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Bronze-level article

John McAfee

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John McAfee has never been convicted of rape and murder, but—crucially—not in the same way that you or I have never been convicted of rape or murder.
—Laurie Penny[1]

John McAfee is a whale fucking,[2][3][4] drugged out,[5] and horrifying "eccentric" cyber-security and technology businessman and bullshit artist.[6]

McAfee first became notable for creating the dreaded McAfee Security software suite. The software bearing his name is bloatware that comes preinstalled on some Windows computers and some Android devices,[7] returns a ton of false-positives, can't be removed, has full control over your computer, and reads all the data stored on it continuously in real time. But isn't a virus because it is anti-virus software.

He later became known for being a high-profile suspect in a murder case, his involvement in cryptocurrency ventures like Bitcoin, and politics. He ran for President as a Libertarian, but he lost very badly to Gary Johnson — d'oh![8]

Early career[edit]

McAfee's early life was troubled, with his abusive father committing suicide when he was 15, and much of his early life was spent in the clutches of drugs or alcoholism. In the mid-1980s, McAfee cleaned up his act, went sober, and set out to tackle the then relatively new problem of computer viruses, and developed McAfee Antivirus Software. His built-in paranoid personality actually became a useful asset, as he was able to utilize this to help market his software in apocalyptic, often grossly-exaggerated, terms.[9][10] The resulting business success allowed McAfee to sell the shares in his company in 1994 for $100 million, making him quite well off.

He originally kept a low profile for several years after the sale. For a while, McAfee spent time promoting an obscure "sport" that could be considered either reckless or living-on-the-edge cool, depending on your point of view — "aerotrekking", a concept involving flying a type of plane called an ultralight trikeWikipedia very close to the ground, sometimes even in between canyon walls.[11] Unfortunately, the 2008 financial crisisWikipedia hit McAfee particularly hard, reducing his net worth to "just" $4 million. [12] (Either that, or McAfee "rearranged" his finances in order to avoid major repercussions from a wrongful-death lawsuit, filed due to an "aerotrekking" accident that claimed the life of his nephew, Joel Gordon Bitow, and passenger Robert Gilson.)[13][14] At any rate, he re-located to Belize shortly afterwards, where much of his most bizarre behavior began.

Paranoia and murder[edit]

McAfee started off in Belize relatively innocuously, supporting a microbiologist who wanted to isolate plant compounds that might end up being an effective medicine someday, or, if not that, (in typical McAfee style) an enhancement for female libido. (True to form, of course, McAfee wildly exaggerated his accomplishments to would-be investors with his usual trolling and bullshit.)[15] Soon after, however, his behavior became increasingly bizarre, driving both his longtime girlfriend Jennifer Irwin and the microbiologist in question, Allison Adonizio, away from having anything to do with him, due to his bizarre, sexually inappropriate behavior and violent outbursts.[16][17] McAfee increasingly became — at least, in his mind — intertwined with the dark and violent underworld of Belize, increasingly believing that everyone was out to kill him, and increasingly posting about mind-altering stimulants online (stimulants that have unfortunate side effects like, say, making you believe that everyone is out to kill you).

McAfee was thrown into the media spotlight on November 11, 2012 when Gregory Faull, McAfee's neighbor, was found dead in his home, shot in the head. Due to the fact that Mr. Faull complained about McAfee's guns, behavior, and dogs, and, given that, a couple days before the murder, some of McAfee's dogs were suspiciously poisoned, McAfee was immediately named a "person of interest" by the local Belize police.[18] McAfee fled from Belize to Guatemala (while pleading innocence, of course), where he was promptly arrested. After supposedly faking a heart attack, McAfee was deported to the United States.[19]

In 2016, a documentary film unveiled about McAfee's time in Belize, "Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee" by Nanette Burstein, suggested that not only that there is "a searing body of evidence" that McAfee paid a hitman to torture and kill Mr. Faull, he also had another victim (David Middleton, a local who robbed his home) mutilated and killed, and that he also drugged and raped Allison Adonizio.[20] McAfee reacted per his usual style by dismissing the film as "all nonsense" and suggesting that the film was a conspiracy hatched against him by the Belize government.[21]

On March 19, 2019, in a lawsuit brought about by the Faull estate, McAfee, in a default judgement, was fined 25 million dollars by a Florida judge for wrongful death.[22] Of course, Mr. McAfee was dismissive of not only the lawsuit, but the American judicial system in itself, calling it a "legal extortion game aimed at America's wealthy class."[23]


