1. Ted to the NY Times on His Offer to Major Newspapers

This is a message from the terrorist group FC. To prove its [sic.] authentic we give our identifying number (to be kept secret): 553-25-4394.

We blew up Thomas Mosser last December because he was a Burston-Marsteller executive. Among other misdeeds, Burston-Marsteller [sic.] helped Exxon clean up its public image after the Exxon Valdes incident. But we attacked Burston-Marsteller less for its specific misdeed than on general principles. Burston-Marsteller is about the biggest organization in the public relations field. This means that its business is the development of techniques for manipulating people’s attitudes. It was for this more than for its actions in specific cases that we sent a bomb to an executive of this company.

Some news reports have made the misleading statement that we have been attacking universities or scholars. We have nothing against universities or scholars as such. All the university people whom we have attacked have been specialists in technical fields. (We consider certain areas of applied psychology, such as behavior modification, to be technical fields.) We would not want anyone to think that we have any desire to hurt professors who study archaeology, history, literature or harmless stuff like that. The people we are out to get are the scientists and engineers, especially in critical fields like computers and genetics. As for the bomb planted in the [crossed out] Business School at the U. of Utah, that was a botched operation. We won’t say how or why it was botched because we don’t want to give the FBI any clues. No one was hurt by that bomb.

In our previous letter to you we called ourselves anarchists. Since “anarchist” is a vague word that has been applied to a variety of attitudes, further explanation is needed. We call ourselves anarchists because we would like, ideally, to break down all society into very small, completely autonomous units. Regrettably, we don’t see any clear road to this goal, so we leave it to the indefinite future. Our more immediate goal, which we think may be attainable at some time during the next several decades, is the destruction of the worldwide industrial system. Through our bombings we hope to promote social instability in industrial society, propagate anti-industrial ideas and give encouragement to those who hate the industrial system.

The FBI has tried to portray these bombings as the work of an isolated nut. We won’t waste our time arguing about whether we are nuts, but we certainly are not isolated. For security reasons we won’t reveal the number of members of our group, but anyone who will read the anarchist and radical environmentalist journals will see that opposition to the industrial-technological system is widespread and growing.

Why do we announce our [crossed out] goals only now, through we made our first bomb some seventeen years ago? Our early bombs were too ineffectual to attract much public attention or give encouragement to those who hate the system. We found by experience that gunpowder bombs, if small enough to be carried inconspicuously, were too feeble to do much damage, so we took a couple of years off to do some experimenting. We learned how to make pipe bombs that were powerful enough, and we used these in a couple of successful bombings as well as in some unsuccessful ones. Unfortunately we discovered that these bombs would not detonate consistently when made with three-quarter inch steel water pipe. They did seem to detonate consistently when made with massively reinforced one inch steel water pipe, but a bomb of this type made a long, heavy package, too conspicuous and suspicious looking for our liking.

So we went back to work, and after a long period of experimentation we developed a type of bomb that does not require a pipe, but is set off by a detonating cap that consists of chlorate explosive packed into a piece of small diameter copper tubing. (The detonating cap is a miniature pipe bomb.) We used bombs of this type to blow up the genetic engineer Charles Epstein and the computer specialist David Gelernter. We did use a chlorate pipe bomb to blow up Thomas Mosser because we happened to have a piece of light-weight aluminum pipe that was just right for the job. The Gelernter and Epstein bombings were not fatal, but the Mosser bombing was fatal even though a smaller amount of explosive was used. We think this was because the type of fragmentation material that we used in the Mosser bombing is more effective [crossed out] than what we’ve used previously.

Since we no longer have to confine the explosive in a pipe, we are now free of limitations on the size and shape of our bombs. We are pretty sure we know how to increase the power of our explosives and reduce the number of batteries needed to set them off. And, as we’ve just indicated, we think we now have more effective fragmentation material. So we expect to be able to pack deadly bombs into ever smaller, lighter and more harmless looking packages. On the other hand, we believe we will be able to make bombs much bigger than any we’ve made before. With a briefcase-full or a suitcase-full of explosives we should be able to blow out the walls of substantial buildings.

Clearly we are in a position to do a great deal of damage. And it doesn’t appear that the FBI is going to catch us any time soon. The FBI is a joke.

The people who are pushing all this growth and progress garbage deserve to be severely punished. But our goal is less to punish them than to propagate ideas. Anyhow we are getting tired of making bombs. It’s no fun having to spend all your evenings and weekends preparing dangerous mixtures, filing trigger mechanisms out of scraps of metal or searching the sierras for a place isolated enough to test a bomb. So we offer a bargain.

We have a long article, between 29,000 and 37,000 words, that we want to have published. If you can get it published according to our requirements we will permanently desist from terrorist activities. It must be published in the New York Times, Time or Newsweek, or in some other widely read, nationally distributed periodical. Because of its length we suppose it will have to be serialized. Alternatively, it can be published as a small book, but the book must be well publicized and made available at a moderate price in bookstores nationwide and in at least some places abroad. Whoever agrees to publish the material will have exclusive rights to reproduce it for a period of six months and will be welcome to any profits they may make from it. After six months from the first appearance of the article or book it must become public property, so that anyone can reproduce or publish it. (If material is serialized, first instalment becomes public property six months after appearance of first instalment, second instalment, etc.) We must have the right to publish in the New York Times, Time or Newsweek, each year for three years after the appearance of our article or book, three thousand words expanding or clarifying our material or rebutting criticisms of it.

The article will [crossed out] not explicitly advocate violence. There will be an unavoidable implication that we favor violence to the extent that it may be necessary, since we advocate eliminating industrial society and we ourselves have been using violence to that end. But the article will not advocate violence explicitly, nor will it propose the overthrow of the United States Government, nor will it contain obscenity or anything else that you would be likely to regard as unacceptable for publication.

How do you know that we will keep our promise to desist from terrorism if our conditions are met? It will be to our [crossed out] advantage to keep our promise. We want to win acceptance for certain ideas. If we break our promise people will lose respect for us and so will be less likely to accept the ideas.

Our offer to desist from terrorism is subject to three qualifications. First: Our promise to desist will not take effect until all parts of our article or book have appeared in print. Second: If the authorities should succeed in tracking us down and an attempt is made to arrest any of us, or even to question us in connection with the bombings, we reserve the right to use violence. Third: We distinguish between terrorism and sabotage. By terrorism we mean actions motivated by a desire to influence the development of a society and intended to cause injury or death to human beings. By sabotage we mean similarly motivated actions intended to destroy property without injuring human beings. The promise we offer is to desist from terrorism. We reserve the right to engage in sabotage.

It may be just as well that failure of our early bombs discouraged us from making any public statements at that time. We were very young then and our thinking was crude. Over the years we have given as much attention to the development of our ideas as to the development of bombs, and we now have something serious to say. And we feel that just now the time is ripe for the presentation of anti-industrial ideas.

Please see to it that the answer to our offer is well publicized in the media so that we won’t miss it. Be sure to tell us where and how our material will be published and how long it will take to appear in print once we have sent in the manuscript. If the answer is satisfactory, we will finish typing the manuscript and send it to you. If the answer is unsatisfactory, we will start building our next bomb.

We encourage you to print this letter.


P.S. Mr. Hoge, at this time we are sending letters to David Gelernter, Richard J. Roberts and Phillip A. Sharp, the last two being recent Nobel Prize winners. We are not putting our identifying number on these letters, because we want to keep it secret. Instead, we are advising Gelernter, Roberts and Sharp to contact you for confirmation that the letters do come from FC.

2. Guccione to Ted

[In a faxed letter to the Associated Press, to serve as an open letter, Guccione was quoted as writing:]

... I am making one or several of my magazines available to publicize your message ...

... We could publish your entire manuscript at one time, or as you suggest, we could serialize it over two to three months. ...

... Furthermore, I would dedicate our entire public relations operation to help publicize your message. ...

... Obviously, I'm making this offer to save lives. Time is of the essence ...

... contact me at your earliest convenience. ...

Other comments to the Media

After Guccione made his offer, Penthouse received a call from someone who said, "I have something Mr. Guccione wants to publish," Guccione said Friday. Unlike other calls Penthouse received, this one sounded legitimate, he said. "We're waiting for that individual to call back," Guccione said, adding that he has "a way of determining absolutely whether he's the real McCoy or not." He would not say what that method was, but in letters, the Unabomber has used a nine-digit code for authentication.

The New York Times printed an earlier letter from the Unabomber after deletions requested by the FBI, but Guccione said be would not agree to any omissions.

"I'm not personally interested in cooperating with the FBI," Guccione said Friday in an interview from his New York office.

Mr. Guccione told Ad Age: "I think it would be completely irresponsible not to publish it. He intends to do more bombing but he's said he would stop killing people if we publish it."

Mr. Guccione said he did not believe publishing the manifesto would encourage other terrorists. He did acknowledge that as an "added bonus" he would sell more magazines in whatever issue it appeared. But, he said: "On the other hand, we might lose all of our advertisers."

"This is the philosophical ramblings of a tortured mind. We'll print it exactly the way he wants it."

3. Ted to Guccione

Mr. Guccione:

This is a message from FC. The FBI calls us “unabom.” You offered to publish our manuscript in Penthouse in exchange for our promise to desist from terrorism, and that is what we are writing to you about.

We have not made any phone calls to you. No communication from FC should be accepted as authentic unless it is verified by means of our secret identifying number, which is known only to the New York Times and the FBI. With the present letter we are sending to the New York Times. That letter carries our identifying number (cut out on your copy) and you can confirm the authenticity of the present letter and accompanying material by comparing your copy of the NY Times letter with the original that we’ve sent to the Times.

We are also enclosing a copy of our manuscript. We are very pleased that you’ve offered to publish our stuff, and we thank you. We aren’t in the habit of reading sex magazines ourselves, but we don’t have anything against those who do read such magazines or those who publish them. However, it will obviously be to our advantage if we can get our stuff published in a “respectable” periodical rather than in Penthouse, because many people do consider sex magazines to be disreputable or worse. Moreover, if we’re not mistaken, Penthouse is basically an entertainment magazine that contains also some serious commentary. In such magazines the serious commentary to some extent serves as part of the entertainment. We are down on the entertainment industry because it is an “opium of the masses” (see paragraphs 147, 156 of our manuscript). So we don’t like the idea of playing footsy with that industry by allowing our writings to be used as entertainment. Therefore, if possible, we’d like to get our stuff published somewhere other than in Penthouse.

We are sending copies of our manuscript to the New York Times and the Washington Post. The NY Times is to have first claim on the right to publish the manuscript (or to arrange for its publication elsewhere), then the Washington Post, and after that Penthouse. If either the New York Times and the Washington Post is willing and able to publish our material (or arrange for its publication elsewhere) reasonably soon, then they will have exclusive rights to the material for a period that will probably be six months (see our letter to NY Times).

If neither the NY Times nor the Washington Post has published the material, or begun to publish it in serial form, or caused it to be published elsewhere, or announced a definite date for its publication, within 3 months from the day the present letter is postmarked, then Penthouse can publish the material, and will have exclusive rights to it for six months in accord with the conditions stated in our letters to NY Times. BUT, Penthouse must publish the material (or publish the first instalment, if it is to be serialized) within two months after the expiration of the 3 month period we’ve just mentioned, and publication of the entire manuscript must be completed within about six months after the first instalment appears.

Also, the deal we offer Penthouse will have to be a little different from what we offered the New York Times. If we offer Penthouse the same promise we offered the Times (to desist permanently from terrorism) then the NY Times will have no incentive to find a “respectable” outlet for the manuscript. They may just say, “What the heck, let Penthouse publish it and that will stop the bombings.” So to increase our chances of getting our stuff published in some “respectable” periodical we have to offer less in exchange for publication in Penthouse. Therefore, if our manuscript is published in Penthouse, and is not published and widely distributed through “respectable” channels, then we promise to desist permanently from terrorism, in accord with conditions specified in our letters to the NY Times, EXCEPT that we reserve the right to plant one (and only one) bomb, intended to kill, AFTER our manuscript has been published.

Since we are grateful for your offer to publish our manuscript, we are sending you an “exclusive” that you can print in Penthouse if you like.

Prior to June, 1993, when we sent a letter to the New York Times, the FBI led the public to believe that “the unabomber” had never explained his motives or claimed credit for any bombings. Since June, 1993 the FBI has maintained that our letter of that month was the first one from “the unabomber,” and they have implied that the significance of the letters “FC” is unknown.

The FBI is probably lying. In December, 1985, shortly after we planted the bomb that killed a computer store owner, we sent a letter to the San Francisco Examiner in which we outlined our motives. This letter revealed that several bombs we’d planted were part of a series, not unrelated events, and it gave enough information about one of the bombs so that the FBI could be sure the letter was authentic. That letter was never mentioned in the Examiner.

Now it is conceivable that the letter was lost in the mail, but that doesn’t seem likely, because in late December, 1985 there was an article in the Examiner about the bombings; this was the first news report that gave any indication that our various bombings were part of a series, and the article stated that it had not previously been realised that the bombings were related. So if the FBI is telling the truth, if they never received that letter, then we have to assume that the letter was lost in the mail and that the FBI just happened to discover on its own at that time that the bombings were related. This is too much of a coincidence to seem likely. It’s more probable that the Examiner did receive the letter and turn it over to the FBI, and that the FBI, for some obscure reason of its own, asked the Examiner to suppress the letter.

