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: The Bastard Who Invented The Lobotomy

Part One: The Bastard Who Invented The Lobotomy

Tue, 05 Nov 2019 11:00

Part One: The Bastard Who Invented The Lobotomy

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Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break or handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's In the 1980s and 90s, a psychopath terrorized the country of Belgium. A serial killer and kidnapper was abducting children in the bright light of day. From Tenderfoot TV in iHeartRadio this is La Monstra, a story of abomination and conspiracy. The story about the man who's simply become known as. Lamaster. Listen for free on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you could completely remove one phrase from your vocabulary, which phrase would you choose? I don't know. Correct answer. No, I meant I don't know which phrase, and the best way to banish I don't know from your life is by cramming your brain full of stuff you should know. Join your host, Josh and Chuck on the Super Popular podcast packed with fascinating discussions on science, history, pop culture and more episodes that ask, was the lost city of Atlantis Real? I don't know. Is birth order important? I don't know. How does pizza work? Well, I do know. Bit about that see? You can know even more, because stuff you should know has over 1500 immensely interesting episodes for your brain to feast on. So what do you say? I don't want to miss the stuff you should know. Podcast you're learning already. Listen to stuff you should know on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Words not a morning person. My me, I'm Robert Evans, host of behind the ******** the show where we talk about the worst people in history. And I introduced the show badly. Today we have an unusual morning recording at an ungodly hour. What is it, Sophie? It's 1139. I I feel like I'm the first person who's ever been awake this early. Aside from my guest today, of course. Mr Daniel van Kirk. Hello. Thanks for having me back. How you doing? Daniel, I'm great, my man. I am wonderful. Daniel, go ahead. Oh no, no, ohh. I'd just say I've I've been up for two hours so I feel it's very impressive. Do you do you like mornings? I do not, but I've recently found out that I am able to get so many more things done the earlier I get up, which would seem to be very simple math, but nothing that I had personally made any efforts to experience until recently in my life. So I I would say on average nowadays I'm up around before 8, maybe sometimes 6:30, but. I am not a morning person. I hate sunrises. I love sunset. Robert would say 6:30. That's the middle of the night. Well, if you're one that is when I went to bed last night, it is there abouts maybe 5:30. Well, I appreciate you making this effort then. Man, that's crazy. My sleep schedule still ****** ** from the flight. Sure now, Daniel. We've we've established that that you're sort of ambivalent towards mornings, leaning towards not liking them. How do you feel about brains? How do you feel about your brain? I feel pretty good about it. Do yeah, it's hold up pretty well. My memory is still very good and I haven't gotten to the point where I have to have a calendar. I would say I use it for about 50% of my stuff. I should be using it for a lot more, but mines held up so far I think, well, I think most people like their brain. Except for the moments when they hate them. Umm. And I think that probably, for the listeners of this show is statistically have spent like about 50% of their waking hours not liking their brain because this is a show for depressed people who like to hear about terrible things. As a general rule, that's our that's our demo, isn't it, Sophie? I hope not. OK, well, that's pressure and I like, screwed up ****** ** ****. So yeah, I'm in the right place. I mean, me too, maybe. I'm describing the author of the show, and it's it's it's primary cast more than the listeners. I hope the listeners are happy, but I'm making an assumption here. Either way, you're here for them. As of a 2017 study by the Journal of Psychiatric Services, more than eight million Americans suffer from severe psychological distress. Now, this is a blanket term for, quote, feelings of sadness. Worthlessness. Restlessness that are hazardous enough to impair physical well-being. That sounds pretty familiar to me. And that number doesn't include all the Americans struggling with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, psychosis, depression, and a whole Galaxy of other brain based thingamajigs to deal with. And to some extent, it's always been this way. Huge chunks of people have always had brains that don't let them comfortably interface with mainstream society. Now we're not great at helping people with mental illnesses in 2019. But a few decades ago we were much worse at it, and today we're going to talk about the man who was perhaps the very, very worst of all at it. So. Do you know the name Walter Jackson Freeman the second I do now. Well, he invented lobotomies, and that's who we're talking about today. Ohh. They're just, they're like, well, we'll just remove it. Yep, we'll just, we'll just, we'll just scramble it up a little bit, actually. Yeah. Ohh, you yell too much. We'll remove it. Ohh, you had an unwanted pregnancy. We'll remove it. And not just the pregnancy part. No, actually, we will keep the pregnancy, but we'll scramble that brain up. Yeah, yeah. Ohh, and I've heard. Well, I'm sure we'll touch on some of them, but I've just heard horror stories of like, well, we had a sister and then she just wouldn't stop arguing with her parents, so she went away. She liked boys, so we stuck a needle in her brain. Oh, what a time it was. And not all that long ago. Yeah. OK. Yeah, man, I am going to bunker down for this. Yeah. My dog is a registered therapy dog if you need to pat her. OK, great. Yeah. Awesome. Is she a registered lobotomist, Sophie? Because I feel like there's a lot of money in that. Ohh, but we'll look into it. We'll look into it. Walter Jackson Freeman the second, was born on November 14th, 1895, in Philadelphia, PA His father, Walter the first, was also a doctor, but not a very good one. He hated the work, and he did it only grudgingly. He was like an ear, nose and throat doctor. And it was said that his ideal world would have been one in which people didn't have ears, noses or throats, so he wouldn't have to work. Well, his son kind of took that one next level then. Ohh, you want things just removed that you don't want to deal with? I'm good that that. That's what I'm gonna do, Dad. Now, Walter Jackson, the seconds. Grandfather Keene Freeman was one of the most celebrated physicians of his age and was like the first Doctor Who did a bunch of important things. He's legitimate, like trailblazing medical ************. So Walter Freeman the second was a sick child, which was not unusual in an era where the average fist fight came with a better prognosis than the average surgery. He developed enlarged lymph nodes when he was 14 months old, which his grandfather had to cut out the surgery. Worked, but it permanently paralyzed some of the muscles in Walter's shoulder and head. Uh Walter the second also underwent a tonsillectomy and suffered from diphtheria, scarlet fever, the measles, whooping cough, the mumps, and pink eye. I don't want to say that God, definitely one of this baby dead, but I think the evidence speaks for itself. Yeah, they tried. Yeah, he tried. He did his best young Walters first memory was of the head of a pickaxe, breaking through the wall of his nursery as the result of a home demolition. That got a little sloppy, which is a pretty, pretty *** ***. First memory, you got to give it. Oh yeah, for sure. Also not too far off of an analogy of what he would later do to people's own lives. And not too far off from a great scene in the Shining, which starred Jack Nicholson, who was also in one flew over the Cuckoo's Nest in a movie about a lobotomy. Ooh, that was a good knot. We tried a lot of things together. Now, the wonderful biography of Walter, the Lobotomist, notes that he also nursed a lifelong fear of horses, but never knew why. That doesn't come up again. I just think it's interesting when people are terrified of something for no reason. Yeah, and they can't let it go. Well, I'm also afraid of horses. OK, well, that's not what we're talking about today. All right, well, you need to put that in. You need to. That needs to go in the book. Are you scared of anything? Uh, I'm like an existential level that that makes no sense to you. I don't. Well, that's. But if you're scared of it, doesn't it make sense to you? So not always. I don't know, like, I'm. I'm very afraid of prison. OK, that makes total sense. Yeah, that's it. But yeah, it makes sense to me. But it is like, yeah, when I just think about not being able to get out of somewhere that, Oh yeah, into like, you know, like they're like, oh, we decide. I don't know. I don't like it bothers me that show 60 days in. Have you watched that? No. That sounds like a ******* nightmare, though. It's like they embed civilians into, like, a prison system. The only person that knows that they're not an actual prisoner is the warden. And then the camera crew sets up as though they're doing a documentary in the prison, but they use that to do like their confessional talking head moments. So they interview a lot of prisoners, but none of them assume, well, one of us isn't actually even supposed to be here, and their job is to like last 60 days, and quite a few of them end up just getting beaten up. Yeah, that makes sense. Why? One was bad at his cover story of what he was supposed to be in there for. So once you just start lying to other prisoners, they assume you must be a pedophile. And that's why you're like, no pun intended KG about what you got in there for. And that didn't end well for that guy either. Once everybody was like, oh, you're a pedophile. He's like, no, no, no, no, no. And then they don't care about that. That's what they think. So you get beat up. Is there a huge cash prize? I don't know if there is any cash prize. I I'm trying to think like you would have to, would have to be. I would only do it for enough money that I would be able to buy a cabin in the woods. Like you would have to give me cabin in the woods money in order to like do that ******* thing. But that sounds like the worst. That's like it would have to be nice woods like a mountain and ****. So so you for like 350 you would do it. No 300. Like 5555. 100 is going to be the low end of that ****. I'm talking a nice cabin. See, one time I went when I toured Alcatraz. They let us go into the solitary confinement, and they're like, anybody want to check it out? And then I I thought, you know what? Lean in on your fear. So I went in and the guy shut the door. They're like, I don't know what you call probably a park Ranger at this point because of what Alcatraz is. And then the tour guide, whatever. And then he pretended that the door was stuck and he couldn't Get Me Out. And I did not enjoy those few. Very short moments that felt like very long hours. See, I would I would live in Alcatraz if it could just be my house and I had a sack of rifles and an Internet connection. That would be fun. I could take potshots at Silicon Valley. That would be satisfying. I I would sign up for that podcast. You were just kind of would need espresso to root. Welcome back to you, Robert, on the rock. It's another episode. OK, we should probably get back to the the podcast we were talking he's scared of horses, uh now. When Walter was a small child, his family moved to an area near Rittenhouse Square, a once fancy but now Slummy neighborhood, and this is again in Philadelphia now. Freeman would later recall it as a rather dingy place where Nursemaids wheeled baby carriages and gossiped. Walters family was quite well off and he came up with maids and cooks and nannies to attend to his and his parents every whim. He was not overly adventurous as a child and later wrote of himself. On the whole, I think I was a sensitive, imaginative boy. Docile, shut in a bit, and full of questions. His parents nicknamed him Little Walter. Why? Why? And the growing boy was particularly intrigued by the family business, medicine. He had a good relationship with his grandfather, but almost no real friends. The only boy he played with regularly was his younger cousin, Morris. The book the Lobotomist describes their friendship as basically identical to a Calvin and Hobbes strip. Walter and Morris nursed a mutual contempt for girls and made grand plans for the society. To the prevention of useless girls. Spugs for short. Disdaining the company of other children, they set up another exclusive secret society, just two members strong, which they called The Walrus Club. Yeah, that's like the ******* Calvin and Hobbes strip 100%. Yeah, and they got a transmogrifier. Wasn't that one of the things I loved three times? Yeah, so did I. It's kind of a bummer if you imagine this is what happened to Calvin when he grew up. Well, I'm not doing that. No, don't do that. Don't do that. Maybe more Hobbs. I could see Hobbs getting into this. Going to work, but definitely not scrambling brains. Now, Walter was a good student. He excelled in Latin and Greek, and he won prizes for his scholastics. He was never any good at sports, nor did he grow any more adept with the opposite sex as he blossomed into a teenager. He found girls bothersome and later wrote, I think I actively disliked girls until I went to college. This is all going to make so much sense later. This is all going to make so much sense immediately, OK? Walter Freeman was the oldest of six siblings, all but two of whom were boys. He did not get along well with them, nor did he particularly care for his parents. Walter would later note repeatedly that he never loved his mother. He was only a little closer to his father, who took him and his brothers on regular hiking, fishing, and camping trips. The elder Walter hated his medical practice and considered the outdoors his only refuge. He was a weird dude. Once. When Walter the second, was caught skipping school, his father punished him by whipping himself in front of the truant. Officer, wait. Whoa. Yeah, yeah. The dad whipped himself. Or he had Walter the second. No, he whipped it. The dad whipped himself in front of the truant officer. You make the truant officer to myself by skipping school? Yeah, and he did it in front of the cop. Like, that's that's so ****** **. It takes like, you really have to process that ****. Like the layers ******* up the kids head. You're like, yeah, you know that? Like, I'm the truant officer. Imagine that guy. He's like, look, man, hey, well buddy, I just want kids to go to school. Why are we doing this? All you gotta do is sign the sheet, man. All you gotta do is sign the sheet that I told you he wasn't at school. Put the whip down. Why did you bring a whip to this meeting? You. You don't need to do this. No one's asking you to do this. I just want you to know I'm also gonna have to write you up for right for whipping yourself, because I have to document that I witnessed this. He he he missed a day of school. This isn't really a whipping situation. I wondered what you meant when you were like, cool, I'll bring my whip. Yeah, I have trouble getting my head around what kind of man does that. Ohh I know. And then I'm sure the truant officer was like, wanted the kid to leave and then just like in Will Ferrell and eastbound and down, the dad was like, let the boy watch. Ohh that's. I feel that's horrific. That's a ****. **** yeah, that's a Galaxy level **** ****. Ohh boy, I bet that truant officer felt bad for. I bet in the future he was like, you know what? You you need to stop skipping school. But we're not going to tell your daddy that you're an officer. Let everyone skip. Going through that again, I am not doing that again. So, uh, as is probably not a surprise, hearing that Walters's father was no less awkward when it came to talking to his young adult son about sex years later, Walter recalled. I had been showing interest in the external anatomy of my young girl cousins. With the aid of his ancient textbooks on anatomy and gynecology, illustrated with woodcuts, he dilated upon