John Harvey Kellogg

John Harvey Kellogg (1852–1943) was an American medical doctor in Battle Creek, Michigan, who ran a sanitarium using holistic methods, with a particular focus on nutrition, enemas, and exercise. Kellogg was an advocate of vegetarianism and is best known for the invention of the breakfast cereal known as corn flakes with his brother, Will Keith Kellogg.

He wrote almost 50 books, edited a major magazine and performed more than 22,000 operations in his lifetime.


Kellogg is by some considered a "textbook case of klismaphilia" as he was obsessive about administering enemas to himself and his patients. However on the other hand he was also a great fighter against the sex drive, so it is questionable if his obsession with enemas was really a paraphilia. Kellogg believed that most disease is alleviated by a change in intestinal flora. In Battle Creek Sanitarium, where he was chief medical officer, he made sure that the bowel of each and every patient was plied with water, from above and below. His favorite device was an enema machine that could rapidly instill several gallons of water in a series of enemas. Every water enema was followed by a pint of yogurt — half was eaten, the other half was administered by enema. The yogurt served to replace the intestinal flora of the bowel, “thus planting the protective germs where they are most needed" and creating what Kellogg claimed was a “squeaky clean intestine".

Other therapies favoured by Kellogg were strict diets, vegetarianism, baths, air baths, phototherapy, massage, good posture and dress, physical exercise, and surgery.

Anti-masturbation crusaderEdit

Kellogg was an advocate of sexual abstinence and was an especially zealous campaigner against masturbation. He thought that masturbation was the worst evil one could commit and often referred to it as "self-abuse". Kellogg was a leader of the anti-masturbation movement and promoted extreme measures to prevent masturbation.

He adviced that circumcision without anesthesia should be used as a cure against masturbation,[1] or in females, to apply carbolic acid (phenol) clitoris. He also recommended, to prevent children from this "solitary vice", bandaging or tying their hands, covering their genitals with patented cages and electrical shock.

In addition, Kellogg thought that diet played a huge role in masturbation and that a bland diet would decrease excitability and prevent masturbation. Thus, Kellogg invented Corn Flakes breakfast cereal in 1878. He hoped that feeding children this plain cereal every morning would help to combat the urges of "self-abuse".

Personal lifeEdit

Kellogg was married to Ella Ervilla Eaton (1853–1920), but their marriage was never consummated and they lived in separate apartments. While they did not have any biological children, they were foster parents to 42 children, legally adopting eight of them.

See alsoEdit


  1. Kellogg, J.H. (1888). "Treatment for Self-Abuse and Its Effects". Plain Facts for Old and Young. Burlington, Iowa: F. Segner & Co. "A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision [...]. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment [...]."


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