Unabomber E06 Review – “Ted”

“Every time my mind drifts, it goes back to that room at Harvard, whenever i close my eyes i’m there. Strapped to that chair, helpless, stripped of all respect.. And i feel, so much anger.”

 

Perhaps the most important and intriguing episodes of the series so far, as it actually delves into the life of Ted Kaczynski himself. Finally. Witnessing the life that he is living, the one that he describes in the manifesto, free from technology, growing his own food and foraging, washing in huge waterfalls. Which actually comes across a lot more appealing than you would probably think. Starting off present day in 1995 (before he was caught and arrested) Witnessing his paper being published in the Washington Post, and a certain amount of recognition and applause in the ideas that are contained within the ‘manifesto’.

GIF made by Mia for TGON

GIF Source: Mia from TGON

1953 – We meet Ted enduring the agony that was high school. Being skipped ahead two grades because he was so advanced academically, but emotionally and personally he wasn’t ready to be pushed along so far. “The worst part.. was that I was still smarter than everyone else.” Through this flashback narrative we learn more and more about Ted and how his ideas, identity and behaviour was formed and the things that influenced and shaped his adult self. Because of his intellect and his parents decisions he was isolated from his peers and most people he came into cotact with. Being a shy boy growing up, connecting with others already presented challenges, this before we add in his genius mind and imposed separation from his contemporaies due to a growing age gap.

 

It’s through this flashback episode that we meet Doug. “The only real friend I [Ted] ever had.”. Through flashback narration we see Ted’s first human connection with someone who wasn’t a family member. A true friendship, that then gets lost, a slow unravelling of his short-lived happiness and confidence in life, turning to self-mutilation and isolation which only furthers his issues.

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GIF Source: Mia from TGON

The coup de gras…. Ted arrives at Harvard at sixteen years old. And meet’s Professor Murray. For the first time ever we see Ted as a satisfied and content human, studying and working with Murray, regularly meeting with him and conversing over their shared interests, discussing current issues and their own personal philosophies. We see him gain what appears to be a real confidante. Only to have this shattered in the most indescribably cruel and calculated manner. Ted unwillingly becomes a participant (COUGH* Victim) of the CIA’s psychological experiments – in which they psychologically tortured and broke the minds of the students that they targeted. 21 of which alongside Ted were abused. The aim was to ‘psychologically break them’, when this began Ted was sixteen years old, he endured this for nearly three years. [If this entire paragraph is news to you – google ‘Project MKUltra’ – You’ll find details of a set of very real, horrendous experiments on human subjects that were unimaginably evil. Conducted by the C.I.A ] Not too surpisingly, Ted developed a distaste for universities and the government… Not sure where that possibly could have come from? Throughout his adult life he suffered PTSD from his subjugation and psychological torture,

“Every time my mind drifts, it goes back to that room at Harvard, whenever i close my eyes i’m there. Strapped to that chair, helpless, stripped of all respect.. And i feel, so much anger.”

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GIF Source: Mia from TGON

 

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