The day of three operations: Introduction (NSFW)

Preservation is why this site exists.
Taking aging media- photographs, negatives, slides, documents and videos- and making sure that they’re preserved for posterity has been more than just rewarding- it’s been fun. Seeing old faces, hearing the voices of people long since gone from my life and being able to share them with people who care about them has been worth all of the time spent on SD over the course of the last month. With the recent addition of increased storage space I’ve been able to start actively capturing new content for archival/sharing.

tumblr_n0d52wfY7Q1town8so1_500It’s been disheartening to see the condition that some of this stuff is in. Magnetic VHS tapes have a life expectancy of 8-12 years in optimum conditions and some of these have been passed around from owner to owner for years, being played in machines that aren’t running at 100% and generally being considered as a transitory item not a piece of Bodymod history.  This update’s video comes from a 23yo VHS tape. Next week’s video update is from a 30 year old tape. I’m  torn between editing the videos to remove the damaged segments and leaving them intact with the understanding there will be parts of the video that are going to not play very well. In the case of today’s update there was no way to remove the damage without editing out Jack’s introduction; this will sort of set the tone for future updates. It’s better to have poor quality material than lose out on what makes these videos special.

This video was from one of Jack Yount’s 1991 visits to the Mexico clinic of Dr. John Ronald Brown. Dr. Brown was known in some circles as The Modification Doctor, and in others as The World’s Worst Sex Change Surgeon. Despite a horrible reputation, Brown had a large and devoted clientele from the US and Europe who would make the trip to his clinic for GRS and modification work, which often came with complications but still found clients returning for more work or to fix existing projects. While the quality of his surgical was questionable, Brown believed in what he was doing and truly felt that it was a divine mission to help affirm physically how his clients felt inside.

drbrownJack would often bring small groups of surgical devotees with him on his trips to Mexico as well as arranging with the Doctor to make house calls in his Zephyrhills, Florida home. This trip saw a eunuch having his scrotum removed, a castration, a 1lb stainless steel ball being inserted into Jack’s scrotum and finishes up with Jack having the top of his glans surgically split. The stainless steel ball implant- the third in Jack’s scrotum- ultimately caused serious complications that resulted in the amputation of his scrotum. While nothing was ever confirmed the theory was the teflon coating covering the balls cracked, causing abrasions inside of his scrotum which led to infection and ultimately gangrene.  I’ve captured the entire tape for archival but I’m not sure what level of graphic content is appropriate for this blog nor the level of interest readers have in that sort of thing. Use the comments section and let me know what you think.


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Shawn Porter has spent the majority of his life in the modification world. As a body modification archivist and documentarian, he has one of the most extensive collections of documents relating to the early American body modification community in existence. He edited the SPC website from 1995 to 2005, co-founded ModCon, was the host of ModCons 3.5 and 4, and created and hosted The Scarwars Project from 2004-2007. In 2011 Shawn launched Occult Vibrations, a blog devoted to traditional American tattoos with a focus on the occult and esoteric. He currently resides in Philadelphia with his Italian Greyhound, Bailey, and his wife Julia.

17 comments

  1. I’d like to see the rest of the footage as I’m sure many others would. If you don’t want to post on SD would you send it out?

  2. Skip,
    I believe Shawn did this part separate, as editing the damage to the VHS tape would have cut the introduction out of the surgery video.

  3. I’m not sure, editorially, that I’m going to be putting up full surgery tapes, Skip.
    Like the article (people read the articles right? Not just watch the videos?) said, I’m just not sure how comfortable I am putting up full surgery movies. I really don’t want:

    a. them to be used as a how-to. These videos are start to finish surgeries showing every step of the procedure. Ethically I’m not comfortable with that.

    b. For the longer ones… make no mistake- four minutes in looks just like an hour in. It all looks like blood and skin. How much is too much and how much is too little?

    c. Protection. Both of my own (legally) and of the content. For years, BME/Extreme has kept out the majority of people just looking for shocking things by having paid memberships in place. Not putting up the actual surgeries helps protect me legally, protects the footage from ending up on sites just making fun of it, protects desperate clients/unqualified cutters from using it as a how to.

