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from the Lord of the Alliance
ATTACK OF THE VENDORS
The GOA Declares War
Axis of Evil Vendors
A short time ago in a mindset not so far away, the Medical Empire sought to eliminate the upstart Chiropractic Nation by causing it to “wither on the vine” by using illegal and unethical tactics to divide and conquer. After nearly a century of battle, the Medical Empire’s covert plan was eventually derailed by the Chiropractic Defender, Gen. George McAndrews, and the diehard Chiropractic Warriors who fought on despite being incarcerated thousands of times over decades of warfare.
Today, however, other rebels have now appeared to continue to undermine the emerging Chiropractic Nation and, regrettably, this new saboteur comes from within our own ranks and their goal is the same: divide and conquer. This new enemy is much more insidious and well disguised than the Medical Empire for this group wears no stethoscopes, they bear no medical caduceus, and they claim to be our chiropracTIC colleagues. In fact, they carry the banner of past Chiropractic Warriors, but in reality, they are nothing more than Evil Vendors!
They cleverly use chirovangelism as a call to action: “Protecting and Promoting ChiropracTIC Principles” when, in fact, it’s all a smokescreen using bait-and-switch tactics because what they really want is your money. Like Jimmie Swaggart selling salvation for a price, the evil vendors preach clinical success and personal prosperity, but their cost includes not only a monetary price, it inevitably includes selling a bit of your professional integrity.
Ol’ time chiropracTIC philosophy is their bait and rallying cry, anything remotely medical is their enemy, and chiropracTIC demagoguery is their political wedge to divide and incite among our own colleagues, but it’s simply a cover-up because, in the end, it’s all about the switch—the money—more precisely, how much of your money they can get. Sadly, some well-meaning chiropracTORs are naively misled by these demagogues, and remain locked into a regressive ideology that has stymied the clinical, economic, and political progress of this profession for too many years. Just as the al Qaeda insurgents seem locked into a 12th century mindset, our chiropracTIC zealots seem stuck in a state of mind from 1895 believing in so-called ChiropracTIC Principles that, at best, resemble Big Hypotheticals and Unproven Rhetoric from yesteryear.
Vendors of Mass Deception
After decades of deception, the fog has finally lifted to reveal these evil vendors and ideologues who have exploited this profession as they supposedly fight for principles since, in reality, their real concern is selling their own products and services. Many chiropracTIC Evil Vendors in both the WCA and ICA have caused continual problems for the mainstream DCs in their attempt to divide, conquer and, most of all, to capture their market share:
- Many chiropracTIC political association leaders have blatant conflicts of interest.[i]
- Some chiropracTIC groups politick legislators to limit our scope of practice. [ii],[iii],[iv]
- Some chiropracTIC publishers commit yellow journalism.[v]
- Some chiropracTIC leaders use demagoguery to arouse hatred against rivals.[vi],[vii]
- Some chiropracTIC vendors offer junk science.[viii]
- Some chiropracTIC vendors operate chiro colleges that more closely resembled diploma mills than institutions of higher education.[ix]
- Some chiropracTIC vendor/spokesmen work to thwart the unity efforts of our mainstream associations for their own power and profit.[x],[xi]
Like other insurgents, Rondberg and his ilk can be likened to those with WMD (weapons of mass destruction) or, more precisely in this case, he can be viewed as a VMD—Vendor of Mass Deception. First and foremost, TR is a vendor who owns the CBS insurance brokerage and, as the publisher of a free profession-wide advertising tabloid publication, TR has committed more yellow journalism than Jayson Blair, more journalistic fraud than al Jazeera, perpetuated more conflicts of interest than UN leaders in Iraqi oil payoffs, and fomented more discord with his tabloid, The ChiropracTIC Journal, than any other single publication this profession will ever experience.
Whereas the NY Times’ motto is to print “All the News that’s Fit to Print,” the motto of the TCJ is clearly, “All the News that Pays.” His use of a mass media to influence buyers in the chiropractic marketplace cleverly hides his conflicts of interest behind a smokescreen of inflammatory rhetoric and political ploys to push his agenda, and TR freely admits his conflict of interest as a publisher: “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!”
Indeed, TR’s poisoned pen has a hidden financial agenda as it spews misinformation and dissension from his bully pulpit. Combined with his frequent online messages and websites disseminating his politically incorrect drivel, this VMD has committed the most egregious professional breach of ethics this profession may have ever seen since the misguided reign of Big $id Williams.
Although reluctantly removed from power now, this former charismatic VMD wreaked more havoc on this profession than any other vendor. Big $id’s string of ploys included:
- Making millions while operating a diploma mill on steroids,
- Staging a virtual coup of the ICA election to steal the presidency,
- Suing CCE to dumb-down chiro education to the lowest standards possible,
- Sabotaging the ACA-ICA Merger effort in the 1980s,
- Publishing his free rag, Today’s Chiropractic, spewing his chirovangelism and political discord to all,
- Conducting his tacky DE practice management seminar teaching every unethical trick in the book to greedy followers all in the name of Innate, of course.
Like Williams before him who laughed all the way to the bank chanting the Money Hum, TR has no qualms about the many ethical breaches that would be intolerable in real journalism and certainly in the academic or professional confines of any other healthcare profession. These Evil Vendors and their proprietary advertising tabloids have stained the conscience of this profession for too long with their self-serving sensationalism, they have misled gullible grads with their chirovangelism and outdated “chiro cures all” hyperbole, and their divisive “we’re right, the medics and mixers are wrong” rhetoric has sown apathy and discord among our colleagues who don’t know what to think, so they do nothing instead and belong to the NCA—No Chiropractic Association.
The Great Impersonator
Indeed, TR can be called the Great Impersonator for his many deceptions, such as:
- Posing as a major association president
- Posing as a publisher of a peer-reviewed journal
- Posing as diplomat to the UN
- Posing as the voice of chiropractic to legislators
- Posing as an authority on chiropractic education
His unethical meddling in many chiropractic affairs is not new; for over 18 years TR has had his dirty hand in the cookie jar inasmuch as 14 foreign countries have previously complained about TR’s interference in their legislative matters. He remains the fly in the ointment that annoys rather than contributes to anything this profession achieves if he doesn’t personally control or profit somehow. His track record shows his continual ineffectiveness, but he remains the mouse who roared with his incessant inflammatory journalism, political demagoguery, and diplomatic fraud. Indeed, a VMD combined with a publisher with a bad attitude is a strong poison this profession has swallowed for too long.
The truth is often hard to find especially when it is well hidden. Indeed, perception is often much different than reality, especially when you own a profession-wide publication that constantly prints ideology rather than the news.
The WCA demands equal footing as a “major” chiro organization.
The WCA impersonates a member-driven, democratically elected professional association like the ACA, but it is not—it is an “alliance” owned by TR; plus he has appointed himself Lord-for-life of the WCA inasmuch as there are no democratic elections in the WCA. Since TR refuses to reveal his actual membership, estimates place it around 240 members, which is 0.004% of the profession. There are numerous chiro orgs that are larger than the WCA, but they don’t demand equal representation as TR has by misrepresenting himself and his “worldly” organization. More aptly, the WCA is a buyers’ club composed of vendor/columnists and naïve ideologues/buyers—it is not a professional association representing the views of the majority of DCs in this country.
The Chiropractic Journal is a professional journal whose masthead says: “Read and respected by more doctors of chiropractic than any other professional publication in the world.”
The TCJ is not a professional journal in the style of JAMA, JACA, JMPT, NEJM, BMJ, and other reputable publications with peer-reviewed, original research or RCTs, nor is it respected or read by more DCs than any other publication. It may be sent to more DCs than other publications, but it is simply a free supermarket-styled tabloid filled with yellow journalism to incite sensationalism and to sell products. TR is actually a vendor selling malpractice insurance, seminars, and books citing his fundamentalist chiropracTIC demagoguery. His conflict of interest as a publisher is obvious, and his “columnists” are simply other vendors with big ads who reportedly pay TR a commission from sales. For TR to even use the word “journal” in his masthead is ridiculous and deceptive, but par for the course for TR. As well, the publishers of the legitimate journals are neither vendors nor ideologues, nor are their contributors selling products. If any medical journal were similar to the TCJ, it would be laughed out of the profession as an unethical rag.
The WCA is an NGO of the UN.
Any non-governmental organization (NGO) can become an “official” NGO offering services to the public as long as they subscribe to the four criteria of the Department of Public Information. Sadly, the WCA uses its NGO designation as a marketing ploy suggesting frequently in the TCJ that the WCA is the “voice of chiropractic in the WHO” and has the stamp of approval by the UN. In fact, the WCA has consistently violated the NGO criteria, most recently by refusing to attend the WFC’s Identity & Image conference. The DPI should revoke the NGO status of the WCA immediately if it knew of this deception and violation of the inclusive nature of the UN to promote international cooperation. The last thing TR wants is cooperation and unity in the chiropractic profession. Ironically, he and his WCA represent the antithesis of the UN’s charter.
Similar charges can be filed against the ICA and the vendor-takeover it experience recently. Although the ICA had been decades ago an historic and credible international Palmer-styled chiropractic organization, today the declining membership of the ICA is comprised of ol’ BJ students on the wane and young ideologues sadly misguided by demagogue/vendors.
While the ICA was a mainstream chiro association, the reputation of the ICA has since degraded into a band of chirovangelists controlled by an Evil Vendor when Big $id Williams virtually stole the election, which lead to the fast demise of that once proud organization. Today the ICA is “international” only in name, and its present president, CJ Mertz, is yet another Evil Vendor with a huge conflict of interest.
Obviously, the WCA and ICA are not what they appear to be upon closer examination, yet the veil of implied authority continues to confuse field doctors and students alike. TR seems more similar to al Jazeera with a known “anti-anything medical or chiropractic Establishment” bias than a reputable publisher with an objective attitude. His radical politics resemble the insurgent al Qaeda more than a mainstream political party. He is a loose cannon fomenting dissent, discord, and disharmony at the expense of this profession solely aimed at improving his own profit—in fact, his conflicts of interest are obvious and troubling.
It’s well known by informed DCs that TR is a Great Impersonator in many areas:
- He pretends to be a president of a reputable member-driven, democratic, chiro association like the ACA when, in fact, he’s the proprietary owner of a non-voting buyers’ club “alliance” called the World ChiropracTIC Alliance that he is dictator-for-life.
- His WCA impersonates a “major” chiro organization when, in fact, its membership of supposedly 240 is only 0.004% of this profession, a fact TR tries to hide from all by refusing to disclose his membership numbers.
- He impersonates a publisher of a professional journal when, in reality, his so-called journal is nothing more than a free proprietary “Penny Pincher” advertising tabloid filled with self-serving articles written by his sock puppet columnists/vendor friends or his political editorials that mischaracterize nearly every issue facing this profession, such as the recent VA decision.
- He is a publisher with a huge financial conflict of interest as owner of an insurance brokerage run by his son-in-law and wife.
- He pretends his WCA is the “voice of chiropractic in the UN and WHO” as an NGO, but he refuses to participate in international diplomatic conferences as he did recently when he openly renounced in his TCJ the WFC’s Identity & Image conference.
- His Chiropractic Coalition impersonates a major chiro voice when, in fact, these three groups represent a small fraction of marginal people in this profession.
While this has become commonplace in the world of Evil Vendors, imagine if the Medical Empire operated in the same fashion:
What if the publishers of the NEJM or JAMA sold insurance to subscribers or allowed vendor/columnists to dominate their journals? They would be laughed out of their Empire.
Imagine if Johns Hopkins School of Medicine appointed a charismatic vendor without any academic credentials as its president? The uproar would be defining among academia.
Imagine if Emory University allowed vendors to swamp their campus in exchange for “research” grant money. Its image would be permanently stained as an objective research institution.
Imagine if the president of the AMA openly sold products in JAMA and used his position as a bully pulpit to foment demagoguery against his financial and political competition? The proponents of ethical journalism would be aghast.
But this nonsense happens routinely in the world of ChiropracTIC VMDs, and little is said! Any health or legal professional reading any of these tabloids would be shocked at the lowbrow journalism as well as these conflicts of interest, only to reaffirm in their minds the complete lack of ethics that abounds in some ChiropracTIC circles. Since these VMDs have demonized medics and mixers, they turn a deaf ear to any calls for ethical behavior if it interferes with them making money!
Full Disclosure or Cover-up?
The truth about conflicts of interest is often hard to find, especially when it is well hidden behind a smokescreen. Indeed, perception is often much different than reality, especially when some legislators, many field docs, and most governmental bureaucrats are unaware of conflicts due to a lack of disclosure by these impersonators.
TR is not a legitimate publisher of a professional journal, he is not a legitimate association president, and he is not chiropractic’s spokesman at the UN or on Capitol Hill despite his protestations. He’s simply a vendor/publisher/autocrat with a self-serving attitude. Perhaps a weekend in our nation’s capital will give TR and his groupies a good lesson on democracy at work, something the WCA members have never known! Indeed, TR just doesn’t get this democracy thing of majority rule, ya folla?
Actually, his right hand man in the WCA recently explained to the Palmer campus why they don’t need to be elected to their posts in the WCA. In an ad in the Palmer Beacon student newspaper, Chris Kent, WCA board member and Evil Vendor of the “so what?” Subluxation Station, explained why WCA does not need to elect its leadership like real chiro associations. To be sure, it’s hard to imagine he wrote this with a straight face:
“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.”
So, TR and Kent insolate themselves from democratic voting to avoid “political reprisals” by thinking of themselves as Supreme Court judges! This is just too rich. What egos! Perhaps Saddam used the same logic to justify his dictatorship. This explanation is laughable, unconscionable, and only in the world of Evil Vendors would anyone use such perverted logic!
Without a doubt, TR can be called the Great Impersonator as an Evil Vendor of Mass Deception for his many deceptions, conflicts, and lack of full disclosure. Consider these examples:
- When TR introduces himself to Congressmen, do you think he will disclose his WCA is a proprietary “alliance” and not a democratic member-driven “association” like the ACA as he implies, or that he’s the unelected dictator-for-life, excuse me, “Supreme Court” chiropractor, of the WCA?
- Do you think TR will admit his “journal” is not a peer-reviewed scientific professional journal, but his TCJ is actually a free, penny-pincher advertising tabloid filled with “pay to play” vendors/columnists who write articles that tout their products and pay a commission on sales to TR (another conflict of interest) or that his political editorials attack financial and political rivals via rank journalism?
- Do you think when he mentions his WCA is an NGO that TR will admit that he refused to attend the latest WFC international chiropractic conference in direct violation of the NGO criteria?
- Do you think when he mentions that his WCA is one of the “major” national organizations that TR will also admit his WCA consists of 240 non-voting members who represent 0.004% of this profession—a rather faint whisper at best considering he’s been pandering his WCA for 18 years to 60,000 field doctors—a rather poor ROI?
- Do you think concerning CCE educational matters that TR will admit he, like Guy Riekeman or $id Williams, has no degree in higher education and is actually an evil vendor attempting to capture the student market?
Knowing TR is the Great Impersonator, he will spew his facade of phony credentials and Don Quixotic causes around Capitol Hill and throughout this profession, hoping some naïve DCs or Congressman like Rep. Manzullo will take his bait and listen to his pandering for favors. He will hope to convince them that he and his Axis of Evil Vendors, aka, the ChiropracTIC Coalition, represent “3 of the 4 major chiropractic organizations,” never revealing their small numbers or the many conflicts of interest of his own as well as other evil vendors like CJ Mertz, Dan Murphy, Chris Kent or Pat Gentempo.
If any of them were forthright, they would give full disclosure to every Congressman of their financial conflicts and TR would reveal the IRS statement of the WCA as a non-profit organization. Although they would still have the right to meet with legislators, of course, it should be as a lobbyist for their own special interests and not as legitimate representatives of this profession. This is pure diplomatic fraud that would be intolerable in normal political circles. But ethical representation and the avoidance of conflicts of interest have never been concerns of these VMDs.
We’ve also seen other Chirovangelist Vendors impersonate chiro college presidents although totally unqualified in academia, such as the late Jim Parker, $id Williams, Rev. Reggie Gold, and now Guy Riekeman. We’ve seen VMD become association presidents in the ICA like $id Williams, Robert Hoffman, Bob Braile, and now CJ Mertz. We’ve seen VMDs publish free tabloids like TR, $id Williams, and Don Harrison. Yet we’ve never seen any of these Evil Vendors disclose these conflicts or put their business interests in escrow while serving in elected positions.
Moreover, they openly use these positions to market themselves to the profession. The recent ICA newsletter, The ChiropracTIC Choice, even failed to print a President’s column, although its current prez, CJ Mertz, does have a full-page ad for his tacky practice management program in its newsletter. Obviously these chirovangelists simply use their elected positions as marketing tools and remain unfazed by these conflicts of interest that should disqualify them. Wink, wink, nod, nod seems to be their clandestine modus operandi hoping field docs don’t realize these obvious conflicts.
Let’s face it—there are elements in the chiropractic profession who’ve sown the seeds of discontent in order to sell products, diplomas, and services at the price of a fractured profession. There are some who sell junk science and unethical practice management methods under the guise of chiropracTIC care or a perverted Lasting Purpose. There are some who print yellow journalism fomenting confusion and dissension in order to stay in the consumers’ mind as their so-called advocate. It’s equivalent to Saddam fostering the notion he was fighting for Allah and Islam when, in reality, he fought for his own ungodly wealth at the expense of the good people of Iraq.
The ruse is obvious to objective people within this profession, but to those devoted to the ol’ time chiropracTIC ideology, this is their raison d’etre—their reason for living. Perhaps this mindset is the reason the Joanne Gallagher incident occurred as a result of her chiropracTIC indoctrination inasmuch as she did exactly what chiropracTORs have been taught by their gurus. After all, she’s not a “back cracker” as they chide those NMS DCs who focus on this epidemic, but they contend to be “wellness chiropracTORs” who don’t treat pain or symptoms, but they do “balance the meninges.”
As a Sherman grad and Regent for the past twenty years, no doubt she was well versed in her chiropracTIC ideology, the Subluxation Station, and she professed the anti-medical attitude fostered by the likes of TR, Tedd Koren, Joe Flesia, Guy Riekeman, and Reggie Gold. Indeed, Gallagher was politically correct as far as chiropracTORs were concerned, yet that method led to the death of an unwitting victim.
Ironically, Gallagher was also a victim of the same chiropracTIC ideology that led to the death of her epileptic patient. I daresay everyone who taught Gallagher the “principled” chiropracTIC, non-diagnostic, non-therapeutic, anti-anything-medical, and the experimental Upledger Method of care that comprised her practice paradigm should have been considered co-conspirators in her crime. After all, she simply did as she was taught by her “principled” chiropracTOR gurus, ya folla? As well, to date TR’s tabloid has not published one article about this court case perhaps to avoid his association with her crime. No doubt if she were an evil mixer, this story would have been headlines in his TCJ.
