1heodore Kaczynski: 1he Unabomber

1heodore Kaczynski was captured on April 3, J996, at his cabin in Montana.

outskirts oí Lincoln, Montana, where the
major change oí his liíe took place. lrom
19¯8 to 1995 he mailed bombs to
distinguished proíessors in top
Uni·ersities and airlines executi·es, reason
íor which the lBI coded him as tbe
|vabovber, standing íor Uni·ersities and
Airlines bomber`.
1he results oí his 16 attacks: 3 killed and
23 injured. In 1995 he agreed to stop the
bombings ií what would be later on called
as his Mavife.to, was published in a main
stream newspaper.
1he Mavife.to -appearing in the New \ork
1imes and the \ashington Post in
September 1995, and entitled ívav.triat
´ociet, ava ít. ívtvre- is a radical critique to
modern industrial society. 1he o·erthrow
oí its technological basis is the aim oí the
re·olution he proposes.
By analyzing modern man beha·ior,
Kaczynski argues that technology and
pressures írom the modern society ha·e
isolated men írom nature and ha·e made
them dependent on mass beha·ior. 1his
last one is widely controlled by
propaganda and diííerent marketing
techniques. le argues that most people
ha·e lost their autonomy, and ha·e been
íorced to li·e according to what the
system pro·ides them rather than
according to their own initiati·es. Science,
media and technological progress are
the main responsible íor this. 1he need
íor more technical personnel, Kaczynski
argues, is sol·ed by íorcing kids to study
science and other subjects they hate.
luman beha·ior, in general, is modiíied
to íit the needs oí the system. 1echnology
only helps in partially sol·ing the
problems it has created, and does so by
imposing restrictions in human íreedom.


Part oí the explanation íor the arguments
in this Mavife.to has been gi·en by
reíerring to Kaczynski`s participation in
the Murray experiments. \hen taking part
oí them, 1heodore Kaczynski was
exposed to extremely stressíul situations
in order to determine how elite groups
beha·e under psychological pressure.
Later on he would write that techniques oí
sur·eillance, education and mental health
programs are just some oí the basic
mechanisms íor brain control. lowe·er,
the ad·ance oí science is expected to bring
more sophisticated methods as mental
drugs, neurology and genetic engineering,
in the íorm oí gene therapy`. 1hese
methods, he argues, will allow adjusting
human beings to the kind oí society that
technology is creating.
1he targets oí Kaczynski`s attacks were by
no means randomly chosen. One oí his
latest ·ictims, Proíessor oí Computer
Science at \ale Uni·ersity, Da·id
Gelernter, has long worked in the creation
oí a 1irtvat ´ociet, that will íacilitate people
relationships with diííerent kind oí
organizations. 1he use oí soítware
applications and the interaction between
indi·iduals and machines will bring
beneíits to indi·iduals accessing hospitals,
uni·ersities, go·ernment oííices and other
institutions, Gelernter says. As oppose to
Kaczynski, he does not consider
technology as a dangerous íorce, on the
contrary, he thinks oí it as a major
solution íor human diííiculties. Most oí
the ·ictims oí Kaczynski share this
opinion and ha·e been engaged in projects
towards those aims. 1hey argue that the
current problems oí humankind are just
caused by insuííicient knowledge, more
research and the ad·ance oí technology
will bring solutions to all oí them.
1he íinal publication oí the Mavife.to was
the key íor the identiíication and capture
oí the Unabomber on April 1996. le was
sentenced to liíe in prison in llorence,
Colorado. 1he small cabin where he was
íound -with no electricity or running
water- was remo·ed írom its location and
initially translated to Sacramento,
Caliíornia.
le maintains communication with the
outside world although not with his
íamily. As a coníirmation oí his earlier
belieís, in a recent correspondence with
German íilm director, Lutz Dammbeck,
he asked: \hat kind oí ·iolence has
caused more harm in the history oí
mankind: the ·iolence that was sanctioned
by the state, or the ·iolence that was
caused, without sanctions, by indi·iduals·`
u
Julian Aré·alo

lebruary 29
th
, 2008
In the early 1960s, while studying
mathematics at lar·ard Uni·ersity,
1heodore Kaczynski participated in a
series oí experiments directed by
psychologist and co-íounder oí the
Department oí Social Relations oí the
same uni·ersity, lenry Murray.
1he experiments were part oí a major
research program aimed at understanding
how authoritarian beha·ior de·elops. By
those means, it would be possible to
understand the brain mechanisms that
generate personalities that lead to íascism
and other totalitarian political systems.
Upon that line oí reasoning, human nature
could be modiíied in order to eradicate
any kind oí authoritarian beha·ior and,
thereíore, eliminate all risks oí appearance
oí authoritarian societies.
Once a íirm belie·er in science and the
possibilities it has íor ameliorating
people`s li·ing conditions, Kaczynski`s
experience in Murray experiments would
ha·e a long lasting dramatic impact on his
own liíe.
During his early years, 1heodore
Kaczynski surpassed intellectually being
allowed to skip courses in Primary and
ligh School. In 1958 he was admitted at
lar·ard Uni·ersity where he graduated
and started a promising career in
mathematics. le recei·ed a Master and a
Ph. D írom the Uni·ersity oí Michigan,
Ann Arbor, and in 196¯ he was hired by
the Uni·ersity oí Caliíornia, Berkeley.
During these years he published se·eral
academic articles in renowned journals in
mathematics.
lowe·er, things were about to change íor
Kaczynski. le resigned írom Berkeley in
19¯1 and aíter spending some time at his
parents` house in Chicago he mo·ed
northwest to an isolated cabin in the

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