    d. Money. Hosting costs money. Bandwidth costs money. My time isn’t free and when I spend time pulling video over, editing it, rending it, uploading it… I find the more dynamic content for most readers is the practitioners talking about their work, not a bloody open body part being cut while Michael Bolton plays in the background. If people want to buy dvds I’d be willing to work something out.

    e. dilution. How many is too many? For a castration fetishist I’m sure that if I uploaded every surgery I have it wouldn’t be enough, but like we said before- these are up close surgeries where one almost always looks like the other. When do we stop? The second operation? The fourth? Tenth? It kinda becomes more-of-the-same while I could be doing more interesting captures of Jack and Sid and Sammy and the gang talking.

  4. Also- thats not a theoretical situation. Bolton. I kid you not.
    I’ve talked to a few folks in Academia and there’s a good chance I’ll donate the tapes of Brown doing surgery to a college to make sure they’re properly archived and that the information doesn’t just cease to exist, but for the most part having a (free) archive of how-to surgery footage isn’t something I’m interested in doing.

  5. Hi Shawn, I myself would be very curious to see such procedures in progress, but you made very good point, especially the one about people using them as how-to.
    I understand that it takes lots of resources just to grab those VHS’s, so my guess would be that cutting just some parts of the procedures -let’s say to a 5 minute outtake- is probably out of question.
    The DVD option is a good one, and I would definetly go for it if it was available. And it might help you a bit with funding SD.

    I really enjoy and appreciate what you are doing, keep up the good work!

  6. Shawn : I very much see your point and why posting the full surgery might undermine the purpose of this blog. I too knew Jack and what your doing is respectful. And yes, my interest in castration might be considered fetishism but i actually see a beauty in the procedure itself, both the anatomical intricacy of the testicles and the finality and drama of being released from the reproductive power, if this doesn’t sound too sick. m

  7. I am at work with clients all over the shop so cant watch yet. I want to say thank you Shawn for putting all the foot work in play to gather these resources , transfer the files to digital, write the articles, and for hosting the site. I would LOVE to see full unedited video (not on the site) as well as an edited films (not censored) for historical documentary on the site. I really would cherish a collection of videos of our forefathers discussing their thoughts, their procedures , aftercare, healing , and life back then. I will be donating via paypal.

  8. Thanks Anthony- it’s much appreciated!
    The donations are working towards an 8mm unit to convert a box full of tapes that are full of amazing stuff, so every donation helps!

  9. Like the others said, you make very valid points as why to not post the full video. If you ever do make them in dvd from for sale Id be interested. Thanks for all that you do.

  10. My other question is whether there is any footage of the guys who had the procedures afterward? What were their thoughts and reaction to achieving such advanced modifications?

  11. Yes- there is footage immediately after recovery in some cases and other times months later. Those will likely remain offline.

  12. Shawn, I’d be interested in knowing if the movie here (link hidden) is known to be of Dr. Brown. Is it one of the ones you have possession of? If not, is it consistent with the ones you’ve seen? I’ve always felt that it matches Dr. Brown’s profile closely (surgery in Mexico in a hotel room, on VHS tape obviously from the 1980s, only a penectomy on an effeminate guy who probably really wanted SRS).

    1. Hey Julian-
      I’ve been asked about this particular video before, and I’m almost 99.9% certain it’s not Brown. Despite his reputation for questionable ethics, I don’t believe he would have ever restrain a patient like that- he was a fairly devout Mormon and this looks more fetishy and less surgical than his work. Even when he worked in hotel rooms he tried to treat it as professionally as possible. Not to mention that SRS wasn’t that expensive from Brown, so had the client wanted it, it would have certainly been an option.

    2. I should also point out that Brown was an SRS pioneer. I know he had a bad reputation and it was duly earned, but given the amount of procedures he was doing- which were considerably more frequent than his more ethically minded counterparts- he had lots of room to improve technique. As he got older and his Parkinsons became a problem he was a lot shakier, but the theory of some of his contributions- in more talented hands- helped define SRS.

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