All notes filed under:

Invention

We made this up ourselves.

018 00:03:42 Image: Stittsworth and son in newspaper

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.

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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.

027 00:05:18 Dialogue: “The gland transplants worked every time.”

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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.

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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.

032 00:05:41 Image: Huey Long
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Image: Huey Long

We read rumors that Huey Long made an appointment to get goat glands but was assassinated in 1935 before he got them, so we didn’t invent the idea of Long being associated with Brinkley in some way. However, we’ve never seen any reference to his actually having done so, so we’re stretching here to make …

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We read rumors that Huey Long made an appointment to get goat glands but was assassinated in 1935 before he got them, so we didn’t invent the idea of Long being associated with Brinkley in some way. However, we’ve never seen any reference to his actually having done so, so we’re stretching here to make it seem like Brinkley had some famous patients vouching for him. Why? Because the “celebrity endorsement” is a key trick used by quacks; Brinkley did it, and we’re doing it too. (See also: note 161 on another Huey Long connection.)

033 00:05:42 Image: William Jennings Bryan
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Image: William Jennings Bryan

Rumors exist that Brinkley was William Jennings Bryan’s wife’s doctor for a time. So, this is another intentional distortion to create a “celebrity endorsement.”

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Rumors exist that Brinkley was William Jennings Bryan’s wife’s doctor for a time. So, this is another intentional distortion to create a “celebrity endorsement.”

034 00:05:45 Image: 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.

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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.

035 00:05:48 Image: Woodrow Wilson
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Image: Woodrow Wilson

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

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

038 00:06:25 Text: Population sign

Timecode: 00:06:25

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 …

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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.)

041 00:06:40 Image: 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!

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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!

062 00:08:36 Text: Population sign

Timecode: 00:08:36

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 …

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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 38 on Milford’s population.)

066 00:08:47 Dialogue: “Most powerful station in the world”

Timecode: 00:08:47

Dialogue: “Most powerful station in the world”

KFKB was maybe not the “most powerful station in the world.” It was certainly one of the most powerful in the United States. We have no idea whether that made it the most, or even one of the most, powerful stations in the world. We don’t think Brinkley claimed that, either, so this is our …

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KFKB was maybe not the “most powerful station in the world.” It was certainly one of the most powerful in the United States. We have no idea whether that made it the most, or even one of the most, powerful stations in the world. We don’t think Brinkley claimed that, either, so this is our invention.

095 00:13:52 Dialogue: “Mr. Thurston”

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Dialogue: “Mr. Thurston”

Mr. Thurston the flower seller is invented.

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Mr. Thurston the flower seller is invented.

099 00:14:37 Dialogue: “Over 10,000 times”

Timecode: 00:14:37

Dialogue: “Over 10,000 times”

This is an exaggeration; Brinkley had not claimed anything like 10,000 procedures at this time (or at any point in his career). He was quoted in 1923 as having done 3,000; in 1926, newspapers reported 4,000; and in 1938, the AMA estimated the total number as between 5,000 and 6,000.

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This is an exaggeration; Brinkley had not claimed anything like 10,000 procedures at this time (or at any point in his career). He was quoted in 1923 as having done 3,000; in 1926, newspapers reported 4,000; and in 1938, the AMA estimated the total number as between 5,000 and 6,000.

117 00:17:06 Dialogue: “One million dollar expansion”

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Dialogue: “One million dollar expansion”

His planned expansion was actually budgeted for $100,000, not $1 million. We thought $1 million sounded a lot more impressive.

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His planned expansion was actually budgeted for $100,000, not $1 million. We thought $1 million sounded a lot more impressive.

121 00:18:17 Dialogue: “Amateur-ish”

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Dialogue: “Amateur-ish”

The dialogue in this hearing, unless otherwise noted, we pretty much invented.

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The dialogue in this hearing, unless otherwise noted, we pretty much invented.

124 00:19:17 Dialogue: “Doctor named Ignaz Semmelweis”

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Dialogue: “Doctor named Ignaz Semmelweis”

As far as we know, Brinkley did not actually reference Semmelweis in this hearing. However, Semmelweis was a real person and his story is more or less as Brinkley describes it, and quacks absolutely love to tell this story. Why? Because it is real example of a “paradigm shift” in science, one of those rare occasions …

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As far as we know, Brinkley did not actually reference Semmelweis in this hearing. However, Semmelweis was a real person and his story is more or less as Brinkley describes it, and quacks absolutely love to tell this story. Why? Because it is real example of a “paradigm shift” in science, one of those rare occasions about which it is accurate to say, “Everything we thought we knew was wrong!” Because Semmelweis was persecuted for his beliefs, the quack can also place his inevitable trouble with authorities into a much more beneficial “underdog” narrative framework: from “he must have done something wrong to be in so much legal trouble” to “he is a persecuted genius ahead of his time.” Note how much exciting a story the latter is.

In the libel trial that comes later in our film, Brinkley’s counsel really did force Fishbein “to agree it had taken many years for the medical profession to accept the theories of Harvey, Jenner, Koch, Semmelweis, and other medical giants.”

125 00:20:25 Image: Testimonies from patients

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Image: Testimonies from patients

Patient testimonials are the bedrock of the quack’s claim to legitimacy, and Brinkley indeed had many patients testify for him at this hearing (we don’t know their exact words). “‘Testimonials’ are personal accounts of someone’s experiences with a therapy. They are generally subjective: ‘I felt better,’ ‘I had more energy,’ ‘I wasn’t as nauseated,’ ‘The …

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Patient testimonials are the bedrock of the quack’s claim to legitimacy, and Brinkley indeed had many patients testify for him at this hearing (we don’t know their exact words).

“‘Testimonials’ are personal accounts of someone’s experiences with a therapy. They are generally subjective: ‘I felt better,’ ‘I had more energy,’ ‘I wasn’t as nauseated,’ ‘The pain went away,’ and so on. Testimonials are inherently selective. People are much more likely to talk about their ‘amazing cure” than about something that didn’t work for them. The proponents of ‘alternative’ methods can, of course, pick which testimonials they use. For example, let’s suppose that if 100 people are sick, 50 of them will recover on their own even if they do nothing. So, if all 100 people use a certain therapy, half will get better even if the treatment doesn’t do anything. These people could say ‘I took therapy X and my disease went away!’ This would be completely honest, even though the therapy had done nothing for them. So, testimonials are useless for judging treatment effectiveness. For all we know, those giving the testimonial might be the only people who felt better. Or, suppose that of 100 patients trying a therapy, 10 experienced no change, 85 felt worse, and 5 felt better. The five who improved could quite honestly say that they felt better, even though nearly everyone who tried the remedy stayed the same or got worse!” (Common Questions about Science and “Alternative” Health Methods, Gregory L. Smith)

126 00:20:50 Dialogue: “20 goats a week”

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Dialogue: “20 goats a week”

Not only did Brinkley apparently receive 20 goats a week, but by 1930 it was probably more accurate to say 40 goats a week! We had invented the number 20 in the writing phase, and only later did we find a reference to 40. A rare case where we didn’t engage in puffery but rather …

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Not only did Brinkley apparently receive 20 goats a week, but by 1930 it was probably more accurate to say 40 goats a week! We had invented the number 20 in the writing phase, and only later did we find a reference to 40. A rare case where we didn’t engage in puffery but rather its opposite. On the other hand: who knows if 40 is accurate, either.

132 00:22:09 Dialogue: “A trainful of KFKB”

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Dialogue: “A trainful of KFKB”

While we read that Brinkley “planned” to bring 1,000 satisfied patients to DC in a chartered train, we never read that this actually happened.

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While we read that Brinkley “planned” to bring 1,000 satisfied patients to DC in a chartered train, we never read that this actually happened.

135 00:23:21 Dialogue: “The kind of good the public likes”

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Dialogue: “The kind of good the public likes”

Actually, Brinkley did not testify at this hearing. We invented this cool zinger. You know, to make him more cool.

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Actually, Brinkley did not testify at this hearing. We invented this cool zinger. You know, to make him more cool.

