What do Winnie-the-Pooh and John the Baptist have in common? (For your answer, see footnote 1.)
What do the tonsils and appendix have in common? Cutting both the tonsils and appendixes out of children was high fashion in the 1950s and 1960s. If a child had a history of too many sore throats, tonsils and adenoids were removed. If a child had a sore abdomen, the appendix was removed. “If in doubt, cut it out.” Tonsils and appendixes usually were removed because they were considered to be diseased. Sometimes, however, they were removed to prevent them from becoming diseased. People figured nature had made a careless error when adding tonsils and appendix to an otherwise brilliant machine.
Then it was discovered that the tonsils and appendix have important functions. It was discovered that they contribute to the valuable human immune system. A huge number of children who are now adults lost important parts of their bodies due to lack of knowledge and wisdom on the part of the medical profession. Tonsils and appendixes are now removed only in severe medical conditions.
Nature was vindicated. Fashion changed and American doctors no longer routinely performed tonsillectomies and appendectomies. Good riddance!
In the Victorian age, when puritanical values ruled, people thought it was risqué to show an ankle and pornography was hard to come by. No good American dared to speak of the penis or its foreskin except in hushed tones to a medical doctor. Doctors claimed they had found the solution to masturbation. They then declared that masturbation was the cause of a plethora of diseases. They began a war on male and female genitalia—healthy genitalia.
In 1888, John Harvey Kellogg, M.D., inventor of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, wrote in his “Treatment for Self-Abuse and its Effects”:
A remedy [for masturbation] which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision … the operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice [masturbation], and if it had not previously become so firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed. If any attempt is made to watch the child, he should be so carefully surrounded by vigilance that he cannot possibly transgress without detection. If he is only partially watched, he soon learns to elude observation, and thus the effect is only to make him more cunning in his vice. (See footnote 2.)
In short, “Let’s discourage masturbation/pleasure with pain.” Circumcision has been a cruel and unsuccessful experiment. We now know full well that it didn’t work. One survey shows that men without foreskins masturbate more frequently and participate in more dangerous sexual activities (oral and anal) than those with foreskins. And yet both the good Doctor Kellogg’s cruel circumcision recommendation—and breakfast cereal—“stuck” in the public’s mind.
After the fear of masturbation became a less compelling reason to cut children’s private parts, the medical industry would still not let go of the practice, as it was so profitable. Since Kellogg’s time, claim after claim, excuse after excuse has contributed to holding the circumcision door open, In the 1970s, nearly every boy in America lost his foreskin. Unfortunately, most trusting American parents are glued to the “circumcision is good for you” sales pitch. They think of circumcision as a surgical panacea for what ails you. In truth, each and every attempt to justify the routine circumcision of infants has been disproved and discarded. Still, they test the waters, blaming every possible physical, mental, and emotional aberration on genitals as nature made them.
Doctors continue to circumcise little babies for a few main reasons:
- They are businesspeople who have bills to pay and circumcision is a quick, easy buck.
- They have not yet been educated in the important functions of the foreskin.
- They haven’t yet realized their legal liability. The American Medical Association (AMA) has warned its members to “take the high road of ethics,” but it has not yet been specific enough to warn them of the dangers of this simple, profitable, profoundly abusive procedure.
- They have not listened to their patients (the babies) or their own hearts, as they scream, “No!” at the top of their lungs.
Tonsils and appendices were finally determined to have important immune system functions, so they are now usually spared the knife. But foreskins are still routinely removed, even though they are healthy human tissue. Studies by Taylor and Cold reveal that the foreskin also provides important immune system functions. Perhaps there’s hope for the foreskin yet.
In the meanwhile, parents might want to practice saying, “Thank you, but no thank you” to all their friends, family members, and medical personnel. And once the foreskin has been saved from the human tissue sales industry, explain to the doctor that it’s not okay to retract the foreskin—Let Junior do that for himself, in his own time. Explain kindly that foreskin retraction is malpractice and should be pursued as such if the M.D. or nurse manages to do the deed. What is it about these people and babies’ genitals?
What do Winnie-the-Pooh and John the Baptist have in common? They have the same middle name.
Kellogg, John Harvey. Plain Facts for old and young: Embracing the natural history and hygiene of organic life. I.F. Senger & Co., Burlington, Iowa, 1891, p.111.