What at first looked like an isolated incident, now appears to be a pattern of global misconduct. Not only did the WCA write a letter of introduction and intent to the prime minister of Trinidad/Tobago without contacting the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) or that nation's chiropractic association, but sent similar letters to other foreign governments as well. The Chiropractic Council of Japan and the National Chiropractic Association of Panama learned that the WCA had also contacted their respective governments with the same letter that attempted to influence the prime minister of Trinidad/Tobago.
While it is not possible to know how many countries the WCA has contacted via these means, the World Federation of Chiropractic and national associations from around the world have written the WCA to express their disapproval and anger. To date, chiropractic associations in 13 countries have written WCA President Dr. Terry A. Rondberg to demand that these incursions be "dropped immediately": Australia, Canada, Cyprus, France, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Panama, Portugal, Singapore, Trinidad/Tobago, and the United States.
While bypassing national associations to attempt to create relationships with foreign governments, the WCA letter reveals its intention to influence the way chiropractic is perceived. Most of the 13 national associations were concerned over a number of statements made by Dr. Rondberg, for example:
"Chiropractic doctors do not diagnose or treat diseases. Nor is it our goal to become a substitute for proper medical care."A number of the national associations are concerned that the efforts of the WCA are primarily attempts to propagate SCASA (Straight Chiropractic Academic Standards Association) chiropractic education and standards of care, despite SCASA's loss of accreditation with the United States Department of Education (please see "U.S. Dept. of Education Denies SCASA Accreditation Renewal" in the October 9, 1992 issue). This concern was explicitly expressed by the chiropractic leaders in Israel and Trinidad/Tobago.
"To foster closer ties to the health care officials in your country, we would like to distribute the Wyndham Conference document to them. This document represents the standard of care for the straight chiropractic profession."
"In addition, we are providing scholarships to selected residents of your country who would like to study chiropractic. Our future plans call for opening of several chiropractic colleges around the world."
Of particular concern is the alleged use of a SCASA intern as part of the WCA's overall scheme in Trinidad/Tobago. This seems to demonstrate the extent to which the WCA is willing to go to insure that the "straight vs. mixed" divisions continue, even after Learie G. Graham, D.C., president of the Chiropractic Association of Trinidad/Tobago formally requested Dr. Rondberg to "desist from interfering in the affairs of the Chiropractic Association of Trinidad and Tobago."
Each of the 13 countries expressing displeasure at the WCA's tactics are members of the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC). The WFC is comprised of almost every national chiropractic association in the world. The WFC charter insures autonomy of individual countries while providing a forum for the collective growth and development of chiropractic worldwide. The WFC's work with the World Health Organization (WHO), for example, is bringing chiropractic global recognition never before enjoyed by this profession (please see article "WHO to Publish Text on Chiropractic" in the November 6, 1992 issue).
World Federation Secretary-General David Chapman-Smith, LL.B.(hons) summed up the WFC's position on the WCA letters:
"Dr. Rondberg and the WCA have been unbelievably naive in approaching foreign governments without the consent of chiropractic associations in those countries.
"This failure to consult shows two things. Firstly, that the WCA is simply a small Arizona organization with a fancy name. It is inept and apparently has no understanding at all of diplomacy, democracy and international relations.
"Secondly, that the WCA values its own private goals and agenda higher than the successful growth of the chiropractic profession.
"The World Federation of Chiropractic was established in 1988 by all the chiropractic associations worldwide partly to stop what they saw as highly damaging entrepreneurial activities by American DCs who simply failed to understand the context in their countries. The background helps to explain the anger found in some of the responses to Dr. Rondberg. He and the WCA have failed to reply to the WFC's urgent request in early December for the names of countries and addresses of officials that have been contacted behind the backs of local associations."
Dr. Rondberg and the WCA refused to be interviewed on this matter.
While "DC" does not have the space to print the letters from the 13 countries to WCA's President Dr. Terry demanding he not meddle in the affairs of their respective countries, the following letter from Israel was typical:
Scan in Isareli letterhead here
24th December 1992
Terry A. Rondberg, D.C.
World Chiropractic Alliance
2950 N. Dobson Rd., Suite 1
Chandler, Arizona 85224
Dear Dr. Rondberg:
It was with a sense of increasing horror that I read through copies of your letters to the governments of Trinidad and Japan.
We have just finished the most difficult year our profession has ever experienced in Israel. It was due entirely to the irresponsibility of others like you in the Straight Chiropractic World.
Your arrogance in meddling in the affairs of other countries is exceeded only by the damage you can create.
We have succeeded in having our Ministry of Health declare that only CCE accredited schools will be considered the standard for licensing in Israel. We took this step because of the disgraceful behavior of Dr. Boone of SCCC and SCASA in approving a substandard program for unqualified students in this country.
If you have any plans to approach our government we demand they be dropped immediately. We are in the middle of delicate negotiations and cannot afford to have the waters muddied with the importation of mindless philosophical posturings.
David S. Greenblatt, D.C.
President, Israel Chiropractic Society