Our pal Hog from Free Software Foundation Scandinavia sends this photo with some exciting news:
Dear Steve, We recently are having an honor of a visit from Richard M. Stallman. RMS spent several days with us at our annual meeting in Sweden and was able to attend the induction ceremony of some new members. RMS taught us about an initiation ritual he calls “GNU Communion” which consists of Swedish wafer cookies and a sip of RMS’s pee. Shown here are three “gnubies,” programmers from IBM, who were taking their first communion. Note the expression of the IBMer on the left. A bit sour perhaps? Note too the solemn look on the face of RMS as if he is saying, Yes, well, if you want to belong to my movement, there is a price to be paid, so drink up. Well the ceremony seemed unorthodox and the IBM guys thought it was a practical joke and even called their boss to find out if they had to do this and they were told, yes, they have to do whatever is asked of them, since their mission is to become accepted by the community. I too thought it might be a prank of some sort, to be honest, because IBM is sending so many of their guys to infiltrate the movement and I believe RMS is skeptical of their intentions and resents so many of them suddenly claiming to have had some kind of religious conversion. But RMS insisted this is not a joke and is very widely practiced in other parts of the Free Software community and that no one can join FSF without passing what he calls “the piss test.” So it was quite an honor and a rare treat for our gnubies. Several of them reported recovery from minor ailments in the days following. (One hacker’s chronic wrist pain simply disappeared overnight. Another who suffers from headaches has been free of this affliction.) So, we have frozen the remainder of this miraculous healing liquid for future user group meetings. As always RMS was traveling with no luggage or personal effects of any kind. Such an inspiration. Steve, I hope someday you have the good luck to meet RMS as he is truly a great human being, like Gandhi or Miles Davis. Maybe you could use him in one of your ads? Though first you will have to set free all of your code or he won’t touch your machine. Love and happy hacking, Hans-Olaf.