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pseudoscience meets religion

John Harvey Kellogg was one of two brothers who founded the cereal brand that many Americans know and grew up on.

He was a keen believer in clean living and, as a Seventh Day Adventist, he advocated no consumption of alcohol, meat and frowned upon all activities that would motivate a person to be tempted towards sin which included sexual practices. As the name implies, Seventh Day Adventists believed in the imminence of the second coming and would even not bother educating some of their children since there would be little point.

So even as an intelligent scientist who advanced our modern day understanding of probiotics and how they affected our digestive tract, he fell under the spell of Eugenics which was basically the belief in encouraging the selection of certain human traits implying that the white race was privy to most of them; something even president Teddy Roosevelt believed in. These types of ideas would be further advanced and developed by the madmen Adolf Hitler and Josef Mengele.

Kellogg also worked on the rehabilitation of masturbators, often employing extreme measures including the mutilation of both sexes. He was an advocate of circumcising young boys to curb masturbation without the use of anesthetic and applying phenol to a young woman's clitoris which would produce a horrible burning sensation.

His association with James Springer White and his wife Ellen G. White who were the Churches' founders in the 1830's and 40's ended when the feud between them resulted in his ex-communication. Kellogg simply refused to have uneducated people meddle with his scientific ideas and practices as backwards as they may seem to us today.

I write about Kellogg because he is an example of the combination of science and religion gone astray which is something I often criticize here. Just as Ray Blanchard's ideas will be looked back on in equal parts amusement and dismay with the passage of time, he serves as a cautionary tale that every era has had its proposed ideas and beliefs which have no basis in reality.


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