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Chemical dancefare: The '80s had poppers, new millennium has ricin

by Jeremy Hooper

Picture 5-177Oh, the joys of gay bars. You have your watered down drinks. You have your grizzled-but-hanging-in drag queens. You have your deafening diva music. You have your ricin poisoning.

Wait, what? Ricin poisoning? Uhm...

Eleven gay bars in Seattle received letters today addressed to the "Owner/Manager" from someone claiming to be in the possession of ricin, a deadly poison. "Your establishment has been targeted," the letter begins. "I have in my possession approximately 67 grams of ricin with which I will indiscriminately target at least five of your clients."
Seattle Gay Bars Receive Threatening Letters [SLOG]

But hold your reactions for a second, non-desirous-of-death-by-poisoning gays, because the super-exicting queer joys don't stop there! No, no -- SLOG also reports this:

A letter also arrived in The Stranger's offices, addressed to the attention of "Obituaries." The letter's author said the paper should "be prepared to announce the deaths of approximately 55 individuals all of whom were patrons of the following establishments on a Saturday in January." The listed bars are: the Elite, Neighbours, Wild Rose, the Cuff, Purr, the Eagle, R Place, Re-bar, CC's, Madison Pub, and the Crescent. "I could take this moment to launch into a diatribe about my indignation towards the gay community," the letter concludes, "however, I think the deaths will speak for themselves."

So wait, anti-gay evangelicals: What's all that nonsense you're always spouting about gay threats and intimidation? We're sure you all will send your best crickets out to denounce this very real and very frightening threat!

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Your thoughts

Hey Jeremy, 1st off - thanks for keeping us updated with all the info you do.

Secondly, this is a disturbing thought... that people have the capacity to premeditate such an act. Although thus far the individual has "only" sent that threat, it reminded me of a local headline, similiar in nature, of an actual ACT, not threat.

Station 4, a gay Dallas dance club, was the site of this malicious act. An individual at the club threw a powdery substance, which was later discovered as being Sodium Hydroxide (also known as LYE!) into the air.

See for yourself:

I guess they never found the suspect... "an Asian male in his 30s" who actually handed the container with the lye to a club employee before walking out of the club and disappearing.

Posted by: Sparky | Jan 7, 2009 9:40:17 AM

I'm sure the anti-gay evangelicals will say that we brought that on ourselves. It could have nothing to do with their inflamatory speech.

Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Jan 7, 2009 11:05:44 AM

Well, Mike, if only gay people weren't so very gay, none of this would have happened. Not that the evangelicals at AFA and likewise organisations think that such threats are a good thing - except, of course, for how they totally do.

Posted by: Celia | Jan 7, 2009 12:00:54 PM

And of course these threats couldn't compare with the very real problems like asking questions of Sarah Palin or Bill Maher excercising free speech! Good Heaven, this scary! are there any more letters or any way to see if this is a real threat, other than waiting?

Posted by: Piper | Jan 7, 2009 2:18:53 PM

Piper, actually the damage has already been done and that is sad. While people are out supporting the bars on the night in question so they don't suffer a loss, it will also cause many to look with a much more suspicious eye at everyone they see. Maybe that guy is talking to me to spike my drink instead of because he likes my look.

The true damage of terrorism is not the damage or loss of life that occurs. While nonetheless awful, there are much more effective ways to hurt large groups of people. (A fire at that club in Bangkok killed 53). Terrorism is a psychological weapon which preys on the minds by the fear of what may happen regardless of whether it ever does.

Posted by: Ed | Jan 7, 2009 7:21:08 PM

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