John Harvey Kellogg, or “The Bowel Man Can”

John Harvey Kellogg–doctor, religious nutter and creator of cereal–loved him some healthy bowels and hated him some sex.

Perhaps it's not fair for me to call him a religious nutter, but I don't trust any church that encourages vegetarianism. I'm a Catholic and I like chomping on the flesh of our lord every week, thank you very much (okay, before I get angry letters, let me underline that I'm kidding about both sentences).

Anyway, back to Victorian poop and sex theories: Kellogg was the chief medical officer of the Battle Creek Sanitarium and used his religious beliefs and personal vendetta against constipation to "cure" people's crazy. He once said in 1877: "One of the most general physical causes of sexual excitement in males is constipation". I guess he had a thing against sexual stimulation. He should team up with those other Victorian doctors talking about spermatorrhoea and trade notes.

He said, "neither the plague, nor war, nor small-pox, nor similar diseases, have produced results so disastrous to humanity as the pernicious habit of onanism [masturbation]". I get that they didn't understand the physical ramifications of masturbation at this time, but comparing it to smallpox? YOU, sir, are a quack. He actually had a war on masturbation, which included circumcising boys who were repeat offenders (circumcision was not a regular practice in the States then, as it is now) and applying carbolic acid to a lady's bits to keep her from getting aroused. Considering carbolic acid can cause burns, I'd say that would work pretty well.

It'd be interesting to see how his views lined up with those around hysteria. Both were equally wackadoo, but at least hysteria treatment involved a woman getting the sexual release she needed (or, as they thought, a paroxysm which made the uterus jump back into its correct place). In extreme cases, he encouraged the entire REMOVAL of a woman's clitoris, and invented special cages to go around the groin of either gender to keep them from touching.

His methods for fixing mental health went something like this: eat well, exercise, tan, have enemas. So he'd feed people lots of fiber (hence his invention of cornflakes), make them march around at meal times to encourage proper digestion, have them lay out in the sun for a while to photosynthesize, and then gave them crazy-intense enemas, first with water and then with yogurt.

Oh, P.S., he supported racial segregation and eugenic theories, thinking that immigrants and black people would damage the white gene pool if we mixed.

This guy was one Guns & Ammo subscription away from being a survivalist. I don't think I can ever eat Kellogg's cereal again.

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One Response to John Harvey Kellogg, or “The Bowel Man Can”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I like photosynthesizing 😛 , but not the rest 😉


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