As Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel comes under increasing scrutiny for a number of choices he’s made in 2016, so has a book he wrote two decades ago with his college buddy David Sacks.
After college, Thiel and Sacks went on to co-found PayPal together. Today Sacks is the CEO of Zenefits, where he’s spent the better part of 2016 painstakingly and very publicly digging that startup out of its regulatory problems. Thiel is a successful VC known for his extreme Libertarian politics.
However in 2016, Thiel has come under public fire for controversial actions such as secretly bankrolling a lawsuit against website Gawker and donating $1.25 million to support the campaign of Republican nominee Donald Trump after a video from Access Hollywood surfaced in which Trump boasted about sexually assaulting women.
Now The Guardian has dug up a book the pair wrote back in their Stanford days called “The Diversity Myth: Multiculturalism and Political Intolerance on Campus.” In it, they argue against things like “dumbed-down” admission standards, anti-Western “zealotry, ‘ the ‘gender wars’ and all-around political correctness.
The book includes some shocking arguments against taking date rape seriously such as calling date rape “belated regret” on the part of the woman:
“But since a multicultural rape charge may indicate nothing more than belated regret, a woman might ‘realise’ that she had been ‘raped’ the next day or even many days later.”
And then there’s this gem:
“The purpose of the rape crisis movement seems as much about vilifying men as about raising ‘awareness’.”
Thankfully, neither man still stands by these statements.
When asked about the book, particularly the rape passages, Thiel apologised, giving this statement to Forbes:
“More than two decades ago, I co-wrote a book with several insensitive, crudely argued statements. As I’ve said before, I wish I’d never written those things. I’m sorry for it. Rape in all forms is a crime. I regret writing passages that have been taken to suggest otherwise.”
When Sacks was asked about those passages in the book by Re/Code’s Kara Swisher, he told her:
“This is college journalism written over 20 years ago. It does not represent who I am or what I believe today. I’m embarrassed by some of my former views and regret writing them.”
Neither Sacks nor Thiel could be immediately reached by Business Insider for additional comment.