By CCN: Cryptocurrency maverick and U.S. 2020 presidential candidate John McAfee announced Thursday that he was going offline fearing for his life and freedom, prompting speculation and wild conspiracy theories on social media.
Developing events have made it necessary for John McAfee to go dark. Please be advised that this account will be operated by staff until further notice. More details will be released in time.
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) May 16, 2019
Having been on the run since January over tax crimes, social media users pinned the blame on the IRS. The Block’s founder and CEO, Mike Dudas, claimed sources had indicated to him that McAfee was in federal custody.
BREAKING: John McAfee is currently either in the custody of US Federal Agents or on the run in or near the Bahamas.
He was last seen leaving a prominent crypto persons home via boat. He is separated from his wife at the moment. Sources are claiming that he is in federal custody. https://t.co/Wr7v28DeVu
— Mike Dudas (@mdudas) May 16, 2019
Dudas further suggested that it could have been a publicity stunt.
I’ve spoken with a number of additional friends of @officialmcafee who say it is typical for him to disappear for long periods of time and then reappear for PR purposes.
However, not a single member of his inside group professes to have previous warning here. Is it the Feds? https://t.co/av6eBeXDEZ
— Mike Dudas (@mdudas) May 16, 2019
There were also those who came up with ridiculous conspiracies.
McAfee taken as a POW and being held as a detainee in a irs labor camp close to where his pirate ship was last reportedly seen
— Crypto♤Nitro [Buy $BTC] (@adiobox) May 16, 2019
John Mcafee Says He Is Still Roaming Free
McAfee has however downplayed this arguing that going offline does not equate to being arrested. This was in a tweet in which he posted pictures of him and his wife ‘safe and sound in their new backyard’.
Those who read “go dark” as “incarcerated” shouldn’t play lotto this week. Here’s @officialmcafee & @theemrsmcafee safe and sound in their new backyard as defiant, joyful and free as ever. Stay tuned… pic.twitter.com/e3T8wirhge
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) May 17, 2019
However, some social media users have expressed further doubts arguing that the pictures could have been taken earlier.
No timestamp no believe. Hope john is oke
— Mr. Sister (@TheDotKnows) May 17, 2019
There were also those who wanted proof of the date the pictures were taken. This included demanding McAfee behave like a kidnapper when asked to prove a hostage in their custody was alive.
Hold today’s newspaper or I’ll still be worried
— Ganesh 🔑 (@litecoinUSA) May 17, 2019
‘U.S. Government Wants to Silence Me’
In the recent past, the cryptocurrency maverick has suggested that his life is in danger. On May 10, McAfee tweeted that was expecting the ‘U.S. government to act soon in order to silence me’.
I expect the U.S. government to act soon in order to silence me. I want you all to know that everything I have done, I have done for the cause of freedom. I want a world in which authorities discover crimes, not manufacture them. A free world.
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) May 10, 2019
The cryptocurrency influencer, however, assured his fans and supporters that his ‘words will continue’. As a backup plan in the event that his Twitter account is shut down and ‘physically silenced’, McAfee stated that he had prepared over 2,000 statements. These will be released to the legacy media for publication.
This week McAfee claimed that his ex-employees, bankers and business contacts were being harassed by the FBI and the NSA. Allegedly, this was being done under the instructions of the IRS.
The IRS, using the NSA and the FBI, are harrassing my former employees (Two were given houses), my business contacts (In Mexico no less), my banks, and even my auto mechanics. I will be publishing the full audio of these harrassments soon. I invented the tech they use. I’m McAfee
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) May 14, 2019
Is John Mcafee Paranoid or Is He Really Being Watched?
As evidence that the American government is hunting him down, the U.S. 2020 presidential candidate has also been posting photos of men he claims have been sent to watch him.
These are the types if idiots they send: Long sleeve shirts in Tropical heat. Stood for over an hour in the same spot observing the boat. I’ve identified 4 of them so far. If there are more I’ll have photos and IDs tomorrow. Couldn’t ID this man (grainy photo). Anyone know him? pic.twitter.com/Bb6kf1iggP
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) May 11, 2019
Closing in. I will not publish names or any othe vital data. Only picturesque photos. pic.twitter.com/nOnAOOnBV1
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) May 12, 2019
The cryptocurrency maverick even invited his social media followers to help him identify the spies. He also promised to get restraining orders against all of them.
John McAfee fled the United States in January and has been traveling around the Caribbean. Mostly, however, holed up in The Bahamas.
His choice of The Bahamas is apparently because it makes extradition to the U.S. difficult, as he argued in April.
The Bahamas does not have an income tax. Extradition is not possible unless the “crime” for which the country asking for extradition is also a crime in the country harboring the criminal. Tax evasion is not a crime in the Bahamas. Look for the US to manufacture a different crime.