Life on the Run- An Insiders Look at John McAfee on the Run
I opened my Telegram and noticed I had a lot more messages than usual. I knew something was wrong. The headlines were very similar: John McAfee just called you an idiot on Twitter. And there it was, I muttered softly to myself as I studied what all the fuss was about. I went to John’s Twitter account and saw that he had tweeted that he was quitting the Ghost project and that Josh Case was an idiot. Let’s go back in time…
** The following essay was written by guest author Josh Case and submitted to the Bitcoin.com news site for publication as an editorial. The work will be published in a book called Ghost, which will include previously unpublished stories by Case. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect those of Bitcoin.com or its editors. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for the opinions, content, accuracy or quality of the article.
I first met John McAfee in early 2018 at his home in Tennessee. I emailed his manager Jimmy, who was trying to arrange a meeting and interview with John, and I was a little surprised when they agreed and set a date. I immediately went to research and began to delve into the history of John McAfee. I had been following him for years, but his story was even more interesting than I thought.
After McAfee Associates, the company behind the McAfee antivirus, John founded a pharmaceutical company, started a yoga/meditation workshop, did real estate and even ran for President of the United States twice. There are also claims that he developed new recreational drugs, tried to overthrow the government of Belize, murdered his neighbor, and more, but these claims have never been backed up with evidence and have always been dismissed as speculation.
A few hours later, John and I still didn’t have the address I wanted to go to. They told me that for security reasons they would not send me an address until the day of the meeting, but I was starting to get worried. I sent Jimmy a message to get the information I needed, but he hadn’t read my last few messages, so I wasn’t expecting a quick response to this one either. I was listening to an interview with John on Youtube when Jimmy sent me a reply message and the address flashed at the top of the screen. As I entered it into my GPS, my head was burning with thoughts of how the night would go.
As I approached his home, a very nice two-story house in a small town, the butterflies began to get to him. I stuck with John McAfee, fresh out of the bull market of 2017, before anyone even realized that 2018 would be a bear market. I knew it was going to be a night to remember ….. And that’s a good thing.
I dragged my stuff to the door, rang the bell and waited for someone to answer. I wondered if John would answer. Or one of his guards. The door creaks open slowly and two very burly guys, in charge of John McAfee’s personal security, open the door and ask me who I am. I tell them, and they see me in the guest room. I hear John groaning in the next room, dining with lawyers and politicians, and soon the guests are leaving and only they are left. John of course has his wife Janice, several bodyguards, his manager Jimmy, and a few others. Friends, dealers, etc.
Soon we’ll all be drinking whiskey, philosophizing about the meaning of life, and learning from John about the history and usefulness of Tucks. Suspenders lost their popularity after the First World War, but they are making a comeback, exclaims John enthusiastically. All adults know that when you put on a seatbelt, you shouldn’t think it cuts off circulation. John quickly left the room and returned with a pair of suspenders which he gave to me. Here, this will change your life, John announced. I don’t like braces, but I always wonder if John was right. If I had taken the belts when he told me and increased my circulation, who knows what kind of person I would be now. A friendship was born that day, and John and I began talking more often.
I’ve always been an ideas guy, and I loved brainstorming concepts and ideas with like-minded people. John McAfee was the same. We started talking almost daily and thinking about different concepts where blockchain and cryptocurrencies could solve real problems in a meaningful way. Almost every day we came up with new ideas, and sometimes these conversations felt more like an exercise in gathering ideas than an attempt to make it happen. It was just fun to talk about how this technology can and will change the world. One of the ideas we talked about for a few days, and which John was always interested in, was an app we called Day One History on our phones.
The concept was as follows. Imagine if we had verifiable accounts of random events in history. If z. B. 500 people would write a note in a notebook saying something like: If John McAfee gives a speech at Notepad Week in Barcelona in October 2019 at 5pm and includes a photo, video or geo-tag of where and when the event took place, it would give us a highly searchable history of events around the world. Users could maintain their pseudo-anonymity by using cryptocurrency addresses, but the number of entries per event would lend credibility to their authenticity.
After a few months of talking almost every day, communication suddenly dropped.
In January 2019, after receiving inside information that he would be indicted by a TN grand jury, McAfee sailed away on a yacht, left the United States for good and settled on a small island in the Bahamas. Once he installed it, he invited me to visit him, which I did.
