Quackbuster Citadel Crumbling - They Face Massive Litigation...

Opinion by Consumer Advocate  Tim Bolen 

Sunday, December 31st, 2006

The conventional healthcare system in the US, rated 72nd in quality but first in cost by the World Health Organization, (WHO) and declared in the authoritative study "Death by Medicine" to be the number one killer of Americans is finally beginning to suffer the consequences of its policies.

 Americans are challenging, not just the concept of "five minute medicine," but the absurdity of the "drugs, drugs, and more drugs," approach to dealing with health issues.

Everywhere in the land, the health care system is being challenged.  State legislatures, like California and others, are so fed up with the greedy-maw-with-trash-offering of organized health-care, that many are considering forcing health care into State-run systems, in an attempt to force some honesty and integrity into the morass.  Consumer groups across America are railing over health issues, loudly, proclaiming their anger at vaccinations infested with pollutants and toxins, deadly radioactive fluoride in their water, testing of their children in schools to justify forced drugging, and more.

There is a major revolution brewing in the US, and the pot is at boil.  There is no question America is angry - and well it should be, for the rip-off has been of major proportion, and its time to point fingers and issue arrest warrants.

One of the more despicable facets of the conventional  health care system is the New York ad agency run "quackbuster" scheme, designed to vilify America's emerging health care leaders - those offering new paradigms.  For years the New York ad agency's "black-ops" division, whose obvious front-man de-licensed MD Stephen Barrett, operating out of his Allentown, Pennsylvania basement, railed against "alternative medicine," or anything competing for health dollars against the "drugs, drugs, and more drugs" offering. 

Chiropractors on the March...

One of those groups who've had enough of Barrett and company is the age-old Chiropractic Profession.  It looks to me, that finally, the Chiros are picking up the sword, sharpening it to a razor's edge and heading for Allentown, Pennsylvania where they'll drag stinky old Barrett out of his basement "quackwatch" lair, haul him into the daylight of the LeHigh County Court of Common Pleas, and flay and fillet him (so to speak), in front of a jury of his hometown peers.

Barrett is getting used to be flayed and filleted in front of jurors - and, from what I'm hearing from sources, he's going to get EVEN MORE experience at it.

Barrett, some of you may remember, brags that he "gathered the AMA files," after the American Medical Association (AMA) shut down their covert operation against the Chiropractors because of the Wilk v. AMA Federal Court Decision, and re-stored them in his basement at 2421 West Greenleaf Street, Allentown, Pennsylvania.  The AMA, the Court determined, had been trying to stamp out the Chiropractic Profession - and the Court told them to stop doing that.

In this newest case Plaintiff Donald D. Harrison, who in 1980 founded a chiropractic technique  known as Chiropractic Biophysics, is suing Stephen Barrett, Allen J. Botnick, Chirobase, and Quackwatch on three Counts:  (1)  Defamation - Defendant Botnick, August 2005 to present,  (2)  Defamation - Defendant Botnick, pre- August 2005, and (3)  Defamation - Barrett.

The case is actually very simple.  Botnick wrote a bunch of things on the internet some of which were published on Barrett's sleazy "quackwatch," and/or "chirowatch" websites.  When Harrison challenged those Botnick changed his mind about what he said and told Barrett so in a letter.  Barrett, basically, took Botnick's name off of the article, and re-published it on his own.

But there's more...  I've included some interesting excerpts:

7.  On or about (November 2003?), defendant Allen J. Botnick wrote an article entitled “A Close Look at Chiropractic Biophysics (CBP)” which was published on the web site of defendant Chirobase.  This article portrayed as fact false statements about the manner in which plaintiff practiced chiropractic. 

8.  The Chirobase web site referred to plaintiff by name throughout, was made about and concerning the plaintiff, and was so understood by those who read the article. 

9.  The article contained false statements about plaintiff and the form of chiropractic he founded,...

10. Defendants repeatedly cited obscure and discredited research on chiropractic to defame Plaintiff when they knew that the prevailing scientific view and overwhelming scientific evidence was contrary to the defamatory statements being made. 

11. Defendants falsely portrayed Plaintiff’s chiropractic method as unsafe, ineffective, over-priced, and misrepresenting its capabilities with the goal of persuading patients to abandon further treatment or persuading potential patients from seeking treatment. 

12. On May 26, 2004, plaintiff demanded a retraction from Defendant Botnick of the defamatory statements made by Defendant Botnick and published by Defendant Barrett

14.  On or about August 28, 2005,  Defendant Botnick signed an open letter retracting the above-described article.  In this letter Defendant Botnick made the following statements: 

            “After reading Dr. Deed Harrison D.C’s response to the article quoted above I have decided to retract the article and provide some explanation to both chiropractors and the public at large.”

 

            “… after reading Dr. Harrison’s response I am concerned that the article I wrote was actually steering patients away from care that was proving to be more effective than other treatments, both chiropractic and medical, for chronic pain syndromes.  I wrote earlier that I was concerned that the postural improvements might not last but the research has proven me wrong.”

 

            “While all of the research is not yet done, I agree with Dr. Harrison that there is good science supporting the idea that misaligned joints associated with reversed spinal curves are a risk factor for musculoskeletal pain and warrant attention so that patients can maintain healthy joints for as long as possible.”

 

            “In conclusion, please accept my apology for these inaccuracies.  I applaud the work of Dr. Harrison and the rest of the CBP research team.  Their focus on sound scientific methodology has made significant contributions to advancing chiropractic methods and challenging sacred cows in the shared research literature.  I believe that their unique work will help many patients who would otherwise have been condemned to lives of suffering and musculoskeletal dysfunction.  These individuals deserve recognition for their hard work, not ostracism as quacks.”

 

 15. Defendant Botnick sent the above described letter to Defendant Barrett on August 29, 2005, informing Defendant Barrett of the retraction and that Defendant Botnick was no longer convinced that his criticisms of Chiropractic Biophysics were valid.  He asked Defendant Barrett to retract the original article and post a copy of the retraction on Chirobase/Quackwatch. 

16.  Between August 28, 2005 and October 17, 2005, defendant Barrett removed, or caused to be removed, the Botnick article from the Chirobase web site, made minor changes to the article, and posted, or caused to be posted, on the Chirobase web site a slight variant on the article under the name of Stephen Barrett, M.D., containing the defamatory statements complained about by Plaintiff and previously retracted by Defendant Botnick. 

17. At the time Defendant Barrett published the article under his name, he had received and knew the contents of Defendant Botnick’s retraction, which he did not post on his web site.  At the time Defendant Barrett published the article, he knew the article contained false, misleading and defamatory statements about Plaintiff and the branch of chiropractic he founded. 

18.  Sometime earlier than October 17, 2005, defendant Quackwatch listed Chiropractic Biophysics on its web site as a “Questionable Treatment.”  At the time of this publication, Defendant Quackwatch knew the article contained false, misleading and defamatory statements about Plaintiff and the branch of chiropractic he founded.

Interesting is that Barrett was already "served" at his basement abode, but Botnick seems to have disappeared from the face of the Earth.

Stay tuned...

Tim Bolen - Consumer Advocate