Popular Culture

How To Lose A Chiropractor’s License: Offer Exorcisms And Orgasms


A chiropractor in Iowa won’t be practicing in that state for at least ten years, having surrendered his chiropractic license and getting caught performing exorcisms and trading services for sexual favors. Charles Manuel won’t be aligning spines or spirits for a while — at least, not with a license.

According to the Des Moines Register, Manuel was busted for sleeping with patients, performing rituals to exorcise their demons, and telling patients to stop taking drugs prescribed by their doctors.

Granted most who have kept up on their reading will be aware that chiropractic treatments aren’t always exactly based on sound science (Science-Based Medicine describes, for instance, times when state medical boards have had to move to prevent chiropractors from injecting substances of unproven efficacy into their patients’ joints for imaginary illnesses) but exorcism seems to be taking it to an extreme.

It’s not clear exactly what the exorcisms involved. Practices vary widely, ranging from the Catholic practice which one exorcist described to Catholic magazine as consisting largely of prayer and the occasional psychiatric referral, to some of the extreme cases we’ve seen in which a child, unwillingly subjected, ends up dead. (The exorcist in the most recent well-known case, who killed two toddlers in her exorcism attempts, was found not responsible for her actions due to mental illness at her trial in January, according to WUSA9.)

There’s no indication the former chiropractor had any ordination through any church, and there are no murder charges, so we’re left to assume his rituals fell somewhere in between the two extremes. (As for mental illness, he has agreed that he’ll take a mental health evaluation before he applies for reinstatement of his license — which he isn’t allowed to do for at least ten years.)

His former office mate and medical partner, Bryan Knowlin, told KCCI that no one else in the office was aware of these behaviors while Manuel was working there.

The chiropractor’s license would otherwise have expired and needed renewal in June 2016, according to the Iowa Board of Chiropractic’s order (PDF).

Steph Bazzle
Steph Bazzle is a homeschooling mom who likes to write about justice, equality, and religious issues.

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