Articles by JCS

Imperfect Storm at FSU

Imperfect Storm at FSU

The thrust to expand chiropractic education from small private colleges operating on shoe-string budgets to a major university level became the goal of the Florida Chiropractic Association in 2004. They lobbied five years to convince the state legislature and Governor Jeb Bush to implement a chiropractic program at Florida State University (FSU) and to make available the research capabilities at its Tallahassee campus Medical School.

The fact that not one major public state university in the United States and Canada offers a chiropractic graduate level program speaks volumes about the influence of the medical profession considering chiropractic is the third-largest physician-level profession in the world, only behind allopathy and dentistry. Academia remains a bastion of allopathic dominance and the attempt to upend this academic monarchy became an imperfect storm in Florida that blew in like a hurricane to destroy a heroic effort to implement a chiropractic program at FSU.

In 2004, the Florida state legislature, led by Senate President Senator Dennis Jones, a chiropractor, and FSU alum Jim King gave FSU the authority to offer a chiropractic degree and provided the university $9 million a year for a School of Chiropractic Medicine. This legislation was hugely supported by the legislators. SB 2002 was the first bill sent to Gov. Bush during the 2004 legislative session after being approved 38-1 by the Florida Senate on March 4, and approved by the House unanimously, 113-0, the following day.[1] Needless to say, a total vote of 151 to 1 against should indicate the strong public support for this program, but that did not stop the medical society from interfering.

“Throughout this long effort, the Florida Chiropractic Association (FCA), its lobby team, and legislative leadership never lost sight of the goal to have a public option for a chiropractic education,” said the FCA’s CEO Debra Brown. “We have a long list of legislators, chiropractic leaders, educators and others to thank for helping to achieve this success.”

“We look forward to sharing the great news with the chiropractic world that this program is funded and that future chiropractic students at last have an option of a public education,” said Florida State Association CEO Emeritus Ed Williams, DC.

A public chiropractic school at FSU was the longtime goal of Senate Majority Leader Dennis Jones, a 1963 graduate of Lincoln College of Chiropractic and former president of the FCA. While serving in the House of Representatives, he argued for decades that Florida had no chiropractic school to call its own, causing hundreds of people who were interested in studying chiropractic to move out of state to obtain a degree.[2]

FSU proposed a joint Masters Degree program that would be five years in length, as opposed to the usual four years of study in other chiropractic programs. In addition to the doctor of chiropractic degree, students would be required to obtain a collateral masters degree in microbiology, nutrition, health policy or biomechanics, depending on their course of study.[3]

Rand S. Swenson, DC, MD, PhD, and Associate Professor of Anatomy and Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School was retained by the Board of Governors as a consultant to review the proposal.  Dr. Swenson indicated in his report that the proposed chiropractic program would benefit from its relationship with the integrated master’s programs, and he also suggested that those programs (and others at FSU) might be enhanced by the addition of chiropractic education.

The University also responded to the call both within and external to the profession for more scientific research related to chiropractic health care and a more evidence-based approach to professional practice. [4]

The integrated MS program emphasized the following themes:

·                     Science-based educational curriculum

·                     Evidence-based care and research

·                     Prevention, health promotion and wellness

·                     Complementary and integrative health care

·                     Health care information and quality improvement

·                     Patient-centered care with focus on special populations

Dr. Swenson indicated in his consultant’s report that a chiropractic program at a public institution may be more effective in attracting minorities because of the decreased cost of attendance.

The FSU program would have been a turning point in chiropractic research and education, according to J. Jay Triano, DC, PhD, a leading chiropractic researcher who had by then obtained his PhD and was instrumental in the development of this program. “The transition is from the stereotypical impression of chiropractic as a bunch of people running around claiming they can treat everything, to a very evidence-based but open-minded practice approach.”[5]

The goal of the evidence-based chiropractic program was to do research at a major university that had the facilities, faculty, and funding to determine the scope of chiropractic care, but this noble cause was killed after it was conceived in the legislature when medical demagogues and political subterfuge crushed the proposed chiropractic program before it was implemented.

