BANJAXED! THE COMPLETELY TRUE STORY OF THE MAN FROM INTREPID
All he wanted was to become Ireland’s most famous dressmaker. He ended up becoming one of the world’s most dangerous codemakers, or so the NSA thought, and convinced that his plan was to bring the world’s most secretive global electronic spying network to a grinding halt.
Banjaxed! is the true story of Neal O’Farrell, whose only dream was to be the third generation to take over a famous Irish weaving business, a business that also came with a small private estate, a small army of staff and servants, and a growing art collection. When that plan failed, Neal found himself submerged in a world of spies and spooks, and a chance encounter with a military intelligence officer that led to an opportunity to become rich beyond his wildest dreams. All he would have to do was beat the NSA at their own game.
“So now, every morning, like a religious ritual I would fall to my hands and knees and closely inspect every inch of the underside of my beloved Volvo. I had no idea what a car bomb looked like but I hoped that I would still recognize one if it was there. That would be a very crucial part of the whole exercise.”
Few books can boast such weird and wonderful connections. Mental health and imposter syndrome. Dressmaking and codemaking. The NSA and GCHQ. Five Eyes and the Crypto Wars. Coco Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent. The Duchess of Westminster and the Queen of Siam. Maureen O’Hara and Nancy Reagan. Saddam Hussein and the Medellin Cartel. Robert Mueller and Iran Contra.
PASSIONS AND PROJECTS
Most of Neal’s work is now focused on mental health and wellness, like: SMART CITIES AND MENTAL HEALTH – what if the millions of IoT sensors dotted around our cities could be harnessed to improve the mental health of residents? MYNDE.ME – Building individual emotional resilience as a way to make entire communities emotionally stronger. THE PSYBER RESILIENCE PROJECT – helping the nation’s cybersecurity first responders cope with the epidemic of stress and burnout.
SPEAKING AND EVENTS
Neal has keynoted on cybercrime in Las Vegas, on the rise of surveillance capitalism at the headquarters of Facebook in Menlo Park, and on mental health for audiences in more than 50 countries.
KEEP IN TOUCH
Get the very latest updates on BNJXD, on Neal's speaking and teaching, on mental health and emotional resilience, and anything else that comes to his mind.