Loompanics

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Loompanics Enterprises, Inc.,
d.b.a Loompanics Unlimited
TypePrivate
IndustryPublishing, Catalog book sales
Founded1975
DefunctMay 8, 2006 (2006-05-08)
HeadquartersPort Townsend, Washington
Key people
Michael Hoy, President, Book editor
Lou Rollins, Proof reader
Gia Cosindas, Publicist
ProductsBooks

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, survivalism, anarchism, sex, conspiracy theories, and so on.[1][2][3] Many of their titles describe some kind of illicit or extralegal actions, such as Counterfeit I.D. Made Easy[4] and Opium for the Masses, while others are purely informative, such as Uninhabited Ocean Islands, How to Buy Land Cheap and The Muckraker's Manual (recommended by Stewart Brand).[5][6]

Company history[edit]

Loompanics was in business for nearly 30 years. Its publisher and editor was Michael "Mike" Hoy[7] who started Loompanics Unlimited in East Lansing, Michigan, in 1975.[8] In 1982 he moved the business to Port Townsend, Washington, where his friend and fellow publisher R. W. Bradford had earlier relocated.[9]

In January 2006, Loompanics announced that it was going out of business,[10] 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.[11]

Market position[edit]

Former "world headquarters" of Loompanics in Port Townsend, Washington

In addition to Loompanics' large annual catalog of all its 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 a World War II American 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 Michael Hoy expresses a preference for free markets, he also criticizes libertarians for championing multinational corporations, which he describes in a 2005 article[12] 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,[12] corporations have more rights than individuals. He also criticized[12] 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 lambasted the policies of all major political groups, earned him the wrath of organizations across the political spectrum.[13]

Loompanics' FAQ stated that the company's name is a play on words inspired by Hoy's fondness for National Lampoon.[14]

Advertising rejections[edit]

WWII graphic, appearing on each printed catalog.

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.[15] 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.'"[16]

Legacy and aftermath[edit]

On May 8, 2006, Loompanics stopped accepting retail orders.[17] 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.

Last Earth Distro,[18] Last Word Books & Press,[19] AK Press, Earthlight Books, Eden Press, FS Books, Laissez Faire Books, Lehman's, New Falcon Publications, Privacy Alert Online, Ronin Press, Steve Arnold's Gun Room and Uncle Fester's Books acquired most of Loompanics' back stock. Some titles have been reprinted by Paladin Press and Delta Press.[20]


Publications[edit]

  • Loompanics' Golden Records: Articles & Features from the Best Book Catalog in the World! Port Townsend, WA: Loompanics Unlimited, 1993.
Still available from Portland, OR’s Microcosm Publishing

References[edit]

  1. ^ Robin Clarke, "Anarchy Reigns at Loompanics", Chicago Times, 27 August 1993. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  2. ^ Sonni Efron, "Manuals Fit for Mayhem--by Mail", Los Angeles Times, 5 January 1992. Retrieved 26 March 201.
  3. ^ "Publisher Profits From Horrifying And Bizarre", The Seattle Times, 8 September 1991. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  4. ^ Luger, Jack (1990). Counterfeit I.D. Made Easy. Loompanics Unlimited. p. 137. ISBN 0915179903.
  5. ^ Stewart Brand, "Do your own muckraking", Albuquerque Journal, 24 September 1985, p. 51.
  6. ^ Loompanics, streettech.com. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  7. ^ Crime 101, forbes.com. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  8. ^ Simson Garfinkel (August 1997). "5.08: Street Cred – Covert Catalog". Wired. Retrieved 2016-03-17.
  9. ^ Kasia Pierzga, "Alternative publisher calls it quits", Port Townsend Leader, 25 January 2006.
  10. ^ One the US's Greatest Publishers Going Out of Business, mediageek.net. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  11. ^ Paladin Press FAQ
  12. ^ a b c "Why Corporations Are Not People, And The Unsavory Consequences of Pretending That They Are, A Challenge to 'Libertarians'" by Mike Hoy, 2005 Spring Supplement Archived 2007-06-26 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Scott Kauzlarich, A Libertarian Response to Loompanics Unlimited, rationalargumentator.com. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  14. ^ Loompanics Unlimited, artmuseum.pl. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  15. ^ [Gia Consindas, http://www.unclefesterbooks.com/coverts.html Covert Censorship on the Web], unclefesterbooks.com. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  16. ^ "Covert Censorship on the Web" by Gia Cosindas, 2005 Spring Supplement Archived 2007-04-23 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Thinking about Loompanics going out of business, billstclair.com. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  18. ^ Loompanics, lastearthdistro.net. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  19. ^ Loompanics, lastwordbooks.org. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  20. ^ Loompanics Unlimited is closed, loompanics.com (archived version at archive.org. Retrieved 11 February 2018.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]