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From: Alex Constantine <email@example.com>
To: Lloyd <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, June 20, 2000 8:56 PM
Subject: FW: Ted Kacyznski, brainwashed by OSS Psychiatrist Henry A. Murray
From: cynthia ford <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Jun 2000 16:24:43 -0700
Subject: Ted Kacyznski, brainwashed by OSS Psychiatrist Henry A. Murray
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>Date: Tue, 20 Jun 2000 19:12:25 -0400
>From: Lynne Moss-Sharman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: Ted Kacyznski, brainwashed by OSS Psychiatrist Henry A. Murray
>see: OSS Psychiatrist Henry A. Murray
>"Multiform Assessments of Personality Development Among Gifted College Men,
>1941-1965," by Henry A. Murray
>Henry A. Murray's abstract of the study to which he subjected Theodore
>Kaczynski and other Harvard students. Posted by the Henry A. Murray
>Research Center of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
>J U N E 2 0 0 0
>Alston Chase is the author of Playing God in Yellowstone (1986) and In a
>Dark Wood (1995). He is at work on a book about Theodore Kaczynski.
><Picture: Harvard and the Making of the Unabomber>
>In the fall of 1958 Theodore Kaczynski, a brilliant but vulnerable boy of
>sixteen, entered Harvard College. There he encountered a prevailing
>intellectual atmosphere of anti-technological despair. There, also, he was
>deceived into subjecting himself to a series of purposely brutalizing
>psychological experiments -- experiments that may have confirmed his
>still-forming belief in the evil of science. Was the Unabomber born at
>Harvard? A look inside the files
>by Alston Chase
>(The online version of this article appears in four parts. Click here to go
>to part two, part three, or part four.)
><Picture: L>IKE many Harvard alumni, I sometimes wander the neighborhood
>when I return to Cambridge, reminiscing about the old days and musing on
>how different my life has been from what I hoped and expected then. On a
>trip there last fall I found myself a few blocks north of Harvard Yard, on
>Divinity Avenue. Near the end of this dead-end street sits the Peabody
>Museum -- a giant Victorian structure attached to the Botanical Museum,
>where my mother had taken me as a young boy, in 1943, to view the
>spectacular exhibit of glass flowers. These left such a vivid impression
>that a decade later my recollection of them inspired me, then a senior in
>high school, to apply to Harvard.
>This time my return was prompted not by nostalgia but by curiosity. No. 7
>Divinity Avenue is a modern multi-story academic building today, housing
>the university's Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. In 1959 a
>comfortable old house stood on the site. Known as the Annex, it served as a
>laboratory in which staff members of the Department of Social Relations
>conducted research on human subjects. There, from the fall of 1959 through
>the spring of 1962, Harvard psychologists, led by Henry A. Murray,
>conducted a disturbing and what would now be seen as ethically indefensible
>experiment on twenty-two undergraduates. To preserve the anonymity of these
>student guinea pigs, experimenters referred to individuals by code name
>only. One of these students, whom they dubbed "Lawful," was Theodore John
>Kaczynski, who would one day be known as the Unabomber, and who would later
>mail or deliver sixteen package bombs to scientists, academicians, and
>others over seventeen years, killing three people and injuring
><Picture: I>HAD a special interest in Kaczynski. For many years he and I
>had lived parallel lives to some degree. Both of us had attended public
>high schools and had then gone on to Harvard, from which I graduated in
>1957, he in 1962. At Harvard we took many of the same courses from the same
>professors. We were both graduate students and assistant professors in the
>1960s. I studied at Oxford and received a Ph.D. in philosophy from
>Princeton before joining the faculty at Ohio State and later serving as
>chairman of the Department of Philosophy at Macalester College, in
>Minnesota. Kaczynski earned a Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of
>Michigan in 1967 and then joined the Berkeley Department of Mathematics as
>an instructor. In the early 1970s, at roughly the same time, we separately
>fled civilization to the Montana wilderness.
>In 1971 Kaczynski moved to Great Falls, Montana; that summer he began
>building a cabin near the town of Lincoln, eighty miles southwest of Great
>Falls, on a lot he and his brother, David, had bought. In 1972 my wife and
>I bought an old homestead fifty-five miles south of Great Falls. Three
>years later we gave up our teaching jobs to live in Montana full-time. Our
>place had neither telephone nor electricity; it was ten miles from the
>nearest neighbor. In winter we were snowbound for months at a time.
>In our desire to leave civilization Kaczynski and I were not alone. Many
>others sought a similar escape. What, I wondered, had driven Kaczynski into
>the wilderness, and to murder? To what degree were his motives simply a
>more extreme form of the alienation that prompted so many of us to seek
>solace in the backwoods?
>Most of us may believe we already know Ted Kaczynski. According to the
>conventional wisdom, Kaczynski, a brilliant former professor of mathematics
>turned Montana hermit and mail bomber, is, simply, mentally ill. He is a
>paranoid schizophrenic, and there is nothing more about him to interest us.
>But the conventional wisdom is mistaken. I came to discover that Kaczynski
>is neither the extreme loner he has been made out to be nor in any clinical
>sense mentally ill. He is an intellectual and a convicted murderer, and to
>understand the connections between these two facts we must revisit his time
>I first heard of the Murray experiment from Kaczynski himself. We had begun
>corresponding in July of 1998, a couple of months after a federal court in
>Sacramento sentenced him to life without possibility of parole. Kaczynski,
>I quickly discovered, was an indefatigable correspondent. Sometimes his
>letters to me came so fast that it was difficult to answer one before the
>next arrived. The letters were written with great humor, intelligence, and
>care. And, I found, he was in his own way a charming correspondent. He has
>apparently carried on a similarly voluminous correspondence with many
>others, often developing close friendships with them through the mail.
>Kaczynski told me that the Henry A. Murray Research Center of the Radcliffe
>Institute for Advanced Study, although it released some raw data about him
>to his attorneys, had refused to share information about the Murray team's
>analysis of that data. Kaczynski hinted darkly that the Murray Center
>seemed to feel it had something to hide. One of his defense investigators,
>he said, reported that the center had told participating psychologists not
>to talk with his defense team.
>After this intriguing start Kaczynski told me little more about the Murray
>experiment than what I could find in the published literature. Henry
>Murray's widow, Nina, was friendly and cooperative, but could provide few
>answers to my questions. Several of the research assistants I interviewed
>couldn't, or wouldn't, talk much about the study. Nor could the Murray
>Center be entirely forthcoming. After considering my application, its
>research committee approved my request to view the records of this
>experiment, the so-called data set, which referred to subjects by code
>names only. But because Kaczynski's alias was by then known to some
>journalists, I was not permitted to view his records.
>Through research at the Murray Center and in the Harvard archives I found
>that, among its other purposes, Henry Murray's experiment was intended to
>measure how people react under stress. Murray subjected his unwitting
>students, including Kaczynski, to intensive interrogation -- what Murray
>himself called "vehement, sweeping, and personally abusive" attacks,
>assaulting his subjects' egos and most-cherished ideals and beliefs.
>My quest was specific -- to determine what effects, if any, the experiment
>may have had on Kaczynski. This was a subset of a larger question: What
>effects had Harvard had on Kaczynski? In 1998, as he faced trial for
>murder, Kaczynski was examined by Sally Johnson, a forensic psychiatrist
>with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, at the order of a court. In her evaluation
>Johnson wrote that Kaczynski "has intertwined his two belief systems, that
>society is bad and he should rebel against it, and his intense anger at his
>family for his perceived injustices." The Unabomber was created when these
>two belief systems converged. And it was at Harvard, Johnson suggested,
>that they first surfaced and met. She wrote,
>During his college years he had fantasies of living a primitive life and
>fantasized himself as "an agitator, rousing mobs to frenzies of
>revolutionary violence." He claims that during that time he started to
>think about breaking away from normal society.
>It was at Harvard that Kaczynski first encountered the ideas about the
>evils of society that would provide a justification for and a focus to an
>anger he had felt since junior high school. It was at Harvard that he began
>to develop these ideas into his anti-technology ideology of revolution. It
>was at Harvard that Kaczynski began to have fantasies of revenge, began to
>dream of escaping into wilderness. And it was at Harvard, as far as can be
>determined, that he fixed on dualistic ideas of good and evil, and on a
>mathematical cognitive style that led him to think he could find absolute
>truth through the application of his own reason. Was the Unabomber -- "the
>most intellectual serial killer the nation has ever produced," as one
>criminologist has called him -- born at Harvard?
><Picture: T>HE story of Kaczynski's crimes began more than twenty-two years
>ago, but the chain of consequences they triggered has yet to run its
>course. Dubbed "the Unabomber" by the FBI because his early victims were
>associated with universities or airlines, Kaczynski conducted an
>increasingly lethal campaign of terrorism that began on May 26, 1978, when
>his first bomb slightly injured a Northwestern University public-safety
>officer, Terry Marker, and ended on April 24, 1995, when a bomb he had
>mailed killed the president of the California Forestry Association, Gilbert
>Murray. Yet until 1993 Kaczynski remained mute, and his intentions were
>By 1995 his explosives had taken a leap in sophistication; that year he
>suddenly became loquacious, writing letters to newspapers, magazines,
>targets, and a victim. Two years later The Washington Post, in conjunction
>with The New York Times, published copies of the 35,000-word essay that
>Kaczynski titled "Industrial Society and Its Future," and which the press
>called "The Manifesto."
>Recognizing the manifesto as Kaczynski's writing, his brother, David,
>turned Kaczynski in to the FBI, which arrested him at his Montana cabin on
>April 3, 1996. Later that year Kaczynski was removed to California to stand
>trial for, among other crimes, two Unabomber murders committed in that
>state. On January 8, 1998, having failed to dissuade his attorneys from
>their intention of presenting an insanity defense, and having failed to
>persuade the presiding judge, Garland E. Burrell Jr., to allow him to
>choose a new attorney, Kaczynski asked the court for permission to
>represent himself. In response Burrell ordered Sally Johnson to examine
>Kaczynski, to determine if he was competent to direct his own defense.
