An Open Call

Originally posted on The Case Against Intactivism:

I’d like to hear from you, dear reader.  The furious intactivist.  The circumcising parent (both religious and secular).  The moderate.  I’d like to post your opinion on my blog.  So please, feel free to submit a post in comments, with the words ‘Blog Post’ in it, and I’ll post them.  I’m not going to post redundant comments, so please don’t flood me with ‘his penis, his choice’ or ‘your right to religious freedom ends where his body begins’ posts.  I’ll post anything that hasn’t been posted yet.  You’ll get your very own shiny blog post, right here on The Case Against Intactivism.

Now, back to my regularly scheduled blog.

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How a Single Foreskin Becomes a Thousand Vials of Face Cream

This is a rather technical read.  It was written for me by a writer for a medical communications company, initials KD, with over 25 years of experience in medical research, first at a medical school, then at two pharmaceutical companies. She has a degree in Biomedical Science, and has agreed to help explain exactly how a single foreskin can become a thousand vials of face cream. She has asked that I redact her name, because of intactivists prior contacting of people’s work, attempting to get people fired, along with harassment , threats of rape and threats on their very lives.  Because of this, I have agreed to list this only under her initials and credentials

Before everything, of course, there is a circumcision.  The parents give their informed consent, both for the procedure, and the acquisition of the foreskin for production of fibroblasts.  A single foreskin can produce thousands of cells, and those cells can produce thousands more.  This is an original article.  I should mention that this addresses face creams.  Fibroblasts from foreskins are also used to produce skin grafts for people who were severely injured, and for medical research.

The vast majority of the dermis layer of skin is made up of connective tissue, such as collagen.   The dermis also contains nerves, blood vessels, and cells (fibroblasts). The fibroblasts produce collagen and extracellular matrix, along with growth factors that promote cell growth and differentiation.

To harvest fibroblasts from a piece of skin, the tissue is soaked in an antibiotic solution, and then minced with scissors or a razor blade.  (The subsequent steps of this procedure are performed in a tissue culture hood to minimize contamination.) The minced tissue is placed in a solution of enzymes to separate the cells from the connective tissue, and then centrifuged and/or filtered through mesh to separate the cells from the rest of the non-cellular material.  The cells are washed with saline solution, then resuspended in an artificial growth medium containing amino acids, vitamins, growth factors, and other nutrients.  The cells are placed in one or more tissue culture plates.

This is called the “primary” culture.  Over a period of several hours, the cells attach to the bottom of the plates.  The cells are placed in an incubator at 37c, 95% air, and 5% CO2.  The medium is replaced every few days. The cells divide at an exponential rate, with the number doubling every 12-24 hours. Once the cells almost cover the bottom of the plate, the cells are washed in saline, and treated with an enzyme (usually trypsin) to cause them to release their attachments to the plate.  They can then be divided into multiple new plates, with the cells from one primary culture able to seed anywhere from a few to thousands of new plates.  Each iteration of this process is called passaging.  Fibroblasts from normal newborn skin can be passaged many times until division begins to slow down, the cells begin to differentiate, and eventually they cease dividing. (These cells can also be “immortalized” in a number of different ways.  They are then considered to be “transformed” and can divide indefinitely.  Traditionally, transformation was achieved by incubation of the cells with certain viruses, but there are now other ways this can be achieved.)

A single piece of tissue can generate millions and millions of cells. Kind of like a cutting from a plant can make an entire tree – over and over again.

The used culture medium, also called “human fibroblast conditioned medium,” collected from the cells, contains growth factors, collagen, and other nutrients produced by the fibroblasts. This medium is collected and purified, then can be added to cosmetic products. There is some debate as to the effectiveness of these factors applied to intact adult skin.  However, there aren’t any actual cells in these cosmetic products. A single skin sample could generate thousands of separate cultures, each culture generating conditioned medium every couple of days, thus generating countless vials of face cream.

*This post was edited to remove a typo, and to include the points that this post is about face creams, while the fibroblasts also have other uses

So we did this trolling thing


I’m obviously far from the only person who feels this way.

Originally posted on The Poxes Blog:

Circumcision, like vaccination, is kind of a controversial issue, it appears. Unlike vaccination, circumcision is not one of those things that you’re required to do to send your child to school or to keep a population safe from communicable disease. (Yes, there is good evidence that HIV infection can be curbed by circumcision, but that’s for another post.) I became aware of “intactivists,” people who are activists about leaving boys intact (uncircumcised), during the vaccine wars. As it turns out, a lot of anti-vaccine people are also intactivists, sharing the fear and anger at the government and pharmaceutical/medical systems. Intactivists can be quite nasty, just like anti-vaccine activists.

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Circumcision Is Not


Medical Circumcision and Brit Milah is not…


Circumcision is not rape

Circumcision is not violence

Circumcision is not dangerous

Circumcision does not ruin your sex life

Circumcision does not mean your parents didn’t love you

Circumcision is almost never the reason you’re not enjoying sex

Circumcision does not increase sales of Viagra or increase ED

Circumcision does not make someone a pervert

Circumcision does not make someone a cripple

Circumcision is not replaceable with a made up ceremony for Jewish boys

Circumcision is not to blame for everything wrong in the world

Circumcision is not on the decline

Circumcision is not used to routinely acquire foreskins for cosmetic or medical uses and never without parent’s informed consent




And until things change with presentation…

Intactivism will not succeed at changing minds.


Intactivists Incite Crazy; Violence and Fetishism.


Brian Morris

I’ve heard time and again that Brian Morris, an Australian professor who has been promoting circumcision for years, is a pedophile. Or a circumfetishest. Or both.  

