A Guest Commentary by:
Steven C. Eisen, DC
Foundation for Health Choice
On October 13, 2005, notorious self-proclaimed consumer medical advocate, Stephen Barrett’s defamation lawsuit against Dr. Tedd Koren was thrown out of court after a grueling three and a half day trial. To the unknowing observer, this may seem insignificant, but in no uncertain terms, it was a big victory for the battle of freedom and rights of all individuals to select the health care of their choice.
The American Medical Association has a long standing history of trying to monopolize health care in the United States by eliminating competition. In Wilk v. AMA a Federal court ruled that the AMA and other individuals and organizations had conspired to contain and eliminate the practice of chiropractic. The court found that the AMA and it’s officials instituted a boycott of chiropractors and made it unethical for a medical doctor to associate with chiropractors.
This boycott disallowing a medical doctor to associate with a chiropractor was only one part of a seeming comprehensive multi-phase strategy to eliminate chiropractic. The AMA also, and sometimes subtly, made attempts to undermine chiropractic educational institutions, conceal evidence of the usefulness of chiropractic care, undercut insurance programs for patients of chiropractors, subvert government inquiries into the efficacy of chiropractic, engage in a massive disinformation campaign to discredit and destabilize the chiropractic profession, and engage in numerous other activities to maintain a monopoly over health care in this country.
t has been reported that the AMA’s Committee on Quackery was the group purportedly assigned with the task of eliminating chiropractic.
A sub-group of the Committee on Quackery called the Coordinating Conference on Health Information (CCHI) was also set up to perform covert activities and operated in total secrecy. According to Joseph Lisa in his book, “The Assault on Medical Freedom,” in 1974, the CCHI and its activities were turned over to regional councils against health fraud. According to Lisa, Stephen Barrett, MD, a psychiatrist in Allentown Pennsylvania was the leader of one of the affiliate groups called the Lehigh Valley Council Against Health Fraud. Notice the intentional transition from the word quackery to describe non-conventional health care, to the words health fraud. In 1977, the Allentown group merged with the California Committee Against Health Fraud to form the National Council Against Health Fraud (NCAHF) which is still in existence today and is still an advocate against chiropractic.
Stephen Barrett is now delicensed (he voluntarily gave up his Pennsylvania medical license, the last of four medical licenses he once held, in the early 1990’s) and the Vice President of the NCAHF. He also operates at least 20 websites affiliated with his main site, Quackwatch.com. The website and its affiliate web sites are seemingly designed to spread deceitful, untruthful and malicious propaganda about chiropractic and other non-conventional health practices; similar to the way the CCHI did under the auspices of the AMA. NCAHF is also involved in similar activities. In addition, Barrett and his groups also frequently consult for major media magazines, television, radio, governmental agencies such as the FBI, FTC and FDA and even the AMA.
One of Barrett’s anti health-choice activities is to frequently file libel lawsuits against non-conventional health care practitioners, manufacturers and publishers. He testified in court to filing lawsuits against at least forty individuals.
One of these lawsuits was filed against well known chiropractor, Dr. Tedd Koren and his publishing company, Koren Publications in 2003. Perhaps it is no coincidence that Barrett admits that he is a consultant to the FTC who unsuccessfully tried to destroy Koren’s publishing business in the 1990’s using tactics intimately familiar to the CCHI and NCAHF. The FTC investigation was withdrawn after a full briefing of the facts to FTC officials by Dr. Koren’s attorneys.
Realizing that the defamation lawsuit was just another of Barrett’s continued, conspiratorial tactics to destroy chiropractic, Dr. Koren decided that this time things would be different. In order to officially link Barrett to the original conspiracy revealed in Wilk v. AMA, he and Foundation for Health Choice cofounder and attorney Jim Turner, would have to get Barrett to court instead of settling like so many of his predecessors did. Jim Turner joined forces with health freedom trial attorney Carlos F. Negrete of San Juan Capistrano, California and attorney Christopher Reid of Allentown, Pennsylvania who all decided to take this precedent setting case to trial. This way, they could challenge Barrett and put his activities to the test before a jury of his own peers in his home town. The Barrett v. Koren trial took place between October 10th and October 13th 2005, and the case was thrown out by the judge before it went to the jury because Barrett had not provided sufficient evidence to prove his case. Barrett did, however, provide plenty of sufficient evidence to show that he was linked to the continued conspiracy against chiropractic.
The Foundation for Health Choice now has a comprehensive multi-phase strategy to continue to investigate and uncover activities and organizations created to undermine chiropractic educational institutions, conceal evidence of the usefulness of chiropractic care, undercut insurance programs for patients of chiropractors, subvert government inquiries into the efficacy of chiropractic, engage in a massive disinformation campaign to discredit and destabilize the chiropractic profession, and engage in numerous other activities to maintain a monopoly over health care in this country.
With your help we can stop the activity of these divisive and propagandist organizations once and for all. We ask that you consider supporting this effort to protect your freedom of health choice. Fifty dollars a month, from 1500 individuals, will fund the strategy to end the anti-chiropractic campaign of Barrett and his cronies. You can find out more at www.foundationforhealthchoice.com.
Steven C. Eisen, DC,
Foundation for Health Choice