Truth versus Lies (Volunteers Updated Draft)
Refutation of Declaration by Ralph Meister
“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 epigraph to this book is a quotation from Stephen Jay Gould's
"The Paradox of the Visibly Irrelevant," Natural History, Volume 106,
No. 11, December 1997 /January 1998, p.12.
A few different versions of this text exist in
The Special Collections Library of The University of Michigan.
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 biggest corrections we’ve made as editors are that:
1) Abbreviated names have been replaced with fictional names because (a) We simply think it reads better that way, (b) We know that anyone can easily find the original text with little effort if they want to research the subject of his life further, and (c) No meaning is lost from any point Kaczynski makes through there being a change in name.
2) Citations have been added for clarity and clearly marked as a “Note from the editors:”
A Short Timeline of Events
April 3rd, 1996: Ted Kaczynski was arrested.
November 13rd, 1997: Ted Kaczynskis’ multiple murder trial began.
He started writing this book to collect his thought on what he would like his defense 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:
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 in order that he could avoid his lawyers presenting him as mentally ill to the world and potentially being sent to a mental asylum. But he 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.
Because of this I think he held out hope that he could get a retrial and be set free all the way up to around 2004, so 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 lead up to him desiring to wage his terror bombing campaign in hindsight. The sole aim for Kaczynski then in writing his book Truth versus Lies then 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:
“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 that they black out sections from the 1st draft copy he has, out of privacy concerns for a family member, accepting that either a single or multiple photocopies, is or are 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 tonne of journals, letters and other material which the book references, 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 explaining 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. In 2010 he releases the book Technological Slavery & in 2015 the book ‘Anti-Tech Revolution: How & Why’ with this note:
My thanks are owing above all to Susan Gale. Susan has played the key role in this project and has been indispensable. She has been my star researcher, producing more results and solving more problems, by far, than anyone else; she has ably coordinated the work of other researchers and has done most of the typing.
2014: Richard Prince purchased a 3rd draft copy of the book at an auction, gave away 10 copies for free on a park bench and was selling either the book or copies of the book at a rare bookstore.
March 8th, 2018: The University staff happily let people scan and take photographs of all the documents, so a version 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.
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. 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. 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 Investigator #2 (Scharlette Holdman), Investigator #3 (Gary Sowards), Investigator #5 (Charlie Pizarro), or Investigator #6 (Susan Garvey). The information to be disregarded includes, among other things, all information cited from Qb and Qc, since Qc consists entirely of information provided by Investigator #2, and most of the information in Qb was provided by Investigator #2, Investigator #5, Investigator #6, or other investigators working for Scharlette Holdman.
On the other hand, I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of the information provided by Investigator #1 (Betsy Anderson), Investigator #4 (Jackie Tully) or Investigator #7 (Nancy Pemberton), none of whom worked closely with Schalette.
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.
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.
Ralph K. Meister
[signature: Ralph K. Meister]
Witness: [signature: Janice Powell (?)]
Witness: [signature: Amy Incendela]
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.
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.
“A FRIEND says there are a lot of people who mistake their imagination for their memory.”
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 Investigator #1, Investigator #2, etc.
Similar remarks apply to the psychologist whom I call Dr. K.
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. K. 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. K.) 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. 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. K. or the investigators in only a few cases. It is possible that Dr. K. 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. 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.
(A) lnvestigators working for my defense team who researched my past told me repeatedly that my long–term memory was remarkably sharp and accurate. 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 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. Here is how it compares with the official transcripts 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+|
|Mathematics 105a||A−||Math 105a||A−|
|Mathematics 106a||A||Math 106a||A|
|Philosophy 140||A||Phil 140||A|
|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)||C+|
|Mathematics 212a||B||Math 212a||B+|
|Mathematics 250a||B||Math 250a||B|
|Anthropology 122||A−||Anthro (hum gen)||A−|
|History 143||C+||Eng intel hist||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. (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. 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. 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, Investigator #2, 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.”
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, 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. 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. 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. L.Hz., 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.” 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. L.Hz., either in cash or with checks, on my own account. There is no way that Dr. L.Hz. 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. L.Hz. about it. It is clear, therefore, that Dr. L.Hz. 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. L.Hz. 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.” Media planting was probably involved here, too, as Dr. L.Hz.’s account is contradicted by that of his own dental assistant, R.Cb. According to my investigators, R.Cb. “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.”⁰ Dr. L.Hz. was present at most of my conversations with R.Cb. 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. 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].” In Chapter III 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. 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.
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. 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 VI 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.
G.Wi. owns a cabin not far from mine, though I haven’t seen him for several years. According to investigators who interviewed him, “[G.Wi.] thinks that Ted was always looking over his shoulder. Sometime during the 1970’s, Ted talked to [G.Wi.] about the KGB. Ted told [G.Wi.] he had a place he could hide in up [sic] Old Baldy where no one would ever find him.”
G.Wi. 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 and in a letter to my parents.
I never told G.Wi. 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. G.Wi. 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, but actually I knew him from the time I entered seventh grade.
In some cases it is difficult to disentangle the effect of “remembering later years” from that of “media planting.” Thus, L.D., the daughter of one of my father’s best friends, told investigators: “Ted Jr. was a very shy and quiet boy. He was introverted and only involved himself in things he could do alone.” Here and throughout her interview, L.D. 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 L.D. 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 D____ family. The D____‘s had a little girl named L____, 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 L____. L____said, ’No, don’t make him stop! I like it!’ but, alas, my mother insisted, and I had to quit.”⁰
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.” 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, 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. 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. 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.
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.
(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 XII and Appendix 6. Many other examples can be found in the investigators’ reports of the interviews that they conducted. Here I will only discuss some of my suitemates from Eliot N–43 at Harvard who gave false information about me.
W.Pr., Pat McIntosh, John Masters, and K.M. formed a close–knit clique within the suite. 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... Patrick [had] his own adolescent insecurities... Patrick was too insecure and wrapped up in his own problems ... 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.”
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.”
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...⁰ 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”.
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. ... John’s solitary lifestyle meant that he did not make more than five friends while at Harvard.”
W.Pr. “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. W.Pr. 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 W.Pr.’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. [W.Pr.] 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. W.Pr. did not last long at Harvard and soon dropped out again.”
W.Pr. too made false statements about me and exaggerated my solitariness. “W.Pr. and the others at N–43 were too young to realize how serious Ted’s isolation was for him...”
Thus McIntosh, Masters, and W.Pr. 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 A. (see Chapter VI) once told me that “everyone” was jealous of me, presumably referring to the people whom we both knew, including G.Da. 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. In G.Da.’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.” “The Briefcase Boys” was a clique that included, among others, G.Da., 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 ... .” G.Da. 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.
G.Da., 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 G.Da. it could be either way.
“Patrick [McIntosh] was jealous of Ted’s prowess in mathematics ... .” 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 E., K.H. and Jeanne E. 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 E. 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.”
Here is how Jeanne E. described my behavior at the same colloquium:
“[Jeanne met Ted] one night when she and K.H. 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.”⁰
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 E., K.H. and Jeanne E., 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, K.H., during the mid–1980’s., (Added July 20, 1998: Since writing the foregoing, I’ve obtained copies of some of my letters to K.H. 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 E.’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 E.’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 E. 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.
K.H. 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 K.H. and Jeanne:
“[K.H.] 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.”
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 K.H. 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, K.H., or anyone had yet appreciated adequately. So he must have felt a similar frustration with us, in answer to which, according to K.H., he seemed to be withdrawing from everyone more and more during the last couple of years. K.H. 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 K.H. and me, assuming this were true, is the facility and resolution with which Dan’s ‘idea’ translated itself into an act. [K.H.] ... is even worse than me, living a bourgeois [sic] lifestyle in almost all respects except his reading.”
“ ... When I spoke to [K.H.] on the phone, he still sounded unusually distraught. If Dan had intended at all to make a permanent, life–long impression on [K.H.]—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.”
In his interview, K.H. goes on and on about my supposed “intolerance” of other people’s ideas (making, at the same time, many false statements about my behavior). As a matter of fact, I never had more than a very little philosophical or intellectual discussion with K.H. 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 K.H.’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.
K.H. used to read children’s comic books and claimed that he found philosophical messages in them. 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.”
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. 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, 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 Es. (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.”
Referring to the early 1970’s, Dale E. 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.”
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.”
The admirable consistency between Dale E.’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 E. 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. Eickelman⁰ 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. 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.