For those of you unaware, a circumfetishest is a person who is sexually aroused by the act of circumcision. Many intactivists don’t even know what the term means, and use it to describe anyone who supports circumcision or parental choice (along with terms like cutter).  Many fetishists (of any stripe)  will trade photos, stories or videos of whatever the subject of their particular fetish is.  This includes circumcision.  I don’t support any fetish that involves children.   Even if it only involves them in story.  

Erotic literature has some pretty obvious tells.  Things that make it clear that it’s erotic literature. A story entitled “Darren”, which was not written by Brian Morris as far as I’ve seen, has been given as “proof” that doctors (or Brian Morris specifically)  masturbate or are aroused during circumcision. The story is just that.  A story.  A disgusting story, that makes me sick, but a story.  It has nothing to do with parents choosing to circumcise.  Most parents are doing the best they can, and have no ill or foul intent toward their children.  

The Gilgal Society is another “example” given of Brian Morris and his supposedly bad intentions toward children.  The owner Vernon Quantaince was recently arrested for and convicted of molesting 5 children and apparently had accumulated quite a lot of child pornography.  They use the fact that he appropriately distanced himself after finding out Vernon’s disgusting crimes as “proof” of involvement. 

If intactivists, any of you, have proof that Brian Morris is doing something wrong, you absolutely must step forward with it.  Sitting on evidence of a sexual crime against children is just as bad as perpetrating one.  

But if, on the other hand, you’re just repeating lies and innuendo you’ve heard, you are doing nothing but slandering and libeling a man who is, like you, trying to help people as he believes is how he should.

I have no interest in supporting someone who wants to hurt children.  But I’ve also seen no evidence that he does.  So if you have it , here’s your chance.  

The fact that I, myself, have been told that I’m a circumcised man (I’m not), with circumcised children (I don’t have any circumcised children), that I’m a circumfetishest, that I’m a child rapist, that I should be forcibly circumcised, that I should be killed, or raped, or tortured…well, those things certainly don’t help my skepticism of these claims.  

But here’s your chance to prove your claims.  

Intactivists Steal Your Kid’s Photos



I need to note that I am not speaking of every intactivist, though I lament the lack of designation between the extreme type and the intellectually honest ones.  Suffice it to say, if you don’t engage in the bahviors described, I’m not speaking of you. 


Generally most people know that anything they post online is not really private.  Your friends may screen shot it, or if it’s in a private group, your enemies.

What you need to know is that you do have some control.  Anything posted by you PUBLICLY is allowed to be shared by Facebook.  If it’s not posted publicly, it’s allowed for others to screen shot your post as long as your name is blocked or partially blocked.  It’s not allowed to make a meme with your pictures.  So if that’s been done with your child, you may report it   Facebook can be somewhat arbitrary about what they allow or don’t allow, but those are the general rules.

I’ve seen too many outraged mothers first demand the removal of their child’s picture, or their status removed from a page.  Many end up begging.  Others deactivate their Facebook.

You need to know that these people, these intactivists…Some may genuinely care about babies.  But above all else they care about capitulation and surrender.   They care about being special and different.  And they will carry out their mission with an almost fetishistic zeal.   Anyone who would harass a mother and use her children this way doesn’t care about anything but the almighty cause they’ve been enslaved by.  Any parent who would use their own child(ren) to try to guilt or manipulate others into not circumcising doesn’t care about anything but the almighty cause they’ve been enslaved by.  They will sacrifice anything and everything at the altar of the Foreskin.

These people make their own husbands, partners and children feel mutilated and inadequate.  They tell them they’re less than, deformed and mutilated.  They mock them, with insulting pictures and terms.  They use sloppy Scholarship to claim they’re impotent (actually increased Viagra sales has to do with recreational use and the simple fact that we can afford to buy it…not to mention American overall propensity toward pharmaceuticals).

Anyone who would treat the men in their lives that way certainly doesn’t care about the men in yours.  Anyone who would treat their children that way certainly doesn’t care about yours.

Is there anything you can do about it?  Sort of.  Don’t publish any public pictures of your children on Facebook. You can make everything but your profile and cover photos private.  Don’t use them as a way to showcase your family to strangers.  Make your groups, likes and every setting possible set to “Friends only”.  And don’t talk about your child’s circumcision. Not because you should be ashamed, but because you will be harassed.  There are people and groups and pages on Facebook who devote their time to finding any mention of circumcision and mocking or showcasing the person who did it.  I don’t have a complete list on hand but the people and pages I see commonly do this will be listed below.  Finally, anything that you hashtag (#) will be made public.

Is there anything you can do after you’ve had your photo or status shared by one of these people or groups?  Not much. Unless you’re tagged or they use your photo to make a meme, screen cap without blocking your identity or the Facebook algorithm Goda are on your side, nothing will be done.  If they use a picture from somewhere other than Facebook where you don’t agree to give rights to the website, they may be committing a copyright or DMCA violation. If that’s the case, and you have the resources, you could talk to an attorney and file a lawsuit.  But they won’t remove your photo if you ask or demand.  They want you to post on their website.  They enjoy it. There’s nothing that feels better to them.than a whole bunch of them at once, ganging up on one or two people.

You can also post it here.  The comments are moderated, so I will keep your information private.   A screen cap of your information shared will suffice, which I will edit out, and change your name, to protect you.   I will not share any names or stories that are not true or that I can not validate.  Anyone who doesn’t believe they’re true wouldn’t believe me no matter what I do, but I am true to my word.

I don’t care what silly justifications make this ok in intactivists’ minds.   All I know is that it has been threatened before that a database of this information is being collected for a website.  All I know is that parents who didn’t even know this debate existed before their trial by fire are being stalked and harassed.  Even if you believe circumcision is wrong, surely you realize that not everyone even knows there’s a debate on the topic?   If you truly have a goal to save children, don’t exploit them.  There’s no salvation in that.


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