The Communiques of Freedom Club
Letter to San Francisco Examiner (1985)
Copy of letter sent to New York Times
Letter to Warren Hoge of the New York Times (1995)
Letter to Earth First! Journal
About Freedom Club
Freedom Club (FC) was an anarchist terror group that engaged in a bombing campaign on scientists and technologists between the 1970s and 1990s to spread an anti-industrial message. They promised to stop the bombings if a national newspaper would widely publish their manuscript against industrial society, “Industrial Society and Its Future,” also known as “The Unabomber Manifesto.”
After the Washington Post and the New York Times published the manuscript, David Kaczynski contacted the FBI to suggest that FC might be his brother, Theodore Kaczynski. When the FBI raided Ted Kaczynski’s house, they found all the evidence needed to link him to the bombings and convict him as the Unabomber. Ted, now known by anarchists, environmentalists, and other supporters as “Uncle Ted,” now resides in a high security prison in Colorado, where he regularly publishes writings, many of which were included in Technological Slavery.
The following letters are from FBI files for documents found in Ted Kaczynski’s cabin. All of the documents are copies of letters that were actually sent during the bombing campaign (except Unsent letter to LWOD). The original files reside in the University of Michigan’s Special Collections Library (Labadie Collection), from which these letters were requested for transcription and dissemination.
Note: Words in [brackets] are editorial notes about the original documents.
Letter to San Francisco Examiner (1985)
[Handwritten:] Mailed to the San Francisco Examiner in December, 1985
TO THE SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER
The bomb that crippled the right arm of a graduate student in electrical engineering and damaged a computer lab at U. of Cal. Berkeley last May was planted by a terrorist group called Freedom Club. We are also responsible for some earlier bombing attempts; among others, the bomb that injured a professor in the computer science building at U. of Cal., the mail bomb that injured the secretary of computer expert Patrick Fischer at Vanderbilt University 3 ½ years ago, and the fire bomb planted at the Business School at the U. of Utah, which never went off. We have nothing against academics as such. We could have attacked businessmen or scientists working for private corporations. But academics are easy targets because anyone can walk into college buildings without being questioned, and academics are less likely to be suspicious of a package received in the mail than someone in the business world would be.
We have waited until now to announce ourselves because our earlier bombs were embarrassingly ineffectual. The injuries they inflicted were relatively minor. In order to influence people, a terrorist group must show a certain amount of success. When we finally realized that the amount of smokeless powder needed to blow up anyone or anything was too large to be practical, we decided to take a couple of years off to learn something about explosive and develop an effective bomb.
First, we had to learn some basic physics, chemistry and mathematics, since none of us had any scientific background to start with. Then we had to go through some time-consuming experiments. That we now have an effective bomb is shown by what we did to that electrical engineer’s arm with less than two ounces of explosive. He would have been killed if he had been standing so as to take the fragments in the body instead of the arm. You can imagine what we will be able to do when we have worked out ways to use this explosive in larger quantities, say ten, twenty five or fifty pounds. We hope those computer freaks over at the university like fireworks, cause they are going to see some good ones.
To prove that we are the ones who planted to bomb at U. of Cal. last May, we will mention a few details that could be known only to us and the FBI men who investigated the incident. The explosive was contained in an iron pipe of nominal ¾ inch (actually about 13/16 inch) inside diameter. The ends of the pipe were closed with iron plugs secured with iron pins, of 5/16 inch diameter. One of the plugs had the letters FC (for Freedom Club) marked on it. (There was a metal disc attached to the plug to help assure a good seal. If this was not blown off it would be necessary to remove it in order to see the letters FC.) The bomb was ignited by electricity passing through a fine steel filament. The load-wires passing through the plug to the filament were 18 gauge with green insulation. The rest of the wiring was 16 gauge with flesh covered insulation. Six Duracell size D batteries were used. This should be enough to prove that we planted the bomb.
We enclose a brief statement partly explaining our aims. We hereby give the San Francisco Examiner permission to print in full any and all of the material contained in this envelope. We give ANYONE permission to print it. We want the material to be in the public domain so that anyone can print it. [Handwritten: Here should read “We don’t know if”] this note is legally adecate [sic] to put our statement in the public domain, especially since we are not going to sign our names [crossed out: to this letter], but you can be sure we are not going to sue anyone for infringement of copyright for printing this material, so you might as well go ahead and print it.
