L.Detweiler is an extremely prolific writer and building a tight
organization of his dozens of posts even in only one vein is a herculean task.
This is a fairly comprehensive organized collection of his posts on cypherpunk
philosophy, "pseudospoofing" and "pseudoanonymity" etc. (use of fake identities
in cyberspace), which altogether comprise only a small facet of his writings,
but which for some unaccountable reason are the conduit by which he has achieved
the most infamy^h^h^h^h^h^h attention.
- The diverse, complex, classic, original, almost-sane L.D. masterpieces
(Cryptoanarchist Glossary, Joy of Pseudospoofing,
Cypherwonk Charter, How do I Trust Thee? etc.) that elevate
his status far beyond mere pedestrian crankdom and have earned him high esteem
in the cyberspatial ranters' hallowed hall of fame.
- The sinister shadows of the cypherpunks: pornography distribution, tax
evasion, money laundering, guerilla tactics, and insurrectionism. Also as an
added bonus at no extra charge: espionage, propaganda,
disinformation, brainwashing. And that's not all! "psychopunks" as
Psychology of Pseudospoofing
- Glimpses of L.D.'s early, overly serious, only mildly-annoying musings and
seeds of cypherpunk nose-thumbing and ranting about pseudospoofing. With
L.D.'s mounting frustration beginning to leak visibly, this section probably
gives the best time-lapse snapshots of the Birth of the Vitriolic Ranter
including the characteristic vocabulary introducing the timeless terminology
of Medusa and the Tentacles, etc.
vs. the Psychopunks
- The story of why L.D. is so beloved by cypherpunks, particularly the
"emminent leaders", for his obsession with pseudospoofing. Many posts here
appeared under the "S.Boxx" pseudonym and other variations.
- L.D. explores the paranoia, conspiracy, and persecution theme, a raw nerve
and sizzling hot button of the cypherpunk crowd (in case of tranquility, press
button for flames).
- L.D. takes on Wired Magazine et. al. for the crime of cypherpunk
- An L.D. grab bag: Jim Riverman, L.D.'s software engineer alter ego,
displays an early spam script; L.D. poses as the first Zen Master of
cyberspace; also, some of the most tasteless, scathing, rabid S.Boxx rants
ever to ooze, boil, and snarl through the wires.
Detweiler's Greatest HitsDetweiler styles himself as a "cyberspatial
editorial cartoonist". The caricature he presents to cyberspace is virtually
unparalleled in sheer bizarre uniqueness and screeching rant content. Readers
will continue to debate his sanity long into the future.
the CYPHERPUNKS, PSEUDOSPOOFING, and POISON
- An essay from late 1993 by Detweiler that was a prelude to his deep
explorations into "pseudospoofing" and the more subversive cypherpunk ideals.
Quotes various cypherpunks with anti-democratic and pro-identity-subversion
sentiments, with an emotional and melodramatic opening that hints at his
oncoming descent into madness.
Joy of Pseudospoofing
- This essay introducing and explaining the complex psychology and mechanics
of pseudospoofing was originally posted to the cypherpunk list in its earliest
form, and later sent to respondents of L.D.'s RISKs article, and finally
slightly revised to this last version.
CRYPTOANARCHIST GLOSSARY (1/2), (2/2)
- Probably L.D.'s most intricate satirical masterpiece. L.D. put together an
entire "glossary" of cypherpunk terms, reformulating their common definition
according to the hidden cypherpunk dogma he claimed to have uncovered. Posted
around the time that L.D. began satirizing cypherpunk writings such as the
Cypherpunk Manifesto written by T.C.May.
Now (Wed, 24 Nov 93)
- L.D. announces the formation and charter of his new splinter group, "the
Cypherwonks", actually cofounded by J.Helsingius. The charter emphasizes
cooperation and honesty and trumpets one of Detweiler's pet projects of
your life it will creep
- An evocative poem by S.Boxx expressing his hopes and torments, "Why do I
trust thee", sent to his many admirers on the cypherpunk/cypherwonk lists.
BlacknetBlacknet is the name for a fictitious cyberspatial espionage
organization, invented by T.C.May, cofounder of the cypherpunks group. L.D.
harped on the criminal and covert aspects of this "experiment", asserting they
embodied the true cypherpunk vision of "cryptoanarchy". L.D. also frequently
drew parallels in what he considered as the true cypherpunk agenda to the Nazi
Germany military and intelligence apparatuses. T.C.May is a millionare from
shrewd investment of a fortune made in chip fabrication at Intel, and is now
retired. L.D. tended to portray his wealth as a sinister influence on his
associates. (Rumors abound that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has
actually interviewed people about Blacknet, including Detweiler.)
- T.C.May wrote this introduction to Blacknet around early 1993. He
generally refuses to discuss his motivations in inventing it, now calling it a
"joke" or an "experiment". However L.D. considers it intrinsic to T.C.May's
actual philosophy: bringing espionage organizations to cyberspace, and hence
L.D.'s claim that the actual cypherpunk agenda is really something like
"assymetric privacy", i.e. strong encryption for those who encrypt it and
exploitation of those who don't. L.D. once mischievously flooded Usenet with
anonymous posts of the announcement with a different key, to prevent the real
owner from decoding replies encoded with the decoy key. T.C.May subsequently
brought up the subject of trying to build up the trust of an anonymous
organization such as Blacknet on the cypherpunk list.
GIFS (Wed, 6 Oct 19)
- L.D. claimed the cypherpunks were interested in promoting pornography in
cyberspace. This is a post from T.C.May that lends credence to the claim. The
use of anonymous remailers in a so-called "experiment" is very characteristic.
L.D. claims that the T.C.May experiments are actually prototype tests for real
cypherpunk design goals.
- L.D. believed that "Nick Szabo" (firstname.lastname@example.org) was a "tentacle" or a
front for various cryptoanarchists to post from. L.D. dissects an actual Szabo
post here under the S.Boxx pseudonym, but misattributed it to J.Gilmore in a
typical mischievous mood. The references to untraceable digital cash are
classic cypherpunk. The pornography allusions are rarer but tie in with the
T.C.May pornography post above.
Manifesto (Wed, 17 Nov 93)
- The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto is T.C.May's elucidation of the cypherpunk
goals of cyberspatial "privacy". Here L.D. satirizes the propaganda piece
under the pseudonym "Eric May" (combination of Hughes and May's names).
Psychopunk's Manifesto (Tue, 16 Nov 93)
- Satire of the E.Hughes cypherpunk treatise that emphasizes programming
labor as the primary goal, posted under "Tim Hughes". L.D. noted that E.Hughes
and T.C.May are in constant conflict over what mailing list traffic should
comprise: cryptographic political issues (May) or cryptographic programming
(Hughes). But they are unified in the interest of using cryptographic
technology and politics to undermine what they consider the "tyranny of the
majority" supposedly implicit to democratic government (T.M. overtly and E.H.
Cypherpunks as NazisL.D. frequently hammered the "Cypherpunk = Nazism"
theme over a series of S.Boxx posts. He used the Nazi menace as a metaphor for
the dangers of a society that embraces the philosophy of technology without
morality. L.D. continually asserted that the techniques for subterfuge the
cypherpunks used in cyberspace were inherently very dangerous and the kind of
devices used in espionage and propaganda operations intrinsic to warfare. L.D.'s
favorite and overused adjective here is, of course, insidious.
counterespionage in Holland
- L.D.'s most graphic and disturbing example of the dangers of
"pseudoanonymity": the story of Operation North Pole, an actual German
intelligence and counterespionage operation that erected an extensive
fictitious "pseudospoofing" network via radio to foil Allied operations. L.D.
got major mileage and T.C.May exasperation out of this one by changing the
subject and introduction ("cyberanarchy
hall of fame: Nazi counterespionage in Holland 1942-1943", "1993 NAZI
ACHIEVEMENT OF THE YEAR AWARD: THE
CYPHERPUNK LIES") and posting on the cypherpunks list and various
newsgroups such as alt.conspiracy and soc.culture.jewish. This was very close
to the "straw that broke the camel's back" and L.D. soon lost his Helsingius
GLORIOUS 1000 YEAR CRYPTOANARCHIST REICH
- Satire of an actual T.C.May post that is quite uncharacteristically overt
about promoting criminality such as black marketeering, tax evasion,
prostitution, etc. Also a good example of how May's ideas seem to seek to
extend existing Mafia infrastructures into cyberspace. On the cypherpunks list
T.C.May has also explored the idea of using anonymous remailers to reduce the
risk of hiring assassins. T.C.May has also remarked on the effects that
cryptoanarchy would have on police mafia informants ("traitors" in Mayspeak),
saying their witness relocation protection could be nullified in an atmosphere
of information thievery, and speculated that they could be hunted down for
revenge more readily.
The Psychology of PseudospoofingL.D. explored the endless implications
of pseudospoofing in a barrage of volleys to the cypherpunks list and elsewhere
in cyberspace, including relationships and properties of identity, reputations,
and signatures, the latter also considered at length relative to the Zimmermann's
PGP cypherpunk-dreamware. He emphasized the subtle but basic distinction of
pseudoanonymity, defined as the situation where the receiving party in
a communication is unaware that a message "could be from anyone" (i.e. deceived
into thinking "it comes from someone other than those I know"), as opposed to
"legitimate" pseudonymity where the receiver is aware the source is a
pseudonym (but not the identity of course), and anonymity, where the
receiver is aware the message "could be from anyone".
