Ignoring his ubiquitous cornflakes, most of us know of John Kellogg's obsession with the sin of masturbation among boys (and girls, but his main endevour was with boys). We also know his solution was to rid boys of their foreskins, painfully, with no anaesthetic as a salutary punishment for their behaviour.
But he also offered an alternative which I have never found mentioned before. It's a torturous punishment which is possibly worse than circumcision. Rather than cut it off, a boy's foreskin was actively used to punish him, as follows...
"A method of treatment [to prevent masturbation] ... and we have employed it with entire satisfaction. It consists in the application of one or more silver sutures in such a way as to prevent erection. The prepuce, or foreskin, is drawn forward over the glans, and the needle to which the wire is attached is passed through from one side to the other. After drawing the wire through, the ends are twisted together, and cut off close. It is now impossible for an erection to occur, and the slight irritation thus produced acts as a most powerful means of overcoming the disposition to resort to the practice [masturbation]."
In reality, the 'slight irritation' would not prevent an erection - it would compress it to the point of agony. I'm left wondering which would be worse - a single act of circumcision with no anaesthetic, or a nightly nightmare of 'wet dream' erections tearing a silver sutured foreskin stitched tightly, allowing him only a tiny opening to urinate. Using pure silver wire is Kellogg's only redemption: it would not be a cause of infection.
And America's predilection for circumcison began from this?? I'm truly lost for words.