Witchcraft VI: Koro (Suo-Yang) – Penis Panic
Although this infliction has not occurred in Australia, it has shown up in Africa and China, and originates with witchcraft in Medieval Europe. I thought it was interesting enough to research and write about for the blog, as many people have probably never heard of it before!
Koro, (known as Suo-Yang in China) is psycho-sexual disorder where men become panicked, believing their penis is shrinking, retracting, or completely disappeared.
The Medieval belief of Koro can be found in the fifteenth-century Witch hunting book Malleus Malificarum [Hammer of the Witches] written by Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger. Within the book, Kramer and Sprenger describe various ways to expose witches, but also a few case studies.
One of the phenomena he claimed was that witches could remove a mans penis, not actually cut off, but remove it with magic.
One of the accounts in Kramer & Sprenger’s book details the story of several witnesses to this very magic.
“What shall we think about those witches who somehow take members in large numbers—twenty or thirty—and shut them up together in a birds’ nest or some box, where they move about like living members, eating oats or other feed? This has been seen by many and is a matter of common talk. It is said that it is all done by devil’s work and illusion, for the senses of those who see [the penises] are deluded in the way we have said.”
It is claimed that the witches would have up to thirty penises’ in a bird’s nest or box, all wriggling about, and would feed them oats and other grains, treating them as pets.
Kramer and Sprenger’s book was full of misogynist and preposterous accusations against women’s sexuality, that stems from their (and Medieval Christian Europe’s) infatuation and anxieties with women’s sexual desires, sexuality and place in the Bible. The whole basis of his book and accusation against female witches, comes back to one passage which led to countless women being accused of witchcraft, and murdered across the world; “All witchcraft comes from carnal lust, which in women is insatiable.”
|Headline from the Canberra Times
Wednesday 8 November 1967, page 6
(link in the bibliography)
Koro, which is a psychological issue, has seen many mass panics in the centuries since the Medieval Witch hunts. In 1967, Singapore was hit with a mass panic, when 454 men visited the Singapore General Hospital over a period on months.
One of the Doctors who treated the men, stated afterwards that patients reported; “a sudden feeling of retraction of the penis into the abdomen with great fear that, should the retraction be permitted to proceed … the penis would disappear into the abdomen with a fatal outcome.”
The next mass penis-shrinkage-panic happened in China through 1984-1985. Over 3000 individual men were treated for Suo-Yang, weirdly, this time it also included a number of women reporting vulva, labia, nipple and breast shrinkage, or disappearance!
Africa has seen the most recent cases of Koro, with ten years between 1998 and 2008 seeing 56 separate cases. In these cases, the common complaint wasn’t shrinkage, but total loss of penis. 36 people, accused of witchcraft, body part trading, or black mail by penis-snatching were killed in the hysteria that followed accusations over the years.
Zionist Sorcery was apparently the cause of penis-loss in Sudan in 2003. In what was later revealed as an attempt to divert the people’s attention away from what was happening with the presidency.
In 2013, a stranger was visiting a small village in Tiringoulou, Central Africa, when he stopped for a drink. Upon handing the drink to the stranger the vendor suddenly screamed his penis had disappeared, this was soon followed by another villager. Other villagers claimed to see the two men’s penis shrink form adult size to baby size before their eyes! The visitor was duly arrested for sorcery and executed.
Despite the various claims of witchcraft, sorcery and female fox spirits in China stealing penis’s, believe it or not, koro in men and women has a psychological explanation. It would seem in society’s where a person’s reproductive ability helps determine a man’s self-worth, and worth to procreation in their society, are intrinsically connected to anxiety and fear, ethnicity and cultural belief, and political or socioeconomic tension.
Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2018
Mattelaer, Johan J, Jilek, Wolfgang (2007). “Koro?The Psychological Disappearance of the Penis”. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 4 (5): 1509–1515. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2007. 00586.x.
Smith, M., (2002). “The flying phallus and the laughing inquisitor: Penis theft in the ‘Malleus Malificarum’”. Journal of Folklore Research An International Journal of Folklore and Ethnomusicology 39(1):85-117
Edwards, J. W., (1984). “Indigenous Koro, a Genital Retraction Syndrome of Insular Southeast Asia: A Critical Review”. Culture Medicine and Psychiatry 8(1):1-24 · April 1984. DOI: 10.1007/BF00053099
China-Underground. (2016). “Koro, shrinking genitals syndrome”, China-Underground, viewed 13 April 2018, https://china-underground.com/2016/05/14/koro-shrinking-genitals-syndrome/
1967 ‘SINGAPORE KORO ‘NOT THREAT TO MANHOOD”, The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995), 8 November, p. 6. , viewed 27 Jul 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article106981331