Title: Truth versus Lies (Volunteers Update)
Author: Ted Kaczynski
Date: 2023
Source: Archive.org & Boxes 66-67, Ted Kaczynski papers, University of Michigan Library (Special Collections Library).
Notes: References to page numbers refer to the original draft PDF and so could do with updating for this versions PDF.
SKU: AB2

    A Note from The Editors

      The Corrections

      The Timeline of Truth versus Lies

      Key Life Events

    Front Matter

      Title Page

      2007 Note

        Refutation of Declaration by Ralph Meister

      Foreword

      Introduction

    1. “That hospital experience"

    2. My early years

    3. My adolescence; family dysfunction; verbal abuse

    4. My parents’ treatment of me during my adolescence, as discussed in the Family Letters

    5. Pressure to achieve; Harvard; how people saw me prior to my arrest

    6. How people saw me after my arrest; false reports about me

    7. My relations with my parents in adulthood

    8. My brother’s character

    9. My brother’s ambivalent feelings toward me

    10. The Ellen Tarmichael affair

    11. I hurt my brother’s feelings cruelly

    12. My brother’s inconsistent attitudes toward mental illness

    13. My brother’s writing

    14. My brother’s relations with Linda Patrik; I break off with him

    15. How my brother’s attitudes changed under Linda Patrik’s influence; why he denounced me to the FBI

    16. The media

    Notes on documents

    Appendices

      1. Further examples of my mother’s unreliability

      2. Francis E. X. Murphy, PhD, and his recent statements about me

      3. The N–43 clique

      4. “The Wild Colt”

        Comments

      5. FL #264, letter from my brother to me, Summer, 1982

      6. Interviews with Joel Schwartz

        On the Subject of Ted

        On the Subject of Dave

        Wanda and Ted Sr.

      7. Books about the Unabom case

      8. My high–school teachers’ reports on my personality

      9. The Tarmichael letters

      10. Reliability of investigators’ reports

      11. A note on my memory

      12. A note on my brother’s memory

A Note from The Editors

Here’s a quick summary on how this book came about, why it was never published, plus what are the few cosmetic corrections we’ve made as editors.

The main goal of this document is simply to add those chapters and updates Kaczynski desired be added to his original draft that can be found in his letters to his publisher Beau Friedlander.


The Corrections

The only corrections we’ve made as editors are that:

1) Abbreviated names have been replaced with real names based on Envelope X, since it’s often over 50 years since many of the events transpired.

Note: The names Corson, Grabar, Kathleen Kaczynski Withers, Janice Folsom Scriba and Roy Wright were listed in Envelope X, but are missing from the original draft of this book that Context Books typed up.{1} Envelope X is described as including "a list giving the real names of people whom I have identified in this book by first names, initials, or abbreviations." But perhaps they're referred to in earlier handwritten drafts or some other notes contained within the 'Refutation Documents' category of documents housed at the University of Michigan.

2) Secondary footnotes have been added for clarity and to mark where various people's names are first mentioned.


The Timeline of Truth versus Lies

To begin, here’s a quick summary on how we think this book came about and why it was never published:

April 3rd, 1996: Ted Kaczynski was arrested.

November 13rd, 1997: Ted Kaczynski’s’ multiple murder trial began.

He started writing to collect his thoughts about what he would like his defence team and the media to know during his court case, to counter both the prosecution’s leaking of unflattering journal entries, as well as the general media atmosphere connected to the case:[1]

Mr. Kaczynski was able to outline other conflicts he had with his attorneys, including the issue of publicity. He had been interested in writing letters to counter the image being presented by his family of him in the media. He discussed this with his attorneys and although he felt some pressure to conform, he had agreed with them not to write letters to the media and draw additional public attention to him at this point in the trial process. Nonetheless he spent approximately four months preparing a rebuttal to all he perceived as inaccurate in the public portrayal of him, and focused extensively on portraying his brother David in a negative light in these writings.

January 22nd, 1998: Ted Kaczynski plead guilty to three counts of murder and ten federal counts related to transporting and using bombs. His main motivation for pleading guilty was to avoid his lawyers presenting him as mentally ill. He wanted to avoid the possibility of being committed to a mental asylum for any period of time, and having his manifesto portrayed as the ravings of a mad man. Importantly, he also did so due to the assurance that he had a good chance of arguing for a retrial, in that he could argue he was coerced into giving a false guilty plea in a challenge to the courts, because he wasn’t allowed to represent himself and was being represented in a way he didn’t approve of. I believe he held out hope that he could get a retrial and be set free all the way up to around 2004. As a result, in all his writing before 2004 he never comments on any of the many crimes he committed.

Therefore, sadly, we don’t get a comprehensive autobiographical account of what were the key events that foreshadowed his desire to wage his terror bombing campaign. The sole aim for Kaczynski then in writing his book Truth versus Lies, was to disprove stories told by lawyers and the media which Kaczynski thought were false.

May 5th, 1998: Ted Kaczynskis’ sentencing trial ended and he was sent to a supermax prison with no possibility of parole.

June 24, 1998: The New York Post ran an item about how Ted Kaczynski was shopping around a book manuscript from the Federal Prison in Florence, Colorado. A representative from Simon and Schuster was quoted, "Do you think the world wants Theodore Kaczynski's point of view on Theodore Kaczynski?" The manuscript was rejected sight unseen.

March, 1999: Excerpts of the book are published by The New York Times.

May 10th, 1999: A proof copy is finished and sent to Kaczynski with annotations by Beau Freidlander on corrections he’d like to make in order to be able to publish.

1999: He discusses corrections for the 2nd draft of the book in his 71st & 72nd letters sent to Friedlander which are archived in the University of Michigan library.

November 5th, 1999: He gives a Deed of Gift agreement to Context Books, who almost print an edited version, but Ted bitterly resents the edits they’ve gone ahead with. I think the publisher was worried about libel e.g., Ted calling his brother, David, “a Judas Iscariot [who] … doesn’t even have enough courage to go hang himself.” As well as copyright e.g., quoting some sources in their entirety:[2]

“Toward the end, it wasn’t a pleasant exchange at all,” said Context Books publisher Beau Friedlander, who spiked Kaczynski’s 548-page “Truth Versus Lies.”

A flurry of letters between the publisher and Kaczynski led to Thursday’s announcement that the book deal - first revealed in February - was off. Kaczynski had tried to terminate the deal several days before Context reached the same conclusion, Friedlander said.

“Kaczynski was uncooperative and expressed himself in ways that made it impossible for the book to be published by Context, or by anyone else,” Friedlander said in a statement Thursday.

The book already was at the printer when Context opted to yank it on Wednesday, Friedlander said.

“It would be irresponsible and unethical to force the author’s hand by publishing the work against his will,” said Friedlander, adding that he had specific legal concerns about the book that Kaczynski refused to address.

February 2nd, 2000: He asks the owner of Green Anarchy magazine to black out sections from the 1st draft copy that he has, out of privacy concerns for a family member. He knew photocopies of his book were being distributed on a small scale.

June 7th, 2002: He donates a 2nd & 3rd draft copy which are both edited versions, to the University of Michigan.

July 9th, 2002: He donates a 1st draft copy of the book which Context Books made, to the University of Michigan, along with a great many journals, letters and other material which the book references. His donation was on the condition that they don’t publish it or give anyone else the right to publish it.

May 16th, 2007: Kaczynski includes a foreword expressing how he wishes he hadn’t included so many quotes from investigators he views as untrustworthy, and that he wishes he had the time to re-edit it, but other projects are taking priority.

He was working on his book, Technological Slavery released in 2010 and went on to release his book Anti-Tech Revolution: How & Why in 2015.

March 8th, 2018: The University staff happily let people scan and take photographs of all the documents, so a version of Truth versus Lies appears online on archive.org.

November 9th, 2021: A call out for volunteers was made to re-type up the book, so that it could be more easily read and quoted without all Beau’s annotations.

* * *

Secondly, here is a timeline of key life events that I believe contributed to Ted’s violent tendencies, and events where I believe he could have been stopped:


Key Life Events

  • Separated from parents as a sick baby at a key time for attunement and attachment with parents. His mother felt this was key to his behavior. Ted felt they used that event to avoid responsibility for the impact their inadequate parenting had on his character.

  • Moved forward a year at school whilst failing to make sure he maintained friendships, rather than taking a year off to travel with family.

  • Parents/teachers/counselors failing to talk through his desire for escape in primitive life as likely a desire to escape bullying, plus a lack of classes offered in politics to argue his ideas.

  • Attending Harvard a year early without taking the time to travel and explore the world.

  • Unwittingly participating in psychological experiments at Harvard which were later used by the CIA to demonstrate the efficacy of torture. These experiments would be considered unethical today and could not take place.

  • Angry with himself for being unable to move from social interaction with women, to romantic or sexual involvement, he projected his feelings of inadequacy on to them, blaming them for his frustration.

  • Inability to discuss his sexual fantasies of becoming a woman in order to get to be intimate with a woman to a councilor. Coming away with stronger suicidal ideation, and his feelings of desire to kill through a murder suicide. His shame at not being able to find a relationship turned into hatred at society for regimenting his life and making him this way.

  • Kaczynski showed a letter to his brother, parents and romantic interest that he planned ‘violence of a serious nature’ against the romantic interest who had broken off their romance, but no steps were taken to either get him help or report him. His journal entries later revealed that he brought a knife with him in a paper bag, to disfigure her face.

  • Kaczynski proposed founding an organization dedicated to stopping federal aid to scientific research, thereby preventing the “ceaseless extension of society’s powers. He sent this essay, similar to the manifesto he’d later write, to a few politicians. He would often write anti-technology essays to newspapers and favorite authors. If the FBI had put more focused callouts for information, then one of these people may have tipped off the FBI sooner.

  • Briefly felt bad about having crippled the arm of a man who was an airline pilot.

  • Felt guilty later about the innocent people he would have killed on an airliner he attempted to blow up, as well as the secretary of a computer scientist.

  • Felt guilty later about his sadism towards animals.


Front Matter

Title Page


TRUTH
versus
LIES


Ted Kaczynski



“An odd principle of human psychology,
well known and exploited ... holds that
even the silliest of lies can win
credibility by constant repetition.”

―Stephen Jay Gould



"The Paradox of the Visibly Irrelevant," Natural History, Volume 106,
No. 11, December 1997 /January 1998, p.12.


2007 Note

When I wrote my first version of Truth versus Lies I had not had access to the written reports (Qb and Qc) of Scharlette Holdman and her investigators.{2} Later, when I received copies of those reports, I had doubts as to whether Scharlette and her investigators had accurately recounted what their interviewees had said, and I also wondered whether they had manipulated the interviewees in order to elicit the kinds of statements that the investigators wanted. But I felt I needed to deal with the investigators’ reports in the book in order to make sure that no one would think I was suppressing important information. I therefore rewrote Truth versus Lies, inserting a good deal of discussion of material from the investigators’ reports.

I now wish I had left most of that material out of the book altogether, because its reliability is open to so much doubt that I consider it worthless.

In Appendix 10, written in 1998, I outlined some reasons for being skeptical about the reports of Scharlette Holdman and her investigators. A few years later, Scharlette and my friend, the late Joy Richards, were both involved in the disposition of my cabin, which had been moved from Montana to Sacramento and was then in the custody of the Federal Defenders Office. At that time Scharlette told Joy that the State of California had claimed the right to take possession of the cabin. Actually it was not the State of California but the Federal Government that had claimed the cabin, as Scharlette should have known. Scharlette never explained this error on her part; in fact, she never afterward answered any communication from Joy or from me. Needless to say, this incident intensified my doubts about Scharlette’s ability to collect and report accurate information.

But there is something else that is much more important. At several points in Truth versus Lies I cited a declaration (Da) that my father’s old friend, the late Ralph Meister, had signed at the urging of Scharlette and her collaborators.{3} Much of the declaration was true, but some parts were false, and it was not clear how Ralph could have known even the true information contained in the declaration. So in July 2005 I sent Ralph a copy of his declaration and invited him to comment on it. In response he sent me a signed statement (reproduced below) in which he repudiated the entire declaration.

Clearly Scharlette and her collaborators manipulated Ralph Meister into signing a declaration that he would never have signed if he had been free of improper influence. It therefore seems very probable that Scharlette and her people similarly manipulated some of the other individuals whom they interviewed. Consequently, the reader should disregard all information in this book that is attributed to Scharlette Holdman, Gary Sowards, Charlie Pizarro, or Susan Garvey.{4} The information to be disregarded includes, among other things, all information cited from Qb and Qc, since Qc consists entirely of information provided by Scharlette Holdman, and most of the information in Qb was provided by Scharlette Holdman, Charlie Pizarro, Susan Garvey, or other investigators working for Scharlette Holdman.

On the other hand, I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of the information provided by Betsy Anderson, Jackie Tully or Nancy Pemberton, none of whom worked closely with Schalette.{5}

I ought to rewrite Truth versus Lies to eliminate all dependence on information reported by Scharlette Holdman and her collaborators, but for the foreseeable future I won’t have time to do that. So, for the time being the book must remain in its present form, though with the foregoing warning to the reader.

Ted Kaczynski

May 15, 2007


Refutation of Declaration by Ralph Meister

(Transcription by TJK, 5/16/07)

March 5, 2006 Sunday

Refutation of Declaration

To Whom it may concern:

On July 18, 2005, Theodore John Kaczynski asked me in a personal correspondence to reconsider a declaration I made on February 2, 1997. This document is written in response to that request. The information and opinions herein represent the truth to the best of my knowledge and correct the declaration that while in fact has been signed by me, upon re–reading, I now feel strongly misrepresents my statements and the true meaning of those statements.

So much of the declaration is false statements it is difficult to separate what is true. Paragraphs 1 through 4 are true.

I strongly object to the indiscriminate and inflammatory use of the word intellectual which appears 12 times in this short statement; true intellectual, intellectual subjects, to be an intellectual, intellectual world, intellectual image, intellectual thought, intellectual giant, this “almost from the day he was born” rubbish, intellectual development, intellectual ideals, again intellectual development, successful intellectual, intellectual investment, intellectual achievement, I propose to strike every use of the word, intellectual. In the declaration, it is obviously misused and meant to mislead.

Theodore Kaczynski’s mother Wanda wanted her sons to be smart just like every mother wants their children to be smart and successful in life, to have the things she never had, just like every mother who has had an especially difficult life and wants to improve herself and provide an example for her sons and steer them in the right direction. After her sons were older, Wanda went to college and became a school teacher. Her sons both pursued a college education. Wanda followed a generally accepted method of raising intelligent children. In my experience with testing children, many many parents wanted to get their child into kindergarten or first grade early, as soon as the child passed intellect barriers. My wife, Stella, had a friendly competitiveness with Wanda since their oldest children were born months apart and they compared progress. My objection is that the declaration portrays Wanda as an extremist, a neurotic who “seemed to have only an intellectual (dirty word) investment” in her son, once again, rubbish. She was a loving and devoted mother and I never meant otherwise.

In paragraph 7, the first sentence is obviously impossible and once again, inflammatory. Also, she was not “obsessed with his intellectual development.” In the third sentence, all mothers record milestones, what is religious about baby books?

Paragraph 8 is another complete fabrication, total out of control fabrication. I repeat, the last sentence, “She seemed to have only an intellectual investment in Teddy John” is pure mean spirited nonsense.

I totally reject paragraphs 9 and 10. These are not my words, they sound like a script from a soap opera on television. In fact, considering knowledge I did have of the Kaczynski’s home life during these years, I could never have reasonably made the statements in paragraphs 9 and 10, and if I did state anything similar to what was signed, I now realize I was being completely biased and unjustly judgemental. The words “badly injured”, “feared social contact”, “social deficiencies”, “lost control and verbally abused”, “lied to protect”, “intense pressure”, are not what I remember at all. No one but Teddy John could have known exactly how he was feeling, and the last two sentences are pure conjecture, more soap opera script. Finally, and most importantly, I never once felt that the Kaczynski family needed any sort of counseling and I never recommended they seek professional help. That fact in itself says more about their homelife than all the hypothesizing and colored statements in this faulty declaration.

Paragraph 11 is close to accurate. My wife, Stella Meister greatly admired Theodore for the manner in which he lived alone in the mountains. She corresponded with him for many years and looked up to him as a true aesthete. She more than I understood what joy and solace Theodore found living in the mountains. “Protection from social deficiencies”, Stella certainly never ever would have thought that. “Autonomy in the absence of other social skills represents salvation.” What great philosopher thought of that one, it does not apply here. Unfortunately, the last sentence of the declaration is just too profound.

In short, I believe that it would be best to refute the declaration I signed in its entirety, and in the future think twice before I sign a declaration written by someone else who may have questionable motives rather than seeking the truth. I hereby do exact exactly that. I, Ralph K. Meister, refute the entire attached declaration that I signed on February 2, 1997.

Sincerely,

Ralph K. Meister

[signature: Ralph K. Meister]

Witness: [signature: Janice Powell (?)]

Witness: [signature: Amy Incendela]

Date: 3/19/06


Foreword

Though it’s the first part of the book, this foreword is the last part to be written. Its purpose is only to tie up some loose ends.

To begin with, while this book contains a great deal of autobiographical material, it is not an autobiography. At some later time I hope to tell the real story of my life, especially of my inner development and the changes in my outlook that took place over the decades.

Before my arrest I never thought there was anything unusual about my long–term memory. I knew that I remembered things more accurately than my parents or my brother did, but that wasn’t saying much. Since my arrest, however, several members of my defense team have told me that my long–term memory is unusually good. (See Appendix 11.) This is their opinion; I am not in a position to prove to the reader that it is correct. There are a few items in this book for which I have relied entirely on memory and which someone who is not locked up would be able to check against documentary evidence. If anyone should take the trouble to dig up the relevant documents, I hope I will prove to have been right with regard to most if not all of these items; but, whether that turns out to be the case or not, the number of such items is too small to provide a secure evaluation of my long–term memory.

However, the point I want to make here is that even if the reader doubts the accuracy of my memories or my honesty in reporting them, enough of the material in this book is supported by documentary evidence and/or corroborating testimony to establish that media reports about me have been wildly unreliable, and that in its most important aspects my account of myself and my family relationships is substantially correct.

As for my use of names, I almost always use the full names of persons who have spoken about me to the media. When referring to persons who have not spoken to the media I usually give names only in abbreviated form.{6}

Some of the facts and incidents that I recount in this book will be embarrassing to the persons concerned. However, I assure the reader that my motive has not been to embarrass anyone, but to bring out the truth and correct false impressions, for which purpose it has sometimes been necessary to demonstrate the unreliability of an informant or show the factors that may have distorted his reports. If I had wanted to embarrass people there are other facts I could have related that would have caused a good deal of additional embarrassment.

Introduction

“A FRIEND says there are a lot of people who mistake their imagination for their memory.”[3]

―Daily Oklahoman

I am very different from the kind of person that the media have portrayed with the help of my brother and my mother. The purpose of this book is to show that I am not as I have been described in the media, to exhibit the truth about my relationship with my family, and to explain why my brother and my mother have lied about me.

In fairness, I should acknowledge that my brother and mother probably are not fully conscious of many of their own lies, since they both are adept at talking themselves into believing what they want to believe. Yet at least some of their lies must be conscious, as we shall see later.

I consider it demeaning to expose one’s private life to public view, but. But the media have already taken away my privacy, and there is no way I can refute the falsehoods that have been propagated about me except by discussing publicly some of the most intimate aspects of my own life and that of my family.

Ever since my early teens, my immediate family has been a millstone around my neck. I’ve often wondered how I had the bad luck to be born into such a nest of fools. My relations with them have been to me a constant source of irritation and disgust, and sometimes of very serious pain. For some forty years my brother and mother leaned heavily on me for the satisfaction of certain needs of theirs; they were psychological leeches. They loved me because they needed me, but at the same time they hated me because I didn’t give them the psychological sustenance they were looking for,; and they must have sensed my contempt for them. Thus, their feelings toward me were, and remain, strongly conflicting. In my brother’s case, the conflict is extreme.

I certainly can’t claim that my own role in the life of my family has been a noble one. I had good justification for resenting my parents, but instead of making a clean break with them in early adulthood, as I should have done, I maintained relations with them: sometimes was kind to them, sometimes used them, sometimes squabbled with them over relatively minor matters, sometimes hurt their feelings intentionally, occasionally wrote them emotional letters expressing my bitterness over the way they had treated me and the way they had exploited my talents to satisfy their own needs. With my brother too I should have broken off early in life. The relationship wasn’t good for either of us, but it was much worse for my brother than it was for me. This is a complicated matter that I will deal with at length further on.

This book is carefully documented. It has to be, because otherwise the reader would not know whether to believe my account or that of my brother and mother. Due to the continual need to quote documents and argue facts, the writing is dry and perhaps pedantic. All the same, I think the book will attract many readers because of the intrinsic human interest of its content.

The amount of material about me that has appeared in the media is enormous, and I have not read or seen more than a small fraction of it. Apart from some straightforward reports of legal maneuvers or courtroom proceedings, most of what I have seen is loaded with errors and distortions, some of them trivial, some of them very serious indeed. Due to limitations on my own time, energy, and resources, the documents I’ve studied in preparing this book include from the media only a few items; principally the articles on my case that appeared in Newsweek, Time, U.S. News and World Report, and People on April 15th and 22, 1996; the “quickie” books that appeared within a few weeks after my arrest, Mad Genius and Unabomber;, the articles based on interviews with my brother and mother that appeared in the New York Times, May 26, 1996, in the Washington Post, June 16, 1996, in the Sacramento Bee, January 19, 1997; and my mother’s and brother’s appearance on 60 Minutes, September 15, 1996. The latter covers all of the public statements about me made by my brother and my mother that I have seen up to the present date, March 5, 1998. (Added April 1, 1998: I’ve recently been reminded of some other remarks by my brother, brief ones that have appeared in various newspapers, but I don’t think they contained anything that I need to address in this book.)

Apart from the published sources, I cite a large number of unpublished documents. It will of course be necessary at some point to make these documents accessible for examination so that it can be verified that I have cited them accurately. But I don’t expect to do this immediately upon publication of this book. For one thing, some of the documents are still legally sensitive, and for another, I don’t want journalists rummaging through my papers to get material for sensational articles. I hope to get the documents housed in a university library and arrangements will be made so that some responsible and unbiased party can examine them and verify that I have cited them correctly and have not unfairly taken any passage out of context. Eventually some of them will be published. In any case, I will make every effort to see that the citations can be independently verified at the earliest possible time.

I also make use in this book of a few reports received orally from investigators who worked for my defense team. The investigators do not want their names revealed because the resulting publicity about them might interfere with their work as investigators, but. But at some point I expect to make arrangements so that the investigators can be consulted discreetly and confirm the oral information that they gave me. (But see below for my remarks on the reliability of this information.) In this book I refer to the investigators as Betsy Anderson, Scharlette Holdman, etc.

Similar remarks apply to the psychologist Dr. Julie Kriegler.{7}

Needless to say, I am not able to provide documentary evidence to refute all of the false statements that have been made about me, or even all of those that have been made by my brother and my mother. But I am able to demonstrate that informants have been lying or mistaken in enough cases to show that statements made about me are so unreliable that they should not be given any credence unless they are corroborated by documents written at or near the time to which they refer.

In many cases I cite documents written by myself—principally my journals, some autobiographical notes, and letters sent to my family. All of these were written at a time (prior to my arrest) when I had no motive to lie about the points that are now at issue.

They were either seized by the FBI when they searched my cabin, or were in the custody of other persons at the time of my arrest. Since my arrest, I have not had physical possession of any of these documents; I have worked from Xerox copies. Thus, there can be no question of my having fabricated any of this material for the purposes of this book. (Exception: Notes that I took on information given to me orally by the investigators and by Dr. Julie Kriegler were of course written after my arrest and while I was preparing this book.) Moreover, some of these documents, especially my 1979 autobiography, contain highly embarrassing admissions that show that I was striving to be as honest as possible. Some of the documents were written almost immediately after the events that they record; others, while not contemporary with the events, were written many years ago when my memory of the events was fresher, and hence they presumably provide more reliable evidence than someone else’s recollections taken down within the last year or two.

In many cases I make use of sources of information that I know to be unreliable, such as media reports. The rationale for doing this is that if the reader has conceived a certain impression of me from unreliable sources, and if I can show by quoting those same sources that the impression is not to be trusted, then I will at any rate have demonstrated that the sources are unreliable and, hence, that the reader has no reason to believe them. As for statements of my brother and my mother that were quoted in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Sacramento Bee, my mother and brother presumably saw the articles based on their interviews, and, as far as I know, they never wrote letters to the newspapers in question correcting any errors, so they have to be considered responsible for their statements as quoted in the articles.

In all cases when I have felt that a source was more or less unreliable, I have warned the reader of that fact in the Notes on Documents.

Quite apart from the unreliability of the media, I was appalled to learn how few people provided trustworthy information. A psychologist (Dr. Julie Kriegler) repeatedly interviewed my brother, my mother, and me. She gave me orally some items of information obtained from my brother, mother, and aunt, and I wrote these down at the time. But when I asked her to confirm some items of this information several months later, in three cases out of a total of nine she either said she couldn’t remember any such information and couldn’t find it in her notes, or she reworded the information in such a way as to change its meaning significantly.[4] Other shrinks misquoted me or gave seriously incorrect information in their reports. The investigators who worked for my defense team were much more reliable than the shrinks, but they too gave me orally a few items of information that they later had to correct, not because they had learned something new from further investigation, but because they had reported to me carelessly in the first place. For this reason I have tried to rely as little as possible on information received orally. Wherever I have used such information the reader is made aware of it either in the text or in a footnote and he or she is advised to receive such information with caution. I have cited oral information from Dr. Julie Kriegler or the investigators in only a few cases. It is possible that Dr. Julie Kriegler or the investigators may decline to confirm some of this information if they are asked. Yet I was careful in recording the information and I am certain that I have accurately reported what I was told.

What really horrified me, though, was the nonsense reported to the media or to the investigators by people who knew me years or decades ago. The investigators have given me written reports of interviews conducted with approximately 150 people.[5] Some of the information obtained in these interviews dealt with matters of which I have no knowledge, hence, I am unable to give an opinion of its accuracy. Taking into consideration only matters of which I have knowledge and speaking in rough terms, I can say that something like 14% of the informants gave reports the accuracy of which I was unable to judge; 6% gave reports about whose accuracy I was doubtful; 6% gave reports that were inaccurate in detail but provided an overall picture of me that was not far from the truth; 36% gave reports that were fairly accurate; 38% gave reports that were seriously inaccurate; and, of these last, eleven persons gave reports that were so far off that they were mere flights of fancy. More than that: of the reports that were fairly accurate, 72% were brief (one and a half pages or less); while fewer than one in four of the seriously inaccurate reports were brief. So it seems that people who spoke carefully and responsibly usually didn’t have much information to give, while most of those who had (or thought they had) a good deal of information didn’t know what they were talking about. (I was told that under normal circumstances the investigators would have interviewed the subjects over and over in order to separate the wheat from the chaff, but for some reason this was not done in my case.)

To judge from what I have seen of them, statements about me made to journalists by people who knew me, as quoted in the media, were even more inaccurate than what was reported to my investigators.

In some cases I have documentary evidence that shows that reports about me are false, but in the great majority of cases I am relying on memory for the information that disproves the reports. Why do I assume, when my recollections disagree with someone else’s, that mine are usually right?

First: In many cases I can be confident that I am right simply because I am in a better position to know about the matter in question than are the persons whose memories disagree with mine. For instance, if someone says that I used to wear a plaid sport–jacket four decades ago, I can safely assume that he has me mixed up with someone else, because I have owned very few sport–jackets in my life and I know that I have never had a plaid one.

Second: I have good evidence of the accuracy of my long–term memory.[6]

(A) lnvestigators working for my defense team who researched my past told me repeatedly that my long–term memory was remarkably sharp and accurate.[7] This does not mean that I never made mistakes of memory, but that I did so seldom. See Appendix 11.

(B) In preparing this book I’ve studied hundreds of old family letters [8] that my mother had saved, going all the way back to 1957, and I’ve found hardly anything to surprise me: to the extent that the matters covered in the letters overlapped with areas of which I have memories, my memories were confirmed with only minor discrepancies.

(C) During the 1990’s, for reasons that I need not take the trouble to explain here, I obtained from Harvard a transcript of my record. Before looking at it, as a check on my memory, I wrote down on a sheet of paper the number–designations of the courses I took (e.g. “Math 1a” ) and the grades I got in them. The FBI found this sheet of paper in my cabin and I have a copy of it.[9] Here is how it compares with the official transcripts [10] of my record:

General Education AHF (which everyone referred to as “Gen Ed A” ), Humanities 5, and Social Sciences 7 were courses lasting two semesters; all other courses were of one semester.

Official Transcript My Memory
General Education AHF (mid–year grade) B− General Ed A (mid–year grade) not remembered
German R A German R A
Mathematics la A Math la A
Humanities 5 (mid–year) C Hum 5 C
Social Sciences 7 (mid–year) C Soc Sci 7 C
General Education AHF C Gen Ed A C+
Physics 12a A Physics 12a A
Mathematics 1b A Math 1b A
Humanities 5 C+ Hum 5 C+
Social sciences 7 B− Soc Sci 7 B−
Anthropology I a B+ Anthro la B+
German Da B Germ Da B
Mathematics 20a A Math 20a A
Physics 12c C Phys. 12c C−
Anthropology 10 B+ Anthro 10 B+
Astronomy 2 B+ Astron 2 B
Mathematics 20b B Math 20b B
Mathematics 101 C Math 101 C+
History 109a B− History B−
Mathematics 105a A− Math 105a A−
Mathematics 106a A Math 106a A
Philosophy 140 A Phil 140 A
History 109b C− History C−
Mathematics 105b C+ Math 105b C+
Mathematics 106b A− Math 106b A−
Philosophy 141 B Phil 141 B+
History of Science 101 B+ Hist Sci 101 B+
Humanities 115 B− Hum (Ren) [11] C+
Mathematics 212a B Math 212a B+
Mathematics 250a B Math 250a B
Anthropology 122 A− Anthro (hum gen) [12] A−
History 143 C+ Eng intel hist [13] C+
Mathematics 212b A Math 212b A
Scandinavian 50 A− Scand 50 A−

As far as I can recall, I never saw a transcript of my Harvard grades from the time I left Harvard in 1962 until I wrote them down from memory in the early 1990’s.

(D) In the other surviving documents I have found reasonably good agreement with my memories. When I have encountered a discrepancy between my memories and someone else’s memories as reported in the media or to my investigators, and when some document was available that resolved the discrepancy, the discrepancy has always been resolved in my favor, with very few exceptions.[14] (However, I can think of two cases—one trivial, one significant—in which my memory has disagreed with someone else’s and I am sure that the other person is right because the matter is one about which she could hardly be mistaken.[15] Also, when I recall things that I have read years previously in books and magazines, it is not uncommon for my memory of what I have read to be distorted; occasionally it is seriously wrong.[16] On the other hand, my memory of things I have written or read in personal letters or heard in conversation seems to be pretty reliable, so far as surviving documents have made it possible to judge.)

Third: There is abundant evidence of the gross unreliability of the memories of me that have been reported to my investigators or have appeared in the media. In reference to the information given to the investigators, Scharlette Holdman, who is very experienced, writes:

“Lay witness reports of Ted’s behavior and functioning are extremely suspect given the high profile nature of his case. Many of their anecdotes and conclusions are most likely the result of planted memories and suggestions they’ve read, seen, or heard from others.”[17]

There are three ways by which I have been able to establish that they are wrong. They may contradict information about which I am in a position so well that there is hardly any chance that my own memory could be mistaken; they may contradict convincing documentary evidence; or the accounts of two different people may contradict one another, so that at least one of them must be wrong.

Throughout this book, the reader will find examples of reports that are proved wrong. But it will be useful to give some examples here in the Introduction also, because, among other things, they will illustrate some of the ways in which false memories or false reports arise.

Some of the sources of falsehood or distortion can be identified with reasonable confidence: (a) Media planting. The informant “remembers” something because it has been suggested to him by the media. (b) Mistaken identity. The informant has me mixed up with someone else. (c) Remembering later years. The informant remembers the later years of his association with me, largely forgets the earlier ones, and attributes to the earlier years the same traits, relationships, or circumstances that existed in the later years. (d) Stereotyping. The informant sees that I have some of the traits of a given group, so he identifies me with that group and assumes that I have all of the traits that are characteristic of it. (e) Lying. It is difficult to say how many of the falsehoods told about me are conscious lies. At least some of the things that my brother and my mother have said are conscious lies and not honest errors, and I can identify one other individual who definitely has been lying about me. But otherwise my guess is that the conscious lying by informants has not played an important role; it is a matter, instead, of human fallibility and irrationality. On the other hand, some conscious lies by journalists can be clearly identified, and there is enough evidence of unscrupulousness and irresponsibility in the media to make it plausible that journalists may often lie when they think they won’t get caught.

Apart from the factors we’ve just listed there are four others that may have helped to produce false reports in my case, but their existence is more–or–less speculative and cannot be definitely proved. These are: (f) Projection. People who themselves have mental or psychological problems are prone to see others as having such problems. (g) Personal resentment or jealousy. This factor is clearly present in the case of my brother and mother. In some other individuals its presence may be suspected, but this is speculative. (h) Mass hysteria, herd instinct. Under certain conditions, when an individual or a class of individuals within a society is pointed out as evil or worthy of being cast out, an atmosphere develops in which other members of the society draw together defensively, gang up on the rejected person(s), and take satisfaction in reviling him or them. It becomes something like a fad. Possibly sadistic impulses are involved. Some such factor seems to be operating in my case, but it is difficult to prove this objectively. (i) Greed. Several people who once knew me have appeared on television in connection with my case, and I know of at least one person who was paid for it. Obviously, those who told the most bizarre or exaggerated stories about me would be most in demand by talk shows and therefore might make the most money. When interviewed later by my investigators, they would give them the same story that they gave on television so as not to have to admit to themselves or others that they had perhaps allowed their memories to be warped by greed.

Now some examples:

(a) Media planting. There are very many instances in which I am reasonably sure that this has occurred,[18] but often I can’t prove it definitely. For example, Leroy Weinberg, a neighbor of ours when I was a teenager, told investigators that when he said “hello” to me I always failed to respond.[19] I know that this is false, because my mother had me well trained to be polite to adults, and that included answering all greetings from them.[20] It seems fairly obvious that Weinberg attributes this and other strange behavior to me because his memory of me has been warped by exposure to the media; but how can I be certain? Conceivably he might remember some instance in which I failed to respond to a greeting of his because I simply didn’t hear it.

However, there are some cases in which it does seem virtually certain that media planting has been at work.

Dr. Lynden Heitz, a dentist who practices part of the time in Lincoln, Montana, told my investigators: “Ted must not have had much money because his mother usually paid his dental bills.”[21]{8} My mother had provided me with a large sum of money from which I paid my dental bills among other things, but she never paid any of my dental bills directly. I deposited her money in a bank and paid Dr. Lynden Heitz, either in cash or with checks, on my own account. There is no way that Dr. Lynden Heitz could have known that the money came ultimately from my mother, because I was embarrassed about the fact I received money from her, and I was careful to conceal it from everyone. Certainly I would never have told Dr. Lynden Heitz about it. It is clear, therefore, that Dr. Lynden Heitz must have learned from the media after my arrest that I had been receiving money from my mother, and this information altered his memory of his own dealings with me.

Dr. Lynden Heitz also told my investigators: “Ted was an extremely quiet person, so quiet that Ted appeared odd. Ted was a kooky man. ... Ted did not talk much.” [22] Media planting was probably involved here, too, as Dr. Lynden Heitz’s account is contradicted by that of his own dental assistant, Renee Campbell.{9} According to my investigators, Renee Campbell “described Ted as, ‘a sweet, nice, pleasant guy.’ ... She said that Ted was ‘friendly’ and she would chat with him when he came into the office. She does not remember what they talked about.”[23] Dr. Lynden Heitz was present at most of my conversations with Renee Campbell and he participated in them.

Another clear example of media planting is provided by Dale Eickelman, whom I knew in junior high and high school.{10} Eickelman, now a professor at Dartmouth College, told my investigators that “Teddie did not have other friends [than Dale Eickelman] during the time that Dale knew Teddie from 5th grade until Teddie’s sophomore year [of college].”[24] In Chapter 3 of this book (pp. 79, 87, 88) I mention eight people (other than Dale Eickelman), of approximately my own age or up to two years older, with whom I was friends during some part (or in one case almost all) of the period between fifth grade and the time I left high school.[25] These were good friends whom I genuinely liked, not just casual acquaintances or people (like Russell Mosny) with whom I spent time only because we were thrown together as outcasts.{11}

Professor Eickelman is a highly intelligent man. He must realize that his house was a least a mile and a half from mine, and that after fifth grade we were never in any of the same classes at school. So how can he imagine that he knows whether I had any friends other than himself? The only evidence he cited was that when he visited my house (which was not very often) no other friends were present.[26] But it was equally true that when I visited Eickelman’s house he never had any other friends there. Would this justify me in concluding that his only friend was myself?

Professor Eickelman’s belief that he was my only friend clearly has no rational basis. Only one plausible explanation for this belief presents itself. It was suggested to him by the media portrayal of me as abnormally asocial. It is true that I was unsuccessful socially in junior high and high school. Thus, the media did not create Professor Eickelman’s belief from nothing, but caused him to exaggerate grossly the accurate perception that I was less social than the average kid.

(b) Mistaken identity. In Chapter 6 the reader will find several examples of mistaken identity: cases in which it can be clearly shown that an informant has made a false statement about me because he has confused me with someone else. We give another example here.

Glen Williams owns a cabin not far from mine, though I haven’t seen him for several years.{12} According to investigators who interviewed him, “Glen Williams thinks that Ted was always looking over his shoulder. Sometime during the 1970’s, Ted talked to Glen about the KGB. Ted told Glen he had a place he could hide in up [sic] Old Baldy where no one would ever find him.”[27]

Glen Williams has me mixed up with Al Pinkston, a gentleman whom he and I met up in the Dalton Mountain or Sauerkraut Creek area about late December of 1974. Pinkston (now deceased) was an obvious paranoiac who believed that the Lincoln area was infested with KGB agents. He told me he was hiding out up on the mountain because “they’re gunnin’ for my ass.” I related the story of this encounter three months later in my journal[28] and in a letter to my parents.[29]

I never told Glen Williams or anyone else that I had a hiding place.

In this and in some other cases of mistaken identity, it is likely that media influence was at work. Glen Williams probably confused me with Al Pinkston because the media had portrayed me as crazy, like Pinkston.

(c) Remembering later years. In greater or lesser degree this phenomenon seems to affect a number of the reports made to my investigators by people who have known me. In some cases it is clear–cut. For example, Russell Mosny reported that he and I met through our membership in the high school band,[30] but actually I knew him from the time I entered seventh grade.[31]

In some cases it is difficult to disentangle the effect of “remembering later years” from that of “media planting.” Thus, Linda Dybas, the daughter of one of my father’s best friends, told investigators: “Ted Jr. was a very shy and quiet boy.{13} He was introverted and only involved himself in things he could do alone.”[32] Here and throughout her interview, Linda Dybas exaggerates my shyness and introversion to the point of caricature. Most likely this is the result of media planting. Yet “remembering later years” would seem to be involved too, since Linda Dybas appears to have forgotten completely the earlier years when I was not particularly shy or introverted and we were lively playmates. I wrote the following in 1979:

“I might have been about 9 years old when the following incident occurred. My family was visiting the Dybas family.{14} The Dybas‘s had a little girl named Linda, about my own age. At that time she was very pretty. I was horsing around with her, and by and by I got to tickling her. I put my arms around her from behind and tickled her under the ribs. I tickled and tickled, and she squirmed and laughed. I pressed my body up against hers, and experienced a very pleasant, warm, affectionate sensation, distinctly sexual. Unfortunately, my mother caught on to the fact that our play was beginning to take on a sexual character. She got embarrassed and told me to stop tickling Linda. Linda said, 'No, don’t make him stop! I like it!’ but, alas, my mother insisted, and I had to quit.”[33]

The most important case of “remembering later years” involves my father’s close friend Ralph Meister. On February 2, 1997, Dr. Meister signed for my investigators a declaration in which he outlined what he knew about me and my family life. The declaration is mostly accurate except in one respect. Dr. Meister represents my mother and me as showing certain traits through the entire period of my childhood and adolescence, whereas in reality those traits were not shown until I was approaching adolescence. Thus, he writes: “Wanda put pressure on Teddy John to be an intellectual giant almost from the day he was born.”[34] Actually I never felt I was under much pressure to achieve until at least the age of eleven. Dr. Meister also implies that I had difficulties with social adjustment from early childhood,[35] whereas in reality those difficulties did not begin until much later. All this will be shown in Chapters I through V of this book.

(d) Stereotyping: The most clear–cut example of this is that some people remember me as having used a pocket protector in high school.[36] I have never used a pocket protector in my life. But because I was identified with the “Briefcase Boys” (academically–oriented students), and because some of these did wear pocket protectors, people remember me as having worn one too.

(e) Lying: Apart from my brother and my mother, the only informant whom I definitely know to be consciously lying is Chris Waits of Lincoln, Montana. Waits has been pretending that he knows me well.[37] He used to say hello to me when he passed me on the road in his truck, and I would return his greeting. I don’t remember ever accepting a ride from him, but it’s conceivable that I may have done so on one or two occasions, not more. I once had a brief conversation with him at a garage sale. Apart from that, I had no association or contact with him.{15}

One wonders what Waits’ motive might be. Perhaps he is one of those pathetic individuals who feel like failures in life and try to compensate by seeking notoriety through tall tales that they tell about some news event that has come close to them. I recall that back in the 1950’s there was a derelict in Chicago named Benny Bedwell who “confessed” to a highly publicized murder just in order to make himself famous.{16}

(f) Projection. It does appear to be true that persons who themselves have mental or psychological problems are prone to see others as having such problems, but it is difficult to say definitely that this factor has operated in my case, since the people who portrayed me as strange, abnormal, or mentally ill may have done so under the influence of “media planting” or some other factor. But it is a fact that many of the people who portrayed me in this way had serious problems of their own. For the case of Joel Schwartz, see Chapter 12 and Appendix 6. Many other examples can be found in the investigators’ reports of the interviews that they conducted.[38] Here I will only discuss some of my suitemates from Eliot N–43 at Harvard who gave false information about me.

Wayne Person, Pat McIntosh, John Masters, and Keith Martin formed a close–knit clique within the suite.{17} To all outward appearances they were thoroughly well–adjusted. They wore neatly–kept suits and ties, their rooms were always tidy, they observed all of the expected social amenities, their attitudes, opinions, speech, and behavior were so conventional that I found them completely uninteresting. Yet three of the four gave my investigators a glimpse of their psychological problems.

Pat McIntosh, according to the investigators’ report, did a great deal of whining throughout his interview about how hard it was to survive academically and psychologically at Harvard. For example: “[Pat] found life at Harvard to be extremely difficult...[39] Patrick [had] his own adolescent insecurities...[40] Patrick was too insecure and wrapped up in his own problems ...[41] The faculty or administration at Harvard was ... unconcerned with students’ emotional and psychological problems. Patrick did not know any students who actually sought and received emotional help ... At times, Patrick wanted help surviving himself, but he had no idea where to go. John Finley, the house master ... didn’t want to recognize the serious difficulties that many of the students were having.”[42]{18}

McIntosh evidently assumes that I was having problems similar to his own: “One day during Patrick’s second year at Harvard ... he saw a student being taken out on a stretcher. The student had slit his wrists after receiving a C on an exam ... Patrick ... thought of Ted and worried that maybe Ted might end up like this kid.” [43]

John Masters told the investigators that he “was two years old when the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. After that he used to dream about the atomic bomb; these dreams sparked John’s desire of becoming a nuclear physicist but after he barely earned a C in his freshman physics class at Harvard, he decided that he was not cut out for a career in the hard sciences...[44] During John’s first semester of his sophomore year at Harvard, his family began to fall apart. He became very depressed for several months and started receiving therapy at the student health services”.[45]

When John Masters first moved into Eliot N–43 he mentioned having been in “the hospital.” I asked him what he had been in the hospital for, and he answered, “just nervousness.” Like McIntosh, Masters made false statements about me and exaggerated my solitariness. According to the investigators’ report of his interview, “House Master Finley ... did not intervene on John’s behalf when John needed counseling. The same was probably true for Ted. Ted’s solitary nature failed to draw Master Finley’s attention because diversity or unusual behavior was accepted at Harvard. John believes that today Ted’s solitary behavior would warrant some type of intervention; at the time, his behavior did not even raise an eyebrow.[46] ... John’s solitary lifestyle meant that he did not make more than five friends while at Harvard.”[47]

Wayne Person “was shy and socially backward when he went to Harvard and feared that he would never fully come out of his shell. ... He had a strong desire to lead a normal life. Wayne Person was an astronomy major. He originally intended to pursue astronomy on the graduate level but his fears drove him away from that goal. He saw that many of the astronomy graduate students at Harvard were not well–adjusted and he felt he would move further away from a normal life if he pursued astrophysics.

“At the end of Wayne Person’s junior year, he dropped out of Harvard. He was confused as a college student and this confusion led him to drop out of school.[Wayne Person] went to the Harvard health services for counseling before dropping out of Harvard. He thought the counseling was helpful ... he returned to Harvard a year or two later. Wayne Person did not last long at Harvard and soon dropped out again.”[48]

Wayne Person too made false statements about me and exaggerated my solitariness. “Wayne Person and the others at N–43 were too young to realize how serious Ted’s isolation was for him...”[49]

Thus McIntosh, Masters, and Wayne Person appear to have seen me as having problems or needs that were, in part, similar to their own. In reality, I was psychologically self–reliant and felt neither insecure, nor depressed, nor did I feel in need of help, nor did I find it hard to face the academic challenges of Harvard, nor. Nor did I feel troubled by loneliness. I did suffer from acute sexual starvation: I was in daily contact with smart, physically attractive Radcliffe women and I didn’t know how to make advances to them. I did feel very frustrated at a few mathematics teachers whose lectures I considered to be ill–prepared. Apart from that there was just one other thing about which I felt seriously unhappy: It was a kind of nagging malaise the nature of which I never fully understood until I broke free of it once and for all in 1966. But that is a story that will be told elsewhere than in this book.

(g) Personal resentment or jealousy. Only in the case of my brother and mother can resentment or jealousy be clearly identified as a factor influencing reports given to investigators. However, this factor may be suspected in some other cases. Ellen Arl (see Chapter 6) once told me that “everyone” was jealous of me, presumably referring to the people whom we both knew, including George Duba and Russell Mosny, both of whom seemed to become cool toward me at about the time I moved a year ahead of them in school.{19}{20} In George Duba’s opinion, “Academically and intellectually, Ted was head and shoulders above the rest of the students at Evergreen Park High. His exceptional intelligence set him apart, even from a group of bright young men like the Briefcase Boys.”[50] “The Briefcase Boys” was a clique that included, among others, George Duba, Russell Mosny, and Roger Podewell. According to Podewell, “It wasn’t just Ted’s shyness that set him apart from the Briefcase Boys. He was more intelligent than the others, a fact that made Roger a little jealous ... .”[51] George Duba and Mosny both went to the University of Illinois and flunked out. Roger Podewell went to Yale and got a C average his first year. (How he did after that I don’t know.) I did not fail to josh Podewell and Mosny about their academic performance, but they didn’t seem to find it amusing.

George Duba, Podewell, and Mosny (especially the last) gave my investigators unflattering and inaccurate accounts of me that exaggerated my social isolation. Is this due only to media planting, or are dislike, resentment, or jealousy also involved? My guess is that no such factor is involved in Podewell’s case but that it is involved in Mosny’s. With George Duba it could be either way.

“Patrick [McIntosh] was jealous of Ted’s prowess in mathematics ... .” [52] Did this influence McIntosh’s highly inaccurate and unflattering portrayal of me? There is no proof that it did, but. But it’s a fact that a sense of inferiority can be one of the most powerful impulses to resentment. Especially when the person who appears to be more able is lacking in tact, as I’m afraid has sometimes been the case with me.

(h) Mass hysteria, Herd instinct. This is a very vaguely–defined factor that has probably been at work in my case, but it is impossible to separate from media planting or illustrate with specific examples.

(i) Greed. Although I know of at least one case of a person receiving payment for an interview, I have no way of proving that people who told stories about me on television allowed themselves to alter their recollections in such a way as to make them more profitable financially. But it is worth noting that two of the people who appeared most on talk shows—Russell Mosny and Pat McIntosh—gave my investigators accounts of me that were among the most exaggerated and inaccurate.

* * *

Let us conclude with a few more examples that show the unreliability of the reports made to investigators by people who have known me.

My brother used to hold literary “colloquia,” as he called them. He and a few friends would all read some piece of literature that one of them had selected, then they would get together and discuss it. The participants varied, but the most usual ones were my brother, my parents, Dale Edwards, Hokan Edwardson and Jeanne Edwardson.[53]{21} I attended one and only one of these colloquia. This was shortly after I arrived at my parents’ home in Lombard, Illinois in 1978. To the investigators Dale Edwards described my behavior at this colloquium as follows:

“On the first occasion Date met Ted, Wanda and Ted Sr.[my father], Dave and he were discussing Plato, in connection with something they had read in their book club. Ted came out of his room and said there was no reason to read any early Greek philosophers like Plato because they had all been proven wrong. That was all Ted said before returning to his room or leaving the house. ...[Ted] never made eye contact, but just looked off blindly while he spoke.”[54]

Here is how Jeanne Edwardson. described my behavior at the same colloquium:

“[Jeanne met Ted] one night when she and Hokan Edwardson were back at the Kaczynskis’ house for another colloquy [sic]. When he was introduced to her, Ted made a disparaging comment about her and about women in general. She was completely shocked, but the nature of Ted’s comment made her feel that there was no point in trying to get to know Ted. Later, when the group began the colloquy Ted participated at first, but Jeanne recalls that he soon disagreed with something in the discussion. He then became nervous and fidgety and kept getting up, walking out and coming back to the conversation.”[55]

The reader will observe that the two accounts are inconsistent with one another. At least one of them must be false.

As a matter of fact, both are false. I remember the colloquium quite clearly. The participants were Dale Edwards, Hokan Edwardson and Jeanne Edwardson, my parents, my brother, and myself. I can state exactly where each of us was sitting, I can describe in a general way the demeanor of each, and I can even recall some of the details of the conversation. The subject of the colloquium was a dialogue of Plato that discussed happiness and love; Plato’s conclusion was that true happiness lay in the love of wisdom.

I was present in the living room when the others entered. I did not make a disparaging comment about Jeanne personally. I did not make a disparaging comment about women in general when I was introduced to Jeanne, but it is conceivable that at some later point I may have made a comment about women that might have been felt as disparaging by a woman who was excessively sensitive about her gender. However, it’s more likely that Jeanne is remembering a joking comment about women that I made in a letter to her husband, Hokan Edwardson, during the mid–1980’s., (Added July 20, 1998: Since writing the foregoing, I’ve obtained copies of some of my letters to Hokan Edwardson including the letter mentioned here. This undated letter refers jokingly to “Woman, the vessel of evil.” ).

I did not say that the early Greek philosophers had “been proven wrong.” I did say that their methods of reasoning were naive by modern standards, hence, they were worth reading today only for esthetic reasons or because of their historical interest, not as a source of rational understanding.

I did not become “nervous” or “fidgety”, and I did not leave the room at any time until all of the guests had left. I did repeatedly get up to take pieces of snack food from a bowl that was on a table five or six feet from where I was sitting. It is probably some garbled memory of this that leads Jeanne to say that I kept getting up and walking out.

Dale Edwards’s statement that I “never made eye contact” with him is literally true, but it was he, not I, who avoided eye contact. I looked at Dale Edwards’s face a number of times during the evening, but he never looked back at me. I’m more than willing to put the matter to a test. I invite Mr. E. to come and visit me in the presence of witnesses. Let the witnesses judge which of us has difficulty maintaining eye contact with the other.

Besides his evasion of eye contact, Dale Edwards seemed unable to deal with any challenge to his opinions. Twice during the evening, I was made so bold as to disagree with him. In each case, instead of answering my argument, he just shut his mouth, elevated his nose, and looked away without saying anything.

Hokan Edwardson didn’t give the investigators any account of my behavior at the colloquium, or at least none is mentioned in the report that I have. He did have much else to say about me, however, and it is mostly fantasy. Unfortunately, no documents are available that confirm or refute his statements except in one case. According to the investigators’ report of their interview with Hokan and Jeanne:

Hokan and Jeanne compared Ted to Jeanne’s brother Dan who was severely mentally ill and killed himself in 1984. In fact, Dave [Kaczynski] also knew Dan and saw a clear parallel between Dan and Ted. Dan had extremely rigid opinions and was often intolerant and impatient of divergent views. ... Dave, in fact, found Dan and Ted so similar that when Dan finally killed himself in 1984, he began to worry that Ted might do the same.”[56]{22}

But here is what my brother wrote to me in 1984, shortly after Dan’s suicide:

“I’ve been feeling kind of depressed the last couple of weeks since learning that Jeanne’s brother Dan committed suicide. As he lived with Hokan Edwardson and Jeanne, and didn’t have a regular job, I spent quite a bit of time with him during my two visits in Rockport. We ... often talked about philosophy. …

“[I]t was hard getting through to Dan. On the other hand, he seemed to have a message he was trying to get across, and which he didn’t feel that I, Hokan Edwardson, or anyone had yet appreciated adequately. So he must have felt a similar frustration with us, in answer to which, according to Hokan Edwardson, he seemed to be withdrawing from everyone more and more during the last couple of years. Hokan Edwardson seemed to think that Dan’s suicide was a ‘rational act’—i.e. that it was a consequence of his ideas. The arresting thing for would–be intellectuals, such as Hokan Edwardson and me, assuming this were true, is the facility and resolution with which Dan’s ‘idea’ translated itself into an act. [Hokan Edwardson] ... is even worse than me, living a bourgeois [sic] lifestyle in almost all respects except his reading.”

“... When I spoke to [Hokan Edwardson] on the phone, he still sounded unusually distraught. If Dan had intended at all to make a permanent, life–long impression on [Hokan Edwardson]—to break through the barrier of mere philosophizing at last—then I think he might have succeeded. The rest of the family prefers—I suppose for obvious reasons—to interpret Dan’s later years and his suicide as symptoms of a mental disease. ...[Dan’s death] reminded me of the sometimes dismal gulfs which isolate human beings from one another. It reminded me just a tad of myself, having ideas and affections, but often feeling at a loss for the proper means to share them. More acutely, I felt somewhat guilty, as if I were being called to account for my unresponsiveness to similar claims made on me by others.”[57]

In his interview, Hokan Edwardson goes on and on about my supposed “intolerance” of other people’s ideas (making, at the same time, many false statements about my behavior).[58] As a matter of fact, I never had more than a very little philosophical or intellectual discussion with Hokan Edwardson but (though I was not knowingly tactless) that little apparently was enough to show him that I did not respect him or his ideas, which presumably is why he thought I was “intolerant.” If the reader were to make Hokan Edwardson’s acquaintance and familiarize himself with his ideas, he would be able to make his own judgment as to whether my lack of respect for them was due to intolerance or to the quality of the ideas.

Hokan Edwardson used to read children’s comic books and claimed that he found philosophical messages in them.[59] I once asked him whether he believed the messages were put there intentionally or whether he created them himself out of the comic–book material. He answered that he preferred not to discuss the question at that time.

Among many other inaccuracies that appear in Professor Peter Duren’s interview with the investigators, there is the following:

“The last time that Professor Duren ever saw Ted was at the annual meeting of the American Math Society in San Francisco in 1968. Ted did not give a talk which was strange since professionally it was the right thing to do. Professor Duren saw Ted standing near the escalator. He went over to talk to Ted, and they had a very stiff, very brief conversation. The conversation consisted of Professor Duren asking questions that Ted did not feel like answering. Ted did not seem comfortable or happy.”[60]

This may be a case of mistaken identity or it may be just fantasy. I was not a member of the American Mathematical Society in 1968 and I have never in my life attended any kind of mathematical meeting outside of a university where I was a student or faculty member. I just wasn’t that interested in mathematics. I suppose the names of participants in American Mathematical Society meetings are recorded, and if that is so, then it may be possible to get documentary proof that I was not at the 1968 meeting; but at present I am not able to provide such proof.

*

A few people reported that in high school I was once stuffed in a locker by some “tough” kids and left there.[61] If this had ever happened, it wouldn’t be the kind of thing I would be likely to forget. Nor would I conceal it; I reported other humiliating incidents in my 1979 autobiography, so why conceal this one? I’d guess that a combination of media planting and mistaken identity are involved here. Ray Janz, who told the story in the media,[62] probably had me mixed up with someone else. Others, who knew that some student had been stuffed in a locker, heard Janz’s story through the media and subsequently “remembered” that I was the victim.

*

In reference to my brother’s years at Evergreen Park High School, Dale Edwards (who was one of Dave’s teachers there) told the investigators:

“Physically, ... Dave was much smaller than his classmates. He was also socially awkward. Dave was shy and quiet and tended to keep to himself. Dale never saw Dave hanging out with friends. ...[S]ocially and physically, he was behind [his classmates]. ... Dave seemed socially and physically awkward.”[63]

Referring to the early 1970’s, Dale Edwards said:

“Dave was still socially awkward and inept ...[W]hen Dale and Dave went for walks in the Morton Arboretum, Dave made Dale walk ahead of him so that Dave did not have to speak to any people they passed. He told Dale he did not want to have to say hello to people.”[64]

Lois Skillen, guidance counselor at the school, described my brother during his high school years as follows:

“David was outgoing, friendly and sociable. ... David had friends and played sports. ... David was outgoing and happy. ... David ... sat down in the living room with all the women and immediately started to chat with them. David was laughing and having a good time. He was sweet, friendly and social.”[65]

The admirable consistency between Dale Edwards’s description of my brother and Miss Skillen’s should help the reader to estimate the value of these reports.

Much of the information that Skillen gave my investigators is inaccurate, but on this particular point she is right and Dale Edwards is wrong. My brother is occasionally a little shy, and he wasn’t socially polished, but he never had any trouble making friends. In high school, if anything, he was more outgoing than he was later. I don’t have Dave’s medical records, but they would probably show that he was at least average height for his age. Anyone who thinks Dave is physically awkward will soon change his mind if he plays tennis or ping–pong with him. The Morton Arboretum incident may well have occurred, since my brother occasionally behaves a little oddly. But it does not fairly represent his usual social behavior.

* * *

It is interesting that there seems to be little relation between the intelligence of an informant and the accuracy of the reports that he gives about decades–old events. We’ve seen that an adequate university professor like Dr. Duren and an outstanding one like Dr. Eickelman [66] were among those who gave grossly inaccurate accounts of my early years. Yet some people of modest intellectual attainments have given accounts that are fairly accurate. I suppose it’s a matter of character. Some people refrain from speaking when they aren’t sure, whereas others seem to let their imaginations run away with them.

I’ve shown that several factors have operated in producing false reports about me, but I have little doubt that media planting is the most important one. The fact that so many people’s memories of me have been warped as badly as they have been shows the awesome power of propaganda.

Scientific American recently published an interesting article on memory planting.[67] The phenomenon is not hypothetical; its existence has been proved.

* * *

This book deals only with the way I have been misrepresented by my family and by the media. But the FBI, the prosecutors, and the shrinks have misrepresented me just as badly, and I expect to take them on in some later writing.

1. “That hospital experience"

I will begin with one of the biggest lies of all, a kind of family myth manufactured by my mother.

I have only a vague recollection of the version of this story that I heard from my parents in childhood. In essence it was that as a baby I had been hospitalized with a severe case of hives (urticaria), and that I was so frightened by this separation from my parents that I was forever after excessively nervous about being left alone by them.

It is not clear to me why my parents thought I was unduly afraid of being separated from them. It may have been because they became accustomed to being away from their own parents at an especially early age—my mother’s mother was a drunken, irresponsible slut [68] who probably left her children unattended on frequent occasions, and my father was an extrovert who spent much of his childhood running with gangs of boys rather than home (according to the stories he told me). In any case, as I look back on it now, I don’t think I was any more anxious about being left alone than the average kid of my age. When I was perhaps six or seven years old, my mother began leaving me home alone for an hour or two at a time, and I did not find it difficult to adjust to this. At about the same age I once attended a movie with my father in a strange neighborhood far from home, and after the movie, he left me standing alone outside the theater for ten or fifteen minutes while he went to get the car. I felt a good deal of anxiety while waiting for him, but I think not more than is normal for a kid of that age under such circumstances. I certainly did not feel panicky nor did I doubt that my father would return. He told me afterward that he had left me alone in order to help me get over what he called my fear of being away from my parents.

My parents retained their belief that I had an unusual fear of being separated from them until I was thirteen years old. At that age, I was sent away to summer camp for two weeks. Though I was somewhat homesick, I had no serious difficulty in adjusting to the experience,[69] and after that, as far as I can remember, my parents never again mentioned my supposed fear of being “abandoned” by them—until many years later, when my mother resuscitated the myth of “that hospital experience” in exaggerated and melodramatic form. Her motives for doing so will be explained in Chapter 4. For the moment, I am concerned only to describe the myth itself and to refute it.

Here is the myth in my mother’s own words, from a letter that she wrote to me on December 24, 1984:

“[Your hatred of your parents] I think, I am convinced, has its source in your traumatic hospital experience in your first year of life. You had to be hospitalized with a sudden, very serious allergy that could have choked off your breath. In those days hospitals would not allow a parent to stay with a sick child, and visits were limited to one hour twice a week. I can still hear you screaming ‘Mommy, Mommy!’ in panic as the nurse forced me out of the room. My God! how I wept. My heart broke. I walked the floor all night weeping, knowing you were horribly frightened and lonely. Knowing you thought yourself abandoned and rejected when you needed your mother the most. How could you, at nine months, understand why—in your physical misery—you were turned over to strangers. When I finally brought [you [70]] home you were a changed personality. You were a dead lump emotionally. You didn’t smile, didn’t look at us, didn’t respond to us in any way. I was terrified. What had they done to my baby? Obviously, the emotional pain and shock you suffered those four days became deeply embedded in your brain—your sub–conscious. I think you rejected, you hated me from that time on. We rocked you, cuddled you, talked to you, read to you—did everything we could think of to stimulate you. How we loved you, yearned over you. Some said we spoiled you, were too lenient, doted on you too much. But you were our beloved son—our first born and we wanted so much to have you love us back. But I think that emotional pain and fear never completely left you. Every now and then throughout your life, I saw it crop up. …”[71]

I was surprised when I saw that in this letter my mother described my hospitalization as having lasted only four days. She had previously told me—repeatedly—that it had lasted a week,[72] and that I had been “inert”, “a dead lump”, for a month after I came home.

Here is what my brother reportedly said about “that hospital experience” when he was interviewed by the FBI:

“TED had a severe allergic reaction and was hospitalized for several weeks. His parents were only allowed short daily visits and TED became unresponsive and withdrawn during his stay in the hospital.”[73]

“When TED was a year or so old, he was hospitalized after suffering a ‘severe allergic reaction.’ His parents were restricted from visiting him for more than a few minutes a day, and when he recovered and was taken home two or three weeks later they noticed that he was markedly unresponsive and displayed a significantly ‘flat effect’ (emotionless appearance). It took weeks and even months for his parents to re–establish a satisfactory relationship with TED, and WANDA attributes much of TED’s emotional disturbance as an adolescent to this early trauma.”[74]

“DAVE stated that on four distinct occasions, TED has displayed a type of ‘almost catatonic’ behavior which has long perplexed and mystified his family. The first was his withdrawal after a three–week hospital stay when he was an infant.”[75]

Here is what my brother told the New York Times:

“David, who had been told the story by his parents, said that the infant Teddy developed a severe allergy and was hospitalized for a week. ‘There were rigid regulations about when parents could and couldn’t visit,’ David said. He recalled that on two occasions, his parents ‘were allowed to visit him for one hour.’

“After Teddy came home, ‘he became very unresponsive,’ David said. ‘He had been a smiling, happy, jovial kind of baby beforehand, and when he returned from the hospital he showed little emotions [sic] for months.’”[76]

Newsweek cited information from federal investigators (who presumably were relaying information received from my mother or my brother) as follows:

“The first clue is something that happened when Kaczynski was only 6 months old. According to federal investigators, little ‘Teddy John,’ as his parents called him, was hospitalized for a severe allergic reaction to a medicine he was taking. He had to be isolated—his parents were unable to see him or hold him for several weeks. After this separation, family members have told the Feds, the baby’s personality, once bubbly and vivacious, seemed to go ‘flat.’”[77]

Time gave a similar report.[78]

The FBI’s “302” reports often contain inaccuracies, and (as we will show later) journalists’ reports are extremely prone to gross inaccuracies that result from carelessness, incompetence, or intentional lying. But the fact that several different sources gave roughly similar accounts is a good indication of the kind of information my brother and mother had been giving out.

Furthermore, on April 12, 1996, Betsy Anderson, an investigator for the Federal Defender’s office at Helena, Montana, interviewed my mother in Washington, D.C. According to Betsy Anderson’s notes, my mother gave her the story as follows:

“When Ted was nine or 10 months old, he developed a severe and sudden allergic reaction to something, his entire body swelled, and he had severe itching all over. Wanda walked with him the entire night, and took him to the University of Chicago–Children’s Teaching Hospital first thing in the morning. She described the hospital visit as very traumatic for both Ted and his mother. When they arrived, Ted was taken from Wanda by a nurse and put in a separate room. Ted started screaming and crying, calling nonstop for his mother, who also started crying ... . That Friday the hospital called Wanda and said she could come and pick Ted up, as the swelling had subsided. When Wanda arrived at the hospital, she was handed her son, who she described as ’a dead lump.’ She said Ted would not respond to her or her husband at all for weeks after the hospital stay. Wanda and Theodore spent hours trying to bring Ted out of his shell, coaxing a smile, or attempting to get him to play with a toy, mostly without success. …

“After the stay in the hospital, Wanda described Ted as much more clingy, and less trusting of strangers. He would scream whenever he was taken into a strange building, fearful his parents were going to leave him. About four or five months after Ted was released from the hospital, he fell while running in the house, and split his tongue. Wanda rushed him to the hospital, where he immediately began screaming and fighting. …

Ted’s regular pediatric visits were always upsetting, as Ted acted terrified of doctors.”[79]

How accurate is this picture? Fortunately that question is easy to resolve, because my mother kept a “Baby Book,” or diary of my development as an infant. The book contained printed instructions and questions with blank spaces left for the parent to fill in. (When quoting from the Baby Book, I will put the printed matter in italics and material written by my mother in ordinary type.) The following excerpt from the Baby Book includes every word of my mother’s account of “that hospital experience,” from the first appearance of the symptoms to my apparently complete recovery.

My age at the time was just over nine months.

FORTY–FIRST WEEK. Dates, from Feb. 26 to Mar 5 [1943]

“Saturday, the 27th [of February] Mother noticed small red splotches on baby’s stomach and neck, as the day progressed the splotches spread. In the evening we took him to the hospital. The doctor diagnosed them as hives. Sunday [February 28] the hives were worse but baby seemed not effected [sic] by them. We took him for a long ride in his buggy. Shortly after we returned we noticed the baby had a fever. Called the hospital and was told to give him frequent baths & 1/2 aspirin every 3 hrs. Monday morning [March 1] the baby was examined at Bobs Roberts [Hospital] by several doctors. The consensus [sic] of opinion was that baby had a bad case of urticaria [hives, rash] & should be left at the hospital. Wednesday [March 3], mother went to visit baby. The doctors still think he has an extreme case of urticaria but are not sure. The [sic] omitted [sic] eggs from his diet. Mother felt very sad about baby. She says he is quite subdued, has lost his abandoned virve [sic] & aggressiveness and has developed an institutionalized look.

FORTY–SECOND WEEK. Dates, from Mar. 5 to Mar. 12 [1943]

“Baby’s home from hospital. Perfectly healthy But quiet and unresponsive after his experience. Hope his sudden removal to hospital and consequent unhappiness will not harm him.

“Later in the week—Baby is quite himself again. Vivacious and demanding. Says ‘bye–bye’ by waving his hand.[Etc.]”[80]

According to hospital records [81], I was admitted on March 1, 1943 and released on March 6, so I was hospitalized for five days. Since the statement that I was quite myself again could not have been written later than March 12, it took me at most six days (and possibly much less time) to make an apparently complete recovery. It should also be noted that a careful study of my medical records has turned up no mention of my supposed unresponsiveness. Furthermore, on September 6, 1996, my Aunt Freda (Freda Dombek Tuominen) was interviewed in Gainesville, Florida by two investigators working on my case.{23} She told them that she was away on a two–week vacation when I was hospitalized from March 1 to 6, 1943. When she returned, someone mentioned to her that I had been in the hospital, but after that she heard nothing more about the episode until it was publicized in the media following my arrest.[82] Since Freda was very close to my parents during the 1940’s, this is a clear indication that at that time, my mother did not attach much importance to the hospitalization and that the effect on me was not obviously serious.

What about my mother’s statement that “Ted’s regular pediatric visits were always upsetting, as Ted acted terrified of doctors?” [83] That is another lie. The Baby Book and my medical records show four, and only four, instances in which I appeared to be afraid of doctors or nurses, and two of these occurred before “that hospital experience.” Here are the corresponding entries from the Baby Book and the medical records:

FIFTH WEEK. Dates, from June 19 to June 26 [1942],

“... When the doctor was handling him today he cried a great deal. ... Perhaps he was frightened of the unfamiliar surroundings and handling.”[84]

SEVENTEENTH WEEK. Dates, from Sept. 11 to Sept. 18 [1942].

... Sept. 15. When taken for his periodic examination the child became very frightened of the doctor.”[85]

In the medical records the two foregoing examinations are recorded, but no mention is made of my reaction to the doctor,[86] which probably indicates that the doctor did not consider my reaction unusual.

My hospitalization occurred during the latter part of my forty–first week. About a month later, the following reaction was reported in the Baby Book:

FORTY–SIXTH WEEK. Dates, from 4/2 to 4/9 [1943].

“This week we visited the hospital with Teddy. When mother took him in to be undressed & weighed Teddy saw the nurses in their white uniforms & immediately HOWLED. It’s evident he remembered his sojurn [sic] in the hospital. It took about 10 min. for mother to calm him. When the doctor entered the little room that he was taken to after being weighed there was no definite reaction other than interest in her, but as soon as she attempted to examine him he yowled.’’ [87]

The hospital record of this examination does not mention my fearful reaction.[88]

The last instance in which I showed fear of medical personnel is mentioned in my medical records, but not the Baby Book (which does not go beyond December 25, 1943):

“June 27, 1944. ... Reluctant to carry examination. Child is fearful of white coats since his visit for repair of his tongue.”[89]

The reference is to an injury to my tongue [90] that had occurred about two months earlier, on April 29, 1944. Note that this extract from the medical records clearly implies that prior to the tongue injury, I was not fearful of medical personnel. That I was not afraid of doctors or nurses for at least nine or ten months preceding my tongue injury is confirmed by the absence of any mention in the Baby Book or the medical records of any such fear on my part between April 9, 1943 (about a month after my hospitalization) and April 29, 1944 (the date of my tongue injury), even though the medical records and the Baby Book report that I was examined at the University of Chicago clinics [91] on May 18, 1943, June 13, 1943, October 19, 1943, January 11, 1944, and January 18, 1944. Moreover, the Baby Book’s one–year inventory of the child’s development (late May, 1943, less than three months after “that hospital experience” ) includes the question, “Does he [the baby] show persistent fear of anything?“My mother left the question blank.[92]

After my tongue injury (which, by the way, did not require hospitalization), my mother told a doctor that I was “quite fearful of hospitals” (see extract below, April 4, 1945). But that I had no long–lasting fear of doctors or hospitals is confirmed by the following extracts from the medical records [93]:

“June 13, 1943. ... Healthy w–d [well–developed?] well nourished infant. No pathological findings.”

(No mention of unresponsiveness or fear of doctors.)

“April 4, 1945 ... appetite excellent. Plays well with other children. Quite fearful (?) of hospitals.”

(Evidently the doctor is recording information furnished by my mother. The question mark after “fearful” is in the original and possibly indicates skepticism on the part of the doctor. Further along in the report of this same examination:)

“Sturdy, well nourished boy with good color who tries to manipulate his mother by temper [?] outbursts. Submits [illegible] but not quickly [or quietly?] to examination—after she is sent from the room. Quite agreeable at conclusion of examination.”

(The foregoing entry contradicts my mother’s claim that I was afraid of being left by my parents, since the departure of my mother calmed me and caused me to submit to the examination.)

“January 4, 1946 ... A well nourished [?] adequately muscled [?] very whiny little boy.”

“April 10, 1946 ... A whiny but fairly cooperative boy ... .”

“October 16, 1947 ... A pleasant, quiet, alert, slender boy ... .”

“December 8, 1947 ... A friendly, intelligent youngster who is not acutely ill. He is extremely inquisitive of all that is said and requests explanations.”

The foregoing include all of the passages in my surviving medical records up to age 6 that have any bearing on my behavior in the presence of doctors or nurses. So much for my mother’s claim that “Ted’s regular pediatric visits were always upsetting, as Ted acted terrified of doctors.”

According to the Washington Post, “Ted had an almost paralyzing uneasiness around strangers, a reaction, again, that Wanda traced back to Ted’s childhood hospitalization.”[94]

Apart from the few cases in which I showed fear of doctors or nurses, the Baby Book reports two, and only two, cases in which I was frightened by strangers, and both of these cases occurred before my “hospital experience.”

ELEVENTH WEEK. Dates, from July 31 to Aug 7 [1942]

“Twice this week the baby was on the verge of crying when approached by unfamiliar persons. After a bit of handling and talking to by the strangers he became very friendly, cooing and smiling in response to their overtures.”[95]

How did I react to strangers (apart from doctors and nurses) after the “hospital experience?” Only two pages in the Baby Book provide relevant information. The one–year inventory of the child’s development instructs the parent:

Underline each of the following terms which seems descriptive of the child’s behavior. Doubly underline those which are shown very frequently or in a marked degree ... .”

The Baby Book then lists thirteen terms. One of them is “shyness,” and my mother underlined it once. (The other terms are “curiosity,” which my mother underlined doubly; “excitability,” “impulsiveness,” “cautiousness,” “jealousy,” “stubbornness,” “cheerfulness”, “sensitiveness,” “boisterousness,” all of which my mother underlined once; and “irritability,” “listlessness,” “placidity,” which my mother did not underline at all.[96] The same terms were listed in the nine–month inventory, and there my mother underlined “curiosity” doubly, she underlined “excitability,” “impulsiveness,” “stubbornness,” and “boisterousness” once, and she underlined none of the others.[97])

Further along in the one–year inventory we find:

Does child show greater interest in children or in adults? Describe. Either definitely likes or dislikes adults. Loves to tussle with other children. Is he usually shy or friendly with strange women? either men? either children? friendly Does he show any special preferences for certain persons? Yes Describe For unaccountable reasons will either be very friendly or unfriendly to strangers. But almost always friendly to people he knows.” [98]

About seven weeks after the “hospital experience” and three weeks before the one–year inventory, we find in the Baby Book:

FORTY–NINTH WEEK. Dates, from 4/23 to 4/30 [1943].

“When the door buzzer rings Teddy, when in his walker, immediately skoots [sic] to the door, no matter what he’s occupied with at the time. When not in the walker he insists on being carried or assisted in going himself.”[99]

Since I was so anxious to meet visitors, it’s clear that I had no particular fear of strangers and was not excessively shy. The statement that I had “an almost paralyzing fear of strangers” going back to my “childhood hospitalization” is another lie.

Did my hospitalization at the age of nine months have any lasting effect on my personality or behavior? I do not know the answer to that question. But it is obvious that if the experience tended to make me permanently fearful of doctors or of strangers, or if it made me less social, then the effect was so mild that it is not clear whether there was any effect at all.

Psychologists consulted by my defense team searched the literature for reports of empirical studies of children who had suffered separation from their parents at an early age. They found only one study [100] that was closely relevant to my case. This study shows that my reaction to hospitalization and my recovery from it were quite normal for an infant hospitalized under those conditions. While the study found that all “overt” effects of hospitalization in such infants disappeared within 80 days, at most, and usually in a fraction of that time, the infants were not observed for a long enough period to determine whether there were any subtler, long–lasting effects.

Thus it remains an open question whether my hospitalization had any permanent effect on my personality. The aim of this chapter has not been to prove that there could not have been such an effect, but that whatever that effect may have been, it was not what my mother and brother have described.

My mother’s and brother’s motives for lying about me will be dealt with later. (See Appendix I for further evidence of my mother’s untruthfulness.)

* * *

The passage from the Baby Book that describes my “hospital experience” provides an example of the way the media lie. In an article in the Washington Post, journalists Serge F. Kovaleski and Lorraine Adams quoted the Baby Book as follows:

“Feb. 27. 1943. Mother went to visit baby. ... Mother felt very sad about baby. She says he is quite subdued, has lost his verve and aggressiveness and has developed an institutionalized look.

“March 12, 1943. Baby home from hospital and is healthy but quite unresponsive after his experience. Hope his sudden removal to hospital and consequent unhappiness will not harm him.”[101]

Compare this with the accurate transcription of the passage given a few pages back. Kovaleski and Adams have made important changes. On February 27 I was still at home. I was not hospitalized until March 1, and the entry that Kovaleski and Adams dated “Feb. 27” actually refers to March 3. Kovaleski and Adams assign the date March 12 to an entry that was obviously written earlier, and they completely omit the entry that shows that on or before March 12 I had already recovered completely from “that hospital experience”.

Kovaleski and Adams altered not only the dates but also the wording of the passage. The most important change was that, where the Baby Book states that I was “quiet and unresponsive,” Kovaleski and Adams wrote that I was “quite unresponsive.”[102]

The effect of these obviously intentional changes is to give the impression that the “hospital experience” and its consequences were much more long–lasting and severe than they really were.

2. My early years

My mother, my brother, and the media have portrayed me as socially isolated to an abnormal degree from earliest childhood. For example, shortly after my arrest, Time reported: “Investigators were told that in childhood Ted seemed to avoid human contact.”[103]

According to Betsy Anderson’s interview with my mother,

“As he grew older (age 2–4) Wanda spent a great deal of time attempting to get Ted to play with other kids, mostly without success. Friends and relatives always told her Ted was too clingy, so she attempted to encourage his interaction with other children. She would invite children from the neighborhood over to play, only to have Ted leave the group and go to his room to play alone. She said he always managed to have one friend at a time, but would rebuff the attempts of friendship from all other children. Wanda also took Ted to a play school for children for an hour or so each week so that he could play with other kids. Ted didn’t mind going, but would play alongside the other children instead of with them. Ted would get angry if another child tried to join or interfered with what he was doing. Ted went to preschool and kindergarten, and seemed to enjoy it. The teachers did not complain about his behavior, but did mention Ted always wanted to work on projects alone, and did not interact with other children.”[104]

The Washington Post told a similar tale on the basis of an interview with my mother.[105]

Here again the documentary evidence shows that my mother is lying. I will not try the reader’s patience by addressing all of her false statements, but will stick to the essential point, that my interaction with other children was normal until, at about the age of 11, I began to have serious social problems for reasons that will be made clear later.

According to the pediatricians who examined me:

“April 4, 1945 ... Plays well with other children. …”

“May 18, 1950 ... Healthy boy. Well adjusted. …”

“May 8, 1951 ... Plays well with children in school and neighborhood. Very happy.”[106]

The doctors could have obtained this information about my social adjustment only from my mother. It was always she, and not my father, who took me to my examinations at the University of Chicago clinics.

Thus, statements of my mother’s that were recorded during my childhood clearly contradict her recent statements concerning my early social development. If she wasn’t lying then, she is lying now. Either way, the record shows her to be a liar.

What then is the truth concerning my social adjustment in early childhood? My mother’s reports to doctors carry little weight because, as we will show later, she often did lie in order to present a favorable picture of me to persons outside the immediate family. But since the Baby Book was private there is no particular reason to doubt the statements she made there that show that I was not socially withdrawn.

It’s true that at one point in the Baby Book my mother indicated I was somewhat shy,[107] as noted in Chapter 1, and I myself have a vague memory of being a little shy up to the age of five or so. Furthermore, I wrote in my 1959 autobiography:

“As far as I can remember, I have always been socially reserved, and used to be rather unpleasantly conscious of the fact. For example, I remember that when I was very little, 3 or 4 years old, I was very concerned over the fact that when my mother bought me an ice cream cone, I was always afraid to take it directly from the lady’s hand; my mother had to take it from her and give it to me. Eventually I overcame this. …

“I learned to whistle and to swim later than most of my companions, and I never did learn to skate. And it often bothered me that I was less socially active than the rest of the boys, which I think was partly due to shyness and partly due to a certain lack of interest in some of their activities. I’ve always kept to myself a lot.”[108]

The second paragraph of this passage evidently applies not to my earliest years but to a much later period when I did indeed have social problems. As a result of these problems I began to take a perverse pride in being unsocial, and this is probably what led me to imply (as I did in the first paragraph above) that I was “socially reserved” even in my earliest years.

But even if that first paragraph is taken at face value, there is plenty of evidence to show that my social interaction with other children was easily within the normal range until my real problems began in early adolescence. As we saw in Chapter 1, my mother indicated in the Baby Book that at the age of one year I was consistently friendly to other children:

Is he usually shy or friendly with strange women? either men? either children? friendly ... .” [109]

From age one to three I developed a close friendship with Adam Krokos, a boy about eight months older than I was.{24} The attachment left a long–lasting impression on both of us. He was the son of the couple who occupied the first floor of the house of which my parents and I had the second story; when we moved to another house I was separated from him.[110]

In the new house we again occupied the second story, and with the little girl downstairs, Barbara Podejma, I formed another strong attachment,[111] though it was not as strong as my attachment to Adam.{25} During this same period (age 3 to 4) I had at least one other frequent playmate, whose name, if I remember correctly, was Jackie.[112]{26}

Shortly before my fifth birthday we moved to a house on Carpenter Street (the first house that my parents owned),[113] and from that time until I entered Harvard I always had several friends. My friends on Carpenter Street included Johnny Krolak, Bobby Thomas, Freddy Dorfert, Jimmy Burke, Larry Landers, and Mary Kay Foley.[114]{27} As long as we lived on Carpenter Street, I attended Sherman School, a unit of the Chicago public–school system. All of my friends on Carpenter Street either attended the Catholic school or were a year older than I was, so that they were in a different grade. Consequently my school friends were not the same as those with whom I played near home. My school friends included Frank Howell, Terry La Chance, Rosario (an Italian kid whose last name I do not remember) and Peter Malotte.[115]{28}

I not only had friends but, on a few occasions, exercised leadership. For example, I once came up with the idea of putting on a “carnival,” as we called it. I persuaded Johnny Krolak and Bobby Thomas to help me arrange games and simple entertainments, and after advertising the event by word of mouth for several days we made up tickets by hand, sold them to neighborhood kids, and made a modest profit.[116]

Thus there is no truth in my mother’s portrayal of me as abnormally solitary from early childhood. There was no need for her to “invite children from the neighborhood over to play,”[117] nor did she ever do so during these years as far as I can remember.

The first indication of any significant social difficulties on my part came when I was perhaps eight or nine years old,[118] and it very likely resulted from the fact that our family was different from its neighbors. My father worked with his hands all his life; my mother, apart from teaching high school English for two years during her fifties, never did anything more demanding than lower–level secretarial work; and our family always lived among working–class and lower–middle class people. Yet my parents always regarded themselves as a cut above their neighbors. They had intellectual pretensions, and though their own intellectual attainments were extremely modest, to say the least, they—especially my mother—looked down on their neighbors as “ignorant.” (But they were usually careful not to reveal their snobbish attitudes outside the family.) [119]

Our block of Carpenter Street was part of a working–class neighborhood that was just one step above the slums. As my playmates grew older, some of them began engaging in behavior that approached or crossed the line dividing acceptable childhood mischief from delinquency.[120] For example, two of them got into trouble for trying to set fire to someone’s garage.[121] I had been trained to a much more exacting standard of behavior and wouldn’t participate in the other kids’ mischief.[122] Once, for instance, I was with a bunch of neighborhood kids who waited in ambush for an old rag–picker, pelted him with garbage when he came past, and then ran away. I stood back in the rear and refused to participate, and immediately afterward I went home and told my mother what had happened, because I was shocked at such disrespect being shown to an adult—even if he was only a rag–picker.[123]

So it may be that the reason why I ceased to be fully accepted by my Carpenter–Street playmates at around the age of eight or nine was that they saw me as too much of a “good boy.” In any case they did seem to lose interest in my companionship—I was no longer one of the bunch.[124] I continued to get along well with the kids in school.[125] Unlike the kids on my block they showed no tendency to serious mischief, either because they were better–behaved kids or because the supervised environment of school left few opportunities for misbehavior.

