All right. Now, radiation is a 1957-type problem, and it is here with magnitude. I don’t say that we have a magnitude of radiative particles around, so much as the problem itself has great magnitude, in that to realize that men could be so suicidal or so foolish they could go on playing with a weapon which is not a weapon and which is not useful in war. And they still go on playing with it. To realize that men can get into that condition is to realize that they go further south and still walk than we realize.
Do you know that no police force in the world would arm itself, by the way — no police force would arm itself — with fifty-caliber machine guns. You realize that? No civic police force. You could make them a present of fifty-caliber machine guns, and they would do nothing with them. A fifty-caliber machine gun fires a slug, you see, as big as my thumbnail. It is a huge slug with an enormous charge of powder. And the guns are big and they’re unwieldy, and they are not good antipersonnel weapons. See? They’re not good weapons; they just aren’t functional.
And if you can imagine that the weapon a cop would have as he walked down the street would be a fifty-caliber machine gun (which is easily picked up by two men!) strapped on to his side, you’ll get the reason why. But the main reason is not its portability, but the fact that the thing is not a good antipersonnel weapon and is not useful on citizens. It’s too big a weapon to use on citizens. It would not keep citizens in line. It would actually inhibit law enforcement to such a degree that no law enforcement could take place. Nobody ever dared use a fifty-caliber machine gun in a city street. You see? It’s just not something that you could set up and fire after a speeder. You know, the way they pull out their popguns and shoot at a speeder. You know? They do that — and kill innocent bystanders. But they still do that.
But they know that a weapon can be so large as to be useless. This is a principle which is well known. It has been with man since way before catapults. Even in the days of the broadsword and so forth, why, a gentleman wanted to be armed. And he was going to carry one of these two-handed, armor-piercing broadswords, you know, that was half as tall as his horse, you know? A great big, doggone thing — try to wield one in a drawing room. It just doesn’t work, see? You get it tangled in the draperies and so forth. And so we had to have a short weapon in company with it. And after a while, shorter and smaller and more agile weapons entirely took its place. It isn’t even around anymore. It was an awful lot of weapon. On a battlefield, against an armored knight, in the hands of a strong man, a broadsword had some use. It would cut through a casque and a helm and a skull and a breastplate as far as that’s concerned — clank! But as I say, it just didn’t work as, for instance, a weapon for the Praetorian Guard or a weapon for the Queen’s Own, or something of the sort. Just what would they be doing with that? I suppose they could lock broadswords point-to-hilt, or something like that, and press back the populace — if their arms didn’t drop off trying to hold it up that long. But it’d be an extreme and stupid use.
And here they’ve developed a weapon which is too much weapon, which is not useful either in keeping the peace or in waging war. And why they want to test it, I wouldn’t know. I am not an unqualified authority on this subject, I assure you. I’ve studied war, and it’s something that you just wouldn’t use. What would you use it for? You mean you’re going to set up the whole area so your troops can’t penetrate it? You mean you’re going to pollute the atmosphere to such a degree that your own people are going to be knocked off if you ever dared wage war? Well, why is anybody testing it?
Now, that’s merely a comment on sanity for only this reason (I’m not giving you a propaganda series because everything I’m saying to you, you undoubtedly have more or less added up yourselves, watching this program): People become obsessed with these particles. Got it? They become obsessed with the particles, and they lose the idea of terminals.1
- Hubbard, L. R. (1957, 31 January). Auditing Techniques: Solids. Sixteenth American Advanced Clinical Course, (5701C31). Lecture conducted from Washington, D.C. ↩