John McAfee, his life, his death, and the storm his death causes. PART II

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2 years ago

Alrighty then, part II of John McAfee, his life, his death, and the storm his death causes.

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Where were we?

I had reached 2016 when I left off in part 1. Specifically, I had remarked upon the remarkable fleetingness of the public attention for whatever he did. What I mean by that is that for someone whose life had been so packed with events that ranged from the remarkable to the spectacular that running for President of the United States of America twice is a mere footnote the attention the public and or mass media had was always short-lived.

So nobody cared or what?

That doesn’t mean that he didn’t get any attention, far from it. He regularly drew attention to himself in one way or another, either by events that occurred in his life, interviews he gave or by things he published on one of the platforms he used. These publications ranged from being humorous like the one that gave instructions on how to uninstall McAfee software:

To serious interviews where he talks about his views on bitcoin, privacy, the fbi and facebook like this one:

Besides making headlines on an almost regular basis and acquiring something of a cult status among many his life had been eventful and interesting enough for McAfee to sell his life story and a documentary to be made.

Wait, there is a documentary about John McAfee's life?

Oh yes, indeed there is. Not everything turns out to be the whole truth or at least some things are contested by some but here it is:

So he had more than enough attention from the masses just from the way he lived?

Well, in a sense he did.

But on the other hand, his run for gaining the libertarian nomination for a candidate in the presidential elections in 2016 was, according to John himself, a way to draw attention to cryptocurrency. If one were to look at the views his videos have, or lack there of, on the youtube channel named after him one begins to wonder.

The part of his life that now seems to have ended his life.

It was around that time, 2016, that John started to cash in on his status in the cryptocurrency scene. He started promoting altcoins and gave talks about cryptocurrencies at events.

At one point the website mcafeecryptoteam.com revealed John McAfee charged $105.000 for each promotional tweet for a digital coin or ICO. The site also gave a breakdown of the cost of a tweet by McAfee calculating it to come down to $0,13 per “investor” as they called McAfee’s Twitter followers.

Though the exact numbers are debatable the effect of McAfee’s tweets was real enough. An article published on vice.com in January 2018 showed that tweets from McAfee correlated with spikes in the prices of the coins he tweeted about, ranging from 50 to 350 percent.

The pump and dump accusations.

The accusations of McAfee knowingly contributing to, and maybe profiting from, pump and dumps became more prevalent over time, but John himself denied such allegations. According to statements he made at the time he was aware of the effects his tweets had on the market but attributed it to automated trading bots that worked off his advice.

He was reported to have said “Of course the bots increase the pump and dump potential—if you have 2,000 bots come in and all place buy orders, of course it’s going to spike,” adding “I just can’t help that, and I don’t know what else to do; my only other option is to stop recommending.”.

In direct response to questions about his investments in altcoins prompted by the allegations he profited from pump and dumps he is quoted to have said:

“I’m not going to talk about my financial situation or holdings anymore, however, why would I be suggesting long-term investment and then try to make short-term gains? These coins selling for cents… If I truly believe that they’re the coins of the future, wouldn’t it make sense to hold on to them for a couple years? What madman would take a 100 percent gain over taking 10,000 times that?”

The IRS vs. John McAfee

In 2019 the US internal revenue service, the IRS, charged McAfee for tax evasion on unreported income between 2014 and 2018. It is debatable if these charges were prompted by John’s tweets in January 2019 in which he stated he hadn’t filed a tax return for 8 years:

I have not filed a tax return for 8 years. Why? 1: taxation is illegal. 2: I paid tens of millions already and received Jack Shit in services. 3. I'm done making money. I live off of cash from McAfee Inc. My net income is negative. But i am a prime target for the IRS. Here I am. — John McAfee (@officialmcafee) January 3, 2019

The tweet admitting his failure to file tax returns concluded a string of tweets in which John ranted against the IRS claiming among other things that “Taxation is theft” and “It now destroys us”.

In that same month, John announced that he was on the run from US Authorities and was living on a boat in international waters following an indictment on tax evasion charges. From that moment on John spent his life on the run moving around the globe, all the while publishing tweets and Instagram posts with anecdotes about his fugitive life. He also managed to give interviews while he was on the run, the last one being this one, recorded on May 20th 2020:

The end game

John’s final hiding place had been a former hotel in Cambrils in the Spanish region of Catalonia, where he had been hiding since March 2020. He had tried to mislead the public in his postings claiming to be in Belarus, but eventually got tracked to his actual location through clues internet sleuths found in some of the pictures he had posted:

The former hotel was reportedly used as an illegal bitcoin mining farm. When McAfee was in the process of relocating, probably due to his location being revealed, he was arrested on October 3rd, 2020 at El Prat airport in Spain as he was trying to catch a flight into Turkey.

