Ted Kaczynski's Letters to Live Wild or Die!
Letter before his arrest
To LWOD [Live Wild or Die]: This is a message from FC Anarchist Terror Group. We are the people who have been blowing up computer scientists, biotech specialists, public relations experts and so forth. The FBI calls us “Unabom.” About the time you receive this letter you should hear through the media about another bombing, if everything works OK. Notice that this letter was postmarked either before or about the same time as the bombing hit the news, which proves that the letter is authentic. As a means of proving the authenticity of any further communications we may send to you, we give you an identifying number: 14962. Keep this number secret, so that when you receive a letter bearing it you will know that the letter comes from us. This is different from the identifying number that we gave to the New York Times.
We have a manuscript of between 29,000 and 37,000 words that we want to have published. We are writing to the New York Times to try to make a deal over it. We are telling the Times that if they will publish the manuscript serialized in their newspaper, or [crossed out] if they can get it published in book form, we will agree to stop blowing up scientists and corporate execs. For the moment we are more interested in propagating anti-industrial ideas than in killing another exec or biotech nerd.
However, we may find it useful to blow up more biotechnicians and the like at some time in the future, so we would prefer not to be bound by a promise to stop bombing. If we made such a promise we wouldn’t want to break it. So we are looking for some way to get our material published without having to make any promises or deals.
Would LWOD be willing to publish our manuscript in serial form? Or, better, could you get it published in book form and widely distributed to the general public? If you published it in serial form, how long would it take you to publish the whole thing? If you could get it published in book form, how widely would you distribute it and how long would it take you to get it published once we have sent you the manuscript? You’d be welcome to keep any profit you might make on the book and use it to propagate anti-industrial ideas.
The manuscript contains: (1) an analysis of what is wrong with the industrial system; (2) a demonstration that the industrial system cannot be successfully reformed but must be destroyed; (3) appropriate strategy for revolutionaries seeking to destroy the industrial system.
Please give us your answer by placing a classified ad in the San Francisco [crossed out] Chronicle, preferably on May 1, 1995. The ad should begin with the words “Personal to MCHVP.” We ask you to answer in SF Chronicle instead of LWOD because we know of only one place where we can get to LWOD, and if the FBI gets hold of this letter they will be able to watch the few places where it is possible to get LWOD and maybe catch us that way.
We enclose a copy of our letter to the NY Times.
Place the ad in the classification #420, “Personals.” To place ad contact
San Francisco Newspaper Agency
925 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
toll free phone (800) 227–4423
Copy of letter sent to New York Times. You can print it in LWOD if you like. …
Confidential note to LWOD
Enclosed is a letter that presumably will require general discussion by the LWOD staff. But this confidential note contains material that should be known to as few people as possible. So whichever LWOD person opens this envelope, he or she should hide this note and reveal its existence to no one, except when absolutely necessary. Read the other material in this envelope before reading the rest of this confidential[crossed out] note.
The material in this envelope constitutes evidence in a felony case, so LWOD might get in trouble if it doesn’t [crossed out] turn this stuff over to the FBI. It is always possible that your group may contain an FBI infiltrator who will report our letter to his bosses. And if you do publish our manuscript the FBI will know about it. So LWOD may want to give these documents to the FBI (except this confidential note, which can safely be kept secret).
This creates a possible problem, because the FBI will be able to confuse you or us by sending LWOD a fake manuscript or placing a fake ad in the SF Chronicle or some such COINTELPRO trick. Or the FBI may ask the Chronicle not to print your ad on the grounds that it would contribute to “criminal” activity. To get around that, we should have some completely confidential way of communicating. This can be established as follows.
Place an ad in the classified section of the Los Angeles Times, classification #1660, “Personal messages.” The ad should preferably appear on May 9, 1995, but in any case leave a few days between the time when the Chronicle ad appears and the time when the LA Times ad appears. This ad should begin, “Dear Stargazer, the mystic numbers that control your fate are ...” and it should be signed “Numerologist.” In between there will be a sequences of numbers conveying a coded message.
The code works this way. It will be random number code and therefore unbreakable. Use the series of random numbers that we have given on another sheet. Begin by encoding your message according to the following system: For A put 1, for B put 2, for C [crossed out] put 3, etc. up to 26 for Z. For space between two words put 27, for period put 28, for comma put 29, for question mark put 30. When you have your message coded by this system you will have a series of numbers that we can call the basic sequence. You then change the basic sequence by adding to it the numbers of the random sequence. To the first number of the basic sequence add the first number of the random sequence, to the second number of the basic sequence add the second number of the random sequence and so forth. Whenever the sum is greater that 30, subtract 30 from it. The resulting sequence of numbers is what you publish in the LA Times. See example on other sheet.
In your coded ad please give us an address to which we can send you messages with assurance that they will be [crossed out] completely safe and confidential. (We won’t send you any uncoded message that could get you in trouble if it got into the wrong hands.) Also please tell us in your coded ad whether your open ad in SF Chronicle is authentic and can be taken at face value.
Your coded ad probably won’t use up all the numbers of the random sequence. Have the rest of the sequence in case we want it for future use. NEVER USE ANY PART OF THE RANDOM SEQUENCE TWICE. To do so would enable the FBI to decode the message.
We give a separate, confidential identifying number for verification of any messages we may send you: 82771
Legally the FBI can’t open first class mail without a warrant, but there’s always a chance they might have opened the present envelope anyway, so this system of passing confidential messages isn’t 100% secure.
Los Angeles Times Classified Ads Phone Numbers
Address of Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Times Mirror Square
Los Angeles, CA 90052
Unsent letter before his arrest
LETTER TO EDITORS OF LWOD. We urge you to print this in LWOD.
Many of the people who want to destroy the industrial form of society are concerned about the population problem and therefore refrain from having children. We believe this is a serious mistake. Scientific studies have shown that social attitudes tend to be inherited. No one suggests that a person’s social attitudes are directly determined by his or her genetic constitution, but there is good reason to believe that children inherit personality traits that make them likely, in the context of the present society, to develop one or another set of social attitudes. Some scientists question this conclusion, but their arguments are rather flimsy and are ideologically motivated. Anyway, if social attitudes are not inherited then they are passed on through childhood training, because it is certain that a person’s attitudes tend, on the average, to resemble those of his parents; allowing of course for frequent individual exceptions and for changes in the social situation that occur between one generation and another. Unlike us, earlier generations of rebels tended to attack particular social evils rather than industrial society as a whole, because in their day it had not yet become evident that evil was inherent in industrialism itself. But the general tendency to a rebellious attitude toward modern society is commonly passed from parents to children, whether genetically or through training.
By refraining from having children, rebels against the industrial system may be handing the world over to the growtHs. (“GrowtH” is our word for anyone who favors economic growth and all that crap.) Because the growtHs have as many children as they like, while many radicals refrain from having children from concern over the population problem, there is danger that with each successive generation the proportion of growtHs in the population will increase and the proportion of rebels will decrease.
We too are disgusted at the present grossly overpopulated state of the world and we agree that it is necessary to reduce the earth’s population as much as possible. But the best way to reach a goal is not always to head directly toward it.
What the earth’s population will be 50 or 100 years from now depends mainly on the form of society that will then exist. The present economically oriented form of society, based on industrialism, tends inexorably to grow to the limit of the available resources. By creating new genetically altered plants, or maybe through some type of artificial photosynthesis, this form of society will greatly increase the world’s food producing capacity and will allow or encourage its population to grow to the limit of that capacity. Or, even if the population does no grow to the limit, the demands of the ver expanding industrial system will stress the earth’s resources to the maximum. So if the present form of society survives, the world that it creates will be a horrible one.
Therefore the important goal is to destroy the present form of society and its industrial base.
If anti-industrial rebels give a reproductive advantage to the growtHs by refraining from having children, they will be slowing present population growth only slightly and they will be increasing the likelihood that the growtHs will win out, that the present form of society will survive and that the world of the future will be a horror.
If rebels have as many children as they can, they will be accelerating present population growth only slightly and they will be increasing the number of anti-industrial rebels, hence the probability that the present form of society can be eliminated, and consequently the likelihood that the world’s population can be greatly reduced in the future.
So it would be best for those who hate industrialism to outbreed the growtHs until the present form of society has been done away with.
FC Anarchist Terror Group
Letter from Prison
For a matter of months preceding the beginning of my trial on Nov. 12, 1997, I had been aware that my attorneys wanted to use a defense that would be based on supposed evidence of mental impairment. However, my attorneys had led me to believe that I would have a considerable measure of control over the defense strategy, hence I was under the impression that I would be able to limit the presentation of mental evidence to some items that at that time I thought might have some validity.
The first weeks of the trial were devoted to selection of a jury, a process that told me little about the defense that my attorneys planned to use. But in late November I discovered that my attorneys had prepared a defense that would virtually portray me as insane, and that they were going to force this defense on me in spite of my bitter resistance to it.
For the present I will not review in detail what happened between late November 1997 and January 22, 1998. Suffice it to say that the judge in my case, Garland E. Burell, decided that my attorneys had the legal right to force their defense on me over my objections; that it was too late for me to replace my attorneys with a certain distinguished attorney who had offered to represent me and had stated his intention to use a defense not based on any supposed mental illness; and that it was too late for me to demand the right to act as my own attorney.
This put me in such a position that I had only one way left to prevent my attorneys from using false information to represent me to the world as insane: I agreed to plead guilty to the charges in exchange for withdrawal of the prrosecution's request for the death penalty. I also had to give up al right to appeal, which leaves me with a virtual certain of spending my life in prison. I am not afraid of the death penalty, and I agreed to this bargain only to end the trial and thus prevent my attorneys from representing me as insane. It should be noted that the defense my attorneys had planned could not have led to my release; it was only intended to save me from the death penalty.
By concealing their intentions from me and discouraging me from finding anohther attorney before it was too late, my attorneys have done me very great harm: they have forced me to sacrifice my right to an appeal that might have led to my release; they have already made public the opinions of supposed experts who portray me as crazy; and they have caused me to lose my opportunity to be represented by a distinguished attorney who would have portrayed me in a very different light.
Perhaps I ought to hate my attorneys for what they have done to me, but I do not. Their motives were in no way malicious. They are essentially conventional people who are blind to some of the implications of this case, and they acted as they did because they subscribe to certain professional principles that they believe left them no alternative. These principles may seem rigid and even ruthless to a non-lawyer, but there is no doubt that my attorneys believe in them sincerely. Morever, on a personal level my attorneys have treated me with great generosity and have performed many kindnesses for me. (But these can never compensate for the harm they have done me through their handling of my case.)
Recent events constitute a major defeat for me. But the end is not yet. More will be heard from me in the future.
Theodore J. Kaczynski
January 26, 1998
P.s. Feel free to publish this message.