Threats and Censorship
Rule or Ruin
Apparently freedom of speech to criticize political figures within the chiropractic profession is at stake now. In an attempt to censor his critics, Terry Rongberg, president for life of the WCA, publisher of The Chiropractic Journal, benefactor of the RCS scheme, and owner of the CBS malpractice insurance brokerage, has written numerous articles accusing his critics of being “liars” with threats of lawsuits. These online articles have made it clear TR is not interested in any fair and balanced debate on any issue, certainly any issue that makes money for him, particularly the RCS scheme.
Indeed, his strategy now seems to be rule the profession with his specious methods or ruin his opponents with spurious articles and legal threats.
By now most every DC online has read of Terry Rondberg’s threat for legal action against Stephen Perle, Don Petersen, and myself for critical comments made toward his recent RCS program, which is viewed by many DCs and academicians as a patient-solicitation scheme hidden beneath supposed research, similar to TR’s former VSRI scheme that was shut down without any apparent scientific results.
To learn more, logon to
- The Ethics of Research, aka Marketing
- Wrongberg Attacks
- Wrongberg Smears Again
- Research Ruse
- Radical Insurgents
In typical Rondberg fashion, he uses his online WCA Journal and News Updates to accuse us of being “liars” and convicts us unilaterally without presenting any feedback or requesting any explanations from any of us. Apparently TR is mad at this RCS being exposed as potentially an unethical marketing scheme that is scientifically invalid, and now lashes out using his attorney, Carlos Negrete of Tedd Koren v. FTC fame, to push TR’s agenda with intimidating letters to Perle, Petersen and me.
Don Petersen’s attorney responded to Negrete that summarized the situation:
“We have carefully reviewed the allegations in your letter relating to your clients and find them to be baseless. Your demand for a retraction and an apology are rejected. The primary reason for this is that you have not been able to identify anything within the article that is false or libelous. Your characterizations about what was said in the article…are creative but false.”
If you haven’t read TR’s attorney’s threat against me, logon to Demand for Retraction. You will note as I did that there is no explanation as to any lies, just the allegation and a listing of issues, opinions, and monikers that apparently offend TR.
Apparently he believes he is above criticism as a public figure and journalist; evidently he has the freedom of the press to criticize his rivals, but not the same for his critics. What TR fails to mention is the Supreme Court has recognized that in issues of public importance those occasional erroneous opinions are inevitable but, lacking bad faith or malice, are not libelous. In other words, pundits are entitled to their opinions, even if others disagree as to their accuracy. As one who has written many editorials with spurious opinions, TR’s threat is not only ironic, as a so-called journalist, it is unconscionable.
Instead of citing references to where Dr. Perle or I have strayed from the truth, mostly his attorney’s letter and subsequent news updates from TR are filled with pejoratives and false allegations, such as likening Dr. Perle and me to the chiro Quackbuster, Stephen Barrett, even suggesting “a widespread assault on subluxation-based chiropractic as a whole.” Negrete states, “It’s time for the truth to be told and the lies to stop.” Is this grandstanding or legal hyperbole? Ironically neither TR nor Negrete elaborate on the “truth,” although they’re adamant that Dr. Perle and I can’t give our opinions of this situation without legal retribution, asking us both to cease and desist from stating our opinions.
Indeed, it is past time for the truth about TR to be told, but can they handle the truth? Will TR stop lying to the profession about his many misdeeds, mischaracterizations and misrepresentations? Okay, stop laughing because as we’ve seen in the past, TR isn’t interested in the truth, especially when it interferes with his political agenda or profits. His agenda is to rule this profession from his editorial hole and ruin his opposition with his poisoned pen by fomenting discord and dissent—the real truth be damned, ya folla?
RCS or VSRI—It All Smells the Same
Perhaps it’s a case of memory loss for Terry Rongberg, but his latest money-making scheme smacks of his failed Vertebral Subluxation Research Institute’s (VSRI) controversial Outreach 2000 program scam that offered $50 to people if they came in and had tests for “research.” These tests usually uncovered some problem (conveniently) that requires “treatment,” whether the person had a problem or not. Logon to Boston TV News — Two Views of Chiropractic
The VSRI scam was exposed years ago in 1990 as a patient acquisition effort hidden behind so-called research that was denounced by every reputable chiro organization. Logon to:
- ICA and ACA Adopt Positions Against Using Research to Recruit Patients
- ALABAMA OUTLAWS VSRI/OUTREACH 2000
- VSRI Under Investigation by California Attorney General
- Why Would A Chiropractor Pay $2,500 To Participate In Research?
- The Silence Is Deafening
- Pure Coincidence or an Attempt at a Clean Getaway?
- OUM Insurance Group Adopts Policy On Research/Recruitment Programs
- NCC Chiropractic Malpractice Program Takes Stand in Research Subject Debate
Is it any wonder that reputable researchers like Dr. Perle, journalists like Don Petersen, or critics like myself might think TR is up to his old shenanigans when we read of another patient solicitation scheme billed as research? This appears to be the ire of TR’s wrath as he wrote in his July 2006 article, “No ‘Perles’ of wisdom here,” to which I wrote a response titled Wrongberg Attacks, of which a few excerpts are posted below:
“He [Perle] drags me [TR] into his latest mud‑slinging fest by referring to a research effort I started back in the 1980s, the Vertebral Subluxation Research Institute (VSRI). That effort is totally unrelated to RCS, but apparently served as a convenient way to confuse the issue. [Let’s get this straight: Wrongberg made millions off his phony VSRI that was a patient solicitation scam before it was finally stopped, and now he has personally invested over $756,000 into RCS, but he tries to convince us that this has no relationship to this latest RCS scam.]
“…He [Perle] even points out that no actual research was ever conducted by VSRI, but doesn’t bother noting that this was due to the extreme pressure put on the program from organizations and individuals opposed to subluxation‑based research at the time.” [What a lame excuse! So, what happened to the data? Did it disappear into Innate land? What proof does he have of those “organizations and individuals opposed to subluxation‑based research”? Or did nothing of value actually stem from this program?]
It now appears he’s also using this attack defending his RCS scheme as a PR promotion for his Anti-Defamation Fund effort, appealing for money to defend his efforts, another way to squeeze money from the profession. Apparently if you’re against a patient solicitation scheme veiled beneath a supposed research program, then you’re also against “subluxation-based chiropractic” according to TR, who has publicly made an investment of $756,000 to RCS (Is there a conflict of interest here? Indeed, has TR ever made a full disclosure of his business interests to the profession?). Logon to Rondberg: Daddy Big Bucks.
The issue that irked TR was Dr. Perle’s and my comments about the RCS scheme, the newest version of the old VSRI scam. While TR and Matt McCoy contend fishing for new patients with the bait of research participation is the best way to prove chiropractic care affects a myriad of health issues and contributes to wellness (in effect, proving the inexplicable, unproven, untestable and hypothetic Big Idea), it is viewed as unethical since it involves a fee for client participation ($14,000) and questionable patient recruitment. This highly unusual program has been deemed unethical by many academicians, just as the former VSRI program was criticized by both the ACA and ICA.
- ICA and ACA Adopt Positions Against Using Research to Recruit Patients ;
- CHIROWEB | DC Archives – November 21, 1990 ;
- ICA Speaks Out on Unethical Patient Recruitment .
ICA and ACA Adopt Positions Against Using Research to Recruit Patients
VSRI-Type Programs Inadvertently Bring Unity to the Chiropractic Profession
“While there are many issues over which the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and the International Chiropractors’ Association (ICA) disagree, the use of research to recruit patients is not one of them. In an almost unprecedented event, both associations independently established their own positions against this type of program.
“Both the ACA and the ICA established their positions against research/recruitment during their respective board meetings in the month of October, only three weeks apart!”
Never one to adhere to conventional ethics in journalism or research, the following article in the WCA News shows how he deludes his readers about this new patient acquisition scheme thinly veiled as research. TR has a double barrel approach to prove “chiropracTIC works” as field docs gain new patients! Such a deal, ya folla?
“Although the research will greatly benefit the entire profession by silencing the critics who claim it is ‘unscientific,’ [or those who claim it’s unethical] there are definite advantages for individual doctors who participate in the program. Many volunteers who receive their free chiropractic evaluation, consultation and report of findings will be introduced to chiropractic and may be interested in continuing as paying patients.”
Does this sound like a typical, ethical, professional research project that demands field participants to pay and whose real goal is to recruit new patients? Of course not.
Furthermore, Dr. Mike Menke offers more academic reasons why the RCS is an illegitimate effort:
By focusing on scientific merit, we are actually talking about whether such research could eventually be published in a high-impact peer-review scientific journal. Without addressing these issues, this work would not be of sufficient merit to meet high quality scientific publishing standards from what I can observe of it at this time. To date, RCS appears to fall short of what would be expected in a rigorously designed scientific research project.
The following points of concern are by no means exhaustive, but rather highlight some of the primary issues that the scientific community will challenge in various models of health care and health services research.
1) “Correlational research” of large data sets is called “fishing.” Unless the RCS research is theory-driven and effect sizes estimated, such studies lack sufficient scientific quality to be published in legitimate peer-reviewed scientific journals. Correlating every variable with every other variable inevitably produces significant correlations and other associations. With large data sets of 1000 or more, correlations and other measures of association are guaranteed to produce significant correlations, even from very small values. That is why theory must guide analysis here.
2) Lack of a manipulable independent variable would suggest a naturalistic experiment in which levels of chiropractic care could be compared to outcomes. This assumes that types and degrees of chiropractic treatment are tracked, and preferably some chiropractic treatment withheld or substituted with another kind of treatment to give a full range of responses. Otherwise, given the …
3) Lack of a comparison group and lacking random assignment, observed clinical changes could be due entirely to the healing power of time itself.
