Dr. Royal Raymond Rife, Jr., Ph.D. was born in Elkhorn, Nebraska on May 16, 1888. His mother died when he was just eight months old. Because his father, a mechanical engineer, worked 14-16 hours a day, the young Rife was put in the care of his aunt, Nina Colber Rife Dryden, who raised him as her own.

In 1905, he entered John Hopkins University to pursue medical studies, but his interest in bacteriology took him into the world of microbiology. He then attended Heidelberg University in Germany, where he developed photomicrographs for their Atlas of Parasites. Heidelberg University was so appreciative, they awarded him an honorary Doctor of Parasitology.

From 1904 to 1908, Rife worked with Hans Luckel, Carl Zeiss’ optical scientist and researcher at Zeiss Optical Works. Passionate about the ability of microscopes to make organisms visible to the human eye, Rife set out to improve their resolution and magnification.

In 1912, Rife moved to San Diego, California where he established his first research laboratory. During that same year, he married Mamie Quill. A Lt. Commander USNR, he worked with the United States Navy before and during World War I. 





In association with the Zeiss firm, Dr. Rife and his wife traveled extensively to and from Europe right before WW1.

During the years just prior to the Great Depression, Dr. Rife apparently worked for both the United States government and the Carl Zeiss optics firm. Moreover, as he received a Research Fellowship in Biochemistry from the Andean Anthropological Expedition Institute, he was probably doing private research on his own.

In 1920, he began constructing his first microscope and patented a high-intensity lamp for microscope use in 1929 (Patent #1727618).

Some of his technological inventions are still used today in the fields of optics, electronics, radiochemistry, biochemistry, ballistics and aviation.

Over the course of 20 years, Dr. Rife would build five of his microscopes, some requested by the most prestigious research scientists in the world.


Dr. Rife’s microscopes were unique in their high magnification and resolution capabilities – which allowed Dr. Rife to view and photograph live specimens.


The Rife Universal Microscope created a paradigm shift in pathology and microbiology research; much of what his device could do is still considered impossible today.

“Rife built his first known microscope, “Number 1” in 1920 on an optical bench like a lathe bed.

Microscope #2 was similar in construction, built in 1923, in a vertical format like a standard microscope. That microscope was sent to Northwestern University for Dr. Arthur Kendall’s use, apparently for some time in the 1932 time-frame.

Microscope #3, built in 1933 and shown below, was the “Universal Microscope” which had provisions for polarized, bright field, darkfield, infrared and ultraviolet imaging. The Universal Microscope was the unit which allowed for examination of live virus samples.

Microscope #4, which had no polarizing stage, but offered magnifications up to 15,000X, was built in 1935, and appears to have been an early version of a much simpler Universal Microscope, which Dr. Rife hoped to commercially manufacture. Rife commented in one of his letters that #4 had been built at the request of a manufacturer, but he does not say who that might have been. In papers from England in the 1938 period, it is mentioned that #4 had been sent to England, and a technician working for Dr. Rife went there to help install it. Later it is mentioned that #4 was sent back to Dr. Rife (in 1939), and at some point, a newer #5 microscope is sent.

Microscope #5, built about 1938, is currently in the Science Museum in London, England, and while it is not available for normal viewing, groups of researchers have been able to closely examine it, and a videotape of it was made in 1999.”




In 1913, Dr. Rife met with industrial tycoon Henry Timken. Timken had been born in Germany and emigrated to the United States when he was seven. He patented the Tapered Roller Bearing in 1898 and established the Timken Roller Bearing Axle Company. Timken sought Dr. Rife’s help to solve a quality control manufacturing problem. Dr. Rife designed and built an X-ray machine that checked each bearing coming out of the plant and rejected any faulty bearings before they were sent out as finished products. This saved the company millions of dollars. Timken was so pleased that he set up a monthly lifetime payment to Dr. Rife.

When Mrs. Timken fell ill, baffling her doctors, Dr. Rife suspected it might be something she was eating – so made a search of her kitchen. Analyzing various foods with his microscope, he pinpointed the cause: bacteria in her spice cabinet. She soon regained her health.

