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Part Two: The Bastard Who Invented The Lobotomy


When it comes to sports history doesn't change? Or does it come find out on the special teams podcast which is now available on Jason Smith and Mike Harmon together Jason. I are looking back at the most compelling teams in sports history why we rooted for them or against them as they achieved their title of best of the best. Aw do remember the big moments and maybe become aware of some. You didn't know each episode features a different team and we just know you're gonNA love it checkout special teams right now on the iheartradio APP apple podcasts. Or wherever you listen to podcasts Greeson Madore. Nah I'm Robert Evans hosted behind bastard for part two of our episode on the inventor of Lobotomy and the the door to the recording studio has been greased with olive oil which I am informing listeners. Of so that they can truly get into the behind the bastards spirit by greasing their own doors with olive oil. Everybody Taylor at home grease grease something near you up with olive oil. I'll wait right now. I'm here as with impart one with Daniel van. Kirk Daniel how are you how are you how you how are you how are you doing today. I am great. I'm so glad to be back for The conclusion of this story about horrific man who justified his means Yup. Yep He's a bad man and speaking of bad men were about to talk about a president although a president most people like so I may. AP Physics and people off. John Robert Kennedy are probably the two most famous brothers in American history. One was the president until he got shot. Another would have been the president if he hadn't. I've been shot. Both men have come to symbolize fairly or unfairly an era of just indecent governance in the United States of America one. That will probably never come again. But the Kennedy Brothers had a sister as well as another brother named Ted. Who We don't talk about much because of that lady? He drunkenly killed this woman's name was Rosemary Kennedy and her life was stolen. Dolan by Dr Watts. Dr Freeman and wild unchecked misogyny now rosemary's birth was in the words of the Irish Times complicated by medical misadventure. Her depending on which source you read you will hear different things about the exact extent of intellectual disabilities some articles. I've read say she was severely Mentally Handicapped and unable able to lead a normal life others argue. She had learning disabilities but was otherwise. Bright and capable. I'm not a doctor. But I did teach special ed once and it seems fair for me to say whatever. The precise extent of her issues Rosemary Kennedy would have been capable of living a relatively independent life with some specific help. Now you did very different versions of Rosemary Story Story depending on which right up you read for example here's people as Rosemary. Entered her late teens or parents saw less of the affectionate dutiful and eager to please young woman they knew and loved and more of her violent outbursts she. She began screaming and yelling and throwing things she was violent and throwing vases across the room she was out of control. One person says now that article Paints Rosemary. A deeply disturbed young a young woman and her. lobotomy is tragic but purely the result of her parents not having better options to care for such a disabled child in a more primitive era. Another Irish Times article I found which interviewed one of her biographers. A man named Irvine takes a different route. Irvine has more filled out picture in his head. He sees her as stunningly beautiful. It was often said she was the most beautiful of the Kennedy's Beautiful Flynn Poetic. She did have learning disabilities. It's hard to say how much but she wrote letters. She kept a diary. She became a Montessori teacher for a while and she taught young children her favorite book was Winnie the Pooh and she could read that to children too. So Yeah Yeah Great Book. He has the sense of a fairly normal deeply loving young woman every letter that she wrote his show drenched in this one for her father to acknowledge her in love her. Every one of those letters is heartbreaking. It's all about. I'm doing my best and hope this please you. She would send reports about her weight. Because because wait was a huge thing in the Kennedy family monitoring the weight of all the children. There's so much correspondence were joe and rose or just talking about the weight of their children. So yeah meanwhile meanwhile an Irish central article found in her describes her this way by kindergarten. Rosemary was called retarded in the lingo of the time. Such children were considered defective for Joe Kennedy obsessed with the family image it was a disaster. Rosemary never proceeded mentally beyond third or fourth grade intelligence and she was packed off to a boarding school for misfits from there. She wrote her father a heartbreaking breaking letter. Darling Daddy. I hate to disappoint you in any way. Come to see me very soon. I get very lonesome every day now. Rosemary finally caught a break when her her father became ambassador to Britain and she thrived in a London convent school but back in the states rosemary. Who again was very attractive? Began attracting admirers at twenty she. She was a picturesque young woman. A snow princess with flush cheeks gleaming smile plump figure in a sweetly ingratiating manner to almost everyone she met And of course as Larson writes her parents found her sexuality dangerous. And I think this gets to the core of Kennedy family issues with Rosemary. More than anything And it seems to to me based on what I've read that the the argument that she was mentally retarded is very oversold. I think she had learning disabilities. I think she was someone who had difficulty thriving in a normal school But I think she was basically it seems like she was basically a functional intelligent person who was a young attractive woman and people wanted to fuck her and and she wanted to fuck them. And this was not okay with Joe Kennedy. So I think that's the core of the issue right The Kennedys were powerful wealthy high-society. Let's say just gotTa stay in line on that family line line. She has Some learning disabilities. Yeah and she's permits you ass- and a woman who can't we gotta can't take out this part of the two Yes she may be having some mood disorders. Maybe she like flies off the handle and gets like Jelly and and stuff like that. They just seem like well. She's not happy in the family so she must be broken. Yeah that's a woman who's you're to disregard her exactly data carry on the name yet. Exactly I think she was a strong willed. Young woman who wanted to live a life that would have been inconvenient to the family goals. And it's my opinion that this more than anything else sealed her fate in before we go any further. I want you to take a look at this picture of Rosemary. It'll be on our website too soapy. Can you show that to Daniel. Oh Gosh she looks like a fun yes she looks she looks like a normal healthy. Young Woman I would describe her as looking playful and lively and Koi like a willful young woman woman with Spirit. But she falls into I liked fun girl winter. Yeah Fun Girl Fall Yup now. Within mere months of this photograph she would be reduced to a shambling ruin of herself by the treatments of doctors Freeman and Watts but the final decision on whether or not to perform the lobotomy on on Rosemary was up to the Family Patriarch Joseph from people quote without his wife's knowledge. He took Rosemary to see Dr Walter Freeman controversial neurologists psychiatrists and professor the George Washington University. who had gained fame for popularizing lobotomies in America? He took her to the best time and at the time time. Reader's Digest Newsweek. Everybody was touting the best thing for mental illness the lobotomy. It was the cure. All people were so eager for some help that they just grabbed onto it bassy. That's Friedman from last episode being smart about playing into the press. Yes he did he. He'd gotten this shit into the press and fucking Joe. Kennedy reads this in a Newsweek as he's sipping fucking Manhattan's as his his Kennebunkport retreat. Over the fuck. It is and if you need to wonder about how much Joe Kennedy cared about the Like agency or I'm like agency. She's a girl exactly right so if a woman did not only is he taking his daughter to get her brain carved out. He's not telling his own wife that he's doing it. No why would he right exactly. Yeah this is all double double to double smack. Yeah now Freeman diagnosed Rosemary with agitated depression and promised Joe that a lobotomy would put an into her rages and render her happy and content. What did he diagnosed her with? Sorry agitated depression. This sounds like that shit where they're like. Oh you what do you want me to call it. What do you want here jet yet? She's not she's not happy and that's the problem that means she's broken right but the agitated. Why why we have to do something about it? Because it's just getting worse. The families got money and she's not happy so the only thing to do is to break brain. Jesus okay. Sorry in the fall of nineteen forty one. Dr Freeman assisted by. Dr James Watts performed a prefrontal lobotomy. And Rosemary at George Washington University Hospital rather than carrying the lobotomy essentially erased rosemary. Kennedy the procedure itself literally involved Dr Watts scraping away at her brain tissue. Dr Freeman Astra to repeat stories from her Childhood Hood and list the month of the year when she could no longer answer. The procedure was pronounced a success. Wow Yeah tell us. When we've taken enough you tell us? Tell us when you don't remember who you are right and then we'll be like hurt. We got it all got her. 'cause I wondered that too like if somebody got their lobotomy right and then they were still like in the last episode. The doctor who went out and got drunk still like what they say. Well we gotta go in and dig a little deeper I. I guess they often did that. Yeah always we'll talk about some other cases later but yeah that was not uncommon for like. Let's get it all. Just keep talking kit it all. Just get the whole girl out of there. Yeah just maker a shell now. Rosemary's spent the rest of her life completely dependent on a small handful of caretakers takers. Until her father's stroke. She lived isolated and hidden from the rest of the family at Saint. COLETTA's Catholic facility in Wisconsin for inconveniently disabled members of which families when Joe Joe finally stroked out her nieces and nephews attempted to reintegrate her back into the family but any hopes she never had an independent life forging an existence for herself was obliterated by Doctors Freeman and Watts Eunice. Kennedy would eventually create the Special Olympics in honor of Rosemary and a nineteen eighty-seven story in the Saturday. Evening Post brought the whole sordid tale to light light but that was far too late to stop the career of Walter Freeman from reaping an unspeakable toll in human lives by nineteen forty five at the end of freemen and Watson's collaboration around one hundred fifty fifty lobotomies were being performed annually. Nationwide but in Nineteen forty-six Walter Freeman introduced his Revolutionary Trans Orbital lobotomy technique and started teaching it to surgeons and non on surgeons all around this glorious land by nineteen forty nine some five thousand lobotomies were being performed annually. So that's great. Many of those were performed by Dr Freeman himself who started traveling. The Nation showing off his skills to rooms full of doctors in the press. And I'm going to quote now from the book. The lobotomy in Nineteen Forty Eight Patricia Derian area. A student nurse at the University of Virginia Charlottesville watched Freeman Perform Trans Orbital lobotomy. At a nearby State Hospital Freeman selected the patients for operation she reported by twisting their joints wants to determine their flexibility not by reading or taking histories after a special lunch in honor of the occasion of his visit. He occupied a conference room and had each patient shocked and photographed. When all was was ready he would plunge the Luca thome in dairy noted? He wore no gown mask or gloves. Afterwards he would sit the patients up and have them walked out of the room. He was very proud of the fact that the people walked in and walked out none had to be carried although one or two of them sagged badly on the way out she remembered after several operations Freeman enliven the demonstration by cutting nerve fibers on both both sides of the brain simultaneously. Then he looked up at US smiling. I thought I was seeing a circus. Act He moved both hands. Back and forth in unison cutting the brain identically behind each eye it it astonished me that he was so gay so high so up dairy and recalled the sequence of events as a living nightmare a deeply disturbing performance. He's reached his final form. Yeah now Frank Freeman. Walter's son was occasionally enlisted to help his father in these lobotomy. Exhibitions would spend weeks at a time on the road. Crossing thousands of miles visiting numerous hospitals and lobotomize ing huge numbers of people in Nineteen fifty. Two Frank helped his father perform a lobotomy. The press started when Walter immobilize the patient with a series of powerful powerful electroshocks and then as frank recalled. I was there to hold the person's legs down. We all went for a ride when he threw the switch. The patient stopped seizing. Walter would lift the eyelid jam. AM His ice pick inside and shattered the bone that separated it from the brain. He would carefully hammer away at gray matter until both sides of the frontal lobe had been disconnected. Frank recalled I. It was kind of impressed. He made it look so easy. That's good right I mean here. It's so easy. 