– THE FREEDOM CLUB
1. The aim of the Freedom Club is the complete and permanent destruction of modern industrial society in every part of the world. This means no more airplanes, no more radios, no more miracle drugs, no more paved roads, and so forth. Today a large and growing number of people are coming to recognize the industrial-technological system as the greatest enemy of freedom. Many evidences of these changing attitudes could be cited. For the moment we content ourselves with mentioning one statistic. “According to a January 1980 poll, only 33 percent of the citizens of the Federal Republic of Germany [West Germany] still believe that technological development will lead to greater freedom; 56 percent think it is more likely to make us less free.” This is from “1984: Decade of the Experts?” – an article by Johanno Strasser in 1934 revisted: Totalitarianism in our century, edited by Irving Howe and published by Harper and Row, 1983. (This article as a whole helps to show the extent to which technology is becoming a target of social rebellion.)
2. The hollowness of the old revolutionary ideologies centering on socialism has become clear. Now and in the future the thrust of rebellion will be against the industrial-technological system itself and not for or against any political ideology that is supposed to govern the administration of that system. All ideologies and political systems are fakes. They only result in power for special groups who just push the rest of us around. There is only one way to escape from being pushed around, and that is to smash the whole system and get along without it. It is better to be poor and free than to be a slave and get pushed around all your life.
3. No ideology or political system can get around the hard facts of life in industrial society. Because any form of industrial society requires a high level of organization, all decisions have to be made by a small elite of leaders and experts who necessarily wield all the power, regardless of any political fictions that may be maintained. Even if the motives of this elite were completely unselfish, they would still HAVE TO exploit and manipulate us simply to keep the system running. Thus the evil is in the nature of technology itself.
4. Man is a social animal, meant to live in groups. But only in SMALL groups, say up to 100 people, in which all members know one another intimately. Man is not meant to live as an insignificant atom in a vast organization, which is the only way he can live in any form of industrialized society.
5. The Freedom Club is strictly anti-communist, anti-socialist, anti-leftist. One reason for this is that the left has a consistent record of unintentionally (when not intentionally) subverting rebel movements of any kind and turning them into leftist movements. Until now, leftism has had an image as THE ideology of rebellion, so that many persons who join any rebel movement are likely to be left-leaning. When enough leftists have joined such a movement it acquires a leftish aroma which attracts still more leftists until the movement becomes just another socialist sect. Therefore the Freedom Club must completely disassociate itself from any form of leftism. This does not imply that we are in any sense a right-wing movement. We are apolitical. Politics only distracts attention from the real issue.
6. Don’t think that we are sadists or thrill-seekers or that we have adopted terrorism lightly. Though we are young we are not hot-heads. We have become terrorists only after the most earnest consideration.
The foregoing statement gives only a very incomplete indication of our goals and motives. We will explain ourselves more fully in later communications.
Material Sent to LWOD
Letter to LWOD
To LWOD [Live Wild or Die]: This is a message from FC Anarchist Terror Group. We are the people who have been blowing up computer scientists, biotech specialists, public relations experts and so forth. The FBI calls us “Unabom.” About the time you receive this letter you should hear through the media about another bombing, if everything works OK. Notice that this letter was postmarked either before or about the same time as the bombing hit the news, which proves that the letter is authentic. As a means of proving the authenticity of any further communications we may send to you, we give you an identifying number: 14962. Keep this number secret, so that when you receive a letter bearing it you will know that the letter comes from us. This is different from the identifying number that we gave to the New York Times.
We have a manuscript of between 29,000 and 37,000 words that we want to have published. We are writing to the New York Times to try to make a deal over it. We are telling the Times that if they will publish the manuscript serialized in their newspaper, or [crossed out] if they can get it published in book form, we will agree to stop blowing up scientists and corporate execs. For the moment we are more interested in propagating anti-industrial ideas than in killing another exec or biotech nerd.
However, we may find it useful to blow up more biotechnicians and the like at some time in the future, so we would prefer not to be bound by a promise to stop bombing. If we made such a promise we wouldn’t want to break it. So we are looking for some way to get our material published without having to make any promises or deals.
Would LWOD be willing to publish our manuscript in serial form? Or, better, could you get it published in book form and widely distributed to the general public? If you published it in serial form, how long would it take you to publish the whole thing? If you could get it published in book form, how widely would you distribute it and how long would it take you to get it published once we have sent you the manuscript? You’d be welcome to keep any profit you might make on the book and use it to propagate anti-industrial ideas.
The manuscript contains: (1) an analysis of what is wrong with the industrial system; (2) a demonstration that the industrial system cannot be successfully reformed but must be destroyed; (2) appropriate strategy for revolutionaries seeking to destroy the industrial system.
