Part Eight: Who’s Looking Out for Chiropractors?
Taming of the Shrewd
JC Smith, MA, DC
This commentary. “Who’s Looking Out for Chiropractors,” has begun to resemble the movie, “The Never-Ending Story,” since this series has now reached 100+ pages over the last few weeks. While the final sections about the Litany of Evidence and the Epilogue may close another chapter on the saga of chiropracTIC, after 109 years of drama this remains a Byzantine story of cult personalities clashing with professional ideologies unlike any other healthcare profession. Only in chiropractic…that’s for sure!
Indeed, this initial investigation of the WCA and its prez-for-life Terry Rondberg developed legs of its own as it revealed a web of journalistic deceit, financial conflicts of interest, and political demagoguery. The issues, the evidence, and the unfolding current events now surrounding the WCA and Rondberg have made a strong case for the lack of professional ethics, but like him or not, you have to give Rondberg credit for being a thorn in the side of mainstream chiropractic for nearly 20 years now.
Like Dr. Evil in the Austin Power movie who built his own empire, Rondberg has built his WCA house of cards on the unknown but supposed membership of only 240, yet he has been able to push his way onto governmental committees and even to assume the implied voice for chiropractic at the White House and the UN. As a publisher with his TCJ, he has confused, confounded, and corrupted this profession’s attempt to build a united profession as he has molded the mindset of his readership to serve his own financial and political designs. He has used his power of the press to prop up his role as prez-for-life of the WCA preaching from a bully pulpit his radical fundamentalist chirovangelism, aka, demonizing the ACA, WFC, CCE, FCER, and anything medical with his incessant chiropracTIC demagoguery. If not totally ethically and politically correct, Rondberg is definitely shrewd in his dealings as he exploits this profession.
Just as the lengthy investigation of the Life University fiasco and Big $id Williams exploded in the news just a couple of years ago with an avalanche of events stemming from academic and financial irregularities at his diploma mill, the remaining straight chiropracTIC ideologues and political players may have finally reached another critical mass within the leadership of both the WCA and ICA with alleged conflicts of interests, possible tax evasion, overt yellow journalism, and covert political misrepresentation, to name a few of the charges leveled at them. Not only do Rondberg and Mertz have a lot of explaining to do about their conflicts of interest and political shenanigans as we’ve seen with the VA issue, their hit-and-hide tactics reveal the danger of their unaccountability to their own constituents, let alone the rest of the profession.
The Great Departure of Guy Riekeman from Palmer U may also be viewed as another nail on the coffin for the chiropracTIC sect when combined with the many other unforeseen events happening to the “Palmer Philosophers.” This sudden turn for the worse includes the forced retirements of “straight” college presidents (Parker, Gelardi, Williams, Riekeman), the passing of notable chirovangelists (Barge, Strange, Grassam), the impairment of chiropracTIC icons (Gold, Felisa), and changes in ICA officials (Humber, Mertz). If not completely lifeless as yet, the straight movement is certainly reeling with a lack of ethical leadership at this moment.
Without question, the sudden implosion of the chirovangelist movement in chiropracTIC has been nothing short of an amazing considering the crescendo of serendipitous events that will reshape indelibly the future of this entire profession. Indeed, this string of timely events will someday be seen as a seminal period in this profession’s modern history. It has yet to be seen whether it leads to a breakthrough to greater unity and overall political power as this profession coalesces into one unified democratic bloc or if the radical fringe chiropracTIC movement is kept alive by the demagoguery of self-serving warlords as we’ve seen on the War on Terror in the Mideast. Indeed, warlords have never taken favorably to democratic notions.
But there is no doubt the entire ChiropracTIC Coalition is reeling now with ethical leadership issues, political defeats on Capitol Hill, and a profession that now realizes Terry Rondberg is a man on a very self-serving mission. And like Dr. Evil, he will never stop until someone else stops him.
Litany of Issues: “Stop Your Actions”
Just to prove the many unseemly issues Rongberg has been involved in throughout his unheralded “sock puppet” career, enjoy these examples among the 83 citations that can be found in a simple search in Dynamic Chiropractic’s archives. Indeed, Rongberg’s litany of miscues has become legendary within this profession, and the sooner this “rascal” is isolated and stopped, the better this profession will be.
- Phony Research Scam
Rondberg also founded a patient solicitation scheme known as the Vertebral Subluxation Research Institute (VSRI). Despite the fact that VSRI has been almost universally condemned as teaching illegal and unethical practices within the chiropractic profession, Rondberg has continually claimed through the Chiropractic Journal that VSRI’s practices are legal and ethical. www.worldchiropracticalliance.org/positions/telemarketing.htm
- Dynamic Chiropractic Wins Lawsuit.
The original lawsuit was filed on July 16, 1993 in Maricopa County (Arizona) Superior Court against James Badge, DC, chairman of the Arizona Chiropractic Licensing Board, Donald M. Petersen Jr., editor/publisher of Dynamic Chiropractic, and the Motion Palpation Institute (MPI). In his complaint, Dr. Terry Rondberg claimed violation of his civil rights, interference of contractual/business relations, defamation, fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress. A claim of invasion of privacy was later tacked on.
The lawsuit stemmed from, among other issues, Dr. Rondberg’s claim that the defendants had conspired to release information pertaining to Dr. Rondberg’s involvement in the AzScam political scandal that rocked Arizona in 1991. In particular, Dr. Rondberg claimed that Dr. Badge had given Dynamic Chiropractic a copy of the affidavit and agreement which Dr. Rondberg signed with the Maricopa County attorney’s office. The affidavit contained Dr. Rondberg’s admission that he had given permission for his name to be used illegally on campaign contributions. The agreement required Dr. Rondberg to pay $9,840 to the Maricopa County Anti-Racketeering Revolving Fund.
· WCA President under Investigation for Unprofessional Conduct
Arizona Board of Chiropractic Examiners Issues Complaint
In their January 14, 1993 meeting, the Arizona Board of Chiropractic Examiners voted 4-1 to issue a complaint and a notice of hearing separately to Terry Rondberg, D.C., and Alan Immerman, D.C. According to the Board minutes:
“The Board reviewed the investigative records obtained from the Maricopa County Attorney’s office on their investigation, and the subsequent civil settlements, of Dr. Immerman’s and Dr. Rondberg’s involvement in the campaign financing matter commonly referred to as AzSCAM.
“The Board discussed their concerns that none of the statements or interviews conducted in the investigation of this matter had been under oath. Members of the Board expressed belief that Dr. Immerman and Dr. Rondberg would not have agreed to the civil fines imposed if there had not been misconduct on their parts. Dr. Badge commented on the high national visibility of the two doctors, and the resulting need that the Board establish a record on the matter.
“Mrs. Lubin moved that Dr. Immerman and Dr. Rondberg be issued separate Complaints and Notices of Hearing; the issue being whether Dr. Immerman’s and Dr. Rondberg’s involvement constituted unprofessional conduct.”
· Political Manipulation?
An email that was reportedly sent by World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA) president Terry Rondberg,DC:
“I even rejoined the ICA (for one quarter) this past weekend at the WCA Summit just to cast my vote for you and Maxine, and encouraged everyone in the audience to do the same. We handed out hundreds of ICA applications at the Summit, and Bobby Braile joined the WCA in exchange for my application to join the ICA.”
This is the same person who resigned from the ICA late last year with a flurry of public comments openly criticizing the ICA in his column. Now the WCA members are being asked by their fearless leader to join the International Chiropractors Association (ICA) to try and manipulate the ICA elections. This is exquisite irony given that the WCA bylaws specify that WCA members have no voting rights! “Members shall not have any right to vote under section 10-1015 of the Arizona Revised States.” (Emphasis added.)
· Editorial Space for Sale
A publication’s editorial integrity demands a distinct differentiation between those who advertise and those who write articles, otherwise the publication becomes a “mouthpiece” for the advertisers. The following quote is from the publisher of the WCA Chiropractic Journal, Terry A. Rondberg, who is responding to a letter from a chiropractor inquiring about the possibility of writing for the Chiropractic Journal. Dr. Rondberg’s letter of response to the potential columnist is dated November 28, 1995.
“I am interested in writers who advertise — for every full page ad, I would be willing to offer you a column …”
· What’s In It For Me?
New Book Further Reveals Drs. Rondberg and Immerman’s Involvement in AzScam
In the recently released hardback book, What’s In It For Me?, published by HarperCollins, Joseph Stedino recounts his undercover activity as “Tony Vincent” and the surreptitious recordings that “expose the greed, jealousy, and lust that drive Arizona politics.” The events, as told to author Dary Matera of Chandler, Arizona, give reference to chiropractic’s involvement in general and the involvement of Drs. Rondberg and Immerman.
The issues involving Drs. Rondberg and Immerman surround a technique described in the book as “bundling.” In Arizona, a person is only allowed to donate a maximum of $220 to any one political candidate. One way to circumvent the cap on campaign contribution was described by the author, Joseph Stedino:
“Particularly interesting was the way they got around the $220 limit that an individual could give as a campaign contribution to a state legislator. The technique was called “bundling” and involved various ways of filtering the money into individual $220 checks made out from long lists of bogus contributors.”
The involvement of Drs. Immerman and Rondberg in “AzScam” has unfortunately been translated to mean the chiropractic profession’s involvement, as the now defunct Arizona Chiropractic Alliance was their organization during the time of the “sting.”
Drs. Immerman and Rondberg also founded the World Chiropractic Alliance which has an almost identical structure as the Arizona Alliance, including some of the same principles, and a “no election” policy for their officers and directors. The involvement of the Arizona Chiropractic Alliance in the AzScam raises serious questions about the World Chiropractic Alliance’s activities in national politics.
· ICA Threatened?
The International Chiropractors Association’s (ICA’s) malpractice insurance company, PHICO, through which approximately 1,000 doctors of chiropractic receive their malpractice insurance, was downgraded by A.M. Best to an E rating (“under regulatory supervision”) on August 16, 2001. Prior to that event, ICA began switching their policyholders from PHICO to another insurer (please see “Chiropractic Malpractice Insurance Co. (PHICO) Downgraded“).
On that same day, Stuart Hoffman,DC, president of ICA’s malpractice insurance buying group reportedly received the following e-mail from Dr. Terry Rondberg, the president and owner of the competing CBS malpractice program:
From: Terry Rondberg [firstname.lastname@example.org]
It’s time for ICA to endorse the CBS malpractice insurance program. I will be happy to help with a positive PR spin on this mess if I receive an ICA endorsement for CBS in exchange.
This is the third time ICA has lost its program. I warned you several times this was going to happen to PHICO.
Do you have any idea how much this can damage the reputation of the ICA?
How many times did you state how much more financially secure PHICO was compared to CBS?
Now the 1,000 ICA insured who paid for occurrence policies have gambled on you and lost all of their money.
If you want to discuss a plan to promote CBS as the “official” ICA program to save face, now would be a good time.
I will only make this offer the next 24 hours, then the news will be everywhere and I will not be able to help ICA.
NCMIC, NCC, OUM, AJ Gallagher and all the other malpractice sharks are swimming around your sinking ship.
The time to be proactive is now!
The ICA chose not to comply with the request that they “promote CBS as the ‘official’ ICA program to save face.” Nor did the ICA endorse the CBS malpractice insurance program “in exchange” for “a positive PR spin.”
The statement that “the news will be everywhere” was followed a week later with a mass e-mailing of the Pennsylvania Insurance Department’s PHICO press release by Dr. Rondberg. The mass e-mail was apparently sent to every DC in the WCA’s e-mail newsletter database. Some have suggested that this might appear to be attempted coercion or even blackmail. Others might say that it is just aggressive business tactics. Which is it? You be the judge.
· An Open Letter to the Profession from Chester Wilk: “A Serious Threat to the Future and Integrity of Chiropractic”
I’ve become increasingly concerned at the direction that Dr. Terry Rondberg and his Chiropractic Journal have taken in recent months. I believe that the reason his former editor (Barbara Bigham) quit the paper, and why I must also disassociate myself from The Chiropractic Journal, is because I cannot tolerate the kind of hate pedaling, divisive writings, and insulting cartoons which have become The Chiropractic Journal’s trademark in recent months. I haven’t seen The Chiropractic Journal say one kind thing about anything that our organizational leaders have done in the last few months. We need to reach out to one another and build bridges — not burn them.
I’m afraid that Dr. Rondberg has become totally out of tune with the times and out of touch with reality. If his ideas are adopted by the profession they will become a serious threat to the future and integrity of chiropractic.
The April 1991 issue of The Chiropractic Journal printed my article “Change in Leadership Can Bring Reforms.” In the article I expressed my disappointment in the ACA’s public relations firm rejecting an idea I had concerning media coverage. The Chiropractic Journal changed my wording to read that both the ACA and the PR firm had rejected my idea. I did not write that. Further, the article dates back to 1990. While the material was a reflection of my feelings concerning the ACA last year, it certainly does not apply today. Dr. Rondberg was well aware from my correspondence with him that this dated article did not reflect my current feelings about the ACA. I have expressed to him that the ACA has made tremendous progress as an association, due to new leadership that includes Chairman Dr. David Redding, President Dr. Charles Downing, and Director Dr. Kerwin Winkler. These men are three of the finest chiropractic leaders that I’ve had the privilege to work with. I am amazed and deeply upset that Dr. Rondberg would use an outdated article from last year which casts a negative image upon them. I feel he should print a public apology to these gentlemen.
The Chiropractic Journal also took the liberty to change my copy. My original article stated that, “on a national level we have two or more” (national organizations). This copy was changed to “three or more.” This was done, I believe, to make it appear that I give credence to Dr. Rondberg’s World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA) as being an organization. I would not give it that status. Dr. Rondberg offered me a free membership in WCA; I turned it down, indicating I did not agree with his idea of forming the WCA.
Meanwhile, I have removed myself as the “Special Contributing Editor” to The Chiropractic Journal and will no longer submit articles for publication in Dr. Rondberg’s paper. I will also discontinue advertising in The Chiropractic Journal and I’ve requested to be released from my advertising contract.
Let’s isolate the negative and destructive influences from our ranks and concentrate on building upon the many positive things that we have going for chiropractic. We have a magnificent profession; let’s keep it that way.
Chester C. Wilk, D.C.
· Israel Complaint
Terry A. Rondberg, D.C.
World Chiropractic Alliance
2950 N. Dobson Rd., Suite 1
Chandler, Arizona 85224
Dear Dr. Rondberg:
It was with a sense of increasing horror that I read through copies of your letters to the governments of Trinidad and Japan.
We have just finished the most difficult year our profession has ever experienced in Israel. It was due entirely to the irresponsibility of others like you in the Straight Chiropractic World.
Your arrogance in meddling in the affairs of other countries is exceeded only by the damage you can create.
We have succeeded in having our Ministry of Health declare that only CCE accredited schools will be considered the standard for licensing in Israel. We took this step because of the disgraceful behavior of Dr. Boone of SCCC and SCASA in approving a substandard program for unqualified students in this country.
If you have any plans to approach our government we demand they be dropped immediately. We are in the middle of delicate negotiations and cannot afford to have the waters muddied with the importation of mindless philosophical posturings.
David S. Greenblatt, D.C.
President, Israel Chiropractic Society
- Japanese Complaint
December 21, 1992
Dr. Terry A. Rondberg
World Chiropractic Alliance
2950 N. Dobson Rd. Suite 1
Chandler, AZ 85224
Dear Dr. Rondberg:
This is to inform you of our unanimous resolution at our recent meeting of the Chiropractic Council of Japan, the sole representative to the World Federation of Chiropractic from Japan, that your letter dated September 2, 1992 to Dr. Nakamura was not only inappropriate but also detrimental to our present efforts.
Chiropractic in Japan despite of growing popularity, is a very delicate issue. When we need outside assistance, the WFC is the only organization that we make a consultation.
It is our strong advice to you that disregard of your intent, you do not make any future approach such as this without prior written consent from our council.
Kazuyoshi Takeyachi, D.C.
Co-chairman of the CCJ
Mitsumasa Endo, D.C.
Co-chairman of the CCJ
- Norwegian Complaint
Norwegian Chiropractors’ Association
Ovre Slottsgate 17
0157 Oslo 1
World Chiropractic Alliance
Terry A. Rondberg
2950 N. Dobson Road, Suite 1
Chandler, Arizona 85224
Re: Correspondence from World Chiropractic Alliance to WFC and foreign health authorities.
It is with deep sorrow for our profession that the NCA has received copies of the correspondence of the private alliance “World Chiropractic Alliance.” In spite of the giant steps organized chiropractic has taken forward the last five years one feels desolated that such a great profession still is vulnerable to primitive ideas of a few fanatics.
As always, chiropractic’s worst enemies are within our own ranks. WFC is a democratic federation made possible by organized chiropractic, — worldwide.
“World Chiropractic Alliance” does not represent the national organizations of the countries of the world. Democratic chiropractic does not want any interference from any self-appointed associations or organizations.
The Norwegian Chiropractic Association has warned our authorities against such associations. They have used such private enterprises against us in our struggle for authorizations for years. Now as an authorized health profession we work together with the authorities against such schemes.
Other countries, however, struggling for recognition will be set back years in their endeavors if independent chiropractic missionaries take upon them to “convert” foreign health authorities.
Stop your actions.
Kyrre Myhrvold, D.C.
- Singapore Complaint
The Chiropractic Association
19 Tanglin Rd. #06-25
8 January 1993
Terry A. Rondberg, D.C., president
World Chiropractic Alliance
2950 N. Dobson Road, Suite 1
Chandler, AZ 85224-1802
Dear Dr. Rondberg:
I have read the flurry of correspondence between you and the WFC and its affiliates. I find myself more than a little stunned by your naiveté.
Sheltered in your little American town you would probably not realize that in the developing and newly industrialized world, patients expect their doctors to make a diagnosis. If you don’t, they will find someone who can (or think they can). That is why your attitude is so inane. It is a question of sophistication. Chiropractic has existed for 100 years in the USA. Here it has been established only a few years.
Please do not sabotage the growth and development of our wonderful profession in the second and third worlds with your straight vs. mixer rhetoric.
The leaders of the world’s National Chiropractic Associations have banded together to form the WFC to represent the profession. You live in a democracy. Learn how the theory works. The majority wins, then everybody works together for the common good. Learn to work within the system.
Please disclose if you have contacted Singapore or any ASEAN governments with letters such as those sent to Japan and Trinidad/Tobago.
Thank you for your attention.
Janet Ruth Sosna, D.C.
- Trinidad Complaint
12th January 1993
Terry A. Rondberg, D.C.
World Chiropractic alliance
2950 N. Dobson Road, Suite 1
Chandler, Arizona 85224
Dear Dr. Rondberg,
Despite our formal request that you desist form interfering in the affairs of the Chiropractic Association of Trinidad and Tobago (CATT), you continue to meddle. We do not want to believe that you are attempting a coup against established chiropractic in this country to further your own cause, but you actions to date do not leave us much alternative to think otherwise.
First you persuade an expatriate intern who is a member of your SCASA, an unrecognized body in your own country, to lay the groundwork. Not only did this inexperienced and unqualified agent invade the media lecture, and even practice for a fee, but he also infiltrated political circles and was actually irresponsible enough to carry out manipulation on our Prime Minister.
The stage having been set, you then follow up by sending our Prime Minister a copy of your letter to the WFC, completely ignoring and bypassing the recognized body representing chiropractic in this country.
The aforementioned expatriate has surely reported to you that CATT are engaged in delicate discussions with their government in an attempt to legalize chiropractic in Trinidad and Tobago. It would appear that your intention is to turn all our efforts of the past two years against us, and to use our time and expense to the personal advantage of your pet scheme. We find that you intervention at this critical point is not only distasteful and unprofessional, but also calculated, and can only cause confusion for chiropractic in general.
The pros and cons of “straight” and “mixed” are interprofessional. It has been a particular ploy of the medical profession to divide and discredit us in an attempt to control our growth and acceptance. Whatever our chosen method, we all ADJUST and we all obtain results. Can we not simply agree to disagree?
CATT certainly has no intention of becoming embroiled in any personal disputes you may have with the WFC. However, we will not sit idly by and allow unwarranted attacks to go by easily. Such underhanded methods betray the high standards adhered to by the majority of the profession. We deplore the tactics that you have so far employed.
Your letter of Dec. 12, 1992 to the WFC makes the “prediction” that Dr. Graham “would have refused” to cooperate with your WCA. Trusting that you are not also advocating “clairvoyant chiropractic,” we certainly would not refuse a copy of your Practice Guidelines. If you wish to work with us and not against us, we will be happy to cooperate. Anything to further the cause of chiropractic in general will be most welcome.
of Trinidad & Tobago
Learie G. Graham, D.C.
President — CATT
· Chiropractic Worldwide Responds to WCA “Meddling”
Canada among 13 International Assoc.’s Demanding Halt to Interference
The January 1st issue of Dynamic Chiropractic reported the strong reaction of the chiropractic leaders of the Caribbean island nation of Trinidad and Tobago to what it considered the outside interference of the World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA) in their country’s internal chiropractic affairs.
What at first looked like an isolated incident, now appears to be a pattern of global misconduct. Not only did the WCA write a letter of introduction and intent to the prime minister of Trinidad/Tobago without contacting the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) or that nation’s chiropractic association, but sent similar letters to other foreign governments as well. The Chiropractic Council of Japan and the National Chiropractic Association of Panama learned that the WCA had also contacted their respective governments with the same letter that attempted to influence the prime minister of Trinidad/Tobago.
While it is not possible to know how many countries the WCA has contacted via these means, the World Federation of Chiropractic and national associations from around the world have written the WCA to express their disapproval and anger. To date, chiropractic associations in 13 countries have written WCA President Dr. Terry A. Rondberg to demand that these incursions be “dropped immediately”: Australia, Canada, Cyprus, France, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Panama, Portugal, Singapore, Trinidad/Tobago, and the United States.
While bypassing national associations to attempt to create relationships with foreign governments, the WCA letter reveals its intention to influence the way chiropractic is perceived. Most of the 13 national associations were concerned over a number of statements made by Dr. Rondberg, for example:
“Chiropractic doctors do not diagnose or treat diseases. Nor is it our goal to become a substitute for proper medical care.“
“To foster closer ties to the health care officials in your country, we would like to distribute the Wyndham Conference document to them. This document represents the standard of care for the straight chiropractic profession.”
“In addition, we are providing scholarships to selected residents of your country who would like to study chiropractic. Our future plans call for opening of several chiropractic colleges around the world.”
A number of the national associations are concerned that the efforts of the WCA are primarily attempts to propagate SCASA (Straight Chiropractic Academic Standards Association) chiropractic education and standards of care, despite SCASA’s loss of accreditation with the United States Department of Education (please see “U.S. Dept. of Education Denies SCASA Accreditation Renewal” in the October 9, 1992 issue). This concern was explicitly expressed by the chiropractic leaders in Israel and Trinidad/Tobago.
Of particular concern is the alleged use of a SCASA intern as part of the WCA’s overall scheme in Trinidad/Tobago. This seems to demonstrate the extent to which the WCA is willing to go to insure that the “straight vs. mixed” divisions continue, even after Learie G. Graham, D.C., president of the Chiropractic Association of Trinidad/Tobago formally requested Dr. Rondberg to “desist from interfering in the affairs of the Chiropractic Association of Trinidad and Tobago.”
Each of the 13 countries expressing displeasure at the WCA’s tactics are members of the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC). The WFC is comprised of almost every national chiropractic association in the world. The WFC charter insures autonomy of individual countries while providing a forum for the collective growth and development of chiropractic worldwide. The WFC’s work with the World Health Organization (WHO), for example, is bringing chiropractic global recognition never before enjoyed by this profession (please see article “WHO to Publish Text on Chiropractic” in the November 6, 1992 issue).
World Federation Secretary-General David Chapman-Smith, LL.B.(hons) summed up the WFC’s position on the WCA letters:
“Dr. Rondberg and the WCA have been unbelievably naive in approaching foreign governments without the consent of chiropractic associations in those countries.
“This failure to consult shows two things. Firstly, that the WCA is simply a small Arizona organization with a fancy name. It is inept and apparently has no understanding at all of diplomacy, democracy and international relations.
“Secondly, that the WCA values its own private goals and agenda higher than the successful growth of the chiropractic profession.
“The World Federation of Chiropractic was established in 1988 by all the chiropractic associations worldwide partly to stop what they saw as highly damaging entrepreneurial activities by American DCs who simply failed to understand the context in their countries. The background helps to explain the anger found in some of the responses to Dr. Rondberg. He and the WCA have failed to reply to the WFC’s urgent request in early December for the names of countries and addresses of officials that have been contacted behind the backs of local associations.”
Dr. Rondberg and the WCA refused to be interviewed on this matter.
- The problem IS Rondberg
I enjoyed your editorial “Going from Straight to Mixer” in the March 26 edition of Dynamic Chiropractic. You discuss the apparent ease with which the WCA (i.e., Terry Rondberg) can change its spots from vitriolic “principled” chiropractors to vitriolic “whatever-you-need” chiropractors, if it suits its ends. In this case, it has turned to rend the ICA. A few months ago, the WCA tried to sabotage the Veterans’ Administration’s leaning toward including DCs in benefits available to veterans. A few years before that, it was their laughable “Mercy-guidelines-wannabe” publication, Vertebral Subluxation in Chiropractic Practice, which gave carte blanche to anything and everything in the guise of scientific approval. What will it be next month? Whatever it is, you can bet it will be divisive, petty and shortsighted.
We should get it through our heads that the problem with the WCA is to a very large degree Terry Rondberg himself. He is the Bill Clinton of our profession. Like Clinton, Rondberg is a flawed human being. Blinded by the luminescence of their own brilliance, he makes decisions without the usual constraints under which the rest of us operate. Underlying everything he does is his own self-interest, which is the heart of his existence. He is a master of spin and packaging. Actions speak louder than words. History shows that Rondberg has always been motivated by monetary considerations, as witnessed by several blatant money schemes of his past. He has collected an odd assortment of fringe lunatics and money gurus about him to chant the money-hum he loves to hear. He then wraps all this in the guise of purity and dares call it “principled chiropractic,” when actually it is anything but. It’s real intent is to make as much money as possible, with the least amount of responsibility or work.
If his organization is indeed losing membership, is it any wonder? Most organizations built on charisma rather than sound principles are destined to eventually fall. Like any cult, they are built on personality rather than sound doctrine. When that personality eventually cracks – as is usually the case due to the flaws inherent in most charismatic leaders – the disciples find that their roots are shallow, and their shield of delusion can no longer protect them from the scorching light of fact. We have our share of goofballs in this profession. And to some degree we perpetuate the idiosyncratic side of our profession, since often it is the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. We seem to rate zeal over reason. Too often we allow anyone with passionate views to lead us, regardless of whether they actually make sense.
Terry Rondberg, in my opinion, is just another salesman who’s had his 15 minutes of fame. I don’t think that most of what he says or does deserves the ink it gets. Sadly, even when his curtain comes down, I suppose some new guru is waiting in the wings to take his place. I am encouraged though that we seem to possess a silent majority, doctors whom are content to do their jobs, render honest and responsible care, love their patients, and let the money for an honest day’s work suffice. Most of us have an accurate view of what we can and can’t do for our patients. We keep our perspective and treat what we can treat, and refer what we need to refer. We don’t pretend to cure everything, and we’re content with the gratitude of thankful patients. We don’t want to be medical doctors, but we appreciate what they do as well. We’re content with genuine, honest chiropractic care and we don’t go running off after every new scheme to squeeze the last possible dollar from anything that moves. I think this silent majority of us are on solid ground and we’ll just smile and shake our heads at the antics of the Rondbergs of our profession, and quietly go back to work the next morning.
Garth Aamodt, DC
Grand Rapids, Michigan
· Chiropractic Unity in Arizona
Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance? — Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
In the January 1, 1989 issue of “DC” Thomas M. LaBrot, D.C., reported to our readers the arrival of a new chiropractic organization in Arizona. The major chiropractic organization in Arizona for the past 15 years, the Chiropractic Association of Arizona (CAA), now had to deal with an upstart, splinter group, the Arizona Chiropractic Alliance (AzCA), characterized by Dr. LaBrot as “a coalition between a disgruntled former member of the CAA (Alan Immerman, D.C.), and the leaders of the Federation of Straight Chiropractic Organizations of Arizona (FSCOS),” (represented by Terry Rondberg, D.C.).
· AHCPR Responds to WCA’s Second Misleading Announcement
Chief Medical Officer States: “We don’t have any intention of supporting them (WCA) or giving them guidance or leadership.”
A second article has appeared in the World Chiropractic Alliance’s (WCA) Chiropractic Journal regarding a “Subluxation Panel.” In the August issue, a front-page headline story declared: “WCA to chair AHCPR subluxation panel.” A subsequent interview by Dynamic Chiropractic staff with the director of the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR), J. Jarrett Clinton, M.D., revealed that there was no such panel sponsored by the AHCPR (please see “AHCPR Responds to WCA’s Misleading Announcement” in the September 1, 1992 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic).
In its September issue, among other things, the WCA claims that the purported subluxation panel was “moderated by the Chief Medical Officer of the U.S. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research,” Stephen H. King, M.D. Again, the editorial staff of Dynamic Chiropractic phoned the AHCPR, this time conducting an interview with Dr. King regarding the second article.
When asked whether he had in fact acted as moderator of the WCA meeting in St. Louis, Dr. King stated that he did not call or moderate the meeting. He went on to say: “The meeting was called and moderated by Terry Rondberg. I would not have called me a moderator or the head of the agency, that tends to be an irritation to the people I work for. My personal position is any time a provider group wishes to have us speak about guidelines, we will accommodate it. That is different from supporting it, moderating it, leading it or guiding it.”
Dr. King made it clear that he spoke before the WCA group as he would for any other group of providers interested in developing guidelines. When asked what he thought of the meeting and if the AHCPR planned to attend any future meeting conducted by the WCA he replied: “I have no idea what they are going to do now. It’s not something the agency felt it would be involved with at all. I do think they are going to have a hard time using the rules of evidence that they are required to go on.”
The AHCPR is very interested in facilitating the development of practice guidelines within all health care disciplines. Dr. King had in fact heard about the Mercy Guidelines, but stated: “I have not been involved (with the Mercy Guidelines), but I think others in the agency have.”
Unfortunately, the two misleading articles have caused a certain amount of concern within the AHCPR regarding the chiropractic profession as a whole, Dr. King explains: “A number of people have asked if we are assisting this group (WCA) in their development of guidelines. That’s not true. We don’t have any intention of supporting them or giving them guidance or leadership. I don’t think this is helpful. I can’t determine who’s right. All I’m faced with is this discourse. I’m a little concerned about what appears to me to be a wider gulf between what seemed to be a single guild (profession).”
When Dr. Rondberg was contacted for an interview regarding the apparent discrepancies between what the WCA reported and what the AHCPR stated, Dr. Rondberg agreed to a written interview. Unfortunately, after receiving the questions in writing by fax, Dr. Rondberg declined to provide answers.
· Celebration and Despair
Arizona chiropractors have reason for both celebration and despair. The cause for celebration is the state’s recent passage of an Unfair Claims Practice Act, signed by Governor Rose Mofford on July 3, 1990 (see related story, “Arizona Passes Insurance Law,” in the August 1, 1990 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic. The landmark legislation will, by state statute, prohibit insurance companies from denying claims for appropriate chiropractic treatment if it is a covered service under the terms of the policy.
The cause for despair is the continued existence of the Arizona Chiropractic Alliance (AzCA), an organization founded just over a year ago and run by Drs. Alan Immerman and Terry Rondberg, two vocal and disgruntled former members of the Chiropractic Association of Arizona.
· All Chiropractors Are Created Equal, But Some Are More ChiropracTIC Than Others
It has come time for Straight Chiropractic Academic Standards Association (SCASA) to pay their dues and be certified in the same way that all others are certified under the United States Office of Education (USOE); but the SCASA supporters still want it their way. From what I see printed in Dynamic Chiropractic, it appears to me that the Vertebral Subluxation Research Institute (VSRI) protocol is a proven sham! Why else would a satisfied “researcher” state that the program paid for itself within a certain period of time? I’ve never heard of purchasing a “research program.” And listen to them all scream! To “ice the cake,” SCASA pretends it is a different animal, with all the rights attached to being “more equal” (with apologies to George Orwell).
Roland Toth, D.C.
· From the Bully Pulpit
by Garrison Pomeroy, President, ChiroUSA.com
Dr. Rondberg announced in his “Publisher’s Perspective” in the February issue of The Chiropractic Journal that he was launching an “investigation” of Chiro America and myself that forces a response. I, and the organization I represent, join a litany of dedicated people and organizations that have recently fallen out of favor with Dr. Rondberg.
It is becoming increasingly obvious that Dr. Rondberg’s agenda is to cause dissention to further fragment the profession through antagonism and dogmatic self-promotion of his own products and causes.
I contacted Dr. Rondberg in March 1994 to ask for his support of my idea: to begin a public relations and advertising campaign that would be affordable for all doctors yet reach millions in popular magazines with the chiropractic message.
He absolutely refused to support the project unless I promised him two percent of the monthly gross income from Chiropractic America. In 1994, he led me to believe that without his support I could never accomplish what I saw as a critical step for the future of chiropractic.
Although he stated that he never endorsed any product or service for less than two percent of the gross income, we settled on 1 percent of the company’s gross income paid monthly, plus we agreed to buy a full-page ad in The Chiropractic Journal every month.
· Drs. Rondberg and Gelardi Testify against CCE
On January 7, 1992, the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) appeared before the Council on Post-Secondary Accreditation (COPA) for re-recognition. Appearing for CCE was John Miller, D.C., president, and Ralph Miller, Ed.D., executive director. Dr. Miller presented CCE’s current status and both men answered questions.
COPA is the accrediting agency par excellence. Accrediting agencies like CCE receives recognition from two organizations: Department of Education and COPA. COPA recognition is sought because it demonstrates adherence to high standards. Most accrediting agencies seek COPA recognition as a sign of quality that potential students will be looking for. CCE is currently seeking renewal of its five-year recognition.
Also at the meeting were Terry Rondberg, D.C., representing the World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA), and Thomas Gelardi, D.C., representing the Straight Chiropractic Academic Standards Association (SCASA), the Federation of Straight Chiropractic Organizations (FSCO), the Association of Straight Chiropractic Colleges and Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic. Both Drs. Rondberg and Gelardi were present at the meeting to deliver oral and written arguments on why the CCE should not be re-recognized for another five-year period. Interestingly enough, SCASA has never applied to COPA for recognition.
Editor’s Note: While the WCA claims to “support both” the CCE and SCASA, it is interesting that the WCA president would spend WCA money to fly from Arizona to the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Virginia to protest the recognition of the CCE.
Who’s Looking Out for Chiropractors?
The Litany of Evidence
It’s frustrating to play any game by different rules; in fact, it’s unsportsmanlike when there’s any hint of an unlevel playing field, and that is exactly what we’ve seen with Terry Rondberg and his WCA cohorts. Since the WCA is an “alliance” and not a member-driven, democratic “association,” Rondberg plays by his own set of rules and there’s no referee to keep in him in ethical bounds. He has been a troublemaker and a rogue spokesman for this profession for too long, and it’s time to hold him accountable to the same ethical standards that real associations must adhere to.
This Litany of Evidence is just a sampling of his poor sportsmanship–his political meddling, his diplomatic misrepresentation of his power base, his yellow journalism, his legislative obstructionism, his financial conflict of interests, and his philosophical demagoguery. Indeed, it’s been rather easy to make a case against Rondberg since he’s so outspoken as a publisher of a “buyers’ guide” tabloid–we all know what Rondberg is about by now with his personal political goals of world domination of chirovangelism and exploiting this profession with his business interests, all done under the guise of chiropracTIC, of course. Demagogues love to wrap themselves in self-righteous banners as they demonize their opponents, enuf sed, ya folla?
Hopefully this commentary has made it clear to all that he remains the most dangerous man in chiropracTIC and that he’s definitely not looking out for chiropractors as much as he’s looking out for himself. Since he’s unelected, he’s not accountable to his 240 non-voting WCA members; since he’s a “tabloid” publisher, he’s not accountable to normal journalism standards; since he’s a non-practitioner, he’s unaffected by the limited clinical scope of chiropractic care that he professes to lawmakers; and moreover, since he’s a rogue DC preachin’ demagoguery, he’s unaccountable to the standards of professional conduct normally subscribed to by ethical leadership that doesn’t arouse emotions and prejudices amongst followers to gain political power.
Rondberg avoids all these issues and others like majority rule, having no financial conflicts of interest, and the general high standards any profession would expect from anyone who purports to be a spokesman for this profession to legislators and diplomats. None of these are concerns for Terry Rondberg as he uses his WCA as a front for his political and financial designs. Indeed, Rondberg plays by his own rules!
The remaining Litany of Evidence of Rondberg’s actions speak for themselves as evidence showing his unscrupulous machinations to mold this profession to his personal gain. If you want to read more examples, just logon to www.chiroweb.com and search its archives. My Epilogue at the end, of course, is a short summary of this commentary and a call to action to write a complaint letter to the DPI over the WCA’s status as an NGO.
· Fringe Group Sabotages VA Bill
The ACA has fired off a strongly worded news release stating that a “fringe group” aided the medical lobby’s anti-chiropractic campaign at the October 3 testimony of chiropractic representatives to the House Committee on Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health.
The “fringe” group the ACA speaks of is the WCA. The WCA, the AMA, the American Osteopathic Association, and the American Physical Therapy Association all presented the subcommittee with written testimony. The spoken testimony to the subcommittee was delivered by representatives from the ACA, ICA and the Association of Chiropractic Colleges.
The ACA release states in part:
“A reckless crusade by the World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA) to sabotage the chiropractic profession’s chances for parity in federal health care legislation was brought to a head October 3 as the fringe group aided prominent medical organizations that were testifying against comprehensive legislation that would guarantee chiropractic care for the nation’s veterans.
In a hearing before the House Veterans Affairs (VA) Committee Subcommittee on Health, the WCA submitted written testimony absurdly claiming that the ‘full scope’ legislative provision supported by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC) and International Chiropractors Association (ICA) would virtually bar doctors of chiropractic from subluxation-correction services in the VA. Further, the WCA statement argued for a VA provision consistent with the federal Medicare program, which does not reimburse for diagnostic services nor does it reimburse a doctor of chiropractic for services that are authorized under state law.
The testimony followed an earlier issuance of a WCA statement. In this statement, electronically broadcast to members of the chiropractic profession, Dr. Terry Rondberg, president of the WCA stated: ‘We have to make sure we completely counteract the American Chiropractic Association’s efforts to include the provision as part the VA bill.’
Also seeking to defeat the ACA-ACC-ICA-proposed legislation were the American Medical Association (AMA), American Osteopathic Association (AOA), and the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).
ACA President Dr. James Mertz stated:
“There is no question that the WCA testimony helped the AMA, AOA and the physical therapists in their efforts to limit chiropractic care. In our view, the WCA has become a stooge of the medical profession with these destructive efforts. We are shocked that the WCA has aligned itself with the medical lobby on these critical legislative efforts – hurting the chiropractic profession’s chances for parity at every turn.”
CBS/Reliance: the Bottom Line
by Stuart Hoffman,DC, president, ChiroSecure
My article on the ICA’s malpractice insurance program1 apparently struck a nerve. While it was intended to clarify months of misinformation on the part of Chiropractic Benefit Services (CBS), it provoked a delayed response covering three pages.
Amazingly enough, the owner of CBS admitted doing something to his policyholders that the ICA was quite concerned about. The concern comes from the fact that CBS’s previous insurer, Reliance, which had their ratings severely downgraded,2 was “delisted” by the New York Stock Exchange,3 and is expected to go bankrupt.4 Continuing to allow their insureds to be covered by Reliance puts CBS’ policyholders in a potentially severe and completely unnecessary position.
Yet despite the ICA’s expressed concern, CBS President Rondberg clearly stated:
“CBS is automatically transferring policies to our new carrier as they come up for renewal.”5
Why? What is the purpose of waiting almost a year to move some of their policyholders away from an insurer whose ability to cover their claims is questionable at best?
What does CBS get out of waiting another 5-6 months to transfer the rest of its policyholders? Is it a matter of money? Is it in CBS’ best financial interest to leave their policyholders hanging?
It is the ICA’s position that the only reason to offer malpractice insurance is to protect practicing doctors of chiropractic and their patients. Leaving policyholders insured with a company that has been contemplating bankruptcy since last August 4 falls egregiously short of that. And no matter what other comments CBS’ president wants to make, that’s the bottom line.
Palmer College Threatens Lawsuit to Protect “Fountainhead” Name
The following letter was released by the Palmer College of Chiropractic in order to inform the profession about their efforts to retain the “Fountainhead” name:
January 16, 1991
Return Receipt Requested
Terry Rondberg, D.C.
The Chiropractic Journal
2950 North Dobson Road, #1
Chandler, Arizona 85224-1802
Dear Dr. Rondberg:
I am sorry that Dr. Holmberg’s request that you stop using the term “Fountainhead” and adopt a new theme for your seminars was not accepted in the co-professional spirit with which it was intended.
As president of Palmer College of Chiropractic, charged with protecting its assets, I now make formal demand on you to cease using the term “Fountainhead” on or in association with any enterprise with which you are associated, but most particularly with the so-called FOUNTAINHEAD Seminars and Catalogs sponsored by you and those associated with you.
The matter is not negotiable.
We will expect you to completely terminate all use of the name “Fountainhead” within thirty (30) days of receipt of this letter or appropriate additional action will be taken.
Palmer College, almost at its birth, adopted the identifying name or nickname “Fountainhead.” Palmer College has encouraged the use of that identifying name among its thousands of graduates, and it is well recognized by the entire profession as being associated with Palmer College. Chiropractors have complained to us about your use of the name.
I believe that any fair-minded court in the land would find that your adoption of the name was a willful effort to profit from the good will of Palmer College and to take from Palmer College a valuable and respected right.
As stated above, and with deep regret, I call on you to cease all use of the name “Fountainhead” in connection with your seminars, commercially-based or otherwise, no later than February 17, 1991. Please make immediate plans to rename your “Fountainhead” catalog and any other venture associated with the chiropractic profession that uses Palmer’s Fountainhead name.
Very Truly Yours,
Donald P. Kern, D.C.
[Perhaps with the new Palmer prez, Dr. Don Kern, now on campus, neither the WCA or Rondberg will be welcomed with open arms as they were with Guy Riekeman]
· “Black Box” Chiropractic
(regarding “From the Bully Pulpit,” by Garrison Pomeroy in the March 26, 2001 issue)
When I was a first-trimester student at Logan 20 years ago, our excellent philosophy teacher, George Chirkinian, had guest speakers come to speak to us on various philosophical topics. We got to listen to Reggie Gold, and we also heard from Terry Rondberg. At that time, one of Dr. (and I do use that term loosely) Rondberg’s philosophies was that of the “black box system”- don’t charge any specific fees for what you’re doing and the patient will appreciate the worth and donate accordingly.
It appears the black box system is no longer working for Dr. Rondberg, if he has to use such extraordinary measures for financing his particularly divisive philosophical bent. (Please don’t print my email address, as I wouldn’t relish a hate-mail letter from him similar to another doctor’s in a past issue!)
Marcy Halterman, DC, JD
College Station, Texas
The Chiropractic Profession Has Been Defrauded!
Ethical journalism requires that every effort be made to establish the veracity of potentially libelous and/or questionable accusations or statements before they are published. It is for this reason that the average reader is able to trust that what they read is the truth.
In the August issue of The Chiropractic Journal, a letter to the editor was printed, presumably from a chiropractor in Los Angeles by the name of Robert Marsh. In this letter, Dr. Marsh made numerous allegations questioning the integrity of Dr. Louis Sportelli.
The basis of these allegations was Dr. Marsh’s claim, “Reliable sources who attended the recent ACA convention in Alaska, were stunned to hear past and present ACA leaders privately admit that Dr. Louis Sportelli owns a controlling interest in Dynamic Chiropractic.” The letter went on to allege that Dr. Sportelli is “secretly” trying to libel and destroy PMA.
Upon being made aware of these allegations, Dr. Sportelli attempted to contact Dr. Marsh personally to discuss their implications. His extensive search, which included the ACA, ICA, and Los Angeles telephone directories, proved fruitless. Ultimately, Dr. Sportelli contacted the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners.
A letter from Vivian Davis, executive director of the California Board confirmed Dr. Sportelli’s suspicions by stating, “I do hereby certify that a thorough search of the above (official records reflecting chiropractors licensed to practice in California) shows that Dr. Robert Marsh of Los Angeles, California is not licensed to practice chiropractic in the state of California.”
The fact that Dr. Marsh is not able to be located leads one to conjecture that he does not really exist. In a response to Dr. Marsh’s letter, Dr. Sportelli wrote to Rodney K. Platt, editor of TCJ questioning the publication of the apparently fraudulent letter. In his letter, Dr. Sportelli stated, “The publication, which claims to be ‘dedicated to fairness in communication’ on its masthead, violated some cardinal rules of truth and propriety in its carrying of the so-called ‘letter’; investigation points to the fact that the critical letter was probably a malicious concoction by the publication (The Chiropractic Journal) or parties unknown.”
In reply to Dr. Sportelli’s letter, Dr. Terry Rondberg, publisher of The Chiropractic Journal wrote: “After we received your letter, we confirmed that there is no known chiropractor by the name of Robert Marsh practicing in the Los Angeles area. Apparently, the person who wrote the letter and signed it with a false name had a strong opinion for which he was afraid to take responsibility. TCJ condemns such cowardice and deceit and requests that no doctor ever again engage in such outright deception.”
Two very important questions need to be asked:
Why was it so easy for a “fictitious” person to have a character-defaming letter printed in a chiropractic publication?
What person or parties are actually involved in the defrauding of the chiropractic profession?
The Society of Professional Journalists’ (an organization whose membership is comprised of publishers, editors, and journalists) code of ethics epitomizes the fundamental responsibilities of every journalist, everywhere. This list of noble objectives begins with a statement which reads, “The duty of journalists is to serve the truth.”
Other important elements of this code of ethics to which all journalists should adhere are:
“So-called news communications from private sources should not be published or broadcast without substantiation of their claims to news values.
“The news media should not communicate unofficial charges affecting reputation or moral character without giving the accused a chance to reply.
“Journalists who use their professional status as representatives of the public for selfish or other motives violate a high trust.”
Letters to the editor in any professional publication must meet certain guidelines. Letters to the editor must be signed by the author, submitted on professional letterhead, and when serious implications are made, the author’s existence should be verified. Furthermore, letters to the editor in which the authors ask that their “name be withheld by request” should follow these same guidelines even more stringently.
If the above guidelines had been met, this fraud against the chiropractic profession would not have occurred. A mere phone call by TCJ to Dr. Sportelli (or the California Secretary of State) would have revealed that “Dr. Marsh’s” allegations were completely without basis in fact. As stated on page three of “DC,” “Dynamic Chiropractic is the solely owned publication of the non-profit Motion Palpation Institute.”
It is highly unlikely that the person or persons who perpetrated this fraud against the chiropractic profession (by authoring the Marsh letter) will ever come forward and confess. The content of the Marsh letter demonstrates that these deceptors have a very specific agenda which they have already attempted to force upon the chiropractic profession. Should similar actions occur again, a watchful eye will be able to recognize them for what they truly are.
For the chiropractic profession, these are critical times. We need to be able to trust that what we read is the truth. Every publication in our profession must uphold the highest editorial standards in order to be perceived as credible.
According to The Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics, “Partisanship in editorial comment that knowingly departs from the truth, violates the spirit of American journalism.”
Kelli M. Price
· Phony Letter in The Chiropractic Journal
21541 Surveyor Circle
Huntington Beach, CA. 92646
The August issue of The Chiropractic Journal, which is published by Dr. Terry Rondberg, contains a letter to the editor which attacks my integrity. The publication, which claims to be “Dedicated to Fairness in Communication,” on its masthead violated some cardinal rules of truth and propriety in its carrying of the so-called “letter,” for investigation points the fact that the critical letter was probably a malicious concoction by the publication or parties unknown.
Let me give you the basis of my accusation.
When I read the “letter” in The Chiropractic Journal which stated falsely that I was an owner of a competitive publication, Dynamic Chiropractic, and the perpetrator of some kind of imaginary plot to destroy Dr. Peter Fernandez’ operation, I decided to call “Robert Marsh, D.C.” of Los Angeles, the purported writer of the letter.
In an effort to reach the good doctor, I found that I could not find him in either the ACA or ICA directories. So I called the Los Angeles area phone company and checked with information operator, only to learn there is no Dr. Robert Marsh listed. Next, I attempted to locate the chiropractor by contacting the California Board of Examiners, but then I learned to my surprise (really no surprise at all) that there was no Dr. Robert Marsh licensed in the state of California. (See letter from the director of the California Board of Examiners).
Now, this looks very suspicious, doesn’t it?! A highly critical letter in The Chiropractic Journal defending Dr. Fernandez, making libelous charges against me — and the writer can’t be found! Highly unusual, isn’t it?!
Can it be that Robert Marsh, D.C. of Los Angeles doesn’t exist? Not a pretty picture for the publication, is it?
I submit that The Chiropractic Journal has a responsibility to not only PRINT THE TRUTH, but and obligation NOT TO MANUFACTURE STORIES, INVENT DOCTORS, PERPETRATE A PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGN TO ATTEMPT TO DESTROY THE CREDIBILITY OF INDIVIDUALS, and finally, BE RESPONSIBLE AND HONEST WITH ITS READERS.
Could it be that there never was a letter to the editor? Could it be that the entire matter was fabricated in an attempt to deceive the profession? Could it be that The Chiropractic Journal feels the heat of consensus building across the profession which is counter to its sponsors’ goals and objectives? Could it be that the self-interest of The Journal OWNERS… (who reap the profit of their enterprises) is at stake and they are trying to re-direct criticisms which have begun to build around some of their positions on various issues? Or, giving The Journal the benefit of the doubt, could it be that some outside individual or group is behind this “plan” and are manipulating The Journal into publishing this type of manufactured “letter to the editor” knowing that The Journal does nothing to verify the facts or assertions of these letters? Regardless of the reasons for why things are done, there needs to be some accountability for the actions of a “publication” which purports to bring news to the field.
The Chiropractic Journal accused me of owning Dynamic Chiropractic. That’s pure rubbish; it’s the typical type of lie used to smokescreen the truth; it’s an age-old tactic, the same used by the AMA when it accuses chiropractic of “quackery”.
Anyone with even sub-marginal intelligence would know that Dynamic Chiropractic is a wholly owned entity of the Motion Palpation Institute, which is a NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION. Therefore, any reasonable person would conclude that it would be impossible for an individual to “OWN” controlling interest in that publication. This is not the first time that this tabloid has attempted to insinuate that I own Dynamic Chiropractic. If anyone is interested, all they have to do is check with the California Non-Profit Corporation Bureau, and the facts will demonstrate that I, nor any “individual,” OWNS Dynamic Chiropractic. But why would a publication that calculates to twist the truth bother to obtain the real facts?!
Secondly, in an attempt to build a case where none exists, this “fictitious” doctor (or publication) states that I have attacked Dr. Fernandez. Is the unknown writer who is defending Dr. Fernandez suffering from a guilt complex? Please have the anonymous writer show where I or the ACA has in any way attacked individual practice promoters? The ACA and I have spoken out with vigor and determination to expose those practice consultants who are exploiting young, impressionable students with contracts they can ill afford and are unprepared to evaluate from a true business perspective. Unfortunately, also many DC’s in practice are enticed with “million dollar promises” and end up giving a percentage of their yet to be earned gross to the “consultant.” By the time they realize they made a mistake, they also realize that they signed a non-cancelable legal contract.
I have my opinions about some of the abusers. But attack specific promoters — no, I have not done that; their actions speak for themselves.
While I have never pointed to anyone specifically, I have sounded a warning to students and doctors in an effort to help insulate them from possible financial ruin. As a service to the profession, I have asked them to self-discipline, to keep from tarnishing their professional image. I have cautioned them against getting into situations which may cause personal stress and despair.
My efforts are not directed against individuals. Rather, they are to motivate state and national journals to print editorials supporting the leaders of our profession who have the courage of their convictions to speak out against those procedures which may be profitable for the individual entrepreneur, but destructive for the profession. And don’t let anyone tell you I am against practice education and development counsel. What I am against are promoters who teach unscrupulous methods to victimize patients and/or victimize the doctors who sign up for their courses.
We need to support those individuals who are trying to create awareness in the profession; to motivate practitioners to refrain from, as Mark Twain so ably stated, “taking the path of least resistance which makes men and rivers crooked.”
When are all the chiropractic journals going to issue serious challenges to the exploiters who cause the entire profession to retrogress and be stigmatized by procedures and promotions which cannot withstand close scrutiny?
It seems to me that an ethical standard among journals might be in order. I believe that every journal has a responsibility to check out as thoroughly as possible each and every story. In those instances where character assassinations are part of the story or letter to the editor, then the journal should at least provide the individual with an opportunity to respond, if so desired. Surely, The Chiropractic Journal could have inquired as to the validity of the comments on ownership, as well as having checked on the facts relative to the other issues, if the publisher had wanted to (as if they did not already know the truth).
It seems to me that The Chiropractic Journal is the worst offender of all the publications in chiropractic. It thrives on THE DOUBLE TALK SYNDROME. It speaks of “Live and Let Live,” then spends the greatest part of its tabloid space denigrating, denouncing and disparaging individuals who do not agree with its philosophy or position on issues. It is hard for an individual to win in a battle against a publication which is determined to present its viewpoint. Unquestionably, the pen is mightier than the sword, but one publication such as The Chiropractic Journal will not be successful in its yellow reporting if the remaining publications seek to print the truth and editorialize the issues for the entire profession to judge on their merits.
This letter, which is being sent to all journals, will in no way change the situation relative to The Chiropractic Journal, but hopefully the clear and undisputed fact of knowing that The Chiropractic Journal had to know that the letter was from a fictitious doctor, and that the content was totally and completely without validity make it clear to all the other chiropractic publications that there is more to this than meets the eye. It is one thing to make an honest error; it is quite another to undertake a deliberate campaign to discredit someone. In this case, the facts should be patently clear to anyone who is knowledgeable about the INTENT, OWNERSHIP, GOALS, OBJECTIVES, AND POSITIONS of The Chiropractic Journal.
It is clear to me that The Chiropractic Journal’s publishers want to create:
A third chiropractic organization, which in my opinion is destructive to the entire profession — a move which is ego- motivated.
A national tabloid which is dedicated to publishing a jaundiced view of chiropractic, supportive of FSCS, SCASA, and the “straight movement.” (That is their prerogative, but they should not try to hide behind a banner of “UNITY AND PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE.”)
A method of patient recruitment which will not only generate significant dollars for its OWNERS under the guise of research … but thank goodness is currently being questioned and challenged in many states.
Be that as it may, the issue is not that they are doing whatever they are doing, but an attempt is being made to cover up these questionable activities. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion; I have mine, they have theirs. However, mine is stated clearly with my signature, theirs is masqueraded as a “letter to the editor” or as a majority opinion and objective editorial, when it is neither. It is all a charade, and should be recognized for what it is.
For me, I will stand on my record of accomplishment for ACA and the chiropractic profession. I will continue to speak out when issues of ethics and exploitation are uncovered. I will continue to bring to the forefront those procedures and scams that will undermine the credibility of the entire profession for the sake of the financial gain of the exploiter.
The mere fact that my position is causing some distress to those who might be “uncomfortable” about exposed, could cause them to alter their programs so as to lessen their vulnerability and exposure. I hope so.
Those practice consultants who are honest and ethical are not screaming “FOUL” … rather, they are trying to develop guidelines which practice consultants can follow in order to avoid the possibility of misunderstanding. They should be given credit for their courage in beginning this professional cleansing, which has been needed for so long. Haven’t we learned from the lessons of the antitrust trial, where we initially lost not because the AMA was any less guilty, but rather because a JURY who heard the same evidence was so outraged by the practice management procedures (which were not even part of the legal issue) that they found in favor of the AMA.
In conclusion, I offer the following challenge to those detractors who delight in yellow journalism: Let’s take our cases to a jury of our peers. You defend your position and I will defend mine; I am willing to risk it … are you? The jury selection should be determined by random selection of field practitioners who are the ultimate victims of the guest for money by exploitation, dollars be deceit, and patients by propaganda. I believe that the vast majority of our profession is composed of honest, ethical, and clinically competent practitioners who feel frustrated because they are incapable of doing anything to change this course of destruction, which has been charted by those with less than honorable intentions.
In the final analysis, the court of public opinion will determine who are the guilty, who are the innocent and who have had the integrity to speak up.
Dr. Louis Sportelli
· “These CCP Guidelines are issued as a pseudo-scientific response to the Mercy Guidelines”
I note a letter from Dr. Mark Van Hemert,DC (www.chiroweb.com/archives/19/12/15.html) lamenting the fact that apparently he was dropped “like a hot potato” as a reviewer or panelist for the CCP Guidelines. He wonders how Dr. Christopher Kent chose not to have him “re-elected,” when, as far as anyone can tell, there never were any “elections” in the first place. He seemed surprised that his questioning of Dr. Jay Holder’s alleged bogus credentials and his desire to see more definitive language in the Guidelines fell on an unreceptive audience. He was surprised that alleged “votes” were taking place without any of the other panel members even being notified of such an event.
Is it possible that people have not figured out yet what the CCP Guidelines are? Are there still some in this profession who don’t know what’s going on? How could someone actually working on the CCP Guidelines be really fooled into believing that there was ever any real legitimate purpose for the CCP Guidelines? It was always intended to be a scam! Wake up and smell the coffee – it was a way to counteract the Mercy Guidelines, which actually did have a consensus of chiropractic experts, educators, scientists and scholars! But the Mercy Guidelines actually required a measure of accountability and dared to question some techniques and unproven methods within chiropractic.
Bottom line? We want more money! And open-ended guidelines make that easier than actually having to show what we do is based on good health care. Chiropractors of that mindset needed something that looked official so they could say to the insurance company; “These guidelines (CCP) support my voodoo technique,” and ask “Whaddaya mean ‘200 visits are too many’?”
Look at the chief instigators of the CCP: Terry Rondberg, Christopher Kent, Patrick Gentempo, Jay Holder, and others of similar ilk, though lesser known. And what about practice gurus like Greg Stanley, David Singer, Chuck Gibson, Ian Grassam? Since when do they have the scientific background to qualify as experts on technique and science? I’m sure there were also some legitimate scholars who were duped into at least some minimal participation for whatever reason, though I wonder how many of them regret it now.
The CCP Guidelines were and are a joke. They are nothing but an attempt to put a scholarly spin on what is pure and simple money making pap and nonsense. Their only purpose was to open wide the doors to treat anybody, using any method, for as long as possible, with the least accountability as possible. Has anybody actually looked at the practice guideline publication? Read the “rag” sometime and show me what qualifications they put on anything! Was there some critical thinking applied to any method, or any parameters of care? Did they find any method or technique “investigational”? Did they raise substantive questions about frequency of care, or effectiveness of various methods and techniques? Was there anything they found to be ineffective or questionable? Absolutely not!
I think they could have saved a lot of paper if they’d just had a single page between the covers that stated; “These CCP Guidelines are issued as a pseudo-scientific response to the Mercy Guidelines. If any doctor of chiropractic wants to justify waving dead chickens over his or her patients while chanting to the druid gods, please feel free. We’ll back you up with this “practice guideline,” which will be carefully footnoted and documented, to allow you to cite them in reverential tones, when an insurance company doesn’t want to pay for this essential “dead-chicken-chant” therapy.”
In my opinion the CCP Guidelines are useless. It doesn’t even make a good paperweight since it’s little more than a brochure “on steroids.” Take out the ad nauseum references, which I bet no one on the panel of experts even read, and other fluff, and you’re left with even less. I have learned over the years in this profession that leopards don’t change their spots. If you see the fingerprints of certain people, you can usually be assured that there are hidden agendas, drums of snake oil, pretense and hypocrisy. That’s when I have to laugh to keep from crying. So – buck up, Dr. Van Hemert! You’re well to be rid of them! “Hit the showers” and count it as a lesson better learned late than never.
Dr. Garth Aamodt
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Thou Shalt Not Criticize Rondberg
I recently wrote a highly critical letter to the Chiropractic Journal published by Terry Rondberg, D.C. To my surprise I have not received a copy of the Chiropractic Journal since that date, over eight weeks ago. I discovered this fact in reading a recent letter from a Dr. DiPietro of Tuscon, who had made a similar discovery. I find it disturbing that a publication that claims to be open to all viewpoints, would so radically trim their mailing list. The publishing policy of the Chiropractic Journal does not seem to live up to its own philosophy.
I am curious to find out if there are others who have written critical letters to the Chiropractic Journal that have also been thus eliminated. I am sure the advertisers in that shoddy journal would be interested in that fact also.
I have also written critical letters to Dynamic Chiropractic, and I am pleased to say that my subscription with your fine publication is still intact.
Donald R. Seidel, D.C.
Rochester, New York
· Rondberg Defends Big $id: “…misrepresenting and publicly denigrating our profession…”
In your article, “Chiropractic in the Print Media,” July 16, 1992 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic, you examined a recent issue of Health Magazine and reprinted several statements made by Dr. John Triano in that publication. Since you failed to call him to task for totally misrepresenting and publicly denigrating our profession, I feel compelled to do so.
In his desire to drape himself in the cloak of scientific superiority, Dr. Triano irreparably damaged the profession he is supposed to represent. Was he so double-blind he couldn’t see how his pitiful attempts to position himself as the noble scientist — and paint Sid Williams, DC as a religious zealot — would hurt our cause? Didn’t he care?
It is outrageous that, while the majority of the profession works hard to convince the medical community and the public that chiropractic is an effective health care system, Triano used his platform to announce to the world: “There is evidence that the main tenets of chiropractic are not true.”
With that single statement, this so-called “chiropractic” researcher dismisses and condemns the principles upon which our profession was founded. He rejects 80 percent of what our colleges teach and most of what our field doctors do in their practices every day.
He ignores the scientific evidence he claims to revere: that the vertebral subluxation exists and affects function. Boldly embracing the medical paradigm he publicly disavows the vitalistic philosophy of chiropractic. He arrogantly disregards the tremendous research done at Life College and at chiropractic educational research institutions around the world. He rejects as irrelevant the practical experience of some 50,000 doctors and the findings listed on more than 40 million Medicare claims and millions of insurance filings.
Triano works at and is paid by a chiropractic college. He claims to have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to measure the force of a chiropractic adjustment, yet declares that the tenets of chiropractic are false. The hypocrisy of his words and actions should be an embarrassment to his employer, National College. Instead, his comments entitle him to national coverage and a pedestal from which he can continue to lambaste the profession which supports him. And for his efforts, he’s paid more than many field doctors make in practice.
From his insulated ivory tower of so-called research, Triano deliberately attempts to misrepresent Dr. Sid Williams’ anti-medical bias and anti-science. He apparently shares the belief, held by some overly vocal PhDs in our profession, that “chiropractic doesn’t work,” and that real scientists don’t mention the “c” word. No doubt he applauded the RAND Corporation’s recent announcement that its landmark research project wasn’t about chiropractic but about “manipulation.”
Despite the tremendous progress chiropractic has made in the past decades, Triano refused to acknowledge that “science” and “medicine” are not synonymous, and that the research done by our own profession into the subluxation is no less valid merely because the medical establishment fails to recognize it.
Triano told the magazine that the difference between he and Dr. Sid Williams is his “willingness to accept that we don’t know what is going on.” That’s one statement I can agree with wholeheartedly: When it comes to chiropractic, he doesn’t know what’s going on. How he can continue to represent the profession and hold a position of leadership in one of our colleges, is the true mystery.
As for Dr. Sid Williams, he has worked 40 years to promote and defend chiropractic. He has dedicated his own personal resources, as well as the resources of Life college, ensuring the progress of our great profession. When Triano told the magazine that, “People like Sid Williams believe they have the answer, …” again he was right. People like Williams do have the answer. It’s found in the art, science, and philosophy of chiropractic. Not only will I never be ashamed of that truth, I will proudly speak and live it always as Dr. Williams and many others have done.
Terry Rondberg, DC
[Well, I guess TR told off Jay Triano, eh? His letter shows the clear difference of perspective between a scientist vs. a political hack who hides behind his demagoguery. However, using Big $id Williams as the torchbearer of chiropracTIC may have come back to haunt TR now, but it does illustrate there’s still honor among thieves.]
So, Who Is Looking Out for Chiropractors?
Being a chiropractor requires a resilient nature along with a thick skin to endure the internal strife, medical wars, and legislative process that is a slow and often burdensome process. As the founder/lord of the Galactic Online Alliance (franchises still available), our Lasting Prayer is Galatians 6:9 that teaches what every DC needs to live by: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” I daresay every ethical chiropractor of any denomination can identify with that belief, and there’s no better time than now to reap a harvest since we’ve never given up fighting for access, parity, and unity.
Hope reigns eternal unlike ever before in the chiropractic worldwide community and especially in the US with the recent legislative events that will finally give long-suffering DCs a glimmer of realistic hope and a sense of professional pride about the political progress achieved by the mainstream chiropractic organizations. Indeed, the recent legislative victories on Capitol Hill have clearly shown all who’s really looking out for chiropractors, and it ain’t the WCA or ICA.
The ACA/WFC/FCER/CCE/ACC-led coalition of MAJOR chiro organizations has accomplished much in the last few years that has been ignored or misrepresented in the tabloid press. As well, the current legal battles with HCFA and Trigon along with the successful Blue Cross settlement that opened up $125 million for DCs in the federal employees health insurance clearly showed why the ACA’s lobbyists were rated in the top 25 on Capitol Hill. If there’s anyone who doesn’t recognize the leadership of the ACA-led contingent of rational chiropractic organizations, they’ve either drank from the Coalition Kool-Aid or else they’re just apolitical, as too many in the NCA (No Chiro Association)remain to this day.
Here’s a short list of recent legislative victories:
· 1997 – Congress Votes to Abolish Medicare’s Burdensome Mandatory X-ray Requirement, a Longtime Barrier to Chiropractic Care for America’s Seniors
· 2000 – Congress Establishes a Permanent Chiropractic Care Benefit for America’s Active-Duty Military Personnel.
· 2002 – Congress Establishes a Permanent Chiropractic Care Benefit for America’s Veterans.
· 2002 – Congress Includes Doctors of Chiropractic in a National Health Service Corps Student Loan Pilot Program.
· 2003 – Congress Authorizes the Federal government to Hire Doctors of Chiropractic to Care for Veterans.
· 2003 – Congress Rejects Legislation to Eliminate Physician Status for Doctors of Chiropractic (Manzullo Bill).
· 2003 – Congress Accelerates Timetable for Implementation of Chiropractic Care Benefits for America’s Servicemen and Women.
· 2003 – Congress establishes the Inclusion of a Medicare Chiropractic Demonstration Project
No doubt at the ACA’s NCLC this week we will learn more about the present state of the profession from the real diplomats in our profession but, regrettably, the downside will come later when the WCA and ICA hold their own Capitol Hill meetings a few weeks afterwards that will only add to the political confusion with the fundamentalists’ cry that “ol’ time chiropracTIC is the only way!” Certainly it’s always a problem when these fringe minorities purport to speak for the profession, especially when their limited views oppose that of the ACA as we’ve seen with the Medicare and VA issues. Until the Chiro Coalition embraces the position to legislate as broadly as we can and practice as narrow as you want, these rogue chiropracTORs will continue to confuse and conflict with our collective needs. Sadly, majority rule is not part of the WCA or ICA’s gameplan.
Just as legislators are confused by this minority plank, so too are the mainstream DCs and certainly chiro students who will be confused as long as these opposition chiropracTIC free tabloids flood into their colleges and private offices like Rondberg’s TCJ, Harrison’s AJCC, the ICA’s Chiropractic Choice, Life College’s Today’s Chiropractic, Palmer’s Streams from the Fountainhead, and Tedd Koren’s Quixotic “anti-anything medical” online newsletter.
Obviously these free chiropracTIC tabloids will continue to publish their slanted journalistic spin in order to preserve their image as chiropracTIC crusaders, to maintain their business interests, and to buoy the spirits of their misguided brethren to avoid the inevitable buyers’ remorse that normally comes from throwin’ good money in after bad, ya folla? Indeed, it must be difficult for the WCA and ICA folks in the Chiro Coalition to explain their string of unsuccessful political/legislative events and the serendipitous events that have decimated the Palmer Philosophers of late.
No matter how hard they try to spin it, there’s no denying the chiropracTIC movement has undergone a huge upheaval of late despite the efforts of these hate-straight tabloids to arouse the emotions of their readership that the end of principled chiropracTIC is not near. Just as Baghdad Bob told the world press that American troops were not invading Baghdad as shots rang out in the distance, Rondberg and his tabloid ilk will continue to put a positive spin on the demise of the hate-straight chirovangelist movement despite the obvious depletion within their leadership, membership ranks, and political setbacks. “Don’t confuse us with the facts” has become their rallying cry.
Combating Media Misinformation
Only the Dynamic Chiropractic attempts to be objective in its reporting on these important matters although it too has side-stepped some important issues in the past, such as the 28-year corruption at Life (which is still a dumb name for a college) that DC ignored until the final days. The balance of media power certainly tips in favor of the opposition’s many free tabloids to spin the news as they see fit as this investigation has clearly shown. If not for the monthly Journal of the ACA and Gary Cuneo EVP’s weekly online newsletter, this profession would be in a big hurt in terms of ethical reporting of the truth on political and legislative matters.
The recent spin by Rondberg and McLean concerning the VA Committee was a clear example of the misguided effort by these yellow journalists to save face after their model of chiropracTIC care blew up. Together the WCA and ICA merchants of misinformation have painted the VA issue (the final decision may be announced this week at NCLC by Sec. Principi) as the MWD issue within chiropractic blaming the ACA when the evidence actually pointed at the WCA instead.
Ironically, the recommendation by the VA Committee to engage DCs in the NMS specialist role rather than a PCP role was shaped in part by the testimony of the very Chiro Coalition group whose simplistic philosophy undoubtedly contributed to the specialist role. Moreover, the very nature of the medical military healthcare system would never allow a non-diagnostician to pose as a PCP–the wetdream of Rondberg and other misguided chiropracTORs who think all they are required is to “detect with the Subluxation Station and correct the VSC to cure the world of all subluxATIONs, ya folla?” I still can’t believe they told that to the VA Committee with a “straight” face!
Just as the Deaniacs and liberal media decried the lack of evidence for MWD to disavow the US invasion in Iraq (as if Saddam and his sons weren’t MWDs themselves), the Chiro Coalition now appears upset when the committee held them to their word by acknowledging chiropracTIC’s secondary tier non-primary care position. There was no way in high Heaven any chance that DCs would be cast as PCPs in the military or VA healthcare systems, but the naïve Chiropractic Coalition has only itself to blame for fooling itself. All these chirovangelists needed to do was observe how Bill Morgan at Bethesda is working as a DC in the NMS department to know how chiropractic will be implemented in the VA system too. Only Baghdad Bob or Terry Rondberg could have dreamed up the explanation by the Chiro Coalition to cast blame on the ACA members on the VA Committee.
Not only has Rondberg been wrong about this VA issue, all of his political and legislative efforts of late have all fallen short but ignored in his reporting in his TCJ, such as his anti-CCE efforts, his Manzullo Medicare legislation, his meddling in foreign countries’ legislation, and hopefully the WCA’s status as an NGO will soon coming to a screeching halt. Is it any wonder that Rondberg’s online moniker has been “Wrongberg”? Indeed, he’s been wrong on all fronts—clinically, legislatively, politically, and foremost, philosophically about the direction this profession should take. If it weren’t for the power of his TCJ press, this radical would be a faint voice heard by the 240 few who’ve drank the Coalition Kool-Aid.
For another recent example of chiropracTIC spin, if you’ve read the latest edition of the Chiropractic Choice, you may have noticed that there were interesting admissions and omissions. First of all, neither the new prez, CJ Mertz, or his new VP, Dan Murphy, wrote anything to their membership about the ICA’s activities to improve this profession. Perhaps both were too busy giving seminars than heading a professional association. Nothing was written at all to charge their troops, but both did have big advertisements for their seminars! No conflict of interest there, kinda like CJ promoting his WLP at the Great Debate. Also, according to the ICA’s resident $idiot, DE Dude, and spin columnist, Jimmie Gregg, his article would make you think the ICA was solely responsible for any and all political achievements on Capitol Hill. Too often our chiropracTIC brethren have taken credit for victories when, in reality, they were actually the thorn in our collective side. But that never before has stopped them from twisting the truth in their chiropracTIC media.
Sadly, there is no daily “fair and balanced” chiropractic press that reports on these hard issues in a timely and ethical fashion, which is the main reason I began my online commentaries a few years ago—to broach these important events quickly to facilitate discussion and to disseminate the “other side” that is often ignored and certainly delayed in the chiropractic media. Bi-monthly, monthly, and quarterly reports just don’t make it in today’s electronic society.
This signals the major internal PR problem that the ACA and WFC both face—how to overcome the imbalance in the chiropractic media. As long as the ACA and WFC are outnumbered by the chiro tabloids, they will continue to be on the defensive in the court of chiropractic opinion. How much longer will mainstream Doctors of Chiropractic allow this sham ChiropracTIC Coalition and self-serving WCA and ICA leaders with obvious ethical problems continue to misrepresent the news events to the profession, to legislators, and to the public? How much longer will we allow the chiropracTIC tail to wag the entire body of this profession? These are problems for every rational, ethical, inclusive DC who subscribes to the principles of democratic rule.
Shine the Light
As Kyrre Myhrvold, D.C., President of the Norwegian Chiropractic Association plainly told Rongberg: “Stop your actions.” Indeed, I think every chiro organization and all ethical DCs should do the same and censor the chiropracTIC demagogues who work to disrupt this profession for their own profit! And we need to strike back in the court of chiropractic opinion with accurate and professional journalism unlike the yellow journalism used by our opposition.
College presidents should follow the example of Dr. Goodman of Logan and refuse to let Rondberg or his WCA on campus as long as his modus operandi is demagoguery, hidden financial agendas, conflicts of interest, and yellow journalism–editorials posing as fact, one-sided political articles, inflammatory ad hominen attacks on ACA leaders, letters-to-the-editor without a response from the victim, and the vilification of rival businesses or associations. I would also suggest banning all proprietary tabloids like the TCJ and AJCC from campuses since they are the sources of the misinformation that only foment discord among the students. Until these radical publishers follow the accepted Code of Journalistic Ethics, their “buyers’ guide” tabloids have no place in an institution of higher learning just as the Jehovah Witnesses have no right to spread their anti-social ideology with the Awake! magazines on chiro campuses.
I also recommend that state licensing boards should investigate those practice management gurus like CJ Mertz who sell tacky videos that smack of unproven hyperbole that only taints our collective image. Every state board ought to sit through these “how to make a million dollars and play golf while some new grad works for you” seminars, review their materials, investigate their office procedures for possible illegalities like NOOPE, TWIP, discount plans, extended treatment contracts, and tacky ads that cannot be supported by science. Rather than “anything goes” in chiropracTIC, the new slogan of these boards should now be “almost gone” to these purveyors of bad news and unethical practice methods.
I also urge every DC to write a complaint to the DPI at the UN concerning the WCA’s status as an NGO. If you would like an example of a complaint letter, see the examples below, contact me for mine, or feel free to write one however you want, but please show how the WCA has violated the 4 criteria requirements of an NGO. Just write something to let the UN realize how its been duped by the WCA cohorts.
Chief, NGO Section
Department of Public Information
United Nations, New York, N.Y. 10017
Here are examples of complaint letters recently written by a colleague from Down Under and by one from the Lone Star State:
Chief, NGO Section
Department of Public Information
NEW YORK NY 10017
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
RE: WORLD CHIROPRACTIC ALLIANCE
The World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA) has been making itself known in the international arena for the last eight to ten years or so, as I recall. Seasoned, reasonable, rational and patient focused practitioners within the chiropractic profession have written WCA off years ago as a bunch of irrational, money-focused, rabble-rousers. The profession at large, and, therefore, the various publics served by chiropractors across the globe, are affected adversely by the efforts of the WCA.
In recent times I have come to learn that the WCA, by whatever means (certainly not honest!), has obtained at least tacit recognition from your Organisation.
I appeal to you to have this ‘recognition’ reconsidered and reversed in the mutual interests of the United Nations Organisation, the chiropractic profession and the good health of chiropractic patients around the world.
Private Practice of Chiropractic (1979-present)
Approved S112 Examiner – Victorian WorkCover Authority (VWA)
Peer Review Consultant to the VWA (1994-2001)
Approved External Examiner – Transport Accident Commission
Sessional Consultant to the Transport Accident Commission (1988-2000)
Executive Secretary, Australasian Council on Chiropractic Education Ltd (1996-2003)
Member, Professional Services Review Committee – Federal Government (1995-2005)
Member, Chiropractic & Osteopathic College of Australasia
Fellow, International College of Chiropractors (Candidate – 2004)
Chief, NGO Section
Department of Public Information
New York, N.Y. 10017
I am writing to voice my opposition to the NGO status afforded to the World Chiropractic Alliance. This is a splinter group headed by a person who does not represent the views or interest of the majority of the profession. Furthermore, they are a for-profit institution that publishes a free chiropractic newspaper. Every chiropractor receives this publication regardless of whether we ask for it or not. The WCA is not a representative body that has the best interest of the public or the profession of Chiropractic in mind. Rather it has the agenda of selling malpractice insurance, seminars, and products to the readers of its newspapers. I feel that a distinguished body such as the UN should be very careful about associating itself with this organization. The WCA is using the title you are affording them as a lever to propel forward its agenda. They actively promote division and chaos in the minds of the public and the Chiropractors in the US and around the world. Please take a closer look at this issue and make sure that you are aware of whom you are lending your good name to.
Jordan C. White, D.C.
Hopefully a few thousand proactive DCs who are sick and tired of Rondberg and his WCA cohorts pushing this profession around for their own profit will also write similar letters of complaint to the chief of the DPI for an investigation into my claims that the WCA has violated their 4 criteria. If the DPI gets enough complaints, he or she will see the light how the WCA has exploited the UN just as it has exploited this profession.