'cause he loves it he's so he like like you were saying do what you love. And you'll never work a day in your life of hammering into people's brains with an ice pick but he also seems obsessed with the celebrity of it the he wants to like. Be The guy and come to your town and put on his brain show. He wants to put on a shell and wants to do with both hands. That you really impressed right. See they all walked out of here. Did you see them all walkout. Well it'd be carried. Yeah well but yeah. He was lazy when he came in. Yeah now over. The course of a very long career Walter would perform more than three thousand four hundred thirty nine lobotomies fifty five hospitals in twenty three states the the entire time he believed himself to be something of a heroic medical radical pulling his disciplined forward into the future his motto was lobotomy. Gets them home. Which meant in Effect Act lobotomize and people allowed them to exist comfortably and without complaint in American society? It is impossible to know how many freemen's patients truly benefited from his treatment. His summaries of his results were always very biased and it's never possible to analyze them. Outside of the Lens of his own opinions objective scientific analysis of the results of lobotomies in this period are essentially impossible to find. We know that at least four hundred ninety of his patients died as a result of his services. We also know that lobotomize in human beings was not simply a matter of medical necessity. The longer Freeman worked as a solo lobotomize. The more he leaned into the performance art side of the field. And I'm going to quote from the Washington Post now shocking shocking. His colleagues for instance grew into a great source of pleasure once during a lobotomy demonstration in a nursing home in Baltimore before a group of surgeons he replaced his surgical hammer with a carpenter's mallet. He delighted in reporting how other lobotomy demonstrations made a Columbia University professor emeritus of neurology weakened with faintness sick and students in England in so outraged. german-polish that Freeman. I said I almost had to push him out of the way in order to perform the operation several times. He should have his virtuosity with the Luca thome by performing two handed. lobotomies working. Both eye-socket Simultaneously Ashley on people. That's people forget that there's only on the other end of this hammer and pick. Yeah Yeah Yeah. Yeah his cross country trips in pursuit of lobotomy patients in his self appointed is the Trans orbital procedures. International Ambassador only heightened Freeman sense of professional solitude and caused him to commit serious errors of judgment more than once. He worked the Luke. thome forcefully enough to break inside a patient's brain at Cherokee State Hospital in Iowa. He accidentally killed a patient when he stepped back to take a photo during the surgery and allowed the Luca thome to sink deep into the patient's mid brain. Oh that's all from Jack L. High. Yeah that's pretty fucked up Yes yeah yeah so. We don't know what his scale is. It still might have been deemed a success by him. The guy's not complaining anymore now. Many of Walter's patients were unable to walk away or really think after his ministrations. But this caused less of an issue than you might think. I think the bulk of his clientele were inmates at asylums and the folks paying for surgeries didn't so much want those folks healed as they wanted them quieter. People in charge of hospitals often welcomed Adam Freeman into their institutions because the lobotomize patients. Some of them would go home because it actually be helped by the procedure and the others were generally easier to manage Freeman himself wrote the noise level of the ward went down incidents where fewer cooperation improved and the word could be brightened when curtains and flower pots. Were no longer in danger of being used as weapons and so it made it easier to deal with. Yeah no more biting no more biting no more problems at all. Because they can't do anything anymore because he just erase race them basically a lot of cases we don't have to like technically say we killed them. Yeah Yeah I mean. Hundreds of people were improved by his work. Work hundreds more it's less clear and of course hundreds and hundreds died but that's this in part one. It's almost seems like though they're using the exception to prove the rule. Yeah there's some people this benefited so we should do this for everyone we think would needs it. Well like what exactly they don't. Those numbers don't really match up. If if ninety five percent of the people are benefited from me like well. Five of these people five percent might not work out for. I'm in favor for it but I get what you're logic is but being like doc. Oh a few percentage of people this real small group is really helps will then. That doesn't mean we should be doing it for everyone. Also in house I keep thinking of like. I'm sure sure this happen to people who were autistic right. Oh God yeah yeah. 'cause days like they didn't even know what autism even diagnosed in the Saudis. Oh Oh no no no. I don't think at this point. I think it was even after that that they really had a handle on it. But like it's possible that's what was going with Rosemary. She may have had like ass burgers or something like that. I I really don't know I don't think anybody does. I'M GONNA guess. A lot of his patients were autistic and they just got written down as imbeciles or retarded which is like the lingo. They would've used at the time and you know because they require different means to like reach and teach in like work with you know because they had a different sort of brain They you just sort of hammered into their brain until they weren't a problem anymore right. How many women? Yep wouldn't have gotten a lobotomy. They hadn't been married. That's a scary question. Because they had a man saying will. You're the problem you aren't making the food you fight with young. You have your own thoughts which I'm sick of hearing and and but if they had just never had become a to use it the lingo of the of the era a spinster they would have never gotten a lobotomy. 