Beto O’Rourke was a member of the oldest group of computer hackers in United States history, Reuters reports.
The latest Democrat to join the presidential candidate pool was part of the hugely influential Cult of the Dead Cow, or CDC, a notorious group of hackers who released tools that allowed ordinary people to hack computers running Microsoft’s Windows. The CDC had no more than 50 members over the group’s life, and continues today.
Members of the group have protected O’Rourke’s secret for decades, but are acknowledging the candidate’s membership in interviews as part of an upcoming book titled Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World. O’Rourke credits the CDC with developing many of his free-thinking principles that have landed his politics somewhere between liberal, and libertarian. “Part of my success was being exposed to people who thought differently and explored how things work,” O’Rourke said of his time in the CDC. “There are alternate paths to service and success, and it’s important to be mindful of that.” As part of the CDC, O’Rourke wrote essays called text files, or t-files, under the handle “Psychedelic Warlord,” which remain online to this day. Notable contributions he wrote as a teenager include an essay on how the world would work without money, one is a disturbing murder fantasy about killing children, and another takes on a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi. Read more at Reuters.