Freedom or, Death : Thoughts on the Life and Death of John McAfee Part 1

The Outsider Series

The Initially Conventional, Forward Thinking, Intellectual, Counter-Cultural, Unconventional, Rebellious, Toxic, Unusually Fascinating, Sexual, Wild, Adventurous, Freewheeling Life and Mysterious Death of a man known to the world until recently as John McAfee

John McAfee was not suicidal, says widow of antivirus software magnate - CNN

My thoughts on the Life, Death, Mystique and Colorful Legacy of the late Tech Entrepreneur and Libertarian Presidential Candidate who passed away under suspicious circumstances in a prison near Barcelona, Spain on June 23rd 2021 just a few hours after a Spanish court ruled to Extradite him back to the US to face Tax Fraud charges.

In an interview with Neil Cavuto on the Fox Business Channel in 2013, John McAfee was doing what he’d always known how to do better than most – communicating with the Media to take back control over his image and reputation.

The deliberate reconstruction or, even repair of an individual’s reputation is something which is not exactly a new process in our modern society. Celebrities and public figures have agents, publicists and lawyers who they pay massive amounts of money to in order to help maintain a clean and sanitized public image. However, in my view, the concept of how one can repair their reputation and redeem themselves is being re-visited in our modern era in a necessary, desperate and urgent capacity.

Perhaps this is not the venue to discuss how public figures and celebrities can use clever, ingenious and inventive tactics and strategies to repair or, improve their public image in the post #MeToo Movement – which has taken down more than a few major players in multiple industries in the wake of its mob like onslaught and destruction – which no doubt was fueled and catalyzed by Social Media and the Internet.

Although the #Me Too Movement gained major traction and officially named itself in 2017, it was approximately 4 or, 5 years earlier that John McAfee showed the world how to preserve one’s name, image and simultaneously manipulate and use the Media to his advantage. Perhaps the casualties of the #Me Too Movement should’ve taken some notes!

McAfee’s run out from Central America and back into the USA in 2012 led him to begin a trend which has continued uninterrupted for nearly 8 years. The Post-Belize era of McAfee’s life has actually been the longest, continuous and unbroken portion of McAfee’s life in the public eye. This is important to observe and understand in my view, since it seems that McAfee enjoyed relative anonymity in comparison – prior to 2012 – and as someone who understands both Truth and Freedom, I believe that after a certain point, one can tire of being known and may desire to be unknown.

I believe that in order for someone to be “Free”, one must be able to enjoy anonymity and also privacy. These are subjects whose meanings have much overlap with each other and area’s I have put a lot of thought into understanding through the writing of my book. Which as I will also reveal in upcoming Blog Posts and have briefly described in my About Me page – is about the Roles of Artists, Thinkers, and Innovators and how they conflict with the limitations of Society – it’s culture, laws, norms and any or all other constraints it must maintain in order to keep and maintain order and civility. Order and Constraints which paradoxically can also restrict and diminish one’s freedom’s and civil liberties.


I am of the view that in order understand what may have happened to John McAfee in the last months and days of his life, we need to understand his true views on Society, Media, Life, Death were and what he may have been ultimately seeking.

Some basic questions come to mind.

Did McAfee value and seek Privacy? Of course. Anyone who has listened to or, read his interviews should understand he crafted much of his life around Privacy and even invented a Software Program bearing his name to help computer users maintain privacy.

Did McAfee value and seek Anonymity? Who among us with any understanding of the insane and crazy world we live in – in which Governments and Corporations have overreached to enrich themselves with information, knowledge and data – would not seek anonymity?

There are many things which interest me about John McAfee. I am someone who prefers to live their life knowing that I “could” and “can” do anything I want and that level of freedom usually begins in the mind. If one’s mind cannot be free and one’s thoughts or, imagination is not free then how can one truly live a life that is free?

I believe that McAfee understood Truth better than most and more importantly how it is perceived by the human mind as well as how it is misperceived or, misunderstood by the human mind. People may be given the Truth and all of the answers they need to realize their life potential and fulfill their dreams but if that truth is not contextualized, suffered for, needed or, valued and understood in just the right way – then people will simply ignore it or, dismiss it. This to anyone who understands what I have just written, is complete insanity however it is also a fact of human life!

I believe that McAfee realized this truth about human beings and it drove his view on the Media and also in dealing with people in general. McAfee had long admitted that he liked to screw with the media – who he believed were lazy and only concerned with the immediate moment. Well, in my view this observation and insight is also a representation of most people. Most people get caught up and lost in the “immediate” moment and their “immediate” needs to the point that they lose their sense of the big picture or, their long term vision – which quite possibly is the primary cause of the decay and demise of most people’s plans, aspirations and dreams.

While most people viewed McAfee as unhinged and possibly even insane – I personally viewed McAfee as someone who was more sane and more in tune with real threats, real things and real possibilities than anyone else. McAfee simply wished to live life freely and in my view, anyone with any true sense of what makes life precious may be able to understand that freedom and privacy are basic, fundamental privileges of human life. So, while most people go through life dormant, unconcerned and carefree to the point of extreme danger – McAfee chose to prepare himself – which in my view is “Extremely Sane”.

If I can be an armchair psychologist for a moment, I have a theory that people who viewed McAfee as insane likely saw a reflection of their own insanity reflected back to them in an uncomfortable way – which led them to subconsciously dismiss the man. Yet, McAfee was also highly articulate, intelligent, well read and well spoken – which I believe allowed him to “contain” and “control” his speech and his image while confronting and dealing with the Public and the Media. In this way, McAfee may have been one of the last truly “free” public figures.

In an interview whose source I am still attempting to locate, McAfee summed up the run out of Central America in the following cryptic statement, “So, is McAfee, a successful entrepreneur who went mad, or is he a potential savior of America or, did he just act out the the greatest mindf*ck of all times?”

Well – such a statement is quite broad, colorful and concise but it also reveals someone who is self aware and in control. I believe the grip and control McAfee had over his own life, image and reputation is probably what fascinates and draws people to the man but is also what leads people into confusion and eventual dismissal. In the end, McAfee might be having the last laugh!

In the Neil Cavuto interview, (part 3 embedded below) McAfee insists that he has not taken drugs since the early 1980’s (which may or, may not be true) and also states – more importantly – what he ultimately desired:

“I do want to retire and I do want to go to a place, maybe Vietnam, I’m looking at Asia as maybe a place where I can quietly slip away into obscurity. Not that I do not like America, I do. I think America is the grandest country in the world. But I want to quietly move to a countryside where things are different, unique and where I can stay entertained and interested and drift off into obscurity”

Part 3 embedded below:

Is John McAfee really dead? Did someone kill him? Did he take his own life after stating multiple times on Social Media that he never would? Is McAfee having the last laugh somewhere off the grid? Had he finally run out of options and decided to end his life rather than rot away in hellish boredom in some U.S. Prison?

Continued across multiple blog posts and parts will be my take on the life, legacy and most especially the unusual death of the late 75 year old Software Magnate.


Published by Graham Ranseen

I am an aspiring writer working on a forthcoming book called, The Chain - about the connections and the overlap between Art, Truth, Spirituality and Identity and how these themes have conflicted or, have become blurred throughout History, Society and Culture. I work a Full Time job and created this Blog to capture and /or develop some of the ideas which - either temporarily or, permanently - might not make their way into my book and also as an aide to help me sustain the daily grind of a writer's routine. If I am not updating this Blog frequently it probably means that my time and my writing is being confined to my book.

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