The comment sections of this blog have provided plenty of reason to suspect that chiropractic is a cult, a health cult to be precise. A health cult is defined as a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator. The promulgator, in this case, is DD Palmer. As discussed previously, he ‘invented’ chiropractic and promoted many extraordinary claims and ideas, e.g.:

  • I was the first to adjust the cause of disease
  • Chiropractors adjust causes instead of treating effects
  • 95% of all diseases are caused by subluxations of the spine
  • Vaccination and inoculation are pathological; chiropractic is physiological
  • It was my ingenious brain which discovered [chiropractic’s] first principle; I was its source; I gave it birth; to me all chiropractors trace their chiropractic lineage
  • Among the wonderful achievements of this century, the discovery and development of chiropractic is preeminent; it is destined to replace all methods which treat effects
  • Dis-ease is a condition of not ease, lack of ease
  • His magnetic cure for cancer involved freeing the stomach and spleen of poisons
  • Chiropractic is a science of healing without drugs
  • Wants to turn chiropractic into a religion (as this would avoid chiropractors being sued for practising medicine without a license)

Since DD Palmer, the chiro-cult has changed. In fact, it has split into two camps. The ‘straights’ have become a Palmer worship cult, while the rest delude themselves of being based on evidence. That the former are cultists is impossible to deny. The latter reject such allegations but, in my mind, they too belong to a cult.

Let me explain.

The criteria for a cult can be defines as follows:

  1. Charismatic Leader: the ‘mixers’ might no longer worship Palmer, yet they are far from free of his ‘philosophy’; after all, they went to chiro-school where they were educated in the Palmer tradition.
  2. Isolation: chiropractors seek surprisingly little co-operation with other healthcare professionals and thus tend to be isolated.
  3. Control: chiropractors are under tight control of their professional bodies, peers, journals, etc. which all make sure that heretic ideas are kept at bay.
  4. Deception: chiropractors are masters of deception in persuading the public and their patients of the value of spinal manipulations, regardless of the actual evidence.
  5. Us vs. Them Mentality: chiropractors tend to create an “us vs. them” mentality, demonizing real doctors and promoting group cohesion.
  6. Exploitation: chiropractors have a long history of exploiting their patients; maintenance care is just one of many examples.
  7. Fear Tactics: chiropractors are scare mongers, for instance, when they diagnose subluxations even in perfectly healthy people and claim that this invented diagnosis needs urgent adjustments.

What, you don’t agree with these arguments?

In this case let me quote a different set criteria that might help to decide whether chiropractic might be a cult. Here they are:

  1. Absolute authoritarianism without accountability
  2. Zero tolerance for criticism or questions
  3. Lack of meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget
  4. Unreasonable fears about the outside world that often involve evil conspiracies and persecutions
  5. A belief that former followers are always wrong for leaving and there is never a legitimate reason for anyone else to leave
  6. Abuse of members
  7. Records, books, articles, or programs documenting the abuses of the leader or group
  8. Followers feeling they are never able to be “good enough”
  9. A belief that the leader is right at all times
  10. A belief that the leader is the exclusive means of knowing “truth” or giving validation

Bearing in mind that not all of the 10 criteria need to be fulfilled, I ask you: is chiropractic a cult?



52 Responses to Is chiropractic a health cult?

  • “Of course, there is a positive side to cults. One gets love, a sense of belonging, of fulfilling a special purpose, of being protected, of being free from the evils of the world, of being on the path to eternal salvation, of having power. If the cult did not satisfy needs that life outside the cult failed to satisfy, cults would probably not exist.” [my emphasis]
    — Robert Todd Carroll

  • “… in my mind…”

    Pretty much says it all.

  • One point that’s missing from the above article is the lack of ethics in the chiropractic business. As I’ve previously mentioned, in my investigation of chiropractic (along with quackery in general) for over 4 decades myriad examples of unethical practices, obfuscations & blatant lies I’ve encountered numerous examples. Here a just a few:

    Attempts to cover up the fact that a person is a chiropractor, not a doctor. Newspaper ads, for example, that tout the advertiser as “Doctor X” without stating that his/her degree is a chiropractic one, not medical. The average guy who sees such an ad assumes that the “doctor” is, indeed, a doctor.

    The same thing happens at lectures given by DCs. I once attended such a lecture that was to be delivered by “Doctor X.” I knew ahead of time that the guy was a chiropractor, but I doubt if anyone else in the audience was also aware of the fact. He introduced himself as having been a “physician” for 15 years in an attempt to make us believe he was a legitimate MD.

    Other newspaper ads of recent years include chiropractors who offered stem cell therapy & cures for diabetes! Those stem cell ads ran in the Chicago Tribune for over a year. When I confronted the chiropractor by asking about her qualifications to treat her customers with stem cells, she admitted that there was an MD on staff at her clinic who handled the procedures. (This also raised the question of the MD’s ethics)!

    Another ad I responded to out of curiosity came from a practice that promised relief from chronic pain. No mention that it was a chiro practice. When I arrived for my appointment, the practitioner introduced herself as “Doctor X.” I asked her what kind of doctor she was & she said that she was a DC. I confronted her by telling her that chiropractic wasn’t mentioned in the ad, she lied & said that it was. I left immediately without any treatment. A fact check revealed that, indeed, “chiropractic” was nowhere to be found in the ad.

    • yes, on this blog you’ll find many more examples of unethical behavior by chiros

    • Here in the USA it would be a board violation to ‘conceal’ that one is a doctor of chiropractic.

      “chiropractors tend to create an “us vs. them” mentality, demonizing real doctors…”

      Chiropractors pretend to be “real doctors”

      Seems contradictory

      • “Here in the USA it would be a board violation to ‘conceal’ that one is a doctor of chiropractic.”

        And yet so many of you are guilty of doing so. I’ve seen it countless times.

        Either the board ignores it or it has no teeth.

        Chiropractic, for a large part, is an unethical business.

        • State boards don’t look for violations, they respond to complaints.

          Watchdog groups look for violations. I’d have no issue with such groups, in fact I’ve considered it myself.

        • Mr Thompson’s sock puppets have explained to us elsewhere that ‘chiropractic boards’ do not actively seek violators or their violations.

          Furthermore, something isn’t a violation UNTIL the completion of the process:
          1. it is reported to ‘the board’
          2. ‘the board’ has acted upon it
          3. ‘the board’ has decided that it is a violation.

          Here are some concrete examples:


          Likewise, during 2016, Mr Thompson (current pseudonym ‘DC’) used pseudonyms including ‘Dr Dale’ without having made it abundantly clear that he was not a registered medical practitioner.

          • Bjorn raised objection to my use of Dr (even though it was clear to him that I was a chiropractor). Out of my respect to him I changed to DC.

          • chiro‑clown stated: “Bjorn raised objection to my use of Dr (even though it was clear to him that I was a chiropractor). Out of my respect to him I changed to DC.”

            Oh really? No, not really; he is lying as usual.

            During 2016, Mr Thompson (current pseudonym ‘DC’) used pseudonyms including ‘Dr Dale’ without having made it abundantly clear that he was not a registered medical practitioner.

            During 2018 — two years later — he changed his pseudonym to the ridiculous ‘DC’.

            DC on Wednesday 01 August 2018 at 23:17

            I can change mine from DrDale to this…it doesnt matter to me.



            Frank Odds on Friday 22 May 2020 at 09:31


            Words don’t seem to matter very much to DC. Just look at this post from a couple of years ago (and the comments surrounding it). Back then he called himself “Doc Dale”, but changed this to “DC” and explained: “It doesn’t matter to me.”

            Lying for his cult — for eight years on this blog.

          • Yes, that was the exchange

            Bjorn: I wonder what is the ratio of chiropractor commenters on this blog who flaunt the “Dr” honorific vs. real medical doctors (commenting here) who find a need to decorate their identity with such ornaments?
            To me, this apparent vanity of chiropractors indicates a subliminal inferiority complex.”

            DC: I can change mine from DrDale to this…it doesnt matter to me.

          • As I stated: “During 2018 — two years later — he changed his pseudonym to the ridiculous ‘DC’.

            During 2016, Mr Thompson (current pseudonym ‘DC’) used pseudonyms including ‘Dr Dale’ without having made it abundantly clear that he was not a registered medical practitioner.


            Lying for his cult — for eight years on this blog.

          • you really need to invest in a dictionary, start with lying.

          • Mr Thompson’s sock puppet ‘DC’ stated above on Thursday 04 July 2024 at 15:57

            Here in the USA it would be a board violation to ‘conceal’ that one is a doctor of chiropractic.

            During 2016, Mr Thompson (current pseudonym ‘DC’) used pseudonyms including ‘Dr Dale’ without having made it abundantly clear that he was not a registered medical practitioner.


          • Did you look up that definition yet?

          • Simple question for you, DC. Have you ever violated chiropractic board rules? If yes, did you get caught? And what was your punishment?

          • @DC

            Another question for you:

            Often you spend a lot of time arguing with skeptics of chiropractic, however you not said anything about Jay Kennedy’s take down of chiroquackery: Why the silence? Don’t keep us waiting for long. We can’t endure this suspense for too long.

          • The lying spamming troll is itching to deploy, yet again, one its favourite forms of lying:

            Argumentum ad dictionarium

            As usual, a pathetic attempt to divert and distract.

            This thread on which Mr Thompson’s sock puppet ‘DC’ is “commenting”, is headed by this erudite pertinent comment [my bolding]:

            kurt youngmann on Thursday 04 July 2024 at 15:39

            One point that’s missing from the above article is the lack of ethics in the chiropractic business. As I’ve previously mentioned, in my investigation of chiropractic (along with quackery in general) for over 4 decades myriad examples of unethical practices, obfuscations & blatant lies I’ve encountered numerous examples. Here are just a few:

            Attempts to cover up the fact that a person is a chiropractor, not a doctor.

            Edzard on Thursday 04 July 2024 at 15:49

            yes, on this blog you’ll find many more examples of unethical behavior by chiros

            DC on Thursday 04 July 2024 at 15:57

            Here in the USA it would be a board violation to ‘conceal’ that one is a doctor of chiropractic.


            Types and associated terms

            Lying by omission, also known as a continuing misrepresentation or quote mining, occurs when an important fact is left out in order to foster a misconception.

            Lying by omission includes the failure to correct pre-existing misconceptions.


            On numerous occasions, I (and others) have called attention to chiro‑clown’s types of lying; one of the most commonly deployed is indeed lying by omission.

            During 2016, Mr Thompson (current pseudonym ‘DC’) used pseudonyms including ‘Dr Dale’ without having made it abundantly clear that he was not a registered medical practitioner.


            Furthermore, he did not state that he was a chiropractor,


            Lying for his cult — for eight years on this blog.

  • I still do not understand why any intending student feeing they had a vocation and wanting to treat illness does not study, train, and qualify in medicine.
    Or indeed, in osteopathy. or physiotherapy.
    (GMC registration as a registered medical practitioner in the UK.)

    And if they qualified as MD (GMC registration as a registered medical practitioner in the UK), they could then study and apply chiropractic as a post-grad qualification.
    Why not?

    Why do some folks turn their backs on regular medicine and take up with a system which they must know to be inimical to good evidence-based ethical practice?

    • [my emphasis]

      The problem, as always, is that chiros are not very bright. The entry level standards to chiro fantasy courses are very low and after a few years of nonsense, a moron is gifted the misleading title, Doctor of Bullshit, which gives an imbecile an undeserved title and an enormous ego.

      The chiro across the corner typifies the mindset if, indeed, there is a mind inside that thick skull. During the COVID‑19 lockdown in Victoria, Australia, chiros are not deemed an essential service. If that isn’t a clear indication of the uselessness of spinal faffing, what else could be?

      It comes as no great surprise chiros can’t recognise or understand this.

      — Frank Collins on A chat with a chiropractor

      One only has to read the appalling writings of various chiros on this blog to understand that they aren’t qualified to enter medical school.

      And there’s this travesty of health care:

      From comments I’ve read on this blog, chiropractic is defined essentially as ‘whatever an individual practitioner chooses’. Small wonder then that ‘official’ boards a consumer might normally expect to offer some sort of standards and regulation of the ‘profession’ turn out to be dissembling, weaselly worded shams that protect only the practitioners of this particular branch of Big Snakeoil.

      — Frank Odds on The risk of neck manipulation

    • Richard Rawlins wrote: “I still do not understand why any intending student feeing they had a vocation and wanting to treat illness does not study, train, and qualify in medicine. Or indeed, in osteopathy. or physiotherapy… Why not? Why do some folks turn their backs on regular medicine and take up with a system which they must know to be inimical to good evidence-based ethical practice?”

      It seems to be down to a lack of critical thinking. A 2019 survey of U.S. chiros showed that more than 94% of chiropractors came to chiropractic either through a referral from a DC (31.4%) or from personal experience with chiropractic (62.9%).

      Indeed, personal ‘miracles’ with chiropractic appear to be a prominent factor in becoming one

      • Heck, the numbers for dentistry and physical therapy probably top those percentages. Do they lack critical thinking as well?

        • For a DC “probably” is what goes for evidence…ROFL!

          Now it is about time you dig up some obscure paper and twist it to fit your narrative….

  • In response to Dr. Ernst’s original question, “Is chiropractic a health cult?” (which, I just realized hasn’t yet been addressed) I propose that the answer is “yes.” My reasons for this answer can be found in my earlier posts.

    A cult is “a group of people with extreme dedication to a certain leader or set of beliefs that are often viewed as odd by others.”

    Some, including me, also regard chiropractic as a religion:

    A religion is “a set of beliefs about God or the supernatural.” D.D. Palmer is chiropractic’s god & B.J. Palmer is its messiah.

    • There are factions in the profession that reflect cult like thinking. But the profession as a whole? It doesn’t fit enough of the criteria to be considered a cult.

  • I was a DC for 30+ years and a notable one for the last 20 years. I taught 200+ seminars, wrote innumerable articles and taught at many chiropractic colleges. I had (3) private practices and was a technique “guru”: “Kennedy decompression technique” or KDT. We “certified” nearly 5000 DCs to be “decompression experts”!
    Kdt still sells farcical traction-tables I developed and designed (labeled as “decompression systems”) as well as useless lasers, ultrasonic vibrators and other scam modalities to confound the DCs and milk the public. (I have been out of it for several years now).
    I am not proud of the fact I made a lot of money both in practice and as a lying cultist-entrepreneur.
    I have read your blog for several years and many of your books, especially related to Chiropractic. You are not mistaken and I do NOT believe you are biased, the fact that you define the practice as SCAM and a cult is absolutely the case. As has been said before it is “the world’s largest non-scientific healthcare delivery system”. I was fortunate many years ago to meet Stuart McGill PhD. It changed my practice considerably. I opened a gym and focused dramatically on exercise. I also had other income steams from selling bullshit equipment. The regrettable feature is chiropractors sell “treatments”…. Some of which superficially alter pain signals temporarily like many OTHER less expensive and less mendacious things. This “traps” many patients into an erroneous paradigm….one a DC is ready, willing and able to exploit. “Chiropractic treatments” NEVER get to the root of a problem, alter any disease-process or substantially improve a patient. Regrettably selling exercise simply WILL NOT garner the income that selling (and coercing) subluxation-elimination treatments will (and virtually NO DC has the experience or expertise a PT PhD has in that arena).
    Interestingly when you do seminars as a chiropractor, most states make you sign a waiver stating that you will not disparage Chiropractic or discuss information that minimize the value of Chiropractic. Can you imagine medical seminars or a scientific seminar having such a waiver? Chiropractic is and has always been a moneymaking scheme. That doesn’t exclude the fact there are many chiropractors who buy into it as a supreme truth….just like Muslims who murder with the thought of getting directly to Heaven to start porking some virgins.
    I have discovered most DCs are on the low IQ scale, have poor critical thinking skills and rarely question their golden-goose (or perhaps more sympathetically; never venture outside the bounds of the profession and its rhetoric and hyperbole. They have been effectively able to compartmentalize Chiropractic from rightful and accurate criticism). Most of the successful ones are of course entrepreneurs with ravenous appetites for money, prestige and approval (and have little or no interest in the “truth”…..oops I described myself I guess).
    The majority however struggle to get by and are constantly seeking SOMETHING that might actually work. Thus 70%+ use and advertise “decompression”, Activators (and other ridiculous “adjusting guns”), drop-tables, energy-techniques, orthotics and whatever other nonsense some company advertises in Chiropractic Economics with a testimonial of how much money can be made. It always fascinated me that if “subluxation-reduction or elimination” was the solution for disease and pain WHY did the profession embrace all of these other nonsensical modalities? If your guess is: “chiropractic doesn’t really work”…give yourself a beer.
    When you graduate as a DC you CAN ONLY be in private SCAM practice….no other opportunities exist. Is it really any wonder that lying is the only avenue available to support a practice and an income stream? Nope.

    • Gosh

      What a devastating post. Thanks for writing that, Jay.

      Out of interest, what made you leave the profession? At what point did you realise it was rubbish?

