The Ishmael Guestbook Archives: 27 August - 13 September 1997

Well Bruce, so nice of you to drop in again.. No I am serious.. You almost have a comical wit about you, really you do..
Now.. First off, Ishmael is not about giving up your taker possesions and running off to the woods.. Not at all. If you think that, then its you who have Literacy problems, and may want to get some Reading comprehenison help..

We will not save anything by just going off to the woods, and walking away as you say..
You know what Bruce, Ishmael is not the definitive answer, right now there isn't one.. We are trying to figure all this out..
More and More I am thinking that maybe all we can hope for is a soft landing to the crash of the Taker Thunderbolt.. We might have to just form a community and have something ready that can replace this faulty craft(not "One way" ready, just have another vision, or ways of living that can replace this one.. People need to exchange this way for some other way(s)..)..

I am starting to think this the more and more I come across people like Bruce, and just by watching the news...Maybe it would be best if we crashed, and started with a clean slate. Its not a very happy outlook, but its not out of the question... After the crash, maybe people like Bruce will realize that there is no one right way to live, and living like we do doesn't work..
Please explain what you mean by Ignorance and squalor.. You think that natives live like this?? Ignorant to what?? Your glorious way of life?? Ha!! What a crock! Are you blind to the pain and misery that a taker life causes(if not for you, then for others in the world).. If your impression of a leaver is some famine ravished community who have a small plot of land, and diseased goats, then you are mistaken(I kinda think thats what you think a leaver is).. They and the other natives who were seduced or forced to become takers are miserable and ill because of our Taker influence and brutality..
These are not Leavers. Leavers live in obscurity in various areas and could care less about us.. But they are dissapearing cuz we demand that they become like us, and we don't leave them alone..
Instead, we send missionaries and such to give them our medicine, and our religon(though we think its so neat when they blend their native beliefs with our Religons like xtianity..).
We force ourselves into their community, and they are no longer leavers.. Our vision is like a fatal virus for cultures....
Leavers live in health and happiness, and live with balance among the community of life..

If we ran off to the woods like you suggested, we would still be Takers, struggling to be leavers...
And bruce, If the worms want some of my meal, they can have it....(snicker)

Wow, you think you are going to live on the moon??..And all these other delusions?? You got a serious case of delusional Takerenia...
A Pretty bad case of it too..

Please, get a clue as to what you are against, so as to not look like a fool...
Really, you don't understand What we are trying to do, so at least understand it, then get all up in arms, and post your angry posts... Maybe you will have a point or two that I(we) can look at, and get something out of.. With your recent posts, all I have gotten is that you didn't read Ishmael that well(or at all)...
So.. why don't you take the time to e-mail me?? You sound like this is important to you, and hey, if you can convince me that I am somehow wrong, or that I don't truly want to Bring down the Taker Vision(and abandon it), then maybe I'll send you a TV or something.
Take me up on the challenge.. It'll be fun...
Till then, take care, and try not to be so stressed..Maybe open your eyes a little..
Maybe you'll realize that your being blinded...

Kurt Finguerra <>
Bend, Or USA - Saturday, September 13, 1997 at 03:37:24 (PDT)
ISHMAEL is just JONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL with hair--the '90s equivalent of that silly Seventies hippie fad-- with, ultimately, as much lasting impact.

I offered all of you the opportunity to PROVE you really believe in what you say by giving up the trappings of our horrible materialistic culture and moving back to the Stone Age you all claim to love so much, and just as I expected, I got nothing but equivocation, hem-hawing, and pathetic excuses from the lot of you.

Since none of you have sent me your computers and other artifacts of Taker culture yet, for whatever "reason", I must conclude that you're all a bunch of watered-down suburban parlor pinks who don't like to eat their environmentalism quite as much as they like to cook it. Typical.

I repeat: if our culture is so horrible, then simply walk away from it. There's plenty of room in the Congo for the lot of you. But don't be surprised is the natives get a big laugh out of your brand of cappucino communism: they can't WAIT to get THEIR slice of Taker culture, with all the rich food, clean sheets, and cellular phones it offers.

I give up. No more time spent trying to teach pigs to sing--that's my new motto. My next e-mail to you hopeless tree-freaks will be sent from the moon, from the air-conditioned, low-gravity comfort of Luna City, USA, where I'll be spending my dotage. (My daughter's a nuclear power technician on the starship AMERICA--the one they're building for the Tau Ceti mission.)

Fie on the lot of you. I'll waste no more time trying to talk you out of your delusions. Not one of you truly wishes a world of subsistence farming, tribal witch-doctory, and grinding illiteracy on your children--and you know it.

Fie on the lot of you. I'll waste no more time trying to talk you out of your delusions. If you want your children to live in squalor and ignorance, far be it from me to dissuade you. Slink back to the cave like a whipped animal, and say "hi" to your intestinal worms for me as you scratch for your daily meal. Yams, yams, yams--day in, day out.


Menscheit ‹ber Alles!

Bruce "B-chan" Lewis <>
USA - Friday, September 12, 1997 at 23:33:19 (PDT)
The ideas of Danial Quinn speak to an inner truth that
something is wrong with our culture of taking. I to am worried about
the state of the world. I feel in my bones that unless something is
done the gig will be up. I love all life to much to see this happen without a fight. I hope its not to late.

Edward C. Dertinger <>
Delhi, Ontario Canada - Friday, September 12, 1997 at 21:38:03 (PDT)
After reading books of contempory social and cultural criticism, like Fritjof Capra, I have now found this wonderful fiction "Ishmael" that I can recommend to many friends who will not read the scientific approach to the theme.
It is so clear and easy, and as well full of meaning that I can read 9 year daughter from it. This is was the book i was waiting for.

bolo <>
Berlin, Germany - Friday, September 12, 1997 at 16:06:56 (PDT)
Reading "Ishmael" has changed my life. I never thought I would say that, and yet there it is. Thank you Daniel Quinn for telling this story so that all of us could finally recognize it. I don't see how I will ever look at things in quite the same way again.

"Ishmael" should be required reading for all human beings. I'm buying copies for everyone I care about. Peace!

Mary Reinkoester <>
Columbus, OH USA - Friday, September 12, 1997 at 15:46:15 (PDT)
Right On Jim.. Very nice message to bruce..I wish he wrote me so I can have his e-mail..
You handled him very well, and yes, for practice, I would like to engage him, and have some serious discussion.. You are right in saying that he is valuable to our "cause" as an oppenent.. He is so blind its almost comical.. But then again, its dead serious.. Most people who are not B feel like him somewhere deep inside...Not all people, but a good majority...
Its what we are up against..
But if everyone had the same thought process as Bruce, then we are really in trouble! :-)

People at least need to have some sense of logic to understand Quinn's message..At least the logic of a 10 year old.. But Bruce... I don't know. He seems a bit stubborn..Oh well...

Kurt Finguerra <>
Bend, Or USA - Friday, September 12, 1997 at 14:59:09 (PDT)
It's an unfortunate reality demonstrated well in the Story of B and in the follwing responce to my last posted message from our good friend Bruce B chan, that we are going to piss people off. So B it. I do not engage in tit for tat debate, but I thought, for the sake of our discussion, I should reply and give others the same opportunity. I'm sure Bruce will appreciate the challenge and other B's can use the practice. Bruce B chan's message follows:

You wrote:
"Many of us know, intellectually , and through the anthropological
studies of leaver culture, that there is a better type of life to
live if we are willing to give up all that we own..."

So why DON'T you, for God's sake? I mean it--are you a hypocrite, or do
you really believe that "giving up all we own" is the right thing to do?
If you truly believe in the loopy message of Daniel Quinn, then put up
or shut up. Give it all up--the car, the house or apartment, the teevee,
all of it, not tomorow, not next week, but NOW. After all, if it's the
right thing to do, why wait?

Be warned: if you respond with anything but a request for my address
(for the purposes of sending me all your Taker swag), I'm going to
resign you to the hypocrite list. "Do or do not. There is no try."

Fly Me to the Moon,

"A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular"
Anime Lover Since 1969

Accroches-toi a ton rÍve
Quand tu vois ton bateau partir
Quand tu sents - ton coeur se briser
Accroches-toi a ton rÍve
- J. Lynne, 1981
My Response follows:

That was quite an attack, considering you do not know me or my lifestyle. In fact I live with much less than most americans would consider adequate and do so volutarily. But you are right, I am a hypocrite, I don't do enough. As I said, I'm trying.
Put yourself in my position for a moment, if you will, imagine that you really wished to drop out of the taker culture. How would you do it, could you do it ? Now imagine a million people trying to do it, or ten million. If you can do this you've got the job.
You know, it's easy to go with the flow, particularly in a river as massive as mother culture. But it's not an easy task when your concience bids you to swim against the current, never mind the logistics.
Personally, Bruce, I will not challenge you, or attempt to convert you. I fear you are a zealot, and zealots tend to discredit any cause. Therefore you are more benificial to our cause as an opponent.
Enjoy your rage. It is the path you have chosen.

Sincerly Jim

Jim Demko <>
Petersburg, AK USA - Friday, September 12, 1997 at 08:52:06 (PDT)
It is somewhat of an irony in my life, probably in many others, that the lessons and parables learned in my sunday school days probably gave me the basic moral understanding which led to my abondonment of the church. One of these lessons I believe applies to fellow readers of Ishmeal and B, and particularly to Christians stuck in the bargaining stage of their reconciliation of these new (for some) understandings.
It goes loosely like this. A man came up to Jesus and said to him ≥ I do all of the things that our religion says we should do, what must I do to gain the Kingdom of God ?≤ And jesus said ≥Give up all that you own and follow me≤. The man walked away exceedingly sad, for he had many things.
The challenge given in the story appears to me to be the same that we face today. Many of us know, intilectually, and through the anthropological studies of ≥leaver≤ culture, that there is a better type of life to live if we are willing to ≥give up all that we own≤ but to my knowledge few have accepted. I know itĻs not easy, because I have tried, am trying.
What I hope to learn, from reading this page is (1) how people react to the message of Ishmeal, particularly how many accept and how many remain in denial or bargaining, and (2) will we be able to transfer thr new knowledge to a new way of living.
One thing I am sure of is that nobody can do it alone, the cornerstone of leaver cultures is community and a common understanding of the world and the way to live. Has anyone really found this, is anyone trying to find this ?

Jim Demko <seawind@ALASKA.NET>
Petersburg, AK USA - Thursday, September 11, 1997 at 12:20:20 (PDT)
Wonderful to have the ability to communicate with people from around the world through the web... allowing for the universal expression of concern for the future should prove to be an effective catalyst, if only computers weren't toxic... I am glad that you are involved with Sacred Earth and pray that change comes soon.

Pia Jensen <>
Cotati, CA USA - Wednesday, September 10, 1997 at 22:47:41 (PDT)
Ishmael is, by far, the greatest book I have
ever read. Alot of books nowdays are sold
in a whirlwind of hype. What a joke.
I read Ishmael as a required reading assignment for my Justice Theory class. I don't believe that I would have read Ishmael if this was not the case. I can't wait until I get my hands on B. Oh yeah, thanks to "B-chan" for giving me yet another reason to t reasue my Navajo roots. I pity him and his delusions about technology. I wonder if he even bothered to READ Ishmael... Hmmmm. :)

Derrick Burbank <>
Tempe, AZ USA - Tuesday, September 09, 1997 at 18:51:38 (PDT)
I found myself in a daze after reading Ishmael. But for some reason I was happy. I had learned the truth about the emptiness of the existence Mother culture had imprinted on us. Now I realize that no matter what I am not alone and I am very much nee ded. And after I read Providence, I became truly aware of the hidden, and sometimes no so hidden, genius that is in all of us. I hope that in fifty years, our children and grandchildren will look back and marvel at the way we turned the way we lived aro und. At least that's what I hope.
megan jacobson <>
USA - Tuesday, September 09, 1997 at 09:06:03 (PDT)
Mr. Quinn,
Thank you for divining my feelings, distilling them into comprehensible thoughts and composing them in your charming, artless style.

Classy site, friend.

Robert G. Dery <>
San Diego, CA USA - Tuesday, September 09, 1997 at 08:05:56 (PDT)
I found this site through a link on the
page of SOULUTIONS. Although I
have not read your books I agree that
the world needs to act before it is too
late. Is it possible to obtain a personalized
copy of the Ishmael book?? I would like
to read these books as I also try to do
my part to help this planet in the small
ways that I can.
Thanks Very Much

Michael Howlett <>
Portland, OR USA - Tuesday, September 09, 1997 at 07:46:02 (PDT)
I am writing to request a link be provided to the Soulutions NOW web site>< Thank you. Peace~Om Shanti! brad
brad siegfried <>
Minnetonka, MN USA - Tuesday, September 09, 1997 at 06:44:28 (PDT)
Quinn, Please be the guest speaker at the Billion Being B- In.


Avi Zamites
Tampa, FL USA - Tuesday, September 09, 1997 at 05:52:25 (PDT)
I am so grateful to Mr Quinn for the book
Ishmael. Please write to me and let me know
if there is anything, anyway, I can help get something started...The book has left me feeling a little restless, and ill at ease. I want everyone to have read it. Is there anything I can do to get this out there?
If you do contact me, I would be most grateful. Taa.
More power to us..the sensitive and caring

Monique Germon <>
Sydney, Nsw Australia - Sunday, September 07, 1997 at 20:48:19 (PDT)
Uhh..I won't even start on that one... I better not...(concerning the veggie suggestions below)
Anyway, if anybody wants to get a serious dialouge going concerning the ideas and Ishmael/B, please write me...
Maybe we can figure out how to put all of this into motion. Heck, we have to figure it out....
See ya!

Kurt Finguerra <>
Bend, Or USA - Saturday, September 06, 1997 at 21:10:15 (PDT)
Daniel Quinn put my world-view into a concise, easy to comprehend, compelling story. What I was missing in my own world-view was the standing outside of my man-centric problem/solution focus. Ishmael breaks the matter down to a simple law. Beautiful ! 8 months ago my family and I became vegetarians as a protest to the mass-production meat-farming practices of our world. I encourage other Ishmael enthusiasts to explore vegetarianism as a positive step toward better health, protecting the environment , regard for animal life, and a host of other reasons. Explore some of the vegetarian web sites and you will find something that you can do to help this planet.
Anand Modak <>
Gaithersburg, Md USA - Saturday, September 06, 1997 at 19:52:53 (PDT)
I have loved and labored over countless Gorilla
drawings over the last 2 years, and have madly
fallen in love with the species, before I read
Ishmael, I was just a lover and watcher of apes
I always thought when going to a zoo or such that
"Who is looking at who?" It seemed to me that they
were always watching I know that they are
more than just an idle curosity that they are real
thinking beings, that every species has something
to offer all of us if we would just let them...

Ruth <>
PA USA - Saturday, September 06, 1997 at 10:49:08 (PDT)
ISHMAEL IS AN ENLIGHTENMENT AND AWAKENING TO OUR SOCIETY! Our organziation was created in response to Ishmael's powerful message. If you were left asking, "What can I do?" Here is an answer. Visit our site, sign our guestbook and become involved in making real changes and creating real solutions to the many problems we face. We are non-profit, posess no hidden agendas, and are eager to have you join our "Network of Friends".

Peace be with you

Colorado Spgs, Co USA - Friday, September 05, 1997 at 12:47:18 (PDT)
ALBUQUERQUE, NM USA - Wednesday, September 03, 1997 at 22:20:42 (PDT)
I first was exposed to Ishmael on an audio tape rental that I got to keep me company as I drove to some meetings. That rental changed my life. Since then (about 2 years ago) I have read and reread Ishmael and now B. The rereading is not because I fo rget the message, but because Mother Culture keeps the drone in my ear and in my head and it can be difficult to keep focused on what is real and what is MC speaking to us in all the old familiar ways. Would like to hear from and discuss with anyone out there.
CARYVILLE, FL USA - Wednesday, September 03, 1997 at 21:58:33 (PDT)
I found this to be a wonderful site, full of info on Ishmael and B. Keep up the good work!
Zach Swanson <>
Lyons, NE USA - Wednesday, September 03, 1997 at 20:14:18 (PDT)
This book is so powerful that I have been moved to change the way I think, the way I look at things, the way I behave, and what I want to be professionally and to the world.
Ullenberg <>
Milwuakee, WI USA - Wednesday, September 03, 1997 at 11:09:20 (PDT)
I loved 'Ishmael', more than once! And I'm beginning to enjoy 'B'.
David Komisar <>
Nevada City, CA USA - Wednesday, September 03, 1997 at 08:32:56 (PDT)
To Bruce "B-Chan" Lewis:

With approximately seven species of plants and animals lost to extinction daily, you are certain that we humans will survive and flourish, even when we are the only ones left?

Josh Tomlin <>
Radford , VA USA - Tuesday, September 02, 1997 at 18:26:29 (PDT)
I just read Ishmael a few days ago and of all the books I've ever read, Ishmael has had the most profound effect on the way I now view the world. While many novels deal with various problems in our society, Ishmael seems to encompass all these problems into the one fatal flaw of our culture. I was both shocked and amazed at what I discovered while reading the novel.
josh tomlin <>
radford, va USA - Tuesday, September 02, 1997 at 18:05:46 (PDT)
We were assigned to read Ishmael as part of our FYS class. At first I didn't think that I would like it, but it turned out to be pretty good. It made me think of many things that had never crossed my mind. Thanks for the lesson on life.
Cynthia Flores <>
Waukesha, WI USA - Tuesday, September 02, 1997 at 17:33:44 (PDT)
Thanks for writing this book, it makes people think,something we do not do often in a world where man does not take care of its own i find it hard to beleive he will be able to take care of the planet and the life on it but a book like yours will certainly help , by talking about it and opening peoples mind Ishmael is a great experience lets hope it won't be just an experience i would like to go on talking obout it with you and other Ishmael's companion
Jacques NATALI <106763.3272>
beausoleil, FRANCE - Monday, September 01, 1997 at 12:42:58 (PDT)
Thanks for writing this book, it makes people think,something we do not do often in a world where man does not take care of its own i find it hard to beleive he will be able to take care of the planet and the life on it but a book like yours will certainly help , by talking about it and opening peoples mind Ishmael is a great experience lets hope it won't be just an experience i would like to go on talking obout it with you and other Ishmael's companion
Jacques NATALI <>
beausoleil, FRANCE - Monday, September 01, 1997 at 12:33:03 (PDT)
I am a ninth grade student and was required to read Ishmael for my World Civilizations class. I found this book interesting, but very hard to understand at times. I was asked to pick three moral/ethical issues to discuss in an essay. I found this di fficult at first but I then chose:How man was meant to live, religion and how it relates to culture, and evolution of man in the past, present and what will come in the future. In trying to figure these issues out I came to this website mentioned in the b ack of the book looking for someone to disscuss the book with. I found no one so I think that It might be a good idea to set up Ishmael chatrooms. Thank you.
P.S. I did not ccome to this site looking to get out of my work but I am sure many would, so I am glad that you do not give out answers questions that students should be figuring out on their own.

Ryan <>
Herndon, Va USA - Monday, September 01, 1997 at 10:14:12 (PDT)
When I first started reading Ishmael, I thought "Oh great. Another book trying to be profound." I figured that if I was lucky, it would pull together some nebulous thoughts that usually float around in the back of my mind much like a vender reigns in his balloons. By the time I had finished the book, I had realized that my all too hasty assumptions in the beginning were completely unfounded. I have never been happier to be proven wrong.
Ky Roka <>
Waukesha, WI USA - Monday, September 01, 1997 at 09:24:06 (PDT)
I'm not sure what to say. Having just read Ishmael, I'm still absorbing it's contents. Although, I enjoyed the feeling it invoked in me. It's a bit frightening to face the truths that lie within Ishmael. Just to say that, after reading some of th e comments, I find that I'm intrigued, more so by what this "Story" has "Created" among the masses. I will be sure to follow with "B".

Tracy Levesque <>
Pelham, NY USA - Monday, September 01, 1997 at 08:48:15 (PDT)
I picked up Ishmael at a friend's house and couldn't put it down. It had the best elements of a mystery yet dealt with the issues that have concerned me for my whole adult life.
The Story of B was as good or better. But I see us being less and less environmentally conscious in practice--more and more cars, bigger and bigger houses, more and more gadgets, less and less time for interpersonal relationships.

Marlene Lily <>
Santa Rosa, CA USA - Sunday, August 31, 1997 at 22:18:41 (PDT)
Thanks for opening our eyes, this book, i hope will make people think of what we are, a part of the world, and just a part.The Problem is that we do not take care of ourselves so how do you want man to take care of THE planet I hope as many people as possible will read the book and talk about it , even my generation, (I am 36) will probably not be able to do something, but i think we will be able to educate our sons to do better than we did. I am sorry i did not activate my email i am new on the web, but i will be more than interested to keep on discussing the ideas carried by ISMAEL
Jacques NATALI <25 Bld Gen. Leclerc 06240>
BEAUSOLEIL, FRANCE - Sunday, August 31, 1997 at 13:52:27 (PDT)
Lots of people have contacted us recently saying things like:

"Would like to hook up to discuss B ideas..."


" interested in developing a discussion group in the ___ area."


"...need to get like-minded people to come together..."

So, here is a reminder that we have established to help you locate others, to allow others to locate you, and to contribute and share your skills and resources to this
developing community of people who see a new vision as the only way we (humans) will survive.

Visit this new resource at: and please let us know what comes of it!


Webmaster <>
Houston, TX USA - Sunday, August 31, 1997 at 10:02:55 (PDT)

This book made a remarkable difference in my life. I recommend this work of art to anyone who wants the truth out of life...Ishmael was RIGHT!

Darrel W. Davis <>
Ferndale, CA USA - Sunday, August 31, 1997 at 00:04:33 (PDT)
With egg on my face I will now supply the URL for the web site mentioned below:

PS. I have 13 years in the computer field, so I can verify that what is presented in the web site mentioned here is not bogus.

