39. How Brinkley Became The Goat Gonad Doctor (Part 2)
Brinkley’s sexual performance cures were clearly bunk. At best, they created a placebo effect with some whose problems stemmed psychologically rather than physically. However, between his tireless self promotion, over-the-top personality, and eagerness to believe, Brinkley soon became known as a “miracle worker” in restoring penises to rightful performance. One day in 1918, a patient walked into Brinkley’s clinic, complaining about trouble “getting it up”. The doctor cracked a joke about how the man would have no problem if he had goats’ testicles – goats having a particular reputation back then for virility. At some point after doctor and patient stopped laughing, they figured “why not?”, and decided to go ahead and put goat balls in the man’s testes. Brinkley even offered the man $150 if he went along with the experiment.
The patient claimed that all was good, and Brinkley publicized the success of the operation, hoping to drum up more goat testicle transplants. Soon, Brinkley was performing up to 100 transplant operations a week in his clinic, charging his patients $750 (about $10,000 in 2019 dollars) per. The crude procedure simply placed the goat gonads within a man’s testicle sac, and the patient’s body would then typically absorb the goat tissue as foreign matter. Medically speaking, the operation had no impact whatsoever – other than the occasional infection. But there was no shortage of patients convincing themselves – or at least going out of their way to convince others – that they were now as virile as goats. Those who were not were typically too embarrassed to open themselves to ridicule, for failing to get it up even with goat balls.