Omaha Shooter Had History of Psychotropic Drug Use

Originally published December 6 2007

Omaha Shooter Robert Hawkins Had Been "Treated" For ADHD, Depression

by Mike Adams

(NewsTarget) America seems shocked that, yet again, a young male would pick up an assault rifle and murder his fellow citizens, then take his own life. This is what happened last night in Omaha, Nebraska, where the 19-year-old Hawkins killed himself and eight other people with an assault rifle. Those lacking keen observation skills are quick to blame guns for this tragedy, but others who are familiar with the history of such violent acts by young males instantly recognize a more sinister connection: A history of treatment with psychiatric drugs for depression and ADHD.

It all started in Columbine, Colorado, when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold massacred their way into the history books on April 20, 1999 by killing 12 and wounding 23 people. The mainstream media virtually glorified the event, yet utterly failed to report the connection between violence in young men and treatment with psychiatric drugs. (Both Harris and Klebold were taking antidepressant drugs.)

It’s a little known fact that antidepressant drugs have never been tested on children nor approved by the FDA for use on children. It is well established in the scientific literature, however, that such drugs cause young men to think violent thoughts and commit violent acts. This is precisely why the U.K. has outright banned the prescribing of such drugs to children. Yet here in the United States — the capitol of gun violence by kids on depression drugs — the FDA and drug companies pretend that mind-altering drugs have no link whatsoever to behavior.

Enormous evidence linking mind-altering drugs with violent acts

In 2005, I reported on this site that Eli Lilly had full knowledge of a 1200% increase in suicide risk for takers of their Prozac drug, a popular anti-depressant SSRI medication. (See http://www.newstarget.com/003086.html )

In 2006, we reported the results of a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry showing that teens taking antidepressant drugs are more likely to commit suicide (and to be "successful" at completing the act). See http://www.newstarget.com/020643.html

On September 11, 2006, I reported on the link between antidepressant drugs and violent behavior yet again. (See http://www.newstarget.com/020394.html ) In that article, I explained, "If you’re going to alter the brain chemistry of these children, you had better be prepared for the results. The result we’re seeing now is mass killings. Elsewhere around the world, where children aren’t doped up on all these drugs, we don’t see this kind of behavior. This is what happens when you change children’s brain chemistry; you get these results…"

The very next day, we published a report about the anti-depressant drug Paxil doubling the risk of violent behavior. (See http://www.newstarget.com/020406.html ) In that article, I stated, "This finding helps explain why school shootings are almost always conducted by children who are taking antidepressants. We also know that SSRIs cause children to disconnect from reality. When you combine that with a propensity for violence, you create a dangerous recipe for school shootings and other adolescent violence.

In April of this year, I also reported on the link between antidepressant drugs and the Virginia Tech shooting. See http://www.newstarget.com/021798.html

What I said in that article has urgent application right now, following the Omaha shooting:

A study published in the Public Library of Science Medicine (an open source medical journal) explored these same links in detail. (See Antidepressants and Violence: Problems at the Interface of Medicine and Law, by David Healy, Andrew Herxheimer, David B. Menkes)

The authors note that "Some regulators, such as the Canadian regulators, have also referred to risks of treatment-induced activation leading to both self-harm and harm to others" and the "United States labels for all antidepressants as of August 2004 note that ‘anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, and mania have been reported in adult and pediatric patients being treated with antidepressants for major depressive disorder as well as for other indications, both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric’".

In other words, the link between antidepressants and violence has been known for years by the very people manufacturing, marketing or prescribing the drugs. As the author of the study mentioned above concluded, "The new issues highlighted by these cases need urgent examination jointly by jurists and psychiatrists in all countries where antidepressants are widely used."

That was last year, well before this latest shooting. The warning signs were there, and they’ve been visible for a long time. Medical authorities can hardly say they are "shocked" by this violent behavior. After all, the same pattern of violence among antidepressant takers has been observed, documented and published in numerous previous cases.


(Click the cartoon for the full-sized version.)

Not surprised at what happened in Omaha

The people of Omaha may be surprised at what happened there yesterday, but I’m not. Why? Because the shooter, Robert Hawkins, had a history of being "treated" for both depression and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). (Source: Associated Press)

And what is the standard American psychiatric "treatment" for these conditions? Mind-altering drugs, of course.

ADHD, for example, is treated with a drug that used to be an illegal street drug called "speed." It’s an amphetamine, and recent research published in the August, 2007 issue of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry reveals that Ritalin and other ADHD drugs actually stunt the growth of children, causing their brains and bodies to be physically altered. (See http://www.newstarget.com/021944.html )

Depression, of course, is treated with SSRI drugs, none of which have ever been safety approved by the FDA for use on children or teens. In other words, the use of these drugs on teenagers is a grand, mind-altering medical experiment, and what we just witnessed in Omaha is one result of that experiment.

There will be more. I hate to be accurate about this grisly prediction, because I grieve for the families of those lost to pharmaceutically-induced violence, but the truth is that until we stop drugging our children with psychotropic drugs, the shootings are not going to stop.

Big Pharma is to blame for this one, not the manufacturer of the gun. That gun has a trigger, you see, and the trigger was pulled by a finger. The finger was connected via a series of nerves to a brain, and that brain was altered by psychotropic drugs. The brain wasn’t functioning like a normal, healthy, well-nourished brain; it was functioning like a zoned out "zombie" brain permanently distorted by psychiatric drugs.

Sending a teenager out into the public doped up on mind-altering drugs that we KNOW are linked to violence — and jacked up on junk foods (he worked at McDonald’s) — is a certain recipe for disaster. Big Pharma executives, drug reps and the irresponsible psychiatrists who dish these pills out to teenagers might as well have just walked right into the mall and set off a bomb themselves. These are the people ultimately responsible for the tragedy in Omaha. Hawkins may have pulled the trigger, but modern psychiatry drugged him with violence-inducing chemicals. The fact that such drugs promote violence isn’t even disputed. It’s printed right on the warning labels of those drugs!

And as sad as this tragedy is for all those affected by this medication-induced violence, the truly sad part is that America still hasn’t learned this lesson. If you drug the children with chemicals that cause violence, you’re going to see more shootings. It’s as simple as that. And if you take away the guns, you’ll see bombs, knives or machetes used in these attacks. When disturbed young boys are doped up on psychotropic drugs that promote violence — and they’re drugged by the hundreds of thousands — it’s like playing a national game of Russian roulette (with apologies to Russia). Sooner or later, another kid whose mind has been altered by Ritalin, Prozac or some other drug is going to walk into yet another school or mall and start killing people. This kind of behavior is a direct product of chemical-based psychiatric "treatment."

The criminals running modern psychiatry

In fact, I predict we’ll see another such shooting in the next 30 days, if not sooner. And yet, even with the increasing frequency of these events, the unholy alliance between Big Pharma and the immensely evil psychiatric industry will continue. Yet more children will be put on mind-altering drugs that stunt their growth, alter their brain chemistry, and turn them into mind-numbed massacre drones who acquire dangerous weapons and open fire in public places.

The psychiatric industry, though, thinks that yet MORE children need "treatment" with drugs for ADHD and depression. In fact, an industry press release recently claimed that only one-third of those children "suffering" from ADHD are receiving appropriate "treatment" for the condition. Of course, those are just code words for "drugging the children with high-profit pharmaceuticals." When the psychiatric authorities say "treatment," what they mean is "more drugging."

Want to learn the horrifying, yet true, history of modern psychiatry? Check out www.CCHR.org – the Citizens’ Commission on Human Rights. They have a documentary so downright shocking that I couldn’t even finish watching the whole thing. It’s called Psychiatry: An Industry of Death.

Psyched Out: How Psychiatry Sells Mental Illness and Pushes Pills That KillAlso be sure to check out the shocking book by Kelly Patricia O’Meara called Psyched Out: How Psychiatry Sells Mental Illness and Pushes Pills That Kill. This book explains exactly why kids like Robert Hawkins who have been treated with psychiatric drugs end up shooting innocents.

What could have healed Robert Hawkins and saved lives

So what’s the solution to all this? Robert Hawkins could have been healed with a radical change in diet that supports healthy brain chemistry. His parents or caretakers should have stopped the junk food, ended the medication and put him on raw, living foods and daily superfood smoothies, fresh vegetable juices, raw nuts and seeds and other wholesome, non-processed foods. Nutrition is the single most powerful factor determining healthy moods and behavior, and virtually all young men who commit violent acts (including the vast majority of those imprisoned in the U.S. today) suffer from wild nutritional deficiencies.

Robert Hawkins could have been a healthy, stable and normal kid with the help of some real food, real nutrition and real love from a supporting family. Instead, he lived on junk food, worked at McDonald’s and took medication pills as directed by his psychiatric doctor. The results speak for themselves: This recipe of processed food and mind-altering drugs created a monster, and yesterday in Omaha, that monster exploded in a rage of violence.

If we don’t learn from all this and stop drugging our nation’s children, then those innocents in Omaha will have died in vain. And I ask the question: How many more innocent Americans must pay the price for medication-induced violence?

Ask yourself one question: Why does the FDA continue to allow these dangerous drugs to be prescribed to children and teens when 1) They have never been tested on children or teens, and 2) Other countries have already banned the prescribing of these drugs to children and teens?

Story Notes: The Associated Press originally reported Hawkins’ age as 20 years old, but corrected it to 19 years old following a correction by local police. Hawkins was not reported to have been taking medications at the precise time of the shooting, but his caretaker, Debora Maruca-Kovac, said that "he had been treated in the past for depression and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder." We do not know exactly which drugs Hawkins had been treated with in the past, and we hope the names of those drugs will surface in future reports on this tragedy.

NewsTarget deeply regrets the loss of life witnessed in this event, and we commit to doing our part to end these medication-induced crimes that continue to be perpetrated by Big Pharma and modern psychiatry. You have permission to forward or reprint this article, with appropriate credit and a link back to this URL.



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http://www.newstarget.com/022330.html

US Gov’t Propaganda for Martial Law at Malls

Mall Insecurity: Targets for Threats?

Deadly Omaha Mall Shooting Raises Questions About Shopping Center Safety

By PIERRE THOMAS

Dec. 5, 2007 —

Police have long worried that malls are the perfect target for deranged criminals or terrorists.

There is ample evidence that there is good reason for concern — from a deadly mall shooting in Omaha Wednesday, in which a shooter took nine lives, including his own, to shootings at malls in Georgia and Texas just this past week.

Last February, an 18-year-old fatally shot five people and injured four others during a mall shooting near Salt Lake City in Utah.

In April a mall shooting spree in Kansas City left three dead.

And in 2002, the D.C. snipers murdered at least two people outside of strip malls.

"Malls are always going to be a soft target, but keep in mind they’re particularly busy around the holiday season," former FBI agent Brad Garrett told ABC News.

"So for someone to go into a mall and commit the acts this individual has committed, it creates a mindset in the public, are malls really safe to go to?" he continued.

Last month, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security sent out a bulletin warning of a plot to target malls in major cities.

The intelligence was determined to be of weak credibility, but underscores how seriously law enforcement deems the threat.

Now the concern with the holiday season is that the latest tragedy in Omaha will spur copycats.

DHS Advisor was Present at Omaha Mall During Shooting

DHS Advisor was Present at Omaha Mall During Shooting

By Mickey McCarter, HSToday Washington correspondent

An advisor from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was present at the Westroads Mall in Omaha, Neb. during the attack by deranged 19-year-old gunman Robert Hawkins on Wednesday, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff revealed at a press conference yesterday.

Chertoff revealed that his department had long been preoccupied with the potential threat to malls. Noting that shopping malls are private property and owners are responsible for their security, Chertoff stated that DHS has been working with commercial entities and local police departments to encourage security upgrades at commercial facilities.

“This past fall, we held regional training seminars in 12 cities across the country to talk about things like IED [improvised explosive device] and vehicle-borne IED prevention, and soft target awareness,” Chertoff noted. “We do work with the Commercial Facilities Sector Security group to talk about best practices and also convey intelligence and information about the kinds of things that are out there.”

