Christopher Columbus and the New World

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“We may fairly agree that the subject of history, as commonly taught, is one of the most boring of all subjects. However, the study of how the subject of history has been manipulated is surely one of the most interesting of all subjects.”

Michael Tsarion, “Astrotheology and Sidereal Mythology”

“The falsification of history has done more to mislead humans than any single thing known to mankind.”

JeanJacques Rousseau

“History is the lie commonly agreed upon.”

Voltaire

Our Rockefeller textbooks tell us that Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492. The dictionary says “to discover” means “to learn something unknown,” but the tens of millions of indigenous “Indians” would certainly contest Columbus’ discovery of anything. Perhaps the occult meaning of “discovery” coincides with Columbus’ occult knowledge of exactly where he was going.

Perhaps the word discover, means just that:

“to take the lid off something that has been covered up.”

“The Phoenicians were not confined to the Mediterranean and the Middle East. They landed in Britain around 3,000 BC and unmistakable Phoenician artifacts have been found in Brazil, as well as possible Egyptian remains in the Grand Canyon in America. The Phoenicians landed in the Americas thousands of years before the manufactured ‘photo opportunity’ better known as the journey of Christopher Columbus.

The reason that the native legends of the Americas speak of tall ‘white gods’ coming from the sea bringing advanced knowledge is because that is precisely what happened, if you forget the gods bit.”

David Icke, “The Biggest Secret” (63)

When critics objected saying Columbus’ mission was impossible, he often countered those objections saying he “might discover some very beneficial island or continent about 750 leagues to the west.” At this point the ships would be able to restock on food/supplies and continue on towards Asia.

Then low and behold Columbus discovered a “very beneficial continent” precisely 750 leagues to the west.

“In the agreements signed on April 17th, 1492, (The Capitulo) and on April 30th, 1492, (The Titulo) the strange fact is that more attention is given to the rulership and jurisdiction of problematical lands that might be discovered en route than to a division of spoils from wealthy Asia.”

Alex Christopher, “Pandora’s Box – The Ultimate Unseen Hand Behind the New World Order,” (42)

In Scotland’s Knights Templar Rosslyn Chapel, there are clear depictions of corn and aloe cactus found on the archways and ceiling. These plants were officially discovered in America and first brought to Europe in the 16th century.

How then did the Masons building Rosslyn Chapel, completed in 1486, know about these plants at least 6 years before Columbus set sail?

“The official story that Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas is ludicrous. A few miles from Edinburgh in Scotland today still stands Rosslyn Chapel, that holy grail of the Brotherhood Elite. It was built in the shape of a Templar cross by the St Clair-Sinclair family and is a mass of esoteric symbolism. The foundations were laid in 1446 and it was completed in the 1480s. How remarkable then that the stonework at Rosslyn includes depictions of sweet corn and cacti which were only found in America and Christopher Columbus did not ‘discover’ that continent until 1492! How could this be?

There is, in fact, no mystery. Christopher Columbus was not even nearly the first white person to land in the Americas. The Phoenicians, Norse, Irish, Welsh, Bretons, Basques and Portuguese, all sailed to America before him and so did Prince Henry Sinclair of Rosslyn, as documented in a rare book by Frederick I. Pohl called Prince Henry Sinclair’s Voyage To The New World 1398. Sinclair made the journey with another Brotherhood bloodline, the Zeno family, one of the most prominent Black Nobility families in Venice.

Sinclair and Antonio Zeno landed in what we call Newfoundland and went ashore in Nova Scotia (New Scotland) in 1398 … The Brotherhood had known about the Americas for thousands of years and Christopher Columbus was used to make the official discovery so that the occupation of the Americas could begin.”

–David Icke, “The Biggest Secret” 1789

Columbus’ supporters were European royalty and the Templars.

His father-in-law was a former Templar Knight and Catherine de Medici of the Illuminati bloodline (along with others) financed his voyage. Columbus’ three ships sailed under the Templars Red Cross flag, used today by the Red Cross and Switzerland.

The royals also sent out fleets of conquistadors and swashbuckling pirates flying the Skull and Bones flag their orders to rape, kill, and pillage all they could from the New World.

“The Skull and Bones cross used by the secret society comes from the pirate skull and cross bones. They weren’t just a bunch of swashbucklers like you’ve seen in the movies. No, these were agents sent onto the high seas by the British royal family to colonize the Americas.”

Michael Tsarion, “The Subversive Use of Sacred Symbolism in the Media” Lecture, Conspiracy Con 2003

The Knights of Columbus third degree emblem is a “fasces,” the fascist symbol overlaying a Nazi Iron Cross in black, red and white just as in Hitler’s Germany.

The “fasces” fascist symbol is an axe supported by bundled reeds representing the power of the many when bound to one ideal. Disturbingly the fasces is also found at US Senate, the Colorado seal, and the dime. The Knights of Columbus seem to be a philanthropic male fraternity, so why all the Nazi symbolism?

Perhaps the hidden history of their namesake Christopher Columbus will shed some light.

“The most obvious symbol of the Brotherhood’s intent is the fasces, from which we get the word, fascism. You can see it at the bottom of a United States ‘liberty’ symbol and in the Congress Building. It was a symbol used widely in the Roman Empire and it consists of rods bound together around an axe. This axe is the origin of the term Axis Powers for the fascist countries in the Second World War. The symbolism is of people and countries bound together under a common centralized dictatorship, the axe.”

David Icke, “The Biggest Secret” (365)

When Columbus first came ashore and was greeted by the Arawak native Americans with smiles, gifts and food, he wrote in his log:

“They brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things … they willingly traded everything they owned … They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane … They would make fine servants … With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.”

Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States”

From the very outset Columbus was writing about conquering and enslaving the natives. Meanwhile the Arawaks, brought gifts, prepared food, and traded everything they owned.

Columbus wrote that the natives,

“are so naïve and so free with their possessions that no one who has not witnessed them would believe it. When you ask for something they have, they never say no. To the contrary, they offer to share with anyone.”

He also wrote,

“I believe that they would easily be made Christians, because it seemed to me that they had no religion.”

The European settlers took a free society without possessions, property, currency, hierarchy or written religion and replaced it with today’s America – the world’s shining beacon of selfish materialism, where every square inch of land/water/airspace is publicly or privately owned, taxed, and governed through a corrupt hierarchical system of laws and regulations where Mother Nature’s gifts are treated as personal possessions to be bought, sold, owned and defended.

Howard Zinn, in “A People’s History of the United States” continues:

“Columbus wrote:

‘As soon as I arrived in the Indies, on the first Island which I found, I took some of the natives by force in order that they might learn and might give me information of whatever there is in these parts.’

The information that Columbus wanted most was: Where is the gold? … His second expedition was given seventeen ships and more than twelve hundred men. The aim was clear: slaves and gold … They went from island to island in the Caribbean, taking Indians as captives … roaming the island in gangs looking for gold, taking women and children as slaves for sex and labor.”

“It was his [Columbus’] avowed aim to ‘convert the heathen Indians to our Holy Faith’ that warranted the enslaving and exporting of thousands of Native Americans. That such treatment resulted in complete genocide did not matter as much as that these natives had been given the opportunity of everlasting life through their exposure to Christianity. The same sort of thinking also gave Westerners license to rape women. In his own words, Columbus described how he himself ‘took [his] pleasure’ with a native woman after whipping her ‘soundly’ with a piece of rope.”

Helen Ellerbe, “The Dark Side of Christian History” (86-88)

By 1496 the settlers were responsible for 34 million native American deaths. We are not talking about some guy who accidentally bumped into America looking for a spice-trade route to India, but that’s what the standardized textbooks continue to tell our children.

Columbus, the conquistadors, the Pirates, and many pilgrims were hostile and ruthless groups of settlers who were collectively responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of natives.

Howard Zinn continues:

“the Spaniards thought nothing of knifing Indians by tens and twenties and of cutting slices off them to test the sharpness of their blades … Las Cases says, ‘from 1494 to 1508 over three million people had perished from war, slavery, and the mines. Who in future generations will believe this? I myself writing it as a knowledgeable eyewitness can hardly believe it.’”

Bartolome De Las Cases was a catholic priest who witnessed the atrocities being committed in the name of God and wrote prolifically denouncing his fellow countrymen.

Bartolome De Las Casas sailed to the “New World” in 1502 and recorded many of the things he saw in his book, “The Devastation of the Indies”:

“With my own eyes I saw Spaniards cut off the nose, hands and ears of Indians, male and female, without provocation, merely because it pleased them to do it … Likewise, I saw how they summoned the caciques and the chief rulers to come, assuring them safety, and when they peacefully came, they were taken captive and burned … (The Spaniards) took babies from their mothers’ breasts, grabbing them by the feet and smashing their heads against rocks … They built a long gibbet, low enough for the toes to touch the ground and prevent strangling, and hanged thirteen at a time in honor of Christ Our Savior and the twelve Apostles …

Then, straw was wrapped around their torn bodies and they were burned alive … When the Spaniards had collected a great deal of gold from the Indians, they shut them up in three big houses, crowding in as many as they could, then set fire to the houses, burning alive all that were in them, yet those Indians hand given no cause nor made any resistance …They would cut an Indian’s hands and leave them dangling by a shred of skin … they would test their swords and their manly strength on captured Indians and place bets on the slicing off of heads or cutting of bodies in half with one blow.”

On every island Columbus ‘discovered’ he planted a cross, claiming ownership for his Spanish Catholic patrons.

He read declarations of Godgiven right to the native’s land in a language they couldn’t understand:

“I certify to you that, with the help of God, we shall powerfully enter in your country and shall make war against you … and shall subject you to the yoke and obedience of the Church … and shall do you all mischief that we can, as to vassals who do not obey and refuse to receive their lord and resist and contradict him.”

D. Stannard, “American Holocaust”

Perhaps you can understand why the word “cretin” derives from “Christian.”

Native American chief Hatuey was captured and burned alive by the Christians. As he was being tied down, a Franciscan friar urged Hatuey to take Jesus into his heart so that he may go to heaven and not hell.

The chief replied that if heaven was where Christians went, he would rather go to hell.

“Christopher Columbus is a symbol, not of a man, but of imperialism. Imperialism and colonialism are not something that happened decades or generations ago, but they are still happening now with the exploitation of people … dispossessed from their land and forced out of subsistence economies and into market economies – those processes are still happening today.”

John Mohawk, Seneca, 1992 (http://www.indians.org/welker/columbu1.htm)

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Marion’s Attic ! Secrets Revealed! WBCQ the Planet.

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Culture clash on the borders of genres: Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover series

Marion Zimmer Bradley worked on books set on Darkover pretty much her whole life. They vary tremendously in quality, they also cover a huge range of styles and subjects. Some of them contradict each other, and some of the early ones were rewritten to agree with later ones. She opened the universe up to her friends and published anthologies of multi-author stories. After she died she left plans for future books, which are still being written. Her web page lists them in publication and internal chronological order and with their various different titles.

Darkover is a cold, dark planet that was settled by a lost colony ship of Spanish and Scots Gaelic speakers who interbred with the psionic natives to produce a red-haired psychic aristocracy called Comyn who began a breeding program for psychic talents while the planet regressed to medieval technology. (I’m simplifying.) After the Terran Empire came back into contact with Darkover, things got interestingly complicated. Most of the best Darkover books are about culture clashes between Terrans and Darkovans who each have something to learn from the other. They’re science fiction—they have space ships and a galactic empire. They’re fantasy—they have people doing out and out magic. But the magic is always talked about in scientific (or, at worst, pseudo-scientific) terms, and while it certainly impossible it is rigorously worked out and deeply integrated into the culture.

Because Bradley started thinking about the world when she was fifteen, it has some absurdities and some things that someone older might have thought better of. But because she worked on the world so long it developed something like an actual organic history. It started from adventure stories and sprouted realistic stories in the corners, sometimes with an adventure plot grafted on in the last couple of chapters. She lived through second phase feminism and started to re-examine gender relationships in Darkover, she met gay people and started to re-examine same sex relationships there. She wrote about rebels and conformists, people re-examining the world, aristocrats, peasants, people of early eras and late ones, and most of all she wrote about families and culture clashes. What they’re like is a family saga—I can’t think of anything else in SF or Fantasy that’s quite like this, covering generations in a way where you could write the family tree.

These books are not really what I would call good, but they have a compulsive quality that makes it hard for me to read just one of them. I can ignore them for years at a time, and I’m not reading the new ones. But when I do pick up one of the old ones I get sucked into the world and want to read more and more of them in that cookie-grabbing way.

I’m going to do a typical rambling re-read. I have read them all in order of internal chronology, and I have read them all in publication order, but I’m not doing either of those sensible things this time. I picked up The Shattered Chain because I was was thinking about heroine’s journeys, and I’m going on from there. I’m not going to read the ones I don’t like, and I’m going to stop when I’ve had enough.

Jo Walton is a science fiction and fantasy writer. She’s published eight novels, most recently Half a Crown and Lifelode, and two poetry collections. She reads a lot, and blogs about it here regularly. She comes from Wales but lives in Montreal where the food and books are more varied.

Because Bradley started thinking about the world when she was fifteen, it has some absurdities and some things that someone older might have thought better of. But because she worked on the world so long it developed something like an actual organic history. It started from adventure stories and sprouted realistic stories in the corners, sometimes with an adventure plot grafted on in the last couple of chapters. She lived through second phase feminism and started to re-examine gender relationships in Darkover, she met gay people and started to re-examine same sex relationships there. She wrote about rebels and conformists, people re-examining the world, aristocrats, peasants, people of early eras and late ones, and most of all she wrote about families and culture clashes. What they’re like is a family saga—I can’t think of anything else in SF or Fantasy that’s quite like this, covering generations in a way where you could write the family tree.

These books are not really what I would call good, but they have a compulsive quality that makes it hard for me to read just one of them. I can ignore them for years at a time, and I’m not reading the new ones. But when I do pick up one of the old ones I get sucked into the world and want to read more and more of them in that cookie-grabbing way.

I’m going to do a typical rambling re-read. I have read them all in order of internal chronology, and I have read them all in publication order, but I’m not doing either of those sensible things this time. I picked up The Shattered Chain because I was was thinking about heroine’s journeys, and I’m going on from there. I’m not going to read the ones I don’t like, and I’m going to stop when I’ve had enough.

Jo Walton is a science fiction and fantasy writer. She’s published eight novels, most recently Half a Crown and Lifelode, and two poetry collections. She reads a lot, and blogs about it here regularly. She comes from Wales but lives in Montreal where the food and books are more varied.

These books are not really what I would call good, but they have a compulsive quality that makes it hard for me to read just one of them. I can ignore them for years at a time, and I’m not reading the new ones. But when I do pick up one of the old ones I get sucked into the world and want to read more and more of them in that cookie-grabbing way.

I’m going to do a typical rambling re-read. I have read them all in order of internal chronology, and I have read them all in publication order, but I’m not doing either of those sensible things this time. I picked up The Shattered Chain because I was was thinking about heroine’s journeys, and I’m going on from there. I’m not going to read the ones I don’t like, and I’m going to stop when I’ve had enough.

Jo Walton is a science fiction and fantasy writer. She’s published eight novels, most recently Half a Crown and Lifelode, and two poetry collections. She reads a lot, and blogs about it here regularly. She comes from Wales but lives in Montreal where the food and books are more varied.

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Retro Science Jargon: Negroes, Retards, Morons, Feeble-Minded Idiots and Perverts

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Retro Science Jargon: Negroes, Retards, Morons, Feeble-Minded Idiots and Perverts

Jesse Bering

Back when I was a graduate student in Louisiana studying chimpanzees, I came across a chapter from an old book called The Speech of Monkeys. First released in 1892, it was a pioneering text in animal behavior and the study of nonhuman communication, published by the very respectable Charles L. Webster and Company, the house of Mark Twain and several other famous authors of the time. So while not commercial, it was at least a serious academic source that comparative psychologists occasionally cite even today. Reading this in 1998, I was well aware, of course, of historical context, yet the title of this particular chapter by an early primatologist—actually, one of America’s first evolutionary theorists post-Darwin—by the name of Richard Garner was still enough to make me do a double-take, just to make sure I’d read it correctly. Garner was a former Confederate soldier from Virginia who lived in a very different world than ours, so perhaps we shouldn’t judge him too harshly. But what I saw was this: “Five little brown cousins: Mickie, Nemo, Dodo, Nigger, and McGinty. Nemo apologizes to Dodo.” These “brown cousins” were actually a colony of monkeys in the Cincinnati Zoo, so from an allegedly scientific point of view, this was rather biased language, even for the times.

There’s more than one such “shocking” title to be found in the historical academic literature, but what’s important for us to remember is that words that are outrageously offensive today were, by contrast with the example above, simply run-of the-mill technical jargon in the past. If for no other reason than simple navel gazing, it’s worth reviewing some of these antiquated titles. On the one hand, they serve to remind us how far we’ve come in humanizing those who need protection and understanding the most; on the other hand, however, many of these uncomfortable, cold-sounding titles leave us asking what scientists of yore were thinking in the first place.

First, there’s the long, embarrassing history of racism in science (sadly Garner was just the beginning), particularly with respect to the study of intelligence. Richard Hernnstein and Charles Murray’s notorious The Bell Curve—for which The New York Times Bob Herbert referred to as a “a scabrous piece of racial pornography masquerading as serious scholarship”—came out in 1994. But long before that controversial book, the empirical records were already littered with black IQ-bashing titles, such as “Some Racial Peculiarities of the Negro Brain” (American Journal of Anatomy, 1905), “Negro-White Hybrids in Jamaica” (Eugenical News, 1928), and “Effect Upon Negro Digit-Symbol Performance of Anticipated Comparison with Whites and with Other Negroes” (Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 1964).

The content of these articles, needless to say, is even worse than their headings. But remember, “negro” was the politically correct term for much of the twentieth century, fading from the academic vernacular only in the early 1970s. Unless it’s a study on the history of discriminatory rhetoric, can you imagine “negro” in the title of an article in, say, next week’s issue of Science or Nature?

People with developmental disorders, including children, were affixed with clinical labels that ring horribly inappropriate and cruel to our ears today. Consider, “A Study of Mortality in Four Thousand Feeble-minded and Idiots,” (New York Medical Journal, 1913), “Analyses of the Blood of Idiots” (Science, 1931), “When Is a Moron Not a Moron?” (Journal of Delinquency, 1920) “Training the Idiot and the Imbecile” (Proceedings of the American Association for the Study of the Feebleminded, 1927), and “Teaching Reading Vocabulary to Lower Grade Morons” (Proceedings of the American Association on Mental Deficiency, 1937). European social scientists were just as cynical with their treatment of cognitively disabled children. German scientists in the early 1930s, for example, were about to fall into an entirely new category of objectionable ethics; even so, “Das Dumme Kind. Ist Dummheit Heilbar?” (trans. “The Stupid Child. Is Stupidity Curable?” Psychologie Rundscháu, 1932) just sounds plain mean. A study on the heritability of Down syndrome is labeled, “The Kinship of Mongoloid Idiots” (Zeitschrift für die Gesamte Neurologie und Psychiatrie, 1939). And the French title, “Les ‘Kinésies de Jeu’ chez les Idiots” (trans. “Playful Bodily Movements in Idiots,” Annales Médico-Psychologiques, 1938), at least evokes a lighter feeling; but it also comes across today as carnivalesque, as though these “idiots” were strange, simian-like curiosities.

Then there’s the verboten “R word,” found in bold titles such as, “Training Retarded Children,” (Training School Bulletin, 1916), and The Retarded Child: How to Help Him (Public School Publishing Co., 1925). Today, not referring to him as retarded is a good start. The “R word” has recently been at the center of focused anti-discriminatory campaigns by groups like the Special Olympics and other organizations representing those with intellectual disabilities, even resulting in federal legislation barring its use in public discourse. Such appeals have also led to more than one celebrity apologizing for using the term thoughtlessly in an interview.

Originally, of course, the R word was a proper medical term referring to developmental impairments. Removed from today’s heated context, “retard” simply means to delay or thwart, and “retarded” was used routinely to capture this innocuous idea. The contrast between its innocent intention and the demeaning sense in which the term occurs now is made strikingly apparent by a 1928 article from the journal School & Society. In this piece called “The Retarded College Professor,” the author informs us that, “The typical professor from the whole population would doubtless show a greater retardation.” But this wasn’t a rub at their intelligence (though many academics’ stereotypical absentmindedness does make them vulnerable to the irony), only a study of how long it took them to get their PhDs and the factors that slowed them down along their educational path between degrees.

What dates an academic title most dramatically is its present derogatory meaning. There are few social categories that don’t take a hit here, either. Imagine reading a new scientific study titled, “Are Fat-Girls More Hypnotically Susceptible?” (Psychological Reports, 1976; neither here nor there, but the answer was yes). And my own people, homosexuals, were perhaps the last to be spared dehumanizing language. Not only were we considered, literally, full-blooded sociopaths by the APA, but scientists referred to us as “perverts” in their technical writings for much of the last century.

Like “retarded,” “perverted” was used originally in a clinically neutral manner. The term appears frequently in Havelock Ellis’s 1896 text Sexual Inversion, one of the first, and also one of the most sympathetic, psychosexual investigations into the nature of homosexuality. Coauthored by the brilliantly erudite and flamingly queer literary critic John Addington Symonds, the authors used the formal diagnosis “pervert” interchangeably (and unfortunately without any explanation) with the more palatable “invert.” The latter term, in their view, reflected homosexuality as being a sort of flipped-around form of normal sexual arousal. Perversions covered a wide range of morally proscribed sexual behaviors, and inverts (homosexuals) that acted on their natural proclivities were regarded as just one of many kinds of such outcasts.

Scholars who found homosexuality repugnant, and who didn’t try to hide their moralistic views, pirated this objective language, and soon it crept into everyday use. In response to what he saw as the normalization of a dangerous sexual disorder, a psychiatrist from the Manhattan State Hospital named Allan Hamilton penned “The Civil Responsibility of Sexual Perverts” (American Journal of Psychiatry, 1896). Hamilton felt strongly that homosexuality was so corrupting that anyone found in such sordid relationships should be separated legally by force. “I hold that under such circumstances not only may the aid of habeas corpus be implored for the purpose of effecting a separation, but that in aggravated instances the physician should, in manner specified, bring the matter before the attention of a committing judge.”

In any event, the die had been cast for the disparaging “P word” and it lived long in the clinical literature, especially within psychoanalytic circles. Only a few short decades ago, some scholars were interpreting anal intercourse among gay men as an unconscious desire among the recipient to nip off the other’s penis with his tightened sphincter. “In this way, which is so characteristic of the pervert,” argued psychiatrist Mervin Glasser in 1986, “he [is] trying to establish his father as an internal object with whom to identify, as an inner ally and bulwark against his powerful mother.” In other words, other men with big penises are like my daddy who, unlike me, was able to subdue my bully of a mother with his enormous phallus; so if only I could subsume such a magnificent rod in my own body, I too might conquer her. That may sound as scientific to us today as astrology or etchings on a tarot card, but, all the same, it’s the type of thing that so many gay men over the past century could have expected to hear if they ever sought counseling for their inevitable woes. Today the word “pervert” sounds silly, or at least provincial, when used to refer to someone from the LGBT community, but it’s still used disparagingly for other paraphilias, in which people similarly have no choice over their atypical sexual arousal patterns.

Words, of course, change more rapidly than minds. For example, scientific terminology referring to racial minorities may now be less abrasive than it once was, yet many believe that racist science is still alive and well, as was highlighted earlier this year by the scandal over London School of Economics professor Satoshi Kanazawa’s comments at Psychology Today regarding race and physical attractiveness. So it remains to be seen, really, if our hearts will one day keep pace with our language.

The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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Jack London’s Must-Read Novel on Astral Travel


Jack London’s last published novel before his death tells the story of a prisoner in solitary confinement who escapes the pain of a straitjacket by astral travels. Despite some critics’ assertions that it’s his greatest book, The Star Rover has never been very popular. It was written in 1913-14, when London was probably the most famous writer in America. Yet when published in 1915, it sold fewer copies than any of his previous works and eventually went out of print. It was republished in England in 1967 under the title The Jacket, and appears to only recently have been reprinted in America. You can read it for free on Kindle.

From Prison Reform to Astral Travel

The Star RoverThe Star Rover’s two main themes are prison reform and astral travel through past lives. When London was 16 years old he was imprisoned for 30 days for vagrancy, “an experience he found so traumatic that he vowed that thenceforward instead of actually living the hobo life which had left him friendless and terrified behind bars, he would only write about it—and doing so get rich and famous,” according to “Introduction to The Star Rover” by Leslie A. Fiedler, published in A New Fiedler Reader.

A reader might think London himself had practiced, or at least was interested in, reincarnation and astral travel. However, it appears London’s mother, a spiritualist who conducted séances, may have been an initial inspiration. “London consciously seems to have felt that these practices were a sham,” wrote Stewart Gabel in Jack London: A Man In Search Of Meaning. Fiedler relates that London never had an out-of-body experience himself, but learned about it from Ed Morrell, a convicted felon on whom the story is based. While in California’s San Quentin State Prison, Morrell was accused of having a secret stash of dynamite and spent five years in solitary confinement, much of in the jacket, due to the false accusation (the same story as in London’s novel). Morrell inadvertently learned etheric projection while in the jacket, and was able to walk around San Francisco and confirm his experiences were real. (One time he witnessed a shipwreck just off the coast that he later read about in the papers.) His journeys are recounted in his memoirs, The 25th Man – The Strange Story of Ed Morrell, the Hero of Jack London’s Star Rover. Eventually Morrell was released from prison and became an outspoken prison reformer. The words of London’s protagonist Darrell Standing could have been spoken by him:

Solitary confinement, they call it. Men who endure it, call it living death. But through these five years of death-in-life I managed to attain freedom such as few men have ever known. Closest-confined of prisoners, not only did I range the world, but I ranged time. They who immured me for petty years gave to me, all unwittingly, the largess of centuries.

A Quick Guide to Astral Travel

The Star Rover

When Standing first starts to have out-of-body experiences (OBOs), his method is to put his conscious mind to sleep and then let loose his subconscious mind. At first his subconscious was undisciplined and incoherent. Then Ed Morrell—whom London made a character in The Star Rover—teaches him a method that could be straight out of a book on self-hypnosis or astral projection.

In the novel, Morrell is a few cells away from Standing, also in solitary confinement. Unable to talk to each other due to the watchful eye of guards, he teaches Standing how to have a more intense OBO via their secret language of knuckle-rapping on the cell bars. Morrell tells him to will himself to die: Lying on your back, you start with a toe and use your will to make it die, and work your way up the body until your body is completely dead and only the consciousness remains:

The thing you must think and believe is that your body is one thing and your spirit is another thing. You are you, and your body is something else that don’t amount to shucks. Your body don’t count. You’re the boss. You don’t need any body. And thinking and believing all this you proceed to prove it by using your will. You make your body die.

Using this method Standing feels his mind enlarging and time and space expanding until he knows without opening his eyes that he’s no longer in his cell. His heart slows so much he can no longer count the space between its beats. His first experience is among the stars. He then journeys through numerous past lives, which he writes down later on Murderer’s Row. Time passes so quickly in the jacket, he’s no longer afraid of the warden’s constant threats to make him reveal his nonexistent stash of explosives: “Dynamite or curtains!”

The Star Rover Through Time

The Star Rover

Many of Standing’s past life experiences are based on actual historical figures. He relives the life of Daniel Foss, who was shipwrecked on a barren island in 1809, lived off seal meat for five years, and later wrote A journal of the shipwreck and sufferings of Daniel Foss. In another life, Standing is a young boy involved in the Mountain Meadows massacre in Utah in 1857, when Mormon settlers conspired with members of the Paiute Indian tribe to slaughter a group of pioneers in covered wagons. Another past life is based on an account written by Hendrick Hamel, who was shipwrecked with other Dutchmen in Korea in the mid-seventeenth century. He was also a friend of Pilate in Rome who discusses divergent views of the afterlife with a devotee of Jesus. Standing eventually concludes Memory is only thing that remains after death—similar to the views of experienced astral traveler Aleister Crowley.

An Ode to the Eternal Feminine

The Star Rover

A sense of peace and quiet joy comes at the end of the sometimes-depressing novel, when Standing realizes that in all of his lives, for all the times he fought, risked his life, and even died, it was for the love of woman. It has been for woman that man has tamed the horse, slew the mammoth, and harvested rice and wheat. Even in his heavens, “Valkyrie or houri, man has fain made place for her, for he could see no heaven without her.” Standing continues his praise of the eternal woman:

I conclude that the greatest thing in life, in all lives, to me and to all men, has been woman, is woman, and will be woman so long as the stars drift in the sky and the heavens flux eternal change. Greater than our toil and endeavour, the play of invention and fancy, battle and star-gazing and mystery—greatest of all has been woman.

The Star Rover should have a place on lists of top American novels and top occult novels. Some have said it’s like a collection of short stories delving into all of London’s interests, and each past life is quite fascinating for a general historical overview. Others have compared it to The Count of Monte Cristo. London’s last novel before his untimely death in 1916 at age 40, The Star Rover weaves together social reform, men’s rights, reincarnation, and historical drama, and will be a riveting read to anyone interested in astral travel or past life regression.

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Harvard and the Making of the Unabomber

theatlantic.com

Harvard and the Making of the Unabomber

Alston Chase

Like many Harvard alumni, I sometimes wander the neighborhood when I return to Cambridge, reminiscing about the old days and musing on how different my life has been from what I hoped and expected then. On a trip there last fall I found myself a few blocks north of Harvard Yard, on Divinity Avenue. Near the end of this dead-end street sits the Peabody Museum—a giant Victorian structure attached to the Botanical Museum, where my mother had taken me as a young boy, in 1943, to view the spectacular exhibit of glass flowers. These left such a vivid impression that a decade later my recollection of them inspired me, then a senior in high school, to apply to Harvard.

This time my return was prompted not by nostalgia but by curiosity. No. 7 Divinity Avenue is a modern multi-story academic building today, housing the university’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. In 1959 a comfortable old house stood on the site. Known as the Annex, it served as a laboratory in which staff members of the Department of Social Relations conducted research on human subjects. There, from the fall of 1959 through the spring of 1962, Harvard psychologists, led by Henry A. Murray, conducted a disturbing and what would now be seen as ethically indefensible experiment on twenty-two undergraduates. To preserve the anonymity of these student guinea pigs, experimenters referred to individuals by code name only. One of these students, whom they dubbed “Lawful,” was Theodore John Kaczynski, who would one day be known as the Unabomber, and who would later mail or deliver sixteen package bombs to scientists, academicians, and others over seventeen years, killing three people and injuring twenty-three.

* * *

I had a special interest in Kaczynski. For many years he and I had lived parallel lives to some degree. Both of us had attended public high schools and had then gone on to Harvard, from which I graduated in 1957, he in 1962. At Harvard we took many of the same courses from the same professors. We were both graduate students and assistant professors in the 1960s. I studied at Oxford and received a Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton before joining the faculty at Ohio State and later serving as chairman of the Department of Philosophy at Macalester College, in Minnesota. Kaczynski earned a Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Michigan in 1967 and then joined the Berkeley Department of Mathematics as an instructor. In the early 1970s, at roughly the same time, we separately fled civilization to the Montana wilderness.

In 1971 Kaczynski moved to Great Falls, Montana; that summer he began building a cabin near the town of Lincoln, eighty miles southwest of Great Falls, on a lot he and his brother, David, had bought. In 1972 my wife and I bought an old homestead fifty-five miles south of Great Falls. Three years later we gave up our teaching jobs to live in Montana full-time. Our place had neither telephone nor electricity; it was ten miles from the nearest neighbor. In winter we were snowbound for months at a time.

In our desire to leave civilization Kaczynski and I were not alone. Many others sought a similar escape. What, I wondered, had driven Kaczynski into the wilderness, and to murder? To what degree were his motives simply a more extreme form of the alienation that prompted so many of us to seek solace in the backwoods?

Most of us may believe we already know Ted Kaczynski. According to the conventional wisdom, Kaczynski, a brilliant former professor of mathematics turned Montana hermit and mail bomber, is, simply, mentally ill. He is a paranoid schizophrenic, and there is nothing more about him to interest us. But the conventional wisdom is mistaken. I came to discover that Kaczynski is neither the extreme loner he has been made out to be nor in any clinical sense mentally ill. He is an intellectual and a convicted murderer, and to understand the connections between these two facts we must revisit his time at Harvard.

I first heard of the Murray experiment from Kaczynski himself. We had begun corresponding in July of 1998, a couple of months after a federal court in Sacramento sentenced him to life without possibility of parole. Kaczynski, I quickly discovered, was an indefatigable correspondent. Sometimes his letters to me came so fast that it was difficult to answer one before the next arrived. The letters were written with great humor, intelligence, and care. And, I found, he was in his own way a charming correspondent. He has apparently carried on a similarly voluminous correspondence with many others, often developing close friendships with them through the mail. Kaczynski told me that the Henry A. Murray Research Center of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, although it released some raw data about him to his attorneys, had refused to share information about the Murray team’s analysis of that data. Kaczynski hinted darkly that the Murray Center seemed to feel it had something to hide. One of his defense investigators, he said, reported that the center had told participating psychologists not to talk with his defense team.

After this intriguing start Kaczynski told me little more about the Murray experiment than what I could find in the published literature. Henry Murray’s widow, Nina, was friendly and cooperative, but could provide few answers to my questions. Several of the research assistants I interviewed couldn’t, or wouldn’t, talk much about the study. Nor could the Murray Center be entirely forthcoming. After considering my application, its research committee approved my request to view the records of this experiment, the so-called data set, which referred to subjects by code names only. But because Kaczynski’s alias was by then known to some journalists, I was not permitted to view his records.

Through research at the Murray Center and in the Harvard archives I found that, among its other purposes, Henry Murray’s experiment was intended to measure how people react under stress. Murray subjected his unwitting students, including Kaczynski, to intensive interrogation—what Murray himself called “vehement, sweeping, and personally abusive” attacks, assaulting his subjects’ egos and most-cherished ideals and beliefs.

My quest was specific—to determine what effects, if any, the experiment may have had on Kaczynski. This was a subset of a larger question: What effects had Harvard had on Kaczynski? In 1998, as he faced trial for murder, Kaczynski was examined by Sally Johnson, a forensic psychiatrist with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, at the order of a court. In her evaluation Johnson wrote that Kaczynski “has intertwined his two belief systems, that society is bad and he should rebel against it, and his intense anger at his family for his perceived injustices.” The Unabomber was created when these two belief systems converged. And it was at Harvard, Johnson suggested, that they first surfaced and met. She wrote,

During his college years he had fantasies of living a primitive life and fantasized himself as “an agitator, rousing mobs to frenzies of revolutionary violence.” He claims that during that time he started to think about breaking away from normal society.

It was at Harvard that Kaczynski first encountered the ideas about the evils of society that would provide a justification for and a focus to an anger he had felt since junior high school. It was at Harvard that he began to develop these ideas into his anti-technology ideology of revolution. It was at Harvard that Kaczynski began to have fantasies of revenge, began to dream of escaping into wilderness. And it was at Harvard, as far as can be determined, that he fixed on dualistic ideas of good and evil, and on a mathematical cognitive style that led him to think he could find absolute truth through the application of his own reason. Was the Unabomber—“the most intellectual serial killer the nation has ever produced,” as one criminologist has called him—born at Harvard?

The Manifesto

The story of Kaczynski’s crimes began more than twenty-two years ago, but the chain of consequences they triggered has yet to run its course. Dubbed “the Unabomber” by the FBI because his early victims were associated with universities or airlines, Kaczynski conducted an increasingly lethal campaign of terrorism that began on May 26, 1978, when his first bomb slightly injured a Northwestern University public-safety officer, Terry Marker, and ended on April 24, 1995, when a bomb he had mailed killed the president of the California Forestry Association, Gilbert Murray. Yet until 1993 Kaczynski remained mute, and his intentions were entirely unknown.

By 1995 his explosives had taken a leap in sophistication; that year he suddenly became loquacious, writing letters to newspapers, magazines, targets, and a victim. Two years later The Washington Post, in conjunction with The New York Times, published copies of the 35,000-word essay that Kaczynski titled “Industrial Society and Its Future,”  and which the press called “The Manifesto.”

Recognizing the manifesto as Kaczynski’s writing, his brother, David, turned Kaczynski in to the FBI, which arrested him at his Montana cabin on April 3, 1996. Later that year Kaczynski was removed to California to stand trial for, among other crimes, two Unabomber murders committed in that state. On January 8, 1998, having failed to dissuade his attorneys from their intention of presenting an insanity defense, and having failed to persuade the presiding judge, Garland E. Burrell Jr., to allow him to choose a new attorney, Kaczynski asked the court for permission to represent himself. In response Burrell ordered Sally Johnson to examine Kaczynski, to determine if he was competent to direct his own defense. Johnson offered a “provisional” diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, but she concluded that Kaczynski was nevertheless competent to represent himself. Burrell refused to allow it. Faced with the prospect of a humiliating trial in which his attorneys would portray him as insane and his philosophy as the ravings of a madman, Kaczynski capitulated: in exchange for the government’s agreement not to seek the death penalty, he pleaded guilty to thirteen federal bombing offenses that killed three men and seriously injured two others, and acknowledged responsibility for sixteen bombings from 1978 to 1995. On May 4, 1998, he was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

Driving these events from first bomb to plea bargain was Kaczynski’s strong desire to have his ideas—as described in the manifesto—taken seriously.

“The Industrial Revolution and its consequences,” Kaczynski’s manifesto begins, “have been a disaster for the human race.” They have led, it contends, to the growth of a technological system dependent on a social, economic, and political order that suppresses individual freedom and destroys nature. “The system does not and cannot exist to satisfy human needs. Instead, it is human behavior that has to be modified to fit the needs of the system.”

By forcing people to conform to machines rather than vice versa, the manifesto states, technology creates a sick society hostile to human potential. Because technology demands constant change, it destroys local, human-scale communities. Because it requires a high degree of social and economic organization, it encourages the growth of crowded and unlivable cities and of mega-states indifferent to the needs of citizens.

