A quick update on Nimrod Weiner from Newtown Community Chiropractic.

I get emails. And recently I was reminded of one I got back in June which somehow slipped from my consciousness. With all the negative attention Nimrod has been receiving of late the response from some authorities has been, “we can’t respond unless someone reports him.” Indeed, last month, chair of the Chiropractic Board of Australia urged people to make a formal complaint against Mr Weiner after Australian Doctor posted audio of his two-hour public lecture on the dangers of vaccination.

So I went back through my emails and found a complaint from Dr John Cunningham, forwarded to me and submitted to AHPRA (then passed onto the Chiropractic Council of NSW) on April 4th, 2011. Dr Cunningham received the following response on May 31st, 2011 (my emphasis).


Really? So it’s okay for a registered health professional to disseminate false, misleading and dangerous information under the guises of “it’s my opinion”? But what if the evidence says the opposite, which in this case it most certainly does.

If you take a look at the references Weiner uses in the 4 pages of anti-vax rhetoric posted on his website (which was the subject of Cunningham’s complaint), and his 2-hr long lecture on “18 reasons to not vaccinate” (pdf of references here) you’ll find a grab-bag of some of the most prominent anti-vaxers. He cites all my favourite loons including the AVN and their previous publication “Informed Choice”, Not-a-doctor Andrew Wakefield, Viera “parsnip box” Scheibner, Joseph Mercola, Whale.to and Vaccine Information Service Australia or VISA (amongst others).

There’s a glass and a half of crazy right there.

Weiner also drags out the some of the old favourite canards of the antivaxers. See the following paragraph as an example of vaccines cause everything;

“Other conditions linked to vaccination include pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), Asperger’s syndrome, eczema, encephalitis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, convulsions, seizures, anaphylaxis, thrombocytopenia, optic neuritis, ocular palsies, retinitis, deafness, otitis media, ulcerative colitis, bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, headaches, dizziness, hearing and vision problems, arthritis, arthralgia, learning disorders, chronic fatigue, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and more.”

He doesn’t provide a reference for these claims.

And as usual, Weiner beats the dead horse of vaccines = autism

“After years of denying a link between vaccination and autism, on November 9, 2007 the US government in Court of Federal Claims admitted that vaccines can cause autism.”

The reference Weiner cites for this claim is David Kirby writing for the Huffington Post in 2008. Kirby is also the author of “Evidence of Harm” a book detailing the personal stories of parents of children who have autism who went onto establish the advocacy group SafeMinds. So there may be a conflict of interest in what Kirby has to say.

There also *may* have been some advances on our understanding of the evidence against a link between vaccines and autism – which have occurred since 2008, both in the courts and in the lab.

But despite the fact that Weiner claims to base his information on the latest science, he uses outdated references, claims Wakefield’s work is “sound” and uses scary language that has no basis in science.

There’s more…

Robert Mendelsohn, MD writes: “My suspicion, which is shared by others in my profession, is that the nearly 10,000 SIDS deaths that occur in the U.S. each year are related to one or more of the vaccines that are routinely given to children.”

My suspicion? So you don’t have any evidence for that then? The reference for this statement is simply Mendelsohn. Ibid:250 which makes no sense to me. In any case, Mendelsohn is well known for his “unusual ideas”.

For example, he has opposed water fluoridation, immunization, coronary bypass surgery, licensing of nutritionists, and screening examinations to detect breast cancer. He has a listing on Quackwatch and whale.to.

The spurious claims about vax go on for 4 pages and at last check they were still there. (I’m actually surprised it is still up given the criticism Weiner has been under of late. Perhaps his cognitive dissonance is so strong that he thinks he is right. Sadly, I suspect this is the case).

But whether Weiner thinks he is right and that vaccines are bad “in his opinion” is irrelevant when it comes to his role a health care professional, especially when dealing with kids. Remember he’s a pediatric chiropractor dealing with kids as young as one-day-old.

