Henson to cult: YHBT AGAIN
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Tue, 14 May 96 20:40:44 -0700
Subject: Henson to cult: YHBT AGAIN
Forwarded-by: firstname.lastname@example.org (m.b.komor)
[H. Keith Henson, a good friend, has recently been involved in
answering a suit filed by the late sf writer L. Ron Hubbard's
brilliant tax-dodge, the 'Church" of Scientology. Enjoy this
excerpt from the ongoing depositions. -mbk]
Forwarded-by: Lee Thompson-Herbert <email@example.com>
------- start of forwarded message -------
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Mike O'Connor)
The Henson deposition has been placed on the Net in the form of sound
files. Here is an interesting section from it. The recording is very hard
to transcribe because the voices are low volume. I fudged a few spots, I'm
sure I have a few words wrong, and you'll see "[?]" in some places where I
couldn't understand the words at all, but this should give you a good idea
of one segment of the conversation.
[Start 1:49:31 into the tape]
CULT: Do you know who Patrick Volk is?
CULT: Patrick J Volk, V O L K.
HENSON: Not at first. At least I can't think.. Did he go by any other name
on the Net? To the best of my knowledge I never heard of this person.
CULT: [?] if I said that he was connected to an educational institution in
Pittsburg, would that refresh your recollection at all?
HENSON: OK it's entirely possible that I said something like responded to some
person [?]? on the Internet but the name is not immediately familiar to me.
CULT: OK. <aside> Let me see number 94...
HENSON: If you give me a little more background maybe I can...
CULT: I'll try and do that. <aside> Number 94... ???
HENSON: <laughs> I'm sorry. This is a great troll.
CULT: You find this amusing?
HENSON: Yes. It's an in joke.
CULT: Now this is umm...
HENSON: Please just read it into the record here.
CULT: It's a posting dated April 6th 1995 to ARS from Keith Henson. It
quotes a posting by Patrick [?] Volk V O L K which states, among other
things "screw the court" and also says that he has an FTP site for all the
CULT: Mr. Henson is laughing hysterically about this posting, for reasons
that we don't yet understand, and umm, obviously uhh... Let me ask you
HENSON: Why do I find this humorous?
CULT: No, I wasn't asking you to explain. FTP stands for File Transfer
Protocol, right? Describe what that [?] [is]
HENSON: It is a place on the Internet, where you can use almost any
machine on the Internet, to access the files in what has been placed in
what is called an FTP directory, from anywhere else on the Internet. For
example, theta.com has a file, a bunch of FTP directories in there, and
you can use a program called FTP or [?] browsers [?] and it provides you a
way to link up with that machine, remote machine, and by using commands,
there is a whole lot of commands you can use, there are two that I usually
use called get an put, it allows you to transfer files from the directory
on the remote machine into your own directory.
CULT: So when he said I have an FTP site for all the OT materials, he is
saying he has all the OT materials on an FTP site which people can access,
is that right?
HENSON: That's right!
CULT: OK. Were you aware of Patrick Volk's FTP site, to the best of your
HENSON: Well... You see right after the colon, it says F T P colon
one-twenty-seven point zero point zero point one?
HENSON: That's a loop back address.
CULT: That's a what?
HENSON: Loop back.
CULT: What does that mean?
HENSON: You don't actually go out of your own machine at all, it loops
right back into your own machine. This is what's known as a troll, on the
CULT: My goodness. And what's a troll?
HENSON: Oh. Ha! It comes from the uhh, fishing, where you troll a bait
along in the water, and fish will jump and bite the thing. The idea of it
is, that the Internet is a very humorous place, and it's expecially good
to troll people who don't have any sense of computer at all. This is a
troll, because an FTP site of 127.0.0.1 doesn't go anywhere, it loops
right back around into your own machine.
CULT: So the idea here was to make the church think that this person had
an FTP site, and to take action against him, and in fact he didn't have
it, is that the intent?
HENSON: It's really humorous, and I picked up on it instantly, and added
something to extend the troll. Extending the trolls like this is an art
form of the highest order.
CULT: I see. So this is part of your art form when you say "don't you
expect the 'Ho to blow again?"
HENSON: <laugh> Yes.
CULT: So you do remember this posting [?]
HENSON: Well, I don't remember whether I did this one or not...
CULT: You said you did, sir.
HENSON: I don't remember for certain that I did this one, and certainly I
could not swear to any of the material on here to being letter perfect or
not. But... Even if I didn't do this one, I think I would want to claim...
I would certainly claim this one. Even if I didn't do this one - this is a
CULT: Um Hmm. You find this all kind of amusing, though.
HENSON: Oh, this is screamingly funny.
CULT: You find it amusing to make Helena Kobin and the church go after you
or other people, for this sort of thing, whether you had other materials
or not, is
HENSON: It's a great game.
CULT: It IS a great game. And you really pounded [?]
HENSON: It's an extremely amusing thing.
CULT: You find it amusing when you receive these letters from Ms. Kobrin ???
HENSON: Well, we'll get to that later.
CULT: No, this is a question now.
HENSON: Well, if you find in that pile of crap the SP levels, we can
discuss that at this point. It's a matter of status...
CULT: I ask the questions, you answer them.
HENSON: I can only answer that question in the context of the SP levels.
CULT: You find it an amusing part of the game when you receive these cease
and desist letters, right?
HENSON: No no. It's not amusing, it's a major increase, increment in status.
CULT: I see. This increases your status, right?
HENSON: Oh, absolutely.
CULT: On the Internet. On ARS, right?
CULT: And it's all part of this game, right?
CULT: It's all part of the troll, right?
HENSON: This is a great troll.
CULT: Thank you.
HENSON: I mean anybody in the computer business instantly would have
spotted this. <laugh> In fact, it even says "troll" in here. In fact this
is cross posted from...
CULT: There's no question pending. Hold your comments. <aside> Let me see
HENSON: I'm sorry, this is just too funny.
CULT: Why did you think this would cause Ms. Kobrin to blow a gasket?
HENSON: Actually, if she had access to anybody, who knew anything
whatsoever about computers and FTP and stuff like that, she'd never even
ever consider it to be anything whatsoever.
CULT: Yes, but you assume she didn't, right? This wasn't addressed to
Helena. But you thought that this might cause her to blow a gasket.
HENSON: I figured... This is a joke.
CULT: But you figured that if she in fact did think that Mr. Volk had the
OT materials on an FTP site, she would blow a gasket, right?
HENSON: Not likely.
CULT: You don't think she would be upset by that?
CULT: If it were a real FTP site?
HENSON: See, it's function is, if somebody would actually try this, they'd
see the fact that it isn't because it's a loop back to their own local...
if it worked at all, it would be a loop back to their own local machine.
Only one machine in a thousand or less than that would have this
particular address, uh, directory structure to get to. But anybody who
attempted to actually looked to see this thing, would instantly discover
that it is a troll. But I mean, you can see it's a troll from the line
twenty-seven in there, that's the loop back address. These four digits in
there separated by periods are the IP addresses...
[End at 2:00:20 - depo continues]
© 1996 Peter Langston