Where’s $id?


“Learning a Lesson from the Snake Oil Salesman”


Where’s $id?


JC Smith


It was good to read that our military located and eliminated Saddam’s two devious sons recently, although the whereabouts of Saddam remains a mystery that must be solved. The same might be said about the Williams regime at Life and the whereabouts of $id E. Williams since his ouster from Life (a dumb name for a college) and the ICA.


For a while, $id couldn’t remain silent as he repeatedly phoned the Atlanta and Marietta newspapers with his tacky comments like, “Life is the best college in the country, ya folla?” even though it was revealed Lifers had the lowest board exam results and the highest student loan default rate. When the AJC editorial reported that $id’s salary was more than both the presidents of Harvard and Yale combined, it certainly didn’t help his credibility as a legitimate educator, but it did reveal to the public that Life was, in fact, nothing more than a diploma mill and a cash cow for Big $id and his clan of academic imposters! (But I have to admit that nearly a million bucks is not bad pay for a Podunk chiro college!)


Even his BOT sycophants were annoyed at $id’s constant interference in their damage control efforts. Just as the BOT had no power over him while he was in control, they had less after he was ousted! Indeed, this tail has been waggin’ the dawg for a long time. For a man accustomed to speaking his mind whenever he wanted, over the last few months he’s been strangely quite. Either this story has lost its legs in the media, or $id has fallen on tough times as reality may have finally set in. Perhaps we can expect an occasional audiotape from $id similar to Saddam’s still urging his followers to resist the infidels, the evil CCE?


Not Enuf Sed, Ya Folla?

I just received the latest edition of $id’s magazine, Today’s Chiropractic, and noticed his infamous Lyceum editorial was absent as well. Whenever I see the cover of his magazine, it makes me flinch. First of all, I disagree that it represents any notion of today’s modern chiropractic inasmuch as the ideology of this magazine is more like “Yesterday’s Chirovangelism” than 21st century chiropractic concepts. Secondly, the sub-title, “the world’s most widely read chiropractic publication” is blatantly untrue. I daresay Dynamic Chiropractic might disagree, but $id is known to use hyperbole in everything he does or says, ya folla?


Actually, I miss his Lyceums because they made for such interesting reading, as bizarre as they were. But they did give a clear understanding of the mindset of this chirovangelist whose dogma was a mixture of fact, fantasy, and those “little voices” he heard inside his head.


My favorite Lyceum of all time was in the Jan/Feb 1998 edition, “Learning a Lesson from the Snake Oil Salesman.” If this wasn’t a Freudian slip, what is? I even have it framed in my personal office! At first I thot he finally would admit his “one cure-one correction-one cause” rap was just like the old snake oil salesman who basically convinced unsuspecting folks that his treatment could “cure you of whatever ails you,” as the HIO Innatists still profess today with their cute chiro-clichés, such as “ADIO” or “the power that made the body will heal the body.” (Ironically, in the latest edition of TC, it profiled Dr. Ian Grassam, a longtime $idiot, who died at the age of 56 from cancer. Incidentally, the recent passing of Dr. Fred Barge, another chirovangelist, makes one wonder: Were these men subluxated or what? Perhaps their ADIO was out of synch?)


$id’s snake oil editorial criticized mixers who use modalities or supplements—he suggested these helpful aids were the snake oil of today. He then suggested that the only modality a DC needs is the “You’re Better Protocol,” where you convince the patient he’s better by telling him, “You’re standing taller, your skin color is better,” and other con-artistry comments typical of a snake oil salesman. Strangely, his editorial actually indicted his own method, unbeknownst to him! But he did achieve his goal—he gave us a lesson from a snake oil salesman! Ironic, indeed!


Sadly, this magazine still preaches the ol’ time chirovangelism, as noted in the recent editorial by Dr. William Willis, “Tell the Truth—Are you being honest about chiropractic?” He goes on to say, “We’re afraid that if we tell them the care we are providing is not about pain and symptoms, but a revitalized life, they will reject us.” And rightfully so! How does Dr. Willis support his contention that an adjustment revitalizes life? Does he use the famous Innatometer or what?


It’s exactly this kind of metaphysical nonsense that got Life (which is a dumb name for a college) into academic trouble. I wish Willis and Life would be honest to the students and confess there’s absolutely no evidence of this contention. Is Life a religious/cult faith-based diploma mill or an academic institution of higher learning based on science and evidence?


And what’s wrong with helping patients with NMS pain and symptoms? I doubt many patients seek chiro care to be “revitalized,” but I do know the vast majority want help with their NMS disorders. I thot that was our main job in healthcare that brings us 95% of our patients, including to Dr. Willis’! This inane editorial illustrates the chirovangelism that still permeates the college and this faction of dogmatists. If Willis considers his metaphysical dogma as the “truth,” then it shows how far from the truth Life remains today. Indeed, it this remains Life’s “Purpose”—to teach unproven hyperbole/dogma, than nothing has changed since the ouster of Big $id.


Where is $id?

So, where is $id and why has he gone into hiding? It’s not like him to remain silent, as we saw during the downfall of Life. Even after Big Ben DeSpain took the reins of control at Life, Big $id has yet to make a ceremonious appearance to meet him or to pass the torch to his successor. Apparently $id doesn’t like someone else sitting on his throne of 28 years, ya folla!


I can understand why Life and the BOT don’t want him around campus stirring up trouble, but why hasn’t $id written his customary editorial in his own magazine? Perhaps the student lawsuits have kept him busy with depositions? Or perhaps his own lawsuit for $1.2 million against Life over the old BJ home in Sarasota is taking his time, or maybe the lawsuit filed by three of his former instructors who allege anti-Semitism and unjustified dismissals? But $id’s been sued before and he of all folks is used to controversy, the mainstay of his career as the self-proclaimed “Defender of ChiropracTIC.”


Is the omission of his Lyceum a tacit admission that his ideology is no longer welcomed, even amongst his own readership? Sources at Life now tell me not only has his museum, Little Chicken statue, and array of photos disappeared, but that many consider him to be a pariah around Marietta. On the other hand, other sources tell me nothing has changed there except the face-lift makeover of replacing him with Dr. DeSpain.


Here’s an interesting observation sent to me recently by a student:

…an undergrad Professor stated to me today that DeSpain is worse than Sid. He feels that there is even less academic freedom now. It appears to this Professor that DeSpain is relying on a few administrators like Dr. Downs, Cynthia Boyd, Debra Pogrelis to guide him. And since we know none of these people are qualified to be in the positions they occupy, the school is going nowhere. They can tell everyone they are making changes but truly there is nothing of any substance. Many students that have come back expecting a different environment are greeted with the same message as the former regime. Like today in assembly, they march some Dynamic Essential DC from FL to tell all the students in attendance that this school is the best in the world, and all we need to do was adjust the subluxation and everything else will take care of itself.

All of this comes on the heels of the fact that the school had a perfect opportunity to shake the BOT up but chose to select more SIDIOTS to keep the mantra going.

The school also has to deal with SACS. This undergrad Professor also told me there has been no work done on the reminding 10 concerns that SACS wants addressed. The Life administration is working day and night to get the budget balanced. This incoming first quarter for the summer had only 40 students. In order to balance the budget this school needs around 300 new students to bring the balance to zero by the beginning of next quarter. I believe a SACS site team visit occurs in December. So this school still isn’t out of the woods yet.

I don’t know how much left I have in me. I am paying all my legal bills out of my own pocket, and if I continue in school this quarter my tuition will be paid that way too. I just don’t think I can continue to give money to a school with a second rate education at best. The damage has been done and any credibility that this institute may have had under DeSpain went out the window with all those new BOT appointments.

Indeed, the recent appointment of more $idiots to the BOT makes us all wonder about their qualifications: what can a couple of 1998 and 2000 Life grads bring to the table in terms of experience? I know plenty of DCs with more than twenty years of experience who would have brought real diversity to the BOT, but they don’t sing the mantra of Innatism, which seems to be the main qualification. Apparently the in-breeding at Life continues, only fueling our skepticism that Life has not changed course from faith-based to evidence-based curriculum.

I must agree that altho Big Ben has made great strides to stop the bleeding at Life (which is a dumb name for a college), it may still die as a result of a thousand slashes—a huge overhead, a depleted student body, a soiled reputation, and a disgruntled profession, many of whom don’t want Life to continue at all. Until he can reassure the field docs that Life won’t replicate the same mistakes of the past, he’ll not get our support. Instead of hearing that Life has changed from quantity to quality education, we hear the same old desire to be the biggest in chiro education. The last thing this profession needs, especially here in Georgia, is another diploma mill cranking out chirovangelists as we’ve seen for the last 28 years.

Needed: A New Life for Chiropractic in Georgia

Chiropractic in Georgia is reeling badly. Not only are we flooded with Lifers—the fifth-most DCs per capita in the nation—we have the sixth-lowest income per capita, according to FCLB stats. We also suffer from disunity galore—the GCA consisting of only 599 DCs and the GCC, of a lesser but unknown number of $idiots out of 4,280 licensed DCs. Both groups operate on the good ol’ boy model that is intolerant of diversity, and both have had egotistical leaders (the $id model of management) who alienated rational DCs and certainly would never capitulate or compromise with each other group. On too many occasions, the past GCA leadership would meet and make legislative deals with the GCC folks only to be spurned by their duplicity—it appears the GCC has a greater loyalty to Big $id than to the profession and our patients.

So, instead of one powerful group representing a diverse membership as does the national ACA, instead we have two small weak groups at polar ends of the ideological spectrum. Meanwhile, the vast majority of DCs remain independent and apathetic to both groups, and I can’t blame them.

Georgia also has the lowest percentage of ACA members in the nation. After 28 years of Big $id spewing his anti-ACA venom to naïve students and not allowing the ACA reps on campus, combined with the lack of proactive leadership on the state level, the ACA presence in our state is virtually non-existence.

After the turmoil of the Life accreditation mess, the public image of all chiropractors has taken a huge blow—skepticism is at an all-time high. And with relatively no damage control by any association, the public still has little understanding of this situation since the chiropractic spin has been ineffective. I daresay only the Catholic Church has handled its PR problem worse than chiropractic in Georgia. Instead of confessing our sins and offering a mea culpa, our so-called leadership here has simply swept the issue under the rug, hoping it will go away, but it hasn’t—it’s just an infection that’s still festering, or as they say down South, “it’s sore as a risin’ rat chear, ya folla?”

I’ve called upon the BOT to arrange a meeting with the two state and national associations reps, as well as Life officials, and other independents notables to develop a plan to resurrect our profession after the fall of the Williams regime. Even though $id is out of power, the damage of his failed ideology continues to be a wedge among Georgian DCs, and the college still presents problems for us field docs. We need to heal the wounds inflicted by the ideologues who’ve exploited this profession for too long. It’s time to use democracy to manage our profession instead of totalitarian warlordism as we’ve seen for too long here in Georgia.

The question remains: are DCs politically mature enough to come together in times of need? Just as the US military in Iraq have brought all Iraqi factions together to form a new government after the ouster of Saddam, I wonder if Georgian DCs are smart enough to do the same. Can we put the 10% of our ideological/religious differences aside and rally around the 90% of economic/political/clinical issues that bind us? Or will we appear as ideologues more concerned about rhetoric than reality? Neither side is talking about access, parity and unity, which are the main concerns we field docs have.

The last thing we need is a college mass-producing chirovangelists and trade associations paralyzed by their own dogma and ineptness. But that’s the present situation in the Peach State. Enuf sed, ya folla?