This HAS TO BE A JOKE. This is an elaborate prank.
a) is probably somewhere on the Autism spectrum
b) is primarily surrounded by people who want his money
c) lives in a country where people will do a lot for money
I'd say this guy is the main prize in a mental Capture The Flag and is most likely being played from every angle by everyone he knows.
From what I'm hearing I just feel sorry for the guy and wish that he could be taken out of there and given proper psychiatric counseling.
* Jeff however, I truly believe, thinks that I sent the photos to his wife. If I had done so, then I would deserve whatever wrath he chose to mete out. But seriously, it’s not my style. And if his mistaken suspicion is not the reason for his bulldog approach to sniffing out my life then I can’t even guess at what twisted motives move this man.
* Wired asked him to pose shirtless with a shotgun. This apart from all the other shirtless photos of him, and him with young coeds; did Wired stage those? Did Wired also stage McAfee playing Russian Roulette with a loaded trick revolver in front of Josh Davis?
* I laid down the pistol that I keep for protection and, contrary to Josh Davis’ assertion that I said “Motherfuckers”, said nothing and went back inside. I woke Amy, the 17 year old with whom I was living, and calmly told her to get dressed – that the GSU was invading the property.
* The entire "Samantha" post, which reads just like the "secret diary of John McAfee" from Gizmodo, which in turn consists of profiles of the various young Belizeans McAfee has slept with, followed by a few sentences about the paramilitary groups seeking to kill him. (My favorite part of all these bits of writing, including the "Samantha" piece, are the photos, which make it seem like the most important thing McAfee has to convince us of is that these young women are real --- like that makes him seem saner)
* First there was an attempt to charge me with running an antibiotics laboratory without a license. In Belize a special government permit is required to research antibiotics – a law which is common in Third World countries. To date, no such permits have ever been issued. I suspect the large drug conglomerates have much to do with these widespread laws, or perhaps it’s a viewpoint motivated by my latent paranoia. In any case, I didn’t have such a permit. Neither was I researching or producing antibiotics. Antibiotics are taken systemically. I was working on a topical antibacterial spray. It could in no way be classified as an antibiotic. (Here it helps to note that McAfee's original research scientist partner in the antibiotic effort had to flee Belize in fear of McAfee)
* The "Punishment of the Innocent" post where careful mention is made of which people do not drink or do drugs.
* The entire "Watchfulness" post, which posits a shoe-polish-painted John McAfee watching the Belizean paramilitary GSU police digging up the corpses of his dogs, removing their heads, and leaving the bodies. The dogs had been dead too long for an effective autopsy, considering it would be performed in a Third World country with limited access to laboratory resources. What was this all about? Well, John, isn't it clear? ZOMBIE DOGS.
There does appear to be rampant corruption in the government there. The press does seem interested in hyping the story, especially by portraying McAfee as a wacko. When I read the Jeff Wise story "Secrets, Schemes, and Lots of Guns: Inside John McAfee’s Heart of Darkness" recently, I was struck at how sensationalized it was, especially the part where he strains hard to make 8 shotguns, 2 pistols, and some ammo into "a small armory's worth of firearms", and "Vexingly for the police, all of this was actually legal." McAfee writing that Jeff Wise has some ax to grind, therefore, rings true to me.
I think the Russian Roulette trick involved palming the bullet, and was to make the point that things are not always as they first appear. Of course for anyone who's made up their mind that he's crazy, it's just simply more fodder to reinforce their beliefs.
The "Watchfulness" post does seem over the top, yet even that could be plausible. It's a shame -- the guy has been tried in the press already, so people assume he's crazy and a murderer.
Not only that but anyone worth their salt in pranking would certainly take the time to construct something that at least made it to the level of national media attention. To be able to, eh, how you say "punk" the media.
John McAfee is such a master of disguise that even though the most elite police unit in Belize has more or less set up camp at his house solely to find him, he's able to wander around close enough to the house to watch their every move simply by dressing up as a German tourist in a Speedo while hollering "Leck mich um ausch!" at passers-by.
This has to be a hoax.
I think another possible explanation is that it is his blog, but with the element of truth carefully dispensed and the element of hyperbole liberally dispensed.
I'm not sure that's more likely than hoax, but it's a possibility I maybe wouldn't eliminate.
I complain about too much drama on HN, but this McAfee story is way over the top.
I think that North Americans sometimes don't realize that one of the reasons that the rest of the world is susceptible to urban legends and conspiracy theories is because in those countries, similar stories have been known to hold true. Nothing like a moon landing of course, but presidents and prime ministers have in fact been involved in murders, drug charges and fraud. In that context you're more amenable to think, "Yeah, this could have happened."
Does anyone have a link to the original source?
Even if he gets arrested in an American embassy, that's got to be preferable to the inevitable "slipped and fell on a bullet" that the policia are liable to issue.
He's living in a country where the sane, rational (relatively speaking) rules of urban America definitely do not apply, fighting a battle he absolutely cannot win.
Whether or not it is a cautionary tale about minding your sanity, I think it's also a cautionary tale about not believing everything you read in the press. Until fifteen minutes ago I held the belief that McAfee had committed the crime of which he is accused; thinking about now I realize I held that belief based on essentially no actual evidence. I'm not saying I now believe his side of the story instead. I have no real evidence for that either (and I don't have time to follow up all the links he presented right now). My current conclusion is that at this time I don't know enough of the facts to judge either way.
To be honest, even in this country any unattractive minority that is accused of a crime may want to consider running from the law and skipping the country because for them our courts are less than just and more likely to convict them of that crime and give them a sentence worse than the average.
He was not accused of a crime! The police wanted to question him as a "person of interest" - big difference!
Almost every news story I saw report on this when it broke last week reported it incorrectly in the headlines as him being "wanted" - it's a shame that journalism can get away with being so sloppy sometimes.
It's a procedural difference, but "person of interest" is really just a bureaucratic euphemism for "suspect we don't officially designate as a suspect yet".
Agreed. However, running from the law and how he's been acting is not in accordance with someone who's innocent - no?
What law? You mean the corrupt "legal" system there? Wouldn't most innocent people who are afraid of corrupt police act in the same way? (i guess that implies his innocence then!)
It's more like "claiming to be the official blog of John McAfee".
P.S. No-one at the house, including the staff, know that
I am nearby. If the police are reading this, do not
randomly round up everyone for harboring a fugitive. Please.
Also he mentions in one post he's short on time and internet access but then in the second latest post it states:
If I am captured, this blog will continue. I have pre-
written enough material to keep this blog alive for at
least a year.
I think it's likely a lot of this is disinformation (written by John) to throw the police off.
One possible reason (and I'm not claiming this is being done just giving perspective) is to spread disinformation with the intent of creating wild goose chases. Like planting your cell phone on a bus headed in a direction you are not going or giving your credit card to a person at a bus terminal that is traveling to another part of the country.
Each one of them left a comment talking about how wonderful it is to live in Belize, with just the minor downside of a secret police force / gang of thugs running around murdering people, throwing people in prison, and demanding exorbitant bribes.
Judging by the comments that they themselves left on his blog, it appears that saying Belize is a wonderful place to live is akin to saying that living in Nazi Germany was paradise on earth, except for having to live with the Nazis.
To people like this, the current PM (elected in 2008) and his gang are the cost of access to a "social paradise" they wouldn't get in a country under the Rule of Law.
"I woke Amy, the 17 year old with whom I was living, and calmly told her to get dressed – that the GSU was invading the property. Amy is a tough young woman. She said nothing, got up, got dressed and sat calmly on the edge of the bed."
Amy != Sam
Hoax or batshit crazy, or a little of both.