Graham Crackers, Granola, and Masturbating

In 1830s Connecticut there lived an evangelical minister by the name of Sylvester Graham, and temperance movements were chugging along ruining parties by taking away all the alcohol. Unlike other religious reformists at the time who were concerned with alcohol, women’s rights, and tobacco use, Graham was more concerned with sex and masturbation. Graham claimed that recreational sex and masturbation were making Americans physically ill.

sylvester graham

Graham was a big proponent to the idea developed by a Swiss physician who theorized that “semen was an “essential oil” and “stimulus” that, when lost from the body in great amounts, would cause “a perceptible reduction of strength, of memory and even of reason; blurred vision, all the nervous disorders, all types of gout and rheumatism, weakening of the organs of generation, blood in the urine, disturbance of the appetite, headaches,” and PLENTY of other disorders similar to those you might hear as the adverse side-effects in a Viagra commercial.

The idea became popular enough that masturbation soon became widely viewed as a debilitating illness. It was even claimed that it could lead to blindness.

masturbation material

Graham took this idea and ran with it, making a name for himself giving popular speeches admonishing masturbation.

The James Brown of not masturbating, many women were known to have fainted during his anti-masturbation speeches.

He also believed that sex more than once a month was pathological. He likely thought this because he had 17 brothers and sisters. Meaning his parents NEVER. STOPPED. FUCKING. It is easy to see why he thought sex was a problem.

Graham encouraged people to take control of their health by repressing their carnal urges.

Salvation could be found through clean living and healthy food. The Graham diet consisted of mostly bland food with lots of whole grains, lots of fruits and vegetables, and excluded spices, meat, alcohol, tobacco, and even pepper was banned.

Because, as we all know, pepper causes an irresistible urge to masturbate.

innocent seasoning or the devils dandruff?

innocent seasoning or the devils dandruff?

Graham wasn’t just an extremist when it came to ones diet. He was known for his highly radical beliefs that bathing regularly, exposure to fresh air and sunlight, drinking clean water, wearing comfortable clothing, and exercising daily were good for you.

Thousands of people began to follow Graham, becoming known as Grahamites. Many of them lauded his diet claiming that it cured them of their numerous ailments. Contrary to the healthiness of Grahams diet, the typical meal at the time resembled something like what you might find in the grease trap of a McDonalds. Because of this many people suffered from Dyspepsia (aka intense, painful indigestion and bloating). Dyspepsia was so much a part of the American lifestyle, it was often referred to as AMERICANITIS. So, Grahams diet was embraced by a lot of people.

But there was an issue. Graham hated white bread. He saw white flower as a poor substitute for whole wheat, because it lead to a “lazy colon” he wrote in A Treatise on Bread, and Bread Making. Bakers were furious with his claims, so much so they attacked Graham at one of his speeches. One of his speeches was called off because it was assumed that it might lead to A RIOT OF BAKERS.

His ideas on diet and hygiene were largely ridiculed. Graham’s speaking fees swelled to as much as $300 per night as he began preaching of the dangers of feather beds, and tight corsets. He also criticized schools for being a waste of use of the brain, and for being bad for the genitals. His opinions soon lead to his drop in popularity.

Today, Graham is most famous for having developing his own process of making whole wheat flour which he used in his Graham bread,

known today… as Graham crackers.

graham_cracker_box

Around the same time as Grahams ideas were gaining popularity a boy was born amongst the 7th Day Adventists; John Harvey Kellogg.

John_Harvey_Kellogg_ggbain.15047

By the age of 24 Kellogg took over as chief physician at a sanitarium built by the 7th day Adventists, and revised Graham’s diet. He advised dieters to “Eat what the monkey eats”. He pushed for foods such as peanut butter (like what the monkeys eat).

He believed in multiple daily enemas and wearing diapers and exercising until you shat yourself..

Many famous people visited the sanitarium during his reign as chief physician: Henry Ford, J.C. Penny, Thomas Edison, William Howard Taft, and Amelia Earhart to name just a few.

After a hearty water enema in which gallons of water were used to wash out their bowels, patients were then given yogurt, which was to be taken both orally, and anally.

Kellogg was one of the most ardent anti-masturbators in America and was down on sex in general. He abstained from sex himself, never consummating his marriage of 4 decades.

Name any ailment you can think of; he blamed it on masturbating. Kellogg’s first solution for jerking off was a healthy diet. He proposed that plainer (bland) food, especially cereals and nuts could reduce sexual urges, so decided to create a new food; Granola. Kellogg began selling his miracle food and an industry was born.

You know it as Kellogg’s Cereal.

kelloggs

Kellogg, in his unending war on masturbation, promoted circumcision as a solution. He advised MANY parents that the circumcision of young boys, without anesthetic, could cure them of their masturbatory urges later in life. This practice crept into the culture on large, and is still popular to this day.

The reason why most all American men have parts of their dicks cut off when they’re born is because of the men who made Graham Crackers and Kellogg’s Cereal. 

Resources:

http://mentalfloss.com/article/32042/corn-flakes-were-invented-part-anti-masturbation-crusade

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/01/looking-to-quell-sexual-urges-consider-the-graham-cracker/282769/

http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blgraham.htm

http://www.museumofquackery.com/amquacks/kellogg.htm

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