At the top of the heap of evil vendors are the proverbial ChiropracTIC Chosen Few—the self-anointed chiropracTIC philosophers—who mesmerize fellow chiropractors with inflammatory chirovangelist rhetoric as they chant their mantra of greed hidden behind a veil of altruism. But never forget: whatever role they assume as so-called chiropracTIC leaders—politicians, college presidents, publishers, seminar presenters or so-called philosophers—they all are Evil Vendors first and foremost!
Undeniably these are strong allegations, but a case can easily be made that the ChiropracTIC Evil Vendors run amok in ethical problems and remain chiropractic’s biggest obstacle to educational progress, professional unity, an improved public image, and prosperity! Remarkably, the reason for this discord has nothing to do with clinical or healthcare science since most DCs practice similarly as much as it has to do with mere ego, political demagoguery and, of course, money!
Do I hear a Money Hum coming on?
The Bottom Line
Obviously TR snubs his nose at all his apparent conflicts of interest and any call for ethical reforms. Like all Evil Vendors, he eagerly looks at the Chiropractic Nation as simply a marketplace to be manipulated just as TV ads bend the minds of viewers to sell their products. While these Evil Vendors may not use bombs or bullets, they do fight a War of Words and conduct political deception to mold this profession to suit their business interests. And they do it all under the guise of “chiropracTIC philosophy,” which is a bunch of bunk, but it sells in Davenport, Marietta, and Spartanburg, to name a few of the hotbeds of chiropracTIC saintliness!
Fortunately, the Universal Intelligence recently has removed many of these Evil Vendors from our midst, such as the long overdue elimination of Big $id Williams and his gang of academic imposters from Life College; the passing of ignoble ideologues like Fred Barge, the removal of Big Guy Riekeman from Palmer to the sinking ship of Life (which is still a dumb name for a college no matter who’s at the helm), and the retirement of other ol’ time chiropracTIC spokesmen like Joe Flesia, Rev. Reggie, Thom Gelardi, and Victor Strang—the infamous Palmer Philosophers—whose time has come and thankfully gone.
Indeed, the chiropracTIC implosion over the last few years has left the Old Guard of Evil Vendors reeling, but as the old guard passes on, other evil vendors await to eagerly take their place in the profession as new-age demagogues espousing the same divisive and antiquated concepts that have kept this struggling profession split and its image soiled.
If the Chiropractic Nation is to free itself from the grasp of those Evil Vendors who have had a stranglehold on this profession for decades now as they work to divide and confuse in order to profit, it begins by isolating the ideologue fundamentalists who would blow up the social and political harmony of this profession just as the al Qaeda insurgents are willing to blow themselves up to disrupt freedom in Iraq. The Evil Vendors in our midst will do the same—ostensibly to promote chiropracTIC when, in fact, their goal is actually to stir the pot of controversy to stay in the minds of chiropractic professionals in order to sell their products.
The Dilemma with the Evil Vendors
The time has come for this profession to draw a line in the sand on the many political, financial, journalistic, and professional acts of impropriety by these evil vendors. The time has arrived to determine what professional consideration must be taken for these rabble-rousers who’d rather see this profession wither on the vine than to unite and prosper. We have let them run amok for too long without restitution for their damage done.
- Is it unreasonable to expect our political leaders and college presidents to work without these conflicts of interest?
- Is it too much to ask publishers to write without resorting to yellow journalism, loaded language, and inflammatory op-ed pieces appearing on the front page as fact?
- Is it too much to ask that political folks not misrepresent themselves or their organizations to unsuspecting legislators?
- Is it too much to ask that all of them act ethically rather than as they do now with clandestine agendas geared to exploit rather than to enhance our profession?
The time has come to take TR to task for his 18 years of duplicity within the chiropractic profession. The Litany of Evidence against TR is enormous, yet few DCs are aware of the totality of his counter-revolutionary and self-serving methods or the lengths of serious ethical malfeasance done by TR and his band of cronies to disrupt legislation, exploit students, misrepresent other associations, mischaracterize events, and obstruct unity within the chiropractic profession.[xii]
While ethical publishers, college presidents, and chiro representatives will answer in the affirmative to raise the ethical standards in this profession, does anyone think TR, CJ, Kent and the rest of the chiropracTIC evil vendors will have the ethics to change their modus operandi and come clean?
Okay, okay, just stop laughing!
Conflicts of Interest
Indeed, the closer we examine the motives and political ploys of both the WCA and ICA, the more we find a plethora of unethical acts that must be addressed by this profession. The financial 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.
Charge #1: Professional Fraud: Ethics & Conflicts of Interest
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 Lord-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 foremost a vendor/tabloid publisher trying to shape this profession for his own profit and power.
- Dr. Chris Kent and Dr. Pat Gentempo, past or present WCA board members, columnist/vendors in the TCJ, 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. 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, owner of a $10 clinic mill, and perpetuator of chiro-babble. 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!]
Charge #2: Journalistic Fraud: Ethical Press vs. Yellow Journalism
The power of the press is enormous, especially when you own the press, otherwise your voice is unheard. Due to the inherent power of the media to influence people, the ethical public press and media professions have adopted a code of ethics for responsible journalism. Ethical breaches in professional ethics are stains that end careers as we’ve seen recently at the NY Times over the Jayson Blair flap when the publisher, editor, and news reporter all resigned or were fired.
The time has come to apply the same ethical principles to the chiropractic press. Indeed, it is long overdue as a case can easily be made that some publications have abused ethical standards with flagrant violations, conflicts of interest, and journalistic fraud. Vested proprietary financial interests have precluded fair and balance reporting, reasonable editorial opinions, and political efforts that the majority of DCs prefer.
Regrettably in the chiropractic profession, we now see many warlords/vendors who disseminate misinformation among the rank and file to incite their prejudices against the mainstream establishment—both medical and chiropractic—such as yellow journalism filled with loaded language, slanted editorial opinions appearing as front page fact, demagogues with hidden financial agendas, vendors posing as columnists, and publishers with conflicts of interest who are rank political ideologues.
Other than JMPT and JACA, two periodicals with peer-reviewed panels, none of the other chiropractic publications concern themselves with objective journalism or professional ethics inasmuch as vendors or publishers who impersonate professional journals own them. Such tabloids with agendas and open bias are called “point of view” publications to be kind and, on the other extreme, these are regarded as nothing less than your standard yellow journalism.
Here is a short list of chiropractic “point of view” publications of dubious credibility:
- The American Chiropractor magazine: Published from a family living in Panama, this magazine is not peer-reviewed and advertisers again write many articles promoting their products/services.
- Dynamic Chiropractic: Published by the Motion Palpation Institute, at least this bi-monthly publication attempts to be objective and does not allow “pay for play” journalism written by vendors. Rather than “dynamic,” some might accuse Don Petersen, Jr. of being “vanilla” for avoiding the hard issues like the fall of Life/corruption of the Williams’ clan, the obvious conflicts of interests among elected officials, or the impact of vendors in this profession. However, Petersen did once expose the ethical problems associated with TR since his tabloid has long been vilified by TR as a competitor.
- The American Journal of Clinical Chiropractic: Published by Don Harrison on a quarterly basis, this so-called journal has its own array of vendors/columnists, plus this proprietary tabloid rarely, if ever, mentions any other clinical method than Harrison’s own CBP version of spinal remodeling. Harrison’s editorials have become clearly anti-establishment with his views on anything political in this profession and he has more than once unfairly denigrated the ACA, FCER, CCE, and FCLB.
- The Chiropractic Choice: Published by the ICA, this periodical has become a good example of what happens when vendors and ideologues take over a professional association’s newsletters. Instead of a president’s column, a full-page ad instead appears for CJ Mertz’s practice management firm.
- Today’s Chiropractic: For decades the mouthpiece of Big $id Williams, once the leading vendor and obstructionist to progress in chiropractic education, this magazine offered his Lyceum editorial as a sounding board for demagoguery that routinely vilified the ACA and mainstream groups. Under new management now, hopefully this propaganda will end, but no one expects this magazine to be objective since it’s main goal is to promote Life College.
- Undoubtedly the most notorious “point of view” publication in the chiropractic media is the newspaper tabloid published by the infamous Terry Rondberg—self-appointed Lord of the World Chiropractic Alliance and publisher of The Chiropractic Journal. His free newspaper is filled primarily with vendor/columnists, and his slanted editorial opinions pushing his private agenda reflect the yellow journalism usually seen only in supermarket-styled tabloids.
The modus operandi of Rondberg to sell his products is obvious: these two fronts—the WCA and TCJ—keep Rondberg in his own media limelight, often stirring his own pot of controversy created by him to promote his own vested interest as the owner of Chiropractic Benefit Systems, a malpractice/life insurance brokerage run by his family.
Unlike ethical publishers who remain behind the scenes and who have no conflicts of interest, TR also often thrusts himself onto the chiropractic stage despite his obvious ethical conflicts and his complete lack of accountability to anyone. He is the Lord of the World Chiropractic Alliance and the purveyor of more misinformation than anyone else in this profession. In fact, his track record of misinformation is legendary, but since he’s unaccountable to any reputable board, he’s publisher-for-life of TCJ just as he’s Lord-for-life of the WCA.
In effect, TR impersonates a publisher of a reputable journal although his TCJ is simply a free tabloid aimed at disseminating anti-establishment propaganda as he promotes his financial interests and his ideological agenda. He hides behind altruistic motives to “Protecting and Promoting the Principles of ChiropracTIC” allthewhile he undermines progress, unity, and parity within this profession. Like a warlord, he has no interest in democratic process of majority rule, nor does he follow the ethical journalistic standards of professional publishers. Indeed, his motto should read, “Protecting and Promoting the Principles of Terry Rondberg.”
His TCJ also impersonates an actual professional journal composed of peer reviewed articles, RCTs, or academic commentaries. Instead, the entire board of the TCJ consists of family members or business associates, and his contributing editors are all vendors posing as columnists. In fact, there is nothing academic about any of them, nor does any write peer-reviewed material or original research studies. The only common bond to all of them is they all have something to sell, and some have an ax to grind as well. His TCJ is simply a free tabloid filled with ads by commission, controversial articles to inflame and to sell, and editorial opinion mistakenly posing as front-page fact.
Charge #3: Political Fraud: WCA & VA debacle
Rondberg also impersonates a reputable professional organization although his WCA position is a non-elected post, his board of governors consists of his cronies/vendors, and his membership hovers around 240 members, which represents 0.004% of the profession. His agenda is outwardly the protection of ol’ time chiropracTIC hyperbole, but his hidden agenda is selling merchandise under the guise of altruism. The danger of his WCA is that it poses as a democratically elected, reputable chiro association when, in fact, it is not. This deception is clearly diplomatic fraud when TR enters any political scene demanding equal representation when, in fact, his small group is unlike the ACA or any reputable organization.
As warlord of his alliance, his small band of misfits is problematic to every chiropractor who believes in democracy, a progressive profession based on science, not ideology, and a representative government. As warlord of the WCA, he is unaccountable to any board or to his constituents as he promotes his agenda of obstructionism to progress.
The recent decision by Sec. Anthony Principi to include DCs into the VA healthcare system was a huge success for the ACA/ACC—indeed, for the entire profession. However, the Lord of the WCA fought to restrict chiropractic care to his model of care most profitable to him and his cronies in business, Chris Kent and Pat Gentempo, who sell the Subluxation Station.
The WCA representative, Leona Fischer, a 4-year practitioner, initially urged the VAC to limit DCs to the “detection and correction of VSC only.” She also repeatedly pitched for the inclusion of the Subluxation Station at every VA site, proclaiming it essential for her clinical success despite the opinion of the AHCPR that surface EMG was unreliable. VAC member Dr. Paul Shekelle (RAND & AHCPR) told her after she repeatedly suggested the inclusion of SEMG and thermography,
“Let’s just close off this debate right now, okay. The AHCPR guideline threw out surface EMG. There’s no point in continuing to bring this up. I think you’re wasting our time. We are not going to sit here and go out into the VA and say that we’re going to recommend something as an outcome measure which another part of the government dismissed as being unscientific.”
TR via his WCA stooge also argued that DCs are not full body diagnosticians nor are they to be considered “physicians” who are adequately trained in differential diagnostics.
When the VAC members voted to accept the VA recommendation that DCs will not be considered PCPs but NMS specialists who will be referred patients from PCPs, TR and his WCA were livid that patients did not have direct access to DCs.
Having already admitted that DCs were not primary diagnosticians didn’t faze TR. Instead of admitting his position actually enforced the VAC’s decision, he twisted the truth by writing inflammatory accusations that the ACA members voted against direct access when, in fact, there was no way DCs would ever be considered as PCPs in the VA system. His own anti-diagnostic position was a nail on that coffin, yet TR could not admit to his readership of yet another of his many legislative defeats.
Even after Sec. Principi approved all but two of the 38 recommendations, TR couldn’t contain his anger by sending him an email that stated, “I would rather see chiropractors excluded from the entire program rather than included for the wrong reasons.” In other words, unless TR has things his way, he will use his power of the press to cast aspersions upon any victory, any legislative accomplishment, any market expansion unless it’s done his way alone. The man has no sense of fair play and has proven to be a bad sport who whines and cries foul when he’s defeated. Instead of blaming himself or his ineffective platform, he blames the referee (Principi) or complains about his opponents (ACA/ACC/WFC/CCE/FCLB).
Charge #4: Diplomatic Fraud: WCA as NGO
The irony of the WCA is that it’s neither a democratic association nor is it representative of the worldwide chiropractic profession like the WFC. TR’s “World” is rather small and a complete misnomer, but aimed to embellish his own importance. His phony WCA has a foreign membership of six marginal, non-mainstream groups compared to the 80+ foreign members in the WFC. 
- The Australian World Chiropractic Alliance
- The Chiropractic Association of Ireland
- Chiropractic Awareness Council of Ontario
- Israel Doctors of Chiropractic
- Peruvian Chiropractic Alliance
- Dutch Chiropractic Federation
Yet this small band of Coalition doesn’t stop TR from misrepresenting his power base to the diplomatic community such as the United Nations knowing full well his small group is nothing compared to the WFC.
Not only did TR misrepresent his WCA to the UN to gain NGO status, he has constantly violated the NGO criteria, most recently with his refusal to participate in the WFC’s Identity & Image conference held at Life-West in March, 2004. TR has used the NGO status as a stamp of approval from the UN and WHO contending his WCA is the voice of chiropractic in the worldwide community. But when the WCA has the opportunity to participate in worldwide discussion, he refuses because his archrival, the WFC, is in charge! The DPI at the UN should immediately revoke his NGO status, but we can’t expect the UN to act proactively on any issue, let alone this small issue of diplomatic fraud in the chiropractic community.
TR and his WCA misfits have also been admonished by no less than 14 foreign associations for meddling in their domestic affairs, most recently complaints by the German Chiropractic Association that has stymied his efforts to infiltrate that country to interfere with its activities.
Indeed, the lack of ethics by some chiropracTIC vendors/publishers has become so profound that nothing less than a war of words and appropriate action of professional disclosure, sanctions, and censure can solve this dilemma. A strong line in the sand should be drawn to keep vendor/jihadists like TR and his ilk from running amok in this profession with their duplicity posing as elected officers, posing as diplomats, posing as journalists, and posing as spokesmen for this profession.
Their obvious conflicts of interest and unprofessional ethics is a serious problem that this profession must address. We cannot ignore these rascals any longer to cause more problems than they already have. This gang of impersonators has made a mockery of our profession with the blood of deception on their hands for too long. They have acted to divide and conquer, to exploit naïve students, to mislead with yellow journalism, to foment discord with demagoguery, and to profit unethically.
In fact, TR and his small band have gotten, as they say in the newspaper vernacular, “too much ink.” It’s time to wipe the slate clean. TR’s modus operandi has always focused on sensationalism by using chiropractic issues as his front, stirring the pot of controversy to draw attention to himself. Like Janet Jackson and her peek-a-boob stunt, TR and his gang use legislative efforts, diplomatic issues, and educational matters as their means to create publicity stunts to further his agenda of demagoguery and to sell his products.
Indeed, his conflict of interest is tantamount to flipping the bird to this profession. It’s time now for this profession to handle the Rondberg Problem in a professional manner.
Possible sanctions might include:
- TR and his proprietary WCA should be banned from future conferences as a speaker or vendor since his primary goal is to foment discord, not cooperation.
- They should censor him as a reputable diplomat in the legislatures and deny him a seat at any table since his “alliance” is a phony democratic association with him elected prez-for-life.
- The NGO status of the WCA should be removed inasmuch as he refused an invitation to attend the recent WFC Identity & Image conference and he continually works against the WFC, the true worldwide chiro association.
- Advertisers in his TCJ should be notified that they are tainted by TR’s misdeeds and may possibly be implicated as co-conspirators in any legal action taken against TR for his libel.
- Inform every DC of his conflict of interest as a publisher selling his CBS insurance and its shaky grounds with seven different carriers.
- Ethical DCs should demand to be removed from his mailing list so advertisers understand the general non-support TR has in the field, which would lower his advertising rates substantially.
- Every DC and student should be made aware his non-democratic “alliance” of 0.004% of the DC population is a deception posing as a real association and has been publicly reprimanded by at least 14 national associations for meddling, including the ACA.
Indeed, the litany of evidence against him is mounting daily, but he continues unabated. The only recourse is to expose profession-wide his unethical acts just as the UN did with Saddam. Indeed, hitting his pride and pocketbook would do wonders to contain this loose cannon who has shown repeatedly his lack of ethics in this profession. His ruse is over, his clandestine agenda has been exposed, and the evidence is clear that he will do or say anything to disrupt, to disparage, and to disregard the goals of this profession in order to profit.
As George McAndrews has said repeatedly, “it’s time to isolate the rascals.” One method is to hold a Great Debate & Inquiry into Rondberg’s misdeeds in front of the COCSA assembly. If he has the backbone to defend himself, COCSA would be a good place to hold his feet to the fire by an apolitical body with state association representatives from the entire country.
[i] Who’s Looking Out.doc
[iii] The WCA.doc
[iv] Rongberg Rides Again.doc
[v] Journalistic Fraud.doc
[vi] WCA vs WFC.doc
[vii] Part Six.doc
[viii] Sour Grapes.doc
[ix] Life’s Doldrums.doc
[x] Sour Grapes.doc
[xi] Journalistic Crime.doc
 What Went Wrong.doc
[xii] Who’s Looking Out.doc
 Who’s Looking Out.doc
 Journalistic Fraud.doc
 Rongberg Spins.doc
 WCA vs. WFC
 More Violations of NGO Criteria.doc
 Who’s Looking Out.doc