Maximized Living? or Maximized Fraud?
Posted: 04 October 2013 06:49 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hello, looking for a little advice here…

I would like to draw attention to a particular organization and would like to know if anyone else has heard of them, and if so, are they as concerned as me.

It’s in regard to pseudoscience and quackery related to a specific Christian based Chiropractic organization from the U.S. They are offenders of sound science, logic and reason in every conceivable way across the whole spectrum from religion to quackery and alternative medicine, and to this I would also add a complete lack of and disregard of business morals. If it is deliberate, or they are purely diluted and honestly believe 0 of everything they preach, that I can not say, but either way, it is rather frightening how they conduct themselves.

They are called “Maximized Living”. http://www.maximizedliving.com/

They are a heavily Christian influenced organization at the management level, and all though their individual subordinates of Chiropractors and employees may not be as individuals by necessity, if you ever witnessed one of their seminars (I have I’ll explain) you would think it was led by a Tony Robbins Chiropractor / Hybrid Televangelist Joel Osteen (Scary I know).

They are 100% by the book old school Subluxation based vitalism straight Chiropractors. They preach the miracles of D.D Palmer like he was Christ (whom also comes up in their rhetoric), and constantly speak of “ The only healing that ever takes place is done by the human body itself through it’s own, inherent recuperative power”. One of their earlier books “Body by God: The Owners Manual for Maximized Living” by one of their head gurus Dr. Ben Lerner (who is very creepy) exemplifies their obvious religious affiliations.
>> http://www.amazon.ca/Body-God-Owners-Manual-Maximized/dp/078528835X

Some dirty details:

Their offices are LOADED with scare tactics throwing “risks of cancer from poor lifestyle” in your face.
-Anti-vaccination posters against flu shots saying “don’t poison your body” line their walls.

They promote the anti “Big Pharma conspiracy” in full swing and don’t pull punches claiming that pills and medicine will kill you, it’s all toxins and doctors only want to make money and prescribe you medicine, the whole “Keep you sick” conspiracy.

They actually play animations in the waiting room explaining “how the corrupt medical system works”.

Thy display pictures of celebrities who died of cancer with their before and after chemotherapy pictures. (Patrick Swayze among them).
Even posters about Angelina Jolie, how she was lied to by the medical system.

They have a very aggressive “Cancer Woo” campaign at the moment and have a whole separate initiative called “Cancer Killers” http://www.beacancerkiller.com/
They try to get all their patients to enroll in a seminar to learn about “what cancer really is”. Appropriately or coincidentally this seminar for the branch in my local town (Toronto Ontario) is held at a church.

They are even involved in an upcoming documentary film of the same/similar title “Cancer Killers” coming out soon (I’m sure it will be an amazing piece of cinema).

They even criticize the “The pink ribbon of breast cancer awareness” initiative. (in their waiting room videos) saying “with all that money they collect there is still no cure! where has the money gone” type of arguments (more big pharma conspiracy I suppose).

They run the organization like a fast food franchise, if a Chiropractor wants to brand his practice as “Maximized Living” and become a part of full partner branch, he has to follow their business model to the letter, attend their regular seminars and the result is all of the doctor/patient interactions are FULLY scripted.

The purpose of the scripts of course is to use a standardized set of “best practices” for scare tactics that push the notion of:
a) You have a subluxation,
b) subluxation is serious and scary,
c) only Maximized Living Chiropractic can cure this, other chiropractors only “mask symptoms, we treat the CAUSE”,
d) Medicine and conventional doctors lie to you, and
e) Lifetime adjustments are needed to ensure lasting health (never get cancer / prevent all disease).

They pretty much only diagnose subluxation, regardless of your reason for walking in the door. It’s all included in the scripts to demonstrate the “best way to break the news to the patient” that they have a subluxation and how serious it is.

Even office assistants and front desk employees are scripted and trained at these seminars on how to recruit new would be patients, and maintain retention of current ones (a.k.a don’t miss an appointment, every missed appointment is a foot in the grave) and get them to bring in their family.

