Department of Weird Weapons: The Gay Bomb

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Edward Hammond, of the University of California’s Sunshine Project, obtained through a FOIA request Pentagon documents that indicated the military had, in 1994, investigated building a “gay bomb.” The bomb would release a strong aphrodisiac that would cause the enemy army to become “irresistibly attracted to one another.” You gotta give the military points for consistency: They clearly believe, World War II notwithstanding, that homosexuals in the ranks make the military ineffective. The proposal also indicates that conservatives are willing to act on their belief, notwithstanding the dismal success rates of the ex-gay movement, that sexual orientation is not at all innate. But the $7.5-million proposal’s creepiness rating is extremely high. Not to mention the implication that being gay or lesbian is the biggest insult an army can bestow on its enemy—that it essentially equals destroying them—is deeply offensive to gays and lesbians, particularly those who’ve served with honor and distinction.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest