John McAfee Boldly Predicts Bitcoin Will Surpass $15,000 Next …

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According to a statement made on Twitter, John McAfee has made strong predictions that Bitcoin will excel beyond the $15,000 range by June. While these are short-term predictions, McAfee remains a strong source on cryptocurrency valuations and their performance.

In his statement, McAfee states that this is a ‘special time’ and rarely makes short-term predictions on investment areas.

“I seldom make short-term predictions because they are frequently meaningless and they encourage short-term investors, which in turn encourages mediocrity. But this is a special time.”

The reliability of McAfee’s predictions is maintained by his algorithms which, according to him, have never been wrong. McAfee has notably also predicted that bitcoins price will hit $1 million in 2020.

If McAfee is correct, bitcoins price is set to more than double in little time, as the flagship cryptocurrency is currently trading at $7,489 according to data from CryptoCompare.

Along with Bitcoin, the eccentric cybersecurity pioneer expects altcoins to make substantial gains between June and August. With Bitcoin Private (BTCP), a merge-fork of bitcoin with ZCash surpassing $200, and EOS surging to reach $32 by the end of July.

Its worth noting that the cybersecurity pioneer, as covered by CryptoGlobe, has in the past revealed he is bullish on Bitcoin Private, as he stated the cryptocurrency is set to replace Monero (XMR) as the number one cryptocurrency being used on the dark web.

The eccentric millionaire has pumped various cryptocurrencies in the past with Verge (XVG) surging after he claimed to be more bullish on it than on Zcash or Monero. Its worth noting he also pumped various cryptocurrencies after being paid to do so, as he was running a service that charged $105,000 per tweet.

McAfee has also stated that this strong bullish trend is attributed to a significant rise in institutional demand. In a tweet published earlier this week, he stated that major long-term investors will begin surging behind Bitcoin and various altcoins.

Institutional investors are preparing to enter the cryptocurrency market with a vengeance. They are generally long-term investors and will be pumping billions into the market. Expect the top ten coins to go through the roof fairly quickly. The bulk of altcoins will soon follow.

Featured image by Gage Skidmore, Flickr, CC by 2.0

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John McAfee Boldly Predicts Bitcoin Will Surpass $15,000 Next …

Teen hacks John McAfee’s ‘unhackable’ crypto-baby to play …

GEORGE OF THE SILICON JUNGLE John McAfee has a bit of explaining to do. After we reported last week that his unhackable’ Bitfiwallet had been hacked, within a week, we can now report on one of our favourite types of story.

For those that have followed us over the years, the “things being modded to run things they weren’t supposed to run” category always fills us with glee.

In that spirit, we present the Bitfi running Doom. As programmed by a 15-year-old.

Saleem Rashid, admittedly a bit of a prodigy by all accounts, responded to someone joking thatMcAfee’s bitcoin wallet would be running Doom by that weekend.

Rashid went one stage further and did it. By that weekend. And if you don’t believe us, here’s the video:

There’s a $250,000 bounty for anyone successfully hacking the Android-powered fortress, but that doesn’t seem to be as simple as we thought. During the hack, Baidu apps with tracking were found hidden in the firmware begging questions as to why.

Some complete partitions of code are also available from Pastebin, thanks to enterprising coders, while some security experts are suggesting that the only reason they haven’t taken the wallet down yet is out of well politeness.

John McAfee and Bitfi are yet to respond to either hack, aside from quoting an interview which points out that, although hacked, nobody had hacked it to the point of stealing any Bitcoins. Which is a fair point and suggests that’s what McAfee may be counting as “hacked”. But having come this far, surely we’re now just clockwatching until someone succeeds.

Prove us wrong, Wildman. Prove us wrong. Because by all accounts, the attack on Bitfi by white-hats is a matter of days away.

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Teen hacks John McAfee’s ‘unhackable’ crypto-baby to play …

John McAfee Fled to Belize, But He Couldnt … – WIRED

On November 12, 2012, Belizean police announced that they were seeking John McAfee for questioning in connection with the murder of his neighbor. Six months earlier, I began an in-depth investigation into McAfee’s life. This is the chronicle of that investigation.

Twelve weeks before the murder, John McAfee flicks open the cylinder of his Smith & Wesson revolver and empties the bullets, letting them clatter onto the table between us. A few tumble to the floor. McAfee is 66, lean and fit, with veins bulging out of his forearms. His hair is bleached blond in patches, like a cheetah, and tattoos wrap around his arms and shoulders.

More than 25 years ago, he formed McAfee Associates, a maker of antivirus software that went on to become immensely popular and was acquired by Intel in 2010 for $7.68 billion. Now he’s holed up in a bungalow on his island estate, about 15 miles off the coast of mainland Belize. The shades are drawn so I can see only a sliver of the white sand beach and turquoise water outside. The table is piled with boxes of ammunition, fake IDs bearing his photo, Frontiersman bear deterrent, and a single blue baby pacifier.

– Better Than Human

McAfee picks a bullet off the floor and fixes me with a wide-eyed, manic intensity. “This is a bullet, right?” he says in the congenial Southern accent that has stuck with him since his boyhood in Virginia.

“Let’s put the gun back,” I tell him. I’d come here to try to understand why the government of Belize was accusing him of assembling a private army and entering the drug trade. It seemed implausible that a wildly successful tech entrepreneur would disappear into the Central American jungle and become a narco-trafficker. Now I’m not so sure.

But he explains that the accusations are a fabrication. “Maybe what happened didn’t actually happen,” he says, staring hard at me. “Can I do a demonstration?”

He loads the bullet into the gleaming silver revolver, spins the cylinder.

“This scares you, right?” he says. Then he puts the gun to his head.

My heart rate kicks up; it takes me a second to respond. “Yeah, I’m scared,” I admit. “We don’t have to do this.”

“I know we don’t,” he says, the muzzle pressed against his temple. And then he pulls the trigger. Nothing happens. He pulls it three more times in rapid succession. There are only five chambers.

“Reholster the gun,” I demand.

He keeps his eyes fixed on me and pulls the trigger a fifth time. Still nothing. With the gun still to his head, he starts pulling the trigger incessantly. “I can do this all day long,” he says to the sound of the hammer clicking. “I can do this a thousand times. Ten thousand times. Nothing will ever happen. Why? Because you have missed something. You are operating on an assumption about reality that is wrong.”

It’s the same thing, he argues, with the government’s accusations. They were a smoke screenan attempt to distort realitybut there’s one thing everybody agrees on: The trouble really got rolling in the humid predawn murk of April 30, 2012.

It was a Monday, about 4:50 am. A television flickered in the guard station of McAfee’s newly built, 2.5-acre jungle outpost on the Belizean mainland. At the far end of the property, a muddy river flowed slowly past. Crocodiles lurked on the opposite bank, and howler monkeys screeched. In the guard station, a drunk night watchman gaped at Blond Ambition, a Madonna concert DVD.

The guard heard the trucks first. Then boots hitting the ground and the gate rattling as the lock was snapped with bolt cutters. He stood up and looked outside. Dozens of men in green camouflage were streaming into the compound. Many were members of Belize’s Gang Suppression Unit, an elite force trained in part by the FBI and armed with Taurus MT-9 submachine guns. Formed in 2010, their mission was to dismantle criminal organizations.

The guard observed the scene silently for a moment and then sat back down. After all, the Madonna concert wasn’t over yet. Outside, flashlight beams streaked across the property. “This is the police,” a voice blared over a bullhorn. “Everyone out!”

Deep in the compound, McAfee burst out of a thatched-roof bungalow that stood on stilts 20 feet off the ground. He was naked and held a revolver. Things had changed since his days as a high-flying software tycoon. By 2009 he had sold almost everything he ownedestates in Hawaii, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas as well as his 10-passenger planeand moved into the jungle. He announced that he was searching for natural antibiotics in the rain forest and constructed a mysterious laboratory on his property. Now his jungle stronghold was under attack. The commandos were converging on him. There were 31 of them; he was outgunned and outmanned.

McAfee walked back inside to the 17-year-old in his bed. She was sitting up, naked, her long frizzy hair falling around her shoulders and framing the stars tattooed on her chest. She was terrified.

As the GSU stormed up the stairs, he put on some shorts, laid down his gun, and walked out with his hands up. The commandos collided with McAfee at the top of the stairs, slammed him against the wall, and handcuffed him.

“You’re being detained on suspicion of producing methamphetamine,” one of the cops said.

McAfee twisted to look at his accuser. “That’s a startling hypothesis, sir,” he responded. “Because I haven’t sold drugs since 1983.”

BRIAN FINKE

Nineteen eighty-three was a pivotal year for McAfee. He was 38 and director of engineering at Omex, a company that built information storage systems in Santa Clara, California. He was also selling cocaine to his subordinates and snorting massive amounts himself. When he got too high to focus, he’d take a quaalude. If he started to fall asleep at his desk, he’d snort some more coke to wake up. McAfee had trouble making it through the day and spent his afternoons drinking scotch to even out the tumult in his head.

He’d been a mess for a long time. He grew up in Roanoke, Virginia, where his father was a road surveyor and his mother a bank teller. His father, McAfee recalls, was a heavy drinker and “a very unhappy man” who McAfee says beat him and his mother severely. When McAfee was 15, his father shot himself. “Every day I wake up with him,” McAfee says. “Every relationship I have, he’s by my side; every mistrust, he is the negotiator of that mistrust. So my life is fucked.”

McAfee started drinking heavily his first year at Roanoke College and supported himself by selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door. He would knock and announce that the lucky resident had won an absolutely free subscription; all they had to do was pay a small shipping and handling fee. “So, in fact, I am explaining to them why it’s not free and why they are going to pay for it. But the ruse worked,” McAfee recalls. He learned that confidence was all that mattered. He smiled, fixed them with his penetrating blue-eyed gaze, and hit them with a nonstop stream of patter. “I made a fortune,” he says.

He spent his money on booze but managed to graduate and start a PhD in mathematics at Northeast Louisiana State College in 1968. He got kicked out for sleeping with one of his undergraduate students (whom he later married) and ended up coding old-school punch-card programs for Univac in Bristol, Tennessee. That didn’t last long, either. He was arrested for buying marijuana, and though his lawyer got him off without a conviction, he was summarily fired.

Still, he had learned enough to gin up an impressive, totally fake rsum and used it to get a job at Missouri Pacific Railroad in St. Louis. It was 1969 and the company was attempting to use an IBM computer to schedule trains. After six months, McAfee’s system began to churn out optimized train-routing patterns. Unfortunately, he had also discovered LSD. He would drop acid in the morning, go to work, and route trains all day. One morning he decided to experiment with another psychedelic called DMT. He did a line, felt nothing, and decided to snort a whole bag of the orangish powder. “Within an hour my mind was shattered,” McAfee says.

People asked him questions, but he didn’t understand what they were saying. The computer was spitting out train schedules to the moon; he couldn’t make sense of it. He ended up behind a garbage can in downtown St. Louis, hearing voices and desperately hoping that nobody would look at him. He never went back to Missouri Pacific. Part of him believes he’s still on that trip, that everything since has been one giant hallucination and that one day he’ll snap out of it and find himself back on his couch in St. Louis, listening to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.

From then on he felt like he was always one step away from a total breakdown, which finally came at Omex in 1983. He was snorting lines of coke off his desk most mornings, polishing off a bottle of scotch every day, and living in constant fear that he would run out of drugs. His wife had left him, he’d given away his dog, and in the wake of what he calls a mutual agreement, he left Omex. He ended up shuttered in his house, with no friends, doing drugs alone for days on end and wondering whether he should kill himself just as his father had. “My life was total hell,” he says.

Finally he went to a therapist, who suggested he go to Alcoholics Anonymous. He attended a meeting and started sobbing. Someone gave him a hug and told him he wasn’t alone.

“That’s when life really began for me,” he says.

He says he’s been sober ever since.

When the Madonna concert ended, McAfee’s drunken guard finally emerged from his station and strolled over to find out what was going on. The police quickly surrounded him. They knew who he was: Austin “Tino” Allen had been convicted 28 times for crimes ranging from robbery to assault, and he had spent most of his life in and out of prison.

The police lined everybody up against a rock wall as the sun rose. A low, heavy heat filled the jungle. Everybody began to sweat when the police fanned out to search the property. As an officer headed toward an outlying building, one of McAfee’s dogs cut him off, growled, and, according to police, went in for an attack. The cop immediately shot the dog through the rib cage.

“What the fuck!” McAfee screamed. “That’s my dog.”

The police ignored him. They left the dead dog in the dirt while they rummaged through the compound. They found shotguns, pistols, a huge cache of ammunition, and hundreds of bottles of chemicals they couldn’t identify. McAfee and the others were left in the sun for hours. (GSU commander Marco Vidal claims they were under the shade of a large tree.) By the time the police announced that they were taking several of them to jail, McAfee says his face was turning pink with sunburn. He and Allen were loaded into the back of a pickup. The truck tore off, heading southeast toward Belize City at 80 miles per hour.

McAfee tried to stay calm, but he had to admit that this was a bad situation. He had walked away from a luxurious lifemansions on multiple continents, sports cars, a private planeonly to end up in the back of a pickup cuffed to a notoriously violent man. Allen pulled McAfee close so he could be heard over the roar of the wind. McAfee tensed. “Boss, I just want to say that it’s an honor to be here with you,” Allen shouted. “You must be a really important person for them to send all these men to get you.”

In 1986 two brothers in Pakistan coded the first known computer virus aimed at PCs. They weren’t trying to destroy anything; it was simple curiosity. They wanted to see how far their creation would travel, so they included their names, addresses, and telephone numbers in the code of the virus. They named it Brain after their computer services shop in Lahore.

Within a year the phone at the shop was ringing: Brain had infected computers around the world. At the time, McAfee had been sober for four years and gotten a security clearance to work on a classified voice-recognition program at Lockheed in Sunnyvale, California. But then he came across an article in the San Jose Mercury News about the spread of the Pakistani Brain virus in the US.

He found the idea terrifying. Nobody knew for sure at the time why these intrusions were occurring. It reminded him of his childhood, when his father would hit him for no reason. “I didn’t know why he did it,” McAfee says. “I just knew a beating could happen any time.” As a boy, he wasn’t able to fight back. Now, faced with a new form of attack that was hard to rationalize, he decided to do something.

He started McAfee Associates out of his 700-square-foot home in Santa Clara. His business plan: Create an antivirus program and give it away on electronic bulletin boards. McAfee didn’t expect users to pay. His real aim was to get them to think the software was so necessary that they would install it on their computers at work. They did. Within five years, half of the Fortune 100 companies were running it, and they felt compelled to pay a license fee. By 1990, McAfee was making $5 million a year with very little overhead or investment.

His success was due in part to his ability to spread his own paranoia, the fear that there was always somebody about to attack. Soon after launching his company, he bought a 27-foot Winnebago, loaded it with computers, and announced that he had formed the first “antivirus paramedic unit.” When he got a call from someone experiencing computer problems in the San Jose area, he drove to the site and searched for “virus residue.” Like a good door-to-door salesman, there was a kernel of truth to his pitch, but he amplified and embellished the facts to sell his product. The RV therefore was not just an RV; it was “the first specially customized unit to wage effective, on-the-spot counterattacks in the virus war.”

It was great publicity, executed with drama and sly wit. By the end of 1988, he was on The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour telling the country that viruses were causing so much damage, some companies were “near collapse from financial loss.” He underscored the danger with his 1989 book, Computer Viruses, Worms, Data Diddlers, Killer Programs, and Other Threats to Your System. “The reality is so alarming that it would be very difficult to exaggerate,” he wrote. “Even if no new viruses are ever created, there are already enough circulating to cause a growing problem as they reproduce. A major disaster seems inevitable.”

In 1992 McAfee told almost every major news network and newspaper that the recently discovered Michelangelo virus was a huge threat; he believed it could destroy as many as 5 million computers around the world. Sales of his software spiked, but in the end only tens of thousands of infections were reported. Though McAfee was roundly criticized for his proclamation, the criticism worked in his favor, as he explained in an email in 2000 to a computer-security blogger: “My business increased tenfold in the two months following the stories and six months later our revenues were 50 times greater and we had captured the lion’s share of the anti-virus market.”

This ability to infect others with his own paranoia made McAfee a wealthy man. In October 1992 his company debuted on Nasdaq, and his shares were suddenly worth $80 million.

The jail cell was about 10 feet by 10 feet. The concrete floor was bare and cold, the smell of urine overpowering. A plastic milk container in the corner had been hacked open and was serving as a toilet. The detention center was located in the Queen Street police station, but everybody in Belize City called it the Pisshouse. In the shadows of his cell, McAfee could see the other inmates staring at him.

No charges had been filed yet, though the police had confiscated what they said were two unlicensed firearms on McAfee’s property; they still couldn’t identify the chemicals they had found. McAfee said he had licenses for all his firearms and explained that the chemicals were part of his antibiotic research. The police weren’t buying it.

McAfee pulled 20 Belizean dollars out of his shoe and passed it through the bars to a guard. “You got a cigarette?” he asked.

McAfee hadn’t smoked for 10 years, but this seemed like a good time to start again. The guard handed him a book of matches and a pack of Benson & Hedges. McAfee lit one and took a deep drag. He was supposed to be living out a peaceful retirement in a tropical paradise. Now he was standing in jail, holding up his pants with one hand because the police had confiscated his belt. “Use this,” Allen said, offering him a dirty plastic bag.

McAfee looked confused. “You tie your pants,” Allen explained.

McAfee fed the bag through two of his belt loops, cinched it tight, and tied a knot. It worked.

“Welcome to the Pisshouse,” Allen said, smiling.

McAfee lived in Silicon Valley for nearly 20 years. Outwardly he seemed to lead a traditional life with his second wife, Judy. He was a seasoned businessman whom startups turned to for advice. Stanford Graduate School of Business wrote two case studies highlighting his strategies. He was regularly invited to lecture at the school, and he was awarded an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Roanoke College. In 2000 he started a yoga institute near his 10,000-square-foot mansion in the Colorado Rockies and wrote four books about spirituality. Even after his marriage fell apart in 2002, he was a respectable citizen who donated computers to schools and took out newspaper ads discouraging drug use.

But as he neared retirement age in the late 2000s, he started to feel like he was deluding himself. His properties, cars, and planes had become a burden, and he realized that he didn’t want the traditional rich man’s life anymore. Maintaining so many possessions was a constant distraction; it was time, he felt, to try to live more rustically. “John has always been searching for something,” says Jennifer Irwin, McAfee’s girlfriend at the time. She remembers him telling her once that he was trying to reach “the expansive horizon.”

He was also hurting financially. The economic collapse in 2008 hit him hard, and he couldn’t afford to maintain his lifestyle. By 2009 he’d auctioned off almost everything he owned, including more than 1,000 acres of land in Hawaii and the private airport he’d built in New Mexico. He was trying in part to deter people from suing him on the assumption that he had deep pockets. He was already facing a suit from a man who had tripped on his property in New Mexico. Another suit alleged that he was responsible for the death of someone who crashed during a lesson at a flight school McAfee had founded. He figured that if he were out of the country, he’d be less of a target. And he knew that, should he lose a case, it would be harder for the plaintiffs to collect money if he lived overseas.

In early 2008 McAfee started searching for property in the Caribbean. His criteria were pretty basic: He was looking for an English-speaking country near the US with beautiful beaches. He quickly came across a villa on Ambergris Caye in Belize. In the early ’90s he had visited the nation of 189,000 people and loved it. (Today the population is around 356,000.) He looked at the property on Google Earth, decided it was perfect, and bought it. The first time he saw it in person was in April 2008, when he moved in.

Soon after his arrival, McAfee began to explore the country. He was particularly fascinated by stories of a majestic Mayan city in the jungle and hired a guide to go see it. Boating up a river that snaked into the northern jungle, they stopped at a makeshift dock that jutted from the dense vegetation. McAfee jumped ashore, pushed through the vines, and caught sight of a towering, crumbling temple. Trees had grown up through the ancient buildings, encasing them in roots. Giant stone faces glared out through the foliage, mouths agape. As the men walked up the steps of the temple, the guide described how the Mayans sacrificed their prisoners, sending torrents of blood down the very stairs he and McAfee were now climbing.

McAfee was spellbound. “Belize is so raw and so clear and so in-your-face. There’s an opportunity to see something about human nature that you can’t really see in a politer society, because the purpose of society is to mask ourselves from each other,” McAfee says. The jungle, in other words, would give him the chance to find out exactly who he was, and that opportunity was irresistible.

So in February 2010 he bought two and a half acres of swampy land along the New River, 10 miles upriver from the Mayan ruins. Over the next year, he spent more than a million dollars filling in the swamp and constructing an array of thatched-roofed bungalows. While his girlfriend, Irwin, stayed on Ambergris Caye, McAfee outfitted the place like Kublai Khan’s sumptuous house of pleasure. He imported ancient Tibetan art and shipped in a baby grand piano even though he had never taken lessons. There was no Internet. At night, when the construction stopped, there was just the sound of the river flowing quietly past. He sat at the piano and played exuberant odes of his own creation. “It was magical,” he says.

He didn’t like the idea of getting old, though, so he injected testosterone into his buttocks every other week. He felt that it gave him youthful energy and kept him lean. Plus, he wasn’t looking for a quiet retirement. He started a cigar manufacturing business, a coffee distribution company, and a water taxi service that connected parts of Ambergris Caye. He continued to build more bungalows on his property even though he had no pressing need for them.

In 2010 McAfee visited a beachfront resort for lunch and met Allison Adonizio, a 31-year-old microbiologist who was on vacation. In the resort’s dining room, Adonizio explained that she was doing postgrad research at Harvard on how plants combat bacteria. She was particularly interested in plant compounds that appeared to prevent bacteria from causing infections by interfering with the way the microbes communicated. Eventually, Adonizio explained, the work might also lead to an entire new class of antibiotics.

McAfee was thrilled by the idea. He had fought off digital contagions, and now he could fight organic ones. It was perfect.

He immediately proposed they start a business to commercialize her research. Within minutes McAfee was talking in rapid-fire bursts about how this would transform the pharmaceutical industry and the entire world. They would save millions of lives and reinvent whole industries. Adonizio was astounded. “He offered me my dream job,” she says. “My own lab, assistants. It was incredible.”

Adonizio said yes on the spot, quit her research position in Boston, sold the house she had just bought, and moved to Belize. McAfee soon built a laboratory on his property and stocked it with tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment. Adonizio went to work trying to isolate new plant compounds that might be effective medicines, while McAfee touted the business to the international press.

But the methodical pace of Adonizio’s scientific research couldn’t keep up with McAfee’s enthusiasm, and his attention seemed to wander. He began spending more time in Orange Walk, a town of about 13,000 people that was 5 miles from his compound. McAfee described it in an email to friends as “the asshole of the worlddirty, hot, gray, dilapidated.” He liked to walk the town’s poorly paved streets and take pictures of the residents. “I gravitate to the world’s outcasts,” he explained in another email. “Prostitutes, thieves, the handicapped … For some reason I have always been fascinated by these subcultures.”

Though he says he never drank alcohol, he became a regular at a saloon called Lover’s Bar. The proprietor, McAfee wrote to his friends, was partial to “shatteringly bad Mexican karaoke music to which voices beyond description add a disharmony that reaches diabolic proportions.” McAfee quickly noticed that the place doubled as a whorehouse, servicing, as he put it, “cane field workers, street vendors, fishermen, farmersanyone who has managed to save up $15 for a good time.”

This was the real world he was looking for, in all its horror. The bar girls were given one Belize dollar for every beer a patron bought them. To increase their earnings, some of the women would chug beers, vomit in the restroom, and return to chug more. One reported drinking 50 beers in one day. “Ninety-nine percent of people would run because they’d fear for their safety or sanity,” McAfee says. “I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t walk away.”

McAfee started spending most mornings at Lover’s. After six months, he sent out another update to his friends: “My fragile connection with the world of polite society has, without a doubt, been severed,” he wrote. “My attire would rank me among the worst-dressed Tijuana panhandlers. My hygiene is no better. Yesterday, for the first time, I urinated in public, in broad daylight.”

McAfee knew he had entered a dangerous world. “I have no illusions,” he noted in another dispatch. “We are tainted by everything we touch.”

Evaristo “Paz” Novelo, the obese Belizean proprietor of Lover’s, liked to sit at a corner table and squint at his customers through perpetually puffy eyes. He admits to a long history of operating brothels and prides himself on his ability to figure out exactly what will please his patrons. Early on, he asked whether McAfee was looking for a woman. When McAfee said no, Novelo asked whether he wanted a boy. McAfee declined again. Then Novelo showed up at McAfee’s compound with a 16-year-old girl named Amy Emshwiller.

Emshwiller had a brassy toughness that belied her girlishness. In a matter-of-fact tone, she told McAfee that she had been abused as a child and said that her mother had forced her to sleep with dozens of men for money. “I don’t fall in love,” she told him. “That’s not my job.” She carried a gun, wore aviator sunglasses, and had on a low-cut shirt that framed her ample cleavage.

McAfee felt a swirl of emotions: lust, compassion, pity. “I am the male version of Amy,” he says. “I resonated with her story because I lived it.”

Emshwiller, however, felt nothing for him. “I know how to control men,” she says. “I told him my story because I wanted him to feel sorry for me, and it worked.” All Emshwiller saw was an easy mark. “A millionaire in freaking Belize, where people work all day just to make a dime?” she says. “Who wouldn’t want to rob him?”

McAfee soon realized that Emshwiller was dangerous and unstable, but that was part of her attractiveness. “She can pretend sanity better than any woman I have ever known,” he says. “And she can be alluring, she can be very beautiful, she can be butchlike. She’s a chameleon.” Within a month they were sleeping together, and McAfee started building a new bungalow on his property for her.

Visiting from Ambergris Caye, McAfee’s girlfriend, Jennifer Irwin, was flabbergasted. She asked him to tell the girl to leave, and when McAfee refused, Irwin left the country. McAfee hardly blames her. “What I basically did was can a solid 12-year relationship for a stark-raving madwoman,” he says. “But I honestly fell in love.”

One night Emshwiller decided to make her move. She slipped out of bed and pulled McAfee’s Smith & Wesson out of a holster hanging from an ancient Tibetan gong in his bedroom. Her plan, if it could be called that, was to kill him and make off with as much cash as she could scrounge up. She crept to the foot of the bed, aimed, and started to pull the trigger. But at the last moment she closed her eyes, and the bullet went wide, ripping through a pillow. “I guess I didn’t want to kill the bastard,” she admits.

McAfee leaped out of bed and grabbed the gun before she could fire again. She ran to the bathroom, locked herself in, and asked if he was going to shoot her. He couldn’t hear out of his left ear and was trying to get his bearings. Finally he told her he was going to take away her phone and TV for a month. She was furious.

>”I basically canned a solid 12-year relationship for a stark-raving madwoman,” McAfee says. “But I fell in love.”

“But I didn’t even kill you!” she shouted.

McAfee decided it was better for Emshwiller to have her own place about a mile down the road in the village of Carmelita. So in early 2011 he built her a house in the village. Many of the homes are made of stripped tree trunks and topped with sheets of corrugated iron; 10 percent have no electricity. The village has a handful of dirt roads populated with colonies of biting ants and a grassy soccer field surrounded by palm trees and stray dogs. The town’s biggest source of income: sand from a pit by the river that locals sell to construction companies.

Emshwiller, who had grown up in the area, warned McAfee that the village was not what it appeared to be. She told him that the tiny, impoverished town of 1,600 was in fact a major shipment site for drugs moving overland into Mexico, 35 miles to the north. As Emshwiller described it, this village in McAfee’s backyard was crawling with narco-traffickers.

It was a revelation perfectly tailored to feed into McAfee’s latent paranoia. “I was massively disturbed,” he says. “I fell in love with the river, but then I discovered the horrors of Carmelita.”

He asked Emshwiller what he should do. “She wanted me to shoot all the men in the town,” McAfee says. It occurred to him that she might be using him to exact revenge on people who had wronged her, so he asked the denizens of Lover’s for more information. They told him stories of killings, torture, and gang wars in the area. For McAfee, the town began to take on mythic proportions. “Carmelita was literally the Wild West,” he says. “I didn’t realize that 2 miles away was the most corrupt village on the planet.”

He decided to go on the offensive. After all, he was a smart Silicon Valley entrepreneur who had launched a multibillion-dollar company. Even though he had lost a lot of money in the financial crisis, he was still wealthy. Maybe he couldn’t maintain multiple estates around the world, but surely he could clean up one village.

He started by solving some obvious problems. Carmelita had no police station, so McAfee bought a small cement house and hired workers to install floor-to-ceiling iron bars. Then he told the national cops responsible for the area to start arresting people. The police protested that they were ill-equipped for the job, so McAfee furnished them with imported M16s, boots, pepper spray, stun guns, and batons. Eventually he started paying officers to patrol during their off-hours. The police, in essence, became McAfee’s private army, and he began issuing orders. “What I’d like you to do is go into Carmelita and start getting information for me,” he told the officers on his payroll. “Who’s dealing drugs, and where are the drugs coming from?”

When a 22-year-old villager nicknamed Burger fired a gun outside Emshwiller’s house in November 2011, McAfee decided he couldn’t rely on others to get the work done; he needed to take action himself. An eyewitness told him that Burger had shot at a motorcycleit looked like a drug deal gone bad. Burger’s sister said that he was firing at stray dogs that attacked him. Either way, McAfee was incensed. He drove his gray Dodge pickup to the family’s wooden shack near the river and strode into the muddy yard with Emshwiller as his backup (she was carrying a matte-black air rifle with a large scope). Burger wasn’t there, but his mother, sister, and brother-in-law were. “I’m giving you a last chance here,” McAfee said, holding his Smith & Wesson. “Your brother will be a dead man if he doesn’t turn in that gun. It doesn’t matter where he goes.”

“It was like he thought he was in a movie,” says Amelia Allen, the shooter’s sister. But she wasn’t going to argue with McAfee. Her mother pulled the gun out of a bush and handed it to him.

Soon, McAfee was everywhere. He pulled over a suspicious car on the road only to discover that it was filled with elderly people and children. He offered a new flatscreen TV to a small-time marijuana peddler on the condition that the man stop dealing (the guy accepted, though the TV soon broke). “It was like John Wayne came to town,” says Elvis Reynolds, former chair of the village council.

When I visited the village, Reynolds and others admitted that there were fights and petty theft but insisted that Carmelita was simply an impoverished little village, not a major transit point for international narco-traffickers, as McAfee alleges. The village leaders, for their part, were dumbfounded. Many were unfamiliar with antivirus software and had never heard of John McAfee. “I thought he would come by, introduce himself, and explain what he was doing here, but he never did,” says Feliciano Salam, a soft-spoken resident who has served on the village council for two years. “He just showed up and started telling us what to do.”

The fact that he was running a laboratory on his property only added to the mystery. Adonizio was continuing to research botanical compounds, but McAfee didn’t want to tell the locals anything about it. In part he was worried about corporate espionage. He had seen white men in suits standing beside their cars on the heavily trafficked toll bridge near his property and was sure they were spies. “Do you realize that Glaxo, Bayer, every single drug company in the world sent people out there?” McAfee says. “I was working on a project that had some paradigm-shifting impact on the drug world. It would be insanity to talk about it.”

McAfee became convinced that he was being watched at all hours. Across the river, he saw people lurking in the forest and would surveil them with binoculars. When Emshwiller visited, she never noticed anybody but repeatedly told McAfee to be careful. She heard rumors that gang members were out to “jack” himrob and kill him. On one occasion, she recorded a village councilman discussing how to dispatch McAfee with a grenade. McAfee was wowed by her street smarts”She is brilliant beyond description,” he saysand relished the fact that she had come full circle and was now defending him. “He got himself into a very entangled, dysfunctional situation,” says Katrina Ancona, the wife of McAfee’s partner in the water taxi business. “We kept telling him to get out.”

Adonizio was also worried about McAfee’s behavior. He had initially told her that the area was perfectly safe, but now she was surrounded by armed men. When she went to talk to McAfee in his bungalow, she noticed garbage bags filled with cash and blister packs of pharmaceuticals, including Viagra. She lived just outside of Carmelita and had never had any problems. If there was any danger, she felt that it was coming from McAfee. “He turned into a very scary person,” she says. She wasn’t comfortable living there anymore and left the country.

George Lovell, CEO of the Ministry of National Security, was also concerned that McAfee was buying guns and hiring guards. “When I see people doing this, my question is, what are you trying to protect?” Lovell says. Marco Vidal, head of the Gang Suppression Unit, concurred. “We got information to suggest that there may have been a meth laboratory at his location,” he wrote in an email. “Given the intelligence on McAfee, there was no scope for making efforts to resolve the matter.” He proposed a raid, and his superiors approved it.

When members of the GSU swept into McAfee’s compound on April 30, 2012, they found no meth. They found no illegal drugs of any kind. They did confiscate 10 weapons and 320 rounds of ammunition. Three of McAfee’s security guards were operating without a security guard license, and charges were filed against them. McAfee was accused of possessing an unlicensed firearm and spent a night in the Queen Street jail, aka the Pisshouse.

But the next morning, the charges were dropped and McAfee was released. He was convinced, however, that his war on drugs had made him some powerful enemies.

He had reason to worry. According to Vidal, McAfee was still a “person of interest,” primarily because the authorities still couldn’t explain what he was up to. “The GSU makes no apologies for deeming a person in control of a laboratory, with no approval for manufacturing any substance, having gang connections and heavily armed security guards, as a person of interest,” Vidal wrote.

Vidal’s suspicions may not have been far off. Two years after moving to Belize, McAfee began posting dozens of queries on Bluelight.ru, a drug discussion forum. He explained that he had started to experiment with MDPV, a psychoactive stimulant found in bath salts, a class of designer drugs that have effects similar to amphetamines and cocaine. “When I first started doing this I accidently got a few drops on my fingers while handling a used flask and didn’t sleep for four days,” McAfee posted. “I had visual and auditory hallucinations and the worst paranoia of my life.”

McAfee indicated, though, that the heightened sexuality justified the drug’s risks and claimed to have produced 50 pounds of MDPV in 2010. “I have distributed over 3,000 doses exclusively in this country,” he wrote. But neither Emshwiller, Adonizio, nor anyone else I spoke with observed him making the stuff. So how could he have produced 50 pounds without anyone noticing?

McAfee has a simple explanation: The whole thing was an elaborate prank aimed at tricking drug users into trying a notoriously noxious drug. “It was the most tongue-in-cheek thing in the fucking world,” he says, and denies ever taking the substance. “If I’m gonna do drugs, I’m gonna do something that I know is good,” he says. “I’m gonna grab some mushrooms, number one, and maybe get some really fine cocaine.

Read the rest here:

John McAfee Fled to Belize, But He Couldnt … – WIRED

The McAfee guide to uninstalling McAfee Antivirus | John …

Theres days when I see despicable, disgusting shit like this and realize that my 10 years I spent working for a huge corporation would have been much more fun had I worked for John instead, if only my manager knew the proper straw for bath salts, if he had a magical collection of self spawning guns, I might have just, maybepossibly not wasted 10 years of my life..what a shit showanyways, that was like watching a train plow into a huge chicken coop full of babies, I couldnt stop watching, and when it was over, I couldnt stop laughing.

Today WAS a crappy day, today sucked..until I watched that, thanks John, I needed that, your a sick man, I love it when I see someone act out the shit that goes on in my head.

Jason (still trapped in corporate hell, just a smaller corporate hell for 1/2 the money)

Read the original here:

The McAfee guide to uninstalling McAfee Antivirus | John …

John McAfee Says He’s No Longer Pitching ICOs "Due To SEC …

Anyone who understands the difference between a Free Republic with markets and the UCC Criminal Fraud UNITED STATES, CORP. INC. is de facto considered a Threat to their chicanery.

Lyn Ulbricht, mother of Ross Ulbricht, joins us today to discuss the arrest, conviction and unconscionable double life plus 40 year sentence of her son in the Silk Road case. We discuss the case against Ross and the exculpatory information that was withheld from the jury (and sometimes even the defence) during his trial. We also talk about the loss of his appeal in the 2nd District court and where theFreeRoss.orgcampaign goes from here.

https://www.corbettreport.com/interview-1285-lyn-ulbricht-updates-us-on

For as long as the Populace continues to CONSENT to the Board of Directors aka “CONgress” & its CEO aka “President” within their 10 square mile Criminal Fraud DC District of Criminals.

The raping, murder & pillaging will continue. And, the Custom wearing jack booted thugs will continue to enforce the Fraud.

You,

Black Laws Dictionary, CONSENT to it by birth, silence, signature etc…

They’re all involved in an elaborate scheme based on contrat law & Criminal deceit to Fraud The American People by CONSENT (Black Law’s Dictionary) & being an accessory to the deceit & Criminal Fraud by contracting with the Criminal State.

We are “Governed” Indoctrinated into a Political, Educational, Religious & Economic UNITED STATES, CORP based on contract law which is based on Criminal Fraud, deceit & illusion.

The Private Corp UNITED STATES, CORP uses the cover of being a functional Government when in reality they are not. Much like the Criminal Federal Reserve uses The “Federal” in their name & use it as cover to give the illusion that they are a branch of the US Government when they are not.

Through bankruptcies, Criminal Contract Fraud & deceit the Charlatans have incrementally incorporated the US as well as your souls (birth cert) which are securitized via the Criminal Federal Reserve through to the IMF.

They’re functioning off corporate version of the THE CONSTITUTION. It’s the reason why The Global Criminal Oligarch Cabal Bankster Intelligence Crime Syndicate continues to lie, cheat, deceit, rape & pillage with impunity.

The only power the have over you is with CONSENT (Black Law’s Dictionary). Pay no Taxes. Peaceful Non-Participation, Non-Compliance & being an accessory into their Criminal system/s based on Criminal Fraud, Debt Bondage & Enslavement.

Vote with Your Dollars. Seek Alternative Systems Decentralized outside the Control of the Borg. They’re out there. Peer to Peer. Seek them.

It’s because in times of trouble, the circle of trust contracts.

Smaller and smaller down to localities, and families. Local.

Trust in the federal government is collapsing/contracting along with other large institutions.

Smaller circle of trust = decentralization.

Long Agorism.

AGORISM:The ideology which asserts that the Libertarian philosophical position occurs in the real world in practice as Counter-Economics (see below).

AGORIST:Conscious practitioner of Counter-Economics; older terms include Left Libertarian and New Libertarian.

COUNTER-ECONOMICS:The study and/or practice of all human action which is forbidden by the State, including violation or non-compliance with regulations; sale and delivery of controlled or forbidden substances; ignoring of all borders and internal state boundaries, customs, tariffs, duties and taxes; evasion of taxes, tributes, levies and assizes; non-compliance with personal regulation such.

James Corbett:?The Most Dangerous Philosophy the Oligarchs Do Not Want You To Know.

https://www.corbettreport.com/the-most-dangerous-philosophy-what-the-oli…

Read the rest here:

John McAfee Says He’s No Longer Pitching ICOs "Due To SEC …

The New Fight | John McAfee

I have retained Telsforo Guerra, former Attorney General for the country of Guatemala, to assist in my fight against the Government of Belize. Mr. Guerra is one of most prominent attorneys in Guatemala and, as a shared border neighbor, is well versed in the intricate system of corruption with the Belizean Government. Mr. Guerra is Samanthas uncle.

I have, in the past three weeks, had no contact with the American Embassy in Belize. Since many employees of the Embassy are Belizean nationals, I did not feel safe in communicating with them. Now that I am in Guatemala, and in a safe harbor, I will reach out to the Embassy here.

To the Prime Minister of Belize I make the following offer: I will agree to meet you in a neutral country to discuss our mutual issues. It is entirely possible that you have little or no knowledge of the level of corruption being propagated throughout every branch of your government. I will turn over to you thousands of hours of video and audio as proof, providing that we meet as gentlemen and are mutually convinced of our honesty.

To the family of Gregory Faul: I had nothing to do with his death. I have lost five close family members in my 67 years and I know your suffering.

To the Belizean Police: I will answer any questions that you may have over the phone. If I am indeed merely wanted for questioning, this should suffice.

To my supporters: I have posted many short posts over the past three days during the setup and execution of my exit from Belize. The information was intended for my pursuers. I regret that it may have confused or alarmed many of you. I hope you will consider the circumstances and forgive me.

To my freinds: I will be in touch soon. I have not slept for 24 hours. I am in non-stop meetings and strategizing our next steps. I will call and email you soon. I love you all.

__________________________________________________

Two of my friends are still being held in prison on trumped up charges. They are:

Eddie Ancona:

Cassian Chavarria:

They were charged and have been imprisoned because three legally licensed firearms were found in the incorrect rooms on my property (stretching the law to the extreme). I would ask you to please email the following and demand their release:

Link:

The New Fight | John McAfee

John McAfee Fled to Belize, But He Couldnt Escape Himself

On November 12, 2012, Belizean police announced that they were seeking John McAfee for questioning in connection with the murder of his neighbor. Six months earlier, I began an in-depth investigation into McAfee’s life. This is the chronicle of that investigation.

Twelve weeks before the murder, John McAfee flicks open the cylinder of his Smith & Wesson revolver and empties the bullets, letting them clatter onto the table between us. A few tumble to the floor. McAfee is 66, lean and fit, with veins bulging out of his forearms. His hair is bleached blond in patches, like a cheetah, and tattoos wrap around his arms and shoulders.

More than 25 years ago, he formed McAfee Associates, a maker of antivirus software that went on to become immensely popular and was acquired by Intel in 2010 for $7.68 billion. Now he’s holed up in a bungalow on his island estate, about 15 miles off the coast of mainland Belize. The shades are drawn so I can see only a sliver of the white sand beach and turquoise water outside. The table is piled with boxes of ammunition, fake IDs bearing his photo, Frontiersman bear deterrent, and a single blue baby pacifier.

– Better Than Human

McAfee picks a bullet off the floor and fixes me with a wide-eyed, manic intensity. “This is a bullet, right?” he says in the congenial Southern accent that has stuck with him since his boyhood in Virginia.

“Let’s put the gun back,” I tell him. I’d come here to try to understand why the government of Belize was accusing him of assembling a private army and entering the drug trade. It seemed implausible that a wildly successful tech entrepreneur would disappear into the Central American jungle and become a narco-trafficker. Now I’m not so sure.

But he explains that the accusations are a fabrication. “Maybe what happened didn’t actually happen,” he says, staring hard at me. “Can I do a demonstration?”

He loads the bullet into the gleaming silver revolver, spins the cylinder.

“This scares you, right?” he says. Then he puts the gun to his head.

My heart rate kicks up; it takes me a second to respond. “Yeah, I’m scared,” I admit. “We don’t have to do this.”

“I know we don’t,” he says, the muzzle pressed against his temple. And then he pulls the trigger. Nothing happens. He pulls it three more times in rapid succession. There are only five chambers.

“Reholster the gun,” I demand.

He keeps his eyes fixed on me and pulls the trigger a fifth time. Still nothing. With the gun still to his head, he starts pulling the trigger incessantly. “I can do this all day long,” he says to the sound of the hammer clicking. “I can do this a thousand times. Ten thousand times. Nothing will ever happen. Why? Because you have missed something. You are operating on an assumption about reality that is wrong.”

It’s the same thing, he argues, with the government’s accusations. They were a smoke screenan attempt to distort realitybut there’s one thing everybody agrees on: The trouble really got rolling in the humid predawn murk of April 30, 2012.

It was a Monday, about 4:50 am. A television flickered in the guard station of McAfee’s newly built, 2.5-acre jungle outpost on the Belizean mainland. At the far end of the property, a muddy river flowed slowly past. Crocodiles lurked on the opposite bank, and howler monkeys screeched. In the guard station, a drunk night watchman gaped at Blond Ambition, a Madonna concert DVD.

The guard heard the trucks first. Then boots hitting the ground and the gate rattling as the lock was snapped with bolt cutters. He stood up and looked outside. Dozens of men in green camouflage were streaming into the compound. Many were members of Belize’s Gang Suppression Unit, an elite force trained in part by the FBI and armed with Taurus MT-9 submachine guns. Formed in 2010, their mission was to dismantle criminal organizations.

The guard observed the scene silently for a moment and then sat back down. After all, the Madonna concert wasn’t over yet. Outside, flashlight beams streaked across the property. “This is the police,” a voice blared over a bullhorn. “Everyone out!”

Deep in the compound, McAfee burst out of a thatched-roof bungalow that stood on stilts 20 feet off the ground. He was naked and held a revolver. Things had changed since his days as a high-flying software tycoon. By 2009 he had sold almost everything he ownedestates in Hawaii, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas as well as his 10-passenger planeand moved into the jungle. He announced that he was searching for natural antibiotics in the rain forest and constructed a mysterious laboratory on his property. Now his jungle stronghold was under attack. The commandos were converging on him. There were 31 of them; he was outgunned and outmanned.

McAfee walked back inside to the 17-year-old in his bed. She was sitting up, naked, her long frizzy hair falling around her shoulders and framing the stars tattooed on her chest. She was terrified.

As the GSU stormed up the stairs, he put on some shorts, laid down his gun, and walked out with his hands up. The commandos collided with McAfee at the top of the stairs, slammed him against the wall, and handcuffed him.

“You’re being detained on suspicion of producing methamphetamine,” one of the cops said.

McAfee twisted to look at his accuser. “That’s a startling hypothesis, sir,” he responded. “Because I haven’t sold drugs since 1983.”

BRIAN FINKE

Nineteen eighty-three was a pivotal year for McAfee. He was 38 and director of engineering at Omex, a company that built information storage systems in Santa Clara, California. He was also selling cocaine to his subordinates and snorting massive amounts himself. When he got too high to focus, he’d take a quaalude. If he started to fall asleep at his desk, he’d snort some more coke to wake up. McAfee had trouble making it through the day and spent his afternoons drinking scotch to even out the tumult in his head.

He’d been a mess for a long time. He grew up in Roanoke, Virginia, where his father was a road surveyor and his mother a bank teller. His father, McAfee recalls, was a heavy drinker and “a very unhappy man” who McAfee says beat him and his mother severely. When McAfee was 15, his father shot himself. “Every day I wake up with him,” McAfee says. “Every relationship I have, he’s by my side; every mistrust, he is the negotiator of that mistrust. So my life is fucked.”

McAfee started drinking heavily his first year at Roanoke College and supported himself by selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door. He would knock and announce that the lucky resident had won an absolutely free subscription; all they had to do was pay a small shipping and handling fee. “So, in fact, I am explaining to them why it’s not free and why they are going to pay for it. But the ruse worked,” McAfee recalls. He learned that confidence was all that mattered. He smiled, fixed them with his penetrating blue-eyed gaze, and hit them with a nonstop stream of patter. “I made a fortune,” he says.

He spent his money on booze but managed to graduate and start a PhD in mathematics at Northeast Louisiana State College in 1968. He got kicked out for sleeping with one of his undergraduate students (whom he later married) and ended up coding old-school punch-card programs for Univac in Bristol, Tennessee. That didn’t last long, either. He was arrested for buying marijuana, and though his lawyer got him off without a conviction, he was summarily fired.

Still, he had learned enough to gin up an impressive, totally fake rsum and used it to get a job at Missouri Pacific Railroad in St. Louis. It was 1969 and the company was attempting to use an IBM computer to schedule trains. After six months, McAfee’s system began to churn out optimized train-routing patterns. Unfortunately, he had also discovered LSD. He would drop acid in the morning, go to work, and route trains all day. One morning he decided to experiment with another psychedelic called DMT. He did a line, felt nothing, and decided to snort a whole bag of the orangish powder. “Within an hour my mind was shattered,” McAfee says.

People asked him questions, but he didn’t understand what they were saying. The computer was spitting out train schedules to the moon; he couldn’t make sense of it. He ended up behind a garbage can in downtown St. Louis, hearing voices and desperately hoping that nobody would look at him. He never went back to Missouri Pacific. Part of him believes he’s still on that trip, that everything since has been one giant hallucination and that one day he’ll snap out of it and find himself back on his couch in St. Louis, listening to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.

From then on he felt like he was always one step away from a total breakdown, which finally came at Omex in 1983. He was snorting lines of coke off his desk most mornings, polishing off a bottle of scotch every day, and living in constant fear that he would run out of drugs. His wife had left him, he’d given away his dog, and in the wake of what he calls a mutual agreement, he left Omex. He ended up shuttered in his house, with no friends, doing drugs alone for days on end and wondering whether he should kill himself just as his father had. “My life was total hell,” he says.

Finally he went to a therapist, who suggested he go to Alcoholics Anonymous. He attended a meeting and started sobbing. Someone gave him a hug and told him he wasn’t alone.

“That’s when life really began for me,” he says.

He says he’s been sober ever since.

When the Madonna concert ended, McAfee’s drunken guard finally emerged from his station and strolled over to find out what was going on. The police quickly surrounded him. They knew who he was: Austin “Tino” Allen had been convicted 28 times for crimes ranging from robbery to assault, and he had spent most of his life in and out of prison.

The police lined everybody up against a rock wall as the sun rose. A low, heavy heat filled the jungle. Everybody began to sweat when the police fanned out to search the property. As an officer headed toward an outlying building, one of McAfee’s dogs cut him off, growled, and, according to police, went in for an attack. The cop immediately shot the dog through the rib cage.

“What the fuck!” McAfee screamed. “That’s my dog.”

The police ignored him. They left the dead dog in the dirt while they rummaged through the compound. They found shotguns, pistols, a huge cache of ammunition, and hundreds of bottles of chemicals they couldn’t identify. McAfee and the others were left in the sun for hours. (GSU commander Marco Vidal claims they were under the shade of a large tree.) By the time the police announced that they were taking several of them to jail, McAfee says his face was turning pink with sunburn. He and Allen were loaded into the back of a pickup. The truck tore off, heading southeast toward Belize City at 80 miles per hour.

McAfee tried to stay calm, but he had to admit that this was a bad situation. He had walked away from a luxurious lifemansions on multiple continents, sports cars, a private planeonly to end up in the back of a pickup cuffed to a notoriously violent man. Allen pulled McAfee close so he could be heard over the roar of the wind. McAfee tensed. “Boss, I just want to say that it’s an honor to be here with you,” Allen shouted. “You must be a really important person for them to send all these men to get you.”

In 1986 two brothers in Pakistan coded the first known computer virus aimed at PCs. They weren’t trying to destroy anything; it was simple curiosity. They wanted to see how far their creation would travel, so they included their names, addresses, and telephone numbers in the code of the virus. They named it Brain after their computer services shop in Lahore.

Within a year the phone at the shop was ringing: Brain had infected computers around the world. At the time, McAfee had been sober for four years and gotten a security clearance to work on a classified voice-recognition program at Lockheed in Sunnyvale, California. But then he came across an article in the San Jose Mercury News about the spread of the Pakistani Brain virus in the US.

He found the idea terrifying. Nobody knew for sure at the time why these intrusions were occurring. It reminded him of his childhood, when his father would hit him for no reason. “I didn’t know why he did it,” McAfee says. “I just knew a beating could happen any time.” As a boy, he wasn’t able to fight back. Now, faced with a new form of attack that was hard to rationalize, he decided to do something.

He started McAfee Associates out of his 700-square-foot home in Santa Clara. His business plan: Create an antivirus program and give it away on electronic bulletin boards. McAfee didn’t expect users to pay. His real aim was to get them to think the software was so necessary that they would install it on their computers at work. They did. Within five years, half of the Fortune 100 companies were running it, and they felt compelled to pay a license fee. By 1990, McAfee was making $5 million a year with very little overhead or investment.

His success was due in part to his ability to spread his own paranoia, the fear that there was always somebody about to attack. Soon after launching his company, he bought a 27-foot Winnebago, loaded it with computers, and announced that he had formed the first “antivirus paramedic unit.” When he got a call from someone experiencing computer problems in the San Jose area, he drove to the site and searched for “virus residue.” Like a good door-to-door salesman, there was a kernel of truth to his pitch, but he amplified and embellished the facts to sell his product. The RV therefore was not just an RV; it was “the first specially customized unit to wage effective, on-the-spot counterattacks in the virus war.”

It was great publicity, executed with drama and sly wit. By the end of 1988, he was on The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour telling the country that viruses were causing so much damage, some companies were “near collapse from financial loss.” He underscored the danger with his 1989 book, Computer Viruses, Worms, Data Diddlers, Killer Programs, and Other Threats to Your System. “The reality is so alarming that it would be very difficult to exaggerate,” he wrote. “Even if no new viruses are ever created, there are already enough circulating to cause a growing problem as they reproduce. A major disaster seems inevitable.”

In 1992 McAfee told almost every major news network and newspaper that the recently discovered Michelangelo virus was a huge threat; he believed it could destroy as many as 5 million computers around the world. Sales of his software spiked, but in the end only tens of thousands of infections were reported. Though McAfee was roundly criticized for his proclamation, the criticism worked in his favor, as he explained in an email in 2000 to a computer-security blogger: “My business increased tenfold in the two months following the stories and six months later our revenues were 50 times greater and we had captured the lion’s share of the anti-virus market.”

This ability to infect others with his own paranoia made McAfee a wealthy man. In October 1992 his company debuted on Nasdaq, and his shares were suddenly worth $80 million.

The jail cell was about 10 feet by 10 feet. The concrete floor was bare and cold, the smell of urine overpowering. A plastic milk container in the corner had been hacked open and was serving as a toilet. The detention center was located in the Queen Street police station, but everybody in Belize City called it the Pisshouse. In the shadows of his cell, McAfee could see the other inmates staring at him.

No charges had been filed yet, though the police had confiscated what they said were two unlicensed firearms on McAfee’s property; they still couldn’t identify the chemicals they had found. McAfee said he had licenses for all his firearms and explained that the chemicals were part of his antibiotic research. The police weren’t buying it.

McAfee pulled 20 Belizean dollars out of his shoe and passed it through the bars to a guard. “You got a cigarette?” he asked.

McAfee hadn’t smoked for 10 years, but this seemed like a good time to start again. The guard handed him a book of matches and a pack of Benson & Hedges. McAfee lit one and took a deep drag. He was supposed to be living out a peaceful retirement in a tropical paradise. Now he was standing in jail, holding up his pants with one hand because the police had confiscated his belt. “Use this,” Allen said, offering him a dirty plastic bag.

McAfee looked confused. “You tie your pants,” Allen explained.

McAfee fed the bag through two of his belt loops, cinched it tight, and tied a knot. It worked.

“Welcome to the Pisshouse,” Allen said, smiling.

McAfee lived in Silicon Valley for nearly 20 years. Outwardly he seemed to lead a traditional life with his second wife, Judy. He was a seasoned businessman whom startups turned to for advice. Stanford Graduate School of Business wrote two case studies highlighting his strategies. He was regularly invited to lecture at the school, and he was awarded an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Roanoke College. In 2000 he started a yoga institute near his 10,000-square-foot mansion in the Colorado Rockies and wrote four books about spirituality. Even after his marriage fell apart in 2002, he was a respectable citizen who donated computers to schools and took out newspaper ads discouraging drug use.

But as he neared retirement age in the late 2000s, he started to feel like he was deluding himself. His properties, cars, and planes had become a burden, and he realized that he didn’t want the traditional rich man’s life anymore. Maintaining so many possessions was a constant distraction; it was time, he felt, to try to live more rustically. “John has always been searching for something,” says Jennifer Irwin, McAfee’s girlfriend at the time. She remembers him telling her once that he was trying to reach “the expansive horizon.”

He was also hurting financially. The economic collapse in 2008 hit him hard, and he couldn’t afford to maintain his lifestyle. By 2009 he’d auctioned off almost everything he owned, including more than 1,000 acres of land in Hawaii and the private airport he’d built in New Mexico. He was trying in part to deter people from suing him on the assumption that he had deep pockets. He was already facing a suit from a man who had tripped on his property in New Mexico. Another suit alleged that he was responsible for the death of someone who crashed during a lesson at a flight school McAfee had founded. He figured that if he were out of the country, he’d be less of a target. And he knew that, should he lose a case, it would be harder for the plaintiffs to collect money if he lived overseas.

In early 2008 McAfee started searching for property in the Caribbean. His criteria were pretty basic: He was looking for an English-speaking country near the US with beautiful beaches. He quickly came across a villa on Ambergris Caye in Belize. In the early ’90s he had visited the nation of 189,000 people and loved it. (Today the population is around 356,000.) He looked at the property on Google Earth, decided it was perfect, and bought it. The first time he saw it in person was in April 2008, when he moved in.

Soon after his arrival, McAfee began to explore the country. He was particularly fascinated by stories of a majestic Mayan city in the jungle and hired a guide to go see it. Boating up a river that snaked into the northern jungle, they stopped at a makeshift dock that jutted from the dense vegetation. McAfee jumped ashore, pushed through the vines, and caught sight of a towering, crumbling temple. Trees had grown up through the ancient buildings, encasing them in roots. Giant stone faces glared out through the foliage, mouths agape. As the men walked up the steps of the temple, the guide described how the Mayans sacrificed their prisoners, sending torrents of blood down the very stairs he and McAfee were now climbing.

McAfee was spellbound. “Belize is so raw and so clear and so in-your-face. There’s an opportunity to see something about human nature that you can’t really see in a politer society, because the purpose of society is to mask ourselves from each other,” McAfee says. The jungle, in other words, would give him the chance to find out exactly who he was, and that opportunity was irresistible.

So in February 2010 he bought two and a half acres of swampy land along the New River, 10 miles upriver from the Mayan ruins. Over the next year, he spent more than a million dollars filling in the swamp and constructing an array of thatched-roofed bungalows. While his girlfriend, Irwin, stayed on Ambergris Caye, McAfee outfitted the place like Kublai Khan’s sumptuous house of pleasure. He imported ancient Tibetan art and shipped in a baby grand piano even though he had never taken lessons. There was no Internet. At night, when the construction stopped, there was just the sound of the river flowing quietly past. He sat at the piano and played exuberant odes of his own creation. “It was magical,” he says.

He didn’t like the idea of getting old, though, so he injected testosterone into his buttocks every other week. He felt that it gave him youthful energy and kept him lean. Plus, he wasn’t looking for a quiet retirement. He started a cigar manufacturing business, a coffee distribution company, and a water taxi service that connected parts of Ambergris Caye. He continued to build more bungalows on his property even though he had no pressing need for them.

In 2010 McAfee visited a beachfront resort for lunch and met Allison Adonizio, a 31-year-old microbiologist who was on vacation. In the resort’s dining room, Adonizio explained that she was doing postgrad research at Harvard on how plants combat bacteria. She was particularly interested in plant compounds that appeared to prevent bacteria from causing infections by interfering with the way the microbes communicated. Eventually, Adonizio explained, the work might also lead to an entire new class of antibiotics.

McAfee was thrilled by the idea. He had fought off digital contagions, and now he could fight organic ones. It was perfect.

He immediately proposed they start a business to commercialize her research. Within minutes McAfee was talking in rapid-fire bursts about how this would transform the pharmaceutical industry and the entire world. They would save millions of lives and reinvent whole industries. Adonizio was astounded. “He offered me my dream job,” she says. “My own lab, assistants. It was incredible.”

Adonizio said yes on the spot, quit her research position in Boston, sold the house she had just bought, and moved to Belize. McAfee soon built a laboratory on his property and stocked it with tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment. Adonizio went to work trying to isolate new plant compounds that might be effective medicines, while McAfee touted the business to the international press.

But the methodical pace of Adonizio’s scientific research couldn’t keep up with McAfee’s enthusiasm, and his attention seemed to wander. He began spending more time in Orange Walk, a town of about 13,000 people that was 5 miles from his compound. McAfee described it in an email to friends as “the asshole of the worlddirty, hot, gray, dilapidated.” He liked to walk the town’s poorly paved streets and take pictures of the residents. “I gravitate to the world’s outcasts,” he explained in another email. “Prostitutes, thieves, the handicapped … For some reason I have always been fascinated by these subcultures.”

Though he says he never drank alcohol, he became a regular at a saloon called Lover’s Bar. The proprietor, McAfee wrote to his friends, was partial to “shatteringly bad Mexican karaoke music to which voices beyond description add a disharmony that reaches diabolic proportions.” McAfee quickly noticed that the place doubled as a whorehouse, servicing, as he put it, “cane field workers, street vendors, fishermen, farmersanyone who has managed to save up $15 for a good time.”

This was the real world he was looking for, in all its horror. The bar girls were given one Belize dollar for every beer a patron bought them. To increase their earnings, some of the women would chug beers, vomit in the restroom, and return to chug more. One reported drinking 50 beers in one day. “Ninety-nine percent of people would run because they’d fear for their safety or sanity,” McAfee says. “I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t walk away.”

McAfee started spending most mornings at Lover’s. After six months, he sent out another update to his friends: “My fragile connection with the world of polite society has, without a doubt, been severed,” he wrote. “My attire would rank me among the worst-dressed Tijuana panhandlers. My hygiene is no better. Yesterday, for the first time, I urinated in public, in broad daylight.”

McAfee knew he had entered a dangerous world. “I have no illusions,” he noted in another dispatch. “We are tainted by everything we touch.”

Evaristo “Paz” Novelo, the obese Belizean proprietor of Lover’s, liked to sit at a corner table and squint at his customers through perpetually puffy eyes. He admits to a long history of operating brothels and prides himself on his ability to figure out exactly what will please his patrons. Early on, he asked whether McAfee was looking for a woman. When McAfee said no, Novelo asked whether he wanted a boy. McAfee declined again. Then Novelo showed up at McAfee’s compound with a 16-year-old girl named Amy Emshwiller.

Emshwiller had a brassy toughness that belied her girlishness. In a matter-of-fact tone, she told McAfee that she had been abused as a child and said that her mother had forced her to sleep with dozens of men for money. “I don’t fall in love,” she told him. “That’s not my job.” She carried a gun, wore aviator sunglasses, and had on a low-cut shirt that framed her ample cleavage.

McAfee felt a swirl of emotions: lust, compassion, pity. “I am the male version of Amy,” he says. “I resonated with her story because I lived it.”

Emshwiller, however, felt nothing for him. “I know how to control men,” she says. “I told him my story because I wanted him to feel sorry for me, and it worked.” All Emshwiller saw was an easy mark. “A millionaire in freaking Belize, where people work all day just to make a dime?” she says. “Who wouldn’t want to rob him?”

McAfee soon realized that Emshwiller was dangerous and unstable, but that was part of her attractiveness. “She can pretend sanity better than any woman I have ever known,” he says. “And she can be alluring, she can be very beautiful, she can be butchlike. She’s a chameleon.” Within a month they were sleeping together, and McAfee started building a new bungalow on his property for her.

Visiting from Ambergris Caye, McAfee’s girlfriend, Jennifer Irwin, was flabbergasted. She asked him to tell the girl to leave, and when McAfee refused, Irwin left the country. McAfee hardly blames her. “What I basically did was can a solid 12-year relationship for a stark-raving madwoman,” he says. “But I honestly fell in love.”

One night Emshwiller decided to make her move. She slipped out of bed and pulled McAfee’s Smith & Wesson out of a holster hanging from an ancient Tibetan gong in his bedroom. Her plan, if it could be called that, was to kill him and make off with as much cash as she could scrounge up. She crept to the foot of the bed, aimed, and started to pull the trigger. But at the last moment she closed her eyes, and the bullet went wide, ripping through a pillow. “I guess I didn’t want to kill the bastard,” she admits.

McAfee leaped out of bed and grabbed the gun before she could fire again. She ran to the bathroom, locked herself in, and asked if he was going to shoot her. He couldn’t hear out of his left ear and was trying to get his bearings. Finally he told her he was going to take away her phone and TV for a month. She was furious.

>”I basically canned a solid 12-year relationship for a stark-raving madwoman,” McAfee says. “But I fell in love.”

“But I didn’t even kill you!” she shouted.

McAfee decided it was better for Emshwiller to have her own place about a mile down the road in the village of Carmelita. So in early 2011 he built her a house in the village. Many of the homes are made of stripped tree trunks and topped with sheets of corrugated iron; 10 percent have no electricity. The village has a handful of dirt roads populated with colonies of biting ants and a grassy soccer field surrounded by palm trees and stray dogs. The town’s biggest source of income: sand from a pit by the river that locals sell to construction companies.

Emshwiller, who had grown up in the area, warned McAfee that the village was not what it appeared to be. She told him that the tiny, impoverished town of 1,600 was in fact a major shipment site for drugs moving overland into Mexico, 35 miles to the north. As Emshwiller described it, this village in McAfee’s backyard was crawling with narco-traffickers.

It was a revelation perfectly tailored to feed into McAfee’s latent paranoia. “I was massively disturbed,” he says. “I fell in love with the river, but then I discovered the horrors of Carmelita.”

He asked Emshwiller what he should do. “She wanted me to shoot all the men in the town,” McAfee says. It occurred to him that she might be using him to exact revenge on people who had wronged her, so he asked the denizens of Lover’s for more information. They told him stories of killings, torture, and gang wars in the area. For McAfee, the town began to take on mythic proportions. “Carmelita was literally the Wild West,” he says. “I didn’t realize that 2 miles away was the most corrupt village on the planet.”

He decided to go on the offensive. After all, he was a smart Silicon Valley entrepreneur who had launched a multibillion-dollar company. Even though he had lost a lot of money in the financial crisis, he was still wealthy. Maybe he couldn’t maintain multiple estates around the world, but surely he could clean up one village.

He started by solving some obvious problems. Carmelita had no police station, so McAfee bought a small cement house and hired workers to install floor-to-ceiling iron bars. Then he told the national cops responsible for the area to start arresting people. The police protested that they were ill-equipped for the job, so McAfee furnished them with imported M16s, boots, pepper spray, stun guns, and batons. Eventually he started paying officers to patrol during their off-hours. The police, in essence, became McAfee’s private army, and he began issuing orders. “What I’d like you to do is go into Carmelita and start getting information for me,” he told the officers on his payroll. “Who’s dealing drugs, and where are the drugs coming from?”

When a 22-year-old villager nicknamed Burger fired a gun outside Emshwiller’s house in November 2011, McAfee decided he couldn’t rely on others to get the work done; he needed to take action himself. An eyewitness told him that Burger had shot at a motorcycleit looked like a drug deal gone bad. Burger’s sister said that he was firing at stray dogs that attacked him. Either way, McAfee was incensed. He drove his gray Dodge pickup to the family’s wooden shack near the river and strode into the muddy yard with Emshwiller as his backup (she was carrying a matte-black air rifle with a large scope). Burger wasn’t there, but his mother, sister, and brother-in-law were. “I’m giving you a last chance here,” McAfee said, holding his Smith & Wesson. “Your brother will be a dead man if he doesn’t turn in that gun. It doesn’t matter where he goes.”

“It was like he thought he was in a movie,” says Amelia Allen, the shooter’s sister. But she wasn’t going to argue with McAfee. Her mother pulled the gun out of a bush and handed it to him.

Soon, McAfee was everywhere. He pulled over a suspicious car on the road only to discover that it was filled with elderly people and children. He offered a new flatscreen TV to a small-time marijuana peddler on the condition that the man stop dealing (the guy accepted, though the TV soon broke). “It was like John Wayne came to town,” says Elvis Reynolds, former chair of the village council.

When I visited the village, Reynolds and others admitted that there were fights and petty theft but insisted that Carmelita was simply an impoverished little village, not a major transit point for international narco-traffickers, as McAfee alleges. The village leaders, for their part, were dumbfounded. Many were unfamiliar with antivirus software and had never heard of John McAfee. “I thought he would come by, introduce himself, and explain what he was doing here, but he never did,” says Feliciano Salam, a soft-spoken resident who has served on the village council for two years. “He just showed up and started telling us what to do.”

The fact that he was running a laboratory on his property only added to the mystery. Adonizio was continuing to research botanical compounds, but McAfee didn’t want to tell the locals anything about it. In part he was worried about corporate espionage. He had seen white men in suits standing beside their cars on the heavily trafficked toll bridge near his property and was sure they were spies. “Do you realize that Glaxo, Bayer, every single drug company in the world sent people out there?” McAfee says. “I was working on a project that had some paradigm-shifting impact on the drug world. It would be insanity to talk about it.”

McAfee became convinced that he was being watched at all hours. Across the river, he saw people lurking in the forest and would surveil them with binoculars. When Emshwiller visited, she never noticed anybody but repeatedly told McAfee to be careful. She heard rumors that gang members were out to “jack” himrob and kill him. On one occasion, she recorded a village councilman discussing how to dispatch McAfee with a grenade. McAfee was wowed by her street smarts”She is brilliant beyond description,” he saysand relished the fact that she had come full circle and was now defending him. “He got himself into a very entangled, dysfunctional situation,” says Katrina Ancona, the wife of McAfee’s partner in the water taxi business. “We kept telling him to get out.”

Adonizio was also worried about McAfee’s behavior. He had initially told her that the area was perfectly safe, but now she was surrounded by armed men. When she went to talk to McAfee in his bungalow, she noticed garbage bags filled with cash and blister packs of pharmaceuticals, including Viagra. She lived just outside of Carmelita and had never had any problems. If there was any danger, she felt that it was coming from McAfee. “He turned into a very scary person,” she says. She wasn’t comfortable living there anymore and left the country.

George Lovell, CEO of the Ministry of National Security, was also concerned that McAfee was buying guns and hiring guards. “When I see people doing this, my question is, what are you trying to protect?” Lovell says. Marco Vidal, head of the Gang Suppression Unit, concurred. “We got information to suggest that there may have been a meth laboratory at his location,” he wrote in an email. “Given the intelligence on McAfee, there was no scope for making efforts to resolve the matter.” He proposed a raid, and his superiors approved it.

When members of the GSU swept into McAfee’s compound on April 30, 2012, they found no meth. They found no illegal drugs of any kind. They did confiscate 10 weapons and 320 rounds of ammunition. Three of McAfee’s security guards were operating without a security guard license, and charges were filed against them. McAfee was accused of possessing an unlicensed firearm and spent a night in the Queen Street jail, aka the Pisshouse.

But the next morning, the charges were dropped and McAfee was released. He was convinced, however, that his war on drugs had made him some powerful enemies.

He had reason to worry. According to Vidal, McAfee was still a “person of interest,” primarily because the authorities still couldn’t explain what he was up to. “The GSU makes no apologies for deeming a person in control of a laboratory, with no approval for manufacturing any substance, having gang connections and heavily armed security guards, as a person of interest,” Vidal wrote.

