Elon Musk: failing oligarch starts a war with the media

The champion of clean energy and space travel, who was on a trajectory seemingly forever up, is now locked in battle with the same media which once feted him


The entrepreneur Elon Musk has responded to negative headlines by lashing out at the news media and individual journalists.
 The entrepreneur Elon Musk has responded to negative headlines by lashing out at the news media and individual journalists. Photograph: Joe Skipper/Reuters

Once upon a time Elon Musk was our era’s real-life Tony Stark, a billionaire Iron Man streaking across the sky with technology to save the planet and take us to Mars.

Reusable rockets, electric cars, solar power, he did them all, taking time out to advise Robert Downey Jr on how to play the Marvel superhero on a trajectory seemingly forever up, up, up.

Now Musk, 46, is literally and figuratively in a long, dark hole.

He is tunneling beneath Los Angeles to create a prototype underground transit network which, he says, can save the city from traffic congestion.

A noble goal. But a recently released video of the tunnel plus a map of potential lines coincided with a dark turn in Musk’s fortunes and reputation, creating the impression of a man in a labyrinth of his own making.

His car company Tesla is hemorrhaging money and credibility. Unhappy shareholders want to dump three directors, including Musk’s brother Kimbal, from the board. Lawsuits tangle his clean energy company SolarCity.

The entrepreneur has responded to negative headlines by lashing out at the news media and individual journalists.

“Holier-than-thou hypocrisy of big media companies who lay claim to the truth but publish only enough to sugarcoat the lie, is why the public no longer respects them,” he tweeted last week, ire stoked by a damning report about Tesla factory safety.

Elon Musk(@elonmusk)

The holier-than-thou hypocrisy of big media companies who lay claim to the truth, but publish only enough to sugarcoat the lie, is why the public no longer respects them https://t.co/Ay2DwCOMkr

May 23, 2018

Musk followed up by calling journalists sanctimonious twisters of facts beholden to advertisers – and proposed a remedy.

“Going to create a site where the public can rate the core truth of any article & track the credibility score over time of each journalist, editor & publication. Thinking of calling it Pravda.”

For some of his online supporters – he has 21.9 million Twitter followers – this was a call to arms. They piled on journalists with abuse and threats.

For Musk skeptics it was further evidence of his burrowing into ethical murk. Instead of Iron Man here was Gollum, erratic and vengeful, scrabbling with trolls.

“Going after the free press because they’ve been critical of your company is not how a CEO, visionary or even an adult reacts to criticism and it has real-world consequences,” Roberto Baldwin wrote in the technology blog network Engadget.

Other outlets have weighed in, excoriating Musk as a thin-skinned bully who wouldn’t recognise journalistic independence if it rode a blazing meteorite over California. “The Donald Trump of Silicon Valley,” declared the New York Times.

Tesla is hemorrhaging money and credibility. The company recalled 126,000 Model S cars to fix bolts. Crashes raised troubling questions about autopilot systems.
 Tesla is hemorrhaging money and credibility. The company recalled 126,000 Model S cars to fix bolts. Crashes raised troubling questions about autopilot systems. Photograph: Kim Kyung Hoon/Reuters

The bold champion of clean energy and space travel now locked in battle with the same media which once feted him as a visionary. How did it come to this?

One possible answer: Tesla has skidded into trouble and Musk is blaming the messenger in apparent hope of soothing skittish investors and potential investors.

A year ago Wall Street was toasting the company. Its market value surpassed that of Ford and General Motors thanks to sales of the battery-powered Model S sedan, a pioneering autopilot system and the promise that a $35,000 economy version of the Model 3 would soon roll off assembly lines, turning Tesla into a mass market auto-maker.

Breaking into a market of gasoline-focused giants to make stylish, emissions-free cars adored by customers was a remarkable feat. Few others had dared, let alone succeeded. Musk’s public presentations inspired an evangelical vibe among cheering audiences.

Then came setbacks. Tesla recalled 126,000 Model S cars to fix bolts.Crashes raised troubling questions about autopilot systems. “Production hell” – Musk’s words – plagued the Model 3. The long-promised economy version has yet to emerge, undermining Tesla’s claim to be a mass market player.

