Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lethal lettuce

So, it's been accepted that terrorists (and their kissing cousins, violent extremists!) are stepping up attempts to attack targets during the holiday season. I'm not sure why - anger at the commercialization of Christmas? Can't get Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" out of their heads? Unhappy childhoods?

Anyway, the latest threat is to an establishment that this nation holds very dear: the buffet. According to WMAL, this article on The Blaze, and CBS News, terrorists are planning to try to poison those salad bar and buffet-going folks.

It may seem funny, but read this account of a similar plot that was carried out by a commune in Oregon in 1984.

Members of the Rajneeshee commune who were trying to rig a local election managed to sicken over 700 people by infecting local restaurant's salad bars with salmonella, which they manufactured in labs on their property. There were no fatalities, amazingly enough, but the members of the commune who carried out the attacks also planned to contaminate the city's water supply.


  1. I remember that event in 1984. It was outrageous and so far-fetched that it took investigators a while to figure it out; it was completely preposterous and, at the time, unthinkable. When the motive was discovered it seemed obvious. Stuffing the ballots would have been a lot easier, and more American.

  2. I've only read the Wiki entry, but I'm going to spend some time digging up stuff on ProQuest if I can find it. It's crazy, the initial investigation blamed the restaurant workers (and I don't think there'd ever been an outbreak of food poisoning at any of the restaurants in that town) and it wasn't until a senator from that state began pushing the issue that the investigation was reopened, and even then he was accused of being prejudiced against the commune's inhabitants.
    They poisoned two city officials directly, with contaminated water, and judging from the stuff that was found in their laboratories, were planning another attack.

  3. The investigator's initially did blame the restaurant, which is where it did start - at the salad bar. But the salad bar was 'unattended' and the motive was so outrageous it couldn't be believed. We do live in crazy times, eh? But none of this stuff is new or original.

    Did you know that Frank Sinatra had a fanatic stalker who tried to kill him, on stage in front of a theater full of fans?