This evolution toward a civilization increasingly dominated by technology and the power structure serving technology, the manifesto argues, cannot be reversed on its own, because “technology is a more powerful social force than the aspiration for freedom,” and because “while technological progress AS A WHOLE continually narrows our sphere of freedom, each new technical advance CONSIDERED BY ITSELF appears to be desirable.” Hence science and technology constitute “a mass power movement, and many scientists gratify their need for power through identification with this mass movement.” Therefore “the technophiles are taking us all on an utterly reckless ride into the unknown.”

Because human beings must conform to the machine,

our society tends to regard as a “sickness” any mode of thought or behavior that is inconvenient for the system, and this is plausible because when an individual doesn’t fit into the system it causes pain to the individual as well as problems for the system. Thus the manipulation of an individual to adjust him to the system is seen as a “cure” for a “sickness” and therefore as good.

This requirement, the manifesto continues, has given rise to a social infrastructure dedicated to modifying behavior. This infrastructure includes an array of government agencies with ever-expanding police powers, an out-of-control regulatory system that encourages the limitless multiplication of laws, an education establishment that stresses conformism, ubiquitous television networks whose fare is essentially an electronic form of Valium, and a medical and psychological establishment that promotes the indiscriminate use of mind-altering drugs. Since the system threatens humanity’s survival and cannot be reformed, Kaczynski argued, it must be destroyed. Indeed, the system will probably collapse on its own, when the weight of human suffering it creates becomes unbearable. But the longer it persists, the more devastating will be the ultimate collapse. Hence “revolutionaries” like the Unabomber “by hastening the onset of the breakdown will be reducing the extent of the disaster.”

“We have no illusions about the feasibility of creating a new, ideal form of society,” Kaczynski wrote. “Our goal is only to destroy the existing form of society.” But this movement does have a further goal. It is to protect “wild nature,” which is the opposite of technology. Admittedly, “eliminating industrial society” may have some “negative consequences,” but “well, you can’t eat your cake and have it too.”

* * *

The Unabomber’s manifesto was greeted in 1995 by many thoughtful people as a work of genius, or at least profundity, and as quite sane. In The New York Timesthe environmental writer Kirkpatrick Sale wrote that the Unabomber “is a rational man and his principal beliefs are, if hardly mainstream, entirely reasonable.” In The Nation Sale declared that the manifesto’s first sentence “is absolutely crucial for the American public to understand and ought to be on the forefront of the nation’s political agenda.” The science writer Robert Wright observed in Timemagazine, “There’s a little bit of the unabomber in most of us.” An essay in The New Yorker by Cynthia Ozick described the Unabomber as America’s “own Raskolnikov—the appealing, appalling, and disturbingly visionary murderer of ‘Crime and Punishment,’ Dostoyevsky’s masterwork of 1866.” Ozick called the Unabomber a “philosophical criminal of exceptional intelligence and humanitarian purpose, who is driven to commit murder out of an uncompromising idealism.” Sites devoted to the Unabomber multiplied on the Internet—the Church of Euthanasia Freedom Club; Unapack, the Unabomber Political Action Committee; alt.fan.unabomber; Chuck’s Unabomb Page; redacted.com; MetroActive; and Steve Hau’s Rest Stop. The University of Colorado hosted a panel titled “The Unabomber Had a Point.”

By 1997, however, when Kaczynski’s trial opened, the view had shifted. Although psychiatrists for the prosecution continued to cite the manifesto as proof of Kaczynski’s sanity, experts for the defense and many in the media now viewed it as a symptom and a product of severe mental illness. The document, they argued, revealed a paranoid mind. During the trial the press frequently quoted legal experts who attested to Kaczynski’s insanity. Gerald Lefcourt, then the president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, said the defendant was “obviously disturbed.” Donald Heller, a former federal prosecutor, said, “This guy is not playing with a full deck.” The writer Maggie Scarf suggested in The New Republic that Kaczynski suffered from “Narcissistic Personality Disorder.”

Michael Mello, a professor at Vermont Law School, is the author of The United States of America vs. Theodore John Kaczynski. He and William Finnegan, a writer for The New Yorker, have suggested that Kaczynski’s brother, David, his mother, Wanda, and their lawyer, Tony Bisceglie, along with Kaczynski’s defense attorneys, persuaded many in the media to portray Kaczynski as a paranoid schizophrenic. To a degree this is true. Anxious to save Kaczynski from execution, David and Wanda gave a succession of interviews from 1996 onward to The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Sixty Minutes, among other outlets, in which they sought to portray Kaczynski as mentally disturbed and pathologically antisocial since childhood. Meanwhile—against his wishes and without his knowledge, Kaczynski insists—his attorneys launched a mental-health defense for their client.

One psychology expert for the defense, Karen Bronk Froming, concluded that Kaczynski exhibited a “predisposition to schizophrenia.” Another, David Vernon Foster, saw “a clear and consistent picture of schizophrenia, paranoid type.” Still another, Xavier F. Amador, described Kaczynski as “typical of the hundreds of patients with schizophrenia.” How did the experts reach their conclusions? Although objective tests alone suggested to Froming only that Kaczynski’s answers were “consistent with” schizophrenia, she told Finnegan it was Kaczynski’s writings—in particular his “anti-technology” views—that cemented this conclusion for her. Foster, who met with Kaczynski a few times but never formally examined him, cited his “delusional themes” as evidence of sickness. Amador, who never met Kaczynski at all, based his judgment on the “delusional beliefs” he detected in Kaczynski’s writing. And Sally Johnson’s provisional diagnosis—that Kaczynski suffered from “Paranoid Type” schizophrenia—was largely based on her conviction that he harbored “delusional beliefs” about the threats posed by technology. The experts also found evidence of Kaczynski’s insanity in his refusal to accept their diagnoses or to help them reach those diagnoses.

Most claims of mental illness rested on the diagnoses of experts whose judgments, therefore, derived largely from their opinions of Kaczynski’s philosophy and his personal habits—he was a recluse, a wild man in appearance, a slob of a housekeeper, a celibate—and from his refusal to admit he was ill. Thus Froming cited Kaczynski’s “unawareness of his disease” as an indication of illness. Foster complained of the defendant’s “symptom-based failure to cooperate fully with psychiatric evaluation.” Amador said that the defendant suffered “from severe deficits in awareness of illness.”

But Kaczynski was no more unkempt than many other people on our streets. His cabin was no messier than the offices of many college professors. The Montana wilds are filled with escapists like Kaczynski (and me). Celibacy and misanthropy are not diseases. Nor was Kaczynski really so much of a recluse. Any reporter could quickly discover, as I did through interviews with scores of people who have known Kaczynski (classmates, teachers, neighbors), that he was not the extreme loner he has been made out to be. And, surely, a refusal to admit to being insane or to cooperate with people who are paid to pronounce one insane cannot be taken seriously as proof of insanity.

Why were the media and the public so ready to dismiss Kaczynski as crazy? Kaczynski kept voluminous journals, and in one entry, apparently from before the bombing started, he anticipated this question.

I intend to start killing people. If I am successful at this, it is possible that, when I am caught (not alive, I fervently hope!) there will be some speculation in the news media as to my motives for killing. … If some speculation occurs, they are bound to make me out to be a sickie, and to ascribe to me motives of a sordid or “sick” type. Of course, the term “sick” in such a context represents a value judgment. … the news media may have something to say about me when I am killed or caught. And they are bound to try to analyse my psychology and depict me as “sick.” This powerful bias should be borne [in mind] in reading any attempts to analyse my psychology.

Michael Mello suggests that the public wished to see Kaczynski as insane because his ideas are too extreme for us to contemplate without discomfort. He challenges our most cherished beliefs. Mello writes,

The manifesto challenges the basic assumptions of virtually every interest group that was involved with the case: the lawyers, the mental health experts, the press and politics—both left and right. … Kaczynski’s defense team convinced the media and the public that Kaczynski was crazy, even in the absence of credible evidence … [because] we needed to believe it. … They decided that the Unabomber was mentally ill, and his ideas were mad. Then they forgot about the man and his ideas, and created a curative tale.

Mello is only half right. It is true that many believed Kaczynski was insane because they needed to believe it. But the truly disturbing aspect of Kaczynski and his ideas is not that they are so foreign but that they are so familiar. The manifesto is the work of neither a genius nor a maniac. Except for its call to violence, the ideas it expresses are perfectly ordinary and unoriginal, shared by many Americans. Its pessimism over the direction of civilization and its rejection of the modern world are shared especially with the country’s most highly educated. The manifesto is, in other words, an academic—and popular—cliché. And if concepts that many of us unreflectively accept can lead a person to commit serial murder, what does that say about us? We need to see Kaczynski as exceptional—madman or genius—because the alternative is so much more frightening.

“Exceedingly Stable”

No. 8 Prescott Street in Cambridge is a well-preserved three-story Victorian frame house, standing just outside Harvard Yard. Today it houses Harvard’s expository-writing program. But in September of 1958, when Ted Kaczynski, just sixteen, arrived at Harvard, 8 Prescott Street was a more unusual place, a sort of incubator. Earlier that year F. Skiddy von Stade Jr., Harvard’s dean of freshmen, had decided to use the house as living accommodations for the brightest, youngest freshmen. Von Stade’s well-intentioned idea was to provide these boys with a nurturing, intimate environment, so that they wouldn’t feel lost, as they might in the larger, less personal dorms. But in so doing he isolated the overly studious and less-mature boys from their classmates. He inadvertently created a ghetto for grinds, making social adjustment for them more, rather than less, difficult.

“I lived at Prescott Street that year too,” Michael Stucki told me recently. “And like Kaczynski, I was majoring in mathematics. Yet I swear I never ever even saw the guy.” Stucki, who recently retired after a career in computers, lived alone on the top floor, far from Kaczynski’s ground-floor room. In the unsocial society of 8 Prescott, that was a big distance. “It was not unusual to spend all one’s time in one’s room and then rush out the door to library or class,” Stucki said.

Francis Murphy, the Prescott Street proctor, was a graduate student who had studied for the Catholic priesthood, and to Kaczynski it seemed the house was intended to be run more like a monastery than a dorm. Whereas other freshmen lived in suites with one or two roommates, six of the sixteen students of Prescott Street, including Kaczynski, lived in single rooms. All but seven intended to major in a mathematical science. All but three came from high schools outside New England, and therefore knew few people in Massachusetts. They were, in Murphy’s words, “a serious, quiet bunch.”

Much has been made of Kaczynski’s being a “loner” and of his having been further isolated by Harvard’s famed snobbism. Snobbism was indeed pervasive at Harvard back then. A single false sartorial step could brand one an outcast. And Kaczynski looked shabby. He owned just two pairs of slacks and only a few shirts. Although he washed these each week in the coin-operated machine in the basement of the house next door to 8 Prescott, they became increasingly ragtag.

But it is a mistake to exaggerate Kaczynski’s isolation. Most public high schoolers at Harvard in those days, including Kaczynski, viewed the tweedy in-crowd as so many buttoned-down buffoons who did not realize how ridiculous they looked. And the evidence is that Kaczynski was neither exceptionally a loner nor, at least in his early years at Harvard, alienated from the school or his peers.

Harvard was a “tremendous thing for me,” Kaczynski wrote in an unpublished autobiography that he completed in 1998 and showed to me. “I got something that I had been needing all along without knowing it, namely, hard work requiring self-discipline and strenuous exercise of my abilities. I threw myself into this. … I thrived on it. … Feeling the strength of my own will, I became enthusiastic about will power.”

Freshmen were required to participate in sports, so Kaczynski took up swimming and then wrestling. He played the trombone, as he had in high school, even joining the Harvard band (which he quit almost as soon as he learned that he would have to attend drill sessions). He played pickup basketball. He made a few friends. One of his housemates, Gerald Burns, remembers sitting with Kaczynski in an all-night cafeteria, arguing about the philosophy of Kant. After Kaczynski’s arrest Burns wrote to the anarchist journal Fifth Estate that Kaczynski “was as normal as I am now: it was [just] harder on him because he was much younger than his classmates.” And indeed, most reports of his teachers, his academic adviser, his housemaster, and the health-services staff suggest that Kaczynski was in his first year at Harvard entirely balanced, although tending to be a loner. The health-services doctor who interviewed Kaczynski as part of the medical examination Harvard required for all freshmen observed,

Good impression created. Attractive, mature for age, relaxed. … Talks easily, fluently and pleasantly. … likes people and gets on well with them. May have many acquaintances but makes his friends carefully. Prefers to be by himself part of the time at least. May be slightly shy. … Essentially a practical and realistic planner and an efficient worker. … Exceedingly stable, well integrated and feels secure within himself. Usually very adaptable. May have many achievements and satisfactions.

The doctor further described Kaczynski thus: “Pleasant young man who is below usual college entrance age. Apparently a good mathematician but seems to be gifted in this direction only. Plans not crystallized yet but this is to be expected at his age. Is slightly shy and retiring but not to any abnormal extent. Should be [a] steady worker.”

The Roots of the Unabomber

In 1952, when Kaczynski was ten, his parents moved from Chicago to the suburban community of Evergreen Park—in order, they later explained to Ted, to provide him with a better class of friends. The community into which the Kaczynskis moved would soon be in turmoil. Evergreen Park was a mixed neighborhood of Irish, Italians, Czechs, and Poles who now felt themselves under siege by yet another group of new arrivals.

On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that segregated schooling was unconstitutional. To many people in Evergreen Park this was tantamount to a declaration of war. Even before the Court’s decision they had feared what they saw as black encroachment. African-American communities stood just next door, and black families came to town to shop and eat at Evergreen Park restaurants. Black teenagers hung around Evergreen Plaza.

This environment tended to isolate the Kaczynskis, who by several accounts were liberal on race matters. Aggravating their isolation was Evergreen Park’s fragmented school system. Until 1955 the town had no public high school building, and students were bused to high schools in surrounding communities. Evergreen Park High School was not completed until 1955, and Ted Kaczynski, who became a member of the first class that spent all four years there, found himself in a school without cohesion or community, where few of the students knew one another. As Spencer Gilmore, a former science teacher, lamented, there was “no commonality in the student body.” Howard Finkle, who was then a social-studies teacher, describes Evergreen Park in those years as a school for strangers. Soon the school was riven by cliques.

Despite this fractured environment, school administrators sought to push the students hard academically. “The fact to keep in mind about Evergreen Park,” Kaczynski’s algebra teacher, Paul Jenkins, told me, “is that Gene Howard [the principal of Evergreen Park High School at the time] enjoyed a big budget. He had combed the country for the best instructors he could find—folks who would be teaching junior college in most places. Yet most of the kids were incredibly naive. Some had never even been to downtown Chicago. The faculty was presenting them with ideas they’d never encountered before. Some hated the experience; others loved it. And it blew the minds of some, including perhaps Ted.” The students, according to Finkle, were asked to read books ordinarily used by college undergraduates. The intellectually ambitious, like Kaczynski, adapted readily to these demands, but in a school where the most popular boys carried cigarette packs rolled up in the sleeves of their T-shirts, excelling at academics meant social exile. What pressures did Kaczynski face among his family? Ted Kaczynski insists that the Kaczynski home was an unhappy one and that his social isolation came about because his parents pushed him too hard academically. David and Wanda say that theirs was a happy and normal home but that Ted had shown signs of extreme alienation since childhood. When family members squabble, it is almost impossible for anyone—least of all an outsider—to know who is right. And the Kaczynskis are squabblers.

The letters and other materials Kaczynski sent me in the course of our correspondence—including his 1998 autobiography, containing quotations from doctors, teachers, and college advisers—naturally support his version. Unfortunately, however, I am limited in my ability to use these, because Kaczynski has continually changed his mind about the terms and conditions for the use of his autobiography and other documents. Nevertheless, most of the people I interviewed tended to support most of his claims. I offer my own interpretation of his family relations, which is supported by interviews and infused with knowledge of documents that Kaczynski sent to me.

Kaczynski’s father, Theodore R. “Turk” Kaczynski, was a self-educated freethinker living in a conventionally Catholic working-class community. In his autobiography Kaczynski claims, and a close friend of Turk’s confirms, that Wanda tended to be fearful that their family would be perceived as different. Although nonconformist, the Kaczynskis wanted to be perceived as conforming. Thus, Kaczynski records, although the Kaczynskis were atheists, his parents instructed him to tell people they were Unitarians. The tension created by the family’s efforts to look good to the neighbors increased significantly when, in the fifth grade, Kaczynski scored 167 on an IQ test. He skipped the sixth grade, leaving his friends behind to enter a new class as the smallest kid in the room.

From then on, according to Kaczynski and also according to others who knew the family, his parents valued his intellect as a trophy that gave the Kaczynskis special status. They began to push him to study, lecturing him if his report card showed any grade below an A. Meanwhile, Turk seemed—to Kaczynski, at least—to become increasingly cold, critical, and distant.

When Kaczynski was a sophomore, the Evergreen Park High School administration recommended that he skip his junior year. His band teacher and friend, James Oberto, remembers pleading with Kaczynski’s father not to allow it. But Turk wouldn’t listen. “Ted’s success meant too much to him,” Oberto says.

Two years younger than his classmates, and still small for his age, Kaczynski became even more of an outcast in school. There was “a gradual increasing amount of hostility I had to face from the other kids,” Sally Johnson reports Kaczynski as admitting. “By the time I left high school, I was definitely regarded as a freak by a large segment of the student body.”

Apparently caught between acrimony at home and rejection at school, Kaczynski countered with activity. He joined the chess, biology, German, and mathematics clubs. He collected coins. He read ravenously and widely, excelling in every field from drama and history to biology and mathematics. According to an account in The Washington Post, he explored the music of Bach, Vivaldi, and Gabrieli, studied music theory, and wrote musical compositions for a family trio—David on the trumpet, Turk at the piano, and himself on the trombone. He played duets with Oberto.

These achievements made Kaczynski a favorite of his teachers. Virtually all those with whom I talked who knew him well in those years saw him as studious and a member of the lowest-ranking high school clique—the so-called briefcase boys—but otherwise entirely normal. His physics teacher, Robert Rippey, described him to me as “honest, ethical, and sociable.” His American-government teacher, Philip Pemberton, said he had many friends and indeed seemed to be their “ringleader.” Paul Jenkins used Kaczynski as a kind of teaching assistant, to help students who were having trouble in math. School reports regularly gave him high marks for neatness, “respect for others,” “courtesy,” “respect for law and order,” and “self-discipline.” “No one was more lavish in praise of Kaczynski than Lois Skillen, his high school counselor. “Of all the youngsters I have worked with at the college level,” she wrote to Harvard,

I believe Ted has one of the greatest contributions to make to society. He is reflective, sensitive, and deeply conscious of his responsibilities to society. … His only drawback is a tendency to be rather quiet in his original meetings with people, but most adults on our staff, and many people in the community who are mature find him easy to talk to, and very challenging intellectually. He has a number of friends among high school students, and seems to influence them to think more seriously.

Kaczynski was accepted by Harvard in the spring of 1958; he was not yet sixteen years old. One friend remembers urging Kaczynski’s father not to let the boy go, arguing, “He’s too young, too immature, and Harvard too impersonal.” But again Turk wouldn’t listen. “Ted’s going to Harvard was an ego trip for him,” the friend recalls.

General Education and the Culture of Despair

All Harvard freshmen in the 1950s, including Kaczynski and me, were immersed in what the college described as “general education” and students called Gen Ed. This program of studies, which had been fully implemented by 1950, was part of a nationwide curricular reform that sought to inculcate a sense of “shared values” among undergraduates through instruction in the Judeo-Christian tradition.

Unlike the usual departmental offerings, which focused on methodological issues within a discipline, Gen Ed courses were intended to be interdisciplinary, with material arranged for students historically (chronologically) rather than analytically. Required Gen Ed courses focused on science, literature, philosophy, history, and Western institutions. The undergraduate curriculum, therefore, was initially designed to be neatly divided into two categories, one general and one specialized, one emphasizing history and values, the other emphasizing the value-free methodologies employed by scholars in the various academic fields. This attempt at balance would give rise to a battle in the long war between humanism and positivism.

The Gen Ed curriculum was born of a lofty impulse: to establish in higher education—as President Harry Truman’s Commission on Higher Education would later express it—“a code of behavior based on ethical principles consistent with democratic ideals.” Harvard’s president, James B. Conant, in his charge to the committee that would design Gen Ed, wrote,

Unless the educational process includes at each level of maturity some continuing contact with those fields in which value judgments are of prime importance, it must fall far short of the ideal. The student in high school, in college and in graduate school must be concerned, in part at least, with the words “right” and “wrong” in both the ethical and mathematical sense.

The committee’s report, General Education in a Free Society (1945), was known, for the color of its cover, as the Redbook. The solution that the Redbook committee offered was a program of instruction that, in the words of the education historian Frederick Rudolph, called for “a submersion in tradition and heritage and some sense of common bond strong enough to bring unbridled ego and ambition under control.” The Redbook’s program of reform caught the imagination of educators across the country. By the mid-1950s more than half the colleges in America were offering programs of general education modeled along the same lines.

Although at Harvard the name caught on, the philosophy behind it did not. Gen Ed was doomed from the start.

By 1950 the Harvard faculty was divided between those who, chastened by their experience in World War II and especially by the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, saw science and technology as a threat to Western values and even human survival and those—a majority—who saw science as a liberator from superstition and an avenue to progress. Both these views found their way into the Gen Ed curriculum. The dominant faction had little sympathy for the Redbook’s resolve to inculcate Judeo-Christian ethics. Because of the majority’s resistance, many Redbook-committee recommendations were never fully implemented. And those recommendations that were incorporated into the curriculum were quickly subverted by many of the people expected to teach it. These professors in fact emphasized the opposite of the lesson Conant intended. Rather than inculcate traditional values, they sought to undermine them. Soon “Thou shalt not utter a value judgment” became the mantra for Harvard freshmen, in dorm bull sessions as well as in term papers. Positivism triumphed.

Superficially, the positivist message appeared to be an optimistic one, concerning the perfectibility of science and the inevitability of progress. It taught that reason was a liberating force and faith mere superstition; the advance of science would eventually produce a complete understanding of nature. But positivism also taught that all the accumulated nonscientific knowledge of the past, including the great religions and philosophies, had been at best merely an expression of “cultural mores” and at worst nonsense; life had no purpose and morality no justification.

Even as positivism preached progress, therefore, it subliminally carried—quite in contradiction to the intent of Gen Ed’s framers—a more disturbing implication: that absolute reason leads to absolute despair. G. K. Chesterton wrote, “Imagination does not breed insanity. Exactly what does breed insanity is reason. Poets do not go mad … mathematicians go mad.” Hence Gen Ed delivered to those of us who were undergraduates during this time a double whammy of pessimism. From the humanists we learned that science threatens civilization. From the scientists we learned that science cannot be stopped. Taken together, they implied that there was no hope. Gen Ed had created at Harvard a culture of despair. This culture of despair was not, of course, confined to Harvard—it was part of a more generalized phenomenon among intellectuals all over the Western world. But it existed at Harvard in a particularly concentrated form, and Harvard was the place where Kaczynski and I found ourselves.

Although I cannot say exactly what Kaczynski read, he must have absorbed a good measure of the Gen Ed readings that infused the intellectual and emotional climate on campus. Gen Ed courses in social science and philosophy quickly introduced us to the relativity of morals and the irrationality of religion. To establish that ethical standards were merely expressions of Western cultural mores, we were assigned to read works by anthropologists such as Margaret Mead (Coming of Age in Samoa) and Ruth Benedict (Patterns of Culture). In Humanities 5, or “Ideas of Man and the World in Western Thought,” we read Sigmund Freud’s polemic against religious faith, The Future of an Illusion, which dismisses the belief that life has purpose as a mere expression of infantile desires and as confirming that “man is a creature of weak intelligence who is governed by his instinctual wishes.”

In expository writing we encountered Thorstein Veblen’s prediction that “so long as the machine process continues to hold its dominant place as a disciplinary factor in modern culture, so long must the spiritual and intellectual life of this cultural era maintain the character which the machine process gives it.” We read Norbert Wiener, who warned that unless human nature changes, the “new industrial revolution … [makes it] practically certain that we shall have to face a decade or more of ruin and despair.”

And Lewis Mumford told us,

Western man has exhausted the dream of mechanical power which so long dominated his imagination. … he can no longer let himself remain spellbound in that dream: he must attach himself to more humane purposes than those he has given to the machine. We can no longer live, with the illusions of success, in a world given over to devitalized mechanisms, desocialized organisms, and depersonalized societies: a world that had lost its sense of the ultimate dignity of the person.

In “German R” (“Intermediate German With Review of Fundamentals”), which both Kaczynski and I took, we encountered a whole corpus of pessimistic writers, from Friedrich Nietzsche (“God is dead,” “Morality is the herd instinct of the individual,” “The thought of suicide is a great source of comfort”) to Oswald Spengler (“This machine-technics will end with the Faustian civilization and one day will lie in fragments, forgotten—our railways and steamships as dead as the Roman roads and the Chinese wall, our giant cities and skyscrapers in ruins like old Memphis and Babylon”).

In several courses we studied Joseph Conrad, who would later become one of Kaczynski’s favorite writers, and whose description of the villain in Heart of Darkness could have been applied to Kaczynski himself: “All Europe contributed to the making of Kurtz. …” He was “a gifted creature. … He was a universal genius.” Conrad’s The Secret Agent, a satire about bomb-wielding anarchists who declare war on science (and whose intentional irony Kaczynski may have missed), presages the Unabomber manifesto. “Science,” one of the plotters suggests, “is the sacrosanct fetish.”

All the damned professors are radicals at heart. Let them know that their great panjandrum has got to go, too. … The demonstration must be against learning—science. … The attack must have all the shocking senselessness of gratuitous blasphemy. … I have always dreamed of a band of men absolute in their resolve to discard all scruples in the choice of means, strong enough to give themselves frankly the name of destroyers, and free from the taint of that resigned pessimism which rots the world. No pity for anything on earth, including themselves, and death enlisted for good and all in the service of humanity—that’s what I would have liked to see.

* * *

What impact did this reading have on us? Speaking as a former college professor, I can say that most curricula have absolutely no effect on most students. But readings can have profound effects on some students, especially the brightest, most conscientious, and least mature. Certainly the intellectual climate generated by Gen Ed informed Kaczynski’s developing views. The Unabomber philosophy bears a striking resemblance to many parts of Harvard’s Gen Ed syllabus. Its anti-technology message and its despairing depiction of the sinister forces that lie beneath the surface of civilization, its emphasis on the alienation of the individual and on the threat that science poses to human values—all these were in the readings. And these kinds of ideas did not affect Kaczynski alone—they reached an entire generation, and beyond.

Gen Ed had more than an intellectual impact. According to a study of Harvard and Radcliffe undergraduates that included Kaczynski’s class of 1962, conducted by William G. Perry Jr., the director of the university’s Bureau of Study Counsel, the undergraduate curriculum had a profound impact on the emotions, the attitudes, and even the health of some students.

According to Perry, intellectual development for Harvard and Radcliffe undergraduates typically encompassed a progression from a simplistic, “dualistic” view of reality to an increasingly relativistic and “contingent” one. Entering freshmen tend to favor simple over complex solutions and to divide the world into truth and falsehood, good and bad, friend and foe. Yet in most of their college courses, especially in the social sciences and the humanities, they are taught that truth is relative. Most accept this, but a number cannot. They react against relativism by clinging more fiercely to an absolute view of the world. To some of these students, in Perry’s words, “science and mathematics still seem to offer hope.”

Nevertheless, Perry wrote, “regression into dualism” is not a happy development, for it “calls for an enemy.” Dualists in a relativistic environment tend to see themselves as surrounded; they become increasingly lonely and alienated. This attitude “requires an equally absolutistic rejection of any ‘establishment’” and “can call forth in its defense hate, projection, and denial of all distinctions but one,” Perry wrote. “The tendency … is toward paranoia.”

As is evident in his writings, Kaczynski rejected the complexity and relativism he found in the humanities and the social sciences. He embraced both the dualistic cognitive style of mathematics and Gen Ed’s anti-technology message. And perhaps most important, he absorbed the message of positivism, which demanded value-neutral reasoning and preached that (as Kaczynski would later express it in his journal) “there was no logical justification for morality.”

After he graduated from Harvard, Kaczynski encountered a book by the French philosopher Jacques Ellul, The Technological Society (1954). Its message was that mankind no longer saw technology as merely a tool but now pursued its advancement as an end in itself. Society served technology, not vice versa. Individuals were valued only insofar as they served this end. Their education and the structure of their institutions were shaped solely for the purpose of technological progress.

By the time he encountered Ellul, Kaczynski recalled in 1998, “I had already developed at least 50% of the ideas of that book on my own, and … when I read the book for the first time, I was delighted, because I thought, ‘Here is someone who is saying what I have already been thinking.’”

The Murray Experiment

Perhaps no figure at Harvard at this time better embodied the ongoing war between science and humanism than Henry A. “Harry” Murray, a professor in Harvard’s Department of Social Relations. A wealthy and blue-blooded New Yorker, Murray was both a scientist and a humanist, and he was one of Lewis Mumford’s best friends. He feared for the future of civilization in an age of nuclear weapons, and advocated implementing the agenda of the World Federalist Association, which called for a single world government. The atomic bomb, Murray wrote in a letter to Mumford, “is the logical & predictable result of the course we have been madly pursuing for a hundred years.” The choice now facing humanity, he added, was “One World or No World.” Yet unlike Mumford, Murray maintained a deep faith in science. He saw it as offering a solution by helping to transform the human personality. “The kind of behavior that is required by the present threat,” Murray wrote Mumford, “involves transformations of personality such as never occurred quickly in human history; one transformation being that of National Man into World Man.” Crucial to achieving this change was learning the secret of successful relationships between people, communities, and nations. And coming to understand these “unusually successful relations” was the object of Murray’s particular research: the interplay between two individuals, which he called the “dyad.”

The concept of the dyad was, in a sense, Murray’s attempt to build a bridge between psychology and sociology. Rather than follow Freud and Jung by identifying the individual as the fundamental atom in the psychological universe, Murray chose the dyad—the smallest social unit—and in this way sought to unite psychiatry, which studied the psyches of individuals, and sociology, which studied social relations. This kind of research, he apparently hoped, might (as he put it in a 1947 paper) promote “the survival and further evaluation of Modern Man,” by encouraging the emergence of the new “world man” and making world peace more likely.

Murray’s interest in the dyad, however, may have been more than merely academic. The curiosity of this complex man appears to have been impelled by two motives—one idealistic and the other somewhat less so. He lent his talents to national aims during World War II. Forrest Robinson, the author of a 1992 biography of Murray, wrote that during this period he “flourished as a leader in the global crusade of good against evil.” He was also an advocate of world government. Murray saw understanding the dyad, it seems, as a practical tool in the service of the great crusade in both its hot and cold phases. (He had long shown interest, for example, in the whole subject of brainwashing.) During the war Murray served in the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA, helping to develop psychological screening tests for applicants and (according to Timothy Leary) monitoring military experiments on brainwashing. In his book (1979), John Marks reported that General “Wild Bill” Donovan, the OSS director, “called in Harvard psychology professor Henry ‘Harry’ Murray” to devise a system for testing the suitability of applicants to the OSS. Murray and his colleagues “put together an assessment system … [that] tested a recruit’s ability to stand up under pressure, to be a leader, to hold liquor, to lie skillfully, and to read a person’s character by the nature of his clothing. … Murray’s system became a fixture in the OSS.”

One of the tests that Murray devised for the OSS was intended to determine how well applicants withstood interrogations. As he and his colleagues described it in their 1948 report “Selection of Personnel for Clandestine Operations—Assessment of Men,”

The candidate immediately went downstairs to the basement room. A voice from within commanded him to enter, and on complying he found himself facing a spotlight strong enough to blind him for a moment. The room was otherwise dark. Behind the spotlight sat a scarcely discernible board of inquisitors. … The interrogator gruffly ordered the candidate to sit down. When he did so, he discovered that the chair in which he sat was so arranged that the full strength of the beam was focused directly on his face. …

At first the questions were asked in a quiet, sympathetic, conciliatory manner, to invite confidence. … After a few minutes, however, the examiner worked up to a crescendo in a dramatic fashion. … When an inconsistency appeared, he raised his voice and lashed out at the candidate, often with sharp sarcasm. He might even roar, “You’re a liar.”

Even anticipation of this test was enough to cause some applicants to fall apart. The authors wrote that one person “insisted he could not go through with the test.” They continued, “A little later the director … found the candidate in his bedroom, sitting on the edge of his cot, sobbing.”

Before the war Murray had been the director of the Harvard Psychological Clinic. After the war Murray returned to Harvard, where he continued to refine techniques of personality assessment. In 1948 he sent a grant application to the Rockefeller Foundation proposing “the development of a system of procedures for testing the suitability of officer candidates for the navy.” By 1950 he had resumed studies on Harvard undergraduates that he had begun, in rudimentary form, before the war, titled “Multiform Assessments of Personality Development Among Gifted College Men.” The experiment in which Kaczynski participated was the last and most elaborate in the series. In their postwar form these experiments focused on stressful dyadic relations, designing confrontations akin to those mock interrogations he had helped to orchestrate for the OSS.

* * *

It was the confluence of two streams of development that transformed Ted Kaczynski into the Unabomber. One stream was personal, fed by his anger toward his family and those who he felt had slighted or hurt him, in high school and college. The other derived from his philosophical critique of society and its institutions, and reflected the culture of despair he encountered at Harvard and later. The Murray experiment, containing both psychological and philosophical components, may well have fed both streams.

Gradually, while he was immersed in his Harvard readings and in the Murray experiment, Kaczynski began to put together a theory to explain his unhappiness and anger. Technology and science were destroying liberty and nature. The system, of which Harvard was a part, served technology, which in turn required conformism. By advertising, propaganda, and other techniques of behavior modification, this system sought to transform men into automatons, to serve the machine.

Thus did Kaczynski’s Harvard experiences shape his anger and legitimize his wrath. By the time he graduated, all the elements that would ultimately transform him into the Unabomber were in place—the ideas out of which he would construct a philosophy, the unhappiness, the feelings of complete isolation. Soon after, so, too, would be his commitment to killing. Embracing the value-neutral message of Harvard’s positivism—morality was nonrational—made him feel free to murder. Within four years of graduating from Harvard he would be firmly fixed in his life’s plan. According to an autobiography he wrote that chronicled his life until the age of twenty-seven, “I thought ‘I will kill, but I will make at least some effort to avoid detection, so that I can kill again.’” Both Kaczynski’s philosophy and his decision to go into the wilderness were set by the summer of 1966, after his fourth year as a graduate student at the University of Michigan (where, incidentally, students had rated him an above-average instructor). It was then, Sally Johnson wrote, that “he decided that he would do what he always wanted to do, to go to Canada to take off in the woods with a rifle and try to live off the country. ‘If it doesn’t work and if I can get back to civilization before I starve then I will come back here and kill someone I hate.’” This was also when he decided to accept the teaching position at Berkeley—not in order to launch an academic career but to earn a grubstake sufficient to support him in the wilderness.

In 1971 Kaczynski wrote an essay containing most of the ideas that later appeared in the manifesto. “In these pages,” it began, “it is argued that continued scientific and technical progress will inevitably result in the extinction of individual liberty.” It was imperative that this juggernaut be stopped, Kaczynski went on. This could not be done by simply “popularizing a certain libertarian philosophy” unless “that philosophy is accompanied by a program of concrete action.”

At that time Kaczynski still had some hope of achieving his goals by peaceful means—by establishing “an organization dedicated to stopping federal aid to scientific research.” It would not be long before he decided this was fruitless. The same year, Johnson wrote, he was “thinking seriously about and planning to murder a scientist.” Meanwhile, he began to practice what radical environmentalists call “monkeywrenching”—sabotaging or stealing equipment and setting traps and stringing wires to harm intruders into his wilderness domain. Later in the 1970s he began experimenting with explosives. In 1978 he launched his campaign of terrorism with the bomb that injured Terry Marker.

The Evils of Intelligence

Today Ted Kaczynski is serving four life terms in a maximum-security prison in Florence, Colorado. Out of sight, he is not out of play. His manifesto continues to be read at colleges around the country. Through letters, he maintains relations with many people he knew before his arrest. And although most Americans are morally repulsed by the Unabomber’s terrorism, many accept his anti-technology views and silently tolerate extremist actions on behalf of saving “wild nature.”

Kaczynski has attracted a large new following of admirers. Indeed, he has become an inspiration and a sort of leader in exile for the burgeoning “green anarchist” movement. In a letter to me Kaczynski made clear that he keeps in contact with other anarchists, including John Zerzan, the intellectual leader of a circle of anarchists in Eugene, Oregon, who was among the few people to visit Kaczynski while he was in jail in Sacramento, awaiting trial. According to The Boston Globe, Theresa Kintz, one of Zerzan’s fellow anarchists, was the first writer to whom Kaczynski granted an interview after his arrest. Writing for the London-based Green Anarchist, Kintz quoted Kaczynski as saying, “For those who realize the need to do away with the techno-industrial system, if you work for its collapse, in effect you are killing a lot of people.”

The Los Angeles Times has reported that last June, 200 of Zerzan’s comrades rioted in Eugene, smashing computers, breaking shop windows, throwing bricks at cars, and injuring eight police officers. According to the Seattle Times, followers of Zerzan’s also arrived in force at last December’s “Battle of Seattle,” at the World Trade Organization meeting, where they smashed shop windows, flattened tires, and dumped garbage cans on the street.

Kaczynski continues to comment approvingly on the violent exploits of environmental radicals. In a letter he wrote last year to the Denver television reporter Rick Sallinger, he expressed his support for the Earth Liberation Front’s arsons at the Vail ski resort—fires that destroyed more than $12 million worth of property.

“I fully approve of [the arson],” he wrote Sallinger, “and I congratulate the people who carried it out.” Kaczynski went on to commend an editorial in the Earth First! Journal by Kintz, who wrote, “The Earth Liberation Front’s eco-sabotage of Vail constituted a political act of conscience perfectly in keeping with the sincere expression of the biocentric paradigm many Earth First!ers espouse.” It is unlikely that Kaczynski will someday be a free man again, but it is not impossible. Although he pleaded guilty in January of 1998 to the Unabomber crimes, that outcome is currently under appeal. He claims that his attorneys deceived him and acted against his wishes by preparing a “mental defect” defense for him, and that by allowing this to happen, the court violated his Sixth Amendment right to direct his own defense. The Ninth Circuit Court has agreed to hear his appeal, and a new trial is a possibility.

Some, including me, believe that if Kaczynski does win a new trial, he will argue that his killings were necessary in order to save the world from a great evil—namely, technology. Most legal experts believe that this would be an unpersuasive and even suicidal defense strategy, leading directly to a guilty verdict and a sentence of death. But apparently Kaczynski would rather die a martyr for his ideas than live out his life in prison. At any rate, his essential point is correct: the Unabomber is not only a killer but a sane one. He is a terrorist, like Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, and Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, the World Trade Center bomber. And like them, he is evil. But what kind of evil?

* * *

The real story of Ted Kaczynski is one of the nature of modern evil—evil that results from the corrosive powers of intellect itself, and its arrogant tendency to put ideas above common humanity. It stems from our capacity to conceive theories or philosophies that promote violence or murder in order to avert supposed injustices or catastrophes, to acquiesce in historical necessity, or to find the final solution to the world’s problems—and by this process of abstraction to dehumanize our enemies. We become like Raskolnikov, in Crime and Punishment, who declares, “I did not kill a human being, but a principle!”

Guided by theories, philosophies, and ideologies, the worst mass killers of modern history transformed their victims into depersonalized abstractions, making them easier to kill. Much the way Stalin, citing Communist dogma, ordered the murder of millions of peasants toward “the elimination of the Kulaks as a class,” so Kaczynski rationalized his murders as necessary to solve “the technology problem.”

The conditions that produce violence continue to flourish. Despite their historically unprecedented affluence, many middle-class Americans, particularly the educated elite, are still gripped by despair. The education system continues to promote bleak visions of the future. Meanwhile, alienating ideologies, offering the false promise of quick solutions through violence, proliferate.

Although most Americans strongly condemn terrorist acts committed in the name of political agendas of which they do not approve, many turn a blind eye toward savagery done in the name of ideals they share. Indeed, many are reasonably comfortable with violence short of murder, as long as it’s done for a cause they support. It was easy for Americans to unite in condemning the World Trade Center and Oklahoma City bombings, because few approved of the bombers’ goals: the destruction of the state of Israel and of the U.S. government. But some conservatives seem to be untroubled by anti-abortion bombings or by the rise of armed militias, and some liberals consistently condone or ignore the proliferation of terrorism putatively committed on behalf of animals or the environment.

Not surprisingly, then, ideologically inspired violence has become increasingly commonplace—tolerated and sometimes even praised. Just after the bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, The Wall Street Journal noted that terrorism “has become a part of life.”

According to the FBI, explosive and incendiary bombings doubled during the first four years of the 1990s. And although the number of such incidents has declined slightly since that time, certain kinds of “single-issue” terrorism—including acts committed on behalf of Kaczynski’s cause of choice, “saving wild nature”—are becoming increasingly prominent. Last year the director of the FBI, Louis Freeh, told Congress, “The most recognizable single issue terrorists at the present time are those involved in the violent animal rights, anti-abortion, and environmental protection movements. … the potential for destruction has increased as terrorists have turned toward large improvised explosive devices to inflict maximum damage.”

After concluding a ten-month investigation of this phenomenon, the Portland Oregonian reported last fall,

Escalating sabotage to save the environment has inflicted tens of millions of dollars in damage and placed lives at risk. … Arsons, bombings and sabotage in the name of saving the environment and its creatures have swept the American West over the last two decades, and Oregon is increasingly the center of it. At least 100 major acts of such violence have occurred since 1980, causing $42.8 million in damages.

The Oregonian found that “during the last four years alone, the West has been rocked by 33 substantial incidents, with damages reaching $28.8 million.” And although “these crimes started nearly two decades ago—some seem clearly inspired by Edward Abbey’s 1975 novel, The Monkey Wrench Gang—they have escalated dangerously, sometimes with the use of bombs, in the last six years.” No one other than Kaczynski’s three victims has yet been murdered by a fanatical environmentalist, but investigators consider it merely a matter of time before someone else is killed for similar reasons. “I think we’ve come very close to that line,” one federal agent told the Oregonian, “and we will cross that line unless we deal with this problem.”

We may cross that line sooner than we think. In a September, 1998, letter to me, Kaczynski wrote,

I suspect that you underestimate the strength and depth of feeling against industrial civilization that has been developing in recent years. I’ve been surprised at some of the things that people have written to me. It looks to me as if our society is moving into a pre-revolutionary situation. (By that I don’t mean a situation in which revolution is inevitable, but one in which it is a realistic possibility.) The majority of people are pessimistic or cynical about existing institutions, there is widespread alienation and directionlessness among young people. … Perhaps all that is needed is to give these forces appropriate organization and direction.

Seen from that perspective, it might seem that the rest of society is only a few steps behind Kaczynski. When Henry Murray spoke of the need to create a new “World Man,” this was not what he had in mind.

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Antarctica: a place of wide horizons and fragile selves

Stephen J Pyne

I had not intended to go to the end of nowhere. Even by Antarctic standards, Dome C was the back of beyond. But one afternoon, while fumbling with gear in a McMurdo warehouse, I overheard an allusion to ‘the source regions’. The technicians used the term casually, discussing what goods would be shipped to a remote camp well over the Transantarctic Mountains. But in my mind the phrase sparked an epiphany of symbolism. The source regions. Here was the geographic place at which the East Antarctic ice sheets gathered and then flowed outward. Here was a place that took nothing from elsewhere save fugitive water vapour and turned it into Ice. I had come here to understand Antarctica, by whatever means I could. Surely that quest demanded a journey to the source, for it must certainly contain the essence of the Ice. So after a trip to the National Science Foundation chalet where I pleaded my case, and then a layover at the Pole, adapting to high elevation, I stepped off an LC-130 (‘The Antarctic Queen’) on a dazzling 1981 New Year’s Eve at Dome C and found myself at the end of the world.

Antarctica is a place only an intellectual could love. The further one moves into the interior, away from the coast and storms and marine life that tenuously valence with the Earth, the more dominant the ice and the more extraterrestrial the surroundings. The commonsense perspective of ordinary people is that there is ‘nothing there’, and they are almost right. Even scientists in keen pursuit of data, precious by being rare — our age’s equivalent to the spice and bullion that inflamed early explorers — find Dome C extreme. The rumour soon spread on site, originating from a knot of geophysics graduate students from Wisconsin, that we were not in Antarctica at all but had been secretly drugged on the plane and taken to a prison camp in Minnesota.

Consider the geographic facts: Dome C is an infinitesimal rise in the East Antarctic plateau, atop 14,500 foot of ice that extends outward hundreds of miles. There is little else. This is the most singular environment on Earth, a synthesis of the huge with the simple. Space and time dissolve. The cycle of days and those of seasons collapse into a single spiral. The energy budget is always negative; none during the dark season, reflected away during the light. There is no life. There is nothing to live on. Here is Dante’s imagined innermost circle of hell as an inferno of ice. Here is the Earth’s underworld.

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It is a scene of absences and abstractions. There are no mountains, valleys, rivers, shores; no forests, prairies, tide pools, corn and cotton fields, sun-baked deserts; no hurricanes, no floods, no earthquakes, no fires. The only contrast is between an ice-massed land and an ice-saturated sky. The descending ice that links them — the ultimate source of the dome — has the purity of triple-distilled water. Yet it too, as with everything else, simplifies into its most primordial elements, as snowflakes crumble and fall as an icy dust. There is no centre and no edge. There is no near or far; no east or west; no real here or there. Words, too, shrink and freeze, as language and ideas shrivel into monosyllables: ice, snow, dark, sky, blue, star, cloud, white, wind, moon, light, flake, cold.

Consider what that does to experience, to mind, to self. Like the flakes disintegrated into slivers of crystal, a mounding of ice dust, the self disaggregates. Your self is not an essence, but the compounding sum of your connections, like snowflakes elaborating uniquely. At Dome C every particle of ice is identical.

The camp was temporary — how could it be otherwise? Here, where the ice thickened on a continental scale, is an ideal setting for deep-core drilling. Exploratory flights three years earlier had resulted in a crippled LC-130, when a taxiing plane had cracked a wing. Another ski-equipped Hercules was dispatched to remove the crew, only to add to the crisis when a jet-assist take-off bottle that was needed to add thrust in the thin air broke loose on take-off and ripped through a wing. A third flight rescued the stranded crewmen. The next year a temporary camp of Jamesway huts arose while crews repaired and flew out the planes. The huts became the core of an ice-prospecting camp. A small cadre of French glaciologists sat in their self-proclaimed cage aux folles and sank their coring shafts. Smaller cliques of Americans hand-drilled for shallow cores and blasted for seismic profiles that revealed an ice sheet roughly 14,500ft (4.23 kilometres) deep. A nose-cone from one of the former LC-130s, like a cannon on a village green, greeted newcomers.

In all, there were a dozen of us that year; the French, the American teams, a cook, a couple of Navy mechanics. But there was little that one might consider a society, any more than there was anything one might consider a built village or even a shanty town. We lived in a tiny boulevard of the Jamesways — canvas-walled, wooden-floored Quonset huts dropped like lumps of glacial erratic on an ice dome taller than Mount Whitney and wider than Australia. Apart from them, and what we brought to stuff in them, there was little from the unblinking outside world by which to order the inside world at Dome C. Nothing in nature, nothing in culture, only the fortnightly visit by a Navy Hercules. While the sun slowly spun above the horizon, teams came and went as their work called, or they felt an urge. There was no common dining, no collective experience, nothing that anyone had to do at any one time. The sole exception was the arrival of new movies with each resupply flight. These were watched obsessively until the cache was exhausted, at which point Dome C’s social order again dissolved.

A naive observer might rejoice in the near-absolute freedom allowed by a near-absolute abolition of mandatory order. But that nominal freedom is only another name for anomie. Freedom is relative: it requires coercion of various sorts in order to have meaning. At Dome C there was nothing to rebel against. You could do whatever you wished. The catch was, there was almost nothing to do. Those with complex projects, originating from the outside, survived better than those without. But like food brought in, the project exhausted itself with use, and as the ice inevitably ablated these away, their practitioners survived by departing. No one lived at Dome C. Those who stayed longest sank into various pathologies. The Big Eye, or insomnia: I went on a 24-hour cycle of wakening followed by 12 hours of sleep. The Long Eye: aptly defined as a 12-foot stare in a 10-foot room. You slowed down. With little to stimulate you, there was no reason to busy yourself. Stay for long, and a state of semi-hibernation set in. Stay too long, and you found yourself dissolved in a psychic white-out with the Ice.

The Barrier Ice is a term derived from James Ross’s 19th-century expedition to the eponymous Ross Sea, and originally it referred to the (also eponymous) ice shelf — that vast floating delta of glacial ice, as vast as Texas or France — that fronts the sea like the White Cliffs of Dover. The Barrier is an ice shelf on the edge of the continent that collects the flow of glaciers passing through the Transantarctic Mountains and the buried icemounts of Byrd Land and then disperses it to the sea as ice islands and plateaus. The Source region take the frontier further. They gather nothing save snow dust from the sky. They contribute only ice.

The looking-glass self dissolves into an ice mirror

Across the Barrier, in the interior of the continent, life ends. It can exist for skuas only by flying over and back to the sea, or for humans, by sledging in and returning. The Ice beyond is a wholly abiotic environment. Its energy flux is ever negative, it lacks flowing water, it is void of nutrients. There are not even rocks that might, in principle, disintegrate into a substratum of raw elements. One molecule dominates — hydrogen dioxide. There is one unblinking scene — a sheet of ice. Oxygen abounds, so one can breathe, but there is nothing else to support organisms. People can live only through umbilical cords and IV drips to a sustaining society well beyond the reach of the ice. Left to itself, life feeds off itself, and then shrivels.

The ice sheets are acultural, too. There is no basis beyond the Barrier for norms of social behaviour or sources of knowledge, other than those we import. There is no prospect for an Antarctic explorer to recapitulate Alexander von Humboldt’s ecstatic contact with the Venezuelan jungle, picking up one new specimen, only to drop it for another, and another. There is no engagement with indigenous peoples as guides, interpreters, and collectors, or any means to go native and immerse oneself into another moral universe. To reach the North Pole in 1909, Robert Peary adapted Inuit sledges and dogs, and relied on native sledders; to reach the South Pole in 1912, Robert Scott’s Polar Party pulled their own sledges.

With ever-dwindling social entities — the sledging party is less synecdoche than symbol — there are few opportunities for the kind of contrast and conflict that drives literature, and scant scenes ready for the visual arts. When he learnt that he would not join Scott’s Polar Party in 1911, Herbert Ponting, the expedition photographer, decided it was probably for the best. Other than portraits, there would be ‘nothing’ to photograph. Beyond the Barrier, even intellectuals struggled to find sustenance; they relied instead on the elaborate cultural baggage they brought with them to create comparison, contrast, and context, without which their minds would find nothing to grasp. Antarctica became known less for what it was than for what it was not.

The classic photography of Antarctica is thus not a photography of the source but of the Barrier — the edge, where ice meets sea, rock, and sky, where life pokes and flaps and swims, where things move and sounds echo. Beyond the Barrier lies a nature like a modernist painting; abstract, conceptual, minimal. The literature of Antarctica is likewise not a record of social exchange or innovation or surprise but a chronicle of diaries and soliloquies, the self withdrawn, drafting from its own reserves for its sustenance, like a camel on its hump. It thrives on whatever it has stocked from elsewhere. Over and again, literature recycles the same stories: those Antarctic archetypes are not only all that exists but perhaps all that can exist. The opportunities for endless variants simply aren’t present. Instead, imaginative literature turns to fantasy and science fiction, a realm beyond reason and empiricism, a dominion as intrinsically blank as the ice sheet. What the ice has done to landscape, it does to society, and hence to the social imagination of art. All that remains are ideas.

Around Antarctica’s periphery, ice meets sea. Along its mountain borders, ice meets rock as glaciers grind through coarse passes before merging and then passing to the Barrier. On both fronts, sea and land, the grand ice sheets have their geographic frontiers. But the Source does not. There is only that sharp trace between ice and sky. What makes Antarctica what it is, its ice, is here distilled into ice alone, and what makes the Source region unique, both sublime and nihilistic, is that here ice works self-referentially even upon ice. Here in the centre nothing holds because there is nothing to do the holding and nothing to hold. There is no Barrier: there is almost nothing at all. At the Source it becomes clear just what the Ice does. It simplifies. It takes, it reduces, it reflects.

That geo-social nihilism ablates away anyone exposed to it for any length of time. The protective shields of food, portable energy, memories, and tasks brought in from elsewhere gradually sublimate. The wise leave before their imported stocks are exhausted. The foolish or the unlucky must watch their self exposed only to the ice, which is to say, to attrition. There is not enough on site to generate the contrasts that allow ideas to arc between them. Yet the self can only exist — can only be felt and known — in contrast to an Other. At the source there is no Other. There are no other creatures, no other environs, no other emblems of a world beyond. There is no basis for meaning. There is only ice.

I craved contrasts — the darkness that I had not known for three months, the flowing water I had been denied, the aromas of plants

When the American explorer Richard Byrd attempted to live alone for a winter in 1934, creating a kind of Antarctic Walden 150 miles away from his Little America base, the experiment went bad. He became hallucinatory, suffering a kind of dementia, before the experience nearly turned lethal. The official explanation was carbon monoxide poisoning from a faulty stove, but the truer answer might be the folly of trying to simplify existence amid what was already so simple as to belong on a moon of Saturn. Survival required exactly the opposite strategy. It demanded complexity, sensory overload, a Victorian museum cluttered with bric-a-brac rather than a spare, wooden shack. Otherwise, society breaks down to a self, and the self has no societal reflection by which to know its place and recognise its traits. The looking-glass self dissolves into an ice mirror.

It did for me. Unlike those I travelled with, I had no specific task at Dome C, no experiments to perform, no drill to sink, no samples to collect. I did not arrive, do my job, and depart. I stayed for a full austral season on the Ice, attaching myself like a lamprey to whatever larger enterprise I could find. There were often occasions where I simply waited. I had no shield between me and the ice, save what I brought by way of books and ideas. I had no forced busyness to insulate me against the sapping cold. There were no intrinsic stimulants from the outside. Gradually, the realisation sank in that Antarctica did not offer a unique experience so much as the experience of having the familiar world removed. It was a place of things that should be there and weren’t. It lacked that quantum of complexity without which culture cannot work. Living there was a process of social reductionism that led to a cultural numbing, a mental hypothermia. Antarctic was the sum of its losses.

When I returned to McMurdo, I began regaining my senses, and when I reached Tierra del Fuego, I savoured smell and sound in a landscape lush with life and colour, though one that the rest of Earth had long dismissed as depauperate. I craved contrasts — the darkness that I had not known for three months, the flowing water I had been denied, the aromas of plants. At home, I rejoiced in every sensation. The most mundane object and sentiment felt keener. The rustle of wind through trees. The odour of animals. The bustle of an airport. The taste of tomato. The touch of family. Even, since it was the boreal winter, the sight of snowflakes, like filigree webs, on a windowsill.

But I carried away also an understanding that made Dome C the ineffable as palpable as a granite outcrop. After nothing, everything seems sublime.

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Mystery of Last Supper…Could Jesus Christ have been eaten?

Mystery of Last Supper…Could Jesus Christ have been eaten?
[I am not the writer here I am a Collector of Diverse and often strange articles.]

If we assume that Jesus Christ (his corpse) after the crucifixion was eaten by his followers, we can explain not only the Christian cannibalistic mysticism, but also many other mysteries of Christianity.
The rituals of the Eucharist are similar to the ceremonies of the true cannibals

Non-Christians have always been confused by the rituals that simulate eating the body of Jesus Christ (Joshua from Nazareth, the Christian prophet, worshiped as a god or god’s son) or drinking his blood.

While eating special consecrated wafers or drinking wine, Catholics, the Orthodox and many other Christians imagine that these are the body and blood of their prophet (or god). Most Christians imagine that by doing this they get closer to their god, acquire a kind of divinity themselves, and some of them even fall into ecstasy.

These rituals by their form and meaning remind of the rites of many known cannibalistic cultures – the true cannibals ate people (perhaps they are still doing this in some regions of Africa and Asia) not because they were starving, but because they believed that by eating up a man or a certain part of his body they would overtake his power and courage.

In almost the same way, Christians eat the imaginary body and blood of Jesus Christ not because they are hungry, but because they want to obtain sacredness, unity with Jesus Christ, who has resurrected (as they believe), and to consolidate the Christian solidarity.
It is still not known what actually happened to the body of Jesus Christ

To the fact that the corpse of Jesus Christ disappeared from the tomb where it was left till the end of the Sabbath, Christians refer as a miracle, they present it as the proof of their prophet’s divinity or even his later resurrection. It is a strange argument – apparently, nobody who could not be interested in proving Christ’s divinity guarded the tomb (it will be considered later in this article), so the corpse could have been taken away and transported to another burial place.
Didn’t the scene of the ‘Last supper’ imply an order to eat up Jesus’ body after his death?

The so-called ‘Last supper’, which took place immediately before the Christ’s arrest and crucifixion, is described in several places of the New Testament. During it, Jesus Christ ordered his disciples to eat bread and to drink wine and suggested that these were his body and blood.

The Eucharist has its origins in the ‘Last supper’; however, it looks as if Jesus Christ had in his mind his own true flesh and blood when he spoke about the bread and wine during the ‘Last supper’.

The following thoughts of Jesus Christ are cited in the Gospel according to John:
‘Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in yourselves. The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life <…> For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. <…> This is the bread that came down from heaven…’ (John, 6, 53-58)

Christian theologians usually interpret this as a metaphor. Such an interpretation corresponds best with the interests of Christianity, but the words by no means sound metaphorically in the original text of the Gospel.

If Jesus Christ perceived his body and blood as a meal that had to be eaten, then it seems that the scene of the ‘Last supper’ – is nothing but the last reminder to the followers about their obligation to eat up their teacher’s body.
It is quite probable that Jesus Christ was eaten by his followers

As we can infer from the biblical texts, the tomb where Christ’s body was stored was not guarded. True, the Gospel according to Matthew claims that in order to prevent the corpse of Jesus Christ from being stolen from the tomb, the next day after the crucifixion chief Jewish priests and Pharisees assembled in front of Pilate and asked him to post a guard to secure the tomb, and when Pilot told them, – ‘You have a guard…’ – they put (their?) guards at the tomb and sealed the stone. (Matthew, 27, 62-66)

This episode does not seem to be a testimony by some Christ’s contemporary, but it rather looks as a fake, which was grafted into the Gospel by a person who was not familiar with the Jewish religion and culture, because the events took place during the Sabbath, and any work (sealing the tomb and possibly posting the guard or even standing on guard) was then a serious crime against the Jewish religion.

Even the mother of the prophet and his (apparently) girlfriend or wife Mary Magdalene did not dare even to make preparations for the pending burial ceremony – there is little doubt that that nobody guarded the tomb until the Saturday sunset.

Even on the Sunday morning when the two Maries came to the tomb, they found only one man, who tried to convince them that Jesus Christ had resurrected (or two men according to Luke and John). So, most probably none of Christ’s enemies had guarded the tomb at all.

The owner of the tomb, Joseph from Arimathea, apparently was Christ’s disciple, so in fact the followers of the Christian prophet could have done with his corpse whatever they wanted, and they could have eaten the body as well.

If the body of Jesus Christ had actually disappeared during the cannibalistic party of his disciples, it is quite natural that they preserved their secret. The disclosure of such secret would not only have discredited the then still emerging Christianity, but also Jews, who did not tolerate cannibalism, would have executed all the participants of the last feast. Anyway, even if somebody of the initiated had blurted it out, nobody believed him.
Having assumed that Jesus Christ was eaten, many myths and rites of Christianity do not seem strange and mysterious any more

As it was mentioned above, the scene of the ‘Last supper’ acquires sense. Its purpose is to persuade Christ’s disciples that they will have to eat the flesh of their teacher and to drink his blood and to convince the ‘apostles’ that by doing this they will overtake Christ’s divinity.

Then, there appears to be much more sense in many other aspects of Christianity, including the myth about the resurrection of Jesus Christ itself.
The mysticism of the ‘holy’ Grail

Christians attach great importance to the chalice from which Jesus Christ was drinking during the ‘Last supper’ and into which, according to Robert from Boron, Joseph from Arimathea later collected Christ’s blood.

Christians think that the Grail has various magic powers, and, in order to make use of them, one has to drink from it – thus, in some way one has to drink the true blood of Jesus Christ.

It seems that most probably Joseph had a point in collecting Christ’s blood into a chalice, and that possibly it was used for drinking shortly after Christ’s death, and that the Christian fantasies related to wine-drinking during religious rituals are repetitions of a horrible ceremony that took place almost two thousand years ago.
The myth about the Resurrection

Resurrection was invented long before Christians. There had been many religions that had a god who died and resurrected periodically. Various rites of sacrifice were related to the resurrection of one or another god and the offerings – usually domestic animals – were frequently eaten by the participants of the mysteries.

Did not Jesus Christ imagine his death and resurrection in a similar way – that he would resurrect in his disciples who would have eaten his flesh and would have drunk his blood? According to ‘Saint’ John, Jesus Christ explained: ‘The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood resides in me, and I in him’. (John, 6, 56; italics are mine, G.Š.)
The Eucharist

Having assumed that the first Eucharist was not symbolic, but real and took place not before Christ’s death, but on the following night, the ritual itself appears in a completely different light – it is clear now how the rite managed to unite Christians.

After all, nothing has such power of uniting people as a common secret or crime. When people have performed religious rituals that others consider to be inhuman or even criminal, they feel initiated, special different from others.

Even now, the Eucharist remains one of the basic rituals that maintain Christian unity. Eating together the imaginary god’s flesh can be also called ‘communion’ – metaphoric acceptance to the community of the Christians who have already performed the ritual or further acceleration of the sense of being one of the Christians.
Inclination towards passive cannibalism is psychologically possible

It is no secret that Jesus Christ was not a psychically balanced personality. The absence of information about one’s biological father was considered by the ancient Jews to be an irremovable stain, and there is a lot of information in the Bible about the eccentricity of Christ that manifested itself already in his childhood.

Therefore, it is quite possible that Jesus Christ could wish to be eaten. Even nowadays, there are some people who crave to be eaten; even the broad public from time to time is informed of some individual cases of pre-agreed cannibalism – when the ‘victim’ finds their future eater via the Internet or so. It is possible that Jesus Christ also had such a drive.
The Christian cannibalistic mysticism is apparently still encouraging psychological deviations

Various myths about vampirism are widespread among Christians; films about cannibals, blood-suckers and similar heroes are most popular in the places where the Christian culture is dominating. There are so many maniac killers and violent perverts among Christians as nowhere else in the world; again and again in the Christian world there emerge people who want to be eaten.

Are not those cases reverberations of the ‘Last supper’? – Most Christians constantly take part in religious rituals that willy-nilly are associated with cannibalism, so they can traumatise some oversensitive persons for the rest of their lives.

So, there are many serious arguments that support the hypothesis that Jesus Christ was eaten after his crucifixion. If it is proved or at least accepted as a very probable one, much can be understood and explained in the Christian faith, psychology and in the whole Christian culture.

Perhaps it could also be helpful in understanding the inhuman historical cruelty of Christians – in understanding why the millions of decent people who found the Christian ‘communion’ unacceptable were killed in cold blood, tortured to death or burnt alive during the long history of Christianity?

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