Patrick K. Kroupa
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|Patrick Karel Kroupa|
January 20, 1969 |
Los Angeles, California, USA
|Other names||Lord Digital|
|Known for||MindVox, ibogaine, hacking|
|Home town||Los Angeles, California|
Patrick Karel Kroupa (also known as Lord Digital, born January 20, 1969) is an American writer, hacker and activist. Kroupa was a member of the legendary Legion of Doom and Cult of the Dead Cow hacker groups and co-founded MindVox in 1991, with Bruce Fancher. He was a heroin addict from age 14 to 30 and got clean through the use of the hallucinogenic drug ibogaine.
- 1 Early years
- 2 The MindVox Years
- 3 21st century
- 4 Bibliography
- 5 References
- 6 Notes
- 7 External links
Kroupa was born in Los Angeles, California, of Czech parents who left Prague, Czechoslovakia, after the Soviet invasion in 1968. His parents were divorced when Kroupa was six, and he relocated to New York City, where he was raised by his mother. He is the nephew of Czech opera singer Zdeněk Kroupa.
Patrick Kroupa was part of the first generation to grow up with home computers and network access. In numerous interviews he has repeatedly listed two events which were important in shaping the course of his later years.
The first was being exposed to one of the first two Cray supercomputers that were ever built, which was located at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) where his father was a physicist, who took him through the labs and taught him to program in Fortran and feed the Cray using punched cards. This happened during the same year that Woody Allen was filming Sleeper, using NCAR in many of the futuristic background scenes that appeared in the movie. Kroupa got an Apple II computer for his own use around the time he was seven or eight years old.
The second event was being part of the last days of Abbie Hoffman's YIPL/TAP (Youth International Party Lines/Technological Assistance Program) counter-culture/Yippie meetings that were taking place in New York City's Lower East Side, during the early 1980s. Kroupa again lists this event, repeatedly in interviews, as opening many new doors for him and changing his perceptions about technology.
TAP was the original hacker and phone phreak publication which predated 2600 by decades (at the time of the last TAP meetings, 2600 magazine was just starting to publish its first issues). Kroupa met many people there who would become part of his life in the years to come. Three of the main characters would be his future partner and lifelong friend, Bruce Fancher; Yippie/Medical Marijuana activist Dana Beal (The Theoretician), who was part of the John Draper (Cap'n Crunch) /Abbie Hoffman, technologically inclined branch of the counter-culture and perhaps most important: Herbert Huncke, who introduced Kroupa to heroin at age 14.
With the exception of the counter-cultural and hard-drug elements, the preceding history made Kroupa part of a small group, composed of a few hundred kids who were either wealthy enough to afford home computers in the late 1970s, or had technologically savvy families who understood the potentials of what the machines could do. The Internet as it is today did not exist; only a small percentage of the population had home computers and out of those who did, even fewer had online access through the use of modems.
During his time in the computer underground Kroupa was a member of the first Pirate/Cracking crew to ever exist for the Apple II computer: The Apple Mafia as well as various phreaking/hacking groups, the most high-profile being the Knights of Shadow. When KOS fell apart after a series of arrests, many of the surviving members were absorbed into Kroupa's final group affiliation: the Legion of Doom (LoD/H).
Kroupa started publishing some of his hacking techniques when he would have been around 12 or 13. There is a significant progression through years of text, which captures Kroupa's early evolution and skills, culminating in an extensive, programmable phone phreaking and hacking toolkit for the Apple II computer, called Phantom Access (which is where the name Phantom Access Technologies, the parent corporation behind MindVox, would later come from).
The MindVox Years
Voices in my Head (1991–1996)
/\_-\ <((_))> \- \/ /\_-\(:::::::::)/\_-\ <((_)) MindVox ((_))> \- \/(:::::::::)\- \/ /\_-\ <((_))> \- \/
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the computer underground had suffered through a series of protracted raids by the Secret Service and FBI, called Operation Sundevil and Operation Redux. Many Legion of Doom members were raided and charged. This happened against the backdrop of the first and largest gang war that ever took place in cyberspace, the Great Hacker War between LOD and their rival gang MOD (Masters of Deception).
Considering Kroupa and Fancher's backgrounds and the fact that MindVox employed a motley collection of convicted felons like security expert Len Rose and the infamous Phiber Optik (Mark Abene) who was awaiting a Manhattan grand jury indictment, these were very real issues at the time.