We never followed that letter up with any further communications before June, 1993, because we discovered that the type of bomb we were using then was unreliable. It was a kind of pipe bomb that often failed to detonate properly unless made in a form that was so long nd heavy that it might easily arouse suspicion. So we decided that before attempting again to make a public statement we ought to go back to experimenting and develop a type of bomb that would enable us to be adequate terrorists. That we now have such a bomb is indicated by the success of our last four attacks. By the way, contrary to statements made by the FBI, these are not pipe bombs (except in the case of the Mosser bombing).

We give below some excerpts from our December, 1985 letter to the Examiner. We won’t give the whole letter, because there is just a chance that the FBI may be telling the truth, that they never received the letter, and in that case, if we gave them the whole letter now some parts of it conceivably might be slightly useful to them in their effort to track us down.

The letters FC stand for “Freedom Club.” We now think this name, which we adopted early, is rather inane, but since we’ve already been marking FC on bomb parts for a long time we may as well retain these letters as our signature.


The bomb that crippled the right arm of a graduate student in electrical engineering and damaged a computer lab at U. of Cal. Berkeley last May was planted by a terrorist group called the Freedom Club. We are also responsible for some earlier bombing attempts; among others, the bomb that injured a professor in the computer science building at U. of Cal., the mail bomb that inured the secretary of computer expert Patrick Fischer at Vanderbilt University 3½ years ago, and the fire bomb planted in the Business School at U. of Utah, which never went off. ...

We have waited until now to announce ourselves because our earlier bombs were embarassingly inaffectual. The injuries they inflicted were relatively minor. In order to influence people, a terrorist group must show a certain amount of success. When we finally realized that the amount of smokeless powder needed to blow up anyone or anything was too large to be practical, we decided to take a couple of years off to learn something about explosives and develop an effective bomb. …

… The ends of the pipe were closed with iron plugs secured with iron pins of 5/16 inch diameter. One of the plugs had the letters FC (for Freedom Club) marked on it. …

We enclose a brief statement partly explaining our aims. We hereby give the San Franisco Examiner permission to print in full any and all of the material contained in this envelope. …

  1. The aim of the Freedom Club is the complete and permanent destruction of modern industrial society in every part of the world. …

  2. The hollowness of the old revolutionary ideologies centering on socialism has become clear. Now and in the future the thrust of rebellion will be against the industrial-technological system itself and not for or against any political ideology that is supposed to govern the administration of that system. All ideologies and political systems are fakes. They only result in power for special groups who just push the rest of us around. There is only one way to escape from being pushed around, and that is to smash the whole system and get along without it. It is better to be poor and free than to be a slave and get pushed around all your life.

  3. No ideology or political system can get around the hard facts of life in industrial society. Because any form of industrial society requires a high level of organization, all decisions have to be made by a small elite of leaders and experts who necessarily wield all the power, regardless of any political fictions that may be maintained. Even if the motives of this elite were completely unselfish, they would still HAVE TO exploit and manipulate us simply to keep the system running. Thus the evil is in the nature of technology itself.

  4. Man is a social animal, meant to live in groups. But only in SMALL groups, say up to 100 people, in which all members know one another intimately. Man is not meant to live as an insignificant atom in a vast organization, which is the only way he can live in any form of industrialized society.

  5. The Freedom Club is strictly anti-communist, anti-socialist, anti-leftist. … This does not imply that we are in any sense a right-wing movement. We are apolitical. Politics only distracts attention from the real issue.

4. Guccione to Ted

I am a little miffed and a whole lot disappointed by your recent communication. In your first letter to the New York Times, received April 24, you categorically undertook to "desist from all terrorist activities" if the Times or "some other nationally distributed periodical" agreed to publish your manifesto. Well...I agreed! I agreed immediately and without reservation. Within 24 hours of your letter appearing in the New York Times, I put out a press release saying that I believed your offer was genuine and that on the basis of that belief, I was prepared to publish you fully and without censorship in the next available issue of Penthouse.

Not everyone in the media agrees with that position. Many think that any attempt to strike a deal with you is journalistically unethical and contrary to the proposition that government, big business and the press do not negotiate with terrorists. I answered those and other accusations in the following manner:

  1. You held no individual newspaper or other periodical hostage. You did not insist on publication in any one particular forum failing which you would continue to kill. Had you done so, the New York Times would have turned its back and so would I.

