Sketches in the Ruins of My Mind

graphic: Sketches in the Ruins of my Mind.

Lies, damn lies, and...

Dateline: 17 February 1997
Author: Johnny <>

Below is a letter sent in criticism of an article published about me in the Scottish newspaper Scotland on Sunday in their Spectrum section of Sunday, February 16 1997. I don't think it is worth reproducing the original article, you can see what happened. I could have made numerous other criticisms since, as one of my friends remarked, "it was like someone got a hold of a few of your ideas and then stirred them all up."

Some background: the Lothian & Borders Police Criminal Investigations Department (CID) had interviewed me about the "The Terrorist's Handbook" being posted on the Net in 1996. The fact I hadn't broken any laws (though since nowadays we're all terrorists I expect the absurdly broadly drawn "anti-terrorist laws" will have something) didn't stop them getting my Net account closed down. Anyhow I guess I was lucky - it appears that nowadays they kick in your door and shoot you before they ask any questions.

There are lies, damn lies, and then stuff they publish in newspapers.


You carried a report on what were purported to be my views (Spectrum, 16 February 1997). I wish your reporter had checked back with me.

I actually said that I thought the Internet is censored. I even printed a page from my Website for the journalist in which I stated this. That was the whole point of posting up "The Terrorist's Handbook." It would have been quite legal to publish and distribute this in book form, but on the Internet it was censored. The same information for "terrorists" was already posted on the Internet in many other countries, so the British censorship is futile.

As to Jeff Cooper, he is not ultra-right wing. The problems he has in publishing his articles arise from an acrimonious copyright dispute with a business partner, not from any difficulty in finding people to publish (or read) his work. He is a gun writer, and his books are published and widely read. Gun writers are not generally published outside the shooting press. As it happens, Cooper is very disparaging of the Militia movement, and has in his "Commentaries" made fun of the idea of a UN invasion of America, an idea that has much currency amongst the ultra-right groups in the US. From what I said to your reporter, this should have been clear.

John Pate