Please give us your answer by placing a classified ad in the San Francisco [crossed out] Chronicle, preferably on May 1, 1995. The ad should begin with the words “Personal to MCHVP.” We ask you to answer in SF Chronicle instead of LWOD because we know of only one place where we can get to LWOD, and if the FBI gets hold of this letter they will be able to watch the few places where it is possible to get LWOD and maybe catch us that way.
We enclose a copy of our letter to the NY Times.
Place the ad in the classification #420, “Personals.” To place ad contact
San Francisco Newspaper Agency
925 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
toll free phone (800) 227–4423
Confidential note to LWOD
Enclosed is a letter that presumably will require general discussion by the LWOD staff. But this confidential note contains material that should be known to as few people as possible. So whichever LWOD person opens this envelope, he or she should hide this note and reveal its existence to no one, except when absolutely necessary. Read the other material in this envelope before reading the rest of this confidential[crossed out] note.
The material in this envelope constitutes evidence in a felony case, so LWOD might get in trouble if it doesn’t [crossed out] turn this stuff over to the FBI. It is always possible that your group may contain an FBI infiltrator who will report our letter to his bosses. And if you do publish our manuscript the FBI will know about it. So LWOD may want to give these documents to the FBI (except this confidential note, which can safely be kept secret).
This creates a possible problem, because the FBI will be able to confuse you or us by sending LWOD a fake manuscript or placing a fake ad in the SF Chronicle or some such COINTELPRO trick. Or the FBI may ask the Chronicle not to print your ad on the grounds that it would contribute to “criminal” activity. To get around that, we should have some completely confidential way of communicating. This can be established as follows.
Place an ad in the classified section of the Los Angeles Times, classification #1660, “Personal messages.” The ad should preferably appear on May 9, 1995, but in any case leave a few days between the time when the Chronicle ad appears and the time when the LA Times ad appears. This ad should begin, “Dear Stargazer, the mystic numbers that control your fate are ...” and it should be signed “Numerologist.” In between there will be a sequences of numbers conveying a coded message.
The code works this way. It will be random number code and therefore unbreakable. Use the series of random numbers that we have given on another sheet. Begin by encoding your message according to the following system: For A put 1, for B put 2, for C [crossed out] put 3, etc. up to 26 for Z. For space between two words put 27, for period put 28, for comma put 29, for question mark put 30. When you have your message coded by this system you will have a series of numbers that we can call the basic sequence. You then change the basic sequence by adding to it the numbers of the random sequence. To the first number of the basic sequence add the first number of the random sequence, to the second number of the basic sequence add the second number of the random sequence and so forth. Whenever the sum is greater that 30, subtract 30 from it. The resulting sequence of numbers is what you publish in the LA Times. See example on other sheet.
In your coded ad please give us an address to which we can send you messages with assurance that they will be [crossed out] completely safe and confidential. (We won’t send you any uncoded message that could get you in trouble if it got into the wrong hands.) Also please tell us in your coded ad whether your open ad in SF Chronicle is authentic and can be taken at face value.
Your coded ad probably won’t use up all the numbers of the random sequence. Have the rest of the sequence in case we want it for future use. NEVER USE ANY PART OF THE RANDOM SEQUENCE TWICE. To do so would enable the FBI to decode the message.
We give a separate, confidential identifying number for verification of any messages we may send you: 82771
Legally the FBI can’t open first class mail without a warrant, but there’s always a chance they might have opened the present envelope anyway, so this system of passing confidential messages isn’t 100% secure.
[Handwritten:] Los Angeles Times Classified Ads Phone Numbers
Address of Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Times Mirror Square
Los Angeles, CA 90052
Copy of letter sent to New York Times
Copy of letter sent to New York Times. You can print it in LWOD if you like.
[See Letter to Warren Hoge of the New York Times (1995).]
Letter to Warren Hoge of the New York Times (1995)
This is a message from the terrorist group FC. To prove its [sic.] authentic we give our identifying number (to be kept secret): 553-25-4394.
We blew up Thomas Mosser last December because he was a Burston-Marsteller executive. Among other misdeeds, Burston-Marsteller [sic.] helped Exxon clean up its public image after the Exxon Valdes incident. But we attacked Burston-Marsteller less for its specific misdeed than on general principles. Burston-Marsteller is about the biggest organization in the public relations field. This means that its business is the development of techniques for manipulating people’s attitudes. It was for this more than for its actions in specific cases that we sent a bomb to an executive of this company.
Some news reports have made the misleading statement that we have been attacking universities or scholars. We have nothing against universities or scholars as such. All the university people whom we have attacked have been specialists in technical fields. (We consider certain areas of applied psychology, such as behavior modification, to be technical fields.) We would not want anyone to think that we have any desire to hurt professors who study archaeology, history, literature or harmless stuff like that. The people we are out to get are the scientists and engineers, especially in critical fields like computers and genetics. As for the bomb planted in the [crossed out] Business School at the U. of Utah, that was a botched operation. We won’t say how or why it was botched because we don’t want to give the FBI any clues. No one was hurt by that bomb.
