More On The Man Who Spear-Gunned Flipper

I was startled, while searching Google for articles on “dolphin telepathy,” to find the following, which I extracted from an interview with Dr. John C. Lilly by Alan Steinfeld published by New Realities magazine in 1997. Here, I direct your attention to the last paragraph of the selection, where Dr. Lilly tells the story of the dolphin who was spear-gunned to the interviewer himself. He also did this for David J. Brown in his book Mavericks of the Mind. I think writer/dolphin trainer Ricou Browning has some things to explain…

LSD and Dolphins
AS: Do you think it is ever really going to be possible to communicate with whales and dolphins.

J: Oh yes. I was taking LSD for years when it was still legally to do so. Then I got a letter from Sandoz saying I was to return what I had left. So before I sent back 150 milligrams of what I had left, I took a sailing trip in the British Virgin islands. The captain on board suddenly said, “whale” and so we went along side these fin back. She was 60feet long and our boat was only 40 feet. She had a baby with her and she turned and fixed me with her eye and so much information passed it was incredible.

AS: What kind of information?

J: Beyond words.

AS: How else does your work with dolphins relate to your experiences with hallucinogenic drugs?

J: You mean psychedelic chemicals.

AS: Yes, psychedelic chemicals.

J: In one of my books it says ECCO, the Earth Coincident Control Office, said two things to me. One, we should try to communicate with dolphins and two, they gave us LSD.

AS: What did they give us LSD for?

J: To increase our consciousness of the universe.

All my LSD [research] work, was in St. Thomas, in an isolation tank above the dolphin pool and had some far out experiences there. Then in California, at the Marineland,{ Africa-USA}. I had an isolation and beside the dolphin pool and I took Ketamine and they took me in to the dolphin group mind. I said, “hey, wait a minute, I can’t even experience one dolphin much less the group mind.” So they went back to one.

AS: What did you experience.

J: I can’t say, its beyond words.

AS: Did you ever give dolphins LSD ?

J: Oh yes. Six of them. They all had wonderful trips.

AS: How do you know that?

J: Well, they would swim along the surface, then they suddenly turn their beaks down and turn on their sonar. Then I remembered my first trip on LSD, the floor disappeared and bang I fell to the floor because I saw stars through the earth. So what they were doing with their sonar it seems [to me] was like they were apparently seeing right through the earth the way I did.

AS: Any thing else happened?

J: Well Pam, the dolphin, had been traumatized, because she was spear gunned three times in a Flipper movies. She was given to us by Ivan Tors and she always stayed away from humans. When we gave her LSD , she climbed all over us. So LSD is effective.

The Man Who Spear-Gunned Flipper: A Dialogue with Ricou Browning

To spare (spear?) you the trouble of paging back, I’m going to reproduce my first letter to Mr. Browning here. He has not responded to my last letter, and I do not anticipate hearing any more from him.

Did he spear gun “Flipper”? You read the mail, consider the state of movie special effects in 1963 and be the judge.


Mr. Ricou Browning
Browning, Ricou & Fran
5221 SW 196th Ln
Southwest Ranches, FL 33332-1111

Feb. 20, 2019

Dear Mr. Browning,

I briefly met you once in 1971, I think, at the Miami Seaquarium. You were very busy fixing something that had sprung a leak, as I remember, and didn’t have much time to talk. I did remark upon your having played The Creature from the Black Lagoon,of course, which makes you immortal in the eyes of monster-lovers everywhere.

Another issue has cropped up, repeatedly, over the years regarding statements by Dr. John C. Lilly about how a dolphin named Pam was treated during the filming of “Flipper!”, the original 1963 movie. According to Lilly, the scenes where the dolphin is shot with a spear gun, and beaches itself, were actually filmed that way, with the dolphin impaled by a spear.

Lilly told me (not hearsay) that Pam was shot a total of 3 times in the peduncle to get the take. The first time, she swam back and allowed the spear to be removed. The second time, she couldn’t make up her mind what to do. The third time she headed for the high seas, had to be netted with the spear in her and returned to the beach to do the scenes with Luke Halpin and Katherine Maguire. Then, apparently, the spear was removed and the wound(s) treated.

Reportedly Pam was so traumatized by this she would not approach humans again. She was sold to Dr. Lilly who reportedly used her for LSD experiments, but that’s another story.

Lilly said “you” did this, but did it actually happen, and if so, what were the circumstances? Why couldn’t the effect have been done by an optical, or some other process? Were you directing the scene, or was somebody else? What really went on? And why was the dolphin left screaming on the beach during Halpin and Maguire’s scene? I just want to know the truth, and would like to get it from your lips. Lilly also told this story to David J. Brown, who included it in an interview with Lilly in his book Mavericks of the Mind,so the story is getting around.

I would like to know the truth, not only because I’m dedicated to it in my profession as a writer, but I would hate to see your reputation sullied because of it. It’s a nasty story, and I’m sure there must be some explanation for it; the film footage is there, unfortunately, to show that it happened, and I don’t think you had any animatronics that could do a scene like that in 1963.

Sincerely, Malcolm J. Brenner

RicouBrowning0002

Mr. Ricou Browning
Browning, Ricou & Fran
5221 SW 196th Ln
Southwest Ranches, FL 33332-1111

March 6, 2019

Dear Mr. Browning,

Thank you for responding to my letter of Feb. 20 with your information. Since the story has already been made public by David Jay Brown’s interview with Lilly in his book Mavericks of the Mind, do you mind if publish it, together with my letter inquiring about the incident? Putting them both together will allow me to rebut Lilly’s story.

However, I do mean to question you a little further, if you will indulge me. Please assume I am somewhat familiar with professional movie special effects. How exactly were the shots done of the beached dolphin with the spear sticking out of its side done? It’s thrashing around a lot, as I remember. Was this an early animatronic, a dummy, something like that? Do you remember who made it? I would appreciate knowing.

Finally, I think “a writer of any integrity” would check out the sources of all stories he/she heard and verify them before going public with them. Very often, he will have to explain things to an editor. Although I met Dr. Lilly and his wife Antoinette, attended a couple of his workshops (they mistook me for staff at one!) and interviewed him regarding his work with dolphins, I have no knowledge of where he got the story. However, in the spirit of open inquiry, I thought I’d ask as you are the last person who was there. I hope my boldness hasn’t offended you.

Sincerely yours, Malcolm J. Brenner

RicouBrowning0003

Dear Mr. Browning,

Thank you for your letter of March 20. Nothing you could tell me about Dr. Lilly (and very little about Ivan Tors) would surprise me. Lilly was widely known for both his abuse of dolphins and drugs.

What surprises me more is that you did not answer my question. You have responded satisfactorily about the scene where the dolphin was shot with a spear gun, but as to my question about the dolphin on the beach thrashing around with a spear in it while Luke Halpin and Kathleen Maguire are delivering their lines, no answer. You said, rather vaguely, that the scene was rendered by “special effects,” an all-inclusive term so vague as to be meaningless.

The IMDb data base does not list a special effects person in the crew of “Flipper,” and there is no credit given for special effects. (However, Dr. Lilly is listed as a consultant; TCM lists him as a “scientific advisor.”) It would be uncommon not to list such a credit, wouldn’t it?

Mr. Browning, it’s really a very simple question: If, as you say, a dummy, model or animatronic dolphin was used in the beach scenes, who built it? What person or shop in Hollywood? There were only so many people at the time who could do this and pull it off. The dolphin on the beach looks amazingly realistic to me, so whoever it was must have been good!

Over the years, you’ve made a lot of money off dolphins. I don’t begrudge you that, but I’d like to know the truth of what happened during the making of “Flipper.” I think you owe it to the dolphins. We now know they are creatures who name themselves, who recognize themselves in a mirror, who are arguably non-human persons. The truth is very simple to recognize, there’s no hiding it. You are being evasive and trying to divert me by bringing up Lilly. Please answer the question, and truthfully. Thank you.

Malcolm J. Brenner

 

August 8, 2019

Mr. Browning,

I apologize for not concluding this business sooner, but I have had an illness and also moved. Please note the new address, above, if you choose to reply.

This will be my last letter to you on the making of “Flipper” and whether the stunt dolphin was shot with a spear gun or not. Since you did not respond to my previous letter questioning the veracity of your claim that the shots on the rocks were done with undefined “special effects,” I presume you refuse to speak any further on the subject. Am I right?

Just let me finish by telling you that I bought “Flipper” from Amazon and watched it. And I thought that, at the time, it was very sympathetic to Florida families, what with the red tide, the hurricane and all. I guess it made Ivan Tors, or somebody, a lot of money.

However, regarding the subject of this letter: In the scene where the dolphin is spear gunned, the dolphin is hit on the left side of the peduncle with the spear, and immediately flexes sideways in that direction reflexively, it appears. Then, in the next scene, it changes direction, heading back where it came from and dragging the spear gun behind it. The spear gun lodges in some rocks.

(I regret I can’t capture some frames here for you to view, but I’ve had difficulty with Amazon letting me find the right frames.)

If, as you say, the spear’s pronged head had been replaced with a hypodermic needle, it seems to me it would have bent, broken off or been dislodged from the force of that flexion, not to mention the spear gun getting stuck in the rocks.

I will give you that you probably used a model for the distant scenes of the dolphin on the rocks. They were taken from such a distance I couldn’t tell.

However, when we come to the closeups of Luke Halpin with the dolphin on the rocks, with only apparently seaweed for padding, what I see looks like a very drugged dolphin. It isn’t flopping around, it isn’t trying to get off the rocks, and it sure as hell isn’t a motorized model or the primitive sort animatronics they had in 1963. It breathes most convincingly, just like a real dolphin.

As you know, drugging dolphins is very dangerous, because they have no breathing reflex, something our friend Dr. Lilly discovered at Marineland in the mid-50’s, much to the disgust of veterinarian Forrest Wood.

The titles for the movie, both opening and closing, bear no mention of who might have done the “special effects” you claim were used, or who might have built the prop dolphin.

I can only conclude that not only did you shoot a real dolphin with a spear gun (you have admitted as much yourself, except you say you used a hypodermic needle instead of the pronged head) but that you drugged that dolphin afterward to enable it to withstand the pain while you filmed on the rocks with Halpin. I’d contact Halpin, but I hear he has Alzheimer’s.

As I said, Mr. Browning, this is my last letter. I intend to post all our correspondence to my blog, malcolmbrenner.com/news, to make it available to anybody who wants to read it. I will, of course, include whatever answer you decide to make to this letter.

Not only have you admitted to spear-gunning the dolphin (and I doubt your explanation), but I now also accuse you of drugging that dolphin and failing to remove the spear from it in a timely manner. In short, you knowingly abused and tortured it to get the shots you wanted because you didn’t have the budget to do anything else (hire a special effects man, build a dummy).

Kind of subverts the whole premise of “Flipper,” doesn’t it? When you torture an animal to make a movie about a kid who has fun with animals, what does that say about you as a person? I think it’s hypocritical and debased and sadistic. You objectified a creature that is much like a human being, pretending it didn’t have feelings so you could get your shot and make your movie. And if you did it to them, you can do it to me, or anyone.

Care to convince me otherwise? – Malcolm J. Brenner



(Addendum: I can find no mention in Google’s database of “Eva Rinseya,” the French actress mentioned in Browning’s second letter.  If anybody knows anything about her, please contact me.)

The Sex Therapist Show!

DOLPHIN-SEX

https://drsusanblock.com/dolphin-sex

About six weeks ago I was contacted by someone with the unlikely name of SunShine McWane, an associate producer for the Dr. Susan Block Show, to ask if I wanted to do a live interview. The podcast has been on the air since 1996 (!), and Dr. Suzy, as she is known, has quite a few listeners in the Los Angeles area.

Of course, ever hopeful to evangelize a greater audience (which, I hasten to add, is hardly a scientific way to do my work, but an effective one given I don’t have the numbers) I said yes.

Thus began the odyssey of SunShine (no, I never did ask why) McWane, who was determined to get a marine biologist on the show to discuss dolphin sex. I warned her.

“The producers of ‘Dolphin Lover’ tried, without success,” I recalled. “They couldn’t get the one they wanted, so my dialogue about that ended up on the cutting room floor.”

SunShine assured me that she was hopeful. Two weeks later, she didn’t sound so positive.

“They’re all so hoity-toity,” she complained. “I never imagined it would be this hard to find someone to go on a podcast and discuss the normal way dolphins have sex!”

I told her that, for what it was worth, with bottlenose dolphins there didn’t seem to be a normal way of having sex. It was made up all the time, with whatever props, objects or beings were available. That made her pause for thought.

“Well, we’ve got to prepare a PowerPoint presentation,” she finally sighed, and we left it at that, although where she was going to find a lot of illustrations was an unresolved problem.

Two days later, SunShine was back on the phone. “Can you do the show tonight? We had a cancellation.”

So I did. Who could turn the poor thing down? But of course there was no time to prepare the PowerPoint, so it would just be 90 minutes… of me. And due to the time difference between here and the West Coast, I would be on at 1:30 on a Sunday morning.

So be it. No sacrifice is too great to benefit the cause of Cetacean Liberation!

When I finally got on the air with Dr. Suzy, I found a rather nice, considerate person who tried to balance her concern for animals who might be the victims of sexual abuse with a realization that my story was quite real and told us a lot, not only about dolphins but about humans. She didn’t try to squelch me, like Bubba the Love Sponge, or make fun of my zoophilia, like Howard Stern. For that I was thankful.

And, as the above recording shows, she actually knows a lot about the situation with dolphins… although she prefers bonobos, those cute little apes who have been known after spats to make up by having sex.

You be the judge.

 

 

Falling Off “The Edge”

 

512

If you’ve been following my disappointment with The Edge, a New Zealand radio station-podcast that deceived and defamed me, then you know I made a complaint to the Broadcast Standards Authority, their equivalent of our FCC. Here it is.

Discrimination and Defamation: I believe I am the victim of a set-up. DJ Dom Harvey emailed me on March 28, 2019 (my time, all dates same year) and asked if I would do the interview for what he described as “a radio music show.” I said yes, and the interview took place on Monday, March 31.

I was one minute into my story and describing how the dolphin presented me with her genital slit for rubbing, when Meg had what I can only describe as a total freak-out. (The station has bleeped “genital slit” since they archived the program. This term is used by marine biologists to describe the organ and is values-neutral, but the bleep gives the unwarranted impression that I used a vulgarity or slang.)

Meg then declares “That’s disgusting” several times, and I will grant her her opinion, what I’m complaining about is that the station never gave me the opportunity to present mine. Meg states “This is a non-consensual situation. A dolphin cannot consensually choose to have sex with a human. You absolutely took advantage of that.”