My parents noticed the fact that I was becoming isolated from my Carpenter–Street friends, and they repeatedly expressed to me their concern that there might be something wrong with me because I was not social enough.[126] To me it was acutely humiliating to be pushed out to the fringe by these kids with whom I had formerly associated on an equal basis, and I was too ashamed to tell my parents what was really happening, or even to admit it to myself until many years later. My mother invented an explanation for my isolation that was consistent with her intellectual pretensions: I wasn’t playing with the other kids because I was so much smarter than they were that they bored me. This was absurd. I was bored with the other kids when (as often happened) they moped around aimlessly rather than pursuing some activity, but there can be no doubt that I wanted to continue playing with them and was deeply hurt by the fact that I was no longer fully accepted. Yet, because my mother’s explanation soothed my vanity, I half–believed it myself. In a very brief (one and a quarter–page) autobiographical sketch that I wrote at the age of fifteen, I said:

“Beginning in the second or third grade I began to become somewhat unsocial, keeping to myself and seeking the companionship of my comrades less often. This was probably due, in part, to the level of education and culture in my old neighborhood, where no one was interested in science, art, or books.”[127]

Actually, I wasn’t so terribly interested in science, art, or books myself. The autobiographical sketch was part of an application for admission to Harvard and therefore was written under the close supervision of my mother. Rereading it now I feel almost certain that the first paragraph of it was actually composed by her. That paragraph is written in a kind of language that I rarely use now and that I can hardly imagine myself having used at the age of fifteen; but it’s just the sort of thing that my mother would write.[128]

I’m quite sure that my partial isolation from the Carpenter–Street kids did not begin before I was eight, at the earliest, and that I had no serious problems with the kids in school at the time. Yet the sketch refers to “the second or third grade,” which would make me seven or eight years old. Possibly my mother’s hand is seen here too.

Notwithstanding all of the foregoing, I think my parents had an inkling of the fact that the bad behavior of the other kids had something to do with my isolation. Not long after my tenth birthday we moved to Evergreen Park, a suburb of Chicago, and my mother told me many years later that she and my father had decided to move mainly so that I “would have some decent kids to play with.” Though my mother is hardly a reliable source of information, her statement is probably true in part; yet it’s likely that there were also other reasons for the move. Not far from where we lived, a case of “block–busting”[129] gave rise to some very serious race–riots that were essentially territorial conflicts between the black and the white working class. All white householders in the area were put under pressure to place in their windows a small sign saying, “This property is not for sale,” which was intended as a show of white solidarity against black “intrusion.” My parents had very liberal attitudes about race and felt that it was against their principles to put up such a sign. But they received a threat, and, fearing that I might be attacked on my way to school, they gave in and placed the sign.[130] This was extremely upsetting to them and it must have contributed to their decision to move out to the suburbs.

* * *

Meanwhile, when I was a bit less than seven–and–a–half years old, I had acquired a baby brother. My brother David for many years has argued that I unconsciously hate him because the attention that my parents devoted to him on his arrival made me feel deprived of their affection.[131]

The New York Times quoted my aunt Josephine Manney, née Kaczynski, as follows:

“‘Before David was born, Teddy was different,’ the aunt said. ‘When they’d visit he’d snuggle up to me. Then, when David was born, something must have happened. He changed immediately. Maybe we paid too much attention to the new baby.’”[132]

Little did my aunt Josephine know the real reason why I stopped snuggling up to her! I’ll explain in a moment. But first let me make it clear that I’d never heard anything of this sort from Josephine before I read the New York Times article, and it’s evident that my brother never heard it either, since, in our discussions of his theory about my reaction to his birth, he never mentioned any such statement on the part of our aunt; nor did he ever cite any other rational evidence in support of his theory. The theory, apparently, grew entirely out of his own imagination.

As to the real reason why I stopped snuggling up to my aunt: Josephine was a good–looking woman; though she was over forty at the time of my brother’s birth, she’d kept herself in shape and was still attractive. I don’t know whether it was normal or precocious, but by the age of about seven I already had a fairly strong interest in the female body.[133] Not long after my brother’s birth, my family and I visited the apartment where Josephine lived with her mother (my paternal grandmother). My aunt and I were sitting on a couch, and, attracted by her breasts, I slid over against her, put my arm over her shoulder, and said, “Let’s play girlfriend.” Josephine laughed and put her arm around me, and I had the decided satisfaction of feeling her breast against my body. My aunt just thought it was cute, but my mother was sharp enough to see what was really going on. After a short interval she said, “I think I’ll go to the store and get some ice cream” (or maybe it was candy or something else), and she invited me to come with her. I declined, but she insisted that I should come. As soon as she got me out of the house she gave me a tongue–lashing and a lecture on appropriate behavior with ladies. It will not surprise the reader that, from then on, I kept my distance from Josephine.

To return to my brother’s theory that I resented his arrival in the family: He first indicated his suspicion that I unconsciously hated him in a letter to me written some time during the summer of 1982. That letter has not been preserved, but there is a reference to it in a letter that I sent to my brother in 1986. I wrote: “I recall that a few years ago you said you had feared that I had (as you put it) a hatred for you so great that even I was unable to acknowledge it.”[134]

In a letter that he wrote to me in 1986, my brother expounded his theory as follows:

“You should have hated me, in that as a new baby in the family, the new locus of affection, I should have awakened your fears of abandonment.[My brother is referring here to the alleged” fear of abandonment” that I was supposed to have as a result of “that hospital experience.” ] The parents tell me that just the opposite was true, that you were extremely affectionate toward me and that you didn’t show any jealousy whatsoever. I have thought of a way to fit this in, by recourse to the Freudian theory of ‘Denial.’ When you saw the murdered babies in the Nazi camp, it might have awakened your horror as a secret wish fulfillment in respect to me.[My brother is referring here to a dream that I once had about him, concerning which I will have more to say shortly.] When you vowed to protect me at the expense of your own life, perhaps the one you vowed to protect me from was yourself, I have no idea how much or little truth there may be in this interpretation.”[135]

The disclaimer in the last sentence is perhaps disingenuous, as my brother has clung to the theory persistently over the years. According to the New York Times, “David said his mother told him that she gradually encouraged Ted to hold him and that ‘from that time forward, he showed a great deal of gentleness toward me.’”[136] The implication, that I had resented him at first, is contradicted by my brother’s own statement, quoted above, that “[t]he parents tell me that ... you were extremely affectionate toward me and that you didn’t show any jealousy whatsoever.” It is also contradicted by a statement of my mother’s: “Ted seemed to easily accept having a brother in the house, and liked to hold David when he was a baby.” [137]

As I remember it, prior to my brother’s birth my parents told me repeatedly that the new baby, when it came, would require a great deal of care and attention, and that I must not feel that my parents loved me any less because they were devoting so much time to the baby. When David was born I wondered why my parents had put so much emphasis on this point, because I by no means felt left out or deprived of attention. As I wrote in my 1979 autobiography:

“My brother David was born when I was 7½. I considered this a pleasant event. I was interested in the baby and enjoyed being allowed to hold it. …

“One reads much about ‘sibling rivalry’—the older child supposedly resents the new baby because he feels it has robbed him of his parents’ affection. I do not recall ever having had any such feeling about my baby brother. ... I think my parents were aware of the problem of ‘sibling rivalry’ and made a conscious effort to avoid this problem when the new baby came .”[138]

In those years my parents and I got all our medical care at the University of Chicago teaching hospitals, which were among the finest in America, and the doctors no doubt had talked to my parents about the way to handle my relationship with my new brother.

Why then does my brother think that I have an intense, unconscious hatred for him? People often attribute their own motives and impulses (including unconscious ones) to other people. Further on in this book we will show that my brother has a hatred for me that he has not acknowledged—probably not even to himself. At the same time he has a strong affection for me, and it appears that he has never faced up to the profound conflict between his love and his hatred. My brother habitually retreats from conflicts rather than struggling with them.

My feelings toward my brother in his infancy are well illustrated by a dream that I described to him in a letter that I sent him during the summer of 1982. After making some highly critical comments about his character, I wrote:

“I am going to open to you the window to my soul as I would not open it to anyone else, by telling you two dreams that I’ve had about you. The first dream is simple. It is one I had more than thirty years ago, when I was maybe 7 or 8 years old and you were still a baby in your crib. Some time before, I had seen pictures of starving children in Europe taken shortly after world war II—they were emaciated, with arms like sticks, ribs protruding, and guts hanging out. Well, I dreamed that there was a war in America and I saw you as one of these children, emaciated and starving. It affected me strongly and when I woke up I made up my mind that if there was ever a war in America I would do everything I possibly could to protect you. This illustrates the semi–maternal tenderness that I’ve often felt for you.”[139]

In reply to the foregoing letter my brother wrote to me expressing his gratitude for the affection I had expressed, and for the fact that I “cared for [him] more than anyone else ever had.” He then added the remark mentioned earlier—that until then he had feared that I had a hatred for him so great that I could not acknowledge it.[140]

I referred to this letter of my brother’s in a note that I wrote him in September, 1982:

“I received your last letter and note that it shows your usual generosity of character. Instead of being sore over the negative parts of my attitude toward you, you were favorably impressed by the positive parts.”[141]

My brother does have a good deal of generosity in his character, but I now think that the nature of his reaction to my letter was less a result of generosity than of his tendency to retreat from conflict.

* * *

Not long after my brother’s birth my mother’s personality began to change. The cause may have been post–partum depression, a hormonal imbalance brought about by her pregnancy, or something else, but, whatever the reason, she began to grow increasingly irritable.[142] The symptoms were relatively mild at first, but they worsened over the next several years so that, by the time I reached my teens, she was having frequent outbursts of rage that express themselves as unrestrained verbal aggression, sometimes accompanied by minor physical aggression [143] (though never enough of the latter to do any physical harm).

The change in my mother’s personality affected my father and brought about a gradual deterioration of the family atmosphere. I described this in a 1986 letter to my brother:

“You don’t realize that the atmosphere in our home was quite different during the first few years of my life than it was later. You know how it was during my teens—people always squabbling, mother crabby and irritable, Dad morosely passive. Too much ice cream, candy, and treats, parents fat and self–indulgent. A generally low–morale atmosphere. But it was very different up to the time when I was, say, 8 or 9 years old. Until then, the home atmosphere was cheerful, there was hardly any quarrelling, and there was a generally high–morale atmosphere. Ice cream and candy were relatively infrequent treats and were consumed in moderation ... . Our parents were more alive and energetic. When punishment was necessary it was given with little or no anger and was used as a more–or–less rational means of training; whereas during my teens, when I was punished it was commonly an expression of anger or irritation on the part of our parents. Consequently this punishment was humiliating. The more–or–less rational punishment of the early years was not humiliating.”[144]

3. My adolescence; family dysfunction; verbal abuse

About June, 1952, my family and I moved to the suburb of Evergreen Park.[145] If my parents made the move in order to provide me with “some decent kids to play with,” they did not choose the location well. The only kid in my age group on our block was Byron Oswald, who was about a year younger than I was.{29} He was a frequent playmate of mine for one or two years after we came to Evergreen Park, but he was a rather obnoxious character and we didn’t get along well. We had several fights, all of which I won. A few years later, after the Oswalds had moved away, my mother told me she’d heard that Byron Oswald had gotten into trouble with the police, but, in view of my mother’s unreliability, I don’t know whether this is true.{30}

Shortly after we arrived in Evergreen Park, my parents, in order to encourage me to be socially active, made me enroll in a summer program of organized recreation that was conducted at Evergreen Park Central School. I didn’t like it, and soon stopped attending. At some later time my father forced me to enroll briefly in the Boy Scouts, and I didn’t like that any better. I wrote in my 1979 autobiography, “As a kid I usually didn’t like activities that were organized and supervised by adults, other than my parents.”[146] Apparently this is typical for mathematically gifted kids. According to a book on the psychology of adolescence, “An interesting characteristic of mathematically gifted adolescents was their independence with regard to how they spent their out–of–class time. ‘Though they played some individual sports and some musical instruments, they completely resisted any regimented activity in the way of planned recreation.’”[147]

In September, 1952, I entered the fifth grade at Evergreen Park Central School. At Sherman School we had spent the whole school day in one classroom and with one teacher, but at Evergreen Park Central, the students shifted from one classroom to another to be taught different subjects. Because of this new system and the unfamiliar people I felt very insecure at first, but after a few weeks I adjusted comfortably.[148]

I made some friends at school, including Dale Johnson, Bob Carlson, Barbara Brabanac, Dale Eickelman, and Larry Schaeffer.{31} Larry Schaeffer was the best of these. The friendships with Dale Johnson and Bob Carlson didn’t last; the former turned out to be decidedly peculiar, and the latter was a boy with little self–control who once tried (unsuccessfully) to get me to participate in stealing. Dale Eickelman had a few peculiarities of his own, and I can’t say that I ever really liked him, but I continued to associate with him throughout my grade–school and high–school years. My friendship with Barbara Brabanac had nothing to do with sex. Her family moved away before we completed fifth grade, and thereafter I corresponded with her for a short time.[149]

Also in fifth grade, I carried on an intense flirtation with a beautiful female classmate named Darlene Curley.{32} Because she teased me and provoked me, I loved her and hated her at the same time. She gradually began to conquer me, however, and love undoubtedly would have won out in the end if circumstances hadn’t separated us. What happened was that upon completing fifth grade I was placed directly in seventh, and after that I rarely saw Darlene.[150]

Skipping a grade was a disaster for me. It came about as follows. While I was in fifth grade the school guidance counselor, Miss Vera Frye, gave some of us a battery of tests including a Stanford–Binet IQ test. On the latter, I scored very high,[151] 167. The Washington Post quoted my mother as follows:

“A school psychologist [Miss Frye] gave Ted a Stanford–Binet IQ test ... . But his mother took more comfort in the results of a personality test, which showed him to be well–adjusted.

“‘For a while [Wanda said] all my uneasiness about these residual effects from his early childhood were laid to rest because this psychologist said, “Oh, he is fine,”... . In fact, she said he had a strong sense of security, which surprised me ... . She said he could be whatever he wanted to be. ... He was the cat’s whiskers.’ …

“[The family] now believe that perhaps Ted was smart enough to figure out the most appropriate answers to the test and outwit it.”[152]

Psychological tests include devices to detect cheating, and it is hardly likely that a ten–year–old (however bright) with no knowledge of psychological testing would be able to outwit such a test.

In any case, Miss Frye telephoned my parents, informed them of my high IQ score, and (according to my mother’s account) went so far as to tell them that I had the potential to be “another Einstein.”[153] This was foolish, because there is a lot more to being an Einstein than scoring high on an IQ test. It’s possible that Miss Frye may have been laying it on thick because she had previously encountered parents who had shrugged their shoulders at information about their children’s IQ scores and she was therefore trying to impress my parents with the importance of what she had to say. If she had known something about my mother, she would have been much more cautious.

My mother came from a very poor background—poor not only financially but in every other respect.[154] Her position at the bottom of the social scale had been very painful to her, and she saw academic achievement, much more than financial success, as the avenue to the social status that she craved. She had neither the intelligence nor the self–discipline to achieve anything herself, however, so she sought to fulfill her ambitions through her children.[155] During my early years her expectations were reasonable and she put only very moderate pressure on me to perform well in school, but from the time of Miss Frye’s phone call, she was filled with grandiose fantasies of what I was supposed to achieve.

Even at that time I felt that my mother’s reaction to Miss Frye’s call was childish. Her excessive exhibitions of pleasure seemed ridiculous, and she immediately telephoned some of our relatives in order to brag to them. She told me a great deal that Miss Frye had asked her to keep secret from me. She admonished me not to reveal these things to anyone, because “Miss Frye says we’re not supposed to tell you; but we feel that we can treat you as an adult.” It was from this time that I gradually began to lose respect for my parents.[156]

It was essentially Miss Frye who decided that I should skip a grade. She had the consent of the school authorities and the enthusiastic support of my mother, but they relied on her judgment as the supposed expert. Why did she make that decision? My mother told me at the time that it was because the tests showed that my greatest ability lay in the area of mathematics and physics, and (supposedly) mathematicians and physicists burned out young. Hence they were to be educated rapidly so that maximum use could be made of their ability while it lasted.

Many years afterward, in a discussion with my mother, I bitterly criticized the decision to put me in seventh grade. At that time she tried to justify the decision by claiming that Miss Frye had said I was drawing “violent” pictures during my free time in school, and that pushing me a year ahead was somehow supposed to cure me of this.[157] The proposition that academic acceleration will cure anyone of violent fantasies seems dubious, to say the least. Anyway, I replied to my mother that drawing war pictures and the like was commonplace among boys of that age at that time and place, but she insisted that no, my drawings were different.[158] I brought the subject up again in 1991 in a letter to my mother: “You claim that Miss Frye said I was drawing pictures of violence during my spare moments in school. ... I’m not aware that I drew violent pictures any more often than the other boys. Miss Frye may have thought I did, but I certainly wouldn’t trust her judgment ... .”[159] My mother now changed her story. She wrote: “[Y]our memory of Frye is faulty. She considered your drawings quite normal. Just drawings of battle scene strategy.”[160] This is a typical example of the way my mother plays fast and loose with the truth in order to suit her purposes of the moment.

Was I drawing abnormally violent pictures at the age of ten? All I can say is that I do not remember making any drawings that would be considered unusual for a ten–year–old boy.[161] And my mother’s statement quoted above, that Miss Frye considered me “well–adjusted,” weighs against the abnormal–drawing story (assuming, of course, that my mother’s statement is true, which may not be the case).

* * *

It was from the time I skipped a grade that I began to have serious problems with social adjustment. I was not accepted by the seventh–graders with whom I was put. I quickly slid down to near the bottom of the pecking–order, and I stayed there until I graduated from high school. I was often subjected to insults or other indignities by the dominant boys.[162] My attempts to make advances to girls had such humiliating results that for many years afterward, even until after the age of thirty, I found it excruciatingly difficult—almost impossible—to make advances to women.[163]

Investigators working for my defense team obtained the following information from Michael Johnson, an administrator at Evergreen Park Community High School.

“Johnson ... flatly declared that the experiment of skipping kids ahead grades was a huge failure. The experiment was a notable failure during the era that Ted Kaczynski was promoted. Johnson added that the experiment was most especially a disaster with boys and indicated that he could document the fact that many of the boys who had been skipped ahead during Ted’s era ended up as outcasts. ... Less–bright kids become resentful of those boys who are advanced ahead, causing the smart and accelerated kids to be even more acutely ostracized from their peer groups. More important, Johnson added, girls do not go out with boys who are younger. Thus, these boys have been set up for failure, and fail they do. The act of pushing youngsters ahead is almost never done anymore as a result of these past experiments. In fact, the state of Illinois now requires kids to be older before they can be promoted ahead a year.”[164]

I was not the only kid who was rejected for being smart. There were several other boys who had a reputation for being academically–oriented and as a result were harassed or treated with contempt by the “tough” kids.[165] But in my case the problems were compounded by the fact that, during the same period, I was being subjected to psychological abuse by both my parents.[166]

I’ve already described the change in my mother’s personality that began not long after my brother’s birth. By the time I was in my teens, she was having frequent outbursts of rage during which her face would become contorted and she would wave her clenched fists while unleashing a stream of unrestrained verbal abuse.[167] Even when she wasn’t having one of her outbursts, she was often very irritable and would scold or make vicious remarks at the slightest provocation.

The change in my mother affected my father. He became morose and pessimistic, and when family squabbles arose, he tended to sit in his easy chair and retreat behind a newspaper or book, ignoring the sordid turmoil around him.[168] Sometimes, however, his patience became exhausted and he would have angry arguments with my mother or with me.

But my father’s moroseness was not exclusively an outcome of the family situation. I believe that he had deep–lying negative feelings about himself, about people, and about life in general. When he was in his mid–sixties and more ready to express his feelings than he’d been when he was younger, he took a car–camping trip by himself. On returning he said, “I can’t be alone, because I don’t like myself.” He tended to see other people as dirty or sick. For example, when I visited my parents in 1978, my father described his employer, Win Pettingell, to me as a pathologically compulsive talker.{33} Later I got to know Win Pettingell myself, and I found that he was rather talkative, but by no means abnormally so. My father also used to speak of some of our relatives and other people in terms that exaggerated their failings and portrayed them as sick or repellent.

Throughout my teens I was the target of frequent verbal aggression (often unprovoked) from both my parents, especially my mother.[169] The insults that cut me deepest were the imputations of mental illness or gross immaturity.[170] I think it was my father who started these when I was about twelve years old. The rejection I experienced from my peers at school, in combination with the deteriorating family atmosphere, made me often sullen and cranky,[171] and my father, characteristically, interpreted this in terms of psychopathology. He began calling me “sick” whenever he was annoyed with me. My mother imitated him in this respect, and from then on until I was about 21 years old, both my parents would apply to me such epithets as “sick”, “immature”, “emotionally disturbed,” “creep,” “mind of a two–year–old,” or “another Walter Teszewski.”[172]{34} (Walter Teszewski was a man we knew who ended up in a mental institution.) It was always in an outburst of anger that my mother called me these things, but my father sometimes did so in a tone of cold contempt that cut worse than my mother’s angry shouting.[173] Neither of my parents ever suggested that I should be examined by a psychologist or psychiatrist.[174] My mother never actually thought that there was anything wrong with me mentally, and I doubt that my father saw me as any sicker than he saw many other people.[175] In saying cruel things to me my parents were only using me as a butt on which to take out their own frustrations.[176]

Though the imputations of mental illness were what hurt me most, they comprised only a small part of the constant verbal bullying to which I was subjected day in and day out. My mother was continually shouting, scolding, insulting, and blaming me for everything that went wrong, regardless of whether I could have been responsible for it. During the summer before I entered Harvard, she made an appointment for me to see a professional photographer for a picture that the university wanted for its records. When the day of the appointment arrived, as it happened, I had a pimple on the end of my nose. My mother angrily scolded me for it. “Look at you! Now you’ve got a pimple on your nose! You’re going to look terrible in your Harvard photo! …” And on and on, as if it were my fault that I had a pimple.

In another case my mother drove me and some other members of the high–school band to a music lesson. On the way back, the other boys, who were older than I was, talked a good deal about cars and driving. It made me feel small, since I was still too young to drive. After she dropped the other boys off, my mother began scolding me angrily: “Why don’t you get a driver’s license like the other kids so I won’t have to be driving you all over the place all the time?” I quietly pointed out that I was only fifteen years old and couldn’t get a license until I was sixteen. Instead of acknowledging that she was wrong and apologizing, my mother answered in an angry tone, “Well then, get a license as soon as you are sixteen! ... [etc.]”

Once when I made a negative remark about someone’s competence, my father answered in a cold and sneering tone, “You’ll never be half as competent as he is.” My father did not typically lose his temper openly. Yet he sometimes did so; in a few cases, he shouted at me, “I’ll smash your face!” I didn’t believe he would really smash my face, but still it was frightening to hear him say that.

These are only a few examples of the kinds of things that went on constantly.

Physical abuse was minimal, but there was a little of it. A couple of times my father threw me on the floor in the course of family squabbles. My mother occasionally would flail at me with her fists, but by that time I was old enough (and my mother was weak enough) so that she didn’t hurt me.

Contrary to what my mother and brother have told the media, up to the age of seventeen or so I was not socially isolated. Throughout my grade–school and high–school years I had several friends at all times.[177] Though I was not accepted by most of the seventh–graders with whom I was put when I skipped a grade, I continued to associate with some of the friends and acquaintances I’d made in fifth grade. For example, Larry Schaeffer was a patrol–boy, and I used to stand on his corner with him during the lunch hour; and I continued to associate with Dale Eickelman [178] until I finished high school. Moreover, I soon began to make friends among the boys in my own grade; [179] but most of these friends had low status among the other boys,[180] and some of them, like me, had a reputation as “brains” and for that reason were subjected to insults and indignities. On the other hand, one of my best friends had below–average intelligence.[181] Apart from those already mentioned, a list of my friends from seventh grade through high school would include Bob Pettis,[182] Tom Knudson,[183] Jerry Ulrich,[184] and George Duba[185].{35} I hung around with Russell Mosny[186] quite a bit, but I never liked him much. We tended to be thrown together because we were in many of the same classes and were both “brains” who were treated with contempt by the “tough” kids. Both Mosny and George Duba seemed to become cool toward me during my last year or so of high school,[187] but at the same time I became closer to Bob Pettis and Tom Knudson, and I made a new friend, Terry Lundgren.[188]{36}

Having these friends, however, by no means compensated me for the pain of the humiliatingly low status I had in school. I skipped my junior year in high school,[189] and after that I was with kids who were two years older than I was. Most of these kids didn’t insult me, but they treated me with condescension,[190] which was perhaps worse, and, with the exception of Terry Lundgren, none of them had any interest in making friends with me.

Even though I had friends, I spent a good deal of time alone. By the time I was in high school, Byron Oswald had moved away and four other boys in my age–group had moved into our block. One of these was simply a jerk. The other three, the Tripton boys, were jocks and belonged to the “set” in school by which I was intimidated; and moreover I had little in common with them.{37} With the exception of Bob Pettis, all of my friends lived far enough away so that visiting was inconvenient, and consequently we went to each other’s homes only occasionally. Our activities tended to consist of aimless time–killing. We rarely engaged in athletics apart from occasional games of catch, we never undertook any significant joint projects, we never attended any social functions together. As I’ve already noted, most of my friends had low status, and, while I was in school with them, none was very active socially and none had girlfriends. If they ever dated, they never mentioned it to me.

The only serious activity I had was trombone–playing; my music lessons brought me into contact with one of the very few adults I knew at the time whom I really respected, my teacher, Jaroslav Cimera. Two of my friends, Tom Knudson and Jerry Ulrich, also played the trombone, and I often played duets with one or the other of them.

Still, until I went to Harvard, my adolescence tended to be an alternation among different kinds of boredom: A boring day in school, a boring visit with a friend, a few boring hours piddling around in my attic room, another boring day in school. This doesn’t mean that I never had fun with my friends or alone, but that boredom was a nagging problem for me.[191]

* * *

Now let’s look at the way my brother and mother have portrayed me and our family life during this period. First, the entries in my medical records that are evidently based on my mother’s statements to the doctors [192]:

“April 24, 1952 ... Appetite, activity and general adjustment are all quite good.”

“April 17, 1953 ... He eats well, plays actively, presents no behavior problems.”

“April 27, 1954 ... Now in 7th Grade and does well. Does well socially.”

“April 14, 1955 ... Eighth grade. Good grades. Active in some sports. No further [?] problem except for some adolescent [illegible]”

“April 20, 1956 ... He does very well at school—not too much of a socializer, but is known as a ‘brain.’ Gets along well with others when he tries—seems popular but a little aloof.”

“June [?], 1957 ... Accelerated in high school and will finish next spring by going to summer school. Has his eye on Harvard and [illegible] in physics and math.

“Health has been good but mother is concerned lest program be too strenuous for him. Appetite good. Not very much physical activity. No great interest in girls as yet.”

“April 21, 1958 ... Ted has been well during the past year. No problems. Is doing very well at school ... .”

The reason why my mother gave the doctors a rosy picture of my adjustment (with barely a hint of social difficulties in the April 20, 1956 entry) is that she has always been extremely concerned with respectability [193] and with presenting to the world an attractive picture of our family, and to this end she does not hesitate to lie.

In response to a request from Harvard, during the summer before I entered college she wrote a long (two single–spaced pages) letter in which she described my personality. In it she gives a fairy–tale portrait of me as a budding intellectual. For example, she speaks of my “serious goals” and “ivory–towerish intellectuality,” when in reality I didn’t have any clear goals at all and had little respect for intellectualism. In fairness to my mother, I should mention that in this letter she probably was not lying calculatedly. She talked herself into believing all that crap before she wrote it down and sent it to Harvard. Her capacity for self–deception is remarkable. What is significant for us here, though, is the way she described my psychological and social adjustment:

“Ted is strong, stable, and has an excellent capacity for self–discipline. However, I feel that he may be lonlier [sic] than most boys the first few months away from home.

“... Ted does not respond quickly to friendly overtures. He is pleasant and polite, but reserved; and accepts only an occasional individual as a friend. Once he does, however, the relationship is permanent. All of his friends share at least one of his strong interests. One of these friendships is based on a mutual fondness for exploring the countryside and searching for fossils, arrowheads, and unusual rocks. ... He meets with another couple of friends because of a shared appreciation for listening to and making music ... . Ted is also very fond of another boy who shares with him a love for intellectual sparring, witty exchange and endless polemics. The written and verbal communication of satire and analysis on innumerable subjects by these two boys would fill a volume. [My mother has surpassed herself here. The two musical friends must have been Tom Knudson and Jerry Ulrich, but I have no idea who the other two friends could have been.]

“The fact that he takes so little initiative in finding friends, that he accepts the advances of so few people,[194] and makes no attempt to join social groups makes us worry about the possibility of his being a pretty lonely boy (from our point of view—he claims he never feels lonely because there is so much to do.) [195]

“[Ted] has, as his counselor and teachers have said ‘a delightful personality, very witty and very clever.’ …

...[Ted is] working successfully as a busboy this summer and being well–accepted by the other people working there.[196]

“One of the things that Ted’s counselor hoped he would learn to do was bring ‘his light out from under the gushel [sic; “bushel” is meant].’ He has always functioned naturally and creatively ... almost devoid of the desire to impress or communicate. …

Perhaps the poor quality of the school and neighborhood enviornment [sic] of his first ten years had something to do with this. Looking back, we realize how little stimulation and understanding he found there. Our own confusion, uncertainty, and worry about his ever–increasing propensity for solitary play didn’t help matters. The high–school counselor feels that Ted should become increasingly aware of the desireability [sic] of projecting his ‘brilliance and wit.’ More often now, he will be placed in situations in which a stranger may want to assess his talents in half an hour’s time. His whole future may depend on his ability and awareness of the need to project himself at will at a particular time.”[197]

Contrast the foregoing with my mother’s portrayal of me in her interviews with the Washington Post [198] and on 60 Minutes,[199] in which she depicted me as severely disturbed and almost completely isolated socially. You can believe one version or the other, if you like, but you can’t believe both, since they are clearly inconsistent. Thus my mother is again shown to be a liar. For present purposes it is beside the point whether she lies calculatedly or talks herself into believing her own crap before she tells it to others.

It is true, though, that my mother may not have realized the full extent of the social difficulties that I encountered from the time I skipped sixth grade. I said nothing to my parents about those difficulties because in our family talking about personal problems, particularly on the part of my brother and me, was almost taboo.[200] This was especially true in my case, because, ever since Miss Frye had told her about my high IQ score, my mother expected me to be her perfect little genius. If ever I revealed to her any failure, any weakness, it disappointed her and consequently her response was cold and critical.[201]

* * *

According to the New York Times, my brother described our father as “always generous.”[202] In his interview with the Sacramento Bee, my brother asserted that both our parents were “warm and nurturing.”[203] According to the transcript of the 60 Minutes interview of my brother and my mother, Lesley Stahl stated:

“Ted’s fantasies, his family says, included accusations that his parents had verbally abused and rejected him; accusations that became more and more bizarre.”[204]

Later in the interview, my brother said:

“[Ted’s] feelings about our family bear no relationship to the reality of the family life that we experienced. These were loving, supportive parents.”[205]

But here is what my brother told the FBI, according to the latter’s “302” reports of interviews with him:

“The relationship between TED Sr.[Theodore R. Kaczynski, my father] and TED was mostly difficult and conflicted, ... DAVE remembers specifically that his father often told TED, ‘You’re just like WALTER,’ identifying WALTER as a co–worker of his father’s at the sausage factory who was diagnosed schizophrenic. His father would often tell TED ‘you have the mind of a two year–old.’ DAVE remembered a specific incident when TED ran to his father saying, ‘Give me a kiss,’ and was rebuffed; TED Sr. pushed him away and said, ‘You’re just like a little girl, always wanting to kiss.’ TED eventually ‘got his kiss,’ DAVE said, but he never remembered that TED asked his father ever again for affection. TED became increasingly reclusive, and quarreled constantly with his mother. TED Sr.’s behavior toward his oldest son became increasingly cold and distant, and he ‘mostly showed his disapproval’ concerning TED.”[206]

“Family members often ridiculed TED when they compared TED with DAVE who was well liked because he had better social skills.”[207] [False; I was not “ridiculed” for this.]

“DAVE noted that despite WANDA’s concerns that certain actions she and her husband took during TEDs childhood must have been at least partly responsible for TED’s lifelong problems and isolation, WANDA is defensive of her own actions in general, and sees herself as having unfairly carried the main burdens of both her family of origin and her own family. DAVE characterized his mother as ‘often difficult herself,’ …”[208]

Thus, my brother is clearly shown to be a liar. It’s true that the FBI’s “302” reports often have inaccuracies, and that the foregoing passages contain significant errors. (Whether the errors originated with the FBI or with my brother is an open question.) But it is hardly likely that the FBI would just make all this up out of nothing; and, as a matter of fact, much of it is corroborated by my autobiographies and by family correspondence.[209]

In my 1979 autobiography, I wrote:

“One day, when I might have been about 6 years old, my mother, father, and I were all set to go out somewhere. I was in a joyful mood. I ran up to my father and announced that I wanted to kiss him. He said, ‘You’re like a little girl, always wanting to kiss.’ I immediately turned cold and drew back resentfully. My father immediately regretted what he had done and said, ‘Oh, that’s alright. You can kiss if you want to.’ But there was no warmth in his voice. Of course, I didn’t kiss him then. …”[210]

This agrees fairly well with the account in the FBI report; but notice that the incident occurred when I was about six years old—before my brother’s birth. Thus the FBI report’s implication that my brother personally witnessed this incident is false. My 1979 autobiography continues:

“But the reader should be careful not to get an exaggerated idea of the coldness that my father occasionally exhibited—generally speaking I felt I had a good relationship with my parents that didn’t show any serious deterioration until I was about 11 years old.”[211]

My father did become rather cold toward me during my teens, though my brother’s account, as reported by the FBI, somewhat overstates the case. I wrote in my 1979 autobiography, referring to my teen years:

“[M]y father tended to be cold. During my middle teens I felt there was an undercurrent of scorn in his attitude toward me.”[212]

My brother and my mother state (more–or–less correctly) that, during my adolescence, when visitors arrived at our house, I would often retreat to my room.[213] Thus they unwittingly revealed information that helps to confirm the abuse: According to investigators who have experience with cases that involve child abuse, withdrawing from visitors is a common reaction of abused children.[214][215]

4. My parents’ treatment of me during my adolescence, as discussed in the Family Letters

Ever afterward, I nursed a grudge against my parents for the insults I’d had to take from them as a teenager. But that wasn’t the only source of my resentment against them. There were other ways in which they had thrown burdens on me; for example, they tried to exploit my talents to feed their vanity. And even after I’d reached adulthood my mother’s behavior continued to be troublesome, especially her nagging and her insults. Only in the case of my brother did I enjoy a relationship that was, from my point of view, more positive than negative; and with that relationship too there were very deep–lying problems that did not become fully apparent until much later. The fact is that I simply didn’t fit with the other members of my family, and while my memories of verbal abuse formed the focal point of my resentment, that resentment really had broader origins and was my response to the unworkable relationship that I had with my parents and my brother.

All this will be explained in due course. Our task in the present chapter will be to review all of the surviving family correspondence that has a bearing on my parents’ treatment of me during my adolescence. Almost all of my discussion of this issue with them was carried on by letter from my cabin in Montana.

It wasn’t until about the beginning of March, 1974 that I confronted my parents openly on this matter. The letter in which I did so has not been preserved, but it is referred to in a letter that I sent my brother several weeks later. I’d been enjoying a solitary winter in my Montana cabin. I described to my brother what happened, as follows:

“I suppose you know that I am not on speaking terms with our parents. In case they haven’t given you the full story, here it is: I told them repeatedly, in letters and on the telephone, ‘Don’t worry about me over the winter—you won’t hear from me until I get out of here in the spring.’ I made a particular point of emphasizing this, because I know what mother is like. Some time in February I got a card from the old bag saying she was worried and wanted to hear from me. Then about the end of February I got a letter from them saying that if they didn’t hear from me soon they would contact the authorities and have them check up on me. The text of the letter stated (in effect) that it was from Dad, but the style and the worries were so like the old bag that I assume she induced him to write the letter.[Actually, she probably wrote it herself and signed it “Dad.” My mother’s handwriting is not very easy to distinguish from my father’s.] So I had to get a letter out to them so as not to have the cops come up here to check on me. This cost me considerable embarrassment and inconvenience [I had a roadside mailbox, but at that time I think I didn’t know that I could use it to send mail as well as receive it, so I walked four miles to Lincoln to mail the letter], and worse still, it broke into that sense of isolation that I so value up here. You may be sure that I cussed them out pretty thoroughly. This cussing out was further aggravated by some festering past resentments against them—some of recent origin and some going all the way back to my teens.”[216]

The recent resentments mentioned here had to do with difficult behavior on my mother’s part that we will speak of later.

My mother’s first answer to my letter of March, 1974 was vituperative, but she soon followed it with another letter in which she attempted to mend fences with me. (Neither of these letters has been preserved.) I ignored both letters and refused to communicate with my parents for more than a year, though they continued to write to me. Finally I softened and wrote to them in March, 1975, outlining my activities over the preceding year. My letter began:

“I happen to be in a comparatively mellow mood, and besides, you have lately given some faint signs of admitting your moral fallibility, though not nearly to the extent you should. So I decided to be nice and write you a letter.”[217]

I do not now remember what the “faint signs of admitting ... moral fallibility” were. I imagine my mother conceded that she and my father were less than perfect parents, but I am certain that she did not apologize for the verbal abuse or anything else.

My resentment of my parents’ treatment of me was next referred to in a letter I wrote in 1977. My mother had irritated me by sanctimoniously objecting to an obscene word that I’d used in an earlier letter. In reply I gave her a rich sample of insulting obscenity and explained:

“The reason [for my hostile attitude] is that whenever you rub me the wrong way, it reminds me of all the old, old reasons I have for hating you, which I explained quite clearly in a letter some time ago. ... Go ahead and call me an ‘ungrateful monster.’ You’ve called me that name before, and enough other names so that it doesn’t bother me in the least any more.”[218]

(The letter of “some time ago” referred to here was the 1974 letter that I mentioned at the beginning of this chapter.) My mother replied:

“Naturally we have been pretty depressed since your last letter. No one ever gets a perfect set of parents, nor do parents, for that matter, ever get a perfect child.”[219]

This was an answer that I repeatedly got from my mother in response to my (usually hostile, I’ll admit) attempts to discuss with my parents the psychological abuse to which they had subjected me. “No parents are perfect,” she would say, conveniently ignoring the fact that some are much more imperfect than others. And generally she would add that no children are perfect either, implying that my parents had as much to blame me for as I had to blame them for. My mother never explained what imperfections of mine she was referring to, but I know her well enough to guess what she had in mind: I refused to follow the prestigious career that she had dreamed of for me, I didn’t love my parents, and I insulted them. But what could they expect after the way they had treated me during my teens? Especially in view of the fact that they refused to apologize for the abuse or even acknowledge it explicitly.

Actually, my parents were not always mean to me during my teens. They never hesitated to heap insults on me when they were in a bad mood, but my mother was often warm and affectionate when she was in a good mood, and there were happy family times as well as bad ones to remember. Thus, if my parents had fully and frankly acknowledged and apologized for the way they had treated me, I probably would have forgiven them.[220] But my (admittedly hostile) attempts to get an apology from them were answered at first only with recriminations, excuses, or evasions on the part of my mother. When I did eventually extract an apology from her, it was cold and grudging, and obviously given in order to placate me and not in a genuine spirit of remorse. My father never gave any answer at all to the letters in which I raised these issues, except once, and then his answer was as self–righteous as it could possibly be. I will quote it later (p. 122).

Probably around 1977 or 1978 my mother wrote:

“Both dad and I are searching for answers trying very hard to understand ourselves and our children. Who or what are we? Who are our children? What motivates them and us? Are we culture–bound? Have we hurt our children? Has the culture hurt them.”[221]

This extract is from a very messy, scrawled–over, and much–corrected document that my mother saved. It appears to be the first draft of a letter that was intended for me. But I do not remember receiving such a letter, so it’s not clear whether a final draft was ever prepared and sent.

I next raised the issue of my parents’ treatment of me in a hostile letter that I sent them in the autumn of 1982. That letter apparently has not survived, and I do not now remember what set off my anger against my parents in that instance. Nor has their reply to that letter been preserved; but I do remember that the reply consisted of a very brief note from my mother in which she coldly and stiffly apologized (on behalf of my father as well as herself) for the fact that they’d been poor parents to me. In spite of the coldness and brevity of the apology I was somewhat mollified, and I answered as follows, some time around Christmas, 1982:

“As to your last letter, in which you said you were ‘truly sorry to have been such failures as parents’: Its [sic] a satisfaction to me to have you admit your faults for once, instead of trying to make excuses for them. The resentment I have toward you will always remain, but your last letter does soften my attitude a little. Enough, anyway, so that I will take back what I said about hoping you drop dead on Christmas—cause it’s true that you were always good to me on Christmas, and on the whole I have pleasant memories of Christmases. I trust you got the Christmas card I sent you.”[222]

My mother’s note of apology was also mentioned in a letter that I sent my brother in March, 1986:

“[A]bout 3 years ago after I’d written them on the subject, mother did write back: ‘We are truly sorry to have been such failures as parents.’ (But isn’t there a hint there of something like, ‘we are truly sorry you turned out so rotten’?) But even then she tried to excuse it on the grounds of’ ignorance.’ (They can hardly have been ignorant of the fact that it is extremely painful for a teenage kid to have his parents repeatedly tell him, in anger, that there is something wrong with him mentally.) Getting that much of an apology from her was something like squeezing a nickel out of a miser. It was cold and curt, and afterward she seemed to just shove it under the carpet and forget about it. Certainly it conveyed no sense of remorse; and very likely it was something she said merely to get me to soften towards them ... .”[223]

* * *

Let’s digress for a moment to clear up yet another item of disinformation from my brother. According to his interview as reported by the New York Times:

“The parents had visited [Ted] several times at his cabin until the mid–1980’s, and each time they had come away pleased at his cordiality, only to find another angry letter in the mail soon after returning home.”[224]

According to an FBI “302” report, my brother told the interviewing agents:

“TED’s stormy relationship with his parents reached an impasse in 1984. Prior to that year, TED Sr. and WANDA had visited TED in Montana for several consecutive summers. They stayed at a motel in Lincoln, and traveled to the cabin during daylight.

... DAVE recalled that after their return from such a visit in the summer of 1984, his parents were elated at the success of that visit. ... One week later a letter arrived from TED breaking off relations with his parents, accusing them of gross mistreatment ... .[225]

In reality, the last time I ever saw my parents was in June of 1982. The “angry letter” was not sent until several months later, in the autumn of 1982, and I did not tell my parents until the spring of 1983 that I was breaking off relations with them.

On May 17, 1982, I wrote my parents, “see you June 11 or 12,”[226] and on May 25, 1982, “I trust that this is the last communication that will be necessary before you guys get here; so I will just assume that you will get here on June 11 or 12 ... .”[227]

This clearly dates their visit to June. That my angry letter was not sent until late autumn of 1982 is shown by the letter[228] that I quoted above, from around Christmastime, 1982, in which I referred to my parents’ last letter as an answer to my angry letter and quoted my angry letter as saying that I hoped they would drop dead on Christmas; a clear indication that the angry letter was written not too long before Christmas.

I was on reasonably amicable terms with my parents from around Christmas, 1982 until the spring of 1983, at which time I broke off relations with them completely, for reasons that I will describe in due course. My journal entries for May 25 and June 9, 1983 confirm the accuracy of my memory on this point.[229] Moreover, the surviving family correspondence contains no indication of a visit by my parents to Montana after June, 1982.

My parents visited me a few times between 1971 and 1977, but my brother was wrong in telling the FBI that they had visited me “for several consecutive summers” up to their last visit. In reality they visited me only twice after 1977; once in 1980 or 1981 and once, as already noted, in 1982.

My brother was also mistaken when he told the New York Times (see passage quoted above) that after their several visits to my cabin our parents “had come away pleased at [Ted’s] cordiality, only to find another angry letter in the mail soon after returning home.” I sent my parents many letters in which I expressed more or less irritation at them (we will see later some of the reasons for this irritation), but, prior to my brief correspondence with my mother in 1990–91, there were only three angry letters—ones in which I complained of my parents’ mistreatment of me. These are the ones already described. As we’ve seen, they were sent in early March, 1974, early February, 1977, and about Christmastime, 1982. It’s already been shown that this last letter was sent several months after my parents’ visit. The March and February letters could only have been sent several months, at least, after any visit by my parents, since naturally they didn’t come to see me during the months of cold and snow. My brother himself describes the visits as occurring during the summers; though actually some of them were in late spring (June) or early fall (October).

* * *

The next letter in the family correspondence that refers to the abuse issue is one that my mother wrote me on Christmas Eve, 1984. This is the letter quoted in Chapter 1 in which she gives an exaggerated and melodramatic account of my “hospital experience.” Here are some further excerpts:

“No word, no small word of greeting from you. How that hurts! ... Have you no memory of our love and care?

“All families have their fights. That is inevitable. We are imperfect humans in an imperfect world. But most of us are able to forgive, forget, apologize and go on loving and caring. Some are unable to control hatred, to overcome it. Why?

[At this point my mother recites her embellished version of the “hospital experience.” After that:]

“Remember how you would react to anybody’s correction or criticism of you? ...

How [can we] convince you that we love you? How convince you that fighting and difference of opinion doesn’t mean rejection. How can we be at last a normal family?

... Surely, we have not been so bad as parents that we should be denied the minimum respect of a word of greeting at Christmas time. What is this unnatural satisfaction you take in making us suffer so needlessly? [230]

These excerpts illustrate both the self–pity that is characteristic of my mother and the evasive, euphemistic way of speaking that is even more characteristic of her. Insults are described as “correction or criticism,” abuse is described as “fighting” or “difference of opinion.” Of course, when a parent heaps vicious insults on the head of his or her fourteen–year–old kid, it’s not a “fight,” it’s just abuse. It’s worth noting that my mother never in any of her letters denied the facts that I alleged. She never denied that she frequently screamed at me, or that she and my father used to say that I had “the mind of a two–year old,” that they called me “sick” and “a creep,” or that when I talked back in response to their insults they often shouted at me, “Speak respectfully to your parents or well throw you out of the house.” My mother merely evaded the issue by describing this treatment in euphemistic terms; or she would say that her and my father’s behavior toward me was a “mistake,” as if they didn’t realize that it is extremely painful for a kid to have his parents shout such things at him.

Of course, I don’t claim that I took it all like a lamb. I would shout insults at my parents, too. For instance, I used to call my mother a “fat pig.” But in the end I always lost the verbal battles because my parents had all the power and I had none; and moreover a kid is far more vulnerable to insults from his parents than vice versa. It would have been easier if I’d had a strong peer–group to which to retreat, but, as we’ve already seen, I was an outcast among my schoolmates.

My mother’s implication that I was unable to apologize (which by the way is not true) is ironic, to say the least. What I needed in order to forgive my parents was precisely an apology from them—a good, clean, heartfelt apology reflecting genuine remorse, with acknowledgment that their treatment of me was not due to “mistakes” or “ignorance” but to the fact that they used me as a butt on which to take out their feelings of hostility or frustration. The longer they refused to give me such an apology, the more they built up my frustration and anger toward them. I made this clear to them, but they were just too self–centered and too self–righteous to apologize fully and honestly.

What especially used to anger me were my mother’s repeated attempts to portray my resentment of my parents as the result of “that hospital experience” :

“... Some are unable to control hatred, to overcome it. Why?”

“Yours, I think, I am convinced, has its source in your traumatic hospital experience.” [231]

This was one of the gimmicks that my mother used over and over again in an effort to evade responsibility for her treatment of me, and (along with her usual tendency to exaggerate) it was her motive for dramatizing and distorting the “hospital experience” out of all proportion.

* * *

In December, 1985 or January, 1986 my brother wrote me, “I know you are estranged from our parents.”[232] Again in a letter of late January, 1986, he referred briefly to my estrangement from our parents.[233] On March 15, 1986, I wrote to my brother as follows:

“I’d like to make some comments on my reasons for hating our parents. First, I’ll quote some passages from a letter that mother sent me about Christmas time, 1984.

“‘All families have their fights. ... But most of us are able to forgive ... .’

“‘[Your hatred] I think, I am convinced, has its source in your traumatic hospital experience in your first year of life.’ …

“‘Somehow you were never able to overcome that embedded distrust of the people around you.’

“I could quote some other accusations from that letter, but the above I think is enough to make the point. Which is, that our parents will not accept any blame for the way they treated me during my teens. Any resentment I have toward them they attribute to there being something wrong with me. ‘That hospital experience’ that mother always likes to dredge up is very convenient for them because it’s something that was beyond their control. Of course, if my resentment of them was caused by that experience, then it remains to be explained why I never resented them before my teens. (By the way, I don’t know how severe ‘that hospital experience’ actually was, but it’s a safe bet that mother’s account of it is considerably exaggerated—you know how she always does exaggerate whenever she is emotionally involved in something, and Dad will generally back her up against any third party.)

“When she mentions ‘fights’ in the first passage quoted above, she is referring to my complaints about their having applied to me such epithets as ‘another Walter Teszewski,’ ‘a creep,’ ‘sick,’ ‘mind of a two–year old,’ etc. The term ‘fight’ here is hardly appropriate, since it implies some sort of rough equality of power between the 2 combatants. If a 200–lb bully beats up a 120–pounder you don’t call that a fight, it’s just abuse. The same applies when parents shout the most cutting sort of insults at a 14 or 15–year old kid who is in their power. It is easy for them to talk about forgiveness—they don’t have much to forgive, since they always won what they choose to call the ‘fights’; they finished them by sending me up to the attic or by shouting ‘speak respectfully to your parents or we’ll throw you out of the house.’ Mother’s calling these things ‘fights’ is one of her typical evasions and an illustration of our parents’ self–righteousness. They will admit to having ‘made a mistake’ and things of that sort, but they will never admit the real reasons for their behavior toward me: first, that they were too lazy to make the effort needed to exercise self–restraint; second, they evidently had certain frustrations or irritabilities, and I was a convenient target on which they could vent these. In later years, if they had felt and expressed a real sense of remorse and regret about these things I probably would have forgiven them. But as you can see from the passages I quoted above, their self–righteousness is incorrigible. Far from having any sense of having been in the wrong, they attribute all problems to there being something wrong with me.”[234]

At this point in the letter there follows the passage that I quoted above on p. 110, beginning “[A]bout 3 years ago ... .” The letter then continues:

“Certainly [mother’s 1982 apology] conveyed no sense of remorse; and very likely it was something she said merely in order to get me to soften towards them, since her later letter, from which I quoted above, reveals the same old self–righteous attitude. As for Dad, from him I never had any shadow or hint of an apology.”[235]

In his answer to this letter, my brother wrote, in late March or early April, 1986:

“I am venturing to discuss our family and our childhood, focussing mainly on your relations with the parents [236] ... .[Although I acknowledge that Mom and Dad performed their role as parents in many respects very stupidly and poorly in relation to you, nevertheless they were quite good parents to me [237] ... . I don’t believe at this point that their motives for treating you badly were the motives of a bully. I have also heard mother’s interpretation of your childhood trauma, and ... I couldn’t help feeling struck by the number of correspondences between the theory and some of the familiar tendencies of your personality [238] ... .[It’s not clear what “theory” my brother is referring to here. He is not learned in psychology.] Anyway—regarding the theory of your supposed trauma as a whole—I have felt for some years that it has, or might have some bearing on your feelings toward the parents. I have also cautioned them against using it as a moral escape hatch, since in some ways their treatment of you (for instance, threatening to throw you out of the house, i.e. to abandon you again) was the absolute worst they could have done. At this they say, ‘if only we had known!’ and their eyes become sorrowful and a little scared. If you have any doubts about their feelings of guilt, you should see them then.[239] ...

“This brings me to the point of acknowledging ... that I believe Mom and Dad’s sins as parents toward you were real and not merely products of your imagination. I confess that at first I didn’t think so, and I do still tend to think that some of your complaints are overstated, but I have also been searching my memory and I can recall some scenes that are painful to remember (how much more painful for you!) given my affection for them.[240] ... I don’t think a reconciliation can begin without a full and plain acknowledgment of the parents’ errors—in other words, no more shoving things under the rug.[241] ... Their feelings of failure are mixed up with their feelings of resentment toward you (since you have refused to acknowledge their good qualities along with the bad) [242] ... . Dad told me that once he wrote an apologetic letter to you ... and all he got back was a short reply which he interpreted as spurning his overture and apology [243] ... . I suspect your intelligence and emotional complexity made you a very difficult child—far moreso [sic] than me—for a parent to deal with. ... You remember primarily the humiliations and the threats, but I remember times when mother ... tried to give you sympathy and find out what was making you unhappy. (Although, as must be admitted ... she would have refused to accept the truth had you been able to tell her.) [244] . One of the most common tendencies I have observed is for a parent to try to humiliate a child into behaving in what he considers to be the proper way. It’s the last ugly resort of parental authority and I have seen it clutched at many times in families outside of our own.[245] ... The job is the parents’ to apologize. But I think you are a hard man if you close your heart to forgiveness against the day when they may someday do so.[246]

... I hate to think that at times our family may have organized itself according to the pattern of 3 against 1.[That is mother, father, and Dave against Ted.]”[247]

My brother’s letter was quite well–intentioned and conciliatory, but it nevertheless made me very angry. My anger arose partly from certain passages (not quoted above) of his letter and from certain aspects of his accustomed style of argument that will be dealt with later. But most of all my anger arose from his partial acceptance of my mother’s theory of the “hospital experience,” and especially from the fact that throughout his letter he followed my mother’s procedure of portraying my parents’ treatment of me as well–intentioned but mistaken; whereas it was obvious that their verbal cruelty arose not from good but misguided intentions, but from uncontrolled anger or hostility. My own anger was of course intensified by frustration at the failure of my attempts to get other members of the family to acknowledge the truth about the abuse.

Yet there was no doubt that my brother’s letter represented a kind–hearted effort to make peace between my parents and me, and consequently, while I expressed my anger to him, I kept it from getting out of hand. I wrote:

“You son of a bitch. Your letter made me so mad that I was on the point of cutting off all communication with you forever. ... I got over being mad at you—or partly got over it—just in time.

“Clearly you don’t realize that every time I bring up that issue and someone says ‘Oh, it’s only cause you were warped by “that hospital experience,“‘ all it does is make me more angry. ...[248]

“OK, look, I’m still mad at you. I still haven’t fully got over it. The only thing that prevented me from sending you that letter cutting off all communication for good was the fact that the night before I was going to send it I had a dream that brought to the surface my real feelings toward you—which are soft and affectionate. Since I’m still mad, don’t write to me for awhile. ... Later, when I get over being mad—say after a few months—I’ll write to you again and then you can resume corresponding with me if you like. But don’t ever argue with me about my relations with our parents. ... I flatly refuse to accept any contradiction on this point. No doubt this is unreasonable. But you’re just going to have to humor me if you want to get along with me.”[249]

Five days later I wrote my brother again:

“I apologize for calling you a son of a bitch and other harsh language that I used in my last letter. But, you know, I was mad. I’m not mad any more ... . But don’t send me any letters for awhile yet, unless for some urgent reason cause if you start raking up all that old family stuff you may just get me upset again, and having just got over being upset I don’t feel like getting upset again for awhile yet. Later on we can discuss some of these things further if you want to.[250] ...

“You say Dad claims he once sent me an apology. I don’t remember it. ... [T]hat’s not the kind of thing I would be likely to forget. ... [A]re you sure that you are remembering correctly what [Dad] told you? ... I’ve noticed that from time to time you make errors of memory in your letters–unless it’s my memory that’s wrong. Example:

“In your last letter you wrote ‘When you saw the murdered babies in the Nazi camp ... you vowed to protect me at the expense of your own life...’

“As I remember it, I didn’t refer to ‘murdered’ babies, but to kids who had been reduced to extreme emaciation through starvation. Also, I said that I decided to ’do anything I could to protect you’—I don’t think I said anything about ‘at the expense of my own life.’ If you still have that letter you might look up the relevant passage and see which of us is remembering more accurately.”[251]

The letter in question has been preserved, and it shows that my memory was exactly right.[252] It is typical of my brother to get his information garbled. We will see other examples of this later.

That my father never gave me an apology is confirmed by a note that he sent me within a couple of weeks of the foregoing letter of mine to my brother. This note dealt with another matter that we will consider later. For the moment, let it suffice to say that he wrote:

“The last couple of years have been painful. Your rejection of us, we feel, is unfair, uncalled for and at the least shows lack of understanding, tolerance or a sense of family.”[253]

The self–righteous attitude shown here by my father is hardly consistent with my brother’s claim that he once apologized to me. My brother never repeated that claim.

He had probably made it on the basis of a misunderstanding or misremembering of something my father had said.

After receiving my father’s note I quoted it in a letter to my brother (April 30, 1986) and commented as follows:

“Their self–righteousness is actually funny! ... Note where the old son of a bitch accuses me of a lack of understanding and tolerance! When I was a kid, if I annoyed him he would insult me in the most cutting way ... and now he accuses me of a ‘lack of understanding and tolerance’!! ... Not that I claim to be understanding and tolerant. But it’s like a thief who steals something from somebody and then accuses his victim of dishonesty. ...

“Can you wonder at the fact that I won’t forgive them? If they had ever shown any remorse, any sense of having mistreated me and wanting to make up for it, I might have forgiven them. But ... it is quite clear that they will never change. So you might [as] well give up the idea that there will ever be reconciliation between me and them.

“You claim to have seen ‘guilt’ expressed in their faces during discussions of this subject, I don’t believe it! How can you square it with the tone of that letter [my father’s note] ...?”[254]

In yet another letter I commented again on my brother’s letter of late March or early April, 1986:

“[Y]ou give a list of traits of mine that you imagine are caused by my supposed ‘trauma’ in the hospital. The trouble with your theory is that you didn’t know me till I was older and already affected by our parents’ mistreatment and by the bad situation in school after I skipped a grade. Most of those traits I did not have as a very young child. Of course, you can always speculate about delayed–action trauma—this psychoanalytic crap is flexible enough so that you can justify anything you want to believe. But since there are clear reasons in my later childhood for my developing such traits, these are the more likely cause. You don’t realize that the atmosphere in our home was quite different during the first few years of my life than it was later. ... Also, after I skipped a grade, I was subjected to certain humiliations in school.[255] ...”

There was no further discussion in the family correspondence of my parents’ treatment of me until shortly after my father’s death on October 2, 1990. On October 13 of that year I wrote to my brother:

“I haven’t shed any tears over our father’s death—you know how I felt about him. I must say, though, that I feel very sorry for our mother. All this must be a severe blow to her. I never resented her quite as much as I resented Dad. I had to take a lot of verbal abuse from both of them during my teens, but, while Dad was always rather cold to me during that period, Mother often made up for the abuse with warmth and affection at other times.”[256]

On the same date I wrote my mother a letter in which I said practically the same thing and added, “If you’d like to be reconciled and resume correspondence with me, I am willing.”[257] My mother and I did resume correspondence, but the abuse issue was not discussed until January, 1991. About December, 1990, my mother had sent me an autobiography [258] that covered her life up to age ten, together with a letter from my aunt Freda (my mother’s sister) [259] that substantiated her account of the gross physical abuse she had suffered. In a letter of January 15 I commented as follows:

“I read your family history with great interest. ... [O]n a number of occasions in the past when I’ve heard you recount incidents that I myself had witnessed, your stories were very inaccurate through being overdramatized. Consequently I have no rational choice but to be skeptical about the accuracy of your history. I hasten to add that I don’t doubt for a moment that your mother abused you very badly, and I’m even since that seems to be confirmed by Freda’s letter. But for me it necessarily remains an open question to what extent your account is accurate in detail. Of course, quite apart from your penchant for dramatization, anyone’s long–term memories may contain inaccuracies.

“One might possibly see a connection between the physical abuse you suffered as a kid and the psychological abuse you inflicted on me during my teens. The psychologists claim that people who abuse their kids are usually people who were abused themselves as kids. I don’t know to what extent this is actually true—there is a lot of B.S. that gets peddled in the name of psychology. And Dad didn’t fit that pattern—he inflicted as much verbal abuse on me as you did,[260] yet I never heard anything that would indicate he ever suffered any abuse himself. In fairness to you I should add that I always felt you were a good mother to me during my early years. It was when I was around 8 years old that your behavior and the family atmosphere began to deteriorate ... .

“Actually, though, you judge your mother too harshly. Bear in mind that there are no perfect parents...[261] or perfect children, either. As you have reminded me several times.”[262]

In reply to this letter my mother wrote:

“I’m very sorry you have such bad memories of me during your teen years. I guess I just wasn’t the good parent I thought I could be. It’s amazing that you turned out so well in spite of those traumatic scars.”[263]

Obviously, my mother’s description of me as “having turned out so well” is inconsistent with the crap that she and my brother have recently fed the media to the effect that the family always saw me as a disturbed sicko.

On January 22 I wrote to my mother:

“I should acknowledge that your mother apparently treated you a lot worse than you treated me. (But that still doesn’t excuse the way you treated me during my teens ... .)”[264]

On January 30 my mother replied:

“I flinch every time you remind me of your unhappy teen years. Was I that horrible? I’m sorry. Can’t you believe that we loved you very much even when we showed very angry anxious disapproval? I never realized how our insensitivity hurt you.”[265]

Observe that my mother persisted in describing their treatment of me in euphemistic terms (“disapproval” ), and still refused to face up to the fact that the abuse consisted of verbal aggression that was intended to hurt. On June 5, 1991 she wrote me:

“Several times in your letters during the winter you mentioned that you would later expand on the hurts I inflicted on you during your teen–age years. I mentioned to you that I winced every time you made this comment in your letters. After that you no longer referred to your adolescent pain.

“... If you feel the need to unburden yourself please do so. ... Whatever stupid mistakes we made, Dad and I loved you very much.”[266]

She still referred to the abuse as “mistakes.” Maintaining her pretense that her mistreatment of me consisted in well–intentioned errors rather than in outbursts of anger and aggression, she wrote me on June 21:

“I don’t like to make anybody feel bad: (Except, of course, my kids ... in the interest [mistakenly so] of correction and discipline.)”[267]

The bracketed “[mistakenly so]” is in the original as written by my mother. On July 5 I wrote her a long letter about my grievance against the family:

“Not long ago you invited me to write to you about my ‘adolescent pain,’ as you called it. I’m going to do so now [268]…’ .

“In your note of June 21 you wrote, ‘I don’t like to make anybody feel bad. (Except, of course, my kids when they were young in the interest [mistakenly so] of correction and discipline.)’

“The more you resort to rationalizations and evasions to excuse your treatment of me, the more I hate you. The insults you heaped on me were not honest but mistaken attempts at discipline, they were just uncontrolled outbursts of anger. Often the anger was not even a response to my behavior, since in many cases you would scream at me on the most trivial provocations. You once wrote me that your treatment of me was ‘not malicious.’ It wasn’t calculatedly malicious. But the things you said to me were certainly full of malice. You can’t possibly claim that you didn’t know that the things you said to me would be painful. You said them because you knew they would be painful—your angry outbursts against me were acts of aggression and were intended to cause pain. By no stretch of the imagination can it be supposed that you actually believed this sort of thing to constitute a rational system of discipline.

“There is no evidence whatever that you attempted to restrain your temper toward me. I can remember no instance in which you ever apologized for your behavior to me and only one instance in which Dad ever did so.

“So quit trying to evade responsibility for your behavior by claiming that what you did was the result of ‘mistakes’ or ‘misunderstanding.’ You were simply using me as a defenseless butt on which to take out your frustrations [269]...”

After extensive expressions of grief over my problems with social adjustment, and especially over my difficulty in making advances to women, I concluded:

“In one of your letters you gave me a little lecture about how I should ‘learn to forgive.’ [270] It’s easy for you to preach, especially when you expect to be the beneficiary of the forgiveness. But I don’t notice that you are particularly anxious to forgive your own parents.[271] I hate you, and I will never forgive you, because the harm you did me can never be undone.”[272]

I was worked up emotionally when I wrote the foregoing. It would have been more accurate to say that the reason I wouldn’t forgive her was that she had always refused to accept, fully and honestly, responsibility for the way she had treated me.

At any rate, my mother answered me on July 12 in a letter full of self–justification and attempts to throw on me the blame for my problems with social adjustment. As usual, she tried to explain everything as a consequence of “that hospital experience.”

“How can parents convince a child that they have always loved him—never, never rejected him? ... Could your terrible feelings of insecurity stem from those traumatic fears of abandonment when you had to be left at the hospital at an emotionally critical stage in your infancy? I remember yelling in anger at Dave because he had the bad habit of teasing you. I remember a couple of bad quarrels with Dave, but he seems to love us and not blame us for ‘shouting’ at him.

... [Y]ou don’t seem to remember how eagerly I welcomed any one that came over to visit you. But you rejected everyone who tried to be your friend. Remember ... Loren [De] Young ... ? ... I could never convince you to be kinder and more tolerant of the many people who made overtures to you. You always arrogantly pushed people away...”

“I went back to school and embarked on a new career in my fifties. Why can’t you? I am deeply sorry for whatever way I have hurt you, but I have always loved you...

“...[Y]ou would have to ... be a kinder, gentler person, less vengeful whenever people don’t measure up to your expectations.”[273]

The foregoing letter was quickly followed by another in which my mother continued in the same vein:

“[S]et aside your tendency to arrogance and bossiness, which probably is a cover up for shyness and awkwardness. And don’t push people away when they make overtures. Be patient! You get angry too easily at slights. Be gentle and kind. ... Be kind, be kind, be kind, and you’ll have plenty of friends.

“I love you, dear son ... . Are you going to let memories of adolescent difficulties immobilize you?”[274]

Certain pro–forma expressions of love and sympathy notwithstanding, the tone of my mother’s letters was essentially cold and critical. This was the way she answered my cry from the heart, and it was typical of the way in which, ever since my earliest adolescence, she had responded to every attempt I made to discuss any problems I might have. Instead of sympathy I got cold and often unjust criticism.

Shortly after receiving these letters, I wrote a note [275] which I kept with the letters and in which I rebutted some of the irrationalities they contain, including the portrait that my mother painted of my personality. I will not bore the reader by reproducing this rebuttal here, but will merely mention a few points as examples.

“She claims they always loved me. Yes, they did love me—in the same way that a small child loves his teddy bear. When he’s in a good mood he cuddles his teddy bear, but when he’s in a bad mood he doesn’t hesitate to kick his teddy bear around.[276] ...

“[S]he argues that Dave does not resent our parents for shouting at him. But while they occasionally vented their ill–temper at Dave, they vented it on me frequently. Moreover, I never heard them inflict on Dave the kind of cutting, vicious insults that they inflicted on me [277] ... .”

My mother asserts that I “rejected” or “pushed away” various people. For the most part her assertions make no sense. For example, Loren DeYoung (mentioned in my mother’s letter) was one of the high–status boys among my high–school classmates; he was a decent fellow who tolerated me with little or no condescension, but he certainly never made any overtures of friendship to me, nor did I ever in any sense reject him.[278]

My mother says she “went back to school and embarked on a new career” in her fifties. Indeed she did. But, characteristically, she didn’t stay with it very long. She became a high–school English teacher but quit after two years because, she said, the job was too stressful. A media report describes her teaching as inadequate,[279] but I don’t know whether it was or not, given the unreliability of the media.

My mother wrote, “I am deeply sorry for whatever way I hurt you.” She was still refusing to face up to the fact of the abuse: The word “whatever” indicates that the way she hurt me is something indefinite and unknown, and even casts doubt on whether she hurt me at all.

After receiving the foregoing letters from my mother, I wrote my brother an emotional letter [280] in which I begged him to persuade my mother to stop writing to me because I could no longer endure the anger and frustration that she caused me. With the copy of this letter that I kept in the cabin I put a note in which I wrote:

“Concerning the foregoing letter ... :

“Quite intentionally, I grossly exaggerated my real feelings. I did this because Dave is so inert and passive that I figured that in order to be sure of getting any action out of him I had best lay it on pretty thick.

“Actually I was very upset after reading those two letters from my mother ... .

“I don’t know how I ever got born into such a family of incapable, silly fools. When I broke off correspondence with my brother a couple of years ago, I felt so good to be rid of them! I felt clean and free! When, last October, I resumed correspondence with my mother because I felt sorry for her after my father died, it gave me a kind of sick feeling to be coming back into contact with that family again. I would compare it to a scene in the movie African Queen. Humphrey Bogart gets out of the water and is horrified and disgusted to find himself covered with leeches. He sprinkles himself with salt and the leeches drop off, to his great relief. But after awhile he realizes that he is going to have to get back down in the water again, among the leeches. Well, that’s the kind of feeling I had about getting back into contact with my rotten family again. So I’m glad now to be breaking off with that family once and for all.”[281]

Having learned through long experience that my brother was inaccessible to reason, I had reluctantly decided to play on his emotions, and it worked. Dave did intervene with my mother. At first, however, he did not do so forcefully enough to stop her from writing to me. Within about three weeks she sent me a letter and three postcards, one of which said, “I am deeply, deeply sorry for having hurt you,”[282] and nothing more. For once, no evasions, excuses, or accusations. It was beginning to sound like a real and honest apology, but by that time it was too late. I wanted no more contact with my stinking family. I sent my brother a second emotional letter [283] in response to which he must have intervened more forcefully with my mother, because she did stop writing to me, apart from one or two minor relapses over the next couple of years.

* * *

The reader no doubt has found this long and sordid Chapter 5ery tedious. It does, however, establish clearly that my brother and mother understood the significance of the way my parents had treated me, and that they knew it was highly important to me to have that treatment acknowledged.[284]


5. Pressure to achieve; Harvard; how people saw me prior to my arrest

I have already described in Chapter 3 (pp. 80, 81) how news of my high IQ score filled my mother with grandiose fantasies of what I was going to accomplish to the glory of the family. From that time until I left for Harvard she put me under considerable pressure to achieve academically. In this she was abetted by Lois Skillen, the guidance counselor at Evergreen Park Community High School. As I wrote in my 1979 autobiography,

“[Skillen] was not very old, but too homely to hope for marriage. She developed a maternal crush on me. By that I mean that she became emotionally involved with me as a substitute for the son of her own that she would have liked to have. I hated her.

“I believe she was the one who put my parents onto the idea that I should go to Harvard, and I think she impressed them with the high standards I would have to live up to in order to go there. I would get all this crap from my parents, ‘Miss Skillen says this and that and the other. A couple of times it was, ‘Miss Skillen says you’re behaving too immaturely in the classroom. You won’t get into Harvard if etc. etc. etc.’ On a couple of other occasions, when I brought home a report card with all A’s except for one B,[285] my parents sat me down in the living room and gave me a solemn little lecture [in which my mother took the lead],

“‘We don’t want you to think that we feel this is a bad report card. Actually, it’s a very good report card. We don’t want you to feel that we’re putting any pressure on you. It’s just that we feel you’re not working up to the level of your ability. We feel that you’re capable of getting all A’s. If you want to get into Harvard, etc., etc.’

“Actually, I didn’t give a f...k about whether I got into Harvard. But I had to pretend to be interested in all that crap just so as not to shock my parents. Actually I did sometimes feel a half–hearted interest in it, but I never had any enthusiasm for it. …

“During my last couple of years of high school, I became convinced [correctly] that my parents, Miss Skillen, and some of my teachers were pushing the idea of a scientific career for me not because they had rationally concluded that this was best for me, but because this satisfied their own emotional needs. Either it would vicariously gratify their own craving for scholarly glory, or it would gratify their egos to get their pupil or their son into a prestigious career. Of course, all these people had real affection for me, and they persuaded themselves that they were ‘guiding’ me for my own good. But their motives were essentially selfish. ...

“After I’d been in college for a year, I happened to visit the high school ... Mr. Howard, the Assistant Superintendant [sic] ... said to me, ‘You should come and see Miss Skillen some time. It would mean a great deal to her.’ He repeated this a couple of times. Therefore I took satisfaction in NOT coming to see Miss Skillen.”[286]{38}

Not only was I expected to be an academic achiever. I was expected never to show any faults or weaknesses in other areas either, because that would have interfered with the pride that my parents—especially my mother—took in me. I’ve already mentioned this in Chapter 3 (p. 92). It was my mother’s craving for status that was behind the big push to get me into Harvard. I would have preferred to go to Oberlin.

Publicly my brother has denied this picture of my parents’ exploitation of my talents. From the 60 Minutes interview:

“MIKE WALLACE: Let me just read a little bit from one letter that [Ted] sent ... SO, GENERALLY, IF I EXPERIENCED ANY FAILURE OR SHOWED ANY WEAKNESS, I FOUND THAT I COULDN’T COME TO YOU FOR SYMPATHY. YOU WERE SIMPLY USING ME AS A DEFENSELESS BUTT ON WHICH TO TAKE OUT YOUR FRUSTRATIONS. I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE YOUR PERFECT LITTLE GENIUS.’

“DAVID KACZYNSKI: Mike, this is not the fam—same family that I grew up in, that he grew up in. This is not the same mother that he’s describing here. This is—this is a fiction or a fantasy.”[287]

According to the New York Times, my brother told interviewers that a certain letter from me was an “indictment of [our] parents, accusing them of being ‘more interested in having a brilliant son than seeing that son happy and fulfilled.’” The article continues:

“Was it a valid accusation? ‘No’, David said, ‘I believe he may very well believe that. When he decided to end his career after they invested so much of themselves. ...’”[288]

The three dots at the end are in the original; if Dave ever finished his sentence, the New York Times did not report it.

Here my brother’s own words hint at his untruthfulness. What does he mean in saying that my parents “invested so much of themselves?” He can’t be referring to financial investment; since I had a scholarship, putting me through Harvard placed no great strain on my parents’ finances; and I earned my own way through graduate school. I certainly did all the academic work myself; my parents didn’t know enough to have assisted me with that even if they had wanted to. Media reports that my mother helped me to understand articles from the Scientific American are ludicrous—my mother doesn’t know as much science as the average fifth–grader. So what did my parents “invest of themselves?” My brother can only be referring to their emotional investment in my achievements, and to the fact that they pushed me during my high–school years. Maybe the reason why he didn’t finish his sentence was that he suddenly realized he was revealing what he didn’t want to reveal. Earlier he had told the FBI:

“TED was interested in attending Oberlin College in Ohio. TED’s parents insisted that TED enroll in Harvard because of the prestige. ... As far as DAVE could recall, his parents insisted that TED attend Harvard, but did not pressure TED into majoring in math.”[289]

In a 1986 letter to me my brother wrote:

“The fact of your unhappiness was consistently shoved under the rug, consistently eclipsed (in [our parents’] own eyes and other’s [sic]) by the glory of your intellectual achievements. In effect, they made their child carry the burden, or a good part of the burden, of their self–deceptions.”[290]

Further along in the same letter my brother wrote, somewhat inconsistently:

“Once you said that many of the nice things the parents did for us were attributable to the desire to fulfill their ambitions vicariously, but I doubt if this is true when you consider how little shit they gave us over dropping out of the mainstream ... .”[291]

Actually, my mother gave me a great deal of “shit” over dropping out of the mainstream, but my brother wasn’t around to see it. I’ll have more to say about that later.

One of my father’s closest friends was Dr. Ralph K. Meister. They knew each other for more than fifty years. Investigators working on my case interviewed Dr. Meister concerning my family background, and I have before me a copy of a declaration that he signed for them on February 2, 1997. It strongly supports my account of our family life as opposed to my brother’s, but it is heavily affected by the phenomenon of ‘remembering later years” (see the Introduction, pp. 11, 12, 17, 18) and only with that reservation can I quote from it.

Dr. Meister states;

“Wanda put pressure on Teddy John to be an intellectual giant almost from the day he was born. She was obsessed with his intellectual development.”[292]

My mother did take an interest in my intellectual development from my birth, but in reality she was not obsessed with it, nor did she put any unusual pressure on me to achieve, until after Miss Frye foolishly told her that I had the potential to be “another Einstein.”

“Wanda longed for the status and the respect associated with the intellectual world. Maintaining an intellectual image for herself and for her family was paramount for Wanda.”[293]

“It was as if being a successful intellectual and a good student was all that Wanda wanted him to do. She seemed to have only an intellectual investment in Teddy John.”[294] [True after contact with Miss Frye.]

“He was under intense pressure to meet Wanda’s expectations of intellectual achievement and was able to offer resistance to this pressure only to a very limited extent. Teddy John was also afraid to tell Wanda about emotional problems or difficulties he encountered with his peer group because that would have caused a rent in the picture she had of her son.”[295] [Again, this was true only after Miss Frye encouraged my mother to have a grandiose conception of my abilities.]

“At ... times, Wanda lost control and verbally abused him.”[296]

The fact that my mother had intellectual ambitions may lead the reader to assume that she was the studious, thoughtful, self–disciplined type of person that we associate with intellectualism. In reality, while she was always very careful to maintain a facade of respectability toward the outside world, within the family her behavior during this period was coarse, unrestrained, and slatternly. She disgusted me. As I wrote in my 1979 autobiography:

“[M]y parents allowed themselves to get considerably overweight. My mother’s behind became really enormous.

“My mother let herself go, not only physically, but psychologically. She lost her dignity.”[297]

* * *

“At age 16, in Fall of 1958, I went to Harvard. I had had no particular enthusiasm for going there, but once I got there it was a tremendous thing for 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 with great enthusiasm. ... I thrived on it. ...

“Feeling the strength of my own will, I became enthusiastic about will-power. ...”[298]

The foregoing is from my 1979 autobiography. Actually, I think my favorable reaction to Harvard was due at least as much to the fact that it represented a liberation from the sordid environment of my home as to the intellectual challenge that it provided. As long as I was living with my family I found it extremely difficult to exercise any willpower, but when I escaped from that stultifying atmosphere I suddenly discovered, to my delight, that I had plenty of willpower. It is a remarkable fact that over the years—even twenty years later—whenever I returned to live for a time with my family, I felt that my willpower and self–discipline quickly drained away, and I did not recover them until I again removed myself from that environment.

In view of my parents’ theory that I had an abnormal fear of being separated from them, it is worth noting that I adjusted to being away from home more easily than many college freshmen do: I suffered from homesickness for about the first two weeks, and then I recovered from it completely and permanently.[299]

Thus Harvard was very good for me in certain ways; but in relation to my poor social adjustment it was one of the worst schools that could have been chosen for me.

In a letter of May 16, 1991 to my mother I wrote:

“There was a good deal of snobbery at Harvard. Of course there were people there from all walks of life, but apparently the system there was run by people who came from the ‘right’ cultural background. This certainly seemed to be the case at Eliot House, anyway. The house master, John Finley, apparently was surrounded by an ingroup or clique, and the people who got to participate in the Christmas play, for example, always seemed to be of the type who would fit in with the clique. The house master often treated me with insulting condescension. He seemed to have a particular dislike for me. I used to think that this was merely because I made no attempt to wear the ‘right’ clothes or to ape Harvard manners, but now I wonder whether plain old–fashioned class snobbery, in the strict sense of the word, might not have had something to do with it. Not long ago I read ‘FDR: a remembrance’ by Joseph Alsop. Alsop had connections with the Harvard set, and he stated in that book that in 1955 John F. Kennedy was not permitted to become a member of the Harvard Board of Overseers because he was an Irish Catholic. Since I entered Harvard 3 years later, in 1958, it seems probable that a good deal of class snobbery must still have existed at Harvard at that time.”[300]

(For whatever it may be worth, several classmates of mine who have been interviewed by my investigators have confirmed the prevalence of snobbery at Harvard! [301]) My mother answered me as follows:

“I was angry, so angry, when I read your account of how those ignorant bastards at Harvard snubbed you. ... You must have been a very strong character indeed to put up with those characters, to be angry at your bungling parents, and still be able to do so well academically.”[302]

In a later letter (July 5, 1991] I wrote my mother:

“Harvard of course was very good academically, very stimulating intellectually, and it would have been alright for a kid of working–class origin who had good social skills and social self–confidence to start out with. The actual snobs were only a minority. The majority of students were upper–middle–class types and they formed a social environment that was not congenial to a kid of working–class origin, but they were not necessarily snobs, and a kid of working–class origin who had good social skills could have found friends both among the upper–middle–class types and among the minority who were not upper–middle–class. But I had experienced so much rejection both at home and in school that I had very little social self–confidence. As a result, when my first attempts to make friends met with a cool reception, I just gave up and became solitary.”[303]

My social difficulties were compounded by the fact that my parents had repeatedly told me that I was “sick”. Of course, I rejected this assessment, but at some level I at least partly believed it, the more so since I was frustrated and often unhappy.

In our society unhappiness tends to be equated with sickness, and this was even more true in the 1950’s than it is today. During my later teens and for several years afterward I used to worry that people would think I was abnormal;[304][305] in fact, I often tended to assume that they did see me that way. It is therefore interesting that, in reviewing the records of my teens and twenties, I find very few indications that anyone saw me as having psychological problems; though such indications are not entirely absent.

Let’s review all of the records I’ve found that indicate how people outside the family saw my personality.

First, the medical records. We’ve already seen (in Chapter 3) the comments in my University of Chicago medical records that were based on information provided by my mother. Here are the doctors’ impressions of me based on their personal observation, beginning in February, 1949 (all relevant earlier ones were quoted in Chapter 1) [306]:

“February 18, 1949 ... Average size and weight for his age’’

“May 18, 1950 ... Average measurements for his age. Well built, lithe, [illegible] muscle.”

“May 8, 1951 ... Husky, alert, young boy—friendly and cooperative.”

“April 24, 1952 ... Slightly gangly, wiry boy whose height and weight are close to average for his age. He is quiet, intelligent, controlled and very cooperative. ... Hearing, acute. ... Eyes normal or better.”

“April 17, 1953 ... Average size, slender, cooperative boy who seems quite well.”

“April 27, 1954 ... Average size [illegible] boy. ... Good general health.”

“April 14, 1955 ... slender, intelligent boy, quite cooperative ... Good health generally.”

“April 20, 1956 ... Pleasant, rather serious, intelligent boy well into puberty. ... Vision 20/20–2 in each eye. ... Good health.”

“June [?] 1957 ... Average measurements, slender, muscular, [illegible] boy ... Vision 20/20 in each eye.”

“April 21, 1958 ... Average size, muscular [?] [illegible] boy. ... Vision 20/20.”

“September 10, 1959 [when I was hospitalized with mononucleosis] ... alert but somewhat slow to respond, oriented, cooperative.

“September 15, 1959 ... patient is a well–developed, young male ... .”

I’ve made a point of noting my 20/20 vision because it was reported by the New York Times that one of my high–school classmates, Jerry Peligrano, described me as “bespectacled.”[307] Kids with 20/20 vision don’t wear spectacles. It’s clear that Peligrano has me mixed up with someone else. We shall see later that many of the other stories told about me have similarly been based on mistaken identity.

On entering college I had a physical examination at the Harvard University Health Services. The doctor reported that I had good posture, “strong masculine component” (whatever that means), 20/20 vision in the right eye, and 20/15–2 in the left.[308] He also filled out a multiple–choice form indicating his assessment of my personality. His opinion must have been based on an interview with me, though I do not remember this. The form consisted of a list of nine different areas in which the doctor was to rate the student from A to E, A being best and E worst. Here are the ratings he gave me:

1. Appearance and Manner B. Good impression created. Attractive, mature for age, relaxed.
2. Speech B. Talks easily, fluently and pleasantly.
3. Social Relations C. 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.
4. Athletic Interests and Participation D. Little ability in organized athletics. May prefer individual or non–contact sports or have inferior physical coordination. At best, he is a spectator.
5 Practical Motivations and Life Attitudes B. Essentially a practical and realistic planner and an efficient worker. Affairs usually run smoothly.
6. Aesthetic and Cultural Motivations and Life Attitudes C. Cultural or aesthetic activity present, but definitely of a hobby nature rather than a primary urge in life.
7. Basic Personality Integration A. Exceedingly stable, well integrated and feels secure within himself. Usually very adaptable. May have many achievements and satisfactions.
8. War Service Adjustment (Left Blank)
9. College Adjustment B. Good prospects for doing successfully in college but may have some minor difficulty either in studies or otherwise.

On the opposite side of the sheet, in a space provided for “Impression of the student as a person,” the doctor wrote:

“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 crystalized yet but this is to be expected at his age. Is slightly shy and retiring but not to any abnormal extent. Should be steady worker.”[309]

Now let’s turn to my academic records. Report cards for the three years I spent at Evergreen Park Central School have been preserved. The cards list several behavioral traits, to wit: “Maintains a friendly, courteous, cooperative attitude,” “Accepts praise and criticism to improve,” “Is neat and orderly,” “Treats others and their ideas with respect and courtesy,” “Respects law and order,” “Recognizes and carries out his share of responsibility,” “Works without annoying others,” “Respects property,” “Shows growth in self–discipline,” “Arrives at class promptly with necessary materials,” “Begins work promptly,” “Plans and complete work to best of his ability,” “Concentrates on the job at hand,” “Expects only a fair amount of attention,” “Is attentive to directions,” “Uses time to good advantage.” A checkmark in a box next to any one of these items denoted a deficiency in the trait indicated. I got one and only one checkmark in my three years at Evergreen Park Central. It was in the third grading period of fifth grade, and it appeared next to “Concentrates on the job at hand .” This probably referred to a tendency on my part to daydream in class.[310]

If my high–school report cards have survived, I don’t have them. I do have a transcript of my high–school record, and it includes a list of behavioral traits, with boxes marked “high”, “medium,” and “low” next to each item. The boxes have been left blank except for my senior year. For my senior year the evaluations are: [311]

I take it that the numerals refer to the number of teachers, out of five, who gave me each rating. For example, three teachers out of five rated me as medium on emotional adjustment and two rated me as low. It’s surprising that the ratings for emotional adjustment weren’t worse, considering how unhappy and frustrated I was at the time.