Ted Markow <>
Brunswick, ME USA - Saturday, August 30, 1997 at 19:58:22 (PDT)
And now for something completely different:

I have found an extremely interesting web site which is posting a book as it is being writtewhich explains in detail all the ramifications of what _may_ happen after January 1, 2000. This is not about comets, or aliens, or Christ rising, etc. This site explains in detail what may very well happen to our computer driven world when the century part of the date rolls over to 00.

Mr. Bruce Lewis has asked Quinn readers to send him their technology - I hope his offer still stands after 1/1/00.

Ted Markow <>
Brunswick, ME USA - Saturday, August 30, 1997 at 19:53:13 (PDT)
Not since "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" have I read a book that captivated me page after page as did Daniel Quinn's "Ishmael". Not only did Mr. Quinn paint a dismal picture as to the intent of man when he started civilization; it also c rystallizes a horrific snapshot of civilization in a total decline with scant hope of recovery. We as readers of Mr. Quinn's work will have to recognize that whether we like it or not, civilization as we know it cannot continue.

In my opinion the greatest tort committed on this great planet of ours is pragmatic economics. This is the cornerstone of capitalism and as we all know, capitalism needs growth to sustain itself. I suppose I could support this statement with a litany of facts, but we all have eyes that see our growth is taking it's toll on our environment.

Recently Carl Sagan passed away and in his lifetime his passion for astronomy sparked interest in the layman and made science and astronomy accessible to millions. Could there be life on other planets? Who knows? And personally, I don't care. With all the billions and billions of planets to be found billions and billions miles away there is a possibility that biological life may exist. But if not, doesn't it make this planet the most important piece of real estate? John Lennon once stated, a museum should be built and the movie 2001 Space Oddysey should play 24 hours a day. Similarly, don't you think, Mr. Quinn's passions to save this planet should resonate daily in the minds of each and every one of us?

Marv Blackman <>
Diamond Springs, Calif USA - Saturday, August 30, 1997 at 14:34:12 (PDT)
One More comment to Bruce Lewis(A fe posts down).. He said this:

"The fact is that technology, capitalism, and the Judeo-Christian ethic have lifted more people out of filth and disease than any other force in the history of our species."

I can Kinda agree with that...
You Know why BRUCE??!!

Because of our Taker culture, there has been loads of Filth and disease for people to be lifted out of!!!!!....
If it wasn't for Our Taker ways, we wouldn't need our religions to scold us of our wicked ways... we wouldn't need technology to find cures for our fast spreading epidemics.
We wouldn't need capitalism to provide fast money so we can buy alot of basically superficial things..
If we didn't decide we were the rulers of the World, we would still be taken care of by the world..not at Odds with it...
So watch what you say. Or at least think about what you say...Its so evident that you are Blind to whats going on here...
So very evident..

Kurt Finguerra <>
Bend, Or USA - Friday, August 29, 1997 at 23:01:43 (PDT)
I can't believe that a person like Mr. Lewis would have the gall to say what he did. The other thing is that I cannot understand his dislike for a book that attempt to save the human race from becoming extinct. I believe ISHMAEL has all the qualities of a great novel.
Ryan Day <>
Washington, DC USA - Friday, August 29, 1997 at 22:34:54 (PDT)

MIO, MI USA - Friday, August 29, 1997 at 17:18:56 (PDT)
I read this book in order to write a book review on it for Social Anthropology last year. I was awed. I think everyone in the world should be required to read this book.
Lena Boesser-Koschmann <>
Montezuma, NM USA - Friday, August 29, 1997 at 09:24:41 (PDT)
Ishmael is the most profound, thought-provoking, amazing book that I have ever read. The world should be required to read it and use it as their Bible! Thank you, Mr. Quinn, for this amazing journey.
Lisa Zweibel <>
Blacksburg, VA USA - Friday, August 29, 1997 at 08:23:21 (PDT)
I am an undergraduate at Virginia Tech, and this year, as part of the Honors Program 'Freshman-Faculty Conversation Groups,' ISHMAEL was our required book.

At first, I began reading merely to fulfill a requirement, but as I read on, I became more and more intrigued... and confused, as Quinn continued on with, what is essentially, his attempt at a philsophy book.

