Accused penis thieves captured

Police in the Congo have arrested 13 individuals suspected of stealing, or shrinking, their victims' penises. It seems that the accused practitioners of black magic were nabbed for their own protection. A dozen years ago, mobs killed a group of men rumored to be penis snatchers. From Reuters:
Rumors of penis theft began circulating last week in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo's sprawling capital of some 8 million inhabitants. They quickly dominated radio call-in shows, with listeners advised to beware of fellow passengers in communal taxis wearing gold rings.

Purported victims, 14 of whom were also detained by police, claimed that sorcerers simply touched them to make their genitals shrink or disappear, in what some residents said was an attempt to extort cash with the promise of a cure...

"But when you try to tell the victims that their penises are still there, they tell you that it's become tiny or that they've become impotent, (said Kinshasa's police chief, Jean-Dieudonne Oleko.) To that I tell them, 'How do you know if you haven't gone home and tried it'," he said.


  1. ts lwys Dvd Pscvtz wh psts ths tbld-styl strs. Ttl bllsht. Why dn’t y g wrk fr Mrdch nd b dn wth t?

  2. Sweet baby G-bus! What the hell is wrong with these people? Did they spray stupid gas all over the Congo…?

  3. The Congo is a deeply screwed up place. Anyone who’s heard the reports of BBC Radio 4 lately will know that. Very sad.

  4. YouAreWhatYouBleat,

    You have been nominated for termination. If you don’t like BB, go away.


    Actually I was going to say that several tourists have been murdered in Africa after being accused of this. I may volunteer to be a UN Special Liaison Officer in charge of penis inspections.

  5. @#7:

    Sonny, don’t even bother. Trolls come and they go. Just not quietly at first. F’em.

  6. They are probably sitting on a bunch of oil. I don’t see D.P. as a person running an agenda. I see him as providing a service. Murdoch has been pre-shriveled. Only little pricks get to be petty tyrants.

  7. It’s like a more lucrative version of the “got your nose!” game you play with babies.

    Reported #15 (just mentioning it so Teresa doesn’t get 100 emails).

  8. The first thing that the U.S of A military and the prison system , and Gurus , and fundamentalist religion of all stripes do is take control of your sexuality. Then they got you. Massive sexual perversion founded this country . U.S.A. It is still endemic it our Federal leaders. Getting off on death and suffering and control as power can only come from an ignorant package. Their brain is as small as their shrunken member. Big business in washington for women willing to puff up the losers. The wives have discovered batteries and close friends. Maybe there is hope.

  9. #17 I read your post several times. Not only does it have nothing to do with the piece, I can’t understand WTF it is your trying to say in general.

  10. WTF is with the trolls on this piece? It doesn’t even have an ideological bent that could attract members of the detracted party.

  11. Remember to keep your shoes on at all times
    And don’t pull your penis out unless you really need to
    Indecent exposure is a Class 2 fe-lo-ny

  12. Awesome, now i can buy myself a new Penis on the Black-Market, hopefully! I have enough Grenades and Bullet-Belts…

  13. Well every culture seems to have its weird ingrained ideas that are obviously, patently absurd on their face to anyone from outside the culture, but persist anyway in the face of direct and obvious evidence to the contrary. Koro is a good one for Africa.

    The Koreans, one of the most technically advanced cultures in the world right now, seem to have a pathological terror of electric fans.

    The American examples are left as an exercise for the reader, but I’ve come up with several that have manifested themselves in my lifetime, so no need to go back to the witch trials.

  14. Silly Congoans don’t know that if you kill the thief you’ll never get your penis back.

    You have to trick him by pretending that nothing happened after you eat a shrunken chicken penis stuffed in a shrunken duck penis stuffed in a shrunken turkey penis on the full moon!

  15. #27: Turdicken??

    Horrible story, though; people playing on basic fears for profit like they think they are the US govenment or something.

    Luckily, at least in my case, if this is a crime it would be at most a misdemeanor.

  16. Getting little brain reactionaries to react is as skillful as fly fishing. Evolving brains respond.

  17. There’s an open source project that is very similar called Mmemosyne available for Windows, MacOS and Linux. I only mention it because the SuperMemo software seems kind of dated.

  18. a pathological terror of electric fans

    Hey! My long horse suffocated when I left a fan running in the barn one night.

  19. From Takuan’s article:

    It takes several forms, including a fast spreading social belief that tends to cause panics and widespread concern, and a more isolated form, usually the problem of a lone individual.

    Antinous, maybe this is an answer to my old question about whether there is any subject where merely talking about it can cause harm.

    At least, given the right social confirmation.

  20. #6 POSTED BY SANTA’S KNEE , APRIL 24, 2008 1:03 PM
    Sweet baby G-bus! What the hell is wrong with these people? Did they spray stupid gas all over the Congo…?

    Um,… Never underestimate your fellows “Santa”.
    People still believe in creationism, religions, jezbus as ghod (who came back to life after death), prayer cures for diseases, alien warfare/thetans etc..
    Seems like some even believe that a boston jersey would jinks a baseball team if it was buried in their stadium.
    perhaps by also causing their penis’s to shrink?

    AP newswire:
    “BOSTON – The Boston Red Sox jersey secretly buried under the new Yankee Stadium in a failed curse attempt sold Thursday for $175,100 in a charity auction.”
    “Construction worker Gino Castignoli, a Red Sox fan from the Bronx, dropped the jersey in wet concrete, hoping to hex the Yankees.”

  21. My favorite American urban legends around penis shrinking were with Mountain Dew. Did anyone else have these growing up? It was that yellow #5 . . .

  22. The flying phallus and the laughing inquisitor: Penis theft in the Malleus Maleficarum

    “a narrative included in this work, one that relates how witches steal men’s penises and keep them alive in birds’ nests.”

    Obviously there is a long history of this too. The image this creates makes me smile. A clutch of willies like baby birds.

  23. ‘Many had resorted to…a constant firm grip…to prevent the member from vanishing entirely.’


  24. Takuan-I enjoyed a mild guffaw with your use of the classic party phrase then your entire statement kinda turned into a holographic bust of cheney.

    Zan-nicely stated

    Eljesusmartinez- it wsn’t so much the mountain dew as it was the refer.

  25. After reading the headline (but before reading the article) my first thought was of the King Missile song, “Detachable Penis.” And now people are running around stealing them.

  26. Some Kinshasa residents accuse a separatist sect from nearby Bas-Congo province of being behind the witchcraft in revenge for a recent government crackdown on its members.

    Even the government is in on it.

  27. I wish I could give credit to whoever created that cartoon, but it’s been on my hard drive forever and I don’t remember who wrote it. It doesn’t seem to be an XKCD.

  28. and I thought that sex education was deficient in the U.S. This brings it to a whole ‘nother level.

    it’s one thing to be woefully ignorant of the various things that fuel urban legends.. without that ignorance we wouldn’t have the good folks at Mythbusters setting people straight (and teaching various bits of plain science to the unwashed masses)
    but it’s another thing to be so woefully ignorant that you believe “completely impossible shit” and thereby extrapolate that killing people is a good idea.

    Hey African guys.. Mugabe is the guy that shrank your penes*, go make him pay for it.
    (*not ‘penii’, people)

  29. ‘How do you know if you haven’t gone home and tried it’

    Sage advice. Always test your penis. Before anything.

  30. ‘Sage advice. Always test your penis. Before anything.’

    I test mine constantly – and will right up to the point I lose my vision (and probably, let’s face it, beyond).

  31. I’m amazed that no-one has quoted Monty Python yet:

    “She turned me into a newt!”

    “A newt?”

    “I got better…”

  32. “Penis snatchers”?? Finally a new name for my band! (Unfortunately I predict problems in convincing the other members to use this name).

    #22 WAREQ– why do I hear those words spoken in the voice of William Burroughs?

  33. the reason why the thieves are invariably successful is that the victims instantly lose all power of mentation the moment the theft occurs

  34. Congo has a crapload of cobalt, zinc, and other minerals. We need minerals. Carter is done talking to Hamas – maybe it’s time for a barter mission. Penis pumps for copper?

  35. The critical unasked question here is what are they doing with the stolen penises. I invite your speculation on this issue.

  36. #50 – I honestly don’t know why you’d hear it that way, although that’s really interesting. It’s actually from Linoleum Knife, the intro to the Aqua Teen movie.

  37. shall we list similar beliefs nation by nation?
    Hard to think of such a good one as Korean Fan Death, but there must be a real stand-out in every culture’s case.

  38. Marriage is just the opposite. You think you still have one but it doesn’t really belong to you any more.

  39. Good thing I don’t have to worry on either count. If I ever become suicidal and enter into marriage, I’ll gain a penis!

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