In support of my application for admission to Harvard, my high–school counselor, Miss Skillen, filled out a form [312] in which, among other things, she was asked to rate me with respect to seven traits on a scale of I to 9, best being 9 and worst 1. Here is how she rated me:

“In terms of his ability to do satisfactory academic work at Harvard, how would you rate the candidate?

8 (exceptionally able)

Considering only the student’s interests, work habits and life goals, what are the chances that he will be motivated to take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to him at Harvard?

9 (practically certain)

In comparison with his classmates, how would you rate the candidate in terms of energy, vigor, enthusiasm or drive?

9 (outstanding)

What are the chances that this student will have personal or social problems which will hinder him from doing college work in line with his capabilities?

8 (very unlikely)

In comparison with his classmates, how would you rate the candidate in terms of warmth and attractiveness of personality?

8 (outstanding)

In comparison with his classmates, how would you rate the candidate in terms of his sense of responsibility and concern for others?

8 (outstanding)

In comparison with his classmates, what is the quality of the candidate’s work in English composition?

9 (outstanding)

The form also included the question, “Is there any evidence that the applicant is emotionally unstable? Yes_ No_.” Miss Skiilen checked “No.”

The form listed a number of “special circumstances” to be considered in evaluating a candidate, with a box to be checked next to each item. One of the items was, “He has experienced more than normal emotional difficulty in growing up.” Miss Skiilen did not check the box next to this item. Thus she indicated her opinion that I did not have such difficulties.

The form provided a space for comments, and here is what Miss Skillen wrote:

“Ted Kaczynski is beginning his third year of high school. We plan to graduate him in the spring of 1958 even though he has only been enrolled here for a period of three years. We have accelerated his schedule, and have encouraged enrollment in summer school so that he would be able to enter college earlier than he had planned. Since elementary school, Ted has been marked by superior ability, extreme versatility, and an intellectual vigor and soundness. His teachers have found him keenly curious, deeply devoted to one vocational goal, but still able to excel in all subjects. We have found him to be first and foremost a scientist in his thinking and in his goals. However, we have also found him to be an accomplished musician, interested in composition and theory of music. He comes from a very modest home, where he is allowed to buy books before anything else, and these factors have been tremendously encouraging to his intellectual development. Of all the youngsters I have worked with at the college level, 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. He is willing to think originally, and is willing to express his convictions. 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. He has long been interested in Astronomy and is accomplished in this particular phase of science.[313] One of his problems in college will be the large one of channeling his energies and his versatile interests into one major field of interest. He is supported completely by his family as he enters college, and I believe is a person we can recommend most highly and with great enthusiasm for any school which he might wish to enter. He should profit most from the school which can provide him with many subject areas so that he may explore and enjoy the intellectual challenge evident in such a curriculum.

“October 16–1957 Lois Skillen, Director of Counseling.” [314]

I wouldn’t dream of suggesting that anyone should take the foregoing seriously as a truthful representation of my personality. I think Miss Skillen was rather unscrupulous about the methods that she used to get me into Harvard. But her comments do demonstrate that she didn’t see me as the kind of disturbed sicko that my brother and mother have recently portrayed in the media. If she had seen me that way she wouldn’t have been so enthusiastically bent on sending me to Harvard. (See Appendix 8 for further evaluations by my high school teachers.)

In connection with my application for admission to Harvard, I was interviewed by a certain Rudy Ruggles on May 1, 1958. His report included only one sentence that said anything about my personality:

“This boy is obviously young, but he is very well poised, expressed himself well and gave the impression of being a fine boy.”[315]

The interview form also included a rating on “personal qualities.” On a scale of I to 6 (1 best, 6 worst), Ruggles rated me 3, “Good above–average boy.” [316]

When I first got to Harvard I felt myself under an obligation to try to make friends, because my parents had often criticized me for not being more social. But I soon found that I didn’t fit in with the prep–school types by whom I was surrounded, so I gave it up as a bad job and went my own way, a way that was fairly eccentric by Harvard standards. During my freshman year I used to come to my room after supper and, while taking off the coat and tie that were required in the dining hall, I would mutter a string of curses about the mountain of work I had to do. Then I would force myself to stay up studying until at least 2:00 AM. Fresh linen was delivered to my door each week, but often I neglected to put the sheets on the bed and slept on the bare mattress. My mother had provided me with a suit, tie, sport coat, dress pants, and the like, but she’d given me only two pairs of washable pants, one of which was baggy and the other close–fitting. I didn’t like the fancy stuff and (except in the dining hall ) wore only casual clothes. I wore the close–fitting pants six days a week and the baggy pants on the other day, when I washed the close–fitting pants.[317] I didn’t buy another pair of pants because I was sixteen years old, had never bought clothes for myself (my mother took care of that), and didn’t quite know how to go about it. Eventually, toward the end of my freshman year, the close–fitting pants wore out and I was forced to embark on the adventure of buying my own pants for the first time in my life.

During that first year I was in a small dormitory (8 Prescott Street) that was reserved for brighter students, and I was not the only eccentric there. One kid seemingly never washed his hands, since they were always visibly filthy, yet he invariably wore a suit and tie. Another kid habitually told lies, and yet another kid had various problems that we needn’t describe here.

At any rate, my parents wrote me that someone had sent them a brochure from the Harvard mental–health services describing counseling available to students.[318]

They took this as a hint that I needed counseling and they seemed a little concerned. I wrote them back telling them that I was doing fine, and they did not refer to the matter again. I used to think that the dorm proctor, Francis E.X. Murphy, had sent them the brochure,[319] but this seems doubtful in view of the relatively favorable evaluation of me that he wrote, to which I have recently gained access. Possibly the brochure was sent to all parents of Harvard freshmen as a matter of routine. However that may be, Murphy wrote the following “Resident Freshman Advisor Report” on March 17, 1959:

“A very quiet and retiring young man, Ted works almost constantly on his science courses. He seems to have no interests other than his work and although not unsocial, or unpleasant, isolates himself completely from all his classmates. He is an excellent trombonist, but is reluctant to join any Harvard musical groups. He is very immature and perhaps because of his age (he is only sixteen) he may feel himself apart. He does not seem to mind being alone, and is very independent and well organized. I do not imagine that the prospect of room–mates is pleasing to him, but people who are friendly and reasonably quiet should be good for him. His lack of interest in anything other than science is reflected in the relatively poor grades he received in Humanities and Social Sciences.”[320]

That’s the entire report.[321]

The statement that I isolated myself from my classmates is not quite correct. It would be more accurate to say that my classmates isolated me. They never invited me to go anywhere with them or do anything with them, they never invited me to their rooms, they showed little or no interest in having conversations with me. As already noted, I did at first try to make friends with them, but they appeared unresponsive; which was not surprising, since their cultural world seemed very different from the one I had come from. This was true even of those who have recently told investigators that they came from a “working–class” or “middle–class” background. At the time, I assumed most of them were “preppies”, because their speech, manners, and dress were so much more “cultured” than mine. There are, of course, people of working–class origin who ape the manners of the upper classes as soon as they get the chance.

As for my being “reluctant to join any Harvard musical groups,” on arriving at Harvard l did try out for the band, and was accepted. But before playing even a single note with them I was required to attend a drill session in which we practiced marching in formation for football games (something I had never had to do in the high–school band).

I hated it. Since I was also concerned about whether the band would demand too much of the time I needed for studying, I resigned from it. The only other musical group I knew of that I could have joined was the orchestra, and orchestral trombone parts generally are very uninteresting. My teacher, Cimera, had always said that playing in a symphony orchestra would ruin a good trombonist.

So much for my freshman year. During my three subsequent years at Harvard I lived at Eliot House. In connection with my applications for renewal of my scholarship, John Finley, Master of the house, wrote two brief evaluations, one at the end of my sophomore year and the other at the end of my junior year:

“Beyond achieving his fairly good record of an A, two B’s and a C at midyears (the first and last respectively in Math. 20 and Physics 12c), Kaczynski’s chief activity is to have grown a wispish beard and to practice the trumpet. [Sic; it was a trombone, not a trumpet.] He is fairly good at it, and the mournful strains float down from the rooms above our house where he lives. He is pretty lonely, I fear, despite efforts of roommates, to whom I have spoken of him. [I was not aware of any “efforts” on the part of my roommates.] One may see him occasionally in the corner of the Dining Hall sitting with his back to the room. He is a year younger than many of his classmates [sic; actually two years] and may yet show the talent that might justify such isolation. Meanwhile, he remains pretty sad. Perhaps his life is brighter to him than it seems to others—I devoutly hope so.

“June 7, 1960 John H. Finley.”[322]

“His midyear performance of three A’s and a B (the A’s in Mathematics and Quine’s Logic) begin to justify the curious act of imagination that got him here. For some reason one no longer hears this year the strains of his trumphet [sic] from our top floor, and the wispish beard has vanished. He is still pretty lonely but less friendless than he was a year ago. He turned nineteen only at the end of May and has had to overcome both youth and simple upbringing. His excellent and mounting marks argue high inner strength; he should begin to find himself fully in Graduate School. All very gallant, touching, and memorable.

“June 6, 1961 John H. Finley.” [323]

During my junior year at Harvard my faculty advisor was Professor Andrew Gleason of the mathematics department. Unlike many other faculty advisors he did not merely rubber–stamp my course selections, and I had two or three extended conversations with him about my program. When I applied for admission to graduate school during my senior year I asked him for a recommendation, and he wrote:

“My acquaintance with Kaczynski has been rather slight: I have been his advisor but have never had him in class. ... He has always struck me favorably at the personal level.”[324]

The rest of Gleason’s note discussed only my mathematical abilities and made no further mention of my personal qualities, so there is no need to reproduce it here. I had recommendations also from two other professors,[325] but they dealt exclusively with my mathematical abilities.

During my sophomore year I was talked into becoming a participant (against my better judgment) in a psychological study directed by the late Professor Henry A. Murray. Along with a couple of dozen other Harvard students, over a period of almost three years I went through a series of interviews and filled out many questionnaires.[326] My brief 1959 autobiography was written for Murray’s group. The assessment arrived at by the psychologists would be very useful in determining how people saw my personality, but up to the present (March 14, 1998) the Murray Center at Radcliffe College has refused to release any of the psychologists’ conclusions to my attorneys; and most of the individual psychologists involved have declined to cooperate with the investigators, who to my knowledge have obtained no information concerning any conclusions that were drawn about me. One wonders whether the Murray Center has something to hide. Anyway, all I know at the moment about the psychologists’ conclusions is that I was included in an “ideologically alienated” group that was discussed by Kenneth Keniston in his book The Uncommitted.{39}

A note of caution to people who might think they can get information about me by reading Keniston’s book: Statements made by Keniston about his alienated group were evidently intended to describe the tendencies of the group as a whole, and were not meant to apply to each individual member of the group. Many of his statements are not true when applied to me personally. I am speaking of factual statements, not of interpretations or of theories about unconscious motivations. For example, according to Keniston, members of his alienated group reported a “strong sense of cosmic outcastness ...[and] self–estrangement. “[327] I have never had or reported any such feelings.

I wrote my mother in 1991:

“One of the psychologists who participated in [the Murray] study, and who interviewed me a few times, was a youngish instructor who lived at Eliot House. He was a member of the house master’s inner clique. Two or three times when I met him at Eliot House I said ‘hello.’ In each case this psychologist answered my greeting in a low tone, looking off in another direction and hurrying away as if he didn’t want to stop and talk to me. I’ve thought this over, and the only half–way plausible [explanation I can think of for this behavior] is that this man didn’t want to be seen socializing with someone who wasn’t dressed properly and wasn’t acceptable to the clique of which he was a member.”[328]

The psychologist referred to in this passage was Keniston. I told the same story in my 1979 autobiography,[329] but there my speculative explanation for Keniston’s behavior was that he disliked me.

The remaining concrete evidence that I have of the way my personality was viewed in those days comes from my University of Michigan records. I will quote those of my professors’ comments that refer to my personality and omit those that describe only my mathematical ability. However, I will include those comments about my mathematical ability that have also a bearing on my personality; for example, the term “original” was applied to my mathematical work, but originality is in addition a personality trait.

1962–63, report on my performance in Math 602, by Professor Duren; “Showed interest, independence, and originality. He is very much an abstract pruist [sic; “purist” is meant]—I think it is a form of mathematical immaturity. He also seems a little too sure of himself.”[330]

1962–63, report on my performance as a paper–grader for Math 336, by Professor Halpern: “Very cooperative and efficient.”[331]

1963–64, report on my performance in Math 603, by Professor Piranian: “Has imagination.” [332]

1963–64, report on my performance in Math 604, by Professor Piranian: " ... lacks fire.” [333]

December 23, 1963, recommendation in support of application for renewal of teaching fellowship, by Professor Piranian: “He can work intensively, and he has a fertile imagination. ... Personally, he is modest and pleasant.”[334]

January 13, 1964, recommendation in support of application for renewal of teaching fellowship, by Professor Duren: " ... he ... seemed to think about things in a mature way and to try to understand broad relationships. ... He seems to have some originality, too. ... My main criticism is that Mr. Kaczynski seems to have too high an opinion of himself, too much confidence in his own abilities. For a student at his level, it is unnatural. Otherwise he is a pleasant fellow, easy to get along with.”[335]

1964–65, report on my performance in Math 701, by Professor Shields: " ... original work...” [336]

1964–65, report on my performance in Math 702, by Professor Shields:

“Meticulous work, often quite original.” [337]

1965–66, report on my performance in Math 635, by Professor Titus: " ... thorough, confident, talented.” [338]

1965–66, report on my performance in Math 999 (research for doctoral thesis), by Professor Shields: " ... very original man.” [339]

February 3, 1966, recommendation in support of application for financial support, by Professor Shields: “Very independent in research—can find his own problems. Mr. Kaczynski is a very pleasant person ... .”[340]

Concerning Professor Duren’s characterization of me as overconfident: The year before I took Math 601 and 602 from him, I’d taken Math 212a and b from Professor Lynn Harold Loomis at Harvard, the best mathematics course I ever took. I got only a B in 212a because at the time I was struggling to keep my head above water in Math 250, but the next semester I took no other mathematics course than 212b. I caught up on what I’d missed in 212a, and learned the subject–matter of 212b so thoroughly that apart from the reading–period assignment, I was able to develop all of the material of the course on my own, without reference to any books or notes and without hesitation.[341] When I got to the University of Michigan, I received a document that told me I was to take Math 601 and 602. Since most of the material of these two courses had been covered in 212a and b at Harvard, I asked some professor whether I could omit them. He referred me to Professor Halmos. Halmos was a very distinguished mathematician, author of the definitive text on measure theory, a subject which constituted a large part of the material of Math 601 and 602. When I told him I’d taken Math 212 at Harvard he asked me. “Who taught it?” I said, “Professor Loomis .” “What grade did you get?” “I got an A.” Then he asked, “Are you an expert?” What beginning graduate student, in the presence of the great P.R. Halmos, would have had the temerity to describe himself as an expert on measure theory? So of course I said “No.” “Then, “answered Halmos, “You’d better take 601 and 602.”[342]

Duren had gotten his PhD only two years earlier and was just starting at the University of Michigan, and he was teaching 601 and 602 for the first time. Since I very likely knew the material better than he did, it’s not to be wondered at that he thought me overconfident. In general, I probably tended to underestimate my own mathematical abilities, if anything. When I recently gained access to the confidential parts of my University of Michigan records, I was distinctly surprised at how laudatory some of the comments were. I hadn’t thought I was that good.

On leaving the University of Michigan, I took a position as Assistant Professor at the University of California at Berkeley. After teaching there for two years, I resigned in order to go live in the woods.

A personal letter from John W. Addison (chairman of the mathematics department at Berkeley) to my former dissertation advisor, Allen Shields, has somehow found its way into my University of Michigan records, though it was written two and a half years after I left Michigan.

“Kaczynski did indeed resign effective June 30, 1969. ... He said he was going to give up mathematics ... . He was very calm and relaxed about it on the outside. ...

“Kaczynski seemed almost pathologically shy and as far as I know he made no close friends in the Department. Efforts to bring him more into the swing of things had failed.”[343]

It’s not clear why Addison described me as “almost pathologically shy.” I was shy, but not that shy. Perhaps he overestimated my shyness because of my failure to mix with other members of the department. However, I failed to mix not only due to poor social adjustment, but also because by that time I had decided that I didn’t want to be a mathematician. I was teaching at Berkeley only to get money to finance my project of going to live in the woods.[344] I considered mathematicians to be very uninteresting people, and I felt I had nothing in common with them. To them, mathematics was Important, with a capital I, whereas to me it was only a game—a game with which I had become bored.

It is worth noting that none of the comments on my personality in my University of Michigan records describe me as shy. Yet one professor at Michigan apparently did notice that I was socially withdrawn. Piranian once told me that I ought to attend mathematical conferences because it would be “good for [me] psychologically and socially.” To Piranian the remark may have been merely a casual one, but, though I said nothing, I was mortally offended by it. Ever since my teens I’d been acutely sensitive to any comment that seemed to reflect negatively on my personality, my psychology, or my social adjustment. It was many years before I forgave Piranian for that remark.[345]

* * *

One last comment concerning my academic career. Newsweek wrote: “At the University of Michigan, [Kaczynski] won a prize for his doctoral thesis. But flouting the customs of academic collegiality, he made no acknowledgments—not to teachers or fellow students.”[346]

I did not flout any customs of academic collegiality. Piranian had called my attention to the problem that got me started on my thesis topic and had encouraged me to work on it. I acknowledged this in a footnote to the paper in which I published my solution to the problem: “I would like to thank Professor G. Piranian for his encouragement.”[347] Piranian gave me no help beyond encouragement; he did advise me to take a certain approach in attacking the problem, but I did not follow his advice; if I had followed it I would never have solved the problem.[348]

I did not make any acknowledgments in my doctoral thesis. There was no need for me to do so, since no one had helped me with the work. In his evaluation of the thesis, my thesis director, A.L. Shields, wrote: “Kaczynski has worked entirely on his own, with only a minimum of guidance from me.”[349] Actually, I don’t recall getting any guidance at all from him.


6. How people saw me after my arrest; false reports about me

We saw in the last chapter that, while some people recognized that I was socially withdrawn, the evidence shows that prior to my arrest people did not see me as the strange sicko that the media have portrayed. As for what has been reported since my arrest, people’s memories and perceptions often are heavily influenced by what they see and hear in the media, and there are many persons who will tell the media what they think is expected of them. The media report inaccurately much of the material they receive, and they probably select stories that support the image that they want to project.

During June, 1996, investigators working on my case conducted a door–to–door survey of public opinion about me in Lincoln, Montana. One of their interviewees reported that “a lot of Lincoln people and maybe even some of the FBI were pulling the media leg [sic] by making up information and telling them lies to see if they would be printed (which they were)”.[350] According to another interviewee, “a lot of ... people in Lincoln, pretend that they knew Ted when really they did not. ‘You can no longer pick out the truths from the untruths.’”[351] Needless to say, these fabrications were not confined to the Lincoln area.

When people who have been nothings all their lives, who may have started out with high ambitions but ended up essentially as failures in that they achieved little of what they had expected, suddenly find that they are a focus of attention through the accident of their association with someone who is in the news, they may let their imaginations run wild in order to stay in the spotlight and feel important for a change.

Often, no doubt, they believe sincerely in the truth of their own fantasies.

I once read a story titled “Pie in the Sky” —I think it may have been by William Styron, but I’m not sure. Anyway, the story was about a bored employee of a major news service who sent out a photograph of a pie with a bite taken out of it, accompanied by a report that a gap had suddenly appeared in the moon and then disappeared a few moments later. As soon as the report hit the news, thousands of people all over America began calling newspapers and radio stations to say they, too, had seen the gap in the moon.

The story was fiction, but it was intended to illustrate a truth: When the media report anything that is highly unusual, there are many weak–minded people who will insist, “I saw it too!” Thus, after the first reports of “flying saucers” appeared back in the 1950’s, all sorts of incompetents came crawling out of the woodwork with tales of flying saucers that they had seen themselves, complete with interesting details such as rows of lighted windows or weird–looking aliens. So it is not surprising that after my arrest there were many people who swore they’d seen me in places where I’d never been.

One particularly grotesque example was the story told by Professor Donald Saar of Northwestern University, as reported by the New York Times. According to the Times, “Investigators have expressed some doubts about Professor Saari’s account,”[352] as well they might, since I’ve never seen Professor Saari in my life. Joel Shapiro, a professor of mathematics at Michigan State University, told one of my investigators that he thought that Professor Saari’s colleagues at the Northwestern math department were embarrassed about the tale he told the media.[353]

It would be impractical for me to try to refute, or even mention, all of the innumerable false reports that have been published about me, so I will have to confine myself to a few examples.

Some egregious ones have been provided by Pat McIntosh, a former suitemate of mine in Eliot N–43, where I lived during my sophomore, junior, and senior years at Harvard. The New York Times quoted McIntosh as saying that " ... in three years, ‘I don’t recall more than 10 words being spoken by [Kaczynski]...’” I never met anybody like him who was as extreme in avoiding socialization.’”[354] Time wrote: “‘Ted had a special talent for avoiding relationships by moving quickly past groups of people and slamming the door behind him,’ says Patrick McIntosh.”[355]

As a matter of fact, I had a fair number of conversations with McIntosh and the clique within the suite to which he belonged. I even played basketball with them, and I still have a bump on the side of my tongue to prove it. As I wrote to my parents at the time:

“I have decided to quit playing basketball because I keep hurting myself. First I bruised my hand very badly, next I got bad blisters on my feet. Now just the other day I collided with somebody just as he was bringing his arm up to shoot and I got knocked pretty hard under the chin—and the edge of my tongue got caught between my teeth so that I practically bit a piece off the side of it (a small piece) so eating is pretty uncomfortable.”[356]

The “somebody” with whom I collided was none other than Patrick McIntosh.

I not only recall having a number of conversations with McIntosh, I remember the content of some of those conversations. On one occasion the subject of flying saucers came up. I expressed disbelief in these alien space–ships, but McIntosh was able to state definitely that they existed, because he had seen one. He and some friend or relative of his had once been out at night and had seen a row of lights some distance away. Since McIntosh could think of no other explanation, he concluded that the lights were the windows of a flying saucer. He was dead certain sure of it. On another occasion psychic phenomena were discussed, and I again expressed disbelief. McIntosh countered by asserting that his mother had telepathic powers—she always knew, without having been notified, when relatives were coming to visit. When he took Anthropology 10, Human Evolution, he developed the ingenious theory that “the Nigra” (he was from Southern Illinois, and that was how he pronounced the word “Negro” ) was “an intermediate stage in evolution between the ape and man.”

Some allowance has to be made for the limitations of McIntosh’s intelligence.

He is a rather dim bulb. He bills himself as an astronomer, but he does not have a Ph.D., though he did formerly work in an observatory. He once complained to me that his advisor at Harvard’s astronomy department had told him, in reference to his C in advanced calculus, “If you want to be an astronomer, those A’s should just come naturally to you.”

“He doesn’t understand,” added McIntosh, “that not everyone is as smart as he is.”

Actually, I think the professor understood very well that not everyone was as smart as he was, and for that reason was hinting to McIntosh that he ought to consider some other line of work. But Pat apparently was not quite bright enough to catch the professor’s meaning. According to my investigators, “Patrick has been somewhat disappointed with his professional career.”[357]

By this time, perhaps, the reader will have concluded that the fact that I didn’t care to socialize with Pat McIntosh was not necessarily a symptom of abnormality. McIntosh’s buddies in N–43 were brighter than he was, but, like him, they were unimaginative, conventional, suit–and–tie–wearing types,[358] and I found them uninteresting, not to say dull. There were a couple of other fellows in the suite, Fred Hapgood and Bob Crosman, whom I found more congenial and with whom I spent more time.[359]{40} But it is still true that I was generally pretty solitary at Harvard and made no close friends there. Newsweek wrote:

“[Kaczynski’s] bedroom, a single, ‘was the messiest room I’d ever seen,’ McIntosh says. ‘It was a foot or two deep in trash. And it smelled, because there was spoiled milk and sandwiches underneath all that stuff.’”[360]

Time quoted McIntosh to this effect:

“Kaczynski’s room was a swamp; the others finally called in the housemaster, the legendary Master of Eliot House John Finley, who was aghast. ‘I swear it was one or two feet deep in trash,’ McIntosh says. ‘It had an odor to it. Underneath it all were what smelled like unused cartons of milk.’” [361]

In Chapter 5, I quoted in full the evaluations of me that John Finley wrote at the end of my sophomore and my junior year, respectively. It is interesting that he made no reference to the alleged condition of my room, despite the fact that, according to McIntosh, he was “aghast” at it. Of course, one can hypothesize that my suitemates did not call Finley in until my senior year (no evaluation of me was written at the end of that year), but then one has to ask why they waited for more than two years to take action.

As a matter of fact, my room was fairly messy, but not beyond what is commonplace for bachelor housekeeping. My bed was often unmade, clothes were thrown over furniture rather than hung up, the desk was covered with disordered books and papers. As a mathematician I consumed a great deal of scratch paper. I discarded it by crumpling it into a ball and tossing it into the waste–basket. When the wastebasket overflowed I kept tossing the paper until one corner of the room was full of it. At maximum size the pile of paper might have covered ten percent of the floor space of the small room. The rest of the floor was clear of trash and other obstructions, except furniture and my foot–locker. There were no milk cartons, sandwiches, or other food remains under the paper. All my life I have been careful to dispose of food garbage properly, and have been careless only about the kind of rubbish that does not breed bacteria or attract vermin. There were rooms at Harvard that were as filthy as McIntosh describes—I saw some—but mine was not one of them. If Master Finley was ever called to look at my room, he didn’t do so when I was present and I never heard anything about it. (See Appendix 3.)

McIntosh’s memory has shown itself wrong in a number of other cases. For instance, he told my investigators that “Harvard students were required to wear a coat and tie to class. If you wore a sweater rather than a coat, or forgot to wear a tie, you were sent back to your room.”[362] False. Students were required to wear a coat and tie in the dining halls, but there was no dress code of any kind for classes. I ought to know, because I almost never wore a coat or tie anywhere except at meals. I do not at the moment have documentary proof that coats and ties were not required in Harvard classes during 1958–62, but anyone who doubts my statement should be able to check it out.

The New York Times refers to my “annoying trombone blasts in the dead of night”[363] without citing any source. On the next page it cites Pat McIntosh’s reference to my “trombone blasts.”[364] The book Unabomber states, apparently on McIntosh’s authority, that I was “known to play [my] trombone late into the night.”[365] In reality I was always careful to avoid playing my trombone at hours when it would be likely to annoy others. Once and only once I was asked to quiet down while playing the trombone. It was in the afternoon; one of my suitemates, a German named Rudi something–or–other, explained that he was studying for a final exam; I apologized and stopped playing immediately. The reader will please refer to the evaluations by Master Finley that I quoted in Chapter 5 and note that while he writes of my trombone–playing, he makes no mention of any “blasts” or of playing at inappropriate hours.

In Appendix 3, I show that McIntosh erroneously portrayed me as playing the trombone during my senior year.

According to Newsweek:

“McIntosh remembers an incident when Kaczynski, angry about something, used soap to scrawl a pig and a rude remark on the bathroom mirror ... . ‘He was one of the strangest people I met at Harvard,’ McIntosh says. ‘He was so intent on not being in contact with people even then.’” [366]

Pat McIntosh has me mixed up with someone else, and I can prove it by means of an old letter that has survived. On March 12, 1962, I wrote my parents:

“[R]emember that loony fascist character I told you about in the Suite? Looks like he’s really cracking up—this morning he left a picture of a pig’s head drawn in Soap on the bathroom mirror—and by it he left a note saying: ‘The warlike little pig is watching the fierce ones’—the ‘warlike little pig’ obviously referring to himself. He looks like a little pig.”[367]

I now apologize to this gentleman for describing him as a “loony fascist”. His political views were pretty far to the right, but it would not be accurate to describe them as fascistic; and I of all people should have avoided–careless imputations of mental–illness. My investigators have tracked this man down. He’s had a successful career as a university professor and he apparently is highly proficient in his specialty. Very bright people often are oddballs.

Pat McIntosh took a photograph of the pig’s–head and later stuck it on the oddball’s door in order to taunt him. I spotted the photo before the oddball did, so I removed it and left it on a shelf in the cloakroom. I was surprised at what seemed to me to be McIntosh’s childishness; but the point here is that McIntosh knew at that time that it was the oddball who had drawn the pig on the mirror.

While I was cool toward McIntosh and his clique and held conversations with them only occasionally, the oddball did go to an extreme in avoiding social contact with the others in the suite.[368] So it’s clear that McIntosh’s fuddled memory has got me mixed up with the oddball (and maybe one or two others) until he doesn’t know where one begins and the other ends.

It’s evident that many other stories that have been told about me also are based on mistaken identity. To give just three examples:

The New York Times quotes Richard Adams, who was in Eliot House when I lived there, as follows:

“He was sallow, humorless, introverted, a guy who couldn’t make conversation. Kaczynski wore non–modish clothes: a kind of unpleasant plaid sports jacket and a tie that didn’t go with it. He didn’t look happy.” [369]

No one has ever described my complexion as “sallow”. Moreover, I have never owned a plaid sports jacket. I wouldn’t be likely to forget it if I had, since I’ve never owned but four sports jackets and three suits in my life. It’s apparent that Mr. Adams has me confused with someone else.

Newsweek wrote:

“Gerald Burns ... remembers Kaczynski from bull sessions at an all–night cafeteria with a group of math and philosophy majors. He had ... ‘cockatoo hair,’ Burns says. ... The late–night sessions, Burns says, often involved Immanuel Kant ... .

“Burns says he got a call last year ... from a mutual friend who remembered Kaczynski’s fondness for Kant.” [370]{41}

I’ve never participated in bull sessions at a cafeteria. I’ve never had “cockatoo hair.” I’ve never had the slightest interest in Immanuel Kant, and this can be documented.[371] I’ve read nothing of Kant’s work beyond what I was required to read for the Humanities 5 course at Harvard, and I regarded everything I read in that course as just a lot of crap. It’s obvious that Gerald Burns, too, has confused me with someone else.

The New York Times refers to my “odd metronomic habit of rocking back and forth on a chair” [372] as I studied. This apparently is another case of mistaken identity. When studying in my room (not in the library) I had a habit of tilting my chair back and balancing in that position, controlling the angle of tilt with light pressure of my feet on the legs of my desk. In a few cases I pushed my luck too far and fell over backwards. Because I was balancing, I swayed back and forth. My former suitemates have described this as “rocking,” but the term is not apt, because “rocking” implies a rhythmic movement and my swaying was an irregular, non–rhythmic, balancing motion that was anything but metronomic. (See Appendix 3)

The reference to my alleged “odd metronomic habit” is almost certainly based on confusion between me and another student of mathematics who did not tilt his chair but rocked his body back and forth rhythmically as he studied. The motion was so rigidly–timed, mechanical, and persistent that it could indeed have been described as “metronomic,” and it made this student conspicuous in the library.

Though I remembered only the first name of this man, we succeeded in identifying him. He is now a professor at one of the four or five most distinguished universities in the United States, and he has confirmed to my investigators that he did have the habit I’ve described.[373]

* * *

Another source of tall tales about me has been Pat Morris, a high–school classmate of mine with whom I was never more than slightly acquainted. I won’t waste much time on Mr. Morris; it would be pointless to argue about charges that are either trivial (for example, that I tried to smear cake frosting on another kid’s nose[374]), or hopelessly vague (such as that I was “emotionally deficient,” [375] whatever that means). But it will be worthwhile to discuss my alleged adolescent exploits with explosives.

According to the New York Times:

“Mr. Moms recalled that Teddy once showed a school wrestler how to make a more powerful mini–bomb. It went off one day in a chemistry class, blowing out two windows and inflicting temporary hearing damage on a girl. ... Teddy ... later set off blasts that echoed across the neighborhood and sent garbage cans flying.” [376]

Newsweek reported:

“[A]ll the brains fooled around with homemade explosives. ... Morris recalls an incident with a schoolboy bomb that broke a window in chemistry class and left a girl with damaged hearing. ‘Somebody asked [Ted] [377] how to put the chemicals together and he told him,’ Morris says. The dumb kid, he went ahead and did it. Ted did not do this. He wasn’t smart enough to say, “This is not good to do.” His personality was not robust. He often got left holding the bag.’’’[378]

This passage is so garbled that it isn’t clear who is being referred to in the last three sentences. Anyhow, to set the record straight, I’ll summarize what really happened, as narrated in my 1979 autobiography and in an earlier account [379] that I wrote in the mid–1970’s.

Having some time to kill in the chemistry lab one day, I mixed a minute quantity of two chemicals, put half of the mixture on the tip of a spatula, and applied it to a bunsen–burner flame. It made a tiny pop. My lab partner, Rich Williams, having witnessed this operation, took the rest of the mixture, wrapped it in a scrap of paper, and dropped it into an empty crucible that was sitting over a bunsen–burner flame on the lab table behind us, which was occupied by Leslie Nieman and Keith Hrieben.{42}{43} There was another small pop.

Keith Hrieben became quite excited and asked me what the ingredients of the mixture were. Without stopping to think, I told him. He immediately dumped out his entire supply of the two chemicals onto a piece of paper and began mixing them. The whole quantity might have amounted to a couple of tablespoonfuls. A few of us who were a bit wiser than Keith Hrieben stood around urging him not to do anything like this in school and not to use such a large quantity of the chemicals. He simply ignored our warnings. I was quite worried by what he was doing, but it would have been a violation of the students’ unwritten code to be a “snitch” and tell the teacher, so I said, “I wash my hands of it,” and turned my back. A moment later, the stuff went off. Keith Hrieben received no significant injury, no windows were broken,[380] and I never heard that anyone’s hearing was damaged—and if anyone’s hearing had been damaged I undoubtedly would have heard plenty about it. The upshot was that Keith Hrieben was kicked out of the chemistry course altogether, while my lab–partner and I were suspended from laboratory work (but not from classroom work) in Chemistry for two weeks.

Any information that Pat Morris has about this incident is hearsay, because he was not in that class. It should be possible to confirm this by referring to his high–school records, if he allows access to them.

As for the statement that I “set off blasts that ... sent garbage cans flying,” it is hyperbole. Once and only once I helped set off an explosive charge in a garbage can. I one day suggested to Dale Eickelman that we should experiment with black powder. He became quite excited. We made up a small charge of the stuff—about equivalent to a large firecracker—and, at Dale’s insistence, we set it off in his parents’ garbage can. The lid was thrown a few feet into the air, but the can itself didn’t budge an inch.

* * *

I sit here contemplating the sorry catalog of nonsense that the media have printed about me and I am overcome with discouragement. I itch to refute all of it point by point, but there is just too much of it, and in most cases no documentation is available. So I will conclude this chapter by discussing a couple of episodes that my mother and brother have described with gross inaccuracy.

According to the Washington Post, my mother reported:

“Ted was so anxious about medical treatment that once, when he and his father found an injured rabbit, he begged that they not take it to a nearby animal hospital. After freshman year at Harvard, while he was home for the summer, he contracted mononucleosis and developed a high fever. A pediatrician urged Wanda to take Ted to the hospital.

“Ted was furious at his mother. ‘He was just so argumentative...,’ Wanda said.

And I told him, “Look, We have to find out what’s wrong. You have to go to the doctor.”...

“Ted did not speak to his parents again until the doctor said his health had improved and he could return to Harvard.”[381]

On April 12, 1996, my mother told Betsy Anderson:

“[Ted] spent that summer [after his first year at Harvard] at home, and contracted a severe case of mono. It took him a long time to get over it, and the family doctor was reluctant to allow Ted to return to school the first semester of his sophomore year. Ted begged and pleaded to be allowed to return, and their doctor finally relented.”[382]

I don’t remember the rabbit incident, and I doubt that it ever happened. I did have mononucleosis during the summer following my freshman year at Harvard, but I’m not aware of any reason to describe the case as “severe.” The medical records say that I did “not appear to be in any acute distress,”[383] and that I appeared “mildly ill.”[384] The case was not treated by the “family doctor” but by a Dr. Tanzi [385] who, as far as I know, had never treated any member of our family previously. Dr. Tanzi never expressed any reluctance to let me go back to college. There was no need for me to “beg and plead” —without any prompting from me he told me that I could return to school in time for the beginning of the semester. I was in the hospital for five days,[386] from September 10 to September 15, 1959. On the 15th I was sent home with instructions to see Dr. Tanzi again in a week.[387] I returned on September 21, but apparently was examined not by Tanzi but by a Dr. Greenberg, who sent me back to Harvard with instructions to take it easy for a while.[388]

But the important points here are that I was not “furious” about going to the hospital, and I was not “anxious about medical treatment.” I don’t remember having raised any objections about going to the hospital, but if I did so it would have been not because I was anxious about medical treatment but because I was afraid of starting my next semester at Harvard late. I am quite certain that I did not get “furious” over going to the hospital, and that I went at least semi–willingly, since I knew I was sick. Note that the hospital records describe me as “cooperative.” [389]

I certainly did not refuse to speak to my parents while I was in the hospital. In fact, they visited me, we had amicable conversation, and I even remember two books that they brought me—Ibsen’s Peer Gynt, and another titled The Last Hurrah (I don’t recall the author’s name).

My medical records from this period show clearly that I had no unusual anxiety about medical treatment. Prior to going to the University of Chicago’s Billings Hospital, I had already consulted a neighborhood doctor named Brant or Brandt [390] about the indisposition that later turned out to be mononucleosis. My Harvard records show that I consulted the doctors at the Health Services several times (obviously not under pressure from my parents, since they weren’t around) about relatively minor complaints such as athlete’s foot, a wart, and a sprained ankle.[391] Moreover, I was hospitalized (voluntarily, of course) from May 24 to May 26, 1961 in Harvard’s Stillman Infirmary with some type of respiratory infection that was not very serious.[392] Clearly, therefore, I had no abnormal fear of doctors and hospitals, and my mother’s grossly distorted account of the mononucleosis episode is just part of her effort to portray me as having been warped by “that hospital experience.”

At the age of 19 to 20 I had a girlfriend; the only one I ever had, I regret to say. Her name was Ellen Arl. She was an Evergreen Park resident, not someone I met in college. I went out with her a number of times during the summer following my junior year at Harvard. I saw her once the following summer; that meeting went badly and she broke off the relationship. The breakup had very little to do with the fact that she was a Catholic. The story is told in my 1979 autobiography.[393]

My brother, as usual, has got the facts garbled. “Just after [high–school] graduation, David recalled, Teddy dated a girl once or twice, but ended the relationship by expressing exasperation with her Catholic beliefs.” (New York Times) [394] There’s no chance that my brother is referring to another girl here since Ellen Arl was the only girl I ever dated before my mid–thirties.

My aunt Josephine also has it wrong, since she refers to my “high school girlfriend,” which Ellen Arl was not.[395]

My mother was even further off when she told Betsy Anderson that I “did see one girl named Eileen several times in junior high school.”[396]

There is a streak of stubborn stupidity in my mother. Sometimes she gets an error or a misconception stuck in her head, and no matter how many times she is corrected, she keeps repeating the error. For some reason she took a notion that Ellen Arl’s name was “Eileen.” I corrected her over and over again, but every time she mentioned Ellen Arl she would still call her “Eileen.” As we’ve just seen, she repeated the error to Betsy Anderson. She used to do the same thing with the word “cholesterol.”

Somehow she got the idea that it was “cholosteril”, and she kept pronouncing it that way for years, though I corrected her innumerable times. Eventually I think she did get her pronunciation straightened out, probably because the word was used so much in the media.

This perverse streak in my mother has expressed itself in another way that is potentially more serious. This is a point that I want to get cleared up now.

When we were in high school, Dale Eickelman once sent me a joke letter, purportedly from Russia. I found his idea highly amusing, and I subsequently sent “letters from Russia” to him and a few other friends of mine. The letters were intended to ridicule the Communist system. Dale also sent me some other joke letters. In one of them he enclosed some Christmas Seals or Easter Seals or the like; there was some joke connected with them, I don’t remember now what it was. In response I sent him a letter in which I enclosed some home–made “seals” of my own that I produced by carving a crude representation of a skull on a bit of linoleum, which I used together with an ink pad to print skulls in a rectangular pattern on a piece of paper. I made perforations between the rows and columns of skulls by pressing the cutting edge of a saw against the paper; thus the “stamps” could be readily torn from the sheet. I even coated the back of the sheet with a water–based glue, so that the “stamps” could be licked and stuck on things.

These stamps made a big hit with Dale Eickelman and one or two of my other friends, so I made up some sickle–and–hammer stamps, which I used in conjunction with my “letters from Russia.” Still later I made some swastika stamps, and others that bore the words “Down with Gwendolya.” Miss Gwendolya Halm was a geometry teacher who was hated by many students, including me.{44} Needless to say, neither the sickle–and–hammer stamps nor the swastika ones were expressions of political opinion or of sympathy with Communism or Nazism. They were simply adolescent mischief.

One day in geometry class I stuck a sickle–and–hammer stamp on the back of the kid sitting in front of me. A few minutes later Gwendolya Halm, walking down the aisle, noticed the stamp, peeled it off, and gave me a sour look.

I was never reprimanded for this incident, nor did I ever hear anything about it from my parents or teachers until a few years later my mother, in the course of some conversation, accused me of having “stuck a swastika on a Jewish boy’s back” in high school. I corrected her, telling her it was a sickle–and–hammer, not a swastika. (I might add that at the time of the incident I didn’t know the kid was Jewish. His mother was Jewish, his father was not, and his name was Chalmers, which is not exactly a Jewish–sounding name.) My mother replied, “Miss [Gwendolya] said it was a swastika.” I told her that whatever Gwendolya Halm had said, it wasn’t a swastika, it was a sickle–and–hammer. But my mother, with the stubborn stupidity that I’ve described, kept insisting it was a swastika. Over the years, for some unfathomable reason of her own, she brought up the incident several more times, always insisting that the stamp was a swastika no matter how many times I corrected her. She never gave any reason for adhering to this belief.

My brother must have picked this story up from my mother, because he told the FBI:

“[In high school on one] occasion, TED drew a swastika on a piece of paper and stuck it on the back of a Jewish student. Much later on in life TED told DAVE that he resented the fact that everyone overreacted to the swastika incident.”[397]

This is absurd. Not only did no one overreact to the incident, they didn’t react at all. What irritated me was my mother’s irrational insistence that the stamp was a swastika when in fact it was a sickle–and–hammer.

I want to nip in the bud any notion that I am, or ever have been, anti–semitic. My opinions are not necessarily politically correct. It seems obvious to me that there are statistical differences between the behavior of the members of different ethnic groups. Whether these differences are purely cultural or have also a genetic component is very much an open question, and I don’t pretend to know the answer to it. But every rational person knows that any type of personality or behavior and any level of ability can occur in any ethnic group or race, and therefore I judge people as individuals and not according to the ethnic group or race to which they belong. It’s true that for many years in my youth I resented women. Today I no longer do so—quite the contrary. I consider homosexuality to be a defect. I don’t consider it to be morally wrong, I don’t resent homosexuals, and I have no interest in persuading them to change their sexual habits. I could easily be friends with a homosexual as long as he didn’t make sexual advances to me. But I would still consider his homosexuality to be a defect. This is simply my own private opinion, I have no desire to impose it on anyone else, and I don’t care whether anyone agrees with me or not.


7. My relations with my parents in adulthood

By the time I was about 22 years old, verbal abuse from my father had ceased though now and then he made a remark that was, at the least, tactless. My mother no longer was insulting me with imputations of mental illness or gross immaturity, and of course my parents could no longer intimidate me by threatening to “throw me out of the house,” because I was earning enough as a teaching fellow at the University of Michigan so that I didn’t need any help from them.[398] In any case I spent only the summers, and sometimes Christmas vacations, at my parents’ home.

But my mother was still abnormally irritable toward me; much less so toward my father and brother. When I came home to spend a summer with the family my mother would at first be all sweetness toward me, but as the summer wore on she would have increasingly frequent and severe outbursts of irritation against me, until by the end of the summer her behavior was simply intolerable and I was glad to get away from her.

As far as I can remember, the main reason why I spent the summers with my parents was so that I could use their car to visit nature areas.[399] Of course, staying with them also enabled me to save money.

By the time I got my PhD from the University of Michigan in 1967, I had definitely decided that I did not want to spend my life as a mathematician and that I was going to go live in the woods. I accepted a position at the University of California at Berkeley only in order to earn some money for this purpose.[400] I didn’t tell my parents what I intended to do until two or three months before I left Berkeley. When I did tell them, my mother didn’t raise a stink about it (for a while, anyway) because by that time she knew that she couldn’t bully me any more. Besides, as I discovered later, she imagined or had convinced herself that I would only live in the woods for a couple of years and then return to my mathematical career.

I left Berkeley in June, 1969 and spent the summer travelling by car with my brother in Canada, looking for a place to settle.[401] Finally I applied for permission to lease a small plot of government land about a mile from the nearest road in northern British Columbia [402]. Then my brother and I drove to Lombard, Illinois, where our parents now lived. The summer was pretty well exhausted, I didn’t expect to do anything on the land I hoped to lease until the next summer, and, at my parents’ invitation,[403] I planned to spend the winter living with them. I wasn’t particularly anxious to stay with them, but I needed to conserve my supply of money. My brother soon went back to Columbia University,[404] where he was a student, to begin his senior year.

The British Columbia government took more than a year to act on my application to lease land, and then they denied it.[405] Meanwhile, I spent the summer of 1970 again looking for a suitable piece of land in Canada, though I must admit that by this time I was getting discouraged and wasn’t trying very hard.

My brother graduated from Columbia[406] in June, 1970 and spent the summer touring the West in a car with some of his college friends. Then he returned to Lombard, and after staying a short time at our parents’ house, he drove out to Montana in the white 1965 Chevelle that they either gave him or sold him at a low price. He set himself up in a cheap apartment in Great Fails, and, following a period of unemployment, got a job at the Anaconda Company smelter in Black Eagle, across the river from Great Falls.

I spent another winter, that of 1970–71, at the house in Lombard. The next spring, at my brother’s invitation, I drove to Montana, and together we bought our little patch of land [407] a few miles from Lincoln.

During the two winters I spent in Lombard my mother made herself insufferable. She was finally beginning to grasp the fact that my project of going to live in the woods wasn’t to be just a two–or three–year vacation from my mathematical career—I was giving up all that high–status crap for good. She nagged me incessantly, and often in insulting terms. She kept telling me that she was worried, worried, worried about me, but when I asked her why she was worrying she usually would give me no comprehensible answer. Occasionally, though, she would let out the real reason why she was worrying: she was afraid I wasn’t going to have the high–prestige career on which she had set her heart. She began to resort again to the device that she and my father had used so often during my teens—she would threaten to “throw me out of the house.”[408]

At this point the threat was not entirely without weight. I had to conserve my money. It was very difficult for me to find a job. If I were honest about my intentions, no one would hire me as a mathematician, because for that kind of position any company or university wants someone who will keep the job for years, not someone who is just looking for something to tide him over for a few months. I didn’t mind doing unskilled work, but nobody will hire someone with a PhD for that kind of job; they think you’re “overqualified.” I did apply for one or two unskilled jobs, but I soon gave that up because the employers’ reaction when they found out I had a PhD was just too humiliating. Of course, I could have lied on the application forms, but I was unable to bring myself to do this because, for better or for worse, I had been too well trained in early childhood in the principles of honesty. It wasn’t until three or four years later that, from sheer necessity, I was able to overcome my inhibitions about lying to potential employers.

The New York Times wrote:

“Living again at home, Mr. Kaczynski kept mostly to his bedroom. Awaiting word on his land application, he did nothing for more than a year. His parents urged him to get a job, not to make money but to give him something to do, to ease his mind. But the effort failed. ... His arguments with his parents over his unwillingness to work intensified.”[409]

In the first place, I did not “keep mostly to” my bedroom. In the second place, there was only one thing I needed to ease my mind, and that would have been for my mother to stop her unending, insulting nagging. In the third place, it was only my mother, not my father, who kept pestering me about a job, and she was concerned not so much that I should have some job as that I should have a high–status job. This is confirmed by a letter that I wrote my mother on October 5, 1970, under circumstances that would take too long to explain here:

“Dear Ma:

“I had the impression your feelings were hurt when I didn’t want to talk further in that phone call yesterday. I do feel sorry for my poor old ma, so I want to say that all is forgiven. However, in order to clear the air and reduce the likelyhood [sic] of further disagreements, I would like to state some of my grievances and tell you some of the things that irritate me.

“The reason I didn’t talk to you yesterday was this: I knew you would ask questions like ‘have you got a job,’ ‘what kind of job are you looking for,’ ‘what do you plan to do next,’ etc. ... I would have to listen to your ‘suggestions’ to the effect that I should get some kind of a high–prestige job. I don’t like to be told I am wasting my mind. You have a way of asking, ‘what kind of a job are you going to look for, dear?’ that makes me squirm, because I know perfectly well what is going on in your mind, even if you don’t mean to express it. It was legitimate for you to suggest once or twice that I should get a high–class job, but over the past year you have raised the subject repeatedly, even though I made it plain that I found it irritating. ...

“If you follow the following suggestions it will help improve our relations: ...

“Don’t make suggestions as to how I should run my life. If you must make such a suggestion, make it once and then drop the subject—and I mean drop it permanently. ...”[410]

Needless to say, this letter led to no abatement of my mother’s nagging. Eventually I did get a job with a temporary agency called “Abbott Temps.”[411] It wasn’t very remunerative, but at least it brought in some money. Yet my mother’s nagging continued without let–up. I quote from a letter that I wrote to my brother in 1986:

“In your letter [412] you mentioned in [our parents’] favor that they took very quietly our respective decisions not to follow respectable careers as they wanted. Ha! You weren’t there most of the time during the first couple of years after I quit my assistant professorship. You wouldn’t believe how much shit I had to take from the old bitch. To take just one example: One evening I had to sit there and listen to a long and extremely insulting tirade from her in which she accused me of causing her high blood pressure and ended by calling me ‘a monster! A monster! An ungrateful monster!’ I took all that quietly and when she was done I went to Dad who was in the bathroom shaving or something and I asked him ‘What do you think of that?’ All he said was, ‘Well, I think maybe you are contributing to her high blood pressure.’”[413]

After I set myself up in my cabin in Montana my relations with my mother improved somewhat, probably because they were carried on mostly by letter. Yet there was continuing friction between us. One reason was that my mother, who is anxiety–prone, kept pestering me to write her frequently, because she said she got worried if a few weeks passed without a letter from me. This problem came to a head in the winter of 1973–74 when, as was explained in Chapter 4 (pp. 105, 106), my mother threatened to contact the authorities and have them check up on me if I didn’t write her promptly. That led to a break in our relations that lasted for about a year, during which I didn’t write my parents at all. Afterward she was less persistent in nagging me to write home.

Another reason for the friction between us was my mother’s habit of sending me unwanted packages. Trouble on this score started between us during my time at Berkeley. My mother began sending me frequent packages filled with candy and sweets. I didn’t like to receive that stuff because it exposed me to a temptation that was injurious to the health, so I asked her politely to stop sending me such packages. She promised to do so, but she continued sending the packages anyway. A second time I asked her politely to stop sending me such stuff and again she promised, but the packages kept coming. The third time I asked her to stop sending the packages, I used harsh language. She wrote back that she would stop sending packages, but she added, “Why don’t you just ask me nicely instead of being mean about it?” I had asked her nicely, twice, but it hadn’t done any good. After I spoke to her harshly, though, she did stop sending me packages—for a while.

The problem arose again when I began living in Montana, and it was compounded by the fact that the packages often were too big to fit in my roadside mailbox, so that either I had to walk four miles to Lincoln to pick them up, or else the mailman hung them on the outside of box, with risk that they would be stolen or damaged by rain, since it was inconvenient for me to visit the box more often than once a week or so. Of course, I could simply have ignored the packages and let them be lost, but the waste of perfectly good food or other items made me uncomfortable.

My conflicts with my parents, especially my mother, over the packages are recorded in many of my letters that have survived from this period.

October 17, 1972:

“DON’T SEND ME ANY MORE MAGAZINES. I mean it.”[414]

Spring, 1973:

“Ma: Do not send me anything addressed to ‘Dr.’ T.J. Kaczynski. [I wanted to avoid advertising my level of education.] If you do, I will be very angry and I will call you very insulting names. I hate to have to threaten, but you know that in the past I have asked you time and again not to do certain things, and you still persist, so I have no choice but to be mean about it. For example, I have several times asked you not to send me those throw–aways from Harvard, but you still do it. So that’s another thing; don’t send me any more Harvard throw–aways–if you do I will insult you. I mean it.

... Also, don’t send me any magazines. And don’t send me any packages larger than 6” x 6” x 12”, because they won’t fit in the box. Your permanent attention to these remarks will be appreciated. Thank you.”[415]

March, 1975:

“You sent me a Reader’s Digest. Look, stupid, how many times must I tell you not to send me magazines? I have told you over and over not to send them, and you promise not to send them, and then you go and send them anyway! Many times in the past you have made promises about things like that. You keep those promises for maybe 3 weeks and then forget them. Obviously you are incapable of the slightest self–control, even to the extent of simply refraining from sending me magazines. One is compelled to think seriously of pathology. The magazines are a minor point in themselves, but your insane, mindless persistence in sending them is extremely irritating.”[416]

My mother used to tell me that if I didn’t want the magazines I could just bum them in my stove, but it wasn’t so simple. In the first place, magazines burned very poorly in my stove; they tended to clog it with half–burned paper. In the second place, burning that kind of paper produces toxic fumes.

April 9, 1975:

“I told you not to send me any packages, but you sent me one last winter anyway at X–mas. Look, I only go down to my mailbox maybe once a week–or sometimes not for a much longer time. If a package like that is sent, it sits out on the road by the mailbox in the rain and/or snow for god knows how long, assuming nobody steals it in the mean time. As it happened, my neighbor found that package and brought it up to me. But I don’t care to encourage unnecessary visits from him anyway. Apparently, however, you have an irresistable [sic] compulsion to send me things. So—You can send me packages infrequently, if you make them strictly within the dimensions 4½” x 4½” x 12”. They will then fit in my mailbox. ... If you want to know what to put in the packages that (unlike magazines) will be appreciated, you can send dried fruit ... or UNSALTED nuts ... .”[417]

The mailbox was six inches wide, but I reduced the permissible width of packages to four and a half inches for a margin of safety, because I knew that my parents would not adhere strictly to the stated dimensions.

November 29, 1975:

“[P]lease don’t send me so many packages, and please don’t send smoked oysters.”[418]

December 8, 1975:

“Look, stupid—what in the name of god is wrong with you? I told you I didn’t want you sending me packages—I only made an exception for dried fruit and unsalted nuts in a package not larger than 4½” x 4½” x 12”. And I said such a package would be alright occasionally. Now you are deluging me with this garbage. You sent me oysters and cheese. I don’t like smoked oysters—I threw them out. The sunflower seeds you sent me were salted. ... Now you send me shoes and socks in a package that certainly exceeded 4½ x 4½ x 12. That package could barely fit in the mailbox. ... And it left no room for anything else in the box. Furthermore, in this tiny cabin I have no place to put all this crap. ... You stupid bitch, I’ve told you and told you I don’t want you sending me crap like this. And as for publisher’s catalogs, all I asked was—where can I write to get a publisher’s catalog of paperbacks? I didn’t ask you to send me anything. Now you are sending me package after package of catalogues that I only throw in the stove.”[419]

December 24, 1975:

“As for my ‘hair–trigger temper’— ... The reason I get mad at you so much, ma, is mainly because you keep doing over and over again things that I keep asking you not to do. You promise not to do them, then a few weeks later you go right back to your old habits. It gets exasperating.”[420]

November 26, 1976:

“Package for Thanksgiving is OK, so is Xmas package. But DO NOT send any further packages without consulting me first. (Except one package of books as listed below) ... But do not send me a package of books more than 4½ inches thick (else it might not fit in the box). ... Do not send a second package of books without consulting me first. Thanks.”[421]

December 18, 1976:

“Christmas package received. Thank you. But look, you are starting to slip back into the habit of doing certain things that I’ve told you over and over again are annoying to me. You put some cookies in that package. Remember I said any food packages are supposed to contain only dried fruit and unsalted nuts, unless you get my permission to send something else.”[422]

November 12, 1977:

“[l]f you want to send me a package you had better keep it down to the 4½” width. ... Permissible items for package: Dried fruit, nuts, cheese. Anything else—ask me first.”[423]

December 17, 1977:

“Thanks for telling me a package is on the way—I’ll no doubt enjoy the goodies. However. No more packages without asking my permission first.”[424]

December 30, 1977:

“Remember, no more packages without asking permission ... .”[425]

The reader who has had an adequate mother may think I was unduly intolerant of my mother’s habit of sending me unwanted packages. Certainly, tolerance of an eccentricity that is irritating but does no serious harm is a return that one should make for the care of a good mother. But in my case, irritation over the packages was piled on top of an accumulation of resentments from the past: the constant psychological abuse throughout my adolescence, the nagging and insults during my adult life, my mother’s essential selfishness that led her to try to use me as a tool for the satisfaction of her own needs.

The package issue was the proximate cause of the break in relations between me and my parents that lasted from 1982 until my father’s death in 1990. Though I’d told them at the end of 1977 that they should send me no more packages without asking me first, they slipped back into the habit of sending me dried fruit and nuts at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I tolerated this as long as there were only those two packages a year. In the spring of 1982 I reminded them that they should send me no packages without asking first, yet later that year I accepted, by implication, their habit of sending me things at Thanksgiving and Christmas without specific permission:

“[Y]ou asked whether to send me Spanish booklet called ‘Talacain [sic; should be Zalacain] el Aventurero EOFF and Ramirez–Araujo.’ If you were planning to send me a Thanksgiving package as you usually do, you can include the booklet in that.”[426]

After Thanksgiving: “I enjoy the nuts, dried fruit, and cheese that you sent for Thanksgiving.”[427]

The reader will recall from Chapter 4 (pp. 109–112) that in the autumn of 1982 I sent my parents an angry letter about the abuse they’d inflicted on me during my teens; my mother sent me an apology that, though cold and perfunctory, softened my feelings somewhat; and I was on reasonably good terms with my parents until the spring of 1983. Then on May 23 I received from them a package of nuts and dried fruit. I wrote them an irritated letter [428] about it, and in return they sent me a letter[429] in which they claimed that they didn’t remember my ever telling them not to send packages without asking me first. Here is how I described the incident in my journal (translated from Spanish):

“May 25 [1983]. ... Day before yesterday ... I went to my mailbox and found a package of food that my stupid mother had sent me. Although the almonds and dried fruit she sent me would have been useful, the package got me very upset, because I’ve asked her repeatedly—a thousand [430] times!—not to send me any packages without getting my permission beforehand. Of course she promises, and then after a little while she again starts sending me packages without asking if I want them. ... Yesterday I went to Lincoln to send her stupid package [back] to her.”[431]

“June 9 [1983]. I’ve received a letter from my parents that says they don’t remember that I ever told them not to send me packages without asking me beforehand whether I want them. And how many times I’ve told them! ... A few years ago I told them this, and a few months later my father sent me a pair of shoes without asking me first whether I wanted them. I complained to him and insisted again that they should not send me packages without asking me first. ...[432]

Actually this was not quite accurate. As the letters quoted earlier show, at the time of the shoe incident my parents did have my permission to send me packages of nuts and fruit without asking beforehand. It was later (December, 1977) that I told them not to send any packages without asking; and again in 1982:

“In the spring of 1982 they sent me one or two packages without permission, and at that time I reminded them (in a courteous way) not to send packages without asking me first.[433] Clearly it was a mistake to tell them courteously, because experience has shown me that they forget it or ignore it when I tell them courteously.” [434] (Translated from Spanish.)

Since my policy as to what I would let them send me without permission had varied to some extent over the years, it was not so very unreasonable for my parents to get confused and think that it was alright to send me dried fruit and nuts at any time without permission. But my resentment was founded not only on the unwanted package but on the whole history of my relations with my parents. ln my journal I concluded the account of this package incident with:

“I can’t stand my parents any more, not only because of these minor annoyances but also because I remember all too clearly their insults that I endured during my adolescence.” [435] (Translated from Spanish.)

There was an additional factor that my journal doesn’t mention. When my parents wrote me that they didn’t remember my ever telling them not to send packages without permission, their letter[436] was so self–righteous that it seemed inconsistent with any sense of remorse concerning the way they’d treated me during my teens; which tended to confirm what I had suspected anyway—that my mother’s apology of the preceding autumn was given only in order to mollify me so that she could get from me the affection that she craved. By this time I was so sick and tired of my parents that I just told them to go to hell and broke off relations with them. My mother, obsessed as usual with respectability, was so anxious to conceal the truth about our family life that after I broke off with her and my father she lied to her sister, telling her that the reason why she and my father no longer went to visit me was that I found it too painful to part from them when the visit was over! [437]

Before we leave the subject of packages, I should note that the Washington Post’s report that I once “castigated [my] aunt for sending a package that would not fit in [my] mailbox”[438] is false. Anyone who thinks it is true is invited to ask any of my aunts about it. Freda Tuominen is the only one of my aunts who ever sent me a package in Montana. She once sent me a pocket knife as a birthday present. I thanked her for it and expressed my appreciation of it; then I courteously requested that in the future she should ask me before sending any package, and I explained why.

* * *

In reference to the year 1978–79, which I spent living with my parents, the New York Times wrote:

“[Ted] went back to Lombard, back to his parents’ home. This time, he did not resist their blandishments about work.”[439]

I suggest that Robert D. McFadden, who wrote this article, should check his dictionary for the correct meaning of the word “blandishment.” But it’s clear that what McFadden meant was that I took a job at this time only under pressure from my parents. Actually I took the job on my own initiative, and the letters prove it. I’d been playing with the idea of an exploring trip to northern Canada as preparation for a possible sojourn in the wilderness there. Prior to my return to Lombard I wrote my father on February 17, 1978:

“Do you think it likely I could get a job in the spring at that Foam–cutting place [where you work]? Then maybe I could save up some money and be in better position for northern trip.”[440]

And on March 8:

“When I asked about getting a job, I had in mind something of a longer term as an alternative to a trip [to Ontario] this summer, so I could get money for a better trip in a more promising region. However, if you can get me a job [at Foam Cutting Engineers] for 2 months, that is also something to consider.”[441]

I did take a job at Foam Cutting Engineers.[442] I worked there for a couple of months and then left because of certain relations between me and the foreman (foreperson?), Ellen Tarmichael, of which I will speak later. Within a few days after leaving Foam Cutting Engineers I got a job with a firm that manufactured restaurant equipment, Prince Castle, Inc.,[443] and I worked there until the spring of 1979, after which I returned to Montana with, I think, something like three thousand dollars that I’d saved. The Canadian wilderness trip never came off.

At about this time my parents gave my brother and me each several gifts of money totalling (if I remember correctly) some three thousand dollars apiece.[444] Thereafter they gave each of us a yearly stipend of a thousand dollars, which they gradually increased until by 1989 it was fifteen hundred dollars.[445] My mother always took scrupulous care that every money gift to me should be precisely equalled by a similar gift to my brother, and vice versa. Her financial records should prove this, if she allows access to them.

It certainly was generous of my parents to give my brother and me these gifts, which saved me the annoyance of having to look for work at intervals, but, lest the reader conceive an exaggerated impression of my parents’ generosity, I point out that they were not inconveniencing themselves. Every member of my immediate family is instinctively parsimonious; we spend money cautiously; we don’t like to spend it Consequently my parents had accumulated considerable sums distributed among several accounts in savings and loan associations, from which they received a substantial income in interest. I don’t know how much they had, but I’d guess that by the time of my father’s death their assets would have amounted to at least three hundred thousand dollars. My brother, who was much more familiar with our parents’ financial situation than I was, wrote me: “[T]he parents ... have more than they can spend”[446] (early 1986); and: “When our inheritance comes due we’ll both be fairly rich anyway, so a few thousand dollars now wouldn’t make much difference ... . “[447] (late 1985 or early 1986). So the fact that my parents were pretty free–handed with their money during the 1980’s does not prevent me from feeling that they both were essentially selfish people.

After my father’s death in 1990 there was a brief reconciliation between my mother and me, but it was not a very successful one. There was too much tension between us because of old resentments. How and why I broke off with her in 1991 has already been explained in Chapter 4. At that time I received from her about seven thousand dollars[448] in a lump sum, and thereafter I refused to accept any money,[449] or even any communication, from her.

* * *

My mother and brother have claimed that their motive for portraying me to the media as a sicko has been to save me from the death penalty, but at least as far as my mother is concerned it should be clear to the reader by now that this is a lie. Whether or not their portrayal of me would make the death penalty less likely in the event of my conviction, it obviously makes my conviction more likely. In fact, my mother and brother have indicated that they want me to be convicted.[450] Moreover, if I were convicted, the fact that I was abused would win sympathy for me that would make the death penalty less likely, yet my mother has made every possible effort to conceal the fact of the abuse. Clearly, then, my mother is not trying to save me; she is trying to save herself from the embarrassment of having the abuse revealed.

By representing me as a madman who was never really a part of the family (as in the Washington Post interview), she is trying to distance me from herself so as to preserve her image of respectability in the face of my arrest as the Unabomber. And by attributing my supposed abnormality to “that hospital experience”, she is trying to escape responsibility for the harm she inflicted on me.

As the letters quoted in Chapter 4 show, she is well aware of how important it is to me to have the abuse acknowledged, and how painful it is to me to be represented as mentally ill or as having been warped by “that hospital experience.” One may ask what kind of mother it is who will abuse her son and then, in order to avoid the embarrassment of having the abuse revealed, tell lies that subject him to public humiliation and at the same time increase his risk of being convicted and of getting the death penalty.


8. My brother’s character

When my brother David was a little baby, less than a year old, my mother commented on a difference between his personality and mine: Whereas I had been a relatively squally, cantankerous baby, David’s behavior was marked by placidity.[451] This is a difference that has set us apart all our lives. I have tended to show energy, initiative, and persistence, while my brother has been unusually passive. I have tended to confront conflicts, difficulties, or obstacles and struggle with them, while my brother has tended to retreat from them. I have always liked to assume responsibilities while my brother has preferred to avoid them.

In Chapter 2 (pp. 67–72) I’ve described the strong affection that I had for my brother during his infancy. But within a few years our relations began to grow more ambiguous and conflicted. In a letter that I sent my brother in 1982, I wrote:

“Throughout your childhood and even well up into your 20’s you had a severe case of big–brother worship.”[452]

The truth of this is confirmed by various statements of my brother’s. The New York Times, on the basis of an interview with him, described him as an “admiring kid brother”[453] who “idolized”[454] me, and quoted him as saying, “I was very strongly influenced by my brother.” [455]

In the summer of 1982, Dave wrote me:

“I don’t remember finding it difficult as a youngster to admire you, and I don’t think my will was consciously frustrated by coming under the influence of your way of thinking, since I thought I came willingly, drawn by its intrinsic persuasion. I hope you will appreciate, in light of this, what a significant being you must have represented to me ... . On a personal level, however, I felt a problem arose insofar as it appeared to me I could appear in your world ...[only] by assuming a shape appropriate to this world, but not wholly expressive of my own experience and consciousness. In other words, what I thought of as the openness on my part which made your thought–process accessible to me, was so little reciprocated that I could abide there only by forsaking a certain freedom of spirit.”[456]

In brief, my brother was saying that he admired me but felt dominated by me. In 1986 he wrote:

“[Our parents] always encouraged me to look up to you, especially with regard to your intellect ... . One unhealthy side of this, as we’ve discussed before, is that I may have learned to look up to you too much, to take your criticisms too much to heart, and to feel a little over–shadowed intellectually. I think one reason I became ego–involved in our philosophical discussions a few years ago was because I was still trying to establish myself on a plane of intellectual equality with you.”[457]

Recently, my brother told Dr. Julie Kriegler that as a child he looked up to me, strove to emulate me, and, as it were, defined himself through his relationship to me.[458]

My brother’s admiration for me was complicated by a marked strain of resentment, which seems to have had its origin in several factors, including his sense of inferiority to me, the fact that I often treated him badly when we were kids, and jealously over the fact that our parents valued me more highly than they did him. The conflict between his love and admiration, on the one hand, and his resentment, on the other, was shown in the inconsistency of his behavior toward me.

Once my brother was past his infancy, conflicts developed in my own feelings toward him. Initially, I think my resentment probably grew out of the way our parents handled our relationship. Whenever any squabble arose between my brother and I, whenever anything went wrong while we were together, I was automatically blamed for it. From my 1979 autobiography:

“When my brother was 4 years old and I was 12 (if I remember correctly [459]), my father gave each of us a glass bottle with a squirting attachment so that we could ‘fight’ by squirting each other. This was fine until my brother climbed up on a chair and then fell with the bottle in his hand, cutting himself very badly [when the bottle broke]. (It is still painful to me to remember this incident.) Blood came gushing from my brother’s hand at an amazing rate. I screamed and howled for my parents, who came running. They took my brother in the house, but quickly decided that he was bleeding so badly that they would have to rush him to the hospital. ...

“Because I had a strong affection for my brother, I was very upset about his injury. At one point, the doctors feared that two of his fingers might be permanently crippled.* (footnote: *But fortunately it turned out alright.), and at that time I offered to give my brother my coin collection, which was my most prized possession.

“... Since my brother climbed up on the chair on his own initiative, and since I was 10 feet away from him when he fell, there was no reason why I should be blamed for the incident. Nevertheless, the doctors told my parents that my brother kept mumbling, ‘Don’t blame Teddy! Don’t blame Teddy!’

“The reason is that he knew that whenever anything bad happened when he and I were together, I always got blamed for it. The same thing was true all through my earlier teens: Whenever I got into a screaming match with my brother, or any other conflict, my parents immediately blamed me. If I tried to explain my side of the dispute, my parents would usually cut me short by saying, ‘It doesn’t make any difference. You’re older. You should be more mature.*’ (footnote: *Just as I often got into screaming matches with my brother, my parents often got into screaming matches with me. Apparently it never occurred to them that they should ‘be more mature.’) This was not the result of favoritism on their part—actually, I was always the favorite son. It was the result of simple laziness. To listen to both sides of a dispute between my brother and I, and attempt to make a fair judgement, would have taken an effort. It was easier to automatically blame the older child and throw on him the burden of keeping the peace.”[460] (The footnotes marked by an asterisk are in the original.)

My brother’s effort to save me from blame shows the generous aspect of his feelings toward me. The resentful aspect is illustrated by the following incident. When I was thirteen years old and my brother was five, it was discovered that I had a cyst in my upper jaw that would have to be removed surgically, and in preparation for that operation an oral surgeon extracted one of my upper incisors.[461] As I reminded my mother in 1991, “when I came home with my tooth pulled out, Dave jeered at me for it.”[462]

He also showed his resentment by teasing me frequently. For example, he would tell me some lie or tall tale, and then when he had me believing it he would laugh at me for having been taken in.[463] His teasing aroused my own resentment, which led me to harass him verbally, and that in turn increased his resentment, in a vicious cycle. In addition, he had certain personality traits that irritated me.[464] He was an other–directed kid: He ran with a group of boys among whom he seemed to lose his own identity completely, imitating all their ways without holding back anything of himself. Again, he sucked his thumb until he was eight years old. I used to get disgusted watching him at it, and I would rag him about it unmercifully. My mother would occasionally reprimand me for my harassment of my brother or him for his teasing of me, but neither of my parents ever made any serious or consistent effort to bring our constant quarrelling under control.

The worst of it was that at this time I was suffering psychological abuse from my parents and from my schoolmates and, being unable to retaliate against them, I probably took out much of my anger on my brother, who was a convenient object for that purpose. Of course, my brother was not so defenseless against me as I was against our parents, since he could turn to them for support and protection.[465] In fact, my brother and my parents often tended to form a common front against me.[466]

Considering our conflicts and the family situation in general, it’s surprising that Dave and I retained as much affection for one another as we did. At the age of seventeen I wrote:

“My brother and I quarrel a lot, but when we’re not quarrelling we’re pretty friendly and considerate of each other.”[467]

And in 1986, I wrote my brother:

“[W]e had conflicts that resulted in resentment, but [on my side] that resentment was relatively superficial rather than deep and lasting.”[468]

These passages only hint at the strength and tenacity of my affection for Dave and the way it survived the sometimes bitter anger I felt toward him. But I truly believe that my resentment over our childhood conflicts had dissipated by the time I reached adulthood, and that it left little or no lasting residue in me. (With certain resentments that arose during our adult years, it was a different matter.)

On my brother’s side, I think the resentment ran much deeper, but it did not interfere with the excessive adulation that led him to adopt me as a role–model and as a source of values and aspirations. A couple of times during my later teens my mother asked me in an awed voice, “What is this power you have over Dave?” I wasn’t able to give her an answer, because it wasn’t a power that I exercised consciously or intentionally.[469] When my brother was maybe eleven or twelve years old, he used to show off by jumping up and touching the light on the kitchen ceiling. I used to kid him by saying, “No, you can’t do it! You won’t make it!”, and whenever he jumped after I had said that, he would fail to touch the light. He used to attribute this to his own “suggestibility”, and he seemed to take a masochistic satisfaction in it. Eventually, though, he did assert his will and show that he could touch the light even when I told him he couldn’t.

This psychological subordination of my brother to me must have contributed in a very important way to his resentment, the more so since I was quite conscious of my own superiority in that respect and, in those days, I probably did not do a very good job of concealing it. As I wrote in 1959:

“I feel superior to my brother in intellectual capacity, and very much in strength of will, even considering the age difference.” [470]

Another source of my brother’s resentment against me was the fact that my parents valued me far more than they did him. In a psychological sense I was the most important member of the family, as is indicated, for example, by the fact that my parents saved more than two hundred of my letters but only two of my brother’s; my brother saved a hundred or more of my letters to him, but no letters from our parents. (See Notes on Documents.) My brother and my mother both leaned on me heavily for the satisfaction of their psychological needs, and to some extent my father did so too: When I worked at Foam Cutting Engineers, one of my co–workers, a woman named Dotty, said to me: “Your father talks about you all the time. I think you’re the favorite son.”

As I mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, my brother tends to retreat from conflicts and problems rather than confronting them. I don’t think he ever faced up to the contradiction between his affection for me and his resentment of me. Instead of resolving this conflict to his own satisfaction, he pushed the two aspects of his relationship with me into two different and mutually inaccessible compartments of his mind, creating a division that deepened as the years went by.

At about the time I reached adulthood there was a great improvement in my relations with my brother. I wrote in my 1979 autobiography:

“I think it might have been when I was around 20 that we began to get along better. Instead of competing, each of us would freely acknowledge the other’s areas of superiority. Since then I have always gotten along very well with my brother.”[471]

The “always” in the last sentence is not strictly accurate, since we still did have quarrels at times, but these were rather rare, and I felt from 1962 at least until 1979 that I had basically a very good relationship with my brother. I had learned to exercise self–restraint toward him, and he toward me. I think it was from about 1962 to 1965 that I felt best about my relationship with Dave, but even at that time I think I remember feeling a little regretful that he didn’t seem to reciprocate the warm good–fellowship that I sometimes tried to show him.

In the later sixties, a new element of resentment began to creep into my feelings toward my brother: I was disappointed in the way he was turning out. He seemed to me to be weak—lacking in initiative, energy, and persistence. This was not a good justification for resenting him, but I felt a certain degree of low–keyed resentment all the same. This occasionally resulted in behavior on my part that must have been painful to my brother to a degree of which I had no conception at the time. Once, in the late sixties, we watched on television a movie titled “The Strange One.” It was about a sadistic and Machiavellian student (called “Night Boy” ) in a military academy who caused serious harm to various people through his cunning intrigues. Another character in the film was a repellent individual nicknamed “Cockroach,” an aspiring writer who chronicled Night Boy’s exploits and gloated over them. When the movie was over, my brother began to speak gloatingly of Night Boy. I was somewhat repelled, so I teased him by calling him “Cockroach” and comparing him to that character. He got very upset and stormed out of the room. I just laughed at him, pleased that I’d stung him, since I thought he deserved it. Only recently have I come to realize how deeply I must have cut him with that remark.

* * *

The reader will recall from Chapter 7 that during the fall of 1970 my brother set himself up in an apartment in Great Falls, Montana. He knew that I was still looking for land, and that winter he mentioned in a letter to our parents that he would be interested in going fifty–fifty with me on a piece of property if I cared to locate in his part of the country. My mother passed this information on to me and, about June 1971, I drove out to Great Falls and dropped in at my brother’s apartment. He confirmed that he was interested in splitting with me the cost of a piece of land, and, with characteristic passivity, he left it up to me to find a suitable place. Within a few days, a realtor named Ray Jensen showed me a very attractive bit of land a few miles from Lincoln. It was not nearly as isolated as I would have liked, but by this time I’d decided that I was going to have to settle for something that was less than ideal. I took my brother out to see the place, he liked it, and we each put in $1050 to buy it.[472] Dave expressed great satisfaction at having become a “landowner,” as he put it.

I promptly began building a cabin on our land, but I made frequent trips back to Great Falls, during which I would spend one or more nights at my brother’s apartment. On August 1, 1971, I was so clumsy as to scald my foot with a pot of boiling soup, badly enough so that I was forced to become inactive for five weeks or more, and I spent that period at my brother’s apartment.[473] Thus, I became familiar with his way of life. I must add that my brother was very considerate of me and very generous with his hospitality.

The most striking thing about my brother’s life in Great Falls was the condition of his apartment. It was almost (though not quite) as bad as what Pat McIntosh incorrectly described in reference to my room at Eliot House. The kitchen table and the greater part of the floor area were usually piled with trash, including food garbage. My brother would eat—for example—potato salad out of a can, and then, instead of getting up to throw the empty can into the trash receptacle, he would set it on the floor next to his chair. And there it would remain for weeks or months, along with other empty food containers that accumulated. From a March, 1972 letter to my parents:

“I came back to Great Falls ... . David got my mail out of a drawer for me, and said he ‘thought’ that that was all there was for me, but later he found three other pieces of my mail in various places amongst the litter (or, to be more accurate, garbage) in his apartment. I have been cleaning out some of his trash for him, but so far no more of my mail has turned up. At any rate, two important pieces of mail seem to be missing. ... One is my W–2 form from Abbot Temps.”[474]

A couple of days later:

“Dave and I have been cleaning out his apartment and he found, somewhere, my income–tax stuff ... .”[475]

In June 1973, I wrote my parents:

“I solicited Dave’s assistance and we shovelled about a ton of trash out of his dump—but the sink and toilet still are cesspools, and he doesn’t dare open the refrigerator because when it went on the blink he neglected to take the food out, so that the thing is now filled with an unspeakable stench. ...

“Suggestion—tell Dave that unless he keeps his place clean, you will ask his landlord to make him clean the place up. I will give you a report, and if he is delinquent, [you] complain to his landlord.* (footnote: *If the landlord evicts him, it will be a lesson which will probably neaten him up for a long time.)

“It might help if Dad writes him a lecturing letter on this stuff ... .”[476]

July 9, 1973:

“Dave’s apartment is still terrible. He doesn’t seem to have done anymore cleaning up since I was here a couple of weeks ago. He must have been throwing out most of his fresh trash since then, but I notice that he has gotten careless and the trash is starting to accumulate again around his chair. The toilet and sink are still vile pits of corruption (and I’m not being facetious), and the refrigerator, as I told you, has been ruined by the stuff left to rot in it. The place is pervaded by an odor of garbage—worse than before, I think.

“In all seriousness, I think you should try that plan I mentioned to you about threatening to ask his landlord to make him clean it up. I know it is a harsh thing to do, but I really think he needs it. I am pretty certain that nothing less will get him to take any initiative at all in the matter.”[477]

My father did write Dave a lecturing letter, and I expostulated with him myself about the condition of his apartment. He answered, “Ted, I’ve tried and tried, but I just can’t seem to help it.” But apparently my father and I did have some effect on him, for, as I wrote to my parents on July 18:

“I have some good news: Dave actually started cleaning up his apartment on his own initiative. I helped, but the project was his own suggestion. Maybe I was wrong in assuming that nagging would do no good. ...[H]e says he cleaned out his refrigerator on his own initiative, but I haven’t had the nerve to open it to see what kind of a job he did. He washed the sinks, toilet bowl, and table, and stove, but a good deal remains to be done: the counter and the floor, mainly. Whether he will do it or not I don’t know, but anyway there has been a big improvement already. He seems to have brightened up some ... .”[478]

Despite the condition of his apartment, Dave seemed to be doing well in some ways. By the time of my arrival in June 1971, he’d made at least one good friend (Leon Kenneth Nerpel).{45} And over the next couple of years he made several others. The rugged physical work he was doing at the smelter seemed to agree with him. I complimented him on the fact that he looked wiry and well–conditioned, and he said that he felt he was gaining something positive in a psychological sense from doing that kind of work. The smeltermen had a certain quota of work to do each day, and once they had finished it they could stop working but had to stay at the smelter for a full eight hours. They generally hurried and finished their quota within about four hours and spent the other four hours at various recreations, especially chess. My brother read some books on chess strategy, and through constant practice at the smelter he became a fairly good player—certainly much better than I was. Whereas formerly I’d usually been able to beat him at chess, now the tables were turned and he could usually beat me. This seemed to be important to him.

In some other ways my brother was not doing so well. For some reason he seemed rather morose during this period, and he had become addicted to cigarettes. Both the smoking habit and the filthy condition of his apartment were expressions of a lack of will–power and an incapacity for effort that have affected my brother all his life, but seemed to be particularly acute during this period. According to my letter of March 21, 1972, to my parents:

“Before I left for my cabin the last time, [Dave] very willingly promised to pay my [automobile insurance] bill and to get in touch with me if it didn’t arrive, etc. But it seems that when it did arrive he ‘didn’t notice’ that it was from the insurance company until a couple of weeks after it was due. Actually, I don’t resent this on his part—he is very obliging, helpful, and well–intentioned—he just seems to be incapable of doing anything that requires any effort at all, especially anything that requires attentiveness ... .

“P.S. Don’t say anything to Dave about my having mentioned his inability to make any effort. He is aware of his failings, but it would hurt his feelings to know I had talked about them.”[479]

My brother had majored in English at Columbia and had ambitions to teach English at the high–school level, but he couldn’t get a teaching job because, with his usual foresight, he had neglected to take the necessary education courses. So, in the fall of 1971, he enrolled at the College of Great Falls. Because the zinc operation at the smelter closed down, he was laid off [480] about June of 1972, but by the spring of 1973, he had completed the courses that he needed to get his certification as a teacher.[481]

In July 1973, I wrote my parents:

“[l]t isn’t just the filthy apartment. It’s a general incapacity for effort. For example, he hasn’t done anything further about getting a teaching job. He invents rationalizations about not being sure he wants to make the commitment, etc. But on discussion he agrees that he ought to take the risk and make the effort. In principle, he says this, but in practice he does nothing about it. And that is the general pattern of his existence. He is a kind of vegetable. Something ought to be done to try to shake him out of it.” [482]

My mother generally defended my father and Dave whenever I criticized either of them, but in a 1976 letter she did make some acknowledgment of my brother’s failings: “Dave tends to be careless and forgetful ... .”[483]

An important caveat has to be attached to these statements about my brother’s incapacity for effort and self–discipline. What he lacked was perhaps not so much a capacity for effort as a will of his own. For example, he was a good student,[484] and I believe that (except as a teacher) he always did a good job for his employers, which of course implies effort. But in those situations he was exerting himself, not on his own initiative, but at the behest of someone (teacher or employer) whose authority he accepted and who—so to speak—supplied the will/power that he lacked.[485]

My brother has always needed to lean on someone stronger–willed than himself in order to find some direction in life. That is why he has been inclined to hero–worship and has tended to slip into dependence in his personal relationships. Dave’s worship of big brother, and his psychological dependence on him, have already been discussed.

During his teens he fell for a time under the influence of Neil Dunlop,[486] a jazz musician from whom he took trumpet lessons.{46} He fell much more deeply under the influence of Dale Edwards,[487] a high–school English teacher of his, who was probably responsible for Dave’s interest in literature and his aspiration to become a writer.

My brother also was very prone to idolize one public figure or another as a kid, and he was constantly identifying himself with various baseball stars. In 1971, when I joined him in Great Falls, his hero was Joseph Conrad. He went so far as to assert that the only good stories ever written were those of Conrad. A little later, he read the superb short story “Of This time, of That Place,” by Lionel Trilling, and, forgetting Conrad for the moment, he maintained that it was the only good story ever written. He saw the protagonist, Ferdinand Tertan, as a hero. About that time he also idolized a country music singer named Johnny Bush. A few years later, in the late seventies, his hero was Willie Nelson,[488] and after that the philosopher Martin Heidegger.[489]

In light of the direction that his life has taken since 1990 under the influence of his wife, it is extremely interesting that Dave was unusually concerned with the concept of “selling out” : If an artist, or a hero or potential hero came to terms with the system, Dave saw him as having betrayed his ideals. Thus, he felt that Ferdinand Tertan was a hero because he hadn’t sold out to the “banal.” (At that time “banal” was the word with which my brother labelled practically everything that pertained to conventional middle–class culture.) He theorized that “Of This Time, of That Place” was an expression of guilt on Lionel Trilling’s part for having sold out by following a comfortable career as a professor. In 1985, he expressed a similar hypothesis about Somerset Maugham. Referring to a story by Horacio Quiroga, ‘El Potro Salvaje’ (“The Wild Colt” ),[490] which takes the position that financial success tends to spoil an artist, he wrote:

“[T]he parable rings true to me, and I would be inclined to take Quiroga’s side of the argument against Maugham. In fact, I have a sense about Maugham ... that he secured the very polished expression of things he knew well by relinquishing the more genuine artistic aspiration to explore undiscovered territories. ... I can’t help feeling that he’s given up something precious, and he may even be partly aware of having done so. I wonder if the young man in The Razor’s Edge didn’t exemplify to Maugham—the observer, almost by now merely the reporter—some possibility of a fuller and more serious participation in life that he himself had necessarily had to relinquish in order to enjoy for himself the emblems of success, in order to polish the half–truths of an art which had sealed itself off from transcendence.

...[O]n a couple of occasions I have witnessed parables very similar to Quiroga’s unfolding ... . In my judgement, Willie Nelson, for instance, was once an artist of striking originality and subtlety, displaying an honesty and loneliness and aesthetic spareness that was almost skeletal, and blossoming like some unaccountable flower in a field of the crassest commerciality. Now he does duets with Perry Como. Almost everything he is now seems to have no other meaning than to deny what he was once...”[491]

* * *

My brother did eventually get moving and find a teaching job. After doing his student teaching in Montana, he secured employment as a high–school English teacher at Lisbon, Iowa, where we had lived for a short time with our parents. Knowing my brother as well as I did, I was able to guess what kind of teacher he would make. Decades–old memories that have been reported to investigators working on my case have so often proved wildly inaccurate that for most purposes I give them little weight, but I’m going to give in to the temptation of quoting one of these reports at length because its description of Dave as a teacher agrees so closely with what I had imagined based on my knowledge of my brother’s character.

Tim Bennett was a student of Dave’s at Lisbon High School in the mid–1970’s, and according to what he told my investigators:{47}

“Dave was a trusting and naive teacher who behaved erratically. On one hand, Dave was a lax teacher who gave his students freedom believing that they would not take advantage of his trust, which they did. He did not convey authority and therefore he was incapable of controlling his class. On the other hand, Dave occasionally disciplined students harshly for a minor infraction. For instance, Dave once sent Tim to the principal’s office for putting his feet up on the chair in front of him. Being sent to the principal’s office was a punishment reserved for serious offenses, such as beating up a fellow student. It was not the appropriate punishment for what Tim did. ...

“Tim saw how Dave struggled as a teacher. When the principal came into the class to evaluate Dave’s teaching, Dave became nervous and his students did not cooperate. They talked over each other and over Dave. Dave seemed frustrated and overwhelmed. Dave also did not like the administrative bureaucracy ... . He did not like having to modify his curriculum and his teaching style so that it complied with the school’s rigid guidelines ... .

“Dave tried to be an innovative teacher. He tried to motivate his students to read literature and talk about ideas, but very few kids responded.”[492]

After teaching for two years, my brother left his position and went to stay with our parents again in Lombard, where, for a while, he devoted himself exclusively to creative writing. Needless to say, nothing he wrote during this period was ever published. Then he got a job at my father’s place of employment, Foam Cutting Engineers, and was working there when I arrived in Lombard in 1978. A couple of months later, as a result of the trouble over Ellen Tarmichael (which will be discussed in Chapter 10) he left Foam Cutting Engineers and took himself a long vacation trip (I think to the Big Bend area of Texas, though I’m not sure of it), after which he returned to Lombard and found a job driving a commuter bus. He kept this job full time [493] until 1981 or 1982. About 1980 or 1981, he bought a piece of property in desert country in Texas.[494] From 1981 or 1982, he spent the winters on his Texas property and the summers at his bus–driving job, until in 1987 he quit the job in order to live full–time in the desert.[495] Then in 1989 he abruptly left Texas to shack up with Linda Patrik in Schenectady, New York.[496] He has been with Ms. Patrik ever since, working as a counselor of “troubled” youths.

It will be observed that my brother has had no stable direction in life, but has merely drifted. From now on, though, I expect that his life will be much more stable, since Ms. Patrik is clearly dominant over him and will provide the direction and consistency that he lacks.

Lest the reader form an exaggerated conception of my brother’s weakness of character, I must report that he did eventually improve his housekeeping habits, and he did permanently stop smoking.[497]


9. My brother’s ambivalent feelings toward me

My brother was gifted with excellent athletic coordination that enabled him to excel effortlessly at sports that depended primarily on skill rather than strength.[498] For instance, he became ping–pong champion of the eighth grade at Evergreen Park Central School, even though he had never played ping–pong before he entered the tournament! [499] So it is not surprising that he feels at home and confident of himself on the playing–field or the tennis court. But in other contexts my brother tends to be distinctly lacking in self–confidence.

This was shown, for example, by his diffidence about building a cabin on his property in Texas. He was not interested in a structure that would impress anyone by its fine workmanship; all he wanted was something that would protect him from the weather and provide a place to store his belongings. Anyone with normal physical and mental abilities can put together such a structure, yet my brother seemed to find it difficult to believe that he could carry out the project. In a letter to me in 1983, he referred to “the off chance I should be successful” in building a cabin.[500]

In an answering letter I wrote:

“I don’t have the slightest doubt you could build a good cabin—if you once started the project. That’s the only problem. You would be apt to be so pessimistic about the results beforehand, that you would never undertake the project.”[501]

My brother wrote in reply:

“I accept that your assessment of my defeatist [sic] attitude is correct to an extent, especially when it comes to projects involving some patient application of craftsmanship. I explain this combination of laziness and self–mistrust (which qualities seem to feed upon one another) in two ways to myself: (1) A lack of natural aptitude for building and handwork...[502] although I realize it doesn’t take a whole lot of aptitude to throw up a roughly serviceable cabin; and (2) ... .[503] (There followed an elaborate rationalization of the type that is characteristic of my brother.)

When he finally did build a cabin three years later, he wrote:

“I just built a cabin for myself with help from the guy who likes health–food. ... I guess the main thing was that I felt terribly uncertain undertaking a project like that on my own. ...[I]t may be hard for you to appreciate the sense of intimidation experienced by someone like me in the face of a project of that type ... .”[504]

But it wasn’t only in building or handwork that my brother lacked energy and persistence. Referring to projects of any kind I wrote him 1985:

“I find it rather tiresome that you make promising noises [about projects] and then do nothing. I’m aware of your little problem about procrastination and so forth, but I must say I would find it more agreeable if you would refrain from speaking in promising terms unless, by some chance, you actually had a serious intention of carrying something through.”[505]

I believe that my brother was quite right in saying that his “laziness” and his “self–mistrust” fed upon one another. To put it more clearly, I suspect that an inborn lack of energy tended to prevent my brother from achieving good results in things that he undertook, the poor results weakened his self–confidence, and the lack of self–confidence further lowered his energy and persistence, in a vicious circle. In my 1985 letter I continued:

“Please forgive me for offering unasked–for advise [sic], but it does seem to me that your tendency to drop projects ... may be simply the result of a negative attitude about the possibility of success. Carrying one or two things through successfully might result in a more encouraged attitude on your part thereafter. But I apologize for putting my nose into what is none of my business.”[506]

Also contributing to my brother’s difficulties with his self–esteem was the fact that, as I wrote to him in 1982, “You have very high aspirations. For you it is not enough to just be as good as others. You have to be someone special.”[507]

I myself had always tended to have similarly high aspirations, and this might plausibly be attributed to the fact that our mother with her excessive–craving for status, had inculcated us with a feeling that we had to be outstanding; to be average represented failure. To one who has the necessary energy and persistence, such aspirations lead to achievement; but to one who lacks those qualities they lead to a sense of defeat.

Dave’s self–esteem must have been damaged further by the inevitable comparison with his older brother: I had the energy and persistence that he lacked. Moreover, when we were kids, the mere fact that I was older enabled me to do many things that he could not do; our parents, especially our mother, made matters worse by exaggerating my abilities and holding me up as an example to my brother; and I made matters worse still through my verbal harassment of him, which generally took the form of denigration.[508]

Under the circumstances, it is hardly surprising that Dave had an ego problem with respect to big brother.[509] This was shown, for example, by the fact that in discussions with me he would never admit he was wrong, or concede a single point even when in order to avoid making a concession he had to adopt a position that was clearly ridiculous.[510] It wasn’t that he didn’t find my arguments persuasive. On the contrary, he found them all too persuasive. As he wrote in 1982:

“You have, I think you must know, an interpretation of the world which persuades by its very power and conviction. ... I don’t think my will was consciously frustrated by coming under the influence of your way of thinking, since I thought I came willingly, drawn by its intrinsic persuasion.”[511]

And according to the FBI’s reports:

“DAVE ... noted that a particular characteristic of TED’s debating style was that he placed special emphasis on making his arguments compelling.”[512]

Which means, in effect, that my brother found them compelling. This is not an indication of the rational force of my arguments; my brother has little appreciation of rationality. He found my arguments compelling simply because he was overawed by big brother.

His sense of inferiority and helplessness vis–a–vis big brother led him to consistently place himself in a position of subordination to me, even though he resented that position. Thus, when we were both learning Spanish during the 1980’s, he repeatedly applied to me for help and—on the surface—was grateful for it. He wrote me:

“Thanks for correcting my errors [in Spanish]. ... Spanish has more cases of the subjunctive that English does, isn’t that so? Generally, I don’t understand them.

... Please write to me again in Spanish, so that I will learn the language better.”[513] (Translated from bad Spanish.)

“[W]ould you like to spend part of our time speaking Spanish during your visit? I think it would be a help to me.”[514]

“[T]hanks for correcting my Spanish ... .”[515]

“Some questions about the Spanish language: Isn’t lo used sometimes as a complement meaning him or even you? ...[etc.]”[516] (Translated from Spanish.)

Yet, under the surface, my brother apparently resented my help, even though he asked for it. One evening during his visit to my cabin in 1986 at his request he spent some time reading to me out of a Spanish–language book while I corrected his pronunciation. But according to the New York Times,

“Ted ‘spent some time tutoring me in Spanish,’ David said. ‘He would have me read from some of the Spanish books. I had a sense that he really enjoyed doing that.’ David said he did not relish the role, but went along with it because it seemed to please his brother.”[517]

Actually, it did not please me. I found it tiresome, because Dave was an inept pupil who kept repeating the same mistakes over and over. But the important point here is that Dave never expressed to me his negative feelings about the help I gave him with Spanish, and I did not realize that he had such feelings.

In other situations also my brother concealed his resentment over his ego conflict with me. In 1988 I sent him an affectionate letter in which I reminisced about his childhood and told him what an attractive little kid he’d been.[518] My brother answered:

“Thank you for your affectionate letter. It meant ajot [sic] to me and I’ll keep it always, as I have a few of your others.”[519]

But in his interview with the New York Times, Dave described the letter and then said, “I had the sense that he wanted me to be the little brother.”[520] Of course, he was only projecting his own feeling of inferiority. According to the FBI,

“He noted that TED seemed to think of him (DAVE) as an ‘acolyte’, and TED took for granted that DAVE would agree with and look up to him in all things.”[521]

Again my brother was projecting his own sense of inferiority. It was he who placed himself in a position of psychological subordination to me. I by no means wanted him to occupy such a position. In fact, his excessive adulation of me was one of the things that disgusted me about him. But what matters here is the fact that my brother never expressed these complaints to me or in my presence. After I’d apologized for the way I’d harassed him when we were kids,[522] he wrote in a 1986 letter:

“As far as your treatment of me as a child went, Ted, I don’t think it was as bad as you seem to remember. You tended to downgrade me in some respects, but I imagine that’s par for the course among siblings ... .[Note in margin of letter:] [S]ince attaining adulthood, you seemed to have reversed this tendency, and have often been generous with your praise.”[523]

Yet I now suspect that even as an adult my brother felt bullied by me.[524]

Physically he was bigger than I was, I do not remember ever having raised my voice to him after I was past my teens, certainly I never tried to give him an order, I was not conscious of any other behavior that could have been seen as bullying, and I had no overt power over him. If he felt bullied, it can only be explained by his sense of psychological subordination to me—a subordination that I neither desired nor knowingly encouraged.

Except that in very rare cases he had outbursts of anger toward me (for which he later expressed shame), my brother in adulthood seems to have found it very difficult to assert himself against me. A mere suggestion from me felt to him like an order; a mere expression of disagreement felt like a cutting criticism. He was so sensitive in this respect that it would have been virtually impossible for me to avoid wounding him: If I proposed a course of action I was being bossy; if I disagreed with him I was being over–critical. I had realized for a long time that my brother had some such feelings, but owing to his reticence in expressing them I had no idea of their intensity until after my arrest. To illustrate, the New York Times wrote, on the basis of its interview with my brother:

“In adulthood, David remembered an overbearing brother ... who could turn a conversation about David’s term paper into a humiliating demolition of his ideas on Freudian analysis ... .”[525]

I remember this conversation. To me it was simply a discussion carried out on an equal basis, in which we agreed on some points and disagreed on others. It did not occur to me at the time that my brother experienced it as a “humiliating demolition of his ideas.”

Other indications of my brother’s suppressed anger toward me: According to the FBI, he stated that he felt angry when he read things written by me [526]; and he wrote in 1982, “No one makes me as angry as you do sometimes ... I don’t know why.”[527] (The three dots are in the original.) Yet, as already noted, he rarely expressed this anger.[528]

However, my brother often was excessively sensitive to criticism by me of any of his friends,[529] and it is worth mentioning that he was more ready to express resentment of such criticism than he was to express resentment of criticism of himself. For instance, when I stayed with him at his apartment in Great Falls in 1971, we spent an evening with his new friend and afterward I commented to Dave, “He seems like a nice fellow, but maybe a little bit of a blow–hard.” My brother flared up, obviously stung, but he cooled down very quickly—on the surface, at least. Later in 1971 a college friend of his, Denis Dubois, stopped at the apartment for an overnight visit.{48} I had met Denis once before, and he must have taken a strong dislike to me for some reason, because on this visit he made a series of nasty remarks. For instance, referring to my desire to live in the woods, he said, “Since you want to live like an animal ... .” Each time he made one of these remarks my brother and I glanced at one another wonderingly. From consideration for my brother I refrained from saying anything unpleasant in reply to Denis.

My brother never apologized to me for his friend’s behavior, though he was certainly aware of it. In fact, he must have mentioned it to our parents, since they mentioned it to me without my having told them about it. In about 1979, when I was in Lombard, in conversation with Dave I casually referred to Denis’s offensive behavior toward me, and Dave snapped back in a challenging tone, “I don’t remember it!” But clearly he did remember it, because if he hadn’t remembered the incident he would have answered me in a wondering or questioning tone rather than a challenging one.[530] Of course, I dropped the subject.

When Dave began attending the College of Great Falls, he quickly made three new friends: Hokan Edwardson, Jay Ce. and Linda E.{49} Linda E. had never been married, nor was she in a monogamous relationship, but she had a five year old boy and, by a different father, a pair of three–year–old twins. She lived on welfare. A few months or a year or two after my brother made her acquaintance, she got pregnant again. At that time she told Dave that she wasn’t sure whether the father was Hokan Edwardson or Jay Ce., but later it was apparently decided that Hokan Edwardson was the probable father. My brother had been hanging around with her quite a bit, but had no sexual relationship with her. Women liked my brother because of the easy–going softness of his character, but they did not see him as a potential lover: He was homely, he was not muscular, and his personality was decidedly lacking in virility and energy.

Before Linda E.’s baby was born, my brother had returned to Lombard temporarily. When the baby died at or shortly after birth, my parents wrote me [531] that Linda E. made a tearful phone call to Dave and that he promptly flew out to Montana to comfort her. I began to worry that he might make an ass of himself by getting involved with and eventually marrying her. I felt sure that she was not attracted to my brother as a male, but I was afraid that she might marry him simply in order to make her position respectable, or because he provided a good shoulder to cry on, and that she would subsequently make him a cuckold many times over. So I wrote my parents a letter in which I pointed out that Dave seemed to be getting dangerously close to Linda E. and suggested that they should discourage the relationship.[532] I have to admit that my motive for writing the letter was less concern for my brother’s welfare than disgust at his weakness of character; thus the motive was in considerable part selfish.[533] Anyway, Dave accidentally found out about my letter and wrote me an extremely angry, insulting, and vituperative reply[534] full of wild accusations. This was quickly followed by a second letter[535] in which he apologized and expressed a hope that our relationship would not be permanently spoiled by the things he’d said.[536] Since I was somewhat ashamed of the selfish aspect of my motive for writing to our parents about him and Linda E., I gave him a very mild answer:

“I apologize for meddling and I promise to keep my nose out of your business in the future. On my side, at least, there are no hard feelings.”[537]

In his first, angry letter, my brother denied that he had any sexual interest in Linda B. and insisted that his motives with respect to her were purely altruistic. He also said that what angered him most about what I wrote to our parents was the implication that he was weak and needed to be guided for his own good. In his second, apologetic letter, he said that what mainly angered him was the implication of dishonesty on his part in my suggestion that he was “lying” (as he put it) about the nature of his feelings toward Linda E.

My brother and I discussed this episode nine years later, in an exchange of letters in 1982. Dave wrote:

“The angry letter I wrote you. Yes, I’m ashamed of it. But ... you didn’t only suggest that I be discouraged from seeing the woman. You also said you thought I was lying when I said my relations with her were strictly non–sexual.”[538]

I wrote:

“In the first letter you said that the main reason you were angry was because of the implication that you were weak and needed to be guided for your own good. In the second letter (and also in a recent letter on this subject) you said that the main reason you were angry was that (as you claimed) I was accusing you of ‘dishonesty’ or of ‘lying’ when I suggested that you were misrepresenting the nature of your interest in [Luisa Mueller].”

“... I think it was fairly clear in the context of my letter that I was accusing you not of lying but of self–deception. ...

“[Even if I had accused you of lying], you probably would have sent me a rebuke in an irritated tone, or perhaps even a moderately angry tone, but you would not have sent me the highly emotional, vituperative, and enraged letter that you did send.

“Obviously then, my supposed questioning of your honesty was not what got you so terribly upset. The real reason is the one you permitted to slip out in your first letter. My letter did convey an implication of weakness on your part. Somewhere ‘deep down inside’ you feel weak; consequently that implication touched a raw nerve and you became enraged.”[539]

Dave referred to this episode again four years later, in 1986, and then he practically admitted that I’d been right in thinking that he was attracted sexually to Linda.

“When your interference vis–a–vis Linda. E. touched off an explosion, I believe this is how I experienced everything ... I saw you acting as a sort of a surrogate super–ego in the matter of our parents’ highly (though subtly) repressive attitudes toward sex. I suppose I felt that siblings ought to confederate in the struggle with their parents to assert sexual independence ... .[Note in margin of letter:] I acknowledge that this resembles your original account of the episode more closely than mine.”[540]

Incidentally, the reason I was so contemptuous of Linda E. was not just the fact that she got pregnant without being married. If a woman chooses to have babies out of wedlock, then as far as I’m concerned that’s her business and I have no desire to censure her. What disgusted me about Linda E. was that she was such a damned animal; she kept getting pregnant without desiring to do so, simply because she was too improvident to take precautions. I don’t think she had any religious convictions that would have prevented her from using contraceptives.

* * *

My brother almost never took my part in any conflict that I had with anyone else. In such conflicts, regardless of the facts of the situation, he usually seemed to see me as a tyrannical aggressor. Here is an example.

When we first met him in Great Falls, Dave’s friend Hokan Edwardson was an admitted thief, though as far as I know his thefts were trivial.[541] ln the summer of 1978, I, my father, Dave, Hokan Edwardson, and Hokan Edwardson’s wife were all working at Foam Cutting Engineers in Lombard, Illinois; then Hokan Edwardson and Hokan Edwardson’s wife decided to move to Texas. One day shortly before they left I cashed a paycheck. The next morning I had to go to work and didn’t want to carry so much money with me, so I hastily hid about a hundred dollars somewhere in my room, then took off. A few days later I wanted the money, but couldn’t remember exactly where I’d hidden it. I minutely examined every corner and cranny of my room and took everything apart, but could find no money.

My mother told me that a day or two earlier Dave had left Hokan Edwardson and his wife alone in our house for a matter of hours. Under the circumstances one could only suspect that Hokan Edwardson had taken the money, but Dave reacted quite emotionally to the suggestion that he had done so. He vehemently denied that such a thing was possible. Later, though, after he had cooled town he admitted that Hokan Edwardson might have taken the money and he volunteered to replace my hundred dollars. I declined his offer, and instead I wrote a note to Hokan Edwardson (who by this time had left for Texas) that said: “If I don’t get my hundred dollars back within a week, I’ll get the cops on your tail.” I reasoned that if Hokan Edwardson had stolen the money he would probably send it back to me, and if he had not stolen it he would take my note as a joke. (Added July 31, 1998: I have very recently received copies of my letters to Hokan Edwardson. The letter in question actually reads: “If I don’t get my hundred dollars back pretty damn quick, I will get the police on your tail.” )

As it turned out, he did take my note as a joke. He was quite amused by it and sent me a letter in which he enclosed a sand dollar, saying “Here is the (sand) dollar we owe you.” When Dave learned of Hokan Edwardson’s letter and deduced from it what I’d done, he was very angry, because he feared that Hokan Edwardson’s feelings would be hurt if he guessed that I suspected him of stealing. Dave was going to confront me about it, but my mother talked him out of doing so.

About a year later I tried to put on a pair of gloves that I’d had with me in Lombard but had not worn since then. I found that my thumb wouldn’t go into one of the gloves. Investigating, I discovered 102 dollars rolled up and thrust into the thumb of the glove. I had a good laugh at myself.

At some later time I told my brother about finding the hundred dollars, and he expressed great relief, saying, “I really believed Hokan Edwardson had taken it.” Thus, when Dave became angry over my letter to Hokan Edwardson, he evidently felt that if one of his friends stole something from me it was an unjustifiable cruelty on my part to confront that friend about it. Yet it is certain that if Dave had ever suspected that I had stolen something from one of his friends, he would have been enraged at me.

Dave’s tendency to see me as a tyrannical aggressor is illustrated also by the way he instinctively turned against me in the Ellen Tarmichael affair (to be discussed in Chapter 10) without bothering to inquire first about the facts.

There was an occasion in 1979 on which my brother seemed at first to be taking my part in a conflict, then suddenly reversed himself and withdrew his support. What hurt me was not so much the fact that he withdrew his support as the smug satisfaction with which he did it. It was like kicking me in the face when I was down. I’m not going to recount the incident here because it’s too painful. Of all the things my brother did prior to 1995 it’s the only one for which I’ve never forgiven him. It rankles to this day. My brother sometimes expressed his resentment of me in underhand ways.[542]

When Dave and I both lived in Montana we jointly rented a safe–deposit box. By 1975 my brother had left Montana, leaving his papers in the box. In that year I wrote my parents:

“Last year I had to write Dave about 3 times to get him to pay his share of the rent on our safe deposit box. This year I wrote him twice and he never did pay the $2.50...”[543]

Was it just because of my brother’s laziness that he failed to pay me? Probably not: In the last two letters I told him that I was desperately hard up for money, so that literally every penny was important. Yet he never answered.

“... so I got tired of it, took my stuff out of the box, arranged to have the box put in his name only, and sent him some papers from the bank that he has to sign and return. He doesn’t answer my letters—maybe he’s mad at me, though I can’t imagine for what. Anyway, in case he didn’t get the papers from the bank, make sure he knows he has to contact the bank if he doesn’t want to lose his stuff in the box.” [544]

Seven years later Dave wrote me:

“The safe–deposit box. I admit I was wrong. I have never complained to you about sticking me with it. But you should keep in mind that you were the one who persuaded me to take it out with you in the first place. And now I am paying for a box I never use, simply because it is inaccessible to me.”[545]

Of course, if my brother had answered my letters and asked me to send him his papers from the box, I would have done so, and he wouldn’t have been “stuck” with it. I had been the one who suggested that we should rent the box, but as far as I can remember my brother accepted the suggestion readily. I didn’t have to do any persuading.

One evening in 1978 when my brother and I were both staying at our parents’ house, Dave spent some hours drinking beer in his room. By and by he got tipsy enough so that he came dancing out of his room and danced around the living room stark naked, in my mother’s presence. She was embarrassed and said, “Dave! Go put some clothes on!” He danced back into his room, wrapped a blanket around himself, danced back out and pranced around the living room for half a minute or so, then danced back to his room and closed the door; and that was the end of the incident.

Some time later I recalled this episode in the presence of my brother and our parents, and mentioned the fact that Dave had been naked. Dave’s memory of the event, not surprisingly, was a bit fuzzy, and he said, “Didn’t I have a blanket around me or something?” I said, “No, the first time you came out naked; you had the blanket on the second time you came out.” Dave seemed to begin to accept this, but then suddenly and for no apparent reason he hardened. It was as if a door had closed: He asserted positively and in an uncompromising tone that he had not come out naked. Since our parents, too, remembered the incident unclearly, they weren’t sure whether to believe me or my brother. The incident was referred to several times over the next few weeks, and my brother continued to deny that he’d been naked. My parents found the situation amusing. I found it so too, but I was also irritated by the fact that my brother persisted in his denial when I knew that he believed I was right. Dave seemed neither amused, nor angry, nor embarrassed about the affair; his tone in stating his denials was hard and smug.

Then our parents’ friends the Meisters came to visit. During an evening of conversation with them I mentioned the naked–dancing incident. Dave got careless and responded to my remark in a way that practically amounted to an admission that he had been naked. I was delighted. I jumped out of my chair, slapped the floor, and gleefully exclaimed, “He admitted it! He admitted it!” Everyone was highly amused—except Dave. He appeared neither amused nor embarrassed. Without cracking a smile, he said, “Damn! I admitted it.” He seemed seriously vexed with himself.

I discussed my brother’s motive in a letter I wrote him in 1982:

“[Y]ou refused to admit the truth of that anecdote I recounted about the time when you got drunk and came prancing o u t of your room stark na ked. Have you thought about the motive for your denial? Was it embarrassment? That may have been a contributing factor, but I don’t think it’s the whole explanation. For one thing, the incident wasn’t all that embarrassing. For another thing, when you finally admitted the incident accidentally in front of the Meisters, you didn’t seem in the least embarrassed. You just seemed vexed with yourself for having inadvertently spoiled your own little game. For a third thing, you could have just asked me not to remind people of the incident and you know I would have complied with any earnest request of that sort. Was your motive humor? That doesn’t stand up either. It may be humorous at first to pretend that such an incident never occurred, but there is no further humor in persisting in the denial for weeks. Moreover, when you finally admitted the incident by accident, that was an occasion for humor, but instead of laughing about it you were just vexed with yourself.

“I suggest that what was happening here was the same thing that was happening when you used to tell me tall tales as a kid. You played that trick simply because it felt good to be ‘one up’ on big brother for a change and in this way also you were taking out your resentment over feeling second–best. ... Of course, I could be wrong in this analysis of your motive.”[546]

I was being over–cautious. I don’t think there need be much doubt that my description of his motive was about right.

My brother never mentioned the naked–dancing incident in any subsequent letter of his.

* * *

The contrast between my brother’s deep–lying resentment of me and the marked generosity and affection that he showed me at other times is puzzling. Whereas his expressions of resentment were covert,[547] his expressions of affection and generosity were overt, so that no one is likely to dispute them. Hence I need not exert myself to prove the reality of his affection. I will only give one particularly marked example of it.

In a 1985 letter that has not been preserved, I told my brother that I was worried about my health. In his answering letter he wrote:

“I’m sorry ... to hear that you’re having problems with your health. I hope it’s nothing serious. If you need money for medical expenses, I have a number of thousands of dollars saved up which I would be willing to give you if you had no other recourse for obtaining proper treatment. I know you are estranged from our parents.

But I also know they wouldn’t hesitate a second to send you money in case of any genuine necessity. But if you have reasons for preferring not to ask them—and I can certainly understand that, given the state of your relations—please tell me what you need and I’ll try to come up with it.”[548]

In a following letter:

“[l]t bothered me to think that you might be foregoing medical care because you were too proud to request or accept help. ... our family ... is fairly prosperous ... I hope you realize that help is available for the asking.”[549]

I answered:

“I think my heart is going bad. Question of mental stress. Used to be that I suffered from hardly any tension at all around here. But the area is so f_ked up now that my old way of life is all shot to hell. ...[T]hose Gehring jerks [550] are planning to log off the woods all around my cabin here.

“.. .[Y]ou’ll understand that with the way things are around here now I often suffer from tension, anger, frustration, etc.”[551]

I then explained that I was much troubled with irregular heartbeats. I continued:

“I wouldn’t be surprised if I just drop dead one of these days.

“Actually I’m not really all that concerned about it—We all gotta go some time anyway, so what the hell. On the other hand, I’m not anxious to die any sooner than I have to. ...

“P.S. I forgot to mention—I was touched by your extremely generous offer of money. But even if it would have done any good, I wouldn’t take it, not from you.

When I took to the woods I made a decision to forgo [sic] financial security, being fully aware of the consequences to be expected with the onset of old age and illness. It would obviously be unfair for me now to accept money from you, who have paid the price of earning financial security.[552] It would be different if I leeched off the welfare dept., since the society that provides welfare is the same one that has f_ked up my way of life in the woods—so why not screw them? ... Also it would be different if I took money from our parents. As you know, I hate them, so why not screw them? But from you I wouldn’t take any money.” [553]

My brother replied:

“I appreciate your scruples vis–a–vis my savings. But to balance money against life seems to me absurd. Also, I remember that when I was out of a job you offered to sacrifice your privacy (which I know is very precious to you) in order to help me out.[554] I would certainly grieve if you kicked–off prematurely but it would be far, far worse for me if I thought I could have done anything to help prevent it.

“In my opinion, you ought to go to a heart specialist and have a thorough exam. ...

“Why don’t you have me request enough money from the parents to pay for an exam? I assume you would hate to do it yourself. I don’t think it would be ‘screwing’ them anyway, since they have more than they can spend ... .”[555]

I gave no answer to my brother’s offer, except by remarking that I did not appreciate getting unasked–for advice concerning my health.[556] This was February 18, 1986.

During March and April, 1986, Dave and I exchanged some letters concerning my resentment of our parents, passages from which have been quoted earlier in this book.[557] This correspondence inflamed my resentment, and I was particularly galled by the fact that my brother seemed to think that our parents would willingly and graciously give me money if I needed it badly. I felt that they probably would give me money if I were in desperate straits, but I was sure that they would give it grudgingly and on terms that would be humiliating for me.

To prove my point, I sent them in April, 1986 a note that read (in its entirety): “I need about $6,000 for medical reasons.”[558] My purpose was to cause my parents pain and reveal their ungenerous nature. I also had some thought of keeping the money to spend not especially for medical expenses but for whatever necessities might arise, but I abandoned that idea because I feared it might constitute fraud and be a legally prosecutable offense.

My parents answered as follows.

My mother:

“Dear T.J.

“Please be more specific. Fill us in with details.

“Have you explored the possibilities of public assistance? Medicaid? Social Security disability payments? County Hospital?

“Have you any savings left, or health insurance?

“Can arrangements be made for monthly payments with doctor and/or hospital?

“Let us know what your problem is all about.”

My father:

“Can you understand our resentment that you totally disassociated yourself from us yet in time of need call for our assistance!!!

“That last couple of years have been painful. Your rejection, we feel, is unfair, uncalled for and at the least shows lack of understanding, tolerance or a sense of family.

“Right now we can give you an advance on what we have been sending you yearly. In the meantime, please respond to the above questions.

“Your father”[559]

Shortly after receiving this I wrote a letter to my brother in which I explained what I’d done. I included a complete copy of the letter from our parents that I’ve just quoted, and added:

“The difference between this letter and your very generous response when I merely mentioned that I had a health problem, is quite striking. All the more so considering that you have much less money than they do—as you said yourself, they have more money than they can spend anyway.

“Now, I want to make it clear that I do not consider that they owe it to me to send me money. What they owe me has nothing to do with money, and they couldn’t pay it off with any amount of money, no matter how large.”[560]

In the same letter I told my brother:

“[Y]ou might object to [what I did] and with some justification. Not that I feel you have the right to intervene in any disputes between me and the parents. But it’s possible you might feel you were in some sense a party to this nasty trick I played on them: For one thing, I was of course relying on the assumption that you would tell them that my heart is prone to act funny; for another thing, you had suggested to me that I should ask them for money; and finally, it was your letter that got me stirred up against them.”[561]

I then told Dave that out of consideration for his feelings I was explaining the affair to him so that, if he liked, he could explain it to our parents. I also told him that if they did send me money I would send it to him and he could do with it what he pleased, which I assumed would be to give it back to our parents.[562]

My parents did send me a check for six thousand dollars (presumably before my brother received my letter), and I did send it to him, as promised.[563] Undoubtedly he then gave it back to our parents.


10. The Ellen Tarmichael affair

Let’s begin with two media reports of the Ellen Tarmichael affair. Following a paragraph that gave a badly garbled account of how I came to work at Foam Cutting Engineers in Addison, Illinois, the New York Times wrote:

“[Ted’s] supervisor was Ellen Tarmichael, a soft–spoken but no–nonsense woman who is still a production manager with the company. One employee, Richard Johnson, called her ‘a wonderful boss, the best I’ve ever had,’ and added: ‘She’s always kind–hearted and nice to people. I can see why somebody would get interested in her.’

“Ted Kaczynski became interested in late July 1978. ...[Actually it was mid–July or earlier.[564]]

“It was a Sunday, and he had gone for a walk. ‘He happened to see her car,’ David recalled. ‘She was filling the gas tank.[This is not quite accurate.[565]] I don’t know exactly what transpired. He actually went to her apartment and played cards with her and her sister and her [sister’s] boyfriend.’

“Later Ted came home. ‘He was obviously in a good mood,’ David said. ‘He told me he had gone to see Ellen, that they had spent the day together ... and that some gestures indicating affection had passed between them. I was very happy about that.’ ...

“They had two dates, Ms. Tarmichael recalled. She said he seemed intelligent and quiet, and she accepted a dinner invitation in late July. It was a French restaurant, David said, and Ted ‘ordered wine and he smelled it [false: no wine was ordered], he made a big deal of it.’ David added, ‘He had a good time.’

“Two weeks later, they went apple–picking and afterward went to his parents’ home and baked a pie. That was when she told him she did not want to see him again ‘I felt we didn’t have much in common besides our employment,’ she said. [This is no doubt true as far as it goes, but it is only part of the truth and by no means the most important part.]

“‘Ted did a total shutdown,’ retreating into his room, David said. He also wrote an insulting limerick about Ms. Tarmichael, made copies and posted them in lavatories and on walls around the factory. He did not sign the limerick, but his relationship with the woman was known. [How? I never told anyone about it except my father, brother and mother. It could have become known at the plant only through blabbing by my father, by my brother, or by Ellen herself.]

“David confronted his brother. ‘I was very, very angry,’ he said. ‘Part of me was disappointed. He was so close to being integrated in the most primal rite of integration. He had an interest in a member of the opposite sex, and to have him go back to this kind of angry, inappropriate behavior—to the family it was embarrassing, adolescent kind of behavior.’

“David told him to cease the offensive conduct. But Ted put the same limerick up the next day, above David’s desk [actually I put it on the machine he was working with]. David told him to go home. [That is, he fired me, which he could do because he had become a foreman by that time.] ...

“David said Ted wrote Ms. Tarmichael a letter that ‘had elements of apology about it.’ But the investigators said the letter, which probably was not sent [it was sent [566]] partly blamed the woman for what had happened and said Ted had considered harming her.”[567]

This is how the Washington Post described the affair:

“Sometime before June 23, 1978, Ted wrote saying he needed money. They told him to come work with Dad and David at the Foam Cutting Engineers Inc. plant.”[568]

Here is another one of those seemingly minor distortions that the Washington Post no doubt will claim is accidental; yet the slight misstatement seriously misrepresents what actually happened, and, as is usual with the media’s misstatements, it tends to make me look bad. Readers will of course interpret the Washington Post’s statement to mean that I wrote home asking for money and that my parents told me that if I wanted it I would have to come and work for it. In fact, I did not write my parents asking for money; I asked, on my own initiative, whether it was likely that I could get a job at Foam Cutting Engineers. This is proved by the letters that I quoted in Chapter 7, pp. 211, 212.

The Washington Post continues:

“Ted Sr. was a manager, and David was Ted’s boss.” [569]

Both statements are false. My father was not a manager but a sort of jack–of–all–trades who worked only part of the year fixing the machines, building jigs, and troubleshooting generally. David was the boss neither of Ted Sr. (my father) nor of Ted Jr. (me). When I started at Foam Cutting Engineers my brother was only an ordinary worker. Later he was promoted to foreman of the evening shift—but I worked on the day shift, so that he was not my boss. As I remember it, the shifts overlapped to some extent; the evening shift started at some time in the late afternoon before the day shift left. That was why my brother and I were at work at the same time and he had an opportunity to fire me. Since he was not the foreman of my shift, I was in doubt about whether he had the right to fire me, but Ellen confirmed the firing. I’m not certain that I remember correctly the overlapping of the shifts and the exact authority that my brother had at the moment of the firing; but that my account is approximately correct is confirmed by an entry in my journal that was written on the very day of the firing:

“This afternoon, I went over to where my brother was working, pasted up a copy of the poem before his eyes, and said, ‘OK, are you going to fire me?’ Of course, he did. Wanting to make sure that the firing was official (Dave is night boss and I am on the Day crew) I went into Ellen’s office and asked her if the firing was official. ...[S]he said that ... she would have to uphold the firing.”[570]

To proceed with the Washington Post Article:

“Soon after he arrived at the family home, then in Lombard, Ill., Ted had a date with a co–worker named Ellen Tarmichael. Wanda and Ted Sr. were thrilled. After two dates, Ellen lost interest. Ted, in a rage, posted insulting limericks about her at the plant. David had to fire his own brother, a predicament he now sees as ‘foreshadowing what I had to do later’ in turning Ted in to the FBI. Ted locked himself in his room for days.” [571]

The last sentence is at best misleading. All members of my family took an angry and accusing attitude toward me after the incident, and consequently, for the next two or perhaps three days, when I was at home I spent most of my time in my room rather than with the family—as I’m sure the majority of people would have done under similar circumstances. Most of the time my door was not locked. Within a few days I went out and got another job.[572]

The rest of the paragraph and the following two paragraphs of the Washington Post article are wholly false and reflect only my mother’s inability to distinguish truth from her own fantasies. The next paragraph refers to the letter that I wrote Ellen Tarmichael on August 25, 1978 (the letter is dated) and showed to my family by way of explanation either on the 25th or the 26th:

“Ted came out of the room with several written pages in his hand, his attempt to explain himself. He wrote that Ellen had been intentionally cruel to him. None of them [the family] felt that was even remotely true.[That’s false!] At the end of the missive, he repeated his insulting limerick, said David, ‘like he wasn’t going to take it back. No matter what.’” [573]

This is either another lie or another error on my brother’s part. I saved a carbon copy of the letter, and the insulting limerick is repeated nowhere in it.[574]

* * *

Now here is the full and true story of the Ellen Tarmichael affair.

When I started work at Foam Cutting Engineers, Ellen was the day shift foreman and therefore my immediate superior. At first I did not find her sexually interesting because, while her face was attractive, her figure was not. As I wrote in my journal, “She has a beautiful face but a very mediocre figure (too much fat on her ass thighs.”[575] But as I got to know her I found that she had a good sense of humor and was apparently a very nice person; and, as I wrote, “she is very attractive because she has charm, her personality, so far as it is exhibited to the world at large, is very attractive, she is apparently very intelligent, and probably quite competent.”[576] She seemed very friendly toward me and, rightly or wrongly, I thought she liked me.

I’d had very little contact with women for several years, and I’d had no relationship with one for fully sixteen years, since I’d broken off with Ellen Arl This rendered me very susceptible, with the result that within two or three weeks of starting at Foam Cutting Engineers I got infatuated with Ellen Tarmichael—as my journal records.[577]

As I explained in Chapter 3, p. 83, ever since the painful experiences of my adolescence I had found it extremely difficult to make advances to women. In this case I found it even more difficult than usual because Ellen, my father, my brother, and I were all working at the same shop, so that, if I made advances to her and was rejected, I would feel shamed before my own family—who were not tolerant of any weaknesses or mistakes on my part. I couldn’t seem to get up the nerve to ask her out either at work or by telephone, so one Sunday afternoon I looked up her address and took a stroll in that direction with the intention of making her an unannounced visit,[578] assuming I didn’t chicken out, as I probably would have done. But by sheer chance I happened to meet Ellen along the way—at a gas station, though the meeting was a bit more complicated than what my brother described to the New York Times.[579] She greeted me cordially, I told her I’d been going to drop in on her, she invited me into her car and...

“she drove me to the apartment that she shares with her sister Liz. Liz was there with her boyfriend George; but they shortly left to play golf so that I had a pleasant conversation of 2 or 3 hours with Ellen. She told me a good deal about herself ... .[S]he has a streak in her personality that would be attractive if it were not so strongly developed; but as it is, I think it repels me more than attracts me; it is a kind of egotistical streak, or a need for superiority and dominance. You would never guess from he [r] usual behavior that she has such a streak; but she told me that when she was a kid (she was the second child in the family) she had a tremendous need to do better than her elder brother ... in all activities whatsoever. In every sport, in school, etc. She would practice and practice a sport all by herself until she could beat her brother. She claims she succeeded so well that she thoroughly demoralized her poor brother. She says that up to a couple of years ago she believed she could do anything. She seems to be conceited about her job and overestimates her importance to the company. She says she intends to be president of the company some day. Yet she says all these things in a gentle and feminine manner, not in a boastful or aggressive way. ... Liz and George had returned ... we all played pinochle until after 11 PM. ...[Ellen] drove me home. When we arrived, I said, ‘Am I being too aggressive if I ask for a goodnight kiss?’ She averted her eyes and moved her head...as if she were hesitating. Then she said ‘alright.’ (I suspect she really had no hesitation about kissing but was only trying to make a certain impression.) Then she leaned over toward me for the kiss and we had a nice big juicy delicious kiss with firm pressure. Now, I am so very inexperienced in these matters that I am in a very poor position to judge, but it did seem to me that she kissed me somewhat aggressively; at least, she had her mouth on mine before I was even ready for it. I said in a soft and rather fervent tone, ‘Oh, I like you!’ She gave the curious reply: ‘You can’t say that. You don’t know me.’ then we said goodbye. I didn’t think much about her reply at the time, but it seems particularly curious in view of a rumor that my father told me about today: It is said that Ellen never goes out with any man more than once or twice.”[580]

Actually, I had overheard my father telling my mother the same thing a few days earlier; see below.

When I got home (i.e., to my parents’ house) after my visit with Ellen, I went to my brother’s bedroom and told him about my experiences of the day. He seemed oddly unresponsive; he showed no emotion, said little, and asked no questions. I then said, “A few days ago I heard Dad telling Ma that J___ P___ says that Ellen goes out with a guy a couple of times and then you never hear any more about it.{50} Have you heard anything about her?” My brother said he had heard nothing definite, only that there was “something funny” about Ellen in her relations with men.[581] The next day I asked my father about her and he told me directly (as indicated above) that it was rumored that she never went out with any man more than a couple of times.

Before my visit with Ellen at her apartment she had been invariably kind, obliging, and friendly toward me, but from the time I showed that I had a sexual interest in her a certain inconsistency manifested itself in her behavior toward me. Now and again she would make a remark that had a certain bite to it, not enough so that it could definitely be called rude, but enough to make me wonder.

From my journal:

“July 29 [1978]. Yesterday I took Ellen Tarmichael to an expensive restaurant for supper.”[582]

The table conversation was pleasant enough, except that Ellen gave further indications that she had an excessive concern with power, and maybe even a sadistic streak:

“[S]he...said to me that she was a ‘very vindictive person’ and would do anything ‘no matter how underhanded’ to get revenge if she wanted it ... .”[583]

When we left the restaurant,

“[S]he...invited me to her apartment, where, she hastened to add, we would not be alone. Actually we were alone for an hour or more as her sister and sister’s—boyfriend were out–to eat. The situation was not such that I could readily make any sexual advances ... . After her sister and sister’s boyfriend returned I had a very boring time listening to a conversation in which I took very little part. Finally, at 12:30 AM, Ellen asked me if I would like to ‘go out for coffee.’ I said yes. So I drove her to a place nearby that she recommended. We spent an hour and a half there discussing various topics. Then I took her home, and, on arrival, asked for a goodnight kiss. I got an even better one than last time. Mouths wide open, tongues rubbing. She started that open–mouth, tongue–rubbing stuff, not me. ... All this might have lasted, say, 3 minutes. Then she said, ‘I think it’s time for you to go home.’ So I did. Though she is very charming and attractive much of the time, by now I greatly dislike her because of her egotism and its consequences; for example: she spent some time bragging about how she was going to become president of the company and how she was in on company secrets and so forth ... .

“... She says that Wynn [sic; should be Win] (the president of this 2–bit Foam–cutting corporation) likes me and would like to keep me in the company, or at least is thinking along those lines. She asked me not to tell Wynn that I had gone out with her; because she said that Wynn had suggested to her that she should use herself as bait to keep me around the company; but she had refused. A couple of hours later when this subject came up again, she said that Wynn had only made the suggestion in jest. I don’t know just what the truth of the matter is; I wouldn’t trust Ellen for strict accuracy.”[584]

In spite of the fact that I wrote in my journal, “by now I greatly dislike her,” I was still infatuated with Ellen. After our dinner date her behavior toward me became more inconsistent than it had been before. At times she was warm and friendly and seemed to invite my overtures; at other times, for no apparent reason, she would turn so cold that she seemed to be trying to hurt me. Hence I told myself repeatedly that I wasn’t interested in her any more. Undoubtedly I would really have lost interest in her if I hadn’t been so sex–starved, or if I had known how to look elsewhere for a woman. As it was, I remained infatuated.

Without revealing the extent of my feelings toward Ellen or the fact that she sometimes seemed to be hurting me intentionally, I discussed with my father and brother her egotistical and disagreeable concern with power. They agreed that she did have such a concern, and my brother attributed it to feelings of inferiority. I answered that I saw no evidence of such feelings on her part.

On Sunday, August 20, I took Ellen out to the forest preserves to pick wild apples, from which we were to make pies. Three days later I wrote:

“It now seems clear that from the very beginning of this date she was out to humiliate me, or at least to assert a certain type of superiority over me. This in spite of the fact that I had made it very clear to her that I was very sweet on her. I was at pains on this date to be attentive and agreeable; but she was very cool; not so much so as to bring out any open disagreement, but just the right amount to leave me unhappy and wondering.”[585]

For example, when we got out of the car at the forest preserve, instead of walking alongside me, she walked a couple of feet behind. Two or three times I waited for her to catch up and tried to walk alongside of her, but in each case she promptly dropped back again, though I was walking slowly.[586] This was particularly embarrassing to me since there were many people present at this popular picnic spot. When we headed home with the apples, she insisted that we should make the pies at my parents’ house, but that I should first take her back to her apartment so that she could get her car and drive herself to my parents’ house, then drive herself home afterward.

“She insisted on a peculiar way of using her auto and mine [actually, my father’s]; this arrangement was such that I would have no opportunity to ask for a goodnight kiss. At this point I felt that explicit clarification was called for, so I asked her if she was intentionally avoiding a goodnight kiss. After a little hesitation she answered that she was. I then asked further questions...”[587]],”

When I thus tried to open to the light of day her indirect and half–covert maneuverings, she became quite tense, and her voice was at first slightly shaky.

... and what she told me was essentially this: She had no sexual interest in me; she said she liked me, but the way and the context in which she said it indicated that it was the condescending sort of liking that one might have for a child or for some other kind of social inferior.”

“She claimed she went out with me mainly in order to satisfy her curiosity about me because she had never met anyone like me before. She said a kiss ‘doesn’t mean anything.’ She claimed there was no sex in it when she kissed me. (This seems a little implausible in the case of an open–mouth kiss with tongues rubbing ... .)

“During the first part of the date she [had been] cool and a little glum; but ... after she had humiliated me she immediately became quite cheerful and gay for the rest of the day. ...

“It seemed to me that during the rest of the day she would occasionally rub in her little triumph by making remarks that were somewhat cutting but not so much so as to bring about any open breach of friendlyness [sic]. For example, I asked her what were some of my unusual characteristics that made her feel I was ‘unlike anyone she had ever met.’ The first one she mentioned was: ‘You are so very lacking in confidence socially.’ (True enough, but not nice to say so, unless after taking special pains to be tactful.)”[588]

One thing she told me in the course of that conversation particularly struck me. She talked about some fellow she had gone out with a great deal when she was in college, saying, “I treated him rotten, I even stood him up one time, but he still kept taking me out.” What was remarkable was the relish with which she said she had “treated him rotten.”

At the time, I was desperately confused about Ellen and her behavior toward me, but after the dust had settled the explanation seemed pretty clear. To my way of thinking, she was a sexual sadist. Under ordinary circumstances she was a nice, friendly, considerate person; but when she was feeling sexy she got her kicks from hurting men.[589] Probably most men were not seriously hurt by her. After having a couple of dates with her and learning what she was like, they just stopped asking her out. But I was especially vulnerable because of my past history and my inexperience with women. During the latter part of that last date,

“I took pains to conceal my feelings, and remained outwardly cheerful and friendly, though half the time I wanted to cry and the other half the time I wanted to kill her.”[590]

“I loved that damn bitch. She knew I had soft feelings toward her and she intentionally used these to lead me on and then she calculatedly humiliated me.

“I was so upset by this that for the next 2 nights I was unable to sleep more than 4 hours a night, and, what was worse, I was exhausted by nervous tension. That date was Sunday. Monday I did nothing about it because I was exhausted and had had no time to think things over. But after work I did think things over; I had an overwhelming need for revenge and I decided to get it by persistently needling and insulting her at work.”[591]

I hoped I could bring matters to such a pass that the whole nasty business would be dragged out in front of the crew, presumably to Ellen’s great embarrassment.[592]

“I started Tuesday morning by pasting up some copies of an insulting poem that I wrote about her.”[593]

“I don’t doubt that I could have made things very unpleasant for her by such methods—except that my weak–minded, self–righteous brother took it upon himself to interfere. Having seen the poem I pasted up, he said he would fire me ... and ’maybe bust your ass, too’ if I did it again.”[594]

I asked my brother to listen to my side of the story, but he angrily refused to do so, and let stand his threat to fire me.

“Of course, that was a direct challenge, so I wasn’t just about to back down. This afternoon [August 23, 1978], I went over to where my brother was working and pasted up a copy of the poem before his eyes...,”[595] whereupon he fired me, as described earlier. When I went to Ellen’s office to ask her whether the firing was valid, she seemed dismayed at the situation and was apparently reluctant to confirm my dismissal. In my journal, naturally, I put a negative interpretation on this behavior,[596] but in retrospect I think she was genuinely sorry at what had happened. Despite her description of herself as “vindictive” (see p. 283) I don’t think she was in reality a vindictive person under ordinary circumstances. I think her sadistic streak manifested itself only when she was feeling sexy; it was for her a source of sexual gratification and did not imply any tendency to cruelty in a non–sexual situation.

Since my brother had frustrated my retaliation against Ellen, I was choking with anger, and, to make matters worse, my mother and father turned against me too, without listening to my side of the story first.[597]

“[T]hat weak fool Dave has made that bitch’s triumph complete: She humiliates me sexually, she gets me fired from my job, and she causes dissension in my family.

I have shed more tears over that cheap whore than I have over anything since my teens ... .

“What makes this particularly hard is the fact that it recalls bitter experiences over many years, reaching right back to my early teens ...,”[598] namely, the rejections I had experienced and my complete lack of success with women. I was more choked with frustrated anger than I’d ever been in my life, so I decided to retaliate against Ellen in the only way that remained to me—by attacking her physically. To abbreviate as much as possible the account of a distasteful episode, on Thursday, August 24, I waited for Ellen in the parking lot of Foam Cutting Engineers. When she arrived I confronted her, talked with her briefly, and then left without laying a finger on her.[599] After that my anger was burned out, and since then I haven’t hated her.

The next day I went out and got a job at Prince Castle (by that time I’d learned how to lie on application forms), and the same day I wrote Ellen a long letter of explanation, which I did mail. According to the media, Ellen has said that she never received “any correspondence” from me.[600] If she did say that, then she was not telling the truth. A letter is occasionally lost in the mail, but besides the first letter I also sent her a second letter (dated September 2, 1978), and the chance that both of these letters could have been lost in the mail is so slight that we can be for all practical purposes certain that she received at least one of them. Both letters are reproduced in Appendix 9.

Why has Ellen denied receiving my letter? Maybe she doesn’t remember it, or maybe she wants to avoid discussing its content, which would force her to address the issue of her behavior toward me.

Probably on August 25, when I wrote it, or conceivably on the following day, I showed the letter to my parents as a way of explaining my behavior. They read it and said that now they understood better; the tension went out of the atmosphere and we were reconciled. However, my parents did not apologize for the way they’d reacted earlier. Then I went to my brother’s bedroom (where he spent most of his time when staying at the house in Lombard [601]), and showed him the letter. He too read it, and while he did not apologize explicitly at that time,[602] his manner seemed to indicate that he regretted the way he had reacted; and I was reconciled with him, too. The New York Times stated that “tensions between the brothers continued,”[603] but this is false.

In fairness to Ellen Tarmichael I must make it clear that when the whole affair was finished her attitude was conciliatory and even kind. As I wrote in my journal:

“Sept. 1. Yesterday ... my father brought home from Foam–Cutting Eng. a present of home–made cookies from Ellen, for the family. ... I sent Ellen a message through my father: that the cookies were delicious, that I apologize for the tone of my letter, and that I no longer have any hard feelings toward her. Today he said he’d given her the message. He said she seemed pleased and that she said: ‘I think the problem was that Ted and I speak different languages.’”[604]

Notice that this passage tends to confirm that Ellen did receive my letter. If she hadn’t received it, then, when my father told her that I apologized for the tone of the letter, she presumably would have answered that she hadn’t received any letter, and my father would have reported that fact to me.

Also notice that Ellen failed to face up to the real source of the problem—that she had a streak of sexual sadism.

* * *

The reader will please review my brother’s recent remarks on the Ellen Tarmichael affair as reported by the New York Times and the Washington Post (quoted at the beginning of this chapter) and compare them with the following passages that he wrote in 1981, some three–years after the events:

“I was wrong to fire you and threaten you. I did so in anger because you were behaving badly (which is your own business) and because you caused severe embarrassment to Dad and me. ... But I realized soon afterwards that I should have taken into account how badly you were feeling at the time.”[605]

“I think if the manner of your taking revenge against Ellen had arisen in its own isolation, I probably would have responded very differently, though it would be impossible now to know for sure. I hope, at any rate, that I would have responded differently.”[606]

There follows a passage in which my brother argues that during the months preceding the incident in question I had been treating our parents badly. It is a passage that I am unable to understand, since it seems to me that during that period my relations with our parents were better than at any other time since I was eleven or twelve years old.

My brother’s letter continues:

“When you brought trouble into the workplace (as I conceived it) I guess I just lost my head and my discretion completely. ...[607] I say again that I was wrong to do what I did, although I suppose I have learned (for whatever good it will do me) how thoroughly I can be undone by my bad temper. ...[608] From my point of view, all of this is in the past, though of course I acknowledge the major injury was yours not mine.”[609]

These passages show that, while my conduct in the Tarmichael affair was not exactly noble and generous, my brother did realize that there were two sides to the story and that my behavior was at any rate understandable (which does not imply that it was blameless). Yet, if the New York Times and the Washington Post have reported his remarks accurately, he gave them a one–sided version of the affair that made it appear that there was no mitigation for my behavior.

This provides further evidence that my brother’s motive for talking to the media about me was not what he claimed, to “humanize” me and decrease my risk of suffering the death penalty. If that had been his motive he would have taken a softer approach, comparable to that of his 1981 letters, which recognized that there were two sides to the story. Instead, he took a hard line and portrayed me in a way that was certainly not calculated to win the sympathy of a judge or a jury.

* * *

I want to reiterate that I believe Ms. Tarmichael to be under normal circumstances a very decent and kindly person. Sexual peculiarities are of course commonplace and when she gave expression to hers in regard to me I’m sure that she had no idea of how badly she was hurting me—since she knew nothing about my past history. I’ve included this chapter only to put before the public the truth about a matter that has been badly misrepresented in the media. I ask journalists to refrain from harassing Ms. Tarmichael with questions about this affair. It’s doubtful that they will honor this request, but if they don’t it will be further evidence of the irresponsibility of the majority of media people.


11. I hurt my brother’s feelings cruelly

It was around 1978, I think, that Dave’s friend Hokan Edwardson recommended to him a book by the philosopher Martin Heidegger. Dave read Heidegger at first with a certain amused skepticism that may have been due in part to the fact that (Dave said) Heidegger had been a Nazi sympathizer. But within a few months, he became a convert to Heidegger’s philosophy.[610] I think that what led him to become a disciple of Heidegger was that it enabled him to feel that he was part of a special elite. In a conversation that I had with him on this subject in about 1979, he made it evident that he had come to regard himself as a member of a small minority of people who “think” (i.e., who read Heidegger), and on this basis he considered himself “superior.”[611] He sneered at democracy, which he said was, according to Heidegger, a failed or obsolete form of government.[612] He therefore advocated the system of government that was first proposed by Plato and (Dave said) was favored by Heidegger, namely, rule by a philosopher–king.

I was disgusted. It is one thing to recognize that the majority of people do not think seriously about anything that is not of direct practical importance to them, and it is another thing to crow about it so that you can feel “superior.” It is one thing to recognize that democracy (as that term is understood in the modern world) has failed to provide what it was supposed to provide—freedom and equality—and it is another thing to sneer at democracy so that you can replace it with an elitist philosophy. My brother, notwithstanding his claim to be a “thinker,” had swallowed Heidegger’s ideas uncritically. He had given no consideration to the question of whether rule by a philosopher–king would be workable as a practical system of government, or to whether democracy might not be the least of the available evils in the modern world.

Not long after, still in 1979, I had another discussion with my brother, this time about whether certain kinds of statements in philosophy were meaningful. My position was essentially that the meaning of verbal formulations required study and analysis. A verbal formulation might convey emotion (the word “emotion” being interpreted broadly) without having any other content. One could not assume that a formulation had any other meaning than its emotive content simply because one felt subjectively that it had such meaning. Many philosophers had little interest in analyzing their own verbal formulations in order to understand what, if any, objective meaning they held, and were content if the formulations satisfied them merely on an emotional level. Which would be fine if they were writing novels or poetry that pretended to do no more than satisfy the emotions. But the philosophers certainly believed their verbal formulations to have some meaningful content beyond mere emotional impact; yet, in the case of many of their formulations, they failed to establish what that content was or whether it existed at all.

My brother found this point of view very threatening, because it called into question much of philosophy, and related fields such as literary criticism; and it was on his interest in such fields that he founded his sense of being someone special. But he did not have enough self–confidence to meet my arguments head on; instead, he resorted to evasive tactics.

In our 1979 discussion of this subject, I began by trying to stake out some common ground between us—statements on which we could both agree, and on the basis of which I could argue my point. But Dave was so afraid of being defeated by me that whenever I offered a premise that we might agree on, he would reject it automatically, even if, under other circumstances, he would certainly have accepted it. For instance, when I tried to introduce the concept of time, he flatly denied that any such thing as time existed. (The next morning, as it happened, he asked me to glance at the clock and tell him what time it was. When I pointed out that he was being inconsistent, his only answer was an embarrassed little laugh.)

Dave’s evasive tactics drove me up the wall with frustration on this occasion, as on various others when I tried to carry on rational discussions with him. (I have to confess at this point that I am excessively susceptible to frustration, possibly as a result of having experienced so many frustrations during my teen years and early adulthood.)

My irritation was intensified by my brother’s pretensions to superiority. A fool is irritating in any case, but a pretentious fool to me is simply insufferable, and consequently I particularly remembered those two conversations with my brother.

In the summer or autumn of 1981, Dave and I renewed the discussion in several letters that we exchanged. Some of these letters have not been preserved, but enough have survived to show the character of the interchange.

My mother had been getting my brother and I to put our names on various savings certificates jointly with our parents, as a means of avoiding probate.[613] Besides that, my brother still had a fifty percent interest in the land on which my cabin stood.

Because recent events had made me aware that my brother’s affection for me was mixed with a substantial element of resentment, I felt distinctly uncomfortable at having my affairs so tangled up with his. I remembered how difficult it had been to get him to pay his share of the rent on our safe–deposit box, and I was afraid his resentment might lead to similar difficulties in more important matters at some later time. So I wrote my mother a letter (now lost) in which I asked her not to put my name together with my brother’s on any more savings certificates, and I mentioned that I wanted to buy out Dave’s share of our Montana property. I explained the reasons and, since I didn’t expect Dave to see the letter, I freely expressed my contempt for his so–called ideas, describing them as “adolescent.”

However, my brother was staying with our parents at the time, and it was he who opened the letter when it arrived. Did he have a right to open it? The answer isn’t clear. I normally addressed my letters home simply to “Kaczynski,” but if I wanted a letter to be opened only by a certain member of the family, then I addressed it specifically to that person. Since this letter was addressed to “Wanda Kaczynski,” my brother ought to have realized that she should be the one to open it. On the other hand, as Dave subsequently wrote to me:

“I thought I should clarify my access to that last letter of yours—since mother was upset that I opened it. However, she’s often said I was welcome to open their mail. Knowing the issue which had been discussed, I was curious about your reply. So I decided to take her offer literally for once. Anyway, I didn’t want you to think she showed it to me.”[614]

This note was in the nature of a postscript (sent in a different envelope) to another letter [615] in which he responded to my letter to my mother. His letter[616] was one of the very few in which he was fairly open in expressing resentment. Earlier, I quoted from it several passages in which he referred to some of the incidents between us, such as that of the safe–deposit box and that of my letter about Linda E. But the part of his letter that interests us at the moment is the following:

“About my adolescent ideas. I suspect you use a mere perjorative [sic] out of your frustration to properly answer them. ...”[617]

I had used the term “adolescent” only in the letter to my mother, and had not used it or any other pejoratives in the discussions with my brother. (Though I did use pejoratives in some of my later discussions with him.)

“Anyway, the positivist dogma you adhere to has been long ago discarded.”[618]

What “dogma” was he referring to? The position I’d taken in our discussions was hardly dogmatic. I had pointed out two ways in which a verbal formulation could have meaning: (1) It might imply predictions that could be checked against experience; or (2) it might convey emotion (broadly interpreted). Then, if there was another way in which a verbal formulation could have meaning, I invited my brother to explain what it was. If he had done so, I would have considered his argument and perhaps accepted it.[619] But of course he didn’t even try to respond to my invitation, because he had never taken the trouble to try to analyze the meanings of sentences, and moreover he did not have enough confidence in himself to argue with me head on. So he evaded the issue by simply labeling my position as “dogma.” When you can’t answer someone’s arguments and can’t bear to admit he’s right, then, to quote my brother’s own words (suitably corrected), “you use a mere pejorative out of your frustration at being unable to properly answer.” It is remarkable how often my brother attributes to me feelings and reactions that are characteristic of himself.

My brother’s letter continued:

“From this position, you can’t talk about much of anything unless you bring in the ‘brain’—and since the positivistic explication of the brain is rudimentary, so the positivistic assumption...”[620]

But what assumption was my brother talking about? Several times in his letters he referred to my “positivistic” or “scientific” “assumptions,” without ever explaining what “assumptions” he was referring to, and, of course, any attempt to pin him down on that subject was futile.

“... the positivistic assumption becomes a black box into which you can stick anything too troublesome to think about, and which makes itself voracious toward any thoughts which don’t meet the positivistic criteria is [sic] advance, which in turn it excretes as ‘psychological’ phenomena, unworthy of the name of thought. Can’t you see, though you mean to include all of experience, you’re really working within a closed system?—Anyway, positivism has been discarded by philosophers.” [621]

Hardly any of this is responsive to points I’d made, and all of it consists of vague accusations that completely sidestep the main issues that I’d raised: How does one assign meaning to verbal formulations? In particular, have the philosophers satisfactorily dealt with the problem of assigning meaning to metaphysical statements?

I had only the vaguest idea of what positivism was, so after my brother had called me a positivist several times, I asked him to explain just what the word meant.[622] He answered that he knew very little about positivism himself,[623] and after that he stopped calling me a positivist, though he continued to accuse me of having unspecified “assumptions.”

Needless to say, my purpose here has not been to prove any points about logic or language, but to give a sample of my brother’s style of argument, so that the reader will understand why I found it so frustrating to try to discuss anything with him.

* * *

In spite of the resentful tone of his letter, my brother was quite cooperative about selling me his share of our Montana property, which he did for the amount of money he’d originally put into it, $1050.[624]

As for our philosophical argument, I soon wrote Dave a letter in which I renewed it from a different angle. Instead of attacking the ideas that he had borrowed (possibly in debased form) from Heidegger, or pursuing the question of meaning, I addressed the issue of my brother’s motivations. Here are several extracts from the letter, some of which I’ve already quoted in earlier chapters:

“The point I want to cover in this letter is: your habitual self–deception. ... [I gave several examples of his self–deception, including:]

“When you took up teaching, you apparently did so under the illusion that you were going to change the lives of many students simply by expounding your ideas to them. Of course you soon learned better. You are certainly intelligent enough to have realized that a teacher can consider himself fortunate if he exerts a decisive influence on the lives of just a few students in the course of his whole teaching career. Yet you gave up after 2 years because your rosy expectations of influencing students quickly and easily were not realized. Those expectations must have been the result of self–deception.

“You recall that letter in which I suggested to our parents that they should discourage you from getting close to Linda F. ... Obviously ... my supposed questioning of your honesty was not what got you so terribly upset. The real reason is the one you permitted to slip out in your first letter. My letter did convey an implication of weakness on your part. Somewhere ‘deep down inside’ you feel weak; consequently, that implication touched a raw nerve and you became enraged. You invented that rationalization about ‘honesty’ because to admit that you were highly sensitive about the implication of weakness would be to admit that somewhere ‘deep down inside’ you feel weak; and that is a highly uncomfortable admission. This I think is a characteristic example of your type of self–deception.

“I don’t mean to say you are incapable of entertaining negative opinions about yourself. ...

“When it no longer possible to believe that one is what one wants to be in some aspect of life, the easiest thing is to just give up on that aspect of life, saying, ‘I’m no good at this. This isn’t an important thing anyway...’

“You have very high aspirations. ... You have to be someone special. ... But you are unwilling or unable to go through the struggle that it takes to be or do something special. Every time you encounter real difficulties you retreat, saying, ‘That’s not the important thing anyway.’ By this time you have retreated until you have just one thing left...[625] Art, or Philosophy, or whatever you prefer to call it. In this area you can always maintain your illusion of being superior to the common herd, because there are no objective criteria. Whatever happens, you can always persuade yourself that you are more sensitive, or thoughtful, or insightful (or whatever you want to call it) than the common herd. ...

“Well, I apologize for all this. All I can say is that these are my opinions, and I’ve been itching to express them for a long time, and my motive is not to hurt your feelings, even though I realize that that will be the probable result.”[626]

Rereading this letter now, after a decade and a half, makes me acutely uncomfortable, because I realize how cruel it was. It probably was fairly accurate, but that only made it all the more cruel. What made it worse still was the fact that I was not entirely telling the truth when I wrote, “my motive is not to hurt your feelings.” In reality that was part of my motive, and I knew it at the time.

It’s true that I didn’t realize how badly I was hurting my brother. In the first place, I wasn’t aware of the full extent of his worship of me. That was revealed only by statements he made to Dr. Julie Kriegler after my arrest.[627] In the second place, I thought he had by that time largely outgrown his big–brother worship. (Note that I spoke of it in the past tense: ‘Throughout your childhood and even well up into your 20’s you had a severe case of big–brother worship.”[628]) I now suspect that he had only learned to conceal it better.

But it is still true that I knew I was hurting my brother, and I did so on purpose. I don’t think the Ellen Tarmichael affair was an important source of my resentment. Instead, I was irritated and disgusted at the silliness and pretentiousness of some of my brother’s ideas; I was frustrated at his evasive style of argument, I resented the fact that he had not turned out to be the kind of person I would have wanted him to be, and I was still very sore about the incident that I mentioned in Chapter 9 (p. 257) but refrained from recounting because I find it too painful.

Dave gave me a very mild answer:

“I read your letter, and I think it touches on an element of truth, although, as you might expect, there are some items I want to show in a different light. However, I feel I need some time to collect my thoughts, in order to accomplish the task properly. Hopefully, within a month or two I’ll have a long letter to send to you. In the meantime, please be assured that I’m not feeling angry or vengeful.”[629]

The mildness of this reply may have been part of what set me to thinking about the way I’d treated my brother when we were kids, and led to my first note of apology to him:

“Dear Dave:

“I remember that when we were kids I sometimes would take advantage of my greater size and strength to dominate you physically. Also I sometimes harassed you verbally. I’ve thought about this sometimes and I now regret that I behaved that way. So I now offer you an apology for it; though I suppose this apology is very likely a matter of indifference to you anyway.”[630]

Dave answered me with a letter of which the first half now strikes me as beautiful.[631] In that first half, he spoke mainly of his personal relationship with me. In the second half of the letter, he resorted again to the kind of argument that irritated me intolerably—vague, unsupported assertions that did not respond to my points. For example, he accused me of “holding to a rigid, objectifying system,”[632] yet he made no attempt to explain in what way what he called my “system” was “rigid.” You can see how frustrating it is to try to discuss something with someone who, whenever you disagree with him, answers only by asserting that you are “rigid” or “dogmatic.”

It seems clear to me now, though, that what Dave was really asking for in this letter was simply acceptance of himself and his way of thinking. Not necessarily agreement, but simply a respectful, accepting attitude. I wasn’t about to accept or respect his crap about philosopher–kings or his attempt to place himself on a superior plane as a member of a “thinking” minority, but I could have given respect and acceptance to his poetic or emotive style of thought. My only quarrel with him was over the issue of whether certain verbal formulations characteristic of that style of thought had any meaningful content other than emotive content, given the absence of any explanation or analysis of how such formulations acquire meaning. And I would have been quite willing to abandon that quarrel if my brother had simply said, “Alright, I think this, you think that; let’s just agree to disagree and drop the subject.” But instead of doing so, he kept irritating me with vaguely–relevant arguments in which he commonly attributed to me attitudes that I’d never held and statements that I’d never made.[633]

Yet, his letter was basically conciliatory, and reading it today I see it as a gentle and beautiful plea for acceptance. In it, he intimated that he had been wounded by my earlier letter, for he wrote: “[S]ome of the things you said were painful to listen to and partially disrupted my complacency.”[634] And: “Your letter had a strong effect on me, in the emotional sense ... .”[635]

In view of this, I am ashamed of the callousness of my reply. Here are some excerpts from it (FL #265):

“I note ... that you have not denied any of the statements about your motivations that I made. Rather typically, you have sidestepped the issues and resorted to vague generalities which do not directly confront the points I made. But I suppose you will claim that it would be too ‘rigid’ and ‘scientific’ to expect you to confront the issues directly.

... I am not much interested in discussing further with you these philosophical questions, because by this time I am fairly confident that your psychological need for your self–deceptions is so strong that no amount of reasoning will ever get you away from them. Whatever kind of reasonings might be presented to you attacking your position,[636] probably you will dismiss them as ‘rigid’ or ‘scientific’ or by applying some other empty label to them, and you will claim they are based on misunderstanding of your ‘way of thinking,’ the validity of which apparently has to be accepted on faith. ...”

“... You said my letter had a ‘strong effect on [you], in the emotional sense,’ and that it ‘partially disrupted [your] complacency.’ This illustrates the fact that you are not in the habit of re–examining your thinking critically, looking for flaws and oversights, and attempting to root out your self–deceptions. If you had been in that habit my letter would not have shaken you; you would have been accustomed to the idea that you might have self–deception in your thinking, and the points I made would have been far from entirely new to you; but perhaps you think it would be too ‘rigid’ and ’scientific’ to critically re–examining your thinking, your motivations, and your possible self–deceptions.”[637]

Looking back, I wonder why I answered my brother so callously. The fact that he showed no anger led me to underestimate the extent to which I was hurting him; yet I did realize that I was hurting him, and I knew that the little things he’d done over the years to annoy me (and the one or two things that had caused me real pain) were offset by the generosity he’d shown me at other times. Probably, my irritation against him was exacerbated by the fund of unresolved anger that I’d built up as a result of various frustrations in my earlier and current life.

But I now think that my brother, on his side, must have been increasing his fund of anger against me, even though he did not show that anger outwardly and may not have admitted even to himself that he felt it.

He answered my letter (FL #265) with a letter (now lost) that was less conciliatory than his earlier one, and I answered in turn with FL #266. The first part of this [638] was as callous as the preceding letter, FL #265. But in the second half [639] of FL #266, I revealed to my brother my love for him to an extent that I’d never done before, and at the same time I revealed a great deal about the nature of that love. I did this by recounting two dreams that I’d had about him. One was the dream I’d had at the age of seven or eight, in which I saw him as emaciated and starving, as described in Chapter 2 p. 71. The other dream is too long and complicated to be recounted here. Suffice it to say that it showed that my love for my brother was of a paternal or condescending kind—I did not see him as an equal, but as one who needed guidance and protection; and I even gave partial expression to the element of contempt that was in my feelings toward him.

In his reply (which has not been preserved), Dave expressed gratitude for the affection demonstrated by my dreams, and said that I cared about him more than anyone else ever had, which quite possibly was true. This was the letter in which he said that he had previously feared that I’d had a hatred for him so great that I could not acknowledge it. (See Chapter 2, p. 69.)

I was surprised at the degree of gratitude that my brother expressed, and also at the fact that he showed no resentment over the condescending and contemptuous aspects of my attitude toward him. I was softened, and felt badly about the harshness of some of the things I’d said. In later letters, I tried to take some of the sting out of them.

For example:

“[l]n regard to the implication in my last letter that I see you as weak, I’d like to qualify that, since you might think the judgement is harsher than what I intend. ...

“I received your last letter and note that it shows your usual generosity of character. Instead of being sore over the negative parts of my attitude toward you, you were favorably impressed by the positive parts.”[640]

And two–and–a–half years later:

“By the way, as long as I’m on this sort of subject, you’ll recall that exchange of letters we had a few years ago in which I sharply criticized the motives behind your philosophical opinions. ... I tend to get hot and angry in frustrating circumstances, and for that reason my criticisms of you, though they did in a general way represent my real opinions and feelings, were harsher and more uncompromising than they would have been if I’d written about them in a completely calm state. The things I wrote then should have been softened and qualified a good deal.”[641]

I also made a point of praising Dave when there was an opportunity to do so. For instance, when he described how he’d dug himself a hole to live in, I complimented him on his foresight in cutting the sides at a slant; [642] and I praised a particularly eloquent passage that he’d written about the religion of the African Pigmies: “I like this passage so well that I have copied it in my notebook. So there you stand amongst all kinds of famous writers whome [sic] I have quoted from time to time in my notes.”[643]

Later I wrote:

“For the last couple of years you seem to have been much more communicative in your letters than you used to be. Of course I don’t care for all your letters, but some of them I find quite interesting and enjoyable to read. That your last letter was one of the more interesting ones you can deduce from the length of the reply I’ve written to it.”[644]

But all this cannot have healed the wounds I inflicted on my brother with my cutting remarks, and, given his sense of psychological subordination to me, I can easily understand now why he felt I was overbearing.

* * *

In the letter (FL #266) in which I described the two dreams I’d had about him, I told my brother that I wanted to drop our correspondence on philosophical issues because it was a waste of time.[645] Actually, I wanted to drop it not only because it was a waste of time, but also because trying to discuss anything with my brother was a source of irritation and frustration. For a while he cooperated by not raising those issues in his letters, but it proved very hard to avoid getting into similar wrangles with him on other subjects. I would write something with which he disagreed, he would reply with some vague, elaborate, interminable argument, and I would find it extremely difficult to resist the impulse to point out the flaws in his reasoning—not because I was anxious to convince him of anything, but because to me a fallacious argument is like a stone in my shoe. Then he would answer with an elaborate rationalization that generally failed to address the points I’d raised and often misstated or misinterpreted what I’d said. He tended to resort to accusations that I was being “scientific” or “positivistic” or something along those lines. For example, in a discussion that we had in 1989, he said he suspected that there was a “logical agenda behind [my] criticisms.”[646]

* * *

I am truly ashamed of the verbal cruelty I inflicted on my brother. Yet, given my personality traits and those of the members of my family, and the relationships that existed between us, there was no way I could have gotten along comfortably with them; if I hadn’t revealed to Dave my contempt for him in the way I did, I probably would have had to do so in some other way. But I could have avoided this by simply breaking off communications with my whole family. I eventually did break off with them, but it would have been better for all of us if I had done so twenty years earlier.


12. My brother’s inconsistent attitudes toward mental illness

Rather interesting is the inconsistency of my brother’s attitudes toward mental illness. Significant in this respect is a letter [647] of his that I quoted in the Introduction, pp. 27, 28. It is suggested that the reader review this letter now.

* * *

The Washington Post, evidently on the basis of information provided by my mother and/or my brother, wrote:

“The family felt that Ted was projecting his own problems into his brutal critiques of others. He could talk of a madman in the hills in one letter, and Wanda wondered, ‘Is this how he sees himself?’ In another letter he insisted one of David’s friends was schizophrenic and sent letters detailing how David should help his friend.”[648]

The “madman in the hills” was one Al Pinkston (now deceased), an obvious paranoiac who believed that the Lincoln area was infested with KGB agents. My neighbor Glen WIlliams and I met him somewhere in the Dalton Mountain or Sauerkraut Creek area about December, 1974. The story is told in a letter to my parents, which has survived,[649] and, in more detail, in my journal.[650] There is nothing in either account that suggests that I saw myself as a “madman in the hills.”

What is interesting here is that when I told my brother this story, he said that he himself had long been trying to escape from reality, and he envied Al Pinkston for having achieved such an escape. (!?) Don’t ask me to explain it—all I know is that that’s what my brother said!

As for the statement that I “insisted one of David’s friends was schizophrenic”, the friend in question was Joel Schwartz, and I did not “insist” that he was schizophrenic. I argued that there was a good chance that the problem of which Joel complained was schizophrenia, or at least had some neurological basis. I did not “detail how David should help his friend,” but merely suggested that my brother might consider advising Joel (directly or through his father) to consult a neurologist or psychiatrist. The reader can judge for himself from the relevant letters, excerpts from which follow:

Dave to Ted:

“[Joel] called me ... 4 or 5 times last summer, usually promises to write a letter to me, but never does. A couple years ago ... I loarned [sic] him an essay I had written on condition that he return it by mail within a month or two. However, I didn’t get it back for nearly two years, after repeated requests by phone and mail, and what’s more, he never did get around to reading it. ...

“Actually, Joel confesses to having a serious problem, which he traces back to the head injury inflicted on him by his mother.”[651]

Dave had told me years before that Joel had a silver plate in his skull because when he was a small child his mother went crazy and bashed him on the head with a hammer.

My brother’s letter continues:

“Apparently, he’s been finding it difficult to function in many of the expected, conventional ways. The problem seems to be compounded by a curious sort of obsession he appears to have with it—spending virtually all his extra money, and some of his father’s (obtained on at least one occasion by false pretexts) on a variety of dubious treatments, some at the hands of obvious quacks—for instance, a man who ‘put crystals on… [652] (his) body.’ Needless to say, I’m worried about him, moreso [sic] in that I’ve been unable to make a lot [sic] of sense out of his own description of his complaint, and am left instead only with a variety of peculiar symptoms to consider.” [653]

Ted to Dave:

“I’m sorry to hear about Joel. I only met him once, but he seemed like a nice fellow. I wonder whether the head injury is really responsible for his problems, or whether he got a bad gene from his mother?”[654]

Ted to Dave:

“I just thought of something. I recently read a book on schizophrenia. It seems that the disease is caused by a certain chemical abnormality in the brain. Apparently they now have drugs that can effectively control the disease except in the most severe cases. You ought to send a copy of that book to Joel’s father. As you know, I don’t approve of all this fancy technology stuff, miracle drugs and so forth, but I hate to think of the poor guy going to creeps who ‘put crystals on his body’ and crap like that when there are drugs that would probably do the trick. ... The title [of the book] is ‘The Schizophrenias—yours and mine’ ... .”[655]

Ted to Dave:

“I scribbled that note [about Joel’s problem] at the last minute before sending the letter ... . Of course, I don’t know for a fact that Joel’s problem is schizophrenia, but it does seem rather likely ... .”[656]

Ted to Dave:

“I read that a number of normal people, as part of an experiment, signed themselves into public and private mental institutions all over the U.S. They later had some difficulty in getting released, and eventually were all released as ‘schizophrenics in remission’!! [657] ...

“As you know, I take a dim view of miracle drugs and all that technological crap, and I would respect someone who made an intelligent decision not to use that stuff—I might well make such a decision myself in such a case—but it is disgusting that people who may be in severe suffering are victimized by crackpot psychoanalysts and people who ‘put crystals on their body’ and shit like that. ...[Y]ou might think whether you can find some way of calling to Joel’s father’s attention these facts about schizos—if you think that may be Joel’s problem.”[658]

Dave to Ted:

“I looked for the book you recommended about scizophrenia [sic] in the local library, but I couldn’t find it. As you can imagine, I would be more prone to look for the causes of mental illness in skewered [sic] perceptions or thought processes (or even in the ‘insanity’ of society itself [659]) than in brain chemistry. ... I would point out that society has a vested interest in treating non–conformist behavior as if it revealed something wrong solely with the individual, rather than including the people or the society around him. ...[S]ociety would be more interested in alleviating the symptoms of a ‘problem’ (to make the individual’s behavior more manageable or to refuse coming to terms with the perceptions it entails) than to treat it’s [sic] causes, consequently the empirical methods of behavioral science are tailor–made for promoting society’s interests. ...[T]here is no sharp line dividing mental illness from sanity. Any precise diagnostic tool would have to claim a nearly universal consensus for its implicit theory of reality—when as a matter of fact no such consensus exists. ... What you might call the grounds of belief formation is such a wide–open territory that it would be hard to say that any single peculiarity of belief could be used as evidence for mental illness.[My brother was overlooking the fact that I did not refer to any of Joel’s beliefs in suggesting that he had schizophrenia.]

“... After visiting Joel for a week ... I strongly doubt that even most of the hard–core brain theorists would recommend him for chemical therapy. To a large extent, I was relieved by what I found. He has no hallucinations.[Actually, Joel admitted to investigators that he did have hallucinations. For example, he once had a vision of a heart, which he believed was his own, with yellow and black weasel–like creatures swarming around it.[660]] His emotions are fairly even. He is no longer taking crystal therapy (but he is spending a great deal of money on what sound to me like very controversial massage treatments. When I questioned him about them, his descriptions and explanations plunged quickly into a sort of metaphysical poetry that I found delightful and intellectually tantalizing—but without fully quashing my doubts about the efficacy of the treatment. His self–consciousness seemed to be peeking out at me from behind this nebulous cloud of theories, and I truly couldn’t make up my mind whether he was badly deceiving himself or whether in fact his major need was for support and understanding from his friends and family to face an issue of incredible subtlety). When speaking about politics, philosophy, and religion his mind is very sharp and creative, and he has no difficulty expressing or receiving ideas in a way that is easily understandable to anyone who has staked out some similar intellectual ground. ... But in some ways, he struck me far more oddly than ever before. His personal habits are grotesque. For instance, he seems to have a chronically runny nose, and when he isn’t wiping it with his hands, the snots often run down and collect around his upper lip, for example when he is distracted or becomes excited in discussions. He has also developed a chronic cough which he claims is somewhat connected with his nebulous ’problem.’ He claims his sense of time is very poor, but I saw no outward evidence of that. He has borrowed extensive funds from his father, ostensibly to complete his law–school education, but in fact to pursue non–traditional therapies. ... In other, less–easily described ways he has behaved oddly as well, although not so oddly as to tempt me to describe him as crazy rather than simply eccentric. ...

... I confess I’m not hopeful. Maybe he will continue slowly deteriorating as the years pass by. ...”

