Harvard Apologizes For Publishing The “Awards” of Ted Kaczynski as “Eight Life Sentences”

Harvard alums received a bit of a surprise when reading the status of graduates for the class of 1962 in anticipation of the 50th reunion. One graduate decided to respond and list his current profession as “prisoner” and his “awards” as “eight life sentences.” The alum is unabomber Ted Kaczynski.

The Harvard Alumni Association issued a statement. “While all members of the class who submit entries are included, we regret publishing Kaczynski’s references to his convictions and apologize for any distress that it may have caused others.”

Of course, such grad distinctions often involve more classic ivy league crimes like Ester Reed (identity theft), Eugene N. Plotkin (insider trading), Andre Shliefer (insider trading), and Jeffrey K. Skilling (former President of Enron).

Source: Boston

20 thoughts on “Harvard Apologizes For Publishing The “Awards” of Ted Kaczynski as “Eight Life Sentences””

  1. Will Bush put on his awards pages….. Indicted by the Spanish Criminal courts but connected enough to avoid prosecution?

    One must see the irony in Teds submission…….

  2. Dredd,

    A most unfortunate place perhaps. The Murray federal building in Oklahoma? Give Bill Clinton credit for telling people not to jump to any immediate conclusions.

    Sorry, but I’m coming to the conclusion that you people aren’t as bright as you think you are.

  3. I don’t understand why Harvard should have apologized. If Ted Kaczynski made the submission it should have been printed. His victims should take comfort in the fact that he is in prison for several lives and he knows it. Of course, other alums might not like it pointed out that they went to the same school as he. How did the other criminals write themselves up? Bet they weren’t as honest as Ted.

  4. lottakatz 1, May 25, 2012 at 4:22 pm
    You saw the ill-fated Heartland billboard too perhaps?

    Amazing how fast a propaganda engine can go down once it makes a fatal mistake like that.

    Where will they pop up next?

  5. redd: “Is that the guy who believes in global warming?”

    LOL, you sly dog, you 🙂

  6. The classic Milgram experiments on authority (people led to believe they were harming others) were done on far more (and more diverse) people than the Murray experiment, without evidence of harm (Milgram made counseling available). It’s doubtful that a single experiment had much of an effect on Kaczynki’s behavior. He’s probably schizophrenic and would have become so regardless of any thing he did to get class credit as an undergrad.

    An enormous number of social scientists worked with the OSS during WWII. Focus groups (initially developed to test radio programs) were refined as a method through development of propaganda. Social progressives like Kurt Lewin were part of this effort, among others. Donovan was an old school conservative who had no trouble working for FDR. Working for the OSS wasn’t exactly diabolical or unknown.

    Harvard’s mention of distress is funny. It’s always useful to know what’s up with your classmates and hearing about i9ncarceration is probably better than hollow brags.

  7. Patrick,

    About the “good professor” Murray, who had ties to the OSS and William Donovan:

    “Murray acted as a consultant for the British Government (1938) in the setting up of the Officer Selection Board. Murray’s previous work at The Harvard Psychological Clinic enabled him to apply his theories in the design of the selection processes used by WOSB and OSS to assess potential agents. The assessments were based on analysis of specific criteria (e.g. “leadership”) by a number of raters across a range of activities. Results were pooled to achieve an overall assessment. The underlying principles were later adopted by AT&T in the development of Assessment Center methodology, now widely used to assess management potential in both private and public sector organisations.

    Murray’s identification of core psychological needs (Murray’s Psychogenic Needs, Murray’s system of needs), including Achievement, Affiliation and Power (1938) provided the theoretical basis for the later research of David McClelland and underpins development of competency-based models of management effectiveness (Richard Boyatzis), Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and ideas relating to Positive psychology.[citation needed] However, Murray’s contribution is rarely acknowledged in contemporary academic literature.[citation needed] McClelland, Boyatzis and Spencer went on to found the McBer Consultancy.

    Commissioned by OSS boss, William “Wild Bill” Donovan, in 1943 Professor Murray helped complete Analysis of the Personality of Adolph Hitler. The report was done in collaboration with psychoanalyst Walter C. Langer, Dr. Ernst Kris, New School for Social Research, and Dr. Bertram D. Lawin, New York Psychoanalytic Institute. The report used many sources to profile Hitler including a number of informants such as Ernst Hanfstaengl, Hermann Rauschning, Princess Stephanie von Hohenlohe, Gregor Strasser, Friedelinde Wagner, and Kurt Ludecke. The groundbreaking study was the pioneer of Offender profiling and political psychology, today commonly used by many countries as part of assessing international relations.

