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Sunday, May 25, 2008

My Review of Whitcomb's Book, on Amazon

I posted this review to Amazon today, 5/15/08. I guess it's dated 4/5 because that was the estimated date I should have received the order. I've posted ratings before but they don't seem to get published. I'm going to start keeping track of this publicly, here on my blog.



1.0 out of 5 stars Why does my review keep disappearing?, April 5, 2008
I bought this book (at the full and inflated price of $14.99) from Amazon and I deserve to have my review counted. What use is this whole review system if Amazon is going to let the authors pick and choose which reviews get printed and counted in the rating???

These days anybody can write a book and publish it themselves. That is how this book came to be. Dr. Whitcomb published it himself. The only review of this book included on or in the book is on the back cover, by "New York Times best-selling author" Ellen Tanner Marsh. Her "NYT best-selling author" status comes from two paperback romance novels in the 80's. She currently works for BookSurge (which is a "vanity press" (a relatively new service in the digital age, also called "books-on-demand" or "print-on-demand") now a subsidiary of amazon.com, for amateur writers who want to see their manuscripts in print). Ms. Tanner is paid by BookSurge to write reviews of the books they publish; BookSurge is paid $399.00 by the author of the book being reviewed by Ms. Tanner. Ms. Tanner is said to be an especially prolific paid reviewer. And as far as I can tell that's the best qualification there is to recommend her as a reviewer of this book.

The lone reference in this book to anything or anyone medically authorized in any way (other than Whitcomb himself) is a short quote by a psychiatrist from a rural mental health clinic in Douglas County, CA. I have not verified the quote myself.

Paul Whitcomb's book is an essay of his opinions about FM (pages 1-37), and his theory of FM's spinal misalignment cause and its chiropractic treatment at his clinic (pages 37-95).

"The Whitcomb Technique", from page 37: "We do not claim to treat Fibromyalgia. We are moving on the premise that it is a condition of the cervical spine causing an uncontrolled firing of the nervous system. The aim of The Whitcomb Technique is simply to reduce the subluxation that causes the symptoms we know as "Fibromyalgia.""

There is a chapter called "Statistics." It describes a survey of fifteen patients, administered by Whitcomb's Center. The survey results are combined in a chart. The chart has three columns, the first is titled "Patient #" (from 1 to 15); the second and third columns have no title. Makes it a little hard to understand a very simple chart but I figured it out eventually. The survey consisted of 167 items, symptoms over various parts of the body, which the patient rated on a scale of 0 to 10, 0 being no pain and 10 being severe pain. The ratings were added together for a total score from each patient. The second column of the chart is the total score for each patient before the treatment began at Whitcomb's center. The third column is the total score for each patient at the end of treatment. The numbers are markedly lower in the third column than in the second.

That's the extent of any research to prove that Whitcomb's theory works. No follow up numbers at all. Just a bunch of testimonials which, according to people who have been through the treatment, are taken at the end of treatment and never again.

This book is bunk. The picture on the cover is nice, but you know what they say about judging a book by its cover...

Your Tags: fibromyalgia, fibro, dr paul whitcomb, fms-cfs, fms, dr whitcomb


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Summary of How to File a Complaint Against Paul Whitcomb, D.C.

I've put together a summary of blog posts that I've been doing on Whitcomb and on what to do about him. If you have any questions I'll be glad to try to answer them, but Dr. Barrett, of Quackwatch, is the expert. He seemed really nice when I talked to him on the phone about Whitcomb. If you just send him an email with your question I'm sure he will answer you asap.

This is Dr. Barrett's excellent advice on how to file a complaint against a chiropractor:


Prepare three copies. Send one to the agency that licenses chiropractors in the state the chiropractor practices in.

California BOARD OF CHIROPRACTIC EXAMINERS
2525 Natomas Park Drive, Suite 260
Sacramento, CA 95833
Attn: Enforcement Unit

Indicate that a copy has been sent to the state attorney general so that the board knows that an outside agency is aware of the complaint.

Send the second copy to the state attorney general, but don't indicate that a copy has been sent to the licensing board. (If you do, the attorney general's office might ignore it.)


Attorney General's Office
California Department of Justice
Attn: Public Inquiry Unit
P.O. Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550

Send the third copy to Quackwatch, P.O. Box 1747, Allentown, PA 18105 and be sure to include your e-mail address.


Dr. Barrett also said if anyone feels uncomfortable filing the complaint themselves, they can send their firsthand experiences with Paul Whitcomb and The Fibromyalgia Relief Centers to Quackwatch. When there are enough of the right kind of testimonials submitted, he can coordinate legal action. The instructions on how to report a fraud to Quackwatch are reprinted below, and the link is here.

If you have been victimized, reporting your experience to us may enable us to help you or help protect others. All information sent to us will be held in strict confidence if that is your wish. However, it is far more useful for us to be able to share that information within our anti-quackery network, bring it to the attention of a law-enforcement agency, or post it so others can learn from your experience. To report to us, please send the following information by e-mail:

To Report a Personal Experience
  • Include your name, age, address, work and home telephone numbers.
  • Provide a detailed account of what happened to you that includes:
    • Dates or approximate dates that the events occurred
    • Name and location of perpetrator
    • Pertinent health history, including problem for which you sought help
  • What would you like us to do with the information?
    • Post your story to one of our sites. That usually requires inclusion of your name.
    • Forward your story to a regulatory agency
    • Try to help you recover money
    • Help you file a lawsuit
    • Give your name to a reporter who might want to interview you

If you want to contact the Board of Chiropractic Examiners directly, this is the contact info I was given when I requested copies of any complaints against Whitcomb. (They wouldn't give me any information. I know that people have filed complaints against Whitcomb. I don't understand how the Board of Examiners can get away with this.)

April Alameda, Program Analyst

Board of Chiropractic Examiners

(916) 263-5329


I hope you decide to step forward. I think Dr. Whitcomb's time is coming. If you want to keep me informed of what's going on I would be very interested, and will keep all information confidential unless you give me permission to publish it online.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Blogcatalog's Bloggers Unite For Human Rights: Sick and disabled Americans waiting on SS Disability benefits, going bankrupt or dying in the process

Bloggers Unite

Some of the more recent history of human rights -

From Wikipedia on Human Rights:

The history of human rights covers thousands of years and draws upon religious, cultural, philosophical and legal developments throughout recorded history.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
United States Declaration of Independence
~Drafted by Thomas Jefferson between June 11 and June 28, 1776, as authorized by the Continental Congress, July 2, 1776 with minor revisions and released publicly on July 4, 1776.


...recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world

—Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948



The term inalienable rights refers to a theoretical set of individual human rights that by their nature cannot be taken away, violated, or transferred from one person to another. They are considered more fundamental than alienable rights, such as rights in a specific piece of property.

Inalienable (Individual) Rights are: natural rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They are the most fundamental set of human rights, natural means not-granted nor conditional. They are applicable only to humans, as the basic necessity of their survival.



Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen approved by the National Assembly of France, August 26, 1789.


It's my proposition that the future of human rights includes the right to good medical care and a decent standard of living even for those who are not able to work to support themselves. Seems to me this falls under both the pursuit of life, and the pursuit of happiness.

It's unbelievable to me that in the United States of America, undisputedly one of the greatest nations in the world, people who are not able to work are routinely forced to live for two years and longer while our government decides to give them the disability benefits they paid for with money taken out of every paycheck for Social Security Disability Insurance through that line-item known as FICA. People are facing homelessness, bankruptcy and even death trying to get the benefits they paid for fair and square. Unfortunately, Yours Truly is part of this group.

Facts are:

  • 2 out of 3 applicants are rejected
  • average wait time 520 days for a hearing
  • 750,000 cases are back logged in the system - up 150% since 2000



From A BOOK REVIEW by Cort Johnson: "We’re Not in Kansas Anymore: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the Politics of Disease” by Rik Carlson:

"... you talk about how you’ve seen people with CFS ‘just disappear’. It often starts with a string of fruitless, sometimes humiliating physician’s visits. The next step is usually the loss of job, career and financial security, along the way relationships often break under the strain, there’s the fall through society's frayed safety net and finally a disappearance. For those who are not fortunate to have family or some other support they can fall back on, this disease, as difficult as it is already, can get incredibly grim."


Why is it that we can spend billions rebuilding other countries, but we can't do more to help Americans with disabilities?


Bloggers Unite


Resources

Message from the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Michael J. Astrue

Disabled and Waiting - CBS News Investigation: Backlog In Disability Benefits System Leaves Thousands Of Vulnerable Americans Stranded

Disability Digest Blog!, "Understaffed Overworked Social Security Asked To Take on Another Dumb Ass Task..."

Social Security Disability Resource Site


Social Security Disability Reform Petition by the SS Disability Coalition - online support site, home to one horror story after another

Insurers Faulted as Overloading Social Security
(this is definitely not helping)

Backlog of Claims Leaves Social Security Recipients Waiting


Remarkable Improvement: From Sick to Disabled

HEALTH CARE: Dying for help


Recent Denial Rates for Disability Applications, provided by Disability Blogger

California - In California, 55.5 percent are denied.
Texas - In Texas, 61.5 percent are denied.
Pennsylvania - In pennsylvania 55.1 percent are denied.
Wisconsin - 62.6 percent denied.
Washington - 58.9 percent denied.
Virginia - 61.6 percent denied.
Massachusetts - 54.7 percent denied.
Maryland - 66 percent denied.
Michigan- 64.1 percent denied.
Minnesota - 57.6 percent denied.
Mississippi - 72.8 percent denied.
Missouri - 66.8 percent denied.
Nevada - 50.4 percent denied.
New Jersey - 50 percent denied.
New Mexico - 59.6 percent denied.
New York - 61.9 percent denied.
North Carolina - 67.2 percent denied.
Ohio - 71.1 percent denied.
Oklahoma - 66.1 percent denied.
Oregon - 66.3 percent denied.
Arizona - 53.4 percent denied.
Arkansas - 63.2 percent denied.
Colorado - 73.7 percent denied.
Florida - In Florida, 64.9 percent are denied.
Georgia - 71.8 percent denied.
Illinois - 61.2 percent denied.
Indiana - 67.8 percent denied.
Kansas - 67.3 percent denied.
Kentucky - 67.7 percent denied.
Louisiana - 68.8 percent denied.
Tennessee - 74.3 percent denied.
Alabama - 70.6 percent denied.
Connecticut - 62.2 percent denied.
Utah - 69.8 percent denied.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Report firsthand experience with Paul E. Whitcomb, D.C. to Quackwatch!


I spoke to Dr. Stephen Barrett of Quackwatch.com on 5/1/08. He said it does look like there is something wrong going on with the Whitcomb website. He suggested that if people are not comfortable filing a complaint using these instructions, they can send their firsthand experiences with Paul Whitcomb and The Fibromyalgia Relief Centers to Quackwatch. When there are enough of the right kind of testimonials submitted, he can coordinate legal action. The instructions on how to report a fraud to Quackwatch are here.


If it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck and it swims like a duck...




There's a nice background piece on Dr. Barrett at medhunters.com. Quoting them:

"The internet," Barrett says, "permits the promoters of unsubstantiated ideas to reach a very wide audience inexpensively. However, it also enables people like me to put up information." This range of easily available information is making it possible for health care consumers to do exactly what Barrett is doing: read the evidence and make an informed assessment.

And
Despite Barrett's pattern of naming names of people as well as products, he has never been sued for libel, except for a counter-suit to a libel suit he once filed (the counter-suit was dismissed). His explanation? "I protect myself by not saying anything that isn't true."


I can only aspire to follow in his (huge) footsteps.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Told Ya So: The first time I've seen a reference to a doctor suggesting that FM is a disease, not a syndrome

From Dominie's 5/6/08 newsletter

5. FIBROMYALGIA IS A DISEASE - NOT A SYNDROME
From North Texas Fibromyalgia Support and Meetup Group - http://fibromyalgia.meetup.com/285--
"We had Dr. Kenneth Kippels speak, and he said that there are evidences that prove that Fibromyalgia changes multiple systems within the body and therefore is definitely a disease. They can prove by certain changes within the blood, changes within the brain tissue and destruction of or changes to the adrenal glands, thyroid and pituitary that yes, Fibromyalgia is not a Syndrome, it is definitely, a disease!"


Sunday, May 4, 2008

Response from the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners: "... our records indicate that an Accusation has not been served at this time"...?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: April Alameda <AAlameda@chiro.ca.gov>
Date: Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 4:55 PM
Subject: Dr. Paul E. Whitcomb, D.C., license number DC 11681

Dear Ms. Johnson,


This is in response to your correspondence dated April 11, 2008, which was received by the Board of Chiropractic Examiners on April 15, 2008. You have requested copies of complaints and/or Decisions related to Dr. Paul E. Whitcomb, D.C.

Please be advised that complaints are exempt from disclosure pursuant to Government Code section 6254, subdivision (f). Therefore, the Board is unable to respond to your request.

With regards to Accusations, our records indicate that an Accusation has not been served at this time.

If you have further questions or concerns regarding this matter, please contact me via email or at the telephone number listed below.

Sincerely,

April Alameda, Program Analyst

Board of Chiropractic Examiners

(916) 263-5329


--
(\__/)
(='.'=)This is Bunny. Copy and paste bunny into
(")_(")your signature to help him gain world domination.


I do have questions and I will follow up on this. What exactly is an Accusation, and they don't say anything about any Decisions or Orders. I thought I was using their terminology but they seem to have changed it up on me. If there are no Accusations does that automatically mean there are no Decisions or Orders? Also: Does it seem to you like a medical professional board of examiners email response to a written and snail mailed letter should have a Bunny looking to gain world domination in their signature line?

