After an in-depth investigation leading to an exclusive interview, Dynamic Chiropractic has learned that John W. Kinsinger, MD, an anesthesiologist practicing in Edmond, Okla., is the man responsible for the creation of Neck911USA.com, an antichiropractic Web site allegedly run by "an international volunteer group of individuals" that consults people about complications resulting from neck manipulation.
In 1990, only two years out of medical school, Dr. Kinsinger began his quest to expose what he felt were the shortcomings of chiropractors. He began by calling and visiting chiropractors' offices with the sole purpose of determining if they met his standards for medical diagnosis and referral (a practice he has continued over the years). He then presented his "report" on Stephen Barrett's ChiroBase Web site.
More recently, Dr. Kinsinger has been a vocal opponent of the establishment of a chiropractic college at Florida State University (FSU). He not only testified against the establishment of the chiropractic college; he also was quoted by the local media on several occasions. Beginning in January 2005, Kinsinger traveled from Oklahoma to join Ray Bellamy, an orthopedic surgeon and part-time instructor at FSU, in voicing opposition to the proposed chiropractic school, which would have been the first of its kind at a public university in the United States.
Almost immediately after he arrived in Florida, Kinsinger began to berate the chiropractic profession and the proposed chiropractic school. In a Jan. 9, 2005 article in the St. Petersburg Times, Kinsinger alleged that chiropractic manipulation of the neck caused thousands of strokes per year, often in otherwise-healthy people. "We think about 2,800 times a year, it causes a stroke," Kinsinger said, despite studies to the contrary and without providing any references to back up his assertion, "and almost all of them are young and healthy."
When asked about the theory that subluxations of the spine interrupt the flow of energy throughout the body and lead to various disorders, Kinsinger dismissed it outright: "A vertebral subluxation has never been seen on autopsy, in MRIs, or X-rays by anyone other than a chiropractor."
A few days later, in an article in the Tampa Tribune, Kinsinger opined that chiropractors haven't earned their position in the health care field through research that validates the effectiveness of chiropractic care. Rather, the profession has become recognized "through legislation, politics and lobbying, not because of the legitimacy of the science" of chiropractic. Recognition by FSU, he alleged, would fill in the "piece of the puzzle" chiropractic has been missing. That same day, he was quoted in the Miami Herald as saying, "Academic integrity should not be for sale."
On Jan. 18, 2005, as the Florida Board of Governors neared a decision on whether to approve the chiropractic school, Kinsinger gave the Associated Press one of his most stinging criticisms of chiropractic to date, saying that it "falls under the same umbrella as any number of therapies, including homeopathy, naturopathy, meditation, (and) prayer." He added, "There's no more evidence for chiropractic than there is for any of these other therapies."
When asked by Dynamic Chiropractic about his actions to prevent the chiropractic college at FSU, Dr. Kinsinger stated:
"We felt that because the chiropractic profession has not taken what we believe were the steps toward the reform that it needs to take to abandon these theories of vertebral subluxation and treating all manner of ailments, that it would be inappropriate. We believe that those views are not only unscientific but antiscientific, and so we felt that without those steps being taken, that if a major research university like Florida State, or any other publicly funded major research university were to embrace chiropractic, we truly felt that it would be harmful to the scientific academic reputation of such a university."
With the FSU opportunity dashed, Dr. Kinsinger turned his attention to a new venture: Neck911USA.com, a highly degrading Web site that proclaims: "Neck Manipulation Can Cause Injury or Death!"
The Web site includes a database of "Victims" - but as of press time, there is only one person in that database: a young woman who purportedly died of "stroke caused by the dangerous practice of a chiropractic upper neck manipulation. This useless twisting of the upper neck is performed on everyone from newborn babies to senior citizens as a panacea for all disease." The same Web page comments that chiropractors "have been successful in convincing politicians in North America that they are 'doctors.'"
Under a subsection of the "Victims" page, titled "Victims of Neck Manipulation," Kinsinger presents a 10-page list of victims - beginning with Hippocrates. While the list is apparently gleaned from various research articles, it cites numerous events that involve manipulation by medical physicians, osteopaths, physical therapists, lay people and "unknown" persons as well as doctors of chiropractic. Oddly enough, Kinsinger wasn't able to find more than one "victim" firsthand, and none reported in the literature since 2001.
Neck911USA.com is the same Web site referred to on the antichiropractic billboard posted outside of New Haven, Conn. The billboard proclaimed, "Warning: Chiropractic Adjustments Can Kill or Permanently Disable You." Fortunately, NextMedia, the owners of the billboard, were persuaded to take the billboard down in less than 48 hours.
When asked about Neck911USA.com, Dr. Kinsinger responded: "The point of the site is to bring attention to this issue. The site's not intended to give 'equal time' to whatever limited benefits may be derived from neck manipulation, if that's what you're asking. The site is intended to point out the dangers which we are sincerely concerned about."
Dr. Kinsinger is not shy to say that he is supportive of several of chiropractic's long-standing enemies. He notes that his Web site includes "an actual link to the orthopractic guidelines." He is also a big supporter of the National Association for Chiropractic Medicine, but admits, "that small group of chiropractors has been marginalized by the leadership of the profession, and it is my opinion that it needs to be the opposite."
But Kinsinger insists, "We're not on a witch hunt. We're doing something that we think is - that's sort of an unknown phenomenon, or not well-enough known, and that's what we're trying to do."
While Dr. Kinsinger attempts to appear balanced in his comments when interviewed, his Neck911USA.com Web site is definitely not. The site is clearly designed to instill fear in anyone who visits. It is clearly aimed at chiropractic, and very clearly attacks cervical adjustments as useless and dangerous.
You can compare and contrast the Neck911USA.com Web site with Dr. Kinsinger's entire interview, which has been posted at www.chiroweb.com/chiroenemy. And although many DCs have wanted to contact Dr. Kinsinger, we are not in a position to release his contact information. However, that information is publicly available, as he has hospital privileges at Integris Baptist Medical Center (www.integris-health.com) and Mercy Health Center (www.mercy-ok.com). Both sites have features that allow interested parties to locate a doctor of their choice using the doctor's last name.
For his actions regarding FSU and Neck911USA.com, Dr. John W. Kinsinger gets our vote for Chiropractic Enemy #1.
- Neck911USA Web site: www.neck911usa.com.
- Kinsinger JW. My experiences with chiropractors. Available online at www.chirobase.org/02Research/jwk.html.
- Chiropractic comes under attack in Connecticut. Dynamic Chiropractic, July 16, 2005: www.chiroweb.com/archives/23/15/05.html.
- Greene L. Chiropractic has backers, but is it just voodoo? St. Petersburg Times, Jan. 9, 2005.
- Kallestad B. Chiropractor school resistance stiffens. Miami Herald, Jan. 14, 2005.
- March W. Proposed school at FSU heats chiropractic debate. Tampa Tribune, Jan. 14, 2005.
- Chiropractic school faces opposition. Associated Press, Jan. 18, 2005.