Hippies From Hell

The #hfh is a Dutch hacking organization that exists from 1988 till now.

They have been most active from 1989 till 1993.

In 1980 they released a magazine called Hack-tic. Rop Gonggrijp got inspired by the German hack magazine (CCC) magazine: Datenschleuder.

The content of the  Hack-tik was all these tips and tricks like: How to call for free in a public telephone cell:

hacktic 3.png

In this magazine the term “Techno – Anarchists is explained:

“The Techno-Anarchists support building own cheap networks as alternative for very expansive government networks, the Techno-Anarchists wants insight in all information concerning the civilians, to be available and if it’s not attainable, there is just a modem and computer needed to get that information.

Techno-Anarchism is for everyone who wants to freely work with technology”

Hack-tic Second edition 1989

A good development on Techno-Anarchism today would be: Wikileaks and 3D printers.  Wikileaks because it offers the public information that would otherwise be not released and 3D printers because people can cheaply print their own products.

The movement Hippies From Hell started around 1980 so it has been existing from the beginning of the internet. (1983 the internet was born as we know it today)

The Hippies from Hell have been very active in organizing the Hack till the End of the Universe festival, where hackers from all over would come and share their knowledge. Sometimes even famous hackers from America “Emmanuel Goldstein”

And was originally a group of friends who organized wild parties:



The magazine Hack-tic was stopped in 1994 a year after the Hippies from Hell started the first dutch internet supplier XS4ALL.

This was the time the organization became less active. So I wondered:

Where are they now? What is left of the original group? Are their still meeting?

Their website then and now:

Then 2000:

hfh old.png

Now 2017:

Hippiesfromhell 2.png

So, I decided to go further into the dutch Hack community. Typing the name again landed me on this documentary: “Hippies from Hell” directed by a teacher of de WdKa Inne Poppe.

So where are they now today 2017?

Who is still listed and active in the organization?

Since visiting their webpage I discovered you could connect to their open IRC Channel.

So I did.  As I was a bit nervous to say anything on the chat so  I emailed the first person in the list: Joost van Baal-Illic. He responded and agreed to meet up with me in Tilburg in the Berlin Café. He was originally a mathematician who on later age started programming and is very active in the debian community. He started programming with a language called: pascal and later learned: java, perl and C++.  “The Debian Man”

Joost 90's.png

I asked him about the hfh since he was listed in the IRC and he replied that he just joined a few months ago. But he could tell me there are no more meetings organized by the Hippies From Hell, it is mainly the IRC where they connect. But there are still a lot of events for Hackers nowadays like: PIXEL-bar and hackersspaces.nl After our meeting he keeps me actively updated on upcoming Hack events and giving handy tips about using the IRC (some handy functions that could help me use the #hfh IRC better.)

After this I finally got the courage to say: ‘hallo’ on the chat and got a nice reply. Reinoud (an old member) asked me what brought me to the IRC? And I explained my research, he asked about the Hacking course and which kind of teachers I have, what we do in a practice called Hacking etc. He in return explained all the questions I had, later on eFeline also joined the conversation with some questions for me. Only the sad thing was that I at first didn’t expect a response at all(like with anonymous), so I didn’t properly plan my questions for them. But my experience so far with the hfh has been very positive. They are very approachable, friendly and helpfull.

Gabrielle Coleman (major Hacker researcher) agrees with me on that point:

My time in the Netherlands, in October 2002, was short but made a lasting impression. The Hippies from Hell were welcoming and helpful.  They also organize the best darn hacker conferences in the world, and a big thanks to them (and all the other volunteers) for putting in so much effort to ensure that others can have an amazing time. Niels Hatzmann was a gracious host, great biking partner, and now good friend. A bulk of my work was with Debian and its developers. I can’t thank these developers enough. Words can’t capture how much I admire the ways in which you have managed to not only produce an operating system (OS) but also a stunningly vibrant online community— a word I rarely use for the Internet, and yet one that absolutely pertains to the case of Debian. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time

This gave me new courage to also ask eFeline to meet up for interview. So we set a date to meet up.  After this interview I will add the content here:


One other member that appeared in the documentary was Mathilde Mupe she gave Reinoud computer lessons since he was 5 years old. She wasn’t visible on the IRC at least, I didn’t recognize the alias. In 1993 she was very active in using Hacking as a mindset to develop art. She build huge installations and still does. A project she was working on in the documentary was Powerpong an installation where you can play a game of Pong powered and controlled with bicycles.





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