Filmmakers Notebook




films are currently available in real media format for internet streaming
- get the player here





Filmmakers notebook #92

THE UNABOMBER: HE WASN’T PARANOID, HE WAS CONSPIRED AGAINST -- David Kaczynski reveals the MK-ULTRA-CIA mind control program that brother Theodore Kaczynski (dubbed the Unabomber by the FBI) was unwittingly a part of for three years at Harvard, and then at the University of Michigan and probably U.C. Stanford. In recalling some of the details of his brother’s involvement in the covert behavior modification program, David Kaczynski says of his older brother, “In a sense, he wasn’t paranoid; he was in a sense conspired against.” Video offers hints into the Project Paperclip-generated mind control program that Kaczynski along with thousands of others (universities, mental institutions, prisons, the military...) were victims of. For details see Walter Bowart’s 1978 privished book, Operation Mind Control: Our Secret Government’s War Against It’s Own People and Susan Ford’s 1999 book, Thanks for the Memories. (Chautauqua, NY July 26, 2005 (10:30) [transcript/commentary]
Filmmakers notebook #92 May 1, 2006

We first encountered David Kaczynski in Dunkirk, NY where in a Catholic church basement he spoke to over 100 people, the culmination of the “N.Y. Interfaith Prison Pilgrimage,” April, 2002. He was there as the executive director of New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty. He told the story of his and his wife’s fearful, protracted awareness that his brother was “the Unabomber.” It was a fascinating story, told with depth and intelligence, a soft-spoken critique of the criminal Justice System and betrayal by the FBI of the Kaczynski family. A rude awakening. Only it’s not the whole story.*

We next filmed David Kaczynski in July, 2005 at Chautauqua Institution, N.Y. in the “Hall of Philosophy”, an event hosted by the Chautauqua Society for Peace and Social Justice of which Karen, my partner and wife, is a member.

Kaczynski first updated his audience on death penalty issues then recounted a truncated version of the story we had filmed three years earlier.

Our primary question for David Kaczynski this time stemmed from reading David McGowan’s chaotically organized, non-indexed goldmine, Programmed to Kill: The Politics of Serial Murder (iUniverse, 2004). On page 135, McGowan writes, “…Ted Kaczynski, who was a subject of MKULTRA experiments while he was a young student at Harvard…”

Here was a chance to ask David Kaczynski about his brilliant, eccentric, loving older brother, and what the U.S. government may have done to him and with him.

Since our brief interview with David Kaczynski (July 26, 2005), we’ve looked a trace deeper into MKULTRA. Hence the footnotes and the seemingly forced images in the 10 min. video of this interview (conducted at Chautauqua Institution, Hall of Missions, Department of Religion).


Snowshoefilms: At what point did you experience with Ted any sign of serious psychological abnormality? At what point did that appear?

David Kaczynski: That’s a long story. I remember being maybe nine or ten years old and asking my father one day, ‘Dad, what’s wrong with Ted?’ So even at a very young age I had some sense that he was different. I remember my father saying at that time saying, ‘David, you have to understand. Your brother is very, very brilliant. He doesn’t have a lot of…. a lot in common with other kids his age, but you’ll see; he’ll grow up and mature. Some day he’ll have a family of his own and he’ll find himself.’ [#1]

At one point, I remember my mother sharing with me this story of Ted being in the hospital as a tiny baby. I don’t think that story would have been developed if it wasn’t developed in order to explain something. There’s a kind of accommodation that a family makes over many, many years. You don’t think, ‘Well, that’s a mentally ill person…’ You think, ‘Well, that’s Ted. That’s the way he is.’

I think I really began to get alarmed in the 1980s when some of Ted’s letters to our parents seemed so bizarre. He’d say that they never loved him and cite evidence and seemed to ignore all the nice and loving things all their lives long and I realized at that point that he was looking at the world through a very, very different lens.

Snowshoefilms: Approximately how old was he at that time?

David Kaczynski: Probably around 30 years old. Somewhere in there. Looking back…. Actually, having read some of Ted’s diaries while he was in college I think, he probably was having psychotic breaks as early as his early 20s. He believed, for instance, that he’d been visited by people in his apartment at the University of Michigan who couldn’t possibly have been there. [# 2 ] He would have delusions that other people were talking about him, kind of paranoid delusions. It’s odd because it was really at this point that his brilliance as a mathematician began to blossom. Right around this time….

