Controlling the Warrior Gene: Part 2/2

To discover more about the triggers that activate the warrior gene, scientists should study the history of berserkers to learn about the right environment and lifestyle. says the “berserker in pre-medieval and medieval Norse and Germanic history and folklore, [was] a member of unruly warrior gangs that worshipped Odin, the supreme Norse deity, and attached themselves to royal and noble courts as bodyguards and shock troops. … The berserkers were in the habit of raping and murdering at will in their host communities (thus going “berserk”).”

The word “berserker” today applies to anyone who fights with reckless abandon and disregard to even his own life, a concept used during the Vietnam War and in Vietnam-inspired literature (Michael Herr’s Dispatches) and film (Oliver Stone’s Platoon and Adrian Lyne’s Jacob’s Ladder). “Going berserk” in this context refers to an overdose of adrenaline-induced opioids (or military-issued amphetamine for long missions) in the human body and brain leading a soldier to fight with fearless rage and indifference, a state strikingly similar to that of the 9th century berserkers.

“Going berserk” is also used colloquially to describe a person who is acting in a wild rage or in an uncontrolled and irrational manner.

And in When You Hear the Bugle Call by Peter S. Griffin, he says, “Homer [8th century BC] related incidents of some soldiers going berserk, fighting in an enraged, reckless manner, the same as some warriors of the modern age, who participated in intense, frequent and prolonged combat and lost it in battle.”

If true, what would happen if a government had the ability to control this warrior gene in its elite troops with the ability to turn it on at will sort of like controlling a drone from a remote location resulting in super soldiers in combat situations?

Return to or start with Controlling the Warrior Gene: Part 1


Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

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