William „Anarchist Cookbook“ Powell, R.I.P.

William Powell, Autor des berühmt-berüchtigten Anarchist Cookbook, ist im Alter von 66 Jahren gestorben.

Der Mann hatte das Buch ursprünglich als anarchistischen Protest gegen den Vietnamkrieg geschrieben und lieferte damit unbeabsichtigt die Vorlage für Terroristen und Amokläufer, die Mörder von Columbine bezogen sich unter anderem auf sein Machwerk. Jahre später bereute er es, das Buch geschrieben zu haben: „The anger that motivated the writing of the Cookbook blinded me to the illogical notion that violence can be used to prevent violence. I had fallen for the same irrational pattern of thought that led to US military involvement in both Vietnam and Iraq. The irony is not lost on me.“

Vor ein paar Wochen erschien erst die Dokumentation American Anarchist über Powell und sein Buch, hier der Trailer:

William Powell was a teenager, angry at the government and the Vietnam War, when he walked into the main branch of the New York Public Library in Manhattan in 1969 to begin research for a handbook on causing violent mayhem. Over the next months, he studied military manuals and other publications that taught him the essentials of do-it-yourself warfare, including how to make dynamite, how to convert a shotgun into a grenade launcher and how to blow up a bridge.

What emerged was “The Anarchist Cookbook,” a diagram- and recipe-filled manifesto that is believed to have been used as a source in heinous acts of violence since its publication in 1971, most notably the killings of 12 students and one teacher in 1999 at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. […]

“It was inevitable that he did it,” James J. F. Forest, a professor of security studies at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, said in a phone interview. “If he hadn’t done it, somebody else would have. It’s human behavior to tap into a dangerous stream of knowledge, and in his case he was inspired to make that dangerous information available to anyone else who was interested.”

Mr. Powell never revised the book or wrote a sequel, but his original stayed in print, through Lyle Stuart and its successor company, Barricade Books, and most recently by Delta Press. Eventually, he renounced the book. In 2000, he posted a statement to that effect on Amazon.com. And later, in 2013, he expressed his regret in an article he wrote for The Guardian.