Rife was born on May 16, 1888, in Elkhorn, Nebraska, and in 1913 married and moved to San Diego, where he was employed as a family chauffeur. According to some, he worked for one of the German optical companies (Zeiss or Leitz) for a few years before World War One<ref>http://www.rife.de/mscope/mscope5.htm ascribed to Neil Brown of the Science Museum, London</ref> and served in the US Navy during this war.
Rife died on August 5, 1971, in El Cajon, CA.
In 1931 Rife built his “universal microscope,” an optical microscope claiming a resolution greater than any contemporary device and higher than is theoretically possible for optical microscopes. The instrument used Prism (optics), polarized light and ultraviolet light, overcoming physical limitations by heterodyning, a technique used in radio reception which at that time was quite new.
On November 20, 1931, forty-four doctors attended a dinner advertised as “The End To All Diseases” at the Pasadena estate of Dr. Milbank Johnson.<ref>http://www.rife.org/dinnerparty.html</ref> This dinner was honoring Dr. Arthur Kendall, professor at Northwestern Medical School, and developer of the “K Medium” which would allow cancer cells to grow in culture, and Rife, the developer of the “Rife microscope”.
On November 20, 1931, The Rife Research Laboratory, San Diego, California, the Laboratory of Research Bacteriology at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, Illinois and the Pathological Laboratory of the Pasadena Hospital in Pasadena, California presented a paper<ref>http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1658030</ref> at a meeting of the Bacteriological Section of the Los Angeles Clinical and Pathological Society, entitled: “OBSERVATIONS ON BACILLUS TYPHOSUS IN ITS FILTERABLE STATE.”
In 1932 Dr. Edward Rosenow, Northwestern School of Medicine, published a two-part paperTemplate:Fact discussing the “amazing” capabilities of the Rife microscope as compared side by side with a standard microscope. Also in 1932, the Mayo Clinic performed a series of tests on the microscope.<ref></ref>
Rife claimed to have used his microscope to directly observe, in vivo in various media and living tissues, the life cycles of microbes too small for regular light microscopes. He also claimed to have discovered “cells” between the cells of human tissues. By rotating prisms to focus light of a single wavelength upon the microorganism he was examining, he could purportedly elicit resonance with a unique “spectroscopic signature frequency” of the microbe, causing it to become easily visible in UV without killing it. He believed there is a certain “Mortal Oscillation Rate” at which the resonance becomes so extreme as to kill the organism. This is sometimes analogized to a human singer shattering glass by singing at a frequency which causes the glass to resonate until it shatters.<ref>http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/freeabs_all.jsp?arnumber=1287766</ref>
In December of 1953, the Allied Research Laboratory conducted a study<ref>http://www.rife.org/magazine/alliedreport.html</ref> using Rife’s microscope and frequency instrument to treat cancer and tuberculosis in vitro.
Although electron microscope|electron microscopy has failed to replicate his observations, a Rife supporter in 2006 completed and demonstrated what he calls a “proof of concept” microscope<ref>http://www.rife.org/tbcoptics.html</ref> designed to verify that the Rife optical instrument was viable.
Cancer & Disease treatment claims
A 1986 newspaper article<ref>http://www.rife.org/newspaper/planet.html</ref> by Barry Lynes, the author of “The Cancer Cure That Worked,” a book about Rife, claims that in 1934, the University of Southern California appointed a special medical research committee to bring cancer patients from Pasadena, California County Hospital to Rife’s San Diego Laboratory and clinic for treatment, and further claims that after 90 days of treatment, the committee concluded that 14 of the patients had been completely cured; that the treatment was then adjusted for the two remaining patients over the next four weeks and that the total recovery rate using Rife’s technology was 100%.
Rife came to believe that he could find a Mortal Oscillatory Rate for any pathogenic organism, and directed his research accordingly, culturing and testing various pathogens with his machine. Rife documented, in the course of this work, the precise frequencies which destroyed specific organisms. Working with Dr. Kendall, Rife was able to show that many, if not all, contagious bacterial diseases could be cured using this radiation treatment. Interestingly, these frequencies were typically in the 10-100 MHz range, which could explain their effect since this is a microwave range well known to affect water and water-bearing materials. In a specific example of this, in 1935, Dr. Johnson conducted tests using Rife’s machine to test growth of Typhoid in medium. Test results demonstrated no motility of typhoid rods which were exposed to Rife’s machine.<ref></ref><ref></ref> Unfortunately, in spite of these reported successes, no paper submitted to a peer-reviewed medical journal, nor any details of the diagnoses of the patients before or after treatment in the cancer trials are currently available.
Claims of government cover-up
Rife and his latter-day supporters account for the absence of demonstrable equipment or detailed notes on its construction by reporting that the then-editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Morris Fishbein, or alternatively the government, raided Rife’s labs, destroyed his microscopes, seized his equipment and notes, and forced him to move on.
Re-examination of stories
Rife’s work was revived in the 1980s. An interest in Rife himself was revived by author Barry Lynes, who wrote a book about Rife entitled The Cancer Cure That Worked. This led to such groups as the Bioelectromagnetics Society. Some scientists are critical of Rife’s work.
Those who claim to be continuing Rife’s work today are accused of ignoring the scientific method. Both Rife’s original work and current theoretical and commercial offerings, such as Rife plasma lamp devices, remain unsupported by peer-reviewed research.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> Quackwatch and other skeptics of alternative medicine have published articles critical of Rife.
Other devices using Rife’s name
In the late 1980s a company by the name of “Life Energy Resources” mass-produced a device they called the “REM SuperPro Generator”, ostensibly on the foundation of Rife’s work (the acronym REM reportedly stood for Rife’s Electromagnetic<ref>Investigators’ Reports, FDA Consumer magazine, September 1996</ref>). Three of the company’s top distributors: Pat Ballistrea, Michael Ricotta, and Brian Strandberg, served prison time for selling unapproved medical devices and drugs as a result of their trials in 1993, 1994, and 1995.
By the end of the millennium, devices using Rife’s name were widely available from many commercial sources. This included microscopes claiming to be derived from Rife’s “Universal microscope,” as well as devices advertised as “Beam Ray” equivalents claiming to cure anything from the common cold to Lyme disease to cancer. Peer-reviewed research reporting any effects of these machines or the technology involved was not available. It was not clear whether or not any of these devices were actually based on Rife’s work. Growing criticism from mainstream science and demands for government intervention were apparent in the media. One example was a December 2000 Sydney Morning Herald article that stated “Cancer sufferers have died after putting their faith in a device with electrical parts worth just $15.” Some countries saw the advent of “Rife” clinics which attracted customers worldwide, once again without independent verification or accreditation.
<references /> The Cancer Cure That Worked. Barry Lynes. Markus Books, Queensville, Ontario, Canada, 1987. 169 pages. ISBN 0-919951-30-9
The Cancer Conspiracy: Betrayal, Collusion and the Suppression of Alternative Cancer Treatments. Barry Lynes. 256 pages. Elsmere Press (March 2002) ISBN 978-1885273123
Bird, Christopher: “What Has Become of the Rife Microscope?” New Age Journal. Boston, March 1976.
- Rife devices National Council Against Health Fraud
- FDA Link on the FDA website detailing the successful prosecution of a group selling what they claimed to be a circa 1980’s reproduction Rife machine
- Radionics in the Skeptic’s dictionary
- James Bare sells a device labeled as a modern version of the Rife “Beam Ray” device.
- Rife.org Reviews the original documents concerning Rife
- The European Rife Information Forum Run by Peter Walker, a Rife experimenter, and contains a wealth of links and information concerning modern Rife research.
- The Bioelectromagnetics Society is an association of scientists and doctors conducting experiments that use electromagnetism to heal.
- Aubrey Scoon is an electrical engineer with an interest in Rife technologies who maintains a web site regarding his own research into Rife technologies.
- Jeff Rense A more detailed website putting Rife’s work in layman’s terms.
- EMR Labs Another website but with photocopies of newspaper clippings