This is a history of the life of Royal Raymond Rife, Jr. Not much is known of his early life, other than he was born in Elkhorn, Nebraska, on May 16, 1888, and was the second child born to Royal Raymond Rife and Ida May Rife. His father was a mechanical engineer. Royal Rife’s heavy German accent may be an indication that their household spoke German as their home language. (Elkhorn’s web site indicates that their area’s ancestry is 47% German.) Rife indicates that he started his first laboratory in San Diego in 1912, after working in New York for four or five years (apparently for the Carl Zeiss firm).

He appears to have then gone to Germany where he worked with Carl Zeiss, of the Zeiss optical company (a major manufacturer of microscopes and other precision optics) in Heidelberg, Germany.) In a history of his career later, indications are that he was also a US Naval Commander, Retired, and there were suggestions that he may have been on assignment for the US Government while in Europe. In 1912, he married Mamie Quinn in the San Diego area.

There are reports that he traveled extensively in Europe, accompanied by his wife, probably in the late 1910’s or following WWI in the 20’s Rife was an accomplished musician, playing the french horn and the guitar; one letter indicates he built a 100-string “guitar” – type- instrument.

He was also quite a sportsman, with a collection of high-powered rifles, and held the high – powered motorboat speed record until his death in 1971. Photos of him with musical instruments (and on one of the power boats) are available from some web sites. In a brief history of Rife written in 1954 by John Crane, Rife indicated that he received an honorary Doctor of Parasitology (Science) degree from the University of Heidelberg in 1914.

Crane further says that Rife received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Southern California in 1936, although paperwork in the 30’s indicated that Rife may have never accepted the degree from USC, indeed, Rife was known, in those years, to throw mail into the trash unopened. Rife is said to have built his first microscope in 1921 and later, after much research and work on microscope optics and light sources. He patented a high-intensity lamp for microscope use in 1929 (Patent #1727618).

In tests using B. coli (bacillus coli) Rife found that the bacteria, if exposed to radio-frequency energy at certain frequencies, would “deactivate”, or die. Later testing showed the same results with other samples of B. Coli at the same frequencies. Rife needed a means of seeing even smaller pathogens, even down to the virus size if possible, and set out to examine microscope optics and the factors which limit the standard optical microscope to magnifications of between 1000 and 1500 times magnification – the “Fraunhofer Diffraction Limit”.

Rife found a means to building a microscope with a very long optical path with specially-ground quartz prisms in the barrel of his microscope. In addition, he determined that white light, which contains all wavelengths of visible light, was not suitable for high-magnification optics, and used a “Risley” prism between his light source and the sample, thus illuminating the sample with a single frequency of monochromatic light (very similar to high-definition research microscopes of today which use lasers).

Rife built his first known microscope, “Number 1” in 1920 on an optical bench similar to a lathe bed. Microscope #2 was similar in construction, but built in 1923 in a vertical format similar to a standard microscope. #2 was sent to Northwestern University for Dr. Arthur Kendall’s use, apparently for some time in the 1932 time-frame. Unit #3, built in 1933 and shown above on the right, was the “Universal Microscope” which had provisions for polarized, bright field, dark field, infrared and ultraviolet imaging. #3 was the unit which is talked about so much, since it is the unit which Rife used to examine live virus samples.

Microscope #4, which had no polarizing stage, but offered magnifications up to 15,000 times, was built in 1935, and appears to have been an early version of a much more simple Universal Microscope which Rife hoped to find a manufacturer for. 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 Rife went there to help install it.

Later it is mentioned that #4 was sent back to Rife (in 1939), and at some point a newer #5 microscope is sent. #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. The Electric Club of San Diego thanked Rife for a presentation he gave them in February of 1930. There are many similar letters in the records; Rife was a popular, fascinating and entertaining speaker! In the early 1930’s Rife became associated with Milbank Johnson, M.D., who, in earlier years, had been Professor of Physiology and Clinical Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC), and was the Chairman of the “Special Medical Research Committee”. USC has no record of such an organization, however there are numerous documents from Johnson and others referring to the Committee.

It is quite possible that this Committee was a “gentlemen’s handshake” agreement between Dr. Johnson and Dr. Rufus B. von KleinSmid, President of USC.. In addition, quite a number of researchers at USC are named over the years, so there is no doubt that this group did exist in some format. 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 was a founder and the 2nd President of the Automobile Club of Southern California from 1903 to 1905.

He was a Director of the Pacific Mutual Insurance Company from 1906 to 1933. Dr. Johnson was a driving force behind the development of the Rife machine. He, and many others involved in the research of the Rife machine, were nationally-known and recognized in their fields, and there is no doubt whatever that the microscope and “ray machine” did in fact work. Several of the medical researchers and doctors of that time who were involved with the research of devitalizing organisms were the top people in their field; the head of Experimental Bacteriology at Mayo Clinic; the Director of Medical Research at Northwestern University, and others. In 1931 Dr. Johnson was contacted by, and encouraged Dr. Arthur Kendall, Ph.D., Director of Medical Research of Northwestern University (and eventually Dean of the Medical School) near Chicago, to come to California and meet Royal Rife. The two got along well, using Kendall’s “K” Medium (developed from pig tissue) to grow human cancer cells for experimentation with Rife’s “ray machine” or frequency instrument.

In May 1932 Dr. Johnson wrote to Dr. Kendall (at one time Directory of the Hygienic Laboratory in the Panama Canal construction project) (The national Hygienic Laboratory eventually became the National Institutes of Health). Kendall, certainly an internationally-known Ph.D., had been awarded a Doctor of Science degree by USC in 1932. (Kendall retired from Northwestern University in 1942 at about age 65, and moved to a housing development he had been actively supporting in Mexico, and passed away in late 1959 in the San Diego area, after the development project failed.)

Rife, by the mid-1930’s, had successfully found and documented the frequencies which would devitalize many of the major illnesses of the day, and had built a “ray machine” which used a helium plasma lamp excited by very precise radio frequencies.

A short exposure once every three days was the treatment method which seemed to work best, and there are many letters from MDs and patients who had used Rife’s “Ray Machine”. The medical establishment was not interested, even though there were a few MDs around the US who eventually used his ray machine quite successfully against many different illnesses.


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