A lot of people don’t know this, but chiropractic adjustment is a scam! It’s pure hocus pocus, that at its very best is a technique of pain management that time and time again, it’s been shown to be ineffective, with most credible research putting it on a par with a good massage. Its origins are in the ramblings of a literal snake-oil-salesman, who convinced people that his spooky ghost friend told him that manual therapy, especially spinal manipulation therapy, restores your body’s “innate intelligence”, curing all of your ailments. I feel I need to stress at this point that I’m neither making this up, or being hyperbolic. The father of chiropractic, D.D. Palmer, was a proponent of various forms of pseudoscientific alternative medicine, as well as a practising magnetic healer and spiritualist. He believed he was in contact with a deceased medical physician by the name of Dr. Jim Atkinson, who informed him of chiropractic’s mystical properties. I realise that as a chemist the origins of my craft also lie in quasi-mystical mumbo jumbo, but the difference between my profession and chiropractic is that mine has evolved over time. You see, chiropractic is a fractured profession, with the two largest factions holding diametrically opposite beliefs on core chiropractic concepts (by the way, this should be more than enough reason not to visit one, because you don’t know what kind of chiropractor you’re going to get). One of these factions, the “straights”, religiously adhere to D.D. Palmer’s notion of the “innate intelligence”, and view subluxation as the sole cause of all human disease. Unbelievably, in certain parts of the world, this quackery has wormed its way into both the healthcare system and the psyche of the general population, who have been conned into thinking that this pseudo-medical alternative therapy has real health benefits, and who allow these charlatans to perform potentially fatal manipulations upon them.
In an attempt to counter this perception, earlier in the year I published a video discussing chiropractic’s quasi-mystical origins, as well as the findings of systematic reviews investigating spinal manipulation, which – spoilers – time and time again conclude that it is pure quackery. The video starred “Dr” Joseph Cipriano, or to give him his full medical title, “Joseph”, a chiropractor who adheres to D.D Palmer’s “innate intelligence” and who specialises in using what I can only describe as a mediaeval torture device called a “Y-strap”.
Like so many chiropractors, Joseph likes to give the impression to his customers that he is medically trained, when this could not be further from the truth. Joseph has a Bachelor’s degree in communication, with a minor in biology, and a “doctorate” in chiropractic from Life University. On its website, Life university boasts that those on its chiropractic degree program will “achieve a thorough grasp of the theoretical groundings of Vitalism, the understanding that the body is a conscious, self-developing, self-maintaining and self-healing organism.” For those who are unaware, vitalism is the belief that living organisms are fundamentally different from non-living entities, because they contain some non-physical element or are governed by different principles than inanimate things. Needless to say, you shouldn’t be taking medical advice from anyone who believes in archaic nonsense like Joseph does. In fact I would go as far as to say that I think Joseph is one of the many chiropractors who believe that “men do not cure”, and that spinal manipulation healing properties come from a Divine Creator who is using the chiropractor as a conduit. Evidence of this can be found on his website.
“Dr. Cipriano is a corrective care chiropractor striving to help as many people as possible to reach their full God-given health potential. God actually put the most amazing healing power in our brains.”
In a video uploaded to his YouTube channel entitled “The REAL TRUTH about CHIROPRACTORS that MEDICAL DOCTORS don’t want you to know!!”, Joseph goes into detail about how the human body works and how chiropractic can cure all of your ailments, as “God intended”. My favourite part was when this “doctor”, who minored in biology, says that if you cut the nerve going from the brain to the heart, your heart will stop beating. Now I’m no biologist, but I’m fairly certain that it’s the SA node within the heart which controls the heart rate. Sorry to repeat myself but as I said, you shouldn’t be taking medical advice from someone as uninformed and deluded as this.
In my opinion, the video above was the perfect example of the insanity which lies at the core of chiropractic. Here we had a short, overweight, little man with a speech impediment, dressed like a discount hipster, telling us with some confidence that getting your back clicked will cure all of your ailments. Even the title of the video is beautifully absurd, as medical doctors DO want you to know exactly what chiropractic is and the very real dangers associated with going to see one of these swindlers. I found the video to be so perfect that I ended up using a clip of it in my own to show people that not only do these people exist but that they are dangerous. Remember, this is the guy who uses the mediaeval torture device.
Joseph was clearly unimpressed with my video warning the viewer about his profession and the very real dangers associated with spinal manipulation. Rather than counter my arguments with a well thought-out, logical, and referenced response, he resorted to abusing copyright law and filed an illegal DMCA takedown notice on my video. As someone who has been making videos on YouTube for some time, I’ve developed a good understanding of copyright law, especially after several of my videos have been DMCA-ed in the past (all of which are now back up) and I can tell you with some confidence that my video fell well within fair use; something which Joseph was legally obliged to consider before filing a takedown notice.
Although I’m furious that Joseph has taken this course of action, I think it’s provided us with an example of just how indefensible his flavour of chiropractic is. Essentially, by filing this DMCA, he’s projecting to the world that he’s unable to defend his profession, and must silence opposition out of fear that his customers might find out the truth, his secret that he doesn’t want them to know – that he’s a quack, that chiropractic is a scam, and that you should not let him anywhere near you with his Y-strap.
I have filed a counter notice and I don’t believe Joseph will take this any further, because first of all, he hasn’t got a legal leg to stand on, and secondly, if he were to Google my name along with “Electronic Frontier Foundation”, he’d see that my friends who have helped me in the past don’t pull any punches. I therefore have every faith that my video will be restored once Joseph fails to respond in the allotted time period.
I believe that Joseph should face some consequences for violating YouTube’s terms of service when he filled a false DMCA, but I’m not holding my breath. YouTube seems to be fine with people abusing the copyright system. One thing they have recently started paying attention to, however, is the promotion harmful remedies or cures on their platform. In November, they updated their harmful or dangerous content policy, which forbids videos endorsing the use of harmful substances or treatments. This was in response to Tom Porter from Business Insider reporting on YouTube’s part in the promotion of Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) as a malaria cure. Some of you also might remember Danny Glass was one of the first people to be removed from the platform after violating this policy when he was encouraging his viewers to drink paint thinner. I believe that Joseph is also violating this policy when he uploads videos using his Y-strap. Remember, this man has no formal legitimate medical qualifications and his faction of chiropractic is pure hocus pocus. What he is promoting is dangerous, plain and simple, and it violates this new policy.
I can imagine that a few of you believe that because his “patients” are willingly allowing him to mess with their backs, that makes it okay. In that case, how do you feel about chiropractic adjustments performed on infants?
I realise the hypocrisy of crying censorship and then promoting the censorship of another, however, after years of seeing people suffering in real time at the hands of quacks I have drawn a line in the sand that I understand perhaps not everyone will agree with. I believe people like Joseph should not have a platform to promote dangerous treatments, but at the end of the day my opinion doesn’t matter. All that does matter is that Joseph has violated YouTube’s harmful or dangerous content policy and I encourage you all to make sure that YouTube is aware of it, as I believe it’s only a matter of time before someone gets seriously hurt.