The company reported record losses and burnt through $750m in cash in the last quarter. Its stock, credit rating and valuation plunged amid speculation about bankruptcy. Tesla will likely need a big cash infusion to survive.

“More bad press for Elon: the car Elon Musk launched into orbit has fallen back down to Earth and crushed Malala Yousafzai,” blared a headline this week. This time it really was fake news – a satirical article from Clickhole, a spinoff from the Onion.

“Hell of a week,” he tweeted. The Pakistani human rights advocate ran with the joke and tweeted that she was keeping the car. “Finders keepers,” he responded.

Elon Musk(@elonmusk)

Finders keepers 🚀🚀🚀 https://t.co/zyV71zRIFQ

May 31, 2018

It was a fleeting, lighthearted interlude in his toxic response to genuine bad news, a mix of scorn and conspiracy theory aimed at delegitimising reports of Tesla woes.

“Anytime anyone criticizes the media, the media shrieks ‘You’re just like Trump!’” he tweeted. “Why do you think he got elected in the first place? Because no one believes you any more. You lost your credibility a long time ago.

“Problem is journos are under constant pressure to get max clicks & earn advertising dollars or get fired. Tricky situation, as Tesla doesn’t advertise, but fossil fuel companies & gas/diesel car companies are among world’s biggest advertisers.”

His followers have followed up with invective against individual reporters, especially female ones, a misogynistic streak detailed in a Daily Beast article. “It is as though they’ve invested their own identity as males into Elon and his work,” said Shannon Stirone, a science writer.

When not gaslighting online, Musk’s fans can unwind by using handheld flamethrowers: his tunnel company, Boring, sold 20,000 at $500 each. A good investment for the impending zombie apocalypse, said Musk.

Elon Musk’s tunnel company, Boring, sold 20,000 handheld flamethrowers at $500 each.
 Musk’s tunnel company, Boring, sold 20,000 handheld flamethrowers at $500 each. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Amid the tide of criticism it is easy to overlook Musk’s achievements, and some nuance.

The South Africa-born boy who designed and sold a video game, Blastar, by the age of 12, is self-made. He studied economics and physics and minted a fortune at PayPal before upending space exploration with audacious innovation.

He sets impossible targets, for example in fuel efficiency, said one SpaceXengineer, on condition of anonymity. “We tell him it can’t be done, then spend months working around the clock and deliver maybe half the target, which is amazing, but we’re almost apologetic.”

SpaceX set a new milestone in February by launching the Falcon Heavy, the first time a private company has sent such a powerful rocket into space, paving the way for even bigger rockets to potentially carry humans to Mars. “It’d be pretty cool to die on Mars, just not on impact,” Musk once joked to the Guardian. (His representatives declined an interview request for this article).

Play Video
 Elon Musk: we must colonise Mars to preserve our species after a third world war –  video

Unlike most CEOs Musk engages with customers and journalists, albeit mostly via Twitter.

He has told his more trollish supporters to cool it. “At risk of stating the extremely obvious, I am against threats of violence & abusive epithets in any forum. Please do not use them in my name or at all.”

The media sometimes misses or chooses to miss his humour. Naming his putative journalism credibility rating site Pravda may not be hilarious but is hardly an attempt to recreate the Soviet propaganda mouthpiece. And yes, many journos are under pressure to get max clicks and earn advertising dollars.

Lawsuits tangle Musk’s clean energy company SolarCity.
 Lawsuits tangle Musk’s clean energy company SolarCity. Photograph: RASHID ABBASI / Reuters/Reuters

The reason Iron Man fell to earth, however, is that reality overtook the hype. He dazzled investors with an image of mass produced Teslas which so far remains a mirage. Maybe Musk can yet make it real – the jury is out.

Blasting the media is a tantrum or smokescreen, perhaps both. Either way it is straight from the Trump playbook, though in this case the media are not lying, hypocritical liberal ideologues but lying, hypocritical shills for Tesla’s fossil fuel rivals.

