The Anarchist Cookbook

Heckler

The unspeakable mass
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Whenever this mythical book is discussed in the popular media there is always (once you get past it's forbidden and subversive reputation) a sneering expert type who says "Aha but that book was written by the CIA to catch out the unwary, anyone who tries anything in it will blow themselves up". Is there some basis to this supposition or is it conspiracy theory / urban legend?

BTW if "The Company" are listening I have no intention of testing anything in this book and have no odd political/religious leanings :D
 

Electric_Monk

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I once got sent a copy (in electronic form) by a friend while I was still in High School (and so didn't have the internet at the time). I don't have it anymore, before anyone asks :D It didn't really seem like something written by the CIA, it's more general teenage prank stuff, much of which I've heard of people doing without the assistance of instructions, such as attempting to make things explode by mixing household chemicals. It also had a "Get back at your headmaster"-type bit, which really just involved using plant poison to write large offensive messages on school grass, and "Break the floppy disk drive of someone you don't like" which involved taking a floppy disk, many many matches and too much free time. It did get into the weirder areas a bit with claims of making drugs out of bananas and chemicals you'd need to buy specially, but generally I always felt it was just a bit of nonsense ;)

But the friend who had it was into that sort of thing. He also liked looking at how computer viruses worked, although he never wrote one (didn't have the required skills, I don't think).
 

JamesWhitehead

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Available from Amazon for around $19.97. Somehow buying a copy online seems a bit wimpish.

They know their customers, obviously:

Customers interested in The Anarchist Cookbook (C-066) may also be interested in:
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:p
 

Mighty_Emperor

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My understanding is pretty much what Colin said - they are largely "well known facts" from various areas that were floatin around the Internet and collected together into one place. A lot of them are outdated (like the sections on phreaking) or just rubbish (there is a section on getting off school including such things as "trigger the fire alarm") or dubious and dangerous (most of the others).

I think most people would, for example, think of better things to do than snap of the heads of non-safety matches and filling a slit open tennis ball with them - thats a lot of dedication to duty for not an awful lot of effect.

My borther has to travel overseas to install equipment and train people and so rather than carry vast manuals they have CDs with the manuals on in PDF format. He was handed one by a workmate and he found someone had tucked the Anarchist Cookbook away on it - not the kind of thing anyone would like customs to find in a post-911 world. So thats were I got my copy from.

I woul certainly not recommend people try any of them as there is the potential to do oneself serious harm - I doubt this was the intention just an unfortunate (or fortunate?) byproduct of stupidity.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Emperor said:
My understanding is pretty much what Colin said - they are largely "well known facts" from various areas that were floatin around the Internet and collected together into one place.

No, it's a lot older than that. As Heckler's link points out, it was published as a book in the early 70s.

The original author apparently 'disowned' it a few years ago, I'm not sure whether this was related to ideology or inaccuracy.
 
A

Anonymous

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A guy i went out with in '79 had a copy and we thought it was really risque. Not sure if the current version is diluted or wether we were just impressed because we were young.
 

taras

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We had one by "Jolly Roger" when I were a lad.
 

Heckler

The unspeakable mass
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Weird,if it's own author is disowning it and there is a body of knowledge that is suggesting it's dangerous then why has it gained the counter-culture gravitas it has? Maybe it's like snuff movies, most of the publicity, negitive or positive is generated by people who've never seen it.
 

Yithian

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Somebody at school got a copy in the heady days of Bulletin Boards. The one that sticks in my head is some kind of homemade (fertiliser?) bazooka that can fire a frozen melon through a brick wall. If needs be....

I was more absorbed in football stickers, yo-yos, 'Choose Your Own Adventure' books, and Garbage Pail Kids. :)
 

Heckler

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Choose your own adventure, ah I feel an off topic memory lane stroll coming on, Wizard of fire top mountain.

Should I

1. Stay on Topic (Turn to page 73)
2. Continue wallowing in nostalga (Turn to Page 84)
3. Conduct an experiment where I attach a Tesla coil to an Aardvark whilst dressed as Marlene Dietrich (Turn 180 degrees)
 

punychicken

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taras said:
We had one by "Jolly Roger" when I were a lad.

Hehe! We had that one! The 'napalm' we made was interesting.

We didn't attempt anything else (it was all too general and a bit lame really), but I was always taken by the frozen orange cannon!

Heckler said:
Choose your own adventure, ah I feel an off topic memory lane stroll coming on, Wizard of fire top mountain.

City of Thieves aaahh! I remember thee!
 

Electric_Monk

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Ah, I remember them. Like adventure games, except with more temptation to cheat and just look at the end.
 

Yithian

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Wasn't Demons of the Deep a good one in which to get killed almost straight off?
 

Heckler

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Perhaps we could combine the two and make a Choose your own Anarchism book:

Should I
1. Put together several unstable chemicals and attach a fuse (turn to page 54)
2. Make home made napalm and fill milk bottles with it (turn to page 74)
3. Decide it's all a bit risky and actually quite silly and make a cup of tea instead whilst listening to Dire Straits (Turn into your Grandparents)
 

MrRING

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What I heard is that anybody buying the Anarchist Cookbook would be placed under government survillence for life...
 

Spookdaddy

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I once flicked through a copy in a bookshop on Camden High Street - I remember thinking its reputation was more dramatic than its content.

It's relatively easy to get hold of the bits that, when combined, make a nice big bang - I think I'm right in saying that both the Omagh and Manchester bombs were made form very basic and easily obtainable ingredients. The clever part is in the trigger and the delivery. From what I recall, although it was a few years ago and I seem to remember being more interested in the woman behind the counter, the book didn't seem to go into those aspects too deeply.
 

DanTheGPI

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I'm pretty sure the drug recipes in the cookbook are dodgy. Their hash recipe is complete fiction. Not that I'd know or anything, a friend of a friend told me
 

Mal_Adjusted

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Hi

couple of points -

the enrager.net link i gave has been disappeared. no news on what's happened there.

also in USA i'd not recommend buying or borrowing a copy as the Patriot Act means the library and / or bookshop could be required to give your name and address if requested to do so.

see the following:

Libraries and the Patriot Act

http://www.libsci.sc.edu/bob/class/clis748/Studentwebguides/fall02/USAPatriotActConroy.html

some libraries now routinely destroy all non-essential info as quickly as possible in case they are required to hand it over.

Mal F
 

drjbrennan

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This thread keeeps coming around every few years. The majority of the "Anarchists cookbook" is sound and a basis for armed insurrection, but it would need lots of money training etc to be an effective manual.

Jolly Rogers cookbook.
The last version I saw in the mid 90's was an evil mix of mischief and rubbish and if you tried half of the recipies you would end up in hospital. I speak as a chemist and chemistry lecturer.
 

Heckler

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drjbrennan said:
Jolly Rogers cookbook.
The last version I saw in the mid 90's was an evil mix of mischief and rubbish and if you tried half of the recipies you would end up in hospital. I speak as a chemist and chemistry lecturer.

So are these ill advised mistakes or deliberate ones?
 

Stormkhan

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I flicked through a second-hand copy of AC ... and had a really good laugh.

Half of it was school-yard high jinks (smoking banana skins, weedkiller writing, yadda, yadda, yadda) and the other half was very poorly remembered sixth form chemistry lessons. The Man must be really desperate if it's proscribed! I know more effective stuff from a misspent youth than this pretend-rebel instruction manual. For instance, to stabilise a weedkiller-sugar bomb you just ... but that'd be telling! ;)

My opinion is that this book's reputation is maintained by those who dearly want to be rebels, think anything can be broken down into a written-for-cretins instruction book ... and they've never actually read a copy!
 

punychicken

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drjbrennan said:
Jolly Rogers cookbook.
The last version I saw in the mid 90's was an evil mix of mischief and rubbish and if you tried half of the recipies you would end up in hospital. I speak as a chemist and chemistry lecturer.

got away lightly there then! Good job we didn't try anything else it seems!
 

lopaka

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Personally I was more of a devotee of Abbie Hoffman's Steal This Book , which covers some of the same ground, but much more humorously and today is a wonderful time-capsule of American hippie life circa 1968-69.

(Needless to say, by the time I was reading it, early 80's-ish, much of the information was already outdated.)
 

Tribble

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William Powell, writer of the Anarchist's Cookbook, died last year (11th July, heart attack, aged 66).

He chose a career as a teacher, not a revolutionary, specializing in working on behalf of children with special needs.

And then, on July 11 of last year, he died of a heart attack while vacationing with his family near Halifax, Nova Scotia. He was 66 and had lived part-time in Massat, France, when he was not working with his wife, Ochan Powell, on educational projects in other countries.

His family reported the death on Facebook, but few if any obituaries followed. His son Sean said that the people who needed to know had been told, and that the family had not thought of reaching out to newspapers.

It was not until last week that his death became more widely known, with the theatrical release of “American Anarchist,” a documentary about Mr. Powell. His death was noted in the closing credits.


https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/29/arts/william-powell-anarchist-cookbook-writer-dies.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/23/movies/american-anarchist-review.html?_r=0
 

TheRiddler

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I once got sent a copy (in electronic form) by a friend while I was still in High School (and so didn't have the internet at the time). I don't have it anymore, before anyone asks :D It didn't really seem like something written by the CIA, it's more general teenage prank stuff, much of which I've heard of people doing without the assistance of instructions, such as attempting to make things explode by mixing household chemicals. It also had a "Get back at your headmaster"-type bit, which really just involved using plant poison to write large offensive messages on school grass, and "Break the floppy disk drive of someone you don't like" which involved taking a floppy disk, many many matches and too much free time. It did get into the weirder areas a bit with claims of making drugs out of bananas and chemicals you'd need to buy specially, but generally I always felt it was just a bit of nonsense ;)

But the friend who had it was into that sort of thing. He also liked looking at how computer viruses worked, although he never wrote one (didn't have the required skills, I don't think).

Yeah Exactly the same for me. I remember being sent a copy when I was in grade 8, it was a PDF over a flashdrive and I agree, It really wasnt anything done by anyone but pranksters. I remember making a few concoctions from the book and they went off well. Shall I say, with a bang?
 

Ringo

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I remember the name Jolly Roger Cookbook from school but for some reason I always thought it was a play on words based around the roving investigative reporter Roger Cook. His TV show, The Cook Report, was always about people getting up to no-good and I so presumed that it had been named with a nod and wink to mischief.

I never read it. Just as well really. I had a few months in my early teens when I was experimenting with turpentine, matches and metal toy cars. We'd fill the cars with turpentine, roll them along the garage floor and set fire to the trail. We hoped for a trail of flame racing after the cars just like the aeroplane scene from Die Hard 2 but alas it wasn't to be.
 
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