I read as many Q&A’s on the website as I could stand and did not find my question or answer, so here goes. . . . What works is what has been tested over Time . . . the big Time, not just little time.

I agree with what I understood from The Story of B, that a person of one culture can’t just “become” a member of an existing tribe or culture or adopt their laws and customs and expect it to work for them. We don’t really know what the original laws and customs of the Tak people were to be able to draw from them now.

So, aren’t we (the “world-savers”) in just as much danger of creating/inventing laws and customs that are equally unworkable because they are untested?

Our book club is reading Ishmael for the month of August 2002. I found this thru connecting with the Science of Mind article regarding homelessness in June of 2002 and the ad for the book Beyond Civilization.

I found Ishmael wonderfully entertaining, and a thought provoking book. I must say that the Catholic upbringing and political consciousness did get in the way of reading around the ideals at times. I am struggling with the sense that Beyond Civilization and Ishmael long for a socialist form of life style.

How would you explain this “sense” to someone like me who wants to box and explain ideas so as to grasp them.

I was surprised to see your answer to Question 502, that you consider a vote for Nader to be throwing a vote away. It seems like that would be inconsistent with your arguments that a short term focus in government is a bad thing and that changed minds have to spread slowly one person at a time.

I consider your works to be the authoritative guides on finding a better way to live, so please know I don’t mean this adversarially. But I was just curious if you would be inclined to reconsider this stance?

After having read your books My Ishmael and Beyond Civilization, I am intrigued about the idea of making a living tribally. I did some research and found out about the band “The Gypsy Kings.”

They apparently have an estate where all of their families live together and take care of each other and school is looked at like this: If you don’t go, fine, but you have to do something here to support our families. If you do go to school, then the kids are encouraged to learn about things that will help the band (law, business).

Is this an example of tribal living? And, of course, the band is multi-generational. Cool, huh?

On page 192 of My Ishmael you say “This is how you must differ from revolutionaries of the past, who simply wanted different people to be running things. You can’t solve your problems by putting someone new in charge.”

This is a theme you’ve echoed repeatedly, and undoubtedly it is impossible for anyone to take office in this structure and save the world within it.

My question is, do you not agree that it is important, however, to try to get someone in office who is at least PERMISSIVE of letting us make the necessary changes, or as permissive as possible.

I feel that nobody will ever come into office and set into motion policies that will save the world. But, there are many who will come into office and set into motion policies that greatly inhibit the ability of others to do so.

Do you agree with this concept of at least minimizing the force with which government prevents us from walking away, even if it will never assist us in that process?

I’ve read all your books, and I think they are amazing pieces of work! Your books have changed how I see the world. As a result they have changed how I live my life and what I value. I have a problem though.

My family doesn’t think what I’m doing with my life is a good idea. They think I’ve bought into something that I will forever regret! In fact I think they may even think I need to be saved from this “Ishmael type thinking,” which I know isn’t true.

But I’m still pissed off about it, because family is pretty important to me. Here are some of the things I’ve heard:

1.You and your ideas may be a conspiracy to give us poor people false hope while the Jews steal from us.

2.Quinn is a Jewish name, therefore you are a Jew and you are in cahoots with the Jewish power who controls the worlds wealth.

3.Ishmael was a Jew in the bible, and of course the bible is the Jews’ handbook. So the character you used also leads to the conspiracy of you trying to keep us gentiles brainwashed.

4.You got rich off your books, us poor people still have to make a living.

Those are all I can think of off hand. The reason why I’m writing this to you is because with the knowledge you have, I’m hoping you can challenge these bullshit myths. Or you can point me in the right direction so I can put these myths to rest. If you have time, it would be great to here your thoughts on this.

I must admit that I was greatly disappointed with Beyond Civilization. Perhaps I am still too entrenched in the philosophies of the Takers, but I was hoping for something more tangible, a path to follow in my life. Writing this now, I feel like a whining child asking a parent how to get himself out of sticky situation but I feel that I must put it down anyhow.

You speak of tribes as if they are a dime a dozen, people just waiting around on street corners to abandon the only thing that they know to follow in this endeavor. I am sure that you speak to many people on this subject and you realize that the reason they have come to feel lost in society is because they are disconnected from those who might understand them.

Of all the people that I know (some who are the most intelligent and caring individuals that I have ever met), not one is willing to sacrifice the advantages that our culture has to offer for a heightened sense of personal fulfillment. Most believe that they can find everything they need within our culture, and I am not sure that they are wrong.

I do not have a tribe, Mr. Quinn, and I would go so far as to guess that most other people do not. It is frustrating for me to read your work and then apply it to my life. I am $20,000 dollars in debt to the federal government (the cost of improving myself through a college education), I work waiting tables while I try (unsuccessfully) to publish my short stories, and I save up money to travel to places around the world where (somewhere in my heart of hearts) I hope to find some kind of real freedom.

You have a wife that seems to share your ideals and (I assume) a group of friends and followers, you have had a successful job in publishing, and you are currently a successful writer. Surely you see that your plan is more easily applied to yourself than to those like me. There are no circuses in town for me to join (nor would I want to become a part of them) and I do not wish to live a homeless lifestyle if I cannot help it.

According to Ishmael, symbolically speaking, eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil led man to believe that he could make choices for himself that took him out of the hands of the gods, which ultimately has led him (and the rest of the world) to the edge of his undoing.

The thought occurred to me that perhaps Jesus understood this, and that baptism was his attempt to cleanse mankind from this knowledge. Perhaps this is how he intended to be the savior of man; by washing away the (original) sin of Adam and Eve and placing man back into the hands of the gods.

Tragically, this is not the interpretation of Jesus’s intentions as taught by modern Christianity.