Banned Books discussion

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message 1: by Wes, Grand Poobah, Ministry of Controversial Materials (new)

Wes (pricerightbooks) | 33 comments Mod
I purchased a book on amazon the other day called THE ANARCHIST COOKBOOK.
I read the book in about 2 or so hours because it is kinda short but it is a recipe book for drugs and anarchist distruction.
On the back of the book it states that
Warning this book is illegal to own.


Trevor Well, that is a good piece of marketing.

Wikipedia says about the Anarchist's Cookbook:


Legality
In October 2007, a BBC news report alleged that a 17-year-old boy, charged with two counts of terrorism-related offenses, possessed a copy of the book.[5]

Later that month, PhillyNews reported a similar case in the Plymouth Whitemarsh school district in which a teenager planning a "Columbine-esque" school shooting was arrested and after a search warrant was executed was found to have a copy of the book along with numerous air powered weapons, black powder grenades, a 9mm rifle, a hand-painted Nazi flag, and a video related to the Columbine massacre.


I assume you are not too concerned about the legality of owning this book or you would probably not be announcing the fact on a public forum like this...



Lisa | 23 comments How illegal could it be if you bought it on Amazon?


message 4: by Wes, Grand Poobah, Ministry of Controversial Materials (new)

Wes (pricerightbooks) | 33 comments Mod
That is what I am saying this book has been out of print since like 1976 and somehow Amazon.com "not" one of the used dealers got their hands on sealed copies.

I purchased one isbn# 0974458902
reprinted in 2003
On the back it does print that this book is illegal to own. lol


Lindsey Weise | 2 comments I read up on this book a little while ago. As far as I recall, this book is not illegal in the United States - we even had a copy in our public school library when I was in middle school - but I think it has been made illegal in the UK. As for its contents, it's been widely recognized as false information. The author has denounced his own book as garbage he made up to "shock the system." There are several versions floating around the internet claiming to be the real deal, but as far as my research went they were all pretty much the same crap as before. If you really find yourself wanting to know how to make crazy things, just take a Chemistry class. You'll learn the facts and you probably won't accidentally lose a limb.


Chris M. | 1 comments The only books that would be illegal to own in the US would contain images of child pornography. Possession of a book is not illegal unless one does something illegal with the knowledge gained.


Mariah | 1 comments haha we have a copy of that book.....


Sean Broderick | 4 comments I read a copy of the cookbook, well, a cookbook. It did have actual recipes for meth among other things.
It also had a section for hacking and such. Basic stuff, but feature simple ways to attack a BIOS from within a DOS-based C program.
It had some other things. I believe it was the first place I heard of how to make TNT from animal fat and such (like in Fight Club).
I doubt it is illegal. Although to put any of that stuff into practice would be illegal.


Jonathan (icy40oz) Although this book has some ideas and recipes that work, some of it is just plain bunk, such as the ability to smoke bananas. In fact here's a little blurb about the so-called "bananadine" for anyone interested.

http://www.avclub.com/content/feature...

The point is, don't believe everything that you read, banned or otherwise.


Travis | 4 comments the book is passe. i read it in 10th grade. it has nothing to do with anarchism or DIY culture-- it's just a list of semi-accurate options for getting yourself locked down for misplaced boredom's sake. its value is that it looks all badass and controversial to other high school kids when propped against Sex Pistols record stacks.


Justin Hampton (impboy) | 1 comments In terms of information given, I can only think of two books in particular - aside from some US Government titles that have been pulled because of info in them they don't want Thee Terrorists to read - that have been kept out of the public's hands intentionally:

-The Encyclopedia of Jihad: a massive 11-volume collection ostensibly cobbled together by Al-Qaeda in part by CIA manuals left over from the Afghani war in the '80s. This will teach you how to deliver babies, drive tanks, make bombs out of candy bar wrappers, you name it.

http://multimedia.belointeractive.com...

