Socio-Economic Cults (Re: Cypherpunk Cults)

Tim May tcmay at
Wed Aug 27 19:37:42 PDT 1997

At 6:10 PM -0700 8/27/97, John Smith wrote:
>William H. Geiger III:
>>In the Salem witch trial they were government trials (which were >based
>>a political power struggle in Salem at the time) not lynch mobs.
>And how about our gun-crazy friend, who'd shoot anybody who messed
>with him, his family, or his property.  What do you think he's going
>to do when that witch down the street puts a hex on his cow and it
>dies?  Sounds to me like we've got another shooting coming.  Is that
>the kind of world you want to live in?

I don't shoot witches. Nor do I shoot Tree Huggers, Wiccans, Baalists, or
even Jews.

Unless they enter my property and I perceive them to be a threat to me.

As a matter of fact, I was the "Judge" in the "First Internet Witch Trial."
A well-known Wiccan/Pagan named Eric Raymond, familiar perhaps because of
his "Hacker's Dictionary," was proselytizing for Paganism as the One True
Internet and Extropian Religion on the Extropians list...something about
pantheism and "The Goddess Inside" being anti-State and pro-Progress. I
made fun of his views, so Eric issued a challenge:

If I were to read several of the books and sites he recommended, and if I
were still to conclude that Paganism/Wicca is "irrational," he would leave
the Extropians list forever. This challenge was issued in March 1993.

Personally, I wished him no ill will, but a challenge is a challenge. I
accepted the challenge and spent entirely too much time reading his
recommended sources, plus a bunch more. I read Adler's "Drawing Down the
Moon." I read Isaac Bonewitz's "Real Magic." I read a bunch of Crowley, a
bunch of stuff about Druids, OTO, and Viking mythology. And, for my own
interest, a bunch of stuff on belief systems, evolutionary epistemology,
etc....stuff by W.W. Bartley, Karl Popper, etc.

After much consideration, I issued my "verdict" in June of 1993: Irrational
as charged. And to his credit, Eric Raymond left the Extropians list. (So
did I, 6 months later, for other, unrelated reasons.)

But I would not shoot witches. What they do is of no concern to me.
Frankly, what I learned from my researches fit my preconceived notions
(having once had a girlfriend loosely associated with this nonsense),
namely, that they tend not to try to recruit, and never force their views
on others. The Most Evil Man in the World (TM) had as his mantra, "Do what
thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law."

Irrational to believe what they believe, but no threat to me.

--Tim May

There's something wrong when I'm a felon under an increasing number of laws.
Only one response to the key grabbers is warranted: "Death to Tyrants!"
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
tcmay at  408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
W.A.S.T.E.: Corralitos, CA  | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Higher Power: 2^1398269     | black markets, collapse of governments.
"National borders aren't even speed bumps on the information superhighway."

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