E.L. Crowder, DC, PhC

Elmer L. “Bud” Crowder, DC, PhC, FICC, graduated from Palmer Chiropractic College in 1947. This makes him one of the first graduates of the second generation of chiropractors. Crowder earned his PhC in 1961. He taught technique at Palmer in 1964 and was eventually named director of student services and student clinics. In 1971, he was named vice president of development of Palmer College.

Crowder was well known for his private practice and his intern program. Thousands of interned sat at his feet and learned. Crowder died on July 15, 2002 at age 82.

“In 45 years of Chiropractic practice, teaching, administration and directing the BJ Palmer Chiropractic Research Clinic I have never found a flaw in the principles.” – EL “Bud” Crowder, DC, PhC

Some of Crowder’s Writings

Accomodating Without Compromise (1987)

Neither you nor chiropractic deserves to ever be compromised. If you have confidence in the Big Idea, it is easy to give it dignity and respect. Chiropractic has an identity and quality deserving respect, and yes, bravery, if we are going to keep it.

Some chiropractors won’t relate to this at all. And very likely you already know several of them. Regardless, these are practitioners who may be ignorant and incompetent. There are others who simply are professionally dishonest. It will ever be so, and chiropractors are human and average. We can expect, as with farmers, authors, surgeons and teachers, there will be 10 percent superstars, 10 percent incompetents, and 80 percent who follow the loudest noise. B.J. Palmer disassociated himself from people having those unfortunate characteristics. He was rude, by exact purpose and design, to those he felt compromised chiropractic through their actions. I suggest you do the same.

Once you have established yourself as a true professional in every sense of the word, it is time to use your center of influence in the area of interest you have determined to be important. The first step is to attach yourself to leaders or prospective leaders who hold the same high standards you do. Get to know, and work unselfishly for them. You will be appreciated and you will be well on your way in leaving a positive mark on the future of chiropractic.

Probably the toughest thing for you to do will be to find the chiropractic leadership to support. Remember, only a few leaders practice professional integrity, so you must look for the person with strong convictions which parallel your own!

Look for the person who understands innate and universal design. We might take a leaf from Marcus Bach’s book. He said:

“B.J. was unquestionably right about some things as he was acceptably wrong about others. He was surely right in his insistence that for 5,000 years people had “grown up in a drug store.” He was right about the power of innate and its role in the body’s determination to be well! And, judging from the wide-spread cures of chiropractic, the astonishing record of healings that had piled up through the years, and the enviable success with patients who had gone the medical rounds before taking a chance on adjustments, he was right that chiropractic represented not only a wish and a will but a way to be well.”

To return to this desired level of chiropractic, it will take all of us. Consequently, you must be loyal to those professional leaders who adhere to those principles upon which you agree. This includes support of sound professional education in institutions guided by the philosophy, science and art as devised by D.D. Palmer and developed by B.J. and others.

Support chiropractic research which is dedicated to only those chiropractic concerns which need to be scientifically validated. Let’s not waste time or intellectual and financial resources in such diverse topics as the life cycle of termites in creosoted telephone poles! Since chiropractic research is mandated as a major concern of our educational institutions, take heed from these words by Dr. Harold J. Morowitz, medical columnist and author of The ·Wine Of Life:

“The threat to academic freedom is not the mob from without, it is the white-collar mob within. They have been conjured up in response to taking the route of government funding. To refuse this route is to fall by the wayside; to accept it is to surrender independence of action. If it is not too late, the private universities as well as the public institutions must somehow seek paths to preserve self -motivated action and integrity. Paraphrasing Patrick Henry, “Are federal grants so dear or success so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery”?

So, my friends, beware of Trojan horses. They are out there in all manner of disguises. Fund the important research. Maintain the colleges and associations. Never lose sight of issues which will guard against the loss of the profession through either denigration, absorption or distillation into mediocrity, and thereby lead to the fall of chiropractic to an adjunct service to another body of healing arts.

Be contemporary! A science is absolutely linked to the intellect of its time. As you remain devoted to fundamental truth, do know that as times change, so do people. Learn to accommodate without compromise.

If this sounds like chiropractic heresy let me remind you how B.J. accommodated without compromise. B.J .’s research clinic was designed to prove chiropractic to the intellect of the day. Do you think he was proving anything to himself by having a medical staff in the clinic? Do you think he was ever com promised? Never! Dr. D.O. Pharaoh, Palmer professor of anatomy, accommodated to dissection in the curriculum by requiring students to write a dissertation on evidence of innate found in the cadaver.

Do you remember the broadcast call letters WOC-World of Chiropractic and WHO-With Hands Only? President Reagan still remembers that WOC stands for World of Chiropractic!

In the 1920s and ’30s, B.J. really put it on the line. You never know how something you may think, say or do today will influence the lives of millions tomorrow.

As you look forward through the eyes of a futurist or behavioral scientist, remain aware that the future is purchased by the present, even as the present is being nurtured by the past-our chiropractic history and heritage. In other words, as you look ahead, also glance back occasionally to see where you came from-the bedrock of chiropractic philosophy, science and art.

If B.J. were here he would remind and admonish each of us, “The Infinite is not a bankrupt and we who represent the Infinite should not be.”

B.J. died on May 27, 1961-26 years ago. If he were to return today, his shock would be great. It would not be long before we would hear his wrath. Lightning bolts of words would strike at every nook and cranny of chiropractic in an effort to right the wrongs which have come to pass in the last quarter century.

B.J. might take us by the hand as if we were children and remind us again, “My illustrious father placed this trust in my keeping, to keep it pure and unsullied or defamed. I pass it on to you unstained, to protect as he would have you do. We admonish you to keep this principle and practice unadulterated and un-mixed. The burdens are heavy-time is of the essence-guard it well.”

Are we so prosperous that we have developed an uncaring attitude toward the very thing which has given us so much? Are we clothed in the platitudes of professional leaders who care more for themselves than they do chiropractic? Aren’t our chiropractic educational institutions straying off the course of pure chiropractic under the guise of academic freedom and the direction of presidents and deans hell-bent on their own courses of advancement and personal glorification?

Yes, we are caught in our own vanity. We don’t realize how truly naked we are in our professional conceit which has divorced us from almost everything, including the Chiropractic Oath all of us took at the time of our graduations.

Imagine the savage disappointment which would be shared by D.D., B.J. and all the many other chiropractic pioneers who struggled so valiantly to give us our careers today. These giants of chiropractic would never settle or accept our current attitudes of, “We have survived thus far” or worse than that, “We’ve come a long way.”

Our chiropractic ancestors could not stand for our present posture.

How selfish we have become! We do not realize this conceit may cost us the independence bought by jail and heart break of so many whose names may soon be forgotten because remembering will be unimportant.

Stand for the preservation of chiropractic truths as created by D.D. Palmer and developed by B.J. Palmer. The time is now to defend chiropractic, or run the terrible and horrible risk of losing it.

I cannot say it will be easy. The challenge is there and the rewards are great. I remind you: there can be no rainbow without a cloud and a storm!

Defend chiropractic with a sense of proportion. Practice chiropractic with a sense of balance, but don’t compromise its values.

Defend chiropractic with responsibility. Think things through carefully. Know your position and use it well.

Defend chiropractic with consideration. Be alert to other people and other cultures. Be sensitive in your response to them but without compromise or concession.

Defend chiropractic with professional poise and confidence. Be knowledgeable about the profession. Help your profession without vanity and conceit.

Defend chiropractic by being professionally discerning. Develop your ability to make good choices of direction and leadership by being able to identify excellence. And once you have discovered excellence, defend it with every fibre of your being.

Defend chiropractic by your professional individuality. Have a personal identity within chiropractic-an identity which represents a distinctive expression of professional value. Strengthen your point of view and make it work for chiropractic.

Do all these things and chiropractic will survive and grow and prosper. False prophets, compromising in the lust of personal gain, will fall by the wayside.

*Straight from Sherman

Even AS it Burns, Chiropractic Is Reborn (1988)

The fiery conflagration in Yellowstone Park is like our own in chiropractic. With both we might say “so what is new?”; fire is not new to Yellowstone nor is conflict new to chiropractic.

As I read a recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal I was struck by the similarities of the Yellowstone fire and our own 1CA-ACA dilemma. Past, present and future are affected. The past may be destroyed, the present is chaotic and the future will need strong leadership.

Unity is the question, not merger. Those recent figures of 56% or 95%, or whatever, represent a long wish for unity but not at the expense of our chiropractic premise. The conditions now separating lCA and ACA are the same reasons they should stay apart At least until those issues are truly resolved.

Nature has her way of rebuilding a ravaged forest, the reproductive pans of plants are safely underground ready to grow when the fire stops. Certain pines need fire to burst open their cones and release the seeds. After a fire, the nutrient rich earth sprouts new life with a speed the shade of its former vegetation would never have allowed.

So it is with chiropractic, the successes have overshadowed our roots and prevented the principles of our profession from flourishing. Do you concur with me that chiropractic philosophy is losing ground? Our philosopl1ical roots are deep, they will re-emerge because they are our chiropractic conscience. I’m convinced when push comes to shove our good will prevail.

Biologists report elk seem to like the burned out areas because new growth begins sprouting almost as soon as the fire is out. As elk find a fresh source of food so will most chiropractors find sustenance and security in their roots. All of chiropractic, not just ICA and ACA, is struggling to restructure an ossified policy. We have lost sight of those very dynamics which gave us birth and should give us dignity. Even our unique excitement was given a novel work “Spizzerinctum” with a very special meaning. As a health care profession, we have stood the test of time. As humans, however, we seem very normal-bicker-bicker-bicker.

In recent times the superpower confrontation between ICA and ACA has become less disguised and less dignified; the principles, the genesis of our existence is being challenged and is at risk. Change the name-to something more acceptable to the scientific community! Derry the chiropractic subluxation- it’s different from the medical subluxation! Avoid our special litany because it isn’t found in medical dictionaries. Once lost, history may not remember it ever existed.

Standard of care is hazy. By some yardsticks there is only an obscure difference between quality chiropractic care and quality medical care. Medical physiatrists claim chiropractic procedures as chiropractors claim medical procedures. ln truth, quality of service is sacrificed for quantity of service and the patient suffers. But fees for service continue to climb at a justifiably criticized rate. Perhaps, the professional economy reflects today’s economic indices. However, the results are far reaching in consideration of our chiropractic credibility.

In fact, examine the curricular offerings of our colleges for ethical emphasis and it’s easy to see why entrepreneurs do so well in practice management. The colleges and teachers are role models, good or bad, giving direction and incentive to the students. l believe our colleges must learn to act differently. They need the skills and abilities to constantly challenge students and alumni to have knowledge, talent and pride in the practice of chiropractic principles. Chiropractic philosophy is in decline; its rejuvenation is in the hands of the teachers. Intellectual curiosity is at a premium in every discipline. Only very special people with very special minds pursue research. Meaningful chiropractic research has many offerings but few takers, perhaps because this field is so new and the frontiers so fresh. The ordinary scientist will pursue basic research, it’s acceptable and a pattern is in place. What do you research to advance the pool of chiropractic knowledge? The question doesn’t trouble me, for example; it has been speculated that dead or decerebrate mammals (including homo sapiens) demonstrate generic ordinary efferent nerve impulses but the efferent impulses are special and unique in the living. BJ. Palmer labeled this living efferent nerve energy as mental impulses. Curious that some inquisitive intellect has_ not pursued BJs allegation. There’s no need to copy the medical research design and philosophy. Where is our chiropractic mentality?

Techniques and technology are dangerously close to causing a paralysis in our profession. They must be better managed. As the fire dies down, and it surely will, we must be ready for the future.

What will be needed is a well-defined declaration of intent to answer the question, “Where are we going?” Then give that declaration a value set so we know how to get there.

During the last decade, chiropractors have fared very well economically (perhaps too well). The greatest challenge of the decade is likely to be survival of the chiropractic precepts.

Our colleges are role models teaching values and patterns of behavior. As students are taught today, so will they practice. We are the stuff of tomorrow’s history.

*ICA Review

ICA and ACA are agnostics believing they are divinely inspired.


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