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The Bizarre Sex Life of John Harvey Kellogg — Crusade against Sex

The strange reasonings of Kellogg and Cornflakes
The strange reasonings of Kellogg and Cornflakes

In kitchens worldwide, the undisputed champion of breakfast choices is none other than the trusty bowl of Kellogg’s cornflakes by Dr. Kellogg.

However, brace yourself for a hilariously surprising twist that might leave your spoon suspended mid-air. Little did the masses know, their beloved cereal owes its inception to a rather peculiar purpose: combating the risqué realm of self-indulgence!

Yes, you heard it right! Enter the eccentric visionary John Harvey Kellogg, the mastermind behind this curious concoction during the late 1800s. His original brainchild was none other than a “healthy, ready-to-eat anti-masturbatory morning meal.”

Oh, the lengths people would go to address matters of self-restraint!

Who could have fathomed that a simple bowl of cornflakes, destined to be sprinkled with milk and devoured with gusto, would hold such a saucy secret in its crispy confines? Next time you savor that familiar crunch, take a moment to appreciate this delightful breakfast staple’s fascinating and peculiar origins, masterminded by none other than Mr. Kellogg himself, a true advocate of… err… morning vigilance!

The Truth of Why Kellogg Cornflakes Were Actually Invented

Dr. Kellogg, a man of both medical prowess and devoted faith in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, held a staunch belief in the merits of sexual abstinence. His medical background exposed him to the dire consequences of sexually transmissible diseases, particularly the relentless grip of syphilis, which remained incurable until the early 1910s.

Drawing from scientific knowledge of the time and the teachings of his faith, Kellogg dedicated a substantial portion of his educational and medical efforts to discourage sexual activity.

Guided by the wisdom of influential figures like Ellen G. White and Sylvester Graham, the originator of the famed graham cracker, Kellogg was resolute in promoting a simple and unadorned diet. This approach aimed to ward off any semblance of sexual arousal.

Through his dietary advocacy, he advocated for plain and healthy meals, consumed only twice a day, as a means to quell the stirrings of passion. For those grappling with temptation, the prescription was clear: steer clear of stimulating foods and beverages while limiting, or perhaps even eschewing, the consumption of meat.

In his commitment to the twin causes of medical well-being and religious principles, Dr. Kellogg ventured into uncharted territory with his revolutionary breakfast creation – the cornflakes. Though his intentions may raise an eyebrow or two in modern times, it’s a testament to the fascinating interplay of history, health, and faith that has shaped the legacy of this curious cereal innovator.

Early Kellogg's Corn Flakes advertisement

Early Kellogg’s Corn Flakes advertisement

In a series of increasingly expanded editions, Dr. Kellogg eloquently presented his views on matters of human sexuality at the dawn of the 20th century. Initially publishing “Plain Facts about Sexual Life” in 1877, a book of 356 pages, he embarked on an intellectual journey that evolved and grew with each subsequent edition.

Curiously, during his honeymoon, the wordsmith’s pen seemed to be fueled by newfound inspiration, resulting in an additional 156 pages of wisdom, giving birth to the second edition titled “Plain Facts for Old and Young” in 1879, now comprising 512 pages.

Over the years, this literary work experienced remarkable growth, mirroring the expansion of its author’s contemplations. By 1886, the book had swelled to a substantial 644 pages, and its content continued to burgeon, reaching 720 pages in 1901 and 798 pages in 1903.

But Dr. Kellogg’s insatiable quest for understanding and enlightenment culminated in a grand culmination – a four-volume edition boasting a staggering 900 pages, unveiled in 1917. The sheer popularity of his discourse on this delicate subject was evident, with an estimated half-million copies discreetly finding their way into the hands of readers courtesy of tactful door-to-door canvassers.

Kellogg’s candid words were indeed bold, as he fearlessly cautioned against various forms of sexual activity, even within the confines of marriage, which he deemed contrary to nature and gravely detrimental to one’s health.

Drawing inspiration from the counsel of William Acton and lending support to his contemporary, Anthony Comstock, he meticulously articulated his beliefs in a manner that captivated both advocates and skeptics alike.

Ironically, Dr. Kellogg may have wholeheartedly followed the very advice he shared, as it is widely believed that his own marital union remained unconsummated throughout his lifetime.

What Made Kellogg So Against Sex?

Oh, the fervent fervor with which Dr. Kellogg championed his battle against the age-old nemesis of self-gratification! In those days of yore, such views were orthodox, and our dear Kellogg spared no effort in rallying support for his cause.

Armed with a compendium of medical sources, he wielded claims that could strike fear into even the bravest hearts, such as the dire comparison of its consequences to the most dreaded plagues, wars, or smallpox. Dr. Adam Clarke’s somber assertion further bolstered Kellogg’s case, painting a grim picture of the pernicious habit of onanism.

Kellogg’s own words dripped with severity, issuing stark warnings against the fatal implications of what he deemed a self-destructive act. His vivid phrases left little room for ambiguity, insisting that those who fell victim to the vice “literally died by their own hand.”

It wasn’t merely the physical and mental well-being at stake but the very essence of one’s moral health that Kellogg fervently defended.

In his unwavering crusade, Kellogg associated this “solitary vice” with a veritable Pandora’s box of afflictions. From cancer of the womb to urinary diseases, from nocturnal emissions to impotence, epilepsy, insanity, and a litany of other physical and mental debilities, he seemed to find no end to the list of potential torments.

Even a mere “dimness of vision” garnered only a fleeting mention amidst the array of calamities he attributed to this solitary indulgence.

Kellogg in 1938, aged 86.

Kellogg in 1938, aged 86.

For Kellogg, masturbation ranked as the pinnacle of evil deeds, and he did not shy away from labeling it as “self-abuse,” a poignant descriptor meant to accentuate its grave nature. To him, the climax of sexual pleasure represented an alarming depletion of precious nervous energy, one that he believed surpassed all other forms of exhaustion, leaving the system weakened and vulnerable.

While it is true that a common myth attributes the widespread prevalence of circumcision in the United States to the infamous Dr. Kellogg, historical accuracy begs to differ.

Kellogg’s writings did not advocate routine circumcision for all males; rather, he reserved this suggestion for those he believed to be chronically addicted to the act of masturbation. Nonetheless, his unconventional methods for addressing this supposed addiction were met with little approval from mainstream medical professionals of his time.

Notably, figures like Lewis Sayre, a prominent figure in the American Medical Association, exerted far greater influence on the popularity of circumcision within the country. They played pivotal roles in shaping the trajectory of this surgical practice, which extended beyond Kellogg’s limited scope.

As peculiar as it may seem, Kellogg did indeed propose some extraordinary measures in his quest to combat masturbation addiction. In his candid discourse, he suggested interventions that ranged from genital mutilation to the application of carbolic acid, a potent chemical agent, on the clitoral glans of women.

Women inspect filled boxes of Corn Flakes in the Kellogg Company factory in 1934.

Women inspect filled boxes of Corn Flakes in the Kellogg Company factory in 1934.

Such measures were meant to deter individuals from indulging in what he perceived as morally detrimental habits.

In his work “Plain Facts for Old and Young,” Kellogg offered circumcision as a remedy, particularly for young boys exhibiting signs of phimosis. Unusually, he advocated for the procedure to be performed without the use of anesthesia, believing that the transient pain could serve as a deterrent, even associating it with the concept of punishment in some cases.

Kellogg surmised that the resulting soreness, persisting for weeks, would interrupt the practice, and if the habit had not firmly taken root, it might be forgotten and abandoned.

In another of his writings, the “Ladies’ Guide in Health and Disease,” Kellogg’s suggestions for nymphomania, a condition now regarded differently, were equally unconventional and disconcerting. He recommended an array of measures, including cool sitz baths, the application of irritants to the sexual organs, and even the removal of the clitoris and nymphae (labia minora).

The Final Years of Kellogg and His Legacy

As the years rolled by, Dr. Kellogg continued his tireless endeavors, armed with his passion for promoting healthy eating habits and maintaining the well-being of his fellow humans. Despite facing challenges, such as the blow dealt by the Great Depression, he remained steadfast in his mission, managing and guiding the sanitarium he had established.

With an impressive roster of tens of thousands of patients under his care, he attended to the well-being of luminaries like J.C. Penny, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Amelia Earhart, and even President William Howard Taft. Quite the star-studded clientele, I must say!

Yet, amidst his esteemed reputation, Dr. Kellogg’s methods of promoting health took a rather peculiar turn. You see, he had an affinity for enemas and thought they were the answer to many of life’s problems!

Enthusiastically urging his patients to indulge in multiple enemas daily, he even engineered an ingenious contraption capable of rushing a whopping 15 quarts of water through their bowels in the blink of an eye. Oh, the wonders of modern science!

John Harvey Kellogg ran the Battle Creek Sanitarium, pictured here, until his death in 1943.

John Harvey Kellogg ran the Battle Creek Sanitarium, pictured here, until his death in 1943.

If that’s not enough to pique your interest, wait till you hear about his unique yogurt regimen. Kellogg encouraged folks to consume a pint of yogurt each day – but here’s the kicker: half of it through the mouth and the other half through the… umm… “back door,” if you catch my drift. Apparently, it was an early attempt at getting those precious probiotics into the system.

Oh, but we’re not done with the eccentricities just yet! Our good doctor also had a penchant for patenting rather, shall we say, “energetic” chairs. Picture this: patients seated on his vibrating invention, shaking so vigorously that they involuntarily experienced a rather surprising bodily response.

You could call it a creative way to encourage regularity.

Dr. Kellogg’s contributions to health and wellness were undoubtedly unique, leaving us with a blend of curiosity and amusement at the ingenuity of his unorthodox approaches. Remember, when it comes to history, sometimes the quirkiest chapters make for the most intriguing tales!

Yet, economic hardships eventually led to the sale of this once-thriving institution.

Undeterred, Kellogg ventured to Florida, where he founded another institute that garnered popularity throughout his remaining days. While it may not have matched the grandeur of his Battle Creek establishment, his commitment to health and wellness remained resolute.

This pamphlet for the Sanitarium shows some of the many treatments patients could receive there, from hydrotherapy to artificial sunlight baths.

This pamphlet for the Sanitarium shows some of the many treatments patients could receive there, from hydrotherapy to artificial sunlight baths.

In recognition of his lifelong dedication to public service, Kellogg received an honorary degree of Doctor of Public Service from Oglethorpe University in 1937, a testament to his impact on countless lives.

Renowned historian Will Durant, who had embraced a vegetarian lifestyle from a tender age, revered Dr. Kellogg as his “old mentor,” attributing profound influence to the esteemed doctor. Durant acknowledged that Kellogg’s teachings had left an indelible mark on his life, an enduring legacy that spanned the years since his high school days.

The curtain fell on Dr. Kellogg’s eventful journey on December 14, 1943, in his cherished Battle Creek, Michigan. In the hallowed grounds of Oak Hill Cemetery, he found his final resting place, surrounded by the memories of his significant contributions to health and wellness.

As we bid farewell to this remarkable figure, we cannot help but recognize Dr. Kellogg’s profound impact on his contemporaries and the generations that followed. A visionary in the realms of health and diet, he leaves behind a legacy that has influenced countless lives and shaped the course of history in ways both extraordinary and enduring.

Let us toast our plain, abstemious bowls of cornflakes to a man who embraced a unique vision of wellness and piety, leaving behind a distinctively intriguing chapter in the annals of breakfast lore.

Now that all things deviant have been completed (for now), read about The Horror Boarding School of Florida, The Dozier School. Then, if you’re into more dark history, you’ll like the story of How People’s Temple Massacred hundreds of People!

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Written By

Abin Tom Sebastian, also known as Mr. Morbid in the community, is an avid fan of the paranormal and the dark history of the world. He believes that sharing these stories and histories are essential for the future generations. For god forbid, we have seen that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

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