137 00:23:42 Image: Conspiring men

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Image: Conspiring men

This probably isn’t really what this looked like, and also why would Fishbein be there? But we have by this point in the film fully committed to using as many “enemies conspiring” conspiracy theory clichés as possible.

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This probably isn’t really what this looked like, and also why would Fishbein be there? But we have by this point in the film fully committed to using as many “enemies conspiring” conspiracy theory clichés as possible.

142 00:25:17 Image: Record album spinning

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Image: Record album spinning

The “Last Words” inscription on this record doesn’t make any literal sense; we imagined it in order to better invoke the seriousness of this blow to Brinkley’s life work, and to reinscribe the theme of Brinkley wanting his son to hear it after he is dead.

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The “Last Words” inscription on this record doesn’t make any literal sense; we imagined it in order to better invoke the seriousness of this blow to Brinkley’s life work, and to reinscribe the theme of Brinkley wanting his son to hear it after he is dead.

143 00:26:34 Image: People taking radio station away

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Image: People taking radio station away

This is obviously metaphorical.

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This is obviously metaphorical.

144 00:26:45 Image: Stittsworth and son enter
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Image: Stittsworth and son enter

We imagined this encounter. We thought it made him look badass.

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We imagined this encounter. We thought it made him look badass.

146 00:27:10 Image: Chapter III text

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Image: Chapter III text

This text is not from The Life of Man; we wrote it. But it accurately portrays Wood’s description of these events: it wasn’t Brinkley’s idea to run for governor; oh no. It was the will of the people!

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This text is not from The Life of Man; we wrote it. But it accurately portrays Wood’s description of these events: it wasn’t Brinkley’s idea to run for governor; oh no. It was the will of the people!

148 00:27:20 Image: Headline, “Brinkley Enters Race”

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Image: Headline, “Brinkley Enters Race”

We created this headline in Photoshop; none of the real ones we had good copies of said anything this clear. Actually, we might have borrowed the “rams self” language from a real newspaper, but we don’t remember for sure.

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We created this headline in Photoshop; none of the real ones we had good copies of said anything this clear. Actually, we might have borrowed the “rams self” language from a real newspaper, but we don’t remember for sure.

149 00:27:20 Dialogue: “The higher I bounce”

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Dialogue: “The higher I bounce”

Brinkley really did say, “the harder they hit me the higher I bounce!” at at least one point in his life, but did not, as far as we know, use it as a slogan.

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Brinkley really did say, “the harder they hit me the higher I bounce!” at at least one point in his life, but did not, as far as we know, use it as a slogan.

156 00:28:01 Dialogue: “Dr. Brinkley is not going”

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Dialogue: “Dr. Brinkley is not going”

We’re pretty sure we invented this line (“Doctor Brinkley is not going to say please anymore!”) but it really does sound like him.

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We’re pretty sure we invented this line (“Doctor Brinkley is not going to say please anymore!”) but it really does sound like him.

160 00:28:33 Dialogue: “Only 4%”

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Dialogue: “Only 4%”

We don’t think Brinkley said anything like this; we thought his talking about “income inequality” would make contemporary audiences feel he was ahead of his time. We also made up the 4% statistic. This sentiment and the “every man a king” slogan we borrowed from Huey Long. Generally, in this scene we are trying to …

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We don’t think Brinkley said anything like this; we thought his talking about “income inequality” would make contemporary audiences feel he was ahead of his time. We also made up the 4% statistic. This sentiment and the “every man a king” slogan we borrowed from Huey Long.

Generally, in this scene we are trying to demonstrate how Brinkley drew on populist themes in his campaigning. Brinkley loved to cast himself as a representative of the common man, but his opinion of the New Deal and everything it stood for… varied, depending on who he was talking to. His populism was calculated and strategic, not a bedrock principle.