That narrative may play out underground too if the media keep reporting skepticism about Musk’s vision of a Los Angeles labyrinth, with some calling it a plutocrat’s fantasy, others a boondoggle.

A recent public presentation hosted by Musk was tightly controlled – no TV cameras, entry by reservation, pre-approved questions – and packed with a cheering crowd. The last question: “Will you organize a big party before the tunnel launch?”

Who is violating the law protecting Tesla by withholding investigations and prosecutions?

Why are they allowing American citizens to continue to die from the 1.) "sudden acceleration electronics defect"; 2.) "The failed Auto-pilot electronics defect"3.) "The deteriorating and deadly lithium ion batteries" and 4.) numerous other defects widely documented in the news media and filed lawsuits?

"Why Elon Musk is a really bad guy and why his business operation is a corruption scam

By Former Tesla Staff

You may have run across Musk’s self promoting, narcissistic, multi-billion dollar, self-aggrandizing PR hype but here is the other side of the coin. We know these facts from personal interaction with Musk, his companies and his politicians. Everything in this letter can be proven in a jury trial, Congressional hearings or live TV debates. Musk will do anything to keep this information from getting out but… it is too late for him! While this may sound like a bad Hollywood movie script. It all really happened and there is now massive hard copy evidence to prove it.

Elon Musk exists because he bribed DNC politicians including Obama, Clinton and Senators Feinstein, Reid, Boxer, Harris, Spier and Pelosi to give him free taxpayer cash and government resources from the Department of Energy and the California political tax pool. This is proven when you follow-the-money and the insider trading, stock ownership and crony payola kick-backs.

The Energy Dept (DOE) has been covering-up organized crime activities at DOE in which DOE funds are being used as a slush-fund to pay off DNC campaign financiers and to pay for CIA/GPS Fusion-Class attacks on Silicon Valley business competitors. DNC campaign financiers and DOE staff share stock market holdings with each other under family trusts, shell corporations and layered Goldman Sachs accounts. The deal was: Obama funds Tesla, Musk conduits campaign funds to Obama, top Obama staff profit off of insider Musk stocks.

Elon Musk is a criminal, a mobster, an asshole, a balding fake-hair wearing, plastic surgery-addicted, bi-sexual douchebag, woman-abusing, sex addicted, tax evader. We can put this in writing because all of those identifications regarding Musk can be proven in court and are documented in existing lawsuits and news stories.

Musk exploits poor people and child slaves in the Congo and Afghanistan to mine his lithium and Cobalt. Look up this phrase on the top search engines: “child labor electric car batteries”.

Musk spends billions per year to hire Russian trolls, fake blogger fan-boys and buy fake news self-glory look-at-me articles about himself. Musk thinks he is the 'Jesus' of Silicon Valley and he will do anything to make the public think so. Musk is insecure because his father was abusive and his “trophy wife” Mother is overbearing so he developed sociopath-like mental issues. Musk has been professionally diagnosed as a 'psychotic narcissist. He publicly stated on an investor call that he uses drugs and alcohol to get through the night. We have the tapes.

Musk relies on Google and the DNC Main Stream News (MSN) to hide bad news about him. Fake News manipulator Google is run by Larry Page. Larry is Musk's investor and bromance ‘Butt buddy’. They share an apartment. Musk uses massive numbers of shell companies and trust funds to self-deal, evade the law and hide his bribes and stock market insider trading. His brother ran Solar City and is now under federal investigation for securities fraud.

A huge number of Tesla drivers have been killed; pedestrians and oncoming drivers have also been killed, and Musk covers it up.

