Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Part One: John Ronald Brown: The Worst Surgeon Ever

Part One: John Ronald Brown: The Worst Surgeon Ever

Tue, 14 Jan 2020 11:00

Part One: John Ronald Brown: The Worst Surgeon Ever

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Sisters of the Underground is a podcast about fearless Dominican women who stood up against the brutal dictator Kapal Trujillo. He needs to be stopped. We've been silent and complacent for far too long. I am Daniel Ramirez, and as a Dominicana myself, I am proud to be narrating this true story that is often left out of the history books through your husband, blood on his hands. Listen to sisters of the underground wherever you get your podcasts. Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her social discoveries on chimpanzees, the four O months the chimps ran away from me. I mean, they take one look at this peculiar white ape and disappear into the vegetation. In wildlife, on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts, hey, I'm dua lipa and I'm thrilled to be back for the second season of my podcast Dua Lipa at your service alongside me and my guests lists and recommendations. The show features conversations with some of my biggest inspirations working across entertainment, politics, activism and much, much more. So please tune in and join me on this very special adventure. Listen to Dua Lipa at your service starting Friday 23rd of September on the iHeartRadio. Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Podcast I am Robert Evans, host of behind the ******** and that was another failed attempt to introduce introduce introduction, Start my podcast about that people. You shouldn't have asked the the standard, man, I really liked it. I feel a need to change it. Just get a haircut or something. Man, I get a lot of haircuts. I don't know, you know, like something different. You know what I mean? Like, go get a Mohawk and keep the greeting the same. I think Frost did tip a Mohawk, technically, yeah. Frosted tips. Get some frosted tips and leave the troll out. I I I feel that like George Lucas. Like I'm not really an artist unless I am tinkering with my work past the point where it works and to the point where no one enjoys it anymore. But your real art is mansplaining, and you still have that. Well, actually, Sophie, this episode I'm going to have you explain the ******* I wrote about who you have never heard of. So this will be a short episode of the show. I'm Sophie Alexandra. You guys, I'm just out here giving him ****. Yeah, you didn't you didn't even enter your guests because I interrupted him. It's OK. It was great. It was. It's just a train wreck from the out of the jump. Good God, you're not even Sophia to see our like, shady, like eye looks we keep giving each other. All deserved. I'm very hungover right now. So this is a **** show in so many ways. Sophia. Hi, Alexandra. Private parts unknown. And 4:20 day fiance, ***** we out 420 day fiance. That's right. Sophia yeah. Do you know about a guy named John Ronald Brown? Yeah, I ****** him last week. No, I don't know who that is. I hope not. I really, really you will not want to have ****** this guy after we finish this story time. Here he is. He is a genocider of just babies. And I'm sure that I will want to kill myself by the end of this, like I usually do. Because that's what you do to invite me here. No, you know, a genocider of babies. So babies aren't very tough, right? So if you're killing babies, it's probably pretty quick, right? Like, they just can't handle a lot, probably, he says. John. John Ronald Brown. This might be our darkest episode because. Not because, like, the crime is the darkest because, like, obviously we've talked about, people have killed a lot more people. Georgia Tan killed a lot more people. Oh yeah, he sure did. But the things that he did to people are so gruesome. And Gastly, we're going to be talking about a lot of botched surgery today, so. Oh my God, dude, I watched that show botched all the time. This is perfect for me. This is, like the most, the worst version of that. We're talking about a Doctor Who abused trans people for years. So, dude, really? Yeah. It's not a good. It's it's not a good. I'm not here. Does he talk about how he hates me the most? I don't like all of the guests. Is that what happened? Yeah, it's literally his hobby. You are a ******* among ******** Robert. I am the real bad guy of the series, except for in the case of this episode, because John Ronald Brown is even worse than I could hope to be. All right, let's do this. So if you were like a trans woman in, like, the 1850s, your options would be pretty much limited to like the cosmetic. You know, shaving, wearing, you know, the clothing of your of of your choice, makeup, you. There weren't, like, options for surgery, right? And so even many like pretty woke writers who had a deep. Understanding of the community in the 1800s and early 1900s would kind of lump transgender women in with transvestites and usually just use the the word transvestite. And nowadays that's like definitely an insult, but kind of when you're reading stuff from like the late 1800s, a lot of times they actually are trying to be like understanding. It's just like the, the, the. The Verbage hadn't evolved very far at that point. The first person to transition medically was probably Lily Elbe, who did so in 1930 with the help of pioneering sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld. In addition to having an incredible name, Magnus was one of the bravest scientists in history. He was a homosexual himself, and he had to hide being gay in order to practice medicine at the highest levels of German society. And in spite of this, he established a career as a tireless advocate for LGBT, and particularly T individuals in Berlin. In 1897, he founded the Scientific Humanitarian Committee, which was dedicated to ending. Stigma against homosexuality and decriminalizing it in Germany. So this is 1897, so Magnus, that's amazing. Ahead of the curve. Big Magnus energy over there, Big Magnus energy. And it's interesting to me that he's, like such an advocate while also being a closeted gay man himself, because I think there was this understanding that, like, well, I won't be able to actually do this work very effectively if kind of everyone knows, because it's Germany in 1897. An incredible sacrifice to make, to stay closeted so you could help other people be themselves. Yeah, he was an amazing guy now. One of Magnus's achievements was the establishment of an LGBT self-help group and probably the first self help group of like, sort of in the modern sense of the word, where queer individuals in Berlin and again the 1890s and early 1900s couldn't meet and discuss their issues by creating a space where these people could gather. Magnus also gathered for himself the first large sample population of queer men and women ever studied in a systematic. The scientific way. He circulated a questionnaire among them and received answers from 10s of thousands of people. He was able to actually do like, like longitudinal, sort of like survey work on the gay community prior to World War One. So this is obviously like groundbreaking ****. But obviously given the time it was, it was not perfect and you would not consider like the wording that he used for everything ideal in the modern sense of the word. And I'm going to quote from The Guardian now. Elb, who was that? Uh, one of the transgender women that he worked with, was reportedly disgusted by the questionnaire and the ambiguity of transsexuality as it was represented in the Institute. She described being requested to answer all these very rude and strict questions, says Rainier Hearn, a sexology researcher at Charity Hospital in Berlin. She refused the descriptions of sexual intermediates such as transvestites and hermaphrodites. It was not acceptable for her. For her, there was no ambiguity. She was a woman, so she was very irritated by the whole process. So even like a guy like hershfeld. Doesn't really understand like transgender, like that, like the, like the nature of that doesn't understand what's going on with help. And I don't think anyone really has a vocabulary here. So like a lot of people I think, who were trans back then probably would have called themselves something different just because like the the, the the state of development of the vocabulary was so much more primitive. But Hirschfeld agreed to help transition, and with his assistant, she underwent surgery to have her testicles removed in Berlin. And then she underwent further surgeries in Dresden. Now, these were mostly cosmetic surgeries. But as her points out, just cosmetic surgery was not enough for ELP, quote, Help wanted to have implanted ovaries and a uterus because at that time, to be a real woman, you had to be capable of having children. That was her ideal. She was obsessed by this and elves biography, which is based on her diary. She always fantasizes about being a complete woman. So obviously then is now a technology did not make that possible. I don't think we can do that now in 1931. It was not a thing medical science was up to the task of doing. An elves body rejected the new womb, and she died of heart failure on September 13th, 1931. That's so sad. Yeah, it's a real bummer of a story. And there's a there's a good book about her, the title of which I thought I included in here, but I did not. It'll be on and our in our search notes. So Magnus Hirschfeld's Institute for Sexual Research was destroyed by the Nazis and his records were destroyed once Hitler came into power. If you Google Nazi book burning, the pictures that you get are the hershfeld library being burned by the Nazis. And this was a major set back for humanity and particularly for LGBT individuals. As much of what Magnus had been studying where that was like the biological roots of homosexuality and in some ways science still has not recovered from this loss. It took up until like really the last like 10 or 15 years in a lot of cases where like we started to to rebuild to the level that he was, he was getting to be at in the 30s. Have you? Seen the show transparent? No, they do flashbacks too. To this, to the to the whole story. Yeah. Oh, cool. To all the queer people and then to the book burning. It's not really like told and like a. Chronological kind of like. And then this happened. Seen. It's just a little flashes every episode for the season for this one season anyway. Yeah, it's a bummer of a tale. So yeah, the Nazis, as Nazis do, really jammed a finger in the eye of progress. But progress did not stand still, and other developments in the early 20th century had a major impact on the development of gender transitioning. In 1929, estrone, a female hormone, was isolated, followed by estriol. Eventually, both hormones were classified together as estrogen. Progesterone was isolated and described for the first time in 1934, testosterone in 1935. Now, it was not a short route from isolating these hormones and two figuring out how to produce them synthetically. But by the 1940s, the first injectable hormones had been developed, making what we now know as hormone replacement therapy possible. So that's like the genesis of HRT. Now, the first person to receive what we'd recognize as a modern gender transition was a woman named Christine Jorgensen. Yep. And you, you might call her the first Guinea pig for injectable hormones because, like, people really didn't know, like, how this was all going to work until they tried it on her. And I'm going to quote now from the book crossing sexual boundaries by Jr Kane de Mayos quote just how confusing the whole situation was at the time, as indicated by the fact that the physician involved in the case called Jorgensen, a transvestite. His official account of the case, his treatment of Jorgensen, was in part surgical castration and penectomy, but the important thing was that massive hormone treatment. Before going to Denmark, Jorgensen had been injecting herself with estrogen to bring about physiological changes, and after hamburger and his associates examined her, they decided to treat her with massive injections of estrogen, much larger than what she had given herself. The large dosage just changed the shape of Jorgensen's body to a more feminine contour, and her behavior, gait, and appearance also became more feminine. As her beard became sparser, electrolysis was used to remove the remaining hair. The one thing they did not do for her was to give her a vagina, a failure that was only later partially resolved and not particularly satisfactory. Yet she looked and acted like a woman, something that took considerable practice before she was satisfied enough to tell her story. So Christine Jorgensen went to the press in 1951, explicitly against her doctor's wishes, and her story was an instant, like huge media sensation, and while the media at the time definitely did not treat it with overwhelming respect, the fact that she was coming out and talking about her. Experience was one of the most important moments in the history of trans visibility. Like it was one of those things that like it had to happen and it was always going to suck, kind of, for the first person to do it, because the media in 1951 was not going to be very tactful. But because whenever you're the Jackie Robinson of anything, it sucks. Yeah, and it's a little like what you were talking about earlier. Like, it is awkward. We're kind of in this awkward period now of discussing like non binary gender and like trying to figure all this stuff and the terminology out and it leads to a lot of arguments, but like you have to have these awkward periods before you, kind of like. Get people used enough to certain ideas that it stops being weird and starts being something that, like is just life. Yeah, yeah. So Jorgensen is is important for a lot of reasons. And in the wake of her transition, huge numbers of people started writing to her Doctor Who was again Danish, to request the surgery for themselves. And in fact, so many people flooded Denmark with requests for gender reassignment surgery that the government had to enact a law banning it for non Danish people out of a fear that they would just be flooded by trans people from around the world looking for surgery and hormone replacement therapy. So this is like the like, there's all these people who have clearly always been there. And when Jorgensen comes out, they're like, oh, it wasn't just. This thing that I alone was dealing with, and then they kind of flood Denmark with requests for surgery because it's the only place doing it at the time. Now, the medical community in the 50s was obviously very much mixed on the subject of what precisely? Christine Jorgensen was. Many psychiatrists considered her mentally ill and criticized Dr Hamburger for using surgery and hormone replacement therapy instead of psychotherapy to correct what was seen as a sexual perversion. Well, it took a while for them to take it out of the DSM as being something that we can consider to be abnormal. Sexuality. So yeah, yeah, decades and decades. And the whole battle over that is is very complicated. And again, beyond kind of the scope of this episode, but one of the results of this whole thing, it was that Doctor Harry Benjamin popularized the term transsexualism to replace transvestism. So in, like, transsexual, again, we've moved beyond that term these days, and it's generally seen as rude. But there was a time in which that was like the the kind of polite and medical term used. That was a game, right? This thing, yeah. Yeah, that was again, it was a step forward. So over the following years, the first gender Identity clinic started to be established, starting with Johns Hopkins University and then Case Western Reserve University and then the University of Minnesota, the University of Oregon and Stanford University. Kind of surprising that Minnesota beat Stanford for gender identity clinics, but good for Minnesota. Yeah. Stanford should have been first. What the ****? California, you would think, right? I mean, California hasn't always been this libertine paradise it is today, yeah. Now these institutions began to slowly catch up to where Magnus Hirschfeld had been back in the 30s, and while their research focused mostly on trying to understand and classify what precisely trans people were, they also engaged in early sexual reassignment surgeries. Dallas Denny's, Dallas Denny, sorry, a trans rights activist and writer. Like they did this **** at Denny's. That's actually how this got it. Right after. That's ******* tight. It turns out they were terrible at surgery, but really good at cooking omelets, so they just sort of moved right into that. Hey, man, can't can't make an omelet without breaking if you removing a few eggs, am I right? Yeah. There we go, ladies. You may have actually a wrong idea about what an omelet is. We'll talk about that later. So now Dallas Denny, who is a trans woman, a trans rights activist and a writer, was very critical about some of their about like the the efforts of these kind of early gender reassignment clinics. And she wrote this quote. The clinics viewed sexual reassignment as a last ditch effort to save those with whom other therapies and interventions had failed. Those who were accepted for treatment were usually prostitutes, those with substance abuse problems, sociopaths, those who were schizophrenics, those who were profoundly depressed or suicidal, and others who were considered hopeless, IE. Likely to die anyway. It was a classic misapplication of the triage method, with those most likely to benefit from the intervention being turned