And science is not formed via opinion, it’s based on evidence and there is no evidence for just about everything he claims (even chiropractic subluxations actually).

The fact that the CCNSW thinks it’s okay says a lot about their responsible approach to chiros under their jurisdiction and patients.

This story was covered in Australian Doctor today and rest assured, we have not seen the last of the Weiner files. More to come very soon.

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  • Not all chiros are quacks- just most of them. Can you find out if this clinic practices quackery? Google them and see if they claim to help with conditions that are outside of their areas of expertise. Things such as ADHD, bed wetting, colic, if they do pediatric chiro. Especially look for any comments on vaccination. Also, which body are they a member of? It seems the CAA are a bunch of quacks but COCA are not so bad.

    You might get lucky and find they are not quacky. If not then you can try to argue the anti-vax angle and that this makes them a public health risk etc.

    Can you let us know what they claim?

  • Dixojo

    I am a science teacher at a secondary school in the Mackay area. Last week I was asked to select our best science student for a $500 end of year award, no problem there till I saw the award was called the {clinic_name} Chiropractic Award.
    I immediately expressed my shock at this, and told the boss I would make a proper argument next week.

    So I began making my case. I went to the CSIRO and found that they accept a chiropractor as part of their scien.tists in schools program. OK then wanted to check if chiropractic was taught in Qld, I was pretty sure it was not. Imagine my sense of defeat when I found that a new course, as of 2012, B.Sc(chiro) at Mackay campus of CQ University.

    Since chiropractic will now be a science at my local university I fear I have no argument. I feel I will be forced to make the chiropractic award, even worse to stand on stage and shake a students hand while handing over the cheque.

    I am open to suggestions on how not give chiropractic validity through the purchase of a place in a school award ceremony.

  • @AndyD, some of us are still trying to get our heads around who regulates chiropractors.
    When AHPRA was set-up, they were placed in charge of regulating health practitioners. The first to come on board were clinicians, then chiros and as of next year TCM practitioners will be included. .
    But NSW did not hand over full control to AHPRA, so a complaint made about a NSW chiro to AHPRA will be passed to the relevant chiro body here. Nimrod comes under the CCA NSW, but some chiros are regulated by COCA (who BTW seem to be more evidence based).

    You might have heard that when the Chiro Council was asked to “please explain” the decision described above, they simply said “no, we’re no gunna, you can’t make us”.

    To answer your question, I don’t know. But I’m currently trying to find out.

  • Maggie

    Google’s cache of that page (cached in Freezepage) taken on 25 Aug 2011 02:43:25 GMT shows Nimrod Weiner as VP, so it must have been taken down in the last few days.

    And just a quick plug…both Google’s cache and Freezepage are excellent skeptic tools: see the Nightingale Collaboration’s website for details of these and other tools and resources.

  • AndyD

    Can you clarify the difference between the Chiro Board and the Chiro Council? Since one appears to be national and the other state, I assume they are quite different entities – but should we expect the Board to respond any differently to complaints than did the Council? Which one has ultimate authority over chiros?

  • It might be time for some Way Back Machine to try to determine when this change occurred. I looked at the CAA NSW website ~a week ago and he was still listed (IIRC).

  • Mick

    They have just deleted the VP position, not nominated a new one, however. I suspect he is in office but exiled from the public face of CAA. Cognitive dissonance anyone?

  • Wow. Carol, that is interesting. I wonder what happened there.

  • Carol

    Interesting to note that Nimrod Weiner is no longer listed as the Vice President of the CAA NSW – There is *no* Vice President position on the page any more. http://www.chiropractorsnsw.asn.au/content-public.asp?group=about I’d say that the heat has had some effect.

    It is rather unfortunate that the Chiropractic Council of NSW was the ‘body’ where the complaint was ‘investigated’. Nothing like a conflict-of-interest to throw into the chiropractic mix…