FBI releases files on controversial booksellers Paladin and Loompanics

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33 Responses to “FBI releases files on controversial booksellers Paladin and Loompanics”

  1. erg79 says:

    The Loompanics catalog was always entertaining reading, just for the titles alone. One of my favorites was “Where There Is No Dentist,” which turned out to be a very noble book about providing proper oral care in remote areas.

    • ocschwar says:

      The Hitch Hiker’s Handbook is another Loompanics classic. Not a handbook for the sociopath, like certain other titles, but an excellent guide for anyone who for whatever reason becomes shit-poor.

  2. Dave Faris says:

    I miss Loompanics.

  3. Crubellier says:

    ISTRT Paladin used to offer the catchily-titled How To Kill Volumes 1-6, which was packed with suggestions ranging from the ultra-stealthy (injections via the navel are difficult to spot) to the deeply non-fuck-giving (if it doesn’t matter that it’s clear your target has been murdered, hitting them in the face with a primed bear trap is astonishingly effective).

  4. lysdexia says:

    Two of my favorite titles were: “Home Workshop Explosives” and “Operating Clandestine Drug Labs”, both by (iirc) “Uncle Fester”. I personally never tried anything within those books, but dang, they sure did start some conversations.

  5. Neon Tooth says:

    Too busy harassing lefties.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I liked ‘Expedient Homemade Firearms: the 9mm Submachine Gun’ by P.A. Luty, and of course John Hoffman’s ‘Art and Science of Dumpster Diving.’

  7. Brainspore says:

    Least inflammatory exposé of an FBI investigation I’ve seen in a long time. Almost as if it’s part of a coverup!! When will they declassify the files on the declassification of these files???

  8. Anonymous says:

    Wow, if I’d known that The Man showed so little interest I’d have bought fewer Loompanics books. I really thought I was sticking it to ‘em back then.

    Man, I miss Loompanics.

  9. HighKeeba says:

    I miss Loompanics as well. My first copies of the Principia Discordia and many of Robert Anton Wilson’s books were ordered from there.

  10. Jack says:

    Small typo:
    “In the early 1970s, the FBI looked into of how Paladon got hold of various government documents. A la “Wow, we declassified that? Huh.”

    Will be reporting that to the FBI.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I’m surprised this case wasn’t mentioned in re. Paladin Press:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hit_Man:_A_Technical_Manual_for_Independent_Contractors

  12. TimDrew says:

    From Paladin press: the “CIA Field-Expedient Guide to Explosives” (two thin volumes) was a particular favorite. And yes, some recipes did actually produce results. Fun times…

  13. Anonymous says:

    In the 1980s, police in Germany make an inquiry about the origins of Loompanics materials owned by locals who, “with the help of these materials … have been attempting to create dissention.”

    As we all know, back in the 80s there were two Germanys. Going back to the source, this was the West German police. At first that surprised me. But it turns out that the quote in the post omits a key fact — the people the potential West Germans criminals were trying to rile up were “US military forces members stationed in West Berlin.” Allegedly they were also trying to get more US GI’s hooked on “illegal narcotics.”

    Ah, the good old days of the Cold War.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Of course the sanity of the FBI did’t prevent Paladin from being sued in civil court.

  15. Geoduck says:

    I’m another old Loompanics buyer. As noted, just reading their catalog was a hoot.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Anon – I too am surprised…that was an incredible case. Folks, look it up if you don’t remember.

  17. swestcott says:

    wow Paladin press has many good books on Western martial arts mainly long sword good stuff

    • Anonymous says:

      Be wary, Paladin’s books on sword arts range from quite good to quite awful hitting every point in the range.

  18. dwdyer says:

    I miss Loompanics. They had the kind of stuff Paladin had, but a much wider variety. I also think my first Principia Discordia came from there.

  19. PeaceLove says:

    Ah, memories. The Loompanics and Paladin Press catalogs (and later, the vast, all-encompassing Amok Press catalog) were an amazing source of forbidden ideas. I still remember laughing at the How to Kill series, plus, my favorite, How to Rip Off a Drug Dealer for Fun and Profit. They definitely hinted at a darker, more outlaw existence — and provided sourcebooks for those who sought it.

    On the other hand, I remember reading an article somewhere about a middle-aged housewife who wrote several of the assassination guides, drawing on her imagination and old episodes of TV cop shows…

    How far we’ve come in the ‘Net age.

    • ck says:

      The funny part is “How to Kill” that everyone thinks is so absurd is based on real assassinations carried out in Vietnam. The guy who wrote it was a real CIA office and served carryout

  20. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the kind words about my little hitchhiking book, ocschwar.

    James MacLaren.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Pre-9/11 (or, more specifically, pre-patriot act) America was just the best.

    I hope we remember what it’s like to be sane once more.

    God bless the first amendment, god bless America.

    • Brainspore says:

      Pre-9/11 (or, more specifically, pre-patriot act) America was just the best.

      Let’s not get too nostalgic here. This was the same FBI that was behind the siege at Waco and kept tabs on Martin Luther King Jr.’s sex life, after all.

  22. RHK says:

    Wow, our government acting in a sane and reasonable fashion. What a concept.

  23. efergus3 says:

    These folks are still around: http://www.deltapress.com/ And you can get most military manuals through Amazon.

    • ck says:

      Though Delta press doesn’t carry anything I would regard as sensitive even in the post 9/11 world.

      You can find loom panics and paladin’s press entire library on bittorrent

  24. Anonymous says:

    yup, the real shock here is these revelations are NOT scandalous. Amazing actually.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps “Sydney, Australia” would be more appropriate

  26. ScottTFrazer says:

    Indeed, it’s good to hear stories of law enforcement actually doing their job professionally and well for a change :-)

  27. ck says:

    The reason the FBI had little on the book publisher is the owner of booth publishers were CIA spooks. Do a bit of google digging and you’ll find out. The person who published “50 ways to kill” that everyone thought was really far fetched was just publishing techniques he used in Vietnam when he was running assassinations for the Central Intelligence Agency.

    I own about 30 of Paladin’s books and a bunch of loom panics as paperbacks that I bought, though if you want these days you can find a torrent with about 300 of them.

    Most of the books published by these to hauses were given to Law Enforcement Agencies or written with a clandestine service in mind. Many of the books (at first) were refused to be sold unless you knew the owner or were LEO.

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