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
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
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.
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
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...