A medical illustration by Sharaf ad-Din depicting an operation for castration, c. 1466 Via Wikipedia
I like junk. Maybe it’s better to say I have a strange fascination with it, a sort of strange obsession. I don’t mean junk like the stuff you find in storage sheds or like the stuff you shoot up, but you know. Junk. Primary sex characteristics. Reproduction is just so damned weird. Isn’t it?
Anyway, when someone links me something junk related, such as Skoptsy, on Wikipedia, I fall into the WikiHole.
Skoptsy is this strange sect from 19th Century Russia that believed castration would make them better Christians. They referenced Matthew 19:12 and 18:8-9, which details Christ’s counsel of perfection. Y’know, some (not all) Christians cherrypick Bible verses to follow all the time, but these are some of the stranger ones to choose:
 ‘For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.’
 ‘Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.’
It’s quite interesting, actually, because according to this, the Skoptsy believed that when Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden for eating the fruit, God affixed the fruit to them. Yeah, the fruit is all up in our bizness. This made us/them mortal, as they had to reproduce like the plants, and it was a physical sign of their sin, etc. Don’t laugh, it totally makes sense.
So, in order to eliminate those pesky human libidos and show penance, they would whack off the attached bits of ‘fruit.’ This meant pretty much anything that ‘hangs’ — for men, that’s ballsacks and for women, that’s boobies.
‘There were two kinds of castration: the “lesser” and “greater seal” (i.e. partial and complete castration). For men, “lesser” castration was the removal of the testicles only, while “greater” castration was the removal of the penis as well. Men who did the “greater seal” used a cow-horn when urinating. The castrations were made with primitive tools such as a shaving knife without using any anesthetic.’
Holy fuck. No anesthetic???
Now, I’m sure Russian rustics in the centuries leading up to modernization didn’t really know anatomy that well, but I find it strange that they didn’t try to mutilate the poor womenfolk, as do so many other backwards religious cult bastards around the world.
There’s a syndrome named after this! According to the DSM, Skoptic Syndrome is the desire or preoccupation with castration. It seems I’m not the only one: The Heaven’s Gate cult (the ones that suffocated themselves while wearing Nikes) also practiced castration. …And that’s as far as I got down the hole before I decided to get up and put my balls in the microwave.
Madman, pseudo-psychologist, and itinerant mooch, Sebastian Stevenson is also a handsome Illyrian gentleman who wishes he owned a motorbike. Man, motorbikes are cool.