Dan Golasczweski to appear at Fitness For Faith fundraiser

ScreenHunter_322 Jan. 30 14.38The upcoming Fitness For Faith fundraiser to be held at Wilkes University will include chiropractor Dan Golasczewski who promotes anti-vaccine sentiments and spinal adjustments for infants.

In 2011, I wrote in-depth criticism about local chiropractor Dan Golasczweski — owner of Power Chiropractic (now Power Chiropractic Health Center LLC) in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and published an interview I had with clinical neurologist Dr. Steve Novella who commented on Golasczweski’s claims about vertebral subluxations calling them “part of a pre-scientific superstitious belief system that has long ago been eclipsed by understanding of anatomy and physiology.” Novella also rebutted Golasczweski’s claims about “toxic medications” and alleged dangers of vaccines.

Following my criticism of statements Golasczweski made on his WILK Newsradio weekly program ‘Maximize Your Health,’ information distributed at his business, and content provided on his website,  his significant other (now wife) Maria Favichia threatened me with legal action suggesting I was authoring “slanderous posts” about Golasczweski. She wrote, in an e-mail I received, “If the slanderous posts do not stop; He will be taking legal action.”

Since 2011, Golasczweski slightly rebranded his business removing the tagline ‘Aligning spines and lifestyles with God’s ultimate intentions’ from his storefront – a diversion from his [old] informed consent paper which read that his, “only practice objective is to eliminate a major interference to the expression of the body’s God-given, innate wisdom” and that his “only method is the specific adjustment of vertebral subluxation.”

Favichia-Golaszewski - Photo: The Citizen's Voice - http://citizensvoice.com/arts-living/people/engagements/favichia-golaszewski-1.1248316
Favichia-Golaszewski – Photo: The Citizen’s Voice – http://citizensvoice.com/arts-living/people/engagements/favichia-golaszewski-1.1248316

Golasczweski, in his welcome video — no longer shown on the front page of his website, but still available on Vimeo — says his “mission is to set you free from whatever health struggle you may be dealing with” and that he wants to help you “gain victory over any health condition you may be suffering from including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, back pain, sciatica, fibromyalgia, and even weight loss.” As is usually the case with practitioners of so-called ‘alternative medicine,’ claims too good to be true are offered with no scientific backing whatsoever.

Perhaps the most alarming change to the front page of Golasczweski’s website is an image of an infant which says, “95% of infants have misalignments after birth,” seemingly encouraging people to bring their infants to Golaczweski’s business to have spinal adjustments. Throughout his website are messages “Chiropractic for all ages” and “chiropractic care for ALL AGES including children.” As one ought to expect, claims of chiropractic adjustments for newborns whose bodies are delicate and newly developing are specious and dangerous.

Golasczweski will soon be participating in an upcoming fundraiser dubbed ‘Fitness For Faith’ to be held at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, PA. This fundraiser, charging a hefty $21.99 for admittance through its corresponding Eventbrite site, will benefit the local National Day of Prayer Committee who organizes the annual Circle the Square With Prayer National Day of Prayer event on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre.

It’s unclear if Golasczweski will be distributing literature spreading messages encouraging people to abstain from vaccines, flu shots, or medications, but the event page says that presenters (presumably including Golasczweski) will be hosting informational tables.

2015 Circle the Square with Prayer banner image - http://www.circlethesquarewithprayer.com/
2015 Circle the Square with Prayer banner image – http://www.circlethesquarewithprayer.com/

Hopefully the National Day of Prayer Committee will disassociate itself with Dan Golasczweski and his harmful, pseudoscientific messages – especially in light of recent measles outbreaks — including one in Disneyland — almost certainly because of anti-vaccine messages like those put forth by Golasczweski.

As always, feel free to comment below.

Are libertarians science deniers?

Conference hall of ~1200 attendees at 2014 Amaz!ng Meeting
Conference hall of ~1200 attendees at 2014 Amaz!ng Meeting

A response to Donald Prothero’s speech ‘The Mind of a Science Denier’ presented at the 2014 Amaz!ng Meeting

Throughout my experience at The 2014 Amazing Meeting, I had few major disagreements with the information presented during panel discussions, speeches, and presentations. Read my thoughts, typed while in flight, here. Most of the major disagreements involved Donald Prothero’s speech ‘The Mind of a Science Denier.’

Some major points of contention I had with his quite partisan speech — much unlike other speeches which did not seem to have much discussion of politics or political leanings (although to be fair Michael Shermer seemed to echo some of his libertarian perspectives) — were rejecting the notion that ‘woo’ exists within both ‘the right’ and ‘the left’ and the claim I will discuss in this piece – that libertarians are [overwhelmingly] science deniers who reject the notion of [human-caused] global warming.

From my experience, libertarians do not overwhelmingly deny [fields of] science — rejecting the ideas that humans are contributing toward global warming and that global warming is happening — but rather object to particular government policies/business regulations which are aimed to be an effective response to climate change.

Objecting to a government program or policy is simply not equivalent to science denial; one can oppose a policy or program and still believe global warming is happening. Libertarians often get undeserved reputations due to their opposition toward particular government programs. From my experience, people often jump to unfair conclusions — delving into the mind of libertarians – as a result of libertarian opposition to government policies and programs.

Just because a libertarian opposes measures implemented by the TSA, for instance, does not mean that they have no regard for safety and security in airports. Just because a libertarian opposes government funding for a social program or agency does not mean that they hate people who are destitute, racial minorities, flood victims, etc. Just because a libertarian opposes business regulations put forth because of global warming does not mean that they are a science denier.

Libertarians may oppose government spending because they think government responses are not effective responses to societal problems. Libertarians may think government officials are spending too much money and private organizations should instead tackle challenges. Libertarians may support a government initiative, but find minor problems with it, thus leading to opposition until there is some revising.

Sure, some libertarians, motivated by political ideology, may both reject government responses to global warming in the form of business regulations and not believe global warming – contributed to by humans — is happening.

Prothero, though, in his speech, from what I remember, made no distinction between libertarians who deny global warming and libertarians who believe global warming is happening but oppose government regulations responding to global warming. Prothero also did not even, unless I am forgetting something, present statistics which identified libertarians who reject the fact that global warming is happening [and oppose government sanctions intended to offset global warming] – but rather glibly dismissed libertarians as science deniers – again, overlooking the disctinction between opposition to policy from people who are not ‘science deniers.’

Personally, I don’t identify as a libertarian. I would rather not use political labels for various reasons including association with perspectives I do not endorse and the limiting nature of labels. I instead prefer to talk about issues on an issue-by-issue basis rather than using a label and being pigeonholed. Additionally, I have no opinion on government sanctions responding to global warming, but do accept the fact — deferring to scientists who are experts – that global warming is happening and humans are contributing to it. My personal stances, though, are irrelevant when considering my objections to Prothero’s speech.

I would appreciate feedback from Prothero and others. Perhaps I missed some nuance in Prothero’s presentation or it is actually the case that libertarians overwhelmingly both oppose government sanctions responding to global warming and reject the fact that global warming is happening. Still, neglecting to recognize that libertarians may oppose environmental government sanctions but accept the fact that global warming is happening is a huge oversight. I expect better at a skeptical conference.

As always, feel free to comment below.

Interview on “Corbett” concerning FFRF Nothing Fails Like Prayer banner

FFRF "Nothing Fails Like Prayer" banner on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre
FFRF “Nothing Fails Like Prayer” banner on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre

I appeared on the May 24, 2013 episode of “Corbett” — a talkradio program on WILK Newsradio hosted by Steve Corbett — to discuss the “Nothing Fails Like Prayer” banner I, with the help of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) had placed atop Public Square in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

Within my nearly 13 minute interview, Steve Corbett asked me why I had placed the banner, disputed the banner’s message, characterized the banner as being “antagonistic” and “in your face,” and said that the banner does little to reach out to anybody.

Listen to the interview and my responses to Steve Corbett. For more information pertaining to the “Nothing Fails Like Prayer” banner, view the category “2013 FFRF Banner

Brave Hero Radio – Abbie Smith

Abbie Smith
Abbie Smith

Abbie Smith of ScienceBlogs.com/ERV joins Karla Porter and Justin Vacula Saturday, May 25 at 8PM Eastern for discussion about feminism, current events, controversy in the atheist/skeptic communities, and much more.

As always, callers, no matter their viewpoints, are welcome to join the discussion. Call the number on your screen, 718-766-4598, or click the Skype-to-call button on the show’s page when the show goes live to join the caller queue.

Listen live, join the live chat, and use the same link following the live broadcast to stream and/or download the archived show.

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Show link – listen live or listen to the archive –