internal anatomy, reproduction, and especially venereal disease, threatening to have me followed or even tempted by operatives who would report to him. I was thoroughly uncomfortable. Remained a virgin. He never alluded to it again. What so if you're a young parent out there looking to stop your kid from ******* too early this is one way to keep them of urgent for a very long time. Yeah. Or watch Eraserhead, but yeah. Or watch Eraserhead. Yeah. But OK. So he he got way into his he said straight up I was really into my female cousins anatomy. Yes yeah yeah yeah. He well you know you know that's that's ****** ** I think in an earlier. Age in which boys and girls did not socialize. Like, you run into stories like that a lot in the early 1900s just because, like, you weren't hanging out with any other girls. So, like, that's when people would have that, really, it's it's messed up and a symptom of some unhealthy things in the culture. But I'm not going to say that, that right there is evidence that Walter was weird from the beginning. Maybe they were the only girls he spent any time around. And like, just so when you say, yeah, enemy to me, it's like he makes me feel like, I guess I intone that he's more preoccupied. Like, it's OK to wonder what's under their clothes, but don't start wondering what's under their skin. I I think that was just sort of a euphemism they used because, again, nobody had good vocabulary to talk about, like, bodies back then. Like, because everyone was ****** ** and, you know, it was an even less healthy time, right? There was no hot girl summer or Midwestern boy autumn at which I'm currently a part of. Oh yeah, that's yeah. Midwestern boy. Autumn is good. Southeastern boy late summer slash early fall, which really doesn't get going until November. You get a lot of them. I like ****** people. April showers, that's my favorite time of year. ****** people. April showers. There has to be a **** star named April Showers, right? Of course. Oh yeah. No, there's like 30%. OK, I hope so. And we're putting it in the universe if there isn't. Yeah. I also call dibs if any of us get into ****. I mean. Where that's gonna be the sequel podcast to this one. OK, great, Robert Evans makes a *****. It is not going to be popular. Back to Walter Freeman. So Walter graduated from high school when he was just 16 years old. He immediately started attending classes at Yale. He was academically excellent, but completely miserable. He was too young and immature to get up to any kind of animal house type. Bonding shenanigans with his fellow young men and his utter disdain for women made most kinds of socialization impossible. It turns out it's not great to be in college at age 16, not not the best time to do that. He briefly worked for the Yale Daily News. That was let go after he spilled a bunch of alphabetized subscriber cards in front of his editor. He joined the swim team at one point, but refused to practice when anyone was around. He didn't want people to see him with his shirt off. So he's you get a feel for the kind of young man Walter Freeman was? Not a comfortable one? No. Now it in in fairness, knowing about his dad, how could he possibly have been right? His initial degree program was engineering, but this track was disrupted at the end of his junior year when he ate a bad batch of raw clams and caught typhoid fever. He spent months laid up with this and an assortment of other ailments that took up the entirety of his first semester senior year at Yale. The long months he spent at hospitals and sick beds helped Walter realize that he wanted something different out of life, a career in medicine. Now he did initially not wanted to go down that road, due largely to the fact that his father had told him it was a terrible life. Don't be a ******* doctor as he whips himself. Yeah, so instead, this isn't about you. I'm whipping myself because someone else left a muffin out on the counter. This is their whipping. But I needed to talk to you also. He's third generation to his dad. Probably was forced into it by his dad. Yeah. And so he maybe this was his one thing where he was trying to be like, you don't you do what you don't have. You don't have to do this. And it didn't matter. Hmm. I feel like he's saying you don't have to do this while everybody looks at him whipping himself, and it's like you really don't have to do this. Yeah. So, uh, Walter, seeing his dad, was a miserable ****** ** person. Walter instead looked towards his grandfather as a role model and enrolled in summer classes at the University of Chicago to catch up on medical school before or to catch up on like medicine and science related classes before starting medical school the next year. He excelled in this as well and attempted to rebuild his health by walking 30 minutes to and from campus every day carrying a heavy box of bones. I don't know where you could just get bones. Back then, yeah, he just decided he needed. He wanted to, like, get healthy. And the way to do it was to carry around a lot of bones, right? And because he's a ****** ** person, a rock isn't good enough. Yeah, there were more bones than rocks back then. There were just people dying left and right. So he stopped by H Holmes's place and picked up some. Wait, what year is this that doesn't check out? Yeah, actually I think it might check out this late, late 1890s. I don't remember exactly when H homes was. This is like, this is like 1992. No, he would have been, he would have been. He was born in 95. So OK, but there would have been, there would have been a lot of bones laying around in the early 1900s. Own heavy period. World War One was on. So a lot of bones. Shitloads of bones now. Yeah. So he excelled in his classes and he was getting better, you know, healthier thanks to his bone box. But in spite of all this, he he got sick again very quickly and was soon bedridden, he later recalled. I wrote home saying, I guessed God didn't want me to study medicine. In reply, I received a stern admonition not to think that way, much less to mention it. Wait, Robert, he got sick again? Yeah, he kept. He was very sick. He was a sick, sick young man. Wow, man, this is you're right. Mother Nature was trying to kill him. God was definitely trying to stop him from being but he he's a fighter. He's a fighter. He he is a persistent *** ** * *****. He shouldn't have been let it go. He should not have been. Somebody should have walked in, whipping themselves and been like this is so that you can let it go. Just go. Yeah, that's. I think that we have to land on the conclusion that if only there had been more whipping in his childhood, he would have turned out better. Can I ask you a foreshadowing question that I absolutely. I don't expect you to answer yet because I don't know that we should, even if you can. But much like we all wonder, like what purpose does mosquitoes provide? Like what? What do they give us in the long run or whatever, other than just bad stuff? I would love to know by the end of this episode. I already hate him if. At some point you're gonna be like, well, actually, because of the lobotomy, we now have this positive thing in our world, and I'm anxious to see if and if that comes about at all. Yes, he was, actually. This is getting ahead a little bit, but he doesn't want to do that to you. I'm just that's already in my head. And, yeah, I hope there's some benefit to this ******. The spoiler will give you is that it turned out he was right for the wrong reasons. Or at least he was right, but it led him to do the wrong things. Oh, like the little kid in a Bronx tale I've not seen in Ohio. Covers for he covers for a mob guy. And he asked his dad, Robert De Niro. He goes, I did. I did a good thing, right, Dad? And he goes, yeah, you did. You did a good thing for a bad man. Like it was the right thing, but you did it for the wrong person. Yeah, well, it's a little different than that. We'll get, we'll we'll get there. OK. So after a second tonsillectomy, Freeman's health improved, and soon he was off to medical school during the first hand, bones in hand. During the First World War, he was drafted into the Army Medical Corps, and he became a Sergeant while