Ted Kaczynski’s 1979 Autobiography

Monday, June 19th, 2023

When I finally read Ted Kaczynski’s manifesto, he didn’t seem like a mad genius. His 1979 Autobiography, on the other hand, raises some red flags:

I am told that I had three bad experiences before I was old enough to remember. I pulled a pot of boiling water off the stove and was scalded very severely. I fell on my chin with my tongue between my teeth, so that my tongue was badly injured and needed a great deal of stitching-up. I had an undiagnosed allergy to eggs, which caused me to swell up enormously all over my body. I was hospitalized for, I think, a week, with the allergy.

Apparently I took the hospitalization very badly. I am told that my parents were not permitted to spend much time visiting me, that I was much tormented (inadvertently) by inquisitive doctors, and that I was made extremely frightened and miserable by all this. My parents say that by the time I came out of the hospital I had become completely inert and would neither smile, nor cry, nor respond to attention in any other way. I conjecture that this experience is responsible for my stubbornness and for my high resistance to physical and especially to psychological pain…

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