I liked several things Quinn did in ISHMAEL, particularly the 'Cain and Abel' perspective on that classic Biblical excerpt. I was raised in a Catholic home and never before was I instructed that this might be the case, nor was it ever suggested. Catholi c, though I am, I am not what would be called a devout follower of Roman Catholicism. I have no problem whatsoever 'straddling the fence, as it were, with moral issues such as the ones presented quite skillfully by Quinn.

If you would like to share your perspectives with me, please feel free to e-mail me with your thoughts. I am open to hear other sides of this thought-provoking work.

Armando Delahostria <>
Blacksuburg, VA USA - Friday, August 29, 1997 at 08:07:09 (PDT)

Excerpts from My

On successive Mondays starting September 15, the Ishmael/Bnetwork websites will be sharing seven never-before publicly seen writings of Daniel Quinn -- excerpts from the soon to be released novel by DQ publishe d by Bantam Books, My Ishmael.

Here are the excerpts (subject to change) and the order they will be added to the website:

  1. "Hello There" -- about 1500 words to be made public after 6pm (CDT) 15 September 1997
  2. "Your Culture" -- about 1200 words to be made public after 6pm (CDT) 22 September 1997
  3. "Tunes & Dancers" -- about 2500 words to be made public after 6pm (CDT) 29 September 1997
  4. "The Parable Examined" -- about 1400 words to be made public after 6pm (CDT) 6 October 1997
  5. "Wealth Taker Style" -- about 2800 words to be made public after 6pm (CDT) 13 October 1997
  6. "Less Is Not Always More" -- about 2400 words to be made public after 6pm (CDT) 20 October 1997
  7. "My God, It Isn't ME!" -- about 2400 words to be made public after 6pm (CST) 27 October 1997
Some of the titles may look familiar from the website, but these excerpts (indeed, the entire book My Ishmael) are filled with totally new issues, and entirely new approaches to old problems. Mark your calendars!

Alan Thornhill <>
Houston, TX USA - Friday, August 29, 1997 at 06:56:57 (PDT)

Just a reminder folks...

I reserve the right to delete postings that do not include a verifiable e-mail address. I have exercised that right in the past, and will continue to do so in the present and future. You must take responsibility for your words and actions if you want to p lay in this sandbox. You don't like that? Tough. It's my sandbox.

As always, I am happy to entertain your questions or suggestions about this policy or anything else --


Alan Thornhill <>
Houston, TX USA - Friday, August 29, 1997 at 06:54:59 (PDT)
Wow.. there you have it folks!

(Ps Bruce "B-chan" lewis.(below post))..
You say that Ishmael is based on this and that, and that the book talks about the evils of Technology.. Where?? Where does it say that??. And what about your comments on the "hallmarks" of Leaver cultures.. Whats that? A bunch of Bull IMO.. Poverty?? Filt h? Disease?? Sounds More like the hallmarks of Taker culture, the Culture that you love so adamantly...anyway, thanks for posting... Its always nice to Hear from the Spokesman for Mother Culture Herself!....It helps me remember why I fight for this "cause ".. drop a line again when you feel the need to.. Its quite refreshing!;-)

Kurt Finguerra <>
Bend, Or USA - Friday, August 29, 1997 at 06:26:51 (PDT)
ISHMAEL is ludicrous. It is based on a false premise--the idea that Man as a species is somehow "alienated" from his environment by technology. The fact is that technology, capitalism, and the Judeo-Christian ethic have lifted more people out of filth and disease than any other force in the history of our species. Of course, Mr. Quinn's argument is that filth, poverty, and disease--the hallmarks of so called "Leaver Culture"--are the only proper environment for humans, the Only Right Way To Live.

Well, pardon me if I disagree.

I _like_ our Taker Culture, and I'm proud of our accomplishments. I'm glad my children won't be born to a life of toil and drudgery and disease like my ancestors' were. I'm glad that Dr. Salk eradicated polio so my kids won't be permanently crippled by a cruel disease. I'm glad Dr. Oppenheimer and Dr. Teller invented nuclear weapons so that my country would be able to defeat the forces of slavey, misery, and death. I'm proud to be part of a species that has rid the planet of the threat of its natural enem ies, made food cheap and plentiful, and transcended its own birth-planet to touch the face of another world. And yes, it WAS worth it--every dead civilan, every religious martyr, every extinct species. These and the others are the regettable but unavoidab le price we paid to get where we are today. We honor their memory, but the species goes on. Man will continue.

And let me say this--there are more of us than you, more people that want progress and technology and the continued prosperity of the human race than people who want to chuck it all and go back to being animals. We outnumber you and we outvote you, and we will never--NEVER--crawl meekly back to the cave, no matter how many dopey books your idol Mr. Quinn writes. We are going to the stars, we human beings, and all the overfed, comfortably-housed monkey-nuzzling idiots in the world will not prevail against us.

