In evaluating Claire Wolfe’s book, The Freedom Outlaw’s Handbook: 179 Things to Do ’til the Revolution, I started by focusing on the very large number of web pages she cites through-out the book.  Although typing web pages from her trade paperback book into my web browser was certainly tedious, it seemed important given the date of the book.  It also seems important in discussing my review of these pages to point out a few things about my browsing preferences.

The book I am able to review is my own copy of Claire’s book from 2004.  It shows a cover price on the back of $20, from Loompanics.  The Loompanics company has ceased operation, but the book is still available from Paladin Press.  Although the price is higher, today, and the ISBN number has changed to reflect the change in publishing company, it appears to be the same book.  Therefore, a review of the content of the book from 2004 seems to be relevant today.

Wherever possible, my browser (a Mozilla browser for Linux debian) uses no-scripts, https everywhere, and deletes long term cookies.  I’ve also edited its about:config to eliminate geo-location and in other ways to safeguard my privacy as much as possible.  My computer uses a well-established virtual privacy network, available from  And, of course, I am living and working in Germany these days.  These facts may affect how I perceive web sites as I visit them.  So, you may find that my results vary somewhat from your own.

Revolution Inevitable?
Claire Wolfe has been writing excellent books since 1994.  According to her wikipedia biography she began writing in 1994 owing to her disappointment with politician Linda Smith of Washington state.  I have read her 1996 book 101 Things to Do ‘Til the Revolution: Ideas and Resources for Self-Liberation, Monkey Wrenching and Preparedness, which the Freedom Outlaw’s Handbook updates by including not just 101, but 179 such things.  I’ve also read her excellent 2003 book I Am Not a Number!: Freeing America from the ID State.

It does seem important to note that Americans do not seem to be prepared to engage in armed revolution.  For example, people came together in Idaho to resist the actions of the federal government against Randy Weaver and his family.  At no point did they become openly rebellious.  Rather, to the contrary, the presence of hundreds, and at times a few thousand, individuals near the Ruby Ridge home where evil FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi deliberately and maliciously shot and killed Vicky Weaver, and where other federal government scum shot and killed Sammy Weaver and the family dog, did not result in rioting, attacks on the federal agents gathered at that location, or any significant escalation.  Instead, those people helped bring about a relatively peaceful conclusion to the events, and Randy Weaver was able to pursue a lawsuit against the federal government.

The crimes of the federal government in that situation clearly merited a strong reaction from the public.  And, indeed, the exoneration of Kevin Harris, who was found not guilty of murdering a federal agent by a jury who agreed with his defence attorney’s argument that he acted in self-defence, and the subsequent award of $380,000 to Harris clearly indicates that the public reaction was appropriate.  Similarly, Randy Weaver was found not guilty of every charge except failure to appear, so his prison time was served while awaiting trial.  He also won his lawsuit which resulted in substantial awards to his surviving daughters and a fairly small award to himself.

Similarly, the extremely brutal actions of the federal government in 1993 in the slaughter of seven dozen Texans in a church near Waco at Mount Carmel might have inspired considerable reaction by the public.  Various versions of the events in February and April attempt to exonerate both the inept Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) in their initial raid as well as the clearly murderous conduct of the FBI’s hostage rescue team in the 19 April 1993 use of fire and CS gas to slaughter everyone in the Branch Davidian camp.  Books by authors such as Carol Moore and films by  Michael McNulty, among many others, strongly suggest that the government detonated a shaped charge above the church vault where all the women and children were executed and deployed troops in the area around the church to execute anyone not fleeing directly toward the media cameras.  Obviously, no mass uprising occurred as a result.

One might think that the evidence of widespread corruption at the federal level in colluding with five giant banks to take over control of more than half of all financial assets by 2010, as documented by the Federal Reserve of Dallas in their 2011 annual report, would have stimulated considerable American disaffection.  There was, in fact, an Occupy Wall Street movement, which was harassed, attacked, intimidated, and targeted by federal and state agencies.  Over seven thousand Americans were arrested for daring to protest against the corrupt federal government over its role in bailing out the evil banking gangsters while screwing over the rest of the population.  Some protesters were targets of violence, including major injuries inflicted by law enforcement.  The public did not rise up in rebellion, however.

