The bomb that dare not speak its name

The Sunshine Project is an activist group that studies the US government’s research into chemical and biological weapons. They file lots of Freedom of Information requests, and one of their latest ones discovered something quite hilarious. Apparently, in 1994, the military considered a proposal to research a “gay bomb” that would make enemy soldiers “sexually irresistible” to each other. As the BBC notes:

The plan for a so-called “love bomb” envisaged an aphrodisiac chemical that would provoke widespread homosexual behaviour among troops, causing what the military called a “distasteful but completely non-lethal” blow to morale.

The military claims this proposal was immediately rejected, but the Sunshine Project says that it was still being pondered as late as 2001. I can’t figure out who to believe. On the one hand, the idea is so laughable it would seem impossible anyone would take it seriously; then again, the military is so massively deranged about homosexuality that I can almost believe it.

(Thanks to Noah for this one!)

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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