'cause they would have have had an oppressive man in their life to be like. I'm sick of you. Yep Yep marriage doomed them yeah that's fair to say oh probably probably hundreds of cases at least yeah. Yeah now. Freeman had plenty of problems with. Oh actually before before we get into freemen's problems you know. It's not a problem problem. Our advertisers great. You know who won't lobotomize their wives who the products and services that advertise on the show. Great then I then I want to hear about them because now I'm interested it's TV. Plus something different. The ability I jason clauses the start watching now subscription Russian required. We're back and we're talking about Walter Freeman and of course the issues that came as a result of him. Hammering ice picks accent the brains of thousands of people in one thousand nine forty-seven Freeman operated on a Washington Cup. After the brain is picking said cop hemorrhaged on both sides of his brain and in freemen's woman's words was never able to do more than the simplest tasks around the house. Even so freeman did a brisk business in Washington state in the late nineteen forties. He met the actress Francis Farmer Armor at Western State Hospital. She'd been patient there for five years largely as a result of behavior her parents considered wild and unconventional. But we today would probably just call being a human human. We don't know for sure if Freeman lobotomize ter- but some reports say he did and Frank Freeman says his father did. There's a picture that is almost certainly miss farmers operation. It shows a man. Walter in a sleeveless shirt with Harry arms and ungloved hands Hammering Aluko thome. The surgical device invented to replace his icepick into a woman's is a crowd watches and there goes. What would have been my halloween costume? Yep Yep tragic sleeveless Harry is pick But nineteen fifty four tranquilizers like chlorpromazine replaced. lobotomies is the preferred treatment for agitated people in Asylums from left Washington for Los Altos California and for the next next eighteen years. He split his time. Between the bottom icing people and hiking actual medical science gradually left him behind but Freeman continued his research on Trans Orbital lobotomies. Because he loves is it he loves he loves it in nineteen sixty four. He conducted an experiment on fourteen disturbed mental defective. Mostly Young. schizophrenics in a letter to a colleague. Can you explain that this experiment tested the efficacy of injecting. Hot Water into the brain after stabbing it with an ICEPICK. I was prepared to accept two fatalities but fortunately all the patients survived survived invited to return. Next may yeah. What does he knew tied? He's just turned out he's like oh well but now we do this thing like he's just shoot some water water in there. My God I don't see how any of these patients could improve but at least one can now be cared for at home again. His his concern is that they be easy to care for now. They get better really We you know what else you remove the whole head you can do it wrong with that bomb fucking easy easy. They don't complain. There's not defeat him now. Since Walter worked at a variety of different hospitals during this period he enlisted a number of different nurses to help him in his thousands of procedures. One of these people people was Helen. Colmer a nurse in West Virginia for thirty four years. I found her account in an article written by story core and nineteen fifty four. I assisted Dr Freeman and doing a trans orbital lobotomy nurse at the time and I was drafted to work in there with him had no idea about what I was getting into but I was curious and I wanted to see it and I saw it. Oh my the room was full of people people. Everyone wanted to see what was going on. People from town and everywhere else came up to witness the occasion. He came and I held the patient's head and he did lobotomy. He had an instrument to me. It looked like a nail a great a big nail. It had a sharp point any inserted this in the corner of the individuals. I and banged it with a mallet. I guess it was and then he pulled from one side and pulled to the other. It wasn't easy it wasn't as an easy to watch. I know that day. We lost one patient because they couldn't stop the bleeding and I can't remember if any others died. It wasn't what I thought it might be to me. It was cruel but that was just my opinion. I it was just doing the job I was employed to do remember. I've seen all kinds of things in my line of work so if I stopped and twelve in each little thing I'd be hurting I remember. He was relaxed. He was very calm while he was operating parading. He made it look easy to do. I think he just had an extremely high self confident personality. He didn't have any qualms he wanted to prove that he was right. He was convinced that he was right. I thought how how can a man be relaxed. Just going blindly into a brain but of course I didn't have the authority to say. Stop that these patients were not young ones. I think there were all about thirty or forty years is old. I knew two of them. After the operation I found that they had changed in their personality. My impression which I remember still was that they didn't ask any questions. Expression of deep turmoil in their heart and their Seoul was subdued. There was something missing emotions. I would say you know if you were to converse with somebody. There's always a motion with it. Just take all of your motion out of a conversation with somebody and what's left WBT GA- when they're like Oh. I can't believe he just kept doing in how I feel. I mean I know you've probably covered this. Just the amount of people who who had some sort of like like they were Asensio path and the medical field gave them that outlet. I mean it happens in the military. I feel like Freeman might have been associated path. He's he's described as having a lot of difficulty like connecting to people a shallow affect like he. He's yeah he kept trophies. It's like I do think he thought he was helping people but I think his understanding of what helping people was was helping the people who had to care for these folks. I don't think he actually cared about the patients because he anyway you just don't care you just don't give you any lack empathy. Yeah if anything you do. These things things to people to like sponge off of their emotion and their feelings and their reaction. Yeah yeah now the most common diagnosis snowsuit for which Freeman prescribed brain scraping with schizophrenia. This does not mean that most of his patients were actually schizophrenic. Just that he hastily declared them to be schizophrenic. It's a frantic before jamming an ice pick through don how well they could bend their joints. Yeah yeah other. Common Ailments treated via is picking were chronic pain and suicidal title depression. I nine hundred thirty seven New York Times article listed the various symptoms for which lobotomies were often prescribed