      • I really enjoy your comments, logic, wit and vitriol…an excellent combo.
        A few years ago 3 state boards sent me admonishing letters that I had diminished and disparaged the “power of the chiropractic adjustment” in front of the audience during my seminars. (Along the lines of: Chiropractors “sell” deep, profound effects….but actually “deliver” superficial, transient ones. All backed with viable research mind you….something DCs hate when it’s against their money making. But who can blame them. It’s very expensive getting and staying in practice).
        I also had my own debilitating back problem which was made MUCH WORSE with “chiropractic” treatments and “decompression”. (The WHO (not the rock band) has suggested traction for back problems has more adverse effects than benefits. It’s also worth reading Jillian Michael’s back-pain journey and her accolades for Stuart McGill). I will admit after 4-5 years in practice I really started to question my career choice. But kids, houses, wive(s) and expenses disallow most from pursuing a whole new career (and Chiropractic “college” credits don’t impress real colleges).
        I tried to make the most of it. So I developed some “clever” additions to traction systems and got lucky that a very large company bought them. That’s when lying-on-the-road (and not just to my patients in my office) became my new vocation. After enough dough was made I stepped aside. Embarrassing, generally unethical and (excepting the money) a tremendous waste of what might have been a demonstrably helpful and fulfilling career in a REAL healthcare field. And doesn’t it figure I don’t believe in reincarnation…damn.

        • @Jay Kennedy
          I think that what you say here goes for a lot of other alternative practitioners:
          – They started out in the alternative field because it was much easier than getting a real medical education (quite few practitioners I know of simply decided that they would be a homeopath or naturopath or bioresonance pedlar henceforth).
          – When these people become more or less successful as an alternative practitioner, they find that they get much the same respect and praise from people as real doctors, which can be quite addictive.
          – Over time, they invest a lot (and sometimes everything imaginable) in their chosen line of work. This investment goes way beyond just money, and also involves social and emotional investments. The more fanatical ones can indeed be said to become part of a cult.
          – At this point, it has become virtually impossible to back out of what is, when all is said and done, just quackery. Only very few people manage to make the switch to a different career, one that doesn’t involve routinely fooling patients (and oneself …). The consequence of such a move would all to often be losing everything that has been built up over the years.
          – This also makes it very hard to admit that the chosen SCAM may in fact be flawed or useless. Quite the contrary: any doubt about the viability of the SCAM is often disputed vigorously, defending the SCAM with an almost religious zeal. This is also why the concept of being wrong is almost literally unthinkable for many SCAM practitioners. This can often be seen here too. For instance Dana Ullman has to my knowledge NEVER EVER admitted that any homeopathy study was flawed, not even if it was the most egregiously bad dung beetle feast of a ‘paper’ that saw the light of day.

          So I much appreciate your story.

  • And yet:

    “Overall, we found similar effects for chiropractic care and the other types of care..”

    And exercise has been a part of chiropractic care at least since the 1940 or 50s.

    • I know you are unbeatable at pigeon chess – no need to rub it in.

    • chiro‑clown clutched at this old straw: “And exercise has been a part of chiropractic care at least since the 1940 or 50s.”

      And exercise has been a part of bank robbery for a lot longer. But nobody needs a bank robber, or a chiropractor.

      • all one has to do is read practice surveys to see most chiropractors incorporate exercise in their treatment plans.

        • DC wrote
          > most chiropractors incorporate exercise in their treatment plans.

          Oh, since when is “exercise” chiropractic?
          Why don’t you just as well “incorporate” gold digging instead?

          • “Oh, since when is “exercise” chiropractic?”

            Somewhere, too long ago to remember, I read the following definition of what constitutes chiropractic: It’s whatever chiropractors do. That includes, in addition to being detectors & adjusters of subluxations, selling vitamins & other supplements; purporting to be entry-level, primary care physicians; pediatricians; neurologists; & anything else they choose to call themselves.

          • Oh, since when is “exercise” chiropractic?

            Probably around the same time they included nutrition counseling and “prescribing” and selling supplements. I think, diversifying ones revenue streams is a great business model.

          • Olle: Oh, since when is “exercise” chiropractic?

            chiropractic has been a multimodal approach to MSK issues since the early 1900s. Exercise/rehab was incorporated by at least the 1940s-50s. BJ Palmer had a whole area at the college dedicated to rehab/exercise.

            No profession owns exercise.

            For example:

            “more than 90% of clinicians believed it was important to provide PA information, i.e., promoting PA was their responsibility and/or that they should counsel and provide information on PA or include exercise recommendations to their patients.”

            Fernandez, M., Young, A., Milton, K. et al. Physical activity promotion in chiropractic: a systematic review of clinician-based surveys. Chiropr Man Therap 30, 55 (2022).

          • chiro‑clown is a vendor of logical fallacies. He stated above

            “exercise has been a part of chiropractic care at least since the 1940 or 50s”

            thereby claiming that modern chiropractic is

             chiropractic = chiropractic(old) + exercise

            and deploys the unstated premise

             exercise is effective

            to conclude

             chiropractic is effective

            His logical fallacy is one that he habitually deploys:

            A fallacy of illicit transference is an informal fallacy occurring when an argument assumes there is no difference between a term in the distributive (referring to every member of a class) and collective (referring to the class itself as a whole) sense.

            There are two variations of this fallacy:

            Fallacy of composition – assumes what is true of the parts is true of the whole. This fallacy is also known as “arguing from the specific to the general.”

            Fallacy of division – assumes what is true of the whole is true of its parts (or some subset of parts).

            While fallacious, arguments that make these assumptions may be persuasive because of the representativeness heuristic.


            Consider an SCAM therapy such as homeopathy or chiropractic. Its vendors add to it

            • exercise advice
            • lifestyle advice
            • nutrition advice
            • …

            none of which are defined, instead each vendor “uses their knowledge and experience” in these matters

             chiropractic = chiropractic(old)
              + exercise advice
              + lifestyle advice
              + nutrition advice
              + …

            Gotcha! pseudo-skeptic who claim that chiropractic is not beneficial are making the silly claim that
            • exercise advice
            • lifestyle advice
            • nutrition advice
            • …

            are not beneficial.

            Well, dear reader, SCAM modalities have no utility (those that had utility are part of medicine), but they are ascribed utility via deployment of a fallacy of illicit transference.

          • … and my surgeon is also a psychotherapist: he asked my recenty weather I am ok!

  • @Jay Kennedy

    At what point of your journey did you realize that you were a liar and a thief ?

    When MD’s and big pharma get caught at wrongdoing, they are required to pay up.
    Are you planning to stop the lies you’ve instigated and make things right, or continue reaping the rewards of your foolery ?
    I’m not speaking of a confession to this blog. I am speaking of the patients that you knowingly tricked.

  • Dear John (what an unusual name!).
    You are not too bright I take it?
    I believe phenylephrine and MANY other OTC medicines for various conditions are ineffective and yet are still advertised and sold. The list is quite extensive. How about penis enlargers? Enzyte? Nugenix? Should we make Doug Flutie return his money? How about virtually EVERY non-pharmaceutical health supplement on the market today? How about homeopathy? Do you suppose everyone in that industry (CVS, Walgreens…etc) believes everything they sell is as effective as they advertise it to be?? Do you suppose some of them are in it for the money and aren’t concerned with a gullible customers’ financial situation? How about TV preachers? I was educated and licensed as a “Dr” (and paid by Medicare and insurance companies) expressly to reduce or remove subluxation(s). THAT I thought it was misguided or whacko several years into “selling” it doesn’t condemn me. It took many patients and many “techniques” to uncover and fully understand the scam. It also took an open mind and acceptance of the uncertainty of a ‘Brave new world’.
    THAT a quack or an unctuous entrepreneur can sell to a gullible audience is NOT illegal…at least not in the US. The issue is will someone be physically injured if they use it.
    I was NEVER sued in practice and my reputation as a successful, dedicated professional remains in tact. In regards to your “suggestion” I myself had submitted quite an array of documents to my Chiropractic alma mater many years ago suggesting that “subluxation treatment” was the format of my education and it was unarguably NOT TRUE. Thus ALL of the subluxation “adjusting treatments and classes” I was taught and attended were a mendacious, useless artifice of a money-making education scam.
    I suggested I should receive a refund or some compensation (or at least their recruitment literature and curriculum should obviate it). And can you imagine that they ignored me? But here I’m not ignoring you. So you should take a modicum of satisfaction in that.
    I ceased insurance billing in practice in 2001. I developed other income streams and opted to charge “cash”. I often tried, though unsuccessfully to dissuade patients from believing their spines were “out” (and they would benefit the most from exercise) irrespective of what some other Chiropractor had (selfishly) inculcated them with.
    Perhaps you’ve heard of cognitive dissonance and the vast litany of other reasons humans believe and pursue ridiculous things….written about innumerable times on this blog)? I’m always curious about the contrarians on this blog…have you NOT read the professor’s books?? Start there.
    Or perhaps your malady is better treated with an Atlas adjustment or a homeopathic remedy made from the oily residue of a well used Activator.
    Good luck.

  • Several days ago I mentioned the lack of ethics in the chiropractic business. An example of this lack is found on the current “Consumer Health Digest.”

    “Florida chiropractor who sold neuropathy care has license suspended

    The Florida Department of Health has suspended the license of Robert Raouf Abraham, D.C., who operated the Exodus Medical Clinic in Oviedo, Florida. In May 2022, the Department filed an administrative complaint charging that Abraham had charged an 87-year-old woman $9,294.52 for a treatment plan. This included $2,500 for light-therapy equipment, $2,000 for a rebuilder-therapy unit, $1,000 for a nutrition-education program, $1,800 for supplements, $404 for an oxygen mask, and $1,500 for in-clinic treatment. The complaint also charged that Abraham improperly refused to return the cost of several items the woman did not receive. The complaint was settled with a reprimand and assessments for a fine and costs. Press reports indicate the clinic was suddenly closed in 2024. [Deal, Jeff. Complaints keep mounting against doctor that closed up shop after patients paid for treatments., July 3, 2024.]”

    Note that the victim is an 87-year old woman. Taking advantage of people in this demographic is about as unethical as it gets.

  • It is so good to see this topic, “Is chiropractic a health cult?” being written about by Dr. Ernst. He went beyond the straight chiropractors bad, mixer chiros good simplicity of many professionals and covered the indoctrination. If anyone has any question whether mixer chiropractic is a cult I invite you to visit the mixer “Chiropractic” section of Reddit and try posting anything critical of common chiropractic practices. You will get to witness firsthand the thought stopping as they immediately flag the post down, warn you about being unprofessional and then summarily ban you from the subreddit. Yes chiropractic is a health cult and a sad one at that because they exist to justify an outdated, dinosaur of a health profession, that of the manual medzin imaginary spinal lesion cracker aka bonesetter aka chiropractor. Here in this fantasy world they believe that cracking (spinal cavitation) of joints removes fixations which, in reality, do not exist, and this justifies weekly cracking sessions that result in supposedly superior health. Compare this sad form of passive, dependency forming rehabilitation, to OCS Physical Therapy which is based on evidence and emphasizes active rehabilitation. Health cults are not spoken of by mainstream cult experts like Stephen Hassan but they are real nonetheless. Another important part of the health cult are educational health cults like Life University that was based on Guru Maharaj Ji’s Divine Light Mission cult which its founder, Sid E. Williams, was a part of.

    • Stephen Hassan said that cults operate according to the BITE model which apparently can be applied to chiropractic. See here:

      • You can certainly apply Stephen Hassan’s BITE model to chiropractic health and educational health cults however my point is that Hassan doesn’t list Chiropractic as a cult group when it should or at least all the subcults that operate as chiropractic colleges and chiropractic associations. By not doing this he perpetuates the idea that chiropractic is not a cult (otherwise it would be included in the cult listings) and students and the public never consider the possibility that it is a cult. I have tried to tip Hassan off about it but he only maintains a scanty list of cults on his website freedom of mind ( The Watchman fellowship maintains a long list of cult groups which includes a rudimentary definition of chiropractic (

        “Chiropractic Medicine: A holistic health practice whereby practitioners use a form of manipulative therapy to treat musculoskeletal problems. While many chiropractors are not engaging in alternative religious activities via their practice, critics claim that some chiropractors engage in chiropractic medicine in accordance with the Taoist principle of facilitating the flow of chi.”

        This isn’t an adequate definition because it equates chiropractic to a cult based on the idea that they promote the pseudoscience of treating nonexistent vertebral subluxations to supposedly normalize deficient nerve flow. They also confuse subluxation theory with Chi.

        Academics have come out in support of dangerous cults which is why it is so hard to publicize any cult as being harmful. Wikipedia ignored all the propaganda cult tactics used to influence people and wrote:

        “Because of the increasingly pejorative use of the word cult since the 1970s, some academics argue that its use is prejudicial and should be avoided, particularly, according to Richardson, in scholarly literature and legal proceedings involving an issue related to an unconventional religious movement.[4]: 348–356  Catherine Wessinger (Loyola University New Orleans) has stated that the word cult represents just as much prejudice and antagonism as racial slurs or derogatory words for women and homosexuals.[179] She argued that it is important for people to become aware of the bigotry conveyed by the word, drawing attention to the way it dehumanizes the group’s members and their children.[179] Labelling a group as subhuman, she says, becomes a justification for violence against it.[179] She also says that labelling a group a “cult” makes people feel safe, because the “violence associated with religion is split off from conventional religions, projected onto others, and imagined to involve only aberrant groups.”[179] According to her, this fails to take into account that child abuse, sexual abuse, financial extortion and warfare have also been committed by believers of mainstream religions, but the pejorative “cult” stereotype makes it easier to avoid confronting this uncomfortable fact.[179]”


  • I was permanently banned from the Chiropractic subsection of Reddit because I referred to chiropractic as a health cult. Here is the message they sent me in June of 2024:

    r/Chiropracticu/Barsolei is permanently banned from r/Chiropractic
    expand allcollapse all

    [–]subreddit message via /r/Chiropractic[M] sent 1 month ago
    Hello, You have been permanently banned from participating in r/Chiropractic because your post violates this community’s rules. You won’t be able to post or comment, but you can still view and subscribe to it.

    Note from the moderators:

    You clearly aren’t here to engage in good faith, you are here to share a very biased view from a better than thou perspective. You can share those sentiments elsewhere on Reddit.

    If you have a question regarding your ban, you can contact the moderator team by replying to this message.

    Reminder from the Reddit staff: If you use another account to circumvent this subreddit ban, that will be considered a violation of the Content Policy and can result in your account being suspended from the site as a whole.

    PermalinkDeleteReportBlock SubredditMark UnreadReply

    and a previous discussion I had with a chiropractor who is a redditor in that section:

    Dec 5, 2023
    User Avatar
    9:09 PM
    Since your post has been locked. All PTs treat musculoskeletal disorders. Outpatient orthopedics isn’t the best/be all end all. I work in an outpatient clinic geared towards geriatric/balance/gait/long term sci disorders. You need to educate yourself. Your profession is SO much more than outpatient ortho. I am only in the profession because my father is a classic incomplete( Brown-Sequard) c5/c6 spinal cord injury. He was injured in a water skiing accident when I was 15 mos old, he had PTs who never gave up on him and were always around in my life so I wanted to give back what was given to me. I learned in my volunteer and clinical experiences I wasn’t emotionally capable of handling SCI acute patients but I can handle them and general geriatrics down the road so that’s what I did. No one cares about certifications because people who test well with terrible people skills can pass a test but not put those skills into practice. Our profession is treating PEOPLE and their ailments, your patients aren’t a statistic they are a person you may have qualifications but a patient that doesn’t trust you isn’t going to tell you the truth about their pain and they’re physical limitations/impairments. It seems you are better suited for teaching and research vs patient interactions and I strongly suggest you avoid patient care, you make have certifications but when you robotically approach patients they will never tell you what is bothering them
    Read more
    User Avatar
    9:28 PM
    You didn’t get the point of the post at all.
    You don’t see how the tolerance of non EB practice hurts society. You justify it. You are part of the problem.
    Also the moderators who are afraid of discussion and deleted the post
    User Avatar
    9:38 PM
    You are the problem. Evidence based practice has its place but it often gets changed two years later. I appreciate your passion but you need to actually work in this field before you come in like Jesus thing you can fix everything. You also called chiropractic pseudoscience, EBP shows that chiropractors who then prescribe exercise to maintain the positive effects of manipulations and promote proper spinal alignment health can be just as effective as PT. I’m not sure what your issue is but you need to get off your soap box and actually educate yourself
    Read more
    User Avatar
    9:38 PM
    Wow you really are clueless.
    You’re dangerous.
    Educate yourself.
    How did you get so uninformed about so many issues?
    User Avatar
    9:39 PM
    Im not dangerous or clueless.
    User Avatar
    9:40 PM
    You honestly think chiropractors change spinal alignment. Hilarious
    User Avatar
    9:40 PM
    The help correct the same issues you do with spinal manipulation
    Are you that dumb
    User Avatar
    9:40 PM
    User Avatar
    9:41 PM
    They do the same techniques
    Educate yourself
    User Avatar
    9:41 PM
    Are you the moron who deleted the post?

    User Avatar
    1 reply
    User Avatar
    9:49 PM
    No I’m someone with experience and education. Your post was locked by moderator you can look up who they are. I feel badly for your patients because you are so closed minded that you can’t see that the body in front of you is not just diagnosis and is an actual human being.
    User Avatar
    10:36 PM
    If it were up to me I would ban chiropractic and force all the generalist PTs to refer to OCS PTs.

    You probably need reprogramming to understand why you are wrong.
    You would have your license suspended until you complete remediation.
    Dec 6, 2023
    User Avatar
    3:57 AM
    You are so delusional. A certification doesn’t imply actual learning

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new blog posts by email.

Recent Comments

Note that comments can be edited for up to five minutes after they are first submitted but you must tick the box: “Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.”

The most recent comments from all posts can be seen here.