In fact when you are a new patient they have a sort of “welcome to ML orientation” that it is mandatory that you bring your spouse or significant other in if you have one. (you know, because if you don’t get your family in here, its as much as a death sentence for cancer or other disease that you could have prevented if you cared enough to get them here).

They are very costly and always prescribe long term programs and encourage lifetime adjustments.

They pretty much run a human assembly line of patients with a meticulous system to be able to crack as many backs in a day as humanly possible with very little time for each patient to see the chiropractor. (sometimes as little 3-5 minutes, just crack crack go see the assistant) The Dr. Literally goes from cracking station to cracking station giving everyone a few adjustments and then sends them of with an assistant to finish paperwork and get them out the door, and the next one in, I hate t be redundant but it’s a virtual assembly line they have setup.

They constantly train the staff on ways to process the patients faster to get them through a revolving door.

They actually speak at their seminars of “great examples of ML Chiropractors” who run the most successful practices as they “see the most patients in a day” and encourage the other doctors in attendance to look them as an example. And the successful ones to share their “trade secrets” for inspiration.

I could go on but you get the picture…

The reason I know all this is my girlfriend worked/works at one of their offices while attending CMCC here in Toronto. Initially she got all wrapped up in it telling me all the crazy health revelations she was learning at this office and was attending their seminars. Then she took me to one where I was completely shocked as to the insanity I heard. It felt like I was at a cult. One of the speakers Dr. Cliff Hardick literally cried when speaking of the magic he feels in his heart when he performs an adjustment feels the bone move and “knows he’s saving their life”. They speak as if they want to overthrow the current medical system a replace it with their version of Chiropractic. Cliff Hardick literally said “I envisions a future that when my children’s children get sick, they don’t go to a hospital, they go to a Chiropractor”.

After a few months of this when my girlfriend wasn’t feeling well she started refusing to go to the doctor and insisted all she needed was an adjustment!! It was madness and I insisted (with much resistance) to go to the hospital and turned out she had a pretty bad kidney infection that was left too long!! (don’t worry she has come around now and realizes they are crazy after much influence from me and the evidence based info her school teaches that contradicts the woo her employer was filling her head with).

I really feel the need to expose this organisation and have no idea how one goes about doing this (aside from getting James Randi on the phone). I have extensively searched the internet looking for them to see if others are “on to them” and they are virtually non existent except their own websites. No blogs about them, no wikipedia articles, rational-wiki, or wiki website articles of any kind anywhere.

None of their most prominent leaders or doctors have any Wikipedia articles I could find, its weird because most (you would think) prominent names of significant scientists, doctors, heads of major companies or corporations have some trace on Wikipedia, but nothing.

I think this organisation should be a major concern that requires “outing” and attention drawn to it not unlike the Discovery Institute and their deceptive ways.

I would love to see organisations like CFI, or vloggers like thunderf00t and c0nc0rdance, or other skeptic websites like skeptoid or skeptic society take aim at exposing them as the frauds they are. It almost seems they have flown under the skeptic movement radar?

Is this a cause worth drawing attention to? or am I freaking out?

Their founders: http://www.maximizedliving.com/AboutMaximizedLiving/Founders.aspx

Love to hear from you guys

Thanks

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Posted: 05 October 2013 08:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Thanks for the post RR. I’m not sure how much help I can be here but if I could make a few points.

Flawed arguments:

Big Pharma/Medicine conspiracy - All the quacks use this argument but it amazes me that their followers don’t see the hypocrisy. Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) providers aren’t exactly providing their services out of the goodness of their heart. sCAM medicine is a multibillion dollar industry. At least traditional medicine puts billions into research. sCAM medicine devotes virtually nothing to research yet they want everyone to believe its the traditional medicine doctors who are conspiring to steal their money and keep them sick.

All healing comes from the body - Well this isn’t really flawed, its a fact. Without a functioning immune system and repair mechanisms no disease could be cured. In fact this is the basis of traditional medicine. Antibiotics impair bacterial functions so the immune system can get the upper hand and destroy them. Vaccines essentially provide intelligence to our immune system about an impending invasion so it can prepare its defenses before the enemy invades. Even many new cancer treatments work by taking advantage of our bodies own defense mechanisms. When it comes to disease prevention, despite the claims of alt med providers, traditional medicine has been the leader in the science of preventive medicine by studying links between diet, habits, exercise, and disease. It was traditional medicine that led the war against smoking. Traditional medicine brought to light the issues with increased cholesterol consumption and heart disease as well as diet and diabetes. The list is endless. Traditional medicine invented preventive medicine. sCAM medicine providers are simply pretenders who use a combination of real methods co-opted from traditional medicine and unproven useless techniques which they made up out of thin air.

Its interesting that the Chiropractors claim that all healing comes from the body yet somehow the body needs their manipulation in order to heal itself. Just more hipocrisy.

Solutions:

In regards to your girlfriend the solution may depend on her mind set and whether she is willing to listen to reason. If she is then sit down with her and try to do some legitimte research on the practices of this group. There are lots of studies on subluxation and chiropractic care. You first need to teach her a little about science if she is not already familiar with the different kinds of studies otherwise she may not understand why some studies show benefits and other do not. Give her a basic primer on retrospective studies and prospective studies as well as randomized and controlled studies and why those things are important. Once you do that go to pub med and start pulling up some articles and see what you find. If she is someone who is drawn to religious and faith based belief system you may not may much luck reasoning with her but if she is somewhat rationale then its worth a try

As far as doing something on a societal level I’m not sure ow much you can do aside from educating family and friends when these sorts of issues come up. Protesting in front of the offices where your girlfriend worked might get the problem some attention but not necessarily the kind you want. The media is so focused on presenting a “balanced picture” of any controversy that what they end up doing is artificially balancing an unbalanced argument. By bringing the problems of this organization to public attention you may simply give them publicity and a sympathetic voice in the media. If they are below the radar now it may just be best to leave them there and not help them draw in more followers.

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Posted: 10 October 2013 08:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks for the reply macgyver, and I really didn’t consider the aspect of “no publicity is bad publicity” unnecessary media aspect. That actually makes a lot of sense. I just guess seeing first hand how they operate willingly spreading unfounded false information (mixed with credible nutrition based info) as well established medical science and health information really troubles me. It’s like they applied the same scare tactics of “Hellfire” that are used to persuade people to religion, to the scare tactics of “disease”, “subluxation” and “big pharma” to persuade people to their woo healthcare product. It just bothers me, a lot.

The other aspect that bothers me (almost more) is the general publics awareness… of the history, about the unproven concept of the subluxaion, D.D Palmers Séance attending, magnetic healing, mystic belief bollocks.. are not known by the general public. Awareness of the divide of chiropractic between those that stay true to D.D’s nonsense, from those that acknowledge its not evidence based and abandon it to reform the discipline. I had never heard of ANY of this until researching it recently, and this is not known by the general public. And when you see a “Chiropractors office” there is no way to know which one of the two you just walked into, until they open their mouth, and that is only if you are aware of this stuff, which as I sated most people don’t. So the “ML’s” of the world steal credibility from this general consensus that chiropractic is a generally sound socially accepted aspect of health care analogous to MD’s and trust what everything the man in the white coat says… This troubles me..

Maybe outing Maximized Living isn’t the answer, “outing” the fields perhaps “dirty laundry” and a public education of the pseudo science founding of chiropractic and it’s current divided status, so when people go to a chiropractor they know how to recognize which they are dealing with and evaluate their claims. I dunno maybe a CFI “WTF is a subluxation” campaign” lol.

Anyway…as for my girlfriend she has already come around, her college teaches evidence based curriculum, and to toot my own horn along side my pleading with her to consider their claims. So she’s well back from the dark-side of the force.

Thanks

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Posted: 12 October 2013 04:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Glad to hear your girlfriend has come around. She sounds like a keeper.

I think you’re right that outing this particular chain would not do any good. Better to try educating the public about the entire field.

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