Vidal’s suspicions may not have been far off. Two years after moving to Belize, McAfee began posting dozens of queries on Bluelight.ru, a drug discussion forum. He explained that he had started to experiment with MDPV, a psychoactive stimulant found in bath salts, a class of designer drugs that have effects similar to amphetamines and cocaine. “When I first started doing this I accidently got a few drops on my fingers while handling a used flask and didn’t sleep for four days,” McAfee posted. “I had visual and auditory hallucinations and the worst paranoia of my life.”

McAfee indicated, though, that the heightened sexuality justified the drug’s risks and claimed to have produced 50 pounds of MDPV in 2010. “I have distributed over 3,000 doses exclusively in this country,” he wrote. But neither Emshwiller, Adonizio, nor anyone else I spoke with observed him making the stuff. So how could he have produced 50 pounds without anyone noticing?

McAfee has a simple explanation: The whole thing was an elaborate prank aimed at tricking drug users into trying a notoriously noxious drug. “It was the most tongue-in-cheek thing in the fucking world,” he says, and denies ever taking the substance. “If I’m gonna do drugs, I’m gonna do something that I know is good,” he says. “I’m gonna grab some mushrooms, number one, and maybe get some really fine cocaine.

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John McAfee Fled to Belize, But He Couldnt Escape Himself

John McAfee Fled to Belize, But He Couldnt … – WIRED

On November 12, 2012, Belizean police announced that they were seeking John McAfee for questioning in connection with the murder of his neighbor. Six months earlier, I began an in-depth investigation into McAfees life. This is the chronicle of that investigation.

Twelve weeks before the murder, John McAfee flicks open the cylinder of his Smith & Wesson revolver and empties the bullets, letting them clatter onto the table between us. A few tumble to the floor. McAfee is 66, lean and fit, with veins bulging out of his forearms. His hair is bleached blond in patches, like a cheetah, and tattoos wrap around his arms and shoulders.

More than 25 years ago, he formed McAfee Associates, a maker of antivirus software that went on to become immensely popular and was acquired by Intel in 2010 for $7.68 billion. Now hes holed up in a bungalow on his island estate, about 15 miles off the coast of mainland Belize. The shades are drawn so I can see only a sliver of the white sand beach and turquoise water outside. The table is piled with boxes of ammunition, fake IDs bearing his photo, Frontiersman bear deterrent, and a single blue baby pacifier.

McAfee picks a bullet off the floor and fixes me with a wide-eyed, manic intensity. This is a bullet, right? he says in the congenial Southern accent that has stuck with him since his boyhood in Virginia.

Lets put the gun back, I tell him. Id come here to try to understand why the government of Belize was accusing him of assembling a private army and entering the drug trade. It seemed implausible that a wildly successful tech entrepreneur would disappear into the Central American jungle and become a narco-trafficker. Now Im not so sure.

But he explains that the accusations are a fabrication. Maybe what happened didnt actually happen, he says, staring hard at me. Can I do a demonstration?

He loads the bullet into the gleaming silver revolver, spins the cylinder.

This scares you, right? he says. Then he puts the gun to his head.

My heart rate kicks up; it takes me a second to respond. Yeah, Im scared, I admit. We dont have to do this.

I know we dont, he says, the muzzle pressed against his temple. And then he pulls the trigger. Nothing happens. He pulls it three more times in rapid succession. There are only five chambers.

Reholster the gun, I demand.

He keeps his eyes fixed on me and pulls the trigger a fifth time. Still nothing. With the gun still to his head, he starts pulling the trigger incessantly. I can do this all day long, he says to the sound of the hammer clicking. I can do this a thousand times. Ten thousand times. Nothing will ever happen. Why? Because you have missed something. You are operating on an assumption about reality that is wrong.

Its the same thing, he argues, with the governments accusations. They were a smoke screenan attempt to distort realitybut theres one thing everybody agrees on: The trouble really got rolling in the humid predawn murk of April 30, 2012.

It was a Monday, about 4:50 am. A television flickered in the guard station of McAfees newly built, 2.5-acre jungle outpost on the Belizean mainland. At the far end of the property, a muddy river flowed slowly past. Crocodiles lurked on the opposite bank, and howler monkeys screeched. In the guard station, a drunk night watchman gaped at Blond Ambition, a Madonna concert DVD.

The guard heard the trucks first. Then boots hitting the ground and the gate rattling as the lock was snapped with bolt cutters. He stood up and looked outside. Dozens of men in green camouflage were streaming into the compound. Many were members of Belizes Gang Suppression Unit, an elite force trained in part by the FBI and armed with Taurus MT-9 submachine guns. Formed in 2010, their mission was to dismantle criminal organizations.

The guard observed the scene silently for a moment and then sat back down. After all, the Madonna concert wasnt over yet. Outside, flashlight beams streaked across the property. This is the police, a voice blared over a bullhorn. Everyone out!

Deep in the compound, McAfee burst out of a thatched-roof bungalow that stood on stilts 20 feet off the ground. He was naked and held a revolver. Things had changed since his days as a high-flying software tycoon. By 2009 he had sold almost everything he ownedestates in Hawaii, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas as well as his 10-passenger planeand moved into the jungle. He announced that he was searching for natural antibiotics in the rain forest and constructed a mysterious laboratory on his property. Now his jungle stronghold was under attack. The commandos were converging on him. There were 31 of them; he was outgunned and outmanned.

McAfee walked back inside to the 17-year-old in his bed. She was sitting up, naked, her long frizzy hair falling around her shoulders and framing the stars tattooed on her chest. She was terrified.

As the GSU stormed up the stairs, he put on some shorts, laid down his gun, and walked out with his hands up. The commandos collided with McAfee at the top of the stairs, slammed him against the wall, and handcuffed him.

Youre being detained on suspicion of producing methamphetamine, one of the cops said.

McAfee twisted to look at his accuser. Thats a startling hypothesis, sir, he responded. Because I havent sold drugs since 1983.

Nineteen eighty-three was a pivotal year for McAfee. He was 38 and director of engineering at Omex, a company that built information storage systems in Santa Clara, California. He was also selling cocaine to his subordinates and snorting massive amounts himself. When he got too high to focus, hed take a quaalude. If he started to fall asleep at his desk, hed snort some more coke to wake up. McAfee had trouble making it through the day and spent his afternoons drinking scotch to even out the tumult in his head.

Hed been a mess for a long time. He grew up in Roanoke, Virginia, where his father was a road surveyor and his mother a bank teller. His father, McAfee recalls, was a heavy drinker and a very unhappy man who McAfee says beat him and his mother severely. When McAfee was 15, his father shot himself. Every day I wake up with him, McAfee says. Every relationship I have, hes by my side; every mistrust, he is the negotiator of that mistrust. So my life is fucked.

McAfee started drinking heavily his first year at Roanoke College and supported himself by selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door. He would knock and announce that the lucky resident had won an absolutely free subscription; all they had to do was pay a small shipping and handling fee. So, in fact, I am explaining to them why its not free and why they are going to pay for it. But the ruse worked, McAfee recalls. He learned that confidence was all that mattered. He smiled, fixed them with his penetrating blue-eyed gaze, and hit them with a nonstop stream of patter. I made a fortune, he says.

He spent his money on booze but managed to graduate and start a PhD in mathematics at Northeast Louisiana State College in 1968. He got kicked out for sleeping with one of his undergraduate students (whom he later married) and ended up coding old-school punch-card programs for Univac in Bristol, Tennessee. That didnt last long, either. He was arrested for buying marijuana, and though his lawyer got him off without a conviction, he was summarily fired.

Still, he had learned enough to gin up an impressive, totally fake rsum and used it to get a job at Missouri Pacific Railroad in St. Louis. It was 1969 and the company was attempting to use an IBM computer to schedule trains. After six months, McAfees system began to churn out optimized train-routing patterns. Unfortunately, he had also discovered LSD. He would drop acid in the morning, go to work, and route trains all day. One morning he decided to experiment with another psychedelic called DMT. He did a line, felt nothing, and decided to snort a whole bag of the orangish powder. Within an hour my mind was shattered, McAfee says.

People asked him questions, but he didnt understand what they were saying. The computer was spitting out train schedules to the moon; he couldnt make sense of it. He ended up behind a garbage can in downtown St. Louis, hearing voices and desperately hoping that nobody would look at him. He never went back to Missouri Pacific. Part of him believes hes still on that trip, that everything since has been one giant hallucination and that one day hell snap out of it and find himself back on his couch in St. Louis, listening to Pink Floyds Dark Side of the Moon.

From then on he felt like he was always one step away from a total breakdown, which finally came at Omex in 1983. He was snorting lines of coke off his desk most mornings, polishing off a bottle of scotch every day, and living in constant fear that he would run out of drugs. His wife had left him, hed given away his dog, and in the wake of what he calls a mutual agreement, he left Omex. He ended up shuttered in his house, with no friends, doing drugs alone for days on end and wondering whether he should kill himself just as his father had. My life was total hell, he says.

Finally he went to a therapist, who suggested he go to Alcoholics Anonymous. He attended a meeting and started sobbing. Someone gave him a hug and told him he wasnt alone.

Thats when life really began for me, he says.

He says hes been sober ever since.

When the Madonna concert ended, McAfees drunken guard finally emerged from his station and strolled over to find out what was going on. The police quickly surrounded him. They knew who he was: Austin Tino Allen had been convicted 28 times for crimes ranging from robbery to assault, and he had spent most of his life in and out of prison.

The police lined everybody up against a rock wall as the sun rose. A low, heavy heat filled the jungle. Everybody began to sweat when the police fanned out to search the property. As an officer headed toward an outlying building, one of McAfees dogs cut him off, growled, and, according to police, went in for an attack. The cop immediately shot the dog through the rib cage.

What the fuck! McAfee screamed. Thats my dog.

The police ignored him. They left the dead dog in the dirt while they rummaged through the compound. They found shotguns, pistols, a huge cache of ammunition, and hundreds of bottles of chemicals they couldnt identify. McAfee and the others were left in the sun for hours. (GSU commander Marco Vidal claims they were under the shade of a large tree.) By the time the police announced that they were taking several of them to jail, McAfee says his face was turning pink with sunburn. He and Allen were loaded into the back of a pickup. The truck tore off, heading southeast toward Belize City at 80 miles per hour.

McAfee tried to stay calm, but he had to admit that this was a bad situation. He had walked away from a luxurious lifemansions on multiple continents, sports cars, a private planeonly to end up in the back of a pickup cuffed to a notoriously violent man. Allen pulled McAfee close so he could be heard over the roar of the wind. McAfee tensed. Boss, I just want to say that its an honor to be here with you, Allen shouted. You must be a really important person for them to send all these men to get you.

In 1986 two brothers in Pakistan coded the first known computer virus aimed at PCs. They werent trying to destroy anything; it was simple curiosity. They wanted to see how far their creation would travel, so they included their names, addresses, and telephone numbers in the code of the virus. They named it Brain after their computer services shop in Lahore.

Within a year the phone at the shop was ringing: Brain had infected computers around the world. At the time, McAfee had been sober for four years and gotten a security clearance to work on a classified voice-recognition program at Lockheed in Sunnyvale, California. But then he came across an article in the San Jose Mercury News about the spread of the Pakistani Brain virus in the US.

He found the idea terrifying. Nobody knew for sure at the time why these intrusions were occurring. It reminded him of his childhood, when his father would hit him for no reason. I didnt know why he did it, McAfee says. I just knew a beating could happen any time. As a boy, he wasnt able to fight back. Now, faced with a new form of attack that was hard to rationalize, he decided to do something.

He started McAfee Associates out of his 700-square-foot home in Santa Clara. His business plan: Create an antivirus program and give it away on electronic bulletin boards. McAfee didnt expect users to pay. His real aim was to get them to think the software was so necessary that they would install it on their computers at work. They did. Within five years, half of the Fortune 100 companies were running it, and they felt compelled to pay a license fee. By 1990, McAfee was making $5 million a year with very little overhead or investment.

His success was due in part to his ability to spread his own paranoia, the fear that there was always somebody about to attack. Soon after launching his company, he bought a 27-foot Winnebago, loaded it with computers, and announced that he had formed the first antivirus paramedic unit. When he got a call from someone experiencing computer problems in the San Jose area, he drove to the site and searched for virus residue. Like a good door-to-door salesman, there was a kernel of truth to his pitch, but he amplified and embellished the facts to sell his product. The RV therefore was not just an RV; it was the first specially customized unit to wage effective, on-the-spot counterattacks in the virus war.

It was great publicity, executed with drama and sly wit. By the end of 1988, he was on The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour telling the country that viruses were causing so much damage, some companies were near collapse from financial loss. He underscored the danger with his 1989 book, Computer Viruses, Worms, Data Diddlers, Killer Programs, and Other Threats to Your System. The reality is so alarming that it would be very difficult to exaggerate, he wrote. Even if no new viruses are ever created, there are already enough circulating to cause a growing problem as they reproduce. A major disaster seems inevitable.

In 1992 McAfee told almost every major news network and newspaper that the recently discovered Michelangelo virus was a huge threat; he believed it could destroy as many as 5 million computers around the world. Sales of his software spiked, but in the end only tens of thousands of infections were reported. Though McAfee was roundly criticized for his proclamation, the criticism worked in his favor, as he explained in an email in 2000 to a computer-security blogger: My business increased tenfold in the two months following the stories and six months later our revenues were 50 times greater and we had captured the lions share of the anti-virus market.

This ability to infect others with his own paranoia made McAfee a wealthy man. In October 1992 his company debuted on Nasdaq, and his shares were suddenly worth $80 million.

The jail cell was about 10 feet by 10 feet. The concrete floor was bare and cold, the smell of urine overpowering. A plastic milk container in the corner had been hacked open and was serving as a toilet. The detention center was located in the Queen Street police station, but everybody in Belize City called it the Pisshouse. In the shadows of his cell, McAfee could see the other inmates staring at him.

No charges had been filed yet, though the police had confiscated what they said were two unlicensed firearms on McAfees property; they still couldnt identify the chemicals they had found. McAfee said he had licenses for all his firearms and explained that the chemicals were part of his antibiotic research. The police werent buying it.

McAfee pulled 20 Belizean dollars out of his shoe and passed it through the bars to a guard. You got a cigarette? he asked.

McAfee hadnt smoked for 10 years, but this seemed like a good time to start again. The guard handed him a book of matches and a pack of Benson & Hedges. McAfee lit one and took a deep drag. He was supposed to be living out a peaceful retirement in a tropical paradise. Now he was standing in jail, holding up his pants with one hand because the police had confiscated his belt. Use this, Allen said, offering him a dirty plastic bag.

McAfee looked confused. You tie your pants, Allen explained.

McAfee fed the bag through two of his belt loops, cinched it tight, and tied a knot. It worked.

Welcome to the Pisshouse, Allen said, smiling.

McAfee lived in Silicon Valley for nearly 20 years. Outwardly he seemed to lead a traditional life with his second wife, Judy. He was a seasoned businessman whom startups turned to for advice. Stanford Graduate School of Business wrote two case studies highlighting his strategies. He was regularly invited to lecture at the school, and he was awarded an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Roanoke College. In 2000 he started a yoga institute near his 10,000-square-foot mansion in the Colorado Rockies and wrote four books about spirituality. Even after his marriage fell apart in 2002, he was a respectable citizen who donated computers to schools and took out newspaper ads discouraging drug use.

But as he neared retirement age in the late 2000s, he started to feel like he was deluding himself. His properties, cars, and planes had become a burden, and he realized that he didnt want the traditional rich mans life anymore. Maintaining so many possessions was a constant distraction; it was time, he felt, to try to live more rustically. John has always been searching for something, says Jennifer Irwin, McAfees girlfriend at the time. She remembers him telling her once that he was trying to reach the expansive horizon.

He was also hurting financially. The economic collapse in 2008 hit him hard, and he couldnt afford to maintain his lifestyle. By 2009 hed auctioned off almost everything he owned, including more than 1,000 acres of land in Hawaii and the private airport hed built in New Mexico. He was trying in part to deter people from suing him on the assumption that he had deep pockets. He was already facing a suit from a man who had tripped on his property in New Mexico. Another suit alleged that he was responsible for the death of someone who crashed during a lesson at a flight school McAfee had founded. He figured that if he were out of the country, hed be less of a target. And he knew that, should he lose a case, it would be harder for the plaintiffs to collect money if he lived overseas.

In early 2008 McAfee started searching for property in the Caribbean. His criteria were pretty basic: He was looking for an English-speaking country near the US with beautiful beaches. He quickly came across a villa on Ambergris Caye in Belize. In the early 90s he had visited the nation of 189,000 people and loved it. (Today the population is around 356,000.) He looked at the property on Google Earth, decided it was perfect, and bought it. The first time he saw it in person was in April 2008, when he moved in.

Soon after his arrival, McAfee began to explore the country. He was particularly fascinated by stories of a majestic Mayan city in the jungle and hired a guide to go see it. Boating up a river that snaked into the northern jungle, they stopped at a makeshift dock that jutted from the dense vegetation. McAfee jumped ashore, pushed through the vines, and caught sight of a towering, crumbling temple. Trees had grown up through the ancient buildings, encasing them in roots. Giant stone faces glared out through the foliage, mouths agape. As the men walked up the steps of the temple, the guide described how the Mayans sacrificed their prisoners, sending torrents of blood down the very stairs he and McAfee were now climbing.

McAfee was spellbound. Belize is so raw and so clear and so in-your-face. Theres an opportunity to see something about human nature that you cant really see in a politer society, because the purpose of society is to mask ourselves from each other, McAfee says. The jungle, in other words, would give him the chance to find out exactly who he was, and that opportunity was irresistible.

So in February 2010 he bought two and a half acres of swampy land along the New River, 10 miles upriver from the Mayan ruins. Over the next year, he spent more than a million dollars filling in the swamp and constructing an array of thatched-roofed bungalows. While his girlfriend, Irwin, stayed on Ambergris Caye, McAfee outfitted the place like Kublai Khans sumptuous house of pleasure. He imported ancient Tibetan art and shipped in a baby grand piano even though he had never taken lessons. There was no Internet. At night, when the construction stopped, there was just the sound of the river flowing quietly past. He sat at the piano and played exuberant odes of his own creation. It was magical, he says.

He didnt like the idea of getting old, though, so he injected testosterone into his buttocks every other week. He felt that it gave him youthful energy and kept him lean. Plus, he wasnt looking for a quiet retirement. He started a cigar manufacturing business, a coffee distribution company, and a water taxi service that connected parts of Ambergris Caye. He continued to build more bungalows on his property even though he had no pressing need for them.

In 2010 McAfee visited a beachfront resort for lunch and met Allison Adonizio, a 31-year-old microbiologist who was on vacation. In the resorts dining room, Adonizio explained that she was doing postgrad research at Harvard on how plants combat bacteria. She was particularly interested in plant compounds that appeared to prevent bacteria from causing infections by interfering with the way the microbes communicated. Eventually, Adonizio explained, the work might also lead to an entire new class of antibiotics.

McAfee was thrilled by the idea. He had fought off digital contagions, and now he could fight organic ones. It was perfect.

He immediately proposed they start a business to commercialize her research. Within minutes McAfee was talking in rapid-fire bursts about how this would transform the pharmaceutical industry and the entire world. They would save millions of lives and reinvent whole industries. Adonizio was astounded. He offered me my dream job, she says. My own lab, assistants. It was incredible.

Adonizio said yes on the spot, quit her research position in Boston, sold the house she had just bought, and moved to Belize. McAfee soon built a laboratory on his property and stocked it with tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment. Adonizio went to work trying to isolate new plant compounds that might be effective medicines, while McAfee touted the business to the international press.

But the methodical pace of Adonizios scientific research couldnt keep up with McAfees enthusiasm, and his attention seemed to wander. He began spending more time in Orange Walk, a town of about 13,000 people that was 5 miles from his compound. McAfee described it in an email to friends as the asshole of the worlddirty, hot, gray, dilapidated. He liked to walk the towns poorly paved streets and take pictures of the residents. I gravitate to the worlds outcasts, he explained in another email. Prostitutes, thieves, the handicapped For some reason I have always been fascinated by these subcultures.

Though he says he never drank alcohol, he became a regular at a saloon called Lovers Bar. The proprietor, McAfee wrote to his friends, was partial to shatteringly bad Mexican karaoke music to which voices beyond description add a disharmony that reaches diabolic proportions. McAfee quickly noticed that the place doubled as a whorehouse, servicing, as he put it, cane field workers, street vendors, fishermen, farmersanyone who has managed to save up $15 for a good time.

This was the real world he was looking for, in all its horror. The bar girls were given one Belize dollar for every beer a patron bought them. To increase their earnings, some of the women would chug beers, vomit in the restroom, and return to chug more. One reported drinking 50 beers in one day. Ninety-nine percent of people would run because theyd fear for their safety or sanity, McAfee says. I couldnt do that. I couldnt walk away.

McAfee started spending most mornings at Lovers. After six months, he sent out another update to his friends: My fragile connection with the world of polite society has, without a doubt, been severed, he wrote. My attire would rank me among the worst-dressed Tijuana panhandlers. My hygiene is no better. Yesterday, for the first time, I urinated in public, in broad daylight.

McAfee knew he had entered a dangerous world. I have no illusions, he noted in another dispatch. We are tainted by everything we touch.

Evaristo Paz Novelo, the obese Belizean proprietor of Lovers, liked to sit at a corner table and squint at his customers through perpetually puffy eyes. He admits to a long history of operating brothels and prides himself on his ability to figure out exactly what will please his patrons. Early on, he asked whether McAfee was looking for a woman. When McAfee said no, Novelo asked whether he wanted a boy. McAfee declined again. Then Novelo showed up at McAfees compound with a 16-year-old girl named Amy Emshwiller.

Emshwiller had a brassy toughness that belied her girlishness. In a matter-of-fact tone, she told McAfee that she had been abused as a child and said that her mother had forced her to sleep with dozens of men for money. I dont fall in love, she told him. Thats not my job. She carried a gun, wore aviator sunglasses, and had on a low-cut shirt that framed her ample cleavage.

McAfee felt a swirl of emotions: lust, compassion, pity. I am the male version of Amy, he says. I resonated with her story because I lived it.

Emshwiller, however, felt nothing for him. I know how to control men, she says. I told him my story because I wanted him to feel sorry for me, and it worked. All Emshwiller saw was an easy mark. A millionaire in freaking Belize, where people work all day just to make a dime? she says. Who wouldnt want to rob him?

McAfee soon realized that Emshwiller was dangerous and unstable, but that was part of her attractiveness. She can pretend sanity better than any woman I have ever known, he says. And she can be alluring, she can be very beautiful, she can be butchlike. Shes a chameleon. Within a month they were sleeping together, and McAfee started building a new bungalow on his property for her.

Visiting from Ambergris Caye, McAfees girlfriend, Jennifer Irwin, was flabbergasted. She asked him to tell the girl to leave, and when McAfee refused, Irwin left the country. McAfee hardly blames her. What I basically did was can a solid 12-year relationship for a stark-raving madwoman, he says. But I honestly fell in love.

One night Emshwiller decided to make her move. She slipped out of bed and pulled McAfees Smith & Wesson out of a holster hanging from an ancient Tibetan gong in his bedroom. Her plan, if it could be called that, was to kill him and make off with as much cash as she could scrounge up. She crept to the foot of the bed, aimed, and started to pull the trigger. But at the last moment she closed her eyes, and the bullet went wide, ripping through a pillow. I guess I didnt want to kill the bastard, she admits.

McAfee leaped out of bed and grabbed the gun before she could fire again. She ran to the bathroom, locked herself in, and asked if he was going to shoot her. He couldnt hear out of his left ear and was trying to get his bearings. Finally he told her he was going to take away her phone and TV for a month. She was furious.

I basically canned a solid 12-year relationship for a stark-raving madwoman, McAfee says. But I fell in love.

But I didnt even kill you! she shouted.

McAfee decided it was better for Emshwiller to have her own place about a mile down the road in the village of Carmelita. So in early 2011 he built her a house in the village. Many of the homes are made of stripped tree trunks and topped with sheets of corrugated iron; 10 percent have no electricity. The village has a handful of dirt roads populated with colonies of biting ants and a grassy soccer field surrounded by palm trees and stray dogs. The towns biggest source of income: sand from a pit by the river that locals sell to construction companies.

Emshwiller, who had grown up in the area, warned McAfee that the village was not what it appeared to be. She told him that the tiny, impoverished town of 1,600 was in fact a major shipment site for drugs moving overland into Mexico, 35 miles to the north. As Emshwiller described it, this village in McAfees backyard was crawling with narco-traffickers.

It was a revelation perfectly tailored to feed into McAfees latent paranoia. I was massively disturbed, he says. I fell in love with the river, but then I discovered the horrors of Carmelita.

He asked Emshwiller what he should do. She wanted me to shoot all the men in the town, McAfee says. It occurred to him that she might be using him to exact revenge on people who had wronged her, so he asked the denizens of Lovers for more information. They told him stories of killings, torture, and gang wars in the area. For McAfee, the town began to take on mythic proportions. Carmelita was literally the Wild West, he says. I didnt realize that 2 miles away was the most corrupt village on the planet.

He decided to go on the offensive. After all, he was a smart Silicon Valley entrepreneur who had launched a multibillion-dollar company. Even though he had lost a lot of money in the financial crisis, he was still wealthy. Maybe he couldnt maintain multiple estates around the world, but surely he could clean up one village.

He started by solving some obvious problems. Carmelita had no police station, so McAfee bought a small cement house and hired workers to install floor-to-ceiling iron bars. Then he told the national cops responsible for the area to start arresting people. The police protested that they were ill-equipped for the job, so McAfee furnished them with imported M16s, boots, pepper spray, stun guns, and batons. Eventually he started paying officers to patrol during their off-hours. The police, in essence, became McAfees private army, and he began issuing orders. What Id like you to do is go into Carmelita and start getting information for me, he told the officers on his payroll. Whos dealing drugs, and where are the drugs coming from?

When a 22-year-old villager nicknamed Burger fired a gun outside Emshwillers house in November 2011, McAfee decided he couldnt rely on others to get the work done; he needed to take action himself. An eyewitness told him that Burger had shot at a motorcycleit looked like a drug deal gone bad. Burgers sister said that he was firing at stray dogs that attacked him. Either way, McAfee was incensed. He drove his gray Dodge pickup to the familys wooden shack near the river and strode into the muddy yard with Emshwiller as his backup (she was carrying a matte-black air rifle with a large scope). Burger wasnt there, but his mother, sister, and brother-in-law were. Im giving you a last chance here, McAfee said, holding his Smith & Wesson. Your brother will be a dead man if he doesnt turn in that gun. It doesnt matter where he goes.

It was like he thought he was in a movie, says Amelia Allen, the shooters sister. But she wasnt going to argue with McAfee. Her mother pulled the gun out of a bush and handed it to him.

Soon, McAfee was everywhere. He pulled over a suspicious car on the road only to discover that it was filled with elderly people and children. He offered a new flatscreen TV to a small-time marijuana peddler on the condition that the man stop dealing (the guy accepted, though the TV soon broke). It was like John Wayne came to town, says Elvis Reynolds, former chair of the village council.

When I visited the village, Reynolds and others admitted that there were fights and petty theft but insisted that Carmelita was simply an impoverished little village, not a major transit point for international narco-traffickers, as McAfee alleges. The village leaders, for their part, were dumbfounded. Many were unfamiliar with antivirus software and had never heard of John McAfee. I thought he would come by, introduce himself, and explain what he was doing here, but he never did, says Feliciano Salam, a soft-spoken resident who has served on the village council for two years. He just showed up and started telling us what to do.

The fact that he was running a laboratory on his property only added to the mystery. Adonizio was continuing to research botanical compounds, but McAfee didnt want to tell the locals anything about it. In part he was worried about corporate espionage. He had seen white men in suits standing beside their cars on the heavily trafficked toll bridge near his property and was sure they were spies. Do you realize that Glaxo, Bayer, every single drug company in the world sent people out there? McAfee says. I was working on a project that had some paradigm-shifting impact on the drug world. It would be insanity to talk about it.

McAfee became convinced that he was being watched at all hours. Across the river, he saw people lurking in the forest and would surveil them with binoculars. When Emshwiller visited, she never noticed anybody but repeatedly told McAfee to be careful. She heard rumors that gang members were out to jack himrob and kill him. On one occasion, she recorded a village councilman discussing how to dispatch McAfee with a grenade. McAfee was wowed by her street smartsShe is brilliant beyond description, he saysand relished the fact that she had come full circle and was now defending him. He got himself into a very entangled, dysfunctional situation, says Katrina Ancona, the wife of McAfees partner in the water taxi business. We kept telling him to get out.

Adonizio was also worried about McAfees behavior. He had initially told her that the area was perfectly safe, but now she was surrounded by armed men. When she went to talk to McAfee in his bungalow, she noticed garbage bags filled with cash and blister packs of pharmaceuticals, including Viagra. She lived just outside of Carmelita and had never had any problems. If there was any danger, she felt that it was coming from McAfee. He turned into a very scary person, she says. She wasnt comfortable living there anymore and left the country.

George Lovell, CEO of the Ministry of National Security, was also concerned that McAfee was buying guns and hiring guards. When I see people doing this, my question is, what are you trying to protect? Lovell says. Marco Vidal, head of the Gang Suppression Unit, concurred. We got information to suggest that there may have been a meth laboratory at his location, he wrote in an email. Given the intelligence on McAfee, there was no scope for making efforts to resolve the matter. He proposed a raid, and his superiors approved it.

When members of the GSU swept into McAfees compound on April 30, 2012, they found no meth. They found no illegal drugs of any kind. They did confiscate 10 weapons and 320 rounds of ammunition. Three of McAfees security guards were operating without a security guard license, and charges were filed against them. McAfee was accused of possessing an unlicensed firearm and spent a night in the Queen Street jail, aka the Pisshouse.

But the next morning, the charges were dropped and McAfee was released. He was convinced, however, that his war on drugs had made him some powerful enemies.

He had reason to worry. According to Vidal, McAfee was still a person of interest, primarily because the authorities still couldnt explain what he was up to. The GSU makes no apologies for deeming a person in control of a laboratory, with no approval for manufacturing any substance, having gang connections and heavily armed security guards, as a person of interest, Vidal wrote.

Vidals suspicions may not have been far off. Two years after moving to Belize, McAfee began posting dozens of queries on Bluelight.ru, a drug discussion forum. He explained that he had started to experiment with MDPV, a psychoactive stimulant found in bath salts, a class of designer drugs that have effects similar to amphetamines and cocaine. When I first started doing this I accidently got a few drops on my fingers while handling a used flask and didnt sleep for four days, McAfee posted. I had visual and auditory hallucinations and the worst paranoia of my life.

McAfee indicated, though, that the heightened sexuality justified the drugs risks and claimed to have produced 50 pounds of MDPV in 2010. I have distributed over 3,000 doses exclusively in this country, he wrote. But neither Emshwiller, Adonizio, nor anyone else I spoke with observed him making the stuff. So how could he have produced 50 pounds without anyone noticing?

McAfee has a simple explanation: The whole thing was an elaborate prank aimed at tricking drug users into trying a notoriously noxious drug. It was the most tongue-in-cheek thing in the fucking world, he says, and denies ever taking the substance. If Im gonna do drugs, Im gonna do something that I know is good, he says. Im gonna grab some mushrooms, number one, and maybe get some really fine cocaine.

But anybody who knows me knows I would never do drugs, he says.

In August, McAfee and I meet for a final in-person interview at his villa on Ambergris Caye. He greets me wearing a pistol strapped across his bare chest. Guards patrol the beach in front of us. He tells me that hes now living with five women who appear to be between the ages of 17 and 20; each has her own bungalow on the property. Emshwiller is here, though McAfees attention is focused on the other women.

Excerpt from:

John McAfee Fled to Belize, But He Couldnt … – WIRED

The McAfee guide to uninstalling McAfee Antivirus | John …

Theres days when I see despicable, disgusting shit like this and realize that my 10 years I spent working for a huge corporation would have been much more fun had I worked for John instead, if only my manager knew the proper straw for bath salts, if he had a magical collection of self spawning guns, I might have just, maybepossibly not wasted 10 years of my life..what a shit showanyways, that was like watching a train plow into a huge chicken coop full of babies, I couldnt stop watching, and when it was over, I couldnt stop laughing.

Today WAS a crappy day, today sucked..until I watched that, thanks John, I needed that, your a sick man, I love it when I see someone act out the shit that goes on in my head.

Jason (still trapped in corporate hell, just a smaller corporate hell for 1/2 the money)

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The McAfee guide to uninstalling McAfee Antivirus | John …

John McAfee Says There is a War on Cryptocurrencies …

On the latest episode of John McAfee Says, the tech activist and internet security expert declared that there is an ongoing war against cryptocurrencies.

He aired this revelation in a video posted on his Twitter on May 27. According to McAfee, powerful forces are trying to derail the progress of the cryptocurrency revolution. McAfee began by unequivocally stating the reality of the ongoing fight:

Whether you know it as a war [against crypto] or not, it is, in fact, a war.

He listed the government, banks, credit card companies, and the SEC as some of the enemy combatants. These institutions have banded together to quell the relentless march of progress represented by the crypto renaissance.

McAfees warnings may have merit as many banks and credit card companies have recently startedwithdrawing support for cryptocurrency payments. While governments and regulatory bodies like the SEC are also trying to abscond with cryptos as securities.

He then urged all fellow crypto believers to take action, saying:

What can we do? Take action. Write your Congressman; it sounds silly [but] while they are still in power, make them work. Go into your bank and demand that they allow crypto transactions. If they say no, ask them to recommend a bank that will. Demand the credit card companies to allow crypto payments.

According to McAfee, change will only come when crypto enthusiasts become proactive and take matters into their own hands. He urged them to write the SEC, strongly calling on the Commission to not classify cryptocurrencies as securities.

We are not a security; we are coins, we are currency. They are frightened of us, he said.

In a related development, Team McAfee recently published the Declaration of Currency Independence. The 849-word document is a pledge of solidarity to the core ethos of the cryptocurrency movement.

The text bears some similarities with the 1776 United States Declaration of Independence. Both documents even begin with the now famous when in the course of human events opening phrase.

One recurring theme within the document is Value and how the current fiat monetary system has fundamentally manipulated the maintenance of the integrity of value. As a result, the declaration states that cryptocurrency is the only way to restore the concept of value to what it should be.

It reads:

Where value was once proven by the strength of the State at the end of a barrel, humans have developed, demonstrated, and proliferated a technology capable of proving value through the expenditure of electricity via the irrevocable proof of math. Such a concept has never been accomplished prior to the initiation of the Bitcoin blockchain.

Team McAfee under the leadership of John McAfee himself is requesting for readership and signing of the document. The declaration is available in 14 languages including English, Spanish, French, and Dutch.

Do you believe that there is a deliberate attempt to stifle the growth and adoption of cryptocurrencies? Keep the conversation going in the comment section below.

Image courtesy of Twitter @officialmcafee, Shutterstock

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John McAfee Says There is a War on Cryptocurrencies …

John McAfee Fled to Belize, But He Couldnt … – WIRED

On November 12, 2012, Belizean police announced that they were seeking John McAfee for questioning in connection with the murder of his neighbor. Six months earlier, I began an in-depth investigation into McAfees life. This is the chronicle of that investigation.

Twelve weeks before the murder, John McAfee flicks open the cylinder of his Smith & Wesson revolver and empties the bullets, letting them clatter onto the table between us. A few tumble to the floor. McAfee is 66, lean and fit, with veins bulging out of his forearms. His hair is bleached blond in patches, like a cheetah, and tattoos wrap around his arms and shoulders.

More than 25 years ago, he formed McAfee Associates, a maker of antivirus software that went on to become immensely popular and was acquired by Intel in 2010 for $7.68 billion. Now hes holed up in a bungalow on his island estate, about 15 miles off the coast of mainland Belize. The shades are drawn so I can see only a sliver of the white sand beach and turquoise water outside. The table is piled with boxes of ammunition, fake IDs bearing his photo, Frontiersman bear deterrent, and a single blue baby pacifier.

McAfee picks a bullet off the floor and fixes me with a wide-eyed, manic intensity. This is a bullet, right? he says in the congenial Southern accent that has stuck with him since his boyhood in Virginia.

Lets put the gun back, I tell him. Id come here to try to understand why the government of Belize was accusing him of assembling a private army and entering the drug trade. It seemed implausible that a wildly successful tech entrepreneur would disappear into the Central American jungle and become a narco-trafficker. Now Im not so sure.

But he explains that the accusations are a fabrication. Maybe what happened didnt actually happen, he says, staring hard at me. Can I do a demonstration?

He loads the bullet into the gleaming silver revolver, spins the cylinder.

This scares you, right? he says. Then he puts the gun to his head.

My heart rate kicks up; it takes me a second to respond. Yeah, Im scared, I admit. We dont have to do this.

I know we dont, he says, the muzzle pressed against his temple. And then he pulls the trigger. Nothing happens. He pulls it three more times in rapid succession. There are only five chambers.

Reholster the gun, I demand.

He keeps his eyes fixed on me and pulls the trigger a fifth time. Still nothing. With the gun still to his head, he starts pulling the trigger incessantly. I can do this all day long, he says to the sound of the hammer clicking. I can do this a thousand times. Ten thousand times. Nothing will ever happen. Why? Because you have missed something. You are operating on an assumption about reality that is wrong.

Its the same thing, he argues, with the governments accusations. They were a smoke screenan attempt to distort realitybut theres one thing everybody agrees on: The trouble really got rolling in the humid predawn murk of April 30, 2012.

It was a Monday, about 4:50 am. A television flickered in the guard station of McAfees newly built, 2.5-acre jungle outpost on the Belizean mainland. At the far end of the property, a muddy river flowed slowly past. Crocodiles lurked on the opposite bank, and howler monkeys screeched. In the guard station, a drunk night watchman gaped at Blond Ambition, a Madonna concert DVD.

The guard heard the trucks first. Then boots hitting the ground and the gate rattling as the lock was snapped with bolt cutters. He stood up and looked outside. Dozens of men in green camouflage were streaming into the compound. Many were members of Belizes Gang Suppression Unit, an elite force trained in part by the FBI and armed with Taurus MT-9 submachine guns. Formed in 2010, their mission was to dismantle criminal organizations.

The guard observed the scene silently for a moment and then sat back down. After all, the Madonna concert wasnt over yet. Outside, flashlight beams streaked across the property. This is the police, a voice blared over a bullhorn. Everyone out!

Deep in the compound, McAfee burst out of a thatched-roof bungalow that stood on stilts 20 feet off the ground. He was naked and held a revolver. Things had changed since his days as a high-flying software tycoon. By 2009 he had sold almost everything he ownedestates in Hawaii, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas as well as his 10-passenger planeand moved into the jungle. He announced that he was searching for natural antibiotics in the rain forest and constructed a mysterious laboratory on his property. Now his jungle stronghold was under attack. The commandos were converging on him. There were 31 of them; he was outgunned and outmanned.

McAfee walked back inside to the 17-year-old in his bed. She was sitting up, naked, her long frizzy hair falling around her shoulders and framing the stars tattooed on her chest. She was terrified.

As the GSU stormed up the stairs, he put on some shorts, laid down his gun, and walked out with his hands up. The commandos collided with McAfee at the top of the stairs, slammed him against the wall, and handcuffed him.

Youre being detained on suspicion of producing methamphetamine, one of the cops said.

McAfee twisted to look at his accuser. Thats a startling hypothesis, sir, he responded. Because I havent sold drugs since 1983.

Nineteen eighty-three was a pivotal year for McAfee. He was 38 and director of engineering at Omex, a company that built information storage systems in Santa Clara, California. He was also selling cocaine to his subordinates and snorting massive amounts himself. When he got too high to focus, hed take a quaalude. If he started to fall asleep at his desk, hed snort some more coke to wake up. McAfee had trouble making it through the day and spent his afternoons drinking scotch to even out the tumult in his head.

Hed been a mess for a long time. He grew up in Roanoke, Virginia, where his father was a road surveyor and his mother a bank teller. His father, McAfee recalls, was a heavy drinker and a very unhappy man who McAfee says beat him and his mother severely. When McAfee was 15, his father shot himself. Every day I wake up with him, McAfee says. Every relationship I have, hes by my side; every mistrust, he is the negotiator of that mistrust. So my life is fucked.

McAfee started drinking heavily his first year at Roanoke College and supported himself by selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door. He would knock and announce that the lucky resident had won an absolutely free subscription; all they had to do was pay a small shipping and handling fee. So, in fact, I am explaining to them why its not free and why they are going to pay for it. But the ruse worked, McAfee recalls. He learned that confidence was all that mattered. He smiled, fixed them with his penetrating blue-eyed gaze, and hit them with a nonstop stream of patter. I made a fortune, he says.

He spent his money on booze but managed to graduate and start a PhD in mathematics at Northeast Louisiana State College in 1968. He got kicked out for sleeping with one of his undergraduate students (whom he later married) and ended up coding old-school punch-card programs for Univac in Bristol, Tennessee. That didnt last long, either. He was arrested for buying marijuana, and though his lawyer got him off without a conviction, he was summarily fired.

Still, he had learned enough to gin up an impressive, totally fake rsum and used it to get a job at Missouri Pacific Railroad in St. Louis. It was 1969 and the company was attempting to use an IBM computer to schedule trains. After six months, McAfees system began to churn out optimized train-routing patterns. Unfortunately, he had also discovered LSD. He would drop acid in the morning, go to work, and route trains all day. One morning he decided to experiment with another psychedelic called DMT. He did a line, felt nothing, and decided to snort a whole bag of the orangish powder. Within an hour my mind was shattered, McAfee says.

People asked him questions, but he didnt understand what they were saying. The computer was spitting out train schedules to the moon; he couldnt make sense of it. He ended up behind a garbage can in downtown St. Louis, hearing voices and desperately hoping that nobody would look at him. He never went back to Missouri Pacific. Part of him believes hes still on that trip, that everything since has been one giant hallucination and that one day hell snap out of it and find himself back on his couch in St. Louis, listening to Pink Floyds Dark Side of the Moon.

From then on he felt like he was always one step away from a total breakdown, which finally came at Omex in 1983. He was snorting lines of coke off his desk most mornings, polishing off a bottle of scotch every day, and living in constant fear that he would run out of drugs. His wife had left him, hed given away his dog, and in the wake of what he calls a mutual agreement, he left Omex. He ended up shuttered in his house, with no friends, doing drugs alone for days on end and wondering whether he should kill himself just as his father had. My life was total hell, he says.

Finally he went to a therapist, who suggested he go to Alcoholics Anonymous. He attended a meeting and started sobbing. Someone gave him a hug and told him he wasnt alone.

Thats when life really began for me, he says.

He says hes been sober ever since.

When the Madonna concert ended, McAfees drunken guard finally emerged from his station and strolled over to find out what was going on. The police quickly surrounded him. They knew who he was: Austin Tino Allen had been convicted 28 times for crimes ranging from robbery to assault, and he had spent most of his life in and out of prison.

The police lined everybody up against a rock wall as the sun rose. A low, heavy heat filled the jungle. Everybody began to sweat when the police fanned out to search the property. As an officer headed toward an outlying building, one of McAfees dogs cut him off, growled, and, according to police, went in for an attack. The cop immediately shot the dog through the rib cage.

What the fuck! McAfee screamed. Thats my dog.

The police ignored him. They left the dead dog in the dirt while they rummaged through the compound. They found shotguns, pistols, a huge cache of ammunition, and hundreds of bottles of chemicals they couldnt identify. McAfee and the others were left in the sun for hours. (GSU commander Marco Vidal claims they were under the shade of a large tree.) By the time the police announced that they were taking several of them to jail, McAfee says his face was turning pink with sunburn. He and Allen were loaded into the back of a pickup. The truck tore off, heading southeast toward Belize City at 80 miles per hour.

McAfee tried to stay calm, but he had to admit that this was a bad situation. He had walked away from a luxurious lifemansions on multiple continents, sports cars, a private planeonly to end up in the back of a pickup cuffed to a notoriously violent man. Allen pulled McAfee close so he could be heard over the roar of the wind. McAfee tensed. Boss, I just want to say that its an honor to be here with you, Allen shouted. You must be a really important person for them to send all these men to get you.

In 1986 two brothers in Pakistan coded the first known computer virus aimed at PCs. They werent trying to destroy anything; it was simple curiosity. They wanted to see how far their creation would travel, so they included their names, addresses, and telephone numbers in the code of the virus. They named it Brain after their computer services shop in Lahore.

Within a year the phone at the shop was ringing: Brain had infected computers around the world. At the time, McAfee had been sober for four years and gotten a security clearance to work on a classified voice-recognition program at Lockheed in Sunnyvale, California. But then he came across an article in the San Jose Mercury News about the spread of the Pakistani Brain virus in the US.

He found the idea terrifying. Nobody knew for sure at the time why these intrusions were occurring. It reminded him of his childhood, when his father would hit him for no reason. I didnt know why he did it, McAfee says. I just knew a beating could happen any time. As a boy, he wasnt able to fight back. Now, faced with a new form of attack that was hard to rationalize, he decided to do something.

He started McAfee Associates out of his 700-square-foot home in Santa Clara. His business plan: Create an antivirus program and give it away on electronic bulletin boards. McAfee didnt expect users to pay. His real aim was to get them to think the software was so necessary that they would install it on their computers at work. They did. Within five years, half of the Fortune 100 companies were running it, and they felt compelled to pay a license fee. By 1990, McAfee was making $5 million a year with very little overhead or investment.

His success was due in part to his ability to spread his own paranoia, the fear that there was always somebody about to attack. Soon after launching his company, he bought a 27-foot Winnebago, loaded it with computers, and announced that he had formed the first antivirus paramedic unit. When he got a call from someone experiencing computer problems in the San Jose area, he drove to the site and searched for virus residue. Like a good door-to-door salesman, there was a kernel of truth to his pitch, but he amplified and embellished the facts to sell his product. The RV therefore was not just an RV; it was the first specially customized unit to wage effective, on-the-spot counterattacks in the virus war.

It was great publicity, executed with drama and sly wit. By the end of 1988, he was on The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour telling the country that viruses were causing so much damage, some companies were near collapse from financial loss. He underscored the danger with his 1989 book, Computer Viruses, Worms, Data Diddlers, Killer Programs, and Other Threats to Your System. The reality is so alarming that it would be very difficult to exaggerate, he wrote. Even if no new viruses are ever created, there are already enough circulating to cause a growing problem as they reproduce. A major disaster seems inevitable.

In 1992 McAfee told almost every major news network and newspaper that the recently discovered Michelangelo virus was a huge threat; he believed it could destroy as many as 5 million computers around the world. Sales of his software spiked, but in the end only tens of thousands of infections were reported. Though McAfee was roundly criticized for his proclamation, the criticism worked in his favor, as he explained in an email in 2000 to a computer-security blogger: My business increased tenfold in the two months following the stories and six months later our revenues were 50 times greater and we had captured the lions share of the anti-virus market.

This ability to infect others with his own paranoia made McAfee a wealthy man. In October 1992 his company debuted on Nasdaq, and his shares were suddenly worth $80 million.

The jail cell was about 10 feet by 10 feet. The concrete floor was bare and cold, the smell of urine overpowering. A plastic milk container in the corner had been hacked open and was serving as a toilet. The detention center was located in the Queen Street police station, but everybody in Belize City called it the Pisshouse. In the shadows of his cell, McAfee could see the other inmates staring at him.

No charges had been filed yet, though the police had confiscated what they said were two unlicensed firearms on McAfees property; they still couldnt identify the chemicals they had found. McAfee said he had licenses for all his firearms and explained that the chemicals were part of his antibiotic research. The police werent buying it.

McAfee pulled 20 Belizean dollars out of his shoe and passed it through the bars to a guard. You got a cigarette? he asked.

McAfee hadnt smoked for 10 years, but this seemed like a good time to start again. The guard handed him a book of matches and a pack of Benson & Hedges. McAfee lit one and took a deep drag. He was supposed to be living out a peaceful retirement in a tropical paradise. Now he was standing in jail, holding up his pants with one hand because the police had confiscated his belt. Use this, Allen said, offering him a dirty plastic bag.

McAfee looked confused. You tie your pants, Allen explained.

McAfee fed the bag through two of his belt loops, cinched it tight, and tied a knot. It worked.

Welcome to the Pisshouse, Allen said, smiling.

McAfee lived in Silicon Valley for nearly 20 years. Outwardly he seemed to lead a traditional life with his second wife, Judy. He was a seasoned businessman whom startups turned to for advice. Stanford Graduate School of Business wrote two case studies highlighting his strategies. He was regularly invited to lecture at the school, and he was awarded an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Roanoke College. In 2000 he started a yoga institute near his 10,000-square-foot mansion in the Colorado Rockies and wrote four books about spirituality. Even after his marriage fell apart in 2002, he was a respectable citizen who donated computers to schools and took out newspaper ads discouraging drug use.

But as he neared retirement age in the late 2000s, he started to feel like he was deluding himself. His properties, cars, and planes had become a burden, and he realized that he didnt want the traditional rich mans life anymore. Maintaining so many possessions was a constant distraction; it was time, he felt, to try to live more rustically. John has always been searching for something, says Jennifer Irwin, McAfees girlfriend at the time. She remembers him telling her once that he was trying to reach the expansive horizon.

He was also hurting financially. The economic collapse in 2008 hit him hard, and he couldnt afford to maintain his lifestyle. By 2009 hed auctioned off almost everything he owned, including more than 1,000 acres of land in Hawaii and the private airport hed built in New Mexico. He was trying in part to deter people from suing him on the assumption that he had deep pockets. He was already facing a suit from a man who had tripped on his property in New Mexico. Another suit alleged that he was responsible for the death of someone who crashed during a lesson at a flight school McAfee had founded. He figured that if he were out of the country, hed be less of a target. And he knew that, should he lose a case, it would be harder for the plaintiffs to collect money if he lived overseas.

In early 2008 McAfee started searching for property in the Caribbean. His criteria were pretty basic: He was looking for an English-speaking country near the US with beautiful beaches. He quickly came across a villa on Ambergris Caye in Belize. In the early 90s he had visited the nation of 189,000 people and loved it. (Today the population is around 356,000.) He looked at the property on Google Earth, decided it was perfect, and bought it. The first time he saw it in person was in April 2008, when he moved in.

Soon after his arrival, McAfee began to explore the country. He was particularly fascinated by stories of a majestic Mayan city in the jungle and hired a guide to go see it. Boating up a river that snaked into the northern jungle, they stopped at a makeshift dock that jutted from the dense vegetation. McAfee jumped ashore, pushed through the vines, and caught sight of a towering, crumbling temple. Trees had grown up through the ancient buildings, encasing them in roots. Giant stone faces glared out through the foliage, mouths agape. As the men walked up the steps of the temple, the guide described how the Mayans sacrificed their prisoners, sending torrents of blood down the very stairs he and McAfee were now climbing.

McAfee was spellbound. Belize is so raw and so clear and so in-your-face. Theres an opportunity to see something about human nature that you cant really see in a politer society, because the purpose of society is to mask ourselves from each other, McAfee says. The jungle, in other words, would give him the chance to find out exactly who he was, and that opportunity was irresistible.

So in February 2010 he bought two and a half acres of swampy land along the New River, 10 miles upriver from the Mayan ruins. Over the next year, he spent more than a million dollars filling in the swamp and constructing an array of thatched-roofed bungalows. While his girlfriend, Irwin, stayed on Ambergris Caye, McAfee outfitted the place like Kublai Khans sumptuous house of pleasure. He imported ancient Tibetan art and shipped in a baby grand piano even though he had never taken lessons. There was no Internet. At night, when the construction stopped, there was just the sound of the river flowing quietly past. He sat at the piano and played exuberant odes of his own creation. It was magical, he says.

He didnt like the idea of getting old, though, so he injected testosterone into his buttocks every other week. He felt that it gave him youthful energy and kept him lean. Plus, he wasnt looking for a quiet retirement. He started a cigar manufacturing business, a coffee distribution company, and a water taxi service that connected parts of Ambergris Caye. He continued to build more bungalows on his property even though he had no pressing need for them.

In 2010 McAfee visited a beachfront resort for lunch and met Allison Adonizio, a 31-year-old microbiologist who was on vacation. In the resorts dining room, Adonizio explained that she was doing postgrad research at Harvard on how plants combat bacteria. She was particularly interested in plant compounds that appeared to prevent bacteria from causing infections by interfering with the way the microbes communicated. Eventually, Adonizio explained, the work might also lead to an entire new class of antibiotics.

McAfee was thrilled by the idea. He had fought off digital contagions, and now he could fight organic ones. It was perfect.

He immediately proposed they start a business to commercialize her research. Within minutes McAfee was talking in rapid-fire bursts about how this would transform the pharmaceutical industry and the entire world. They would save millions of lives and reinvent whole industries. Adonizio was astounded. He offered me my dream job, she says. My own lab, assistants. It was incredible.

Adonizio said yes on the spot, quit her research position in Boston, sold the house she had just bought, and moved to Belize. McAfee soon built a laboratory on his property and stocked it with tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment. Adonizio went to work trying to isolate new plant compounds that might be effective medicines, while McAfee touted the business to the international press.

But the methodical pace of Adonizios scientific research couldnt keep up with McAfees enthusiasm, and his attention seemed to wander. He began spending more time in Orange Walk, a town of about 13,000 people that was 5 miles from his compound. McAfee described it in an email to friends as the asshole of the worlddirty, hot, gray, dilapidated. He liked to walk the towns poorly paved streets and take pictures of the residents. I gravitate to the worlds outcasts, he explained in another email. Prostitutes, thieves, the handicapped For some reason I have always been fascinated by these subcultures.

Though he says he never drank alcohol, he became a regular at a saloon called Lovers Bar. The proprietor, McAfee wrote to his friends, was partial to shatteringly bad Mexican karaoke music to which voices beyond description add a disharmony that reaches diabolic proportions. McAfee quickly noticed that the place doubled as a whorehouse, servicing, as he put it, cane field workers, street vendors, fishermen, farmersanyone who has managed to save up $15 for a good time.

This was the real world he was looking for, in all its horror. The bar girls were given one Belize dollar for every beer a patron bought them. To increase their earnings, some of the women would chug beers, vomit in the restroom, and return to chug more. One reported drinking 50 beers in one day. Ninety-nine percent of people would run because theyd fear for their safety or sanity, McAfee says. I couldnt do that. I couldnt walk away.

McAfee started spending most mornings at Lovers. After six months, he sent out another update to his friends: My fragile connection with the world of polite society has, without a doubt, been severed, he wrote. My attire would rank me among the worst-dressed Tijuana panhandlers. My hygiene is no better. Yesterday, for the first time, I urinated in public, in broad daylight.

McAfee knew he had entered a dangerous world. I have no illusions, he noted in another dispatch. We are tainted by everything we touch.

Evaristo Paz Novelo, the obese Belizean proprietor of Lovers, liked to sit at a corner table and squint at his customers through perpetually puffy eyes. He admits to a long history of operating brothels and prides himself on his ability to figure out exactly what will please his patrons. Early on, he asked whether McAfee was looking for a woman. When McAfee said no, Novelo asked whether he wanted a boy. McAfee declined again. Then Novelo showed up at McAfees compound with a 16-year-old girl named Amy Emshwiller.

Emshwiller had a brassy toughness that belied her girlishness. In a matter-of-fact tone, she told McAfee that she had been abused as a child and said that her mother had forced her to sleep with dozens of men for money. I dont fall in love, she told him. Thats not my job. She carried a gun, wore aviator sunglasses, and had on a low-cut shirt that framed her ample cleavage.

McAfee felt a swirl of emotions: lust, compassion, pity. I am the male version of Amy, he says. I resonated with her story because I lived it.

Emshwiller, however, felt nothing for him. I know how to control men, she says. I told him my story because I wanted him to feel sorry for me, and it worked. All Emshwiller saw was an easy mark. A millionaire in freaking Belize, where people work all day just to make a dime? she says. Who wouldnt want to rob him?

McAfee soon realized that Emshwiller was dangerous and unstable, but that was part of her attractiveness. She can pretend sanity better than any woman I have ever known, he says. And she can be alluring, she can be very beautiful, she can be butchlike. Shes a chameleon. Within a month they were sleeping together, and McAfee started building a new bungalow on his property for her.

Visiting from Ambergris Caye, McAfees girlfriend, Jennifer Irwin, was flabbergasted. She asked him to tell the girl to leave, and when McAfee refused, Irwin left the country. McAfee hardly blames her. What I basically did was can a solid 12-year relationship for a stark-raving madwoman, he says. But I honestly fell in love.

One night Emshwiller decided to make her move. She slipped out of bed and pulled McAfees Smith & Wesson out of a holster hanging from an ancient Tibetan gong in his bedroom. Her plan, if it could be called that, was to kill him and make off with as much cash as she could scrounge up. She crept to the foot of the bed, aimed, and started to pull the trigger. But at the last moment she closed her eyes, and the bullet went wide, ripping through a pillow. I guess I didnt want to kill the bastard, she admits.

McAfee leaped out of bed and grabbed the gun before she could fire again. She ran to the bathroom, locked herself in, and asked if he was going to shoot her. He couldnt hear out of his left ear and was trying to get his bearings. Finally he told her he was going to take away her phone and TV for a month. She was furious.

I basically canned a solid 12-year relationship for a stark-raving madwoman, McAfee says. But I fell in love.

But I didnt even kill you! she shouted.

McAfee decided it was better for Emshwiller to have her own place about a mile down the road in the village of Carmelita. So in early 2011 he built her a house in the village. Many of the homes are made of stripped tree trunks and topped with sheets of corrugated iron; 10 percent have no electricity. The village has a handful of dirt roads populated with colonies of biting ants and a grassy soccer field surrounded by palm trees and stray dogs. The towns biggest source of income: sand from a pit by the river that locals sell to construction companies.

Emshwiller, who had grown up in the area, warned McAfee that the village was not what it appeared to be. She told him that the tiny, impoverished town of 1,600 was in fact a major shipment site for drugs moving overland into Mexico, 35 miles to the north. As Emshwiller described it, this village in McAfees backyard was crawling with narco-traffickers.

It was a revelation perfectly tailored to feed into McAfees latent paranoia. I was massively disturbed, he says. I fell in love with the river, but then I discovered the horrors of Carmelita.

He asked Emshwiller what he should do. She wanted me to shoot all the men in the town, McAfee says. It occurred to him that she might be using him to exact revenge on people who had wronged her, so he asked the denizens of Lovers for more information. They told him stories of killings, torture, and gang wars in the area. For McAfee, the town began to take on mythic proportions. Carmelita was literally the Wild West, he says. I didnt realize that 2 miles away was the most corrupt village on the planet.

He decided to go on the offensive. After all, he was a smart Silicon Valley entrepreneur who had launched a multibillion-dollar company. Even though he had lost a lot of money in the financial crisis, he was still wealthy. Maybe he couldnt maintain multiple estates around the world, but surely he could clean up one village.

He started by solving some obvious problems. Carmelita had no police station, so McAfee bought a small cement house and hired workers to install floor-to-ceiling iron bars. Then he told the national cops responsible for the area to start arresting people. The police protested that they were ill-equipped for the job, so McAfee furnished them with imported M16s, boots, pepper spray, stun guns, and batons. Eventually he started paying officers to patrol during their off-hours. The police, in essence, became McAfees private army, and he began issuing orders. What Id like you to do is go into Carmelita and start getting information for me, he told the officers on his payroll. Whos dealing drugs, and where are the drugs coming from?

When a 22-year-old villager nicknamed Burger fired a gun outside Emshwillers house in November 2011, McAfee decided he couldnt rely on others to get the work done; he needed to take action himself. An eyewitness told him that Burger had shot at a motorcycleit looked like a drug deal gone bad. Burgers sister said that he was firing at stray dogs that attacked him. Either way, McAfee was incensed. He drove his gray Dodge pickup to the familys wooden shack near the river and strode into the muddy yard with Emshwiller as his backup (she was carrying a matte-black air rifle with a large scope). Burger wasnt there, but his mother, sister, and brother-in-law were. Im giving you a last chance here, McAfee said, holding his Smith & Wesson. Your brother will be a dead man if he doesnt turn in that gun. It doesnt matter where he goes.

It was like he thought he was in a movie, says Amelia Allen, the shooters sister. But she wasnt going to argue with McAfee. Her mother pulled the gun out of a bush and handed it to him.

Soon, McAfee was everywhere. He pulled over a suspicious car on the road only to discover that it was filled with elderly people and children. He offered a new flatscreen TV to a small-time marijuana peddler on the condition that the man stop dealing (the guy accepted, though the TV soon broke). It was like John Wayne came to town, says Elvis Reynolds, former chair of the village council.

When I visited the village, Reynolds and others admitted that there were fights and petty theft but insisted that Carmelita was simply an impoverished little village, not a major transit point for international narco-traffickers, as McAfee alleges. The village leaders, for their part, were dumbfounded. Many were unfamiliar with antivirus software and had never heard of John McAfee. I thought he would come by, introduce himself, and explain what he was doing here, but he never did, says Feliciano Salam, a soft-spoken resident who has served on the village council for two years. He just showed up and started telling us what to do.

The fact that he was running a laboratory on his property only added to the mystery. Adonizio was continuing to research botanical compounds, but McAfee didnt want to tell the locals anything about it. In part he was worried about corporate espionage. He had seen white men in suits standing beside their cars on the heavily trafficked toll bridge near his property and was sure they were spies. Do you realize that Glaxo, Bayer, every single drug company in the world sent people out there? McAfee says. I was working on a project that had some paradigm-shifting impact on the drug world. It would be insanity to talk about it.

McAfee became convinced that he was being watched at all hours. Across the river, he saw people lurking in the forest and would surveil them with binoculars. When Emshwiller visited, she never noticed anybody but repeatedly told McAfee to be careful. She heard rumors that gang members were out to jack himrob and kill him. On one occasion, she recorded a village councilman discussing how to dispatch McAfee with a grenade. McAfee was wowed by her street smartsShe is brilliant beyond description, he saysand relished the fact that she had come full circle and was now defending him. He got himself into a very entangled, dysfunctional situation, says Katrina Ancona, the wife of McAfees partner in the water taxi business. We kept telling him to get out.

Adonizio was also worried about McAfees behavior. He had initially told her that the area was perfectly safe, but now she was surrounded by armed men. When she went to talk to McAfee in his bungalow, she noticed garbage bags filled with cash and blister packs of pharmaceuticals, including Viagra. She lived just outside of Carmelita and had never had any problems. If there was any danger, she felt that it was coming from McAfee. He turned into a very scary person, she says. She wasnt comfortable living there anymore and left the country.

George Lovell, CEO of the Ministry of National Security, was also concerned that McAfee was buying guns and hiring guards. When I see people doing this, my question is, what are you trying to protect? Lovell says. Marco Vidal, head of the Gang Suppression Unit, concurred. We got information to suggest that there may have been a meth laboratory at his location, he wrote in an email. Given the intelligence on McAfee, there was no scope for making efforts to resolve the matter. He proposed a raid, and his superiors approved it.

When members of the GSU swept into McAfees compound on April 30, 2012, they found no meth. They found no illegal drugs of any kind. They did confiscate 10 weapons and 320 rounds of ammunition. Three of McAfees security guards were operating without a security guard license, and charges were filed against them. McAfee was accused of possessing an unlicensed firearm and spent a night in the Queen Street jail, aka the Pisshouse.

But the next morning, the charges were dropped and McAfee was released. He was convinced, however, that his war on drugs had made him some powerful enemies.

He had reason to worry. According to Vidal, McAfee was still a person of interest, primarily because the authorities still couldnt explain what he was up to. The GSU makes no apologies for deeming a person in control of a laboratory, with no approval for manufacturing any substance, having gang connections and heavily armed security guards, as a person of interest, Vidal wrote.

Vidals suspicions may not have been far off. Two years after moving to Belize, McAfee began posting dozens of queries on Bluelight.ru, a drug discussion forum. He explained that he had started to experiment with MDPV, a psychoactive stimulant found in bath salts, a class of designer drugs that have effects similar to amphetamines and cocaine. When I first started doing this I accidently got a few drops on my fingers while handling a used flask and didnt sleep for four days, McAfee posted. I had visual and auditory hallucinations and the worst paranoia of my life.

McAfee indicated, though, that the heightened sexuality justified the drugs risks and claimed to have produced 50 pounds of MDPV in 2010. I have distributed over 3,000 doses exclusively in this country, he wrote. But neither Emshwiller, Adonizio, nor anyone else I spoke with observed him making the stuff. So how could he have produced 50 pounds without anyone noticing?

McAfee has a simple explanation: The whole thing was an elaborate prank aimed at tricking drug users into trying a notoriously noxious drug. It was the most tongue-in-cheek thing in the fucking world, he says, and denies ever taking the substance. If Im gonna do drugs, Im gonna do something that I know is good, he says. Im gonna grab some mushrooms, number one, and maybe get some really fine cocaine.

But anybody who knows me knows I would never do drugs, he says.

In August, McAfee and I meet for a final in-person interview at his villa on Ambergris Caye. He greets me wearing a pistol strapped across his bare chest. Guards patrol the beach in front of us. He tells me that hes now living with five women who appear to be between the ages of 17 and 20; each has her own bungalow on the property. Emshwiller is here, though McAfees attention is focused on the other women.

Continue reading here:

John McAfee Fled to Belize, But He Couldnt … – WIRED

John McAfee Says There is a War on Cryptocurrencies …

On the latest episode of John McAfee Says, the tech activist and internet security expert declared that there is an ongoing war against cryptocurrencies.

He aired this revelation in a video posted on his Twitter on May 27. According to McAfee, powerful forces are trying to derail the progress of the cryptocurrency revolution. McAfee began by unequivocally stating the reality of the ongoing fight:

Whether you know it as a war [against crypto] or not, it is, in fact, a war.

He listed the government, banks, credit card companies, and the SEC as some of the enemy combatants. These institutions have banded together to quell the relentless march of progress represented by the crypto renaissance.

McAfees warnings may have merit as many banks and credit card companies have recently startedwithdrawing support for cryptocurrency payments. While governments and regulatory bodies like the SEC are also trying to abscond with cryptos as securities.

He then urged all fellow crypto believers to take action, saying:

What can we do? Take action. Write your Congressman; it sounds silly [but] while they are still in power, make them work. Go into your bank and demand that they allow crypto transactions. If they say no, ask them to recommend a bank that will. Demand the credit card companies to allow crypto payments.

According to McAfee, change will only come when crypto enthusiasts become proactive and take matters into their own hands. He urged them to write the SEC, strongly calling on the Commission to not classify cryptocurrencies as securities.

We are not a security; we are coins, we are currency. They are frightened of us, he said.

In a related development, Team McAfee recently published the Declaration of Currency Independence. The 849-word document is a pledge of solidarity to the core ethos of the cryptocurrency movement.

The text bears some similarities with the 1776 United States Declaration of Independence. Both documents even begin with the now famous when in the course of human events opening phrase.

One recurring theme within the document is Value and how the current fiat monetary system has fundamentally manipulated the maintenance of the integrity of value. As a result, the declaration states that cryptocurrency is the only way to restore the concept of value to what it should be.

It reads:

Where value was once proven by the strength of the State at the end of a barrel, humans have developed, demonstrated, and proliferated a technology capable of proving value through the expenditure of electricity via the irrevocable proof of math. Such a concept has never been accomplished prior to the initiation of the Bitcoin blockchain.

Team McAfee under the leadership of John McAfee himself is requesting for readership and signing of the document. The declaration is available in 14 languages including English, Spanish, French, and Dutch.

Do you believe that there is a deliberate attempt to stifle the growth and adoption of cryptocurrencies? Keep the conversation going in the comment section below.

Image courtesy of Twitter @officialmcafee, Shutterstock

Link:

John McAfee Says There is a War on Cryptocurrencies …

John McAfee Fled to Belize, But He Couldnt … – WIRED

On November 12, 2012, Belizean police announced that they were seeking John McAfee for questioning in connection with the murder of his neighbor. Six months earlier, I began an in-depth investigation into McAfees life. This is the chronicle of that investigation.

Twelve weeks before the murder, John McAfee flicks open the cylinder of his Smith & Wesson revolver and empties the bullets, letting them clatter onto the table between us. A few tumble to the floor. McAfee is 66, lean and fit, with veins bulging out of his forearms. His hair is bleached blond in patches, like a cheetah, and tattoos wrap around his arms and shoulders.

More than 25 years ago, he formed McAfee Associates, a maker of antivirus software that went on to become immensely popular and was acquired by Intel in 2010 for $7.68 billion. Now hes holed up in a bungalow on his island estate, about 15 miles off the coast of mainland Belize. The shades are drawn so I can see only a sliver of the white sand beach and turquoise water outside. The table is piled with boxes of ammunition, fake IDs bearing his photo, Frontiersman bear deterrent, and a single blue baby pacifier.

McAfee picks a bullet off the floor and fixes me with a wide-eyed, manic intensity. This is a bullet, right? he says in the congenial Southern accent that has stuck with him since his boyhood in Virginia.

Lets put the gun back, I tell him. Id come here to try to understand why the government of Belize was accusing him of assembling a private army and entering the drug trade. It seemed implausible that a wildly successful tech entrepreneur would disappear into the Central American jungle and become a narco-trafficker. Now Im not so sure.

But he explains that the accusations are a fabrication. Maybe what happened didnt actually happen, he says, staring hard at me. Can I do a demonstration?

He loads the bullet into the gleaming silver revolver, spins the cylinder.

This scares you, right? he says. Then he puts the gun to his head.

My heart rate kicks up; it takes me a second to respond. Yeah, Im scared, I admit. We dont have to do this.

I know we dont, he says, the muzzle pressed against his temple. And then he pulls the trigger. Nothing happens. He pulls it three more times in rapid succession. There are only five chambers.

Reholster the gun, I demand.

He keeps his eyes fixed on me and pulls the trigger a fifth time. Still nothing. With the gun still to his head, he starts pulling the trigger incessantly. I can do this all day long, he says to the sound of the hammer clicking. I can do this a thousand times. Ten thousand times. Nothing will ever happen. Why? Because you have missed something. You are operating on an assumption about reality that is wrong.

