Bullshit making instructions

Writing an column for Crank Magazine some years ago, I announced my intention to describe how to make a bomb. Crank Magazine took out a newspaper ad in the local daily to publicize the upcoming issue , mentioning the forthcoming bomb recipe. As a result we received letters and legal threats warning us not to reveal bomb-making secrets to the public at large.

The point of my article was not just to dispel the impression that bomb making was easy, but to argue the importance of the public’s access to that information. Several publishers had been hounded for their efforts to keep THE ANARCHIST’S COOKBOOK in print. The instructions are relatively simple to understand, but to execute them is another matter.

My point was illustrated by last week’s fantasy bomb plot. British and American authorities scared us with descriptions of dark skinned operatives sneaking aboard transatlantic flights armed with bottles of liquid bomb ingredients. If enough of us were conversant in basic chemistry, we could debunk such sky-is-falling wolf-crying. The Register has sorted out what it would take to successfully make an explosive from liquids smuggled aboard by airline passengers.

Several American columnists have now alluded to the Register article, but without the customary hyperlink. Perhaps they are still fearing to call attention to explicit chemistry instruction. I think that’s still playing gatekeeper with knowledge. Let the poorly-educated American public, too hung-over in highschool to have gotten anything out of early morning chemistry lab, understand what is required to make a bomb in an airplane lavatory: a miracle.

Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
This entry was posted in Perspective and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Bullshit making instructions

  1. Avatar The 13th says:

    Wow – just found this blog!

    You know, Eric, that article on bomb smarts (the decision to write it and publish it) did indeed raise many eyebrows. I think I was working my brief stint for Bookman at the time it came out. I recall asking you at the time, per the article, and per choosing to sell “The Cookbook”, and true to this blog, you said same: information is empowerment, empowerment belongs to everyone.

    I’m not sure that I ever fully understood your full viewpoint on this, and of course many years have passed since. Yet I admit your own interest in this, or the provision of such info caused me to wonder what would happen if I ended up on your “shit list”. Further conversation on the subject was not really an option given the particulars of the subject, and my own feelings towards violence.

    Truth is I’ve carried the memory for years – and have discussed it often with others.

    Nice to see you are still honest about this – it truly helps reassure me somehow. Also it’s GREAT to see you following a peaceful trail, or at least -like all of us during wartimes -en route.

    Regards, and a better peace to the past and the future!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *