Articles by JCS
The WCA: Wrongberg Chiropractic Assassins
By now most mainstream DCs are up in arms over the failure to pass a VA bill that included chiropractic care with direct access and full-scope involvement. Apparently Terry Wrongberg, editor of the Chiropractic Journal and self-appointed president of the WCA, was able join forces with our medical nemesis to obstruct this inclusion.
His obstruction didn’t come as a surprise to anyone since his recent email declaration: "We have to make sure we completely counteract the American Chiropractic Association's efforts to include the provision as part the VA bill." Apparently this chiropractic assassin is more interested in killing bills and character-assassinating ACA leaders than in promoting the wishes of the majority of mainstream chiropractors.
Wrongberg’s recent letter-to-the-editor in the Dynamic Chiropractic newspaper on October 31 clearly explained his stance. While he agrees with direct access, he objected to full scope and certain semantics, such as “the absence to even a single reference to subluxation correction.” His WCA (membership unknown) also objects to “chiropractic as a method of treating ‘neuromusculoskeletal conditions.’” Excuse me, but isn’t that what we do in the real world of chiropractic, something Wrongberg is apparently unaware of? Just what color is the sky in his world?
This chiro-babble is exactly the nonsense that alienates and discourages legislators from working with our entire lot. Does anyone other than a few hate-straights actually think this battle over semantics is important? While rational people want to discuss treatment methods and budgets, these hate-straights want to talk about philosophy, or more aptly, their dogma and argue about semantics. Ugh.
Wrongberg also whines that “without reference to our unique character, chiropractic will be seen as a type of medical treatment.” First of all, chiropractic does have a “unique” character—that being dysfunctional. Secondly, SMT is not uniquely chiropractic care since osteopaths, MDs and some PTs also manipulate the spine. And, in my estimation, not all straight DCs “adjust” the spine to correct VSC, yet many still claim to be straight, principled DCs.
Don’t get me started but I’ve often felt that many non-force techniques simply prove the placebo effect and have little affect on joint dysfunction, spinal structure or stabilization, but what do I know? Indeed, there is no substitute for a good, old-fashion, hands-on, joint-moving spinal adjustment, especially in the SI joints!
And what is so terrible about being seen as a “medical” treatment when this word is used interchangeably nowadays with “health care” treatments? Again, simple semantics. These hate-straights also complain about the using the term “chiropractic medicine” although it simply connotes a “health care” profession, not the “medical” profession per se. If that weren’t so, the medical society would be up in arms too! Again, simple semantics.
Moreover, his focus on the “absence to even a single reference to subluxation correction” smacks of the “technician” viewpoint rather than a “patient-based” viewpoint where the patient’s needs supercede a particular clinical method. This illustrates the difference between the subluxation-based straight DCs who simply focuses on spinal adjustments as opposed to the patient-based chiropractic physicians who are more concerned about the big picture concerning patients’ health rather than just a certain type of clinical method.
As Dr. Abraham Maslow once said, “If you’re only tool is a hammer, everyone looks like a nail.” So true for these subluxation-based DCs who at best can only adjust the spine since their limited “lite” chiro education failed to teach them anything else about health, diagnosis or other health care methods. Indeed, in the Church of the Divine Spine all one needs to know is how to pop and pray to Innate (along with tricks of the trade like NOOPE, TWIP, free exams, bait-and-switch ads, etc).
What annoys me the most about Wrongberg’s analysis is his dislike that “Chiropractic care would become a duplication of medical services already provided by medical doctors.” Just how is this true since most MDs don’t adjust subluxations, and so what if they did? Is he afraid of a little head-to-head competition with MDs or PTs?
I thought competition is what made this free enterprise system work to create better services at lower costs. Instead of whining about competition, I would encourage direct comparison of our services with anything the average MD has to offer in the “treatment” of back problems. All I’ve ever asked for is a level playing field to compete, yet Wrongberg flinches at that idea. I imagine if I were a subluxation-based/ hate-straight/ Innate dogmatist/ chiropractic technician who eschews all diagnostics and who has vilified all other health care methods as evil and wicked, I would be afraid to compete too.
Many hate-straights like Wrongberg have limited their practices and their mindset to a “pop and a prayer to Innate” (or L. Ron Hubbard, whichever the case may be), refusing to understand that in order to stabilize an injured spine, soft-tissue rehab and therapy may be necessary.
Consequently they want nothing to do with the responsibility of diagnosis, referrals to MDs, nutrition, rehab, or anything other than poppin’ and prayin’ to Innate. Intellectually they have no qualms about doing so since they have put their chiro-babble dogma ahead of doing what’s best for the patient. Instead, they retract themselves to a position of so-called “principled” subluxation-based chiropractic that somehow justifies their very limited notion of spinal care. Again, all they can do is “hammer” their patients, and to hell with all other methods that are useful.
This ostrich-head-in-the-sand attitude has become a rallying point for these limited practitioners despite the obvious clinical inadequacies. I daresay any straight DC who limits himself to only adjusting VSC ethically should not accept any acute, traumatic spinal injury because the patient would be seriously under-cared for. Believe me, as one who has had three serious spinal injuries, and as the operator of a certified rehab facility, there’s more to stabilizing an injured spine than simply a pop and a prayer to Innate, but don’t tell Wrongberg that because he may start whining again and tell me it’s not chiropracTIC according to BJ’s chiro catechism.
Oddly, at a rehab seminar given by Palmer College that I attended a few years ago, the instructor, Dr. Clay McDonald, showed us slides of BJ’s own rehab facility at PCC. It was a huge gym full of weights, exercise equipment, and mats with BJ’s famous signature all over the place. It seems that at one point BJ had the Right Idea before he became senile and gave it all up for the simplistic HIO pop and pray to Innate method instead.
What I found most galling in Wrongberg’s letter was his sentiment that “This is the only way we can ensure a permanent and meaningful role in the VA health care system.” By limiting our care to a pop and a prayer, by not offering comprehensive spinal care, and by not competing with MDs and PTs, this is a meaningful role? It seems to me what he has in mind is a very limited role almost to the point of insignificance and certainly one that fails to maximize the potential help the average “mixer” full-scope DC can offer patients. If this isn’t convoluted logic and narrow-mindedness, what is?
It also seems that Wrongberg, with his own grossly limited clinical skills and intellectual vacuum, wants to limit all DCs to the same. Indeed, this myopia of subluxation-based DCs has always been a bottleneck in our profession, especially when the hate-straights like Wrongberg or Big Sid can affect our broad-scope practices. But this is what we should expect from the rabid followers of BJ who once said, “Education constipates the mind.” Indeed, no one will ever accuse Wrongberg or Big Sid of being intellectual giants.
Politically, it is suicide for a profession to limit itself to its lowest common denominator as Wrongberg proposes. As Dr. Winterstein once shared with me about this issue:
“We must begin to think about a position where the entire profession tries its level best to get the broadest laws possible and then recognizes and supports those within the profession who wish to limit their practices.
This would allow us to accommodate the straights as long as they adhere to accepted standards of any professional and at the same time, it would allow
those of us who want to engage in broader scope to do so.
This is what every other profession does - none of them try to set professional limits and standards by using the legislatures, which is what we have done. That is professional suicide. What we should legislate is broad scope practice with intraprofessional self-imposed limits. There must be a way.”
Dr. W’s inclusionary philosophy is a far cry from Wrongberg’s exclusionary beliefs that have historically divided our profession, playing right into the hands of our medical opponents. Dr. Jim Mertz mentioned this dire situation where one small fringe group of radicals can sabotage important legislation for the benefit of millions of VA vets and thousands of DCs of all persuasions. "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."
It’s painfully obvious that Wrongberg and his cronies are willing to cut off their nose to spite the face of chiropractic. Apparently they believe preventing vets from chiropractic care is preferable to allowing DCs to have broad-scope practice parameters and being paid for these services. It seems that if we don’t play by Wrongberg’s rules, he’s willing to take the role of a spoilsport so no one else can play.
"The record of legislative disruption by the WCA is nothing new," according to the ACA’s Chairman of the Board of Governors, Dr. J. Michael Flynn. "Over the years, the WCA's actions have perpetuated divisiveness in the chiropractic profession, which has only helped undermine the efforts of legitimate organizations to achieve parity for the chiropractic profession."
Indeed, being a thorn in the side typifies the machinations of Wrongberg and Big Sid in their attempt to disrupt whatever the ACA wants. For decades here in Georgia we’ve watched as Big Sid has refused to cooperate on any legislative effort proposed by the GCA. His resentful, self-serving influence as thwarted the GCA’s attempt to improve our scope of practice as well as played into the hands of the Georgia Medical Association by confusing legislators. Apparently Wrongberg is doing the same thing on a national level now with his obstructionist stance to confuse, divide and conquer, all in the name of “principled” chiropractic, of course.
I’m still confused by Wrongberg’s belief that “This is the only way we can ensure a permanent and meaningful role in the VA health care system.” Let’s see, according to Wrongberg’s bent mind, being outside of the VA system touting our very limited role and our supposed “uniqueness” is somehow preferable to being inside the VA system offering comprehensive services to vets. I know I’m just a country chiropractor in middle Georgia, but would someone please explain to me how being on the outside is better than being on the inside? We’re “unique” all right—uniquely excluded unlike any other health profession!
How long will these myopic exclusionary misfits like Wrongberg and Big Sid hold the reign on our profession, or more aptly put, hold a gun to our collective head? It’s embarrassing to hear Wrongberg speak in behalf of our entire profession knowing he represents a fraction of those radical DCs with antiquated views that have long been rejected by everyone in position of power in government, except those who oppose us. Indeed, as Dr. Mertz suggested, Wrongberg is a stooge playing right into the hands of our adversaries, allthewhile priding himself on his “principle.”
If anything, he will be remembered as an obstructionist as well as a counter-revolutionary to our greater good, not as a principled DC as he wishes to think of himself. Indeed, when I read where he and his comrade, Christopher Kent, believe they have taken the “high road” in this matter, it showed me the level of self-delusion these two actually suffer from. What next? Hearing small voices in their heads like Big Sid admits to?
What Wrongberg and Big Sid have forgotten is that our enemy is not each other—the straights vs. the mixers. Our real enemies are pain and suffering, the AMA, the MCOs and Donna Shalala at this moment. Until these hate-straights understand this, we can expect more civil warfare within our profession. Indeed, for people who pride themselves on the Big Idea, they certainly don’t understand the Whole Idea of unity and democratic rule.
I suggest that COCSA or the ACA-ICA call Wrongberg on the carpet and hold his feet to the fire. Let’s have an open debate at COCSA or at a joint ACA-ICA meeting and have Wrongberg answer to us field docs, those folks he doesn’t represent. Let’s reveal to the silent majority of DCs his true motivation and where he’s off-base in his viewpoint. And let’s boycott his advertisers as Drs. Jerry McAndrews and John Gantner have suggested, and let’s all unsubscribe to his rag.
I no longer receive his Journal after I sent him a letter critical of his unwarranted attacks on the ACA. Apparently this egotist stops sending his free newspaper to anyone who opposes him, and recently I learned that he deletes email messages in another attempt to end dialogue with those who argue his points. Obviously this man doesn’t want to hear any bad news about his position, so he simply ignores his critics by becoming incommunicado. Just what is it he’s afraid to hear? The truth, perhaps?
If this isn’t an example of killing the messenger because he doesn’t want to hear the message, what is? Reminds me of Big Sid banning my books from his campus bookstore because he didn’t like my remarks about the low-brow ethics at his diploma mill, all of which have turned out to be true, by the way. Apparently, these two minds think alike, which may explain why Wrongberg recently renounced his ICA allegiance and has criticized Big Sid publicly. Interesting that the hate-straight egotists can’t even get along together, isn’t it? Very similar to Rev. Reggie and Big Sid’s dislike for each other.
I daresay one big reason in Wrongberg’s hidden agenda is his CBS insurance company. He has vilified anything and everything about NCMIC and Dr. Sportelli in his quest to alienate young, impressionable DCs from what he has portrayed as the evil empire of chiropractic—the ACA and NCMIC. By misinforming young, naïve DCs to his scheme of things, he profits whenever they don’t join the ACA or use NCMIC insurance. If not rational, he certainly is crafty.
It’s obvious that Wrongberg’s goal to divide our profession enables him to profit as we remain weak. His so-called Journal is a joke of a newspaper that seems to represent the Scientology viewpoint in our profession although Wrongberg denies he is now or ever has been associated with the Church of L. Ron Hubbard. Still, his misinformation and skewed viewpoint is disseminated to the entire profession and has become a source of intellectual cancer in our profession. It’s one thing to have a learned, rational discussion, but his irrational obstructionism is another matter. Just how does one dialogue with a megalomaniac? Here in Georgia we’ve wondered that for 25 years now to no avail.
Indeed, if Big Sid is the old-timer’s symbol of radical chiropractic dividing our profession with his Innatism, megalomania and his chiro “lite” diploma mill making him millions, Wrongberg now represents the new-age misfit dividing our profession with his combination of Scientology and self-serving politics for his own economic gain. The sooner we expose these smokescreens, the sooner this profession can move forward, something Wrongberg and Big Sid are adamantly opposed to because they both stand to lose power and money if unity and progress were achieved.
Lastly, I’m forming another association—the Universal Galaxy Chiropractic Association. I am the self-appointed President for After-Life, Affinity and Beyond since my galaxy includes all space and time immemorial. All you need to join is to send me a thousand dollars for your “lifetime and forever” membership. We will soon hold a lottery to divide the Universe into separate chiropractic kingdoms, so you too can have your own dynasty to be your own king to start your own chiropractic college or newspaper—no experience is required. All you need is a charismatic personality, a dogma filled with hyperbole, and self-aggrandizing motivation so you too can make millions off the backs of unsuspecting, but well-meaning, mesmerized chiropractors and naïve students. Any takers?