During the middle of the night, a small plane flew over the city. As it approached its target coordinates, it began spraying a strange green gas that descended down to the sleeping city below.
At first, the gas served its purpose. It was inhaled by fugitives wanted for crimes serious enough to send the city’s crime rate to staggering levels. The gas then triggered such intense feelings of guilt that there was no choice but to confess and surrender. The police were surprised to see long lines of fugitives outside the station ready to confess their crimes. Case after case got solved along with a few cold ones that baffled detectives for decades. At long last, the crime rate fell to near zero.
Then the guilt gas drifted to the suburbs and over houses inhabited by the city’s residents. When inhaled, a majority of residents suddenly sat up in bed and confessed their marital infidelity to their spouses. As a result the divorce rate skyrocketed as residents rearranged their lives to be with more trustworthy companions.
Then the guilt gas drifted to Washington. Politicians inhaled it and suddenly began disclosing government secrets and military intelligence for all to hear, including the terrorists who had long plotted to invade the country. Armed with this knowledge, the terrorists began a swift invasion of Washington where remnants of the guilt gas were still present. When they inhaled it, they felt so guilty that they abandoned their terrorist ambitions and retreated back to their homelands to resume their humble lives.
And life was good.