WCA demands removal of anti-chiropractic ads from Bridgeport buses
Forms ‘Anti-Defamation Fund’ to fight hate campaign, Quackbusters
When buses in Bridgeport and Waterbury, Conn., began displaying side panel ads suggesting chiropractic care could lead to injury and/or strokes, the World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA), sprang into action and demanded the signs be immediately removed.
The ads depict a doctor in a white coat about to give a cervical adjustment to a patient. In huge letters across the sides and back of the buses are the words:
Injured by a
In the letter to the Greater Bridgeport Transit Authority (GBTA), the WCA stated that it would refer the matter to state and federal authorities for investigation and seek legal actions in state and/or federal court if the ads were not removed.
WCA legal counsel Carlos F. Negrete accused the GBTA of promoting “shameless libelous messages on its buses” and warned that a “full investigation” is being launched to determine who paid for placing the ads, which contain only a reference to “Chiropractic Stroke Victims Awareness Group.”
The group’s website merely identifies itself as “an international volunteer group of individuals who provide consultations on complications due to neck manipulation.” The names of its founders and/or leaders are not disclosed. A reporter for the <I>Connecticut Post,<I> alerted to the issue by a press release distributed by the WCA, noted in his article that: “A call to the phone number listed in the ad was transferred to voice mail. Other attempts to reach a spokesperson were unsuccessful.”
Terry A. Rondberg, DC, founder and president of the WCA, stated his conviction that the ads are part of a “continuing and vicious attack on the chiropractic profession by certain extremist elements who oppose any kind of non-medical health care. It has absolutely nothing to do with protecting the public.”
He also noted that the ads were “part of a well-orchestrated and financed campaign to circulate misinformation about health care approaches that have been scientifically established and recognized throughout the world.”
The WCA announced that it is committed to taking swift and immediate action against the individuals and entities responsible for the bus ads. “We are prepared to go to court if we must to stop the public transport agency from promoting this campaign against Connecticut chiropractors and their colleagues around the country.”
Retaining Negrete is part of an overall strategy to stop such attacks on chiropractic. Negrete, an attorney in private practice in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., is known for his defense of chiropractors, physicians, dentists, clinics and natural heath therapists who practice complimentary and alternative medicine. He has scored major victories against such opponents as “Quackwatch” founder Stephen Barrett, MD, as well as HMOs in California.
In the past, the World Chiropractic Alliance has mobilized to protest attacks in the media and to lobby against anti-chiropractic legislation on the state and federal levels. “The WCA serves as chiropractic’s Emergency Response Team,” Dr. Rondberg commented. “When these attacks occur, we can’t wait around for a committee to meet and study the situation. Since the WCA has eliminated the bureaucracy that so often impedes action, it can respond swiftly and decisively. We’re not afraid to confront our enemies or those who are being used as pawns in this battle. We will use every avenue open to us -- from public relations to lawsuits -- to hold those responsible for the attacks accountable for their actions.”
A copy of the letter sent to the Greater Bridgeport Transit Authority may be viewed on the WCA website at www.worldchiropracticalliance.org.
The problem of anti-chiropractic discrimination goes much deeper than the buses in Bridgeport. It has become a campaign of misinformation that must no longer be ignored or tolerated. “This is like a hate crime committed against our profession,” said Rondberg. “The WCA won’t stand for it. We’re not going to allow these rabid anti-chiropractic groups to disguise their libel as ‘free speech.’ If they’re going to scream <I>fire<I> in a crowded theater, we’re going to hose them down for good.”
Rondberg likened the battle to the civil rights movement of the ‘60s.
“Selma, Alabama is where the civil rights movement began. It started with a single bus and the refusal by Rosa Parks to take a seat in the back of that bus,” he told an enthusiastic audience during the WCA Summit in Washington, DC. “This was the beginning of the end for the bigoted policies that had supported so much ugly, disgusting discrimination in America.
“As chiropractors, we’re going to take the air out of the tires of those buses and put an end to the drive-by assaults against our beloved profession,” Rondberg stated. “Carlos Negrete and his staff are preparing for legal measures to take the necessary action against our detractors and end this illegal discrimination. That’s what the WCA is all about -- not just talk!”
He added: “If those bus signs aren’t taken down immediately,the WCA is prepared to go to federal court and give them an adjustment they won’t forget! The WCA is ready to take on those allopathic skinheads and make this a national issue and the best-known bus ride since Rosa Parks.”
To defray the costs of waging battle against anti-chiropractic forces, including Quackbusters, the “Chiropractic Stroke Victims Awareness Group” and similar groups, the World Chiropractic Alliance set up the “Chiropractic Anti-Defamation Fund.” The fund will raise the money necessary to take whatever steps are needed to get those ads off the buses and go after other groups involved in similar anti-chiropractic campaigns.
The WCA has also established an emergency response team that can mobilize in hours to take action, whenever and wherever these anti-chiropractic attacks occur. This team will react instantly and forcefully to protect our profession’s reputation and position.
The WCA is asking doctors around the country to get involved in two ways:
1. Be vigilant for similar billboards, bus ads, etc., in your community. Let the WCA know immediately if you see any. Take photographs whenever possible and e-mail them to us. Every minute we delay, they gain a foothold.
2. Make a monetary contribution or pledge to the WCA’s Chiropractic Anti-Defamation Fund to help finance the legal battles that are sure to come. This is going to be a costly campaign against the anti-chiropractic forces that are well-funded (which gives you a clue as to who might be behind them). Every penny collected by the Fund will be spent fighting anti-chiropractic actions and entities -- first, the Bridgeport buses and then on to groups like Quackbusters.
To jump-start the effort, the WCA is looking for 200 dedicated DCs who’ll pledge $1,200 (payable as a one-time contribution, or $100 a month). This group will be known as the “WCA Special Forces Unit” and will be recognized in The Chiropractic Journal and on the WCA website.
To become one of the 200 doctors willing to support the WCA Special Forces Unit make a contribution using our secure online form.
Doctors wanting to take a stronger stand can -- with a pledge of $5,000 or more -- become a Special Forces Unit Advisor and participate in strategic planning.
“Together” Rondberg vowed, “we’ll stop this group in its tracks and make them regret ever going after chiropractic!”