Ted Kaczynski's Letter Correspondence With Julie Ault
Julie to Ted
On New Year’s Day 2011, Julie and I crafted a letter together. Julie had learned about my Two Cabins project and thought it was pertinent to contact Theodore John Kaczynski. Near the end of January we received a response.
Ted to Julie
January 18, 2011
Dear Ms. Ault,
Thank you for your interesting letter dated January 1, 2011. My focus is almost exclusively on a practical problem (to put it succinctly), how to get rid of the technoindustrial system before it gets rid of us. I can’t find much time to spend on such issues as the value of solitude, privacy, or wilderness, except to the extent that these issues are relevant to the practical problem. (They are relevant to a point; teaching people the value of solitude or of wilderness, for example, helps to alienate them from the values of the technoindustrial system...)
...As for Thoreau, he’s okay, but I’ve never had any particular admiration for him. You’ll find much better nature writing (in my opinion) in Joseph Wood Krutch, The Desert Year (top-notch!). I can also recommend highly a book by Tom Neale, Alone on My Island (the title is not a figure of speech). Of great interest is Alexander Selkirk, who was the inspiration for Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. An account of Selkirk’s adventures was published back in the 18th century, and it exists in a modern (like, mid-twentieth century) reprint. You’ll also find some eloquent passages about wilderness and solitude in Calvin Rutstrum, Paradise Below Zero and in Horace Kephart’s Book of Camping and Woodcraft. Kephart’s Our Southern Highlanders is of considerable interest too...
...THEORDORE JOHN KACZYNSKI
U.S. PENITENTIARY MAX
FLORENCE CO 81226-8500
After Susan, the most important person in this project has been Dr. Julie Ault. Julie has read drafts of the various chapters and has called my attention to many weak points in the exposition. I’ve tried to correct these, though I haven’t been able to correct all of them to my (or, I assume, her) satisfaction. In addition, Julie has provided valuable advice on manuscript preparation. But most important of all has been the encouragement I’ve taken from the fact of having an intellectual heavyweight like Julie Ault on my side.