162 00:29:05 Dialogue: “The motto of our fair state”

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Dialogue: “The motto of our fair state”

Brinkley never said this, as far as we know, but we like to imagine he might have. The Kansas state motto is so great! Incidentally, something pretty cool we’re leaving out that he did say is when he compared his suffering to that of Jesus. By now we hope it’s obvious why we left that …

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Brinkley never said this, as far as we know, but we like to imagine he might have. The Kansas state motto is so great!

Incidentally, something pretty cool we’re leaving out that he did say is when he compared his suffering to that of Jesus. By now we hope it’s obvious why we left that out.

165 00:29:30 Image: Government building

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Image: Government building

Back to the “enemies conspiring” imagery: same cliché, same rationale as earlier (see note 137). Attorney General Smith is a real person. But he didn’t have an eyepatch; he didn’t look anything like this.

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Back to the “enemies conspiring” imagery: same cliché, same rationale as earlier (see note 137). Attorney General Smith is a real person. But he didn’t have an eyepatch; he didn’t look anything like this.

167 00:30:06 Image: Fishbein

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Image: Fishbein

Again, no reason why Fishbein would be there: same cliché, same rationale as earlier (see note 137).

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Again, no reason why Fishbein would be there: same cliché, same rationale as earlier (see note 137).

171 00:31:06 Image: Headline, “Brinkley Wins”

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Image: Headline, “Brinkley Wins”

We made this headline in Photoshop and it does not accurately convey that day’s headlines. In reality, newspapers were running headlines like “Early Returns Race as Close” (Jefferson City Post-Tribune) and “Reports Indicate Close Race” (The Perry Journal).

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We made this headline in Photoshop and it does not accurately convey that day’s headlines. In reality, newspapers were running headlines like “Early Returns Race as Close” (Jefferson City Post-Tribune) and “Reports Indicate Close Race” (The Perry Journal).

172 00:31:30 Image: Drawing of newspaper headline

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Image: Drawing of newspaper headline

This headline is, like the previous one, fabricated; the papers didn’t announce Brinkley had won, just that the race was still too close to call. We borrowed the idea of the newspapers announcing the wrong winner from the infamous “Dewey Defeats Truman” episode.

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This headline is, like the previous one, fabricated; the papers didn’t announce Brinkley had won, just that the race was still too close to call. We borrowed the idea of the newspapers announcing the wrong winner from the infamous “Dewey Defeats Truman” episode.

189 00:36:12 Dialogue: “His new station XERA”

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Dialogue: “His new station XERA”

Not sure where we got the number 17 from; most sources indicate that the signal reached 15 or “at least 15” countries outside of the U.S. We were pretty close, though! Also, the station began broadcasting in October 1931 was called XER (not XERA). XER was closed by Mexican authorities in February 1934 and then …

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Not sure where we got the number 17 from; most sources indicate that the signal reached 15 or “at least 15” countries outside of the U.S. We were pretty close, though!

Also, the station began broadcasting in October 1931 was called XER (not XERA). XER was closed by Mexican authorities in February 1934 and then re-opened as XERA late in 1935. For a time, Brinkley also had another radio station in Mexico called XEPN which he renamed XEAW. But to keep things simple, we are sticking with XERA.

191 00:36:22 Image: Station and tower going up

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Image: Station and tower going up

While this drawing of station XERA is a tracing and thus pretty accurate, the size of this tower is obviously a massive exaggeration.

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While this drawing of station XERA is a tracing and thus pretty accurate, the size of this tower is obviously a massive exaggeration.

218 00:40:59 Image: Chapter IV title page

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Image: Chapter IV title page

“Into the Fields of Elysium” is a (great) title made up by writer Thom Stylinski; it is not in Clement Wood’s book.

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“Into the Fields of Elysium” is a (great) title made up by writer Thom Stylinski; it is not in Clement Wood’s book.

219 00:41:04 Image: Chapter IV text

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Image: Chapter IV text

This text is not from The Life of A Man.

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This text is not from The Life of A Man.

220 00:41:17 Dialogue: “He employed thousands”

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Dialogue: “He employed thousands”

“Thousands” seems like a pretty big stretch! We have no idea how many people he employed, nor how “endless” his charitable contributions were. However, all sources indicate that just as in Milford, Brinkley was indeed responsible for bringing some prosperity to the region, and that he engaged in charitable activities.

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“Thousands” seems like a pretty big stretch! We have no idea how many people he employed, nor how “endless” his charitable contributions were. However, all sources indicate that just as in Milford, Brinkley was indeed responsible for bringing some prosperity to the region, and that he engaged in charitable activities.

243 00:49:15 Image: Chapter V title page

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Image: Chapter V title page

“Unto the Gates of Tartarus” is a (great) title made up by writer Thom Stylinski; it is not in Clement Wood’s book.

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“Unto the Gates of Tartarus” is a (great) title made up by writer Thom Stylinski; it is not in Clement Wood’s book.

244 00:49:20 Image: Chapter V text

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Image: Chapter V text

This text is not from The Life of A Man.

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This text is not from The Life of A Man.

245 00:49:24 Image: Newspaper headline

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Image: Newspaper headline

We created this headline in Photoshop. None of the real ones were this clear. But Brinkley indeed sued Fishbein for libel, asserting that he was owed $250,000 in damages. By the way, by 1939 Brinkley had already sued Fishbein, the Kansas City Star, the AMA and many others quite a number of times, which we’ve …

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We created this headline in Photoshop. None of the real ones were this clear. But Brinkley indeed sued Fishbein for libel, asserting that he was owed $250,000 in damages.

By the way, by 1939 Brinkley had already sued Fishbein, the Kansas City Star, the AMA and many others quite a number of times, which we’ve left out of the film.

255 00:51:28 Dialogue: “Dr. Richard Ross”

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Dialogue: “Dr. Richard Ross”

We made up the name “Richard Ross” and we can’t remember why; the name of the urologist who gave this testimony at the trial was Dr. A. I. Folsom. Other than his name, this exchange is very close to that found directly in the transcript.

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We made up the name “Richard Ross” and we can’t remember why; the name of the urologist who gave this testimony at the trial was Dr. A. I. Folsom. Other than his name, this exchange is very close to that found directly in the transcript.

257 00:51:56 Dialogue: “So… testicles.”

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Dialogue: “So… testicles.”

We made up the “so… testicles” bit. As with all reenactments, the dialogue in this scene is drawn heavily from period accounts of the proceedings, including newspaper clippings and the transcript itself. We wove together direct quotes with stuff we made up throughout. Because we’re doing these footnotes many years after the writing of the film …

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We made up the “so… testicles” bit. As with all reenactments, the dialogue in this scene is drawn heavily from period accounts of the proceedings, including newspaper clippings and the transcript itself. We wove together direct quotes with stuff we made up throughout. Because we’re doing these footnotes many years after the writing of the film was completed, it’s hard to totally reconstruct what we invented and what was real, but we’ve done our best forensic accounting in the following notes.

262 00:54:08 Dialogue: “Cancer fighting toothpaste”

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Dialogue: “Cancer fighting toothpaste”

Brinkley did not sell cancer-fighting toothpaste. However, modern day quack Stanislaw Burzynski owns a patent for cancer-fighting toothpaste. We wanted to give him a little shout-out.

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Brinkley did not sell cancer-fighting toothpaste. However, modern day quack Stanislaw Burzynski owns a patent for cancer-fighting toothpaste. We wanted to give him a little shout-out.

263 00:54:17 Dialogue: “Mayan vision improving”

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Dialogue: “Mayan vision improving”

This product is made up completely, but the reference to “Mayan” miracle cures is period appropriate (see note 199 for the delightful story of Rose Dawn and her “Mayan Order”).

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This product is made up completely, but the reference to “Mayan” miracle cures is period appropriate (see note 199 for the delightful story of Rose Dawn and her “Mayan Order”).

264 00:54:23 Dialogue: “Incan vision improving”

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Dialogue: “Incan vision improving”

This product is even more made up than the one before it.

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This product is even more made up than the one before it.

266 00:54:41 Image: 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.

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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.

268 00:55:07 Dialogue: “The formula replaces the gland”

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Dialogue: “The formula replaces the gland”

See note 227 on how we’ve conflated Formula 1020 with the “glandular preparations” he has replaced the goat gland surgery with.

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See note 227 on how we’ve conflated Formula 1020 with the “glandular preparations” he has replaced the goat gland surgery with.

270 00:55:35 Dialogue: “I paid $600”

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Dialogue: “I paid $600”

As far as we know, nobody jumped up and yelled this at the trial.

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As far as we know, nobody jumped up and yelled this at the trial.

272 00:56:11 Dialogue: “Allow me to say a few words”

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 …

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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.

275 01:00:31 Image: Chapter VI text page

Timecode: 01:00:31

Image: Chapter VI text page

This text is not from The Life of A Man.

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This text is not from The Life of A Man.

282 01:03:23 Dialogue: “To a woman named Sally Wike”
,

Timecode: 01:03:23

Dialogue: “To a woman named Sally Wike”

Sally came up at the trial, but only in a minor way in trying to get Brinkley’s early life story straight. It’s not true that Sally doesn’t appear in The Life of a Man; it is true that she doesn’t appear in this film. We’ve withheld information about her both because it didn’t seem too …

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Sally came up at the trial, but only in a minor way in trying to get Brinkley’s early life story straight. It’s not true that Sally doesn’t appear in The Life of a Man; it is true that she doesn’t appear in this film. We’ve withheld information about her both because it didn’t seem too relevant and because keeping it from you until this point only adds to the sense that Brinkley’s life story – and thus, this film – has been pretty untrustworthy.

286 01:04:53 Dialogue: “You called this German Electric Medicine”

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.

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

288 01:05:45 Dialogue: “Dr. Jenkins is here today”

Timecode: 01:05:45

Dialogue: “Dr. Jenkins is here today”

As far as we know, “Dr. Jenkins” was not in court that day.

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As far as we know, “Dr. Jenkins” was not in court that day.

289 01:06:27 Dialogue: “Who owns that company?”

Timecode: 01:06:27

Dialogue: “Who owns that company?”

We can only find one book published by the “Goshorn Publishing Company” and it’s this one. We don’t know if Brinkley owned it, but it seems more likely that it was just a sort of vanity press he used.

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We can only find one book published by the “Goshorn Publishing Company” and it’s this one. We don’t know if Brinkley owned it, but it seems more likely that it was just a sort of vanity press he used.

290 01:06:31 Dialogue: “How much did you pay the author?”

Timecode: 01:06:31

Dialogue: “How much did you pay the author?”

We invented the $5,000 figure, but Brinkley did acknowledge having paid Wood to write this book in the trial.

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We invented the $5,000 figure, but Brinkley did acknowledge having paid Wood to write this book in the trial.

293 01:07:56 Dialogue: “How many of your patients would be alive today”

Timecode: 01:07:56

Dialogue: “How many of your patients would be alive today”

The rest of this scene is pretty much made up.

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The rest of this scene is pretty much made up.

308 01:13:56 Image: Funeral

Timecode: 01:13:56

Image: Funeral

Okay, well we have no idea what Brinkley’s funeral was like or who was there. So we used our imaginations.

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Okay, well we have no idea what Brinkley’s funeral was like or who was there. So we used our imaginations.

310 01:14:29 Dialogue: “I knew he was bilking me”

Timecode: 01:14:29

Dialogue: “I knew he was bilking me”

It was reported in the New York Press that an old man at Brinkley’s funeral said, “I knew he was bilking me… but I liked him anyway.” We made this anonymous old man into Stittsworth, because: storytelling, closure, full circle, etc.

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It was reported in the New York Press that an old man at Brinkley’s funeral said, “I knew he was bilking me… but I liked him anyway.” We made this anonymous old man into Stittsworth, because: storytelling, closure, full circle, etc.

316 01:16:03 Dialogue: “Johnny Boy…”

Timecode: 01:16:03

Dialogue: “Johnny Boy…”

We have no reason to believe that John Brinkley Jr. had this record playing at this time.

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We have no reason to believe that John Brinkley Jr. had this record playing at this time.