Lawsuit-plagued McAfee founder hunts for libido-boosting herbs in Belize

Jeff Wise of Fast Company went to Belize to profile 64-year-old John McAfee, the eccentric bad-boy founder of the McAffee antivirus company. With at least five civil lawsuits hounding him, McAfee claims he's lost 96% of his fortune, and is now interested in finding plant-based medicines for a variety of ailments, including libido-boosters for women. Wise isn't so sure McAfee is as broke as he claims, however.
Screen Shot 2010-04-21 At 9.20.03 Am I arrive in Belize in late January to find McAfee living in much the same style as he had been in New Mexico, surrounded by a fluctuating entourage of a dozen or so people, several of them former Sky Gypsies I'd met in Rodeo. It turned out he'd been busy since his reported financial catastrophe. He'd started a high-speed ferry company, an Internet-services company, a rickshaw company, a water-sports facility, and, with his leftover trikes, an aerial-tour company. He doesn't technically own these companies, he adds: "I give them all away to local people." He doesn't even own his boat, a 42-foot-long Lagoon 420 catamaran worth about $450,000. "Long-term lease," he explains.

What is important, he assures me, is his commitment to developing the quorum-sensing drugs. "For 20 years, I played," he says, "and now I'm serious about doing something positive." McAfee tells me he spent $400,000 building four greenhouses on Ambergris Caye, paying to have all the materials, including every cubic foot of soil, shipped over from the mainland. When the plants proved too fragile for their man-made home, he bought 22 acres of jungle in the country's interior and hired men to clear out the undergrowth so that the plants could seed themselves and grow in the shade of the canopy. McAfee still had no proof that his extracts worked, or that he could grow the plants at all, but he had already ordered workmen to start excavating a dock where a barge could be unloaded. Nearby, a thatched-roof "processing lab" stood half-completed.

Earlier today, John McAfee added a comment to the article at the Fast Company website disputing a couple of claims made by Wise in the article.

Plagued by Lawsuits, McAfee Founder Hunts for Cures in Belize (Via Joel Johnson)


  1. sky gypsies
    high-speed ferry company
    internet-services company
    rickshaw company
    aerial-tour company
    42-foot-long Lagoon 420 catamaran

    Transportation, communication and…

    …a “processing lab” on the Gulf coast.



  2. Maybe it’s just me, but he seems like a complete douche.

    Live the free life all you want, dude. But you do have some responsibilities as a human on this planet. And one of those is to the families of the people that died in your care.

    1. so if someone borrows your car and gets killed in an accident, you’re liable? seems rather over litigious to me. it also seems more like a complete “douche” move to post such drivel anonymously. what evidence is there that the victims were in “his care” as you state?

  3. So, besides this plane crash incident, does anyone have any more information about the other suits currently pending against McAfee?

    1. Don’t know about any current lawsuits but I have a large French judgment against him from 2003 that I have been trying unsuccessfully to collect. I don’t think he moved to Belize to get away from lawsuits since he’s appears judgment proof no matter where he is. I’ve spent close to a quarter of a million dollars attempting to collect. I’d be happy to sell the judgment to anyone wanting to continue the fight. I know at the time of my lawsuit he was involved in at least half a dozen suits.

  4. Odd that the fast “company” article seemed to focus on the personal litigation, and failed to even mention McAfee’s new anti quorum sensing company, QuorumEx.
    The parallels between the entirely new field of anti-virus software in the 1980s and the anti quorum sensing project he’s now developing should not be ignored. The company’s website makes not even a single mention of the “libido boosting” herbs that the FC (and this boingboing) article seem to focus on. Assuredly an herbal female viagra has a lot more zing to it than the more scholarly field of anti-biotic & anti quorum sensing research, but the company’s focus is on an entirely new way of preventing bacteria from becoming pathogenic – which seems to be not such a trivial matter.

    1. Its about time serious research is devoted to “libido boosting” for women. As far as I’m concerned – that’s something the website should boast about. Lets face it, the first time a man couldn’t get it up, the world came to a halt until viagra became a household word. Women should be thanking McAfee – for that matter, so should you men!!! For what it’s worth, THANKS, JOHN!!!

  5. I hope that…(OS crashes due to McAfee update..bleep..Windows theme and 10 minutes later)…sorry, I was interrupted by a crash, as I was saying…(OS crashes due to McAfee update..bleep..Windows theme and 10 minutes later)…I hope he has better luck with quorum.

  6. Oh yeah? Well I heard that McAfee purposely caused the drop in women’s libidos so that he could sell them libido boosters!

  7. McAfee and Norton are the among the worst software you can load on your windows pc. A virus would be preferable to having any of these bloated “security suites” on your pc. Tip of the hat to Microsoft for releasing a free product to replace these lousy programs. (About time!!!)

  8. I spent one single month as a MacAfee software user. The user interface had serious issues and seemed designed to prevent the user from finding out what was really happening with their PC (mass-market least-common-denominator software FTW). Also, the software decided it needed to rescan my entire half-GB Thunderbird mbx for each incoming message, bringing my system to a halt every time I checked mail. Never again – not for gold, not for power, not for free sculpted mermaid-, unicorn-, and elephant-seal-themed ice-cream-cake-with-sprinklies-on-top for everyone.

  9. So after selling useless anti-[electronic]virus products, he’s now getting into the useless [physical] medicine business?

    Plus ca change…

  10. Astonishing how the American press works. Can anyone, anywhere – either on our website (, or in any published document from any of the staff, or from any slight implications made in any comment – point to where we suggest we are working on a libido enhancer? If a reporter has no sense of humor it isn’t my fault. True, we have a plant based personal lubricant. Big deal. When asked asked where that track was going, Dr. Adonizio smiled and said “Women’s libido enhancement”. The absurdity seemed obvious to us, since we had spent the entire day talking to the reporter about the nitty details of anti-bacterial research. Not a very titillating subject.

    We joke a lot. We don’t get TV here so the boredom factor is high.

  11. Hi, Jeff Wise here, the guy who wrote the Fast Company article. We just put up a post replying to some of Mr. McAfee’s critiques over at, it’s at
    I’d also like to address some things here as well.
    1) jz (#9 and #14) is, I suspect, McAfee’s friend and employee Jim Zoromski. (Am I wrong?) Jim and John are both really nice guys who I enjoyed hanging out with in Belize (and in John’s case, Rodeo NM as well).
    2) I don’t normally write expose-type articles, don’t really enjoy having to bare unpleasant facts about someone who was a gracious host to me, but I had to follow the facts where they took me. McAfee dangled quite a few clues in front of me when I was down in Belize with him, and several times suggested that I write an expose. At the time I didn’t know what he was talking about. John, tell me: did you really want an expose? If so, why?
    3) didn’t exist when I did the reporting on the story. I suspect that John and Jim created it in an attempt to create the impression that their focus all along has been on quorum-sensing, and not the libido drug. McAfee has often regaled me with tales of hoax web pages he has made in the past. More on this at Fast Company.
    4) In fact, when I visited Belize, they had put the quorum sensing drug on the back burner. They weren’t joking about the libido drug, they talked about it all the time.
    Jeff Wise

  12. PS., Leon Tillit, if you’d care to share your story, I’d be glad to hear it. You can leave a comment on my web site, Thanks.
    Jeff Wise

  13. I took this junk last year when I was having distress “getting aroused” due to depression after losing my dad. It was excellent for a vitamin boost but, other than that, I noticed NOTHING. You are better off buying a tingle lubricant. Dont waste your time on this. Lame.

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