The hormone oxytocin
(pitocin, Syntocinon), widely used to induce labor in difficult or overdue pregnancies, has a number of interesting side effects relating to love and comfort, encouraging 'cuddly' behavior among other things (conversely, skin contact is one of the things that causes it to be released normally, which would imply a positive feedback loop). The possible uses of it as an 'ecstasy enhancer' has long been the topic of speculation among 'Hedonic Engineers'
and other utopians.
Now a study indicates that when taken nasally, it causes people to be more trusting of others
Just what we need, a neurological exploit.
If the study turns out to be accurate, it's an exciting development in a lot of ways from a both a scientific and a hed-eng point of view. I wouldn't be at all surprised if it starts making the rounds in the more cuddly parts of the rave scene ('Ecstasy enhancer' indeed!). However, it also has some grave potential for abuse. It probably won't be long before someone tries either:
* using it as date-rape drug, or as part of a confidence game, and/or
* spraying it into the air at a political rally, product rollout, recruitment meeting for a fringe religion or pyramid scheme, or somewhere else where the goal is to con large numbers of people
I'm sure even more unpleasant scenarios can be imagined. The good news is, this isn't the first drug that could have been used in these ways, yet such abuses have been rare and largely unsuccessful to date. It seems that widespread use of chemical mind control is too unwieldy and too unpredictable to be effective. We can hope that remains the case, at least.