The tutors at the Welsh Institute of Chiropractic have been ripping off their students and these are the chiropractors who are going to sort it out.

July 12, 2011


A few months ago I got a call asking me to blog about a scandal that was unfolding at WIOC. A slush fund had been set up at Glamorgan as a perk to supplement the income of tutors. Presumably its tax free and its an incentive to work there by funding tutors BCA membership, GCC registrations fees, trips to conferences etc, whats naughty about this is they funded the slush fund with student cash, the students I talked to were were under the impression the money they were giving was for library books, not tutors perks.

WIOC has always been clear about its political affiliations, David Byfield is head of WIOC and a member of the GCC education committee and his testimony in the Jensen case of 2002  convinced skeptics that Margaret Coats would act on complaints against BCA chiropractors. Byfield had made the same criticism of BCA colleagues in 2002 and stated he would not use BCA promotional materials as they were missleading. However screwing £175 out of each student seems a bit low even for him. You would have thought tutors could have seen a few patients to earn that pin money, instead of expecting students to increase their loans to  generate approximately £25,000 a year for tutors. The money was paid out on receipt of an invoice form the tutor as say for their membership to the BCA )Untitled-1 GCC registration fees, conferences in Europe etc. Some of the invoices were released under FOI with individual names redacted

I was president of the Students Union for two years 93-95 and I could write books on tutors efforts to screw students , they never succeeded because I had the support of the vast majority of students and I would tell the administration  if they did that students would not pay feels which always got their attention. So when someone calls me because they are shocked about these allegations about Byfield and his staff, my reaction was “Do bears shit in the woods”. Ask Byfield why he had to leave AECC in 1990.

Since my diagnosis of cancer it has been hard to motivate myself to write about chiropractic and the GCC as I need to be angry to write about them and I suspect that anger which has been around for many years has had much to do with the development of cancer in my body, so I spend a lot more time these days listening to Pink Floyd rather than trying to explain to lemmings why Byfield, Dixon et al lack integrity. They can say all sorts of things about me but no one can provide evidence that I lack integrity. Its the quality of life thats important not quantity, the next five ten twenty years will go in a flash. After the diagnosis I made a conscious effort to live life to the full and it was a great feeling to realise it was the way I have always lived my life, so whatever I am told after surgery next month, I have no regrets,  I expect to live for many more years,  but the chiropractic profession will not figure very prominently  in my future.

Recent events at News International has been interesting, I hope has not gone unnoticed by chiropractors  the lengths people in power are prepared to go to keep that power. When they hack phones they are not interested so much in the title tatle they pick up, its the control that gives them over others lives . When Margaret Coats and Peter Dixon instructed Private Investigators to go after me it was in the hope that they could scare me, as they have terrified the vast majority of my chiropractic colleagues. The litmus test of fear for me has always been what would I have done if I had lived in Nazi Germany, would I have protested would I have been like young Sophie Schol who made the ultimate sacrifice and got very little credit for it. I now know I dont fear death, and if in the same position I would probably have done as Sophie Scholl but would not have been caught. Its they way I was brought up to stand up for the weak and seek social justice in all aspects of life regardless of personal cost.

Which brings me back to Byfields little slush fund. On Saturday a former  Glamorgan student contacted me  to tell me a group had been set up on Facebook  to protest about the slush fund and were they going to do something about it. While I have very little to say about chiropractic at the moment I thought the least I could do was show solidarity with colleagues and I joined the group and was accepted by one of the administrators Georgina.  I read some postings on the “wall” put the most recent ones had the usual, chiropractors moving away from the topic and starting to bicker about what chiropractors need “research” “better sales people” the usual drivel. I decided to make a small comment advising them to focus on the issue at hand rather than get distracted by other issues. 

When I went to post the comment I could not, I can no longer even find the Group on Face book. I had been banned from the group before I had even said anything, I am so banned I can no longer  find this group of revolutionaries on FB to tell you where to look, or perhaps they have gone under cover.  Funny I have never banned anyone from this blog and the only person who has banned me from following him is Edzard Ernst.

Presumably someone who is going to take on Byfield et al was so sacred of the repercussions seeing my name in the group they contacted one of the administrators to have me banned, the administrators of this group which has my 100% support are David Wilkes, Sarah Keen (nee Stevenson], David Pudney and Timo Schmitt. to them I say I have no hard feelings and this is what I was about to post to members of the group, before I was banned.

“When I was student president at AECC we used to say chiropractors eat their young, so none of this should come as a surprise to anyone. The difference now is chiropractors feast on each other , because the growth in chiropractors is not being matched with new patients. The profession does not need more sales techniques, or research. It needs honest "skilled" chiropractors who can communicate what they do and why they do it. Many of your role models at WIOC have been people who were not particularly successful in practice and were happy to supplement their income with student pocket money. Thats whats wrong with the profession too many people motivated by easy money rather than providing a great service to the public.

If you guys are to be  the next generations of chiropractic leaders dont repeat the mistakes of the  previous twenty years of the blind leading the blind. Dont believe all the bullshit, If I was bad for the chiropractic profession, please someone tell me why, as I am one of the few who has the measure of Edzard Ernst. In the last few months I have spoken to Kevin Proudman president of UCA , Ross McDonald President of SCA , I even had lunch with Richard Brown President of BCA at the Colleges of Medicines inaugural conference and if any of them think I am a bad for the profession they said nothing, perhaps they are also afraid of me?? Then they are no Sophie Schols either.

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20 Responses to The tutors at the Welsh Institute of Chiropractic have been ripping off their students and these are the chiropractors who are going to sort it out.

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    An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!

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  12. Fran on July 18, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    no shame or blame taken. Just out of hair dye at present! let the red mist prevail.

  13. Richard Lanigan on July 18, 2011 at 5:02 am

    Fran,It was only a matter of time before you were outed its no shame. Two of the Guys who want me banned are also called David, what is it with Davids and Dodo’s? 

  14. Fran on July 17, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    my hair is often purple or copper so in the red spectrum……..when it isn’t white

  15. Richard Lanigan on July 17, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    You have to laugh, if you put two chiropractors in a room they would find something to disagree about. Thats why its so easy to discredit chiropractic; CHIROPRACTORS! 

  16. Stefaan A.L.P. Vossen on July 17, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    What have yo got against red hair? What is wrong with this world!? lol

  17. Richard Lanigan on July 15, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Hi Sarah,
    Thanks for removing my name from the infected list.However one of the other administrators (we have them narrowed down to three now) has put it back again. The selector must have rung David Byfield for advice. It has been ordered that I should be banned again, this time on the grounds, I once had red hair and did not go to WIOC. Therfore I should not consider myself an aryan chiropractor, I would point out Simon Billings went to AECC and I suspect he had red hair when he was young. Kevin, Victoria,  Fran et al did not go to WIOC and they dyed their hair to be accepted by the aryans?

  18. Sarah Keen on July 15, 2011 at 6:38 am

    When your request to be added to the group came through, I tried to accept it but couldn’t. I’m not sure why, but then I’m not very good at this computer stuff. Georgie Beckett copied and pasted your comments to the group – I will contact the person who formed the group and see if there’s anything that can be done to get you on there. What you said makes perfect sense, and actually it’s refreshing to have the viewpoint of someone who isn’t directly involved in this sorry situation.
    Kind regards,
    Sarah Keen (Stevenson) 

  19. Richard Lanigan on July 12, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Hi Colin,
    Thanks for that, I found it on another account today so presumably its my IP and e-mail address that has been banned from visiting the group page. It occurred to me how I labelled the skeptic  movement “prejudiced bigots”, recent events have illustrated how many of the leading skeptics have over come any prejudices they may have towards me personally and sent me kind messages. Even “BlueWode” and I have had some friendly banter he sent me a link to the first ever Popey cartoon which he knew had helped me through this. It would appear some chiropractors have  more difficulty overcomming their prejudices about colleagues than skeptics do which is rather worrying for the profession. The above issue is about supporting chiropractic students, not the politics of the profession, they are very vulnerable to tutors with a grudge. Perhaps if they thought chiropractors cared about them they may turn into the graduates the profession needs now.

    I am doing well finished my chemo and radiotherapy three weeks ago and had a CT scan this morning and will have an MRI Friday to see if the tumour has shrunk, then they will plan the surgery. I have had no side effects, my bloods are normal and my fitness levels are 10% improved since I started treatment which consultants say is highly unusual. They say its luck, I think its my approach to health and wellbeing which I recommend to all my patients. Today I am off to The Penny Brohn Cancer centre for a few days serious touchy feely WOO before I have the surgery. . I am writing a retrospective (3months) blog at  for anyone who is interested in how I am dealing with my cancer. Hopefully it will be of use to others.

     Going to the Royal Marsden every day sitting in the reception watching sick children come in made me realise how lucky I am. I have had a life, an amazing life which I hope will continue for many more years. I could be much worse off, imagine what it must be like to be Peter Dixon or David Byfield. 

  20. Colin Jenkins on July 12, 2011 at 7:50 am

    the group still appears to exist:-

    but you are right, you are not a member…

    good luck richard…

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