How to ensure your LGBT+ child hates you

Right-wing shite-peddler The Federalist has printed a piece urging parents of trans and gender non-conforming kids to cut them off from the internet and their peers and beat them daily until they renounce transgenderism and its Satanic ways.

I’m exaggerating, but only slightly. The latest in a string of similar pieces misrepresents research, makes unsubstantiated claims and advocates a course of action that we know to be incredibly damaging to children: conversion therapy.

As author and commentator Brynn Tannehill points out, it won’t have the consequences the parents want. But it will have consequences.

If you do this, and it doesn’t end up driving your kid to suicide, you kid will hate you for the rest of your fucking life.

Tannehill has interviewed many trans people whose parents did exactly what The Federalist is advocating.

Universally, they have zero desire to ever see their parents again after they were treated in exactly the manner described above. Turning 18 was like getting out of jail, and they have no intent of going back. They ghost their parents and disappear.

That’s the best case scenario. Not all kids with unaccepting parents make it to 18.

Conversion therapy causes lifelong harm, and transgender adults who were exposed to it are 4X more likely to have attempted suicide than those who weren’t, whether the therapy was professional or religious.

There are Internet forums haunted by angry, bitter, lonely parents whose children severed contact with them as soon as they legally could. The parents rage and the parents mourn, and the parents tell each other that their children hate them because of social contagion, because of peer pressure, because of invented pseudoscientific bullshit such as “rapid onset gender dysphoria”.

Occam’s razor offers a better explanation, an explanation that they are unwilling or unable to accept: they lost their children because they made it clear to them that they’d rather have a dead child than a trans one.

I’ve written before that I have some sympathy for unaccepting parents of LGBT+ people:

…to the point where I can understand the fury and denial that leads some of them to excommunicate their family members and even become anti-trans activists.

But the more I think about it, the more I’m starting to think that no, I don’t have sympathy for them after all. It’s one thing to find it difficult to understand or accept your child’s sexuality or their gender, or to worry that their lives will be harder because of it. It’s another thing altogether to be the one to make their life harder, to embark on a course of action that will traumatise them or perhaps even put them in an early grave.

I’ve been thinking about this kind of thing a lot recently, probably because I’ve spent a lot of the last fortnight in hospital rooms looking at my son with tubes going into various parts of him, the only soundtrack a mix of his breathing, the beeps of the monitors and the thoughts in my head.

There’s a particular agony to seeing your child so vulnerable, to seeing your child in pain. All parents know that primal urge to protect, the urge to do absolutely anything to take that pain away, that unshakeable desire to make everything okay – so I understand why parents stay loyal to children who have done terrible, unspeakable things.

What I don’t understand is parents who do terrible, unspeakable things to their children. And conversion therapy is one of those things.

Tannehill:

Let’s get down to the brass tacks: if you think its better to have a child who never sees you again than to have a transgender child, do what The Federalist says.

If you would rather bury your kid in the clothes you pick out for them than accept their gender identity, by all fucking means do what The Federalist says.

Damned lies from statistics

The National Catholic Register has published a terrifying article implying that there have been thousands of deaths from puberty blocking.

Is it bullshit? Of course it is. Even if you didn’t know that the National Catholic Register is a right-wing religious rag that really hates trans people, the use of the phrase “transgender industry” in the copy is a pretty big clue that we’re not dealing with good faith here.

The Implausible Girl has looked at the statistics. How many deaths of gender dysphoric people have been linked to the drugs over ten years?

None.

How many serious adverse reactions among gender dysphoric people over ten years?

Two.

How much bullshit is in the article?

100%.

They conveniently ‘forgot’ to mention that the drug is used for LOTS of conditions. It has been prescribed to tens of millions of people over decades.

It is a very effective and safe drug that is on the WHO’s Model List of Essential Medicines.

…What they’ve done is, quite deliberately, is used rare adverse events from a drug given to many, many people for other conditions and implied that it was a deadly threat to trans children ‘because adverse events and deaths’.

You could do the same thing with acetaminophen [paracetamol].

The article has, of course, made its way to the anti-trans activists on Mumsnet with surprising speed, so it’s no doubt just a matter of time before it’s written about by Janice Turner in the Times, James Kirkup in the Spectator or the rest of the anti-trans mob. At which point it will become yet another piece of scaremongering bullshit that trans people will have to debunk again and again and again.

