From Why Eyeglasses Are Harmful For Children And Young People, © 1969 Joseph J. Kennebeck, O.D.

Hate those glass windows: A person who wears glasses "even though he doesn't need them," needs them. He hides behind the glasses in a variety of ways. They make him feel intellectual, or they may cover dark circles or wrinkles -- or they may provide just the measure of separation he needs from himself and the next fellow. -- Ann Landers

"The man with a new idea is a crank until his idea succeeds." -- Mark Twain

It's easy to be misled into thinking a man has good, strong facial features when all he really has is a pair of large super-dark spectacle frames. -- The Cristian, Aug. 6, 1967


I have practiced optometric eyework for over fifty years. During the first ten years of my practice, I did as I had been taught to do, prescribing glasses for all cases of children and young people who came before me.

Some forty years ago I discovered the key, or clue, to what I call my own theory and method for helping eyes. We should have had this a hundred years ago, instead of what we have had. I studied it for over a year, and used it only on my own eyes until I was sure it was right, and that the old theory of wearing glasses was wrong. I had to turn from prejudice in favor of glasses to prejudice against glasses. I became bitter against that which I had been taught, and lamented the ten years I had lost in prescribing unscientific glasses for innocent and unsuspecting children and young people. If I had only used my head, I would have discovered the cause of their refractive eye troubles sooner, and how to prevent, improve, or cure them without glasses. But I was so brainwashed with the old tradition of using glasses that I had a hard time convincing myself to turn against that old tradition. Now I find that it is even harder to convince the masses against glasses.

Over the past forty years, while I have handled thousands of cases successfully, giving improvement or cure, this is only a handful compared to the masses who wear glasses. The results in the thousands of cases I have handled have proven to me that my theory and method is right, and that the old tradition of wearing glasses is wrong. However, proving it to myself is one thing, and proving it to the world is another.

I have found that the world wants to believe in glasses, as a supposed panacea for the refractive eye troubles of children and young people, just as they believe in God, and that one who raises his voice against glasses is regarded with suspicion, doubt, indifference and contempt. It was as if some of the eyeglasses wearers knew more about eyes and glasses than I did. In their loyalty to the old tradition of glasses, they would fight to the last ditch to save face and not be proven wrong.

In the face of much opposition, I have persevered alone in my private practice, with success, in spite of such opposition. While there was nowhere to turn to convince the world against glasses for children and young people, I was able to convince practically every individual case that came to me. However, I will never be satisfied until I have found a way to convince the world.

This book is intended for the benefit of young children mostly, who are the victims of glasses. It is written for their elders - young people, parents, teachers, nurses, and school nurses, eyemen, schools of eyework, and all concerned who are the guardians of these children. They are the ones who will have to read it, understand what I have to say, and do something about it. Until this is done, there is no hope for the future welfare of the eyes of the present and future generations of children and young people, who will be forced to resort to glasses.

My writings are based on my own studies and experiences of fifty years, covering thousands of cases, without references, bibliographies, or the documentation of others. Unless one has watched cases as I have, over a long period of time, he cannot know what the eyes can do without glasses, and what can be done otherwise. I was never interested or impressed by articles that "quote-unquote" writings of others, with many references, bibliographies, or documentations. I have already read most of them, and I see no reason for reading them again and again in articles written by others who had little or nothing else to say. Let's leave them for students to make a thesis. I am now interested only in helping eyes, in a way that we should have followed years ago.

Be it known that I am not a follower of any other method. My theory and method is my own, and is not to be confused with any other method. However, I do give credit to another method which, before mine, declared that glasses were ruining the eyes of those who wear them. While I now agree that this is true, I am mostly concerned with the eyes of children and young people under the age of thirty-five. Older people will have to resort to glasses; it is too late for them to respond to corrective measures. But it is never too late to do something for the eyes of children and young people under my theory and method.

J. J. Kennebeck, O.D.