That is a tangible falsehood. Dolly, the dolphin in question, was released into open water several times a day to perform tricks with a riverboat. She had the option to leave many times. Furthermore, dolphins are famous for having homosexual sex, lesbian sex, sex with oars, sex with sharks, and even human beings. The late Dr. Ken Norris, a USC professor of marine biology and an expert on dolphins, said “Dolphins have sex the way human beings shake hands.”

Meg left the studio, ending any chance of answering her accusations, but the interview proceeded with Dom and Randell for about 20 minutes. At no time was there any suggestion that the material would not be used. I expected it to be edited for length and content, but I was not expecting what happened.

Dom emailed me that the show would air “in the next couple of days.” I expected him to inform me when, as all other radio and podcast hosts have done. When I hadn’t heard a date by April 4 I emailed him to inquire. In response, he sent me an edited, 10 minute version of the interview, which I thought was for my approval. I told him it was fine, but there was still no air date from him, so I looked in the program’s archives. There was an April 3 program, but the only part that was used was Meg’s freak out! No other parts of my interview made it to the air! Not only that, but the 10 minute file Dom Harvey sent me was a decoy, intended to placate me and hoping I wouldn’t find out how they butchered my interview.

As a result, I was placed in a very severely negative light. The station maintains that I wasn’t because Dom et al. had discussed the topic on previous shows and had given listeners the “facts” of the situation, in spite of the fact that one of the “facts,” that I was fired from the dolphin show, is a lie he made up. I was never fired because I never worked for them. I was a freelance student photographer given free access to the property to produce photos for a book about dolphins.

The station responds “…we are aware (this) is not the case, but do not think this is material…” In other words, The Edge is OK with their DJs lying, as long as they do it about unpopular people.

This is the most egregious censorship I have ever encountered. I was not only discriminated against, I was lied to and given a fake file that was never intended to be used. And I am being given no recourse by the station.

As the letter I received says, “The Dom, Meg and Randell show is not a news, current affairs or factual programme… Listeners expect light-hearted chat and laughs, but do not expect it to be ‘authoratative or truthful,’ which is the defining characteristic of a factual program according to the commentary on the Standards.”

In other words, it’s OK to lie as long as you call it entertainment and not news.

Had I known the terms of the interview — that my interview would not be treated as news or history but as a basis for the hosts to make up defamatory things about me — I would have not done the interview. My permission was granted under false pretenses, and the falsehoods continued through the broadcast of the show without informing me and Dom giving me the decoy file.

Another producer encountered this while interviewing me, and didn’t use the interview at all: https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/radio/kyle-and-jackie-o-forced-to-dump-interview-with-a-man-who-had-sex-with-a-dolphin/news-story/49fde32f995ab26ed9c83cae7a7b2d18

I do not see why the station didn’t do this, instead of voluntarily defaming me and defaming me.

Balance

The Edge claims that their “hosts criticised behavior which is unlawful in New Zealand under section 143 of the Crimes Act 1961. We consider this was appropriate, and there is no breach of this Standard.”

However, I contend that absolutely no efforts, much less reasonable efforts, were made to present my competing viewpoint. Indeed, Dom Harvey and cohorts appear to have gone out of their way, by a considerable amount, to denigrate and defame me. I do not advocate bestiality or any criminal behavior, just for legal, if not social, tolerance of harmless practices.

Accuracy

MediaWorks writes, “…the Standard applies only to news, current affairs and factual programming, which this was not… Therefore, there cannot be a breach of this Standard.”

Look, you can’t have it both ways: If the story isn’t factual, it can’t be accurate, now can it? They’ve admitted that the version of the story they’re promoting and using as an excuse to stay out of trouble with the BSA isn’t factual, and therefore, it is inaccurate.

Fairness

MediaWorks itself notes, “There are serious issues with how Dom, Meg and Randell dealt with you and your contribution during the Broadcast. In particular the Committee is concerned about the way the interview was edited and broadcast on 3 April, and the information which Dom Harvey provided to you after the interview, which was misleading and incomplete. …However overall we are satisfied that the storyline or (sic) the 3 April were not unfair to you, and fairly reflects your position in relation to your interactions with Dolly.”

Do I need to say that I manifestly disagree?

MediaWorks then proceeds to list all the considerations for what is fair, which I should not need to repeat here. But they refuse to take responsibility for the deception and treachery they used, saying instead “…we do not accept that this impression was caused by the Broadcast. In the Committee’s view, any negative impression was a result of pre-existing perceptions of bestiality and those who engage in it.”

Gentlepersons, what we are dealing with here is a STEREOTYPE of bestiality. I am college-educated, do not drag my knuckles, and have had sex with women hundreds of times, versus once with a dolphin; I have a biological daughter who designs my book’s covers. MediaWorks has chosen to inflame a rampant and potentially dangerous stereotype of the zoophile; indeed, the law banning bestiality in New Zealand, going back almost six decades, makes us second-class citizens, apparently without the rights granted to everyone else.

