On April 15, 2002, Laurence G. Perry was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and practicing medicine without a license in North Carolina and sentenced to 12-15 months in jail . Perry was accused of improperly regulating the insulin dosage of a diabetic child who died as a result in 1999. The child’s mother testified that Perry had said that the girl was was not a true diabetic, was addicted to insulin, and should stop taking it, even though she was getting sicker as the dosage decreased . The case illustrates what can happen when our society permits individuals with bogus credentials to practice as health professionals.
When the case surfaced, the local sheriff sent me copies of credentials and other documents in which Perry described his alleged education and training. Perry acquired most of them during the 1980s in connection with a “paper conglomerate” of phony health-related credentials that was launched in Indiana in 1983 as the American Nutritional Medical Association (ANMA)  A few others were obtained independently. Perry’s “VITA” states that he was born in Chicago on June 7, 1953, graduated from Austin High School in Decatur, Alabama in 1972, and obtained an associate (2-year) degree from John C. Calhoun State Community College in 1978 . His subsequent experiences and “credentials” included the following:
- Sherman College of Chiropractic, Spartanburg, SC, 1978-81. [He apparently did not graduate.]
- John F. Kennedy College of Diametrical Arts and Sciences, Gary, IN, 1984-86. [An ANMA diploma mill]
- Registered Nutritional Consultant, ANMA, 1983. [Another bogus ANMA credential]
- Doctor of Nutritional Medicine (NMD) degree, John F. Kennedy College of Diametrical Arts and Sciences, 1986. [Another bogus ANMA credential]
- Board certification in clinical naturopathy, American College of Naturopathy, 1988. [A bogus ANMA board]
- Director, department of nutrition and pain management, Blue Ridge Health Clinic, Blowing Rock, NC. [A clinic run by Gregory E. Caplinger, an impostor who, in 1989, pled guilty to practicing without a license and was sentenced to 12-years in federal prison.]
- Certified Nutritionist, National Board of Diametrical Examiners of the International Alliance of Diametrical Associations, 1988, 1989. [Another bogus ANMA credential]
- “Holistic Alternative Practitioner” certificate, National Association of Arthropathy, 1989. [Another bogus ANMA credential]
- “Certification to practice the science and art of nutritional medicine according to the regulations of the A.M.N.A. and the laws of the State of South Carolina,” 1984. [Another bogus ANMA credential]
- Professional member, ANMA, 1987.
- Certificate of Excellence: Iridology, Nutrition, Wholistic Healing, Bernard Jensen, clinical nutritionist. [Iridology is a pseudoscience based on the notion that virtually all illnesses can be diagnosed by examining the colored portion of the eye that surrounds the pupil. Jensen was a nutritionist only in his own mind.]
- Doctor of Medicine (eclectic/homeopathic) degree, British West Indies Medical College. [A nonexistent Caribbean school created by Gregory Caplinger. Perry’s transcript states that he matriculated on 3/20/86 and graduated one year later after completing 5 “terms” of classes totaling 540 hours of course work, 6 clinical rotations totaling 2000 hours, 3 dissertations (760 hours), 2 research papers, and an oral examination, all presumably while functioning as “Director of the Nutrition, Education and Research Center in Spartanburg, SC.” However, Perry’s “VITA” document states that his degree involved “1500 study hours.”]
- Doctor of Science in “pastoral wellness sciences,” Lafayette University, 1989. [Another bogus ANMA credential]
In 2007, I received a credible e-mail report that Perry was seeing patients in Decator, Alabama and accepting “donations” as payment.
Subsequent Web site postings indicate that he practiced in Atlanta for several years under the name Natural Modern Health and relocated to Hendersonville, North Carolina in 2013 .
- Maxwell T. Naturopath found guilty in diabetic girl’s death, practicing medicine without license. Asheville Citizen-Times, April 15, 2002.
- Maxwell T. Mother recounts daughter’s death at Perry trial. Asheville Citizen-Times, April 9, 2002.
- Barrett S. American Nutrimedical Association. Quackwatch, revised April 16, 2002.
- CV of Laurence Perry, undated, obtained from Polk County, NC Sheriff’s office in 2002.
- Biography: Laurance G. Perry, N.D., Naturopathic (Natural) Health. Natural Modern Health Web site, accessed Aug 18, 2014.
This article was revised on August 19, 2014.