch that would draw blood painlessly through the skin using microneedles. The Thera patch is the document called. It would contain a microchip sensing system that would analyze the blood and make a process control decision about how much of a drug to deliver. Would also communicate its readings wirelessly to a patient's doctor. She'd soon changed the company name to Theranos. Combination of therapy and diagnosis and that Fortune article. Holmes claimed she changed the name because too many people reacted cynically. To the word cure and made her seem like a snake oil salesman. No, no, no. Lizzy, I have a question. Sure. At this point in the process, how involved is sunny balwani? Do we know? He's not yet. He didn't come on to the company officially until I think 2009. OK, this is they. So they met when she was young and like kept in dated. Kept in touch. We're not sure. We don't know exactly when they started dating. They definitely were while he was working at Theranos. But he's not there until 2009. So she she gets this all off the ground before he comes on board. OK, now whether or not. He's like, like, her brother did say that they would call pretty regularly and stuff when she was 18-9. Sounds like they were in touch, but I don't know. I don't know, like, it's one of those things. Part of why I didn't talk about it more is I don't know how influential. Like, there's a big debate about, like, whether or not because they started dating when she was so much younger than him, he had a big influence on her practices. But it's also like she was running this company for like 6-7 years. She was very driven. Yeah. It's like, you wanna, like, say that she was not capable of doing it. It's clear that she was. It's one of those, like, it's tough. Because I don't like #1. I don't wanna, like, not go after a guy who influenced a much younger woman to do bad things. But also I don't want to, like, take away her agency and doing ****** things by crediting this guy. That's like one of the complicated things around conversations like this where it's like, it is weird to me that in all the coverage of this story like sunny balwani's role and stuff is not more carefully, like, scrutinized because it's clear that, you know, she set up the company by herself, but that age difference when you're that young. Big, yeah. Like that is not a great person on the older side of that relationship and, you know, it's. I don't know. I'm of the opinion that, like, if you're like a mature adult, I don't know. I think, like if you're mature adult, you don't date teenagers. You don't if you're 25 year older. I don't give a **** what the age difference is. You're 25. Been out in the world long enough to like, know some ******* ****. But a ******* 19 year old dating a 37 year old? That's not cool, man. That's weird. Yeah, that's weird. Yeah, that's. Now home. Slowly build your company up over the next 10 years, gradually refining and revamping her technology. From the Fortune article quote as much as she needed money, she turned down many offers, she says, because so many investors wanted quick returns too often. The question is, what's your exit strategy? She recounts. Before you're really understanding what your entry strategy is, what's your entry set? Yeah, that's like a classic Silicon Valley thing. State the thing and then reverse it to make it seem like you've said something more profound than it actually is. Yeah, right. And then turn it into an Instagram post. Yeah. Fun font and post. Does your blood testing equipment work? The question is, does current blood testing equipment really work? Well, they're like, yeah, they they told me I had hepatitis and she's like, well, oh, and then she takes your blood on the tip of her tongue like, you do have hepatitis. And now I do too. The technological fixation of Theranos eventually shifted away from those medicated patches because what she was trying to do with them actually technically sort of violated the laws of physics. Homeless moved on from that plan into one that was arguably more ambitious than Nano, Tanner, and the Edison Blood testing machine. While her first innovation had been spired, at least by real medical **** she really experienced doing actual work in the field. The Nano, Tanner, and the Edison seemed more inspired by Steve Jobs in the Apple Company. Elizabeth Holmes wanted to produce a slick, attractive technological gizmo that could eventually wind up in every American. Home. She had a dizzying dream of paintball, eventually being able to test their own blood via via pinprick and get diagnosis from tiny attractive little boxes like a Keurig size little thing. I think that was the eventual goal. OK, it was never like quite stated, but if you read between the lines, it's like Keurig blood machine is just going to be inside your house. It's like a cool like, you can imagine that. Like a sci-fi movie where somebody is like, Oh no, I got exposed to