Articles by JCS

Conflict in Chiro Leader

Part One of Eight: Who’s Looking Out for Chiropractors?

 

Conflicts in ChiropracTIC Leadership

 

 

By

JC Smith, MA, DC

 

Introduction

Love him or hate him, Bill O’Reilly is a popular outspoken journalist who understands the duplicity in some leadership quarters. In his latest book, “Who’s Looking Out for You?” he explains the conflicts of interests by some leaders that taint their actions, whether it’s in the church, business or government. Examples abound lately from the Catholic Church sex debacle to corporate cons at Enron, WorldCom, and Martha Stewart, and to incalculable government scandals. Without question, none of them were looking out for their parishioners, stockholders, or mere citizens as much as they were looking out for themselves.

 

We see this same problem in the chiropracTIC arena where some leaders work to shape our profession despite their obvious conflicts of interests, often disguised behind seductive rhetoric, practice management, or camouflaged behind political action. As O’Reilly suggests, the bottom line is obvious: these charlatans are looking out for themselves at our expense, and a case can be made that the same problems exists in this profession.

 

Former Sec. of State Henry Kissinger once defined leadership as “getting people from where they are to where they need to be.” While I like his sentiment, I offer one caveat: It also depends upon where they’re being led and by whom! Obviously not all leaders are people of integrity who have led their constituents to a better place as we’ve seen in Iraq, and that’s the problem we face today in the chiropractic profession: not all chiropracTIC leaders are what they seem on the surface, some have led constituents down an unsavory path and, in many instances, we see the tail waggin’ the dawg within chiropracTIC for personal profit and political power! Most definitely, not all chiropracTIC leaders are looking out for chiropractors as much as they are looking out for themselves.

 

Many chiropracTIC ideologues (faith-based, non-diagnostic, non-therapeutic, VSC only, anti-anything-medical advocates) have caused continual problems for the mainstream DCs:

  • many chiropracTIC political association leaders have blatant conflicts of interest with business interests,
  • some minor chiropracTIC groups politick legislators to limit our scope of practice,
  • some chiropracTIC publishers commit yellow journalism,
  • some chiropracTIC leaders use demagoguery to arouse hatred against rivals,
  • some chiropracTIC vendors offer junk science
  • and a few notable chiropracTIC spokesmen work to thwart the efforts of our mainstream associations for their own profit.

 

Undeniably these are strong allegations, but a case can easily be made that the chiropracTIC sect is amok in ethical problems and remains chiropractic’s biggest obstacle to progress, unity, and prosperity! Remarkably, the reason for this discord has nothing to do with clinical or healthcare science as much as it has to do with mere political demagoguery.

 

According to Webster’s dictionary, a demagogue is a “political leader who gains power and popularity by arousing the emotions and prejudices of people.” This best describes the past and present leadership of the WCA and the ICA, both of which have used inflammatory rhetoric to incite their followers against the evils of medicine and mixing, but behind this demagoguery rests their hidden agenda: their business interests and political aggrandizement. Sadly, too many well-meaning chiropracTORs are being misled by these demagogues, and remain locked into an ideology that has stymied the progress of this profession for years.

 

Bill O’Reilly mentioned similar sentiments in his new book:

“Finally, the war in Iraq proves once again that ideologues can never look out for you. They are too blinded by the light on the right or the left and they will never see things for what they really are. If you become an ideological prisoner, the truth will always elude you because you will never seek it. Instead, you’ll evaluate each issue and problem with an agenda: trying to prove your ideology is correct.”

 

Regrettably, the chiropracTIC sect is beset with demagogues and ideologues still ignoring the inescapable truth that chiropracTIC is not a cure-all while preaching their chirovangelism as infallible with their cute euphemisms, they interfere with our progress on many levels acting as agents of disharmony in order to profit with their financial and business ventures, and because of their self-serving political schemes, their duplicity remains a wedge to unity.

 

Without a doubt, it’s time to expose and eradicate these chiropracTIC scoundrels since they are definitely NOT looking out for anyone but themselves despite their charismatic appeals! My call for reform is not new, however. In 1992 Mr. George McAndrews, the ACA's legal counsel, wrote in the ACA Journal his opinion of chiropractic's image:

"I believe this is the era of image. It is time for the 'dewierdization' of the profession... An aura of 'weirdness' is the necessary consequence of some chiropractic literature, advertisements... a sampling of yellow page ads makes one wonder if chiropractors are financial advisors or health care professionals... it is time to isolate the rascals."

 

Before the ACA House of Delegates on May 13, 1992, Mr. Mark Goodin, the ACA's former legislative consultant, was even harsher in his opinion of chiropractic's dilemma:

"That enemy, of course, is this profession itself - and those elements within it that are unwilling to deal forthrightly with the charlatans, hucksters, profiteers, and wild-eyed 'philosophers' who put their own selfish interest ahead of science and the ethical and professional demands that every true healer must shoulder.

"You know who they are. They exist in virtually every community in which you practice. Their garish yellow page advertisements hawk free exams and x-rays - tests that, lo and behold, discover a variety of subluxation-related ailments which, if not treated immediately, threaten the life of the unwitting patient. They intentionally promote and practice the over-utilization of chiropractic.

"They pass themselves off as 'educators,' but cut corners and counsel their students with messianic appeals on ego and self-promotion. They spend their out-of-practice careers in a cause to stop legitimate reform. They bring nothing of value to the future of this profession - but will resist, oppose, reject, undercut, and nitpick any effort to lift it up through higher accreditation, more comprehensive education, real standards of care and more ethical practice requirements.

"They are the small, but vocal class of professional nay-sayers who continue to enrich themselves, all the while dragging down an entire profession which now stands at the very brink of long-term success or instant failure and continued ignominy... The question that vexes me most is why? Why does this profession continue to tolerate their excesses?"

 

The Money Hum Continues!

Indeed, why has this profession turned a deaf ear to these “charlatans, hucksters, profiteers, and wild-eyed 'philosophers'”? Unquestionably, money has always been a strong motivation for policy decisions within chiropracTIC as we’ve seen in the Life College debacle, the only college in the world whose school song was the infamous Money Hum. In a perverse way, Williams’ Money Hum fueled the dreams of many poverty-stricken students with promises of wealth beyond their wildest imagination. If you’ve never heard Sid Williams do his Money Hum, it sounds very similar in tone to the recent “I Have a Scream” speech by Howard Dean, just with a Southern drawl, ya folla:

“Start imagining yourself ultra, ultra, ultra wealthy. Just see bales and piles of money, just everywhere. Gold or diamonds or whatever it is turns you on… Start down at the bottom and get you a handful of it. In your mind’s eye, say Mmmmmmooonnneeeyyy!!!”

 

This perverse motivation remains very much alive today among political groups like the ICA and WCA that obviously have no ethical qualms about conflicts of interest while in their positions of power, a clear breach of ethics in normal political circles; in fact, it’s against the law. Apparently our chiropracTIC demagogues believe they are above the law and ethics as they unabashedly continue with their schemes to mold and exploit this profession.

 

Unlike the ICA and WCA, the reputable mainstream chiropractic organizations like the WFC and ACA leadership have no one who fronts for other services, seminars, or products in which he/she might have a personal gain, and all ACA members elected or appointed to committees must sign affidavits that they have no conflicts of interest.

 

But the ethics of chiropracTIC leaders are not the same as the ACA or WFC. Take a quick review of the obvious conflict of interest among the recent leadership of the ICA and, more so, the WCA, undoubtedly the most divisive and ill-begotten of all chiropracTIC organizations:

 

  • Dr. Terry Rondberg, WCA self-appointed president-for-life, publisher of The Chiropractic Journal and owner of the CBS malpractice insurance brokerage [www.cbsmalpractice.com]. Both the WCA and CBS have Rondberg, his wife and his son-in-law, Timothy J. Feuling, serving as un-elected permanent officers.  The WCA and certainly the TCJ are nothing more than commercial fronts for the purpose of selling malpractice insurance (and now life insurance) and to disseminate Rondberg’s demagoguery to the profession. In effect, he’s simply a vendor/publisher trying to shape this profession for his own profit and power.
  • Dr. Chris Kent and Dr. Pat Gentempo, WCA board members and co-owners of the Chiropractic Leadership Alliance, co-developers of the Total Solution™ Program, Insight Millennium Subluxation Station™, the On Purpose™ monthly audio subscription service and the consumer marketing and education package for the chiropractor - the "Celebrity Marketing Program". [www.subluxation.com/html/flashintro.htm ]
  • Dr. CJ Mertz, ICA president, owner of Waiting List Practice management group, [www.teamwlp.com/ ], infomercial salesman and, most recently, so-called book publisher: "Celebrity Marketing Program," another marketing ploy to deceive the public. [www.wcanews.com/archives/2003/dec0603c.htm] 
  • Dr. Dan Murphy, ICA vice-president, cast into this position when newly elected Dr. Fred Barge died; he remains a whiplash seminar presenter. [www.danmurphydc.com/seminar.htm ]
  • Dr. Bob Braile, past ICA president and board member, owner of Now You Know, Inc, a chirovangelist-styled boilerplate website [www.nowyouknow.net ], self-nominated for the presidency of Life College, frequent demagogue/writer for chiropracTIC publications, and owner of a $10 clinic mill. According to his website:

“Do you want more vitality, better performance, greater potential, improved function, all this and so much more? Chiropractic releases the power within to give all this and so much more that it’s hard to put into words!”

[It is “hard to put into words” because it’s all a bunch of bunk. This sounds like those tacky emails ads for "improved male performance."  Is it Viagra with a dose of Ecstasy? NO! It’s chiropracTIC!]

  • Dr. Tom Klapp, past COCSA president, past ICA vice president, past Michigan ChiropracTIC Council president, ICA board member, and current Life Board of Trustee, a man who inexplicably has attempted to facilitate bridging the gap between straight and mixer associations, although himself knee-deep in his metaphysical concepts of chiropracTIC that typify the ideology of this fundamentalist sect, as per his own website: [ www.klappchiro.com ]

“Welcome to First Choice Chiropractic. Our philosophy of chiropractic is simple. 

         The human body has within it an inborn or "innate intelligence" that controls and regulates every movement, sensation and function of the body.

[Rather than speaking in neurological terms, he beings with the faith-based explanation that they body is divine]

         This intelligence is communicated from the brain to every cell, tissue, organ, muscle and bone in the body by the nervous system.  

[Technically, it’s the “nerve” system unless you’ve eaten too much sugar or caffeine, then it’s the “nervous” system.]

         Spinal stresses, traumas and injuries cause interferences to the normal function of the nervous system. 

[Here we start with the leap in logic—the Big Hypothetical]

         This nerve interference reduces the ability of the body to fully express its innate intelligence. The result is pain, symptoms and loss of health. 

[But isn’t pain the appropriate expression of the nerve system to injury?]

         Chiropractic removes this nerve interference so the innate intelligence can be expressed 100% and your body can heal itself. 

[Perhaps he uses an Innatometer to measure this leap in logic?]

         The result of a nervous system free of interference is that you can live a long, healthy, vital, vibrant, pain-free life. 

[Apparently he ignores the other co-factors in health, such as nutrition, genetics, free radicals, hormones, exercise, PMA, to name but a few. Indeed, I do wish it were that simple to be healthy, but there’s more to being well than a pop and a prayer to Innate.]

“The First Choice Chiropractic Guarantee: if you aren't happy with your results, you don't pay for your care*.”

 

A money-back guarantee! What else could you ask for? A free initial visit, you say? Well, you got it too because Klapp’s business card also mentions: “Free Initial Visit includes (new patients only) Consultation, Adjustment, Examination, X-Rays (if necessary).”  It would not be hard to believe that as a Life grad his office also partakes in NOOPE, TWIP and other discounts to entice patient compliance. After all, these chirovangelists are committed to “do anything to turn people on to chiropracTIC care,” including possible insurance fraud (NOOPE), bait-and-switch patient recruitment (free exams), predatory pricing, and excessive treatment plans (or until their insurance ends).

 

The scrolling banner on his website also lists the many wonderful benefits of chiropracTIC care, few of which are supported by fact or evidence, but nonetheless typical of the hyperbole we see emanating from the chiropracTIC sect within this profession.

 

“Benefits of chiropractic: [Notice, no mention of helping mainly NMS disorders, just everything else is implied]

         Relieves pain and many symptoms [I thot “principled” chiropracTORs weren’t concerned about pain and symptoms?]

         Restores normal function [Normal function of what? And where’s the proof other than for NMS disorders?]

         Optimizes health [Regardless of condition and financial ability to pay, ya folla?]

         Extends life [Geez, it’s really getting deep in here now]

         Improves immunity [Why take flu shots when an adjustment will achieve the same, and chiropracTORs never get sick, right?]

         Slows the aging process [That’s why chiropracTORs never die, eh?]

         Makes you feel great [I wonder how great Sid Williams is feeling now?]

         Corrects the cause rather than treats symptoms [Does this suggest an adjustment will cure you of arteriosclerosis, cancer, diabetes, obesity? And what’s wrong with treating symptoms with pain management methods?]

         Improves overall health [Ahh, the chiropracTIC cure-all, and all without proper nutrition, exercise, supplements, PMA and a good gene pool, eh?]

         More energy [Why work out when an adjustment will do the same?]

         Natural [Does this include Activator, BEST, Network, SOT, AK too?]

         Painless [Depends upon who does the adjustment]

         Extremely safe [One of few true statements, finally!]

         Allows better sleep [Who can sleep when you have so much “more energy” or a “burning desire”?]

         Relieves stress and tension [I wonder what Williams’ stress level is now?]

         Improves posture [Even without CBP? How can that be?]

         Adds years to life and life to years! [The epitome of chiropracTIC hyperbole—apparently Fred Barge and Ian Grassam missed out on this, eh?]

 

Not only does Dr. Klapp have his hands in many political and academic pots, he also offers to the profession his practice management seminar listed on the COCSA website [www.cocsa.org/pubs/resources/88_739_3320.cfm ], which appears to have as much hyperbole as his clinic’s website:

“B.O.L.T. (Benefit-Oriented, Long-Term) Chiropractic Seminar

Your T.E.A.M. will learn:

        The “Greatest Management Principle” in the world!

        Increase your income 25% in the next year without any more new patients than you have now

        How to get more new patients without effort (yes, without effort!)

        How raising your fees 15% (at 75% overhead) will increase your profit 60%!

        How undervaluing your services by only $5 per visit could cost you MILLIONS!

        How raising your retention from 15 to 50 visits increases your net profit 500%!”

 

Many chiropracTORs may be unfazed by such promises of great wealth since they are accustomed to such exaggeration from previous chirovangelists like Parker, Williams, and Gold. But to non-sycophants, this drumbeat to success appears blatantly unprofessional and suspicious. Imagine if an advertisement in The New England Journal of Medicine were similar, the objections would be enormous. But, within chiropracTIC circles, nothing is said because it has been par for the course for too long. In fact, even the tacky Money Hum was never criticized by chiropracTORs who eagerly yearned for their own bucket of gold and money, ya folla?

 

These obvious conflicts of interest among the WCA, ICA and chiropracTIC leadership calls into question the integrity of those organizations and their leaders—none have stopped doing business or put their holdings into escrow accounts as is typically done by our elected officials to avoid any accusations of conflict of interest. The facts clearly show that these chiropracTIC leaders do have direct links to chiropracTIC services/products/seminars that will undoubtedly affect their decisions, if the truth be known. Moreover it simply appears unseemly, but admittedly, no one has ever accused chiropracTORs of being highly ethical professionals if the public polls ring true.

 

Faith v. Evidence

Indeed, it’s very difficult to discuss objectively chiropractic issues when the chirovangelists wrap themselves in their religious banner, convincing themselves that they alone are carrying on the Big Idea of “principled chiropracTIC” with the simplistic attitude of  “it works.” This conflict between dogma and valid research has hindered the growth of our scientific research as well as the public’s understanding of our professional scope.

 

As Dr. William E. Morgan, Capitol Chiropractor and head DC at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda concluded:

“What gets me mad is that none of the true science is ever broadcast.  It is either tainted by the medical community or by the fringe element of our great profession.” (Private communication, Jan 22, 2004)

Mr. George McAndrews also remarked about the problem of “principled” chiropracTIC interfering with modern chiropractic science and research:

“Cute phrases like ‘Above-down, inside-out’ or  ‘The Big Idea,’ may be soul-stirring at chiropractic conclaves; they are meaningless to economic experts (or even to HMOs) who must deal with the real problems of health care costs. It is the demigods who fear real research and fear advances in real knowledge who threaten your philosophy and your profession. Fact has a way of squeezing myth. Sometimes what is credible is not true.

"Beliefs die hard. Again, I believe that research can result in an explosion of need for the services of chiropractors. I believe that certain headaches, ulcers, respiratory problems, allergies, etc. may prove to be singularly responsive to correction of the so-called subluxation complex. It will be a real shame if the fringe elements and the demigods in the profession destroy any hope of survivability by putting chiropractic in a death grip while the American Chiropractic Association and other research oriented bodies [NCMIC, FCER] attempt to deal with the real problems of the 1990’s--research and active representation before government and third party payers.” (McAndrews George. Private communication. March 24, 1992)

 

Undoubtedly, faith-based chiropracTIC remains an obstacle to evidence-based chiropractic in both research and public relations. Regrettably, this ol’ time BJ chirovangelism isn’t the exclusive drivel of the ICA and WCA:

 "Each of us is made up of energy fields -- biologic energy.  When this energy field is interrupted, damaged or lost, we experience sickness or hurt.  Chiropractic adjustments can cause a re-integration of this biologic field.  This re-integration may not occur unless chiropractors and their staff initially have a well-developed, viable bilateral relationship characterized by love. With a loving service relationship, the doctor's adjusting is directed by the patient's energy field, so that the patient's re-integration can occur and healing take place." -- Karl Parker

 

Here we go again, but this time it’s from Parker, the family of chiro-gurus who’ve taught thousands of DCs for generations. Are we selling love now as the cornerstone of our care? Although the Parkers have made millions selling this syrupy chirovangelism, does Karl Parker really think college educated yuppies relate to this? I doubt college educated chiro students relate to this drivel any longer.

 

Sid Williams criticized the scientific methodology years ago when he reportedly said,

“These conspirators would convince us that the ‘scientific approach’ to chiropractic is the only approach acceptable to the public community, the professionals, and the legislatures.”

 

How can any supposed college president in a health care profession ridicule the scientific approach in this day and age? It’s simply mind-boggling, to say the least, and completely absurd at its worst to those of us who subscribe to science and higher education. It also shows the faith-based, anti-educated attitude of this academic imposter who visited Oral Roberts University in the 1970s to learn how a faith-based healthcare school operates.

 

Coincidentally or providentially, the Summer 2001 edition of Streams from the Fountainhead, contained an interview with Guy Riekeman titled “What’s Right & Wrong with Chiropractic” that explains the Palmer justification for their attempt to squash the FSU effort in Florida:

 “I’ve written for years that the number one threat to chiropractic is that a major public school of medicine would open a chiropractic school. I’m not opposed to public funding of chiropractic education as long as that education teaches our philosophy as well as our clinical procedures. They are not ready to do this yet. Florida State University is evidently the first to seriously consider opening a school of chiropractic medicine. The million-dollar study they commissioned was extremely positive about chiropractic, but nowhere in the 200-page report did it mention the neurological connection to patient care. It was pure orthopedics. This is a serious threat to the future of our profession. As Jesse Jackson said, ‘If they can define you, they can confine you.’ We must resist this.”

 

First of all, anyone who quotes the infamous race-baiter and con-artist Jesse Jackson makes me wonder about his own credibility. Secondly, if Riekeman wants to quote the MGT report to support his position, let’s hear what else this report had to say about this issue. Indeed, the MGT Executive Summary made this point perfectly clear for those who actually read the entire document.

“A chiropractic program at a major university such as FSU can both preserve the unique contributions of chiropractic health care principles and the culture of higher education and research to better serve the needs of graduate chiropractors and their patients.”

 

Although many have criticized Riekeman for his interference in the FSU project, some super-straights actually applauded him, such as Tom Klapp:

“In my opinion, a publicly-financed "College of Chiropractic Medicine" would have been disastrous for the future of the profession. The mentality that Palmer should have stepped aside and let the State of Florida somehow legitimize our profession by stamping their imprimatur (via FSU), couldn't be more damaging to the long-term success of our profession. The FSU "chiro medicine" school would have simply been a "Trojan horse" to expand chiropractic into medical practice…

And goodbye chiropractic if the forces of "chiropractic medicine" prevail.
Thank you Dr. Riekeman, you are a chiropractic hero.”

 

At the center of this issue is the neurological component that Riekeman commented on when he said, “The million-dollar study they commissioned was extremely positive about chiropractic, but nowhere in the 200-page report did it mention the neurological connection to patient care. It was pure orthopedics.” Of course, he is alluding to the Big Hypothetical claim that chiropractic can help visceral disorders as well as common spinal pain problems. While most chiropracTORs proclaim this as gospel, many others find this claim a nice idea, but unsubstantiated, and it is the center of the controversy surrounding chiropractic and medicine that research must answer.

 

The MGT Executive Summary speaks of chiropractic’s effectiveness with these non-spinal disorders that the chirovangelists claim to help:

  • “The effectiveness of chiropractic care for nonspine-related disorders has not been proven by research, although the research in these areas has been sparse.
  • “Very little research has been conducted on the wellness/preventive effectiveness of chiropractic care. Thus, no evidence currently exists either supporting or denying the hypothesis that chiropractic care improves the overall health of an individual.”

If Riekeman, Williams, and Klapp, among the leading chiropracTIC spokesmen, assert that chiropractic care is beneficial for nonspine neurological problems as their incessant hyperbole tells us, just where’s their actual proof—the RCTs commonly done? Since there is none, they rely upon empirical or antidotal evidence. If the BJ Palmer Research Center at Davenport and the Sid Williams Research Center at his diploma mill were so effective, just where’s the proof of their strong belief that Innate cures all? The world is still waiting for these chirovangelists to prove their Big Hypothetical after 109 years. Instead of proof, all we hear is ol' time BJ rhetoric and ridicule whenever “conspirators” have the gall to ask for proof for their contentions. Sadly, only in chiropracTIC does this mindset exist.

 

ChiropracTIC Cures Pimples!

Not only are these chiropracTIC leaders in obvious denial, but CJ Mertz has also come under question—ethical and legal—about his infomercial, “Half Hour to Health,” in which Mertz makes many fantastic claims of cure, including cancer, diabetes and even pimples, and he parades around on stage sounding more like an evangelical faith healer than a healthcare provider.

 

Mertz appears as a Tony Robbins-wannabe wearing a headset microphone as he danced around the stage reciting every chiropracTIC cliché ever spoken, such as, “The body needs no help, just no interference,” “The power that made the body will heal the body,” ADIO, and “a body without nerve interference works better than one with nerve interference.” While this chirovangelism may attract a few sympathetic evangelical patients who are attracted to this hype, it probably also repels the vast majority of rational folks who are more shocked than impressed by this chiropracTIC circus ring leader.

 

This video also contains tacky ads of his clients inserted offering a “$200 exam for only $35 if you call now.” While Mertz’s hucksterism and give-away message were an obvious embarrassment, one ‘thot’ in a prospective patient’s mind that Mertz obviously fails to realize is simply, “If chiropractic is so great, why do you have to give it away?”

 

Mertz’s outlandish rhetoric may fail to upset those chiropracTORs who agree with his chirovangelism, but it has drawn the ire of others, such as Dr. Keith Charlton, past president of the Queensland Branch of the Australian Chiropractic Association, who is also questioning the unproven claims of cure by Mertz as well as the apparent avoidance of Australian taxes by Mertz’s organization:

 “I'm eager to believe that Dr Mertz knows something I do not: that chiropractic care can help with cancer and diabetes and many other conditions, as his video sold in Australia infers (I have copy), and that there are many scientific perspectives he can offer me that I do not know from my own scientific and research background (it might be the case, I guess). Given that he claims to be so interested in world public health, I hope he does not decide to keep his ideas and more importantly, his evidence, secret. So far, he has. No higher degree, no research record, scientific publications, no symposia, no intellectual probity. Yet he makes claims and he's elected President of ICA. Hmmm.

 “I'm also keen to understand his unique Australian business model in which he apparently does not need to charge or remit to the Australian Tax Office the Goods and Services Tax which all other Australian businesses must. That alone will interest more people in Australia than you can imagine. If he has an answer to this one, I'm really impressed.

 

“On the other hand, every scam merchant in history has begun like him. I hope Dr Mertz is not a scam merchant, if only because the ICA has thus cast themselves onto the brink of the abyss by electing him President. If he does not pass muster, the ICA will forever be damned by what will naturally become known as a willingly embraced entirely unnatural disaster. And the ICA will justly deserve oblivion for supporting unconscionable quackery. But if he is misjudged, he will soon provide "up-front", at least the tiniest evidence that I, and others, are misjudging him. He would then have a scientific support base for his claims. And I and many others much more important than me (not hard to find) would help. The Australian Tax issue will be harder (I wish him luck on this one). Or I, and I guarantee you, the world, will conclude otherwise. No more free kicks. For Dr Mertz OR the ICA. Is it crunch time?

 

“In a week from now, if Dr Mertz does not justify his amazing video and other claims, and business practices as he promised he would, I will conclude that he is indeed a quack public health risk, a liar and a tax evader. I will, with no further notice, advise every Australian, US and other foreign government agency of relevance of his identity and activities, including chiropractic and academic and professional associations and chiropractic boards and beyond.

 

“I think he's had about enough time and opportunity, don't you? He's never been a shrinking violet before: what's holding him back?”

       Keith Charlton DC Mphil

 

Although American DCs are accustomed to Mertz’s chiropracTIC nonsense, it’s refreshing to see that Dr. Charlton is holding his feet to the fire. It’s doubtful Mertz can find supportive evidence for his many chiropracTIC claims and, if he has avoided Australian taxes, Mertz may find himself in an inescapable legal situation not only Down Under, but hopefully other state associations will call him on the carpet to prove his outlandish statements. Indeed, if this profession doesn’t have the wherewithal to hold him accountable, perhaps the legal system will.

 

Not only has Mertz been a fraud on his infomercial, he now has become a literary fraud by promoting a ghost written book to chiropracTORs who want to be known as “wellness” doctors. Read for yourself an introduction to his latest scam—becoming your own chiropracTIC author!

“Did You Know It’s Possible to Become a Best Selling Author and Increase Your New Patients in Less than 30 Days? Imagine becoming the Celebrity Wellness Expert in your town, increasing your practice and helping to make subluxation a household word all in one dynamic step. ICA President Dr. CJ Mertz strongly believes chiropractors should become published authors. He says, The World’s Best Kept Health Secret…Finally Revealed, is slated to be the first best selling book ever written by Chiropractors.  Now you can write your own chapter or use a professional ghostwriter to write it in your own words. Chiropractors are on the leading edge healthcare and wellness. No other profession offers more unique and valuable services to humanity than chiropractic. Dr. CJ Mertz, who inspired the vision of the best seller program comments, ‘No one knows what the exact definition of wellness is…until now.  No one knows exactly who will define wellness, although pharmaceutical companies are trying. I’m excited about Chiropractors being known by the mainstream as the accepted professionals who are leading the Wellness Revolution.’”

 

Obviously when our chiropracTIC leaders make unproven claims of cure, when they have blatant conflicts of interests, when they politick against the interests of mainstream DCs, when they write phony books to deceive the public, the entire profession has a cancer that must be eradicated before the entire body of chiropractic dies. For too long we’ve turned our cheeks as we watch their foolhardiness. For too long we’ve turned a blind eye on their shenanigans, and for too long we’ve lived with their embarrassing hyperbole that has tainted our collective image.

 

It’s clear now that they are only looking out for themselves as they preach their demagoguery as self-serving vendors seeking to mold this profession to their profitable designs.

 

In Part Two I will present the evidence that chiropracTIC philosophy may be the biggest source of dis-ease in this profession.

 

Part Two of Eight: Who’s Looking Out for Chiropractors?

 

The Big $iduction

 

At the 1998 ACA Convention in beautiful Vancouver, B.C., George McAndrews recounted the more memorable instances from the Wilk v. AMA antitrust case, and noted his frustration with the chiropractic profession’s inability to organize itself into a unified front and to improve its own image with raising ethics. His analysis was rather simple:

“5 percent of you are cultists, 5 percent are freaks, and the rest of you, who offer care that uplifts the quality of life for millions of Americans, keep your mouths shut!” 

 

While the audience nervously laughed at Mr. McAndrews’ comment, he did hit a chord nonetheless. Chiropractic does have a large silent majority who belong to the NCA, the “No Chiropractic Association,” that seems content to tolerate the fringe elements and to let other people fight their political battles, allthewhile wondering why our situation doesn’t seem to be improving. Sadly, when two-thirds of DCs are scabs, something is amiss among our brethren’s perception of our associations.

 

“5 percent of you are cultists, 5 percent are freaks,

and the rest of you... keep your mouths shut!”

--George McAndrews, Esq.

One of the goals of the AMA’s anti-chiropractic policy was to keep our profession split and, oddly, some chiropractors are actively working to achieve this goal for them. The obstructionist and self-serving policies of the ICA and the WCA have been most disturbing in this regard.

 

  

Chiropractic’s Civil War

Not only have self-serving chiropracTIC leaders/vendors/publishers molded this profession for their own profit, but many also worked arduously to keep the factionalism alive despite the political problems that creates for all of us. Let me give you a little history lesson to illustrate how this mess we have today actually developed.

 

The anti-unity effort against the ICA/ACA merger in the 1980s was the most obvious example of factionalism and demagoguery within chiropractic. The merger effort started shortly after Dr. Michael Pedigo was elected ICA president in 1985. The ICA clan of Sid Williams, Gerry Clum, and the DE dudes from Michigan like Jim Gregg used lies and distortions to scare the ICA membership. Twice the ICA took it to the membership for a vote and both times more than 50% voted in favor, but it required a 2/3rds approval to pass. The leadership of both ICA and ACA met many times over his term as president, and they created ten draft documents before getting a document that both ACA and ICA Boards approved to send to their respective voting bodies.

 

But any merger effort was doomed to fail as long as Williams was in power. Unbeknownst to many of the younger DCs who weren’t in the profession in the early 1980s, Sid Williams rose to power in a very unique way—a literal political coup, if you will. The ICA election was held in Atlanta in 1982, so Williams cleverly arranged to have his DE meeting at the same time in the same hotel. Allegedly, he even offered to fly for free his many supporters from Michigan in exchange for their votes, adding to his throng of DE Dudes, Life faculty members (who were forced to join the ICA or else lose their jobs), and recent grads mesmerized by Williams. As luck would have it, when it came time to pay the Michigan DE cronies for their travel expenses, Williams reneged on his deal and stuck them all with the bill.

 

Of course, with his many supporters summoned there to vote, combined with the requirement at that time that ICA members actually had to be present on site to vote, he won the election in his own backyard. Afterwards the ICA delegates voted to allow mail voting to avoid similar sham elections in the future, but the damage was already done as Williams walked away with his presidential election, much to the chagrin of moderate ICA members.

 

What is not known is that many good ICA moderates quit the ICA after Williams gained control. Drs. Joe Mazzarelli and Jerry McAndrews, ICA Board members, asked those in the Representatives Assembly who did not feel comfortable in the ICA with the new Williams administration to simply leave and several hundred did so.  The purge of intellectual and political moderates had begun, much to the delight of Williams.

 

After Dr. McAndrews went to PCC as its president, later some 53 officers and former officers, including him, left and joined the ACA in protest of the new ICA leadership, knowing full well the ultra-conservative leanings of Williams were opposed to the progressive agenda many felt chiropractic should be taking, such as unity.

 

When Williams’ reign as president ended in 1985, he remained in control for the next ten years as Chairman of the ICA. Much to Williams’ surprise, the next ICA election for president saw Dr. Mike Pedigo upset Williams’ choice, Dr. Bob Hulsebus, to succeed him. Pedigo even won the state of Georgia by the slim margin of just four votes, showing the growing dissatisfaction of Williams’ leadership in his home state. Williams also had created havoc in Georgia by starting his own association, the GCC, rather than follow the lead of the GCA, and he encouraged his Life grads to do in many states to create a further weakening of our overall political strength. In fact, Williams' legacy will include not only his death of Life, but his role as this profession's leading obstructionist to unity and political progress.

 

Dr. Williams actively politicked against Dr. Pedigo before and during his reign as president of the ICA because Pedigo, a progressive moderate, made it known that he wanted a merger between the ICA and ACA to strengthen our profession’s political strength with one voice on Capitol Hill as well as to consolidate duplicated administrative and overhead expenses. Apparently political pragmatism had no place in Williams’ vision for the ICA if his continued resistance to unity was any indication.

 

“It failed pure and simply because of fear of the unknown,” said one former player who wishes to remain anonymous. “Dr. Williams and his friends like Gerry Clum and Jimmie Gregg spread lies about what merger would mean. They ran ads with big pictures of hypodermic needles saying ‘if merger happens it won't be long until we would be doing drugs and surgery.’ This misinformation occurred in spite of the fact that the merger document clearly stated that drugs and surgery were not a part of chiropractic.”

 

Some observers believe that eventually over 4,000 members left after Williams’ coup and his efforts in the failure of the merger issue. Not only did this purge see many moderate ICA members leave to join the ACA, but after the merger failure, Williams’ attack dog, Bob Braille, sent a hate-filled letter to the ICA membership demanding that Mike Pedigo be banned from the ICA forever for his effort to merge the associations. As most know, Braille was later appointed as the ICA president and recently recommended himself as a replacement for Williams as the president of Life, while Dr. Pedigo later became president of the ACA, the only man to ever be president of both major chiropractic associations!

 

The far left stance by the ICA has also caused many moderate chiropracTORs to switch parties to the ACA or the NCA, not unlike the recent migration we’ve seen in Democratic and Republican parties as Sen. Zell Miller noted in his new book, “A National Party No More.” As Miller wrote, his conservative policies never changed, but the Democratic Party led by Nancy Pelosi, Hillary/Bill Clinton, and other liberal extremists took that party to the edge, leaving moderates like him with no home any longer in the Democratic Party. Hence, the rise of Democrats for Bush evolved from this faction seeking a party that reflected their moderate position.

 

The same can now be said of the moderate chiropracTORs who have joined the ACA; in fact, there are probably more “straight” chiropractors in the ACA than in both the ICA and WCA. These are practitioners who may only adjust the spine to help patients, but they don’t subscribe to chirovangelism and they do understand that the ACA has leadership sans conflicts of interest. Indeed, not all straights are radicals too, just as all Lifers were not $idiots!

 

 

The Straight Nonsense Continues

Most ironically, aside from obstructing unity, the ICA and now the WCA have played right into the hands of our medical opponents to keep our profession split politically, illustrating once again chiropractic’s unique ability to round up the wagons and shoot inward! Oddly, it only takes a few outspoken demagogues to create this chaos, especially when they publish national tabloids filled with their propaganda.

 

Apparently it has become an acceptable tradition within chiropracTIC circles to have charismatic leaders who espouse chirovangelism as they operate businesses directly benefited by their positions of power. They openly commit the classic bait and switch: the bait is a more financially successful career for their disciples, and then the switch is to enhance their own profit.

 

We see this in their for-profit seminars where they wrap themselves in the banner of altruism proclaiming a “Burning Desire” to practice chiropracTIC to save the world from dis-ease, we read of the non-therapeutic “Principled ChiropracTOR” who refuses to treat pain or symptoms (as if that’s virtuous), some chirovangelists profess a “Lasting Purpose” to empower the vacuous lives of their disciples, or we still hear the proverbial proponents of the “Big Idea” who practice to correct subluxATIONS via spinal adjustments only—the great enigmatic cure-all, or as CJ Mertz suggests, “The World’s Best Kept Health Secret…Finally Revealed.”

 

The seduction is always the same: greater wealth and self-importance via the 33 Principles of ChiropracTIC despite the lack of research or clinical evidence to prove their cure-all hyperbole—it’s simply their “philosophy,” and that’s reason enuf. No need to expand our research base since chiropracTIC works, no need for expanded clinical methods for spinal care, nor is there a need for integrative healthcare with medicine since “chiropractic will cure the world of anything except rigor mortis, ya folla?”

 

As the late Dr. Fred Barge once said, “Is there a true chiropractic philosophy? Yes, and there are no alternatives, enuf sed.” While he may pride himself on his dedication to BJ’s cause celebre, his dedication also reveals his dogma. Indeed, the Big Idea more likely resembles the Big Hypothetical; it is the basis of the bio-theosophy that continues to divide this profession and makes it vulnerable to those chiropracTIC leaders who preach demagoguery with the zeal of a faith healer!

 

Allegedly, it was BJ’s inability to understand the complexity of the ANS that led him instead to create his bio-theosophical explanations of physiology with terms like Innate Intelligence, ADIO, and other simplistic euphemisms that his anti-Educated Mindset followers and students could understand. It was this emphasis on chirovangelism that led to JFA Howard and other “Educated” DCs to leave PCC in 1906 to begin The National College of Chiropractic—the rational branch of the chiropractic tree from which many fine chiro colleges have evolved along a more scientific clinical thread.

 

The net effect upon this profession by the chiropracTIC fundamentalists who oppose higher educational standards and increasing our research base is that it forces this profession to march to the slowest step rather than progressing into the future of evidence-based health care in an integrated healthcare delivery system. Instead of championing progress in our profession, we still hear them speak of “ChiropracTIC Works, Enuf Sed,” “ChiropracTIC as Separate and Distinct,” and metaphysical hyperbole such as ADIO and  “Vertebral SubluxATION is, in and of itself, a detriment to the fullest expression of life.” They offer no proof, just hope that this is true, which explains why healthcare experts refer to chiropracTORs as faith-based practitioners.

 

The dumbing-down of chiropractic education by Life College and now by the WCA and Chiro Coalition with their opposition to raising educational CCE standards [www.chiropracticcoalition.org/positions/CCE.htm] resembles chiropracTIC’s version of affirmative action when standards are lowered to accommodate the lowest common dominator—the VSC only, non-diagnostic, non-therapeutic, “Innate cures all” concepts of ol’ chirovangelism: If BJ didn’t say so, it ain’t chiropracTIC, ya folla? Indeed, BJ’s anti-Educated Mindset oddly still infects some chiropracTORs as a justifiable position, oddly, in this day of high tech health care.

 

Will we forever be tied to the faith-based fundamentalism that has stymied our growth, soiled our reputation, and divided our profession? Apparently so if left to the designs of these chiropracTORs who wish to follow in BJ’s ideological footsteps.

 

In fact, recent studies have found chirovangelism still exists on many chiro college websites. “Much of the gobbledygook that Sikorski and Grod recently documented is still up on those college websites ready for all the world to see,” according to historian Dr. Joe Keating. The subluxation dogma of the ACC Paradigm remains loaded with metaphysical concepts that have drawn fire from those who seek an upgrading of standards to reflect research, not well wishing of the Big Hypothetical. Some may explain this was done to appease the chirovangelist presidents at the time like Williams and Clum, but without a doubt, the chiropracTIC past continues to haunt our future if the ACC Paradigm is indicative.

 

Whether or not chiropractic is forever limited by this dogma or will find its rightful niche within the mainstream healthcare will apparently not be determined by research or science as many would prefer. Instead, it will be by consensus of our practitioners, many of whom are controlled more by emotion than by reason by the demagogues/publishers. In reality, the tide will not turn until the chirovangelists are gone, censored or stopped from their demagoguery and accept the inevitable integration into the modern healthcare delivery system as non-drug, non-surgical NMS specialists.

 

Church vs. Science

Indeed, this struggle is not unlike the classical conflict between science vs. religion that we see elsewhere. Just as the Church stymied research during the Dark Ages, it appears chiropracTIC has its own version of intellectual and scientific censorship. Just as the Founding Fathers of this nation called for the separation of church and state, the time has come for chiropractors of all persuasions to accept the same premise of government, otherwise we’ll forever be immersed in ideological warfare, stuck in our own Dark Ages.

 

Whether rank ideologues espousing chirovangelism who thwart clinical progress in the name of ol’ time chiropracTIC or political demagogues with regressive, self-serving agendas aimed at their own personal profit, the net effect of this fundamentalist chiropracTIC sect within our profession is similar to radical religious insurgents and suicide bombers in the Mid East willing to blow themselves up to stop democracy and political progress in those war torn countries, all in the name of Allah, of course. 

 

In our chiropracTIC case, however, our radical fundamentalists are willing to blow up our profession’s effort for unity, obstruct educational and clinical progress, impair our public image with outlandish hyperbole, interfere with expanding our market share, and resist integration into the healthcare delivery system in order to have things their ol’ fashioned chiropracTIC way, all in the name of BJ, of course! Indeed, the parallel is uncanny!

 

Dr. Joe Keating also noted that chiropractic is short on the facts, while heavy on the rhetoric:

“Then again, who cares? It just WORKS! Indeed, the profession seems to suffer from a psychiatric disorder, what might be called Trabajitis Chiropracticus (“It Works, It Works, It Works!”) The condition is characterized by a hardening of the categories, a lack of critical assessment of causation, a tendency to substitute marketing slogans for data, and a swelling of the neural tracts between the cortex and the tongue. The growing experimental evidence in support of the analgesic value of spinal manipulation for low back pain patients is being inflated ad absurdum to suggest the "truth" of so-called "chiropractic principles." Ironically, as greater scientific support for chiropractic procedures becomes available, many in the profession seem determined to prove that chiropractors are generally unable to critically evaluate this new information.”

 

Regrettably, these chiropracTORs remain in an Amish-type of time-warp from yesteryear, resisting clinical progress with their adjustment-only attitude, complaining about the rising higher education standards as we see with their objection to CCE with their “Education constipates the mind” attitude, scoffing at research and evidence-based methods with their “ChiropracTIC Works, Who Needs Research, Enuf Sed” mindset, publishing demagoguery, propaganda, and distortions of the truth as we see with the TCJ, and fighting professional progress to integrate into mainstream healthcare as a sell-out (denigrating osteopaths in this same way).

 

Progress in any form is just not a part of these ultra conservatives’ cup of tea, unless they stand to profit, ya folla? Instead, they fight to remain entrenched in their marginal position of “separate and distinct,” allthewhile wondering why this profession sees only 10% of the public or why chiropractors are rated with only a 31% approval rating for ethics and honesty according to a recent Gallup poll. Indeed, if medicine were as intransigent as chiropracTIC, it would still be in the era of bloodletting, demons, and leeches.

 

Mr. McAndrews shared his concern about the future threats to chiropractic, mostly coming from within the ranks of the ideologues and chiropracTORs.

“I consider them more of a danger to the survival of the profession than the American Medical Association ever was. ‘Separate and distinct’ has a nice ring to it. The same might be said for the phrase ‘ghettoized and weird.’ The doctors to whom I make reference seem happy with the second phrase. ‘Separate’ need not be synonymous with the word ‘ghettoized’ and ‘distinct’ need not be synonymous with ‘unrecognizable’ or ‘weird.’...A doctor who primarily focuses on the neurobiomechanical aspects of health need not be ghettozied or weird. Such a person is not a ‘backslapper’ or ‘technician’ and a person who is capable of utilizing well-proven additional modalities or services in his or her practice is neither a traitor, a heretic, a ‘toid,’ nor a ‘medipractor.’ The fact that Palmer, as brilliant as he was, or some other leader said something does not make it true. Chiropractic is a health care profession that is based on scientific principles. It is not a religion.” (McAndrews George. Private communication. March 24, 1992)

 

Moreover, chiropracTIC’s bio-theosophy today ostensibly resembles a cult religion with unchanging tenets, separate standards, doomsday philosophy, and claiming a mystical insight into the divine nature of the human body headed by demagogues rather than an evolving study of truth based on principles of science and ethics of professional conduct. Hence, the inevitable conflict between faith-based chiropracTORs and Doctors of Chiropractic—two different paths with two different missions.

Text Box: Sadly, however, the scientific approach doesn’t resonate as well as the evangelical “save-the-world-from-all-subluxATION” rap chanted by our charismatics.  

In fact, there is a huge difference between “chiropracTIC philosophy,” better seen as metaphysical Innate dogma, aka, chirovangelism, compared to the “philosophy of chiropractic” that emphasizes the role of the spine and nerve system in health and disease processes. Indeed, a Doctor of Chiropractic who is “principled” in this regard carries more credibility in the eyes of the public, media, and scientific communities than our dogmatic brethren who renounce science to interject their metaphysical concepts instead.

 

 Just as the Holy Roller televangelists stir up the passion among parishioners, so do our chirovangelists stir the “burning desire” chiropracTORs have to help patients. Eventually, however, we must look at the motivation and logic of these chiropracTIC leaders to understand their hidden agendas. Behind the rhetoric we will find troubling issues that taint their sermons and their own image.

 

ChiropracTIC Skeletons

Ironically, this conflict of interest issue has gone unmentioned within this profession for too long as if it were the proverbial skeleton in our collective closet, and it’s long past time to expose this to stop the divisiveness and exploitation within this profession. Just as the insurgents in Iraq do not speak for the majority of citizens there, neither do the chiropracTIC fundamentalist radicals speak for the vast majority of the 60,000 modern DCs, including the “objective” straights who refuse to inject the chiropracTIC dogma into their subluxation-based practices.

 

In fact, the more these chirovangelists are scrutinized, the more they lose any moral authority they once had, as we’ve seen lately with the fall of Sid Williams and the demise of the ICA. Regrettably, the conflicts of interest in the chiropracTIC sect within this profession has long been a part of its leadership, starting with the chiropracTIC-icon BJ Palmer who leased NCMs at great expense to his Palmer grads and his renunciation of broad scope in order to reshape a profession along his personal ideological and financial interests of upper cervical HIO method.

 

Surprisingly, BJ used full spinal rehab methods that were taught at PCC. Unbeknownst to many chiropracTORs today, until he died BJ himself had a gym at PCC filled with physical therapy equipment, all inscripted with his famous BJ signature. I witnessed this while attending a Palmer rehab seminar where the instructor showed slides of BJ’s gymnasium filled with a multitude of various pieces of spinal equipment. It was impressive to say the least, albeit very ironic.

 

According to a past PCC president, Dr. Jerry McAndrews, “I joined the faculty at PCC in 1961, the BJ Clinic was about to close. It had some 67 faculty members on its staff with only one having an Iowa license. It had a full rehab clinic and much of the necessary diagnostic equipment such as EKGs, etc.”

 

Just as BJ knew little how the ANS functioned, he knew just as little about spinal mechanics, which led him to his unfounded assertion of the supremacy of his HIO. According to Dr. McAndrews, “He argued that none of the vertebrae, short of a major trauma, could become misaligned due to their anatomical makeup and that only the atlas and axis could do so. The rest merely compensated.”

 

While BJ labeled himself the Developer of ChiropracTIC, it’s obvious the development of his chiropracTIC profession stopped with his beliefs alone. Ironically, can anyone cite just one research project done by BJ that has withstood the test of time? Some may naively believe whatever BJ said was scripture and whatever he did was best for chiropracTIC; inevitably what he did was best for BJ’s political power base and his own pocketbook. Indeed, while many think BJ was looking out for the profession, he appears he also was looking out for himself and his own legacy.

 

This trend has continued to this day among many charismatic chiropracTORs who always have something for sale as they preach their chiropracTIC chirovangelism. In fact, BJ was the preeminent demagogue whose web still envelopes too many in our profession today. “Give them hope, arouse their emotions, vilify an enemy, and then sell them something” seems to be their hidden agenda. Indeed, money is the worm on the ideological hook.

 

A “new age” example of this charismatic seminar format is the “New Renaissance” formerly owned by Dr. Joe Flesia, now operated by Dr. Ed Plentz and Dr. Kevin Pallis. Just as their predecessor did, the thrust of these practice management gurus is to sell oneself as a “wellness” doctor. Ironically, these straights have no education or interest in teaching patients about a comprehensive wellness lifestyle that might include nutrition, exercise, core strengthening, antioxidants/free radicals, PMA or any other type of healthy lifestyle concept.

 

I doubt few of them realize that on the title page of DD Palmer's original textbook, "The Chiropractor's Adjuster," is written "founded on tone." But I doubt these modern chiropracTORs have any idea what that "tone" means or how it relates to health and disease. In fact, these chiropracTORs aren't practicing chiropracTIC as espoused by DD, they have dumb-down chiropracTIC to merely "detecting and correcting vertebral subluxATIONs" forgetting that tone is a function of many co-factors. Somehow they inexplicably think their singular chiropracTIC concept of a body free of subluxATION is the only key to being well, although the proof of this is more scant than real. I wonder if they do the Money Hum too?