tension apprehension anxiety depression insomnia suicidal title ideas. Delusions hallucinations crying spells. melancholia obsessions panic states disorientation silesia pains of psychic origin nervous indigestion Russian and hysterical paralysis nerves indigestion. Yeah now if you know anything about the fifties and sixties CIA you know that nobody fucked around with human brains and new and exciting ways without drawing their attention in nineteen fifty two the agency hired Henley Laughlin a psychiatrist to report on the potential of lobotomies. To help the god-fearing the American government disabled communists in a quote from the book lobotomize together in his classified report titled Some Areas Of Psychiatric Interest. Laughlin commented that the procedure feature would be adaptable to intelligence work and noted that he watched doctor. Friedman performed twenty two trans orbital lobotomies with an average of about six minutes per operation. This included time for before and after after photographs as well as the keeping of notes and records from an appearance standpoint. The operative procedure is relatively simple and could be learned in a brief period of time by almost any intelligent person in addition he wrote. There is not great outward evidence of injury or damage to the patient. Besides the behavior changes in the black is the average pathologist performing an autopsy would have to be a keen and careful observer to detect changes using the brain substance made by the operator because I felt unable to disclose Dr Freeman the real basis of my interest Laughlin notes. He could not solicit the lobotomy experts opinions as to how the procedure might be modified defied for use by the CIA Laughlin who also professed an interest in the possibilities of taking hypnotic control of patients during the period of unconsciousness following. Electroshock therapy formed his own opinions opinions on the potential lobotomy presented as an intelligence tool to date there has been considerable discussion relative to the possible use of the lobotomy type operation by this agency as a neutralizing weapon Laughlin wrote in pre facing his conclusions. He described the role of the frontal lobes as one that allowed a person to pursue a cause and feel devotion to it. Certainly any crusading spirit is apt to be quenched. He reported community. Enterprise in activities in the way of social uplift leadership and executive abilities and activities are apt to be lessened after operation on this basis zealous fanatic communist if lobotomize might retain his interest in communism but his drive zeal inability to organize or direct would be substantially reduced. So that's good. You take out the fight baby. He also I wondered if for interrogation use the CA would be like well. There's so much more agreeable. They'll tell you anything. We should lobotomize him then interview. I will say the good news is that even the CIA in this period had too many scruples to lobotomize people as a method of social control. What what are what are we in the sixties by now? Yeah Yeah Yeah yeah the sixty with LSD. Right isn't there dosing strangers with asset. Yeah like like gangbusters. Yeah but Laughlin wound up recommending against lobotomies away to disabled Communists And his his main reason for doing so is that it would look really bad to scramble. The opinions of people whose opinions differed from the US government Like if that got out it would be bad So it is here that I should note that on. At least one point Walter Freeman and was on the somewhat defensible side of medical history as I previously stated there was a time when mental health professionals believe that all mental issues stemmed essentially from repressed memories reason traumas and other things that a therapist could work out and Freeman was on the vanguard of doctors who argued that many brain problems were physical or chemical in nature In based more on circumstances of biology allergy that things that had happened to the patient and Freeman and his fellows wound up being right. We know today that many mental health issues do stem from hormonal or chemical imbalances. Things that can be corrected with medication or in rare cases surgery. Walter identified the problem in mainstream medicine rather correctly. He was just very wrong about it solution and because he was such an advocate get for his solitary practice of lobotomize people. He failed miserably to advance his theory of mental illness with the Times in nineteen sixty he treated one Howard doughy an eleven eleven year old boy with what I would describe as mild to moderate behavioral issues. Howard fought with his brother lied to his parents and occasionally stole candy? He was rather withdrawn antisocial anti-social but certainly not someone a reasonable person with diagnosis in need of major brain surgery his behavioral issues such as they were stemmed from understandable causes. His mother had died of cancer when he was five. His father had remarried a cold and demanding stepmother who hated him. Howard was emotionally abused by her and ignored in favor of his stepmother's I biological children so we acted out more and more as he grew? That's it acting out. He wants attention. Someone xactly caring parenting. Yeah and as he. He acted out his stepmother responded by beating him and forcing him to eat alone. This made his behavioral problems worse and his stepmother decided that meant. There was something wrong with him. She started talking talking to psychiatrists and eventually wound. Preferred to Dr Walter Freeman now by this point Walter was a thoroughly fringe figure. Lobotomy was still practiced far too widely but most medical professionals no longer believe it was anything but a deeply flawed last resort measure but Howard stepmother didn't care about that when Walter interviewed her stepson. He saw the evidence of profound disturbance quote. He is clever at stealing but always leaves something behind to show what he's done. Freeman or quarter notes from nineteen sixty caught. Yeah he's he's AH. Yeah if it's a banana. He throws the peel at the window. If it's a candy bar. He leaves the wrapper around someplace. He does a good deal of daydreaming. When asked about it he says I don't know he is defiant two times? Can you tell me to do this and I'll do. That is a vicious expression on his face. Some of the time now based on a brief interview Dr Freeman declared Howard to be schizophrenic and prescribed one dose of Scramble Brain for the young boy when he met the famous Dr Howard was struck by his round glasses his suit and his stylish goatee and made him look a little like a Beatnik. He was warm personable and easy to get along. Longworth was fearful no. I had no idea what he was going to do with me. I'M