he continued his education. He was demoted once for threatening his company commander with a shoe, but otherwise had a solid service. We're not. We can't skip this. Shoot you with a shoe just a little shoe fight. You've had a couple. I've never had a shoe fight. We we all have the odd shoe fight. I can Tina Turner. That's the most popular shoe fight of all time. Yeah, it was just like a an argument. And he, like, picked up his shoe and yelled at somebody and didn't realize that he they were his commanding officer. It's less interesting than you'd think. It's funnier when you just summarize it that way. Now, Walter graduated as a doctor in 1920, the 2nd in his class. By this point he had become so enamored with medicine that every other aspect of his past had followed by the wayside. Medicine, he wrote, held my interest to the point where I excluded many other things. In fact, I was barely aware of my family. Do not recall what they were doing or where they were during this. So Walter has fallen fully into medicine and Speaking of falling fully into something. Daniel Van Kirk, yes, it's time for us and our audience to fall fully into the products and services that support this program. Let's do it. Yeah, let's do it. Let's let's whip ourselves in front of the audience to convince them to buy these these products that support the show. Imagine me wailing on myself with a cat of nine tails. Well, it makes me sad. But you, I didn't come to school and so now you have to hurt yourself. And yeah, now I have to hurt myself. Products. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for none of that. 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That's better This fall on revisionist history, is there anything that we haven't talked about, or I should have asked you or you'd like to add that seems relevant? You should have asked me why I'm missing fingers on my left hand. A story about sacrifice. I think his suffering drove him to try to alleviate suffering. And the shocking discovery I made where I faced the consequences of writing a book I thought would help people? Isn't that funny? It's not funny at all. It's depressing. Very depressing. Religious history is back with more. Listen to revisionist history on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. I've never seen less enthusiasm for a great idea in my life. We're back. So when we left off, Walter Freeman had fallen in love with medicine and would had forgotten what his family was even doing. He was so enthralled with his new career. And in his father's case, what he was doing was dying of liver cancer now. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Walter could not really have cared less about this. The only thing he did to help his father during this. Because he was living at home still, was periodically shave him with a straight razor. He refused to soften his dad's stubble in warm water before shaving him because, quote, the task was distasteful and I finished it as quickly as possible. I'm sure my mother would have been more gentle, but she considered shaving a man's job and I was the only one at home. So, like, I'm going to. I'll shave you, dad, but I'm not going to, like, make it pleasant for you because I want to get done with this **** quick. Right? Great. Great kid. Now, although his dad was kind of ****** him up, so fair, I guess you have to whip. Three, I can't do it myself. I can't get shaved without a whipping. As a medical intern, Walter was somewhat uneven. He excelled in neurology, but proved less apt at handling what he called scut work, like transporting urine samples for analysis. Sometimes he would pour samples down the drain just to be rid of them. He was fascinated by neurosurgery, but too bored of the details of it to actually learn to perform a surgery. He was fascinated by illness, but almost bored by the actual human beings he had to treat. He was, in short, a very strange dude, as this passage from the lobotomist. Makes clear soon another patient commanded Freeman's Curiosity, a young man who arrived at the hospital with his penis in dire shape. Inflamed and dark, the organ was encircled by a ring that the patient's girlfriend had thrust over it but was unable to remove. Freeman ended. Yet. We're talking like 1920s **** rings. I think we're talking a normal ring that she put on his **** and it became a problem when he got hard. No, yeah, that's why you use the, like, the bindi rubber ones. Yeah, not like a normal metal ring. That's one of our. Sponsors today, but yes, Josiah and sons old fashioned Amish **** rings, the only **** rings that are made entirely out of wood. If you want the most pain a **** ring can put you in, you want to Josiah and sons **** ring that was too perfect now in Redwood. So a guy walks in and says, hey, I got a I got A and you know that that conversation was awkward because much like you just talked about, no one was using good, like healthy, like jargon for each other to talk about themselves. Or they don't. Anyone uses the word penis in that entire conversation. It takes 20 minutes. He's like, I've gone problematic in my nethers. So Freeman ended the patients agony by filing through the ring and twisting it free with forceps. The boy asked for the ring, but I told him it was a specimen and that I would have to keep it, Freeman wrote. I had the ring repaired and the Freeman man Crest in the graved on it for years afterward. Freeman wore the specimen on a goat chain later. If we were in an episode of Mindhunters, this is what we would call a trophy. Yeah, that's ****** **. Yeah, yeah. What a conversation starter, though. I like that thing you do. Deck that Crest after market because this used to be. This used to be a broken ring. How so? Well, a gentleman came in, had it in his nethers. I took it off, and now I proudly present it. Wow, man. Wow. Yeah. Real quick. Think about this. There's a chance. Unless he was buried with it. That ring is out there somewhere. God, I hope so if you have Walter Freeman's **** ring necklace. I would pay good money to have it. I don't know what I would do with it. Well, we'll find a use for it. If you could start collecting things from your episodes and you'd be like the collector in Guardians of the Galaxy, in the Marvel Universe, we're like, oh, that's actually from the episode where we talk about because that ring is got to be. I bet somebody doesn't even know what they have. Or if I get a TV show, that would be. That would be. The premise is me hunting down artifacts of terrible people. We'll start with like an original copy of. Of one of Hitler's favorite fantasy novels. Yes. But, uh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Saddam Hussein's typewriter, you know, all the all the all the great, all the hits. Mm-hmm. L Ron hubbard's. I don't know. Vote yeah. Or like that first episode I did where we talked about the Nazis in Hollywood. Like, even an old like lemley's. Like movie card. Oh, hell yeah. Yeah. Yeah. The City of Pittsburgh. Oh, man, there's a lot of things to collect. OK, sorry I have derailed us, but that. I mean, how could I not? We just went full on wiring tail. Yeah. So Walter spent a year in Europe doing medical residences in France and performing medical testing on animals. The highlight of his trip was watching the autopsy. Of an elephant. He was fascinated by the four hour task of opening the creatures skull to remove its brain. Walter's first thought was that a jackhammer would have been the ideal tool to remove it, but this thought process spawned a lifelong fascination in finding unique ways to break into skulls and access brains. He is into that now. Do what you love. You'll never do what you love, and the money will follow. Yeah? His first major job came courtesy of his grandfather Keane, who used his connections to get his grandson a gig as the senior medical officer in charge of Saint Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington DC. This was a psychiatric hospital, and working there gave Walter a direct look into the horrific ways 1920s America treated the mentally unwell. Saint Elizabeth was essentially a giant box filled warehouse from the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, but filled with sick people instead of antiquities. There were very few real treatments for psychiatric disorders, so patients were just locked in there together. Until they either died or lied well enough to claim that they had had a spontaneous remission. So that was that was health care back then. Oh yeah, your head's sick, huh? Well, we're going to put you in a miserable box until you decide you're healthy. Yeah, Walter Freeman found this new charge horrifying. He was sickened by the 4300 inmates of his asylum, and he wrote the slouching figures. The vacant stare or averted eyes, the shabby clothing and footwear, the general and tidiness all aroused rejection rather than sympathy or interest. So he's he's horrified and not sympathetic with these people now. Doesn't feel bad for him at all. Yeah, yeah, they're they're just. He's just disgusted by them. Now. Since the inmates of this asylum were too pitiful to deserve Walter sympathy, he instead focused on learning about the brain of the psychotic, as he called it. Which is again, was like, the general. It's a specific term now. It was just the general term for anyone that was, like, not fitting into society back then. You couldn't conform. Yeah. Walter's goal was less to alleviate discomfort and more to help these people return to life as productive members of capitalist society. Quote I looked around me at the hundreds of patients and thought, what a waste of manpower and womanpower. So, again, not particularly sympathetic to their suffering, their inclusiveness. He is very gender inclusive. Yeah, yeah. Towards this end, he experimented with differing oxygen levels and their impacts on the brain of manic people. He also pioneered a new, easier method of collecting spinal taps from the lobotomist instead of recruiting help to secure patients in a deep bend while sitting, then inserting the needle of a collection syringe between the vertebra. Freeman. Employed, but he was fond of calling the Jiffy Spinal Tap. Without assistance from other staff members, Freeman directed patients to sit backward on a chair and deeply bend their neck over the chair back, carefully navigating the opening at the base of the skull. He then pushed a needle into a reservoir of spinal fluid located just inside, but perilously close to the base of the brain. Even a slight error in the insertion of the needle could permanently injure the patient. So to Walt, he's just showing off. And this this risk was worth it, because it allowed him to work alone, without close collaboration with colleagues. But now I'm mature adult. Walter was still very much a loner and he preferred his own professional company to acting as part of a team, even when that went meant to greater risk to the patient. Walter opened a private practice while working at Saint Elizabeth's to further his research and also took a job as a professor of neurology at George Washington University. By the early 1930s he had a well earned reputation as a psychiatric pioneer. Now Walter was largely responsible for the introduction of several exciting new treatments, insulin shock therapy, which plunged. Patients into insulin shock to try and correct schizophrenic symptoms. He also experimented with metrazol shock therapy and electroconvulsive therapy. The essential goal of all these treatments was the same, to slap sick people out of their issues by horribly traumatizing their system. Wow. So he's that kind of doctor. He's like, ah, these people have a problem. We just need to **** him up enough that they see the only they get their **** together. The only time I know of something like this working is in heat stroke, because you instantly need to be put into an ice tub right away. Like, we need to shock you out of the thing you're in. But the idea that we could take anything psychologically and essentially smack you out of it through one form of mild torture or another is insane. Did this ever work enough that somebody was like, I think this is the way to do it? You know, so one, there's a couple of things going on here. One of them is that electroconvulsive therapy is still at a very small scale use today. There are certain people with certain fairly rare problems that it can help. So I'm sure there were some people who had very severe psychiatric distress who were helped by the electroconvulsive therapy, a tiny fraction of the total. Right. And I'm sure there was a larger number who were, while they had issues, were also able to realize like, Oh my God, they're going to keep torturing me. If I don't pretend to be better and so they would just like, OK, I'll be better. I won't. I won't mind, I won't let you know I'm suffering. Isn't that kind of like the mouse in the maze? Yeah, ohh, I just gotta stop this and so that that doesn't happen to me anymore. Yeah, like you're learning through, like, not you're learning through just like. Pavlovian dog type **** of, like, this just happens to you every time, so you just learn to like, stop being loud, but nothing's changed. Yeah, that's kind of, I think, what goes on with a lot of these people. It's a mix of the tiny amount who like, legitimately do benefit from it because electroconvulsive therapy can be helpful, right? And a larger number who are like, oh, this is awful, I'll just stop complaining because I don't want to go through this anymore, right? Now it was 1935 when Walter Freeman first ran into the treatment that would come to define his practice and the great bulk of his adult life. That year he attended a presentation in London by a researcher who had experimented with damaging the frontal lobes of chimpanzees just to see what happened. The results were more or less what you'd expect. These brain damaged chimps became quiet, listless and active. Freeman and a Portuguese neurologist, Egas Moniz, were both fascinated by this. Moniz, right away headed back home to Portugal to experiment with. Covering the frontal lobes of human beings. The thinking was that if this procedure could calm chimpanzees down, it might have the same effect on people suffering from a mental illness that led to radical swings in personality and mood. Stuff like a bipolar disorder, that's exactly what I was going to seizure disorders and stuff, a whole bunch of different things. Because, again, a lot of stuff that we now recognize are separate things. We're all lumped together back in that day. So if you were like a schizophrenic or if you had a seizure disorder or if you were bipolar, they might just say, lump all those people together. Is the same thing. You know, they weren't great at this. Yet in 1936, Antonio Moniz had perfected his treatment, the LUKOMIR, which involved drilling 2 small holes in the side of the head in order to sever connective tissue that attached the frontal lobe to the rest of the brain. Now, at the time, there were two main theories of psychiatric illness. The first, which was pushed by guys like Freud, was that psychiatric ailments were all basically the result of buried memories, misplaced desires, past traumas, things that you could sit down and work out with a psychotherapist. Over a small mountain of cocaine and on a comfortable couch, the other theory was that these illnesses were caused by emotional signals from the brain that were so strong they simply overwhelmed a person. Now, obviously, neither theory is entirely right. But the theory that guys like Freeman would adopt, which was that, you know, these it was a bunch of signals from the brain, was closer to right than Freud's theory because it explains stuff like, you know, seizure disorders or like schizophrenia and stuff which are not you can't talk. Therapy. Someone with schizophrenia out of having issues. Like, it's a problem with, like, signals their brain is sending and they need some sorts of medication. I think sometimes surgery helps, but like, so Freeman is on the right track. What he and other scientists who like adopt this school of thought are realizing is that you can't talk your way through all of your mental problems, which is correct. There are mental problems that have to be dealt with, unlike more of a chemical physical level. So that's what I say when I say