10. October 1991, 22:28 | by WD Milner | Full Article |

(a.k.a. The Hacker’s Manifesto)

Hacker ©2005 Michele Amadesi

Preface Copyright ©1991 by W.D. Milner, Esq.
(Originally written for the Sleepy Hollow BBS, Sydney NS)

What is the Hacker’s Manifesto?

The Hacker’s Manifesto was written by a ‘hacker’ named Loyd Blankenship (aka The Mentor). The first time I encountered the Manifesto was its initial publication in Phrack Magazine (Volume One, Issue 7, Phile 3, January 8, 1986). Since then it has found its way first across the electronic bulletin board systems (BBS) of the world, and then across the Internet. It has been translated into many languages and has even seen dissemination in a very abbreviated, abridged and somewhat reworded form by Hollywood in the movie Hackers. One can only hope that permissions, credit (and royalties) for its use were accorded to Mr Blankenship.

This document possesses a timeless appeal for the intelligent, sometimes ignored, periodically misunderstood, and often underestimated youth of several generations who are intellectually curious and increasingly technologically literate. Written shortly after his arrest for computer related offences, The Mentor has touched a chord with many that should not be ignored when it comes to the intellectual and ethical growth of society, both today and in the future; for the situations, states of mind and frustrations expressed in this document are as real and relevant today as when it was originally written, and we do all a disservice not to listen and learn from it.

The Hacker’s Manifesto by Loyd Blankenship aka The Mentor
Copyright ©1986 Loyd Blankenship

Another one got caught today, it’s all over the papers; "Teenager Arrested in Computer Crime Scandal", "Hacker Arrested after Bank Tampering."

"Damn kids. They’re all alike."

But did you, in your three-piece psychology and 1950’s technobrain, ever take a look behind the eyes of the hacker? Did you ever wonder what made him tick, what forces shaped him, what may have molded him?

I am a hacker, enter my world. Mine is a world that begins with school. I’m smarter than most of the other kids, this crap they teach us bores me.

"Damn underachiever. They’re all alike."

I’m in junior high or high school. I’ve listened to teachers explain for the fifteenth time how to reduce a fraction. I understand it. "No, Ms. Smith, I didn’t show my work. I did it in my head."

"Damn kid. Probably copied it. They’re all alike."

I made a discovery today. I found a computer. Wait a second, this is cool. It does what I want it to. If it makes a mistake, it’s because I screwed it up. Not because it doesn’t like me, or feels threatened by me, or thinks I’m a smart ass, or doesn’t like teaching and shouldn’t be here.

"Damn kid. All he does is play games. They’re all alike."

And then it happened ... a door opened to a world ... rushing through the phone line like heroin through an addict’s veins, an electronic pulse is sent out, a refuge from the day-to-day incompetencies is sought ... a board is found. "This is it ... this is where I belong ..." I know everyone here ... even if I’ve never met them, never talked to them, may never hear from them again ... I know you all ...

"Damn kid. Tying up the phone line again. They’re all alike"

... You bet your ass we’re all alike ... we’ve been spoon-fed baby food at school when we hungered for steak ... the bits of meat that you did let slip through were pre-chewed and tasteless. We’ve been dominated by sadists, or ignored by the apathetic. The few that had something to teach found us willing pupils, but those few are like drops of water in the desert.

This is our world now ... the world of the electron and the switch, the beauty of the baud. We make use of a service already existing without paying for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn’t run by profiteering gluttons, and you call us criminals. We explore ... and you call us criminals. We seek after knowledge ... and you call us criminals. We exist without skin color, without nationality, without religious bias ... and you call us criminals.

You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us and try to make us believe it’s for our own good, yet we’re the criminals.

Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.

I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto. You may stop this individual, but you can’t stop us all ... after all, we’re all alike.

From Mentor

Date: Tue, 4 Mar 1997 08:47:05
From: Loyd Blankenship
Subject: Manifesto

Cool web site. I appreciate you putting up a copy of Conscience of a Hacker. Please add an email link to me ( and the line "Copyright 1986 by Loyd Blankenship" if it isn't too much trouble.


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Categories: ,
Keywords: hacker,manifesto,conscience,mentor,blankenship,commetary



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