You are on page 1of 9

Rec.

pyrotechnics seems to be divided into people who think the Anarchist Cookbook is garbage and people who haven't seen it. For the latter group, here is a short excerpt: "To conclude this chapter, I will present the most horrendous recipe I could find. Since it is not feasible to make napalm in your kitchen, you will have to be satisfied with cacodyal. This is made by chemically extracting all the oxygen from alcohol and then replacing it, under laboratory conditions, with metal arsenic. The formula for alcohol is C4H5O, whereas for cacodyal it is C4H5AR. Now, this new substance, cacodyal, posseses spontaneous inflammability, the moment it is exposed to the air. [Followed by a description of the deadly arsenic fumes it gives off]" [Note: all numbers are subscripted] Now you have the recipe for a terrible weapon, right? Well, lets take a look. a) There isn't actually a recipe described above, unless you consider "replace oxygen with arsenic" to be a recipe. It starts out telling you something to do in your kitchen and ends up with "in laboratory conditions." b) The formula for alcohol is C2H6O, not C4H5O. I don't think it is possible to have C4H5O. c) The valence of oxygen is 2. The valence of arsenic is 3 or 5. Thus, replacing oxygen with arsenic isn't possible. d) The symbol for arsenic is As, not AR. e) The Merck Index (and the dictionary) list cacodyl (notice the Cookbook's misspelling) as As2(CH3)2. This formula is totally different from C4H5AR. So, there are four obvious errors and a totally useless recipe in one short paragraph. I hope this brief review has pointed out the quality of the information in the Anarchist Cookbook. Ken Shirriff shirriff@sprite.Berkeley.EDU

Newsgroups: rec.pyrotechnics From: yshan@bcarh697.bnr.ca (Yogi Shan) Subject: Re: Anarchist Cookbook Message-ID: <1994Jul22.203317.22193@bcarh54a.bnr.ca> Date: Fri, 22 Jul 1994 20:33:17 GMT cwilson@gomez.stortek.com (Charley Wilson -x8285) wrote: > > > > In fact, why don't you get that book and compare the process for nitrocellulose with the BS in the AC. Read the part about stability and washing the product. shazbot.

As a pre-teen, I used the nitrocellulose (actually, I believe it's listed in the AC as "smokeless powder") recipe several times, successfully and without incident. It did not have long-term stability, though. One time I opened a jar of it that I had stored in my room, and it began emitting NO2 fumes. But then again, I never stabilized it with 2% diphenylamine, like you're supposed to, as I couldn't get it. For the record, the AC is a classic of underground literature, and has value as such. However, no one should try anything in it without a full understanding of the recipe itself, the dangers, and the chemistry involved behind the recipe. As the book itself warns, "a cook a book does not make".

Fortunately, most of the recipes use chemicals that are unobtainable by amateurs. This limits collateral damage. Yogi ******************************************************* "Then we're stupid, and we'll die" Pris the android "Blade Runner" *******************************************************

Newsgroups: rec.pyrotechnics From: yshan@bcarh697.bnr.ca (Yogi Shan) Subject: Re: Anarchist Cookbook Message-ID: <1994Jul25.215635.17693@bcarh54a.bnr.ca> Date: Mon, 25 Jul 1994 21:56:35 GMT >billn@hpcvaac.cv.hp.com (bill nelson) wrote: >yshan@bcarh697.bnr.ca (Yogi Shan) wrote: >: billn@hpcvaac.cv.hp.com (bill nelson) wrote: >: >: > It is many years since I read the book. However, >: > I do recall the "recipe" for LSD. It is crap >: > at best, it does a poor job of extracting lysergic >: > acid amides - which are precursors to the >: > manufacture of lsd. >: >: Sorry Bill, but the recipe looks O.K. to me: grind >: seeds, wash with petroleum ether, extract with >: methanol, evaporate methanol to get LAA. > >OK, it extracts the amides ok. However, it does NOT >produce lsd - which is what it claimed to accomplish. You're correct, but as they say in the software business, it's transparent to the user. Whether it's LAA or LSD, the difference is merely academic. You also noted that the KClO3/red phosphorus "death mix" in the AC. Over the weekend, I reviewed the AC again. This mixture is mentioned twice, however with both mentions (one quite emphatic) is a warning that the mixture should not be used. So bill's complaint here is not particularly valid. I also looked over a number of other recipes. Most have appropriate warnings, and were comparable to syntheses given in Davis' "Chemistry of Powder & Explosives", though with much less detail. In this category were: NG, picric acid, TNT, mercury fulminate (recipe 1) and tetryl. I can vouch personally for the smokeless powder recipe. The only quibbles I have: NG: the max temp. given seems a little high. I would keep it around 0 C. Actually,

I wouldn't do it at all. Obtaining oleum and fuming nitric is too difficult anyway. tetryl: dimethylaniline is quite toxic if I remember correctly. Who can get it anyway?

TNT:

They should be a little more specific about the acid mixture required, and the fact that you need fuming nitric (i.e., d=1.5)

As far as the other recipes go, I noticed only one major flaw. The chloride of azote recipe has insufficient warnings. In fact, it is too dangerous to use. It's a recipe for nitrogen trichloride (azote is an archaic term for nitrogen). They fail to mention that this stuff is almost as bad as NI3: heat, light, a slight jar, or contact with anything organic can cause it to explode. It's discoverer, a Frenchman named Dulong, lost 3 fingers and an eye. Someone asked about the tear gas recipe. It's a crude synthesis for acrolein, an irritating/ noxious substance. I've never made it. The DMT recipe has a mistake. Anyway, the bottom line is that the AC is not perfect. Davis and Urbanski are much, much better. But for what it is, an underground manual from 1971, the AC is still an interesting overview of certain aspects of technology, a fascinating read, and a classic. Yogi

From: roger_sf@postoffice.utas.edu.au (R.Fleming) Newsgroups: rec.pyrotechnics Subject: Re: Anarchist Cookbook Date: 25 Jul 1994 01:27:38 GMT Message-ID: <roger_sf-250794104951@tasuniunio96h41.tuu.utas.edu.au> yshan@bcarh697.bnr.ca (Yogi Shan) wrote: [quote of Bill] > Sorry Bill, but the recipe looks O.K. to me: grind > seeds, wash with petroleum ether, extract with > methanol, evaporate methanol to get LAA. That's the trouble with a lot of this stuff, Yogi; it looks OK at first glance (unless you have been carefully programmed KClO3+S=DANGER!!DANGER!!), but when you think about the details of how it really works in practice, all the holes appear. Looks to me that this would extract any slightly polar molecules, not just LAAs, so it's right to say it is crude. Of course, LAAs are probably the most dangerous stuff in the plant anyway...

Also, as the natural precursors are considerably less active than LSD itself, anyone who used this believing it to be LSD might get a big shock if they tried the real thing. Anyone trying to sell it as the real thing to psychotic bikers(1) would get an even bigger shock... Presumably at some point your methanol solution will be concentrated enough for effective doses to be absorbed through poor chemical hygiene; does the AC mention precautions for this? (Q: what happens if someone gets a bad trip whilst playing with flammable solvents in an improvised chem lab? This is where the pyro comes in...) Does the AC mention that LSD can cause permanent brain damage from a single trip? Whatever your opinion otherwise of the stupidity of abusing these substances, a warning about the possible effects of spilling a good dollop of really conc. solution on yourself would probably catch most people's attention faster even than the risk of maiming with some of the other recipes... [...] (1) Most motorcyclists are not psychotics. Just ducking the flames!!

From: yshan@bcarh844.bnr.ca (Yogi Shan) Newsgroups: rec.pyrotechnics Subject: Re: Anarchist Cookbook Date: 3 Aug 1994 21:44:38 GMT Message-ID: <31p346$88n@bmerha64.bnr.ca> yshan@bcarh697.bnr.ca (Yogi Shan) wrote: > Sorry Bill, but the recipe looks O.K. to me: grind > seeds, wash with petroleum ether, extract with > methanol, evaporate methanol to get LAA. roger_sf@postoffice.utas.edu.au (R.Fleming) responded: **> **> **> **> That's the trouble with a lot of this stuff, Yogi; it looks OK at first glance.., but when you think about the details of how it really works in practice, all the holes appear.