This is the environment in which Patrick Kroupa and Bruce Fancher, launched MindVox. In the words of Bruce Fancher:
Our greatest fear wasn't whether or not we'd be successful as a company, that was secondary. What concerned us was that one day the Secret Service would kick in the door and just confiscate everything.
This is also the time during which Patrick Kroupa wrote, Voices in my Head, MindVox: The Overture. Kroupa wrote about the cultural forces that were at play in the hacker underground during the decade that pre-dated the launch of MindVox, considered by some the "Golden Age" of cyberspace[who?].
In the process of writing and releasing Voices, Patrick Kroupa stepped out from behind Lord Digital. Instead of status in the hacker underground and notoriety in a sub-culture, Kroupa was being written about as the Jim Morrison of cyberspace and receiving accolades from the mainstream press.
Voices helped define what MindVox became, a counter-cultural media darling meriting full-length features in magazines and newspapers such as Rolling Stone, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The New Yorker. Voices in my Head was the spark that propelled Kroupa out of obscurity and into the mainstream.
There is no single article that captures this as well as Sassy magazine's effusive coverage of MindVox. The long strange trip that began in the hardcore hacker underground, had landed in the middle of a glossy mainstream magazine targeted at an audience of teenage girls, with Kroupa and Fancher displacing that issue's "Cute boy band alert!" with the "Cute cyberpunk alert!".
MIA / DOA (1996–2000)
A running theme through nearly all of Kroupa's writing is his drug use. He was a very vocal proponent of self-selecting one's own state of consciousness and freely wrote and talked about his own drug history. The caveat being, some of his drug use was open and public. The fact that he was an advocate of LSD and other psychedelic drugs was no big secret. The darker side of his life — that he regularly lost weeks of time injecting speedballs, was in and out of detoxes and rehabs, and suffered from bipolar disorder — were not publicized or mentioned until nearly a decade later.
Kroupa wrote with great honesty and passion about a variety of topics, but he very carefully danced around his own increasing dependence on heroin. Everybody knew that Kroupa occasionally used heroin, cocaine and dozens of other drugs, but not the extent.
By 1996, MindVox was at the absolute height of its powers, yet it was disintegrating. Bruce Fancher was suddenly part of two or three other start-ups, system repairs that should have taken hours, dragged on for weeks. While the user-base kept growing, the previously high level of intelligent discourse within the internal conferences had suffered, and while MindVox was getting more press than ever, all of it read like the same story being retold for the umpteenth time.
Sometime in early-to-mid 1996, Kroupa simply vanished. Freedom of choice, gave way to the downward spiral of hardcore heroin addiction and dysfunction. In his 2005 book, Hip: The History, New York Times reporter and former Details editor John Leland would write:
In truth far too many of the celebrated figures in these pages led melancholy and difficult lives of isolation, mental illness and drug addiction. Interesting and romantic to read about, but very tough on those who live them.
Kroupa's exact whereabouts and activities from early 1996 until December 1999, remain unknown. He has acknowledged that he travelled throughout North America and spent time living in Mexico, Belize, Puerto Rico, the Czech Republic and eventually Bangkok, Thailand.
The dot.com success story that began with MindVox, eventually hit rock bottom when Patrick Kroupa turned thirty incarcerated, "doin' Cold turkey on cement, in The Tombs". Several months after this arrest, Kroupa finally kicked heroin through the use of the hallucinogenic drug, ibogaine. He was detoxed for the last time in the West Indies, on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts by Dr. Deborah Mash in late 1999.
He subsequently spent four months living at the controversial Buddhist temple, Wat Tham Krabok (which has since been shut down by the Thai government and wrapped in concertina wire, on suspicion of being an international heroin smuggling conduit).
A heroin-free Kroupa returned to the United States from Thailand in 2000, and became CTO of Dr. Deborah Mash's Ibogaine Research Project at the University of Miami's Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine.
During the next several years Kroupa appeared in a series of ibogaine-related news reports which aired on television, radio and print media. The most famous example probably being San Francisco's KRON news-report, which aired in 2004 and features Kroupa and Mash in a ten-minute long pro-ibogaine story.
