Steven Paul Jobs was a duplicitous scoundrel who would “distort the truth” willy nilly.
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That’s according to a 191-page secret file released by the FBI yesterday, collated in 1990s as part of a background check they were doing on (now deceased) Jobs, who was being considered for a position on the U.S. President’s Export Council and a separate 1985 investigation of a bomb threat against Apple.
The secret FBI file reveals Steven Paul Jobs, listed as founder and leader of Apple Inc. (formerly Apple Computer Inc.), as morally corrupt but also one who conducted his dealings “in a reputable manner,” depending on who you believe.
The secret file cites several individuals – over 25 in total – from ACI (Apple Computer Incorporated) who recounted their interpretation of former boss Jobs to the FBI, making for some interesting reading on the true nature of the Apple genius.
Early on in the 191-page FBI file suggests the duplicitous nature of the tech guru referring to a legal battle between Apple shareholders and Jobs’ management team after it failed to disclose potential problems associated with LISA computer in the 1980s, which subsequently flopped, although it had touted the device as “one of the top products Apple had ever produced” and a major money spinner for the company.
This is the first hint of an amoral side to Jobs, a theory which supported by various witnesses interviewed by the Bureau.
“Several individuals from ACI (Apple Computer Incorporated) also questioned Mr Jobs’ honesty stating that [Mr Jobs] will twist the truth and distort reality in order to achieve his goals.”
The same unnamed witness also characterised Jobs as a “deceptive individual” who is not completely forthright and honest.”
However, Jobs did take “proprietary information” and “key technological personnel” with him when he “resigned” from the company and “was not fired”, as was previously believed, another witness told the FBI.
The file also stated he left Apple due to “differences in style and management”, who at the time of the interviews, was no longer working at the giant he helped co-found.
One former friend of fruit loving Jobs said he was not longer acquainted with him, believing his moral character was “questionable” having been denied ACI stock, which would have made him quite wealthy now.
Another also dobbed in Jobs on his drug use, saying he used illegal drugs like marijuana and LSD during college, something which the US government would probably not take kindly to, although Jobs has freely admitted drug use during interviews.
Two other witnesses agreed Jobs was “stubborn, strong willed and hard working” but admitted he “possessed integrity, as long as he got his own way” although failed to elaborate further, the FBI file states.
The deceased Jobs was also not supportive of “the mother of his child born out of wedlock, and their daughter,” but noted he had recently become “more supportive”, several other witnesses stated on record.
“Visionary” and “charismatic” as well as “shallow” and “callous” were other adjectives used to describe the former Apple boss, with one female witness agreeing a Time Magazine profile of him published in 1983 portraying him as narcissist was spot on, blaming his huge power for causing him to lose his way at times, which shows the complicated nature of Jobs the individual.
And what is most interesting is almost all of those interviewed him recommended him to a position of “trust and responsibility” within political office, despite his failings.
One colleague observed him never to “express bias or prejudice” and recommended him for this “position of trust within the government”, while another stated he always “conducted his dealings in a reputable manner.”
Jobs’ past drug use was also referred to by others in the file: with Apple source saying he “may” have experimented with drugs, having “come from that generation” it the 1970, according to one Apple witness.
Get a lowdown of the FBI file in full here
Another interesting tit-bit from the file shows that Jobs refused to be interviewed by an FBI special agent for over three weeks- not even for an hour- as part of a background investigation the agent was conducting.