Chiropractic adjustment is a scam! It’s quackery of the purest kind, yet its proponents would have you believe that chiropractors are part of the medical community and thus have the authority to give out medical advice. In reality, they are not; they are people who have wasted a large portion of their life studying either the ramblings of a quack and his spooky ghost friend, or a technique of pain management, which, time and time again, has been shown to be ineffective. Either way, studying chiropractic was their mistake, not yours, and you should not encourage their delusions of grandeur by visiting one. The fact that the chiropractic profession at its core is fractured, with the two largest factions holding diametrically opposing beliefs on core chiropractic concepts, should be enough to warn anyone away from this potential lethal quackery. Yet chiropractic remains a $15-billion industry, with the largest number of chiropractors (approximately 75,000 of them) found in the United States. There, this quackery has wormed its way into 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. In an attempt to counter this perception, earlier in the year I published a video (now removed due to an illegal DMCA), 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 and no better than a good massage.
I believe that in my video I showed that chiropractic adjustment is a scam, and I didn’t even have to mention the high incident rate of sexual boundary transgressions, its links with Scientology, the aggressive marketing associated with the profession, or the ridiculous amount of fraud perpetrated by chiropractors. In hindsight, one thing I do regret is not going into detail about, or giving examples of, the chiropractors who are purposefully deceiving people into believing they are medical doctors. And on that note, I would like to introduce you to “The Drugless Doctor”, Dr. Bob. Or to give him his full medical title, “Bob”.
Bob first came onto my radar several years ago, when a video of his was sent to me by a subscriber, in which he was critical of vaccines’ ability to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and save lives. The video was full of the same old misinformation we have all heard a million times before: that natural immunity is better than “vaccine-induced” immunity; that vaccinations contain elemental mercury; that there is a link between vaccinations and autism. However, unlike other, similar videos critical of vaccinations, it became very clear, very early on, that Bob did not know what he was talking about; not just about vaccination, but also basic scientific terminology.
“In the human body, when we have vaccines, or when we have antibodies that are made, it is made in our body to fight an organism and it’s permanent. When they vaccinate a human being today, they use particles and the real issue is what are they using as the base, part of this whole agar and all this growing substance, which is mercury and egg whites and all that, and aluminium, that can be quite toxic to the system.” – Bob
I don’t even know where to begin here. The only thing I can compare it to is 15-year-old me desperately trying to sound clever in front of my science teacher by using as many scientific sounding words as possible, but using them incorrectly. Back then I didn’t know what I was talking about and clearly Bob still doesn’t.
Throughout his video Bob made some very bizarre claims, which include: the claim that if girls have the option of getting the cervical cancer jab, it will promote sex outside of wedlock; that Coeliac disease (an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine) is caused by vaccinations affecting glands in your neck; and that you should stay away from sugar, because it compromises the immune system. As you can imagine I became very sceptical of Bob’s qualifications and medical knowledge, so decided to contact him via Facebook. To my surprise, he replied, and not only has one doctorate, but two! One is in Natural Health from Clayton College and the second is in Chiropractic from the National University of Health Science.
Clayton College was a non-accredited American distance-learning natural health college offering classes in various forms of alternative medicine. Well-known graduates of this diploma mill include: the television nutrition personality Gillian McKeith, who erroneously believed she could identify people’s ailments through examining their tongues and stools; Robert Young, who believes the only way to prevent spontaneous generation of parasites in your body is to change the pH of your blood via diet, and who also persuaded a cancer patient to forgo her effective treatment in favour of said diet resulting in her disease progressing into being incurable; and Ben Goldacre’s dead cat Henrietta, who graduated after payment was received.
The National University of Health Science (NUHS) not only offers degrees in chiropractic but also in naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, and oriental medicine… which says it all really. Bob is a member of the ‘straight’ faction of chiropractors, meaning that he religiously adheres to D.D. Palmer’s notion of the “innate intelligence”, and views subluxation as the sole cause of all human disease, something which he was presumably taught at this university. I wonder if they also taught their students that Palmer was given the knowledge of chiropractic from a deceased medical physician during a seance.
In one of his YouTube videos, Bob goes into detail about how chiropractic works and how God breathed life and his spirit into Adam, which gave him the ability to heal himself. As descendants of Adam we too have this power to heal… provided our backs have been clicked.
In my opinion, Bob – who has no legitimate medical qualification – constructs his videos in a way so as to fool the viewer into believing that he is a fully qualified medical doctor, who has been practising medicine for some time. For example, in the video “The Story behind Drugless”, he begins by saying, “Hello my name is Dr Bob DeMaria the Drugless Doctor. Today we are going to talk about why I became drugless”, and goes on to say that he has been “practising for nearly 30 years”. This is a very strange thing for a chiropractor/natural health-er to say, because they don’t have the power to prescribe drugs in the first place. Therefore, to me, Bob’s entire business model seems to be based on misleading people about his credentials.
