A Talk With
W. Heath Quigley, M.S., D.C. (10-19-01)
Michael D. Thomas, D.C.
Interviewerâ€™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 didnâ€™t want to injure or hurt anybody; that the purpose [of this interview] is to put [my thoughts and memories] together for historical sake. Iâ€™m not that protective. The reason Iâ€™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. Theyâ€™ve been led to say things and do things which I think have been very, very damaging. I believe thatâ€™s why we are still struggling with this profession.
MDT: Honest people take data in different directions.
WHQ: Well, you slant it your way. Thatâ€™s the way you see it. And thatâ€™s perfectly normal. So when my turn comes to say whatever, Iâ€™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 â€œthe wordâ€. And thatâ€™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. Thatâ€™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 thatâ€™s where Mabel came into it. She was the post-mistress in Milan [Illinois] at the time. I donâ€™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.â€™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 heâ€™d gone into the cellar of a house, which was one of the school buildings, and he found a crate marked â€œx-ray equipmentâ€. So he ran down right away, expecting to paid off by Loban, and thatâ€™s how that happened.
MDT: They thought that use of x-ray was â€œmixingâ€.
WHQ Oh yeah, because hereâ€™s the problem. B.J. said he didnâ€™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 weâ€™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 wasnâ€™t easy back
then. You measured your KVP, among other things, with the length of the spark. You didnâ€™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 didnâ€™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 Vitusâ€™ 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. Sheâ€™d roll her eyes and they would roll up in her head. Sheâ€™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 â€¦.. . It was simply a hypertrophied, compensated muscle.
MDT: She hadnâ€™t lost all her hair from the radiation?
WHQ: Well, she lost her hair, but that was later in life. It wasnâ€™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: Thereâ€™s a tremendous mythology in chiropractic.
WHQ: Oh yeah, thereâ€™s a mythology in everything. Whatever it is, ultimately if it has some
interest, itâ€™s going to be speculated about.
MDT: What led you to chiropractic school?
WHQ: Well I donâ€™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 wasnâ€™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, â€œWhat do you want to become?â€ And he shocked me, you know? I realized that nobody had ever asked me that before. I told him I didnâ€™t know. He said, â€œWell, what do you like to read?â€ I said I read a lot about science and light and about the physics of the electron, etc. I wish I hadnâ€™t said that but I did. The guy believed it. Then I went on to the next phase and he said, â€œIs there anything else you like?â€ â€œYeah,â€ I said, â€œI like astronomy.â€ He said, â€œYou put all this together and that would make you a good astronomer.â€ 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 didnâ€™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 Tutankhamenâ€™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 wasnâ€™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 itâ€¦didnâ€™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 Mabelâ€™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 â€œsafe placeâ€ 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 heâ€™s ten years older. Iâ€™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 thatâ€™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 wasnâ€™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 Captainâ€™s name, and the â€œPipe Dreamâ€ was the name of the boat. We had a cook too. So thatâ€™s how we roughed it down the Mississippi River, just like Tom Sawyer…(laughter). Usually weâ€™d pull into a town like Memphis or something and stay overnight. We might spend a day getting things stocked, and then on weâ€™d go. It took us a month to get to New Orleans that way.
MDT: That was quite an adventure.
WHQ: Itâ€™s a long river you know. And, itâ€™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 didnâ€™t dare travel at night. I suppose weâ€™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 weâ€™d often go swimming in the river. We stopped to see different places that weâ€™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 â€œdarkiesâ€ 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 werenâ€™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 weâ€™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 didnâ€™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, â€œLetâ€™s go where itâ€™s really warm.â€ 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. Thatâ€™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. â€œNow that Dave is moving out of the apartment,â€ he said, â€œwould you mind if I moved in with youâ€? I was very happy, because weâ€™d be sharing expenses and I didnâ€™t want to assume all the bills at this time,. So thatâ€™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 â€™51, thatâ€™s right.
MDT: And then Palmer bought it.
