FVS Responds to ICA President’s Open Letter

Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation
FVS Responds to ICA President’s Open Letter

Stresses Lost Opportunity Due to ICA’s Actions

Dr. Mike McLean recently circulated an Open Letter to the Chiropractic profession regarding the International Chiropractor's Association's (ICA) decision to switch course and support and endorse the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) at the upcoming hearing before the United States Department of Education in December.

The following is a response to Dr. McLean's letter from the Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation.

As many are aware Dr. Mike McLean, President of the International Chiropractors Association circulated a letter today proclaiming a victory in the ongoing issues related to CCE and asserting that there are people circulating untruths, fabrications, hyperbole and rhetoric based on a desire to see the ICA fail. 

Since the ICA did not enumerate who the “vocal minority” is nor what the untruths, fabrications, hyperbole and rhetoric are, we cannot address them specifically. However, the President of the Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation, Christopher Kent DC, JD did compile the following document to address much of the misinformation being supplied: CLICK HERE to READ

Dr. Kent also addressed these issues and several others regarding what NACIQI’s options actually are during the DaVinci meeting last Thursday and no one from the ICA disagreed with his analysis - which was in opposition to the ICA.

Dr. McLean then goes on to assert in his letter that despite the rhetoric “we came out on top”. We find this confusing since there is NO OUTCOME yet to make such a claim.

Dr. McLean describes how the CCE approached the ICA during a meeting of the Chiropractic Summit which includes various members of the Chiropractic Cartel which controls the educational and licensing functions of the entre profession. McLean stated that:

“This is the first time CCE has exhibited this kind of behavior. In exchange for this very positive action, ICA agreed to temper its testimony at the upcoming hearing of the CCE before the U.S. Department of Education’s NACIQI. ICA would share with NACIQI that governance reform is ICA’s most significant concern and the CCE is willing to work on this with ICA in a positive and timely manner.”  

While this might be the first time CCE has exhibited this behavior with the ICA, the CCE is the nexus of control for the Chiropractic Cartel which includes COCSA, FCLB, NBCE, ACC and ACA. What has actually happened for the first time is that the ICA has agreed to join the Chiropractic Cartel in support of the CCE.  Considering what Dr. McLean states in writing, we also find it interesting that in e-mails being circulated and social media statements, the ICA has been adamant that there was no “deal” between the ICA and the CCE. This seems to directly contradict that assertion.

Dr. McLean then goes to address critics’ remarks regarding the timing of the CCE’s request just a month before their hearing with the USDOE. McLean asserts that:

“If the ICA were to refuse CCE's offer and go before NACIQI testifying that CCE refuses to reform governance, CCE simply replies: ‘We offered to sit with them, six weeks ago, but ICA refused.’ The ICA would look foolish; lose credibility and the ability to successfully appeal to NACIQI for support at future hearings”.

Perhaps the ICA should have considered the following:

  1. The ICA could have simply told the CCE that the ICA was involved in a coalition called DaVinci and had already made commitments to over 70 chiropractic organizations that it was going to ask for deferral of recognition.
  2. The ICA along with DaVinci could then have acknowledged in oral testimony that the CCE extended this offer but that since it occurred so close to the hearing and because of the longstanding history of the CCE not engaging its stakeholders that we request NACIQI to defer recognition until such time that we could work with the CCE and verify their willingness to reform their governance structure.
  3. Further, the ICA could have expressed to the CCE that in order for them (and DaVinci) to even consider working with them on Governance issues that the subluxation, primary care and drug issue would have to be part of that discussion.  

In perhaps the most telling statement by Dr. McLean he suggests that the ICA would be flanked by “powerful organizations” (The Cartel group known as the Roundtable) who could keep the CCE negotiating seriously and then asks the reader:

“Does that guarantee CCE will acquiesce? Not likely.”