>Johnson offered a "provisional" diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, but
>she concluded that Kaczynski was nevertheless competent to represent
>himself. Burrell refused to allow it. Faced with the prospect of a
>humiliating trial in which his attorneys would portray him as insane and
>his philosophy as the ravings of a madman, Kaczynski capitulated: in
>exchange for the government's agreement not to seek the death penalty, he
>pleaded guilty to thirteen federal bombing offenses that killed three men
>and seriously injured two others, and acknowledged responsibility for
>sixteen bombings from 1978 to 1995. On May 4, 1998, he was sentenced to
>life in prison without possibility of parole.
>Driving these events from first bomb to plea bargain was Kaczynski's strong
>desire to have his ideas -- as described in the manifesto -- taken
>"The Industrial Revolution and its consequences," Kaczynski's manifesto
>begins, "have been a disaster for the human race." They have led, it
>contends, to the growth of a technological system dependent on a social,
>economic, and political order that suppresses individual freedom and
>destroys nature. "The system does not and cannot exist to satisfy human
>needs. Instead, it is human behavior that has to be modified to fit the
>needs of the system."
>By forcing people to conform to machines rather than vice versa, the
>manifesto states, technology creates a sick society hostile to human
>potential. Because technology demands constant change, it destroys local,
>human-scale communities. Because it requires a high degree of social and
>economic organization, it encourages the growth of crowded and unlivable
>cities and of mega-states indifferent to the needs of citizens.
>This evolution toward a civilization increasingly dominated by technology
>and the power structure serving technology, the manifesto argues, cannot be
>reversed on its own, because "technology is a more powerful social force
>than the aspiration for freedom," and because "while technological progress
>AS A WHOLE continually narrows our sphere of freedom, each new technical
>advance CONSIDERED BY ITSELF appears to be desirable." Hence science and
>technology constitute "a mass power movement, and many scientists gratify
>their need for power through identification with this mass movement."
>Therefore "the technophiles are taking us all on an utterly reckless ride
>into the unknown."
>Because human beings must conform to the machine,
>our society tends to regard as a "sickness" any mode of thought or behavior
>that is inconvenient for the system, and this is plausible because when an
>individual doesn't fit into the system it causes pain to the individual as
>well as problems for the system. Thus the manipulation of an individual to
>adjust him to the system is seen as a "cure" for a "sickness" and therefore
>This requirement, the manifesto continues, has given rise to a social
>infrastructure dedicated to modifying behavior. This infrastructure
>includes an array of government agencies with ever-expanding police powers,
>an out-of-control regulatory system that encourages the limitless
>multiplication of laws, an education establishment that stresses
>conformism, ubiquitous television networks whose fare is essentially an
>electronic form of Valium, and a medical and psychological establishment
>that promotes the indiscriminate use of mind-altering drugs.
>Since the system threatens humanity's survival and cannot be reformed,
>Kaczynski argued, it must be destroyed. Indeed, the system will probably
>collapse on its own, when the weight of human suffering it creates becomes
>unbearable. But the longer it persists, the more devastating will be the
>ultimate collapse. Hence "revolutionaries" like the Unabomber "by hastening
>the onset of the breakdown will be reducing the extent of the disaster."
>"We have no illusions about the feasibility of creating a new, ideal form
>of society," Kaczynski wrote. "Our goal is only to destroy the existing
>form of society." But this movement does have a further goal. It is to
>protect "wild nature," which is the opposite of technology. Admittedly,
>"eliminating industrial society" may have some "negative consequences," but
>"well, you can't eat your cake and have it too."
><Picture: T>HE Unabomber's manifesto was greeted in 1995 by many thoughtful
>people as a work of genius, or at least profundity, and as quite sane. In
>The New York Times the environmental writer Kirkpatrick Sale wrote that the
>Unabomber "is a rational man and his principal beliefs are, if hardly
>mainstream, entirely reasonable." In The Nation Sale declared that the
>manifesto's first sentence "is absolutely crucial for the American public
>to understand and ought to be on the forefront of the nation's political
>agenda." The science writer Robert Wright observed in Time magazine,
>"There's a little bit of the unabomber in most of us." An essay in The New
>Yorker by Cynthia Ozick described the Unabomber as America's "own
>Raskolnikov -- the appealing, appalling, and disturbingly visionary
>murderer of 'Crime and Punishment,' Dostoyevsky's masterwork of 1866."
>Ozick called the Unabomber a "philosophical criminal of exceptional
>intelligence and humanitarian purpose, who is driven to commit murder out
>of an uncompromising idealism." Sites devoted to the Unabomber multiplied
>on the Internet -- the Church of Euthanasia Freedom Club; Unapack, the
>Unabomber Political Action Committee; alt.fan.unabomber; Chuck's Unabomb
>Page; redacted.com; MetroActive; and Steve Hau's Rest Stop. The University
>of Colorado hosted a panel titled "The Unabomber Had a Point."
>By 1997, however, when Kaczynski's trial opened, the view had shifted.
>Although psychiatrists for the prosecution continued to cite the manifesto
>as proof of Kaczynski's sanity, experts for the defense and many in the
>media now viewed it as a symptom and a product of severe mental illness.
>The document, they argued, revealed a paranoid mind. During the trial the
>press frequently quoted legal experts who attested to Kaczynski's insanity.
>Gerald Lefcourt, then the president of the National Association of Criminal
>Defense Lawyers, said the defendant was "obviously disturbed." Donald
>Heller, a former federal prosecutor, said, "This guy is not playing with a
>full deck." The writer Maggie Scarf suggested in The New Republic that
>Kaczynski suffered from "Narcissistic Personality Disorder."
>Michael Mello, a professor at Vermont Law School, is the author of The
>United States of America vs. Theodore John Kaczynski. He and William
>Finnegan, a writer for The New Yorker, have suggested that Kaczynski's
>brother, David, his mother, Wanda, and their lawyer, Tony Bisceglie, along
>with Kaczynski's defense attorneys, persuaded many in the media to portray
>Kaczynski as a paranoid schizophrenic. To a degree this is true. Anxious to
>save Kaczynski from execution, David and Wanda gave a succession of
>interviews from 1996 onward to The Washington Post, The New York Times, and
>Sixty Minutes, among other outlets, in which they sought to portray
>Kaczynski as mentally disturbed and pathologically antisocial since
>childhood. Meanwhile -- against his wishes and without his knowledge,
>Kaczynski insists -- his attorneys launched a mental-health defense for
>One psychology expert for the defense, Karen Bronk Froming, concluded that
>Kaczynski exhibited a "predisposition to schizophrenia." Another, David
>Vernon Foster, saw "a clear and consistent picture of schizophrenia,
>paranoid type." Still another, Xavier F. Amador, described Kaczynski as
>"typical of the hundreds of patients with schizophrenia." How did the
>experts reach their conclusions? Although objective tests alone suggested
>to Froming only that Kaczynski's answers were "consistent with"
>schizophrenia, she told Finnegan it was Kaczynski's writings -- in
>particular his "anti-technology" views -- that cemented this conclusion for
>her. Foster, who met with Kaczynski a few times but never formally examined
>him, cited his "delusional themes" as evidence of sickness. Amador, who
>never met Kaczynski at all, based his judgment on the "delusional beliefs"
>he detected in Kaczynski's writing. And Sally Johnson's provisional
>diagnosis -- that Kaczynski suffered from "Paranoid Type" schizophrenia --
>was largely based on her conviction that he harbored "delusional beliefs"
>about the threats posed by technology. The experts also found evidence of
>Kaczynski's insanity in his refusal to accept their diagnoses or to help
>them reach those diagnoses.
>Most claims of mental illness rested on the diagnoses of experts whose
>judgments, therefore, derived largely from their opinions of Kaczynski's
>philosophy and his personal habits -- he was a recluse, a wild man in
>appearance, a slob of a housekeeper, a celibate -- and from his refusal to
>admit he was ill. Thus Froming cited Kaczynski's "unawareness of his
>disease" as an indication of illness. Foster complained of the defendant's
>"symptom-based failure to cooperate fully with psychiatric evaluation."
>Amador said that the defendant suffered "from severe deficits in awareness
>But Kaczynski was no more unkempt than many other people on our streets.
>His cabin was no messier than the offices of many college professors. The
>Montana wilds are filled with escapists like Kaczynski (and me). Celibacy
>and misanthropy are not diseases. Nor was Kaczynski really so much of a
>recluse. Any reporter could quickly discover, as I did through interviews
>with scores of people who have known Kaczynski (classmates, teachers,
>neighbors), that he was not the extreme loner he has been made out to be.
>And, surely, a refusal to admit to being insane or to cooperate with people
>who are paid to pronounce one insane cannot be taken seriously as proof of
>Why were the media and the public so ready to dismiss Kaczynski as crazy?
>Kaczynski kept voluminous journals, and in one entry, apparently from
>before the bombing started, he anticipated this question.
>I intend to start killing people. If I am successful at this, it is
>possible that, when I am caught (not alive, I fervently hope!) there will
>be some speculation in the news media as to my motives for killing.... If
>some speculation occurs, they are bound to make me out to be a sickie, and
>to ascribe to me motives of a sordid or "sick" type. Of course, the term
>"sick" in such a context represents a value judgment.... the news media may
>have something to say about me when I am killed or caught. And they are
>bound to try to analyse my psychology and depict me as "sick." This
>powerful bias should be borne [in mind] in reading any attempts to analyse
>Michael Mello suggests that the public wished to see Kaczynski as insane
>because his ideas are too extreme for us to contemplate without discomfort.
>He challenges our most cherished beliefs. Mello writes,
>The manifesto challenges the basic assumptions of virtually every interest
>group that was involved with the case: the lawyers, the mental health
>experts, the press and politics -- both left and right.... Kaczynski's
>defense team convinced the media and the public that Kaczynski was crazy,
>even in the absence of credible evidence ... [because] we needed to believe
>it.... They decided that the Unabomber was mentally ill, and his ideas were
>mad. Then they forgot about the man and his ideas, and created a curative
>Mello is only half right. It is true that many believed Kaczynski was
>insane because they needed to believe it. But the truly disturbing aspect
>of Kaczynski and his ideas is not that they are so foreign but that they
>are so familiar. The manifesto is the work of neither a genius nor a
>maniac. Except for its call to violence, the ideas it expresses are
>perfectly ordinary and unoriginal, shared by many Americans. Its pessimism
>over the direction of civilization and its rejection of the modern world
>are shared especially with the country's most highly educated. The
>manifesto is, in other words, an academic -- and popular -- cliché. And if
>concepts that many of us unreflectively accept can lead a person to commit
>serial murder, what does that say about us? We need to see Kaczynski as
>exceptional -- madman or genius -- because the alternative is so much more
><Picture: N>O. 8 Prescott Street in Cambridge is a well-preserved
>three-story Victorian frame house, standing just outside Harvard Yard.
>Today it houses Harvard's expository-writing program. But in September of
>1958, when Ted Kaczynski, just sixteen, arrived at Harvard, 8 Prescott
>Street was a more unusual place, a sort of incubator.
>Earlier that year F. Skiddy von Stade Jr., Harvard's dean of freshmen, had
>decided to use the house as living accommodations for the brightest,
>youngest freshmen. Von Stade's well-intentioned idea was to provide these
>boys with a nurturing, intimate environment, so that they wouldn't feel
>lost, as they might in the larger, less personal dorms. But in so doing he
>isolated the overly studious and less-mature boys from their classmates. He
>inadvertently created a ghetto for grinds, making social adjustment for
>them more, rather than less, difficult.
>"I lived at Prescott Street that year too," Michael Stucki told me
>recently. "And like Kaczynski, I was majoring in mathematics. Yet I swear I
>never ever even saw the guy." Stucki, who recently retired after a career
>in computers, lived alone on the top floor, far from Kaczynski's
>ground-floor room. In the unsocial society of 8 Prescott, that was a big
>distance. "It was not unusual to spend all one's time in one's room and
>then rush out the door to library or class," Stucki said.
>Francis Murphy, the Prescott Street proctor, was a graduate student who had
>studied for the Catholic priesthood, and to Kaczynski it seemed the house
>was intended to be run more like a monastery than a dorm. Whereas other
>freshmen lived in suites with one or two roommates, six of the sixteen
>students of Prescott Street, including Kaczynski, lived in single rooms.
>All but seven intended to major in a mathematical science. All but three
>came from high schools outside New England, and therefore knew few people
>in Massachusetts. They were, in Murphy's words, "a serious, quiet bunch."
>Much has been made of Kaczynski's being a "loner" and of his having been
>further isolated by Harvard's famed snobbism. Snobbism was indeed pervasive
>at Harvard back then. A single false sartorial step could brand one an
>outcast. And Kaczynski looked shabby. He owned just two pairs of slacks and
>only a few shirts. Although he washed these each week in the coin-operated
>machine in the basement of the house next door to 8 Prescott, they became
>But it is a mistake to exaggerate Kaczynski's isolation. Most public high
>schoolers at Harvard in those days, including Kaczynski, viewed the tweedy
>in-crowd as so many buttoned-down buffoons who did not realize how
>ridiculous they looked. And the evidence is that Kaczynski was neither
>exceptionally a loner nor, at least in his early years at Harvard,
>alienated from the school or his peers.
>Harvard was a "tremendous thing for me," Kaczynski wrote in an unpublished
>autobiography that he completed in 1998 and showed to me. "I got something
>that I had been needing all along without knowing it, namely, hard work
>requiring self-discipline and strenuous exercise of my abilities. I threw
>myself into this.... I thrived on it.... Feeling the strength of my own
>will, I became enthusiastic about will power."
>Freshmen were required to participate in sports, so Kaczynski took up
>swimming and then wrestling. He played the trombone, as he had in high
>school, even joining the Harvard band (which he quit almost as soon as he
>learned that he would have to attend drill sessions). He played pickup
>basketball. He made a few friends. One of his housemates, Gerald Burns,
>remembers sitting with Kaczynski in an all-night cafeteria, arguing about
>the philosophy of Kant. After Kaczynski's arrest Burns wrote to the
>anarchist journal Fifth Estate that Kaczynski "was as normal as I am now:
>it was [just] harder on him because he was much younger than his
>classmates." And indeed, most reports of his teachers, his academic
>adviser, his housemaster, and the health-services staff suggest that
>Kaczynski was in his first year at Harvard entirely balanced, although
>tending to be a loner. The health-services doctor who interviewed Kaczynski
>as part of the medical examination Harvard required for all freshmen
>Good impression created. Attractive, mature for age, relaxed.... Talks
>easily, fluently and pleasantly.... likes people and gets on well with
>them. May have many acquaintances but makes his friends carefully. Prefers
>to be by himself part of the time at least. May be slightly shy....
>Essentially a practical and realistic planner and an efficient worker....
>Exceedingly stable, well integrated and feels secure within himself.
>Usually very adaptable. May have many achievements and satisfactions.
>The doctor further described Kaczynski thus: "Pleasant young man who is
>below usual college entrance age. Apparently a good mathematician but seems
>to be gifted in this direction only. Plans not crystallized yet but this is
>to be expected at his age. Is slightly shy and retiring but not to any
>abnormal extent. Should be [a] steady worker."
>The Roots of the Unabomber
><Picture: I>N 1952, when Kaczynski was ten, his parents moved from Chicago
>to the suburban community of Evergreen Park -- in order, they later
>explained to Ted, to provide him with a better class of friends. The
>community into which the Kaczynskis moved would soon be in turmoil.
>Evergreen Park was a mixed neighborhood of Irish, Italians, Czechs, and
>Poles who now felt themselves under siege by yet another group of new
>On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of
>Education of Topeka that segregated schooling was unconstitutional. To many
>people in Evergreen Park this was tantamount to a declaration of war. Even
>before the Court's decision they had feared what they saw as black
>encroachment. African-American communities stood just next door, and black
>families came to town to shop and eat at Evergreen Park restaurants. Black
>teenagers hung around Evergreen Plaza.
>This environment tended to isolate the Kaczynskis, who by several accounts
>were liberal on race matters. Aggravating their isolation was Evergreen
>Park's fragmented school system. Until 1955 the town had no public high
>school building, and students were bused to high schools in surrounding
>communities. Evergreen Park High School was not completed until 1955, and
>Ted Kaczynski, who became a member of the first class that spent all four
>years there, found himself in a school without cohesion or community, where
>few of the students knew one another. As Spencer Gilmore, a former science
>teacher, lamented, there was "no commonality in the student body." Howard
>Finkle, who was then a social-studies teacher, describes Evergreen Park in
>those years as a school for strangers. Soon the school was riven by
>Despite this fractured environment, school administrators sought to push
>the students hard academically. "The fact to keep in mind about Evergreen
>Park," Kaczynski's algebra teacher, Paul Jenkins, told me, "is that Gene
>Howard [the principal of Evergreen Park High School at the time] enjoyed a
>big budget. He had combed the country for the best instructors he could
>find -- folks who would be teaching junior college in most places. Yet most
>of the kids were incredibly naive. Some had never even been to downtown
>Chicago. The faculty was presenting them with ideas they'd never
>encountered before. Some hated the experience; others loved it. And it blew
>the minds of some, including perhaps Ted." The students, according to
>Finkle, were asked to read books ordinarily used by college undergraduates.
>The intellectually ambitious, like Kaczynski, adapted readily to these
>demands, but in a school where the most popular boys carried cigarette
>packs rolled up in the sleeves of their T-shirts, excelling at academics
>meant social exile.
>What pressures did Kaczynski face among his family? Ted Kaczynski insists
>that the Kaczynski home was an unhappy one and that his social isolation
>came about because his parents pushed him too hard academically. David and
>Wanda say that theirs was a happy and normal home but that Ted had shown
>signs of extreme alienation since childhood. When family members squabble,
>it is almost impossible for anyone -- least of all an outsider -- to know
>who is right. And the Kaczynskis are squabblers.
>The letters and other materials Kaczynski sent me in the course of our
>correspondence -- including his 1998 autobiography, containing quotations
>from doctors, teachers, and college advisers -- naturally support his
>version. Unfortunately, however, I am limited in my ability to use these,
>because Kaczynski has continually changed his mind about the terms and
>conditions for the use of his autobiography and other documents.
>Nevertheless, most of the people I interviewed tended to support most of
>his claims. I offer my own interpretation of his family relations, which is
>supported by interviews and infused with knowledge of documents that
>Kaczynski sent to me.
>Kaczynski's father, Theodore R. "Turk" Kaczynski, was a self-educated
>freethinker living in a conventionally Catholic working-class community. In
>his autobiography Kaczynski claims, and a close friend of Turk's confirms,
>that Wanda tended to be fearful that their family would be perceived as
>different. Although nonconformist, the Kaczynskis wanted to be perceived as
>conforming. Thus, Kaczynski records, although the Kaczynskis were atheists,
>his parents instructed him to tell people they were Unitarians. The tension
>created by the family's efforts to look good to the neighbors increased
>significantly when, in the fifth grade, Kaczynski scored 167 on an IQ test.
>He skipped the sixth grade, leaving his friends behind to enter a new class
>as the smallest kid in the room.
>From then on, according to Kaczynski and also according to others who knew
>the family, his parents valued his intellect as a trophy that gave the
>Kaczynskis special status. They began to push him to study, lecturing him
>if his report card showed any grade below an A. Meanwhile, Turk seemed --
>to Kaczynski, at least -- to become increasingly cold, critical, and
>When Kaczynski was a sophomore, the Evergreen Park High School
>administration recommended that he skip his junior year. His band teacher
>and friend, James Oberto, remembers pleading with Kaczynski's father not to
>allow it. But Turk wouldn't listen. "Ted's success meant too much to him,"
>Two years younger than his classmates, and still small for his age,
>Kaczynski became even more of an outcast in school. There was "a gradual
>increasing amount of hostility I had to face from the other kids," Sally
>Johnson reports Kaczynski as admitting. "By the time I left high school, I
>was definitely regarded as a freak by a large segment of the student body."
>Apparently caught between acrimony at home and rejection at school,
>Kaczynski countered with activity. He joined the chess, biology, German,
>and mathematics clubs. He collected coins. He read ravenously and widely,
>excelling in every field from drama and history to biology and mathematics.
>According to an account in The Washington Post, he explored the music of
>Bach, Vivaldi, and Gabrieli, studied music theory, and wrote musical
>compositions for a family trio -- David on the trumpet, Turk at the piano,
>and himself on the trombone. He played duets with Oberto.
>These achievements made Kaczynski a favorite of his teachers. Virtually all
>those with whom I talked who knew him well in those years saw him as
>studious and a member of the lowest-ranking high school clique -- the
>so-called briefcase boys -- but otherwise entirely normal. His physics
>teacher, Robert Rippey, described him to me as "honest, ethical, and
>sociable." His American-government teacher, Philip Pemberton, said he had
>many friends and indeed seemed to be their "ringleader." Paul Jenkins used
>Kaczynski as a kind of teaching assistant, to help students who were having
>trouble in math. School reports regularly gave him high marks for neatness,
>"respect for others," "courtesy," "respect for law and order," and
>"self-discipline. "No one was more lavish in praise of Kaczynski than Lois
>Skillen, his high school counselor. "Of all the youngsters I have worked
>with at the college level," she wrote to Harvard,
>I believe Ted has one of the greatest contributions to make to society. He
>is reflective, sensitive, and deeply conscious of his responsibilities to
>society.... His only drawback is a tendency to be rather quiet in his
>original meetings with people, but most adults on our staff, and many
>people in the community who are mature find him easy to talk to, and very
>challenging intellectually. He has a number of friends among high school
>students, and seems to influence them to think more seriously.
>Kaczynski was accepted by Harvard in the spring of 1958; he was not yet
>sixteen years old. One friend remembers urging Kaczynski's father not to
>let the boy go, arguing, "He's too young, too immature, and Harvard too
>impersonal." But again Turk wouldn't listen. "Ted's going to Harvard was an
>ego trip for him," the friend recalls.
>General Education and the Culture of Despair
><Picture: A>LL Harvard freshmen in the 1950s, including Kaczynski and me,
>were immersed in what the college described as "general education" and
>students called Gen Ed. This program of studies, which had been fully
>implemented by 1950, was part of a nationwide curricular reform that sought
>to inculcate a sense of "shared values" among undergraduates through
>instruction in the Judeo-Christian tradition.
>Unlike the usual departmental offerings, which focused on methodological
>issues within a discipline, Gen Ed courses were intended to be
>interdisciplinary, with material arranged for students historically
>(chronologically) rather than analytically. Required Gen Ed courses focused
>on science, literature, philosophy, history, and Western institutions. The
>undergraduate curriculum, therefore, was initially designed to be neatly
>divided into two categories, one general and one specialized, one
>emphasizing history and values, the other emphasizing the value-free
>methodologies employed by scholars in the various academic fields. This
>attempt at balance would give rise to a battle in the long war between
>humanism and positivism.
>From the archives:
>"Wanted: American Radicals," by James Bryant Conant (May 1943)
>"In this country we must invoke our radical ancestors and with their spirit
>attack the problems of a stratified society, highly mechanized and forced
>to continue along the road of mass production."
>"Education in the Western World," by James Bryant Conant (November 1957)
>"I should like to approach the subject of education for the professions in
>the mood of the comparative educationalist. I should like to examine in
>particular the way the future members of the professions are recruited,
>selected, and educated in certain European nations and the United States."
>The Gen Ed curriculum was born of a lofty impulse: to establish in higher
>education -- as President Harry Truman's Commission on Higher Education
>would later express it -- "a code of behavior based on ethical principles
>consistent with democratic ideals." Harvard's president, James B. Conant,
>in his charge to the committee that would design Gen Ed, wrote,
>Unless the educational process includes at each level of maturity some
>continuing contact with those fields in which value judgments are of prime
>importance, it must fall far short of the ideal. The student in high
>school, in college and in graduate school must be concerned, in part at
>least, with the words "right" and "wrong" in both the ethical and
>The committee's report, General Education in a Free Society (1945), was
>known, for the color of its cover, as the Redbook. The solution that the
>Redbook committee offered was a program of instruction that, in the words
>of the education historian Frederick Rudolph, called for "a submersion in
>tradition and heritage and some sense of common bond strong enough to bring
>unbridled ego and ambition under control." The Redbook's program of reform
>caught the imagination of educators across the country. By the mid-1950s
>more than half the colleges in America were offering programs of general
>education modeled along the same lines.
>Although at Harvard the name caught on, the philosophy behind it did not.
>Gen Ed was doomed from the start.
>By 1950 the Harvard faculty was divided between those who, chastened by
>their experience in World War II and especially by the bombings of
>Hiroshima and Nagasaki, saw science and technology as a threat to Western
>values and even human survival and those -- a majority -- who saw science
>as a liberator from superstition and an avenue to progress. Both these
>views found their way into the Gen Ed curriculum.
>The dominant faction had little sympathy for the Redbook's resolve to
>inculcate Judeo-Christian ethics. Because of the majority's resistance,
>many Redbook-committee recommendations were never fully implemented. And
>those recommendations that were incorporated into the curriculum were
>quickly subverted by many of the people expected to teach it. These
>professors in fact emphasized the opposite of the lesson Conant intended.
>Rather than inculcate traditional values, they sought to undermine them.
>Soon "Thou shalt not utter a value judgment" became the mantra for Harvard
>freshmen, in dorm bull sessions as well as in term papers. Positivism
>Superficially, the positivist message appeared to be an optimistic one,
>concerning the perfectibility of science and the inevitability of progress.
>It taught that reason was a liberating force and faith mere superstition;
>the advance of science would eventually produce a complete understanding of
>nature. But positivism also taught that all the accumulated nonscientific
>knowledge of the past, including the great religions and philosophies, had
>been at best merely an expression of "cultural mores" and at worst
>nonsense; life had no purpose and morality no justification.
>Even as positivism preached progress, therefore, it subliminally carried --
>quite in contradiction to the intent of Gen Ed's framers -- a more
>disturbing implication: that absolute reason leads to absolute despair. G.
>K. Chesterton wrote, "Imagination does not breed insanity. Exactly what
>does breed insanity is reason. Poets do not go mad ... mathematicians go
>mad." Hence Gen Ed delivered to those of us who were undergraduates during
>this time a double whammy of pessimism. From the humanists we learned that
>science threatens civilization. From the scientists we learned that science
>cannot be stopped. Taken together, they implied that there was no hope. Gen
>Ed had created at Harvard a culture of despair. This culture of despair was
>not, of course, confined to Harvard -- it was part of a more generalized
>phenomenon among intellectuals all over the Western world. But it existed
>at Harvard in a particularly concentrated form, and Harvard was the place
>where Kaczynski and I found ourselves.
>Although I cannot say exactly what Kaczynski read, he must have absorbed a
>good measure of the Gen Ed readings that infused the intellectual and
>emotional climate on campus. Gen Ed courses in social science and
>philosophy quickly introduced us to the relativity of morals and the
>irrationality of religion. To establish that ethical standards were merely
>expressions of Western cultural mores, we were assigned to read works by
>anthropologists such as Margaret Mead (Coming of Age in Samoa) and Ruth
>Benedict (Patterns of Culture). In Humanities 5, or "Ideas of Man and the
>World in Western Thought," we read Sigmund Freud's polemic against
>religious faith, The Future of an Illusion, which dismisses the belief that
>life has purpose as a mere expression of infantile desires and as
>confirming that "man is a creature of weak intelligence who is governed by
>his instinctual wishes."
>In expository writing we encountered Thorstein Veblen's prediction that "so
>long as the machine process continues to hold its dominant place as a
>disciplinary factor in modern culture, so long must the spiritual and
>intellectual life of this cultural era maintain the character which the
>machine process gives it." We read Norbert Wiener, who warned that unless
>human nature changes, the "new industrial revolution ... [makes it]
>practically certain that we shall have to face a decade or more of ruin and
>And Lewis Mumford told us,
>Western man has exhausted the dream of mechanical power which so long
>dominated his imagination.... he can no longer let himself remain
>spellbound in that dream: he must attach himself to more humane purposes
>than those he has given to the machine. We can no longer live, with the
>illusions of success, in a world given over to devitalized mechanisms,
>desocialized organisms, and depersonalized societies: a world that had lost
>its sense of the ultimate dignity of the person.
>In "German R" ("Intermediate German With Review of Fundamentals"), which
>both Kaczynski and I took, we encountered a whole corpus of pessimistic
>writers, from Friedrich Nietzsche ("God is dead," "Morality is the herd
>instinct of the individual," "The thought of suicide is a great source of
>comfort") to Oswald Spengler ("This machine-technics will end with the
>Faustian civilization and one day will lie in fragments, forgotten -- our
>railways and steamships as dead as the Roman roads and the Chinese wall,
>our giant cities and skyscrapers in ruins like old Memphis and Babylon").
>In several courses we studied Joseph Conrad, who would later become one of
>Kaczynski's favorite writers, and whose description of the villain in Heart
>of Darkness could have been applied to Kaczynski himself: "All Europe
>contributed to the making of Kurtz.... " He was "a gifted creature.... He
>was a universal genius." Conrad's The Secret Agent, a satire about
>bomb-wielding anarchists who declare war on science (and whose intentional
>irony Kaczynski may have missed), presages the Unabomber manifesto.
>"Science," one of the plotters suggests, "is the sacrosanct fetish."
>All the damned professors are radicals at heart. Let them know that their
>great panjandrum has got to go, too.... The demonstration must be against
>learning -- science.... The attack must have all the shocking senselessness
>of gratuitous blasphemy.... I have always dreamed of a band of men absolute
>in their resolve to discard all scruples in the choice of means, strong
>enough to give themselves frankly the name of destroyers, and free from the
>taint of that resigned pessimism which rots the world. No pity for anything
>on earth, including themselves, and death enlisted for good and all in the
>service of humanity -- that's what I would have liked to see.
><Picture: W>HAT impact did this reading have on us? Speaking as a former
>college professor, I can say that most curricula have absolutely no effect
>on most students. But readings can have profound effects on some students,
>especially the brightest, most conscientious, and least mature. Certainly
>the intellectual climate generated by Gen Ed informed Kaczynski's
>developing views. The Unabomber philosophy bears a striking resemblance to
>many parts of Harvard's Gen Ed syllabus. Its anti-technology message and
>its despairing depiction of the sinister forces that lie beneath the
>surface of civilization, its emphasis on the alienation of the individual
>and on the threat that science poses to human values -- all these were in
>the readings. And these kinds of ideas did not affect Kaczynski alone --
>they reached an entire generation, and beyond.
>Gen Ed had more than an intellectual impact. According to a study of
>Harvard and Radcliffe undergraduates that included Kaczynski's class of
>1962, conducted by William G. Perry Jr., the director of the university's
>Bureau of Study Counsel, the undergraduate curriculum had a profound impact
>on the emotions, the attitudes, and even the health of some students.
>According to Perry, intellectual development for Harvard and Radcliffe
>undergraduates typically encompassed a progression from a simplistic,
>"dualistic" view of reality to an increasingly relativistic and
>"contingent" one. Entering freshmen tend to favor simple over complex
>solutions and to divide the world into truth and falsehood, good and bad,
>friend and foe. Yet in most of their college courses, especially in the
>social sciences and the humanities, they are taught that truth is relative.
>Most accept this, but a number cannot. They react against relativism by
>clinging more fiercely to an absolute view of the world. To some of these
>students, in Perry's words, "science and mathematics still seem to offer
>Nevertheless, Perry wrote, "regression into dualism" is not a happy
>development, for it "calls for an enemy." Dualists in a relativistic
>environment tend to see themselves as surrounded; they become increasingly
>lonely and alienated. This attitude "requires an equally absolutistic
>rejection of any 'establishment'" and "can call forth in its defense hate,
>projection, and denial of all distinctions but one," Perry wrote. "The
>tendency ... is toward paranoia."
>As is evident in his writings, Kaczynski rejected the complexity and
>relativism he found in the humanities and the social sciences. He embraced
>both the dualistic cognitive style of mathematics and Gen Ed's
>anti-technology message. And perhaps most important, he absorbed the
>message of positivism, which demanded value-neutral reasoning and preached
>that (as Kaczynski would later express it in his journal) "there was no
>logical justification for morality."
>After he graduated from Harvard, Kaczynski encountered a book by the French
>philosopher Jacques Ellul, The Technological Society (1954). Its message
>was that mankind no longer saw technology as merely a tool but now pursued
>its advancement as an end in itself. Society served technology, not vice
>versa. Individuals were valued only insofar as they served this end. Their
>education and the structure of their institutions were shaped solely for
>the purpose of technological progress.
>By the time he encountered Ellul, Kaczynski recalled in 1998, "I had
>already developed at least 50% of the ideas of that book on my own, and ...
>when I read the book for the first time, I was delighted, because I
>thought, 'Here is someone who is saying what I have already been
>The Murray Experiment
><Picture: P>ERHAPS no figure at Harvard at this time better embodied the
>ongoing war between science and humanism than Henry A. "Harry" Murray, a
>professor in Harvard's Department of Social Relations. A wealthy and
>blue-blooded New Yorker, Murray was both a scientist and a humanist, and he
>was one of Lewis Mumford's best friends. He feared for the future of
>civilization in an age of nuclear weapons, and advocated implementing the
>agenda of the World Federalist Association, which called for a single world
>government. The atomic bomb, Murray wrote in a letter to Mumford, "is the
>logical & predictable result of the course we have been madly pursuing for
>a hundred years." The choice now facing humanity, he added, was "One World
>or No World."
>Yet unlike Mumford, Murray maintained a deep faith in science. He saw it as
>offering a solution by helping to transform the human personality. "The
>kind of behavior that is required by the present threat," Murray wrote
>Mumford, "involves transformations of personality such as never occurred
>quickly in human history; one transformation being that of National Man
>into World Man." Crucial to achieving this change was learning the secret
>of successful relationships between people, communities, and nations. And
>coming to understand these "unusually successful relations" was the object
>of Murray's particular research: the interplay between two individuals,
>which he called the "dyad."
>The concept of the dyad was, in a sense, Murray's attempt to build a bridge
>between psychology and sociology. Rather than follow Freud and Jung by
>identifying the individual as the fundamental atom in the psychological
>universe, Murray chose the dyad -- the smallest social unit -- and in this
>way sought to unite psychiatry, which studied the psyches of individuals,
>and sociology, which studied social relations. This kind of research, he
>apparently hoped, might (as he put it in a 1947 paper) promote "the
>survival and further evaluation of Modern Man, "by encouraging the
>emergence of the new "world man" and making world peace more likely.
>Murray's interest in the dyad, however, may have been more than merely
>academic. The curiosity of this complex man appears to have been impelled
>by two motives -- one idealistic and the other somewhat less so. He lent
>his talents to national aims during World War II. Forrest Robinson, the
>author of a 1992 biography of Murray, wrote that during this period he
>"flourished as a leader in the global crusade of good against evil." He was
>also an advocate of world government. Murray saw understanding the dyad, it
>seems, as a practical tool in the service of the great crusade in both its
>hot and cold phases. (He had long shown interest, for example, in the whole
>subject of brainwashing.) During the war Murray served in the Office of
>Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA, helping to develop
>psychological screening tests for applicants and (according to Timothy
>Leary) monitoring military experiments on brainwashing. In his book The
>Search for the "Manchurian Candidate" (1979), John Marks reported that
>General "Wild Bill" Donovan, the OSS director, "called in Harvard
>psychology professor Henry 'Harry' Murray" to devise a system for testing
>the suitability of applicants to the OSS. Murray and his colleagues "put
>together an assessment system ... [that] tested a recruit's ability to
>stand up under pressure, to be a leader, to hold liquor, to lie skillfully,
>and to read a person's character by the nature of his clothing.... Murray's
>system became a fixture in the OSS."
>One of the tests that Murray devised for the OSS was intended to determine
>how well applicants withstood interrogations. As he and his colleagues
>described it in their 1948 report "Selection of Personnel for Clandestine
>Operations -- Assessment of Men,"
>The candidate immediately went downstairs to the basement room. A voice
>from within commanded him to enter, and on complying he found himself
>facing a spotlight strong enough to blind him for a moment. The room was
>otherwise dark. Behind the spotlight sat a scarcely discernible board of
>inquisitors.... The interrogator gruffly ordered the candidate to sit down.
>When he did so, he discovered that the chair in which he sat was so
>arranged that the full strength of the beam was focused directly on his
>At first the questions were asked in a quiet, sympathetic, conciliatory
>manner, to invite confidence.... After a few minutes, however, the examiner
>worked up to a crescendo in a dramatic fashion.... When an inconsistency
>appeared, he raised his voice and lashed out at the candidate, often with
>sharp sarcasm. He might even roar, "You're a liar."
>Even anticipation of this test was enough to cause some applicants to fall
>apart. The authors wrote that one person "insisted he could not go through
>with the test." They continued, "A little later the director ... found the
>candidate in his bedroom, sitting on the edge of his cot, sobbing."
>Before the war Murray had been the director of the Harvard Psychological
>Clinic. After the war Murray returned to Harvard, where he continued to
>refine techniques of personality assessment. In 1948 he sent a grant
>application to the Rockefeller Foundation proposing "the development of a
>system of procedures for testing the suitability of officer candidates for
>the navy." By 1950 he had resumed studies on Harvard undergraduates that he
>had begun, in rudimentary form, before the war, titled "Multiform
>Assessments of Personality Development Among Gifted College Men." The
>experiment in which Kaczynski participated was the last and most elaborate
>in the series. In their postwar form these experiments focused on stressful
>dyadic relations, designing confrontations akin to those mock
>interrogations he had helped to orchestrate for the OSS.
>go to part one, part two, or part four.)
><Picture: P>LANNING for the last of Murray's "multiform assessments" was
>well under way by the spring of 1959. The idea, according to Murray's
>notes, was to "call for volunteers from a large undergraduate course."
>Get about 80 sophomores; administer a series of scales or questionnaires
>dealing with various dimensions of personality; pick 25 subjects, some
>extremely high, some extremely low and some in middle on each of these
>scales; study these 25 subjects over a three year period by the multiform
>method of assessment; come up with 700 rank orders, and using a computer,
>obtain clusters of intercorrelations, factors, but final decisions are
>reached after prolonged discussions and reassessments; enormous amount of
>data which staff analyzes, interprets, formulates.
>Kaczynski told Mello that he was "pressured into participating" in the
>Murray experiment. His hesitation turned out to be sensible. Researchers
>gave the volunteers almost no information about the experiment in which
>they would participate. Each was simply asked to answer yes to the
>following question: "Would you be willing to contribute to the solution of
>certain psychological problems (parts of an on-going program of research in
>the development of personality), by serving as a subject in a series of
>experiments or taking a number of tests (average about 2 hours a week)
>through the academic year (at the current College rate per hour)?"
>In fact it would never be clear what the "certain psychological problems"
>were. And the test that served as the centerpiece for this undertaking
>appears remarkably similar to the old OSS stress test. Students would be
>given the third degree. But whereas the OSS applicants must have known that
>enduring unpleasant interrogations could be part of their job, these
>students did not. The intent was to catch them by surprise, to deceive
>them, and to brutalize them. As Murray described it,
>First, you are told you have a month in which to write a brief exposition
>of your personal philosophy of life, an affirmation of the major guiding
>principles in accord with which you live or hope to live.
>Second, when you return to the Annex with your finished composition, you
>are informed that in a day or two you and a talented young lawyer will be
>asked to debate the respective merits of your two philosophies.
>When the subject arrived for the debate, he was escorted to a "brilliantly
>lighted room" and seated in front of a one-way mirror. A motion-picture
>camera recorded his every move and facial expression through a hole in the
>wall. Electrodes leading to machines that recorded his heart and
>respiratory rates were attached to his body. Then the debate began. But the
>students were tricked. Contrary to what Murray claimed in his article, they
>had been led to believe that they would debate their philosophy of life
>with another student like themselves. Instead they confronted what Forrest
>Robinson describes as a "well-prepared 'stooge'" -- a talented young lawyer
>indeed, but one who had been instructed to launch into an aggressive attack
>on the subject, for the purpose of upsetting him as much as possible.
>Robinson has described what happened next.
>As instructed, the unwitting subject attempted to represent and to defend
>his personal philosophy of life. Invariably, however, he was frustrated,
>and finally brought to expressions of real anger, by the withering assault
>of his older, more sophisticated opponent.... while fluctuations in the
>subject's pulse and respiration were measured on a cardiotachometer.
>Not surprisingly, most participants found this highly unpleasant, even
>traumatic, as the data set records. "We were led into the room with bright
>lights, very bright," one of them, code-named Cringle, recalled afterward.
>I could see shadowy activities going on behind the one-way glass ... [Dr.
>G] ... started fastening things on me. [I] had a sensation somewhat akin to
>someone being strapped on the electric chair with these electrodes ... I
>really started getting hit real hard ... Wham, wham, wham! And me getting
>hotter and more irritated and my heart beat going up ... and sweating
>terribly ... there I was under the lights and with movie camera and all
>this experimentation equipment on me ... It was sort of an unpleasant
>"Right away," said another, code-named Trump, describing his experience
>afterward, "I didn't like [the interrogator]."
>[Dr. G] ... came waltzing over and he put on those electrodes but in that
>process, while he was doing that, kind of whistling, I was looking over the
>room, and right away I didn't like the room. I didn't like the way the
>glass was in front of me through which I couldn't see, but I was being
>watched and right away that puts one in a kind of unnatural situation and I
>noted the big white lights and again that heightens the unnatural effect.
>There was something peculiar about the set-up too, it was supposed to look
>homey or look natural, two chairs and a little table, but again that struck
>me as unnatural before the big piece of glass and the lights. And then [Mr.
>R] ... who was bubbling over, dancing around, started to talk to me about
>he liked my suit.... the buzzer would ring or something like that, we were
>supposed to begin.... he was being sarcastic or pretty much of a wise
>guy.... And the first thing that entered my mind was to get up and ask him
>outside immediately ... but that was out of the question, because the
>electrodes and the movie and all that ... I kind of sat there and began to
>fume and then he went on and he got my goat and I couldn't think of what to
>say.... And then they came along and they took my electrodes off.
>And so it went. One subject, Hinge, thought he was "being attacked."
>Another, Naisfield, complained, "The lights were very bright.... Then the
>things were put on my legs and whatnot and on the arm, ... I didn't like
>the feel of the sticky stuff that was on there being sort of
>Although the "stressful dyadic proceeding" served as the centerpiece of
>Murray's experiment (it occurred during the second year of the three-year
>study), it was merely one among scores of different tests the students took
>in order to allow Murray and his associates to acquire, as Murray wrote,
>"the most accurate, significant, and complete knowledge and understanding
>of a single psychological event that is obtainable."
>Before the dyadic confrontation took place, Murray and his colleagues
>interviewed the students in depth about their hopes and aspirations. During
>this same period the subjects were required to write not only essays
>explaining their philosophies of life but also autobiographies, in which
>they were told to answer specific, intimate questions on a range of
>subjects from thumb-sucking and toilet training to masturbation and erotic
>fantasies. And they faced a battery of tests that included, among others,
>the Thematic Apperception Test, a Rorschach test, the Minnesota Multiphasic
>Personality Inventory, the California Psychological Inventory, a "fantasy
>inventory," a psychological-types inventory, the Maudalay Personality
>Inventory, an "inventory of self-description," a "temperament
>questionnaire," a "time-metaphor test," a "basic disposition test," a
>"range of experience inventory," a "philosophical outlook test," a
>food-preference inventory, analyses of their literary tastes and moral
>precepts, an "odor association test," a "word association test," an
>argument-completion test, a Wyatt finger-painting test, a
>projective-drawings test, and a "Rosenzweig picture frustration test." The
>results were then analyzed by researchers, who plotted them in numerous
>ways in an effort to develop a psychological portrait of each personality
>in all its dimensions.
>Only after most of this data had been collected did researchers administer
>the stressful dyadic confrontation. During the year following this session
>each student was called back for several "recall" interviews and sometimes
>was asked to comment on the movie of himself being reduced to impotent
>anger by the interrogator. During these replays, Murray wrote, "you will
>see yourself making numerous grimaces and gestures" and "uttering
>incongruent, disjunctive, and unfinished sentences."
>During the last year of the experiment Murray made the students available
>to his graduate-student assistants, to serve as guinea pigs for their own
>research projects. By graduation, as Kenneth Keniston, one of these
>researchers, summarized the process later, "each student had spent
>approximately two hundred hours in the research, and had provided hundreds
>of pages of information about himself, his beliefs, his past life, his
>family, his college life and development, his fantasies, his hopes and
>Why were the students willing to endure this ongoing stress and probing
>into their private lives? Some who had assisted Murray in the experiment
>confessed to me that they wondered about this themselves. But they -- and
>we -- can only speculate that some of the students (including Kaczynski)
>did it for the money, that some (again, probably including Kaczynski) had
>doubts about their own psychic health and were seeking reassurance about
>it, that some, suffering from Harvard's well-known anomie, were lonely and
>needed someone to talk to, and that some simply had an interest in helping
>to advance scientific knowledge. But in truth we do not know. Alden E.
>Wessman, a former research associate of Murray's who has long been bothered
>by the unethical dimension of this study, said to me recently, "Later, I
>thought: 'We took and took and used them and what did we give them in
>What was the purpose of the experiment? Keniston told me that he wasn't
>sure what the goals were. "Murray was not the most systematic scientist,"
>he explained. Murray himself gave curiously equivocal answers. At times he
>suggested that his intent was merely to gather as much raw data as possible
>about one interpersonal event, which could then be used in different ways
>to help "develop a theory of dyadic systems." At other times he recalled
>the idealistic goal of acquiring knowledge that would lead to improving
>human personality development. At still other times his language seemed to
>suggest a continued interest in stressful interrogations. For example,
>Murray explained in his "Notes on Dyadic Research," dated March 16, 1959,
>that an ongoing goal of the research, which focused heavily on "degree of
>anxiety and disintegration," was to "design and evaluate instruments and
>procedures for the prediction of how each subject will react in the course
>of a stressful dyadic proceeding."
>Sometimes Murray suggested that his research might have no value at all.
>"Cui bono?" he once asked. "As [the data] stand they are nothing but raw
>data, meaningless as such; and the question is what meaning, what
>intellectual news, can be extracted from them?" In another context he
>asked, "Are the costs in man-hours incurred by our elaborate, multiple
>procedures far greater than any possible gains in knowledge?"
>Such equivocation prompts one to ask, Could the experiment have had a
>purpose that Murray was reluctant to divulge? Was the multiform-assessments
>project intended, at least in part, to help the CIA determine how to test,
>or break down, an individual's ability to withstand interrogation? The
>writer Alexander Cockburn has asked whether the students might have been
>given the hallucinogenic drug LSD without their knowledge, possibly at the
>request of the CIA. By the late 1950s, according to some, Murray had become
>quite interested in hallucinogenics, including LSD and psilocybin. And soon
>after Murray's experiments on Kaczynski and his classmates were under way,
>in 1960, Timothy Leary returned to Harvard and, with Murray's blessing,
>began his experiments with psilocybin. In his autobiography, Flashbacks
>(1983), Leary, who would dedicate the rest of his life to promoting
>hallucinogenic drugs, described Murray as "the wizard of personality
>assessment who, as OSS chief psychologist, had monitored military
>experiments on brainwashing and sodium amytal interrogation. Murray
>expressed great interest in our drug-research project and offered his
>Forrest Robinson reports in his biography that Murray took psilocybin and
>in 1961 delivered a talk on his experience to the International Congress of
>Applied Psychology. That Leary had Murray's support was confirmed by Martin
>A. Lee and Bruce Schlain in their book Acid Dreams: The Complete Social
>History of LSD (1985).
>Leary returned to Harvard and established a psilocybin research project
>with the approval of Dr. Harry Murray, chairman of the Department of Social
>Relations. Dr. Murray, who ran the Personality Assessments section of the
>OSS during World War II, took a keen interest in Leary's work. He
>volunteered for a psilocybin session, becoming one of the first of many
>faculty and graduate students to sample the mushroom pill under Leary's
>Kaczynski thinks he was never given LSD. And after exhaustive research I
>could find no evidence that LSD was ever used in Murray's research.
>Nevertheless, whether the research had a defense connection of some sort
>remains an open question. Although direct evidence of support from a
>federal defense grant is so far lacking, circumstantial evidence exists:
>the strong similarity between the OSS stress tests and the later
>experiments, Murray's association with the OSS, his grant proposal to do
>research for the Navy Department, and the lack of any clearly explained
>purpose for the study. Obviously, the dyadic studies would have had
>considerable utility for the defense establishment, either as a framework
>for testing recruits or as continuing work on how to improve interrogation
>A Turning Point
><Picture: W>HAT was the state of Kaczynski's mental health at the time of
>the multiform-assessments project and immediately afterward? The evidence
>suggests that he was entirely sane during those years. By the spring of
>1998 Kaczynski had obtained from the Murray Center his answers (along with
>those of other Murray-experiment participants) on the Thematic Apperception
>Test, which Murray had given to Kaczynski during the first year of the
>experiment. At Kaczynski's request, his lawyers sent these to a
>psychological-testing expert: Bertram Karon, at Michigan State University.
>Because participants were identified only by code names, Karon was able to
>conduct a blind evaluation -- measuring the answers without knowing who had
>given them. Karon found that on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 a complete
>absence of illness and 10 the highest degree of illness, "Lawful" scored 0
>for "Schizotypy" and 2 for "Psychopathy." Kaczynski's undergraduate
>experience and behavior had been unremarkable. The reports of his
>housemaster, his adviser, and the university doctors attested to his
>normalcy, as did the observations of classmates. There is no evidence of
>immediate mental degradation in the project's aftermath. Emotional turmoil
>is another matter. As Sally Johnson, the forensic psychiatrist, reported,
>Kaczynski clearly began to experience emotional distress then, and began to
>develop his anti-technology views.
>And there is one thing that comes through clearly in the essays, test
>answers, and interviews of Murray's subjects at the outset of the
>experiment: many of these young men already exhibited attitudes of anger,
>nihilism, and alienation -- reflecting, perhaps, just how persuasively a
>culture of despair had infused student attitudes and suggesting that some
>might have been especially vulnerable to stress.
>Bulwer admitted that "right now I have sort of a nihilistic outlook on
>life.... How do you justify studying if you regard yourself as an ant
>crawling through a great huge anthill with millions of others?"
>Ives (speaking of living a conventional life) confessed,
>And for doing all this I will hate myself. I mourn the world in which I
>live because for me there is no place unless I compromise. All I can do is
>gather up the shattered remains of my hope and love and in the debris of
>the world keep at least one small blaze of poetry burning.... I most feel
>akin to the artists and the philosophers and have a hatred for the
>scientists. The scientists I hate because they are pursuing goals which are
>destined to remove man even further from himself.
>Naisfield averred, "I don't feel that there is any purpose in my being
>To describe his philosophy of life, Oscar (roughly) quoted Bertrand Russell
>(whose writings were assigned in Gen Ed): "Only on the firm foundation of
>unyielding despair, can the soul's habitation henceforth be safely built."
>Quartz announced that there were "no such things as objective values."
>Dorset wrote simply, "Society as I see it stinks."
>Sanwick, as one researcher put it, is "basically distrustful of the whole
>enterprise of life." Researchers found analyzing him "almost impossible,"
>because "his whole life is conceptualized within a bombastic framework of
>philosophical concepts: being, life, death, transcendency, preservation,
>liberation, repetition, chaos.... One feels ... a great tumult and chaos of
>awarenesses, perceptions, and feelings."
>The analysts deemed one subject "a young man in a state of considerable
>distress, depression, and confusion.... extremely alienated" and another
>prone to "withdrawal, silence." And so on, and on.
>It is clear, also, that Murray's experiment deeply affected at least some
>of its subjects. From interviews conducted after the project ended, it is
>apparent that certain students had found the experience searing. Even
>twenty-five years later some recalled the unpleasantness. In 1987 Cringle
>remembered the "anger and embarrassment ... the glass partition ... the
>electrodes and wires running up our sleeves."
>Likewise, twenty-five years later Drill still had "very vivid general
>memories of the experience ... I remember someone putting electrodes and
>blood pressure counter on my arm just before the filming.... [I] was
>startled by [his interlocutor's] venom.... I remember responding with
>What Hinge remembered most vividly twenty-five years later was being
>"attacked" and hating "having all my movements and sounds recorded.... we
>were led over to the chairs and strapped in and as the wires were attached
>to us.... I began to get more involved in the situation and I began to
>realize that ... there I was, actually was going to be in front of the
>movie camera ... I was surprised by how strongly he was attacking me...."
>And twenty-five years later Locust wrote,
>I remember appearing one afternoon for a 'debate' and being hooked up to
>electrodes and sat in a chair with bright lights and being told a movie was
>being made.... I remember him attacking me, even insulting me, for my
>values, or for opinions I had expressed in my written material, and I
>remember feeling that I could not defend these ideas, that I had written
>them not intended for them to be the subject of a debate ... I remember
>being shocked by the severity of the attack, and I remember feeling
>helpless to respond.... So what I seem to remember are feelings
>(bewilderment, surprise, anger, chagrin) sensations (the bright lights used
>for the filming, the discomfort of the arrangements) reactions (how could
>they have done this to me; what is the point of this? They have deceived
>me, telling me there was going to be a discussion, when in fact there was
>And at his twenty-fifth college reunion Ives wrote to Murray,
>My memories of the encounter 25 years ago ...
>The young lawyer was surprisingly hostile ...
>He had wavey jet black hair ...
>The subject was the nature of love.
>I argued that love could only be for a specific person.
>He argued that one could love all mankind.
>We talked about Natasha from WAR & PEACE.
>I did not enjoy the experience.
>We don't know what effect this experiment may have had on Kaczynski. As
>noted, I did not have access to his records, and therefore cannot attest to
>his degree of alienation then. Diana Baumrind, a psychologist at the
>University of California at Berkeley, observes that deceitful
>experimentation can be harmful if the subjects "have been emotionally
>unstable prior to the experiment." Kaczynski must certainly have been among
>the most vulnerable of Murray's experimental subjects -- a point that the
>researchers seem to have missed. He was among the youngest and the poorest
>of the group. He may have come from a dysfunctional home.
>Lois Skillen, Kaczynski's high school counselor, is among those who believe
>that the Murray experiment could have been a turning point in Kaczynski's
>life. Ralph Meister, one of Turk Kaczynski's oldest friends and a retired
>psychologist who has known Ted Kaczynski since he was a small boy, also
>raises this possibility. So does one of Murray's own research associates.
>The TAT results certainly suggest that at the outset of the experiment
>Kaczynski was mentally healthy, but by the experiment's end, judging from
>Sally Johnson's comments, he was showing the first signs of emotional
>As Kaczynski's college life continued, outwardly he seemed to be adjusting
>to Harvard. But inwardly he increasingly seethed. According to Sally
>Johnson, he began worrying about his health. He began having terrible
>nightmares. He started having fantasies about taking revenge against a
>society that he increasingly viewed as an evil force obsessed with imposing
>conformism through psychological controls.
>These thoughts upset Kaczynski all the more because they exposed his
>ineffectuality. Johnson reported that he would become horribly angry with
>himself because he could not express this fury openly. "I never attempted
>to put any such fantasies into effect," she quoted from his writings,
>"because I was too strongly conditioned ... against any defiance of
>authority.... I could not have committed a crime of revenge even a
>relatively minor crime because ... my fear of being caught and punished was
>all out of proportion to the actual danger of being caught."
>Kaczynski felt that justice demanded that he take revenge on society. But
>he lacked the personal resources at that time to do so. He was -- had
>always been -- a good boy. Instead he would seek escape. He began to dream
>about breaking away from society and living a primitive life. According to
>Johnson, he "began to study information about wild edible plants" and to
>spend time learning about the wilderness. And like many American
>intellectuals before him, from Henry David Thoreau to Edward Abbey, he
>began to form a plan to seek personal renewal in nature.
><Picture: T>ODAY society would not tolerate the deceptions inherent in the
>Murray experiments. The researchers seem to have failed at least two
>requirements in the American Psychological Association's current code of
>conduct: that they obtain "informed consent" from their subjects and that
>they "never deceive research participants about significant aspects that
>would affect their willingness to participate, such as physical risks,
>discomfort, or unpleasant emotional experiences." But different standards
>prevailed then, and what we now view as the abuse of human subjects was
>common. Researchers around the country performed experiments on
>undergraduates that put them in psychological peril.
>In an infamous experiment conducted in 1962 by the Yale professor Stanley
>Milgram, subjects (forty men recruited through mail solicitation and a
>newspaper ad) were led to believe that they were delivering
>ever-more-powerful electric shocks to a stranger, on orders from the
>researcher. Nearly two thirds of them continued to obey the orders even
>when they were asked to administer the highest level of shock, labeled
>"Danger: Severe Shock." Some participants broke down on learning of their
>potential for cruelty. "I observed a mature and initially poised
>businessman enter the laboratory smiling and confident," Milgram wrote,
>concerning one of his study subjects. "Within 20 minutes he was reduced to
>a twitching, stuttering wreck, who was rapidly approaching a point of
>A 1971 experiment by the Stanford professor Philip Zimbardo embodied the
>pursuit of scientific truth at the expense of students' psychological
>health. Zimbardo selected twenty-four students to play a game of guards and
>prisoners. Nine were "arrested" and taken to a basement "prison," where
>they were guarded by the others. In a very short time the guards began
>abusing the prisoners. This sadism erupted so quickly that Zimbardo
>discontinued the experiment after six days -- eight days earlier than
>The Murray experiment may not have been as intensely traumatic as these
>other experiments. And its ethics were definitely acceptable in their day.
>But the ethics of the day were wrong. And they framed Kaczynski's first
>encounter with a reckless scientific value system that elevated the pursuit
>of scientific truth above human rights.
>When, soon after, Kaczynski began to worry about the possibility of mind
>control, he was not giving vent to paranoid delusions. In view of Murray's
>experiment, he was not only rational but right. The university and the
>psychiatric establishment had been willing accomplices in an experiment
>that had treated human beings as unwitting guinea pigs, and had treated
>them brutally. Here is a powerful logical foundation for Kaczynski's
>latterly expressed conviction that academics, in particular scientists,
>were thoroughly compromised servants of "the system," employed in the
>development of techniques for the behavioral control of populations.
><Picture: I>T was the confluence of two streams of development that
>transformed Ted Kaczynski into the Unabomber. One stream was personal, fed
>by his anger toward his family and those who he felt had slighted or hurt
>him, in high school and college. The other derived from his philosophical
>critique of society and its institutions, and reflected the culture of
>despair he encountered at Harvard and later. The Murray experiment,
>containing both psychological and philosophical components, may well have
>fed both streams.
>Gradually, while he was immersed in his Harvard readings and in the Murray
>experiment, Kaczynski began to put together a theory to explain his
>unhappiness and anger. Technology and science were destroying liberty and
>nature. The system, of which Harvard was a part, served technology, which
>in turn required conformism. By advertising, propaganda, and other
>techniques of behavior modification, this system sought to transform men
>into automatons, to serve the machine.
>Thus did Kaczynski's Harvard experiences shape his anger and legitimize his
>wrath. By the time he graduated, all the elements that would ultimately
>transform him into the Unabomber were in place -- the ideas out of which he
>would construct a philosophy, the unhappiness, the feelings of complete
>isolation. Soon after, so, too, would be his commitment to killing.
>Embracing the value-neutral message of Harvard's positivism -- morality was
>nonrational -- made him feel free to murder. Within four years of
>graduating from Harvard he would be firmly fixed in his life's plan.
>According to an autobiography he wrote that chronicled his life until the
>age of twenty-seven, "I thought 'I will kill, but I will make at least some
>effort to avoid detection, so that I can kill again.'"
>Both Kaczynski's philosophy and his decision to go into the wilderness were
>set by the summer of 1966, after his fourth year as a graduate student at
>the University of Michigan (where, incidentally, students had rated him an
>above-average instructor). It was then, Sally Johnson wrote, that "he
>decided that he would do what he always wanted to do, to go to Canada to
>take off in the woods with a rifle and try to live off the country. 'If it
>doesn't work and if I can get back to civilization before I starve then I
>will come back here and kill someone I hate.'" This was also when he
>decided to accept the teaching position at Berkeley -- not in order to
>launch an academic career but to earn a grubstake sufficient to support him
>in the wilderness.
>In 1971 Kaczynski wrote an essay containing most of the ideas that later
>appeared in the manifesto. "In these pages," it began, "it is argued that
>continued scientific and technical progress will inevitably result in the
>extinction of individual liberty." It was imperative that this juggernaut
>be stopped, Kaczynski went on. This could not be done by simply
>"popularizing a certain libertarian philosophy" unless "that philosophy is
>accompanied by a program of concrete action."
