All Australian chiropractors must operate according to Codes of Conduct and Guidelines for advertising regulated health services. Here is a little snapshot of the advertising guidelines as set out under the National Law. As you can see it could get quite expensive, should they ever be enforced:
Tim Shakespeare is a New South Wales chiropractor who lives and breathes (and trims and dresses) the vitalistic or subluxationist chiropractic philosophy. I prefer to let his comrades explain the evidence base for this school of thought:
Not only does Shakespeare have hands of depth, he is also the principal chiropractor at Newcastle’s Healing Wave Chiropractic – the Mayfield shop:
A couple of months ago a mural was painted on the Mayfield premises, and it made a big, bold claim we’ve seen many times:
Did you know
Chiropractic Care Can
Boost Immune Function
We’ve seen the claim many times on Facebook and other sites, and the claim is utterly false; but no one had ever possessed the moxy of Shakespeare, painting it on a building. But, that wasn’t the only place the claim was made. Here’s the local newspaper:
NEW mural at Mayfield?
Damn straight we saw it. Both advertisements are a clear breach of the guidelines, and a complaint was lodged about both versions.
Courting controversy is not a new concept to Shakespeare. When Chiropractors’ Association of Australia president Laurie Tassell thundered his warning at last year’s National Development Forum, Shakespeare and others were firmly in his sights:
The damage to the profession from the unprofessional use of social media…bragging about entering hospitals without permission and posting photos with well known speakers openly critical of vaccination are not acceptable.
(Remember that bit about the hospitals for later down the page).
Indeed, Shakespeare’s online anti-vaccinationism, culminating with a picture pretending to shoot-up vaccines, was the final straw for the CAA NSW, who finally divested itself of Shakespeare and his embarrassing antics.
It didn’t help that a raft of CAA chiropractors were caught out bragging about sneaking into hospitals without permission, Shakespeare being among them. It didn’t help again that many of them were CAA board members from around the country.
In fact, far from ceasing the behaviour as alluded to above, by Tassell, Shakespeare cranked it up a few notches. In this year alone Shakespeare has travelled to the US to appear with anti-vaccine chiropractors Tim O’Shea and Billy DeMoss, at DeMoss’ Dead Chiropractic Society. They even made a YouTube video of their meeting, referring to students as “arrogant”, and to vaccines as “vaginitis”. Shakespeare also appeared in one of DeMoss’ YouTube episodes, Chiropractors in Cars, in which he manages to denigrate Australian chiropractors, and chiropractic, as well as having some pretty insulting things to say about new grads who don’t subscribe to his philosophy. The word “sheeple” even gets a run, as well as again referring to vaccination as “vagination”, a couple of times. Both videos are highly inappropriate, in content and context:
And not one to be told when to cool his heels, Shakespeare is also booked to speak at next year’s CalJam, among a whole collection of anti-vaccinationists:
And here’s the rub: Shakespeare sounds bad, right? He sounds like a naughty child who is acting out? Hey, he has every right to behave as he wishes. He just has to wear the consequences. But, there are other senior CAA chiropractors who also regularly hang out with DeMoss and Wakefield, and those like them. Simon Floreani and his wife Jennifer Barham-Floreani really couldn’t seem to care. It’s like they are daring anyone to have a go at them. Here they are duck-facing with DeMoss, recently:
And that was not the only time the Floreanis have been about and about with the cream of anti-vaccinationism. Here they are recently with Andrew Wakefield. And let’s not forget the president of the Australian Spinal Research Foundation, Martin Harvey, sharing a conference bill with Wakefield, and Jennifer Barham-Floreani. Even turbo-wealth chiro-guy, Laurence Tham, couldn’t stay away from DeMoss’ Dead Chiropractic Society. And what ties them all together nicely, apart from chiropractic? They are all supporters of the thoroughly discredited and deranged Australian Vaccination skeptics Network.
And it is here we must pause for a brief interlude so as to explore Billy DeMoss at his finest. I didn’t even need to delve back very far into the archives for these examples, all having taken place in the last few weeks. Here is some mood music to get you through the pain:
©1964 Verve Records
It is quite important to include these five DeMoss examples, as it becomes immediately apparent the sort of person, or health professional, these chiropractors deem to be appropriate companions. Quite contrary to DeMoss’ online ramblings about trolls and skeptics being big haters or meaners, I delight in seeing his posts. I have been drawn to many Australian and overseas chiropractors due only to their consorting with DeMoss; or, as I like to call him, The Big Red Flag of Orange County.
1. DeMoss really thinks drug pushing paediatricians are destroying children, and he is actually proud that Orange County has the lowest immunisation rate in the United States [update next day: OC doesn’t have the lowest immunisation rates in the US. I checked with some US friends]:
2. DeMoss really thinks there is no pharmacological difference between a line of cocaine, and a measured, prescribed dose of Adderall. He really thinks there is no difference between a shot of heroin, and a measured, prescribed dose of oxycodone:
3. DeMoss really believes that the whole evidence based healthcare system is one huge experiment in which all participants have been brainwashed and drugged:
4. DeMoss really, really does believe that chemtrails are part of a sinister plan to drug the population by stealth. What is really surprising here is that he throws in the very real possibility (in his head) that Ebola will be spread via chemtrails, just because. You read that right:
5. And now the pièce de résistance. DeMoss has managed to secure Alex Jones for next year’s CalJam. That’s right, Shakespeare will be appearing on the same bill as this enraged spittle-flecker from Infowars:
Now, getting back to Shakespeare and, more importantly, that mural. As I’ve already told you there’s currently a complaint in about the mural and the associated newspaper ad. What I can say with assurance is that the complaint progressed past the assessment stage, and is currently, technically, still under investigation. What I can also say, with utter certainty, is that the mural was painted over, and replaced with a recalcitrant little message for the public, and the HCCC:
Did you know
WE ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT
CREATING REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS
FROM BENEFICIAL HEALTH CARE SERVICES
THAT ENHANCE YOUR
I’m wondering where we’ve heard that phrase before: “reasonable expectations”?
Here it is, from the Guidelines for advertising regulated health services:
6.2.4 Unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment
Section 133 of the National Law states:
- A person must not advertise a regulated health service, or a business that provides a regulated health service, in a way that
D. Creates an unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment
Breaches of that section also carry $5000 (practitioner), and $10,000 fines (body corporate). It will be interesting once the findings are handed down to see if any fines were imposed. I’m yet to hear of any in the last year, despite the chest-thumping of the Chiropractic Board of Australia.
What we do have here, though, is a precedent. Shakespeare has really dropped his colleagues in it this time. Everywhere we see the “200-400%” claim, we can be assured that a breach is occurring. And it’s all thanks to Shakespeare.
There is another topic which needs addressing before we finish up. The Chiropractors’ Association of Australia is currently having its national elections. I raise this because these elections are sending s some very concerning messages to onlookers. Gone will be the days of Laurie Tassell thundering his expectations that chiropractors behave themselves.
One of the chiropractors vying for presidency is Joe Ierano, who featured in one of my posts at the start of this journey. He is really trying to distance himself from his recent past. Frankly, personally, I don’t believe him. It isn’t Ierano on whom I want to focus. It is the other runner, Helen Alevaki.
Helen Alevaki made it into my post about chiropractors sneaking into hospitals. At that stage she was already CAA VIC president. Remember what the still-president Tassell had to say about these activities:
Alevaki is also a subluxationist to the core. From her website:
And Alevaki is a member of the anti-vaccine, subluxationist US organisation, ICPA, run by the anti-vaccine Jeanne Ohm:
So, in my opinion, Australian chiropractic is staring down a barrel. This could be a point of no return.
There is a reason I raise the candidature of Alevaki at this time. She has the full, public support of Tim Shakespeare:
And, recently, a flyer was posted out by the Alevaki team. It included many names who were willing to back her ticket, in writing: of the 42 names, 20 have appeared in the pages of my blog, either due to anti-vaccinationism, or sneaking into hospitals, or both. That is really bad. Included in that list are former CAA National and NSW board members, Tony Croke, Nimrod Weiner, and Shakespeare. All three had their terms ended prematurely.
Of Alevaki’s three running mates only Patrick Sim has featured in my blog, for anti-vaccinationism. Courtesy of Shakespeare, again, here is his ballot paper which was posted on Facebook. Man, he really wants Alevaki to get in:
I’m not going to say any more. I don’t need to. Australian chiropractic is sliding quickly back into an evidence-free zone. What it does from here is its own problem. But, sheesh, I wouldn’t want to be an Australian chiropractor right about now.
I have a reasonable expectation that these elections will take CAA further down the rabbit hole. Let them go, and let COCA take over.
What’s the difference between a chiropractic manipulation, and being hit in the back with a baseball bat? They both affect the same spine.
Another great researched article. Chiro in Aus is at a crossroads… The vitalists are in death throes (I hope) at the moment. More and more the evidence based contingent are saying that they have had a gutful with it. More EBM Chiro’s are coming onto the various state and national boards of CAA. I hope this trend continues.
Had a gut full and far more vocal! Silent tolerance going, going gone!
Very nicely done. It’s as if as the Space Cadets amongst them realise the plan to have chiropractic “the primary choice in health care” (ahead of GPs) is hopelessly void, plan B is more a toweringly immoral, lucrative woo fest.
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