DHS protective security advisors also visit various commercial facilities and make recommendations for security improvements, the secretary said. One such advisor was visiting the Westroads Mall at the time of the gunman attack to discuss IEDs with mall security, he revealed. The mall had received $45,000 under a grant from the Buffer Zone Protection Plan to protect against vehicle-borne IEDs by deploying bollards at mall entrances, portable barriers and communications systems. Chertoff did not give the advisor’s name.

Chertoff emphasized, however, that US society is open and commercial marketplaces cannot bear the burden of too many security measures on top of each other.

“So we want to have the right balance between putting in some prudent security measures, but also not so confining the ability to enter our commercial retail establishments that people don’t wind up wanting to go to shop. And I think this balance is one we have to achieve in partnership not only with local government and state government, but with the private sector as well,” Chertoff said.

http://www.hstoday.us/National/DHS/20071207_DHS_Advisor_was_Present_at_Omaha_Mall_During_Shooting.cfm

RPT-KBR, Halliburton hit by ex-worker’s rape charges

RPT-KBR, Halliburton hit by ex-worker’s rape charges

Thu Dec 20, 2007 7:24am EST

By Anna Driver

HOUSTON, Dec 19 (Reuters) – Major Pentagon contractor KBR Inc and former parent Halliburton Co  are facing rising political heat from a lawsuit filed by a woman who says she was gang-raped by fellow employees of a KBR unit in Iraq.

The complaint by Jamie Leigh Jones accuses the companies of tolerating abusive behavior and sexual harassment, creating a dangerous place to work for women in Iraq.

KBR, the Pentagon’s largest private contractor in Iraq, has already drawn scrutiny from auditors, lawmakers and the U.S. Justice Department for its billing claims related to services provided to troops in that country.

Jones, who went public to draw attention to her case, is suing KBR and Halliburton for compensatory and punitive damages in federal court in Houston.

Her allegations have won big play on TV, provided fodder for anti-war bloggers and caught the attention of politicians.

Jones testified about the incident on Wednesday before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee at a hearing on the enforcement of laws to protect Americans working in Iraq.

The investigation of the attack, initially undertaken by KBR security personnel, was turned over to the government at the government’s request, KBR said.

Now lawmakers are demanding answers and accountability.

"The individuals who assaulted Jamie must be rounded up and tried," Ted Poe, a Republican congressman from Texas, said in his statement at the hearing. "Nonfeasance by civilian contracting companies cannot be tolerated."

Companies that hire civilian contractors in Iraq have an obligation to provide a safe place to work, he said.

Other politicians who have called for action include New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, who is a seeking to become the first woman U.S. president, and Rep. John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

FALLOUT

Halliburton, which spun off KBR into a separate company earlier this year, says it has been improperly named in the action and expects to be dismissed from the lawsuit.

In an e-mail statement, a KBR spokeswoman said it was improper to comment on pending litigation, but the safety and security of employees was the company’s top priority.

"Clearly from a public relations standpoint, this is doing absolutely no good for the companies," said Sheryl Willert, past president of defense lawyer group DRI and a labor and employment attorney with Williams Kastner in Seattle.

"It certainly does not do much for their reputations."

According to Jones, she was drugged and raped by KBR employees working as firefighters in Baghdad after only four days in Iraq.

The attack was so vicious, she said in legal documents, that it displaced her breast implants and required the repair of her torn pectoral muscles.

Jones alleges that after the attack, KBR held her under armed guard for 24 hours, and the results of a medical examination documenting the attack that were given to company security workers have now disappeared.

No criminal charges have been filed.

KBR and Halliburton have argued in court papers that the matter be settled in arbitration rather than by a jury.

But lawyers said both methods carry risks.

"If the allegations are in fact true, I think even the coldest arbitrator might award substantial damages to a victim of that sort of conduct," Seth Chandler, a professor of law at the University of Houston.

Trials can also pose a risk because juries are unpredictable, and Texas juries have in the past given huge punitive awards, Willert said.

© Reuters 2007. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.

RPT-KBR, Halliburton hit by ex-worker’s rape charges

RPT-KBR, Halliburton hit by ex-worker’s rape charges

Thu Dec 20, 2007 7:24am EST

By Anna Driver

HOUSTON, Dec 19 (Reuters) – Major Pentagon contractor KBR Inc and former parent Halliburton Co  are facing rising political heat from a lawsuit filed by a woman who says she was gang-raped by fellow employees of a KBR unit in Iraq.

