On more than one occasion in your books and in your responses to questions you categorically reject the idea of gods, in particular the Abrahamic god. Yet in The Holy Tim, after being prompted by Pablo who “sees” this all the time, finally sees the glory the cactus has to offer him.

Therefore I have two questions. If you do not believe that there is a God or gods in this world, then what or who is Pablo (whom you saw yourself as a young child)? Second, both in The Story of B and in The Holy, you position the Abrahamic god as an opponent of the very world he allegedly created.

Why do you believe that a Satan/Ba’al zebub or an antichrist figure would be so much more in tune with your world vision?

I wonder if you can elaborate on the idea in My Ishmael of the similarities between cult and tribal mentality. I agree that people who join cults are looking for a sort of tribal fulfillment for which we all may be looking. I can also see your reasoning in asserting that the word ‘cult’ has bad connotations in our culture and that we are predisposed to believe that cult leaders are crazy. However, I believe there is a psychological control element to cult behavior that I don’t imagine is present in tribal behavior. I know that often people involved in a cult want to leave and can’t which also doesn’t translate to the dynamic within a tribe, in my opinion. Also, I don’t think the self-destructive aspect of cults translates to tribal thinking. I can’t imagine a tribe destroying itself because of perceived threats from other tribes. I guess what I’m saying is that I think cults are bad. I can see that the desire to join one is a symptom of our non-tribal society and I think this is a valid point. The rest of the argument in My Ishmael is a bit of a stretch for me.