Loompanics: A Trip Down Memory Lane


by Sean Gabb

In October 1988, Chris Tame gave me a copy of a book called Principia Discordia by Robert Anton Wilson. I thought it was a mass of nonsense, but the last printed page was an advertisement for the publisher’s main catalogue. All I had to do was post $US5. Curious, I sent off the money.

Six weeks later, a copy of the main Loompanics catalogue came through the door. I never did buy books with titles like How to be a Freelance Hitman, Grow Your Own Opium Poppies, Everything is a Lie, Tax Evasion for Fun and Profit, etc, etc. But the full descriptions of the books, plus the long essays carried in the catalogue, were enough.

According to the Introduction to the catalogue,

We know where we belong: we are the lunatic fringe of the libertarian movement. Because we do not believe in laws, rules or regulations. We have contempt for censorship, secrecy and dogmatism. We don’t give a damn about being “respectable,” or Politically Correct. We don’t care about anything except having fun and your right to find out anything you want to know. Nothing is sacred to us, not even skepticism and self-reliance.

Until I opened this catalogue, I’d thought I was a radical libertarian. Loompanics introduced me to a loose body of ideas wilder and more radical than anything I’d considered possible. It was as if I’d spent my life so far in a cinema, watching second features. Now, without warning, the curtains had opened fully, and the wide screen was revealed. I could see a world of unlimited possibilities – many of them wicked, but always presented with a scathing contempt for those who tax and rule us. I was also alerted to something like the full immorality of our rulers.

As said, I didn’t buy any of the naughty books I saw described. But I showed the catalogue to Chris. By the time I was able to grab it back from him, he must have bought an eighth of everything on offer. We’d sit for hours, giggling over their more witty or shocking contents. Or we’d read the descriptions of books even he hadn’t dared import, rocking back and forth every time we came to the solemn disclaimer: “Sold for informational purposes only.” It was as if we had become little boys again, whispering rude words at each other and laughing at our boldness. Every so often, though, there was something striking and true.

Now Chris is dead, these books are all in a university library in Prague, where I hope they will turn a few heads in Central Europe.

Loompanics went broke in 2005. Long before then, Chris and I had so gorged ourselves on the more outre offerings of the Internet, that the catalogue itself had become almost respectable. But I’ve just found a complete copy of the 2003 catalogue, and it brings tears of nostalgia to my eyes. It really was “the best book catalog in the world.” Get it here. Otherwise, try this as a sample of its contents and its manner of description:

THE HUMANURE HANDBOOK
A Guide to Composting Human Manure
by J.C. Jenkins

This fascinating and practical book is about gardening, composting, sustainability, waste reduction, resource recovery, public sanitation, and sewage treatment. I.t is an uncommon work that takes on the controversial topic of safely recycling human manure for agricultural purposes, doing so with boldness and humor. It focuses on composting urine and fecal material at the single family level and using the compost for gardening purposes, contending that all organic material is resource material. It covers the issue of recycling human excrement from historical, philosophical, and scientific perspectives. It explains how human excrement can be rendered hygienically safe and returned to the soil without the need for expensive equipment, high costs, or professional expertise.

Chapters include: • Crap Happens • Microhusbandry • Deep Shit • A Day in the Life of a Turd • Composting Toilets and Systems • Worms and Disease • The Tao of Compost • And more.

This unique illustrated book is written by a composting practitioner, providing hard to find information that is potentially important to any adult. It is essential reading for anyone who lives without electricity or running water either by choice, culture, or emergency situation. It is of interest to organic gardeners and farmers, survivalists, back-to-the-landers, recyclers, public health and sanitation people, and anyone who defecates.

1999, 7×9, 302 pp, illustrated, indexed, soft cover.

THE HUMANURE HANDBOOK: $19.00

I will close by quoting the only words in the catalogue that the Libertarian Alliance is able to endorse:

Certain of the books and papers in this catalog deal  with activities and devices which would be in violation of various Federal, State, and local laws if actually carried out or constructed. Loompanics Unlimited does not advocate the breaking of any law. Our books are sold for informational purposes only. We recommend that you contact your local law enforcement officials before undertaking any project based upon information in this catalog. We are not responsible for, nor do we assume any liability for, damages resulting from the use of information in this catalog.

All titles are sold for informational purposes only.

This catalog is for the use of adults only. Under no circumstances are children to view or possess it.

