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See Clearly and transcendental meditation

Tuesday, December 11, 2001

By Deborah Mendenhall, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

Vision Improvement Technologies, the owner of the See Clearly Method, makes its home in Fairfield, Iowa, a small farming community where 3,000 new-age believers settled after Maharishi Mahesh Yogi set up one of his universities in 1973.

"Here in this unsuspecting small town is a miniature United Nations," said Craig Pearson, executive vice president at Maharishi School of Management. "We have students from 50 countries. You can hear English spoken in every accent, see every skin color and people from every cultural background."

Fairfield's big attraction is transcendental meditation, which has drawn people from around the world, said Pearson. "Otherwise, why would you want to live in a small Iowa town?"

David Sykes, president and CEO of Vision Improvement Technologies, LLC, said he and Cliff Rose, executive vice president, formed the limited liability corporation with private placement security offerings three years ago. It was previously known as Sentient Global Marketing.

Sykes is an attorney, a 30-year TM practitioner, and an animal rights advocate who runs a local no-kill shelter called Noah's Ark. Rose is a businessman who has developed other products, Sykes said.

Both men find alternative health products appealing, and when Rose saw the 1996 book, "Improve Your Vision Without Glasses or Contact Lenses: A New Program of Therapeutic Eye Exercises," he asked the authors to develop the program, Sykes said.

The authors are David Muris, a Sacramento, Calif., optometrist; Merrill Allen, a retired optometrist and Indiana University professor; Francis Young, a retired Washington State University professor and British scientist Steven Beresford.

The American Optometric Association awarded the public service Apollo Award to Allen in 1971 for his work in highway safety, and to Young in 1980 for his research in myopia, or nearsightedness.

Beresford has become known for his court battle with the Internal Revenue Service over his belief that income tax is voluntary. He updates his public fight regularly on his Internet Web site.

Until questioned by a reporter, Sykes was unaware of Beresford's position on income tax.

"Since this was brought to our attention, we are exploring our options," he said. "We do not share Dr. Beresford's views and were very disappointed to hear that this was his position."

Sykes said Vision Improvement Technologies owns the See Clearly product and pays royalties to the authors, based on sales.

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