We later found out that he wouldn’t go to class maybe for an entire semester but then he’d show up on the last day and hand in some piece of original research that blew the professor away and ended up being published. So in some…. because of his academic and his extraordinary success – and absence of any kind of obvious violence in him – you know, I think our family thought he was different, but not necessarily in a bad way.

Snowshoefilms: The reason we pose the question is that since we last spoke with you in Dunkirk, we ran across in Dave McGowan’s book Programmed to Kill: The Politics of Serial Murder. He writes that your brother was a victim of MKULTRA at Harvard.

David Kaczynski: Yes. Something I didn’t know about at all until it was kind of discovered by his defense team [1]and then they began to question our mother about it.

Snowshoefilms: Would you say what it is?

David Kaczynski: Yeah. Well, the MKULTRA program was actually a CIA covert operation within the United States where unwitting suspects [subjects] were made guinea pigs in research about psychotropic drugs, various kinds of psychological pressure. I think there’s pretty clear evidence that was a program at Harvard.

Ted was in a psychological research study run by a psychologist by the name of Henry Murray. Now there’s no clear, unequivocal link that connects that to the MKULTRA program, but it was a fairly abusive research project. It would certainly not pass ethical muster today. [#3]. 

Ted would meet once a week for a conversation with someone about philosophy with someone he thought – was led to believe – was another subject within the research project but actually was a plant. It was a graduate student, and they were actually trying to study how ‘alienated youth’ – and Ted was identified as an alienated youth at Harvard – would respond to having their philosophy of life and their values challenged. 

So for three years, beginning at the age of 17, Ted was in this study…. I’ve read some of the transcripts and they were pretty awful. I mean, they included personal attacks….

So as my brother is trying to make, you know, some kind of philosophical point, his adversary in this debate is making disparaging comments about his appearance, about his maturity, so, you know, an interesting possible connection is that had actually been in the OSS which was the forerunner of the CIA during World War II and the projects he did had to do with debriefing prisoners of war. So we wonder if he used some of the same tactics in sort of probing and poking young, unwitting college students, and don’t know if the CIA was directly involved but it’s certainly not outside the bounds of possibility. 

I don’t think that necessarily created Ted’s mental illness. It might have been a triggering factor. It might have sort of given shape to his belief that there were, you know, conspiracies against him and that, you know, there was something sinister about the technology of psychology and mind manipulation, and so forth. In a sense, he wasn’t paranoid. He was…. He was, in a sense, conspired against.

Snowshoefilms: Did you ever talk to him about his experience in that ‘psychology’ program?

David Kaczynski: No. You know, Mom had remembered it because since Ted was only 17* when he went into this research project, parental consent was needed, and Mom remembered getting a form, you know, Harvard College, asking for her permission for Ted to be in this study and Mom said, ‘Gee, I thought Ted’s…. You know, he’s socially awkward, he doesn’t fit in very well. Maybe being exposed to psychologists could be very helpful to him. Well, little did she know that this study wasn’t conducted with his benefit in mind.

Snowshoefilms: How knowledgeable was Ted’s defense team about MKULTRA?

David Kaczynski: The defense apparently put a lot of research into this. It was going to be at least one of their arguments for mitigation that Ted had been seriously abused in this…. this research program that might have even been funded by the federal government. It was hard to get research, hard to make the connection fully. They [Ted Kaczynski’s legal team] found that numbers of the records had actually been destroyed – not for confidentiality reasons, or something. It was destroyed because there was a congressional investigation of the MKULTRA program and the then director really, uh, in contempt of Congress, destroyed many of the records of that program. They did eventually get to look at some of Murray’s private research papers. That was where some of these transcripts were found. They also were able to track down just a couple of other participants in the study, one of which was, by the way, working at Las Alamos making big bombs. A weird irony of the whole thing.