“...[D]o you still think I ought to pursue the possibility of getting chemical treatment for Joel at this time?”[661]

Ted to Dave:

The objective diagnostic tests mentioned in the book do not claim to determine whether anyone is sane or insane (as far as I can remember, the word ’insanity’ was never used in the book). ...

“As for explaining mental illness on the basis of ‘the “insanity” of society itself’ this is certainly plausible in many cases, since our society often uses ‘mental illness’ as a label to pin on anything it disapproves of.[662] But this is not reasonable in the case of schizophrenia, or at least not in the more severe cases of schizophrenia. Example: some severely schizophrenic children walk awkwardly with their legs wide apart as if they had difficulty keeping their balance; the reason is that to them, the floor appears to be heaving and pitching under their feet. Are you going to argue that the floor really is heaving and pitching and that society is insane for regarding it as stationary?

... My knowledge is of course very limited, but on the basis of what you told me I’d say Joel is a likely candidate for schizophrenia. ...”

“In many cases schizophrenia gets worse with time. In such cases, if I remember correctly, the book said it was important to begin treatment early, because later the problem may be more difficult to control.

“... On the other hand, specialists may be over–enthusiastic about the use of their own tools, and may exaggerate the benefits of the drugs and minimize the undesirable side–effects.

... Also, there are all kinds of value–judgements involved in whether or not one wants to use such drugs, even if one has already concluded that they will benefit the individual patient in the purely medical sense. I won’t discuss those here—you can make up your own mind.”

“... [Y]ou can probably get [that book] through the interlibrary loan service. ...

“Okay, once you read that book, you’ll know everything about schiz. that I do, so let’s drop the subject. I get sick of these interminable discussions by letter ... .”[663]

My brother, however, seems to have been unwilling to drop the subject, for he responded with another long letter about Joel, from which I quote only the following:

“I did as you suggested and through the inter–library loan system, obtained and read the book you recommended ... . Joel ... claims to feel some time disorientation, and also to feel some dissociation of mind and body—but doesn’t display any other of the major symptoms of schizophrenia that I could tell; least of all does he seem alienated from human relationships (only from society, in a way that is quite explicable and probably justifiable), incapable of affection, self–destructive, hallucinatory, or humorless. ... Perhaps if Joel’s ‘problem’ has some relation to a chemical imbalance, then his intellectual subtlety and brilliance may be one of the effects as well. Would the drugs serve to inhibit ... these positive qualities as well? ...[Y]ou can appreciate the dramatic character of the responsibility I would be assuming if I led Joel into the hands of some doctors who had no way of appreciating the loss their treatment might occasion. ...[W]hereas you would tend to regard Joel’s abstruse philosophizing as belonging to the realm of fantasy, possibly even to the symptoms of a disease, my own viewpoint inclines me to interpret them differently, even as signs of a richer, fuller intuition of reality, indeed, of ‘health’ itself.”[664]

I had never even mentioned Joel’s philosophical opinions, much less suggested that they were symptoms of disease. My brother’s letter continued:

“He says he has a problem which he can’t fully explain but which is preventing him from using his talents in life. ... He conveys the impression of someone laboring under a heavy but invisible burden.” [665] (See Appendix 6.)

In a letter of which only the first page has been preserved, I wrote:

“I still think there’s a good chance that [Joel’s] problem is schizophrenia. Take his personal oddities like the snots running down his lip. Is there any way of explaining this in terms of emotional [needs] [666] or problems, philosophical attitudes, or anything of that sort? To me it sounds just senseless.”[667]

Dave to Ted:

“[Y]ou seem to be ignoring my strong disinclination to accept the concepts which undergird medicine’s view of the brain–mind relationship to begin with, namely, that brain function has a strict causal relationship to thought–processes, and secondly, that brain functions can be described normatively, whether explicitly or not, with the effect that certain non–’common–sense’ points of view get to be labeled as invalid—are in effect regarded as symptoms or phenomena rather than points of view at all. ...[F]ailing a clear–cut syndrome, I’d feel reluctant to put [Joel] in the hands of doctors whom I wouldn’t trust for a minute to appreciate his ‘spiritual’ side, and whose professional narrowness and presuppositions might cause them to do some really dangerous tinkering. Suppose they said, ‘Yeah, he’s a mild schizophrenic.’ So then they begin trying out different drugs on him. Meanwhile, Joel, who feels a great yearning for understanding and communication, feels instead that he’s being treated more like a physical object than a human being. Do you really trust doctors so much that you would feel confidence in their professional, let alone their human judgement when it came to a case as complicated as Joel’s appears to be? Especially when you consider the utterly abysmal historical record of the medical profession in the field of ‘mental health’—from lobotomies to shock treatments to the mostly unwholesome and misguided self–preoccupations that psychoanalysis appears to stimulate. Also, when you consider how fully integrated these nerds are in the (to me) unwholesome value—and economic structures of our present culture.[Sic] ... I don’t think Joel is suffering acutely, or at least not a lot [sic] more than most of us are, afflicted with the craziness and senselessness of this modern form of life.”[668]

Apparently referring to my earlier suggestion that he should communicate with Joel’s father, Dave added, “At present, I fear ‘going behind his back’ might be a grave mistake.” [669]

Ted to Dave:

“In my last letter I hope I didn’t give the impression that I was trying to persuade you to persuade Joel to get drug treatment ... .

“I agree that there is no clear–cut line dividing insanity from sanity, and that ‘mental illness’ often is a mere label pinned on those who don’t act as society demands. Further, I would question whether ‘mental illness’ and ‘insanity’ are even useful concepts—except that they are useful as propaganda tools. On the other hand, when someone is tormented by strange visions and disagreeable feelings that pass through his head owing to a hereditary peculiarity of brain chemistry, it seems absurd to refrain from calling his condition a disease. Many schizophrenics themselves regard their condition as a disease and would much prefer to be rid of it. Note that Joel himself considers that he has a ‘problem’—severe enough so that he has spent a great deal of money on it. On the other hand, it is questionable whether the mildest forms of schizophrenia should be considered as disease, since if I remember correctly what I read, they may enhance creativity and result only in minimal distortion of thought and perception. And, as you remarked, a great deal of irrationality is normal to human beings anyway.

“As to the use of drugs—you well know my feelings about the technological invasion of human dignity. In principle one should resist any step toward interfering in the human mind by technological means. On the other hand, here is this poor guy with a problem, looking for help and getting taken for large sums of money by fakes and crackpots, and who could very possibly be helped quite effectively by a drug that would take a kink out of the chemistry of his brain—it seems almost heartless not to try to point him in the right direction.

“Besides the foregoing, other questions could be raised about using or not using drugs. Luckily, it’s a decision that I don’t have to make—I have the luxury of being able to just dump the problem in your lap.”[670]

If I remember correctly, my brother answered me with a letter (now lost) in which he dismissed everything I’d said about Joel on the grounds that I had unspecified “science–based assumptions” or something along those lines. I was, as usual, irritated by my brother’s rationalizations, but in this instance I kept my temper. Instead of pursuing the subject further, I simply suggested to Dave that he should talk to his friend Dale Edwards about Joel.[671] (Dale Edwards had considerable influence over Dave, and at that time I thought he had more common sense than Dave did.)

In this series of letters, clearly, I wasn’t trying to tell my brother what action (if any) to take in regard to Joel. I was simply trying to get him to face squarely the dilemma with which he was confronted: His friend was suffering, was seeking help, and could possibly get it from drug treatment; on the other hand, there were various philosophical, sociopolitical, and personal factors that argued against persuading him to seek such treatment. What irritated me was that, instead of facing the dilemma honestly and then making a decision one way or the other, my brother invented rationalizations (some of which were quite irrelevant) for doing nothing.

I think what was really going on here was something like this: For obvious reasons, my brother would have found it difficult to approach his friend about going to a psychiatrist or a neurologist. But, at the same time, he didn’t want to feel that he was leaving a suffering friend in the lurch, so he invented rationalizations to justify his inaction. When I persisted in trying to get him to face the dilemma honestly, his ego conflict with big brother came into play, and, in order to avoid what he would have felt as a defeat at my hands, he plunged further into rationalization.

My brother visited me in Montana a few weeks after we had concluded our exchange of letters about Joel, and, while he was with me, we again discussed his friend’s problem. Dave attacked my supposed rationalist “assumptions,” and in reference to schizophrenics who saw the floor heaving and pitching under them, he said, “Maybe the floor really is heaving.” I resisted the temptation to argue with him about it, since I knew it was useless.[672]

During the same two–week visit,[673] my brother talked about our cousin Nora. He told me that she’d been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and that she was taking drugs for it. He said that she was “almost normal” as long as she was on the drugs, but that she “went crazy” when she tried to do without them. In reference to the fact that Nora was genetically related to us, he added, “Gee, I hope we haven’t got anything like that.” When discussing Nora’s case, he unhesitatingly assumed that schizophrenia was undesirable and raised no questions about the utility of the drugs; he did not say anything about mental illness being caused by the “insanity of society itself,” nor did he suggest that the hallucinations of schizophrenics might be real.[674]

What is remarkable is that my brother seemed completely unaware of the inconsistency between his attitude toward mental illness when discussing Nora’s case and his attitude when discussing the case of his friend Joel. It is not uncommon for my brother to express contradictory attitudes or opinions without apparently noticing the inconsistencies involved. I attribute this to his mental laziness. He is so little in the habit of thinking, that even the most obvious contradictions often escape his observation.

Thus, it is entirely possible that until he reads this chapter, he will remain unaware of the inconsistency between his attitudes toward mental illness as expressed in his letters, and his recent attempts to portray me as mentally ill, as in his interviews with the New York Times [675], the Sacramento Bee,[676] and on 60 Minutes.[677] He showed there not only that he was ready to conclude I was mentally ill on flimsy evidence, but that he wanted me to be subjected to presumably involuntary “treatment” under conditions of confinement:

“MIKE WALLACE: The Kaczynski family ... want him locked away, and treated...”[678]

Compare this with Dave’s response to my suggestion that Joel should be advised merely to investigate the possibility of taking treatment under voluntary conditions. Of course, my brother was lying about me to the media, and at some level he must have realized that he was lying, yet at the same time he probably at least half–believed his own lies. (My mother and brother are alike in that they have no stable set of beliefs, values, or principles. Instead, their attitudes and opinions fluctuate wildly in order to suit their emotional needs at the moment.)

Earlier, in 1991, Linda Patrik took two of my letters to her psychiatrist, a certain Dr. Mitchell who (according to Linda) practices “primal therapy,” whatever that may be.[679] According to an FBI report, Dave told the FBI that Dr. Mitchell said that I was “not psychotic, but definitely paranoid and possibly dangerous.”[680] Since my brother often gets his information garbled, it is not at all certain that Dr. Mitchell actually said this, but if he did say it, then it seems to me that he was irresponsible in making such a statement on the basis of two letters that I wrote to my family, when he could not have had any knowledge of the history of my relations with my family (apart from what Dave and Linda may have told him, which he ought to have realized might be heavily biased).

To judge from the description of these letters given in the FBI reports, they must have been FL #458, in which I argued in emotional terms that my parents’ treatment of me had contributed to my lack of social self–confidence, and FL#461, in which I asked my brother, also in emotional terms, to persuade my mother to cooperate with my need to break off relations with the family. These letters were discussed in Chapter 4, pp. 126–128, 131. The reader will recall from p. 131 that I intentionally exaggerated my feelings in FL #461 in order to jolt my brother into taking the action I wanted.[681]

After my letters had been shown to Dr. Mitchell, either Dave, or Linda acting with Dave’s consent, sent copies of the letters to a physician in Montana whom I had consulted once or twice, and even telephoned the doctor in an effort to have me referred to a psychiatrist. (The doctor, who apparently was sensible enough to realize that this was a case of intra–family vindictiveness and not of mental illness, was unresponsive to their request.)[682]

From the 60 Minutes interview:

“LESLIE STAHL: Is it true that you had actually talked about having [Ted] committed?

“LINDA PATRIK: We were advised that it was extremely difficult to get someone committed.

“DAVE KACZYNSKI: We were told that he had to be a danger, —a —a demonstrable danger to himself or to others ... .”[683]

Again, the reader is invited to compare my brother’s attitude here with the attitude toward mental illness that he expressed in his letters about Joel. Notice that all this happened several years before my arrest, so that Dave can’t claim he was trying to portray me as mentally ill in order to save me from the death penalty.

* * *

This is as good a place as any to address the issue of the supposed “shutdowns” attributed to me by my brother and my mother. The issue is difficult to deal with, because, naturally, one can seldom find documentation for the fact that something did not occur, especially if the times of the supposed occurrences are unspecified or if the only living witnesses would have been the persons (in this instance, my brother and mother) who are claiming that the events did occur. But the reader may perhaps be willing to accept my word over that of my brother and mother: I have already shown that they have made untruthful statements about me in a number of other instances; and my own honesty, as well as the excellence of my long–term memory, have been attested to in writing by the chief investigator in my case.[684]

In case the reader imagines that I don’t remember the “shutdowns” because they were some sort of trance during which I was unconscious, I point out that my brother and mother represented the shutdowns as occurring on numerous occasions, beginning in my childhood. If I had such trances, it is simply incredible that no one would ever have told me about them and that my mother never told our pediatrician about them. There is no mention of any such thing in the medical records.

For that matter, nowhere in the family correspondence, or in any other surviving document created before my brother’s contact with the FBI, is there any mention of the supposed shutdowns (except my unresponsiveness after hospitalization at the age of nine months, which we dealt with in Chapter I, and certain adolescent sulks that we will mention below, which hardly qualify as “shutdowns”.) On April 12, 1996, eight days after my arrest and well before her media interviews, my mother had an interview with Betsy Anderson that was devoted to an overview of my life. Betsy Anderson’s report of this interview covers nine single–spaced pages, and nowhere in it is there any mention of anything resembling the alleged shutdowns (except my reaction to the “hospital experience” ).[685]

Moreover, my brother’s claims are not self–consistent. According to the FBI, my brother told them that the shutdowns occurred on “four distinct occasions.”[686] But by the time my mother and my brother were interviewed by the Washington Post, the number of shutdowns appeared to have greatly increased: “Though at times [Ted] seemed like a normal child ... every so often he would shut down, refusing to speak ... .”[687] And, referring to my high–school years: “The family remembers fewer shutdowns during that stretch.” [688]

ln my brother’s and mother’s accounts of the shutdowns, it is hard to separate the conscious lies from the self–deceptions, and these from the simple errors of memory. Some of the accounts are so far from anything that actually happened that it seems impossible that conscious lying is not involved; but on the other hand, my brother and mother both are so adept at persuading themselves to believe what they want to believe, and their memories are so faulty, that it’s possible that they did believe much of their own garbage. It would take more time and trouble than it’s worth to review each of their statements about my supposed shutdowns, so I will mention only a few examples.

According to the FBI,

“DAVE stated that on four distinct occasions, TED has displayed a type of ‘almost catatonic’ behavior ... . The first was his withdrawal after a three–week [sic; actually five days] hospital stay when he was an infant. The second was during the journey to begin college at Harvard, when his father noted that TED became uncommunicative and withdrawn for a period of some hours.” [689]

My father did not come with me on my “journey to begin college.” Before I was even admitted to Harvard, I made a trip there with my father to look the school over. On the way home, for some reason, I was in a grumpy mood for a few hours and, when spoken to, I gave curt, ill–tempered answers. I was particularly gruff to the stewardess on our plane–ride back to Chicago, because she was very attractive and I knew that since I was only a kid she could have no interest in me. To call this behavior “almost catatonic” is silly.

According to the Washington Post,

“One day, as they were planning to hand in their application [to lease a piece of land in British Columbia in 1969], Ted shut down, without reason. ‘I would walk up to him and say, “Well, are we going to do anything today?” And there would be no answer,’ David said.” [690]

My brother told the New York Times much the same story,[691] and something similar is perhaps hinted at in a rather confusing sentence of the FBI report.[692]

But no such thing ever happened. If Dave wasn’t simply lying, then I can only explain his tale as follows: Because of his extreme psychological dependence on me (see Chapter 8, pp. 219, 220), he was acutely sensitive to my moods and responses. If I were in a grumpy or uncommunicative mood for a day or two (as happens to most people now and then), my sullen demeanor would take on disproportionate importance in my brother’s eyes. Since he is prone to get his facts garbled anyway (See Chapter 13, Note 20 [of PDF, 720 of HTML]), it wouldn’t be surprising if, a quarter century after the event, he really believed that I had refused to answer when spoken to.

At most there may have been two or three occasions in my adult life when, for a brief period, I have refused to answer when spoken to, and those would have been times when I was extremely angry at members of my family; for example, following the Ellen Tarmichael affair. Refusing to speak is a very common way of showing anger.[693]

On the basis of its interviews with my brother and mother, the Washington Post reported:

“[E]very so often [Ted] would shut down, refusing to speak or make eye contact, staring downward, out of reach.” [694]

This, again, is false. The closest it comes to reality is this: Many times during my earlier teens (age twelve to fifteen?) after a quarrel with my parents or some outburst of verbal abuse by them, I would go into a sulk and lie on the couch, or on a bed, with my face buried in the cushions or the pillow, perhaps for as long as an hour or two. I certainly could not have been “staring downward” with my face buried in cushions. Often my mother would come to comfort me and stroke my head, and in such case I would sometimes push her away; [695] but sometimes I would voice some of my complaints about the way my parents were treating me, and my mother would promise improvement. But, of course, there was never any lasting change in her or my father’s behavior.

If this kind of reaction on my part was abnormal, then I’m certainly not the only abnormal one in the family, because my mother, in middle age, would often go into sulks, lasting sometimes two or three days, during which she would spend most of her time lying on her bed. When spoken to, she would answer either not at all or with some self–pitying whining about how badly the world was treating her.

* * *

Apart from the myth of the “shutdowns,” my mother and brother have told so many other lies in their effort to portray me as mentally ill that it would be impractical to reply to them all, so I will deal with only three examples:

1. From the Washington Post:

“When his father saw Theodore’s violent reaction to a rabbit killed during a hunting trip, he gave up the sport.” [696]

To my knowledge, my father never hunted but once in his life. Though I was very young at the time, I remember the occasion clearly. Ralph Meister had a friend who owned a farm and often hunted rabbits on it. The farmer once invited Ralph and my father to hunt with him. I went to the farm with my parents but, to my disappointment, I was not allowed to go out with the hunters. Though Ralph and the farmer both had shotguns and my father had only his old .22, my father was the one who killed the rabbit. I was proud of him for it. I persuaded my mother to let me watch while the rabbit was being skinned, and I expressed disappointment at the fact that I wouldn’t get to eat any of it. (The farmer probably wanted to let the meat age for a few days.) My reaction to the death of the rabbit was in no sense violent or emotional, and my father didn’t “give up” hunting, because he had never been in the habit of hunting in the first place.

2. According to the Sacramento Bee:

“Ted preferred classical music by Vivaldi and Bach that ‘had mathematical perfection and symmetry,’ his brother said. ‘I can’t ever recall him singing songs or listening to lyrics.’”[697]

This has to be a conscious lie, because throughout my adolescence, through my twenties and into my thirties, one of my favorite pastimes was singing songs to contrapuntal guitar or zither accompaniments that I composed myself. Among the songs that I sang in the hearing of my brother (and I mean that I sang the lyrics, I didn’t just hum the tunes) were “The Wabash Cannonball,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “Tramp, Tramp, Tramp,” an obscene variant of “Billy Boy,” various Christmas carols, etc., etc.

When my brother sang, he accompanied himself on the guitar only with chords, and more than once he complimented me on the ingenuity of my contrapuntal accompaniments. Then, one evening in 1979, at our parents’ home in Lombard, he came out of his room carrying our zither and walked into the living room, where I was reading. Without a word he sat down and sang a song, with a good contrapuntal accompaniment of his own devising. When he was finished, I complimented him on the accompaniment. Without acknowledging my compliment or saying anything else, he got up and marched back to his room. Evidently, it was important to him to show that he, too, could compose clever accompaniments.

3. According to the New York Times, after our friend Juan Sánchez Arreola was hurt in an accident:

“David said Ted wanted to do something for Mr. Sánchez, but his solution ‘reveals that in some ways he was out of touch.’ ‘He read about a millionaire who would receive requests for money and decide who to give it to. Ted decided this was the best way to get help for Juan, to pay his medical bills, and he drafted a letter that he sent to me. I was supposed to get an O.K. from Juan and send it to the millionaire. And of course, we never heard. For an intelligent person it seemed so ... extremely naive.’”[698]

The millionaire in question was Percy Ross, who then had (and for all I know, may still have) a column that appeared in certain newspapers. People would write him with requests for money. Some very small percentage of the letters were answered in Ross’s column, and the writers of those letters would receive gifts of money for the more–or–less worthy purposes they had described. I didn’t “decide this was the best way to get help for Juan.” I simply couldn’t think of anything else, since I had little money myself. So of course I felt there was no harm in writing to Ross. I was well aware of the fact that the chances of success were very small, and my brother knew that I was aware of it, because in the same envelope in which I sent a letter to Dave, I enclosed a letter that I asked him to give to Juan, in which I wrote, among other things:

“My brother or I will write to this rich man to find out if he will help you to pay your debt, but this millionaire receives thousands of requests and can grant only a few. Still, it will do no harm to write him. Who knows? It’s possible that he may help you.”[699] (Translated from Spanish.)

At the time, my brother gave no indication that he thought me “out of touch” or “naive” for writing to Percy Ross. In fact, he wrote me:

“Juan thanks you for your interest in his case. ... Of course, I’ve explained to him that this is just a wild chance, so he shouldn’t get his hopes up. His case, however, is truly unique, since although poor, he is not eligible for public assistance or, apparently, Medi–caid while his application for residency is pending. The millionaire might want to take into account that Juan contributed to our society with his labor for more than thirty years at very low wages ... . Enclosed is a page summarizing the debts. We can get more details if the millionaire shows interest in Juan’s case.”[700]

So my reward for attempting to do a good deed (though admittedly at a very long shot) is that now my brother tries to use it to portray me as mentally ill.


13. My brother’s writing

During his high–school years, my brother developed a strong interest in literature, which became a very important part of his life.[701] In conjunction with this, he aspired to become a creative writer. He wrote at least one novel and many short stories, but over a span of two decades he was never able to get anything published.

“Now and then I still send my stories to small literary magazines, but they always come back rejected if they come back at all. It affects my confidence to a degree. Jeez! I’m not even thinking about ‘scorched grass’ anymore—just a nod of understanding. But then I think it doesn’t matter. Instead, I’ll make my writing occupy so wide a territory that the whole world lies within it. That’s the point for me anyway: to learn how I can bring space back into the world, so that I can still live there in my full human dimensions.”[702]

Apart from two or three minor pieces between 1969 and 1971, my brother never showed me any of his writing prior to 1988, nor did I ask him to show me any of it. In 1985, I wrote him:

“Something I’ve been meaning to say for some time ... .

“Maybe you wonder why I’ve never asked to read any of your stories or other writings. What I want to say here is that it isn’t just a matter of disdainfulness. The reasons why I’ve never asked to read your stuff are, for one thing, the fact that our tastes and attitudes differ considerably reduces the likelihood that I would like your stuff, and increases the likelihood that I would find it irritating. Furthermore, if it turned out that I didn’t like it or considered it to be poor writing, I would be faced with 3 choices: either to praise it dishonestly (which I don’t like to do), or to criticize it more or less freely, which would mean saying things that you might find pretty cutting, or to say nothing at all about it, which tends to imply a negative judgement.

“If you ever wanted to send me any of your stuff, I’d read it, with the understanding that if I said anything at all about it I would give an honest opinion ... . The point I wanted to make is that the fact that I’ve never asked to read any of your stuff isn’t just the result of disdainfulness.”[703]

My brother answered:

“If I never offered to show you any [of my writing] in recent years, it was more or less on account of the same complicating factors you mentioned. ... I suspect it’s unlikely for a writer to get a good reading from people he knows, even if they’re not being consciously dishonest in the comments they make. I’m not really satisfied with my writing at this stage anyway. But thank you for your offer. Maybe someday I’ll feel very satisfied with a piece of work and decide to send it to you, of course with the expectation that if you said anything at all about it you would speak your mind freely. Given the differences in our points of view, I felt your offer was an extremely generous one.”[704]

Three years later my brother sent me one of his stories as a birthday present, with a letter that began:

“Happy birthday!

“This year you get a booby prize instead of a real present: one of my short stories.”[705]

In the course of reviewing the family correspondence while preparing this book, I’ve had occasion to read the foregoing sentence several times, and every time I do so, my heart aches for my brother. I react the same way when I read his comment (quoted earlier) about wanting just a “nod of understanding.”

Dave’s letter continued:

“Seriously, I was pleased with the way this one turned out and thought that you might enjoy it, or at least feel in sympathy with some of the ideas I try to express in it. ... Please, though, feel under no obligation to comment. ... Consider the story as offered strictly for your enjoyment, with the hope that it doesn’t fail completely in that mission.” [706]

The story was called “The Raid,” and I thought that parts of it were very well written. All of it was very well written in comparison with what one would expect from an individual chosen at random from the general population. But, in my opinion, the story as a whole was not of professional quality. My brother does not have the instinct of careful craftsmanship, and “The Raid” was marred by a number of small errors in the use of language. Apart from dialogue, the story was written in literary English, and even used (or misused) such relatively uncommon words as “suzerainty,”[707] “matutinal,” [708] “smithy,”[709] and “privy”[710] (as an adjective). In such a context it makes the well–educated reader uncomfortable to see “like” where “as is” should be used,[711] or to find such phrases as “Deborah Tolliver got a sour look on her face”[712] or “the women he’d been privy to observe in his life.” [713] I don’t mean to suggest that a story written in literary English must never contain an “incorrectly” –used word or an “awkward” –sounding sentence. There may be valid artistic reasons for introducing the “incorrect” or the “awkward” into a literary work. The point is that my brother did not use words incorrectly or awkwardly in order to achieve an effect; his errors were simply the result of carelessness, as is indicated by the fact that they merely annoy or distract the reader without contributing anything to the story.

Such defects could no doubt be patched up by a good editor; and by working for some time with a good editor, I think my brother could have learned to keep the defects from getting into his stories in the first place. A more serious problem with “The Raid” is that the reader is left wondering what the point of the story is. It is clear that my brother wanted to illustrate the difference between the Anglo attitude toward life and that of the traditional Mexican; but if this is the point of the story, then why bring in the girl who gets pregnant, the yarns of the old frontiersman, or Sheriff Dan’s thoughts about marriage? The story just seems to ramble aimlessly.

“The Raid” was not without its merits. For instance, my brother gave one illustration of the difference between the Anglo and the Mexican attitude that has stuck in my mind ever since as being particularly apt.[714] I probably would have enjoyed reading the story if only because it was a reflection of my brother’s personality—passive and directionless, yet observant and frequently offering interesting comments. But “The Raid” was spoiled for me by my brother’s ambition to be a serious creative writer; since I assessed it as something that presumably aspired to be of professional quality, I was bothered by defects that I might otherwise have overlooked. Because I had told my brother that I would comment on his writing honestly if I did so at all, and because I didn’t want to tell him that he still seemed to be a long way from producing a professional–quality story, I said nothing to him about “The Raid.”

I’ve seen only a very few of the many stories my brother has written, but judging from what I have seen I would say that he is much better at writing letters than at writing stories. My brother does have a gift for verbal expression. In his letters he often describes experiences, scenes, people, and feelings quite vividly, sometimes even poetically. When writing a letter, he doesn’t have to weave a plot; the structure of the letter is provided by the experience that he is relating or the concern that he is trying to communicate. I think another reason why his letters are better–written than his stories is that in writing his letters he usually was not trying to write “creatively” but was merely making an un–self–conscious effort to express what was on his mind; hence, he was less apt to be misled by artistic vanity.[715] I’m not sure whether he makes fewer blunders in handling the details of language in his letters than he does in his stories. I am much less conscious of such blunders in his letters than I am in his stories, but that may be only because his letters seem to flow along and hold my interest better than his stories do, so that I tend to overlook any imperfections of detail.

I occasionally praised Dave for his letters. Referring to a comment he’d made on the religion of the African pygmies, I wrote in 1983:

“I especially liked the following passage from a recent letter of yours: ...’ the [molimo] [716] ritual demanded something like an attitude of “pretend” that was aware of itself as such. I think of modern religions as tending to become confused in this area, so that the alternative to the empirical interpretation of reality, in drawing near to the empirical, is only usurped by it, so that the religious ideas are transformed as absurd empirical assertions, while losing their poetic life and suggestiveness.’ [717]

“I like this passage so weil that I have copied it in my notebook. So there you stand amongst all kinds of famous writers whome [sic] I have quoted from time to time in my notes.”[718]

In a 1985 letter [719] that I quoted in Chapter 11, p. 312, I told Dave how interesting and enjoyable I found some of his letters; and in 1987, when he sent me an account of a very interesting trip he’d made to Mexico, I praised him rather generously for the way he’d written it up, as we’ll see in a moment. Yet I wish now that I’d praised more of Dave’s letters, because there were a number of others that did deserve praise, and I failed to give it.

About June, 1987, my brother spent a week or two at the home of his friend, Juan Sánchez Arreola, in Magistral del Oro, state of Durango, Mexico.[720] He sent me a long (eleven–page) account of the visit that I found fascinating.[721] Since I thought he was much better at writing that sort of thing than he was at composing fiction, and since I knew he’d been trying unsuccessfully for many years to get something published, I told him in my next letter:

“I read your account of your adventures with the greatest interest ... . Your adventures seemed most wonderful to me—it must have been like stepping into a different world.

“I also thought your account was very well written. I assume you will make other visits to Mexico in the future, and after you have accumulated enough material I’ll bet you could publish a book on your experiences. I think there would be a much better market for a book like that than there is for fiction, if you wrote the whole book as well as you did that account that you sent to me, and if it were properly organized and so forth, I don’t see why you shouldn’t be able to find a publisher for it. I thought you did a very good job of characterizing Rosa [722] and some of the other people you described.

“I do have a couple of minor criticisms. First, I wonder if it wasn’t unfair to compare Rosa to a child. A little condescending, perhaps. ...

“Also, your last line, about ‘a bestial dialectic which filled the earth with intense music while humanity slept,’ [723] struck me as perhaps too lushly poetic to fit in with the tone of the rest of the material. But some people might differ with me on this point. And as I said, on the whole I thought your account was very good.”[724]

I now suspect that my brother thought his line about “bestial dialectic” was the best part of the letter and was disappointed that I didn’t care for it. Anyway, he never responded to my suggestion that he should accumulate material for a book.

In February or March, 1989, Dave sent me an account of a story that Juan Sánchez Arreola had told him. I reproduce it here in full:

“When Juan’s first child was born, he saw himself facing a problem, in that this was the child of a second marriage and he didn’t know if the Catholic church [sic] would consent to have the child officially baptized. Moreover, Juan was too embarrassed to approach the priest in his own village to discuss the matter.

“One day, he left by mule to visit an uncle in another town and, seeing another church in a village in between, it occurred to him that he ought to broach his problem to the priest there, since unburdening himself to a strange priest would cause him less embarrassment.

“This priest turned out to be a very old man. He told Juan that there would be no problem having his daughter baptized, but then he asked Juan to explain why he had divorced his first wife. Juan answered that the reason was because she committed adultery. The priest was not entirely satisfied with this and pressed for details, whereupon Juan told the story of how he had gone to the U.S. to earn money, only to find that his wife wrote to him less and less frequently, with diminishing affection. When he returned after some months, he found that she had already attached herself to another man.

“‘You seem to be blaming the woman,’ the priest told him, ‘but the fault actually lies with you for leaving her alone.’

“Juan felt quite put out by this remark, since he still sorely resented his first wife’s disloyalty while he had been working hard to improve the fortunes of them both. ‘Why, I might have been gone 20 minutes to fetch firewood,’ he shot back, ‘and she still would have had time to be unfaithful!’

“At this moment, the priest enjoined Juan to be calm and listen to a story that would illustrate the moral of his point. In the priest’s town, a certain couple had married and moved in with the groom’s parents, a practice which was common among the Mexican poor. Two children were quickly produced by this union, but soon the fortunes of the entire family suffered a reversal and the young husband saw himself obliged to go to the U.S. to earn money.

“Before long, however, the young man’s father seduced his attractive young daughter–in–law under his wife’s nose, and soon the two of them were living as husband and wife, while the old wife was relegated to the role of a servant. Prior [to] the son’s return, the father abandoned his wife and left with his daughter–in–law and grandchildren to live in some place unknown.

“When the son returned and heard the story of what had transpired, he swore to someday kill his father and faithless wife and to reclaim his children. Through distant relations, the mother had learned the whereabouts of her husband and daughter–in–law, but refused to reveal them to her son for fear that murder would be the result.

“As months passed, the young man’s rancor subsided and he pleaded with his mother to give him the address only so that he should be able to see his children again. She continued to refuse him until one day she fell alarmingly ill and feared that if she died with her knowledge intact, the family would be separated forever. She told her son to reach under the mattress where she was lying and take out a piece of paper on which was written the address of the faithless pair. It turned out to be the number of an apartment in Mexico city [sic].

“The mother died the next day, and as soon as the son had buried her, he left to find his children. His search led him to a large apartment house, where the first thing he saw was his beloved children playing on the front stoop. The babies in turn recognized him and cried ‘Daddy! Daddy!’

“The old man, however, was alerted by their cries and from an upstairs window drew a bead on his son with a rifle and shot him dead.

“Juan is a great story–teller, and if by chance you enjoy these renderings of mine, I’ll send you more from time to time. Quite a few of his stories have to do with the almost demonic power that sex has over some people. His telling is far richer than mine, however. It never comes out like a set story, but more like a surprising piece of inspiration from the more shallow flow of every–day conversation. I suddenly realize that what I’m listening to is almost magical."[725]

My brother’s telling of this tale had a few defects of detail (for example, the phrase, “the moral of his point” doesn’t seem to make sense), but these could easily have been patched up, and it seemed to me that on the whole the account was very well done. I wrote Dave:

“I’ve just received your letter that contains Juan’s story. It’s very interesting...

“Yes, it would give me pleasure to receive more of Juan’s stories. You recounted this last one very well. If the other stories are as good as the two[726] that you’ve already told me, has it occurred to you to publish a collection of such stories? ...

“I’ve read again your rendering of the story, and it seems to me to be excellent. The tone and the language seem to me to be just right for such a story.”[727] (Translated from Spanish.)

I concluded by pointing out (I hope tactfully) a few of the minor infelicities of language that occurred in the story.[728]

A short while later, my brother sent me, as a birthday present, his rendering of another of Juan’s tales—a considerably longer one that he called, “The Conjurer’s Stone.” This story I thought was really very good, even though it had imperfections of detail that I felt were more important than those of the preceding story.

In a letter that accompanied the story, my brother wrote:

“I don’t know if I’m up to the task of compiling a great number of Juan’s stories at this time, but your suggestion still appeals to me and I may put something together in the future. ...

“You could, if you want to, help me in two ways. First, if by chance you saved the other two stories, would you mind sending them back to me? [I sent Dave copies of the stories and kept the originals myself.] ... Second, for this and any future stories I send you, I’d appreciate any criticism that may occur to you. I doubt I’ll see every point your way, but meanwhile I’m aware of how difficult it is to read one’s own prose with fresh and objective eyes.”[729]

In an answering letter (now lost), I praised “The Conjurer’s Stone” highly and, in compliance with Dave’s request, I gave him an extensive critique of its flaws. He answered:

“I’m glad you enjoyed your birthday present.

“Thanks for sending the copies I requested, and also for your long analysis of the writing, which must have taken a good deal of time and effort to complete. I found several of the criticisms helpful, and plan to incorporate them in my revisions. I doubt if you’d enjoy reading the revised version, however, since I find myself unable to agree with you about the use of figurative language in this piece.”[730]

My brother then launched himself into an elaborate series of rationalizations intended to justify his use of certain metaphors and similes that I had criticized. If he had simply said that he disagreed with me and was going to retain these figures of speech, I would have been a little disappointed, since I felt that they detracted from what was otherwise an excellent story. But I would not have been irritated. What did irritate me in this case, as in many earlier cases, was Dave’s habit of pretentious rationalization.

Here is an example. “The Conjurer’s Stone” included this sentence:

“Even Don Francisco’s eyes sparkled and he showed his few teeth in a face like cracked mud.”[731]

I criticized this simile (“face like cracked mud” ) on the grounds that it wasn’t clear what it was supposed to mean. My brother answered:

“If you pay close attention to your reading, I think you’ll notice that equivocal metaphors are used frequently in fiction. The ‘cracked mud’ similie [sic] works on the basis of three comparisons between the old man’s face and cracked mud: the color (gray), the texture (the creases on an old man’s face that would presumably deepen as he smiled); and a quality of opaqueness (Juan finds the old man’s expression opaque rather than transparent at a moment when he is confused, searching for some clue as to why the old men are laughing; in effect, he comes up against his own ignorance in the old man’s sphinx–like demeanor, until a moment later the truth—or at least part of it—dawns on him).”[732]

The first two comparisons would have been fine if only my brother had rephrased his simile in such a way as to make it clear that it was the texture of the man’s skin that was being compared to cracked mud. The “opaqueness” comparison is ludicrous, because no reader, no matter how sophisticated and attentive, would be able to divine those meanings in the “cracked mud” simile.

Dave’s letter finished off with somewhat of an air of wounded vanity:

“If you don’t mind my making a suggestion, Ted, it would be that you make an earnest effort to enter the consciousness and spirit of a story as it’s written before making up your mind as to how you think it should be written. ...

“I have another suggestion, since you’re clearly, and probably with justification a lot [sic] more interested in Juan’s stories than you are in mine. Why not come down and meet Juan ... ? You could hear his stories for yourself, and then consider writing them up in the reportial [sic; “reportorial” is meant] fashion you judge best.”[733]

In this case I did a relatively good job of controlling my irritation at my brother’s interminable rationalizations. In my reply, I did point out the evidence of wounded vanity in his letter [734] and I did maintain (not very tactfully, I’m afraid) my position that some of his metaphors and similes detracted from the story,[735] but on the other hand, I told him that on re–reading “The Conjurer’s Stone” I felt less uncomfortable with these figures of speech [736] and I conceded that other readers might respond to them more favorably than I did.[737] Moreover, I said that the story was “damn good” [738] and that I liked it “very well indeed, in spite of my criticisms.”[739] In answer to Dave’s defeatist suggestion that it was Juan’s stories rather than his (Dave’s) rendering of them that interested me, I wrote:

“I think there must be a great deal of ‘you’ in the stories. ... Borrowed plots are common among great writers. ... The effect of ‘The Conjurer’s Stone’ must depend heavily on your retelling, since it could hardly be just a literal translation of Juan’s words. If I or someone else told the story, it might have seemed pointless and uninteresting. As you tell it, the story is effective and the characters live.”[740]

I was perhaps laying it on a bit thick here, but not to such an extent that I felt I was breaking my promise to be honest in commenting on my brother’s writing. I did attack some of his rationalizations. (I knew it was futile, but it is my misfortune that I find it extremely difficult to refrain from pointing out the defects in a fallacious argument.) Among other things I said:

“As for making an earnest effort to enter the consciousness and spirit of the story—it’s your job to communicate that consciousness and spirit to the reader—you can’t expect the reader to divine by magical insight what that ‘consciousness and spirit’ is supposed to be.”[741]

Predictably, my brother responded with an even more elaborate and defensive series of rationalizations, of which some samples follow:

“[In my last letter] I honestly believe I was defending an honest conviction more than my own ego.[742] ...

“I take your admonishment to heart in case I may be resisting the spirit of criticism to some degree. I also feel I should point out, though, that any artist needs to have faith in his own convictions, or it’s unlikely that he’ll ever be able to say anything original or in an original way. The poet Rilke and the artist O’Keeffe both stressed this point very vigorously in offering advice to young artists, emphasizing that it takes courage and sometimes just plain obstinacy to advance beyond mediocrity and technical expertise ... .”[743]

But my brother did not need to advance beyond technical expertise; his problem was that he had not yet attained technical expertise. His letter continued:

“You can imagine what would happen if Faulkner or Proust, for instance, handed in one page of their writing to a creative writing teacher. They’d probably be told that their writing has promise, but that it’s unnecessarily unclear, wordy, awkward, and even somewhat pretentious. I’m not so foolish as to suppose I’m anywhere close to their category of talent, but I did feel encouraged that you found my figures of speech less objectionable upon subsequent readings. I hold out the belief that despite some of our strong theoretical differences, you might not have blinked an eye at some of the metaphors in ‘The Conjurer’s Stone’ if you were more familiar with my writing as a whole and if you had placed the story within that overall context [744] ... .

“Your observations suggest that you see a writer as a communicator in a fairly simple and straightforward way, so that an intelligent and educated reader needs only to sit back passively, so to speak, and let himself be ‘communicated to...’ . I think you should know that the trend of modern thought is against depicting the artist as a straightforward communicator. ... My own feelings tell me, ‘Why be spoon–fed when you can have the pleasure of freely participating in a work with your own imagination? Why be satisfied with a book that tells you essentially all it has to say in one reading, when another work challenges you to go back a second, third, or forth [sic] time? Why in effect be satisfied with being “told” something, when another work invites you to engage more intimately in the whole creative process?’ [745] ...

“Now I don’t mean to convey the impression that ‘The Conjurer’s Stone’ is an extremely ambitious work comparable to others I’ve been alluding to in order to make my case. I’m only trying to suggest that reading is a more subtle and exacting talent than the ‘writer–as–communicator’ model would lead one to believe. Also, I think that having a different theoretical orientation might help you adapt your sensitivities to a wider variety of styles, so that when you come upon a metaphor that isn’t instantly clear, for instance, you’ll be less inclined to conclude out of hand that it’s out of place or poorly done, but instead say to yourself, ‘Aha, he’s calling my attention to something here ...[746] what’s it about?’”[747]

Further on in the letter, in an evident reference to my supposed “science–based assumptions,” my brother expressed a suspicion that there was a “logical agenda” behind my criticisms.[748] But he concluded his letter on a generous note:

“Please keep in mind, Ted, that in outlining these arguments and differences, I by no means want to suggest that I don’t value your criticisms and appreciate the effort they’ve cost you. In fact, I value them very highly.”[749]

Many readers will have noticed by this time that my brother is a fairly typical representative of a certain class of unsuccessful would–be artists, and shows the characteristic symptoms: He emphasizes “originality” and neglects technical skill (technical skill requires talent and hard work, but the concept of originality is vague enough so that anyone can convince himself that his work is original); he is touchy about criticism—rather than accepting it he invents rationalizations to place the blame on the critic for not appreciating his creations; and he compares himself to great artists who were not accepted, had difficulty being accepted, or might not have been accepted because of the unconventionality and originality of their work.

Yet, as I noted earlier, my brother does have a talent for verbal expression, and I think that what prevented him from becoming a good (i.e., professional–quality) writer was simply his weakness of character; or, as a psychologist might put it, the fact that his ego was not well–developed. (Here I use “ego” to mean not vanity, but the directing and organizing faculty of the mind.) Because of it, he lacked the self–discipline to develop technical skill with the details of language, so that his writing was marred by expressions that were grammatically incorrect, awkward, or confusing; he was unable to look at his own work objectively enough to see its good points and its bad points, so as to be able to change what was bad and retain what was good; and I doubt that he could have organized intelligently a book–length piece of writing unless it consisted of a collection of shorter pieces each of which would stand more–or–less independently. Finally, he was unwilling to acknowledge that he was not good at constructing stories of his own, and that, unless he retold stories he’d heard from someone else, he would have done better to write about personal experiences.


14. My brother’s relations with Linda Patrik; I break off with him

I never knew my brother to have a girlfriend, or to go on dates, or to show any sexual interest in girls until, some time during his college years, my mother mentioned to me that he had a crush on a young woman named Linda Patrik whom he’d known in high school. I’ve already described (in Chapter 9, pp. 251–254) how in the early seventies he was attracted to a woman named Linda E. But apart from the two Lindas I don’t believe he ever took even the first step toward a sexual relationship with any female. He never did develop an overt sexual involvement with Linda E.; nor was there any physical relationship between him and Linda Patrik before he reached his late twenties.

Until 1986 my brother never said anything to me about his relations with women and I never asked him about them. Intimate personal matters just were not discussed in our family. I won’t attempt to explain his celibacy here, but will mention two facts. First, my brother’s high aspirations seem to have extended to women: From certain remarks that he made I gathered that he did not consider a female attractive unless she was quite good–looking; yet he himself had neither the physical qualities nor the kind of personality that would have made him attractive to women (see Chapter 9, p. 251). Second, he apparently had a fairly serious hang–up about sex. I quote here in full a passage from one of his letters of which I quoted a part in Chapter 9:

“When your interference vis–a–vis Linda E____ touched off an explosion, I believe this is how I experienced everything (regardless of what your true motives might have been)—I saw you acting as a sort of surrogate super–ego in the matter of our parents’ highly (though subtly) repressive attitudes toward sex. I suppose I felt that siblings ought to confederate in the struggle with their parents to assert sexual independence, and in that light I probably considered your letter to them as a serious betrayal, especially serious in that I felt we had both already been damaged by their repressive attitudes, so you ought to have known what the pain was like. What made things worse and more humiliating for me, is that I had already submitted to my conditioning—the inculcated repressions had already conquered my desires (perhaps luckily, all in all) and consequently I experienced the repression as pertaining not only to behavior, but as arousing guilt over the mere occurrence [sic] of sexual feelings.”[750]

I answered:

“You assume that I, like you, have, or had, a major problem with guilt over sex. I was really astonished to find you misjudging me so badly. Of course I’m not free of shame over sex—I don’t suppose anybody is in our society—but I never had enough shame over sex to feel that it was a serious problem. Actually, though I knew you were kinda prissy, I was surprized [sic] to learn that you had such a problem with sex guilt as you indicate in your letter. I never felt that our parents’ attitudes toward sex were particularly repressive, neither explicitly, nor ‘subtly’ as you put it.”[751]

However that might have been, my brother told me nothing whatever about Linda Patrik. He never so much as mentioned her name to me before 1986, probably because he was afraid that I would make some negative comment about his relations with her. The little I knew about her I learned from my mother, from hearing my brother’s end of a couple of brief telephone conversations that he’d had while we were both at our parents’ house in 1978, and from some of Linda P.’s letters to him.

I found these letters one day during the early 1970s when, in my brother’s absence, I was shoveling the garbage out of his dump in Great Falls. They were in a drawer, not lying out in the open, and I knew that he would not want me to read them, but I read them anyway. I do not like to have to confess to this, but I do confess to it, because I mean to tell the whole truth about the relations between my brother and me. As far as I can remember, it is the only thing I’ve ever done in regard to him that was clearly and definitely not fair play, a violation of trust, a breach of the unspoken rules that governed our relationship. Why did I do it? I was full of contempt for him, and when you have contempt for someone you tend to be disregardful of his rights. But contempt was no excuse for violating my brother’s privacy, and, ever since, I’ve been uncomfortable about having read those letters.

The letters were not very informative, but they did make this much clear about Dave’s relationship with Linda Patrik: He had a long–term crush on her; his relationship to her was servile; she didn’t seem to have much interest in him as a male, but seemed to like using him as a shoulder to cry on, someone to unburden herself to. Meanwhile she carried on sexual relationships with other men, and my brother knew it, yet he kept mooning after her.

The next I heard of Linda Patrik was in 1978, when my brother and I were staying at our parents’ house and he received a couple of phone calls from her. From his end of the conversation, it was evident only that she was inviting him to visit her and that he was accepting the invitation with alacrity. I asked no one any questions about Dave’s relationship with Linda P., but my mother volunteered some very scanty information: It seemed that Linda was having some sort of trouble with her husband—a divorce may have been contemplated—and she had turned to Dave for comfort.

I heard not another word about Linda Patrik until my brother visited me in Montana in 1986. At that time I noticed a very large turquoise ring on his finger and asked him where he’d gotten it. He answered that Linda Patrik had given it to him, and that was the first time he ever mentioned her to me. He gave me no information about her, however, and from consideration for his privacy I did not ask for any. I heard no more about Ms. Patrik until three years later.

* * *

At about the same time (September, 1989) that my brother sent me his last exercise in rationalization in justification of “The Conjurer’s Stone” (FL #399), he sent me also his rewritten version of that story, and with it a letter in which, among other things, he said:

“I’m returning to Schenectady on Oct. 8 to undertake the experiment of living with Linda. I’ve been in love with her for more than 20 years, so much so that no other woman has ever seriously interested me ...[T]his is a very happy time in my life. So wish me luck.”[752]

At this point I decided I’d had about enough of my jackass of a brother, so I wrote him an irritable letter in which I told him I didn’t want to hear from him any more—unless he ever found himself in serious trouble and needed my help, in which case I would do what I could for him. Here is how my brother has described this letter to the media:

“In 1989, David told his brother he had a relationship with Linda and had decided to go to Schenectady, N.Y., to be with her. He also said he expected to marry her.[False. Neither FL #400 nor any other letter of my brother’s in 1989 made any mention of a possible marriage with Linda Patrik.[753]]

“‘At that time he decided to end his relationship with me, end communicating with me,’ David said. ‘It was an extremely angry, total surprise to me. He tended to view me as someone who was easily manipulated by others and for some reason he had gotten the notion that Linda was a manipulating female who was using me.’ The accusation seemed particularly bizarre, David said, because ‘he has never met her to my knowledge.’

“One interpretation of his brother’s letter, he said, might be that Ted was disappointed that he would give up the lifestyle they had shared. ‘It may have been just terrible for him to think I would rejoin society,’ David said. ‘I think it goes deeper than that.’

“David said the letter contained ‘a long litany’ of his presumed faults but it added that ‘he did care about me’ and said that ‘I was throwing away my life.’

“‘By marrying?’ he was asked.

“‘Sure.’”[754]

*

“In 1989, Theodore Kaczynski reacted angrily when David wrote to Ted and told him he was planning to marry Linda Patrik, a philosophy professor at Union College in Schenectady. ... Ted had never met Patrik but said she was manipulative.”[755]

*

“LESLIE STAHL: ...And Ted blamed David for deserting him, by falling for Linda.

“MIKE WALLACE: He was devastated when he learned that you were happy with Linda, and that you, of all things, married Linda.

“DAVID KACZYNSKI: It was entirely unexpected. He had never met Linda. And I got a letter that was pages and pages and pages long, full of criticisms of Linda, criticisms of me. It was as if I had somehow betrayed him.”[756]

*

“Nearly 10 years ago [sic], Ted wrote his brother a venomous letter stating, in capital letters, that he never wanted to see or hear from David ‘or any other member of our family’ again. He was angry because his brother was getting married.”[757]

Actually, the fact that my brother was going to live with Linda Patrik was only one among several reasons why I broke off with him. My letter was nearly fourteen pages long, and only four of those pages dealt with Dave’s relations with Linda Patrik. Also, the letter nowhere describes Linda as “manipulative.”

Apparently Dave or (more likely) Linda destroyed my letter. But maybe my brother would have been more careful in describing this letter if he’d known that I’d kept a copy of it. This was a carbon copy, so there is no question of any errors of transcription. Since the letter is significant, I reproduce all of it here. The first part refers to another story my brother had sent me that was loosely based on one of Juan’s tales.

“Dear Dave:

As for ‘Ernesto and the Widow’ [758]—This is a style of story–telling that I dislike. On the other hand, there must be a lot of people who like that kind of story–telling, since that style is much in vogue nowadays [among intellectuals]. I only read the story once, and while reading it I was in a state of irritation at you for reasons that will be explained below; moreover, I was continually interrupting my reading to write comments in the margins. Thus, I was less able to judge how the story flows along than I would have been under other circumstances. Moreover I am, naturally, less sensitive to differences in a form of writing that I dislike than I would be in a form of writing in which I take an interest. So I’m not sure if I can judge the story well. But, for whatever it may be worth, my reaction to the story is as follows.

“Here and there I noticed places where words were used amateurishly or not quite correctly. But apart from that I thought it was a good story—for those who like that type of writing, but not for me. If the little awkward places I mentioned were cleared up, I see no particular reason why the story couldn’t be published. But, while I felt pretty sure you ought to be able to find a publisher for the stories that stuck closer to the material you had from Juan, I don’t know whether you could find a publisher for stories like ‘Ernesto and the Widow.’ The difference is that, while the stories that followed Juan’s material had a note of authenticity—something on the order of folkloric material—‘Ernesto and the Widow’ is obviously a made–up story, merely inspired by an incident you heard from Juan. Of course there are thousands or millions of people in America who want to write fiction and they all think they have something original to say, so there is an abundance of stories offered—far more than anyone wants to read. But there are not so many people who can offer authentic stories from a peasant culture. That’s why I think your stories that stick closer to Juan’s material—with their note of authenticity—have a much better chance of being published than ‘Ernesto and the Widow’, which just doesn’t fit into the same category.

“As for the reason why you’ve never been able to get anything published, I can only say this:

“The story titled ‘The Raid’, which you sent me some time ago struck me as hopelessly amateurish—both in the details of language and the general outline of the story. If that story is typical of your previous writing, then it’s obvious why no one wants to publish your stuff—it’s just plain bad, by anyone’s standard. ‘Ernesto and the Widow’ is such a vast improvement over ‘The Raid’ that the difference seems incomprehensible. If your previous writing resembles ‘Ernesto and the Widow’ rather than ‘The Raid’, then I suppose that your failure to get anything published is due either to the fact that, as I mentioned, there are more would–be writers than there are readers, or else to the fact that here and there in your writing there appear little awkwardnesses or amateurish constructions. What you need is someone to criticize the details of your language (as I did with ‘The Conjurer’s Stone’) to induce you to develop literary craftsmanship.”[759]

I now feel embarrassed at having spoken as favorably as I did of “Ernesto and the Widow.” I don’t have a copy of it now, but I remember it as crap—it simply repelled me. However, it was of a genre—one might call it “modern” —that repels most readers anyway and is attractive only to a small minority of literary highbrows. Since I couldn’t pretend to understand that kind of literature, I gave my brother the benefit of the doubt and assumed that the story was an adequate specimen of its type, apart from the defects of detail that I mentioned. I would have done better to tell Dave simply that I didn’t understand the story and leave it at that, but I suppose my desire to make him feel good was competing with the contempt and irritation that led me to make very cutting remarks at various other places in the letter. Here again my conflicting feelings toward my brother are evident.

The letter continued:

“The question is whether you are capable of profiting from such criticism. It seems doubtful. It seems that your vanity prevents you from making any suggested changes except on inessential [760] points—and sometimes even on minor points it prevents you from making changes. Here are two examples from your revised version of ‘The Conjurer’s Stone.’ First, on p. 1, the phrase ‘descend to the street on strutting claws.’ Leave aside the fact that I think the metaphore [sic [761]] is hackneyed. As I carefully explained in my last letter, the sentence is illogical because the buzzards don’t descend on their claws, they descend on their wings. This is just the kind of amateurish linguistic blunder that will discourage an editor from publishing your stuff. It is not an arguable point. The sentence is clearly and plainly illogical, there is no conceivable literary motive for introducing that kind of illogic at this point, and any competent editor would agree that it is simply an amateurish blunder. If you felt you had to retain the ‘strutting’ claws metaphor you could have done so by reconstructing the sentence to eliminate the illogic.[762] I carefully explained in my last letter what was wrong with the sentence, yet you let it stand.

Second. On the last page [763] you have: ‘some of the others began laughing so hard it looked like they might hurt themselves.’ As I explained carefully in a previous letter,[764] this sentence is grammatically incorrect because ‘like’ is not a conjunction.[765] To make the sentence correct you have to replace ‘like’ by ‘as if.’ There is no conceivable literary motive for using the incorrect ‘like’ instead of the correct ‘as if.’ Yet you let the sentence stand.

“I can see no motive for your leaving these two incorrect sentences in their original form except stubborn vanity—vanity of the most puerile kind.”[766]

This last remark was unnecessarily cruel. Lots of people would show as much vanity–motivated resistance to changing something they’d done as my brother did.

“To argue about metaphors—whether they are hackneyed or not, appropriate or not, etc.—is reasonable, since after all that is a matter of taste. But I suppose you can understand why I get frustrated and irritated when you ignore my corrections of clear–cut and unarguable errors of logic or grammar.

“Even when it comes to metaphors—your defence of your metaphors and similes (in an earlier letter) irritated me because—while one can reasonably argue about those metaphors—your arguments were simply silly. You explained all these meanings that these metaphors were supposed to convey—meanings that no one but you would ever guess at or even sense intuitively.

“Of course, you have the right to write anything you damn well please. But I’m not going to criticize your work any more because, as I’ve just explained, I find your reactions frustrating and irritating. I do feel that you’ve got something good there in your re–tellings of Juan’s stories, and I would really be very pleased on your account if you could get them published. I would moreover be willing to spend considerable time criticizing the details of your style if it weren’t for the fact that, when you ignore my corrections of clear–cut, unarguable flaws, it just seems futile, and it’s too irritating and frustrating.

“More than that. This has been building up for a long time. It’s not just this business of the stories. I find you insufferably irritating in general. You’re certainly not the type of personality I would choose for a friend—I just happened to get stuck with you as a brother. As you know, I have tender feelings toward you, but that’s just because you’re my brother and because of old ties going all the way back to childhood.

“Some of your letters are a pleasure to read, but, just as often, they irritate me and make me conscious of an unbridgeable gulf between you and me. It’s not so much a difference of attitudes or ideology—in some respects our attitudes are pretty similar—as a difference of personality. The ideological differences are largely a reflection of the personality differences. You use verbal formulations to satisfy your emotional needs, very often to protect your ego [here, ego = self–esteem], and you frequently insist on verbal formulations that are meaningless (or at least, whose meanings you don’t try to analyze) or contrary to reality, or simply ludicrous. I use verbal formulations in a reasonably honest attempt to describe reality. I am so constituted that I find it difficult to listen to your nonsense without arguing against it. So when you write me some of your silly ‘ideas’ (as you choose to call them) I am faced with a choice: either I restrain myself and make no reply, which is frustrating, or, what is more frustrating, I permit myself to be drawn into writing you one of these interminable letters in which I explain my point of view in detail—though it is absolutely futile, because I know by this time that, wherever your ego is involved, you are absolutely impervious to reason and will resort to the most far–fetched rationalizations to avoid having to make any concession.

“A good example occurred a few years ago when I ventured to suggest that your friend Joel might have schizophrenia. I don’t know whether that suggestion was right or wrong, but the point is that your reaction to it was irrational. You tend to take any criticism of your friends, from me, as an assault on your ego. In this case you also took my suggestions as an attack on your ideology; even though I was careful to frame my arguments as tactfully as possible and in such a way as to avoid offending your ideology. Of course you got your back up and became absolutely insufferable. Later, when you came to visit me, in reference to schizophrenic children who see the floor heaving and tossing under them, you said, ‘maybe the floor really is heaving...[767].’ Of course you don’t really believe this—you just make that statement to confirm an ideology designed to satisfy your emotional needs. Where your ego and your ideology aren’t at stake, you take an entirely different point of view. Thus, during that same visit, you mentioned Nora’s case. There—since no friend of yours was involved and your ego and ideology weren’t at stake—you unhesitatingly accepted the existence of schizophrenia, the undesirability of it, and the fact that drugs can bring a schizophrenic back to perception of reality. You also added, ‘Gee, I hope we haven’t got anything like that.’ If you really believed that the hallucinations of a schizophrenic were as real as the perceptions of a sane person, why would you ‘hope we haven’t got anything like that’?

“I refrained from pointing out the obvious contradictions in your expressed views because by that time I knew that it was hopeless to try to reason with you on that subject—you would never under any circumstances make any concession. I find that kind of thing thoroughly contemptible and insufferably irritating—though in the majority of cases I refrain from showing my irritation, since it would accomplish nothing anyway.

“This has just happened too many times. If you don’t irritate or disgust me in one way then you do so in another. I’ve just had enough of it. My tolerance for irritation was low to begin with, and the older I get, the less I can tolerate irritation.

“And now, to top off my disgust, you’re going to leave the desert and shack up with this woman who’s been keeping you on a string for the last 20 years. You write, ‘I’ve been in love with her for more than 20 years, so much so that no other woman has ever seriously interested me.’ You forgot to add the qualification, ‘except Linda E.’ But leaving that aside, I would say that love is one thing and grovelling servitude is another. Judging from the comparatively little that I know of the case, it seems clear that this woman has just been exploiting you. I recall that one time when I was helping you clean out your apartment in Great Falls, I picked a letter out of the garbage on your table and started reading aloud: ‘Dear Linda, Of course it was a blow to learn that you may be falling in love with someone ... .’[768] You got mad and snatched the letter out of my hand.”[769]

The reader will notice that I did not tell my brother here that I had once read several of Linda P.’s letters that I had found in a drawer. I would have been ashamed to confess to that.

My letter continues:

“But it’s pretty clear what was going on there. She knew you were stuck on her and she knew that she wasn’t much attracted to you as a male. Under the circumstances, the decent thing to do would have been to simply cut off all relations with you. In that case you probably would have forgotten about her eventually and would have found someone else. But she found it more expedient to keep you on a string—to keep hold of your affections while her affections wandered elsewhere. Women like passive, gentle males—but they don’t typically consider them desirable as lovers. Especially when they are younger, women are attracted sexually by dominant, virile males. But they like to have a shoulder to cry on—some gentle, affectionate person to whom they can turn for emotional support. There’s nothing evil in that—but in using you for that purpose, knowing that you were in love with her and that her love was going to go elsewhere, Linda Patrik was exploiting you. She must have realized that it would be painful and humiliating for you when she unburdened herself to you about her love affairs, yet apparently she did so anyway, to judge from that letter.

“When she got married, I can just imagine her husband’s amusement when she told him about ‘this poor sap who’s been in love with me for years, and still is, even though I am marrying you.’ Then when her marriage broke up, the first thing she did was run to you for a shoulder to cry on. And you accepted that. Don’t you have any self–respect at all? Apparently not. It’s just too despicable.

“So now, after having kept you around as a kind of spare tire for the last 20 years, she’s finally ready to shack up with you. Maybe because she’s getting older and can’t so readily find sex partners any more, maybe for some other reason. Does she love you? I venture to doubt it. I’ll bet you’re the one who is making all the concessions and sacrifices. Thus you’re going up to live with her in Schenectady and she’s not going down to live with you in Texas. It’s safe to say that you two will be adopting her life–style and not your life–style.”[770]

I was reasonably sure that Linda Patrik’s lifestyle was more or less conventional middle class, since I recalled that my mother had told me in 1978 that Linda was a professional woman, though I didn’t know what her profession was. It turned out that was right. Linda Patrik’s lifestyle is essentially conventional middle class, in spite of certain gestures toward nonconformity on her part (such as her Buddhist religion and her sexual promiscuity)—quirks that are easily accommodated by modern American middle–class values.

The letter continued:

“If you want to find out whether she loves you, try this: Ask her to make some major concessions to your life–style and preferences. For example, ask her to live with you in Alpine. This would be a reasonable compromise, because in Alpine she would have most of the urban conveniences to which she is presumably addicted, yet you would be close to the desert. If she says yes, then probably she really cares about you. If she refuses to consider the possibility of moving down to Texas, or of making any other major concessions to your life–style, then clearly she doesn’t love you but is merely using you as a convenience.

“The idea here is not actually to extract concessions from her. For instance, if she agreed to live in Alpine, you could then, if you wanted to, be generous, change your mind, and say, ‘No, let’s live in Schenectady after all.’ The idea of asking for concessions is simply to find out whether she really cares about you or whether she is just exploiting you and wants to have everything on her own terms.

“But if I know you, you probably won’t even have the nerve to ask her to live in Alpine. I can pretty well guess who the dominant member of that couple is going to be. It’s just disgusting. Let me know your neck size—I’d like to get you a dog collar next Christmas. I recall your negative opinions about Jeanne’s selfishness in her relationship with [Hokan Edwardson] and I wonder whether your own case is going to be any better. You thought Jeanne was selfish because [Hokan Edwardson] wanted to stay in Chicago, Jeanne wanted to go to Texas, so of course it was a foregone conclusion that they would go to Texas. How does this differ from your case? At least Jeanne didn’t keep [Hokan Edwardson] on a string for 20 years before marrying him.

“The only thing I’ve really respected in you has been your life in the desert. I especially remember how you returned that beautifully–made spear–point to its original resting place out of respect for the people who made it, and how you crossed the Rio Grande with Juan and shared his risks and hardships. So now you’re going to leave all that just because this female has finally decided to permit you to become her personal property, and I presume that you will now be adopting a more–or–less conventional middle–class life–style. While you’re at it, why don’t you take a few courses and learn to be an accountant? Or better—why don’t you go to law school? I’ve always felt that if a thing is worth doing, then it’s worth doing right, so as long as you’re selling out you may as well go all the way and become a lawyer.

“Be all that as it may, I’ve just been disgusted and irritated by you too damn many times. I just can’t take all that crap any more. So from now on, I am just going to cease corresponding with you altogether, and I’ll thank you not to send me any letters of any kind. There’s no question of ill will here—it’s just that I can’t any longer take the frequent irritations that I have from you. You probably don’t realize how often I’ve restrained myself in the face of your irritating traits. That’s the reason for the present outburst of irritation in response to relatively minor irritants; as I said, it’s been building up for a long time. Time after time, after receiving a particularly asinine letter from you I’ve told myself that I ought to cut off correspondence with you, but then I’ve always softened again. But now I just can’t take any more. I realize that it’s partly my fault. It’s true that you’re a fatuous ass and that our personalities are incompatible, but it’s also true that my tolerance for irritation is unusually low. I suppose that one reason why you get me so upset may be the fact that I do care about you. When my neighbor [Butch Gehring] down here chatters along idiotically like the jerk that he is, I just listen noncommittally to his nonsense and then forget it. But when you speak or act like a fool, I find it hard to be indifferent.

“You’re still my little brother (unworthy though you are of that honor) and you still have my loyalty, and I’m ready to help you if I can whenever you may be in serious need. But, as I said, I’m not going to write you any more, and I don’t want to receive any letters from you either. If you send me any letters I’ll just throw them in the stove unread. Except: if something really important comes up, you can write to me and get my attention as follows: On the envelope, draw a straight, heavy line under the stamp (or stamps). If you send me a letter with this marking, I will know that it is something particularly important and will read the letter. But don’t cry wolf by putting this marking on an envelope that contains an unimportant letter. If you do so, then I will no longer regard the marking, and you’ll have no way of getting in touch with me if something important comes up. As to what I consider important: If you’re seriously ill, that’s important; if our parents croak, that’s important; if you’re in any kind of serious trouble and need my help, that’s important; and so forth. On the other hand, if you want to justify to me your ideas about writing, that’s not important; if you want to explain your relations with Linda Patrik, that’s not important; and so forth.

“I realize that, not knowing very much about the case, I may possibly be wrong about your relations with Linda P. (though I’m probably right), and I don’t doubt that you could be induced to withdraw your threat (contained in your last letter) to send me some of your goofball ideas on language and literature [771] (the last thing I want to hear from you), but it wouldn’t really matter, because if it’s not one thing then it’s another. If you don’t irritate me in this way then you irritate me in that way.

“So let’s just call it quits, for the indefinite future.

“But remember—you still have my love and loyalty, and if you’re ever in serious need of my help, you can call on me.

“—Ted”[772]

The letter shows clearly the conflict between my contempt for my brother, on the one hand, and my affection for him, on the other.

As for Dave’s claim that I broke off with him “for getting married,” the letter speaks for itself. I will only add that I had actually been hoping that he would get married—to someone who was not in tune with mainstream middle–class values—so that I could have had a niece or nephew.

Did I predict accurately the kind of relationship that Dave would have with Linda? I was right on the nose. Well, no, I wasn’t right on the nose—the reality turned out to be even worse than I’d expected.

Investigators who have conducted extensive interviews with Dave and Linda have found that she is unmistakably the dominant partner. In fact, at least one investigator went so far as to say that Dave is “utterly dependent” on Linda psychologically. My brother himself told this investigator that ever since his early teens he has regarded Linda as “sacred” (his word). Linda stated that in high school, she and other girls had never thought of Dave as a potential lover—he was only a friend. She never thought of him as a potential lover until he was about twenty–seven or twenty–eight years old.[773] That would correspond to 1977 or 1978.

In Chapter 15 we shall see that under Linda’s influence, Dave’s attitudes and behavior have been completely transformed.

The worst of it is that everything I have learned about Linda Patrik tends to show that she is completely self–centered, and probably ruthless. While I had guessed correctly (more from my knowledge of my brother’s character than from the little I knew about Linda) that Dave would fall under the domination of his wife, I had no idea that she would be as selfish as Linda Patrik seems to be.[774]

Linda, moreover, appears to have fairly serious mental problems. She’s been under treatment by her psychiatrist, Dr. Mitchell, at least since 1991, and, reportedly when she was in Paris prior to my arrest and saw newspaper accounts about the Unabomber, she sometimes felt that they were directed at her personally.[775]

Linda Patrik was a physically attractive woman who, as a professor of philosophy, occupied a position of fairly high status. Why would she take up with a man like my brother, an unsuccessful would–be writer who had neither good looks, nor virility, nor status, nor, seemingly, anything else that would recommend him to a woman of that type? It is easy to arrive at a plausible guess: She wanted someone whom she could control completely, and from that point of view my brother was ideal. (And, by the way, she doesn’t have to be “manipulative” in order to control him. She can just tell him right out what she wants.)

Why, on the other hand, did my brother choose to put himself in servitude to her? Clearly it was an expression of his lifelong tendency to place himself in a position of subordination, to seek someone to look up to and follow, to become dependent. It’s easy to see why he didn’t find me satisfactory as an object for adulation: I didn’t respect his dependence—I wanted him to be independent. Often during my teens, and occasionally in adulthood when I lost my temper, I made my contempt for him all too obvious. Partly for that reason, partly because our parents valued me more than they did him, and partly because of the difference between our respective personalities, he had been gnawed all his life by a resentful sense of inferiority to me. Perhaps equally important, he didn’t choose his subordination to me. As his big brother, I had been imposed on him by chance.

In contrast, Linda Patrik was an object of adulation that my brother chose himself. Furthermore—and this would be very important for Dave’s self–esteem—she probably has a certain degree of reciprocal dependence on him, in that she leans on him for a sense of physical security, as is suggested by the following extracts from my mother’s letters:

“Linda is in Greece to teach philosophy. However, when war broke out, classes were cancelled at American University, and she was told to stay put by the American Embassy for the time being because it was too dangerous for Americans to fly out at this time. Americans were asked not to go about much and not to congregate in groups for fear they would become targets for terrorists.”[776]

“Dave says she sounds stressed in her phone calls to him, and he’s thinking of flying out to join her. (The college will pay his plane fare.)”[777]

“Dave ...[is] in Greece right now ... .”[778]

Of course, if there had been a terrorist attack, Dave could have done nothing to protect Linda—he has no fighting skills of any kind—but it must have made him feel like a man for a change to have a woman lean on him for a sense of security.

It is easy to form a plausible hypothesis as to the reason why Linda and Dave showed my letters to their psychiatrist; why they tried to persuade a doctor in Missoula to refer me to a psychiatrist, and even discussed the possibility of having me committed to an institution. Knowing Dave, I can be quite sure that he showed Linda my letter (FL #401) in which I argued that she was exploiting him. That letter must have aroused her resentment—all the more because what I wrote was true. The behind–my–back machinations about psychiatrists and mental institutions would have been her way of retaliating against me, and also of driving a wedge between my brother and me so as to eliminate me as a possible rival for his loyalty. Dave would have gone along with her schemes not only because of her dominance over him, but also because of his own deep resentment of me.

The truth is that, all his life, my brother’s relationship with me has been bad for him. He probably would have had problems with his self–esteem in any case owing to the inconsistency between his high aspirations and his limited capacity for disciplined effort, but those problems must have been greatly exacerbated by the contrast between himself and his older brother—not to mention his older brother’s cutting criticisms. It would have been better for us both if I had broken off my connection with him at the earliest possible date.

* * *

I suspect it was Dave’s relationship with Linda that enabled him to fulfill an ambition that he had nursed for two decades: He finally got one of his stories published. “El Cibolo,” by David Kaczynski, appeared in the Colorado Writer’s Forum [779] in the fall of 1990. It seems to me to be a professional–quality piece of work, free of any serious blunders of the kind that mar my brother’s earlier stories—or those of them that I’ve seen. The most likely explanation that I can think of for this sudden improvement in his literary craftsmanship is that Linda criticized the writing for him, pointing out the flaws in his use of language and helping him to correct them. He certainly would have been much more ready to accept such criticisms from her than from me. By helping my brother in this way to get one of his stories published, she would have strengthened her hold over him.

Personally I did not care for the plot of “El Cibolo,” but I liked very much the way my brother described the protagonist’s relationship with the wild country he lived in and with the people who inhabited it. So on the whole I thought it was a good story. I wrote to my mother to that effect, and suggested that she might pass my favorable comments on to Dave.[780]

The story is interesting for what it perhaps suggests about my brother’s psychology. I gather that it is based at least in part on real historical events. (“Other writers have described how El Cibolo made his escape.”[781]) Nevertheless, an author’s choice of subject, the way he handles it, and what he decides to emphasize tell us something about the way his mind works.

“El Cibolo” must have been written well before Fall, 1990 (that is, at the latest, less than a year after my brother left the desert to live with Linda Patrik), and it is consistently antagonistic toward civilization, especially in its modern form:

“He couldn’t...rescue the wilderness. ... Even without entertaining any precise image of the future (spared, mercifully, the sight of paved roads, fences, and power lines [782] infinitely dissecting the miracle of space) ... .”[783]

The story also includes a generous dose of bloody revenge and gruesome violence, which my brother treats sympathetically:

“[T]he Apaches let fly their war whoops and the massacre began. It was one of those occasions when a victimized people got the upper hand just long enough to earn notoriety as the aggressor. ...[El Cibolo] cut down several lives with his own strong arm. His garments grew dark and shiny with blood ... . El Cibolo found himself alone among the scattering of bloody and disfigured corpses. But his heart was tranquil ... .”[784]

My brother is a vegetarian. When my parents visited me in the early 1980s, my father told me that Dave had become a vegetarian after a fishing trip during which he had gotten sick at the sight of a fish’s death struggles.[785] Even before he became a vegetarian my brother was always squeamish about eating meat. He told me on several occasions that he thought his aversion to meat went back to an incident in which, as a small boy, he had been frightened at the sight of chickens being cut up. When he visited me in Montana in 1986, he mentioned that he thought his vegetarianism might have something to do with the fear of death.[786] Since I was busy with something else at the time, I did not pursue that conversational opening. Now I wish I had done so. It would have been interesting.


15. How my brother’s attitudes changed under Linda Patrik’s influence; why he denounced me to the FBI

Let’s look at some of my brother’s attitudes over the years.

Over and over again his letters—those written before 1989, when he shacked up with Linda Patrik—show his hostility to the existing system of society. In fact, they express such hostility far more than my letters do.[787] The reader has already seen examples of my brother’s negative attitudes toward present–day society in some of his writings that we’ve quoted earlier. Here are a few more examples:

“The group of us made a visit to Ojinaga, Mexico, and I found myself liking the place very much. ... There is ... a lazyness [sic] about the place which contrasts with American busyness. ...[M]y comparative wealth felt like something to be ashamed of. I bought a beautiful straw hat worth 15–20 dollars in America, for $3, yet the pleasure I ordinarily feel at getting a good deal was complicated by my disgust for the American dollar, and some nebulous image of the sort [of] crimes against decency and proportion which it probably represents.”[788]

*

“If I had to pick some point of origin for my thoughts, as they presently stand, that origin would probably be your argument against technology. For it was only then that I began to discard the optimistic predilections of naive humanism. And it was important for me to appreciate that technology is not just machines, but a whole method of taking on experience, and moreover, a method which, for all intents and purposes, assumes a will of its own regardless of the human ‘choices’ which arise within its domain.”[789]

*

“I suppose the tendency to want to cover oneself against every remotely conceivable disaster is a characteristic I retain from my urban life. Perhaps all the different varieties of insurance which people buy reflects this same attitude. ... I expect the basis of anxiety in the urban attitude has little to do with empirical threats, so much as that the empirical threats are manufactured unwittingly to express (and yet to conceal) one’s fear of being ‘naked’ in the world. The sense of being approached by all sorts of future threats, the ultimate of which is death, may be the way people sniff [sic; “snuff” is presumably intended] out, as you suggest, the essential nullity of the promises which draw them all their lives toward the future. Once those promises are seen as being null, then the present loses its justification too ... .”[790]

*

“There’s one old guy I really enjoy talking to. ... He’d no more go to live in San Antonio or Houston than shoot himself in the head, yet he wants them, or what they represent, in a manner of speaking to come to him. He sort of thinks you can choose the ‘good’ from the ‘bad’, without seriously reflecting on the possibility of achieving that choice, nor questioning whether the so–called ‘good’ by itself might not eventually change his whole life in dramatic and unexpected ways. For instance, he’s an exponent of having our little ranch road paved, and for argument’s sake he likes to count up the number of his eggs that get broken while driving back from town. So much is at stake, and he, of all people, can’t seem to see farther than a few broken eggs!”[791]

*

“Henry James, talking about electricity: ‘...the white light of convenience that he hated...’”[792]

*

“[You should expect] at least in my experience and judgement, a far less noxious manifestation of culture in Mexico than in the U.S.”[793] (My brother was referring here to rural and small–town areas of Mexico, not to the heavily urbanized parts.)

*

“I assume there is a tendency to set up Russia as a straw man to deflect the possibility of introspecting seriously about our own society—i.e., to fuel the more–or–less uncritical assumption that the United States is a ‘free country.’ In other words, we exploit (probably, for the most part unconsciously) the image of Russia as a means of concealing from ourselves the conditions which rule our own way of life just about as rigorously. Viewed in a philosophical way (rather than in terms of private prerogatives which still may exist) our own situation may be more advanced and more hopeless, since our oppressors are not so easily objectified and they act with the subtlety of thought rather than with the awkwardness and crudeness of physical force.”[794]

*

“I don’t think Joel is suffering acutely, or at least not a lot [sic] more than most of us are, afflicted with the craziness and senselessness of this modern form of life.”[795]

*

“Naturally [the Mexicans are] not any more reflective than the average person here, and consequently give little thought to what economic development of their country might cost them in terms of their tranquility, the beauty of the countryside, their intimacy with each other and with nature, and even their most prized cultural traditions. I wish I could give you a more optimistic picture, but I suspect that in time the Mexican people will either be debauched by progress or destroyed by the failure of it. At least as long as the population keeps growing rapidly, I don’t see any other possibility.”[796]

*

On August 18, 1988, the Alpine Avalanche (newspaper) printed a letter from my brother that read, in part, as follows:

“I beg to differ with one of [Lucille Muchmore’s] oft–repeated views, namely that the county road connecting Hwy. 118 with the Terlingua Ranch Lodge needs to be paved. ...

“Why anyone who felt the need for a paved road would purposely move to a place that didn’t have one, I don’t know. ... Apparently, some people have fled the crunch of development elsewhere only to realize at a later date that their preference intailed [sic] some cost. Now they would like to have their cake and eat it too ... .

“... Now I only wish [Lucille Muchmore] had the consistency to realize that loving the desert truly means loving it as nearly as possible on its own terms.”[797]

*

“It would be nice to think the organization of our kind of society is gradually breaking down, but I suppose that would be Pollyannaish.”[798]

This last extract is from a letter that my brother wrote me in June, 1988. Eight–and–a–half years later he told the Sacramento Bee, “If the government were to put my brother to death, my faith in the system would be shattered.”[799]

Whence comes this “faith in the system?” My brother’s attitudes seem to have changed a great deal in eight years! But it doesn’t surprise me. Dave has never had any fixed attitudes, beliefs, or principles. Whatever beliefs or principles he may profess are simply a matter of convenience; as his needs change, his beliefs and principles change with them. He will change his beliefs and principles in order to gain acceptance in a social milieu, to gratify his vanity, to avoid losing an argument, or to justify anything that he has done or wants to do. According to Time:

“‘David is a straight arrow, sensitive and moral...’ notes Father Melvin La Follette, an Episcopal priest and a friend.”[800]

Father La Follette would naturally think this, since my brother undoubtedly professed a morality consistent with that of the social milieu to which he belonged in Texas.[801] At other times and places, his moral values have not been exactly what would be acceptable to an Episcopal priest.

Back in Lombard in 1978 or ’79, my brother had to take a driver’s test, or had to get his license renewed, or at any rate had to do something or other at a driver’s–license facility. He came back fuming with anger and frustration at the inefficiency of the facility and the long, unnecessary delays he’d had to put up with. As he was venting his complaints, I said in jest, “So let’s go over there some night and throw a brick through their window.” “Okay,” said my brother, apparently in all seriousness, “You wanna do that?” I declined. Needless to say, Dave had neither enough courage nor enough initiative to do it on his own.

Once in the spring of 1979, he remarked to me, “I’m not going to worry about morality any more. I used to think that morality was the most important thing in the world, but I’m not going to worry about it any more.” As to his having previously thought that “morality was the most important thing in the world,” I suspect that that had only been some passing fad of his, since he had never talked to me about morality.

My brother had a little Datsun car, and at about this same time (1978–’79) he became very dissatisfied with the way his dealer was treating the service agreement—or something along those lines—anyway, whatever the source of his dissatisfaction was, he got angry enough at the dealer that he said to me, “I would seriously consider going over there some night and vandalizing the place.” I mentioned this in a letter to him a couple of years later: “[Y]ou never committed that vandalism against that Datsun dealer as you talked about doing.”[802] How did I know that my brother hadn’t committed the vandalism? He hadn’t told me—I just knew that he had neither enough initiative nor enough courage to do it. I’m referring not so much to physical courage as to the courage to overcome trained–in inhibitions.

The inconsistencies in my brother’s attitude toward morality don’t necessarily imply conscious cynicism on his part. I think he believes more–or–less sincerely what he needs to believe at any given moment. I mentioned earlier that he seems to be unconscious of his own inconsistencies.

My brother’s letters show that contact with nature was a very important source of fulfillment and satisfaction for him. For example:

“Yes, I do have a lot [sic] more energy when I’m in the desert. Or, to put it another way, a much greater capacity to feel engaged with things. ... It seems like in the city there are always demands which I am fending off with one hand, so to speak. Sometimes I buy cheese, etc. for no other reason than because I don’t want to spend 15 min. cooking rice, whereas in the desert, cooking involved a lot [sic] more ‘trouble,’ but was a positive joy for me. Generally, I think I feel a lot [sic] more ‘inward’ in the city. My senses are kind of muted. ...

“Anyway, I find work in the city tends to involve maintaining on–going systems that show no response to me except by breaking down. Negative things happen if you don’t do what is required of you. So my work accomplishes nothing but fending off nebulous disasters (or adding numbers to my bank account). But conversely, for instance, I had an unbelievably good experience digging my hole to sleep in [in the desert]. The impression it made on me was poetic ... .”[803]

*

“[If I built a cabin t]he lure of indoor comfort would tend to distance me from appreciation of the elements. ... Part of the charm of my present dwelling [the hole in the ground] is that it is serviceable in many ways, but didn’t cost me a penny. There’s a beauty to the perfectly natural warming and cooling effect of the earth. My present dwelling hardly mars the landscape at all, and is surrounded by bushes so that you can’t even see it from close by. Nestled in a sort of burrow, I feel a closer kinship with the way the animals live. ... I have found what you, also, seem to know so well: that with certain reservations, certain small luxuries, the more I simplify my living arrangements the more they seem to please me.”[804]

“I’ve been keeping more solitary myself this year, ... in part because I want to learn something more myself from ... the welcoming silence which the desert has been offering to me.”[805]

*

“I remember dark bird–calls at twilight; a swooping hawk breathing heavily after it landed in a tree one still evening. Having by now mostly overcome my nervousness about sleeping out alone, I enjoyed deep, calm sleeps and awakened in the morning refreshed to greet the bright, open, exquisite faces of the spring cactus–flowers.

“The evening of the third day I arrived, with my tongue dragging, at my beloved old campground on the Rio Grande, only to find it virtually doubled in size and crammed almost full with enormous RV’s. Talk about a rude surprise! ... The experience seemed for me like a revelation of sharp despair ... .

... I had to get out of the campground next morning or risk defacing the memories I had so pleasantly stored up ... .”

“I took off the next day on a trail I had hiked a few years earlier into the del Carmen mountain range. Here I saw bats at night and tiny humming–birds in the morning. The first evening, there were spectacular thunderheads but only a few drops of rain. ... Higher up, among the surrounding mountain peaks, hawks were visible gliding on currents of air. ...[T]he desert [is] a very safe place to be. Characteristically, I feel alert, calm, and open, which alltogether [sic] I regard as a very enjoyable state of mind.”[806]

When my brother came to visit me in Montana in October, 1986, he was on his way back down to Texas after a summer of working as a bus driver in Chicago. Soon after he arrived I remarked that he seemed unusually cheerful. He said that his cheerfulness was due to the fact that he was on his way back to the desert. He added, “If you think I’m cheerful now, you should see me when I’m in the desert!”