away and the terminal cases receiving treatment. So people who like, were relatively emotionally stable and healthy would be denied the surgery because they were seen as like, well, you're fine, you don't need this. And like people who were like, clearly for probably a lot of other reasons, you know, kind of on the edge of suicide, emergency cases would be given surgery. So it meant that and this has, this is like had an effect that went on to this day because it means like some of the first, you know. Transgender like people. The first people to go through the surgery that were studied were people who had a whole lot of other issues, which again led to like this, reinforce this belief that they were like fundamentally unhealthy because they wouldn't let healthy trans people have the surgery. So it's kind of messed up. It's like when people blame Jews for being into money and then the only jobs they could have is where is money lenders? So like, yeah, yeah, you got it. There's some lions ******* love it. Now, since medical schools were often unwilling to help trans patients, the private sector swooped in to offer assistance because sweet lady capitalism is nothing if not inclusive. Once money is on the line, a small number of surgeons, some motivated by altruism, others by a desire for cold, hard cash, began to service the needs of the trans community. This was dicey legal ground. To protect themselves from malpractice claims, many of these surgeons required psychiatric clearances. The ones who did not inevitably tended to be sketchier. Individuals, and this finally brings us to the subject of today's episode. John Ronald Brown was a long introduction. Oh, and now it's time for ads. You know who won't perform sketchy, unlicensed surgery? Sophia the following goods and services, yes, only licensed surgery from the following goods and services. Whoo, boy. It's gonna it's not going to be the last ad transition that's uncomfortable in this episode. That was not great, Robert. It was not great. It was not great. What do you want? No, no, not great. Good transition on a Sofia episode. That's not going to happen. Truth. But don't bring me into it. Yeah, don't loop her into your mess. Your own battle buddy. You know what didn't kill all those babies? **** pills. Here's some products. I'm Amanda de Cadenet, host of The Conversation podcast. For the majority of my career, I've interviewed women, but I'm here to tell you about a special series I'm doing called about the men. Because let's face it, it has been an intense few years for men, and I just want to hear where they're at on the conversation about the men. I'm talking to some of the guys who interest me the most, like actor and New York Times bestselling author of green lights Matthew McConaughey, radio host and TV personality charlamagne the God. Actor and author Kal Penn, musician Youngblood, actor and author Zachary Levi, and therapist extraordinaire Terry Reel. We're talking about redefining modern masculinity and how that is no easy task. So expect to hear men talking in a way that you're really not used to hearing. Because on this show, literally no conversation is off limits. Listen to the conversation about the men on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. It's Meghan king. And I am back. The Intimate Knowledge Podcast returns. I've had my share of bad dates and even a couple of bad marriages. Each week we are going to be talking sex, talking life, and maybe even talking a little trash. And you guys know that I have plenty of trash to talk. And if you want, you can live vicariously through me and all my ups and unfortunate downs, and you might even feel pretty good that your dating life isn't as messed up as mine. You think that you have crazy dating stories, right? Oh, you haven't heard crazy dating stories? You have got to listen to intimate knowledge to hear all of my crazy dating stories. Yes? So put the kids to bed. Put your headphones in, because this one y'all this one's for adults only. Intimate knowledge returns with more intimacy, more sex, more laughs, and more love. I'm Megan King, and trust me, you need intimate knowledge as much as I do. Listen to intimate knowledge on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Hey, it's Rick Schwartz, one of your hosts for San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we sit down with Doctor Jane Goodall to hear her inspiring thoughts on how we can create a better future for humans, animals and the environment. If we don't help them find ways of making a living without destroying the environment, we can't save chimps, forests or anything else. And that becomes very clear when you look at poverty around the world. If you're living in poverty, you can't afford to ask as we can. Did this product harm the environment? Was it cruel to animals like, was it factory farmed? Is it cheap because of unfair wages paid to people and so alleviating poverty? Is tremendously important. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. And we're back. All right. You notice I got you saying goods and services now? **** yeah, I do. I do. You incepted it in my mind. I know. It's pretty great. I'll glow. I'll grow inside of you slowly, like a fungus. Robert, I love funguses. That's where we get all of our best mushrooms. Yep. I'm not the mushroom of the heart. Sylvia, yes. We've had a little history lesson and now it's time to talk about a terrible person. ************. This whole thing is a history lesson. OK? Yeah, John Ronald brown. And I'm going to continually use his middle name because calling him John Brown will very much mix him up with the guy that we don't want mixed up in this story. The hero, John Brown so John Ronald Brown was born on July 14th, 1922. I don't know where, and I haven't been able to find much, if any, meaningful tales about his childhood. He claims in interviews to have been the son of a Mormon physician in Utah, which is probably where he comes from. John was apparently something of a child genius, and he found academic so easy that he graduated high school at age 16. He was drafted into the army at the start of World War Two, and I feel like he would lie about graduating at 16, but I do not. Feel like you would lie about being from Utah? No one has. What do you gain from that? No one has ever pretended to be. So I'm saying anyway. Go on. It's like lying about coming from Oklahoma City. Like I trust you, OK? So, uh, he gets drafted into the army at the start of World War Two and as a new soldier who was required to take the general classification test, which is the precursor to the modern ASVAB test, which is like are are what jobs are you smart enough to do in the army? Now, decades later, in interviews with journalists, John Ronald Brown would claim to have scored higher on this test than any of the other 300,000 people who had taken it previously in Utah. Now this guy's a liar, so he might be lying, but I also don't know that you would lie about. Being the smartest man in Utah. Again, I mean, if you're the kind of man who lied about being from Utah, you would probably lie about being the smartest man in Utah. I think he's probably. It's just a pile of lies. Yeah, maybe it's like saying you got a 1600 on your SAT's, but only when you're not in your hometown. I like, I wouldn't be surprised if 300,000 people was like 300,000 times the number of people who could read fluently in Utah in the 1940s. So. A lot of Utah shade being thrown in this seriously, we're mean. Utah is beautiful. It is beautiful, but not humans. No. Nobody goes to Utah for the humans. No Zion, no. It's National Park to get away from them. Yeah, exactly so. Yeah, whatever the truth about how intelligent he was. Visa vie the rest of Utah. Brown score was high enough that the army sent him to medical school. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Utah in 1947 and his medical degree three months later because apparently that was a lot easier in the yeah, what the ****? You just had a BA and put in an extra 3 months? That's like a summer. I don't think it was hard to be a doctor back then. They they had just locked down that you shouldn't shoot people full arsenic. So, yeah, I should have been born earlier. I get some medical people up. Oh, man. You'd be a doctor. I'd be a Colonel. We could we could have a podcast called the Doctor. Colonel hour. Yeah. And it will still be a lot of murder, but in real life, because there's also no contact lenses back then. And I'm very blind, so the doctrine would be wild as hell. The doctor would be wild. The driving as well, because none of us are wearing seat belts. Just a bunch of. Blind people crashing into each other in big steel cars? That sounds awesome. Actor would be wild the driving as well because none of us are wearing seat belts. Just a bunch of blind people crashing into each other. A big steel cars? That sounds awesome. Yeah it does. It would kind of rule. Now the ****** John Brown, as I like to call him, move to Los Angeles to do his internship at Harbor General. He finished his internship at the Queen of Angels Hospital in Los Angeles and at this point in his budding medical career, there seems to have been no sign that. Don was headed for anything but a productive career as a man of medicine. John finished his time in the military and went on to work as a General practitioner in California, Alaska, Hawaii, and the Marshall Islands. Now, it's possible that all this moving around was just John taking advantage of the fact that his skills as a doctor gave him the opportunity to see the world. Given what comes next, it's even more possible that he ****** ** in a number of horrifying ways and had to repeatedly switch states if that's the case. Anytime you've got a doctor in the 40s, like consist of that time, you know? Yeah. Gotta move them to another parish. God, it would be so like, I would absolutely have been surgery, dying people back saying just any kind of surgery you want, I'll just leave. I don't want to stay in Mississippi, like cut off an arm in the next state. It'll be awesome. So yeah, we don't know precisely what he did in his early career or if he was terrible from an early point. We only have one example of an early **** ** when he botched a thyroidectomy and almost lost a patient. And we do know that John shouldn't have attempted to perform that surgery because he was not a surgeon and was not qualified to perform a surgery so early on in his career. There is at least one case of him performing surgery without being trained to do so. Like a *****. You know what I mean? Oh yeah, you know. Injuries, really. It's like driving, you know? 90% ***** I think. Yeah, you just gotta get in there and do it. Put your foot on the gas, close your eyes and start cutting that wave meat, you know? That's the way it works. So after botching the surgery, John decided that he should get training in the field if he was going to start cutting into people. And he spent two years in New York City Hospital as a resident and also attended a plastic surgery program and New York Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. Unfortunately, he proved to be terrible at all of this. He failed repeatedly. The Yeah, so he he goes to surgery school, but he fails constantly the exam that would actually certify him to perform plastic surgery. And then he later brags about this to journalists. Quote, I passed the written part of the exam without cracking a book. But he says that he failed his orals because his domineering father traumatized him, and so he couldn't handle confrontation with authority figures. He would say that my brain turns into cottage cheese whenever he had to do the practical exam. Which, dude, also stop bragging about not practicing for being a doctor? Yeah. Nobody's impressed by not make you feel good. I want you to practice. Yeah, I don't. I don't pick my doctors. Like, who do I think is the best? Gut instinct. Yeah. I'm like, if you could wing it, you can be my doctor. That's. I want the guy. Yeah. That's not how we choose him. Yeah. I want someone who's, like, looks exhausted from the sheer number of books that they've read. Yeah. I want to come in their office and be like, damn, I could never read all of these. That's how I wanna feel. Yeah. Yeah. So in total, John Ronald Brown failed the general surgery oral examination twice and the plastic surgery oral examination three times. He's not great now. This should have stopped him from ever performing surgery in a hospital, but it didn't, largely because no one really checked up on him. Since he completed specialty residencies. He was still considered board eligible, and honestly, it seems like no one was really paying close attention. So John got to work, surgery and all sorts of people. And outside of work he had a somewhat tumultuous life. His first wife left him for one of his friends while he was in the army. His second wife died of breast cancer. John moved back from the East Coast to California. Where he started a medical surgery practice in San Francisco now. We don't know how John first learned about Christine Jorgensen's transition or how he felt about it. But it's plausible to assume his establishment in San Francisco, which was then one of the very few places in America where trans people had any visibility, would have keyed him in on the fact that there was suddenly a major demand in this segment of the population for surgeons, and particularly surgeons who might not check to or surgeons who might not. You know, one in you to have a doctor's note saying that you, you were prepared for the surgery surgeons who might just take the cash and do whatever you ask them, like when you go get **** implants and they put cement in your **** because that's exactly just in a hotel in Miami. Yeah, so the first vagina, that's that was very specific. I mean, that's the case. Remember that vice documentary about people's, like, lip injections that would rot their faces off? So that sounded. I'm assuming it's the same kind of thing. Yeah, exactly. Just putting **** into things that you shouldn't be because you're not a licensed person and people just trying to save money out there and do it under the table. It's amazing the desperation for something like thicker lips that would lead you to just, like, let somebody in a hotel room inject you with nonsense like. Also, so many of the stories are like, oh, and then I was like, is there is there no anesthesia? And they're like, Nah, I'm like, well, that's a really big sign for when you're going to get surgery that you should be in under anesthesia, not for lip injections. But you know what I'm saying? When people are like, yeah, I had to get **** injections and they're just like, well, you're going to be way during this and like, what that. Yeah. So, uh, yeah, in the 1960s, the late 60s, doctors started performing the first vagina plasties. And again, we don't exactly know when Brown got into this line of work. He probably started providing minor cosmetic surgery to transitioning individuals like facial surgery and stuff like that. But he quickly grew interested in doing more extensive work, and by February of 1973, John Ronald Brown was established. Off in the trans community that he gave a presentation at the Second Interdisciplinary Symposium on gender Dysphoria syndrome, sponsored by Stanford. Brown's presentation focused on what he called his miniaturization technique, in which he would turn a patient's penis into a ******** thus guaranteeing them the ability to continue to experience sexual climax. So that's like the thing he starts. Like he's probably for years working in the community, but he has this idea to basically trim a penis down to a ******** while doing a vagina. Lastly, it's a good selling point. I mean, it's a good selling point. Yeah, it makes sense, right. If someone was like, oh, and you can come, I would be like, I don't care what you said before that soul, yeah. So by the fall of that year, Brown had transitioned his own career almost entirely towards that sort of work, very few other doctors willing to do it, and most charge prices that were far out of the reach of many trans people. That's what I'm saying. Access is just not like, Yep. It's financial and whatever and yeah, yeah. Well, no, you're right. You're right on the money because John Brown basically establishes himself as the budget surgeon for gender transition. Which is not, I mean, it's obviously it's a necessary thing to have because there's a lot of desperate people who need the surgery, but praying on people who are just trying to live their life like lives and ruining them physically and otherwise is just evil. Yeah, yeah. Well, that's what we're getting to. Yep. So this period of time is when a guy named Paul Ciatti, a journalist for time, met John Ronald Brown. Now, Paul covered the LGBT community for time, and he seems to be one of the very few mainstream journalists in that. Who legitimately cared about queer people. If you read through his old articles, like, the terminology he uses is not the terms we use today. But he's clearly like trying to be understanding and coming at this from a place of knowledge as opposed to sensationalism, and he kept his ear to the ground. And read the mimeographed zines that the LGBT community disseminated during this period of time to get out vital information. And as a result, he ran across a story about a doctor on Lombard St Who was, in the words of 1 columnist lopping peoples penises off. So obviously as a journalist, Paul's like, well, I want to know what's going on here. So he gives a call to Brown's clinic. Yeah, it's a follow up on a lopping penises off lead that sounds very promising. Let's let's see what's going on. So he calls Browns clinic and he winds up. Talking to Brown's partner, a guy named Doctor James Spence. And I'm going to quote from Ciatti's article in LA Weekly now. Spent. Struck me as a bit of a hustler, far less polished than one would expect as someone with a medical degree. If he had a medical degree. The some people he gave business cards reading Doctor James Spence, but to me he said he'd earned his medical degree in Africa and thus couldn't practice here. I later heard he was an ex-con who claimed to be a veterinarian, but that degree was phony too. The clinic wasn't much, just a few rooms on a busy St it seemed more like a real estate office than anything else. Sensing my skepticism, perhaps, Spence invited me to an upcoming formal dinner at his hilltop home in Burlingham, where he and his partner. Burned plastic surgeon Doctor John Ronald Brown would be explaining his new operation to a group of urologists, proctologists and internists, some of whom Spence hoped would join him and Doctor Brown in setting up the finest sex change facility anywhere in the country. So there's a lot of information in those paragraphs. And probably the most interesting is the fact that this guy's business partner, Doctor James Spence, is in no way a doctor. He's even less of a doctor than his non doctor partner. Yeah, he's a guy. Who. The patient is having lied about being a veterinarian, yeah. So yeah, Doctor Brown's practice was not exactly on the up and up. Now, despite his sketchiness, Brown needed Spence because the good doctor, the actual doctor. Brown was terrible at meeting people and had no connections in the queer community and was kind of an awkward person, was not very good at building connections. And at this point, you're really talking about something very similar to being a drug dealer when you're talking about being the kind of medical professional like working with this community. And so Brown doesn't have the ability to like kind of interface. The way that a drug dealer needs to to build connections and trust in a community. And Spence, who is a literal criminal and not at all. The doctor, is good at doing that, and he's able to build connections with the gay community, and he helps broker deals between John Brown and queer figures like Angela Brown, who was the publisher of Mirage magazine, which was like an LGBT focused periodical at the time. John Brown helped to fund the magazine in exchange for promotion of his clinic. Now Paul Ciatti attended the soiree Brown and Spence through to publicize the opening of their new clinic. And here's how he described it. This is interesting to me. After the fruit and cheese, we adjourned to the kitchen where one of the waitresses lay on a butcher block table and casually flipped up her skirt. A gooseneck lamp was produced and all the doctors proceeded to examine the kind of work currently being done by Doctor Brown's competition. I'm no expert in female anatomy, but the waitresses genitalia did not look like those of any woman I'd ever seen. There was no ******** or anything resembling a vagina. It rather looked like someone had taken a pickaxe and neatly poked a small square hole an inch on a side directly into her groin. Either that or like an aerial photograph of a Manitoba iron ore mine taken from 20,000 feet. In contrast, Spence maintained Brown had developed a revolutionary technique that would give transsexuals fully orgasmic, clitorises, and aesthetically pleasing vaginas. Later, Doctor Brown and I stood around the kitchen table while he displayed what to me were ghastly photographs of his surgical technique. One picture showed a gauze noose holding up the head of a bloody penis while brown sliced away at the tendrils of unwanted erectile tissue. So. And I want to emphasize here, sciatti is not, like, a squeamish dude about all this. Like, he's not the kind of dude who's just squeamish about the idea of trans surgeries. What he's seeing in Doctor Brown's work is, like, not good. Like, it's not the way it should look. Brown and Spencer, like when serial killers work together, and like, Brown is the one that stays home and murders. And then, like, Spence is the one. And that goes and gets the victims because he's, like, personable. Yeah, yeah. Except for the victims sort of survive and in some ways get brought into the clinic. So, like, one of the ways, one of the ways that actually kind of made sense that they ran their clinic. So at this time, if you were going to like, go the legit way to get gender confirmation surgery, you would work with a psychiatrist and would essentially spend some time taking hormones and living as your new gender. And then that psychiatrist would be like, OK, I think you're you're ready, you've committed, like, this is clearly not a passing thing. Let's get you the surgery. What Doctor Brown and his uh and Spence said should be done is instead, other trans women should meet with the people who wanted surgeries and vet them. Which on its face it sounds like, OK, that might be 1A reasonable way to do it is like, these people know what's really involved in the surgery. They might be able to do a better job of, like, judging, like when someone's like, emotionally like, ready to undergo this thing. You know, when you're talking about the 70s, that seems like a pretty pretty advanced way to look at it, but the reality is that. But those people are doctors or professionals. They're just people. They're not doctors or professionals. And they're essentially working for Doctor Brown as a way to pay off their own surgeries. Oh, so they'll just say yes to anybody. Yeah. So it's not there's, there's aspects of what he was saying he wanted to do that. I'm like, yeah, that might make sense. And then, like, you really dig into it and it's like, Oh no, it was just a grift. It's a ******* MLM scheme, man, a little bit, except for I don't like none of them are in it to make a profit. They're just trying to. You get this thing that they like literally is life and death for them, this surgery? No, I just mean like, once they're in. They're getting other people involved and then those people are going to get new people involved and it's just like madness. Yeah, yeah. It's not maybe not the best idea, although you can see why when he explains it to other people, they might be like, Oh yeah, that seems like a reasonable way to do it. Yeah. Who would know? At that point, it's not like, exactly, this is revolutionary. So it could be revolutionary. Like, we know that this is great or revolutionary. Like, it's just new. That's it. Yeah. So to layman at least, what Doctor Brown claimed to be doing made sense. His patients had penises that they wanted to transform into vaginas. So he would basically split the penis, saving the nerves and blood supply and then reposition. Head under a hood of flesh to create a ********. The penile skin was used to create labia, and the hair was removed from the scrotal skin to create the lining of a new vagina. In theory, this is a pretty reasonable way to do things. This is on paper. What is supposed to be happening? There were two problems. Problem one was that John Ronald Brown had an almost pathological aversion to performing surgery in hospitals, medical clinics, and anywhere else you might actually want to have major surgery. Dude, that's part of the job. Are you kidding me? That's like, if I'm like, I want to be a comedian. But I do not want to be on a stage or in a bar or in a theater or in a club. I want to be a comedian. But I would like to tell my jokes to the children of strangers who I abduct from their elementary school. Is that a job? I guess, like, no, that's not the job. That's just a crime. Yeah. So instead of working in, like, you know, a clean operating room where it's safe to perform surgery, John Ronald Brown preferred to work out of his own home, which I I prefer to work out of my home, too. I'm working in my home. Drinking my coffee and wearing my pajamas right now? Yeah, well you can't be a stay at home surgeon. That's not my patient. That's that's a ****** ** dream. Like I points for dreaming the big dream. But you cannot be a stay at home surgeon. Exactly. I perform surgery less than five times a year, I would say. And, you know, mainly to friends and enemies. So yeah, one early patient recalled going to Brown's Home Office, assuming that they would just receive a check up on a surgery they'd gotten earlier. Instead, she woke up from the anaesthetic to find that Brown had performed surgery on her in his garage. Jesus ******* Christ. Unsettling is that is. Doctor Brown was very popular for a while, as has no frills practice made transitioning much more affordable than it had ever been before. John's home acquired the nickname the House of Dreams, which is ******* heartbreaking given what comes next. Yeah. One of John's early patience was