The complaint by Jamie Leigh Jones accuses the companies of tolerating abusive behavior and sexual harassment, creating a dangerous place to work for women in Iraq.

KBR, the Pentagon’s largest private contractor in Iraq, has already drawn scrutiny from auditors, lawmakers and the U.S. Justice Department for its billing claims related to services provided to troops in that country.

Jones, who went public to draw attention to her case, is suing KBR and Halliburton for compensatory and punitive damages in federal court in Houston.

Her allegations have won big play on TV, provided fodder for anti-war bloggers and caught the attention of politicians.

Jones testified about the incident on Wednesday before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee at a hearing on the enforcement of laws to protect Americans working in Iraq.

The investigation of the attack, initially undertaken by KBR security personnel, was turned over to the government at the government’s request, KBR said.

Now lawmakers are demanding answers and accountability.

"The individuals who assaulted Jamie must be rounded up and tried," Ted Poe, a Republican congressman from Texas, said in his statement at the hearing. "Nonfeasance by civilian contracting companies cannot be tolerated."

Companies that hire civilian contractors in Iraq have an obligation to provide a safe place to work, he said.

Other politicians who have called for action include New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, who is a seeking to become the first woman U.S. president, and Rep. John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

FALLOUT

Halliburton, which spun off KBR into a separate company earlier this year, says it has been improperly named in the action and expects to be dismissed from the lawsuit.

In an e-mail statement, a KBR spokeswoman said it was improper to comment on pending litigation, but the safety and security of employees was the company’s top priority.

"Clearly from a public relations standpoint, this is doing absolutely no good for the companies," said Sheryl Willert, past president of defense lawyer group DRI and a labor and employment attorney with Williams Kastner in Seattle.

"It certainly does not do much for their reputations."

According to Jones, she was drugged and raped by KBR employees working as firefighters in Baghdad after only four days in Iraq.

The attack was so vicious, she said in legal documents, that it displaced her breast implants and required the repair of her torn pectoral muscles.

Jones alleges that after the attack, KBR held her under armed guard for 24 hours, and the results of a medical examination documenting the attack that were given to company security workers have now disappeared.

No criminal charges have been filed.

KBR and Halliburton have argued in court papers that the matter be settled in arbitration rather than by a jury.

But lawyers said both methods carry risks.

"If the allegations are in fact true, I think even the coldest arbitrator might award substantial damages to a victim of that sort of conduct," Seth Chandler, a professor of law at the University of Houston.

Trials can also pose a risk because juries are unpredictable, and Texas juries have in the past given huge punitive awards, Willert said.

© Reuters 2007. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.

Estulin: Elitists Consider Assassinating Ron Paul

Estulin, whose information has unfortunately proven very accurate in the past, went public with the bombshell news during an appearance on The Alex Jones Show today.

"I am getting information from my sources that there are people involved from a higher level of the American establishment who are seriously considering – this has not been confirmed – but assassination is definitely on the agenda and I pray to God that this is not the case," said Estulin.

Estulin, an award winning investigative journalist, said that he was given the information from a source that has been reliable for over a decade in providing accurate projections of future events based on what the elite were discussing in their own circles and that assassination was a serious option should the Ron Paul Revolution continue to pick up steam.

Estulin, author of the global bestseller The True Story of the Bilderberg Group described the concept as a "trial balloon from the inner core within the inner core – it hasn’t gone beyond that but it is obviously on the table because I think needless to say they are very much concerned," he added.

Ron Paul himself has stated on a previous occasion that he is aware of the dangers of being such a bold icon for freedom and understands that political assassinations have occured in the past.

In a June appearance on The Alex Jones Show, Congressman Paul acknowledged that such a threat is "real," agreeing with a number of historical examples where leaders were killed or attacked for successfully standing up to the system. "That’s right. They’ll do it," Paul said, making reference with Alex Jones to upstarts like Andrew Jackson, "The Kingfish" Huey Long, Bobby Kennedy, George Washington and even George Wallace.

