Peter Thiel's VC Fund to Host Conference for Ideological 'Heretics,' Maybe Summon a Ghost or Two

Photo: Alex Wong (Getty Images)

“Ideological outcasts” who have been “banned from other conferences”—surely the country’s most beleaguered minority—can soon find a home with other like-minded individuals at “Hereticon,” a three-day conference being planned by the Founders Fund venture capital firm.

That’s the same Founders Fund run by billionaire Peter Thiel, a kindred soul in the world of supposed ideological witch-hunt victims. (Disclosure: Thiel secretly financed the lawsuit that bankrupted Gizmodo’s former parent company, Gawker Media, back in 2016.) In an announcement for the event, the fund compares potential attendees to martyrs like “Galileo and Jesus Christ” and boldly asks, “are our heretics the first in history who deserve to be burned?

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This coming May in New Orleans, event attendees will be treated to discussions on a number of ominous topics, ranging from “the abolition of college” and “the benefits of starvation” to “constitutional monarchy (what?!)” and “revisionist demography.” Thiel, who has identified as libertarian and supported Donald Trump’s election bid, in 2009 wrote that he believed “freedom and democracy” are incompatible and has reportedly explored the potential of injecting one’s self with youths’ blood to stave-off death, so this tracks.

Per the Founders Fund post, after attendees are done discussing the intricacies of becoming immortal, biologically modified monarchs, they may lighten it up by summoning a ghost:

Topics including but not limited to: biological self-determination (modification, design), geo-engineering, transhumanism, the abolition of college, transgressive media, sex, the softer side of doomsday prepping, the nature of conspiracy, the benefits of starvation, constitutional monarchy (what?!), revisionist demography, immortality, drag culture, and building nations. After dark, on the top floor of our hotel, in a hidden room plastered in newspaper clippings of sightings and secret bases, there may be a talk or two on UFOs and literally a séance.

Which ghost Founders Fund hopes to summon is perhaps a question best not asked.

“We believe dissent is essential to human progress and hope Hereticon will spark important conversations within our community and beyond—that’s really the only goal,” Founders Fund vice president Michael Solana told Business Insider.

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Thiel, an early Facebook investor, sold off almost all his shares in the company, while Founders Fund has totally cashed out, Reuters reported in August 2019. He’s remained on the Facebook board of directors, despite reportedly feeling that his views are unwelcome there and continual calls for his removal. Thiel’s other business ventures include cyberintelligence company Palantir, whose software has reportedly aided federal immigration authorities with detention and deportation operations, and a large stake via Founders Fund in Palmer Luckey’s Anduril, a “virtual wall” company that inked a border surveillance deal with Customs and Border Protection.

More recently, Thiel accused Google of treason and being infiltrated by the Chinese government, which dovetails nicely with the Trump administration’s continual claims that the search giant is part of a far-ranging conspiracy to undermine his constitutional monar... err, presidency.

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Tom McKay

"... An upperclassman who had been researching terrorist groups online." - Washington Post