Helicopter Gunships are Inappropriate at a Medical Board Meeting...

Opinion by consumer advocate Tim Bolen

April 13th, 2002

A large segment of California's general public woke up last Sunday morning to find that their very own Medical Board of California (MBC) seemed to be "suddenly" under investigation by both houses of the State Legislature, and the Governor's office, with the intention of forcing them to clean up their act. The Orange County Register, California's third largest newspaper, on that date, began the first of a series, dedicated to exposing the sheer corruption, the rank incompetence, and the bumbling pompous-ass-ity of the Medical Board of California (MBC).

The truth is, there was no "suddenly." Elements of the Health Freedom Movement have been working on this problem, literally, for years. It just, finally, came together. The Register is only documenting our concerns - and they've ONLY BEGUN to do that - as we, in the Health Freedom Movement, have only just begun to unfold the problem, and present it for solution. To read the Register articles (there are now ten articles), go to www.ocregister.com and press the "search" button. In the title bar, type in the words "medical board."

For years, we've tried to get the MBC to revise it's operation, and do the right thing for the people of California. The MBC staff consciously, and intentionally, blocked our efforts to identify, and resolve problems. When we tried to tell the appointed Board Members about the problems, they, the staff, LITERALLY, threatened ARREST of our people at public meetings, if we spoke to the board during the public comments period. To reinforce their orders, the MBC staff lined the walls with nightstick-wielding, HEAVILY ARMED State Police Officers - there for the express purpose of stopping us from speaking to the Board members on subjects the MBC staff didn't want entered into the public record. They simply didn't want members of the Health Freedom Movement to record the fact that they, the MBC staff, were the REAL problem. The message, with all those cops present, was clear - "Speak out here, and you'll be arrested..."

At one MBC meeting in San Francisco a while back, the MBC actually employed a police "Command Center," with all that implies, supposedly to deal with our "unruly mob."

In case you're unfamiliar with the police "Command Center" concept, I'll explain it to you. "Command Centers" are activated during times of riot, or civil insurrection. "Command Centers" are used for major events (like the Pasadena New Years Rose Parade, the Winter Olympics, or the Super Bowl) where special kinds of problems need to be dealt with. They are a SERIOUS THING. "Command Centers" can, by simply picking up "the red phone," call in National Guard Riot Troops, SWAT teams, and military assistance - including helicopter gunships.

Helicopter gunships? For a Medical Board of California meeting?

Yup...

So, of course, we INSTEAD went to the Legislature, the Governor, the State Auditor, and the media. And, here we are.

The Legislature, overwhelmed with citizen complaints, has been holding "Sunset Review" hearings on the status of the MBC. "Sunset Review" is a process whereby the Legislature evaluates the performance of an agency, and decides it's future. The review committee, appalled with the tenor of recent complaints about the MBC, has scheduled another hearing date on May 1, 2002. So far they've only seen the tip of the iceberg...

I love it when a plan comes together. Stay tuned...

 

Tim Bolen

Consumer Advocate