ACCESSING ARCANE NEWSGROUPS
Probably because i sometimes carry the name of the group alt.lucky.w in my sig line, i have been
fielding a lot of e-mail on the subject of "unavailable arcane
Here is the information i have been sending to folks; feel free to pass it
around and copy it when someone asks you the same questions:
First -- yes, alt.occult.methods (practical occultism), alt.magick.marketplace (buy-sell-trade magical items), alt.religion.orisha (Yoruba-derived religions), alt.magick.tantra (sex magic, tantra yoga, karezza, etc.)
and alt.lucky.w (amulets, talismans, etc.) are fully operational. So are
alt.folklore.herbs, alt.folklore.gemstones, alt.magick.tyagi, and all the other gnostic, druid, and chaos-magick newsgroups that people
have told me they cannot access.
Second -- If your service provider lists these as "invalid" or
"unavailable" groups, it is not because the groups are not operational. It
is because your service provider has not accepted feed from these groups.
They are not "censoring" these groups; they probably just didn't know
anyone wanted to receive them. There are, according to some estimates, over
30,000 different newsgroups, with new ones being created every day. No
service provider carries them all, and even a service provider who carries
20,000 of them may not carry alt.fan.dr-bronner,
alt.society.funerary, alt.thinking.hurts, and alt.sex.hello-kitty.
Third -- Of course, .edu, .gov, .mil, or other free service providers can
legitimately limit the feed they give their subscribers, and so can systems run
by large corporations for their employees. However if your service provider is a
.com (commercial) or .net (network) service and you are paying for access to usenet, they will be
happy to supply you with feed for these or any other newsgroups -- PROVIDED YOU
ASK -- because they must function in the competitive capitalistic
marketplace, and that means "money talks." As a .com or .net customer, your money will
get you the newsgroups you want.
Fourth -- If your service provider does not carry all of the obscure
newsgroups you want, the person to ask is the SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR or
NEWSGROUPS ADMINISTRATOR. You don't need to beg. You are not asking for a
special favour. Simply tell the administrator that you want them to "make
the usenet newsgroup [name of group] accessible." So far, no one i know of who has asked for
any of the above-named occult groups from a .com or .net service provider has been
Send an email letter to your system administrator or newsgroup feed administrator
requesting access or post your request to the ISP's internal "support" or "help" newsgroup.
Begin your letter with an admission that you do not know whom to address and
request the recipient to forward your request to the proper person if it has been
received in error. If your ISP is very large and you feel they are dilatory in
answering customer requests, send copies (CCs) of the letter to ALL of the
following potential titles of departments:
(Those are some of the common names such functionaries use. If you send CCs to
all those above, some will come back as undeliverable, obviously, for they are
essentially duplicates in function if not in name.)
Your message can be short and sweet: "Please add [name of newsgroup] to your usenet feed. Thanks."
If your service provider has a "local" newsgroup
where customers post requests and report problems, post the same
To speed the process, telephone your service provider and ask to speak to the
human being in charge of newsgroup feed. Ask this person to add the group to the
accesssible newsgroup database.
I personally got America Online, the largest internet service
provider in the United States, to add alt.lucky.w to its feed in
a mere 8 days -- with a mere 3 e-mail letters (two of them sent
to the wrong functionary!). My own service provider, sonic.net,
maintains a local newsgroup called sonic.help. They routinely add
new newsgroups within two days of a request being made there or
through email addressed to email@example.com -- in short, it can be done and YOU can do it!
Fifth -- Good luck, and remember -- under the capitalist system,
anarchists have the most fun!
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