For the past months, antivirus company founder John McAfee's story has gotten progressively stranger, as he hid from police in Belize, fled the country with journalists from Vice, and starred in an in-depth Wired tale of drugs, women, and Russian roulette. Now, McAfee is either attempting an oddly audacious publicity gambit, or he's finally crossed the line into outright and obvious fantasy. On his blog, McAfee describes using 75 netbooks and 29 "operatives" to track government officials, Cabinet assistants, and local power brokers — uncovering not only embarrassing personal details but an international terrorist conspiracy run out of Belize.
"Much of my life is a mystery to me."
By gifting cheap laptops loaded with keylogging software and hiring "'pillow talk' masters" to seduce and wiretap targets, McAfee says he carefully crafted his revenge on the Belizean government for what he has claimed is a long-running campaign of intimidation. Naturally, he quickly discovered first that the Prime Minister (from whom McAfee says he repeatedly demanded an apology) had personally ordered the murder of an alleged Belizean gang leader, then that Belize was "clearly the central player in a larger network whose goal is to infiltrate the US with individuals having links to terrorist organizations." Along the way, he ended up living with eight of his honeypots and was nearly killed by one, a double agent.
McAfee's story reads even more like a movie script than what's happened so far, despite the fairly sketchy sources he's included on his blog. While it's tempting to write the whole thing off as a conspiracy, it's also quite possibly one of the many "practical jokes" he claims he's played on readers and journalists, or an attempt to outwit the Belize police force that is still attempting to question him in a murder case. If, as McAfee says, "Much of my life is a mystery to me," it's even more impenetrable from the outside.