Archive for April, 2008:
Thomas Chiropractic Care is closed April 9th, 10th and 11th. Dr. Thomas will return to his office on Monday, April 14th.
MDT: Let me tie up a couple loose ends. When did Clear View close down?
WHQ: In 1963.
MDT: And were the primary reasons that insurance was starting to come in,
that medications were starting to come in?
WHQ: No. They’d already come in. That brings up an interesting discussion regarding our friend at Parsons, Dr. Roberts. Dr. Roberts called one day and wanted to come out and look over the institution, which he did. He didn’t ask me ahead of time and he didn’t say anything when he left, he just did it. But I don’t think he knew very much about it. So it must have been a week or so later, I was still teaching classes, psychology one trimester and then I’d teach psychiatry the other.
Anyway, Dave called me into his office and told me that Clear View was being closed down. I was dumbfounded. “What do you mean?” I said to him. It was like the last thing in the world I would have suspected. We had 18 interns, 9 on the morning shift and 9 on the afternoon shift and they were really happy people. We were taking care of 9 students that otherwise would have to be taken care of at Palmer during their last year. Almost no one had an intern program in our profession, and we had one.
I think the most telling thing of it all, the day before…I’ll have to go back a second, ah…I’d worked from 1954 until that time, going to Des Moines almost always once a month and meeting with the Head of the Department of Health, and working out a way in which Clear View would become a hospital. We worked on that and he had me work with some of the people from the hospital division. I met with the board of hospitals twice and I received a letter from this Dr. Forrest, who said in effect that we’re set. We’ve accepted the criteria you’ve set up for chiropractic mental hospitals. He said, “I think it will be just a short time until you will be receiving the accreditation.” So I was really delighted, in fact this was a dream come true.
WHQ: Finally getting it. We could even get funds to build more rooms, because we needed it badly. So anyway, Dave told me the news. I told him all about the impending accreditation. “Oh,” he said. “No, Dr. Roberts says if we convert this into a nursing home we’ll make a lot more money”. And I said, “ David you missed the point.” He said, “Well I don’t want to argue about it”. And I said, Okay”. And that was that. So that’s what closed it.
And I don’t think I finished one tale. I had been working on this research to determine how we were doing, comparing the amount of people who were admitted and the amount of people that were released, and the different types that were being released at that time. I told Bill, the comptroller, that I wanted those records. I told him that I had to have those records because of research. He said, “Oh don’t worry about them.” I must have gone in there six times and always got, “Don’t worry about them”. Well eventually, they were thrown into the dump. Workmen didn’t know any different and Bill didn’t do his job. He didn’t set up a caution for that, so we lost all of those records.
MDT: All those years of research that you had been doing?
WHQ: Yeah…yeah…all my records. Because first of all, we’d set up a form: the diagnosis, when the patient was admitted, when the first disorder came, and then every year, after the patient was released, we’d send out the questionnaire to the guardian…parent and/or attorney or whoever. Then we’d ask them questions such as, has this patient ever been hospitalized for a mental illness since he was released from Clear View? And we’d ask how long was it between the release and any readmission. A number of questions like that. One critical question was, is the patient able to sustain himself in society? In short, is he holding a job? These are things which, of course, define mental illness. When you attempt to define it, it’s not very easy. It sounds like it should be but it isn’t.
WHQ: So we had been doing that for many years. We had made it very easy to respond, and we had some, I’d say fairly reliable evidence. There were many others that were starting to get interested in our work. Then to have that go out the door into the dump. We had probably only 50, 60 files left that were somehow saved. I don’t know how, but there wasn’t any continuity. There wasn’t anything you could do with it.
MDT: I’ll be darned. So you never were able to obtain those results?
WHQ: No. I could never go back and get all that information. Seven, eight, nine years of information all lost. That was a disappointment, besides of course closing it down.
MDT: So then you became a faculty member at Palmer after that?
WHQ: Yeah, I just did the same thing. What I did do is maintain a private practice at home. The way I got started is that at the sanitarium, we would have a patient we felt was about ready to go home. I’d talk to the parents about it and explain that he would be released. Then they would often want him released in Davenport so we could keep an eye on him. Then I would tell him I would see him. Pretty soon other people would call. They all knew I was associated with the sanitarium and I’d end up working from about 7 until 11 about 4 nights a week.
So, that’s what happened after the sanitarium closed down. I continued to teach the two classes. Outside of Palmer however, that was the other thing I was doing. I didn’t do anything more at the school, until the end when Dave was really incapacitated. But he was terrified of the NCA. He felt they were out to get him. Of course that paranoia was partly B.J., which was still a voice inside him. You can’t blame them, that’s how it was.
WHQ: So to get back to the accreditation process at LACC…they had nobody that understood and could handle the problems of the economics. It’s was their weakest point. That’s also the one that was going to cause them to lose their business. I tried to get somebody good to come in. The only thing was that the board set the salaries at $20,000. You’re not going to get a man knowledgeable in that area for $20.000. We found one that talked good, but he also was drinking too much. He came to a meeting one time and he was pretty well intoxicated. That kind of washed that one out for good. That was intolerable, we couldn’t have that. But there were these three men that thought that they knew everything that needed to be done. They didn’t, and they clearly didn’t. So it got to be stressful. I was glad to get out of there.
MDT: What year did you get married?
WKQ: In ‘51.
MDT: In 1951. Same year you took on the sanitarium. So how’d you meet her?
WHQ: Well I met her through Hank Thompson. Hank Thompson was an entertainer who played in the clubs in that general area, very well known. He brought in a lot of people. They still say that he’s a terrible organist, but he was great in public relations…irresponsible though, in many respects, but a very likeable man. And I was doing a lot of fishing and he was a fisherman too. During this one summer we saw him quite a bit and I met his wife’s sister. She later became my wife. We didn’t go together at the time because she was married, and I never thought about her that way you know, just a nice person. But I thought she was certainly above anybody else I’d ever met. And then, later on, some years later, her husband died. And so about a month later I said, “I’m gonna call”, and I did. From then on my life changed, for the better I’d say.
MDT: What is your impression of DD Palmer. I realize you couldn’t have known him, but you must have heard family stories.
WHQ: Yeah I heard family stories. I’d say he and B.J. shared some things. Their
unshakable prejudices are among them. I think that D.D. had tremendous imagination and he willed himself to be a student. But he wasn’t really the student that he thought he was. He did have a schooling by a school master, and it took them up to the levels of Greek. I guess that was at one time figured to be where you should be in education. I felt that DD was a very, very ego-centered man. He really couldn’t see much beyond his own needs and his own concepts and ideas. He felt people were really wrong to disagree with him. He knew, and I don’t think he ever forgave the world for that.
MDT: He believed in the placebo effect, I mean he believed in that life force and he was a magnetic healer prior to this early work.
WHQ: Yes. He seemed to always have a fair success with whatever he attempted. When he married Mary, the woman who was his second wife, she had managed a hotel one time and she had a good business head. D.D. had no head at all for business. She took over the business aspect and saw that the clinic was run right. They opened the ‘hospice’, and people would come there and stay over night and be treated as hospital patients. They started off with about eight beds and then they eventually got up to something like 22.
MDT: Was this still downtown in the old Ryan Building?
WHQ: Yes. They just took up more and more room. They had quite a few people there
eventually. So all of that was pretty well blown when D.D. took off. But B.J. did a good job of getting everybody back together again and the reputation wasn’t ruined. But I felt that D.D. was extremely impulsive.
MDT: Even DD’s earliest students were in contention with him. I mean the contention
between the idea of ‘bone out of place’ versus ‘approximation of segments’.
WHQ: A lot of the early students went out to establish schools. And then they taught their brand. Oh, D.D. hated that. His judgment about people was very poor. He got associated with this Alva Gregory. And that didn’t last very long. He lost whatever he had in that. He had the money that came from what BJ had given him. After D.D. had walked out and B.J. had gotten itback on a sound footing, he told DD not to come back, that he wasn’t welcome. B.J. had people come in and evaluate the school and determine it’s value. He then gave D.D. a check for half that amount. D.D. didn’t like that, but he took it and then he went and lost it. I don’t know how he made out during those years. In fact, nobody really knows what happened to him in any detail during that long period. So I guess it’s still a mystery.
MDT: So D.D. came back before his death?
WHQ: No, he came back …it wasn’t very long, but it was after he went to jail. But they said to him, “We have to get rid of you, don’t want you ever back here”. He lived a fair number of years after that…the exact number I’d have to look up too.
MDT: Well, there’s the apocryphal story about B.J. running into him at a parade in Davenport and that it may have been a causative factor in his death. But then I’ve heard other things say no it wasn’t.
WHQ: Ah it couldn’t have been. He died of typhoid fever. So there was no chance of that. In fact, the doctor, more than once, signed a statement that it was not a case of injury. It was a case of typhoid. But it was an opportunity. It was like our democrats and republicans. If there’s any kind of a wound, we’re gonna stir it up until it becomes a raw, fatal lesion.
WHQ: I’ve never known B.J. to ever show any physical aggression against anybody. And with all of his anger and so forth, at Dave, never once did he raise a hand or anything like that. So it doesn’t sound consistent at all.
MDT: So during the years that you were at Palmer, there was obviously an upper cervical approach, ostensibly using the NCM to define whether or not to adjust. Were many doctors adjusting other segments too, or was it very strict then?
WHQ: Let’s see, it was ‘33 when the neurocalograph came out and HIO was coming out with it. One worked with the other, BJ said. I think without the NCG, he would not have introduced this. But he was a firm believer, and again he relied on what might be called similes, rather than on facts.
For example, this idea that the nerve would be hot, was associated with a live wire.
That it would be cold was associated with the physiological reaction to that sort of problem. Of course, if he wanted to change, it wouldn’t be too difficult. Because you just simply say because this nerve is the one that’s hot instead of this one. He was caught up in that kind of thinking. He considered it logical thinking.
MDT: You are speaking of the meric system and the nerve tracing?
MDT: So were people adjusting in a full spine fashion out of his sight?
WHQ: I would say that the number of people that practiced the HIO work were not anywhere near as great as the number of people that practiced full spine techniques. And, not anywhere near as great as the number of people that said they practiced HIO.
WHQ: It was like, to belong to this elite fraternity, you had to be pure upper cervical…
MDT: I understand.
WHQ: People at the school, they didn’t have much choice.
WHQ: One of the first ones to break that was Price. Price did what he wanted. He had a practice and he just went on.
MDT: Galen Price?
WHQ: Yes. B.J. would bring him in and give him a hell of a dressing down and then they’d be going on just as they always did. He didn’t pay any attention and just kept going. He didn’t feel anything was going to happen and it didn’t. I know that BJ wanted everybody to do HIO. A lot of people said this was crazy. I’ve had too much success otherwise.
If you start off that way, it’s not difficult to change to something less, but I know that in my own experience that …I was adjusting some people during those periods of time. I had a small practice. I didn’t have any time, but I did what I could…and I learned that when people came in with a very severe low back, you could palpate and detect that the difficulty was very much centered there.
WHQ: And we all heard of cases about people who came in with low back problems, and after adjusting them upper cervically they wouldn’t respond, but then when they were adjusted in the low back, they would be astounded to found that they felt better. I think I broke away from HIO fairly early. But I wasn’t doing that, I wasn’t really in practice.
MDT: Marshal Himes gave a speech in ‘58 or ‘59 that came to be called the “Green Light Speech”. The speech said that Palmer was going to move away from strict interpretation of upper cervical back to a more segmental approach.
WHQ: Well, there were a couple of good reasons. We were getting nasty letters from the State Boards that said these students don’t know how to adjust the spinal column. And you’re going to have to start teaching the adjustment of the whole spine. Well, they knew if they started teaching, then students were going start using it. And that’s just what happened.
MDT: Sure. Well they were already going down to the Blackhawk Hotel, or into students apartments and they had been doing that for many years.
WHQ: Yes. To prohibit something that is so open, you know you’re going to fail…
MDT: If you prohibit anything, people are going want to do it, aren’t they?
WHQ: That’s right. They sure are. That’s the first thing…
MDT: You must have met a lot of the clinicians that have become well known names in chiropractic. Do any of them stand out? You know, Thompson and DeJarnette, and Gonstead and there’s many more.
WKQ: Thompson…Clyde and I were very close, good friends for a long time. In fact, his brother was married to my wife’s sister. She married Hank Thompson.
MDT: Ah. So you were friends with Clay also.
WHQ: Oh yeah…yeah. We had a lot of things that we use to laugh about so much. We’d get together and Clay was funny. I mean he couldn’t help it. He’d do things that everybody would laugh about. An example… on this one occasion, he had been lecturing in Europe. One of the European contractors knew Clay pretty well and got to work with him a little bit when he was here in the States. He took Clay on a tour down through southern Europe. They went to the Alpha Romeo factory and talked to the manager. It turned out that Argentina had ordered 12 Rolls Royces. Beautiful cars at the time. There had been changes in government down there and they had to cancel the order. So here they sat with these 12 automobiles. Clay talked to the manager and the manager told him, among other things, that he might be able to arrange a deal. He could get a pretty good price on this. So Clay was real anxious when he got back home and he told me about this. He told me the manager was going to be calling him any night now. The manager had told him that he’d call and let Clay know how much. So I got word that Clay said he had definite word that the manager would be calling. His brother said, “Why don’t you call him and pretend you’re calling from Italy?” I said, “Aw, I just gave a talk about that to the boys at the sanitarium today. No practical jokes, they don’t work out, you know?”
We just couldn’t afford it in that kind of environment. Well, somehow I decided to do it. I got my wife to get on the phone and call the office where he was. She said, “Ah, Dr. Thompson?” He said, Yes, yes!” She told him that this is the overseas operator. “Oh yes, yes, yes!” he said. “Where’s the call from?” My wife said, “I’m calling from Milan, Italy.” “Oh!”, he said. “That’s what I’ve been waiting for!” She said, “Can you hear me?” He said, “Just like you’re in the room!”
So we went from there. I could hear all of this on the other phone and so then he came on the phone and I said, “Senhor Thompson, I’m calling you from Milan.” He said, “Yes…yes I’ve been waiting for your call!” And I said, “ I’ve been talking to my employees and I’ve been talking to the boss and he says we can do something for you…”. At that point, I was beginning to feel we’re getting a little deep here you know. Clay would say, “Well, tell me…how much would it cost to change it from a right hand drive to a left hand drive?” And I don’t have any idea, but I told him “20, 000 lira”, and he says, “Well, that isn’t so bad. How much is that?” I had to make up a figure. So, finally I thought that this was too much, so I pretended that I was gonna just click the telephone and call him right back. I clicked it and tried to call him back…busy…Tried to call him back…busy…an hour and a half I tried to get back…I really was feeling bad by this time. As it turned out he had called practically every overseas operator in Europe to find out who made that call. I finally got through to him and told him that it had been me on the phone. I said, “Clay did you hear me?” He said, “What do you mean?” I repeated that it had been me on the phone. “Oh,” he said. “Well I enjoyed it anyhow!”. So anyhow we laughed about that many times, but I was very embarrassed at first.
MDT: That’s funny.
WKQ: Yeah. But ah…there were a lot of things that happened like that. One time we were up in Wisconsin at Hank’s cottage where he was staying. Clay came up with us, and we were going out fishing. He said, “I’m too tired I cannot go out in the morning”. I said, “Well, Hank will get you out”. He said, “No…no I’m not going I’m going to tell him no”. So we woke up about 3 in the morning and Hank had just come in from playing at the night club. He said to Clay, “Come on, get going. We’re going to go out and fish”. He said, “Oh, I’m too tired”. “Clay,” Hank said, “I went by that place, and the fish are jumping all over”. Clay said, “Where was it?” Hank told him and out they went. Before he left, I surreptitiously put a little note in his fishing tackle box that said, “I won’t go out fishing today”. Every time he turned around, we’d have that note someplace. Oh boy….what a time!
MDT: What would you say is the state of chiropractic these days?
WHQ: I would say that chiropractic is trying to make up its mind how and where it’s going to go. I think that the chiropractic profession is absolutely going have to base their practice on science based findings. They have no choice. Anecdotal evidence is not enough.
WHQ: This needs to be done under very close control. Now Palmer was in the position to do that, but they haven’t. They haven’t done it and what now they feel the way to practice is to wave a flag and stir people to do something. And that doesn’t work. That isn’t going to work here.
Somehow they have got to make a transition to a science based practice.
MDT: In reading the chiropractic newspapers I’m seeing about 99% of the chiropractic researchers now think that subluxation is an outmoded concept that should be done away with.
WHQ: Could be, could be. yeah. I don’t think there is any question that subluxation happens, but I don’t think it always happens with either the force or the complications that are said to follow. But I do think that it does happen.
MDT: I guess we should define subluxation from your point of view.
WHQ: That’s true, but basically what a subluxation was supposed to be was a misaligned vertebra putting pressure on a nerve.
WHQ: There is irritation of a nerve. I don’t question that happens because I’ve seen certain, pretty good evidence on MRI’s, that it does exist. But I also was somewhat shocked and disappointed that many things you see on an MRI are not necessarily what you think they are.
MDT: There’s a synthetic quality and a computerized synthesis that occurs with the images. It is not quite as black and white as they’d like to think…
WHQ: I took the course leading to an orthopedic diplomate at LACC. This was long after I left my position there. I took it because, in California the time we had a lot of problems in the injury business, not only for the personal injury, but also for the employment problems. And at that time, we were spending over 2 billion dollars a year on back problems alone. There was one kind of trap that often happened. The insurance company would send the patient to their doctor, who would in effect say that there was nothing wrong with this man, or that what ever it was, was very minor. Then he goes back and get another doctor to examine him and this doctor says he is incapable of work. This would go back and forth, sometimes this can go on for a couple of years. The cost becomes incredible. So what they did to overcome this, and I don’t know how successful they ultimately were, they appointed people who were called qualified medical examiners. There were qualified medical examiners in each field. We were classed in the orthopedic field. There were also cardiovascular examiners, and so forth down the line…all different systems.
WHQ: So the idea was for patients to eventually be referred to the QME, and that’s the end of it. He has the final decision. So they had to be sure these people were pretty well qualified. I took this course in orthopedics in order to qualify for that.
A Ph.D. in anatomy from Sweden taught the class. He had images of cadaver which had been sectioned transversely. Se we could see slices of the spine, just a graphic slice, an MRI slice and CT slice. So we’d be taught in a class where we would see what the x-rays showed, and then see the same thing on cat scan, and then you see the same thing that the MRI showed. It was very enlightening. It gave us some insights. He also had a network of people taking MRI’s and so forth at various radiology laboratories that he had set up. He would read the report rather than just write a report. He read the report on videotape. And the pointer would go up on the screen and he would say, “Here is where there is evidently pressure. About a two plus at this point on L-5, S-1 and so forth. The pointer would move around and, my God, it was just so clear.
Before, I would look at the images and I couldn’t see it. He was a man that I felt did a great service. He had a great interest and I think this business of doing the comparison of the logical slices between x-ray, CT and MRI really capped it. You’d look at it either way. And each one of them added to the understanding.
MDT: Do you think chiropractic is heading toward becoming a sub-specialty in orthopedics?
WHQ: I would say it’s a very great possibility, yes. I don’t think that the chiropractor can compete in what is happening in health care today if it isn’t administering medications. I don’t think there’s any way he can. That’s not necessarily his fault, it’s just the way things are. So, in some respects if you’re not practicing, you can look at this very objectively.
MDT: That part of why I am asking you these questions, because you have a perspective that’s unique, really.
WHQ: Well I guess it is, yes. My brother was a chiropractor, my grandfather was, and my dad, my uncle, my aunt it’s almost like the osteopathy families.
MDT: You said you wrote a text on chiropractic and mental health, is that what you told me?
WHQ: No, I didn’t ever write a text on it. If I said anything, I wrote a book which I’ve called ‘The Palmer Saga’.
MDT: Oh, okay, that may be what you were speaking of.
WHQ: Yes, and the Palmer Saga is just what it says it is.
WHQ: It’s got D.D. and the rest, but it’s written more in a novel style.
MDT: Is it in print? I don’t think I’ve seen it.
WHQ: No, nobody is interested.
MDT: Oh, has it not been published?
WHQ: No, it hasn’t. The situation is that I’ve submitted it to some agents and so forth, but there wasn’t any interest. They have said it is very interesting in some respects, but they don’t think we have the audience that will read it. And after all, that’s what counts for them.
MDT: I understand.
WHQ: And I’m not going to ever do any self publishing. I don’t think that’s a very good idea. But if I could get it into the right hands, I think it would be interesting. Because it is interesting. Hell, it’s a lot better than just reading history because it’s history with a lilt.
WHQ: For example, I begin with D.D. dying. He is in the bed hallucinating. He hallucinates his early life. His dearest wife seems to come along and sit down by his bed. It turns out to actually be the nurse. Then of course it eventually develops into the lawsuit and the problems and what happened, through the Davenport chiropractic school. Then of course we go through his other early periods. His struggle to somehow find something that would make him feel he had contributed to human beings. That’s what he wanted, he wanted to be recognized. His travels and of going to Iowa and going back to little towns where he taught school. Things of that nature. Then of course we work through that up until B.J. and his birth, and the conflicts that happen between the two of them, and the anger that developed there. All of this taking place in that Ryan Building in Davenport. Then, ultimately BJ at about the age of 18 or 19 graduating and making his life; ultimately moving to the hill and buying a big mansion, and the way it went for them. There were some pretty bad, tough times for the Palmers. There were also some very good times. The thing that really saved B.J. more than any other thing, was the fact that he intuitively guessed that radio would be big. And it was.
MDT: Boy, that was a good idea.
WKQ: Oh, without it, they’d never have beat it. But with that particular support and structure, I guess it was worth the effort. So anyhow, the book does all those things and even takes up the rest of D.D.’s life and carries it through until he dies.
MDT: Are you associated with Palmer at all anymore?
MDT: You’d think they would want to publish it, if no one else.
WKQ: I didn’t ask them. Even if they published it, the audience is very limited. I really wrote this with a larger audience in mind.
MDT: Oh, I see.
WHQ: I didn’t want to write just for chiropractors. I wanted to write this for a wider audience. I wrote those articles you said you’d read in Dynamic Chiropractic, and in a sense, that was sort of the beginning of some of those stories.
We have talked about some of those periods. … where he had that episode with his stomach, and the blockade that developed. I don’t know… it should be interesting. But I guess I just think to myself sometimes, well maybe I, and a few other people, are the only ones really interested. And yet people like to read biographies…
MDT: I don’t think potential publishers realize what it is.
WHQ: Well I guess I put it back on the shelf because I’ve got others that I’m pressing at the
MDT: So you’re still writing?
WHQ: Oh yeah, everyday.
MDT: That’s great. You’ve got a great set up here for it.
WHQ: Yeah, I sure do.
MDT: I’ve taken up more time than I should have.
WHQ: Oh, well I’m awfully glad you came along. I’m glad to have met you.
MDT: I’m very pleased to have been able to talk with you. Thank You.
A Talk With
W. Heath Quigley, M.S., D.C. (10-19-01)
Michael D. Thomas, D.C.
Interviewer’s Note: I met Dr. Quigley only moments before beginning this interview. In my introductory remarks to him, I attempted to allay any fears he might have about his words being taken out of context. Since I had said this before the tape began rolling, he summarized my comments and addressed the issue. I am including this preface in the transcript because his comments help to illustrate an idea that seems important to him.
This interview was conducted on January 19, 2001.
WHQ: You began by saying that you didn’t want to injure or hurt anybody; that the purpose [of this interview] is to put [my thoughts and memories] together for historical sake. I’m not that protective. The reason I’m not that protective is because that protection between individuals and competing concepts and philosophic concepts have really led the chiropractic profession astray many, many times. They’ve been led to say things and do things which I think have been very, very damaging. I believe that’s why we are still struggling with this profession.
MDT: Honest people take data in different directions.
WHQ: Well, you slant it your way. That’s the way you see it. And that’s perfectly normal. So when my turn comes to say whatever, I’m going to say what I think.
MDT: Let me start out the beginning. Where and when were you born?
WHQ: I was born in Pittsburgh, 1915. My father graduated from Palmer and he had met
my mother there. She was working in the school. He fell in love with her. Her sister, Mabel Palmer was a very controlling person. For many, many years, I used to do a great deal of psychological counseling and there was a phenomena that I began to call the Phoenix Phenomena. Not to good a term for it perhaps, but what it means is that, rising out of the ashes, rising out of early youth, an individual takes over. In this particular instance, Mabel took over the family, and by the time she was 12 she was running it.
MDT: I see.