Ordinary drugs simply won't suit the mind of John McAfee. McAfee instead prefers the "smooth euphoria", "mild comedown", and "indescribable hypersexuality" of obscure "research chemicals" like methylenedioxypyrovaleroneWikipedia (MDPV). John likes his MDPV tan colored (all the better to relish the impurities!), the pure white powder won't do. Under his "stuffmonger" alias[24], beginning in December 2010, John posted an epic thread on the Bluelight drug forum about his MDPV enlightenment, a thread that demonstrated stupendous ineptitude in organic chemistry knowledge and laboratory practice, as well as some incredibly bizarre sexual deviancy.[25] Now, officially, John did this only to troll Bluelight (on a bet), and officially, although in his youth a heavy consumer of hallucinogens and alcohol,[26] he hasn't touched drugs since 1983.[27][28] However, John has also been happy to tweet about wanting someone to manufacture other obscure "research chemicals" such as alpha-pyrrolidinohexiophenoneWikipedia[29] (which, contrary to Mr. McAfee's assertion, is illegal in many countries). Furthermore, he is happy to occasionally tweet that he is, in fact, indeed high at that very moment on obscure research chemicals, such as a mixture of MDPV and α-PHiP (an alias for 4'-Methoxy-α-pyrrolidinopentiophenoneWikipedia or 4-MeO-α-PVP). [30]

The class of drugs McAfee seems to prefer are known as "synthetic cathinones" (known in the common media as "bath salts"Wikipedia) and are widely known to induce paranoid and/or psychotic effects. [31] (These posts, if true, perhaps explains a lot of McAfee's bizarre behavior and rants.) [32]

Cryptocurrency promotion[edit]

McAfee loves cryptocurrency. But what he really loves, is when he gets paid to love cryptocurrency, He charges $100,000 to send a single tweet endorsing an initial cryptocurrency coin offering.[33]

"John McAfee’s tweets are by far the most influential in the field of cryptocurrency," the website says. "Few leaders in the Crypto community can come close to Mr. McAfee's reach into the heart of the cryptocurrency investor community."

In early 2016, McAfee became CEO of a company called MGT Capital Investments — a company previously aligned with online fantasy gaming, but at that time was a merely a shell of a company, a penny stock with only a New York Stock Exchange listing going for it. McAfee proceeded to publicly re-brand the company as a cyber-security company with a specialty in Bitcoin mining (while, at the same time, privately working with other unscrupulous types who were engaging in an illegal pump and dump scheme with the stock.)[note 1][34]

In July 2017, right in the middle of a speculative bubble building up for Bitcoin (that would peak in December 2017), McAfee promised to eat his own penis on live TV if the value of a single Bitcoin was not one million dollars by the end of 2020. This bravado played well with the cryptocurrency crowd, who themselves were engaged in plenty of "pump and dump"-type scams (due to the lawless nature of cryptocurrency, pump and dump scams were not explicitly illegal there). As a result, McAfee became a "go-to" figure for cryptocurrencies desiring to attract gullible investors with a celebrity endorsement.[35]

In January 2018, McAfee abruptly left MGT Capital Investments.[36] Later, as the SECWikipedia started to take a dim view of celebrity-endorsed pump-and-dump cryptocurrency scams (eventually fining boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and musician DJ Khaled for failure to disclose promotional payments from ICOsWikipedia),[37] McAfee stopped endorsing specific cryptocurrencies as well.[38] Having said that, cryptocurrencies and blockchain still play an outsized in McAfee's Twitter feed (and his 2020 presidential campaign).

(As a side note, at the beginning of 2020, the price of a single Bitcoin was $7,541, about $992,459 dollars away from the number needed for McAfee to not eat his penis on live TV. So of course, true to his style, he reneged.)[39]

Echoing the worst stereotypes about the cryptocurrency community, McAfee hates the IRS, claiming in tweets that he hasn't filed a tax return since 2011, and bizarrely likened the tax agency to the Nazi SS.[40][41] He currently claims to be "on the run" from the IRS and, for several months in 2019, was living on a boat, perhaps searching for libertarian paradise.[42] In 2020 he was indicted by US authorities for tax evasion, over claims he funneled income through cryptocurrency and accounts in other people's names; he was arrested in Spain in October 2020.[43]


McAfee ran with Judd Weiss in 2016[44]

A stock-issue libertarian, McAfee supports a laissez-faire economic system, with all the positions that that mentality contains. This includes support for "religious liberty", or the ability of businesses to discriminate based on their religious beliefs. On the other hand, he also supports the common libertarian positions of decriminalization of drug use, a non-interventionist foreign policy, and greater bulwarks against cyberwarfare.[45]

He also supports abolishing the Transportation Security Administration, seeing them as "wasteful"[46] — a claim perhaps somewhat supported by the fact that the TSA uses bloated McAfee software for cyber threat management.[47]


McAfee ran for President on the Libertarian Party ticket in 2016.[8] He lost the nomination to walking cloud of weed smoke former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson.