It’s called consequences, not cancel culture

Kevin Fallon of The Daily Beast reflects on the latest person to lose a high-profile job for having said terrible racist things, comedian Shane Gillis.

If you’re not familiar with the story, a recap. It’s about:

Saturday Night Live’s firing of comedian Shane Gillis, of whom videos surfaced showing him telling blithely racist jokes that caused controversy not even hours after he was announced as a new cast member on the sketch show. (That his jokes traded in boring, retrograde stereotypes of Asian Americans was all the more cringe-inducing given that SNL had just made history hiring its first-ever Asian cast member alongside Gillis, Bowen Yang.)

Gillis’s jokes were outwardly racist. They weren’t jokes about racism, or satire about race, or illuminating truths about the marginalized. They were racist jokes, and quite bland ones at that. People were pissed. Then people became pissed that people were pissed. Censorship! McCarthyism! Worst of all: Cancel culture!

As Fallon points out, it’s hardly cancel culture if the people who say the terrible things are almost always completely and utterly unaffected in any way.

It would take too long to list all the recent controversies involving celebrities who said something alarming enough to detonate social media outrage: Scarlett Johansson defends Woody Allen, Dave Chappelle mocks Michael Jackson’s accusers, Lara Spencer shames male dancers, a Queer Eye host rails against his critics, some Real Housewives are caught being casually transphobic.

Some of these celebrities apologized. Some didn’t. All were likely forced to consider the impact and the responsibility of their words, amid outcry and, in many cases, calls for them to lose their jobs. But none of them were fired.

Many people are building their brands on pretending they’re saying the unsayable, and saying it again and again and again. But on occasion, very infrequently, a tiny proportion of those people discover that their employers don’t want to have, say, massive racists, homophobes or transphobes on staff.

In the non-celeb world, employment contracts frequently have a clause where you can be fired for bringing your employer into disrepute. Clearly Saturday Night Live has something similar.

A job on Saturday Night Live is not owed to anybody. It is arguably one of the highest profile gigs in comedy. Fans, audiences, and critics are right to expect some sort of responsibility or awareness, a certain standard, from those who are given that platform. They are right to be upset if it comes out that one of those benefactors has a history of espousing racist views. Gillis, in turn, had a right to respond to those who were angered. His response didn’t satisfy those critics, nor did it satisfy his employer. So he was fired. That is how jobs work.

The people we call idiots aren’t idiots

Writing in the Globe and Mail, Cory Doctorow has a nuanced take on the rise of beliefs such as flat-Earthism.

The modern way of knowing things for sure is through formal truth-seeking exercises.

…For these systems to work, they need to be fair and honest.

But 40 years of rising inequality and industry consolidation have turned our truth-seeking exercises into auctions, in which lawmakers, regulators and administrators are beholden to a small cohort of increasingly wealthy people who hold their financial and career futures in their hands.

…Why don’t we agree on the urgency of climate change? Because of a moneyed conspiracy to make us doubt it. Why did we let a single family amass riches greater than the Rockefellers while peddling OxyContin and claiming it wasn’t addictive? Because of a moneyed conspiracy. Why do some 737s fall out of the sky? Why are our baby-bottles revealed to be lined with carcinogenic plastics? Why do corrupt companies get to profit by consorting with the world’s most despicable dictators? Conspiracies.

You can see the link: we say vaccinations are safe, because they are. But we were told for a very long time that all kinds of things were safe, and they were not.

I’m not immune to this. For example, having seen the way certain newspapers print lies and misinformation about subjects I know in depth, I find it hard to trust their reports on anything else. If they are demonstrably lying about X, why should I trust them about Y?

In extreme examples, we start believing extreme things. Doctorow:

We can never be sure whether our beliefs are true ones, but unless we can look where the evidence leads us – even when it gores a billionaire’s ox – our beliefs will tend toward catastrophic falsity.

 

Pain and privilege

The Guardian is in trouble this week for an editorial about David Cameron in which it suggested that while the death of his son was tragic, Cameron’s pain was somewhat reduced by his privilege.

The editorial, now removed, suggested that Cameron’s experience of the NHS would have been considerably worse “had he been forced to wrestle with the understaffed and overmanned hospitals of much of England, or had he been trying to get the system to look after a dying parent”.