The DNC and the MSM refuse to allow any articles about Musk's crimes to be printed because they benefit from Musk's crimes. VC’s Tim Draper and Steve Jurvetson are so fanatical about not being embarrassed from a Tesla bankruptcy that they will pump the TSLA stock and threaten anybody who might disclose the Musk misdeeds. Peter Thiel, a Musk ‘boyfriend” also protects Musk. Musk, and his cronies, use Palantir, Google and related software to scan the entire internet every few minutes for any occurrence of the words: “Musk”, “Tesla” or “Tesla Fire”. They send trolls and fake bloggers (Many of them Russian) to put pro-Musk comments on the comments section of any blogs or articles discussing those topics and try to flood out the truth about Musk. In EVERY blog that you read that mentions 'Musk', at least 1/3 of the comments have been placed their by Musk's paid shills. There are no “Tesla Fan Boys”. All of the fanatic Tesla comments on the internet are Musk’s, Thiel’s, Jurvetson’s and Draper’s fake fanboy trolls. Musk, himself, stays up late at night pretending to be a ‘Tesla Fan Boy’on blogs. Main Stream News organizations who refuse to cover the story reveal themselves as shills and are then targeted for bankruptcy (ie: Time, Gawker, etc.) because they serve no public service.

The Silicon Valley Mafia promotes Musk as a "Tech God" leader but, in reality Musk is the same kind of "Leader" as Charles Manson, Jim Jones, David Koresh, Swami Rajneesh and Al Capone. His own people have sued him for fraud and lies once they realized that Musk-ism and Scientology had so much in common.

The 'Silicon Valley Mafia; cartel of frat boy sociopath venture capitalists like Steve Jurvetson, Tim Draper, Eric Schmidt, et al; threaten those who do not support the cult of Tesla or their political candidates.

Musk holds the record for getting sued for fraud by his investors, wives, former partners, employees, suppliers and co-founders. Elon Musk has gone out of his way to hire hundreds of ex-CIA and In-Q-Tel staff and assign them to "dirty tricks teams" to attack his competitors and elected officials who Musk hates.

Musk and his culture are being sued for abuse to women and blacks and the Unions hate him for lying to them. https://stopelonfromfailingagain.com reveals even more Musk lies.

Musk never founded his companies. He took Tesla away from the founder: Marty, in a hostile take-over!

Musk's "Starlink" satellites are domestic spy and political manipulation tools - never get your internet from anything SpaceX has launched. SpaceX is entirely a domestic spy operation. Musk's "Mars" scheme is just a PR distraction.

The same kind of EMF radiation proven to cause cancer from cell phones exists in massive amounts in a Tesla.

Musk can't fix a car or build a rocket and has almost no mechanical skills.

If you pull a report of every VIN# of every Tesla ever built and cross reference that with insurance, repair and lawsuit records you will find that the "per volume" fire, crash, death and defect rate is THE WORST of any car maker in history! Musk's lobbyists have bribed DOT and NHTSA to stall safety inspections. NO COMPLETE UNCOMPROMISING SAFETY REPORT ON TESLA CARS HAS EVER BEEN PUBLISHED but we have a copy of a hushed up report that would put Tesla out of business. Musk's 'Autopilot' system is a scam to get government cash BUT IT NEVER WORKS. The Tesla 'Autopilot' has crashed into police cars, pedestrians, swamps and driven owners over cliffs.

Musk is a lying con artist and partners with Goldman Sachs to rig the stock market. Sachs has a dedicated team of 18 men who rig stocks and valuation bumps for Musk.The "Silk Road" Cocaine and Murder-For-Hire website was created at Musk's SpaceX and Musk's In-Q-Tel staff ran two transport planes filled with drugs; listed as "Cocaine 1" on FAA records.

Over 1000 witnesses can prove every one of those claims in any live televised Congressional hearing! Senators Dianne Feinstein, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Kamala Harris and their associates own the stock in Tesla Motors and/or it's suppliers and mining companies. That is why they criminally help cover-up investigations of Tesla! All of this was reported, in writing, to James Comey, Patricia Rich and David Johnson at the FBI. Tesla and Solyndra sit on the same land and share staff, contracts and lobbying. California politicians own parts of both.

Why aren’t all of those parties in prison if it is so easy to prove the crime? Think back to recent history: the heads of the Department of Energy, the FBI, The DOJ and the U.S. Attorney General were kicked out of their jobs for corruption. THIS was the corruption they were doing. They all knew about this crime but they were covering it up.

Musk took over Tesla Motors in a hostile take-over in order to exploit lithium, cobalt and other mining corruption deals for his business partners. Let’s take a look at the ‘lithium’ in Musk’s horrifically miss-engineered lithium ion batteries:

His batteries cause wars in the Congo, Afghanistan and Bolivia from the corrupt mining deals involved with mining lithium and cobalt. Lithium ion batteries are insider trading-owned by ex-CIA boss Woolsey and DOE Boss Chu. Lithium ion batteries excrete chemicals that mutate fetuses when they burn; destroy your brain, lungs and nervous system when they burn; kill the factory workers who make them; cause Panasonic to be one of the most corrupt companies in the world; poison the Earth when disposed of; can't be extinguished by firemen; poison firemen when they burn; are based on criminally corrupt mining schemes like URANIUM ONE; Have over 61 toxic chemicals in them; come from an industry that spends billions on internet shills and trolls used to nay say all other forms of energy; and are insider-trading owned by corrupt U.S. Senators who are running a SAFETY COVER-UP about their dangers.

Apple products with lithium ion batteries have been exploding and setting people on fire. Over time the chemical dendrites, or deposits, inside each battery grow worse and increase the chances of explosion as they age - LITHIUM ION BATTERIES BECOME MORE AND MORE LIKELY TO EXPLODE AS TIME GOES ON AND AS THEY AGE. This is not a theory. This is a scientific fact. That is why you hear about more and more lithium batteries catching fire and blowing up. Additionally, scientists also speculate that the increasing presence of low energy nuclear background energy and wifi energy in the environment is making lithium ion batteries explode more often lately. This theory is upheld by the increasing number of FAA reports about commercial airline cabins suddenly “filling up with toxic smoke” as some lithium ion battery explodes in someones overhead luggage. As commercial jets go higher they lose the protection of the atmosphere and are subjected to more gamma (and other) radiation from overhead. This makes the already unstable lithium ion batteries on board blow up.

Tesla owner's had had more DUI's, abuse filings in divorce proceedings and crashes than any other car maker PER VOLUME. This makes Tesla the #1 car for douche bags and scummy people.

Tesla's own federal patent filing records confirm that Tesla batteries are as dangerous as this document reports.

"Bad Guys" have figured out how to make them explode remotely in devices by making the device electronics cause the batteries to overload. The dangers of lithium ion batteries are hidden by CNN and Main Stream News (MSN) because pretty much only the DNC people profit from them and the DNC folks control CNN and the MSN. George Soros owns part of Tesla Motors so that Soros can help conduit DNC cash.

The Obama Administration promised Silicon Valley oligarchs the market monopoly on lithium ion batteries and the sabotage of fuel cells in exchange for campaign financing and search engine rigging; United States Senators that are supposed to protect us from these deadly products own the stock market assets of them so they protect them and stop the FDA, OSHA, DOT & NHTSA from outlawing them. There have been thousands of defect reports filed on Tesla cars.

Tom Steyer is a notorious DNC financier. His partner, Margaret Sullivan ran, the federal USAID agency, USAID sent all of the DNC campaign financiers in Silicon Valley a federal ‘report’ from USAID that said there was “A TRILLION DOLLARS OF LITHIUM IN AFGHANISTAN” and promised to give those lithium mines, EXCLUSIVELY, to the Silicon Valley venture capitalists if they funded and web search manipulated the election for Obama to take over the White House. We have the documents proving this. In other words, a re-up of the Afghan War was caused by Elon Musk and it killed American soldiers so that Musk could buy more mansions and trophy wives.

If a Tesla battery gets wet it will explode and cause all of the other batteries to explode in a "cascade of explosions". Water makes Tesla batteries explode. In an accident, when a Tesla rolls over, molten metal & plastic can drip on & burn the occupants alive and seal them in molten metal.

Alkaline, NiCAD and hundreds of other battery chemistries DO NOT have all of these problems but Lithium Ion batteries get a monopoly because of politician insider trading owner-ships.

Tesla Motors has caused far more deaths and injuries than the world generally knows about. A recent fire on U.S. Highway 101 near Mountain View, CA, burned the driver alive and killed him. In Florida two kids died in a Tesla, burned alive, screaming in agony. A man died in agony in a Tesla crash in Malibu that set Malibu Canyon on fire. A young woman, at the start of life, and her boyfriend were burned alive in their crashed Tesla. There are many more deaths and crashes than you have seen in the Main Stream News (MSN) The deaths and the cover-ups are endless.