We do not believe that any other comment is necessary in regards to this statement since Dr. McLean admits that it is NOT LIKELY that the CCE will negotiate seriously. This statement contradicts everything else in the entire letter. When is left to wonder – what is the point?

Dr. McLean then asks if CCE gets reaffirmed at NACIQI, what will their motivation be to deal with the ICA if we refused to negotiate in good faith six weeks earlier?

The reality of CCE’s willingness to deal with the ICA (or any group other than Cartel members) without threat of USDOE sanction is reflected in the very statement that McLean made above. There is no good faith upon which to negotiate and now the potential is that ICA has removed any negotiating power that DaVinci and other subluxation centered groups actually had. The assertion that the ICA (or any group) will be able to go back in three years and get NACIQI to sanction them if the CCE does not address Governance forces one to question – why don’t we use that leverage NOW? The CCE has everything to gain and our side has everything to lose by helping them get three years.

Dr. McLean continues in his letter by asserting that since the Staff Report recommended re-affirmation of the CCE’s recognition that this was all but assured and that if we did not enter into negotiations on CCE’s terms we would not have anything to take back to NACIQI in three years.

The problem with this is a simple ignorance of NACIQI’s own criteria for consideration of recognition and re-affirmation which clearly points out that the Staff Report is but one of several pieces of evidence it considers in its decisions. One of the others is evidence provided during oral testimony. Here is where the ICA’s arguments really break down under scrutiny. If the issues related to Governance were not a big deal, the CCE would not have approached the ICA and the rest of the Cartel and agreed to negotiate. The Governance issue could have been presented to NACIQI and a request for deferral made on that basis. Then we would have had two significant pieces of evidence: the governance issue itself AND an admittance on the part of the CCE that they need to address it.   

Dr. McLean then goes on to laud praise on Tom Benberg the new President of CCE who they hired because of his expertise in matters of accreditation and no doubt because of his contacts within accreditation circles. Dr. McLean waxes amicably about the possibilities for change at the CCE and admits he does not have a definitive answer, but that he “has hope and faith that change is upon us”. 

Hope and faith are platitudes, not a strategy or tactic to be used when negotiating with an entity that has publicly chastised you, would like to see you destroyed and evidence exists from previous experience that it is willing to act on it. We agree that this was an opportunity to seize upon a confluence of events that could have strengthened our sides negotiating power. But that is not what happened. Instead, our negotiating power was given up, we were weakened and gave the upper hand to the CCE.

Then Dr. McLean closes his letter asserting that the ICA will fight the slide toward medicine based on the CCE’s alleged willingness to address their Governance issues and that:

“we finally, after almost 40 years, have a legitimate shot at greatly improving that. This is not a misstep; this is a victory in a long campaign.”

Those who are politically naive and who have not been involved politically over the past 40 years might believe this statement. But for those who have been engaged, the reality is that this statement has been uttered repeatedly by those in the ICA in regards to the CCE, the WFC, the ACA and other Cartel groups. This is the “Change from Within” strategy that has been an utter failure. This does not seem like any other moment when looking at the fullness of chiropractic history over the past 40 years. 

We believe that the ICA should have come to DaVinci and the 70 organizations it represents when it was approached by the Chiropractic Cartel and the groups that make up the Chiropractic Summit. Instead, it chose to act on its own - which is its right as an autonomous organization. However, in that process the ICA has broken a trust, has gone back on its original commitment made by the entire DaVinci Group and we feel has weakened our negotiating power and worst of all squandered a potential Akido moment desperately needed by the subluxation centered faction of this profession. 

As we see it the situation is as follows: The ICA is now also a member of the Summit Group which includes all the Cartel members. The ICA agrees with the Summit Group and the Cartel regarding its support and endorsement of the CCE. We do not see the utility or the congruence for the ICA to continue to work with DaVinci since such efforts would be at cross purposes.  The best course of action would be for the ICA to put its efforts in with the Summit and leave DaVinci to develop its plan for moving forward.

Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation