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Proposal for a Letter to Ted Kaczynski

Though Ted Kaczynski’s actions were no doubt the inexcusable product of what eventually became a deeply troubled and delusional mind, his reasons for attempting to bring down industrialized society in the thrall of exploitative late-stage capitalism are not only understandable, but, in fact, quite moving. He claims that he initially attempted to simply remove himself from what troubled him about society, and hence, moved out to an isolated cabin. When development eventually began to encroach, he would often take refuge in the beautiful wilderness, hiking out to what he refers to as “the best place.” He writes this about the moment where everything changed.

“The best place, to me, was the largest remnant of this plateau that dates from the tertiary age. It's kind of rolling country, not flat, and when you get to the edge of it you find these ravines that cut very steeply in to cliff-like drop-offs and there was even a waterfall there. It was about a two days hike from my cabin. That was the best spot until the summer of 1983. That summer there were too many people around my cabin so I decided I needed some peace. I went back to the plateau and when I got there I found they had put a road right through the middle of it... You just can't imagine how upset I was. It was from that point on I decided that, rather than trying to acquire further wilderness skills, I would work on getting back at the system. Revenge.”

It is not widely known, but Kaczynski also apparently sometimes included pieces of twigs or leaves in his home-made letter bombs.

Step 1: Write to Ted Kaczynski in jail, where he is forever deprived of contact with the natural world, which he was, in his own way, attempting to defend.

Step 2: If he responds, reach out to him with the offer to travel on his behalf to somewhere like his “best place,” from which a letter will be composed to him detailing the sights, smells and tactile sensations of this wild place, attempting to convey what it is like to actually be there in the text of the letter.

Step 3. Inside the envelope, twigs and leaves will also be enclosed.

Proposal for a Letter to Ted Kaczynski