the thing, let's do Steve. OK, you're still safe. You can see Oscar Isaac in exactly. We can see Oscar Isaac. And then it's kind of like that. Yeah. And. Like the in like the reboot 20 years from now of the thing. Exactly. Yeah, that's way less good and doesn't have a drunk Kurt Russell, which why would you even watch? What's the point? What's the point if Kurt Russell's not drinking? Yeah, don't reinterpret perfection. Don't reinterpret perfection. Speaking of perfection, oh, the products and services that advertise on this show and or program. I'm tightening my Bitcoin tie, tying your Bitcoin ties, everybody, and listen to these ads. So by now we imagine that you've seen the theories on Tik T.O.K. You maybe even heard the rumors from your friends and loved ones. But are any of the stories about government conspiracies and cover ups actually true? The answer is surprisingly or unsurprisingly, yes. For more than a decade, we hear at stuff they don't want you to know have been seeking answers to these questions, sometimes their answers that people would rather us not explore. Now we're sharing this research with you. For the first time ever in a book format, you can preorder stuff they don't want you to know. Now it's the new book from us, the creators of the podcast and video series. You can turn back now or read the stuff they don't want you to know. 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Go to That's Get paid to talk about the things you love. Spreaker from iheart. Introduce the biz tape. You're all things music, business and media podcast. Join me, Joe Waslewski and my co-host Colin McKay every Wednesday where we discussed the breaking news, changing the music industry, and what your favorite artists and creatives are up to. Colin, who's your favorite artist? Oh, you know the track factor. Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande, Captain Beefheart? Snap back to reality, Eminem style. Join music industry. Professionals, Joe and I, as we pull back the curtain of the successes and failures of the biz, you guys have been hanging out a while. What are they doing? Calling, I guess, listening to an ad? Sorry. Listen to new episodes of the biz tape every Wednesday on the Nashville podcast network, available on iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. We're back. So putting boxes into houses was the far off goal of Theranos. Her more immediate goals were to utterly disrupt and remake the entire blood testing industry. While normal venipuncture required large amounts of blood to be painfully drawn, the nano Tanner would only need a little bit of blood while still being good for hundreds of tests. I think 200 tests is what they were hoping to like, be able to do off like a tiny little pinprick, and I think that that's what they were saying they could do. That is what they were fraudulently claiming they were doing for years. Yeah, now the Edison machine would not be meant for consumer homes, but she figured she could put them in Walgreens and other similar stores. And eventually the goal was to get one within every five miles and then every mile of every single American and was like, the goal. Now, that kind of plan was going to require a lot more money than the first wave of VC funding had brought in. In 2005, when she was 21, Elizabeth used her dad's connection to set up a meeting with Donald L Lucas, another incredibly influential venture capitalist. He agreed to put in more money and also talked Oracle. Chairman Larry Ellison into investing. OK, now we've got some of the top tier freaks there. Oh yeah, yeah, OK, we'll talk more about that later. Also. In 2005 the company made its best talent acquisition. Holmes hired a brilliant scientist named Ian Gibbons. Gibbons was a legitimate genius, an inventor with countless patents having over 202 his name who was drawn to Theranos by the sheer ambition of its mission. He wanted to change the world, but it quickly became apparent to him that theranos's technology just did not work as well as it was supposed to. The Edison machines couldn't actually perform more than a handful of tests and none of the results were very accurate. The samples taken by the Nano Tanners were just too small for most blood work. Some of this was what you'd expect for new technology. The first couple pre market iterations of the iPhone were garbage for example, but Elizabeth Holmes was hell bent on taking Theranos technology to market. The science would have to come later. In 2009, Sunny Balwani joined Theranos. Sonny was a tech industry guy. He'd made like $40 million selling a company prior to Theranos and he gave them like a $13 million loan when he came on board because they were really hurting. Cache he had no relevant medical or engineering experience. Elizabeth Holmes made him president. Be willing to yell at people. He was a great yeller. And that seems to be most employees at Theranos will say, like, most of