Recently there have been a few news reports on The missionary church of Kopimism
Isak Gerson of the church says to Christian daily Dagen:
-Why would you like to be recognized as a religious-supporting organization?
-We want to be accepted by the state and society. We feel that we are met with harsh attitudes and argue that the freedom of religion should include us as well.
Much of the reception of the appearance of the church has been framed as ”file-sharing”. A computer file is however only one organizing arbitrary information for an operating system or program to interpret how it should be technically handled. The various interpretations of Kopimi are much wider.
It is not surprising that there is an emphasis on file-sharing and copyright, as there is a raging persecution of this particular instance of practice. A few years ago, Kopimi was defined as a ‘sect’ by copyright lawyer Monique Wadsted:
She means that there exists a small sect of so called Kopimists around The Pirate Bay, however [this sect] is not a wide ideological movement with support from a majority of Swedish youth.
These struggles are nevertheless of earthly matters. Religious persecutions of sects have, as history tells us, only led to them becoming even more revolutionary on a social plane. The priests of modernism, among them Émile Durkheim defined religious life as a set of human beliefs, which were institutionalized into churches as safeguards of morality. If there is a social program of Kopimi, it would be to abolish copyright and intellectual property. However, this is merely a superficial plane.
Another closely related religion is the Hierophants of cipher, which has a sort of social program of establishing a state of cryptoanarchy. The Hierophants of cipher are hard to get hold of, since they were founded and only dwell in a non-territorial and non-vanilla internet location inside so called darknets; encrypted and fully distributed computer networks. Being hard to find is one of their principles, so no direct sources of information are really easy to get by.
Lets instead take a closer look at what the esoteric content of Kopimi and Ciphernetic Hierophantics are. As religious classifications they would be categorized as non-theistic mysticism. There are no ‘despotic signifiers’ (Gods, creators), and the path to salvation is ritualistic. These rituals, however, differ from most mystic practices, as they are not transcendental, but rather ‘object oriented’. The actual act, to copy or to encrypt, are the fundamental building blocks of worship.
As the religions are not ”book religions”, they have no written doctrine and we must rely on the aesthetic and ethical expressions.
Kopimism can be said to be energy-centric. All copies require energy, be it the electricity driving computers, the carbo-hydrates burned in sexual reproduction or the solar particles that make plants grow. The pyramid is historically the clearest case of a whole civilization wasting energy, not only for aesthetic purposes and spiritual harmony for the afterlife and as a way of preserving a hierarchic order of society throughout time.
Thepiratebay.org conjugates flows of energy, a single torrent may consume vast amounts of energy as thousands of computers are instructed by their users to transmit data over the internetworks. The pistons of the S23M are interrupted and release energy flows of diesel oil, and at the Walpurgis ritual the papers of the doctrine were burned and went up in flames.
Hierophantic ciphernetics has a different base for their practices. Using approaches from quantum mechanics and fractal mathematics (sciences very closely related to what is considered religious beliefs in modern societies), the practices center around the imperceptibility and indestructibility of (anti)systemic chaos. For example, the myth of the ”Ciphercat” is an allusion of Schrödinger’s uncertainty principle, and many of the hierophantic practices concern different fractal geometric functions, such as figures on the complex plane. Cameron, one of several interpreters, puts it like this:
Information is nothing but numbers, numbers governed not by human laws, but by the laws of mathematics. Networks that utilize the power of cryptography already exist. It will not be possible to stop the spread of the fractal cipherspace. /…/
It is either the Riemann sphere, the complex plane, as the number of 12 deadly missile strikes in Pakistan in january, of which 10 killing 123 civilians. Two drone strikes killed three al-qaeda leaders.
The two religious expressions combined, creates an imperceptible energy system. Machines driving other machines, surfacing only by surprise. The inherent sectarianism, or, communion of friends, is a necessity for a common principle, that of the event. Every copy is a displacement of another copy. Every instance of a fractal haecceity exists in perfect individuation, even though its continuation is eternal. Every communion is a particular energetic flow/interruption of energy, and its historical continuity depend not on solid functions, but on repetitions along a filament line of self-similarity.