There is no doubt in my mind that my brother’s appreciation of nature was genuine, and that his times in the desert provided the richest and most fulfilling experiences of his life. Yet when he decided to shack up with Linda Patrik in order to satisfy whatever need of his own (see Chapter 14, p. 385), he did not hesitate to sell out to the system and betray the wilderness by becoming part of the consumer society that, a short time before, he had abhorred. He had written me at some time between February and April of 1988:

“I found myself drawing parallels to our own society. The cycle of credit and consumption; the addiction to a lifestyle that hinders any fuller self–realization; a resulting spiritual brutalization ... .”[807]

“Less than two years later, Ralph Meister informed me by letter that Dave had bought himself a brand new pickup truck.[808] At the same time my brother began wearing forty–five–dollar shirts and other expensive clothing that Linda bought for him.[809] At some point he had electricity installed at his cabin so that Linda could use her computer there, and he put in a driveway.[810] He cut off his beard and long hair, and a published photograph shows him with hair that appears to have been “done” by a professional stylist.[811]

(I recall my brother making contemptuous remarks at some point between 1978 and 1981 about rebels of the 1960s who had later sold out and adopted a bourgeois lifestyle. See Chapter 8, pp. 232, 233.)

* * *

Dave has told the media that he brought me to the attention of the FBI in order to protect human life:

“[T]he thought that a family member—our flesh and blood—may have been responsible for harming other people; destroying families, is—it—it brings such deep regret and sorrow.”[812]

“[I]f, God forbid, I were in a position to prevent more lives from being lost, I couldn’t do otherwise.”[813]

“Certainly my interest from the beginning was to protect life.” [814]

“Violence and the taking of human life is not a way to resolve human problems. It can’t work.” [815]

As a matter of fact, history shows that it very often does work. Be that as it may, my brother’s explanations of his motive for going to the FBI come across as a string of stereotypical platitudes. It is a curious fact that when my brother describes his feelings with complete sincerity, his speech and writing are never trite or stereotyped; instead, his language is often vividly expressive. But when vanity interferes with sincerity in his “creative” writing, he sometimes uses hackneyed turns of speech. Much more marked is the triteness of his language when he is trying to deceive himself or others about his own feelings; in such cases, his expression often, though not always, becomes distinctly flat and stereotyped. Compare the passages we’ve just quoted with the extracts from my brother’s letters that we’ve reproduced in this and earlier chapters.

In face–to–face relations, my brother is generally compassionate, and I indicated at the end of the last chapter that he has sometimes shown himself to be quite squeamish at the sight of suffering or gruesomeness. But I can’t recall any instance in which he ever expressed concern about suffering that he didn’t witness personally and that wasn’t inflicted on anyone he knew. I don’t remember him ever expressing regret at assassinations, disasters, or even the brutality of war. It is certain that through most of his life he has not had any principled opposition to violence.

For a brief time after the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, he expressed fervent admiration for Sirhan Sirhan. He said that he envied Sirhan’s fanatical commitment to a purpose for which he was prepared to sacrifice everything. One evening at his apartment in Great Falls, he casually remarked, “I should become a criminal—of the senseless kind.” (This, of course, was only a fantasy; I knew and I think my brother knew that he would never take any practical steps toward putting it into effect.) After John Hinckley’s attempt to assassinate President Reagan, Dave wrote me:

“Reagan has recovered, I regret to inform you. ... Another bullet hit Reagan’s secretary in the head. Naturally, he’s alright.”[816] (Translated from bad Spanish.)

When he visited me in Montana in 1986, my brother expressed satisfaction at the Challenger disaster, even though several astronauts had been killed, because it was a blow to the pretensions of the space program. Knowing him as I do, I am certain that if Dave had known of the Unabomber before 1989, he would have regarded him as a hero.

Dave’s claim that he and Linda went to the FBI in order to “save lives” is further undercut by the fact that the Unabomber had promised to stop the bombings if his conditions were met. Dave and Linda must have known about the promise, since it was well publicized. In fact, the New York Times wrote:

“Professor Patrik ... read a surge of news accounts about the Unabomber. The articles told of ... the Unabomber’s promise to cease the bombings if the manuscript was published.”[817]

My brother knew that I am reliable about keeping promises and that, if I were the Unabomber, there would be no more bombings as long as the conditions were met. Since the manifesto had already been published, the Unabomber was not to resume his attacks unless the media refused to publish his three follow–up messages; [818] which was unlikely given that they had published the manifesto. In any case, if my brother was worried about that possibility, he could have sent me a message (an anonymous one, if he thought that necessary) stating that he suspected me of being the Unabomber and that he would give my name to the FBI if there were any more bombings. If I were the Unabomber, that would have been an effective deterrent.

So why did Dave and Linda denounce me to the FBI? I know my brother well enough to be fairly confident in guessing—to an approximation, anyway—what his motives were. Since Dave’s lack of initiative is such that he doesn’t take decisive action until prodded by someone else, the first impulse would have been provided by Linda. This is supported by media reports, for whatever they may be worth.[819] Linda’s motive likely would have been vindictive: She had probably hated me ever since reading what I wrote about her in my 1989 letter to Dave (FL #401, reproduced in Chapter 14).

Once well embarked on the course that Linda had set for him, Dave would have held to it tenaciously until—barring clear proof that I was not the Unabomber—he ended it by bringing me to the attention of the FBI. This is confirmed by a letter that Susan Swanson (Dave and Linda’s investigator) sent to Newsweek:

“YOUR ARTICLE ON DAVID KACZYNSKI ... conveyed the mistaken impression that he had to be pushed into contacting the FBI regarding his suspicions about his brother, Ted. ... I would like to set the record straight. ...[H]e never waffled or stalled.”[820]

Dave was motivated by his tendency to see me as a tyrannical aggressor in any conflict in which I was involved (see Chapter 9, pp. 254–256), and by the (probably unadmitted) hatred that he bore me because of his own sense of inferiority, and because of the fact that, to my shame, I had many times said things that hurt him cruelly. Above all, I think he wanted to exert power over me and feel that he was victorious over me.

This does not mean that he had no conflicting feelings about his course of action. On the contrary, his resentful impulses had to overcome his very real affection for me and a strong sense of guilt over what he was doing. This guilt is indicated, for example, by his having tried to get the FBI to conceal permanently the fact that it was he who brought my name to their attention.[821] Apparently he was ashamed of what he was doing.

Very likely Linda kept prodding him along, and this would have been important to him in that it provided him with support and enabled him to feel that he alone was not responsible for the action that was being taken. He also turned for support to his friend Dale Edwards[822]

But, in my opinion, even without any support from anyone, once Dave felt that a decisive victory over big brother was within his grasp, he would have carried the affair through to a conclusion—though without admitting to himself that he was impelled by resentment. Being an adept rationalizer, he would have had no difficulty in providing himself with an unselfish motive.

Of course, after the FBI had been contacted, the matter was out of his hands, and from that point on he was simply manipulated by the Feds. His deposition shows how naive he was and how easily he swallowed the FBI’s lies.[823]

Though I’m fairly sure that the foregoing reconstruction of what went on in my brother’s mind is more or less correct, I have to admit that it is to a degree speculative, so the reader is at liberty to remain skeptical about it.

But we have clearly established in the course of this book that my brother does have a very real and strong (though perhaps unconscious) resentment of me, and we showed a few pages back that a concern for human life was not likely to be the major part of his motive for denouncing me to the FBI. He claims that his motive for representing me in the media as mentally ill is to save me from the death penalty, and the implication is that he is impelled by concern for my welfare, but here again his motives are not exactly what he pretends.

It’s quite true that Dave doesn’t want me to get the death penalty, but the reason has little to do with concern for my welfare. He knows very well that imprisonment is to me an unspeakable humiliation and that I would unhesitatingly choose death over incarceration. In his story, “El Cibolo,” he shows that he understands and appreciates this point of view:

“So this, El Cibolo thought, was imprisonment: the denial of every gift, especially beauty and space ... .”[824]

“[El Cibolo] would be expecting death hourly, and even supposing the indictment intended exactly what it said, what were the probabilities he could survive the deliberations of a court that was notoriously ruthless in defending the interests of the empire? If justice were a sham, perhaps it was just as well to abbreviate [with death] the inevitable misery and humiliation, for at least now he could be consoled that he went to his grave in the full flower of his dignity and manhood.”[825]

Precisely what my brother wants is to deprive me of my dignity and manhood, to humiliate me and bring me low, in revenge for his own feelings of inferiority and humiliation; feelings for which I was partly (but only partly) responsible through the way I had treated him when we were kids and through the cutting things I had said to him on certain occasions in adulthood.

He did not want me to die, but that was not from concern for me, it was simply because he is chicken–hearted. As I pointed out at the end of Chapter 14, he is frightened of the crude and obvious cruelty of death. In his statements to the media he repeatedly mentioned how terrible he would feel if I were put to death; he made no reference to my feelings on the subject. It was his own pain and not mine that he was worrying about:

“‘It would be very, very difficult to live with myself,’ David said, ‘knowing that I had delivered my injured, disturbed brother over to be killed.’”[826]

“David, for his part, said he would ‘suffer in the extreme’ if his brother were given the death penalty.

“‘I would be plunged into hell for the rest of my life,’ he said, ‘and I don’t think I deserve that.’”[827]

But my brother’s motive for lying about me to the media was not only to save me from the death penalty. In fact, that motive was less important than his desire to inflict further humiliation on me. This can be shown in four ways.

First: Some of the things he said to the media could only have increased my risk of getting the death penalty. For instance, the fact that I was abused psychologically by my parents would win sympathy for me that presumably would decrease the likelihood of my being sentenced to death, yet we saw near the end of Chapter 3 that my brother went out of his way to deny that the abuse had occurred, even though he knew very well that it had. Did he do this in order to protect our mother from public embarrassment? If so, then he was weighing our mother’s mere embarrassment against my life or death. Since our mother had clearly wronged me, one would think that she ought to be expected to put up with the embarrassment of having the truth revealed, especially since my life was at stake.

In addition, my brother denied our father’s abuse of me, even though our father was dead. If he thought it would be too cruel to our mother to have even our father’s abusiveness revealed, he could at least have had the grace to remain silent on the subject; but instead he described our father as “always generous”[828] and said that “Both parents were warm and nurturing.”[829] There is no way this could have been motivated by a desire either to save me from the death penalty or to protect our mother.

Besides denying the abuse, my brother made a number of statements about me that made me look mean and therefore, one would suppose, increased my risk of receiving the death penalty. For example, according to the New York Times, he described me as “overbearing” [830] and “incapable of sympathy, insight, or simple connection with people,” [831] and he accused me of “imperious put–downs.”[832] And, as I showed in Chapter 10, pp. 290, 291, he took a “hard line” in portraying to the media my role in the Ellen Tarmichael affair, rather than admitting (as he’d done earlier by implication) that there were circumstances that mitigated my behavior. He claimed he was trying to “humanize” me,[833] but he said only a few things that tended to do that; his portrait of me was on balance repellent and hardly likely to win the sympathy of a jury.

Second: After my brother’s and mother’s interviews with the New York Times and the Washington Post, and on 60 Minutes, my attorneys made it quite clear to Dave that by giving media interviews he was not helping but harming my legal position. On October 24, 1996, in Gary Sowards’s office in San Francisco, with Dr. Julie Kriegler present, Gary Sowards told Dave that the kind of publicity he was creating was causing me emotional distress to such an extent that it was interfering with my ability to cooperate with my lawyers in preparing my defense. Dave seemed to acknowledge that he heard and understood.[834]

Yet in January, 1997, my brother gave another media interview of the same kind as the earlier ones.[835] At this point he could hardly have claimed that he didn’t know he was harming me.

Third: Since agreeing to a plea bargain in January 1998, I have been out of danger of the death penalty, On February 22, 1998, my brother gave an interview to the Schenectady Sunday Gazette according to which, “David Kaczynski said his convictions about his brothers mental illness have alienated him from a brother whom he still loves deeply. ‘It seems like every word I speak is a dagger to my brother’s heart,’ he said.” Yet Dave has continued to give interviews to which he lies about me and talks about my alleged mental illness (e.g. People magazine August 10, 1998), even though he no longer has the excuse that he is trying to save me from the death penalty.

Fourth: In his media interviews, Dave described events in language that seemed to have been chosen to make me appear guilty. In fact, the prosecuting attorneys in my case quoted his statements to the media several times in their brief opposing the Motion to Suppress Evidence that my attorneys filed on my behalf:

“The truthfulness of the affidavit and its supporting reports is strongly supported by David Kaczynski’s post–search public statements. For example, about two weeks [sic; actually it was twenty days, or nearly three weeks] before David executed his declaration in this case, the Sacramento Bee quoted him as discussing the phrase ‘cool–headed logician’ as follows: ‘I thought, “Who else have I ever heard use that expression but Ted?” No one. It’s got to be him.’ See Cynthia Hubert, Role in Capture Haunts Kaczynski’s Brother, Sacramento Bee, Jan. 19, 1997, at A1 (attached as Exhibit 33). During an interview with the New York Times printed on May 26, 1996, David stated that when he first read the introductory section of the UNABOM manuscript his ‘jaw dropped,’ and he experienced ‘chills,’ because ‘it sounded enough like him that I was really upset that it could be him.’ See David Johnson & Janny Scott, UNABOM Manifesto Horrified Brother, Sacramento Bee, May 26, 1996 (reprinted from N. Y. Times) ... .”[836]

Thus it is clear that my brother did not give his media interviews in order to “help” me, but because merely bringing about my arrest was not a sufficient revenge for him—he had to rub shit in my face by subjecting me to public humiliation.

Nevertheless—my brother has cooperated with my attorneys by participating in several interviews with them and with Dr. Julie Kriegler, and he signed for them a declaration that they used with their Motion to Suppress Evidence. And after one of my attorneys had described to him the miseries of being in jail, Dave wrote me a letter (October 30, 1996) in which he said:

“I both fear and in a gut sense know the effect this must be having on you. I know that I am the immediate cause of this suffering. I’ve passed through periods of denial, in which I tried to convince myself that my actions might even have helped you. But all of that is over now. I have had to glimpse my own cruelty ... . I’m so, so sorry for what I’ve done and for how it hurts you.”[837]

My brother is a ship without a rudder, blown this way and that way by the wind. His attitudes, beliefs, behavior, and professed principles change in accord with the emotions of the moment and the influence of the people he is among at any given time. After recovering from the paroxysm of guilt that was expressed in the foregoing letter, he gave the interview to the Sacramento Bee even though, as was noted earlier, he knew that by doing so he was harming me emotionally and interfering with the preparation of my defense. While he was with people who supported me, that is my attorneys, he was overcome with remorse, but when he got back to Linda, Wanda, and their circle of friends in Schenectady—people who probably told him he was a “hero” for denouncing his brother—he regained his nerve and treated himself to another round of rubbing shit in my face with the Bee interview.[838]

The fact that my brother both loves me and hates me is not very remarkable in itself. It is not uncommon for people to have strongly conflicting feelings toward one another, or for relationships to alternate between hostility and affection. What is remarkable is the seeming lack of connection between the two aspects of my brother’s personality; they do not seem to be integrated with one another. When he is being friendly with me or generous toward me he speaks and acts as if his resentment did not exist, and it is possible that he is completely unconscious of that aspect of his feelings toward me. At any rate, it seems clear that he is unwilling to face up to it and think about it or talk about it. Though I mentioned in my letters the indications of his resentment toward me,[839] he never discussed the issue and never denied or clearly admitted that he had any such resentment. The nearest he ever came to admitting even that the issue existed was after my first apology [840] for having harassed him when we were kids. He then wrote:

“I thank you for ... your sympathetic understanding of what may have surfaced at times as resentment on my part.”[841]

And that was all he ever said about his resentment.

It is possible that my brother’s hatred is “dissociated” in the psychiatric sense of the word.[842] But, not being a shrink, I will speculate no further in that direction.

* * *

What then shall we make of David Kaczynski? Is he a hero or a villain? To the convinced and committed bourgeois, terrified by the social instability that threatens his comfortable servitude, Dave seems to be a hero. Many other people will feel equally strongly that he is a villain: Not only was he motivated by malice that grew in large part out of his own sense of inferiority to his brother, but his revenge was a despicable one that cost him neither risk nor effort, and he apparently has not even had the courage to face up to his own motive.

To me the issue is not so simple. In the first place, while covert [843] malice was undoubtedly my brother’s main motive for lying about me in the media, it may have been only part of his motive for denouncing me to the FBI. Since he readily absorbs the values of the people around him, it may be that after living for several years in an essentially conventional milieu he was sincerely shocked by the suspicion that I might be the Unabomber.

Moreover, my brother is for the most part a generous and kindly person. Statements and writings of his that I’ve quoted in this chapter and in Chapter 14 indicate that he has at times had fantasies of doing violence to people and to property, but in practice, as far as I know, he has never done harm of any kind to anyone but me.

And as for what he’s done to me, I can’t claim it is completely unjustified. I suppose I ought to be excused for the way I abused him verbally during my adolescence, since I was too young to understand what I was doing. But the cruel things that I said to him on certain occasions in adulthood are another matter. Even though I didn’t know how badly I was hurting him, I did know that I was hurting him. (See Chapter 11.)

My brother’s personality has its radically disparate aspects; when I think of him as the gentle, generous man who truly appreciated nature and wrote so beautifully in his letters about his experiences in the desert, I feel sharp regret at many of the things I said to him; my resentment is muted, and I feel that he had a right to retaliate against me. When I think about his ugly side; about the covertness of his resentment; about the way he has subordinated himself to a selfish, vindictive woman; about the lying, underhanded nature of his revenge; and about the fact that his resentment grew at least in part out of his own self–inflicted psychological subordination to me, I feel very bitter against him.

On balance I condemn him, because his revenge seems to me to be far out of proportion to my offense.

At the same time, I realize that I am not in a position to judge him objectively. Some people who are sufficiently detached from the situation to be free of bias, and who understand the lasting pain and injury that can be inflicted by verbal cruelty, may well feel that my brother’s retaliation has been no more than an eye for an eye.

* * *

But Dave’s personal betrayal of me is much less important than his betrayal of an ideal, his selling out to an evil kind of society that is destroying, among other things, the wilderness that gave him the richest experiences of his life. A traitor is always hated far more than a straightforward enemy, and is an object of contempt to everyone except those who expect their side to gain some advantage from his treason. I distinguish between a traitor and a defector. By a defector, I understand one who changes his ideology and his loyalty as a result of an extended period of serious soul–searching. By a traitor, I mean one who switches sides as a mere matter of convenience, or in order to gain some personal advantage, whether material or psychological. My brother is unquestionably a traitor. There is not the slightest evidence that he did any serious soul–searching before selling out. As soon as Linda Patrik offered him the opportunity, he unhesitatingly made himself her acolyte in order to satisfy his own peculiar psychological needs. In doing so he left the desert, promptly joined the consumer society, adopted its values, and even, as would appear from his Bee interview, acquired “faith in the system.” [844] His denouncing me to the FBI was not only a personal betrayal of me, it was an act of commitment to the system, its values, and its power. To those of us who regard the system as evil, my brother is another Judas Iscariot, except that, unlike the original Judas, he doesn’t even have enough courage to go and hang himself.[845]{51}

* * *

In a recent telephone conversation with one of my investigators, Dave asked whether it was possible that I could ever forgive him. But he did not offer to retract publicly the lies he had told about me or to do anything else to make up for what he had done.

Repentance is cheap—even sincere repentance—if it is not accompanied by any difficult act of reparation.[846] Some years ago I read the Spandau Diaries of the former Nazi Albert Speer.[847] Speer’s ruminations about his own guilt were fairly impressive as evidence of thoughtfulness and sensitivity, but I did notice that the book gave no indication that Speer had done, or intended to do, anything to make up for his actions as a Nazi. He apparently was in a comfortable position financially and he might, for example, have devoted large amounts of money or of personal effort to helping former victims of the Nazi regime, or their families, or victims of tyranny in some other part of the world. It seemed to me that it must have been rather easy for Speer to sit in his safe and comfortable study and write a book about his guilt (for which he was probably well paid).[848]

To answer my brother’s question, yes, I could forgive him—under certain conditions. Basically he would have to undo his treason by detaching himself permanently from the consumer society, from the system and everything that it represents. In order to do this he would have to break off all connection with Linda Patrik, because her dominance over him is such that he could never make a lasting change in himself as long as he maintained a relationship with her.

Two possible courses of action would be open to him. He could go back to his Texas desert, rip the electrical wiring out of his cabin, and return to his former way of life; or he could join some group that is fighting the system—for example, some group of radical environmentalists of the Earth First type. I think the second alternative would be the only safe one for him. My brother does not easily adhere to any consistent line of thought or action without support from other people. If he went back to Texas, it’s more than possible that he would fall again under the influence of the people he knows there, such as the Episcopal priest. Or, if Linda Patrik wanted him back, she could go down there to fetch him, and it’s not likely that he would resist her. But if he immersed himself in a radical milieu, the influence of the people around him would help him to stay on a steady course. In this way he would not only earn my personal forgiveness; [849] what is more important, he would be cleansed and redeemed of his treason against the values that he once held in common with me and many other people. I know how to put him in touch with environmental radicals, and I believe they would accept him if he came to them repentant.

But, unfortunately, I think it’s unlikely that my brother will break away from Linda Patrik or from the consumer society. I think his submerged hatred of me and his strange need for his servile relationship with Linda are too strong; and beyond that I think he is simply too lazy. If he does not redeem himself, then as far as I am concerned he is the lowest sort of scum and the sooner he dies, the better.

* * *

Yet the opportunity for redemption is there if he wants to take it. The wild country is waiting for him, and it always forgives those who are truly repentant.


16. The media

Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible.[850]

―Janet Malcom

L.M. Singhvi ... relates the anecdote of an Eastern European journalist who said: " ... our newspapers, like those of the rest of the world, contain truths, half–truths, and lies. The truths are found on the sports pages, the half–truths are found in the weather forecasts, and the lies are found in everything else.”[851]

―La Jornada

It must be the very first thing you learn in journalism school: Why do research when you can make things up? [852]

―David Gelernter

At the end of Chapter 1 we saw how Serge F. Kovaleski and Lorraine Adams of the Washington Post lied about my “hospital experience” by misquoting my mother’s Baby Book. The New York Times, too, lied in its May 26, 1996, article about me. The author of the article, Robert D. McFadden, wrote that the Unabomber was described by a witness as having “reddish–brown hair.”[853] But the description that the FBI obtained from the witness in question stated that the Unabomber had reddish–blond hair.[854] So why did McFadden make it reddish–brown? Obviously because he found it inconvenient that I didn’t fit the description of the Unabomber. Since the fact that the Unabomber had reddish–blond hair had been massively publicized, it is scarcely conceivable that McFadden’s error could have been inadvertent.

In the very next paragraph McFadden makes another statement that has the earmarks of a conscious lie. He states that when the Unabomber was spotted by the witness he “panicked” and “fled.” [855] There was no basis for this statement. The Unabomber’s coolness in leaving the scene had already been publicized.[856]

Many journalists do not hesitate to lie to individuals in order to get material for stories. As an example, I quote the following from a letter from Sherri Wood, librarian at Lincoln, Montana:

“[O]ne day a reporter came in [to the library] from the Sacramento Bee and asked for an interview and we told him no. Then he asked us for just some general information about you and the arrest, and the town, just for background information. He said that it would be off the record. I said ok, and went to file books as we talked. After a while I heard Mary ask him why he was writing if this was all off record and then he said he had changed his mind and decided to put it on record. We both immediately shut up and then asked him to leave, after we told him what a rat we thought he was. He did then go on to print an article and made it sound like I gave him an interview voluntarily. ... I do not trust the press ... .”[857]

Unmistakably conscious lies about concrete facts are relatively infrequent in the media. False statements are extremely common, but it is clear that many of them are simply the result of negligence, and it is often impossible to distinguish the intentional falsehoods from the negligent ones.

In the May 26, 1996, New York Times articles about me, I counted at least 42 clear errors of fact, in addition to the two intentional lies that we cited earlier. To give just a few examples: The Times states that my father “loved to go hunting.”[858] To my knowledge he hunted once, and only once, in his life. The Times states that my mother was “familiar with science.” [859] In reality she doesn’t know as much science as the average fifth–grader. The Times states that the car I bought in 1967 was used.[860] In fact, it was new. The Times has my father’s employment history badly garbled.[861] Etc., etc., etc.

Other national news sources didn’t do much better than the New York Times. Thus Time Magazine wrote that I had “an outhouse out back” and a root cellar below my cabin, that I had volumes of Thackeray, that I sometimes stayed inside for weeks at a stretch [862] (all of which are false) ... the errors just go on and on and on.

The errors we’ve just been citing are probably inadvertent ones that resulted merely from excessively sloppy reporting, since it isn’t clear what motive the media would have for lying in these cases. But when false statements are made that tend to incriminate me, or tend to make me seem repellent or despicable, it is often difficult to tell whether the falsehoods are accidental or malicious. For example, when Time reported that I had “bomb manuals” in my cabin [863] (which is false), were they lying purposely or were they just relaying false information that they had received from some FBI agent? When Newsweek wrote, “Ted continued to take handouts from his brother—a few thousand dollars in money orders over the years,” was the falsehood intentional or only the result of sloppiness in collecting facts? [864]

Thus far I have been discussing only false assertions made by the media themselves concerning concrete factual matters. But there also have been falsehoods of other types. One of these types I call the “irresponsible quote.” A newspaper or magazine protects itself from the accusation of falsehood by means of little phrases like, “Jones said...” or “according to Smith ... .” For example, the New York Times wrote: “Butch Gehring ... said he once heard [Ted] complain about his costs rising to $300 from $200 a year,”[865] which is false. The Times also quoted a former neighbor of mine,[Le] Roy Weinberg, to the effect that as a kid I “didn’t play,”[866] a statement so implausible on its face that it should have aroused any reporter’s suspicion. What is much more serious, the Times quoted irresponsible statements that tended to incriminate me: “Stacie Frederickson, a Greyhound agent in Butte, remembered ticketing Mr. Kaczynski—‘a geeky–looking guy’—about 15 times on intercity buses south to Salt Lake City or west to the Coast.”[867] Frederickson’s statement is false. “At a Burger King restaurant next to the bus terminal in Sacramento, Mike Singh, the manager, remembered [Ted]. He was carrying what appeared to be an armful of books. He had a sandwich and a cup of coffee and left. Mr. Kaczynski took a room at the Royal Hotel, next door to the bus station. A desk clerk, Frank Hensley, remembered him because he stayed there periodically in recent years, usually in spring or summer, for three days to a week at a time. He used the name Conrad to sign the registration book ... .”[868] Singh’s and Hensley’s statements also are false. If Frederickson, Singh, and Hensley didn’t simply invent their stories, then they have confused me with someone else. In earlier chapters we discussed many other false statements about me that have been quoted in the New York Times or other national news sources, and—it must be emphasized—there have been so many others (even in the New York Times alone) that it would be impractical for me to try to mention all of them. I haven’t even tried to count them.

As experienced journalists, the New York Times’s reporters and staff writers are well aware that, especially in highly publicized cases, there are a great many people who will make statements that are false or grossly distorted, either because they are stupid, or because they want to see their names in the paper, or for some other reason. Yet the New York Times and other national and local periodicals have quoted the uncorroborated words of any jerk who has taken it into his head to talk to the media, and they have done so without warning their readers that the quoted material is highly unreliable.

Among the large numbers of unverified statements that are available, do the media select for quotation those that give a story the slant that the editors want? They probably do, though it is difficult to prove it. It is worth noting that almost all of the false statements that have been published about me in periodicals of national circulation have been negative or neutral; only a rare few have been positive.

There is yet another way in which the media purvey falsehood, and in this case there cannot be the slightest doubt that intentional slanting is involved. Journalists will make negative statements about an individual that are so vague that there is no way they can ever be definitely proved or disproved, yet by repeating such statements over and over again throughout an article they can give their readers a decidedly false impression of the individual in question.

Robert D. McFadden’s article in the New York Times provides an excellent example of this technique. The article appears under the headline, “The Tortured Genius of Theodore Kaczynski.”[869] In reality I am neither tortured nor a genius. McFadden proceeds to assert that in my Montana cabin I “watched dying embers flicker visions of a wretched humanity.” [870] I did nothing of the kind. The next paragraph states that mathematics was the “sole passion of [my] life” and then it was “suddenly dead .” [871] Actually, mathematics was never the sole passion of my life, and my interest in it declined not suddenly but gradually, over a period of years. McFadden then describes my undergraduate days at Harvard as “humiliating.” [872] They had their bad points, certainly, but I never felt that they were humiliating. He describes the lines at the corners of my mouth as “obstinate,” [873] but there is no rational evidence that they have anything to do with obstinacy. In his fifth paragraph, McFadden speaks of my supposed “instabilities”, “obsessions,” and “rigidities” [874] without presenting any rational evidence that I was unstable, obsessed, or rigid, and he goes on to say that I “deteriorated” until my family “did not recognize” me,[875] which is sheer fantasy. The article rambles along endlessly in the same vein.

Most of these assertions are so indefinite that it would be virtually impossible ever to prove them false. How would one prove that one has no “instabilities” or that one has not “deteriorated?” The words are just too vague. It might be possible to disprove a few of the assertions if one wanted to take the trouble; for example, I might be able to document the fact that mathematics was never the sole passion of my life. But I would have to devote several pages to this seemingly trivial point, and in doing so I would look ridiculous because I would appear to be making a mountain out of a molehill. I would look even more ridiculous if I tried to prove that I am not “tortured”, since the word was never meant to be taken literally anyway; it was used only for its emotional impact. Yet emotional language and indefinite assertions of the kind used by McFadden, when repeated over and over, can quite successfully portray an individual as a repellent sicko.

Needless to say, the New York Times is not the only periodical that uses this technique. The method is applied quite generally in the news media.

Before my arrest—that is, before I had the opportunity to compare what I know to be the truth with what the media say—if someone had told me how dishonest the media are I would never have believed it. Since my arrest I have talked with a number of lawyers, investigators, jail personnel, and law enforcement officers who in their daily work have seen the difference between what they have personally experienced and what the media report, and they have all told me that most journalists have little regard for truth and little hesitation about embroidering their stories. As one very able lawyer expressed it to me, “These people are animals—animals!” See Appendix 7.

Why do journalists stretch the truth as far as they do? For one thing, the news media are supported mainly by advertising, and to sell advertising space they need a large audience. They know that the public is more attracted by a dramatic story that portrays someone as a hero or a villain than by a sober, careful, balanced account.

For another thing, the media are controlled by people who are committed to the system because it is from their position in the system that they get their power and their status. Consequently, the media constitute a kind of cheerleading squad for the system and its values. Journalists who don’t cooperate with the system’s propaganda line are not hired by major news outlets and that is why the news media uniformly support the basic values of the system. It is also why they portray as a villain or a sicko anyone who appears to be a threat to those values.

In my case, the FBI quickly succeeded in convincing the media (through dishonest tactics that we will discuss later) that I was probably the Unabomber. Journalists must have realized that my identification as the Unabomber was uncertain, since the FBI is known to have railroaded innocent people in the past, but they knew that they could attract a bigger audience by jumping on the bandwagon and trumpeting to the world the capture of the supposed Unabomber than by publishing a sober account that retained rational skepticism.[876] Moreover, the Unabomber had attacked the basic values of the system in a strikingly effective way; hence, once they had accepted the assumption that I was the Unabomber, the media had to maintain the propaganda line by depicting me as a repellent sicko.

During the first months following my arrest I repeatedly asked my lawyers about the possibility of suing some of these people for libel, but they told me that it probably wouldn’t be worth the trouble, because the very volume of publicity about me had made me into a “public figure,” and the libel laws concerning “public figures” made it very difficult for any such person to win a libel suit.

The statement I made earlier, that the major news media uniformly support the basic values of the system, may be questioned by some readers who notice that it is not uncommon for the media to criticize various aspects of the system. But there is a difference between questioning aspects and questioning basic values of the system. The media criticize, for example, corruption, police brutality, and racism whenever they appear in the system, but in doing so they are not criticizing the system itself or its basic values, they are criticizing diseases of the system. Corruption, police brutality, and racism are all bad for the system, and by criticizing them the media are helping to strengthen the system.

On infrequent occasions the major news media do allow cautious criticism of some of the system’s basic values.[877] But such criticism is expressed in more–or–less abstract terms that keep it remote from the sphere of practical action. The attitude is always, “Isn’t it too bad that such–and–such; but after all we just have to accept it and live with it as best we can.” No one is ever encouraged to do anything that might actually upset the workings of the system.

“‘If you mean to tell me,’ said an editor to me, ‘that Esquire tries to have articles on important issues and treats them in such a way that nothing can come of itwho can deny it?’”[878] —Paul Goodman, Growing up Absurd.

Criticisms of the system that appear in the media constitute one of the safety valves that help to relieve the average man’s resentment; and moreover they provide the illusion of independent–minded journalism. Thus they help to deaden the impulse to real, substantial, fundamental dissent.

* * *

After my arrest on April 3, 1996, FBI agents and officials began disclosing to the media massive amounts of information concerning the alleged evidence found in my cabin, and other supposed evidence against me—though much of the “information” was in fact false. Even if all of the information had been true, its release would have been unethical and contrary to regulations. The government itself admitted this:

“The United States acknowledges that government personnel have disclosed to members of the press certain details of the search of Kaczynski’s cabin and of the government’s investigation. Although there is no evidence that these disclosures were made with the intent to influence legal proceedings [ha!], such disclosures were improper and contrary to Department of Justice policy.”[879]

FBI Director Louis Freeh and Attorney General Janet Reno must have known about the massive disclosures to the press within a day or so after they began. In fact, Freeh issued the following directive on April 4:

“To protect the integrity of this investigation and prosecution, I am reminding you of our ‘bright line’ policy, and there is to be no discussion with the media regarding any aspect of this case. It is not only distressing to both me and the Attorney General, but to every person who has worked so tirelessly on this matter over the last several years, to read and hear investigative information in the press. It is destructive to provide that information and must not continue to happen [sic].”[880]

But the disclosures continued for several days. There cannot be the slightest doubt that Louis Freeh and Janet Reno could have stopped most of the disclosures immediately if they had wanted to, because this was not just a matter of a dribble of information leaking out covertly; the disclosures were on a massive scale.[881] The lawyer who was then representing me, Michael Donahoe,{52} told me that FBI agents involved in the search were openly taking items of alleged evidence from the cabin, showing them to representatives of the media, and explaining (not necessarily truthfully) what they were.[882] Yet Freeh and Reno allowed the disclosures to go on until, on April 17, Freeh issued a statement:

“I ordered an investigation early this month of whether any FBI employees have leaked investigative information from the UNABOM case. ... Unauthorized disclosure of investigative information or other confidential material will lead to immediate firing from the FBI and possible prosecution.”[883]

By that time, my attorney Michael Donahoe had already filed a motion to dismiss the charges against me on the grounds that the publicity had irrevocably destroyed my right to a fair trial.[884] In denying this motion, Judge Charles C. Lovell relied in part on the statement of Louis Freeh that we have just quoted:

“Judge Freeh [Lovell wrote] has ordered an investigation, and he has promised dismissals and prosecution for any government officials releasing confidential information.”[885]

On August 29, 1996, my attorney Quin Denvir wrote to Robert Cleary, Special Attorney to the U.S. Attorney General and chief prosecutor in my case:

“Dear Mr. Cleary:

“On April 4, 1996 [sic; should be April 17], FBI Director Louis J. Freeh issued a directive stating, inter al, that the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility was conducting an investigation into the leakage of information regarding the Unabom case and that ‘unauthorized disclosure of investigative information or other confidential information will lead to immediate firing from the FBI and possible prosecution.’ In denying Mr. Kaczynski’s Montana motion regarding the leakage of information, the district court relied upon that statement of Director Freeh. (RT, p. 13.) I am writing to inquire as to whether the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility has conducted its investigation in this regard and whether any FBI personnel have been fired or otherwise disciplined as a result of that investigation.”[886]

Mr. Denvir has told me that as of mid–October, 1997, he has received no answer to this letter.

It’s obvious that Janet Reno and Louis Freeh never seriously intended to prevent the unauthorized disclosures or punish the agents responsible for them. The disclosures were made with the acquiescence (if not the covert encouragement) of Reno and Freeh, because the Justice Department knew that the warrant for the search of my cabin had been issued without probable cause. By trying me in the media and creating a public presumption of my guilt, they hoped to make it difficult for a judge to suppress the alleged evidence seized from my cabin on the grounds that the warrant was invalid.

* * *

As long as we are on the subject of the FBI, I can’t resist passing along an anecdote that was recounted to me by a police officer whom I believe to be intelligent and reliable, and who told me he was an eyewitness of the events.

A local police agency located a drug dealer in whom the FBI was particularly interested and passed the information on to the Feds. The FBI and the local agency then set up a stake–out around the hotel where the suspect was living and waited for him to come out. After they’d waited for several hours, one of the FBI cars pulled away and drove off. Then another FBI car left and then another. The local police lieutenant who was in charge of the stake–out wondered what was happening, so he took off after the FBI cars, pulled one of them over, and asked what was going on. The FBI agents answered that it was five o’clock and they weren’t allowed to work overtime without permission from their supervisor. So they had just taken off without bothering to notify the local police involved in the stake–out.

I am not, of course, in a position to vouch for the accuracy of this account, but I find it easy to believe in view of other evidence I’ve seen of the incompetence of the FBI. I’m told that most local police forces that have worked with the Feds are contemptuous of them. It seems that the FBI is good at just one thing, namely, propaganda. It has succeeded in creating an image of itself as the world’s most effective law–enforcement organization, and, considering the difference between the image and the reality, this constitutes a truly brilliant demonstration of the propagandist’s art.


Notes on documents

The documents on which this book relies will be stored in a suitable place and filed in an orderly way so that it will be possible to verify that I have cited them accurately. Each set of documents will be placed in an envelope bearing a letter designation: Aa, Ab, ... Ba, Bb, …, etc. To make it easy to locate the documents referred to in footnotes, I give references in the form.

(Letter designation of envelope) + name of document (often abbreviated) + page number or other information indicating the relevant part of the document.

For example, “(Ab) Autobiog of TJK 1959, p. 44” means page 44 of the autobiography that Theodore J. Kaczynski wrote in 1959, which is located in envelope Ab. Again, “(Fd) School Records of TJK, U. Mich., p. 52” means page 52 of Theodore J. Kaczynski’s academic records from the University of Michigan, which are located in envelope Fd.

In some cases a letter designation covers more than one envelope. For example, my journals are all cited under the letter designation Ba, but here the envelopes are marked “Ba. Series I, #1 through #7”, or the like, so that there will be no difficulty in locating the right envelope. The Family Letters are not in envelopes at all, but are filed in a large cardboard box which bears the letter designation Ca.

Here follows a list of the letter designations, with a description of the documents filed under each, and remarks on the reliability of the information given in the documents.

Aa. Autobiog of TJK 1958. This is a very brief autobiographical sketch that I wrote as part of my application for admission to Harvard. Its trustworthiness is impaired by the fact that it was written under the close supervision of my mother, and some of the language may even be hers.

Ab. Autobiog of TJK 1959. This is a brief autobiographical sketch that I wrote, probably in the fall of 1959, for Professor Henry A. Murray as part of a psychological study in which I participated. Its trustworthiness is impaired by the fact that I resented having been talked into participating in Murray’s study and therefore tried to avoid revealing too much about my inner self. I tended to downplay problems rather than speaking about them frankly; specifically, I understated the problems I had during adolescence with my parents and my school mates. Also, see Chapter 2, pp. 61, 62.

Ac. Autobiog of TJK 1979. This is a long autobiography that I wrote in the early months of 1979. It is a first draft that was never revised; as a result it is rather disorganized and the language is often rough. It should be quite trustworthy, as I was completely honest in writing it, and, while errors of memory are always possible, I believe that any such errors are inconsequential.

Ad. Autobiog of TJK 1988. In 1988 I consulted a psychotherapist in Helena, Montana, not with the intention of taking therapy, but in search of practical advice and encouragement in an effort to find a woman for myself. In preparation for the one interview I had with her, I sent her an autobiographical sketch that covered mainly my (always unsuccessful) relations with women. This autobiography is inaccurate to the extent that it omits certain facts that ought to have been included in order to give a balanced picture (e.g., my behavior in breaking off with Ellen Tarmichael), and it misrepresents the feelings I had during a certain period in my life. But statements of concrete facts in the 1988 autobiography are trustworthy except for one error that I am about to mention.

The document exists in two versions. The first is a carbon copy of what I sent the therapist; the second is a version that I prepared a few months later. The second version differs from the first only in that certain details of language have been improved, and an error of memory (concerning something I had once read) has been corrected. In this book, the version that we cite is always the second.

The 1958 autobiography was sent to Harvard and I did not see it again until after my arrest; the 1959 autobiography was given to Professor Murray and I did not see it again until after my arrest; the 1979 autobiography was hidden away around 1980 or 1981 and I did not see it again until a few months before my arrest. Thus my four autobiographies are completely independent of one another.

Ae. Autobiog of Wanda. This is an account of the first ten years of my mother’s life that she wrote in 1986. Its reliability is very questionable, because my mother is a person who often exaggerates and occasionally lies outright; and her memory of events is often garbled. But I have no doubt that the alcoholism and abuse portrayed by this autobiography were quite real. This is confirmed by a letter from my mother’s sister Freda (Cb) FL Supplementary Item #4. Also, on several occasions many years ago I heard my mother’s brother, Benny Dombek, speak of their mother’s alcoholism and abusiveness.

Ba. Journals of TJK. These are journals that I kept over a span of more than twenty–five years. Some contain accounts of my personal experiences. Some are filled with my thoughts and ideas, and quotations from my reading. Some contain mixed materials. The journals are highly reliable, since they are completely honest and nearly all of the information about personal experiences was written down within a few days of the events.

The journals are divided into eight series, as follows:

Series I, #1 through #7

Series II, #1 through #6

Series III, #1 through #8

Series IV, #1

Series V, #1

Series VI, #1 through #5

Series VII, #1 through #4

Series VIII, #1

The numbering does not accurately represent the chronological sequence in which the journals were written.

Bb. Notes on My Journals. This is a set of notes commenting on Series I and II of the journals.

Bc. Baby Book. This is a journal, kept by my mother, of the first nineteen months of my life. I think it is reasonably reliable. In the first place, the entries were all made soon after the events. In the second place, the Baby Book contains no indication of my mother’s characteristic exaggerations. In the third place, my mother seems to have been trying to be objective and “scientific” in recording her observations. And in the fourth place, something happened to my mother when I was about eight years old. I think that before that time she had better control over herself and would have been more careful to be truthful than she was after.

Ca. Family Letters. These are labeled FL #1 through FL #483, in chronological order. The chronological ordering is not perfect, however, because many of the letters are undated, and in a few cases it has not been possible to determine their exact position in the chronological sequence. The Family Letters are those between me, my brother, my parents, and my mother’s sister Freda Tuominen. Together with the “Family Letters, Supplementary Items,” they include all of the letters between these parties that to my knowledge have survived.

The Family Letters comprise:

14 letters between some member of my immediate family and some unrelated party

4 letters between me and relatives outside my immediate family

1 letter from my father to my mother

70 letters from one or both of my parents to me

77 letters from my brother to me

104 letters from me to my brother

213 letters from me addressed to one or both of my parents, or to my parents and my brother

2 letters from my brother to my parents

0 letters from my parents to my brother

(Though the letters are numbered 1 through 483, there are altogether 485 letters, because there are letters FL#45A, #45B, #396A, and #396B.)

Of the 317 surviving letters from me to members of my immediate family, six or eight have been preserved only because I kept copies of them. Thus, significantly, my parents and my brother saved about 310 of my letters, but saved a total of three letters written by other members of the family to one another. My parents and my brother sent me about as many letters as I sent them, but I saved only some 147 of them. I wish now that I’d saved them all. I saved the majority of the letters that my brother sent me during the 1980s and 90s, but I also threw many away. I saved practically all of the letters that my mother sent me between the fall of 1990 and July, 1992; there were some 35 of these. Of the 35 other letters from my parents that have survived, I saved only a very few intentionally. The others survived only by chance; mostly because I used to have a habit of answering my parents’ letters by writing on the reverse side of them and sending them back. Thus, in saving my letters, my parents also saved some of their own.

I kept copies of nineteen or (more likely) twenty–one letters that I sent to members of my immediate family. (The reason for the doubt about the number is that I have Xerox copies of two documents that I think were copies that I saved of letters I mailed to my brother and my mother respectively; but I am not absolutely certain of this. These may possibly be [Xerox copies of] the copies that were actually mailed. For convenience, I will henceforth assume that these two documents, FL#407 and FL#408, were copies that I kept in my cabin.) In thirteen of the twenty–one cases, my family saved the copy that I sent them, so that two copies of the letter are available. However, in several of these thirteen cases I kept a copy of only a part of the letter, and in three of these last instances the copy of the letter that was mailed also is incomplete because pages are missing from it. Or, at least, pages are missing from the Xerox copies that I have been given. In preparing this book I have not had access to the original letters nor to the copies that I kept in my cabin, but have had to work with Xerox copies of them.

What about the accuracy of the copies from the cabin? The nineteen copies that I made between September, 1989 (FL#401) and January, 1995 (FL#478) were what I call “proper” copies; that is, they were made with the intention of attaining word–for–word accuracy. These copies are carbon copies, Xerox copies, or manual transcriptions, or else are first drafts that were modified with the intention of bringing them into conformity with the mailed copy of the letter. The carbon copies and Xerox copies can of course be assumed to be accurate. As for the manual transcriptions and modified first drafts, I’ve compared the cabin copies with the mailed copies in all cases in which both copies of the letter have survived, and I’ve found only about ten discrepancies. Most of these are inconsequential. For example, the cabin copy of FL#423 has “except you felt” and “I do not like receiving” where the mailed copy has “except that you felt” and “l do not like to receive.” I found just three substantial discrepancies. (In FL#478, the mailed copy has “January 19, 1995” where the cabin copy has “January 1995,” with an empty space where the day of month should be. The cabin copy of FL#473 is the first draft of a note in which three dates are mentioned, and only one of the three dates has been corrected to bring it into conformity with the corresponding date on the mailed copy of the note; the other two dates are wrong.) In the cases in which only the cabin copy of a letter has survived, I believe the manual transcriptions to be as accurate as in the other cases of “proper” copies.

As mentioned above, several of the cabin copies are incomplete, but in these cases the omissions are always noted on the copies. There is only one exception to this. FL#426 is a carbon copy. The mailed copy of the letter has a postscript that was added after the carbon copy was finished, and the omission of the postscript is not noted on the carbon copy.

Besides the nineteen “proper” copies of letters, there are two “improper” copies that I never expected to have word–for–word accuracy. But, fortunately, in both these cases the mailed copy of the letter has been preserved. (The two cases are FL#248, the cabin copy of which is an uncorrected first draft from 1981, and FL#483, the cabin copy of which was written down from memory the day after the original was mailed. In the case of FL#483, the copy differs somewhat from the original in language, but is practically identical to it in content. In the case of FL#248, between the cabin copy and the mailed copy there are about thirty inconsequential discrepancies and three substantial ones: The mailed copy contains a pair of sentences and an unimportant postscript that are omitted from the cabin copy, and the cabin copy contains a long, important paragraph that does not appear in the mailed copy.)

Many of the Xerox copies that I have are unsatisfactory in that they are partly illegible or some of the text has been “cut off” at the edge of the page. In some cases these copies have been doctored by the FBI in an effort to make them legible. With characteristic incompetence, the FBI has filled in many words incorrectly. When I cite the Family Letters in this book, the reference is always to (the Xerox copy of) the mailed copy of the letter unless otherwise noted.

Whenever I make use of the cabin copy of a Family Letter, that fact is mentioned in a footnote, if not in the main text. Attention also is called to all cases in which the reading of a quoted passage is doubtful.

Cb. Family Letters, Supplementary Items. These are labeled FL Supplementary Item #1 through FL Supplementary Item #15. They comprise some letters that I would have included in the main series of family letters if I had received copies of them earlier, and others that do not fit very well into the main series.

Cc. Notes on Family Letters. These are notes concerning certain letters that I sent to or received from members of my family. The notes were written at about the time the letters were sent or received, and were kept with the letters (or copies thereof) in my cabin, where the FBI found them.

Cd. TJK—Juan Sánchez Correspondence. These letters are labeled TJK—JSA #1 through TJK—JSA #57. They include all of the letters that I received from Juan Sánchez Arreola, and copies of all the letters I sent to him with possibly one exception. A very few of the copies are incomplete, and where this is the case the fact is noted on the copy. Some of the copies are carbon copies, some are manual transcriptions, and some are first drafts modified to make them identical to the letter that was mailed. Because of my interest in the Spanish language, I made the manual transcriptions and modified the first drafts with greater care than in the case of the Family Letters, and I am confident that any errors are trivial and very few; except possibly during the period when I was trying to help Juan with his immigration status—some of those copies were made hastily.

Ce. Letter from Quin Denvir to Robert Cleary.

Cf. Letter from Quin Denvir to Michael Donahoe.

Cg. Note from Quin Denvir to Ted Kaczynski.

Da. Ralph Meister’s Declaration. This is a declaration that my father’s close friend Dr. Ralph Meister signed at the behest of investigators working on my case. The investigators helped him prepare the declaration. It is mostly accurate except in that it describes me as suffering from certain social and family problems throughout my childhood, whereas, in fact, these problems developed after age ten.

Db. Dave’s Deposition. This is a formally recorded conversation between my attorney Michael Donahoe and my brother David Kaczynski that took place on August 12, 1996. Its reliability is uncertain, since my brother often gets things garbled.

Ea. Med Records of TJK, U. Chi. I was born and grew up under the medical supervision of the University of Chicago teaching hospitals, and these are my medical records from those hospitals. In many parts of these records there is a problem of illegibility.

Eb. Med Records of TJK, Dr. Coen. These are records of my two visits to Dr. Bruce Coen of Helena, Montana, an optometrist who examined my eyes.

Fa. School Records of TJK, E.P. Elementary.

Fb. School Records of TJK, E.P. High School.

Fc. School Records of TJK, Harvard.

Fd. School Records of TJK, U. Mich.

These are my records from Evergreen Park Central School, Evergreen Park Community High School (both in Evergreen Park, Illinois), Harvard University, and the University of Michigan, respectively.

Fe. School Records of David Kaczynski. These are David Kaczynski’s records from Evergreen Park Community High School, Columbia University, and the College of Great Falls (Great Falls, Montana).

Ga. Deeds. These are copies of deeds recording transfer of property to or from members of my immediate family. They are numbered 1 through 6.

Gb. Employment–Related Records.

Gc. Marriage/Divorce Records.

Gwendolya Birth Records.

Ge. Death Records.

Gf. Mixed Personal Records.

H. Media Articles and Transcripts. All information from the popular news media has to be considered highly unreliable.

Ha. New York Times National, April 26, 1995; May 26, 1996.

Hb. Washington Post, June 16, 1996.

He. Sacramento Bee, January 19, 1997.

Hd. Missoulian, April 3, 1997. The Missoulian is the newspaper of Missoula, Montana.

He. 60 Minutes. This is a transcript of the September 15, 1996 program of 60 Minutes. My lawyers obtained both a tape of the program and a transcript of it from the producers. The transcript failed to include remarks by Leslie Stahl introducing Part Two. My lawyer’s assistants reviewed the tape and added Ms. Stahl’s remarks to the copy of the transcript that is included with these documents.

Hf. Newsweek, June 13, 1994; April 15, 1996; April 22, 1996; June 3, 1996; March 3, 1997.

Hg. Time Magazine, August 28, 1995; April 15, 1996; April 22, 1996.

Hh. People Magazine, April 15, 1996; April 22, 1996.

Hi. US News and World Report, April 15, 1996; April 22, 1996.

Hj. Blackfoot Valley Dispatch, January 29, 1998; February 5, 1998; February 12, 1998. The Blackfoot Valley Dispatch is the newspaper of Lincoln, Montana.

Hk. Scientific American, May, 1997.

Hm. San Francisco Chronicle, April 29, 1996.

Hn. Chicago Tribune, April 14, 1996; April 16, 1996.

Hp. Daily Oklahoman, June 12, 1995.

Hq. Boston Globe, April 4, 1996.

Hr. The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee), April 11, 1996.

Ja. Mad Genius. This is a book by Nancy Gibbs, Richard Lacayo, Lance Morrow, Jill Smolowe, and David Van Biema, with the editorial staff of Time Magazine, Warner Books, 1996. This book is highly unreliable.

Jb. Unabomber. This is a book by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker, Pocket Books, a division of Simon and Schuster, 1996. This book is not only highly unreliable as to facts, it is the cheapest of the cheap; and I’m not referring to the price.

Jc. L’Affaire Unabomber. This is a book by Professor J.M. Apostolides, Editions du Rocher, Monaco, 1996. This book is highly unreliable. At the moment (March 11, 1998) I do not have a copy of it.

Jd. English Translation of (Jc) L’Affaire Unabomber. This translation, by Brian E. Hollis, was kindly provided to me by Professor Apostolides. As far as I know, it is unpublished. As a source of information, it is highly unreliable.

Ka. Interview of Wanda by Betsy Anderson. This is an account of an interview with my mother, Wanda Kaczynski, on April 12, 1996, by an investigator employed by the Federal Defender’s Office in Montana. I’ve been told by a very experienced investigator (Scharlette Holdman) that Betsy Anderson is quite reliable. It can probably be assumed that this report gives a reasonably accurate account of what my mother said. My mother, however, gives an extremely inaccurate account of my life.

Kb. Lincoln Interviews. These are reports of interviews of residents of the Lincoln, Montana, area during June, 1996, by investigators attached to my defense team. Information reported by a great many of the informants was highly unreliable.

La. H.R. Schaffer and W.M. Callender, “Psychologic Effects of Hospitalization in Infancy,” published in the journal Pediatrics, October, 1959, pp. 528–539.

Ma. Translations by TJK. These are translations of Spanish–language stories that I made as birthday and Christmas presents for my brother.

Mb. Harold Snilly. This is a humorous account that I wrote, probably between 1975 and 1977, of an explosion in my high school chemistry class for which I had some small share of responsibility. It gives an accurate account of what happened, but the name “Harold Snilly” is fictitious.

Mc. Stories by David Kaczynski. These are stories written by my brother. Two of the three are unpublished. The third, “El Cibolo,” was published in the Writer’s Forum of the University of Colorado—Colorado Springs, Volume 16, Fall, 1990, pp. 172–189.

Na. FBI Forms 302. In conducting interviews, FBI agents take notes. Within a few days thereafter, these notes are used to prepare a report that is written up on a form called a “302.” These reports are by no means mere verbatim transcripts of the notes, and they are notoriously unreliable, both because they contain many unintentional errors and because agents will often distort the information to make it suit their own purposes. A good example of this last occurred in my case. However, as far as I can judge from the dozen or so forms that I’ve had occasion to study, where the FBI has no motive for distortion, their 302 forms seem to be considerably less unreliable than media reports.

After the 302 forms are prepared, the original notes often are destroyed.

The various 302 forms used in preparing this book will be cited as “FBI 302 number 1,” “FBI 302 number 2,” etc.

FBI 302 number 1 reports interview with David R. Kaczynski on 2/17–18/96, date of transcription 2/21/96, interviewing agents Leroy W. Stark, Jr., Mary A. Flynn, James D. Willson, Jr., File #149A–SF–106204 SUB S–2416.

FBI 302 number 2 reports interview with David Kaczynski on 2/18/96, date of transcription 2/21/96, interviewing agents Kathleen M. Puckett, Leroy W. Stark, Mary A. Flynn, James D. Willson, File #149A–SF–106204(+?).

FBI 302 number 3 reports interview with David Kaczynski on 2/24–25/96, date of transcription 2/28/96, interviewing agents Kathleen M. Puckett, Leroy W. Stark, Jr., Tony Henry, File #149A–SF–106204–(illegible).

FBI 302 number 4 reports interview with David Kaczynski on 2/25/96, date of transcription 2/28/96, interviewing agents Leroy W. Stark, Jr., Kathleen M. Puckett, File #149A–SF–106204 SUB S–2416–(illegible).

FBI 302 number 5 reports interview with David Kaczynski on 3/10/96, date of transcription 3/13/96, interviewing agent Kathleen M. Puckett, File #149A–SF–106204 (+?).

FBI 302 number 6 reports interview with David R. Kaczynski on 3/12/96, date of transcription 3/12/96, interviewing agents Leroy W. Stark, Jr., Kathleen M. Puckett, Mary A. Flynn, File #149A–SF–106204 SUB S–2416.

FBI 302 number 7 reports interview with David R. Kaczynski on 3/12/96, date of transcription 3/13/96, interviewing agents Kathleen M. Puckett, Leroy W. Stark, Jr., Mary A. Flynn, File #149A–SF–106204(+?).

FBI 302 number 8 reports interview with David Kaczynski on 3/24/96, date of transcription 3/27/96, interviewing agents Kathleen M. Puckett, Leroy W. Stark, Jr., File #149A–SF–106204–(ilegible) 84.

FBI 302 number 9 reports interview with David Kaczynski on 3/26/96, date of transcription 3/27/96, interviewing agent Kathleen M. Puckett, File #149A–SF–106204(+?).

FBI 302 number 10 reports interview with Wanda T. Kaczynski on 3/23/96, date of transcription 3/26/96, interviewing agents Leroy W. Stark, Jr., Kathleen M. Puckett, File #149A–SF–106204 SUB S–2416.

FBI 302 number 11 reports interview with Theodore J. Kaczynski on 4/3/96, date of transcription 4/16/96, interviewing agents Paul Wilhemus (Postal Inspector), Donald M. Noel, File #149A–SF–106204(+?).

FBI 302 number 12 reports interview with Tammy Fluehe on 11/18/93, date of transcription 11/24/93, interviewing agents Donald M. Noel, Thomas G. Atteberry (Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms), File #149A–SF–106204 Sub–0–7.

Nb. TJK’s Comments on FBI 302 11. These comments were written by me about the end of July, 1996, and they point out errors in the FBI 302 number 11. They are reliable.

Nc. Police—FBI interview of Tammara Fluehe. This is an account of an interview of Tammara Dawn Fluehe by FBI agent James D. Downey, Detective Ken C. Farnsworth of the Salt Lake City Police Department, and Postal Inspector Howard J. Matthews, on February 22, 1987.

Nd. Memorandum of Interview with Tammara Fluehe. This is a memorandum, bearing FBI insignia and dated 12/20/93, that reports an interview with Tammara Dawn Fluehe on December 16, 1993 by Postal Inspector Robin Shipman and Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Special Agent Nina Delgadillo. The memorandum is addressed to (Postal?) Inspector George B. Clow, Hi.

Pa. Donahoe’s Motion to Dismiss; and Donahoe’s Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss. These are: United States of America v. Theodore John Kaczynski, Crim No. MCR 96–6–H–CCL, Motion to Return Property, Dismiss Complaint, Stay Grand Jury Proceedings and Prohibit Further Prosecution; and Memorandum in Support of Motion to Return Property, to Dismiss Complaint and to Prohibit Further Prosecution, both filed April 15, 1996 in the United States District Court for the District of Montana, Helena Division.

Pb. Government’s opposition to Donahoe’s motion. This is: United States of America v. Theodore John Kaczynski, MCR 96–6–H–CCL, Opposition of the United States to Motion to Return Property, Dismiss Complaint, Stay Grand Jury Proceedings and Prohibit Further Prosecution, filed on April 18, 1996 in the United States District Court for the District of Montana, Helena Division.

Pc. Denial of Donahoe’s motion. This is: United States of America v. Theodore John Kaczynski, MCR 96–6–H–CCL, Opinion and Order issued by Judge Charles C. Lovell, filed on April 22, 1996 in the United States District Court for the District of Montana, Helena Division.

Pd. Application and Affidavit for Search Warrant. This is the Application and Affidavit for Search Warrant filed on April 3, 1996 by FBI agent Terry Turchie in the United States District Court, Helena Division, District of Montana.

Pe. Motion to Suppress Evidence. This is: United States of America v. Theodore John Kaczynski, CR–S–96–0259 GEB, Notice of Motion and Motion to Suppress Evidence; and Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Defendant’s Motion to Suppress, filed on or about March 3, 1997, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. Includes Declarations and Appendices in Support of Defendant’s Motion to Suppress.

Pf. Government’s Opposition to Motion to Suppress. This is: United States of America v. Theodore John Kaczynski, CR No. S–96–0259 GEB, Government’s Opposition to Defendant’s Motion to Suppress, filed on or about April 14, 1997 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California.

Pg. Reply to the Government’s Opposition. This is: United States of America v. Theodore John Kaczynski, CR–S–96–0259 GEB, Defendant’s Reply to the Government’s Opposition to the Motion to Suppress; and Motion to Strike, filed on or about May 12 1997 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California.

Qa. Oral Reports from Investigators. These are transcribed from disorderly notes that I have on assorted sheets of paper (which are to be found in Envelope X).

The transcriptions are exact, word–for–word; and in most cases the original notes also have been preserved (Envelope X). Usually, but not always, I took these notes as I was receiving the oral information. Occasionally I jotted the information down later, from memory. If the information was not written down on the day that I received it, I indicated that fact on the note. I am confident that my notes accurately record the information that I was given, but whether the information was given to me accurately is another matter. See the Introduction, p. 6 and Appendix 10.

These remarks apply also to the oral reports that I received from Dr. Julie Kriegler See Ra below.

Qb. Written Investigator Reports. These are written reports of interviews conducted by investigators working for my defense team. They were prepared for the use of my lawyers, and were provided to me after my abortive trial by Scharlette Holdman, who supervised most of the other investigators. The information provided by the informants tended to be highly unreliable. A significant part of it is sheer fantasy. For evaluation of these reports, see the Introduction and Appendix 10.

Some informants were interviewed two or more times. In such cases the investigator report on the informant consists of two or more sections, each of which is labeled with the date on which the interview occurred. The sections are paginated independently, so that, in order to refer to a specific place in the report on the informant, it is necessary to cite the date of the interview. Thus, references to reports are given in the following form: “(Qb) Written Investigator Report #172, John Doe, [January 32, 1999] p. 63;” the date being included only if John Doe was interviewed on more than one date.

Qc. Written Reports by Scharlette Holdman. (With list of items to be confirmed by Scharlette Holdman.) These are written responses (prepared by Scharlette Holdman after the end of my abortive trial) to questions I’d asked or to my requests for confirmation of items of information. Many of the statements in these reports refer to a list of items that I’d asked to have confirmed; a copy of this list is included. For evaluation see Appendix 10.

Qd. Note from Charlie Pizarro. Should be accurate.

Qe. Investigator Notes (Numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). On September 3, 1996, between about 4 P.M. and 6 P.M., Scharlette Holdman gave me a good deal of information orally. The following morning I wrote down the most important part of this information; this is Investigator Note #2.

On September 13, 1996, in the early afternoon, I again spoke with Scharlette Holdman, and he/she made two statements that I wrote down late in the afternoon of September 14, 1996; this is Investigator Note #4.

On September 25, 1997, I manually transcribed Investigator Notes #2 and #4. I sent the transcription to Scharlette Holdman with a request that he/she confirm the information it contained.

On October 8, 1997, Scharlette Holdman came to see me, bringing a Xerox copy of my manual transcription of Investigator Notes #2 and #4. We went over the copy of Investigator Note #2, and Scharlette Holdman confirmed all of the information in it that I asked him/her about, except for one word that he/she asked me to change for clarification and one passage of which the meaning was questionable. However, there was some information in Investigator Note #2 about which I did not ask Scharlette Holdman.

On the Xerox copy of my manual transcription of Investigator Note #2, the passages that were not confirmed because I did not ask Scharlette Holdman about them, and the passage of questionable meaning, are marked in black ink; I made these markings immediately after the October 8 meeting with Scharlette Holdman. The one word that Scharlette Holdman asked me to change is marked in blue ink. I circled in blue ink certain passages that Scharlette Holdman confirmed but asked me not to use publicly because he/she had been given that information under promise of confidentiality. The markings in blue ink were all made at the October 8 meeting under the instruction of Scharlette Holdman. I did not ask Scharlette Holdman to confirm the information in Investigator Note #4 at the October 8 meeting. At some later time I noted on the Xerox copy of Investigator Note #4 that it had not been confirmed because I didn’t ask.

The Xerox copy of my manual transcription of Investigator Notes #2 and #4, together with the markings on it, constitutes Investigator Note #1.

Investigator Note #3 is a Xerox copy of a note that I sent to Scharlette Holdman asking him/her for the place and the date on which the information in Investigator Note #2 was obtained, with a scribbled note by Scharlette Holdman indicating the date in question.

For evaluation, see Appendix 10.

Ra. Oral Report from Dr. Julie Kriegler See Qa above for explanatory notes.

Rb. Written Information Confirmed by Dr. Julie Kriegler On February 17, 1998, I sent Dr. Julie Kriegler via the Federal Defenders a letter in which I asked her to confirm certain information that she had earlier given me orally. The information consisted of three items that I had written down, and I told Dr. Julie Kriegler that she could confirm the respective items by simply initialing them. On April 2, 1998, I got the information back with all three items initialed by Dr. Julie Kriegler.

Envelope X. This envelope contains the originals of the notes in which I recorded information given to me orally by the investigators and by Dr. K. It also contains a list giving the real names of the investigators whom I identify in this book as Investigator #1, #2, etc., and the real name of Dr. K. Also included is a list giving the real names of people whom I have identified in this book by first names, initials, or abbreviations.{53}


Appendices

1. Further examples of my mother’s unreliability

Further examples of my mother’s unreliability.

In (Ca) FL #297, letter from my mother to me, December 24, 1984, my mother states that I screamed, “Mommy, Mommy” during “that hospital experience.” In (Ka) Interview of Wanda by Betsy Anderson, p. 1, my mother said that “Ted started screaming and crying, calling nonstop for his mother.” This on March 1, 1943, when I was about nine months old, certainly not capable of screaming, “Mommy, Mommy,” and only doubtfully able to associate the word “ma–ma” with my mother. Here are the relevant passages from (Be) Baby Book, pp. 99, 106, 112, 114, 115, 121:

“THIRTY–FOURTH WEEK. Dates, from JAN. 8. to JAN. 15 [1943].

“Baby says Ma–ma only to mother and sometimes to aunt. Usually says this when mother appears after not being seen for sometime [sic], or when child is sleepy [sic] or hungry. Will also say it when playing with mother. We think he associates ‘Mama’ now with the proper object. ...

[From nine–month inventory of the baby’s development:]

Does he use any word or sound for a definite purpose? Yes Describe Sometimes says Ma–Ma and sometimes goes uh–uh. ...

“FORTY–THIRD WEEK [the week after my return from the hospital]. Dates, from 3/12 to 3/19 [1943]

“... When asked, ‘Where’s Ma–Ma?’ baby looks around at mother. ...

“FIFTIETH WEEK. Dates, from 4–30 to 5–7 [1943]

... Repeated ma–ma, bye–bye after his mother...”

“FIFTY–SECOND WEEK. Dates, from 5–14 to 5–21 [1943]

“... He understands: just a minute; come here; how pretty; milk; ni, ni; don’t do that; look; show ma–ma; nice; no, no. ...

[From the one–year inventory of the baby’s development:]

List the words used by the child at one year of age Ma–Ma, Da–da; We’re not sure he understands their meaning, tho when crying he often says ma–ma and we think he’s calling his mother.”

Now, was I really screaming “Mommy, Mommy” at the age of nine months, or has my mother’s overactive imagination run away with her again?

* * *

From (Hb) Washington Post, June 16, 1996, pp. A1, A20:

“The image still haunts Wanda Kaczynski. She can still see the photograph of her baby son, pinned down on his hospital bed. ...

“He was terrified, spread–eagled ... . His eyes, usually normal, were crossed in fear.

“A few years later, the family pediatrician showed her and Ted, then 4, the awful photograph the hospital had left in his record. Ted was pinned down so the physicians could photograph his hives. ‘Ted glanced at it and looked away,’ she recalled. ‘He refused to look at it any more. ...’”

My mother gave a similar story in (Ra) Oral Report from Dr. Julie Kriegler, February 12 and 27, 1997.

I do not remember having seen the photograph at age 4. When I was perhaps about ten years old my regular pediatrician, Dr. Francis Wright (whom I remember with respect and affection), showed me the photograph (not in the presence of my mother) and remarked with a chuckle that I was quite a sight. And so I was. I clearly remember that in the picture I was puffy–looking and blotched with hives, and that the expression of my face was glum and not “terrified.” I felt no particular emotional response and did not find the picture difficult to look at. I recall no indication that I was “pinned down,” but I do not remember enough to assert that there was no such indication. The photograph apparently has not survived, so there is no way of resolving the question now.

As for the claim that my eyes were “crossed in fear,” Dr. Julie Kriegler told me that my mother told her ((Ra), Oral Report from Dr. Julie Kriegler, February 12 and 27, 1997) that my eyes were crossed in the photograph and that they were never crossed at any other time.

On February 12, 1998, I asked Dr. Julie Kriegler to confirm this, and she said she did not remember it and could not find it in her notes. On February 18, 1998, I asked Scharlette Holdman whether he/she remembered Dr. Julie Kriegler’s statement. Scharlette Holdman responded affirmatively and put it in writing for me: “Wanda reported that Ted’s eyes were never crossed other than in a photo of him taken during the hospitalization as a nine month old.” (Qc) Written Reports by Scharlette Holdman, p. 6.

Characteristically, my mother is remembering here only what it is convenient for her to remember. If my eyes were crossed in the photograph there is no particular reason to believe that fear had anything to do with it, since from earliest infancy I had a tendency to have crossed eyes that I eventually outgrew, but not until I was at least six years old. Here are the relevant passages from the Baby Book and the medical records.

May, 1942: “.. . Slight strabismus [crossed eyes]...” (Ea) Med Records of TJK, U. Chi., p. 6. (This entry is undated, but its content makes clear that it refers to an examination made shortly after my birth.)

“THIRD WEEK. Dates, from June 5 [1942] to June [illegible]

“Eyes cross as he stares hard at lights or bright objects.” (Be) Baby Book, p.73.

“FOURTH WEEK. Dates, from June [illegible] to June 19 [1942]

... His eyes seemed to jirk [sic] uncertainly in the direction of the pencil, at the same time crossing and uncrossing. ...” (Be) Baby Book, p. 74.”

“TWENTY–SIXTH WEEK. Dates, from Nov. 13 to Nov. 20 [1942]

“... Neither we nor doctor can quite decide whether or not baby’s eyes are slightly crossed.” (Be) Baby Book, p. 88.

“Dec 27 1948 ... Eyes turn in? ... Teacher has noted that his eyes turn in occasionally when he is reading. Mother has not noted any such thing ... .” (Ea) Med Records of TJK, U. Chi., p. 46.

* * *

In addition to my allergic reaction to eggs, I had two other medical emergencies in infancy: I fell with my tongue between my teeth, so that the tip of it was split; and I pulled a pot of boiling water or coffee onto myself so that I was scalded. My mother always described these injuries to me in such melodramatic terms that I assumed I had been hospitalized for them. At the age of seventeen I wrote:

“While I was still a baby, I’ve been told, I was hospitalized 3 times. Once I pulled a kettle of boiling water over myself. Another time I fell on my chin with my tongue between my teeth, splitting it ... . At one time I became covered all over with swelling ... it was due to an allergy to eggs.” (Ab) Autobiog of TJK 1959, p. 1.

In reality, the tongue injury and the scalding must have been much less serious than my mother represented them to be, since I was hospitalized for neither of them. For the tongue injury see (Ea) Med Records of TJK, U. Chi, April 29, 1944, p. 25: “Time of arrival 1:00 p.m. Seen by M.D. 1:15 Sent home 1:50.” As for the scalding, (Be) Baby Book, p. 113 has:

“FORTY–FIFTH WEEK. Dates, from 3/26 to 4/2 [1943]

... Teddy was scalded with hot coffee. After the physician’s treatment the baby quieted down & apparently felt no pain but during the next three or four days he showed signs of having had a shock. He slept a great deal & was quieter than usual.” “

That is all that the Baby Book says about the scalding incident. I’ve been able to find no mention of it in the surviving medical records, so I was probably treated not at the University of Chicago hospitals, but by a neighborhood physician (possibly a Dr. Polk, whom I remember from my earliest childhood).

The following week, on April 6, 1943, I was taken to the University of Chicago hospitals for a diphtheria–tetanus injection. This could not have been more than eleven days after the scalding, yet the medical record of this visit makes no mention of the scalding or of any apparent injury to the skin. So the burns were probably only first degree. This shows how wildly my mother will exaggerate and dramatize. See (Ea) Med Records of TJK, U. Chi., April 6, 1943, p. 12.


2. Francis E. X. Murphy, PhD, and his recent statements about me

Francis E.X. Murphy was a kindly and very intelligent man, but he was unusually prissy, even by Harvard standards. He was always meticulously groomed, and was so fastidious that he asked each first–floor student individually to please flush the toilet while urinating rather than afterward. The bathroom was separated from Murphy’s sitting–room by only a thin wall, the toilet was against the wall, and the sound of urine tinkling into the bowl made Murphy feel squeamish. The flushing was intended to cope with the tinkling.[887]

Gerald Burns was one of the two students who occupied the room next to mine at 8 Prescott Street, and he has told my investigators that Murphy was “an extremely feminine man” and “a little strange.”[888] I would agree that Murphy was noticeably feminine, and a little eccentric.

The New York Times stated that Murphy described me as “a lonely boy with poor hygiene who befriended no one,” and reported nothing else that he may have said about me.[889]

According to my investigators, Murphy told them the following:

“In 1958, the dean of freshmen, Dean [Skiddy] Von Stade, decided that as an experiment, all of the underage freshmen who were entering Harvard after only three years of high school, in addition to any freshmen who were noted as being particularly gifted, should be housed by themselves in 8 Prescott, away from all of the normal freshmen [!?]. The house was made up of 15 boys, including Ted, and the dorm proctor, Dr. Murphy.

“Dr. Murphy had formerly been studying to be a Jesuit priest. Dean Von Stade chose Dr. Murphy to be the dorm proctor for 8 Prescott because he wanted the house to be run like a monastery [!??]. ...

“Most of the boys living in 8 Prescott were fairly serious about their academics. They were generally young, bright and eccentric. Despite the fact that many of the boys had unusual qualities, they got along with each other and made friends easily. ... Ted was the one boy in 8 Prescott who did not have any friends. ...

“All of the boys from 8 Prescott ate in the Harvard Union along with all of the other Harvard freshmen. In the beginning of the spring semester, someone who worked in the kitchen alerted Dean Von Stade that Ted always ate at a table by himself. Dean Von Stade then asked some of the other boys why they did not eat with Ted.”[890]

At this point I find myself obliged to confess to a degree of skepticism. It hardly seems likely that the kitchen help would go to the dean about a student who usually ate by himself. And I doubt that Von Stade would personally have asked the boys about me; instead, he would have requested Murphy to ask them. Harvard deans in 1958 were not in the habit of fraternizing with freshmen. If this tale has any truth in it at all, it’s more probable that Murphy himself talked about me to Von Stade and also to the boys. Why he tells the story in the form he does is anybody’s guess.

To continue with the investigator’s report:

“The boys responded [to Dean Von Stade] that Ted was unkempt. They complained that Ted never changed his clothing or showered. The boys said that Ted smelled bad and they did not want to sit near him.”[891]

This is implausible. My mother had trained me thoroughly in certain simple principles of cleanliness: brushing my teeth and washing my face every day and showering or bathing perhaps two or three times a week. At the end of the two weeks that I spent at summer camp at the age of thirteen, the counselors told my father that I was the only kid in my group of maybe eight boys who consistently brushed his teeth and washed his face daily. While I was at Harvard I was still firmly under the sway of my mother’s principles and abided by them strictly. I must have showered at least three times a week, because physical training was required that often for freshmen. For much of my first semester I took swimming, and, as if swimming itself wasn’t enough of a wash, showering was required before entering and after leaving the pool. Later I switched to wrestling and after that to a “conditioning class.” Though showering was not enforced, as far as I can remember I always did shower in the locker room after these activities, throughout my freshman year.[892]

During my senior year I got to showering so often—almost every day—that I broke out with red blotches on my skin. Not knowing what caused them I went to the Health Service, where a dermatologist diagnosed the condition as “eczema” and said it was caused by my “allergic capabilities’’ and by “over–use of soap and water.” (An entry in my Harvard medical record for January 22, 1962 states that the condition was “eczema on a dry skin basis,” and seems to refer to allergic capabilities, though this last is doubtful due to poor legibility. It does not mention over–use of soap and water.) [893]

My investigators’ report on the interview with Murphy continues:

“Dean Von Stade was concerned that Ted was not taking proper care of himself and as a result, was becoming socially isolated.” [894]

The implication, that my classmates were isolating me because of my “poor hygiene,” is inconsistent with the evaluation of me that Murphy wrote on March 17, 1959, which we quoted in Chapter 5: “although not unsocial, or unpleasant,[Ted] isolates himself completely from all his classmates.”[895] (emphasis added) The evaluation makes no mention of a “bad smell” or anything of the sort.

To return to the investigators’ report:

“[Dean Von Stade] told Dr. Murphy that he must speak with Ted about the problem, and tell Ted to clean himself. ... Dr. Murphy went and knocked on Ted’s door. Ted opened the door and when Dr. Murphy entered, he was appalled by what he saw. Ted’s clothes were filthy and there were no sheets on Ted’s bed. ...”

“Dr. Murphy told Ted that he had to shower and change his clothing regularly. Dr. Murphy said Ted should change his shirt everyday ... . After Dr. Murphy confronted Ted, he appeared to clean himself up slightly.”[896]

I do not recall any such incident. In any case, my clothes were not filthy. It is recorded in my 1979 autobiography that as a Harvard freshman I washed my pants every week.[897] The washing was done in coin–operated machines that were available in the basement of the house next door (which was also used as a Harvard dormitory), and since I could wash several pieces of clothing just as easily as I could wash one, it is hardly likely that I would have failed to do so. (Though I do not actually remember whether I did so or not.)

It’s true that I did not change my shirt every day. At a guess I’d say I changed it two or three times a week. It’s true that I wore the same pants for six days in a row and that I often neglected to put the sheets on the bed (see Chapter 5). It’s true that I was negligent about clothes. (“I dressed sloppily ... .”[898]) But my clothes stayed pretty clean, since I did nothing rough or dirty in them, and by the standards of the background that I came from they certainly could not have been described as filthy.

Would they have been filthy according to Murphy’s exceptionally prissy standard? It’s easy to imagine that they might have been. But if the reader will refer to Murphy’s Resident Freshman Advisor Report,[899] which was reproduced in its entirety in Chapter 5, he will see that it contains not one word about “poor hygiene,” dirty clothes, a bad smell, or anything of the sort. If Murphy had really thought that I was as filthy and smelly as he now says I was, it seems incredible that he would make no mention of it in his report. (Note that he told my investigators that the discussion with Von Stade about my isolation took place “in the beginning of the spring semester,” that is, about the beginning of February, so that Murphy would have entered my room and been “appalled” by my “filthy” clothes well before the March 17 date of his report. Also note that the two evaluations of me by John Finley, written near the end of my sophomore and junior years respectively—and reproduced in Chapter 5—make no mention of “poor hygiene.” )

The only sense I can make of this is as follows. My dress no doubt was shabby by Harvard standards, and especially by Murphy’s personal standard. But, at the time, Murphy probably did not regard my “hygiene” as bad enough to be a major issue or the principal cause of my social isolation. After my arrest he saw pictures of me in the filthy rags I was accustomed to wear when alone in the woods; and he may have been exposed, for example, to Pat McIntosh’s tale of my “filthy” room at Eliot House. These acted through the phenomenon of “media planting” to exaggerate vastly his memory of me as rather shabby–looking, until he began to imagine that I was as filthy and smelly as he now says I was. “Mistaken identity” may be involved here too. In Chapter 5, I mentioned a kid at 8 Prescott Street whose hands were always visibly filthy, and they could hardly have remained that way if he’d ever showered or bathed. This kid may well have had an aroma that in Murphy’s recollection has now become associated with me.

That Murphy’s memory is in error here is rendered more plausible by the fact that the information he gave my investigators contains several other errors, one of which, at least, can be clearly documented.

Murphy stated: “In those days students usually sent their clothing home in boxes to be laundered.”[900] False. I never heard of anyone sending his clothes home. Students used either coin–operated machines or the student laundry service.

Murphy told my investigators that “Gerald Burns was probably the closest to Ted. Gerald was outgoing and he tried the hardest to include Ted.” [901] False. This is probably a case of media planting. In Chapter 6 we saw that Burns described to the media his supposed acquaintance with me; but he had me confused with someone else.

We find the following in the investigators’ report:

“Dr. Murphy remembers that Ted received a couple of C’s during his first year. Ted’s grades were lower than most of the other students in 8 Prescott, and given the large amount of time Ted spent studying, his grades seemed unusual. Dr. Murphy met with Ted to discuss the grades. Ted did not seem concerned by the C’s and considering that Ted was young and his math and science courses were difficult, Dr. Murphy let the issue drop.”[902]

In assessing my Harvard grades one has to take into account “grade inflation.” Over the years, grading has become more and more lenient in our universities.[903] Forty years ago an A meant a good deal more than it does today, and a C was an acceptable grade.

As I remember it, shortly after the fall semester grades were released, Murphy complimented me on the fact that I’d gotten two A’s. I grumbled that I was dissatisfied with the two C’s that I’d also gotten. (See the Introduction, p. 8.) Murphy replied, “Two A’s and two C’s at Harvard, that’s nothing to sniff at!” I particularly remember this incident because of his use of the old–fashioned expression, “nothing to sniff at.” And that was all that Murphy ever said to me about my grades. (For those readers who are unfamiliar with the expression “nothing to sniff at” : it is complimentary. Also: Besides A’s in math and German and C’s in two “soft” courses, I got a B− in Gen Ed A; but grades in Gen Ed A were scarcely regarded.)

Whose memory is correct here, mine or Murphy’s? Fortunately, the documents enable us to give a clear answer. In the first place, Master Finley of Eliot House referred to my “fairly good record of an A, two B’s and a C” for the first semester of my sophomore year.[904] If a record of an A, two B’s, and a C was considered “fairly good,” then two A’s and two C’s should have been so also, since the average is the same in both cases.

More important: Murphy’s Resident Freshman Advisor Report on me was written on a form that included the following item: “Is his academic record so far about right, below expectation, above expectation? (Circle one)” None of the three alternatives were circled, but “above expectation” was underlined.[905] Thus, at the time, Murphy felt my grades were better than he would have expected, which disproves his present claim that he discussed my grades with me because he thought they were lower than they should have been. This shows the value of his recollections about me.

One other error can be documented, though in this case it is not certain that the error is Murphy’s. Murphy told the investigators that there were fifteen boys at 8 Prescott Street, and that most of the boys shared a room.[906] But Keith Martin, who lived at 8 Prescott in 1958, stated that there were thirteen rooms. With fifteen boys distributed among thirteen rooms, only two rooms would have been shared, and eleven boys would have had rooms to themselves, which contradicts Murphy’s statement that most of the boys shared a room. Murphy and Keith Martin can’t both be right. My guess is that Murphy is wrong, since thirteen sounds like a plausible estimate for the number of rooms at 8 Prescott. The question could be resolved by finding out how many rooms 8 Prescott had in 1958.

If it wasn’t because of a “bad smell” and “filthy” clothes, why were the other boys cool to my initial efforts to make friends? Some probable factors can be identified.

There is, of course, the fact that I was shy and socially awkward, and my attempts at friendliness must have been the less convincing because they were insincere: “I tried to be friendly with the fellows in my dormitory as a matter of duty, not because I liked them.”[907] I always felt that most of the people at Harvard were just not my kind of people, and I tried to make friends with them mostly because my parents had made me feel guilty about not being more social.

Probably I was one or two years younger than most of the boys at 8 Prescott Street, and I looked even younger than I really was: “when I was a Freshman at Harvard, the cop who stood outside the door of the Union once told me I looked 14 years old.”[908]

I presumably was not made more attractive by the fact that I had a bad case of acne at the time.[909]

I made no attempt to change my dress or manners so as to fit in with the Harvard environment; I wore my working–class origin on my sleeve, as it were. “I never had the slightest interest in fine clothes or anything of that sort.” [910] I think the boys at 8 Prescott Street felt that I was not their kind of people just as much as I felt that they were not my kind of people. This may have been as true of those who were of working–class or lower middle–class origin as it was of the others. It seems to me that most such people at Harvard were trying to move into a higher social class. For example, I was amazed to learn from my investigators that Gerald Burns said he was of working–class immigrant background, with a Polish father and a Dutch mother.[911] From his speech, manners, and clothes I had always assumed he was an upper middle–class “preppie”. And “Burns” is obviously not a Polish name. Probably it is a shortened and anglicized version of something like “Bumicki” or “Burynski.” All of which suggests that Burns and his family may have wanted to detach themselves from their ethnic and working–class origin.

There may well have been additional factors that contributed to my cool reception by the others at 8 Prescott Street, but for the present I will refrain from speculating about them.