Positioning himself as the "ultimate campaign platform" for the cryptocurrency community, McAfee has announced that he intends to run for president again in 2020. [48] This is despite McAfee being supposedly "on the run" from the IRS.[49]

Originally, McAfee planned to run his campaign from his yacht; however, McAfee decided on June 17th, 2019 to temporarily stake campaign headquarters in Havana, Cuba. [50] What followed this was a bizarre globe-trotting adventure that read less like a presidential campaign and more like if Hunter S. Thompson started a world travel blog: getting arrested in the Dominican Republic over weapons charges, purported "hideouts" in Northern Iceland[51] and Lithuania[52] (with pictures of the Lithuanian hideout appearing to be a room actually lined in tin foil), and tweets from Siberia,[53] the Pyrenees mountains,[54][55] and Egypt.[56]

Whale fucking[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Bestiality
Some call me "Whale Fucker". Alright. There's a private club of a few dozen Maori men and one butch woman — that meet in Molokai each year to fuck a whale. True. Men on padeleboards[sic] herd the whale while one tries to fuck it. Wouldn't let me in the club. Tried it alone. Epic fail.
—John McAfee on Twitter, 27 November 2018.[57]

Paranoia and bullshit[edit]

McAfee's purported world is one where he is constantly on the run from the Belize government, who is out to kill him or capture him for his misdeeds in Belize. Anything can be linked to The Conspiracy, whether it be tailgaters, telephone solicitors, or even a cigarette lighter that McAfee himself dropped on the ground in a drunken state.[58] Reality, of course, is often quite different than what McAfee claims. For instance, in a Men's Health article, McAfee described having to flee his Portland condo due to The Conspiracy staking him out. The reality is, McAfee got evicted from the condo for merely refusing to pay the rent. In addition, when questioned on why the rent was 21 days past due, McAfee wrote a threatening letter to the landlord accusing him of being in a conspiracy to "collect" him, and threatened the landlord with violence — enough to cause the landlord to seek a protective order.[59][60][61]

Unfortunately, McAfee is a well-known attention-seeking "shitposter" (as an example, he was happy to tweet that he was basing his 2020 presidential campaign on, of all things, "anal fisting", before retracting this position shortly afterwards.[62]) It is difficult, therefore, to tell how much of this is true, legitimate batshit ridiculous paranoia, how much of this is pure stunt… or how much of this is bad behavior that McAfee tries to cover up by claiming it is a "joke" or part of a conspiracy.

To be fair, a little paranoia is understandable when you are in an industry where notoriously sloppy security standards[63] and mass electronic surveillance[64] are legitimate concerns. Nonetheless, you're not going to find McAfee addressing these sorts of concerns by, say, working with the Electronic Frontier Foundation to curb electronic surveillance excesses and promote better security practice. Instead, he's gonna use his cybersecurity cred to shill cryptocurrency on Infowars.[65]

In short, whether he's legitimately paranoid or engaging in bullshit artistry (or, as probably in most cases, he's engaging in a lot of both at the same time), he's a dick-ish shill, engaged in dick-ish stunts, for dick-ish reasons.

See also[edit]



