"A Cynical, Misleading,
and Vindictive Collection"

December 8, 1998

Far from being a useful "database" of objective information about chiropractic, the Chirobase site is merely a collection of seemingly every nasty and degrading thing ever written about the profession. Even studies and reports that any reasonable person would see as favoring chiropractic are cynically twisted, manipulated and spun to fit the editors' biases.

The questionable material included runs the gamut from Crelin's widely discredited 1973 effort to "disprove" chiropractic theory to the 1968 HEW report that political medicine orchestrated against the profession. The 1997 US Government sponsored AHCPR report on Chiropractic Training, Practice and Research--probably the most comprehensive and unbiased report on the profession ever performed--is there too. However, Dr. Barrett has been kind enough to add his annotations to the report in red type, "to enable proper interpretation" and apparently help the reader avoid the drudgery of thinking for himself. Even H. L. Menken's 1929 vitriolic tirade against chiropractors is included. Although the harangue of a cranky old curmudgeon from seven decades ago has little apparent useful information to offer the contemporary health consumer, his malicious rantings were apparently just too juicy for the editors to pass up.

But perhaps the most remarkable feature is the section that allows a chiropractor to add his name to a Chiropractic Referral Directory. By doing so, he not only agrees to refrain from a laundry list of peccadilloes that Barratt has collected, but also gives his implicit approval to the entire aforementioned collection of crapola. This should be an exceedingly popular feature with any DCs who are willing to trade their self-respect, professional integrity and sense of decency for an additional patient or two a year.

Taken together, the reasonable reader might well be left questioning whether this site really provides a good-faith "skeptical study" of chiropractic for the purpose of consumer protection, or if it simply represents a cynical, vindictive and malicious attack against a health profession that is rapidly gaining popularity with the public and credibility with the scientific community.

  William Lauretti, D.C.
Practicing Chiropractor
Bethesda, Maryland

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