Callous? Undoubtedly. But it’s true. As a rich man Cameron has been protected from some of the stress other parents have to go through. Losing a child is horrific, and no amount of money can cushion the horror. But what money can do, what money does do, is cushion you from the cruelties and stresses that poor people face when they’re caring for terminally ill children or grieving their loss.

Here’s an example of that, on a much less dramatic scale. My son is currently in the Children’s Hospital in Glasgow (no need to write in; he’s okay now after a scary week). Because I’m a self-employed media type with a supportive family I don’t have to worry about work: I can survive the loss of income from a week-plus of hospital days and nights, and I don’t have a boss or the DWP breathing down my neck. I drive, so I don’t have to navigate public transport to and from the hospital or shell out for taxis because buses don’t run near where I live. And because I’m not estranged from Adam’s mum neither of us is having to navigate this as a single parent.

I don’t have Cameron’s money or connections, but I have it much easier than many of the other parents of children in the same ward, and of the families of the adults in the main hospital it’s connected to.

And the wider point of the editorial is true too. Cameron has suffered, but his government has made many people suffer more – people who don’t have his money, people who aren’t insulated from the wider consequences of caring for sick family.

I don’t doubt Cameron suffered a horrific loss, or that he grieves any less than any other bereaved parent. But most parents aren’t in a position where they can help lessen the suffering of others. Cameron was.

And yet.

Cameron’s government introduced austerity programmes that have been linked to the deaths of 120,000 people, primarily due to the reduction in the number of nurses.

It didn’t start but it has certainly contributed to the worsening of the NHS, especially in England, especially in adult care.

And the Brexit car crash Cameron instigated is a disaster for the NHS. If no-deal goes ahead, we face a shortage of life-saving medicine; the government is secretly stockpiling extra body bags (and here in Scotland our government is doing the same).

The Spectator – no link, because Spectator – criticises the Guardian and says of Cameron:

The knowledge of pain breeds an empathy deeper and more enduring than political fashion.

Where is the evidence of that in Cameron’s case?

Update

On Twitter, Jess Moxham talks about Cameron’s book and how the personal does not appear to have influenced the political.

After coming to power Cameron began a programme of austerity which saw the steady reduction of all services for disabled children. My son was born in 2009. Our experience of parenting him has aligned with the reality of austerity, and for us it has meant less of everything.

I have never (like him) had a social worker come round and talk to me about the help that is available. We no longer have access to the kind of respite stays at a hospice that he describes. There are longer waiting lists for equipment and therapies. There are fewer therapists.

This is nothing to do with Cameron’s grief, which is personal and painful and not my business, but everything to do with his experience of looking after a disabled child.

I find it hard to understand how he can recognise the importance of the care and support his son and his family received without acknowledging that those resources are no longer available.

…Cameron was in a position of power and he ensured that all of the families with disabled children that came after his got less than his family got.

You can’t trust The Times

The Sunday Times published its usual collection of anti-trans scaremongering at the weekend. One story in particular managed to demonstrate everything that’s wrong with the former paper of record: it was based primarily on the comments of an anti-trans activist, and it presented fake science as fact.

This is the same newspaper that told its readers AIDS was a PR move by the homosexual lobby, remember.

Yesterday’s story once again attempted to conflate puberty blockers with cross-sex hormones, trotted out the completely discredited idea of “rapid onset gender dysphoria” which only exists in the minds of bigots, and presented Michael Biggs as an impartial expert.

Biggs has been in the papers before.

Professor of Sociology and Fellow of St Cross College Michael Biggs has been posting transphobic statements online under the Twitter handle @MrHenryWimbush, The Oxford Student can reveal.

The Twitter account, named Henry Wimbush and still online at the time of publication, has been tweeting statements such as “transphobia is a word created by fascists, and used by cowards, to manipulate morons” since first Tweeting in January.

Biggs is a contributor to Transgender Trend, which is linked to the US Christian right and advocates dangerous and discredited conversion therapy.

Meanwhile in Australia, another newspaper has been waging what one website describes as “a Holy War on trans youth”. Its favourite experts are right-wing conservatives who support conversion therapy.

The paper, The Australian, is owned and its editorial policy steered by one Rupert Murdoch.

Guess who owns and steers The Times.

Today, The Sun warned its readers about the national census being queered by the “transgender agenda”.

Guess who owns The Sun too.

Update:

Incidentally, The Sun’s piece is based entirely on the false claim that trans people want to change the way the census records their gender. They don’t. As the Equality Network points out, the demand for change is coming from anti-trans academics who want to change the government’s guidance.

This hateful ignorance costs lives

Anti-trans bigots are the climate change deniers of gender: despite overwhelming scientific evidence that they’re full of shit, they continue to lobby against life-saving action and push long-discredited pseudoscience.

One of their favourite conspiracy theories is the idea that being trans is contagious, that it’s a conscious choice and that you can be persuaded to become trans through peer pressure. This social contagion conspiracy theory has been debunked endlessly, but it still persists – so this report by the Australian Psychological Society won’t change any bigot’s mind.

The APS isn’t mincing its words here.

“Empirical evidence consistently refutes claims that a child’s or adolescent’s gender can be ‘directed’ by peer group pressure or media influence, as a form of ‘social contagion’,” APS Fellow Professor Damien Riggs said.

“To say that there is a trans-identity crisis among young Australians because of social media pressure is not only alarmist, scientifically incorrect and confusing, but is potentially harmful to a young person’s mental health and wellbeing.

“There is no evidence to suggest that such approaches work in terms of changing a person’s gender.  What such debunked ‘therapies’ do produce, however, are high levels of shame, disrespect and distress.

Belief in “social contagion” goes hand in hand with belief in conversion therapy, the dangerous and discredited “pray the gay away” so-called cure that’s caused incredible damage to so many LGBT+ people: if you believe that being LGBT+ is a choice, then you’re likely to believe that people can be persuaded not to be LGBT+.

Of course, it doesn’t work like that. But bigots’ feelings don’t care about facts.

What conversion therapy does do is persuade LGBT+ people to kill themselves. The latest study into such “therapy” demonstrates yet again that there’s a strong link between it and mental health problems, including suicide attempts. Exposing transgender people to conversion therapy makes them twice as likely to attempt suicide.

The bigots don’t see that as a problem, though: to them, one less trans person in the world is a result. These are people who are currently crowing about the prospect of Brexit-related medicine shortages cutting off trans women’s HRT supplies. Who cares if diabetics don’t get their insulin or cancer patients don’t get essential medicines? If it hurts (or better still, kills) trans people, it can only be a good thing.

You don’t need to wear a swastika to be part of a hate group. Some of the most hateful people in modern society could be your neighbours.

Here’s an example. The crowdfunding site GoFundMe has finally pulled down the page raising money for campaigns against inclusive education in schools (but not before they raised thousands). Here’s one of the key groups who campaigned for the page’s removal, the British Humanist Society:

‘This homophobic crowdfunder was in support of protesters who have been holding disruptive and intimidating rallies that have absolutely no place near a school. There is strong evidence that the protesters involved in these demonstrations have been uttering outrageous homophobic slurs and even calling members of school staff paedophiles which surely was in breach of GoFundMe’s terms.’

The backlash against LGBT+ equality encompasses trans rights and relationship education at schools. It is co-ordinated and well funded and originates in the US. OpenDemocracy:

At the London meeting of Christian conservatives this summer, our reporter – posing as a prospective teacher, to learn what these campaigners were telling teachers about sex education – found an energised opposition movement.

In a room filled with LGBTIQ children’s books, tea and biscuits, the keynote speaker argued that equalities legislation “is not all-powerful”. Rather, he said it can be limited to protect “health and morals” of other students or teachers.

This was Roger Kiska, in-house lawyer at the Christian Concern group that organised the event. He previously worked for Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian right ‘legal army’ and one of a dozen US groups that openDemocracy revealed have spent millions of dollars in Europe.

Christian Concern, you’ll be amazed to discover, is a great believer in the efficacy of conversion therapy. Their communications manager claimed in late 2018 that conversion therapy is “just about any practice that offends the taste of social liberals” and added:

If ‘conversion therapy’ means anything at all, it should surely refer to a process that treats people with cross-sex hormones, damages fertility and cuts up their bodies to portray them as something other than what they really are. In other words, gender reassignment.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s exactly the same argument – using exactly the same words and phrasing – that the anti-trans activists use.

That’s not a coincidence.

Straight Pride isn’t about sexuality or gender. It’s white supremacy

I’ve written before about Straight Pride and how it’s a front for the far right.

