Shocking new facts about Theranos’ Elizabeth Holmes!!!
Is there anything scandalously delicious we don’t already know about disgraced Theranos founder and Crime of the Century mastermind Elizabeth Holmes?
We hope there’s more.
We can’t seem to get enough of the Sanguisuge Succubus of Silicon Startups. Even though it’s been 3.5 years since investigative reporter John Carreyou’s groundbreaking exposés and almost a year since publication of his blockbuster book, “Bad Blood.”
The blood test-faking billionaire wunderkind’s rise and fall, her “sphinxlike … vexing inscrutability” (The New Yorker), her bizarre personality and personal habits — all continue to fuel breathless TV news segments, documentaries, commentary, podcasts, bloviating bloggery like this, and best of all, a film in the works starring Hollywood darling Jennifer Lawrence who gets $20 million per flick.
As Roget’s runs out of synonyms for “liar” and “scammer,” the media has dug deep into its extensive psychoanalytical training to diagnose Holmes as a sociopath, psychopath or merely a Machiavellian Mephistopheles. Or perhaps all these rolled into one clinically hot mess of evil bad.
Anecdotal confirmation includes her black Steve Jobs wannabe Issey Miyake turtlenecks, fake baritone, and mesmerizing, icy-blue gaze that separated many old, wealthy, wise and powerful men from billions of dollars in venture capital and their incredulity.
I’m not necessarily defending Holmes.
Nor am I criticizing the media, which merely supplies demand from you, me and all of us. (Best to check the mirror before we j’accuse the media.)
I’m merely wondering whether the vengeance reporting by “fooled” journalists, the panting frenzy for more, the piling on, the armchair psychoanalysis and the high-dudgeon judgement of Holmes isn’t getting to be a bit much.
Isn’t it we who are out for blood, embarrassed by being suckered yet again by a classic American Horatio Alger/Ayn Rand entrepreneur’s plucky rags-to-riches tale, now taking naughty glee in Holmes’ fall from grace?
Might this just be fickle fandom, cheering Icarus on his flight to the sun then jeering his humbling crash to earth?
Let’s also consider the gender question: Did the worst business pariahs — Bernie Madoff, the scions of Enron, the Wall Street masters of the 2008 financial meltdown and recession, and the many astounding Silicon Valley unicorns that lost billions for trusting investors — face the same joyfully intrusive personal scrutiny as Holmes?
I worked on the front lines of the 2008 financial collapse and don’t recall many details about the clothing, hair, eyes, voice, breakfast or personal quirks of failed Lehman Brothers CEO Dick Fuld. Not that I want to.
We can look forward to more nasty juicy stuff, snark and schadenfreude about Holmes when she goes to federal court facing fraud and conspiracy charges.
To tide us over, here are eight new, jaw-dropping revelations about Holmes from reliable internet sources that wish to remain anonymous:
- Holmes lied about her age. She’s not 35. She’s hundreds of years old, has hypnotic and supernatural powers and can shape-shift. When she bit employees, as she frequently did, they became un-dead. Holmes was obsessed with blood, had a pale complexion and never slept. Her nickname at work was Abchanchu, the legendary Bolivian vampire. Why didn’t we put all this together?
- She lied about her breakfast. She did not launch her day, as she claimed, with a “green juice” of spinach, parsley, wheat grass, celery, cucumber and, as she didn’t mention, human placenta taken from the first born she demanded from new hires. While forgoing coffee, her breakfast was half a family-sized box of Count Chocula with “brown juice” (the leftover milk). This kept her going strong until her late lunch of “fresh blood” offered by the Theranos talent recruiters who initially thought she meant candidates with innovative experience and perspectives on medical science and technology until Holmes asked specifically for those with O+ blood type.
- She lied about more personal quirks than her voice. Sources close to her optometrist (actually, a snotty Warby Parker sales advisor with limited optical training, speaking on background, not for attribution, off the record) say Holmes was nearsighted but wore contact lenses to fool everyone into believing she had superpower 20–20 vision. In addition, sources close to her expensive hair salon colorist (the shampooist) confirm broad speculation that Holmes wasn’t really totally blonde.
- She had, quite literally, a death stare. The Theranos HR handbook advised employees that if Holmes ever fixed them with her unblinking eyes — which she modeled after “The Great Gatsby” billboard eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg, blue and gigantic, their irises one yard high — they should look away. Otherwise they might melt into goo like the Nazis in the climax of “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Best case, employees will be haunted like Nick Carraway.
- She stole her biggest idea. Holmes came up with the revolutionary Theranos finger-poke blood testing technology — “just a little prick” — upon first meeting her boyfriend/mentor/chief financial officer “Sunny” Balwani, and especially after their first romantic evening.
- She is the very incarnation of evil. In her past lives over centuries, Holmes has come back again and again as some of vilest, evilest, most sadistic, wealth- and power-mad genociders in history. She was Emperor Nero, Genghis Kahn, Ivan the Terrible, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Phillip Morris, Colonel Sanders, Krispy Kreme and DORITOS® DINAMITA® Chile Limón Flavored Rolled Tortilla Chips, JACKED® and FLAMAS® style. Also, as suggested above, Holmes was once Vlad the Impaler, aka Vlad Dracula, which explains her landmark deal with Walgreens to jab customers simply for sadistic pleasure, not to make them “happy and healthy.”
- Holmes is an anti-vaxxer. Not completely true. Yes, she was responsible for the massive deadly Silicon Valley measles epidemic and a smaller inconvenient outbreak at her 2014 TEDMED talk in Washington, DC. But she refused the inoculation not for fear of having autistic kids but — as she explained in launching Theranos — she was afraid of needles.
- Her look could have been worse. She chose the Steve Jobs designer black turtleneck as her trademark image after rejecting other compelling branding options. These included Michael Jackson’s sequined military jacket (white, from the Victory Tour); the black spandex cat suit worn by Trinity in “The Matrix”; Joseph’s Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat from the Broadway musical smash hit; and not far down the list, the “Men’s Dreadful Vampire Costume, Red,” on Amazon only $49.99 each.
Why didn’t Holmes just go with the vampire look?
People would laugh at the winky humor and forgive her lying and scamming.
The media also might be just a little more respectfully fearful that Holmes actually could decide to bite and turn them into waxy, bloodless, evil shape-shifters such as Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and other Trump puppets on Fox.
To be nonpartisan, notice that “Werewolf” Blitzer hasn’t said much, if anything, about Holmes and Theranos?
Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer