The founder of a popular Utah-based software company has stepped down as chairman, a day after he sent out an unhinged email to political leaders spewing far-right conspiracy theories about a “systemic extermination of billions of people” supposedly masterminded by “the Jews.”
The fallout for Dave Bateman, who is also a prominent figure in Utah Republican politics, was swift. Just a day after he used his entrata.com account to push the antisemitic conspiracy theory, Entrata CEO Adam Edmunds said, “Dave is no longer a member of the board, effective immediately,” the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
It was not immediately clear how many people received Bateman’s email, but the recipients were said to include Gov. Spencer Cox, Ryan Smith, the owner of the NBA’s Utah Jazz, and Utah Senate Minority Whip Luz Escamilla, among others.
The subject line of the email was simply “Genocide,” and the message began with the acknowledgement by Bateman that many readers “will think I’m crazy after reading it.”
He claimed that both the COVID-19 vaccines and the virus itself were part of a nefarious plot to “euthanize the American people.”
“Don’t get the illness and don’t get vaccinated,” he wrote. “The spike protein in both the vaccine and the illness are attacking the reproductive systems of women, and will eventually erode the number of T cells in our bodies that can ward off infections.”
“I believe the pandemic and systematic extermination of billions of people will lead to an effort to consolidate all the countries in the world under a single flag with totalitarian rule,” the former chairman wrote.
“I believe the Jews are behind this. For 300 years the Jews have been trying to infiltrate the Catholic Church and place a Jew covertly at the top,” he said, echoing antisemitic conspiracy theories that have long had a hold in extremist circles.
“I pray that I’m wrong on this. Utah has got to stop the vaccination drive. Warn your employees. Warn your friends. Prepare. Stay safe,” he said.
Entrata has since apologized for Bateman’s statement, with the chief executive saying Tuesday: “To be absolutely clear, we at Entrata firmly condemn antisemitism in any and all forms.”
Fox 13 reports that Bateman copped to sending the email and stood by his claims, but insisted he had “nothing but love for the Jewish people.”
This is not the first time Bateman has sparked outrage. In early 2019, he was accused of demeaning female attendees of a tech conference after proudly declaring that his company uplifts women, according to local media. Women in the crowd said they felt “objectified” after he asked them to stand up and cheer for baseball star Alex Rodriguez, only to dismiss them as “fans” seconds later and tell them to sit down like they were props.
In 2018, Bateman posted a bizarre video to his Facebook account in which he declared that his political beliefs had made him the target of attempted extortion and arson.
“I wasn’t very political as of about six [or] seven months ago, and I stepped forward to help the Republican Party avoid bankruptcy, and also to fight for all political parties in Utah…Doing this has attracted just a storm you wouldn’t believe.”
He played footage of a man allegedly pouring gasoline on the outside of Entratra’s headquarters, then trying and failing to light it on fire. Bateman said he had “reason to believe his actions were politically motivated.”
He also accused Utah State Senator Todd Weiler of trying to “extort” him by offering one of his employees $1 million if she brought “false sexual-harassment claims” against him. Bateman said the employee refused. Police later determined that Weiler had not committed a crime; the senator assailed Bateman for roping him into a “politically motivated publicity stunt.”
Bateman, for his part, blasted the police in comments posted to his Facebook account, which the Salt Lake Tribune previously reported: “It was clear to me the investigation was compromised from my first meeting with the detective. I provided the detective with a mountain of evidence, some of which he flat-out refused to even receive from me,” he wrote.