Iconic Author Admits He Almost Poisoned People To Save The World
Alan Moore says he considered mass-dosing people with LSD in water supplies.
Legendary comic book writer and well-known anarchist Alan Moore was nearly involved in the kind of plot one of his characters would have participated in. Screen Rant reports that the comic creator admitted to considering the idea of dropping LSD into water reservoirs so that people would drink the powerful hallucinogen. The purpose of this poisoning, according to the author, was to “enlighten everyone.”
Alan Moore wrote DC’s Saga of the Swamp Thing and the hit Batman story The Killing Joke, both iconic stories within their properties. However, he is best known for his own works, which went against the grain of the brightly-colored, hero-saves-the-day stories that superhero comics are known for. The same themes that would have prompted him to spike a reservoir with LSD instead appear in his work.
The socially-aware writer has also created comics that question society, introducing antiheroes and the dark side of the quest for justice in his work. Watchmen and V for Vendetta are some of his most notable original works and both question how we approach society, government, capitalism, and one another in ways that comic books had not approached before. His graphic novels can easily be considered literature because they provoke critical thinking about the way we live our lives.
For example, in Watchmen, Alan Moore and co-author Dave Gibbons examine the lives of “masked vigilantes,” the men and women who don spandex costumes to go out and fight crime. The characters include a disillusioned heroine who is tired of her skimpy costume, a superpowered man who reconstructed himself after a deadly physics experiment goes awry, a hero who capitalizes on his past adventures, and an antihero detective of few words who sees justice as a black-and-white endeavor. The villain’s Machiavellian plan also involves enlightening people on a mass scale, one even greater than drugging a reservoir.
V for Vendetta stars an antihero who is fighting to liberate the masses in a dystopian fascist England. V’s methods are quite harsh, including torturing the main character, Evey, to teach her how her society oppresses her, and blowing up the residence of the Prime Minister of England. V is a showman who makes his acts very public, but also reflects a few of Moore’s sensibilities.
Although he demanded his name be removed from almost all of his work, Alan Moore is still well-known as the creator of these properties. In fact, this is arguably his most famous act of protest, since he gave up the rights to millions of dollars in royalties from three hit movies and a powerful Watchmen follow-up mini-series on HBO. He is famously an anti-capitalist anarchist and stripped his name from these works because he felt they were becoming too commercialized.
Of his plot to dose multitudes of unsuspecting people with LSD, he admitted, “Luckily, before I could implement that, I did grow the f— up and realise [it] would be a terrible idea. But nevertheless the idea of enlightening people as a way of changing society probably remained my strongest directive.”
Rather than doing it himself, Alan Moore chose to explore how actions like his contemplated mass drugging would affect the people of his worlds. In other words, he was engaged in doing the same enlightenment, but without the drugs. With or without his name on his properties, it is safe to say that Alan Moore succeeded in his mission to reach out to the minds of many individuals and help them see the nuances of the world around us.