  2. I disagreed with the popular belief that you are a serial killer and should be treated like one. I pointed out that serial killers derive the whole of their satisfaction from the act of killing ...... that killing was an end in itself. In your case, I suggested that killing was merely a means to the end. Your objectives are much bolder and infinitely more elaborate. You want to change the world! Killing people was your way of attracting attention to a personal philosophical doctrine with vast socio-political change at its center.

  3. I further held that anyone who has taken the trouble to write a literate, 37,000 word, philosophical manifesto and who set about killing people to get it published, is most unlikely to destroy the credibility of his thesis by publicly going back on his word. For this reason alone, I do not believe that you would kill again.

In your recent, personal letter to me, however, you have already begun to change the rules. You now say that simple publication in the New York Times or the Washington Post is no longer enough to stay the killings. You are asking for the additional publication of three new statements or "up-dates" annually for three successive years. A commitment to publish something, sight unseen, well into the future is unlikely win favor at either the Times or the Post. Nor would anyone in our industry blame them!

Furthermore, if both the Times and the Post eventually decline to publish you and the rights fall to Penthouse, you will permit publication in these pages but you will penalize us all by taking one more life. That, you say, is the price of appearing in a somewhat less than "respectable" periodical.

You are wrong! Over the years, Penthouse has won just about every distinguished, journalistic award a magazine could win. It has attacked and exposed elements of every, well entrenched power base in the country from government and religion to big business and organized crime. Our weapons are truth, dedication and an utterly fearless disregard for retaliation. I have been featured on presidential "hit-lists"; I've ben the object of retaliatory, I.R.S. audits; I've been bugged, sued, pursued and shot at, but I haven't killed anybody ...... yet!

The demographic mix of our audience is virtually the same as that of the New York Times and the Washington Post, but our total readership is many millions more than the total readership of the Times and the Post combined.

Penthouse is one of the biggest and most quoted magazines in the history of our industry. For 25 years it was and continues to be the single, biggest selling magazine in the Pentagon. If it's attention you want, you'd be hard pressed to do better.

To further tempt you from extracting one additional "penalty" should publication fall to me, I propose to offer you one or more unedited pages in Penthouse every single month for an indefinite period of time. Consider it a regular column in which you may continue to proffer your revolutionary philosophy, answer critics and generally interact with the public. Surely this would be preferable to the three annual updates you are requesting from the New York Times, et al.

In return, I am asking you to put an end to all terrorist activities now and forever. I'm still the only friend you have in the media. Don't let my willingness to publish you make fools of us both!

Other comments to the Media

I think the Unabomber is going to be disappointed with the excerpts published today, and I just wanted to make sure he knew that my offer still stands. We will publish him fully and give him a column for an indefinite period of time, provided he stops the killing.

Jenifer Mattos reports that Bob Guccione, chairman of General Media International, on Thursday issued an open letter to the Unabom suspect offering to publish the 37,000-word manuscript himself in Penthouse, OMNI or another magazine he owns "in the hope that it will receive the widest possible dissemination by the media so we can save lives." Guccione told TIME today that he couldn't understand other editors' uneasiness about the issue: "I would do it in an instant. . . . In this instance, we should indulge him 100 percent. No censorship, no discussion with editors and the FBI and all that crap. Just publish and be damned."

... the Unabomber said in that case he would reserve the right to kill one more person, since publishing in Penthouse would not be as prestigious as appearing in the other publications. "I can't do it under those circumstances," Guccione told TIME's Jenifer Mattos today. But he came up with a counter-offer: "In place of killing one more person, a one-page monthly column in the magazine, where they can continue to communicate with the American public in a kind of interactive way, where they could answer letters and respond to critics. It would begin immediately as soon as they gave me the go-ahead, and go on indefinitely." Guccione, who described the Unabomber as sounding "subdued, quiet, quick, tentative" during their 15-second conversation, says he also received a four-page letter, half of its contents exclusively sent to him, which he will publish in the October issue of Penthouse." ...


1. Ted to the NY Times on His Offer to Major Newspapers

  • Ted Kaczynski. U-7: Letter and envelop from FC to Warren Hoge (Assistant Managing Editor, NY Times) [Letter]. California University of Pennsylvania Special Collections. Original link. Archived link.

2. Guccione to Ted

  • New York Associated Press. Publisher of Penthouse says he’ll print Unabomber’s manifesto. Longview Daily News, 1 May 1995, Page 3. Source link. Archived link.

  • An Advertising Age Roundup. Publishers Mull Unabomber Offer. May 01, 1995. Source Link. Archived Link.

Other comments to the Media

3. Ted to Guccione

4. Guccione to Ted

Other comments to the Media