N.B. In case the question should arise whether Murphy’s opinion on March 17, 1959 that my academic record was “above expectation” was based on my midyear grades of two A’s and two C’s or on the spring midterm grades: In the first place, the spring midterm grades were not given out until [912] March 27. In the second place, it would have made little difference at what point during my freshman year Murphy evaluated my grades, since they scarcely changed prior to the release of the final grades at the end of the year. My freshman grades were:[913]

Math 1a German R Hum 5 Soc Sci 7 Gen Ed (half credit)
Fall Midterm A A C C- Not Reported
Mid Year A A C C B-
Math 1b Pyshics 12a Hum 5 Soc Sci 7 A Gen Ed A (half credit)
Spring Midterm A Not Reported C C+ C+
Final A A C+ B- C


3. The N–43 clique

After writing the first draft of Chapter 6, I learned that two of McIntosh’s buddies in N–43, John Masters and W. Pr., in their interviews with investigators, supported his claim that my room was filthy and contained “rotting” or “stale” food.[914] Keith Martin said the floor was covered with piles of trash, but he was doubtful about the food: He said that there “may have ... been old food and dirty dishes.”[915] McIntosh’s ex–girlfriend Linda Keene Vanvechten said that some of the suitemates told her my room was “knee–deep” in trash, with rotting food.[916]{54} But it just isn’t true. I lived in that room day in and day out, and I know what was in it. There were never any dirty dishes or food remains left lying around, and the floor was never covered with trash except for the crumpled paper in one corner, as described in Chapter 6, p. 179. In this appendix I will give the reader evidence that I hope will make him view the account of McIntosh and company with a degree of skepticism.

1. The credibility of McIntosh and his buddies is undercut by the fact that the accounts they gave the investigators and the media contain many falsehoods. Some of McIntosh’s errors were dealt with in Chapter 6. Here we list a few more of his and his buddies’ mistakes.

1a. McIntosh, while whining about how tough Harvard was academically, told the investigators: “At Harvard the classes were graded on a curve, which meant that half the students failed.”[917] Harvard did not fail half its students, and the suggestion that it did so is so implausible that we needn’t worry about documentation.

1b. McIntosh portrays me as playing the trombone during my senior year:

“Senior year, Ted lived in the room next to Patrick and Keith Martin ... Ted’s room and Patrick and Keith Martin’s room shared a common wall. Patrick often heard Ted playing his trombone. ... Sometimes Patrick just banged on the wall of Ted’s room to get Ted to quiet down. Ted never complained or protested when Patrick made such a request, and Ted usually stopped playing his trombone.”[918]

Unfortunately for McIntosh’s credibility, I stopped playing the trombone altogether after my sophomore year. From John Finley’s evaluation of me written at the end of my junior year: “For some reason one no longer hears this year the strains of his trumphet [sic; trombone is meant] from our top floor. ...”[919]

1c. McIntosh, Masters, Keith Martin, and W.P. throughout their interviews with the investigators depicted me as living in virtually complete social isolation.[920] But in Chapter 6, pp. 176, 178, I showed that I did have some social interaction: Pickup basketball is documented; so is socialization with two suitemates (not belonging to McIntosh’s clique). Also note that Finley wrote at the end of my junior year: “He is still pretty lonely but less friendless than he was a year ago,” [921] which implies that Finley had observed some significant degree of social interaction on my part, probably with Fred Hapgood and Bob Crosman

1d. McIntosh’s girlfriend Linda Keene Vanvechten stated that I always wore a suit and tie.[922] The reader will not find it difficult to believe me when I say that I almost never wore a suit and tie except when visiting the dining hall, where such dress was required. Linda Keene Vanvechten certainly saw me without a suit and tie on various occasions. For example, I clearly remember one evening during my senior year when I left my room naked from the waist up, walked down the hall of the suite, and unexpectedly encountered Linda Keene Vanvechten She stared visibly at the sight of my bare chest.

Incidentally, the man whom I referred to in Chapter 6 as “the oddball” did always wear a coat and tie. Mistaken identity?

1e. Keith Martin stated that Radcliffe women were not allowed in “the Harvard library.”[923] In fact, they were allowed in Harvard’s main library, Widener Library. Anyone who wants to take the trouble should be able to verify this. As far as I know, the only one of Harvard’s several libraries from which women were excluded was the undergraduate men’s library, Lamont Library.

1f. In Appendix I we saw that there was an inconsistency between Keith Martin’s statement that there were thirteen rooms at 8 Prescott [924] and certain statements of F.E.X. Murphy. Here, though, Keith Martin was probably right and Murphy wrong.

McIntosh and company made many other errors, but since these rest only on my word against that of one or another member of McIntosh’s clique, I won’t take the trouble to review them.

2. There is evidence of “media planting” of memories in the suitemates.

2a. According to the investigators, “When Ted was arrested John [Masters] did not remember who he was even after he learned that Ted had gone to Harvard and lived at Eliot House. Finally [presumably after considerable exposure to the media], John remembered that Ted was his former suite mate.”[925] And, lo and behold, he remembered me just as I had been portrayed by the media! Not exactly surprising.

2b. This one is fun, because we get to play Sherlock Holmes just a little. McIntosh, Keith Martin, and W. Pr. (but not Masters) all refer to my habit of tilting my chair back, and, as they call it, “rocking” (see Chapter 6, p. 183). All three of them say that as I “rocked” my chair I would make noise by knocking against the wall now and again.[926]

But, I did not knock into the wall. What happened was that I would lose my balance and the chair would fall forward so that its front legs clunked against the floor. The reader doesn’t have to rely on my word for this. Just stop and think. In a small room, maybe ten feet by ten feet, will the occupant place his desk out in the middle of the floor, where it will be an obstruction? Obviously not. He will place it against a wall; probably under the window, where the lighting is best. That, in fact, is just where my desk was, and my suitemates must have known it; because if they hadn’t seen the interior of my room then, how would they know that it was—as they claim—a foot deep in trash?

Everyone agrees that I spent my evenings at Harvard studying. Keith Martin states explicitly that I was “studying and reading” while I “rocked” my chair in the evenings, and ‘The few times that Keith ventured into Ted’s room, Ted was always sitting at his desk holding a book in his hands.”[927] Wayne Person says that I studied late into the night and that it was at night that I knocked my chair into the wall.[928] From this we deduce what was actually the case, that my chair was in front of the desk when I “rocked” it. Ergo, the desk was between my chair and the nearest wall. Manifestly, therefore, the chair could not have knocked against the wall, and my suitemates (except possibly McIntosh, on account of his intellectual limitations) must have realized this at the time.

It can hardly be a coincidence that all three of these gentlemen make the same obvious mistake of thinking that my chair knocked against the wall rather than the floor. One can only conclude that their respective accounts are not independent of one another. Presumably Keith Martin and W. Pr. were exposed to McIntosh’s story in the media and subsequently imagined that they themselves remembered what they had really heard from McIntosh. Elementary, Watson.

*

Added March 25, 1998: I had already written this appendix when, on or about March 20, 1998, I learned that McIntosh and KEITH MARTIN had both been quoted in the media on April 4, 1996, the day after my arrest.[929] The account attributed to KEITH MARTIN is interesting for two reasons. First, the article quotes McIntosh about the allegedly filthy condition of my room, but does not quote KEITH MARTIN as saying anything at all about the condition of my room. Second and more important, the article quotes KEITH MARTIN as saying that I would “bang the legs of [my] desk chair on the floor,” [930] which is correct. Yet several months later, in December, 1996, KEITH MARTIN told my investigators that it was against the wall that I banged my chair,[931] which, as we’ve just shown, is obviously improbable. One can attribute this change in KEITH MARTIN’s story only to his exposure to McIntosh’s version in the media. This is an interesting testimony to the power of media–planting. It can not only insert a new memory where no conscious memory was present, but replace an accurate, conscious memory with a new, false one that is intrinsically improbable.

*

3. McIntosh claims Master Finley came to the suite and told me to clean up my room; [932] according to Time, McIntosh said Finley was “aghast” at the sight of the mess.[933] John Masters mentions that Finley told me to clean up my room but says nothing about his being aghast.[934] As we pointed out in Chapter 6, in the evaluations that he wrote of me at the end of my sophomore and junior years, respectively, Finley made no mention of the condition of my room. No evaluation was written for the senior year, but if my roommates did not contact Finley until I was a senior, one wonders why they waited two years. I think anyone who understood Finley’s role at Eliot House would agree that it is very unlikely that he would ever personally have come to inspect a student’s room or told him to clean it up. He would have left that task to the chief janitor.

As a matter of fact, Finley never said anything to me about my room. What did happen was that on two occasions I found a note from the chief janitor asking me politely to clean up the pile of crumpled paper in the comer because it was a “fire hazard.” I promptly complied in both cases, and after the second instance I did not again allow the paper to accumulate. I don’t know whether my roommates had said something to the chief janitor, or whether they had said something to Finley and he had passed it onto the chief janitor, or whether the pile of paper had been noticed during a routine inspection.

4. Pat McIntosh, John Masters, KEITH MARTIN, and W.P. formed a clique within N–43. They hung together because of the similarity of their values, attitudes, and habits. All four were status–conscious, excessively neat, narrow–minded, conformist types. The investigators’ interviews of these people were not intended to explore this issue, but they nevertheless offer some indications:

W. Pr. said he gave up the idea of doing graduate work in astronomy because he thought that many of Harvard’s graduate students in astronomy were “not well–adjusted.”[935]

John Masters thought Charles Porter was “strange,” in part because he studied insects.[936]{55}

Pat McIntosh whined about the fact that the “cheap” rooms he lived in let everyone know that his family didn’t have much money.[937] He also told the investigators that “Harvard was full of strange people,”[938] which I suppose means they were strange by the standards of Robinson, the small town in southern Illinois from which McIntosh came.[939]

When KEITH MARTIN worked on dorm crew, he “was always resentful that he had to clean rooms that were so much nicer than his own.”[940]

I held a couple of brief temporary jobs cleaning students’ rooms at Harvard, and it never bothered me to clean the rich kids’ rooms. lf they could afford them they were welcome to them, as far as I was concerned. I wasn’t status–conscious, and my own room was good enough for me. The reader will not find it hard to understand why I didn’t care to socialize with the members of the clique.

* * *

So here is my guess as to how the clique came to portray me as completely isolated and my room as a garbage dump.

We showed in Chapter 6 that McIntosh had me mixed up with the gentleman whom I’ve called “the oddball,” who truly was as unsocial as I’ve been portrayed. Once McIntosh had told his tale to the media, the fact that I actually was relatively solitary (and had a particular distaste for the clique) would have made it easier for the other members of the clique to believe, through the phenomenon of “media planting,” that I was as isolated as McIntosh claimed.

Similarly with the condition of my room. Even though there was no “rotting food” and the floor was clear of trash except for the pile of paper in the corner, my room must have seemed distressingly messy by the narrow–minded, status–conscious standards of the clique. This would have made it easier for them to believe as a result of “media planting” (based on McIntosh’s story) that my room was a veritable garbage dump. How McIntosh came by his story in the first place is another question. He may have believed it for the same reason he believed he had seen a flying saucer (whatever that reason may be); it may have been suggested to him by media photos of me in the filthy rags I wore when I was arrested; or it may be a case of mistaken identity: McIntosh had me mixed up with the oddball, and for all I know the oddball’s room may have been as filthy as McIntosh says mine was.

In addition, the conformity of the clique–members would almost have compelled them to depict me in the same way that everyone else was depicting me; and according to the media everyone else was depicting me as a grotesque freak.

* * *

Whatever may be the explanation for the story told by McIntosh and his buddies, I know that there was no “rotting” or “old” food or dirty dishes in my room at Harvard, and I know that most of the floor was clear of trash. I offer the reader the following additional reasons for taking my word over that of the clique.

First, the members of the clique can claim to have seen the interior of my room only occasionally, whereas I lived in it all the time, so I ought to know much better than they did what it was like.

Second, in the Introduction (pp. 8–10) I provided evidence of the excellence of my long–term memory.

Third, my chief investigator, Scharlette Holdman, has attested in writing to my honesty in describing my past life. See Chapter 12, Note 33 [of PDF, 679 of HTML].

N.B.: Of the former occupants of N–43 located by my investigators, apart from McIntosh and his three buddies, only one was in the suite for more than one academic year of the time that I was there (he was there for three semesters), and none remembered enough to give any useful information (so far as I know). This doesn’t mean that their memories are worse than those of the clique–members. They may simply be less suggestible or more honest with themselves.

4. “The Wild Colt”

The following is my translation of “El Potro Salvaje” by the Uruguayan writer Horacio Quiroga, with comments. I sent it to Dave as a birthday present in 1985.

THE WILD COLT

Horacio Quiroga

He was a colt, an ardent young horse, who came from the back–country to the city to make his living by exhibiting his speed.

To see that animal run was indeed a spectacle. He ran with his mane flying in the wind and with the wind in his dilated nostrils. He ran, he stretched himself out, he stretched himself still more, and the thunder in his hooves was beyond measuring. He ran without rules or limits in any direction over the wild plains and at any hour of the day. There were no tracks laid out for the freedom of his run, nor was his display of energy constrained by any norms. He possessed extraordinary speed and an ardent desire to run. Thus he put his whole self into his wild dashes—and this was the strength of that horse.

As is usual with very swift creatures, the young horse was not much good as a draft animal. He pulled badly, without heart or energy, with no taste for the work. And since in the backcountry there was barely enough grass to support the heavy draft horses, the swift animal went to the city to live by his running.

At first he showed the spectacle of his speed for nothing, for no one would have given a wisp of straw to see it—no one knew the kind of runner that was in him. On fine afternoons, when the people thronged the fields on the outskirts of the city, and especially on Sundays, the young horse would trot out where everyone could see him, would take off suddenly, stop, trot forward again sniffing the wind, and finally throw himself forward at full speed, stretched out in a mad run that seemed impossible to surpass, and that he kept surpassing every moment, for that young horse, as we have said, put into his nostrils, into his hooves, and into his run the whole of his ardent heart.

People were astonished by that spectacle that departed from everything that they were accustomed to see, and they left without having appreciated the beauty of that run.

“No matter,” said the horse cheerfully. “I will go to see an impresario of spectacles, and meanwhile I will earn enough to live on.”

What he had lived on until then in the city, he himself would hardly have been able to say. On his own hunger, certainly, and on waste thrown out at the gates of the stockyards. He went, therefore, to see an organizer of festivals.

“I can run before the public,” said the horse, “if I am paid for it. I don’t know how much I may earn, but my way of running has pleased some men.”

“No doubt, no doubt,” they answered. “There is always someone who takes an interest in such things ... . But one must have no illusions ... . We may be able to offer you a little something as a sacrifice on our part...”

The horse lowered his eyes to the man’s hand and saw what he offered: It was a heap of straw, a little dry, scorched grass.

“It’s the most we can do ... and besides...”

The young animal considered the handful of grass that was the reward for his extraordinary gift of speed, and he remembered the faces that men made at the freedom of his run that cut zigzags across the beaten paths.

“No matter,” he told himself cheerfully. “Some day I will catch their attention.[941] Meanwhile I will be able to get along on this scorched grass.”

And he accepted, satisfied, because what he wanted was to run.

He ran, therefore, that Sunday and on Sundays thereafter, for the same handful of grass, each time throwing himself heart and soul into his running. Not for a single moment did he think of holding back, of pretending, or of following ornamental conventions to gratify the spectators, who didn’t understand his freedom. He began his trot, as always, with his nostrils on fire and his tail arched; he made the earth resound with his sudden dashes, to finally take off cross–country at full speed in a veritable whirlwind of desire, dust, and thundering hooves. And his reward was a handful of dry grass that he ate happy and rested after the bath.

Sometimes, nevertheless, as he chewed the hard stalks with his young teeth, he thought of the bulging bags of oats that he saw in the shop windows, of the feast of maize and of fragrant alfalfa that overflowed from the mangers.

“No matter,” he said to himself cheerfully. “I can content myself with this rich grass.”

And he kept on running with his belly pinched by hunger, as he had always run.

But gradually the Sunday strollers became accustomed to his free way of running, and they began to tell each other that that spectacle of wild speed without rules or limits gave an impression of beauty.

“He does not run along the tracks, as is customary,” they said, “but he is very fast. Perhaps he has that acceleration because he feels freer off the beaten paths. And he uses every ounce of his strength.”

In fact, the young horse, whose hunger was never satisfied and who barely obtained enough to live on with his burning speed, gave every ounce of his strength for a handful of grass, as if each run were the one that was to make his reputation. And after the bath he contentedly ate his ration—the coarse, minimal ration of the obscurest of the most anonymous horses.

“No matter,” he said cheerfully. “The day will soon come when I will catch their attention.”

Meanwhile, time passed. The words exchanged among the spectators spread through and beyond the city, and at last the day arrived when men’s admiration was fixed blindly and trustingly on that running horse. The organizers of spectacles came in mobs to offer him contracts, and the horse, now of a mature age, who had run all his life for a handful of grass, now saw competing offers of bulging bundles of alfalfa, massive sacks of oats, and maize—all in incalculable quantity—for the mere spectacle of a single run.

Then, for the first time, a feeling of bitterness passed through the horse’s mind as he thought how happy he would have been in his youth if he had been offered the thousandth part of what they were now pouring gloriously down his gullet.

“In those days,” he said to himself sadly, “a single handful of alfalfa as a stimulus [sic] when my heart was pounding with the desire to run would have made me the happiest of beings. Now I am tired.”

He was in fact tired. Undoubtedly his speed was the same as ever, and so was the spectacle of his wild freedom. But he no longer possessed the will to run that he had had in earlier days. That vibrant desire to extend himself to the limit as he had once done cheerfully for a heap of straw now was awakened only by tons of exquisite fodder. The victorious horse gave long thought to the various offers, calculated, engaged in fine speculations concerning his rest periods.[942] And only when the organizers had given in to his demands did he feel the urge to run. He ran then as only he was able; and came back to gloat over the magnificence of the fodder he had earned.

But the horse became more and more difficult to satisfy, though the organizers made real sacrifices to excite, to flatter, to purchase that desire to run that was dying under the weight of success. And the horse began to fear for his prodigious speed, to worry that he might lose it if he put his full strength into every run. Then, for the first time in his life, he held back as he ran, cautiously taking advantage of the wind and of the long, regular paths. No one noticed—or perhaps he was acclaimed more than ever for it—for there was blind belief in the wild freedom of his run.

Freedom ... No, he no longer had it. He had lost it from the first moment that he reserved his strength so as not to weaken on the next run. He no longer ran cross–country, nor against the wind. He ran over the easiest of his own tracks, following those zigzags that had aroused the greatest ovations. And in the ever–growing fear of wearing himself out, the horse arrived at a point where he learned to run with style, cheating, prancing Foam–covered over the most beaten paths. And he was deified in a clamor of glory.

But two men who were contemplating that lamentable spectacle exchanged a few melancholy words.

“I have seen him run in his youth,” said the first, “and if one could cry for an animal, one would do so in memory of what this same horse did when he had nothing to eat.”

“It is not surprising that he used to do such things,” said the second. “Youth and hunger are the most precious gifts that life can give to a strong heart.”

Young horse: Stretch yourself to the limit in your run even if you hardly get enough to eat. For if you arrive worthless at glory and acquire style in order to trade it fraudulently for succulent fodder, you will be saved by having once given your whole self for a handful of grass.

Comments

The idea of this story is not very original, but I think that Quiroga expresses it beautifully.

Somerset Maugham seems to have held a contrary point of view to that of Quiroga’s story. In Of Human Bondage, he has the experienced painter Foinet advise an aspiring young artist: “You will hear people say that poverty is the best spur to the artist. They have never felt the iron of it in their flesh.” With a lot more in the same vein; and this seems to have represented Maugham’s own attitude. Apparently Maugham had some disagreeable experiences with poverty in his youth. But Quiroga, too, seems to have known poverty. In the introduction to the collection of his stories that I have, one of the many occupations ascribed to him is that of “penniless globetrotter,” and he is quoted as having said in Paris: “I would trade [literary] glory for the security of being able to eat three days in succession.”

I suppose there’s no way of definitively resolving the conflict. What leads to creativity in one person is not necessarily what leads to creativity in another.

5. FL #264, letter from my brother to me, Summer, 1982

Here is the complete text of (Ca) FL #264, letter from David Kaczynski to me, Summer, 1982:

“Dear Ted,

“No, it’s not a matter of indifference to me, and I thank you for your apology, or rather I should say for your sympathetic understanding of what may have surfaced at times as resentment on my part. But I also want to say that I think you may tend to exaggerate your own failings, even as (from my viewpoint) you tend to exaggerate the failings of others.

“I’ve given a great deal of thought to your earlier letter, and how to answer it. The whole subject of my essential relationship to my life and my ideas, and of my relationship to you, which naturally must include my understanding of you, and the implications of your fundamental attitudes toward mine, I am sure you must appreciate is all so tremendously complex, that wanting to speak only the truth, I am all but overawed and muted by the many thoughts which occur to me. One way of looking at this exchange comes to me as follows: You had something you wanted to say to me for a long time. I respect the way you said it, coming forth openly as you did, and (perhaps characteristically) I flatter myself to think that you showed respect for me by coming forth as you did, even if some of the things you said were painful to listen to and partially disrupted my complacency. Now that I’m trying to answer your letter, I find that I don’t know what I most want to say to you, although I believe there is something and I can only imagine that some day, sometime, it will resolve itself in cogent expressions. Incidentally, I find myself wondering what the inner motive is for such disclosures. Is it to assure ourselves we live in one world, as much to say that every consciousness is answerable to the same reality? Is it, on the other hand, to dispel the power of another consciousness in order to escape its influence, which otherwise threatens to bind us to its way of looking? I suspect the latter may be true of me with regard to you, which perhaps explains my frequently emotional tone, and takes into account the sibling relationship you refer to. You have, I think you must know, an interpretation of the world which persuades by its very power and conviction. I don’t remember finding it difficult as a youngster to admire you, and I don’t think my will was consciously frustrated by coming under the influence of your way of thinking, since I thought I came willingly, drawn by its intrinsic persuasion. I hope you will appreciate, in light of this, what a significant being you must have represented to me, especially insofar as you had the weight of Western logic behind you as well. On a personal level, however, I felt a problem arose insofar as it appeared to me I could appear in your world (and only then did I begin to think of it as your subjective property, not as the world), by assuming a shape appropriate to this world, but not wholly expressive of my own experience and consciousness. In other words, what I thought of as the openness on my part which made your thought–process accessible to me, was so little reciprocated that I could abide there only by forsaking a certain freedom of spirit. Yet it was within and by virtue of this freedom (I might almost say, “generosity” ) of spirit that I saw myself approaching you at all. Just for an example, I often found myself talking about or doing something with you primarily because I knew you were interested in it. In other words, I engaged myself according to your interests in order to experience your mind and your way of seeing. But I grew aware that the reverse was seldom true. If I raised a topic for discussion or proposed an activity, you tended to participate only after you had evaluated the proposal according to your own prior interests, as if my consciousness were not essentially connected with it, or would not in any case constitute an essential feature of what you had decided to participate in or not. It appeared to me that your world could admit only what was determined in advance to belong to it, and consequently that I could never appear within it as myself. I wanted to say what Hamlet said to Horatio: “There are more things in Heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Except that you had ways of discrediting any such remark according to your own system. (You wondered why I insisted the land you bought in Canada should meet my needs as well, if I had no strong intention of living there. [David and I had once discussed the idea of jointly buying land in Canada.] Well, I hadn’t made things clear in my own mind. But I think it was because it bothered me to think that you would select land that you thought was also for me, but which you would make little effort to see through my eyes.) . ... [The four dots are in the original.] In terms of our philosophical differences, I often see a similar tendency prevailing, in other words that you confront philosophy and art, or my peculiar understanding of them, from the standpoint purely of your scientific, logical thought–system, with the effect that, except when your vigilance occasionally relaxes, you are able to experience them only as complex projections of a scientific model. I think you draw them into your world in a way that does them injury. You don’t seem to be willing, even experimentally, to let them speak for themselves, much less to jump out of your own world into theirs, if only for a moment to see what would happen. I may be mistaken, but I suspect you have little idea what I’m talking about when I expound my theories. When I criticize science and logic, do you think I fail to understand them as you do? (Maybe I do! If so, please tell me. I don’t mean that I understand them as thoroughly, or in as much detail. But is it your impression that I somehow mistake them in an essential way?) Anyway, it’s my impression that you haven’t really begun to understand my way of thinking and mainly because your way of taking it up even for the purposes of contemplation suggests a deep resistance. Anyway, I wanted to point out what appears to me as misrepresentations of my thought–process in your letter. You said I propose to know things by “feeling them deep down inside.” [That was not at all what I had written to Dave. See Chapter 11, Note 21 {of PDF, 630 of HTML}.] I hope I never said anything like that, at least not recently. Because I am speaking about a thought–process one of whose effects would be to disclose what is ordinarily concealed within the mere seeming immediacy of what we call emotions. Then, you said I wish to deny a definite reality. But I am thinking about a reality that is definite in the sense that it comprises the world in which we all live, and indefinite only in the sense that it disputes an understanding of reality on the basis of the scientific principles of precision and clarity, and the scientific motive of control.

“Well, this philosophical subject is a large one, and if I am correct in my interpretation, then you wouldn’t be likely to develop a strong interest in it for itself anyway. I suspect I’ve only said enough to defeat my purpose by increasing your resistance, when what I’d rather do is suggest an approach to thinking so alien to what you are familiar with that you would consider refraining from judging it out–of–hand, by recourse to polarities (thought–feeling; objective–subjective) whose main effectiveness lie in setting up the limits which describe science in the first place.

“It strikes me as ironic that we seem to be saying similar things to one another. You, that I’ve taken the easy way out, denying reality in order to preserve my belief in myself against an actual test. I, that you’ve taken the easy way out, holding to a rigid, objectifying system, in order to preserve your world against the contributions of other consciousnesses, mine in particular . ... [the four dots are in the original] or something like that . ... [the four dots are in the original] Well, as I said before, I’m not really satisfied that I know what I want to say yet. Your letter had a strong effect on me, in the emotional sense, but I’m not sure exactly what it’s meant to me, which explains my delay in answering. I took your last note as an assurance of good will, which helped me write at least this much. Please feel free to communicate anything further that occurs to you.

“Nothing is really new in the external world so far as it touches me. I’m just dragging through waiting for the next winter on my property. [Dave spent the winters on his property in Texas.] Softball has started up again, and we’re doing much better this year, outscoring our opponents 43–30 (although our record is only 2–2). Ma retired last week and seems to be enjoying herself so far. Both of our parents seem to be in very good health, almost remarkably considering their ages. I hope all is well with you.

“Dave

6. Interviews with Joel Schwartz

Joel Schwartz was quoted as follows in (Ja) Mad Genius, pp. 124–125.

“‘It was his [Dave’s] feeling that his brother mentally went over the edge,’ said Schwartz, who even went with David to visit Ted in Montana in 1974. David had warned that he might be a little ornery. But Joel didn’t see the rough edges. ‘Ted seemed at ease; Dave had warned me he might not be. My memory of him did not quite fit what we all came to see. He was very orderly, meticulous. He was eccentric, but he was engaging at the same time. We had some lively discussions. He was very much into ecology and very angry at the way the world was going.’ But over the years Joel said, ‘David had come to realize something else. There was a madness there, isolation opened him to madness. This is why Dave, I believe, felt that Ted had to finally be brought back to the human community. It was his hope anyway.’

“Schwartz knew David had tried to keep reaching out to his brother even as Ted slipped further away. Yet the relationship between the brothers grew more strained, particularly after David got married. ‘I know Dave wrote many letters that were rebuffed in later years,’ Joel said. ‘Sometimes, with family members, there can be a kind of distance you can’t quite get over.’”

The following are excerpts from (Qb) Written Investigator Report #122, Joel Schwartz.

*

Joel was assigned to room with Dave in his freshman year at Columbia University, 1966. They became fast friends and roomed together all four years at Columbia. Joel was Dave’s best man at his wedding.

Joel believes his and Dave’s lives paralleled each other in some respects. Like Dave, Joel has a history of mental illness in his family. Joel’s experiences with his mother echo, he believes, what Dave, Wanda, and Ted Sr. went through with Ted. Joel’s mother had a manic universe inside her head. Joel thinks Ted does, too. He describes Ted as a fractured personality who faces terrors for which he has no defenses. Joel’s perceptions of Ted are based on meeting Ted and hearing Dave talk about Ted.

On the Subject of Ted

Joel heard about Ted before he met him. When Joel and Dave were in college, Dave talked reverently about Ted, who was at Michigan. Dave worshiped Ted and idealized him as the smart, gifted older brother. After Dave and Joel graduated in 1970, Dave kept Joel posted on Ted’s progress. Joel knew about Ted’s leaving Berkeley in 1972 and how Ted’s family reacted to it. Although they were deeply troubled by Ted’s behavior, they told everyone that Ted was just going to the wilderness for a short time to regroup before returning to Berkeley. On one hand, Dave painted a Thoreau–like picture of a strong figure who had the courage to abandon the trappings of civilization and retire to the wilderness. On the other hand, Dave hoped Ted might return to civilization. In the abstract, Dave admired Ted’s courage and philosophy. The reality of Ted living in the wilderness made Dave uneasy. When Ted moved to Montana, where Dave was already living, Dave told his parents that he would look after Ted.

Joel and Dave visited Ted in 1974, soon after Dave moved from Montana. They were driving across the country together. Joel and Dave began their trip in Oregon and camped out along the way. They stayed at Ted’s house one night and two days.

At that time, Dave still hoped Ted would return to civilization but he had begun to have doubts. Dave warned Joel about Ted before Joel met him. He told Joel that Ted was afraid of people. He advised Joel that Ted rigidly defended his point of view during a debate and sharply ended the conversation when he did not agree with another person’s point. Dave described Ted as quirky and idiosyncratic. Dave told Joel not to talk about Berkeley because Ted was sensitive about the subject. Lastly, he advised Joel to give Ted space when Ted became agitated or frustrated.

Although Joel could tell Ted was very strange, Ted was cordial. He did not get angry at Joel when he disagreed with him. For instance, Joel and Ted debated about the existence of God. Ted argued God did not exist in a more atheistic than agnostic way. Joel argued that God did exist as evinced by the existence of order and balance in nature. Ted told Joel that while he did not believe in Joel’s premise, he thought Joel made a strong, logical argument. Joel liked Ted. Ted treated him with respect. Ted was pleasant. Although Ted did not engage in superficial discourse, he did talk. Joel remembers being impressed with how well read Ted was.

Ted’s cabin was small, but very neat. Joel thought Ted had meticulous control over the contents of his cabin. Ted was very proud that he was self–sufficient. He showed Dave and Joel his vegetable garden and talked about his growing techniques. He was protective of his land and pointed out the boundaries of his property. Ted told Dave and Joel that he liked Lincoln residents, but he liked to be left alone.

Ted was thin, and his beard was shorter than it was when he was arrested and neatly groomed. Joel and Dave hiked with Ted during the two days they were there. Ted pointed out plants and other natural phenomena. Joel and Dave slept outside, on Ted’s property, in a tent. Joel and Dave had a bottle of Jim Beam bourbon with them. Ted did not drink any.

Joel told Ted that he was undergoing acupuncture to relieve the pain caused by his head injury. Ted thought Joel was crazy. After Joel and Dave left Ted’s cabin, Ted wrote Dave letters about Joel. He said Joel was schizophrenic. Ted told Dave to contact Joel’s father so that Joel could get the psychological help he needed. At the time, Dave and Joel laughed about these letters. Joel was not offended by Ted’s comments. In fact, he thought Ted was being very caring. To Joel, Ted’s opinion, though misguided and ill–founded, was indicative of warm feelings and genuine concern. Since Ted’s arrest, Joel and Dave have talked about those letters. In hindsight, Joel believes Ted’s comments on Joel’s mental health were really cries for help. Joel believes Ted projected his own mental illness onto Joel.

Ted began to unravel in the late 1970s. Dave became distressed that Ted was breaking down. He described Ted’s letters to Joel. Ted’s letters sent warning bells off in Joel’s head. Ted’s fixation on wrongs he believed his parents perpetrated against him reminded Joel of his mother. Like Joel’s mother, Ted fixated on an act or event and saw it as all–threatening. When Joel was four years old, Joel’s mother repeatedly came into Joel’s room, turned off all the lights, closed the shades, and told Joel that the nuclear holocaust was coming. She obsessed about the threat of nuclear war until it was like a black hole inside her. It controlled how she perceived the world and she could not stop it or appreciate it. Her delusions ate at her. Ted was the same way. Ted wrote a letter to his parents describing in detail how they had permanently scarred him when they called him stupid as a youngster. Most people could have forgotten such a comment, but Ted was not able to. It ate at him until it represented everything that was wrong with his life and the world. Joel realized that Ted was mentally ill.

Around the time Dave got married, Dave consulted Joel about how to get psychological or psychiatric help for Ted. Dave, Ted Sr., and Wanda were thinking about writing Ted’s physician. They knew Ted was seeing a doctor regarding heart problems he was having.

On the Subject of Dave

Joel has known Dave for over 30 years. Dave is Joel’s best friend. In college, Dave was less outgoing than Joel. Joel was the head of the debate team, belonged to the chess club, and was active in the student government. Dave did not participate in extracurricular activities except for the student newspaper. Dave was quiet and shy and liked to be alone. He was frugal. He saved his money and spent time alone reading. Dave is neater than Joel, but Joel is not a neat person at all.

Dave talked a great deal about his ex–girlfriend Linda Patrik. Dave never really got over Linda. He was prepared never to be married after breaking up with Linda. Joel was not surprised they got married given the way Dave had pined for her.{56}

Dave called Joel when he bought the property in Terlingua. Dave told Joel he was going to become a hermit in the outback and write a book. Joel did not think this was strange. Dave had always liked to be alone. Dave also liked the outdoors. Joel understood why Dave wanted to live in Texas because he, too, found the stark beauty of the desert enticing.

Wanda and Ted Sr.

Joel knows Wanda and knew Ted Sr. Ted Sr. was pleasant. He and Wanda both spoke about the importance of education. It was clear they valued education above all else. Wanda and Ted Sr. used to invite him to stay at their house in Lombard when, and if, he ever came through town. He stayed at their house a couple of times. Ted Sr. and Wanda were of a generation that held a prejudice against mental illness. Wanda has talked with Joel about Ted’s psychological problems. Since Ted’s arrest, she has asked Joel why he was able to survive his mother’s attack while the hospitalization Ted underwent at 9 months permanently scarred him. She thanked Joel for being Dave’s friend. Wanda told him that he was like the big brother Dave never had.

He was sorry when Ted Sr. killed himself. He remembers that Ted Sr. had specifically invited Dave back home the weekend he killed himself ...

David’s time living in the desert in Texas had a special effect on David. David was different when he was in Texas. David kept telling Joel that when he was in Texas the world felt pure and uncontaminated. David felt like he was part of the environment and at one with the earth...

David strictly avoided using and [sic] drugs, including alcohol. Drugs were not something Wanda and Ted Sr. approved of, and David tried to live in strict accordance with his parents’ beliefs. Although Wanda and Ted Sr. were politically progressive, they were very conservative socially.

Likewise, in college, David had liberal political beliefs but he rarely went out with friends, never dated, and never drank or experimented with drugs.

From the first day Joel met David, David was obsessed with Linda Patrik. David told Joel that he had gone out with Linda in high school, that he was in love with her, and that she was the only woman he was ever going to love. David talked to Joel endlessly about Linda’s virtues. David said she was different from any other woman. Linda was special and brilliant. David wrote her letters and much of David’s time was consumed by thinking and talking about her.

David also idolized Ted. When David entered Columbia in 1966, Ted was studying mathematics at the University of Michigan. David was very proud of Ted and often told Joel that Ted was a genius. Joel found David’s worship of Ted strange and inappropriate. David also warned Joel that Ted was different and did not relate to people well socially.

Since Joel had known David, David had always been extremely concerned about money. He is frugal and avoids spending money on anything he does not deem absolutely necessary. When David was in college, he often avoided participating in social events that cost money. He did not eat in restaurants or go to shows.

The day that Joel and David moved into their freshman dorm at Columbia, Joel’s father, Simon, invited David to come to lunch with him and Joel. They ate lunch at a moderately priced restaurant and when the bill came, Simon paid. Later in the afternoon after Simon had left, David began obsessing over whether it was appropriate for Simon to have paid for his lunch. David kept telling Joel that he felt guilty. Joel did not understand why David was so concerned with the matter and finally told David to stop worrying.

David was willing to go to one diner near Columbia because the food was extremely cheap. Frequently when they went out, David proposed a topic for discussion and Joel and David discussed the subject while they ate. David has always approached conversation in this manner. He likes to present a topic and if the topic is agreeable to everyone present, it becomes the subject of conversation. David has six or seven conversation topics which he likes to recycle. David’s topics include the question of whether an artist’s personal life affects his or her art, baseball, writers (specifically Conrack McCarthy), music, Heidegger, and Third World versus First World issues. When they were not together, David and Joel spent a lot of time in college along [sic], thinking and writing.

David came from a different background than Joel. Joel grew up in a fairly affluent area of New Jersey, in a community that was conservative and religious. The Kaczynski family were lower middle class, intellectual, and devout atheists. David seemed to embrace his parents’ values fully.

Joel and David’s families were similar in their views regarding mental illness. Joel and David’s parents’ generation looked down on mental illness. Joel’s father was against Joel seeking any form of emotional counseling or psychological therapy. Simon preferred for Joel to ignore his problems. Similarly, while Ted Sr. and Wanda may have intellectually understood the issue of mental illness, they were unable to deal with the problem within their own family. Ted’s family knew he suffered from mental illness, but Ted never received treatment.

Over the years, Joel has realized that in order to benefit from therapy, one first must acknowledge that he or she needs help. While in law school, Joel came to terms with the fact that he needed professional help. Ted had many layers of resistance and denial that prevented him from getting the help that he so desperately needed.

Joel has tried many forms of therapy, some more successful than others. Although Joel has suffered from temporary bouts of depression at various points in his life, he has never taken antidepressant medication. There have also been periods in Joel’s life when he has felt very frustrated and unable to express his feelings.

David does not express extreme emotion. When Ted Sr. committed suicide, David did not seem to be greatly affected. There was very little change in David’s demeanor. David said that he regretted what his father had done, but he understood him.

Joel believes that Ted is mentally ill. Joel does not think that Ted should get the death penalty because Ted is mentally ill.

7. Books about the Unabom case

Very soon after my arrest, two quickie books about my case appeared: (Ja) Mad Genius, by the staff of Time Magazine, and (Jb) Unabomber, by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker. Everything that I’ve said about the news media applies to these two books, which are riddled with errors. To take just a few examples at random from Mad Genius: “He came into town ... to stock up on flour and spam” (p. 8). I bought spam maybe once in all my years in Lincoln, and hadn’t bought any at all for several years prior to my arrest. “He walked with his head down ... . He didn’t say ... ‘yeah, right’; he’d say ‘quite correct’” (p. 8). I did not habitually walk with my head down; I often use expressions similar to “yeah, right, “and I doubt that I have ever in my life answered a question with “quite correct.” “A Census worker ... actually got inside [Kaczynski’s cabin]” (p. 8). No Census worker ever entered my cabin. “Visitors knew better than to knock” (p. 9). I did not often have visitors, but when I did have them they commonly knocked (unless I was outdoors when they arrived), and I always greeted them courteously. On p. 9 the book refers to my “saddlebags.” I had no saddlebags of any kind. “But days passed, and there was no sign of [Kaczynski] except an occasional foray to tend his garden” (p. 9). Are the authors stupid, or what? This was March in the Northern Rockies. The ground was still frozen, and it was decidedly not the season for tending a garden. Besides, if it was from the FBI that the authors got the (mis)information that there “was no sign” of me “except for an occasional foray,” then the statements on p. 7, to the effect that the FBI had the area of the cabin bugged and watched by “snipers,” must be a lot of crap. On most days during March, and up to and including April 3, the day of my arrest, I spent several hours outdoors cutting firewood, hunting rabbits, doing other chores, or just enjoying the fresh air, so that if the FBI had had the area closely watched they would have seen plenty of “sign” of me. P. 10: The account of my arrest is badly garbled.

The errors and distortions just go on and on throughout the book. Some of them are of no significance, but others combine to create a false idea of the kind of person that I am.

The Unabomber book is even worse. More recently there’s been another book about the case by one Graysmith or Greysmith. I never read it, but it’s probably even worse than Unabomber.

L’Affaire Unabomber, by Professor Jean–Marie Apostolides, Editions du Rocher, Monaco, 1996, also is riddled with errors, but at least Professor Apostolides is honest enough to warn the reader in the first section of Chapter 4 that the book is based on unreliable material: “The reader is advised ... to consider the hypotheses I advance as based on information from limited or biased sources” (p. 65). I think, however, that Professor Apostolides will be embarrassed when he learns just how wildly inaccurate his book really is. To take just a few examples of his errors: On p. 66 he states that my father occupied “by the end of his career, a position almost equivalent to that of an engineer.” In reality my father never occupied any such position. Professor A. states that my father taught my brother and me “wilderness survival skills.” My father could not have done this, because he knew almost nothing about “wilderness survival skills” himself. Contrary to what Professor A. states, my mother was not “very active in the neighborhood.” On p. 68, Professor A. states that my parents “never stopped working to help the poor.” In reality, my parents never lifted a finger to help the poor, at least not from the time I was old enough to be aware of their activities. I recall a discussion I had with them in 1979. They claimed that they would be willing to sacrifice the “high standard of living” that we have here in America in order to spread the wealth around and help the poor people of the Third World. I didn’t doubt that they believed this, but I knew my parents too well to believe it myself. With a sneer I told them that if it ever came down to making such a choice, they would find some excuse to oppose the sacrifice. By 1982, when they visited me in Montana, they apparently had become sufficiently concerned about illegal immigration from Mexico to feel it was a threat to their own security, and they expressed their indignation to me in quite self–righteous terms: “What right do these people think they have to come into someone else’s country without permission?” or words to that effect. Evidently, my parents were no longer willing to share America’s wealth with the Third World.

On p. 69, Professor A. states that my parents “never hesitated to make their ideas known publicly, even when they knew themselves to be in the minority.” Actually, my father was usually careful to express his socialistic opinions only to his best friends, at least during the years when I was close enough to my parents to have knowledge on this subject; and when I was a kid my mother was so fearful that people might find out we were atheists, that she repeatedly told me to say we were Unitarians whenever anyone might ask what our religion was. On p. 70, Professor A. writes: “Even though they themselves had no education past high school, the older Kaczynskis were ambitious for their children.” Actually my mother had two years of college before I was born ((Be) Baby Book, p. 33). On p. 71, Professor A. states: “Very early, in elementary school, [Ted] skipped a grade. He skipped another grade in junior high school. The teachers ... even proposed that he be allowed to skip a third grade–level ... .” The truth is that I skipped sixth grade, my junior year in high school, and no other grade. No proposal was ever made that I should skip a third grade. Such a proposal would have made no sense, because after the second time I skipped a grade I was already a high school senior and there were no grades left for me to skip. On pp. 73–74, most of the (mis)information provided is fantasy. The errors go on and on, and more important than the individual errors is the fact that the overall picture of me and my family that Professor A. draws is grossly distorted.

The page citations given above refer not to the book as published in French, but to an unpublished English translation of which Professor Apostolides has kindly provided me a copy, (Jd) English Translation of L’Affaire Unabomber.

The authors of Mad Genius and Unabomber were opportunists who just wanted to make a fast buck out of other people’s tragedies. Professor Apostolides was not an opportunist but was motivated by sincere interest in the case.


8. My high–school teachers’ reports on my personality

On April 3, 1998, after the final draft of this book was finished, I came into possession of reports by three of my high school teachers that were part of my application for admission to Harvard. These reports were part of my Harvard record and were in the possession of the government, but, despite at least two subpoenas by my defense team, Harvard failed to send us copies of them, and we didn’t even know of their existence until late March, 1998.

To save space I will omit the questions printed on the forms, but I reproduce here in full all of the teachers’ comments about me.

(Fc) School Records of TJK, Harvard, pp. 82, 83; report by Robert M. Rippey:{57}

“I have known Ted for two years and have had him in classes in Trigonometry, Physics, and Advanced Mathematics.”

“Ted has a sincere interest in his work. Ted needs no prodding. Ted’s main concern is that his program and his work be challenging enough. His family are behind him, but do not push him. He is his own best pusher. He not only spends time on his own doing extra class–related work, but interets [sic] other students in making trips to nearby museums. He has organized several surveying parties in connections [sic] with Trigonometry. They have spent several whole days making rather extensive surveys of areas in some forest preserves nearby.”

It is of course expected that teachers will try to give the “right” answers on college recommendation forms for good students, but here Robert M. Rippey is just flat out lying.

I made exactly one surveying trip to the forest preserves with some other kids from the trigonometry class. I have only a vague memory of how the trip was organized. The teacher (Robert M. Rippey) may have bestowed on me the (nominal) role of organizer, but I know for certain that I had in practice very little influence over the way the trip was conducted. We spent a few hours on one day surveying the boundary of one small pond, and that was all. I didn’t even participate in doing the calculations and drawing the map of the pond. All that was carried out by Terry Lundgren

To continue with Robert M. Rippey’s report:

“[In intellectual achievement and promise Ted is in the] Top 5 of 950 [legibility doubtful] Could be the highest. Its [sic] a close race at the top.

“Ted’s performance in activities indicates a rapid comprehension of principles, a readiness to apply them, occasional impatience with details and a small degree of inflexibility when under extreme pressure. He is usually poised and has an extremely stable personality. Evidence of leadership is indicated in item 2.

“Ted is mature and is a student who can take responsibilities. I would feel confident that he would carry out any reasonable task he was assigned. I know of no difficulties he is experiencing. His main strength is extreme intelligence. He has completed four years of high school in three. His main weakness is that he is advanced for his age although he fits in well with his classmates.

“October 18, 1957. [signed] R____ M. R____”

(Fc) School Records of TJK, Harvard, pp. 84, 85; Report by R.K.:

“I have known Ted for two years, and taught him in English II.

“Ted’s parents have never evidenced undue concern about grades, only concern over whether he was working up to capacity. When he was in my class, which was supposed to include the superior students of his age group, he did extra work of two kinds: an extemporaneous speech once a week on world problems, and a research paper on archaeology. His speeches showed a thorough grasp of the subject, but the vocabulary he used was over the heads of the other students and he was more interested in abstract principles than in dramatizing his introduction to hold the attention of the other students. This interest in pursuing a question into its intricate depths showed a less extroverted personality than those of the boys who scatter their energies among many extra–curricular activities. Ted’s extra–curricular work is in music, where skill is required. His mind is original and independent, so far ahead and afield that he simply wasn’t present mentally when we repeated routine material. Seating him by the magazine shelves enabled him to go on with his reading about world affairs, and while he was absent due to illness or injury he asked for a book “The Bible as History” which he read because he was interested in archaeology.

“His intellectual capacity was first among the 900 students in this school.

“Ted’s vocabulary is extensive; his musical ability is high and he has taken college–level work in music although his schedule is already over–burdened. This class in composition meets after school, and in addition he has sufficient leadership to give free lessons on the trombone to a younger member of the band, on Saturdays. He has a laboratory in the basement of his home where he, with other boys, experiments with ‘missiles’ to his mother’s horror. Some of the band members felt last year that if ‘first chair’ in band had not been elective he would have had it. He did well in his contest solo, but had to sacrifice band for science this [year].

“Ted is persistent; when his schedule ruled out band he made arrangements to come in part–time in order to continue playing at public appearances. I think that his very heavy schedule, combining two years in one, has solved all the difficulties he ever had, which involved inattention during review work with other students.

“One of his fine qualities might be mentioned: interest in detail and abstraction, in the perfection of skills and the pursuit of questions. His grandfather was called in to plan picture frames for Chicago’s artists; his aunt and uncle were excellent musicians whose careers were cut short by tragedy. His parents are alert and responsible members of this new community. His mother has hung a peg board in the living room, where she places interesting objects and modern art, changing the pictures often so that her boys can become familiar with many.

“Ted is a pleasant sort, not eccentric in his appearance or mannerisms. In a school where most students are the children of factory foremen, his vocabulary is his most identifying characteristic.

“Harvard or any other school will gain an excellent student in Ted; he is potentially an outstanding scientist and citizen.

“I believe that his willingness to study extemporaneous speaking in my class, when his first interest is science, shows that he has broad interest [sic] and the qualities of a good world citizen.

“Oct. 28, 1957 [signed] R____Kn____”

I won’t bother to identify all the errors in these two reports. Suffice it to say that they were written with the intention of getting me into Harvard rather than in order to give an accurate and balanced picture of me. However, my teachers would not have been willing to stretch the truth to get me into Harvard if they had seen me as the kind of sicko that the media have recently portrayed.

(Fc) School Records of TJK, Harvard, pp. 86, 87; report by James Oberton:{58}

“[I have known Ted] Three years. [He has been] A member of my high school band.

“Enthusiastic about everything, but rather crude in his approach to music. Would rather play many notes without thought to quality than to play a few really well. Very responsible toward the organization and the school. Extremely loyal.

“He is not a leader, nor is he one to be led. Seems to prefer his own company. Quite independent.

“Very high intellectually. Basic intelligence very good. Motivation is high.

“Seems to want to do many things. Does not discourage at all. Can be channeled into many things.

“An extremely responsible boy. Quiet, clean–cut, efficient. The only weakness is his tendency to be aloner [sic].

“10/28/57 [signed] J____Ob____”

I don’t necessarily agree with everything in this report, but at least it seems to be honest. As for J.Oswalds remark that I preferred to play many notes without thought to quality rather than play a few really well: I think he meant that I emphasized the ability to play difficult, fast passages instead of putting effort into improving my tone and articulation. If that was his meaning, then he was right.

I’m mildly surprised that J.O. didn’t catch on to the fact that the reason why I was a “loner” was that I was not well accepted by most of the other kids.


9. The Tarmichael letters

The following two letters from me to Ellen Tarmichael constitute (Ba) Journals of TJK, Series VI #3.

“August 25, 1978

“Dear Ellen,

“You needn’t fear that I’ll bother you again. In this letter I merely want to clear up some loose ends of this nasty affair, because I always hate having anything misunderstood.

“When I talked to you in your car as you arrived at work Thursday morning (August 24), you said that when you went out with me the first two times, you “really thought there might be something in it; friendship, or ... .” I seriously doubt whether your statement is true, because your words and actions generally have been so inconsistent. Nevertheless, this statement is probably the only thing that prevented me from attacking you physically. When I got into your car, I intended physical violence of a serious nature—until your statement cast doubt on the conclusion I had reached, that in going out with me you were only using me as a toy, playing with me casually in order to gratify your ego at my expense.

“But don’t get excited. You have nothing to fear from me now. The storm is past, and even if I were to learn that you were really using me as a toy, I wouldn’t care to do anything about it. All I feel for you now is a dull resentment.

“Possibly you are shocked at the violence of my feelings. Let me explain further.

“I was not out looking for any kind of relationship. When I was alone in the mountains I had no desire for women, and was even somewhat repelled at the thought of such involvements. When I was preparing to come back to the city this spring, I felt uncomfortable and worried whenever it occurred to me that I might meet some attractive woman and fall into temptation.

“But it was natural enough that I should get interested in you. You have a very pretty face, and your personality and charm easily make up for your defective figure. Especially, there was something in your personality—let’s call it a certain vigor, or life—that particularly appealed to me.

“Besides, there were two factors that made me particularly susceptible to your charms at this time. One was my general inexperience with women. (You can well imagine that I had nothing to do with women during the years I was in the mountains; but even before that my experience was very limited.)

“Second, there is the fact that the prospect looks very bleak for me at present. When people ask about my plans, I say something vague about Canada and Alaska, but really I have little enthusiasm for any such project. As I remarked the other night, it is getting harder and harder to escape civilization. At the cost of considerable effort I might still find a corner for myself somewhere—but then after a few years I would probably have to watch it being ruined by airplanes, snowmobiles, recreationists, etc., as is happening in Montana.

“Since I can never feel that there is anything worthwhile in the kind of existence provided by modern civilization, this leaves me with a very empty prospect in life and nothing to look forward to. It would have been very comfortable to have something to put into this vacuum—such as affection for a woman in whom I thought I saw something I could respect.

“What did I want from you? Certainly not marriage. (I say this not from any reluctance to commit myself permanently, but because our interests and aspirations are so different that we could never live together.) Perhaps some form of love affair. But really I had no definite intention about what I wanted from you. It would be better to say that, if I had ever come to feel that you cared for me, I would have found it a great pleasure to give you whatever you might want from me.

“I was simply drawn to you and couldn’t resist it, or rather, had no definite reason to resist it. But your ambiguous behavior left me in a very uncomfortable state of uncertainty. Were you playing some kind of game with me? Or did you actually like me? I couldn’t figure out what you were up to. It was not that I felt I needed you. If you had told me courteously that you had decided not to go out with me any more because there was no future in it, I would have been disappointed, but I would have been as much relieved as disappointed, because I would have no more conflict or uncertainty over you, and my mind could just slip back into its accustomed groove.

“Still, I had opened my heart to you, so to speak, and had permitted myself to entertain soft feelings toward you. I thought that I would fall in love with you if I ever felt sure that you were ready to have any real affection for me.

“I can well understand the statement you made to me Thursday morning, that on that last date it “just struck you” that you had nothing in common with me and that there was no future in anything between us. I felt the same way about you, often. Yet in spite of this I always felt I would be glad to go as far with you as the differences between us would permit.

“But the thing that really turned me off at times was the inconsistency and insincerity (or even duplicity, as I would say after that last date) that I was afraid I saw in you. For example:

“The answer you gave when I said “Oh, I like you” was cryptic. If you’d been sincere, you might have said something like this: “I’m glad to hear you like me, but I don’t know what to say to it, because I don’t think I know you well enough yet to tell how I’ll feel about you.”

“On the second date, when I asked you why you’d agreed to go out with me, you shrugged your shoulders and said coldly, “It just seemed like a good idea at the time.” Almost insulting.

“There were other little things like this. But on the other hand, you seemed very ready to go out with me and to kiss* me. And whenever I phoned you, you always sounded as if you were glad to hear from me.

“*Don’t tell me there’s no sex in a kiss when you put your tongue out and rub my mouth with it, as on the second date. You started the tongue–rubbing stuff, not me. Do you kiss your father that way?

“Before that last date, I had evolved this theory about your motivations: Either you went out with me and kissed me merely because it gratified your ego to exert power over a man through your sex appeal; or else you really did like me, but for some reason found it difficult to express that liking directly; or (as I thought most probable) the truth was some combination of the two.

“All this left me in doubt, but I kept hoping that if I persisted you would eventually be more open and honest with me. I thought you might be worth taking some trouble for.

“But on that last date, I was forced to conclude that you were intentionally taking advantage of me. I made a special effort to be attentive and agreeable, but you were calculatedly cold from the beginning, retaining just enough friendliness to avoid an open breach. Then there was that silly, transparent deviousness about using two cars instead of one, in order to avoid giving me a chance to ask for a goodnight kiss. It was so obvious that it amounted to a calculated insult, why [sic] couldn’t you just explain courteously that you had decided not to go out with me anymore because you saw no future in it, if that was true?

“When we were coming to an explanation, sitting in the car outside your apartment, I was perfectly serious, of course, while you kept smiling and talking lightly, as if the whole thing were a joke to you. And you were very gay for the rest of the day, as if you were cheerful at having achieved your little triumph over me by getting me sweet on you and then throwing cold water on me. You seemed to have taken my soft feelings for you and used them as a tool to make a fool of me.

“Finally, your offer to kiss me goodnight just before you went home was an insult under the circumstances. It was as if you wanted to tease me. You didn’t want me, but you wanted to keep me dangling so that you could play with me—so it appeared.

“I was mortally offended by all this. The more so because (as you so tactlessly remarked yourself) I am very lacking in social confidence. The trick I believed you had played on me hit me on my weakest and most sensitive side. Also there are other reasons, going all the way back to my early teens, why I am exceptionally sensitive to that kind of insult.

“If you had been frank and open with me, you would have retained a friend who would still have had some soft feelings toward you and would have been glad to do you a favor at any time, if you wanted one. As it is, the feelings you leave me with are resentment, disgust, and contempt for you.

“After we came to an explanation outside your apartment Sunday, I began to hate you, and from that point stopped being sincere with you. I controlled myself and carefully refrained from showing my resentment, because I wanted to think things over before saying or doing anything. I was consciously lying when I said there were no hard feelings.

“You can hardly imagine how upset I was Sunday evening. I got very little sleep that night. It was not until Monday afternoon that I decided what to do. I intended to ride you and insult you at work until I made you uncomfortable enough to fire me. And at that point maybe I could embarrass you by dragging the whole business out in the open in front of the whole crew. Thus the insulting verses Tuesday morning. This is also why I pinched your behind on the way out Tuesday afternoon—under the circumstances it was clearly an insult.

“What surprised me was the fact that you seemed conciliatory Tuesday afternoon, and didn’t even complain that I pinched you. Another example of duplicity? For a couple of reasons, I doubt that your conciliatory attitude was sincere.

“Be that as it may, Dave’s foolish meddling spoiled my plan. He threatened me, saying that if I posted up any more nasty verses he would fire me and maybe beat me up into the bargain. I hadn’t planned to put up any more verses, but of course I couldn’t back down from a direct challenge, so I posted one up before his eyes and invited him to fire me, which he did. This on Wednesday afternoon.

“Dave’s firing me not only deprived me of the kind of revenge I had planned, but it seemed to confirm your triumph over me. The fact that you smiled and took a half–humorous attitude when I asked you whether the firing was official, was an additional insult. And in view of your earlier insincerities, I had no reason to take seriously your show of reluctance to confirm the firing.

“Thus I was even more upset Wednesday night than Sunday. I felt utterly humiliated, and was fully determined to wipe out my defeat with violence on Thursday morning. I see no attractive prospects for me in life, so what do I care about consequences? But when you said (without a smile, for once) that you went out with me the first two times because you “really thought there might be something in it,” it seemed to mean that you took me at least somewhat seriously, that I wasn’t just a toy for you. This turned off my anger—permanently. In spite of the fact that I didn’t know then, and still don’t know, whether to believe you.

“When I asked you on that last date why you went out with me, first you said you wanted absolutely nothing from me. Then you said, “I just like to go out and have a good time.” Later you said you just went out with me to satisfy your curiosity because you found me such an unusual person. Now you say you went out with me because you “really thought there might be something in it.” How do I know which one to believe?

“I wonder whether your insincerity and inconsistency are conscious and intentional, or whether they are instinctive and involuntary. Perhaps a strain of this kind of insincerity runs all through the cultural group to which you belong.

“If you were telling the truth when you said you “really thought there might be something in it” when you first went out with me, then I apologize, and am genuinely sorry that I insulted you.

“But if you were only toying with me, then all I can say is: Watch it! I’m not the only man with a revengeful streak. Next time you tease such a man you may not be so lucky.

“Ted J. Kaczynski

*

“Sept. 2, 1978

“Dear Ellen,

“I want to offer you my unqualified apology. I am no longer interested in deciding whether you were or were not insincere with me. Either way, I deeply regret that I insulted you, and I am extremely sorry that I took an unpleasant tone in the first letter I sent you.

“My only excuse for becoming so excessively upset is that, foolishly, I had come to feel much more strongly about you than I had any right to do. There is something in you to which I respond powerfully, in spite of all our differences. To me you were a ray of sunshine. I didn’t realize myself how badly I wanted you until I was forced to abandon all hope in that direction; I find it much more difficult to get over than I had imagined I would.

“If I still thought there were any chance that you could ever care for me, I would do almost anything to win your esteem. But you have made it clear that there is no such chance. To my sorrow, I apparently have nothing to offer that is of interest to you.

“I hope that you find your new duties at Foam–Cutting more congenial now, and I wish you the best of luck generally. Again, I offer you my regretful apology.

“Ted J. Kaczynski


10. Reliability of investigators’ reports

As to the reliability of information provided by investigators: Investigators working for my defense team interviewed many people who had known me at various times in my life. Information reported to the investigators by the interviewees tended to be highly unreliable. But how reliable have the investigators been in reporting what the interviewees told them?

Betsy Anderson is an investigator for the Federal Defenders in Montana. My guess is that her reports are reasonably accurate. For what it may be worth, Scharlette Holdman told me that Betsy Anderson was “an excellent investigator,” and that her reports could be assumed accurate. In this book I have used only written reports from Betsy Anderson.

I have no way of judging the reliability of Investigators #4 or #7, but, as far as I know, only a minimal amount of the information I’ve used was obtained through them. Gary Sowards was not really an investigator but an attorney who worked with Scharlette Holdman and interviewed a few people. All other investigators (that I know of) are young people who worked under the supervision of Scharlette Holdman. The chief of my defense team, Quin Denvir, gave me this opinion of Scharlette Holdman:

“In response to your inquiry, the mitigation investigator whom we retained for your case [Scharlette Holdman], has a very good reputation as an investigator, and Judy [Clarke] and I consider [his/her] work to be very reliable.” (Cg) Note from Quin Denvir to Ted Kaczynski, April 10, 1998.

I’m not completely convinced by Mr. Denvir’s assurance. In general, I was not terribly impressed with the investigators who worked under Scharlette Holdman. The majority of them did not seem to be the kind of people who could be relied on for consistent accuracy. For example, a few of them were assigned the task of collating three versions of a document; it was a straightforward and purely mechanical task, yet they made a hash of it. Scharlette Holdman him/herself seemed less reliable than the young investigators who worked under him/her. In several cases, he/she gave me orally items of information that later turned out to be wrong. To take the worst example, Scharlette Holdman told me on September 3, 1996, that Linda Patrik had had at least two husbands before she married my brother. On October 8, 1997, Scharlette Holdman and I went over my written notes of this information, and he/she confirmed orally that Linda P. had had at least two husbands before she married Dave. See (Qe) Investigator Note #2.

Later I asked Scharlette Holdman to give me written confirmation of this item, and what he/she gave me was: “Since college, Linda has been married once before her marriage with Dave ... .” (Qc) Written Reports by Scharlette Holdman, pp. 1, 2. That Linda was married only once before her marriage to Dave is supported by their marriage certificate: (Gc) Marriage Certificate of David Kaczynski and Linda Patrik.

I assume that Scharlette Holdman’s written reports were prepared much more carefully than the oral ones, so they no doubt are more reliable. I’ve found no errors in them, but since I usually have nothing to check them against, this means little.

I’m quite confident that Scharlette Holdman’s written reports are vastly more accurate and reliable than information from the media. At a guess, I’d say they are significantly more reliable than the FBI’s 302s, but I doubt that they approach the standard of reliability that would be expected from workers in the hard sciences. This applies also to reports from the young people who worked under Scharlette Holdman.

I’m sorry I can’t tell the reader anything more definite about the accuracy of these reports, but that’s the best I can do.

Gary Sowards seemed to me to be much like Scharlette Holdman as far as reliability of oral reports is concerned. For example, he/she told me during March, 1997, that on February 27, 1997, my brother asked him/her the following question:

“Do our public comments hurt Ted even though he knows we know they are not true [and] we are doing it to help him?” (Qa) Oral Report from Gary Sowards, March ?, 1997.

I wrote this down at Gary Sowards’s dictation, and there can be no doubt that I recorded it with close to word–for–word accuracy.

The investigators knew since sometime in 1996 that I was planning to write a book like the present one, and that I wanted their information for use in such a book.

For some technical legal reason, they insisted that they could give me no information in writing until my trial was over. When I expressed misgiving at the fact that I was getting only oral information with nothing in writing to confirm it, Gary Sowards told me at least twice, “We will back you up” with regard to the oral information.

My brother’s question that I quoted above was obviously important from my point of view, since it contained an explicit admission that my brother and my mother had lied about me. Yet, when I asked Gary Sowards after the trial to give me written confirmation of this item, he/she gave me only a watered–down version that omitted the crucial words, “we know they are not true,” which he/she claimed were not in his/her notes. One concludes either that Gary Sowards’s original report to me was wrong, or else that he/she neglected to record in his/her notes the most important part of Dave’s question.

The very few reports from Gary Sowards that I use in this book are noted as coming from Gary Sowards.

* * *

But the question of investigator reliability has another dimension entirely different from the one we’ve been considering. At the time (April, 1998) when I had finished writing this book except for minor revisions and the present appendix, I received information that gave me a much fuller picture of Scharlette Holdman than I’d had previously. It appears that he/she is an anti–death penalty zealot who has no scruples about lying to clients and deceiving them in order to “save” them whether they like it or not. He/she is regarded as an expert in “managing” (i.e., manipulating) clients, and specializes in “proving” that they are mentally ill. Before receiving this information I had of course realized that Scharlette Holdman had been less than honest with me, but I had not fully understood the extent to which he/she had deceived me or how dishonest he/she was.

How does Scharlette Holdman’s character affect the reliability of his/her reports? I can only guess. Since he/she has a very good reputation among lawyers (as is indicated by Quin Denvir’s statement quoted earlier), he/she probably tries to make sure that the facts he/she reports to them are accurate. But I would expect that he/she slants his/her reports: When I orally discussed Scharlette Holdman’s reliability with Quin Denvir, he told me that he was confident that the facts that Scharlette Holdman reported were accurate, but he added that possibly Scharlette Holdman might omit facts that would hurt the case he/she was trying to build.

In any event, given Scharlette Holdman’s agenda, it is certain that any slanting of the reports that he/she prepared for my lawyers must be in a direction that would tend to exaggerate any indications of mental illness on my part. Anything in those reports (i.e., in (Qb) Written Investigator Reports) that argues for my sanity can presumably be accepted at face value, barring inadvertent errors.

What about the accuracy of the oral and written reports that Scharlette Holdman prepared for me personally (i.e., (Qa) Oral Reports from Investigators, (Qc) Written Reports by Scharlette Holdman, (Qe) Investigator Notes)? Those that deal with concrete facts are probably honest, since Scharlette Holdman would not endanger his/her reputation by knowingly reporting facts incorrectly. Whether he/she has omitted inconvenient facts is anyone’s guess. As for opinions and judgments expressed by Scharlette Holdman, the reader will have to decide for himself how much weight he wants to give them. Before making this decision he should know the following facts about Scharlette Holdman.

Scharlette Holdman’s strong point as an investigator is his/her talent for ingratiating him/herself with people, winning their confidence, and getting them to reveal things that they would otherwise prefer to keep private. He/she played a double game with Dave and Linda right from the start by extracting from them personal information that he/she passed on to me, knowing that I intended eventually to use it to discredit my brother and his wife. On at least one occasion, while he/she was giving me such information, he/she joined me in laughing at my brother’s silliness, as is recorded in (Qe) Investigator Note #2.

Scharlette Holdman also played a double game with me, leading me to believe that he/she was going to help me to refute my brother’s portrait of me as a madman, when in reality he/she was working to collect the tools that would enable my lawyers to represent me as insane—the crazier the better—in order to “save” me from the death penalty.

After I pled guilty, Scharlette Holdman continued to misrepresent to me his/her role, downplaying the part that he/she had played in the effort to portray me as severely mentally ill, so that I never realized the extent to which he/she had helped to manipulate me until I received information from an outside source.

Shortly after interviewing Butch Gehring while I was in jail in Montana, Scharlette Holdman told me that he/she believed that Butch was abusing his daughter Tessa. I suggested that Scharlette Holdman report this to the child protection authorities. Scharlette Holdman answered that he/she would do so later, anonymously, in order to avoid complications that might affect my case. Several months later, I asked Scharlette Holdman if he/she had notified the appropriate authorities about the supposed abuse, and he/she answered that he/she had done so, anonymously. A few months later still, curious about the outcome of any investigation into possible child abuse on Gehring’s part, I said to Scharlette Holdman, “You notified the authorities that you suspected Butch Gehring was abusing his daughter, didn’t you?” Scharlette Holdman answered firmly, “No.” I said, “I thought you had notified the authorities anonymously.” But Scharlette Holdman continued to answer me with a firm and stubborn “no,” not looking me in the eye but staring at the wall.

I hasten to add that I have no idea whether Butch Gehring actually was abusing his daughter. That was Scharlette Holdman’s opinion, not mine.

On another occasion, Scharlette Holdman told me why he/she was no longer working in Florida, where he/she had plied his/her trade earlier in his/her career. On the excuse that he/she and co–workers were out of cash, he/she filled out certain false vouchers. He/she was caught, and to avoid serving a two–year prison sentence, made a bargain according to which he/she agreed to work on no more Florida death cases.

*

Early in February, 1998, I asked Scharlette Holdman whether he/she could find out if my brother had been in contact with his friends between the time of my arrest (April 3, 1996) and the time when they were interviewed by the investigators (December 7–10, 1996; May 11, June 10, and June 25, 1997; see (Qb) Written Investigator Reports #32, Dale Edwards, #33, Hokan Edwardson and Jeanne Edwardson, #122, Joel Schwartz). In reply, Scharlette Holdman sent me a note that said, “Dave did not call.” That was the entire note. See (Qe) Investigator Note #5.

At the time, I had plenty of other things on my mind, so I just assumed that my brother had not been in contact with his friends before they were interviewed, and filed that information in the back of my mind. But after learning how dishonest Scharlette Holdman had been with me, I took the trouble to reflect on this matter, and it seemed to me implausible that eight months or more could have passed without any written communication between my brother and these people who had been his close friends for many years. I would have expected them to contact him soon after they had learned of my arrest, and then certainly they would have talked about me with him.

Subsequently I noticed solid evidence that at least one of these people did indeed talk with my brother about me after my arrest but before being interviewed by the investigators. (Qb) Written Investigator Report #122, Joel Schwartz, May 11, 1997, p.4: “Ted wrote Dave letters about Joel. ... Since Ted’s arrest, Joel and Dave have talked about those letters.”

Joel Schwartz, Dale Edwards, and Hokan Edwardson and Jeanne Edwardson all gave the investigators wildly inaccurate reports in which they portrayed me as suffering from severe mental illness. When I wrote the introduction to this book I attributed their errors to such factors as “media planting.” But another explanation now seems possible: My brother may have been in communication not only with Joel Schwartz but with the others as well, and may have asked them to help him “save” me by portraying me as mentally ill.

It’s also possible that Scharlette Holdman and his/her people may have used leading questions to elicit the kinds of answers they wanted from informants. This is perhaps suggested by informants’ responses that include the phrase “may have.”

E.g., (Qb) Written Investigator Report #73, KEITH MARTIN, p.3: “There may have been times when Ted was unresponsive to questions.” It doesn’t seem likely that KEITH MARTIN would have made this statement spontaneously. It’s more plausible to suppose that he was asked, “Were there times when Ted was unresponsive to questions” and answered, “There may have been.”


11. A note on my memory

The following is (Cg) Note from Quin Denvirto Ted Kaczynski, April 30, 1998:

“Dear Ted:

“You have asked me my opinion regarding your long–term memory. We have been associated in the defense of your case for almost two years and have had many opportunities to discuss facts from the past. During that time I have been amazed by your long–term memory. I know no one who has a better memory for long–term details than you do. I discussed this with Judy Clarke, and she said that she thoroughly agrees with me.

“Very truly yours,

“Quin Denvir


12. A note on my brother’s memory

My brother is prone to getting his facts garbled. Here are a few examples.

In one letter to Dave I mentioned Aztec poetry but did not quote any; I did quote some ancient Irish poetry. which I identified as Irish. But my brother got mixed up and thought I was quoting Aztec poetry. Sec (Ca) FL #275, letter from me to David Kaczynski, August 27, 1983, p. 5.

My brother once told me-quite incorrectly-that Costa Rica was an English speaking country. See (Ca) FL #220, letter from me to David Kaczynski, August 28, 1979, p. 1.

Through misunderstanding of something he'd read in a book, my brother believed that baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) underwent a chemical change during cooking that rendered it harmless as far as any effect on blood-pressure was concerned-which of course is false. He also confused baking powder with baking soda. Sec (Ca) FL #288, letter from me to David Kaczynski, Summer 1984. p.3; FL #289, letter from David Kaczynski to me, Summer 1984, pp. 1, 2.

Dave told the FBI that our paternal grandfather, Jakub Kaczynski, had been a woodcarver by trade. It's possible that he may have done some wood-carving on the side, but he was by trade a gilder (a worker in gold leaf), not a woodcarver. See (Na) FBI 302 number 1, pp. 22; FBI 302 number 2. pp. 3, 4; (Be) Baby book, p. 35; (Qb) Written Investigator Report #74, Josephine Kaczynski Manney, September 8-10, 1996, p. 2.


[1] Sally Johnson. Psychiatric competency report of Dr. Sally C. Johnson [Court Document]. Court TV. Sept, 1998. Original link. Archived link.

[2] Larry McShane. Publisher Yanks Unabomber Book Deal [Essay]. AP News. November 5, 1999. Original link. Archived link.

[3] (Hp) Daily Oklahoman, June 12, 1995.

[4] Envelope X; see the three sheets marked with a green letter A at the top.

[5] I am considering here only (Qb) Written Investigator Reports. I am leaving out of consideration (Kb) Lincoln Interviews, of which I have made very little use in this book, and which I have not taken the trouble to tabulate; except to the extent that some of the Lincoln interviews also occur among the Written Investigator Reports.

I am considering here only the Written Investigator Reports that I have received as of March 6, 1998. If I receive more such reports later, I will not bother to change the tabulation.

[6] To experimental psychologists, “long–term” memory means any memory spanning more than thirty seconds. But here I use the expression “long–term” to indicate memories of events that have occurred years or decades in the past.

I have often been surprised to find that other people have failed to remember things that I remember quite clearly. Here is an example:

When I took German R at Harvard I sat next to a student named Kostinski. We had similar last names and we were the two best students in the class; he was best and I was second–best. Nine or ten years later when I was at Berkeley, in a building that contained the offices of some of the math department’s junior faculty and graduate students, I encountered Kostinski, who was pacing back and forth absorbed in thought. I accosted him, saying, “Weren’t you in German R at Harvard?” He looked at me blankly. “German R…?” To prod his memory I mentioned the instructor’s name. “Miss Dreimanis.” Kostinski broke into a broad smile and exclaimed, “Oh! Were you in that class?” I chatted with him for a few minutes, and he told me that he was a graduate student in the math department and was working on his doctoral dissertation. “I thought you were pre–med,” I said. He answered, “I was, but I switched to math.” Thus I correctly recalled Kostinski’s name, his face, and the career he’d planned at the time I knew him, while he did not remember me at all, nor did he remember the designation of Miss Dreimanis’s course (German R).

I am relying on memory for this thirty–year–old anecdote, but any reader who is sufficiently interested can check it out. It shouldn’t be very difficult to determine whether the Berkeley math department in 1967, 1968, or 1969 had a graduate student named Kostinski who had taken German R at Harvard in the fall of 1958 and got an A in it.

[7] Investigators #2 and #6 told me this at least three times during 1996 and early 1997. In the fall of 1997 I asked for confirmation and received it orally (Qa). Oral Report From Scharlette Holdman, November 10, 1997 reads: “My long–term memory is unusually accurate—confirmed by [Scharlette Holdman] and [his/her] investigators who asked Scharlette Holdman for written confirmation and he/she gave me the following:

“Ted appears to have a good long term memory. Many people who have been interviewed have concurred with Ted’s recollection of certain events. For example, Ted recalled that in college he had a classmate X.Y., who rocked back and forth and Prof. Y. confirmed this account.{59} [Actually I remembered only the first name of this classmate; I’m not sure I ever knew his last name.] Ted has been able to recall names of teachers and people he knew from over thirty years ago as well as addresses, dates of birth and literature from childhood. [I don’t know what dates of birth or literature Scharlette Holdman is referring to.] He has also recalled floor plans of residences and accurate maps of campuses that he hasn’t been at in over thirty years [‘accurate maps of campuses’ should be deleted].” (Qc) Written Reports by Scharlette Holdman, p.2.

I pointed out to Scharlette Holdman that “Ted appears to have a good long term memory” was a considerably weaker statement than the ones he/she had earlier given me orally. Scharlette Holdman agreed, said that the earlier, stronger statements were correct, and changed his/her written report to read: “Ted has a remarkably good long term memory. …” (Qc) Written Reports by Scharlette Holdman, p.2.

[8] (Ca) FL#423, letter from me to my mother, January 15, 1991, pp. 6, 7: “What I especially hope you haven’t thrown out is some old letters of mine. ... I’m interested in the accuracy of long–term memory. ... So I’d appreciate it if you could send me either the letters, or photocopies of them ... . If it is not convenient for you to crawl up in the attic to rummage around for the letters, then of course you need not do so.” (Ca) FL#424, letter from my mother to me, late January, 1991: “I’m too short and stiff to be able to climb safely into the attic ... . However, I did find a box full of letters from you in your foot locker. ... I’ll send you the box full ... .”

My mother did send me these letters, which comprised almost all of the letters from me that she’d saved from about 1968 through the 1980’s, but I never even got around to glancing at them before my arrest. Later, when I was in jail, I was given copies of these letters as well as the older letters (1957–1968) that had been stored in the attic, and other letters written by or to members of my family.

It is because the past is important to me that I have been interested in the accuracy of long–term memory.

[9] (Fc) School Records of TJK, Harvard, p.81.

[10] Same, pp. 37, 38.

[11] “Ren” is meant as an abbreviation for “Renaissance thought and literature.”

[12] “hum gen” is an abbreviation for “human genetics.”

[13] “Eng intel hist” is an abbreviation for “English intellectual history.”

[14] I can think of two exceptions. For one thing, I remembered incorrectly where my mother got her bachelor’s degree. For another thing, my investigators mentioned to me that someone had talked about my carrying a briefcase in high school. I answered that I had carried a briefcase in eighth grade, but not in high school. The investigators then pointed out that in 1979 I still remembered carrying a briefcase in high school, since I recorded in my autobiography an incident involving a briefcase. Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 28. Since I clearly remembered the briefcase in 1979, I agreed that they were right. Thinking the matter over later, I thought I remembered it as a result of having been needled for carrying a briefcase in eighth grade I had decided not to use one in high school, and did not use one in my freshman and my sophomore years, but went back to carrying a briefcase in my third and last year of high school. Since I recalled that the briefcase incident had happened in American History class, I concluded that I must have had that class in my last–year of high school. I then checked my high school record and found that this was correct. (Fb) School Records of TJK, E.P. High School.

[15] I remembered the name of Joel S.’s sister as Gloria, but Joel S. told my investigators that her sister’s name was Diane. (Qb) Written Investigator Report #124, Joel S., p.2.

More significantly, when I wrote my autobiographical notes in 1979, I remembered that my mother had given my address to the daughter of a couple who were friends of my parents because she thought that the young lady and I had common interests and she hoped we would get together. This would have made no sense unless the young lady was living in or near Ann Arbor, where I was at the time; but she told my investigators that she had never lived in Ann Arbor. So it seems that my memory of what my mother wrote me was wrong. (Unless it was my mother who got the facts garbled, which is possible.) See (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 150.

[16] For an example see (Ad) Autobiog of TJK 1988 (corrected version), pp. 13, 14.

[17] (Qc) Written Reports by Scharlette Holdman, p.5.

[18] For example, in (Qb) Written Investigator Reports #34, 47, 59, 60, 82, 85, 124, 146, 154, 161, among others.

[19] (Qb) Written Investigator Report #154, Leroy Weinberg, p.2.

[20] When I was a teenager, my mother told me that old Mrs. Butcher, who lived next door to the Vanderlaans, had said to her that I was such a nice boy, because I always returned her greeting when I passed her, whereas Norma Jean Vanderlaan often failed to return her greeting and walked on by without looking at her.{60}{61}

[21] (Qb) Written Investigator Report, #47, Dr. Lynden Heitz

[22] Same footnote as 19

[23] (Kb) Lincoln Interviews, p. 18. I remember a good deal of what I talked about with Renee Campbell and Dr. Lynden Heitz On one occasion the patient who preceded me left in a bad mood, and, because Renee Campbell had a suspicion that this man might be a wife–beater, she phoned his wife and warned her that her husband was coming home upset. That got us onto the subject of domestic abuse. I mentioned that some studies had found that there was about as much physical abuse of husbands by wives as vice versa. Dr. Lynden Heitz answered that the wives probably didn’t do much damage because they weren’t strong enough. “I’ve had women pound on me,” he said, “and it didn’t bother me.” I replied, “Some women are strong enough to hit hard.” Renee Campbell agreed, and mentioned a local woman who had knocked some man down. I said that some time earlier I had read an article in a news magazine (probably Time) about domestic abuse. I mentioned that the article had taken the same position as Dr. Lynden Heitz: Because women were smaller they probably didn’t do much damage. But, I continued, in the next issue of the same magazine there was a letter from an emergency–room doctor who said that in his experience women often did plenty of damage, because they were more likely than men to use weapons; he mentioned husbands who had been slashed with an axe or scalded with boiling water. As the conversation continued I asked Renee Campbell and Dr. Lynden Heitz, “Why do they [the abused women] marry jerks like that?” Renee Campbell and Dr. Lynden Heitz answered, “Low self–esteem; maybe their fathers abused them and they think that’s a normal relationship…[etc.].” Either Renee Campbell or Dr. Lynden Heitz mentioned something about a television program on the subject.

On other occasions Dr. LHz. and I talked about the soluble compounds of gold, about gypsum, plaster of Paris, and Portland cement, and other subjects, and I could go on and on recounting the details of these conversations, but I think I’ve said enough to show that Dr. L.Hz’s claim that I was so quiet as to seem odd is ludicrous.

[24] (Qb) Written Investigator Report #34, Dale Eickelman, pp. 4, 5. It is my sophomore year in college, not high school, that is referred to, since Professor Eickelman correctly states that I visited his home during the summer following my freshman year at Harvard.

[25] The eight are Larry Schaeffer, Bob Carlson, Barbara Brabanac, Jerry Ulrich, Bob Pettis, Tom Knudson, George Duba, Terry Lundgren Six of these eight friendships are documented, but four are documented only by my own autobiographies. Two have been confirmed independently (Bob Pettis by Bob Pettis himself, Tom Knudson by Tom Knudson’s mother). For references see Chapter 3, pp. 79, 87, 88, and associated footnotes. Of the other friends, my investigators spoke only to one: George Duba, who neither confirmed nor denied that I was good friends with him. (Qb) Written Investigator Report #28, George Duba Actually I was close to George Duba only during one school year. With Jerry Ulrich I was friends from seventh or eighth grade through the summer following my first year at Harvard; with the others I was friends for shorter periods. Jerry Ulrich, Bob Pettis, and Tom Knudson visited my home, and I visited their homes, on multiple occasions. I visited the homes of Bob Carlson, George Duba, and Terry Lundgren on various occasions, but I don’t clearly remember that any of them visited my home. I took two extended excursions with Bob Carlson. In a letter written in 1958, my mother confirmed that I had several friends: (Fc) School Records of TJK, Harvard, p. 18.

[26] One reason why Eickelman never encountered any friends at my house and why I never brought any friends to his house was that I never much liked him. In fact, I thought he was somewhat of a creep: (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 50, 51. I intended to spend time with him only when he thrust himself on me or when I could think of nothing better to do. Thus, if I had had a friend with me, and if Eickelman had phoned to suggest that we get together, I probably would have put him off with some excuse. (Since our homes were so far apart, Eickelman and I generally phoned before visiting one another.)

In his interview with my investigators, (Qb) Written Investigator Report #34, p.2, Professor Eickelman related a particularly grotesque anecdote about me. Since he may have related the same anecdote to the FBI, and since the Justice Department has a habit of leaking things about my case, I had better take this opportunity to state that the anecdote is false. Anyone who knows my mother at all well knows that I would never have dared to do such a thing in her presence. If I had done it she would have been horrified beyond all description; when we got home I would have received a vicious tongue–lashing and I wouldn’t have heard the end of it for months afterward.

Professor Eickelman’s memory is playing some trick on him here. He is perhaps recalling something that either he or I did not in my mother’s presence but under very private circumstances. I could give a plausible explanation for this recollection of Professor Eickelman’s, but I will refrain from doing so because I am not anxious to reveal information that would cause embarrassment both to me and to Professor Eickelman.

[27] (Qb) Written Investigator Report #157, Glen and Dolores Williams, p.4.{62}

[28] (Ba) Journals of TJK, Series III #5, March 26, 1975, pp. 32–36.

[29] (Ca) FL #154, letter from me to my parents, late March, 1975, pp. 2, 3. Both in this letter and in the journal entry it is mentioned that Pinkston talked to me about the KGB in a low tone, so that Glen Williams couldn’t hear. However, as we were driving back down off the mountain I told Glen Williams about what Pinkston had said to me. Moreover, the next spring (1975), Glen Williams met Pinkston up on the mountain again, and later told me that Pinkston was a nice, helpful fellow, “but he did talk a little bit about the KGB.” It was on this second meeting that Glen Williams learned Pinkston’s name. Some time later he told me that Pinkston had died. I understand that Larry Davis, the local game warden for the Lincoln area at the time, had been bringing groceries up to Pinkston, and it’s possible he may be able to confirm some of this information.

[30] (Qb) Written Investigator Report #87, Russell Mosny 1996, p.1.

[31] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 25.

[32] (Qb) Written Investigator Report #30, Linda Dybas, p.2.

[33] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p.21.

[34] (Da) Ralph Meister’s Declaration, p. 2, paragraph 7.

