WFC vs. WCA
JC Smith, MA, DC
Once again Terry Rongberg shoots our profession in its collective foot with his misconstrued beliefs about chiropractic care and its leadership.
First of all, Rongberg’s WCA has preached that DCs should “only detect and correct VSC” and nothing else—no differential diagnostics, no therapeutic care, no physical modalities or rehab care—just the good ol’ pop and pray to Innate version of chirovangelism. He’s preached this on every occasion including the recent VA hearings, yet when the VA committee recommended medical referrals to DCs, Rongberg and his cronies cried foul, blaming everyone but Rongberg!
Rongberg is now upset with the WFC’s attempt to examine our Identity and Image inasmuch as chiropractic suffers from the Forrest Gump Syndrome: “Chiropractors are like a box of chocolates, you just never know what you’ll get!” Or, in some cases, you might even get fruitcake!
As Rongberg wrote in his November 2003 edition of his TCJ, “Some critics [meaning TR and Chris Kent], however, say ‘who we are’ cannot be divorced from ‘what we do.’” I would hope rational DCs are more than what they do, unless, of course, they have some sort of compulsive-obsessive disorder.
Indeed, this is a problem—what we are, but in the opposite light of what Rongberg suggests, DCs are more than chiro-robots who adjust anyone for any and all health problem—but these hate-straights cannot understand that most DCs do more than “pop and pray to Innate.”
The irony of the above concept is that Rongberg is a graduate of Logan College. Nowhere in his chiropractic education and training was Rongberg taught any of his current maniacal philosophical beliefs relative to what chiropractic is and how it should be practiced. Thus his current motivation is either economic, which can easily be viewed by the incestuous relationship between his products, his publications, his advertisers and his self-directed organization.
If one were to follow the proverbial “money” to unearth the “motivation” it will soon become obvious that like many tyrannical leaders he has no firm convictions but rather is motivated by self aggrandizement and greed masquerading as a courageous attempt to preserve a profession’s identity whose definition is nowhere to be found within the professions early discovery. Furthermore, healthcare is not a static entity that doesn’t evolve, as Rongberg and Big $id would have it—it is NOT a religion based on irrefutable precepts! Nor are they the popes of chiropracTIC, as they seem to think they are!
This small club of WCA chirovangelists fails to understand that legally and ethically every primary access provider must do a differential diagnosis to make sure the patient is in the right type of doctor’s office first and foremost for patient safety. Too often we’ve heard tales of patients with serious pathologies like cancer, impending myocardial infarcts or lesions obvious on radiographs that were ignored by these chirovangelists who look only for VSC.
In fact, most straight DCs of this mindset cannot differentiate the signs and symptoms of many NMS conditions that require medical intervention, such as stroke, cauda equina, CAD, diabetic neuropathy or colon cancer that mimics back pain; more importantly, they do not wish to consider other possible causes and lamely admit, “I’m not an MD and don’t diagnose, so don’t ask me anything about your pain or symptoms—I’m a ‘principled DC’ don’t you know,” which is exactly why they pose a threat to the public’s welfare.
So, after preaching his chirovangelism of “principled chiropracTIC,” when the VA committee takes him at his word that these types of myopic DCs refuse to diagnose and, hence, are a danger to patient safety, he spits up his milk when they take him at his word and require a medical referral!
Terry, you can’t have it both ways! Either you are a primary access provider who understands the need for proper diagnostics or else you are a secondary-level provider who is not legally bound to do diagnostics. This incompetent Identity is exactly what the WFC task force may want to move away from, as Rongberg digs in his heels to resist.
Sadly, his insistence that DCs do not diagnose anything but VSC has come to haunt us all with this decision by the VA to require a medical diagnosis. But instead of blaming himself and his other WCA sycophants, he points his finger at the committee and others within chiropractic! Hellfire, Terry, you shot yourself in the foot, not the committee—they simply believed you and did the right thing.
More Fuel to the Fire
Rongberg’s misguided effort and his autocratic nature is revealed in his recent letter to the World Federation of Chiropractic, a true international organization of over 80 countries, unlike his fictitious WCA which has an estimated number of 240 members and he resides as its prez-for-life. Enjoy his letter full of journalistic fraud and my comments bracketed in [red].