Its the same thing, he argues, with the governments accusations. They were a smoke screenan attempt to distort realitybut theres one thing everybody agrees on: The trouble really got rolling in the humid predawn murk of April 30, 2012.

It was a Monday, about 4:50 am. A television flickered in the guard station of McAfees newly built, 2.5-acre jungle outpost on the Belizean mainland. At the far end of the property, a muddy river flowed slowly past. Crocodiles lurked on the opposite bank, and howler monkeys screeched. In the guard station, a drunk night watchman gaped at Blond Ambition, a Madonna concert DVD.

The guard heard the trucks first. Then boots hitting the ground and the gate rattling as the lock was snapped with bolt cutters. He stood up and looked outside. Dozens of men in green camouflage were streaming into the compound. Many were members of Belizes Gang Suppression Unit, an elite force trained in part by the FBI and armed with Taurus MT-9 submachine guns. Formed in 2010, their mission was to dismantle criminal organizations.

The guard observed the scene silently for a moment and then sat back down. After all, the Madonna concert wasnt over yet. Outside, flashlight beams streaked across the property. This is the police, a voice blared over a bullhorn. Everyone out!

Deep in the compound, McAfee burst out of a thatched-roof bungalow that stood on stilts 20 feet off the ground. He was naked and held a revolver. Things had changed since his days as a high-flying software tycoon. By 2009 he had sold almost everything he ownedestates in Hawaii, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas as well as his 10-passenger planeand moved into the jungle. He announced that he was searching for natural antibiotics in the rain forest and constructed a mysterious laboratory on his property. Now his jungle stronghold was under attack. The commandos were converging on him. There were 31 of them; he was outgunned and outmanned.

McAfee walked back inside to the 17-year-old in his bed. She was sitting up, naked, her long frizzy hair falling around her shoulders and framing the stars tattooed on her chest. She was terrified.

As the GSU stormed up the stairs, he put on some shorts, laid down his gun, and walked out with his hands up. The commandos collided with McAfee at the top of the stairs, slammed him against the wall, and handcuffed him.

Youre being detained on suspicion of producing methamphetamine, one of the cops said.

McAfee twisted to look at his accuser. Thats a startling hypothesis, sir, he responded. Because I havent sold drugs since 1983.

Nineteen eighty-three was a pivotal year for McAfee. He was 38 and director of engineering at Omex, a company that built information storage systems in Santa Clara, California. He was also selling cocaine to his subordinates and snorting massive amounts himself. When he got too high to focus, hed take a quaalude. If he started to fall asleep at his desk, hed snort some more coke to wake up. McAfee had trouble making it through the day and spent his afternoons drinking scotch to even out the tumult in his head.

Hed been a mess for a long time. He grew up in Roanoke, Virginia, where his father was a road surveyor and his mother a bank teller. His father, McAfee recalls, was a heavy drinker and a very unhappy man who McAfee says beat him and his mother severely. When McAfee was 15, his father shot himself. Every day I wake up with him, McAfee says. Every relationship I have, hes by my side; every mistrust, he is the negotiator of that mistrust. So my life is fucked.

McAfee started drinking heavily his first year at Roanoke College and supported himself by selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door. He would knock and announce that the lucky resident had won an absolutely free subscription; all they had to do was pay a small shipping and handling fee. So, in fact, I am explaining to them why its not free and why they are going to pay for it. But the ruse worked, McAfee recalls. He learned that confidence was all that mattered. He smiled, fixed them with his penetrating blue-eyed gaze, and hit them with a nonstop stream of patter. I made a fortune, he says.

He spent his money on booze but managed to graduate and start a PhD in mathematics at Northeast Louisiana State College in 1968. He got kicked out for sleeping with one of his undergraduate students (whom he later married) and ended up coding old-school punch-card programs for Univac in Bristol, Tennessee. That didnt last long, either. He was arrested for buying marijuana, and though his lawyer got him off without a conviction, he was summarily fired.

Still, he had learned enough to gin up an impressive, totally fake rsum and used it to get a job at Missouri Pacific Railroad in St. Louis. It was 1969 and the company was attempting to use an IBM computer to schedule trains. After six months, McAfees system began to churn out optimized train-routing patterns. Unfortunately, he had also discovered LSD. He would drop acid in the morning, go to work, and route trains all day. One morning he decided to experiment with another psychedelic called DMT. He did a line, felt nothing, and decided to snort a whole bag of the orangish powder. Within an hour my mind was shattered, McAfee says.

People asked him questions, but he didnt understand what they were saying. The computer was spitting out train schedules to the moon; he couldnt make sense of it. He ended up behind a garbage can in downtown St. Louis, hearing voices and desperately hoping that nobody would look at him. He never went back to Missouri Pacific. Part of him believes hes still on that trip, that everything since has been one giant hallucination and that one day hell snap out of it and find himself back on his couch in St. Louis, listening to Pink Floyds Dark Side of the Moon.

From then on he felt like he was always one step away from a total breakdown, which finally came at Omex in 1983. He was snorting lines of coke off his desk most mornings, polishing off a bottle of scotch every day, and living in constant fear that he would run out of drugs. His wife had left him, hed given away his dog, and in the wake of what he calls a mutual agreement, he left Omex. He ended up shuttered in his house, with no friends, doing drugs alone for days on end and wondering whether he should kill himself just as his father had. My life was total hell, he says.

Finally he went to a therapist, who suggested he go to Alcoholics Anonymous. He attended a meeting and started sobbing. Someone gave him a hug and told him he wasnt alone.

Thats when life really began for me, he says.

He says hes been sober ever since.

When the Madonna concert ended, McAfees drunken guard finally emerged from his station and strolled over to find out what was going on. The police quickly surrounded him. They knew who he was: Austin Tino Allen had been convicted 28 times for crimes ranging from robbery to assault, and he had spent most of his life in and out of prison.

The police lined everybody up against a rock wall as the sun rose. A low, heavy heat filled the jungle. Everybody began to sweat when the police fanned out to search the property. As an officer headed toward an outlying building, one of McAfees dogs cut him off, growled, and, according to police, went in for an attack. The cop immediately shot the dog through the rib cage.

What the fuck! McAfee screamed. Thats my dog.

The police ignored him. They left the dead dog in the dirt while they rummaged through the compound. They found shotguns, pistols, a huge cache of ammunition, and hundreds of bottles of chemicals they couldnt identify. McAfee and the others were left in the sun for hours. (GSU commander Marco Vidal claims they were under the shade of a large tree.) By the time the police announced that they were taking several of them to jail, McAfee says his face was turning pink with sunburn. He and Allen were loaded into the back of a pickup. The truck tore off, heading southeast toward Belize City at 80 miles per hour.

McAfee tried to stay calm, but he had to admit that this was a bad situation. He had walked away from a luxurious lifemansions on multiple continents, sports cars, a private planeonly to end up in the back of a pickup cuffed to a notoriously violent man. Allen pulled McAfee close so he could be heard over the roar of the wind. McAfee tensed. Boss, I just want to say that its an honor to be here with you, Allen shouted. You must be a really important person for them to send all these men to get you.

In 1986 two brothers in Pakistan coded the first known computer virus aimed at PCs. They werent trying to destroy anything; it was simple curiosity. They wanted to see how far their creation would travel, so they included their names, addresses, and telephone numbers in the code of the virus. They named it Brain after their computer services shop in Lahore.

Within a year the phone at the shop was ringing: Brain had infected computers around the world. At the time, McAfee had been sober for four years and gotten a security clearance to work on a classified voice-recognition program at Lockheed in Sunnyvale, California. But then he came across an article in the San Jose Mercury News about the spread of the Pakistani Brain virus in the US.

He found the idea terrifying. Nobody knew for sure at the time why these intrusions were occurring. It reminded him of his childhood, when his father would hit him for no reason. I didnt know why he did it, McAfee says. I just knew a beating could happen any time. As a boy, he wasnt able to fight back. Now, faced with a new form of attack that was hard to rationalize, he decided to do something.

He started McAfee Associates out of his 700-square-foot home in Santa Clara. His business plan: Create an antivirus program and give it away on electronic bulletin boards. McAfee didnt expect users to pay. His real aim was to get them to think the software was so necessary that they would install it on their computers at work. They did. Within five years, half of the Fortune 100 companies were running it, and they felt compelled to pay a license fee. By 1990, McAfee was making $5 million a year with very little overhead or investment.

His success was due in part to his ability to spread his own paranoia, the fear that there was always somebody about to attack. Soon after launching his company, he bought a 27-foot Winnebago, loaded it with computers, and announced that he had formed the first antivirus paramedic unit. When he got a call from someone experiencing computer problems in the San Jose area, he drove to the site and searched for virus residue. Like a good door-to-door salesman, there was a kernel of truth to his pitch, but he amplified and embellished the facts to sell his product. The RV therefore was not just an RV; it was the first specially customized unit to wage effective, on-the-spot counterattacks in the virus war.

It was great publicity, executed with drama and sly wit. By the end of 1988, he was on The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour telling the country that viruses were causing so much damage, some companies were near collapse from financial loss. He underscored the danger with his 1989 book, Computer Viruses, Worms, Data Diddlers, Killer Programs, and Other Threats to Your System. The reality is so alarming that it would be very difficult to exaggerate, he wrote. Even if no new viruses are ever created, there are already enough circulating to cause a growing problem as they reproduce. A major disaster seems inevitable.

In 1992 McAfee told almost every major news network and newspaper that the recently discovered Michelangelo virus was a huge threat; he believed it could destroy as many as 5 million computers around the world. Sales of his software spiked, but in the end only tens of thousands of infections were reported. Though McAfee was roundly criticized for his proclamation, the criticism worked in his favor, as he explained in an email in 2000 to a computer-security blogger: My business increased tenfold in the two months following the stories and six months later our revenues were 50 times greater and we had captured the lions share of the anti-virus market.

This ability to infect others with his own paranoia made McAfee a wealthy man. In October 1992 his company debuted on Nasdaq, and his shares were suddenly worth $80 million.

The jail cell was about 10 feet by 10 feet. The concrete floor was bare and cold, the smell of urine overpowering. A plastic milk container in the corner had been hacked open and was serving as a toilet. The detention center was located in the Queen Street police station, but everybody in Belize City called it the Pisshouse. In the shadows of his cell, McAfee could see the other inmates staring at him.

No charges had been filed yet, though the police had confiscated what they said were two unlicensed firearms on McAfees property; they still couldnt identify the chemicals they had found. McAfee said he had licenses for all his firearms and explained that the chemicals were part of his antibiotic research. The police werent buying it.

McAfee pulled 20 Belizean dollars out of his shoe and passed it through the bars to a guard. You got a cigarette? he asked.

McAfee hadnt smoked for 10 years, but this seemed like a good time to start again. The guard handed him a book of matches and a pack of Benson & Hedges. McAfee lit one and took a deep drag. He was supposed to be living out a peaceful retirement in a tropical paradise. Now he was standing in jail, holding up his pants with one hand because the police had confiscated his belt. Use this, Allen said, offering him a dirty plastic bag.

McAfee looked confused. You tie your pants, Allen explained.

McAfee fed the bag through two of his belt loops, cinched it tight, and tied a knot. It worked.

Welcome to the Pisshouse, Allen said, smiling.

McAfee lived in Silicon Valley for nearly 20 years. Outwardly he seemed to lead a traditional life with his second wife, Judy. He was a seasoned businessman whom startups turned to for advice. Stanford Graduate School of Business wrote two case studies highlighting his strategies. He was regularly invited to lecture at the school, and he was awarded an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Roanoke College. In 2000 he started a yoga institute near his 10,000-square-foot mansion in the Colorado Rockies and wrote four books about spirituality. Even after his marriage fell apart in 2002, he was a respectable citizen who donated computers to schools and took out newspaper ads discouraging drug use.

But as he neared retirement age in the late 2000s, he started to feel like he was deluding himself. His properties, cars, and planes had become a burden, and he realized that he didnt want the traditional rich mans life anymore. Maintaining so many possessions was a constant distraction; it was time, he felt, to try to live more rustically. John has always been searching for something, says Jennifer Irwin, McAfees girlfriend at the time. She remembers him telling her once that he was trying to reach the expansive horizon.

He was also hurting financially. The economic collapse in 2008 hit him hard, and he couldnt afford to maintain his lifestyle. By 2009 hed auctioned off almost everything he owned, including more than 1,000 acres of land in Hawaii and the private airport hed built in New Mexico. He was trying in part to deter people from suing him on the assumption that he had deep pockets. He was already facing a suit from a man who had tripped on his property in New Mexico. Another suit alleged that he was responsible for the death of someone who crashed during a lesson at a flight school McAfee had founded. He figured that if he were out of the country, hed be less of a target. And he knew that, should he lose a case, it would be harder for the plaintiffs to collect money if he lived overseas.

In early 2008 McAfee started searching for property in the Caribbean. His criteria were pretty basic: He was looking for an English-speaking country near the US with beautiful beaches. He quickly came across a villa on Ambergris Caye in Belize. In the early 90s he had visited the nation of 189,000 people and loved it. (Today the population is around 356,000.) He looked at the property on Google Earth, decided it was perfect, and bought it. The first time he saw it in person was in April 2008, when he moved in.

Soon after his arrival, McAfee began to explore the country. He was particularly fascinated by stories of a majestic Mayan city in the jungle and hired a guide to go see it. Boating up a river that snaked into the northern jungle, they stopped at a makeshift dock that jutted from the dense vegetation. McAfee jumped ashore, pushed through the vines, and caught sight of a towering, crumbling temple. Trees had grown up through the ancient buildings, encasing them in roots. Giant stone faces glared out through the foliage, mouths agape. As the men walked up the steps of the temple, the guide described how the Mayans sacrificed their prisoners, sending torrents of blood down the very stairs he and McAfee were now climbing.

McAfee was spellbound. Belize is so raw and so clear and so in-your-face. Theres an opportunity to see something about human nature that you cant really see in a politer society, because the purpose of society is to mask ourselves from each other, McAfee says. The jungle, in other words, would give him the chance to find out exactly who he was, and that opportunity was irresistible.

So in February 2010 he bought two and a half acres of swampy land along the New River, 10 miles upriver from the Mayan ruins. Over the next year, he spent more than a million dollars filling in the swamp and constructing an array of thatched-roofed bungalows. While his girlfriend, Irwin, stayed on Ambergris Caye, McAfee outfitted the place like Kublai Khans sumptuous house of pleasure. He imported ancient Tibetan art and shipped in a baby grand piano even though he had never taken lessons. There was no Internet. At night, when the construction stopped, there was just the sound of the river flowing quietly past. He sat at the piano and played exuberant odes of his own creation. It was magical, he says.

He didnt like the idea of getting old, though, so he injected testosterone into his buttocks every other week. He felt that it gave him youthful energy and kept him lean. Plus, he wasnt looking for a quiet retirement. He started a cigar manufacturing business, a coffee distribution company, and a water taxi service that connected parts of Ambergris Caye. He continued to build more bungalows on his property even though he had no pressing need for them.

In 2010 McAfee visited a beachfront resort for lunch and met Allison Adonizio, a 31-year-old microbiologist who was on vacation. In the resorts dining room, Adonizio explained that she was doing postgrad research at Harvard on how plants combat bacteria. She was particularly interested in plant compounds that appeared to prevent bacteria from causing infections by interfering with the way the microbes communicated. Eventually, Adonizio explained, the work might also lead to an entire new class of antibiotics.

McAfee was thrilled by the idea. He had fought off digital contagions, and now he could fight organic ones. It was perfect.

He immediately proposed they start a business to commercialize her research. Within minutes McAfee was talking in rapid-fire bursts about how this would transform the pharmaceutical industry and the entire world. They would save millions of lives and reinvent whole industries. Adonizio was astounded. He offered me my dream job, she says. My own lab, assistants. It was incredible.

Adonizio said yes on the spot, quit her research position in Boston, sold the house she had just bought, and moved to Belize. McAfee soon built a laboratory on his property and stocked it with tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment. Adonizio went to work trying to isolate new plant compounds that might be effective medicines, while McAfee touted the business to the international press.

But the methodical pace of Adonizios scientific research couldnt keep up with McAfees enthusiasm, and his attention seemed to wander. He began spending more time in Orange Walk, a town of about 13,000 people that was 5 miles from his compound. McAfee described it in an email to friends as the asshole of the worlddirty, hot, gray, dilapidated. He liked to walk the towns poorly paved streets and take pictures of the residents. I gravitate to the worlds outcasts, he explained in another email. Prostitutes, thieves, the handicapped For some reason I have always been fascinated by these subcultures.

Though he says he never drank alcohol, he became a regular at a saloon called Lovers Bar. The proprietor, McAfee wrote to his friends, was partial to shatteringly bad Mexican karaoke music to which voices beyond description add a disharmony that reaches diabolic proportions. McAfee quickly noticed that the place doubled as a whorehouse, servicing, as he put it, cane field workers, street vendors, fishermen, farmersanyone who has managed to save up $15 for a good time.

This was the real world he was looking for, in all its horror. The bar girls were given one Belize dollar for every beer a patron bought them. To increase their earnings, some of the women would chug beers, vomit in the restroom, and return to chug more. One reported drinking 50 beers in one day. Ninety-nine percent of people would run because theyd fear for their safety or sanity, McAfee says. I couldnt do that. I couldnt walk away.

McAfee started spending most mornings at Lovers. After six months, he sent out another update to his friends: My fragile connection with the world of polite society has, without a doubt, been severed, he wrote. My attire would rank me among the worst-dressed Tijuana panhandlers. My hygiene is no better. Yesterday, for the first time, I urinated in public, in broad daylight.

McAfee knew he had entered a dangerous world. I have no illusions, he noted in another dispatch. We are tainted by everything we touch.

Evaristo Paz Novelo, the obese Belizean proprietor of Lovers, liked to sit at a corner table and squint at his customers through perpetually puffy eyes. He admits to a long history of operating brothels and prides himself on his ability to figure out exactly what will please his patrons. Early on, he asked whether McAfee was looking for a woman. When McAfee said no, Novelo asked whether he wanted a boy. McAfee declined again. Then Novelo showed up at McAfees compound with a 16-year-old girl named Amy Emshwiller.

Emshwiller had a brassy toughness that belied her girlishness. In a matter-of-fact tone, she told McAfee that she had been abused as a child and said that her mother had forced her to sleep with dozens of men for money. I dont fall in love, she told him. Thats not my job. She carried a gun, wore aviator sunglasses, and had on a low-cut shirt that framed her ample cleavage.

McAfee felt a swirl of emotions: lust, compassion, pity. I am the male version of Amy, he says. I resonated with her story because I lived it.

Emshwiller, however, felt nothing for him. I know how to control men, she says. I told him my story because I wanted him to feel sorry for me, and it worked. All Emshwiller saw was an easy mark. A millionaire in freaking Belize, where people work all day just to make a dime? she says. Who wouldnt want to rob him?

McAfee soon realized that Emshwiller was dangerous and unstable, but that was part of her attractiveness. She can pretend sanity better than any woman I have ever known, he says. And she can be alluring, she can be very beautiful, she can be butchlike. Shes a chameleon. Within a month they were sleeping together, and McAfee started building a new bungalow on his property for her.

Visiting from Ambergris Caye, McAfees girlfriend, Jennifer Irwin, was flabbergasted. She asked him to tell the girl to leave, and when McAfee refused, Irwin left the country. McAfee hardly blames her. What I basically did was can a solid 12-year relationship for a stark-raving madwoman, he says. But I honestly fell in love.

One night Emshwiller decided to make her move. She slipped out of bed and pulled McAfees Smith & Wesson out of a holster hanging from an ancient Tibetan gong in his bedroom. Her plan, if it could be called that, was to kill him and make off with as much cash as she could scrounge up. She crept to the foot of the bed, aimed, and started to pull the trigger. But at the last moment she closed her eyes, and the bullet went wide, ripping through a pillow. I guess I didnt want to kill the bastard, she admits.

McAfee leaped out of bed and grabbed the gun before she could fire again. She ran to the bathroom, locked herself in, and asked if he was going to shoot her. He couldnt hear out of his left ear and was trying to get his bearings. Finally he told her he was going to take away her phone and TV for a month. She was furious.

I basically canned a solid 12-year relationship for a stark-raving madwoman, McAfee says. But I fell in love.

But I didnt even kill you! she shouted.

McAfee decided it was better for Emshwiller to have her own place about a mile down the road in the village of Carmelita. So in early 2011 he built her a house in the village. Many of the homes are made of stripped tree trunks and topped with sheets of corrugated iron; 10 percent have no electricity. The village has a handful of dirt roads populated with colonies of biting ants and a grassy soccer field surrounded by palm trees and stray dogs. The towns biggest source of income: sand from a pit by the river that locals sell to construction companies.

Emshwiller, who had grown up in the area, warned McAfee that the village was not what it appeared to be. She told him that the tiny, impoverished town of 1,600 was in fact a major shipment site for drugs moving overland into Mexico, 35 miles to the north. As Emshwiller described it, this village in McAfees backyard was crawling with narco-traffickers.

It was a revelation perfectly tailored to feed into McAfees latent paranoia. I was massively disturbed, he says. I fell in love with the river, but then I discovered the horrors of Carmelita.

He asked Emshwiller what he should do. She wanted me to shoot all the men in the town, McAfee says. It occurred to him that she might be using him to exact revenge on people who had wronged her, so he asked the denizens of Lovers for more information. They told him stories of killings, torture, and gang wars in the area. For McAfee, the town began to take on mythic proportions. Carmelita was literally the Wild West, he says. I didnt realize that 2 miles away was the most corrupt village on the planet.

He decided to go on the offensive. After all, he was a smart Silicon Valley entrepreneur who had launched a multibillion-dollar company. Even though he had lost a lot of money in the financial crisis, he was still wealthy. Maybe he couldnt maintain multiple estates around the world, but surely he could clean up one village.

He started by solving some obvious problems. Carmelita had no police station, so McAfee bought a small cement house and hired workers to install floor-to-ceiling iron bars. Then he told the national cops responsible for the area to start arresting people. The police protested that they were ill-equipped for the job, so McAfee furnished them with imported M16s, boots, pepper spray, stun guns, and batons. Eventually he started paying officers to patrol during their off-hours. The police, in essence, became McAfees private army, and he began issuing orders. What Id like you to do is go into Carmelita and start getting information for me, he told the officers on his payroll. Whos dealing drugs, and where are the drugs coming from?

When a 22-year-old villager nicknamed Burger fired a gun outside Emshwillers house in November 2011, McAfee decided he couldnt rely on others to get the work done; he needed to take action himself. An eyewitness told him that Burger had shot at a motorcycleit looked like a drug deal gone bad. Burgers sister said that he was firing at stray dogs that attacked him. Either way, McAfee was incensed. He drove his gray Dodge pickup to the familys wooden shack near the river and strode into the muddy yard with Emshwiller as his backup (she was carrying a matte-black air rifle with a large scope). Burger wasnt there, but his mother, sister, and brother-in-law were. Im giving you a last chance here, McAfee said, holding his Smith & Wesson. Your brother will be a dead man if he doesnt turn in that gun. It doesnt matter where he goes.

It was like he thought he was in a movie, says Amelia Allen, the shooters sister. But she wasnt going to argue with McAfee. Her mother pulled the gun out of a bush and handed it to him.

Soon, McAfee was everywhere. He pulled over a suspicious car on the road only to discover that it was filled with elderly people and children. He offered a new flatscreen TV to a small-time marijuana peddler on the condition that the man stop dealing (the guy accepted, though the TV soon broke). It was like John Wayne came to town, says Elvis Reynolds, former chair of the village council.

When I visited the village, Reynolds and others admitted that there were fights and petty theft but insisted that Carmelita was simply an impoverished little village, not a major transit point for international narco-traffickers, as McAfee alleges. The village leaders, for their part, were dumbfounded. Many were unfamiliar with antivirus software and had never heard of John McAfee. I thought he would come by, introduce himself, and explain what he was doing here, but he never did, says Feliciano Salam, a soft-spoken resident who has served on the village council for two years. He just showed up and started telling us what to do.

The fact that he was running a laboratory on his property only added to the mystery. Adonizio was continuing to research botanical compounds, but McAfee didnt want to tell the locals anything about it. In part he was worried about corporate espionage. He had seen white men in suits standing beside their cars on the heavily trafficked toll bridge near his property and was sure they were spies. Do you realize that Glaxo, Bayer, every single drug company in the world sent people out there? McAfee says. I was working on a project that had some paradigm-shifting impact on the drug world. It would be insanity to talk about it.

McAfee became convinced that he was being watched at all hours. Across the river, he saw people lurking in the forest and would surveil them with binoculars. When Emshwiller visited, she never noticed anybody but repeatedly told McAfee to be careful. She heard rumors that gang members were out to jack himrob and kill him. On one occasion, she recorded a village councilman discussing how to dispatch McAfee with a grenade. McAfee was wowed by her street smartsShe is brilliant beyond description, he saysand relished the fact that she had come full circle and was now defending him. He got himself into a very entangled, dysfunctional situation, says Katrina Ancona, the wife of McAfees partner in the water taxi business. We kept telling him to get out.

Adonizio was also worried about McAfees behavior. He had initially told her that the area was perfectly safe, but now she was surrounded by armed men. When she went to talk to McAfee in his bungalow, she noticed garbage bags filled with cash and blister packs of pharmaceuticals, including Viagra. She lived just outside of Carmelita and had never had any problems. If there was any danger, she felt that it was coming from McAfee. He turned into a very scary person, she says. She wasnt comfortable living there anymore and left the country.

George Lovell, CEO of the Ministry of National Security, was also concerned that McAfee was buying guns and hiring guards. When I see people doing this, my question is, what are you trying to protect? Lovell says. Marco Vidal, head of the Gang Suppression Unit, concurred. We got information to suggest that there may have been a meth laboratory at his location, he wrote in an email. Given the intelligence on McAfee, there was no scope for making efforts to resolve the matter. He proposed a raid, and his superiors approved it.

When members of the GSU swept into McAfees compound on April 30, 2012, they found no meth. They found no illegal drugs of any kind. They did confiscate 10 weapons and 320 rounds of ammunition. Three of McAfees security guards were operating without a security guard license, and charges were filed against them. McAfee was accused of possessing an unlicensed firearm and spent a night in the Queen Street jail, aka the Pisshouse.

But the next morning, the charges were dropped and McAfee was released. He was convinced, however, that his war on drugs had made him some powerful enemies.

He had reason to worry. According to Vidal, McAfee was still a person of interest, primarily because the authorities still couldnt explain what he was up to. The GSU makes no apologies for deeming a person in control of a laboratory, with no approval for manufacturing any substance, having gang connections and heavily armed security guards, as a person of interest, Vidal wrote.

Vidals suspicions may not have been far off. Two years after moving to Belize, McAfee began posting dozens of queries on Bluelight.ru, a drug discussion forum. He explained that he had started to experiment with MDPV, a psychoactive stimulant found in bath salts, a class of designer drugs that have effects similar to amphetamines and cocaine. When I first started doing this I accidently got a few drops on my fingers while handling a used flask and didnt sleep for four days, McAfee posted. I had visual and auditory hallucinations and the worst paranoia of my life.

McAfee indicated, though, that the heightened sexuality justified the drugs risks and claimed to have produced 50 pounds of MDPV in 2010. I have distributed over 3,000 doses exclusively in this country, he wrote. But neither Emshwiller, Adonizio, nor anyone else I spoke with observed him making the stuff. So how could he have produced 50 pounds without anyone noticing?

McAfee has a simple explanation: The whole thing was an elaborate prank aimed at tricking drug users into trying a notoriously noxious drug. It was the most tongue-in-cheek thing in the fucking world, he says, and denies ever taking the substance. If Im gonna do drugs, Im gonna do something that I know is good, he says. Im gonna grab some mushrooms, number one, and maybe get some really fine cocaine.

But anybody who knows me knows I would never do drugs, he says.

In August, McAfee and I meet for a final in-person interview at his villa on Ambergris Caye. He greets me wearing a pistol strapped across his bare chest. Guards patrol the beach in front of us. He tells me that hes now living with five women who appear to be between the ages of 17 and 20; each has her own bungalow on the property. Emshwiller is here, though McAfees attention is focused on the other women.

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John McAfee Fled to Belize, But He Couldnt … – WIRED

John McAfees Latest Prediction: Major Crypto Price Surge …

John McAfee, who has taken passionately to making predictions about the cryptocurrency market, is forecasting a surge in July.

John McAfee, the founder of one of the best-known antivirus software companies, seems to be enjoying his new role as the unofficial fortune teller of the crypto market.

McAfee tweeted that he expects Bitcoin prices to jump up to $15,000 in July, reversing the current bearish trend. Bitcoin was trading at $7,611 at 4:00 am UTC Friday, data from CoinMarketCap showed.

He said in his post:

My short-term price predictions: In a major dip, with nearly everything dropping, the price of Docademic doubled since my prediction. The market will turn before June 12th, and my predictions will hit. My algorithms predicted Trump’s June 12th date. They have never been wrong.

His other forecasts include the surge of Golem from $0.49 to $5 over the next two months. Docademic, which is ranked 238th and currently trading at $0.143, is also seen by McAfee to increase in value and jump to $0.73 by mid-July. Bezop, number 648 and currently priced at $0.117, is predicted to hit $0.52 during the same period.

He also posted a picture graph showing the upward trajectory of Docademic with the caption Docademic.com, a picture is worth a thousand words

McAfee’s tweets with predictions on digital currencies are starting to get the attention of the industry and other social media platforms. Although he claims near-accuracy, some of his predictions have failed. Nevertheless, his bold forecasts have influenced many cryptocurrency traders and investors and how the market moves.

One instance where McAfee got it wrong was with Cryptosecure. He jumped the gun on this one after news reports claimed the company was served a cease and desist order. McAfee quickly communicated his disapproval and gave up on the project.

On Wednesday, he tweeted his apologies to Cryptosecure for the incorrect news reports he had received about the company. He said:

Cryptosecure update: media reports were incorrect. They have not been served with a cease and desist. They have a letter, applicable to New Brunswuck, Canada only, stating that they might be selling securities in New Brunswick. My apologies to Cryptosecure.

Read the original here:

John McAfees Latest Prediction: Major Crypto Price Surge …

Libertarianism – Wikipedia

“Libertarians” redirects here. For political parties that may go by this name, see Libertarian Party.

Libertarianism (from Latin: libertas, meaning “freedom”) is a collection of political philosophies and movements that uphold liberty as a core principle.[1] Libertarians seek to maximize political freedom and autonomy, emphasizing freedom of choice, voluntary association, and individual judgment.[2][3][4] Libertarians share a skepticism of authority and state power, but they diverge on the scope of their opposition to existing political and economic systems. Various schools of libertarian thought offer a range of views regarding the legitimate functions of state and private power, often calling for the restriction or dissolution of coercive social institutions.[5]

Left-libertarian ideologies seek to abolish capitalism and private ownership of the means of production, or else to restrict their purview or effects, in favor of common or cooperative ownership and management, viewing private property as a barrier to freedom and liberty.[6][7][8][9] In contrast, modern right-libertarian ideologies, such as minarchism and anarcho-capitalism, instead advocate laissez-faire capitalism and strong private property rights,[10] such as in land, infrastructure, and natural resources.

The first recorded use of the term “libertarian” was in 1789, when William Belsham wrote about libertarianism in the context of metaphysics.[11]

“Libertarian” came to mean an advocate or defender of liberty, especially in the political and social spheres, as early as 1796, when the London Packet printed on 12 February: “Lately marched out of the Prison at Bristol, 450 of the French Libertarians”.[12] The word was again used in a political sense in 1802 in a short piece critiquing a poem by “the author of Gebir” and has since been used with this meaning.[13][14][15]

The use of the word “libertarian” to describe a new set of political positions has been traced to the French cognate, libertaire, coined in a letter French libertarian communist Joseph Djacque wrote to mutualist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in 1857.[16][17][18] Djacque also used the term for his anarchist publication Le Libertaire: Journal du Mouvement Social, which was printed from 9 June 1858 to 4 February 1861 in New York City.[19][20] In the mid-1890s, Sbastien Faure began publishing a new Le Libertaire while France’s Third Republic enacted the lois sclrates (“villainous laws”), which banned anarchist publications in France. Libertarianism has frequently been used as a synonym for anarchism since this time.[21][22][23]

The term “libertarianism” was first used in the United States as a synonym for classic liberalism in May 1955 by writer Dean Russell, a colleague of Leonard Read and a classic liberal himself. He justified the choice of the word as follows: “Many of us call ourselves ‘liberals.’ And it is true that the word ‘liberal’ once described persons who respected the individual and feared the use of mass compulsions. But the leftists have now corrupted that once-proud term to identify themselves and their program of more government ownership of property and more controls over persons. As a result, those of us who believe in freedom must explain that when we call ourselves liberals, we mean liberals in the uncorrupted classical sense. At best, this is awkward and subject to misunderstanding. Here is a suggestion: Let those of us who love liberty trade-mark and reserve for our own use the good and honorable word ‘libertarian'”.[24]

Subsequently, a growing number of Americans with classical liberal beliefs in the United States began to describe themselves as “libertarian”. The person most responsible for popularizing the term “libertarian” was Murray Rothbard,[25] who started publishing libertarian works in the 1960s.

Libertarianism in the United States has been described as conservative on economic issues and liberal on personal freedom[26] (for common meanings of conservative and liberal in the United States) and it is also often associated with a foreign policy of non-interventionism.[27][28]

Although the word “libertarian” has been used to refer to socialists internationally, its meaning in the United States has deviated from its political origins.[29][30]

There is contention about whether left and right libertarianism “represent distinct ideologies as opposed to variations on a theme”.[31] All libertarians begin with a conception of personal autonomy from which they argue in favor of civil liberties and a reduction or elimination of the state.

Left-libertarianism encompasses those libertarian beliefs that claim the Earth’s natural resources belong to everyone in an egalitarian manner, either unowned or owned collectively. Contemporary left-libertarians such as Hillel Steiner, Peter Vallentyne, Philippe Van Parijs, Michael Otsuka and David Ellerman believe the appropriation of land must leave “enough and as good” for others or be taxed by society to compensate for the exclusionary effects of private property. Libertarian socialists (social and individualist anarchists, libertarian Marxists, council communists, Luxemburgists and DeLeonists) promote usufruct and socialist economic theories, including communism, collectivism, syndicalism and mutualism. They criticize the state for being the defender of private property and believe capitalism entails wage slavery.

Right-libertarianism[32] developed in the United States in the mid-20th century and is the most popular conception of libertarianism in that region.[33] It is commonly referred to as a continuation or radicalization of classical liberalism.[34][35] Right-libertarians, while often sharing left-libertarians’ advocacy for social freedom, also value the social institutions that enforce conditions of capitalism, while rejecting institutions that function in opposition to these on the grounds that such interventions represent unnecessary coercion of individuals and abrogation of their economic freedom.[36] Anarcho-capitalists[37][38] seek complete elimination of the state in favor of privately funded security services while minarchists defend “night-watchman states”, which maintain only those functions of government necessary to maintain conditions of capitalism and personal security.