While he was in Jail

During his time in jail, awaiting the procedure for extradition to the US for tax evasion more charges were filed against him, relating to the cryptocurrency scalping allegations. Had he been extradited he could have faced up to 30 years in jail which, being 75 years old, would probably be a life sentence for John.

Death

On June 23rd John McAfee died in Brians 2 penitentiary. According to authorities, John committed suicide hours after learning the Spanish court approved his extradition to the US.

Conspiracy theories

Immediately after his death became known the internet exploded with conspiracy theories, raising suspicion about his alleged suicide. Unlike comparable cases in the past though, the basis for these conspiracy theories was laid by John McAfee himself over the past few years, mostly via Twitter. The first sign of John’s suspicion of being targeted by governments or agencies was when he was living in Belize though. When his neighbor was found murdered John stated he believed the murder was a mistake, and that he had been the intended target. In 2019 through John posted a number of tweets in which he claimed to have collected information on corruption in governments. On June 9th he tweeted:

I've collected files on corruption in governments. For the first time, I'm naming names and specifics. I'll begin with a corrupt CIA agent and two Bahamian officials. Coming today. If I'm arrested or disappear, 31+ terrabytes of incriminating data will be released to the press.

In another tweet in reply to urges to release the files John stated:

Why am I keeping this information private if it could help the world? Because I am a dead man the moment it is released. Forgive my selfishness. I am doing what I can in ways that a living person can do. That will have to be enough. I am old. You will not have long to wait.

And in another reply he said:

Dude, what are you smoking? The instant I disappear the information is released. Those named would be crazy to kill me or collect me. They are simply praying I live forever. If it's released, revenge takes over and I'm dead. Where is your brain today?

Another post by John McAfee showing a $WHACKD tatooed on his right arm stated:

Getting subtle messages from U.S. officials saying, in effect: “We’re coming for you McAfee! We’re Going to kill yourself”. I got a tattoo today just in case. If I suicide myself, I didn’t. I was whackd. Check my right arm.

On october 15th 2020, after his arrest, he tweeted:

I am content in here. I have friends. The food is good. All is well. Know that if I hang myself, a la Epstein, it will be no fault of mine.

At the time of Jeffry Epstein’s alleged suicide John had voiced his doubts about that death stating:

“The man was six-foot-one, he hung himself from a bed that was only five-foot-seven in a manner that managed to break his neck in multiple places similar to someone being physically strangled, You add all that stuff up, and I don’t see how a suicide is possible.”

An excerpt from an interview with John dated to July 27th 2019 has also surfaced in which John also emphasizes any suicide would be fake and talks about the “dead man switch”:

https://twitter.com/i/status/1408506073774968832

More fuel for the theories

Besides these, in hindsight prophetic, posts by McAfee in the past pre-emptively denying his suicide there are other reasons for the Internet's doubts about his alleged suicide.

One of them is that the approval of his extradition wasn’t irreversible. The decision could have been appealed and the final extradition would have needed to be approved by the Spanish Cabinet.

His widow has also stated she does not believe in John’s suicide. In a statement, shortly after his death, she stated she’d spoken with John that day and “His last words to me were ‘I love you and I will call you in the evening,’” adding “not the words of somebody who is suicidal”. His widow had also said McAfee also had a “plan” in place to respond to his pending extradition, noting it as another reason why McAfee wouldn’t kill himself over the extradition threat.

Besides the theories concerning how John died there have been other theories that came up after his death. Some are related to claims John made while he was on the run that he had set up a “deadman switch” that would release dirt on people if he’d disappear or died.

He had alleged to have dirt “on those in power” and expose “the truth” is he was jailed or died, and posted cryptic messages like, “People ask why I do the things I do. An act by itself is incomplete. It's the reason for the act that completes it and provides the real information. I am on the run. I would be an idiot to explain my 'why's. I neither fear death nor run from it. At my age, it sits on my shoulder as a constant companion. It makes me fearless.”.

So what are the theories going around?

Most of the upheaval on the internet concerns the belief that McAfee’s death wasn’t a suicide, and gained traction with the hashtag #JohnMcAfeeDidntKillHimself . Some prominent people have weighed in on this conviction:

Newsmax host Steve Cortes tweeted to his 222,000+ followers, “So...if Jeffrey Epstein got Vincent Fostered then...did McAfee just get Jeffrey Epsteined?”

Tim Pool, a social-media personality on the right, tweeted to his 820,000 followers, “Bull F--KING S—t.”

Progressive social media personality BrooklynDad_Defiant wrote to more than 900,000 followers, “John McAfee died today. They said it was suicide. But HE says he didn't do it. WOW.”

But there is also a lot of theorizing that links a connection to the Qanon conspiracy theory, prompted by an Instagram post on a page that many associate with McAfee that showed an image of a white background and the letter Q.