his job was yelling at them, although he got trained in how to do and operate the blood test and stuff and was doing that as a like a business. Like, that's no, don't do that. I mean, everything about this business is like, I mean comparing like people's health to iPhones is just like, well, you know, strikes one through 3. There's, I mean there's I I hate to keep bringing it up. There's stunning, like, yeah, coincidences between this story and the Lisa Frank story. She also, like, made her husband president to scream at people. Yeah, there's also something in like the whole don't don't treat everything like the tech industry. If your iPhone doesn't work, no one dies. No one dies. Yeah, if your blood testing equipment doesn't work, you don't may not get treated for their cancer, right? Yeah. In 2010, Safeway and Walgreens both inked deals to invest in Theranos and carry its technology and special blood clinics inside their brick and mortar. Locations. Safeway agreed to spend $350 million on renovations to host these labs and also pumped 30 million investment dollars into Theranos itself. A number of people at Safeway were hesitant about the deal due to Theranosis infamous secrecy. No one had actually seen much evidence of their technology, but CEO Steve Bird was convinced the company was legit. The Birdman, Birdman. I don't know anything about him, but I wanna call this ******* nickname now. According to Bad Blood Quote, Bird was over the moon about the partnership. He saw Elizabeth as a precocious genius and treated her with rare deference. Normally loathe to leave his offense unless it was absolutely necessary, he made an exception for her regularly driving across the Bay to Palo Alto. On one occasion he arrived bearing a huge white orchid, and another he brought her a model of a private jet. Her next one, he predicted, would be real. The bird man. The bird. Like I hate the Birdman. We all hate the Birdman. Birdman's a ****** ***. Theranos worked out a similar deal with Walgreens around the same times. Yeah, he gives her give her vagina flower, come on, Birdman. Freak *******. Neither company was wild about sharing. Elizabeth promised Walgreens would be the exclusive drugstore vendor and safe would be the exclusive supermarket location. Both companies would be required to spend just absurd amounts of money making their locations fancy enough to host Theranos $350,000,000 in renovations for Safeway alone. Theranos required that the in store clinics have luxury carpeting, custom wood cabinets, granite countertops, high end large screen TV's. They were required. They're than a spa. What the ****? I hate Silicon Valley. I really hate Silicon Valley. Wonder if Elizabeth was like, and here's what needs to be playing on the TV's. And it's like, no, the the Twilight zone episodes. It was like, like, vaguely Eastern music. Like, yeah, I'm gonna guess she was the one who picked it too. So just like, yeah, like vague appropriation spa culture spent four days in Nepal and based the music on that. Yeah. Now, when Theranos sold itself to Walgreens and Safeway, they did so by claiming that, you know, they were legally. Authorized to do blood tests that functioned and stuff. And that was not quite the truth, right? Yeah, yeah. As bad blood describes, it had initially represented that its blood test would qualify as waived under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments, a 1988 law that governed laboratories the CIA waived. Tests usually involved simple laboratory procedures that the Food and Drug Administration had cleared for home use. Now Theranos was changing its tune and saying its tests would be offered in Walgreens stores, where laboratory developed tests. It was a big difference. Laboratory developed tests lay in a grey zone between the FDA and another. Federal health regulator the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. CMS is the latter agency was known exercised oversight of clinical laboratories under CLI a while the FDA regulated the diagnostic equipment that laboratories bought and used for their testing. But no one closely regulated tests that labs fashioned with their own methods. They found a way to not be regulated for a while. They found. Yeah, they found a loophole to get away with never having invented anything cool. Great loophole. Kevin Hunter, a clinical laboratory specialist working with Walgreens to make sure. Theranos. Tech did what they said it did, became skeptical about this change. Elizabeth and Sunny claimed that all big laboratory companies use lab developed tests, which was an obvious lie. To test them, hunters suggested doing a 50 patient study comparing Theranos blood tests to ones from Stanford Hospital. This should not have been a big deal if the technology worked, but Elizabeth's immediate response was no, I don't think we want to do that at this time. Hunter warned his bosses at Walgreens that **** looked shady. He pointed