My first lesson in the Bahamas was not a good one. We had too much camera equipment with us, the customs officer said, and they wanted to deport us because we hadn’t applied for a permit for commercial photography. We had two cameras and a drone. In the end, we made a deal with them: they were allowed to store some of our stuff in customs for the rest of our trip, and in exchange, they wouldn’t deport us. Later we had other friends with equipment, so we thought we could do it. Surprisingly, they agreed.
We rented a car at the only place there was on the island of 900 people and continued driving on the left side of the road until we arrived at the Exuma Yacht Club where John McAfee was docked.
John was a local celebrity there, and it only took a few minutes for someone to show us where John was docked. Intimidating bodyguards and even more intimidating dogs greeted us and we approached Johns’ yacht. Barely able to say hello, John spoke about politics, cryptocurrencies, freedom, his yet-to-be-announced protégés and, of course, his yacht. Built for a drug lord with basement bunkers, multiple rooms, decks and bells and whistles that only a true sailor can understand. John was like that and more.
Our time in the Bahamas was only a few days, but John told stories that spanned his entire life. From his early days in IT, to founding McAfee Antivirus, to the legacy he wants to leave behind, John spoke as if his life was still entirely in front of him. He was imprisoned in nine countries, sued hundreds of people and companies, bribed police and governments all over the world, and he still can tell us about it. John knew there would be loads behind him, and with that in mind you would think John would slow down, but his foot was on the accelerator as usual. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you can’t change.
The last thing I heard her talk about when she left was the logistics of her 4×4 helicopter. A few weeks after we left, John was arrested in the Dominican Republic for traveling on a yacht with valuable weapons, ammunition and military equipment. Add to the list another country where John was arrested. That’s 10…. Away.
Surprisingly, and at the same time not surprisingly, John was released and everything went back to normal, although John became much more mysterious this time. We kept talking, but he never revealed his whereabouts and was generally more cautious. He moved a lot and was more anxious than usual to be watched. He yearned for privacy and freedom, and of course our conversations came back to cryptocurrencies.
The Ghost by McAfee piece is a proof of concept for the Ghost by McAfee piece that will be released in the summer of 2020. John was tired of what the industry was selling and really wanted to put out something that reflected his ideals and values. A truly thriving ecosystem of private production, stable private currency, and a legacy that bears his name.
A few months later, I open my Telegram and see that I have many more messages than usual. John McAfee just called me an idiot on Twitter. What the…
John has expressed concern about the pace of Ghosts development in recent days. The project only had a few months and a limited budget, but John wanted it to be ready to take over the world now, and he hated that it wasn’t. John was known to be unpredictable and quick to change his mind, and it seemed that this would be one of those times. Sometimes, when John has gas and matches, he has no choice but to use them, and John announces that he is leaving the Ghost….. project, but it won’t be long before he returns.
The community around Ghost is one of the strongest in the industry, and John recognized this when he announced he would return and continue to support Ghost.
Shortly after the announcement of John’s return to Ghost, an even more significant event took place. John was arrested in Spain on charges of tax evasion, money laundering and more. Unfortunately, those are 11 countries where John was arrested and where he remains to this day. Despite being locked up in a prison cell in Spain for almost six months now, John continues to support Ghost from prison via Twitter and receives and sends regular updates on the progress of the project to his wife Janice.
Ghost by McAfee recently announced a partnership with Poltergeistexchange.com for a sidechain called Ghoul on the Ghost blockchain that will enable private cross-chain atomic exchanges, private stablecoins, private Ethereum transactions and more this year. John is very happy that the development continues with the vision he believes in, regardless of his personal situation.
Many people want John McAfee to spend the rest of his life in a prison cell. I’m not one of those people. They see John’s loud and often brash personality on the internet and immediately adopt an attitude of love or hate towards him. John McAfee is very polarized and has probably made a lot of mistakes, but I know John McAfee and he’s a good guy. I hope to live to see the day that John and I meet again. ….
What’s the story? I’m publishing a book called Ghost, with untold stories about my time at John McAfee and the ups and downs of my cryptocurrency career. From the Italian mafia heist in 2018 to the threat of major players in cryptocurrencies in 2020, Ghost takes you on a journey to meet the legend that is John McAfee during his rise and fall in cryptocurrencies. For more information, visit the Telegram Spoken group. You can also view an exclusive collection of never-before-seen footage of John McAfee on the run as an NFT on Rarible.
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