Interviewer: Doctor, you wrote a book titled, "A Doctor Goes To Prison".
Cal Streeter, D.O.: I did.
Interviewer: Can you talk a little bit about the story that eventually led to that book?
Cal Streeter, D.O.: Yeah, sure. I've got some good friends down in Mexico. The Contreras' (ph) are my friends. They're still my friends. And I went down there in the late 1970s, early 1980s, to see what they were doing. And they were using nutrition, and that impressed me so much I came back here and started using the same thing they were using. Had the same success they had. And if you had people that had three months to live, and five years later they're still alive, that gets you all sorts of attention. And it got me attention, I'm sure.
Cal Streeter, D.O.: I got a call from a U.S. attorney in 1993 . . .
Interviewer: And you're talking about treating cancer, right?
Cal Streeter, D.O.: Treating cancer? No, treating patients. I never treated cancer. I get on TV or talk to somebody, they say, "You treat cancer?" No, I treat patients. If your body doesn't fight cancer, you're not going to get rid of it. Fools treat disease, okay? That's crazy. I get the body and I treat the body, and get the body to fight, and it does it's own thing. But that's neither here nor there, and in this case, he called me and he said, 'I'm going to get your supplier, and then I'm coming after you." Well, I was very successful at the time, and seeing more patients than I probably should have been seeing, and I just blew it off. I thought it was crazy. I said, "Well, who are you?" And he said, "Find out," and hung up. One day before the statute of limitations ran out on that phone call, they came and arrested me. They told me that. Said, "If we couldn't find you today, we wouldn't have gotten you."
Cal Streeter, D.O.: Now they came to my office, slapped handcuffs on me, and threw me in a paddy wagon and took me off to lockup. They had raided my office in 1996. They came into my office with my patients there, and everybody came in with guns drawn and just acted like fools. Okay? And I told the guy, I said, "Listen, why didn't you just tell me you wanted to talk to me, and I'd have come down and see you." But he's got to be a jackass about the whole thing. No. I was right upfront with him. And before we were done, I said, "Let me ask you something." I said, "If they got into your affairs like they got into mine," . . . the guy that arrested me. I said, "Would you be squeaky clean?" He said, "Well, what do you mean?" I said, "Just what I'm saying. If they get into your affairs, you going to pass the test?" He said, "I hope that never happens."
If the federal government wants you, they're going to find something to get you. They had a couple of things they were pretty sure they could prove in my case. They had about a dozen things that were just frivolous. Okay? Now my judge got 3,000 letters from my patients. He was scared to death. Before they sentenced me, they went back to his chamber. My attorney said, "I've never been back in his chamber." He was shaking. He went back to the judge's chamber, whether that was true or not I don't know. But he went back to the judge's chamber, and when he came back, I said, "What was that all about?" And he said, "Let me tell you." He said, "I've never seen anything like this before in my life." He said, "The judge had the prosecutor turn to me, back there in his chamber, in his office, and he said, "Do you know of any way we can keep from sending the doctor to prison without us going to prison?"
Interviewer: Really? Hmm. So what were you arrested for?
Cal Streeter, D.O.: They arrested me because I was getting cancer patients . . . using unapproved therapy for cancer. Now when they sentenced me, my prosecutor attorney got up and said, "There's absolutely nothing wrong with Dr. Streeter's treatment of patients." He said, "The patients that came to him were terminal by medical standards, and they got exactly what they wanted. He gave them hope."
Interviewer: There weren't patients complaining?
Cal Streeter, D.O.: No.
Interviewer: You didn't have a whole list of patients complaining, saying, "Someone take care of this doctor?"
Cal Streeter, D.O.: No. And I pleaded guilty to the least punishable of the charges to keep my wife and family from being involved.
Cal Streeter, D.O.: Okay. And most of the guys that were in prison, they were in prison because of that. I did interviews on . . . I've got a list as long as your arm: 95% of the people that were in the prison were I was, prison camp, shouldn't have been there. They were there on . . . the people that were guarding them were bigger criminals than they were.
Interviewer: So who came into your office? And describe what that was like the day they raided.
Cal Streeter, D.O.: Oh, that was the FDA. The FDA came in. They were the first ones to come in, but once they got there, they brought the DEA, the IRS, the insurance people. Everybody they could get their hands on. They tore the tile out of my ceilings. I don't know what they were looking for, you know?
