Dr. Chester Wilk was the lead plaintiff in a successful antitrust lawsuit brought against the AMA and 14 other medical organizations and individuals. The discovery phase of the lawsuit revealed a major scandal… Now Dr. Wilk speaks candidly in this exclusive interview on his new book, “Medicine, Monopolies and Malice.”
Now that your book is gradually working its way into bookstores around the country, what is your outlook for the coming months?
The chiropractic profession has a profound story to tell the world through the use of well-documented facts presented in Medicine, Monopolies and Malice. This will not only provide a public awareness of the many therapeutic advantages of chiropractic, but will expose the gross dishonesty of the American Medical Association toward chiropractic conduct which undermines rational and safe health care. In the final analysis, the injured parties are the health care consumers.
You put a lot of confidence in your book as being the tool to create a major impact on health care and chiropractic. On what do you base your confidence?
We must not underestimate the powerful facts that we have going for chiropractic. This is where our real strength lies. My book simply combines all of this information. Our other strength is our patients. Reviews from patients are that once they pick the book up, they become so engrossed in its message that they can’t put it down.
Our publisher is absolutely convinced this book has all of the human interest elements needed to become a major best seller. In addition, these people, who are publishing experts in their field also say this book has the potential of a great movie.
Can you elaborate?
The book exposes some of the grim and outright obscene stratagems of the AMA and it’s allies from an autobiographical approach. My story exposes the real motivations behind how and why there is such gross dishonesty toward chiropractic, and why the chiropractic profession has tolerated it in the past.
Can it be that the leaders of the AMA were simply ignorant of the truth?
Not at all. What they have done transcends ignorance. If what they have done is not fraudulent, then they would have to be incredibly stupid. Of course, even the federal court found the AMA was “not objectively reasonable,” which is a kind way of saying its conduct toward chiropractic was stupid. The federal court has also said that the AMA’s evidence was “incredible and unworthy of belief,” and that the AMA, “could not be trusted beyond its next confrontation.” That’s a kind way of saying the AMA was untrustworthy and that it lied. And so the federal court supports what I say. These are the kind of facts we need to bring out to the public. They are timely, provocative and can be entertaining, which is what talk shows look for in a guest speaker.
We are dealing with a serious subject. How can it be made entertaining?
By using humor. We should not take ourselves too seriously and need to look at the humorous side of some of the very foolish things that organized medicine has done through the years. Humor is a very powerful tool; it holds the attention of people a lot more than a dry interview. Look at the popularity of Rush Limbaugh who uses humor extensively to drive home serious messages in what could be a dry and boring subject to a lot of people. Of course the humor needs to be appropriate and send an important message.
Can you give some examples of appropriate humor?
Will Rogers said that it is the easiest thing in the world to write about political humor with all of the politicians in Washington writing the scripts. The same can be said of the AMA and its allies. For example, after outlining some of the dastardly deeds of the AMA, I may refer to the AMA as the “American Malignancy Association” because of its malignant influence on rational health care. Of course, this is done after laying a solid foundation, so that with humor it doesn’t come off sounding mean or sarcastic.
As for the AMA’s Committee on Quackery, which stated its prime mission being the “containment and elimination of chiropractic,” I might say that it is amazing that the entire committee didn’t get AIDS. Why? How could they screw 250 million people and not get it?
Regarding Doyl Taylor, the Secretary of the AMA Committee on Quackery, who committed 12 years to our elimination, and then took an early retirement, skipped town and the jurisdiction of the federal court during our trial I say he suffered from yellow spinalitis, which is characterized by a big yellow stripe down his back. Much of the similarity and parallel to what the AMA has done is quite grim and painful. Humor can be used to drive home a serious message with impact. Besides, it has been rightfully said that the greatest tool against evil is humor.
What are some examples of painful and grim analogies?
Let’s take a key document that was smuggled out of the heavily guarded AMA headquarters and made public. The document said that it was the AMA Committee on Quackery’s,”prime mission to contain and ultimately eliminate the chiropractic profession.” This document is outright obscene!
Suppose we replaced the word “chiropractic” with Jews, Blacks, Women, Hispanics, Polish, Homosexuals, Senior Citizens, Chrysler Motors and so on all hell would break loose! We’d see a national scandal that would rock this entire nation. We showed it to the Justice Department and they looked the other way, although years later one of their lawyers admitted, “You were right, you proved us wrong!”
We had to file a private lawsuit because the AMA had done such an outstanding job of making us look so bad no one would stand up for us. Does this sound familiar of another era 50 years ago?
Doyl Taylor, who was in charge of the “elimination” of chiropractic said he didn’t know the first thing about chiropractic. He said that he, “didn’t know a chiropractor from an antelope,” yet he devoted 12 years of his life to the elimination of a profession of which he confessed total ignorance. He took the position that he was just doing his job. Does this sound familiar?
The AMA’s past record of behavior is unconscionable and needs to be graphically exposed. A colleague once referred to the past conduct of the AMA as that of an evil empire. I agree.
Why do you believe that Rush Limbaugh would be an important person to get as a supporter for chiropractic? Isn’t he politically partisan?
Yes he is, but then so is our president. It would be near-sighted and naive to reject the support of either man because our issue is not conservative, liberal, Democrat or Republican. We are dealing with trying to bring honesty and integrity into health care. From my vantage point, I see massive fraud in health care based on exclusion and isolation from hospitals and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) of a state licensed and a superior government-proven and recommended therapeutic method of health care.
Rush Limbaugh is heard by more than 20 million people on more than 660 radio stations in America and around the world. He is a major influence in this country. Most of his listeners are avid followers who hang onto his every word. He speaks of health care frequently and what we can do to address its problems, yet he never mentions chiropractic. It seems that chiropractic does not exist in his mind. He needs to be properly informed. Whether you agree with Rush or not, you can be assured that his views are based on his honest beliefs and not influenced by what is popular at the time. I believe he will have no qualms about speaking candidly for honest health care, which cannot be honest unless chiropractic is properly utilized. I believe he will recognize this once he is made aware of all the facts.
Both our major political parties agree that Medicare is in serious trouble, that it will bankrupt by 2002, but they can’t agree on how to fix it. How do you feel about it?
They remind me of a bunch of politicians arguing over the seating arrangements on the Titanic. Their current course is doomed unless they change the direction of health care. This means utilizing health care based on which treatment is safer, more cost effective and therapeutically superior. That leaves no question as to what role chiropractic must play if health care is to survive. CBS reported that there are 80,000 unnecessary disc surgeries done annually, and the average chiropractor will tell you those figures are way too low.
Imagine, 2,000 unnecessary disc surgeries per week! In addition, reputable studies tell us that thousands of people die every week from medication reactions, and I’m not referring to street drugs. Why isn’t someone sounding the alarm?
What makes it especially insidious is that the abusive and improper utilization exists on a grand scale and goes unchecked. This is why I urge chiropractors to rally behind a national media exposure program and get this vital message out! The drug houses aren’t going to do it unless they can package chiropractic and sell it over the counter for a profit. If they could, it would be their biggest selling product!
We’ve heard politicians tell us privately how great we are, but they simply don’t speak out the truth when on CNN News or C-Span. Why? I think it’s be-cause they are more concerned with how it impacts them personally or politically rather than what they feel deep in their hearts to be true. The first U.S. President who has the foresight and courage to say what has to be said on health care will go down in history as truly fixing what is wrong with our health care system. Every president wants to leave a legacy that he, and perhaps some day, she, can point to with pride.
check your bookstore…
Copies of Medicine, Monopolies and Malice (1996, Avery Publishing, Garden City, NJ 1-800-548-5757) may be obtained at your local bookstore. If it is not in stock, have your bookstore order it.
To Contact the Author
Please contact Chester Wilk, DC at 5130 Belmont Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60641 773-725-4878.
The Documented Facts
1. Spinal manipulation was found by the U.S. Government to be therapeutically superior to medicine for the care of low back pain. It’s superiority is also supported by government studies from Canada, Great Britain and New Zealand.1
2. Chiropractic is found to have more scientific research to support what it does than does medicine.2
3. An internationally renowned medical professor and author found that a chiropractic college he visited had superior facilities to any medical school in America that he has ever visitedand he’s visited most of them.3
4. A medical journal survey found that chiropractic patients enjoy a three time better patient satisfaction ratio over medical patients.4
5. State workers’ compensation studies show that chiropractic is more cost effective by as much as a 10 to 1 ratio over medical patients.5
6. Chiropractic care is proven to be much safer than medical care.6
7. 90% of the chiropractic patients polled found that chiropractic was therapeutically helpful.7
1. United States Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, “Medicine, Monopolies and Malice,” pp. 48, 196, 199-200, 203 (government study and guidelines).
“The Effectiveness and Cost Effectiveness of Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain,” University of Ottawa, 1993. Conducted by Pran Manga, PhD (found chiropractic is “markedly superior” in terms of safety, therapeutic effectiveness, cost-efficiency, and patient satisfaction), “M.M.M” pp. 199, 206.
“British Medical Research Council,” 1990, Dr. T.W. Meade, FRCP (randomized controlled study on 741 patients in eleven medical hospitals. “M.M.M.” pp. 207-208.
“Royal Commission of Inquiry on Chiropractic in New Zealand,” 1979, “M.M.M.” pp. 162, 208.
2. Paul Shekelle, MD, MPH, Head of a back study of RAND Corporation (research and development) Santa Monica, CA, 1992, “M.M.M.” pp. 49, 199, 208.
3. John McMillam Mennell, MD, “M.M.M.,” pp. 121, 154-155.
4. “Western Journal of Medicine,” superior patient satisfaction, “M.M.M.” p. 198.
5. Workers’ Compensation records of California, Oregon and Utah, “M.M.M.” p. 204.
6. “The Relative Safety of Chiropractic,” “M.M.M.” pp. 30-31.
7. “Demographic Characteristics of Users of Chiropractic Services,” The Gallup Organization, “M.M.M.” p. 206.