On most websites, there’s a boilerplate privacy policy that was written many years ago by an intellectual property lawyer. I’m guessing that the work was done by a young associate at a big New York City law firm who thought she was going to be Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird and then got stuck with this boring job.

Yes, this statement you’re reading was vetted by a lawyer, but it’s going to be a lot more personal than the usual website privacy policy. If I’m defending the idea of privacy in our surveillance culture, then I have a particular duty to explain what I’m doing on my author website.

I am never going to ask for your real name or address unless I mail you a free signed book (read below). There’s no reason to send me any sort of financial information so don’t worry about that.

If you want to get free e-books, book excerpts, free music downloads and a chance to win signed books, you’ll have to “register” one of your email addresses on this site. But I’m not going to disclose these email addresses to any third party except for purposes of site maintenance (see below).

If you don’t want to register a valid email address – that’s okay with me. But then you aren’t going get any free stuff.

If you have opted to join my email list, I will occasionally send you an email message. These emails might tell you if a new book is being published or if one of my novels is being turned into a film.

In the future, I’m going to run contests where the winners will receive free signed books. I promise to pick the winners in a fair manner (I may use a software program to handle this). The decisions made by the contest judges (the author and his friends) are final! If you didn’t win – don’t complain.

If you do win, I will ask you (via email) for your snail mail address so I can mail you a book. This information will also be protected and will never be disclosed to a third party.


This website may collect statistics about the behavior of visitors to its websites. This information is practical stuff like how many visitors the site has each day and how many people download the free e-book. Note: I’m talking about statistics, not email addresses or names. I may display this “metadata” publicly or provide it to others.

So why would I do that? For example, if I want a foreign publisher to translate and print physical copies of Against Authority, I will show them the numbers of people that asked for the free download.

However, I will not disclose your potentially personally-identifying and personally-identifying information (the email address) other than as described below.


I may have to disclose potentially personally-identifying and personally-identifying information (your email address) to an employee of my literary agency, to a website designer or to someone directly involved with the design, reboot or maintenance of the website. For example, if the website crashes for some reason, I might need an Internet genius to take a look at the entire site and figure out what happened.

But I will never rent or sell potentially personally-identifying and personally-identifying information to anyone.

So what happens if I receive a subpoena, court order or other governmental request requesting potentially personally-identifying and personally-identifying information?

Well, first of all, they are going to have to find me – which might be difficult to do. And then – if they tracked me down – I would fight this court order with every legal means.

But anything can happen. So, yes, I suppose it is possible that the government could obtain a list of my registered email addresses. I’d like to wave a black anarchist flag about this, but I don’t want to bullshit you with fake promises (unlike a lot of huge corporations that rolled over for NSA).

That being said…I will take all measures reasonably necessary to protect against the unauthorized access, use, alteration or destruction of potentially personally-identifying and personally-identifying information.


A cookie is a string of information that a website stores on a visitor’s computer, and that the visitor’s browser provides to the website each time the visitor returns. This website will not try to send you cookies, but WordPress uses cookies for logged-in visitors (i.e. those people who comment or log-in to access password-protected materials).

In addition, if you decide to download the free e-book, Against Authority, you’re going to be using a software program provided by a company called Aerbook. They do use cookies for a variety of mechanical functions involved with transferring the book to you.

  1. There’s an Aerbook cookie for login (so you can remain logged in).

  2. There’s a cookie to hold page location for illustrated, fixed layout books. If you leave and return, you will come to the same page.

  3. There’s a cookie to ensure the display offering email list signup is shown only once.

  4. And there’s one last cookie to show you the “Save as a Web App” option only once.

This may sound like a lot, but each of these cookies is designed for a specific utility function. For example, the fourth one keeps you from being presented the “Save as a Web App” option again and again and again.

There aren’t any Aerbook cookies that will send you Spam and the company doesn’t use “cookie users” for marketing purposes.

I strongly recommend that your computer uses an anti-virus program that routinely scans your hard disk for cookies. Once you obtain the free book, your anti-virus program will remove the   Aerbook cookies. This is what I would do if I wanted to download my own book.


I promise never to transfer your email addresses to anyone else. If I go back to the monastery in Nepal – and stay there – the website will post one final message and then will be shut down. If I hit by a bus, I’ve asked my friends to post one final message. It will tell you that it was both a pleasure and an honor to write books that some people enjoyed reading. My two children will not sell or transfer your email messages either. They know that behavior would really annoy me.


In the future, there may be a message board for reader comments and questions. I am under no obligation to save or post these statements. Yes, I’m a Buddhist and I try to manifest daily compassion. But that doesn’t stop me from getting annoyed with people who express racist, sexist, anti-Semitic or hyper-nationalist remarks.If you want to join the troll army…go on someone else’s website. I’m not against negative comments – just stupid, bigoted ideas that are a display of weakness and fear. But feel free to make nasty remarks about Vegemite ice cream (disgusting!).


If I decide to place a message board on this site and you post a comment or a question on it this is defined as “content.”Your content is not private and is not subject to the restrictions on use of private information in this Privacy Policy. My advice is: don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your Mother and NSA to read. In general, you should be careful and think before you post anything on the Internet.


I’m reserving the right to change this Privacy Policy if there is some necessity to do so. I’m not going to be sneaky about this. The changes will summarized and posted on this page. Your continued use of this site after any change in this website’s Privacy Policy, whether or not you are aware of any change, will constitute your acceptance of such change.