2012-07-13

Necrophilia & Misconduct

    After I wrote this essay on nakedness of the dead body I have been asked about necrophilia.  What I look at in the essay is about how we interact/entangle with the external world with the case study of dead bodies and nakedness.  That we do not simply 'see' a naked dead body before us but bring that body into our body, into ourselves and our being.

    While the essay is not about anything sexual or anything to do with necrophilia for obvious reasons this idea has sparked a couple of questions about necrophilia and misconduct in the funeral industry.  This is a touchy topic, very taboo and very personal.  So it is something I want to talk about in depth or detail in the future.  But until I have time a short post on how much it occurs will have to do.

    Quite simply and to the point as I understand it necrophilia does not happen in the funeral industry, generally it is very, very rare.  Incredibly rare to the point that nobody I talked with in the industry had encountered it or really heard of it.

    There is a strong attitude that necrophilia happens, perhaps not common or regular, but still happens here and there.  There are many books and movies on the subject such as Kissed (1996), so it is obviously an apparent theme in society.  People outside the funeral industry often ask me if I have ever heard of it or seen it, or how common it is.  In their mind it might not be regular but it obviously happens.  My response is a standard "would you 'play' with a dead body?" to which they are usually put off.  But that is the point, the notion itself is off-putting, even disgusting, so the act would be even worse.

    It would take a 'special' kind of person to do anything sexual with a body.  A rare and very uncommon person.  As rare as this person might be they do exist.  I remember back in the early 2000s a certain medical union in Sydney was in panic mode.  They had found one of their members, a respected person in the field, had been a necrophiliac for years.  So it does happen, of that there is no doubt.  But it would be very rare, once in a decade if that.

    In my opinion confined mostly to the medical field, not the funeral industry.  Med students are famous for miss handling of cadavers, it appears to be part of the rights of passage for some places.  However again this would be very rare and uncommon.  And I doubt the motive would be sexually based.

    This brings me to an interview I found while researching the topic.  This is an interview with a 'notorious' and open necrophiliac in the US.  In the interview the necrophiliac says that it is common in the funeral industry, how it happens a lot but is not talked about.  I have to completely disagree.

    The interview is sensationalised and appears inaccurate to the point where I start to think it is a hoax. It feels like a fake article written to grab attention.  Yet it still does harm to the funeral industry and those who work in it.

    At one point she says "... necrophilia is more prevalent than most people imagine. Funeral homes just don't report it." She goes on to explain how she was once caught in the act and let go.  This is flat out wrong, even stealing and misconduct with or from dead bodies is rare enough.  Sexualising the dead is even rarer and certainly not something people would let go.


    Later she says how "one mortician I worked with used to like to a trocar [a large hollow needle used to suction fluids from corpses and push it up inside any male cadaver's dick. He'd say, "Oh look, the corpse has got a boner." This guy was really weird... I think he had some necrophilic tendencies."  


    This is just ridiculous and an uninformed view.  The embalmers job is to embalm the body, a simple summary of how they do this is to replace the blood (and other fluids) with chemicals.  The penis is part of the circulatory system, many blood vessels flow through it as that is part of how it works.  So to embalm the body requires doing this.  However perhaps the embalmer took it too far.  She later talks of how this embalmer got "upset if there weren't any female bodies to work on" and how she caught him in an odd, perhaps sexual, act with a body.


    I start to think that perhaps she is interpreting rather than recanting.  That her view is very bias and she is only giving her view.  The way she says how it is common, but unreported, and that the embalmer was strange for doing his job.  It all to me looks as though she is trying to, not justify, but make it appear more common.  To make herself and her actions not part of a minority.  Or perhaps that is just her view of things, that she perceives interactions and actions differently.  The embalmer doing his job to us is him doing something sexual to her.

    Either way, in my experience and to my understanding necrophilia is a very rare thing.  Something I doubt I will ever get to see or hear about first hand.  I am not saying misconduct does not happen with bodies, companies have been known to quite literally steal bodies from hospitals to get the funeral work.  Other companies have had a flare of thefts from bodies (to the point where the corner in Sydney needed to change practices to prevent theft).  Other times individual employees have done bad things, like one person who use to leave a mark on bodies he prepared.

    However these cases are again uncommon and in every instance been dealt with, not hidden.  Overall bodies are not deliberately treated badly, it is mistakes in paperwork or practices that can cause trouble.  People like the necrophiliac above are rare and exceptional, no matter how much they say otherwise.

    So there you have it, an honest and upfront statement about how common necrophilia is.  It is much more common in the media and conceptions/perceptions outside the funeral industry than it actually happens.

An~~

    On a side note; I do not judge necrophiliacs or necrophilia itself.  If the person consents prior to death then I personally have no issues.  While not something I would do myself I would not judge others for doing it.  Deliberate sexual conduct with a body does less harm than simple mistakes in paperwork (which are also more common).  One mistake in the papers could lead to the wrong body being cremated, or a belonging being buried with the wrong body.

    If there are any necrophiliacs out there interested in doing an interview just let me know!

References: 


http://www.nokilli.com/sacto/karen-greenlee.htm



6 comments:

  1. But presumably you do not endorse necrophilia when the person was not consenting? I know it shouldn't matter what happens to me when I die, but having been physically taken advantage of in real life, I am so disturbed by the idea of someone abusing my corpse that I do not want to be embalmed and I hope I can just be cremated right away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If there's no consent then no, I wouldn't endorse it. But it is not something I worry about at all. Most undertakers are respectful and mindful, they wouldn't abuse a body. I have heard of dodgy things happening, but I have never heard of necrophilia or anything like it.

      What I was getting at here is how rare necrophilia is in the industry, to the point where there are even no rumours of it. The woman interviewed said how it was more common than people think and admit. Things she claimed as being like necrophilia were mostly just part of the job. Not something others sexualised, it was only through her perspective that they were sexualised. But either way she is wrong. I'm not saying it never happens, but I have never heard of it what so ever. Many places don't even have a law against it as it is so rare.

      As for not wanting anything done after death, just let family and/or friends know, people who will tell the funeral home. Funeral homes would understand this and make sure nothing is done. I saw a couple of deceased who requested to go straight in the coffin and wanted nothing done. It saves the funeral home time and effort, plus they understand, so they would never refuse.

      Any mistreatment of a body is very rare by the funeral industry. They know how much it would hurt the company if it got out, and they tend to be rather respectful to the dead anyway.

      Hope that helps!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous25/1/15 01:31

      This is just too funny. How in the world do you get consent? The 2 replies here indicate that it would be ok if you got consent. I do not know of one dead person who ever gave consent to anyone for anything. DUH.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12/2/17 07:07

      I believe the author was referring to prior consent while the person was still alive.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous2/5/15 05:16

    This is the writers point of view and beliefs only. Seems you are pretty naive and maybe even trying to protect the Funeral Industry.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have a friend that I graduated with in 1984 he worked at a funeral home in Fort Wayne In.he went into detail on how they would warm the woman's vagina up with a curling iron and heat her breast up with a hair dryer before he would get on and have his way with them he would even go into detail not to leave the curling iron into long or it would bun the labia and cause them to blister or burn the hair around them and call attention to what he was doing from other morticians I have to say he was a strange cookie and different in demeanor I have to say I believe him for his sake and the family of his corps I hope he was bullshitting.

    ReplyDelete

Never hesitate to ask a question or comment on something, this is an open minded and free space.

If you want to contact me privately do so at: theothersideoffunerals@gmail.com

~