05300:07:49Dialogue:“Patient would select a goat”
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Timecode: 00:07:49

Dialogue: “Patient would select a goat”

“The patient would select a goat with which he had the most connection.” Really though???View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

"The patient would select a goat with which he had the most connection." Really though???
22900:45:38Image:Map of Arkansas
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Timecode: 00:45:38

Image: Map of Arkansas

It’s more likely that Brinkley moved to Arkansas because of competition in Del Rio. And then later, in March of 1938, Brinkley left Del Rio for good.View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

It's more likely that Brinkley moved to Arkansas because of competition in Del Rio. And then later, in March of 1938, Brinkley left Del Rio for good.
15800:28:22Dialogue:“He bought a plane from Charles Lindbergh”
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Timecode: 00:28:22

Dialogue: “He bought a plane from Charles Lindbergh”

We found two references to the fact that Brinkley’s bought a plane from Charles Lindbergh, but one source calls it “The Romancer” (Reardon) and one called it “The Romance” (Lee). However, both cite Wood, and obviously Wood is not the most reliable source. In other words: maybe this is true and maybe it isn’t, but …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

We found two references to the fact that Brinkley's bought a plane from Charles Lindbergh, but one source calls it "The Romancer" (Reardon) and one called it "The Romance" (Lee). However, both cite Wood, and obviously Wood is not the most reliable source. In other words: maybe this is true and maybe it isn't, but Brinkley was rich enough to buy a plane from Lindbergh, so... sure, why not? We can't find anything about a plane named "The Romance" or "The Romancer" owned by Lindbergh, and have now spent way too long on this pretty trivial note.
29601:10:32Dialogue:“The trial lasted 3, perhaps into the 4th”
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Timecode: 01:10:32

Dialogue: “The trial lasted 3, perhaps into the 4th”

Brock seems to be incorrect about the number of days; sources we checked (including his own book) indicate this trial went on for about 10 days.View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

Brock seems to be incorrect about the number of days; sources we checked (including his own book) indicate this trial went on for about 10 days.
29501:09:30Dialogue:“At this time I must”
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Timecode: 01:09:30

Dialogue: “At this time I must”

Clement Wood was a well-known hack said to “churn out manuscripts nearly on demand” and to write “at the pace of 80,000 words in 30 days” (not the best pace for careful research and fact-checking). Clement Wood wrote some other biographies-for-hire. Wood’s list of published works is astonishingly diverse and poor in quality. One of …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:,

Clement Wood was a well-known hack said to "churn out manuscripts nearly on demand" and to write "at the pace of 80,000 words in 30 days" (not the best pace for careful research and fact-checking). Clement Wood wrote some other biographies-for-hire. Wood's list of published works is astonishingly diverse and poor in quality. One of his books, Flesh And Other Stories, published in 1929, was the subject of an important obscenity trial. Wood was a one-time lawyer turned teacher turned Greenwich Village hipster who supposedly hosted orgies as a means of satisfying the sexual needs of his beautiful wife Gloria Goddard; he himself was said to be impotent. He is a fascinating person that we did a lot of unnecessary research on, and his Wikipedia page deserves much more attention.
27200:56:11Dialogue:“Allow me to say a few words”
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Timecode: 00:56:11

Dialogue: “Allow me to say a few words”

Unsurprisingly, Fishbein’s testimony was considerably less dramatic than it is portrayed here (Brock describes Fishbein on the stand as a model of “serenity and reason”). But we needed to really lay out what a quack is and how he operates during this trial, and it seemed fitting to let Fishbein let loose about it. The …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

Unsurprisingly, Fishbein's testimony was considerably less dramatic than it is portrayed here (Brock describes Fishbein on the stand as a model of "serenity and reason"). But we needed to really lay out what a quack is and how he operates during this trial, and it seemed fitting to let Fishbein let loose about it. The very last line of this monologue ("he is a tumor on the body of science") was taken directed from his testimony, however.
07400:10:09Dialogue:“Really the first guy to blast country music”
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Dialogue: “Really the first guy to blast country music”

It might be an exaggeration to say he was the “first guy,” but he was certainly a key figure in the popularization of country music.View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

It might be an exaggeration to say he was the "first guy," but he was certainly a key figure in the popularization of country music.
28601:04:53Dialogue:“You called this German Electric Medicine”
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Timecode: 01:04:53

Dialogue: “You called this German Electric Medicine”

We made up the title of “German Electric Medicine” and the bit about Robert Bunsen.View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

We made up the title of "German Electric Medicine" and the bit about Robert Bunsen.
18200:35:02Dialogue:“Somehow the idea came along”
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Dialogue: “Somehow the idea came along”

There was already one “border blaster” station (XED, which began broadcasting on November 9, 1930, with a regular schedule from 6:00 PM to midnight) when Brinkley “somehow” got the idea. Brinkley announced he would open his own in January 1931. We’re leaving that out because we’re continuing to feed the implication that he alone invented …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

There was already one "border blaster" station (XED, which began broadcasting on November 9, 1930, with a regular schedule from 6:00 PM to midnight) when Brinkley "somehow" got the idea. Brinkley announced he would open his own in January 1931. We're leaving that out because we're continuing to feed the implication that he alone invented all these wonderful ideas.
24100:47:11Image:Fishbein
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Timecode: 00:47:11

Image: Fishbein

This is a true story, sort of. Fishbein really was aboard the Normandie at the same time as the Brinkleys, who departed Europe for home on August 11, 1937. As far as what actually happened when the two men crossed paths – if they crossed paths at all – there are conflicting accounts. None of the …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

This is a true story, sort of. Fishbein really was aboard the Normandie at the same time as the Brinkleys, who departed Europe for home on August 11, 1937. As far as what actually happened when the two men crossed paths – if they crossed paths at all – there are conflicting accounts. None of the sources we consulted said Brinkley winked at Fishbein; we made that up. We based our encounter mostly on Brock's version of the story, but we added the wink to make it more visual. Here is how Brock describes it: "There was nothing left now but for the principals to meet. In all these years, the two great foes had never laid eyes on each other, and Fishbein wanted to keep it that way. Brinkley had other ideas. Scouring the deck he found Fishbein in a lounge chair and his face to the sun. Brinkley approached . . . Fishbein pretended he wasn't there. After a minute or so of this queer pantomime, Brinkley made a strangled noise, turned, and stalked off" (215-16). There is also come confusion in the historical record about whether Brinkley snubbed Fishbein, or Fishbein snubbed Brinkley – this "snub" inexplicably became an issue in the libel trial of 1939.
28501:04:34Dialogue:“You were incarcerated in Greenville, SC”
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Timecode: 01:04:34

Dialogue: “You were incarcerated in Greenville, SC”

True: Brinkley had been arrested for the colored water scam in Greenville, SC. Not true: it was on the very same day he claimed to be graduating. So: a chronological distortion for effect.View Full Footnote True: Brinkley had been arrested for the colored water scam in Greenville, SC. Not true: it was on the very same day he claimed to be graduating. So: a chronological distortion for effect.
22800:45:34Image:Headline: “Brinkley’s Formula 1020”
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Image: Headline: “Brinkley’s Formula 1020”

We created this article in Photoshop; we’re certain Formula 1020 was advertised in some similar manner, but we didn’t find anything good to show. Brinkley and his PR team were early adopters of what we’d now call “advertorials,” or paid advertisements designed to look as much like articles as possible.View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

We created this article in Photoshop; we're certain Formula 1020 was advertised in some similar manner, but we didn't find anything good to show. Brinkley and his PR team were early adopters of what we'd now call "advertorials," or paid advertisements designed to look as much like articles as possible.
03400:05:45Image:Rudolph Valentino
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Image: Rudolph Valentino

We wanted the name of a famous movie star here, because we heard rumors that Brinkley had operated on some “movie stars” in 1922. We picked Valentino because he was a sex symbol and we thought a contemporary audience might have heard of him.View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

We wanted the name of a famous movie star here, because we heard rumors that Brinkley had operated on some "movie stars" in 1922. We picked Valentino because he was a sex symbol and we thought a contemporary audience might have heard of him.
03500:05:48Image:Woodrow Wilson
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Image: Woodrow Wilson

Brinkley himself said that he “could” cure President Wilson. He never said he did.View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

Brinkley himself said that he "could" cure President Wilson. He never said he did.
02600:05:16Image:Baby Lenora
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Image: Baby Lenora

Images taken from a fake science film called “Rejuvenation Through Gland Transplanting” which Brinkley almost certainly paid for and then distributed to movie theaters all over the U.S. Stittsworth and son toured with the film in person as “proof” of the operation’s efficacy.View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

Images taken from a fake science film called "Rejuvenation Through Gland Transplanting" which Brinkley almost certainly paid for and then distributed to movie theaters all over the U.S. Stittsworth and son toured with the film in person as "proof" of the operation's efficacy.
03800:06:25Text:Population sign
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Text: Population sign

We invented these numbers and they are probably highly overstated. Surprisingly, the 1930 census lists Milford’s population as only 300. Our sources suggest uniformly that Milford grew a lot during the 1920s because of Brinkley’s fame and that 1930 should have been close to the height of Milford’s size and prosperity. Perhaps Milford “grew” from …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

We invented these numbers and they are probably highly overstated. Surprisingly, the 1930 census lists Milford's population as only 300. Our sources suggest uniformly that Milford grew a lot during the 1920s because of Brinkley's fame and that 1930 should have been close to the height of Milford's size and prosperity. Perhaps Milford "grew" from just under 200 to about 300? We don't know, and we spent way too long trying to get Census data for Milford in 1920 before deciding that this was a great example of getting way too picky about a minor detail. (See also: notes 24 and 62 on Milford's population.)
03000:05:33Image:Brinkely patting man on back
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Image: Brinkely patting man on back

This image is not of Brinkley and a patient; it is from a film made in 1934 about Brinkley’s fishing exploits titled “Making A World’s Record.”View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

This image is not of Brinkley and a patient; it is from a film made in 1934 about Brinkley's fishing exploits titled "Making A World's Record."
03900:06:33Image:Hospital
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Timecode: 00:06:33

Image: Hospital

This drawing is based on photos of Brinkley’s second hospital in Milford, which he built sometime in the 1920s. The first one, which would be more accurate to this moment in time, looks too much like a house and not enough like a hospital. Also, that first hospital was called the Brinkley-Jones Hospital (Jones being …View Full Footnote This drawing is based on photos of Brinkley's second hospital in Milford, which he built sometime in the 1920s. The first one, which would be more accurate to this moment in time, looks too much like a house and not enough like a hospital. Also, that first hospital was called the Brinkley-Jones Hospital (Jones being the name of one of Minnie's relatives, who apparently co-invested in the place), and we didn't want to confuse things with that title.
04000:06:36Image:Train depot
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Timecode: 00:06:36

Image: Train depot

This drawing is based on a photo of the real Milford train depot (date unknown).View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

This drawing is based on a photo of the real Milford train depot (date unknown).
04100:06:40Image:Panorama
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Image: Panorama

The rest of this panorama is invented and an exaggerated version of the truth, which is that Brinkley is the reason Milford grew larger. The real photos of Milford from the time aren’t very interesting, plus they all have the radio station in them, and the radio station doesn’t exist yet in our film!View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

The rest of this panorama is invented and an exaggerated version of the truth, which is that Brinkley is the reason Milford grew larger. The real photos of Milford from the time aren't very interesting, plus they all have the radio station in them, and the radio station doesn't exist yet in our film!
04200:06:44Image:Milford, built up
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Timecode: 00:06:44

Image: Milford, built up

Brinkley’s status as perpetual benefactor to his community is a big part of the image he cultivated, for obvious reasons. There are loads of period newspaper references to how much Brinkley “built up” Milford (“the Milford [Little League baseball] team wears uniforms furnished by Dr. Brinkley” said The Junction City Daily Union in 1922, and …View Full Footnote Brinkley's status as perpetual benefactor to his community is a big part of the image he cultivated, for obvious reasons. There are loads of period newspaper references to how much Brinkley "built up" Milford ("the Milford [Little League baseball] team wears uniforms furnished by Dr. Brinkley" said The Junction City Daily Union in 1922, and "[Brinkley] gave the town a $25,000 Methodist church in memory of his mother" claimd The San Bernardino County Sun in 1933) but they're all pretty hard to substantiate. He certainly made many improvements to his own property, and spared no expense ("Brinkley built electrical, water and sewage systems for his hospital, and soon his power plant supplied Milford businesses, then the Methodist church, then residences. He expanded the water and sewer systems also, and sidewalks were built," wrote Lee). And there's little doubt that Milford benefitted from its new status as rejuvenation destination ("trains stop regularly at Milford and electric lights and asphalt streets have supplanted kerosene lamps and mud roads" said the Wilmington News-Journal in 1923, and "the town is planning a new hotel" said The San Bernardino County Sun in 1923). But remember that he's got a paid staff of PR people working for him to place stories just like these in newspapers!
04300:06:47Dialogue:“became very active in the Methodist church”
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Dialogue: “became very active in the Methodist church”

In fact, he built the Methodist Church!View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

In fact, he built the Methodist Church!
04400:06:53Dialogue:“they loved him”
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Dialogue: “they loved him”

They loved him so much that in 1933, newspapers reported that a “majority of voters” in Milford unsuccessfully petitioned to have the town itself renamed “Brinkley.”View Full Footnote

Truth Value:,

They loved him so much that in 1933, newspapers reported that a "majority of voters" in Milford unsuccessfully petitioned to have the town itself renamed "Brinkley."
04500:06:50Image:Church
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Timecode: 00:06:50

Image: Church

This church was drawn to match the following archival, which isn’t from Milford at all. It’s from the 1934 film “Making a World’s Record.”View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

This church was drawn to match the following archival, which isn't from Milford at all. It's from the 1934 film "Making a World's Record."
04700:06:55Image:Brinkley in crowd
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Timecode: 00:06:55

Image: Brinkley in crowd

This image of Brinkley shaking hands is taken from the 1934 film “Making a World’s Record.”View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

This image of Brinkley shaking hands is taken from the 1934 film "Making a World's Record."
04800:07:06Image:Hospital exterior and interiors
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Timecode: 00:07:06

Image: Hospital exterior and interiors

These home movies were taken in the 1940s by John William Worrall at the Children Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Obviously, they are used here in a way that strongly implies what we are seeing here are images, probably taken by Brinkley himself given the home movie quality, of the hospital in Milford. It’s a sneaky …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

These home movies were taken in the 1940s by John William Worrall at the Children Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Obviously, they are used here in a way that strongly implies what we are seeing here are images, probably taken by Brinkley himself given the home movie quality, of the hospital in Milford. It's a sneaky substitution, and one which we did to give a more human feeling to the story we are telling. After all, Brinkley did have real patients and supporters who loved him. We wanted to give them faces.
04900:07:27Text:Author, “Charlatan”
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Timecode: 00:07:27

Text: Author, “Charlatan”

Pope Brock wrote a Brinkley biography called Charlatan, which is how we found out about Brinkley in the first place!View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

Pope Brock wrote a Brinkley biography called Charlatan, which is how we found out about Brinkley in the first place!
05000:07:35Dialogue:“At first they came bringing their own goats”
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Timecode: 00:07:35

Dialogue: “At first they came bringing their own goats”

This photo of a “patient holding his own goat” is from a newspaper, which doesn’t mean it’s true (especially since the photo accompanies an article claiming that gland transplantation has been made mandatory by Japan – !!!). It seems possible that patients brought their own goats; however, some sources say that Brinkley had been raising …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

This photo of a "patient holding his own goat" is from a newspaper, which doesn't mean it's true (especially since the photo accompanies an article claiming that gland transplantation has been made mandatory by Japan – !!!). It seems possible that patients brought their own goats; however, some sources say that Brinkley had been raising goats himself for experimental purposes long before Stittsworth ever showed up, so it's not clear if this is just another cute PR story.
01500:03:29Image:Goat butt & following
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Timecode: 00:03:29

Image: Goat butt & following

Images taken from a real science film from 1940 about endocrine glands, edited to seem related to the surrounding images that refer to Brinkley’s procedure.View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

Images taken from a real science film from 1940 about endocrine glands, edited to seem related to the surrounding images that refer to Brinkley's procedure.
00200:00:51Image:Johns Hopkins University exterior
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Image: Johns Hopkins University exterior

Photograph of Johns Hopkins taken by Harvey Cushing circa 1900.View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

Photograph of Johns Hopkins taken by Harvey Cushing circa 1900.
00300:00:54Dialogue:“When he stood before the dean of Johns Hopkins”
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Timecode: 00:00:54

Dialogue: “When he stood before the dean of Johns Hopkins”

We can’t verify whether this scene at Johns Hopkins actually happened, but it was a constant feature of Brinkley’s origin story. The language being spoken by the narrator is taken almost verbatim from The Life of A Man, a biography commissioned and paid for by Brinkley (more on that book later). In 1902, Brinkley graduated …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

We can't verify whether this scene at Johns Hopkins actually happened, but it was a constant feature of Brinkley's origin story. The language being spoken by the narrator is taken almost verbatim from The Life of A Man, a biography commissioned and paid for by Brinkley (more on that book later). In 1902, Brinkley graduated from high school and he would have been 17 years old on July 8, so it's feasible that he could have decided to try to enrol in medical school at that time. However, the whole scene feels rather improbable to us, and the "I tried to get legitimate medicine to accept me and they cruelly declined" is also a standard quack cliché.
00400:01:08Dialogue:“Like his daddy was”
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Timecode: 00:01:08

Dialogue: “Like his daddy was”

We can’t verify that Brinkley’s daddy was a doctor, but he always said he was. Brinkley cited his father’s profession as inspiration for his own. If he was a doctor at all, Brinkey’s daddy would have almost certainly been the sort of poor “country doctor” common in the 1800s.  At that time, being a doctor …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

We can't verify that Brinkley's daddy was a doctor, but he always said he was. Brinkley cited his father's profession as inspiration for his own. If he was a doctor at all, Brinkey's daddy would have almost certainly been the sort of poor "country doctor" common in the 1800s.  At that time, being a doctor wasn't the distinguished profession it later became (largely due to the efforts of the American Medical Association).  On the other hand, sometimes Brinkley claimed his daddy had a medical degree from Davidson College in Charlotte.  As Lee wrote, "(t)his is highly unlikely, however, as attending college in the antebellum South was expensive and confined largely to the plantation and urban aristocracy who could afford it, not poor mountain folk."
00500:01:21Dialogue:“Brinkley had a diploma”
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Timecode: 00:01:21

Dialogue: “Brinkley had a diploma”

“On May 7, 1915, the Eclectic Medical University of Kansas City presented him with a certificate signed by its president, Dr. Date R. Alexander. To become an alumnus of E.M.U. (later described in court proceedings as ‘vague, obliging and long defunct’) cost Brinkley one hundred dollars and got him licensed in eight states” (Brock, 25). …View Full Footnote "On May 7, 1915, the Eclectic Medical University of Kansas City presented him with a certificate signed by its president, Dr. Date R. Alexander. To become an alumnus of E.M.U. (later described in court proceedings as 'vague, obliging and long defunct') cost Brinkley one hundred dollars and got him licensed in eight states" (Brock, 25). So: yes, he had this diploma (and a number of other diplomas and accreditations), but it doesn't mean what you might think it means. On a separate note, the narrator claims here that he received this diploma in 1917, and then married Minnie, and then moved to Milford all in the same year. This is not chronologically accurate; we're compressing these events (and leaving a lot out) for flow and clarity.
00600:01:23Image:Eclectic Medical University exterior (drawing)
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Timecode: 00:01:23

Image: Eclectic Medical University exterior (drawing)

This drawing is based on a photo of the Homeopathic Medical College of St. Louis taken in the early 1900s. We couldn’t find an image reference for the Eclectic Medical College of Kansas City, so we substituted this one instead. Same time period, different kind of quackery, and anyway this is clearly a “reenactment” scene, …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

This drawing is based on a photo of the Homeopathic Medical College of St. Louis taken in the early 1900s. We couldn't find an image reference for the Eclectic Medical College of Kansas City, so we substituted this one instead. Same time period, different kind of quackery, and anyway this is clearly a "reenactment" scene, so all of this explanation is probably unnecessary? (From here on out, we are not going to comment on every act of "imagination" used in a reenactment scene; this one seemed kind of funny to us because of the inside joke comparing homeopathy to eclectic medicine.)
00800:01:37Image:Wide shot of Milford
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Timecode: 00:01:37

Image: Wide shot of Milford

This drawing is based on a real photo, but it’s not a photo of Milford. It’s actually a photo of Lawrence, Kansas, in 1856. We could not locate any photos of Milford from the right period that had the right quality of desolation. (See also: note 23.)View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

This drawing is based on a real photo, but it's not a photo of Milford. It's actually a photo of Lawrence, Kansas, in 1856. We could not locate any photos of Milford from the right period that had the right quality of desolation. (See also: note 23.)
00900:1:44Dialogue:“An old soda fountain”
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Timecode: 00:1:44

Dialogue: “An old soda fountain”

Apparently, they came to Milford because of an ad saying that the town needed a new doctor. It would make sense that Brinkley’s “office” would be a kind of soda fountain / drugstore stocked with patent medicines. They rented it from the former doctor (now retired) for $7/month.View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

Apparently, they came to Milford because of an ad saying that the town needed a new doctor. It would make sense that Brinkley's "office" would be a kind of soda fountain / drugstore stocked with patent medicines. They rented it from the former doctor (now retired) for $7/month.
01100:01:58Dialogue:“A farmer named Stittsworth”
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Dialogue: “A farmer named Stittsworth”

This is the origin story of the goat gland procedure, as told by Brinkley and repeated ever since. Portions of this story and photos of Stittsworth and his son Billy appeared in newspapers all over the country as early as 1920. The Stittsworths also “starred” in and often appeared in person with a promotional film …View Full Footnote This is the origin story of the goat gland procedure, as told by Brinkley and repeated ever since. Portions of this story and photos of Stittsworth and his son Billy appeared in newspapers all over the country as early as 1920. The Stittsworths also "starred" in and often appeared in person with a promotional film made in 1922 or 1923. However, there are many reasons to not believe this version of the story. Here are some of them: (1) Bill Stittsworth's son said that he and his father were on Brinkley's payroll until 1942. This is strange, because Brinkley stopped doing the goat gland surgeries in 1933 and thus had no reason to pay someone to promote it after that point. Logic suggests they were being paid not to tell everyone that this was all made up. Perhaps the younger Stittsworth lied, or remembered wrong; but the Stittsworths appeared in many photographs from 1919-on, and in person in 1923 with the promotional film, so it makes sense that they would have been paid for this. Interestingly, it doesn't seem that Stittsworth was mentioned by full name in the advertising or public relations efforts. We did find one article referring to him as "Uncle Billy, one of the village patriarchs." (2) This story, with photos of the world's first "goat gland baby" (Billy Stittsworth) only began appearing in newspapers after Brinkley hired H.R. Mosnat, an ad man. Mosnat's efforts (better classified as pioneering public relations than advertising) included placing this "news item" in papers all over the country. (3) The story was highly inconsistent; Brinkley sometimes claimed that he had been doing experiments with "xenotransplantation" for many years by this point and was eager to try it out on a human; sometimes it was Stittsworth's idea and he tried to say no, etc. (4) The story is ridiculous.
01200:03:18Dialogue:[interjection at this point in the story]
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Timecode: 00:03:18

Dialogue: [interjection at this point in the story]

A reasonable person might think that we should include the following background information somewhere in the course of this film, probably pretty close to the front… Since the late 1800s, good scientists, bad scientists and charlatans had been experimenting with and/or selling the transplantation of testicles as a means to “rejuvenate” old, sick or impotent …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

A reasonable person might think that we should include the following background information somewhere in the course of this film, probably pretty close to the front... Since the late 1800s, good scientists, bad scientists and charlatans had been experimenting with and/or selling the transplantation of testicles as a means to "rejuvenate" old, sick or impotent people. They were trying all kinds of stuff that would take too long to get into here. Suffice it to say that people like Charles-Édouard Brown-Séquard, Eugene Steinach, Harry Lydston, and Serge Voronoff were certainly important influences on Brinkley. Brinkley himself cited the work of these "pioneers" in his own writing, especially Lydston who he admired greatly. Brinkley and Voronoff specifically had quite a rivalry going. It is unclear from newspaper records which of them was the first to successfully transplant the testicles of animals into humans (or say they had). Voronoff used monkey glands, and Brinkley goat glands. Voronoff was at least as famous as Brinkley, at least in Europe. Brinkley denigated him at every opportunity. Glands and hormones were hot stuff back then. For example, Dr. Frederick Banting discovered insulin in 1921; two years later, he was awarded the Nobel Prize. So while our film essentially makes it seems as if Brinkley all alone had this brilliant idea, he was really riding a wave. Like all good quacks, Brinkley took something real from the scientific zeitgeist, distorted it, and sold it to a public primed to believe him in part because they had been hearing about some of the same ideas in the papers. A lot of the things we say or imply Brinkley "invented" he didn't exactly invent, is our point. Which isn't to say he wasn't a genius, or an early pioneer of many things. It's just that the "Great Man" theory of history really falls apart when you've done enough research.
01300:03:24Image:Goat
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Timecode: 00:03:24