As you can probably tell by the tone of this blog post, Bob hit a nerve with me and I decided to call him out on his – in my opinion – unethical behaviour online. I contacted Bob once again on Facebook to say:
“You say that you got a doctorate of Chiropractic from National University of Health Sciences and Natural Health Doctor degree from Clayton College. These are NOT medical qualifications and you are not qualified to give medical advice or prescribe drugs. Yet your website, named Dr. Bob the Drugless Doctor (which has none of your credentials in the about section) implies that you do. You also feel with your Chiropractic and Natural Health doctorate that you can comment on issues such as vaccinations. Do you not feel that someone as unqualified as yourself should not be giving medical advice with the potential of hurting people?” – Myles Power
Bob responded by deleting my comment and ignoring me, in a hope that I would simply go away. In hindsight this was probably the worst thing he could have done as it was the catalyst for me to make a video on him.
Over time I forgot about Bob and his racket and moved onto other charlatan who also used YouTube as a platform to spread bullshit. That was until he once again came up on my radar, when YouTuber Knowing Better tweeted a video of his at me:
The video starred Bob’s daughter in law “Dr”. Casen DeMaria, who received her doctorate of chiropractic from Life University (the same university that “Dr” Joseph Cipriano graduated from and whose chiropractic program is based on vitalism). In the short video, Casen imparted knowledge and wisdom such as, “Lungs are important for breathing”, and went on to say that chiropractic adjustment can help with allergies and asthma. I know I don’t need to say this, but there is not a jot of evidence that chiropractic can help with allergies and asthma. Even a systematic review published by The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association concluded that chiropractic care only showed subjective improvements and no statistically significant objective measures and warned against solely using it to treat asthma.
“Results of the eight retrieved studies indicated that chiropractic care showed improvements in subjective measures and, to a lesser degree objective measures, none of which were statistically significant. It is evident that some asthmatic patients may benefit from this treatment approach; however, at this time, the evidence suggests chiropractic care should be used as an adjunct, not a replacement, to traditional medical therapy.”
In my opinion, not only is it highly unethical to say that chiropractic can help with asthma, it is also potentially deadly. In 2015, in the UK alone 1,434 people died from an asthma attack. Just because the condition is relatively common (with approximately 1 in 12 people in the UK being asthmatic) doesn’t mean that it is something you should be flippant about, especially when you have no legitimate medical qualifications.
After watching this latest video from the “Drugless Doctors”, I decided to pay their YouTube channel a visit and found that they where still up to their old tricks conning their viewers into believing that they are medical trained. One of their new techniques of accomplishing this is to convince women worried about breast cancer to forgo mammograms in favour of an “all natural”, “non-invasive” thermogram.
A thermogram is a thermal image taken by an infrared camera that can be used to detect heat in the body, and in the past it has been used at airports to detect suspected swine flu cases. The Drugless Doctors believe that these thermography cameras can be used as a screening and diagnostic tool for breast cancer. The basic idea is that cancer cells are hotter than regular cells and this difference in temperature will show up on a thermogram. Not only do the Drugless Doctors heavily promote this technique in several videos, they also warn women against undergoing mammograms due to the low-dose X-rays it uses and say that thermograms can spot problems “eight to ten years ahead of a mammogram”.
Their channel is also full of testimonials from people who have undergone a thermogram on their advise, discovered a hot spot, presumed the hotspot was a result of cancer, undergone some form of chiropractic treatment offered by the Drugless Doctors, and then made a full recovery.
The NHS warns women against using thermography and references the paper “Thermography as a screening and diagnostic tool: A systematic review”, which concludes:
“There is insufficient evidence to support the use of thermography in breast cancer screening, nor is there sufficient evidence to show that thermography provides benefit to patients as an adjunctive tool to mammography or to suspicious clinical findings in diagnosing breast cancer.”
The American FDA went as far as to take regulatory action against health care providers who try to mislead patients into believing that thermography can take the place of mammography. Recently they have made a public statement warning women away from alternative medical practitioners like the Drugless Doctors, stating that “the greatest danger from thermography is that those who opt for this method instead of mammography may miss the chance to detect cancer at its earliest stage”. They also say that they are aware of claims that thermography can find breast cancer years before it would be detected through other methods, but are aware of no evidence that supports this claim.
Now, knowing that thermograms are useless, the video testimonial above becomes much darker. It’s not a story of a woman whose breast cancer was found early using a non-invasive method and successfully treated within 3 months. It’s a story of a woman who was conned into thinking she was suffering from breast cancer, by quacks pretending to be medical doctors, who then conned her into 3 months of presumably expensive treatment, before magically curing her.
About 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer some time in their lives, and – rarely – men can also develop breast cancer. There has been a sharp decline in breast cancer deaths in recent years, due in part to earlier detection through mammography. Yes, mammograms can be uncomfortable for the person being screened, because it briefly presses down on the breast to flatten out the breast tissue and increase the clarity of the X-ray image, but at the end of the day they work and they save lives.
The Drugless Doctors’ entire business model is based on deceiving their viewers/clients into thinking that they have legitimate medical qualifications, when they don’t! They are quacks who spew bullshit for a living and who give out medical advice that has the real potential to kill. The sad truth however is that the Drugless Doctors are not alone. The world is full of chiropractors who have ideas above their station and can only survive by conning their victim into believing they are medically trained.
These people are not to be trusted and with a fractured profession like chiropractic, the best thing to do is to avoid all chiropractors like the plague.