The monumental task of a small cadre of chiropractic researchers addressing these clinical questions has always been a problem in the privately owned chiropractic colleges working without the financial help of federal funding for this research so necessary to the advancement of chiropractic clinical science. The FSU program would have opened a big door to research never permissible before, but this hope was dashed by the actions of a medical mob.

In a combination of events never seen before in the ranks of American higher education, this became a imperfect storm consisting of a power struggle among the state legislature, the Board of Governors, the Board of Trustees, and the FSU administration; an objectionable medical faculty; a divided chiropractic camp; and a gullible media that narrated without question the path of this storm to the public.

According to newspaper reports, the FSU Provost Abele had done a “commendable job” in putting together a chiropractic plan that attempted to bridge the gaps in chiropractic science and establish loftier academic standards. Despite his support, he felt compelled to distance this program from the poor image of chiropractic education emanating from Life Chiropractic College (LCC) in nearby Georgia that was supplying chiropractic graduates to many of the Southeastern states.

The role of LCC in the FSU proposal was a big factor in this imperfect storm. Not only as a direct competitor for students, LCC stirred controversy with its unfounded position on the scope of chiropractic care as noted by the FSU Provost when he referred to the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research (JVSR), an upstart chiropractic publication from LCC that had met mixed reviews, some often harsh, from within chiropractic itself for pushing the envelope of research with questionable case studies.

This controversial journal drew the attention of the FSU Provost:

Our first commitment is to a rigorous scientific educational program, one that would explicitly reject some current chiropractic activities, such as many of the articles published in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research,” he wrote. The Journal includes such “peer-reviewed science” as the benefits of spinal manipulation to promote fertility in infertile women, or to reverse multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.[6]

The Provost’s decision to cite the JVSR was also problematic. The original scientific mainstay of chiropractic indexed research is the Journal of Manipulative & Physical Therapeutics (JMPT). Indeed, the decision by the provost to reference any articles from the JVSR was unusual—the equivalent to quoting the National Enquirer instead of the National Review on political matters.

The image of LCC and its controversial president, Sid E. Williams, was a well-known problem within the chiropractic profession, as others testified:

Chiropractors, who traveled from Canada and New York, acknowledged there were fringe elements that damaged the legitimacy of spinal manipulation. But, they said, with FSU’s help, chiropractic medicine could trim the fringe and become a respected practice.[7]

Nonetheless, the FSU program was to research the scope of chiropractic care, which would in itself be a huge undertaking considering there are different levels of treatments within the chiropractic field as the New Zealand Inquiry noted. Foremost are the musculoskeletal disorders (Type M) like neck pain, low back pain, and headaches, the most common reasons why patients seek chiropractic care. These Type M disorders include neuromusculoskeletal disorders (NMS) that include radiating pain like sciatica.

On the other hand, some organic health problems (Type O) have also known to respond to chiropractic care as the New Zealand Inquiry had reported. Of course, this was a source of contention despite the emerging, albeit scant, supportive research on the neurophysiologic aspect of spine care. This explains why such research at a well-funded university was important to implement.

Most controversial, and also noted by the New Zealand Inquiry, was the vitalistic component of chiropractic philosophy extolling the body’s ability to heal itself. This philosophical tenet of chiropractic had become the Achilles heel that was attacked by the medical opponents as “pseudoscience.” This alluded to the cure-all notion of chiropractic care emanating from the traditional “straight” chiropractic branch—the metaphysical aspect of the Palmer tenets that are faith-based rather than science-based.

Certainly any philosophy by definition is pseudoscience, but medical critics use this to mischaracterize all of chiropractic as such. To mainstream chiropractic proponents, this philosophical issue was nothing more than a red herring issue that became a stumbling block rather than a stepping stone to better understanding the dynamics of the healing process.