Cal Streeter, D.O.: They acted like dummies, really. My girls couldn't even go to the washroom without somebody being with them. It's foolishness. And when it was all said and done, the girl at the front desk asked them why they had to take all the charts. And somebody made this slip and said, "Well, we've got an order for one chart." But they took 3,000 of my charts and threw them in the back of a U-Haul truck, and my patient's never got them back. I had a couple that was in the office that day. And they told me afterwards, we saw this happen in Germany. The only difference between what happened in your office and what happened in Germany is they took the people out and shot them. But they used the same tactics, did the same thing. Treated my patients, my employees exactly the same ways as the Gestapo treated people in Germany. But now, just let me say this: I've got a boy who's opening a practice, July 1st, in Merrillville, Indiana. The Streeter Health and Wellness Center.
Cal Streeter, D.O.: Let's hope history doesn't repeat itself.
Cal Streeter, D.O.: You know, and I've got a grandson already preparing to go into what I'm going into.
Cal Streeter, D.O.: He said, "Grandpa, I want to be a doctor just like you." Well, if my going to prison keeps people from messing with my son and grandson, it was worth it.
Interviewer: How long were you in prison?
Cal Streeter, D.O.: 18 months.
Interviewer: From that, I assume you lost your license? Had it suspended?
Cal Streeter, D.O.: For a little bit.
Cal Streeter, D.O.: When I got back, they wanted to suspend my license. In 2005, I appeared before a judge in my county. I've lived in the same county for 37 years. And it was just a little before Christmas. And before I left his courtroom, he said, "Have a Merry Christmas, Dr. Streeter. I wrote (inaudible[07:02]) the state. He sent a 12 page letter down to the licensing board saying, "Give the doctor his license back, leave him alone." They appealed it to the appellate court. The chief appellate court judge sent a letter down to him, and said to do what the circuit court judge said to do, "Leave the doctor alone and give him his license back." They don't like me very well down there.
Interviewer: So did that happen? When you got your license back, were you able to practice the way you did before?
Cal Streeter, D.O.: Oh, I practiced just like I always did.
Interviewer: And never got in any trouble again?
Cal Streeter, D.O.: They had a prosecuting attorney in El Carte charge me with practicing medicine without a license. When I first got out of prison, the local health food store hired me. And everybody had a sign-up form that said they knew I didn't have a license. The first thing I said, 'Well, I don't have license. All I can do is make recommendations, but I can't treat you." Well, they sent a plant in - the state did this. It was a trooper, a lady trooper. And she said I practiced medicine without a license.
When I got before the licensing board, the DO on the licensing board said, "Look, he didn't do anything that we don't do. And we can do it without a license." He said, "The massage therapist can do what he's doing, and they get by with it." So they sort of had egg on their face, and you ought to have sat in the licensing board room. It was funny. Really, I shouldn't have gotten my license back. The first time we appeared, I thought we were appearing to see whether I'd get my license back or not. And the lady from the State Attorney's office said, "You know you're here to see whether you'll ever practice medicine in Indiana again." I said, "Is that a fact?" And I asked for a postponement. We went back for another hearing and I had an attorney that I trusted before. They put us off and put us off and put us off, until just before quitting time at 10:00 at night; and voted to suspend my license. One of my patients that was in that room was the clerk for the Chief Appellate Court Judge in Indiana.
Cal Streeter, D.O.: She had smoke coming out of her ears. She went back and told her boss what had happened to me. And he said, "Here's the fellow you want to get." So he recommended David McNamer, who's a former prosecuting attorney in Indianapolis. And he was my attorney. He ate them up. When we came back to the licensing board room with the letter - I'm sure he had something to do with the letter - but the head of the licensing board said, "What does this mean?" They'd never gotten a letter like that before. And their attorney said, "Well, I don't know what it means to you, but here's what it means to me." He said, "You either give the doctor his license back, or you plan to spend an extended tour in La Grange County Jail."
During that time, I was being harassed by the courts and El Carte for practicing medicine without a license, and I had a court-appointed attorney. The last time we met, I walked in and said, "What in the world am I doing here?" I said, "I've got a license." I said, "I had a court ordered license for a year," and I said, "Now, I've got a license that I just got off the internet, I just applied and they gave it to me on the internet." "Oh," he said, "We're going to have fun today." He walked in and the prosecutor attorney got up and said, "Now, we've got a serious matter here, your Honor. We've got a man who's been practicing medicine without a license in our county." And my attorney stopped him right there. He said, "Your Honor, does the prosecuting attorney ever do his homework?" And the judge said, "What do you mean?" He said, "The doctor's had a license. A court ordered a license for a year. He just got a license that was off the internet; applied off the internet and got it." The judge said, "Just a minute." He said, "Dr. Streeter, I'm sorry we detained you and put you through all this. You have a wonderful day." And he started in on the prosecutor attorney.
When I left he was chewing him. He said, "My courtroom is full of people and you've got to bring a case like this in front of me?" He said, "Don't you ever do anything like this again! And you do your homework before you come into my courtroom!" So, I mean . . .