 

As well, like all demagogues, they denigrate a spinal care practitioner as a “back cracker.” When I read this sneering remark, I can only imagine that they have never had a serious spinal injury in their own lives, otherwise they would not be so quick to condemn the only healing art that keeps millions from pain and disability. www.thenewrenaissance.org/uniqueness.shtml

“Unfortunately however, the results are in and the identity of a DC in the US has been forged in the minds of the public... a short-term back doctor. Just look in any phone book in the US under Chiropractic. Doctor, is this how you really want to be known??? Did it slip your mind of how Chiropractic was first founded - by restoring a deaf man's hearing. By implementing communication techniques in office procedures any office can be drastically transformed into an office that attracts a higher quality of new patients. They stay, pay and refer unlike your previous patients. And, most importantly, they welcome your new and true identity of a wellness DC and defend it without compromise; they are proud to be able to tell anyone and everyone they know that their Chiropractor is a family wellness Chiropractor, not a back-cracker.”

 

Will someone explain to me how SMT alone will keep anyone “well” in this day of junk phoods, sedentary lifestyle, drugs, tobacco, to name a few of Americans’ unhealthy habits? This sales pitch mentions Harvey Lillard as an example of wellness care, but they fail to admit that Harvey was stone deaf when he died. Plus, where are the RCTs that prove chiropracTIC care will cure deafness? In fact, after three of my patients with LBP who were also deaf viewed the initial Renaissance video featuring actor Peter Graves in which the first scene showed Harvey being adjusted by ol’ DD himself and strongly suggested that chiropractic adjustments would cure deafness. Can you imagine how I felt when their deafness wasn’t cured as they expected after viewing this video despite my wonderful HIO adjustments? Indeed, that was the final straw to chucking out that misleading video!

 

Sadly, however, new age charismatics gurus play on the emotions of young graduates in the same historic line of hyperbole, hucksterism, and exploitation of unsuspecting and well-meaning chiropracTORs. These are the “wild eyed philosophers” that have misled as Mark Goodin suggested. In fact, my blood boils at their hype: “…your new and true identity of a wellness DC…not a back-cracker.” How dare they ridicule the single most proven benefit of spinal care that has benefited millions?

 

And their contention of a "true identity of a wellness DC" is just foolhardy knowing the inadequacy of the education at straight colleges. They profess the supremacy of the adjustment only, but the same straight DCs think they are "whiplash experts" despite not owning one piece of rehab equipment, they are "sports docs" despite not having a CCSP degree, and they are apparently "everything to everyone" despite their limited clinical abilities. They also profess the non-diagnostics, non-therapeutic, chiropractic cures all model. What a fraud!

 

With BJ, Williams, Gold, and Barge as their role models, profiteering hidden beneath the veil of altruism is reason enough within chiropracTIC circles to obstruct, misled, and to profit. With the demise of the Williams reign of exploitation of chiropracTORs, now we see the emergence of other chiropracTIC entrepreneurs willing to sell their schemes in the name of chiropracTIC, and first and foremost is the enterprising Terry Rondberg, perhaps the most dangerous man in chiropracTIC, as you’ll learn why in Part Three.

 

Part Three: Who's Looking Out for Chiropractors?

 

The Most Dangerous Man in ChiropracTIC

 

In my little niche in middle Georgia here among the peach and pecan groves, there is a free weekly “Buyer’s Guide” advertiser that dubs itself the “newspaper with an attitude.” The editor writes only one article each week about some local controversial topic, giving his one-sided position without any impression to be fair or balanced since it is, after all, only a free advertising tabloid and his goal is attract readers with inflammatory stories. Aside from advertisements, the only other copy includes anonymous letters-to-the-editors that usually smack of local gossip, attacks upon public officials, and personal opinions about local events. No one takes this paper seriously and it is fun to read the juicy gossip and what this "editor with an attitude" has to say, but no one considers it a reliable source of accurate information, that’s for sure!

 

The same can be said of Rondberg’s so-called journal. Let’s be frank: his TCJ is not a peer-reviewed journal filled with scientific studies, RCTs, or the humble opinions/commentaries of notable figures in our profession. Instead, the TCJ has become the “chiropractic tabloid with an attitude” with his own opinion often presented as fact and articles by his cronies, chiropracTIC hacks, and vendors posing as journalists. Indeed, the TCJ has made a mockery of a supposed "scientific journal" as most rational DCs already understand. And please, don’t tell me the TCJ prints peer-reviewed articles when that consists of Rondberg, Kent, Gentempo and McCoy giving their “sock puppet” approval of each other’s articles with a wink and a nod.

 

With the ouster of Sid Williams from Life and the election defeat of DD Humber from the ICA leadership, Terry Rongberg has become what many believe is the most dangerous man in the chiropracTIC sect. As publisher of The Chiropractic Journal and as president-for-life of the WCA, his reach far exceeds his grasp on this profession, yet he refuses to let go even though he consistently loses his battles. Rondberg’s attitude is obviously that of a demagogue, and his constant haranguing of mainstream organizations parallels the gossip-mongering of my local “editor with an attitude.”

 

On the other hand, you have to admire the machinations of just one man who can wreak so much havoc on this profession. Here is a sampling of issues and events that Rondberg has his hands in:

·        As the publisher of a profession-wide free tabloid he has the ability to influence many DCs with his poisoned pen.

·        As the owner of a malpractice insurance brokerage, he has worked endlessly to shape the scope of this profession to meet his financial design.

·        As the president-for-life of his own non-democratic “alliance,” he misrepresents himself as a political leader to the uninformed.

·        His meddling in foreign chiropractic affairs has drawn criticism from foreign association leaders. 

·        His meddling in domestic affairs has drawn the ire of our reputable national and state associations.

·        His operation of a telemarketing scam has been deemed unethical.

·        He has fought against rising educational standards.

·        He has fought against broadening our scope of practice.

·        He has misrepresented his Chiro Coalition as a “major” element to the profession, the VA, Congressmen, and Medicare officials. 

·        He has become the biggest wedge to much needed reforms concerning unity, access, parity and image.

·        And, most of all, he’s accountable to no one!

 

If not the most dangerous man in chiropracTIC, he definitely has become a loose canon with spurious ethics, conflicts of interests, and agendas that have proven detrimental to our collective needs. Despite his repeated failures to influence legislation on Capitol Hill, Rondberg persists with his journalistic fraud to slant the issues to his readership with the sole intent to keep this profession divided and to make a profit for himself and his vendor friends.

 

Struck the Wrong Chord?

For one man to do so much, you have to be amazed at the depths of his handiwork, albeit unsavory demagoguery and clearly self-serving. He has shown us all once again the power of the press, just as BJ, Parker, and Sid Williams used the press to promote themselves and their business interests with their constant dissemination of their chiropracTIC ideology.

 

But one must wonder why Rongberg’s WCA club of approximately just 240 chiropracTIC zealots numbers so few if his message of subluxation-based chiropracTIC is as popular as he thinks. Upon reading his propaganda, he positions himself as head of this populist movement, "3 of the 4 major chiropractic organizations," that, ironically, doesn’t appear to be very popular. No one except him knows the exact number of members in his non-democratic “alliance” that many DCs and legislators mistakenly think is a real association run by democratic rules, both issues that Rondberg remains very tight-lipped.

 

Since 1986 he has sent his TCJ to nearly every DC in America (except those like me who disagree with his nonsense and are removed by him from his TCJ mailing list), so why hasn’t his message resonated well within the profession? Many DCs consider themselves “subluxation-based,” yet they refuse to support his political actions. After all, with 60,000 DCs getting his message constantly for nearly 20 years, I would think more would have responded by now if his message and his leadership were credible. Fortunately, most DCs can read between his lines to understand anything he writes must be taken with a grain of salt.

 

Indeed, his failure to attract more members speaks volumes:

  • Perhaps most see thru his veil of secrecy, wondering why he won’t reveal the actual membership or why he’s the un-elected, self-appointed president-for-life of the WCA.
  • Perhaps many see his conflict of interest as a publisher and as the owner of the CBS malpractice company.
  • Many readers see Rongberg’s “play for pay” where advertisers also become columnists hawking their products, normally deemed unethical in professional journalism.
  • Perhaps most DCs have read his inflammatory articles and his misrepresentation of the issues with his ACA-WFC-CCE-FCER-ACC bashing along with his misguided allegiance to Sid Williams.
  • Perhaps responsible DCs resent his interference in the ACC-ACA’s legislative efforts, as we’ve seen repeatedly and most recently with the VA bill and Manzullo Medicare fiasco.
  • Perhaps many resent his legislative Summit where a small band of radical chiropracTORs confuses legislators with their chiropracTIC rhetoric.
  • Most of all, perhaps rational DCs resent his efforts of regressive politics of “detect and correct VSC only” to prevent the evolution of chiropractic into evidence-based healthcare, integrative medicine, and the broad scope NMS service that rational DCs are more than capable of rendering.

 

Chiropractic Benefit Services: Rondberg’s Cash Cow

Although Rongberg is the president-for-life of his small World ChiropracTIC Alliance and publisher of his free tabloid, TCJ, his largest moneymaker may be his CBS malpractice insurance brokerage. Part of his marketing deception is that he touts that CBS is owned by a “chiropractic family,” which it is: his family. Many DC’s mistakenly think CBS is an insurance company, but nothing could be further from the truth.

 

In reality, CBS is just a brokerage that must place its book of business with licensed insurance companies in order to have coverage.  The insurance company in most instances does the underwriting and the pricing, and if it is not profitable they will pull out of the market and the broker will have to look for another company to place its business with, which has been a problem for CBS on many occasions.

 

Not only is CBS a privately held brokerage, it appears not to be very stable if its problem with underwriters is evidence. Below is a list of companies that Rondberg has changed SEVEN TIMES in the past 13 years. If you’ve read his editorials you will see some interesting spin on this problem. He will tout the financial strength of each of the companies CBS has been with as being solid and strong.  Why then did they pull out of the market, or not renew CBS, or CBS not renew with the company?  If CBS is strong financially one would think it would be good business to stay with an A rated company.

 

TransAmerica Insurance Company          1990 to 1991
Investors Insurance Company        1991 to 1994
Gulf Insurance Company                        1994 to   ? 
Reliance                              ?    to 2000
TIG                              2000 to 2002
Lumbermen’s Mutual Cas. Co.       2002 to 2003
CNA Insurance                     2003 to present

 

When CBS first provided Occurrence insurance, they touted it as the best. Today CNA does not provide Occurrence polices and now the Rondberg/Fueling spin is that Occurrence is a product sold by others to make money from the insured and their policy “Claims made” is the best. Many of the insurance carriers have fallen on bad times, and with the tightening of the market, it will be interesting to see how long CBS stays with their current carrier they now tout as “the best.” How many “bests” can there be? Obviously it’s “best” if it profits Rongberg and his family, another example that Rondberg is looking out for his own best interests, not those of his policy holders.

 

Even the ads by CBS are questionable. These advertisements touted by CBS make it appear that its malpractice is something special for the “subluxation-based chiropracTORs,” which is just unrealistic. According to Timothy Feuling, “CBS insures ‘any doctor who corrects subluxations regardless of whatever else they do as long as they don't practice medicine and try and diagnose disease.’” Perhaps this explains why the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Diane Koken reprimanded CBS last year for deceptive advertising:

“Chiropractic Benefit Services Purchasing Group, Chandler, AZ – cease and desist from using misleading promotional materials.”

 

So, as long as any chiropracTOR subscribes to chirovangelism, he need not worry about being covered by CBS, but he cannot “try and diagnose disease.” I find it odd that on one hand, the Big Hypothetical claims to cure everything but rigor mortis, but if a DC actually diagnoses in any effort to develop a treatment plan or referral, he’s excluded from CBS coverage! Perhaps this explains why most chiropracTORs won’t talk about disease or symptoms for fear of losing their CBS coverage, and why Rondberg promotes the “non-diagnostic, non-therapeutic” brand of chiropracTIC, which illustrates how a vendor can mold a profession to suit his own business needs.

 

Rondberg claims that his CBS coverage is better than other competitors and yet he basically has no control over the coverage. The insurance company will be the ultimate decision maker on the cost and underwriting.  The insurance carriers must also have re-insurance coverage and each of these groups reviews rates and claims, and the insurance carrier is the one who must get the insurance policy approved in each state, not CBS. That is the benefit of a company that only has chiropractic as its core business, such as NCMIC, a rival Rongberg has demonized repeatedly in his TCJ for obvious reasons.

 

A simple search on the TCJ website will reveal 83 anti-NCMIC and anti-Lou Sportelli articles, including “So, when are YOU going to switch?” by Dr. Terry A. Rondberg. Constant themes in his thread of articles denigrate NCMIC coverage for supposedly not covering wellness care or infant adjusting, promoting diagnostics, and not supporting the infamous Subluxation Station. Incidentally, NCMIC now covers over 50% of DCs who understand it does cover the responsible practices of rational DCs despite the inflammatory demagoguery of CBS. Again, Rongberg vilifies anyone who may interfere solely with his profits or anyone who exposes his duplicity.

 

He also holds close to his vest his own conflict of interest with his CBS malpractice insurance. Although CBS is owned by Rondberg and his family that, in and of itself, is not unethical until we factor in his role as a political figure and a publisher of a so-called journal—then the conflicts of interest began to show. He still uses the pages of TCJ to sell his product to his readers rarely without full disclosure that he owns CBS. Nor does he ever question his conflict of interest as an editor/writer/publisher who profits by advertising for his privately held company, nor does he mention the obvious conflict of interest as president-for-life of WCA, another front for his CBS sales.

 

He also touts the fact that CBS supports chiropractic research, but where is it and how credible is it?  What has been published in legitimate research journals like the JMPT, other than in his own illegitimate tabloid publication? How impartial can his political role as the president-for-life of the WCA and as an insurance broker? This might explain the ploy of his WCA’s effort to restrain the scope of chiropractic to the care of the VSC only. His stance may have less to do with the chiropracTIC ideology and more to do with his simplistic paradigm that fits into his CBS scheme. Ahh, the evil web he dare weave!

 

The Spin Starts Here!

Not only does Rongberg have obvious conflicts of interest with his CBS business, but examples of journalistic fraud in Rongberg’s TCJ are replete when his editorial opinion is presented as fact to the readership, political issues are blatantly one-sided, and ad hominen attacks on the ACA, WFC, FCER, CCE, NCMIC leaders are commonplace. Indeed, his attacks on the past and present WFC leaders like Lou Sportelli and David Chapman-Smith, and his incessant criticism of the ACA leadership's legislative labors are obviously aimed to undermine the credibility of these organizations to his readership.

 

“Fair and Balanced” has become “Slanted and Skewed” by Rondberg’s ethics of journalism. Whereas Fox News slogan is: “We report, you decide,” Rondberg’s TCJ slogan is clearly: “I report, I decide for you.” Maybe that explains why only approximately 240 chiropracTORs out of 60,000+ align themselves with Rondberg!

 

In the legitimate press, this type of media demagoguery is unacceptable, as we’ve seen recently with the uproar concerning the BBC’s unwarranted accusation that Prime Minister Tony Blair had “sexed-up” the evidence about WMD in Iraq. To date, the BBC chairman, general manager, and writer of this baseless article have resigned, yet Rondberg continues uninterrupted despite numerous examples of his yellow journalism.

 

One complaint by Bill O’Reilly in his new book fits perfectly with Rondberg’s journalism:

“Finally, the war in Iraq proves once again that ideologues can never look out for you. They are too blinded by the light on the right or the left and they will never see things for what they really are. If you become an ideological prisoner, the truth will always elude you because you will never seek it. Instead, you’ll evaluate each issue and problem with an agenda: trying to prove your ideology is correct.”

 

Whatever the issue, you can expect Rondberg to present his chiropracTIC ideology first and foremost; never does he present all sides as ethical journalism requires. The only constant theme we can expect from Rondberg the "publisher with an attitude" is biased accounts that support his demagoguery and profit making.

 

Other examples of his brand of journalism include his “play for pay.” Unlike reputable scientific journals, he also allegedly sells column space in return for advertisements and a percent of the profits, which explains why he allows discredited vendors like the infamous “Sir” Jay Holder to use his tabloid for self-promotion. If there’s money for him to make, Rongberg is willing to sell anything in his TCJ, including experimental or unproven clinical methods, unnecessary and questionable “so what” instrumentation like the Subluxation Station, spurious practice management gurus, and his own CBS malpractice insurance.  “Quid pro quo” should be the motto on the masthead of TCJ.

 

Moreover, with the downfall of Williams as the leading preacher on the chiropracTIC bully pulpit, Terry Rongberg via his TCJ now has assumed the quintessential role of political obstructionist and chiropracTIC propagandist within the chiropracTIC sect. Sadly, throughout his career, we have seen a litany of unethical behavior such as questionable salesmanship gimmicks, a telemarketing scam, lawsuits, complaints of interference from foreign chiro associations, journalistic fraud, and political misrepresentation of his WCA power base.

 

As Bill O’Reilly mentioned in “Who’s Looking Out for You?” the media cannot be trusted, and it’s obvious in this profession that we cannot trust the TCJ to give a fair and balanced report on most subjects. Rondberg is primarily looking out for his own interests under the guise of being diligent for the enigmatic chiropracTIC cause to cure the world of all subluxATION, ya folla?

 

As per O’Reilly:

“And that’s the crux of the matter when it comes to the media looking out for you. If it’s only about money, the folks will get hosed all day long by the media. And right now in America, it is almost all about money.”

 

The same can be said about these chiropracTIC media people who use their tabloids to promote their rank ideology with the hidden agenda to sell their own products and services as well as to position themselves as demagogues, as we’ve seen in the past with Today’s Chiropractic before the demise of Williams. Now we see this role vacated by Williams’ sudden departure as the voice for chirovangelism taken over by TCJ with Rondberg, the ICA with its ChiropracTIC Choice newsletter, Guy Riekeman and former Fred Barge in Palmer's quarterly Streams from the Fountainhead, and the AJCC with Don Harrison—publishers with conflicts of interest and who constantly disseminate inflammatory chiropracTIC demagoguery to the rank and file chiropractic profession.

 

Professionally speaking, methinks the downfall of the Williams’ regime both at Life and within the ICA leadership should be viewed no less than the ouster of Saddam and his gang of goons. Not only did Saddam’s military capitulate to the US-led coalition, but his Baath Party’s ideology also has been banned from Iraq, just as Nazism is illegal in Germany today. The defeat of Williams’ chiropracTIC ideology—his simplistic, dumbed-down version of chiropracTIC education—should be a clear overture that his paradigm is outdated and no longer acceptable to the government's accrediting agencies (CCE and SACS, which still have Life on probation) or to modern professional standards. His diehard supporters should be seen as insurgents of a failed demagogue whose efforts are aimed to thwart the evolution of this profession rather than to keep it in our unheralded past, just as we view Al Qaeda insurgents as counterproductive to the future of Iraq.

 

Indeed, anyone who still espouses support for Williams must be viewed as anachronistic to the present needs of this profession, their quid pro quo motive should be investigated since most have serious conflicts of interest, and every effort should be made to “isolate the rascals” as George McAndrews proposes, whether they are outright vocal supporters like the remnants within the ICA, WCA, DECE, Life (which is a dumb name for a college) administration, or among media propagandists like Rondberg who still cloud this issue with his own brand of demagoguery and yellow journalism. 

 

Journalistic Fraud

Coincidentally, another book has been published that deals with this very problem in the real media. Author Bob Kohn has written, “Journalistic Fraud: How the New York Times Distorts the News and Why It Can No Longer Be Trusted,” and the following editorial review parallels exactly what we see in Rongberg’s TCJ/WCA.


“For over a hundred years, the New York Times has purported to present straight news and hard facts. But, as Bob Kohn shows with absolute clarity, the founders’ original vision has been hijacked, and today, instead of straight news, readers are given mere editorial under the pretense of objective journalism. Kohn shows point by point the methods by which the Times’ mission has been subverted by the present management—routinely slanting the presentation of the facts in leads, headlines, and placement; utilizing polls, labels, and loaded language to convey particular views, not genuine news; and staffing the newsroom with hacks who manipulate information to further a leftist agenda. Kohn shows how such fraudulence directly corrupts hundreds of news agencies across the world; and by revealing all their methods of manipulation, he teaches readers how to decipher the slants in even the subtlest of cases, providing an entertaining and enlightening lesson in fraud-busting.”

 

Without question, Terry Rongberg has taken the NY Times editorial schemes to heart with his publications and press releases—he slants the facts, misrepresents his power base, uses loaded language to denigrate his opponents, staffs his newsroom with friendly hacks with leftist agendas, hides his hidden agendas and conflicts of interest as he directly corrupts the genuine news and political efforts to further his own business interests (CBS malpractice insurance) and those of his cronies (Subluxation Station). Indeed, the similarities are just too easy to make!

 

We’ve seen this illustrated clearly of late with his HR 2560 bill that he purports would save our profession and is supposedly supported by 3 of the 4 “major” chiro organizations (WCA, ICA, FSCO) and nine chiro associations from around the world. Ostensibly, many naive readers would be swayed by his argument, but what he doesn't reveal is even more dangerous as Kohn might allege, "routinely slanting the presentation of the facts."

 

What Rondberg does NOT say truthfully is that these 3 minor groups have less of a combined membership than the ACA, FCA, WFC, CCA and many state associations that alone has larger memberships than the Chiro Coalition. As well, Rongberg fails to mention that while nine small chiro groups may support his ill-conceived effort that failed to pass, the vast majority of the 80+ national chiro groups in the WFC and the 50 state chiro associations didn’t support his legislative effort to mold this profession to his scheme of chiropracTIC along with the Subluxation Station, of course!

 

In fact, a low-ball estimate of his support on this bill had his 12 small groups versus 128 larger associations against it, which he constantly fails to mention. If this type of misrepresentation were to occur in the US Congress, he would have been laughed off Capitol Hill for misrepresenting his power base, but only in the world of chiropracTIC yellow journalism can he get away with his misinformation.

 

As we’ve read before with his editorials on the CCE and VA issues, anyone with an ounce of knowledge on these issues could examine any of his editorials and press releases line-by-line to see further examples of his fraudulent journalism, as author Kohn would say, "mere editorial under the pretense of objective journalism," starting with the WCA webpage:

 The Chiropractic Journal (TCJ) -- Read and respected by more doctors of chiropractic than any other professional publication in the world.”

 

Without question, this statement is obviously untrue—his TCJ is not read nor respected by the majority of DCs, and Rondberg knows it. His lack of objectivity is the largest example of his unethical journalism, and his private commercial and political dealings also magnify his complete disdain for honesty in his own journalism and shows disrespect for the American political process.

 

“Journalists who use their professional status as representatives of the public for selfish or other motives violate a high trust," according to The Society of Professional Journalists, obviously ignored by Terry Rongberg. Indeed, demagoguery and yellow journalism have replaced the democratic process and ethical reporting within the ranks of his “alliance” and his tabloid.

 

Besides his obvious biased news reporting, publishers are not supposed to be newsmakers themselves, whereas Rongberg has clearly become a controversial figure himself, who may very well be remembered as the Jayson Blair of the chiropractic news media when the profession realizes the depths and lengths of his various deceptions from his poisoned pen.

 

National Enquirer of ChiropracTIC

Indeed, the TCJ might more appropriately be named the National Enquirer of ChiropracTIC whose main goal is to write sensational, inflammatory and biased stories, and to promote the image, political and business interests of Terry Rongberg first and foremost. His motto seems to be “don’t confuse me with the facts,” and he simply exploits chiropracTIC as his avenue to fame and fortune.

 

For those who value ethical journalism, imagine if the editors/publishers of The New England Journal of Medicine were also in the malpractice business, sold their own products, or promoted their own seminars to their readership? What would you say if the NEJM also hawked spurious infomercials, phony telemarketing research scams, or sold ghostwritten books to their doctors in order to build their practices? Imagine if the NEJM took pot shots at the JAMA or other rival journals? Regrettably, this is a common occurrence in the TCJ, yet nothing is said about this obvious affront to journalistic ethics.

 

The outcry from the medical profession or the legitimate media would be huge as we saw when some researchers were tainted by grants from drug companies, but when the same happens within chiropracTIC, nothing is said—probably because chiropracTORs are renowned for bizarre behavior or illogical positions in healthcare like the anti-anything-medical, non-diagnostic, non-therapeutic, chiropracTIC-cures-all issues. As previously mentioned, hucksterism is par for the course within chiropracTIC circles, and too many chiropracTORs are gullible allies willing to drink the purple Kool-Aid with the fervor of Islamic insurgents in the name of chiropracTIC, of course. Rondberg’s poisoned pen has wreaked more havoc and disseminated more misinformation since the heyday of Today’s Chiropractic.

 

Rondberg Rumblings

Rondberg’s recent appearance and speech at a struggling Life College also illustrates the depths of this deception to promote him to unwitting students as a leader in this profession. In fact, he’s simply a vendor, the publisher of a free supermarket-styled tabloid, and the permanent dictator of his little WCA club of dissidents. He is not a reputable leader of a democratic organization, he is not a published researcher, nor is he an accomplished academic. He is simply a vendor/publisher with an attitude, conflicts of interest, and something to sell, but most of his entire primary role is that of a demagogue.

 

To illustrate the obvious duplicity in Rongberg’s TCJ, simply read from his website the mission of his tabloid to see if you agree he’s fulfilled these points:

“The three-fold mission of The Chiropractic Journal has not changed since it was founded:

          To provide accurate, up-to-date and well-written reports of current events and issues;

          To offer an open forum for the opinions of all members of the profession;

          To be an advocate for subluxation-based chiropractic and chiropractors, without sacrificing journalistic integrity.”

 

If these three points weren’t so blatantly uncharacteristic of his poisoned pen, it would be humorous to realize how far from the truth his TCJ has deviated from his three-fold mission. I daresay a more accurate description of the TCJ mission statement might be:

  • To provide biased reports that sell his CBS insurance, his colleagues’ Subluxation Station, or to provide venders copy space as phony columnists to sell their wares.
  • To provide a closed forum to promote his simplistic version of chirovangelism and to renounce his political or financial rivals.
  • To be a demagogue for chiropracTIC by using whatever means possible, including yellow journalism, that misleads his readership to create disharmony and disunity within this profession and, ironically, to promote his WCA and Chiro Coalition as the solutions to these issues.

 

A search of The Chiropractic Journal website revealed that 94 articles have been published about CBS, in effect, proving that TCJ is nothing more than a front to sell malpractice insurance; his forums are neither open to anyone who disagrees with him (how does he explain dropping readers from his mailing list?) nor are they well written since many vendors double as columnists hawking their goods, his tabloid is rift with the lack of journalistic integrity where his opinions are presented as facts that are actually political spin, and attacks upon his competitors with loaded language are commonplace, whether it’s Don Petersen at Dynamic Chiropractic or Lou Sportelli of NCMIC.

 

Yellow Journalism Defined

“In 1898, newspapers provided the major source of news in America. At this time, it was common practice for a newspaper to report the editor's interpretation of the news rather than objective journalism. If the information reported was inaccurate or biased, the American public had little means for verification. With this sort of influence, the newspapers wielded much political power. In order to increase circulation, the publishers of these papers often exploited their position by sponsoring a flamboyant and irresponsible approach to news reporting that became known as ‘yellow journalism.’”

 

Accusations of Rondberg’s yellow journalism are replete and to be expected now since he’s proven himself to lack the journalistic integrity we expect in real newspapers or actual scientific journals. In many cases, his political action boomeranged as we saw in the recent VA issue concerning direct access.

 

According to spurious accounts by Rongberg in the TCJ, supposedly the ACA contingent on the VA committee voted against direct access to DCs—“ ACA reps vote against direct access in VA -- Only WCA, ICA members oppose medical gatekeeper,” as Rongberg posted on his WCA website.

 

Not only was this untrue according to the ACA reps who explained this in detail (“The Truth About the Recommendations of the VA Committee” by the remarkable Dr. Cindy Vaughn www.chiroweb.com/archives/22/01/16.html), but this decision was inevitable after the WCA and Chiro Coalition advocates adamantly told the VA committee that “chiropracTORs do not diagnose anything but VSC.” This decision for a PCP referral to DCs was the natural consequent of their “non-diagnostic, non-therapeutic, VSC only” position, an item that Rongberg conveniently left out of his article. Indeed, he shot himself in his own foot with this chiropracTIC belief, yet blames it on the ACA!

 

Great Debate or Debacle?

The WCA has not only misrepresented the attitudes of mainstream chiropractic on Capitol Hill, it has done the same on some college campuses. Sadly, a student has told me that the TCJ is the only chiro publication now on the Palmer campus, and the recent Great Debate held at Palmer between the ACA prez Don Krippendorf, ICA prez CJ Mertz, ICA Secretary CJ Quigley, and the WCA representative Matt McCoy again illustrates the deception of the WCA and ICA to pretend to be major players when, in fact, both are not. In fact, the WCA is simply a very small alliance of chirovangelists and entrepreneurs headed by a publisher/vendor, and the ICA is dwindling now that Life College is no longer fueling its membership with Sid’s sycophants.

 

The only reason the WCA was allowed in this debate was ostensibly to give the hate-straights an ICA and WCA an opportunity to gang up on the ACA prez. But the obvious question is: why would the WCA be allowed to participate at all when it is not a true democratic association and its membership is smaller than most state associations? Apparently chiropracTIC demagoguery is more important to the Palmer administration than true representation of political beliefs within this profession. How would the ICA or WCA have reacted if the NACM been a participant in this Great Debate? Realistically, the NACM folks have the same setup as the WCA--unknown membership with unelected officials--so why wasn't it invited? Perhaps the NACM's far right platform is unacceptable to the Palmer folks, but the WCA's far left platform is okay?

 

The crux of the Great Debate focused on the recent VA decision to not allow direct access of vets to DCs. Both Mertz and McCoy told the Palmer students it was the ACA’s fault for this decision when, in fact, the military and VA healthcare systems treat DCs as they do all specialists that required referrals from PCPs. To expect direct access is naïve and misleading, but typical of fringe practitioners who abhor all-things-medical and who don't understand how the VA and military managed care systems operate.

 

Both the ICA and WCA demagogues again pounded the ACA prez on the VA issue, telling the students that the ACA voted against direct access rather than explaining how this occurred. Apparently these non-diagnostic, non-therapeutic, detect and correct VSC only chiropracTORs believe any active military or vet should be able to walk into any DC office to be treated, excuse me, “adjusted,” no matter what ails them. They refuse to see the need for diagnostics for either rendering correct care or for patient safety. These advocates for chiropracTIC care want their cake and eat it too—to be non-diagnostic chiro-therapists who also have primary access to patients. That ain’t gonna happen in any reputable healthcare system, and certainly not in the highly managed military healthcare system, yet these naïve ICA and WCA reps demand it and then inexplicably blame the ACA for the inevitable result.

 

The WCA’s and ICA’s insistence that chiropracTORs do not diagnose anything but VSC was reason enough for the VA committee to insist on PCP referrals to DCs. What healthcare committee in its right mind would allow patients to go directly to a practitioner who admits he does not diagnose, does not treat pain or symptoms, and does not refer to MDs; in fact, they vilify MDs in the name of chiropracTIC enlightenment?

 

Never did any of the ACA members vote "for MD referral" but rather, the VA committee’s final decision was: "Access to chiropractic care should be by consultation with the patient's primary care provider or another VA provider." In fact, none of the ACA members ever voted "against direct access" since no vote was taken on the dissenting recommendation offered at the September 2003 meeting. Instead of telling the truth, both Mertz and McCoy harped on their erroneous account that was also published in both the ICA and WCA tabloids, which can easily be refuted and certainly deemed as further proof of demagoguery to use inflammatory and loaded language to incite readers against an enemy (the AMA and the ACA).

 

I daresay the ACA president, Don Krippendorf, was exceptionally tolerant with this misrepresentation of the truth about the VA issue by these chiropracTIC ideologues. If the truth be known, he should have refused to participate in this Great Debate inasmuch as neither the ICA or WCA legitimately represent “international” or “world” groups in chiropractic—the WFC is the legitimate international organization. Indeed, why wasn’t the WFC also present at this Great Debate? Certainly these two groups of dwindling members represent only the anachronistic chiropracTIC paradigm from years ago; certainly they were not there to discuss the numerous international issues such as education, legislation, and market share around the world. The old vision of chiropracTIC shared by the ICA and WCA to the Palmer students was at best a regressive look into our ignominious past, not a futuristic look into chiropractic’s expected role in healthcare. No doubt the Palmer students were confused by this clash of chiropractic paradigms.

 

Palmer's Prez Problems

The only plausible reason either group was present was principally due to their close association with Guy Riekeman, PCC prez and longtime chiropracTIC charismatic ideologue himself. The mere presence of these two ultra-conservative speakers illustrates the lengths to misrepresent that fading chiropracTIC ideology as a movement by the sock puppets who support each other, repeating the same falsehoods, innuendos, and demagoguery typical of the chiropracTIC faction. The mere presence of the WCA at the Great Debate should make us all wonder at Riekeman's hidden agenda.

 

As evident, recently both the WCA and ICA spokesmen, Rondberg and Braille, have sent urgent email requests to petition Vicki Palmer and the Board to retain Riekeman as its headman. They are floating a rumor that Riekeman is under attack to be removed from his PCC post for what best may be summarized as “Shermanizing” the Palmer campus with chiropracTIC folks like Koch, Mertz, and McCoy. This is a valid consideration for the Palmer Board to consider: does it want an ideologue or a true educator to be at the helm? Obviously, few chiropracTIC college presidents in the past were qualified educators, but since the ol’ chiropracTIC ideology believes, “education constipates the mind,” who needs real educators when ideologues can indoctrinate only too well, ya folla? Williams, Clum, Gelardi, and now Riekeman are proof of that!

 

The insidious demagoguery in the “chiropracTIC against the modern world” mindset is exemplified in private communication with CJ Quigley, present Secretary-Treasurer of the ICA, and his negative response to the first two parts of this commentary:

“I really like to attack the medics who kill over 500,000 people per year through medical mistakes, hospital infections and adverse drug reactions.

Those evidenced based practitioners killing innocent people really hit home for me because they have killed several members of my family, including my grandfather, grandmother and several of my patients. Save your bile for the people killing other people. 

The worst DC is 10 times better than going to someone who would kill them.

Our people know what the deal is. Give our practitioners some credit, they can read between the lines.” 

       Regards

CJ Quigley

 

Sadly, what Quigley and his ilk are “reading between the lines” is not the truth of the matter, nor is it a reasonable critique of the medical profession, but it smears of ideological hatred that only fans the fire of alienation. This chiropracTIC holy war and categorical condemnation of the medical profession may resonate among those angry chiropracTORs who need an enemy to vilify. While iatrogenic mistakes are problematic for all healthcare professions, especially in the medical management of spinal disorders, Quixotic Quigley’s attitude is tantamount to the Islamic fervor we read about that leads to jihad suicide bombers and typifies the “separate and distinct” attitude that Rondberg generates in his tabloid. No doubt anyone with Quigley’s attitude will forever remain “separate and distinct” from MDs as well as from rational DCs. Sadly, any attempt to mediate his attitude is equivalent to throwin’ pearls before swine.

Phony Letter

Perhaps the most egregious example of yellow journalism by Rongberg occurred when he printed a phony letter-to-the-editor by what proved to be a fictitious Dr. Robert Marsh from Los Angeles that blasted Dr. Lou Sportelli in 1990. When asked how a denigrating letter from a fictitious DC made its way into his nationally distributed tabloid, he had no answer except to deny responsibility and offered a shameless apology.

Enjoy this article, The Chiropractic Profession Defrauded! in Dynamic Chiropractic that explains this covert attempt by Rongberg to defame Dr. Sportelli.

“Ethical journalism requires that every effort be made to establish the veracity of potentially libelous and/or questionable accusations or statements before they are published. It is for this reason that the average reader is able to trust that what they read is the truth.

“In the August issue of The Chiropractic Journal, a letter to the editor was printed, presumably from a chiropractor in Los Angeles by the name of Robert Marsh. In this letter, Dr. Marsh made numerous allegations questioning the integrity of Dr. Louis Sportelli.

“The basis of these allegations was Dr. Marsh's claim, "Reliable sources who attended the recent ACA convention in Alaska, were stunned to hear past and present ACA leaders privately admit that Dr. Louis Sportelli owns a controlling interest in Dynamic Chiropractic." The letter went on to allege that Dr. Sportelli is "secretly" trying to libel and destroy PMA.

“Upon being made aware of these allegations, Dr. Sportelli attempted to contact Dr. Marsh personally to discuss their implications. His extensive search, which included the ACA, ICA, and Los Angeles telephone directories, proved fruitless. Ultimately, Dr. Sportelli contacted the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners.

“A letter from Vivian Davis, executive director of the California Board confirmed Dr. Sportelli's suspicions by stating, "I do hereby certify that a thorough search of the above (official records reflecting chiropractors licensed to practice in California) shows that Dr. Robert Marsh of Los Angeles, California is not licensed to practice chiropractic in the state of California."

“The fact that Dr. Marsh is not able to be located leads one to conjecture that he does not really exist. In a response to Dr. Marsh's letter, Dr. Sportelli wrote to Rodney K. Platt, editor of TCJ questioning the publication of the apparently fraudulent letter. In his letter, Dr. Sportelli stated, "The publication, which claims to be 'dedicated to fairness in communication' on its masthead, violated some cardinal rules of truth and propriety in its carrying of the so-called 'letter'; investigation points to the fact that the critical letter was probably a malicious concoction by the publication (The Chiropractic Journal) or parties unknown."

“In reply to Dr. Sportelli's letter, Dr. Terry Rondberg, publisher of The Chiropractic Journal wrote: "After we received your letter, we confirmed that there is no known chiropractor by the name of Robert Marsh practicing in the Los Angeles area. Apparently, the person who wrote the letter and signed it with a false name had a strong opinion for which he was afraid to take responsibility. [Is Rondberg possibly describing himself?] TCJ condemns such cowardice and deceit and requests that no doctor ever again engage in such outright deception."

“Two very important questions need to be asked:

Why was it so easy for a "fictitious" person to have a character-defaming letter printed in a chiropractic publication?

What person or parties are actually involved in the defrauding of the chiropractic profession?

“The Society of Professional Journalists' (an organization whose membership is comprised of publishers, editors, and journalists) code of ethics epitomizes the fundamental responsibilities of every journalist, everywhere. This list of noble objectives begins with a statement which reads, "The duty of journalists is to serve the truth."

“Other important elements of this code of ethics to which all journalists should adhere are:

‘So-called news communications from private sources should not be published or broadcast without substantiation of their claims to news values. The news media should not communicate unofficial charges affecting reputation or moral character without giving the accused a chance to reply. Journalists who use their professional status as representatives of the public for selfish or other motives violate a high trust.’

“Letters to the editor in any professional publication must meet certain guidelines. Letters to the editor must be signed by the author, submitted on professional letterhead, and when serious implications are made, the author's existence should be verified. Furthermore, letters to the editor in which the authors ask that their "name be withheld by request" should follow these same guidelines even more stringently.

“If the above guidelines had been met, this fraud against the chiropractic profession would not have occurred. A mere phone call by TCJ to Dr. Sportelli (or the California Secretary of State) would have revealed that "Dr. Marsh's" allegations were completely without basis in fact. As stated on page three of "DC," "Dynamic Chiropractic is the solely owned publication of the non-profit Motion Palpation Institute."

“It is highly unlikely that the person or persons who perpetrated this fraud against the chiropractic profession (by authoring the Marsh letter) will ever come forward and confess. The content of the Marsh letter demonstrates that these deceptors have a very specific agenda which they have already attempted to force upon the chiropractic profession. Should similar actions occur again, a watchful eye will be able to recognize them for what they truly are.

“For the chiropractic profession, these are critical times. We need to be able to trust that what we read is the truth. Every publication in our profession must uphold the highest editorial standards in order to be perceived as credible.

“According to The Society of Professional Journalists' code of ethics, ‘Partisanship in editorial comment that knowingly departs from the truth violates the spirit of American journalism.’”

Kelli M. Price
    Assistant Editor

 

 

BBC, NY Times & TCJ

The notorious Jayson Blair flap at the NY Times which led to the resignation of its top officials paralleled the journalistic irresponsibility that recently surfaced when the two top officials of the BBC and the writer resigned over its unfounded attack on Prime Minister Tony Blair when the government was accused of embellishment of its case for war with Iraq. The judge found that the BBC had been guilty of “careless reporting, poor editorial oversight and a hubristic rush to defend itself.”

 

The same case can be alleged against Rondberg, yet he continues unencumbered by any ethical considerations since he is not accountable to anyone. There is no judge to hold him accountable, there is no Board of Directors to end his reign of terror, nor do criticisms affect his judgment because when you own the press, you can say whatever you like, especially when ethical journalism is not your concern. Indeed, how long would he last in the real world of journalism with his flair for the unfounded, his conflict of interest, and his yellow journalism? Sadly, the level of ethical journalism viewed in many chiropracTIC tabloids has been an embarrassment, yet no one has resigned or admitted the yellow journalism that permeates nearly every edition has, regrettably, become a tradition rather than an anathema to ethical journalism.

 

In the next section, I’ll discuss the power of the press and its enormous influence upon the consciousness and politics of this profession. Upon presentation of the events perpetrated by Rondberg, you can judge for yourself if his TCJ can be accused of the same--“careless reporting, poor editorial oversight and a hubristic rush to defend itself.”

 

 

Part Four: Who's Looking Out for Chiropractors?

 

A Grain of Salt

 

The war on terror illustrated to all the use of the media to influence the court of public opinion. The spinmeisters abroad from Baghdad and France painted a much different picture of the situation in Iraq than did the US government, and the liberal press like the NY Times, LA Times, Washington Post, and the BBC also left me wondering if they were writing about the same greedy tyrant and ruthless dictator that George Dubya was talking about. To listen to them and our European counterparts, you'd thought we were invading a harmless democracy like Sweden, not the most ruthless military dictatorship since Stalin's USSR.

 

We recently learned that the BBC wrongfully embellished its reporting regarding Prime Minister Tony Blair, forcing the heads of the BBC to resign along with the reporter who partook in this shameless journalism. At least in the real world of journalism, ethical standards are enforced at times, unlike the world of chiropracTIC journalism as we’ve seen in Rondberg’s tabloid. Indeed, after reading articles in TCJ, some may consider Rondberg’s attacks on the WFC, CCE, and ACA are blatant examples of careless reporting and editorial bias. Unlike the BBC, however, Rondberg is accountable to no one for his yellow journalism, editorial bias, and the demagoguery that typifies his tabloid. 

 

Indeed, the power of press is of enormous persuasion (especially if you own the press) to form opinions about events. Rondberg admitted as much when he wrote in private communication sent to me yesterday, "I have never claimed The Chiropractic Journal was anything other than the voice of the WCA and, yes, I have

an attitude."

 

Obviously Rondberg makes no bones about his lack of editorial objectivity and his bias "attitude," yet he them professes his TCJ is " Read and respected by more doctors of chiropractic than any other professional publication in the world." The irony of these contradictory statements is obvious to all but those ideologues who continue to say, "don't confuse me with the facts."

 

Journalistic ethics obviously have no bearing in his publication, as Bob Kohn explained when he defined journalistic fraud: 

"Today, instead of straight news, readers are given mere editorial under the pretense of objective journalism. Kohn shows point by point the methods by which the Times’ mission has been subverted by the present management—routinely slanting the presentation of the facts in leads, headlines, and placement; utilizing polls, labels, and loaded language to convey particular views, not genuine news; and staffing the newsroom with hacks who manipulate information to further a leftist agenda."

There is a fine line between ethical reporting of events and yellow journalism that persuades in order to profit, as we now see with some chiropracTIC tabloids like the TCJ and AJCC, both owned by proprietors of chiropractic services. Indeed, the editorial comments of Rondberg and Harrison often sound as ridiculous as those of Baghdad Bob, the infamous Iraqi Minister of Misinformation. But to the uninformed field docs, they often have no way of knowing what’s reality and what’s the fantasy of a publisher with a disingenuous attitude and an ax to grind.

 

The same conflict of information witnessed in Baghdad happens regularly within the chiropractic profession as we’ve seen, for example, when Rondberg openly encouraged the removal of Dr. Bill Morgan from the Physicians Office on Capitol Hill. Read for yourself an excerpt from Rondberg’s “Talking Points”:

6) The doctor of chiropractic now serving congress is a member of the American Chiropractic Association, a trade group which represents the more medically oriented portion of the profession. Since the majority of D.C.s do NOT belong to the ACA, we feel this doctor cannot fairly represent the total profession.

We would like our legislators help in making sure that the doctor or doctors chosen for this important position represent the entire profession, or at least the majority view. We recommend that the doctor chosen either be required to join the other major chiropractic organizations (WCA, ICA , and FSCO) or that a doctor from one of the groups involved in The Chiropractic Coalition (comprised of all three of the subluxation-centered groups).

 

Obviously the untruths here are plainly obvious to informed DCs, but to those who are naive to the facts, little do they know the deception in his drivel. First of all, Rondberg, the self-appointed president-for-life of his private little club of obstructionists, aka WCA, has the gall to label the ACA as the “medically oriented portion of this profession.” This is not only untrue, it’s clearly loaded language that is offensive to the thousands of ACA members who practice spinal care using various clinical methods focused on spinal dysfunction, including the detection and correction of the engimatic VSC. Just because they may not subscribe to Rondberg’s brand of chiropracTIC cultism does not make anyone “medically oriented,” nor is it an insult to many of us who respect the medical profession in its battle against our common enemies—disease and infirmity—issues these “non-therapeutic” chiropracTORs choose to ignore.

 

While the standard chiropracTIC demagoguery used by Rondberg and Williams has routinely vilified the medical profession and any DC as a “medipractor” who doesn’t “pop and pray to Innate,” rational DCs with an ounce of sensibility must admit the medical profession is certainly progressive in its research quest and its breadth of practice, something the chiropractic profession cannot claim considering our dire lack of a research base and our limited clinical scope. Just one reading of the NEJM will show the most ardent medical critic the profound efforts the allopaths have gone to understand and treat the multitude of diseases. Sadly, most chiropracTORs won’t even know what the NEJM is, which speaks volumes about their intellectual myopia.

 

While DCs have chosen not to practice allopathic medicine, that in itself does not minimize the contribution to public health made by MDs. To beat continually this “anti-anything-medical” drum is an insult not only to the medical profession, but it also illustrates clearly the demagoguery by these anachronistic chiropracTORs who still adhere to outdated politics from yesteryear. Indeed, it’s embarrassing the lack of progress this profession has made in its 109-year history no doubt due in part to this medieval Dark Ages attitude.

 

Rondberg’s second untruth rests with his statement: Since the majority of D.C.s do NOT belong to the ACA, we feel this doctor [Bill Morgan] cannot fairly represent the total profession.”

 

First of all, Dr. Morgan is not at the Capitol to represent the ACA or the entire profession. He’s an independent contractor hired by the naval staff at Bethesda to give care in its NMS department. Secondly, is Rondberg suggesting the majority of DCs belong to his funky WCA or his Coalition? This is clearly a lie that Rondberg knows full well. The new ACA is a dynamic, effective, growing association that is member-driven and headed by a democratically elected leadership and remains clearly the largest chiropractic association in the US, if not the world. In fact, the ACA membership is much larger than the combined membership of the Coalition, a fact Rondberg certainly knows, but misrepresents to all—Congressmen, field docs, and anyone willing to listen.

 

Members of Congress know this to be true, and the good reputation of the ACA lobbyists on Capitol Hill (ranked in the top 25) is obvious to those who attend the NCLC. Just as the Congressmen and women know the effectiveness of the ACA, they also know who are the real loonies in chiropractic—the chirovangelists in the ICA and WCA. While Wrongberg may fool the BJ hate-straight sycophants or naïve students, he isn’t fooling those on Capitol Hill with his misinformation. The real agenda here is that Rondberg can't control Dr. Morgan to act as his own lobbyist on Capitol Hill.

 

Anyone who attends NCLC knows full well the outstanding reputation of Dr. Bill Morgan as evident by the testimonials of every single Congressional speaker. When Sen. Tom Harkin turns and points to Dr. Morgan exclaiming “He’s your best lobbyist for chiropractic on Capitol Hill,” smart DCs know that Bill is the right man for this important position. Those who saw Dr. Morgan’s video of the testimonials by his medical colleagues at Bethesda understands the huge impact he’s made at his post. To suggest he does not represent the majority of the profession is outright balderdash and blatantly intellectually dishonest.

 

Rondberg continues with his lies: “We would like our legislators [sic] help in making sure that the doctor or doctors chosen for this important position represent the entire profession, or at least the majority view.”

 

I daresay Dr. Morgan does represent the majority view in this profession since most DCs are comprehensive in their scope of care, unlike the chiropracTORs. Obviously Rondberg prefers a chirovangelist with his Subluxation Station giving free spinal exams as they did last year at their so-called Summit instead of a well respected DC who understands the military medical protocols and who practices comprehensive spinal rehab. This is so outrageous it’s comical. HAHAAHAAHAAHAAHA. Thanks, Terry, I needed a good laugh.

 

When Rondberg incorrectly suggests the ACA is a minority group and Dr. Morgan is not representative of the majority of DCs, he once again undermines what little, if any, credibility he may have once had, moreover, his comments illustrate the deception he’s willing to commit in order to have things his way. He belies the obvious like Baghdad Bob telling the press corps that the American troops are not advancing! To suggest that the ACA does not represent the majority view within chiropractic makes me wonder about the sobriety of Rondberg; certainly he can’t be serious.

 

If Rondberg were just one isolated malcontent like DuVall, he would be just a menace, but as the publisher of his lowly regarded penny pincher-type advertising rag, The Chiropractic Journal, that goes to nearly every DC, his distortions of the truth have become a real problem. His suggestion that neither the ACA nor Dr. Morgan represent the majority of subluxation-based chiropractic is nonsense and offensive to the thousands of ACA members like me who adjust subluxations/misalignments/joint dysfunction/spinal boo-boos daily, but also do much more to help sick people get well and stay well. Indeed, SMT is not the only weapon in our arsenal against pain and suffering, and SMT is not the only aspect of a doctor of chiropractic.

 

To the subluxation-based chiropracTORs I say: stop treating x-rays and start treating patients! They are more than a bunch of bones pinching nerves as you would contend. Instead of subluxation-based, I suggest you become patient-based in your care--an entirely different concept to these chiro-therapists, some of whom won't even talk to their patients since they're too busy detecting and correcting VSC. Indeed, in the high-volume clinic mills taught by our straight bretheren, there's no time to talk with folks about health care. Just pop and pray they come back is their motto.

 

His simplistic and archaic attitudes are untrue and deceptive, but typical of this renowned obstructionist. No one any longer should consider Baghdad Rondberg to be an objective source of any chiropractic news—this was the last straw that finally broke his own back of credibility. Indeed, his TCJ must be taken with a grain of salt since a mouthful of his drivel will definitely cause you to become sick.

 

Media Fallout

All it takes is one bad apple like Rondberg to spoil the entire barrel. Some DCs may ignore Rondberg’s yellow journalism by thinking he’s harmless isolated to his little kingdom of chirovangelists, but the fallout of his chiropracTIC drivel is the most damaging when the legitimate media and medical journals read and respond to his “non-diagnostic, non-therapeutic, detect and correct VSC only, chiropracTIC cures-all, anti-anything-medical” beliefs. Sadly, we’re all affected when this happens since some in the public and medical media think Rondberg speaks for us all.

 

This was the problem when Sid Williams fell from academic grace at Life (which is a dumb name for a college)—all DCs were tainted because the GCA never distanced itself from his antics even though the GCA leaders privately hated him, they were afraid of him to say anything, so we all were painted by a broad brush of chirovangelism at its worst. Indeed, when Williams stated, “The only thing chiropracTIC can’t help is rigor mortis, ya folla” and that went uncontested by anyone in this profession's leadership, is it little wonder we’re all heaped together as quacks by the media and medical colleagues? Was it little wonder when no reputable Georgian legislators came to Williams' aid to rescue Life since no one wanted to be associated with that cultist despite the enormous $100+ million spent in Marietta by students? Indeed, the only folks who came to his rescue were his DE Dudes and $idiots who had drank his purple Kool-Aid.

 

On the other hand, if Williams were a reputable educator with altruistic motives (okay, stop laughing), he may have been helped, but as the proverbial wolf in sheep's clothing, everyone in Atlanta knew he was an academic fraud operating a diploma mill. In the end, his own nefarious reputation led to the death of Life, and every DC has been tainted in the process due to the total lack of damage control PR by the new administration and the state associations that still have their collective heads in the sand of denial hoping this entire matter will simply blow away.

 

Here’s another example of the damaged caused by this guilt by association from the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter that contained an article, "Should you consult a chiropractor." It’s painfully obvious from one glance of the TCJ that any reputable medical journalist could take chiropracTIC to task; in fact, it would be easy to attack all of chiropractic after reading anything written by our chiropracTIC brethern. This article broaches legitimate concerns among its seven precautions to consider when consulting a chiropracTOR, which seem logical conclusions one might reach after reading any of Rondberg’s misguided articles:

1. “See your regular physician first for a diagnosis and possible treatment and ask for a referral.”

 

While DCs may flinch at the thought of being a secondary level provider requiring medical referrals, after reading about the chiropracTIC non-diagnostic rap espoused by Rondberg, I daresay any ethical MD would be concerned about the lack of diagnostics as a threat to patient safety. Indeed, how many chiropracTORs can diagnose cauda equina, CAD, stroke, disc herniation, osteosarcoma, or signs of referred pain from visceral disorders? How many even care? Few, if any, even try to screen patients for these serious disorders before they jump in with their adjustments to cure the world of all subluxATIONS. This is a legitimate concern that must be confronted if we are to maintain our primary access position.

2. “Don't agree to tests using hair or fingernail analysis, iridology, or unproven methods to detect allergies or deficiencies you never knew you had.”

 

Too often some DCs use diagnostic tests that are experimental like hair analysis, and more often these tests are simply used to sell supplements. I find it odd that chiropracTORs are not taught these tests in college, and most straight DCs are also ignorant of supplements, but they gladly push these tests upon an unsuspecting public.

 

3.      “Don't agree to full-spine or full-body x-rays.”

 

Many guidelines now discourage routine full spine radiographs on every patient, yet too many chiropracTORs bombard their patients with pre and post x-rays. This is a legitimate warning to all patients, just as the overuse of MRIs and CT scans done at the first sign of back pain.

4.      “Don't agree to ‘maintenance’ care involving repeat visits over long periods.”

 

We’ve all heard of some technique gurus who promote lengthy programs of 90-120 visits annually using hard-sell methods and scare tactics. While some rehab programs may require lengthy care, most guidelines suggest 2 to 4 weeks of intensive care for pain control, then 1-4 months of rehab if applicable. I doubt many spine experts would disagree with periodic care to unload compression on discs or restore motion in spinal joints along with daily home exercises—the same preventative approach as dentists. But the use of repeat visits for asymptomatic patients under the guise of "wellness care" does appear unseemly to not only MDs, but to the public as well.

5.      “Don't agree to neck manipulation."

 

With the recent Lana Lewis court case in Canada, this is a hot issue, and one precaution that the Wellness Center is over-reacting since SMT causing stroke is rare according to research: one in 5.85 million treatments or one stroke in 48 careers. But people do have the right to informed consent so they understand this remote possibility.

6.      “If you want to take dietary supplements, follow the advice of your primary care physician. And buy them at a retail outlet, not from a health-care practitioner.”

 

It’s debatable if a PCP or health food store employee is better qualified to recommend supplements than a knowledgeable DC, but most chiropracTORs are ignorant about diet and supplements due to their admitted “straight” mindset. Moreover, some AK advocates use muscle testing as a method to push vitamins on hapless patients. (see attachment of the holistic auto repairman) Indeed, perhaps we should leave nutritional advice to those who actually study and practice this healing art.

7.      “If your chiropractor advises you not to get the flu shot or a pneumonia shot, or says he would never refer you to a medical doctor for treatment, we recommend finding another chiropractor.”

 

The anti-anything-medical mantra espoused by most chiropracTORs is a legitimate gripe from MDs. The Tedd Koren anti-vaccine tirade will never resonate in the medical profession or in the public because vaccines have proven effective to control infectious diseases despite the iatrogenic problems, which all healthcare methods have to some degree. Although some folks may subscribe to the anti-medicine rap, 90% of Americans are quite dependent upon their doctors and meds, and they must view this chiropracTIC attitude as regressive and unscientific more than they see it as enlightened. Indeed, we’ve been barking up the wrong tree trying to convince the public to this chiropracTIC anti-anything-medical drivel. Instead of making us look smart, it makes us appear outdated.

 

Parenthetically, the anti-medicine crapola that we’ve heard forever reminds me of the recent Democratic primary elections. Every Democrat jumped on the Howard Dean anti-war bandwagon despite the fact that 60-70% of all Americans support the war on terror. Because Dean’s message resonated with the 10% of anti-war folks who wouldn’t support any military action even if the Red Chinese invaded Los Angeles, all the other Democratic candidates felt compelled to chant this mantra as well. Even when Dean lost in Iowa badly, not one Democratic candidate has changed tactics to support the war. Like lemmings following the leader, it seems they’ve committed themselves to stay on this bandwagon even when it doesn’t resonate with the vast majority of mainstream Americans. If just one Democrat had the courage to support the war on terror, he would stand heads above the rest as the rational Democratic candidate.

 

The same can be said of our chiropracTIC brethren who feel compelled to view the entire world of medicine as BJ and $id Williams did years ago. While the anti-anything-medicine mantra may resonate with those ideologues needing an enemy to fight, this hasn’t resonated well with the 90% of Americans who appreciate medical care despite the iatrogenic issues that we’ve all been well schooled in criticising. Although the 10% of folks who love complementary and alternative medicine comprise our patient base, until we appear more rational in our attitude about medical care, we will not attract the other 90% of mainstream Americans who still view us with a jaundiced eye. They simply don’t trust ideological chiropracTORs although they may trust spinal manipulation in the hands of a PT or osteopath. How many times have we heard, “Do you know a good chiropractor?” In other words, they are looking for a DC they can trust, which includes not bashing MDs just for the sake of bashing MDs.

 

As a Lifer who made this mistake early on in my career, I speak from experience: when it comes to healthcare, "distinct" is not always better! Until mainstream chiropractic reinvents itself along an inclusive, cooperative attitude in an interdisciplinary environment, we’ll always be looking in from the margins of healthcare, aka, “separate and distinct” as Rondberg et al. would have it. Apparently these separatists have forgotten recent history when white supremacists in the 1950s justified their segregated schools as "separate but equal," which was deemed unconstitutional and viewed as a failed social construct to solve racial integration just as "separate and distinct" has failed as a solution for chiropractic's integration into the mainstream healthcare delivery system.

 

Again, George McAndrews spoke on this issue with his usual frank comment:

‘Separate and distinct’ has a nice ring to it. The same might be said for the phrase ‘ghettoized and weird.’ The doctors to whom I make reference seem happy with the second phrase. ‘Separate’ need not be synonymous with the word ‘ghettoized’ and ‘distinct’ need not be synonymous with ‘unrecognizable’ or ‘weird.’...A doctor who primarily focuses on the neurobiomechanical aspects of health need not be ghettozied or weird. Such a person is not a ‘backslapper’ or ‘technician’ and a person who is capable of utilizing well-proven additional modalities or services in his or her practice is neither a traitor, a heretic, a ‘toid,’ nor a ‘medipractor.’

 

Until we tell the public that we want to exist in cooperation with other healthcare providers to give patients the best of all worlds, we’ll continue to see only the 10% of CAM patients. Indeed, we have not yet won in the court of public opinion, and as long as radical publishers/spokesmen like Rondberg speak for us, we’ll continue to be viewed as radical quacks who are barking up the wrong tree.

 

This UC Wellness article illustrates that all of chiropractic is fair game to be attacked by the medical media since the rational DCs have never distanced themselves from the antics of our outspoken chiropracTORs. I would urge the ACA not to overreact to this UC Wellness article and deny those legitimate concerns of their precautions. Instead, I would agree that many are reasonable and explain that not all DCs today agree with this outdated chiropracTIC philosophy of non-diagnostic, anti-anything medical, prolonged treatment plans, and spurious sales pitches aimed more at profit than addressing a serious health concern.

 

Dr. Bill Morgan commented on this problem with the media:

“What gets me mad is that none of the true science is ever broadcast.  It is either tainted by the medical community or by the fringe element of our great profession.” (Private communication, Jan 22, 2004)


Antiestablishmentarianism in Chiropractic

Until the new ACA and all of rational chiropractic redefines itself to the public, we’ll continue to be tainted by these fringe chiropracTIC tabloids and spokesmen like Rondberg and CJ Mertz--both salesmen posing as chiropracTIC leaders. I urge the ACA to call a press conference, offer a mea culpa for past transgressions, offer a tabula rasa for a new start to clear the air, broach these important issues, show the latest research/guidelines, show how SMT will lower costs over back surgery, and offer a reasonable niche for DCs as non-drug, non-surgical NMS specialists--a role that polls have shown to be acceptable to the public, media, and medical worlds. We can show the cost-savings, the clinical effectiveness, and the need for non-drug, non-surgical NMS care in this epidemic of back problems. As research shows the effectiveness of SMT for visceral disorders, our scope will expand, but for now, if we are to appear rational, we must stick to what we help best: NMS spine and spine-related disorders.

 

But until we distance ourselves publicly from these radicals who profess outdated cure-all hyperbole, we’ll continue to be tainted by the Rondbergs of the profession, and rightfully so! All the research in the world cannot overcome a bad image of one who thinks chiropracTIC will cure the world of all ailments. We’ve heard this said many times by our chiropracTIC brethren with their “burning desire” and "Lasting Purpose," which now has become our lasting problem:

“Regardless of the presence or absence of disease or symptomatology, the body will always function more efficiently when free from vertebral subluxation. That we are right in this principle seems beyond question,” according to Joseph Sasso, D.C., former president of the Federation of Straight Chiropractic Organizations (FSCO) "Point/Counterpoint" October 25, 1991 issue of "DC."

 

This chiro-catechism that is parrotted too often by our chiropracTORs--"the body will always function more efficiently when free from vertebral subluxation," is so ridiculous it's actually funny. I daresay a body free of AIDS will function better, a body free of a bullet in its brain will function better, or a body free of dysentary will also function better. Why do these chirovangelists think they are so profound with this simplistic belief. "So What?" is my response: tell me somthing we don't know.

 

On the other hand, if they could explain the affect of VSC and SMT upon the ANS in terms of dysafferentiation, dorsal horn involvement, descending inhibitory pathways, mechanoreceptors, nociceptors, sympathetic vasoconstriction, reflex muscle spasms, neuropathophysiology, inflammatory responses, vascular abnormalities, biochemical abnormalities, mechanical and chemcial irritants to the ANS, then I might give them credit for understanding the "force behind the matter." But these chiropracTORs are clueless as to the actual science behind VSC and SMT, and just as BJ was ignorant of the function of the ANS, they also resort to vitalistic metaphysics to explain the "maddness behind our methods."

 

Perhaps Dr. Sasso owns an Innatometer that measures the flow of “life energy,” or perhaps he uses the Subluxation Station to record the flow of “mental impulses” to and from the brain to every cell in the body, but his chiro-catechism reflects the Big Hypothetical of chirovangelism, not science in any fashion. As long as we hang our collective hat on metaphysical clichés instead of clinical research, we’ll forever been seen more as faith healers than rational healthcare providers. Like Oral Roberts slapping people on the forehead to heal them, now we have chiropracTORs poppin’ and prayin’ to Innate instead. Is that how we want to be regarded?

 

I recently wrote to a VA director in an effort not to be bundled with the horde of Lifers who profess chirovangelism. I flatly told him that I am not one of those DCs who think SMT can cure diabetes, knowing full well this is how we are stereotyped! While exercise, diet and supplements may help, there is no evidence that SMT alone will cure anyone of diabetes, or cancer, or heart disease or even arthritis. Once the mainstream chiropractic profession proclaims the same, we cannot be lumped in with the chiropracTORs whose chirovangelism professes to cure the world of all dis-ease, except rigor mortis, ya folla?

 

This came from my experience speaking before the former Governor’s Advisory Commission on Workers’ Comp while making a case for SMT for LBP when an MD jumped up and said, “That may be fine, but we don’t want those chiropractors from Life College who think they can cure diabetes.” I didn’t realize diabetes was a workers’ comp issue, but she made her point: DCs who preach cultism and profess unproven hyperbole are not trustworthy in the eyes of medical professionals, but we're all painted with the same broad brush of cultism thanks to Sid Williams and his ilk here in Georgia. Indeed, we’re all tainted by the antics of these chirovangelists who have no idea how destructive their drivel is on our image, access, parity and market share. They’re simple too enamored with themselves proselytizing their chirovangelism to all to be concerned with how the public views us.

 

Just as Rondberg is a problem within this profession, he will become a larger problem as the chiropracTIC spokesman on Capitol Hill and among the media who may not realize his fringe beliefs and self-serving politics. Until he is exposed for what he really is, he may well remain the most dangerous person in this profession as a vendor/publisher with a political agenda to mold this profession for his own profit. I daresay at the upcoming NCLC, every ACA rep should forewarn our Congressional representatives that Rondberg and his Summit Sycophants do not represent the vast majority of this profession. Indeed, this group resembles the Jehovah Witnesses of chiropractic: radicals with separate standards, anti-social attitudes, a doomsday philosophy, and a leadership run amok in conflicts of interest, chanting to all, “we’re right, everyone else is wrong.”

 

Now we know who George McAndrews might have been referring to when he said, “5 percent of you are cultists, 5 percent are freaks, and the rest of you… keep your mouths shut!”

 

Abe Lincoln of ChiropracTIC?

The obstructionist policies of the ICA and WCA have been most disturbing in the past as well of late. The ICA’s anti-unity effort with the ill-fated ICA/ACA merger in the 1980s was the most obvious example of factionalism/warlordism within chiropractic. With the ouster of Williams from the reins of control of the ICA, Rondberg now appears as the leading obstructionist within the chiropracTIC ranks. I wish I could say CJ Mertz will be of help to improve the downtrodden status of the ICA, but he appears more interested in his practice management firm, selling tacky infomercials and franchises, and hawking ghost written books than resolving these historical problems. Guy Riekeman could also play an important role in resolving these internal conflicts, but he now has his hands full salvaging his position at Palmer.

 

Tom Klapp while COCSA prez attempted admirably to reconcile states split by maverick "councils" begun by Williams, but his embeded chirovangelism will dilute his effectiveness as a rational moderate. Unfortunately, he's bought into the old "vitalist vs. mechanist" argument, not realizing the real issue to unity is the separation of religious ideology from government affairs. Indeed, I know many ACA members who consider themselves "straight," but they are not chirovangelists. I know many "vitalists" who appreciate the "force behind the matter" and practice comprehensive spinal care, but they refuse to mix chirovangelism into their practice dialogue with the standard chiropracTIC cliches like ADIO. Just as there are conservatives and liberals in both the Democratic and Republican parties, the crux of this issue rests with keeping metaphysical ideologues from operating our associations or confusing our governmental affairs, an issue our chiropracTIC bretheren have yet to learn. Like religious zealots, they are hell bent on pressing their ideology upon all issues as if they're on a mission from God (or Innate).

 

Even if a courageous chiropracTOR with a strong backbone emerged from the straight sect espousing unity, merger, upgrading clinical and educational standards, and improving our PR, he would be crucified by the chirovangelists, just as Mike Pedigo experienced years ago with his merger effort. Attack dogs like Bob Braille would surface to vilify anyone who might render them obsolete, just as he did against Pedigo. Ideologues like Sasso and Rondberg would stir anger among the chiropracTORs to incite a jihad to fight the evil mixers. Until the straights find a courageous Abe Lincoln who can lead them out of their chiropracTIC secessionist mindset, we’ll forever be burdened with these chirovangelists living on the fringe to remain “separate and distinct” at all costs to the entire profession--costs in terms of image, access, and market share, issues remotely important to these Quixotic chiropracTORs who are accustomed to their marginal role as Defenders of ChiropracTIC, as Williams once billed himself.

 

Leading the pack of attack dogs upon anyone who speaks positively about unity and progress is the inimitable Rondberg. He has shown no interest in unity or raising educational standards that would diminish his role as obstructionist and CBS salesman. As a chiropracTIC warlord, he stands to make more money by keeping this profession split and keeping his demagoguery alive, just as al Qaeda insurgents have no use for democracy. As Sid Williams proved, demagoguery can be very lucrative, ya folla, even if he brought his college to its knees. Indeed, the entire "straight" faction is in shambles now--the once largest chiropracTIC college is nearly dead, the ICA and WCA leaderships run amok with conflicts of interests and dwindling memberships, and the modern healthcare delivery system continues to reject their radical chirovangelism as cultism, which it certainly is.

 

Aside from his yellow journalism, political machinations, insurance brokerage conflict, and his overall demagoguery, Rongberg has created a litany of other problems within this profession, to name just a few of the many complaints by foreign chiropractic associations for meddling, investigations by his own state association for unethical conduct, his attacks upon competing insurance companies and political rivals, his conviction for illegal campaign contributions, his misrepresentation of AHCPR endorsement, his political manipulations with the ICA elections, his misuse of the NGO status by the WCA, his censorship of critics, a complaint for editorial fraud by notable chiropractic activist Chester Wilk, complaints by advertisers for “play-for-pay” journalism, creation of bogus clinical guidelines, his attempted sabotage of ACA VA bill, a lawsuit by PCC for illegal use of Fountainhead, his phony VSRI research scam, his defrauding readers by defaming chiropractic leaders and, lastly, Rongberg’s embarrassing defense of Sid Williams during the Life debacle.

 

The remaining parts of this commentary will focus on those issues that further illustrate the subversive efforts of this one man upon an entire profession.

 

 

Part Five: ChiropracTIC’s Sock Puppets

 

sock puppet n. [Usenet: from the act of placing a sock over your hand and talking to it and pretending it's talking back] In Usenet parlance, a pseudonym through which the puppeteer posts follow-ups to their own original message to give the appearance that a number of people support the views held in the original message.

 

The ChiropracTIC Coalition headed by Rondberg is an example of a “sock puppet” organization headed by just a few cohorts who prop themselves up as composed of “major chiropracTIC organizations,” when, in fact, all totaled together they are smaller than many state associations, and certainly smaller than the ACA or WFC. In reality, this Coalition is only a handful of chiropracTORs who stand to profit by this bogus coalition. Throughout the propaganda disseminated by the Chiro Coalition, we’ve seen repeatedly the sock puppet method of enhancing its image and, thereby, creating a strong case for alleged misrepresentation.

 

“The Chiropractic Coalition — founded in November 2002 by three major chiropractic organizations, the International Chiropractors Association (ICA), the World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA), the Federation of Straight Chiropractors and Organizations (FSCO)  — cautions that several rogue groups are trying to position chiropractors as quasi-medical doctors, unnecessarily and irresponsibly blurring the boundary lines between the professions and confusing the public.” www.chiropracticcoalition.org/press/formation.htm 

 

Geez, if these ain’t fightin’ words, what are? It certainly is difficult to swallow their misguided belief that “several rogue groups are trying to position chiropractors as quasi-medical doctors” when, in fact, these so-called “rogue” groups include the ACA, ACC, CCE, and WFC, the legitimate “major” chiro organizations in this country and throughout the world. Furthermore, diagnosis and broad-scope spinal care are not “quasi-medical” as much as it’s thorough and professional by today’s standards. Sadly, these simple-minded chirovangelists still believe in the Big Hypothetical that a pop and a prayer to Innate will cure the world of all dis-ease, so why do anything else like diagnose, refer, or offer comprehensive spinal care? Clearly a case of arrested development by objective standards, ya folla?

 

The most impactful and negative aspect of such unfounded misrepresentation is that it only drives a wedge into unity within the chiropractic profession. By demonizing mainstream chiropractic care and the ACA, Rongberg and his Coalition alienate field docs with their exclusive mindset: “either you’re with us straights or against chiropracTIC”—typical demagoguery. On the other hand, the ACA, WFC and ACC have long held Dr. Joe Janse’s belief that we must “legislate as broadly as possible and practice as narrow as you want,” which is certainly an inclusive position that bridges gaps rather than widening our differences. Ironically, many ACA leaders and members are straight chiropractors in practice, just without the chirovangelism.

 

Another example of the “sock puppet” mentality is the in-breeding among the ICA and WCA crowds where they frequently bestow meaningless honorary degrees and awards upon themselves. Phony PhC degrees, Chiropractor of the Decade awards, Research of the Year (sans RCTs) and other trumped-up ceremonious accolades are routinely presented among the misguided leadership of these chiropracTIC organizations to elevate their image among the naïve students and field docs. Indeed, the incestuous relationship among the chiropracTIC sect is renowned if not reprehensible for the mockery they’ve made of academic awards.

 

The most memorable phony award of this type was noted at the WFC/ACC/COCSA seminar in Fort Lauderdale, “Philosophy in Chiropractic Education,” in November of 2000 when Sid Williams proudly announced to the entire meeting of notables from around the world that his lovely wife, Nell, had just been selected as the ICA’s Person of the Year! Experts are still trying to figure out why a woman without any reputable academic degrees (other than her pre-CCE PCC diploma), no published peer-reviewed articles, and no academic accomplishments whatsoever would deserved this award except for putting up with this megalomaniac during her lifetime, which is reason enuf, ya folla? Just as Williams made a mockery of chiropracTIC education, the ICA made a mockery of its award by presenting it to her. While the nepotism was obvious to most, it raised few eyebrows among the chiropracTIC sect that beamed with delight.

 

Legislative Fraud

As perceptive readers understand the LA Times, al Jazeera, BBC are renowned in their biased reporting, they ain’t seen nothin’ yet until they have the displeasure of reading the TCJ. A more recent example of Rongberg’s journalistic fraud becoming legislative fraud occurred when he misinformed his readership and US representatives about the Medicare “Manzullo” bill, HR 2560:

“ACA representatives said they supported the spirit of resolution and voiced no objections to the wording, but said that the organization's focus right now was on the HCFA lawsuit and therefore it could not take a leadership role in ensuring that the resolution is passed.

"We are extremely gratified that all of these major chiropractic organizations were able to agree on this fundamental statement about chiropractic," stated Terry A. Rondberg, D.C., president of the WCA. "Working with our lobbyist in Washington, we hope to generate enough support for this resolution to send it sailing through both the House and the Senate."

"For years, members of Congress have shied away from chiropractic bills because they were afraid they'd alienate one faction or the other," Dr. Rondberg explained. "We have to let them know that we all support this bill and that co-sponsoring it and voting for it will win them the approval of the entire profession." [www.worldchiropracticalliance.org/government/resolution/resolution-info.htm]

 

Not only did the Chiro Coalition not have the blessings of the ACA, WFC or ACC as he reported, Rongberg continued to misrepresent his power base to both the readership and to the politicians. As we well know, the total membership of this Chiro Coalition probably numbers in a few hundred at best, certainly not the “major” national chiropractic organizations that he consistently bills. In fact, many state associations outnumber any of these three groups—the WCA, ICA, and FSCO—all of which have declining memberships.

 

In fact, the WFC, not the WCA or ICA, is the true international organization with reps from over 80 legitimate democratically elected chiro associations, yet Rongberg has no problems misleading everyone, including members of Congress, as to his actual power base. Nor has he mentioned to legislators that his WCA is a non-democratic “alliance” of just a few hundred members who have no voting privileges or that he is its president-for-life. Since he refuses to divulge his actual membership, we can only estimate his numbers. I wonder if our Congressmen would appreciate being misled by this self-serving autocrat? While it may the chiropracTIC way, it’s certainly not the American way!

 

Imagine the implications of a non-elected spokesman of a small fringe group of fundamentalist radicals misinforming our legislators in the name of an entire profession. Imagine a non-democratic “alliance” that misrepresents itself as a member-driven association to legislators.  Imagine if this alliance leadership owned a business that would benefit if particular legislation were passed, all unbeknownst to the legislators. Imagine if this minority alliance were cohorts with political adversaries to undermine the progressive legislation supported by the mainstream national association.

 

Sadly, this miscarriage of representation has already occurred when the WCA politicked against the ACA/ACA’s bills in the VA and Medicare recently, and in regards to the CCE and military health services bill. The fact is obvious that his WCA is not a democratic, member-driven association; it is simply a front for him to sell his wares and to manipulate legislators who mistakenly think it’s a democratic organization. If Congressmen realized the representative fraud and covert financial implications of the WCA and its Chiro Coalition, the negative reaction would be enormous, no doubt.

 

Incredulously, Rongberg then had the gall to write, "For years, members of Congress have shied away from chiropractic bills because they were afraid they'd alienate one faction or the other.” In fact, his ChiropracTIC Summit and HR 2569 have done exactly that—confused legislators as to the wishes of mainstream chiropractic. Hopefully these Congressmen understand that his Chiro Coalition actually represents only the fringe, fundamentalist radicals on the margins of this profession, certainly not the mainstream wishes of the ACA, WFC or ACC, and his WCA is a sham organization that mainly represents his tainted self-interests.

 

An example of Rongberg’s propensity to misrepresent his power base, his Chiro Coalition lists its 15 supporters, including 6 non-US chiro organizations:

Organizations Affiliated with the Chiropractic Coalition:

  • The Australian World Chiropractic Alliance
  • The Chiropractic Association of Ireland
  • Chiropractic Awareness Council of Ontario
  • Chiropractic Fellowship of Pennsylvania
  • Colorado Chiropractic Wellness Alliance
  • Florida Chiropractic Society
  • Israel Doctors of Chiropractic
  • Michigan Chiropractic Association
  • Oregon Doctors of Chiropractic
  • Palmetto State Chiropractic Association
  • Peruvian Chiropractic Alliance
  • Society of Chiropractic Orthospinology
  • Virginia Society of Chiropractic
  • Dutch Chiropractic Federation
  • International Chiropractors Association of Indiana

 

Aside from these rather small, obscure and foreign groups, what Rongberg doesn’t mention are the 48 credible state associations (not “alliances”) from the US, as well as the 16,000 members in the national ACA, and those in the ACC, FCER, WFC and the CCE who did NOT support his misguided effort. Yet this didn’t stop him from misrepresenting his numbers to Congressmen or to the profession—indeed, positioning the WCA, ICA and FSCO as “major” chiro organizations is typical of his yellow journalism and blatant misrepresentation of the facts.

 

Anyway, just how much weight does he think the Peruvian Chiro Alliance carries on Capitol Hill? Do our legislators really care what the Israel, Dutch, Irish or Canadian chiropracTORs think how the US Medicare system should work? This is laughable to everyone, and certainly a misrepresentation of his actual power base. This Chiro Coalition is as representative of the entire chiropractic profession as the Jehovah Witnesses are representative of the entire Christendom!

 

Moreover, it certainly does confuse the legislators when they hear conflicting voices from the same profession. Until Congressmen are aware that the Chiro Coalition is just a small group of radical fundamentalists from yesteryear (many of whom have conflicts of interests), they will continue to give chiropractic short shrift as a chaotic profession sending mixed signals. If the WCA or the Chiro Coalition disagrees, the easiest way to solve this is to put it to a profession-wide vote! Let’s have the majority of DCs dictate who our leaders and what our legislative agenda should be rather than this Coalition of marginal elements. Do you think Rongberg’s interested in that?

 

Most recently, we saw the Chiropractic Coalition propose the Manzullo Medicare substitution bill, like the VA bill, that would have limited chiropractic care to their scheme of straight chiropracTIC practice only, similar to what we now have in Medicare devoid of all PT, rehab, and physio-therapeutics that most DCs use, but inexplicably included the recommendation of  “instrumentation.”

 

Reportedly, VA Committee member Dr. Leona Fischer, who also serves on the WCA International Board of Governors, has repeatedly argued that thermography and sEMG units (Subluxation Stations) are essential for all VA facilities that offer chiropractic.  Matt McCoy also belabored this point at the Great Debate at Palmer recently. Ostensibly this is equivalent to chiropractic pork—non-essential add-ons to fatten Rongberg’s friends, Gentempo and Kent, who are co-owners of this surface EMG that purportedly prove the existence of VSC! In fact, this device as been labeled by experts as a “So What?” instrument in that it doesn’t detect VSC and is inconsequential to chiropractic diagnosis or chiropractic care.

 

In this example, it is clear that vendors and tabloid publishers worked together to mold this profession to their schemes—a total misrepresentation of professional ethics—all done under the guise of democratic representation. Little did the VA or MHS or Medicare personnel understand the conflict of interests involved among the WCA and Chiro Coalition leaders.

 

Rondberg and this WCA representative, Dr. Fischer, pushed thermography and surface EMG for the “purpose of objective evidence-based assessment.” She also told the committee that DCs should “not be limited to only those with NMS complaints. A person can be subluxated without NMS complaint.” Indeed, a patient is subluxated but doesn’t know it—no pain or symptoms! Did they expect the VA committee to respond with a straight face to that remark? (no pun intended)

 

Fortunately, the VA committee failed to agree with Dr. Fischer’s wish to have Subluxation Stations at every VA facility, which no doubt would have been a windfall for Kemp, Gentempo and Rongberg. But it didn’t take long for the sock puppets in the WCA and ICA to disseminate their yellow journalism to the entire profession with misleading analysis of the VA decision that was finally refuted by the ACA in an effort to clear the air.

ACA RESPONDS TO MISLEADING ARTICLES

IN RECENT ICA AND WCA PUBLICATIONS

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) is compelled to respond to recent front-page articles carried in the December 2003 issue of The Chiropractic Choice published by the International Chiropractors Association (ICA) and the January 2004 issue of The Chiropractic Journal published by the World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA).

These two articles are sensational in their reporting and omit important facts and complexities involved in the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Chiropractic Advisory Committee process and the recent recommendations sent to Secretary Anthony J. Principi. The ICA specifically accuses ACA of "voting for MD referral" and both articles profess that ACA members are against direct access to chiropractic care. These two articles give the uninformed reader an inappropriately negative take on the VA Committee’s recommendations, which are quite positive and herald a new day for veterans and the chiropractic profession. The American Medical News recently reported, "Chiropractic care at the Dept. of Veterans Affairs could expand dramatically, if the final recommendations of the VA chiropractic advisory committee are followed."

The recent ICA article seems particularly intent on misrepresenting the facts and damaging the ACA when it wrongfully blames the ACA for voting on a committee recommendation they do not agree with. The ICA headline, "…ACA votes for MD Referral" is the most egregious, since ICA knows this is just not true. Dr. McLean and the ICA know that the ACA, ICA and WCA have NO standing or votes on the VA Committee. It has been made perfectly clear by the VA that the committee members were chosen to share their personal expertise in drafting recommendations for Secretary Principi, NOT as representatives for any organization. Each VA Committee member voted their personal conscience in light of all the facts and information presented to them. They voted for what they thought would best serve our nations veterans and the chiropractic profession. The ACA certainly did not vote "for MD referral" as the ICA alleges and did not vote on any of the other committee recommendations.

ICA knows full well that the ACA and its members are NOT "against direct access" in the VA or any other institution or entity. Direct access is a principle the ACA fights for every day with insurance companies, regulatory agencies, in the courts and in Congress. The ACA Chairman testified before the VA Committee in favor of direct access. The ACA members on the VA committee simply voted for what they believed would best serve veterans in this integration into the VA Health System.

VA Committee members Dr. Michael McLean (quoted in ICA article) and Dr. Leona Fischer (author of WCA article) are also fully aware that their fellow committee members, Drs. Reed Phillips, Rick McMichael and Cindy Vaughn, are NOT "against direct access" in the VA or anywhere else. These committee members voted for Doctors of Chiropractic to be treated like all other specialists in the Veterans Health System (VHS).

Here are a few important facts: The three ACA members on the committee voted FOR direct access on March 30, 2003. A 5-6 vote made direct access a dissenting recommendation, lacking the consensus of other committee members or even a simple majority. A minority recommendation was very unlikely to gain acceptance and be implemented by the VA. The three ACA members then worked with the committee to craft the strongest possible, high-consensus recommendation on access. They gained compromise language that deleted "referral by" the PCP in favor of "by consultation with" the PCP and other changes. The committee recommendations also included "direct access" for veterans who have received chiropractic care in the Military Healthcare System while on active duty.

Never did any of the ACA members vote "for MD referral", but rather, "Access to chiropractic care should be by consultation with the patient’s primary care provider or another VA provider who is currently treating the patient…." In fact, none of the ACA members ever voted "against direct access" since no vote was taken on the dissenting recommendation offered at the September 2003 meeting.

The ACA is committed to truth and honesty in reporting and will not hesitate to hold other organizations and individuals to the same standard. The type of information contained in these recent ICA and WCA articles serves to foster further division within the profession. We can do better. Honest and complete reporting by all individuals and organizations will increase understanding and improve our intra-professional relationships. Differences in opinion and strategies will occur, but we must all commit to reporting complete and accurate information. Is that really too much to ask?

 

Apparently it is “too much to ask” when it comes to the yellow journalists in the ICA and WCA. Although the ACA hopes for cooperation with these two radical chiropracTIC groups, this is simply well-wishing since these chiropracTIC demagogues have no intention of mutual respect or cooperation: their sole purposes is to create havoc to benefit themselves by casting the ACA in a negative, albeit untruthful, light. This is not the first nor will it be the last time these propagandists have misled the profession on important matters. Yellow journalism and demagoguery are their motives, not fair and balanced reporting or intra-professional cooperation. In fact, if a profession-wide election were taken today, both the ICA and WCA would disappear into oblivion; hence, their resistance to unity by whatever means.

 

Rongberg has also unilaterally written to eliminate language that addresses DCs as specialists to NMS conditions despite the overwhelming proof of our effectiveness with such disorders. In his misguided attempt to be all things to all patients, he has lobbied for primary access for all VA patients, including those without NMS problems. www.worldchiropracticalliance.org/news/vabill.htm

WCA launches campaign to drop 'musculoskeletal' label in VA bill

“The World Chiropractic Alliance launched a massive grass roots campaign to modify a Congressional proposal which could have defined the role of chiropractic in the Veterans Affairs (VA) health services system as a method of treating "neuromusculoskeletal conditions."

So, one might ask, what were the results of his “massive grass roots campaign”? His hyperbole once again smacks of yellow journalism and failed results, as we’ve seen with his interference in other legislation such as the VA, MHS, and Medicare bills. While Rondberg endlessly instigates resistance to anything proposed by the ACA, ACC, CCE, WFC, and mainstream chiropractors, he never mentions his failures in these efforts. Indeed, Rondberg is a cowboy who “keeps throwin’ good money in after bad.”

 

He also defends his resistance to PT modalities done by DCs in these bills as “chiropractic was being presented as a duplication of medical services,” according to Rongberg. So, why can’t DCs give the PTs a little competition and why should DCs be denied payment when PT is used in a chiropractic office? Since the vast majority of DCs use modalities in pain management and spinal rehab, Rongberg’s wish would have decreased a lot of services and incomes for many DCs. Indeed, Rongberg continues to push the “detect and correct VSC only” paradigm to Congress, which would severely inhibit comprehensive spinal care in this profession. But his agenda is not comprehensive care, it’s simply a model of a pop and a prayer to Innate, along with the Subluxation Station, of course! He knows who butters his bread, and this vendor/publisher is willing to interfere with national legislation in order to mold this profession to suit his business interests. Indeed, no one will ever accuse Rondberg of looking out for mainstream DCs.

 

These radical WCA reps also suggested that all VA patients, no matter what their ailments should be seen by chiropracTORs first to remove any and all subluxations before they see an MD, illustrating their fanatical position that subluxation is the cause of all dis-ease and its removal is essential regardless of conditions. This nonsense is even suggesting that the poor patient may not realized he’s subluxated, as the WCA’s sock puppet, Leona Fischer, told the committee that “A person can be subluxated without NMS complaint.” This is as ridiculous as an MD who suggests all patients should be given antibiotics since they may have germs despite the lack of symptoms. Obviously, it was getting knee-deep in that committee room!

 

“The Coalition holds that the vertebral subluxation is an appropriate primary diagnosis and is, in and of itself, a detriment to the fullest expression of life,” according to the WCA website. Just where is the proof of this gobbledygook—“a detriment to the fullest expression of life”? What must legislators think when they read this phrase: that chiropracTORs are some sort of faith healers? And certainly insurance companies and Medicare regulations refuse to accept the VSC as a stand-alone primary diagnosis. Indeed, this chirovangelistic mindset has not advanced the chiropractic cause on Capitol Hill or within the ranks of the insurance world, but the Chiro Coalition continues to push this notion upon our legislators as if it were the wishes of “major” chiro organizations.

 

Obviously, this illustrates just another example of the tail waggin’ the dawg! For those who believe in democratic representation, it should make their blood boil when this small group of WCA non-elected radicals has the gall to push its agenda of chirovangelism and a highly restricted version of spinal care on Capitol Hill in the name of this entire profession. In reality, they are merely vendors pushing their agenda to profit, not to improve this profession’s status.

 

Not only does it confuse our legislators, these insurgents misrepresent the true feelings of our profession and work to thwart the legislative efforts of the ACA and ACC. Until the WCA becomes a democratically elected organization of notable size, it has no business whatsoever to claim to represent the wishes of this profession; it’s questionable whether or not chirovangelists even outnumber “objective” straight chiropractors. This alliance is a sham that every Congressman must be told is a representative fraud that represents the sole wishes of one tabloid publisher/vendor.

 

Retro-invention of Chiropractic

"This bill will not only reshape the definition of chiropractic in federal policy...it will blow the lid off the definition of chiropractic in federal policy... We will make it clear once and for all that chiropractic is equal, but unique."

U.S. Representative Donald Manzullo posted on the WCA website

 

While Rep. Manzullo was well intentioned, he was obviously misled by the proponents of chiropracTIC, and the hidden agenda behind this bill was obvious:

  • The Manzullo bill would legitimize “detect and correct VSC only” as the cornerstone of all chiropractic care rather than the accepted mainstream role as broad scope NMS specialists as we’ve seen implemented elsewhere such as at Bethesda. Rongberg has yet to learn there’s more to chiro care than SMT only, but that hasn’t stopped him from forcing the limited ol’ time chirovangelism scope upon us all.
  • The loss of physician status under Medicare would be very harmful to the profession but helpful to Rongberg’s CBS malpractice company because malpractice lawsuits could be defended on the basis that DCs are not physicians and thereby have no responsibility to diagnose or refer since they were only detecting and correcting subluxations.  In effect, this would make DCs into non-diagnostic, non-therapeutic second-tier therapists in the eyes of healthcare professionals.
  • The public safety issue of what the WCA was proposing is obvious inasmuch as chiropracTORs would renounce diagnostics and fail to screen potentially harmful cases that require medical intervention; plus, their “anti-anything medical” mindset would not only jeopardize patients’ safety, it would alienate those ethical MDs who are open to inter-professional treatments and referrals.
  • Nor would it establish “clear once and for all that chiropractic is equal, but unique” as much as it would show the world that ol’ time chirovangelism is a faith-based pseudo-science built on metaphysics, not modern bio-medical science, wrapped in the banner of chiro-cultism and supported by messianic sycophants who are mesmerized by self-serving vendors fueled by greed and obvious conflicts of interest. If this bill had prevailed, DCs would certainly NOT be considered equal to other healthcare professionals by any means, but very “unique” in a weirdest sense of the word—primary access providers who are non-diagnostic, non-therapeutic, non-referring, limited spinal therapists who ignore all other health professionals in their quest to free the world of all subluxATIONS!

 

Aside from the obvious affront to professional ethics to promote their own services, products, and seminars while acting as leaders of an “alliance” and publishing a spurious chiropracTIC journal that more closely resembles a free Penny Pincher advertising newspaper filled with “pay-to-play” columnists/vendors, that alone would be of small consequence if that were the entire story. Aside from these conflicts of interest to make money, their aim is more than personal profit. Their real goal has been to stop the progress and reverse the direction of this profession via their propaganda and political insurgent ploys to assure themselves greater power by keeping chiropractic in its unheralded past. Indeed, their legislative efforts appear to legislate incompetence!

 

The best thing this profession could do would be to re-invent itself along a non-drug, non-surgical NMS paradigm rather than the chirovangelist “chiropracTIC cures all” theme from yesteryear. This is how the public perceives us according to polls, and the public has also consistently rejected the “Killer Subluxation” advertising schemes as scare tactics, nor does the public view DCs as PCPs for all conditions. Indeed, in the public’s mind, we are specialists for spine and spine-related disorders. It’s a bitter pill to swallow for many DCs that we are not “all things to all patients” as our chiropracTIC brethren would believe. It’s time we stop fooling ourselves with this well wishing.

 

Academic Fraud

As we saw with the loss of CCE accreditation at Life, “sock puppets” without any academic backgrounds came out of the woodwork to criticize this decision as well as the CCE Standards themselves as potentially harmful to chiropracTIC. Of course, none of these critics like the infamous DECE in Marietta had any PhDs in higher education, none had written any position papers on this issue that were printed in any peer-reviewed journals, and most remained anonymous except for the irrepressible Rongberg, who now bills himself as an expert on higher education.  [www.worldchiropracticalliance.org/news/cceopposition.htm ]

CCE faces strong opposition from WCA and other groups

Organizations resist plan to change standards, call D.C.s 'physicians'

Several recently proposed revisions to the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) "Standards for Chiropractic Programs and Institutions," were immediately denounced by the World Chiropractic Alliance, the International Chiropractors Association (ICA), the Federation of Straight Chiropractors and Organizations (FSCO), and doctors across the United States .

…"These provisions could have extremely serious ramifications for the entire profession, and allow the CCE to interfere in state regulatory functions," stated Terry A. Rondberg, D.C., president of the WCA. "They could change the way chiropractic is taught, and how the public perceives it. Most critical, however, is that they clearly overreach their authority when they try to dictate the content of chiropractic education and show a decided bias toward medicalized chiropractic.”

In an open letter to the profession, Dick Plummer, D.C., FSCO chairman warned the changes "will end a chiropractic college's ability (to) train practitioners who will contribute to an individual's overall well being through the correction of vertebral subluxation. The first proposed change mandates the inclusion of physiotherapy in the curriculum of all colleges. This means that the chiropractic colleges and chiropractic would become condition rather than subluxation centered."

It’s interesting that Rondberg suggests the CCE has “clearly overreach their authority when they try to dictate the content of chiropractic education” when, in fact, that’s exactly its role to upgrade the sorry academic programs it has found in some chiropracTIC colleges. He also has the gall to state that CCE “show a decided bias toward medicalized chiropractic,” his typical salvo to excite his chiropracTIC followers who naively think any expansion of spinal care beyond the all-empowering adjustment is “medicalized,” when, in fact, it’s more clearly an upgrade of chiropractic beyond its therapy level that we now find most chiropracTORs practicing. Once again, Rongberg has shown his proclivity of arrested development in the academic niche, just as we’ve seen him do in legislative matters.

 

Dr. Plummer’s stance is just as ridiculous when he states upgrading educational standards “will end a chiropractic college's ability (to) train practitioners who will contribute to an individual's overall well being through the correction of vertebral subluxation.” Why does he think improving chiro education will prohibit the correction of VSC inasmuch as over 90% of all DCs are subluxation-based, just without the chirovangelism attached? He also inexplicably states, “The first proposed change mandates the inclusion of physiotherapy in the curriculum of all colleges. This means that the chiropractic colleges and chiropractic would become condition rather than subluxation centered.”

 

Someone ought to tell Rongberg and Plummer to stop treating x-rays and to start treating patients who come to us with troubling conditions! In the real world of chiropractic, DCs already help patients with their NMS conditions inasmuch as 95% of our patients come to us seeking exactly condition-based problems like low back and neck pain. Comments like these makes one wonder how removed from reality both Rongberg and Plummer actually are since their logic makes no sense whatsoever to those of us helping patients with these conditions. Indeed, neither of these men or their Chiro Coalition have any authority to issue such radical statements to in the media or to the profession, but that hasn’t stopped their yellow journalism before nor will it likely stop it in the future!

 

Even Dr. Guy Riekeman, PCC chancellor and leading straight spokesman, has included conditions in his Palmer Triangle of Patient Care.

 “Any chiropractor, from a personal injury specialists to a wellness/development practitioner, can find his or her place on the Triangle, whether in conditioned-based care, health care or wellness/development care—as long as they patient receives lifetime family care as well as short-term episodic care (win-win).”

 

Put Up or Shut Up!

In fact, what have the ICA, WCA and the Chiro Coalition accomplished of late in regards to legislation that benefits the entire profession? Although they politick Capitol Hill ad nauseam with their “We are the Champions of SubluxATION Only ChiropracTIC” mantra, just as the WCA mission has not resonated well within our profession, neither has the Chiro Coalition’s mission been well received if the recent defeat of the Manzullo bill is any indication. In fact, Rondberg’s legislative interference has been unsuccessful in every regard—the VA bill, the Military Health Services bill, the Medicare bill, and his mean-spirited attempt to oust Dr. Bill Morgan, the Capitol Chiropractor.

 

On the other hand, the ACA and ACC led coalition of MAJOR chiro organizations have accomplished much in the last few years:

  • 1997 - Congress Votes to Abolish Medicare's Burdensome Mandatory X-ray Requirement, a Longtime Barrier to Chiropractic Care for America’s Seniors
  • 2000 - Congress Establishes a Permanent Chiropractic Care Benefit for America's Active-Duty Military Personnel.
  • 2002 - Congress Establishes a Permanent Chiropractic Care Benefit for America's Veterans.
  • 2002 - Congress Includes Doctors of Chiropractic in a National Health Service Corps Student Loan Pilot Program.
  • 2003 - Congress Authorizes the Federal government to Hire Doctors of Chiropractic to Care for Veterans.
  • 2003 - Congress Rejects Legislation to Eliminate Physician Status for Doctors of Chiropractic (Manzullo Bill).
  • 2003 - Congress Accelerates Timetable for Implementation of Chiropractic Care Benefits for America's Servicemen and Women.
  • 2003 - Congress establishes the Inclusion of a Medicare Chiropractic Demonstration Project

It’s obvious to sophisticated DCs which chiro organizations are leading this profession with a member-driven, democratic, inclusive association of proactive Doctors of Chiropractic from all colleges and techniques who work together for the good of all DCs, not just one ideological group. Until the rest of the profession matures to understand the benefits from these efforts by the ACA-led legislation, including the biggest expansion of our market share with the federal BC/BS group health insurance inclusion of chiro care and PT done by DCs, as well as its success in the VA, the military health services, and most recently with the Medicare demonstration projects, we will continue to see charlatans/vendors with conflicts of interest not only interfere with these efforts, but will see them work to sabotage what the vast majority of mainstream DCs desire—broad scope spinal care.

Free Speech Movement in ChiropracTIC?

Guy's Gone

&

Rondberg’s Pathetic Appeal

by

JC Smith, MA, DC

If nothing else nice can be said, the chiropracTORs are certainly entertaining. The melodrama of Life was classic theater between good vs. evil and now the recent announcement that Guy Riekeman has resigned as Chancellor and Lord of Palmer University has added another chapter to the ongoing saga of another high priest of chirovangelism who bites the dust. In the accompanying attachment of "Palmer Philosophers," it's interesting to note that all are now gone from power in chiropractic education and the chiropracTIC political scene.

While rumors abound, unconfirmed sources suggest there may be many reasons for Riekeman's sudden departure, such as:

  • Riekeman and appointed himself Chancellor without a vote from the Board of Directors. 
  • He had let go the longtime Chief Financial Officer and appointed his own personal accountant as a new Chief Financial Officer.
  • The Palmer board was miffed that Riekeman had "Shermanized" PCC with his appointment of numerous chiropracTIC ideologues. 
  • He completely removed the entire rehab department and Sports Council.  
  • Dr. Riekeman  had gone against the wishes of the Board of  Trustees on several occasions and the general opinion was that he was getting way too big for his britches!
  • There is a slight rumor that there might have been some financial discrepancies.  
  • On Wednesday, February 4,  he was asked to resign or the Board of Trustees would have a full public investigation and hearing into his administration.
     

On the other hand, perhaps the Palmer Board tired of a charismatic vendor's concept of chiropracTIC and decided to change its mission to "education" rather than "indoctrination" as the focus in its curriculum. Time will tell if the Palmer Board hires another ideologue or hires a fully trained PhD, professionally-experienced, non-dogmatic doctor of higher education to head its university system. Wouldn't that be refreshing to have real educators running these colleges instead of chiropracTIC demagogues and megalomaniacs as we've seen too often?

However, if the Palmer BOT appoints another affirmative action candidate or an unqualified ideologue as it did when Dr. Gloria Niles was appointed Academic Dean at Palmer-Florida, methinks the Palmer University is still in for a rough ride by their students if their discontent from my sources rings true. Indeed, if the uproar by students after a recent mandatory assembly at Palmer-Florida to hear chirovangelist Tom "How to See 1,000 Patients a Day" Morgan of DE fame is indicative of a new wave of student protest, perhaps it's time to clean out our colleges of the demagoguery that has infected many for too long.

Finally, a Free Speech Movement in ChiropracTIC education! (Geez, it reminds me of the good ol' days in Berzerkeley!)

Of course, the chiropracTIC publications like the TCJ and AJCC will certainly spin this as another attack on straight chiropracTIC as they did when Sid Williams was ousted from Life after his 28-year reign of academic terror. To these yellow journalists, this will be viewed as an ideological/political battle rather than a return to sensible education free of dogma and academic censorship by non-qualified vendors posing as educators. Considering Riekeman's ouster came from the Palmer Board and not the CCE, Rondberg, Harrison and other detractors will have a difficult time convincing the profession that this was, indeed, another takeover to destroy chiropracTIC by the evil CCE.

Lest we be reminded, neither the TCJ or AJCC are real journals like the JMPT or NEJM published by reputable, impartial, editors sans conflict-of-interests under the guise of an oversight board. Both are simply supermarket-like tabloids that slant the news by using loaded language aimed at their political opponents, providing column space for advertisers, and often are voices for demagoguery that seek to foment turmoil rather than give a fair and balanced view of the news. Indeed, no rational DC will ever accused either of ethical journalism.

We saw this happen just last week with Terry Rondberg, publisher of the TCJ and prez-for-life of the infamous World ChiropracTIC ALLIANCE, not to be mistaken for a democratically-elected ASSOCIATION, took aim at my commentary, "The Most Dangerous Man in ChiropracTIC." Read for yourself his enmasse email response:

 

Dear colleague:

I'm not sure if you've already read it, but Dr. James C. Smith recently wrote a lengthy tome attacking me, the WCA and just about everything else I am or ever have been associated with! He even called me “the most dangerous man in chiropracTIC.”

I know he didn't mean it as praise, but I'm rather proud of that distinction. Being “dangerous” is a compliment when used by those who oppose you and your political or moral positions. J. Edgar Hoover once called Martin Luther King, Jr. the “most dangerous man in the America.” And the book “The Most Dangerous Man in America” is about Benjamin Franklin! (The British sure thought he deserved that epithet.)

It's also what many people called B.J. and D.D. Palmer.

So, I'm in good company. If I do my job right, I am dangerous to those who want chiropractic to become a form of medical therapy. So are all of you who work to keep chiropractic a separate and unique health care profession.

What I'd like to do, in the next issue of The Chiropractic Journal is run a full page ad with the headline:

Congratulations, Dr. Rondberg, for being named the “Most Dangerous Man in Chiropractic”

I'd like to fill the rest of the page with the names of friends and colleagues who share my vision of chiropractic and support the goal of promoting a subluxation-free world. 

It's important for the rest of the profession to know that the World Chiropractic Alliance stands for something meaningful and that, contrary to what Smith implies, subluxation-based D.C.s make up a large and powerful contingent within this great profession.

May I add your name to this list of chiropractic defenders? Simply reply to this message with your name, city and state (or city and country) the way you'd like it to appear on the page.

We are all dangerous ... and proud of it!

Terry A. Rondberg, D.C.
President, World Chiropractic Alliance

 

Like all demagogues, Rondberg is unfazed by the specific charges I’ve made against his conflicts of interest, his CBS cash cow, his demagoguery, his political misrepresentations of his WCA, his yellow journalism, his dictator-for-life of the WCA (a phony association), and his constant obstructionism with mainstream affairs inside and outside of the USA because he is, in fact, not accountable to anyone!

 

Like Janet Jackson's peek-a-boob at the Super Bowl, he will use this as free publicity to promote his nefarious actions. Rondberg's full page ad seeking support will be interesting: he can either use his power of the press to attack me without mention of my points using his typical demagoguery and yellow journalism, or he can list my grievances and give his response. Which method do you think he'll use? Fair and balanced or not?

 

To remind Rondberg of my charges, here is a sampling of issues and events that Rondberg has his hands in that need explaining by him or else submit his resignation too like Riekeman:

  • As the publisher of a profession-wide free tabloid he has the ability to influence many DCs with his poisoned pen, and there is no board with oversight control of this rogue publisher/editor.
  • As the owner of the CBS malpractice insurance brokerage and as a cohort with Kent and Gentempo with their Subluxation Station, he has worked endlessly via his TCJ to shape the scope of this profession to embrace their clinical design despite these huge conflicts of interest.
  • As the president-for-life of his own non-democratic "alliance," he misrepresents himself as an elected political leader to the uninformed who don't realize his non-voting club represents only 240 out of 60,000 DCs, which equates to 0.004% of this profession.
  • His meddling in foreign affairs has drawn criticism from foreign association leaders.
  • His meddling in domestic affairs has drawn the ire of reputable national and state associations.
  • His operation of a telemarketing scam has been deemed unethical.
  • He has fought against rising educational standards.
  • He has fought against broadening our scope of practice.
  • He has misrepresented his ChiropracTIC Coalition as a "major" group to the profession, to the Congressmen, VA and Medicare officials when, in fact, this Coalition is smaller than many state ACA associations that are democratically elected.
  • He has become the biggest wedge to much need reform concerning unity, access, parity and image.
  • And, most of all, he's NOT accountable to anyone, which is why I labeled him the most dangerous man in chiropracTIC. Perhaps we ought to call him Generalissimo Rondberg!

Not surprisingly, Rondberg’s gall shines clearly with his pathetic appeal. Instead of responding to these issues, he has chosen to be a martyr as evident by his email response in which he inexplicably aligns himself with MLK, Jr, Ben Franklin and, of course, DD and BJ as a crusader for chiropracTIC. Geez, this man's self-concept has no boundaries! I realize this demagogue must have a huge ego to perpetuate the fraud he’s done to this profession as a phony president-for-life of his private club and as the publisher of a free tabloid filled with yellow journalism. Instead of deflecting the issues by making a martyr of himself, may I suggest he simply respond to my charges?

 

You may notice that he continues with his demagoguery: “I am dangerous to those who want chiropractic to become a form of medical therapy.”

 

Wrong again, Rondberg! You’re dangerous to this entire profession’s image, PR, inclusion into the mainstream, unity, access and parity. What rational DCs want from him is to stop with his loaded language like his remark suggesting comprehensive chiropractic care is “medical therapy” when the real issue is his perpetuation of chirovangelism and use of demagoguery in this profession. And this comes from a guy who doesn’t even practice, yet he demands we all practice by his simplistic concept of chirovangelism with the “so what” Subluxation Station sold by his cronies Kent and Gentempo (another conflict of interest).

 

Another demagogic remark made by this autocrat: “So are all of you who work to keep chiropractic a separate and unique health care profession.”

 

As I mentioned, the “separate and equal” attitude of segregationists didn’t work as an answer to racial integration, nor will “separate and unique” work for the integration of chiropractic into the national healthcare delivery system. Indeed, these Chiro Coalition people remind me of the Black Panther Party that worked to keep African-Americans separated and not integrated too. Sadly, Rondberg, like Williams and other chiropracTIC warlords, clearly don’t want our profession to integrate with the mainstream healthcare system for fear of losing their financial grip on this profession. Demagoguery is simply their method to keep their boots on the necks of chiropracTORs, keeping them down and isolated, or as he puts it: “separate and unique”--separate as in "outcasts" and unique as in "quackery."

 

Rondberg makes a huge leap in logic to suggest that he rally the subluxation-based DCs: “subluxation-based D.C.s make up a large and powerful contingent within this great profession.”

 

Rondberg inexplicably suggests that he’s the voice of subluxation-based chiropracTIC but, if so, why does his WCA membership hover around 240 members? After nearly 20 years publishing his tabloid, one would think he’d have more members if his ideology resonated within the profession. In fact, there are more rational “straight” chiropractors in the ACA than there are in both the ICA and WCA. Indeed, objective straight DCs refuse to associate with his chirovangelism and his demagoguery if his low membership and continual political failures are indicative of his inability to persuade.

 

Now he wants to run a full-page announcement in his TCJ to have his cronies rally around him as the Martyr for ChiropracTIC: “I'd like to fill the rest of the page with the names of friends and colleagues who share my vision of chiropractic and support the goal of promoting a subluxation-free world.”

“...my vision of…a subluxATION-free world.” Sounds to me like his chiropracTIC version of a “peace on earth” Christmas card. I’m surprised he didn’t include a photo of himself in a manger with his 3 wise men--Kent, Gentempo and McCoy--genuflecting at his feet! More appropriately, he should carry the chiropracTIC cross over his shoulder as he trudges up the hill of medical and mixer adversity! 

 

Since Sid Williams had already labeled himself the Defender of ChiropracTIC, perhaps Rondberg should call himself now the Martyr of Chirovangelism. His futile grasp for support will be interesting to see how many chiropracTORs he can con with this plea--at least we'll all know who the chirovangelists are by their own admission! 

 

How Much Money?

Not only have his hidden agenda and demagoguery finally been revealed, Rondberg must feel threatened since his cash cow may be in jeopardy too. Rumors suggest Rondberg may be hurting now since his cash cow, CBS insurance, is starving. It seems that his present carrier (CNA) does NOT allow him to share the risk on policyholders and retain premium dollars.  Estimates say this may have cut his income by as much as 60%! Perhaps this explains why CBS is now selling life insurance too!

 

At the recent Washington State Chiropractic Convention, the CBS insurance rep, Timothy Fueling, Rondberg's son-in-law, spoke just before the ACA prez, Don Krippendorf, was to speak and according to my sources there his presentation was terrible, bashing the ACA and acting like a fool--the typical WCA demagoguery--but his ploy backfired.  Indeed, Fueling must have been squirming, bobbing and weaving as he used his smoke and mirrors routine to confuse the issues and to place blame on the evil NCMIC and ACA--the WCA's typical demagoguery to vilify anyone who opposes them.

Apparently Fueling was very defensive in his presentation and tried to explain the reasons for the constant changes and how much better the company is now. The recent revelation of the seven different underwriter insurance companies CBS has had as well as the unseemly situation of unelected vendors posing as an "alliance" officers with obvious conflicts of interest must be causing them image troubles. According to my sources, no one applauded his diatribe and considered his whole presentation very unprofessional. Afterwards, Dr. Krippendorf received apologies from many DCs as well as from most of the board for Fueling's attack.

If appearances are telling, it seems that Rondberg is no longer spending a lot of money to promote himself if his sparse presence at the recent Parker seminar in Lost Wages is indicative. Last year at Parker, he had the old boxing champion there as well as a huge booth. This year he had just a tiny WCA booth and only spent one day there. Unless he lost his bankroll in the casinos, maybe his CBS cash cow is drying up!

Plus, Rondberg now has competition from another chiropracTIC “anti-anything-medical” demagogue, Tedd Koren, who recently announced a new malpractice coverage for chirovangelists:

 From Tedd Koren, D.C.

Announcing new malpractice insurance for all DCs:
Chiropractic Choice Support Services
                             Less expensive* and accepts most all techniques including SOT, NSA, cranial, meningeal, and a 'tier' to fit your practice.

Plus you'll fight for healthcare freedom.

Looks like more chiropracTIC entrepreneurs are jumping on the conflict of interest bandwagon to give Rondberg a run for his money. I’m surprised Sid Williams didn’t start his own “Life” insurance coverage too! When you died, he could store your Innate in an urn at his college, chant the Money Hum as a farewell, and he could give periodic Innate Remote Adjustments so you’d be sure to be free of subluxATION to "Rest in Ease” in the After-Life.  

 

What’s next: a chiropracTIC multilevel marketing scam like Amway? Sorry, Terry, Sid Williams already tried that years ago with his Super Seven MLM scam that failed with a lot of DE Dudes and naive students getting stuck for soap and protein mix that they couldn’t unload. (Sorry, this is getting too ridiculous and I digress from the real issue, Rondberg’s response.)

 

Tom Paine He Ain't

Aside from the above letter Rondberg sent enmasse to the profession, a private communication sent indirectly to me illustrates the smokescreen he’s sending up now as the Martyr of Chirovangelism since he’s obviously afraid to answer my charges directly:

“When you fight for the principles and the profession those who want to pervert it will do almost anything to attack you personally.  Especially if they have not substance to their arguments, as Christopher [Kent] likes to point out they always resort to ad hominem attacks, attacking their opponent’s character rather than answering an argument.”

 

I daresay my arguments to actual events and articles he has written are quite substantive, but he’s chosen to ignore them to vent instead on supposed character attacks. I don’t think pointing out his obvious yellow journalism and his role as a demagogue are "character" attacks inasmuch as they are accurate descriptions of his modus operandi. And just what "principles" are those that he is fighting for? The principle that an unelected dictator-for-life should mislead legislators and DCs as to his small non-voting WCA, a non-democratic “alliance” of only a few hundred members? Is this what he refers to as a perversion?

 

It’s clear that Rondberg has refused to answer my questions; instead he has resorted to ad hominen attacks himself, such as his comment in another private communication:

“JC is an ACA puppet not to be taken seriously… To be approved by JC means you must agree with everything ACA and the WFC do.  That will never happen.  The ACA still represents only a small minority within the profession.”

 

“That will never happen” rings so true with Rondberg—he will never agree to anything the ACA or WFC does in order to maintain his obstructionist role. He’s again misleading with his feeble stance that all should boycott the ACA, a reputable association that has 16,000 members compared to his 240 in the WCA. To say "The ACA still represents only a small minority within the profession” is simply stupid, but typical of a demagogue who hates free elections and majority rule. The new ACA is the largest real association in the chiropractic world, but Rondberg still lies to all naive enough to listen.

 

And let me make this clear: I’m not a "puppet" as Rondberg’s is accustomed to in the WCA. I'm only an ACA member and not an officer, delegate or a paid PR person (you mean some people actually get paid to do this?). I agree with George McAndrews when he say, “5 percent of you are cultists, 5 percent are freaks, and the rest of you... keep your mouths shut!”  I simply decided years ago to not keep my mouth shut any longer about the freaks and cultists who have screwed up this profession for too long!

 

Not as if Rondberg hasn't heard this before, but is it too hard for him to realize that many rational DCs have legitimate arguments against this loose canon? Obviously he just doesn’t understand his argument is unconvincing, but he continues to blow his smoke hoping someone will inhale with him. I’m still waiting for him to explain his conflicts of interest and his many nefarious self-serving dealings, but I’m not holding my breath since he will never expose himself. Instead, this demagogue now wants all to view him as a martyr for the great chiropracTIC cause! What a spinmeister! Talk about turning lemons into lemonade--but I hope his attempt will turn sour!

 

“I would not change a thing in my life, I am content but cautious.  My dedication and commitment to chiropractic are my reason for living and I wouldn’t have it any other way.   There are many good doctors who want to develop a live and let live relationship based on the ACC paradigm but there are always those sick few who are war mongers and want to dominate and destroy what they don’t agree with.”

 

Spoken like the fanatical demagogue that he is! For him to suggest a “live and let live” attitude is humorous after his incessant attacks on anyone who doesn’t practice chirovangelism. “War mongers” he says? And this isn’t an ad hominen attack? “…dominate and destroy what they don’t agree with”? Isn’t this exactly his modus operandi? Clearly Rondberg is delusion. May I suggest he answer my charges instead of this lame attack and pathetic appeal for support?  

 

“The more they attack the more the greater my motivation to defend what we love.  This is the reason why I have always held DD and BJ in such high regard.  They were the discoverer and developer of chiropractic.  The pseudo-scientists who are attempting to change chiropractic into some kind of medical therapy are wrong.”

 

Not only is his grammar is rather poor for a so-called publisher, but his devotion to the chiropracTIC “cause” sounds like a religious zealot! The “pseudo-scientists” he condemns happen to be the best and brightest in this profession who realize this isn’t a religion with unchanging tenets. Modern chiropractic care is not a “medical therapy” as much as a conservative, non-invasive treatment for NMS conditions that has evolved through the years despite his intellectual arrested development to keep this profession in the last century. 

 

While Rondberg is praising DD and BJ, let me suggest that DD’s “Principle of Tone” is a far cry from his limited concept of chiropracTIC; perhaps he ought to read DD's book before he aligns himself with the Discoverer. And BJ’s demagoguery is the single most reason why this profession remains split and considered by many to be a cult. Perhaps Rondberg should visit the upstairs at BJ’s mansion before he places him on a pedestal. Just as we found with Sid Williams, money and power drives their engines, not any altruistic motives. Indeed, these chiropractic charlatans are adept at smoke and mirrors to camouflage their hidden agendas. Do I hear a Money Hum coming?

 

Filtering through the smokescreen that Rondberg blows does get confusing, but what he doesn’t understand about this argument is that it is not subluxation-based vs. patient-based, nor is it straight vs. mixer or vitalism vs. mechanism, as the chirovangelists often frame the division in this profession. It’s an argument between rational reputable leadership vs. leadership run amok in conflicts of interest, demagoguery, and chirovangelism. It’s actually an issue of ethics, a concept that Rondberg refuses to address since his entire thrust is the most unethical of anyone in this profession.

 

Indeed, if leadership is getting people from where they are to where they need to be, the Chiro Coalition and the WCA under the leadership of Rondberg have led this profession down the wrong path again and again. They failed in the Medicare Manzullo effort, they failed in the VA effort, they will fail in preventing CCE from implementing PT or upgrading chiro college curriculums, and they have failed as an alliance by virtue of their low memberships and autocratic leaderships. Perhaps these repeated failures explain Rondberg's online moniker of "Wrongberg" since his legislative efforts are wrong, his attitude is wrong, and his demagoguery is wrong. Indeed, has he done anything right that has benefited this profession and not just himself?

 

It’s obvious who’s looking out for the best interests of the vast majority of DCs, and it certainly isn’t Rondberg, his WCA, or his Chiro Coalition of vendors and misguided chiropracTORs preachin’ ol’ time chiropracTIC from yesteryear. Indeed, they are remnants from bygone days struggling to hang on to whatever they can cling to in order to profit personally with their conflicts of interests as we’ve seen with Rondberg, Kent, Gentempo, McCoy, Mertz, Harrison, and Braille, to name a few of the more egregious anti-social figures still at large in the chiropracTIC community.

 

Now with Guy Riekeman out of the Palmer picture, the impact of the "Palmer Philosophers" is on the wane with the departure from power of Sid Williams, Thom Gelardi, Fred Barge as well as charismatic chirovangelists like Joe Flesia and Rev. Reggie Gold who are no longer active. Obviously these die-hards are dwindling as we speak from either death or denunciation. Either way, they had their day in the sun, only to get burned by their own actions.

 

Perhaps there is a new day emerging in this profession after decades of the Dark Ages of Chirovangelism.

 

In the next part you’ll learn of Rondberg's largest deception—the WCA as an NGO at the UN.

 

 

Part Six: The WCA as NGO: More Deception

 

The lengths to which the WCA, the Chiro Coalition, and Rongberg will go to misrepresent their importance is best illustrated with the WCA’s NGO status in the United Nations. While Rongberg proudly announces the NGO status in nearly every edition of his TCJ, he fails to make clear exactly what this means, implying that the WCA has become the spokesman on chiropracTIC in the United Nations. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth, and in fact, a case can be made that Rondberg has consistently violated the criteria for NGO status.

“Organizations eligible for association with DPI must share the ideals of the United Nations charter, operate on a not-for-profit basis, and demonstrate an interest in United Nations issues. In addition, they must have a proven ability to reach large or specialized audiences with well-developed information programs.”

http://www.worldchiropracticalliance.org/un/ngo.htm

 

First of all, I find it odd that Rongberg believes his WCA fulfills the UN ideals inasmuch as he and his group of hate-straight chiropracTORs have become the biggest and most divisive wedge to unity in this profession. Rather than an inclusive attitude like the ACA, the WCA and Chiro Coalition have repeatedly shown their exclusive position: either their chiropracTIC way or no way! Rather than a “live and let live” attitude, Rongberg and these groups have thwarted every attempt to expand chiropractic care beyond their simplistic “detect and correct subluxation-only” mindset. To align himself with the UN’s efforts on “peacekeeping, conflict resolution and reconciliation” is laughable and contradictory, yet it illustrates the depths to which he will deceive the profession.

 

Recently an advertisement for the WCA appeared in The Beacon, Palmer’s student newspaper, in which Chris Kent, VP of the WCA (and owner of the “so what” Subluxation Station) made more outlandish claims. The ad was titled:

 

“Dr. Christopher Kent’s

TOP 10 REASONS for JOINING THE WCA.”

“The World Chiropractic Alliance has become a powerful force in national and international chiropractic. The reason is our steadfast defending the rights of chiropractors and the patients we serve. WCA’s vision is one of world leadership in healthcare.

I choose to work with the WCA because of the many positive accomplishments that I have been privileged to participate in:

  1. WCA was the first chiropractic organization to be accredited as a NGO (non-government organization) by the Department of Public Information, affiliated with the United Nations. As the Main Representative, I have access to the secured areas of UN Headquarters, and attend briefings at UN Headquarters in New York City.
  2. WCA presented the first chiropractic program ever at the International NGO Conference in Seoul, Korea, featuring Drs. Ralph Boone and Graham Dobson.
  3. WCA has established working relations with the World Health Organization, and has a DC liaison in Geneva.
  4. WCA and the NGO Health Committee co-sponsored the firs ever chiropractic program at UN Headquarters in NY on the Role of Chiropractic Care in Women’s Health and Quality-of-Life, presented by members of the WCA Council on Women’s Health.
  5. Dr. Veronica Gutierrez, a WCA Baord member, is the only chiorpractor appointed by the President of the United States to serve on the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy.
  6. Noted scientists, including Dr. Robert Blanks, Professior of Anatomy and Neuro-biology athe UC Irvine Medical School, Dr. Allan Combs, editor of the Journal f Integral Studies, and world renowned brain researcher Dr Karl Pribram, participated in the Summit.
  7. WCA was actively involved in the development and dissemination of the Council on Chiropractic Practice Guidelines, which were accepted for inclusion in the AHCPR National Guideline Clearinghouse.
  8. WCA has established a Council on Women’s Health and has undertaken a project relating to chiropractic care and fertility.
  9. WCA has an Advocacy Council to assist members who are having challenges with regulatory agencies, third party payers, and malpractice cases.
  10. “We can turn on a dime” with our organizational structure, and respond quickly to the needs of our members.

 

“These accomplishments speak for themselves. WCA is a powerful voice for bringing chiropractic’s vision to the world. I am very proud of WCA’s accomplishments.

In the US, the Supreme Court justices are appointed for life, so that they may apply the principles of law, particularly the Constitution, without fear of political reprisals.

WCA has an International Board of Governors (IBOG) which represents the will of the organization. This governing board meets annually to consider resolutions, and to develop strategies for addressing the profession’s challenges and opportunities.

Thus, we can respond to strategic needs from a principled position. Our governing structure is one of our most powerful assets.

Members need not fear that we will sacrifice principles for short-term political expediency. Our politics are driven by principles—not the converse.

Those who concur with our principles should join us. Your decision to join WCA should be on the basis of enlightened self-interest, not he misinformation spread by our detractors.

Compare our list of achievements to those of other organizations. Consider what WCA will do for YOU and your practice. Then join us. Your future and that of the chiropractic profession, may depend on it.”

 

This ad is so full of misinformation it’s laughable, but regrettably, naïve students at Palmer or any campus are unaware of the truth in these matters.

  • First of all, the WCA is NOT “a powerful force in national and international chiropractic.” It has failed on every domestic legislative bill introduced in Congress and it has been warned from meddling in foreign affairs, as you see later in this commentary.
  • “The reason is our steadfast defending the rights of chiropractors and the patients we serve.” The WCA has done nothing to increase our access, parity or increase our marketshare. In fact, the WCA’s limited version of chiropracTIC care has enabled our medical foes to limit our status in VA to a second-tier level due to the WCA’s insistence of a “non-diagnostic, non-therapeutic, detect and correct VSC only” position.
  • “WCA’s vision is one of world leadership in healthcare.” “World leadership” or world domination? The real vision of the WCA’s group of vendors is to mold this profession to a limited role where everyone would buy Kent’s “so what” Subluxation Station. Never does he address this obvious conflict of interest.
  • Kent conveniently forgets to mention that the WCA’s great leader, Rondberg, is a non-elected president-for-life. Nor does he mention the huge difference between a real “association” and his non-voting “alliance” controlled by a handful of sock puppets.
  • Kent also overplays the NGO status of the WCA, which has no special privileges or power. It is merely a voluntary non-governmental organization that is supposed to disseminate information and to bring people closer together, which is definitely NOT done by this group of rogue vendors posing as politicians.
  • Although Kent mentions a few WCA councils, they are pale in comparison to the many reputable types of councils in the ACA. Nor does he mention the ACA’s staff of over 40 professionals as well as the ACA’s lobbyists, including Duke Short, who have been rated in the top 25 lobbying groups in healthcare.
  • His belief that the WCA can “turn on a dime” is funny, but indicative of a sock puppet “alliance” where all decision-making is done by a handful of unelected cohorts—Rondberg, Kent, Gentempo and McCoy.
  • His analogy to the Supreme Court justices was alluding to the non-democratic nature of the WCA sock puppets. Rather than mentioning the autocratic nature of this demagoguery, Kent suggests it’s a benefit to be “appointed for life so that they may apply principles…without fear of political reprisals.” So, this is how Rondberg and his ilk rationalize their permanent roles to their non-voting members—very clever, but sad.
  • Never has he actually delineated on the “principles” they stand for, but Kent mentions, “Those who concur with our principles should join…on the basis of enlightened self-interests.” Just what are those “self-interests” or is he rationalizing his own self-interest, the Sub. Station?
  • Even in this ad, Kent cannot contain his demagoguery to vilify other real associations when he states, “not the misinformation spread by our detractors.” Just what misinformation is that? The fact that the WCA has obstructed nearly all efforts by the ACA, ACC, CCE, WFC? If this isn’t the pot calling the kettle black, what is? The WCA is renowned for its ideological spin on all news, articles that any ethical editor would call yellow journalism, loaded language in its attacks on rival groups or vendors, and the general lack of a fair and balanced viewpoint.

 

While Kent, Rongberg and his WCA suggest that the UN has appointed the WCA as the chiropractic diplomatic liaison to the UN, nothing could be further from the truth according to the UN website. http://www.un.org/dpi/ngosection/brochure.htm

“Please note: Association of NGOs with DPI does not constitute their incorporation into the United Nations system, nor does it entitle associated organizations or their staff to any kind of privileges, immunities or special status.”

Obviously we cannot trust Kent or Rongberg to tell the truth on this or most matters as we’ve just read where Kent prides himself as the “Main Representative” with “access to secure areas of the UN Headquarters.” What this actually means is he gets to use the private lavatory rather than the public one.

 

So to clarify this issue, let the UN website describe the reality of this matter.

What is an NGO?

A non-governmental organization (NGO) is any non-profit, voluntary citizens' group which is organized on a local, national or international level. Task-oriented and driven by people with a common interest, NGOs perform a variety of services and humanitarian functions, bring citizens' concerns to Governments, monitor policies and encourage political participation at the community level. They provide analysis and expertise, serve as early warning mechanisms and help monitor and implement international agreements. Some are organized around specific issues, such as human rights, the environment or health. Their relationship with offices and agencies of the United Nations System differs depending on their goals, their venue and their mandate.

Over 1,500 NGOs with strong information programmes on issues of concern to the United Nations are associated with the Department of Public Information (DPI), giving the United Nations valuable links to people around the world. DPI helps those NGOs gain access to and disseminate information about the range of issues in which the United Nations is involved, to enable the public to understand better the aims and objectives of the world Organization.

"What are the Criteria for NGOs to become associated with DPI?"

Organizations eligible for association with DPI are those which:

  Share the ideals of the UN Charter;

  Operate solely on a not-for-profit basis;

  Have a demonstrated interest in United Nations issues and proven ability to reach large or specialized audiences, such as educators, media representatives, policy makers and the business community;

  Have the commitment and means to conduct effective information programmes about UN activities by publishing newsletters, bulletins, and pamphlets; organizing conferences, seminars and round tables; and enlisting the cooperation of the media. 

Obviously to become a NGO is more of meeting these standards rather than a selection process based on merit or accomplishment. In other words, this NGO status is not the Pulitzer or Nobel Prizes as one might think after reading Kent’s misinformation.

 

Not only did Kent misrepresent the NGO status of the WCA to the chiropractic community, Rongberg also did his classic “sock puppet” routine by anointing his crony, Chris Kent, as the supposed chiropractic ambassador to the UN.

“Upon hearing the announcement, Rondberg asked Christopher Kent, D.C., to serve as the WCA liaison to the U.N. "I know of no other person so well qualified to act as our profession's representative to the world community," he noted when informed of Dr. Kent's acceptance. "Dr. Kent offers a unique combination of credentials, expertise and communication skills which will help the WCA, and chiropractic, make the most of this great opportunity."

What Rongberg doesn’t hide is Kent’s obvious conflict of interest to this non-profit NGO by citing his many for-profit enterprises. Indeed, the NGO specifically states that NGOs must “operate on a not-for-profit basis,” but apparently that doesn’t apply to the WCA’s officers’ numerous profit-making schemes that Rongberg proudly mentions.

Kent is president of the Council on Chiropractic Practice and was named "Chiropractic Researcher of the Year" by the World Chiropractic Alliance in 1994, an award he also won from the ICA in 1991. He is director of research for EMG Consultants, Inc., and a co-founder of Paradigm Partners, Inc. and the Chiropractic Leadership Alliance…Kent co-produces -- with Dr. Patrick Gentempo -- a monthly audiotape journal, "On Purpose," covering current events in science, philosophy, and politics of vital interest to the practicing chiropractor.”

Once again we see another example of journalistic and political fraud in that Rongberg has misrepresented the truth about NGOs, the role his WCA will play in the UN (none), and his belief that Kent will be the chiropractic expert at the UN.

 

I believe the World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA) has subjected the DPI to a scam when it was given NGO status and has since misused its NGO status for personal profit and political demagoguery by its leadership. The facts will also show the DPI has been terribly misled by this fringe group to promote its various business interests and to further its own political agenda.

 

For those of us who understand the sordid history of the WCA, this deception typifies the leadership of the WCA that has misrepresented itself badly to the DPI as a democratically elected non-profit association rather than an “alliance” of business and political cronies who represent 0.004% of DCs (240 out of 60,000) and it has behaved contrary to the four NGO criteria, as I will illustrate.  

 

Please don’t discount this as merely an internal squabble within the chiropractic community for the facts will clearly show that the WCA is a group of businessmen who inappropriately pose as spokesmen for the international chiropractic healthcare profession when, in fact, they are a fringe group whose main goals are profiteering and political demagoguery. Since Rondberg is a publisher, his own written words will clearly make the case against him and his WCA organization.

 

WCA Ethics Questioned

As many, but not all DCs realize, the WCA is not a democratically elected organization as it pretends to be. It is an “alliance” of a small group of radical chiropractors-entrepreneurs led by its president-for-life, Terry Rondberg, a salesman who uses this WCA as a front for his CBS malpractice insurance company and other commercial services. His free newspaper, The Chiropractic Journal, is not a peer-reviewed scientific or professional journal as you might assume by its name, nor is it “fair and balanced” in its news reporting; it is equivalent to a supermarket tabloid used to sell his products, promote his rank ideology, defame his political rivals, and to foster the business interests for him, his family, and friends like Kent, Gentempo and McCoy.

 

Not only is it apparent that Rondberg has many conflicts of interest using his WCA as a front for his for-profit enterprises, but his modus operandi has come under attack for repeated unethical behavior which includes a patient solicitation scam and charges of political bribery, as mentioned in this article written by an attorney who is actively involved in chiropractic issues: www.chiroweb.com/archives/09/15/14.html

 

The Silence Is Deafening

“Terry Rondberg has founded and promoted a number of enterprises that he has urged the chiropractic profession to endorse. Rondberg has primarily promoted and defended these enterprises through his newspaper, the Chiropractic Journal: His World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA) has been pitched to the profession through the Chiropractic Journal as an ethical national association in which both straights and mixers could live and let live. Rondberg's Arizona Chiropractic Alliance (AzCA) was supposed to supply these same things to chiropractors in Rondberg's home state of Arizona.

“Rondberg also founded a patient solicitation scheme known as the Vertebral Subluxation Research Institute (VSRI). Despite the fact that VSRI has been almost universally condemned as teaching illegal and unethical practices within the chiropractic profession, Rondberg has continually claimed through the Chiropractic Journal that VSRI's practices are legal and ethical.

“The scandal that rolled over the state of Arizona has left the Chiropractic Journal, WCA, VSRI, and AzCA under a cloud. AzCA's lobbyist was recently arrested by the Phoenix police for bribery and for laundering political contributions. AzCA's lobbyist is charged with obtaining votes from Arizona legislators by either bribing them or by laundering large contributions through a list of individuals in order to avoid Arizona's $200 limitation on contributions. The AZCA lobbyist broke down large cash contributions into numerous $200 money orders drawn in names of the people on his list. Rondberg, his wife, and other WCA principals were all on the list. Further, the Phoenix police have played a taped telephone conversation between the AZCA lobbyist and a WCA officer during which he clearly appears to be giving permission to participate in the money-laundering scheme.

These accusations raise basic questions as to Rondberg's honesty and ethics. The chiropractic profession has a right to know whether or not WCA, VSRI, AZCA, and the Chiropractic Journal are the outlaw organizations that some claim that they are or if they are beyond reproach as Rondberg claims they are. Since Rondberg has the luxury of owning a chiropractic publication, he is in a unique position to tell the chiropractic profession their side of the story. Yet, when the most recent issues of the Chiropractic Journal have come out, Rondberg has simply claimed that he is being unfairly smeared without giving any explanation himself about his apparent involvement. The chiropractic profession is owed an explanation. It is still waiting.”

 

Michael J. Schroeder, Esq.
Santa Ana, California

 

This ruse of implied authority of the WCA by the UN with its NGO status by this demagogue cannot continue! According to Webster’s dictionary, a demagogue is a “political leader who gains power and popularity by arousing the emotions and prejudices of people.” This best describes the leadership of the WCA. Rondberg has been accused of yellow journalism on many issues within the chiropractic profession when he attacked rivals on numerous occasions:

  • he has repeatedly interfered with legislation in other countries,
  • he has been reprimanded by his state association,
  • he repeatedly has committed journalistic fraud by presenting his inflammatory opinion as fact,
  • he routinely perpetuates a propaganda campaign to discredit his political and business rivals,
  • and he has allegedly manufactured stories, including a fictitious letter- to-the-editor aimed at his chief rival, as noted in an article in Dynamic Chiropractic,  “The Chiropractic Profession Has Been Defrauded!” www.chiroweb.com/archives/08/20/24.html

 

Neither he nor his WCA shares the principles of the UN nor has the WCA in practice fulfilled the four criteria set forth by the DPI. What the DPI may have been told by the WCA to qualify for NGO status stands in stark contrast with its actions to supplant the legitimate voices in this profession to further his own vested interests. Moreover, not only has Rondberg misused his NGO status to further his political and business interests, but I believe a case can be made that he has repeatedly violated the criteria of the DPI that should be cause for revocation of the NGO status.

 

Misuse of NGO status

The lengths to which the WCA and Rondberg have gone to misrepresent their importance is best illustrated with its constant reference to NGO status in the United Nations. A simple search on the WCA website [www.worldchiropracticalliance.org] will reveal that Rondberg has mentioned the NGO status in his tabloid at least 51 times since it was granted in 1998, which equates to 10 times annually, nearly monthly. If you were to read any of these articles, it becomes obvious his intention is to make it appear as if the WCA was chosen to be the diplomatic liaison for chiropractic in the United Nations and WHO.

 

Regrettably, the WCA remains a loose canon unwittingly empowered now by its NGO status. In effect, Rondberg has now used the NGO status as a stamp of approval as a UN authority to attack rival chiropractic groups and their officers. Nowhere is it stated that the NGO status enables the WCA to thrust its agenda upon the world community or to attack the mainstream leaders of the chiropractic community as he has repeatedly done. Indeed, this NGO status has created a monster in the WCA.

 

In many cases, such as the following example lifted from his tabloid, Rondberg suggests to his readership that the WCA voice carries the weight of the UN to force itself upon the worldwide chiropractic community, as these excerpts from his article indicate:

“Marching forward into the 21st century:” www.worldchiropracticalliance.org/tcj/1999/oct/oct1999rondberg.htm

“Now that the WCA has been recognized as an NGO by the United Nations, we have the responsibility to bring subluxation-based chiropractic to as many parts of the world as possible.

 

Nothing could be further from the truth and, in the same article, he also illustrates his demagoguery and implied authority to blast the leading international chiropractic organization, the WFC, and its leadership:

“Also, we have to take appropriate steps to counteract the efforts of international organizations such as the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC), headed by former ACA president Louis Sportelli.

“In addition to having Dr. Sportelli as its president, this organization, founded in 1988, boasts many of the most notorious ‘medical chiropractic’ proponents in the profession, including Drs. Scott Haldeman, Reed Phillips, and John Triano.”

 

For your information, to illustrate the depth of demagoguery that Rondberg has stooped to when he labeled these men “the most notorious ‘medical chiropractic’ proponents in this profession,” Drs. Sportelli, Haldeman, Phillips and Triano are giants in the chiropractic mainstream community as a college president (Phillips), honored researchers (Haldeman, Triano—both PhDs) and a past chairman/president of two associations (Sportelli).

 

Does the status of an NGO include unfair attacks upon rivals by a demagogue? Rondberg is obviously using his NGO status inappropriately with his newfound implied authority to attack his rivals, plain and simple, which is a gross injustice done to these fine professional men. This act alone should be reason enough the DPI to remove the NGO status of the WCA, but there’s even more evidence of chronic misuse by the WCA, such as meddling in the legislative affairs of other countries.

 

Worldwide Meddling by WCA

Indeed, the DPI has been terribly misled by the WCA and its autocratic leader, yet the WCA continues to use its NGO status to suggest it now has worldwide influence with the WHO to determine the legal role of chiropractic, as mentioned in another article about the WCA plans:

“World Chiropractic Alliance plans chiropractic projects with the World Health Organization.” www.worldchiropracticalliance.org/tcj/2000/oct/oct2000j.htm:

Assist in the development of an international model law for chiropractic. This is particularly important since chiropractic is only now being introduced into many emerging nations.”

 

This suggestion that the WCA will be involved in the development of international law for chiropractic is a gross intrusion on the sanctity of individual nations and, ironically, is equivalent to the al Qaeda developing laws for Mideast nations! Let me remind you the WCA is not a democratically elected organization—it is a private club run by a handful of entrepreneurs in which Rondberg has appointed himself president-for-life! In the real world, the WFC has already implemented the model for both chiropractic education and diplomacy among its 80+ members.

 

Furthermore, you may not be aware of complaints from many foreign countries concerning the WCA’s previous meddling in their private affairs according to an article, “Canada among 13 International Assoc.'s Demanding Halt to Interference,” published in the Dynamic Chiropractic. www.chiroweb.com/archives/11/05/19.html

 

“While it is not possible to know how many countries the WCA has contacted via these means, the World Federation of Chiropractic and national associations from around the world have written the WCA to express their disapproval and anger. To date, chiropractic associations in 13 countries have written WCA President Dr. Terry A. Rondberg to demand that these incursions be "dropped immediately": Australia, Canada, Cyprus, France, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Panama, Portugal, Singapore, Trinidad/Tobago, and the United States.”

 

Obviously the WCA under the leadership of Terry Rondberg has overreached its role as an NGO with this abusive behavior interfering with the political affairs in many countries. Regrettably, it seems the NGO status will further empower Rondberg to meddle in other countries’ issues. I doubt this meddling is what the DPI had in mind when it granted the WCA its NGO status, but the following responses to Rondberg’s interference clearly reveals the animosity from the leaders of these foreign associations.

 

  • “WCA Attempts to Influence Prime Minister of Trinidad/Tobago” www.chiroweb.com/archives/11/01/13.html

“Chiropractic leaders of the Caribbean island nation of Trinidad and Tobago have reacted strongly to what it considers outside interference from the World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA)… Reacting to the WCA article and letter, President Graham of the Chiropractic Association of Trinidad and Tobago said that ‘chiropractors in Trinidad and Tobago were appalled’ by the WCA's article. The WCA article stated: ‘Project Trinidad needs help bringing philosophy, science and art of chiropractic to people who know little or nothing about it…

Dr. Graham concluded: ‘Chiropractic can do without them. The Rondbergs of this world must be stopped. They seem to know nothing about principles or ethics.’”

 

  • Apparently this warning from the president of the Trinidad and Tobago chiropractic association wasn’t enough for Rondberg, so another letter was sent again: www.chiroweb.com/archives/11/04/10.html

“Dear Dr. Rondberg,

“Despite our formal request that you desist form interfering in the affairs of the Chiropractic Association of Trinidad and Tobago (CATT), you continue to meddle. We do not want to believe that you are attempting a coup against established chiropractic in this country to further your own cause, but you actions to date do not leave us much alternative to think otherwise.

“The stage having been set, you then follow up by sending our Prime Minister a copy of your letter to the WFC, completely ignoring and bypassing the recognized body representing chiropractic in this country…It would appear that your intention is to turn all our efforts of the past two years against us, and to use our time and expense to the personal advantage of your pet scheme. We find that you intervention at this critical point is not only distasteful and unprofessional, but also calculated, and can only cause confusion for chiropractic in general…CATT certainly has no intention of becoming embroiled in any personal disputes you may have with the WFC. However, we will not sit idly by and allow unwarranted attacks to go by easily. Such underhanded methods betray the high standards adhered to by the majority of the profession. We deplore the tactics that you have so far employed.”

Yours sincerely,
Chiropractic Association
of Trinidad & Tobago

Learie G. Graham, D.C.
President -- CATT

      

  • The Norwegian Chiropractors' Association also has strongly responded to meddling by the WCA as excerpts of the following letter reveal from the NCA president, Kyrre Myhrvold, D.C., who flatly told Rondberg to “Stop your actions”: www.chiroweb.com/archives/11/04/10.html

“Re: Correspondence from World Chiropractic Alliance to WFC and foreign health authorities.

It is with deep sorrow for our profession that the NCA has received copies of the correspondence of the private alliance "World Chiropractic Alliance."

“In spite of the giant steps organized chiropractic has taken forward the last five years one feels desolated that such a great profession still is vulnerable to primitive ideas of a few fanatics.

World Chiropractic Alliance does not represent the national organizations of the countries of the world. Democratic chiropractic does not want any interference from any self-appointed associations or organizations.

“The Norwegian Chiropractic Association has warned our authorities against such associations. They have used such private enterprises against us in our struggle for authorizations for years. Now as an authorized health profession we work together with the authorities against such schemes.

“Other countries, however, struggling for recognition will be set back years in their endeavors if independent chiropractic missionaries take upon them to "convert" foreign health authorities.

Stop your actions.”

      

 

  • The Singapore Chiropractic Association also condemned Rondberg and his WCA for meddling in its affairs with a strongly worded response from its president, Janet Ruth Sosna, D.C.: www.chiroweb.com/archives/11/04/10.html

“Dear Dr. Rondberg:

“I have read the flurry of correspondence between you and the WFC and its affiliates. I find myself more than a little stunned by your naiveté.

“Sheltered in your little American town you would probably not realize that in the developing and newly industrialized world, patients expect their doctors to make a diagnosis. If you don't, they will find someone who can (or think they can). That is why your attitude is so inane. It is a question of sophistication. Chiropractic has existed for 100 years in the USA. Here it has been established only a few years.

Please do not sabotage the growth and development of our wonderful profession in the second and third worlds with your straight vs. mixer rhetoric.

“The leaders of the world's National Chiropractic Associations have banded together to form the WFC to represent the profession. You live in a democracy. Learn how the theory works. The majority wins, then everybody works together for the common good. Learn to work within the system.”

 

  • The Israel Chiropractic president also criticized Rondberg and the WCA for its meddling: www.chiroweb.com/archives/11/05/19.html .