Events this past Summer in Ferguson, Missouri, and elsewhere, reveal that the St. Louis metropolitan area continues to have a corrupt political machine which disenfranchises black voters.  Violence by police toward not only black residents of Ferguson such as Mike Brown, but also toward anyone daring to object to police brutality or even daring to report on it, indicates that America has become a police state where the police feel free to attack, injure, and arrest people they don’t like, despite the so-called protection of the First Amendment and related protections of free speech, assembly, and petition given lip service in state constitutions.  Americans seem determined not to “go for” any excuse or any valid reason to rebel violently against the government.

Of course, that wasn’t entirely true of everyone, if we are to believe the mainstream explanation of Timothy McVeigh’s action in Oklahoma City in 1995.  Although McVeigh was not a member of a militia group at the time, he was widely reported to be one.  And, although explosives experts are amazed at the idea of an ammonium-nitrate and fuel oil bomb on the street a considerable distance from the Oklahoma federal building could actually cause the damage found to that building and formally attributed to the bomb allegedly brought to the site by a rented truck driven by McVeigh, the public seems to be widely agreeable to the official story.  Whatever people actually believe, they did not react favourably to having a federal building, including children in a day care facility, blown to kingdom come.  Moreover, although the entire BATF contingent at that site was away from the building when it blew up, and although there continue to be theories attributing the bombing to government action, Americans are not widely engaged in armed rebellion against the government.

I mention these events to provide some context.  When Claire Wolfe wrote her most famous statement, ever, “America is at that awkward stage. It’s too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards.” – 101 Things to Do ‘Til the Revolution (1996) she was responding, in part, to the events at Ruby Ridge, Waco, and Oklahoma City.  It has been 18 years since Claire wrote that statement, and there is no evidence that Americans are going to start shooting federal officials or uniformed government troops any time soon.  It has been 18 years and although some court decisions have attempted to recognise rights and freedoms found in the bill of rights, a great amount of damage continues to be done to American freedom, privacy, and dignity.  The national government continues to be corrupt, abusive of individual liberty, engaged in vast espionage projects against the American people, engaged in a useless war on drugs, and a new-fangled (since 2001) war on terror, both of which operate as a war against freedom.

Now, of course, further context might be appropriate.  There was a Bonus Army that was obliterated by tanks and troops commanded by Patton and Eisenhower under the guidance of MacArthur, at the direction of Herbert Hoover in 1932.  There was an armed rebellion in Athens, Tennessee in 1946, against corruption in the area.  In 1985, Philadelphia police using FBI-supplied explosives and a Pennsylvania state police helicopter bombed a private residence, destroying 65 houses and slaughtering six adults and five children. There have been armed individuals, including Carl Drega, Eric Frein, Eric Rudolph, Christopher Dorner, and others who have taken up arms, individually, for a time.  Frein was captured as I wrote this essay.  There is no evidence of widespread sympathy for the actions of these individuals, nor for others like Joe Stack who flew an airplane into an IRS building in Texas, killing one IRS agent and himself.  While some people may admire these individuals, or write favourably about their actions, there is little evidence that a majority agree with violent retaliation against government aggression.

So, if we examine Claire’s view of why it isn’t time to “shoot the bastards,” her conditions still prevail.  Americans are not generally agreeable to the idea; the news media continue to be against the idea; the government continues to be against the idea.  Claire suggests that any revolution is going to need “at least some” Americans on the side of revolution.  While the mainstream media does seem to be destroying its own credibility, recent surveys suggest that about 70% of Americans get most of their news from television news sources, so they are definitely susceptible to distortions of any stories about armed rebellion.  In other words, as Claire writes, “Until more momentum is on our side, until more friends will stand and fight with us, until we can either overcome the media or get at least a little of their support, shooting the freedom-stealing bastards is – in most circumstances – merely shooting ourselves in the foot.”