4) Lack of experimental equipoise. Setting out to prove chiropractic effectiveness for a variety of conditions lacks the neutrality required to test hypotheses and to be taken seriously as science. A correlational exploratory study could never validate anything; let alone chiropractic theory and application.
5) Measurement issues. What is chiropractic effectiveness in this study, anyway? Are the measures of subluxation and health outcomes based upon good psychometric analysis? What are the Cronbach’s Alpha’s of the instruments used? Were convergent and discriminant validity of the assessments established? By what method? Campbell and Fiske’s MTMM? LISREL or other structural equation modeling? In other words, by now there should be a “cottage industry” of research published showing reliability and validity of the RCS measurement models and instruments. That data collection has commenced without this important foundation is a bad sign.
6) Patient self-selection gives a biased sample. When patients self-select, you get wacky inferences such as “better DNA” and more “pregnancies” after chiropractic care – neither of which are scientifically tenable. Also, by researching only the “chiropractically willing,” variable distributions will start to “look weird” – deviate from the normal – a condition that influences correlations – in many cases driving them down. This is easily overwhelmed by especially large sample sizes, in which “everything is found to relate to everything.”
7) After the initial scan for associations in a subset of the sample, theory-derived analysis commences to testing multiple competing hypotheses (Chamberlain, 1996), strong inference (Platt,1964) and model cross validation with bootstrapping or other re-sampling techniques. It is too early to tell if these inferential precautions are to be undertaken. But with a “prove chiropractic” intention, and lack of theoretical development and associated publications from study’s participants, this foundation appears unlikely.
8) A comparison to drug companies to justify secrecy and private funding of the RCS research is comparing apples and oranges for several reasons.
9) A lack of a posted or shared research plan may be appropriate for developing new and proprietary technology. However, when asking people to invest in this study, do they also become shareholders of a technology? Again, in looking to what products will be produced from this project (“deliverables”), the science appears weak from whatever observable parts we have, and accumulating substantial evidence for “chiropractic” [Adjustments? Advice?] seems unlikely. In short, the specific aims and relevance of this research remain unknown.
10) This enterprise is a close cousin to the Vertebral Subluxation Research Institute (VRSI) of just a few years ago which failed to produce anything of scientific value. Many of the same players are in positions of authority in the RCS project. The VRSI never delivered, so we might reasonably expect no more in this most recent version. Without any meaningful and informative scientific publications advancing knowledge of chiropractic’s role in health policy or patient care, the project will fall far short of its claims. Press releases without good science would only confuse the public, and damage the credibility of the chiropractic profession even further, when the scientific and medical communities respond with criticisms.
Investors, chiropractors, patients, and participants are, whether they know it or not, chiefly interested in scientific merit and if their hard earned money will build a better and brighter future for the chiropractic profession. All interested chiropractors deserve to know if scientific integrity and treatment fidelity can be delivered by RCS. The issues I raise and others must be addressed first.
Michael Menke, MA, DC
Evaluation Group for Analysis of Data
Department of Psychology,
and Program in Integrative Medicine
University of Arizona
Certainly TR will stop at nothing to get a return on his investment and make a buck off unsuspecting ideologues as he’s done for two decades. He has constantly attacked anyone who questions the unproven tenets of chiropracTIC, including noted historian, Joe Keating, PhD, or Dr. Craig Nelson, both outspoken advocates for progress and reform who repeatedly have illustrated the gobbledygook within the chiropracTIC faction of our profession. Rondberg Spins Again.
Incredulously, under the protection of freedom of speech, the infamous Connecticut bus may carry a painted message: “Injured by a chiropractor? Call 860-529-8826” or a billboard may print the message: “Warning: chiropractic adjustments can kill or permanently disable you.” This stroke victim awareness group can question the safety of chiro care, but Dr. Perle and I cannot question the validity of the RCS without threat of a lawsuit or being called “liars” in TR’s publication. Certainly TR has now uses this campaign to once again appear to be the defender of chiropracTIC and solicits for more funds from readers. Log on to Wrongberg Sucks Up Again. He doesn’t miss a beat, does he? In fact, it appears he’s the proverbial fly in the ointment who stirs up controversy to promote himself.
The Other Side of the Story
I feel compelled to present my case in the court of public/professional opinion since this is where this matter belongs. Let’s have our learned colleagues decide the ethics of this matter rather than be tried solely in TR’s online journal or in a court of law that is probably naïve to the historical issues involved in this matter. Considering the landmark Supreme Court decisions safeguarding freedom of speech, this frivolous case would probably be thrown out anyway and viewed as political censorship.
To remind all, the Supreme Court has recognized in issues of public importance that occasional erroneous opinions are inevitable but, lacking bad faith or malice, are not libelous.
- New York Times v. Sullivan (1964) The Court decided the First Amendment protected all statements about public officials unless the speaker lied with the intent to defame.
- In Garrison v. Louisiana (1964) A Louisiana law that punished true statements made with “actual malice” was overturned. The Court ruled that unless a newspaper shows “reckless disregard for the truth,” it is protected under the First Amendment.
- Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts and AP v. Walker (1967) A “public figure” who is not a public official may recover damages for a defamatory falsehood what harms his or her reputation, if the newspaper’s actions were an “extreme departure” of the standards of reporting.
- Hustler v. Falwell (1988) The First Amendment prohibits public figures from recovering damages for intentional infliction of emotional harm unless the publication contained a false statement made with actual malice.
In light of our freedom to speak out on issues within our profession and give our opinions on actions by public figures such as TR, Matt McCoy, and the WCA crowd of vendors, Dr. Perle and I are well within our legal right to criticize their actions, all without malice, of course.
If TR and his attorney seek the truth, I again challenged TR to debate this issue in front of our professional peers at RAC or COCSA, but he has constantly refused to appear in front of anyone other than his WCA sycophants, just as he and his WCA refused to participate in the Image & Identity conference sponsored by the WFC at Life-West. Logon to Chiro Terrorists.htm. I even challenged TR to debate me personally while attending the FCER seminar at SoCal UHS in 2004, but he was so afraid to accept my offer that he left the building! So much for seeking the truth, ya folla?
Previously TR has constantly refused to debate his many misdeeds in a professional forum. Instead, he insulates himself from professional criticism, uses his journal and online messages to lash out at his political/business rivals, and now stoops to using an attorney to threaten us with legal action for defamation and damages, allthewhile promoting himself as the Defender of ChiropracTIC, just as Big $id once did, ya folla?
This is simply pure demagoguery to obscure the real issue concerning his questionable RCS scheme—twisting the truth with an emotional plea to persuade followers to defend fundamentalism, to contribute to his defense fund to fight the enemies of chiropracTIC, and to join his RCS to keep the faith in the Big Idea. Never did he answer Dr. Perle or my accusations about the apparent ethical conflicts with his RCS program. Moreover, he became livid when Dr. Perle likened the RCS to his old VSRI scam.
Since conflict clarifies, I’m more than willing to discuss the charges that Dr. Perle and I have made against TR and his RCS scheme. Indeed, I’ve written at length about his many misdeeds and although he claims I’ve lied about him, he’s never presented any facts to refute me or to support his case. Apparently he just doesn’t like anyone denouncing his RCS scheme or using satirical political monikers to describe his nefarious actions throughout his 20+ career on the fringe.
President or Dictator?
Other than the questionable ethics of the RCS scheme, at the heart of TR’s spurious personal reputation is the fact that he bills himself as the president of the WCA, but in reality, he’s a dictator and his “alliance” is not equivalent to mainstream professional, member-driven associations.
According to his attorney’s letter: “Throughout, Dr. Rondberg is libelously characterized as a ‘Dictator of WCA…’” Okay, let’s review the history of this. Is TR a democratically elected president of a legitimate, member-driven professional association or not? Here’s the 2004 ACA House of Delegates Resolution concerning TR and his WCA that clearly proves what I said is true:
2004  – 1 WCA
WHEREAS, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has a history of inclusiveness and consensus building with a wide array of associations and individuals, inside and outside the chiropractic profession; and supports the core values of chiropractic and the importance of a democratic process in representative associations; and
WHEREAS, the World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA) filed official, corporate documents with the State of Arizona in 2000 indicating that the organization only had 240 “members” at that time and has not offered any information to indicate more significant numbers of verifiable members; and
WHEREAS, the WCA maintains a secret “membership” list and is not listed in any recognized directory of membership associations including the 2004 Association Yellow Book; and
WHEREAS, the WCA does not permit its “members” to vote to elect the officers or other board members of the WCA organization; and
WHEREAS, the un-elected president of the WCA is specifically designated in the WCA charter documents as “President for Life;” and
WHEREAS, the WCA Vice President (who is not a D.C.) is the son-in-law of the WCA “President for Life” and the WCA Chief Financial Officer is the wife of the WCA “President for Life;” and
WHEREAS, the WCA “President for Life” and these two family members also hold the positions of Chairman of the Board, Chief Operating Officer, President and Chief Financial Officer with the family-owned, WCA endorsed CBS malpractice insurance entity. In ACA’s opinion, those positions give the appearance that the WCA is being used to sell products and services for the benefit of the “President for Life” and his family; and
WHEREAS, the WCA fervently promoted a bill (HR 2560) that would have stripped physician status from doctors of chiropractic and continued its efforts to promote this legislation even though 48 state chiropractic associations officially opposed it; and
WHEREAS, WCA actions on Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) and Department of Defense (DOD) legislation helped promote the positions and interests of other non-chiropractic professional associations who have traditionally lobbied for issues detrimental to the chiropractic profession’s interests; and
WHEREAS, the WCA “President for Life” placed his interests above those of veterans by proclaiming to the VA Secretary, “I would rather see chiropractors excluded from the entire [VA] program rather than included for the wrong reasons;” and
WHEREAS, the above public information was derived from the WCA website, publications, communications, corporate documents and our experiences with the organization. Therefore, be it
RESOLVED, it is the view and position of the American Chiropractic Association that the WCA has significant and unacceptable conflicts of interest within its un-elected leadership, does not qualify as a representative membership association and does not have sufficient “membership” to warrant consideration as a national or international decision-maker or representative voice for the chiropractic profession.
Considering the WCA does not hold member-wide elections nor does its board roll over bi-annually as is customary in member-driven professional associations, we must consider this organization as a sham and this autocrat as an unelected dictator of a minor group whose membership is unknown and whose board is primarily comprised of vendors. Logon to ChiropracTIC’s Sock Puppets.
TR makes no bones about the fact he is the president for life of the WCA. As far as I know, by definition anyone who is unelected is either a king or a dictator; hence, calling TR the dictator of the WCA seems to fit, since he certainly ain’t royalty, ya folla? Even calling him the “president for life” is inaccurate considering most presidents are elected by a membership for limited terms. It reminds me of Fidel Castro calling himself “president of Cuba” when, in fact, he’s a dictator for life.
Furthermore, TR has continually misrepresented the WCA to all: the WCA is not equivalent to the ICA, ACA, or WFC in its structure, size or mission, yet the TR has constantly billed the WCA as “one of the 4 major chiropractic organizations.” In fact, the WCA is smaller than most state associations and, with only 240 members at last approximation, represents only 0.004% of the national DC population. Indeed, this is not a major organization by any means even if it were democratic.
TR has misrepresented himself to countless legislators, the public, and to the profession as a “president” who is unelected and has held this office for nearly 20 years, yet I am accused of libel by his attorney for calling TR a “dictator.” The WCA is clearly a vendor-driven organization using chiro political issues to promote their own wares and services, yet when this is exposed as a sham organization by the ACA, I am accused of lying. Indeed, who’s really the liar, TR? The ACA, me or you?
He’s also offered no rebuttal that he is not a “president for life” of the sham WCA as the ACA has declared. He continues to deceive both the profession and public with this ruse, including naïve students. In fact, in an ad in the Palmer Beacon student newspaper, Chris Kent, WCA board member and vendor of the Subluxation Station, explained why WCA does not need to elect its leadership like real chiro associations. To be sure, it’s hard to imagine he wrote this with a straight face:
“In the US, the Supreme Court justices are appointed for life, so that they may apply the principles of law, particularly the Constitution, without fear of political reprisals.”
Interesting that TR and Kent insolate themselves from democratic voting to avoid “political reprisals” by thinking of themselves as Supreme Court judges! This explanation is laughable, unconscionable in a member-driven organization, and only in the world of the WCA would anyone use such perverted logic! His analogy to the Supreme Court justices somehow rationalizes the non-democratic nature of the WCA sock puppets—those vendors who endorse each other with awards and attributes. ChiropracTIC’s Sock Puppets
Rather than mentioning the dangerous nature of any autocratic demagoguery, Kent suggests it’s a benefit to be “appointed for life so that they may apply principles…without fear of political reprisals.” So, this is how Rondberg and his ilk rationalize their permanent roles to their non-voting members—very clever, but sad. In my humble opinion, their organizational philosophy more closely resembles Saddam than Thomas Jefferson. The WCA as NGO: More Deception
TR has also offered no proof that his free penny-pincher tabloid, The Chiropractic Journal, is a credible professional journal and not mostly “yellow journalism” filled with his op-ed pieces posing as fact or having vendor/columnists posing as writers. Nor has he denied he has misrepresented himself and his WCA to the public and profession as a credible member-driven association when, in reality, he and his group of board member/vendors generally act as political obstructionists to mainstream chiropractic progress, legally, legislatively and academically. Logon to http://www.chiroweb.com/archives/21/19/07.html.
Who’s Damaged Who?
Indeed, there are many issues TR chooses to ignore, instead he attacks his critics with falsehoods. If this were to go to a courtroom, it will be interesting to rehash all these historical events that illustrate his radical politics, his numerous conflicts of interest, the numerous denunciations by 14 international chiro associations (including the ACA), his constant yellow journalism and character assassinations upon his rivals, as well as to see just how Dr. Perle and I have damaged him financially. As far as I can see, TR is using this threat as a PR bonanza to promote himself once again as a victim by a supposed chiro-medical conspiracy trying to destroy ol’ time chiropracTIC—his typical demagoguery to cast himself in as a Herculean figure fighting the evil medics and mixers, ya folla?
This has been TR’s modus operandi for years as noted by Roland Toth, D.C. who wrote a letter to the editor far back in 1991:
“Who speaks for chiropractic? Certainly not … Rondberg. Rondberg does not unify; he divides with the hope of rising like a magnificent Phoenix. But he can’t — nor will he ever. He … speaks for a fraction of an otherwise good profession. But that fraction(al) part of our profession is too self-centered to speak for the good of any whole.” [All Chiropractors Are Created Equal, But Some Are More ChiropracTIC Than Others ]
Obviously TR’s tactic remains the same—stirring the readers with emotionally-charged issues, purporting to be the savior, allthewhile operating for-profit schemes to benefit himself, not chiropractic as a whole. Indeed, has TR ever did anything that benefited the mainstream profession, not just himself?
Not only has TR misrepresented political issues to his readers, mischaracterized his rivals, and obfuscated issues common to us all, some believe he is badly mistaken about his philosophical leanings, as David Seaman, MS, DC, Palmer-Bikini, wrote in his article, “Subluxation Issues: The ‘Curse of Chiropractic’ According to R.W. Stephenson”
“Clearly, many of the so-called subluxation-based chiropractors of today are unknowingly in opposition to the views of the Palmers and Stephensons, not to mention the research in recent years. This anti-chiropractic activity must be stopped for the benefit and future of our profession.” Logon to Subluxation Issues: The “Curse of Chiropractic” According to R.W. Stephenson David Seaman, MS, DC, DACBN
Certainly it will be eye-opening to view all of TR’s financial records publicly, to learn about his WCA income, just how many members he actually has, the monies he brings in through the WCA, TCJ , his CBS insurance brokerage company, or kickbacks from advertisers/columnists. It will also be interesting to hear testimony from all his political rivals who he’s attacked in the past, such as the ACA, ICA, WFC, FCER, VA Committee, CCE, CCGPP, ACC/numerous chiro college presidents, and to hear the objections of his business rivals like NCMIC, Dynamic Chiropractic, and vendors like Garrison Pomeroy, President, ChiroUSA.com, who wrote in 2001 a scathing letter about TR, “From the Bully Pulpit,” [CHIROWEB | DC Archives – (From the Bully Pulpit) ]
“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.”
Indeed, many notable figures, people, and events will come out of TR’s closet if all is revealed in a courtroom. As Don Petersen’s attorney wrote,
“We are sure you know the long history between your client, Dr. Terry Rongberg, and our clients. You also are aware both of our clients’ reporting on your client’s various civil and criminal matters, and of the parade of lawyers that have represented your client in those matters. This issue appears to be more about that history than anything that actually is in the subject article. We suggest that you speak with Dr. Rongberg and ask him not to go down a path that he will end up regretting.”
The two recent letters by his attorney to me that TR posted over the Internet proved very enlightening inasmuch as I was accused, sentenced, ridiculed, defamed and given two days to respond—talk about swift injustice! TR and his attorney wanted an immediate retraction, but I’m not aware of anything I said that needed to be retracted. Plus, I was sent an overnight fax on August 2, read it on August 3, and was told to respond by August 4. I’m not aware of any legal transaction that occurs so rapidly, and considering my website, www.StopRondberg.org has been online for years, I wonder why the sudden urgency?
Nonetheless, I believe his threat is pure political censorship—nothing more than intimidation to deprive me of my freedom of speech inasmuch as political opinions, as critical, sarcastic, satirical, humorous or biting as they may be, are still protected by the First Amendment, especially concerning a public, political, and controversial figure like TR.
For example, recently a federal court recently dismissed a defamation lawsuit by Carlton Sherwood against Sen. John Kerry, who labeled the filmmaker a “disgraced journalist” and a “Bush hack,” saying remarks linked in the heat of a presidential race amount to political opinions, which constitute expressions of opinions that are protected under the First Amendment. Apparently it’s okay to criticize other political people, but not TR. Methinks it’s a case of thin-skin, not defamation, in revealing the many antics perpetrated by TR upon this profession.
Ironically, these threatening letters aren’t the first time TR has libeled me. His most poignant attack was “JC Smith Revealed: Chapter One: the Crazy Lady from the Laundromat.” Rondberg Slanders JCS
Here are a few excerpts from his attack:
“The following is the beginning of an effort to expose JC Smith for what he is – [there he goes with his character assassination attempt. For the record, I’m a WASP, happily married, great kids, owns two lovely homes, recipient of the Key to the City for my Dawg Jawg charity, and a former All-American athlete at Cal] a sorry, disenchanted, vengeful person who has so little in his life to provide happiness that he has resorted to spending a large portion of his life on his own pathetic vendetta, hanging out in his own perpetual laundromat waiting for the next newcomer to the neighborhood to get tangled in his web of distorted reality. [Just who’s suffering from a “distorted reality”? Okay, stop laughing!]
“According to his own website, James C. Smith, B.S., M.A., D.C. began his career in the practice of chiropractic in Warner Robins in 1980.
What he doesn’t tell you is that his career in chiropractic actually began as an employee of Dr. Sid and Nell Williams. [Yes, where I learned how NOT to run an office, unless you think free exams and $10 office visits is the way to go.] Obviously Dr. Smith did not perform very well since Dr. Williams fired JC [Wrong again, TR. I was never fired, I simply worked out my contract and left, only to be robbed of the $5,000 in Accounts Receivables I was owed by $id, who sent me a check for $800 that bounced! In fact, I had to sue him to get my money!]
“And while Smith continuously calls people like Guy Reikeman “academic imposters” [Sorry, but I expect nowadays that a college prez actually have some academic credentials.] he has no shame about bragging about the rest of his “so what” and make-believe [?] academic background. Smith earned a BS degree in Conservation of Natural Resources in 1970 [from the University of California at Berkeley, one of the most prestigious universities in the world]. Wow, bet those classes were hard. [Anyone who thinks the University of California at Berkeley is easy is simply showing his ignorance.] Aren’t those the kinds of classes kids take when they don’t want to take the hard classes? [Wrong: it was a science-based curriculum.] Was he planning on being a Park Ranger? [No, actually, I wanted to study ecology and the global pollution, but being a park ranger sounds good to me too. You gotta a problem with that, TR? It sure beats being a yellow journalist and evil vendor!] Then Smith got a Masters in the Sociology of Sport from Goddard College. Wonder how much time he actually sat in a classroom there? [Actually, I sat in the classroom for 3 years while teaching/coaching at Rutgers University] Goddard’s Mission:
“Goddard’s students are regarded as unique individuals who take charge of their own learning and collaborate with other students, staff, and faculty to build a strong community.” Taking “charge of your own education” translates to: make up a degree you want to get, do some paperwork, fly in a couple of weekends and presto you have a Masters in the Sociology of Sport! [Just how is TR so expert on something they know nothing about?] You can’t even get away with that at Life! [Are you so sure?]
“Finally Smith then he enrolled in Chiropractic College went back and forth between Life and Sherman [no, I just transferred once from Sherman to Life.] until finally graduating with honors in 1978 from Life Chiropractic College. Though why he points out the honors – no one knows. [To illustrate that some of us Lifers were serious students despite the $idiots and Money Hums all around us, ya folla?]
I wrote a response to his dim-witted article that he refused to print in my defense, once again illustrating his journal is not fair or balanced. But I am not the only victim of his journalistic fraud. As any reader of The Chiropractic Journal knows, TR is renowned for writing one-sided articles without giving his rivals any chance to defend themselves. More than once he has attacked me, among many others, without offering me any rebuttal, at one point referring to me as “JC Scum,” which is why I have to resort to responding to his articles online after the fact.
Another example, and perhaps the most dramatic, was a $20 million lawsuit TR filed against Frank B. Hall. In order to publicly defend himself, Frank B. Hall asked the Dynamic Chiropractor for a chance to respond publicly since TR refused:
“Editor’s note: When we at “DC” write a news story, we give conflicting parties the opportunity to express their points of view. This is called balanced reporting. Not all publications however honor this practice of ethical journalism.
“Case in point: The front page of the WCA’s January 1993 Chiropractic Journal featured an article describing in detail a $20 million lawsuit filed by Terry A. Rondberg, DC, against the WCA’s former insurance company, Frank B. Hall. Frank B. Hall was never given the chance to present their side of the issue in the article, in fact Frank B. Hall did not know of the existence of the suit until it appeared in the Chiropractic Journal. Further, Frank B. Hall was not notified or served for the lawsuit until weeks after the article was released.” To read the entire article, logon to Frank B. Hall Asks for Fair Treatment .
Obviously TR isn’t interested in fair and balanced reporting, especially when his financial agenda is the issue. Sadly for over 20+ years now the chiropractic readership of his free tabloid has been subjected to misinformation, biased reporting, and yellow journalism on nearly every topic from CCE to VA to CCGPP to ACA to the WFC or my own commentaries.
A Tale of Truth
Since the truth is the absolute defense, I will make my case against TR’s allegations and let you, the profession, decide if I owe him any apology. If I am mistaken, I am not too humble to correct my errors when I’ve been proven incorrect, but where I am correct, can I expect TR to admit this as well to his entire readership? Okay, stop laughing because he has never publicly admitted any wrongdoing, which supports my contention that he is, in fact, the most dangerous man in chiropracTIC, a mantel that he proudly wears.
Let me recap the strings of events. After he attacked Stephen Perle for questioning the ethics of the RCS scheme, I wrote a response to TR’s article, “No ‘Perles’ of wisdom here,” Wrongberg Attacks. Terry Rondberg disseminated the following “News Flash” on August 2 over his email broadcast. Read my response in brown:
Lawyer called in to “stop the liars” in chiropractic
Saying that it’s “time to stop the liars,” Terry A. Rondberg, DC, president of the World Chiropractic Alliance, is seeking legal redress against JC Smith, DC, whose bombastic attacks against many subluxation-based chiropractic leaders have stunned and embarrassed the profession. [To the contrary: I’ve had hundreds of messages of support throughout the years applauding my effort to expose the evil vendors in this profession. Logon to Interesting Remarks to JCS .]
In a 20-page letter, attorney Carlos Negrete — noted for his successful battles against self-proclaimed “Quackbuster” Stephen Barrett — detailed the numerous and gross inaccuracies contained in one of Smith’s most recent online diatribes against Dr. Rondberg. [Please detail this “inaccuracies.” Other than listing the adjectives used to describe TR’s behavior over the last 20 years, I’ve not presented any facts inaccurately, certainly not with any malice.]
“After carefully reviewing your two articles, we find they contain false statements and information [Again, please elaborate specifically or am I not entitled to my freedom of speech to express my opinion of the RCS scheme?] that are clearly designed and intended to be libelous on their face. [Wrong, they’re intended to show the truth of the RCS patient solicitation scheme and other scams by TR, like his past VSRI scheme that was shut down. In fact, if the VSRI was a legitimate research project, why was it stopped, by whom, and what research data emerged from it?] It is apparent that the articles were intended to cause my clients and myself to be held in a false light and damage our reputations and businesses, [How did they hold his attorney in “false light” or damage their reputations or businesses? Apparently being a whistleblower may hurt their RCS effort.] which would invariably lead to damages. Indeed, the articles in their entirety are grossly libelous and based on false statements, half-truths and innuendo which are also intended to subject my clients to ridicule and false portrayal.” [Again, please elaborate where Dr. Perle and I are mistaken. Simply shouting us down with legalistic threats isn’t proof of anything. Inasmuch as the ACA HOD passed a resolution in 2004 denouncing TR and his WCA, why isn’t it also part of this threat? Or is the ACA too big for TR to attack?]
Smith’s latest attack is littered with the same infantile [isn’t this threat “infantile”?] and ludicrous statements that characterize his “StopRondberg” website, which he runs specifically to attack Dr. Rondberg (who he repeatedly calls “Wrongberg”). [Well, most of the time, TR is wrong: so Wrongberg became a natural moniker. In fact, monikers are commonplace in politics, e.g., Slick Willie, Tricky Dick, or my favorite, Big $id, ya folla?]
“There’s nothing funny about the vicious lies [Please elaborate. My website is mostly a parody of the WCA website.] he tells on his website,” Dr. Rondberg stated. “We expect this kind of thing on one of Barrett’s websites, but when it comes from a man who was given the American Chiropractic Association’s “Service to Chiropractic” award, [Thank you very much] we have to ask ourselves what’s really going on, whether there’s a connection between Barrett and the enemies within who are trying to destroy subluxation-based chiropractic.” [Methinks TR is paranoid that there’s a conspiracy against him when, in fact, it’s actually many independent professionals who’ve come to the same conclusion about TR and his cohort radicals. No one is out to destroy sub-based care as he contends, but we are exposing conflicts of interest, demagoguery, junk science, and sham organizations that misrepresent themselves to the profession and public. Logon to The Most Dangerous Man in ChiropracTIC]
In the past, Smith has also ridiculed and attacked other leaders and organizations in the subluxation-centered chiropractic community including ICA, Drs. Sid Williams, Guy Reikeman, Patrick Gentempo, Christopher Kent, Larry Markson, Fabrizio Mancini, Reggie Gold, Bob Hoffman, and many others. [Most interesting, my whistle-blowing about the corruption of Big $id led to a reformation of Life, thank you very much. Sadly, many in the ICA leadership have serious conflicts of interests (logon to Conflicts in ChiropracTIC Leadership ), many are simply ideologues, and a few chiro college presidents who are simply untrained for the post. Rational or Radical ]
“I know a lot of doctors would like to ignore all this and say it’s just more ‘negativity,'” [Isn’t this ironic? Okay, stop laughing. Of all people, TR, the fore bearer of all doom if his fundamentalist agenda isn’t followed, is now calling his critics “negative.” Logon to A Grain of Salt] Dr. Rondberg noted. “But I’m asking them just to read the attorney’s letter and judge the situation for themselves. [Then read my website for the other side of this story @ www.StopRondberg.org ] They can connect the dots and see that this isn’t one isolated individual making a spectacle of himself. He’s just part of a much bigger and more sinister campaign to clear the profession of anyone he and his allies feel threatened by, anyone who might stop them from turning chiropractic into a limited medical low-back therapy.” [There he goes again with his demagoguery. It’s not that many mainstream, evidence-based, non-cultish, non-vendor DCs are tired of his radical journalism and political obstructionism, but TR thinks it’s a “sinister campaign.” If this doesn’t illustrate his paranoia, what will? In fact, Big $id felt the same paranoia that everyone was out to get him, but he was right!]
NOTE: The entire letter can be viewed by clicking here: Demand for Retraction.
So, immediately after reading this threatening letter to censor his critics demanding a response within two days, I wrote back:
In reviewing your numerous allegations, it is ridiculous of you to demand any response by August 4 inasmuch as I received your complaint on August 2. Indeed, two days is not a reasonable time frame to address the many mischaracterizations and misrepresentations made by you in your brief. My people are aware of your demand and you will have a response in a timely manner.
BTW: you forgot to include in your list of defamatory remarks the term “snollygoster.”
So, the very next day came this email broadcast by TR showing how he once again twists the truth to defame me:
J.C. Smith refuses to respond to WCA demand and
own up to his wrongdoing
J.C. Smith has refused to respond to a formal cease and desist letter that was sent to him earlier this week concerning his most recent attack against Dr. Terry Rondberg, the World Chiropractic Alliance and several other organizations.
The controversy started when J.C. Smith posted a series of articles on the internet and through a mass email spam mailing. The articles contained false statements in a well coordinated [“coordinated” with whom?] effort to target Smith’s longtime professional rival, Dr. Terry Rondberg. [So, where is TR’s rebuttal to my alleged “false statements”? Secondly, aren’t “professional rivals” allowed to criticize each other? Indeed, where would the Democrats and Republicans be if they sued each other every time they were criticized?]
Saying that it’s “time to stop the liars,” Terry A. Rondberg, DC, president of the World Chiropractic Alliance, is taking action against JC Smith, DC, whose irresponsible attacks against many subluxation-based chiropractic leaders have stunned and embarrassed the profession. [Again, calling me or Dr. Perle a “liar” is inane without any proof. Please give us examples of our lies with your answers, TR. Secondly, I’m not attacking “subluxation-based” DCs, but I have exposed the academic frauds and evil vendors who have exploited this profession for too long. Incredulously, TR tries to paint himself as a victim, but he’s been victimizing this profession for 20+ years with his free tabloid yellow journalism, his WCA dictatorship, and his skewed political views of the future of this profession.]
Dr. Smith was given a deadline [two days?] to provide a written response to a cease and desist letter that was sent to him earlier this week by WCA’s and Dr. Rondberg’s attorney. In what seems to be a concession of his wrongdoing [What the hell is this? Because I take more than one day to defend myself, I’m now conceding wrongdoing??] , Smith has failed to provide a formal response [Wrong!] or even address the WCA attorney’s letter. [I’m doing that now, TR.] Through his attorney, Dr. Rondberg had threatened to take “swift and decisive” legal action against JC Smith, and his accomplices [who are they?], if he did not come forward to retract his false statements [Again, which ones are false?] and remove his internet postings. [Whatever happened to the First Amendment? It appears that TR can fill the Internet with his yellow journalism, but anyone who responds to it is condemned?]
In the 20-page letter, California health freedom attorney Carlos Negrete and his law firm– noted for his successful battles against anti-chiropractor, self-proclaimed “Quackbuster” Stephen Barrett — challenged numerous and gross inaccuracies contained in one of Smith’s most recent online diatribes against Dr. Rondberg. [Wrong: he offered no explanation or response, he simply listed the many adjectives and monikers used to describe TR.]
In his cease and desist letter, Negrete states that: “After carefully reviewing your two articles, we find they contain false statements and information that are clearly designed and intended to be libelous on their face. It is apparent that the articles were intended to cause my clients and myself to be held in a false light and damage our reputations and businesses, which would invariably lead to damages. [Just how has the RCS exposé by Dr. Perle or me damage TR? Has RCS lost money? If so, how much? It will be interesting to see all of TR’s financial books to learn how much damage, if any, has occurred.]
Indeed, the articles in their entirety are grossly libelous and based on false statements, half-truths and innuendo which are also intended to subject my clients to ridicule and false portrayal….You will soon find out that we are committed to setting a new professional and ethical standard that embraces the core values of the chiropractic community. [Okay, stop gasping!] We will do whatever is lawfully necessary to bring justice to those that attack our own by those that seek to repress information and scientific progress. ” [Oh my god: for TR to suggest he is for “scientific progress” is laughable considering his fundamentalism, his obstruction for DCs to do more than “detect and correct subluxations” and now his threat of a lawsuit clearly indicates TR’s attempt to “repress information” when that information exposes him. Logon to Chiropractic Snollygosters ]
“There’s nothing funny about the senseless and irresponsible lies Smith writes about on his website,” [Again, which lies?] Dr. Rondberg stated. “We expect this kind of thing on one of Barrett’s websites, but when it comes from a man who was given the American Chiropractic Association’s “Service to Chiropractic” award, we have to ask ourselves what’s really going on, whether there’s a connection between Barrett and the enemies within who are trying to destroy subluxation-based chiropractic.” [There he goes again with his demagoguery—if anyone criticizes him, then they must be associated with Barrett!? To learn more of his spin, logon to Rongberg Spins ]
In the past, Smith has also ridiculed and attacked other leaders and organizations of the subluxation-centered chiropractic community including ICA, Drs. Sid Williams, Guy Riekeman, Patrick Gentempo, Christopher Kent, Larry Markson, Fabrizio Mancini, Reggie Gold, Bob Hoffman, and many others. [Logon to Big $id Williams , King Guy “Easy” Riekeman and CJ “Pimples” Mertz and read for yourself of their conflicts of interests as vendors, to name but a few questionable issues.]
In taking this action Dr. Rondberg stated that: “The time has come to put a halt to irresponsible misinformation before it is believed to have any relationship to reality or truth. [Coming from the most notorious yellow pundit in our profession, this is incredible. Logon to Rondberg Rubbish ] I am simply not going to standby and watch my beloved profession divided by destructive demagogues [Is this the pot calling the kettle black?] that want to dictate their own unproven scientific theories as being the “only way” that “obedient” chiropractors should be required to practice. [Methinks he’s referring to the CCGPP recommendations. Odd that he calls it “unproven scientific theories” when, in fact, that is exactly its goal—to sort the proven from the unproven. Indeed, who’s disseminating misinformation now, TR?] In the past, I have said that this is wrong and have been committed to stopping Barrett and his many minions from destroying our core values. [Why does he continue to bring Barrett into this issue? He’s had nothing to do with this whatsoever, but TR is using Barrett to demonize Dr. Perle and me—guilt by association that doesn’t exist, ya folla?] These lies must, and will, come to a screeching halt.” [Again, what lies does TR object to? Being called a liar is odd in light of throughout these articles, he’s never once explained which lies nor offers any explanation of his own. Obviously TR is mad that Dr. Perle and I have exposed his antics and rather than debate them, he chooses to retaliate with his customary poisoned pen without any opportunity to respond by those who question his motives.
For example, here is his response to a recent inquiry by Herb Congram, DC, who disagreed with TR’s condemnation of the CCGPP paper:
In a message dated 8/4/2006 7:57:16 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, email@example.com writes:
What am I? Flypaper for freaks? We’re all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view. You should enroll in the Flat Earth Society. 6% of the population does not believe that we have been to the moon. There are those who claim that the Holocaust never happened. A small minority of our profession like you deny the existence of vertebral subluxations.
NASA doesn’t have Flat Earth Society members program their computers; stupid chiropractors who are subluxation deniers developing guidelines or promulgating policy.
I’m already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth. Don’t e-mail again Herb, I’m not being rude, you’re just insignificant.
[So much for professional debate with a so-called publisher, eh? Just one more example how TR refuses to print any rebuttal to his position to offer readers a fair and balanced viewpoint. To learn more of TR’s objections to the CCGPP, logon to If Wrongberg is Against It, It Must be Good.]
Dr. Rondberg went on to say: “For now, I ask you to take the time and read our attorney’s letter and consider whether Dr. Smith has your interest in mind or those that would like to control our profession and steer it in a direction that will lead to restrictions on your ability to freely practice chiropractic.” [All this hyperbole from an article critical of the RCS patient solicitation scheme—TR uses inflammatory rhetoric to stir the prejudices/passions of his readership to fight in his Quixotic battle. If this isn’t a sign of paranoia, what is?]
Back to Reality
Now that I have responded to these two spurious letters that were broadcast on the Internet by TR, let me clarify a few other points that were conveniently omitted by him.
Mr. Negrete also claims Dr. Rondberg is accused by me of having “conflicts of interest,” of engaging in “unethical” conduct and “dirty dealings,” of misrepresenting facts and mis-characterizing “rival political personalities,” of using a “poison pen” to “vilify” opponents and “incite passions/prejudices among his readers,” of “sanctimonious and evil spewing,” of disseminating “false information,” and of leading “radical insurgents,”… a “yellow journalist,” a “journalistic fraud,” a “demagogue,” a “chiro sociopath,” “the most dangerous (and sick) man in chiropractic,” a “phony,” a “con-artist,” a “chirovangelist,” an “Evil Vendor,” a “crook,” a “charlatan,” a “crazed sycophant,” “small minded,” and is compared to a “religious fanatic.”
I agree that TR has been described as such, and rightfully so in my opinion and those of many other rational DCs. As a political public figure in chiropractic, TR has invited criticism with his radical stance on every issue. Indeed, he’s getting just what he deserves. If he can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
Again, Mr. Negrete or TR have never proven me wrong, they just resent these insulting adjectives to describe TR’s behavior. If you have the interest, please take the time to review the many articles I’ve written throughout the years illustrating why TR is characterized as such, then you’ll understand why I billed him as “the most dangerous man in chiropracTIC.” Logon to The Most Dangerous Man in ChiropracTIC.
In regards to TR being the “most dangerous man in chiropracTIC,” as I recall, his response to his criticism was one of pride. He petitioned his followers to write to him in support and wrote a rather lengthy article praising himself for this tribute. If he were so insulted, why has he waited so long?
In regards to him being a “phony or con-artist,” how would you describe someone who is an unelected leader of a fringe group who misrepresents himself as a “president” of a “major organization” when, in fact, neither is true? His role is mainly that of a radical insurgent obstructionist who interferes with the efforts of mainstream chiropractic groups.
As Mark Twain once said, “If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed. But if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed.” How appropriate for anyone who reads anything printed in TR’s free tabloid. If Jon Stewart has made millions on his Daily Show mocking politicians and news events with his fake news, I daresay TR has done the same making a mockery of chiropractic issues with his yellow journalism.
Even Chester Wilk wrote an open letter to the profession on May 10, 1991 expressing his concern for TR’s radical stance [logon to An Open Letter to the Profession: “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.”
I daresay TR wears with pride the mantle of a rogue, someone with obvious conflicts of interest along with a radical political agenda, who stops at nothing to mislead this profession. Oddly, in his 20 year career, his WCA membership is still unknown to this profession despite his recruiting efforts in every edition of his free tabloid. He has repeatedly refused to engage the mainstream chiropractic organizations in cooperative efforts, the Identity and Image conference being the most obvious. Logon to Chiro Terrorists.htm to learn why TR avoided being confronted by the majority of DCs.
In regards to their poisoned pens, TR and Matt McCoy, editor of JVSR and co-director of RCS, have continually ignored their own financial disclosures and the ethical implications of any for-profit research. Recently an editorial in JAMA, The Influence of Money on Medical Science, by Catherine D. DeAngelis, MD, MPH (JAMA. 2006;296:(doi:10.1001/jama.296.8.jed60051).( http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/296.8.jed60051v1?etoc ), she raises many ethical questions that JAMA considers nowadays, but issues constantly ignored apparently by TR’s tabloid or McCoy’s journal. Never have we read any financial disclosures or conflicts of interest, never are victims of their poisoned pen allowed to respond, and junk science and vendor-driven articles predominate their so-called journals.
As Dr. DeAngelis warned:
“…it is important to discern the necessary and honest interests of for-profit companies from the potentially corrupting influence of commercial interests…The influence of commercial interests on medical science is far-reaching but, to a great degree, essential. ..Now comes the potential problem. In some instances, the marketing goal of a company dominates the scientific aspect of the company-funded research.”
Indeed, the marketing goal of RCS claims to be proving chiropractic care for wellness care, but their true money-making marketing goal is to sign up clients at $14,000 to participate with the real goal of patient solicitation. This is the ethical question Dr. Perle raised and one that has never been answered by TR or his RCS colleagues. Instead, they threaten us with lawsuits for broaching the issue.
This is typical ploy by TR—to misrepresent the actual issue, instead wrapping himself in the banner of defending “subluxation-based chiropracTIC” to appear to be a martyr who is being attacked by the evil mixers as he recently wrote about me, the “embattled anti-subluxation chiropractor, JC Smith.” Just where have I ever written anything against sub-based DCs? Never, but I have written extensively about the bait-and-switch Rondberg uses to stir emotions and prejudices against this rivals—his typical demagoguery. In his latest attack on me, one of his supporters likened him to a saint, “”You remind me of the Archangel, Michael.” Okay, stop laughing, but it shows you that his skewed perspective is shared by others who’ve bought into his yellow journalism hook, line, and sinker.
Obviously TR also routinely mischaracterizes his critics. He has rallied his troops by demonizing all opponents as “medical” or “anti-subluxation” oriented and then announcing himself as the leader of “sub-based” chiropractic, which is a faction of his own making, inasmuch as most DCs are subluxation-based to some degree, even if we can’t agree what constitutes the VSC. In effect, he’s placed himself as spokesman for sub-based practitioners when, in fact, no one has elected him to do so; once again, he appoints himself to this role. Of course, he juxtaposes this to patient-based or evidence-based faction and denigrates them to “medical low back care” in order to vilify scientific-based care. He’s been beating this drum ad nausea despite it being total gibberish. Logon to Chiropractic Snollygosters.
A prime example of TR’s interference with mainstream chiropractic and the ACA occurred when the WCA introduced a bill concerning a re-definition of chiropractic’s presence in Medicare that would have been disastrous if it had passed according to the ACA legal counsel, Tom Daly. Congressman Don Manzullo (D-IL) introduced HR 2560 in the U.S. House of Representatives in which chiropractors would be removed from the definition of “physician” under §1861(r) of the Social Security Act. Also removed would be the current definition of chiropractic services, i.e., “treatment by means of manual manipulation of the spine (to correct a subluxation).”
TR’s harmful actions created the need for the ACA chairman, Jim Edwards, to fly to Washington to meet with a key senator’s (Hatch) staff person in order to kill the provisions in the Manzulo bill. Logon to http://www.chiroweb.com/archives/21/19/07.html
“Unfortunately, this illustrates once again what can happen when an association [WCA], lacking legislative maturity and without due regard for the ramifications, introduces a bill (and quickly convinces another association [ICA] to sign on) for the purpose of gaining headlines. Nevertheless, the ACA has supplied the legal analysis to both groups and Congressman Manzullo’s office, and hopes to convince him and the ICA to withdraw their support of the legislation.”
James Edwards, DC
Chairman, ACA Board of Governors
Again, TR knows his WCA is a small vendor-driven fringe “alliance” without any credible support from the field, but with his poison pen in hand and deception in heart, he is able to misrepresent himself and the wishes of this profession to legislators. Indeed, if there’s a fly in the ointment, it’s TR and his band of sycophants.
A “sociopath” is someone who causes harm to others without shame or guilt. This aptly describes the many acts by TR to harm his rivals, to misrepresent political events to his readers, such as the VA inclusion of chiropractic, but when proven wrong, he never has corrected himself for misleading his readership. When the NY Times reporter, Jayson Blair, committed journalistic fraud, at least the Times had the journalistic integrity to fire Blair and apologize—something TR has never done in his 20 years of printing skewed articles about events or people in this profession.
Not unexpectedly, some chiro leaders have accused TR of sleeping with the enemy himself in order to sabotage the mainstream political efforts such as during the initial VA inclusion hearing. TR and his rep on the VAC, Leona Fischer, wanted to limit DCs to “detect and correct VSC only” and she lobbied hard for inclusion of Kent’s Subluxation Station, which the committee vetoed. According to Paul Shekelle from AHCPR/RAND fame, the Sub Station (sEMG) had already been rejected by the AHCPR study and he made no bones about it to Leona Fischer who was a relentless salesperson for Kent’s Sub Station when he said:
“Leona, listen. Let’s just close off this debate right now, okay? The AHCPR guideline threw out surface EMG. There’s no point in continuing to bring this up. I think you’re wasting our time. We are not going to recommend something as an outcome measure which another part of the government [AHCPR] dismissed as being unscientific.”
Logon to Weeding Chiropractic to learn more of the WCA interference in the VA process.
Foremost, TR wanted DCs as PCPs, which was impossible in the VA system inasmuch as DCs are considered second-tier specialists for NMS disorders, certainly not primary care diagnosticians. Logon to Rooting for the Enemy Within. In amazement, TR and his WCA ilk suggested every vet be examined for VSC before they are triaged by the PCPs. Can you imagine the disbelief on the VAC when this idea was proposed? Okay, stop gasping.
Never one to admit defeat, years later TR was still misrepresenting the VA inclusion of chiropractic with his public condemnation of Dr. Reed Phillips, chairman of the VAC, suggesting DCs would starve if MDs were sole gatekeepers. In reality, to illustrate how ridiculous Wrongberg’s fear of not having direct access to DCs actually is, an informal survey done by the VA committee of 18 sites revealed the average waiting time for new patients is approximately 5.5 weeks!
Imagine if every field DC had such a waiting list for new patients. Apparently these VA chiropractors have their hands full in the present system as second tier specialists. Indeed, none of them are crying like Wrongberg and Fischer about not being a PCP or screening every VA patient for subluxation before treating their actual medical condition because they’re too busy treating patients. Logon to Chiropractic Snollygosters .
Rather than admit the present VA chiropractic program is a success, apparently the WCA believes preventing vets from chiropractic care is preferable to DCs as second tier specialists who have broad-scope practice parameters and paid for these services. TR is so politically naïve that TR even had the audacity to write to VA Sec. Principi is protest of the chiropractic inclusion:
“I would rather see chiropractors excluded from the entire program rather than included for the wrong reasons. I am respectfully requesting that you reject this recommendation and accept the ‘minority recommendation’ which represents the wishes of the majority of doctors in my profession and respectfully request you allow DIRECT access for VA beneficiaries to doctors of chiropractic.”
Rather than having both feet in the VA door for the first time in history, TR is willing to cut off his nose to spite the face of chiropractic. He flaunts the democratic process by requesting the “minority recommendation” be accepted instead of the majority’s recommendations. Indeed, TR just doesn’t get this democracy thing, ya folla? Plus, the VAC would never have granted DCs the role of PCPs or vets direct access to DCs as Dr. Reed Philips, chairman of the VAC, pointed out clearly on many occasions. Logon to Chiropractic Snollygosters.
Here’s yet another article from Dynamic Chiropractic about TR’s interference in the VA effort (We get letters, e-mail…and releases ):
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.”
Rule or Ruin
So, what do you call someone who speaks out of both sides of his mouth, someone who is willing to side with the enemy to spite his political foes? Aside from his effort to kill the VA inclusion of chiropractors, TR also sided with the medical critics who opposed the FSU chiropractic program. [Logon to Rondberg Saboteur.] It appears TR on one hand will demonize the medical profession as the evil enemy of chiropractic, yet he readily aligns with them when he wants to sabotage the efforts of the ACA or Florida Chiropractic Association.
Not only has the ACA denounced the WCA, but so has the WFC, the true international chiropractic organization that represents over 88 countries now. The following excerpt from another article in Dynamic Chiropractic illustrates the depths TR has gone to interfere with the internal politics of foreign associations (Chiropractic Worldwide Responds to WCA “Meddling” ):
“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.”
Not only has the ACA and WFC condemned the WCA and its dictator, but more recently at the WFC Congress in Sydney, Australia in June of 2005, Dr. Gerry Clum, president of Life-West, ICA bigwig, and currently president of the WFC, publicly chastised the ICA for forming an alliance with the WCA. Logon on to Chiro Coalition Panics:
“Forming an alliance [the Chiropractic Coalition] with the WCA was the dumbest thing that the ICA has ever done. Actually, not much is going on with the relationship and I hope it dies a natural death.”
The ACA and WFC are among many who hold critical opinions of TR’s machinations as Dr. Garth Aamodt has succinctly written in his letter to the Dynamic Chiropractic editor, The Battle for the Soul of Chiropractic – Have We Become a Cult? [We Get Letters & E-Mail ]:
“Why do we dance to this illegitimate and soulless tune? Why are so many of our seminars based on making better money, rather than making better doctors? Why don’t our colleges emphasize ethics at least as much as philosophy? Why do we wink and nod at bogus “subluxation stations,” sEMG, and other fake tools that dupe a trusting public? Why do we legitimize questionable techniques without requiring proof of effectiveness? Why do we fight every effort to create practice guidelines? Why do we stay silent at bogus research scams, like the current RCS program from Terry Rondberg, without raising a deafening protest? Why don’t our state boards get tough with DCs who routinely over-utilize? Why is there so little outrage that chiropractic is too often hijacked by the worst elements and most blatant charlatans among us?”
These are essential questions to answer if our profession is to progress beyond its present low-tier reputation in the health care industry. While Drs. Aamodt, Perle, Schneider, Donald Murphy and others cry out for progress and reform, it’s painfully obvious that Wrongberg and his WCA cronies are willing to subvert this progress if they don’t profit. Progress is only tolerated if they make money, which is why TR suddenly promotes the RCS or Kent’s Sub Station. Never before have the WCA boys been so adamant about research—never supporting RAC or FCER—until they developed a way to profit, which is a deception to field docs and to patients alike, and a detriment to the image and progress of chiropractic as Dr. DeAngelis warned, “Now comes the potential problem… the marketing goal of a company dominates the scientific aspect of the company-funded research.”
It seems that if we don’t play by Wrongberg’s rules, he’s willing to take the role of a spoilsport so no one else can play. Just as BJ and Big $id, our fundamentalists’ political policy is to rule the profession with fundamentalism and private entrepreneurism or ruin any attempt otherwise.
“The record of legislative disruption by the WCA is nothing new,” according to the ACA’s former Chairman of the Board of Governors, Dr. J. Michael Flynn. “Over the years, the WCA’s actions have perpetuated divisiveness in the chiropractic profession, which has only helped undermine the efforts of legitimate organizations to achieve parity for the chiropractic profession.”
The feud between the WCA and WFC is more the figment of TR’s imagination since the WFC actually works for international unity/standards whereas the WCA is “worldly” in name only. Yet TR wonders why the WFC refuses to acknowledge his sham organization (logon to WCA vs WFC ):
“WFC has consistently ignored or attacked WCA. David Chapman-Smith attacked our NGO status in a letter to the UN. He failed to list WCA as either a national or international professional organization in his book “The Chiropractic Profession.” [Rightfully so. The very structure of the WCA precludes it from being recognized as a legitimate organization. No evidence exists as to membership, structure, governance, elections, economics, etc.]
The WCA as an NGO was also exposed as more deception than reality inasmuch as it has never rendered any actual services to third world people around the world or those who’ve experienced a calamity, the true purpose of NGOs. TR has used the NGO status more as a PR ploy than as an actual humanitarian effort. Logon on to The WCA as NGO: More Deception and More Violations of NCO Criteria.
To say Rondberg has not always enjoyed the support of his straight colleagues is an understatement considering the criticism heaped upon Rondberg by the ICA. The International Chiropractic Association has openly challenged the divisive nature and demagoguery of the WCA, spurring a response in another editorial by Rondberg, “Who profits from the WCA?” www.worldchiropracticalliance.org/tcj/2000/sep/sep2000rondberg.htm
“The ICA Board member [Dr. Chris Quigley]…came right out and said, ‘I don’t see anything that you’ve ever done as constructive for subluxation-oriented chiropractic. I do see you as divisive and self-serving. I see you as a self-promoter disguising his for-profit businesses as having altruistic purposes.’… ‘I don’t see provisions for any real elections or choices in who runs the association.’”
Indeed, it seems a case can be made where many leaders from all factions in this profession are highly critical of the antics of TR for the last 20 years. Included among his critics are the vast majority of chiro college presidents who won’t let TR or his WCA on campus, including his alma mater, Logan. Logon to Rondberg’s Peek-a-Boob .
So, will TR and his attorney also threaten the ACA, WFC, ICA, David Chapman-Smith, Gerry Clum, Chris Quigley, Mike Flynn, Chester Wilk, David Seaman, Mike Menke, Jim Edwards, Roland Toth, Garrison Pomeroy, Garth Aamodt, and Jim Mertz who’ve all spoken out critically against the WCA or the RCS program? Are they all “liars” too?
Another issue that annoyed TR and his attorney was the use of “yellow journalist” in regards to his many editorials. Again, these are expressions of political opinion that are allowed by law, just as the use of political monikers is permitted and even customary in political satire, ya folla? Indeed, the accusation that TR has been less than forthright on many topics he’s published strikes at the heart of his lack of credibility.
However, it’s not as if I’ve attacked a completely innocent person who is devoid of controversy, never having written anything critical himself or someone who is political neutral on chiropractic issues. Logon to Journalistic Crime to learn of the many dubious articles written by TR to blast his business and political rivals, but let’s first define what journalistic ethics involves.
The code of ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists’ (an organization whose membership is comprised of publishers, editors, and journalists) establishes the fundamental responsibilities of every journalist. This list of objectives begins with a statement that reads, “The duty of journalists is to serve the truth.” Ironically, TR believes his chiropracTIC quest is the “truth,” but in reality, his spin more closely resembles journalistic fraud when he presents his opinion as fact.
Other important elements of this code of ethics to which all journalists should adhere include:
“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. [So, when do Dr. Perle and I have access to TCJ to reply?] Journalists who use their professional status as representatives of the public for selfish or other motives violate a high trust.”
Journalistic ethics obviously have no bearing in Rongberg’s publication—his sole goal is to advance his own agenda as a vendor, attack his political rivals, and use whatever means he can to stir the pot of controversy with publicity stunts. This short review of Bob Kohn’s book, “Journalistic Fraud: How the New York Times Distorts the News and Why It Can No Longer Be Trusted,” summarizes those same tactics often used by our chiropracTIC journalists:
“Today, instead of straight news, readers are given mere editorial under the pretense of objective journalism. Kohn shows point by point the methods by which the Times’ mission has been subverted by the present management—routinely slanting the presentation of the facts in leads, headlines, and placement; utilizing polls, labels, and loaded language to convey particular views, not genuine news; and staffing the newsroom with hacks who manipulate information to further a leftist agenda.”
Whereas the NY Times’ motto is to print “All the News that’s Fit to Print,” the motto of the TCJ is clearly, “All the Spin that Pays.” He uses the mass media to influence buyers in the chiropractic marketplace behind a smokescreen of inflammatory rhetoric and political ploys to push his agenda. Moreover, TR freely admits his conflict of interest as a publisher: “Do I make money from CBS and TCJ? Yes, I do, just as every full time employee of any business makes a profit. Do I use TCJ to promote CBS and WCA? Of course!”
Yellow Journalism Defined [logon to Journalistic Fraud ]
“In 1898, newspapers provided the major source of news in America. At this time, it was common practice for a newspaper to report the editor’s interpretation of the news rather than objective journalism. If the information reported was inaccurate or biased, the American public had little means for verification. With this sort of influence, the newspapers wielded much political power. In order to increase circulation, the publishers of these papers often exploited their position by sponsoring a flamboyant and irresponsible approach to news reporting that became known as ‘yellow journalism.’”
Certainly Rongberg has stooped to this low level of news reporting because he makes no attempt to be a reputable journal within this profession. Indeed, the “news” is just the bait to spin in order to sell products, and his demagoguery is the tactic he uses with his “flamboyant and irresponsible approach to news reporting.” The more he can stir the pot of controversy to push his agenda, the better Rongberg likes it to keep his name and products in front of the profession. Indeed, if it weren’t for his free tabloid, no one would have ever heard of TR since he’s accomplished nothing of merit in this profession.
Without question, TR’s worst example of yellow journalism occurred when he printed a letter condemning Dr. Lou Sportelli written by a fictional Dr. Robert Marsh, who many believe this letter may have been written by TR in order to defame his business rival, NCMIC, of which Sportelli is president. Logon to The Chiropractic Profession Has Been Defrauded! to learn more of this libelous action.
“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.”
“…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.”
Dr. Sportelli responded to the phony letter with one of his own: August 27, 1990 :
“…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.”
Sadly, most DCs turn a blind eye to this unethical situation since it’s so commonplace with TR, but that doesn’t make it ethical or excusable. While this has become commonplace in the world of Evil Vendors, imagine if the medical profession operated in the same fashion:
What if the publishers of the NEJM or JAMA sold insurance to subscribers or allowed vendor/columnists to dominate their journals? They would be laughed out of their profession.
Imagine if Johns Hopkins School of Medicine appointed a charismatic PR vendor without any academic credentials as its president? The uproar would be defining among academia.
Imagine if the president of the Harvard School of Medicine paid himself a million dollar salary, held revivals, and chanted the Money Hum? He would be chased out of office by alumni.
Imagine if Emory University allowed vendors to swamp their campus in exchange for “research” grant money. Its image would be permanently stained as an objective research institution.
Imagine if the president of the AMA openly sold products in JAMA and used his position as a bully pulpit with a poisoned pen to foment demagoguery against his financial and political competition? The proponents of ethical journalism would be aghast.
But this nonsense happens routinely in the world of ChiropracTIC and little is said! Any health or legal professional aware of these tabloids would be shocked at the lowbrow journalism as well as these conflicts of interest, only to reaffirm in their minds the complete lack of ethics that abounds in some ChiropracTIC circles. Sadly, we cannot expect these Evil Vendors to see the errors of their ways since they repeatedly turn a deaf ear to any calls for ethical behavior if it interferes with them making money!
Who’s Looking Out for DCs?
Bill O’Reilly mentioned similar sentiments in his new book, “Who’s looking out for you?”
“Finally, the war in Iraq proves once again that ideologues can never look out for you. They are too blinded by the light on the right or the left and they will never see things for what they really are. If you become an ideological prisoner, the truth will always elude you because you will never seek it. Instead, you’ll evaluate each issue and problem with an agenda: trying to prove your ideology is correct.”
If this doesn’t describe TR, what does? If it’s not enough to endure his legal threats, his yellow journalism, his “fork tongue” duplicity, political machinations, financial conflicts of interest, and his overall demagoguery, Rongberg has created a litany of other problems within this profession, to name just a few of the many:
- complaints by 13 foreign chiropractic associations for meddling,
- investigation by his own state association for unethical conduct,
- his inane attacks upon competing insurance companies and political rivals,
- his conviction for illegal campaign contributions,
- his misrepresentation of the AHCPR endorsement,
- his political manipulations with the ICA elections,
- his violations of the NGO criteria by the WCA,
- his censorship of critics with legal threats,
- a complaint of editorial fraud by notable chiropractic activist Chester Wilk,
- complaints by advertisers for “play-for-pay” quid pro quo deals in his TCJ,
- creation of bogus clinical guidelines,
- his attempted sabotage of ACA VA bill,
- a lawsuit by PCC for illegal use of Fountainhead,
- his phony VSRI research scam and now the RCS scheme,
- Rongberg’s embarrassing defense of $id Williams during the Life debacle, a man he personally has admitted hating as his email to me indicated, which I’m sure he now regrets that it was ever sent:
I have read your material and I know much of what you said is true. I stop attending DE in 1974. I went maybe 3 or 4 times and experienced the very things you have written about. I have observed Big Sid up close many times and I can tell you the deception and misrepresentations are true. I have been lied to many times directly by SW. I was wondering if you had also experienced this same thing?
Dr. Terry Rondberg,
World Chiropractic Alliance
- Although I responded in kind to his questions, apparently TR found something I said offensive:
You are an arrogant prick… Big Sid must have really got to you. I can’t stand him but your name-calling reflects your consciousness is in the same sewer as little louie [Dr. Lou Sportelli] and SW [Sid Williams]. Don’t bother contacting me again; I will delete JC Smith without reading.
Dr. Terry Rondberg,
World Chiropractic Alliance
Since TR and his attorney are demanding me to cease and desist, perhaps I should ask the same of TR—cease with your phony WCA, desist with your political misrepresentations, your yellow journalism, your demagoguery and your conflicts of interest.
Obviously a case can easily be made of TR’s many conflicts, obstructionism, journalistic fraud and libel against his rivals. His 20 years as a yellow journalist made it easy to find the online evidence supporting these allegations, and his recent defamation of my commentary clearly illustrated his continued shameless behavior. Even his own followers must admit he has swayed repeatedly from ethical journalism since the proof is abundant. The man is a loose cannon willing to shoot off his mouth and willing to shoot this profession in its foot if he can profit.
Verdict and Punishment
So, what’s the punishment for his crimes? An apology is both unwanted and unlikely from Rongberg since his megalomania and religious jihad against progressive chiropractic would never allow him to admit any errors, and an apology is too little without a mea culpa and tabula rasa, which neither will be forthcoming from this demagogue. Just like the fall of Big $id Williams and his gang of academic imposters, TR will only leave feet first, screaming his pathetic appeal for vengeance!
Without a doubt, TR can be called the Great Impersonator for his many deceptions, conflicts, and lack of full disclosure. Consider these examples:
- When TR introduces himself to Congressmen, do you think he will disclose his WCA is a proprietary “alliance” and not a democratic member-driven “association” like the ACA as he implies, or that he’s the unelected dictator-for-life, excuse me, “Supreme Court” appointee of the WCA?
- Do you think TR will admit his “journal” is not a peer-reviewed scientific professional journal, but his TCJ is actually a free, penny-pincher advertising tabloid where vendors/columnists write articles that tout their products and pay a commission on sales to TR (another conflict of interest) or that his political editorials attack rivals via rank journalism?
- Do you think when he mentions his WCA is an NGO that TR will admit that he refused to attend the latest WFC international chiropractic conference on Image & Identity in direct violation of the NGO criteria to promote cooperation?
- Do you think when he mentions that his WCA is one of the “major” national organizations that TR will also admit his WCA consists of 240 non-voting members who represent 0.004% of this profession—a rather faint whisper at best?
He has admitted his contempt for professional ethics when he proudly wrote,
“H.L. Mencken said, ‘The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself… Almost inevitably, he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable.’ That pretty much applies to chiropractic as well, especially when one organization tries to set itself up as the profession’s ‘government.’”
Of course, this chiropracTIC jihadist uses the same tactics of al Jazeera to misinform in the press to disrupt the mainstream be it obstructionism or unethical journalism. He makes his own rules, as he implied, because he’s the only one “able to think things out for himself” and he alone has concluded the entire body of professional worldwide mainstream chiropractic is “dishonest, insane and intolerable.” Is this not the signs of a sociopath—manifestly anti-social, guiltless and unresponsive to authority?
Whereas in the real world of professional journalism, reporters like Jayson Blair are removed, but in the chiropracTIC world of free buyers’ guide tabloids like the TCJ, unethical journalists like Rongberg who spin the news to profit and practice demagoguery to promote themselves financially are unconcerned with ethical condemnation, which is why I labeled TR the most dangerous man in chiropracTIC. As I repeatedly claim, what makes Rongberg dangerous is the fact that he is unaccountable to anyone, including an oversight board’s direction, the vote of members, rules on ethics, or the democratic wishes of this profession. The only way to hold him responsible is to attack his pride and pocketbook.
I admire those chiro college presidents who understand his danger as a propagandist/vendor and disallow his TCJ or SWCA on their campuses. While TR may fool impressionable chirovangelists, he hasn’t fooled anyone in the major chiro associations, reputable chiro colleges, or the international leaders in this profession.
As well, legislators on Capitol Hill know full well who speaks for this profession, and it certainly isn’t the “loonies” who bellow Rongberg’s drivel. While they may clamor at their Capitol Summit preachin’ their chirovangelism, the Congressman know the ruse of the WCA and the insipid Chiro Coalition, which may explain why every WCA legislative effort has failed.
Isolate the Rascals
I believe every responsible state, national, and international association should pass a resolution calling for a sanction on the WCA, not unlike the UN passing Resolution 1441 to sanction Saddam’s Iraq as a rogue state when it refused to follow international law and UN agreements. TR has proven his contempt for the mainstream democratic process—his recent jihad statement, his attack on the WFC and ACA, and his refusal to attend the WFC Identity & Image conference are the most recent examples. Failure to pass resolutions condemning him would be viewed as a tacit endorsement of this unethical journalist and political hack.
This sanction might include:
- TR and his proprietary WCA should be banned from future conferences as a speaker or vendor since his primary goal is to foment discord, not cooperation.
- Every state association should censor him as the ACA has done as a reputable diplomat in the legislatures and deny him a seat at any table since his “alliance” is a phony non-democratic association with him appointed by his own board of sock puppets as prez-for-life.
- The NGO status of the WCA should be removed inasmuch as he refused an invitation to attend the WFC Identity & Image conference and he continually works against the WFC, the true worldwide chiro association.
- Advertisers in his TCJ should be notified that they are tainted by TR’s misdeeds and may possibly be implicated as co-conspirators in any legal action taken against TR for his libel.
- Inform every DC of his conflict of interest as a publisher selling his CBS insurance and its shaky grounds with 7 different past carriers.
- Ethical DCs should demand to be removed from his mailing list so advertisers understand the general non-support TR has in the field, which would lower his advertising rates substantially.
- Every DC and student should be made aware his non-democratic “alliance” of 0.004% of the DC population is a deception posing as a real association and has been publicly reprimanded by at least 14 national associations for meddling, including the ACA.
Indeed, the litany of evidence against him is mounting daily. The only recourse is to expose profession-wide his unethical acts just as the UN did with Saddam. Indeed, hitting his pride and pocketbook would do wonders to contain this loose cannon who has shown repeatedly his lack of ethics in this profession.
As attorney George McAndrews has said repeatedly, “it’s time to isolate the rascals.” Now that Big $id has bit the dust, I can’t think of anyone better to isolate than the infamous Terry Rongberg.