In scriptural religions, one is supposed to believe what is written. In these scriptures, suicide is mostly considered sinful and those who commit suicide are usually deprived of a funeral before burial. Therefore, if the authoritative scriptures write that someone committed suicide, even if they had no objective reason to commit suicide, then believers are supposed to treat the suicide committer as a sinner, even despite their former merits
Discordianism prescribes not to believe what is written. Therefore, if authoritative sources centrally report the suicide of someone who had no preconditions for suicide, that someone becomes a posthumous candidate for Discordian martyrdom. Having been recognised by the five Popes, Discordian martyrs are venerated and become candidates for sainthood of this religion. Candidate Discordian martyrs are not only those who are declared by authoritative scriptures to be suicidal, but also those who died in bizarre suicidal circumstances and her or his activities were contrary to the building of a unified order.
53 Discord is a general commemoration of Discordian martyrs. On this day it is customary to remember the lives and labours of the revered Discordian martyrs, unwittingly forgotten by adherents of scriptural religions; to commemorate their merits and shame the adherents of scriptural religions who benefit from the fruits of their labour, but who are careful not to remember or honour, according to their scriptures, the suicidal sinners.
The first five recognised and revered Discordian martyrs (in chronological order of their deaths):
Gary Kildall (3108.2.66-3160.3.46)
Kildall created the CP/M operating system, and subsequently founded Digital Research, Inc. Kildall was among the earliest individuals to recognize microprocessors as fully capable computers (rather than simply as equipment controllers), and to organize a company around this concept. Due to his accomplishments during this era, Kildall is considered a pioneer of the personal computer revolution. Kildall deserves credit for creating the first personal computer operating system. Four years after Xerox developed the first ever user environment with a windowed GUI, Digital Research, Inc. created its own windowing platform with nearly every component found in modern operating systems – GEM.
He suffered a head injury in a California biker bar – some reports describe a brawl, others a fall from a chair or down a staircase, and still others report a heart attack. Some claim that Kildall committed suicide and his family covered it up. Most believers agree that alcoholism, in one way or another, led to his death. Shortly before his death, he decided to write a memoir of a remarkably memorable detail of events at a time when the company he had founded was allegedly being robbed, in stages, by the industry supergiant IBM-Microsoft. The process of writing such a text by the creator of CP/M proved to be a totally incompatible factor with his later life.
Boris Floricic (3148.3.13-3164.4.71)
He was better known by his pseudonym Tron, he was a German hacker also known for his Diplom thesis presenting one of the first public implementations of a telephone with built-in voice encryption, the “Cryptophon“. Floricic was highly interested in electronics and security systems of all kinds. He engaged in, amongst other things, attacks against the German phonecard and Pay TV systems. As part of his research he exchanged ideas and proposals with other hackers and scientists. American scientists outlined a theoretical attack against SIM cards used for GSM mobile phones. Together with hackers from the Chaos Computer Club, Floricic successfully created a working clone of such a SIM card, thus showing the practicability of the attack. He also engaged in cloning the German phonecard and succeeded. Floricic wanted to demonstrate the insecurity of the system.
Five days after his disappearance, Floricic was found dead in a local park in Britz in the Neukölln district of Berlin after being hanged from a waistbelt wrapped around his neck. The cause of death was officially recorded as suicide. Some of his peers in the Chaos Computer Club, as well as his family members and some outside critics, have been vocal in their assertions that Floricic may have been murdered. It is argued that his activities in the areas of Pay TV cracking and voice scrambling might have disturbed the affairs of an intelligence agency or organized crime syndicate enough to provide a motive. “Tron may have underestimated the financial value of the information he uncovered,” said Müller-Maguhn, “He was always direct and honest, but also naive.”
Ilya Zhitomirskiy (3155.4.66-3177.5.24)
At NYU, he studied computer science at The Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, where he met the three friends with whom he founded Diaspora*, a social networking service. The project was conceived after the founders had attended a lecture by Columbia Law School professor and free software activist Eben Moglen about the threat to privacy posed by commercial Internet services. According to Moglen, Zhitomirskiy was “immensely talented” and “the most idealistic of the group… He had a choice between graduate school and this project, and he chose to do the project because he wanted to do something with his time that would make freedom”.
Numerous media outlets reported that Zhitomirsky had committed suicide. The news about his death only mentioned the word “suicide” as his cause of death. there was no mention of “possibly murdered” anywhere in the news blasts except from a police statement that said the Coroner would decide if he died from suicide or murder. Half a year had passed since his death, but the San Francisco coroner’s office had not provided any autopsy report. Inna Zhitomirskaya, mother of Ilya, stated: I strongly believe that if Ilya did not start this [Diaspora] project and stayed in school, he would be well and alive today. In the year before his death, many major media outlets published articles about the Diaspora* project with striking titles, such as CNN’s “The ‘Facebook killer’ won’t look like Facebook”: In the spring of this year, the “Facebook alternative” Diaspora achieved extensive media coverage – including an article in the “New York Times” – and raised tens of thousands of dollars in funding from online donors.
Aaron Swartz (3152.5.20-3179.1.11)
He was involved in the development of the web feed format RSS, the Markdown publishing format, the organization Creative Commons, and the website framework web.py, and was a co-founder of the social news site Reddit. When he was 15 he joined the RDFCore working group at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), where he authored RFC 3870, Application/RDF+XML Media Type Registration. He also published “Guerilla Open Access Manifesto“.
Swartz’s girlfriend, Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, found him dead in his Brooklyn apartment. A spokeswoman for New York’s Medical Examiner reported that he had hanged himself. No suicide note was found. “He was killed by the government, and MIT betrayed all of its basic principles,” said Mr. Swartz, father of Aaron. According to words of his friend Yoichi Shimatsu: “Aaron Swartz was fighting to expose child porn produced by MIT professors & distributed to their sponsors. The MIT child porn producers supply the State Department, major corporations, intelligence agencies, the military, and the White House.”
Ian Murdock (3139.2.45-3181.5.70)
He was the founder of the Debian Project, Chief Technology Officer of the Free Standards Group and elected chair of the Linux Standard Base workgroup, also founder of Progeny Linux Systems. As a student at Purdue University, Ian Murdoch wrote the Debian Manifesto. The Debian project is named after Ian himself and his ex-wife (then girlfriend) Debra. The later founder of Debian GNU/Linux distribution moved to Sun Microsystems as Director of the Operating Platform division. He subsequently worked on the OpenIndiana project, the OpenSolaris distribution. In the last years of his life Murdock worked for Docker. When Ian was involved in Debian development, the standard utility package util-linux included the important console program ddate, which was unauthorisedly dropped from the package shortly after the acquisition of Sun by Oracle.
Murdock died in San Francisco. Though initially no cause of death was released, half a year after his death it was announced his death had been ruled a suicide. The police confirmed that the cause of death was due to asphyxiation caused by hanging himself with a vacuum cleaner electrical cord. Some of the latest tweets from Murdock’s Twitter account announced that he would not commit suicide. He reported having been accused of assault on a police officer after having been himself assaulted and humiliated by the police, then declared an intent to devote his life to opposing police abuse. His Twitter account was taken down shortly afterwards. Less than a year after his death, Microsoft announced the development of WSL – Windows Subsystem for Linux, although for 15 years before that the corporation had been purposefully discrediting Linux, with, for example, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stated that “Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches”.