Amid an ongoing crisis in recruitment, the military has found a novel way of enticing teens to enlist: thirst traps. “MintCast” co-host Alan MacLeod joins Mnar Adley for an in-house edition of the podcast to describe how the military is using young teens’ horniness against them, utilizing an army of attractive women posting sexually suggestive content on social media – in effect, turning a generation of young men from simps into soldiers.
Alan MacLeod is senior staff writer and podcast producer for MintPress News. He has worked at the company since 2019. Before joining MintPress, he was an academic and freelance journalist specializing in Latin America and in analyzing media and propaganda. In recent months, he has specialized in analyzing U.S. military propaganda and exploring the national security state’s ties to big social media organizations. His latest investigation, “From Simp to Soldier: How the Military is Using E-Girls To Recruit Gen Z Into Service,” can be read exclusively at MintPress News.
Chief amongst these new Army e-girls pushing their followers to join up is 21-year-old Hailey Lujan. In recent months, Lujan’s social media profile has exploded, with the young star now boasting nearly three-quarters of a million followers on TikTok alone. In between posting highly sexually suggestive content and zany memes, however, are subtle and not-so-subtle commands to her army of loyal followers to join up. “Don’t go to college; become a farmer or a soldier instead,” she says in one recent video.
The plot thickens, however, when we look into Lujan’s background. She is a member of the Army’s psychological operations division, whose job it is to carry out online propaganda and influence operations. Despite constantly hinting that she is a “psyop” herself, Lujan strenuously denies that the Army controls her content. MintPress asked the Department of Defense for comment but received no response.
MacLeod told Adley today that it is almost a moot point whether the Army is actively directing Lujan or merely tacitly approves of her attempts to lure horny young people into serving, stating:
I think if you were [psychology expert and father of modern propaganda] Edward Bernays, you might say that it doesn’t really matter whether she is or isn’t being supported by the military, because, ultimately, what this is doing is getting people who look at this content – and there are millions of people watching this stuff – to associate lustfulness and horniness with joining the military. It’s literally making them horny for war.”
In recent months, multiple branches of the military have also entered into partnerships with top YouTube influencers to produce sponsored content promoting enlistment, with these stars telling their tens of millions of fans to consider joining the military. Unlike other paid promotion deals, though, these content creators are not selling soda or sneakers but a life in the world’s most ruthless and deadly killing machine.
From there, MacLeod also describes the Department of Defense’s shocking influence in the world of video games, movies and entertainment, detailing how so many of the titles we know and love have been totally redesigned in secret by military agents in order to make their message as pro-war as possible. The discussion reveals how wide-ranging the reach of the military is in everyday life and how so much of our reality is curated by forces we do not perceive.
Join us for an incredible and eye-opening discussion.
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Also, be sure to check out rapper Lowkey’s video interview/podcast series, The Watchdog.
Mnar Adley is founder and director of MintPress News and Behind The Headlines and is also a producer and host for both platforms.
Alan MacLeod is Senior Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent, as well as a number of academic articles. He has also contributed to FAIR.org, The Guardian, Salon, The Grayzone, Jacobin Magazine, and Common Dreams.