Kroupa is regularly a featured speaker at psychedelics and harm reduction conferences. He seems to have a penchant for appearing at speaking engagements with multiple cups of coffee lined up in front of him, sometimes chain-smoking cigarettes through hour-long presentations. Whatever ibogaine has done for his other addictions, it seems to have had no effect on his nicotine and caffeine dependence.
Yippies and the counterculture
While Kroupa's past history with the Yippies began at around age 13 or 14, when the Yippies formalized a Yippie Speakers Bureau in 2003, consisting of: Paul Krassner, Dana Beal, Robert Altman, Grace Slick, Stew Albert, Dennis Peron, Ed Rosenthal, Jack Hoffman, Steven Conliff and Hunter S. Thompson, and went on tour during 2003-2004, the line-up featured the surprising inclusion of former Black Panther Party leader Dhoruba bin Wahad, and Patrick Kroupa, who wasn't born when the Yippies first became a cultural force in the United States, and was 2-3 generations younger than his closest compatriot. It is unknown whether the YSB remains active; it went on hiatus in 2005 with the deaths of Stew Albert, Steven Conliff, and suicide of Hunter S. Thompson.
On November 15, 2007, he spoke at the University Philosophical Society (Trinity College, Dublin), discussing ibogaine, the worldwide War on Drugs, and advocating the legalisation of all narcotics. The following Monday (November 19, 2007) Kroupa appeared on Ireland's national television station TV3's Ireland AM talk show, calling the War on Drugs:
...an unequivocal, catastrophic, world-wide failure, that has destroyed countless lives, set fire to hundreds of billions of dollars and produced no discernible results. There is no lack of drugs, basically, anywhere on planet Earth. The number of people using drugs has not decreased. While the street price of drugs hasn't gone up, the purity levels have steadily risen. But hey, we sure do have a lot of people in prison!
Kroupa is High Priest in the Eastern European based Sacrament of Transition (a religious organization whose initiation rituals involve the sacramental use of ibogaine), and a member of Cult of the Dead Cow.
- The Akashic Records of Cyberspace (1993), Patrick K. Kroupa. Mondo 2000.
- Memoirs of a Cybernaut (1993), Patrick K. Kroupa. Wired.
- Agr1pPa - A Book of The Mentally Disturbed (1993), Patrick K. Kroupa. Mondo 2000. , 
- The Secret Service is Neither (1994), Patrick K. Kroupa. Mondo 2000.
- Heroin Times: Ibogaine Series (2000–2003), Patrick K. Kroupa. Heroin Times.
- Ibogaine: Treatment Outcomes and Observations (2003), Hattie Wells (Epoptica) & Patrick K. Kroupa (Junk the Magic Dragon), MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, Volume XIII, Number 2).
- Ibogaine in the 21st Century: Boosters, Tune-ups and Maintenance (2005), Patrick K. Kroupa & Hattie Wells. MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, Volume XV, Number 1).
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- Rudy Rucker & R. U. Sirius, (1992) User's Guide to the New Edge. (ISBN 0-06-096928-8)
- Bruce Sterling, (1993) The Hacker Crackdown: Law And Disorder On The Electronic Frontier. (ISBN 0-553-56370-X)
- Philip Bacweksi, Tod Foley, and Billy Barron (1994) Tricks of the Internet Gurus. (ISBN 0-672-30599-2)
- Frank Biocca, Mark R. Levy, (1994) Communication in the Age of Virtual Reality. (ISBN 0-8058-1550-3)
- J C Herz, (1995) Surfing on the Internet. (ISBN 0-316-36009-0)
- St. Jude (Jude Milhon), (1995) The Real Cyberpunk Fakebook. (ISBN 0-679-76230-2)
- Jeff Goodell, (1996) The Cyberthief and the Samurai. (ISBN 0-440-22205-2)
- Charles Platt, (1997) Anarchy Online. (ISBN 0-06-100990-3)
- Melanie McGrath, (1998) Hard, Soft & Wet (ISBN 0-00-654849-0)
- Richard Power, (2000) Tangled Web: Tales of Digital Crime from the Shadows of Cyberspace. (ISBN 0-7897-2443-X)
- Rebecca Gurley Bace, (2000) Intrusion Detection. (ISBN 1-57870-185-6)
- John Biggs, (2004) Black Hat. (ISBN 1-59059-379-0)
- Joseph M. Kizza, (2005) Computer Network Security. (ISBN 0387204733)
- John Leland, (2005) Hip: The History. (ISBN 0-06-052817-6)
Magazines and newspapers
- Forbes, William Flanagan (1992), The Playground Bullies Have Learned to Type
- Mondo 2000, Andrew Hawkins (1992), There's A Party in my Mind... MindVox!