“Dear Dr. Rondberg:

“It was with a sense of increasing horror that I read through copies of your letters to the governments of Trinidad and Japan.

“We have just finished the most difficult year our profession has ever experienced in Israel. It was due entirely to the irresponsibility of others like you in the Straight Chiropractic World.

Your arrogance in meddling in the affairs of other countries is exceeded only by the damage you can create.

“If you have any plans to approach our government we demand they be dropped immediately. We are in the middle of delicate negotiations and cannot afford to have the waters muddied with the importation of mindless philosophical posturings.”

Sincerely,

David S. Greenblatt, D.C.
President, Israel Chiropractic Society

 

These complaints but were a handful of numerous ones from countries around the world that have had their internal affairs tainted by the meddling of the WCA. To learn of other complaints against the WCA by foreign countries, logon to www.chiroweb.com/archives/11/05/19.html .

 

US Interference by WCA

Rondberg’s meddling not only occurred in the affairs of other countries, but his WCA also was caught meddling in many federal bills affecting the chiropractic profession.

 

  • The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research here in the United States. The AHCPR’s mission was to establish federal guidelines on healthcare matters, including low back pain.

“AHCPR Responds to WCA's Misleading Announcement: Director Dr. Clinton States ‘There Is No Relationship.’” www.chiroweb.com/archives/10/18/04.html

“After an announcement by the World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA) that they were to ‘chair an AHCPR subluxation panel,’ an inquiry was made by the Dynamic Chiropractic editorial staff to get the details of the new panel. Upon discussion with senior administrators of the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, it was discovered that there was no such panel sponsored or supported by the agency.”

 

  • As if one denial by the AHCPR was not enough for Rondberg, his WCA printed a second article that was also denied by Dr. Clinton of the AHCPR: www.chiroweb.com/archives/10/20/07.html

“AHCPR Responds to WCA's Second Misleading Announcement”

“Chief Medical Officer States: ‘We don't have any intention of supporting them (WCA) or giving them guidance or leadership.’

“A second article has appeared in the World Chiropractic Alliance's (WCA) Chiropractic Journal regarding a ‘Subluxation Panel.’ In the August issue, a front page headline story declared: ‘WCA to chair AHCPR subluxation panel.’ A subsequent interview by Dynamic Chiropractic staff with the director of the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR), J. Jarrett Clinton, M.D., revealed that there was no such panel sponsored by the AHCPR.”

 

  • The WCA was also involved in sabotaging the efforts of mainstream American chiropractic organizations in their attempt to expand chiropractic services in the VA program. Rather than adhering to the consensus of the legitimate chiropractic associations, the demagogues at the WCA broke its agreement, placing in jeopardy this important legislation, which the following excerpts from the leaders of the American Chiropractic Association indicate: www.chiroweb.com/unity/acaletter/index.html

“Dear Drs. Rondberg and Humber:

“As you know, during negotiations that took place last year over the proposed content of legislative language to mandate the inclusion of chiropractic care within the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) health care system, the ACA, ACC, ICA and WCA jointly agreed to support the appointment of the chiropractic members of the DoD Chiropractic Oversight Advisory Committee…

“Your decision to break this important agreement constitutes a flagrant breach of faith and trust that in no way can be justified. It is an egregious and irresponsible action that is wholly unworthy of organizations that purport to represent the best interests of the chiropractic profession

“Your failure to support their representatives now sends a strong signal of disunity to the DVA and lessens the likelihood that these organizations and the chiropractic profession will be sufficiently represented on the DVA Advisory Committee, and you have "politicized" a process that should have remained above politics

“Unfortunately, your organizations are now serving those forces – including a hostile DVA bureaucracy – which would prefer, above all, to see the profession represented on the DVA Advisory Committee in a fractured and divided way.”

 

More Smoke & Mirrors

After Rondberg's pathetic plea for supporters to place their names in his full-page advertisement, it is interesting to note how the issue has changed from his total unaccountability, his demagoguery, his conflicts of interest, and his non-democratic "alliance," to name a few of the substantive issues he refuses to address. Just as Chris Kent failed to reveal the true nature of the WCA leadership in his “TOP 10 REASONS for JOINING THE WCA,” the modus operandi of the WCA under attack is to ignore the real accusations and focus on the proverbial call for chirovangelism.

 

Instead of addressing the issues of democratic associations, conflicts of interest, yellow journalism, and political obstructionism, he has made this the typical "straight vs. mixer" argument, which it certainly is not. His tactic is the standard demagoguery these charismatics use to incite support from the chiropracTORs who gladly fall for this cover-up. The following email response to Rondberg's call typifies the mindset of this group of fanatics:

 

"Please add my name. You stand for all the right stuff...

"Thanks Terry for all your hard work in promoting and protecting pure
chiropractic both at the grass roots level and with our leaders. You are an
unsung hero and very dangerous to people who have and wish to keep their
twisted views of what chiropractic is."

Stephanie R. Grenier, DC
Dacula, GA

 

Interesting to note she also fails to address the real issues that I presented; instead she wraps herself in the banner of chirovangelism and professes her allegiance to her "unsung hero" and vows to fight those "very dangerous to people who have and wish to keep their twisted views of what chiropractic is." Obviously, her response clearly showed the "Don't confuse me with the facts, I already have my mind made up" attitude, so typical of some chiropracTORs who are ignorant of the real issues involved and, sadly, buy into the demagoguery so typical of this rogue group of chirovangelists.

 

In the next section, you will learn of more charges against Rondberg and his WCA.

 

 

Part Seven:

The Most “Dangerous” Man Continues

 

Rondberg’s Peek-a-Boob

By

JC Smith, MA, DC

 

Some among my readership think I may have helped Terry Rondberg by labeling him the “most dangerous man in chiropracTIC.” Rondberg has proposed a full-page ad in his TCJ of his supporters/sycophants and has compared himself as a new-age martyr for chiropracTIC just as DD and BJ were. He also likened himself to Ben Franklin and MLK, Jr., in an obvious moment of delirium. I’m surprised that his illusion of grandeur didn’t include Gandhi, Abe Lincoln, and George Washington to his likeness as well. Rondberg apparently missed my point, so let me clarify for him and y’all just what I meant.

 

Rondberg is not dangerous like a true social reformer as were Franklin or MLK, Jr., but his style of dangerous resembled Michael Jackson’s image on his “Dangerous” album. While he pretends to be a macho-man in his musical lyrics, in reality, he has issues that suggest his danger is more bizarre than otherwise.

 

Actually, Rondberg reminds me also of Janet Jackson since he continues to pull off one publicity stunt after another, such as the WCA appointed as an NGO, the WCA getting a seat at the White House CAM commission, a seat at the Great Debate at Palmer, a seat on the VA Committee, and the mere fact that he continues to force his presence upon the profession altho he’s only a vendor/publisher with an attitude and many conflicts of interest. These are incredible publicity stunts pulled off by a vendor/publisher who has no legitimate reason to demand a seat at any table, certainly not the ones he’s already achieved. Like Janet, you have to give Rondberg credit for pulling off these stunts no matter how destructive it may be.

 

If the approximate 240 members of the WCA is accurate, taken from total dues listed for last year, and the fact that the WCA is not a democratic member-driven organization like the ACA and WFC, his ability to force his little club of 0.004% of the profession upon the authorities must rank right up there with Janet Jackson’s Peek-A-Boob at the Super Bowl.

 

In fact, my email list exceeds the WCA’s supposed membership, but I don’t hold a seat at these important events even though I began the Galactic Chiropractic Alliance where I am the Lord of the Universe (franchises are still available). Rondberg’s ability to demand equal representation with legitimate chiro associations at these important events must rate as one of the biggest con-jobs ever.

 

In Rondberg’s case, his own version of Janet’s Tempest in a D-Cup that may also be seen as the straw that broke the profession’s back was his promotion of Logan students who reportedly began a student chapter of the WCA. Apparently some of these students were very upset at this allegation because they merely attended a meeting to hear Rondberg speak, not to join any SWCA as he promoted in his TCJ. This is another example of his ability to mislead this profession just as he’s misled other organizations, such as the DPI and VA.

 

Unless he can show us the membership application forms signed by all of these students, this story may reveal again his lack of journalistic integrity. If none are available, then Rondberg has shown once again that he is not trustworthy, which is too reminiscent of the Dr. Robert Marsh letter-to-the-editor that proved to be fictitious. This is also similar to the many charges of “meddling” in foreign associations or the VA Committee’s primary access issue that the WCA has misled the profession.

 

Don’t you know Rondberg would love to get into all the campuses to foster fomentation and to sell his CBS insurance, as well as books, seminars and the “so what” Subluxation Station. Fortunately, Logan’s president has objected to the on-campus presence of a SWCA, fictitious or not. Apparently, Rondberg as a vendor/publisher “with an attitude” hasn’t impressed Dr. George Goodman and, if Rondberg’s TCJ article is any indication, perhaps more college presidents should consider whether or not anyone with an axe to grind and a service to sell can flood a campus with yellow journalism and bogus student groups.

 

The article, “Logan student form ‘unofficial’ Student WCA group,” resonates again with more demagoguery than diplomatic expertise when Rondberg wrote:

“Like so many students around the country, these chiropractors‑to‑be realize that chiropractic is far more than a treatment for neuromusculoskeletal conditions. They are eager to offer their patients a unique health care service centered around the detection and correction of vertebral subluxations.”  www.worldchiropracticalliance.org/tcj/2004/feb/d.htm

 

Obviously Rondberg is getting to these kids early on to spoil their minds as to the actual scope of practice they will encounter in the real world of chiropractic, something Rondberg left nearly 20 years ago. He offers no proof that “chiropractic is far more than a treatment for NMS conditions,” preferring to rely upon his metaphysical chiro-babble “chiropracTIC cures all” instead. His constant theme of “detect and correct VSC only” ignores the broad scope curriculum now taught at all CCE-approved colleges, which can only lead to more confrontations in the classroom, “But Terry Rondberg says real chiropracTORs do not diagnose anything but VSC, they don’t treat any pain or symptoms, and they certainly don’t use physical modalities except for Kent’s Subluxation Station.”

 

Rondberg continues with his Peek-a-Boob effort when he wrote:

The WCA has attempted repeatedly to gain approval to establish an official chapter at Logan, on par with chapters of the American Chiropractic Association and International Chiropractors Association but has met with resistance from the administration. After being told by Logan President George Goodman, D.C., that the SWCA would not be allowed because the WCA didn't "fit" into the school's mission statement, Dr. Rondberg tried to appeal the decision.”

 

Why should Dr. Goodman or any college president allow the WCA to be on equal footing with either the ICA or ACA?  Perhaps what doesn’t “fit” into Logan’s mission is the demagoguery of ol’ time chirovangelism. In effect, the establishment of a SWCA would be like a terrorist cell planted at Logan with radical fundamentalists geared to promote a rank ideology, fomenting discord among rival groups, spreading the foul odor of demagoguery among the campus culture, and creating prospective customers for his CBS insurance and Kent’s “so what” Subluxation Station.

 

Again, his insistence to have a seat at any table of power is incredulous in light of the fact that he is simply a vendor who publishes a free advertiser, not a legitimate journal that represents a democratic association or publishes RCTs, peer-reviewed, or double-blind studies. Even if the WCA were a legitimate organization with elected officials and a board that rolls over, it still only represents 0.004% of the profession—not much of a voice if you ask me.

 

Rondberg’s publicity stunts remind me of the Scott Petersen murder trial in San Jose where KNEW radio placed a billboard along the freeway with Scott’s picture along with the headline, “Man or Monster?” When asked about the ethics of its billboard, the CEO of KNEW radio replied, “We’re not in the business of news reporting, we’re in the business of selling commercials.” The same can be said of Rondberg’s TCJ—it does not seek journalistic truth as much as its goal is simply to sell as much CBS malpractice insurance, books, seminars, Subluxation Stations and whatever else the WCA leadership has an interest in selling.

 

Indeed, whenever any media outlet comes with an agenda, it automatically looses its credibility. This is a question of ethics for every chiro college president to ask: just where do you draw the line? Can any vendor or advertiser with an agenda be allowed on campus to indoctrinate the students? Can any demagogue be given a voice on campus or a seat at the table of influence just because he has a small alliance behind him? Indeed, Rondberg’s SWCA will certainly look more like the Moonies on a mission from Innate than his hoped-for Crusaders for ChiropracTIC.

 

Not only do I commend Dr. Goodman from keeping the SWCA off-campus (if it does actually exist), but also I urge every chiropractic college from around the world to censor this for-profit supermarket tabloid and not allow it on campus either. This is not a freedom of the press issue since the TCJ is admittedly slanted in its editorial bias, its articles reek of loaded language and inflammatory rhetoric, and the main objective is not credible news reports as much as selling advertising space to Rondberg’s vendor friends.

 

As well, the ACA and WFC should also publicly announce its condemnation of the WCA as a rogue group of self-serving vendors with a political agenda and ideology from yesteryear so as to make clear to everyone the flimsy foundation upon which the WCA was built upon by Rondberg and his cohorts. A full disclosure from the WCA about these charges and a full disclosure by the ACA and WFC to the profession would greatly enhance the “clarity in the conflict.”

 

More Conflicts & Violations

Not only has Rondberg misled the profession about the role of his NGO status and meddled in other countries’ and states’ affairs, now we learn how he hopes to meddle in the affairs of chiro colleges. Aside from Logan, he already has made his obligatory visit to Life to speak with the new prez, Ben DeSpain, and reportedly gave a speech to the student body. Just what entitled him to that privilege when many reputable association leaders have never spoken there, such as the ACA presidents who have never spoken at Life in its 29-year history.

 

Could Rondberg’s dealings had any bearing on the appointment of Matt McCoy, WCA BOG, as the lead researcher at Life despite his lack of training or qualifications as a researcher? It made no sense to the chiro community when DeSpain let Skip Lantz, DC, PhD, go in lieu of McCoy unless Rondberg dug deep in his pockets in order to pay for another seat that the WCA was not entitled to. Perhaps this was another sock puppet deal for Rondberg to publicize in his propaganda?

 

Now he has responded to the Great Departure of Riekeman from Palmer by circulating more sensational yellow journalism with unproven accusations by Gene Cretsinger that the ACA and CCE caused the “forced resignation.” Rondberg’s method of editorial management seems to be the “throw the spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks” method to incite more demagoguery among his few followers with inflammatory journalism that is total speculation by just one man. Enjoy my responses in [dark red brackets].

 

----- Original Message -----

From: Terry A Rondberg, DC

Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2004 9:20 PM

Subject: PROBABLE CAUSE...

 

From Gene W Cretsinger (gcretsinger@spinalcc.com)
Dear Colleagues,

The Palmer Board of Trustees stripped Dr. Riekeman of his duties as President and Chancellor and offered that he stay on as a fundraiser for the Campus Campaign. As expected, Dr. Riekeman resigned and The Board accepted.

Larry Patten is the lead advisor to Vicki and the Board of Trustees, supposedly on a temporary basis. All hiring and salary adjustments are on hold until Patten reviews the compliance of the staff satisfactory to his liking and makes a recommendation to the board. The staff cannot be critical of Patten or the Board. [This is standard practice for any BOT to approve any appointments by the CEO and to suggest otherwise simply shows Cretsinger’s naiveté.]

Dr. Peter Martin, a past President of CCE, is the new appointed President of Palmer West and Dr. Don Kern is the acting President of Palmer Davenport.

Dr. Riekeman brought unprecedented recognition, financial growth, and leadership value to Palmer. He provided Palmer with a $190,000 profit from Lyceum functions in 2003 and established Lyceum as one of the professions premiere annual events. [Riekeman was very good at many of his duties, but the real issue was his Shermanizing of Palmer.]

Vicki has announced that Palmer will no longer hold Lyceum and the event name will revert back to Palmer Homecoming, with no continuing education credits available and no opening ceremony. [Perhaps she, like many PCC alumni, weren’t overjoyed their campus looked more like Spartanburg than Davenport?]

Palmer has lost millions in campaign funds and hundreds of Alumni and friends have withdrawn support as a result of Riekeman's resignation. Vicki and her Board seem resolute in their direction regardless of the cost to Palmer. [Okay, just where’s the proof of this lose of “millions in campaign funds and hundreds of disgruntled Alumni”?]

The board's actions are incomprehensible and unbelievable to the profession. [Wrong again. Perhaps the board saw the makings of another “Life” situation where rank ideology from old Shermanites and fundamentalist chiropracTIC indoctrination supplanted a professional education and took measures to change the direction before another disaster occurred?]

Under Dr. Riekeman's leadership and following CCE's denial of Life College's accreditation, Palmer filed a lawsuit against CCE that, if continued, causes concern for CCE in that it would abolish their authority if the courts ruled CCE restructured illegally after leaving the state of Wisconsin. [That’s their pipe dream and ain’t gonna happen.]

PROBABLE CAUSE:

Note: This is my own hypothesis [Cretsinger’s ‘chiropracTOR gone wild’ version] based on 37 years of experience with Palmer, ACA, CCE and the PCC Alumni Association. The Palmer Board of Trustees is an intelligent, sincere and hardworking group dedicated to the Palmer University System. Palmer has been at its "Glory Days" in the last two years [I think BJ might object to that notion] and the growth was just beginning. What compelling reason would cause the board to act so insane as to throw it all away and put themselves in near collapse? [Perhaps Shermanizing the Palmer campus with ideologues?]

 

It would have to be big, and I bet it was the CCE. [No proof offered, but typical of demagogues to make unproven accusations to vilify authority figures.] CCE got away with destroying Life College [Wrong again: $id Williams’ greed and stubbornness killed Life] and there would be nothing in the way for future domination if the Palmer lawsuit were not there. [A New World Order, perhaps? Blame it all on Dr. Evil.] I don't believe Dr. Riekeman would take it off the table, so the only thing to do was take Dr. Riekeman out of the College. Palmer may not drop the suit, as it would be too obvious as to why Dr. Riekeman was forced out, but Palmer could continue the suit while making plans to fail. [The sky is falling!] Guy would have hired attorney's to win, Palmer cannot afford to win or they ousted Guy for nothing. [Am I the only one confused now?]

Larry Patten was called in and helped develop the strategy to change the board members, push the resignation and save CCE. [How about finding a cure for cancer too?] Vicki, because of her father, David Palmer, [don’t forget her mother] the educator and advocate for accrediting status, [So, let’s blame it on David Palmer?] and because the ACA representatives promised her their support, was persuaded that she would need to stand and protect CCE and, at all cost. [It’s really getting knee-deep now]

 

Patten, according to board information, is at Palmer only on a temporary basis. He obviously is there to consult with Vicki on matters involving Guy's resignation, follow up on the CCE lawsuit and keep the faculty and students in line. Dr. Martin is returned to Palmer West to add arguments for dropping the suit. [Imagine the political power of just one man, Riekeman, without any academic or real professional experience, who was chancellor over 3 chiro colleges, and now Cretsinger wonders why the BOT chose instead to have independent, experienced replacements?]

 

The ACA functions as an arm of CCE [The Great Mixer Conspiracy, eh?] and to encourage Vicki in her decision. In addition, the ACA members on the board of Trustees, and on the Executive Committee of the Alumni Association, are all doing there part to see that the resignation holds up and that the suit is dropped, while the ACA will claim the association is not involved. [The ACA doesn’t need to be involved in the implosion of chiropracTIC since it’s taking care of itself.] The ACA plays politics like the pickpocket who cries "thief" to divert attention from himself. [More demagoguery!] I saw it with the VA advisory board and it is happening with the resignation events. [More yellow journalism—inflammatory, unproven, and just wrong.]

The other compelling reason the ACA and CCE would want to discredit Dr. Riekeman is because he leads a movement that is counter to the CCE and ACA views on chiropractic practice. [I doubt Riekeman’s Triangle of Care is that much different than the inclusive scope of the ACA.] They vehemently opposed Dr. Sid Williams for leading the same movement [All rational DCs deplored Williams’ chirovangelism and diploma mill.] and now attempt to diffuse the movement Dr. Riekeman was advancing. [“Shermanizing” the Palmer campus was the problem, not the ACA’s attitude of Riekeman. Stop with this red herring argument, please.]

 

I will follow Dr. Riekeman and take my financial support where he goes. [“I pledge allegiance to the man…”] Not once in the 6 or 7 years that I have been around Dr. Riekeman has he spoken or hinted negatively about Palmer or Vicki or the other board members. He does not know of my actions nor has he provided any guidance as to what I am writing [That’s painfully obvious!] except to openly teach and show how to be a chiropractic leader and how to stand up for what I believe. [Methinks it’s time to sit down now, Cretsinger.] He taught the students the same thing and that is why he is being forced out. [Wrong again: he resigned because the BOT wanted to approve his appointments, probably to stop the Shermanizing of its campus.] I don't think he set out to be a mighty leader of chiropractors. I think he wanted to show chiropractors how to be true leaders, true to themselves and true to their chiropractic purpose. [Spoken like a true Crusader for ChiropracTIC! Do I hear a Money Hum coming on?]

I believe the board is obligated to stand firm on their decision. My obligation is to show Palmer and CCE where I stand. I can do this and you can do this by going to www.dc2be.com [a Bob Braile website] and casting a NO CONFIDENCE vote. [You can also vote in favor of the BOT’s decision.] Tell others to vote. You must cast your ballot by Sunday February 22nd.   Be a leader!

Much of the proof of what I am saying will be known when Palmer drops the suit. [Apparently Cretsinger is blowing smoke or has clairvoyant powers, eh?]

Keep on keeping on,
Gene W Cretsinger (gcretsinger@spinalcc.com)

 

Whether it’s fomenting unrest, untruths, wild speculation at Logan, Life or Palmer, Rondberg and his band of WCA sycophants will never stop at stirring the pot to keep attention on themselves with their publicity stunts. These entrepreneurs/demagogues are not accountable to anyone, which explains why they’re all so dangerous to this profession. There’s no oversight board that can fire Rondberg as we’ve seen when Parker, Williams, and now Riekeman were fired by their boards. Since oversight of the WCA or TCJ will never happen as long as Rondberg is in control, the only alternative is for the rational chiro colleges to impose their own sanctions on these chiro-terrorists by following Logan’s prez Goodman’s example not to allow the SWCA on campus. I suggest Rondberg’s TCJ also not be allowed on campus until Rondberg meets the standards of ethical journalists.

 

Just as the Jehovah Witnesses have no legal right to proselytize its religion on campus or disseminate its “Awake” magazines among the student body, I daresay the WCA and its TCJ have no legal right to impose its rank ideology and advertising schemes on the chiro campuses around the world. The same can be said of any of the chiro-tabloids that are published to promote advertisers rather than balanced news about the profession, such as Harrison’s AJCC, The American Chiropractor magazine emanating from Panama, Today’s Chiropractic from Life College, and even the Dynamic Chiropractic that too often allows those tacky “How to Make a Million Dollars and Play Golf While Some Recent Grad Work His Butt Off” ads.

 

As a Berkeley grad who matriculated during the Free Speech Movement, the removal of all advertising tabloids from our campuses may sound like censorship if these tabloids were legitimate news reports, but as free advertising and ideological rags, they cannot be protected under the freedom of speech just as the Awake publishers have no right to force their publication upon anyone. Until these chiro tabloids meet the academic and professional standards of the JMPT or NEJM, or meet the fair and balanced standards of the reputable print media, efforts must be taken to free chiro students from the misinformation, yellow journalism, and rank demagoguery so often see in some of these free publications.

Who's Looking Out for Chiropractors?


Contentious ChiropracTORs

by

JC Smith, MA, DC

 

 

Maybe I've been too rough on some of these chiropracTORs that I've featured in this commentary (no, not me!). A few now feel slighted by my commentary and have asked me for an apology despite their unwillingness to prove my facts or my conclusions wrong. Perhaps they don't understand the nature of a point/count-point debate, maybe they don't like a testy argument of issues, or perhaps they feel backed into a corner not knowing how to respond, but I have told them all that I will reluctantly apologize to anyone who I've wrongly accused, but they have to make their case before I will change my position on these sordid events that haunt our profession. Indeed, just prove me wrong!

 

Despite the obvious conflicts of interest I pointed out clearly, some feel the situation of being an elected official while selling merchandise/services does not constitute any conflict; some tabloid publishers/vendors feel their editorials are totally objective and are offended by my accusation of their editorials presented as fact, their loaded language and yellow journalism; and some so-called researchers are upset when I questioned their credentials after I was unable to find online any peer-reviewed RCTs to their credit. Their apparent attitude is: don't confuse us with the facts!

 

Indeed, either I'm missing something here big time or else the bar of ethics has been so low for so long that raising it a normal level has upset those who fail to admit their conflicts of interest and biased reporting. In fact, "anything goes" has been a thread in chiropractic's fabric for too long that has caused these unseemly situations and has compounded our soiled collective imagery. It’s time to set the record straight (no pun intended) with these chiropracTORs who’ve enjoyed the lack of transparency in their work—it’s now time to shine the light of truth on them and their motives to see if they pass the smell test.

 

In 1992, Mr. George McAndrews, the ACA Board General Counsel, wrote in the ACA  Journal his opinion of chiropractic's contentious image: "I believe this is the era of image. It is time for the 'deweirdization' of the profession...It is time to isolate the rascals."

 

Nearly twelve years later, the charge made by Mr. McAndrews, aka, King George of Chiropractic, to "isolate the rascals" has come to fruition. We know clearly who the rascals are in this profession--those that work against unity, access, parity and improving our image. We've seen their slow demise with the removal of chiropracTIC icons like Jim Parker, $id Williams, and now Guy Riekeman. We've also seen the removal of DD Humber from the ICA leadership, as well as the passing of Fred Barge and the retirements of Thom Gelardi, Rev. Reggie, and Joe Flesia from influence. Hopefully we'll see more retreat from the limelight as the straight implosion continues to clean their house.

 

Indeed, isolating the rascals appears both providential and serendipitous, but more is necessary since a new wave of rascals have come to power to continue the same old problems--Terry Rondberg, Chris Kent, Don Harrison, and CJ Mertz to name the latest new-age versions of chiropracTIC rascals as publishers/vendors with bad attitudes and elected officials with obvious conflicts of interest. Their contentious positions on issues are painfully obvious since they all have access to the printed media via their tabloids such as TCJ, ICA's Chiropractic Choice, and AJCC that are filled with advertisers/columnists, inflammatory editorials, and blatant hucksterism in selling their services/products under the guise of "principled" chiropracTIC.

 

A case can easily be made that these businessmen have used the rank tabloid media to mold this profession along their business interests. But that may be coming to an end if current events continue to fall in line with the sudden implosion within the chirovangelist movement. Indeed, the chiropracTIC movement is reeling with the loss of these past kingpins of chiropracTIC, and the present chiropracTIC leadership has also come under serious attack. For example, the ICA prez, CJ Mertz, may find that he is no longer welcomed Down Under. Apparently he forgot to pay his Australian taxes and a complaint by Dr. Keith Charlton has been filed concerning Mertz's egregious patient video tape in which he claims chiropracTIC can cure the world of all dis-ease, ya folla? Here is his synopsis of the situation:

 

"As I reported, Mertz, it seems, has been nailed by the ATO (tax office) and been made to pay back tens of thousands in back taxes on the tapes, as best we can discern. Then there's the unconscionable trading issue, which might cost him (theoretically, but unlikely) $millions. Then there's the Immigration issue, on which, according to my discussions with an officer of the Immigration Dept., we need show no more than that he is not of good fame, and he can be locked out of the country.

 "The Trade Practice Act and the Corporations Law in Australia (Federal Laws) provide for good conduct in commercial affairs (now including health care) that is fair to all parties. When a deliberate deception by a corporation takes place, the agent of that deception may be found by the courts to have engaged in particularly egregious practices and that is termed "unconscionable conduct." The burden of proof is "on the balance of probabilities" as it is for civil proceedings in the US, not the more difficult criminal jurisdictional test of "beyond all reasonable doubt".

 "A term often used in British Commonwealth Law, "of good fame and character" means what it says. It does not require that the person in question is a felon so to be described. If one is declared not to be of good fame and character (say, OJ Simpson), the Feds here will simply decline a visa (required for Americans to enter Oz). He cannot come here any more.

 "A lot of water has to pass under the bridges for all this to pass, but we have started."

 

This legal action is definitely one way to get rid of the rascals. Not only is Mertz in hot water Down Under, but he may be in the same boat in the States if our state associations or licensing boards were to take him to task to prove his contentions. Anyone who's seen his "Half Hour to Health" infomercial will hear the many bizarre claims he makes, including curing pimples! His tacky video pulls the classic bait and switch salespitch by offering a "$200 spinal exam for only $35 if you call now." Such a deal!

 

Appearing as a Tony Robbins wannabee with his head-strapped microphone and run-around-on-the-stage-with-live-audience-present format, he also quotes every "so what?" chiropracTIC cliché ever spoken by the chirovangelists, such as "A body without interference works better than one with nerve interference." Again, so what? A body without a knife in its back works better than one with a knife in the back. So tell us something we don't already know. Is this chirovangelism catechism supposed to impress people or to confirm to them that all DCs are simpletons?

 

This metaphysical explanation of this profession is exactly why King George also once said, "5% of you are freaks, 5% of you are cultists...and the rest of you keep your mouths shut." Obviously Dr. Charlton hasn't kept his mouth shut Down Under, and hopefully Yankee mouths in the state associations and license boards will now speak up to stop these rascals from further ruining our collective image. Indeed, just where do they draw the line on ethics?

 

Fact or Fiction?

Sadly, these rascals, freaks, and cultist don't view this issue as objectively as King George or Dr. Charlton since they view their holy quest to spread the word of chiropracTIC as a religion, not a physical health care science issue. The chirovangelists preach that their vitalistic philosophy is the cornerstone of our profession rather than science, research or clinical skills; in fact, they actually ridicule any suggestion that chiro care is best for NMS disorders since their goal is to cure the world of subluxATION, their simplistic cause of all dis-ease, ya folla? As Chris Quigley, ICA Sec-Treasures, recently told me,  "I also know that it is our philosophy is what sets us apart and above the competition."

 

I beg to differ: their unproven chiropracTIC bio-theosophy has caused this profession to be marginalized to the 10% of the population who shares the anti-anything-medical mantra--the "Deaniacs" of healthcare. In fact, if we DCs were DOs, PTs, or MDs doing the same clinical care, we would be paid twice as much, face fewer code restrictions, and have access to the 90% of the healthcare marketplace that DCs are now excluded from because the government agencies and private healthcare insurance companies don't trust us when they hear the chirovangelism preached by these rascals.

 

While Quigley may pride himself on his philosophy, I disagree that it has "set us apart and above the competition." It has certainly set us apart, but not above anyone on the medical totem pole. Our public image is at the bottom of the healthcare ladder with a trust factor of only 31% according to the latest Gallup poll and, considering the fact that we care for only 10% of the population during the current NMS disorder epidemic affecting nearly 80 million Americans, I can't imagine how Quigley can be so proud in light of these facts unless under-utilization is his source of pride!

 

Indeed, his chirovangelism has left him in the stupor that has infected other chiropracTORs for decades with their delusions of chiropracTIC grandeur! He recently shared with me his assessment of the medical profession that sounds painfully similar to the anti-anything-medical mantra I recall at both Sherman and Life. Sadly, his opinion illustrates the hate-straight mindset so typical and so divisive, and we wonder why integration is impossible for these chirovangelists?

 

"I really like to attack the medics who kill over 500,000 people per year through medical mistakes, hospital infections and adverse drug reactions. Those evidenced based practitioners killing innocent people really hit home for me because they have killed several members of my family, including my grandfather, grandmother and several of my patients. Save your bile for the people killing other people.  The worst DC is 10 times better than going to someone who would kill them."

 

Well, you can’t argue with him, eh? In one fell swoop, he’s demonized the entire medical profession as if it’s never contributed one iota to the well being of anyone. Sadly, the chiropracTIC demagoguery has a willing gadfly in Quigley and too many naïve students who’ve swallowed the same antiquated beliefs, such as this email I just received from the "Students for Riekeman" at Palmer who support the ousted Big Guy Riekeman:

 

“I have to reply to your shermanization [sic] of palmer [sic] article.  You do make a good point about Riekeman trying to help keep chiropractic--- chiropractic.  Unfortunately I think you may have went to NYCC, Northwestern, or one of the other health science schools who don't really know what chiropractic is and what it stands for. [It’s amazing how expert this student is on all other colleges, isn’t it?] For your information.... students at the PCCF campus have been slammed with more science than philosophy at this time, so your assumption of us becoming dogmatic may be right.... it may be a little towards the medical side, but things will change, foundational information about chiropractic and it's [sic] philosophy are making their way into the school and intertwining with the sciences to make us smartes [sic] chiropractors of the time [how ironic!].  Another assumption you made or recieved [sic] from your so called sources may be wrong.  In PCC theire [sic] were over 800 votes of no confidence, the whole PCCC campus signed and about 80 signed in PCCF.  So there are students who care. [Isn't that sweet?] Riekeman has increased student enrollment, increased [what?], took lycem [sic] from being a Palmer picnic loosing [sic] money each year to making it profit [sic] and bringing it to the chiropractic community, and has raised the most money in a capital campaign for chriopractic [sic] than any other [what?] has. 

 

“Dr. Smith, I challenge you to sell [Any buyers?] your medipractic [sic] and become a realy [sic] chiropractor before you try to bash someone who is [Who’s that? Someone who hasn’t practiced in decades?].  There are already enough hospitals and physical therapists to do what you are doing.” [how does he know what I do?]

 

thank you,

a CHIROPRACTIC STUDENT

 

Well, I guess he told me off too! Sadly, his narrow-minded chiropracTIC attitude exemplifies BJ's "education constipates the mind" attitude. My claim remains that Riekeman’s Shermanized curriculum was mostly indoctrination, not one of true “higher” education. In fact, with the numerous misspellings in his note, how did this PCC student ever qualify for a supposed grad school? Doesn't he use spellcheck? If his chiropracTIC is as bad as his grammar, Palmer is in worse shape than I thot, ya folla!

 

For his information, I didn’t attend any dreaded “mixer” or “medipractic” college, but I did attend Sherman and Life during my illustrious student career, graduating with honors (but who didn’t?). I also worked at Life as $id’s ghost writer, sports director, and student liaison/confidant with daily private discussions in his office since none in the student body had any idea what he was talking about when I first arrived in 1975—someone had to make sense of his chiropracTIC drivel. Upon graduation, I worked in $id private office in Austell where I learned how not to run a practice unless you think $10 a visit, free exams, no pain management, and no spinal rehab is the proper way to practice. So, I think I’m well versed in the chiropracTIC dogma, ya folla, which explains why I speak from experience and realize the problems this chiropracTIC dogma has caused this profession.

 

Imagine the problem facing the BOT at Palmer today if this student is an example. First, the student body has been indoctrinated with Sherman’s radical chiropracTIC ideology, then combine that with the demagoguery of Rondberg and the SWCA terrorist cell there. Instead of DCs with a professional understanding of NMS disorders or a well-rounded outlook on integrated healthcare in the 21st century, we see the production of more radical fundamentalists with a suicidal attitude for chiropracTIC preachin' Riekeman's Triangle of Care. And we wonder why we’re only seeing 10% of the population?

 

VA Contentiousness

The chirovangelists' latest attack on mainstream chiropractic has focused, ironically, on the VA referral issue. Although the ICA and WCA tabloids have hung their hats on this recent wedge issue, it was their own statements that in part contributed to this decision. The most appropriate explanation ignored by these masters of misinformation must include the phrase "shooting yourself in the foot."

 

The ICA and WCA chiropracTIC slants concerning the VA Committee's recommendation that DCs are to be regarded as NMS specialists, not primary access providers, who normally required a referral from a PCP, have caused alot of barbs being cast between the "detect and correct VSC only" crowd and those who understand how the protocols of the military healthcare systems actually work. As hard as it may be to swallow, DCs will never be considered PCPs inasmuch as our scope focuses on NMS disorders and not general illnesses and certainly not war-related injuries.

 

Not only are chiropracTORs not primary access providers, the Rondberg rep actually tried to convince the VA Committee that all VA patients should first see a DC to clear out their VSC before being referred to MDs or PTs for further care! Is this putting the cart before the horse or what?

 

Although Williams, Rondberg, and other chiropracTORs mistakenly believe "chiropracTIC can cure everything but rigor mortis, ya folla?" the rest of the rational world of chiropractic and medicine understand the evidence for that contention eludes them. To preach "wholism," "wellness," or "a body without nerve interference works better than one with nerve interference" is simply chiro-babble and continues to cloud our image as the Mystery Science Profession.

 

Besides, any "straight" chiropracTOR who refuses to diagnose as Rondberg professes (recall: the CBS malpractice brokerage requirements are simply: "don't diagnose or practice medicine") is admittedly not qualified to be primary access care, especially in the military medical or VA settings. Perhaps well-trained DC diagnosticians produced by National, LA, Western States, Texas and other reputable "mixer" colleges may be qualified, but the typical "straight" chiropracTOR from Life, Sherman or Palmer admittedly is totally unqualified as a PCP. 

 

I doubt that many are not even competent to be an NMS specialist since most know nothing about spinal diagnostics like cauda equina, CAD, stroke, HNP, or any of the myriad of spinal problems other than their enigmatic VSC only. Indeed, if you had a possible malignancy in the colon causing referred pain to your lumbar spine, would you go to a straight chirovangelist as a PCP? (Okay, okay, stop laughing)

 

Since the WCA's non-diagnostic, non-therapeutic stance was clearly enunciated to the VA Committee by Rondberg's sock puppet representative, Leona Fischer, how could the committee have recommended that patients have direct access to DCs? Would you recommend any patient see a doctor who refuses to diagnose or treat conditions? For the ICA or WCA spokesmen to suggest otherwise is simple naiveté about the system and common sense. But that didn't stop the TCJ from disseminating more inflammatory misinformation blaming the ACA members on the VA Committee for its decision if this recent article is any indication: http://www.wcanews.com/archives/2004/feb18a.htm

Direct access in the VA for chiropractic care

by Michael S McLean, D.C., FICA, Member, VA Chiropractic Advisory Committee

 

"It is highly ironic that after all the clamor the ACA leadership made about the inclusion of a representative of "chiropractic medicine," the ACA members on the CAC unanimously voted with him (and against the ICA and WCA members) supporting chiropractic BY REFERRAL ONLY.

"The magnitude of this disaster is hard to estimate at this time, but it will not only make it harder for VA enrollees to access care, it will make it harder to pass future legislation without having chiropractic "by referral only."

"Our ability to see patients directly is being slowly eroded. It will make it terrifically difficult to 'correct' the flawed legislation that put chiropractic in the DoD 'by referral only.' "

 

The "erosion" McLean laments may be the direct result of the chirovangelists' "non-diagnostic, non-therapeutic, anti-anything-medical" mantra that they've preached forever! It should come as no surprise to the ICA or WCA when DCs are relegated to a non-diagnostic secondary tier position after they've convinced themselves and the advisory committee that, in fact, chiropracTORs don't do anything but "detect and correct VSC only," along with the "so what" Subluxation Station, a failed recommendation that Fischer repeatedly tried to sell to the committee.

 

Indeed, the ICA and WCA have taken the proverbial role of the fly in the ointment whenever they preach this drivel. Although their rap clearly didn't wash with the VA Committee, these simpletons keep preaching that unconvincing spiel. You'd think they'd stop throwin' good money in after bad, but their Quixotic quest to rally their troops with war cries as crusaders of chirovangelism and these baseless attacks by McLean and Rondberg to demonize the ACA illustrates their misguided demagoguery within the quickly imploding chiropracTIC sect. Blame everyone but themselves is the latest wedge in their tabloids.

 

As King George might say, these "rascals" on Capitol Hill have consistently driven a dagger into the heart of chiropractic's character whenever they've testified to committees concerning their "unique" scope of care by the chiropracTIC profession as well as their "chiropracTIC can cure anything" dogma. Rather than accept the NMS role that we do so well, these chirovangelist rascals continue to spout off their hyperbole that still falls on deaf ears in Washington, but it hasn't stopped them from embarrassing us all with their chiro-babble.

 

Is it little wonder that the VA officials embraced the NACM and DuVall since it appeared rational and evidence-based for LBP rather than the metaphysical beliefs of the chiropracTORs, their outlandish claims, and requests to be PCPs? Indeed, this must appear humorous to the VA officials when they listen to our chirovangelists preachin' their chiropracTIC cures-all hyperbole and chanting the Money Hum!

 

The Chiro Coalition's contention reminds me of the failed battle cry of Gov. Howard Dean's clamoring to end the war on terror. While his "I Have a Scream" rap may have resonated among the 10% or less of “Deaniacs” in state primary elections, the 60-70% of Americans who support the war ignored his plea for pacifism and Bush-bashing. The same can be said of Rondberg's cry for chirovangelism and his incessant, unwarranted attacks on the ACA and WFC: it may resonate among the 0.004% who constitute his WCA members, but the vast majority of DCs ignore his simplistic, archaic rap from yesteryear. Indeed, Rondberg's rap just doesn't wash among the Congressmen or 90% of DCs, but since he's not accountable to anyone, he continues undeterred to press his self-serving interests under the guise of chiropracTIC upon the profession, the VA, Medicare, and the military health services. Perhaps now you can see why he's the most dangerous man in chiropracTIC?

 

Campus Contentions

The revelation that Rondberg and his terrorist student cell at Logan have been banned from campus is also a positive step in the right direction to "isolate the rascals." While some may think this is an infringement on Rondberg's freedom of speech, since he's not a legitimate journalist but is a proprietary publisher of a tabloid hawking his goods and preaching demagoguery, he has as much right to solicit these students as the Jehovah Witnesses have proselytizing students with their Awake! magazines.

 

Even if a panel discussion were held on a campus to debate these issues as some astute critics of mine have suggested, the small percentage of the WCA membership of 0.004% of the profession does not entitle him to a seat since most state associations have larger memberships than his "alliance." In fact, Rondberg's small numbers reminds me of presidential wannabee, Ralph Nader, another egotist who wants to be king but has a snowball chance in hell. Should Nader, Sharpton, or Kucinich be entitled to a seat at any political debate when they represent so few, just as the WCA and perhaps the ICA membership number fewer than most state ACA associations? In a democratic format, it just doesn't make sense to have equal representation when the numbers are so unequal.

 

As the Lord of the Galactic Online Alliance (GOA), if Rondberg gets a seat at any table in the future, I demand one too since my email list is larger than his WCA membership! Just as $id Williams used to automatically enroll in his Georgia ChiropracTIC Council anyone who registered for his discount license renewal seminars to enhance his membership numbers, I will announce that anyone who has ever received an email from me is now a member of the GOA (franchises still available). BTW: instead of Williams’ Money Hum as a Lasting Purpose, the GOA’s Lasting Prayer is Galatians 6:9, which is very apt for our situation. 

 

Hopefully his ruse as an international democratic chiropractic organization will begin to unravel as more colleges follow Logan's lead and, with enough complaints to the DPI at the UN concerning Rondberg's misuse of his NGO status, we will soon bring that deception to an end. If you haven't already, I urge you to write a complaint as I have already done to:

Chief, NGO Section
Department of Public Information
Room S-1070L
United Nations, New York, N.Y. 10017

 

Straights v. Straights Contentions

Don't think for a moment that the internal battles in this profession are only among the straight v. mixers, or vitalists v. mechanists, or faith-based v. evidence-based practitioners, or even subluxation-based v. patient-based factions. Many of the chiropracTIC leaders among the various groups have had a long history of in-fighting as we've seen when Big $id left Parker, Rev. Reggie and $id had their divorce and started their own colleges, and more recently, the fallout among the ICA and WCA. While these chirovangelists preach, "love for the sake of loving," their actions sometimes speak louder than their words. I doubt there wasn’t any love lost between Sherman, Palmer or Cleveland colleges when Life fell and $id Williams was ousted by SACS. In fact, most probably thought it was good riddance and time for $id to leave.

 

The love affair among the chiropracTORs themselves has often been quite contentious. They don't just hate the 90% of the "mixer" world of chiropractic, they also hate the entire medical world, anything that doesn't emphasize their brand of chirovangelism, and they often hate each other. Indeed, Williams, Gelardi, Gold, Riekeman, Rondberg, the ICA, and WCA have not always been so friendly in their relationships; in fact, often these straight groups and colleges are downright combative toward each other fighting over who speaks for this small segment of chiropracTORs.   

 

As most discover, "the enemy of your enemy is also your enemy," and the present animosity between the ICA and WCA continues to this day from Rondberg’s support of DD Humber in the last ICA election that CJ Mertz won with the help of Riekeman's supporters.  Rondberg’s support of $id Williams during the Life Debacle and the ICA election is baffling to many of the rational "objective" straights who knew this profession would be better off without either Williams or Humber after their three decades of dictatorial control. In fact, the only straights who squawked when the Williams clan was removed from Life were the 10% of $idiots who remain loyal-to-a-fault to the self-proclaimed Defender of ChiropracTIC despite the blood on his "healing hands."

 

Even Rondberg agreed with me that Big $id was a dinosaur to this profession if his email was any indication, which I’m sure he now regrets that it was ever sent:

Dear JC,
I have read your material and I know much of what you said is true.  I stop attending DE in 1974.  I went maybe 3 or 4 times and experienced the very things you have written about.  I have observed Big Sid up close many times and I can tell you the deception and misrepresentations are true.  I have been lied to many times directly by SW.  I was wondering if you had also experienced this same thing

Dr. Terry Rondberg,

World Chiropractic Alliance

 

To answer his question, I daresay anyone who ever dealt with $id Williams was lied to or deceived by him as he misrepresented his bastardized version of chiropracTIC education to Lifers and exploited this profession for three decades as he chanted his Money Hum all the way to his bank. I do find Rondberg's criticism of Williams ironic since Rondberg has done the same things—misrepresented the news with his yellow journalism, misled students and the profession about our collective needs, and deceived all as a vendor/ “publisher with an attitude” whose main goals were to promote his demagoguery and to sell CBS insurance among his other products/services.

 

Indeed, even though he loathed his ideological rival, Big $id, I daresay Rondberg has used Williams as his role model! Perhaps watching Big $id in action taught Rondberg how to run a proprietary business under the guise of altruistic motives. Both began maverick “councils” or “alliances,” both taught outdated chirovangelism, both published tacky tabloids to sell services/products to their followers, both fomented discord between straights and mixers with their biased editorials, both misrepresented their power base to legislators, both resisted upgrading educational standards, and both fought against unity, access, and parity in order to keep themselves in power.

 

Their likeness is uncanny and it has been just as damaging, which may explain his next email response to me:

Smith,

You are an arrogant prick...  Big Sid must have really got to you.  I can't stand him but your name-calling reflects your consciousness is in the same sewer as little louie and SW.  Don't bother contacting me again; I will delete JC Smith without reading.

Dr. Terry Rondberg,

World Chiropractic Alliance

 

Well, I guess he told me off, eh? And this anti-freedom of speech comes from a so-called publisher?  His duplicitous nature comes as no surprise to me or to anyone who’s dealt with him, including other chiropracTORs. Knowing Rondberg’s true feelings about Big $id, I found it odd that he supported DD Humber during the last ICA election. Strange bedfellows, indeed, but it does prove that ideological kinship is paramount even above personal hatred.

 

To say Rondberg has not always enjoyed the support of his straight colleagues is an understatement considering the criticism heaped upon Rondberg by the ICA. The International Chiropractic Association has openly challenged the divisive nature and demagoguery of the WCA, spurring a response in another editorial by Rondberg, “Who profits from the WCA?” www.worldchiropracticalliance.org/tcj/2000/sep/sep2000rondberg.htm

“The ICA Board member [Quigley]…came right out and said, ‘I don't see anything that you've ever done as constructive for subluxation-oriented chiropractic. I do see you as divisive and self-serving. I see you as a self-promoter disguising his for-profit businesses as having altruistic purposes.’… ‘I don't see provisions for any real elections or choices in who runs the association.’”

 

Dr. Chris Quigley, now ICA Sec-Treasurer, berated Rondberg for the very same reasons I’ve charged in this on-going commentary. Quigley correctly contends Rondberg is actually a businessman who uses his WCA to promote his wares. Rondberg has admitted these conflicts of interest in his response, but he sees no problem and continues unabated with his demagoguery and profiteering:

“CBS -- Separating fact from lies: A special message from Terry A. Rondberg, D.C., president of the WCA and CBS.” www.worldchiropracticalliance.org/tcj/2001/jan/jan2001b.htm

“Christopher J. Quigley, D.C., an ICA board member, made a similar accusation in a letter to ICA Representative Assembly members. He wrote: "Dr. Rondberg is looking to pad his pockets with the dues and malpractice insurance dollars of our members and ... uses his newspaper as a promotional vehicle for those efforts."