But as far as we know – and we don’t know much – Ted was the only one who ended up with real serious problems. (6 minutes)


How does one account for David Kaczynski’s reluctance to pursue this story, the US government’s destruction and protracted use and abuse of their brainy serial killer? Most likely, it’s for personal reasons, to spare his mother more suffering. In his book Death in the Air: Globalism, Terrorism & Toxic Warfare, Dr. Leonard G. Horowitz makes this observation: “Acceptance is not easy in this regard. Coming to terms with such facts leads, by necessity, through Elizabeth Kubler-Ross ‘death and dying’ process. In her model, denial is always the first step in integrating a horrifying painful reality. It is not pleasant to consider the possibility that many of our public servants cannot be trusted, but even worse, that friends and family members may have been injured or killed by such [programs].” p. xvii

And Leon Festinger, master behaviorist in the service of the State, lays out in his team-produced book, written explicitly for the CIA and the corporate think tanks (Ford Foundation, etc), A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance. Festinger’s book is foremost an explanation of HOW TO exploit cognitive dissonance. And in a way similar to George Estabrooks’ books on hypnotism and his public willingness to use hypnotism in service of the State. This, e.g., is Estabrooks’ Using Hypnotism:

“The subject in hypnotism is not ‘asleep’ in any sense of the word.

He is just as wide awake as he ever was, just as alert, just as discerning.

But he is highly suggestible and very co-operative.

He will do anything to oblige the hypnotist, within certain limits.”

Those limits constitute, in part, the changing nature of the collective cognitive imperative, the collective understanding of hypnosis as Julian Jaynes points out in his book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. Jaynes repeatedly says that one of the first manifestations of consciousness in our species is deception, a survival tactic; the ability to do treachery (or long-term trickery) is a survival tactic embellishment as bicamerality broke down.

The old “consciousness” was bicamerality, a culturally-induced collective cognitive imperative or belief system – understood as coming from god or gods, from which no one thought of wavering; the hierarchy of gods was heard by the “right” side of the bicameral (two-chamber) brain and interpreted by the left (with variations, depending on whether one is right or left handed, and so on). The work of Michael S. Gazzaniga (e.g., The Bisected Brain and The Social Brain) provides technical insight into the vestigial structure of bicamerality (though Gazzaniga’s personal political naiveté is astounding).

The phenomenon of hypnotism also closely parallels the clinically bisected human brain (see Gazzaniga) wherein with the corpus callosum cut, physically disconnecting the right brain from the left, the left brain provides rationalization for what the right brain experiences. So also, we learn here from Estabrooks (p. 77):

“There is a second characteristic of the posthypnotic suggestion which is of the greatest

importance. This we term rationalization. The subject tends to rationalize, to find excuses for

his actions, and, strange to say, while these excuses may be utterly false, the subject

tends to believe them.”

The conclusion I draw here is that the new tool of consciousness enabled the “predator” of our species to distinguish himself from the “prey’ by the prey’s vestigial bicameral mind, the willingness to believe, the susceptibility to authority, “the highly suggestible and very co-operative” many) who have the propensity to seek authorization, that culturally reinforced trusted ersatz deity and/or security of fitting in with the right crowd.

An aside: Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann in her classic work, The Spiral of Silence (Public Opinion- Our Social Skin) indicates that perhaps 20 percent of the public is not susceptible to and uncooperative toward the collective cognitive imperative, whether it’s agreement with the group on the different lengths of two sticks (a la Noelle-Neumann), or submission to the culturally promulgated (news & entertainment media, foremost) “official story.”

This coheres with our emphasis of Jaynes’ observation of long-term treachery and recognition of treachery as indices of consciousness in a society in transition from bicamerality.

I suspect that the “predator” (who’s also a prey) of our species can preside in that Manichean metaphor (or collective cognitive imperative) only so long as one accepts the validity of the metaphor: predator/prey, us/them, the Capital System of haves and have-nots (to use Istvan Meszaros’ phraseology).

Jaynes’ shortcoming is his superficial examination of people and institutions (eg all the behaviorists who went to work for the CIA etc. as well as the Nazi doctors from Paperclip Project who came up with new and more ‘scientific’ ways to exploit the vestigial bicameral mind via the Rothschild-dominated media. Or perhaps Jaynes was going to deal with some of those issues in the book he promised in 1976, The Consequences of Consciousness. What became of it?

