Ted Kaczynski Research Proposal

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¶ … UNIBOMBER: Ted Kaczynski

Kaczynski as the UNABOMBER

Ted Kaczynski, also known as the UNABOMBER grew up a child prodigy in the Chicago area. He became an assistant professor at UC Berkeley at the age of 25 and held that position until his resignation two years later due to on the job frustrations and stresses. Ted moved into the woods around a small Montana town and began learn survival skills in order to become completely self-sufficient and live off of the land. As time went by he became more and more frustrated by the encroaching development around him and by the way that American society was "eroding human freedom in exchange for technological development and organization" (Kaczynski, 2005). As a result of his frustration he decided to carry out a campaign of mail bombings that eventually left 3 people dead and more than 20 injured. He would send bombs wrapped as packages to universities and airlines, all the while writing a manifesto and claiming that his extreme actions were necessary to help society understand that they were losing their personal freedoms.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Research Proposal on Ted Kaczynski Assignment

The FBI spent nearly 17 years trying to track down the UNABOMER, who was given this name after the FBI code word for the case "University and Airline Bomber." The FBI was sent on a wild goose chase but had an extremely difficult time tracking or identifying the UNABOMBER. This person, or group was officially labeled a domestic terrorist organization and one of the most expensive manhunts in U.S. history was underway for the person or people responsible. Ted was eventually caught after he submitted a letter to the Washington Post newspaper telling them that he would stop the bombings if they published his manifesto. Upon the reporting of this request by other news agencies, Ted's own brother recognized the writing style of the "Unabomber" and the grievances that were mentioned in the manifesto. He was able to tip the FBI off and they raided Ted's cabin, which had no electricity or running water, in 1995.

Ted faced the death penalty, but instead of being sentenced to death, he made a plea agreement, which sent him to prison for life without the possibility of parole (Comey, 2009). Kaczynski is still in Federal prison for his crimes but continues to write and in an attempt to educate those around him about the issues that he feels strongly about. Many social scientists, scholars, and psychologists were also interested in examining and the UNIBOMBER case for years to come, and were quite happy to see that he would not be receiving the death penalty (Chase, 2000).

Kaczynski's Arguments on Society and Technology

Kaczynski was obsessed with the idea that technological development would eventually lead humanity to a less ideal version of reality. He argued, "The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race" (Kaczynski, 2005). His belief that humans were not built to withstand the social and moral rigors of the technological revolution and the myriad opportunities for inner turmoil and conflict it created were also infused in his writings. He goes on to argue that leftism is the widespread manifestation of the craziness of the world and humanity's newly found inability to deal with each other socially or morally. He blames leftists and their ideology for the decline of society, and rails against political correctness, feminism, and animal rights movements (Kaczynski, 2005). Kaczynski's view of leftists created the foundation for what he deemed "the necessary revolution," where people like himself were required to bring the social and moral imbalances created by the leftists to the attention of the rest of the world. Kaczynski (2005) also argued that leftists suffered from a condition called "oversocialization" (Kaczynski, 2005) and that the only way to fix this problem was to start a social revolution. He saw himself as a savior of society, not as a terrorist. From his small self-built cabin in Montana, Kaczynski was able to carry out his bombing campaign, carefully building package bombs that were rigged to explode when they were opened.

Kaczynski's thoughts on over-socialization and lack of autonomy played into another one of his theories that leftists suffered from a feeling of powerlessness where these feeling led to feelings of social and moral guilt, which led to leftist behavior. He lists a dozen or more causes for this guilt, which reads like a conspiracy theorist's attempt to tie the social plight of blacks and gays together through the negatives of the industrial revolution. Much of what Kaczynski has written is professionally regarded as the writings of a mentally ill or deranged individual. While Kaczynski is an extremely intelligent human, he is dangerous to society, as evidenced by the personal mission he carried out as the UNABOMER. Many psychologists, upon examination of his writings, have deemed that Kaczynski is suffering from paranoid-schizophrenia, which often begins to show its presence in humans in their early to mid-20's, which is exactly the time period that Kaczynski began to have feelings of general social mistrust and societal weakness caused by industrial and leftist social factors (Chase, 2000). An examination of his life and actions after resigning from Berkeley tend to help prove the fact that Kaczynski is mentally ill. Kaczynski's adoption of terrorism as a form of social change is not new, but in doing so, he put himself on the wrong side of the moral and legal battle for social change.

The FBI Manhunt

The FBI eventually offered a $1 million dollar reward for information leading to the identification and arrest of the UNIBOMBER. Before their reward, the organization had been slowly tracking down Kaczynski through the clues he had unintentionally left behind in his writings, specifically this manifesto. Kaczynski had written letters containing similar arguments about social injustice and his hatred for technology and industrialization years before, and the newspapers that were asked by Kaczynski to publish his work were summoned to give the FBI help in tracking him down. The earlier letters and the manifesto were so similar in argument and writing style that the FBI believed that they were indeed written by the same person. Once the FBI began connecting the dots in the writing style and clues, they were certain that the person who was conducting the bombings, also referred to as the UNIBOMBER, was from the Chicago area and had connections or ties to the San Francisco area (Comey, 2009). This description fit Kaczynski's own life all too well, and began raise some serious red flags in his own family.

During the time that the FBI was working on the case, Kaczynski wrote a letter to the Washington Post requesting that they publish his manifesto. He offered to stop his bombings if they would comply. At the request of his wife, Kaczynski's own brother, David, contacted the FBI when she felt as though the letter to the Washington Post and the known beliefs of David's estranged brother were too similar to be coincidental. Upon receiving this tip, the FBI worked closely to help track down Ted Kaczynski, eventually leading to his arrest in 1995. The manhunt for the UNIBOMBER was one of the most expensive ever, costing the U.S. government millions of dollars and taking over a decade and a half.

Kaczynski in Prison

Kaczynski continues to write in prison, and has had over 400 correspondences since his incarceration. Each of these letters is copied on a carbon copy form and the names of the letter writers are placed in a sealed chamber for review in 2049 (Chase, 2000). They are deemed socially valuable items and many are currently on display at the Newseum (Interview, 1999 and Comey, 2009). Even Kaczynski's cabin is on display at the museum, regardless of the objections that Kaczynski himself had of the idea to display the historical structure. Ted has written letters to many of the universities he targeted as the UNABOMBER offering to donate rare books to their libraries as peace offerings. All of the universities who were approached by Kaczynski refused to accept the books.

In a 2009 U.S. Court of Appeals Decision, many of Kaczynski's writings will be put on the auction block to help pay for damages caused by his bombing campaign and for restitution payments to many of the victims' families (Comey, 2009). Kaczynski objected to the sale of his writings, arguing that the Federal Government's wishes to sell his writings constituted a violation of his freedom of speech rights. Unfortunately for Kaczynski, he lost his court battle in 2009. It will be interesting to see exactly how much money will be raised by the auction of Kaczynski's writings, but it is certainly a representation of the fact that the public fascination with him, and domestic terrorism in general, is alive and well. Perhaps Kaczynski is more of a novelty personality, but his attacks are still remembered today, more than a decade and a half after his arrest.

Kaczynski as Domestic Terrorist

Domestic terrorism is one of the most terrifying… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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