Riot Control Agents-Biochemical Warfare

Introductory Text:

On 23 October 2002, a group of 50 Chechen autonomists occupied Dubrovka Theater, in Moscow. Three days later Russian Special Forces stormed in and reoccupied the building. Prior to the intervention, a dispersion of a gas took place and as a result of that all the terrorists were killed along with 120 hostages. In January 2003 some of the hostages that lived through the event, took legal action against the authorities, since they were experiencing problems of neurological nature. The Russian Health Minister had stated that the gas used was a fentanyl derivative, an opioid having a similar chemical composition with Morphine. In 2004 during a second terrorist attack in Beslan, Russians proved that they “had done their Homework”. Before the intervention, hostages had acquired naloxone (an antidote of fentanyl). The use of sedative compounds was applauded by NATO, thus welcoming the response of Russian Special Forces, as the beginning of an application of a new kind of warfare. What does the New World Order dictate? By what means will it be applicable and to what extent are citizens of modern Western Societies threatened by its in vivo applications?


Non Lethal Chemical Weapons: Biochemical Warfare ad portas

Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus, a writer and historian, commented on war: “Let him who desires peace prepare for war”.  Biochemical weapons, according to the American army, protect peace and they stand a good chance of comprising the point of the spear in terms of a so called “surgical war”, that would mean a war in which state of the art weapon systems are used, in order for losses of human lives to be minimized.

Based on the above, it can be deducted, that Biochemical weapons were not constructed to harm humans, although this may be inevitable to some extent. Their research and development has been going on for years with the prospect of the weapons themselves appearing as integrals in Future combats or as means of restoring order in cases of riots. There is no international treaty that forbids the use of sedatives in order for order to be restored. Thus, under these circumstances, one may consider the possibility of the existence of future societies where violent clashes between protestors and police forces will be totally absent. There will be no prolonged negotiations with terrorists, as the possibility of the use of such substances will have eliminated all other means of order restoration, which are widely known and used extensively nowadays.

What would happen, though, if these weapons were to fall in the hands of terrorists themselves, or in the hands of dictators, who would be willing to use any means possible in order to control the citizens of their countries? Moreover, what would be the worst case scenario, if these weapons were to be used in future wars? The treaty of non-proliferation of chemical weapons strictly forbids the use of chemical substances in warfare, this being a sign of a moral evolution, since World War I, where mustard gas was used extensively. However justified this may sound, still it did not hinder Donald Rumsfeld stating, before the initiation of operation Iraqi Freedom, that the use of non lethal chemical weapons during the operation, was indeed a possibility.  “It is a shame” he said, “human lives to be in jeopardy, just because the treaty of non proliferation of chemical weapons does not allow the use of these substances in real war situations”.

To what extent the use of sedatives, a technique apparently being used since Beslan and Dubrovka, as a means of restoring peace, is by itself safe? What is the impact on a population level? What are these criteria that discriminate a mere riot from an extensive war? At the end of the day, where does ethics stop and where does mind control begin?

The Cold War Background

The idea of creation of a new war doctrine, according to which, the ultimate goal would not be the deduction of human lives, but the temporary incapacitation of the opponent, through the use of non lethal chemical substances, was conceived right after the end of World War I. The first report, in which a reference of the scheme is visible, was written in 1949 by the army’s (USA) chemical corps. In this report there were suggestions for the use of LSD, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) along with the use of phenylethylamines. Up to 1955 the above substances were studied extensively along with 45 homologous, one of which was Mescaline (22 of these were tested on animals). Approximately 10,000 substances were tested every year, at Edgewood Arsenal, which was the main area, where these studies were carried out in depth. These compounds were usually taken from the area of industry and they were indeed studied to a great depth, for many years.

The compounds that prevailed and in the end won this game of impressions were LSD and BZ factor. It was found, that they could provoke natural weakness, delirium and illusions, when they were used in minimum doses. The operational problems, though, involved were of huge impact. Especially BZ, when it was used, after its dispersion, it created a white cloud. As one can understand, this is not ideal in a real battle situation, as the enemy will be in a position to understand the existence of these substances, thus he will maneuver to avoid them. Additionally, BZ was too slow and when it finally acted on the victim, it was responsible for very intense side effects such as manic syndromes, even paranoia. Furthermore, LSD was very expensive, plus the fact that its side effects were not less severe than those caused by BZ. As a result of the reasons mentioned above, both substances had to be abandoned.

After the first failed attempts, the army decided that it would be more prudent if known pharmaceutical companies were engaged in the research program. Big Pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer, Glaxo, Jannsen etc. were already involved in the research and development of psychotropic drugs, which were used as a cure for known mental disorders. That seemed like a sound plan back then, thus until the late ‘60s the substances that were chosen to be studied, as part of the army’s research program, were anesthetics, analgesics, opioids, anticholinergic drugs, substances that could provoke reversible amnesia along with chosen emetics etc. It was then, when for the first time the use of these compounds was suggested as a means of restoring peace and internal security. Along with the substances mentioned, additional substances like morphine analogues were tested, specifically a piperidinole (EA 3382) and a Benzomorphane.

Until the early ‘70s, researchers had already digested the fact that the tested compounds were, on one hand, ideal for the construction of biochemical weapons, on the other hand, though, the scientists lacked additional knowledge, which involved mainly molecular targeting, an area which was evolved later on through the evolution of biomolecular sciences. That was the reason, along with others, why the research was not carried out with the same interest as before. Additionally, during that time, negotiations were being carried out between USA and ex USSR for the enactment of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Between 1956 and 1975 over 6,720 soldiers and 1,000 citizens were used as specimens, in order for the impact of sedatives to be examined. Overall, during that period, 254 psychochemical factors were tested in more than 2,000 clinical trials.

During fiscal years 1978-1986, the tests were carried out as planned, even though there was a loss in interest, as it was mentioned. The evolution of the various health sectors definitely was a very important step towards understanding the mode of action of compounds like benzodiazepines (Valium).  During the ‘80s, a large emphasis was given to opioids and especially to fentanyl, which up to date, is considered as the best candidate for the construction of Biochemical weapons. Fentanyl had already been discovered from late ‘50s, when it was being used as a clinical anesthetic. The reason why fentanyl was not given the appropriate attention from the start, was because other candidates were being tested, which were considered more powerful and safer to handle. Finally, the evolution of neurosciences, which took place mainly during the ‘90s, boosted the research associated with biochemical weapons. During that time, scientists were in the position both to understand the mode of action of psychotropics and interfere with the molecular structure of fentanyl, in order to modify it and target the nerve centers more efficiently.  It has to be pointed out, that the difficulties the scientists came across during the cold war era, had to do both with the chemical composition of fentanyl and its selectivity, as well as with the creation of specific weapon systems that would be able to deliver fentanyl.


Before we analyze the mode of action of the sedatives associated with the biochemical weapons, pivotal notions have to be taken into consideration, such as molecular pathways, Central Nervous System (CNS) and associated pathogenesis. Genes are sequences of DNA, responsible for protein coding. Proteins are macromolecular structures with certain functions such as catalysis, vision, structure, molecular communication, motion etc. Neurotransmitters are chemical substances responsible for the transmission of nerve impulses, the last being the stimuli, which begin from the peripheral nerves and end up to the CNS or vice versa. The transmition of a nerve impulse occurs with the transformation of chemical energy into electrical or vice versa. A synaptic cleft is created when two neurons attach, that would mean between the axis of one and the dendrites of the neighboring one. The signal is transmitted from the presynaptic neuron to the postsynaptic one. The time that a neurotransmitter spends in the synaptic cleft, is of extreme importance, as known disorders associated with the CNS can arise as a result of degradation upon secretion or reabsorption by the presynaptic neuron.

One of the major neurotransmitters is Serotonin (5-Hydroxytryptamin or 5-HT). Serotonin is a monoamine neurotransmitter, which is secreted by the so called serotonergic neurons. In the CNS (Brain, Spinal Cord), Serotonin plays a crucial role in controlling anger, hostility, body temperature, mood, sleep, sexuality, appetite etc. On the serotonergic neurons protein formations are conspicuous and these contribute toward molecular communication. One of them is 5-ΗΤ2Α. It has been shown that mutations on this protein, are associated with suicidal tendencies in patients prone to these sentimental abnormalities (bearing an already problematic genotype). Antidepressants, which are usually used in collaboration with opioids, target the Serotonin Receptors, which consequently inhibit the reabsorption of Serotonin by the presynaptic neurons. As it was said before, it is very important Serotonin to remain in the synaptic space as long as possible. The use of substances like cocaine, amphetamines and LSD cause the breakdown of Serotonin and provoke the adverse effects associated with the psychotic disorders mentioned above.

Dopamine is another essential neurotransmitter, which controls basic cognitive and non cognitive processes in the CNS. Dopamine is a phenylethylamine, which activates five types of receptors (D1-D5). Besides being a neurotransmitter, it is also a hormone (substance that is produced and secreted in scarce quantities inside blood circulation by an endocrine gland or by a specialized neuron and controls the growth or function of a specialized organ or tissue, which can be located in a remote part of the body). The use of Dopamine is associated with learning, anger, anticipation, sleep, motivation, reward and so on. The balance between Dopamine and Serotonin in the synaptic cleft can regulate molecular mechanisms associated with higher conscience, thus the collaboration of both the genome and the proteome along with environmental factors can determine a regular function or pathogenesis. Subjects that were experiencing stress were found to be “flooded” with dopamine, whereas subjects that were relaxed and serene were observed to have higher concentrations of Serotonin vs Dopamine. The Dopamine/Serotonin ratio can explain why smokers prefer to smoke, while having a cup of coffee or why people that smoke cannabis have a higher brain activity and consequent depressive phenomena.

Neurotransmitters like Dopamine, Serotonin and even acetylcholine act at the brain’s limbic system. This area includes sub territories like hippocampus, amygdala, hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. In hippocampus long term memories are stored, whereas in amygdale, sentiments like fear and reward are being created (along with sexual attraction). Hypothalamus regulates the CNS through production and secretion of hormones. In that way arterial pressure is regulated along with cardiac pulse, hunger, thirst, arousal of sexual interests etc. All the homeostatic processes including blood pH stabilization, temperature control, Carbon dioxide concentration in the blood and so on are controlled by the pituitary gland. Any disruption in the homeostatic balance may result in pathogenesis including schizophrenia, manic depression, paranoia, various permanent stress syndromes like the Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (Syndrome of Bosnian refugees), which arise by the change of Serotonin Concentration in the synaptic cleft.

Since the mechanisms underlying most molecular pathways have been mentioned and analyzed to some extent, along with the pathogenesis that can arise by the depletion of certain neurotransmitters, the mode of action of Biochemical weapons can be better understood.


Biochemical Weapons: Mode of Action and Interaction with Molecular Structures

The same pharmacological compounds, that are widely used for treatment of psychopathological disorders, are used for the construction of Biochemical Weapons. At this point, though, one should wonder, what traits should the ideal Biochemical Weapon have? Definitely, it must not deduct human lives, for various reasons, including the treaties that protect human lives in a hypothetical warfare scenario. Thus, the ideal Biochemical Weapon, which will be used or has already been used by the police forces or the army, should have the traits listed below:

  • It must be easy to administrate
  • It must have a prompt manifestation
  • Its action must be short-timed
  • The symptoms must be analogous for subjects which share the same age and body weight
  • The symptoms must be reversible. This can be achieved either by speeding up the metabolism of the victim or by the administration of an agonist which will cancel out these symptoms
  • It must not have prolonged toxicity for the victim
  • The side effects must be short-timed

From the above, it is understood how difficult and dangerous it is to construct a Biochemical Weapon. These weapons target centers of the limbic system with an ultimate goal of provoking: Dizziness, loss of orientation, general relaxation, panic attacks etc. Therefore the substances involved must be: soothing-hypnotic, anesthetic, opioids, analgesics, antipsychotics, antidepressants along with other homologous byproducts.  The chemical compounds that were finally used were: opioids, benzodiazepines, A2 adrenergic agonists and selective neuroleptic anesthetics.

In terms of opioids, Jannsen’s fentanyl, along with its byproduct, carfentanyl, was considered to be as an ideal candidate (since the Cold War researches). The basic advantage of these two opioids, was the ability to use an agonist, naloxone for example. Additionally, researches had shown that the desirable soothing effects were accomplished when the agonists were bound to receptor types μ1 , whereas the side effects were caused when the agonists were bound to μ2 receptors. If there was a possibility of selective binding, through use of molecular targeting techniques, then the ideal chemical weapon would be ready for dispersion.

Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Lexotanil etc.) act through the GABAA receptors, causing sedation, but at the same time, they can cause the same symptoms with fentanyl, for example cardiopulmonary failure. In that case, the use of an antagonist like flumanzenil can revert the side effects. Similarly with the case of opioids, benzodiazepines interact differently with different types of GABAA receptors, these being expressed at different parts of the brain, thus allowing the production of benzodiazepines which would act selectively, in order for the negative side effects associated with cardiopulmonary arrest, to be omitted.

Alpha2 adrenergic agonists, which had been rejected during Cold War, were reexamined. Dexmedetomidine (Precedex) causes the same sedative symptoms when bound to Alpha2A adrenergic subgroups, whereas it causes low blood pressure when bound to Alpha1 . Additionally, the selective antagonist of dexmedetomidine, fluparoxane, allows the immediate reverse of the drug’s effect and it enhances the “safe image” that Alpha2 adrenergic agonists project, as “safe” sedatives.

From the family of neuroleptic anesthetics, Propofole is presented as an example of a chemical compound, which can provoke rapid anesthesia, through the inhibition of nerve impulses in GABA receptors. Propofole does not require an antidote, as it can be excreted metabolically. Droperidole, another neuroleptic anesthetic, was tested in combination with fentanyl, in order for a neuroleptic condition to be achieved, characterized by serenity and soothingness along with a feeling of thought detachment and indifference. Additional tests were performed with dopamine agonists; however these were unsuccessful as the role of dopamine receptors remains to a great extent unknown.

Serotonin Specific Receptor inhibitors were tested in depth. Such compounds can be found in known antidepressant pills such as Zoloft (Pfizer) and Prozac. It is known, that they can cause drowsiness and they can reduce aggressiveness. The cholecystokinin receptors in the brain, may as well participate in stress regulation (CCKA/B). Agonists that may bind to these receptors can cause symptoms varying from mild stress to panic attacks. This is a reverse example of what normally happens, as CCK agonists provoke panic attacks, whereas the antagonists reverse the symptoms (in the case of fentanyl it goes the other way around). Additional factors that were studied included the Peptide P, noaradrenaline, muscarinic receptors and acetylcholine. All these agonists and antagonists affect profoundly the limbic system, thus in order for reversibility to be accomplished, extreme importance must be given to the initial dosage. It must also be emphasized that the genetic makeup of an organism determines the crucial point of reversibility and that would mean that the boundaries of a human brain can vary, even between people that share the same age, sex and body weight.

Summarizing the impact of Biochemical weapons, we can see that: Agonists act, whereas antagonists inhibit the action of agonists. Thus, the administration of an agonist sometimes requires the subsequent action of the antagonist, so that losses are minimized. The desired outcome of the use of a Biochemical Weapon is knocking out the opponent, as promptly as possible and with the minimum side effects. The problem up to now is the dosage. A low dosage may not bring about the desired effects, whereas a higher dosage can induce death. In Dubrovka hostage crisis the death rate was about 10-20 %, very high indeed, especially for weapons, which are considered as “non lethal”. The media which are used for their dispersion, may be responsible for such a high death toll, therefore the media that are going to be used in the future may change once and for all our perception of warfare.

Biochemical Weapons and Dispersion Media

Determining the substance that will be used as a biochemical weapon is one thing, but building a dispersion medium is another. Thus, in terms of creating specialized weapons systems, which would be able to deliver the chemical compounds, the American army designed ARCAD (Advanced Riot Control Agent Device). It consists of a system comprising weapon and biochemical compound. The weapon is carried on the shoulder and it launches grenades, which are filled with the compound. ARCAD was supposed to disperse fentanyl along with the antidote, so that losses would be minimal. This idea was regarded as a pioneer, even for the excelled models of the ‘90s and soon ARCAD was granted a budget of 10.2 million dollars. The project, though, was soon abandoned, as negotiations for the Chemical Weapons Convention were under way.

