What do you as an animist think about mental illness? I understand that you feel that we should work with our “naturally human” sense of intelligence to ward off viral and fungal infections, but what about mental illness?

On one hand, the purpose of medicine is to make one’s life easier and thus to prolong it. On the other hand, you suggest that “if there’s a cancer growing inside of you, the gods aren’t on your side against it, but that doesn’t mean you have to throw up your hands and allow it to destroy your life; defend yourself against it with every resource you can bring to bear” (Providence, page 162).

From one animist to another, I want to know how mental illness is considered: as another illness of the body, like diabetes or infection, or as a beast of another kind.

In the response #551, you wrote: “I’ve never said that Leavers and Takers can be distinguished by the way they get their food. They can be distinguished by what they DO with their food. Among Leaver peoples, food is free for the taking. Takers keep it under lock and key so that you have to work for it.”

If locking up the food is a trait that can be used to identify a culture as Taker, why isn’t the act of getting the food through Totalitarian Agriculture such a trait as well?

I was wondering how the current religious/Islamist extremists fit into the Takers v. Leavers struggle. My guess is that these fundamentalists are Leavers fighting back against Taker control.

But aren’t Leavers usually on the peaceful side of things? This makes it look like the Leavers are the “bad guys” by killing and trying to take over the world, or at least Western society.

I suppose these select few could be viewed as an anomaly in the system. What do you think?

This is both a question and a comment. On your website I see people constantly asking you what should we do?

I myself wondered this after reading Ishmael. But I have now, after some reflection, realized that this is in many ways a Taker mindset. Am I wrong to think that we can do enough just by becoming Leavers ourselves?

I guess what I am trying to say is that, can’t we, just by adopting the lifestyle of a Leaver, change all we need to? Is our culture not like a prison, in that if one person were to stroll out, the other prisoners would follow suit?

I am having trouble explaining my thoughts exactly, so I will just ask you, do we really need to do anything more than leave the Taker prison?

People ask whether we should go to war to defend those suffering from genocide or violations of their state rights by other nations or peoples. I want to go into the Erratic Retaliator strategy and why it works, and how it is not conflict that is “bad,” but the totalitarian wars we fight with the intention to bend others to our will, where there has to be a winner and a loser.

The sure retort to this is, “Do you think that we should just sit back and watch the Hutus and the Tutsis massacre each other?” I feel that this is not an example of the Erratic Retaliator strategy, but more like the situation between Israel and Palestine, i.e., we would wipe you out if we could.

What do you think about countries going into war to aid other peoples, such as fighting the Germans in part (though this was not the incentive to become involved in WW II) to stop the Holocaust? I know you say that you do not pretend to know what people should do, but for the purpose of this argument, how can I articulate the information in Ishmael and your other books?