Kellogg's cereal might be a fun and tasty (?) breakfast, but the original creator of these little bite sized bars sounds like he was more of the nauseatingly pruny type. Michigan physician John Harvey Kellogg was peaking around the years when a revival of Judeo-Christian traditions had led to a mass abhorrence of sexuality, and specifically masturbation. John didn't just jump onto this anti-masturbation train, he stoked the damn engine!
According to Mental Floss, in the 18th and 19th centuries, books like 'Ononia: Or the Heinous Sin of Self-Pollution, and all its Frightful Consequences' and Samuel Tissot's 'Treatise on the Diseases Produced by Onanism (masturbation)' basically legitimised the ridiculous claim that a little solo hanky panky not only ensured that you'd go to hell, it also led to a host of medical problems.
John Kellogg ran a sanitarium in Battle Creek, and believed that masturbation led to defective development, mood swings, fickleness, bashfulness, boldness, bad posture, stiff joints, fondness for spicy foods, acne, palpitations, and epilepsy.
Just to get a little insight into how this man functioned, keep in mind that John believed sex was detrimental to a person's physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. He never had sex with his wife, they slept in different rooms and they adopted all their children. "If illicit commerce of the sexes is a heinous sin," Kellogg wrote, "self-pollution is a crime doubly abominable."
John also thought meats and flavourful foods increased sexual desire, so he created flakes made from oatmeal and cornmeal as a 'healthy treat' for his patients. This was the first iteration of today's cornflakes. Basically, a healthy anti-masturbatory breakfast. Yum.
Later on, John partnered with his brother Will, who went to make his own line of cereals which included added sugar and no moral and sexual undertones. The brothers would feud for decades over this. Also, in case you thought that all John was doing was indulging in some harmless conservative ridiculousness, he actually employed yoghurt enemas on people, suggested threading silver wire through the foreskin to prevent erections and applied carbolic acid to the clitoris to burn it and discourage touching. Happy eating!
Feature image source: Emaze