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"I think a lot of kids whose mental growth outruns their maturity gravitate to science fiction."
- Dan Simmons

Epileptigenic Ray  
  Ray causes uncontrollable spasms in human subjects.  

It's unlikely that this was used anywhere else.

The television scene cut from the room from which he spoke.

It came to rest on great masses of humanity, men, women, children, huddled, jammed, behind barbed wire. The pick-up came down close enough to permit the personnel of the Citadel to see the blind misery on the faces of the crowd, the wept-out children, the mothers carrying babies, the helpless fathers.

They did not have to watch those faces long. The pick-up panned over the packed mob, acre on acre of helpless human animals, then returned to a steady close-up of one section.

They used the epileptigenic ray on them. Now they no longer resembled anything human. It was, instead, as if tens of thousands of monstrous chickens had had their necks wrung all at once and had been thrown into the same pen to jerk out their death spasms. Bodies bounded into the air in bone-breaking, spine-smashing fits. Mothers threw their infants from them, or crushed them in uncontrollable, viselike squeeze.

The scene cut back to the placid face of the Asiatic dignitary.

From Sixth Column, by Anson MacDonald.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1941
Additional resources -

Compare to the paralyzing blast from Ray Cumming's 1931 story The Exile of Time; of course, Heinlein himself used the idea of a paralysis bomb in his 1940 yarn If This Goes On....

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  More Ideas and Technology from Sixth Column
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