Today I learned: Cornflakes Were Created to Stop People From Masturbating

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In 1894 two brothers by the names of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and Will Keith Kellogg were running a sanitarium and health spa. The facility was located in Battle Creek, Michigan and not only had a number of different treatments from electric-currant therapy to water enemas but also a number of famous patients including Warren G. Harding and Amelia Earhart. The sanitarium was very strict in it’s regimen because the brothers were Seventh-Day Adventists and believed that many of the mental illnesses people developed came from a lack of purity of the body. So, they advocated a vegetarian diet that was free of caffeine, alcohol and nicotine.

It was Dr. John Kellogg that would go on to take things even a step further. He believed that keeping the body pure meant no sex at all. He did marry but he kept a separate bedroom from his wife and the marriage was never consummated. They adopted their children. But as bad as John Kellogg thought sex was, there was something even worse, masturbation.

He wrote books that spoke out against the evils of sex, promoted celibacy and described all the detrimental health effects that came from masturbation. Orgasms led to epilepsy, mood swings and even dementia. Kellogg believed that masturbation had done more evil to humanity that plagues, wars and small-pox. He knew that some people felt a compulsion to masturbate and therefore had a number of different cures to help those who were unable to stop. One of his treatments was to pierce the foreskin with silver wires in such a way as to prevent erections. For women, he would burn the clitoris with acid so that it would no longer be touched.

Dr. John Kellogg then expanded upon his vegetarian belief to find that meats and spicy foods were the culprit when it came to the desire for sex. He removed all meat and anything with spices from his sanitarium. But that was not enough for the good doctor and it was under the inspiration of Sylvester Graham that he decided to go even further with his diet recommendations. Sylvester Graham invented the whole-wheat graham cracker as a diet additive that would reduce sexual desire enough to stop people from having sex or masturbating. Kellogg decided it was time to make his own anti-sex food for his sanitarium and for the rest of his followers. But he had no idea how popular his anti-sex food would become.

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