The much-hyped Boston event took place this weekend and proved that – surprise! – it’s a front for the far right. To all intents and purposes it was a Make America Great rally, complete with police pepper-spraying counter-protestors.

Other marchers waved placards saying “Build The Wall”, because apparently racism is an important part of straight culture too.

Here’s Corinne Engber writing for JewishBoston:

Bigots cannot count on a silent majority to look the other way anymore, so how do they continue to dig in their roots?

Easy. Construct a parade in direct contrast to Pride, tapping into the homophobic leanings of those not quite convinced to join the alt-right. After all, if LGBTQ people get their day, why shouldn’t straight people? Claim straight people as an “oppressed majority” facing discrimination from the city of Boston. Claim that denying straight people their right to parade in the street is unconstitutional. Gather the wavering masses under a single umbrella and disseminate the us-and-them mentality from there. When fascism can’t take hold through overt means, move it underground. Create a system of cycling dog whistles. Enmesh bullied kids into a toxic echo chamber of propaganda and build a new generation of fascists. Easy.

There will be other Straight Pride events, because what these rallies do is tell racists and bigots three things. One, you are not alone. Two, you are in the right. And three, the police and the state are on your side.

Here’s how that pans out elsewhere.

In Poland, July’s gay pride march was watched by spectators from over 30 anti-LGBT, mostly far right groups who outnumbered the marchers four to one. Those spectators didn’t just watch. They attacked the marchers with rocks. Dozens of LGBT people were physically assaulted before, during and after the event. Journalists were spat on and beaten. The police, while present, didn’t appear to do very much.

As The Telegraph reports:

Both the Catholic Church and the Polish state actively work to create a hostile environment for the gay community.

…The ugly scenes in Bialystok were not an isolated incident. Several Polish regional parliaments have declared their districts to be “LGBT-free zones” in recent months…

Officially the government decries the violence seen in Bialystok, but at the same time hints that LGTBQ groups are out to provoke. The education minister Dariusz Piontowski has questioned whether such marches should be allowed since they “awaken resistance” in the wider public.

The government stance is also backed by a powerful conservative media that has loaded Poland’s newstands with brazenly anti-LGBTQ magazine covers. One publication, Sieci, warned of a “Massive attack on Poland coming”, while another, Do Rzeczy, showed a mocked up prime ministerial podium flanked with rainbow flags.

A third, the Gazeta Polska, went even further, printing a cover warning that the LGBTQ movement wanted to “destroy their civilisation” and giving readers a “LGBT-free zone” sticker showing a black cross over a rainbow flag.

This is happening throughout Eastern Europe and in Russia, but it’s also happening elsewhere. Anti-LGBT sentiment is being deliberately stoked by right-wing politicians and media in Western Europe and in North and South America too. And that’s what Straight Pride marches are all about. They’re organised by the far right; the marchers are from the far right; their banners and memes and outfits are from the far right. And their claims of being oppressed, of being silenced… they’re from the far right too.

Let’s not play their game and pretend Straight Pride marches are about sexuality, or about gender identity. They’re about white supremacy.

As Anthony Oliveria put it on Twitter:

reviewing all the footage from the Straight Pride Parade hey so quick question I don’t spend much time at straight events are there always so many swastikas when we gays aren’t around or

Corinne Engber believes that the strategy is ultimately doomed.

Ultimately, this recruitment attempt will fail before it begins as the environment of the country leans toward support for Jewish people, people of color and LGBTQ people.

I hope she’s right.

Free speech (but not for my critics)

Jessica Valenti, a consistently superb writer, describes a Twitter spat that went out of control. It’s about a New York Times columnist called Bret Stephens, a fierce advocate of unfettered freedom of speech.

When a university professor made a mild joke about him, he attempted to get the professor sacked and then wrote a column in a national newspaper comparing the experience to the Holocaust.

This is someone who mocked sexual assault survivors for wanting a break room with counselors during a debate on rape culture, a writer who questioned the “moral proportion” of firing sexual harassers. Is targeting a professor’s job for a barely seen quip morally proportional? Are high-profile columnists more deserving of a “safe space?”

This is not in any way unusual. For example, Piers Morgan frequently rails against touchy “snowflakes” who apparently can’t take criticism. If you criticise Morgan on social media, he’ll immediately block you. Other high profile free speech defenders such as millionaire comedians take a similar approach, often orchestrating social media pile-ons against anybody who dares question their great wisdom.

