The osteopathic medical board also examined the autopsy and ruled that the medical examiner was right to name the injection and infection as the causes of death.

But when Cousens' dead patient came up before the homeopathic board in 2001, the board dismissed the complaint — despite the medical examiner's findings.

The board ruled that, though a patient did die, the doctor did not violate any laws of homeopathic medicine.

Dr. Gary Page
Dr. Gary Page


In his October 11, 2000 court deposition, board member Dr. Garry Gordon says he served as the board's lead investigator into Cousens, but he also worked as an expert witness for Cousens in court.

Because the homeopathic board dismissed the complaint, the medical board in California — where Cousens holds his M.D. — has no way of knowing Cousens injected a patient with animal hormones. It has no way of knowing he treated a growing infection with acupuncture or that a county medical examiner named his treatment as the causes of a patient's death.

The Arizona board has since destroyed audio records from that meeting (technically, it did so legally).

"I think it's a travesty that he's still practicing in Arizona," Howard Levy says from his home in New York. "Those people who are allowing this to continue to happen are just as guilty. The simple fact that he can continue to practice medicine in any way, shape, or form shows that the system is failing the general public."

Today, Cousens still practices at his spa in Patagonia. He says he has "28 cubic feet of scientific literature" that disprove the medical examiner. He says Levy died of an extremely rare syndrome that strikes suddenly and kills in hours. Cousens also says Levy was sick when he arrived at the spa and had the gas gangrene infection long before his cow adrenaline injections.

"Dr. Porterfield, the pathologist, really was neglectful," says Cousens, who also says he thinks he would have won the case in court. (He says his insurance company forced him to settle.) "I believe that if we were in front of the medical board, they would have cleared me just as well."


In 2002, the Florida Department of Health forced Dr. Charles Crosby, a D.O., into the state's impaired-physician program. Crosby had been kissing and groping female patients and staff, according to Florida records.

Crosby was diagnosed with a narcissistic disorder and with Frottuerism, a disorder "characterized by intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving touching or rubbing against the body of a non-consenting person."

The surgeon and pain-management specialist's bedside manner included "touching patients' breasts in a way they found offensive (example, stroking their nipples) . . . kissing patients and staff . . . and using crass and sexual remarks that others found offensive."

Crosby told a psychiatrist he had "developed a special technique of manipulating women's breasts to treat pain in other areas of their body." That psychiatrist diagnosed Crosby with a breast fetish and ruled him unfit to practice medicine.

In June 2003, Crosby was still practicing medicine when he was caught manipulating the breasts and ribs of a woman at a medical trade show in Norfolk, Virginia.

On March 17, 2004, Florida's physician intervention program warned Crosby that it was restricting his practice and might suspend his Florida license.

Two months later, Crosby was standing before Arizona's homeopathic board, petitioning for a homeopathic license. Crosby didn't have enough homeopathic training, but the board voted to give him a license, as long as he took 40 hours of homeopathic courses. The homeopathic board licensed Crosby in Arizona — even as the Florida board was investigating him for groping his female patients.

Two months after Crosby secured his Arizona homeopathic license, the Florida board suspended his license. Crosby apparently never moved to Arizona. He lives and advertises in Florida, and his license is still suspended there. His Arizona homeopathic license is active, though he's on probation, which means Crosby has to submit reports that confirm he's seeing a psychiatrist.

Crosby declined comment for this story.


Dr. Murray Susser, 73, has been practicing alternative medicine for decades. The California Medical Board has taken his license away twice.

The first time was in 1997. According to California Medical Board records, Susser failed to identify some conventional cases of cancer. He failed to diagnose colon cancer in one patient, even though the patient had blood in her stool and complained of rectal bleeding.

For another patient, Susser prescribed natural vitamins in dangerous quantities, including "tannic acid, which is carcinogenic," and testosterone, which boosted blood pressure to unhealthy levels. According to California Medical Board records, Susser failed to see bowel cancer in that patient, too.

Susser's discipline culminated when he advised a patient who was jaundiced and experiencing severe abdominal pain to not go to the emergency room. Paramedics forced the patient to go to the ER, where she was diagnosed with severe liver and pancreas damage, due to the all-natural injections.

After two years of community service at 25 hours a week, Susser's California medical license was restored in 2000. His New York license is still surrendered.

In 2002, Susser secured a homeopathic license in Arizona. He's been practicing in Scottsdale ever since. In 2005, the California Medical Board again took away Susser's license (he's on probation again) for prescribing ketamine, an anesthetic and animal tranquilizer.

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Mrs. Arpaio
Mrs. Arpaio

I wish Joe Arpaio would make an appointment with one of these "doctors", heck I will even pay the bill.


I stayed at Cousens's place. It was cold,and not a place to fast or in my opinion to stay. A few people complained. I went there after reading his book sand meeting Cousens to write about positive points on the place Go to tripadvisor The disillusioned do not complain because of their shame and embarrassment. The locals called it the bush of death. They told me the story of the unfortunate Charles Levy. Now the the Phoenix Times have published it, the facts are true.A Spiritual welcome can cost money as well as health. People can be vulnerable when ill and certain health centers can easily pray on the weak.


SandyB says: Being from where the doctor used to live in Incline Village, Nevada and coming across this article makes my stomach turn.Apparently Arizona's Board of Medical Examiners can't even use a computer. A simple google on just the name ELLIOTT SCHMERLER would bring up enough information to ban him from having a license for any kind of 'practice'.In Incline here, he mamed so many of his patients by doing invasive surgeries of which he is not even legally trained to do. There are several eyebrow lift mistakes with huge scars and many of his patients died or almost died because of his malpractice. Elliott Schmerler WAS a family practitioner. He went to a couple of conferences where they sold the laser cosmetic surgery machines and bought one. Then he brought in Dr Morton Reza Mazaheri, did Betty Fords face in Palm Springs) and used Dr Mzaheri's CA license number to perform invasive surgeries. They both committed negligence on many, many patients- together and separately. Mr Schmerler had 6 counts of malpractice, 6 counts of tax fraud and 6 counts of moral turpitude on his patients, all at once in 2001. It was in our Bonanza paper.It's very easy to google their history. They have both lost their licenses. Mr Schmerler lost all 4 of his licenses and any reciprocity in other states, according to the articles written by staff that attended his senticing to prison in Federal Court in Reno Oct 31, 2002.

If you need more info on this guy, contact archives in both the 'Reno Gazette' and Incline newspaper the 'Bonanza', or just simply google Elliott Schmerler and scroll through the many pages of convictions and court appearances.

Citizen Deux
Citizen Deux

Interesting and powerful article. As a state which permits all manner of "alternaitve" practices and beliefs, this is one whihc has the power (and has) to harm the public. There is no need for a separate board to regulate homeopathic doctors. Setting aside the unproven science behind the pseudo-religious homeopathy itself, there are too many other aspects left to potentially dangerous, untrained individuals to practice on an unsuspecting public.

Many consumers do not realize that complementary and alternative medicine is often in that category because there is no science to support its efficacy! It is understandable for people to seek out treatment to provide relief from chronic ills, untreatable by conventional medicine, but it is the responsibility of the state to make sure those "secondary" paths are not fraught with peril from fraudulent practicioners.

I think you did not go far enough in this article.


Homopathetic "doctors" are one big step below chiroquacks on the big scale of medicine.

You might as well visit a witch doctor.


I'm not going to argue your statement about those doctors you mentioned becoming Homeopathic doctors in Arizona because I have no facts. Speaking of facts, however, your "impression" of homeopathy is completely incorrect. Homeopathic medicine does not believe in injecting people with pollen, etc. It's disappointing that you didn't do your research on it before writing the article. Get your facts straight!

AZ Mom
AZ Mom

No one condones professional misconduct by doctors but I agree with #1, it is long overdue to cover the professional misconduct by lawyers, prosecutorial misconduct by prosecutors in the County Attorney's office and others who in law enforcement, legal, judicial and prison systems, who destroy lives, families and children with reckless abandon and they do it without a conscience or even looking back -- as they "move on" to the next political career move! We want to hear about these stories and ruined lives.


Seems the medicine and technology are becoming more and more advanced. Not sure if any doctor can cure HIV or AIDS. I heard that bisexuals or gays are easily infected with that. But I have some bisexual friends on the site BiLoves, they told me they haven't been like that since there are some experts like Beth to guide them about that.


This article brings to mind --- Do us a public service with a series on lawyers and the damage they have done to thousands of lives and families, women and children. Lawyers destroy lives, too, by not doing their job, as more and more people get thrown into Arizona prisons or are coerced into pleas, losing their right to vote and have a voice, or get a job. The "Pew Prison Report - 1 in 100 adults in Prison", people sitting in jails and prisons in harsh and inhumane conditions. A blind eye is turned on this destruction of life and harm to our society. All those sitting in prison had lawyers.

It's time the lawyers were held to the same standards as a doctor or nurse, and not protected by immunity and Bar associations that do nothing. At least the medical boards take immediate action.

Now that you are exposing the medical professionals for their failures. We hope you do an in depth series on the damage the lawyers, both prosecutors and defense, have caused to the thousands of destroyed lives, families, women, children and the future of our society, as they "move on" to become our judges, elected officials and legislators, writing policies that affect us all.

Those living in the State of Arizona are currently paying a huge price in both in human misery and tax dollars for the damage of a broken legal system that no one is trying to fix. Lawyers here just keep collecting the huge fees, with no accountability. No insurance coverage for the people. Lawyers, with many bar complaints, are still seen in the courtrooms, year after year, still destroying lives. This a serious issue that needs to have sunlight shine harshly on the bad lawyers destroying lives daily. Let's hear those stories!

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