Pregnant with meaning: impossible ideological illnesses

Certain forms of mental illness can only exist within the bounds of certain specific cultural contexts.

It is quite clear that the current epidemic wave of transgenderism amongst Western youth is a kind of socially transmitted psychological disease, or ‘culture-bound syndrome’, for example, but one other even odder such culture-bound mental disorder in existence today is Puppy Pregnancy Syndrome (PPS).

Seemingly only known from a series of rural villages in West Bengal near Calcutta, and also in a few urban slums in New Delhi where such villagers have since migrated in search of work, the condition’s name is surely self-explanatory.

Puppy love

The physically fictional – yet socially real – disease originates in native confusion around how rabies, generally caused through the bites of rabid stray dogs, spreads its deadly infection. In West Bengal, a regional myth arose that, when a dog is on-heat or aroused, as it may sometimes appear to be when rabid, its saliva contains sperm in the shape of tiny, microscopic, puppy-dog foetuses. When the animal in question bites a human, the dog-sperm supposedly then infiltrates the bloodstream and rushes into the abdomen, making the patient pregnant with a full litter of puppies.

This is all well and good for women who, although they might suffer immense discomfort from the beasts clawing at their insides during gestation, will ultimately give birth to their litter – unless they die from puppy-poisoning beforehand; the animals often being thought to be toxic somehow.

For men, however, the consequences are said to be far worse. Unless the puppies are killed within the abdomen via deliberate medical poisoning, a male patient may turn blue with puppy-poisoning himself, explode once the dogs become too big for his stomach to hold, or else die in agony whilst giving birth to the beasts through his penis.

The only viable cure is for an affected local to visit a native witchdoctor, a bara ojha, who will provide a herbal quack-cure, boosted by magical chants, intended to make the puppies dissolve in the patient’s bloodstream, before then being urinated out painlessly through their penis or vagina.

Prior to being cured, victims may well suffer psychosomatically induced symptoms, some of which are superficially suggestive of a genuine state of pregnancy, such as “abdominal pain or discomfort, fatigue, flatulence, nausea, heartburn and acid reflux” and some of which are not, such as hearing auditory hallucinations of barks emerging from your stomach, or the feeling of little paws busily at work wearing away the lining within your belly.

Sometimes a bara ojha’s patients will even go around barking and crawling on all fours, or hallucinate images of dogs in puddles of water. Ordinary deaths from rabies are thus often attributed wrongly to deaths from PPS.

Barking mad

According to the (real) doctors who performed what still remains the only meaningful clinical investigation into Puppy Pregnancy Syndrome, published in the Journal of Social Psychiatry in 2003, PPS was spread via a sort of “emotionally fuelled social transmission”. Sound familiar?

The doctors found 73 percent of villagers believed with “definite certainty” the condition really existed, and as figures of esteemed local authority like witchdoctors promulgated its reality too, it was not actually that socially unreasonable for the average villager to fall in line with general opinion and believe in PPS too. Even educated locals happily accepted that human beings could give birth to puppies, not just those who were illiterate.

Muslim sufferers could also have their delusions further reinforced by the fact that certain ancient Islamic texts like the Uyun al-Akhbar specifically blame rabies itself on dog bites impregnating patients’ bloodstreams with deadly hordes of microscopic puppies, purportedly causing fatal clotting.

Combined, this all caused a bizarre situation in which what doctors called “the absence of any realistic consideration about the absurdity of asexual animal pregnancy and pregnancy in males (to the degree of delusional conviction)” actually allowed otherwise perfectly sane human beings to believe in the biologically impossible – that they or their neighbours were pregnant with broods of tiny dogs. But could any similar thing ever happen over here in the West today, especially now we are seeing the increasing phenomenon of furries popping up in our schools and elsewhere, as I have reported on previously for Mercator?

Sold a pup

Western delusions of animal pregnancy are thankfully exceedingly rare. The most famous historical example was an 18th century English con-woman named Mary Toft, who fraudulently claimed the ability to give birth to dead rabbits after suffering a recent (human) miscarriage; she merely concealed chopped-up rabbit parts inside her vagina, then squeezed them out in the presence of gullible gawpers, some of them qualified surgeons.

As far as I am aware, there are as yet no known instances of contemporary Western furries claiming to be pregnant with puppies, tadpoles or hen’s-eggs – although there are some organisations in the US currently pushing the interesting (and quite true) trivia factoid to schoolchildren that male seahorses can get pregnant, in the apparent hope that these children will thereby one day come to be open to the idea that male humans can somehow follow suit.


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Yet there is such a psychosomatic condition as a ‘phantom pregnancy’, also known as pseudocyesis or Couvade Syndrome; and, sometimes, men can get it too. Traditionally, such males suffer no accompanying delusions of actually being female, but their stomachs really can swell, and they may even lactate some milk from their breasts. Classically, the condition occurs when a man’s wife or girlfriend is pregnant for real and he begins to identify with her labours a little too closely, hence the illness’ common colloquial name of a ‘sympathetic pregnancy’.

Today, however, with mass transgenderism on the rise across the West, there is an entire class of persons who do now frequently long to become impossibly pregnant: transgender women (by which, just to be clear, I mean biological men in dresses). Consider the following wholly neurotic statement made by America’s current transsexual du jour, Dylan Mulvaney, back in May:

"So I recently told my parents that I may be a little bit romantically interested in women and that was a big shock for them considering the past 10 years of coming out as gay, then queer, then non-binary, then trans. And I think it was just a little bit of a shock. So I tell my dad and he goes: "I would love to see you get a woman pregnant," and I said: "Oh no no no no no, she’d be getting me pregnant."

If we are to take Mulvaney at his word here, and this is not simply just another attempt of his to gain yet more easy media attention, he really does somehow believe he will be able to get pregnant one day, despite his demonstrable lack of womb and vagina. If Dylan genuinely is this delusional, might he too potentially contrive to suffer a phantom pregnancy of his own one day following an act of unprotected anal intercourse, a condition in actual fact every bit as unachievable as a human gestating puppies following a bite from a mad dog?

Mum's the word

We in the West may laugh at the gullibility of the PPS-believing villagers of West Bengal coming to unthinkingly accept the reality of physically impossible acts of gestation at the behest of self-interested figures of local social authority such as the bara ojhas. Yet we here in the developed world would seem to have acquired our own domestic equivalents recently, in the shape of media, political and medical authorities whose public propaganda in the name of trans-issues is also increasingly warping susceptible minds about the topic of pregnancy.

There was a bizarre spate of stories in the UK throughout late June and early July about the physically nonsensical ideas of pregnant men, and male ‘mothers’. ITV is one of Britain’s largest and most-watched broadcasters, and on 28 June its nightly News At Ten programme featured a cost-of-living segment about a ‘struggling mother’ named Mika Minio-Paluello – who was in fact a man. Worse, Mika was seen standing in his kitchen washing out a breast pump, thereby apparently implying he was personally able to breastfeed his own baby (something he later confirmed in a series of proud tweets that he had indeed formerly done, via medically assisted means).

Soaring water bills were “tough if you’re a mum,” Mika told reporters whilst rinsing out his breast-pump device – but Mika wasn’t a mum, was he? In fact, he was not only a demonstrable man in a dress, but also a long-term political activist, trade-union official and former advisor to the left-wing British Labour Party.

By pure coincidence, the UK Editor of ITV News is one Paul Brand, an activist who has a surrogate son with his gay husband, and is a co-founder of the ‘School Diversity Week’ initiative, which seeks to push pro-LGBTQ propaganda onto helpless children in UK schools. Evidently, he also wishes to push it onto viewers of ITV’s nightly news broadcasts too. This was a clear case of the subliminal, activist-led normalising of the profoundly abnormal: a process which, weirdly, even the Bank of England are now getting in on too.

Only a few days after Minio-Paluello appeared on ITV News, the Bank’s apparent internal opinion that “persons of any and all gender identities” could get pregnant was revealed to the world by whistleblowing journalists. Arguably even more alarming than central bankers thinking it is appropriate to collude in certain mentally ill men’s fantasies they can get pregnant or otherwise act as real-life mothers, however, is the idea that some actual medics out there might now agree with this notion too.

The mother of all lies

Such damaging culture-bound delusions might by now have spread to the UK and elsewhere in the West, but they began in the US. Consider the case of Gabrielle Darone, the self-styled all-American ‘Princess Mom’, who in 2020 proudly publicised his bizarre plight of being “a transgender woman with severe [gender] dysphoria centring around my inability to carry, birth and feed my own child.”

In order to combat this wholly self-diagnosed (some may say self-invented) condition, Darone underwent the equally self-prescribed ‘cure’ of pretending to be pregnant for a full-term, hoping to ultimately cosplay giving birth to an imaginary baby by using an electrical muscle stimulator to simulate fake contractions in himself.

Darone also announced his intention to produce his own breast-milk by dosing himself up with domperidone, an anti-nausea drug with the known side-effect of stimulating lactation, even in males: some medics in America have actively colluded in giving transgenderists this substance, even though the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) has in the past warned against this, due its unknown and potentially deleterious effects on infants.

Troublingly, ‘Princess Mom’ Darone also announced his generous intention to “donate” his drug-addled fluids to somebody else’s baby, directly via breast-feeding. As such, he joined a Facebook group for new mothers and announced his not-at-all sinister intentions to those present.

Instead of immediately throwing him off the site as an obvious disturbed person, however, several of the group’s members, eager to publicly signal they were on ‘the right side of history’, if not of actual biology here, gave him eager moral support. One mother even said she “wouldn’t have any problem” loaning Darone her five-month-old child to suckle, whilst another suggested he approach a local mother’s group and ask if any kids there fancied giving him a quick swallow.

The milk of human #BeKindness

The next step in this farce would be a transgender woman undergoing a full-blown phantom pregnancy – and, lo and behold, this has indeed now just occurred. The relevant case study describing this medical wonder appeared in April 2023, and involved “A 28-year-old homeless transgender Black woman (assigned male at birth) with a history of schizoaffective disorder”: so, the full set, then.

This severely mentally ill individual presented to doctors at a hospital in the US State of Indiana with “an acute manic episode” involving the belief he was pregnant with twins. The patient was treated with antipsychotic medication and psychotherapy, but nonetheless still clung stubbornly to the belief he was about to drop the next Romulus and Remus from between his legs.

Perhaps this was because, ludicrously, “Prior to [this latest] admission [to hospital], she [sic] had multiple prior emergency department visits and pursued extensive workup regarding her [sic] pregnancy, such as abdominal ultrasound, abdominal computed tomography, and pregnancy tests.” In other words, prior to his final admission, ideologically corrupt hospital doctors must have actively indulged this insane individual in his fantasies, and wasted public money on various procedures of no possible medical utility whatsoever.

Why did the hospital collude in this pantomime? According to the doctors who wrote up the case study, “it can be challenging for the clinician to treat a delusion that is intrinsic to the patient’s gender identity but not compatible with their assigned sex at birth.” In other words, it would not be terribly politically correct to just tell such persons the obvious truth, so instead, psychotic homeless men with cushions shoved up their tops have to be treated with “empathetic communication”. But why? It is because:

From a psychodynamic perspective, delusions arise to protect the patient’s ego and thus play a defensive role. It is possible that for some transgender women, and with our case in particular, having childbearing capacity could be innately important, and this dissonance may potentially lead to the development of pseudocyesis.

So, some transgender ‘women’ just really, really, want to be pregnant, and thus doctors should now be encouraged to lie to them that they can be, because to tell them otherwise might be bad for their mental health: you may have thought it would be the other way around.

