Twitter's Expert on Cryptocurrency and Whale Sex Is Running for President and Wants Americans to 'Wake the F*** Up'

John McAfee participates in a fireside chat at the C2SV Technology Conference Day Three at McEnery Convention Center on September 28, 2013, in San Jose, California. Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

His middle fingers pointed toward the camera as he lay prone on a hospital bed and John McAfee swore vengeance on whoever allegedly tried to poison him. "My enemies maged [sic] to spike something that i ingested," he wrote in a June 2018 tweet, soon following up with pictures showing him lying in a hospital bed. "However, I am more difficult to kill than anyone can possibly imagine."

McAfee, who reportedly earned $100 million by 1994 from selling shares in his eponymous computer security company, has since created a persona as an indulgent cryptocurrency analyst traveling the world.

A 2016 documentary, Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee, details his life in Belize, featuring a former business owner who accused McAfee of rape. The film also features interviews that indicate the 73-year-old was involved in the 2012 murder of his neighbor, Gregory Faull, which prompted the programmer to flee the small Central American country on the Caribbean Sea. McAfee has repeatedly denied any involvement in the death, but In March a federal judge in Florida ordered McAfee to pay $25 million in a wrongful death suit brought by Faull's family.

McAfee, who has self-exiled to Exuma, an island in the Bahamas, claiming that the IRS has convened a grand jury against him for not paying eight years of taxes, now draws attention for his tweets. His feed consists heavily of cryptocurrency commentary, but he also intermittently castigates the U.S. government and offers absurdist, sometimes offensive, social commentary, like the time he tweeted about whether having sex with a whale is consensual. (He told Newsweek that he tweeted about having sex with a whale to prove that people will believe anything if they trust you—and tweeted that whale sex is definitely consensual.)

McAfee is also running for president. Sort of.

He doesn't want or expect to win. His hope, he told Newsweek, is to shift how Americans think and talk about political topics.

His platform is minimal, but it centers around a point that many Americans can probably agree with: that the government no longer serves us. He maintains that he doesn't follow politics but thinks the U.S. is burdened by a bloated government and lawmakers who focus on maintaining their power, not serving the populace. He says that elected officials spend far too much time campaigning to keep their jobs.

"We want someone going 'no I don't want to be it,' and we're going 'if you don't do it, we're going to string you up,'" he told Newsweek, noting that he blames voters for ushering the wrong people into office. "The problem is not the people in the government. The problem is us."

McAfee identifies grievances but doesn't offer solutions, and, when asked if he sees similarities between his gruff, callous messaging and that of the current president, maintains he's not political.

His answer to the governmental problems he sees feels distinctly similar to the film V for Vendetta; he wants people to "wake the f*** up."

John McAfee participates in a fireside chat at the C2SV Technology Conference Day Three at McEnery Convention Center on September 28, 2013, in San Jose, California. Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

What exactly are you trying to do? What are you trying to convey? Who are you trying to reach?

I want to change every individual's attitude and understanding of government. Here's my position: that we are being lied to by the government from every single corner of the world. The CIA provides [info], which is deceptive, manipulative. The government provides information which is manipulative and deceptive. So if you ask me, for example, what my position is, on anything, how the f*** would I know? Because I don't have any information that is real. So what is the point? I say that first, we have to f***ing wake up and understand that we have a corrupt government, that we have a system of slavery, in effect. I mean we work for three to four to five months every year for the government for free, in terms of paying income taxes. Is that not slavery?

While you're pointing out the flaws in our system, are you promoting some sort of alternative? How do you expand your reach to draw attention to what you're trying to advocate?

I'm not worried about my reach. If I can reach 10 people, that's a change. So what are my alternatives? I don't have any. I don't need any. If you understand human nature, sir. If everyone in America woke up and saw the truth, do you think we'd have to have a plan? F*** no. If you're in a crowded theater, and a fire breaks out, yet the movie is so enthralling that most of the people don't notice it. What do you do? Do you sit down and make a plan?... You wake everybody up. When everybody sees there's a fire, do you need a f***ing plan? No. There's panic to the exits. You want to plan when you don't understand the reality of your now. Now how's that going to help?

Do you feel your message is reaching the majority? Are you having some sort of impact? Do you care that you're only reaching certain people who might align with you ideologically?

I have no ideology. Please, god, alright. That's the issue. Let me use a movie analogy one more time. I don't care if I reach 10 people. Those 10 people are going to wake up into a realistic world and go "holy s**t." They're going to tell 10 people and the others are going to tell 10 people. If you're dying in a movie theater and I'm the only one that sees there's a fire, maybe I was asleep during this enthralling movie, whatever? Do I have to wake up everybody? F*** no I wake up the guy next to me. "Hey, hey, wake up look there's a fire, oh my god." Then he wakes up, and we wake up.

This is how the world works, my friend. I'm 73. I know human interaction. And the dynamics of day to day life and the means by which we become dreamlike and ignore those things which are the greatest threat to us. It's called laziness. Wake one person. They'll wake one. They'll wake one. How about a million? I don't think it'll take too long.

Do you have people in Exuma working for your campaign?

We have thousands working with the campaign, sir. I have campaign managers now in 17 countries. My American campaign manager is Rob Loggia. We have uncountable numbers here in America. We have probably maybe 30 people in Ireland, 100 people in Germany, and so on. You're going to ask me, eventually, what on Earth—because no one's ever done this—do I need German campaign managers for, because they cannot vote. Now think about it? What is the number one problem in terms of its relations with the rest of the world? We've been the world's policeman for how long? 50 years, at least. 1975. If we don't like something, we go and smack people around….

I have traveled around the world. Everybody hates America. Do they show it? No. If you're a tourist, you're never going to see it. Why? If you're a tourist you are a source of income for that country. You're never going to see the truth. Well, I've lived in these countries, and I've seen the f***ing truth. We're hated universally. We interfere in affairs that we do not understand for our own benefit….

So now. Why do I have managers in foreign countries? Because I have one program to run. And that is I want these country campaign managers to organize talks, which I will appear at, not me, because I can't leave this f***ing island, but my clones will appear at, wearing my clones mask. We have two different versions of that now, one is a pull over the head, one's just a paper mask, that I can actually speak through and see the audience...I'm not interested in what I say. I'm interested in what they say. Because I want to open up questions. I want to be leading. What do you think of this? What do you think of that? And we're going to take snippets of these things and include them in our campaign for the American audience because I want Americans to see the truth of themselves.

Do you ever feel that you should scale [your Twitter posts] back? How carefully curated is this?

I could care less if people don't like what I'm saying. I'm just being me. I'm not going to change me to be untrue or rather false or restricted while I'm trying to make you be unrestricted. That makes no sense. No, we should all be unrestricted. We should all give a shit nothing about what people think or say about us. We should give a shit about what's written about us. We give a shit about our impact on the world, if we do something, which is absolutely us. No. I could care less about that, sir. I'm not creating a brand, I'm not creating an image. I'm a 73-year-old man who had the world. I've seen a lot of shit that people have not seen. I see a world in America that makes me want to cry.

What needs to happen in order for you to be able to come back to the U.S.?

I don't have a clue. I haven't thought about it yet. I don't address problems until I'm ready to actually do something. First of all, get a bunch of lawyers. Secondly, come back, I don't know.