Am I getting paranoid or is it weird that the page where Whitcomb's credentials were posted on the CA.gov Department of Consumer Affairs website now says "License lookup is temporarily unavailable during maintenance", and they apologize for this inconvenience...? Doo Doo Doo...
Luckily I put a copy of the whole page in the previous blog post, Paul Whitcomb's Credintials.

{The credentials page is ba-ack as of 5/5/08}

This is also new. When I just scanned my blog with Copyscape they came up with eight results. The first points to a site that seems to be in Chinese. I kid you not. The next two results are from something called CastleCops Blogspot Redirection and their titles are "Blogspot redirection, Porn site." Hmmm. Then there are four results from Born and Bred in Brooklyn blog, "whose page seems to have recently removed your (my) content" and the cached version is gone. One last result titled "What does CSS/XHTML and SEO have to do with Greek Architecture?" whose page also seems to have recently removed my content and the cached version is gone. Oh, for the good old days when the only results to my Copyscape scan were obvious and easily explained.

Ok, I've faced my paranoia head on and now I'm moving past it. With one final nod to the Paranoia Blues by Paul Simon:

I got the paranoia blues
From knockin' around In New York City
Where they roll you for a nickel
And they stick you for the extra dime

Oh yeah, yeah
Oh no, no. Oh no, no
There's only one thing I need to know
Whose side are you on
Whose side are you on

Whose side, whose side, whose side

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Paul Whitcomb's Chiropractic Credintials, and How to File a Complaint Against a Chiropractor

Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), "How to file a complaint against a chiropractor"


... Although chiropractic boards occasionally discipline practitioners, they almost never interfere with quack practices.

Pro-Quackery Legislation by Stephen M. Barrett, M.D.

California BOARD OF CHIROPRACTIC EXAMINERS
2525 Natomas Park Drive, Suite 260
Sacramento, CA 95833
Attn: Enforcement Unit

Suggestions from Quackwatch.com:

Prepare three copies. Send one to the agency that licenses chiropractors in your state (in the state where the chiropractor is licensed - see above). Indicate that a copy has been sent to the state attorney general (see below for CA) so that the board knows that an outside agency is aware of the complaint. Send the second copy to the state attorney general, but don't indicate that a copy has been sent to the licensing board. (If you do, the attorney general's office might ignore it.) Send the third copy to Quackwatch, P.O. Box 1747, Allentown, PA 18105 and be sure to include your e-mail address.

Attorney General's Office
California Department of Justice
Attn: Public Inquiry Unit
P.O. Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550


Whitcomb's credentials as currently posted on the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners website:

CALIFORNIA BOARD OF

CHIROPRACTIC EXAMINERS

Brian Stiger, Executive Director

For Information Contact:


Licensing questions

Lavella Matthews, Program Analyst

Elsa Berumen, Licensing Technician

2525 Natomas Park Drive, Suite 260

Sacramento, CA 95833-2931

(916) 263-5355 (reception/switchboard)

FAX: (916) 263-5369

(Do not use FAX for applications)

Web Address: www.chiro.ca.gov

WHITCOMB PAUL EARL, DC

License Number 11681

VALID

961 EMERALD BAY RD

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE 96150

County: EL DORADO

A. Related Licenses/Registrations/Permits

No records returned

B. Disciplinary Actions

No information available from this agency

1. Citations

December 01, 2005:

Citation Issued


CCR

312.

UNLICEN INDIV-ILLEGAL PRACTICE

January 03, 2006:

Compliance obtained from licensee, citation closed


CCR

312.

UNLICEN INDIV-ILLEGAL PRACTICE

Disclaimer for Disciplinary Action Summary
The reports contained as part of this web site represent summaries of those formal disciplinary orders issued by the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) and its participating programs, boards, committees, and commissions, imposing suspension, revocation or other discipline. Disciplinary proceedings which are resolved by dismissal of the accusation or otherwise result in no actual discipline of a license are not reported at this web site. The lack of a summary for a particular licensed person does not mean that the licensee has never been the subject of an accusation or administrative discipline.

Summary information on recent orders is prepared approximately ninety (90) days after the final decision date of a disciplinary case. Therefore, although this web site may presently lack any such report, some licensees will actually be named in accusations, or be subject to disciplinary orders.

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The term "revoked" means that the licensee's right to practice has been completely taken away. Revocation is not necessarily permanent, however. A person whose license is revoked has the right, one year or more after the revocation, to apply for reinstatement. Some applications are successful. The applicant for reinstatement must, however, demonstrate to the BOARD OF CHIROPRACTIC EXAMINERS that the applicant is rehabilitated and is fit to resume practice.

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2525 Natomas Park Drive, Suite 260
Sacramento, CA 95833

Attn: Enforcement Unit

This information is updated Monday through Friday - Last updated: APR-04-2008

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