Why is this, I wonder?

“We consider that prior to the broadcast you were adequately informed of the intended nature of your participation,” MediaWorks writes. When audience feedback proved overwhelmingly negative to this subject, no word was provided to me. “We would have expected them (the producers) to communicate their decision to you,” MediaWorks notes dryly.

Gentlepersons, I know my story is radical and not popular with some people, and I expect them to oppose me. What I am not prepared for is sabotage, and that is what has been executed here. Perhaps the producers shouldn’t have used the interview at all! “A better decision would have been not to play any part of your interview, rather than playing only the portions of the interview in which Meg reacted to your behavior,” MediaWorks writes, admitting they made a serious goof.

However, it is apparently OK to defame me this way, because Dom, Meg, and Randell spent a couple of minutes discussing the subject on a prior show. How can I agree with their hosts, who don’t even bother with the impression of impartiality? The way MediaWorks allowed its hosts to portray me is like letting a member of the Ku Klux Klan deal with the concerns of the Negro.

The audience never got to hear it “from the horse’s mouth,” as we say here in the States. My experiences and words were interpreted by a hostile crew,  ignored and disparaged, and I was lied to and given false information by MediaWorks and its employees.

MediaWorks admits to this! “The Committee does not approve of the way your interview was edited, and we understand why you might feel you had not been given a reasonable opportunity to comment,” they wrote. Do I need to say more?

Their argument is that, because of a label, zoophile, I should have no rights under New Zealand law. May I point out that I am a human being? Does that stand for something in New Zealand?

The presentation of me on the show was grossly, manifestly unfair. Even MediaWorks agrees.

In short, MediaWorks went out its way to abuse me on the April 3, 2019 Dom, Meg and Randell program; violated its own broadcast guidelines; lied to me about it; failed to keep me informed of developments that affected me; and finally, gave me misleading information, the edited interview, which they never intended to use.

I hope you will demonstrate to the people of New Zealand that such unethical conduct doesn’t pay by condemning what MediaWorks has done, what the producers of the Dom, Meg and Randell show have done, and in particular, what Dom, Meg and Randell have done to me.

Thank you for considering the evidence objectively. – Malcolm J. Brenner

 

Y ahora, la versión en español!

Quite some time ago I was contacted by a reporter named Benjamin E. Rosado, who said he was with El Mundo newspaper, Spain. (I mistakenly thought that meant he was writing for El Mundo, but as you shall see, I was wrong. No matter.)

He’d seen an old article about me on the UK site Unilad, which describes itself as “a major youth platform for breaking news and relatable viral content.” What I’m doing there, I’m not sure; I’ve been careful in my dialogues with individuals to make sure they are all 18+. But there’s no accounting for the tastes of editors, except to publishers. And I’m not rich enough to be one of those.

Back to Mr. Rosado. After some fumbling we managed to agree on a date for a Skype interview. His English was pretty good, better than my Spanish at least, and the interview lasted 1.5 hours, which is unusual. He was on a tight deadline so he wrote the story at once and sent it in to the newspaper Cronica, which it turns out is in Argentina! It ran in the Sunday edition as a feature, which figures, since it was what – 10 years old?

And it was a pretty good article despite a couple of errors, like one caused by a comment about time that made Rosado think I was living in Indiana (?). He also had me driving from Washington State to Mississippi to try to rescue Dolly, rather than from Philadelphia, where the car was — but never mind. I have fixed the errors in translation. Despite a certain Latin tendency to melodrama, Mr. Rosado’s article was mostly accurate and, thankfully, non-judgmental. He is to be commended for doing a good job. Muchas graçias, Señor Rosado!

Image-1

TRANSLATION BY GOOGLE

My romance with a dolphin, of which I have written a book.

At first I rejected her, but I ended up falling in love.

The facts are not recent, they happened at the end of 1971, but they have taken on an unexpected meaning under the cover of the new animalistic creed. Let’s start at the end: Malcolm J. Brenner had sex with a dolphin. Then he was 20 years old and the world was not prepared to understand what was going through his mind every time he appeared Dolly, a flirtatious and seductive cetacean from Floridaland. In that natural reserve, now extinct, which occupied several hectares of Sarasota County, tourists could feel the warm embrace of nature. Let’s say, to synthesize, that Brenner was no exception.

It took him more than three decades to gather enough courage to tell his story in a book, Wet Goddess (Diosa Mosada), that in the absence of publishers who were not scandalized with the recreation of underwater scenes he self-published in 2010. Five years later, his romance with Dolly appeared in a short documentary, Dolphin Lover, which caused a sensation at the Slamdance alternative film festival. No one could believe what Brenner confirms to us on the phone from his home in Florida: “We do not practice sex, but in each encounter in the water we made love.” What follows is a confidence, as delusional as tenderly true, of a man marked by an unconventional love affair.

