Today's Lesson from Mormon history CASTRATION:
And another account, In Utah it has been the custom with the Priesthood to make eunuchs of such men as were obnoxious to the leaders. This was done for a double purpose: first, it gave a perfect revenge, and next, it left the poor victim a living example to others of the dangers of disobeying counsel and not living as ordered by the Priesthood ...
As an illustration ...Warren Snow was Bishop of the Church at Manti, San Pete County, Utah. He had several wives, but there was a fair, buxom young woman in the town that Snow wanted for a wife... She thanked him for the honor offered, but told him she was then engaged to a young man, a member of the Church, and consequently could not marry the old priest... He told her it was the will of God that she should marry him, and she must do so; that the young man could be got rid of, sent on a mission or dealt with in some way... that, in fact, a promise made to the young man was not binding, when she was informed that it was contrary to the wishes of the authorities ...
(The Bishop) decided that the young man should be castrated; Snow saying, 'When that is done, he will not be liable to want the girl badly, and she will listen to reason when she knows that her lover is no longer a man.'
It was then decided to call a meeting of the people who lived true to counsel, which
was held in the school-house in Manti... The young man was there, and was again requested, ordered and threatened, to get him to surrender the young woman to Snow, but true to his plighted troth, he refused to consent to give up the girl. The lights were then put out. An attack was made on the young man. He was severely beaten, and then tied with his back down on a bench, when Bishop Snow took a bowie-knife,
and performed the operation in a most brutal manner, and then took the portion severed from his victim and hung it up in the school-house on a nail, so that it could
be seen by all who visited the house afterwards...
(The young man) has been an idiot or quite lunatic ever since ... Brigham Young
... did nothing against Snow. He left him in charge as Bishop at Manti, and ordered the matter to be hushed up. - Ibid., pp. 284-286
D. Michael Quinn writes, In May 1857 Bishop Warren S. Snow's counselor wrote that twenty-four-year-old Thomas Lewis 'has now gone crazy' after being castrated by Bishop Snow for an undisclosed sex crime. When informed of Snow's action, Young said: 'I feel to sustain him ... ' In July Brigham Young wrote a reassuring letter to the bishop about this castration: 'Just let the matter drop, and say no more about it,' the LDS president advised, 'and it will soon die away among the people.'
- The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power, Vol. 2, pp. 250-251
Because this was not corrected, others wished to use castration as a form of subjugation. TBH Stenhouse who left the church but never wrote any expose's of it, received this letter:
I was at a Sunday meeting in the spring of 1857, in Provo, when the news of the Sanpete castration was referred to by the presiding bishop-Blackburn. Some men in Provo had rebelled against authority in some trivial matter, and Blackburn shouted in his Sunday meeting-a mixed congregation of all ages and both sexes-" I want the people of Provo to understand that the boys in Provo can use the knife as well as the boys in Sanpete. Boys, get your knives ready, there is work for you! We must not be behind San Pete in good works." The result of this was that two citizens, named Hooper and Beauvere, both having families at Provo, left the following night... Their only offence was rebellion against the priesthood. This man, Blackburn, was continued in office at least a year after this... - The Rocky Mountain Saints, by T. B. H. Stenhouse, 1873, pp. 301-302)