(WARNING: This post contains videos and photos that may be distressing to anyone with a conscience or a shred of human dignity. View at your own discretion.)
The Philippines has a long, strange, and confusing history with pagtutuli (circumcision). For years it has been a traditional custom performed at the age of 12 as a rite of manhood to coarsely chop off the foreskin and send the boy jumping into the ocean. In more recent years it has been medicalized and even commercialized with clinics selling circumcisions for adolescent boys during the summer months (so that they have adequate time to recover before school starts).
Despite the fact that circumcision is not a part of Christianity, the United Church of Christ in the Philippines holds Operation Tuli, a mass circumcision charity event, as part of its "healing ministry." Church missionaries, nursing school students, and military personnel who have volunteered their time travel around to various towns and perform free circumcisions for 9-12 year old boys.
A large portion of the people performing the surgeries are not medical staff and have had very minimal training immediately before the event. There is no privacy whatsoever, as boys are laid out on a table one after another while everyone watches. Local anesthesia is used and for some boys this is enough for them to remain calm, while others scream the entire time and have to be forcefully restrained.
This is what happens when people are lied to about the so called "benefits" of circumcision. This is what happens when a whole nation buys into a load of myths. This is what happens in the U.S., except that it is done to infants who have no clue what is happening, and quite often no anesthesia is used. In some ways, I think it is *better* to do this to young boys, rather than babies, since they at least understand what is happening. But its still not okay - these boys are not old enough to make the decision to have this done to them, and they and their parents have NOT been given true informed consent - just a load of lies.
I think pictures, and especially videos, are stronger than words. So I present to you a glimpse into Operation Tuli.
If you listen, the screams several other boys are clear.
Massive amounts of benzocaine are being used on this boy which can cause tissue damage - a result of inexperienced "surgeons." Music is playing, people are chatting, this young boy is having the most sensitive part of his body cut off in front of dozens of uncaring people.
Video 2 click here.
This video is not a close up of one circumcision, but shows the entire atmosphere at a small Operation Tuli event. People sitting, chatting, eating, while boys lay on tables being cut, and others rest on benches trying to recover from their passage into manhood.
(Gotta love them using newspaper to keep blood off of the boys' bodies. That's sanitary, right?)
The removed foreskins.
Nothing says "AIDS prevention" like messy mass surgeries with blood all over the place, right?
More information on Operation Tuli: