The rise and fall of Theranos

Originally published at:


That gif of Elizabeth Holmes is pretty creepy.


I’m not reading this because I don’t want any spoilers for Infinity War.


But it managed to keep its failures hidden,

Sounds familiar, don’t it.



I’m no fan of Trump, but his failures are pretty well known. It’s that his supporters don’t much care.


For some reason it reminds me of this


I think the strangest thing about this was the complete lack of scientific knowledge on the BoD. I get that, in this modern age of crony capitalism and slowly nationalizing health care, you want political players to maximize your ROI. But not a scientific professional in the whole bunch until the May addition of a fellow from Amgen. David Boies. Riley Bechtel. A former CEO of Wells Fargo. Accomplished people, but not exactly cutting-edge biotech people.


You mean the ones we know of.


Huh? Why are you putting those opposites together like that?


Because they are part of the same thing. If you think any “national health care system” won’t be run by Anthem and its ilk, you are fooling yourself. It will look like Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

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This story has been fascinating and the Vanity Faire article only adds another dozen tires to the burning shit pile. The part of the story that most perplexes me is how an undergraduate secures this amount of funding and manages to hire people like Henry Kissinger for the board of directors. I mean, I was turned down a job at Peets coffee at that age and she’s getting 700 million in funding for something that she has no proof for? It’s rich parents, right? Right!?


Which corporate conglomerate is “running” Social Security?


Was there some powerful corporation running national retirement insurance in 1935 who was already giving lots of money to FDR?


And, in any event, even if you had a NHS-style system in the US, they’d still be buying product from these companies and so those companies would employ politicians to make sure the US-NHS buys stuff from their favored businesses.

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She looks coked out’a her gourd.


More like Cliffside Refiners Limited Partnership, I think.

If all forms of insurance were truly nationalized we wouldn’t need income taxes. But that’s not going to happen; we can’t even get single-payer health insurance, much less federal car and home insurance.


I’m almost certain there’s only her script running through her mind in that clip; no feelings, no discomfort or desires…only one specific series of thoughts.

It actually scares me a little.

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She told him the test would secretly bomb Cambodia and Laos, overthrow democracy in Chile and support various tyrants and juntas if they agreed to wave little American flags while torturing and disappearing their own people.


I’m pretty sure that “Theranos” is the best possible answer to the question “What would the Countess Bathory do if she found herself in a present-day environment without titled nobility?”.

Seriously, it’s perfect: the CEO is all youthful cult of personality until you hit the wall of domineering secrecy(also unnaturally pale, always dressed in black, and seems likely to be able to cross back and forth between hot and scary as keeping her thralls in line requires), the business is industrial-scale blood harvest and occult machinery operating on principles unknown to science; and the board is light on scientific talent but stocked with the warlocks and liches of American power (Henry Kissinger, a couple of other former cabinet-levels, some generals, a representative from Bechtel, one from General Dynamics, a Rockefeller Foundation connection for the conspiracy cred; and almost no MDs or PhDs that don’t also work for Theranos…).

Even if reality is just too lame to accomodate my vision; this is crying out for a TV series. It would be awesome.


Apart from the obvious WTF of “So, you have been creating the company, getting investors, getting staff, getting contracts, for something that is kinda of an idea you dont have fully developed but hey, lets sell it already” (and then get all fighty when people find out and revoke your licenses with excuses like “now we have made improvements!”… to what, to your ethics?)

… why the flags. Why almost every single photo has a US flag. Why there are flags everywhere. What are people supposed to get from that? Oh, there we are, we work with a flag so we are good?