Furthermore, of what use could Theodore Kaczynski been to the Project Paperclip and Henry K? The answer is suggested in Susan Ford’s book, Thanks For The Memories (The Memoirs of…Henry Kissinger’s mind-controlled slave). Kissinger used Ford as a courier, a spy, a sex favor proffered to others with power. Extraordinary what uses can be made of another human being who’s being run via deeply imbedded post hypnotic suggestion. Clearly, Kissinger could find many uses for a brilliant mathematician under his control. And of course, young Ted could have been a special project of master deviant MK-ULTRA behaviorist and chemist Sidney Gottlieb for reasons as yet unknown.


[#1] Before Henry Murray (and Sidney Gottlieb) got hold of Ted Kaczynski, this was Harvard’s profile of their 16 year old mathematical genius freshman:

“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.’ [Italics are Mr. Emory’s]

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.’”

[#2] See Thanks For The Memories: The Truth Has Set Me Free! by Brice Taylor. In her book, Brice Taylor (Susan Ford) disgorged her (forcibly repressed) memories of a life time of high-level abuse, mind control and rape. Ford’s story is quite implausible to those who continue to assume “our government” has in any sense the public’s best interests in mind. It is also implausible, perhaps, to those who’ve never heard of Project Paperclip, or MKULTRA (a story outlined in 1976 by W.H. Bowart in his book Operation Mind Control: Our Secret Government’s War Against Its Own People).

Probably you haven’t read Bowart’s book since Dell, the publisher, warehoused the copies, privishing it. Though there are innumerable ways (routes) to access (understand) Ford’s book, for the established left, it’s out of bounds, beyond the pale, not serious. A young progressive professor friend looked at the cover of Susan Ford’s book and told me, “This is not credible.” I asked him what he meant, how he knew. He showed me again the book’s cover and said, “It’s not credible.” That’s that.

We hope to review Ford’s book elsewhere. Suffice it to say here that her primary controller was Henry Kissinger. He used the highly versatile mind control victim in nearly every way imaginable, except for his personal pleasure. And it would hardly surprise me if Theodore Kaczynski had told his parents – at a period when he was trying to break from his control -- that Henry Kissinger visited him at Ann Arbor.

[#3] Murray was a chief researcher at Harvard, conducting psychological experiments under the supervision of Sidney Gottlieb. []

See also, LA Times 1999:

“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.” (Ibid.; pp. 3-4.)

“He [Murray] 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 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 The Search for the ‘Manchurian candidate’ 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.’” (Ibid.; [Part II]; pp. 10-11.)

“After the war, Murray put his OSS-related skills to work at Harvard. “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.”

Sidney Gottlieb (1918-1999) born Joseph Schneider in the Bronx, was Murray’s supervisor at Harvard. Gottlieb joined the CIA in 1951 where he headed the chemical division of the Technical Services staff as a poison expert. “Sidney became known as the "Black Sorcerer" and the "Dirty Trickster". He supervised preparations of lethal poisons and experiments in mind control . Sidney Gottlieb was probably best-known for his involvement with the CIA’s mind control program (MKULTRA).

In April 1953 the CIA replaced Project Artichoke with a more ambitious effort called MKULTRA, under the direction of Sidney Gottlieb, a brilliant chemist with a degree from CalTech. Gottlieb was the ultimate dirty trickster, having personally participated in attempts to assassinate foreign leaders. And he immediately put his talents to work, this time against Americans. Once MKULTRA was established, say Lee and Shlain, “almost overnight a whole new market for grants in LSD research sprang into existence as money started pouring through CIA-linked conduits.” Among these conduits was the Josiah J. Macy Foundation, whose director was an ex-OSS officer named Frank Fremont-Smith. And among the beneficiaries of this covert funding would be Harold Abramson, an acquaintance of Gregory Bateson's [Margaret Mead’s husband], who was an allergist at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital and a CIA consultant to Edgewood Arsenal's Paperclip scientists. Another was Hyde’s group at Boston Psychopathic. The aim, Gottlieb explained, was “to investigate whether and how it was possible to modify an individual's behavior by covert means.” LSD, he hoped, would turn out to be the Swiss Army knife of mind control—an all-purpose drug that could ruin a man's marriage, change his sexual behavior, make him lie or tell the truth, destroy his memory or help him recover it, induce him to betray his country or program him to obey orders or disobey them. Soon, MKULTRA was testing all conceivable drugs on every kind of victim, including prison inmates, mental patients, foreigners, the terminally ill, homosexuals, and ethnic minorities. Altogether, it conducted tests at fifteen penal and mental institutions, concealing its role by using the U.S. Navy, the Public Health Service, and the National Institute of Mental Health as funding conduits. During the ten years of MKULTRA's existence, the agency's inspector general reported after its termination in 1963, the program experimented with “electro-shock, various fields of psychology, psychiatry, sociology, and anthropology, graphology, harassment substances, and paramilitary devices and materials.”

