Historical Evidence of Apathy
The Historical Evidence
Back in the early 1900s, a group of religious fanatics, obsessed with sexual purity and abstinence except for the express purpose of procreation, came to the conclusion that strong smells entering the nose were the source of all sexual desire. Ever been turned on by the smell of sizzling bacon, fresh cut grass, or more likely, catching a whiff of an attractive woman’s perfume? Scents are the devil’s seduction.
To prevent sin, this group even went as far as to medically sew shut baby’s’ nostrils to preemptively prevent desires and urges.
Smartly, to push their message, they associated other benefits with having closed nostrils: less chance of infection, head cold, headaches, etc. These “benefits” to health quickly caught on with the lay public–whether sewing shut the nostrils truly helped or not, people were willing to try it, to do what was “best” for their children–and over time, the actual purpose of the procedure, sexual oppression, fell to the wayside and was slowly forgotten. The practice of sewing baby’s nostrils shut had become mainstream.
Fast forward 100 years. We now live in a society where the majority of people are missing their nose holes. It’s a world of Voldemorts.
If you were privy to the above story of religious intervention, what would you do? Would you allow your child’s nose to be sewn shut? Would you even question it, or just let the doctors sew, as they had with the last 83 percent of babies they’d seen?
Would you demand your own sense of smell back?
Flash back to reality.
(Oops there goes gravity!)
You might still have your sense of smell, but I’ll tell you what probably did go….
The above scenario actually did happen. But it wasn’t your face that was affected. It was your manhood’s man hood.
The Forgotten Hooded Soldier
Back in the early 1900s, a man named John Harvey Kellogg existed. Maybe you recognize the name?
Yup, he’s the creator of cornflakes. Although his brother made Kellogg’s the household name it is today, JHK was very much the creator and first advocate of the cereal.
Kellogg believed that the single worst evil an individual could engage in was masturbation, or “self-abuse,” as he referred to it. As a member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, he believed the second coming of Christ was imminent, and therefore the formal education of children was unnecessary. He did, however, believe in the formal removal of the foreskin of little boys and the application of carbolic acid to the clitoris of little girls.
How could anyone with such crazy ideas actually turn those twisted machinations into reality? Kellogg was not a dumb man. Along with cornflakes (which, by the way, he specifically made bland, as bland food is less likely to stimulate arousal according to him), he also invented a number of revolutionary medical instruments, personal hygiene and food sterilization tools, and even started the first sanitarium, a resort-like medical facility that placed huge importance on personal health, which was revolutionary at the time and became wildly popular. Some of his health apparatuses were even featured in the gym of the Titanic.
Side note: many of his health inventions vibrated… One shook violently in order to stimulate the organs of the lower abdomen. Funny how someone so opposed to sexual arousal basically invented one of the first vibrators.
Kellogg even created the yogurt enema (yum), which he used to cleanse the gut (sound familiar to some of today’s trends?), and was an early adopter of the germ theory of disease, a perfectly sound scientific thought. His brilliance was intertwined with his crazy, making it hard to distinguish the two.
Kellogg’s views on sexual abstinence were influenced by two factors really. In the late 19th and early 20th century, there were very few cures or treatments for STDs. The best way to stay clean was to abstain. Secondly, Kellogg’s religious beliefs, the beliefs of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, strongly spoke out against sex for any purpose other than procreation. He was so serious about abstinence that he is even on record bragging that he never had sexual congress with his own wife during their 41 years of marriage.
To be clear, the circumcisions in question here are not those based in scriptural mandates, as they are in Judaism. Kellogg didn’t claim that God or the Bible demands all boys be circumcised. Rather, he saw circumcision as a means to an end: the complete castration of sexual desire for the whole race, all because his group of religious zealots believed the human body was something to be ashamed of rather than embraced and lauded.
So yeah, Kellogg really went HAM (Hard As a Motherf*cker) when it came to anti-masturbation. He believed masturbation caused cancer of the womb, urinary diseases, nocturnal emissions, impotence, epilepsy, insanity, and mental and physical debility, in addition to being the worst sin a person could commit. And circumcision was meant to stop boys from masturbating (though most circumcised 13-year-olds might beg to differ).
Brutally, Kellogg believed the process of circumcision should be performed without anesthetic in order to instill the pain in the “patient’s” mind forever. An alternative option that he also advocated was to simply wire the foreskin together over the head of the penis, so that erections would become painful, and less likely to occur over time. And for women, burning the clit with acid at birth was meant to dull any sense of sexual pleasure to prevent sin.
As a man with a penis, I’m very happy the second procedure did not catch on, and on behalf of all women, I’m pleased that we no longer apply acid to the clit at birth. But Kellogg did manage to convince the nation that the secondary “benefits” of circumcision (increased cleanliness, prevention of STDs–benefits that have been largely debunked as exaggeration today) made it a medically advisable procedure. At its height in the 60s, 83% of American male infants were being circumcised, and still 77% are circumcised today.
What does all this mean for us?
First, stop circumcising your boys. There is no real medical reason for it. It is merely a remnant of a much more barbaric and ill-informed time, spurred by a religious maniac.
Second, let’s start thinking for ourselves and questioning those things that we do just because “it’s the way it is.” There are plenty of other asinine practices and ideas left over from a more rudimentary time that still persist in society today that are worth examining, such as:
- The 2nd Amendment (there weren’t semi-automatic weapons in the 1700s or the 1st world “problems” we have today)
- Statues of Confederate “heroes” (i.e. lifesize slavery trophies)
- Demonization of dietary fat (This one is totally debunked. If you don’t think so you have been living under a rock)
- The concept of a “traditional” modern marriage (Sexuality is a spectrum, we don’t all look or act the same, why should we be forced into cookie-cutter relationships?)
