JOHN McAfee is believed to have been fascinated with the bizarre idea of “quantum suicide” and previously tweeted about “painless” methods to take a life.
The tech millionaire reportedly killed himself in a prison in Barcelona, Spain, after it was announced he faced extradition to the US.
John McAfee lived an eccentric life filled with controversies[/caption]
McAfee, 75, was known for his eccentric playboy persona and wild lifestyle which embroiled him in a string of scandals – from being a “person of interest” in a murder to being held for arms trafficking.
The tycoon, who was once dubbed the “world’s most wanted man”, died hours after a Spanish court agreed to send him to the US to face tax evasion charges.
And his apparent suicide has sparked plenty of speculation, with McAfee previously saying he would never take his own life and his wife Janice claiming just days before that “corrupt government” wanted him dead.
Weeks before his death he tweeted about being asked by a man “facing a difficult situation” about “painless ways” to kill himself.
He added: “The amazing thing is that the tone of the discussion was like discussing the weather”.
But perhaps one of the most out there theories on his death being dredged up by fans is the antivirus boss’s apparent fascination with “quantum suicide”.
“Quantum suicide” is a theoretical thought experiment which is based on the idea there are an infinite amount of parallel universes.
The mind bending theory goes that every decision creates a different universe, according to the basis of quantum mechanics.
So the outlandish conceptual experiment claims if this is all true – you should be able to stand in front of loaded gun and survive.
This is because your consciousness only continues in the parallel universe in which you survive – thus proving we have “quantum immortality”.
Quantum suicide however is only an abstract thought experiment – and would not work in the real world – and it used mainly as a concept to help distinguish between different theories of quantum mechanics.
McAfee however appears to have been intrigued by the idea.
And the he even appeared to perform the thought experiment live for a journalist from WIRED in 2013.
Tech writer Joshua Davis visited McAfee at his island estate in Belize, where he was hunkered down at the time after being accused of assembling a private army to enter the drug trade.
The interview took a dark turn when the millionaire produced a gun and asked: “Can I do a demonstration?”.
Davis claims in the story that McAfee loaded a bullet into the Smith and Wesson revolver and then proceeded to point the gun at his head.
Staring at the journalist, he then repeatedly pulled the trigger in a solo game of Russian Roulette – counting down all the five chambers in the gun.
But the pistol never went off, and McAfee said: “I can do this all day long.
“I can do this ten thousand times. Nothing will ever happen. Why? Because you have missed something.
“You are operating on an assumption about reality that is wrong.”
Who was John McAfee?
John McAfee was born in 1945 on a US Army base in Britain, before being raised in Virginia.
After working as a programmer and software designer for several companies, including NASA, he began to develop software to combat viruses.
In 1987 he founded McAfee Associates, a computer antivirus company.
Eventually Intel bought McAfee and changed the name of the branding – something McAfee expressed pleasure over.
In August 2009, The New York Times reported that his personal fortune had fallen to $4million from $100million.
He moved to Belize and wanted to find medicinal uses for plants on his land.
At the DEF CON conference in Los Angeles in August 2014 he warned Americans not to use smartphones – suggesting apps are used to spy on clueless customers who do not read privacy agreements.
He announced he would seek the office of President of the United States in the 2016 Presidential campaign as a candidate of the Libertarian Party. He lost the Libertarian Party’s nomination to Gary Johnson.
In May 2016 he was appointed chief executive chairman and CEO of MGT Capital Investments, later announcing that it would be renamed John McAfee Global Technologies.
He then claimed he and his team had exploited a flaw in the Android operating system that allowed him to read encrypted messages from Whatsapp.
And during another interview for the same feature, McAfee is claimed to have pulled the stunt with the gun again as the reporter met him at his his villa.
“It is a real gun. It has a real bullet in one chamber,” he said.
He reportedly told the reporter his understanding of reality was wrong as he once again pulled the trigger of the gun against his head.
Davis then claims McAfee pointed the gun outside the bungalow and fired – with finally the bullet coming bursting from the barrel and into the surf.
“You thought you were creating your reality. You were not. I was,” he said.
McAfee fans points to these bizarre exchanges as his apparent belief in “quantum suicide” and “quantum immortality”.
It is unclear how McAfee managed to pull of the stun, but he appears to have been using the theory to make a point about the reality and choices.
YOU'RE NOT ALONE
EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.
It doesn’t discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It’s the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.
Yet it’s rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun launched the You’re Not Alone campaign.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let’s all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You’re Not Alone.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
Following his reported death, an old tweet of McAfee’s resurfaced alleging “If I suicide myself, I didn’t. I was whackd. Check my right arm.”
The tweet included a photograph of himself with a tattoo that said $WHACKD and the caption read: “Getting subtle messages from U.S. officials saying, in effect: ‘We’re coming for you McAfee! We’re going to kill yourself’. I got a tattoo today just in case.”
But authorities said an initial investigation found no signs of foul play, the Spanish newspaper El Pais reported.
McAfee had reportedly been dragged from his cell after apparently hanging himself — with a justice department official insisting: “Everything points to suicide”.
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McAfee had been arrested on October 3 of last year at El Prat airport in Spain, as he was about to flee the country to Turkey.
That same month, McAfee was charged in Tennessee with evading taxes after failing to report income made from promoting cryptocurrencies while he did consulting work, made speaking engagements and sold the rights to his life story for a documentary.
McAfee sold his antivirus company to Intel for $7.7billion in 2011.
He claimed to have set up a “deadman switch” to spill untold dirt on unnamed powerful people he he were to either disappear or die.