[FW from Drudge]
AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE: PENIS SHRINKING SCARE CONTINUES
Armed police still patrol the streets of Dakar, Africa after eight
people died and 36 were injured in a wave of panic caused by claims
that some men, mostly foreigners, have the power to shrink penises.
The AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE expands on the frightening story that was
first reported on the Internet in this space last week.
One of those killed was burnt to death in the south of the country,
while in the capital, near the central market, an incensed crowd
seriously injured a Senegalese civil servant, accused of making a
hair-dresser's penis shrink.
Calm returned to Dakar as the interior ministry urged the Senegalese
to be reasonable in the face of the phenomenon described by
psychologists as "collective hysteria," reports the AFP.
Members of the public have been urged not to take justice into their
own hands; authorities have promised to bring those responsible before
Over the past weeks, fear of penis-shrinking has spread to Senegal
from Ghana and the Ivory Coast.
The wire reports: "In each instance, the scenario has been the same.
After shaking the hand, or even merely brushing the hand of a
stranger, men have claimed to have experienced a shudder followed by a
tingling sensation and then he has felt 'his organ withdraw profoundly
into his body.'
"The victim then declares his penis has shrunk and shouts out to
passersby who, armed with cudgels, bricks, and machetes pursue the
In an interview published Saturday in the daily L'AURORE, Ahmadou
Tall, head of the Dakar police, said it was necessary to reason with
people and to dispel the psychosis, rather than to resort to savage
"All the penises that I have seen are in the right place and they are
quite normal," Tall said, after inspecting more than a dozen alleged
victims of the penis-shrinkers.
"Night fell again. There was war to the south, but our sector was quiet.
The battle was over. Our casualties were some thirteen thousand
killed--thirteen thousand minds, memories, loves, sensations, worlds,
universes--because the human mind is more a universe than the universe
itself--and all for a few hundred yards of useless mud."
-John Fowles [The Magus, 1965]"