Theodore John Kaczynski: Rational to Irrational

Theodore John Kaczynski dies in prison at the age of 79

Theodore John Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber, was an American mathematician and domestic terrorist. He was a mathematics prodigy but abandoned his academic career in 1969 to pursue a primitive lifestyle. Between 1978 and 1995, Theodore John Kaczynski mailed or hand-delivered a series of increasingly sophisticated bombs that cumulatively killed three people and injured 23 others. Sixteen bombs were attributed to Kaczynski. While the bombing devices varied widely through the years, many contained the initials “FC”, which Kaczynski later said stood for “Freedom Club“, inscribed on parts inside. He purposely left misleading clues in the devices and took extreme care in preparing them to avoid leaving fingerprints; fingerprints found on some of the devices did not match those found on letters attributed to Kaczynski.

Kaczynski’s motives were rooted in his opposition to what he saw as the destructive impact of industrialism and technology on human society. He believed that these forces were leading to the destruction of nature and the alienation of people from each other. In his manifesto, Industrial Society and Its Future, he called for a revolution against industrialism and a return to a simpler way of life.

Theodore John Kaczynski was eventually caught after his brother, David, recognized his writing style in the manifesto. He was arrested in 1996 and pleaded guilty in 1998. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He died in prison in 2023 at the age of 79.

Kaczynski’s case is a reminder of the dangers of extremism and the importance of tolerance and understanding. It is also a reminder of the power of words and the importance of careful and responsible use of language.

Image credit

By Federal Bureau of Investigation photo – Federal Bureau of Investigation, Public Domain, Link