WHQ: Yes. However it always had a Palmer connection. A. B. Hender, the MD and chiropractor, Herbâ€™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 â€™39. They brought me on and said, â€œWell, weâ€™ll wait for your license but, you wonâ€™t be treating them, but youâ€™ll be just diagnosing them.â€
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 didnâ€™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 couldnâ€™t even tell your friends that
you were a part of it.
WHQ: Thatâ€™s right. This is the reason that, as I said, Iâ€™ve become far, far less defensive about that. In fact, perhaps Iâ€™m not that protective at all. And ah…overly critical without any difficulty. I donâ€™t go out of my way to be critical, but when Iâ€™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
didnâ€™t know beans about research. They didnâ€™t know the statistics. And if you donâ€™t understand statistics thereâ€™s no way you can make any conclusions about what youâ€™ve done. There are a lot of tricky things about research. You need someone who is â€œyour enemyâ€ to tell you where you may have made a mistake. And, where you may have, not intentionally, but where youâ€™ve made that error. Because [if youâ€™re not careful] what youâ€™re doing is, youâ€™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: Iâ€™ve developed a tremendous respect for the placebo [effect]. I think its power is
well beyond what weâ€™ve ever primarily and previously given it credit for.
MDT: Yes sir.
WHQ: Thereâ€™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 theyâ€™re well. I donâ€™t like them. We were loaded with them. You know, we had all kinds of them.
WHQ: Yes, thatâ€™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 â€œcapturedâ€ 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 â€œchannelâ€ 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 â€œamountâ€ [of contact]. But we werenâ€™t counting the fact that it didnâ€™t, because that spring ultimately gets weaker. So youâ€™re not going to have the same contact. Besides that, what really makes a difference is how firm it is compared to whether youâ€™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, thatâ€™s for sure. He felt that made it non-medical. He said, â€œSpinograph. Well now thatâ€™s not the same thing as an x-rayâ€. But when you ordered the film, you didnâ€™t order â€œspinographicâ€ 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 Iâ€™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 canâ€™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, â€œB.J., I know you not gonna like this, but hereâ€™s whatâ€™s happening. We have the electrodes on this fellowâ€™s back. But what youâ€™re picking up is the heart, the cardiogramâ€.
MDT: Itâ€™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 wouldnâ€™t have been able to even see the EEG waves.
WHQ: Thatâ€™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 didnâ€™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 didnâ€™t understand waveforms. He didnâ€™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, â€œWhat do you have on that machine?â€ 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 isnâ€™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. Weâ€™d gone through the preliminary, weâ€™ve done those things, and I think I felt like I was as useful as I was ever going to be there. I donâ€™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. Weâ€™ve had some strange people hereâ€¦anyway, during my initial interview with her, I said to her, â€œMiss. Davis, how did this happen? This illness you have?â€ She said, â€œWell thatâ€™s easy. My blood and possum blood got mixedâ€. 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 thatâ€™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 itâ€™s true, far better than
he treated Dave. He depended on me tremendously, because as time went onâ€¦well he knew my
…my â€œbentâ€. He would have called me â€œmedically mindedâ€. We didnâ€™t argue about it. Just when heâ€™d get into trouble, heâ€™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 didnâ€™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, â€œWell, what did you eat?â€ He said, â€œ Iâ€™ve only been eating simple foodsâ€. I said, â€œWhat did you have?â€ He said, â€œI just had a shrimp cocktail.â€ 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 hadnâ€™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 wouldnâ€™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 couldnâ€™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, â€œYou couldnâ€™t get a fiber from a brush through that hole.â€ Obviously, there was only one thing to do. B.J. didnâ€™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, â€œAbsolutely not. Iâ€™ll take my chances.â€ 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, â€œYouâ€™ve got to do it. Youâ€™ve got to do it.â€ They said, â€œThink of all of those who depend upon you.â€ 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 wasnâ€™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? â€œThis is how itâ€™s gonna beâ€. And people said, â€œOkay, thatâ€™s how itâ€™s gonna beâ€. But he did have a charisma, no question about it. And he also had something, which you call â€œpresenceâ€. 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…theyâ€™d stop and all of a sudden the room would be looking at B.J. And he wouldnâ€™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 chiropracticâ€™s continuance, and yet heâ€™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: Thatâ€™s true. Thatâ€™s absolutely true and many people donâ€™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 wasnâ€™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 isnâ€™t going to give in, so they replaced him. And that went on until ultimately he made his way back inâ€¦
MDT: Was this the controversy surrounding the NCM?