L.D. believed that the use of fake identities in cyberspace was at best
disingenuous and at worst dishonest or even dangerous. He pointed out frequently
that the use of a name to identify people is a complex social convention that
has evolved over centuries and that disrupting or abandoning these implicit but
nonetheless prominent standards might have unseen, hazardous ramifications. He
asserted that "reputation", which the cypherpunks claim to uphold, is closely
intertwined with identification.
To challenge a philosophy espoused by some cypherpunks, "there is only a
message", i.e. the "messenger" is irrelevant, he pointed out that even
cypherpunks must believe that reputations associated with identity are valuable
because they complain when they are misquoted. L.D. entered the period of
referring to the cypherpunks as "poisonous hypocrites" and began to unleash and
deploy his fearsome arsenal of incendiary devices.
the term `signature' (Sun, 24 Oct 93)
- In an uncharacteristically civil mood viewed in retrospect, here L.D.
suggests that the term "digital signature" is actually a misnomer in
terminology in use by the cypherpunks because it doesn't share critical
features and fulfill the same assumptions made of handwritten signatures.
Identity: valid or worthless? (Tue, 09 Nov 93)
- An early, embryonic L.D. rant on the subject of reputations, sulking that
cypherpunks are "thieves" who "steal reputation" through the use of fake
identities. Probably one of the first posts using L.D.'s famously enduring
imagery such as "psychopunks" and "poisonous hypocrisy".
Tragedies of Pseudospoofing (Thu, 11 Nov 93)
- L.D. loved to post a searing rant, start a flamewar, and then next write
nonchalantly as if nothing had happened. This "Jekyll and Hyde" personality
persists in his writing and broke forth dynamically in the pseudonymous
writings of S.Boxx. Here he suggests that the cypherpunks have no friends and
miss out on all kinds of opportunities in life because of their paranoid
preoccupations with secrecy.
(Sun, 14 Nov 93)
- In a short one-two-three punch of posts one night, L.D. blasted a
"pseudopool" practice he suspected his enemies of engaging in. In this
scenario multiple people post from the same account. He considered this one of
the worst abuses of pseudospoofing because of the conspirational aspect. He
compared its maliciously identity-disorienting technique to that of
intentionally misquoting people. Out of total frustration for the lack of
empathy, L.D. next made veiled threats hinting at his capability to
systematically disrupt the cypherpunks mailing list, sarcastically discussing
pseudospoofing ideas!, later making good on the "promise" and himself
engaging in some
pseudopool FUN (Sun, 14 Nov 93).
Pseudospoofer Game (Mon, 15 Nov 93)
- L.D. was not opposed to the use of different names for frivolous purposes,
such as within games. His basic emphasis was that in serious forums for public
exchange it become problematic. To demonstrate this he invented a
"pseudospoofing game", generally based on a scenario he imagined himself to be
engaged in at the time, supposedly with multiple cypherpunks harassing him
through fake email addresses. The game idea served as the seed later growing
into the "SQUISH" announcement, in which L.D. announced that the game was in
effect, hoping to arouse others' interest and hopefully eventually match his
passion in hunting down fake addresses.
`Reputation' of Cypherpunks (Wed, 17 Nov 93)
- Here L.D. uses one of his characteristically emotional and melodramatic
thought experiments to suggest that generally reputation is taken to be
closely tied to identity in civilized society: What if Ted Bundy were posting
to the network behind multiple fake identities? Many cypherpunks responded
they would not consider it a problem.
of the Worlds (Fri, 19 Nov 93)
- L.D. continually challenged the cypherpunk idea that all activities in
cyberspace were morally neutral, suggesting that massive hoaxes and dangerous
deceptions could be perpetuated via the technology of communication, and that
its builders and users should be deferential to its power. Cypherpunks often
responded that "people cannot be protected from their own stupidity" or even
more maliciously, "stupid people not only deserve to be deceived, but
doing so provides them a public service." Here L.D. try, tries again with his
inimitably vivid imagery including Well's infamous War of the World's hoax,
and the newly born "Medusa" and "tentacle" terminology (L.D. delighted in
PGP and PseudospoofingIn their passion and paranoia in the pursuit of
privacy the cypherpunks have virtually deified P.Zimmermann and PGP. L.D.
delighted in goring another sacred cow by lambasting the implications of
pseudospoofing in PGP certificates and key servers.