a woman named Elizabeth. She was initially very happy with her new vagina, but a year after receiving the surgery, it began to tighten up and essentially heal itself closed. When she freaked out about this, John was nowhere to be found. Elizabeth had to find another surgeon Doctor, Jack Fisher, to bat cleanup. When interviewed later, Fisher, who had to clean up for a lot of Brown's patients, said this. It's hard to imagine anyone worse than John Ronald Brown. He didn't care much for evaluating his patients before surgery or for postoperative care. He was totally focused on the technical procedure. Itself, and he didn't do that very well. So this guy is all about the technical details of the surgery, and he's also bad at the technical details of the surgery. God yeah. Now, in spite of the sketchiness of Brown's practice and the bad experience of a lot of his patients, he was very popular among the trans community for a while. Wendy Davidson, who helped to organize peer clinics for the trans community, which is like clinics operated like Buy in for trans people to like, provide each other with life saving healthcare since the government and society did not give a **** about them. So Wendy worked with Doctor Brown for a while, until another activist, Donna Colvin, reported that she'd seen Brown shooting up Valium before performing surgery on patients, sometimes on literal kitchen tables. Oh my God, required the nickname tabletop Brown Jesus. Now, Sophia, you know who won't shoot up Valium and perform unlicensed surgery on a kitchen table top the following goods and services. That's right. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one on the conversation about the men. I'm talking to some of the guys who interest me the most, like actor and New York Times bestselling author of green lights Matthew McConaughey, radio host and TV personality charlamagne the God, actor and author Kal Penn, musician, Youngblood, actor and author Zachary Levi, and therapist extraordinaire Terry Real we're talking about. Redefining modern masculinity and how that is no easy task. So expect to hear men talking in a way that you're really not used to hearing, because on this show, literally no conversation is off limits. Listen to the conversation about the men on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. It's Meghan King and I am back. The Intimate Knowledge Podcast returns. I've had my share of bad dates and even a couple bad marriages each week. We are going to be talking sex, talking life, and maybe even talking a little trash. And you guys know that I have plenty of trash to talk, and if you want, you can live vicariously through me and all my ups and unfortunate downs. And you might. Even feel pretty good that your dating life isn't as messed up as mine. You think that you have crazy dating stories, right? Ohh, you haven't heard crazy dating stories. You have got to listen to intimate knowledge to hear all of my crazy dating stories. Yes. So put the kids to bed. Put your headphones in, because this one y'all. This one's for adults only. Intimate knowledge returns with more intimacy, more sex, more laughs, and more love. I'm Meghan King, and trust me, you need intimate knowledge as much as I do. Listen to intimate knowledge on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Hey, it's Rick Schwartz, one of your hosts for San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we sit down with Doctor Jane Goodall to hear her inspiring thoughts on how we can create a better future for humans, animals and the environment. Getting particularly young children out into nature so that they can experience it and take time off from this virtual world of being always on your cell phones and so on. And get the feel of nature so that you come to be fascinated, then you come to want to understand it, and then you come to love it, and at that point you want to protect it. And then we'll come to the sort of healthy world that I envision as a good future for us. And the rest of life on this planet. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. We're back. We're talking about tabletop brown. A terrible surgeon. So, Sofia, how you feeling so far? Feeling pretty peppy. Good things around. Orizon you are are you are fiddling with things with your hand in such a way that I can almost, like, taste the discomfort in the room. And that means it's a good episode question. Ready? Until I can show her what this guy looks like, let's wait until the end of episode one. Copy. OK, so excited. Oh my God. Now I'm trying to picture what I think he might look like. Yeah, it's it's it's a thing. So, uh, these stories, stories of, like, him shooting up Valium before performing table surgery took some time to percolate out into the wider community. For one thing, most of the women engaging brown services specifically hired him because they couldn't afford to go to professional clinics where surgery, for example, was performed in a not in a kitchen, not in a kitchen. The fact that he worked out of his house as well as hotel rooms and garages was just something that these patients had to accept because they were trans women in the 70s and there just weren't a lot of *******. Yeah, it was garbage. It's still garbage, but slightly less anyway. Do you think if you got your surgery done in the in the kitchen and then you found out your friend got there isn't a garage, you were, like, kind of big timing them. You're like, Oh yeah, I guess you didn't think you were good enough to operate for to operate on in the kitchen. Oh, you're a Kitchener, huh? Yeah. You're a grager. Yeah, I was in the kitchen. Sorry about that. Sorry about that. Nice kitchen. He had a juice maker. So Paul Ciatti, who's like the very first journalist to dig into John and really like the source of 60% of the information for this podcast, I really, I have a lot of, I don't know much about the rest of his career, but just based on sort of his work in this community in this. I have a lot of admiration for him because he's writing for like time ******* magazine and he's covering this group of people that like, nobody else gives a **** about. So good on you, Paul. Props so he found John Ronald Brown impressive at their first meeting, and I'm going to quote from here. I must say he came across as genial, knowledgeable, and obviously quite proud of his technique. There was a certain naivete and even passivity about him that struck me as surprising and a surgeon, but compared to everything else I'd seen that night, it didn't warrant a second thought. So Paul wrote what he describes as a pretty boring article about sexual reassignment surgery for time, since he didn't think that time would publish the wider details about what he'd seen. And before it went to print, Doctor Brown called him to beg that Paul not mention his name in the article. He informed Paul that he and Spence had had a falling out and cancelled their plans to start a clinic. It is uncertain precisely what happened between Spence and Brown, but stories later came out that he allowed Spence to carry out his own surgeries and again Spence was a fake veterinarian, not even a fake doctor. So like something very, very sketchy happened between him and Spence and they stopped getting along. By 1977, Doctor Brown had botched. Surgeries that a bunch of other doctors, the ones who'd had to correct his work, largely had complained. The California Board of Medical Quality Assurance looked into Doctor Brown and was shocked to realize that he'd worked with a fake veterinarian turned fake doctor and let this person perform surgery. They revoked his medical license for, quote, gross negligence and competence and practicing unprofessional medicine in a matter which involved moral turpitude, among other things. The board was furious with John for allowing his patients to work as clinical assistance in order to pay off their medical debts to him. So this is again what I'm talking about. Like, people can't pay all up front and he's like, why don't you be a nurse? Well, I don't. You don't need to know how to be a nurse. My, my, my partner here is a fake vet. So exactly. Come on. My my doctor partner is not a doctor. None of us are who we say we are here. You want to pretend to be a nurse? You wanna pretend to be a nurse? I'll, I'll, I'll shave a couple grand off the cost. Now I'm going to quote from Paul Ciotti again. Among other things, the board charged Brown allowed Spence to hold himself out as an MD. He allowed unlicensed people, including other transsexual patients, to write prescriptions under his signature diagnosed patients and provide medical care. He misrepresented sex change, surgery and insurance forms as corrective surgery for the congenital absence of a vagina. He exhibited gross negligence by failing to perform sex change operations in an acute care facility. Brown did