Not with this recipe, or the others I mentioned. The procedure for LAA extraction is well-documented from the days of Wasserman in the late '50's in Mexico. **> **> **> Looks to me that this would extract any slightly polar molecules, not just LAAs, so it's right to say it is crude.

It's meant to be crude. It's tailored for people to do at home. At least there's a petroleum ether wash. What do you expect, chomatography? **> **> **> **> Also, as the natural precursors are considerably less active than LSD itself, anyone who used this believing it to be LSD might get a big shock if they tried the real thing.

Jesus H. Christ. I dropped out of arguing about this when bill started getting pedantic on this point. Yes, LAA is 10% as potent as LSD. But the recipe gives the yield in dosage units (D.U.s), so it doesn't really matter what the f* you're producing from the home chemist's perspective since the effects will be similar to LSD. **> Presumably at some point your methanol solution

**> **>

will be concentrated enough for effective doses to be absorbed through poor chemical hygiene...

If you're processing 5 kilo lots of seeds at a time, possibly. The recipe involves a fraction of this: 1 dosage unit. **> **> Does the AC mention that LSD can cause permanent brain damage from a single trip? I think the above statement

Uh-huh. Like UseNet, no doubt. about sums up your whole post. Bzzzzzzt! Yogi Thank you for playing.

From: yshan@bcarh844.bnr.ca (Yogi Shan) Newsgroups: rec.pyrotechnics Subject: Re: Anarchist Cookbook Date: 4 Aug 1994 15:19:14 GMT Message-ID: <31r0ti$3hb@bmerha64.bnr.ca> Sorry folks. I said: **> Yes, LAA is 10% as potent as LSD. I rechecked and I'm off by an order of magnitude. LAA is only 1-2% as potent. Also, it's not Wasson who first isolated and characterized LAA in morning glory. It was Albert Hofmann, who received a sample of Ololiqiu from R.E.Schultes. (Ref: Stafford) Yogi *********************************************************** Charlie don't Net-Surf! *********************************************************** Memory short-circuit.

From: roger_sf@postoffice.utas.edu.au (R.Fleming) Newsgroups: rec.pyrotechnics Subject: Re: Anarchist Cookbook (off topic, long) Date: Fri, 05 Aug 1994 19:11:26 +1000 Message-ID: <roger_sf-050894191126@mac-9.maths.utas.edu.au> Well, it seems I have been flamed by no less prestigious a team than Bill and Yogi. Apologies for taking some time to reply; I have been busy in IRL, and waiting (unsuccessfully) for the appearance of the alt.drugs FAQ to comment on that. I will point out that except where noted, all of my original comments on LSD and LAA, and these further comments, are based on the reference books found at the end of this post. I post this followup because it relates to the reliability of a well known piece of fringe literature, but due to getting so far off topic, further replies will be responded to only by mail. Note followups line.