out that when Theranos had drawn the blood of Walgreens as President of pharmacy business, they'd never actually provided him with his test results. Hunter's boss said, quote, we can't not pursue this. We can't risk a scenario where CVS has a deal with them in six months and it ends up being real right ******* business right there. Jesus Christ. Theranos was scheduled to open Theranos Wellness centers and dozens of Arizona Walgreens in 2013. As Elizabeth Holmes struggled to keep anyone at Walgreens from finding out that her **** didn't work, she decided it was a good time. Sue Richard fuse. Now Fuse had basically created a patent out of spite that Elizabeth Holmes hadn't consulted him, her own neighbor, before starting her company. Yeah, he's he's a physician, salsa psychologist. He's a physician, psychiatrist, inventor. I think he called his patent like the Theranos killer or something was like patenting away to do the same thing they were trying to do just to be * ****. But he seems like * ****. Yeah, the details of the case aren't super interesting, but what's important is that fuses lawyers subpoenaed Theranos executives involved in proprietary aspects of the company's technology. This included Ian Gibbons, by this point, had been sidelined into an ancillary role within the company by Elizabeth due to his nasty habit of telling her that nothing worked and they really should not be using the stuff on human beings. I'm going to quote from a great Vanity Fair article on the fall of Theranos, by Nick Bilton. Quote Gibbons didn't want to testify. If he told the court that the technology did not work, he would harm the people he worked with. If he wasn't honest about the technology's problems, however, consumers could potentially harm their health, maybe even fatally. Homes, meanwhile, did not seem willing to tolerate his resistance, according to his wife. Rochelle Gibbons even though Gibbons had warned that the technology wasn't ready for the public, Holmes was preparing to open Theranos Wellness centers and dozens of Walgreens across Arizona. Ian felt like he would lose his job if he told the truth, Rochelle told me as she wept 1 summer morning in Palo Alto. Ian was a real obstacle for Elizabeth. He started to be very vocal. They kept him around to keep him quiet. On May 16th, 2013, Ian Gibbons received a phone call from Elizabeth Holmes. She told him that she wanted to meet with him the next day in her office. He asked his wife if she thought Holmes was going to fire him. Rochelle said yes. That night Ian Gibbons attempted suicide by taking an overdose of pills. He survived, but the pills did tremendous damage to his 69 year old body. One week later, he died in the hospital. That is like the the one of the most devastating elements of this entire story because it was clearly just like a really brilliant guy who like couldn't take emotionally like failing at something like this and being like. And it seems like she was really abusive to him and like Sonny was too in the end. Absolutely sounds like, yeah, like Elizabeth was like the the like. Gas lighter and then Sunny was the enforcer. Yeah exactly. Yeah yeah it's ******. It's incredibly sad. Yeah. In 2014 that Praiseful Fortune article dropped. On the surface, things looked great for Theranos. On February 4th, 2014, the partner fund bought more than 5.6 million shares of Theranos at a price of $17.00 a share, bringing in 96 million and raising theranos's overall value to 9 billion. Overnight Elizabeth, owner of more than half the company became a multi billionaire. Fortune made a huge deal about homes being the youngest female self-made billionaire in history. Which would have been a hilariously inaccurate term for her, even after her technology worked. That's really I didn't one some of my favorite apologies surrounding the story or the guy is the guy who wrote the Fortune article who is like almost crying. He's like, I didn't check anything. It's like, well, he didn't check things, but he checked things with the people Theranos put forward for him to check. Use their sources. It's like you see with John Kerry rule what a good journalist does when people say stuff like this, you know, and be like, ask my mom, like, no. Yeah, yeah, that was that was a funny apology. Then the article that Fortune Guy wrote really hammered in the idea that Elizabeth was a brilliant inventor. Today Holmes is a Co inventor on 82 US and 189 foreign patent applications, of which 18 in the US and 66 abroad have been granted. Those are in addition to 186 applications Theranosis filed worldwide that don't list homes as an inventor, of which 18 have already been granted. Now, Doctor Fuse alleges that this was ******** and this is one of the things I really do believe him on. He says that Holmes basically use legal trickery to take partial credit for the work of Dr. Ian. Gibbons a dead man? Sounds great. Yeah. Even though it was funded early on, Theranos used a patent writer rather than a law firm to draft its patents. The patent writer does not have a fiduciary duty to study prior art, so they just put her name on the patents, including ones that overlapped with what Gibbons had invented at a prior company. So that's ******* despicable. Stealing the work of a dead man pretty messed up the only dead man who could have, like, make your stuff work? Yeah, pretty gross. I'd like to end by talking about Elizabeth Holmes's reaction to the death of Ian Gibbons when his widow called Holmes his office. You tell her what had happened. Elizabeth Secretary, being a human person, was horrified and offered her seemingly legitimate condolences. She promised to notify homes at once. Elizabeth never reached out to Rochelle. Instead, she had someone else called the new widow and demand she returned any Theranos property Givens had kept at his home. She also threatened to sue her if she talked to anyone. So she is. I mean, it's it's interesting hearing how many things about her do line up with her clearly modeling herself after Steve Jobs and just being a relentless ******* because, yeah, Steve Jobs would never have reached out to a dead coworker's family. No, no, like, he was a tremendous *******. Was a huge. He didn't shower for weeks at a time and just made everyone deal with it openly hostile to everyone around him. And it's and and and, you know, his products. You know, it was was was came through $1000 from the was I like Teen Gibbons was her the Washington was killed him was dated Kathy Griffin for a second. Oh, good for the walk. Some great pics of them. I'm very pro wise getting it in. I'm sure he's horrible too. But no, no, no, he's not. You know who? You know the watch is a good guy. He made like $300 million and then he instantly blew it all hosting a series of giant concerts. I did know that. Just you just you just and then now he just was just a guy everyone should look up the Steve Wozniak. Kathy Griffin picks from when they were a couple. They seemed so happy. Yeah, but but it's like, it's crazy that, like, you know, she's so clearly modeled herself after OHS. They're cute. I bet he's really nice. I've never heard a bad thing about the laws. I I hope. I hope he is a good. I mean, if there's one good person in silicon he's got, it would be a miracle. Yeah, but I don't know, it's it's weird the way that she, you know, you can't **** with people's health, number one. I'm glad no one died because of there. Us probably. I do think that the way that, like girl bosses versus boy bosses are treated when they are like, people really relish in in the takedown of woman in business because nobody even, and she deserves it. But it's just like people relish it in a way that makes me uncomfortable. One of the most heartbreaking things I ever read because I covered Steve when the first journalism job I had was in tech journalism. It was while jobs was still alive and still running Apple. And so, like, you know, you have to write something about him and his company. Like week or two because it was just ******* Apple. And this is like when Apple was, you know, everything was blowing up there. And I read a book about the founding of the company and one of the stories in it is that when he and was before they found it, apple like they got contracted with Atari to like make a product. And of course jobs got them the contract and Wozniak did all the actual work and then jobs, they're supposed to split it 5050, but job stole $5000 from from Wozniak and. This scumbag Wozniak found out about it years later. It was because, like, an interviewer asked him about it and he was like, and tears about it, like, because he hadn't known it and he just, like thought this guy was his friend and he was like, he never gave a **** about you. He just knew you were a genius. Was that you? Naive little sweetie pie. I know, I know it's a heartbreaker. May there never be a behind the ******** about was I? I don't know that I could emotionally take writing that if there is anything terrible about it. I can never in good conscience trust a man in tech to be good. Yeah, but I hope that. He ends up being good. I can occasionally trust, like a an engineer and a scientist, although they're also make our terrorists. But it could you could occasionally like those guys like the like. It's the, it's the ******* it's the people who are running the companies, like there's some decent. Couple one or two. Shirley, what do you what do you think about the Elizabeth Holmes movie being made? I think it's probably gonna be gross, right? Yeah. Probably gonna be really gross. I think I think miss me with it. I don't want I don't want it. Yeah, I don't want it. I can't imagine it being tasteful. I don't need Jennifer Lawrence to play Elizabeth Holmes. I don't need that. What I need that I would like an honest movie about Steve Jobs where it it because he's a he was a grifter. You want another