In our previous letter to you we called ourselves anarchists. Since “anarchist” is a vague word that has been applied to a variety of attitudes, further explanation is needed. We call ourselves anarchists because we would like, ideally, to break down all society into very small, completely autonomous units. Regrettably, we don’t see any clear road to this goal, so we leave it to the indefinite future. Our more immediate goal, which we think may be attainable at some time during the next several decades, is the destruction of the worldwide industrial system. Through our bombings we hope to promote social instability in industrial society, propagate anti-industrial ideas and give encouragement to those who hate the industrial system.
The FBI has tried to portray these bombings as the work of an isolated nut. We won’t waste our time arguing about whether we are nuts, but we certainly are not isolated. For security reasons we won’t reveal the number of members of our group, but anyone who will read the anarchist and radical environmentalist journals will see that opposition to the industrial-technological system is widespread and growing.
Why do we announce our [crossed out] goals only now, through we made our first bomb some seventeen years ago? Our early bombs were too ineffectual to attract much public attention or give encouragement to those who hate the system. We found by experience that gunpowder bombs, if small enough to be carried inconspicuously, were too feeble to do much damage, so we took a couple of years off to do some experimenting. We learned how to make pipe bombs that were powerful enough, and we used these in a couple of successful bombings as well as in some unsuccessful ones. Unfortunately we discovered that these bombs would not detonate consistently when made with three-quarter inch steel water pipe. They did seem to detonate consistently when made with massively reinforced one inch steel water pipe, but a bomb of this type made a long, heavy package, too conspicuous and suspicious looking for our liking.
So we went back to work, and after a long period of experimentation we developed a type of bomb that does not require a pipe, but is set off by a detonating cap that consists of chlorate explosive packed into a piece of small diameter copper tubing. (The detonating cap is a miniature pipe bomb.) We used bombs of this type to blow up the genetic engineer Charles Epstein and the computer specialist David Gelernter. We did use a chlorate pipe bomb to blow up Thomas Mosser because we happened to have a piece of light-weight aluminum pipe that was just right for the job. The Gelernter and Epstein bombings were not fatal, but the Mosser bombing was fatal even though a smaller amount of explosive was used. We think this was because the type of fragmentation material that we used in the Mosser bombing is more effective [crossed out] than what we’ve used previously.
Since we no longer have to confine the explosive in a pipe, we are now free of limitations on the size and shape of our bombs. We are pretty sure we know how to increase the power of our explosives and reduce the number of batteries needed to set them off. And, as we’ve just indicated, we think we now have more effective fragmentation material. So we expect to be able to pack deadly bombs into ever smaller, lighter and more harmless looking packages. On the other hand, we believe we will be able to make bombs much bigger than any we’ve made before. With a briefcase-full or a suitcase-full of explosives we should be able to blow out the walls of substantial buildings.
Clearly we are in a position to do a great deal of damage. And it doesn’t appear that the FBI is going to catch us any time soon. The FBI is a joke.
The people who are pushing all this growth and progress garbage deserve to be severely punished. But our goal is less to punish them than to propagate ideas. Anyhow we are getting tired of making bombs. It’s no fun having to spend all your evenings and weekends preparing dangerous mixtures, filing trigger mechanisms out of scraps of metal or searching the sierras for a place isolated enough to test a bomb. So we offer a bargain.
We have a long article, between 29,000 and 37,000 words, that we want to have published. If you can get it published according to our requirements we will permanently desist from terrorist activities. It must be published in the New York Times, Time or Newsweek, or in some other widely read, nationally distributed periodical. Because of its length we suppose it will have to be serialized. Alternatively, it can be published as a small book, but the book must be well publicized and made available at a moderate price in bookstores nationwide and in at least some places abroad. Whoever agrees to publish the material will have exclusive rights to reproduce it for a period of six months and will be welcome to any profits they may make from it. After six months from the first appearance of the article or book it must become public property, so that anyone can reproduce or publish it. (If material is serialized, first instalment becomes public property six months after appearance of first instalment, second instalment, etc.) We must have the right to publish in the New York Times, Time or Newsweek, each year for three years after the appearance of our article or book, three thousand words expanding or clarifying our material or rebutting criticisms of it.
