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What THEY don't want you to know!1!!!
#1
Since getting interested in the Bates Method, I've looked at any number of websites and books on natural eye improvement. I can't help but notice a bit of a theme, especially in those sites which are selling books, materials or training. It goes something like this:

"The AMAZING system that the OPTOMETRY INDUSTRY doesn't want you to know about! The INDUSTRY wants to keep you in the dark about the Bates method! The INDUSTRY wants to sell you glasses! The INDUSTRY wants you to believe that eye disorders can't be cured! The INDUSTRY wants to make your eyes WORSE, so they can keep taking your money!"

Gosh. Those darned old optometrists! I bet they all go home at night and dive into a big swimming pool full of money, just like Scrooge McDuck.

In the interests of investigation, I went off and crunched some numbers. To become an optometrist here in the UK, you first have to get a degree in the subject. This is a full 3-year degree, a significant investment of time and resources. Three years of sharing a bathroom with four other students and living off Ramen noodles--oh, and let's not forget that student loan debt you'll be faced with at the end of it all. Never mind, though, think of all that lovely cash you'll be rolling in! Why, your starting salary alone will be--

Oh. 16 and a half grand. Hope your old housemates have kept that room warm for you.

Never mind, though, you'll soon be moving up the food chain. After two years' work experience, you'll be free to, uh, do more studying... on your own time... and... err...

Whilst it's true that a senior optometrist with a thriving private practice, or a consultant optometrist at a hospital, might possibly end up making 60 grand and up, it takes an awfully long time to get there. That's before we even get to the general desirability of a job where you spend all day on your feet in a dark room, inhaling other people's halitosis. This is not the greatest way to get rich.

"But they drag little children into their lairs, and force glasses upon them!"

Yeah, about that. Not all little kids get regular medical checkups like eye exams. I didn't; I literally had to beg to get my eyes checked because I was deemed to be faking. I've known at least a couple of guys who went through the entire school system until age 16 unable to read because eye problems weren't picked up on. For people like this a diagnosis of myopia or whatever is actually a godsend: it means that you weren't bad, weren't stupid, weren't worthless after all, just a kid who couldn't see. Glasses may not be the best solution to eye defects, but I'm here to tell you that they're better than nothing at all--and a LOT better than being labled "lazy", "bad", "stupid". I say nothing of the countless people in the developing world who lack clear sight and simply do not have access to eye care.*

Most sites will include a question along the lines of "Have you noticed who your eyesight is WORSE every time your eyes are checked?"

Well, since you ask: no, I haven't. Sorry. I noticed my eyes getting steadily worse before I got glasses. They carried on getting worse for a while after I got glasses. Then they stopped. There was only the slightest decline after the age of 17; after 22 or so, no decline at all. Funny that I've had my eyes tested 4 or 5 times since then, and these grasping vultures of the optometry INDUSTRY have passed up the chance to sell me new specs.

The idea that conventional treatments for eye disorders are a deliberate con and that those who administer them are engaged in some sort of global conspiracy to defame Bates and wreck everyone's eyes is, to put it mildly, entirely irrational and at odds with the facts. I note also a considerable number of people selling, sometimes for quite exhorbitant sums of money, materials which are clearly derived from Bates and as such are available freely online. I don't object to teachers who are administering training in person charging for their time and knowledge, but if the idea is to challenge the iron grip of the EVIL INDUSTRY, why are people charging 20 bucks for a PDF eye-chart?


*Incidentally, this is one of my primary motivators in exploring the Bates method. It offers the possibility of a free, low-tech solution to the problem of making clear sight available to people who don't have access to conventional eye care.
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#2
Another couple of points worth mentioning:

1) To assume that the "optical industry" is conspiring to hide other forms of vision improvement is to assume that all involved are entirely unaffected by eye problems. We have to imagine that the whole body of optometrists and other eye specialists are possessed of perfect sight. If we see eye specialists in glasses, these must be mere decoys with plain glass in the frames. (Presumably they are tossed aside with a gleeful "Bwahahaha!" before jumping into the money pool of an evening.) Otherwise we have to imagine that, knowing full well the existence of a cure for their condition, these people are allowing their own eyesight to deteriorate just to protect The Industry.

2) Not only their sight but also all of their friends and families' sight must be assumed to be perfect too. Not one child of an adult with glaucoma. Not one parent of a preemie with retinopathy. Not one spouse of a myope. Otherwise we have to imagine brothers and sisters smirking as their siblings complain about the price of bifocals; parents forcing corrective lenses that they know to be useless and even destructive onto their own children; grandchildren laughing up their sleeves as Granny goes blind from macular degeneration. And so addicted to their pelf are all of these people that not a one of them is prepared to step out of ranks and mention the Bates method.

I fear that none of the above seems terribly credible. The more you think about it, the more it sounds like one of those conspiracy theories involving alien shape-shifting lizard-people.
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#3
Dear Mordant,

Subject: Yes, people do "sell" things -- including majorit-opinion ODs.

My last "experience" with an OD cost us $430. To suggest that these ODs are "pure as the falling snow" -- in terms of money -- is not reasonable.

But to "condemn" other sites "selleing" prevention for $40 to 50, verus $430 -- is not fair either.

David, of i-blindness is making his site available for free. Dr. Bates did NEARLY the same thing. I also do my work, "for free", since I wished that I had been on the "receiving end" of Bates/Prentice advice.

We all must "earn a living" -- one way or the other. The OD charging $430 for puttin your child (at 20/40) into a -2 diopter lens feels "justified" and "professional". And maybe he is. Certainly -- unless we are prepared -- most people will reaject these preventive measures at that time.

But I will always "vote" that I BE INFORMED OF THESE MEASURES WHEN I AM A NAKED-EYE 20/40 TO 20/50. Then, fully informed, I can make my choice.
That is the 'right way" in my opinion.
We may "disagree" on some of this on i-blindness -- but our "hearts" are in the right place. Otis
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#4
These things take on a life of their own as a system, so that it isn't necessary for even one person to be conspiring with complete and conscious dishonesty. There are undoubtedly many who suspect that what they believe and practice is somewhat wrong or isn't the whole truth, and others who are curious.

Dave
Site Administrator

"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
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#5
I don't think doctors are evil. But I do think they think they are special and their patients are less so if at all. They also don't have the time to waste on patients once they begin practicing medicine. Here are a few of my experiences with professionals:
In 1980, during a routine eye exam while serving on active duty as an E5 enlisted personnelman with the U.S.Navy at the Trident Training Facility, Bangor, WA, after having found Mary Darst Corbett's book Better Sight Without Glasses in the TriTraFac library which confirmed that I was not alone in my observations of visual improvements by palming, the Navy doctor and medics could hardly contain their snickerings as I tried to describe my visual improvements and observations. They went to some lengths to try to show me the error of my ways.
As a senior in college, majoring in Psychology, Dr. Charles Hanley asked me if my vision observations were or seemed 'magical' when I posited them to him in 1981 during a visit to discuss course midterm results - as if I didn't know that 'magical thinking' is a hallmark of insanity. I received a 3.5 (A-) in his class, Experimental Psychology 350, Michigan State University, anyway.
In 1995 during a routine visit with Dr. Timothy Scranton, O.D., Alexandria, VA, I was reading the Snellen better than usual, then much better than usual, and then he got frustrated and put the eyedrops in. It seemed like he didn't have the time to waste on my gradual improvements - I'm sure he had more patients waiting, etcetera.
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#6
Some optometrists aren't "aware" of the vision improvement programs. They either know that it works and don't tell their patients or if a patient asks about it than they just blow them off. I have experience with eye professionals; I have been wearing glasses since I was 5 thousands of dealers on optometrists visits and all "OUT OF POCKET". How does an optometrists explain the mysterious improvements in vision? They probably don't or don't care. They just want their money I know because I have been ripped off by optometrists for many years and i will not stand for it anymore. Any questions? O0
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