“Big $id’s gonna sue you”
Silence Isn’t Golden
JC Smith, MA, DC
It’s been surprising what little has been said about the loss of Life from our leading associations and in our periodicals—a short statement here and there, and a few columns in our chiro tabloids—but that’s all. I wonder if they realize the enormity of this event? Do they simply remain silent in disbelief and shock as the ICA might be, or do they avoid making any heartfelt comments happy that Big $id has finally been ousted for fear of jeopardizing the appeals process? Whichever, the silence is deafening!
Actually, I doubt many rational DCs are upset about this loss of Life; most are downright happy to see the fall of Big $id. To be sure, I haven’t stopped smiling since June 10 when it was announced. Oddly, however, the loss of Life continues to play out in very strange ways. Indeed, no one could have written this story and expected people to believe it if it weren’t so painfully true.
“The Beverly Hillbilly Chiropractors”
If you thought Ozzy Ozborne had a dysfunctional family on TV, consider a new version of “The Beverly Hillbilly Chiropractors.” Instead of striking oil to gain millions, this clan of redneck chiropracTORS strike it rich running a diploma mill scarifying down student loan money. This clan runs ram shod over the entire profession with their Southern Pentecostal version of chiropractic, gorging themselves with money and self-adulation. They preach their chirovangelism of greed to attract thousands of eager sycophants as they dumb-down the profession to the lowest level to graduate as many as possible, allthewhile wrapping themselves in the banner of “principled” righteousness to justify their unsavory methods as they chant the Money Hum all the way to the bank.
“But Daddy, if you be givin’ Mommy a half million dollars for doin’ nothing, and Auntie Mildred over $300,000, why can’t I have a mere $400,000? Y’all like me best anyway. Please Daddy, please, please, please…and if you don’t, I’ll just die from embarrassment. After all, I am your only little princess, ain’t I?”
“Okay, okay, but just remember one thang—I’m the Daddy, ya folla?”
Sadly, this chiro-comedy isn’t so far from the truth! If this sordid tale is ever made into a movie, few would believe it’s not fiction.
A Burning Desire or Just Indigestion?
However silent our publications have been, some notables have expressed their opinions privately to me about related issues, most of all, the web page of the newest Trustee at Life. After posting Dr. Sharon Gorman’s web page, the outcry was huge. Recall she’s the $idiot who was recently appointed to Life’s Board of Trustees after giving her “see no evil” and unequivocal support to Big $id. If the Board’s chairman, Dr. Chuck Ribley, thinks Gorman is a rational and objective person who can make sound decisions about this crisis at Life, it simply illustrates the inbreeding typical down South at Life amongst the Beverly Hillbilly ChiropracTORS. “Golly gee, Miss Sharon, could y’all give me some of your Burning Desire, too?”
Enjoy a sampling of responses I received:
- This is scary. Her state board should be made aware of her beliefs as well as her malpractice carrier. She is a danger to the public if this is really how she practices.
- Obviously she went with the lowest bid on the photographer.
- What can I say… if I ever open a used car lot I am definitely going to look at our profession for business strategies.
- My lord, JC. This is such a crock, and it isn’t even written with one iota of grammatical sense. What an embarrassment! With trustees like this, the school is most definitely doomed to fail – thank God!
- It is a cult.
- Her web site is a total embarrassment. It is not often that nothing else needs to be to said; but reading her site was funny, or pathetic, enough without commentary.
- I want to puke when I read drivel like this….the truth of the matter is that 100% of these $idiots couldn’t document a subluxation if their pathetic lives depended on it.
- Would someone please inform her that whether you are “subluxated” or not, you’re still dying.
Tacit Approval for Big $id
After Life’s appeal to the CCE is done within 60 days from August 8, I hope the silent majority comes forth to express its disdain for the antics at Life that have soiled our image. Hopefully the COA at the CCE will explain in detail the reasons for the loss of reaccreditation once the appeal process is done. When we all learn of the depth of incompetence and corruption by the Williams’ clan, even the diehards will finally shut up. As I’ve said more than once, they shouldn’t have been running a trailer park let alone a college that brought in $47 million in revenues in 1999.
Regrettably, for the last 28 years the GCA watched as this mess developed, but chose to say nothing publicly about this educational folly perpetrated by Big $id, so for the most part, the public here in Georgia still thinks every DC supports $id. This is certainly easy to understand inasmuch as the silence by the GCA was viewed as tacit approval by the press, legislators and public alike.
For years the GCA just didn’t want to deal with Big $id because, I was told, they felt if they publicized this mess by taking a hard line, they might lose members who supported $id. As I told them, the $idiots belong to the ICA and GCC, not the ACA or GCA, so what’s the worry? Instead of doing something constructive, the GCA chose to do nothing, only exacerbating the situation by sending the wrong signal to the public.
In fact, I can’t tell you how many times I was cast as a troublemaker for acting as a whistleblower. Even the ACA and GCA reps chastised me for my articles whenever I wrote about the problems at Life. “Big $id’s gonna sue you” is a comment I’ve heard for years from these weak-kneed colleagues. My response was simply, “Lest you forget—he’s the one getting sued, not me.”
Years ago the writer from the AJC doing research for an article about the 25% student loan failure rates at Life told me, “You’ve got balls,” for my many commentaries she had discovered about $id’s diploma mill. Apparently while other DCs she had contacted here in Dixie were willing to make anonymous comments about $id, none would go on record but me. Actually, my comment she used was rather lame I thought, “$id’s Lasting Purpose is our lasting problem.” After all, I’ve said a lot worse than that about the Williams’ clan. But I stood on one important point: it was all too true.
I believe the GCA and many mainstream DCs were just afraid of $id, knowing how litigatious he’s been. He’s been a bully in chiropractic for years, throwing his weight and money around to gain influence and respect from those who didn’t know him well, which includes many of the $idiots who still support him. What they saw on stage was certainly not what went on behind the curtains. His duplicity was obvious to anyone not mesmerized by his charismatic hyperbole, yet even they often feared his wrath anyway and kept quiet. But $id certainly didn’t fool everyone in Georgia, especially many DCs and other professionals in the healthcare field.
You Can’t Fool All the People
I recall when I spoke before the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Workers’ Comp to about 75 various attorneys, insurance executives, MDs, labor reps, and hospital administrators involved with WC, my suggestion to increase chiropractic care to save time and money fell on deaf ears despite my 45 minute presentation of the facts from AHCPR, Manga, and other studies showing the cost and clinical efficacy of SMT for LBP. In fact, it’s a rather easy case to make in favor of chiropractic vs. surgery for LBP cases.
Instead of being impressed, these participants were unfazed and one finally blurted out, “We don’t want those guys like Sid Williams from Life College.” An orthopedic surgeon chirped in as well, “We don’t want those chiropractors who think they can cure diabetes.” I was stunned, but told them that I certainly wasn’t there to defend Sid Williams and, as far as I knew, diabetes wasn’t a WC injury. But their sentiments were loud and clear: they were suspect of all chiropractors due to the hyperbole of Big $id and the silence of the GCA to distance itself from $id’s shenanigans at Life.
The following opinion in response to my article, “Life’s Doldrums,” posted on Chiroweb.com’s Hot Topics is indicative of this continual problem these $idiots pose to our entire profession and the frustration of dealing with them:
“When I first got into this profession in 1980, I thought that DCs with different philosophies could co-exist. I was hopeful of that. I think it has become obvious that we no longer can. With all of the enemies that Chiropractic has, we will never flourish and advance when we are enemies of ourselves from within. I have come to the conclusion that mixers as myself should separate from the straight chiropractors and stand up for what we believe in – that this BJ subluxation theory is hokey at best and that we really have very limited results at best for non-musculoskeletal conditions. I am assuming that the mixers are heavily in the majority and that by allowing the public to know that even the majority of the profession (as well as the public, the medical community and the scientific community) dispels the straight philosophy, we will settle this issue once and for all. Those few straights that hold onto their dogma will form a little cult and continue on under another name.”
I recall during the past 25 years whenever I talked to my local newspapermen or to my local representatives about the shenanigans at Life, they were stunned to hear of the corruption, which I doubt few actually believed me until lately when the facts came forth in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution articles. During the last two NCLC conventions in Washington DC when I spoke with my national reps’ and senators’ health staffers about the problems at Life, they also were shocked to hear my stories about the diploma mill flooding the market with chirovangelists, they were stunned at the revelations about the abuses of the Williams’ clan, and they were mostly in disbelief because $id had contributed to many of their campaigns. Even the Georgia legislature gave Life a commendation a few years ago as a tribute to its success as the largest chiro college. Indeed, $id has made friends, including the governor of Georgia, in many high places with his political contributions, and the fact that few DCs ever spoke out publicly against him implied that he was, in fact, our consensual leader. Ugh.
Killing the Messenger
On occasion I get nasty emails from $idiots who still support Big $id and resent any criticism of their fallen leader, as well as unkind remarks from ordinary DCs who don’t want this truth out of the bag for fear of public embarrassment. While I understand their torment, the truth will always come forth regardless of their wish to bury it. Here’s a typical $idiotic response I recently received from Bobby Braile in his attempt to invalidate the messenger:
“There are those who do something in chiropractic, and those who only spout
off useless nonsense. Since you are definitely in the second category I am
not interested in hearing from you…In fact you are the butt of many jokes around the chiropractic profession…I know no one who wants to read your stuff. Do yourself a favor and stop embarrassing yourself.”
Well, I guess he told me off, eh? It’s hard to take anything seriously coming from Braile—he’s already invalidated himself in the eyes of rational DCs as the self-appointed Internet spokesman for the $idiots, past puppet prez of the ICA, FedEx-fired Life instructor, owner of a $10 office visit clinic mill in Marietta, and self-promoted Life prez wannabe. Aside from his acrimonious attack at me, his comments do illustrate the denial and angst in this loss of Life and the fall of his great leader, not wanting to hear anything critical whatsoever about either. Rather than dealing objectively with the facts, he simply buries his head in the sand as he tries to kill the messenger. But, we’ll see who has the last laugh, Dr. Braile, as this saga will get worse before it gets better.
Although I occasionally received nasty notes from the hate-straights like Braile, Tedd Koren, and Terry Wrongberg, I mostly receive many positive comments from colleagues across this nation and from around the world. I’ve concluded one’s opinion of my commentaries comes from the individual’s perspective, and the following is one of the best:
“You are to be congratulated over Sid’s resignation. You fought long and hard and your efforts have now yielded fruit. History may not record it, but more than anyone else, you are responsible.”
While I am proud to contribute to the fall of Big $id, I merely admit to playing the role of a reporter. I certainly wasn’t in the position to be an instigator despite my personal unfortunate experiences as a former employee of $id. My role has become a mouthpiece of information from other disgruntled enemies of Big $id who have continually given me insider information about the never-ending antics at Life. My articulation of these events until lately was the sole source for the dissident position available to the public, press, and the rest of the profession.
In fact, I cannot overstate the fact that our chiro tabloids have failed miserably to uncover anything about this matter; instead they seem content to be a month late and a dollar short in their reporting. While other publications like the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and the Marietta Daily Journal have of late exposed the problems at Life, the chiropractic journals and publications avoided this hot topic like the plague, no doubt intimidated by chiropractic’s paper tiger, Big $id, even though they knew what was going on for years. Indeed, this mess at Life is not “news” to them; Dynamic Chiropractic and The Chiropractic Journal should be ashamed for their lack of journalistic integrity to investigate and report this story a long time ago.
My hat goes off to the real heroes in this case—the folks on the COA at CCE and the former instructors at Life like Dr. Steve Petty who exposed these shenanigans. Regrettably, there was little in the way of public awareness about the problems at Life until these folks took action steps. After the appeals process, more unheralded folks will come forth to celebrate the downfall of Big $id who has sown many seeds of resentment amongst the mainstream for his many years of misdeeds, his obstruction to unity, his interference in a positive political agenda, and his antiquated version of chiro education, and his divisive chirovangelism, the true source of chiropractic’s cultism, that has besmirched our entire profession’s image for too long.
Ultimately, Big $id imploded Life from within by his refusal to follow the CCE criteria, but if the CCE hadn’t shown its strong backbone to resist $id’s threats, being the blowhard that he really is, I doubt the rest of the profession would have garnered the strength to confront this academic imposter at Life. “Live and let live” seems to be the attitude of most chiropractors, even among those who hated $id here in Georgia where he’s flooded the market with chiro-therapists filled with their hate-straight dogma.
Perhaps the silence over Life was similar to the problem with Iraq when we heard some from both Bush administrations telling the public, “It’s better to know the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.” I don’t know how anyone can be worse than Saddam, just as I don’t know how anyone could be worse than $id as a chiro college prez. (Okay, I forgot about Dim Kim, but you know what I mean—a real college prez, not another academic imposter)
Obviously silence isn’t golden when it comes to exposing the corruption all around us, whether it’s insider trading, Enron scandals, political abuse, governmental graft, or academic corruption at Life. But, there’s a lot more that needs to be said and answered if truth is to prevail in our profession. “All it takes for evil to prevail is for honest people to do nothing,” should become the motto within chiropractic nowadays to encourage more people to speak out in a spirit of reform. Rather than more seminars on techniques or philosophy, I suggest panel discussions on the poli-sci of chiropractic to discuss the real issues facing this profession—our legal battles, our political agenda, and our need for unity, research and public relations.
Undeniably, if it weren’t for the CCE’s bold effort to draw the line in the sand, the academic repression and corrupt abuses at Life would still be happening without comment from the GCA or from our chiropractic publications. It’s time to speak up on many issues, such as unification of the profession, standardization of clinical methods, re-education of chiro-therapists in the field, establishment of a PR campaign to tout our services with NMS conditions, and the elimination of marginal chirovangelists who continue to sabotage the good work of mainstream DCs.
Indeed, silence isn’t always golden.