he he was, he was right about sort of. What the issues were. Yeah. But then we get into what he decided the treatment should be, which was not correct, but he was on the right track when he, like, figured out, like, what was going on with people where he was closer to right than a lot of mainstream doctors. So Moniz's leukoderma seemed to provide relief to a number of patients. And I should note that there are variants of this procedure we use today. Patients suffering from some types of seizure disorders sometimes have parts of the brain disconnected from one another to stop. Reduce the frequency of said seizures. We still do use brain surgery. That's kind of an evolution of the leukoma to treat people today, and it can be very helpful to, again, a very small number of people who suffer with these disorders. So Moniz was experimenting with real medicine, and he was very responsible with the implications of his treatment when he received the Nobel Prize for it in 1949. He insisted the Leukoma was only to be used as a treatment of last resort, when absolutely nothing else could provide a patient with relief. So monez not going to say is a bad guy. He's one of the early experimenters with what would come to be known as a lobotomy. But he's he's doing it because, number one, he recognizes it does help in some cases. And he's he's very clear about like, we only do this if there's no other chance of them living a normal life, right? Or if we want to **** with a chimpanzee. That was the other guy. Yeah. Oh, that's right. Sorry. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Mode is just watched that and was like, oh, **** this might help, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now, Walter Freeman paid attention to the work of Antonio Muniz, but he was not convinced the Lukomir ought to be a last resort for suffering people. As the manager of an asylum, he was deeply frustrated by how much time and manpower it took to subdue patients dealing with psychotic episodes, schizophrenic breaks, manic phases, etc. The idea that all this could be calmed by the just chopping up their brains was deeply appealing to him. So start. Yeah. Yeah, that'll that'll make it wait. My job so much easy, 300 people I'm sick of. Why are we? What if I just break them? Just line them up. So Freeman developed a modification of moniz's procedure and renamed it a lobotomy, in much the same way as Oreos modified the Hydrox cookie. And like Oreos, Freeman's procedure was destined to capture the vast majority of the market share for such a product. Like Oreos, you gotta get to that middle good stuff and get that out. You gotta you gotta get that. Out now I'm going to quote now from Jack El Hai, who wrote the Lobotomist and also wrote this piece for the Washington Post. To him, the intoxicating thing about psychosurgery, moniz's coined term for psychiatric surgery was its potential to sever the links between the overexcited emotions of an unhealthy thalamus and the behavioral functions of the prefrontal lobes of the brain. If it worked, the destruction of these nerve fibers would prevent the thalamus from poisoning patients. Thinking he absorbed the details of Moniz's work, and with neurosurgeon watts became figuring out how to. Adapt the Portuguese physicians techniques Freeman and Watts used brains from the hospital morgue to practice the coloring of sections of the prefrontal lobes with a lucato lobe, which is the device they used for that. By the summer of 1936, they were ready for a live patient, a Miss Hammett from Topeka, KS. Now Miss Hammett was 63 years old. She suffered from depression. She had frequent hysterical fits and difficulty sleeping. Freeman talked with her and concluded that a lobotomy was the only way for her to avoid spending the rest of her life in a mental hospital. Much of the impetus behind this seems to have been her husband, who was tired of dealing with a wife who needed help herself rather than just preparing meals for him and staying quiet. Freeman and his new partner, Watts, scheduled Miss Hammett for an appointment on September 14th, 1936. Now the first lobotomy did not start off well. Miss Hammett tried to back out when she learned the procedure would require her to shave her head. Many of her mental health issues focused around an obsession with her thinning hair, so this was obviously a matter of grave concern for her. Whoa, yeah, we're doing the one thing she's already upset about. Oh yeah, yeah. So Freeman and Watts assured her they would only have to shave off a few small sections of her scalp. This was a lie, obviously. Once they'd forcibly anesthetized her, they shaved her bald. Freeman recorded that. Her last words before going underwear. Who is that man? What does he want here? What is he going to do to me? Tell him to go away. Oh, I don't want to see him. Yeah, well, that's how crazy people talk. So sit still. I don't think that. Ohh, yeah, that's him. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. I think she's very reasonable, 100%. That's my point. Once you've been, like, labeled, we're going to do this to you no matter what you say. They're like, well, you would talk like that? You're a crazy you need. You're a ***** ****. Yeah. With Freeman watching, Watts drilled six holes atop Miss Hammett skull and inserted a Luka tone, a device that essentially hold the brain into each hole. Both doctors work together on lesioning the brain with watts, the actual surgeon. Managing the whole affair and as odd as it sounds, the lobotomy seems to have helped Miss Hammett. At least. She and her husband both reported that it helped, Freeman wrote in his autobiography. She survived five years, according to Mr Hammett, the happiest years of her life. As she expressed it, she could go to the theater and really enjoy the play without thinking of what her back hair looked like or whether her shoes pinched. And it is entirely possible that this is an accurate representation of how Miss Hammett felt. Many of Doctor Freeman's lobotomy patients experienced relief from some of their symptoms. That said, even the positive experiences with lobotomies are clouded by deeply disturbing questions of consent and structures of oppression. Wait, they're saying. Speaking of sorry, sorry, I just really they're saying it actually worked? Yeah, she she experienced relief that was not wildly uncommon with his patients. Yeah. But if she's worried about her shoes and stuff, it's kind of sounds to me like, and I know we're near professional and and so please take this with a grain of salt, anyone who hears my voice. But maybe she suffers some, some sort of, like, OCD she was, like, worried about. And so the lobotomy just made her not really care about anything. So they're like, oh, things are better. Well, Yep. No, you just don't care about anything that's not. I guess. Yeah, I guess you're not doing the thing you did. But I don't know if that falls into the category of better but. But for them, at the time, they were saying that. And that's the time. This woman was complaining. Now the woman's not complaining. We fixed her. OK, well, it's a different yeah, we're going to get into that a little bit more and how problematic all this was. But again, it's important, you know that at the time this looked to, again, the men who were the only ones whose opinions mattered in the situation, as if they were making people like Missus Hammett better. Now you know what will make you better, Daniel Van Kirk. The products and services that advertise on this show. Nice. Yeah. Can we go to them? Can I learn about them? We can. Here's a capitalism lobotomy. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for. 