  1. Four Days Trapped at Sea With Crypto’s Nouveau Riche
  2. Whale fucking. No joke. Each year, on Feb 1st, in the Molokai Channel, a few men compete in the world's only whale fucking contest. Humpback whales are easy to fuck- for a second or less. World record: 31 seconds. I competed once. Almost got my ribs crushed. Stick with Ostriches. by John McAfee (5:33 PM - 23 Jun 2018) Twitter (archived from February 15, 2019).
  3. Enough of the "Whale Fucking is non-consensual" bullshit. A Humpback Whale weighs 70,000 pounds, is fifty feet long, can dive more than a quarter mile and can crush ships with a single swipe of its tail. If a human manages to fuck one, you damn well better believe it's consensual by John McAfee (14:14 - 31 Dec 2018) Twitter (archived from December 31, 2019).
  4. I might lie about where I've been all night, whether the drugs belonged to me, whether I'm married, whether I had sex with with your wife/girlfriend/dog, whether I know the whereabouts of someone, but seriously, what would I gain by admitting that I lost a whale fucking contest? by John McAfee (1:30 PM - 27 Nov 2018) Twitter (archived from June 18, 2019).
  5. https://www.theverge.com/2013/6/19/4444266/john-mcafee-youtube-how-to-uninstall-mcafee-antivirus
  6. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/yppqgg/silicon-valley-s-greatest-bad-guy-is-trapped-in-paradise
  7. https://www.androidpolice.com/2019/02/27/the-galaxy-s10-will-come-pre-installed-with-mcafee-bloatware/
  8. 8.0 8.1 https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2015/12/24/mcafee-run-libertarian-party-candidate-president/77877980/
  9. "John McAfee Fled to Belize, But He Couldn't Escape Himself", Joshua Davis, Wired, 2012-12-24
  10. See the Wikipedia article on Michelangelo.
  11. "Kite Flyers", Davin Coburn, Popular Mechanics, 2009-10-01
  12. "Rise of the Superrich Hits a Sobering Wall" by David Leonhardt and Geraldine Fabrikant, New York Times, 2009-08-20
  13. "Plagued by Lawsuits, McAfee Founder Hunts for Cures in Belize", Jeff Wise, Fast Company, 2010-05-01
  14. "John McAfee, Silicon Valley's Greatest Villain, Is Trapped in Paradise" by Alec Liu, Vice, 2012-11-14
  15. "Plagued by Lawsuits, McAfee Founder Hunts for Cures in Belize" by Jeff Wise, Fast Company, 2010-05-01
  16. "John McAfee, Silicon Valley's Greatest Villain, Is Trapped in Paradise" by Alec Liu, Vice, 2012-11-14
  17. Secrets, Schemes, and Lots of Guns: Inside John McAfee's Heart of Darkness by Jeff Wise, Gizmodo, 2011-08-12
  18. "John McAfee Plays Hide-and-Seek in Belize" by David Segal, New York Times, 2012-12-01
  19. "John McAfee says he faked heart attack to avoid deportation to Belize" by John Zarrella, CNN, 2012-12-13
  20. "How an award-winning documentarian unearthed a damning new case against John McAfee" The Verge, 2016-08-14
  21. "Tech Pioneer John McAfee Says New Showtime Documentary Linking Him to a Rape and Two Murders Is 'Nonsense'" by Johnny Dodd, People, 2016-09-26
  22. Estate of Faull v. McAfee, Case No: 6:13-cv-1746-Orl-31LRH
  23. "John McAfee Won’t Pay $25M Judgment in Wrongful Death Case, Has Ignored All Lawsuits for 11 Years" by Ronn Blitzer, Law and Crime, 2019-03-20
  24. "Stuffmonger and Bluelight", John McAfee, November 20, 2012
  25. "Hello and an MDPV Question" stuffmonger, Bluelight, Dec 7, 2010
  26. "John McAfee Fled to Belize, But He Couldn't Escape Himself", Joshua Davis, Wired, 2012-12-24
  27. "The Obscure, Legal Drug That Fuels John McAfee", Jeff Wise, NYMag.com, Sept. 30 2016
  28. The thread was a Bluelight record. I was just fucking with everyone. There was no original Tan MDPV. It was a hoax perpetrated by two British dudes. I rhought it would be special to recreate the original "lost" Holy Grail of mythical drugs. by John McAfee (2:21 AM - 14 Feb 2019) Twitter (archived from June 18, 2019).
  29. Can you manufacture a-PHP? It's perfectly legal. by John McAfee (11:35 PM - 10 Apr 2018) Twitter (archived from June 18, 2019).
  30. Methylinedioxypyrovalerone mixed with a-pihp by John McAfee (7:54 PM - 11 Dec 2018) Twitter (archived from June 18, 2019).
  31. "Synthetic Cathinone and Cannabinoid Designer Drugs Pose a Major Risk for Public Health" Frontiers in Psychiatry, 2017 Aug 23
  32. "Hospitalized John McAfee Swears Wrath on Whoever Managed to 'Spike Something That I Ingested'" by Tom McKay, Gizmodo, 6/23/2018
  33. https://www.ccn.com/heres-what-it-costs-to-get-john-mcafee-to-promote-your-ico/
  34. 'My Power to Demolish Is Ten Times Greater Than My Power to Promote' How McAfee became the spokesman for the crypto bubble. by Jeff Wise, NYMag, 2018-12-17
