Malcolm X

“Born Malcolm Little in 1925, in Omaha, Nebraska, Malcolm was the son of a Baptist preacher who was a follower of Marcus Garvey. After the Ku Klux Klan made threats against his father, the family moved to Lansing, Michigan. There, in the face of similar threats, he continued to urge blacks to take control of their lives.

Malcolm’s father was slain by the Klan-like Black Legionaries. Although he was found with his head crushed on one side and almost severed from his body, it was claimed he had committed suicide, and the family was denied his death benefit. Its disintegration quickly followed: welfare caseworkers sought to turn the children against each other and against their mother, from whom Malcolm, then six, was taken and placed in a foster home. Mrs. Little underwent a nervous breakdown from which she never recovered.

After the eighth grade, Malcolm dropped out of school, headed for a life of crime. He wore zoot suits, straightened his hair to affect a white look, and became known as “Detroit Red.” When twenty-one, he was sentenced to prison for burglary and there encountered the teachings of Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Lost-Found Nation of Islam, popularly known as the Black Muslims. Muhammad’s thesis that the white man is the devil with whom blacks cannot live had a strong impact on Malcolm. Turning to an ascetic way of life and reading widely, he began to overcome the degradation he had known. The argument that only blacks can cure the ills that afflict them confirmed for Malcolm the power of Muhammad’s faith. He became a loyal disciple and adopted X–symbolic of a stolen identity–as his last name.

After six years Malcolm was released from prison. Later, he became the minister of Temple No. 7 in Harlem, his indictments of racism and his advocacy of self-defense eliciting admiration, as well as fear, far beyond the New York black community. Whites were especially fearful, recoiling from his sustained pronouncements of crimes against his people. While most contrasted him with Martin Luther King, Jr., with whose philosophy they were much more at ease, white college students found ugly truths in his searing rhetoric of condemnation. Malcolm, however, grew increasingly restive as the Nation of Islam failed to join in the mounting civil rights struggle and became convinced that Elijah Muhammad was lacking in sincerity, a view painfully validated by corruption at the highest level of the organization. For his part, Muhammad seemed threatened by the popularity of Malcolm, whose influence reached even into the respected Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

Malcolm’s assertion that President John F. Kennedy’s assassination amounted to “the chickens coming home to roost” led to his suspension from the Black Muslims in December 1963. A few months later, he left the organization, traveled to Mecca, and discovered that orthodox Muslims preach equality of the races, which led him to abandon the argument that whites are devils. Having returned to America as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, he remained convinced that racism had corroded the spirit of America and that only blacks could free themselves. In June 1964, he founded the Organization of Afro-American Unity and moved increasingly in the direction of socialism. More sophisticated than in his Black Muslim days and of growing moral stature, he was assassinated by a Black Muslim at a rally of his organization in New York on February 21, 1965. Malcolm X had predicted that, though he had but little time to live, he would be more important in death than in life. Foreshadowings of his martyrdom are found in The Autobiography of Malcolm X. The almost painful honesty that enabled him to find his way from degradation to devotion to his people, the modest lifestyle that kept him on the edge of poverty, and the distance he somehow managed to put between himself and racial hatred serve, in that volume, as poignant reminders of human possibility and achievement.

Influenced largely by Malcolm, in the summer of 1966 members of SNCC called for black power for black people. Their lack of power was the foundation of Malcolm’s charge that they were denied human rights in America. His clarity on this matter, as America continues its retreat from its commitment to full freedom for his people, has guaranteed for him pride of place among black leaders.” (History dot com)

Valerie Solanas

“Valerie Jean Solanas (April 9, 1936 – April 25, 1988) was an American radical feminist and author best known for writing the SCUM Manifesto and attempting to murder artist Andy Warhol in the late 1960s.

As a teenager, she had a volatile relationship with her mother and stepfather after her parents’ divorce. As a consequence, she was sent to live with her grandparents. Her alcoholic grandfather physically abused her and Solanas ran away and became homeless. She came out as a lesbian in the 1950s. She graduated with a degree in psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park. Solanas relocated to Berkeley, California. There, she began writing her most notable work, the SCUM Manifesto, which urged women to “overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and eliminate the male sex”.[1][2]

Solanas moved to New York City in the mid-1960s, working as a writer. She met pop artist Andy Warhol and asked him to produce her play, Up Your Ass. She gave him her script, which she later accused him of losing and/or stealing, followed by Warhol expressing additional indifference to her play. After Solanas demanded financial compensation for the lost script, Warhol hired her to perform in his film, I, a Man, paying her $25. In 1967, Solanas began self-publishing the SCUM Manifesto. Olympia Press owner Maurice Girodias offered to publish Solanas’s future writings, and she understood the contract to mean that Girodias would own her writing. Convinced that Girodias and Warhol were conspiring to steal her work, Solanas purchased a gun in the spring of 1968.

On June 3, 1968, she went to The Factory, where she found Warhol. She shot at Warhol three times, with the first two shots missing and the final wounding Warhol. She also shot art critic Mario Amaya, and attempted to shoot Warhol’s manager, Fred Hughes, point blank, but the gun jammed. Solanas then turned herself in to the police. She was charged with attempted murder, assault, and illegal possession of a gun. She was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and pleaded guilty to “reckless assault with intent to harm”, serving a three-year prison sentence, including treatment in a psychiatric hospital. After her release, she continued to promote the SCUM Manifesto. She died in 1988 of pneumonia in San Francisco.” (Wikipedia)

Ted Kaczynski

“Theodore John Kaczynski (/kəˈzɪnski/; born May 22, 1942), also known as the “Unabomber”, is an American serial killer, domestic terrorist, and self-professed[clarification needed] anarchist.[2] A mathematical prodigy, he abandoned a promising academic career in 1969, then between 1978 and 1995 killed three people, and injured 23 others, in a nationwide bombing campaign targeting people involved with modern technology. In conjunction with this campaign he issued a wide-ranging social critique opposing industrialization and modern technology, and advancing a nature-centered form of anarchism.[3][4][5]

Kaczynski was born and raised in Evergreen Park, Illinois. While growing up in Evergreen Park he was a child prodigy, excelling academically from an early age. Kaczynski was accepted into Harvard University at the age of 16, where he earned an undergraduate degree. He subsequently earned a PhD in mathematics from the University of Michigan. He became an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley in 1967 at age 25. He resigned two years later.[6]

As a Harvard undergraduate, Kaczynski was among twenty-two students who were research subjects in ethically questionable experiments conducted by psychology professor Henry Murray from late 1959 to early 1962.[7][8][9]

In 1971, he moved to a remote cabin without electricity or running water in Lincoln, Montana, where he lived as a recluse while learning survival skills in an attempt to become self-sufficient.[10] Seventeen years after beginning his mail bomb campaign, Kaczynski sent a letter[11] to The New York Times on April 24, 1995 and promised “to desist from terrorism” if the Times or The Washington Post published his manifesto, Industrial Society and Its Future (the “Unabomber Manifesto”), in which he argued that his bombings were extreme but necessary to attract attention to the erosion of human freedom necessitated by modern technologies requiring large-scale organization.

The Unabomber was the target of one of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s costliest investigations. Before Kaczynski’s identity was known, the FBI used the title “UNABOM” (UNiversity & Airline BOMber) to refer to his case, which resulted in the media calling him the Unabomber. The FBI (as well as Attorney General Janet Reno) pushed for the publication of Kaczynski’s “Manifesto”, which led to his sister-in-law, and then his brother, recognizing Kaczynski’s style of writing and beliefs from the manifesto, and tipping off the FBI.[12] Kaczynski tried unsuccessfully to dismiss his court-appointed lawyers because they wanted to plead insanity in order to avoid the death penalty, as Kaczynski did not believe he was insane.[13] When it became clear that his pending trial would entail national television exposure for Kaczynski, the court entered a plea agreement, under which he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole. He has been designated a “domestic terrorist” by the FBI.[14] Some anarcho-primitivist authors, such as John Zerzan and John Moore, have come to his defense, while also holding some reservations about his actions and ideas”

Aleister Crowley

“Aleister Crowley (/ˈkroʊli/; born Edward Alexander Crowley; 12 October 1875 – 1 December 1947) was an English occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist, and mountaineer. He founded the religion of Thelema, identifying himself as the prophet entrusted with guiding humanity into the Æon of Horus in the early 20th century. A prolific writer, he published widely over the course of his life.

Born to a wealthy Plymouth Brethren family in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, Crowley rejected this fundamentalist Christian faith to pursue an interest in Western esotericism. He was educated at the University of Cambridge, where he focused his attentions on mountaineering and poetry, resulting in several publications. Some biographers allege that here he was recruited into a British intelligence agency, further suggesting that he remained a spy throughout his life. In 1898 he joined the esoteric Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, where he was trained in ceremonial magic by Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers and Allan Bennett. Moving to Boleskine House by Loch Ness in Scotland, he went mountaineering in Mexico with Oscar Eckenstein, before studying Hindu and Buddhist practices in India. He married Rose Edith Kelly and in 1904 they honeymooned in Cairo, Egypt, where Crowley claimed to have been contacted by a supernatural entity named Aiwass, who provided him with The Book of the Law, a sacred text that served as the basis for Thelema. Announcing the start of the Æon of Horus, The Book declared that its followers should “Do what thou wilt” and seek to align themselves with their True Will through the practice of magick.

After an unsuccessful attempt to climb Kanchenjunga and a visit to India and China, Crowley returned to Britain, where he attracted attention as a prolific author of poetry, novels, and occult literature. In 1907, he and George Cecil Jones co-founded a Thelemite order, the A∴A∴, through which they propagated the religion. After spending time in Algeria, in 1912 he was initiated into another esoteric order, the German-based Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), rising to become the leader of its British branch, which he reformulated in accordance with his Thelemite beliefs. Through the O.T.O., Thelemite groups were established in Britain, Australia, and North America. Crowley spent the First World War in the United States, where he took up painting and campaigned for the German war effort against Britain, later revealing that he had infiltrated the pro-German movement to assist the British intelligence services. In 1920 he established the Abbey of Thelema, a religious commune in Cefalù, Sicily where he lived with various followers. His libertine lifestyle led to denunciations in the British press, and the Italian government evicted him in 1923. He divided the following two decades between France, Germany, and England, and continued to promote Thelema until his death.

Crowley gained widespread notoriety during his lifetime, being a recreational drug experimenter, bisexual and an individualist social critic. He was denounced in the popular press as “the wickedest man in the world” and a Satanist. Crowley has remained a highly influential figure over Western esotericism and the counter-culture, and continues to be considered a prophet in Thelema. In 2002, a BBC poll ranked him as the seventy-third greatest Briton of all time.” Wikipedia