Anarchism envisages freedom as a form of autonomy,[39] which Paul Goodman describes as “the ability to initiate a task and do it one’s own way, without orders from authorities who do not know the actual problem and the available means”.[40] All anarchists oppose political and legal authority, but collectivist strains also oppose the economic authority of private property.[41] These social anarchists emphasize mutual aid, whereas individualist anarchists extoll individual sovereignty.[42]

Some right-libertarians consider the non-aggression principle (NAP) to be a core part of their beliefs.[43][44]

Libertarians have been advocates and activists of civil liberties, including free love and free thought.[45][46] Advocates of free love viewed sexual freedom as a clear, direct expression of individual sovereignty and they particularly stressed women’s rights as most sexual laws discriminated against women: for example, marriage laws and anti-birth control measures.[47]

Free love appeared alongside anarcha-feminism and advocacy of LGBT rights. Anarcha-feminism developed as a synthesis of radical feminism and anarchism and views patriarchy as a fundamental manifestation of compulsory government. It was inspired by the late-19th-century writings of early feminist anarchists such as Lucy Parsons, Emma Goldman, Voltairine de Cleyre and Virginia Bolten. Anarcha-feminists, like other radical feminists, criticise and advocate the abolition of traditional conceptions of family, education and gender roles. Free Society (18951897 as The Firebrand, 18971904 as Free Society) was an anarchist newspaper in the United States that staunchly advocated free love and women’s rights, while criticizing “comstockery”, the censorship of sexual information.[48] In recent times, anarchism has also voiced opinions and taken action around certain sex-related subjects such as pornography,[49] BDSM[50] and the sex industry.[50]

Free thought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds opinions should be formed on the basis of science, logic and reason in contrast with authority, tradition or other dogmas.[51][52] In the United States, free thought was an anti-Christian, anti-clerical movement whose purpose was to make the individual politically and spiritually free to decide on religious matters. A number of contributors to Liberty were prominent figures in both free thought and anarchism. In 1901, Catalan anarchist and free-thinker Francesc Ferrer i Gurdia established “modern” or progressive schools in Barcelona in defiance of an educational system controlled by the Catholic Church.[53] Fiercely anti-clerical, Ferrer believed in “freedom in education”, i.e. education free from the authority of the church and state.[54] The schools’ stated goal was to “educate the working class in a rational, secular and non-coercive setting”. Later in the 20th century, Austrian Freudo-Marxist Wilhelm Reich became a consistent propagandist for sexual freedom going as far as opening free sex-counselling clinics in Vienna for working-class patients[55] as well as coining the phrase “sexual revolution” in one of his books from the 1940s.[56] During the early 1970s, the English anarchist and pacifist Alex Comfort achieved international celebrity for writing the sex manuals The Joy of Sex and More Joy of Sex.

Most left-libertarians are anarchists and believe the state inherently violates personal autonomy: “As Robert Paul Wolff has argued, since ‘the state is authority, the right to rule’, anarchism which rejects the State is the only political doctrine consistent with autonomy in which the individual alone is the judge of his moral constraints”.[41] Social anarchists believe the state defends private property, which they view as intrinsically harmful, while market-oriented left-libertarians argue that so-called free markets actually consist of economic privileges granted by the state. These latter libertarians advocate instead for freed markets, which are freed from these privileges.[57]

There is a debate amongst right-libertarians as to whether or not the state is legitimate: while anarcho-capitalists advocate its abolition, minarchists support minimal states, often referred to as night-watchman states. Libertarians take a skeptical view of government authority.[58][unreliable source?] Minarchists maintain that the state is necessary for the protection of individuals from aggression, theft, breach of contract and fraud. They believe the only legitimate governmental institutions are the military, police and courts, though some expand this list to include fire departments, prisons and the executive and legislative branches.[59] They justify the state on the grounds that it is the logical consequence of adhering to the non-aggression principle and argue that anarchism is immoral because it implies that the non-aggression principle is optional, that the enforcement of laws under anarchism is open to competition.[citation needed] Another common justification is that private defense agencies and court firms would tend to represent the interests of those who pay them enough.[60]

Anarcho-capitalists argue that the state violates the non-aggression principle (NAP) by its nature because governments use force against those who have not stolen or vandalized private property, assaulted anyone or committed fraud.[61][62] Linda & Morris Tannehill argue that no coercive monopoly of force can arise on a truly free market and that a government’s citizenry can not desert them in favor of a competent protection and defense agency.[63]

Left-libertarians believe that neither claiming nor mixing one’s labor with natural resources is enough to generate full private property rights[64][65] and maintain that natural resources ought to be held in an egalitarian manner, either unowned or owned collectively.[66]

Right-libertarians maintain that unowned natural resources “may be appropriated by the first person who discovers them, mixes his labor with them, or merely claims themwithout the consent of others, and with little or no payment to them”. They believe that natural resources are originally unowned and therefore private parties may appropriate them at will without the consent of, or owing to, others.[67]

Left-libertarians (social and individualist anarchists, libertarian Marxists and left-wing market anarchists) argue in favor of socialist theories such as communism, syndicalism and mutualism (anarchist economics). Daniel Gurin writes that “anarchism is really a synonym for socialism. The anarchist is primarily a socialist whose aim is to abolish the exploitation of man by man. Anarchism is only one of the streams of socialist thought, that stream whose main components are concern for liberty and haste to abolish the State”.[68]

Right-libertarians are economic liberals of either the Austrian School or Chicago school and support laissez-faire capitalism.[69]

Wage labour has long been compared by socialists and anarcho-syndicalists to slavery.[70][71][72][73] As a result, the term “wage slavery” is often utilised as a pejorative for wage labor.[74] Advocates of slavery looked upon the “comparative evils of Slave Society and of Free Society, of slavery to human Masters and slavery to Capital”[75] and proceeded to argue that wage slavery was actually worse than chattel slavery.[76] Slavery apologists like George Fitzhugh contended that workers only accepted wage labour with the passage of time, as they became “familiarized and inattentive to the infected social atmosphere they continually inhale[d]”.[75]

According to Noam Chomsky, analysis of the psychological implications of wage slavery goes back to the Enlightenment era. In his 1791 book On the Limits of State Action, classical liberal thinker Wilhelm von Humboldt explained how “whatever does not spring from a man’s free choice, or is only the result of instruction and guidance, does not enter into his very nature; he does not perform it with truly human energies, but merely with mechanical exactness” and so when the labourer works under external control “we may admire what he does, but we despise what he is”.[77] For Marxists, labour-as-commodity, which is how they regard wage labour,[78] provides an absolutely fundamental point of attack against capitalism.[79] “It can be persuasively argued”, noted philosopher John Nelson, “that the conception of the worker’s labour as a commodity confirms Marx’s stigmatization of the wage system of private capitalism as ‘wage-slavery;’ that is, as an instrument of the capitalist’s for reducing the worker’s condition to that of a slave, if not below it”.[80] That this objection is fundamental follows immediately from Marx’s conclusion that wage labour is the very foundation of capitalism: “Without a class dependent on wages, the moment individuals confront each other as free persons, there can be no production of surplus value; without the production of surplus-value there can be no capitalist production, and hence no capital and no capitalist!”.[81]

Left-libertarianism (or left-wing libertarianism) names several related, but distinct approaches to political and social theory which stresses both individual freedom and social equality. In its classical usage, left-libertarianism is a synonym for anti-authoritarian varieties of left-wing politics, i.e. libertarian socialism, which includes anarchism and libertarian Marxism, among others.[82][83] Left-libertarianism can also refer to political positions associated with academic philosophers Hillel Steiner, Philippe Van Parijs and Peter Vallentyne that combine self-ownership with an egalitarian approach to natural resouces.[84]

While maintaining full respect for personal property, left-libertarians are skeptical of or fully against private property, arguing that neither claiming nor mixing one’s labor with natural resources is enough to generate full private property rights[85][86] and maintain that natural resources (land, oil, gold and vegetation) should be held in an egalitarian manner, either unowned or owned collectively. Those left-libertarians who support private property do so under the condition that recompense is offered to the local community.[86] Many left-libertarian schools of thought are communist, advocating the eventual replacement of money with labor vouchers or decentralized planning.

On the other hand, left-wing market anarchism, which includes Pierre-Joseph Proudhon’s mutualism and Samuel Edward Konkin III’s agorism, appeals to left-wing concerns such as egalitarianism, gender and sexuality, class, immigration and environmentalism within the paradigm of a socialist free market.[82]

Right-libertarianism (or right-wing libertarianism) refers to libertarian political philosophies that advocate negative rights, natural law and a major reversal of the modern welfare state.[87] Right-libertarians strongly support private property rights and defend market distribution of natural resources and private property.[88] This position is contrasted with that of some versions of left-libertarianism, which maintain that natural resources belong to everyone in an egalitarian manner, either unowned or owned collectively.[89] Right-libertarianism includes anarcho-capitalism and laissez-faire, minarchist liberalism.[note 1]

Elements of libertarianism can be traced as far back as the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu and the higher-law concepts of the Greeks and the Israelites.[90][91] In 17th-century England, libertarian ideas began to take modern form in the writings of the Levellers and John Locke. In the middle of that century, opponents of royal power began to be called Whigs, or sometimes simply “opposition” or “country” (as opposed to Court) writers.[92]

During the 18th century, classical liberal ideas flourished in Europe and North America.[93][94] Libertarians of various schools were influenced by classical liberal ideas.[95] For libertarian philosopher Roderick T. Long, both libertarian socialists and libertarian capitalists “share a commonor at least an overlapping intellectual ancestry… both claim the seventeenth century English Levellers and the eighteenth century French encyclopedists among their ideological forebears; and (also)… usually share an admiration for Thomas Jefferson[96][97][98] and Thomas Paine”.[99]

John Locke greatly influenced both libertarianism and the modern world in his writings published before and after the English Revolution of 1688, especially A Letter Concerning Toleration (1667), Two Treatises of Government (1689) and An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). In the text of 1689, he established the basis of liberal political theory: that people’s rights existed before government; that the purpose of government is to protect personal and property rights; that people may dissolve governments that do not do so; and that representative government is the best form to protect rights.[100] The United States Declaration of Independence was inspired by Locke in its statement: “[T]o secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it”.[101] Nevertheless scholar Ellen Meiksins Wood says that “there are doctrines of individualism that are opposed to Lockean individualism… and non-Lockean individualism may encompass socialism”.[102]

According to Murray Rothbard, the libertarian creed emerged from the classical liberal challenges to an “absolute central State and a king ruling by divine right on top of an older, restrictive web of feudal land monopolies and urban guild controls and restrictions”, the mercantilism of a bureaucratic warfaring state allied with privileged merchants. The object of classical liberals was individual liberty in the economy, in personal freedoms and civil liberty, separation of state and religion, and peace as an alternative to imperial aggrandizement. He cites Locke’s contemporaries, the Levellers, who held similar views. Also influential were the English “Cato’s Letters” during the early 1700s, reprinted eagerly by American colonists who already were free of European aristocracy and feudal land monopolies.[101]

In January of 1776, only two years after coming to America from England, Thomas Paine published his pamphlet Common Sense calling for independence for the colonies.[103] Paine promoted classical liberal ideas in clear, concise language that allowed the general public to understand the debates among the political elites.[104] Common Sense was immensely popular in disseminating these ideas,[105] selling hundreds of thousands of copies.[106] Paine later would write the Rights of Man and The Age of Reason and participate in the French Revolution.[103] Paine’s theory of property showed a “libertarian concern” with the redistribution of resources.[107]

In 1793, William Godwin wrote a libertarian philosophical treatise, Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and its Influence on Morals and Happiness, which criticized ideas of human rights and of society by contract based on vague promises. He took classical liberalism to its logical anarchic conclusion by rejecting all political institutions, law, government and apparatus of coercion as well as all political protest and insurrection. Instead of institutionalized justice, Godwin proposed that people influence one another to moral goodness through informal reasoned persuasion, including in the associations they joined as this would facilitate happiness.[108][109]

Modern anarchism sprang from the secular or religious thought of the Enlightenment, particularly Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s arguments for the moral centrality of freedom.[110]

As part of the political turmoil of the 1790s in the wake of the French Revolution, William Godwin developed the first expression of modern anarchist thought.[111][112] According to Peter Kropotkin, Godwin was “the first to formulate the political and economical conceptions of anarchism, even though he did not give that name to the ideas developed in his work”,[113] while Godwin attached his anarchist ideas to an early Edmund Burke.[114]

Godwin is generally regarded as the founder of the school of thought known as philosophical anarchism. He argued in Political Justice (1793)[112][115] that government has an inherently malevolent influence on society and that it perpetuates dependency and ignorance. He thought that the spread of the use of reason to the masses would eventually cause government to wither away as an unnecessary force. Although he did not accord the state with moral legitimacy, he was against the use of revolutionary tactics for removing the government from power. Rather, Godwin advocated for its replacement through a process of peaceful evolution.[112][116]

His aversion to the imposition of a rules-based society led him to denounce, as a manifestation of the people’s “mental enslavement”, the foundations of law, property rights and even the institution of marriage. Godwin considered the basic foundations of society as constraining the natural development of individuals to use their powers of reasoning to arrive at a mutually beneficial method of social organization. In each case, government and its institutions are shown to constrain the development of our capacity to live wholly in accordance with the full and free exercise of private judgment.

In France, various anarchist currents were present during the Revolutionary period, with some revolutionaries using the term anarchiste in a positive light as early as September 1793.[117] The enrags opposed revolutionary government as a contradiction in terms. Denouncing the Jacobin dictatorship, Jean Varlet wrote in 1794 that “government and revolution are incompatible, unless the people wishes to set its constituted authorities in permanent insurrection against itself”.[118] In his “Manifesto of the Equals”, Sylvain Marchal looked forward to the disappearance, once and for all, of “the revolting distinction between rich and poor, of great and small, of masters and valets, of governors and governed”.[118]

Libertarian socialism, libertarian communism and libertarian Marxism are all phrases which activists with a variety of perspectives have applied to their views.[119] Anarchist communist philosopher Joseph Djacque was the first person to describe himself as a libertarian.[120] Unlike mutualist anarchist philosopher Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, he argued that “it is not the product of his or her labor that the worker has a right to, but to the satisfaction of his or her needs, whatever may be their nature”.[121][122] According to anarchist historian Max Nettlau, the first use of the term “libertarian communism” was in November 1880, when a French anarchist congress employed it to more clearly identify its doctrines.[123] The French anarchist journalist Sbastien Faure started the weekly paper Le Libertaire (The Libertarian) in 1895.[124]

Individualist anarchism refers to several traditions of thought within the anarchist movement that emphasize the individual and their will over any kinds of external determinants such as groups, society, traditions, and ideological systems.[125][126] An influential form of individualist anarchism called egoism[127] or egoist anarchism was expounded by one of the earliest and best-known proponents of individualist anarchism, the German Max Stirner.[128] Stirner’s The Ego and Its Own, published in 1844, is a founding text of the philosophy.[128] According to Stirner, the only limitation on the rights of the individual is their power to obtain what they desire,[129] without regard for God, state or morality.[130] Stirner advocated self-assertion and foresaw unions of egoists, non-systematic associations continually renewed by all parties’ support through an act of will,[131] which Stirner proposed as a form of organisation in place of the state.[132] Egoist anarchists argue that egoism will foster genuine and spontaneous union between individuals.[133] Egoism has inspired many interpretations of Stirner’s philosophy. It was re-discovered and promoted by German philosophical anarchist and LGBT activist John Henry Mackay. Josiah Warren is widely regarded as the first American anarchist,[134] and the four-page weekly paper he edited during 1833, The Peaceful Revolutionist, was the first anarchist periodical published.[135] For American anarchist historian Eunice Minette Schuster, “[i]t is apparent… that Proudhonian Anarchism was to be found in the United States at least as early as 1848 and that it was not conscious of its affinity to the Individualist Anarchism of Josiah Warren and Stephen Pearl Andrews… William B. Greene presented this Proudhonian Mutualism in its purest and most systematic form.”.[136] Later, Benjamin Tucker fused Stirner’s egoism with the economics of Warren and Proudhon in his eclectic influential publication Liberty. From these early influences, individualist anarchism in different countries attracted a small yet diverse following of bohemian artists and intellectuals,[137] free love and birth control advocates (anarchism and issues related to love and sex),[138][139] individualist naturists nudists (anarcho-naturism),[140][141][142] free thought and anti-clerical activists[143][144] as well as young anarchist outlaws in what became known as illegalism and individual reclamation[145][146] (European individualist anarchism and individualist anarchism in France). These authors and activists included Emile Armand, Han Ryner, Henri Zisly, Renzo Novatore, Miguel Gimenez Igualada, Adolf Brand and Lev Chernyi.

In 1873, the follower and translator of Proudhon, the Catalan Francesc Pi i Margall, became President of Spain with a program which wanted “to establish a decentralized, or “cantonalist,” political system on Proudhonian lines”,[147] who according to Rudolf Rocker had “political ideas…much in common with those of Richard Price, Joseph Priestly [sic], Thomas Paine, Jefferson, and other representatives of the Anglo-American liberalism of the first period. He wanted to limit the power of the state to a minimum and gradually replace it by a Socialist economic order”.[148] On the other hand, Fermn Salvochea was a mayor of the city of Cdiz and a president of the province of Cdiz. He was one of the main propagators of anarchist thought in that area in the late 19th century and is considered to be “perhaps the most beloved figure in the Spanish Anarchist movement of the 19th century”.[149][150] Ideologically, he was influenced by Bradlaugh, Owen and Paine, whose works he had studied during his stay in England and Kropotkin, whom he read later.[149] The revolutionary wave of 19171923 saw the active participation of anarchists in Russia and Europe. Russian anarchists participated alongside the Bolsheviks in both the February and October 1917 revolutions. However, Bolsheviks in central Russia quickly began to imprison or drive underground the libertarian anarchists. Many fled to the Ukraine.[151] There, in the Ukrainian Free Territory they fought in the Russian Civil War against the White movement, monarchists and other opponents of revolution and then against Bolsheviks as part of the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine led by Nestor Makhno, who established an anarchist society in the region for a number of months. Expelled American anarchists Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman protested Bolshevik policy before they left Russia.[152]

The victory of the Bolsheviks damaged anarchist movements internationally as workers and activists joined Communist parties. In France and the United States, for example, members of the major syndicalist movements of the CGT and IWW joined the Communist International.[153] In Paris, the Dielo Truda group of Russian anarchist exiles, which included Nestor Makhno, issued a 1926 manifesto, the Organizational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists (Draft), calling for new anarchist organizing structures.[154][155]

The Bavarian Soviet Republic of 19181919 had libertarian socialist characteristics.[156][157] In Italy, from 1918 to 1921 the anarcho-syndicalist trade union Unione Sindacale Italiana grew to 800,000 members.[158]

In the 1920s and 1930s, with the rise of fascism in Europe, anarchists began to fight fascists in Italy,[159] in France during the February 1934 riots[160] and in Spain where the CNT (Confederacin Nacional del Trabajo) boycott of elections led to a right-wing victory and its later participation in voting in 1936 helped bring the popular front back to power. This led to a ruling class attempted coup and the Spanish Civil War (19361939).[161] Gruppo Comunista Anarchico di Firenze held that the during early twentieth century, the terms libertarian communism and anarchist communism became synonymous within the international anarchist movement as a result of the close connection they had in Spain (anarchism in Spain) (with libertarian communism becoming the prevalent term).[162]

Murray Bookchin wrote that the Spanish libertarian movement of the mid-1930s was unique because its workers’ control and collectiveswhich came out of a three-generation “massive libertarian movement”divided the republican camp and challenged the Marxists. “Urban anarchists” created libertarian communist forms of organization which evolved into the CNT, a syndicalist union providing the infrastructure for a libertarian society. Also formed were local bodies to administer social and economic life on a decentralized libertarian basis. Much of the infrastructure was destroyed during the 1930s Spanish Civil War against authoritarian and fascist forces.[163] The Iberian Federation of Libertarian Youth[164] (FIJL, Spanish: Federacin Ibrica de Juventudes Libertarias), sometimes abbreviated as Libertarian Youth (Juventudes Libertarias), was a libertarian socialist[165] organisation created in 1932 in Madrid.[166] In February 1937, the FIJL organised a plenum of regional organisations (second congress of FIJL). In October 1938, from the 16th through the 30th in Barcelona the FIJL participated in a national plenum of the libertarian movement, also attended by members of the CNT and the Iberian Anarchist Federation (FAI).[167] The FIJL exists until today. When the republican forces lost the Spanish Civil War, the city of Madrid was turned over to the francoist forces in 1939 by the last non-francoist mayor of the city, the anarchist Melchor Rodrguez Garca.[168] During autumn of 1931, the “Manifesto of the 30” was published by militants of the anarchist trade union CNT and among those who signed it there was the CNT General Secretary (19221923) Joan Peiro, Angel Pestaa CNT (General Secretary in 1929) and Juan Lopez Sanchez. They were called treintismo and they were calling for “libertarian possibilism” which advocated achieving libertarian socialist ends with participation inside structures of contemporary parliamentary democracy.[169] In 1932, they establish the Syndicalist Party which participates in the 1936 spanish general elections and proceed to be a part of the leftist coalition of parties known as the Popular Front obtaining 2 congressmen (Pestaa and Benito Pabon). In 1938, Horacio Prieto, general secretary of the CNT, proposes that the Iberian Anarchist Federation transforms itself into a “Libertarian Socialist Party” and that it participates in the national elections.[170]

The Manifesto of Libertarian Communism was written in 1953 by Georges Fontenis for the Federation Communiste Libertaire of France. It is one of the key texts of the anarchist-communist current known as platformism.[171] In 1968, in Carrara, Italy the International of Anarchist Federations was founded during an international anarchist conference to advance libertarian solidarity. It wanted to form “a strong and organised workers movement, agreeing with the libertarian ideas”.[172][173] In the United States, the Libertarian League was founded in New York City in 1954 as a left-libertarian political organisation building on the Libertarian Book Club.[174][175] Members included Sam Dolgoff,[176] Russell Blackwell, Dave Van Ronk, Enrico Arrigoni[177] and Murray Bookchin.

In Australia, the Sydney Push was a predominantly left-wing intellectual subculture in Sydney from the late 1940s to the early 1970s which became associated with the label “Sydney libertarianism”. Well known associates of the Push include Jim Baker, John Flaus, Harry Hooton, Margaret Fink, Sasha Soldatow,[178] Lex Banning, Eva Cox, Richard Appleton, Paddy McGuinness, David Makinson, Germaine Greer, Clive James, Robert Hughes, Frank Moorhouse and Lillian Roxon. Amongst the key intellectual figures in Push debates were philosophers David J. Ivison, George Molnar, Roelof Smilde, Darcy Waters and Jim Baker, as recorded in Baker’s memoir Sydney Libertarians and the Push, published in the libertarian Broadsheet in 1975.[179] An understanding of libertarian values and social theory can be obtained from their publications, a few of which are available online.[180][181]

In 1969, French platformist anarcho-communist Daniel Gurin published an essay in 1969 called “Libertarian Marxism?” in which he dealt with the debate between Karl Marx and Mikhail Bakunin at the First International and afterwards suggested that “[l]ibertarian marxism rejects determinism and fatalism, giving the greater place to individual will, intuition, imagination, reflex speeds, and to the deep instincts of the masses, which are more far-seeing in hours of crisis than the reasonings of the ‘elites’; libertarian marxism thinks of the effects of surprise, provocation and boldness, refuses to be cluttered and paralysed by a heavy ‘scientific’ apparatus, doesn’t equivocate or bluff, and guards itself from adventurism as much as from fear of the unknown”.[182] Libertarian Marxist currents often draw from Marx and Engels’ later works, specifically the Grundrisse and The Civil War in France.[183] They emphasize the Marxist belief in the ability of the working class to forge its own destiny without the need for a revolutionary party or state.[184] Libertarian Marxism includes such currents as council communism, left communism, Socialisme ou Barbarie, Lettrism/Situationism and operaismo/autonomism and New Left.[185][unreliable source?] In the United States, from 1970 to 1981 there existed the publication Root & Branch[186] which had as a subtitle “A Libertarian Marxist Journal”.[187] In 1974, the Libertarian Communism journal was started in the United Kingdom by a group inside the Socialist Party of Great Britain.[188] In 1986, the anarcho-syndicalist Sam Dolgoff started and led the publication Libertarian Labor Review in the United States[189] which decided to rename itself as Anarcho-Syndicalist Review in order to avoid confusion with right-libertarian views.[190]

The indigenous anarchist tradition in the United States was largely individualist.[191] In 1825, Josiah Warren became aware of the social system of utopian socialist Robert Owen and began to talk with others in Cincinnati about founding a communist colony.[192] When this group failed to come to an agreement about the form and goals of their proposed community, Warren “sold his factory after only two years of operation, packed up his young family, and took his place as one of 900 or so Owenites who had decided to become part of the founding population of New Harmony, Indiana”.[193] Warren termed the phrase “cost the limit of price”[194] and “proposed a system to pay people with certificates indicating how many hours of work they did. They could exchange the notes at local time stores for goods that took the same amount of time to produce”.[195] He put his theories to the test by establishing an experimental labor-for-labor store called the Cincinnati Time Store where trade was facilitated by labor notes. The store proved successful and operated for three years, after which it was closed so that Warren could pursue establishing colonies based on mutualism, including Utopia and Modern Times. “After New Harmony failed, Warren shifted his ideological loyalties from socialism to anarchism (which was no great leap, given that Owen’s socialism had been predicated on Godwin’s anarchism)”.[196] Warren is widely regarded as the first American anarchist[195] and the four-page weekly paper The Peaceful Revolutionist he edited during 1833 was the first anarchist periodical published,[135] an enterprise for which he built his own printing press, cast his own type and made his own printing plates.[135]

Catalan historian Xavier Diez reports that the intentional communal experiments pioneered by Warren were influential in European individualist anarchists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries such as mile Armand and the intentional communities started by them.[197] Warren said that Stephen Pearl Andrews, individualist anarchist and close associate, wrote the most lucid and complete exposition of Warren’s own theories in The Science of Society, published in 1852.[198] Andrews was formerly associated with the Fourierist movement, but converted to radical individualism after becoming acquainted with the work of Warren. Like Warren, he held the principle of “individual sovereignty” as being of paramount importance. Contemporary American anarchist Hakim Bey reports:

Steven Pearl Andrews… was not a fourierist, but he lived through the brief craze for phalansteries in America and adopted a lot of fourierist principles and practices… a maker of worlds out of words. He syncretized abolitionism in the United States, free love, spiritual universalism, Warren, and Fourier into a grand utopian scheme he called the Universal Pantarchy… He was instrumental in founding several ‘intentional communities,’ including the ‘Brownstone Utopia’ on 14th St. in New York, and ‘Modern Times’ in Brentwood, Long Island. The latter became as famous as the best-known fourierist communes (Brook Farm in Massachusetts & the North American Phalanx in New Jersey)in fact, Modern Times became downright notorious (for ‘Free Love’) and finally foundered under a wave of scandalous publicity. Andrews (and Victoria Woodhull) were members of the infamous Section 12 of the 1st International, expelled by Marx for its anarchist, feminist, and spiritualist tendencies.[199]

For American anarchist historian Eunice Minette Schuster, “[it is apparent… that Proudhonian Anarchism was to be found in the United States at least as early as 1848 and that it was not conscious of its affinity to the Individualist Anarchism of Josiah Warren and Stephen Pearl Andrews. William B. Greene presented this Proudhonian Mutualism in its purest and most systematic form”.[200] William Batchelder Greene was a 19th-century mutualist individualist anarchist, Unitarian minister, soldier and promoter of free banking in the United States. Greene is best known for the works Mutual Banking, which proposed an interest-free banking system; and Transcendentalism, a critique of the New England philosophical school. After 1850, he became active in labor reform.[200] “He was elected vice-president of the New England Labor Reform League, the majority of the members holding to Proudhon’s scheme of mutual banking, and in 1869 president of the Massachusetts Labor Union”.[200] Greene then published Socialistic, Mutualistic, and Financial Fragments (1875).[200] He saw mutualism as the synthesis of “liberty and order”.[200] His “associationism… is checked by individualism… ‘Mind your own business,’ ‘Judge not that ye be not judged.’ Over matters which are purely personal, as for example, moral conduct, the individual is sovereign, as well as over that which he himself produces. For this reason he demands ‘mutuality’ in marriagethe equal right of a woman to her own personal freedom and property”.[200]

Poet, naturalist and transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau was an important early influence in individualist anarchist thought in the United States and Europe. He is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings; and his essay Civil Disobedience (Resistance to Civil Government), an argument for individual resistance to civil government in moral opposition to an unjust state. In Walden, Thoreau advocates simple living and self-sufficiency among natural surroundings in resistance to the advancement of industrial civilization.[201] Civil Disobedience, first published in 1849, argues that people should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences and that people have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice. These works influenced green anarchism, anarcho-primitivism and anarcho-pacifism,[202] as well as figures including Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Martin Buber and Leo Tolstoy.[202] “Many have seen in Thoreau one of the precursors of ecologism and anarcho-primitivism represented today in John Zerzan. For George Woodcock this attitude can be also motivated by certain idea of resistance to progress and of rejection of the growing materialism which is the nature of American society in the mid-19th century”.[201] Zerzan included Thoreau’s “Excursions” in his edited compilation of anti-civilization writings, Against Civilization: Readings and Reflections.[203] Individualist anarchists such as Thoreau[204][205] do not speak of economics, but simply the right of disunion from the state and foresee the gradual elimination of the state through social evolution. Agorist author J. Neil Schulman cites Thoreau as a primary inspiration.[206]

Many economists since Adam Smith have argued thatunlike other taxesa land value tax would not cause economic inefficiency.[207] It would be a progressive tax[208]primarily paid by the wealthyand increase wages, reduce economic inequality, remove incentives to misuse real estate and reduce the vulnerability that economies face from credit and property bubbles.[209][210] Early proponents of this view include Thomas Paine, Herbert Spencer, and Hugo Grotius,[84] but the concept was widely popularized by the economist and social reformer Henry George.[211] George believed that people ought to own the fruits of their labor and the value of the improvements they make, thus he was opposed to income taxes, sales taxes, taxes on improvements and all other taxes on production, labor, trade or commerce. George was among the staunchest defenders of free markets and his book Protection or Free Trade was read into the U.S. Congressional Record.[212] Yet he did support direct management of natural monopolies as a last resort, such as right-of-way monopolies necessary for railroads. George advocated for elimination of intellectual property arrangements in favor of government sponsored prizes for inventors.[213][not in citation given] Early followers of George’s philosophy called themselves single taxers because they believed that the only legitimate, broad-based tax was land rent. The term Georgism was coined later, though some modern proponents prefer the term geoism instead,[214] leaving the meaning of “geo” (Earth in Greek) deliberately ambiguous. The terms “Earth Sharing”,[215] “geonomics”[216] and “geolibertarianism”[217] are used by some Georgists to represent a difference of emphasis, or real differences about how land rent should be spent, but all agree that land rent should be recovered from its private owners.

Individualist anarchism found in the United States an important space for discussion and development within the group known as the “Boston anarchists”.[218] Even among the 19th-century American individualists there was no monolithic doctrine and they disagreed amongst each other on various issues including intellectual property rights and possession versus property in land.[219][220][221] Some Boston anarchists, including Benjamin Tucker, identified as socialists, which in the 19th century was often used in the sense of a commitment to improving conditions of the working class (i.e. “the labor problem”).[222] Lysander Spooner, besides his individualist anarchist activism, was also an anti-slavery activist and member of the First International.[223] Tucker argued that the elimination of what he called “the four monopolies”the land monopoly, the money and banking monopoly, the monopoly powers conferred by patents and the quasi-monopolistic effects of tariffswould undermine the power of the wealthy and big business, making possible widespread property ownership and higher incomes for ordinary people, while minimizing the power of would-be bosses and achieving socialist goals without state action. Tucker’s anarchist periodical, Liberty, was published from August 1881 to April 1908. The publication, emblazoned with Proudhon’s quote that liberty is “Not the Daughter But the Mother of Order” was instrumental in developing and formalizing the individualist anarchist philosophy through publishing essays and serving as a forum for debate. Contributors included Benjamin Tucker, Lysander Spooner, Auberon Herbert, Dyer Lum, Joshua K. Ingalls, John Henry Mackay, Victor Yarros, Wordsworth Donisthorpe, James L. Walker, J. William Lloyd, Florence Finch Kelly, Voltairine de Cleyre, Steven T. Byington, John Beverley Robinson, Jo Labadie, Lillian Harman and Henry Appleton.[224] Later, Tucker and others abandoned their traditional support of natural rights and converted to an egoism modeled upon the philosophy of Max Stirner.[220] A number of natural rights proponents stopped contributing in protest and “[t]hereafter, Liberty championed egoism, although its general content did not change significantly”.[225] Several publications “were undoubtedly influenced by Liberty’s presentation of egoism. They included: I published by C.L. Swartz, edited by W.E. Gordak and J.W. Lloyd (all associates of Liberty); The Ego and The Egoist, both of which were edited by Edward H. Fulton. Among the egoist papers that Tucker followed were the German Der Eigene, edited by Adolf Brand, and The Eagle and The Serpent, issued from London. The latter, the most prominent English-language egoist journal, was published from 1898 to 1900 with the subtitle ‘A Journal of Egoistic Philosophy and Sociology'”.[225]

By around the start of the 20th century, the heyday of individualist anarchism had passed.[226] H. L. Mencken and Albert Jay Nock were the first prominent figures in the United States to describe themselves as libertarians;[227] they believed Franklin D. Roosevelt had co-opted the word “liberal” for his New Deal policies which they opposed and used “libertarian” to signify their allegiance to individualism.[citation needed] In 1914, Nock joined the staff of The Nation magazine, which at the time was supportive of liberal capitalism. A lifelong admirer of Henry George, Nock went on to become co-editor of The Freeman from 1920 to 1924, a publication initially conceived as a vehicle for the single tax movement, financed by the wealthy wife of the magazine’s other editor, Francis Neilson.[228] Critic H.L. Mencken wrote that “[h]is editorials during the three brief years of the Freeman set a mark that no other man of his trade has ever quite managed to reach. They were well-informed and sometimes even learned, but there was never the slightest trace of pedantry in them”.[229]

Executive Vice President of the Cato Institute, David Boaz, writes: “In 1943, at one of the lowest points for liberty and humanity in history, three remarkable women published books that could be said to have given birth to the modern libertarian movement”.[230] Isabel Paterson’s The God of the Machine, Rose Wilder Lane’s The Discovery of Freedom and Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead each promoted individualism and capitalism. None of the three used the term libertarianism to describe their beliefs and Rand specifically rejected the label, criticizing the burgeoning American libertarian movement as the “hippies of the right”.[231] Rand’s own philosophy, Objectivism, is notedly similar to libertarianism and she accused libertarians of plagiarizing her ideas.[231] Rand stated:

All kinds of people today call themselves “libertarians,” especially something calling itself the New Right, which consists of hippies who are anarchists instead of leftist collectivists; but anarchists are collectivists. Capitalism is the one system that requires absolute objective law, yet libertarians combine capitalism and anarchism. That’s worse than anything the New Left has proposed. It’s a mockery of philosophy and ideology. They sling slogans and try to ride on two bandwagons. They want to be hippies, but don’t want to preach collectivism because those jobs are already taken. But anarchism is a logical outgrowth of the anti-intellectual side of collectivism. I could deal with a Marxist with a greater chance of reaching some kind of understanding, and with much greater respect. Anarchists are the scum of the intellectual world of the Left, which has given them up. So the Right picks up another leftist discard. That’s the libertarian movement.[232]

In 1946, Leonard E. Read founded the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), an American nonprofit educational organization which promotes the principles of laissez-faire economics, private property, and limited government.[233] According to Gary North, former FEE director of seminars and a current Ludwig von Mises Institute scholar, FEE is the “granddaddy of all libertarian organizations”.[234] The initial officers of FEE were Leonard E. Read as President, Austrian School economist Henry Hazlitt as Vice-President and Chairman David Goodrich of B. F. Goodrich. Other trustees on the FEE board have included wealthy industrialist Jasper Crane of DuPont, H. W. Luhnow of William Volker & Co. and Robert Welch, founder of the John Birch Society.[236][237]

Austrian school economist Murray Rothbard was initially an enthusiastic partisan of the Old Right, particularly because of its general opposition to war and imperialism,[238] but long embraced a reading of American history that emphasized the role of elite privilege in shaping legal and political institutions. He was part of Ayn Rand’s circle for a brief period, but later harshly criticized Objectivism.[239] He praised Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and wrote that she “introduced me to the whole field of natural rights and natural law philosophy”, prompting him to learn “the glorious natural rights tradition”.[240](pp121, 132134) He soon broke with Rand over various differences, including his defense of anarchism. Rothbard was influenced by the work of the 19th-century American individualist anarchists[241] and sought to meld their advocacy of free markets and private defense with the principles of Austrian economics.[242] This new philosophy he called anarcho-capitalism.