Senators Dianne Feinstein, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Kamala Harris and their associates own the stock in Tesla Motors and/or it's suppliers and mining companies and they cover-up and halt investigations and laws designed to save the public. They, and their crony's, spend over $1B a year to shill and troll hype about lithium ion batteries and cover-up the dangers. Lithium ion EVs are more prone to battery fires. Experts say that their lithium-ion batteries can fuel hotter fires that release toxic fumes and are more difficult to put out. Lithium ion fires keep reigniting which explains why it takes so long and requires copious amounts of water or foam (it is an electric fire, after all) to smother the flames. Tesla employee Bernard Tse and his team warned Elon Musk about these dangers in 2008 and they got fired and/or warned to "say nothing" by Musk. Three top Tesla engineers died in a plane crash next to Tesla offices in San Carlos after two of them agreed to become whistle-blowers.

The DNC bosses, Congress people and federal executives own the stock in lithium, Solar and EV markets and use kickbacks from those markets (Especially via convoluted campaign finance laundering via Elon Musk) to finance the DNC.

The DNC bosses and Musk use character assassination as their main political tool against any member of the public who speaks out against their felony stock market scams and PizzaGate-like scandals. The Harvey Weinstein reports by Ronan Farrow show that they have teams of hired goons that they pay to destroy people's lives.

They use Black Cube, Mossad, In-Q-Tel, Stratfor, Gawker Media, Gizmodo Media, Media Matters, David Brock, Sid Blumenthal, NY Times, Google servers, Facebook servers, Podesta Group, Perkins Coie, Covington & Burling and a host of "media assassins".

Gawker and Gizmodo Media set-up the attack stories and, in paid partnership with Google, Google kicks their attack links around the globe, in front of 8 Billion people, forever. Google locks the attack articles of its enemies on the front top search results of Google search results forever, on purpose! Google and Musk are partners-in-crime. Larry Page steals technology for Google and Musk meets with Larry Page to advise him on which technologies to steal and how to bypass FEC laws. Musk has exceeded FEC campaign finance limits by billions of dollars via “in-kind” services.

Had the full scope of these facts been acted on during the Obama Administration, Barack Obama would have become the first modern sitting President to have been arrested in the White House. Barack Obama was fully aware of these schemes, crony payola deals and corruption crimes and discussed the implementation of these crimes, daily, with Rahm Emanuel, David Plouffe, Steven Rattner, Robert Gibbs, John Podesta, David Axelrod, Eric Holder and Jay Carney in the Oval Office.

THIS corruption is what all of the big political scandals are about today!

THIS corruption involves TRILLIONS of dollars of corrupt mining deals, automotive and energy monopolies!

THIS is why the federal budget analysis reports are showing TRILLIONS of dollars of 'untraceable' losses from the United States Treasury from 2006 up to today!

THIS is why a large number of reporters, whistle-blowers and prosecutors suddenly, and mysteriously turned up dead!

THIS can all be proven in jury trial and in live televised Congressional hearings!

There is so much more to reveal but you get the picture.

This is all being covered up because top State and Federal officials are in on it, own the stock in it and are so deeply involved in it that they could go to Federal prison when this all comes out.

This is Part 1. There is more to be released. Show this document to the United States Senate and see what they say about all this..."

A complete guide to how Elon Musk has raised, and then spent, billions of dollars.

animation showing Elon Musk throwing dollar bills into          flames of Boring Company flamethrowers 


The company that Elon Musk built to usher in the electric-car future might not have enough cash to make it through the calendar year.

The anxieties that lurk beneath the tremendous ambition of Tesla Inc. moved into the forefront in recent weeks. The company again fell far short of its own production targets for the mass-market Model 3 sedan, another person died in a crash involving its assisted-driving feature and Musk entered into a public dispute with federal safety regulators. Tesla’s once high-flying stock, buffeted by a downgrade from credit analysts, has dropped 24 percent from its peak in September.

