The co-founder and board chairman of property management technology startup Entrata was ousted from his company Tuesday after he reportedly sent out an email claiming “the Jews” are behind an effort to systematically exterminate people via COVID-19 and the virus’ vaccine.
David Bateman sent the email to multiple technology and political leaders in Utah, where Entrata is based, according to Fox 13 News. The email reportedly began with the subject line “genocide,” then went on to claim that “there is a sadistic effort underway to euthanize the American people.” Bateman also said in the email that “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. It happened in 2013 with Pope Francis. 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. I know, it sounds bonkers. No one is reporting on it, but the Hasidic Jews in the U.S. instituted a law for their people that they are not to be vaccinated for any reason,” the email stated, Fox 13 reported.
Bateman reportedly added in the email that “Utah has got to stop the vaccination drive.”
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Bateman sent the email from his Entrata address. The Tribune‘s report also notes the email claims elites such as Bill Gates and George Soros are attempting to depopulate the world.
Fox 13 reported that it reached out to Bateman via text message and he confirmed that he did in fact send the email. In his response to the local news station, Bateman reportedly said that he has “nothing but love for the Jewish people.” However, he also said he believes “Scottish Rite Freemasons are behind the pandemic (overwhelmingly Jewish),” adding that “I fear billions of people around the globe right now are being exterminated.”
In an emailed statement to Inman late Tuesday afternoon, Entrata CEO Adam Edmunds said the company’s board asked Bateman to resign from his position as chairman. Bateman “agreed and is no longer a member of the Entrata board, effective immediately,” the email noted.
Edmunds also condemned Batemen’s comments, saying they included “several highly offensive statements.”
“The opinions expressed by Dave were his alone, and do not reflect the views or values of Entrata, the executive team, board of directors, or investors. To be absolutely clear, we at Entrata firmly condemn antisemitism in any and all forms,” Edmunds said. “For those who have seen and been offended or disturbed by the content of Dave’s email, we understand and share your disappointment. At Entrata, we respect and support all religions, genders, sexual orientations, races, and beliefs. Diversity and inclusivity are critical to the success and future of Entrata.”
Inman has reached out to Bateman for comment and will update this story with any responses. Inman has also reached out to alleged recipients of the email.
Bateman co-founded Entrata nearly two decades ago. The company was initially known as Property Solutions, and to this day offers what its website describes as “smarter property management software.” Among other things, the company provides services related to marketing, tenant screening and rent payment.
Bateman served as CEO of the company until late 2020, when he handed over the reigns to Adam Edmunds. He had been chairman of the board until Tuesday.
Today, Entrata is among a cluster of companies that make up the Silicon Slopes, a technology startup hub located about 25 minutes south of Salt Lake City. A number of firms in the area, such as Homie and SimpleNexus, have focused on the housing industry. And the Silicon Slopes’ success has helped make the Salt Lake metro one of the hottest real estate markets in the U.S. in recent years.
According to Fox 13, a number of Silicon Slopes CEOs were among the recipients of Bateman’s email. It also reportedly went to Utah Gov. Spencer Cox and other state level elected leaders.
For his part, Bateman has courted controversy in the past as well. In 2019, for example, Bateman garnered criticism for making what many described as sexist comments at a local technology conference. Also in 2019, Bateman waded directly into local politics when he said he extinguished the Utah GOP’s debt, then embarked on an effort to determine who would sit on the party’s governing committee.
Bateman’s alleged email falls into a genre of misinformation that has recently been gaining steam. In October, for instance, the Guardian reported that a “surge in Covid-19 conspiracy theories risks boosting antisemitism.” In December, ABC News also found that white supremacists were using anti-Semitic messages to grow their reach, pointing specifically to an image on an internet message board that claimed “the Jews own COVID just like all of Hollywood.”
Such anti-Semitic messaging goes back even further. It obviously reached a fever pitch during World War II, but Bateman’s own email mentions “300 years,” indicating the long roots of such conspiracy theories. In fact, the theories are even older than that; for example notable Renaissance Pope Alexander VI reigned in the late 1400s and early 1500s and had enemies who accused him of being Jewish — essentially the same thing Bateman claims about today’s Pope Francis.
Tuesday evening, Cox also slammed Bateman’s email.
“These irresponsible comments are hutfully anti-Semitic,” the governor said in a tweet, “blatantly false, and we completely reject them.”
Update: This post was updated after publication with additional information about Bateman’s email, as well as with a statement from Entrata and a tweeted comment from Gov. Spencer Cox.