Dr. Rife was also able to restore health to Timken’s sister, Amelia Bridges (who happened to be married to Henry Timken’s business partner). When she died in 1940, she left Dr. Rife $50,000 to continue his work. Henry Timken and his partner, Bridges, were so impressed with Dr. Rife they set up a fund to finance a fully equipped laboratory at Point Loma, California.




Dr. Rife built a 2700 horsepower engine for Timken’s speedboat Kitty Hawk. Rife’s engine pushed the boat for a record breaking 100 miles at an average speed of 87 mph.

In the 1930s, Dr. Rife was frustrated by the limitations of conventional light microscopy. The most powerful light microscopes in existence only reached a magnification of 2500X – allowing scientists to see molds, bacteria and parasites, but not viruses. Since Dr. Rife believed viruses were at the root of many diseases, he believed with a more powerful microscope, he could find the true cause of many diseases. Hence, Dr. Rife used the Point Loma laboratory and Timken’s generous funds to further develop his Universal Microscope and frequency therapy. Dr. Rife redesigned his microscope with even higher magnification.

According to a report submitted to the Journal of the Franklin Institute, it had a magnification of 60,000X. The ocular was binocular, but it also had a detachable segment lower in the body for monocular observation at 1800X magnification. Rife’s Universal Microscope used all types of illumination: polarized, monochromatic or white light, darkfield, slit ultra and infrared. The monochromatic light caused the organism to fluoresce. As with bacteria, Dr. Rife could identify the virus he was observing by the color it refracted. He would sometimes work for as long as twenty hours at a time to get a virus in focus.

Rife’s Universal Microscope used different mediums for bending light than normal optics. One factor enabling these natural images was Dr. Rife’s use of a device called a Risley counter-rotating prism. This consists of two circular, wedge-shaped prisms, mounted face-to-face and set in a geared-bezel, and so geared as to turn each prism through 360 degrees in opposite directions by means of an extended handle. Rife built a special mount under the stage to accommodate these instruments, and through which he directed a powerful monochromatic beam from his patented lamp. At various declinations of the refracted and polarized ray, normally invisible bodies would become visible in a color peculiar to their structure or chemical make-up. All optical elements in this microscope were made of block quartz, which permits the passage of ultraviolet rays.

 Dr. Rife soon discovered that organisms have a natural range of refraction to various light environments. This suggested that organisms could be classified, identified by their index of refraction using the Risley prism under the Universal Microscope. The result of using a resonant wavelength is that microorganisms which are invisible in white light suddenly become visible in a brilliant flash of light when they are exposed to the color frequency that resonates with their own distinct spectroscopic signature (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance utilizes the same principle in the electromagnetic spectrum). Dr. Rife was thus able to see these otherwise invisible organisms and watch them actively invading tissue cultures.

The original Rife ray-beam device utilized a radio transmitter to excite a gas plasma (helium) formed within a vacuum glass tube. Dr. Rife found that both the plasma tube and the electronics played a crucial role in the ability of the device to create physiologic effects.

Atoms that form a molecule are held together in that molecular configuration with a covalent energy bond which both emits and absorbs its own specific electromagnetic frequency. No two species of molecule have the same electromagnetic oscillations or energetic signature. Resonance amplifies light in the same way two ocean waves intensify each other when they merge together.

Over time, Rife’s microscope enabled him to catalogue the Mortal Oscillatory Rate (MOR) of numerous pathogens. One of the first was the tuberculosis bacterium (Mycobacterium tuberculosis). At that time – and even now – tuberculosis was a huge global killer. Dr. Rife wanted to discover its MOR in hopes of eradicating the disease.

Dr. Rife considered a disease cured when he could destroy a microorganism ten consecutive times using its MOR. According to his surviving records, he determined the MOR for at least 24 microorganisms, including tuberculosis, anthrax, cholera, tetanus, B. coli, influenza, spinal meningitis, pneumonia, syphilis, gonorrhea, leprosy, streptococcus, conjunctivitis, bubonic plague, staphylococcus, diphtheria, and typhoid.

Dr. Rife discovered that every organism exhibits a signature frequency or rate at which it vibrates (or resonates).

This was decades before the physics discoveries of the 1970s by Fritz-Alfred Popp and others which demonstrated organisms emitting photons. Dr. Rife’s unique microscope design and his discoveries of organisms’ photon emissions brought him fame in the inner circles of the scientific community.

Dr. Rife began working with Lee de Forest, the father of modern vacuum tubes, and an important contributor to early radio technology. Lee de Forest helped Dr. Rife develop his frequency generators utilizing plasma tubes and radiofrequencies. Dr. Rife further developed frequency generating devices to emit resonant frequencies – which, he observed, would destroy the organisms he was viewing. These eventually became known as the Rife ray-beam device. Dr. Rife discovered that a simple electromagnetic wave was not enough to destroy a microorganism – but a radio frequency wave was readily accepted by the body if it was emitted by a gas within a glass tube. Dr. Rife called the frequency that destroyed or killed an organism its Mortal Oscillatory Rate (Resonance) or MOR. An analogy of this phenomena is that of an opera singer who uses his/her voice to shatter a crystal glass. The glass vibrates at a particular frequency – when the opera singer sings at that same frequency, the glass shatters in the same way an organism explodes when exposed to its MOR.






In 1931, Dr. Rife was introduced to Dr. Milbank Johnson, the head of a regional medical board and affiliated with the University of Southern California (USC) medical department. Dr. Johnson had come to California in 1893 to start up the Alhambra (CA) hospital. He was a member of the American Medical Association, the Los Angeles and the Southern California Medical Associations, and from 1906 to 1933, a Director of the Pacific Mutual Insurance Company. Dr. Johnson admired and respected Dr. Rife’s ideas and ingenuity. As the head of a regional medical institution, Dr. Johnson had political clout in the national medical community.

At the turn of the century (1903-1905), Dr. Johnson had been a founder (and the 2nd President) of the Automobile Club of Southern California – he was also a driving force behind the development of the Rife ray-tube machine. His friendship and support enabled Dr. Rife to continue his research unabated by medical authority throughout the 1930’s.

Dr. Johnson introduced Dr. Rife to two renowned bacteriologists interested in pleomorphism research: Dr. Arthur Kendall of Northwestern University in Chicago and Dr. E. C. Rosenow of the Rochester, Minnesota Mayo Clinic. These two bacteriologists used Rife’s Universal Microscope to confirm his theories. William D. Coolidge, physicist, also become involved with Dr. Rife’s research.

Americans nationwide read of Dr. Rife and his treatments in the June 1931 edition of Popular Science. During this time, many articles and news stories appeared regarding his remarkable accomplishments. Doctors from all over the United States came to observe what he was doing and to verify his results.

“This BX virus can be readily changed into different forms of its life cycle by the media upon which it is grown.”

– Dr. Royal Raymond Rife, Jr.

Continuing his research, Dr. Rife managed to isolate a virus from the biopsy of a breast cancer patient – and observed that this virus gave off a distinctive purple-red light. He named the virus Bacillus X (BX) and found it present in every carcinoma tissue he examined.

Whereas the accepted science of that time believed only in monomorphism, Rife noted that the BX virus was actually pleomorphic (it changed its form based on its terrain). (Rife’s colleagues – working with less powerful microscopes – saw only the shells of dead viruses and bacteria; whereas Rife – with his more powerful microscope – could see the mutable morphing of microorganisms.

It was around this time that Dr. Rife discovered the BX virus’ MOR – and was able to destroy it.

Using a special medium Dr. Kendall had developed for culturing virus, the two men succeeded in culturing the BX virus. They had little success at first; but when Dr. Rife accidentally left a tube in the glow of an ionizing lamp, he noticed the tube clouded (indicating activity). They then performed the culture in a partial vacuum (or anaerobic environment) and stimulated them with the ionizing light. Their work was the first successful culturing of a virus outside a living host.

Dr. Rife experimented by introducing the BX virus into rats, which caused the rats to develop tumors. Dr. Rife was able to eliminate the tumors by exposing them to their MOR via his ray-beam device. In light of these incredible results, Dr. Johnson insisted it was time to try the ray-beam on humans.

In 1934, a USC team of physicians, led by Dr. Johnson, transferred sixteen terminally ill patients from a San Diego hospital to the Scripps estate in La Jolla, California. Here they were subjected to the frequencies recommended by Dr. Rife for a period of 90 days.

Within 70 days, the USC team declared 14 of the patients clinically cured. The other 2 took 20 days longer.

Dr. Rife found that more frequent sessions did not allow the lymphatic system enough time to remove the toxins released from the destroyed virus and remove them from the body. Hence, the treatments included short breaks with nutrients to promote lymphatic elimination of the destroyed microbes.

Around this time, Dr. Rife had been advised to spend no more than 2 hours a day on the Universal Microscope, as his eyesight was failing. His non-stop work at the microscope had taken its toll. Moreover, Dr. Rife was using quartz optics, and a small mercury-vapor light (which produced quite a bit of ultraviolet light). That UV light might also have contributed to his failing eyesight.

Around 1936, Dr. Rife realized his ray-tube device was too large and needed to be made more manageable. Dr. Rife contracted an individual who understood his invention – and who knew how to manufacture his device more compactly, while maintaining its efficiency. That man was Philip Hoyland, an electrical engineer who lived in nearby Altadena, CA.

Rife and Hoyland formed the Beam Ray Corporation with the idea of making and distributing the machines to clinicians and physicians. Hoyland built most, if not all, of the early Rife ray-tube machines.

By the mid-1930’s, Dr. Rife had successfully researched and documented the MOR frequencies of numerous pathogens. He had also perfected his ray-beam device, which used a helium plasma lamp and very precise radio-frequencies. Very few of the machines had been built (ca. 4-6); being a new technology, they were expensive and difficult to manufacture. Although there were other MDs who had used the ray-beam machine to successfully treat their patients, the general medical establishment was not interested. Determining the exact frequencies which would devitalize various pathogens remained Dr. Rife’s primary focus.

Dr. Rife needed a better facility in which to do his work. His longtime supporter Dr. Johnson approached Henry Timken regarding funds for a new laboratory. Construction began in April 1936, and in August 1936, Dr. Rife moved in.




Enter Morris Fishbein – Secretary of the American Medical Association (1924-50) and Chief Editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association. His rise to power began by labeling natural healers (particularly Native American shamans, midwives, and chiropractors), as “quacks” and members of an “unscientific cult”. He also campaigned against cannabis and herbal medicine (Hoxsey Therapy).

Essentially, Fishbein sought to dominate the field of medicine by discrediting anything he could not directly control. In 1939, he tried purchasing the exclusive rights to Rife’s technology. When Rife rejected his advances, Fishbein was ruthless in his pursuit – even offering legal assistance to Phil Hoyland to sue Dr. Rife for sole ownership of the company. A tragic and lengthy lawsuit ensued.

Whereas commercial production of the ray-beam devices had ceased completely during the Great Depression, the 1939 trial put an end to any proper, scientific scrutiny of Rife’s frequency therapy. Moreover, the legal bills bankrupted Beam Ray Corporation. Dr. Rife eventually won the lawsuit, but unable to cope with the stress of the suit and the loss of his company, Dr. Rife turned to alcohol.

Fishbein continued to use his power within the AMA to halt any further scientific evaluation or studies of Dr. Rife’s work.

In March 1939, just as scientists were preparing to announce confirmation of Dr. Rife’s research, arson destroyed the multimillion-dollar Burnett Lab in New Jersey. At the same time, many papers and photographs in Dr. Rife’s San Diego laboratory disappeared, as did several parts of his Universal Microscope. Physicians in California using Rife’s ray-beam therapy were threatened with loss of their licenses if they continued using the therapy. While some physicians went underground, and others retreated to Mexico, most abandoned their equipment rather than risk losing their medical licenses.

1n 1939, Dr. Rife was formally invited to address the Royal Society of Medicine in London – which had recently verified his findings. He also received invitations to speak in France and Germany. Dr. R. Seidel formally announced the Rife ray-beam therapy for the treatment of cancer in the Journal of the Franklin Institute in February 1944.

Dr. Rife’s microscopes and treatments of viral and bacterial infections were described and praised by the Smithsonian Institute in an article published in 1944.

Amidst the positive results and continued support of many physicians and scientists, Dr. Rife continued to attract negative press and ruthless people, mainly from the pharmaceutical sectors, the AMA, and Harvard University.

Members of the pharmaceutical industrial complex knew if Rife’s ray-tube technology continued to develop and spread, it would eventually result
in the loss of millions of dollars of revenue, as well as the elimination of entire fields of medical science and research devoted to chemical-based medicine.

Several doctors who defended Dr. Rife lost their research foundation grants – and even their hospital privileges.

Dr. Arthur Kendall, the Director of the Northwestern School of Medicine (who worked with Dr. Rife on the BX cancer virus), accepted almost a quarter of a million dollars to suddenly “retire” to Mexico. Dr. George Dock was also silenced with an enormous grant (along with the highest honors the AMA could bestow).

Most doctors gave up and went back to prescribing pharmaceuticals.

Amidst this backlash, in late 1940, Dr. Rife was named a Fellow of the Andean Anthropological Expedition, an Institute for Scientific Research based in Phoenix, Arizona. The Institute’s Advisory Board was composed of prominent members of the Southwestern US medical and business community. 




In the late 1940’s, Dr. Rife made another attempt at manufacturing and distributing his ray-beam devices with new, improved technology. He partnered with an engineer named John Crane, as well as with Crane’s supervisor at Consolidated Aircraft Corporation (Convair) in San Diego, John Marsh. Their company was called Allied Industries.

Since much of his research, schematics, and documentation were destroyed in 1939, Dr. Rife did all he could to provide as much information as he could from memory (including details of the MORs used to destroy organisms). Fortunately, Dr. Gruner of Canada, who had worked with Dr. Rife in the 1930’s, had a circuit diagram of Hoyland’s Rife ray-tube instrument and sent Crane a copy.

Crane, Rife and Marsh employed audio frequencies in the instruments they built. Crane also lowered Hoyland’s frequencies by a factor of 10.

In December 1953, with Crane’s encouragement and with increasing confidence as he saw his work being revived, Dr. Rife wrote a report entitled History of the Development of a Successful Treatment for Cancer and other Virus, Bacteria and Fungi. The Rife Virus Microscope Institute in San Diego published the report. In it, Dr. Rife described his methods and the results achieved with his cancer cure.

In 1954, Allied Industries applied for a research grant. Dr. Rife was listed as the Director of Research and Principal Investigator; John Crane as Manager and Design Engineer; Verne Thompson as Chief Electronics Engineer; Don Tully as Development Associate; Cameron Bland as Electronics Engineer; and Dr. James Couche, MD, as a consultant to the company.

By 1956, Allied Industries had changed its name to Life Labs Inc. with Crane as President and Dr. Rife as Chief of Research. By 1960, some 90 Rife ray-tube machines had been built and distributed for use across America, and into England.



Just as operations were becoming promising again, tragedy struck Dr. Rife both personally and professionally. In 1957, Rife’s beloved wife of 45 years, Mamie Quill died. Next, the AMA and the FDA raided Crane’s office and confiscated $20,000 worth of equipment, electronic parts, engineering data, research records and reports – as well as his pictures off the wall, private letters, invoices and tape recordings. This was reputedly executed without a search warrant.

Others with Rife instruments (doctors and non-doctors) had theirs confiscated as well. The partners of Life Labs Inc. were served with summons regarding “the manufacture and sale of illegal medical devices” and “practicing medicine without a license.” Dr. Rife, then almost 73, and unable to handle more stress,
retreated to Mexico.

John Crane and John Marsh were criminally indicted. On March 7, 1961, while in Mexico, Dr. Rife provided a sworn deposition to assist with Crane’s defense. In the Spring of 1961, the case of The People of the State of California vs. John Marsh, Lallas Bateson, and John Crane came to trial. The judge did not permit Dr. Rife’s deposition – nor did he allow any medical reports from the 1930’s and 1940’s to be presented as evidence. The trial lasted 24 days; Crane and Marsh were both found guilty and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

After an appeal to the State Supreme Court, two of the three counts against Crane were reversed “because no specific criminal intent had been proven.” Crane and Marsh spent a total of three years in prison.

On August 5, 1971, at the age of 83, Dr. Royal Rife died of a heart attack in El Cajon, California.

Alcoholism and valium consumption were implicated as contributing factors – but a broken heart could also be considered probable cause.

Dr. Royal Raymond Rife, PhD. was a brilliant and gifted man, a true humanitarian, whose life purpose and work were finding a cure for diseases. He developed some of the world’s most powerful optical microscopes and discovered a unique nonpharmaceutical method to destroy pathogenic organisms using frequency resonance. Though he died in 1971, interest in his research and
discoveries did not.

The harder you try to suppress the truth the more inevitable it is that it will find a way to come out.”

This biography is an attempt to portray the amazing life and work of one of the greatest humanitarians of the 20th century, Dr. Royal Raymond Rife, Jr., Ph.D. Unfortunately, this is also a tragic story of the suppression of science and truth. It is difficult to read some accounts of Dr. Rife’s life and not be emotionally touched by the way he was mistreated and betrayed by members of the medical industrial complex. Many of Dr. Rife’s discoveries are now being validated by physicists and microbiologists. He clearly was ahead of his time and inspired and fostered others to continue his work in resonance therapy and pleomorphism.

While some of the chronological details of Dr. Rife’s life have been recorded differently by authors, every effort has been made here to represent the events of Dr. Rife’s life and work with accuracy and objectivity.







 James Bare designed and holds the patent on the Rife-Bare device and is the primary researcher in this field. His construction manual is offered for sale on this site.

• Bare also owns the Plasma Sonics company which sells components for constructing a Rife-Bare device oneself.

• Resonant Light Technology is the oldest manufacturer of professionally-built Rife-Bare units. They feature the Phorle model PERL which was rated as a Class II medical device in Canada. Resonant Light is an ISO certified company. Don Tunney is the owner and president.

 Vibrant Health specializes in building high-powered, high frequency Rife-Bare devices, the latest model being the IR/BPT-500. David Trebing is the owner and president of Vibrant Health.

• Ralph Hartwell participated in some of the research in the early days (early- to mid-1990’s) of the Rife-Bare device. Ralph is an RF engineer and gives useful info on the RF aspects of “rifing,” as well as info on Tesla devices. His company, Rife-Beam-Ray sells controller boards, couplers, amplifiers, plasma tube electrodes, and other components for the DIY Rifer.

• DFE Research Network has information on Rife-Bare research and complementary health and nutrition plus info on DIY rife, an excellent list of links to suppliers of Rife components, and microscope information.

• Bill Cheb builds tubes for Rife devices including the Phanotron and ones made of Pyrex and quartz.



“There are no real Royal Rife generators commonly available for sale. Function generators, EMEMs, and Rife-Bare devices are not real Rife devices, even though they may be advertised as such. Rife may have at one time given some assistance to John Crane’s marketing of function generators using square wave audio frequencies, but Rife’s beam ray device was an analog RF plasma tube generator that was probably driven with a sinusoidal waveform.

The Rife-Bare device was invented by James Bare after studying Royal Rife’s work. Bare’s Rife generator may produce some of the same beneficial effects of the original Rife device using modern electronic components. It may or may not be as effective as the original. It uses audio frequencies like many bioelectronic devices do, but instead of just holding onto the outputs of a function generator or other pad device, the audio frequencies are combined with a radio frequency (RF) carrier signal, amplified, then output to a “plasma tube” which is a sealed glass tube usually filled with mostly argon and some neon gas. This tube emits “the ray beam” and, unlike with plasma tube devices that do not use an RF carrier such as EMEM devices, it should not be touched more than briefly since it may cause RF burns.”

BRMI is a non-commercial website and does not specifically endorse any products or services mentioned in this biography (or on this site generally).




 The Rife Forum



• Peter Walker hosts the Rife Europe site which contains many Rife papers and also conducts the Rife Forum

 Educate Yourself: Forbidden Cures

 Brian McInturf’s Electroherbalism

• Stan Truman has a website with what is probably the most extensive collection of Rife historical articles including actual copies of Rife’s lab reports as well as videos.

 Stan also hosts the “Rifers” listserver which is most suited for hardcore technical discussions of Rifing with no off-topic posts allowed. Subscribe by sending email to

• Tom Bearden has written articles on the electrical effects on organisms and other matter, furthered Prioré’s work, and includes the full text of his patent entitled “Method, System and Apparatus for Conditioning Electromagnetic Potentials, Fields, and Waves to Treat and Alter Matter” plus a lengthy article entitled “Novel Principles in The Rife Microscope and Rife’s Great Secret”.