Humanity: where conspiracies go to die

Rejoice and stand together – humanity is powerful and we are winning!

Conspiracies do exist; they arise in pursuit of specific objectives. Usually, the greater the objective, the more people must be organized to carry out the plan. The organization will shape up in some form of command and control hierarchy. People at the top of that hierarchy, those who originated and planned the conspiracy are usually the only ones who know what the plan is about. Lower rungs of the hierarchy must include individuals who may not know what the plan is about, but whose competence and operational capabilities are essential to the plan’s success. In addition to competence however, these individuals must be willing to carry out the tasks necessary for the plan’s execution. To make sure that they’re willing, conspirators regularly deceive them.

Competence trumps obedience

But this is where conspiracies run into unpredictable headwinds and often fail. In my experience, the more capable an individual is, the more difficult it is to deceive them. They tend to be engaged in their occupations and have a good understanding of the purpose and importance of their work. They also tend to have a high degree of personal and professional integrity and usually care about the quality of their work. If they’re asked to work toward potentially nefarious ends, they may refuse to carry out their tasks, perform them poorly, sabotage them or even quit their positions. It is often exactly the most capable individuals who have those choices because their service could be in high demand elsewhere.

Thank you for reading! This post is public so feel free to share it.

Google’s Project Maven

For example, when the US Department of Defense launched its drone assassinations program under the Bush-Cheney administration, the pilots they trained did not like the idea of killing unknown people around the world for unknown reasons. The pilots started quitting in large numbers or reporting incapacity due to moral injury, conflict of conscience or depression. Their superiors tried simply commanding them to follow orders, but this couldn’t reverse their unwillingness. The DOD sought to overcome the problem by resorting to artificial intelligence (AI). In April 2017, Google launched “Project Maven,” or Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team (AWCFT). The idea was to develop AI targeting software and replace the unwilling human pilots. But as it turned out, Google’s engineers weren’t keen on the idea of killing people either. Many were outraged and about a dozen of their top engineers quit.

In the process, they compiled a master document of personal accounts detailing their decisions to leave, prompting nearly 4,000 employees to sign a petition opposing the company’s involvement in the program. The company management tried to salvage the project by claiming that their AI won’t be used to actually kill anyone, but apparently this reassurance wasn’t sufficient. In addition to the petition circulating inside Google, the Tech Workers Coalition launched a petition in April 2018 demanding that Google abandon its work on Maven and that other tech companies, including IBM and Amazon refuse to work with the US DOD: “We can no longer ignore our industry’s and our technologies’ harmful biases, large-scale breaches of trust, and lack of ethical safeguards. These are life and death stakes,” the petition read. Who knew? It turns out that trust and ethical safeguards are important to people.

The brightest and the best leaving the NSA

The National Security Agency (NSA) was about to learn that same lesson. In a January 2, 2018 article, The Washington Post reported that “NSA is losing its top talent at a worrisome rate as highly skilled personnel, some disillusioned with the spy agency’s leadership… Since 2015, the NSA has lost several hundred hackers, engineers and data scientists…” Apparently, WaPo wrote, “the potential impact on national security is significant.” “Some synonym of the word ‘EPIDEMIC’ is the best way to describe it,” said one Ellison Anne Williams, former senior researcher at the NSA: “The agency is losing an amazing amount of its strongest technical talent, and to lose your best and brightest staff is a huge hit.” Some groups within the NSA have lost almost half of their staff, another former official stated.

It is important to recognize how real and how powerful dissent and noncompliance can be. Often, only a small handful of dissenters armed with nothing more than truth and courage, can bring down colossal conspiracies of the world’s most powerful people. Theranos was the perfect example of this

The amazing story of Theranos

The epic rise of Theranos and its equally epic unravelling was among the most spectacular stories in the recent past. The high-tech venture aimed at “democratizing diagnostics,” and “revolutionizing health care,” was launched in 2003 by Stanford University dropout Elizabeth Holmes who claimed that she had invented a miniature blood analyzer that could perform as many as 240 different blood tests from just a single drop of blood. Holmes, then all of 19 years old, was able to raise over $750 million from a number of high profile investors including the billionaire venture capitalists Tim Draper and Don Lucas SrRupert Murdoch, the Walton family, Betsy DevosLarry Ellison, Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim and companies like Walgreens and Safeway.

The Board to take over the world

More impressive still was Theranos Board of Directors, dubbed the board to take over the world. It included former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, former Defence Secretary William Perry, future Defence Secretary General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, former U.S. Senator and Chair of the Armed Services Committee Sam Nunn, power lawyer David Boies, Retired U.S. Navy Admiral Gary Roughead, and former CEO of Wells Fargo Richard Kovachevic. It was indeed “the board to take over the world“. In an interview with Elizabeth Holmes, Harvard law professor Jonathan Zittran quipped that the only person missing from her board of directors was the Pope.

Yup, they lied that time also…

In 2010, having signed high-profile deals with Walgreens and Safeway pharmacy chains, Theranos broke into the mainstream and Holmes began making guest appearances on many prominent TV news shows. Her face was on the cover of numerous high-circulation magazines. President Obama appointed her as US Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship and Harvard Medical School added her to the board of fellows. The awards and accolades from prestigious institutions across the United States multiplied and the success story seemed unassailable.

However, there was a dark secret behind this grand façade…

Alex Krainer’s TrendCompass is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber

The whole thing was a fraud, from the top down.

Holmes’ inventions were mostly imaginary, her technology didn’t work, and the whole mission was based on wishful thinking. Moreover, this would have been obvious to any specialist in diagnostics technology, which begs the question: how then, was she able to build such a colossal venture out of a lie? How did she manage to fool Silicon Valley’s top venture capitalists? How could she bring together some of the most powerful men in the world to sit on her board of directors and continue to back her even after they’d been warned that Theranos was a fraud that could destroy their reputations?

The answer is that they weren’t in it for the money. Rather, they were looking to develop what in 2021 Bill Gates called “mega-testing diagnostic platforms,” that could be “deployed quickly, cost very little, and test 20% of the entire population every week.” Thus, fighting these “next pandemics” required quick, cheap and ultra-versatile platforms… That’s exactly what Teranos was trying to build. On the occasion of promoting their joint venture with Walgreens in 2013, Elizabeth Holmes explained that, “We have an operational plan that will allow us to become within five miles from every person’s home through Wallgreens that we’ve opened and continue to open nationally.”

It was about control, not about health

The explicit purpose of this infrastructure was to centralize the control over health care so that diagnostics, medication and treatment could all be determined at the same source. That may explain why for 11 long years Theranos’ board of directors consisted exclusively of deep state actors: high ranking military officers and top foreign policy officials, but no medical doctors or health care experts. If successful at their mission, Theranos would be a very powerful tool of population control in the hands of those who lusted to wield it.

That also explains why they weren’t bothered whether the technology actually worked or not. It didn’t need to be an accurate diagnostics tool; it was intended as an information weapon. Unlike the PCR test which has been known and well understood by health care professionals worldwide, Theranos technology would have remained a mystery, hidden behind the veils of patents and protected intellectual property.

How beautiful: mega-testing diagnostic platforms…

St. Francis of Assisi said that “All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.” And indeed, the dark agenda behind Theranos was destroyed by the light of only a handful of individuals armed with nothing more than truth and courage.

The collapse

So, some of the most powerful men in the world decided to pool their influence, connections and resources to create the technology that would allow them to manage and control global response to pandemics. What they envisioned turned out to be a fantasy, but they pressed on: with all the power and resources at their disposal, they thought they would pull it off, by hook or by crook.

However, a handful of Theranos employees could not and would not keep quiet. They were Erika CheungTyler Shultz, Ian Gibbons’s widow, Richard Fuisz and Wall Street Journal’s reporter John Carreyrou. Along the way, they were all subjected to aggressive harassment, intimidation and surveillance.

Carreyrou, who had extensive experience with such tactics said that the protection of Theranos went far beyond what he had ever experienced: “I’ve been a reporter for over 20 years, and I’d never experienced anything of that magnitude. I mean, it’s not even close.” In spite of that, the whistleblowers did not succumb to the pressure and refused to be silenced. Ultimately, by October 2015 their truth broke out and the Theranos scandal was exposed by John Carreyrou, collapsing the whole juggernaut like a house of cards.

The six amazing lessons of Theranos

Thus, on one side of this saga was the resolute force of deep state actors, powerful lawyers and ultra-wealthy investors determined to preserve and protect their creation by any means necessary. On the other side, you had a handful of ordinary people, armed with truth and compelled by their conscience to speak it in spite of fear, intimidation and seemingly insurmountable odds stacked against them. This episode points to six important lessons we must keep in mind as we confront other dark conspiracies:

  1. Never be intimidated by great power: insofar as large, ambitious agendas are based on lies and deception, they are very fragile and have a limited shelf life even if they are pursued by the world’s most powerful people with nearly inexhaustible resources. To succeed, they must mobilize the creative energies of many people, and if there is no consensus that the agenda is desirable and useful to society, monetary incentives will not suffice. As Theranos’ case showed, to implement a nefarious plan, conspirators must rely on pliable people who can easily be coerced and intimidated. But such people lack authority and can’t command respect from others. Their ability to lead will fall short. If your agenda can’t mobilize the brightest and the best, its success will depend on the leadership qualities of mediocrities motivated by fear and money: not a winning proposition.
  2. A handful of courageous, principled individuals committed to justice and truth can defeat even the most powerful networks – even if for a time they may seem invincible.
  3. Do not be too impressed with their “technology”: when they try to impress you with super-advanced, game changing technologies, artificial intelligence, etc. – they’re usually hyping up some half-baked gimmick to hypnotize us into submission and voluntary compliance. I’ve spent many years working extensively in AI development and such systems are very difficult to put together, they’re limited, fragile and usually high-maintenance. Most of the time, they also work about as well as Theranos miniature blood analyzers.
  4. THEY ARE STUPID! I’ve spent a good deal of time watching, reading and listening to speeches, interviews and various statements of many individuals in the highest echelons of power today. The more I listened, the more I had a very strong impression that these people aren’t very bright. It seems that they have trouble distinguishing their delusions of omnipotence from what’s actually achievable in the real world. Theranos was exactly an example of this, but it’s not the only one. The story that keeps repeating itself is the myth of Icarus who flew too close to the sun and ended up crashing back to the ground. The stupid, it seems, never do learn.
  5. Resistance is never futile: power plays take time to unravel and for a while they appear intimidating and invincible. Being courageous and principled may even seem stupid. But if you are in that situation, you are not alone; in ways you can’t predict, some confluence of events will redeem you along with all the unknown, unseen brave souls whose powers are multiplying the longer we stand our ground. Never surrender, never retreat, never give up!
  6. Truth is important: often it takes effort to uncover the truth and courage to speak it. But truth is the light that will guide us to freedom. As Gandhi said, there’s no god higher than the truth.

I have posted a more detailed report on Theranos in a 3-part series on my blog (here), along with a 43-min. video report covering all three parts:

Rejoice – we’re winning – every day!

Stories like Theranos in fact play out almost every day. It is why in spite of thousands of years of attempts at enslaving us, we invariably bounce back free and determined to defend freedom. In one of my recent articles I described an equally impressive and victorious battle by a small legal team led by Todd Callender brought down the vaccine mandates pushed by the US Department of Justice.

Indeed, it is time for us to shake off any pessimism and to embrace what makes for the best possible version of ourselves: integrity, love, courage and respect for truth. Let us reject fear and disbelieve the hollow myths about the so-called elites: that they are smart, that they’re sophisticated, well-organized, that their power is irresistible and that they are invincible. Their track record of flops and failures is very long and equally impressive.

Recall, some twenty years ago they launched the Project for the New American Century – a program for total US hegemony over the rest of the world. Twenty one years later, they’re light years farther away from that goal than they were when they started. Their power is hollow, it is a fiction projected our way in order to daze us into submission and obedience. If we reject that fiction, their power will deflate like a punctured balloon.

Let us rejoice and stand together, for we are already winning these battles. Let us further unite our creative energies to shape a future we would want for our children and their children to enjoy in freedom, abundance and happiness which is theirs and our birthright.