There is — this very instant — a feverish international search for the ultimate "dooms-day bug." The purpose? — to wipe out whole nations overnight by disease germs and chemicals. Will man's unrestrained scientific search for more horrifying weapons of mass destruction prove to be his undoing?
WHAT I have seen here at Porton Down has convinced me of the awful potential of modern Chemical and Biological Warfare (called CBW for short). Few realize its frightening possibilities! Sensational news headlines from time to time reveal details of CBW development world-wide. Few tell the full story.
Britain — Especially Vulnerable
Britain's hopes of developing her defensive Chemical-and-Biological-Warfare deterrent are centered in two establishments at Porton Down, Wiltshire. The Director of Britain's Microbiological Research Establishment at Porton Down is Dr. Gordon Smith. He is, of course, quite naturally concerned about Britain's vulnerability in the event of an all-out chemical or biological attack. Dr. Smith pointed out, in an interview with PLAIN TRUTH editors, that Britain's research establishment at Porton serves two functions: "To assess the risk to the British people and Armed Forces of an attack by biological warfare and to devise means of protection against such attacks." According to Dr. Smith, Britain's research facilities at Porton are "probably unmatched in Western Europe." A booklet published by the Microbiological Research Establishment at Porton Down is available to the public. It sums up some of the terrible fears of Britain's Defense Department. Turning a few pages, one reads: "The real danger of Biological Warfare (BW) is its simplicity. Essentially, it would entail the mass production of disease-producing microbes (BW agents) by techniques that are well-known, together with a delivery system which could, for example, be a simple spray device. The cloud of microbes produced would be inhaled during normal breathing, causing disease in the people being attacked. Many nations could equip themselves for BW on a moderate scale without great expense." "Simplicity." "Simple spray device." "Without great expense." No wonder tests made with a harmless chemical in 1957 and 1958 showed that large areas of the British Isles could be completely blanketed with a cloud of chemical agents within a few hours. And not long ago millions of TV viewers were shown a BBC documentary titled A Plague on Your Children. It dealt with Britain's vulnerability to an all-out assault by CBW. But other nations are also spearheading CBW research. The U.S. has at least six centers where work is constantly going on in the development of Chemical and Biological Warfare, at an estimated cost of $1,000,000 per day. Fort Dietrick, Md., is apparently the main U.S. CBW establishment.
History of CBW
Chemical and Biological Warfare is not new to mankind. For thousands of years man has used various CBW agents to overcome his enemies. But... it is only recently that he has seriously considered the idea of using CBW on a grand scale — to erase whole populations! Thousands of years ago man discovered the diabolical use of poison. He learned to use poison to dispose of rulers, dignitaries, or large numbers of his enemies by poisoning their food or water supply. Poisoned arrows were also used in warfare. Millenniums ago man learned that he could throw the corpses of plague-infected humans over the walls of besieged cities which he sought to overthrow — thereby causing terrible plague to ravage the entire city. Early American settlers traded plague-infected blankets to American Indians in times of frontier hostilities. There have been virtually no limits to man's diabolical, inventive genius in the realm of destructive weapons of war.
CBW's Awful Potential
We can see the awful potential of rampant disease organisms by observing what did happen during the Dark Ages. The BLACK DEATH of 1348-50 was the worst natural disaster to befall man in the last 4000 years. This terrible plague swept over all Europe — killing at least one third of the population! In certain areas nearly three fourths of the population was killed by plague! Three fifths of all Britons succumbed to the Black Death — reducing Britain's population from 5.1 million in 1348 to 2.1 million in 1374. Many, believing they would certainly fall victims of the Black Death, gave themselves over to reckless abandon — drunkenness, sexual orgies, violence, crime and general lawlessness. "Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die of plague," they reasoned. But biological warfare is potentially much worse than plague. Colonel Adam Mikovich of Moscow Institute understands the full potential of Biological Warfare. He said: "It is believed today that Biological War would have the greatest effect of all" (Post, Jan. 30, 1965). Proof of man's peril can be seen in what a deadly virus can do to animals. In the 1940's, Australia's exploding rabbit population soared to about 500 million! Damage to the economy was estimated to be £100 million annually. What could be done to prevent the rabbits from overrunning the Australian continent? Myxomatosis, a deadly virus disease among rabbits, was introduced into the rabbit population in 1950, and within only a few months ninety percent of the rabbits had perished from this disease! Myxomatosis was introduced into France in May, 1952, with similar alarming results. By the end of 1953, this deadly disease had spread through much of France, Holland, Germany, Belgium and Switzerland — killing from sixty to ninety percent of the rabbit population of those countries. Rabbits in both Australia and Europe proved to have little immunity against this deadly infection.
An Ounce of Doom!
Many scientists right now are searching for new plagues with which to decimate the human population. And they are diligently seeking deadlier strains of old viruses with which to destroy whole populations. Of course, these scientists justify their CBW research by saying it is done for defensive reasons. Just how lethal are these viruses? Do you grasp the deadly potential? "In theory one gram of chicken embryo tissue inoculated with the Q-fever organism would be sufficient to infect more than one million people" (We All Fall Down, Robin Clarke). It has been estimated that one fourth of an ounce would be sufficient to infect every man, woman and child living in the British Isles! That's about 55 million! Britain is especially vulnerable to chemical or germ warfare. She is thickly crowded and normal weather conditions in Britain are favorable to that type of warfare! Botulinus, which was developed during World War II, is so deadly that it could wipe out all human life in a given area within six hours — yet leaving the target area habitable immediately after the attack. But some diseases would have a more lingering effect. During World War II the British Government's Microbiological Research Establishment at Porton Down conducted an experiment with deadly anthrax — which causes hideous cancer-like growths in human beings and in animals. The experiment was carried out on Gruinard Island, just off the northwest coast of Scotland. The anthrax bacterium killed all the sheep on the island. It is now estimated that it will be a hundred years or more before Gruinard Island will be safe for man or beast to again inhabit! Such is the dangerous stuff with which men are toying! Few realize that far more people have died from pestilence — from sickness and various plagues — through the course of human history, than have died in actual warfare. It has been estimated that over 20,000,000 perished from influenza in just a few months at the close of World War I — and 50 times that number became ill. In the autumn of 1918, over 12,500,000 died in the flu epidemic which swept the undernourished nation of India. And over one-half million died in the United States.
Nations have not been content to develop just biological warfare. The major powers are also diligently developing their arsenals of chemical weapons. Both America and Russia reportedly have impressive stockpiles of chemical weapons — plus the means of delivering them upon unsuspecting enemy targets — without warning! West Germany is definitely known to be developing CBW. What are some of these terrifying chemical weapons which mankind is now developing? Man's present chemical weaponry includes: vomiting gases and lachrymators (tear gases), choking gases, nettle gases, blood gases, vesicants (agents causing blisters), G-agents, nerve gases and incapacitating agents. Man's arsenals of chemical agents can produce sleep, paralysis, blindness, deafness, loss of balance, vomiting, diarrhea, choking, persistent crying or uncontrollable laughter, terrible fear, hallucinations, depression, permanent insanity — or death! And no nation which is developing a CBW potential ever seems content with its present deadly, massive stockpiles of chemical weapons. The nations are obsessed with the diabolical impulse to ever seek out deadlier chemical agents — agents which will kill ever-larger numbers!
Mind-bending Nerve Gases
There were about 800,000 casualties from the use of deadly gases in the First World War (Encyclopedia Britannica). But gases were not used in World War II. This does not mean that they were not manufactured. They were — by both the Axis and Allied powers. The Germans discovered horrible nerve gases in the 1930's, but didn't use them during the Second World War for fear of retaliation. The British nation was well equipped with gas masks throughout World War II. Britain didn't intend to be caught unprepared should the Germans decide to use CBW. Hitler reportedly ordered the use of nerve gases against the Allies when they invaded Normandy — but his generals refused to comply — again apparently out of fear of retaliation! At the close of World War II the Russians captured a German factory where deadly nerve gases had been produced. They dismantled the establishment and transported it to Russia. Both the U.S. and Russia have huge stockpiles of mind-bending nerve gases. Britain developed the terrible V-agent (at Porton Down) which is so lethal that if it so much as touches the skin, death will result. The American version — the VX-agent — is presumably even more deadly. Many remember the public outcry in March, 1967, when the U.S. Dugway Proving Ground in western Utah accidentally killed 6,000 sheep — which were reportedly 30 miles from the Proving Ground where this nerve gas experimentation was being carried out.
Any Defense Against CBW?
There would be little defense against a modern, highly sophisticated chemical and bacteriological assault by a determined aggressor. "No known precautions promise to save more than a few people... no country is really prepared for the horrors of chemical or biological warfare..." (TIME, Sept. 6, 1968). Defenses against CBW include inoculations and vaccinations, gas masks, germ-proof space-type suits, germ-proof shelters, and medical treatment after exposure. But the simple truth is that, all defenses considered, any massive, well-executed attack would prove devastating. When an ordinary plague breaks out in a country, it usually strains all of the facilities of that country to cope with the victims of such natural virus outbreaks. But in the case of a planned CBW attack, masses of the population would all fall sick at the same time, and there would be few qualified personnel left to take care of the large numbers who would automatically succumb to the virus infection. There are many dangers and "unknowns" in launching a chemical or biological war. No one can predict with absolute certainty just what the outcome of an all-out CBW assault against an enemy would be. It could even be that the germs or chemical agents used in the assault would not behave as planned — might even backfire upon the aggressor! Such a massive CBW assault might unleash virulent plagues which would sweep the whole world — rampaging uncontrolled till many of the earth's inhabitants lay dead or dying. This earth might conceivably become one gigantic cemetery — reeking from the stench of rotting flesh!
Destroying the Economy
Another terrifying aspect of CBW is that an enemy nation could destroy the economy of a nation — before actually attacking its civilians. This could be done by first attacking some of the main crops of the intended victim nation. In 1942, 90 percent of India's rice crop was destroyed by a natural strain of rice fungus. And the highest award ever given to a U.S. civilian was awarded to a woman for developing another very deadly type of rice-blast fungus — which could, of course, be used against rice-eating nations like China or North Vietnam. A Russian scientist has reportedly discovered a very deadly wheat rust — a type to which America's wheat would be especially susceptible. Thus, one can see how an enemy could greatly undermine the economy of a nation by first destroying the main crops through bacteriological warfare. As a further example of the effects of this type of warfare, consider the terrible economic effects which the Irish potato famine of the mid-1800's had on Ireland. That particular potato famine was caused by a peculiar potato blight or fungus which completely wiped out Ireland's potato crop! Previous to the famine, Ireland was one of the most densely populated countries in Europe. Yet it was a country stricken with the most unbelievable poverty. "There never was," said the Duke of Wellington, a native of County Meath, "a country in which poverty existed to the extent that exists in Ireland." "Nearly half of the families of the rural population," reported the 1841 census, "are living in houses of the lowest state" — windowless mud cabins of a single room. The plight of the evicted and unemployed was the worst. Some put roofs over ditches, burrowed into road banks, existed in bog-holes or lived under tree roots. The majority of the population had little food at all except the potato. (The diet of one third of the Irish — when crops were good — consisted of potatoes only and water. An even larger fraction of the population, although slightly better off, used potatoes as the staple of their diets) As blight struck, seemingly overnight potatoes "melted" in the ground, turning the entire foliage of the plant black and turning the potato itself into a mass of rottenness. All attempts to contain this scourge failed. People died from starvation, typhus and other fevers. Contemporary accounts are heartrending. They tell of families dying in their cabins, shivering, filthy, half-naked, having sold their bedding and any clothes that would fetch money for food. One observer describes children looking like little old men and women of 80 years of age, wrinkled and bent, unable to utter a sound as they died with an unmeaning, vacant stare in their eyes. An American described how he saw men whose bodies were swollen to twice their normal size at work on the public works. He was shown a boy aged 12 whose body was swollen to three times its normal size. A body of a baby of 2 was swollen to the size of an adult. Other observers report how bodies lay unburied along the sides of roads and in the 'cabins where they had died. The survivors had not the strength to bury the dead. Sometimes cabins contained the dead and dying alongside one another in bed. An Irish priest described how he found a "room full of dead people," a man still living lying in bed with a dead wife and two children, while a starving cat was eating another dead infant. A naval officer described bodies half eaten by rats as an ordinary sight. Two dogs were shot while tearing a body to pieces. "Never in my life," wrote Commander Caffyn, "have I seen such wholesale misery." "Any beast capable of serving as food — horses, dogs, rats — were eaten; there were even accounts of cannibalism by the hunger-maddened." In the five years between 1846 and 1851, it is estimated that about a million and a half persons perished, during the famine, of hunger, diseases brought on by hunger, and fever. During this period about a million persons emigrated. "Nearly the whole of the class of the agricultural laborer was extinguished," says one book. Ireland has never fully recovered from the terrible effects caused by that potato famine! And the cause of all this suffering — potato blight — is still with us. "Every year since 1845, in potato fields throughout the northern hemisphere, the blight fungus has been present, waiting only for the right weather conditions to multiply with fearful rapidity, as again happened, with exceptional severity, in 1958," says Cecil WoodhamSmith in her book, The Great Hunger, page 94. Man-directed fungus and biological virus diseases could produce the results of the Irish potato famine almost overnight. Such sabotage could bring a nation to its knees just as easily as could bombs or bullets. It is conceivable that a plague such as foot-and-mouth disease — which recently spread like wildfire through Britain's cattle, costing about £150,000,000 — could be started deliberately by sabotage. It could prove an absolutely impossible task to trace the aggressor in case of a chemical or biological attack. Germs never carry a "Made in Germany" or "Made in Russia" tag.
CBW — "Humane, even Benign"?
Until very recently, Chemical and Biological Warfare was looked upon as "the worst form of military brutality." Now CBW is being looked upon by some as a "more humane" way of waging war! Dr. Clifford F. Rassweiler — adviser to the Pentagon — was quoted as saying: "[Germ warfare] provides the most effective way known to kill masses of people — they [the germs] do not mangle men's bodies — makes war more humane, even BENIGN" (Post, Jan. 30, 1965). It used to be that wars were fought primarily between armies — with comparatively few civilian casualties, but this is not true of more recent wars. In World War I, only 5 percent of those killed were civilians, but 48 percent of those killed during the Second World War were civilians. Some have reported 84 percent of those killed in the Korean War were civilians; and the percentage for Vietnam may be as high. It is an indisputable fact that modern man's most horrible weapons — whether nuclear, chemical or biological — have been deliberately designed to be used against the civilian population of an enemy country, as well as against strictly military targets. Chemical and Biological Warfare is a cheap means to massive offensive capability for the smaller nations. For this reason biological warfare has been called the "poor man's hydrogen bomb." Twenty-four years have passed since Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And yet only five or six nations are members of the rather exclusive nuclear club! It takes a lot of money, expertise and time to develop thermonuclear weapons. But smaller nations could quite easily develop a potent CBW weapon with which to threaten more powerful neighbors. CBW weapons could thus become a sort of blackmail.