There’s a good reason to worry: No one has raised or spent money the way Elon Musk has. Nor has any other chief executive officer of a public company made a bankruptcy joke on Twitter at a time when so much seemed to be unraveling.

Tesla is going through money so fast that, without additional financing, there is now a genuine risk that the 15-year-old company could run out of cash in 2018. The company burns through more than $6,500 every minute, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Free cash flow—the amount of cash a company generates after accounting for capital expenditures—has been negative for five consecutive quarters. That will be a key figure to watch when Tesla reports earnings May 2.

Read the full story here:



In years to come, we will all look back and wonder how so many people were taken in by this shyster, who makes Enron look honest.

A lot of Musk’s money has been extracted from suckers, who think he is God’s gift, as Bloomberg report:

One of Tesla’s greatest strengths is its ability to monetize the patience and goodwill of its customers and loyal fans. The company is sitting on a staggering $854 million in customer deposits as of the end of 2017.

Since Tesla sells its products direct to consumers, without relying on a dealer network, customer deposits are cash payments that essentially serve as interest-free loans—and these loans can stretch on for years. If Tesla were to go bankrupt, those deposit holders would likely be wiped out.

Tesla is holding customer deposits for two vehicles that aren’t even in production yet: an electric Tesla Semi ($20,000 deposit) and a next-generation Roadster (either $50,000 down or the $250,000 retail price paid up front to reserve a limited edition). Even customers interested in installing an array of solar roof panels or the company’s Powerwall home battery must hand over $1,000 to place an order.

Tesla doesn’t break out deposit numbers by car, but the vast majority comes from $1,000 reservations for the Model 3. When Musk first introduced the lower-priced sedan in March 2016, fans stood in long lines at Tesla stores. Two years later, the slower-than-expected pace of production means that most of the more than 400,000 reservation holders are still waiting. And new people appear to be joining the queue: As of April, the company reported “net Model 3 reservations remained stable.”

There’s an additional source of free money from loyal believers: An unknown number of customers have paid up for vehicle features—$3,000 for “Full Self Driving” capability, for example—that Tesla thus far hasn’t figured out or released to anyone.

The consumer psychology that sees hundreds of thousands of people essentially extending an interest-free loan to a public company is unusual, to say the least. Consider the devotion of Bruce Sidlinger, a 60-year-old aerospace engineer who lives in Flagstaff, Arizona:

“The morning after the Roadster was announced, I put a deposit down. Putting down $50,000 for a Roadster that won’t be out for a few years is kind of like buying a bond that returns zero. Elon Musk is one of our planet’s great hopes. I would offer a kidney to him if he needed it.”

Keep in mind that Sidlinger already owns both a Model S and a Model X. He drove across the country to Florida earlier this year in a car made by one Musk company so he could watch a rocket made by another Musk company take flight for the first time.

I think the phrase “more money than sense” rather sums it up

Version 1.6

TAGS: Silicon Valley Mafia, Afghan, TSLA, Tesla, Tesla Investigation, SEC Investigation, Smedley Butler, Musk, Spacex, Google, Bribe, Political bribes, Lithium ion, lithium ion danger, DOE, Paypal Mafia, AngelGate, Steven Chu, Schmidt, Obama, Solyndra, Crony, Political Insider, Feinstein Coruption, Pelosi Corruption, Cleantech, Political Poisoning, Clinton Deaths, Obama Campaign, DNC Spy, Cobalt Mining Child Labor, In-Q-Tel, Uranium1, Domestic Spying, Kleiner Perkins, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Vinod Khosla, Tim Draper, George Soros, Fusion GPS, Gawker Media is the DNC, Gizmodo Media is the DNC, Department of Energy Slush Fund, Google Defamation Attacks, DOE Corruption, Election Rigging, Google's Election Manipulations, Silicon Valley Blacklist,  Google Sex Scandals, Pelosi, Crony Capitalism, Feinstein, Green Payola, Election Hacking, Eric Schmidt Corruption, CIA Abuse, New America Foundation Corruption, National Venture Capital Association Corruption, Lithium battery scandal