WHQ: Grandfather seemed to be reasonably educated man. He went to Cornell College for a time. He was a newspaper reporter on a small paper. Grandmother was, I think, reasonably well educated for the time. Nevertheless, she became “the word”. And that’s how things went.
MDT: How did B.J. meet Mabel?
WHQ: He met her in the clinic. She came as a patient. I think there was a great
deal of interest between them right away. She saw a man who took over, and I think she wanted to merge her forces with him. She wanted to do something.
MDT: Was she already a medical doctor or was that later on?
WHQ: No, she never became a medical doctor.
MDT: I thought she had an M.D. and that was what allowed the clinic to function?
WHQ: No. That’s what people have assumed. But what she did was, she went to a medical school, but we cannot find out which one. It was in Chicago, I know it had to be something like that. They used to say it was (inaudible). I doubt it, because the school has no records of it what so ever. She wanted to learn dissection because her interest was in anatomy. So she spent her time learning anatomy and she was gone a great deal during that period. And, during that period Dave would be placed with his grandmother and grandfather, which he really loved. As a child, you always got more freedom with your grandparents than you do with your parents, so I think that was why he enjoyed staying with them so much. In this instance, she would be gone and come back. When the school was not in session, she would live at home for a time. They grew up under that kind of off and on, back and forth sort of thing. I know he told me on more than one occasion how he looked forward to staying with his grandparents. Every Friday night they would take the streetcar downtown and they would take him to a movie. That was a big thing to him. In those times, I guess it was a big thing to most kids.
So that’s where Mabel came into it. She was the post-mistress in Milan [Illinois] at the time. I don’t remember exactly what happened, but I know that she came to the clinic for treatment and she got him. In the book I wrote about it, I spent a little time on B.J.’s, resolution about going up and speaking to her and staying back, and so forth. Ultimately he did, and when he did, it paid off and they were married. That was a very interesting time. It was during the time when they had the revolt against x-ray. Do you remember reading about that?
MDT: Is that when Joy Loban took off and formed the Universal Chiropractic School?
WHQ: Yes, he was a member of the Universal. And during that period, he received word from a particular student that he’d gone into the cellar of a house, which was one of the school buildings, and he found a crate marked “x-ray equipment”. So he ran down right away, expecting to paid off by Loban, and that’s how that happened.
MDT: They thought that use of x-ray was “mixing”.
WHQ Oh yeah, because here’s the problem. B.J. said he didn’t believe in diagnosis, and x-ray is diagnostic. But BJ persisted that it was not diagnosis. I really think that B.J. felt that
when you persisted and insisted long enough that ultimately it would change the nature of the whole structure of the thing and it would now not become diagnosis.
MDT: Oh, I see.
WHQ: It was that kind of thing you know? So, he would contend that looking for a subluxation
was not diagnosis. That was chiropractic. In this instance, I guess we shared the contention.
MDT: Since we’re on the topic of x-ray, I recall that the Palmer school had one of the first commercially available x-ray units.
WHQ: Apparently, yes.
MDT: They seem to have done a lot of research on their own.
WHQ Their research was primarily learning how to take that picture. It wasn’t easy back
then. You measured your KVP, among other things, with the length of the spark. You didn’t just turn a nice neat knob and nothing in sight. The machine buzzed and sparked a great deal. So I guess we could say it was research because not too many people were doing this kind of work.
MDT: Many people have said that Mabel took on too much radiation in those early days and that may have been the cause of her demise.
WHQ: No, she didn’t take on any more than many people. The girl working in the next office got just as much. Actually Mabel had a pretty bad case of Saint Vitus’ Dance. It definitely disabled her for a time, but like many things, it passes and you regain your health. She was however, left with a tick. Now a tick, by definition is not a pathologically caused disorder. Tick is a psycho-physiological response to certain kinds of stresses. She’d roll her eyes and they would roll up in her head. She’d go around like this. She controlled it rather well when she was in public. But when she was at home and sitting there talking to family, she would do this fairly often. She developed a mass on her neck about the size of a ….. . It was simply a hypertrophied, compensated muscle.
MDT: She hadn’t lost all her hair from the radiation?
WHQ: Well, she lost her hair, but that was later in life. It wasn’t due to radiation. Her hair fell out several decades later. So a lot of those things are put together, this clue, that clue and assembled unfortunately, incorrectly.
MDT: There’s a tremendous mythology in chiropractic.
WHQ: Oh yeah, there’s a mythology in everything. Whatever it is, ultimately if it has some
interest, it’s going to be speculated about.
MDT: What led you to chiropractic school?
WHQ: Well I don’t know, when I think about it. I went into the University of Pittsburgh. The first day, I walked in and sat down at these tables. There were a lot of kids going to school because there wasn’t any work. I had a counselor who was probably 2 or 3 years older than I was. At the time I had just turned 17. He asked me, “What do you want to become?” And he shocked me, you know? I realized that nobody had ever asked me that before. I told him I didn’t know. He said, “Well, what do you like to read?” I said I read a lot about science and light and about the physics of the electron, etc. I wish I hadn’t said that but I did. The guy believed it. Then I went on to the next phase and he said, “Is there anything else you like?” “Yeah,” I said, “I like astronomy.” He said, “You put all this together and that would make you a good astronomer.” So, suddenly I was on a course of becoming an astronomer, and I went home and told my folks. They were very, very puzzled by this.
I went through the first year and it was really hell. First of all, I was not disciplined enough to study, and the second thing, I was distracted. I spent a good share of my time at the Carnegie Library, which is right across the street from the University. I remember I saw this book, and it really caught me, on how to translate and how to read hieroglyphics. Now this didn’t have anything to do with the chemistry I was struggling with or the mathematics I was struggling with. Those two courses were giving me a very bad time. My Aunt Mabel had brought back from Egypt, from their round the world trips, a number of pieces that became pillows, and they were copies of the hieroglyphics on the wall of Tutankhamen’s tomb and other such things. When I looked at those, I suddenly realized I could read them. I could pronounce it and so forth. I was real pleased with that, but then that faded because I wasn’t getting any kind of real reward for it.
The first year was kind of tough. In the second year, I was taking physiology and anatomy. I just loved it. I studied and I read it…didn’t study as much as I should have, but I did study. Then it was like my life turned over and I met some people that I became very good friends with over the years.
I talked earlier about Mabel’s control. When my mother agreed to marry my father, Mabel made him promise that he would allow her to come to Davenport every year for 3 months. And he did. Every year, we would pack up at the end of May and go to Davenport, my brother and I. My brother was five years younger. So I was brought up in that atmosphere and I was conditioned in that atmosphere. When I graduated from school, I suppose like a lemming, I took off for Davenport. Dave at that time had built some tennis courts on the school property. He opened them up to the public and brought in Bill Tilden. A number of people came to play and it really stimulated them. Tennis was on another rise in popularity in that period.
I had to hurry to get out there, which I did. I took my physiology courses, not thinking really seriously about going to school. Most of my friends were going to medical school and I was kind of fluctuating back and forth. When the time came however, I was in a hurry and I went out to Davenport. David [Palmer] had an illness that intervened, and then a divorce and other things which kept him from functioning very well. He had actually a very severe “safe place” phobia. He did not go out by himself. He had just one hell of a hard time during those days. So we spent nearly all the time I was off work, together.
MDT: So you were peers in age?
WHQ: No he’s ten years older. I’d always looked up to him as a figure of importance and I thought very much of him. So, it was natural that when he wanted to go back to school we decided to go at the same time. So I started and that’s how I got in.
MDT: What year did you graduate?
WHQ: Actually in August of 1940 because I took the four-year course at that time.
MDT: Were there any instructors that were of considerable impact for you when you were going through school?
WHQ: Yes. The person that I identified with and became very close to, was Herb Hender. He was the Dean. Herb came into our lives this way: at the end of the summer in 1936, Dave was ready for a struggle against his problem and so he and I sat in the rustic room there in the Mansion and planned a trip. We finally settled on a trip down the Mississippi on a boat from Davenport. It was about a 50-foot cruiser. We were going to take this down the Mississippi River. It wasn’t long before we realized we were total amateurs and we could not do that all by ourselves. So we got a Captain. Dave also invited Herb. So Herb went along and there were the three of us. Harry Godley was the Captain’s name, and the “Pipe Dream” was the name of the boat. We had a cook too. So that’s how we roughed it down the Mississippi River, just like Tom Sawyer…(laughter). Usually we’d pull into a town like Memphis or something and stay overnight. We might spend a day getting things stocked, and then on we’d go. It took us a month to get to New Orleans that way.
MDT: That was quite an adventure.
WHQ: It’s a long river you know. And, it’s a lot longer than just drawing a line, because it curls around and moves…one day we traveled almost all day going north. The days were getting shorter then, and you didn’t dare travel at night. I suppose we’d spend about 8 hours traveling about 80 miles. We left on the 19th of September or so. After about two weeks we all knew the river pretty well. We had a marvelous time and we’d often go swimming in the river. We stopped to see different places that we’d heard about. A lot of them had the feel of the old South yet. The bales of cotton were on the levy. It had the feel of the old South, the “darkies” trying to move these bales, the people and the concepts, all of that period. The South was in many ways, a little behind where we were.
We got to New Orleans a month later. We went to the Southern Yacht Club on Lake Ponchitrain, where we put up the boat. Dave and Herb and I went into town and we all decided we wanted to stay in town so we went to the Roosevelt Hotel and took rooms there. We had a very good time. We went from place to place, exploring the French Quarter. I occasionally got some time by myself and just walked. I would often walk almost half the day, all through the Quarter, around and about. There were things that seemed to never end arousing your further interest.
At the end of about a month, it got to be time to do something. We weren’t going to stay there forever. Dave called and had his car sent down. Bill Brandon, who was the controller of the college at the time, came down, and brought the car down. He and his wife stayed a couple of days and then we took off. We thought we’d go to Florida. So we drove around and we went to Biloxi for two or three days, and then around the arch and then down the panhandle, down the handle it self and I guess we finally got to Clearwater. By this time I think it was around the end of October. The water is pretty chilly out there by that time, because we didn’t know…Florida was Florida. It was supposed to be warm. But it was good weather and we had no problems with that. Then at the end of about 2 weeks, we decided, “Let’s go where it’s really warm.” We drove to Miami. We got to Miami, and we stayed there for about a good month on the beach, where you could go out everyday and meet people and so forth. Our next step was Palm Desert and we got up there and we had a about two weeks there. Then we took the train and had them put the car on a freight car and took it up to Chicago. That’s how we finally got out. Then we started school.
MDT: So you got to know Dr. Hender very well by that time.
WHQ: Yes, we became very good friends. As a matter of fact, about a year or so later he and his wife were not happy. They had been divorced once before and gotten back together for the kids sake, so he talked to me one day. “Now that Dave is moving out of the apartment,” he said, “would you mind if I moved in with you”? I was very happy, because we’d be sharing expenses and I didn’t want to assume all the bills at this time,. So that’s just what happened. He stayed there for a couple of years in the apartment. Then he married Marie Finnerd. Marie Finnerd was the matron of Clear View. Herb had been on the staff for some number of years.
MDT: When did Clear View begin?
MDT: So Clear View began in 1926 and operated independently until 1951?
WHQ: Until ’51, that’s right.
MDT: And then Palmer bought it.
WHQ: Yes. However it always had a Palmer connection. A. B. Hender, the MD and chiropractor, Herb’s father, was on the staff to do the examinations and things of that nature. Then after Herb graduated, he got on the staff too. So those two preceded me. Then when I came along, I had had a fairly solid background in psychology as well. I was very anxious and I asked all kind of questions, and I guess to save themselves, they put me on the staff.
MDT: How soon did you get on the staff?
WHQ: As soon as I graduated, which would have been the later part of ’39. They brought me on and said, “Well, we’ll wait for your license but, you won’t be treating them, but you’ll be just diagnosing them.”
MDT: Were you involved with the Palmer Standardized Chiropractic Council?
WHQ: I knew of it, but I was not involved with it. For one thing it didn’t appeal to me.
I felt that it was divisionary.
MDT: It would appear so from my reading of it. They seemed to have had a kind of bunker mentality.
WHQ: Yes, exactly.
MDT: It was a sort of secret society. You couldn’t even tell your friends that
you were a part of it.
WHQ: That’s right. This is the reason that, as I said, I’ve become far, far less defensive about that. In fact, perhaps I’m not that protective at all. And ah…overly critical without any difficulty. I don’t go out of my way to be critical, but when I’m asked then I will say what I think.
MDT: It seems to me that the Council kind of collapsed when the research that they were dong took off in different directions and different members the Council were all moving in different directions.
WHQ: Yeah, one of the problems in the Council was also true of Palmer as well. They
didn’t know beans about research. They didn’t know the statistics. And if you don’t understand statistics there’s no way you can make any conclusions about what you’ve done. There are a lot of tricky things about research. You need someone who is “your enemy” to tell you where you may have made a mistake. And, where you may have, not intentionally, but where you’ve made that error. Because [if you’re not careful] what you’re doing is, you’re tipping off the patient; how you want him to behave, or want him to think, or say. These are all things that work to a great disadvantage [in poorly designed research].
MDT: Most chiropractors have not been trained in research.
WHQ: I’ve developed a tremendous respect for the placebo [effect]. I think its power is
well beyond what we’ve ever primarily and previously given it credit for.
MDT: Yes sir.
WHQ: There’s no question. Easiest thing in the world is to get a testimonial from a patient. You know, when the patient says they took so and so, or they did this and they did that, and now they’re well. I don’t like them. We were loaded with them. You know, we had all kinds of them.
WHQ: Yes, that’s right. It was very difficult to move that out of the way because everybody…well here it is, the man says so. Which means nothing more than what that says…. the man said so.
MDT: Did you work in the clinic much?
WHQ: Ah, when I was in school, BJ sort of “captured” me and put me in the Clinic. I was involved in the work that was being done with the electroencephalograph. He [B.J.] wanted to get the largest and the most powerful one in the world and he did it. And then he kept adding to it. He put on timers and so forth. He kept calling it a “channel” and he tended to inflate the very nature of it. He had an idea that instead of using pads, which he felt gave a false reading, that we should instead, use coil spring wire for the contact. Because, he said, that would always give the same “amount” [of contact]. But we weren’t counting the fact that it didn’t, because that spring ultimately gets weaker. So you’re not going to have the same contact. Besides that, what really makes a difference is how firm it is compared to whether you’re in contact or not. So, we started on this and I was interested. I did some reading on it, but there was very little reading available. There were just a few, one or two books. We had those books.
WHQ: He had a name for it [electroencephaloneuromentipograph] because he thought he was doing something different.
MDT: He liked to name things, spinographs for example.
WHQ: Yes, that’s for sure. He felt that made it non-medical. He said, “Spinograph. Well now that’s not the same thing as an x-ray”. But when you ordered the film, you didn’t order “spinographic” film, you ordered x-ray film. (laughter) There were a lot of inconsistencies. At the time you shrug your shoulders and go on. We had at that time, some very severe cases of epilepsy. They would have tremendous convulsions. I will never forget, one day I was checking and doing something with the neck of one of these patients, getting ready to put him on the table. This guy let out a scream like I’ve never heard before or since. You know, the kind of sound that makes your tongue cleave to the top of your mouth and you can’t move. Finally he started to backup, just like he went into reverse. He hit the table and I was able to catch him as he started to fall and then we put him on the table. I did have electrodes on him, and we saw the beginning of the seizure and how it classically went through the stages. So a lot of good things came from that.
But when he [B.J.] put it on the low back…I finally had to tell him, “B.J., I know you not gonna like this, but here’s what’s happening. We have the electrodes on this fellow’s back. But what you’re picking up is the heart, the cardiogram”.
MDT: It’s a whole magnitude greater than the EEG.
WHQ: Oh yeah. My heavens yes.
MDT: All the EEG machines today have a component that actually subtracts that
waveform for them.
MDT: So you wouldn’t have been able to even see the EEG waves.
WHQ: That’s right. As I said this was an early machine. God, it stood about half, three-quarters the height of this room and each one had oscilloscopes, but we didn’t deal with that, we
dealt with the paper graph. …He would look at some of those over and over again, and all it was, was the EKG. And he was attempting to make his decisions about whether the impulses were getting through on that basis. He didn’t understand waveforms. He didn’t understand collapse of forms, or any of those matters, so he wrote very little about it. In fact he wrote a book. People used to ask, “What do you have on that machine?” And they [the Clinic Staff] would tell them go to the bookstore. They had a book there about the electroencephalogram, but there was absolutely nothing in there about research. And that was the title of it, Research of So and So…
You read all of that and you keep looking for the answer and there isn’t any answer. So gradually that was done to all the patients routinely.
By that time, I had decided that this was kind of a dead end now. We’d gone through the preliminary, we’ve done those things, and I think I felt like I was as useful as I was ever going to be there. I don’t know what I did next, but I did something different, I got out of there. I would be in and out of the clinic however, and I had different jobs there. One was interviewing patients that were having emotional problems. Some of those we sent out to Clear View.
And that became a pattern then after a while. In fact, we are still in communication with a lady up here in Alabama who calls us now. I first met her when I was a director of Clear View. They called out to the house and asked me to come in to see a lady. I went in to see her and we did take her. She became a patient, and she was a wonderful patient. She was not what I had first thought. We’ve had some strange people here…anyway, during my initial interview with her, I said to her, “Miss. Davis, how did this happen? This illness you have?” She said, “Well that’s easy. My blood and possum blood got mixed”. Then she went on to explain that they lived out in the wooded country. I recall she was probably about 12 or something like that, because she was married when she was 13. Anyway, she said that her mother had killed this possum and was butchering it. She had asked the girl to help her and the girl had contaminated a cut on her hand. They had always assumed that’s what happened to her. She was ill for some time.
MDT: What was your relationship like with BJ?
WHQ: He treated me very well. I often said he treated me better, and it’s true, far better than
he treated Dave. He depended on me tremendously, because as time went on…well he knew my
…my “bent”. He would have called me “medically minded”. We didn’t argue about it. Just when he’d get into trouble, he’d call. I went to Sarasota one time around 1951. I spent a month and a half there. He had a terrible ulcer, and when it acted up he was in big trouble. I got there that time and he really was only semiconscious. He was delirious. One thing that probably didn’t help was that he was severely dehydrated.
And he had absolutely no idea of how to eat with an ulcer. I can remember this one time, he came back from New Orleans. He called and I went in [to see him]. He was complaining about the pain and so forth and I said, “Well, what did you eat?” He said, “ I’ve only been eating simple foods”. I said, “What did you have?” He said, “I just had a shrimp cocktail.” And that was his concept of a simple bland food. He had no idea about it.
We went through this a number of times. I went to Palm Beach there one time for a month and a half or so. And I pulled him out of there. He almost died one time when we were in Davenport. And if everyone hadn’t acted quickly he would have. So after that attack, probably about 1961, I called Dr. Haroldson. He met me at a pathological lab and I brought BJ in. I wouldn’t say kicking and screaming all the way, but with as much energy as he had, he was complaining about not really wanting to go. I had thought it was an obstruction and sure enough it was. Ultimately the scarring covered up. Oh, what an ordeal they put him through, lying on that table. Lyle Sherman should have known better, but he took an x-ray with a contrasting agent. Nobody told B.J. that you need to get rid of the contrast afterwards. And he couldn’t pass it so it turned to concrete in his stomach. And I saw the first films and they were just white.. After they broke it up a while, you could see some form. It made a nice cement in there.
MDT: Good grief.
WHQ: I remember the gastroenterologist said to me, as he held up the film, “You couldn’t get a fiber from a brush through that hole.” Obviously, there was only one thing to do. B.J. didn’t want to talk to anybody. He really hardly recognized anybody by this time. I got him out in the car and took him home and got him into bed. Then Dr. Herb came over and he told BJ that he recommended he have surgery. And BJ said, “Absolutely not. I’ll take my chances.” Well, when he learned what his chances were, that he had three days left to live, he decided to go ahead with the surgery. I stayed with him and he called in Ralph and Herb and talked to them. Of course they all said, “You’ve got to do it. You’ve got to do it.” They said, “Think of all of those who depend upon you.” That made a perfect opening for him. He had the surgery, and he did a lot better, stomach-wise after that.
It was only about a year and a half later that the tumor in the intestine finally killed him. It wasn’t the stomach trouble but the intestinal tumor. At least he had pretty good digestion after that.
MDT: He must have been an amazingly charismatic person to have been able to pull so many people and so much, a whole profession together like he did.
WHQ: He seemed so unmoving at times, you know? “This is how it’s gonna be”. And people said, “Okay, that’s how it’s gonna be”. But he did have a charisma, no question about it. And he also had something, which you call “presence”. He could walk into a room and maybe nobody knew him, he went into someplace in New York or something and they just see him and you know…they’d stop and all of a sudden the room would be looking at B.J. And he wouldn’t be doing anything fantastic or grotesque, just walking through the room. He did have a presence there is no question about it. It really was something.
MDT: He was so critical to chiropractic’s continuance, and yet he’s also responsible for a lot of the division that exists.
WHQ: Oh yeah, sure.
MDT: So much of the good and so much that has been bad for chiropractic can be traced back to him.
WHQ: That’s true. That’s absolutely true and many people don’t realize that. This profession centered around him more than it centered around anybody else. In his instance, there were so many ways that he was involved. And, he took some pretty hard blows. One of them was when they fired him from the original ICA. They did it because there was, as usual, two organizations.
The NCA was doing quite well and his wasn’t. If anybody was mixing, he would refuse the case, and things like that. The NCA was simply signing them up right and left. And they just finally said, he isn’t going to give in, so they replaced him. And that went on until ultimately he made his way back in…
MDT: Was this the controversy surrounding the NCM?
WHQ: Part of it was the NCM. I’m glad you mentioned that. Yeah, That was part of it.
What B.J. wanted was that nobody could join the association unless they leased an NCM.
Then they could be a member. Of course, that just made so many people angry. They saw it as a effort to plunder the organization and the people. But that was his idea, and of course when he thought something was a good idea then it had to be good.
MDT: Are great men always that polarizing?
WHQ: No, I don’t think so. But I don’t think they are individuals who are easily
led to accept everybody, they don’t.
MDT: There was apparently great animosity between Dave and his father?
WHQ: Yeah…well, when you say animosity, Dave didn’t show much animosity. He
was not a very aggressive man. BJ, when he felt it was required of him, was very sometimes very harsh with Dave, very harsh. But that’s where he and Mabel ran into so much trouble, because she was highly protective of Dave. And God, after he was 30 years old she was still referring to him as her chick, and that kind of thing; within the family of course. It’s an interesting thing that B.J. treated Dave just as his father had treated him. Which is a very common thing. And he treated him in a B.J. style and not D.D. style. Nevertheless, he treated him very coolly at times.
I remember one time, God, I haven’t thought about it for about a long time. In the classroom building, which wasn’t in much use then, this is back in 19…. probably 38 or 39, B.J. had called Dave out and he told him he wanted him to start breaking open these bundles …and I don’t even remember what was in them, but they had to break the boards away and things like that….shipping cartons. He just put him in a very embarrassing position, because they had other workmen there too. Dave was at the time, at least in title, Vice President of the school and the Vice President of the Broadcasting Company. And here he is being emasculated in front of these men. Those kinds of things are not easily forgotten. And so it wasn’t smart, it gained nothing and actually it made BJ look bad. He was picking on the kid. He wasn’t so much of a kid, but nevertheless, that was how they did that.
MDT: From my reading of the times, it seems that right after B.J.’s death, everything shifted pretty dramatically. I hear stories about a group of men that went into the clinic and just cleared all the records out, and destroyed many of the records of the clinic
WHQ: No. They did take down some things. Dave had all of the epigrams painted over, which was one of the first major improvements in a long, long time. It didn’t look like an educational institution. It looked like a freak place. A lot of people enjoyed looking and reading all these different things.
I think what gave birth to that story that you just told me is [related to] research I was doing at Clear View. I conducted research for a good share of the time I was at Clear View. I wanted to find out how well we were doing compared to State institutions and other institutions. A professor of statistics from Columbia University, had a daughter at the sanatorium and he and I talked quite often. I asked him about the structure of a study that would give validity to how well we were doing. That’s a very complicated problem because of diagnostic differences and things that will happen. So he set me up and we talked a lot until we got a program, and then I started on that program about ‘54. I extended it, extended out until 61.
In October ’61, Dave got this educational consultant, a Dr. Roberts. Dr. Roberts was from a school named Parsons in a little town in Iowa, about 60 to 70 miles from Davenport. That school had been just barely making it. In fact they weren’t going to make it. It had lost it’s accreditation and it was almost gone when he came in and told the people that he could save the school. He talked them into it and they raised money and sent him to Washington. At that period, we were worried about Russia passing us up in education and all these other areas, so there was a handing out of money to institutions like this school. He brought them up to 3, 000 students from something like 250.
He was a fast talking man and my first impression was that this guy was dangerous. I didn’t like the statements he was making. At least they didn’t appear seemly. Well, he promised Dave he would take Palmer College from probably 1200 [students] at the time, to a goal of 3000.
So they came in with their big crew and took over admissions and set up all this equipment that they rented. IBM equipment, the best at the time, a bunch of automatic typewriters, all typing the same letter and things like that. And he had a list from the Department of Education, Federal Department, of all the addresses of people who had indicated in some form or another they wanted to go to advanced education. They sent out these letters. While they were waiting for the crush, they were doing everything possible to not be over run…and they weren’t. There were two inquiries in a matter of one month and at the end of two months, he said, “Wait until that second month”, and they waited, No better. Maybe one or two more letters came in, so it became evident that this wasn’t a very good way to go about it.
Roberts could never understand it. He didn’t understand the situations and problems and the things around it. I think Dave had his first lesson in being disillusioned with this man. Well, it went on and on. Finally, after an inspection by the accreditation group on the Northwest, and Parsons was considered part of the Northwest, they put Parsons on what they called a temporary, not final, but a temporary loss of accreditation. You can still function, but you have to tell everybody that you’re on probation. At that point, Roberts was the President of Parsons in addition to being an educational consultant to Palmer. Well, things got worse and worse,. Parsons started to collapse and Dave began to wake up a little. He had made donations of $50,000 or more, to that school.
So they began to wake up, and then the whole thing began to fall apart. This guy was ambitious. He had a concept of stringing schools like Parsons across Iowa like a sting of pearls. He took over and made several schools into these successful colleges. One of them is, the last I heard, still sitting there in a corn field in Nebraska. Everything ready to go, it had laboratories, they had this and that. but never did even one student ever cross it’s portals
MDT: Oh my goodness.
WHQ: So by this time Dave had awakened somewhat. Besides, we were getting pressure and very important pressure from the CCE, the Chiropractic Commission of Education on what we’re gonna do. And, if you don’t do what they require, you’ll lose out. Well Dave didn’t believe this. He didn’t believe it for a long time. And when he did, he called me in a panic. We weren’t on the best of terms during this period because he held it against me that I had supported BJ during that period when he and BJ were at odds. Well, there wasn’t anything to do. You couldn’t gain anything by supporting David, there was nothing to support. So anyhow…with this happening and with one of the states having already closed it’s doors to any school that did not have accreditation, either with the CCE or with….Well, this was actually…it goes back to the commission on education. To the National Chiropractic Association, who as far back as, I think, about 1955 or 56, established this accreditation process.
In fact, my brother was on one of those committees. He was an examiner, and he went out
and examined the schools the way they do today. In the process of all of this, Dave called me and asked if I would head up an accreditation committee. The first thing we did was to go through a process in which you would get the privilege to be able to take students and collect money from them. We got that particular level of accreditation, which was very low, and then we went to work on the next level. He didn’t want to. Dave fought it tooth and toenail. For one thing, he couldn’t be all the things he wanted to be in the institution, including the president. He could be the president, but he couldn’t be some of the other things he was trying to take over. And he fought them.
By this time he’d had the stroke. Some of the judgements he made after that, I thought were questionable. But eventually we got it. It wasn’t easy, but we’ve always worked hard on it. Jack Miller was very good. He worked very hard on it and we worked our way through it. It was a pleasure to have this. Many still have the ICA concept that this was just a way of ruining Palmer. Well if they did, they were ruining all the other schools around too. When Dave had the stroke there was a kind of a revival of our old friendship. He was so seriously ill, having a hard time. I did what I could, and eventually as it turned out that he asked me to take over, which I did for a couple of years. I was called the Chief Administrative…no …what the hell was the title? It was supposed to suggest that whoever had the title was running the school, but Dave would not give up his presidency. That didn’t mean anything to me. But the problem was that there came certain problems with it….
The thing that brought this to a head was the fact that there were a group of people who were attempting to get rid of me. Not completely just out of the school…and …I don’t want to go into any depth, but I’ll simply say this. His attorney’s took over a great deal of the responsibility of that school. He took it away from many of those who shouldn’t have it. They wanted me and Dave to sign things I felt were illegal. In fact they were illegal. I refused to do it. So at the next meeting I was told that I was finished. And so I said, “Okay”, you know…I wasn’t going to fight that. I thought about it and went to a couple of attorneys in town, not to be reinstated, but to be paid for the contract. Not a one of them would take it.
WHQ: Which is understandable. About 5 or 6 days later I got a call from California asking me if I would consider taking over LACC. I said, “Oh I didn’t think so”, because I really thought then I was going to come down to Florida and practice. That was what we were talking about. In fact, my wife was very disappointed we didn’t. But I said okay. I went out and I met with them, and I came back and I thought about it. I called them up and said, “No, I don’t think I will”. They kept on and they called me 2 or 3 times that week. I finally said, “Well okay, I’ll go out again”, and I did. They offered me a little bit better deal and I thought that might be a good thing. This would be nice change. It would be a different background, it would be a different philosophy. It’d be a lot of different things that might,… not that I was completely in love with their philosophy, but basically it looked like a good challenge, and ah so I did.
MDT: You took over after Earl Homewood had been President.
WHQ: Yes that’s right.
MDT: He was only a president for a short time or something?
WHQ: Yes, he was. I think they called him president pro tem or something like that. There was an element in the school, in the board that was attempting to get rid of him. I didn’t realize that for a while, but they were and they finally did. They harassed him in some respects.
MDT: I don’t know much about him except for the text he wrote.
WHQ: He was a person that was well respected there in LACC and by the profession for that
matter,. He had partly retired. He was living out in the desert, not in a camp…when you say live in the desert, they lived around Palm Springs or something like that.
WHQ: That was an interesting period. I thought that it was harrowing in some respects. There
Were so many things going on, and what they didn’t tell me, is,…LACC was one of the first schools to be accredited by the CCE…what they didn’t tell me at the time, that they were on probation. They were in trouble because of financial difficulties. But we got it back on track in about 6 months. Things went okay after that,. But this other group thought… there was 2 or 3 of them… that thought they knew everything that needed to be known about running a school, and they tried to interfere. They’d go into the clinic and look into records and so forth. I was really disappointed with one fellow. I went to great efforts to get him. He was really a fine gentlemen, I felt…and he did a good job for one of the chiropractic schools. He had a very high office at the University of New Mexico, and our first several meetings went very well. And then when I was protesting because I felt just as I did at Palmer. I was not going to be responsible for what these guys were doing.
WHQ: And they were arrogant, and they were known to be arrogant long before I ever came
on the scene. I was so surprised. He said”, “Well, try to get along with them the best you can”. And I said, “I can’t live in this kind of an environment:. “Well,” he said, “just do the best you can”. I felt that was wrong, because he knew they were doing wrong. He knew they were violating the things on that accreditation level
MDT: How long were you President of LACC?
WHQ: I went there in ‘76 and left in ‘80…well, I guess it was 4 years.
MDT: So you left Palmer in 75 or 76?
WHQ: Yes, that’s right.
Dr. Michael D. Thomas
Each one of us is made of about ten trillion cells, all of whom work together to form the body that we recognize as “ourselves”. While there are great similarities between each of us, there are also significant differences. We are all unique, special individuals. Even twins are not duplicates of each other. Our diversity is a great strength. We tend however, not to celebrate our diversity, but rather, to punish it.
It may be human nature to be suspicious of those who act or look different from us. It is not however, our divine nature. Though we are enjoined by Christ to tolerate others, and not to judge, as a practical matter, most of us do. We can find ourselves fearful of those who are different from what we know. If someone is seen as being outside of our frame of reference, we don’t know what to expect from them. Further, we often will attempt to “protect” ourselves by making any difference “wrong” or “bad”. It isn’t such a big step to go from this judgement to actively punishing diversity in others.
In our own bodies, there are many different kinds of cells. Each one is needed to make the “whole” that we are. A liver cell isn’t better or worse than a skin cell. Each kind of cell is important to the overall function of our organism. And, each one of us is vital to the Body of Christ that we are all a part of. Each cell has a slightly different function in relation to the whole organism. Each of us has been created with a unique possibility. Our lives unfold in pursuit of our possibilities. No one can tell another what their purpose is. That knowledge rests only within each of us, waiting to be discovered, waiting to be fulfilled.