WHQ: Part of it was the NCM. Iâ€™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 donâ€™t think so. But I donâ€™t think they are individuals who are easily
led to accept everybody, they donâ€™t.
MDT: There was apparently great animosity between Dave and his father?
WHQ: Yeah…well, when you say animosity, Dave didnâ€™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 thatâ€™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. Itâ€™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 havenâ€™t thought about it for about a long time. In the classroom building, which wasnâ€™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 donâ€™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 wasnâ€™t smart, it gained nothing and actually it made BJ look bad. He was picking on the kid. He wasnâ€™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.â€™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 didnâ€™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. Thatâ€™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 â€˜54. I extended it, extended out until 61.
In October â€™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 werenâ€™t going to make it. It had lost itâ€™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 didnâ€™t like the statements he was making. At least they didnâ€™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 werenâ€™t. There were two inquiries in a matter of one month and at the end of two months, he said, â€œWait until that second monthâ€, and they waited, No better. Maybe one or two more letters came in, so it became evident that this wasnâ€™t a very good way to go about it.
Roberts could never understand it. He didnâ€™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 youâ€™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 itâ€™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 weâ€™re gonna do. And, if you donâ€™t do what they require, youâ€™ll lose out. Well Dave didnâ€™t believe this. He didnâ€™t believe it for a long time. And when he did, he called me in a panic. We werenâ€™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 wasnâ€™t anything to do. You couldnâ€™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 itâ€™s doors to any school that did not have accreditation, either with the CCE or withâ€¦.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 didnâ€™t want to. Dave fought it tooth and toenail. For one thing, he couldnâ€™t be all the things he wanted to be in the institution, including the president. He could be the president, but he couldnâ€™t be some of the other things he was trying to take over. And he fought them.
By this time heâ€™d had the stroke. Some of the judgements he made after that, I thought were questionable. But eventually we got it. It wasnâ€™t easy, but weâ€™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 didnâ€™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 donâ€™t want to go into any depth, but Iâ€™ll simply say this. His attorneyâ€™s took over a great deal of the responsibility of that school. He took it away from many of those who shouldnâ€™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, â€œOkayâ€, you know…I wasnâ€™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, â€œOh I didnâ€™t think soâ€, 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 didnâ€™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, â€œNo, I donâ€™t think I willâ€. They kept on and they called me 2 or 3 times that week. I finally said, â€œWell okay, Iâ€™ll go out againâ€, 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. Itâ€™d be a lot of different things that might,â€¦ 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 thatâ€™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 didnâ€™t realize that for a while, but they were and they finally did. They harassed him in some respects.
MDT: I donâ€™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 campâ€¦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 didnâ€™t tell me, is,â€¦LACC was one of the first schools to be accredited by the CCEâ€¦what they didnâ€™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 thoughtâ€¦ there was 2 or 3 of themâ€¦ that thought they knew everything that needed to be known about running a school, and they tried to interfere. Theyâ€™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 saidâ€, â€œWell, try to get along with them the best you canâ€. And I said, â€œI canâ€™t live in this kind of an environment:. â€œWell,â€ he said, â€œjust do the best you canâ€. 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 â€˜76 and left in â€˜80…well, I guess it was 4 years.
MDT: So you left Palmer in 75 or 76?
WHQ: Yes, thatâ€™s right.