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Pentagon Pranks  A spokesperson for the Department of Defense has confirmed a report that Air Force officials wanted to develop a gay conversion chemical weapon in 1994. The proposal, part of a plan from Wright Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, was to develop “chemicals that effect [sic]human behavior so that discipline and morale in enemy units is adversely effected [sic]. One distasteful but completely non-lethal example would be strong aphrodisiacs, especially if the chemical also caused homosexual behavior.” The serious lessons one could draw from this project—the military’s pathological obsession with homosexuality; its fascination with fringe technologies redolent of the occult (“magic potions” of various kinds); its willingness to flirt with violating the Geneva Convention—are all there. Still, it sounds more like a fraternity prank than a serious contribution to psychological warfare. Indeed one can only imagine, had the military succeeded in concocting this stuff, that sooner or later some hotdog would have gotten hold of a canisterful and released it in his barracks. Eventually, it would have found its way into the general public, and practical jokers would have released it in buses and elevators just for the fun of seeing straight men come on to each other, and we could all have sat back and watched society as we know it come apart at the seams. Oh, well.

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