You have to go back to the summer of 1970 to date the crush. At that time, Brenner was a student at New College and accepted the proposal of a writer who prepared a book about Floridaland dolphins. “She asked me to take the pictures to illustrate the volume,” he recalls. “I dreamed of becoming a journalist and I didn’t hesitate for a second.” They rented a boat and toured the reserve until they reached the dolphinarium dock. “I’ve never been so close to a dolphin and I experienced an indescribable feeling.” What Brenner did not imagine is that the Dolly Pizpireta, who celebrated his entry into the water by shaking the fins, would eventually become his lover. “I started rubbing her back and belly, and she seemed to enjoy my touch.”

The courtship lasted several weeks. In the morning Dolly worked as an acrobat in the Floridaland family show in front of crowded crowds of children. She had been trained by the Navy to locate mines and transport spy equipment. Compared to military missions on the open sea, the trick of the hula hoop was a bicoca that provided generous buckets of sardines. In the afternoon, Brenner paid her a visit. “When I got into the water, she approached me without fear and asked for attention. I never fed her, but as time went by, our encounters became more vigorous and intense: when she saw me, she put a belly up to touch her genital cleft.”

At first Brenner resisted. “She reacted to my refusal violently. On one occasion, she tried to masturbate with my foot, but I rejected her proposal,” he confesses to CHRONICLE. “Then she pounced on me and sank me with full weight to the bottom of the dolphinarium. I made it clear that that tactic would not work with me, so she took pains on other types of erotic tricks that ended up conquering me.” As he relates in his book, Dolly was massaging his arms and legs with her fine and pointed teeth. “It was a way of telling me: I am strong but I will not harm you.” By then Brenner had already begun to ask himself some questions. “I suspected there was something different about my sexuality. And, although I was attracted to Dolly, I yearned with all my might to be a normal person.”

That club was not made for him. His parents, devoted followers of Wilhelm Reich and his esoteric theories about orgone, put him in the hands of a psychologist who ended up abusing him. “I don’t know if a zoophile is born or made, but something had to do with the vexations I suffered in the consultation.” His first erection was provided by a dog at the age of 5. “I had gone to the cinema to see The Shaggy Dog and I shuddered to see the effect that the character of Walt Disney caused me.” The defloration came five years later, coinciding with the estrous cycle of Miss Clavel, the family poodle. “She was in heat and I assumed that she wouldn’t mind having sex with me. But I was wrong. It was an embarrassing and unromantic incident. I felt dirty.”

Splashing in the water with Dolly helped him clear his bad conscience. “Zoophilia comes from Greek and means ‘animal lover.’ I am not a goat rapist farmer, but a person capable of experiencing tender and affectionate emotions with animals.” A cloudy morning in 1970 he approached the dolphinarium with the intention of having sex with Dolly. “I tried to penetrate her, but the water was too cold and I was terrified that they could discover us at any moment.”

It took a year for them to consummate their relationship. “I made love with Dolly on my last visit to the park, when their owners decided to sell the land to build homes.”

Brenner took pains in the preliminaries for half an hour. “We practice games and try different positions until finally I managed to break through. Dolly’s vagina was like a sucking valve that caused me a sense of fusion at all levels: emotionally, mentally, physically and even spiritually. I managed to climax almost at the same time that Dolly emitted three groans in increasing cadence, which led me to think that she also reached orgasm. Then she rested her snout on my shoulder and we held each other for several minutes while staring into each other’s eyes.”

Brenner, today single and father of a daughter, fruit of his first marriage, is still excited to remember the outcome of the story. “When I learned that Dolly had died, I drove from Philadelphia to Mississippi to visit the ocean where she spent her last days,” he recalls. “Her coach told me that she had not wanted to eat and that they found her faint at the bottom of one of the tanks. He explained that the dolphin’s breathing is voluntary and that she had let herself die … I think Dolly killed herself for love.” And he says goodbye to the other side of the line: “Please do not describe me as a disturbed or a sexual depraved (person). Talk about a man who fell in love with a non-human person and who only regrets not having spent more time with her.”

– BENJAMÍN G. ROSADO

Flipper Love: From 2015

A hitherto unpublished (here) article from the Miami New Times about Coffee & Celluloid, the two guys who are to to blame for the award-winning documentary “Dolphin Lover.”

Just kidding about the “blame” part, of course. And no, I don’t let anybody forget that “award-winning” status!

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Closer to “The Edge”

dolphinsmile
It’s a dolphin, and it looks like it’s smiling. It always looks like that.

Here it is, fans, my response from the MediaWorks Standards Committee about my complaint.  According to law, I had to file a complaint with MediaWorks first and be declined before I could appeal to the Broadcast Standards Authority, New Zealand’s FCC. Stand by for my response! All italicization is mine, for emphasis.

Dear Malcolm,

The MediaWorks Standards Committee wishes to advise you we have completed our inquiry into your formal complaint about the decision to broadcast on The Edge on 3 April 2019, an edited version of your interview with Dom Harvey, Meg Annear and Clint Randell. You complained that this breached Standards 4, 5, 6 ,8, 9 and 11.

We have not identified any breach of the standards set out in the Code of Broadcasting Practice. Our reasoning is outlined in further detail below.

If you are not happy about this decision you have the right in accordance with Section 7(3) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 to refer your complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority, (P.O. Box 9213, Wellington or bsa.govt.nz) for the purpose of an investigation and review. You have 20 working days after receipt of this email to exercise this right of referral.

The Broadcast

The broadcast on 3 April was the final installment of a storyline which ran over three episodes of the Dom, Meg and Randell show. We have provided copies of all of the audio from these episodes, with this response. However in summary:

On 29 March the hosts first discussed the viral ‘Florida man’ birthday challenge, in which people conduct a Google search with their date of birth and the words “Florida man”, and receive news stories about the behaviour of a ‘Florida man’ on their birthday. ‘Florida man’ is a generic descriptor for a person who commits bizarre or idiotic crimes, popularly associated with—and often reported in—Florida.

Dom had conducted such a search using his birth date 3 February. The first search result was an article about you with the headline “Florida Man who had sex with dolphin says it seduced him”.

Following this discussion, listeners rang in to contribute their own birth dates and “Florida Man” stories.

On 1 April: the hosts discussed how they had recorded an interview with you, and provided some more detail about your story, including that:

  • you had written a book;
  • you had been fired from the aquarium where this occurred (which we are aware is not the case, but do not think is material);
  • you had been interviewed by MediaWorks’ journalist (at the time) David Farrier;
  • you had reviewed the movie “The Shape of Water” in a piece for Huffington Post;
  • the dolphin’s name was Dolly;
  • you had made a documentary about your relationship with Dolly;
  • you didn’t go through the court system and weren’t sent to jail;
  • you claim Dolly was in love with you;
  • you claim Dolly initiated the behaviour and seduced you over time;
  • you claim Dolly was so distraught when you were separated that she took her own life.

Meg made clear her opposition to hearing about bestiality and outlined her counter-view that Dolly was “traumatised because a man had seduced her and she’s a dolphin”. The hosts then sought and received feedback from listeners on whether or not to broadcast the interview.

Dom indicated he would need to clear it with his legal team before broadcasting.

On 3 April the hosts described the “Florida Man” challenge again, played extracts of the previous show and emphasised to listeners not to ‘flip out’ because they had heard the audience feedback and weren’t going to play the full interview.

They talked about Meg’s opposition to this storyline and played the following extract from the interview:

Malcolm: Dolphins’ skin is peeling all the time so they need to have it rubbed. She would roll over on her back and then swim forward until I was rubbing her [bleep].

Meg: This is sick. This is sick. I think you’re sick in the head and this is disgusting. This is a non-consensual situation. A dolphin cannot consensually choose to have sex with a human and you absolutely took advantage of that and I don’t want to be involved with this.

Meg explained she was flustered and furious, and the hosts explained that everyone who got into contact with the show – apart from one listener named Peter – had agreed that the topic was not appropriate for broadcast. Peter was given the opportunity to listen to the entire interview off-air and was then asked for his view of the interview. Peter indicated that he regretted having heard it.

Standard 4 Violence

The Violence Standard states that :

Broadcasters should exercise care and discretion when referencing violence.

We have not identified any content which referenced violence, and no breach of this Standard.

Standard 5 Law and Order

Under the Law and Order Standard:

Broadcasters should observe standards consistent with the maintenance of law and order, taking into account the context of the programme and the wider context of the broadcast.

As the commentary on this Standard makes clear, its purpose is to prevent broadcasts that encourage audiences to break the law, or otherwise promote criminal or serious antisocial activity.

This broadcast did not promote criminal or serious antisocial activity; rather the inverse is the case. The hosts criticised behaviour which is unlawful in New Zealand under section 143 of the Crimes Act 1961. We consider that this was appropriate,and there is no breach of this Standard.

Standard 6 Discrimination and denigration

Under the Discrimination and Denigration Standard:

Broadcasters should not encourage discrimination against, or denigration of, any section of the community on account of sex, sexual orientation, race, age, disability, occupational status or as a consequence of legitimate expression of religion, culture or political belief.

Although elements of the Broadcast – particularly Meg’s comments – were dismissive and even condemnatory of your behaviour, the Commentary on this Standard is clear:

“This standard does not apply to individuals…
The standard applies only to recognised ‘sections of the community’ which is consistent with the grounds for discrimination listed in the Human Rights Act 1993.”

We do not accept that people who have sex with dolphins, or even at the broadest level, zoophiles (i.e. people with a persistent sexual interest in animals) comprise a “section of the community” within the scope of this Standard. Although the Human Rights Act does prohibit discrimination on the grounds of “sexual orientation”, it defines this as “heterosexual, homosexual, lesbian, or bisexual orientation” only (see section 21(1)(m)), and not an orentation towards animals.

This is consistent with the fact that bestiality is illegal in New Zealand. Zoophiles are not protected from discrimination in the Human Rights Act and we do not accept that the Standard applies here, or that the Standard was breached by this Broadcast.

Standard 8 Balance

Under the Balance Standard:

When controversial issues of public importance are discussed in news, current affairs or factual programmes, broadcasters should make reasonable efforts, or give reasonable opportunities, to present significant points of view either in the same programme or in other programmes within the period of current interest.

As summarised in Guideline 8a, for the standard to apply, the subject matter must be an issue ‘of public importance’, it must be ‘controversial’ and it must be ‘discussed’ in a news, current affairs or factual programme.

The Standard does not apply in this case, because at least two of these requirements are not made out:

  • While clearly important to you, this issue is not relevant to the wider New Zealand public and is not ‘of public importance’. Bestiality, and the capacity for animals to consent to intercourse with a human are fringe issues, without any widespread or mainstream importance.
  • The Dom, Meg and Randell show is not a news, current affairs or factual programme. The show is promoted as a place for “the latest entertainment news, celebrity gossip, scandal, competitions and all the funniest gags to spark up your morning”. Listeners expect light-hearted chat and laughs, but do not reasonably expect it to be “authoritative or truthful”, which is the defining characteristic of a factual programme according to the commentary on the Standards.

Standard 9 Accuracy

Under the Accuracy Standard:

Broadcasters should make reasonable efforts to ensure that news, current affairs and factual programming:
• is accurate in relation to all material points of fact
• does not mislead.

The purpose of this standard is to protect the public from being significantly misinformed. However the Standard applies only to news, current affairs and factual programming, which this was not (see para 16b above) . Therefore there cannot be a breach of this Standard.

Standard 11 Fairness

Under the Fairness Standard:

Broadcasters should deal fairly with any person or organisation taking part or referred to in any broadcast.

There are serious issues with how Dom, Meg and Randell dealt with you and your contribution during the Broadcast. In particular the Committee is concerned about the way the interview was edited and broadcast on 3 April, and the information which Dom Harvey provided to you after your interview, which was misleading and incomplete. We have raised these concerns with the show’s producers and presenters and have reminded them of their obligations under this Standard. We have also reviewed our processes to take into account the slightly unusual situation here, where a storyline was modified in response to clear listener feedback.

However overall we are satisfied that the storyline or the 3 April broadcast were not unfair to you, and fairly reflects your position in relation to your interactions with Dolly.

The BSA’s Commentary on this Standard states:

Generally, a consideration of what is fair will take into account the following:

  • whether the audience would have been left with an unduly negative impression of an individual or organisation
  • whether an individual or organisation taking part or referred to in a programme was adequately informed of the nature of their participation
  • whether informed consent was required and/or obtained (guidance on what constitutes ‘informed consent’ is found in Guidance: Privacy at the back of this Codebook)
  • whether the individual or organisation was given a reasonable opportunity to comment, and whether their comments were adequately presented in the programme
  • the nature of the individual, for example, a public figure or organisation familiar with dealing with the media, as opposed to an ordinary person with little or no media experience
  • whether any critical comments were aimed at the participant in their business or professional life, or their personal life
  • the public significance of the broadcast and its value in terms of free speech

The Committee has considered the context around the broadcast:

We accept that the show’s audience would have been left with a negative impression of you based on your behaviour with Dolly. However we do not accept that this impression was caused by the Broadcast. In the Committee’s view, any negative impression was a result of pre-existing perceptions of bestiality and those who engage in it. The Committee is satisfied that there is already widespread distaste for the behaviour you engaged in. The feedback from listeners of the programme supports this view, and again we note that the New Zealand legislature has seen fit to prohibit bestiality with a serious criminal sanction of up to seven years’ imprisonment.

We consider that prior to the broadcast you were adequately informed of the intended nature of your participation. At that time the hosts did plan to broadcast your interview in full or use it for a podcast. It was only after they received overwhelming listener feedback and appreciated that there was no audience appetite for this story, that the hosts and production team reconsidered their approach. We would have expected them to communicate their decision to you. In any event is clear to us that you are experienced in dealing with the media and have told your story before, and we are certain that you would have expected and would have been prepared for opposition or condemnation of your behaviour.

The Committee does not approve of the way your interview was edited, and we understand why you might feel you had not been given a reasonable opportunity to comment. However we agree with producers that in light of the audience’s clear expectations it was not appropriate to play the entire interview. A better decision would have been not to play any part of your interview, rather than playing only the portions of the interview in which Meg reacted to your behaviour. Despite this we are satisfied that your position was adequately presented across the series of broadcasts, and the 3 April Broadcast on its own. In particular your claims that Dolly initiated and consented to this behaviour were presented, as were your claims that Dolly was forlorn by your separation and died of a broken heart, and the fact bestiality was not illegal in Florida at that time or until 2011. We do not accept that listeners were unaware of your position.

Summary

In summary there is no basis to uphold your complaint.

Kind regards,
The MediaWorks Standards Committee

Stay tuned for more exciting news!