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May 3, 2010

John McAfee does damage control after scandalous piece in US magazine

quorumexBy any stretch, John McAfee is a name to reckon in the computer world. He is the founder of McAfee, the largest computer anti-virus company in the world. For the past two and a half years, he has been living in Belize; more specifically in San Pedro Ambergris Caye. The fact that he had moved to Belize got public attention when he made a generous donation to the local Coast Guard.  So when Fast Company Magazine of the US wrote a story on McAfee last week, alleging that he is involved in suspicious behavior, it raised many brows.  One of the allegations is that McAfee’s donation of a million-dollar boat to the Coast Guard in January of last year was so that the Coast Guard does not hassle his ferry business, Coastal Express, which came on stream ten months later in October.  McAfee, who arrived in the country today, also has plans to start an antibiotic pharmaceutical company using native Belizean plants. He says the article in Fast Company’s magazine was to smear his name and take him out of business. News Five was on hand when he arrived today at the Philip Goldson International Airport.

John McAfee, Founder, McAfee Anti-Virus

“What is happening here is I’m starting a company called Quorum Ex using native plants of Belize to create antibiotics using a brand new method, which has just been discovered in the past few years. I think the question needs to be asked of Fast Company which pharmaceutical company they are working with to create stories like this because if I succeed in what I am doing here in Belize then it will put many of these large international companies out of business. So we are seeing a smear campaign, not just against myself, but against Belize and all the citizens of Belize.”

Marion Ali

john mcafee

john mcafee

“Why do you think that company would have some gripe or vendetta against you and your companies?”

John McAfee

“I don’t think they have a gripe against me, I think that the pharmaceutical companies are very afraid of what I’m doing down here. Again, we’re building a brand new type of anti-biotic that’s does not develop resistance to bacteria. If we succeed in this—we have a research plant, we have a station at Galen University, we have a production facility in Orange Walk and we’re very close to producing a product which will put many of these companies out of business. So they don’t have a gripe against me but the pharmaceutical companies like Bayer and Merck are very afraid of what I’m doing.”

Jules Vasquez

“In the article it alleges that the priority area of research is in fact a female form of Viagra.”

John McAfee

“See that again is utter nonsense. We have a website; I invite you and I invite the members of the public of Belize to go to Nowhere does it mention anything about a female Viagra, at no point have we ever worked on a female Viagra, our entire focus of research is on antibiotics using native plants here in Belize. So, again it’s just one more aspect of the story which is utterly false and an attempt to discredit the work that I’m doing here.  This is not my first bad press. It’s impossible to have nothing but you’re in the press yourself, half of it’s bad, half of it’s good. But when it came out here in Belize I felt it very necessary to say something.”

Marion Ali

“Can you tell us what measures are in place to ensure that the project that you’re entering into agreement with that you will start will be sustainable?”

John McAfee

“It’s completely sustainable because all of the products we are using, we are growing ourselves. We have a twenty-two acre growing facility on the banks of New River and four large greenhouses in San Pedro constructed over a year ago that we’ll be using to grow our products. So we are not going into the forests of Belize and harvesting; that’s not our intent.”

McAfee says he will not seek legal redress against Fast Company Magazine for having published the article. The businessman says he has lost a lot of money because of the economic situation, but he still considers himself well off.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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16 Responses for “John McAfee does damage control after scandalous piece in US magazine”

  1. Maddyvandijk says:

    I do not care if the rich people all over the world are suffering from the recession, they will always find a way to bounce back without even a trace of loss.
    He paid a very handsome amount of mount to the Belizeans so that they can look the other way, sadly, that is how business is done by the millionaires. John is not conspiring to making himself as a class poorer, and a million dollars to turn a blind eye is nothing compared to the millions that he will be banking very soon from the blood, sweat and tears of the Belizeans.
    If you look at it this way, there will be jobs for the Belizeans soon, this new woman Viagra turns out to be another bad deal.
    Belize has a wide forest of the world’s richest habitats for flora, and not even the government of Belize has the sense to really use this knowledge to developed a better country, instead they just sell the country to smart Americans who goes there and reap the benefits for themselves.
    Anyway, as long as he is doing this in a legal way, no problem.

  2. macal rivera says:

    After reading friday issue of the amandala I get the impression that this man John Mcafee is another occtopus. I don’t trust him in my country, wish he would pack up and leave, along with his assistant. They just want to use belizeans like guinnea pigs. U bet I am right.

  3. Public Defendah says:

    Here’s a 2009 story by ABC’s Nightline on McAfee downsizing from $100 million in worth to less than $10 million after losing big time in the luxury real estate market. In the article, McAfee explains that he had gotten caught up in the consumer lifestyle, but felt freer without his excessive luxuries and has less responsibilities. He said that his attitude about money forever changed. He decided to come to Belize to invest the rest of his dollars in natural medicines.

    For context on McAfee, go to:

  4. jay says:

    we should question the people we vote for, this guy is not asking anyone for anything, leave him alone. I wish some of our politicians would pack up and leave.

  5. BELIZEIT says:

    If this man money will help to grow our economy, create jobs and put Belizeans back to work, then leave the man alone and let him spend his money; we are greatly in need of it.

  6. BM says:

    Mr. McAfee is so right saying that these big phamaceutical companies are afraid of his research. A lot of people don’t know or don’t want to understand what all these drug companies are doing to our everyday health. They advertise all kind of things in an effort to help you. Anything you put in your body has a side-effect. We all know that Belize is blessed with abundance of herbal medicines. Our jungles are the producer of countless remedies. Our ancestors, the mayan, the east indians and countless others knows about bush medicines. Its just a shame that our own belizean people don’t know to appreciate the things we have in our surroundings. We have to have some foreigner (no offence) come and tell us the same things our grandparents told us about remedies. If Mr. McAfee has the funds to back up these research then by all means help those that need the help. He can make a million dollar or one hundred million dollar off this venture…..once he keep the money here in Belize to benefit we the belizean. We Belizean welcome people deserving of a second chance in life…….our friendly hospitality will make you never want to leave. We support any kind of honest investment today!!!

  7. Esteban says:

    I agree with Jay. Even if most of his money does not go towards investing in Belize, at least it’s HIS MONEY. This is not a matter worth getting frustrated over. Leave him alone.

  8. Public Defendah says:

    And don’t forget his partnership with Galen University, another plus. Hopefully the big bad pharmaceutical companies don’t send bad guys after him.

  9. ang says:

    I think more Belizeans can learn from the new methodology he is bringing and create back up and complementary industries that would counter up new jobs and if we work hard with what is successfully researched we can prosper in the future of pharmaceuticals like India but better…the average Belizean likes not only cheap products or services they like to know they are getting value.

  10. ycm says:

    well i think wat ever he is doing regardless of wat he did in his pass thats tha pass the man is just trying to invest some money in tha country and as long as he not doing antthing ilegal thats fine yup people need work tha previous government put us where we r today so if the man investing some money in there let him do it he is creating jobs and i dont think thats a bad thing for all of us belizean we need to start looking at the good and not the bad im a belizean and im proud to be so if tha guy want to donate some money and create jobs fine i live in bileze for so many years and seen all the up s and down know some 1 came to do good leave hime along

  11. lrnzG says:

    If he’s speaking the truth.. that’s why it would have been best to kept it all a secret until the project was actually successful. Sabotage would have been less likely. McAfee seems like a smart man with all his success, or have his advisors slipped up?

    Hit me up.

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  16. damedis says:

    i heard he has an internet services company in Belize. Anybody know about that? I know they have a list of companies there but thought that they were all Belizean owned…

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