them in his office on an outpatient basis. He unaccountably failed to hospitalize a patient who had a life endangering and pus. Infected wound the size of a softball where his penis used to be. He failed to take medical histories or do physical exams before surgery, and he did sex change surgery on virtually anyone who asked for it, regardless of whether they were physically or emotionally stable enough to cope with it. And I think that's where her penis should be. I'm not really sure about how that patient identified. As a general rule, Paul's pretty careful about not misgendering people, but it was the 70s. And yeah, yeah, I think he's better than most people. So at that point in history, many credible surgeons required their patients to have lived as their chosen gender for at least a year prior to receiving surgery. There's a lot that makes sense about this practice, but it also meant that many of the people who most needed to transition never got the opportunity. If your life and job and friends and family couldn't accept you living as a woman before actually receiving the surgery, that would. That would make it easy to pass. Then you just couldn't transition. Some people, including some reputable physicians, defended Doctor Brown for serving the community when no one else would. The judge who revoked his medical license, actually filed a memorandum opinion for Brown, calling him a pioneer who made innovative contributions to transsexual surgery. Despite difficulties like performing major surgery on a dinner table. The judge suggested that Brown should be limited to performing surgery in a medically recognized organization rather than being drummed out of the field entirely. So that's actually Arianna dinner table. The judge suggested that Brown should be limited to performing surgery in a medically recognized organization, rather than being drummed out of the field entirely. So that's actually a little bit surprising to me, that like, yeah, what a weird answer to the situation. Like, we still want this guy on the team, you know, I think it might just be a judge who realized that these people were desperate and that no one else was serving them and is like. Again, the primitive nature of like, our understanding of like, gender and and particularly trans people at this point means that, like, this might not have seemed as brutal because like, you have to think, like, think about early treatments for cancer, like they're literally like pouring acid into people's wounds, like, like hydrochloric acid and **** like that, like trying to burn it off from the inside. So medicine. Tends to be brutal and especially medicine that's kind of on the cutting edge and especially in this. And I think probably there were a lot of people who are like, well, of course he has a lot of patience with bad outcomes. This is new. Nobody knows how to do it well. We're still learning this thing. You know, we should just try to make sure he works in a good clean space because he's a pioneer. Like I think that's the, that's the angle at least from the people who are like reasonably like, compassionate, like I I think he kind of. Trick some of them and they're like, well, yeah, what he did isn't great, but like, no one else is is doing this work and it's it's, well, no one else is harming this group of people. Yeah, well, you also have to admit. There were hundreds of people by this point who had horrible or at least dozens who had horrible John Brown stories. But there were at least as many, if not more people who had good John Brown surgeries because, you know, it's it's some people, it's the same thing. That's like one of the difficulties today. Some people take really easily to this kind of surgery and their bodies heal well. And it's very simple for them. And, you know, between like minor surgery and the hormones, they have a really easy transition and some people because of their age. Because of just their genetics, it's much more complicated. And so there are some people who John does his thing on and it works out great for them, and they get a good deal and they're grateful and they speak his praises and they send other people to him. And so it's not just people saying he did a horrible job on me. I guess I didn't realize how many happy customers he had. Yeah, sounds like you're waiting for him. I'm just trying to point out like this, where the judge, when I was your last time you were like Pro was certain kind of dogfight. I am. I'm throw a lot of kinds of dog fights. I mean, look, we don't need to get into that today. No, sorry. Go. Go ahead. Hashtag not all dog fights. Hashtag Robert. It's a good hashtag Sophie. It's a good hashtag. So the judge is like, this guy's a pioneer. We got to stop him from doing tabletop surgery. But, you know, maybe if we can get him to just work in an OR, he can do good work. But John Brown did not take this advice or this chance to actually improve his skills and serve a community in a responsible way. Instead, he moved to Hawaii. He almost immediately lost his permission to practice medicine in the state. By doing something horrible. So he moved to Alaska and he lost his permission to practice medicine in Alaska shortly thereafter. The hits kept on coming. In 1979, one of his very first vaginoplasty patients sued. Julie had initially reached out to Doctor Brown about getting breast implants. He'd convinced her that he could make her into his words, a perfect woman with his new techniques and convince Julie to undergo a full operation. Doctor Brown was assisted in this by not a doctor Spence. The surgery did not go well and Julie sued in 1979. I mean, Doctor Brown had left her neither male nor female. This sale. They settled out of court for enough money to provide psychiatric care help for the rest of Julie's life, and a new operation. By the time the court battle was done, Doctor Brown had basically rendered himself unemployable across the entirety of the continental United States, Hawaii, and Alaska. So next he moved to the Caribbean. ****. Why you gotta bring the Caribbean into this? Why you gotta do it? Yeah, St. Lucia, to be specific. Oh no. Now, when you read other doctors talking about John Brown, they'll note that it was considered almost impossible to lose your medical license in the Caribbean at that point in time. But John did. And like. He is a pioneer. Like people talking about like, I don't know how he lost his medical license and the ******* Caribbean, but he he he. It must have been horrible. So St. Lucia was not entirely a loss for Doctor John Ronald Brown, though in 1981 he fell in love there for the third and final time. That might be too strong a word for it. Yeah, love. Love may not be the the proper way to describe this. I should say at age 59, Doctor John Brown contracted an arranged marriage. The parents of a 17 year old girl who did not speak English. Oh God. Uh, would you would you call that love? Yeah, I'd call it buying a woman. Oh yeah, buying a woman seems accurate. He seems to have basically paid her parents for her hand in marriage. She's a child, no? Yeah, yeah, yeah. He thought his new wife, Julie, to speak English, and they had two sons. Uh. In an interview with Paul Ciatti decades later, here's how Julie recalled their courtship. He asked me if I would like to get married. I said I don't know. I was 17. He was 59. Still, I'd be remiss if I didn't state that Julie has for years been consistent in expressing her gratitude to Doctor Brown. Even after they divorced in the 1990s, she insisted to reporters that she still loved him. He raised me. He taught me to read and write. He's a really good man. If I had to do it again, I'd marry him in a heartbeat. It's straight up Stockholm syndrome. Yeah, it's ****** **. Like he raised me and taught me how to read and write. Yeah, that's some Woody Allen soon. My husband is not OK. It's not OK. You can't raise someone and **** them at the same time. That's not OK. Oh, you cannot. No, you cannot. I don't have a joke for that. No, I just pick a lane. You know what I mean? Yeah. Now, once John lost his license to practice in the Caribbean, he was left with only one possible option for continuing his medical practice. Do I even need to say where he moved next, you know? No. Where do where do where does a California Dr Go when? No other place to let the practice met. Yeah, that's right, Baja baby. No longer legally a doctor, Brown established a new plastic surgery clinic in Tijuana while he lived in Chula Vista, CA in order to dress up the fact that he was illegally performing surgery in Mexico to avoid U.S. law enforcement. Brown described his business as an international practice in brochures. Now, he was far from the only doctor to use Tijuana as a base of operations for his underground gender reassignment surgery business. A number of physicians, some of whom were