[35] Same, pp. 2, 3, paragraphs 8–10.

[36] For example, (Qb) Written Investigator Reports #6, Ken Biel, p.1;{63} #134, Lois Skillen, p.8; #152, Ed Weber, p.3.{64} Also see Note 57.

[37] (Qb) Written Investigator Report #151, Chris Waits. (Hj) Blackfoot Valley Dispatch, January 29, 1998, February 5 (?), 1998, February 12, 1998.

[38] (Qb) Written Investigator Reports.

[39] (Qb) Written Investigator Report #79, Patrick McIntosh, p.1.

[40] Same, p.5.

[41] Same, p.6.

[42] Same, p.8.

[43] Same footnote as 39

[44] (Qb) Written Investigator Report #77, John Masters, p.1.

[45] Same, p.3.

[46] Same, pp. 3, 4.

[47] Same, p.5.

[48] (Qb) Written Investigator Report #98, Wayne Person, pp. 4, 5.

[49] Same, p.5.

[50] (Qb) Written Investigator Report #28, George Duba, p.4.

[51] (Qb) Written Investigator Report #104, Roger Podewell, p.3.

[52] Same footnote as 40

[53] Jeanne Edwardson lists these as the usual participants. See (Qb) Written Investigator Report #33, Hokan Edwardson and Jeanne Edwardson, p.13. Dale Edwards lists the usual participants as himself, my brother, my parents, David and Shirley Hockbecker.{65} (Qb) Written Investigator Report #32, Dale Edwards, p.7. I had never heard of David and Shirley Hockbecker until I read this report. At the one colloquium I attended, the participants were those I’ve listed.

[54] (Qb) Written Investigator Report #32, Dale Edwards, pp. 7, 8.

[55] (Qb) Written Investigator Report #33, Hokan Edwardson and Jeanne Edwardson, pp. 14, 15.

[56] Same, p.10.

[57] (Ca) FL #293, letter from David Kaczynski to me, October 1 or 2, 1984.

In reference to the attitudes that my brother and the En.’s held toward me at the time of Dan’s suicide, it may be worthwhile to quote also another letter of my brother’s. At some point during 1984, knowing that my brother was going to visit Hokan Edwardson and Jeanne, I sent him in care of them three cartoons that I had drawn, with some humorous commentary in Spanish. In reply Dave wrote me (Ca) FL #289, Summer, 1984, pp. 2–4:

“I ended up having to translate your long letter ... [It was] well worth it in light of the jokes which dawned on us in the process. I gathered that in your historiography of boasts there was somewhat of a serious message as well. Your humor is so inventive and so highly original that I never cease to marvel at it, while at the same time finding it a pity that it’s restricted to such a small audience. You asked me once whether Hokan Edwardson and Jeanne are in any way capable of being offended by coarse humor. Now I can tell you that [Hokan Edwardson] enjoyed the two cartoons which might have been considered coarse immensely, whereas Jeanne’s reaction seemed rather complicated. ... [S]he pointed out some very artful touches in your cartoons. And I found myself very much in agreement with her. Have you ever thought of trying to sell your cartoons to magazines? ... I honestly and I believe without bias that your cartoons are on average the most interesting I've ever seen.”

This does not contradict in any specific way what Hokan Edwardson and Jeanne told the investigators about me, but it doesn’t comport very well with the image of me that they conveyed.

[58] (Qb) Written Investigator Report #33, Hokan Edwardson and Jeanne Edwardson, pp. 7–10.

[59] (Ca) FL #304, letter from me to David Kaczynski, late spring or summer of 1985, p.1: “I was amused by the Mexican comic book. (But you should have included a critical analysis by [Hokan Edwardson] explaining the hidden philosophical messages.)”

(Ca) FL #220, letter from me to David Kaczynski, August 28, 1979, p.2:

“[Hokan Edwardson] sent me a copy of a ‘Red Sonja*’ comic book (footnote: *An absurd female hero), asserting that ‘to imaginative minds it drips of philosophical lessons.’

“In reply I sent him [mimicking Nietzsche’s style]:

“‘I have no time** to listen to thy teaching, Zarathustra,’ said the small man, ‘For I must mow my lawn and tend my melons; I have no time to listen to prophecies. I have no time to be an arrow of longing for the farther shore.’ (footnote: **[Hokan Edwardson] wrote that he would read some Nietsche [sic], except that he had no time because he was too busy mowing his lawn, tending [melons; the rest of this footnote is cut off on the Xerox copy that I have.].)

“‘How then,’ answered Zarathustra, ‘hast thou time to read the book of a naked harlot pretending to be a hero? Knowest thou not that a dark cloud hangs over men and that even now are falling one by one the heavy drops that herald the lighting? What then signify thy lawnmower and thy melons? Verily, thou art become as the last man.’ Thus spake Zarathustra.—Nietsche [sic], Zarathustra, part 5.” (The footnotes were in the original letter. According to Nietzsche, the “last man” is a despicable and degenerate human type.)

This is a sample of the way I used to tease Hokan Edwardson about his comic–book philosophy. I intended the teasing to be gentle and humorous, but it may be that I wounded Hokan Edwardson without realizing it.

[60] (Qb) Written Investigator Report #29, Peter L. Duren, pp. 9, 10.

[61] (Qb) Written Investigator Reports #28, George Duba, p.2; #55, John Jenner, pp. 1, 2.{66} Ray Janz’s story was reported in (Hm) San Francisco Chronicle, April 29, 1996; (Hn) Chicago Tribune, April 16, 1996; (Ja) Mad Genius, p. 26. According to all three of these reports, Janz stated that I used a pocket protector.

[62] Same footnote as 59

[63] (Qb) Written Investigator Report #32, Dale Edwards, pp. 1, 2.

[64] Same, p. 4.

[65] (Qb) Written Investigator Report #134, Lois Skillen, pp. 3, 6–8.

[66] Professor Eickelman reported to my investigators that Harvard was attempting to recruit him. (Qb) Written Investigator Report #34, Dale Eickelman, p.1.

[67] (Hk) Scientific American, May, 1997, pp. 24, 28.

[68] (Ae) Autobiog of Wanda, entire document. (Cb) FL Supplementary Item #4, letter from my Aunt Freda to my mother, October 1, 1986. Supported by oral communications to me from my mother and my uncle Benny Dombek up to 1979.

[69] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 36: “I felt rather homesick at this place, but not excessively so. I got along alright.” (Ab) Autobiog of TJK 1959, p. 5 has: “Up to quite recently ... I was very dependent on [my parents] in that I became unhappy if far away from them for any length of time, say a couple of days or more. Before coming to Harvard [at the age of sixteen], I was greatly afraid that I would suffer much from homesickness, but after a couple of weeks of unhappiness, this no longer bothered me at all. The ties seem to have snapped completely, as it no longer bothers me at all to be away from home.”

[70] A small part of the original letter is missing here, but it is clear from the context that the word “you” should appear.

[71] (Ca) FL #297, letter from my mother to me, December 24, 1984.

[72] Both in (Ab) Autobiog of TJK 1959, p. 1 and (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p.1, I gave the period of hospitalization as a week. I could only have gotten that information from my parents—probably my mother, since my father rarely said anything about “that hospital experience.”

[73] (Na) FBI 302 number 1, p. 3.

[74] (Na) FBI 302 number 2, p. 6.

[75] (Na) FBI 302 number 3, p. 3.

[76] (Ha) NY Times Nat., May 26, 1996, p. 22, column 3.

[77] (Hf) Newsweek, April 22, 1996, p. 29.

[78] (Hg) Time, April 22, 1996, p. 46.

[79] (Ka) Interview of Wanda by Betsy Anderson, pp. 1, 2.

[80] (Bc) Baby Book, pp. 111, 112.

[81] (Ea) Med Records of TJK, U. Chi., March 1–6, 1943, pp. 13, 14, 19.

[82] (Qa) Oral report from Scharlette Holdman, February 5, 1997. The fact that the duration of the vacation was two weeks is from (Qa) Oral report of Gary Sowards, February 18, 1997. According to (Ra) Oral report from Dr. Julie Kriegler, March 29, 1997, in a later interview Freda told Dr. Julie Kriegler that she was no longer sure that she was away on vacation at the time of my hospitalization. Instead, as a college student, she may have been absorbed in her studies and temporarily out of touch with my parents. But she still affirmed that she had been told nothing about “that hospital experience” beyond the bare mention of the fact that I had been in the hospital. (Ra) Oral Report from Dr. Julie Kriegler, February 12, 1998, and (Rb) Written Information Confirmed by Dr. Julie Kriegler, item #1, repeat this same information, but give May 8, 1997 as the date on which Dr. Julie Kriegler obtained the information from Freda. Note that I have a record of receiving this information from Dr. Julie Kriegler on March 29, 1997. So either Freda gave Dr. Julie Kriegler the same information twice in different interviews, or else I inadvertently wrote “March 29” for “May 29” when I dated the information, or else Dr. Julie Kriegler made an error about the date.

In any case, the most important parts of the foregoing information have been confirmed in writing by Scharlette Holdman. (Qc) Written Reports by Scharlette Holdman, p. 1: “Freda Tuominen was away on vacation when Ted was hospitalized as an infant. Upon her return she heard that Ted had been in the hospital but heard nothing about it [sic] the hospitalization until she read about it in the media.”

[83] Same footnote as 77

[84] (Bc) Baby Book, p. 74.

[85] Same, p. 85.

[86] (Ea) Med Records of TJK, U. Chi., June 23, 1942, p. 7; September 15, 1942, p. 8.

[87] (Bc) Baby Book, p. 113.

[88] (Ea) Med Records of TJK, U. Chi., April 6, 1943, p. 12.

[89] Same, June 27, 1944, p. 26.

[90] Same, April 29, 1944, p. 25.

[91] The May 18, 1943 examination is reported in (Bc) Baby Book, p. 66, but not in the medical records, from which a page appears to be missing. The other four examinations are recorded in (Ea) Med Records of TJK, U. Chi., June 13, 1943 and October 19, 1943, p. 23; January 11 and 18, 1944, p. 24. The “7/13/43” examination reported in (Bc) Baby Book, p. 66, is an error on the part of my mother. It should be 6/13/43, as is shown by the fact that next to 7/13/43, my mother has the notation “smallpox vaccination,” and the medical records report the vaccination on June 13, 1943.

[92] (Bc) Baby Book, p. 122.

[93] (Ea) Med Records of TJK, U. Chi., June 13, 1943, p. 23; April 4, 1945, p. 26; January 4, 1946, p. 27; April 10, 1946, p. 29; October 16, 1947, p. 33; December 8, 1947, p. 34.

[94] (Hb) Washington Post, June 16, 1996, p. A20.

[95] (Bc) Baby Book, p. 76.

[96] Same, p. 122.

[97] Same, p. 107.

[98] Same footnote as 94

[99] Same, p. 114.

[100] (La) Schaffer and Callender, “Psychologic Effects of Hospitalization,” Pediatrics, October, 1959. This study considered only babies who were not being breast–fed at the time they entered the hospital. I fitted into this group since, by the age of nine months, I was no longer being breast–fed. See (Bc) Baby Book, p. 104.

[101] (Hb) Washington Post, June 16, 1996, p. A20. The three dots appear in the excerpt as printed in the Post.

[102] My mother first wrote in the Baby Book that I was “Perfectly healthy but quite and unresponsive.” She then crossed out the “e” at the end of “quite” and inserted an “e” between the “i” and the “t” to make the word “quiet.” My attorneys Judy Clarke and Quin Denvir examined the original of the Baby Book (in the possession of the FBI) and confirmed that the correction appeared to have been made with the same ink and the same pen as the rest of the writing in the Baby Book, so that there was no reason to doubt its authenticity. Since “quite and unresponsive” would make no sense, and since the correction was clear and unmistakable, the alteration of “quiet and unresponsive” to “quite unresponsive” was not an innocent error but intentional deception on the part of Kovaleski and Adams.

[103] (Hg) Time, April 22, 1996, p. 46.

[104] (Ka) Interview of Wanda by Betsy Anderson, p. 2.

[105] (Hb) Washington Post, June 16, 1996.

[106] (Ea) Med Records of TJK, U. Chi.; April 4, 1945, p. 26; May 18, 1950, p. 51; May 8, 1951, p. 51.

[107] (Bc) Baby Book, p. 122.

[108] (Ab) Autobiog of TJK 1959, p. 2.

[109] Same footnote as 90

[110] (Bc) Baby Book, pp. 113, 115; (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 1, 2. In (Qb) Written Investigator Report #68, Adam Krokos himself confirms the strength of this friendship. However, much of the information he gives is incorrect.

[111] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 3.

[112] Jackie was the four–year–old boy referred to on p. 1 of (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979.

[113] (Ab) Autobiog of TJK 1959, p. 2; (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 5; (Ga) Deed #1.

[114] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 5, 6, 10, 11, mentions all these friends by name.

[115] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 6–8 describes my relations with Frank Howell, Terry La Chance, and Rosario. My friendship with Peter Malotte is not documented.

[116] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 10, 11.

[117] (Ka) Interview of Wanda by Betsy Anderson, p. 2.

[118] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 12.

[119] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 17, 24, 79; (Na) FBI 302 number 2, p. 6.

[120] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 12, 194.

[121] Same footnote as 116

[122] (Ab) Autobiog of TJK 1959, p. 3; (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 12–14, 16, 17, 194; (Ca) FL#458, letter from me to my mother, July 5, 1991, pp. 9, 10.

[123] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 194; (Ca) FL#458, letter from me to my mother, July 5, 1991, pp. 9, 10. “Rag–pickers” were very poor people who made their living, such as it was, by picking through trash to find anything that could be sold as scrap.

[124] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 12; (Ca) FL#458, letter from me to my mother, July 5, 1991, p. 9.

[125] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 12; (Ca) FL#458, letter from me to my mother, July 5, 1991, p. 10.

[126] Same footnote as 116

[127] (Aa) Autobiog of TJK 1958. When, in (Ab) Autobiog of TJK 1959, p. 2, I wrote, “I was less socially active than the rest of the boys, ... partly due to shyness and partly due to a certain lack of interest in their activities,” I probably was still under the influence of my mother’s theory that I was bored with other kids because I was smarter.

[128] The first paragraph of this document ((Aa) Autobiog of TJK 1958) reads:

“My first vague memories are of a golden age of blessed irresponsibility. But the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, and I suppose at that time I looked forward to the unbounded joys of growing up.”

[129] “Block–busting” was a practice whereby unscrupulous realtors would contrive to sell to black people a house on a white–occupied block near black territory. White householders on the block, fearing that they would be left isolated in the midst of a black neighborhood, sold off their property as quickly as possible. Thus the realtors were able to buy houses from whites at reduced prices and sell them again to black families at inflated prices.

[130] This account of the placement of the sign is based in part on what I myself observed at the time, but also in part on what my mother told me many years later. Given my mother’s unreliability, it cannot be assumed that the account is strictly accurate.

[131] (Ha) NY Times Nat., May 26, 1996, p. 22, column 3; (Ca) FL #330, letter from David Kaczynski to me, March or April, 1986, p. 14; (Ca) FL#331, letter from me to David Kaczynski, April 16, 1986, pp. 3, 4.

[132] (Ha) NY Times Nat., May 26, 1996, p. 22, column 3. The Times quoted only an “aunt” who preferred to remain anonymous, but the aunt in question is obviously Josephine. I have just four living aunts: Sylvia, Madeline (aunts by marriage), Freda, and Josephine. Sylvia married my uncle Benny when I was in my teens, and I’d never met her before that time; I was never chummy enough with Madeline to “snuggle up” to her; and Freda informed me in (Cb) FL Supplementary item #6, letter from Freda Tuominen to me, July 20, 1996, that she was not the unnamed aunt quoted by the Times (which I already knew from the content of the quotations). So that leaves Josephine.

[133] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 11, 20.

[134] (Ca) FL #331, letter from me to David Kaczynski, April 16, 1986, p. 4.

[135] (Ca) FL #330, letter from David Kaczynski to the author, March or April, 1986, p. 14.

[136] (Ha) NY Times Nat., May 26, 1996, p. 22, column 3. In this same column we find:

“David said his parents told him about how his father, grandmother and Teddy had gone to the hospital after his birth. ... ‘So my father and grandmother left Ted in the lobby and went up to visit me,’ he said, ‘When they all went down to the lobby ... he was sitting there alone in tears and very deeply upset.’” I don’t remember any such incident, and I doubt that it happened. My brother is very prone to get his facts garbled.

[137] Same footnote as 102

[138] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 17, 18.

[139] (Ca) FL #266, letter from me to David Kaczynski, Summer, 1982, pp. 5, 6. I described the dream in nearly identical terms in (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 17, 18, and added that “I felt a sense of pity and love toward my brother ... .”

Characteristically, my brother got the dream garbled in the 1986 letter of his that we quoted a few pages back: “When you saw the murdered babies in the Nazi camp ... When you vowed to protect me at the expense of your own life ... .” (See Note 30 above.) Compare this with the correct account of the dream. Later we will see other instances in which my brother has gotten his facts garbled.

[140] This letter has not been preserved, and I am relying here on memory and on the 1986 letter in which I mentioned the remark about “great hatred.” See Note 29 above.

[141] (Ca) FL #271, letter from me to David Kaczynski, September, 1982, p. 2.

[142] (Ca) FL #458, letter from me to my mother, July 5, 1991, p. 9. (Ca) FL #423, letter from me to my mother, January 15, 1991, pp. 4, 5: “I always felt you were a good mother to me during my early years. It was when I was around 8 years old that your behavior and the family atmosphere began to deteriorate, and it was during my teens that I was subjected to constant, cutting insults such as imputations of immaturity or mental illness.” My Xerox copy of the copy of this letter that I mailed to my mother is illegible in places. Therefore, for one line of the foregoing quotation I had to refer to p. 2 of the copy of this letter that I kept in my cabin.

[143] Example of minor physical aggression is given in (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 47 (throwing saucepan).

[144] (Ca) FL #339, letter from me to David Kaczynski, May, 1986, pp. 3, 4. A similar account is given in (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 38, 39. For confirmation see (Ca) FL#458, letter from me to my mother, July 5, 1991, p. 9. (Ab) Autobiog of TJK 1959, p. 5, has: “My relationship with my parents used to be generally affectionate, but the last few years it has deteriorated considerably ... .”

[145] (Ab) Autobiog of TJK 1959, p. 3; (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 23; (Ga) Deeds #2, #3.

[146] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 23.

[147] Karl C. Garrison, Psychology of Adolescence, 6th Edition, Prentice–Hall, pp. 199, 200.

[148] Same footnote as 144

[149] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 23 states: “I had a few friends in school, especially Larry S____ ... .” Dale Eickelman is discussed on pp. 50–52 of (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979. In (Qb) Written Investigator Report #34, Eickelman confirmed his friendship with me. None of the other friendships is documented; for them I rely on memory.

[150] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 47–50; (Ba) Journals of TJK, Series VI #1, pp. 25–30 (October 1, 1974).

[151] (Fa) School Records of TJK, E. P. Elementary; (Ab) Autobiog of TJK 1959, p. 3; (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 24.

[152] (Hb) Washington Post, June 16, 1996, p. A20. Unfortunately, the results of the personality test are not found in my surviving school records. That I did take such a test is confirmed by (Aa) Autobiog of TJK 1958: “[In fifth grade] I came to the attention of the curriculum and guidance counselor ... . I was taken out of class several times that year to take a battery of tests, including I.Q., achievement, personality and aptitude tests.”

[153] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 24.

[154] (Ae) Autobiog of Wanda (the entire document).

[155] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 78, 79; (Da) Ralph Meister’s Declaration, p. 1, paragraph 5; p. 2, paragraphs 7, 8.

[156] Regarding the last sentence of this paragraph, see (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 39; for all the rest of the paragraph, see same document, p. 24.

[157] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 24, 25; (Ca) FL #458, letter from me to my mother, July 5, 1991, p. 10; (Cc) Notes on Family Letters, Number 3 (written in 1991), p. 5.

[158] (Cc) Notes on Family Letters, Number 3 (written in 1991), p. 5.

[159] (Ca) FL #458, letter from me to my mother, July 5, 1991, p. 10.

[160] (Ca) FL#459, letter from my mother to me, July 12, 1991, pp. 1, 2.

[161] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 25: “[M]any of the other boys drew warlike or gruesome pictures. Whether I drew such pictures more frequently than the other boys is a point on which my memory does not enlighten me.”

[162] (Ab) Autobiog of TJK 1959, pp. 3, 4; (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 25–29; (Ad) Autobiog of TJK 1988, pp. 2, 3; (Ca) FL #458, letter from me to my mother, July 5, 1991, pp. 10–12. In (Ab) Autobiog of TJK 1959 I greatly understated the humiliations to which I had been subjected in school because I was profoundly ashamed of them.

The abuse I suffered in school was mostly psychological, but there was a small amount of physical abuse. (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 28:

“[A] certain fellow verbally abused me, kicked my leg, and kicked my briefcase—all for no apparent reason.”

(Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 26

“[In gym class] a large, heavy boy intentionally ran into me during a game, knocked me down, and fell on me, bruising my arm very painfully.”

The injury was severe enough so that my parents took me to the hospital and had my arm examined to make sure that it wasn’t broken. (Ea) Med Records of TJK, U. Chi., September 21, 1956, pp. 69–71. The “large, heavy boy” referred to was Jack McInerny.{67} When investigators working on my case tried to track him down, they found that his last known address was a transient hotel.

[163] (Ab) Autobiog of TJK 1959, pp. 4, 14; (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 25, 52–55, 131; (Ad) Autobiog of TJK 1988, pp. 2–4, 9, 11, 12; (Ca) FL #458, letter from me to my mother, July 5, 1991, pp. 14, 15. Again, shame led me to understate the case in (Ab) Autobiog of TJK 1959.

[164] (Qb) Written Investigator Report #57, Michael Johnson.

[165] Several former students at Evergreen Park Community High School who were interviewed by investigators confirmed that academically–oriented kids were harassed and insulted. These included George Duba (Qb) Written Investigator Report #28, pp. 1–3; Roger Podewell (Qb) Written Investigator Report #104, pp. 1, 2; Wayne Tripton (Qb) Written Investigator Report #142, p. 3.{68} As I’ve indicated in the Introduction, information reported to investigators about decades–old events has often proved wildly inaccurate, especially when (as in this case) there have been media reports that may have influenced it. However, George Duba’s reports of bitter personal experiences should probably be given weight as showing the existence of harassment, even though there is no way of knowing whether the reports are accurate in detail.

[166] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 40–42, 47; (Ca) FL #329, letter from me to David Kaczynski, March 15, 1986, p. 2; (Ad) Autobiog of TJK 1988, p. 3; (Ca) FL #458, letter from me to my mother, July 5, 1991, pp. 5–8, 12; (Da) Ralph Meister’s Declaration, p. 3, paragraph 9. Further documentation will be given in Chapter 4.

[167] During October or November of 1996, Gary Sowards told me that Dr. Julie Kriegler had told him that my brother had told her that my mother would have outbursts of rage during which her face would become red and contorted and she would make angry gestures that frightened my brother. It is true that my mother did have such outbursts, but I am relying on memory for the fact that Gary Sowards made this statement to me, since I did not write it down at the time.

On August 14, 1997, I asked Dr. Julie Kriegler to confirm this, and what she gave me then was a weaker version: “K asked, what did you see when [your mother] was angry? [Dave] said: Change of color in her face, her speech became quicker, she might make sudden movements. K asked what he meant. He said she would shake her hands and stomp her foot. As a child he felt that it felt close to feeling what violence would feel like—it was threatening.” (Ra) Oral Report from Dr. Julie Kriegler, August 14, 1997.

I had the distinct impression from Dr. Julie Kriegler that “it felt close to feeling what violence would feel like” was a verbatim quote of my brother’s words, and I clearly remember that I asked her to repeat the sentence so that I could be sure that I had it written down correctly. Nevertheless, when I asked her for confirmation of this report on February 12, 1998, she gave me the following version, which seems somewhat weaker: “Dr. K asked how did he know my mother was angry. When she was very angry you could tell because her color would change, speech would get quicker, would make sudden movements, that one could imagine would be closer to violence. Dr. K asked him what he meant. He said like shake her hands and stomp her foot.” (Ra) Oral Report from Dr. Julie Kriegler, February 12, 1998.

I asked Dr. Julie Kriegler about the words, “it felt close to feeling what violence would feel like,” and she said she couldn’t find them in her notes. If Dr. Julie Kriegler is asked about this matter again, I have no idea what she will say.

In any case, I know from my own memories that my mother did have outbursts of rage as I’ve described.

[168] (Ra) Oral Report from Dr. Julie Kriegler, July 24, 1997: “Wanda ... spoke of Ted R. [Ted Senior] withdrawing behind the newspaper. He didn’t like conflict, would withdraw from it and pick up the paper.” This is what Dr. Julie Kriegler told me, but, as I’ve noted elsewhere, she sometimes changes her story or claims she can’t remember something she told me, so I do not know whether she will confirm this information if she is asked.

[169] Same footnote as 164

[170] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 40, 41.

[171] Same, p. 42.

[172] Same footnote as 164

[173] Same, p. 41.

[174] This is confirmed in the interview with my mother in (Hb) Washington Post, June 16, 1996, p. A20.

[175] From (Ca) FL #330, letter from David Kaczynski to me, late March or early April, 1986, p. 22:

“I never, ever recall the parents berating you to me. In fact, they always encouraged me to look up to you.”

My parents would hardly have encouraged my brother to look up to me if they had thought I was the kind of sicko that the media have portrayed with my mother’s and brother’s encouragement.

[176] (Ca) FL #458, letter from me to my mother, July 5, 1991, pp. 3, 6.

[177] (Ad) Autobiog of TJK 1988, p. 12. In (Ab) Autobiog of TJK 1959, p. 11, I wrote: “My friendships are usually of long duration. Fairly close, but never really intimate.” I was not aware of any really intimate friendships among the boys in high school. The reader who thinks that there should have been such friendships should bear in mind that the teenage culture of Evergreen Park in 1955–58 may have been quite different from what he is familiar with. Boys simply did not bare their souls to one another.

I went to Harvard at the age of sixteen and made no close or lasting friendships there. However, during the summer following my freshman year at Harvard I continued to associate with some of my high–school friends ((Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 94; (Ab) Autobiog of TJK 1959, pp. 10, 11; here, the “rather dull fellow” is Jerry Ulrich, the “large fat fellow” is Russell Mosny, and the “very tall lank fellow” is Bob Pettis). Consequently I date my social isolation from age seventeen rather than sixteen.

By the way, there is an error on p. 94 of (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979. I wrote: “I think I became pretty well separated from all my Evergreen Park friends within about a year after leaving college.” instead of “college”, I should have written “high school”. I meant that I became separated from these friends after the summer following my first year at college. Actually, my memory of the chronology is rather fuzzy here. It’s possible that I may have continued to associate with some of my high–school friends even during the summer following my second year at college. In (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 94, 95, I may have inadvertently telescoped the events of two summers into one.

[178] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 50–54; (Qb) Written Investigator Report #34, Dale Eickelman.

[179] (Ab) Autobiog of TJK 1959, p. 3, referring to seventh grade: “I did make a couple of good friends among the better students ... .”

[180] (Ad) Autobiog of TJK 1988, p. 12.

[181] (Ab) Autobiog of TJK 1959, p. 10: “One of my oldest friends is a rather dull fellow, average intelligence ... .” This was Jerry Ulrich I was probably giving him a little too much credit in describing his intelligence as average.

[182] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 30, 94–95. Bob Pettis is the “very tall lank fellow” described as one of my best friends in (Ab) Autobiog of TJK 1959, p. 11. Bob Pettis confirmed his friendship with me in (Qb) Written Investigator Report #100.

[183] Ruth Knudson, Tom’s mother, has confirmed that he and I were friends. (Qb) Written Investigator Report #64, p. 1. I mention this report for whatever it may be worth, but some of the other information given by Mrs. Knudson is incorrect.{69}

[184] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 94.

[185] Same footnote as 182

[186] Same footnote as 180

[187] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 25, 94, 119–121. Mosny is the “large, fat fellow” referred to in (Ab) Autobiog of TJK 1959, pp. 10, 11.

[188] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 29, 94.

[189] (Fb) School Records of TJK, E.P. High School; (Fc) School Records of TJK, Harvard, pp. 12, 14; (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 28; (Ab) Autobiog of TJK 1959, p. 4; (Aa) Autobiog of TJK 1958, p. 2.

[190] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 28.

[191] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 46, 47 has: “Throughout my earlier teens I suffered increasingly from chronic boredom ... . Often I would visit a friend’s home, or a friend would visit my home. But if these visits lasted any length of time, I would usually get bored ... . Best, I liked physical games such as playing catch; but ... outside of gym classes, I never had a chance to participate in complicated games like softball and football, which I suppose would have held my interest better. Because there were never enough guys available for a regular game, we had to play very simple games like catch.”

[192] (Ea) Med Records of TJK, U. Chi., April 24, 1952, p. 53; April 17, 1953, p. 57; April 27, 1954, p. 58; April 14, 1955, p. 59; April 20, 1956, p. 67; June, 1957, p. 73; April 21, 1958, p. 74.

[193] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 79: “Respectability is important to her.”

[194] I can think of few instances (prior to the time when my mother wrote this letter) in which I intentionally rejected friendly advances. No doubt I often seemed cool toward people; this was because my experiences in school had conditioned me to be afraid of social situations and of the possibility of rejection. Moreover, one of the symptoms of abuse is social withdrawal.

[195] From (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 28, 29:

“As a result of [the rejection I’d experienced] I think I developed a kind of stoical coldness. (Not daring to fight back, and not wishing to show weakness, my only choice in the face of hostility was to be cold and stoical.) The cold impression was often accentuated by shyness, and I suspect that my apparent cold aloofness may have alienated some kids who might otherwise have been friendly.”

[196] Actually I suffered from chronic boredom. See Note 42.

[197] The truth: “[M]y parents put pressure on me to earn money to help pay for my education ... . I was supposed to be not only brilliant, but industrious ... .

“I felt very shy and uncomfortable among the people on these jobs. When asked about my personal background I should have lied. The first job I had the first summer was as a busboy in a restaurant. One waitress there gave me a hard time, being evidently jealous of my education; she would bitterly make remarks like: ‘We don’t need brains around here—we need a strong back.’” —(Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 95.

[198] (Fc) School Records of TJK, Harvard, pp. 18, 19; letter from Wanda Kaczynski to Skiddy Von Stade (Harvard Dean of Freshmen), July 16, 1958. I had already been admitted to Harvard, so there was no need for my mother to fib in order to secure my admission.

[199] (Hb) Washington Post, June 16, 1996.

[200] (He) 60 Minutes, September 15, 1996.

[201] My brother told Dr. Julie Kriegler that there was no “permission” to talk with parents about internal struggles. (Ra) Oral Reports from Dr. Julie Kriegler, July 24, 1997 and February 12, 1998. As noted elsewhere, oral reports I’ve received have not proved reliable; but see Note 52.

[202] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 115; (Ca) FL #458, letter from me to my mother, July 5, 1991, pp. 6, 7. (Da) Ralph Meister’s Declaration, p. 3, paragraph 10 has: “Teddy John was ... afraid to tell Wanda about emotional problems or difficulties he encountered with his peer group because that would have caused a rent in the picture she had of her son.”

[203] (Ha) NY Times Nat., May 26, 1996, p. 22, column 1.

[204] (Hc) Sacramento Bee, January 19, 1997, p. A16, column 1.

[205] (He) 60 Minutes, September 15, 1996, Part One, p. 8.

[206] Same, Part Two, p. 3.

[207] (Na) FBI 302 number 2, pp. 6, 7.

[208] (Na) FBI 302 number 1, p. 3.

[209] (Na) FBI 302 number 3, p. 5.

[210] See Note 21 above. But contrary to what the FBI says my brother told them, I was compared to Walter Teszewski only twice, and in at least one of those cases it was my mother who made the comparison.

[211] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 18. The story is also told in (Ca) FL #339, letter from me to David Kaczynski, Summer, 1986, p. 4. My brother probably got the story from this letter and at some subsequent time began to imagine that he had witnessed the incident himself.

[212] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 18, 19.

[213] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 41. (Ca) FL #407, letter from me to David Kaczynski, October 13, 1990, p. I has: " ... during my teens, but, while Dad was always rather cold to me during that period ... .” Also see (Ca) FL #408, letter from me to my mother, October 13, 1990 (copy kept in cabin).

[214] (He) 60 Minutes, September 15, 1996, Part One, p. 3:

“WANDA KACZYNSKI: ... if [Ted] heard cars driving up, he’d say ‘ooh, there’s so–and–so.’ He says, ‘don’t call me down. I—I don’t want to see them. I don’t want to see them.’ He’d go upstairs.”

The foregoing is not strictly accurate, but it is true that I often avoided visitors by going to my attic room. See also (Hb) Washington Post, June 16, 1996, p. A20, middle of last column on the page. And see (Na) FBI 302 number 1, p. 3: “DAVE noted that TED would often retreat to the attic whenever anyone came to the house to visit.”

[215] (Qc) Written Reports by Scharlette Holdman, p. 2: “Withdrawal is a common reaction for abused children and includes withdrawing from visitors.”

[216] (Ca) FL#149, letter from me to David Kaczynski, April 4, 1974, pp. 1, 2.

[217] (Ca) FL #154, letter from me to my parents, late March, 1975, p. 1.

[218] (Ca) FL #198, letter from me to my parents, February 7, 1977.

[219] (Ca) FL #199, fragment of a letter from my mother to me, Spring, 1977.

[220] Even if my parents had apologized satisfactorily and I had forgiven them, it's not clear whether I would have been able to get along with them. There were other serious problems in the relationship, among them my parents' self–righteous attitude, which underlay their refusal to give me a frank and open–hearted apology.

My conflicting feelings toward my parents are illustrated by the family correspondence. In addition to my bitter letters to them there are some affectionate ones. For example, (Ca) FL #115, letter from me to my mother, May 9, 1970:

“You [illegible] to have been concerned about whether you have been too crabby [“being crabby” was my mother’s euphemism for constant, vituperative nagging], whether you have been a good mother to me, etc. So I want to say that I think you are the best mother that anybody could ask for. In fact, both my parents have been the certain ways. Please try not to worry about me so much.”

Of course, I hadn’t forgotten the way I’d been treated during my teens, but I was feeling sorry for my parents, especially my mother, because she seemed so grieved and upset over our difficult relations.

[221] (Ca) FL #208, possible letter from my mother to me, probably late 1977 or early 1978.

[222] (Ca) FL #273, letter from me to my parents, around Christmastime, 1982, p. 1. The content of this letter shows it was written around Christmastime. Since the fact that this undated letter was written in 1982 is significant, I will explain how the year was confirmed. The letter continues:

“My root cellar is not actually finished, but it is finished enough so that I have my vegetables stored in it for the winter ... . Potatoes, parsnips, and sugar beets. I don’t have enough potatoes and sugar beets to last the whole winter, but ... I expect to be eating 4 parsnips a day almost until the wild greens become available in the spring.”

(Ba) Journals of TJK, Series V #1, November 19, 1982, contains the following entry (translated from Spanish to English):

“Though I haven’t finished my cellar, I have finished it enough to be able to put my vegetables in it. Altogether I grew approximately 80 sugar beets; the amount of potatoes needed to fill a five–gallon bucket 1¾ times (but I had already eaten almost half of said quantities of potatoes and beets before putting them in the cellar); and, in addition to certain parsnips that I had already eaten, I collected almost 600 parsnips to store in my cellar.”

If we suppose there are about 145 days between November 19 and mid–April of the following year, and if I ate four parsnips a day throughout this period, then I would eat 580 parsnips. Thus my journal clearly supports my memory in assigning this letter (Ca) FL #273 to very late 1982 or very early 1983. Further confirmation is provided by the fact that I never grew sugar beets again after 1982. The only way I knew to get sugar beet seeds was either to order them from a certain company that required a ten–dollar minimum order (not worth it to me) or to grow them myself. I couldn’t grow them myself because the roots didn’t survive the winter, and at that time I didn’t know that the roots could be saved in a cellar and re–planted in the spring. From (Ba) Journals of TJK, Series V #1, May 12, 1983 (translated from Spanish to English):

“A few days ago I discovered that the sugar beets, that I left in the ground last fall so that they would produce seeds this summer, are dead and rotten ... I don’t understand how the seeds of sugar beets are produced if they [the beets] don’t survive the winters.”

[223] (Ca) FL#329, letter from me to David Kaczynski, March 15, 1986, pp. 3, 4.

[224] (Ha) NY Times Nat., May 26, 1996, p. 24, column 3.

[225] (Na) FBI 302 number 2, p. 7. According to the FBI, my mother told them that her and my father's “last trip to Montana in the mid 1980’s was a most wonderful visit. TED took them to see the flowers in the meadow and they generally had a great time. Shortly after returning to Illinois [sic; dangling participle], TED sent an angry letter in which TED said he did not want to hear from the family anymore. That was the last visit that they made to Montana and she believed that it must have been about 1985.” —(Na) FBI 302 number 10, p. 3.

Thus, my mother’s account agrees with my brother’s. Yet the family letters and my journals show that they are both wrong. Probably my brother got his information from my mother and that’s why their accounts agree.

[226] (Ca) FL#258, letter from me to my parents, May 17, 1982, p. 3.

[227] (Ca) FL#260, letter from me to my parents, May 25, 1982.

[228] Same footnote as 220

[229] (Ba) Journals of TJK, Series V #1, May 25, 1983 and June 9, 1983. The journal does not state explicitly that I broke off with my parents, but it does say, “I can't endure my parents any more” (translated from Spanish), and it describes the issue over which I remember breaking off with my parents. For details, see Chapter 7.

[230] (Ca) FL#297, letter from my mother to me, December 24, 1984.

[231] Same footnote as 228

[232] (Ca) FL#320, letter from David Kaczynski to me, December 1985 or January, 1986, p. 1.

[233] (Ca) FL#322, letter from David Kaczynski to me, latter half of January, 1986, p. 1.

[234] (Ca) FL#329, letter from me to David Kaczynski, March 15, 1986, pp. 1–3.

[235] Same, p. 4.

[236] (Ca) FL#330, letter from David Kaczynski to me, late March or early April, 1986, p. 8.

[237] Same, p. 11.

[238] Same, p. 13.

[239] Same, p. 15.

[240] Same, p. 16.

[241] Same, p. 17.

[242] Same, p. 18.

[243] Same, pp. 18, 19.

[244] Same, pp. 20, 21.

[245] Same, p. 23.

[246] Same, p. 25.

[247] Same, p. 26.

[248] (Ca) FL#331, letter from me to David Kaczynski, April 16, 1986, p. 1.

[249] Same, pp. 5, 6.

[250] (Ca) FL#332, letter from me to David Kaczynski, April 21, 1986, p. 1.

[251] Same, pp. 3, 4.

[252] See Chapter Ill pp. 11 19, 11 20, and Note 33.

[253] (Ca) FL#334, letter from my parents to me, April, 1986.

[254] (Ca) FL#335, letter from me to David Kaczynski, April 30, 1986, pp. 4, 5.

[255] (Ca) FL#339, letter from me to David Kaczynski, May, 1986, pp. 3, 4.

[256] (Ca) FL#407, letter from me to David Kaczynski, October 13, 1990 (copy from cabin), p. 1.

[257] (Ca) Fh#408, letter from me to my mother, October 13, 1990 (copy from cabin).

[258] This is (Ae) Autobiography of Wanda.

[259] (Cb) FL Supplementary Item #4, letter from Freda Dombek Tuominen to Wanda Kaczynski, October 1, 1986.

[260] In terms of sheer quantity my mother certainly inflicted more abuse than my father did, but, as I indicated earlier, my father's insults tended to be more cutting than my mother's. So if quantity can be balanced by severity, then my father might be said to have abused me verbally as much as my mother did.

[261] The three dots are in the original.

[262] (Ca) FL#423, letter from me to my mother, January 15, 1991, pp. 4–6. On the Xerox copy of the original that the FBI has provided, some parts are illegible or “cut off.” These have been filled in from the copy of this letter that I kept in the cabin.

[263] (Ca) FL#427, letter from my mother to me, January 19, 1991, p. 1.

[264] (Ca) FL#428, letter from me to my mother, January 22, 1991, p. 1.

[265] (Ca) FL#430, letter from my mother to me, January 30, 1991.

[266] (Ca) FL#453, letter from my mother to me, June 5, 1991.

[267] (Ca) FL#456, letter from my mother to me, June 21, 1991.

[268] (Ca) FL#458, letter from me to my mother, July 5, 1991, p. 1.

[269] Same, pp. 5, 6.

[270] "[M]aybe you would feel less stressed if you could learn to forgive.” (Ca) FL#429, letter from my mother to me, January 23, 1991, p. 4.

[271] Here I was referring to the fact that my mother has often expressed bitterness against her own parents.

[272] (Ca) FL#458, letter from me to my mother, July 5, 1991, p. 17.

[273] (Ca) FL#459, letter from my mother to me, July 12, 1991.

[274] (Ca) FL#460, Ietter from my mother to me, mid–July, 1991.

[275] (Cc) Notes on Family Letters, Number 3 (written in 1991).

[276] Same, p. 1.

[277] Same, p. 2.

[278] Same, p. 3. See Chapter 3, Note 45 [of PDF, 189 of HTML].

[279] (Hf) Newsweek, April 22, 1996, p. 32:

“Wanda Kaczynski had become a high–school teacher, but not a very effective one. The mother who had so determinedly pushed her own children could not connect with ninth graders. They mocked her, calling her ‘Six Toes,’ and meowing at the back of the class, saying they could not hear their teacher over the sound of the cats. Frustrated by the task of managing children, Wanda gave up the job.”

[280] (Ca) FL#461, letter from me to David Kaczynski, July 20, 1991.

[281] (Cc) Notes on Family Letters, Number 4 (written in 1991).

[282] (Ca) FL#463, postcard from my mother to me, early August, 1991.

[283] (Ca) FL#466, Ietter from me to David Kaczynski, August 13, 1991 (copy from cabin; copy mailed to Dave has not survived, as far as I know).

[284] "DAVE noted that TED has long been furious with his parents over the implication that his anger stems from this early incident [the 'hospital experience'], since he insists that his anger issues from the emotional abuse he received from his parents during his adolescence, and the fact that they have refused to take responsibility for it.” (Na) FBI 302 number 2, p. 6.

[285] That is, in academic subjects (not gym, etc.) (Fb) School Records of TJK, E.P. High School.

[286] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 33–35.

[287] (He) 60 Minutes, September 15, 1996, Part One, p. 7. The letter quoted by Mike Wallace is (Ca) FL #458, letter from me to my mother, July 5, 1991. The quotation is actually a composite made by intermixing material from two different passages on p. 6 of the letter.

[288] (Ha) NY Times Nat., May 26, 1996, p. 24, column 5. The letter referred to FL #458, cited in the preceding note.

[289] (Na) FBI 302 number 1, p. 4.

[290] (Ca) FL #330, letter from David Kaczynski to me, late March or early April, 1986, pp. 16, 17.

[291] Same, p. 18.

[292] (Da) Ralph Meister’s Declaration, p. 2, paragraph 7.

[293] Same, p. 2, paragraph 5.

[294] Same, p. 3, paragraph 8.

[295] Same, p. 3, paragraph 10.

[296] Same, p. 3, paragraph 9.

[297] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 38.

[298] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 60.

[299] (Ab) Autobiog of TJK 1959, p. 5; (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 60.

[300] (Ca) FL #448, letter from me to my mother, May 16, 1991, pp. 3, 4. But in fairness to Finley, note this from (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 67: “I never became closely acquainted with Finley, and it is possible that my antipathy toward him may have distorted my view. Therefore I cannot be certain that my description of his personality and motives has been accurate.”

Joseph Alsop, FDR, 1882–1945: A Centenary Remembrance, The Viking Press New York, 1982, p. 12: “[A]s late as 1955 John F. Kennedy was rejected the first time he was nominated for the Board of Overseers, because the majority of the voting alumni of Harvard were even then not ready to see as Overseer this Irish Catholic ... .” Doubtless many of the “voting alumni” were of an older generation—but so was Finley.

[301] For example, (Qb) Written Investigator Reports #14 (Gerald Burns, p. 1), #46 (Larry Heinen, pp. 2–4),{70} #79 (Patrick McIntosh, pp. 2, 3). But these reports (Qb) are so wildly unreliable that the reader need not give them much weight. The statements of Burns and McIntosh are particularly irresponsible.

[302] (Ca) FL #450, letter from my mother to me, May 20, 1991.

[303] (Ca) FL #458, letter from me to my mother, July 5, 1991, p. 13.

[304] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 64: “When I first got to Harvard I felt obliged to make friends. ... If I was too solitary I feared people would conclude that there was something wrong with me.”

[305] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 64: “[A]t least some of [the fellows in my freshman dormitory] regarded me as some kind of a wierdo [sic].” Today I’m not sure that this was actually the case, in view of the relatively favorable impressions of my personality that I find recorded. It may be that I imagined people saw me this way only because my parents had brainwashed me into thinking that there was something wrong with me. But see Note 31 below.

[306] (Ea) Med Records of TJK, U. Chi., February 18, 1949, p. 42; May 18, 1950, p. 51; May 8, 1951, pp. 51–52; April 24, 1952, pp. 53–54; April 17, 1953, p. 57; April 27, 1954, p. 58; April 14, 1955, p. 59; April 20, 1956, p. 67; June 1957, p. 73; April 21, 1958, p. 74; September 10, 1959, p. 78; September 15, 1959, p. 88.

[307] (Ha) NY Times Nat., May 26, 1996, p. 22, column 5. I kept my 20/20 vision at least until the age of 41, when my eyes were tested at 20/20 by Dr. Bruce Coen of Helena, Montana. See (Eb) Med Records of TJK, Dr. Coen. I got my first pair of glasses at the age of 49, and even today, at 55, I have good distance vision and can read ordinary–size print without glasses.

[308] (Fc) School records of TJK, Harvard, p. 45.

[309] Same, pp. 46, 46A.

[310] (Fa) School Records of TJK, E. P. Elementary.

[311] (Fb) School Records of TJK, E. P. High School.

[312] (Fc) School Records of TJK, Harvard, pp. 10–12.

[313] Actually my interest in and knowledge of astronomy were minimal, as Miss Skillen ought to have known, and probably did know.

[314] Same footnote as 310

[315] (Fc) School Records of TJK, Harvard, p. 16.

[316] The pants, and the curses about the amount of work I had to do are spoken of on pp. 64, 65 of (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, which continues: “A couple of times I overheard the guys in the next room making fun of these peculiarities.”

[317] Same footnote as 313

[318] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 65.

[319] Same footnote as 316

[320] (Fc) School Records of TJK, Harvard, p. 39.

[321] My object at this point in the book is to review all of the documentary evidence about my personality that dates from before my arrest and the ensuing publicity. But so that no one can accuse me of trying to cover anything up, I inform the reader that the tone of this Resident Freshman Advisor Report does not well concord with Murphy’s recent remarks to the media and to investigators. These last strike me as almost bizarre, and they must be heavily influenced by the phenomenon of media planting; I discuss them at length in Appendix 2.

[322] (Fc) School Records of TJK, Harvard, pp. 40, 41.

[323] Same footnote as 320

[324] (Fd) School Records of TJK, U. Mich., p. 9.

[325] Same, pp. 8, 10.

[326] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 70–72.

[327] Kenneth Keniston, The Uncommitted, Harcourt, Brace, and World, 1965, p. 475. For other examples see (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 75–77.

[328] (Ca) FL #448, letter from me to my mother, May 16, 1991, pp. 4, 5. Words in brackets were “cut off” on my copy of p. 4 of this letter, and I have filled them in from memory.

[329] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 74.

[330] (Fd) School Records of TJK, U. Mich., p. 104.

[331] Same, p. 59.

[332] Same footnote as 328

[333] Same footnote as 328

[334] Same, p. 14.

[335] Same, p. 13.

[336] Same footnote as 328

[337] Same footnote as 328

[338] Same footnote as 328

[339] Same footnote as 328

[340] Same, p. 17.

[341] Part of the information in this paragraph is confirmed by (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 62, 63, and (Fc) School Records of TJK, Harvard, p. 37. Most of the rest of the information is confirmed by two other documents. (Ca) FL #31, letter from me to my parents, early June, 1962: “Comment on my Math 212b postcard: (nice exam: third highest in class) L.H.L. [= Lynn Harold Loomis] So, without having that stupid math 250 on my back this term, I was able to do a decent job on Math 212b.” Confidential Report on Applicant for Financial Support of Graduate Study, written by Lynn Harold Loomis on February 9, 1962, (Fd) School Records of TJK, U. Mich., p. 8: “I have just given Kaczynski a B in the first half of our real variables course (Math 212a) ... . He did reasonably well for an undergraduate in a course which is dominated by a strong group of graduate students.”

[342] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 133: “I took ... real analysis [Math 601 and 602] under Duren the first semester. ... I didn’t want to take the real analysis, since I’d learned most of that stuff at Harvard, but they told me I’d better take it anyway ... .”

By the way, when I quote conversations that took place decades ago but were not recorded in writing at the time, I of course do not claim to be reproducing them with word–for–word accuracy. But I do not invent dialogue unless I am confident that it accurately reflects the substance of what was said.

[343] (Fd) School Records of TJK, U. Mich., p. 112.

[344] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 173.

[345] Same, p. 147.

[346] (Hf) Newsweek, April 22, 1996, p. 30.

[347] T.J. Kaczynski, “Boundary Functions for Functions Defined in a Disk,” Journal of Mathematics and Mechanics, Vol. 14, No. 4 (1965), p. 589.

[348] (Ca) FL #80, letter from me to my parents, Spring, 1964, p. 1: “It’s a good thing I didn't follow Piranian’s suggestions about how to attack the problem, or I never would have solved it!”

Piranian urged me to prove (a) that every continuous function in the disk admits a family of disjoint arcs, and to deduce from this (b) that every boundary function for a continuous function can be made into a function of the first Baire class by changing its values on at most a countable set. (The terminology is explained in F. Bagemihl and G. Piranian, “Boundary Functions for Functions Defined in a Disk,” Michigan Mathematical Journal, 8 (1961), pp. 201–207.)

I maintained that it would be much easier to prove (b) by examining inverse–image sets, and I even suggested that (b) might then be used to prove (a). And that’s how it turned out. I did prove (b) within three months or so by using inverse–image sets. The proof of (a) was vastly more difficult. I didn’t succeed in proving (a) until two decades later, and I had to use (b) in order to do it. The proof of (a) has not been published.

[349] (Fd) School Records of TJK, U. Mich., p. 84.

[350] (Kb) Lincoln Interviews, p. 75.

[351] Same, p. 23.

[352] (Ha) NY Times Nat., May 26, 1996, p. 24, column 2.

[353] (Qc) Written Reports by Investigator # 2, p. 1: “Joel Schapiro [sic; correct spelling is Shapiro] thought that Prof. Saari’s colleagues at Northwestern University were embarrassed about the story he gave to the media."

[354] (Ha) NY Times Nat., May 26, 1996, p. 23, column 1.

[355] (Hg) Time, April 15, 1996, p. 45.

[356] (Ca) FL # 8, letter from me to my parents, January, 1961, p. 1. The incident is also described in (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 101; but McIntosh is not named.

[357] (Qb) Written Investigator Report # 79, Patrick McIntosh, p. 12. This page also is the source of the information at Mclntosh had only one year of graduate school and that he formerly worked in an observatory. On p. 9 of this same report we find: “One time, Patrick went to his Harvard advisor for help. The advisor’s response was, ‘Of course you are having trouble. The only reason you got into Harvard was because Harvard needed more students from your region of the country.’” This was certainly a heartless thing to say, however true it may have been.

[358] When I was teaching at Michigan and later at Berkeley, I always wore a suit and tie myself on days when I had to teach, but never at other times. I was being paid to teach, and I felt it was part of what I was being paid for to wear clothes that would encourage an appropriate atmosphere in the classroom. Besides, I was so young–looking that I was afraid the students might not take me seriously as a teacher if I didn’t dress the part.

[359] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p.69: “During my junior year I made a couple of other ... I won’t say friends, but close aquaintances. But they both left Harvard before the next academic year.” (The three dots are in the original.) The “close acquaintances” were Fred Hapgood and Bob Crosman I often ate with them in the dining hall, and I regularly went to conditioning class with Bob Crosman (I'm not sure I remember Bob Crosman's last name correctly.)

(Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 104; “In my junior year, one Fred Ha_, a roommate of mine, made a disparaging comment about my size—which was inappropriate coming from him, since I had earlier proved myself to be quite his equal both in wrestling and arm–wrestling, even though he weighed 165 while I was 140. (Of course, 10 pounds or so of his weight was probably just excess fat.)”

[360] (Hf) Newsweek, April 15, 1996, p. 34.

[361] Same footnote as 353

[362] (Qb) Written Investigator Report #79, Patrick McIntosh, p. 4.

[363] (Ha) NY Times Nat., May 26, 1996, p. 22, column 5.

[364] Same, p. 23, column 1.

[365] (Jb) Unabomber, p. 86.

[366] Same footnote as 358

[367] (Ca) FL#28, letter from me to my parents, March 12, 1962.

[368] (Qa) Oral Report from Susan Garvey, October 6, 1997: “[The oddball]: Said he didn’t know anyone in N–43 and didn’t recognize anyone’s name. Uncooperative, seemed odd.”

[369] Same footnote as 362

[370] Same footnote as 358

[371] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 60: “I had no respect for courses in the bullshit subjects (Humanities and Social Sciences) ... .” Recall from Chapter 5 that F.E.X. Murphy wrote in his evaluation of me: “His lack of interest in anything other than science is reflected in the relatively poor grades he received in Humanities and Social Sciences.” (Fc) School Records of TJK, Harvard, p. 39.

In a letter that I wrote my parents while I was at Harvard, I taped to the page a clipping from the Harvard Crimson (the school newspaper) which read, in part:

“... ‘I have been painfully forced to the belief,’ [Bertand Russell] once remarked, ‘that nine tenths of what is commonly regarded as philosophy is humbug. The only part that is at all definite is logic, and since it is logic, it is not philosophy.’”

Below the clipping I wrote:“I noted with triumph the above quotation of Bertand Russell in the Crimson. I have long maintained that philosophy is humbug and now I find that even a philosopher admits it.” (Ca) FL #5, letter from me to my parents, between 1958 and 1962.

This should suffice to convince anyone that I was not interested in Immanuel Kant.

[372] Same footnote as 361

[373] Same footnote as 361

[374] Same footnote as 361

[375] (Qc) Written Reports by Investigator # 2, pp. 2, 4.

[376] Same footnote as 361

[377] The brackets and the word “Ted” are in the original as printed in Newsweek.

[378] Same footnote as 358

[379] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 30–32; (Mb) “Harold Sn.”

[380] Reports of decades–old events given to my investigators are so unreliable that they have little value, but for whatever it may be worth, at least three students who were present in the chemistry lab at the time of the incident have confirmed that no windows were broken. (Qb) Written Investigator Reports #50, #52, Mike Indovina, p. 1;{71} #87, Russell Mosny, September 13, 1996, p. 3.

[381] (Hb) Washington Post, June 16, 1996, p. A20.

[382] (Ka) Interview of Wanda by Betsy Anderson, p. 6.

[383] (Ea) Med Records of TJK, U. Chi., p. 78.

[384] Same, p. 82. Legibility is not good, but “mildly ill” does appear to be the correct reading.

[385] (Ea) Med Records of TJK, U. Chi., pp. 81, 83, 84, 86, 87, 89, 90. I was also examined by a few other doctors, but none of them was in any sense our “family doctor.”

[386] (Ea) Med Records of TJK, U. Chi., p. 83.

[387] Same, p. 89.

[388] Same, p. 83. Also see (Fc) School Records of TJK, Harvard, pp. 50–54.

[389] Same footnote as 381

[390] (Ea) Med Records of TJK, U. Chi., p. 75.

[391] (Fc) School Records of TJK, Harvard, pp. 56, 57.

[392] Same, pp. 59–63.

[393] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 119–127:; (Ad) Autobiog of TJK 1988, pp. 8–10.

[394] (Ha) NY Times Nat., May 26, 1996, p. 22, column 5. Also see p. 22, column 1.

[395] Same footnote as 379

[396] (Ka) Interview of Wanda by Betsy Anderson, p. 4. In (Ca) FL #458, letter from me to my mother, July 5, 1991, p. 8, I mentioned Ellen Arl’s name, and in an answering letter written a few days later, (Ca) FL #460, letter from my mother to me mid–July, 1991, my mother mentioned Ellen Arl's name correctly. But, as we’ve seen by 1996 she’d gone back to calling her “Eileen."

[397] (Na) FBI 302 number 1, p. 2.

[398] (Fd) School Records of TJK, U. Mich., pp. 23–42; (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 141.

[399] From (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979:

p. 150, “[A]round the time I left Harvard ... I got hold of ... a book on edible wild plants. ... [T]hereafter, in the summers, I used to go very frequently to the Cook County Forest Preserves ... .”

p. 162. “During the summer following my 4th year at Michigan, as usual, at the beginning of the summer I began going out to the forest preserves almost daily.”

[400] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 172.

[401] Same, p. 191.

[402] Same, pp. 191, 192.

[403] (Ca) FL #116, letter from me to my mother, October 5, 1970, pp. 3, 4.

[404] (Fe) School Records of David Kaczynski, Columbia.

[405] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 193.

[406] Same footnote as 402

[407] (Ga) Deed #4.

[408] (Ca) FL #116, letter from me to my mother, October 5, 1970, p. 6; “All during my teens, and again when I stayed with you during the past year, you would often threaten to put me out of the house when we had a disagreement.”

[409] (Ha) NY Times Nat., May 26, 1996, p. 23, columns 4, 5.

[410] (Ca) FL #116, letter from me to my mother, October 5, 1990, pp. 1–3.

[411] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 198; (Gb) Social Security Records of TJK; (Ca) FL#122, letter from me to my parents, March 21, 1972, p. 1.

[412] The letter referred to is (Ca) FL #330, letter from David Kaczynski to me, late March or early April, 1986, p. 18. I quoted from this letter in Chapter 5, pp. 142, 143.

[413] (Ca) FL #331, letter from me to David Kaczynski, April 16, 1986, p. 6. The fact that my mother had called me an “ungrateful monster'’ was also mentioned in (Ca) FL #198, letter from me to my parents, February 7, 1977, p. 2.

[414] (Ca) FL #127, letter from me to my parents, October 17, 1972.

[415] (Ca) FL #133, letter from me to my mother, Spring, 1973.

My mother did stop sending me the throwaways from Harvard, but unfortunately she sent Harvard my new address, so that they started sending me their junk mail directly. I put a stop to that by sending them an imaginary address: 788 Banchat Pesh, Khadar Khel, Afghanistan. (Hf) Newsweek, April 15, 1996, p. 35 described Khadar Khel as “a remote village near the Khyber Pass,” but if such a place exists it is a surprise to me. I just invented the name. Anyway, I received no more mail from Harvard after that. See (Fc) School Records of TJK, Harvard, p. 72.

[416] (Ca) FL. #154, letter from me to my parents, late March, 1975, p. 1.

[417] (Ca) FL #157, letter from me to my parents, April 9, 1975.

[418] (Ca) FL #169, letter from me to my parents, November 29, 1975, p. 4.

[419] (Ca) FL #170, letter from me to my parents, December 8, 1975.

[420] (Ca) FL#171, letter from me to my parents, December 24, 1975, p. 2.

[421] (Ca) FL #193, letter from me to my parents, November 26, 1976, pp. 4, 5.

[422] (Ca) FL #195, letter from me to my parents, December 18, 1976.

[423] (Ca) FL #205, letter from me to my parents, November 12, 1977.

[424] (Ca) FL #206, letter from me to my parents, December 17, 1977.

[425] (Ca) FL #207, letter from me to my parents, December 30, 1977.

[426] (Ca) FL #270, letter from me to my parents, August 27, 1982.

[427] (Ca) FL #273, letter from me to my parents, around Christmastime, 1982.

[428] This letter has not been preserved.

[429] Same footnote as 426

[430] A slight exaggeration.

[431] (Ba) Journals of TJK, Series V # 1, May 25, 1983.

[432] Same, June 9, 1983.

[433] Same footnote as 426

[434] Same footnote as 430

[435] Same footnote as 430

[436] Same footnote as 426

[437] (Rb) Written Information Confirmed by Dr. Julie Kriegler, item #2: “On 5/8/97, Freda [Dombek Tuominen] told Dr. Julie Kriegler that after I broke off relations with my mother and father in the early 1980's, my mother told Freda that the reason why my mother and father no longer went to visit me was that I found it too painful to part from them when the visit was over.”

[438] (Hb) Washington Post, June 16, 1996, p. A21.

[439] (Ha) NY Times Nat., May 26, 1996, p. 24, column 2.

[440] (Ca) FL#211, letter from me to my father, February 17, 1978, p.3.

[441] (Ca) FL #212, letter from me to my father, March 8, 1978, p.2.

[442] (Gb) Social Security Records of TJK. Also see Chapter 10

[443] Same footnote as 440

[444] (Na) FBI 302 number 1, p. 13: “In 1979, TED and DAVE’s parents formalized an agreement with both TED and DAVE to provide monetary gifts in order to minimize inheritance taxes. [Actually there was no formal agreement.] TED was given a lump sum of $3,000 [actually it was not given all at once, but in parts over a relatively short period of time] and $600 thereafter on his birthday and at Christmas. [Actually it was $500 at first; see Note 41.]”

My brother received $3,000 also, and the same birthday and Christmas gifts that I did: “The parents gave me another $1000 .” (Ca) FL #221 letter from David Kaczynski to me, September 6 (?), 1979. “Beginning in 1979, [Wanda] and her husband sent money to both TED and DAVE on their birthdays and at Christmas time.” (Na) FBI 302 number 10, p. 4.

(Ca) FL #242, letter from my parents to me, August, 1981, mentions several savings certificates that were in my parents’ names jointly with my name, my brother’s name, or both. The letter states that one certificate for $24,000 is eventually to be divided between my brother and me, and seems to imply that another certificate for $4,500 is considered my property. In reality I never received any of this money. My mother liked to put my name and my brother’s on her and my father’s savings certificates so that if they died suddenly my brother and I could get the money without going through probate court.

[445] (Pd) Application and Affidavit for Search Warrant, p. 86, paragraph 175. This documents the gifts only from 1985 to 1990, and the increase only from $1200 to $1500.

[446] (Ca) FL #325, letter from David Kaczynski to me, late January or early February, 1986, p. 3. y

[447] (Ca) FL #320, letter from David Kaczynski to me, late December, 1985, or early January, 1986, pp. 1, 2.

[448] Same footnote as 443

[449] (Ca) FL #461, letter from me to David Kaczynski, July 20, 1991, pp. 8, 9: “Mother must not send me any checks, money, or communication of any kind, except that one registered letter containing either the check for $7032.81 or the letter withdrawing all offers of money. Other than that one registered letter, any communications that I receive from you, Ma, or anyone else connected with our family, will be thrown in the stove unopened, regardless of whether they contain checks, money, or anything else important. ... As for my share of the inheritance, I don’t want any of it. Not because I can’t use the money, but because in order to collect the money I would have to have contact with the family, and I can’t endure that.”

(Pd) Application and Affidavit for Search Warrant, p. 86, paragraph 175, shows no check from my mother to me after the one for $7032.81 on July 26, 1991.

[450] (He) 60 Minutes, September 15, 1996, Part Two, p. 13:

“MIKE WALLACE: The Kaczynski family is not arguing that Ted’s mental condition—whatever the psychiatrists call it—means that he should be found ‘not guilty by reason of insanity.’ But if he is found guilty they want him locked away, and treated—not executed.”

My mother and brother were present and did not contradict, question, or qualify this statement of Mike Wallace.

[451] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 42: “When my brother was a baby, my mother remarked that he was a much more placid baby than I had been. She said I had been a comparatively squally, cantankerous infant. This difference between me and my brother has remained all our lives, and is quite marked.”

[452] (Ca) FL#248, letter from me to David Kaczynski, late summer or fall of 1981, p. 17.

[453] (Ha) NY Times Nat., May 26, 1996, p. 25, column 3.

[454] Same, p. 23, column 4.

[455] Same footnote as 452

[456] (Ca) FL#264, letter from David Kaczynski to me, Summer, 1982, pp. 2, 3.

[457] (Ca) FL#330, letter from David Kaczynski to me, late March or early April, 1986, p. 22.

[458] My note on (Ra) Oral Report from Dr. K ., March 13, 1997 reads: “Dave told [Dr. Julie Kriegler] ... that he looked up to me, strove to emulate me, and as it were defined himself through his relationship to me. His self–image was the image of himself that he saw ‘mirrored back’ from me. But, he said, the image of him that I ‘mirrored back’ was ‘impoverished’ (his word).” But (Ra) Oral Report from Dr. Julie Kriegler, February 12, 1998, describes the same statement of my brother’s a little differently: “Dave on 2/27/97 said he idealized me and looked up to me for many years. Said there was a lot of emulation for many years. He wanted to have a relationship in which I would be his mentor. ... [T]he relationship was a way of coming to know oneself, and to have a reflection of oneself, and it was as if the only sense of self or of reflection was a sense of impoverishment, which was very painful.” (Rb) Written Information Confirmed by Dr. Julie Kriegler, item #3, gives the same information in almost identical language, and Dr. Julie Kriegler confirmed this item by initialing it.

[459] The incident certainly took place in summer, since the water–squirting implies warm weather. In (Gb) Medical form filled out for the Anaconda Company by David Kaczynski, my brother states that the incident took place in 1953. It’s uncertain whether this date is correct, but if it is correct, then the incident took place in the summer of 1953, when I was eleven years old and my brother was a little short of four. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the incident actually took place in 1954.

[460] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 39, 40. (Ca) FL#458, letter from me to my mother, July 5, 1991, pp. 3, 4 tells the same story in briefer form but with the additional information that “I was just about to tell [Dave] that he’d better get down [from the chair] because he might fall—when he fell.”

[461] (Ea) Med Records of TJK, U. Chi., July 25, 1955, p. 61; October 1, 1955 and October 19, 1956, p. 63.

[462] (Ca) FL#458, letter from me to my mother, July 5, 1991, p. 4.

[463] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 99: “[Dave] was snotty and a chronic tease.” (Ca) FL#248, letter from me to David Kaczynski, late summer or fall of 1981 pp. 17–18: “[W]hen you were a kid you would tell me little lies and then after you took me in you would laugh about it. ... You felt dominated by big brother, but by taking him in with a tall tale you could be ‘one up’ on him for a change.” (A couple of words that are illegible on [the Xerox copy of] the mailed copy of this letter have been filled in with the help of [the Xerox copy of] the copy kept in the cabin.) (Ca) FL#459, letter from my mother to me, July 12, 1991, p. 1: “I remember yelling in anger at Dave because he had the bad habit of teasing you.”

[464] (Ca) FL#329, letter from me to David Kaczynski, March 15, 1986, pp. 4–6:

“[l]n thinking about [my resentment of our parents] during the last few years, I’ve become more aware of the fact that the shit I had to take from our parents I tended to pass on to you, so that you have somewhat the same reason to resent me as I have to resent our parents. I have already apologized to you for this, and I now repeat the apology. I very much regret having bullied and insulted you the way I often did. I wouldn’t blame you if you hated my guts for it. It’s an indication of the generosity of your character that you’ve shown very little resentment toward me.

“I would note, though, that my position with respect to our parents was worse than your position with respect to me. Our parents were the last authority in the case, so that in conflicts with them I always lost. I generally ended by getting sent up to the attic where I could do nothing but sit and be gnawed by frustrated anger. You, on the other hand, in your conflicts with me could often turn to our parents for support and by that means were sometimes able to carry your point. I had nowhere near as much power over you as the parents had over me. I want to emphasize that I say this not to excuse or minimize the way I sometimes abused you, but to help make it clear to you why I have such a deep resentment against our parents.”

(Ca) FL#458, letter from me to my mother, July 5, 1991 (copy kept in cabin), pp. 4, 5:

“It’s certainly true that Dave had reason to resent me—I sometimes dominated him physically and often harassed [sic] him verbally. In part this was because I was the defenseless victim of insults both from my parents and from the kids in school, so that I had a lot of frustrated anger that I tended to take out on Dave, especially since he had a type of personality that I probably would have found irritating in any case.”

(Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, pp. 98, 99:

“[T]here was a period of several years during my teens when I had a great many squabbles with my brother. ... I used my superior size and strength to dominate him with very little regard for his feelings.”

I don’t think I ever did anything to inflict physical pain on Dave, as by hitting him or twisting a limb. I merely dominated him by holding him down or overpowering him in some other way.

[465] Same footnote as 462

[466] (Ca) FL#330, letter from David Kaczynski to me, late March or early April, 1986, p. 26: “l hate to think that at times our family may have organized itself according to the pattern of 3 against 1.”

[467] (Ab) Autobiog of TJK 1959, p. 7.

[468] (Ca) FL#331, letter from me to David Kaczynski, April 16, 1986, p. 3.

[469] I hesitate to make use of the decades–old memories that my investigators obtained from various people, since so many of them are wildly inaccurate. However, several persons mentioned my brother’s adulation of me, and their agreement on this point perhaps is not due to media planting since, as far as I know, the media made only slight mention of Dave’s big–brother worship. So I venture to quote [text unknown] passages, but advise the reader to bear in mind the unreliability of [text unknown] (Reports #32, 33, 122 are full of fantasy, so the quotations from them given may well exaggerate my brother’s adulation.)

(Qb) Written Investigator Report #2, Tim B., p. 4: “Dave was very proud of Ted and aspired to be like him. He wanted to purchase land in the wilderness, in part, because that was what Ted had done. Dave felt inferior to Ted. Dave recently told Tim’s son, Jay, that he cried when he had to bring his parents his grades as a youngster because they compared him to Ted and routinely found him lacking.”

(Qb) Written Investigator Report #32, Dale Edwards, p. 2: “Almost immediately upon meeting Dale, Dave began talking about Ted and Ted’s ideas. Dave was in awe of Ted. Dave thought Ted was brilliant ... . Dave has never stopped talking about Ted in the years Dale has known him. Dave put Ted on a pedestal and left him there.”

(Qb) Written Investigator Report #33, Hokan Edwardson and Jeanne Edwardson, p. 6: “Dave deeply admired Ted ... .”

(Qb) Written Investigator report #122, Joel Schwartz, June 10, 1997. pp. 6, 7: “David ... idolized Ted. ... David was very proud of Ted and often told Joel that Ted was a genius. Joel found David’s worship of Ted strange and inappropriate.”

[470] Same footnote as 465

[471] (Ac) Autobiog of TJK 1979, p. 99.

[472] (Ga) Deed #4.

[473] (Ca) FL#139, letter from me to David Kaczynski, September 1973:

“Dave: On the occasion of your leaving that apartment, I would like to express my gratitude for the fact that you let me stay there during the summer and fail of 1971—when I burned my foot and later when I was trying to get the cabin built before winter—a very difficult period for me. One of the few things I remember with pleasure from that period was those evening drives we used to take. Also, I remember those meals we occasionally prepared at a later period.”

[474] (Ca) FL#122, letter from me to my parents, March 21, 1972, p. 1.

[475] (Ca) FL#123, letter from me to my parents, March 23, 1972.

[476] (Ca) FL#135, letter from me to my parents, June, 1973.

[477] (Ca) FL#136, letter from me to my parents, July 9, 1973.

[478] (Ca) FL#137, letter from me to my parents, July 18, 1973.

I’ve already mentioned that the “Written Investigator Reports” are hopelessly unreliable. But two or three informants agree about Dave’s housekeeping habits, and “media planting” probably is not involved here, since, as far as I know, the media have said nothing about my brother’s filthiness. So it may be worthwhile to quote the relevant passages, with a warning to the reader to receive them with caution.

(Qb) Written Investigator Report #2, Tim Bennett, p. 3: “Dave’s apartment [about 1976] was a mess. Clothes and books were strewn all over. Old food containers and papers were all over the floor.”

(Qb) Written Investigator Report #32, Dale Edwards, pp. 4, 5: “[Early or mid–1970’s, Dave] lived on Dale’s couch during the week and went home to [his parents’] house in Lombard on the weekends. Dave was a complete slob. The living room floor and all of the furniture were completely covered [sic] with clothes, old food containers, paper and garbage. It looked as if Dave came into the room and dropped whatever he was holding. It was a rat’s nest. Dave did not care. He never cleaned up even though he knew that Dale occasionally entered the room to look for books. Dave did not care what Dale thought. Dave never did his own wash. Wanda did his wash for him when he came home on weekends. Dave never showered either. Dale told Dave that when [sic] he was welcome to use the shower whenever he wished, but Dave declined. Instead, on the weekends he took a two–hour bath at [his parents’] house.”

(Qb) Written Investigator Report #33, Hokan Edwardson and Jeanne Edwardson, pp. 5, 6: Hokan Edwardson recalls that Dave once had a rotting fish in his refrigerator for a period that lasted over a month and possibly two months. Intending to cook and eat the fish, Dave kept it in the refrigerator, but he never got around to cooking it. At some point it became clear that the fish was rotting, so Dave completely stopped using the refrigerator. [Hokan Edwardson] was not aware of this until one day when he was at Dave’s apartment and he was about to open the refrigerator, and Dave, in a frightened voice, told him not to open the door because there was a rotting fish inside. ... It was as if a monster lived in the refrigerator, and Dave was afraid to open it. This went on for a few weeks until Hokan Edwardson finally announced that they would meet the next day and remove the fish together. When they finally did, the smell was horrible and the fish was being eaten by maggots. In a strange way, it was as if Dave liked having the fish there because there was something poetic about it. Living with a rotting fish seemed to take on a symbolic, literary significance to Dave.”

Neither Dale Edwards’s account nor Hokan Edwardson’s should be taken literally. Other information that they gave the investigators was wildly inaccurate, and there’s no reason to assume that the passages we’ve just quoted are any better. However, in a general way, my brother’s housekeeping habits were as they are represented in these passages.

But: (Qb) Written Investigator Report #122, Joel Schwartz, May 11, 1997, p.6: “Dave is neater than Joel, but Joel is not a neat person at all.”

[479] (Ca) FL#122, letter from me to my parents, March 21, 1972, pp. 1, 2.

[480] (Ca) FL#125, letter from me to my parents, May 15, 1972, p. 1.

[481] (Fe) School Records of David Kaczynski, College of Great Falls.

[482] Same footnote as 475

[483] (Ca) FL#187, letter from my parents to me, October 8, 1976, p. 2.

[484] (Fe) School Records of David Kaczynski.

[485] (Ca) FL#271, letter from me to David Kaczynski, September, 1982: “[l]n regard to the implication in my last letter that I see you as weak, I’d like to qualify that ... . ... [Y]ou appear to be deficient in the ability to exercise energy or stand up to uncomfortable things on your own initiative. But ... I think you have an inner toughness that would enable you to perform well if circumstances forced you to exert yourself under difficult conditions.”

[486] (Ca) FL#266, letter from me to David Kaczynski, Summer, 1982, pp. 6, 7.

[487] Same footnote as 484

[488] Same footnote as 483

[489] See Note 35.

[490] This story is found in Horacio Quiroga, Cuentos, an anthology of Quiroga’s writings published by Editores Mexicanos Unidos, Mexico City. English translation is in (Ma) Translations by TJK. See Appendix 4.

[491] (Ca) FL#315, letter from David Kaczynski to me, October or November, 1985, pp. 1, 2.

[492] (Qb) Written Investigator Report #2, Tim Bennett, pp. 1, 2. On p. 6: “Tim ... counts Dave as one of his very good friends.”

[493] (Ca) FL#228, letter from David Kaczynski to me, fall of 1980 or 1981, p.4.

[494] Same, p. 1.

[495] Same, p. 4; and (Ca) FL#358, letter from David Kaczynski to me, between March and May, 1987.

[496] (Ca) FL#400, letter from David Kaczynski to me, September, 1989: “I’m returning to Schenectady on Oct. 8 to undertake the experiment of living with Linda.”

[497] During his college days my brother used to smoke an occasional cigarette. When I found out about it I told him, “You’re going to get hooked!” “No,” he confidently asserted, “I’m not going to get hooked.” But of course he did. When he was living in Great Falls, he quit smoking, but then he went back to it again. (Ca) FL#135, letter from me to my parents, June 1973: “[Dave] has gone back to smoking, by the way.” ) Later, however, he did stop smoking for good.

[498] Not, however, in sports that depend on strength. It is an illustration of the irresponsibility of the media that the New York Times described my brother as “powerfully built.” (Ha) NY Times Nat., May 26, 1996, p.25, column 3. He has a tendency to overweight, but, minus the surplus fat, his weight is about 150 pounds, his height six feet. In 1972 I arm–wrestled him and beat him, and no one would describe me as powerfully built. He told me in 1978 that he had once tried weight–lifting with some friends of his, and the amount he could bench–press was “a little over a hundred pounds."

[499] I had this information from my father, not directly from my brother, and I am not absolutely certain that it is accurate.

[500] (Ca) FL#278, letter from David Kaczynski to me, October, 1983, p.5.

[501] (Ca) FL#279, letter from me to David Kaczynski, December 10, 1983, p.3.

[502] These three dots are in the original.

[503] (Ca) FL#280, letter from David Kaczynski to me, December, 1983, or January, 1984, p.1.

[504] (Ca) FL#357, letter from David Kaczynski to me, between January and April, 1987, p.3.

[505] (Ca) FL#299, letter from me to David Kaczynski, early 1985, p. 11.

[506] Same. For expression of a similar opinion, see (Ca) FL#248, letter from me to David Kaczynski, late summer or fall of 1981 (copy kept in the cabin), pp. 14, 15. The passage in question was not included in the copy of FL#248 that was mailed.

[507] (Ca) FL#248, letter from me to David Kaczynski, late summer or fall of 1981, p.8.

[508] (Ca) FL#330, letter from David Kaczynski to me, late March or early April, 1986, p. 9: “You tended to downgrade me in some respects ... .” (Ca) FL#339, letter from me to David Kaczynski, May, 1986, p.1: “Yes, I did tend to downgrade you when you were a kid. That's one of the main things I was apologizing for."

[509] (Ca) FL#416, letter from me to my mother, November 22, 1990, p.5: “Dave ... has a little ego problem vis–a–vis big brother ... .” For a similar remark see (Ca) FL#458, letter from me to my mother, July 15, 1991, pp. 2, 3.

[510] (Ca) FL#401, letter from me to David Kaczynski, September or early October, 1989 (carbon copy kept in the cabin), p.6:”[W]herever your ego is involved, you are absolutely impervious to reason and will resort to the most far–fetched rationalization to avoid having to make any concession.” (Ca) FL#330, letter from David Kaczynski to me, late March or early April, 1986, p.22: “I think one reason I became ego–involved in our philosophical discussions a few years ago was because I was still trying to establish myself on a plain [sic] of intellectual equality with you.” Also see (Ca) FL#416, letter from me to my mother, November 22, 1990, p. 2.

[511] (Ca) FL#264, letter from David Kaczynski to me, Summer, 1982, pp. 2, 3.

[512] (Na) FBI 302 number 3, p. 6. Also, according to (Na) FBI 302 number 8, p.2, while commenting on some Unabom letters and expressing his suspicion that I might have written them, my brother told the FBI: 'This picking apart of the contradictions in the FBI's investigation, this is how TED makes an argument. He argues point by point.” 'This whole letter reminds of TED's letter ... it's beautifully, tightly argued."

[513] (Ca) FL#232, letter from David Kaczynski to me, March, 1981. The Spanish original is: “Gracias para la corrección de mis errores. ... Tiene el español más subjuntivos casos que del inglés. ¿Verdad? No los comprendo, por lo común. ... Por Favor, me escribes otra vez, en el español, de modo que aprenderé mejor la lengua."

[514] (Ca) FL#315, letter from David Kaczynski to me, October or November, 1985, p. 3.

[515] (Ca) FL#367, letter from David Kaczynski to me, November, 1987, p 1.

[516] (Ca) FL#378, letter from David Kaczynski to me, June or July, 1988, p.1. The Spanish original is: “Unas preguntas respecto a la idioma española. ¿A veces, no se usa lo como un complemento significando him o aun you? …”

[517] (Ha) NY Times Nat., May 26, 1996, p. 24, column 4.

[518] Here is a large part of the text of (Ca) FL#382, letter from me to David Kaczynski, September 15, 1988:

“Dear Dave:

“Some three years ago, more or less, I had a dream about you that I’m about to report. We were at our old house in Evergreen Park, and I saw you as you were when you were about 4 years old. ...

“When you were little you often seemed so full of energy and joy. I have a vivid mental image of you at the age of about 4, running with your face ail lit up with joy and enthusiasm. ...

“After you came home from college you seemed to have become morose; you didn’t seem to have any joy in life. Consequently my memories of you as a joyous and enthusiastic kid were poignant and nostalgic.

“Anyway, in the dream I called to you and suggested that we should play catch. You came running with your face all lit up with joy and enthusiasm in the way I’ve described ... . [Later] we headed out across the prairie to enjoy the beauty of nature—except that ‘beauty of nature’ doesn’t quite capture what I mean. Nature represents not only beauty, but peace and happiness and a lot of other stuff of that sort.

“... [A]t that point I woke up. I was filled with poignant, acute, nostalgic feelings, a kind of grief over the lost joy of your childhood. But then I thought of the Fact that you were now enjoying the freedom and beauty of the desert, and this greatly comforted me. ...

“So you see what kind of feelings I have about you, and how much I value you ... .”

[519] (Ca) FL#385, letter from David Kaczynski to me, September, 1988, p. 1.

[520] (Ha) NY Times Nat., May 26, 1996, p.22, column 2.

[521] (Na) FBI 302 number 3, p. 2.

[522] I apologized several times.

(Ca) FL#263, letter from me to David Kaczynski. July 30, 1982: “I remember that when we were kids I sometimes would take advantage of my greater size and strength to dominate you physically. Also I sometimes harassed you verbally ... . I now regret that I behaved that way. So I now offer you an apology for it; though I suppose this apology very likely is a matter of indifference to you anyway.”

In (Ca) FL#264, letter from David Kaczynski to me, Summer, 1982, p.1, my brother answered: “No, it’s not a matter of indifference to me, and I thank you for your apology, or rather I should say for your sympathetic understanding of what may have surfaced at times as resentment on my part. But ... I think you may tend to exaggerate your own failings ... .”

Again, I wrote in (Ca) FL#329, letter from me to David Kaczynski, March 15, 1986, pp. 4, 5: “[l]n thinking about these things, during the last few years, I’ve become more aware of the fact that the shit that I had to take from our parents I tended to pass on to you, so that you have somewhat the same reason to resent me as I have to resent our parents. I have already apologized to you for this, and I now repeat the apology. I very much regret having bullied and insulted you the way I often did. I wouldn’t blame you if you hated my guts for it. It’s an indication of the generosity of your character that you’ve shown very little resentment toward me.”

It has since become apparent that my brother had accumulated against me a great deal more resentment than he admitted, yet he answered as in the text to which this footnote refers.

I wrote in (Ca) FL#382, letter from me to David Kaczynski, September 15, 1988, pp. 3, 4: “I suppose it would be superfluous to again express my regret over the way I used to treat you when I was in my teens. But it’s something I haven’t forgotten. Nor am I likely to forget it.”

I’m not aware that my brother ever said anything in answer to this last apology.

[523] (Ca) FL#330, letter from David Kaczynski to me, late March or early April, 1986, p. 9.

[524] On March 13, 1997, Dr. Julie Kriegler told me orally that Dave had said to her on February 27, 1997 that “he felt he was 'bullied' by me, even more in adulthood than when we were kids.” (Ra) Oral Report from Dr. Julie Kriegler, March 13, 1997. I expressed some surprise that Dave had felt bullied even in adulthood, but Dr. Julie Kriegler assured me that that was what he had said. I wrote the information down the same day I received it, and I'm sure that I recorded correctly what Dr. Julie Kriegler told me. Yet when I asked her on February 12, 1998 to confirm the statement, she said he couldn't find it in her notes. What she was able to tell me was that “Dave said there was a lot of bullying back and forth between us.” (Ra) Oral Report from Dr. Julie Kriegler, February 12, 1998. “Bullying back and forth” makes no sense, since Dave never bullied me in any way, nor would he have been capable of doing so. In any case, there is other evidence that Dave felt bullied by me in adulthood, as this chapter shows.

[525] (Ha) NY Times Nat., May 26, 1996, p. 22, column 1.

[526] (Na) FBI 302 number 8, p. 3.

[527] (Ca) FL#245, letter from David Kaczynski to me, late summer or fall of 1981, p. 3.

[528] The psychologists say that a tendency to grind one's teeth is an indication of suppressed anger. Both my brother and I have been told by dentists that we were wearing our teeth down too fast by grinding them in our sleep. For years my brother used to wear a mouthpiece when sleeping to protect his teeth from grinding. Perhaps he still does so.

[529] In the letter reproduced in Note 35 below, I stated that Dave did not react with irritation to criticism of his male friends. I must have written that hastily and without thinking, because he was often excessively sensitive to criticism of his male friends. Examples