Letter to the Unabomber

Sam Sloan
Ishi Press
1813 New York Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11210

February 6, 1998

Theodore Kaczynski
Inmate No. 3165854
Location 8W311
Sacramento County Jail
651 I Street
Sacramento CA 95814

Dear Dr. Kaczynski,

I am President of The Ishi Press. For the past 30 years, we have been the world's leading publisher on books on the game of go. If you are familiar with the game of go (as I suspect that you are) you have almost undoubtedly heard our name. We have also occasionally published books in other areas.

I am an alumni of the math department of the University of California at Berkeley. The founder and Chairman of Ishi Press, Mr. Richard Bozulich of Japan, obtained a degree in math from Berkeley in 1966. It is even barely possible that we know each other, although I do not recall meeting you. I left Berkeley in December, 1967, not long after you first arrived, so it is unlikely that we know each other. We are close associates of Professor Berlekamp, whom you almost undoubtedly know. We have published his work.

I understand that you have been doing a lot of writing lately, on a variety of subjects. We would be honored to have the opportunity to publish your work.

I believe that in your case you would want your work to be as widely disseminated as possible. While we would be willing to publish your work in book form, might I suggest that you may prefer for us to publish it on our Internet site.

The advantages and disadvantages are as follows: We have an Internet site at http://www.ishipress.com . This Internet site receives an average of more than 12,000 hits per day. We can verify and prove this in case you have any doubt about it. This makes us one of the most widely read Internet sites on the World Wide Web.

Our Internet site tends to attract an intellectual audience. The reason for this is that I am a strong chess player and I post on the Internet numerous articles about chess, so the readers of my Internet site tend to be chess players. In addition, I update my Internet site every day with information about current affairs generally not available in the traditional media.

More than that, I have created mailing and distribution lists on the various subjects in which I have an interest. For example, when I decide to put out a major news item about chess, I not only post it on the web site, but I send it by e-mail to a list I have created of names and addresses of about 1500 chess players and officials around the world, which include at least one representative of every one of the 145 member nations of the World Chess Federation. I also post the news item on the relevant news groups and submit it for indexing to the major search engines, including Yahoo, Altavista, Infoseek and Hotbot.

As I result, anything I put out is probably read by at least 10,000 readers within a few hours of dissemination, plus it is maintained permanently on the Internet, where there will be new readers every day.

Best of all, I do not have to go beg some publisher to publish my work. I get it out myself in a few minutes to readers interested in this material. In short, if you allow us to publish your work, I can guarantee that you will get lots of readers. Your work will attract at a minimum several hundred readers per day and over a thousand readers per week. Moreover, this will go on, week after week, indefinitely.

The big disadvantage is that if we publish your work on the Internet, you will not make any money from this, nor will we. Our web site is entirely non-commercial. We sell no products. We have no banners or advertisements.

Why, you ask, are we doing this?

The reason is that our web site is devoted to disseminating ideas, ideas which are not available in the traditional media. For example, I must tell you that I was in prisoner once, just like you are. My jailer was a preacher with a doctorate in theology. He had written a thesis on Creationism, in which he is an ardent believer.

When I got out of jail, I published my jailer's thesis on Creationism on my Internet site. It is not especially popular. It only receives about 20 hits per day, but that translates into over 7,000 hits per year, which gives a lot of readers exposure to the theories of Creationism, theories which they otherwise would have difficulty in obtaining. Numerous church groups around the nation and the world are using his material as a source. Dr. Cash, the author, is imminently satisfied with this result, even though he has not made a dime off of this, nor have we. I am not a believer in Creationism, by the way.

I therefore sincerely hope you will agree to allow us to publish your work.

If you agree, please start mailing your material to me at the above address. I assume it will come in handwritten form. I will type it, send it back to you for proofreading, comments and corrections, and publish it promptly on the Internet.

I will not make any changes in your work, except to correct simple spelling errors and obvious typos.

You will have full editorial control. Any changes you want made, will be made immediately.

If you are reluctant to do this, you may start by sending us just a few pages, and if you are satisfied with our treatment of that, send us more.

Also, as a former prisoner myself, I know the problems you face. If you need any money for writing materials, pens, paper, postage stamps, photocopies and the like, I shall be happy to send it to you.

I shall look forward to hearing from you regarding this proposal.

Very Truly Yours,

Sam Sloan

P.S. Prior to mailing this letter to you, I sent it to my counter-part, Richard Bozulich in Japan, for his proof reading and approval. Here is his reply:

"I just got your letter to Ted. By all means send it. I made a few corrections. Just typos. Actually, I agree 100% with his anti-technology theories. I have been thinking of devoting one whole website to him. I believe he will someday be appreciated as the savior of the earth."

Here are links:

Contact address - please send e-mail to the following address: Sloan@ishipress.com