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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 85)...

    I'm puzzled by the "plot" of THE STORY OF B---or at least the murder conspiracy bits. Was this intended to make the reading more dramatic and thereby increase the impact or is this approach by the church a genuine possibility or in fact an actual occurrence?

    ...and the response:

    At the beginning of their work together, Ishmael told his student, "If you take this educational journey with me, you're going to find yourself alienated from the people around you---friends, family, past associates, and so on." Everyone who read ISHMAEL read these words, but not all of them believed it. And, not believing it, they wrote to me complaining that Ishmael's warning had come true---and asking me what to do about it! (The answer to that question, by the way, is: If you want to keep your friends, stay away from dangerous ideas.) THE STORY OF B is a cautionary tale---and is MEANT to be a cautionary tale. This isn't to say that those who say "I am B" should expect an assassin's bullet. But it is to say that those who say "I am B" had better expect to lose friends, had better expect to make enemies. I myself have lost friends because of this book. I myself have lost friends who LOVED ISHMAEL---because of this book. This is why THE STORY OF B is a cautionary tale. If you think you're going to make nothing but friends by espousing the ideas in this book, then I'm afraid you're in for a shock.

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