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And better help makes it very easy to get therapy that works with your lifestyle and your schedule. A therapist can help you become a better problem solver, which can make it easier to accomplish your goals, no matter how big or small they happen to be. So if you're thinking of giving therapy a try. Better help is a great option. It's convenient, accessible, affordable, and it is entirely online. You can get matched with a therapist after filling out a brief survey. And if the therapist that you get matched with doesn't wind up working out, you can switch therapists at any time when you want to be a better problem solver therapy can get you there. Visit behind today to get 10% off your first month. That's better Com behind this fall on revisionist history. Is there anything that we haven't talked about or or I should have asked you or you'd like to add that seems relevant? You should have asked me why I'm missing fingers on my left hand. A story about sacrifice. I think his suffering drove him to try to alleviate suffering. And the shocking discovery I made where I faced the consequences of writing a book I thought would help people? Isn't that funny? It's not funny at all. It's depressing. Very depressing. Revisionist history is back with more. Listen to revisionist history on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. I've never seen less enthusiasm for a great idea in my life. We're back. Now, as I said before, we rolled out the positive experiences with lobotomies that you read about. When you kind of read about these early operations, we're all clouded by very disturbing questions of consent and also structures of oppression that existed back then and still exist today. During my research, I came across a story corps interview with one of Walter Freeman's patients, Patricia Moen and her husband Patricia, with her husband's name is Glenn. By the way, Patricia was lobotomized in 1962 and I'm going to. Read the transcript of this husband and wife talking about her procedure. And again, this is considered to be like one of the stories of like a success. But I'll read this to you and you tell me if you think there's something ****** ** going on here. I bet I will. Glenn moan. My name is Glenn Moen. I AM 79 years old. I signed the release for Pat's lobotomy. Patricia Moen. We have not talked about it since I had the lobotomy. I don't think ever. My husband is not a great communicator, Glenn. I don't talk to her anymore than I have to. Patricia. Glenn, be nice. Both laugh. We've been married about 13 years and it just started. They cried all the time. I was just mentally no good, Glenn. One night I came home and she said, well, I've done it now. She'd taken a whole bottle of some kind of pills, Patricia. That's when the doctor decided it was time, Glenn. He told me this was the last resort. I didn't know what else to do, Patricia, Dr Freeman said. You can come out of this vegetable or you can come out dead. And I guess I was miserable enough that I didn't care, Glen. I was kind of worried because of the operation of severing a nerve in the brain. It sounded kind of wild to me, Patricia. He was afraid he was going to lose his cook, Glen. And I don't like to cook. Patricia, I remember nothing after I saw Doctor Freeman. I don't remember going to the hospital or having it done or how long I was there. That's all gone, Glenn. We were coming back from San Jose after the operation and Pat informed me that she couldn't wait to get home because she wanted to file for divorce. Patricia, I don't remember that at all. I don't think I said it, Glen. I think I just went on driving and ignored the situation. Began to wonder myself, how much good did this operation accomplish? Really? I can see no changes in most areas except she is much easier to get along with. Patricia. You didn't see any change in the way I kept the house. The way I Glenn no, Patricia, I was more a free person after I'd had it, just not so concerned about things. I just went home and started living, I guess is the best way I can say it. I was able to get back to taking care of things in cooking and shopping and that kind of thing. Glenn delighted at the way it's turned out. It's been a good life. Wow. Yeah, that's there's a lot going on there. My favorite, I hope, on Glenn's tombstone, who we know is definitely dead by now. It says I ignored it and kept driving. I ignored it and kept driving. That's probably how I lived a lot of his life with her until he had to deal with her. I asked because she wouldn't do the things she was supposed to and kept complaining about wanting more pills. She wasn't happy cooking and shopping, so we drilled a hole in a brain and then it was fine. You know what? I'm also going to claim ignorance here, my friend. I was under the assumption before we started this that if you got a lobotomy you were just a shell of a person, that you were a vegetable or you died. Like that happened a lot but but some people just kind of went into like an I don't know if euphorics the right word, but a like just a laze faire feeling towards life after a lobotomy. Like they still were very cognitive. They just didn't really have any argument. Nerves left. Yeah, that's it. Separating the frontal lobe in the way that they did kind of separates you from your concerns. In some ways. It stopped people from feeling or thinking as much. You're very agreeable. Yeah, that was kind of the best case scenario with some of these people, but some did they what? Did they detach too much or go too deep? And that's when you get catatonic. Yeah, we'll get into that. I mean, it's it wasn't an exact science, and they weren't always good at it. That just blew me away to hear that. Change. Because I've been sitting here the whole time thinking every lobotomy ends with just the feeling of like, no, no, no, you're gone. A lot of these show. A lot of these people went on to live productive lives. A lot of them were rendered catatonic. It kind of depended on how the operation like, The thing is, brains are weird. I've I've known people who have been shot through the head with rifles and wound up fine. We're definitely not getting a rifle in the studio then. Yeah, well, I mean, they wound up fine. We could just. It's just it's kind of a crapshoot with brains. It's it's wild the amount of things that they can go through and suffer no noticeable effects, and it's wild the number of things that can happen to them that seem minor and just change the person forever, like it's a ******* crapshoot. Yeah, look at the NFL. Look at the NFL. Exactly. Now, Mrs Hammett's lobotomy in 1936 proved to be the beginning of a decades long career carving into the brains of human beings. He and Watts were one of medicine's most dynamic duos. Following that operation, they established an office at a home in Washington DC, and gradually refine their technique, replacing Moniz's Luca tone with an object Jackal high describes as resembling a butter knife. They also switched around the positioning of the holes from which they cut into the brain. When patient symptoms persisted, Watson Freeman would perform multiple lobotomies and make deeper cuts into the brain. One patient. The law you're suffering from alcoholism escaped the hospital after his operation and was found drunk in a downtown bar. One patient showed up after his surgery and threatened to murder the doctors. Two pulled guns when Freeman recommended they undergo lobotomies, so it was not always a smooth process. From early on, Freeman viewed proper PR as critical to gaining widespread adoption. For his new technique, he and Watt started setting up a lobotomy booth at the annual AMA convention in 1939, crafting displays designed to draw the attention of journalists rather than impressing. Other doctors, he later wrote, I found the technique of getting noticed in the papers. It was to arrive a day or 2 ahead of the opening of the convention and install the exhibit and the most graphic manner and then be alert for prowling newsmen now Jackal high notes that Freeman used handheld clackers to get the attention of reporters with loud noises. He and Watts even lobotomized a monkey in 1939. This spectacular event dominated coverage of the convention. Freeman wrote that night. Our monkey died, but Watts and I made the headlines even though we did not get an award. And so, so begins. All press is good press. I mean, that's what he's going for here. That's what he's going for. Well, the monkey died, but people seem to be interested. Now, 55% of the 1st 623 surgeries Watson Freeman carried out had what they described as good results, 32% were fair and 13% were poor. 