Just for the sake of consistency, I'd like to point out that the "Anarchist Cookbook" was actually first written sometime during the nascent hippie era. The original version was shown to me by my ex-Weatherman uncle Roscoe, and I remember reading something in the foreword about how this book wasn't actually intended for revolutionaries or separatists, as the information in the volume was already an adopted part of their life. Instead, it was intended for the US population at large, as a guide for fighting for their freedoms, etc, should the need arise. Remember, there was a lot of talk about open revolution against the government floating around back then.

This version was apparently written by someone named "Jolly Roger." A few excerpts here are lifted from the 60's version, but the stuff about ATM machines and hacking into computer systems, "phreakers," McDonalds, credit card fraud and telephone conferences is, as you probably will guess, new. This casts some confusion into the phrase "cutting edge when it was new, but only good for nostalgia now." I can't imagine where you might find a copy of the old Anarchist Cookbook, but a noncorporate bookstore would probably be a good place to start your search. I'm willing to bet that if you looked on the Internet, you'd only uncover about a half-dozen similar rip-offs and blatant plagarisms. You could also check out George Hayduke's "How to get even: The complete guide to dirty tricks" if you're looking for advice on low-level terrorism that you didn't scrape from some ding-dong's misnamed website. Print is not dead.
It is always amusing to me when I see this book flashed on the nine o'clock news...

"...The suspect was found possessing such terrorist literature as the Anarchist Cookbook and the Poor Man's James Bond, handbooks for bomb-making and guerilla techniques. Bond was set at one million dollars..."

Never mind the fact that this manual is horribly out of date and quite inaccurate at times --- mere ownership is enough to suspect people of evil acts. If the police ever find this in your bedroom, you're probably up a creek without a rowboat, as the story goes.

Nevertheless, one of these days I'll pick it up and put it on my shelf next to The Strange Tactics of Extremism, Global Tyranny Step-by-Step, Winning Through Intimidation and The Marx-Lenin Companion. Did I mention I like interestingly-titled books?

The site www.textfiles.com has copies of most of the files comprising The Jolly Roger Cookbook which seems to be a copy of The Anarchist Cookbook, done on the sly and on the cheap.

A book originally pubished in 1970 which was written by William Powell. All of the digital documents on the internet called the "Anarchist Cookbook" are heavily modified and not the original. In January of 2000, he wrote letters to a bunch of web sites dedicated to it or sites which sell the book itself (amazon.com being one of them.) He says in the letter how he would like to see the book go out of print because he wrote it out of adolescent anger and it contains many errors. Errors likely to get you severely injured and maimed, or even killed. Here is his letter:

I have recently been made aware of several websites that focus on The Anarchist Cookbook. As the author of the original publication some 30 plus years ago, it is appropriate for me to comment. I would appreciate it if you would post these comments as part of your website on the Anarchist Cookbook. Please do not include my e-mail address. However, should you wish to confirm the authenticity of this message, please do not hesitate to contact me at the above address.

The Anarchist Cookbook was written during 1968 and part of 1969 soon after I graduated from high school. At the time, I was 19 years old and the Vietnam War and the so-called "counter culture movement" were at their height. I was involved in the anti-war movement and attended numerous peace rallies and demonstrations. The book, in many respects, was a misguided product of my adolescent anger at the prospect of being drafted and sent to Vietnam to fight in a war that I did not believe in.

I conducted the research for the manuscript on my own, primarily at the New York City Public Library. Most of the contents were gleaned from Military and Special Forces Manuals. I was not member of any radical group of either a left or right wing persuasion.

I submitted the manuscript directly to a number of publishers without the help or advice of an agent. Ultimately, it was accepted by Lyle Stuart Inc. and was published verbatim - without editing - in early 1970. Contrary to what is the normal custom, the copyright for the book was taken out in the name of the publisher rather than the author. I did not appreciate the significance of this at the time and would only come to understand it some years later when I requested that the book be taken out of print.

The central idea to the book was that violence is an acceptable means to bring about political change. I no longer agree with this.

Apparently in recent years, The Anarchist Cookbook has seen a number of ‘copy cat’ type publications, some with remarkably similar titles (Anarchist Cookbook II, III etc). I am not familiar with these publications and cannot comment upon them. I can say that the original Anarchist Cookbook has not been revised or updated in any way by me since it was first published.

During the years that followed its publication, I went to university, married, became a father and a teacher of adolescents. These developments had a profound moral and spiritual effect on me. I found that I no longer agreed with what I had written earlier and I was becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the ideas that I had put my name to. In 1976 I became a confirmed Anglican Christian and shortly thereafter I wrote to Lyle Stuart Inc. explaining that I no longer held the views that were expressed in the book and requested that The Anarchist Cookbook be taken out of print. The response from the publisher was that the copyright was in his name and therefore such a decision was his to make - not the author’s. In the early 1980’s, the rights for the book were sold to another publisher. I have had no contact with that publisher (other than to request that the book be taken out of print) and I receive no royalties.

Unfortunately, the book continues to be in print and with the advent of the Internet several websites dealing with it have emerged. I want to state categorically that I am not in agreement with the contents of The Anarchist Cookbook and I would be very pleased (and relieved) to see its publication discontinued. I consider it to be a misguided and potentially dangerous publication which should be taken out of print.

William Powell

Don't try anything from any "Anarchist Cookbook" you get -- unless you're suicidal (in which case, seek help.)




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