The Bad People Who Backed Elizabeth Holmes

It wasn’t long ago that was Elizabeth Holmes was Silicon Valley’s next genius. Her tech company was expected to revolutionize blood testing. Before that promise turned out to be physically impossible, she had a slew of obscenely rich, powerful and awful people rushed to line up behind her. Through her father’s government connections and personal salesmanship, she lined up a murderer’s row of repulsive political figures. Here are the ghouls Holmes recruited to serve on Theranos’ board of directors.

Board Members

Henry Kissinger
Kissinger is the most infamous Secretary of State in U.S. history, responsible for millions of deaths during his tenure. He prolonged the Vietnam War, ordered bombings in countries throughout Southeast Asia and orchestrated violent foreign coups to feed the American war machine. But like his war crimes, his involvement in Theranos will likely go unprosecuted.

George Shultz
Shultz served as Secretary of State a few years after Kissinger. He wasn’t as prolific as Kissinger when it came to carpet bombing and government overthrows, but he tried his darndest. In 2015, Shultz ordered his grandson, one of the main Theranos whistleblowers, to stop talking to the Wall Street Journal after reporter John Carreyrou broke the story, proving that while blood is thicker than water, money is more valuable than both.

James Mattis
“Mad Dog” Mattis recently served as Donald Trump’s Secretary of Defense and was heralded as one of few “adults” in the administration. But it’s worth noting he’s a warmonger who brought the United States to the brink of war with Iran not long ago.

Bill Frist
Frist’s Senate career is rife with controversy, from stock fraud to campaign finance violations. But his darkest controversy involves his medical school days when he dissected live cats illegally obtained from animal shelters in Boston.

Sam Nunn
Nunn’s Senate career is less controversial and doesn’t involve killing any cats (that we know of). He was Carter-era Democrat who received wide bipartisan praise for his foreign policy prowess and notably voted against the Gulf War. He was also floated as a potential running mate for Barack Obama back in 2008. By default, the best of the bunch.

Key Investors

Rupert Murdoch
It’s no surprise that Fox News owner Murdoch backed Theranos. It was a tyrannical business dictatorship dedicated to obfuscating truth. He must’ve felt right at home.

Betsy DeVos
You probably know DeVos as Trump’s alarmingly incompetent Secretary of Education. But that’s not her whole resume. She also married into the DeVos fortune, accumulated through Amway, a multi-level marketing (aka pyramid scheme) corporation. It’s safe to say she’s attracted to bullshit.

Walton Family
Investing millions is no issue for the Waltons, who are worth a combined $140 billion. They probably imagined selling self-administered Theranos blood tests on Walmart shelves for the poor hacks (and their employees) who can’t afford health insurance.


Errol Morris
Please note: we’re not calling Errol Morris a bad guy. Morris is one of the greatest documentary makers of all time and his work is suffused with humanity and morality. We’re just startled that in addition to classics like A Thin Blue Line and The Fog of War, Morris directed a 2017 Theranos “Tiny Blood Test” advertisement while the company was under investigation.