Image: Goat

Images taken from a real science film from 1940 about endocrine glands, edited to seem as if they are related to the surrounding images referring to Brinkley’s procedure.View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

Images taken from a real science film from 1940 about endocrine glands, edited to seem as if they are related to the surrounding images referring to Brinkley's procedure.
01400:03:30Image:Cross section of scrotum & following
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Timecode: 00:03:30

Image: Cross section of scrotum & following

Images taken from a fake science film called “Rejuvenation Through Gland Transplanting” which Brinkley almost certainly paid for and then distributed to movie theaters all over the U.S. Stittsworth and son toured with the film in person as “proof” of the operation’s efficacy.View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

Images taken from a fake science film called "Rejuvenation Through Gland Transplanting" which Brinkley almost certainly paid for and then distributed to movie theaters all over the U.S. Stittsworth and son toured with the film in person as "proof" of the operation's efficacy.
02900:05:32Image:Newborn baby
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Image: Newborn baby

A real science film which has nothing to do with Brinkley and is probably also from the wrong time period: “Dialogue With Life,” year unknown.View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

A real science film which has nothing to do with Brinkley and is probably also from the wrong time period: "Dialogue With Life," year unknown.
01600:03:31Image:Cross section of goat testicle & following
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Timecode: 00:03:31

Image: Cross section of goat testicle & following

Images taken from a fake science film called “Rejuvenation Through Gland Transplanting” which Brinkley almost certainly paid for and then distributed to movie theaters all over the U.S. Stittsworth and son toured with the film in person as “proof” of the operation’s efficacy.View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

Images taken from a fake science film called "Rejuvenation Through Gland Transplanting" which Brinkley almost certainly paid for and then distributed to movie theaters all over the U.S. Stittsworth and son toured with the film in person as "proof" of the operation's efficacy.
01800:03:42Image:Stittsworth and son in newspaper
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Timecode: 00:03:42

Image: Stittsworth and son in newspaper

We put a halftone pattern on this photo to make it look like it was reproduced in papers. It might have been, but we never saw it. Headline is borrowed from some other news item in 1920.View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

We put a halftone pattern on this photo to make it look like it was reproduced in papers. It might have been, but we never saw it. Headline is borrowed from some other news item in 1920.
01900:04:01Image:Brinkley and baby, 3 times
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Image: Brinkley and baby, 3 times

This photo of the world’s first “goat gland baby” (Billy Stittsworth) only began appearing in newspapers after Brinkley hired H.R. Mosnat, an ad man. Mosnat’s efforts (better classified as pioneering public relations than advertising) included placing this “news item” in papers all over the country. (See also: note 11.)View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

This photo of the world's first "goat gland baby" (Billy Stittsworth) only began appearing in newspapers after Brinkley hired H.R. Mosnat, an ad man. Mosnat's efforts (better classified as pioneering public relations than advertising) included placing this "news item" in papers all over the country. (See also: note 11.)
02000:04:24Image:The Life of a Man book
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Image: The Life of a Man book

This is a real book, and sure, it’s a biography. However, there are many reasons to doubt its veracity. It was a work-for-hire: Brinkley paid the author, Clement Wood to write it. It appears that Brinkley basically dictated its contents. Wood was a well-known hack said to “churn out manuscripts nearly on demand” and to …View Full Footnote This is a real book, and sure, it's a biography. However, there are many reasons to doubt its veracity. It was a work-for-hire: Brinkley paid the author, Clement Wood to write it. It appears that Brinkley basically dictated its contents. Wood was a well-known hack said to "churn out manuscripts nearly on demand" and to write "at the pace of 80,000 words in 30 days" (not the best pace for careful research and fact-checking). Brinkley used it as a promotional tool, giving it away for free to fans and supporters. Finally, it contains many verifiably false statements. Is NUTS! really "based on" this book? Not exactly. Some of it is taken directly from its pages, but it's perhaps more honest to say that we are using The Life of a Man like Brinkley himself used it: as a source of apparent authority. Like Brinkley, we will also use other sources of apparent authority (patient testimonials, "expert interviews", newspaper articles, etc.) not found in the pages of The Life of A Man. Clement Wood wrote some other biographies-for-hire, including one for Brinkley's contemporary in quackery and questionable practices in radio broadcasting Norman Baker with the awesome title Throttle: A Fact Story About Norman Baker (how did Brinkley get stuck with The Life of a Man?). Wood's list of published works is astonishingly diverse and poor in quality. One of his books, Flesh And Other Stories, published in 1929, was the subject of an important obscenity trial. Wood was a one-time lawyer turned teacher turned Greenwich Village hipster who supposedly hosted orgies as a means of satisfying the sexual needs of his beautiful wife Gloria Goddard; he himself was said to be impotent. He is a fascinating person that we did a lot of unnecessary research on, and his Wikipedia page deserves much more attention.
02100:04:35Image:Chapter I title page
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Image: Chapter I title page

The book is real, but we hand-copied the fonts from Wood’s book, designed the chapter titles in Photoshop, printed them on vintage book paper, and glued them into its pages to film these chapter breaks. We went to all this trouble because it’s important that we establish this book as a real, physical book that …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

The book is real, but we hand-copied the fonts from Wood's book, designed the chapter titles in Photoshop, printed them on vintage book paper, and glued them into its pages to film these chapter breaks. We went to all this trouble because it's important that we establish this book as a real, physical book that carries with it an apparent credibility, and because we are establishing that we are "adapting" this book and using large portions of its text as our own narration (which is only partly true). Some of the chapter titles are repurposed from Wood's book. "Something New Under the Sun" is Wood's title for his Chapter V, which covers the same period I'm covering in the next few scenes.
02300:04:48Image:Town photo
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Timecode: 00:04:48

Image: Town photo

This is a real photo, but it’s not a photo of Milford. It’s actually a photo of Lawrence, Kansas, in 1856. We could not locate any photos of Milford from the right period that had the right amount of desolation. (See also: note 8.)View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

This is a real photo, but it's not a photo of Milford. It's actually a photo of Lawrence, Kansas, in 1856. We could not locate any photos of Milford from the right period that had the right amount of desolation. (See also: note 8.)
02400:04:57Text:“Population 300”
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Timecode: 00:04:57

Text: “Population 300”

Several sources report the 1917 population of Milford in 1917 as being even lower than what we depicted here: less than 200. On the other hand, all those sources cite The Life of A Man for their information. We haven’t done any additional work to confirm this, but the point is: it was a very …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

Several sources report the 1917 population of Milford in 1917 as being even lower than what we depicted here: less than 200. On the other hand, all those sources cite The Life of A Man for their information. We haven't done any additional work to confirm this, but the point is: it was a very small town. We're not sure where we came up with the number 300; we must have seen it somewhere, or misremembered. (See also: notes 38 and 62 on Milford's population.)
02500:05:01Text:“Kansas Historian”
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Timecode: 00:05:01

Text: “Kansas Historian”

James Reardon is not a historian by profession or training, but he did spend many years producing a manuscript about Brinkley, for which he did a lot of research and amassed a big archive which he was kind enough to share with us. We gave him this “lower third” ID for two reasons: (1) we …View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

James Reardon is not a historian by profession or training, but he did spend many years producing a manuscript about Brinkley, for which he did a lot of research and amassed a big archive which he was kind enough to share with us. We gave him this "lower third" ID for two reasons: (1) we didn't know what else to say; (2) "Kansas Historian" makes him sound more legit than "guy who wrote an unpublished manuscript thirty years ago." In other words: for expert interviews to work, you have to buy that the person speaking is an "expert" (which, in our opinion, Reardon is).
02700:05:18Dialogue:“The gland transplants worked every time.”
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Timecode: 00:05:18

Dialogue: “The gland transplants worked every time.”

The things the Narrator says here are insane! Not even Brinkley said it “worked every time.” We’re engaging in some puffery and exaggeration for effect.View Full Footnote

Truth Value:

The things the Narrator says here are insane! Not even Brinkley said it "worked every time." We're engaging in some puffery and exaggeration for effect.