WikiLeaks Founder Shares His Secret Past
Paranoid Julian Assange says he grew up on the run from cult
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jun 1, 2010 10:04 AM CDT
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is seen in this file photo.   (©andygee1)

(Newser) – Julian Assange is a paranoid man. The WikiLeaks founder believes he is constantly under surveillance, and that his site has enemies in governments around the world. Several members of his team are known by initials only, and the site's complex server system is “vastly more secure than any banking network,” he boasts. But his fears make a touch of sense when you hear about his bizarre childhood, which he related to Raffi Khatchadourian in a lengthy New Yorker profile.

At age 11, Assange's mother told him they needed to “disappear,” because her relationship with her boyfriend, a musician, had gone sour. They spent the next five years on the run from the musician, whom Assange believes was part of a secretive cult/conspiracy called “the Family,” which had moles in government tracking their movements. When they stopped moving, Assange joined a squatter's union, became a hacker, and nearly wound up in jail. Later, he spent time motorcycling across Vietnam, studying physics, and finally, founding WikiLeaks as a means of waging “information warfare” against governments everywhere. To this day he has no home; he wanders, staying with WikiLeaks supporters.

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Showing 3 of 13 comments
Jun 22, 2010 2:03 PM CDT
Birgitta Jónsdóttir contagious courage
Jun 1, 2010 8:39 PM CDT
One weird guy.
Jun 1, 2010 6:01 PM CDT
Newser blew the summary on this story, choosing to focus on the "mole" on the cheek rather than the person behind the face. (A speculative "mole" at that ---- Assange presents this account of his past as a child memory). For the curious, check out the entire New Yorker piece; it's an interesting read.