Generally, the weapon systems, which have been suggested so far include mortars (with a range of 2.5 km), projectiles with a range of up to 28 km, grenades, smoke bombs and aerosol devices. In Dubrovka, fentanyl was dispersed as an aerosol, however, as it was mentioned, due to the high lethal rate, other means were considered for future dispersion. In terms of projectiles, the idea of encysted paintballs was thought to be an attractive one. Such fragile projectiles, which are shot by air compressed launchers, are already in use by the police forces. Other projectile systems include FN303, FN Herstal and RAP (Range Airfoil Projectile), system that shoots bullets and creates fog with a range of up to 50 m.

The necessity associated with Biochemical Weapons dispersion over large surface areas, have shifted researches from projectiles to specialized dispersion systems. The goal was the immediate disperse of the chemical factors over large areas, providing the capability of administration in populations or the consequent formation of a protective barrier.  Primex Aerospace (part of General Dynamics), took this chance of manufacturing a dispersion device consisting of a liquid canister, made of plastic, with an integrated system of smoke production. In plain terms, this is a mortar which can disperse its liquid content and can be found either in solid, liquid, aerosol or dust form, having a range of up to 2.5 km. One of the models was designed bearing a parachute, which was meant to open when located at a specific distance over the target.

A new weapon system, which is still in an experimental stage, is the OICW (Objective Individual Combat Weapon). The XM25, which is part of OICW, operates similarly to an airgun. Its bullets open up, before they reach the target, dispersing their content. The ultimate goal is the production of ammunition, which will have a range of up to 1 km. XM1063 was constructed, parallel with OICW and it was modified in the end, to bare the content in a liquid form. Additional systems that are being developed, “as we speak”, include specialized grenades and flashbombs.

UAVs (Unmanned Air Vehicles), are regarded as the top weapon systems that can accomplish dispersion over large surfaces. The U.S Defence Department invested more than 3 billion dollars in UAVs during the ‘90s and it was planning to raise this investment to 16 billion dollars in 2000. The research institute SwRI, created a special system, controlled by computer, so that it can bear chemical warheads, the content of which was supposed to be dispersed via liquid spraying in low altitudes.

The bottom line of all these researches was that any weapon system would initially require the encysting of Chemical Warheads. This necessity arises because the release of the encysted compounds should be highly controlled. Moreover, encysting secures the separation of the compound from its antidote. Secondary mechanisms of dispersion, as proposed by researchers from the University of Hampshire, include mechanical rupture, thermal release and hydrolyzed capsules. All these options were successful (both primary and secondary) provided that the compounds were encysted.

Gay Bomb: “Make Love not War”

In 1994 USAF, was seeking funds from the pentagon, in order to start a new project of a bomb, which would influence the sexuality of enemy troops. Their plan was to use aphrodisiac chemicals to provoke a homosexual outbreak “behind enemy lines”. Provided that this scenario worked out, enemy soldiers would be too busy with each other to concentrate on the art of war. Since USAF requested about 7.5 million dollars, this recipe should include something more than mere aphrodisiacs. The scheme was a pioneer one and even though, seemingly at least, it was abandoned, Media keep on discussing about it even nowadays.

Possibly the dates play a crucial role in the case of “Gay Bomb” weapons. Strangely enough the project was suggested one year after Bill Clinton decided to offer the opportunity of national service to homosexuals, provided that they would keep their sexual preferences for themselves. This policy of “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” had stressed pentagon officials to that extent as to decide to “go witchhunting” during a critical period of lack of human resources for the American army. Be that as it may, we still do not know if the “gay bomb” is constructed, or if it has already been used. Internet users, commenting on the project stated that this vial that produces gay hormones and is supposed to remain open on the battlefield would cause less trouble in the army, if homosexuality was accepted in the armed forces.

Bioethics and international treaties

The Chemical Weapons Convention or treaty of non proliferation of Chemical Weapons, was signed in 1993 and applied in 1997. Its enactment was considered necessary, due to the continuous research and development in the area of Chemical Weapons. Biochemical Weapons are ruled by two treaties: The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC).  No treaty, though, can ban them completely, as Biochemical Weapons operate in the so called “grey zones”, by being non-lethal agents. This “complication” came up, because the United States renamed Biochemical Weapons into Advanced Riot Control Agents, just before CWC was signed. Up to date, there were reviews of the CWC, the changes, though, that have been made are considered of minor impact. Thus the use of Biochemical Weapons in case of Riots is permitted.

The first review conference took place in Hague in May 2003. According to the “reviewed” treaty, state members

  • Should get rid of any stockpiles of chemical weapons, especially those that are of an old technology e.g. mustard gas
  • Should accept and respect the decisions of the treaty, according to which: any research or production of Chemical Weapons is strictly forbidden along with any stockpiling attempts. Generally, the use of any Chemical Weapons is forbidden in military operations.
  • Should investigate the research on Chemical Weapons Technology, with an ultimate goal to intervene, stop any researches being carried out and destroy the stockpiles left.
  • The Treaty Does not ban the trade of Chemicals between the state members
  • State members should invigilate both countries that participate in the treaty and countries that do not, so that the idea of chemical disarmament can be conducted internationally.

The committee invested a lot of time and efforts in the above outcomes, however it failed to touch the “loophole” in which Biochemical Weapons lie, since it failed to demand a solid definition for these compounds, from the states that intend to use them. In that way, the outcomes themselves are not as strict as they should have been and the existing “grey zones” are legally expanded. During the second review conference, which took place in 2008, considerable efforts were made, especially by Switzerland, to look at the matter more thoroughly. The committee indeed emphasized the need for Advanced Riot Control Agents to be redefined until 2013, however the matter lost its initial gravity as the conversations were concluded. It seems that the United States and Russia are unwilling to drop their research on these types of weapons, as matters of national security that have been raised during the past (Dubrovka crisis), have made the use of such weapons a growing necessity.

Malcolm Dando, professor at the University of Bradford’s Department of Peace Studies, is a hot supporter (amongst others) of CWC. Unfortunately, though, both Dando and the other distinguished scientist trying to inhibit the research and development of Biochemical Weapons, seem to be “the voices of the ones crying in the wilderness”.  Major Ernest Harper, US Marine Corps, comments on CWC: “ Article I(5) of the treaty, even though it seems simple and clear, is in fact written in such as a way as to create additional questions regarding the fields of application of CWC”.  Moreover he explains that: “ When the United States entered the treaty, they had already renamed these compounds into Advanced Riot Control Agents”. Using the same attitude, David Fidler points out: “The moral virtues that lie behind warfare, have remained unaltered throughout eons. Therefore, always accordingly to international laws, there is absolutely no point in discriminating between lethal and non lethal factors, as international principles must be applicable in any case of weapon (lethal or not)…”. The truth is that the CWC allows the use of such weapons only in the case of a Riot outbreak (a rule which seems to fit perfectly both USA’s and Russia’s purposes). Given the flexibility, though, of the case, in the future, one may not be in this position as to discriminate between mere riots, riot outbreaks and real war scenarios. Under these circumstances, such a matter would be impossible to define even for top war theorists such as Carl Von Clauzewitz himself.

The factor bioethics slips into the notion of Biochemical weapons, considering the negative impact that these compounds may have at a cognitive level. Their whole mode of action is based on causing soothingness symptoms on one hand or overstimulation of the CNS on the other. All the compounds can be used both in Riots and warfare situations along with the distribution of their antidotes.

It seems that there is a rudimentary bioethical background, which is there of course to keep some formalities. If it was substantial, then the CWC would be in a position to restrain the state members mentioned from researching on sedatives for warfare purposes. The matter is so serious, that anytime, any terrorist organization may be in a position to lay hands on these weapons, causing havoc. We have already lived the threat of a “nuclear umbrella”, there is absolutely no reason to experience a Biochemical one as well. Professor Mathhew Meselson, University of Harvard, states: “…While progress is being carried out and the capabilities of basic biological processes are being modified, soon we will be in a position to annihilate life itself and at the same time manipulate it in terms of learning, growth, reproduction and inheritance. A World in which all these capabilities could be applied for hostile purposes, would be a world in which the doctrine of conflict will be changed. Thus a word like this, would provide opportunities for violence, manipulation, repression or even enslavement…” . In the hypothetical scenario, where sedatives would be applied in populations, the symptoms would vary depending on height, weight, sex, age, body weight etc. It can be perfectly understood that in that case, not all people would have the same body shape, thus symptoms could include:

