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09/06/07: Flim-Flam Artist

Welcome to the wonderful world of chiropractic, a world where even the most vile and pernacious illness can be dealt with by manipulation of the spine. DD Palmer, the inventor of chiropractic was previously a 'magnetic healer' who also dabbled in phrenology. Palmer insisted that a spiritualist medium inspired him in his search for “the single cause of all disease.” In 1895 Palmer claimed to have restored the hearing of a janitor named Harvey Lillard (deaf for 17 years) via manipulation of the spine. (FACT: The nerves of hearing are enclosed entirely within the skull.)
Palmer then announced that all diseases were the result of interference with the flow of ‘Innate Intelligence’ (a previously unknown force that flows through the spine) by ‘subluxations’, or misalignments of vertebra. It was known as the “Bone Out
Of Place” theory. He also believed that the body was not heated by blood, but by
“calorific nerves”.
In 1905, Palmer was indicted for practising medicine without a license. He was sentenced to 105 days in jail and was required to pay a $350 fine.
By 1911 there were signs that Palmer was considering turning chiropractic into a religion, as this extract from a letter by Palmer to P.W. Johnson, dated May 4 demonstrates:
“…I occupy in chiropractic a similar position as did Mrs. Eddy in Christian Science. Mrs. Eddy claimed to receive her ideas from the other world and so do I. She founded thereon a religion, so may I, I am THE ONLY ONE IN CHIROPRACTIC WHO CAN DO SO.”
In 1913, whilst taking part in the Universal Chiropractic Collage parade in Davenport, Iowa, Palmer was inadvertently run down by a car…driven by his son Bartlett Joshua (B.J)! To make matters worse, B.J. was accused of attempted patricide!
Fortunately, the charges were dismissed. Unfortunately, D.D. died a few months later of typhoid, one of the few diseases it appears that chiropractic cannot cure.
B.J. did not believe in germ theory and considered vaccination a form of poisoning.
His main contribution to the furtherance of chiropractic was his skill as a salesman.
B.J. said of chiropractic:
“Our school is on a business, not a professional basis ... We manufacture chiropractors... Give me a simple mind that thinks along single tracks, [and] give me 30 days to instruct him…”
And this:
“Question: What are the principal functions of the spine?
To support the head
To support the ribs
To support the chiropractor.”
- B.J. Palmer, Answers (1952)

You can download todays PDF by clicking on the image on the left.