An Open Letter to the Hackers

Dialogue Setback?
December 20, 2009
Green Patriarch on “60 Minutes”
December 21, 2009

An Open Letter to the Hackers

Note: This is addressed specifically to the people who hacked NFTU repeatedly over the past month, not all hackers. We are quite aware that there are hackers (crackers, to be more specific) with far stronger capabilities than the ones who attacked the site, and we are not looking for anyone to try our site security again.

Dear hackers,

We congratulate you for your efficient attempts to damage our site over the past month, but you have failed. Even with the attempted hacks that were used to damage readership to the site, NFTU is reaching yet another milestone, which we made a little graphic for.

In July, we were approaching 100,000 hits for the site, seeing  a 60% readership over the previous year. Yet now, we have reached 100,000 hits for 2009– meaning, in raw numbers the site is now making it into the hands of hundreds every single day. Add to that all the other methods for news dissemination in the hundreds of up-to-the post mailings weekly that NFTU uses and we are now reaching thousands of concerned Orthodox Christians and others who want to know more about the truth about official ecumenism and True Orthodoxy– every single week— and there’s nothing the official Church, the “unionist blog brigade”– or you– can do about it. 

I chose the name Notes from the Underground both as a tribute to a great Russian Orthodox writer and as a reference to the workings of True Orthodox Christians, who in many countries operate clandestinely to spread the Gospel and preserve the true Faith as it was handed to them. In a sense, this site makes public what was already being circulated in private– it is a sort of “focal point” where all the True Orthodox news that gets made available to us can get out to the public in one place. Further, we take the ecumenism and Sergianism passed on in silence and expose it. There are a few different sites of this sort, and they exist in different countries. I believe we’re the only one that’s cross-jurisdictional in America. Most of the people we work with or have worked with have either known or been close to catacomb Christians and True Orthodox luminaries of the modern era.

I’m explaining this to you to make clear that if you are attacking this site– as has been ongoing for the past month now– with an ideological axe to grind (as I suspect), you picked the wrong people. Under persecution, there are many methods of both self-preservation and informational preservation available that have been developed over time. There are concrete steps in place since the first hack was thrown at us that will be taken to preserve the information presented herein even if each of the current authors is incapacitated. And we are expanding that pool of information. Worse still for you, the methods are completely non-technical. These techniques for information sharing can never be shut down by a virus because for the most part they predate computers.

In short, the past eight months have encompassed a gradual process to move this site from the brainchild of one to the brainchild of many so that NFTU, effectively, cannot be destroyed by even the most dedicated group of hackers.You can damage a website. But you can’t damage an informational source. The source is already out of both our hands.

So we owe you our thanks: in a country where persecution of religion is rarely overt, it is easy to drop one’s guard to stop paying attention. We needed the reminder that some people hate everything and everyone that NFTU stands for. And with that in mind, we will take yet more steps to make the site less vulnerable to attack– but more importantly, to make that news and information flow permanent.

Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour. (1 Pet 5:8)

We’d like to take a moment to invite you, hackers, to consider whom you attack or whom you were trying to attack through this hack. As it stands, you have failed.  It is very easy, due to the nature of our age, to consider that those in resistance to the established bodies are “extremists” and “schismatics”, et cetera. We ask you to think that point through again. We invite you, as you attack the site, to read it more carefully. Can you trust the men whom you call leaders? Are they really “the Church”? Do they even know where “the Church” is? Is your Patriarch on this site? If so, what is he doing?

I invite you to investigate, to find the True Orthodox Church, and with “the fear of God, with faith and love draw near”. We are a news site but first and foremost, we are Orthodox Christians, and we implore you to find the True Church, for the sake of your soul, as these last days are upon us all.

In Christ
Deacon Joseph Suaiden
Consecration of St Ambrose. 2009.