To: World Chiropractic Federation
RE: WFC Consultation on Identity
The World Chiropractic Alliance Board of Directors [Rongberg and 3 of his hand-picked and non-elected cronies] has reviewed your invitation to participate in the WFC “Consultation on Identity” and its request for funding. With all due respect, we must decline the invitation and refuse the request.
There are numerous reasons for this decision, which we feel are important to explain.
First and foremost, the WCA does not recognize the WFC’s authority to conduct such a “consultation” on behalf of the chiropractic profession. The so-called ‘mandate’ was from the WFC’s own members, with no input from non-member organizations, [which is why the WFC is soliciting participation from all] and therefore does not represent the full spectrum of chiropractic ideas and opinions. [The WFC represents over 80+ countries unlike Rongberg’s little club of an estimated 240 members, but since Rongberg is not in control, he will not support any organization that actually does—typical of a megalomaniac like Big $id.]
The WFC and its leaders have frequently attempted to portray the organization as having legitimate authority within or over the chiropractic profession. This is not true. [Having representatives from 80+ countries is not legitimate? But having a mere 240 club members in a non-democratic WCA is?] Neither the profession nor any government has ever conferred authority on the WFC to take any action or make any decisions for chiropractic anywhere in the world. [Tell us, Rongberg, has anyone conferred authority on your private club? Of course not! On the other hand, the World Federation of Chiropractic has been in existence since 1989 and thus 13 years of democratic participation in an organization which has grown in membership (not individual members but legitimately created democratic organizations) representing their membership has uniquely qualified WFC to be the REAL world leader in chiropractic representation, unlike his phony WCA that misrepresents itself to all.]
In his highly controversial [read: respected] book, “The Chiropractic Profession,” Mr. David Chapman-Smith stated that chiropractic educational standards “are monitored by the various CCEs and the World Federation of Chiropractic.” Yet, the WFC has absolutely no legitimate role in developing or setting the standards of any chiropractic educational agency nor is it empowered to “monitor” any educational process. [Sounds like the same criticism we could cast at Rongberg’s phony Chiro Coalition or the DECE guys that both attacked the CCE, yet their lack of credibility didn’t stop them! WFC has never set educational standards, they have simply been a facilitator empowering and enabling countries that have limited resources or expertise to help frame the future educational criteria in order to preserve the integrity of the chiropractic educational process. Thus the monitoring of any educational process is not only clearly a function of an organization such as WFC, it is also a requested function by the country involved.]
In a letter dated January 1, 2000, to the ICA representative to the WFC, Mr. Chapman-Smith admitted that: “The WFC has no mandate, expertise, or interest in any of the technical areas of chiropractic education, whether curriculum, faculty, accreditation of programmes or otherwise.” [Correct, the WFC is interested in political, legislative, and economic issues as much as establishing educational standards.]
Yet, it continues to claim authority in this area. In its policy statement on the “Use of the title Chiropractor,” the WFC states that chiropractors must be “graduates of chiropractic educational programmes that are formally accredited by a chiropractic accreditation agency or an alternative government-recognized accreditation process in the country in question, or that are recognized and approved on an interim basis within the terms of the World Federation of Chiropractic’s Tokyo Charter by the national association of chiropractors in the country in question.” (emphasis added) This position paper was revised in 2003 to extend the range of the policy to cover the term “chiropractic” as well. [Did Rongberg not see the word “interim basis” on fledging programs that don’t fall under CCE?]
The WFC has no right or authority to approve any accreditation process or education program and the WFC’s attempt to wrest control over these areas is blatantly unethical and without legal or moral basis. [Geez, now Rongberg appears to be the pot calling the kettle black! Does his phony Chiro Coalition have any expertise in the affairs of CCE? Certainly not, but it didn’t stop that group from disseminating misinformation to the public and legislators. I can’t wait until a judge asks the WCA, the Chiro Coalition or the DECE goons for their qualifications, credentials, peer-reviewed papers or anything of note other than their simplistic opinions. Then we’ll all know what frauds they really are!]