Outlaws Separate
So, what, then, does Claire advocate?  She advocates not being organised, not being united, not being together.  Rather, she promotes the idea of a vast cabal or conspiracy of individuals who act separately.  Instead of being united and gathered together, she advocates being individual and enterprising.  Instead of forming groups which conspire actively against government, she advocates taking individual actions that make sense to the individuals taking them.  Instead of everyone doing the same things, she suggests doing things that you think are the right things to do, and expect that others will do as they see fit.

Despite not advocating a single united revolutionary front, Claire does point out that some projects and activities fit into three broad categories of individual initiative.  She describes the Agitator, the Mole, and the Ghost as very different types of freedom activists.  The Agitator is, of course, publicly talking about freedom, about government violations of liberty, and about what might be done.  Agitators show up at protests, perhaps support freedom-oriented candidates, definitely object to the government’s bad behaviour.

The Mole might quietly support some agitators, but is typically in a mainstream job or even a government position.  Moles can plan to help individual freedom activists as they are able, and to use their positions to do as much good as they can by working within the system.

The Ghost is someone who chooses to live free without necessarily getting involved in any formal structure or protest.  Ghosts are withdrawn as much as possible from the system.

No doubt there is a false dichotomy in any effort to say “there are only two kinds of people in the world.”  Similarly, there is no clear distinction among the types of freedom activist.  Claire makes this point explicitly.  She notes that a given person might be a Mole sometimes, an Agitator when it suits, and a Ghost when all else fails.  She points out that activities suited to one, two, or all three categories are found in her book.  So, a Freedom Outlaw is an outlaw, whether operating as a Mole, as an Agitator, or as a Ghost.  In short, “the ways are flexible,” she notes.

Things to do while awaiting a revolution that may never come?  Claire points out a huge number of them.  She divides the 179 activities into six broad categories.

In her first chapter, she reviews 27 projects under the heading “Whew! Some Things You Can Quit Wasting Your Time On.”  These include not writing lots of letters to people in government who don’t represent you and don’t pay any attention; not giving in to fear; not being a slave to debt; not paying more taxes than you must.  There are a great many ideas in this chapter, and it is well worth a careful reading.  Keep in mind that America is at an awkward stage where it is pointless to try to reform the system by working within it.

You might believe otherwise.  Certainly, as recently as 2008 in her book Give Me Liberty, activist and author Naomi Wolf presented a convincing case that she does want to work within the system, work to get people elected, work to reform the system by working within it.  Wolf’s new book, The End of America, seems to suggest that she is cognizant of the fact that both government and big business in the United States have a substantial, and increasingly violent, history of repressing dissent.  Naomi Wolf might not like all of the things in Claire Wolfe’s list of things you can stop wasting time upon, perhaps especially idea number 2: don’t vote, it only encourages them.

In her second chapter, Claire writes about “Better Yet: Active Non-cooperation with Tyrants.” She includes 43 activities under this heading.  These include important thoughts such as breaking the rules; never talking with the feds (Martha Stewart did, and regretted doing so in prison), don’t let government control your children, do get started with PGP encryption.  There are a lot of web sites in this chapter, and quite a few of them are out of date.  I’ve detailed my analysis of the web pages cited by looking up each and every one of them (through page 72 to this point in my writing; I’ll try to get through the rest of the book very soon).  Although many pages no longer appear, I’ve been able to find web archives versions of some of them, and other variations on the same theme in a few cases.  Check out my appendix for details.

Her logic in suggesting that outlaws use Linux is very compelling.  Linux is an open source operating system available in several variations.  The work I do has required me to be familiar, over the years, with MS DOS, Windows from 3.1 to present, Macintosh from the Lisa to present, and Linux including Ubuntu and Debian.  For a great many reasons, I strongly prefer Linux.  I think there is considerable evidence that using Linux is safer for the user and allows for access to much greater privacy.  Owing to its open-source nature, Linux is compatible with a great number of open-source applications which are verifiably better at protecting user data from third party snoops.  Encryption for e-mail, for web browsing, for text chat using Jabber/XMPP clients like Spark with Off-The-Record (OTR), and for voice conferencing with Mumble,  as well as disk encryption tools are all available to Linux users.

