Thursday, February 10, 2022

#2514: Dan Barrett

Many chiropractors do their best to appear to be science-based. Many fail miserably. And some don’t even seem to bother to try. Like Dan Barrett, who is a Maximized Living chiropractor, which means that he advocates a hardline, dogmatic approach that is outright anti-science, anti-vaccine and germ theory denialist. Maximized Living practitioners typically draw on non-new-age fundie religious beliefs as well, and many of them – like many other chiropractors who do not subscribe to Maximized Living ideas in particular – also claim to be able to treat mental illnesses.


Barrett claims to be able to treat and prevent mental illnesses through woo. Indeed, Barrett claims to be able to stop mass murderers with chiropractic, and have for instance claimed that the 2017 Las Vegas shooter who killed 58 people would not have done so had he been undergoing regular chiropractic care since infancy.


Barrett apparently runs something called the Vibrant Life Center in Minnesota together with one Joe Sutcliffe. They offer a range of treatments that they term “science-based”, but the fact that their treatments are trademarked sort of undermines their own assessment (and yes: if a therapeutic technique is trademarked, you can be more or less certain that it is not based on any genuine research). They also promote detox – at least they don’t even bother to list it among their “science-based” techniques – and offer lengthy, incoherent and grammar-challenged anti-vaccine rants, especially targeting (but of course) COVID-vaccines, complete wirth references to the VAERS database, Robert Kennedy jr. and immune system boosting. (Check out Barrett trying to explain what risk is: “The rationale for taking away individual choice in the matter is based on the infallible belief in this math equation: Risk/Benefit = 0 or near zero”, says Barrett, and presumably hopes you don’t think too hard about what that claim could possibly mean. Still confused? Well, he returns to the equation a few sentences later: “There are many rules that we’ve just learned from childhood to function as a society and it’s necessary. All seem to work quite well. the numbers are Risk = 1”. So there.) It’s almost tempting to link to his September 2021 rant in its entirety; we won’t do that, but it is worth quoting his conclusion:


Many say ‘if you don’t vaccinate you are putting others at risk. You may carry the virus and give it to someone’. Nobody puts anyone else at risk. We are at risk ourselves, due to our own history and behavior. Nobody ‘gets you sick’. You don’t catch the bug from some uncaring, unmasked, unvaccinated individual. You get the virus or not because you are a suitable host or not. If it wasn’t that uncaring individual, it would be some other uncaring individual. It’s not somebody else, it’s us.” Therefore, vaccines are pointless and “we don’t need the government experts to tell us we need to get and stay healthy”.


Diagnosis: Yes, this guy fancies himself a sort of healthcare provider. The mind boggles.

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