Before pioneering the shareware business model and creating the first anti-virus software, his namesake, John McAfee worked for NASA. When his personal assets of $100 million were almost completely wiped out in the 2008 financial crisis, he got rid of everything. He sold his private jet, sports cars, and estates in Hawaii, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas.
Then he receded into the jungles of Belize and fortified himself in a self-created militarized compound while surrounding himself with a harem of 16-20 year old Belizean prostitutes. What? Yeah. Turns out this guy is as crazy as these photos of him suggest. And that’s really the pull of this book: follow the adventures of batshit insane millionaire John McAfee. And it is a wild ride.
This book is a Kindle single, which means that it’s roughly a 50-page narrative non-fiction book that can be read in one sitting. Why pay $1 for this when there are so many free articles online which detail every step of McAfee’s Belizean adventures? Not only does this account provide greater detail than online articles, but it’s authored by Joshua Davis, Wired magazine contributor and a personal friend of McAfee’s who was contacted by him continuously throughout his escapades.
A Defining Passage
“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 said. The jungle, in other words, would give him the chance to find out exactly who he was.
- A 17 year old Belizean prostitute he was living with tried to kill him by shooting him in his sleep. She fired and missed, shooting a pillow next to McAfee. He leapt out of bed before she could fire another shot and grabbed the gun before furiously saying that he was going to take away her phone and television for a month. “But I didn’t even kill you!” she shouted back.
- McAfee purchased a cement house, installed floor-to-ceiling iron bars, imported M16’s and stun guns, and hired the first police force ever in Carmelita, Belize. Prior to his arrival, the city was a gang-run and lawless. He played sheriff, too.
- When his neighbor was found dead with a single 9mm gunshot wound to the back of the head, authorities came looking for McAfee to question him. When he heard them coming, he got paranoid and buried himself in the sand, leaving only a cardboard box over his head so he could breathe. He sat there motionless for hours until they left, and then fled.
- McAfee’s hired 10 bodyguards to defend him by patrolling his compound in Belize 24/7, armed with automatic weapons. When visitors visited him, he gave them shotguns “in case shit went down”. Did I mention he was a spiritual guru and previously published three books about yoga?
Overall this is a well-written, unbelievable true story.
Amazon link: McAfee’s Last Stand