Disgraced scientist and COVID grifter Judy Mikovits has joined the list of marquee anti-vaccination ideologues on the faculty of state-approved continuing education (CE) courses for chiropractors. The Chiropractic Society of Wisconsin recently featured Mikovits at its VAXCON ’21 event along with anti-vaxx propagandist Del Bigtree and others from the fringe.

If VAXCON ’21 sounds like an odd name for a chiropractic educational event, then you don’t know chiropractors. Read on.

(Note: you have to switch views of the “Bundle Content” list to find the speakers’ names, as opposed to the titles of their presentations.)

Mikovits’s talk was titled “Plandemic and Beyond: Identifying Dangerous Complications of Masks and COVID Vaccines in Vulnerable Populations”, “Plandemic” being a reference to what David Gorski described as

a conspiracy-fest of a ‘documentary’, arguing that the current COVID-19 pandemic was somehow planned.

Mikovits has a starring role in Plandemic as a

sort of brave maverick scientist and truth teller that every good conspiracy theory needs, a woman with hidden knowledge who’s fighting dark powerful forces seeking to ‘silence her’.

Mikovits’s long history as a crank, anti-vaccine activist, conspiracy theorist, anti-Dr. Fauci grudge-holder, and grifter is ably set out in this and another post by Dr. Gorski. Just to give you an idea of how “out there” she is, she’s claimed that

the coronavirus is actually secretly caused by a bad strain of flu shot that was circulating between 2013 and 2015. Masks will help ‘activate’ the virus and reinfect a mask-wearer over and over . . .

Thus, she said,

Wearing a mask will kill more people than—this virus is not coughed through the air from healthy people, who are almost certainly immune, as they’ve almost certainly been infected over the last four or five years,

This is the sort of nonsense that got Plandemic pulled from YouTube and Facebook. On the other hand, it’s perfect for a continuing education course for chiropractors, who received CE credit for VAXCON ’21 under the auspices of Life University, a fully accredited chiropractic college.

Why perfect? Because, as we’ve documented here on SBM over the years, state-approved chiropractic continuing education courses and conferences regularly feature anti-vaccine ideology. Obviously, adding dangerous COVID nonsense to the curriculum is a logical (if you will) extension of their efforts.

As mentioned, Del Bigtree, who has added COVID-19 grift to his resume, was also a featured speaker, via video, with a talk called “Del Bigtree in the Dells”. “Dells” is a reference to VAXCON ’21’s Wisconsin location but otherwise there’s no information I could find on his presentation. As his only claim to fame is being an anti-vaccination propagandist and the producer of the widely discredited “documentary” VAXXED, directed by the disgraced and delisted physician Andrew Wakefield, flogger of the non-existent measles vaccine-autism “connection”, I think we can safely surmise his topic. Bigtree was a featured speaker, along with anti-vaccination royalty Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Barbara Loe Fisher, at a chiropractic “pediatrics” conference (which also awarded state-approved CE credit to attendees), as was Wakefield himself.

Other speakers at VAXCON ’21 include James Neuenschwander, MD (“Down the Rabbit Hole: Evaluating Vaccine Safety Science”), Alan Palmer, DC (“COVID- 19-Following the Science and Evidence”), and Vicky Pebsworth, PhD, RN (“COVID-19 Vaccines 101: Vaccine Development and Regulatory Landscape”). “Alternative vaccination schedule” maverick Dr. Bob Sears also spoke, but no CE credit was awarded for hearing whatever he had to say.

Neuenschwander was a part of the combo Trump supporters/QAnon/anti-vaxxer/conspiracy theorist fest held in Florida last year (also featuring Kennedy and Bigtree). In his post on the conference, Dr. Gorski explained that Neuenschwander is

a physician into alternative medicine who runs something called the Bio Energy Medical Center, who was originally going to be on Shannon Kroner’s antivaccine panel but ended up not being on it. Unsurprisingly, all the docs on this speakers’ bill are quacks; indeed Dr. Neuenschwander offers CEASE therapy for autism, a therapy based on homeopathy, and IV vitamin C and chelation therapy.

