Abraham Lincoln

Episode 33: Bring Your Own Goat

April 5th, 2013 | Robin

We kick off with another Travel Advisory, this one centered on Ken’s quest to Las Vegas and the Gama Trade Show, to prise from it premonitions of the new hotness.

Then History Hut takes a turn for the glandular as we examine the careers of quack testicular transplanter John R. Brinkley and perfectly respectable testicular transplanter Dr. G. Frank Lydston. Guess which one installed bits of dead prisoners between his skin and his ribcage. For more, see Pope Brock’s splendid Charlatan: America’s Most Dangerous Huckster, the Man Who Pursued Him, and the Age of Flimflam.

Ask Ken and Robin fields a query from listener DVanZandt. How do you avoid the minefields of player disbelief when running a game in the real world?

With a tip of the mitre to the newly elected Francis I, we enter the Conspiracy Corner to look at the role of the Jesuits in conspiracy lore.

10 Responses to “Episode 33: Bring Your Own Goat”

  1. John Fiala says:

    Having been to a Jesuit high school, it’s hard to imagine the priests who taught me being involved in any conspiracy more evil than not having to be the one who makes the new pot of coffee in the staff breakroom. 🙂

    But it’s fun. Looking forward for this to show up on my phone.

  2. Steve Dempsey says:

    On the Jesuit multi-conspiracy angle, The Cemetery of Prague by Umberto Eco is a good source even if its main focus is the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

  3. Martin R. says:

    When I read the book Charlatan I immediately thought the gland transplantation craze would be a great hook for a 1920’s Call of Cthulhu adventure. Players would investigate missing persons connected to a clinic that performed goat gland transplants. The glands would not really be from goats, of course. They could come from almost any mythos creature: Deep Ones, Mi-Go, or even Shub-Niggurath (glands from the Black Goat of the woods! Ia!). Transformed patients could be used as heralds paving the way for the Elder Gods, or some other sinister purpose.

    The radio station is another good adventure seed. Brinkley’s “border blaster ” radio transmitter was a MILLION watts at its peak in the 1930’s. This was strong enough to turn on car headlights, make bedsprings hum and make broadcasts bleed into telephone conversations. Ranchers reported they could hear the programs without a radio through metal fences and in their dental appliances. What effects could this much raw energy have had on the barrier between dimensions? Could people’s minds be affected by alien entities? Could creatures slip through?

  4. Conrad Kinch says:

    Another great episode – I found the section on the Game Trade expo intriguing.

    I was interviewing a chap (who works in the miniatures industry) recently and he said that he noticed that he plays far less than he used to and that he was not unusual in that. Do professional games writers play still games?

    Are there any common traits characteristic of the breed that you’ve noticed? Other than a lamentable attitude towards the hot cross bun?

  5. LJS says:

    When I read Chalatan, I was also thinking great game hook. I had just finished Murder in the Jazz Age and was more thinking SotC — Dr. Brinkley and his Radiathor empowered goat-man army!

    The 20s and 30s were far weirder than I ever thought!

  6. Jim Ryan says:

    Having attended an all-boys Catholic high school, I must heartily agree with the Darth Vader sentiment. While not necessarily a Jesuit, our Vader was still quite awesome. 🙂

  7. RogerBW says:

    If you’re a Catholic becoming a priest and you’re smart, you’re likely to be steered in the direction of the Jesuits. Even more so if you also have a sense of humour. And then the rest of the hierarchy gets all surprised when they behave like smart people with senses of humour.

  8. Tom says:

    When asked about why Jesuit training before ordination takes so long, my parish priest of the time – a Vincentian – suggested that “they’re just slow learners”.

  9. Jeromy French says:


    Charlatan: America’s Most Dangerous Huckster, the Man Who Pursued Him, and the Age of Flimflam by Pope Brock.

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