billn@hpcvaac.cv.hp.com (bill nelson) wrote: [...] > What do you mean by "dangerous"? Lysergic acid is normally extracted from ergot, which contains a number of very active materials, some extremely poisonous, so very high purification would be necessary. Morning glory contains (apparently) no other materials nearly as active as LAAs, so impurity would only affect the final concentration. [...] > Bad trips are rather rare with psychadelics, and are more a matter of > expectations and setting than anything else. Well, given that bad trips can result in suicide or fatal accidents, the 1-in-a-thousand rates that occurred in psychiatrically controlled surroundings may still seem too high, YMMV. It is impossible to estimate the proportion of bad trips among "illicit" users. It is true that psychological clues can affect the nature of the experience, although they are not the only factor, and experiments in the 60's on using LSD for psychotherapy revealed no guaranteed method for preventing bad trips. Interestingly, experiments in the 50's actually tried to induce psychosis, when it was (wrongly) hoped that LSD could be used to develop models of "natural" psychosis. The method used? Placing the subject in a laboratory setting amidst a process they could not understand... >:the pyro comes in...) Does the AC mention that LSD can cause permanent >:brain damage from a single trip? Whatever your opinion otherwise of the > > No, it does not - and rightly so. LSD cannot cause brain damage - even > upon consuming massive doses. Nor can a single dose of LSD make a person > psychotic - or any of the other myths propagated by the WOD warriors. OK, "brain damage" is probably too sloppy and emotive a term, but it corresponds reasonably with most peoples' description of a severe adverse reaction. See my response to Yogi (below) for more specifics. And sorry, Bill, a single dose of LSD _can_ make a person psychotic. In fact, the original clinical use was to deliberately induce temporary psychosis for experimental purposes. This was halted because a) the psychosis is too variable, and often matches a "natural" psychosis poorly and b) sometimes (rarely) it wasn't temporary... If the alt.drugs FAQ claims that LSD cannot cause psychosis, it is unreliable at best; this is one of the most studied aspects of the drug, dating from long before it became restricted. All of the references below contain fairly detailed information about this. Of course, "psychosis" does not necessarily mean homicidal mania, though it might. >:stupidity of abusing these substances, a warning about the possible effects >:of spilling a good dollop of really conc. solution on yourself would >:probably catch most people's attention faster even than the risk of maiming >:with some of the other recipes... > > Spilling it on yourself would do nothing - as it is too large a molecule > to be absorbed through the skin. However, ingesting a few hundred micro> grams would likely get that person's attention - assuming that they had > not tripped on lsd within the previous couple of days. If they had, then > they would notice little, or no, effect. You will be aware that molecular size is not the only, nor indeed the most important factor in determining permeability. For example, skin keeps out

water, but is readily passed by quite large nerve gas molecules. That LSD is selectively absorbed is shown by the ease with which it crosses the blood-brain barrier. In fact, I have no idea how permeable the skin is to LSD; all of the references simply say that it is "quickly" absorbed through mucosal membranes. The experience of acquaintances suggests this includes the lips and eyelids, not just the commonly used tongue. But what I really meant is that if it were sufficiently concentrated, an effective dose might be absorbed through a minor cut. In retrospect, this is much less likely with LAA than LSD. You are right in mentioning that a temporary tolerance occurs for LSD, which lasts as much as 9 days. Incidentally, it cross-tolerates to a number of other hallucinogens as well. > For more information on LSD, there is a rather interesting FAQ on > alt.drugs. Well, Bill, I haven't caught up with that FAQ yet, so I can't really comment on it. However, if it disagrees with clinical research, I'll go with the latter. Without seeing the FAQ, I wonder if it uses personal anecdotes, which are particularly unreliable when dealing with perception altering substances (ever met someone who swore he could drive better drunk?). For example, in supervised experiments in the 70's, it was found that habitual users had far better recollection of good trips than bad ones. I don't know how else they could produce a contrary view, as I have read quite a bit of the clinical stuff, dating from the fifties to the eighties, and it is pretty uniform in results. (The later stuff answers some earlier questions, of course, but also becomes less common as clinical interest declines). [Stuff I agree with] > > > > > > Although I do not use psychadelics, or any other illegal drugs, I realize that they can be used - without being abused. This is exactly the same as the situation with explosives - it is possible to experiment with them, without "abusing" them. In both cases, our governments seem unwilling to admit this - and insist on attempting to prevent anyone from even the risk of abuse.

Yeah, well, fair enough. I just get twitchy about LSD because I know some guys who have been badly caught out. yshan@bcarh697.bnr.ca (Yogi Shan) wrote: [...] >Not with this recipe, or the others I mentioned. The >procedure for LAA extraction is well-documented from >the days of Wasserman in the late '50's in Mexico. It's supposed to be LSD production, and it omits some important details. I have heard approximate descriptions of illegal production, and they use a totally different method, which produces near-pure LSD. **> **> **> Looks to me that this would extract any slightly polar molecules, not just LAAs, so it's right to say it is crude.

>It's meant to be crude. It's tailored for people to >do at home. At least there's a petroleum ether wash. >What do you expect, chomatography? Fair enough. I was thinking of ergotamines from ergot, but with morning glory the other products are fairly safe. Of course they make it difficult to be sure of the dose. **> Also, as the natural precursors are considerably

**> **> **>

less active than LSD itself, anyone who used this believing it to be LSD might get a big shock if they tried the real thing.