- Current farming practices (both animal (gross) and plant (greedy); one strain of anything is a bad idea for the planet, what happened when the Nazis tried it with people?)
- The necessity of a college degree (You can literally learn anything online for free)
- Columbus Day (Why do we consistently ignore our actual history?)
- Early morning breakfast as the most important meal of the day (Literally, NO. here and here)
- The two-party system in politics (When was the last time something was actually accomplished?)
I’m sure there are many more, but we do need to start somewhere.
How To View This Conundrum
The following is a story that I used to tell to my Marines to get them thinking critically about the standards and practices around them.
There was this lab who was testing social behavior on rats living in a group cage. The scientists in charge put food on an electrified plate in the middle of the cage. When one rat would go to claim the food, all of the rats would get zapped. Eventually all the rats had learned that attempting to retrieve the food on the plate in the middle of the cage would only result in pain.
So, the scientists decided to take one of the rats out of the cage and put a new, unindoctrinated rate in. The new rat almost immediately attempted to retrieve the food on the electrified plate. The other rats attacked the new rat before he could reach the plate in order to prevent everyone from getting electrocuted. The new rat learned very quickly that if it attempted to retrieve the food on the electrified plate in the middle of the cage it would get assaulted by the other rats. This taught the new rat to not even think about retrieving that food.
The scientists swapped out another indoctrinated rat for an unindoctrinated one. The same process repeated itself, with the previously new unindoctrinated rat taking part in the attack of the unwitting newest rat.
Eventually there were no original rats remaining in the cage. The new rats continued to attack each new rat for attempting to retrieve the food in the middle of the cage. Only now they are not attacking for fear of electrocution they are attacking because that is what they were taught is the proper thing to do.
The scientists had even turned off the electricity to the plate in the middle of the cage. Still no rat would attempt to eat it for fear of their peers attacking.
We can continue to be like these rats, blindly accepting previously established doctrine, and continue to fight each other because of it. Or we can start looking at social norms, policies, and procedures through the lens of history for what they are: imperfect solutions to difficult problems that were established with less information than we currently have. If we choose the second route, we may start to find that we live in a more pleasant world with a lot more foreskins.
It Starts With One
The list of issues that survive because of complacency is long and filled with very complex problems that will take the cooperation of many in order to rectify. But as individuals, we can start making a difference now, by acting on the cellular level: we start with ourselves.
Here’s a few places to start.
The current accepted social norms for men are all in the category of strong, silent type or repressed emotions. We need to start bucking these trends. Just because your father or his father handled a situation a certain way does not mean that it was the end-all-be-all answer. This is not to say that men need to start crying when they feel stressed or start asking for a safe space to feel their emotions. Men should still be men. They simply need to learn how to relate their emotions into something more than anger and sexual frustration.
Every action you take or fail to take has second and third order effects you don’t even realize, that impact not only you, but also your fellow citizen. If you are a shit head, for example, fix that. The world needs more kindness and unity, not more ego. Put emotional effort into your relationships with your lovers, family members, children, friends, and even colleagues to help prevent depression and garner love in yourself and others.
Next, take an interest in the nutrition going into your body so you don’t become a statistic with metabolic disease. Move your body daily so you don’t develop some “incurable” back pain that puts you on disability.
Nutrition and fitness are two areas in which everyone needs to take responsibility for themselves. Blindly accepting the fad diets (Zone, Paleo, HCLF, LCHF, Keto, etc), and one-size-fits-all advice (lifting will make you bulky, cardio will cause/cure cardiac disease) that gets pumped out of the 24 hour news cycle are not responsible actions. This is the area in which bucking accepted conventions can yield the single greatest benefit to your life. Take an interest in what goes into YOUR body and how YOUR body moves and feels.
No interest? (There are bigger issues behind this one…. We will save that for another time.)
Hire someone to help personalize your health, someone with your best interest in mind (not a corporation, invest in another human). If for some reason you think that food and nutrition science is settled check out these amazing articles on why that is not even close to true. Tried everything all the fitness magazines say to do and still not happy? That’s because click-bait is not science, also those models don’t even do most of those ridiculous workouts. Working with a professional will be the best money you spend on yourself, probably ever, definitely better than your frosted hair tips, that Kardashian waist trainer, or your tanning salon membership.
Personal Responsibility is the True Sign of Maturity
What it all boils down to is paying attention. Pay attention to what you have blindly accepted and why. When it comes to our personal health, we need to examine the source of every piece of advice we receive, or work with someone who has. Don’t blindly follow the blanket advice of more rudimentary times, when doctors and scientists had far less information. Question the advice of modern nutritionists as well, source studies are often skewed by lobbies and big industries with their interest in mind, not yours. Ultimately the only way to know if something works for you, like limiting carb intake, is to try it, not read a book about it. Realize also that just because you have success with an eating or exercise technique, like intermittent fasting, doesn’t mean it will be successful for everyone you meet.
The world is at a point where a lot of things are going to change. It is up to us to be in a position where we are able to decide whether those changes are positive or negative. This isn’t the Presidential election, there is no electoral college, your individual vote actually counts in this race. It is a race in a sense, one where your own mental and physical capability dictate the amount of influence you have on our future.
Next time you are approached with a decision akin to slicing the tip of your son’s dick off (or eating breakfast), ask why or why not before you decide.
P.S. If you are ready to start making yourself a better person and want to start with getting healthier, check out the rest of my site or shoot me a direct message. This is a conversation worth starting in your life.
P.P.S. I would also love it if you shared this article with friends, relatives, colleagues, even that asshole who lives down the hall or street from you (he/ she probably needs it the most).