Touch Yourself Too Much? Eat Graham Crackers!
We've all grown up with the old wives tales of "if you touch yourself you'll go blind!" or "You'll grow hair on your palms!". Well, my hands are hairless, and I can see fine. Of course, this carpal tunnel in my wrist hurts pretty bad...
The folks in the 1800's sure had odd opinions on things they didn't understand. Sylvester Graham, a Presbyterian minister, wanted to rid the earth of what he considered the biggest issue of his day: masturbation.
According to this story on nowIknow.com:
Graham, one of seventeen children, found sexual urges to be something to be repressed, and found “self-abuse” — a colloquialism common in the 1820s and 1830s — to be a particular ill of society. By some combination of pseudoscience and faith, he concluded that a vegetarian diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, limited dairy, and bland starches would result in an end to lustful behavior. For the last two decades of his life, Graham (who died at age 57) preached that his diet, later called the Graham Diet, would help those who followed it (called Grahamites) abstain from sexual activity, and, in particular, from self-love, which Graham argued led to insanity and blindness.
Graham crackers are good and all, but they don't offer as much of a release as, well...you know.
They go on to say that one of Graham's followers, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, believed in this diet so much, that he fed it to his patients at the asylum he worked at. Later on, along with his brother Will, they invented corn flakes. Will, more into money than stopping crazy people from masturbating, added sugar, and started the Kellogg's corporation.