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The danger of extremists - UPDATED

Andrew Gross Published June 22, 2021

Updated July 7, 2021

"What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents."

- Robert F. Kennedy, "The Pursuit of Justice"; 1964

In 2013 the popular online political magazine Slate published one of the first articles that warned the public about the fanaticism of the burgeoning intactivist movement. In "How Circumcision Broke the Internet," Mark Joseph Stern explained that "a fringe group of self-proclaimed 'intactivists' has hijacked the conversation, dismissing science, slamming reason, and tossing splenetic accusations at anyone who dares to question their conspiracy theory." [1] The examples that Stern provided of the "vitriolic mob" would be familiar to anyone who has had the misfortune to encounter the intactivist bullies. [2]

The reaction of the intactivist movement to the Slate piece was completely predictable. Immune to any possibility of self-reflection, they validated and confirmed Stern's points by immediately turning their fury toward the author. while dismissing the possibility that he might have even a single valid point [3] Attorneys for the Rights of the Child wrote a letter to the National Post in which ARC claimed that Stern had written "outright falsehoods" about intactivists, who ARC denied were "fringe activists." [4]

A response by anti-circumcision scholar Brian Earp was more interesting. An associate director of ethics at Yale University, Earp penned an open letter that was published on a men's issues website. [5] (Earp referred to his open letter as a "rebuttal.") [6] Stern had devoted 7 of the 11 paragraphs in his article to describe how the rabid intactivist movement attacks anyone who dares to disagree and prevents reasoned, rational discussion of the topic online. Yet Earp paid mere lip service to Stern's main point before quickly pivoting to criticize Stern's statements about the effects of the procedure.

In his open letter Earp employed a number of logical fallacies, including tu quoque - by claiming that Stern employed rhetorical excess in any way comparable to that committed by intactivists; [7] slippery slope - by comparing circumcision to the removal of an infant girl's breast buds; [8] and ad hominem - by accusing Stern of being bound by American cultural norms and by predicting that his similarly influenced readers would automatically agree with him. [9] Earp falsely implied that circumcision is unique to American medicine, and he claimed that the entire "rest of the developed world views [the normality of circumcision in the United States] with a mix of curiosity and disbelief" - by cherry-picking a single letter signed by 38 mostly European doctors. [10][11]

He accused Stern of "implying ... boisterously ... that the only people who are opposed to circumcision are 'wacky' activists." I can understand why Earp would infer this, since Stern alternated between the terms "intactivists" and "anti-circumcision activists." Perhaps it's the case that intactivists are so boisterous themselves that they drown out sober, rational anti-circumcision voices. To be sure, Stern wrote that "for doctors, circumcision remains a complex, delicate issue," an implicit acknowledgment that currently there is no medical consensus. [12]

Many of Earp's assertions have been addressed in these Circumcision Choice articles:

Anti-circumcision leaders and physicians

I found Earp's flippant denial of Stern's point "that the only people who are opposed to circumcision are 'wacky' activists" to be curious. Earp implied that a large majority of those strongly against the procedure are sober, responsible, intellectuals. Let's take a look at several leaders of the anti-circumcision movement. Readers should consider whether their actions are representative of sober, responsible individuals - or of crazed, fanatical extremists.

Paul Fleiss, a Los Angeles physician and author of several articles and books about circumcision, was eulogized by Marilyn Milos as "an extraordinary pediatrician and a remarkable man." [13] In 1995 Fleiss pled guilty to bank fraud and money laundering. He had shielded assets for his daughter Heidi - known infamously as "The Hollywood Madam," and he had falsely claimed Heidi as an employee in his medical office. In 2005 his refusal to accept the link between HIV and AIDS cost a 3 year-old patient her life. [14] Fleiss invented the commonly-cited statistic that the foreskin contains more than 20,000 nerve endings. [15]

Rosemary Romberg, author of a 1985 anti-circumcision book and a frequent protester, was described as a "pioneer of the intactivist movement." [16] Romberg admitted her circumcision obsession caused her to suffer an emotional breakdown. [17] She reacted to a publisher's rejection letter of her anti-circumcision book by punching her fist through a glass window. [18] She fantasized about punching doctors and nurses - not just those who perform circumcision - but anyone who would defend the procedure. [19] She made an obscene comparison between happily circumcised men and hypothetical "pro-Hitler" Holocaust survivors. [20-22]

Marilyn Milos, founder of NOCIRC, has been lauded as a compassionate nurse and "mother of the intactivist movement." [23] Upon the death of Dr. Edgar Schoen - chair of the 1988 AAP Circumcision Task Force, this "compassionate" nurse expressed a desire to celebrate by carrying balloons, dancing on his casket, and praying for his eternal suffering. [24] During a 2015 parental dispute that garnered international attention, Heather Hironimus fled with her 4 year-old son in violation of a court order and a parental agreement by preventing contact between the son and Dennis Nebus, the boy's father, for 79 days. After the mother was apprehended, Milos called the arrest "a miscarriage of justice." She stoked the flames of intactivist rage by opining that the father, the judge, and sheriff's department officers - all of whom followed the law - should be locked up. [25] [26] Stern wrote about the Hironimus-Nebus case at the time. [27]

Georganne Chapin is the executive director of Intact America, the largest anti-circumcision organization in the United States. In a 2014 speech at an anti-circumcision conference, she admonished leaders who questioned the motives or actions of anti-Semitic and fanatical intactivists. She concluded the speech by declaring that anyone who circumcises a child is "the enemy," [28] and she has referred to people who defend circumcision as "cockroaches." [29] She has blamed "the Jewish lobby" for blocking laws that would prohibit circumcision. [30] [31] In a 2015 op-ed she compared mohels and doctors who circumcise infants to Nazi doctors who conducted inhumane experiments on concentration camp prisoners. [32] [21-22] During the 2015 parental dispute, Intact America published a frantic post with the name of the 4 year-old child (breaking a promise the organization had given weeks earlier), the name and phone number of the hospital, and the phone number of the doctor's office. Chapin linked to a map showing the location of the doctor's office. [33] Shortly therafter the doctor received death threats and the hospital received a bomb threat and threats to hack the hospital's computer system. [34] Chapin is arguably the most powerful and prominent circumcision opponent in the United States.

George Denniston is the founder and president of Doctors Opposing Circumcision. [35] He has made the absurd argument that circumcision may be the cause of up to a million abortions in the United States each year. [36] He falsely claimed that most circumcised boys develop meatal stenosis, and that every circumcision has complications and causes permanent damage. [37] He vilifies the field of obstetrics, saying that American obstetricians should not be allowed anywhere near a woman giving birth. [38]

Morten Frisch is a Danish physician and author of several anti-circumcision articles. He was the lead author of the cherry-picked letter I mentioned earlier - a 2013 letter signed by 38 European and Canadian doctors criticizing the AAP's Circumcision Task Force. [10] Frisch has stated that the brit milah ritual "feeds" the prevalence of attacks against Jews - in effect blaming the victims for anti-Semitism. [39] Previously he dismissed anti-Semitism and the Holocaust as "ploys used by Jews to silence ... debate." [40] [41]

Kenneth Hopkins, the founder and leader of the Blood Stained Men, calls himself "Brother K." The intactivist movement widely regards him as a messianic figure: "the Dalai Lama or Mother Teresa," [42] " a god amongst men," [43] and "a legend [deserving of a] Nobel peace prize." [44][45] In 2013 he drove 820 miles (1,300 km) to stalk a pediatric nurse inside her medical office - because he was offended by a Facebook post. [46] In 2019 he led protesters into an office building and used false pretenses in an unsuccessful attempt to enter a medical office. He assaulted a female doctor who blocked him from entry, and then lied about the incident to a responding police officer. [47] He routinely makes histrionic, inflammatory analogies, comparing circumcision to "drilling a hole into your baby's head" or "throwing your baby into a volcano." Hopkins spends most of his days - "pretty much a full-time job for me" - leading and inciting intactivists in a systematic harassment campaign against parents, doctors, nurses, and anyone who dares to cross him. [48] He has directed his followers to search social media for circumcision posts all day long. [49] He is a pathological liar. [50]

James Loewen is a Canadian photographer, videographer, and member of the Blood Stained Men board of directors. Other anti-circumcision leaders have praised him as "a great individual with a big heart," [51] "fearless, tireless, and a TRUE HERO," [52] and "a kind and deeply insightful friend." [53] Loewen holds particular malice toward happily circumcised men. In response to the comment "I love my circumcised penis!", he sneered, "What do you like best about having a scarred, less functional penis than what nature provided?" [54] In a private intactivist group he envisioned a film that would depict doctors and mohels being tortured and put through a wood chipper. [55] In March 2020 Rabbi Romi Cohn of New York City died from coronavirus complications. Born in Czechoslovakia in 1929, Cohn was a hero who at age 16 had personally saved 56 Jewish families from the Nazis. [56] Loewen celebrated Cohn's death, calling him "a serial child molester" - apparently because the Holocaust survivor had also served as a mohel who provided free circumcisions. [57] Loewen spent much of 2020 spreading the fringe QAnon conspiracy theory. He claimed that philanthropist Bill Gates and major health and pharamaceutical organizations intentionally deceived the public in order to create a mandatory vaccine that digitally connects the recipient to a global matrix. He claimed that billionaire George Soros funded Black Lives Matter protests in order to ferment civil unrest and that U.S. President Donald Trump was working to uncover a massive pedophile ring involved in human trafficking, satanic blood rituals, and human sacrifice. In particular, he claimed the existence of video evidence showing that former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her aide ripped off a child's face and wore it as a mask before drinking the child's blood in a demonic ritual. [58]

Christiane Northrup is an ob-gyn and a member of the Intact America Board of Health Professionals. Intact America named her "Intactivist of the Month" in May, 2013, [59] and she has been quoted approvingly by Doctors Opposing Circumcision. [60] Northrup rejects germ theory [61] and promotes astrology, [62] tarot cards, [63] and regression therapy, [64] none of which has any scientific basis. She denied the reality of the Coronavirus, and she claimed that the Covid-19 vaccine would be integrated into a recipient's DNA to make recipients the property of vaccine patent holders. [65] Last October she retweeted a tweet which said that Canada was building Covid-19 concentration camps. [66] Like Loewen, she has embraced the QAnon conspiracy theory. Local writers warned that "Northrup's nihilistic prescriptions pose a clear and present danger to public health." [67] In April Instagram suspended her account for spreading false information, [68] and two U.S. senators have asked Facebook and Twitter to ban her from their platforms. [69]

The above individuals are prominent leaders in the anti-circumcision movement; they serve as role models for how intactivists should behave. I will acknowledge that not every single person who opposes circumcision is extreme, dishonest, and dangerous. In fact Circumcision Choice has distinguished between a mere circumcision opponent and an intactivist whose entire life revolves around this obsession. [70] I call Earp to consider the possibility that the anti-circumcision movement - from the top down - has become infested with fanatical, hysterical, and in some cases dangerous extremists.

Consequences of a missed opportunity [SEE UPDATE BELOW]

In How Circumcision Broke the Internet, Mark Joseph Stern warned that the intactivists were silencing any reasoned discussion of circumcision. It would be expected and reasonable for Brian Earp and others to respond to what they considered to be inacurrate or misleading information in the article. But the article provided Earp - a responsible and respected voice in the anti-circumcision movement - with a golden opportunity to do so much more; an opportunity to guide leaders of the movement toward reason and sanity.

Earp gave a keynote speech at a 2018 anti-circumcision conference in San Francisco, [71] and he was honored with the "Jonathon Conte Award - for furthering the cause of Genital Autonomy" at a 2016 conference in Newcastle, U.K. [72] So it's reasonable to assume that he is personally acquainted with some or most of these influential leaders. Earp could have taken time during the past eight years to speak directly with these individuals about the valid points that Stern raised. In his open letter Earp acknowledged that the foreskin does not have "mythical powers," and he admitted that "circumcised men are not all damaged goods nor condemned to having terrible sex lives." He could have echoed these points to intactivist leaders who seem to think otherwise. He could have clarified that circumcised men are not all sexually crippled and that insulting neonatally circumcised men who are happy does nothing to reduce the prevalence of infant circumcision today. He could have explained the need for them to manage their own expectations and those of their followers. He could have asked them to tone down the feverish rhetoric. He could have advised them that while they have the right to protest and express their views, it is ethically wrong - and often counterproductive - to bully and threaten doctors, nurses, parents, and anyone else who disagrees with them.

Regrettably, Earp has not yet seized that opportunity.

