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Rife Devices

William T. Jarvis, Ph.D.

Royal Raymond Rife was the chauffeur for the Bridges family of San Diego, California for many years (Mrs. Bridges was the wealthy daughter of the founder of the Timkin Roller Bearing Company). Apparently, Rife was gifted in mechanics, and Mrs. Bridges supplied him with a workshop and the best of tools. It is said that all Rife had to do was to take the widow Bridges for a ride once in a while and to play the organ for her, and that if he wanted $10,000 for a gadget he was working on, she would give it to him [1]. Rife had a keen interest in optics and developed a microscope of extraordinarily high magnification. Rife also worked on a radio wave device called the "Rife Ray" that he alleged would destroy germs and viruses "without damage to human tissue." Rife is said to have claimed having a Ph.D. from Georgia Tech, but the university had stated that it had not issued any degree to him. A physician, Arthur W. Yale, MD, promoted the device as an experimental cancer treatment. Promoters treated cancer patient for "donations." Devices were seized by the FDA for failing to meeting the requirements for medical devices. Several promoters of the devices were prosecuted by the State of California for grand theft for misrepresenting the device's true value [2].

A 1986 book, The Cancer Cure That Worked, Fifty Years of Suppression, by Barry Lynes and John Crane, revived the Rife device affair. The book, written in a style typical of conspiratorial theorists, cites names, dates, events and places, giving the appearance of authenticity to a mixture of historical documents and speculations selectively spun into a web far too complex to permit verification by any thing short of a army of investigators with unlimited resources. The authors claim that Rife successfully demonstrated his device's cancer curing ability in 1934, but that "all reports describing the cure were censored by the head of the AMA from the major medical journals."

Lynes and Crane put forth a theory developed by another San Diego-based maverick physician, Virginia Livingston, MD, that cancer is caused by bacteria. Promoters claim that Rife's powerful light microscope could detect living microbes by the color of the auras they emitted by their vibratory rates, and that the Rife Frequency Generator could generate radio frequencies of precisely the same vibratory rates of the offending bacteria and destroy them in a manner similar to an opera singer's voice breaking a crystal glass. However, although sound waves can produce vibrations that will break glass, radio waves do not have such effects due to their low energy level

In 1991, Rife devices were being sold by a pyramid-like, multilevel marketing scheme in which users become salespeople sharing in each other's profits. The primary sales technique is testimonials of personal benefits experienced by the user. Aside from the obvious conflict of interest involved in selling medical devices one recommends, it is unlikely that an individual can separate real from imagined benefits they subjectively feel when combining efforts to improve their physical well-being as well as their financial well-being. Promoters make it clear that the marketing of such devices is illegal, and tell distributors to maintain secrecy on the reasoning that an establishment conspiracy exists to suppress cancer cures that work.

The World Research Foundation (WRF), a private information and referral agency which helps people locate questionable cancer remedies, actively advances the Rife Frequency Generator. Operated by Steven and LaVerne Ross, WRF sponsors conferences that provide a platform for the promoters of heterodox cancer methods. WRF publishes World Research News. WRF states that it is a nonprofit organization with 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt status.

The United States Psychotronics Association (USPA), located in Chicago, also advocates radionics and the Rife device. In July, 1990, the USPA offered a "Beginner's Radionics School" which included instruction in the operation of "instruments, pendulums, and rub plates." According to materials promoting its 16th annual conference in 1990, the USPA was organized by the late alleged psychic J.G. Gallimore. The organization's basic premise is that extrasensory perception is a natural occurrence. USPA claims a number of Ph.D.'s among its membership.

Recently manufactured Rife generators include REM Super Pro, Klark Kent's "Super Science" Rife Resonator, QLF Generator, Electrospectrum, Hansen / Ilenco / Elenco, ScalarTronix SXT-3, R.I.F.E., Crane Foundation CRF 1000/1990, Rife / Crane Instrument, and Biotron [3]. In 1993, a guide to Rife instrument manufacturers was available from the Royal Rife Research Society, 4677 30th Street, Ste 4, San Diego, CA 9211 [4].


  1. Letter from Dr. Percy Magan, president of White Memorial Hospital to Dr. Fred Zapffe, Secretary of the Association of American Medicl Colleges, dated 7/2/38.
  2. Letter from Oliver Field of the American Medicl Association to Miss Ellen Adams, dated 9/14/67.
  3. Sieger L. "Consumer guide to Rife Generators," in Confidential Rife Report, 1991.
  4. Townsend Letter for Doctors, June, 1993, p.92.

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© 1997 National Council Against Health Fraud. With proper citation, this article may be reproduced for noncommercial purposes

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This article was posted on December 29, 2000.