Beto O’Rourke Was Apparently Part Of A Hacker Crew In The ’80s—And His Hacker Name Was Pretty Dope

Not much was known about the Cult of the Dead Cow, one of the oldest and most revered American hacking group of all time, and its network of anonymous members, until now.

The forthcoming tell-all book, Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World, authored by hacker historian Joseph Menn, reveals the identities of the activists, artists and musicians involved in their “hacktivism” endeavors.

One of them was presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke (D-TX).

The mind-boggling revelation adds another notch to O’Rourke’s adolescent coolness, including his stint as a bassist for a punk rock band and skateboarding, the latter of which he still enjoys at 46.

Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World explores the history of the legendary hacking group, which jokingly borrowed its namesake from an abandoned Texas slaughterhouse.

Menn discussed how he came to discover O’Rourke as a member of the CDC in a Twitter thread.

Hacker culture expert and McGill University professor, Gabriella Coleman, dispelled any stigma the CDC would have with Vox.

“CDC wasn’t pumping out tech. It was really about trying to get the word out there that hackers could do good in the world. CDC had cultural cache. They were like the punk rock band of the hacker world.”

Most of O’Rourke’s involvement in the CDC was harmless and didn’t involve breaking into computers or writing code that would enable others to do so, but tech-savvy geeks admired O’Rourke for his “cool” history.

One juicy bit of detail indicated his growing involvement in politics. He wrote entries on his bulletin called TacoLand under the pseudonym “Psychedelic Warlord,” and they are still available online.

A teenaged O’Rourke wrote a bold article where he imagined a world without money in one of his very telling entries.

“Think, a free society with no high, middle, or low classification of it’s people. Think, no more money related murders, suicides, divorces, or theft. Think, no more families living below a set poverty line or children starving to death because of a lack of money.”

He continued:

“To achieve a money-less society (or have a society where money is heavily de-emphasized) a lot of things would have to change, including government as we know it. This is where the anti-money group and the disciples of Anarchy meet.”

“I fear we will always have a system of government, one way or another, so we would have to use other means other than totally toppling the government (I don’t think the masses would support such a radical move at this time).”

His experience as a former hacker seems to pave the way towards a future in politics, starting with work in El Paso as a software entrepreneur and alternative press publisher which led to his successful run for city council, and ultimately, securing a seat in Congress for three terms as the Representative for Texas’s 16th congressional district.

We’d love to hear more from the Psychedelic Warlord’s voice on the campaign trail.