Snowshoefilms Note: Alston Chase’s book Harvard and the Unabomber covers up more than it uncovers. What happened to Henry Murray’s victims at Harvard. He blames Kaczynski’s parents for pushing their son too hard. And then Chase’s panable book is further panned in various reviews [e.g. : ] where Murray’s experimentation with young Theodore Kaczynski is dismissed as a “stressful but fundamentally silly pseudo-experiment…”



Paperclip / Kissinger

“Project Paperclip was stopped [Ah, but -- even the cover of Linda Hunt’s book’s book on Paperclip shows it continued at least until 1990, after which most of the Nazi scientists were dead / Snowshoefilms note] in 1957, when West Germany protested to the U.S. that these efforts had stripped it of "scientific skills." There was no comment about supporting Nazis. Paperclip may have ended in 1957, but as you can see from Licio Gelli and his international dealings with the CIA in Italy/P2, and Heinrich Rupp with his involvement in October Surprise, the ramifications of Paperclip are world-wide. The Nazis became employed CIA agents, engaging in clandestine work with the likes of George Bush, the CIA, Henry Kissinger, and the Masonic P2 lodge. This is but one of the results of Operation Paperclip. Another umbrella project that was spawned from Paperclip was MK-ULTRA.

A secret laboratory was established and funded by CIA director, Allen Dulles in Montreal, Canada at McGill University in the Allen Memorial Institute headed by psychiatrist Dr. Ewen Cameron. For the next several years Dr. Ewen Cameron waged his private war in Canada. What is ironic about Dr. Cameron is that he served as a member of the Nuremberg tribunal who heard the cases against the Nazi doctors.

When it was at its height in drug experiments, operation MK-ULTRA was formed. This was the brainchild of Richard Helms who later came to be a CIA director. It was designed to defeat the "enemy" in its brain-washing techniques. MK-ULTRA had another arm involved in Chemical and Biological Warfare (CBW) known as MK-DELTA. The "doctors" who participated in these experiments used some of the same techniques as the Nazi "doctors". Techniques used by Dr. Cameron and previous Nazi scientists include electro shock, sleep deprivation, memory implantation, memory erasure, sensory modification, psychoactive drug experiments, and many more cruel practices.

“The records of all these activities were destroyed in January 1973, at the instruction of then CIA Director Richard Helms. In spite of persistent inquiries by both the Health Subcommittee and the Intelligence Committee, no additional records or information were forthcoming. And no one -- no single individual -- could be found who remembered the details, not the Director of the CIA, who ordered the documents destroyed, not the official responsible for the program, nor any of his associates.” -- U.S. SENATE,
Washington, D.C. August 3, 1977

[The Search for the Manchurian Candidate by John Marks (Chapter 8: BRAINWASHING).

IN 1947 HENRY KISSINGER SERVED AS GERMAN TRANSLATOR IN ARMY INTELLIGENCE, to help Dulles set up these secret networks. He personally "interrogated" many of the top Nazi prisoners held by the US Army, who were absorbed into the CIA-BND. (see: The CIA’s worst kept secret, by M. Lee, under Archived article "Nazi echo" at A good part of the Kissinger story is revealed in Leonard Horowitz’s book Emerging Viruses: AIDS & Ebola.

And this: The CIA and West Nile Virus


[1] Theodore Kaczynski’s defense team: Quin Denvir and Judy Clarke

rightclick to download winmedia file


updated May 2006