Further, the WFC has tried to claim authority by citing its status as an NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) with a United Nations agency, or its work with the World Health Organization. Yet, recognition as NGO does not confer any authority or indicate global “approval” of the policies of the NGO. The WCA also holds NGO status with the Department of Public Information, affiliated with the United Nations, and plays a prominent role in the work of the NGO Health Committee. According to WHO officials, no exclusive or special relations exist between WHO and WFC. The WCA also enjoys a working relationship with WHO. […only by means of journalistic fraud and deception inasmuch as the WCA is not a democratic organization representative of anyone but the views of Rongberg and Chris Kent. Ironic also is the fact that Rondberg and his organization have attempted to mimic WFC by obtaining a United Nations affiliation and also to infer a WHO relationship. What that means is unclear, but Rondberg wants everyone to believe that “he” also has the same status as WFC. Pathetic attempt to copy a legitimate democratic organization, but typical of autocrats who thrive by fooling others.]
The WFC has also tried to seize control [read: make recommendations, not ‘seize control’ as the WCA has tried to do unsuccessfully] over continuing education around the world. Its “Tokyo Charter” specifically pointed to the goal of establishing “one minimum international standard in chiropractic education” and stated that educational programs could be conducted only with “prior consultation with and approval by the national association or other chiropractic organization recognized by the World Federation of Chiropractic as representing chiropractors in that country…”
Yet, the WFC is an association comprised solely of those organizations that share its ideologies. It restricts membership to only one organization per nation (with an exception for the U.S., which is permitted two organizations). Organizations that represent an opposing viewpoint are not permitted representation in the WFC and have no input into its policies. [Wrong again, TR. There’s a myriad of DCs represented in the WFC, but also, that’s the way democracies work where the majority rules, a concept alien to his autocratic nature. Tell us, how many mixers belong to the WCA or its board? The intent of the association limitation is not to restrict ideologies (many have diversity within their organization) but rather to foster participation and unity, concepts alien to the hate-straights who prefer ideologues, not independent and diverse voices.]
As such, the actions taken by the WFC are a reflection of only one segment of the profession, with no consideration given to other opinions or philosophies. While the formation of an association of “like minded groups” is neither unethical nor uncommon, such association cannot purport to represent the entire profession or speak for it. [Yet this has never stopped Rongberg from misrepresenting his WCA to legislators, the profession or the public. Not once has he revealed his prez-for-life of his little club of chirovangelists, nor has he revealed his conflict of interest with his CBS insurance. Interesting that Rongberg also conveniently ignores the ICA as a significant organization with a very significant philosophical direction that is well known and clearly representative of the conservative element in the chiropractic profession. Recall, Rongberg supported DD Humber in his failed re-election attempt.]
For this reason, the WCA strongly opposes any effort by the WFC to portray the proceedings or findings of this ‘consultation’ to the global health care committee as an official position of, or document reflecting the positions or conclusions of, the chiropractic profession as a whole. [It doesn’t matter to Rongberg that over 90%+ of the worldwide profession is represented, but if he doesn’t have total control, then he suggests its not a democratic or “official position.” HAAHHAAHAHAA. Coming from this WCA autocratic, this is just too funny! Sadly, just as Big $id obstructed the wishes of the majority of DCs for unity/merger between the ICA and ACA, now Rongberg has taken his place as the leading obstructionist.]
While the WFC will no doubt portray its invitation to the WCA as an attempt to be “inclusive,” history has taught us that participation of a few “token” subluxation-based doctors does not translate into equal representation or input. [Geez, TR, the WFC extends its hand to the WCA, yet you refuse to play along, then criticize the WFC for its “token” gesture. Although a minority is a minority, Rongberg’s autocratic nature thinks his minority should take the lead] A few subluxation-based doctors were permitted nominal participation in the Mercy Center Conference as well, yet their opinions and input was overwhelmed by the rest of the panel, hand-picked for their medical orientation. [Here he bashes broad-scope DCs by calling them “medical” when, in fact, they are not medical but comprehensive and professional, and something the WCA cannot claim with its antiquated version of chirovangelism.] Later, Mercy proponents tried to use the presence of the minority to misrepresent the conference as having included all portions of the profession. This will most likely be the case with the WFC “consultation.” [Again, Rongberg exposes his autocratic nature that while the WFC is inclusion, if his WCA minority viewpoint doesn’t prevail, then he accuses the WFC as “misrepresenting” the conference when, in fact, it didn’t. Kind of like the Green Party candidate claiming the Republican or Democratic candidate does not represent the majority of its voters, so the election is thereby bogus. Again, I say to Rongberg, HAHAHHAAHHA.]
Finally, members of the World Chiropractic Alliance are well aware of the WFC’s previous attempts to distort the true identify of chiropractic and have voiced their [read: Rongberg and Kent’s] strong opposition to the WFC and its leaders. [The true identity of this profession is that of primary access providers for NMS conditions using non-drug, non-surgical spinal manipulative or decompressive methods. That’s our identity, this is why 95% of our patients come to us for care, Rongberg, not your chirovangelism that ignores everything but the elusive VSC. The ironic issue here is the fact that WFC has taken a leadership position in identifying issues such as the role of Philosophy as it relates to chiropractic in the conference last year in Florida. This Identity conference is geared to not “what we do,” but “who we are” and how the public that utilizes our services views us. Rongberg does not care about any of this, he wants what he thinks chiropractic is for economic reasons and the fact that enrollment in colleges are declining, marketshare has been eroded, and competitive forces, i.e. physical therapists, naturopaths, acupuncturists, massage therapists, and osteopaths have all embarked on programs for the same population segment, Rongberg is still hell bent on making “subluxation” a household word, despite the horrendous PR effect this had in Canada. The fact that this may not be the best solution is irrelevant to him.
The profession suffers collectively when the internal confusion is translated to the public as Rongberg so often does with his WCA and Capitol Summit misrepresentations of what legislation this profession needs. We’ve seen his interference in the military health and VA bills as well as the Medicare bill, but these defeats hasn’t kept Rongberg from his continual obstruction against anything mainstream DCs do to help ourselves, as we now see with this WFC Identity effort.]
In his book, Mr. Chapman-Smith categorically stated that subluxations are not structural entities and cannot be detected on x-ray. [Correct: VSC is a dynamic joint dysfunction process comprised of many co-factors, not just x-ray analysis—how else does Rongberg explain why many patients with scoliosis are neither in pain or symptomatic? An x-ray is simply a diagnostic test, like an MRI scan, it’s not a definitive diagnosis alone.]
In a paper titled, “Chiropractic in the 21st Century,” Mr. Chapman-Smith recommended that chiropractic follow the path of osteopathy in changing terminology. He wrote: “Chiropractors must do something similar with chiropractic subluxation – use the term internally because of its rich history, but use another externally. I would recommend joint dysfunction. They must acknowledge that adjustment is manipulation, albeit precise and skilled, and that they do nothing unique – they just do an interesting blend of things better.”
Equating subluxation with joint dysfunction strips away the neurological component [no it doesn’t inasmuch as many proprioceptors and the dorsal horn exists in this region. Has TR forgotten the five factors of VSC already?] and suggesting that manipulation and adjustment are the same thing has opened the door for non-chiropractors to offer and be reimbursed for chiropractic services. [Rongberg, SMT is SMT is SMT despite whatever you name it, and PTs, DOs, and MDs already get paid for doing SMT.
Tell me, if Rongberg is so traditional, how does he explain his support for Activator, Network, BEST, or the spurious work of the infamous Jay Holder? Surely I ask that rhetorically because it becomes obvious that Rongberg supports anything or anyone who will advertise in his tabloid providing increased economic viability to him as the owner.]
At the Chiropractic Town Hall meeting in February 2000, Mr. Chapman-Smith stated that his vision of chiropractic was as “the dominant force for the provision of spinal manual therapies in the mainstream health care systems throughout the world.” He added: “To me, that’s a very much bigger vision than simply using your own language talking about adjusting subluxations.” Later at that same event, he advised chiropractic to distance itself from the concept of subluxation in public education and advertising, stating that market research has “proven” that discussing the subluxation and its effect on health will not attract patients. [That’s true! Yet the likes of Rongberg want to keep pushing the “subluxation” onto the public when they’ve already rejected that concept as a bogus scare job. Has Rongberg ever heard of Diet Coke or Edsels—other PR concepts that didn’t work? Methinks this autocrat now thinks he’s a marketing guru as well.
Obviously not participating in this Identity conference will permit Rongberg to ignore the facts that will emerge from this conference—“don’t confuse him with the facts.” Facts generated not by self proclaimed experts in everything including Public Relations and Marketing, but by real PR and marketing strategists who will identify for the profession those issues which will help change public perception and therefore help increase marketshare.]
On March 25, 2003, Mr. Chapman-Smith, testifying before the Department of Veterans Affairs Chiropractic Advisory Committee repeatedly talked about “chiropractic services for the management of neuromusculoskeletal disorders,” and “back pain and neck pain.” Further, he argued that “there is a natural and appropriate partnership between medical and chiropractic services for neuromusculoskeletal disorders.” He completely failed to use the opportunity to educate VA officials about the unique [as in marginal, weird, anti-social chirovangelism?] role of chiropractic. His presentation may very well have played a part in the Committee’s including a medical gatekeeper provision in its final report. [What a lie! It was Rongberg’s non-diagnostic stance that convinced the VA committee to require medical referrals! Another example of Rongberg’s journalistic fraud!!]
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. Tell us all, Rongberg, just how many members does the WCA have, and why are you its prez-for-life? 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. Therefore it should not be recognized any more than any other “individual” practitioner because it is nothing more than that—a club of outdated sycophants. If that’s the case, then I submit my Galactic Chiro Alliance as the biggest and best chiro org in the entire universe!]
The book also contains a gratuitous attack on the Council on Chiropractic Practice guidelines under the heading “Real and Unreal Guidelines.” Chapman-Smith characterizes CCP as “a small splinter group not representative of the profession,” [which is true] and falsely [correctly] claims that the guidelines provide a basis for “unlimited chiropractic treatments.” [which is true, Rongberg, with your cry for lifetime care] In actuality, the CCP guidelines were developed using an open process [of hate-srraights only], are the only guidelines designed to be international [HAAHAHAAHAA; geez, Rongberg, your deception is just too funny.] in scope, and are the only chiropractic guidelines of their [weird] kind accepted for inclusion in National Guideline Clearinghouse. [Clever, but as misleading as the AMA propaganda campaign of the 60’s. The AMA got other groups like the American Cancer Society, American Arthritis Association to adopt its anti-chiropractic stance and then used them to validate the legitimacy of their claims. Rongberg has not truthfully revealed how simply meeting the criteria for inclusion in the National Guideline Clearinghouse does not give validity or credibility to the process by which the guidelines were developed. Only that they met the process—a huge difference in credibility—but typical of Rongberg’s unethical journalism.]
The suggestion that subluxation-centered [chirovangelist] chiropractors represent a “splinter group” is easily refuted by a recent study published by the Institute for Social Research at Ohio Northern University. Conclusion 17 of the study states, “For all practical purposes, there is no debate on the vertebral subluxation complex. Nearly 90% want to retain the VSC as a term. Similarly, almost 90% do not want the adjustment limited to musculoskeletal conditions. The profession –as a whole — presents a united front regarding the subluxation and the adjustment.” [While that may be true, there’s also a huge difference between wanting to retain the traditional VSC and the non-diagnostic, non-therapeutic, chiro cures all position espoused by Rongberg, a point that he obfuscates in this journalistic deception. The vast majority of DCs recognizes the VSC, but is not blinded to the importance of physical examinations, diagnosis, and proper referrals as Rongberg refuses to admit.]
Given the history of anti-chiropractic actions [wrong: anti-stupidity and anti-Rongberg] and statements by the WFC and its leader, under no circumstances would the WCA Board permit payment to the WFC for any purpose [unless Rongberg is in control, that is]. Having repeatedly advocated a rejection of chiropractic’s unique [hate-straight, chiro-cures-all, chirovangelism] identity as a drug-free approach centering on the detection and correction of subluxation, [false again] it is both ironic and ludicrous for the WFC to conduct a “consultation” on chiropractic identity. [That’s true: working with Rongberg is ludicrous, similar to working with Big $id—self-appointed autocrats refuse to any democratic process.] The process and the results will be a farce that will divide the profession and cause public embarrassment and confusion. [Is Rongberg talking about himself now? He’s become the leading obstructionist to progress, his politics have blown up in his own face as we’ve seen with the VA committee, and his rag, TCJ, is the most divisive tabloid in this profession, but now he suggests the WFC, the most inclusive chiro org in the real world, will be the source of division–HAAHAHHAAHHAH.]
For all these reasons, and more, the World Chiropractic Alliance [read: Rongberg and Chris Kent] refuses to be a participant in the WFC’s meeting and calls upon the organization to abandon this ill-conceived attempt to prove the legitimacy of its oft-stated positions.
[Good, now real progress can be made once this offer is rejected. Just as Big $id obstructed the ICA/ACA merger, now we see Rongberg obstructing another attempt at a unified action. Interesting that Rondberg already knows the advanced findings of a conference that has yet to convene. As in any opposition view, there is nothing the Republicans can do to satisfy the Democrats, there is nothing the WFC could do or the rest of the democratically organized chiropractic world could do to appease a dictator such as Rongberg who is closer and closer to being exposed for what he is—a man who represents his financial interests above the true needs of this profession.
Thus we continually hear his vocal and fierce opposition to anything that will impact his economic gravy train. He is not about to give up his cash cow easily, just as Big $id fought to keep control of his cash cow, aka, Life Diploma Mill. But slowly and surely Rongberg, like Big $id, is being exposed and the profession can clearly make their own decisions about giving him any credibility.
Look beyond his banner-waving chiropracTIC-cures-all rhetoric and you will see Rongberg’s true motivation exposed:
- The CBS malpractice insurance company website admits that it is “affiliated” with the WCA and a link to the CBS malpractice website is prominently displayed on the WCA website. Both the WCA and CBS have Rongberg, his wife and his son-in-law (Timothy J. Feuling) serving as un-elected officers. The WCA appears to be nothing more than a closely held family company for the purpose of selling malpractice insurance, which Rongberg is “president for life” and that WCA members cannot vote.
- A search of the Chiropractic Journal website indicates that 94 articles have been published about CBS. In other words, the WCA and especially the Chiropractic Journal are nothing more than “fronts” to sell malpractice insurance for Rongberg.
- The loss of physician status under Medicare would be very harmful to the profession but helpful to the CBS malpractice company because malpractice lawsuits could be defended on the basis that DCs are not physicians and had no responsibility to diagnose or refer since they were only correcting subluxations.
- Indeed, Rongberg, like Big $id, is trying to reshape the chiro profession to meet his scheme of business, albeit antiquated and against the wishes of the MAJORITY OF PRACTICING DCs FROM AROUND THE WORLD.
- This duplicity is difficult to expose since Rongberg’s journalistic fraud will never reveal this conflict of interest to his readership. Instead, he sounds like a crusader for a bygone era of chirovangelism as if he were Don Quixote fighting the encroaching windmills of unity, access, and progress in the chiro profession. The more this profession moves toward unity, the more outcry we’ll hear from Rongberg with his Chicken Little fear, “ChiropracTIC is falling…”
Terry A. Rondberg, D.C., WCA President
Veronica Gutierrez, D.C., WCA Board of Directors
Christopher Kent, D.C., WCA Board of Directors
Matthew McCoy, D.C., WCA Board of Directors
The above signatures may belong to the most dangerous DCs in our profession—people willing to distort the truth, hide their hidden agendas (CBS insurance and Subluxation Station), and willing to mislead field DCs with their journalistic fraud—opinions that appear as fact. Have any ever spoken of unity, access, parity or increasing market share? Never, but they do work to obstruct, mislead and confuse this profession. Indeed, these four are counter-productive to what the mainstream DCs need and want.