Like Sitting Ducks
Today, about eight tenths of all Britons are huddled into towns and cities; and about 60 percent of U.S. population lives in cities of 5,000 populations or more. More and more, the people of America, Britain, Canada, Australia and South Africa are leaving the broad spaces of the country and are moving into the cities. Long ago, One claiming to be God Almighty ordered His servants to make the following prediction. When ye are gathered together within your CITIES, I will send PESTILENCE [disease epidemics] upon you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of your enemy" (Lev. 26:25). Did this God know? Think of the terrible slum conditions which exist today within most of our big cities. Plagues could easily break out — especially if a CBW attack were made on our big population centers. And... it would be very easy for a well-trained corps of enemy fifth column agents to fan out through our nations and release chemical and/or biological agents which could easily pollute our water supplies, contaminate our food, and befoul the very air we breathe. Overnight, millions of our people could be laid low by any number of lethal viruses or chemical agents. Are the nations of this earth about to bring the plagues mentioned in the Book of Revelation upon themselves by and through the instrumentality of their own diabolical laboratory experiments? (Note chapter 9, verses 3-6) CBW weapons are cheap to manufacture, and are comparatively inexpensive to deliver to enemy targets. A small nation could develop a whole arsenal of CBW agents and deliver them with very little strain on its budget. Will some covetous nation look with greedy eyes upon the property of another nation and decide it would be wiser not to blast into oblivion the target nation — but merely to kill most of the people, then take possession of their country? Remember, one of the "advantages" of CBW is that an aggressor nation can take control of the enemy lands completely intact after an all-out assault.
Science — Man's Pseudo-Messiah!
Today all nations look to SCIENCE as the great Savior of mankind. To them, science is the pseudo-Messiah through which they hope to achieve unlimited material benefits. And to science they look to develop the magic weapons with which to protect themselves. But will the scientists develop the ultimate "super germ"? Will man soon be able to hurl nature itself at his foes? Will the scientists succeed in unleashing the awful plagues of nature — in hitherto unknown virulence — upon humanity? Was the apostle Paul right when he warned that men naturally give themselves over to become "inventors of EVIL things"? (Rom. 1:28) The horrible nuclear, chemical and biological weapons in today's national armories! Was Lord Ritchie-Calder right when he said: "The Doomsday Bug is under wraps!"? We are indeed living in "perilous times" (II Tim. 3:1).
A Ray of Hope?
Robin Clarke sums up today's present peril very well in his book, We All Fall Down. "Where does this leave us today? The situation is perilous. Vast sums of money are being spent on weapons which may prove as devastating in their effects as anything so far invented and which may turn out to be within financial reach of any country wishing to use them. The prospects for international control by inspection schemes and detection apparatus are remote." He then says that if there is a ray of hope — and he admits there is only an "obscure one" — then he says it will be the simple fact that the next war couldn't take place without the cooperation of the scientists. He then urges all scientists to refuse to have anything to do with the development of these horrifyingly destructive weapons. He concludes by saying: "This is the scientist dilemma. But because of HUMAN NATURE I fear they [the scientists] will not grasp the opportunities for peace that are within their reach... If they choose to usher in the realm of biological warfare they must, this time, take the responsibility for it." Scientists must bear their full share of responsibility for their part in developing more deadly and virulent microbes which could unleash horrifying disease epidemics upon this world. But where does this leave us? Will scientists cease their horrifying work? Hardly. It leaves us precisely where the world's most noted newscaster — Jesus Christ — said it would leave us! Speaking of our very day, he warned: "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved [alive]: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened" (Matt. 24:21, 22). But how?
The Only Solution
Make no mistake about it — man does not have the solution to his ever-accelerating arms-race problem. But God does! We can be very thankful that the God of the universe is about to put an end to man's hellish insanity toward his fellowman. His government will "rebuke strong nations afar off: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they LEARN WAR any more" (Micah 4:3). Mercifully, God Almighty will not let man destroy himself! If God didn't keep His hand firmly on the controls, man would annihilate himself. We can rejoice that total disarmament is very near. The day is soon coming when the nations will close down all of their chemical and biological establishments — and their munitions factories! Then all of man's scientific efforts will be directed toward construction — not Destruction. Toward saving lives — not destroying them! If you would like to know how total disarmament and world peace will come about — then read our free, illustrated book: The Wonderful World Tomorrow - What It Will Be Like. You have never read anything like it.