Estulin pointed out that his past predictions about global events were very accurate because of the solid information provided to him from within Bilderberg and the elite. Over 18 months ago Estulin correctly made the call that the Iran war had been delayed and was probably off the table, which is looking to be exactly the case after the release of the recent National Intelligence Estimate. Estulin in featured at length in Alex Jones’ film Endgame, in which he is also filmed making the prediction based on his sources.

Estulin said his sources were from within the intelligence community and they were telling him that "the people of the highest levels of government – not related in any way at least visually to George W. Bush – the first initial conversation of what might happen if we were to do this," has taken place.

"The Ron Paul phenomenon has galvanized an entire nation," said Estulin, adding that both the people who discovered the plot and its potential protagonists are terrified at the consequences of what such an action will be because of the difficulty in judging just how severely the general public will react.

Estulin said that the conspirators, which he described as a "small circle of intimates," were discussing what the effect would be if Congressman Paul was "removed" – they are being very careful to use the word "remove" rather than more volatile terms, but Estulin was told directly that "remove" was a euphemism for assassinate.

Estulin said he may be able to be more specific on exactly who is discussing such an action in future, but warned that Ron Paul’s staff should be aware of the issue.

Click here to listen to the MP3 interview with Daniel Estulin.

Catholic bank caught investing on immoral shares.

Contraceptive pill

The Catholic Church is staunchly against the use of the pill

A Roman Catholic bank in Germany has apologised after admitting it bought stocks in defence, tobacco and birth control companies.

Der Spiegel newspaper discovered the bank had invested 580,000 euros (£495,310, $826,674) in British arms company BAE Systems.

It also invested 160,000 euros in American birth control pill maker Wyeth and 870,000 euros in tobacco companies.

The bank apologised for behaviour “not in keeping with ethical standards”.

Pax Bank has previously advertised ethical investment funds, specifically claiming to avoid arms and tobacco companies along with organisations that do not adhere to Catholic beliefs.

The Catholic Church has historically condemned the use of contraception, for breaking the link between sex and procreation – a view emphatically upheld by current Pope Benedict XVI.

In the past he has called birth control a “grave sin”.

A spokesman for Pax Bank said: “We will rectify the mistakes immediately without negative consequences for our clients.

“Unfortunately in a few internal reviews, the critical investments in question were overlooked – we deeply regret this.”

The spokesman thanked journalists for bringing the controversial investments to its attention.

FEMA NATIONAL LEVEL MARTIAL LAW EXERCISES 7-27-09

FEMA NATIONAL LEVEL MARTIAL LAW EXERCISES 7-27-09 Foreign soldiers will be utilized in a joint intelligence operation

Firearm confiscation in region VI

prepare , you’re not going to hear about this on mainstream media…it is on FEMA.GOV

Source: FEMA Website http://www.fema.gov/media/fact_sheets/nle09.shtm

Revolutionary Espresso Book Machine launches in London

It’s not elegant and it’s not sexy – it looks like a large photocopier – but the Espresso Book Machine is being billed as the biggest change for the literary world since Gutenberg invented the printing press more than 500 years ago and made the mass production of books possible. Launching today at Blackwell’s Charing Cross Road branch in London, the machine prints and binds books on demand in five minutes, while customers wait.

Signalling the end, says Blackwell, to the frustration of being told by a bookseller that a title is out of print, or not in stock, the Espresso offers access to almost half a million books, from a facsimile of Lewis Carroll’s original manuscript for Alice in Wonderland to Mrs Beeton’s Book of Needlework. Blackwell hopes to increase this to over a million titles by the end of the summer – the equivalent of 23.6 miles of shelf space, or over 50 bookshops rolled into one. The majority of these books are currently out-of-copyright works, but Blackwell is working with publishers throughout the UK to increase access to in-copyright writings, and says the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

“This could change bookselling fundamentally,” said Blackwell chief executive Andrew Hutchings. “It’s giving the chance for smaller locations, independent booksellers, to have the opportunity to truly compete with big stock-holding shops and Amazon … I like to think of it as the revitalisation of the local bookshop industry. If you could walk into a local bookshop and have access to one million titles, that’s pretty compelling.”