    In addition to predicting that if defeat for Germany was near, Adolf Hitler would choose suicide, Professor Murray’s collaborative report stated that Hitler was impotent as far as heterosexual relations were concerned and that there was a possibility that Hitler had participated in a homosexual relationship. The 1943 report stated that: “The belief that Hitler is homosexual has probably developed (a) from the fact that he does show so many feminine characteristics, and (b) from the fact that there were so many homosexuals in the Party during the early days and many continue to occupy important positions. It is probably true that Hitler calls Albert Forster “Bubi”, which is a common nickname employed by homosexuals in addressing their partners.”

    Having returned to Harvard 1947, Murray lectured and established with others the Psychological Clinic Annex and was a chief researcher at Harvard. Alston Chase’s book Harvard and the Unabomber: The Education of an American Terrorist tells of the MK ULTRA experiments that Theodore Kaczynski is reported to have undergone at Harvard, under the direction of Henry Murray. Chase connects these experiences to Kaczynski’s later career as the Unabomber.

    When Murray became emeritus professor at Harvard, he earned the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association and Gold Medal Award for lifetime achievement from the American Psychological Foundation.”


  8. There, from the fall of 1959 through the spring of 1962, Harvard psychologists, led by Henry A. Murray, conducted a disturbing and what would now be seen as ethically indefensible experiment on twenty-two undergraduates. To preserve the anonymity of these student guinea pigs, experimenters referred to individuals by code name only. One of these students, whom they dubbed “Lawful,” was Theodore John Kaczynski,… –from the Alston Chase article in The Atlantic


    I referenced the Murray experiment in an earlier comment — thanks for the additional links. Alston Chase’s book about Kaczynski is titled “A Mind for Murder: The Education of the Unabomber and the Origins of Modern Terrorism”, in case you’re interested.

  9. Of course, such grad distinctions often involve more classic ivy league crimes like Ester Reed (identity theft), Eugene N. Plotkin (insider trading), Andre Shliefer (insider trading), and Jeffrey K. Skilling (former President of Enron).


  10. Matt,

    If you read my comment, I said the following:

    “While I would never excuse Ted Kaczynski’s actions…”

    The study speaks for itself, IMO.

  11. anon nurse,

    Ted Kaczynski had stress, but that doesn’t excuse sending mail bombs to kill people. With regard to the study, who’s fault was that? I would have never submitted to that kind of a test. There’s a fine line between genius and insanity. Mr. Kaczynski crossed the line.

  12. Harvard should be proud. But not of taking in the Kennedys because daddy had money, or the Bush 43 cause daddy went there. End legacies.

  13. Just desserts for Harvard, perhaps.

    While I would never excuse Ted Kaczynski’s actions, the following should, at the very least, be considered.


    “He also participated in a multiple-year personality study conducted by Dr. Henry Murray, an expert on stress interviews.[12] Students in Murray’s study were told they would be debating personal philosophy with a fellow student.[13] Instead they were subjected to a “purposely brutalizing psychological experiment”[13] stress test, which was an extremely stressful, personal, and prolonged psychological attack. During the test, students were taken into a room, strapped into a chair and connected to electrodes that monitored their physiological reactions, while facing bright lights and a two-way mirror. Each student had previously written an essay detailing their personal beliefs and aspirations: the essays were turned over to an anonymous attorney, who would enter the room and individually belittle each strapped-down student based in part on the disclosures they had made. This was filmed, and students’ expressions of impotent rage were played back to them several times later in the study. According to author Alston Chase, Kaczynski’s records from that period suggest he was emotionally stable when the study began. Kaczynski’s lawyers attributed some of his emotional instability and dislike of mind control to his participation in this study.[13][14] Indeed, some have suggested that this experience may have been instrumental in Kaczynski’s future actions.[15]”

    It would be interesting to know the “life stories” of others who participated in the same study.

  14. Mr. Kaczynski,

    Stop sending people bombs made of wood. That doesn’t work out too good. At least you don’t have to worry about room and board anymore.

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