Unambomber in the news again: “He’s not crazy,” says Jean-Marie Apostolidès

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The man known as the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, has been in the news again — or rather, his property has.  The Huffington Post announced that Kaczynski’s 1.4-acre parcel in western Montana is on the block for $69,500.

John Pistelak Realty of Lincoln said that the listing offers potential buyers a chance to own a piece of “infamous U.S. history.”

Kaczynski was a subject of a blog post on the Book Haven awhile ago — on the basis of his writings, not his crime.  Psychologist and French scholar Jean-Marie Apostolidès takes the Unabomber’s anti-technology manifesto very seriously. He tells the story of how he translated the Unabomber’s works into French, and was briefly Kaczynski’s pen pal:

In retrospect, Apostolidès thinks the lawyers wanted him to help certify Kaczynski was insane. Yet, he said, “I’m convinced he has neurotic problems – but no more than anyone else. He has to be judged on his ideas and his deeds.” Our insistence on his insanity may be a way to avoid grappling with that, he said.

In an interview, Apostolidès leaned forward across the desk in his campus office and his voice dropped: “This will shock you. He’s a very nice guy, sweet, open-minded. And I know he has blood on his hands. You cannot be all bad – even if you kill, even Hitler.”

More here.


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