This is a letter from a lost boy in search of his life calling. I read your book Ishmael and I thought I had found the one thing that could give me a rewarding life. I wrote a letter in response to the Author’s note and it was returned to me saying that the current address was no longer in use.

I was extremely disappointed. I then found the sequel My Ishmael and once again had hope. I feel like Jeffrey from the latter. Through my whole life I have searched for those illusive questions that everyone looks for but can find no answer. One of those questions is “How do we live?” I think that my life is meant to be in pursuit of a better American society.

Now my question is how? If your movement could have use for a dreamer like me I would like to hear from you. I am willing to move to wherever I could be needed. I hope to hear from you in the near future.

Have you ever asked your publisher to release the entire Ishmael trilogy as a single volume?

I hope it doesn’t violate your contract. (I saw from someone else’s question that you can’t release mass paperback editions.) Because I was having this huge fight with someone who had just read Ishmael and none of the other books and had completely misunderstood things.

In arguing with this guy, I was struck by how many times I said, “Quinn CLEARLY said in My Ishmael…” or “It’s written right there, in The Story of B…” One volume of the whole trilogy would be cheap, handy, and pretty gosh darned cool.

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 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.