GONNA quote next from a write up in the Guardian. When Dolly awoke the next day his eyes were swollen and bruised and he was was running a high fever he recalls a severe pain in his head and the discomfort of his hospital gown which gaped open at the back? He had no idea of what had happened. I was in a mental Flog Deli says I was like a Zombie NBA. I had no awareness of what Freeman had done eight weeks after the doctor I saw him duly came around from his operation. In a state of numbed confusion the hospital reports stated that he had been given a trans orbital orbital lobotomy a sharp instrument was through the orbital roof on both sides and moved so as to sever the brain pathways in the frontal lobes. Dr Freemen's bill came to two hundred dollars. Dolly was his youngest patient extraordinarily he survived. Now Howard would go on to live a full life. Eventually but first he suffered through years of homelessness mental illness and a deep confusion as a result of the damage done to him he would grow into a school bus driving trainer and a living monument to the resilience of the human brain but one cannot help it Rita story and wonder how how much less painful his life might have been. If Shit he'll doctor hadn't driven an ice pick and WHO's fucking brain gleefully yeah gleefully really with with panache and also the like Seems like schizophrenia to me. That works schizophrenia. Definitely do this. And he's still a Canada schizophrenia. And that Bitch Bitch which of a step mom was like. Whatever I don't care I just brought him here to get his brain taken out so yeah and she's probably mad or long fucking dead hopefully but she's mad that and It seems to have been on the air like the side of things where somebody didn't lose all capacity for life. Yeah he was still a person unfortunately for her much to her. I'm sure dismay dismay. Wow Yeah now you know what won't declare you a schizophrenic for stealing a candy bar in scramble your brains with an Icepick tell me the products and services that support this show I wanNA know about it. Oh yeah absolutely here we go. Who is Mike Pence? Who is Nancy? Pelosi they're two of the most powerful people in government today. Okay but how they get their minds. Sean Morrow and who is the first podcast. From now this in Iheartradio I'll tell you the stories of the most important politicians in America and and beyond through interviews with the reporters and experts. Who Know them best? There is no luminosity deep state but the roar means people on who is a cover everything from Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell's answering machine to Senator Elizabeth Warren's favorite junk food to where secretary of Education and Betsy Devos and her husband went on their first date. WanNa know more tune in who is on Tuesdays on the iheartradio APP apple podcasts. Or wherever you get your guests and we're back. We're talking about Walter Freeman in the twilight of his career. You know the sixties and shit as medical science starts to pull away from freemen's practices and towards more humane methods of treating the mentally ill I guess more humane methods includes literally everything that doesn't involve an ice pick so while this was all going on in his field the old walter doubled and tripled down on his claim to fame. He spent increasing amounts of time doing what he called Shrink Baiting essentially trying to trigger more respectable physicians and writing lyrics rex about his professional enemies. He was known to declare that he would rather be wrong than boring. That's so true. That's on his stone. That's on his this tombstone now. This desire to buck. Tradition led him to his shoe other basic aspects of professional medical niceties from the Guardian. He had a buccaneering and disregard for the usual medical formalities. He chewed gum while he operated displayed. Impatience with what he called all that germ crap routinely failing to sterilize. His hands or wear rubber gloves loves despite a fourteen percent. Fatality Rate Freeman performed three thousand four hundred thirty nine lobotomies in his lifetime. We've turned any malpractice suits at all. No no not in the sixties man. Okay now in case you aren't aware a fourteen percent fatality rate is essentially criminal any modern surgeon who killed that many patients with what they consider to be a routine operation would be investigated on suspicion that they were some sort of serial killer but of course water freeman was not really a surgeon. Urgent he was just a doctor who found a lazier way to perform brain surgery using a tool from his kitchen. Got Damaged Walters. Personal Life was no prettier than his career in Nineteen forty-six forty-six. He watched his eleven year. Old Son the namesake of his grandfather die horribly assembly national park. The boy was filling up a canteen and a stream when he fell over and was dashed to breath. Upon the rocks Walter's wife Marjorie was a chronic alcoholic which is not surprising and the doctor cheated on her constantly still. His remaining children considered him to have been a good father and defend his legacy today as a medical trailblazer. I found this quote from his son. Frank now a retired security guard and I think it was meant to sound positive but it's just unintentionally intentionally horrifying to me. He is a friendly giant of a man. This is talking about Franken He's a friendly giant of Mandra smartly and a double breasted dark blue suit and a burgundy tie kept in place by a thin gold clip clip. He was a marvellous father. Frank said sitting in a room filled with crossword dictionaries and Dick Francis Novels. He loved his children and always made time for us out of his busy schedule taking US camping every summer. All across across the country frank recalls being invited to observe a lobotomy when he was twenty one in vividly remembers having little crack as the orbital plate fractured. It only took about six or seven minutes and dad kept running commentary indeed. The original ice picked used for the first trans orbital. Lobotomy came from the Freeman family kitchen drawer. We had several of them says frank cheerfully we use it in the punch holes in our belts else when we got bigger. I'm enormously proud of my father. I think he's been unfairly treated. He was an interventionalist surgeon. A pioneer in that took guts apple tree fall. Yeah for him to like Oh you know he did a good thing. It isn't that great. Look here look I got nice. Pick my kids right now. We could go poke anybody's I. We used it to poke holes in our belts and my dad used to poke holes in brains. This is fine. This is fine. This is fine. Yeah well now thankfully really. He wound up a security guard rather than a brain surgeon which I think would have been a better career for his dad. To in retrospect percent a hundred dead more when he was when his dad was sick sickle time. Yeah yeah he really should've stayed that way now. A nineteen sixty seven freeman was visited by Helen Mortenson. One of his earliest patients she'd received two lobotomies as from Freeman. Won In nineteen forty-six what nineteen fifty-six after a relapse in nineteen sixty seven she relapsed again likely as a result of her brain repairing itself. She went into Walter for a third. lobotomy this was conducted Herrick Memorial Hospital in Berkeley California and unfortunately for Helen. Walter severed a blood vessel in her brain. She died three days later. Later from the operation and Freeman Surgical. Privileges were revoked. He lived for five more years during which he performed no additional lobotomies. He died from cancer on May thirty first nineteen eighteen. Seventy two at the ripe old age seventy six between nineteen thirty six. In the late nineteen fifties the wave of lobotomies Walter ignited lead to more than forty thousand lobotomies and perhaps more the fifty thousand some aspects of techniques. Dr Freeman pioneered are still in use but only on a profoundly limited scale less than twenty brain operations per year on average average performed in the US to treat psychiatric disorders most of these lasers or radiation to lesion off small sections of particular chunk of the brain primarily to treat obsessive have compulsive disorder or Parkinson's trans orbital. lobotomies are no longer practiced and most of the young men and women. Dr Walter Freeman aspect. Have long since followed him to the grave. And that's the episode. Wow so they're still done but I'm sure nowadays somebody wash hands before him not sort of rains To deal with any sort of psychosis some of the things. He pioneered are performed on a very limited basis or part of more humane treatments but again like twenty people a year receive something vaguely similar. And they're not even that similar it's just that they they remove similar parts of the brain because it does help certain people but again you'll get how many thousands of operations he performed in the actual need seems to be somewhere like maybe a couple dozen people a year. Really really what he did he liked it right. It's like what he takes to get an oil change and you can tell they just WanNa change breaks. They're like new new brakes. Do you really well. That's what we do here is break. So that's what we're going to say you need. I think a lot of it was that he He he was He was good at performing a lobotomy. And most people weren't most people couldn't do that sort of work without like breaking down because it was just horrifying to a normal human being to shut an ice pick into a skull yes And Freeman didn't give a shit and he didn't like working with other people who's able to do this alone and he was the best fast at it and that's all he wanted from his career. So that's the only thing he really did right. And he didn't grow up with much of an affinity for The female gender so yeah it was more than happy to shut up a wife. Oh Yeah your wife's talking. Sounds like schizophrenia right. Yeah yeah that's wild that's horrific. Yes pretty bad. Did the the fact. When do you think so? It probably should have really ended by like sixty five Yeah I mean he's sixty seven was his last one. I think it probably should have stopped by the fifties. Okay fifty later. I guess understandable she was like the late forties. Yes I think that's right. I was thinking of the person that was in sixty two. But yes shoes in the forties. That's right. They started in the late thirties. You could argue that. There was maybe a decade. There were. You're just if you assume medical science is going to have some really rough patches. Just because it's hard to figure shit out maybe a decade where people would have done this before realizing. Oh this actually. He is just turning people off and not fixing any problems But it went on for and most doctors by the fifties certainly late. We're aware that like This is not the thing you do for everybody. Who's got a mental illness? There's better treatments. But he kept right on rolling almost to the seventies. He's like he damn near made it to disco. Well thank God for that. Yeah thank God. We stopped it before. Disco Yeah Yeah that would really tarnished America's brightest period also I love when we get to give the CIA credit for things they didn't undo yet the CIA was like this seems real fucked up which should tell you all you need to know. We're just GONNA abduct people off the street and give them toxic doses. Oh says of LSD seems like the humane option man like inbetween assassinating democratically. The elected leaders and running death squads the the CIA looks back at this. And it's like boy that's GonNa Piss people all right. This is not a really look bad. We're not looking to get into that. Had ICEPICK game. Yeah we don't want we don't WanNa be monster snow and it's too much evidence yeah. LSD WEARS OFF. Yeah Yeah so so Daniel how you feeling well educated first of all so I appreciate that. I'm so surprised that some some people went on to live normal lives. I love that Howard went onto to actually like kind of be. Okay Yeah Worse Story Man. There's so many horror stories is in this man's life yeah. He's a living like a living monument to how resilient human beings can be. He had like a family he like lived a with seems to have been pretty happy life after he got you know over some things and was like you know training school bus drivers. That's not an easy job. That's an important job. Apparently good at it so like but it's like you said amazing brain repair can repair itself. Yeah and it probably did the best it could G. Yeah it. It seems seems like it did great in his case Did Watt seven Like really ended up distancing himself then from Friedman no I think he you know he had some major arguments with the man but he always regarded him as a brilliant pioneering Dr Just somebody who he thinks things a little too far and was a little bit too cavalier but like not really respected him. It seems. I'm not an expert on watts. No no yeah so you feel happy after this. I mean I'm happier that I'm living in a better medical time. Feel like we're not doing anything right now medically that we're GONNA look. I'm sure somebody's going to like actually and then I was like no. I think we're doing lot's of Shit that we're going to look back on fucked up. Oh yeah man. I think we're doing a ton of stuff that is going to be looked back on as deeply problematic. Not as I don't think we're doing anything on a mass scale that's nearly as bad as the mass lobotomies for that were being performed back then but I think we're doing a lot of fucked up shit. MM-HMM I think particularly what's going to be looked at in the future as bad as as lobotomies are on that level is how we deal with people who have a There's evidence that a lot of violent criminals like people who are in prison for violent crimes have head injuries as yeah. They looked at Aaron and Hernandez case and that the Boston Globe ended. The spotlight team profoundly damaged. Yeah Yeah Yeah. I think we're going to look at our treatment of prisoners as an e e essentially rooted in our inability to recognize or our desire to not give a shit about a lot of types of mental illness and not treat it and just lock it up and I think that that is something that will be viewed on the same scale as lobotomies are. Today I would agree with that. I think I was trying to specific procedure that were like. Oh you never do that anymore. More but yeah. No that's That's all that's you're you're right on the nose with the stuff. I think I think there might to. I don't think it compares in terms of the scale but I think like one of the things. A lot of people with autism complain about with groups like autismspeaks is that their goal is to like a radical autism and a lot of people argue. Like well. Wait wait. I'm perfectly happy I just have a different kind of brain and I think about the world differently and your desire to eradicate me is kind of like eugenics and horrible and I do think that we we will increasingly recognize that like trying to wipe out. Autism is Incredibly fucked up and instead we should be focusing on like helping these people inc in coordination with everyone else and like yeah But I don't think the scale of that and I don't think like that's not it's I it's a sliding scale. I think it's worse to jam specs into People's brains. Just keep thinking of the show the Act did you watch the knick no highly recommended Clive Owen. One Chris Sullivan who's now in the show. This is us I think it's SORTA Burke but it was on showtime. And it's all about like the the medical advancements in the teens and twenties and you're seeing like what they were trying to figure out and the chances they were taking that ended up working and like the advancements they would find just even how to like do fusion and stuff like that so I just kept thinking of that because my whole thing is like when something very delicate and very a tricky. Maybe that's redundant but Ends up being like common. I always wonder how many times what was the trial and error process. US layers me. What was the trial and error process for Walter Jackson Friedman and what those people are gone I mean and and those Yes yes sir gone? It's you know. There's an extent to which we were going to try lobotomies. Of course it was. It was going to happen and it's not bad. You know even though some people were going to be horribly affected by it had to happen for medical science to advance. It didn't have to happen on the scale right. It's like we were going to realize that like Ritalin could be helpful in treating certain kinds of like adhd it didn't have to be wildly over prescribed to children a AH the level it was in the nineteen nineties. Right Not that. I don't think obviously I don't think giving riddle indicates this nearly as bad as thousands of lobotomies with ice picks and unwashed unwashed hands but There's always going to be some sort of like we figured out this new thing. It helps some people. Let's massively over apply it. That's kind of how human beings are our But if like that's part of why the scientific method is supposed to work the way. It's supposed to work where scientists are supposed to kind of pull their ego out of it it and look at like okay. Well now we have data saying we're actually doing this way too much and we should stop but then you get a guy like Freeman who basis whole identity on the fact that he's the best at this thing that we shouldn't didn't really be doing And then it doesn't stop so it's this kind of problem where in an ideal world if we treated science science the way we're supposed to treat it. Somebody would have walked up to Freeman in like the late forties or early fifties and men like actually. This is being done way too much like damn okay. Well let's figure out something better but instead he doesn't yeah because he just he wants to do this thing he wants to fuck with people's brains likes it exactly also are you. Are you you song of ice and Fire Guy at all or oh yeah yeah. Yeah Yeah I think born Yeah the catcher. Because there's always that to medical history where there's like I look at it. And there's more I'm sure but just cyclist competition. I look at like there's people who learn what medicine works. And they dedicate their life to helping people and then there's the other type of person who has no problem just poking around putting things together and then seeing what comes of mm-hmm and a lot of times you get advancements out of that you find out something that works. Yeah but they might not necessarily be the same type of traditional doctor who wants to help someone. They're just very recuse and have the ability to just dig around in people's innards to see what can work where and that always creeps me out isn't. Isn't that great. Yeah Yeah you want to plug your plug ables Daniel. I do People should go to Daniel van. Kirk Dot com there. You you can see all of my dates and where I'm going to be I've got December second. I'm doing a show at Largo on November twenty a second I will be headlining in Petaluma California and other tour dates and things as well but most importantly you can get my album Thanks Diane drops so November fifteenth. It's if you're hearing this before then you can pre buy the album at the apple store APP in your phone or go to Daniel Van Kirk Dot com and you can click through to are there. When you do that you'll get an instant track called? Don't be a Dick which I'm proud of but you'll get the whole album on eleven fifteen number fifteenth and go to Daniel Van Kirk Dot Com for all that or listen to me on my podcast dump people town which I do at the sklar brothers or pen pals which I do with Rory Scoville cool. Yeah well well I am Robert Evans. You can find me on the Internet at Behind the bastards dot com or the sources for this episode will be including a Jackal highs. Wonderful Book Slobodan You can find us on twitter and Instagram at bastards pod. You can find me on twitter at I right okay and you can find love in your a heart as long as you're willing to put an ice pick into your brain so Again this is my encouragement to all of our listeners. To grab an ice pick and start lobotomize ing be a hero. Dr Freeman do we can we. Can we urge people to to carry out unlicensed surgery. No but you could plug your other podcasts. I have

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