Heil Eugene Crum

Dr. Crum, like Ruth Drown and Albert Abrams, was a practitioner of radionics. His radionic device was a little unusual in that light gleaming through tissue paper could be used to locate a letter - a letter which was the first in the name of the patient's disease (like A for arthritis!). The small light bulb was the only part of the device that really worked. The following description of Mr. Crum's experience and practice is taken from the State of Indiana Supreme Court decision, Heil Eugene Crum vs. State Board of Medical Registration and Examination (11/3/1941), which affirmed the cancellation of Crum's medical licenses.

The charge was, in effect, that the appellant used a device of no possible therapeutic value under any recognized system of treatment, and that he knowingly made false and fraudulent claims with respect to it for his own profit and to the injury of others. No licensee of this state may rightfully claim that privilege...

The judgment [to revoke Mr. Crum's chiropractic, naturopathic, and electro-therapeutic state licenses] is amply supported by the evidence. It appears that after attending high school the appellant entered the College of Drugless Physicians in Indianapolis, from which he was graduated at the end of one year with the degrees of Doctor of Naturopathy, Doctor of Electro-Therapeutics, Doctor of Chiropractic, and Doctor of Herbal Materia Medica. The evidence supports the inference that this institution was nothing more than a "diploma mill."

Upon the enactment of the Medical Practice Act of 1927, the appellant was licensed, without examination, under the so-called "grandfather clause" of said act to practice chiropractic, naturopathy, and electro-therapy. The appellant afterwards established an office in the city of Indianapolis and from time to time used numerous kinds of mechanical devices in the practice of his profession.

In 1936, he obtained a United States patent on the machine with which we are presently concerned [Dr. Crum's Co-etherator]. The granting of a patent does not imply that the subject there of will accomplish what is claimed for it or that it has any merit. In view of the overwhelming evidence that the appellant's contraption had no value in the treatment of diseases, it is reasonable to infer that his purpose in obtaining letters patent was to impress his patients with the thought that the device has some measure of governmental approval.

The machine was a small wood box with a number of holes in the front, over which various colors of thin paper were pasted. On the inside was an ordinary light bulb with a cord for making contact with electricity. The bulb could be moved about so that light would penetrate the various paper-covered holes. The box also contained a quantity of disconnected wire, such as is commonly used for radio aerials, and a glass tube filled with ordinary hydrant water. There was a pedal and a dial on the outside of the box, neither of which had any connection with the interior.

Coetherator logo and device

The usual method for treating human ailments was to have the patient moisten a slip of paper with saliva and deposit it through a slot on the top of the box, although it was claimed by the appellant that the same results could be obtained by similar used of the patient's photograph or a specimen of his handwriting. After this was done, the appellant rubbed the pedal with his thumb and talked to the machine, repeating the popular names of diseases and organs of the body. Among the diseases which the appellant claimed to be able to treat and relieve, and in some instances cure, by this method were cancer, blindness, arthritis, nervous disorders, hemorrhoids, abscesses, kidney ailments, stomach disorders, leakage of the heart, skin ailments, ovarian trouble, varicose veins, and tumors. he asserted that he could lengthen or shorten a patient's legs; cause amputated fingers to grow back into place; and fill cavities in teeth, not with a foreign substance but by restoring them to their original condition. He said that it was not necessary for patients to be present or to visit his office, but that he could broadcast treatments to them wherever they might be located.

The appellant's practice was not limited to the treatment of human ills. He also claimed to be able to administer "Financial treatments," by means of which money could be put into the hands of his patients; that he could fertilize fields to a distance of 70 miles; kill dandelions over any particular area; and treat golf greens as far from Indianapolis as Decatur, Illinois, so that clover would turn brown and dry up and give the grass a chance to grow.

The mention of the extravagant claims made by the appellant is sufficient to suggest their untruthfulness and brand them as designedly fraudulent...The above summary of the evidence, taken from the appellant's own brief, was sufficient, in our judgment, to justify the above trial court in finding him guilty of gross immorality...


Great American Quacks Bar

updated 4/13/2013