The Venn diagram of successful men who rail against “the woke left”, “snowflakes” and “safe spaces” vs men who bully others online or in print is a near-perfect circle.

What these men – and it’s mainly men – advocate isn’t freedom of speech. It’s the protection of their own status and privilege. They want to punch down without anyone of lesser status being able to punch up.

Valenti:

The real snowflakes aren’t rape survivors who request trigger warnings or students who’d like that we use their correct pronouns — they’re people with power who can’t abide even the slightest criticism without using their influence to demand consequences.

Why the search for an LGBT+ gene is dangerous

There’s been a lot of publicity over a new study into the so-called “gay gene”; the study reports that although there doesn’t appear to be a single genetic marker for gay people, there may be several. Similar studies have attempted to find a genetic marker for trans people.

Here’s why that’s scary.

This image was posted by Antony Tiernan, and in response the writer Huw Lemmey noted the context: “over a million British people still buy this paper every day.”

Let’s be optimistic and believe that nobody would choose to abort a baby whose genes suggested they might be gay or trans. That doesn’t mean genetic screening for LGBT+ people couldn’t happen, or couldn’t be misused.

The problem with any kind of genetic screening is that it’s a guide. For example, I’ve just had my genes analysed and I have a slightly raised risk of pulmonary disease. That doesn’t mean I will get it. It just means there’s a higher likelihood than perhaps you have.

One of the things I was screened for is abnormalities relating to the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which we know are implicated in many cancers. I’m clear – but the screening only checked a small proportion of the thousands of potential variants. I could still have a difference in one of those genes that means I’m more likely to get cancer.

Now imagine I’d been screened for genes linked to being trans. The same thing could apply: you could check for 100 different anomalies, and that could come back negative – but there could be hundreds upon hundreds of other genetic variations that you don’t check for, and which have contributed to me being the fabulous trans woman you see today.

Why does that matter?

It matters because if we developed a genetic test for LGBT+ people we might decide to use it in asylum claims, because one reason people claim asylum is because they face persecution for being LGBT+ in intolerant countries. Imagine: we could easily differentiate between the real asylum seekers and the fakers!

Far-fetched? Last week a British judge rejected an asylum seeker’s application because he didn’t seem gay enough. He contrasted the man’s demeanour with that of another man who “wore lipstick” and had an “effeminate” manner.

In that case, the judgement was appealed and has been sent back for review. But what if the judge had rejected the applicant because his genes “proved” he wasn’t gay?

It could also be used to “prove” that people are lying about their sexuality or gender identity in other circumstances. There’s already fierce and often malicious debate over whether some trans people are “trans enough”, so for example anti-trans bigots are keen to differentiate between “true” trans people, who they pretend to care about, and “fake” trans people – people like me who haven’t had surgery – whose human rights they want to curtail and whose healthcare and support services they want to defund.

Could failing genetic testing mean I’d be denied NHS treatment such as hormone therapy?

Scaremongering? Here’s TIME magazine with a short history of how bullshit science has been variously used to justify discrimination against people of colour and against women.

In the early 20th Century, out of context IQ testing was used to justify the forced sterilisation of black and hispanic people.

the notion of feeble-mindedness, at least partly determined by IQ tests, was used as a justification for the Supreme Court’s notorious Buck v. Bell decision, which allowed forced sterilization for “insanity or imbecility,” mostly among the population of prisons or psychiatric hospitals.

One of the links in that article goes to a study of pseudoscience on women’s suffrage.

many scientists supported the antisuffrage argument of “physical force,” claiming that women lacked inherent energy needed to physically enforce laws and should be excluded from voting. A secondary argument claimed that such cyclic elements as menstruation and menopause made women too irrational to vote.

More recently, halfwits in Silicon Valley have been pushing the bullshit theory that men are better suited to tech jobs because of exposure to “prenatal testosterone”.

Sexuality and gender identity are complicated and multifactorial, and they are normal variations in human behaviour and biology. That means there can never be a reliable genetic test for being gay or being trans, and we should be scared of anyone who wants to create one.

As TIME’s Jeffrey Kluger writes:

…as long as there is science—which means forever—there will be people willing to misuse what it teaches.