 

"Do I make money from CBS and TCJ? Yes, I do, just as every full time employee of any business makes a profit. Do I use TCJ to promote CBS and WCA? Of course!"

 

Now that we have Rondberg's conflict of interest clearly admitted by him, he resorts to his typical demonization when he also denounces the ICA for its support of the WFC in the same article:

“The World Chiropractic Alliance also is the leading and most vocal opponent of the repressive and anti-chiropractic policies of the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC), which the ICA continues to support.”

 

I might add that the ICA supports the WFC for many good reasons. As informed DCs know, the recognized worldwide, democratically elected chiropractic organization is the World Federation of Chiropractic, comprised of legitimate associations from 80+ nations (not sock puppet orgs as we see with the Chiro Coalition). Here in the USA, the American Chiropractic Association is the primary voice for this profession, not the WCA or ICA. This is why to have the WCA anointed as an NGO is equivalent to a guerilla band of 0.004% of radicals proclaiming itself to be the chiropractic representative to the UN. Indeed, some view the WCA as the al Qaeda of the chiropractic profession—self-serving ideologues wrapping themselves in the banner of chirovangelism as they fight for profit and personal profit a la Arafat.

 

Leadership Contentiousness

Not only has Rondberg had problems with other straights, the ACA, WFC, CCE and most every rational chiro organization in the world (e.g. “Meddling” articles), he also had had trouble with keeping his word among the National Chiro Leadership Forum to end his biased reporting. Apparently he swore to back off his yellow journalism and promised to improve his relationship with other chiro tabloids like the Dynamic Chiropractic, but that promise was short-lived, that's for sure.

Dear ***,
Thanks for sharing the wisdom.  Let me add that I promise I will keep my
word
, I have faith Don will do the same.  If any of you have any questions
for me at anytime I invite you to call me at my home.  My home phone number
is 760-602-0247.  My thoughts and prayers are with all of you and for our
profession.

Thank you,
Terry

 

It's painfully obvious that Rondberg makes promises he has no intention of keeping! His reporting on the Manzullo Medicare bill and the recent VA Committee issues are clear indications of his TCJ disseminating more misinformation to the profession. He and the ICA's McLean's article, "Direct access in the VA for chiropractic care," knew perfectly well the possibility of DCs as PCPs in the VA system would never pass, especially with the WCA's rep, Leona Fischer, chanting "detect and correct VSC only." Yet this recent article in TCJ shamelessly blamed this decision on the ACA knowing full well this decision was inevitable! Rondberg clearly uses the VA issue as a wedge to further divide and conquer the minds of impressionable DCs in the court of chiropractic opinion.

 

[I think we all should phone his home number, 760-602-0247, to complain about his obvious contentiousness despite his plea to "keep my word." Since he sends his unwanted tabloid to every DC, perhaps it’s fair play to now phone his home with unwanted solicitations from us! If you do, give him my regards.]

 

As you will learn in the next section concerning the WCA v. WFC Identity & Image symposium slated for next week, Rondberg also failed to keep his word as an NGO to be inclusive rather than exclusive by rejecting the WFC's offer to participate. As long as Rondberg's WCA is present on any panel or group involved with the betterment of this profession, you can bet he won't unless he will personally profit. The truth is he will never allow the Leadership Forum to succeed, he'll never support any unity or merger efforts, and he will never support the ACA, WFC, or CCE if there's money to be made for him by keeping the profession divided via his tabloid journalism.

 

Can Rondberg Handle the Truth?

Another illustration of Rondberg’s contentiousness was his online response that the Logan College SWCA was mistreated by being forced off-campus:

“No surprise really, Logan is afraid that there [sic] students will hear the truth and not want to follow their model of a chiropractic physician.  Who would want to fake being an MD?

“That's what they instilled when I attended and the same censorship exists today.  That is why we must try harder to reach all the students and tell them they aren't alone and they don't have to appease their school administrations. 

“If the truth wasn't so powerful they would have nothing to fear.”

Terry A. Rondberg, DC

President, World Chiropractic Alliance

 

Obviously Rondberg just doesn’t understand that rational DCs, even "objective" straights, are offended by his endless demagoguery when he suggests, “Who would want to fake being an MD?” “…same censorship exists today,” or “…they don’t have to appease their school administrations.” Insulting the Logan faculty, which I think is better adept at curriculum development than Rondberg, and promoting anarchy among the students doesn’t seem to faze Rondberg, and then he wonders why Logan wants him and his SWCA to stay off campus? His attitude illustrates why I believe allowing a SWCA on any campus is equivalent to allowing a terrorist cell on campus. I hope every chiro college president bans him, his WCA, TCJ, and his SWCA from their campuses too, which may be the only way to hold him accountable!

 

Rondberg's beliefs are so off-the-wall they're laughable except for the fear that these naïve students may not realize they're foolish: e.g., being a competent diagnostician is required as a primary access provider, something Rondberg’s chiropracTORs refuse to do. His advice is contrary to state laws, contrary to the CCE Standards, and alien to ethical behavior, but as a non-practitioner himself, Rondberg doesn’t care if he’s preaching outdated rhetoric from decades ago as long as he profits by selling his CBS insurance and his friends, Kent and Gentempo's, "so what" Subluxation Station, chiropracTIC's newest version of the Innatometer!

 

Indeed, he’s “the most dangerous man in chiropracTIC” because he’s unaccountable to any board and he spreads misinformation and inflammatory rhetoric among these students. And he wonders why Dr. Goodman banished him from his campus? Only a misguided ideologue would construe this as: “If the truth wasn't so powerful they would have nothing to fear.” May I suggest they don’t "fear the truth" on any campus, but they do fear Rondberg’s misconceptions, his lies, and journalistic distortions of the truth that are fueled by his hidden agenda to sell his wares under the guise of chiropracTIC, just as Chris Quigley mentioned.

 

As actor Jack Nicholson once said, “you can’t handle the truth,” and I daresay neither can Rondberg nor the chiropracTIC movement of radical chirovangelists handle reality as their movement continues to implode, blaming everyone but themselves and their waning chirovangelism.

 

Intellectual Contentiousness

Not only has Rondberg and his WCA object to nearly effort political or legislative effort by the ACA and mainstream chiropractic, we've also seen their separate "straight" standards wane with the failed experiment of the Straight Chiropractic Academic Standards Association, the Vertebral Subluxation in Chiropractic Research, the Vertebral Subluxation Research Institute (VSRI), and their infamous CCP Guidelines, which gave carte blanche to anything and everything under the guise of scientific approval. In fact, not only has Rondberg's recent legislative efforts failed miserably, but the thrust of the many straight efforts for a separate profession have failed repeatedly.

 

With the ouster of Gelardi, Parker, Williams and Riekeman as college presidents, now we see the beginning of the end of chiropracTIC-styled faith-based education. Sadly, the former administration at PCC under the leadership of Riekeman interjected chiro-dogma into all science and technique classes. Recall the letter-to-the-editor in the Beacon, Palmer’s student newspaper, of March 2001 written by a student, Mark Morningstar, titled “Against the Grain.” As he contends, there is too much philosophy and not enough science taught at Palmer.

“Science needs to be emphasized more at Palmer. Through science, we can make chiropractic even better, and we can prove its efficacy to the world. Science is the search for the truth…My point is people at Palmer are so quick to mock science, yet our modern day lifestyles are predicated upon it. Palmer is a scientific black hole. The triad of chiropractic science, art, and philosophy should be all equally stressed. However, at Palmer, the philosophy corner reigns supreme. In fact, philosophy is what we use to ‘educate’ our patients.”

 

Doesn't this smack of other religious dictatorships that refuse to allow academic freedom in education in their countries, afraid that the oppressed people might begin to think differently for themselves? As we've read when Riekeman rationalized his sabotage of the FSU chiropractic college, he feared the "medicalization" of chiro education. In fact, however, the MGT report made it perfectly clear that chiro educators from other reputable colleges would be recruited to teach alongside professors already on staff in the FSU graduate schools. Apparently integration in an inter-disciplinary model doesn't suit the Riekeman, Gelardi, Rondberg or Williams’ model of chiropracTIC education. Indoctrination to "remain separate and distinct" supplants professional education if left to the designs of our chiropracTIC brethren, and then they wonder why CCE and SACS had placed Life on probation? 

 

Now we hear the same sentiment resonating from Rondberg's response, If the truth wasn't so powerful they would have nothing to fear.” Perhaps Logan doesn't "fear" anything, especially Rondberg's misguided rhetoric, since the administration of this noteworthy college is well aware of the "truth," which certainly is quite different than Rondberg's version. For him to suggest he owns the truth and Logan doesn't smacks of the holier-than-thou attitude so typical of religious zealots.

 

Indeed, can Rondberg "handle the truth?" He conveniently avoided the Great Debate, he refuses to attend the NCLC to be confronted by the real leaders of this profession, and he hides behind his yellow journalism refusing to print critical letters to the editors about his remarks. If he has "nothing to fear," I urge Rondberg and his ilk to come out of hiding and attend the ACA and WFC events to discuss their viewpoints and mutual goals with the mainstream chiropractic community. And I warn him to be ready to have his feet held to the fire if he does.

 

What you say, Terry Rondberg?  Are you afraid to be confronted by the real leadership in this profession? Are you afraid of a Q&A session in front of the most politically proactive and rational DCs in this profession? Or are you afraid of the truth and prefer to hide behind your poisoned pen spewing out more demagoguery for your self-serving agenda?

 

The next section will return to more violations of NGO criteria by Rondberg's WCA unless there's a new twist in the Palmer situation, or if Rondberg sends more inflammatory emails or prints more yellow journalism as we've seen with the McLean VA article, which always make for good copy, don't you think?

 

 WCA: “Stop the WFC”

 

Diplomatic Fraud

by

JC Smith, MA, DC

 

It’s obvious to all by now that Terry Rondberg and his cohorts have used their WCA as a front to push his chiropracTIC ideology and to sell their services and products in his infamous TCJ tabloid. Certainly positioning his WCA as a democratic political alliance is terribly misleading, and their conflicts of interest clearly show their lack of credibility as spokesmen for this profession, but no doubt their most egregious undertaking has been the WCA as an NGO (non-governmental organization) in the UN.

 

Indeed, to have the WCA appear as the international diplomatic voice for this profession is troubling, to say the least, and a fraud to be blunt. Rondberg certainly knows his WCA membership comprises only 0.004% of the profession, but he and his cohorts have no qualms about misrepresenting this to the UN. It’s a frightening thought to realize that the WCA now appears to the UN as the voice of chiropractic, similar to having the Jehovah Witnesses posing as the voice for all of Christendom.

 

WCA Violations of NGO Criteria

Not only is the WCA as an NGO shocking to mainstream DCs, but also a case can easily be made that Rondberg and his WCA have violated the four criteria of NGO status and deserve to have its NGO charter removed immediately:

·  Share the ideals of the UN Charter

Not only is the WCA simply a front for Rondberg and his cronies to sell their wares, perhaps the most offensive element of the WCA is its lengthy history of demagoguery to obstruct progress in the chiropractic community around the world as we’ve seen with the many complaints by foreign and stateside chiro associations about the WCA’s meddling in foreign and domestic legislation. Rather than an inclusive attitude like the UN preaches, the WCA and Rondberg have repeatedly shown their exclusive position by rejecting cooperative efforts with real chiropractic organizations like the ACA and WFC.

 

To see the WCA align itself with the UN’s efforts on “peacekeeping, conflict resolution and reconciliation” is laughable and contradictory, yet it illustrates the depths to which he will deceive the UN and the chiropractic profession. The only “ideal” of the WCA is world domination of chiropracTIC, not international cooperation with other chiro organizations, integrated medicine, or even progressive chiropractors who don’t preach chirovangelism.

 

It is easy to show in his own words from an editorial in his tabloid the exclusive and divisive nature of the WCA’s president-for-life, Terry Rondberg, “What are they afraid we'll do?” where he and his right hand man, Chris Kent, denounce the leadership of the WFC with unproven inflammatory allegations, certainly in violation of the spirit of the UN: www.worldchiropracticalliance.org/tcj/2000/jan/jan2000rondberg.htm

 

“Dr. Christopher Kent said it best recently when he stated: ‘The greatest threat to subluxation-based chiropractic on an international level is WFC.’

“That threat is real and it is confronting us now. We have to do everything in our power to stop the WFC in its tracks. The first step is to make sure the school or organization you support does NOT support the WFC. If it does, urge it to discontinue that support.”

 

I doubt Kent’s call to arms against the WFC is what anyone would consider an “inclusive” attitude symbolic of the “shared ideals” of the United Nations or the United States for that matter. But his attitude is typical of demagogues who “gain power and popularity by arousing the emotions and prejudices of people.” This has been exactly the modus operandi used by nearly every chiropracTIC leader in the ICA and WCA for decades, if not forever, pitting mainstream conservative, broad scope DCs against the liberal chiropracTORs that contend their “adjustments” will cure mankind of all dis-ease. This civil war mentality has terribly hurt this profession in many profound ways, and it has enabled these demagogues to exploit the few who follow them as they obstruct the legislative and diplomatic efforts of the ACA and WFC.

 

In another derisive article written by Dr. Kent in the WCA’s tabloid, “Commitment and Morality,” he once again attacked this major international chiropractic organization: www.worldchiropracticalliance.org/tcj/2000/aug/aug2000j.htm

Our profession faces great challenges from those who seek to destroy our unique culture. In recent years, the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) has attempted to re-define chiropractic as ‘A health profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system...’ and a scope of practice which ‘includes the management of patients with acute and chronic headache, neck pain and back pain and other neuromusculoskeletal disorders.’”

 

Strangely, this WFC definition Dr. Kent condemns is exactly the accepted cultural and legal scope of practice held by the vast majority of nations and states, unlike the radical liberal beliefs by these demagogues that chiropracTIC is the “non-diagnostic, non-therapeutic, cure-all for all dis-eases.” If anyone is about to “destroy” mainstream conservative chiropractic it’s these very demagogues who profess a “unique culture” that neither the public nor the legislators accept.

 

Indeed, this fringe WCA mistakenly uses its NGO status as implied authority to disrupt progressive legislation here and abroad by criticizing the accepted role DCs have played worldwide as non-drug, non-surgical specialists with NMS disorders. Ironically, these hate-straights who portray themselves as “conservatives” are actually the “liberals” who practice far beyond the normal limits of our accepted care. In fact, Big $id Williams, Rondberg, Rev. Reggie and other outspoken straights who speak out of their hats are not the “conservatives” they want to portray to legislators.

 

In another article published in the same tabloid, “WCA president interviewed on ICA/WFC issue,” Rondberg again denigrates both the WFC and ICA with unproven allegations, and when questioned about his extremism, he actually defends it rather than any attempt to ameliorate his constant antagonism.  http://www.worldchiropracticalliance.org/tcj/2000/may/may2000b.htm

“Do you agree with some who say your position is extreme?”

“Answer: Perhaps Barry Goldwater said it best: ‘Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice...moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!’”

 

Instead of Barry Goldwater, I daresay Rondberg now ought to liken himself to Gov. Howard Dean in his extremism. Indeed, he and his corps of WCA remind me more of radical “Deaniacs” than conservative Republicans like Goldwater. Like a true demagogue, he wraps himself in the banner of self-righteousness to justify his aberrant behavior that is terribly out of step with the norm.

·  Operate solely on a not-for-profit basis

As already shown, Rondberg constantly promotes his for-profit enterprises such as his CBS malpractice brokerage firm in his Chiropractic Journal, even to the point of using the NGO as a stamp of approval for their actions. His main associates, Chris Kent and Pat Gentempo, are other businessmen using chiropractic to sell their wares, as evident in three enterprises: EMG Consultants, Inc., as co-founders of Paradigm Partners, Inc., and the Chiropractic Leadership Alliance, Inc, and owners of the “so what” Subluxation Station. Both use this NGO status to enhance their image as implied authority within the chiropractic business world although neither are legitimate spokesmen for this profession other than their sock puppet accolades where they bestow awards upon themselves as further proof of deception.

 

Rondberg admits he does not operate on a not-for-profit basis:

Do I make money from CBS and TCJ? Yes…Do I use TCJ to promote CBS and WCA? Of course!” www.worldchiropracticalliance.org/tcj/2001/jan/jan2001b.htm

 

By his own written admission, Rondberg has violated this criterion for NGO status. Undoubtedly the United Nations had no intention to allow non-governmental organizations (NGO) to profit while supposedly helping in UN efforts. The criteria for NGOs are clear about the non-profit status and presumably this includes the WCA.

 

While the WCA may be on paper a non-profit organization (Life College was also a non-profit enterprise, but that didn’t stop Big $id from making millions), its free tabloid, The Chiropractic Journal, is certainly a front for members of the WCA’s IBOG to promote their many businesses under the guise of the NGO’s stamp of approval. Making no bones about his use of the TCJ to promote his WCA, Rondberg’s free tabloid has been shown to be replete with articles implying that the WCA is the worldwide voice of chiropractic.

 

A simple search on the WCA website [www.worldchiropracticalliance.org] will reveal that Rondberg has mentioned the NGO status in his tabloid at least 51 times since it was granted in 1998, which equates to 10 times annually, nearly monthly. If you were to read any of these articles, it becomes obvious his intention is to make it appear as if the WCA was chosen to be the diplomatic liaison for chiropractic in the United Nations and WHO.

 

The bottom line on his conflict of interest is clear: Rondberg’s CBS company is nothing more than a brokerage firm owned and operated by Rondberg and his family, his TCJ is nothing more than an advertising supermarketesque tabloid posing to the world as a professional journal as it fronts for his businesses and as it also disseminates his WCA demagoguery, all of which stand in direct violation of the spirit of the non-profit status required by NGOs.

·  Have a demonstrated interest in United Nations issues and proven ability to reach large or specialized audiences, such as educators, media representatives, policy makers and the business community

The only people Rondberg reaches with any authority are the approximately 240 non-voting WCA members, certainly not the 60,000+ DCs or the 500,000+ MDs in the US. As shown, his free tabloid is neither a peer-reviewed journal nor a fair and balanced news publication, so the legitimate policy makers and educators within the worldwide healthcare community do not take his tabloid seriously whatsoever.

 

Needless to say, he does not reach any “specialized audiences” or “policy makers” with his biased and self-serving viewpoints. Ironically, this week’s WFC Image & Identity conference was one event where the WCA could have reached the worldwide policy makers in this profession, but Rondberg and Kent refused to attend! It’s interesting to note that the WFC has left a chair for the WCA rep, but no one is taking bets that Rondberg or Kent will show up, and for good reasons.

 

Instead of an NGO whose goal is to bring people together, the WCA has primarily been a political wedge aimed at dividing and conquering this profession. As Chris Quigley of the ICA leadership accurately wrote about Rondberg and his WCA:

I do see you as divisive and self-serving. I see you as a self-promoter disguising his for-profit businesses as having altruistic purposes.” www.worldchiropracticalliance.org/tcj/2000/sep/sep2000rondberg.htm

 

        Have the commitment and means to conduct effective information programmes about UN activities by publishing newsletters, bulletins, and pamphlets; organizing conferences, seminars and round tables; and enlisting the cooperation of the media. 

 

Rather than “organizing conferences, seminars and round tables” as the NGO criteria urges, Rondberg and his WCA have steadfastly opposed conferences among various chiropractic organizations, as illustrated by his refusal of an invitation to participate in an upcoming conference headed by the World Federation of Chiropractic. Instead, the WCA only attends conferences where it acts as the main spokesmen for the entire worldwide chiropractic profession, which is a total ruse. Rondberg’s Capitol Summit conference held just a few weeks after the NCLC is an example of his refusal to organize conferences with the mainstream ACA legislative efforts.

 

Rondberg’s refusal of an invitation by the WFC to participate in an Image and Identity conference is a clear example of the WCA’s violation of the NGO’s criteria. Rather than demonstrating a “proven ability to reach specialized audiences such as educators… and policy makers” within this profession, Rondberg has flatly refused to participate in such conferences in obvious violation of this stated NGO criterion.

 

Indeed, the WCA appears similar to Iraq when it repeatedly defied the UN sanctions by snubbing its nose at the worldwide requests to cooperate. Again, let Rondberg’s own words prove this point of non-cooperation. In the November, 2003 edition of TCJ, he explained his refusal to participate in this worldwide professional effort,  “WCA disputes WFC's role in determining chiropractic's 'identity.'” www.worldchiropracticalliance.org/tcj/2003/nov/nov2003p.htm 

 

The following excerpt from this article clearly summarizes his violation of the NGO criteria to participating in a “peace making” conference:

“As such, the actions taken by the WFC are a reflection of only one segment of the profession, with no consideration given to other opinions or philosophies. While the formation of an association of ‘like minded groups’ is neither unethical nor uncommon, such association cannot purport to represent the entire profession or speak for it.”

 

Oddly, the WFC is comprised of 80+ organizations from around the world with 80+ “opinions and philosophies.” For Rondberg to suggest that this represents “only one segment of the profession” is as ludicrous as suggesting the UN represents only one segment of the worldwide community. Anyone who attended the last WFC conference at Orlando would have seen hundreds of DCs working together to discuss the worldwide issues facing all DCs regardless of race, nationality, or philosophical persuasion.

 

“For this reason, the WCA strongly opposes any effort by the WFC to portray the proceedings or findings of this ‘consultation’ to the global health care committee as an official position of, or document reflecting the positions or conclusions of, the chiropractic profession as a whole.”     

 

Does this sound like an UN-spirited response? It doesn’t matter to Rondberg that over 90%+ of the worldwide profession is represented, but if he doesn’t have total control, then he suggests it’s not a democratic or an “official position.” The implication is clear: Rondberg’s WCA is the real voice for chiropractic in the UN, not the 80+ members of the WFC.

 

Coming from this notorious WCA troublemaker, this is just too ironic! Apparently majority rule doesn’t apply to chiropractic’s issues according to Rondberg’s autocratic methods, again demonstrating his exclusive rather than inclusive attitude, obviously in direct violation of the spirit of the UN and the purpose of a NGO.

 

“While the WFC will no doubt portray its invitation to the WCA as an attempt to be ‘inclusive,’ history has taught us that participation of a few ‘token’ subluxation-based doctors does not translate into equal representation or input.”

 

Paradoxically, the WFC graciously extends its hand to the WCA despite being a non-democratic alliance representing only 0.004% of the DC population. This is similar to the UN extending itself to seek cooperation from dictatorships, yet Rondberg still refuses to cooperate, and then he criticizes the WFC for its “token” gesture. Go figure!

 

Rondberg’s autocratic idea of “equal representation” apparently thinks his minority should take the lead; clearly because he now has the implied authority of the UN as its NGO liaison! Sadly, his misuse of the NGO status has empowered his exclusive position.

 

“For all these reasons, and more, the World Chiropractic Alliance refuses to be a participant in the WFC’s meeting and calls upon the organization to abandon this ill-conceived attempt to prove the legitimacy of its oft-stated positions.”

 

If these ain’t fightin’ words, what are? “…ill-conceived attempt to prove the legitimacy of its oft-stated positions” is ridiculous when you understand he’s talking about an international organization of 80+ countries. Again, this is the typical demagoguery that demonizes any and all rivals despite the fact that the WCA represents a mere 0.004%, yet Rondberg throws mud at the WFC.

 

Image is Everything

Of course, Rondberg’s unspoken hidden agenda in his refusal to participate in the WFC is the fact that his conception of chiropracTIC would be a target at any Image & Identity conference since his outdated simplistic model is exactly the problem we face! Let me be specific: it’s not “straight” objective chiropractors that I’m critical of since many ethical, evidence-based DCs practice with just CMT. As simple as it is, spinal manipulative therapy has proven enormously effective for not only NMS conditions, but there is scant evidence of helping some visceral disorders as well. I’m thankful for chiro care and proud to be a DC, but it does get embarrassing at times.

 

The troublemakers are those liberal, far-left chirovangelists who espouse their “non-diagnostic, non-therapeutic, anti-medical, chiropracTIC-cures-everything” crapola. This is not only anachronistic, it’s laughable in today’s marketplace and political environment. Whenever I hear them say, “A body without nerve interference works better than one with nerve interference,” I cringe, thinking to myself, “So what?” As I mentioned before, a body without a knife in the back works better than one with a knife in the back. Tell us something we don't know intuitively and to build a professional philosophy around such drivel is juvenile.

 

Not only is their ideology outdated, it is the source of division and embarrassment to the entire profession when the press exposes these charlatans as the quacks they are. After reading anything by Rondberg, Koren, Mertz, Williams or Gold, is it little wonder that even the UC Berkeley Wellness letter cautioned people about chiropracTIC? In fact, these radical liberals with their outlandish health claims and metaphysical raps taint us all collectively, so much that they even offended the leftist folks at Berzerkeley!

 

Imagine if these Image & Identity conference attendees had the opportunity to hold Rondberg, Kent, and Gentempo’s feet to the fire at a Q&A session. Never has this profession’s mainstream had the opportunity to give feedback to these demagogues and the rank ideology that the WCA professes. Rondberg avoids debate, instead his type of journalism is the hit-and-run style where he attacks reputable leaders/associations, but never allows for rebuttal. His slash-and-burn method is highly unethical for real publishers, but standard for Rondberg’s supermarket tabloid.

 

Even his “arrogant prick” email to me is typical of many hate letters I get from chirovangelists:

“You are an arrogant prick...Don't bother contacting me again; I will delete JC Smith without reading.” TR

 

Apparently they like dishing out their opinions freely, but when I confront them, they usually attack me rather than addressing the points themselves. Typically they accuse me of 1) self-loathing, 2) being a medipractor, 3) being rude to their fallen heroes like Big $id, and 4) trying to destroy this profession. What they don’t understand is my goal to expose the charlatans in this profession, debate the credibility of their stance, improve the clinical scope for spinal care, and to raise the consciousness of this downtrodden profession from cultism to realism. Is it little wonder they refuse to respond other than with their ad hominen attacks? They simply have no answers to my charges since they are the problem!

 

In this light, Rondberg et al. would never have attended the WFC’s Image & Identity conference for fear of being exposed as the main problem with our identity and image! Rondberg avoids direct confrontation since he was a no-show at the Great Debate too. He stays in his WCA spider hole disseminating misinformation and refuses to be transparent by not revealing his actual WCA membership, not willing to debate the issues openly, and not willing to take a back seat in governmental affairs (recall: his WCA is 0.004% of the profession).

 

Stuck in His Craw

Obviously Rondberg’s actions and sentiments are in direct opposition to the inclusive nature of the UN spirit and the DPI/NGO criteria. If the UN were to investigate further the trickery by Rondberg and his WCA group, it would prove to them the deception he has perpetuated on the NGO and upon the international community as a legitimate voice for this profession. He is simply a vendor selling his goods and a publisher with an axe to grind with his sleazy tabloid.

 

Without a doubt, his poisoned pen may now lead to his own demise. In these many articles written by Rondberg and published in his tabloid that I’ve cited, a case can easily be made that he has violated all four of the NGO criteria. If the chiropractic profession is unable to hold him accountable, perhaps the UN can instead by removing his NGO status.

 

These obvious indictments stem not my personal opinions, but they are Rondberg’s own admissions of guilt as printed in his own tabloid:

· The WCA does not share the ideals of the UN Charter as an inclusive organization that promotes peace-making activities with opposing groups, instead we have read of the WCA’s insistence to destroy them. As Rondberg wrote: 

We have to do everything in our power to stop the WFC in its tracks.”

· The WCA’s publication, The Chiropractic Journal, is simply a free tabloid that fronts for Rondberg’s and his BOG friends’ for-profit enterprises in obvious violation of the not-for-profit basis required by the NGO. As Rondberg admitted,

Do I make money from CBS and TCJ? Yes…Do I use TCJ to promote CBS and WCA? Of course!”

· The WCA has not demonstrated an ability to reach large or specialized audiences, such as educators or policy makers within the healthcare community who disregard his tabloid as merely his voice of demagoguery. This is not a new claim since even the ICA leadership wrote about this problem with Rondberg and his WCA:

I do see you as divisive and self-serving. I see you as a self-promoter disguising his for-profit businesses as having altruistic purposes.”

· The WCA has not made a commitment to conduct effective information programs; in fact, the WCA has openly refused to participate in conferences, seminars and round table discussions with opposition groups by refusing to cooperate in the WFC conference of international chiropractic organizations, and, moreover, has meddled in many foreign countries legislative affairs. As Rondberg wrote:

“…the World Chiropractic Alliance refuses to be a participant in the WFC’s meeting.”

 

Conclusion

Obviously Rondberg and his WCA are in violation of the NGO criteria and the DPI should revoke its NGO affiliation since the WCA has failed to support the four criteria outlined. It’s apparent that the hidden agenda of the WCA in attaining the NGO status has been to use this affiliation as a stamp of approval of implied authority in the eyes of the chiropractic profession and also has misrepresent itself to the world community as having an implied special status as the UN chiropractic authority to interfere with foreign countries’ and domestic political affairs. Again, this is in clear violation of the NGO regulations:

Association of NGOs with DPI does not constitute their incorporation into the United Nations system, nor does it entitle associated organizations or their staff to any kind of privileges, immunities or special status.

 

We in the chiropractic mainstream profession who know the ignoble history of Terry Rondberg can easily see how he and his WCA have misrepresented itself on diplomatic issues and how his WCA’s actions stand in direct conflict with the NGO criteria. He has misled the readers of his TCJ into believing that his WCA has been given “special status” by the United Nations when, in fact, it hasn’t.

 

And now we can easily see his actions stand in direct opposition to the spirit of the UN with his exclusive, autocratic and non-cooperative stance on the WFC’s Identity and Image conference. The failure of the UN to immediately revoke the NGO status of the WCA would render the UN in the eyes of most chiropractors as similar to the UN’s inability to oust Saddam from Iraq.

 

If you haven't already, I urge you to write a complaint as I have already done to:

Chief, NGO Section
Department of Public Information
Room S-1070L
United Nations,

New York, N.Y. 10017

 

The last section of this commentary, “Who’s Looking Out for Chiropractors,” will focus on litany of evidence implicating Rondberg in numerous schemes throughout his political and professional career.

 

 

Who’s Looking Out for Chiropractors?

 

Taming of the Shrewd

by

JC Smith, MA, DC

 

This commentary, “Who’s Looking Out for Chiropractors,” has begun to resemble the movie, “The Never-Ending Story,” since this series has now reached 100+ pages over the last few weeks. While the final sections about the Litany of Evidence and the Epilogue will conclude another chapter in the saga of chiropracTIC, after 109 years of melodrama this account remains a Byzantine story of cult personalities clashing with professional agendas unlike any other healthcare profession. Only in chiropractic…that’s for sure!

 

Indeed, this initial investigation of the WCA and its prez-for-life Terry Rondberg developed legs of its own as it revealed a web of journalistic deceit, financial conflicts of interest, and political demagoguery. The issues, the evidence, and the unfolding current events now surrounding the WCA and Rondberg have made a strong case for the lack of professional ethics, but like him or not, you have to give Rondberg credit for being a thorn in the side of mainstream chiropractic for nearly 20 years now.

 

Like Dr. Evil in the Austin Power movie who had his own designs to rule the world, Rondberg has built his WCA house of cards on the unknown but supposed membership of only 240, yet he has been able to push his way onto governmental committees and even to assume the implied voice for chiropractic at the White House and the UN. As a publisher with his TCJ, he has confused, confounded, and corrupted this profession’s attempt to build a united profession as he has molded the mindset of his readership to serve his own financial and political designs. He has used his power of the press to prop up his role as prez-for-life of the WCA while preaching from a bully pulpit his radical fundamentalist chirovangelism, aka, demonizing the ACA, WFC, CCE, FCER, and "anything medical" with his incessant chiropracTIC demagoguery used to arouse the emotions of followers. If not ethical or politically correct, nonetheless Rondberg is definitely shrewd in his business dealings as he exploits this profession.

 

Just as the lengthy investigation of the Life University fiasco and Big $id Williams exploded in the news a couple of years ago with an avalanche of political events stemming from academic and financial irregularities at his diploma mill, the remaining straight chiropracTIC ideologues may have finally reached another critical mass within the leadership of both the WCA and ICA with alleged conflicts of interests, possible tax evasion, overt yellow journalism, and covert political misrepresentation, to name a few of the charges leveled at them. Not only do Rondberg and Mertz have a lot of explaining to do about their conflicts of interest and political shenanigans as we’ve seen, for instance, with their spin on the VA issue, Rondberg's hit-and-hide tactics reveal the larger danger of his non-accountability to his own constituents, let alone to the rest of the profession who would love to hold his feet to the fire of accountability as a rogue reporter and political hack.

 

The Great Departure of Guy Riekeman from Palmer U may also be seen as another nail in the coffin for the chiropracTIC sect when combined with the many other unforeseen events that have happened to the “Palmer Philosophers.”  This unexpected "Universal calls" includes the forced retirements of “straight” college presidents (Parker, Gelardi, Williams, Riekeman), the passing of notable chirovangelists (Barge, Strange, Grassam), the impairment of chiropracTIC icons (Gold, Felisa), and changes in ICA officials (Humber, Mertz). If not completely lifeless yet, the straight movement is certainly reeling with a lack of notable and ethical leadership at this moment. Like the Democratic Party, the chirovangelists are awash in mediocrity with questionable leaders and a tainted image. Finally, their Lasting Purpose has come home to roost as their own lasting problem.

 

Without question, the sudden implosion of the chirovangelist movement in chiropracTIC has been nothing short of amazing considering the crescendo of serendipitous events that will reshape indelibly the future of this entire profession. Indeed, this string of timely events will someday be seen as a seminal period in this profession’s modern history. It has yet to be seen whether it leads to a breakthrough to greater unity and overall political power if this profession coalesces into one unified democratic bloc or if the radical fringe chiropracTIC insurgent movement is kept alive by the demagoguery of self-serving warlords as we’ve seen on the War on Terror in the Mideast. Indeed, warlords have never taken favorably to democratic notions no matter where they live, ya folla?

 

But there is no doubt the entire ChiropracTIC Coalition is reeling now with questionable ethical leadership issues, political defeats on Capitol Hill, and a profession that now realizes Terry Rondberg is a man on a very self-serving mission who may be, indeed, the most dangerous man in chiropracTIC. And like Dr. Evil, he will never stop until someone else stops him.

 

Litany of Issues: “Stop Your Actions”

Just to prove the many unseemly issues Rongberg has been involved in throughout his unheralded “sock puppet” career, enjoy these examples among the 83 citations that can be found in a simple search in Dynamic Chiropractic’s archives. Indeed, Rongberg’s litany of miscues has become legendary within this profession, and the sooner this “rascal” is isolated and stopped, the better this profession will be.

·      Phony Research Scam

Rondberg also founded a patient solicitation scheme known as the Vertebral Subluxation Research Institute (VSRI). Despite the fact that VSRI has been almost universally condemned as teaching illegal and unethical practices within the chiropractic profession, Rondberg has continually claimed through the Chiropractic Journal that VSRI's practices are legal and ethical. www.worldchiropracticalliance.org/positions/telemarketing.htm

 

·        Dynamic Chiropractic Wins Lawsuit

The original lawsuit was filed on July 16, 1993 in Maricopa County (Arizona) Superior Court against James Badge, DC, chairman of the Arizona Chiropractic Licensing Board, Donald M. Petersen Jr., editor/publisher of Dynamic Chiropractic, and the Motion Palpation Institute (MPI). In his complaint, Dr. Terry Rondberg claimed violation of his civil rights, interference of contractual/business relations, defamation, fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress. A claim of invasion of privacy was later tacked on.

The lawsuit stemmed from, among other issues, Dr. Rondberg's claim that the defendants had conspired to release information pertaining to Dr. Rondberg's involvement in the AzScam political scandal that rocked Arizona in 1991. In particular, Dr. Rondberg claimed that Dr. Badge had given Dynamic Chiropractic a copy of the affidavit and agreement which Dr. Rondberg signed with the Maricopa County attorney's office. The affidavit contained Dr. Rondberg's admission that he had given permission for his name to be used illegally on campaign contributions. The agreement required Dr. Rondberg to pay $9,840 to the Maricopa County Anti-Racketeering Revolving Fund.

      WCA President under Investigation for Unprofessional Conduct

Arizona Board of Chiropractic Examiners Issues Complaint

In their January 14, 1993 meeting, the Arizona Board of Chiropractic Examiners voted 4-1 to issue a complaint and a notice of hearing separately to Terry Rondberg, D.C., and Alan Immerman, D.C. According to the Board minutes:

"The Board reviewed the investigative records obtained from the Maricopa County Attorney's office on their investigation, and the subsequent civil settlements, of Dr. Immerman's and Dr. Rondberg's involvement in the campaign financing matter commonly referred to as AzSCAM.

"The Board discussed their concerns that none of the statements or interviews conducted in the investigation of this matter had been under oath. Members of the Board expressed belief that Dr. Immerman and Dr. Rondberg would not have agreed to the civil fines imposed if there had not been misconduct on their parts. Dr. Badge commented on the high national visibility of the two doctors, and the resulting need that the Board establish a record on the matter.

"Mrs. Lubin moved that Dr. Immerman and Dr. Rondberg be issued separate Complaints and Notices of Hearing; the issue being whether Dr. Immerman's and Dr. Rondberg's involvement constituted unprofessional conduct."

 

      Political Manipulation?

An email that was reportedly sent by World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA) president Terry Rondberg,DC:

"I even rejoined the ICA (for one quarter) this past weekend at the WCA Summit just to cast my vote for you and Maxine, and encouraged everyone in the audience to do the same. We handed out hundreds of ICA applications at the Summit, and Bobby Braile joined the WCA in exchange for my application to join the ICA."

This is the same person who resigned from the ICA late last year with a flurry of public comments openly criticizing the ICA in his column. Now the WCA members are being asked by their fearless leader to join the International Chiropractors Association (ICA) to try and manipulate the ICA elections. This is exquisite irony given that the WCA bylaws specify that WCA members have no voting rights! "Members shall not have any right to vote under section 10-1015 of the Arizona Revised States." (Emphasis added.)

 

      Editorial Space for Sale

A publication's editorial integrity demands a distinct differentiation between those who advertise and those who write articles, otherwise the publication becomes a "mouthpiece" for the advertisers. The following quote is from the publisher of the WCA Chiropractic Journal, Terry A. Rondberg, who is responding to a letter from a chiropractor inquiring about the possibility of writing for the Chiropractic Journal. Dr. Rondberg's letter of response to the potential columnist is dated November 28, 1995.

"I am interested in writers who advertise -- for every full page ad, I would be willing to offer you a column ..."

      What's In It For Me?

New Book Further Reveals Drs. Rondberg and Immerman's Involvement in AzScam

In the recently released hardback book, What's In It For Me?, published by HarperCollins, Joseph Stedino recounts his undercover activity as "Tony Vincent" and the surreptitious recordings that "expose the greed, jealousy, and lust that drive Arizona politics." The events, as told to author Dary Matera of Chandler, Arizona, give reference to chiropractic's involvement in general and the involvement of Drs. Rondberg and Immerman.

The issues involving Drs. Rondberg and Immerman surround a technique described in the book as "bundling." In Arizona, a person is only allowed to donate a maximum of $220 to any one political candidate. One way to circumvent the cap on campaign contribution was described by the author, Joseph Stedino:

"Particularly interesting was the way they got around the $220 limit that an individual could give as a campaign contribution to a state legislator. The technique was called "bundling" and involved various ways of filtering the money into individual $220 checks made out from long lists of bogus contributors."

The involvement of Drs. Immerman and Rondberg in "AzScam" has unfortunately been translated to mean the chiropractic profession's involvement, as the now defunct Arizona Chiropractic Alliance was their organization during the time of the "sting."

Drs. Immerman and Rondberg also founded the World Chiropractic Alliance which has an almost identical structure as the Arizona Alliance, including some of the same principles, and a "no election" policy for their officers and directors. The involvement of the Arizona Chiropractic Alliance in the AzScam raises serious questions about the World Chiropractic Alliance's activities in national politics.

      ICA Threatened?

The International Chiropractors Association's (ICA's) malpractice insurance company, PHICO, through which approximately 1,000 doctors of chiropractic receive their malpractice insurance, was downgraded by A.M. Best to an E rating ("under regulatory supervision") on August 16, 2001. Prior to that event, ICA began switching their policyholders from PHICO to another insurer (please see "Chiropractic Malpractice Insurance Co. (PHICO) Downgraded").

On that same day, Stuart Hoffman,DC, president of ICA's malpractice insurance buying group reportedly received the following e-mail from Dr. Terry Rondberg, the president and owner of the competing CBS malpractice program:

From: Terry Rondberg [tarongberg@home.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 16, 2001 9:35 PM
To: Stu Hoffman
Subject: PHICO was placed in rehab by the Pennsylvania Dept of Insurance Today
Importance: High

Stuart,

It's time for ICA to endorse the CBS malpractice insurance program. I will be happy to help with a positive PR spin on this mess if I receive an ICA endorsement for CBS in exchange.

This is the third time ICA has lost its program. I warned you several times this was going to happen to PHICO.

Do you have any idea how much this can damage the reputation of the ICA?

How many times did you state how much more financially secure PHICO was compared to CBS?

Now the 1,000 ICA insured who paid for occurrence policies have gambled on you and lost all of their money.

If you want to discuss a plan to promote CBS as the "official" ICA program to save face, now would be a good time.

I will only make this offer the next 24 hours, then the news will be everywhere and I will not be able to help ICA.

NCMIC, NCC, OUM, AJ Gallagher and all the other malpractice sharks are swimming around your sinking ship.

The time to be proactive is now!

Terry

 

The ICA chose not to comply with the request that they "promote CBS as the 'official' ICA program to save face." Nor did the ICA endorse the CBS malpractice insurance program "in exchange" for "a positive PR spin."

The statement that "the news will be everywhere" was followed a week later with a mass e-mailing of the Pennsylvania Insurance Department's PHICO press release by Dr. Rondberg. The mass e-mail was apparently sent to every DC in the WCA's e-mail newsletter database. Some have suggested that this might appear to be attempted coercion or even blackmail. Others might say that it is just aggressive business tactics. Which is it? You be the judge.

      An Open Letter to the Profession from Chester Wilk: "A Serious Threat to the Future and Integrity of Chiropractic"

I've become increasingly concerned at the direction that Dr. Terry Rondberg and his Chiropractic Journal have taken in recent months. I believe that the reason his former editor (Barbara Bigham) quit the paper, and why I must also disassociate myself from The Chiropractic Journal, is because I cannot tolerate the kind of hate pedaling, divisive writings, and insulting cartoons which have become The Chiropractic Journal's trademark in recent months. I haven't seen The Chiropractic Journal say one kind thing about anything that our organizational leaders have done in the last few months. We need to reach out to one another and build bridges -- not burn them.

I'm afraid that Dr. Rondberg has become totally out of tune with the times and out of touch with reality. If his ideas are adopted by the profession they will become a serious threat to the future and integrity of chiropractic.

The April 1991 issue of The Chiropractic Journal printed my article "Change in Leadership Can Bring Reforms." In the article I expressed my disappointment in the ACA's public relations firm rejecting an idea I had concerning media coverage. The Chiropractic Journal changed my wording to read that both the ACA and the PR firm had rejected my idea. I did not write that. Further, the article dates back to 1990. While the material was a reflection of my feelings concerning the ACA last year, it certainly does not apply today. Dr. Rondberg was well aware from my correspondence with him that this dated article did not reflect my current feelings about the ACA. I have expressed to him that the ACA has made tremendous progress as an association, due to new leadership that includes Chairman Dr. David Redding, President Dr. Charles Downing, and Director Dr. Kerwin Winkler. These men are three of the finest chiropractic leaders that I've had the privilege to work with. I am amazed and deeply upset that Dr. Rondberg would use an outdated article from last year which casts a negative image upon them. I feel he should print a public apology to these gentlemen.

The Chiropractic Journal also took the liberty to change my copy. My original article stated that, "on a national level we have two or more" (national organizations). This copy was changed to "three or more." This was done, I believe, to make it appear that I give credence to Dr. Rondberg's World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA) as being an organization. I would not give it that status. Dr. Rondberg offered me a free membership in WCA; I turned it down, indicating I did not agree with his idea of forming the WCA.

Meanwhile, I have removed myself as the "Special Contributing Editor" to The Chiropractic Journal and will no longer submit articles for publication in Dr. Rondberg's paper. I will also discontinue advertising in The Chiropractic Journal and I've requested to be released from my advertising contract.

Let's isolate the negative and destructive influences from our ranks and concentrate on building upon the many positive things that we have going for chiropractic. We have a magnificent profession; let's keep it that way.

Chester C. Wilk, D.C.
Chicago, Illinois

        Israel Complaint

Terry A. Rondberg, D.C.

President
World Chiropractic Alliance
2950 N. Dobson Rd., Suite 1
Chandler, Arizona 85224

Dear Dr. Rondberg:

It was with a sense of increasing horror that I read through copies of your letters to the governments of Trinidad and Japan.

We have just finished the most difficult year our profession has ever experienced in Israel. It was due entirely to the irresponsibility of others like you in the Straight Chiropractic World.

Your arrogance in meddling in the affairs of other countries is exceeded only by the damage you can create.

We have succeeded in having our Ministry of Health declare that only CCE accredited schools will be considered the standard for licensing in Israel. We took this step because of the disgraceful behavior of Dr. Boone of SCCC and SCASA in approving a substandard program for unqualified students in this country.

If you have any plans to approach our government we demand they be dropped immediately. We are in the middle of delicate negotiations and cannot afford to have the waters muddied with the importation of mindless philosophical posturings.

Sincerely,

David S. Greenblatt, D.C.
President, Israel Chiropractic Society

 

·      Japanese Complaint

December 21, 1992

Dr. Terry A. Rondberg
President
World Chiropractic Alliance
2950 N. Dobson Rd. Suite 1
Chandler, AZ 85224
U.S.A.

Dear Dr. Rondberg:

This is to inform you of our unanimous resolution at our recent meeting of the Chiropractic Council of Japan, the sole representative to the World Federation of Chiropractic from Japan, that your letter dated September 2, 1992 to Dr. Nakamura was not only inappropriate but also detrimental to our present efforts.

Chiropractic in Japan despite of growing popularity, is a very delicate issue. When we need outside assistance, the WFC is the only organization that we make a consultation.

It is our strong advice to you that disregard of your intent, you do not make any future approach such as this without prior written consent from our council.

Sincerely yours,

Kazuyoshi Takeyachi, D.C.
Co-chairman of the CCJ

Mitsumasa Endo, D.C.
Co-chairman of the CCJ

 

·      Norwegian Complaint

Norsk Kiropraktorforening
Norwegian Chiropractors' Association
Ovre Slottsgate 17
0157 Oslo 1
Norway

World Chiropractic Alliance
Terry A. Rondberg
2950 N. Dobson Road, Suite 1
Chandler, Arizona 85224
U.S.A.

Oslo 05.01.93

Re: Correspondence from World Chiropractic Alliance to WFC and foreign health authorities.

It is with deep sorrow for our profession that the NCA has received copies of the correspondence of the private alliance "World Chiropractic Alliance." In spite of the giant steps organized chiropractic has taken forward the last five years one feels desolated that such a great profession still is vulnerable to primitive ideas of a few fanatics.

As always, chiropractic's worst enemies are within our own ranks. WFC is a democratic federation made possible by organized chiropractic, -- worldwide.

"World Chiropractic Alliance" does not represent the national organizations of the countries of the world. Democratic chiropractic does not want any interference from any self-appointed associations or organizations.

The Norwegian Chiropractic Association has warned our authorities against such associations. They have used such private enterprises against us in our struggle for authorizations for years. Now as an authorized health profession we work together with the authorities against such schemes.

Other countries, however, struggling for recognition will be set back years in their endeavors if independent chiropractic missionaries take upon them to "convert" foreign health authorities.

Stop your actions.

Kyrre Myhrvold, D.C.
President, NCA

 

·      Singapore Complaint

The Chiropractic Association
19 Tanglin Rd. #06-25
Tanglin SC
Singapore 1024

8 January 1993

Terry A. Rondberg, D.C., president
World Chiropractic Alliance
2950 N. Dobson Road, Suite 1
Chandler, AZ 85224-1802
U.S.A.

