Thursday, September 01, 2011

Mormons and Chiropractic


"If you don’t think Mormons are a diverse bunch, then chances are good that you aren’t Mormon.  We do share beliefs, but then there are individual beliefs that the church doesn’t comment on.  For example, I know Mormons who swear by chiropractic and naturopathic care.  Other Mormons think they’re complete quacks.  I knew a couple who believed there was no ailment that chiropractic adjustments couldn’t cure, from back pain to ear infections."
Holy Newts of Fire, Captain Moroni! The association of chiropractic and ..the LDS goes back quite some time.   Palmer the quack who founded the quack science chiropractic belonged to the LDS.  Many mormons were anti-vaccination and believed Chiropractic could heal and/or prevent diseases (or as Palmer's jingle went, the Power that made the body, heals the body, pilgrim!). HL Mencken was on to the "preposterous quackery" of chiropractic (and osteopathy), and did not fail to note that ..many Mormons were involved in the scheme:

" In Los Angeles the Damned, there are probably more chiropractors than actual physicians, and they are far more generally esteemed. Proceeding from the Ambassador Hotel to the heart of the town, along Wilshire boulevard, one passes scores of their gaudy signs; there are even chiropractic "hospitals." The Mormons who pour in from the prairies and deserts, most of them ailing, patronize these "hospitals" copiously, and give to the chiropractic pathology the same high respect that they accord to the theology of the town sorcerers. That pathology is grounded upon the doctrine that all human ills are caused by pressure of misplaced vertebrae upon the nerves which come out of the spinal cord -- in other words, that every disease is the result of a pinch. This, plainly enough, is buncombe. The chiropractic therapeutics rest upon the doctrine that the way to get rid of such pinches is to climb upon a table and submit to a heroic pummeling by a retired piano-mover. This, obviously, is buncombe doubly damned."

Mencken, that beer-swilling, piano-pounding, ill-bred German talked the talk. Buncombe--that's chiropractic.



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