From academics keen to purchase reproductions of rare manuscripts to wannabe novelists after a copy of their self-published novels, Blackwell believes the Espresso – a Time magazine “invention of the year” – can cater to a wide range of needs, and will be monitoring customer usage closely over the next few months as it looks to pin down pricing (likely to be around the level of traditional books) and demand. It then hopes to roll it out across its 60-store network, with its flagship Oxford branch likely to be an early recipient as well as a host of smaller, campus-based shops.

The brainchild of American publisher Jason Epstein, the Espresso was a star attraction at the London Book Fair this week, where it was on display to interested publishers. Hordes were present to watch it click and whirr into action, printing over 100 pages a minute, clamping them into place, then binding, guillotining and spitting out the (warm as toast) finished article. The quality of the paperback was beyond dispute: the text clear, unsmudged and justified, the paper thick, the jacket smart, if initially a little tacky to the touch.

Described as an “ATM for books” by its US proprietor On Demand Books, Espresso machines have already been established in the US, Canada and Australia, and in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt, but the Charing Cross Road machine is the first to be set up in a UK bookstore. It cost Blackwell some $175,000, but the bookseller believes it will make this back in a year. “I do think this is going to change the book business,” said Phill Jamieson, Blackwell head of marketing. “It has the potential to be the biggest change since Gutenberg and we certainly hope it will be. And it’s not just for us – it gives the ability to small independent bookshops to compete with anybody.”

Revolutionary Espresso Book Machine launches in London

book machine

It’s not elegant and it’s not sexy – it looks like a large photocopier – but the Espresso Book Machine is being billed as the biggest change for the literary world since Gutenberg invented the printing press more than 500 years ago and made the mass production of books possible. Launching today at Blackwell’s Charing Cross Road branch in London, the machine prints and binds books on demand in five minutes, while customers wait.

Signalling the end, says Blackwell, to the frustration of being told by a bookseller that a title is out of print, or not in stock, the Espresso offers access to almost half a million books, from a facsimile of Lewis Carroll’s original manuscript for Alice in Wonderland to Mrs Beeton’s Book of Needlework. Blackwell hopes to increase this to over a million titles by the end of the summer – the equivalent of 23.6 miles of shelf space, or over 50 bookshops rolled into one. The majority of these books are currently out-of-copyright works, but Blackwell is working with publishers throughout the UK to increase access to in-copyright writings, and says the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

“This could change bookselling fundamentally,” said Blackwell chief executive Andrew Hutchings. “It’s giving the chance for smaller locations, independent booksellers, to have the opportunity to truly compete with big stock-holding shops and Amazon … I like to think of it as the revitalisation of the local bookshop industry. If you could walk into a local bookshop and have access to one million titles, that’s pretty compelling.”

From academics keen to purchase reproductions of rare manuscripts to wannabe novelists after a copy of their self-published novels, Blackwell believes the Espresso – a Time magazine “invention of the year” – can cater to a wide range of needs, and will be monitoring customer usage closely over the next few months as it looks to pin down pricing (likely to be around the level of traditional books) and demand. It then hopes to roll it out across its 60-store network, with its flagship Oxford branch likely to be an early recipient as well as a host of smaller, campus-based shops.

The brainchild of American publisher Jason Epstein, the Espresso was a star attraction at the London Book Fair this week, where it was on display to interested publishers. Hordes were present to watch it click and whirr into action, printing over 100 pages a minute, clamping them into place, then binding, guillotining and spitting out the (warm as toast) finished article. The quality of the paperback was beyond dispute: the text clear, unsmudged and justified, the paper thick, the jacket smart, if initially a little tacky to the touch.

Described as an “ATM for books” by its US proprietor On Demand Books, Espresso machines have already been established in the US, Canada and Australia, and in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt, but the Charing Cross Road machine is the first to be set up in a UK bookstore. It cost Blackwell some $175,000, but the bookseller believes it will make this back in a year. “I do think this is going to change the book business,” said Phill Jamieson, Blackwell head of marketing. “It has the potential to be the biggest change since Gutenberg and we certainly hope it will be. And it’s not just for us – it gives the ability to small independent bookshops to compete with anybody.”

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