3% died during or immediately after the surgery, and if you take Freeman's word for it, those are good results. More than half of people had like a good result of the operation, particularly considering these tended to be patients who had exhausted conventional treatment options. However, Freeman never went into detail about what he considered to be a good result. Nor did he update his results when patients relapsed, which was extremely common, but remember nurses? Crappy with the result of that monkey dying. So he was he was, because when he got the press, yeah, yeah. Now, nurses reported that patients of the duo often needed to relearn how to eat and handle other basic tasks. They soiled themselves, flirted, bizarrely with orderlies, and would sit staring off into the distance for hours on end. Walter Freeman considered these positive changes. The fact that lobotomy patients were dull, quiet, uncoordinated and lazy was, he felt. An improvement over manic episodes and excessive activity. Many officials at mental hospitals felt the same way. Freeman Watts patients were much easier to deal with on a long term basis, since many of them just sat around quietly. By 1945, Walter had started to experiment with new methods of lobotomy. He was frustrated by the fact that the procedure required a skilled neurosurgeon. That meant he could only perform the operation when Watts was around, which dramatically limited the number of people he could properly lobotomize. This was a problem because he'd come to believe that lobotomies worked best for patients in the early stages of their illness. If people waited too long, he feared, the lobotomy might not really help. So he's like, we gotta get into this **** faster. This needs to be like the first thing we're doing for 31st. Yep. You feeling down today? Sit in this chair and shave your head. I'll be right there. Now, Walter started looking into the research of other doctors, and he found an Italian surgeon named Amaro Fiamm Berti Armano had developed a new procedure for reaching the brain without drilling careful holes in the skull. Instead, Armano broke into the skull through a soft bone at the rear of the eye socket. Working on corpses, Freeman developed a method of accessing the frontal lobe of the brain through the eye socket using an ice pick from his kitchen. Working in secret so Watts wouldn't find out, Freeman started performing solo lobotomies in January of 1946. He operated out of the office he and watch shared, but during hours when he knew his partner would not be in the building, Freeman ice picked 9 human brains in short order, sending his patients home in a taxi cab next, according to the Washington Post, Freeman later wrote that during his 10th transorbital surgery, he called watts to his office to assess. The operation. Watts later claimed, however, that he entered Freeman's office Unsummoned and found Freeman pushing an ice pick in the eye socket of an unconscious man. Freeman audaciously asked Watts to hold the ice picks so Freeman could take a photograph. Whichever account is true, no one disputes the result of this encounter. Watts threatened to break off their partnership if Freeman persisted in performing lobotomies himself and treating them as office procedures done without surgical gloves or sterile draping. For the remainder of his association with Watts, Freeman did these operations outside the office, so that's cool. Oh yeah, now. Watson Freeman would later fall out professionally over the issue of Transorbital lobotomies. Although Watts retained a deep respect for his partner, he couldn't get over his belief that brain surgery ought to only be carried out by a competent brain surgeon, not random guys with an ice pick. Why? Proverbial, what a crazy stance and Friedman was like. You are far out there, no? Have you seen this ice pick? Children should be able to fix cars and non brain surgeons should be able to put ice picks through people's eyes. I believe that, yeah. Now, a book the two men authored on the subject of lobotomies includes this paragraph. The authors regret to announce that they have been unable to reach an agreement on the subject of transorbital lobotomy. Freeman believes that he has proved the method to be simple, quick, effective, and safe to entrust to the psychiatrist. Watts believes that any procedure involving cutting of the brain tissue is a major operation and should remain in the hands of a neurological surgeon. This is when you're in a relationship with somebody and you're like, I don't even know why we're fighting about this. Tell me about this. I've just. I've just ice picking some *************. Like, why are you angry? Right, right. We shouldn't even be having this fight. Yeah, that's crazy. This book psychosurgery and the treatment of mental disorders and intractable pain made an enormous splash in the world of medicine when it was first published in 1950. The tone featured language not often used in works of medicine like the term scrawny frayed cats used to refer to a group of patients. This lurid prose, along with the gauche marketing technique used by Freeman to attract. Press alienated many mainstream medical professionals, but the book was popular and cemented Freeman status as a radical physician working on the cutting or perhaps poking edge of medical science. On the eve of his 52nd birthday, he wrote. I have a feeling of competence and assurance that is almost grandiose. Maybe it comes from superb health, and maybe from the fruition of dreams that have proved within my grasp. But anyhow, I'm sitting on top of the world, so that's good. He's happy. What do you want? In our next episode, we're going to talk about the second phase of Walter. Freeman's career. We're also going to discuss the most famous patient he and watts ever operated on the poster victim of lobotomy and sister to President John F Kennedy. Rosemary Kennedy. Yeah. But right now, Daniel Van Kirk, it's time for you to plug some plegables. I want to let everybody know I have my first comedy album coming out. It's on, it's on blonde medicine. That's the label. And it will drop on November 15th. Friday, November 15th, it's called. Thanks, Diane. I recorded it in Los Angeles at the UCSB. Leader and if this is before the 15th one you're hearing this, you can go to and pre-order or just go to the iTunes store app on your phone, specifically the iTunes Store app, and you'll be able to pre-order it there. But on 11:15 or anytime thereafter you can get it anywhere that you get your music or listen to such things. I should say music, but it feels like it's also for comedy, but it's called Thanks, Diane, and go to Daniel Van Kirk for all of my tour dates as well as my own podcast pen pals or dumb people. And I'm Robert Evans, and you can find me here on the podcast you're currently listening to. So please keep listening to this podcast. You can find our sources on You can find us on Twitter and Instagram at ******** pod. You can find me on Twitter at I write. OK. You can also find a lobotomy. If you show up at my door and pay me $45.00. I have an ice pick. Sophie, you cannot be doing these. Brain surgeons need to do these. I feel like anyone. And do these we should, if they have an ice pick. Having this argument, I I feel like Daniel. Daniel, I I respect your opinion on this, but I disagree with it. Well, and I respect your expertise, but I think you need to wear gloves. Oh, gloves. You mean coward's hands. All right, that's the the ******* episode. Buy a T-shirt on T public and go off into the world and perform unlicensed lobotomies. Or not. Nope, Sophie, we're we're pro lobotomy now. Or not. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break her handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's In the 1980s and 90s, a psychopath terrorized the country of Belgium. A serial killer and kidnapper was abducting children in the bright light of day. From Tenderfoot TV in iHeartRadio this is La Monstra, a story of abomination and conspiracy. The story about the man who's simply become known as. Lamaster. Listen for free on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. 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