The article will [crossed out] not explicitly advocate violence. There will be an unavoidable implication that we favor violence to the extent that it may be necessary, since we advocate eliminating industrial society and we ourselves have been using violence to that end. But the article will not advocate violence explicitly, nor will it propose the overthrow of the United States Government, nor will it contain obscenity or anything else that you would be likely to regard as unacceptable for publication.
How do you know that we will keep our promise to desist from terrorism if our conditions are met? It will be to our [crossed out] advantage to keep our promise. We want to win acceptance for certain ideas. If we break our promise people will lose respect for us and so will be less likely to accept the ideas.
Our offer to desist from terrorism is subject to three qualifications. First: Our promise to desist will not take effect until all parts of our article or book have appeared in print. Second: If the authorities should succeed in tracking us down and an attempt is made to arrest any of us, or even to question us in connection with the bombings, we reserve the right to use violence. Third: We distinguish between terrorism and sabotage. By terrorism we mean actions motivated by a desire to influence the development of a society and intended to cause injury or death to human beings. By sabotage we mean similarly motivated actions intended to destroy property without injuring human beings. The promise we offer is to desist from terrorism. We reserve the right to engage in sabotage.
It may be just as well that failure of our early bombs discouraged us from making any public statements at that time. We were very young then and our thinking was crude. Over the years we have given as much attention to the development of our ideas as to the development of bombs, and we now have something serious to say. And we feel that just now the time is ripe for the presentation of anti-industrial ideas.
Please see to it that the answer to our offer is well publicized in the media so that we won’t miss it. Be sure to tell us where and how our material will be published and how long it will take to appear in print once we have sent in the manuscript. If the answer is satisfactory, we will finish typing the manuscript and send it to you. If the answer is unsatisfactory, we will start building our next bomb.
We encourage you to print this letter.
P.S. Mr. Hoge, at this time we are sending letters to David Gelernter, Richard J. Roberts and Phillip A. Sharp, the last two being recent Nobel Prize winners. We are not putting our identifying number on these letters, because we want to keep it secret. Instead, we are advising Gelernter, Roberts and Sharp to [crossed out] contact you for confirmation that the letters do come from FC.
Letter to Warren Hoge (1993)
We are an anarchist group calling ourselves FC. Notice that the postmark on this envelope precedes a newsworthy event that will happen about the time you receive this letter, if [crossed out] nothing goes wrong. This will prove that we knew about the event in advance, so our claim of responsibility is truthful. Ask the FBI about FC. They have heard of us. We will give information about our goals at some future time. Right now we only want to establish our identity and provide an identifying number that will ensure the authenticity of any future communications from us. Keep this number secret so that no one else can pretend to speak in our name.
[Handwritten:] This is a copy of letter [crossed out] sent to this address:
[Unreadable] to Warren Hoge
Assistant Managing Editor
New York Times
221 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036
Letter to Scientific American
We write in reference to a piece by Russel Ruthen, “Strange Matters: Can Advanced Accelerators Initiate Runaway Reactions?” Science and the Citizen, Scientific American, August, 1993.
It seems that physicists have long kept behind closed doors their concern that experiments with particle accelerators might lead to a world-swallowing catastrophe. This is a good example of the arrogance of scientists, who routinely take risks affecting the public. The public commonly is not aware that risks are being taken, and often the scientists do not even admit to themselves that there are risks. Most scientists have a deep emotional commitment to their work and are not in a position to be objective about its negative aspects.
We are not so much concerned about the danger of experiments with accelerated particles. Since the physicists are not fools, we assume that the risk is small (though probably not as small as the physicists claim). But scientists [crossed out] and engineers constantly gamble with human welfare, and we see today the effects of some of their lost gambles: ozone depletion, the greenhouse effect, cancer-causing chemicals to which we cannot avoid exposure, accumulating nuclear waste for which a sure method of disposal has not yet been found, the crowding, noise and pollution that have followed industrialization, massive extinction of species and so forth. For the future, what will be the consequences of genetic engineering? Of the development of super-intelligent computers (if this [unreadable])? Of understanding of the human brain and the resulting inevitable temptation to “improve” it? No one knows.
We emphasize that negative PHYSICAL consequences of scientific advances often are completely unforeseeable. (It probably never occurred to the chemists who developed early pesticides that they might be causing many cases of disease in humans.) But far more difficult to foresee are the negative SOCIAL consequences of technological progress. The engineers who began the industrial revolution never dreamed that their work would result in the creation of an industrial proletariat or the economic boom and bust cycle. The wiser ones may have guessed that contact with industrial society would disrupt other cultures around the world, but they probably never imagined the extent of the damage that these other cultures would suffer. Nor did it occur to them that in the West itself technological progress would lead to a society tormented by a variety of social and psychological problems.