This aversion to vitalism may also stem from an unnerving admission by Francis R. Collins, MD, director of the National Institutes of Health.  From his personal experience, he admits as many as sixty percent of doctors and scientists are atheists.[8]  Dr. Collins spoke of his experience in medical school when the prevailing academic dogma to be strictly scientific ridiculed any supernatural belief in the God factor in the healing process.

Undoubtedly this attitude made it easy for atheistic MDs to attack chiropractors who did believe in the God factor—in chiropractic parlance, the Innate Intelligence in the body that DD and BJ Palmer wrote about profusely and was attacked as quackery by the medical profession. Apparently American medicine has become so cynical that a simple belief in God is now a professional sin that should be shunned in academia. On the other hand, it may explain the callous attitude they have toward chiropractors and the feeling of superiority they have about themselves.

This became the trump card for the medical critics who fought to stop the chiropractic program at FSU. Rather than seeing the value of the main goals to explore the clinical scope of chiropractic and conduct research in an academic setting with the staff, facilities, and funding available only at a major university, this vitalistic philosophy of chiropractic became the source of ridicule for the medical opponents at FSU. What should have been an academic debate would take on the fervor of a religious war to keep the heretics out of the medical den of iniquity.

Academic Demagogues

The goal of the FSU chiropractic program was supported overwhelmingly by the Florida state legislators by the combined vote of 151-1, but that did not persuade the medical opponents who did not like the idea of any chiropractic presence on campus, no matter the lofty academic goals, research objectives, or the popular support for chiropractic in the state legislature.  Although all other major universities have boycotted a chiropractic curriculum, never before had medical interference with chiropractic education taken on such an open display of academic demagoguery that quickly became another huge factor in this imperfect storm in Florida.

Raymond Bellamy, MD, orthopedist and adjunct professor at FSU, became the lightning rod who led an academic revolt against this proposed chiropractic college that would have highlighted the profession’s struggle to move from broad unscientific claims to evidence-based treatments.

In effect, Bellamy’s effort was not a studious argument as much as it quickly digressed into a tirade of propaganda and slanderous accusations that reflected the ranting of Morris Fishbein in the 1930s rather than an informed college professor in the 2000s.

Bellamy told the media he was fearful that establishing a chiropractic school would “devalue his FSU degree, the university’s reputation, and its medical school.” In effect, his argument sounded eerily familiar to “race defilement” to avoid contamination by chiropractors. He was unconcerned about the quest for academic inquiry as one might expect at an institution of higher learning.

“I’m trying to avoid embarrassing FSU or threatening their funding, but it may not be possible,” Bellamy said. “My sense is the only way we have of stopping this chiropractic school is getting the public educated.”[9] 

He also admitted to “tapping into national experts who work against chiropractic education.”[10]

One of the "national experts" was mentioned in a June 15, 2009 court in a videoconference deposition of JOHN WILLIAM KINSINGER, M.D. for the VIRGINIA CIRCUIT COURT FOR PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY:

A    I did publish an article in, I believe, 2005 in a journal called National Review of Alternative Medicine, I believe, that was related to chiropractic.  It was related to a successful effort that we undertook in 2004 and 2005 in stopping a proposed school of chiropractic at Florida State University in Tallahassee.

 Q    Is this what's on your CV in the publication for Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine?

A    That's it.  Yes, sir.  I apologize.  I couldn't remember that.  Yes.  Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine, correct.

 Q    And it's entitled "An Account of an Unsuccessful Attempt at Association"?

 A    Well, correct.  The attempt failed because we were successful in causing it to fail.

 Q    Okay.

 A    When I say "successful," I was talking about my effort to derail the program.

 Q    All right.  And you derailed what?

 A    In 2004, both chambers of the Florida State legislature, the House and the Senate, passed a bill that was signed by then Governor Jeb Bush mandating the opening of a chiropractic school in Tallahassee on the campus of Florida State.  It was a law on the books, funds were appropriated.  It was a done deal, and myself and some of my friends undertook a sort of unconventional grass roots effort to derail the program starting in June of 2004, culminating in January 2005, in Gainesville, Florida, when the Florida Board of Governors, which is a body that oversees all the Boards of Trustees of the 11 state universities in Florida voted to kill the program.

 Q    The program being opening up a school of chiropractic?

 A    Correct.  At Florida State University. You have to understand that in the United States there are 18 chiropractic programs, none of them are associated nor have any ever been with public universities.

 Q    What is the reason you wanted to stop that program?

A    Well, we felt that -- again, there has never been a chiropractic program at a public university in the United States, and we felt that for Florida State to sanction such a program would be to legitimize an industry that we feel is, not only unscientific, but is actually  anti-scientific, and we felt that that was unacceptable. And, obviously, the Board of Governors ultimately agreed and, despite the Legislature's mandate, killed the program.

It is shocking to discover that the AMA still had “national experts” whose goal was to “contain and eliminate” any presence of chiropractic on any campus as the Iowa Plan called for nearly forty years ago in 1963. It just shows us how deep the medical bias against chiropractors--chirophobia--still runs in the bloodstream of too many MDs.

The following excerpt from the Palm Beach Post, “Question of Science” by Melanie Yeager, clearly illustrated the academic demagoguery espoused by Bellamy:

A frenzy of e-mail exchanges…Conference calls and closed-door meetings, petitions circulating through the Internet…

Criticism against Florida State Universitys planned chiropractic program has gained momentum in the last few weeks as Dr. Ray Bellamy, a longtime Tallahassee orthopedic surgeon, has quickly become the loudest naysayer in town.

Calling chiropractic medicine ‘pseudoscience,’ Bellamy is telling all who will listen - FSU administrators, trustees, state officials - that the program needs to be stopped.

“There are quacks. There is no question,” Provost Larry Abele said of the chiropractic profession. “But it’s incorrect to say all chiropractic is non-science and non-evidence based.” And he said FSU wants to bring better scientific practices to a health service used annually by 15 million Americans.

But Bellamy still thinks most chiropractic care is based on “gobbledygook ... not one shred of science.” He said it degrades FSU’s entire scientific effort.

It looks to me like the university’s for sale here,” Bellamy said. Bellamy’s primary beef is academic and personal, not financial. He’s fearful that establishing a chiropractic school would devalue his FSU degree, the university’s reputation and its medical school, where he teaches as an adjunct faculty member.

“I’m trying to avoid embarrassing FSU or threatening their funding, but it may not be possible,” Bellamy said. “My sense is the only way we have of stopping this chiropractic school is getting the public educated.”

“Not one single major scientific contribution has been made by chiropractic in 100 years, about the dangers of high neck manipulation and so on, but all I ask is that the facts be given a chance,” Bellamy said. [11]

 “… all I ask is that the facts be given a chance,” Bellamy pleaded. Too bad the readers had no idea his facts were skewed, he was ignorant of the recent research endorsing chiropractic, or that he would not give the chiropractic program the same fair chance he asked for himself.

Ironically, on one hand Bellamy wants to educate the public against the proposed chiropractic school but, on the other hand, he resists educating the public (students) about chiropractic in an academic setting in a scholarly fashion at FSU. Instead, he literally took to the streets to incite a medical mob to attack chiropractic on malicious pretensions.

Bellamy’s claim that chiropractic “has not one shred of science” reeks of the same unproven bias heard for years from the medical propagandists: “everyone knows chiropractic is an unscientific cult.” Once again we hear Fishbein speaking.

The fact that Bellamy failed to appeal to the Florida legislature revealed his strategy was not to stage his battle until he had surrounded himself with his medical allies on the FSU campus rather than at the state capital where he would have faced 151 legislative proponents who voted for the chiropractic program.

The avoidance of a confrontation with the legislators on their turf in the capital was reminiscent of the AMA’s battle in the 1960’s when the Illinois State Medical Society executive director, a Mr. White, who was not an MD, challenged Doyl Taylor of the COQ when Taylor recommended the ISMS adopt the COQ’s policy against chiropractors. White wrote the following response to Taylor on November 25, 1966:

The current AMA campaign to brand all chiropractors as cultists poses a problem for us in our dealings with the general assembly. Insofar as Illinois is concerned, you should know that many members of the legislature are not convinced that most chiropractors are quacks, many have told me personally that they have been to a chiropractor or some member of their family has been to a chiropractor and they have found relief.[12]

Undoubtedly the Florida legislators felt the same support for chiropractors considering they passed the bill by a vote of 151-1. Instead, the medical mob chose to fight its battle on its home turf at FSU and in the media where it could avoid any critical feedback as it would have gotten on the legislature floor.

Although Bellamy’s accusations were unsubstantiated, the public and press were unaware that his own brand of academic gobbledygook and confounding accusations were derived from historic Fishbein and Committee on Quackery propaganda deeply embedded into the medical consciousness and not in scientific proof.

In retrospect, it can be seen that Bellamy’s strategy was to make the proposal of a chiropractic program into a propaganda exercise instead of an academic debate by using the classical tactics of demagoguery.

Humorist H. L. Mencken once defined a demagogue as “one who will preach doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.” Throughout history many demagogues have followed this doctrine which also aptly describes both Morris Fishbein and Raymond Bellamy in this medical war.

The following characterize the tactics of demagoguery specifically in this FSU fiasco:

  • ·                to misrepresent chiropractic as a “pseudoscience,” “an unscientific cult,” and “gobbledygook,”
  • ·                     to mischaracterize chiropractic care as “dangerous” with “not one shred of evidence,”
  • ·                     by not allowing any academic or public debate for chiropractors to refute these allegations with research studies,
  • ·                     predicting a doomsday outcome for the university’s image by suggesting “the university’s for sale here,” and
  • ·                     to stir action among his biased supporters, mainly other medical professors on faculty, by pushing the buttons of passion, fear, and prejudice by suggesting the mere presence on campus of a chiropractic program “devalues the FSU degree.”

Despite his assertion that his concern was not financial, the truth belied his claim since Bellamy had an obvious conflict of interest in this matter as “a longtime Tallahassee orthopedic surgeon” which may explain why he “has quickly become the loudest naysayer in town” according to the article in the Tallahassee Democrat. [13] 

As Upton Sinclair once said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” This truism described Bellamy perfectly—he had no interest in understanding chiropractic, just defaming it as an orthopedist.

In the face of his obvious conflict of interest as an orthopedist and his use of blatant demagoguery, still no one in the media challenged Bellamy’s lack of objectivity. Nor did any reporter do any homework that would have revealed the many research studies and guidelines that supported chiropractic and refute his claims of gobbledygook and pseudoscience.

By the time this FSU fiasco took place, many research studies had already occurred, such as AHCPR, Manga, RAND, UK BEAM, to name but a few, as well as the Wilk trial evidence and the findings of the New Zealand Commission. Bellamy failed to mention any of these positive studies in his condemnation of chiropractic and the media failed to confront his ignorance.

Instead, the media seemed content to quote his exaggerations and pejoratives; it appeared the more sensational he became, the more copy the newspapers gave Bellamy. Undoubtedly, just as Fishbein swayed the mainstream media for decades with yellow journalism, Bellamy did the same on this battlefront to “getting the public educated”—educated to his Big Lie, that is.

Obviously Bellamy ignored the point of the FSU chiropractic program advocated by Jay Triano, DC, PhD, who served on the advisory committee for the FSU School. “The chiropractic profession as a whole…is ready to step up to the plate and to let its belief systems be tested scientifically,’’ said Dr. Triano. “Let the chips fall where they may.’’[14]

Bellamy did admit to the Palm Beach Post that many patients do feel better after visiting a chiropractor, and confessed he had seen studies that showed some improvement to low-back pain, although he believed it was minimal. He also acknowledged research showing patients were more satisfied with chiropractors than with doctors. [15] Most notably, he failed to mention the call for restraint in spine surgery.

“Other than for low-back pain, in very specific instances of recent back pain, almost everything they do is bedside manner and placebo effect…Patients like to be fussed over,” Bellamy said. “I think doctors need to learn to listen to patients more and be more hands-on and more caring.[16]

It was obvious Bellamy was clueless about spinal mechanics and the benefit of manipulative therapy. Instead of “fussing over” patients as he suggested, chiropractors did something more impactful when they adjusted their patients’ spines to correct joint dysfunction, a physiological benefit ignored by Bellamy as an effective treatment.

Not only did he not step up to the plate for a fair fight, Bellamy rigged the game before it started with his intimidation of officials, “I’m trying to avoid embarrassing FSU or threatening their funding, but it may not be possible.” He also misconstrued his support for this warfare when he told the press, “Everybody wants somebody else to kill it.”[17] Considering this proposal passed the state legislature by a combined vote of 151-1, it does not appear “everybody” else wanted to see it killed, just he and his medical mob.

Indeed, the press never took Bellamy to task over his conflict of interest as an orthopedist and member of a rival trade association. Certainly, it was academic demagoguery at its worst–a medical lynch mob that fought to eliminate a rival on spurious grounds using inflammatory rhetoric with gross misrepresentation of the truth and mischaracterization of their opponents. This FSU mob became the driving force behind this imperfect storm with Bellamy as its ringleader.

Perhaps the most shocking question not asked was how this demagoguery happened on a public university campus where diversity of thought, scholarly debate, and intellectual inquiry are cornerstones of higher education. With emotions running on high and the strong presence of Bellamy and his medical mob, opposition to Bellamy by other academicians must have been impossible for fear of being branded as traitors, too reminiscent of Principle 3.

Did rational academicians really believe, as Bellamy claimed, that “FSU is for sale” or their degrees would be “devalued” if there were a chiropractic graduate program on campus? Did the public actually believe Bellamy when he touted chiropractic was a “pseudoscience” all the while making chiropractic services the third-most sought health care behind medical and dental care? Did the medical staff believe Bellamy when he said there was “not one shred of science” behind chiropractic after the landmark AHCPR study and numerous other studies proved otherwise? Indeed, just how gullible was the media, the faculty, and the public to his lies in light of these obvious revelations?

This alludes to a larger question: where were the stalwart defenders for academic freedom at FSU? Where was the Board of Trustees or the Provost of the University or the Board of Governors when this academic assault began? Were they also afraid of the public display of political power by the medical monarchy and, rather than confronting this medical bully, they capitulated to his whim?

Apparently George McAndrews was prophetic during the Wilk trial when he likened the AMA’s resistance to improving chiropractic education to Southern bigotry. McAndrews noted this appalling academic apartheid created by the AMA:

Any medical physician that tried to teach in a chiropractic college was banned. He was anathema. He was unethical…you haven’t had anything like that in modern history except down in the South where they used to say you can’t educate blacks. There aren’t many instances of anything like that in the history of the United States, that you can’t educate someone and you can exercise sufficient power to bully a university system supported by taxpayers into not giving education to someone.[18]

Instead of demeaning black Americans as unworthy of a college education alongside white students, Bellamy and his mob debased chiropractors as unworthy of a university presence alongside them. Once again there is not enough room on the medical pedestal at FSU for anyone other than MDs.

What is so shocking is the fact that this demagoguery would never have happened in any other academic discipline. For example, imagine the uproar if Democrats were able to block the study of conservative Republican politics from the FSU poli-sci program. What if faith-based Creationists were allowed to ban Darwinism and the study of evolution from the biology program? Imagine the outcry if peaceniks were able to bar the ROTC program from campus as war-mongerers.

Of course, none of this would be tolerated, but when the medical society harangues and attacks chiropractic on bogus propaganda left over from the Fishbein era, the FSU administration and media kowtowed to their demands as the medical faculty led by Bellamy goose-stepped to display their hatred of the medical heretics. This is a sad indictment of higher education at FSU, but typical of the mindset fomented by the Iowa Plan.

As Bellamy told the press, “I’ve got hundreds of petitions saying that this school is not wanted. It’s a stupid idea.”[19] 

On the other hand, there were probably just as many if not more fair-minded people in a silent majority who disagreed with him but where intimidated by his outlandish rhetoric. As well, where were these petitions when the state legislature voted on this issue? The time to be heard was before the vote in the legislature, not afterwards on campus by mob rule during a rebellion.

Certainly non-discriminatory and fair-minded academicians had to exist at FSU, but Bellamy and his medical mob made it impossible for them to express their opposition to his academic demagoguery, just as fair-minded Americans were voiceless when Jim Crow protestors were spraying Civil Rights activists with fire hoses in Selma, Alabama, not too far literally and figuratively from the mindset on the FSU campus.

 Moreover, the whole idea of this program would be to separate fact from fiction as well as to do credible research into the arena of neuroscience and spinal mechanics, the subject of Dr. Triano’s doctoral expertise. This field is virtually ignored due to the prevailing medical bias toward manual medicine and, particularly, chiropractic care. 

Sadly, once this effort had been christened by the legislature, Bellamy as the lightning rod struck it down before it could find a safe harbor in the sanctity of the university. This imperfect storm was a disaster for both chiropractic and for academic freedom in Florida.

FSU Science Map

 

Text Box:  Unquestionably the most outlandish, if not the most childish, stunt by the medical lynch mob occurred with the distribution of the infamous “FSU Science Map.” Bellamy further mocked the proposal by circulating to the press a map of the campus, placing a “Bigfoot Institute” and a “Crop Circle Simulation Laboratory” next to the proposed Chiropractic Medicine School.  This map included other such whimsical landmarks like the School of Astrology, Yeti Foundation, Institute of Telekinesis, Department of ESP, Faith Healing, School of UFO Abduction Studies, School of Channeling and Remote Sensing, Foundation of Prayer Healing Studies, Creationism Foundation, Past Life Studies, College of Dowsing, Palmistry, Tarot Studies, School of Acupuncture, Institute of Tea Leaf Reading, School of Parapsychology, Pyramid Power Studies, and Alien Autopsy Laboratory.

This mockery illustrated another sad indictment of higher education at FSU. This childish stunt fanned the flames of ridicule and prejudice among the faculty and student body in a symbolic act of hanging a chiropractor in effigy.

Bellamy was unapologetic when he admitted his role in this mob’s behavior, “I did not design the FSU Science Map, but did forward it to others, including the press. It was sent to me by a biochemistry professor.”[20] Enabling bigotry seems fine to Bellamy.

Since turnabout is fair play, let me recommend a few additions to this FSU Science Map to include:

  • ·                     an Infirmary for Victims of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome,
  • ·                     a Rehab Clinic for Medicinal Drug Abuse and Addiction,
  • ·                     an Institute for the Study of Super Germ Infections,
  • ·                     a Hospice for Late Term Abortions,
  • ·                     a Rescue Shelter for People Bankrupted by Medical Bills, 
  • ·                     a Medical Museum of Bloodletting, Leeches, and Lobotomies. 

All of these buildings could be sponsored by the Tobacco Institute that has already paid millions to the AMA from 1930 to 1986 to endorse its cancer-causing products in medical journals.  Indeed, two can play at this game if Bellamy wants to throw mud and cast aspersions but, in this case, these are realistic and not ridiculous claims.

Rather than being apologetic for this childish display, Bellamy was proud of the reaction it fomented among the FSU faculty:

There were nearly 500 email responses from the FSU science faculty opposing the chiropractic school. About 93 from the FSU College of Medicine, with about 12 clinical faculty declaring their intent to quit the teaching faculty if the chiropractic school came to FSU. I did forward to the press some of these emails opposing the chiropractic school if given permission by the sender.”[21]

“I would no longer wish to volunteer my teaching energies to FSU medical school, should it encompass a school of chiropractic,” said Dr. Ian Rogers, an assistant professor at FSU’s Pensacola campus told the St. Petersburg Times. “This is plainly ludicrous!”[22]

“If they resign, so be it,” said state Senator Dennis Jones, a chiropractor himself. “The instructors don’t deserve to teach at FSU if they’re putting their credentials with people known for promoting professional bigotry.”[23]

The medical mob at FSU was, in reality, members of one trade association that politicked to have its rival association barred from campus. Once again, the medical profession lived up to its reputation as the most terrifying trade association on earth that extended into our university classrooms as the Iowa Plan intended.

The FSU administration also played an interesting under-handed role to sabotage the chiropractic program when it was discovered that they had already spent the $9 million allocated to the chiropractic program by the Florida legislature.[24] According to the Palm Beach Post newspaper, allegations swirled that the FSU president and its board conspired with the press by allowing the medical critics to impugn chiropractic in the minds of the public, faculty, and Board of Governors to justify their rejection, knowing all the time the money was already spent.

This may explain why the media was so one-sided in its account of this situation and, if a covert conspiracy did occur, it would explain why this program was blindsided so suddenly by the media and the FSU mobsters after five years of work in the Florida legislature that voted to fund $9 million for its implementation.

Indeed, where were these opponents during the legislative battle when they would have met a stronger and more objective resistance from the 151 legislators who supported this bill? Apparently the medical mob was waiting in the wings to ambush the effort on the FSU campus rather than on the open battlefield of the state legislature.

 



[1] Editorial Staff, “Florida Legislature Approves Funding for Chiropractic College at FSU,” Dynamic Chiropractic  22/8 (April 8, 2004)

[2] Ibid.

[3] M Yeager, “Question of Science,” Tallahassee Democrat, (12/12/2004)

[4] Florida Board Of Governors Minutes, Subject: Implementation Authorization for a Doctor of Chiropractic at FSU, (January 27, 2005)

[5] G Fineout, “Chiropractors, Doctors Feud Over FSU Plan,” Miami Herald, (January 13, 2005)

[6] Ibid.

[7] K Miller, “Confused FSU Trustees OK Chiropractic Plan,” Palm Beach Post, (January 15, 2005)

[8] Interviewed by David Hirschman, Recorded September 13, 2010, BigThink.com

[9] M Yeager, “Question of Science,” Tallahassee Democrat, (12/12/2004)

[10] K Miller, ibid.

[11] M Yeager, ibid.

[12] G McAndrews, Wilk I closing argument (December 9, 1980):6798

[13] M Yeager, “Question of Science,” Tallahassee Democrat, (12/12/2004)

[14] K Miller, “FSU Faculty Members Debate Chiropractic School,” Palm Beach Post, (January 14, 2005)

[15] Ibid.

[16] Ibid.

[17] R Matus,Chiropractic School Angers FSU Professors,” St. Petersburg Times (December 29, 2004)

[18] G McAndrews, ibid. p. 3087-88.

[19] R Matus, “Chiropractic School Angers FSU Professors, St. Petersburg Times, (December 29, 2004)

[20] R Bellamy via private communication with JC Smith, Sat 6/20/2009 12:10 PM, RE: response to FSU chiropractic school commentary.

[21] Ibid.

[22] R Matus,Chiropractic School Angers FSU Professors,” St. Petersburg Times (December 29, 2004)

[23] Ibid.

[24] K Miller, President Says FSU Can't Return Chiropractic School Money To State, Palm Beach Post (February 23, 2005)

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