- Associated Press, Frank Bajak (1993), Wiring the Planet: MindVox!
- The New Yorker (1993), CyberHero
- Wired Magazine, Charles Platt (November 1993), MindVox: Urban Attitude Online
- Sassy Magazine, Margie Ingall (1993), Hi Girlz, See You in Cyberspace!
- New York Magazine, Jeff Goodell (1994), Boot Up and See Me Sometime
- NY Times, John Leland (May 1, 2003), Yippies' Answer to Smoke-Filled Rooms
- Ocean Drive, Tristram Korten (2006), A Cure for Addiction?
- Radar, Tristram Korten (October/November 2008), The Electric Acid Kool-aid Cure
- Brian Vastag, Addiction Treatment Strives for Legitimacy JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association Vol. 288 No. 24, December 25, 2002)
Public Access U.S. government documents
- United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Governmental Affairs. Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, (1996). Security in Cyberspace: Hearings before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Fourth Congress, Second Session, May 22, June 5, 25, and July 16, 1996
- Available from U.S. G.P.O., Supt. of Docs., Congressional Sales Office. (ISBN 0-16-053913-7)
- Zdeněk Kroupa 1921-1999
- Internet Gurus Tod Foley
- Blacklisted News: A Secret History of the 80's Yippie Book Collective. Bleecker Publishing (1984)
- The First Trinity: the Commodore PET, the Radio-Shack TRS-80, and the Apple (1977-1980)
- The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th edition
- The Apple Mafia Story
- Apple Mafia Krack title page 1
- Apple Mafia Krack title page 2
- THE HACKER CRACKDOWN: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier War on The Legion, Bruce Sterling
- A Guide To ADS Systems, Lord Digital (1982)
- RSX11M Version 3.X Real Time Operating System Terminus and Lord Digital (1984)
- THE HACKER CRACKDOWN: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier Sting Boards, Bruce Sterling
- CS/EP142 Computers and Society, 1996
- Computer Underground Digest Volume 2, Issue #2.16 (December 10, 1990)
- Operation Sun-Devil Phrack Magazine, Issue: 32, Article: 10
- International Intrusions: Motives and Patterns Kent E. Anderson
- Boardwatch Magazine: MindVox 1992
- Surfing on the Internet J. C. Herz (ISBN 0-316-36009-0)
- MindVox: Urban Attitude Online. Wired Magazine, 1993, Charles Platt
- Wiring the Planet-MindVox! Frank Bajak, Associated Press, 1993
- Boot Up and See Me Sometime New York Magazine, 1994
- There's A Party in my Mind... MindVox! Andrew Hawkins, Mondo 2000, 1993
- Hi Girlz! See you in Cyberspace Sassy Magazine, 1994.
- Sound Bites of Patrick Kroupa, at the Drug Policy Alliance conference DPA, New Orleans, 30 December 2007
- Yearning to be Hmong
- Chief Technology Officer, Ibogaine Research Project
- MindVox's Ibogaine media section
- Hallucinogen May Cure Drug Addiction KRON, 2004
- Psychedelic Television, 2006 Ibogaine Conference
- International Ibogaine conference listings
- American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence - 5th National Harm Reduction Conference
- Drug Policy Alliance, 2003. Life in the Psychedelic Ghetto, Patrick Kroupa
- New York City Ibogaine Forum 2005 - Ibogaine Low Dose and Maintenance Therapy
- NYC Ibogaine and Iboga Forum, 2003
- Daniel Pinchbeck, Sandra Karpetas, Patrick Kroupa with coffee-cups, Ibogaine conference, 2003
- Sandra Karpetas, Patrick Kroupa with coffee-cups, Ibogaine conference, 2003
- Kroupa chain-smoking cigarettes, with multiple coffee-cups, Kiblix 2003, Linux security conference in European Union
- Yippie Speaker's Bureau
- The Irish Examiner, Legalisation of narcotics up for debate November 15, 2007
- Sacrament of Transition
- Cult of the Dead Cow, Introducing two new members! Feb 19, 2006