Toxic Waste (Tue, 16 Nov 93)
- L.D. considered the ironic name "toxic waste" applied to one of the key
servers, and mused it might be due to the preponderance of keys for fake
identities. Here he lays out arguments in favor of segregating the tentacles.
on Pseudospoofing (Fri, 19 Nov 93)
- L.D.'s summary of a talk by P.Zimmermann in Boulder, CO, in which L.D.
asked PRZ about his opinion on pseudospoofing via PGP. PRZ replied that "It
strikes me as unethical if used in fraudulent ways."
vs. Signature revocation & Trust Webs (Fri, 19 Nov 93)
- L.D. proposes the idea of tentacle amputation via "signature revocation
certificates" to mirror "key revocation certificates" in PGP for indicating
the loss of trust or discovery of a fictitious identity.
Key Servers (Sat, 20 Nov 93)
- Extremely exasperated over what he perceived to be total defiance to his
promotion of honesty in cyberspace, L.D. spit out a terse, venemous rant. (If
you can't beat 'em, and you can't join 'em, flame 'em.)
L.D. vs. the PsychopunksL.D. was one of the most enthusiastic adherents
to cypherpunk ideals of privacy for almost a year until he discovered that the
cypherpunks seemed to have secret agendas and conspiracies no more noble than
those they condemned in the government. It appeared to him that the cypherpunks
were traitors and hypocrites to their own philosophies, themselves participating
in collusions and disingenuities in only slightly different forms than those in
the government they lambasted, and that their bottom line philosophy was really
something fundamentally corrupt like "secret conspiracies should be the domain
of private citizens only, not the State."
L.D. however found to his amusement that he could use the cypherpunks'
rampant and unbridled paranoia as a tool of sowing dissension and chaos within
the group as a graphic illustration of the consequences of their attitudes. He
started out as a more subtle and surreptitious "agent provacateur" posting only
through his Helsingius pseudonym but escalated the melodrama of his campaign to
blisteringly overt levels. He was greatly amused at the careful and tedious
style analysis that some cypherpunks went to in trying to trace the identity of
his pseudonym. He played a game of dropping hints of his identity through his
pseudonym and delighted at the cypherpunk's shock at his blunt and nonchalant
violations of their complex and strict etiquette and religion
of pseudonymity. L.D. also loved to post "feints" such as apologies or
exclamations of anguish, only to turn around and mount a new scathing attack a
few days later.
L.D. first tried to persuade the cypherpunks as a group to introspect over
the honesty of their beliefs. But as it became increasingly clear that none of
the numerous inconsequential members ("small
fries") were interested in moral introspection, and that in fact they
ridiculed it, he began to attack who he saw as the cypherpunk leaders ("big
macs") for their promotions of dishonest philosophies and possible
participation in or even masterminding the pseudospoofing conspiracy. Eventually
in utter disgust and resignation he finally decided that even the leaders
themselves were deceiving each other and that the whole rotten crowd deserved
each other, but he still could not restrain himself from his by then long-time
hobby of "tormenting tentacles".
Clarification on My Trials and Tribulations (Sun, 05 Dec 93)
- L.D. summarizes the motivations for his jihad, focusing on the theme of
honesty. "Is there an honest cypherpunk in the world?" Also, a hint of his
preoccupation with trying to find if the cypherpunks deceived the media.
Message from Medusa
- L.D. desperately tries again to prove the existence of the pseudospoofing
conspiracy, posting a message he received from E.Brandt who claimed to be
"Medusa, controller of all tentacles." (Exchanges like this seemed to blur the
question of who the joke is really on...)
Magic Question (Sun, 05 Dec 93)
- L.D. cries in anguish, what is the magic question that will cause
tentacles to tell the truth?
Glimmer of Light (Sun, 14 Nov 93)
- L.D. rejoices after a "psychopunk" finally admits that he recognizes the
existence of pseudospoofing, but does not see it as immoral. This was an early
post in which L.D. explored the theme of equating the apparent cypherpunk
taboo of discussing pseudospoofing with the social stigmas associated with
- This is a never-before-seen post of L.D.'s feigning defeat. L.D. started
an autoposting script to the cypherpunks list that sent an anonymous rant
every 6 hours, and this post was intended to be sandwiched in the middle
before the second, more spectacular volley. He stopped this campaign in the
middle after deadly return volleys by cypherpunks to his newly created
"cypherwonks" list started driving away his subscribers.
The Small FriesL.D. found the categorization of different cypherpunks
useful in his campaign. In his taxonomy (which is most crystallized in his
"SQUISH" announcement) he characterized some as "clueless outsiders" who are
unwitting onlookers unaware of the deeper cypherpunk conspiracy; the "small
fries", typically California meeting-goers who participate to obtain fawning
recognition by their cypherpunk peers, and the "big macs", or the leaders, who
are interested in creating a personality cult and celebrity worship by their
followers. L.D. notes that after the "small fries" began to bore him and his
tussles got him nowhere he started going after the "big macs".
-- Stellar Hypocrite (Tue, 23 Nov 93)
- D.Barnes proved to be a "front man" for the cypherpunk leadership for some
time and attacked Detweiler while the "big macs" appeared to be uninvolved.
(L.D. claimed once that D.Barnes told him in email that Hughes introduced him
to the practice of pseudospoofing.) D.Barnes tracked down Detweiler's employer
at the time and called him, widely considered in cyberspace as one of the most
brazen and scurrilous attacks possible and something like escalation to
"Mutual Assured Destruction" levels. After Barnes went on the defensive L.D.
went in for the kill.
with more searing sarcasm and tasteless provocations, publicly daring the
cypherpunks to censor him. (Barnes has since apparently disappeared from
cyberspace under his "true name".)
History of Cypherpunks (Thu, 25 Nov 93)
- Nate Sammons is L.D.'s favorite example of a small fry cypherpunk
sycophant. Sammons started a local Colorado chapter of the cypherpunks and
curry favor with Hughes and May by barring Detweiler. L.D. simultaneously
flames him and uses the opportunity as a chance to formulate and flesh out
some of his cypherpunk conspiracy ideas for the first time.
The Big MacsL.D. considered the cypherpunk leaders to be John Gilmore,
Eric Hughes, and Timothy May, and at times, Perry Metzger. He attempted to play
each against the others over the pseudospoofing issue but found to his amazement
that they all defended it as at least not immoral and portrayed it even as
important tenet of cypherpunk philosophy. This is perhaps one of L.D.'s greatest
demonstrations. The issue had been nonexistent in the collective consciousness
before his jihad, and while his claims of a conspiracy went largely unproven, it
remains a demonstrable fact by their writings that the this core cypherpunk
leadership not only approves but probably embraces the practice of
pseudospoofing, albeit purely clandestinely. (All three reiterated repeatedly
that they see it as a defense mechanism against State oppression.) Prior to his
campaign Gilmore, May and Hughes addressed the issue only peripherally.
L.D. found that Gilmore defended both pseudoanonymity and drug use, which
gave him the idea of relating the two for his anti-pseudospoofing propaganda
purposes. He found Perry Metzger to be a "Jekyll and Hyde" or "the pit bull of
cyberspace" who could not engage in a civil conversation on any subject, and who
in fact would resort to scurrilous attacks such as mailbombings.
L.D. crossed swords with E.Hughes over the latter's supposedly sleazy defense
of lying in cyberspace and his philosophy, "that which cannot be enforced should
not be prohibited", saying that it was in fact tantamount to "anything is OK as
long as you don't get caught." L.D. also considered E.H. to be an authoritarian
dictator in regards to "his" mailing list, who failed to be sufficiently
deferential to the collective nature of contribution that characterized the
L.D. however reserved his most longlasting searing satire for T.C.May in
particular because he apparently felt that T.M.'s ideas of subversive
"cryptoanarchy" (including "Blacknet") embodied the true cypherpunk
philosophies, and that at the core they involved manipulation and treachery so
were fundamentally rotten and corrupt. (L.D. drew parallels to May's philosophy
to a lingering antidemocracy sentiment among the cypherpunk leadership.) L.D.
also seemed to derive great glee from attacking T.C.May, who is a millionaire
from his employment at Intel, on the level playing ground of cyberspace, a realm
where pure ideas reign transcendent above reputation or influence due to
secondary factors like net worth. L.D. completely violated the hidden aura of
deference given to T.C.May by many cypherpunks. L.D. reiterated that merely
starting a group does not give a leader any superior moral discernment or
collective authority, and that the followers of a group define its character at
least as much.
again! (Mon, 06 Dec 93)
- L.D. tries to be as irritating as possible by keeping up the steady stream
of posts to the cypherpunk list, and sow the paranoia virus by suggesting that
the leaders and E.Hughes in particular are manipulating unwary followers
through pseudospoofing. The idea that the conspiracy was not uniform and that
different cypherpunks might not only be conspiring against him but against
themselves was a new theme of later writings. L.D. later rebutted a seemingly
shockingly amoral and conscienceless post of Hughes' that appears to
rationalize deception via "epistemology".
Embarrassment, Shame, and an Apology (Tue, 07 Dec 93)
- This is one of L.D.'s longer essays showing his irresistible urge to
satirize everything, even himself. He feigns an apology for weeks of rants
sent to the cypherpunks list, condemns his own "S.Boxx" pseudonym, and
pretends that a long list of letters sent by emminent cypherpunk
correspondents was critical in helping convince him of the futility of his
delusion and madness.
Depravities of Cypherpunks (Wed, 10 Nov 93)
- Detweiler tells the story of a mailbomb sent to him by Perry Metzger.
Metzger was put in the strange position of trying to pretend he did not
advocate censorship of L.D. from the cypherpunks list (of course, censorship
is one of the greatest cypherpunk sins). Some cypherpunks later complained
that Detweiler "violated the privacy" of Metzger by revealing that Metzger had
sent him a mailbomb.
Gilmore on Pseudospoofing (Fri, 19 Nov 93)
- L.D. attacked E.H. and T.M. over their waffling for some weeks while
J.Gilmore was on vacation on a trek to Nepal. L.D. hoped that when Gilmore
returned he might weigh in with his own opinion against pseudospoofing. When
Gilmore returned and commented negatively, suggesting that Chaum would approve
of pseudospoofing, L.D. at first thought Gilmore was being obtuse and didn't
understand the distinction he was trying to make, and thought that once
Gilmore understood it, he would agree with L.D. on the issue. L.D. considered
his plight Pitch
Black after he finally realized from further correspondence that the last
of the "big three" leaders, and one that he felt some affinity to, rejected
him and his thesis as well.
GWELST Game (Sun, 28 Nov 93)
- After L.D. realized he had been utterly rejected not only by every
cypherpunk member but the founders as well because of his passionate beliefs
and proseletyzing about pseudospoofing, he became extremely embittered and
completely alienated. After a year of bathing himself in the cypherpunk
ideology and posting complimentary, laudatory messages about everyone in the
group, particularly the leaders, he found himself completely isolated and his
previous bedrock reality in the cypherpunks in shambles. He bitterly attacked
in a trilogy of exceedingly tasteless posts, quoting them anonymously,
attacking, and ridiculing them over the pseudospoofing issue for their
defenses, evasions, stonewalling, and vehement refusals to take a moral stand.
Honey, Flies, and Snakes (Sat, 27 Nov 93)
- Detweiler posts one of his final, more civil letters desperately trying to
exert pressure on the "big macs" to "come clean" about their true
pseudospoofing practices. He alludes to his essay about German espionage
operations (Operation North Pole) that elevated pseudospoofing to an art. This
was the final prelude to Detweiler's experimentation with using the cypherpunk
remailers to provoke major emergencies, crises, and spamming incidents after
total disenchantment with the "cypherpunk cause".
Hughes & the Cypherpunks Movement (Tue, 30 Nov 93)
- After giving what he called "every benefit of the doubt", L.D. attacks
E.Hughes directly over E.Hughes' supposedly slippery, waffling, evasive, and
unconvincing denial of personal pseudospoofing published in RISKS, followed by
perhaps his singlemost blisteringly vitriolic condemnation of the cypherpunk
group in general ever (with a minor "correction").
The Cypherpunk ReligionA realization of the Cypherpunk "religion"
dawned on L.D. after his windmill-jousting over the pseudospoofing issue. In the
immense correspondence he traded with members and leaders, he found that the
leaders and followers had very definite philosophies that were not really
encoded in any official charter but that were so frequently reoccuring in their
collective essays as to be considered universal, basic beliefs of the group.
Some of these basic themes included glorification of drug use, condemnation of
government in all forms, defense of pornography or "deviant" sexual practices
among consenting adults, tax evasion strategies, etc. Even more to his horror he
found a basic antidemocratic sentiment running through core cypherpunk essayists
who suggested that no government, including our own, can ever escape the
"tyranny of a majority" pitfall.
Religion of the Cypherpunks (Sat, 13 Nov 93)
- Detweiler focuses on "The Tantalizing Two", May and Hughes' evasion on
pseudospoofing. He talks about his findings related to a survey attempt on
pseudospoofing, and refers to the stability of his internet connection in the
face of his mounting "piles of slobbering hate mail".
Cypherpunk Culture (Thu, 18 Nov 93)
- A long and facetious essay by L.D., posing as the "humble cypherpunk
servant-historian", about his findings on his study subjects based on the
available "cypherpunk culture research materials", with a focus on the alpha
male of the group. The last part of the essay is a long run on sentence style
that L.D. experimented with to insult his readers & audience
Litanies of Lies (Sat, 27 Nov 93)
- L.D. characterizes the cypherpunk culture as a group of people who believe
in a collective lie of pseudospoofing, calling it "anticommunication", and
suggests the "paranoia", "grouchiness", "noise", and "frustration"
characteristic of the cypherpunks' list is in part due to it.