Palmer is a chiropractor who has done “post graduate” work in “Detoxification and metabolic toxicity”, “Food-related allergy disorders in children”, “Digestive Health and Intestinal disorders”, “intestinal dysbiosis”, “Adrenal and Thyroid Disorders”, and other areas of medicine (both real and imagined) where a chiropractor has no business meddling. His free book 1200 Studies – Truth Will Prevail is, according to Kennedy’s anti-vaccination empire, the Children’s Health Defense Fund, “the most comprehensive scientific expose of vaccines to date”, a telling indication of just how solid the science behind Kennedy’s positions is.

Pebsworth is a volunteer for, and board member of, the vaccine misinformation group NVIC and, inexplicably, on several government vaccine committees.

All told, 12 hours of CE credit for a whole bunch of anti-vaccination rhetoric and COVID misinformation, and all for only $399 (just $299 for Chiropractic Society of Wisconsin members).

More sources of anti-vaccination ed, including Tedd Koren

Chiropractor Tedd Koren is a prolific publisher of chiropractic promotional materials (some of which have run afoul of government regulatory authorities), including the 2020 pamphlet Vaccination: 18 Reasons to Just Say No. As summarized by Quackwatch’s Dr. Stephen Barrett,

Among other things, the flier states that vaccines “don’t work,” and increase the likelihood of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; allergies; anaphylaxis; arthralgia; arthritis; Asperger’s syndrome; asthma; autism; bowel disease; cancer; chronic fatigue; convulsions; Crohns disease; deafness; diabetes; dizziness; dyslexia; eczema; encephalitis; Guillain-Barre syndrome; headache; hearing and vision problems; immune system disorders; learning disorders; leukemia; Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS); lupus; Guillain-Barre syndrome; meningitis; multiple sclerosis; neurological disorders; ocular palsies; optic neuritis; otitis media; pervasive developmental disorder (PDD); skin disorders; thrombocytopenia; and ulcerative colitis. I believe it is the most irresponsible chiropractic flier ever published.

Considering Dr. Barrett’s extensive expertise in chiropractic pseudoscience, developed over many years of detailed study and investigation, that is indeed saying something.

Koren teaches a 12-part “Neuroimmunology and Vaccines” course eligible for chiropractic continuing education credit via the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Board’s PACE CE course program. (For example, here.) The courses were not easy to locate on PACE and it is not always possible to find them on the website to which I was referred by PACE or determine which states award credit for them. However, I was able to confirm that Florida (where I live) gives chiropractors CE credit for Koren’s “Vaccines” series via the Florida Board of Chiropractic Medicine’s CE Broker website. Here’s a sampling from the syllabi. (After a few “sics” I gave up and left them off entirely.)

“Neuroimmunology and Vaccines” Part 2

To study the neuro-immune system function as it relates to empirical and mechanistic perspectives in health and disease. This module provide an overview of vaccines Are vaccinated children healthier than nonvaccinated children? Allergies and asthma How would you test vaccines? How are they really tested by drug companies? Junk science and selection bias Background incidence The Marie Griffin study, James Cherry, MD

(They all begin with “To study the neuro-immune system function as it relates to empirical and mechanistic perspectives . . . overview of vaccines” so I’ll leave that part off on the rest.)

Part 3

Does research show vaccines are safe? Are vaccines tested for carcinogenicity? The story of Our Alexander The polio vaccine/cancer connection SV40 Do the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks? A generation of neurologically damaged children?

Part 7

Definition of autism An exploding epidemic Do vaccines cause autism?

Part 8

Mental retardation Epilepsy and seizure disorders Infantile spasms Cerebral palsy Paralyses

Part 10

The Gardasil vaccine is not a vaccine for protection against cervical cancer. It is a vaccine intended to prevent 4 types of HPV Human Papilloma Virus. According to the Gardasil package insert, there are more than 100 types of HPV Nearly all adults carry HPV in their bodies and in almost all instances HPV is harmless, causes no symptoms and is naturally eliminated from the body.

Part 12

Epidemiological evidence reveals that not only was the smallpox vaccine useless at protecting people from developing smallpox, but that: it caused deadly smallpox epidemics. is linked to tuberculosis, heart disease, syphilis and cancer. is possibly linked to other chronic illnesses.

And so on.

Another fully accredited chiropractic school, the Texas Chiropractic College, offers a course called “Immunization, Inoculation or Vaccination: Navigating the Consequences with Clinical Nutrition”, which suggests that chiropractors practicing the ersatz chiropractic version of nutrition, can

help children and adults who have sustained documented immunological, gastrointestinal and neurological disruptions from simultaneous toxic exposures from medications, environmental influences, vaccinations, etc.

This, of course, takes well-worn pages from the anti-vaccination playbook notion that vaccines are “toxic” as well as from the alternative medicine playbook notion that “nutrition” is a cure-all.

A CE course from ChiroLearn, a creation of the Florida Chiropractic Association (FCA), called “Public Perception of Chiropractic: What the Research Shows”, features none other than the COVID-19 misinformation Super-spreader and Disinformation Dozen member #1 Dr. Joe Mercola, along with chiropractor Patrick Gentempo, the force behind the anti-vaccination “documentary” Vaccines Revealed. What are they doing there? I don’t know, but if you type in “vaccine” on ChiroLearn’s search feature you get:

Unfortunately, that’s all we can find out. Given the fact that these courses are state-approved and are offered pursuant to the fiction that state licensing protects the public’s health, one would hope for more transparency.

The FCA’s ChiroLearn also hosts the laughably insufficient curriculum for becoming a “chiropractic internist“, which offers the interestingly-titled courses (at $375 per course for 12 hours of on-line instruction):

A Natural Medicine Approach to Evaluation of Infectious Disease

and

Autism, ADHD, Vaccination: Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Illness

One course I previously covered is still available via ChiroCredit, a CE provider approved by the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards: “Varying Viewpoints on Vaccinations with Alternative Schedule and Homeopathic Remedies”. It is chock full of anti-vaccination tropes and promotes the false notion that there are effective alternatives to vaccination such as “alternative/healthier lifestyle approaches” and, even more dangerously, homeopathic nosodes. A ChiroCredit course that discussed vaccines and autism has been removed, but I’m wondering if its content might have reappeared in another course by the same instructor which “summarize[s] the effects of vaccination on infants immune systems”. Somehow I don’t think immunity from disease is one of the “effects” discussed.

How is it that, even with increased media coverage of chiropractors’ anti-vaccination ideology (also here) these courses continue to get the imprimatur of state approval? Because no one is looking.

Decades ago, the state legislatures, in passing chiropractic practice acts and licensing chiropractors as health care providers, turned their regulation over to chiropractic boards run by chiropractors. No one has bothered to check back in and see just what these boards are up to and certainly not to find out whether what passes for continuing education is full of harmful nonsense, which it obviously is. Even as a pandemic rages on, chiropractors are sitting at their computers learning how to put their patients’ health in danger, all so they can keep their licenses current.

Malaria kills about half a million people a year; half of those are children. Just yesterday, the World Health Organization endorsed an anti-malaria vaccine, the “best new development in the fight against the disease in decades”. Sadly, I would not be surprised if chiropractors are already busy creating CE course content to discourage malaria vaccination.

Author

  • Jann J. Bellamy is a Florida attorney and lives in Tallahassee. She is one of the founders and Board members of the Society for Science-Based Medicine (SfSBM) dedicated to providing accurate information about CAM and advocating for state and federal laws that incorporate a science-based standard for all health care practitioners. She tracks state and federal bills that would allow pseudoscience in health care for the SfSBM website.  Her posts are archived here.    

Posted by Jann Bellamy

Jann J. Bellamy is a Florida attorney and lives in Tallahassee. She is one of the founders and Board members of the Society for Science-Based Medicine (SfSBM) dedicated to providing accurate information about CAM and advocating for state and federal laws that incorporate a science-based standard for all health care practitioners. She tracks state and federal bills that would allow pseudoscience in health care for the SfSBM website.  Her posts are archived here.