  • Sleepiness, drowsiness, feeling of fatigue, dizziness, nausea, vomiting
  • Potential oversecretion of stimulants of the CNS (dopamine, acetylcholine etc.), as a result of exposure to an overdose of SSRIs. That would occur due to a “homeostatic alarm mechanism”, which would react to the upcoming change of concentration of neurotransmitters, by a possible oversecretion of the compounds mentioned.
  • Possible cardiopulmonary failure even after administration of an antidote
  • Long Term retardation of cognitive processes
  • Indifference, apathy, emotional stagnation, sleep disorders, mood swings
  • Reduction of sexual activity (loss of sexual interest, premature ejaculation, failure of erection)
  • Addictions of any kinds
  • Metabolic abnormalities
  • Tumor formations

If CCK agonists are used then one can have the additional symptoms of: Panic attacks, phobic syndromes, elevated stress levels, recycled thoughts, possible appearance of schizophrenia to subjects that are genetically predisposed towards it (and even if they are not predisposed no one can guarantee that future generations will not be affected genetically).




Evolutionary Stress at a genetic level: Ultimate Goal (?)

Today’s western societies are comprised by people who suffer greatly from psychological disorders. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older suffer from some form of a diagnosable mental disorder in any given year. This translates into more than 50 million people dealing with a mental illness during 2008 alone. New syndromes like Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSS, Syndrome of Bosnian Refugees, appears after exposure of the subject to severe stress), which came up quite recently, trouble researchers and doctors all over the world. The question is: Why such an outbreak in western societies?

In a hypothetical scenario, where sedatives would be used amongst a population, Biochemical Weapons would act catalytically towards the formation of characters, which would have minimum levels of reaction. Such situations are not conspiracy theories, but real case scenarios that keep building up in modern societies. Indeed, people remain indifferent in front of changes that tend to shape a new world order. They are unable to react to these changes that literally “surround” the societies day by day, since quality is sacrificed and contemporary living has become a life model. With the public opinion convinced that Biochemical Weapons can only be applied in Riots, researches on the compounds and on delivery systems are being carried out “under the nose” of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Finally, the fact that we should be mostly worried about, is the pressure applied by the compounds at a genomic level. This fact makes the use of Biochemical Weapons both unethical and dangerous. It is rational to be assumed, that compounds capable of provoking a “cognitive earthquake”, may have an impact in future generations, since their action may be highly contributive towards the so called multifactorial disorders (disorders that stand at the brink of the genome and the environment e.g. manic depression, alcoholism, addiction to drugs, schizophrenia etc.). Moreover, recent researches have shown that some subjects are already immune to SSRIs like sertraline. This appears as a result of homeostatic action and it was expected to some extent. Maybe our genes have reached a stage, where they “choose” whether to suffer from depression or not. If that is the case indeed, then maybe the human race has reached another stage of evolution, something that has been discussed over and over in the past and in summits like the one that took place in Stanford in 2007. In this summit the notion of singularity (event horizon beyond which no predictions can be made for the evolution of human race) was discussed. Basically, beyond Singularity’s event horizon there is the possibility of co existence and co dominance of an evolved Human Race with Artificial Intelligence. The subjects that were pointed out were on the whole scientific and this was something that discriminated an academic summit from a science fiction conference. Be that as it may and under these circumstances, it is very possible in the future to come across speeches like the ones given in the Hollywood movie X-men, where Magneto, while talking in front of a group of mutants stated: “They wish to cure us, but I say, that we are the cure!”.

(1)    Pearson G.S. et al: Strengthening the Chemical Weapons Convention First CWC Review Conference Paper No 4, The Danger to the Chemical Weapons Convention from Incapacitating Chemicals: March 2003

(2)    Wheelis M: “Nonlethal” Chemical Weapons: A Faustian Bargain, Issues in Science and Technology (March 2003)

(3)    Dando M.: Scientific and technological change and the future of the CWC: the problem of non-lethal weapons

(4)    Davison N.: “Off the Rocker” and “On the floor”: The Continued Development of Biochemical Incapacitating Weapons, Bradford Science and Technology Report No8 (2007)

(5)    Federation of American Scientists Working Group on Biological Weapons: “Chemical Incapacitating Weapons Are Not Non Lethal”

(6)    Simpson M, “Armed And Amorous”, The Guardian (2007)

(7)    US Military Pondered Love Not War: The BBC News (2005)

(8)    Θέματα και ορισμοί από την Wikipedia





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