Neither Fish Nor Fowl

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As objective straight chiropractors, we often find ourselves in the middle of the chiropractic conflict, a place we really do not want to be. In fact, sometimes I think that we are so far removed from the mixer/ACA and the B.J./ICA chiropractors who believe they are straight that we have nothing in common with either of them. I often think we should be the Switzerland of the chiropractic wars. Instead, we seem to be attacked or at the least disliked by both sides.

The mixers see us as part of the straight community because we call ourselves straight chiropractors. A number of other groups also call themselves straight. The ICA, the WCA, and most of the larger chiropractic colleges would like to think of themselves as straight. Many even identify themselves as such. The mixers think the FSCO is just another “straight” organization like the ICA and the WCA and that petty politics and petulant personalities keep the three organizations separate. The fact is that we are a far cry from these organizations. In fact, an argument could be made that other than the title “chiropractor,” we have very little in common with the ICA and WCA. (Interestingly, we share that title with the mixers as well). Most of these “other straights” are interested in bashing medicine; we are not. They feel our profession should be taking a position on medical procedures such as vaccination; we do not. They are concerned about getting more space at the government feed trough; we are not. They are interested in positioning chiropractic as an alternative to medicine; we are not. One enormous difference on the national organization level is that their primary purpose is to benefit their members. They believe that if promoting chiropractic helps achieve that purpose, so much the better. If they have to compromise a little chiropractic to benefit their members so be it. We (the objective straight chiropractors) have a mission of getting the message of true chiropractic out to the masses, i.e., promoting chiropractic. If doing that benefits the members of our organization, so much the better. Chiropractors join these other organizations for the benefits. Chiropractors join ours for what it stands for or what they can contribute. So while the mixers see us as the same as the “other straights” (perhaps a little more radical) we see a big difference.

The “other straights,” on the other hand, do not think of us as their allies. Oh, they would like to absorb us because if we did not exist, then our people would likely be their members. They may even try to use us on occasions to further their objectives. And there may be the very remote possibility that something they are doing for the chiropracTOR will benefit chiropracTIC. That is to say, if they are doing something to achieve their objective (i.e., helping their members) and it can help us achieve ours (i.e., getting the true message out to the world) we may work with them. I have yet to see a situation where that could occur, but you never know. However, the bottom line is they really do not like us. We are and have always been, since the objective straight chiropractic movement began, a conscience to them, a reminder of what they should be doing, of how they have compromised for acceptance. Remember the formation of the FSCO was in response to their abandonment of the principle in favor of recognition. They have compromised; we have not. For that reason they do not want us around, at least not as an organized entity that promotes and publishes standards and principles and a philosophy to which they fail to adhere. So here we are, not accepted by either group, either because they do not truly understand what we do or because they understand all too clearly what we do. However, when you look at Switzerland and realize they have never been invaded in modern times, are considered to be a stable and reliable country, are totally neutral in the political wars and continue to go about their business regardless of the political turmoil around them, perhaps that is not such a bad position in which to be. v17n3

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