-The Paper Doctor: A Vibrational Medicine Cabinet by Don Gerrard: This book is a prime example of radionic healing, meaning that this deals with technology that depends on one's subjectivity to complete the circuit. In this case, the author declared that the images and instructions within the book itself could be used to heal. As you can imagine, health professionals threw a hissy-fit, and ordered whatever copies that weren't sold destroyed. If you can find an original copy, expect to pay $200-$700, as this is highly sought after in the psychotronic community.


message 12: by Kelly Maybedog, Big Kahuna, Ministry of Illicit Reading (new)

Kelly Maybedog (Maybedog) | 602 comments Mod
Interesting, Impboy, thanks for sharing. Where did you hear about these books? I think it's great that books that have been banned still find the light of day somehow!


Ixan | 3 comments Chris wrote: "The only books that would be illegal to own in the US would contain images of child pornography. Possession of a book is not illegal unless one does something illegal with the knowledge gained."

Its also illegal to own The Protocols of the Elders, I think, probably because its a myth made up to engender anti-semitism.




message 14: by Kelly Maybedog, Big Kahuna, Ministry of Illicit Reading (new)

Kelly Maybedog (Maybedog) | 602 comments Mod
Books encouraging bigotry make me mad. I do wish they wouldn't be published but I would never dream of banning them or preventing their authors from excercising their rights to free speech. I just won't have anything to do with them.


Simon Jester (SimonJester) | 3 comments Many books should be illegal to own. Books that advocate libertarinism or anarchy or how to make atomic bombs should all be illegal to own.


message 16: by Kelly Maybedog, Big Kahuna, Ministry of Illicit Reading (last edited Dec 03, 2009 11:49PM) (new)

Kelly Maybedog (Maybedog) | 602 comments Mod
While politically I agree with your values, Simon, this group does not advocate the banning of any book. I believe that banning books only makes them more appealing and doesn't help the situation. Interesting that you are against Libertarianism when you gave 5 stars to the Moon is a Harsh Mistress, practically a Libertarian manifesto.


Julia | 60 comments Simon,

Should nuclear physicists not be able to publish their research or their textbooks?

Ixan,

The Protocals of the Learned Elders of Zion is not illegal to own in the US. (It may be illegal in Germany.)
Also, Will Eisner did a graphic novel based on it. Here are two paragraphs from the review here, on Goodreads from Amazon.
April 6, 2000
As some readers may be aware, a hoax e-mail has been circulating widely that falsely claims Amazon.com has favorably reviewed this book. This allegation is, of course, absolutely untrue. Nevertheless, this rumor has become so widespread on the Internet that it's already a recognized "urban legend," just like alligators living in the sewers. Amazon.com obviously does not endorse The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. This book is one of the most infamous, and tragically influential, examples of racist propaganda ever written. It may be useful to some as a tool in the teaching of the history of anti-Semitism, but it's unquestionably propaganda.

Does Amazon.com sell this book? Of course we do, along with millions of other titles. The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion is classified under "controversial knowledge" in our store, along with books about UFOs, demonic possession, and all manner of conspiracy theories. You can also find books in other sections of Amazon.com's online bookstore that analyze The Protocols' fraudulent origins and its tragic historical role in promoting anti-Semitism and Jewish persecution, including A Lie and a Libel: The History of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Should Amazon.com sell The Protocols and other controversial works? As a bookseller, Amazon.com strongly believes that providing open access to written speech, no matter how hateful or ugly, is one of the most important things we do. It's a service that the United States Constitution protects, and one that follows a long tradition of booksellers serving as guardians of free expression in our society.
The Protocols of the Learned Elders of ZionThe Plot The Secret Story of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion


message 18: by Kelly Maybedog, Big Kahuna, Ministry of Illicit Reading (new)

Kelly Maybedog (Maybedog) | 602 comments Mod
Wow, Julia, thanks for that. Amazon sometimes does stuff that makes me mad but that is really cool.


Elijah | 1 comments HI. I just recently came across the group while searching for a list of banned books. Another book illegal to own is "Behold a Pale Horse". The book was written by an ex-Marine and is about all of the governments conspiracies such as 9-11, the JFK assassination and many others. Shockingly enough, the book was son taken of shelves and deemed illegal and the ex-marine was killed. The report claimed he was killed in a firefight with the C.I.A when he supposedly "drew a gun on them".


Adam Burton (subliminalad) | 2 comments Er, don't mean to be contrary, Elijah, but BaPH can easily be purchased through Amazon or Barnes and Noble. It's a bit difficult to accept the label of "illegal to own" for a title so readily available.


Pauline (Astrophysics) | 1 comments It's hardly as controversial as it would have been, say, 10 years ago before search engines and everything. The hacking methods in the book are long outdated and all of the "recipes" it has are all available somewhere on the internet. XP


message 22: by Kelly Maybedog, Big Kahuna, Ministry of Illicit Reading (new)

Kelly Maybedog (Maybedog) | 602 comments Mod
I'm always leary of books about conspiracies that claim they are illegal to own as that fits right into the whole conspiracy thing, kind of a "this book is all about the horrible things xxx has done but xxx won't let you read it!"


Zee (shimizusan) | 14 comments Wow. What a convo! A whole new level of banned books - illegal ones at that. Carry on people. :)


Kristopher | 7 comments I'm not aware of *any* books that are illegal to own in the US, with the exception of child pornography. Thank goodness for the 1st amendment! Our friends in other countries, however, might have problems…


Gundula | 373 comments Kristopher wrote: "I'm not aware of *any* books that are illegal to own in the US, with the exception of child pornography. Thank goodness for the 1st amendment! Our friends in other countries, however, might have p..."

I generally do not think that public marketplaces like Amazon would be allowed to sell any books that are actually "illegal" to own. However, I would likely be careful about buying certain types of books, like books about terrorism, bomb-making etc., for example, on Amazon and other online bookshops, as I would not want authorities to become aware and suspicious of my reading tastes and interests. Big Brother is often watching.


Gundula | 373 comments Jesus wrote: "@Gundula: just by being a member of such a group, we are already drawing attention to ourselves. I have friends who surf the Internet and consider themselves safe from scrutiny because they don't u..."

Danke, einen schönen Gruß zurück, ich war schon so lange nicht mehr in Deutschland. I personally don't care that much, either. And, I have such eclectic reading tastes that authorities would be hard pressed to figure out my politics etc. But, one thing that did happen to me last year, I found kind of strange. My boyfriend was taking a college course on terrorism and I got him a few books from Amazon because the texts used in class were not in-depth enough. Well, when I got the books, they had obviously been opened and checked out, the first time that had ever happened to me with an Amazon order. Also, I refuse to stay silent. If I see a problem (especially a problem with racism, with dictatorship), I point it out. I think that as a person of German origin, that is one of my duties.


Gundula | 373 comments Jesus wrote: "How stupid can you get? If they want to check out what you're reading, all they have to do is check the invoice, then go online to find out more about your reading materials. Opening your package w..."

It was really silly, but it did give me a bit of a shock. Also, you should see the amount of different books I have read throughout my life, left-wing, center, conspiracy etc. And, sometimes I will read a book that I know I am going to hate in order to educate myself, in order to be able to provide a legitimate criticism. But, I guess some of the authorities will automatically see a potentially controversial book and have the alarm bells going off (this might really, in the long run, put a damper on academic research, analysis and criticism, not a pleasant thought).


Irene Hollimon | 20 comments You know I care on a theoretical level. The idea of books that are banned or even worse illegal to really makes me mad.
My first reaction is - I'm going to go buy that book...
My second reaction is - I am so not interested in bomb making, child pornography or whatever is the hot topic this week that I can't see wasting my money...


Mel | 4 comments This isn't exactly about an illegal book so much as it's a book recommendation on the topic. If you are familiar with manga there's a book called Library Wars by Kiiro Yumi. Which is kind of like a sci-fi near future sort of thing. (In the near future, the federal government creates a committee to rid society of books it deems unsuitable. The libraries vow to protect their collections, and with the help of local governments, form a military group to defend themselves- the Library forces!). Awsome book! (which would technically be banned at the middle school i went to because they didn't allow any manga).