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6 responses to “Loompanics: A Trip Down Memory Lane

  1. Here is a review of the video Peter has given us:
    http://occupyilluminati.com/aliens-come-from-hell/
    Very Loompanicsy!
    I’m sorry for the length of this video, but I thought it was a very informative one and in watching it I finally learned some things about UFOs that I had never learned before. This is saying something because I haven’t learned anything new about them in years. These will be explained in the synopsis.
    The video is 140 minutes long. It does have some graphic content in the form of a recovered body.
    Synopsis:
    this is a video about UFOs. The primary claim is that UFOs are extradimensional beings that have been called Angels. They have shape shifting abilities, and these abilities have been caught on camera. It seems to be in four parts. They have a huge presence on the moon.
    PART ONE:
    Presents arguments that the UFOs are not actually spaceships from another solar system, that it is actually impossible for them to come here because there are gases that would explode when a technological based ship would fly through it, destroying the craft and the occupants in it, and that these explosions would be seen from earth. so because it’s impossible to travel through space because of these gases, the aliens are actually
    extradimensional beings.
    These beings have shape shifting abilities which have been caught on tape. You’ll see the actual videos of these beings in the documentary. Fallen angels are not able to maintain their shapes in the atmosphere because they don’t have the ability like the non fallen Angels do. They do have some shape shifting abilities, it’s just not very powerful.
    PART TWO
    Talks a bit about structures on the moon, but concentrates on this one building that the astronauts Buzz Aldrin went in to. It shows the film of the astronauts going into this huge building, which is ruins. It also talks about the Nazis having a base there.
    As for me, I had only seen one or two stills of this building, this film is several minutes long and he pauses it to show you certain features of it but shows several minutes of the film. I had never seen so much of this film myself, and it shows a computer model of the building.
    The reason the astronauts came to this building is because the Nazis used it as a base for a while.
    PART THREE
    One of the Apollo missions explored a huge ship on the moon and brought back a body of a human pilot with some of her crew. She has unusual tubes that connect her mouth to her eyes to the center of the forehead. These tubes are actually cybernetics which allowed her to pilot the craft. There was some sort of an explosion which exposed the pilot and some of the crew to the moon’s atmosphere and they froze to death. The tubes are removed, and they
    reveal the old style Mark Of Caine on her forehead, marking her as a Cainite, and that she was born with it. The mark is a serpentine figure in the middle of a cross. It mentions that some people are born with the mark while others tattoo it.
    She was covered in a blanket of highly advanced circuitry that nobody knows what was for. There were also some notes written in the language that humans used before the Tower Of Babel.
    As for me I was really fascinated to see that mark on her forehead. i don’t know if it’s real or not.If this is the real thing then it does show that some things in the Bible is true.To my knowledge this is the ONLY UFO video that actually shows the mark, at least to my knowledge. This also means that this body is before the flood.
    But, please watch the video before making any comments on this mark.
    PART FOUR
    Shows huge fields of gold on the moon, and that NASA tries to cover it up by causing static when they try to film the gold. When filmed with color you can see these fields of gold from orbit as they show up in yellow and glow.
    So please, enjoy the film.

  2. Here’s another one:

    THE DO-IT-YOURSELF GUNPOWDER COOKBOOK
    by Don McLean

    Do you want to know how to make your own gunpowder from such easily accessible items as dead cats, whiskey, your living room ceiling, manure, “Fool’s gold,” and maple syrup? And do you want to know how to do it with simple hand tools and techniques that have been used for centuries? Well, now you can with The Do-lt-Yourself Gunpowder Cookbook, a practical and safe approach to making the oldest propellant/explosive known to man.

    Gunpowder has many uses and is all but essential for long-term survival. This book covers everything from old government recipes for use by its espionage operatives to the author’s own tried-and-true methods using common tools and equipment.

    Don’t be a slave to available technology, because if it breaks down or otherwise becomes unavailable, only your stockpile of knowledge will get you through tough times. Sold for informational purposes onlyl

    1992, 5 14×8 1 A, 80 pp, Illustrated, soft cover.

    THE DO-IT-YOURSELF GUNPOWDER COOKBOOK: $12.00
    (ORDER NUMBER 25071)

  3. Gunpowder is very easy to make if you are patient, careful with the measurements and are careful about the right reactants beforehand and how to prepare everything and under what conditions. I can vouchsafe, from experiments done many years ago as a small child in the late 50s and early 60s, that it works well: specially the 1805 British-Admiralty mixture. As a modern explosive it is rather slow, having a fairly low detonation-velocity. But of course, if I told you all on here how it is done, then I would have to kill every reader of this blog.

  4. Loompanics is sorely missed. They were my introduction to writers like Claire Wolfe, B. Tea Party, Ragnar and the like. I probably have 30 or more of the titles they offered over the years. Their catalogues were worth reading themselves. While Paladin Press may come close, there’s nothing like Loompanics.

    • I agree. The arrival of that first catalogue really was an event in my life. Of course, everything in it can now be found with a few clicks of a mouse. Even so, the catalogues were like high explosive.