I find it supremely ironic that the greatest supporters of Mr. Quinn and his Monkey Messiah are pampered Westerners, seeking an escape from the "evils" of Western culture whilst enjoying the abundant food, lavish accomodations, and top-quality medical car e that the selfsame culture provides. As Skakesepeare put it, "How sharper than a serpent's tooth is an ungrateful child." But then again, Shakespeare is one of those evil, white European males you ungrateful children all disdain...

In closing, I'd like to propose a challenge to ISHAMEL fans everywhere: put your money where your mouths are. If technology is so bad, if our society is so evil, then for God's sake shut up about it and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT: GET OUT. I mean it--if you ha te our culture and tools, don't be a part of them. Send ME your evil technology--your mindless TV's, your polluting automobiles, your noisy washing machines. I'll give you the address to send them to. I'll give them good homes. Give up the trappings of T aker culture, divest yourselves of the horror of Western Civilization, then get the hell OUT. Go to Africa and rejoin the hunter-gatherers you love so much. Go to Australia and be a Abo. Go to Nunivit and carve and igloo, go to Peru and estivate with an I nca--don't go 'way sad, don't go 'way mad, just GO AWAY and STAY AWAY. We don't need you. Go back to the cave, scratch your unwashed pelts, and enjoy the screams of your daugher as the tribal strongman takes his pleasure with her (after first having her g enitals multilated, of course)--we WON'T miss you.

Anyone who believes in the tenets of ISHMAEL and doesn't take my challenge--who doesn't give up the world we live in, with all its faults and benefits--any person like that is a liar and a hypocrite.

Talk is cheap. Put up, or for God's sake SHUT UP.

I await the flood of VCRs and imported luxury station wagons any day now.

Vive l'humanitť!

Bruce "B-chan" Lewis

Bruce "B-chan" Lewis <>
USA - Thursday, August 28, 1997 at 21:55:15 (PDT)
It's amazing how knowledge gets transfered. Person to person, it eventually trickles down to where you are at. This is how I came across 'The Story of B', given to me by a friend who got it from a friend...etc... The novel absorbed me for three days an d I had to pull myself away from it several times in fear of losing sight of its message. I have no doubt that a large portion of our piece of humanity will become aware of B's message, but I do fear that no-one will do anything about. Perhaps it will als o be too late. These are just my private fears that I would be willing to discuss with you who are reading this. Is it too late? Will we ever learn in time? or at all? Hope is a fleeting comodity.
Trent F. Milam <>
Richmond, VA USA - Thursday, August 28, 1997 at 13:18:35 (PDT)
Great book. "The Story of 'B'" was a great followup as well, I highly reccomend it.
Mike Wrobel <>
Greensboro, NC USA - Wednesday, August 27, 1997 at 21:44:50 (PDT)
I find it hard to believe that people can read one of Mr. Quinn's books, and find it in themselves to challenge it. The facts are there! Nevertheless, I think that Mr. Quinn has done a Brilliant job, and the most we can do for him and his cause is to do the same thing that Ishmael did... Teach anyone and everyone who is willing to listen. To Quote Mr Quinn:

Philip Silva <>
Newark , NJ USA - Wednesday, August 27, 1997 at 15:31:30 (PDT)
I am an active environmentalist seeking, as others, to stop the destruction and restore the integrety of our world. I have no dount that it can be done, there is no reason that we cannot undo what WE have done. My evolution as an environmentalist began with trying to understand the causes and cures for polution and by asking "deeper questions", led to an exploration of the spiritual, religious and the cultural roots.

If there is a silver lining to our accelerating destruction, it is that it is stimulating many to look deeply into its cause. I believe the problems that we are examining are like a mountain. It is visable to many, it is different from different perspecti ves, yet it is the same mountain we all see. And the more perspectives we examine, the better our understanding of the mountain.

Daniel Quinn has articulated the most clear, logical and acurate perspective of the mountain that I am aware of. It is written intentionally in a so that a degree in divinity or philosophy are not a requirement for its understanding. And forgive my appare nt arogance,(I feel that total belief, ie. "faith" in anything is the denial of an infinate number of possibilities and therefor the end of thought and the begining of self imposed ignorance) but he is absolutely right.

Jim Demko <>
Petersburg, AK USA - Wednesday, August 27, 1997 at 09:49:03 (PDT)