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Oct-17-2010 19:03printcomments

Circumcision is a Real Killer in America

It used to be 'elective tonsillectomies'; that was the doctor's money making game, but it was outlawed.

Circumcision is genital mutilation
Circumcision is genital mutilation.

(SALEM, Ore.) - I can't help being a little obsessed over the fact that more than 100 American male children die every year from being circumcised. We are one of the only news agencies that ever writes about the dark side of this unnatural mutilation process.

A study published last April; Thymos: Journal of Boyhood Studies, estimates that over 100 baby boys die from circumcision complications every year. These deaths are attributed to anesthesia reaction, stroke, hemorrhage, and infection. All infant circumcision is considered 'elective', which is ridiculous on one hand considering that the individual's choice is based on their parent's consent. At any rate, all of these deaths are avoidable[1].

The International Coalition for Genital Integrity says:

"Previous studies estimated the death rate as low as two per year to as many as 230. The study collected data from hospital records and government sources to attempt to provide a more accurate magnitude of the problem. To put this in perspective, about 44 neonatal boys die each year from suffocation, and 8 from auto accidents. About 115 neonatal boys die annually from SIDS, nearly the same as from circumcision."

The group says it applauds the fact that, "for the first time, a rational attempt has been made to estimate the scale of the problem, and is simultaneously appalled by how many baby boys needlessly die each year in the United States."

According to the study, the male infants died:

"Because physicians have been either complicit or duplicitous, and because parents ignorantly said ‘Yes,’ or lacked the courage to say ‘No.’"

Speaking of doctors, I asked our Physician/Writer Dr. Phillip Leveque to share some of his thoughts on the practice. I knew it was bad but I didn't know how bad...

"I saw a TV news program about a doctor using an electric cautery. Unfortunately it was set on high rather than low and it fried the young man's organ. I even squirm thinking about that. The nurse did tell me to be very careful or some young man in about twenty years would be looking for me with fire in his eyes and soul". - Dr. Phil Leveque

Then Dr. Leveque discussed the GOMCO clamp. How could anything with a name like that be good?

"Once it was carefully and correctly in place, I started turning the clamp handle. I had been told that newborns didn't feel pain which I scarcely believed, when all of a sudden came screams which loosened the paint on the wall.

What an eye-opening, eardrum damaging event. I had heard and seen battle injured soldiers before but this screaming raised the hair on my neck.

There were five of us interns and I very cautiously inquired, "what is this circ business all about"?

Interns are on salary. So, our teachers endeavor to get as much 'free doctoring' out of us as they can. However, the doctors are on a fee for service and they get paid for what the interns do for them. Back then it was $50 OR $100. iF THE INTERNS says he is too busy, he can get out of some of this.

For the future I was always too busy. Yes I can do a circ but I don't want some 20-year old guy looking for me with fire in his eyes. [2]

Religious Extremes

As is the case with so many problems in our society, circumcision stems from religious dogma. As our Correspondent in Paris, France, Michel Hervé Navoiseau-Bertaux, wrote, "It had been imposed on the Jews as a measure of enslavement and Moses the liberator could not tolerate it. Considering that these ablations make the phallus a fetish and that a 'jealous' God cannot admit such idolatry, the Second Commandment denounces chapter 17 of the Book of Genesis." [3]

This Jewish practice found its way into western culture in the late 1800's. It was originally subscribed to because people were told it would reduce a boy's tendency to masturbate. In fact the reality is the dead opposite.

Non-circumcised males exist in a natural state. One third of the tissue that contains the nerves for sexual pleasure, is whacked off by a doctor's knife at birth in a circumcision.

According to Wikipedia:
"In the 1890s, it became a popular technique to prevent, or cure, masturbatory insanity. In 1891 the president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England published On Circumcision as Preventive of Masturbation, and two years later another British doctor wrote Circumcision: Its Advantages and How to Perform It, which listed the reasons for removing the 'vestigial' prepuce. Evidently the foreskin could cause 'nocturnal incontinence,' hysteria, epilepsy, and irritation that might 'give rise to erotic stimulation and, consequently, masturbation.' Another physician, P.C. Remondino, added that 'circumcision is like a substantial and well-secured life annuity insures better health, greater capacity for labor, longer life, less nervousness, sickness, loss of time, and less doctor bills.' No wonder it became a popular remedy."

Would you believe me if I told you it got worse... considerably worse?

At the same time circumcisions were advocated on men, clitoridectomies (removal of the clitoris) were also performed for the same reason (to treat female masturbators). The US "Orificial Surgery Society" for female "circumcision" operated until 1925, and clitoridectomies and infibulations would continue to be advocated by some through the 1930s. As late as 1936, L. E. Holt, an author of pediatric textbooks, advocated male and female circumcision as a treatment for masturbation

I cried after reading that. I had no idea, and I have spent some time on this subject. I recently watched a movie on YouTube called 'The Sandbox' about an Israeli woman's adventure to an Arab ocean resort back in the late 1960's, and how her love affair with a Bedouin tribesman led to her unwilling castration. But then we always hear about this taking place in the Arab world, not the United States, as recently as the pre WWII era.

As far as that specific thinking in the U.S., the historical moron behind much of this thinking was John Harvey Kellogg, who is well known for his pseudoscientific views on human sexuality. He suggested eating Kellogg's corn flakes to prevent masturbation, and believed that circumcision would be an effective way to eliminate masturbation in males.

"Covering the organs with a cage has been practiced with entire success. A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is any degree of phimosis. 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, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed. If any attempt is made to watch the child, he should be so carefully surrounded by vigilance that he cannot possibly transgress without detection. If he is only partially watched, he soon learns to elude observation, and thus the effect is only to make him cunning in his vice."

Oregon in particular was big on sterilization and eugenics. People were horribly abused with shock treatments and given lobotomies. I know many, all the way into the 1950's, were being incarcerated at the Fairview 'Home for the Feeble Minded' as it was originally known, for masturbation and promiscuity. Bonnie King explores this to some degree in her article: A Mad World...Fairview Training Center Up in Flames [4].

A painful, terribly cutting off process. The idea that people allow this to happen to their newborn children is tragic. The medical community on the other hand, profits from the mutilation of a baby's penis. That to me borders on criminal.

And there is especially no doubt about the criminal aspect, when you consider that Jewish rabbis suck the blood from the end of a baby's penis as part of the circumcision process. I'm not making this up[5].

[1] April-26-2010:
[2] Dec-30-2009: Circumcision by an Intern - Dr. Phil Leveque
[3] Dec-02-2009: 'Thou Shall Not Circumcise' - By Michel Hervé Navoiseau-Bertaux
[4] Feb-01-2010: A Mad World...Fairview Training Center Up in Flames - Bonnie King
[5] Aug-29-2005: Cut It Off Slate - By Christopher Hitchens

Tim King: Editor and Writer

Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.

Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Serving the community in very real terms, is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 65 writers. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can send Tim an email at this address:

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William Coleman February 4, 2011 6:26 am (Pacific time)

The reason circumcision exists today it's written clearly in the book of GENESIS Ch 17:9-14 God is speaking to Abraham 9th verse thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou and thy seed after thee in their generations.10vs This is my covenant which ye shall keep between me and you and thy seed after thee. Every man child among you shall be circumcised. These are God words remember God can't lie.11th verse And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.12th verse And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations. 12 hours is not enough time GOD say on eight day.I believe if you going to obey GOD word doing this procedure at least do it on the eight day like he requested. God is speaking here, God words will never come back void! God says the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of the foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people: he hath broken my covenant. Remember circumcision has been going since the beginning of time and we are in the Last days and it hasn't stop. No matter what we think or how we feel, God is the creator and the judge and is a perfect man. I understand 100s of kids or dying from circumcision those kids are in heaven. What about the millions of kids that died over many years from starvations and abuse. i sometimes wonder why God okay things that seems not right to us? God has his reasons and our opinion want change anything if GOD say it's ok. ECCLESIASTES 3ch 1 verse: To every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven. GOD love us so much he gave his only son to die for our sins!! What normal person would do that? God owes us no explanation at all!! God Bless

Greg Hartley October 24, 2010 9:21 pm (Pacific time)

Excellent article - thanks for your reporting on this important issue. How can we persuade other media outlets to provide this type of accurate, in-depth coverage?

Pat October 23, 2010 7:00 pm (Pacific time)

Karl, it was tried in Massachusetts and shot down earlier this year. Apparently there are Jewish voters that have a problem with it - not to mention a few Jewish politicians as well. IMHO it wouldn't stand a chance if reintroduced, unfortunately. Once people start claiming freedom of religion, any sort of prohibitive legislation is just inviting a lawsuit - and no politician would do that without committing career suicide.

Karl Hegbloom October 22, 2010 9:53 am (Pacific time)

Does anyone in congress have the social sensitivity and ethical integrity to sponsor the ?

Dr. Ron October 21, 2010 4:35 pm (Pacific time)

@ Frank Ohara It was actually the maker of the Mogen Clamp, not the Gomco Clamp, that was sued and forced into bankruptcy. The Gomco maker is still in business.

Maria October 18, 2010 11:33 pm (Pacific time)

Thanks you. I really can't believe that so many people agree to have their newborn exposed to this barbaric act of mutilation.

Lauren October 18, 2010 8:52 pm (Pacific time)

Very well done. Made me sick to read it, as I am an intactivist. I know a lady who was circumcised in Kansas in the 50's. Appalling. I pray for the day that boys are protected from this torture.

ChildProtector October 18, 2010 2:37 pm (Pacific time)

Jake claims Bollingers' estimates are flawed. What an unimportant point, even if true. All estimates of circumcision deaths are only estimates. No one knows how many boys die in the US from circumcision. The US medical profession refuses to keep the numbers and instead hides them, keeping themselves and all of us guessing, and arguing stupidly about it. ONE such death is inexcusable, because it's cause is a fully preventable crime, and we as a society are not preventing such easily prevented crimes. In fact, we PAY people to COMMIT them. The GOVERNMENT even pays people to commit them WITH OUR MEDICAID TAXES! This country is certifiably insane.

gmoi October 18, 2010 1:02 pm (Pacific time)

Circumcision is a heinous crime, worse than clergy sexual abuse of children. There can be no justice while there is a statute of limitations that does not allow the victim to discover and prosecute the crime. To that end, anyone who says they performed a circumcision however many years in the past, should be liable more so than catholic priests are being held liable these days. So it is foolish of Dr. Leveque to admit to performing a circumcision, not for someone to ask when he will turn himself in.

JK October 18, 2010 11:49 am (Pacific time)

If we can all agree it is wrong to impose this hideous mutilation upon the most innocent (neonates) men on Earth, then we can also agree to push for the banishment of this perverse practice from our medical lexicon and repertoir. Thanks for standing up for the victims everywhere of this crime against infants, Tim... you're the man.

Anonymous October 18, 2010 9:52 am (Pacific time)

Tim King: I wonder about the figure of 100 deaths per year. Three separate studies published between 1979 and 1998 found the death rate at 228 - 230. Of course, the circumcision rate has fallen from near 90% to 32.5% in recent years so you would expect a lower number of deaths. However, it seems that the percentage has changed little if at all. I happened upon a blog a few days ago about the death of Jacob Haskins. It was heart wrenching! .

Frank OHara October 18, 2010 9:46 am (Pacific time)

Lisa wrote: "Actually female "circumcision" was legal and still occured in the US even into the 1980's. The law against it only came into effect in 1995. Hopefully the male version of the law will pass sooner rather than later." Actually, the laws are already "on the books." The 1996 Female Genital Mutilation law has a fatal flaw. It specifically names the female genital parts that are protected to the exclusion of male parts. This is in direct conflict with the 14th Ammendment to The US Consititution! That Ammendment contains the "Equal Protection Clause" that forbids any law from treating different classes of citizens differently. The problem now is getting a judge to recognize this violation. The "cure" for this is to declare the 1996 FGM Law unconsititutional. FGM activists would cringe that such a thing would happen but Congress would act quickly to pass a replacement law that would pass Constitutional muster. If they didn't, their consitutencies would have them hanging. Frank

Frank OHara October 18, 2010 9:34 am (Pacific time)

Tim wrote: ""I saw a TV news program about a doctor using an electric cautery. Unfortunately it was set on high rather than low and it fried the young man's organ. I even squirm thinking about that." Yes, Tim. This happened in Atlanta, Georgia. This burned the penis off of the boy and he was eventually "sexually reassigned." Incidentally, it was not just one boy but three that lost their penises at that same hospital, on the same shift on the same day. Of course, there was a lawsuit and the court awarded the parents a total of $22.8 million. That's little consolation to these boys who will never be able to engage in normal sex or bear their own children. Tim wrote: "Then Dr. Leveque discussed the GOMCO clamp." Yes, The Gomco clamp has destroyed the genitals of several young boys and has appropriately been sued. They are now in bankruptcy. An appropriate end to a company that specialized in the destruction of men's genitals! Tim wrote: "What an eye-opening, eardrum damaging event. I had heard and seen battle injured soldiers before but this screaming raised the hair on my neck." Yes, those performing the procedure claimed that it was painless. The AMA laid rest to that urban myth in 1998 when they observed unanesthized circumcisions. They found that serum cortizol levels and respiration and heart rates elevated strongly indicating severe pain. As a result of these studies, they ammended their policy statement to recommend pain management for the procedure. 8 years after this study was published, a study was run to determine if infants were getting pain management. The finding showed only 16% were! Tim wrote: "For the future I was always too busy. Yes I can do a circ but I don't want some 20-year old guy looking for me with fire in his eyes." That guy might be me! I'd like to return the favor to the doctor that circumcised me. I'd like to circumcise him right below the chin! LOL!

Jake October 18, 2010 8:07 am (Pacific time)

As requested, here's the link again, this time as plain text:

Tim King: IK John, we can leave this here.  I actually caught another source that places the number above 170 so who knows.  We will have to keep verifying information, 

Anna October 18, 2010 6:19 am (Pacific time)

Thank you for writing about this. I hope many will read it. Too many people believe the myths that doctors perpetuate regarding circumcision and/or they simply don't grasp the gravity and finality of what they are doing to their infant boys.

Moe October 18, 2010 3:14 am (Pacific time)

Well written article. Wish more people would see that not circumcised is normal.

Jake October 18, 2010 2:12 am (Pacific time)

Bollinger's estimate of deaths due to circumcision is fundamentally flawed. I've shown how here

Editor: Jake, our system stripped your comment's hyperlink and there is nothing I can do to control it.  Feel free to submit it again, I will take a look at it if you do.

gmois October 17, 2010 8:50 pm (Pacific time)

So is Dr. Leveque going to...

Editor: This is an absurd comment.  Dr. Leveque is one of an endless list of doctors who went through standard medical training and performed this terrible task along the way.  He is clear that it is a bad practice and takes the time to share his first hand experience with it.  Your view of it is ridiculous and will never be printed here.  I too have things in my past that I'm sorry for, that I learned too late were wrong. I have made regrettable mistakes; isn't the important part that we move past it?  Also, you won't find these kind of candid statements from people of his stature very often. 

Kathy October 17, 2010 8:52 pm (Pacific time)

You are wrong on two points -- the ones with footnotes #3 & #5. [No, I'm not pro-circ; I'm pro-intact, and both my boys are intact.]

You said at the end of your post that rabbis "bite off" the end of the penis -- no, the article you link to says that they suck (quite a different term! though still rather disgusting) the head of the penis, to stanch the flow of blood.

As to #3 -- a detailed response would be too lengthy, so I will just say that it is a horrible exegesis and rendering and reading of the texts, and overlooks many things in the Bible.

Tim King: Kathy, I am going to amend the article to correctly state that the process involves sucking the blood and not biting the penis.  The article referenced in #5 is frequently updated by our writer Herve.  I appreciate your input on that; please remember that English is not his language and perhaps a point or two are lost in translation.  At any rate thanks for your help.  

JT October 17, 2010 9:27 pm (Pacific time)

I had my son circumcised and was ignorant to the procedure and what it really means. I just did it because i thought that is what you do. I still feel guilty about it and hope my son will not hold it against me. It is the worst crime i have allowed to be committed against my baby...all because I was ignorant.

Tim King: I share the feeling JT, fully.  It is awful but I think they will understand.  

Lisa October 17, 2010 9:01 pm (Pacific time)

Actually female "circumcision" was legal and still occured in the US even into the 1980's. The law against it only came into effect in 1995. Hopefully the male version of the law will pass sooner rather than later.

Tim King: Lisa, it makes me want to bury my head, but thanks for the additional information.  

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