Karl Hess, a speechwriter for Barry Goldwater and primary author of the Republican Party’s 1960 and 1964 platforms, became disillusioned with traditional politics following the 1964 presidential campaign in which Goldwater lost to Lyndon B. Johnson. He parted with the Republicans altogether after being rejected for employment with the party, and began work as a heavy-duty welder. Hess began reading American anarchists largely due to the recommendations of his friend Murray Rothbard and said that upon reading the works of communist anarchist Emma Goldman, he discovered that anarchists believed everything he had hoped the Republican Party would represent. For Hess, Goldman was the source for the best and most essential theories of Ayn Rand without any of the “crazy solipsism that Rand was so fond of”.[243] Hess and Rothbard founded the journal Left and Right: A Journal of Libertarian Thought, which was published from 1965 to 1968, with George Resch and Leonard P. Liggio. In 1969, they edited The Libertarian Forum 1969, which Hess left in 1971. Hess eventually put his focus on the small scale, stating that “Society is: people together making culture”. He deemed two of his cardinal social principles to be “opposition to central political authority” and “concern for people as individuals”. His rejection of standard American party politics was reflected in a lecture he gave during which he said: “The Democrats or liberals think that everybody is stupid and therefore they need somebody… to tell them how to behave themselves. The Republicans think everybody is lazy”.[244]

The Vietnam War split the uneasy alliance between growing numbers of American libertarians and conservatives who believed in limiting liberty to uphold moral virtues. Libertarians opposed to the war joined the draft resistance and peace movements, as well as organizations such as Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). In 1969 and 1970, Hess joined with others, including Murray Rothbard, Robert LeFevre, Dana Rohrabacher, Samuel Edward Konkin III and former SDS leader Carl Oglesby to speak at two “left-right” conferences which brought together activists from both the Old Right and the New Left in what was emerging as a nascent libertarian movement.[245] As part of his effort to unite right and left-libertarianism, Hess would join the SDS as well as the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), of which he explained: “We used to have a labor movement in this country, until I.W.W. leaders were killed or imprisoned. You could tell labor unions had become captive when business and government began to praise them. They’re destroying the militant black leaders the same way now. If the slaughter continues, before long liberals will be asking, ‘What happened to the blacks? Why aren’t they militant anymore?'”.[246] Rothbard ultimately broke with the left, allying himself instead with the burgeoning paleoconservative movement.[247] He criticized the tendency of these left-libertarians to appeal to “‘free spirits,’ to people who don’t want to push other people around, and who don’t want to be pushed around themselves” in contrast to “the bulk of Americans,” who “might well be tight-assed conformists, who want to stamp out drugs in their vicinity, kick out people with strange dress habits, etc”.[248] This left-libertarian tradition has been carried to the present day by Samuel Edward Konkin III’s agorists, contemporary mutualists such as Kevin Carson and Roderick T. Long and other left-wing market anarchists.[249]

In 1971, a small group of Americans led by David Nolan formed the Libertarian Party,[250] which has run a presidential candidate every election year since 1972. Other libertarian organizations, such as the Center for Libertarian Studies and the Cato Institute, were also formed in the 1970s.[251] Philosopher John Hospers, a one-time member of Rand’s inner circle, proposed a non-initiation of force principle to unite both groups, but this statement later became a required “pledge” for candidates of the Libertarian Party and Hospers became its first presidential candidate in 1972.[citation needed] In the 1980s, Hess joined the Libertarian Party and served as editor of its newspaper from 1986 to 1990.

Modern libertarianism gained significant recognition in academia with the publication of Harvard University professor Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia in 1974, for which he received a National Book Award in 1975.[252] In response to John Rawls’s A Theory of Justice, Nozick’s book supported a nightwatchman state on the grounds that it was an inevitable phenomenon which could arise without violating individual rights.[253]

In the early 1970s, Rothbard wrote that “[o]ne gratifying aspect of our rise to some prominence is that, for the first time in my memory, we, ‘our side,’ had captured a crucial word from the enemy… ‘Libertarians’… had long been simply a polite word for left-wing anarchists, that is for anti-private property anarchists, either of the communist or syndicalist variety. But now we had taken it over”.[254] Since the resurgence of neoliberalism in the 1970s, this modern American libertarianism has spread beyond North America via think tanks and political parties.[255][256]

A surge of popular interest in libertarian socialism occurred in western nations during the 1960s and 1970s.[257] Anarchism was influential in the Counterculture of the 1960s[258][259][260] and anarchists actively participated in the late sixties students and workers revolts.[261] In 1968, the International of Anarchist Federations was founded in Carrara, Italy during an international anarchist conference held there in 1968 by the three existing European federations of France, the Italian and the Iberian Anarchist Federation as well as the Bulgarian federation in French exile.[173][262] The uprisings of May 1968 also led to a small resurgence of interest in left communist ideas. Various small left communist groups emerged around the world, predominantly in the leading capitalist countries. A series of conferences of the communist left began in 1976, with the aim of promoting international and cross-tendency discussion, but these petered out in the 1980s without having increased the profile of the movement or its unity of ideas.[263] Left communist groups existing today include the International Communist Party, International Communist Current and the Internationalist Communist Tendency. The housing and employment crisis in most of Western Europe led to the formation of communes and squatter movements like that of Barcelona, Spain. In Denmark, squatters occupied a disused military base and declared the Freetown Christiania, an autonomous haven in central Copenhagen.

Around the turn of the 21st century, libertarian socialism grew in popularity and influence as part of the anti-war, anti-capitalist and anti-globalisation movements.[264] Anarchists became known for their involvement in protests against the meetings of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Group of Eight and the World Economic Forum. Some anarchist factions at these protests engaged in rioting, property destruction and violent confrontations with police. These actions were precipitated by ad hoc, leaderless, anonymous cadres known as black blocs and other organisational tactics pioneered in this time include security culture, affinity groups and the use of decentralised technologies such as the internet.[264] A significant event of this period was the confrontations at WTO conference in Seattle in 1999.[264] For English anarchist scholar Simon Critchley, “contemporary anarchism can be seen as a powerful critique of the pseudo-libertarianism of contemporary neo-liberalism…One might say that contemporary anarchism is about responsibility, whether sexual, ecological or socio-economic; it flows from an experience of conscience about the manifold ways in which the West ravages the rest; it is an ethical outrage at the yawning inequality, impoverishment and disenfranchisment that is so palpable locally and globally”.[265] This might also have been motivated by “the collapse of ‘really existing socialism’ and the capitulation to neo-liberalism of Western social democracy”.[266]

Libertarian socialists in the early 21st century have been involved in the alter-globalization movement, squatter movement; social centers; infoshops; anti-poverty groups such as Ontario Coalition Against Poverty and Food Not Bombs; tenants’ unions; housing cooperatives; intentional communities generally and egalitarian communities; anti-sexist organizing; grassroots media initiatives; digital media and computer activism; experiments in participatory economics; anti-racist and anti-fascist groups like Anti-Racist Action and Anti-Fascist Action; activist groups protecting the rights of immigrants and promoting the free movement of people, such as the No Border network; worker co-operatives, countercultural and artist groups; and the peace movement.

In the United States, polls (circa 2006) find that the views and voting habits of between 10 and 20 percent (and increasing) of voting age Americans may be classified as “fiscally conservative and socially liberal, or libertarian”.[267][268] This is based on pollsters and researchers defining libertarian views as fiscally conservative and socially liberal (based on the common United States meanings of the terms) and against government intervention in economic affairs and for expansion of personal freedoms.[267] Through 20 polls on this topic spanning 13 years, Gallup found that voters who are libertarian on the political spectrum ranged from 1723% of the United States electorate.[269] However, a 2014 Pew Poll found that 23% of Americans who identify as libertarians have no idea what the word means.[270]

2009 saw the rise of the Tea Party movement, an American political movement known for advocating a reduction in the United States national debt and federal budget deficit by reducing government spending and taxes, which had a significant libertarian component[271] despite having contrasts with libertarian values and views in some areas, such as nationalism, free trade, social issues and immigration.[272] A 2011 Reason-Rupe poll found that among those who self-identified as Tea Party supporters, 41 percent leaned libertarian and 59 percent socially conservative.[273] The movement, named after the Boston Tea Party, also contains conservative[274] and populist elements[275] and has sponsored multiple protests and supported various political candidates since 2009. Tea Party activities have declined since 2010 with the number of chapters across the country slipping from about 1,000 to 600.[276][277] Mostly, Tea Party organizations are said to have shifted away from national demonstrations to local issues.[276] Following the selection of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s 2012 vice presidential running mate, The New York Times declared that Tea Party lawmakers are no longer a fringe of the conservative coalition, but now “indisputably at the core of the modern Republican Party”.[278]

In 2012, anti-war presidential candidates (Libertarian Republican Ron Paul and Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson) raised millions of dollars and garnered millions of votes despite opposition to their obtaining ballot access by Democrats and Republicans.[279] The 2012 Libertarian National Convention, which saw Gary Johnson and James P. Gray nominated as the 2012 presidential ticket for the Libertarian Party, resulted in the most successful result for a third-party presidential candidacy since 2000 and the best in the Libertarian Party’s history by vote number. Johnson received 1% of the popular vote, amounting to more than 1.2 million votes.[280][281] Johnson has expressed a desire to win at least 5 percent of the vote so that the Libertarian Party candidates could get equal ballot access and federal funding, thus subsequently ending the two-party system.[282][283][284]

Since the 1950s, many American libertarian organizations have adopted a free market stance, as well as supporting civil liberties and non-interventionist foreign policies. These include the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Francisco Marroqun University, the Foundation for Economic Education, Center for Libertarian Studies, the Cato Institute and Liberty International. The activist Free State Project, formed in 2001, works to bring 20,000 libertarians to New Hampshire to influence state policy.[285] Active student organizations include Students for Liberty and Young Americans for Liberty.

A number of countries have libertarian parties that run candidates for political office. In the United States, the Libertarian Party was formed in 1972 and is the third largest[286][287] American political party, with over 370,000 registered voters in the 35 states that allow registration as a Libertarian[288] and has hundreds of party candidates elected or appointed to public office.[289]

Current international anarchist federations which sometimes identify themselves as libertarian include the International of Anarchist Federations, the International Workers’ Association, and International Libertarian Solidarity. The largest organised anarchist movement today is in Spain, in the form of the Confederacin General del Trabajo (CGT) and the CNT. CGT membership was estimated to be around 100,000 for 2003.[290] Other active syndicalist movements include the Central Organisation of the Workers of Sweden and the Swedish Anarcho-syndicalist Youth Federation in Sweden; the Unione Sindacale Italiana in Italy; Workers Solidarity Alliance in the United States; and Solidarity Federation in the United Kingdom. The revolutionary industrial unionist Industrial Workers of the World claiming 2,000 paying members as well as the International Workers Association, an anarcho-syndicalist successor to the First International, also remain active. In the United States, there exists the Common Struggle Libertarian Communist Federation.

Criticism of libertarianism includes ethical, economic, environmental, pragmatic, and philosophical concerns.[291] It has also been argued that laissez-faire capitalism does not necessarily produce the best or most efficient outcome,[292] nor does its policy of deregulation prevent the abuse of natural resources. Furthermore, libertarianism has been criticized as utopian due to the lack of any such societies today.

Critics such as Corey Robin describe right-libertarianism as fundamentally a reactionary conservative ideology, united with more traditional conservative thought and goals by a desire to enforce hierarchical power and social relations:[293]

Conservatism, then, is not a commitment to limited government and libertyor a wariness of change, a belief in evolutionary reform, or a politics of virtue. These may be the byproducts of conservatism, one or more of its historically specific and ever-changing modes of expression. But they are not its animating purpose. Neither is conservatism a makeshift fusion of capitalists, Christians, and warriors, for that fusion is impelled by a more elemental forcethe opposition to the liberation of men and women from the fetters of their superiors, particularly in the private sphere. Such a view might seem miles away from the libertarian defense of the free market, with its celebration of the atomistic and autonomous individual. But it is not. When the libertarian looks out upon society, he does not see isolated individuals; he sees private, often hierarchical, groups, where a father governs his family and an owner his employees.

John Donahue argues that if political power were radically shifted to local authorities, parochial local interests would predominate at the expense of the whole and that this would exacerbate current problems with collective action.[294]

Michael Lind has observed that of the 195 countries in the world today, none have fully actualized a libertarian society:

If libertarianism was a good idea, wouldn’t at least one country have tried it? Wouldn’t there be at least one country, out of nearly two hundred, with minimal government, free trade, open borders, decriminalized drugs, no welfare state and no public education system?[295]

Lind has also criticised libertarianism, particularly the right-wing and free market variant of the ideology, as being incompatible with democracy and apologetic towards autocracy.[296]

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Libertarianism – Wikipedia

Can Libertarianism Be a Governing Philosophy?

The discussion we are about to have naturally divides itself into two aspects:

First: Could libertarianism, if implemented, sustain a state apparatus and not devolve into autocracy or anarchy? By that I mean the lawless versions of autocracy and anarchy, not stable monarchy or emergent rule of law without a state. Second: even if the answer were Yesor, Yes, if . . . we would still need to know whether enough citizens desired a libertarian order that it could feasibly be voluntarily chosen. That is, I am ruling out involuntary imposition by force of libertarianism as a governing philosophy.

I will address both questions, but want to assert at the outset that the first is the more important and more fundamental one. If the answer to it is No, there is no point in moving on to the second question. If the answer is Yes, it may be possible to change peoples minds about accepting a libertarian order.

The Destinationalists

As I have argued elsewhere[1], there are two main paths to deriving libertarian principles, destinations and directions. The destinationist approach shares the method of most other ethical paradigms: the enunciation of timeless moral and ethical precepts that describe the ideal libertarian society.

What makes for a distinctly libertarian set of principles is two precepts:

The extreme forms of these principles, for destinationists, can be hard for outsiders to accept. One example is noted by Matt Zwolinski, who cites opinion data gathered from libertarians by Liberty magazine and presented in its periodic Liberty Poll. A survey question frequently included in the survey was:

Suppose that you are on a friends balcony on the 50th floor of a condominium complex. You trip, stumble and fall over the edge. You catch a flagpole on the next floor down. The owner opens his window and demands you stop trespassing.

Zwolinski writes that in 1988, 84 percent of respondents to the flagpole question

said they believed that in such circumstances they should enter the owners residence against the owners wishes. 2% (one respondent) said that they should let go and fall to their death, and 15% said they should hang on and wait for somebody to throw them a rope. In 1999, the numbers were 86%, 1%, and 13%. In 2008, they were 89.2%, 0.9%, and 9.9%.

The interesting thing is that, while the answers to the flagpole question were almost unchanged over time, with a slight upward drift in those who would aggress by trespassing, support for the non-aggression principle itself plummeted. Writes Zwolinski:

Respondents were asked to say whether they agreed or disagreed with [the non-aggression principle]. In 1988, a full 90% of respondents said that they agreed. By 1999, however, the percentage expressing agreement had dropped by almost half to 50%. And by 2008, it was down to 39.7%.

If we take support for the non-aggression principle as a Rorschach test, it does not appear that most people, maybe not even everyone who identifies as a libertarian, are fully convinced that the principle is an absolute categorical moral principle.

The Directionalists

Of course, it could be true that many who identify now as libertarians, and those who might be attracted to libertarianism in the future, are directionalists. A directional approach holds that any policy action that increases the liberty and welfare of individuals is an improvement, and should be supported by libertarians, even if the policy itself violates either the self-ownership principle or the non-aggression principle.

A useful example here might be school vouchers. Instead of being a monopoly provider of public school education, the state might specialize in funding but leave the provision of education at least partly to private sector actors. The destinationist would object (and correctly) that the policy still involves the initiation of violence in collecting taxes involuntarily imposed on at least individuals who would not pay without the threat of coercion. In contrast, the directionalist might support vouchers, since parents would at least be afforded more liberty in choosing schools for their children, and the system would be subject to more competition, thus holding providers responsible for the quality of education being delivered.

Here, then, is a slightly modified take on the central question: Would a hybrid version of libertarianism, one that advocated for the destination but accepted directional improvements, be a viable governing philosophy? Even with this amendment, allowing for directional improvements as part of the core governing philosophy, is libertarianismto use a trope of the momentsustainable? The reason this approach could be useful is that it correlates to one of the great divisions within the libertarian movement: the split between political anarchists, who believe that any coercive state apparatus is ultimately incompatible with liberty, and the minarchists, who believe that a limited government is desirable, even necessary, and that it is also possible.

Limiting Leviathan: Getting Power to Stay Where You Put It

For a state to be consistent with both the self-ownership principle and the non-aggression principle, there must be certain core rights to property, expression, and action that are inviolable. This inviolability extends even to situations where initiating force would greatly benefit most people, meaning that consequentialist considerations cannot outweigh the rights of individuals.

Where might such a state originate, and how could it be continually limited to only those functions for which it was originally justified? One common answer is a form of contractarianism. (Another is convention, which is beyond the scope in this essay. See Robert Sugden[2] and Gerard Gaus[3] for a review of some of the issues.) This is not to say that actual states are the results of explicitly contractual arrangements; rather, there is an as if element: rational citizens in a state of nature would have voluntarily consented to the limited coercion of a minarchist state, given the substantial and universal improvement in welfare that results from having a provider of public goods and a neutral enforcer of contracts. Without a state, claims the minarchist, these two functionspublic goods provision and contract enforcementare either impossible or so difficult as to make the move to create a coercive state universally welcome for all citizens.

Contractarianism is of course an enormous body of work in philosophy, ranging from Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau to David Gauthier and John Rawls. Our contractarians, the libertarian versions, start with James Buchanan and Jan Narveson. Buchanans contractarianism is stark: Rules start with us, and the justification for coercion is, but can only be, our consent to being coerced. It is not clear that Buchanan would accept the full justification of political authority by tacit contract, but Buchanan also claims that each group in society should start from where we are now, meaning that changes in the rules require something as close to unanimous consent as possible.[4]

Narvesons view is closer to the necessary evil claim for justifying government. We need a way to be secure from violence, and to be able to enter into binding agreements that are enforceable. He wrote in The Libertarian Idea (1988) that there is no alternative that can provide reasons to everyone for accepting it, no matter what their personal values or philosophy of life may be, and thus motivating this informal, yet society-wide institution. He goes on to say:

Without resort to obfuscating intuitions, of self-evident rights and the like, the contractarian view offers an intelligible account both of why it is rational to want a morality and of what, broadly speaking, the essentials of that morality must consist in: namely, those general rules that are universally advantageous to rational agents. We each need morality, first because we are vulnerable to the depredations of others, and second because we can all benefit from cooperation with others. So we need protection, in the form of the ability to rely on our fellows not to engage in activities harmful to us; and we need to be able to rely on those with whom we deal. We each need this regardless of what else we need or value.

The problem, or so the principled political anarchist would answer, is that Leviathan cannot be limited unless for some reason Leviathan wants to limit itself.

One of the most interesting proponent of this view is Anthony de Jasay, an independent philosopher of political economy. Jasay would not dispute the value of credible commitments for contracts. His quarrel comes when contractarians invoke a founding myth. When I think of the Social Contract (the capitals signify how important it is!), I am reminded of that scene from Monty Python where King Arthur is talking to the peasants:

King Arthur: I am your king.

Woman: Well, I didnt vote for you.

King Arthur: You dont vote for kings.

Woman: Well howd you become king then?

[holy music . . . ]

King Arthur: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. That is why I am your king.

Dennis: [interrupting] Listen, strange women lyin in ponds distributin swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

According to Jasay, there are two distinct problems with contractarian justifications for the state. Each, separately and independently, is fatal for the project, in his view. Together they put paid to the notion that a libertarian could favor minarchism.

The first problem is the enforceable contracts justification. The second is the limiting Leviathan problem.

The usual statement of the first comes from Hobbes: Covenants, without the sword, are but words. That means that individuals cannot enter into binding agreements without some third party to enforce the agreement. Since entering into binding agreements is a central precondition for mutually beneficial exchange and broad-scale market cooperation, we need a powerful, neutral enforcer. So, we all agree on that; the enforcer collects the taxes that we all agreed on and, in exchange, enforces all our contracts for us. (See John Thrasher[5] for some caveats.)

Butwait. Jasay compares this to jumping over your own shadow. If contracts cannot be enforced save by coercion from a third party, how can the contract between citizens and the state be enforced? [I]t takes courage to affirm that rational people could unanimously wish to have a sovereign contract enforcer bound by no contract, wrote Jasay in his book Against Politics (1997). By courage he does not intend a compliment. Either those who make this claim are contradicting themselves (since we cant have contracts, well use a contract to solve the problem) or the argument is circular (cooperation requires enforceable contracts, but these require a norm of cooperation).

Jasay put the question this way in On Treating Like Cases Alike: Review of Politics by Principle Not Interest, his 1999 essay in the Independent Review:

If man can no more bind himself by contract than he can jump over his own shadow, how can he jump over his own shadow and bind himself in a social contract? He cannot be both incapable of collective action and capable of it when creating the coercive agency needed to enforce his commitment. One can, without resorting to a bootstrap theory, accept the idea of an exogenous coercive agent, a conqueror whose regime is better than anything the conquered people could organize for themselves. Consenting to such an accomplished fact, however, can hardly be represented as entering into a contract, complete with a contracts ethical implications of an act of free will. [Emphasis in original]

In sum, the former claimthat contracts cannot be enforcedcannot then be used to conjure enforceable contracts out of a shadow. The latter claimthat people will cooperate on their ownmeans that no state is necessary in the first place. The conclusion Jasay reaches is that states, if they exist, may well be able to compel people to obey. The usual argument goes like this:

The state exists and enjoys the monopoly of the use of force for some reason, probably a historical one, that we need not inquire into. What matters is that without the state, society could not function tolerably, if at all. Therefore all rational persons would choose to enter into a social contract to create it. Indeed, we should regard the state as if it were the result of our social contract, hence indisputably legitimate.[6]

Jasay concludes that this argument must be false. As Robert Nozick famously put it in Anarchy, State, and Utopia (1974), tacit consent isnt worth the paper its not written on. We cannot confect a claim that states deserve our obedience based on consent. For consent is what true political authority requires: not that our compliance can be compelled, but that the state deserves our compliance. Ordered anarchy with no formal state is therefore a better solution, in Jasays view, because consent is either not real or is not enough.

Of course, this is simply an extension of a long tradition in libertarian thought, dating at least to Lysander Spooner. As Spooner said:

If the majority, however large, of the people of a country, enter into a contract of government, called a constitution, by which they agree to aid, abet or accomplish any kind of injustice, or to destroy or invade the natural rights of any person or persons whatsoever, whether such persons be parties to the compact or not, this contract of government is unlawful and voidand for the same reason that a treaty between two nations for a similar purpose, or a contract of the same nature between two individuals, is unlawful and void. Such a contract of government has no moral sanction. It confers no rightful authority upon those appointed to administer it. It confers no legal or moral rights, and imposes no legal or moral obligation upon the people who are parties to it. The only duties, which any one can owe to it, or to the government established under color of its authority, are disobedience, resistance, destruction.[7]

Now for the other problem highlighted by Jasay, that of limiting Leviathan. Let us assume the best of state officials: that they genuinely intend to do good. We might make the standard Public Choice assumption that officials want to use power to benefit themselves, but let us put that aside; instead, officials genuinely want to improve the lives of their citizens.

This means a minarchist state is not sustainable. Officials, thinking of the society as a collective rather than as individuals with inviolable rights, will immediately discover opportunities to raise taxes, and create new programs and new powers that benefit those in need. In fact, it is precisely the failure of the Public Choice assumptions of narrow self-interest that ensure this outcome. It might be possible in theory to design a principal-agent system of bureaucratic contract that constrains selfish officials. But if state power attracts those who are willing to sacrifice the lives or welfare of some for the greater good, then minarchy is quickly breached and Leviathan swells without the possibility of constraint.

I hasten to add that it need not be true, for Jasays claim to go through, that the concept of the greater good have any empirical content. It is enough that a few people believe, and can brandish the greater good like a truncheon, smashing rules and laws designed to stop the expansion of state power. No one who wants to do good will pass up a chance to do good, even if it means changing the rules. This process is much like that described by F.A. Hayek in Why the Worst Get on Top (see Chapter 10 of The Road to Serfdom) or Bertrand de Jouvenels Power (1945).

So, again, we reach a contradiction: Either 1) minarchy is not possible, because it is overwhelmed by the desire to do good, or minarchy is not legitimate because it is based on a mythical tacit consent; or 2) no state, minarchist or otherwise, is necessary because people can limit their actions on their own. Citizens might conclude that such self-imposed limits on their own actions are morally required, and that reputation and competition can limit the extent of depredation and reward cooperation in settings with repeated interaction. Jasay would argue, then, that constitutions and parchment barriers are either unnecessary (if people are self-governing) or ineffective (if they are not). Leviathan either cannot exist or else it is illimitable.

But Thats Not Enough

What I have argued so far is that destinationist libertarianism that is fully faithful to the self-ownership principle and the non-aggression principle could not be an effective governing philosophy. The only exception to this claim would be if libertarianism were universally believed, and people all agreed to govern themselves in the absence of a coercive state apparatus of any kind. Of course, one could object that even then something like a state would emerge, because of the economies of scale in the provision of defense, leading to a dominant protection network as described by Nozick. Whether that structure of service-delivery is necessarily a state is an interesting question, but not central to our current inquiry.

My own view is that libertarianism is, and in fact should be, a philosophy of governing that is robust and useful. But then I am a thoroughgoing directionalist. The state and its deputized coercive instruments have expanded the scope and intensity of their activities far beyond what people need to achieve cooperative goals, and beyond what they want in terms of immanent intrusions into our private lives.

Given the constant push and pull of politics, and the desire of groups to create and maintain rents for themselves, the task of leaning into the prevailing winds of statism will never be done. But it is a coherent and useful governing philosophy. When someone asks how big the state should be, there arent many people who think the answer is zero. But thats not on the table, anyway. My answer is smaller than it is now. Any policy change that grants greater autonomy (but also responsibility) to individual citizens, or that lessens government control over private action, is desirable; and libertarians are crucial for providing compelling intellectual justifications for why this is so.

In short, I dont advocate abandoning destinationist debates. The positing of an ideal is an important device for recruitment and discussion. But at this point we have been going in the wrong direction, for decades. It should be possible to find allies and fellow travelers. They may want to get off the train long before we arrive at the end of the line, but for many miles our paths toward smaller government follow the same track.

[1] Michael Munger, Basic Income Is Not an Obligation, but It Might Be a Legitimate Choice, Basic Income Studies 6:2 (December 2011), 1-13.

[2] Robert Sugden, Can a Humean Be a Contractarian? in Perspectives in Moral Science, edited by Michael Baurmann and Bernd Lahno, Frankfurt School Verlag (2009), 1123.

[3] Gerald Gaus, Why the Conventionalist Needs the Social Contract (and Vice Versa), Rationality, Markets and Morals, Frankfurt School Verlag, 4 (2013), 7187.

[4] For more on the foundation of Buchanans thought, see my forthcoming essay in the Review of Austrian Economics, Thirty Years After the Nobel: James Buchanans Political Philosophy.

[5] John Thrasher, Uniqueness and Symmetry in Bargaining Theories of Justice, Philosophical Studies 167 (2014), 683699.

[6] Anthony de Jasay, Pious Lies: The Justification of States and Welfare States, Economic Affairs 24:2 (2004), 63-64.

[7] Lysander Spooner, The Unconstitutionality of Slavery (Boston: Bela Marsh, 1860), pp. 9-10.

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Can Libertarianism Be a Governing Philosophy?

6 Reasons Why I Gave Up On Libertarianism Return Of Kings

These days, libertarianism tends to be quite discredited. It is now associated with the goofy candidature of Gary Johnson, having a rather narrow range of issueslegalize weed! less taxes!, cucking ones way to politics through sweeping all the embarrassing problems under the carpet, then surrendering to liberal virtue-signaling and endorsing anti-white diversity.

Now, everyone on the Alt-Right, manosphere und so wieser is laughing at those whose adhesion to a bunch of abstract premises leads to endorse globalist capital, and now that Trump officially heads the State, wed be better off if some private companies were nationalized than let to shadowy overlords.

To Americans, libertarianism has been a constant background presence. Its main icons, be them Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard or Friedrich Hayek, were always read and discussed here and there, and never fell into oblivion although they barely had media attention. The academic and political standing of libertarianism may be marginal, it has always been granted small platforms and resurrected from time to time in the public landscape, one of the most conspicuous examples of it being the Tea Party demonstrations.

To a frog like yours trulyKek being now praised by thousands of well-meaning memers, I can embrace the frog moniker gladlylibertarianism does not have the same standing at all. In French universities, libertarian thinkers are barely discussed, even in classes that are supposed to tackle economics: for one hour spent talking about Hayek, Keynes easily enjoys ten, and the same goes on when comparing the attention given to, respectively, Adam Smith and Karl Marx.

On a wider perspective, a lot of the contemporary French identity is built on Jacobinism, i.e. on crushing underfoot organic regional sociability in the name of a bureaucratized and Masonic republic. The artificial construction of France is exactly the kind of endeavour libertarianism loathes. No matter why the public choices school, for example, is barely studied here: pompous leftist teachers and mediocre fonctionnaires are too busy gushing about themselves, sometimes hiding the emptiness of their life behind a ridiculous epic narrative that turns social achievements into heroic feats, to give a fair hearing to pertinent criticism.

When I found out about libertarianism, I was already sick of the dominant fifty shades of leftism political culture. The gloomy mediocrity of small bureaucrats, including most school teachers, combined with their petty political righteousness, always repelled me. Thus, the discovery oflaissez-faire advocates felt like stumbling on an entirely new scene of thoughtand my initial feeling was vindicated when I found about the naturalism often associated with it, something refreshing and intuitively more satisfying than the mainstream culture-obsessed, biology-denying view.

Libertarianism looked like it could solve everything. More entrepreneurship, more rights to those who actually create wealth and live through the good values of personal responsibility and work ethic, less parasitesbe they bureaucrats or immigrants, no more repressive speech laws. Coincidentally, a new translation of Ayn Rands Atlas Shrugged was published at this time: I devoured it, loving the sense of life, the heroism, the epic, the generally great and achieving ethos contained in it. Arent John Galt and Hank Rearden more appealing than any corrupt politician or beta bureaucrat that pretends to be altruistic while backstabbing his own colleagues and parasitizing the country?

Now, although I still support small-scale entrepreneurship wholeheartedly, I would never defend naked libertarianism, and here is why.

Part of the Rothschild family, where nepotism and consanguinity keep the money in

Unity makes strength, and trust is much easier to cultivate in a small group where everyone truly belongs than in an anonymous great society. Some ethnic groups, especially whites, tend to be instinctively individualistic, with a lot of people favouring personal liberty over belonging, while others, especially Jews, tend to favor extended family business and nepotism.

On a short-term basis, mobile individuals can do better than those who are bound to many social obligations. On the long run, however, extended families manage to create an environment of trust and concentrate capital. And whereas individuals may start cheating each other or scattering their wealth away, thanks to having no proper economic network, families and tribes will be able to invest heavily in some of their members and keep their wealth inside. This has been true for Jewish families, wherever their members work as moneylenders or diamond dealers, for Asians investing in new restaurants or any other business project of their own, and for North Africans taking over pubs and small shops in France.

The latter example is especially telling. White bartenders, butchers, grocers and the like have been chased off French suburbs by daily North African and black violence. No one helped them, everyone being afraid of getting harassed as well and busy with their own business. (Yep, just like what happened and still happens in Rotheram.) As a result, these isolated, unprotected shop-owners sold their outlet for a cheap price and fled. North Africans always covered each others violence and replied in groups against any hurdle, whereas whites lowered their heads and hoped not to be next on the list.

Atlas Shrugged was wrong. Loners get wrecked by groups. Packs of hyenas corner and eat the lone dog.

Libertarianism is not good for individuals on the long runit turns them into asocial weaklings, soon to be legally enslaved by global companies or beaten by groups, be they made of nepotistic family members or thugs.

How the middle classes end up after jobs have been sent overseas and wages lowered

People often believe, thanks to Leftist media and cuckservative posturing, that libertarians are big bosses. This is mostly, if not entirely, false. Most libertarians are middle class guys who want more opportunities, less taxation, and believe that libertarianism will help them to turn into successful entrepreneurs. They may be right in very specific circumstances: during the 2000s, small companies overturned the market of electronics, thus benefiting both to their independent founders and to society as a whole; but ultimately, they got bought by giants like Apple and Google, who are much better off when backed by a corrupt State than on a truly free market.

Libertarianism is a fake alternative, just as impossible to realize as communism: far from putting everyone at its place, it lets ample room to mafias, monopolies, unemployment caused by mechanization and global competition. If one wants the middle classes to survive, one must protect the employment and relative independence of its membersbankers and billionaires be damned.

Spontaneous order helped by a weak government. I hope they at least smoke weed.

A good feature of libertarianism is that it usually goes along with a positive stance on biology and human nature, in contrast with the everything is cultural and ought to be deconstructed left. However, this stance often leads to an exaggerated optimism about human nature. In a society of laissez-faire, the libertarians say, people flourish and the order appears spontaneously.

Well, this is plainly false. As all of the great religions say, after what Christians call the Fall, man is a sinner. If you let children flourish without moral standards and role models, they become spoiled, entitled, manipulative, emotionally fragile and deprived of self-control. If you let women flourish without suspicion, you let free rein to their propensities to hypergamy, hysteria, self-entitlement and everything we can witness in them today. If you let men do as they please, you let them become greedy, envious, and turning into bullies. As a Muslim proverb says, people must be flogged to enter into paradiseand as Aristotle put forth, virtues are trained dispositions, no matter the magnitude of innate talents and propensities.

Michelle The Man Obama and Lying Crooked at a Democrat meeting

When the laissez-faire rules, some will succeed on the market more than others, due to differences in investment, work, and natural abilities. Some will succeed enough to be able to buy someone elses business: this is the natural consequence of differences in wealth and of greed. When corrupt politicians enter the game, things become worse, as they will usually help some large business owners to shield their position against competitorsat the expense of most people, who then lose their independence and live off a wage.

At the end, what we get is a handful of very wealthy individuals who have managed to concentrate most capital and power levers into their hands and a big crowd of low-wage employees ready to cut each others throat for a small promotion, and females waiting in line to get notched by the one per cent while finding the other ninety-nine per cent boring.

Censorship by massive social pressure, monopoly over the institutions and crybullying is perfectly legal. What could go wrong?

On the surface, libertarianism looks good here, because it protects the individuals rights against left-hailing Statism and cuts off the welfare programs that have attracted dozens of millions of immigrants. Beneath, however, things are quite dire. Libertarianism enshrines the leftists right to free speech they abuse from, allows the pressure tactics used by radicals, and lets freethinking individuals getting singled out by SJWs as long as these do not resort to overt stealing or overt physical violence. As for the immigrants, libertarianism tends to oppose the very notion of non-private boundaries, thus letting the local cultures and identities defenseless against both greedy capitalists and subproletarian masses.

Supporting an ideology that allows the leftists to destroy society more or less legally equates to cucking, plain and simple. Desiring an ephemeral cohabitation with rabid ideological warriors is stupid. We should aim at a lasting victory, not at pretending to constrain them through useless means.

Am I the only one to find that Gary Johnson looks like a snail (Spongebob notwithstanding)?

In 2013, one of the rare French libertarians academic teachers, Jean-Louis Caccomo, was forced into a mental ward at the request of his university president. He then spent more than a year getting drugged. Mr. Caccomo had no real psychological problem: his confinement was part of a vicious strategy of pathologization and career-destruction that was already used by the Soviets. French libertarians could have wide denounced the abuse. Nonetheless, most of them freaked out, and almost no one dared to actually defend him publicly.

Why should rational egoists team up and risk their careers to defend one of themselves after all? They would rather posture at confidential social events, rail at organic solidarity and protectionism, or trolling the shit out of individuals of their own social milieu because Ive got the right to mock X, its my right to free speech! The few libertarian people I knew firsthand, the few events I have witnessed in that small milieu, were enough to give me serious doubts about libertarianism: how can a good political ideology breed such an unhealthy mindset?

Political ideologies are tools. They are not ends in themselves. All forms of government arent fit for any people or any era. Political actors must know at least the most important ones to get some inspiration, but ultimately, said actors win on the ground, not in philosophical debates.

Individualism, mindless consumerism, careerism, hedonism are part of the problem. Individual rights granted regardless of ones abilities, situation, and identity are a disaster. Time has come to overcome modernity, not stall in one of its false alternatives. The merchant caste must be regulated, though neither micromanaged or hampered by a parasitic bureaucracy nor denied its members right for small-scale independence. Individual rights must be conditional, boundaries must be restored, minority identities based on anti-white male resentment must be crushed so they cannot devour sociability from the inside again, and the pater familias must assert himself anew.

Long live the State and protectionism as long as they defend the backbone of society and healthy relationships between the sexes, and no quarter for those who think they have a right to wage grievance-mongering against us, no matter if they want to use the State or private companies. At the end, the socialism-libertarianism dichotomy is quite secondary.

Read Next: Sugar Baby Culture In The US Is Creating A Marketplace for Prostitution

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6 Reasons Why I Gave Up On Libertarianism Return Of Kings

The McAfee guide to uninstalling McAfee Antivirus | John …

Theres days when I see despicable, disgusting shit like this and realize that my 10 years I spent working for a huge corporation would have been much more fun had I worked for John instead, if only my manager knew the proper straw for bath salts, if he had a magical collection of self spawning guns, I might have just, maybepossibly not wasted 10 years of my life..what a shit showanyways, that was like watching a train plow into a huge chicken coop full of babies, I couldnt stop watching, and when it was over, I couldnt stop laughing.

Today WAS a crappy day, today sucked..until I watched that, thanks John, I needed that, your a sick man, I love it when I see someone act out the shit that goes on in my head.

Jason (still trapped in corporate hell, just a smaller corporate hell for 1/2 the money)

Excerpt from:

The McAfee guide to uninstalling McAfee Antivirus | John …

John McAfee Fled to Belize, But He Couldnt … – WIRED

On November 12, 2012, Belizean police announced that they were seeking John McAfee for questioning in connection with the murder of his neighbor. Six months earlier, I began an in-depth investigation into McAfees life. This is the chronicle of that investigation.

Twelve weeks before the murder, John McAfee flicks open the cylinder of his Smith & Wesson revolver and empties the bullets, letting them clatter onto the table between us. A few tumble to the floor. McAfee is 66, lean and fit, with veins bulging out of his forearms. His hair is bleached blond in patches, like a cheetah, and tattoos wrap around his arms and shoulders.

More than 25 years ago, he formed McAfee Associates, a maker of antivirus software that went on to become immensely popular and was acquired by Intel in 2010 for $7.68 billion. Now hes holed up in a bungalow on his island estate, about 15 miles off the coast of mainland Belize. The shades are drawn so I can see only a sliver of the white sand beach and turquoise water outside. The table is piled with boxes of ammunition, fake IDs bearing his photo, Frontiersman bear deterrent, and a single blue baby pacifier.

McAfee picks a bullet off the floor and fixes me with a wide-eyed, manic intensity. This is a bullet, right? he says in the congenial Southern accent that has stuck with him since his boyhood in Virginia.

Lets put the gun back, I tell him. Id come here to try to understand why the government of Belize was accusing him of assembling a private army and entering the drug trade. It seemed implausible that a wildly successful tech entrepreneur would disappear into the Central American jungle and become a narco-trafficker. Now Im not so sure.

But he explains that the accusations are a fabrication. Maybe what happened didnt actually happen, he says, staring hard at me. Can I do a demonstration?

He loads the bullet into the gleaming silver revolver, spins the cylinder.

This scares you, right? he says. Then he puts the gun to his head.

My heart rate kicks up; it takes me a second to respond. Yeah, Im scared, I admit. We dont have to do this.

I know we dont, he says, the muzzle pressed against his temple. And then he pulls the trigger. Nothing happens. He pulls it three more times in rapid succession. There are only five chambers.

Reholster the gun, I demand.

He keeps his eyes fixed on me and pulls the trigger a fifth time. Still nothing. With the gun still to his head, he starts pulling the trigger incessantly. I can do this all day long, he says to the sound of the hammer clicking. I can do this a thousand times. Ten thousand times. Nothing will ever happen. Why? Because you have missed something. You are operating on an assumption about reality that is wrong.

Its the same thing, he argues, with the governments accusations. They were a smoke screenan attempt to distort realitybut theres one thing everybody agrees on: The trouble really got rolling in the humid predawn murk of April 30, 2012.

It was a Monday, about 4:50 am. A television flickered in the guard station of McAfees newly built, 2.5-acre jungle outpost on the Belizean mainland. At the far end of the property, a muddy river flowed slowly past. Crocodiles lurked on the opposite bank, and howler monkeys screeched. In the guard station, a drunk night watchman gaped at Blond Ambition, a Madonna concert DVD.

The guard heard the trucks first. Then boots hitting the ground and the gate rattling as the lock was snapped with bolt cutters. He stood up and looked outside. Dozens of men in green camouflage were streaming into the compound. Many were members of Belizes Gang Suppression Unit, an elite force trained in part by the FBI and armed with Taurus MT-9 submachine guns. Formed in 2010, their mission was to dismantle criminal organizations.

The guard observed the scene silently for a moment and then sat back down. After all, the Madonna concert wasnt over yet. Outside, flashlight beams streaked across the property. This is the police, a voice blared over a bullhorn. Everyone out!

Deep in the compound, McAfee burst out of a thatched-roof bungalow that stood on stilts 20 feet off the ground. He was naked and held a revolver. Things had changed since his days as a high-flying software tycoon. By 2009 he had sold almost everything he ownedestates in Hawaii, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas as well as his 10-passenger planeand moved into the jungle. He announced that he was searching for natural antibiotics in the rain forest and constructed a mysterious laboratory on his property. Now his jungle stronghold was under attack. The commandos were converging on him. There were 31 of them; he was outgunned and outmanned.

McAfee walked back inside to the 17-year-old in his bed. She was sitting up, naked, her long frizzy hair falling around her shoulders and framing the stars tattooed on her chest. She was terrified.

As the GSU stormed up the stairs, he put on some shorts, laid down his gun, and walked out with his hands up. The commandos collided with McAfee at the top of the stairs, slammed him against the wall, and handcuffed him.

Youre being detained on suspicion of producing methamphetamine, one of the cops said.

McAfee twisted to look at his accuser. Thats a startling hypothesis, sir, he responded. Because I havent sold drugs since 1983.

Nineteen eighty-three was a pivotal year for McAfee. He was 38 and director of engineering at Omex, a company that built information storage systems in Santa Clara, California. He was also selling cocaine to his subordinates and snorting massive amounts himself. When he got too high to focus, hed take a quaalude. If he started to fall asleep at his desk, hed snort some more coke to wake up. McAfee had trouble making it through the day and spent his afternoons drinking scotch to even out the tumult in his head.

Hed been a mess for a long time. He grew up in Roanoke, Virginia, where his father was a road surveyor and his mother a bank teller. His father, McAfee recalls, was a heavy drinker and a very unhappy man who McAfee says beat him and his mother severely. When McAfee was 15, his father shot himself. Every day I wake up with him, McAfee says. Every relationship I have, hes by my side; every mistrust, he is the negotiator of that mistrust. So my life is fucked.

McAfee started drinking heavily his first year at Roanoke College and supported himself by selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door. He would knock and announce that the lucky resident had won an absolutely free subscription; all they had to do was pay a small shipping and handling fee. So, in fact, I am explaining to them why its not free and why they are going to pay for it. But the ruse worked, McAfee recalls. He learned that confidence was all that mattered. He smiled, fixed them with his penetrating blue-eyed gaze, and hit them with a nonstop stream of patter. I made a fortune, he says.

He spent his money on booze but managed to graduate and start a PhD in mathematics at Northeast Louisiana State College in 1968. He got kicked out for sleeping with one of his undergraduate students (whom he later married) and ended up coding old-school punch-card programs for Univac in Bristol, Tennessee. That didnt last long, either. He was arrested for buying marijuana, and though his lawyer got him off without a conviction, he was summarily fired.

Still, he had learned enough to gin up an impressive, totally fake rsum and used it to get a job at Missouri Pacific Railroad in St. Louis. It was 1969 and the company was attempting to use an IBM computer to schedule trains. After six months, McAfees system began to churn out optimized train-routing patterns. Unfortunately, he had also discovered LSD. He would drop acid in the morning, go to work, and route trains all day. One morning he decided to experiment with another psychedelic called DMT. He did a line, felt nothing, and decided to snort a whole bag of the orangish powder. Within an hour my mind was shattered, McAfee says.

People asked him questions, but he didnt understand what they were saying. The computer was spitting out train schedules to the moon; he couldnt make sense of it. He ended up behind a garbage can in downtown St. Louis, hearing voices and desperately hoping that nobody would look at him. He never went back to Missouri Pacific. Part of him believes hes still on that trip, that everything since has been one giant hallucination and that one day hell snap out of it and find himself back on his couch in St. Louis, listening to Pink Floyds Dark Side of the Moon.

From then on he felt like he was always one step away from a total breakdown, which finally came at Omex in 1983. He was snorting lines of coke off his desk most mornings, polishing off a bottle of scotch every day, and living in constant fear that he would run out of drugs. His wife had left him, hed given away his dog, and in the wake of what he calls a mutual agreement, he left Omex. He ended up shuttered in his house, with no friends, doing drugs alone for days on end and wondering whether he should kill himself just as his father had. My life was total hell, he says.

Finally he went to a therapist, who suggested he go to Alcoholics Anonymous. He attended a meeting and started sobbing. Someone gave him a hug and told him he wasnt alone.

Thats when life really began for me, he says.

He says hes been sober ever since.

When the Madonna concert ended, McAfees drunken guard finally emerged from his station and strolled over to find out what was going on. The police quickly surrounded him. They knew who he was: Austin Tino Allen had been convicted 28 times for crimes ranging from robbery to assault, and he had spent most of his life in and out of prison.

The police lined everybody up against a rock wall as the sun rose. A low, heavy heat filled the jungle. Everybody began to sweat when the police fanned out to search the property. As an officer headed toward an outlying building, one of McAfees dogs cut him off, growled, and, according to police, went in for an attack. The cop immediately shot the dog through the rib cage.

What the fuck! McAfee screamed. Thats my dog.

The police ignored him. They left the dead dog in the dirt while they rummaged through the compound. They found shotguns, pistols, a huge cache of ammunition, and hundreds of bottles of chemicals they couldnt identify. McAfee and the others were left in the sun for hours. (GSU commander Marco Vidal claims they were under the shade of a large tree.) By the time the police announced that they were taking several of them to jail, McAfee says his face was turning pink with sunburn. He and Allen were loaded into the back of a pickup. The truck tore off, heading southeast toward Belize City at 80 miles per hour.

McAfee tried to stay calm, but he had to admit that this was a bad situation. He had walked away from a luxurious lifemansions on multiple continents, sports cars, a private planeonly to end up in the back of a pickup cuffed to a notoriously violent man. Allen pulled McAfee close so he could be heard over the roar of the wind. McAfee tensed. Boss, I just want to say that its an honor to be here with you, Allen shouted. You must be a really important person for them to send all these men to get you.

In 1986 two brothers in Pakistan coded the first known computer virus aimed at PCs. They werent trying to destroy anything; it was simple curiosity. They wanted to see how far their creation would travel, so they included their names, addresses, and telephone numbers in the code of the virus. They named it Brain after their computer services shop in Lahore.

Within a year the phone at the shop was ringing: Brain had infected computers around the world. At the time, McAfee had been sober for four years and gotten a security clearance to work on a classified voice-recognition program at Lockheed in Sunnyvale, California. But then he came across an article in the San Jose Mercury News about the spread of the Pakistani Brain virus in the US.

He found the idea terrifying. Nobody knew for sure at the time why these intrusions were occurring. It reminded him of his childhood, when his father would hit him for no reason. I didnt know why he did it, McAfee says. I just knew a beating could happen any time. As a boy, he wasnt able to fight back. Now, faced with a new form of attack that was hard to rationalize, he decided to do something.

He started McAfee Associates out of his 700-square-foot home in Santa Clara. His business plan: Create an antivirus program and give it away on electronic bulletin boards. McAfee didnt expect users to pay. His real aim was to get them to think the software was so necessary that they would install it on their computers at work. They did. Within five years, half of the Fortune 100 companies were running it, and they felt compelled to pay a license fee. By 1990, McAfee was making $5 million a year with very little overhead or investment.

His success was due in part to his ability to spread his own paranoia, the fear that there was always somebody about to attack. Soon after launching his company, he bought a 27-foot Winnebago, loaded it with computers, and announced that he had formed the first antivirus paramedic unit. When he got a call from someone experiencing computer problems in the San Jose area, he drove to the site and searched for virus residue. Like a good door-to-door salesman, there was a kernel of truth to his pitch, but he amplified and embellished the facts to sell his product. The RV therefore was not just an RV; it was the first specially customized unit to wage effective, on-the-spot counterattacks in the virus war.

It was great publicity, executed with drama and sly wit. By the end of 1988, he was on The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour telling the country that viruses were causing so much damage, some companies were near collapse from financial loss. He underscored the danger with his 1989 book, Computer Viruses, Worms, Data Diddlers, Killer Programs, and Other Threats to Your System. The reality is so alarming that it would be very difficult to exaggerate, he wrote. Even if no new viruses are ever created, there are already enough circulating to cause a growing problem as they reproduce. A major disaster seems inevitable.

In 1992 McAfee told almost every major news network and newspaper that the recently discovered Michelangelo virus was a huge threat; he believed it could destroy as many as 5 million computers around the world. Sales of his software spiked, but in the end only tens of thousands of infections were reported. Though McAfee was roundly criticized for his proclamation, the criticism worked in his favor, as he explained in an email in 2000 to a computer-security blogger: My business increased tenfold in the two months following the stories and six months later our revenues were 50 times greater and we had captured the lions share of the anti-virus market.

This ability to infect others with his own paranoia made McAfee a wealthy man. In October 1992 his company debuted on Nasdaq, and his shares were suddenly worth $80 million.

The jail cell was about 10 feet by 10 feet. The concrete floor was bare and cold, the smell of urine overpowering. A plastic milk container in the corner had been hacked open and was serving as a toilet. The detention center was located in the Queen Street police station, but everybody in Belize City called it the Pisshouse. In the shadows of his cell, McAfee could see the other inmates staring at him.

No charges had been filed yet, though the police had confiscated what they said were two unlicensed firearms on McAfees property; they still couldnt identify the chemicals they had found. McAfee said he had licenses for all his firearms and explained that the chemicals were part of his antibiotic research. The police werent buying it.

McAfee pulled 20 Belizean dollars out of his shoe and passed it through the bars to a guard. You got a cigarette? he asked.

McAfee hadnt smoked for 10 years, but this seemed like a good time to start again. The guard handed him a book of matches and a pack of Benson & Hedges. McAfee lit one and took a deep drag. He was supposed to be living out a peaceful retirement in a tropical paradise. Now he was standing in jail, holding up his pants with one hand because the police had confiscated his belt. Use this, Allen said, offering him a dirty plastic bag.

McAfee looked confused. You tie your pants, Allen explained.

McAfee fed the bag through two of his belt loops, cinched it tight, and tied a knot. It worked.

Welcome to the Pisshouse, Allen said, smiling.

McAfee lived in Silicon Valley for nearly 20 years. Outwardly he seemed to lead a traditional life with his second wife, Judy. He was a seasoned businessman whom startups turned to for advice. Stanford Graduate School of Business wrote two case studies highlighting his strategies. He was regularly invited to lecture at the school, and he was awarded an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Roanoke College. In 2000 he started a yoga institute near his 10,000-square-foot mansion in the Colorado Rockies and wrote four books about spirituality. Even after his marriage fell apart in 2002, he was a respectable citizen who donated computers to schools and took out newspaper ads discouraging drug use.

But as he neared retirement age in the late 2000s, he started to feel like he was deluding himself. His properties, cars, and planes had become a burden, and he realized that he didnt want the traditional rich mans life anymore. Maintaining so many possessions was a constant distraction; it was time, he felt, to try to live more rustically. John has always been searching for something, says Jennifer Irwin, McAfees girlfriend at the time. She remembers him telling her once that he was trying to reach the expansive horizon.

He was also hurting financially. The economic collapse in 2008 hit him hard, and he couldnt afford to maintain his lifestyle. By 2009 hed auctioned off almost everything he owned, including more than 1,000 acres of land in Hawaii and the private airport hed built in New Mexico. He was trying in part to deter people from suing him on the assumption that he had deep pockets. He was already facing a suit from a man who had tripped on his property in New Mexico. Another suit alleged that he was responsible for the death of someone who crashed during a lesson at a flight school McAfee had founded. He figured that if he were out of the country, hed be less of a target. And he knew that, should he lose a case, it would be harder for the plaintiffs to collect money if he lived overseas.

In early 2008 McAfee started searching for property in the Caribbean. His criteria were pretty basic: He was looking for an English-speaking country near the US with beautiful beaches. He quickly came across a villa on Ambergris Caye in Belize. In the early 90s he had visited the nation of 189,000 people and loved it. (Today the population is around 356,000.) He looked at the property on Google Earth, decided it was perfect, and bought it. The first time he saw it in person was in April 2008, when he moved in.

Soon after his arrival, McAfee began to explore the country. He was particularly fascinated by stories of a majestic Mayan city in the jungle and hired a guide to go see it. Boating up a river that snaked into the northern jungle, they stopped at a makeshift dock that jutted from the dense vegetation. McAfee jumped ashore, pushed through the vines, and caught sight of a towering, crumbling temple. Trees had grown up through the ancient buildings, encasing them in roots. Giant stone faces glared out through the foliage, mouths agape. As the men walked up the steps of the temple, the guide described how the Mayans sacrificed their prisoners, sending torrents of blood down the very stairs he and McAfee were now climbing.

McAfee was spellbound. Belize is so raw and so clear and so in-your-face. Theres an opportunity to see something about human nature that you cant really see in a politer society, because the purpose of society is to mask ourselves from each other, McAfee says. The jungle, in other words, would give him the chance to find out exactly who he was, and that opportunity was irresistible.

So in February 2010 he bought two and a half acres of swampy land along the New River, 10 miles upriver from the Mayan ruins. Over the next year, he spent more than a million dollars filling in the swamp and constructing an array of thatched-roofed bungalows. While his girlfriend, Irwin, stayed on Ambergris Caye, McAfee outfitted the place like Kublai Khans sumptuous house of pleasure. He imported ancient Tibetan art and shipped in a baby grand piano even though he had never taken lessons. There was no Internet. At night, when the construction stopped, there was just the sound of the river flowing quietly past. He sat at the piano and played exuberant odes of his own creation. It was magical, he says.

He didnt like the idea of getting old, though, so he injected testosterone into his buttocks every other week. He felt that it gave him youthful energy and kept him lean. Plus, he wasnt looking for a quiet retirement. He started a cigar manufacturing business, a coffee distribution company, and a water taxi service that connected parts of Ambergris Caye. He continued to build more bungalows on his property even though he had no pressing need for them.

In 2010 McAfee visited a beachfront resort for lunch and met Allison Adonizio, a 31-year-old microbiologist who was on vacation. In the resorts dining room, Adonizio explained that she was doing postgrad research at Harvard on how plants combat bacteria. She was particularly interested in plant compounds that appeared to prevent bacteria from causing infections by interfering with the way the microbes communicated. Eventually, Adonizio explained, the work might also lead to an entire new class of antibiotics.

McAfee was thrilled by the idea. He had fought off digital contagions, and now he could fight organic ones. It was perfect.

He immediately proposed they start a business to commercialize her research. Within minutes McAfee was talking in rapid-fire bursts about how this would transform the pharmaceutical industry and the entire world. They would save millions of lives and reinvent whole industries. Adonizio was astounded. He offered me my dream job, she says. My own lab, assistants. It was incredible.

Adonizio said yes on the spot, quit her research position in Boston, sold the house she had just bought, and moved to Belize. McAfee soon built a laboratory on his property and stocked it with tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment. Adonizio went to work trying to isolate new plant compounds that might be effective medicines, while McAfee touted the business to the international press.

But the methodical pace of Adonizios scientific research couldnt keep up with McAfees enthusiasm, and his attention seemed to wander. He began spending more time in Orange Walk, a town of about 13,000 people that was 5 miles from his compound. McAfee described it in an email to friends as the asshole of the worlddirty, hot, gray, dilapidated. He liked to walk the towns poorly paved streets and take pictures of the residents. I gravitate to the worlds outcasts, he explained in another email. Prostitutes, thieves, the handicapped For some reason I have always been fascinated by these subcultures.

Though he says he never drank alcohol, he became a regular at a saloon called Lovers Bar. The proprietor, McAfee wrote to his friends, was partial to shatteringly bad Mexican karaoke music to which voices beyond description add a disharmony that reaches diabolic proportions. McAfee quickly noticed that the place doubled as a whorehouse, servicing, as he put it, cane field workers, street vendors, fishermen, farmersanyone who has managed to save up $15 for a good time.

This was the real world he was looking for, in all its horror. The bar girls were given one Belize dollar for every beer a patron bought them. To increase their earnings, some of the women would chug beers, vomit in the restroom, and return to chug more. One reported drinking 50 beers in one day. Ninety-nine percent of people would run because theyd fear for their safety or sanity, McAfee says. I couldnt do that. I couldnt walk away.

McAfee started spending most mornings at Lovers. After six months, he sent out another update to his friends: My fragile connection with the world of polite society has, without a doubt, been severed, he wrote. My attire would rank me among the worst-dressed Tijuana panhandlers. My hygiene is no better. Yesterday, for the first time, I urinated in public, in broad daylight.

McAfee knew he had entered a dangerous world. I have no illusions, he noted in another dispatch. We are tainted by everything we touch.

Evaristo Paz Novelo, the obese Belizean proprietor of Lovers, liked to sit at a corner table and squint at his customers through perpetually puffy eyes. He admits to a long history of operating brothels and prides himself on his ability to figure out exactly what will please his patrons. Early on, he asked whether McAfee was looking for a woman. When McAfee said no, Novelo asked whether he wanted a boy. McAfee declined again. Then Novelo showed up at McAfees compound with a 16-year-old girl named Amy Emshwiller.

Emshwiller had a brassy toughness that belied her girlishness. In a matter-of-fact tone, she told McAfee that she had been abused as a child and said that her mother had forced her to sleep with dozens of men for money. I dont fall in love, she told him. Thats not my job. She carried a gun, wore aviator sunglasses, and had on a low-cut shirt that framed her ample cleavage.

McAfee felt a swirl of emotions: lust, compassion, pity. I am the male version of Amy, he says. I resonated with her story because I lived it.

Emshwiller, however, felt nothing for him. I know how to control men, she says. I told him my story because I wanted him to feel sorry for me, and it worked. All Emshwiller saw was an easy mark. A millionaire in freaking Belize, where people work all day just to make a dime? she says. Who wouldnt want to rob him?

McAfee soon realized that Emshwiller was dangerous and unstable, but that was part of her attractiveness. She can pretend sanity better than any woman I have ever known, he says. And she can be alluring, she can be very beautiful, she can be butchlike. Shes a chameleon. Within a month they were sleeping together, and McAfee started building a new bungalow on his property for her.

Visiting from Ambergris Caye, McAfees girlfriend, Jennifer Irwin, was flabbergasted. She asked him to tell the girl to leave, and when McAfee refused, Irwin left the country. McAfee hardly blames her. What I basically did was can a solid 12-year relationship for a stark-raving madwoman, he says. But I honestly fell in love.

One night Emshwiller decided to make her move. She slipped out of bed and pulled McAfees Smith & Wesson out of a holster hanging from an ancient Tibetan gong in his bedroom. Her plan, if it could be called that, was to kill him and make off with as much cash as she could scrounge up. She crept to the foot of the bed, aimed, and started to pull the trigger. But at the last moment she closed her eyes, and the bullet went wide, ripping through a pillow. I guess I didnt want to kill the bastard, she admits.

McAfee leaped out of bed and grabbed the gun before she could fire again. She ran to the bathroom, locked herself in, and asked if he was going to shoot her. He couldnt hear out of his left ear and was trying to get his bearings. Finally he told her he was going to take away her phone and TV for a month. She was furious.

I basically canned a solid 12-year relationship for a stark-raving madwoman, McAfee says. But I fell in love.

But I didnt even kill you! she shouted.

McAfee decided it was better for Emshwiller to have her own place about a mile down the road in the village of Carmelita. So in early 2011 he built her a house in the village. Many of the homes are made of stripped tree trunks and topped with sheets of corrugated iron; 10 percent have no electricity. The village has a handful of dirt roads populated with colonies of biting ants and a grassy soccer field surrounded by palm trees and stray dogs. The towns biggest source of income: sand from a pit by the river that locals sell to construction companies.

Emshwiller, who had grown up in the area, warned McAfee that the village was not what it appeared to be. She told him that the tiny, impoverished town of 1,600 was in fact a major shipment site for drugs moving overland into Mexico, 35 miles to the north. As Emshwiller described it, this village in McAfees backyard was crawling with narco-traffickers.

It was a revelation perfectly tailored to feed into McAfees latent paranoia. I was massively disturbed, he says. I fell in love with the river, but then I discovered the horrors of Carmelita.

He asked Emshwiller what he should do. She wanted me to shoot all the men in the town, McAfee says. It occurred to him that she might be using him to exact revenge on people who had wronged her, so he asked the denizens of Lovers for more information. They told him stories of killings, torture, and gang wars in the area. For McAfee, the town began to take on mythic proportions. Carmelita was literally the Wild West, he says. I didnt realize that 2 miles away was the most corrupt village on the planet.

He decided to go on the offensive. After all, he was a smart Silicon Valley entrepreneur who had launched a multibillion-dollar company. Even though he had lost a lot of money in the financial crisis, he was still wealthy. Maybe he couldnt maintain multiple estates around the world, but surely he could clean up one village.

He started by solving some obvious problems. Carmelita had no police station, so McAfee bought a small cement house and hired workers to install floor-to-ceiling iron bars. Then he told the national cops responsible for the area to start arresting people. The police protested that they were ill-equipped for the job, so McAfee furnished them with imported M16s, boots, pepper spray, stun guns, and batons. Eventually he started paying officers to patrol during their off-hours. The police, in essence, became McAfees private army, and he began issuing orders. What Id like you to do is go into Carmelita and start getting information for me, he told the officers on his payroll. Whos dealing drugs, and where are the drugs coming from?

When a 22-year-old villager nicknamed Burger fired a gun outside Emshwillers house in November 2011, McAfee decided he couldnt rely on others to get the work done; he needed to take action himself. An eyewitness told him that Burger had shot at a motorcycleit looked like a drug deal gone bad. Burgers sister said that he was firing at stray dogs that attacked him. Either way, McAfee was incensed. He drove his gray Dodge pickup to the familys wooden shack near the river and strode into the muddy yard with Emshwiller as his backup (she was carrying a matte-black air rifle with a large scope). Burger wasnt there, but his mother, sister, and brother-in-law were. Im giving you a last chance here, McAfee said, holding his Smith & Wesson. Your brother will be a dead man if he doesnt turn in that gun. It doesnt matter where he goes.

It was like he thought he was in a movie, says Amelia Allen, the shooters sister. But she wasnt going to argue with McAfee. Her mother pulled the gun out of a bush and handed it to him.

Soon, McAfee was everywhere. He pulled over a suspicious car on the road only to discover that it was filled with elderly people and children. He offered a new flatscreen TV to a small-time marijuana peddler on the condition that the man stop dealing (the guy accepted, though the TV soon broke). It was like John Wayne came to town, says Elvis Reynolds, former chair of the village council.

When I visited the village, Reynolds and others admitted that there were fights and petty theft but insisted that Carmelita was simply an impoverished little village, not a major transit point for international narco-traffickers, as McAfee alleges. The village leaders, for their part, were dumbfounded. Many were unfamiliar with antivirus software and had never heard of John McAfee. I thought he would come by, introduce himself, and explain what he was doing here, but he never did, says Feliciano Salam, a soft-spoken resident who has served on the village council for two years. He just showed up and started telling us what to do.

The fact that he was running a laboratory on his property only added to the mystery. Adonizio was continuing to research botanical compounds, but McAfee didnt want to tell the locals anything about it. In part he was worried about corporate espionage. He had seen white men in suits standing beside their cars on the heavily trafficked toll bridge near his property and was sure they were spies. Do you realize that Glaxo, Bayer, every single drug company in the world sent people out there? McAfee says. I was working on a project that had some paradigm-shifting impact on the drug world. It would be insanity to talk about it.

McAfee became convinced that he was being watched at all hours. Across the river, he saw people lurking in the forest and would surveil them with binoculars. When Emshwiller visited, she never noticed anybody but repeatedly told McAfee to be careful. She heard rumors that gang members were out to jack himrob and kill him. On one occasion, she recorded a village councilman discussing how to dispatch McAfee with a grenade. McAfee was wowed by her street smartsShe is brilliant beyond description, he saysand relished the fact that she had come full circle and was now defending him. He got himself into a very entangled, dysfunctional situation, says Katrina Ancona, the wife of McAfees partner in the water taxi business. We kept telling him to get out.

Adonizio was also worried about McAfees behavior. He had initially told her that the area was perfectly safe, but now she was surrounded by armed men. When she went to talk to McAfee in his bungalow, she noticed garbage bags filled with cash and blister packs of pharmaceuticals, including Viagra. She lived just outside of Carmelita and had never had any problems. If there was any danger, she felt that it was coming from McAfee. He turned into a very scary person, she says. She wasnt comfortable living there anymore and left the country.

George Lovell, CEO of the Ministry of National Security, was also concerned that McAfee was buying guns and hiring guards. When I see people doing this, my question is, what are you trying to protect? Lovell says. Marco Vidal, head of the Gang Suppression Unit, concurred. We got information to suggest that there may have been a meth laboratory at his location, he wrote in an email. Given the intelligence on McAfee, there was no scope for making efforts to resolve the matter. He proposed a raid, and his superiors approved it.

When members of the GSU swept into McAfees compound on April 30, 2012, they found no meth. They found no illegal drugs of any kind. They did confiscate 10 weapons and 320 rounds of ammunition. Three of McAfees security guards were operating without a security guard license, and charges were filed against them. McAfee was accused of possessing an unlicensed firearm and spent a night in the Queen Street jail, aka the Pisshouse.

But the next morning, the charges were dropped and McAfee was released. He was convinced, however, that his war on drugs had made him some powerful enemies.

He had reason to worry. According to Vidal, McAfee was still a person of interest, primarily because the authorities still couldnt explain what he was up to. The GSU makes no apologies for deeming a person in control of a laboratory, with no approval for manufacturing any substance, having gang connections and heavily armed security guards, as a person of interest, Vidal wrote.

Vidals suspicions may not have been far off. Two years after moving to Belize, McAfee began posting dozens of queries on Bluelight.ru, a drug discussion forum. He explained that he had started to experiment with MDPV, a psychoactive stimulant found in bath salts, a class of designer drugs that have effects similar to amphetamines and cocaine. When I first started doing this I accidently got a few drops on my fingers while handling a used flask and didnt sleep for four days, McAfee posted. I had visual and auditory hallucinations and the worst paranoia of my life.

McAfee indicated, though, that the heightened sexuality justified the drugs risks and claimed to have produced 50 pounds of MDPV in 2010. I have distributed over 3,000 doses exclusively in this country, he wrote. But neither Emshwiller, Adonizio, nor anyone else I spoke with observed him making the stuff. So how could he have produced 50 pounds without anyone noticing?

McAfee has a simple explanation: The whole thing was an elaborate prank aimed at tricking drug users into trying a notoriously noxious drug. It was the most tongue-in-cheek thing in the fucking world, he says, and denies ever taking the substance. If Im gonna do drugs, Im gonna do something that I know is good, he says. Im gonna grab some mushrooms, number one, and maybe get some really fine cocaine.

But anybody who knows me knows I would never do drugs, he says.

In August, McAfee and I meet for a final in-person interview at his villa on Ambergris Caye. He greets me wearing a pistol strapped across his bare chest. Guards patrol the beach in front of us. He tells me that hes now living with five women who appear to be between the ages of 17 and 20; each has her own bungalow on the property. Emshwiller is here, though McAfees attention is focused on the other women.

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John McAfee Fled to Belize, But He Couldnt … – WIRED