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BOA : Audio


Bill Birnes

(2 Hours, 43 Minutes)

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(MP3 B : 80 minutes)


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In the penultimate edition of BoA:Audio's 7th season, we welcome longtime friend of the program Bill Birnes for a discussion on his new book Dr. Feelgood. Over the course of this lengthy conversation, we'll learn about the infamous Dr. Max Jacobson, who administered methamphetamine shots to some of the biggest Hollywood stars of the 1950's and 60's as well as providing 'treatment' for JFK during both his presidential campaign and presidency. We will dig deep into this amazing story as Bill shares a wealth of stunning stories about the unseen influence of 'Dr. Feelgood' on politics and pop culture. Additionally, we'll spend the final third of the program in a jam session talking about the state of UFO research.

Altogether it is a breathtaking edition of the program which will have you looking at American history in a whole new light as we learn about 'Dr. Feelgood' Max Jacobson with Bill Birnes.

Full Preview: We kick things off by finding out how Bill got involved in writing Dr. Feelgood and he takes us through the circuitous journey which led to the writing and publication of the book. Bill provides a thumbnail background on Dr. Max Jacobson, his 'vitamin elixers' which were really methamphetamine, and how meth has a truly destructive effect on the human body. We then ponder the question of whether or not Max Jacobson was an evil figure, a misguided individual, or somewhere in between these two realms. We also discuss how Jacobson seemed driven by the desire to control people and this was seen in his drive to get people hooked on his 'treatment.'

Digging into some of the details of the Feelgood story, we find out if Jacobson's patients knew they were actually taking meth and not a vitamin supplement. To that end, Bill talks about how John F. Kennedy and Rod Serling were both well aware of the true active ingredients in Jacobson's cocktail. We then reflect on the legality of the Jacobson 'cocktails' and how meth was far less regulated in the 1950's and 60's. We also revisit this era of American and world history and reflect on how the drug was so pervasive while also being kept secret by the media and under discussed by Hollywood insiders.

Next we dive into the Jacobson / Kennedy connection and how, unbeknownst to the public, the president's dependence on meth was becoming more and more dangerous for the nation. Bill traces the story back to the ailments which were crippling Kennedy as well as how the meth addiction made Kennedy's sexual dalliances even more problematic. Bill also connects this intrigue to testimony made by Philip Corso regarding the CIA drug trade and Vietnam, which further upset the true 'powers that be' who were running America, which all led to the plot to kill Kennedy.

Staying on the Kennedy aspect of the story, Bill tells us about how JFK's Vienna Summit with Russia's Kruschev was a massive disaster because the president was repeatedly given meth injections prior to the meeting. Bill details how this, in turn, resulted in the Cuban Missile crisis and he talks about how close the United States actually came to a nuclear war during the 1960's. Circling back to the Kennedy / Jacobson connection, we find out how 'Dr. Feelgood' reacted to JFK's assassination in 1963.

Following that, we discuss how, in the 1950's and 60's, people were treated for drug addiction, since interventions had not yet become a common practice. Bill details the downfall of Bob Cummings, from A-list actor to blacklisted drug addict. We also learn about Max Jacobson's son, Tommy Jacobson, who was running a west coast operation similar to his father's medical practice. Bill also talks about how prevalent these meth-supplying doctors were in Hollywood during this time. Painting a deeper picture of Jacobson and his practice, Bill discusses how they were both extremely filthy and unsanitary.

Considering the explosive nature of the book, we find out why it has taken so long for this information about Kennedy and Jacobson to be common knowledge. Bill explains some of the major difficulties he had in getting the book published as well as the lack of media coverage for the contents of the book. Bill also revisits the famous 1960 presidential debate between Kennedy and Nixon and he reveals how Jacobson played a critical role in how JFK performed so well. This leads to some discussion on the recent NSA spying scandal and how it should be no surprise to anyone, since the NSA has been up to fishy business for decades.

Wrapping up the Jacobson story, Bill relates how the story concludes and, ultimately, led to the infamous 'War on Drugs' and involved Richard Nixon, Geraldo Rivera, and the New York Times. We also speculate on how much money Jacobson netted from his drug operations as well as his connections to the mafia and members of the 'Rat Pack' entertainers.

We then move on to discuss current events, beginning with some talk about the nature of the media and how they cover up a myriad of stories all the time. Next, we get Bill's take on the Citizen's Hearing on Disclosure which took place in April in Washington, D.C. This leads to talk about the feasibility of UFO disclosure, especially in light of the many scandals unfolding in America today. On where Ufology needs to go next, Bill talks about Kevin Randle's 'Dream Team' and how solving the UFO enigma can be like catching a serial killer.

Heading towards the close of the conversation, we reflect on the media bias against UFOs as well as the public relations problems and fatigue issues facing UFO research. We also talk about the underlying psychological baggage that comes with UFOs and how that may hinder the belief systems of the average person. Additionally, we talk about the dearth of major UFO cases in the last decade, as compared to previous decades. This leads to some talk about the nature of the media today and the bombardment of information that has happened in recent years.

Closing out the program, we talk about the rise in popularity for the paranormal and Bill reveals what the current perspective is on UFOs from TV executives. This segues into talk about skeptics and the actual media coverage of the paranormal. We also get meta and talk about how Ufology needs to move away from 'tell us the answer' and move towards 'here is the answer,' after doing strong research that can stand up to close scrutiny. That said, we also reflect on government interference in UFO research. And, concluding the conversation, Bill details the many projects he has cooking, including UFO books as well as a fascinating book on government chicanery related to post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Bill Birnes Bio

William J. Birnes is a New York Times best-selling author, a magazine publisher, and a New York literary publishing agent who has written and edited over twenty-five books and encyclopedias in the fields of human behavior, true crime, current affairs, history, psychology, business, computing, and the paranormal.

As publisher of the nationally distributed “UFO Magazine,” editor of The UFO Encyclopedia published by Pocket Books, and co-author, with the nation’s top radio talk-show host, George Noory, of A Worker In The Light, Dr. Birnes has added to his list of publications in the UFO/Paranormal field, which include: The Day After Roswell, Unsolved UFO Mysteries, and The Haunting of the Presidents.

William Birnes received his Ph.D. from New York University in 1974 while he was an Instructor of English at Trenton State College in New Jersey where he taught structural linguistics and historical linguistics as well as literature and writing. Professor Birnes was a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, a Lily Post Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, and a grants award judge for the National Endowment for the Arts.

His website is ufomag.com

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