competent, worked out of the city as well. The two most prominent were doctors Biber and Barbosa. In short order, Doctor Brown established himself as the dude you went to when you could not afford either of those other better guys. He was the doctor you went with if you wanted a surgery fast. He didn't even require hormone psychiatrist referral beforehand. Over the course of the 1980s, he earned a reputation as tabletop brown for his willingness to perform surgery basically anywhere. Dallas Denny, a trans activist, started hearing horrifying stories about Brown during this time. Quote patients were waking up in parked cars. Or abandoned in hotel rooms. There was no screening and no aftercare. Anyone who walked in the room was a candidate. Some of these people expecting vagina Plasties received simple penectomy, leaving them looking somewhat like a Barbie doll. Others ended up with something that looked like a penis, which had been soon and split to their groin, which is essentially what had been done. Some ended up with vaginas, which were lined with hair bearing scrotal skin. These vaginas quickly filled up with pubic hair becoming inflamed and infected. Some ended with periodontitis, some with permanent colostomies. Some ran out of money and were dumped in back alleys and parking lots. Live or die. Wow. What? Not a great doctor. Oh, God. Yeah. Yeah. It's a nightmare now. Jack Fisher, who's that plastic surgery professor at UC San Diego we talked about earlier, the guy who batted cleanup for John Brown a lot concurs with Dallas summary of Doctor Brown's competence. And again, this is the guy who spent years, like, working on people that he had butchered. And after correcting what he called 12 to 15 pelvic disasters, he said this. He's a terrible, appalling. Technical surgeon there is just no other way to describe it. He doesn't know how to make a straight incision. He doesn't know how to hold a knife, he has no regard for limiting blood loss. And Doctor Fischer believes Doctor Brown's practice amounted to a crime against humanity. But I should say not everybody felt this way. Doctor Brown performed hundreds of gender transition surgeries, and either through his own semi competence or the fact that some people really take easily to the surgery, a number of these worked out pretty well. Paul Ciatti tracked down several of these women, and I'm going to quote from his reportage again. 133 year old manager for a major airline tells me she had brown do her gender reassignment surgery in 1985 when she was only 19. It was so successful, she says, that when she later got married, her husband never guessed that she'd been a male to simulate a period. We used to prick her finger to leave blood stains on the sheets. I also hear from Anne, a Cambodian refugee whose father was killed by the Khmer Rouge, that Brown had changed her entire suffering painful life from that of an ugly worm to a beautiful butterfly. Furthermore, unlike that of some transsexuals who have difficulty passing as women, her surgery turned out so well, she says, that she got a job as a stripper in Las Vegas Chinatown. Now, while these stories were not necessarily rare, they were not the norm either. Cherry, a N California businesswoman, traveled to Doctor Brown's clinic. 1984 to have dual sexual reassignment surgery with her brother, she explains. He ran specials. Bring a girlfriend 2 for the price of 1, Cherry backed out at the last moment when she saw his actual office. The sewers overflowed constantly and there was rarely running water. the OR was just a bedroom with an OBGYN chair in it. Sometimes Cherry claimed Brown would sip coffee while doing the operation, and I'm going to quote now from LA Weekly. The thing that most bothered Cherry, she says, was Brown's brusque attitude. After surgery he would grab the dried blood clotted. Managers and rip them right off. He was always so disheveled, too. His hair went in different directions. His shoes were scuffed and worn down. I remember him walking down the hall eating raw weenies right out of the package. A ******* package of weenies. Ill so in one case, says Cherie, who spent 11 days at Brown's clinic caring for her new sister. Brown operated on an HIV positive patient who still had pins in her arm from an auto accident. She used the insurance settlement to pay for her surgery. In another, he used too much erectile tissue to construct the genital outer lips. As a result, whenever the girl got excited, her labia got hard. So, not a great surgeon now. As the 1980s faded into the 1990s, Doctor John Brown was probably the most prominent low budget gender reassignment surgeon, at least in Mexico. But the growing list of people crippled and deformed by his work? We're starting to gain notice and speak out against him. Unfortunately for everyone, Doctor Brown had evolved and his miniaturization technique had given away to something vastly more horrifying. We're going to talk about that and how it all came crashing down for John Ronald Brown in Part 2. How you doing, Sophia? Just peachy. Everything's super fun and happy. Thanks for having me, Robert. You like this guy? Yeah, what a fan. Oh my God, that's what he looks like. Yeah, yeah. You looking at his picture? Yeah. He does not look like I would trust him. No. How would you describe him? Just like an evil old man. Like racism personified, I guess. Yeah, he looks like he would be like shouting at a group of school kids and particularly shouting at the school. Definitely. You're being on his lawn. Yeah, he's you're definitely your friends. Like grandpa that would molest you. That's what he looks like. Yeah, he looks very molesty. Like, profoundly so. So, Sophia, are you are you in a good mood? Yeah. Dance? Sleep sappy. You know I love, love, love, love it when a group of people just gets terrorized by a ******* murderer. And they already are the most. Marginalized group out there. So yeah, you know, if you can, pretty good. For some reason. The the most horrifying part of all this. Like, there's a lot of terrible surgery stories in here, but the most horrifying thought here is of like a doctor sipping coffee and eating cold weenies from a package and then immediately performing surgery without washing his hands. Like, that's the thing. That, like, the entire thing is so creepy. A doctor that's OK with open sewage around? How can you even eat a weenie when they're sewage around? Raw or cooked? John Brown. *** ****. Well, you want to plug your pluggable Sophia before we write out? Yeah, you can find me on Twitter and Instagram at the Sophia TH ESOFIYA, and I have a weekly podcast with Miles Gray from the Daily Zeitgeist. It's called 420 day fiance. It's half game show, half recap of our favorite trash show. 90 day fiance and I have a podcast about love and sexuality called private parts Unknown. So check. Both of those out with Courtney Kosak who did ******** like 2 episodes ago. She did, she did. And I'm Robert Evans. I have a podcast. It's this one. You can listen to it by continuing to listen to it. You can find You can find us on Twitter and Instagram and at ******** pot. I have a political podcast you can listen to about this election called worst year ever with my friends Katie and Cody. It's on the same network. And. I will perform surgery on you, but I will eat cold weenies the entire time I'm doing it. Any kind of surgery, I don't really care. I just love surgery. So come on down. Find me in the woods. We'll just start cutting Robert the cutter. Robbers the cutter. Alright, that's the episode. Go. Go listen to something. Happy to watch this out of your brain, yeah? Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her impactful behavioral discoveries on chimpanzees. It wasn't until one of the chimpanzees began to lose his fear of me, but I began to really make discoveries that actually shook the scientific world. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Sisters of the Underground is a podcast about fearless Dominican women who stood up against the brutal dictator Kapal Trujillo. He needs to be stopped. We've been silent and complacent for far too long. I am Daniel Ramirez and I said Dominicana myself. I am proud to be narrating this true story that is often left out of the history books to hear your has blood on his hands. Listen to sisters of the underground wherever you get your podcasts. Hey, I'm duliba and I'm thrilled to be back. I'm thrilled to be back for the second season of my podcast Dua Lipa at your service. Alongside me and my guests, lists and recommendations, the show features conversations with some of my biggest inspirations working across entertainment, politics, activism and much, much more. So please tune in and join me on this very special adventure. Listen to Dua Lipa at your service starting Friday 23rd of September on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.