Charlie Kirk appears to link gender dysphoria to domestic terrorism in strange Unabomber tribute

A split image of right-wing pundit Charlie Kirk and Unabomber Ted Kaczynski.

Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk appeared to link ‘Unabomber’ Ted Kaczynski’s historical accounts of gender dysphoria to his crimes in a strange tribute.

Kaczynski, a domestic terrorist known for this 17-year-long mail bomb campaign, was found dead in his prison cell on Saturday (10 June).

The 81-year-old former mathematician, who was serving four life sentences since May 1998, committed 16 bombings from 1978 to 1995, killing three people and injuring many more.

His terrorism campaign – which he justified in an anti-technology manifesto reluctantly published by the New York Times – heavily influenced the way US postal services function today at a time before the 9/11 attacks and the anthrax killings in 2001.

The announcement of his death was met on social media with a mixture of condemnation of his actions, internet memes about his 35,000-word manifesto – the most famous quote of which is “the industrial revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race” – and eulogies dedicated to him by those who supported his cause despite the killings.

Kirk, who founded far-right and alt-right linked organisation Turning Point USA, posted a tribute to Kaczynski describing him as “one of America’s most brilliant young mathematicians ever”, noting that he allegedly “went mad” during MKUltra experiments, which Kaczynski claimed to have been subjected to.

You may like to watch

“A lot of people know about that … But did you know that before becoming a hermit who mailed bombs to people, Kaczynski also developed gender dysphoria and wanted to become a woman?” Kirk said.

The statement seemingly compared the adverse effects of the CIA’s MKUltra experiments, which included torture, administering of hallucinogenic drugs without prior consent and forms of attempted mind control that resulted in the deaths of several subjects, with gender dysphoria.

LGBTQ+ activists called the statement a “new low” for the right-wing talking head, with some writing that it was a “despicable” attempt to “connect being trans to murdering hundreds of people”.

“The problem isn’t that Ted Kaczynski was/might have been trans,” one user wrote. “The problem is that Charlie Kirk is clearly trying to make some kind of connection between Ted’s gender distress and being the Unabomber.”

Another wrote in sheer bewilderment: “Charlie Kirk coming out in defence of the Unabomber is certainly a thing I never thought would happen but here we are.”

Evidence that Kaczynski battled with his gender identity date back to his confession in 1998 after he pleaded guilty to the charges against him.

In the same year, The Washington Post reported that Kaczynski considered undergoing gender-reassignment surgery in 1966, but decided against it while in a psychiatrist’s waiting room.

He wrote in documents released during a court trial that he had considered murdering the psychiatrist after his regret set in, describing it as a “major turning point” in his life.

“Like a phoenix, I burst from the ashes of my despair to a glorious new hope,” Kaczynski wrote.

‘You don’t have to hand it to the Unabomber’

Other tributes dedicated to Kaczynski were condemned across Twitter for both eulogising a murderer and commending his manifesto, which worked as justification for his actions.

In response to a right-wing post praising Kaczynski for his criticisms of leftism, one user wrote: “Under no circumstances do you have to hand it to the Unabomber.”

Twitter owner Elon Musk also signalled his agreement with Kaczynski’s beliefs, replying to a tweet quoting his manifesto with the words: “He might not be wrong.”

Hundreds responded to his tweet pointing out the glaringly obvious problem with a billionaire tech CEO hearing out the arguments of an anti-industry domestic terrorist.

Please login or register to comment on this story.