John has in the past tweeted about the Qanon conspiracy theory, for example claiming he knew the identity of the person behind the mysterious Q. The most prevalent theory on this topic is that the files that McAfee said he had contained information that would expose details about people involved in the Qanon conspiracy.

Another outrageous claim going around is that McAfee isn’t dead at all, and has joined Jeffrey Epstein on an island somewhere. This could be prompted by John’s remarks on Epstein's death and because McAfee at one time posted an image with the caption “I never said Jeffrey Epstein was murdered. I said he didn't commit suicide. Not the same. Could be alive.”

Another bit of fuel for conspiracy theories is from the time he posted the tattoo he had on his right arm of “Whackd”. He had simultaneously launched a cryptocurrency of the same name that advertised itself with an image of Hillary Clinton eating pizza, a none-too-subtle nod to the Pizzagate conspiracy theory.

Even 4chan joined the frenzy?

There are also attempts to link several conspiracy theories together. People have also been discussing an Ethereum-based token that was associated with McAfee at one time. For instance, people said Instagram’s metadata led them to an Ethereum smart contract called “Epstein,” which shows an ERC20 token called “whackd (WHACKD).” Because the Epstein smart contract and whackd tokens have been seeing some onchain movement, people believe these coins are directly connected to McAfee. There’s a number of 4chan posts claiming that the “Q” Instagram post and the whackd ERC20s are connected.

The fire gets more fuel

The most recent buzz was generated when a page appeared with John’s face and a countdown. The site stated “Contingency plan activated. Something big is coming. When the countdown reached 28 days the text changed to “all the right people are scared. They should be.” An etherscan address lead to whackd’s contract with McAfee that he had announced in 2019. It’s worth noting that the coin’s value shot up 300% after the site appeared and that the site has since disappeared, suggesting an ulterior motive for the site other than what the site suggested.

My final thoughts to end this article.

There is no doubt that John McAfee was a genius to whom we owe a lot. He has been instrumental in some things that we take for granted today and he has been far ahead of the times in many things.

He has been an advocate for privacy, freedom, cryptocurrency, and more throughout his life.

He also lived his life as much as he could according to his own rules, and he has always been honest about that, in some cases more honest than we’d liked him to be.

He has been controversial throughout much of his life and some of the things he did were questionable, to say the least.

But I like to remember him as the visionary, highly intelligent, and outspoken man that brought us among other things McAfee antivirus and campaigned for privacy, freedom, and security.

Did he do it?

Do I think he committed suicide? I honestly don’t know, but I do have serious doubts about it. As for the many conspiracy theories, I can only say that there are two I’ve looked into in detail (the one mentioned in part 1 and the one relating to that website with the countdown) and found that the first was completely faked and that the second was highly suspect. For the others I’ll let the readers make up their own minds, having enough points to start their investigations in this article.

I can say that John McAfee’s death and the storm it caused is a fitting tribute to his life, and I suspect that John wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

Thanks for reading this article, I hope you enjoyed it.

Stay safe and stay happy!

@AnonSunamun

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2 years ago

Comments

I am so happy that I woke up to this notification

I really wanted to read the full gist on John, and what his life was like

It would shock you to know that I have only come to learn about this person from the first article of yours

And it's rather annoying that I am learning about a legend only after he died

From the stories, he comes off as a visionary, highly intelligent, and outspoken man just as you said and the way he is treated in death really isn't the way he should have

I have seen a lot of crime movies, and read novels on crimes too, and the way John died doesn't look like he took his own life, I believe, his death was planted, and carried out to look more like a suicide to convince the world of how terrible, such a noble man was

May his soul rest in peace

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Thank you for your kind supportive words!

Shock would be to strong a word, but it is remarkable (to me) that McAfee wasn't known to you, at least in name. That teaches me that i should be careful in assumptions about what i call general knowledge and what actually is general knowledge. Thanks for the lesson!

I would note though that IF John would "organize" his own death in any way, I think that THIS is exactly how he'd do it. With Contra verse, intrigue, innuendo but most of all lots and lots of public attention and outcry.

But as he still had the option to appeal the extradition, 8 of the 10 origional charges were already dropped and taking into account his previous statements about suicide together with the last words he spoke to his wife, i agree that suicide does seem very very unlikely at least.

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2 years ago

Hello, my friend.

They say that the second parts never outperform the firsts, but in this case, the second part is just as good as the first.

I think you treated the case very objectively, giving an off-script perspective that is trying to impose a distorted image of John McAfee. A man with virtues and vices like any other.

Thank you very much for sharing your views with us.

$ 0.01
2 years ago

Thank you for your kind words. That's what i had intended! Good to know it came across to readers in that way. Thanks!~

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2 years ago