New Kaczynski article in Green Anarchy Message Board: Other Suspects: New Kaczynski article in Green Anarchy

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Sunday, July 28, 2002 - 08:52 am:

From his prison cell, Ted Kaczynski has evidently been composing and mailing anti-technology articles to an assortment of environmentalist and anarchist publications. The latest of these appeared in the Spring, 2002 issue of "Green Anarchy." While the screed is typical Kaczynski, with its veiled exhortations to violence against "the system," there are several stylistic points that form interesting comparisons with the writings of Zodiac.

(1) In two separate places within the short article, Kaczynski uses the term "wipe out". In Section 2 he writes, "Even if every fast-food chain in the world were wiped out ..." while in Section 7 he writes, "On the contrary, it would be possible to show people that the continued development of biotechnology will transform their way of life and wipe out age-old human values."

(2) In paragraph 8 he writes, "Thus, the congressmen's vote on human cloning was a genuine defeat for the system. But it was only a very, very small defeat, because of the narrow scope of the ban ...." (Compare Zodiac's "before the ban went into effect," in the Seven-Page Letter.)

(3) Once again in Section 2 he states, "Not that I give a d-mn about McDonald's or Starbuck's. I don't care whether anyone smashes them up or not. But this is not a revolutionary activity." Compare Zodiac's "I do have to give them credit for stumbling across my riverside activity ...." in the L.A. Times Letter.

The articles can be found at (first page) and (succeeding pages).

By Ray N (Ray_N) ( - on Sunday, July 28, 2002 - 01:44 pm:

That's very interesting, Doug. I have noticed some strange things, or what I personally consider to be strange things, in Z writings. For instance, he used "shall" in many circumstances where it would not be used in common language. Almost as if one were reading a statute or a list of rules. He also used other words and phrases such as "should" and "finding" as in "I find" or "I am finding". Zodiac also used the word "nasty" as an adjective to describe not things but people. This is unusual. Example of this is "you would be nasty enough". I noted on a previous post that Allen was quoted as saying, "I know you don't like it, but I'm just a nasty man." Having said that, I don't know of any other particular instance where known Allen words coincided with known Z words. In fact, from what I have read of the Manifesto, Zodiac writings have a definite TK flavor to them. Now, I am wondering if some of this can be attributed to one individual without qualification, or what would be the criteria to not do it? In other words, at the times when things were written, phrases like "wipe out, groovy, man, cat, etc" were in common use. But I don't ever think I've heard "I'm finding it" and "shall" used like this.

Other lines from the Manifesto that I am thinking of are things like, "We do not suggest", "we find", "we maintain", "we shall", and things like that. If there is one thing that strikes a chord in me along these lines, it's the use of the word "nasty" to describe people and/or their actions. Unusual. Are you aware of TK ever using the word "nasty" in any of his writings or in the spoken word?

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Sunday, July 28, 2002 - 02:40 pm:

Ray, he used the word in the Manifesto. "More reasonably, it is argued that if the relatively democratic nations of the world fall behind in technology while nasty, dictatorial nations like China, Vietnam and North Korea continue to progress, eventually the dictators may come to dominate the world." There may be other instances, but I haven't got them in text format so I'd have to do a manual search for them.

It's interesting to note that in the Kropotkin and Garnett translations of Dostoevsky the word "nasty" is used very frequently--even in the title of one of Dostoevsky's short stories, "A Nasty Tale." There must be some very frequently-used Russian word that corresponds closely in the same sense that we use it. Kaczynski was a big Dostoevsky reader. He got it from his mother.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Monday, July 29, 2002 - 06:52 am:

DOug & Ray:

You guys are kidding, right?

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Monday, July 29, 2002 - 07:27 am:

What I mean is, it would be incredible to me that you you believe a meaningful inference copuld possibly be drawn from the common occurrence of such words and phrases in both works. The kind of comparison you are suggesting requires a far more rigorous study, the mathematics of which are fairly advanced as statistical anaylisis goes. Here is a good Qualitative Discussion of the principles of the analysis, by someone who has applied them to the known works of a particular author and the Book of Mormon. If you want to see discussions of the full-blown statistical approach, let me know.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Monday, July 29, 2002 - 10:02 am:

This is the kind of analysis that was used exclusively in the Kaczynsi/Unabomber case. There was no sophisticated statistical analysis applied; simply the opinion of a linguistics expert. The defense was prepared to refute the analyses using the same kind of argumentation that you're using, Peter. If that was all the prosecution had to go on, the defense might very well have won. The primary value of the comparisons consisted of raising sufficient suspicion to get a court to authorize a search of Kaczynski's cabin. That's the way I'm looking at it here.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Monday, July 29, 2002 - 11:19 am:

I understand the lesser standard that was used to establish probable cause for TK. But even the linguistics expert would use at something more like the qualitative tools suggested by the article. Certainly there is more to this linguistics expertise than identifying the occurrence of such ordinary phrases as "wipe out", "ban", "activity", etc., in two different documents.

BTW "wipe out" as used by either TK or Z is neither particularly unusual, hip or colloquial, such as Ray's list suggests. "Wipe-out" was a surfing expression at the time, but meant something very different (intransitive verb meaning to fall off a surfboard) from either TK or Z's ordinary and very common usage, meaning to eliminate. Which is at least as old as about 1812, BTW.

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Monday, July 29, 2002 - 04:52 pm:

OK, ladies and gentlemen, check this one out: Gore or the Unabomber. If you really want to compare the writings of one lunatic with another, then this is the site to look at. Bet you don't score very high either (I didn't; it wasn't easy to tell which wacko wrote what, Algore or TK). So, as far as I'm concerned, the idea about comparing the usage of particular words by Z versus TK is interesting, but pointless.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Monday, July 29, 2002 - 05:06 pm:

I scored a 92%. I recognized only one quote from Kaczynski; none from Gore. Both writing styles are fairly distinct, and, aside from the ecological aspect, their themes are quite different.

By Ed N (Ed_N) ( - on Monday, July 29, 2002 - 05:57 pm:

They sure look like they were written by the same guy to me. I don't recall my exact score, but it was something like 60%.

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) ( - on Monday, July 29, 2002 - 09:37 pm:

You could probably set up the same thing with Gore and Manson. The whole point of being Al Gore is to become generically acceptable. He sounds like everybody, except maybe Pynchon or Burroughs.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Tuesday, July 30, 2002 - 06:26 am:

Ed: Exactly. Except for the part about it being "interesting".
Doug, who is obviously familiar with TKs style and theme, was able to distinguish between the two. I have never read anything by either one, and I got them almost exactly reversed. My approach was to make certain thematic assumptions about the two writers and use that as a dividing line. What it shows me is that on any artificially selected sample, which this is, one can always find statements of a moderate that are more radical than the moderate statements of a radical. Or in our context, given even a moderate volume of expression by any two writers, one can select any number of samples that will coincide.

Alan: I bet there are even one or two cogent complete sentences in Naked Lunch. And based on Ray and Doug's approach, Al Gore is a better bet than either Pynchon or Hawkins for "Wanda Tinasky."

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) ( on Wednesday, July 31, 2002 - 06:17 pm:

Maybe Wanda Tinasky was Michael O'Hare. Now THAT'S the sort of thing I can easily imagine him doing...

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Thursday, August 01, 2002 - 05:41 am: