Eric Weisman won't stop playing doctor

Accused of practicing medicine without a license, he says he only prescribed good nutrition

"Is there anything that you did to demonstrate scientifically that it was the treatment that you provided that caused these animals to get better?" she asked.

"I provided the treatment. The animals improved," said Weisman. "That's it."

Weisman was forced to admit that the 20 years of experience he touted was all private study and internet research. He counted the anecdotal evidence provided by a couple of dozen strays he'd experimented on at home as "research studies."

Veterinary nutritionist Dr. Julie Churchill says a vegan diet like Weisman's can eventually cause eye lesions and heart valve problems in cats
Jana Freiband
Veterinary nutritionist Dr. Julie Churchill says a vegan diet like Weisman's can eventually cause eye lesions and heart valve problems in cats

In the course of the interviews, he also admitted he'd been offering to provide some of the same supplement techniques and protocols to humans, calling them "tested organ-regeneration procedures with proven results."

Damon asked Weisman what he meant to treat.

"Heart disease, cancer, mostly undocumented arthritic and some undocumented brain disorders," he replied.

"Did you test any of these procedures on humans?" she asked.

"Yes," he answered. "I tested the stroke treatment on my mother and I tested the heart disease procedure on my father."

"And those were the only human subjects?"

"Let's see," he said. "Yeah. Uh-huh."

At the conclusion of his meeting at the Chiropractic Board of Examiners building, Spicer finally turned to Weisman.

"There's a very large likelihood, a very significant likelihood that we're looking here at violations of the Veterinary Practice Act, violation of the Practice Act of the Board of Nutritional Dietetics, violations of the Pharmacy Practice Act, and violations of the Medical Practice Act," Spicer said. "We are suggesting here, we are offering that there be a stipulated or agreed voluntary surrender of your license."

Weisman seemed dumbfounded.

"I definitely, I've definitely made some mistakes here," he stammered. "I'm willing to make some amends."

No dice. Weisman's chiropractic license was revoked. The order read that he "falsely claimed to have 'treatment programs' that could 'cure' certain forms of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, kidney failure, and other conditions. Such advertising preys on vulnerable people and shows that Respondent poses a serious threat to the public."

Weisman says that a head injury prevented him from completing his community service and he never stood a chance. "Professionals are not afforded a fair trial in this state," Weisman explains. "Bureaucrats make the decisions, not the trial judge and jury."

  

EIGHT YEARS AFTER WEISMAN'S license was taken away, Dr. Wunschmann was hard at work examining the dead cat Weisman had dropped off.

Contrary to what Weisman had suggested, the cat's renal system and kidneys were fine. The animal had died of acute pneumonia—it was unable to absorb nutrients from food any longer.

Both the cat's front legs were broken. What Weisman had suggested were cancerous lesions Wunschmann believed were actually scabs from the cat walking on its joints.

Alarmed by the cat's condition, Wunschmann wrote a letter to the Board of Veterinary Medicine. At wit's end, the board director turned the letter over to the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office for criminal charges, along with a 2003 court injunction that the board had filed barring Weisman from performing veterinary services.

On a blustery day, the cops made their move. Officers from the Little Canada police department and the Ramsey County sheriff's department ascended the steep driveway of Weisman's lakefront home and presented a search warrant.

They fanned out through the house, opening drawers and flipping through documents with gloved hands. The team then went to Weisman's dungeon-like warehouse in downtown St. Paul, where they collected boxes of evidence among dollies and crates of Evolution Diet pet food.

Little Canada City Attorney Trevor Oliver pored over the evidence for the next two months.

One of the 29 files contained a fax from Weisman to a woman in Texas.

"I will charge $125.00 for writing a custom program based on your dog's blood work and physical findings," the fax read. "I am offering you a bargain and at least a normal life expectancy for your dog which is a whole lot more then [sic] you have now."

In another file, Weisman told a dog owner, "I am a former human physician," before diagnosing her dog with cancer. The file contained a note from the woman later indicating that the dog actually had a hematoma.

Finally, there were nine files for human patients. One man had contacted Weisman through his television program asking for help treating his cancer. Another asked "Dr. Weisman" for help with swollen knuckles.

A third was St. Paul attorney Eric Lee, who says he just wanted to buy some vitamins and was perplexed when Weisman pulled out a stethoscope to listen to his breathing.

"I'm not sure why he did that," Lee says.

Oliver came back with 58 separate criminal charges: 29 for practice of veterinary medicine without a license, nine of practicing medicine without a license, 17 criminal contempt of court charges, and two misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty against the autopsied cat.

"You don't have to injure somebody to commit this crime," Oliver says. "You just have to try to play doctor. And in this case, Eric clearly tried to play doctor."

  

OVER THE PHONE, ERIC WEISMAN'S voice lacks the joyful tone he uses on his cable network show, although these days a decent amount of his airtime is spent blasting his legal tormenters.

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