Irene Hollimon | 20 comments hmmm I must be behind on the times. I can't see what might be wrong with manga. From what I can see, in my day, they called them comic books. My niece loves manga. I think it's been a great thing for her. It's given her an interest in Japanese culture. When I was her age, I didn't give a hoot about Japan. I think she's quite a bit more mature than I was at her age. She belongs to a manga club. It seems like a pretty cool social outlet to me...


Gundula | 373 comments Irene wrote: "hmmm I must be behind on the times. I can't see what might be wrong with manga. From what I can see, in my day, they called them comic books. My niece loves manga. I think it's been a great thing f..."

So if your school does not allow any manga, and you brought a book from home, would they be able to suspend you? I hope not, pretty silly to ban a whole genre, how absolutely shortsighted.


Irene Hollimon | 20 comments So, why is manga banned? Like I said earlier, it doesn't seem to be having any negative affect on my niece.
I'm more afraid of the inevitable drug and sex temptations that are out there than of some books she could be reading.


Gundula | 373 comments Irene wrote: "So, why is manga banned? Like I said earlier, it doesn't seem to be having any negative affect on my niece.
I'm more afraid of the inevitable drug and sex temptations that are out there than of..."


It doesn't make much sense, does it?


Christine (ckspores) | 23 comments When I was in college I was desperately seeking a copy of "The Turner Diaries" to use as a resource for my senior thesis (I was a military history major and was writing my paper on terrorism).

I was told by multiple bookstores that not only could they not order it but if they could/did that they would report me to the police. While my school's library didn't own it they refused to allow me to interlibrary loan it from another school that did.

I eventually had to purchase the book online, which I wasn't a huge fan of doing (for whatever reason ordering that book online gave me the creeps).

Now, I don't in any way agree with the opinions expressed in the book. But, I also feel that, especially my school's librarian, should've recognized that I had every right to read it-even if I had been reading it for pleasure and not research. The bookstore was just ridiculous in their threat to the call the cops but I always felt betrayed by the head librarian that censored me because she didn't like the information.

Really, I didn't like the book either but I still needed to read it and wouldn't deny someone that right despite what I think about their personal politics.

All that for a book that isn't illegal.


Gundula | 373 comments Christine wrote: "When I was in college I was desperately seeking a copy of "The Turner Diaries" to use as a resource for my senior thesis (I was a military history major and was writing my paper on terrorism).

I w..."


The fact that your university library refused to allow you to interlibrary loan "The Turner Diaries" is not only disgusting, but undemocratic and an affront to academic research. In fact, for academic research, all books (with no exception) should be allowed to be obtained through interlibrary loan. What your university library did stifled your research and should basically be seen as Fascist and dictatorial. I was also wondering wether you had involved your dissertation supervisor and if he/she had received the same response.


message 36: by Gundula (last edited Sep 02, 2010 02:55PM) (new)

Gundula | 373 comments Simon wrote: "Many books should be illegal to own. Books that advocate libertarinism or anarchy or how to make atomic bombs should all be illegal to own."

That is a frightening and undemocratic attitude, wow. I don't agree with some books either, but people who think that certain types of books should be illegal to own are similar to the Nazis and other dictatorships.


Christine (ckspores) | 23 comments Gundula-it was ridiculous. In the end it made it all the way up to the dean of my college but by then I had already purchased a copy of the book and handed in my paper.

I do know, though, that the head librarian that refused me "retired" after that year. I never found out for sure but I suspect that the school administration agreed with me and told her to either take early retirement or they would fire her.


Gundula | 373 comments Christine wrote: "Gundula-it was ridiculous. In the end it made it all the way up to the dean of my college but by then I had already purchased a copy of the book and handed in my paper.

I do know, though, that th..."


Well, I am glad that your college actually took a stance, but, of course, the wheels of justice often turn too slowly, and you had to get the paper in on time as well.

I am glad that there were at least some consequences for the librarian as well, but I bet that she was likely allowed to "retire" with a clean record of employment. It would have been better had she received some form of official reprimand, because I doubt that being allowed to "retire" means that she learned a lesson; she probably thinks she was right all along. I also think that the dean should have forced the librarian to publicly apologise to you, that would have also been a good punishment and would certainly have shown this so-called librarian that she was/is really off base.


Kristopher | 7 comments Why in the world would a bookstore threaten to call the police if you ordered a copy of "The Turner Diaries"? I've looked through the book, and while I definitely don't agree with the authors viewpoints, especially about ahem, "racial relations" I don't recall anything in the book that would neccesitate a call to the police, or that would be actionable by the police if they *had* been called. I find "The Turner Diaries" to be in no way threatening. It goes along with Unintended Consequences...far from being everyone's cup of tea, but a well-written book nonetheless. The solution for people who have problems with books like these? Don't read them/sell them and mind your own business.

Kristopher


Julia | 60 comments Christine should have been allowed to read and access The Turner Diaries through at least inner-library loan.

But here's some of what Wikipedia has on the book:
The Turner Diaries depicts a violent revolution in the United States which leads to the overthrow of the United States federal government, nuclear war, and, ultimately, to a race war leading to the extermination of all Jews and non-whites.[2] The book was called "explicitly racist and anti-Semitic" by The New York Times and has been labeled the "bible of the racist right" by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.[3][4]

The novel has been associated with a number of real-life violent crimes. Most notably, some have suggested that a scene depicting preparation for the bombing of the J. Edgar Hoover Building, the FBI national headquarters, served as the inspiration for the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 by Timothy McVeigh, who had promoted the book.


Impact
According to the Anti Defamation League, it is "probably the most widely read book among far-right extremists; many have cited it as the inspiration behind their terrorist organizing and activity."[8] The Simon Wiesenthal Center calls it a "hate" book.[9]

The novel was initially only available through mail order and at gun shows, and partially serialized in National Alliance publications. As of 2000 it was reported to have sold about 500,000 copies.[1][10]

[edit] Crimes associated with the book
The Order, an early 1980s white supremacist group involved in murder, robberies and counterfeiting, was named after the group in the book and motivated by the book's scenarios for a race war. The group committed one of the biggest highway robberies of all time, then murdered radio host Alan Berg and engaged in other acts of violence in order to hasten the race war described in the book.[11]
John William King was convicted of dragging James Byrd, an African-American, to his death in Jasper, Texas in 1998. As King shackled Byrd's legs to the back of his truck he was reported to have said, "We're going to start The Turner Diaries early."[12]
During the course of a federal trial relating to charges of conspiracy to violate civil rights and assault under color of law of Frank Jude, Jr. in 2004 by several off-duty police officers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a copy of The Turner Diaries was found during a search of the home of one of the officers charged and later convicted.[13]
A copy of The Turner Diaries was found (amidst other Neo-Nazi propaganda) in the home of Jacob D. Robida, who attacked a man at a gay bar and then committed suicide in 2006.[14]



Gundula | 373 comments Julia wrote: "Christine should have been allowed to read and access The Turner Diaries through at least inner-library loan.

But here's some of what Wikipedia has on the book:
The Turner Diaries depicts a vio..."


Ughh, obviously quite a hate book, and more than just "not my cup of tea." However, Christine still should have been able to get the book through interlibrary loan, since she was using it for academic research.


Julia | 60 comments OTOH, I understand the librarian's position, a little. It's disturbing research. (I'm glad you did it and not me, Christine.) If she wanted to research why you wanted to do the research, that I think I'd understand, based on the book and it's history and the way it's been used. She overreacted. But Christine, having read the book and knowing how it's used, wouldn't you understand being questioned on it?


Julie S. Christine, I could see that being questioned. However, if you were willing to explain the situation and the librarian still refused, that's just plain rude.

I know that it is too late now, but I wonder if it would have helped if you had gotten a note from your professor saying that this book was for your research paper.


message 44: by Gundula (last edited Sep 12, 2010 06:05PM) (new)

Gundula | 373 comments Julia wrote: "OTOH, I understand the librarian's position, a little. It's disturbing research. (I'm glad you did it and not me, Christine.) If she wanted to research why you wanted to do the research, that I thi..."