EVERY MAJOR TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCE IS ALSO A SOCIAL EXPERIMENT. These experiments are performed on the public by the scientists and by the corporations and government agencies that pay for their research. The elite groups get fulfilment [sic.], the exhilaration, the sense of power involved in bringing about technological progress while the average man gets only the consequences of their social experiments. It could be argued that in a purely physical sense the consequences are positive, since life-expectancy has increased. But the acceptability of risks cannot be assessed in purely actuarial terms. “(P)eople also rank risks based on ... how equitably the danger is distributed, how well individuals can control their exposure and whether risk is assumed voluntarily.” (M. Granger Morgan, “Risk Analysis and Management.” Scientific American, July, 1993, page 35.) The elite groups who create technological progress share in control of the process and assume the risks voluntarily, whereas the role of the average individual is necessarily passive and involuntary. Moreover, it is possible that at some time in the future the population explosion, environmental disaster of the breakdown of an increasingly troubled society may lead to a sudden drastic lowering of life expectancy.
However it may be with the PHYSICAL risks, there are good reasons to consider the SOCIAL consequences of technological progress as highly negative. This matter is discussed at length in a manuscript that we are sending to the New York Times.
The engineers who initiated the industrial revolution can be forgiven for not having anticipated its negative consequences. But the harm caused by technological progress is by this time sufficiently apparent so that to continue to promote it is [crossed out] grossly irresponsible.
This letter, which we invite you to print in Scientific American, is from the terrorist group FC. To prove that this letter does come from FC, we quote below the entire fourth paragraph of a letter that we are sending to the New York Times. The authenticity of the letter to the Times is confirmed by means of our secret identifying number.
FOURTH PARAGRAPH OF LETTER TO NY TIMES:
Contrary to what the FBI has suggested, our bombing at the California Forestry Association was in no way inspired by the Oklahoma City bombing. We strongly deplore the kind of indiscriminate slaughter that occurred in the Oklahoma City event. We have no regret about the fact that our bomb blew up the “wrong” man, Gilbert Murray, instead of William N. Dennison, to whom it was addressed. Though Murray did not have Dennison’s inflammatory style he was pursuing the same goals, and he was probably pursuing them more effectively because of the very fact that he was not inflammatory.
Letter to Richard J. Roberts
Dr. Roberts: It would be beneficial to your health to stop your research in genetics. This is a warning from FC.
Warren Hoge of the New York Times can confirm that this note does come from FC.
Letter to Phillip A. Sharp
Dr. Sharp: It would be beneficial to your health to stop your research in genetics. This is a warning from FC.
Warren Hoge of the New York Times can confirm that this note does come from FC.
Unsent letter to LWOD
LETTER TO THE EDITORS OF LWOD. We urge you to print this in LWOD.
Many of the people who want to destroy the industrial form of society are concerned about the population problem and therefore refrain from having children. We believe this is a serious mistake. Scientific studies have shown that social attitudes tend to be inherited. No one suggests that a person’s social attitudes are directly determined by his or her genetic constitution, but there is good reason to believe that children inherit personality traits that make them likely, in the context of the present society, to develop one or another set of social attitudes. Some scientists question this conclusion, but their arguments are rather flimsy and are ideologically motivated. Anyway, if social attitudes are not inherited then they are passed on through childhood training, because it is certain that a person’s attitudes tend, on the average, to resemble those of his parents; allowing of course for frequent individual exceptions and for changes in the social situation that occur between one generation and another. Unlike us, earlier generations of rebels tended to attack particular social evils rather than industrial society as a whole, because in their day it had not yet become evident that evil was inherent in industrialism itself. But the general tendency to a rebellious attitude toward modern society is commonly passed from parents to children, whether genetically or through training.
By refraining from having children, rebels against the industrial system may be handing the world over to the growtHs. (“GrowtH” is our word for anyone who favors economic growth and all that crap.) Because the growtHs have as many children as they like, while many radicals refrain from having children from concern over the population problem, there is danger that with each successive generation the proportion of growtHs in the population will increase and the proportion of rebels will decrease.
We too are disgusted at the present grossly overpopulated state of the world and we agree that it is necessary to reduce the earth’s population as much as possible. But the best way to reach a goal is not always to head directly toward it.
What the earth’s population will be 50 or 100 years from now depends mainly on the form of society that will then exist. The present economically oriented form of society, based on industrialism, tends inexorably to grow to the limit of the available resources. By creating new genetically altered plants, or maybe through some type of artificial photosynthesis, this form of society will greatly increase the world’s food producing capacity and will allow or encourage its population to grow to the limit of that capacity. Or, even if the population does no grow to the limit, the demands of the ver expanding industrial system will stress the earth’s resources to the maximum. So if the present form of society survives, the world that it creates will be a horrible one.
Therefore the important goal is to destroy the present form of society and its industrial base.
If anti-industrial rebels give a reproductive advantage to the growtHs by refraining from having children, they will be slowing present population growth only slightly and they will be increasing the likelihood that the growtHs will win out, that the present form of society will survive and that the world of the future will be a horror.
If rebels have as many children as they can, they will be accelerating present population growth only slightly and they will be increasing the number of anti-industrial rebels, hence the probability that the present form of society can be eliminated, and consequently the likelihood that the world’s population can be greatly reduced in the future.
So it would be best for those who hate industrialism to outbreed the growtHs until the present form of society has been done away with.
FC Anarchist Terror Group
Letter to James V. McConnell
[Handwritten:] Carta enviada con el paquete [...] exp. 100. La carta estaba en un sobre prendido con cinta al paquete. El sobre [...] [See translation below]
Department of History
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112
November 12, 1985
Dr. James V. McConnell
2900 E. Delhi Road
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103
Dear Dr. McConnell:
I am a doctoral candidate in History at the University of Utah. My field of interest is the history of science, and I am writing my dissertation on the development of the behavioral sciences during the twentieth century.
This dissertation aspires to be more than a mere collection of facts. In it I am attempting to analyse the factors in society at large that tend to promote vigorous development in a given area of science, and especially I am attempting to shed light on the way in which progress in a particular field of research influences the public attitudes toward the field in such a manner as to further accelerate its development, as through research grants, increased interest on the part of the students, and because I believe that they illustrate particularly well my hypotheses concerning the interaction of science and society.
I have now prepared an initial version of the dissertation, but expect to revise it heavily before putting it into final form. Before completing the revisions, I am asking several distinguished researchers in behavioral sciences for their comments on the paper. It is for this purpose that I am sending you herewith a copy of my dissertation on its preliminary form.
Since this dissertation is very long and detailed, I realize that you may not have time to read it in its entirety, but I would appreciate it very much if you could at least look over Chapters 11 and 12, the chapters most closely related to your own field of research, and give me your comments and any corrections you may have. Particularly I would like to know your reaction to the idea outlined in the last three paragraphs of Chapter 12. Of course, any comments that you might care to make on any other part of the dissertation would also be most welcome.
I thank you in advance for your kind assistance.
Very truly yours,
Ralph C. Kloppenburg
[Handwritten:] Letter mailed with package of exp. 100. The letter was in an envelope attached to the package with tape. The envelope had the address, but no [crossed out] postage. The package itself had enough postage for the package and the letter.
Letter to Earth First! Journal
This is a message from FC. The FBI calls us “unabom.” We are the people who recently assassinated the president of the California Forestry Association. We know that most radical environmentalists are non-violent and strongly disapprove of our bombings. But we have some things to say that should be of special interest to radical environmentalists. Even if you disagree with our conclusions you can hardly deny that the issues we raise are important ones that radical environmentalists should think about and discuss.
We are enclosing a copy of a manuscript that we are sending to the New York Times, also a copy of the letter that we are sending to the Times with the manuscript. We have reason to hope that the NY Times will either publish the manuscript or arrange for its publication elsewhere. However, if neither the NY Times nor any other major periodical has published the manuscript, or begun to publish it in serialized form, or had it published elsewhere, or announced a definite date for its publication, within 5 months of the day this letter is postmarked, then the Earth First! Journal can publish the manuscript. You can publish it either serialized or in the form of a small book, and you will be welcome to [crossed out] keep any profit you may make from it. Contact NY Times for information concerning what is being done about publication of the manuscript.
We offered the NY Times a promise to desist from terrorism in exchange for publication of our manuscript in a widely read, nationally distributed periodical. Earth First! does not qualify as widely read, so we offer no such promise in [crossed out] exchange for publication in Earth First! However, if Earth First! is willing and able to get the manuscript published in book form, and if the book is [crossed out] distributed nationally and well publicized, then we will abide by the promise to desist from terrorism. Contact the NY Times [crossed out] for information concerning conditions that we laid down in our letters to that newspaper.
Whoever may first publish the manuscript, after a period of 6 months has elapsed since that first publication, anyone [crossed out] (including Earth First!) will have the right to publish the material freely. However, the period might possibly be extended beyond 6 months. See enclosed letter to NY Times.
In any case, you can immediately make up to 5 copies of the manuscript for your own use. If you wear gloves while making the copies you won’t mess up any fingerprints or anything, so the FBI won’t be able to claim you have damaged any evidence.
How do you know this letter really comes from FC? Some part of the letter we are sending to the NY Times will probably be published in the newspaper, and you can [crossed out] compare it with the copy we are sending you. The authenticity of the material that we are sending to the NY Times will be confirmed by means of our secret identifying number.
Letter to Tom Tyler
[Tom Tyler was a professor of social psychology at the University of California-Berkeley.]
This is a message from FC. The FBI calls us "unabom." We read a newspaper article in which you commented on recent bombings, including ours, as an indication of social problems. We are sending you a copy of a manuscript that we hope the New York Times will get published for us.
The trouble with psychologists is that in commenting on what people say or do they often concentrate exclusively on the non-rational motivations behind speech or behavior. But human behavior has a rational as well as an irrational component, and psychologists should not neglect the rational component. So if you take the trouble to read our manuscript and do any further thinking about the "unabom" case, we suggest that you should not only consider our actions as a symptom of some social or psychological problems; you should also give attention to the substance of the issues that we raise in the manuscript. You might ask yourself, for example, the following questions:
Do you think we are likely to be right, in a general way, about the kind of future that technology is creating for the human race?
If you think we are wrong, then why do you think so? How would you answer our arguments? Can you sketch a PLAUSABLE [sic] scenario for the future technological society that does not have the negative characteristics indicated by our scenario?
If you think we are likely to be right about the future, do you consider that kind of future acceptable? If not, then what, if anything, do you think can be done about it?
Do you think our analysis of PRESENT social problems is approximately correct? If not, why not? How would you answer our arguments?
If you think we have identified some present social problems correctly, do you think anything can be done about them? Will they get better or worse with continual growth and progress?
We apologize for sending you such a poor copy of our manuscript. We can't make copies at a public copy machine because people would get suspicious if they saw us handling our copies with gloves.
Letter to David Gelernter
People with advanced degrees aren’t as smart as they think they are. If you’d had any brains you would have realized that there are a lot of people out there who resent bitterly the way techno-nerds like you are changing the world and you wouldn’t have been dumb enough to open an unexpected package from an unknown source.
In the epilog of your book, “Mirror Worlds,” you tried to justify your research by claiming that the developments you describe are inevitable, and that any college person can learn enough about computers to compete in a computer-dominated world. Apparently, people without a college degree don’t count. In any case, being informed about computers won’t enable anyone to prevent invasion of privacy (through computers), genetic engineering (to which computers make an important contribution), environmental degradation through excessive economic growth (computers make an important contribution to economic growth) and so forth.
As for the inevitability argument, if the developments you describe are inevitable, they are not inevitable in the way that old age and bad weather are inevitable. They are inevitable only because techno-nerds like you make them inevitable. If there were no computer scientists there would be no progress in computer science. If you claim you are justified in pursuing your research because the developments involved are inevitable, then you may as well say that theft is inevitable, therefore we shouldn’t blame thieves.
But we do not believe that progress and growth are inevitable.
We’ll have more to say about that later.
P.S. Warren Hoge of the New York Times can confirm that this letter does come from FC.
How to hit an Exxon exec
[Handwritten:] How to hit an Exxon exec:
Send book-like package -> to his home preceded by a letter saying I am sending him a book I’ve written on oil-related environmental concerns — attacking environmental position — and I’d like to have his comments on it before preparing final version of manuscript.
For return address: Get names and addresses of several big-time business execs and call direct[unreadable] to get their numbers, until you hit one who has an unlisted number. Use his return address. Thus you’ll have a real return address, but the Exxon exec can’t get his number to call for verification.
OR — send package with return address of (an oil?) exploration firm.
Also, put in the letter a disclaimer stating that the book represents my own personal views and not those of the company I work for. This give [sic.] a touch of realism, and it also explains why the letter is not on the company letterhead. (But try to Fake private letterhead.)
SPANISH -> ENVIAN A ABIGAIL VAN BUR[...] UNA CARTA DE UNA MU[...]ER[...] QUE AFIRMA HABER DESCU[...]IERTE DESQUE [...] [...]ARIDO MANDO ES MIEM BRO DE F.C. [...] QUE NO QUIERO (?) DEH ____ A [...] ESPOSE. CONFIRMANA LA PUBLICO DES_PCION DEL R[...]EO.
THEN SENT TO ABAIGAIL [unreadable] A LETTER OF ____ THAT AFFIRMS HAVING DISCOVERED THAT HER COVER IS A MEMBER OF F.C. TELL THEM THAT I DON’T WANT TO DEBATE HER HUSBAND THAT WILL CONFIRM THE PUBLIC DISPOSITION OF THE ACCUSED