Allen Botnick's Articles Really Hit Home!
September 28, 2012
OMG. Your articles about LIFE College really hit home! They were like re-living my own history.
My EX-husband graduated from LIFE in 1982. Although I was just the spouse—did I ever get an eyeful—or I should say eyewitness to some pretty shoddy stuff going on there at the time. Everything you wrote about, especially about clinic (in those days it wasn't as hard to find unsuspecting "patients" to be treated in clinic) was right on the money. Oh, and speaking of money—you mentioned the "money hums." LIFE was famous for them, and that philosophy permeated the following 14 years of my life as a chiro spouse.
What I witnessed in terms of many of the students there (certainly there were many sincere, dedicated students such as yourself) was the bottom of the barrel in terms of ambition, intelligence and drive, wannabees seeking to short cut their way into becoming "doctors." Thugs, gangsters (I'm serious) were part of the student body and people my ex "studied" with.
After his graduation in 1982 we moved back up to the New York area since that was home. I did all I could to help build his practice by working as his assistant, setting up computer systems, bookkeeping, intake forms, billing, etc. And I sat there (and later it was my 12-year-old daughter) and listened while my ex used scare tactics and bullied people into coming in 3 times a week. When they missed their appointments he would call and berate them on the phone or in the office when they finally were browbeaten into showing up again. He would tell them to take money out of savings because "if they had saved for a rainy day, well it was now raining." A scripted line right out of one of those unethical practice-building programs.
It was never the patient who came first. It was his bank account. I had to sneak antibiotics into the house for my kids. In fact, one of the chiropractors we knew in town refused her daughter antibiotics for serious ear infections—guess what? She ended up with a perforated ear drum. My Ex also wrote scathing letters to local MDs who recommended to their patients that they should stop coming.
I really feel he was indoctrinated and it changed his personality—or brought out the worst of his personality. It felt like sheer freedom for me and my children when I left him in 1996 and I NEVER looked back!
And one more horror story, although I'm sure you've heard many. In 1999, the man I was seeing (and since married) had a horrible disc herniation. I guess the indoctrination had spilled over to me too at that time, I took him to a chiropractor in town that I trusted. After a few weeks of care, the chiropractor said he was definitely getting better, that the adjustments were working because he wasn't in as much pain. But I was worried. My friend Tom could still barely stand up, so I asked for a referral to a neurosurgeon for another opinion. The surgeon took one look at the MRI's and said that Tom needed surgery the very next morning, that he would take him then but Tom had eaten. The surgeon said that it was the largest herniation he had ever seen his entire medical career and that he didn't care if he ever got paid. He said the fact that there was less feeling and pain meant the nerve was dying and Tom was on the verge of losing bladder and sexual function. Pretty freakin scary!!!!! Tom had the surgery the next day, and the day after he walked out of the hospital pain-free.
Thank you for your articles. I wish everyone could read them, and I'm sorry that LIFE got its accreditation back. It's a racket, a money-making, get-rich-quick scheme for the school, and students who are sincere but fall for the crap they feed them there….and once invested with time and money it is very hard to turn back. Thanks for spreading the word against this quackery. To think I gave up what I loved (goldsmithing) for all those years while I was a party to the chiropractic "profession."
This message was posted on September 21, 2012.