Updated: March 9, 2013
2003 documentary by Lutz Dammbeck. Subtitles in English.
This film ties together important information about organizations, movements and individuals in the story of the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski. At different points, you see the correspondence between the film-maker and Kaczynski (who is in prison).
- Businessman John Brockman is interviewed. His scene is multimedia, avant-garde art, and computers. Wikipedia page. The Edge Foundation bio page includes a photo of him at “The Factory” with Andy Warhol and Bob Dylan. This web page also includes testimonials from Stewart Brand and David Gelernter who are also interviewed. Brockman’s network of writers was hit by the Unabomber in 1993, injuring computer scientist David Gelernter.
- Norbert Wiener and his book Cybernetics are mentioned. The subject of Cybernetics is also mentioned in Brzezinski’s book Between Two Ages.
- Then Stewart Brand is interviewed. He met Ken Kesey, author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, who was a central figure in the hippy scene from the 1960s. He also met Brockman back then.
- Brand mentions (part 3, 2 min) that a number of people in their movement were ex-Army.
- Kesey thought of their bus as a moving laboratory. There was constant drug use, including LSD.
- Brand mentions the people they were paying attention to:
Marshall McLuhan, Buckminster Fuller, Wiener, and Cage. He seems to be referring to the musician John Cage who is mentioned quite a few times at edge.org.
- With the Whole Earth Catalogue, Brand was trying to provide tools to “reinvent civilization”. Back to nature, communes, farming, independent agriculture. But he saw that as a dead end, like drugs, and he came down on the side of personal computer technology, the Internet, open systems and alternative energy. The film-maker questions him about this paradox of pro-technology vs. anti-technology in the same publication.
- Does the personal computer and the Internet make us freer or does it lead to the opposite? Are we better off? Should we have focused more on skills like goat husbandry that emphasized independence?
- Dammbeck finds a copy of The Unabomber Manifesto (Part 4, 1 min):
… Continuing scientific and technical progress will destroy the freedom of the individual. Soon there will be no place left where an individual can hide from mind control and surveillance by super computers. …. Nature makes a perfect counter-ideal to the technological system. The sooner this system collapses, the better it will be for mankind. …
He calls for resistance using all forms of media. The heart of the matter is:
Soon there will be no place left where an individual can hide from mind control and surveillance by super computers.
- (part 5: 2m 30) T.K. explains his points about the dangers of a technological society. He asks Dammbeck if he would like to live in a virtual world, a world where computers were smarter than people. Would he like it if “in the future, people, animals and plants were products of technology”?
- The next interview is with Robert Taylor, who had worked for NASA and the Pentagon. He explains ARPANET (set up by the Department of Defense) and the origin of the Internet.
- Then there is information on the Josiah Macy Foundation and the creation of the Macy conferences which included Wiener and a list of scientists like Margaret Mead and others. I think John von Neumann was mentioned also. The point of these meetings, according to the film-maker was to develop a science to predict and control human behavior.
- The Macy Group was very interested in the book The Authoritarian Personality, released by the International Institute of Social Research, a foundation of the Frankfurt Institute of Social Research, centered around Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno.
- Note that broadcaster Alan Watt of cuttingthroughthematrix.com comments often about cultural changes and the influence of the Frankfurt School, Adorno and the Macy Group.
- In the name of rooting out so-called “authoritarian” tendencies in society (whatever opposes communism), they propose that “fascist” tendencies in society be tracked with an F-scale. So they want to track psychological tendencies. So they’re talking about using totalitarian methods in the name of fighting authoritarianism, which really means taking on (treating) anyone who puts up resistance to modernism and totalitarian collectivism.
- Dammbeck mentions the tests developed by Henry A. Murray.