Meanwhile, in 2014 Raw Story published a list of "the weirdest people on the internet." The criteria to be on the list were: 1. “Being outright deluded in their obsession or, even if they might have a sliver of a point, their obsession outstrips any sense of proportion, pushing them into the 'delusional‘ category. 2. First rate trolling abilities. They can turn all sorts of discussions into flamewars about their obsession. They have this uncanny ability to know if there's a thread somewhere online that touches on their obsession, so they can descend en masse and utterly derail any productive conversation. 3. No sense of humor whatsoever, coupled with an enormous ego that leads to rapid fire butthurt at even the merest whiff of pushback." Not surprisingly, intactivists were ranked #1. Author Amanda Marcotte didn't refer to all circumcision opponents, but to "the people who act like removing a foreskin is one of the greatest human rights abuses of all time, on level not just with the much more serious female circumcision but also with slavery and the Holocaust and who tend to use the word 'mutilated' to describe it... Because of the combination of gender weirdness, sexual obsessions, bad faith, and lack of all proportion, they get the number one spot." [73]

On New Years Day of 2015 Earp could have suggested that members of the intactivist movement each make a resolution to take a deep breath and calm down. Instead he posted another link to his open letter. [74] Seven weeks later Heather Hironimus - egged on by the intactivists - made an irresponsible decision that ultimately would backfire on herself and her child. She kidnapped her son and for 79 days hid from the law in a women's shelter. Her illegal actions failed to prevent her son's circumcision, but they did cause her to lose child custody. [25] In April my op-ed "It's time for anti-circumcision extremists to stop the bullying" was published, reinforcing many of the points raised by Stern and Marcotte. [75]

In 2016 Jennifer Bossio completed a study comparing penile sensitivity of uncircumcised men and neonatally circumcised men. [76] The study was part of Bossio's dissertation for her PhD in psychology. [77] Certainly her conclusion that circumcision has minimal long-term implications for penile sensitivity and her skepticism that the foreskin is the most sensitive part of the penis (in terms of sexual pleasure) would be disappointing for circumcision opponents. Earp himself disputed her conclusion, and he accused Bossio of reporting the study in a misleading manner. [78] The intactivists responded aggressively and mercilessly. They "found her phone number and work address and sent her death threats, with messages such as ’I hope you get cancer‘ and flooded her university's Facebook page with abusive comments 'for years' after the study's publication. They also sent messages to her partner's number, with claims that she was 'fucking other men.'" [79]

Bossio could have been a valuable asset in the conversation about circumcision policy. Most researchers who study circumcision enter the field with strong preexisting feelings for or against the procedure; unsurprisingly their study results and conclusions support their respective agendas. Bossio is a rare individual who began her research without a partisan agenda. [80] She modestly explained, "Regardless of what we find – whether circumcision decreases penile sensitivity, increases it, or has no difference – I hope that this research is used to make a difference in people’s lives in some small way.” [81] Hers was one of the higher quality circumcision studies I've reviewed, notwithstanding the small sample size. But Dr. Jennifer Bossio won't be conducting any more circumcision research; the harassment was too much to endure. She said, "If I'd known what I was getting into, I would not have done this important research in the first place." [79] Frankly, I don't blame her one bit for withdrawing.

In January 2019 Earp posted another link to his open letter. The tweet revealed an increase in his animosity toward the Stern article, calling it a "dangerously uniformed polemic." [82] Labeling the article - which warns about a group of extremists who threaten opponents and seek to silence disagreement - as dangerous seems ironic. Six months later the Blood Stained Men conducted theit trespass and assault inside the medical office building in Denver. [47]

Over the past several years, the group behind Circumcision Choice has seen hundreds of heartbreaking instances in which a young man on social media describes how he suffers daily from depression and suicidal thoughts - because he has become convinced that circumcision has ruined his life. [83] We've also seen several instances where men have threatened to blow up a hospital [34] [84] or vowed to confront the doctors who performed their own neonatal circumcisions. With the movement in a state of perpetual frenzy, it surely is just a matter of time until a confrontation results in a serious injury or death.


In his knee-jerk responses to any criticism of intactivist excesses, Earp seems to portray the good half of the good cop/bad cop routine. While intactivists conduct their bullying campaign, Earp steps in to declare, "Oh yes. Those mean intactivists sure are mean. Buuuuuuuuuut ... they do have a point."

