Okay, so you have grown up in this society that is ruled by mother culture’s values, and lived your whole life in it. How did you see the invisible questions and rules that Mother Culture tells you day after day, week after week, year after year, to write down in your books? What caused you to see these messages that are repeated so often that no one knows they’re there anymore?

I find it difficult to teach the “unteachable,” or better yet, to “unteach” them. Please, don’t get me wrong here – I am not suggesting that they are intellectually inept but rather that they are unwilling to listen to anything that goes against their conditioning. Do you think that this fact (?) will seal our fate? I only ask because I find that the types of individuals who are drawn to books such as yours are the ones looking for an alternative in the first place. I find that most people I talk to either don’t want to be challenged or truly believe in this “lifestyle” because they don’t know any better. I am sorry if this question sounds redundant as I have read your views on this but what is your approach for the most “closeminded” individuals, or isn’t there one?

I was interested in your response to Question No. 579, in which you say that the subculture of Taker culture is growing explosively and could be as large as 2-3 million in 2002, from something like twenty thousand in 1992. If I quote this to someone and they ask where it came from and I say, “from Daniel Quinn”, the answer is going to be “Oh, he would say that”. So where do your estimates come from? From sales of Ishmael? From a gut feeling? Or where? Just for interest, are you able to reveal the global sales figures for Ishmael? At least I could quote that to people with some sense of satisfaction.

I hope to make the issues of your work apparent to others but admit to a sense of hopelessness in this task. The rich, because they gain from the System, and the poor, because they feel trapped by it, will block any attempt at change. We know that the current trend can only end in social collapse. Ideally, we would prevent the collapse, but I don’t see how. Do you? We have the beginning and the end of a story: The problems our society has now, and some outline of what we would like to see. What is missing is the middle chapters: the method of getting the masses, both rich and poor, to break the system they have benefitted from and been trapped by. Because this middle part is missing, I’m beginning to lose faith in a happy ending. I feel as though there is a very simple path, just beyond perception, that is always just a couple of steps away. I can’t see it but feel that it is there, and the more I read about where the path leads, the more frustrating it gets that we don’t know in which direction to tread.