>At that time Kaczynski still had some hope of achieving his goals by
>peaceful means -- by establishing "an organization dedicated to stopping
>federal aid to scientific research." It would not be long before he decided
>this was fruitless. The same year, Johnson wrote, he was "thinking
>seriously about and planning to murder a scientist." Meanwhile, he began to
>practice what radical environmentalists call "monkeywrenching" --
>sabotaging or stealing equipment and setting traps and stringing wires to
>harm intruders into his wilderness domain. Later in the 1970s he began
>experimenting with explosives. In 1978 he launched his campaign of
>terrorism with the bomb that injured Terry Marker.
>The Evils of Intelligence
><Picture: T>ODAY Ted Kaczynski is serving four life terms in a
>maximum-security prison in Florence, Colorado. Out of sight, he is not out
>of play. His manifesto continues to be read at colleges around the country.
>Through letters, he maintains relations with many people he knew before his
>arrest. And although most Americans are morally repulsed by the Unabomber's
>terrorism, many accept his anti-technology views and silently tolerate
>extremist actions on behalf of saving "wild nature."
>Kaczynski has attracted a large new following of admirers. Indeed, he has
>become an inspiration and a sort of leader in exile for the burgeoning
>"green anarchist" movement. In a letter to me Kaczynski made clear that he
>keeps in contact with other anarchists, including John Zerzan, the
>intellectual leader of a circle of anarchists in Eugene, Oregon, who was
>among the few people to visit Kaczynski while he was in jail in Sacramento,
>awaiting trial. According to The Boston Globe, Theresa Kintz, one of
>Zerzan's fellow anarchists, was the first writer to whom Kaczynski granted
>an interview after his arrest. Writing for the London-based Green
>Anarchist, Kintz quoted Kaczynski as saying, "For those who realize the
>need to do away with the techno-industrial system, if you work for its
>collapse, in effect you are killing a lot of people."
>The Los Angeles Times has reported that last June, 200 of Zerzan's comrades
>rioted in Eugene, smashing computers, breaking shop windows, throwing
>bricks at cars, and injuring eight police officers. According to the
>Seattle Times, followers of Zerzan's also arrived in force at last
>December's "Battle of Seattle," at the World Trade Organization meeting,
>where they smashed shop windows, flattened tires, and dumped garbage cans
>on the street.
>Kaczynski continues to comment approvingly on the violent exploits of
>environmental radicals. In a letter he wrote last year to the Denver
>television reporter Rick Sallinger, he expressed his support for the Earth
>Liberation Front's arsons at the Vail ski resort -- fires that destroyed
>more than $12 million worth of property.
>"I fully approve of [the arson]," he wrote Sallinger, "and I congratulate
>the people who carried it out." Kaczynski went on to commend an editorial
>in the Earth First! Journal by Kintz, who wrote, "The Earth Liberation
>Front's eco-sabotage of Vail constituted a political act of conscience
>perfectly in keeping with the sincere expression of the biocentric paradigm
>many Earth First!ers espouse."
>It is unlikely that Kaczynski will someday be a free man again, but it is
>not impossible. Although he pleaded guilty in January of 1998 to the
>Unabomber crimes, that outcome is currently under appeal. He claims that
>his attorneys deceived him and acted against his wishes by preparing a
>"mental defect" defense for him, and that by allowing this to happen, the
>court violated his Sixth Amendment right to direct his own defense. The
>Ninth Circuit Court has agreed to hear his appeal, and a new trial is a
>Some, including me, believe that if Kaczynski does win a new trial, he will
>argue that his killings were necessary in order to save the world from a
>great evil -- namely, technology. Most legal experts believe that this
>would be an unpersuasive and even suicidal defense strategy, leading
>directly to a guilty verdict and a sentence of death. But apparently
>Kaczynski would rather die a martyr for his ideas than live out his life in
>prison. At any rate, his essential point is correct: the Unabomber is not
>only a killer but a sane one. He is a terrorist, like Timothy McVeigh, the
>Oklahoma City bomber, and Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, the World Trade Center
>bomber. And like them, he is evil. But what kind of evil?
><Picture: T>HE real story of Ted Kaczynski is one of the nature of modern
>evil -- evil that results from the corrosive powers of intellect itself,
>and its arrogant tendency to put ideas above common humanity. It stems from
>our capacity to conceive theories or philosophies that promote violence or
>murder in order to avert supposed injustices or catastrophes, to acquiesce
>in historical necessity, or to find the final solution to the world's
>problems -- and by this process of abstraction to dehumanize our enemies.
>We become like Raskolnikov, in Crime and Punishment, who declares, "I did
>not kill a human being, but a principle!"
>Guided by theories, philosophies, and ideologies, the worst mass killers of
>modern history transformed their victims into depersonalized abstractions,
>making them easier to kill. Much the way Stalin, citing Communist dogma,
>ordered the murder of millions of peasants toward "the elimination of the
>Kulaks as a class," so Kaczynski rationalized his murders as necessary to
>solve "the technology problem."
>The conditions that produce violence continue to flourish. Despite their
>historically unprecedented affluence, many middle-class Americans,
>particularly the educated elite, are still gripped by despair. The
>education system continues to promote bleak visions of the future.
>Meanwhile, alienating ideologies, offering the false promise of quick
>solutions through violence, proliferate.
>Although most Americans strongly condemn terrorist acts committed in the
>name of political agendas of which they do not approve, many turn a blind
>eye toward savagery done in the name of ideals they share. Indeed, many are
>reasonably comfortable with violence short of murder, as long as it's done
>for a cause they support. It was easy for Americans to unite in condemning
>the World Trade Center and Oklahoma City bombings, because few approved of
>the bombers' goals: the destruction of the state of Israel and of the U.S.
>government. But some conservatives seem to be untroubled by anti-abortion
>bombings or by the rise of armed militias, and some liberals consistently
>condone or ignore the proliferation of terrorism putatively committed on
>behalf of animals or the environment.
>Not surprisingly, then, ideologically inspired violence has become
>increasingly commonplace -- tolerated and sometimes even praised. Just
>after the bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, The Wall Street Journal
>noted that terrorism "has become a part of life."
>According to the FBI, explosive and incendiary bombings doubled during the
>first four years of the 1990s. And although the number of such incidents
>has declined slightly since that time, certain kinds of "single-issue"
>terrorism -- including acts committed on behalf of Kaczynski's cause of
>choice, "saving wild nature" -- are becoming increasingly prominent. Last
>year the director of the FBI, Louis Freeh, told Congress, "The most
>recognizable single issue terrorists at the present time are those involved
>in the violent animal rights, anti-abortion, and environmental protection
>movements.... the potential for destruction has increased as terrorists
>have turned toward large improvised explosive devices to inflict maximum
>After concluding a ten-month investigation of this phenomenon, the Portland
>Oregonian reported last fall,
>Escalating sabotage to save the environment has inflicted tens of millions
>of dollars in damage and placed lives at risk.... Arsons, bombings and
>sabotage in the name of saving the environment and its creatures have swept
>the American West over the last two decades, and Oregon is increasingly the
>center of it. At least 100 major acts of such violence have occurred since
>1980, causing $42.8 million in damages.
>The Oregonian found that "during the last four years alone, the West has
>been rocked by 33 substantial incidents, with damages reaching $28.8
>million." And although "these crimes started nearly two decades ago -- some
>seem clearly inspired by Edward Abbey's 1975 novel, The Monkey Wrench Gang
>-- they have escalated dangerously, sometimes with the use of bombs, in the
>last six years."
>No one other than Kaczynski's three victims has yet been murdered by a
>fanatical environmentalist, but investigators consider it merely a matter
>of time before someone else is killed for similar reasons. "I think we've
>come very close to that line," one federal agent told the Oregonian, "and
>we will cross that line unless we deal with this problem."
>We may cross that line sooner than we think. In a September, 1998, letter
>to me, Kaczynski wrote,
>I suspect that you underestimate the strength and depth of feeling against
>industrial civilization that has been developing in recent years. I've been
>surprised at some of the things that people have written to me. It looks to
>me as if our society is moving into a pre-revolutionary situation. (By that
>I don't mean a situation in which revolution is inevitable, but one in
>which it is a realistic possibility.) The majority of people are
>pessimistic or cynical about existing institutions, there is widespread
>alienation and directionlessness among young people.... Perhaps all that is
>needed is to give these forces appropriate organization and direction.
>Seen from that perspective, it might seem that the rest of society is only
>a few steps behind Kaczynski. When Henry Murray spoke of the need to create
>a new "World Man," this was not what he had in mind.
>(The online version of this article appears in four parts. Click here to go
>to part one, part two, or part three.)
>Alston Chase is the author of Playing God in Yellowstone (1986) and In a
>Dark Wood (1995). He is at work on a book about Theodore Kaczynski.
>Copyright © 2000 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.
>The Atlantic Monthly; June 2000; Harvard and the Making of the Unabomber -
>00.06 (Part Four); Volume 285, No. 6; page 41-65.
>Discuss this article in the Education & Teaching conference of Post &
>More on politics and society in The Atlantic Monthly and Atlantic Unbound.
>Elsewhere on the Web
>Links to related material on other Web sites.
>"Multiform Assessments of Personality Development Among Gifted College Men,
>1941-1965," by Henry A. Murray
>Henry A. Murray's abstract of the study to which he subjected Theodore
>Kaczynski and other Harvard students. Posted by the Henry A. Murray
>Research Center of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
>The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer: Standing Trial? (January 16, 1998)
>A transcript of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer in which Elizabeth Farnsworth
>speaks with experts about Theodore Kaczynski, mental competency, and the
>Comprehensive coverage of the Unabomber trial by the Sacramento Bee.
>Includes profiles of central figures, court transcripts and relevant
>documents, photos, video clips, an archive of articles, and more.
> "Let Us Consider The Human Brain As
> A Very Complex Photographic Plate"
> 1957 G.H. Estabrooks
> FOR K A R E N #01182
> who died fighting 4/23/99
> For people like me, violence is the minotaur; we spend our lives
> wandering its maze, looking for the exit. (Richard Rhodes)
> Never befriend the oppressed
> unless you are prepared to
> take on the oppressor.
> (Author unknown)
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