|Industry||Publishing, Catalog book sales|
|Defunct||May 8, 2006|
|Headquarters||Port Townsend, Washington|
|Key people||Michael Hoy, President, Book Editor
Lou Rollins, Proof Reader
Loompanics Unlimited was an American book seller and publisher specializing in nonfiction on generally unconventional or controversial topics. The topics in their title list included drugs, weapons, anarchism, sex, conspiracy theories, and so on. Many of their titles describe some kind of illicit or extralegal actions, such as Counterfeit I.D. Made Easy, while others are purely informative, like Opium for the Masses. Loompanics was in business for nearly 30 years. The publisher and editor was Michael Hoy.
Mike Hoy started Loompanics Unlimited in East Lansing, Michigan, in 1975. He later moved the business to Port Townsend, Washington, where his friend and fellow publisher R.W. Bradford had earlier located.
In January 2006, Loompanics announced that it was going out of business, and that it was selling off its inventory. In the spring of 2006, Paladin Press announced that it acquired the rights to 40 titles previously published or sold by Loompanics, including the works of Claire Wolfe, Eddie the Wire, and other popular Loompanics authors.
In addition to Loompanics' massive annual catalog of its entire stock, Loompanics regularly mailed its customers a thinner quarterly supplement featuring a selection of books interspersed with articles about government propaganda and conspiracies, and/or underground resistance. The addressing side of the cover included an American World War II graphic of an eagle carrying a stack of volumes and the slogan, "Our men want books!"
Loompanics did not fall into the categories of mainstream liberal, conservative, or libertarian politics. While Hoy expresses a favor for free markets, he also criticizes libertarians for championing multinational corporations, which he describes in a 2005 article as being entirely different entities from individuals. Hoy characterizes them as governmental entities, since their limited liability is the result of government fiat, rather than contractual dealings among individuals. Thus, in some ways, Hoy argues, corporations have more rights than individuals. He also criticized libertarians for brainwashing themselves, stating:
"Libertarian" followers have been taught numerous thought-stopping techniques by "Libertarian" leaders, so that anyone who attempts to discuss the non-market reality of corporations is slapped with a negative label ("anti-corporate," "anti-trade," etc. - there are lots), and then any questions raised by that person are literally unthinkable to "Libertarians."
Hoy's articles, which systemically lambast the policies of all major political groups, have earned him the wrath of organizations across the political spectrum.
Loompanics' FAQ stated that the company's name is a play on words inspired by Hoy's fondness for National Lampoon.
According to Gia Cosindas, Amazon.com, eBay, and Google refused to allow Loompanics to advertise on their sites, since some of the books' content violates their editorial guidelines. Specifically, Google wrote, "At this time, Google policy does not permit the advertisement of websites that contain 'the promotion of violence [and] drugs or drug paraphernalia.'"
Legacy and aftermath
On May 8, 2006, Loompanics stopped accepting retail orders. Their website encouraged potential customers to contact other publishers, who have had several Loompanics titles transferred to them, or became the new publishers of established Loompanics authors.
According to a WHOIS search via NetworkSolutions.com, a "Martin Koot" of Phuket, Thailand secured the domain name of "loompanics.com" on 21 August 2011. As of April 2012, the domain links to an older version of the original website. It has a few advertisements and several articles from previous catalogs.
- Simson Garfinkel (August 1997). "5.08: Street Cred -- Covert Catalog". Wired.
- Paladin Press FAQ
- "Why Corporations Are Not People, And The Unsavory Consequences of Pretending That They Are, A Challenge to 'Libertarians'" by Mike Hoy, 2005 Spring Supplement
- "Covert Censorship on the Web" by Gia Cosindas, 2005 Spring Supplement
- NetworkSolutions.com WHOIS search for "looompanics.com"