I can sort of understand the reaction of the booksellers (even though their threats to call the police were a bit extreme). But, I simply cannot understand or accept the university librarian's position. When doing academic research one often has to read distasteful, controversial, even potentially inflammatory material, and if you are a librarian at a university or college, you should know that (otherwise you should not be working there). Also, if the librarian felt offended and had doubts, why did she not contact Christine's academic supervisor? Some diplomacy, and some inter-departmental communication would likely have avoided this fiasco. I also want to point out that the fact that Christine had to finally purchase the book online makes this even worse, as now there is likely an online record of her having purchased "The Turner Diaries."


Christine (ckspores) | 23 comments I have been asked, as a librarian now myself, for controversial and inflammatory materials before (even the turner diaries)and unless the police come to me with a warrant for information regarding the person that is using the material I don't question it. Truly, it isn't my job to decide or determine who can or can't read something or attempt to gain information as to why they want to read it.

It does not only apply to academic research. I've had a number of people ask for hateful or inflammatory materials and then feel the need to explain to me why they want it (which, in a public library is mostly curiosity) and I always tell them, diplomatically of course, that I don't really care why they want it. They have the right to read the book just the same as anyone else does regardless of their plans for disseminating it.

Bookstores are one thing because as a for profit entity they have the right to behave as they please (even though I do agree in my case that they were overreacting) but to deny a library user the right to materials because of personal belief I find to be shameful and beyond judgmental and unfair.


J.C. (CaptKidd) | 4 comments I remember one of my freinds in high school downloaded a digital copy of that book. within a year he'd be in trouble for faking a bomb scare.


Gundula | 373 comments Jason wrote: "I remember one of my freinds in high school downloaded a digital copy of that book. within a year he'd be in trouble for faking a bomb scare."

Alright, when Goethe wrote The Sorrows of Young Werther, there was supposedly a rash of suicides, young men killing themselves wearing the same costume as Werther. My attitude is that the book did not cause them to commit suicide (they had suicidal thoughts already, I read the book, I liked the book, but Werther drove me crazy as a character, he was just annoying). Jason, your high school friend had problems before he downloaded this book. I don't think that I would ever want to read the Turner Diaries, but censoring them is not the answer. Also, if we generally say that we are against censorship, but then decide that certain books do need to be universally censored, does that not make us rather hypocritical? And, the more a controversial book is censored, the more appealing it becomes, censorship often makes controversial and offensive books more popular than they would ever have become if they had not received all of this attention.


J.C. (CaptKidd) | 4 comments indeed, he did have problems before that. In fact the first time I saw him he had recently shaved his eyebrows. Also, I was mostly replying to the first post to the thread about the Anarchist Cookbook.

I don't agree with censoring books either. I remember as a kid whenever I came across something that was censored, be it television, magazine or otherwise, I would either know exactly what the word was anyway or think about it until I did.


Petra M-m-mandala (PetraX) I don't see why the Turner Diaries should cause problems when the many, many books of Texe Marrs who is a professor and author of many racist, anti-semitic, conspiracy theorist books are sold everywhere freely.

As far as I know the only book in the UK that might be illegal to own is the Protocols of the Elders and that only because a certain number of people who come across it do not realise (or perhaps accept) is it a fake and if it is take as fact, then it becomes quite dangerous.

I have several books in my bookshop with 'illegal to own' on the back. Notably drug-smuggling ones written by professionals in the field (who got caught and had nothing better to do in prison than write the books). They sell quite well to the same group of people who buy the Cannabis Bible - young lawyers!


message 50: by Gundula (last edited Sep 22, 2010 02:06PM) (new)

Gundula | 373 comments Jason wrote: "indeed, he did have problems before that. In fact the first time I saw him he had recently shaved his eyebrows. Also, I was mostly replying to the first post to the thread about the Anarchist Cookb..."

Yeah, like the times when curse words etc. are bleeped out of movies etc. Not only do most children know these words (and could care less about these words, they will not harm them), but bleeping them out makes the words even more attractive. As you have stated, we would simply figure out what they mean if we did not know already. And, even at my age, it boggles my mind that scenes of graphic violence are somehow often acceptable, while coarse language or sexuality (even healthy sexuality) is often not acceptable in movies and will make the movie get a restricted rating (and this happens with books as well, it does seem that more individuals challenge books due to supposed sexual content or coarse language).


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