movie about Steve Jobs was an actual movie about what he we got the that's the Ashton Kutcher 1 Robert I love the Ashton Kutcher one. I got blackout drunk on my 21st birthday and son. Theaters at sounds awful, actually. I love the part where he walked through the fields and he's like, I have an idea for computers. I love that you play it. He's he's he's a he's a grifter, he's a horrible. He's always a grifter. He was a grifter. Who? Did the same thing Elizabeth did, is he like had these demands for a product that nobody could build and he just stuck to his demands for the product until they could. And he got lucky that they got it right, but lucky that it was a good idea, because if it wasn't a good idea, he still would have stuck to it with. Holmes had a good idea too. They both like, you can't be a good grifter unless you understand what people want. And that's why you jobs was a great person to make certain decisions about like what do we want in the smartphone because people have tried smartphones. He was the first person he was this like his one legitimate brilliant thing was understanding what people wanted and device that we're always going to have. On them, right. Like, that was his one real innovation. Because, like, ******* everything at the first Apple was was Wozniak. That was any good, right? Yeah, well, it sounds like the. I mean, the mistake is truly just, like putting people's lives at risk. Yeah, because you could **** ** the iPhone a million times and no one would die. Exactly. And we all want what's what Elizabeth Holmes was selling. We all want, like, a thing that just takes a tiny drop of blood and they can do all these tests. Sounds great, sounds great, but it just isn't possible. Gotta know how to do it yet, you know, eventually they'll probably figure it out, Liz. Well, that's the episode. We've got a Part 2 coming up on Thursday, where we'll get to the rest of the sad story. But, Loftus, you want to plug some plegables up in the the P zone, as we call it here in the zone. The zone. I kinda hate it, but I like it. OK, I'll pop an air horn in there and. Uh, you can listen to the Bechdel cast every week on Thursdays, and that's the podcast I host with Caitlin Durante, where we talk about women in movies. I'm doing a show called Boss, whom is girl touring across the country. Later in the summer. You can go on my website or my Twitter at Jamie Loftus help to find out more about that now that everyone knows who Elizabeth Holmes is, you know? Listening some tweaks you could hear. Jamie Loftus. Be Elizabeth Holmes in Cleveland? They're not in Cleveland. Not well, you can't if you're in Cleveland. Never mind. I'm not gonna plug it. Will have to **** ***. No, and I'm not playing. I'm playing like a fictionalized character. There's a lot pulled from her, but if you live in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, LA or Chicago, you know you'll be able to see it. Well, if for some reason you live in one of those non Cleveland cities, check out Jamie Loftus's, boss who's girl. You can find me on Twitter at I write. OK, you can buy T-shirts at Behind the ******** we have shirts. You can put them on your body. Hide your nakedness, cover up your bits. All of those things are options. With T public, your bits will be. Packaged? Uh, they show sex positive or sex negative? Both. OK, good. Yeah, we're positive of the concept of sex. Negative about people having enjoyed too. Yeah, no, just negative about joy. If it's like, joyless April 6, I have another podcast called. It could happen here. It's horrifying and sad. Listen to it. Hard sell. Yep, hard sell every Wednesday, Sophie saying every Wednesday. I love about 40% of you. Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your cohost for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her social discoveries on chimpanzees, the four, oh, months the chimps ran away from me. I mean, they take one look at this peculiar white ape and disappear into the vegetation. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Hey, I'm dua Lipa and I'm thrilled to be back for the second season of my podcast Dua Lipa at your service alongside me and my guests lists and recommendations. The show features conversations with some of my biggest inspirations working across entertainment, politics, activism and much, much more. So please tune in and join me on this very special adventure. Listen to Dua Lipa at your service starting Friday 23rd of September. On the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. I'm Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of Iheart Media. On the new season of my podcast Mathemagic, I sit down with the Trail Blazers on the frontiers of marketing. This season, you'll hear visionaries share how they've used data and creativity to successfully adapt to the biggest changes of our time. Leaders like neuroscientist David Eagleman. 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