Dear Dr. Rondberg:

I have read the flurry of correspondence between you and the WFC and its affiliates. I find myself more than a little stunned by your naiveté.

Sheltered in your little American town you would probably not realize that in the developing and newly industrialized world, patients expect their doctors to make a diagnosis. If you don't, they will find someone who can (or think they can). That is why your attitude is so inane. It is a question of sophistication. Chiropractic has existed for 100 years in the USA. Here it has been established only a few years.

Please do not sabotage the growth and development of our wonderful profession in the second and third worlds with your straight vs. mixer rhetoric.

The leaders of the world's National Chiropractic Associations have banded together to form the WFC to represent the profession. You live in a democracy. Learn how the theory works. The majority wins, then everybody works together for the common good. Learn to work within the system.

Please disclose if you have contacted Singapore or any ASEAN governments with letters such as those sent to Japan and Trinidad/Tobago.

Thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,

Janet Ruth Sosna, D.C.
President

 

·      Trinidad Complaint

12th January 1993

Terry A. Rondberg, D.C.
President
World Chiropractic alliance
2950 N. Dobson Road, Suite 1
Chandler, Arizona 85224
U.S.A.

Dear Dr. Rondberg,

Despite our formal request that you desist form interfering in the affairs of the Chiropractic Association of Trinidad and Tobago (CATT), you continue to meddle. We do not want to believe that you are attempting a coup against established chiropractic in this country to further your own cause, but you actions to date do not leave us much alternative to think otherwise.

First you persuade an expatriate intern who is a member of your SCASA, an unrecognized body in your own country, to lay the groundwork. Not only did this inexperienced and unqualified agent invade the media lecture, and even practice for a fee, but he also infiltrated political circles and was actually irresponsible enough to carry out manipulation on our Prime Minister.

The stage having been set, you then follow up by sending our Prime Minister a copy of your letter to the WFC, completely ignoring and bypassing the recognized body representing chiropractic in this country.

The aforementioned expatriate has surely reported to you that CATT are engaged in delicate discussions with their government in an attempt to legalize chiropractic in Trinidad and Tobago. It would appear that your intention is to turn all our efforts of the past two years against us, and to use our time and expense to the personal advantage of your pet scheme. We find that you intervention at this critical point is not only distasteful and unprofessional, but also calculated, and can only cause confusion for chiropractic in general.

The pros and cons of "straight" and "mixed" are interprofessional. It has been a particular ploy of the medical profession to divide and discredit us in an attempt to control our growth and acceptance. Whatever our chosen method, we all ADJUST and we all obtain results. Can we not simply agree to disagree?

CATT certainly has no intention of becoming embroiled in any personal disputes you may have with the WFC. However, we will not sit idly by and allow unwarranted attacks to go by easily. Such underhanded methods betray the high standards adhered to by the majority of the profession. We deplore the tactics that you have so far employed.

Your letter of Dec. 12, 1992 to the WFC makes the "prediction" that Dr. Graham "would have refused" to cooperate with your WCA. Trusting that you are not also advocating "clairvoyant chiropractic," we certainly would not refuse a copy of your Practice Guidelines. If you wish to work with us and not against us, we will be happy to cooperate. Anything to further the cause of chiropractic in general will be most welcome.

Yours sincerely,
Chiropractic Association
of Trinidad & Tobago

Learie G. Graham, D.C.
President -- CATT

 

      Chiropractic Worldwide Responds to WCA "Meddling"

 

Canada among 13 International Assoc.'s Demanding Halt to Interference

The January 1st issue of Dynamic Chiropractic reported the strong reaction of the chiropractic leaders of the Caribbean island nation of Trinidad and Tobago to what it considered the outside interference of the World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA) in their country's internal chiropractic affairs.

What at first looked like an isolated incident, now appears to be a pattern of global misconduct. Not only did the WCA write a letter of introduction and intent to the prime minister of Trinidad/Tobago without contacting the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) or that nation's chiropractic association, but sent similar letters to other foreign governments as well. The Chiropractic Council of Japan and the National Chiropractic Association of Panama learned that the WCA had also contacted their respective governments with the same letter that attempted to influence the prime minister of Trinidad/Tobago.

While it is not possible to know how many countries the WCA has contacted via these means, the World Federation of Chiropractic and national associations from around the world have written the WCA to express their disapproval and anger. To date, chiropractic associations in 13 countries have written WCA President Dr. Terry A. Rondberg to demand that these incursions be "dropped immediately": Australia, Canada, Cyprus, France, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Panama, Portugal, Singapore, Trinidad/Tobago, and the United States.

While bypassing national associations to attempt to create relationships with foreign governments, the WCA letter reveals its intention to influence the way chiropractic is perceived. Most of the 13 national associations were concerned over a number of statements made by Dr. Rondberg, for example:

"Chiropractic doctors do not diagnose or treat diseases. Nor is it our goal to become a substitute for proper medical care."

"To foster closer ties to the health care officials in your country, we would like to distribute the Wyndham Conference document to them. This document represents the standard of care for the straight chiropractic profession."

"In addition, we are providing scholarships to selected residents of your country who would like to study chiropractic. Our future plans call for opening of several chiropractic colleges around the world."

A number of the national associations are concerned that the efforts of the WCA are primarily attempts to propagate SCASA (Straight Chiropractic Academic Standards Association) chiropractic education and standards of care, despite SCASA's loss of accreditation with the United States Department of Education (please see "U.S. Dept. of Education Denies SCASA Accreditation Renewal" in the October 9, 1992 issue). This concern was explicitly expressed by the chiropractic leaders in Israel and Trinidad/Tobago.

Of particular concern is the alleged use of a SCASA intern as part of the WCA's overall scheme in Trinidad/Tobago. This seems to demonstrate the extent to which the WCA is willing to go to insure that the "straight vs. mixed" divisions continue, even after Learie G. Graham, D.C., president of the Chiropractic Association of Trinidad/Tobago formally requested Dr. Rondberg to "desist from interfering in the affairs of the Chiropractic Association of Trinidad and Tobago."

Each of the 13 countries expressing displeasure at the WCA's tactics are members of the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC). The WFC is comprised of almost every national chiropractic association in the world. The WFC charter insures autonomy of individual countries while providing a forum for the collective growth and development of chiropractic worldwide. The WFC's work with the World Health Organization (WHO), for example, is bringing chiropractic global recognition never before enjoyed by this profession (please see article "WHO to Publish Text on Chiropractic" in the November 6, 1992 issue).

World Federation Secretary-General David Chapman-Smith, LL.B.(hons) summed up the WFC's position on the WCA letters:

"Dr. Rondberg and the WCA have been unbelievably naive in approaching foreign governments without the consent of chiropractic associations in those countries.

"This failure to consult shows two things. Firstly, that the WCA is simply a small Arizona organization with a fancy name. It is inept and apparently has no understanding at all of diplomacy, democracy and international relations.

"Secondly, that the WCA values its own private goals and agenda higher than the successful growth of the chiropractic profession.

"The World Federation of Chiropractic was established in 1988 by all the chiropractic associations worldwide partly to stop what they saw as highly damaging entrepreneurial activities by American DCs who simply failed to understand the context in their countries. The background helps to explain the anger found in some of the responses to Dr. Rondberg. He and the WCA have failed to reply to the WFC's urgent request in early December for the names of countries and addresses of officials that have been contacted behind the backs of local associations."

Dr. Rondberg and the WCA refused to be interviewed on this matter.

 

·      The problem IS Rondberg

I enjoyed your editorial "Going from Straight to Mixer" in the March 26 edition of Dynamic Chiropractic. You discuss the apparent ease with which the WCA (i.e., Terry Rondberg) can change its spots from vitriolic "principled" chiropractors to vitriolic "whatever-you-need" chiropractors, if it suits its ends. In this case, it has turned to rend the ICA. A few months ago, the WCA tried to sabotage the Veterans' Administration's leaning toward including DCs in benefits available to veterans. A few years before that, it was their laughable "Mercy-guidelines-wannabe" publication, Vertebral Subluxation in Chiropractic Practice, which gave carte blanche to anything and everything in the guise of scientific approval. What will it be next month? Whatever it is, you can bet it will be divisive, petty and shortsighted.

We should get it through our heads that the problem with the WCA is to a very large degree Terry Rondberg himself. He is the Bill Clinton of our profession. Like Clinton, Rondberg is a flawed human being. Blinded by the luminescence of their own brilliance, he makes decisions without the usual constraints under which the rest of us operate. Underlying everything he does is his own self-interest, which is the heart of his existence. He is a master of spin and packaging. Actions speak louder than words. History shows that Rondberg has always been motivated by monetary considerations, as witnessed by several blatant money schemes of his past. He has collected an odd assortment of fringe lunatics and money gurus about him to chant the money-hum he loves to hear. He then wraps all this in the guise of purity and dares call it "principled chiropractic," when actually it is anything but. It's real intent is to make as much money as possible, with the least amount of responsibility or work.

If his organization is indeed losing membership, is it any wonder? Most organizations built on charisma rather than sound principles are destined to eventually fall. Like any cult, they are built on personality rather than sound doctrine. When that personality eventually cracks - as is usually the case due to the flaws inherent in most charismatic leaders - the disciples find that their roots are shallow, and their shield of delusion can no longer protect them from the scorching light of fact. We have our share of goofballs in this profession. And to some degree we perpetuate the idiosyncratic side of our profession, since often it is the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. We seem to rate zeal over reason. Too often we allow anyone with passionate views to lead us, regardless of whether they actually make sense.

Terry Rondberg, in my opinion, is just another salesman who's had his 15 minutes of fame. I don't think that most of what he says or does deserves the ink it gets. Sadly, even when his curtain comes down, I suppose some new guru is waiting in the wings to take his place. I am encouraged though that we seem to possess a silent majority, doctors whom are content to do their jobs, render honest and responsible care, love their patients, and let the money for an honest day's work suffice. Most of us have an accurate view of what we can and can't do for our patients. We keep our perspective and treat what we can treat, and refer what we need to refer. We don't pretend to cure everything, and we're content with the gratitude of thankful patients. We don't want to be medical doctors, but we appreciate what they do as well. We're content with genuine, honest chiropractic care and we don't go running off after every new scheme to squeeze the last possible dollar from anything that moves. I think this silent majority of us are on solid ground and we'll just smile and shake our heads at the antics of the Rondbergs of our profession, and quietly go back to work the next morning.

Garth Aamodt, DC
Grand Rapids, Michigan

      Chiropractic Unity in Arizona

Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance? -- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

In the January 1, 1989 issue of "DC" Thomas M. LaBrot, D.C., reported to our readers the arrival of a new chiropractic organization in Arizona. The major chiropractic organization in Arizona for the past 15 years, the Chiropractic Association of Arizona (CAA), now had to deal with an upstart, splinter group, the Arizona Chiropractic Alliance (AzCA), characterized by Dr. LaBrot as "a coalition between a disgruntled former member of the CAA (Alan Immerman, D.C.), and the leaders of the Federation of Straight Chiropractic Organizations of Arizona (FSCOS)," (represented by Terry Rondberg, D.C.).

      AHCPR Responds to WCA's Second Misleading Announcement

Chief Medical Officer States: "We don't have any intention of supporting them (WCA) or giving them guidance or leadership."

A second article has appeared in the World Chiropractic Alliance's (WCA) Chiropractic Journal regarding a "Subluxation Panel." In the August issue, a front-page headline story declared: "WCA to chair AHCPR subluxation panel." A subsequent interview by Dynamic Chiropractic staff with the director of the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR), J. Jarrett Clinton, M.D., revealed that there was no such panel sponsored by the AHCPR (please see "AHCPR Responds to WCA's Misleading Announcement" in the September 1, 1992 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic).

In its September issue, among other things, the WCA claims that the purported subluxation panel was "moderated by the Chief Medical Officer of the U.S. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research," Stephen H. King, M.D. Again, the editorial staff of Dynamic Chiropractic phoned the AHCPR, this time conducting an interview with Dr. King regarding the second article.

When asked whether he had in fact acted as moderator of the WCA meeting in St. Louis, Dr. King stated that he did not call or moderate the meeting. He went on to say: "The meeting was called and moderated by Terry Rondberg. I would not have called me a moderator or the head of the agency, that tends to be an irritation to the people I work for. My personal position is any time a provider group wishes to have us speak about guidelines, we will accommodate it. That is different from supporting it, moderating it, leading it or guiding it."

Dr. King made it clear that he spoke before the WCA group as he would for any other group of providers interested in developing guidelines. When asked what he thought of the meeting and if the AHCPR planned to attend any future meeting conducted by the WCA he replied: "I have no idea what they are going to do now. It's not something the agency felt it would be involved with at all. I do think they are going to have a hard time using the rules of evidence that they are required to go on."

The AHCPR is very interested in facilitating the development of practice guidelines within all health care disciplines. Dr. King had in fact heard about the Mercy Guidelines, but stated: "I have not been involved (with the Mercy Guidelines), but I think others in the agency have."

Unfortunately, the two misleading articles have caused a certain amount of concern within the AHCPR regarding the chiropractic profession as a whole, Dr. King explains: "A number of people have asked if we are assisting this group (WCA) in their development of guidelines. That's not true. We don't have any intention of supporting them or giving them guidance or leadership. I don't think this is helpful. I can't determine who's right. All I'm faced with is this discourse. I'm a little concerned about what appears to me to be a wider gulf between what seemed to be a single guild (profession)."

When Dr. Rondberg was contacted for an interview regarding the apparent discrepancies between what the WCA reported and what the AHCPR stated, Dr. Rondberg agreed to a written interview. Unfortunately, after receiving the questions in writing by fax, Dr. Rondberg declined to provide answers.

      Celebration and Despair

Arizona chiropractors have reason for both celebration and despair. The cause for celebration is the state's recent passage of an Unfair Claims Practice Act, signed by Governor Rose Mofford on July 3, 1990 (see related story, "Arizona Passes Insurance Law," in the August 1, 1990 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic. The landmark legislation will, by state statute, prohibit insurance companies from denying claims for appropriate chiropractic treatment if it is a covered service under the terms of the policy.

The cause for despair is the continued existence of the Arizona Chiropractic Alliance (AzCA), an organization founded just over a year ago and run by Drs. Alan Immerman and Terry Rondberg, two vocal and disgruntled former members of the Chiropractic Association of Arizona.

 

      All Chiropractors Are Created Equal, But Some Are More ChiropracTIC Than Others

It has come time for Straight Chiropractic Academic Standards Association (SCASA) to pay their dues and be certified in the same way that all others are certified under the United States Office of Education (USOE); but the SCASA supporters still want it their way. From what I see printed in Dynamic Chiropractic, it appears to me that the Vertebral Subluxation Research Institute (VSRI) protocol is a proven sham! Why else would a satisfied "researcher" state that the program paid for itself within a certain period of time? I've never heard of purchasing a "research program." And listen to them all scream! To "ice the cake," SCASA pretends it is a different animal, with all the rights attached to being "more equal" (with apologies to George Orwell).

Roland Toth, D.C.
Dayton, Ohio

      From the Bully Pulpit

by Garrison Pomeroy, President, ChiroUSA.com

Dr. Rondberg announced in his "Publisher's Perspective" in the February issue of The Chiropractic Journal that he was launching an "investigation" of Chiro America and myself that forces a response. I, and the organization I represent, join a litany of dedicated people and organizations that have recently fallen out of favor with Dr. Rondberg.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that Dr. Rondberg's agenda is to cause dissention to further fragment the profession through antagonism and dogmatic self-promotion of his own products and causes.

I contacted Dr. Rondberg in March 1994 to ask for his support of my idea: to begin a public relations and advertising campaign that would be affordable for all doctors yet reach millions in popular magazines with the chiropractic message.

He absolutely refused to support the project unless I promised him two percent of the monthly gross income from Chiropractic America. In 1994, he led me to believe that without his support I could never accomplish what I saw as a critical step for the future of chiropractic.

Although he stated that he never endorsed any product or service for less than two percent of the gross income, we settled on 1 percent of the company's gross income paid monthly, plus we agreed to buy a full-page ad in The Chiropractic Journal every month.

Garry Pomeroy
President, ChiroUSA.com

 

      Drs. Rondberg and Gelardi Testify against CCE

On January 7, 1992, the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) appeared before the Council on Post-Secondary Accreditation (COPA) for re-recognition. Appearing for CCE was John Miller, D.C., president, and Ralph Miller, Ed.D., executive director. Dr. Miller presented CCE's current status and both men answered questions.

COPA is the accrediting agency par excellence. Accrediting agencies like CCE receives recognition from two organizations: Department of Education and COPA. COPA recognition is sought because it demonstrates adherence to high standards. Most accrediting agencies seek COPA recognition as a sign of quality that potential students will be looking for. CCE is currently seeking renewal of its five-year recognition.

Also at the meeting were Terry Rondberg, D.C., representing the World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA), and Thomas Gelardi, D.C., representing the Straight Chiropractic Academic Standards Association (SCASA), the Federation of Straight Chiropractic Organizations (FSCO), the Association of Straight Chiropractic Colleges and Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic. Both Drs. Rondberg and Gelardi were present at the meeting to deliver oral and written arguments on why the CCE should not be re-recognized for another five-year period. Interestingly enough, SCASA has never applied to COPA for recognition.

Editor's Note: While the WCA claims to "support both" the CCE and SCASA, it is interesting that the WCA president would spend WCA money to fly from Arizona to the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Virginia to protest the recognition of the CCE.

 

Tomorrow: The Litany of more Evidence and The Final Epilogue.

 

 

Part Eight: Who’s Looking Out for Chiropractors?

 

Taming of the Shrewd

by

JC Smith, MA, DC

 

This commentary. “Who’s Looking Out for Chiropractors,” has begun to resemble the movie, “The Never-Ending Story,” since this series has now reached 100+ pages over the last few weeks. While the final sections about the Litany of Evidence and the Epilogue may close another chapter on the saga of chiropracTIC, after 109 years of drama this remains a Byzantine story of cult personalities clashing with professional ideologies unlike any other healthcare profession. Only in chiropractic…that’s for sure!

 

Indeed, this initial investigation of the WCA and its prez-for-life Terry Rondberg developed legs of its own as it revealed a web of journalistic deceit, financial conflicts of interest, and political demagoguery. The issues, the evidence, and the unfolding current events now surrounding the WCA and Rondberg have made a strong case for the lack of professional ethics, but like him or not, you have to give Rondberg credit for being a thorn in the side of mainstream chiropractic for nearly 20 years now.

 

Like Dr. Evil in the Austin Power movie who built his own empire, Rondberg has built his WCA house of cards on the unknown but supposed membership of only 240, yet he has been able to push his way onto governmental committees and even to assume the implied voice for chiropractic at the White House and the UN. As a publisher with his TCJ, he has confused, confounded, and corrupted this profession’s attempt to build a united profession as he has molded the mindset of his readership to serve his own financial and political designs. He has used his power of the press to prop up his role as prez-for-life of the WCA preaching from a bully pulpit his radical fundamentalist chirovangelism, aka, demonizing the ACA, WFC, CCE, FCER, and anything medical with his incessant chiropracTIC demagoguery. If not totally ethically and politically correct, Rondberg is definitely shrewd in his dealings as he exploits this profession.

 

Just as the lengthy investigation of the Life University fiasco and Big $id Williams exploded in the news just a couple of years ago with an avalanche of events stemming from academic and financial irregularities at his diploma mill, the remaining straight chiropracTIC ideologues and political players may have finally reached another critical mass within the leadership of both the WCA and ICA with alleged conflicts of interests, possible tax evasion, overt yellow journalism, and covert political misrepresentation, to name a few of the charges leveled at them. Not only do Rondberg and Mertz have a lot of explaining to do about their conflicts of interest and political shenanigans as we’ve seen with the VA issue, their hit-and-hide tactics reveal the danger of their unaccountability to their own constituents, let alone the rest of the profession.

 

The Great Departure of Guy Riekeman from Palmer U may also be viewed as another nail on the coffin for the chiropracTIC sect when combined with the many other unforeseen events happening to the “Palmer Philosophers.”  This sudden turn for the worse includes the forced retirements of “straight” college presidents (Parker, Gelardi, Williams, Riekeman), the passing of notable chirovangelists (Barge, Strange, Grassam), the impairment of chiropracTIC icons (Gold, Felisa), and changes in ICA officials (Humber, Mertz). If not completely lifeless as yet, the straight movement is certainly reeling with a lack of ethical leadership at this moment.

 

Without question, the sudden implosion of the chirovangelist movement in chiropracTIC has been nothing short of an amazing considering the crescendo of serendipitous events that will reshape indelibly the future of this entire profession. Indeed, this string of timely events will someday be seen as a seminal period in this profession’s modern history. It has yet to be seen whether it leads to a breakthrough to greater unity and overall political power as this profession coalesces into one unified democratic bloc or if the radical fringe chiropracTIC movement is kept alive by the demagoguery of self-serving warlords as we’ve seen on the War on Terror in the Mideast. Indeed, warlords have never taken favorably to democratic notions.

 

But there is no doubt the entire ChiropracTIC Coalition is reeling now with ethical leadership issues, political defeats on Capitol Hill, and a profession that now realizes Terry Rondberg is a man on a very self-serving mission. And like Dr. Evil, he will never stop until someone else stops him.

 

Litany of Issues: “Stop Your Actions”

Just to prove the many unseemly issues Rongberg has been involved in throughout his unheralded “sock puppet” career, enjoy these examples among the 83 citations that can be found in a simple search in Dynamic Chiropractic’s archives. Indeed, Rongberg’s litany of miscues has become legendary within this profession, and the sooner this “rascal” is isolated and stopped, the better this profession will be.

  • Phony Research Scam

Rondberg also founded a patient solicitation scheme known as the Vertebral Subluxation Research Institute (VSRI). Despite the fact that VSRI has been almost universally condemned as teaching illegal and unethical practices within the chiropractic profession, Rondberg has continually claimed through the Chiropractic Journal that VSRI's practices are legal and ethical. www.worldchiropracticalliance.org/positions/telemarketing.htm

 

  • Dynamic Chiropractic Wins Lawsuit.

The original lawsuit was filed on July 16, 1993 in Maricopa County (Arizona) Superior Court against James Badge, DC, chairman of the Arizona Chiropractic Licensing Board, Donald M. Petersen Jr., editor/publisher of Dynamic Chiropractic, and the Motion Palpation Institute (MPI). In his complaint, Dr. Terry Rondberg claimed violation of his civil rights, interference of contractual/business relations, defamation, fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress. A claim of invasion of privacy was later tacked on.

The lawsuit stemmed from, among other issues, Dr. Rondberg's claim that the defendants had conspired to release information pertaining to Dr. Rondberg's involvement in the AzScam political scandal that rocked Arizona in 1991. In particular, Dr. Rondberg claimed that Dr. Badge had given Dynamic Chiropractic a copy of the affidavit and agreement which Dr. Rondberg signed with the Maricopa County attorney's office. The affidavit contained Dr. Rondberg's admission that he had given permission for his name to be used illegally on campaign contributions. The agreement required Dr. Rondberg to pay $9,840 to the Maricopa County Anti-Racketeering Revolving Fund.

·        WCA President under Investigation for Unprofessional Conduct

Arizona Board of Chiropractic Examiners Issues Complaint

In their January 14, 1993 meeting, the Arizona Board of Chiropractic Examiners voted 4-1 to issue a complaint and a notice of hearing separately to Terry Rondberg, D.C., and Alan Immerman, D.C. According to the Board minutes:

"The Board reviewed the investigative records obtained from the Maricopa County Attorney's office on their investigation, and the subsequent civil settlements, of Dr. Immerman's and Dr. Rondberg's involvement in the campaign financing matter commonly referred to as AzSCAM.

"The Board discussed their concerns that none of the statements or interviews conducted in the investigation of this matter had been under oath. Members of the Board expressed belief that Dr. Immerman and Dr. Rondberg would not have agreed to the civil fines imposed if there had not been misconduct on their parts. Dr. Badge commented on the high national visibility of the two doctors, and the resulting need that the Board establish a record on the matter.

"Mrs. Lubin moved that Dr. Immerman and Dr. Rondberg be issued separate Complaints and Notices of Hearing; the issue being whether Dr. Immerman's and Dr. Rondberg's involvement constituted unprofessional conduct."

 

·        Political Manipulation?

An email that was reportedly sent by World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA) president Terry Rondberg,DC:

"I even rejoined the ICA (for one quarter) this past weekend at the WCA Summit just to cast my vote for you and Maxine, and encouraged everyone in the audience to do the same. We handed out hundreds of ICA applications at the Summit, and Bobby Braile joined the WCA in exchange for my application to join the ICA."

This is the same person who resigned from the ICA late last year with a flurry of public comments openly criticizing the ICA in his column. Now the WCA members are being asked by their fearless leader to join the International Chiropractors Association (ICA) to try and manipulate the ICA elections. This is exquisite irony given that the WCA bylaws specify that WCA members have no voting rights! "Members shall not have any right to vote under section 10-1015 of the Arizona Revised States." (Emphasis added.)

 

·        Editorial Space for Sale

A publication's editorial integrity demands a distinct differentiation between those who advertise and those who write articles, otherwise the publication becomes a "mouthpiece" for the advertisers. The following quote is from the publisher of the WCA Chiropractic Journal, Terry A. Rondberg, who is responding to a letter from a chiropractor inquiring about the possibility of writing for the Chiropractic Journal. Dr. Rondberg's letter of response to the potential columnist is dated November 28, 1995.

"I am interested in writers who advertise -- for every full page ad, I would be willing to offer you a column ..."

·        What's In It For Me?

New Book Further Reveals Drs. Rondberg and Immerman's Involvement in AzScam

In the recently released hardback book, What's In It For Me?, published by HarperCollins, Joseph Stedino recounts his undercover activity as "Tony Vincent" and the surreptitious recordings that "expose the greed, jealousy, and lust that drive Arizona politics." The events, as told to author Dary Matera of Chandler, Arizona, give reference to chiropractic's involvement in general and the involvement of Drs. Rondberg and Immerman.

The issues involving Drs. Rondberg and Immerman surround a technique described in the book as "bundling." In Arizona, a person is only allowed to donate a maximum of $220 to any one political candidate. One way to circumvent the cap on campaign contribution was described by the author, Joseph Stedino:

"Particularly interesting was the way they got around the $220 limit that an individual could give as a campaign contribution to a state legislator. The technique was called "bundling" and involved various ways of filtering the money into individual $220 checks made out from long lists of bogus contributors."

The involvement of Drs. Immerman and Rondberg in "AzScam" has unfortunately been translated to mean the chiropractic profession's involvement, as the now defunct Arizona Chiropractic Alliance was their organization during the time of the "sting."

Drs. Immerman and Rondberg also founded the World Chiropractic Alliance which has an almost identical structure as the Arizona Alliance, including some of the same principles, and a "no election" policy for their officers and directors. The involvement of the Arizona Chiropractic Alliance in the AzScam raises serious questions about the World Chiropractic Alliance's activities in national politics.

·        ICA Threatened?

The International Chiropractors Association's (ICA's) malpractice insurance company, PHICO, through which approximately 1,000 doctors of chiropractic receive their malpractice insurance, was downgraded by A.M. Best to an E rating ("under regulatory supervision") on August 16, 2001. Prior to that event, ICA began switching their policyholders from PHICO to another insurer (please see "Chiropractic Malpractice Insurance Co. (PHICO) Downgraded").

On that same day, Stuart Hoffman,DC, president of ICA's malpractice insurance buying group reportedly received the following e-mail from Dr. Terry Rondberg, the president and owner of the competing CBS malpractice program:

From: Terry Rondberg [tarongberg@home.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 16, 2001 9:35 PM
To: Stu Hoffman
Subject: PHICO was placed in rehab by the Pennsylvania Dept of Insurance Today
Importance: High

Stuart,

It's time for ICA to endorse the CBS malpractice insurance program. I will be happy to help with a positive PR spin on this mess if I receive an ICA endorsement for CBS in exchange.

This is the third time ICA has lost its program. I warned you several times this was going to happen to PHICO.

Do you have any idea how much this can damage the reputation of the ICA?

How many times did you state how much more financially secure PHICO was compared to CBS?

Now the 1,000 ICA insured who paid for occurrence policies have gambled on you and lost all of their money.

If you want to discuss a plan to promote CBS as the "official" ICA program to save face, now would be a good time.

I will only make this offer the next 24 hours, then the news will be everywhere and I will not be able to help ICA.

NCMIC, NCC, OUM, AJ Gallagher and all the other malpractice sharks are swimming around your sinking ship.

The time to be proactive is now!

Terry

 

The ICA chose not to comply with the request that they "promote CBS as the 'official' ICA program to save face." Nor did the ICA endorse the CBS malpractice insurance program "in exchange" for "a positive PR spin."

The statement that "the news will be everywhere" was followed a week later with a mass e-mailing of the Pennsylvania Insurance Department's PHICO press release by Dr. Rondberg. The mass e-mail was apparently sent to every DC in the WCA's e-mail newsletter database. Some have suggested that this might appear to be attempted coercion or even blackmail. Others might say that it is just aggressive business tactics. Which is it? You be the judge.

·        An Open Letter to the Profession from Chester Wilk: "A Serious Threat to the Future and Integrity of Chiropractic"

I've become increasingly concerned at the direction that Dr. Terry Rondberg and his Chiropractic Journal have taken in recent months. I believe that the reason his former editor (Barbara Bigham) quit the paper, and why I must also disassociate myself from The Chiropractic Journal, is because I cannot tolerate the kind of hate pedaling, divisive writings, and insulting cartoons which have become The Chiropractic Journal's trademark in recent months. I haven't seen The Chiropractic Journal say one kind thing about anything that our organizational leaders have done in the last few months. We need to reach out to one another and build bridges -- not burn them.

I'm afraid that Dr. Rondberg has become totally out of tune with the times and out of touch with reality. If his ideas are adopted by the profession they will become a serious threat to the future and integrity of chiropractic.

The April 1991 issue of The Chiropractic Journal printed my article "Change in Leadership Can Bring Reforms." In the article I expressed my disappointment in the ACA's public relations firm rejecting an idea I had concerning media coverage. The Chiropractic Journal changed my wording to read that both the ACA and the PR firm had rejected my idea. I did not write that. Further, the article dates back to 1990. While the material was a reflection of my feelings concerning the ACA last year, it certainly does not apply today. Dr. Rondberg was well aware from my correspondence with him that this dated article did not reflect my current feelings about the ACA. I have expressed to him that the ACA has made tremendous progress as an association, due to new leadership that includes Chairman Dr. David Redding, President Dr. Charles Downing, and Director Dr. Kerwin Winkler. These men are three of the finest chiropractic leaders that I've had the privilege to work with. I am amazed and deeply upset that Dr. Rondberg would use an outdated article from last year which casts a negative image upon them. I feel he should print a public apology to these gentlemen.

The Chiropractic Journal also took the liberty to change my copy. My original article stated that, "on a national level we have two or more" (national organizations). This copy was changed to "three or more." This was done, I believe, to make it appear that I give credence to Dr. Rondberg's World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA) as being an organization. I would not give it that status. Dr. Rondberg offered me a free membership in WCA; I turned it down, indicating I did not agree with his idea of forming the WCA.

Meanwhile, I have removed myself as the "Special Contributing Editor" to The Chiropractic Journal and will no longer submit articles for publication in Dr. Rondberg's paper. I will also discontinue advertising in The Chiropractic Journal and I've requested to be released from my advertising contract.

Let's isolate the negative and destructive influences from our ranks and concentrate on building upon the many positive things that we have going for chiropractic. We have a magnificent profession; let's keep it that way.

Chester C. Wilk, D.C.
Chicago, Illinois

·        Israel Complaint

Terry A. Rondberg, D.C.

President
World Chiropractic Alliance
2950 N. Dobson Rd., Suite 1
Chandler, Arizona 85224

Dear Dr. Rondberg:

It was with a sense of increasing horror that I read through copies of your letters to the governments of Trinidad and Japan.

We have just finished the most difficult year our profession has ever experienced in Israel. It was due entirely to the irresponsibility of others like you in the Straight Chiropractic World.

Your arrogance in meddling in the affairs of other countries is exceeded only by the damage you can create.

We have succeeded in having our Ministry of Health declare that only CCE accredited schools will be considered the standard for licensing in Israel. We took this step because of the disgraceful behavior of Dr. Boone of SCCC and SCASA in approving a substandard program for unqualified students in this country.

If you have any plans to approach our government we demand they be dropped immediately. We are in the middle of delicate negotiations and cannot afford to have the waters muddied with the importation of mindless philosophical posturings.

Sincerely,

David S. Greenblatt, D.C.
President, Israel Chiropractic Society

 

  • Japanese Complaint

December 21, 1992

Dr. Terry A. Rondberg
President
World Chiropractic Alliance
2950 N. Dobson Rd. Suite 1
Chandler, AZ 85224
U.S.A.

Dear Dr. Rondberg:

This is to inform you of our unanimous resolution at our recent meeting of the Chiropractic Council of Japan, the sole representative to the World Federation of Chiropractic from Japan, that your letter dated September 2, 1992 to Dr. Nakamura was not only inappropriate but also detrimental to our present efforts.

Chiropractic in Japan despite of growing popularity, is a very delicate issue. When we need outside assistance, the WFC is the only organization that we make a consultation.

It is our strong advice to you that disregard of your intent, you do not make any future approach such as this without prior written consent from our council.

Sincerely yours,

Kazuyoshi Takeyachi, D.C.
Co-chairman of the CCJ

Mitsumasa Endo, D.C.
Co-chairman of the CCJ

 

  • Norwegian Complaint

Norsk Kiropraktorforening
Norwegian Chiropractors' Association
Ovre Slottsgate 17
0157 Oslo 1
Norway

World Chiropractic Alliance
Terry A. Rondberg
2950 N. Dobson Road, Suite 1
Chandler, Arizona 85224
U.S.A.

Oslo 05.01.93

Re: Correspondence from World Chiropractic Alliance to WFC and foreign health authorities.

It is with deep sorrow for our profession that the NCA has received copies of the correspondence of the private alliance "World Chiropractic Alliance." In spite of the giant steps organized chiropractic has taken forward the last five years one feels desolated that such a great profession still is vulnerable to primitive ideas of a few fanatics.

As always, chiropractic's worst enemies are within our own ranks. WFC is a democratic federation made possible by organized chiropractic, -- worldwide.

"World Chiropractic Alliance" does not represent the national organizations of the countries of the world. Democratic chiropractic does not want any interference from any self-appointed associations or organizations.

The Norwegian Chiropractic Association has warned our authorities against such associations. They have used such private enterprises against us in our struggle for authorizations for years. Now as an authorized health profession we work together with the authorities against such schemes.

Other countries, however, struggling for recognition will be set back years in their endeavors if independent chiropractic missionaries take upon them to "convert" foreign health authorities.

Stop your actions.

Kyrre Myhrvold, D.C.
President, NCA

 

  • Singapore Complaint

The Chiropractic Association
19 Tanglin Rd. #06-25
Tanglin SC
Singapore 1024

8 January 1993

Terry A. Rondberg, D.C., president
World Chiropractic Alliance
2950 N. Dobson Road, Suite 1
Chandler, AZ 85224-1802
U.S.A.

Dear Dr. Rondberg:

I have read the flurry of correspondence between you and the WFC and its affiliates. I find myself more than a little stunned by your naiveté.

Sheltered in your little American town you would probably not realize that in the developing and newly industrialized world, patients expect their doctors to make a diagnosis. If you don't, they will find someone who can (or think they can). That is why your attitude is so inane. It is a question of sophistication. Chiropractic has existed for 100 years in the USA. Here it has been established only a few years.

Please do not sabotage the growth and development of our wonderful profession in the second and third worlds with your straight vs. mixer rhetoric.

The leaders of the world's National Chiropractic Associations have banded together to form the WFC to represent the profession. You live in a democracy. Learn how the theory works. The majority wins, then everybody works together for the common good. Learn to work within the system.

Please disclose if you have contacted Singapore or any ASEAN governments with letters such as those sent to Japan and Trinidad/Tobago.

Thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,

Janet Ruth Sosna, D.C.
President

 

  • Trinidad Complaint

12th January 1993

Terry A. Rondberg, D.C.
President
World Chiropractic alliance
2950 N. Dobson Road, Suite 1
Chandler, Arizona 85224
U.S.A.

Dear Dr. Rondberg,

Despite our formal request that you desist form interfering in the affairs of the Chiropractic Association of Trinidad and Tobago (CATT), you continue to meddle. We do not want to believe that you are attempting a coup against established chiropractic in this country to further your own cause, but you actions to date do not leave us much alternative to think otherwise.

First you persuade an expatriate intern who is a member of your SCASA, an unrecognized body in your own country, to lay the groundwork. Not only did this inexperienced and unqualified agent invade the media lecture, and even practice for a fee, but he also infiltrated political circles and was actually irresponsible enough to carry out manipulation on our Prime Minister.

The stage having been set, you then follow up by sending our Prime Minister a copy of your letter to the WFC, completely ignoring and bypassing the recognized body representing chiropractic in this country.

The aforementioned expatriate has surely reported to you that CATT are engaged in delicate discussions with their government in an attempt to legalize chiropractic in Trinidad and Tobago. It would appear that your intention is to turn all our efforts of the past two years against us, and to use our time and expense to the personal advantage of your pet scheme. We find that you intervention at this critical point is not only distasteful and unprofessional, but also calculated, and can only cause confusion for chiropractic in general.

The pros and cons of "straight" and "mixed" are interprofessional. It has been a particular ploy of the medical profession to divide and discredit us in an attempt to control our growth and acceptance. Whatever our chosen method, we all ADJUST and we all obtain results. Can we not simply agree to disagree?

CATT certainly has no intention of becoming embroiled in any personal disputes you may have with the WFC. However, we will not sit idly by and allow unwarranted attacks to go by easily. Such underhanded methods betray the high standards adhered to by the majority of the profession. We deplore the tactics that you have so far employed.

Your letter of Dec. 12, 1992 to the WFC makes the "prediction" that Dr. Graham "would have refused" to cooperate with your WCA. Trusting that you are not also advocating "clairvoyant chiropractic," we certainly would not refuse a copy of your Practice Guidelines. If you wish to work with us and not against us, we will be happy to cooperate. Anything to further the cause of chiropractic in general will be most welcome.

Yours sincerely,
Chiropractic Association
of Trinidad & Tobago

Learie G. Graham, D.C.
President -- CATT

 

·        Chiropractic Worldwide Responds to WCA "Meddling"

 

Canada among 13 International Assoc.'s Demanding Halt to Interference

The January 1st issue of Dynamic Chiropractic reported the strong reaction of the chiropractic leaders of the Caribbean island nation of Trinidad and Tobago to what it considered the outside interference of the World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA) in their country's internal chiropractic affairs.

What at first looked like an isolated incident, now appears to be a pattern of global misconduct. Not only did the WCA write a letter of introduction and intent to the prime minister of Trinidad/Tobago without contacting the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) or that nation's chiropractic association, but sent similar letters to other foreign governments as well. The Chiropractic Council of Japan and the National Chiropractic Association of Panama learned that the WCA had also contacted their respective governments with the same letter that attempted to influence the prime minister of Trinidad/Tobago.

While it is not possible to know how many countries the WCA has contacted via these means, the World Federation of Chiropractic and national associations from around the world have written the WCA to express their disapproval and anger. To date, chiropractic associations in 13 countries have written WCA President Dr. Terry A. Rondberg to demand that these incursions be "dropped immediately": Australia, Canada, Cyprus, France, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Panama, Portugal, Singapore, Trinidad/Tobago, and the United States.

While bypassing national associations to attempt to create relationships with foreign governments, the WCA letter reveals its intention to influence the way chiropractic is perceived. Most of the 13 national associations were concerned over a number of statements made by Dr. Rondberg, for example:

"Chiropractic doctors do not diagnose or treat diseases. Nor is it our goal to become a substitute for proper medical care."

"To foster closer ties to the health care officials in your country, we would like to distribute the Wyndham Conference document to them. This document represents the standard of care for the straight chiropractic profession."

"In addition, we are providing scholarships to selected residents of your country who would like to study chiropractic. Our future plans call for opening of several chiropractic colleges around the world."

A number of the national associations are concerned that the efforts of the WCA are primarily attempts to propagate SCASA (Straight Chiropractic Academic Standards Association) chiropractic education and standards of care, despite SCASA's loss of accreditation with the United States Department of Education (please see "U.S. Dept. of Education Denies SCASA Accreditation Renewal" in the October 9, 1992 issue). This concern was explicitly expressed by the chiropractic leaders in Israel and Trinidad/Tobago.

Of particular concern is the alleged use of a SCASA intern as part of the WCA's overall scheme in Trinidad/Tobago. This seems to demonstrate the extent to which the WCA is willing to go to insure that the "straight vs. mixed" divisions continue, even after Learie G. Graham, D.C., president of the Chiropractic Association of Trinidad/Tobago formally requested Dr. Rondberg to "desist from interfering in the affairs of the Chiropractic Association of Trinidad and Tobago."

Each of the 13 countries expressing displeasure at the WCA's tactics are members of the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC). The WFC is comprised of almost every national chiropractic association in the world. The WFC charter insures autonomy of individual countries while providing a forum for the collective growth and development of chiropractic worldwide. The WFC's work with the World Health Organization (WHO), for example, is bringing chiropractic global recognition never before enjoyed by this profession (please see article "WHO to Publish Text on Chiropractic" in the November 6, 1992 issue).

World Federation Secretary-General David Chapman-Smith, LL.B.(hons) summed up the WFC's position on the WCA letters:

"Dr. Rondberg and the WCA have been unbelievably naive in approaching foreign governments without the consent of chiropractic associations in those countries.

"This failure to consult shows two things. Firstly, that the WCA is simply a small Arizona organization with a fancy name. It is inept and apparently has no understanding at all of diplomacy, democracy and international relations.

"Secondly, that the WCA values its own private goals and agenda higher than the successful growth of the chiropractic profession.

"The World Federation of Chiropractic was established in 1988 by all the chiropractic associations worldwide partly to stop what they saw as highly damaging entrepreneurial activities by American DCs who simply failed to understand the context in their countries. The background helps to explain the anger found in some of the responses to Dr. Rondberg. He and the WCA have failed to reply to the WFC's urgent request in early December for the names of countries and addresses of officials that have been contacted behind the backs of local associations."

Dr. Rondberg and the WCA refused to be interviewed on this matter.

 

  • The problem IS Rondberg

I enjoyed your editorial "Going from Straight to Mixer" in the March 26 edition of Dynamic Chiropractic. You discuss the apparent ease with which the WCA (i.e., Terry Rondberg) can change its spots from vitriolic "principled" chiropractors to vitriolic "whatever-you-need" chiropractors, if it suits its ends. In this case, it has turned to rend the ICA. A few months ago, the WCA tried to sabotage the Veterans' Administration's leaning toward including DCs in benefits available to veterans. A few years before that, it was their laughable "Mercy-guidelines-wannabe" publication, Vertebral Subluxation in Chiropractic Practice, which gave carte blanche to anything and everything in the guise of scientific approval. What will it be next month? Whatever it is, you can bet it will be divisive, petty and shortsighted.

We should get it through our heads that the problem with the WCA is to a very large degree Terry Rondberg himself. He is the Bill Clinton of our profession. Like Clinton, Rondberg is a flawed human being. Blinded by the luminescence of their own brilliance, he makes decisions without the usual constraints under which the rest of us operate. Underlying everything he does is his own self-interest, which is the heart of his existence. He is a master of spin and packaging. Actions speak louder than words. History shows that Rondberg has always been motivated by monetary considerations, as witnessed by several blatant money schemes of his past. He has collected an odd assortment of fringe lunatics and money gurus about him to chant the money-hum he loves to hear. He then wraps all this in the guise of purity and dares call it "principled chiropractic," when actually it is anything but. It's real intent is to make as much money as possible, with the least amount of responsibility or work.

If his organization is indeed losing membership, is it any wonder? Most organizations built on charisma rather than sound principles are destined to eventually fall. Like any cult, they are built on personality rather than sound doctrine. When that personality eventually cracks - as is usually the case due to the flaws inherent in most charismatic leaders - the disciples find that their roots are shallow, and their shield of delusion can no longer protect them from the scorching light of fact. We have our share of goofballs in this profession. And to some degree we perpetuate the idiosyncratic side of our profession, since often it is the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. We seem to rate zeal over reason. Too often we allow anyone with passionate views to lead us, regardless of whether they actually make sense.

Terry Rondberg, in my opinion, is just another salesman who's had his 15 minutes of fame. I don't think that most of what he says or does deserves the ink it gets. Sadly, even when his curtain comes down, I suppose some new guru is waiting in the wings to take his place. I am encouraged though that we seem to possess a silent majority, doctors whom are content to do their jobs, render honest and responsible care, love their patients, and let the money for an honest day's work suffice. Most of us have an accurate view of what we can and can't do for our patients. We keep our perspective and treat what we can treat, and refer what we need to refer. We don't pretend to cure everything, and we're content with the gratitude of thankful patients. We don't want to be medical doctors, but we appreciate what they do as well. We're content with genuine, honest chiropractic care and we don't go running off after every new scheme to squeeze the last possible dollar from anything that moves. I think this silent majority of us are on solid ground and we'll just smile and shake our heads at the antics of the Rondbergs of our profession, and quietly go back to work the next morning.

Garth Aamodt, DC
Grand Rapids, Michigan

·        Chiropractic Unity in Arizona

Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance? -- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

In the January 1, 1989 issue of "DC" Thomas M. LaBrot, D.C., reported to our readers the arrival of a new chiropractic organization in Arizona. The major chiropractic organization in Arizona for the past 15 years, the Chiropractic Association of Arizona (CAA), now had to deal with an upstart, splinter group, the Arizona Chiropractic Alliance (AzCA), characterized by Dr. LaBrot as "a coalition between a disgruntled former member of the CAA (Alan Immerman, D.C.), and the leaders of the Federation of Straight Chiropractic Organizations of Arizona (FSCOS)," (represented by Terry Rondberg, D.C.).

·        AHCPR Responds to WCA's Second Misleading Announcement

Chief Medical Officer States: "We don't have any intention of supporting them (WCA) or giving them guidance or leadership."

A second article has appeared in the World Chiropractic Alliance's (WCA) Chiropractic Journal regarding a "Subluxation Panel." In the August issue, a front-page headline story declared: "WCA to chair AHCPR subluxation panel." A subsequent interview by Dynamic Chiropractic staff with the director of the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR), J. Jarrett Clinton, M.D., revealed that there was no such panel sponsored by the AHCPR (please see "AHCPR Responds to WCA's Misleading Announcement" in the September 1, 1992 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic).

In its September issue, among other things, the WCA claims that the purported subluxation panel was "moderated by the Chief Medical Officer of the U.S. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research," Stephen H. King, M.D. Again, the editorial staff of Dynamic Chiropractic phoned the AHCPR, this time conducting an interview with Dr. King regarding the second article.

When asked whether he had in fact acted as moderator of the WCA meeting in St. Louis, Dr. King stated that he did not call or moderate the meeting. He went on to say: "The meeting was called and moderated by Terry Rondberg. I would not have called me a moderator or the head of the agency, that tends to be an irritation to the people I work for. My personal position is any time a provider group wishes to have us speak about guidelines, we will accommodate it. That is different from supporting it, moderating it, leading it or guiding it."

Dr. King made it clear that he spoke before the WCA group as he would for any other group of providers interested in developing guidelines. When asked what he thought of the meeting and if the AHCPR planned to attend any future meeting conducted by the WCA he replied: "I have no idea what they are going to do now. It's not something the agency felt it would be involved with at all. I do think they are going to have a hard time using the rules of evidence that they are required to go on."

The AHCPR is very interested in facilitating the development of practice guidelines within all health care disciplines. Dr. King had in fact heard about the Mercy Guidelines, but stated: "I have not been involved (with the Mercy Guidelines), but I think others in the agency have."

Unfortunately, the two misleading articles have caused a certain amount of concern within the AHCPR regarding the chiropractic profession as a whole, Dr. King explains: "A number of people have asked if we are assisting this group (WCA) in their development of guidelines. That's not true. We don't have any intention of supporting them or giving them guidance or leadership. I don't think this is helpful. I can't determine who's right. All I'm faced with is this discourse. I'm a little concerned about what appears to me to be a wider gulf between what seemed to be a single guild (profession)."

When Dr. Rondberg was contacted for an interview regarding the apparent discrepancies between what the WCA reported and what the AHCPR stated, Dr. Rondberg agreed to a written interview. Unfortunately, after receiving the questions in writing by fax, Dr. Rondberg declined to provide answers.

·        Celebration and Despair

Arizona chiropractors have reason for both celebration and despair. The cause for celebration is the state's recent passage of an Unfair Claims Practice Act, signed by Governor Rose Mofford on July 3, 1990 (see related story, "Arizona Passes Insurance Law," in the August 1, 1990 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic. The landmark legislation will, by state statute, prohibit insurance companies from denying claims for appropriate chiropractic treatment if it is a covered service under the terms of the policy.

The cause for despair is the continued existence of the Arizona Chiropractic Alliance (AzCA), an organization founded just over a year ago and run by Drs. Alan Immerman and Terry Rondberg, two vocal and disgruntled former members of the Chiropractic Association of Arizona.

 

·        All Chiropractors Are Created Equal, But Some Are More ChiropracTIC Than Others

It has come time for Straight Chiropractic Academic Standards Association (SCASA) to pay their dues and be certified in the same way that all others are certified under the United States Office of Education (USOE); but the SCASA supporters still want it their way. From what I see printed in Dynamic Chiropractic, it appears to me that the Vertebral Subluxation Research Institute (VSRI) protocol is a proven sham! Why else would a satisfied "researcher" state that the program paid for itself within a certain period of time? I've never heard of purchasing a "research program." And listen to them all scream! To "ice the cake," SCASA pretends it is a different animal, with all the rights attached to being "more equal" (with apologies to George Orwell).

Roland Toth, D.C.
Dayton, Ohio

·        From the Bully Pulpit

by Garrison Pomeroy, President, ChiroUSA.com

Dr. Rondberg announced in his "Publisher's Perspective" in the February issue of The Chiropractic Journal that he was launching an "investigation" of Chiro America and myself that forces a response. I, and the organization I represent, join a litany of dedicated people and organizations that have recently fallen out of favor with Dr. Rondberg.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that Dr. Rondberg's agenda is to cause dissention to further fragment the profession through antagonism and dogmatic self-promotion of his own products and causes.

I contacted Dr. Rondberg in March 1994 to ask for his support of my idea: to begin a public relations and advertising campaign that would be affordable for all doctors yet reach millions in popular magazines with the chiropractic message.

He absolutely refused to support the project unless I promised him two percent of the monthly gross income from Chiropractic America. In 1994, he led me to believe that without his support I could never accomplish what I saw as a critical step for the future of chiropractic.

Although he stated that he never endorsed any product or service for less than two percent of the gross income, we settled on 1 percent of the company's gross income paid monthly, plus we agreed to buy a full-page ad in The Chiropractic Journal every month.

Garry Pomeroy
President, ChiroUSA.com

 

·        Drs. Rondberg and Gelardi Testify against CCE

On January 7, 1992, the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) appeared before the Council on Post-Secondary Accreditation (COPA) for re-recognition. Appearing for CCE was John Miller, D.C., president, and Ralph Miller, Ed.D., executive director. Dr. Miller presented CCE's current status and both men answered questions.

COPA is the accrediting agency par excellence. Accrediting agencies like CCE receives recognition from two organizations: Department of Education and COPA. COPA recognition is sought because it demonstrates adherence to high standards. Most accrediting agencies seek COPA recognition as a sign of quality that potential students will be looking for. CCE is currently seeking renewal of its five-year recognition.

Also at the meeting were Terry Rondberg, D.C., representing the World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA), and Thomas Gelardi, D.C., representing the Straight Chiropractic Academic Standards Association (SCASA), the Federation of Straight Chiropractic Organizations (FSCO), the Association of Straight Chiropractic Colleges and Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic. Both Drs. Rondberg and Gelardi were present at the meeting to deliver oral and written arguments on why the CCE should not be re-recognized for another five-year period. Interestingly enough, SCASA has never applied to COPA for recognition.

Editor's Note: While the WCA claims to "support both" the CCE and SCASA, it is interesting that the WCA president would spend WCA money to fly from Arizona to the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Virginia to protest the recognition of the CCE.

Who's Looking Out for Chiropractors?

 

The Litany of Evidence

Part II

 

It's frustrating to play any game by different rules; in fact, it's unsportsmanlike when there's any hint of an unlevel playing field, and that is exactly what we've seen with Terry Rondberg and his WCA cohorts. Since the WCA is an "alliance" and not a member-driven, democratic "association," Rondberg plays by his own set of rules and there's no referee to keep in him in ethical bounds. He has been a troublemaker and a rogue spokesman for this profession for too long, and it's time to hold him accountable to the same ethical standards that real associations must adhere to.

 

This Litany of Evidence is just a sampling of his poor sportsmanship--his political meddling, his diplomatic misrepresentation of his power base, his yellow journalism, his legislative obstructionism, his financial conflict of interests, and his philosophical demagoguery. Indeed, it's been rather easy to make a case against Rondberg since he's so outspoken as a publisher of a "buyers' guide" tabloid--we all know what Rondberg is about by now with his personal political goals of world domination of chirovangelism and exploiting this profession with his business interests, all done under the guise of chiropracTIC, of course. Demagogues love to wrap themselves in self-righteous banners as they demonize their opponents, enuf sed, ya folla?

 

Hopefully this commentary has made it clear to all that he remains the most dangerous man in chiropracTIC and that he's definitely not looking out for chiropractors as much as he's looking out for himself. Since he's unelected, he's not accountable to his 240 non-voting WCA members; since he's a "tabloid" publisher, he's not accountable to normal journalism standards; since he's a non-practitioner, he's unaffected by the limited clinical scope of chiropractic care that he professes to lawmakers; and moreover, since he's a rogue DC preachin' demagoguery, he's unaccountable to the standards of professional conduct normally subscribed to by ethical leadership that doesn't arouse emotions and prejudices amongst followers to gain political power.

 

Rondberg avoids all these issues and others like majority rule, having no financial conflicts of interest, and the general high standards any profession would expect from anyone who purports to be a spokesman for this profession to legislators and diplomats.  None of these are concerns for Terry Rondberg as he uses his WCA as a front for his political and financial designs. Indeed, Rondberg plays by his own rules!

 

The remaining Litany of Evidence of Rondberg's actions speak for themselves as evidence showing his unscrupulous machinations to mold this profession to his personal gain. If you want to read more examples, just logon to www.chiroweb.com and search its archives. My Epilogue at the end, of course, is a short summary of this commentary and a call to action to write a complaint letter to the DPI over the WCA's status as an NGO.

 

·      Fringe Group Sabotages VA Bill

The ACA has fired off a strongly worded news release stating that a "fringe group" aided the medical lobby's anti-chiropractic campaign at the October 3 testimony of chiropractic representatives to the House Committee on Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health.

The "fringe" group the ACA speaks of is the WCA. The WCA, the AMA, the American Osteopathic Association, and the American Physical Therapy Association all presented the subcommittee with written testimony. The spoken testimony to the subcommittee was delivered by representatives from the ACA, ICA and the Association of Chiropractic Colleges.

The ACA release states in part:

"A reckless crusade by the World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA) to sabotage the chiropractic profession's chances for parity in federal health care legislation was brought to a head October 3 as the fringe group aided prominent medical organizations that were testifying against comprehensive legislation that would guarantee chiropractic care for the nation's veterans.

In a hearing before the House Veterans Affairs (VA) Committee Subcommittee on Health, the WCA submitted written testimony absurdly claiming that the 'full scope' legislative provision supported by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC) and International Chiropractors Association (ICA) would virtually bar doctors of chiropractic from subluxation-correction services in the VA. Further, the WCA statement argued for a VA provision consistent with the federal Medicare program, which does not reimburse for diagnostic services nor does it reimburse a doctor of chiropractic for services that are authorized under state law.

The testimony followed an earlier issuance of a WCA statement. In this statement, electronically broadcast to members of the chiropractic profession, Dr. Terry Rondberg, president of the WCA stated: 'We have to make sure we completely counteract the American Chiropractic Association's efforts to include the provision as part the VA bill.'

Also seeking to defeat the ACA-ACC-ICA-proposed legislation were the American Medical Association (AMA), American Osteopathic Association (AOA), and the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

ACA President Dr. James Mertz stated:

"There is no question that the WCA testimony helped the AMA, AOA and the physical therapists in their efforts to limit chiropractic care. In our view, the WCA has become a stooge of the medical profession with these destructive efforts. We are shocked that the WCA has aligned itself with the medical lobby on these critical legislative efforts - hurting the chiropractic profession's chances for parity at every turn.”

 

      CBS/Reliance: the Bottom Line

by Stuart Hoffman,DC, president, ChiroSecure

My article on the ICA's malpractice insurance program1 apparently struck a nerve. While it was intended to clarify months of misinformation on the part of Chiropractic Benefit Services (CBS), it provoked a delayed response covering three pages.

Amazingly enough, the owner of CBS admitted doing something to his policyholders that the ICA was quite concerned about. The concern comes from the fact that CBS's previous insurer, Reliance, which had their ratings severely downgraded,2 was "delisted" by the New York Stock Exchange,3 and is expected to go bankrupt.4 Continuing to allow their insureds to be covered by Reliance puts CBS' policyholders in a potentially severe and completely unnecessary position.

Yet despite the ICA's expressed concern, CBS President Rondberg clearly stated:

"CBS is automatically transferring policies to our new carrier as they come up for renewal."5

Why? What is the purpose of waiting almost a year to move some of their policyholders away from an insurer whose ability to cover their claims is questionable at best?

What does CBS get out of waiting another 5-6 months to transfer the rest of its policyholders? Is it a matter of money? Is it in CBS' best financial interest to leave their policyholders hanging?

It is the ICA's position that the only reason to offer malpractice insurance is to protect practicing doctors of chiropractic and their patients. Leaving policyholders insured with a company that has been contemplating bankruptcy since last August 4 falls egregiously short of that. And no matter what other comments CBS' president wants to make, that's the bottom line.

      Palmer College Threatens Lawsuit to Protect "Fountainhead" Name

The following letter was released by the Palmer College of Chiropractic in order to inform the profession about their efforts to retain the "Fountainhead" name:

January 16, 1991

Certified Mail
Return Receipt Requested

Terry Rondberg, D.C.
The Chiropractic Journal
2950 North Dobson Road, #1
Chandler, Arizona 85224-1802

Dear Dr. Rondberg:

I am sorry that Dr. Holmberg's request that you stop using the term "Fountainhead" and adopt a new theme for your seminars was not accepted in the co-professional spirit with which it was intended.

As president of Palmer College of Chiropractic, charged with protecting its assets, I now make formal demand on you to cease using the term "Fountainhead" on or in association with any enterprise with which you are associated, but most particularly with the so-called FOUNTAINHEAD Seminars and Catalogs sponsored by you and those associated with you.

The matter is not negotiable.

We will expect you to completely terminate all use of the name "Fountainhead" within thirty (30) days of receipt of this letter or appropriate additional action will be taken.

Palmer College, almost at its birth, adopted the identifying name or nickname "Fountainhead." Palmer College has encouraged the use of that identifying name among its thousands of graduates, and it is well recognized by the entire profession as being associated with Palmer College. Chiropractors have complained to us about your use of the name.

I believe that any fair-minded court in the land would find that your adoption of the name was a willful effort to profit from the good will of Palmer College and to take from Palmer College a valuable and respected right.

As stated above, and with deep regret, I call on you to cease all use of the name "Fountainhead" in connection with your seminars, commercially-based or otherwise, no later than February 17, 1991. Please make immediate plans to rename your "Fountainhead" catalog and any other venture associated with the chiropractic profession that uses Palmer's Fountainhead name.

Very Truly Yours,

Donald P. Kern, D.C.
President

[Perhaps with the new Palmer prez, Dr. Don Kern, now on campus, neither the WCA or Rondberg will be welcomed with open arms as they were with Guy Riekeman]

·      "Black Box" Chiropractic

Dear Editor:

(regarding "From the Bully Pulpit," by Garrison Pomeroy in the March 26, 2001 issue)

When I was a first-trimester student at Logan 20 years ago, our excellent philosophy teacher, George Chirkinian, had guest speakers come to speak to us on various philosophical topics. We got to listen to Reggie Gold, and we also heard from Terry Rondberg. At that time, one of Dr. (and I do use that term loosely) Rondberg's philosophies was that of the "black box system"- don't charge any specific fees for what you're doing and the patient will appreciate the worth and donate accordingly.

It appears the black box system is no longer working for Dr. Rondberg, if he has to use such extraordinary measures for financing his particularly divisive philosophical bent. (Please don't print my email address, as I wouldn't relish a hate-mail letter from him similar to another doctor's in a past issue!)

Marcy Halterman, DC, JD
College Station, Texas

      The Chiropractic Profession Has Been Defrauded!

Ethical journalism requires that every effort be made to establish the veracity of potentially libelous and/or questionable accusations or statements before they are published. It is for this reason that the average reader is able to trust that what they read is the truth.

In the August issue of The Chiropractic Journal, a letter to the editor was printed, presumably from a chiropractor in Los Angeles by the name of Robert Marsh. In this letter, Dr. Marsh made numerous allegations questioning the integrity of Dr. Louis Sportelli.

The basis of these allegations was Dr. Marsh's claim, "Reliable sources who attended the recent ACA convention in Alaska, were stunned to hear past and present ACA leaders privately admit that Dr. Louis Sportelli owns a controlling interest in Dynamic Chiropractic." The letter went on to allege that Dr. Sportelli is "secretly" trying to libel and destroy PMA.

Upon being made aware of these allegations, Dr. Sportelli attempted to contact Dr. Marsh personally to discuss their implications. His extensive search, which included the ACA, ICA, and Los Angeles telephone directories, proved fruitless. Ultimately, Dr. Sportelli contacted the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners.

A letter from Vivian Davis, executive director of the California Board confirmed Dr. Sportelli's suspicions by stating, "I do hereby certify that a thorough search of the above (official records reflecting chiropractors licensed to practice in California) shows that Dr. Robert Marsh of Los Angeles, California is not licensed to practice chiropractic in the state of California."

The fact that Dr. Marsh is not able to be located leads one to conjecture that he does not really exist. In a response to Dr. Marsh's letter, Dr. Sportelli wrote to Rodney K. Platt, editor of TCJ questioning the publication of the apparently fraudulent letter. In his letter, Dr. Sportelli stated, "The publication, which claims to be 'dedicated to fairness in communication' on its masthead, violated some cardinal rules of truth and propriety in its carrying of the so-called 'letter'; investigation points to the fact that the critical letter was probably a malicious concoction by the publication (The Chiropractic Journal) or parties unknown."

In reply to Dr. Sportelli's letter, Dr. Terry Rondberg, publisher of The Chiropractic Journal wrote: "After we received your letter, we confirmed that there is no known chiropractor by the name of Robert Marsh practicing in the Los Angeles area. Apparently, the person who wrote the letter and signed it with a false name had a strong opinion for which he was afraid to take responsibility. TCJ condemns such cowardice and deceit and requests that no doctor ever again engage in such outright deception."

Two very important questions need to be asked:

Why was it so easy for a "fictitious" person to have a character-defaming letter printed in a chiropractic publication?

What person or parties are actually involved in the defrauding of the chiropractic profession?

The Society of Professional Journalists' (an organization whose membership is comprised of publishers, editors, and journalists) code of ethics epitomizes the fundamental responsibilities of every journalist, everywhere. This list of noble objectives begins with a statement which reads, "The duty of journalists is to serve the truth."

Other important elements of this code of ethics to which all journalists should adhere are:

"So-called news communications from private sources should not be published or broadcast without substantiation of their claims to news values.

"The news media should not communicate unofficial charges affecting reputation or moral character without giving the accused a chance to reply.

"Journalists who use their professional status as representatives of the public for selfish or other motives violate a high trust."

Letters to the editor in any professional publication must meet certain guidelines. Letters to the editor must be signed by the author, submitted on professional letterhead, and when serious implications are made, the author's existence should be verified. Furthermore, letters to the editor in which the authors ask that their "name be withheld by request" should follow these same guidelines even more stringently.

If the above guidelines had been met, this fraud against the chiropractic profession would not have occurred. A mere phone call by TCJ to Dr. Sportelli (or the California Secretary of State) would have revealed that "Dr. Marsh's" allegations were completely without basis in fact. As stated on page three of "DC," "Dynamic Chiropractic is the solely owned publication of the non-profit Motion Palpation Institute."

It is highly unlikely that the person or persons who perpetrated this fraud against the chiropractic profession (by authoring the Marsh letter) will ever come forward and confess. The content of the Marsh letter demonstrates that these deceptors have a very specific agenda which they have already attempted to force upon the chiropractic profession. Should similar actions occur again, a watchful eye will be able to recognize them for what they truly are.

For the chiropractic profession, these are critical times. We need to be able to trust that what we read is the truth. Every publication in our profession must uphold the highest editorial standards in order to be perceived as credible.

According to The Society of Professional Journalists' code of ethics, "Partisanship in editorial comment that knowingly departs from the truth, violates the spirit of American journalism."

Kelli M. Price
Assistant Editor

 

·      Phony Letter in The Chiropractic Journal

 

Dynamic Chiropractic
21541 Surveyor Circle
Huntington Beach, CA. 92646

Dear Don:

The August issue of The Chiropractic Journal, which is published by Dr. Terry Rondberg, contains a letter to the editor which attacks my integrity. The publication, which claims to be "Dedicated to Fairness in Communication," on its masthead violated some cardinal rules of truth and propriety in its carrying of the so-called "letter," for investigation points the fact that the critical letter was probably a malicious concoction by the publication or parties unknown.

Let me give you the basis of my accusation.

When I read the "letter" in The Chiropractic Journal which stated falsely that I was an owner of a competitive publication, Dynamic Chiropractic, and the perpetrator of some kind of imaginary plot to destroy Dr. Peter Fernandez' operation, I decided to call "Robert Marsh, D.C." of Los Angeles, the purported writer of the letter.

In an effort to reach the good doctor, I found that I could not find him in either the ACA or ICA directories. So I called the Los Angeles area phone company and checked with information operator, only to learn there is no Dr. Robert Marsh listed. Next, I attempted to locate the chiropractor by contacting the California Board of Examiners, but then I learned to my surprise (really no surprise at all) that there was no Dr. Robert Marsh licensed in the state of California. (See letter from the director of the California Board of Examiners).

Now, this looks very suspicious, doesn't it?! A highly critical letter in The Chiropractic Journal defending Dr. Fernandez, making libelous charges against me -- and the writer can't be found! Highly unusual, isn't it?!

Can it be that Robert Marsh, D.C. of Los Angeles doesn't exist? Not a pretty picture for the publication, is it?

I submit that The Chiropractic Journal has a responsibility to not only PRINT THE TRUTH, but and obligation NOT TO MANUFACTURE STORIES, INVENT DOCTORS, PERPETRATE A PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGN TO ATTEMPT TO DESTROY THE CREDIBILITY OF INDIVIDUALS, and finally, BE RESPONSIBLE AND HONEST WITH ITS READERS.

Could it be that there never was a letter to the editor? Could it be that the entire matter was fabricated in an attempt to deceive the profession? Could it be that The Chiropractic Journal feels the heat of consensus building across the profession which is counter to its sponsors' goals and objectives? Could it be that the self-interest of The Journal OWNERS... (who reap the profit of their enterprises) is at stake and they are trying to re-direct criticisms which have begun to build around some of their positions on various issues? Or, giving The Journal the benefit of the doubt, could it be that some outside individual or group is behind this "plan" and are manipulating The Journal into publishing this type of manufactured "letter to the editor" knowing that The Journal does nothing to verify the facts or assertions of these letters? Regardless of the reasons for why things are done, there needs to be some accountability for the actions of a "publication" which purports to bring news to the field.

The Chiropractic Journal accused me of owning Dynamic Chiropractic. That's pure rubbish; it's the typical type of lie used to smokescreen the truth; it's an age-old tactic, the same used by the AMA when it accuses chiropractic of "quackery".

Anyone with even sub-marginal intelligence would know that Dynamic Chiropractic is a wholly owned entity of the Motion Palpation Institute, which is a NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION. Therefore, any reasonable person would conclude that it would be impossible for an individual to "OWN" controlling interest in that publication. This is not the first time that this tabloid has attempted to insinuate that I own Dynamic Chiropractic. If anyone is interested, all they have to do is check with the California Non-Profit Corporation Bureau, and the facts will demonstrate that I, nor any "individual," OWNS Dynamic Chiropractic. But why would a publication that calculates to twist the truth bother to obtain the real facts?!

Secondly, in an attempt to build a case where none exists, this "fictitious" doctor (or publication) states that I have attacked Dr. Fernandez. Is the unknown writer who is defending Dr. Fernandez suffering from a guilt complex? Please have the anonymous writer show where I or the ACA has in any way attacked individual practice promoters? The ACA and I have spoken out with vigor and determination to expose those practice consultants who are exploiting young, impressionable students with contracts they can ill afford and are unprepared to evaluate from a true business perspective. Unfortunately, also many DC's in practice are enticed with "million dollar promises" and end up giving a percentage of their yet to be earned gross to the "consultant." By the time they realize they made a mistake, they also realize that they signed a non-cancelable legal contract.

I have my opinions about some of the abusers. But attack specific promoters -- no, I have not done that; their actions speak for themselves.

While I have never pointed to anyone specifically, I have sounded a warning to students and doctors in an effort to help insulate them from possible financial ruin. As a service to the profession, I have asked them to self-discipline, to keep from tarnishing their professional image. I have cautioned them against getting into situations which may cause personal stress and despair.

My efforts are not directed against individuals. Rather, they are to motivate state and national journals to print editorials supporting the leaders of our profession who have the courage of their convictions to speak out against those procedures which may be profitable for the individual entrepreneur, but destructive for the profession. And don't let anyone tell you I am against practice education and development counsel. What I am against are promoters who teach unscrupulous methods to victimize patients and/or victimize the doctors who sign up for their courses.

We need to support those individuals who are trying to create awareness in the profession; to motivate practitioners to refrain from, as Mark Twain so ably stated, "taking the path of least resistance which makes men and rivers crooked."

When are all the chiropractic journals going to issue serious challenges to the exploiters who cause the entire profession to retrogress and be stigmatized by procedures and promotions which cannot withstand close scrutiny?

It seems to me that an ethical standard among journals might be in order. I believe that every journal has a responsibility to check out as thoroughly as possible each and every story. In those instances where character assassinations are part of the story or letter to the editor, then the journal should at least provide the individual with an opportunity to respond, if so desired. Surely, The Chiropractic Journal could have inquired as to the validity of the comments on ownership, as well as having checked on the facts relative to the other issues, if the publisher had wanted to (as if they did not already know the truth).

It seems to me that The Chiropractic Journal is the worst offender of all the publications in chiropractic. It thrives on THE DOUBLE TALK SYNDROME. It speaks of "Live and Let Live," then spends the greatest part of its tabloid space denigrating, denouncing and disparaging individuals who do not agree with its philosophy or position on issues. It is hard for an individual to win in a battle against a publication which is determined to present its viewpoint. Unquestionably, the pen is mightier than the sword, but one publication such as The Chiropractic Journal will not be successful in its yellow reporting if the remaining publications seek to print the truth and editorialize the issues for the entire profession to judge on their merits.

This letter, which is being sent to all journals, will in no way change the situation relative to The Chiropractic Journal, but hopefully the clear and undisputed fact of knowing that The Chiropractic Journal had to know that the letter was from a fictitious doctor, and that the content was totally and completely without validity make it clear to all the other chiropractic publications that there is more to this than meets the eye. It is one thing to make an honest error; it is quite another to undertake a deliberate campaign to discredit someone. In this case, the facts should be patently clear to anyone who is knowledgeable about the INTENT, OWNERSHIP, GOALS, OBJECTIVES, AND POSITIONS of The Chiropractic Journal.

It is clear to me that The Chiropractic Journal's publishers want to create:

A third chiropractic organization, which in my opinion is destructive to the entire profession -- a move which is ego- motivated.

A national tabloid which is dedicated to publishing a jaundiced view of chiropractic, supportive of FSCS, SCASA, and the "straight movement." (That is their prerogative, but they should not try to hide behind a banner of "UNITY AND PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE.")

A method of patient recruitment which will not only generate significant dollars for its OWNERS under the guise of research ... but thank goodness is currently being questioned and challenged in many states.

Be that as it may, the issue is not that they are doing whatever they are doing, but an attempt is being made to cover up these questionable activities. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion; I have mine, they have theirs. However, mine is stated clearly with my signature, theirs is masqueraded as a "letter to the editor" or as a majority opinion and objective editorial, when it is neither. It is all a charade, and should be recognized for what it is.

For me, I will stand on my record of accomplishment for ACA and the chiropractic profession. I will continue to speak out when issues of ethics and exploitation are uncovered. I will continue to bring to the forefront those procedures and scams that will undermine the credibility of the entire profession for the sake of the financial gain of the exploiter.

The mere fact that my position is causing some distress to those who might be "uncomfortable" about exposed, could cause them to alter their programs so as to lessen their vulnerability and exposure. I hope so.

Those practice consultants who are honest and ethical are not screaming "FOUL" ... rather, they are trying to develop guidelines which practice consultants can follow in order to avoid the possibility of misunderstanding. They should be given credit for their courage in beginning this professional cleansing, which has been needed for so long. Haven't we learned from the lessons of the antitrust trial, where we initially lost not because the AMA was any less guilty, but rather because a JURY who heard the same evidence was so outraged by the practice management procedures (which were not even part of the legal issue) that they found in favor of the AMA.

In conclusion, I offer the following challenge to those detractors who delight in yellow journalism: Let's take our cases to a jury of our peers. You defend your position and I will defend mine; I am willing to risk it ... are you? The jury selection should be determined by random selection of field practitioners who are the ultimate victims of the guest for money by exploitation, dollars be deceit, and patients by propaganda. I believe that the vast majority of our profession is composed of honest, ethical, and clinically competent practitioners who feel frustrated because they are incapable of doing anything to change this course of destruction, which has been charted by those with less than honorable intentions.

In the final analysis, the court of public opinion will determine who are the guilty, who are the innocent and who have had the integrity to speak up.

Sincerely,

Dr. Louis Sportelli

 

·      "These CCP Guidelines are issued as a pseudo-scientific response to the Mercy Guidelines"

 

Dear Editor:

I note a letter from Dr. Mark Van Hemert,DC (www.chiroweb.com/archives/19/12/15.html) lamenting the fact that apparently he was dropped "like a hot potato" as a reviewer or panelist for the CCP Guidelines. He wonders how Dr. Christopher Kent chose not to have him "re-elected," when, as far as anyone can tell, there never were any "elections" in the first place. He seemed surprised that his questioning of Dr. Jay Holder's alleged bogus credentials and his desire to see more definitive language in the Guidelines fell on an unreceptive audience. He was surprised that alleged "votes" were taking place without any of the other panel members even being notified of such an event.

Is it possible that people have not figured out yet what the CCP Guidelines are? Are there still some in this profession who don't know what's going on? How could someone actually working on the CCP Guidelines be really fooled into believing that there was ever any real legitimate purpose for the CCP Guidelines? It was always intended to be a scam! Wake up and smell the coffee - it was a way to counteract the Mercy Guidelines, which actually did have a consensus of chiropractic experts, educators, scientists and scholars! But the Mercy Guidelines actually required a measure of accountability and dared to question some techniques and unproven methods within chiropractic.

Bottom line? We want more money! And open-ended guidelines make that easier than actually having to show what we do is based on good health care. Chiropractors of that mindset needed something that looked official so they could say to the insurance company; "These guidelines (CCP) support my voodoo technique," and ask "Whaddaya mean '200 visits are too many'?"

Look at the chief instigators of the CCP: Terry Rondberg, Christopher Kent, Patrick Gentempo, Jay Holder, and others of similar ilk, though lesser known. And what about practice gurus like Greg Stanley, David Singer, Chuck Gibson, Ian Grassam? Since when do they have the scientific background to qualify as experts on technique and science? I'm sure there were also some legitimate scholars who were duped into at least some minimal participation for whatever reason, though I wonder how many of them regret it now.

The CCP Guidelines were and are a joke. They are nothing but an attempt to put a scholarly spin on what is pure and simple money making pap and nonsense. Their only purpose was to open wide the doors to treat anybody, using any method, for as long as possible, with the least accountability as possible. Has anybody actually looked at the practice guideline publication? Read the "rag" sometime and show me what qualifications they put on anything! Was there some critical thinking applied to any method, or any parameters of care? Did they find any method or technique "investigational"? Did they raise substantive questions about frequency of care, or effectiveness of various methods and techniques? Was there anything they found to be ineffective or questionable? Absolutely not!

I think they could have saved a lot of paper if they'd just had a single page between the covers that stated; "These CCP Guidelines are issued as a pseudo-scientific response to the Mercy Guidelines. If any doctor of chiropractic wants to justify waving dead chickens over his or her patients while chanting to the druid gods, please feel free. We'll back you up with this "practice guideline," which will be carefully footnoted and documented, to allow you to cite them in reverential tones, when an insurance company doesn't want to pay for this essential "dead-chicken-chant" therapy."

In my opinion the CCP Guidelines are useless. It doesn't even make a good paperweight since it's little more than a brochure "on steroids." Take out the ad nauseum references, which I bet no one on the panel of experts even read, and other fluff, and you're left with even less. I have learned over the years in this profession that leopards don't change their spots. If you see the fingerprints of certain people, you can usually be assured that there are hidden agendas, drums of snake oil, pretense and hypocrisy. That's when I have to laugh to keep from crying. So - buck up, Dr. Van Hemert! You're well to be rid of them! "Hit the showers" and count it as a lesson better learned late than never.

Dr. Garth Aamodt
Grand Rapids, Michigan
gaamodt@home.com

 

 

      Thou Shalt Not Criticize Rondberg

Dear Editor:

I recently wrote a highly critical letter to the Chiropractic Journal published by Terry Rondberg, D.C. To my surprise I have not received a copy of the Chiropractic Journal since that date, over eight weeks ago. I discovered this fact in reading a recent letter from a Dr. DiPietro of Tuscon, who had made a similar discovery. I find it disturbing that a publication that claims to be open to all viewpoints, would so radically trim their mailing list. The publishing policy of the Chiropractic Journal does not seem to live up to its own philosophy.

I am curious to find out if there are others who have written critical letters to the Chiropractic Journal that have also been thus eliminated. I am sure the advertisers in that shoddy journal would be interested in that fact also.

I have also written critical letters to Dynamic Chiropractic, and I am pleased to say that my subscription with your fine publication is still intact.

Donald R. Seidel, D.C.
Rochester, New York

 

·      Rondberg Defends Big $id: "...misrepresenting and publicly denigrating our profession..."

 

Dear Editor:

In your article, "Chiropractic in the Print Media," July 16, 1992 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic, you examined a recent issue of Health Magazine and reprinted several statements made by Dr. John Triano in that publication. Since you failed to call him to task for totally misrepresenting and publicly denigrating our profession, I feel compelled to do so.

In his desire to drape himself in the cloak of scientific superiority, Dr. Triano irreparably damaged the profession he is supposed to represent. Was he so double-blind he couldn't see how his pitiful attempts to position himself as the noble scientist -- and paint Sid Williams, DC as a religious zealot -- would hurt our cause? Didn't he care?

It is outrageous that, while the majority of the profession works hard to convince the medical community and the public that chiropractic is an effective health care system, Triano used his platform to announce to the world: "There is evidence that the main tenets of chiropractic are not true."

With that single statement, this so-called "chiropractic" researcher dismisses and condemns the principles upon which our profession was founded. He rejects 80 percent of what our colleges teach and most of what our field doctors do in their practices every day.

He ignores the scientific evidence he claims to revere: that the vertebral subluxation exists and affects function. Boldly embracing the medical paradigm he publicly disavows the vitalistic philosophy of chiropractic. He arrogantly disregards the tremendous research done at Life College and at chiropractic educational research institutions around the world. He rejects as irrelevant the practical experience of some 50,000 doctors and the findings listed on more than 40 million Medicare claims and millions of insurance filings.

Triano works at and is paid by a chiropractic college. He claims to have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to measure the force of a chiropractic adjustment, yet declares that the tenets of chiropractic are false. The hypocrisy of his words and actions should be an embarrassment to his employer, National College. Instead, his comments entitle him to national coverage and a pedestal from which he can continue to lambaste the profession which supports him. And for his efforts, he's paid more than many field doctors make in practice.

From his insulated ivory tower of so-called research, Triano deliberately attempts to misrepresent Dr. Sid Williams' anti-medical bias and anti-science. He apparently shares the belief, held by some overly vocal PhDs in our profession, that "chiropractic doesn't work," and that real scientists don't mention the "c" word. No doubt he applauded the RAND Corporation's recent announcement that its landmark research project wasn't about chiropractic but about "manipulation."

Despite the tremendous progress chiropractic has made in the past decades, Triano refused to acknowledge that "science" and "medicine" are not synonymous, and that the research done by our own profession into the subluxation is no less valid merely because the medical establishment fails to recognize it.

Triano told the magazine that the difference between he and Dr. Sid Williams is his "willingness to accept that we don't know what is going on." That's one statement I can agree with wholeheartedly: When it comes to chiropractic, he doesn't know what's going on. How he can continue to represent the profession and hold a position of leadership in one of our colleges, is the true mystery.

        As for Dr. Sid Williams, he has worked 40 years to promote and defend chiropractic. He has dedicated his own personal resources, as well as the resources of Life college, ensuring the progress of our great profession. When Triano told the magazine that, "People like Sid Williams believe they have the answer, ..." again he was right. People like Williams do have the answer. It's found in the art, science, and philosophy of chiropractic. Not only will I never be ashamed of that truth, I will proudly speak and live it always as Dr. Williams and many others have done.

Terry Rondberg, DC
Chandler, Arizona

 

[Well, I guess TR told off Jay Triano, eh? His letter shows the clear difference of perspective between a scientist vs. a political hack who hides behind his demagoguery. However, using Big $id Williams as the torchbearer of chiropracTIC may have come back to haunt TR now, but it does illustrate there's still honor among thieves.]

 

Epilogue:

So, Who Is Looking Out for Chiropractors?

 

Being a chiropractor requires a resilient nature along with a thick skin to endure the internal strife, medical wars, and legislative process that is a slow and often burdensome process. As the founder/lord of the Galactic Online Alliance (franchises still available), our Lasting Prayer is Galatians 6:9 that teaches what every DC needs to live by: "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." I daresay every ethical chiropractor of any denomination can identify with that belief, and there's no better time than now to reap a harvest since we've never given up fighting for access, parity, and unity.

 

Hope reigns eternal unlike ever before in the chiropractic worldwide community and especially in the US with the recent legislative events that will finally give long-suffering DCs a glimmer of realistic hope and a sense of professional pride about the political progress achieved by the mainstream chiropractic organizations. Indeed, the recent legislative victories on Capitol Hill have clearly shown all who’s really looking out for chiropractors, and it ain’t the WCA or ICA.

 

The ACA/WFC/FCER/CCE/ACC-led coalition of MAJOR chiro organizations has accomplished much in the last few years that has been ignored or misrepresented in the tabloid press. As well, the current legal battles with HCFA and Trigon along with the successful Blue Cross settlement that opened up $125 million for DCs in the federal employees health insurance clearly showed why the ACA’s lobbyists were rated in the top 25 on Capitol Hill. If there's anyone who doesn't recognize the leadership of the ACA-led contingent of rational chiropractic organizations, they've either drank from the Coalition Kool-Aid or else they're just apolitical, as too many in the NCA (No Chiro Association)remain to this day.

 

Here’s a short list of recent legislative victories:

·         1997 - Congress Votes to Abolish Medicare's Burdensome Mandatory X-ray Requirement, a Longtime Barrier to Chiropractic Care for America’s Seniors

·          2000 - Congress Establishes a Permanent Chiropractic Care Benefit for America's Active-Duty Military Personnel.

·          2002 - Congress Establishes a Permanent Chiropractic Care Benefit for America's Veterans.

·          2002 - Congress Includes Doctors of Chiropractic in a National Health Service Corps Student Loan Pilot Program.

·          2003 - Congress Authorizes the Federal government to Hire Doctors of Chiropractic to Care for Veterans.

·          2003 - Congress Rejects Legislation to Eliminate Physician Status for Doctors of Chiropractic (Manzullo Bill).

·          2003 - Congress Accelerates Timetable for Implementation of Chiropractic Care Benefits for America's Servicemen and Women.

·         2003 - Congress establishes the Inclusion of a Medicare Chiropractic Demonstration Project

 

NCLC 2004

No doubt at the ACA’s NCLC this week we will learn more about the present state of the profession from the real diplomats in our profession but, regrettably, the downside will come later when the WCA and ICA hold their own Capitol Hill meetings a few weeks afterwards that will only add to the political confusion with the fundamentalists' cry that "ol' time chiropracTIC is the only way!" Certainly it’s always a problem when these fringe minorities purport to speak for the profession, especially when their limited views oppose that of the ACA as we’ve seen with the Medicare and VA issues. Until the Chiro Coalition embraces the position to legislate as broadly as we can and practice as narrow as you want, these rogue chiropracTORs will continue to confuse and conflict with our collective needs. Sadly, majority rule is not part of the WCA or ICA's gameplan.

 

Just as legislators are confused by this minority plank, so too are the mainstream DCs and certainly chiro students who will be confused as long as these opposition chiropracTIC free tabloids flood into their colleges and private offices like Rondberg’s TCJ, Harrison’s AJCC, the ICA’s Chiropractic Choice, Life College’s Today’s Chiropractic, Palmer’s Streams from the Fountainhead, and Tedd Koren’s Quixotic "anti-anything medical" online newsletter.

 

Obviously these free chiropracTIC tabloids will continue to publish their slanted journalistic spin in order to preserve their image as chiropracTIC crusaders, to maintain their business interests, and to buoy the spirits of their misguided brethren to avoid the inevitable buyers' remorse that normally comes from throwin' good money in after bad, ya folla? Indeed, it must be difficult for the WCA and ICA folks in the Chiro Coalition to explain their string of unsuccessful political/legislative events and the serendipitous events that have decimated the Palmer Philosophers of late.

 

No matter how hard they try to spin it, there’s no denying the chiropracTIC movement has undergone a huge upheaval of late despite the efforts of these hate-straight tabloids to arouse the emotions of their readership that the end of principled chiropracTIC is not near. Just as Baghdad Bob told the world press that American troops were not invading Baghdad as shots rang out in the distance, Rondberg and his tabloid ilk will continue to put a positive spin on the demise of the hate-straight chirovangelist movement despite the obvious depletion within their leadership, membership ranks, and political setbacks. "Don't confuse us with the facts" has become their rallying cry.

 

Combating Media Misinformation

Only the Dynamic Chiropractic attempts to be objective in its reporting on these important matters although it too has side-stepped some important issues in the past, such as the 28-year corruption at Life (which is still a dumb name for a college) that DC ignored until the final days. The balance of media power certainly tips in favor of the opposition’s many free tabloids to spin the news as they see fit as this investigation has clearly shown. If not for the monthly Journal of the ACA and Gary Cuneo EVP's weekly online newsletter, this profession would be in a big hurt in terms of ethical reporting of the truth on political and legislative matters.

 

The recent spin by Rondberg and McLean concerning the VA Committee was a clear example of the misguided effort by these yellow journalists to save face after their model of chiropracTIC care blew up. Together the WCA and ICA merchants of misinformation have painted the VA issue (the final decision may be announced this week at NCLC by Sec. Principi) as the MWD issue within chiropractic blaming the ACA when the evidence actually pointed at the WCA instead. 

 

Ironically, the recommendation by the VA Committee to engage DCs in the NMS specialist role rather than a PCP role was shaped in part by the testimony of the very Chiro Coalition group whose simplistic philosophy undoubtedly contributed to the specialist role. Moreover, the very nature of the medical military healthcare system would never allow a non-diagnostician to pose as a PCP--the wetdream of Rondberg and other misguided chiropracTORs who think all they are required is to "detect with the Subluxation Station and correct the VSC to cure the world of all subluxATIONs, ya folla?" I still can't believe they told that to the VA Committee with a "straight" face!

 

Just as the Deaniacs and liberal media decried the lack of evidence for MWD to disavow the US invasion in Iraq (as if Saddam and his sons weren't MWDs themselves), the Chiro Coalition now appears upset when the committee held them to their word by acknowledging chiropracTIC’s secondary tier non-primary care position. There was no way in high Heaven any chance that DCs would be cast as PCPs in the military or VA healthcare systems, but the naïve Chiropractic Coalition has only itself to blame for fooling itself. All these chirovangelists needed to do was observe how Bill Morgan at Bethesda is working as a DC in the NMS department to know how chiropractic will be implemented in the VA system too. Only Baghdad Bob or Terry Rondberg could have dreamed up the explanation by the Chiro Coalition to cast blame on the ACA members on the VA Committee.

 

Not only has Rondberg been wrong about this VA issue, all of his political and legislative efforts of late have all fallen short but ignored in his reporting in his TCJ, such as his anti-CCE efforts, his Manzullo Medicare legislation, his meddling in foreign countries’ legislation, and hopefully the WCA’s status as an NGO will soon coming to a screeching halt. Is it any wonder that Rondberg’s online moniker has been “Wrongberg”? Indeed, he’s been wrong on all fronts—clinically, legislatively, politically, and foremost, philosophically about the direction this profession should take. If it weren’t for the power of his TCJ press, this radical would be a faint voice heard by the 240 few who’ve drank the Coalition Kool-Aid.

 

For another recent example of chiropracTIC spin, if you’ve read the latest edition of the Chiropractic Choice, you may have noticed that there were interesting admissions and omissions. First of all, neither the new prez, CJ Mertz, or his new VP, Dan Murphy, wrote anything to their membership about the ICA's activities to improve this profession. Perhaps both were too busy giving seminars than heading a professional association. Nothing was written at all to charge their troops, but both did have big advertisements for their seminars! No conflict of interest there,  kinda like CJ promoting his WLP at the Great Debate. Also, according to the ICA's resident $idiot, DE Dude, and spin columnist, Jimmie Gregg, his article would make you think the ICA was solely responsible for any and all political achievements on Capitol Hill. Too often our chiropracTIC brethren have taken credit for victories when, in reality, they were actually the thorn in our collective side. But that never before has stopped them from twisting the truth in their chiropracTIC media.

 

Sadly, there is no daily “fair and balanced” chiropractic press that reports on these hard issues in a timely and ethical fashion, which is the main reason I began my online commentaries a few years ago—to broach these important events quickly to facilitate discussion and to disseminate the “other side” that is often ignored and certainly delayed in the chiropractic media. Bi-monthly, monthly, and quarterly reports just don’t make it in today’s electronic society.

 

This signals the major internal PR problem that the ACA and WFC both face—how to overcome the imbalance in the chiropractic media. As long as the ACA and WFC are outnumbered by the chiro tabloids, they will continue to be on the defensive in the court of chiropractic opinion. How much longer will mainstream Doctors of Chiropractic allow this sham ChiropracTIC Coalition and self-serving WCA and ICA leaders with obvious ethical problems continue to misrepresent the news events to the profession, to legislators, and to the public? How much longer will we allow the chiropracTIC tail to wag the entire body of this profession? These are problems for every rational, ethical, inclusive DC who subscribes to the principles of democratic rule.

 

Shine the Light

As Kyrre Myhrvold, D.C., President of the Norwegian Chiropractic Association plainly told Rongberg: “Stop your actions.” Indeed, I think every chiro organization and all ethical DCs should do the same and censor the chiropracTIC demagogues who work to disrupt this profession for their own profit! And we need to strike back in the court of chiropractic opinion with accurate and professional journalism unlike the yellow journalism used by our opposition.

 

College presidents should follow the example of Dr. Goodman of Logan and refuse to let Rondberg or his WCA on campus as long as his modus operandi is demagoguery, hidden financial agendas, conflicts of interest, and yellow journalism--editorials posing as fact, one-sided political articles, inflammatory ad hominen attacks on ACA leaders, letters-to-the-editor without a response from the victim, and the vilification of rival businesses or associations. I would also suggest banning all proprietary tabloids like the TCJ and AJCC from campuses since they are the sources of the misinformation that only foment discord among the students. Until these radical publishers follow the accepted Code of Journalistic Ethics, their “buyers’ guide” tabloids have no place in an institution of higher learning just as the Jehovah Witnesses have no right to spread their anti-social ideology with the Awake! magazines on chiro campuses.

 

I also recommend that state licensing boards should investigate those practice management gurus like CJ Mertz who sell tacky videos that smack of unproven hyperbole that only taints our collective image. Every state board ought to sit through these "how to make a million dollars and play golf while some new grad works for you" seminars, review their materials, investigate their office procedures for possible illegalities like NOOPE, TWIP, discount plans, extended treatment contracts, and tacky ads that cannot be supported by science. Rather than “anything goes” in chiropracTIC, the new slogan of these boards should now be “almost gone” to these purveyors of bad news and unethical practice methods.

 

I also urge every DC to write a complaint to the DPI at the UN concerning the WCA’s status as an NGO. If you would like an example of a complaint letter, see the examples below, contact me for mine, or feel free to write one however you want, but please show how the WCA has violated the 4 criteria requirements of an NGO. Just write something to let the UN realize how its been duped by the WCA cohorts.

 

Chief, NGO Section
Department of Public Information
Room S-1070L
United Nations, New York, N.Y. 10017

 

Here are examples of complaint letters recently written by a colleague from Down Under and by one from the Lone Star State:

 

Chief, NGO Section

Department of Public Information

Room S-1070L

UNITED NATIONS

NEW YORK  NY  10017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

RE:     WORLD CHIROPRACTIC ALLIANCE

Dear Sir/Madam

The World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA) has been making itself known in the international arena for the last eight to ten years or so, as I recall.  Seasoned, reasonable, rational and patient focused practitioners within the chiropractic profession have written WCA off years ago as a bunch of irrational, money-focused, rabble-rousers.  The profession at large, and, therefore, the various publics served by chiropractors across the globe, are affected adversely by the efforts of the WCA.

In recent times I have come to learn that the WCA, by whatever means (certainly not honest!), has obtained at least tacit recognition from your Organisation.

I appeal to you to have this ‘recognition’ reconsidered and reversed in the mutual interests of the United Nations Organisation, the chiropractic profession and the good health of chiropractic patients around the world.

Yours Sincerely

John Drinkwater

Private Practice of Chiropractic (1979-present)

Approved S112 Examiner - Victorian WorkCover Authority (VWA)

Peer Review Consultant to the VWA  (1994-2001)

Approved External Examiner – Transport Accident Commission

Sessional Consultant to the Transport Accident Commission (1988-2000)

Executive Secretary, Australasian Council on Chiropractic Education Ltd (1996-2003)

Member, Professional Services Review Committee - Federal Government (1995-2005)

Member, Chiropractic & Osteopathic College of Australasia

Fellow, International College of Chiropractors (Candidate - 2004)

 

 

Chief, NGO Section
Department of Public Information
Room S-1070L
United Nations,

New York, N.Y. 10017

 

I am writing to voice my opposition to the NGO status afforded to the World Chiropractic Alliance.  This is a splinter group headed by a person who does not represent the views or interest of the majority of the profession.  Furthermore, they are a for-profit institution that publishes a free chiropractic newspaper.  Every chiropractor receives this publication regardless of whether we ask for it or not.  The WCA is not a representative body that has the best interest of the public or the profession of Chiropractic in mind.  Rather it has the agenda of selling malpractice insurance, seminars, and products to the readers of its newspapers.  I feel that a distinguished body such as the UN should be very careful about associating itself with this organization.  The WCA is using the title you are affording them as a lever to propel forward its agenda.  They actively promote division and chaos in the minds of the public and the Chiropractors in the US and around the world.  Please take a closer look at this issue and make sure that you are aware of whom you are lending your good name to.

 

Sincerely Submitted,

 

Jordan C. White, D.C. 

 

Hopefully a few thousand proactive DCs who are sick and tired of Rondberg and his WCA cohorts pushing this profession around for their own profit will also write similar letters of complaint to the chief of the DPI for an investigation into my claims that the WCA has violated their 4 criteria. If the DPI gets enough complaints, he or she will see the light how the WCA has exploited the UN just as it has exploited this profession.

 

 

 

 

 

Website Builder