The Anarchist Cookbook FAQ

What is the Anarchist Cookbook?

The Original Anarchist Cookbook was a book published in 1971. You won’t find this original book online. There are various files available on the Internet that have the name “Anarchist Cookbook” and have somewhat similar content, bu-t they are not the original Anarchist Cookbook. There are also other files that do contain parts of the content from The Anarchist Cookbook, often mixed with other material.

What is the Anarchist Cookbook that I keep seeing on the internet?

Well, there are two versions of this answer, the short answer and the long answer. The short answer that you will see here and there is “the anarchist cookbook is rubbish, don’t trust it” and that’s about as much info as they can give you. The long answer, which I am going to give you will explain the source of this document, and how it came to be so famous.

The standard Anarchist Cookbook that you will see floating around the internet today started life as a small collection of ASCII text files. These small text files were written by young teenagers back in the mid to late 80s and early 90s, what I like to refer to as the “BBS era”. “The pirates hollow” and “the temple of the screaming electron” both spring to mind.

The Temple of the Screaming Electron was a bulletin board system, one of a network of many run by high school and college-age young boys and men. Taken as a whole, they cultivated an image of darkness in the wires, electronic places where the like-minded could hang out and thumb their noses at parents and elders bewildered by computing.

The Screaming Electron, like many similar to it, accumulated a huge pile of what were dubbed “anarchy files” — allegedly how-tos’ devoted to explaining how a variety of physical and electronic mayhems could be committed.

Part of the allure of such texts to teen denizens of the bulletin board underground was the whiff of danger they furnished. Although largely phony, they helped build an image that home computing had put great amplifying powers of the intellect into the hands of teenagers. They knew things, dangerous things, adults and parents didn’t! And this fed a conceit, often abetted by stories on hackers in glossy magazines and movies like “Wargames,” that the future was going to be decided on the wires coming out of suburban basements. The physical world no longer mattered, all the action was in cyberspace.

Huge stacks of anarchy files served as backdrop, things with titles like “How to Build an A-bomb”, “Gaining the Upper Hand in a Street Brawl”, “how to make nitro-glycerine” and other assorted how-tos’ on illegal and “underground” subjects.

During this time many “groups” were formed, each trying to release more files about more illegal and hardcore subjects than the other. Whether fact or fiction, it didn’t matter, almost all of the ideas posted in these anarchy files were never tested. Many instructions were copied out of books such as “The poor Mans James Bond” and the original “Anarchist Cookbook” with terrible spelling and mistakes in the instructions.

Many individuals and groups had the idea of compiling a bunch of these files into one big file. There were a huge number of compilations made, all as bad as each other. I’ve included many at the bottom of the page and what follows is a short summary:

BHU’s Cookbook (aka: Pyrotechnics Cookbook)
The Anarchist Cookbook
Jynx’s Journal
Xoos Cookbook
Vortex Cookbook

BHU’s Cookbook is apparently the first version of The Anarchist Cookbook ever to be released. Originally called “BHU’s Cookbook 1.0 – Pyrotechnics Cookbook” It was released at an unknown date, at an estimate around 1986. YES! 1986! that’s 20 years ago folks.

Soon followed “The Anarchist Cookbook – Jolly Roger Cookbook 1.0” A blatantly obvious rip of BHU’s Cookbook with some more rubbish added. Instead of each article having “BHU” as credit it now has “The Jolly Roger”

Next is version 2 and 3 and these remain the same apart from more rubbish having been added.

Some time before version 4.14 a version 666 is released. This version is where the cookbook growth ends. This version is credited to “The Jolly Roger”

1995. A person named “Exodus” releases version 4.14 which has some very minor changes but essentially is the same. Now “Exodus” Takes credit for it.

Verson V is exactly the same as version 4.14 except now the whole thing is supposedly written by someone named “RFLAGG”.

Now comes a very important development… Some entrepreneurs started selling the anarchist cookbook, implying that it was some great mystical anarchy manual and you will learn secret information that governments want banned! What a crock! Smoking peanut skins? Hacking phone systems made obsolete 18 years ago? Instructions on how to make nitro-glycerine that will sooner give you acid burns than enable you to yield a true product! I mean COME ON! Anyone that bought this crap deserved to meet the terrible consequences of following any of the instructions within the anarchist cookbook.

Then, the cookbook is a commercial product sold on thousands of e-bay auctions and a few ridiculous web merchants. It being updated is now a commercial requirement.

A version 2000 gets released by, low and behold, none other than the “jolly roger” again. gee wizz, looks like someone got themselves a hold of an old version and renamed it 2000?

Then comes 2002 and 2005 2006 etc etc each e-bayer and online crook trying to cash in on the human need to have the latest.

The reason this online compilation of inaccurate and downright stupid text files got to be so famous is that it shared the same name as a book that was, basically, a revolution in publishing. “How to destroy bridges” was nestled among other articles of anti establishment and rebellion. It caused a stir worldwide when it was released back in the 60s. The name “The Anarchist Cookbook” is still remembered by the generation who were around to see its release and all the controversy that went with it.

This fame was ripped off by all those young boys who created the online version, and then they ripped it off each other until the entrepreneurs got there hands on it and kept renaming it until the point where it is today and has always been:

A pointless, dangerously inaccurate, outdated, ripped off collection of text files written by young teenagers who had nothing worthwhile to do apart from sit on their computers and indulge in their own belief that they were someone powerful. Needless to say, they were a collection of geeks with few friends other than the people on the bbs’ who they rarely ever met. Trying to be someone important.

I’ve read rumors that the FBI and the CIA or the GOVERNMENT sabotaged the Anarchist Cookbook. This rumor is not true. This is a rumor about the actual book that you will not find on the internet. The actual book was not sabotaged either. The Anarchist Cookbook written by William Powell has remained the same ever since the release back in the 60’s.

There has been rumour that the Ultimate Anarchist Cookbook can not be found anywhere because the government banned it.

Ok, so The Anarchist Cookbook is rubbish. How do I make bombs?

Look, if you want to make bombs, you need more than some crappy unreliable manual you got off the internet, no mater what manual it may be. By saying “bombs” I’ll presume your talking about fire crackers or basically fireworks of some description. You need proper knowledge of the dangers and risks associated with building such devices. Of course building any type of device using more than about half an asprin of powder is illegal without the proper authorization.

Bear in mind, most of the people who are injured by explosives are injured because of what they do not know, not by what they do know. Simple fireworks injure more people than high explosives. Each year, more than 10,000 injuries are caused by the use of fireworks in the United States. Seventy percent of those injuries are in children and young adults between the ages of 5 and 24 years. Half of all injuries are incurred in the week of the Fourth of July.

http://nobombs.net/brucel/explosiveintro.html is a good site detailing the risks and the consequences of homemade explosive devices.

With all this said, boys will be boys and building firecrackers is somewhat of a rite of passage for many young men. There are many resources on the internet that can help with your search for good, sound, safe information. Talking to a reasonable adult about your desire to construct such a device is a good start. Look at it as a project both of you can complete together, rather than something you should hide.

The primary website realed to homemade pyrotechnics would have to be http://www.pyronfo.com/. This site has high quality original easy to follow instructions for the home enthusiast.

http://www.skylighter.com/ is an excellent site with many resources for the budding young scientist.

Your local library will be able to help you find books on pyrotechnics.

I can not stress enough – BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN DEALING WITH ONLINE LITERATURE! I have come across SO many instructions which are inherently dangerous. I can not stress this enough. Like I previously mentioned, almost all of the easily accessible instructions on bomb making have errors in them which could cost you dearly. Are your fingers, an arm, or even your life worth the risk?

What about the drugs then?

Drugs? What drugs? Ohh the banana peel and peanut skins? Sorry, that is simply not true. But dont take it from me. See what these others have to say:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bananadine

http://www.sniggle.net/banana.php

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/020426.html

If you want information on drugs then just look around.

This site details many recreational drugs.

Are there any good online documents worth reading like the Anarchist Cookbook?

Yes and No. If you are looking for a specific topic that The Anarchist Cookbook includes then you will find many sites dedicated to the individual subjects like:

Hacking
Explosives
Weapons
Drugs
Combat
Fraud, etc..

Well structured keywords on http://www.google.com/ will yield results.

As for a single document that deals with everything, I wouldn’t waste your time. These online books are rubbish – period.

So what does the anarchist cookbook have to do with anarchism?

Well, arguably not a hell of a lot. Anarchism is an extremely personal topic and one which I don’t dare to philosophize about. Some anarchists like to more closely align themselves with peace and freedom while some are all about active protest and causing mayhem.

There are many sites out there where you can learn more about anarchism without the anarchist cookbook:

Anarchy Archives: An online Research Centre on the History and Theory of Anarchism
http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/

Green Anarchy: an anti-civilization journal of theory and action.
http://www.greenanarchy.org/

Infoshop.org: Huge anarchist resource.
http://www.infoshop.org/

Anarchy for Anybody: Anarchism does not mean bloodshed; it does not mean robbery, arson, etc. These monstrosities are, on the contrary, the characteristic features of capitalism. Anarchism means peace and tranquillity to all.
http://a4a.mahost.org/

What is The Anarchist Cookbook good for then?

The Anarchist Cookbook or Anarchy Cookbook as it is sometimes referred to, makes for entertaining reading. There are some humorous articles in it and, although you’d be better spending your time reading a college chemistry textbook or at least something on the theory of explosives from the library it is entertaining reading for pure entertainment value.

Below are some more relevant links about the Anarchist Cookbook. Links to the actual Anarchist cookbook are near the bottom of the page:

This Faq covers the Anarchist cookbook very well. and describes the various flaws and other information about the book.

There is also a movie called the Anarchist Cookbook information which can be found here.

Wikipedia also has a good FAQ about the Anarchist Cookbook.

And finally, Infoshop.org has a book called the Anarchist Cookbook, which is a food cookbook in the works.

So, Where the hell is the Anarchist cookbook?

Its on the Free Download Page.

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