I don't blame Earp for the actions of others. I do hold him responsible for his own actions ... and inactions. It's time for Earp to pause from lecturing circumcision defenders, step outside the ivory tower, and speak the truth to those on his side of the debate. He should level with them, if not for our sake, then for their sake. They certainly won't listen to Andrew Gross or Mark Joseph Stern. But they just might listen to Brian Earp.


After I emailed him a link to this post, Brian Earp sent a response in which he disputed several points in this post. While the contents of his message will remain confidential, he gave me permission to quote the following: "You seem to think that I don't take 'intactivists' to task for such issues as bullying or mistreatment of parents who choose to circumcise, misuse of empirical information etc. But this is untrue. On several occasions, when it's come on to my radar, I have publicly denounced any mistreatment or abuse of parents who choose to circumcise. Moreover, I have repeatedly emphasized in my writings and interviews that such parents are not bad people, that they are trying to do what is best for their children, that they view circumcision as an act of love or care, and so forth."

[1] Mark Joseph Stern; "How Circumcision Broke the Internet"; Slate; September 18, 2013

[2] For example see: "Intactivists are bullies" handout; Circumcision Choice; April 2018

[3] Commenters accused Stern of being delusional, ignorant, a liar, in denial, reactionary, and engaging in hate speech.

[4] Steven Svoboda; "ARC letter in response to Mark Joseph Stern's article: 'Intactivists' against circumcision"; Attorneys for the Rights of the Child; September 22, 2013. ARC failed to identify any factual statement Stern had written about intactivist activities that they considered false.

[5] Brian D. Earp; "An Open Letter to the Author of 'How Circumcision Broke the Internet'"; The Good Men Project; September 23, 2013

[6] Brian D. Earp tweet; September 23, 2013. "Dear National Post - here is my rebuttal to Mr. Stern's article that you republished from @Slate"

[7] Earp. "I think, however, that in your hurry to admonish 'the intactivists' for pushing their anti-circumcision arguments too far, you may have fallen prey to some of that very same rhetorical excess (as well as misuse of science) in your own piece." (emphasis added)

[8] Earp. "For example, we could eliminate breast cancer by removing the breast buds of all infant girls - and that would be an extraordinary medical benefit."

[9] Earp. "My best guess is that your views on circumcision are rather heavily informed by (and perhaps even constrained by) the default norms of American society, which sees non-therapeutic genital cutting* of boys to be an unremarkable affair. Your mostly-American readers, therefore, may happily lap up your attack on 'intactivists' as being right on the money."

[11] The AAP is by no means alone in its position on circumcision. The Canadian Paediatric Society and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians both support parental choice. The World Health Organization published a 140-page manual on early infant male circumcision. The British Medical Association maintains a neutral position. Contrary to Earp's assertion, I suspect that very few of the 196 countries on earth are openly hostile toward infant circumcision.

[12] Earp cited the Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG) as a "respected medical organization." I would question the level of influence and respect of the KNMG - given that few national medical associations share their position. At any rate, the KNMG has not called for criminalizing the circumcision of all minor boys; nor does its policy statement demand that doctors must refuse to perform the procedure. That position differs from an intactivist movement that demands a complete prohibition of elective circumcision for all minor boys.

[13] Marilyn Milos; "A Tribute to Paul Murray Fleiss: 1933-2014"; Attorneys for the Rights of the Child newsletter, p 14; Winter 2014

[15] "Of all the nerves"; Circumcision Choice; March 2, 2018

[16] "Intactivist of the Month - Rosemary Romberg"; Intact America; September 21, 2015

[17] Rosemary Romberg, Facebook post; July 7, 2017. "For roughly a decade during the 90's people rarely heard from me because I had become so frustrated, exhausted and heartbroken over the fact that people were still torturing their babies after all I had done that I had an emotional breakdown over it."

[18] Rosemary Romberg; Facebook post; April 18, 2019. "At one point I became so enraged when a certain promising publisher decided not to publish my book that I ended up putting my hand through a window!"

[19] Rosemary Romberg; undated Facebook comment. "I wish I could go into every newborn nursery and beat up every doctor and nurse that defends circumcision... They need a punch in the face from us."

[20] Rosemary Romberg; Facebook post; July 9, 2018. "Men circumcised as infants in favor of circumcision are like Holocaust deathcamp [sic] survivors in favor of Hitler."

[21] The U.S. State Department cites the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism, which includes among its illustrative examples, "Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis." If comparing contemporary Israeli policy to policies of Nazi Germany is considered anti-Semitic, all the moreso would be comparing a Jewish ritual that has been practiced by every Jewish generation to Nazi torture experiments on Jewish prisoners.

[22] "Comparison with the Nazis"; The Online Hate Prevention Institute. "When used in the context of Jews or Israel, it’s not just a really poor comparison; its use is designed to cause distress to those who survived the Holocaust or who grew up as the children of survivors. It’s like disagreeing with someone eating meat, and knowing they are a rape victim, choosing to make your point by comparing eating meat with rape and saying that someone who had been raped should know better. It’s not just a bad analogy, it’s applying a different standard to someone because they are a victim, making them a victim a second time." In other words, while one can criticize mohels, to compare the brit milah to experiments that Nazi doctors intended to torture and cripple Jewish victims - is obscene.

[23] Joel Edwards; "Nurses Against Circumcision"; Organic Lifestyle; February 13, 2019 [24] Marilyn Fayre Milos; comment on Brother K Facebook post; August 29, 2016. "I've decided not to go to his memorial tomorrow. I would carry balloons and dance on his casket. He was the first doctor at the AAP to say that there are benefits as well as risks. That was the beginning of the AAP's move toward protecting doctors instead of babies! Schoen is responsible for the suffering of more babies than most doctors. Let us hope their tortured screams haunt him for eternity."

[25] "Intact America Part 5: A wild goose chase backfires"; Circumcision Choice; October 11, 2018 [26] Marilyn Fayre Milos; comment on Intact America Facebook post; May 19, 2015.

[27] Mark Joseph Stern; "Circumcision Armageddon"; Slate; May 22, 2015. Stern was critical of intactivists "who seized upon Hironimus' plight as both a crusade and a publicity stunt." Yet he expressed reservations about the proposed circumcision "at this late date," and he was sympathetic for the parties involved: "It's hard not to pity Chase, Nebus, and Hironimus for being sucked into the whirlwind of chaos and vitriol... His penis is infamous; his father is villified and despised; and his mother faces criminal charges. I can't imagine a better way to traumatize a child."

[28] Georganne Chapin; "Whose Political Correctness? Changing Language, Viewpoints and Tactics in Today’s Intactivist Movement"; 13th International Symposium on Genital Autonomy and Children’s Rights; Boulder, Colorado; July 25, 2014

[29] Georganne Chapin; True News; Freedomain Radio; April 5, 2017. (Quote begins at 2:55.) "People are scurrying like cockroaches when you turn on the light at night to find some kind of rationalization and justification for a completely unconscionable and unjustifiable practice." (Quote begins at 6:08.) "[A fear of negative social consequences is] just another one of those scurrying cockroach phenomena. 'Let's find some reason to put forth for the boy's own good.'"

[30] ibid. (Quote begins at 1:38.) "[Circumcision is] embedded in every aspect of American culture ... and including obviously very strong political pushback from religious groups, from the Jewish lobby."

[31] Georganne Chapin; radio interview; Moncrief on NewsTalk 106-108fm; Dublin, Ireland; August 4, 2017. (Quote begins at 13:57.) “I think that legislation is a very remote possibility. There’s a lot of opposition to that, primarily from the Jewish lobby.”

[32] Georganne Chapin; "Routine circumcision: A human rights issue whose time has come"; South Florida Sun-Sentinel; March 28, 2015.

[33] Georganne Chapin; comment on Intact America Facebook post; June 8, 2015

[34] Dennis Nebus; "Father's Motion for Psychological Evaluation of the Mother"; Filed with 15th Circuit Court, Palm Beach County, Florida; September 3, 2015.

[35] Andrew Gross; "Doctors Opposing Circumcision"; Circumcision Choice; July 15, 2019

[36] George C. Denniston, et al; "Genital Cutting: Protecting Children from Medical, Cultural, and Religious Infringements", p 63; Springer; 2013. "In my practice, I have seen how circumcision can be posited as the untoward cause of many abortions. Adult neonatally circumcised males frequently exhibit an irrational terror at the prospect of a vasectomy. They finally go reluctantly, after their wife has had at least two abortions. They knew that they did not want more children, but their fear of a genital operation was so great from the early trauma of circumcision that they refused vasectomy and thus let their wives suffer needlessly. Multiply these experiences by the 500,000 vasectomies that are performed every year in the United States, and there is the potential for one million abortions caused by circumcision each year."

[37] George C. Denniston; "Doctors Opposing Circumcision - George Denniston"; YouTube; April 20, 2016

[38] James Loewen; "A Message for Parents-To-Be from Dr. George Denniston; YouTube; February 4, 2018. (Quote begins at 0:25)

[39] Morten Frisch tweet; May 19, 2016. "jeg frygter også antisemitisme; stædig insisteren på brutalitet mod spædbørn giver den desværre unødig næring. Drop det ritual!" Translation: "I fear anti-Semitism, too. Stubborn insistance on [infant circumcision] feeds it, unfortunately. Drop that ritual!"

[40] Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg; "Anti semitism Greece, England"; Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg Reflects on the news, Torah, Israel; October 26, 2012. "Morten Frisch, a medical doctor who is prominent in the movement has gone so far as to claim that 'anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, etc.' are 'all ploys used by the Jews to silence a contentious issue.' 'To me,' he wrote, 'it appears insulting to the sense of justice, that we live in a country which, because of fears of accusations of anti-Semitism, racism, Holocaust and imaginative threats about Jewish and Muslim mass exodus, lacks the political courage to change the law.'"

[41] Students in a Jewish school in Copenhagen were warned in 2014 not to wear a kippah in public - for fear of attacks. In 2015 a Jewish security guard was shot and killed outside the main synagogue in Copenhagen during a bar mitzvah service. In 2019 the leader of a Neo-Nazi movement vandalized 84 tombstones in a Jewish cemetery in Randers. Danish Jews have reported an increase in violent attacks, harassment, and hate speech over the past decade. To Frisch, it's all just a ploy by those devious Jews.

[42] Vanessa Berkey Facebook post; September 28, 2016

[43] Bethany Witt Movassaghi - quoted in Jason Fairfield Facebook post; March 12, 2017

[44] Mark Norris Facebook post; May 2019

[45] See also: "Is intactivism a cult?"; Circumcision Choice; June 8, 2019

[46] "The intactivist who drove 800 miles to stalk a nurse"; Circumcision Choice; February 26, 2018

[48] Brother K Facebook video; April 2, 2020. "We literally need hundreds of people searching these posts - because there are that many posts out there, ladies and gentlemen. And ... this is pretty much a full-time job for me."

[49] Brother K; Friends of Bloodstained Men Facebook post; March 23, 2020. "PLEASE SEARCH FOR CIRCUMCISION POSTS ALL DAY... The search can be anything, 'circumcise' 'circumcize' etc. There are often too many results to share, so please comment and react on all posts yourself!"

[51] Jonathan Friedman; Attorneys for the Rights of the Child Newsletter; Volume 10, Issue 1, p 13

[52] Frances Maxant Facebook comment: December 23, 2016

[53] Georganne Chapin; "Intactivist of the Month - James Loewen"; Intact America; July 10, 2012

[54] James Loewen, October 27, 2016 reply to Stephen Bayer October 27, 2016 comment on David-Elijah Nahmod; "Intactivists remember Conte, try to deliver petitions to AAP"; Bay Area Reporter; October 26, 2016

[55] James Loewen; comment on Intactivist Library Facebook post; June 25, 2014. "America loves it's [sic] bloody kill-all-the-bad-guys films. Wouldn't it be fun to see a film where all the circumcisers of children get blasted to smithereens, sliced and diced and put through a wood chipper to the tune of 'So long, farewell' from the Sound of Music. Just in fun of course." Three years later when I held a sign quoting his comment, Loewen denied that he had ever written these words, and he falsely accused Circumcision Choice of dishonesty. He quickly retracted his defamatory accusation when we produced a screen shot of the comment.

[56] Joseph Berger; "Romi Cohn Saved 56 Jewish Families. Coronavirus Took His Life"; New York Times; March 27, 2020

[57] James Loewen; comment on Bloodstained Men & Their Friends Facebook post; March 29, 2020

[58] "How intactivists exploited the Coronavirus"; Circumcision Choice; October 28, 2020

[59] "Intactivist of the Month - Dr. Christiane Northrup"; Intact America; May 16, 2013

[60] "Psychological Impact"; Doctors Opposing Circumcision

[61] Christiane Northrup; "The Farm Effect: How Dirt Makes You Happy and Healthy"; Christiane Northrup M.D.; March 23, 2016

[62] Christiane Northrup; "Use Astrology to Find Your Purpose": Christiane Northrup M.D.; October 21, 2018

[63] Dr. Christiane Northrup; "The Art of Choosing"; Heal Your Life Blog; August 11, 2010

[64] Christiane Northrup; "Do You Believe in Past Lives?"; Christiane Northrup M.D.; April 23, 2016

[65] Jonathan Jarry; "The Doctor Carl Sagan Warned Us About"; McGill Office for Science and Society; January 8, 2021

[66] Christiane Northrup tweet; October 21, 2020. "Canada is in the process of constructing concentration camps right across the country. Sounds incredible..but it is true. And these are probably being build [sic] right across the world. Certain governments are better at keeping a lid on it."

[67] Nathan Bernard and Andy O'Brien; "Dr. No: The deadly grift of women's health guru Christiane Northrup"; Mainer; November 9, 2020

[68] Leela Stockley; "Maine doctor's Instagram account suspended for spreading COVID-19 misinformation"; Bangor Daily News; April 30, 2021

[69] Nathan Bernard and Andy O'Brien; "Senators Pressure Facebook and Twitter to Ban Anti-Vax Activist Christiane Northrup"; Mainer; April 22, 2021

[70] "Mental Disorder Questions & Pushbacks"; Circumcision Choice; May 7, 2019. "Reasonable people can disagree on this issue. Intactivism goes beyond mere disagreement. Intactivists constantly think about circumcision, often to the detriment of their personal lives and social relationships. 'Their obsession outstrips any sense of proportion... [They] act like removing the foreskin is one of the greatest human rights abuses of all time, on level ... with slavery and the Holocaust' They justify any and all vicious and vile actions (or at least they collaborate with people who do) based on the fallacious premise that they're 'saving babies.' In short, an intactivist does not accept that reasonable people can disagree."

[71] "San Francisco Symposium 2018"; Attorneys for the Rights of the Child; May 31, 2018

[72] Hugh Young; Facebook post; September 16, 2016. "At the 14th International Symposium on Genital Autonomy and Children's Rights at Keene University, Stoke-on-Trent, England, the first winner of the Jonathon Conte Award for furthering the cause of Genital Autonomy, has been announced. And the winner is: - BRIAN EARP"

[73] Amanda Marcotte; "A definitive list of the weirdest people on the internet"; June 13, 2014.

[74] Brian D. Earp tweet; January 1, 2015. "An Open Letter to the Author of 'How Circumcision Broke the Internet'"

[75] Andrew Gross; "It's time for anti-circumcision activists to stop the bullying"; Jewish Weekly of Northern California; April 17, 2015

[77] Jennifer A. Bossio; "Examining Sexual Correlates of Neonatal Circumcision in Adult Men"; Queens University; September 18, 2015

[78] Brian D. Earp; "Does Circumcision Reduce Penis Sensitivity? The Answer is Not Clear Cut"; Huffington Post; April 21, 2016

[79] Daisy Schofield; "How intactivist's anti-circumcision movement was co-opted by the alt-right"; Dazed; September 4, 2020

[80] Bossio also does not fit into any of the demographic categories that intactivists often use as a pretext to dismiss any study results that don't support their agenda. Since she doesn't have a penis, she can't be using a defense mechanism to protect a fragile male ego. As a Canadian she can't have an American cultural bias. As a psychologist who (presumably) doesn't perform circumcisions, she can't have a financial motive. I don't believe she had any children at the time of her research, so she wouldn't have any emotional investment in filial decisions to protect. I suspect she is neither Jewish nor Muslim, so she wouldn't have a pro circumcision religious bias.

[81] Jennifer Bossio and Eric Brousseau; "Studying neonatal circumcision and its effect on the sexual health of adult men and their sexual partners"; Queens University Department of Psychology; May 2014

[82] Brian D. Earp tweet; January 4, 2019. "An Open Letter to the Author of 'How Circumcision Broke the Internet' - or how @Slate published an [sic] dangerously uninformed polemic'"

[83] For example, see Intactivist Trauma Relief, MGM Victims Support Group (secret group), and R/CircumcisionGrief.


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