Under the topic “Surf Anonymously,” Claire talks about pay services such as Anonymizer, but does not mention Virtual Privacy Networks (VPN) as such.  Her comment that some services offer “secure tunneling” probably refers to VPN.  One of the very good offerings in this area is which was formed in 2007, three years after Claire’s book was published.  So, of course, she could not mention it.

Claire’s third chapter is “The Ground You Stand On: Self-reliance.”  It contains 31 topics like doing things instead of watching television; setting goals; alternatives to health insurance; doing it yourself; doing without electricity; being prepared; dumpster diving; and skill building.  Each of her project ideas is identified with a picture representing the Mole, the Agitator, or the Ghost.  You are welcome, of course, to mix and match, depending on what sort of outlaw you want to be, today.

“Way Better Than Voting: Agitation for Outlaws” is Claire’s fourth chapter.  In it, she covers 30 topics including privacy advocates, draft resistance, ending the drug war, joining gun-rights groups, keeping DARE out of schools, and many other good ideas.  Two projects that caught my attention were “Remember Mother Batherick” and “Be an International Superhero.”

Since you can easily learn about Mother Batherick from a web search, it seems to do no “spoiler” to mention that she was an elderly woman on 19 April 1775 when six of King George III’s robust and rowdy grenadiers surrendered to her as they were fleeing from Concord back to Boston. As a result of their fear of the death dealing militia of Massachusetts, these burly soldiers surrendered to the first North American colonist they found.  Critics of the war policy in Parliament noted that if one old woman could capture six of the toughest soldiers in the army, it might take more troops to conquer the colonists than England could ever muster.

Under the topic of being an international superhero, Claire mentions  To understand more about this group, and its predecessor, the cult of the Dead cow, you should read their declaration:  The use of hacker skills in defence of individual liberty, privacy, and the dissemimination of knowledge is now widely recognised as a good thing.  Early pioneers in creating hacker collectives such as L0pht and Legion of Doom should also be recognised, I think.  Many people today know of the hacker “group” Anonymous which is actually a decentralised affinity collective, a network of networks of individuals.  A great deal of very fine work in exposing truth and defending freedom has been done by hackers.

One of the really nice things about Claire’s book is her use of quotations from famous and less famous figures from history.  The authors and speakers quoted read like a who’s who in the history of individual liberty and political activism, from Lord Acton to Henry David Thoreau to Abbie Hoffman and beyond.  Consider the quote which follows her introduction of Hacktivismo, from Thomas Babington.  “The measure of a man’s character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out.”

The fifth chapter is named Way Better than Agitation: Monkeywrenching and covers 34 activities.  These include various ideas about social security numbers, fake identities, real identities of dead children, fun with superglue, and Simon Jester.  She mentions Vancouver “spray days” when water mixed with hemp juices would be sprayed on ferry boats around the city, along with a great many other guerilla hacks and pranks.  One of my favourites is driving anti-freedom groups broke by persistently calling their 800 numbers or by sending their own literature back to them in their “business reply” envelopes.

Finally, her last chapter is, If it Comes Down to That: Someday and includes 14 topics.  It begins with something of a conclusion, another false dichotomy-of-three. “Either we’ll force government to back down from its drive for total control and we’ll never have to shoot the bastards.  Or government will continue to become so horrible that we’ll have to shoot the bastards.  Or government will become so utterly horrible in an automated, totally-surveilled, tracked, mind-controlling, ID-chipped, artificially-intelligent, genetically engineered, implanted, pharmaceutically induced way that we’ll all be too robotic to shoot the bastards and the very few who get loose from the control won’t be able to find the right bastards to shoot.”

