Exposing the LASIK Scam

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 Post subject: Comments on Hagele's questionable non-profit status
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 12:20 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 10:27 pm
Posts: 36
Posted by RT on June 23, 2007

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.lasik-eyes/topics

On Jun 23, 5:56 pm, RT <RTM...@NOSPAMyahoo.com> wrote:
> In article <1182631740.520737.142...@j4g2000prf.googlegroups.com>,

Quote:
My concern is genuine. I think I had my LASIK before you and have been on this newsgroup longer so I have seen everything unfold. I have never downplayed the risks and have never belittled those who didn't have as good an outcome as I had. You can go back and look at my posts if you like.

I have always advocated that fanaticism at either end is
counter-productive. As a "centrist" (haha--here on this NG, but not
politically), I think I can see what has happened here somewhat
objectively since I have no "alliances."

The LASIK industry is the villain here, not you or Glenn. I have always
considered LASIK a procedure rather than a surgery, that people who have LASIK are consumers rather than patients. The language used by the industry is misleading. It is no wonder that people who have bad
outcomes feel so outraged. The industry itself advertises as a medical
procedure which leads people to envision "care," "nurturing," and
"cures." IMO, this is the most important thing that needs to be changed.
This will help consumers understand that they are buying a product (yes,
it's more complicated than that because it involves altering a part of
the body), but understanding it as a commercial transaction helps
consumers understand their rights and responsibilities. And it also
helps explain why the industry is the way it is. It is a multi-million
dollar commercial enterprise with a goal to make money. That doesn't
mean that the consumer can't stand to benefit too--I have so far. But if
people understand that it is not about care and healing any more than
any other "product," then the advocacy for those who didn't get what
they paid for can be pursued less emotionally, with more realistic
expectations, and more effectively.

Glenn Hagele and his CRSQA are a face that people can put on an industry that is essentially unregulated. It is easier to zone in on a person
rather than an industry. Yes, there are misrepresentations with CRSQA
too. I think it is falsely advertised as a patient advocacy group. It is
registered as a trade organization--for the betterment of the trade, ie.
LASIK. Hagele should be upfront about that. To his credit he has changed
things on his website over the years after they were pointed out about
CRSQA's true non-profit status, but he continues to downplay the trade
aspect of his non-profit certification. The website is informative, but
it is a "storefront" for LASIK surgeons. Yes, the site doesn't ever tell
anyone ever to have LASIK and provides tools for evaluating your own
surgeon, but the cigarette and alcohol industries also encourage people
not to drink or smoke while selling products. I think Glenn truly
believes he's an advocate and is doing a service for LASIK consumers. If
he really does evaluate LASIK practitioners and keeps them at a certain
high level of excellence, then perhaps he is. However, his organization
is not transparent and there is no proof that anything is evaluated
ever. In fact, the first time I went to his website before I had LASIK
(I didn't use a CRSQA surgeon), there was some kind of "grant" that paid
for people to join the organization--so those who were certified weren't
even paying to have the organization's "seal of approval." I did find
the "50 Questions" to evaluate a LASIK surgeon very useful.

But attacking Hagele personally and posting his past personal legal and
marital problems is not the answer. It's particularly not the answer
because he takes things personally and can't rise above it in a
professional manner. So you all become the pigs rolling in the mud over
things that have nothing to do with what you really care about that
could help others.

He has overstepped the line into people's personal lives, but so have
others overstepped into his personal life in ways I find completely
despicable. If ever there was an example to show that two wrongs don't
make a right, this is one.

It will be the true advocate who walks away from these ridiculous legal
battles and name-calling and concentrates on the important issues on how
to make the LASIK procedure safer and the industry more honest.

--
~RT


Quote:
I'm sorry Glenn, but you should recheck your understanding of 501(c) status. 501(c)6 are limited to trade organizations and business leagues. Your logic is backwards here--the federal government determines what kind of nonprofit you are, you don't request a certain status. You are not a 501(c)6 because you don't accept donations. The Federal government determined from your not-for-profit application that you are a 501(c) 6 rather than 501 (c) 3 BECAUSE you accept fees for certifications. That is what makes you a trade organization. Therefore donations to CRSQA aren't tax-deductible. You can certainly accept donations. Anybody can. (I personally gladly accept any and all monetary donations :) )

You can find all the info on nonprofit organizations at the IRS.gov
website. For example:

http://www.irs.gov/charities/nonprofits ... 93,00.html
Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code provides for the
exemption of the following types of organizations:
*
Business leagues
*
Chambers of commerce
*
Real estate boards
*
Boards of trade
*
Professional football leagues

I know you truly believe CRSQA is a patient advocacy group for the
public good, but in reality it is a trade organization that solicits
fees from members of the trade for the betterment of the industry and
the industry's financial health. I know you think you are doing it for
the consumers' benefit, but you are actually promoting and advertising
LASIK practices to people who visit your website.

If you don't want to be a trade organization, then I suggest you
restructure your organization and apply for a change of not-for-profit
status to a charitable organization.

--
~RT


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