Finally, the authors conclude that “with increased awareness, openness, and access to care for the transgender population in the United States”, more and more cases of trans phantom pregnancies will in the near future present themselves. As the honest translation of this is actually ‘doctors should henceforth encourage complete nutcases to think they’re pregnant when they can’t be’, I would suggest this is in severe danger of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Desperate midwives

One of the most amusing facets of Puppy Pregnancy Syndrome to an outsider is the undeniably comic image of a grown man painfully giving birth to small dogs through his penis. Yet even this particularly surreal or dadaesque image now has its direct Western parallels, too.

In April 2022, concerned midwifery students at Edinburgh Napier University leaked a truly shocking teaching document containing demonstrably false pseudo-medical information that, as part of their duties, they may one day need to both catheterise and help a new transgender parent to somehow give birth to a human child through their penis, which is about as feasible as a male elephant pushing a baby calf out through his trunk.

The university later corrected its teaching materials, saying there had been a typing error. Where it said a “male to female” patient may give birth, they actually meant to say a “female to male” patient – it is indeed obviously possible for a biological woman wearing a false beard and trousers still to get pregnant and give birth to a child, as she is actually a woman, just one in fancy-dress.

Yet, following this correction, another additional textual error was then added anyway, to the effect that such a “birthing person” could still somehow give birth to a baby through an artificially constructed penis. How large would such an organ’s urethra need to have been to facilitate this marvel, precisely? The size of a sewer pipe?

As one qualified obstetrician observed at the time, the fantastic document “may have arisen from compassion and enthusiasm, but it is worrying that the writers don’t seem to know, care about, or check facts.” Such doctors are acting rather like the bara ojhas of West Bengal, lying to the people around them about the kind of experiences it is possible for the human body to undergo, for their own personal reasons.

This is how mass psychoses like Puppy Pregnancy Syndrome begin to spread. Figures of supposed authority – village witchdoctors in India, hospital witchdoctors in the West – promulgate unalloyed hokum and, seeing such individuals doing so, some ordinary folk begin to think there might be something to what they say. Then, such beliefs begin to be transmitted throughout the wider community and, as more and more people see their fellow citizens taking such lies seriously, they slowly start to suspect there might well be something to them too. The mass hysteria then grows exponentially. As with Puppy Pregnancy Syndrome in India, so with transgenderism over here.

Sadly, I think it entirely plausible we will be hearing much more about transgender male ‘pregnancies’ in years to come – and even more about the supposed Social Justice ‘need’ not to dismiss them as mere fantasy, even though that is precisely what they are.

Given this, and the simultaneous rise in LGBTQ ideologues insisting we treat furries seriously in their own specific peculiar delusions too, how long before we really do encounter more neo-Mary Tofts as well, the Regency rabbit-lady reborn again for our new era of full-blown identitarian Lysenkoism?

It’s enough to give you kittens.


Steven Tucker is a UK-based writer with over ten books to his name. His next, Hitler’s & Stalin’s Misuse of Science, comparing the woke pseudoscience of today to the totalitarian pseudoscience of the past, will be published in summer 2023.

Image credit: Pexels

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  • mrscracker
    Thank you so much for sharing this. I guess the West isn’t the only culture that’s suffered from delusions.
    When I was growing up children believed that swallowing a watermelon seed would result in a baby watermelon growing inside us. Perhaps parents started that story to discourage us from swallowing too many seeds. Who knows?
  • Michael Cook
    commented 2023-07-24 21:06:54 +1000
    Hi there, thanks for your comment. We’re working on a few intractable technical issues. Hopefully they will be fixed up soon. Hang in there!
  • Jürgen Siemer
    commented 2023-07-24 15:55:04 +1000
    I am sorry to have to point out, that the new Mercatornet layout is not good: too much redundancy and the reader discussion forum is also not good. There is no discussion anymore. Mostly there is only a statement that the author has published it…
  • Steven Tucker
    published this page in The Latest 2023-07-20 17:48:54 +1000