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Loving a leakster: Assange's apparent online dating life

By Ashley Fantz, CNN
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Assange's lovelife leaks online
  • Free online dating site OkCupid says Julian Assange's profile is real
  • Profile created in 2006 with username of author whose character is globetrotting con man
  • Profile's self-summary: "Often pig headed activist intellectual seeks siren for love affair"

(CNN) -- In the winter of 2006, Julian Assange was apparently looking for a date.

He had just launched WikiLeaks, a little online operation with big ambitions. Assange hoped it would exemplify a value he held high: All information should be public, no matter how sensitive or embarrassing. Only then could justice be served and corruption end.

All in all, he seemed to think he was a pretty good catch.

So that December, Assange, then 36, evidently created a profile on the free dating site

WARNING: Want a regular, down to earth guy? Keep moving. I am not the droid you're looking for. Save us both while you still can. Passionate, and often pig headed activist intellectual seeks siren for love affair, children and occasional criminal conspiracy.

Such a woman should [be] spirited and playful, of high intelligence, though not necessarily formally educated, have spunk, class & inner strength and be able to think strategically about the world and the people she cares about.

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"This is real, as best we can tell," OkCupid co-founder Sam Yagan said, adding that the profile was not fabricated by the site as a publicity stunt in the wake of Assange's international fame.

"We have manual and automatic systems in place to prevent fraud. We can tell when a profile is created, from where -- and we're not going to say" the location, Yagan said.

"If the profile is a ruse, then whoever did it went to elaborate lengths. And if someone faked this in 2006, that person has done an amazing job predicting the future."

The profile hasn't been updated since that month. "Maybe he got busy," Yagan joked.

Four years later, Assange is everywhere: in magazines, on TV, defending WikiLeaks' right to publish hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. documents about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the start of what he says are 250,000 classified U.S. diplomatic cables. WHAT IS WIKILEAKS?

Since the leaks began in July, Assange has fanned his own celebrity, portraying himself as an on-the-run muckraker eluding global government heavies who wish to do him harm for outing their dirty secrets. His prematurely gray hair mussed, he's given more than a few come-hither looks on magazine covers.

But if the dating profile unearthed Saturday by this obscure blog is real, it may be the first time Assange couldn't attempt to spin what's written about him. He was in jail in Great Britain in relation to a sex-crime investigation in Sweden. A London court granted him bail Thursday.

Passionate, and often pig headed activist intellectual seeks siren for love affair...
--OKCupid dating profile believed to be Assange's

The OKCupid profile is posted under the username Harry Harrison, the pen name of an American author of science-fiction books whose protagonist, "Slippery Jim," is a globetrotting con man.

Under the section "The first things people usually notice about me," the profile says: "Nordic appearance. Unusual presense [sic]. Often carrying mystery brown paper packages tied up with strings; these are a few of my first things."

There are five photos resembling Assange. The main one is a close-up of a smiling face, captioned: "The author, facing the rising sun after an all puzzle contest."

"The thing that amazed me is how much time he took with the profile, how active he was," Yagan said.

"Harry Harrison" took 42 of the site's special personality tests. Yagan said an average user typically takes one personality test; many don't even bother with one.

The answers to each question on the tests are private. But the overall results are as public as the government documents WikiLeaks has published.

Among the tests Harrison took, and the results:

• The Politics Test: Strong Democrat

• The Death Test: Dead at 83

• The Intellectual Sexiness Test: 85 intellectual sexiness!

• The Atheist Test: 75% - The Ardent Atheist

• The EXTREMELY advanced MATH Test: 84 on the MathDorkOMeter

In addition, Harrison answered the site's "match questions," which show that he's 27 percent more arrogant, 12.3 percent kinkier and 10.5 percent "less capitalistic" than OkCupid's 7 million members.

Assange's profile attracted plenty of users.

"We don't tell people who or exactly how many, but let's say that several responded to him," Yagan said.

In December 2006, as Assange was launching WikiLeaks and ostensibly creating his OkCupid profile, he also posted several entries on, widely believed to be his old blog. He wrote about Somalia, terrorism and the U.S. government. There are lengthy musings about technology and emotion.

On OkCupid, under the question "What I'm doing with my life," "Harry Harrison" wrote:

"Directing a consuming, dangerous human rights project which is, as you might expect, male dominated. Variously professionally involved in international journalism/books, documentaries, cryptography, intelligence agencies, civil rights, political activism, white collar crime and the internet. Formal background in neuroscience, mathematics, physics and philosophy."

Assange studied mathematics at the University of Melbourne in Australia (he's an Australian citizen). He was an adept programmer and became fascinated with hacking in his teens. He's told reporters that in 1997, he developed a cryptographic system that human-rights workers could use.

What is "Harry Harrison" really good at? "A gentleman never tells," the profile reads.

Under the "I spend a lot of time thinking about" section on the dating site, Harrison makes it clear he's not much for quiet nights at home. Instead he prefers:

Changing the world through passion, inspiration and trickery. Travel (33 countries). Structure of reality. Birth and death of the universe (physics background) Ontology. Chopping up human brains (neuroscience background)

But faint-hearted ladies need not apply, he writes. Get in touch only if:

You are a spirited, erotic, non-conformist [sic]. Non-conformity is not the adoption of some pre-existing alternative subculture. I seek innate perceptiveness and spunk. Do not write to me if you are timid. I am too busy. Write to me if you are brave.

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