Perils of Leadership
- L.D. lambastes the cypherpunk leaders as corrupt in front of his
newly-formed pet splinter group, the "cypherwonks", and includes quotes from
what he regards as brainwashed followers, who eloquently defend a culture of
amorality, anti-leadership, and lies.
Paranoia Runs DeepDetweiler discovered that the cypherpunks had a
definite collective psychology that included some basic themes. These are all
rooted in their ideology of hatred of Big Brother: there are conspiracies in the
U.S. government to suppress communication and human rights, the government and
general public is intent on persecuting the cypherpunks for what are legitimate
and honest beliefs and right to privacy, etc. The cypherpunks tend to see
privacy as a black and white, zero-sum game in which either Government and Big
Business has it (tyranny) or the individual does (liberation). Beneath this
ideology are persistent and ample veins of fear, paranoia, hatred, pain, and
ridicule that L.D. mined to fuel his legendary flamewars.
Under the pseudonym S.Boxx, L.D. loved to allude to a supposed group of
secret correspondents, informants, and spies he had infiltrated into the
cypherpunk leadership. He experimented with disinformation tactics and would
continually feint, veil threats, and embed subtle decoys
or hints about his identity and pseudonyms. He liked to post anonymous
"agitprop" essays to the cypherpunks list, later change a few key lines that
seemed to hint of his identity, and then post them to talk.politics.crypto.
Another favorite ploy of L.D.'s was using grisly metaphors about mass murderers,
or death to increase the atmosphere of hysteria to the boiling point. (The ploy
sometimes backfired as various jaded or moral relativist cypherpunk types who
are not shocked by anything said, "huh?")
Detweiler insisted all along that he was only asking for an honest and candid
account of pseudospoofing practices by the leaders to their followers and only
intensified his belligerent troublemaking as it became increasingly clear they
were resolutely against the slightest disclosure on the subject.
- One of L.D.'s more infamous and humorous declarations of war on tentacles,
posted to the cypherpunks list and many newsgroups variously as S.Boxx, The
- L.D. posted this letter as a justification for his own mounting paranoia
about tentacles and to try to alert others to a nefarious conspiracy. It was
received from one of the first tentacles he discovered, email@example.com.
and poison (Thu, 23 Dec 93)
- S.Boxx announces that he is tired of playing by gentlemens' rules with
scoundrels and vows to "fire up" a bunch of subtle, insidious, omnipresent
tentacles such that no one will never again know he is present.
- S.Boxx introduces himself as the leader of the massive "CRAP" agency
dedicated to cryptoanarchist infiltration and torment in another famous
missive. "Tentacle hunting is one of our favorite pastimes."
Final Ultimatum (Tue, 23 Nov 93)
- S.Boxx gives the cypherpunk crowd a final chance to surrender prior to
posting the cypherwonk charter and launching spam volleys through the
Decoys and DisinformationL.D. experimented with the symmetries
associated with pseudonymity such as simultaneously sending conflicting messages
through two outlets, his real identity and his pseudonym S.Boxx. He also amused
himself by revealing his identity to one boisterous cypherpunk in particular,
leaving him like a dutiful soldier to send mail and report to his superiors on
L.D.'s secret identity.
Clarification on My Loyalty and Allegiance (Sat, 27 Nov 93)
- L.D. thumbs his nose at the cypherpunk sycophant Nate Sammons by posting
an article Sammons sent to a local Colorado chapter of the cypherpunks to the
main cypherpunks list, verbatim, under his S.Boxx pseudonym. Sammons
eloquently laments Detweiler's delusions and the cypherpunk hysteria. L.D.
simultaneously posted a scathing satire under the pseudonym at the same time,
Enemy #1", portraying S.Boxx as a vicious cypherpunk bent on revenge.
Strikes Deep... (Wed, 29 Dec 93)
- After the formation of his splinter group of "cypherwonks", L.D. posted
snippets of disinformation to confuse everyone. The tactic seemed to be, with
his cyberspatial reputation in shreds, a last ditch attempt at confusing his
audience and getting them to disregard claims about his supposedly disruptive
activities in cyberspace as bogus.
Death to Cryptoanarchists!In a series of a few brief but viscerally
intense posts, S.Boxx attempted to create a blazing, crescendoing pitch of
paranoia on the cypherpunk side. He explored the imagery of executions by
stoning or guillotine, used the metaphors of inquisitions and witchhunts, and
even used political analogies to Watergate, McCarthyism, and the Kennedy
Assassination. (Warning: parental discretion is advised.)
vs. Watergate vs. Kennedy Assassination (Fri, 19 Nov 93)
- S.Boxx first explored the McCarthyist-Watergate-Kennedy connection to the
cryptoanarchist psychology in this short essay to the list. Later he revised
it and posted to various newsgroups the expanded version entitled THE
to Die (Sat, 27 Nov 93)
- In this essay S.Boxx harps mercilessly on edgy, intense, gruesome death
imagery, delighting in unleashing the bizarre literary contrast of
facetiousness and horror in front of the cypherpunks. Interestingly this essay
may contain the first seeds of the idea of murder via cryptoanarchy (at this
early point only speculation by L.D.) that T.C.May has explored overtly in
Hypocrisy, Stoning, and Forgiveness (Sun, 28 Nov 93)
- S.Boxx brings out the theme of religious persecution and stoning for
subversive ideas and looks at the saying about "casting the first stone" from
his own inimitable perspective, but also displays his biblical illiteracy by
mixing stories up.
The Mendacious MediaDetweiler continually hinted that the cypherpunks
were involved in perpetrating premeditated deceptions within the media, not on
the level of large hoaxes but on the level of collusion with reporters, etc.
Beside noting the irony and hypocrisy of this (the cypherpunks frequently
lambaste the media as corrupt, but rarely indicate they thereby feel entitled to
contribute to that decay), he was very upset by what he saw as an extremely
Wired Photographer (Sat, 04 Dec 93)
- L.D. apparently believed that the first cypherpunk article used a
fictitious photographer, and that both the cypherpunks, the author and editor
were colluding in the deception. E.Hughes further aroused his suspicion. In
the full clutches of paranoia L.D. speculated that Larry
Dyer, the supposed photographer, was actually a joke epigram of his own
Subversions of Cypherpunks (Sat, 20 Nov 93)
- S.Boxx wrote a bitter but partly facetious letter to Wired trying to warn
the rest of humanity about the evil cypherpunk plague, calling their mailing
list a "disinformation and brainwashing outlet" run by "guerillas, terrorists,
and cryptoanarchists". For some inscrutable reason Wired did not run the
Tentacle TidbitsS.Boxx continues to defy all categorization, but this
is an attempt at organization of the multicolored leftovers.
Software (Mon, 20 Dec 93)
- L.D. demonstrates his software engineering expertise by exhibiting his
early, rudimentary spam script and the associated nick
program. Also, a legendary spam posted through cypherpunk remailers in diverse
forms to about 100 different mailing lists, conveniently summarizing the
formidable L.D. vocabulary and research, entitled INTERNET
SNAKE HUNTING CONTEST! CASH PRIZES!
Darkness of Hell (Fri, 03 Dec 93)
- S.Boxx uses the drug metaphor in this propaganda piece, suggesting that
pseudospoofers are like drug dealers or users (posted under one of his other
pet pseudonyms, Pablo Escobar). Its inspiration was based on actual passionate
defenses of drug use he elicited at times in response to his "evil" metaphors
from various cypherpunks all the way up to John Gilmore. Indeed after it was
posted someone went to the trouble of carefully rebutting it, sentence by
sentence. (S.Boxx also amused himself as, precisely according to forecast,
cypherpunk wannabes set about carefully analyzing the multiple subtle false or
true hints of his identity he intentionally dropped in the writing.)
Lost (Mon, 06 Dec 93)
- L.D., utterly fed up, sticks his tongue out at E.Hughes and the rest of
the cypherpunk crowd in one of his most tasteless, self-indulgent provocations
ever, all under his true name as the final insult.
CONSPIRACIES and MASSIVE COVERUP (Sun, 14 Nov 93)
- Messages like this one to the cypherpunks list made the group painfully
reconsider their religion of free and unrestricted anonymity.
Homosexuality, and Pseudospoofing (Sat, 27 Nov 93)
- S.Boxx, having exhausted all his other tricks, scrapes the dank bottom of
the barrel for some final tasteless metaphors.
Zen of Cyberspace (Sun, 14 Nov 93)
- A thinly veiled allegory about the corruption of the cypherpunks, by the
indefatigable cyberspatial raconteur.
Tectonics of Truth (Wed, 17 Nov 93)
- Another justification of the S.Boxx crusade in a rather bizarre analogy
that makes the reader question the writer's sanity.
Zen of Pseudospoofing (Wed, 17 Nov 93)
- The irrefutable proof that S.Boxx went totally insane, speaking in
senseless gibberish that would make even a real Zen master commit suicide.