>Jesus H. Christ. I dropped out of arguing about this >when bill started getting pedantic on this point. Yes, >LAA is 10% as potent as LSD. But the recipe gives the >yield in dosage units (D.U.s), so it doesn't really matter >what the f* you're producing from the home chemist's >perspective since the effects will be similar to LSD. [Noted your correction 10% -> 1%]. Assuming the proportions are sufficiently constant, a recipe given in dosage units is a good idea. _But_ there are still some nasty shocks in store for the clueless newbie who doesn't realize the difference, because LAAs and LSD have different effects, not just different strengths. LSD has much more marked psychadelic properties, while LAAs have more effect on other parts of the CNS. Specifically, LSD produces far more intense hallucinations and personality alterations, while LAAs produce fairly weak (if any) hallucinations, feelings of lethargy and apathy, and sometimes nausea and vomiting. Because LSD is notoriously variable in its effects, the difference in psychadelic effects is not guaranteed, but in controlled experiments habitual users of LSD did not even notice the psychadelic effects from LAAs, up to doses which put them to sleep or caused vomiting. LAAs can be and are used as a more readily available alternative to LSD, but blurring the distinction makes the author of AC clueless. **> **> **> Presumably at some point your methanol solution will be concentrated enough for effective doses to be absorbed through poor chemical hygiene...

>If you're processing 5 kilo lots of seeds at a time, >possibly. The recipe involves a fraction of this: 1 dosage >unit. The point is - does the book warn not to make larger batches? Perhaps it does, but this is the sort of thing which is just taken for granted. **> **> Does the AC mention that LSD can cause permanent brain damage from a single trip? I think the above statement

>Uh-huh. Like UseNet, no doubt. >about sums up your whole post. >Bzzzzzzt! Thank you for playing.

I'm glad you enjoyed it. That statement probably does some up my whole post; a little over-emotive (sorry, it's a sore point), but based on clinical research, not urban legend. As mentioned above, the term "brain damage" is probably a bit emotive and not technically correct, but it does the job. Now for some facts on the long term adverse effects of using LSD. The biological half-life of LSD in man is 3 hours, so trips typically start to wind down after 12 hours, sometimes longer in the case of large doses. Metabolic changes are frequently detectable a week later, sometimes up to 9 days. During this period the user is much less sensitive to LSD and a number of related hallucinogens. However, in about 15% of users another phenomenon, known as the flashback, occurs possibly many years after the last dose. Although there is no chance of any drug still being present, and no metabolic changes are detectable, for about 24 hours the person will behave as if under the influence of LSD. Compared to actually taking the drug, there is a much greater chance that this will be a "bad trip". There is anecdotal evidence for shorter flashbacks, down to a few minutes in length. There are a number of differet theories as to the cause of flashbacks, ranging from psychosomatic causes to permanent structural

alterations, but the answer was unknown as at 1985, with new research becoming less common because of the decline of clinical use. Certainly LSD _can_ produce physical alterations to brain tissues - specifically, vacuolization of nuclei of cortical neurons, and depletion and fragmentation of the Nissl substance. (From experiments with rats given large doses; incidentally, rabbits are much more sensitive than man, but rats are somewhat less so). A smaller subset of users experience far more severe complications than flasbacks, including schizophrenic decomposition requiring semi-permanent hospitalization, and at least one has had definite organic brain dysfunctions (associated with neural squelae) lasting several months (this last in a child). Finally, as at 1985, the mutagenic and carcinogenic properties of LSD were considered unproved but probable, with a known route for possible DNA attack, directly related to the mode of hallucination induction. Increased chance of "spontaneous" abortion in pregnant users was proven, and probably acts in the same way as the closely related ergotamines. References __________ Principles of Medical Pharmacology, Univ. of Toronto Press, 1985 Clinical Pharmacology: Basic Principles in Therapeutics, MacMillan, 1978 Fundamentals of Biochemical Pharmacology, Pergamon Press, 1971 Principles of Psychopharmacology, Academic Press, 1970 The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, MacMillan, 1985 Ergot alkaloids and related compounds, Springer-Verlag, 1978