- From the point of view of these extremists based in America – ironically the supposed land of the free – they didn’t see the problem as Wall Street bankers funding totalitarian regimes as Antony Sutton has proven. In their minds, in order to get rid of fascism, “… it seems necessary to alter the nature of man and his underlying cultural patterns so that the authoritarian matrix would be eradicated forever” (approximate quote from one of them). Kurt Lewin, a member of the Macy Group is quoted as saying “the old values and balances must be destroyed in order to make conditions “fluid”. Then it is possible to establish new balances and values.” Then the talks about re-education. “This would transform the world into a post-national, multi-ethnic global society with no fixed borders”. The Macy Group wanted to provide the tools, such as computers and cybernetics, for this new world order.
- Comment: Here we have a window in to the reason why we have been reconditioned and why old values have been shredded and our ability to reason is under constant attack. We’re not able to even consider more traditional or independent ways of living. We are pushed constantly deeper into a huge mental and societal mess, and locked into it. People standing up for themselves, protecting themselves, protecting their culture and values and doing things their way is labeled “fascism” in the minds of these very destructive left-wing academics. “Anti-authoritarian” is code for creating a society with no backbone, with no self-defense mechanism, a society that doesn’t stand up for itself against bully-boy robber-baron-funded foundation-funded academics and revolutionaries. The world is going in one direction, their direction. How is our consciousness to be penetrated in order to create change? How is everything made “fluid”? The methods seem to include the use of art combined with science, the computer, cultural chaos, media, music, drugs, new religious movements, philosophy, “positive thinking” etc.
- (Part 7/12) Then there is more correspondence with T.K. in which he asks whether someone has the right to force their idea of utopia on someone else.
- Then the film focuses on Esalen, California.
- Note that Jan Irvin of Gnostic Media has made connections between Aldous Huxley and the Esalen Institute, and New Age gurus. Also he has investigated the Establishment’s promotion of magic mushrooms and the connection with CIA mind control research. For tyranny to take over, for the “ultimate revolution” of Aldous Huxley, there needs to be a passive, mind-bombed culture.
- The narrator describes Esalen as a “conference and esotericism center on the coast of California”. Artists met with “members of the Macy conferences in the 70s. They are interested in a new spirituality brought about with the help of cybernetics and drugs and in the popularization of the Macy visions.” The same names again: Brand, Brockman, John Cage, Buckminster Fuller. Dammbeck observes that the ideas of cybernetics and systems theory “reach the international networks of the bohemian world and so acquire a different non-military aura“.
- Then the focus is on Esalen participant, Heinz von Foerster, a physicist and philosopher who was influenced by Ludwig Wittgenstein and also by the scientists of the “Vienna Circle” who were “prophets” of cybernetics and systems theory. In 1953 in the U.S., Foerster became the secretary of the Macy Conferences, gaining access to America’s scientific elite. Foerster is a pioneer of Constructivism.
- Comment: So all this nonsense we end up believing is the perfect mind-disabler – an attitude where there are no absolutes, no truth. Mark Passio refers to this as solipsism. We’re not even sure we have natural rights, so we don’t bother defending them from tyrants and con-men we can’t even recognize, because we’re busy living in fantasy land, detached from the priorities that come with the real world. An electronic maze is perfect for that.
- Foerster is head of the “Biological Computer Lab” at the University of Illinois. He is commissioned by the military and works on projects such as the “merging of biological and digital systems”.
- The interview with Heinz von Foerster, combined with an older interview, is very entertaining because of his intelligence and energy. He talks about “systemics” or systems theory.
- Some questions can’t be answered he says, e.g. the origin of the universe. “So all that is relevant is how interesting is the story that someone invents to explain the origins of the universe.” It’s art in other words. He says that “particles” are inventions that help to explain certain problems. Each “particle” represents a hole in your theory. The narrator brings up the Internet and asks isn’t it dangerous to let a network of machines grow into infinity based on these flimsy theories. Answer: in this network of machines, “all theories are correct” because they can all be deduced from other “theories” and “stories”. It goes on “deducing indefinitely”. It’s just something that’s being imprinted on the world like a sculptor working with clay. (Similarly, T.K. at one point mentions how most of pure mathematics is art and not science).
- One conclusion I come to is that the high-tech world we live in is a deliberate creation from the mind of men and not a natural evolution of human society. What I get from this interview is that it seems like the real-world political purpose of “science” is not so much to find truth. It seems to be more like a type of technology – a series of stories, theories, structures, or even religions (creeds as Charles Galton Darwin mentioned) that serve social, military and political purposes. Julian Huxley said something similar about social science in “Man Stands Alone”. He said it’s for knowledge and “control”. So I think the funders of science judge the “truth” – or effectiveness or usefulness – of a “science” by the results, and those results might include pacification of the population.
- Dammbeck gets into the biography of Ted Kacynski. He was a Professor of Mathematics, and he resigned in 1971 from the University of California at Berkeley. Then he builds a cabin in Montana.
- In the 1960s, according to references cited, Ted Kacynski, while at Harvard, was a subject of secret CIA mind-control drug tests. Psychologist Henry A. Murray (mentioned above) is the director of the tests, co-founder of the Department of Social Relations at Harvard.
- T.K.: “Do you want to live in a world where scientists and superhuman machines know and understand everything, and therefore can order and regulate everything? If you don’t like the sound of that, why do you complain that science doesn’t know everything, and that there are holes in theory? Instead, you should be worrying that science knows too much.”
- More details: T.K. was selected along with other students as a test subject. The purpose was to explorer “personality structure”. The director, Henry A. Murray developed a series of tests for the Department of Psychological Warfare of the OSS (precursor to the CIA). These tests were to show how elite groups behave under psychological pressure.
- The authors of “The Authoritarian Personality” (Adorno et al) employ his testing methods. Like them, Murray sees the social sciences leading to a world that lives in harmony. The film refers to a book: “What can the Social Sciences Contribute to Peace? An NBC Radio Discussion by … Henry A. Murray … Including “America’s Mission” by Henry A. Murray
- Approximate quote by Henry A. Murray:
“In a new world order, with world laws, a world police force, and world government … The United States is the abstraction of ONE WORLD which we are on the verge of creating. The lot has fallen to the US to take over the direction of carrying out this last and difficult experiment: a global campaign of good against evil. By completely dedicating ourselves to the idea of a one world government, we will stir the hearts of all people on earth with the hope of a security that can counter any form of totalitarianism [a totalitarian approach to combating totalitarianism!]. The ‘national citizen’ is obsolete, and must be transformed into a ‘world citizen'”.
- The narrator connects Murray’s goal of world government to his CIA LSD experiments: So to effect this transformation, CIA scientists use LSD 25, developed by Sandoz, to break through the subconscious in order to program it in a new way.
- Murray wants to develop a “superego” that will ‘immunize the proposed world citizen against all forms of totalitarianism’. His tests are designed to create extreme stress. The goal is a “complete investigation into personality” so that desirable patterns can be “created and controlled”.
- LSD shows up on the Harvard campus. Timothy Leary with the approval of Murray, establishes a CIA research project.
- 1953-1964 experiments went under the names MK-Ultra or Artichoke. Reportedly they developed special control techniques.
- One of the research topics in Murray’s documents mentions the “sacred Mexican mushroom”.
- The films of these tests and the test results of T.K. have disappeared. Dammbeck shows empty film reels.
- After he was arrested for the years of bombing (he didn’t admit to it), there is a sequence where it shows the media and experts telling the public that T.K. is insane and paranoid, obsessed with conspiracy theories. One of them says that if we treat him as insane, then what he has done will have no political effect and no meaning to society. The woman actually repeats her propaganda strategy out loud. The media successfully filters out any information that matters, thus performing their censorship function in an Orwellian thought-stop authoritarian society. Defense lawyers want to portray him as mentally disturbed, end of story.
- T.K.: ‘.. the facts are so incredible that no one takes them seriously…’
- Then there is a sequence with T.K.’s neighbors in Montana.
- The last interview is with one of the Unabomber’s victims, David Gelernter, author of “Mirror Worlds”.