  35. ‘My Power to Demolish Is Ten Times Greater Than My Power to Promote’ How McAfee became the spokesman for the crypto bubble. by Jeff Wise, NYMag, 2018-12-17
  36. "MGT Splits From John McAfee, Turns Focus to Digital Coin Mining" by Lily Katz and Esha Dey, Bloomberg, January 26, 2018
  37. "Two Celebrities Charged With Unlawfully Touting Coin Offerings", SEC.Gov press release, 2018-11-29
  38. "John McAfee Will No Longer Promote ICOs, Cites 'SEC Threats'", Ana Alexandre, Cointelegraph, 2018-06-20
  39. "John McAfee No Longer Willing to Eat His Dick on TV" by Edward Ongweso Jr., Vice, Jan 6 2020
  40. I have not filed a tax return for 8 years. Why? 1: taxation is illegal. 2: I paid tens of millions already and received Jack Shit in services. 3. I'm done making money. I live off of cash from McAfee Inc. My net income is negative. But i am a prime target for the IRS. Here I am. by John McAfee (2:24 PM - 3 Jan 2019) Twitter (archived from June 18, 2019).
  41. "John McAfee calls taxes 'illegal,' says it's been 8 years since he filed a return" by Louis Casiano, Fox News, 2019-01-04
  42. "John McAfee is running from U.S. authorities – and running for President. On a boat." by Brooke Crothers, Fox News, 2019-01-24
  43. John McAfee, antivirus software pioneer, charged with tax evasion in US, The Guardian, Oct 6, 2020
  44. Judd Weiss LPedia.
  45. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/mar/31/inside-the-beltway-gary-johnson-john-mcafee-austin/
  46. "John McAfee on The Issues", #mcafee16: Libertarian for President campaign site
  47. "TSA Taps McAfee for Cyber Threat Response Support", ExecutiveBiz, 2018-03-21
  48. "John McAfee to run for president in 2020 on cryptocurrency platform", Thomas Barrabi, Fox Business News, June 4 2018
  49. "John McAfee is Running For President - And Away From the Government", Callum Paton, Newsweek, 2019-01-24
  50. "Tech guru found temporary home in Cuba while running for president and running from trouble" by Tracey Eaton, Tampa Bay Times, 2019-08-02
  51. "John McAfee’s North Iceland Hideout Revealed?", Jóhann Páll Ástvaldsson, Iceland Review, 2019-09-06
  52. .@theemrsmcafee and I in Lithuania at our secure facility. The long arm of the corrupt U.S. Justice Department does not reach here. We will relax a day or two and get back to the business of fighting injustice wherever we find it. by John McAfee (6:26 AM - 30 Jul 2019) Twitter (archived from September 3, 2019).
  53. New years celebration at the piano. We all played. Happy New Year from the out reaches of Siberia. by John McAfee (11:35 AM - 1 Jan 2020) Twitter (archived from January 10, 2020).
  54. The Pyrenees separate the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of Europe. It is arguably the toughest terrain on the planet and certainly created some of the toughest people. It is our new home. These were taken by our host's grandfather. They don't look fond of authority do they? by John McAfee (8:35 AM - 25 Dec 2019) Twitter (archived from December 25, 2019).
  55. [Stopping by Andorra on our way South. Hoping to meet the King. Peddling Cryptocurrency's dark side - Centralized, privacy devouring, as a way to rule the world. Or perhaps I'm peddling something else. by John McAfee (10:59 AM - 24 Dec 2019) Twitter (archived from December 24, 2019).
  56. Passing through Egypt early this morning. by John McAfee (11:17 PM - 23 Dec 2019) Twitter (archived from December 24, 2019).
  57. Some call me "Whale Fucker". Alright. There's a private club of a few dozen Maori men and one butch woman - that meet in Molokai each year to fuck a whale. True. Men on padeleboards herd the whale while one tries to fuck it. Wouldn't let me in the club. Tried it alone. Epic fail. by John McAfee (5:50 AM - 27 Nov 2018) Twitter (archived from September 12, 2019).
  58. "John McAfee: The Prophet of Paranoia", Chris Buck, Men's Journal
  59. "John McAfee stalking complaint dismissed" by Steven DuBois, Associated Press, 2014-01-03
  60. "John McAfee hit with protective order, evicted from his luxury Portland apartment" by Ross William Hamilton, 2013-11-25
  61. "Globetrotting John McAfee Accused of Stalking in Portland, Moves to Montreal" by Sara Morrison, The Atlantic, 2013-11-25
  62. "McAfee abandons $1m bet, renounces 'ancient' Bitcoin for Ethereum", Andrew Fenton, 2020-01-06
  63. KrebsOnSecurity by Brian Krebs, a blog entirely dedicated to the sloppy security standards of modern information technology, and the ransomware / malware underground that preys on the resulting security holes
  64. "Edward Snowden: Leaks that exposed US spy programme", BBC, 2014-01-17
  65. "John McAfee on Infowars: Nothing Can Stop The Blockchain Revolution", Youtube, 2017-12-04