If we deny what is special inside us, we deny the possibility of unfolding that potential in the world. If we are blind to our own potentials, we are unlikely to appreciate the potentials of others. If we are afraid of what lies deep within us, we will be afraid of what is inside those around us. If we believe only that we are mobile “bags of meat”, we will miss the true possibility that we are each Children of God, made in His Image.
Our potential for transformation is ever present, waiting. If we can’t see the potential for transformation in others, we judge them as nothing more than what we can see. Our actions with others constrain them to the product of the past. How often do we limit the behavior of those around us? How often do we do it in the name of love when it’s really a product of fear or dim vision?
What if we saw ourselves as sacred beings, made in God’s image with unlimited potential? What if we saw the same potential in everyone we met and we actively engendered that vision in our words and actions? What kind of society might result from this radical behavior? It takes a real leap of faith to relate to everyone we meet with as our brothers and sisters. There is a risk involved in making eye contact with the homeless. You might have to acknowledge that they are human beings who are connected with God’s Love in their hearts too. It might not be so easy to just write off large portions of the population as being beneath the need to care about them. In the U.S., we jail a greater percentage of our population than any other country in the world; more than the Soviet Union did at its height of power. This isn’t a plea to coddle criminal behavior. It might however, be a wake-up call that something is very wrong. Love is a connective force. Fear, hatred and dismissal create separation. Long ago, the lone voice of a carpenter’s son called for a life predicated in Love. That voice has resonated down through time and now his message is heard throughout the entire world. This message only comes alive when it is acted on by you and me. Take the risk. Make Jesus’ message live in your heart. Make it real with your words and actions.
J Manual Medicine (1992) 6:215-216
Upper cervical adjustments may improve mental function
M.D. Thomas and J. Wood
Palmer College of Chiropractic Clinic, 1000 Brady Street, Davenport, Iowa 52803, USA
Summary. This report describes abrupt improvement in mental and motor deficits in a 14-year-old girl after the initiation of specific upper cervical chiropractic care. Cessation of this care for several months was associated with a return to the patient’s previous condition. Repeat manipulation was followed by recovery of the patient to the level of her previous improvement. This cycle of regression to pretreatment condition in the absence of care followed by recovery after specific upper cervical care has occurred three times to date.
Key words: Mental retardation – Chiropractic – Manipulation – Attention deficits – Atlanto-occipital joint – Atlanto-axial joint.
Periodic evaluations of a 14-year-old girl by her school psychologist were conducted between March 1984 and October 1989. The Leiter Performance Scale indicated severe mental, deficits, and the “Vine land Adaptive. Behavioral Scale indicated social adaptation within the trainable mentally handicapped range. Evaluations were most recently performed prior to initial chiropractic care in 1989. Informally, her teachers reported occasional moments of increased alertness and performance of tasks she normally did not perform.
The birth of this patient followed an uncomplicated pregnancy. Apgar scores were seven after 1 min and nine after 5 min., well within normal ranges.
Speech problems were first noted at 30 months of age. In November 1978, the patient was admitted into an Early Childhood Education Program because of her deficiencies in speech and social development. She had developed behavioral problems by November 1979. She was evaluated by a neurologist who told the parents she would outgrow these problems by the age of 6 years. An electroencephalogram (EEG) performed in September 1980 was reported as normal.
The patient was enrolled in kindergarten in September 1981. She was transferred to a behavioral disability class in the next semester because of inattention in class and poor test scores. Initially, it was hoped the smaller class and more intense instruction would correct the inattention and test scores would improve. In September 1982, the patient’s teacher reported she was having “staring spells”. In January 1983 “slight abnormalities” were noted in a sleeping EEG. In February 1983 the diagnosis of psychomotor seizures was presented to the family. Tegretol and Dilantin were prescribed without positive results. By August 1983, the patient had been weaned off both medications. At this time the patient’s neurologist felt that there was a “degenerative neurological disorder,” and she was subsequently referred to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. By January 1984, she had twice been examined at the Mayo Clinic without further definition except for acknowledgment that the sleeping EEG continued to be slightly abnormal. In May 1984, the patient was transferred from a behavioral disability class to a trainable mentally handicapped class.
In August 1985, she underwent a week-long evaluation at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Md. Again, all was normal (including MRI and various serum studies) except for slightly abnormal EEG. By July 1987, her EEG had improved and a degenerative neurological process was ruled out.
In October 1988 and August 1989, this patient was examined at the Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee. All findings were negative.
At the Palmer Public Clinic, interviews conducted in October 1989 with the parents and examination of available written records revealed a 13 -year-old female with a tested verbal ability at approximately 3 years of age. The patient reportedly spent most of every day sitting and staring into space while listening to the radio. She never made contact with others.
The patient tended to stay near her family and followed behind them when they went walking. She spoke very rarely, using single words, always nouns, which were occasionally appropriate and often echolalic. She often mumbled incoherently to herself. Given several choices, she always took the last choice offered.
The patient did not use her left arm or hand in situations where normal children would. In retrieving objects or grasping a swing while swinging she used only her right arm. The left arm did not swing appropriately as she walked, hanging flaccidly at her side while her right arm swung appropriately. We found adequate grip strength in both hands, with the right hand stronger than the left.
Orthopedic and neurologic evaluation was difficult due to patient noncompliance. The supine leg check showed leg length inequality, with the right leg 2 cm shorter. X-rays revealed osseous misalignment at the cranio-vertebral junction, with left atlas laterality and posterior rotation. This was accompanied by coupled motion of the inferior cervical vertebrae into the left frontal plane. Skull rotation was into the right frontal plane. Postural distortion was consistent with unilateral right extensor muscle hypertonicity.
Specific upper cervical adjustments using National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA) procedures were given on 16, 17, and 19 October 1989. Leg length inequality and postural distortion were corrected after the third adjustment. Post manipulation X-rays on 19 October 1989 revealed a proportional 90% correction of the previous cranio-vertebral misalignment.
The patient began to make eye contact. On 19 October 1989 she returned with her parents to her home in Wisconsin. Within 2 weeks, the patient was forming sentences with personal pronouns, verbs, adjectives and nouns. The patient began standing straighter. She used her left arm in activities and swung her left arm normally during walking. These changes persisted for about 6 weeks, when her condition again began to deteriorate.
The patient was adjusted by a succession of three chiropractors near her home utilizing three techniques, different from the technique we employed. None of their interventions was effective. By June 1990, the patient’s condition was back to its previous baseline.
On 6 August 1990, the patient was again brought to our clinic. Upper cervical radiographs were again taken and specific upper cervical adjustment delivered. Radiographs obtained immediately after the adjustment revealed a proportional 95% correction. Immediately, the patient responded with eye contact, full sentences, and appropriate speech which she initiated. Left arm use was again regained. She stood straighter and walked more symmetrically. For tile first time, she engaged in family conversation and activities. When offered a choice, her decision was truly a decision and not agreement or a repeat of the last choice given.
The family returned home and these changes persisted for about 6 weeks before the patient began to return to her former condition. By the time the patient was next adjusted by a chiropractor using NUCCA procedures, in late June of 1991, she had lost much of the use of her left arm and was no longer speaking in sentences. Specific upper cervical adjustment again restored use of the left arm and ability to speak in complete sentences. As of 28 August 1991, the patient had not been again adjusted and no longer spoke in complete sentences, although active left arm use persisted.
Interpretation of these results is difficult, because there is a correlation between upper cervical adjustments and apparent improvement in mental function. High correlation does not necessarily indicate a causative relationship,
Perhaps the mechanism that might most assist in explaining neural dysfunction accompanying upper cervical misalignments is altered input to the central nervous system from neck joint capsule receptors . Some chiropractors who treat the upper cervical spine believe that upper cervical misalignments may alter neural function by causing longitudinal and transverse traction on the upper cervical spine and brain stem or on the upper cervical spine alone. Even in cases where stretching is not pathological, stretching of axons decreases their diameter. Conduction velocity decreases as fiber diameter is decreased . Sufficient reduction of axon diameter completely blocks the transmission of nerve impulses.
1. Schwartz IL, Siegel GJ (1985) Excitation, conduction, and transmission of the nerve impulse. In: West JB (ed) Best and Taylor’s physiological basis of medical practice, 11 th edn, chap 3. Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, pp 28-57
2. Wyke B (1979) Neurology of the cervical spinal joints. Physiotherapy 65:72-76