These choices should not set well with anyone.  I think Claire has left out possibilities such as the state becomes so expensive and so unable to capture tax funds that it cannot manage its own debt and, therefore, collapses.  The state as we know it may disappear to be replaced with something much worse and more evidently evil which would be resisted by more people.  The system may become irrelevant if we are able to successfully deploy technologies such as SilentVault to anonymise bitcoin, for example, and make peer-to-peer trade and commerce utterly invisible to the system that attempts to regulate, control, and tax it.  In other words, I think there are many possibilities for the future, and I’m sure that I have not imagined all of them, least of all what we’ll actually encounter in the next few years.  Later in the same chapter, Claire notes that she cannot predict the future, and is not a prophet.

Her ideas in “If it Comes Down” include making arrangements to leave a country with totalitarian tendencies, resisting silently, burying guns and other goodies, and roll-your-own guns.  Obviously, if you want to know all about her ideas, you should either buy her book or find a copy in a library, or perhaps purloin the text using Google Books.  Reading what she has written ought to be a pleasure for you, if you are at all interested in freedom.

Claire leaves us with a final quote, and it is a good one.

He who cannot protect himself or his nearest and dearest or their honour by non-violently facing death may and ought to do so by violently dealing with the oppressor.  He who can do neither of the two is a burden. – Mohandas K. Gandhi

Here is a listing of the web addresses I found in my copy of The Freedom Outlaws Handbook.  Where I’ve indicated some further thoughts on the topic, they are my responsibility and not Claire’s. – snapnames, a domain squatter, now owns this domain.
A review of the site at suggests that the domain name changed hands in 2007 or 2008, and was resolving to a squatter site by 2009.  Presumably this indicates Claire’s contact Debra Ricketts chose not to renew the domain. – not found persists as described. – empty except for a favicon.ico was not found on the server and the server encountered a 404 error trying to process the request. exists and corresponds to the indicated test.
My score 2.033333333333333 corresponds to Claire’s report of being scored as a “liberal airhead” and, I think, would be better as “anarchist from the traditions of the libertarian left.” exists, of course. exists as described

Geocities closed in 2009. exists and is what Claire describes resolves, but does not say anything about TV Turn-off week.  It might be an especially bad domain squatter that doesn’t have a clue how to sell domains. resolves to and tells the same story given in Claire’s book.

The requested URL was not found on this server.
/Freely also not found.
The URL has become a WordPress site, but it has not been set up, so it defaults to a config page. persists as described not found.  None of the indicated folders are found, either.
An SSN FAQ is found here, now: persists as described persists as described  persists as described persists as described  The fourteen-day trial button resolves to purchase.html so probably involves giving up credit card info for the trial offer…didn’t pursue.  If they have my credit card number, who would they tell about my surfing behaviours? seems to exist, but our visit was blocked by for the following “violation.” Your request was blocked because you appear to be accessing this website from a hosting provider network, proxy server, or VPN server.  A visit to the Google cache of the site indicates that it offers to anonymise web traffic.  Of course, not for people who are already anonymous. lol seems to be gone, no IP address is associated.  Registration Service Provided By: RESELL.BIZ a hosting reseller. persists as described persists as described does not exist, however now resolves to  It continues to offer Ad-Aware. now resolves as and offers the described software.

The URL resolves to and persists as SuSE Linux “Enterprise Linux you can rely on.” doesn’t resolve.  A search on the name brings up this article about a domain dispute over Mandrake the Magician with the evil Hearst empire.  Accordingly, they have become and continue to offer Linux. persists, of course, and does offer Linux installed on computers and laptops. persists as described

Burt Blumert passed in 2009.  The page Claire indicates on resolves to which includes a discovered autobiographical essay and appreciations of his life by various luminaries in the community. is now owned by a domain squatter/seller  The political party persists at persists as described is a discontinued product persists as described  You don’t need to type index.html, of course. persists as described.  Some destroyed speed radars/cameras (vandalism-porn) did not resolve for me, but does, and seems to be the National Motorists Association indicated.  The .com domain seems to be still registered to the same group.  I clicked on their very nice “contact us” page to confirm that they are at the same address and phone number, and was surprised to find that they don’t put a star where Michigan’s state capital is located on the nice but irrelevant map of the region. resolves to  One criticism of Claire’s book is that she very, very frequently mentions software products for sale rather than free alternatives.  She does indicate her support for the open source software community, but her persistent choice to tout proprietary software sales is mystifying.  Perhaps she is simply recommending things she has experience with, notwithstanding that free, open-source alternatives existed at the time. offers information on both proprietary and open source options for drive encryption.  Claire’s associate Julian Morrison notes, that Linux flavours of 2004 typically offered Loop-AES encryption for your hard drives.

I asked Justin Turrell, the SilentVault technical lead, to comment.  He writes, “Loop-AES is the old way of doing it (no longer supported in Linux kernel, but still available from backports).  We often work with LVM crypt, which is similar but interfaces with the LVM (logical volume manager) which handles partitioning. I find it easiest to use such native encryption of the whole disk. However, there are other utilities available that handle encryption of individual files or directories.  Examples include PGP-Disk and Drivecrypt.  The trouble with all such packages is that they sometimes fall out of support.  So it’s an evolving thing, and when you set up a box you need to make appropriate choices, realizing that your next machine may well require different choices. You can of course manually use ‘gpg –encrypt-files’ without any fancy UI stuff, for particularly sensitive stuff, even on a fully encrypted disk.”

The site at persists as described.  The form Claire mentions is found on their site, still.

the page at is not found.  So, it really is good at disappearing, as essays go.  An essay on the same topic now appears here: The essay that Claire references may still be viewed using the Internet archive site:  That site indicates that as recently as July 2014, the page had still been available. now resolves to KaboomDiscount, and does not seem to be about the private buying approach described by Claire.  Tim Wingate seems to have avoided having crawl the Quietbuy site, presumably with a meta tag norobots, which makes complete sense for a privacy-oriented service.  Meanwhile, Quiet Buy seems to have quietly gone away. persists as described. is not found.  /Tools doesn’t allow its directory to be shown.  If you wish to perform such verifications on the Socialistic Security administration web site, go to their page here: for more information.  A non-government site (or so it says) which performs a similar service is not found.  It does not appear to be available in text on that site, including at the link listed on the wikipedia page about the book.  There is a .pdf file here: is now a WordPress site with two essays.  It does not seem to be especially about exchanging information about home-schooling.  A glimpse at the site as it appeared in 2003:  It seems from the history of the archive that the site changed hands some time in 2005. resolves to and persists as described. persists as described. persists as described. persists as described. resolves to and persists as described. persists as described. persists as described. persists as described. appears to be a domain squatter now, and seems to have been one in late 2001.  The 1996 version of the site is fairly interesting, though. persists as described. now resolves to and appears to persist as described.

The URL on page 58 resolves to their home page.  Their home page has links to living offshore on the bottom of the page at right. fails to resolve to a domain name.  The web archive presents the page as it appeared in 2001. persists as described persists as described. persists as described. persists as described. resolves to and has nothing to do with goal setting. is under construction.  Similar sites are widespread, of course, and so is the admonition caveat emptor. persists as described. resolves to and persists as described. has moved.  The site has a search feature but searching on first aid and self care yielded meagre information on cuts, scrapes, blisters, and toothache.  Perhaps they no longer wish to offer first aid suggestions on other topics. persists as described. persists as a site with many links to other sites about natural health topics.

The following is a transcript of other web addresses in the book.  I have not checked any of the following, yet.  I also do not plan to visit any of the .gov sites, nor do I recommend that anyone interested in privacy or freedom do so, ever. appears early in the book, I missed it on my first run-through.  The site appears to be up, but refuses my request for attempted “directory browsing.”  Here is an archive page showing the site as it appeared in 2003.  Try changing the year shown to see different versions of the same page.  For example: