John McAfee and Quantum Immortality
John McAfee lived an interesting existence, to say the very least. He went from a hopeless drug user, to a multi-millionaire tech mogul, to a wanted fugitive in his 75 years of life. McAfee would be found dead in a Spanish prison cell, with the cause of death being recorded as suicide. However, I am much more fascinated with his beliefs in quantum immortality and quantum suicide than almost any other part of his life.
What is Quantum Immortality
Before we get into some of the details regarding the life of John McAfee as well as his beliefs on the topics of quantum immortality and quantum suicide, I’d like to start off with the actual concept of quantum immortality. As we all know, quantum physics and quantum theories are incredibly complex and difficult to understand. There is a reason that quantum mechanics are considered one of the hardest to understand concepts in science. Let me make this clear before I continue: I have no clue what I am talking about in terms of quantum sciences, and I might be wrong on some of the points. I will try to give you the general understanding of what quantum immortality means and is.
The concept of quantum immortality is fascinating, to say the very least. It began as a thought experiment that many credit Hugh Everett with conjuring up. The theory is an adaptation of the many worlds theory, suggesting that there is an infinite number of universes with an infinite number of possibilities in them. The many worlds theory states that whenever an event occurs in the universe that you are living in, the universe splits into two seperate new universes, one in which the event occurred, and one in which the event did not occur. The theory of quantum immortality is that, at the point of death, the universe splits to accommodate two separate circumstances; one in which you are still alive, and one in which you die.
Quantum immortality can be incredibly interesting to research and ponder due to the way that our brain thinks about death and mortality. A branch of the quantum immortality theory suggests that since our consciousness cannot grasp the concept of death, every time that we die in one universe, our consciousness is transported to a universe in which we continue living. As I stated before, the theories of quantum immortality and quantum suicide can be incredibly fascinating, but can lead to dire consequences.
Who was John McAfee
John David McAfee was a computer programmer, businessman, and the creator of the famous antivirus software McAfee Antivirus. He was born into an abusive household, with an abusive alcoholic father. When McAfee was only 15 years old, his father took his own life in the bathroom at their household.
As in many traumatic childhoods, it seemed McAfee would continue down a path of self-destruction and mediocrity. Throughout McAfee’s teenage years, he would begin to experiment with drugs and alcohol, quickly developing multiple addictions. In college, McAfee made money by selling cocaine, a product that he “knew would sell.”
Despite the circumstances of McAfee’s life, he was able to use his natural charisma and intelligence to land jobs at places like NASA’s Institute for Space Studies and Lockheed. However, one of the most interesting stories of McAfee’s life comes from when he worked at Missouri Pacific Railroad. He worked using IBM’s systems in order to calibrate train schedules and regularly consumed drugs on the job. One day, McAfee tried N-dimethyltryptamine, or DMT, a heavy psychedelic. After snorting one line of the powdered substance, McAfee felt no effects, and decided to snort the entire bag of the powder.
With the “regular” dosage of DMT being very, very little, snorting an entire bag of the powder is not only ill-advised, but dangerous. Later that day, McAfee was found laying behind a trash can in downtown St. Louis. He was promptly released from his position at Missouri Pacific Railroads, which would lead to a very dark period in McAfee’s life. After losing his job, McAfee’s wife would proceed to leave him, taking their daughter along with her.
For the next couple months, McAfee would spend his days isolated and deeply unhappy in life, lacking direction and motivation. His alcohol consumption became a problem, and he became hooked on various addictive substances. This period of McAfee’s life became incredibly depressing, and he even began to consider the same fate as his father. However, there was still hope for McAfee, and after getting much needed assistance from Alcoholics Anonymous, he began to get his life back on track.
McAfee then became employed by Lockheed, which would later go on to form Lockheed Martin. While employed by Lockheed, McAfee would take notice of the Brain computer virus and smelled a business opportunity. McAfee reportedly coded the McAfee Antivirus software in under two days, and McAfee offered it for free.
Despite offering the McAfee Antivirus for free, there was a small catch. The software was free for consumers, but not for businesses. Businesses had to buy a license in order to use the software on their computers, and McAfee began to create a software empire. The office at McAfee Associates was later described as “cult-like”, with employees working for days at a time in order to please McAfee.
In 1994, McAfee would sell off his remaining stakes in the company, making an estimated $100 million. For the remainder of his life, McAfee lived the life of a multi-millionaire playboy tech mogul. He started a yoga institute, wrote books on spirituality, and even started a ranch dedicated to aerotrekking, a new sport that involved flying homemade airplane-like vehicles.
McAfee’s life really begins to turn into a novelesque story when he moved to Belize. He began research on a new class of antibiotics, with the help of Allison Adonizio, a microbiologist who was vacationing in Belize. McAfee built an entire lab for the research of Adonizio, giving her the funds in order to continue her research on the new antibiotics. McAfee was a particularly paranoid man, and even began to hire local criminals and gang members to protect his property.
Having a lab in the middle of the jungle in Belize and employing criminals was not necessarily the best look, and in 2012, the Belizean government raided McAfee’s compound on suspicions of drug manufacturing. The police recovered no drugs, and found no evidence to suggest that McAfee was manufacturing drugs. McAfee later would go on to claim that the reason for the raid was that he refused to pay an extortion fee to the Belizean government, but this claim is unverified.
The story of John McAfee continues and continues, with millions of little details that would take an entire series of books to get through, but the point is this; John McAfee lived a truly wild existence. In order to understand McAfee’s connection to quantum immortality, let’s take you into McAfee’s Belize compound with Wired reporter Joshua Davis.
The John McAfee Quantum Suicide Story
While Davis was investigating the life of John McAfee in Belize, he was inside McAfee’s compound when McAfee produced a 5-cylinder Smith & Wesson revolver. McAfee stared at Davis and presented him with a bullet. “This is a bullet, right?” McAfee asked Davis.
“Let’s put the gun back.” Davis would ask McAfee. Davis was looking to understand why the Belizean government had suspected him of entering the drug trade, but McAfee would quickly explain that the accusations were all fabrications.
“Can I do a demonstration?” McAfee asks Davis. McAfee then proceeds to load a bullet into one of the chambers of the revolver and spins the cylinder. “This scares you, right?” McAfee asks Davis.
“We don’t have to do this,” Davis replies, unsure of what was about to occur.
“I know we don’t.” McAfee replied, as he pressed the muzzle of the revolver against his temple. Then McAfee pulls the trigger. No bullet is fired, no sound, just the click of the firing pin going into the empty chamber. McAfee pulls the trigger again, nothing happens. McAfee pulls the trigger two more times, and nothing happens. Since this is a 5-cylinder revolver, the final cylinder contains the bullet that McAfee had loaded into the gun just minutes ago.
McAfee stares at Davis with a menacing glare and pulls the trigger a fifth time. Nothing happens except for the distinctive click of an empty chamber. McAfee clicks the revolver again and again, with nothing happening. McAfee tells Davis “I can do this all day long. I can do this a thousand times. Ten thousand times. Nothing will ever happen. Why? Because you have missed something. You are operating on an assumption about reality that is wrong.”
The story of McAfee and Davis serves as evidence that McAfee was deeply interested in the theories of quantum immortality and quantum suicide, along with numerous Twitter posts mentioning the theories. Although we may never know for sure, it seems as though McAfee may have found the secret to immortality.
- “Quantum Suicide and Immortality.” Wikipedia, 14 Jan. 2022, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_suicide_and_immortality
- “McAfee Was Fascinated with ‘Quantum Suicide’ & Tweeted about Painless Methods.” The Sun, 24 June 2021, www.thesun.co.uk/news/15382948/john-mcafee-quantum-suicide-painless/ Accessed 4 Mar. 2022.
- Nast, Condé. “Dangerous: An In-Depth Investigation into the Life of John McAfee.” Wired UK, www.wired.co.uk/article/dangerous Accessed 4 Mar. 2022.
- Davis, Joshua. “John McAfee Fled to Belize, but He Couldn’t Escape Himself.” Wired, 24 Dec. 2012, www.wired.com/2012/12/ff-john-mcafees-last-stand/.
- “What Is DMT? Is It Dangerous?” Oxford Treatment Center, oxfordtreatment.com/substance-abuse/hallucinogens/dmt/.