The most unusual instruments that Dr. Royal Rife built in the 1930s mystified, captivated & deeply offended the medical world. The universal microscope was purportedly able to view live deadly viruses—cancer included! The viruses were then zapped with his frequency-laden beam ray machine. Treats! looks back at a saga of hope and health and the man who tried to cover it all. by Chase Daniels and Steven Stiles


It looked like something Henry Ford and H.G. Wells might’ve dreamed up on the back of a napkin while tossing back a few down at the pub. It stood approximately three feet tall, wide and bulky like a Volkswagen Bug engine; the whole twisting contraption sprouted from a solid base of metal that resembled nothing more than a thick antique chess board. With tubular, shiny chrome arms and twisting scopes, a mirrored flurry of metal tentacles, spastic like a Jules Verne- inspired sea creature, it seemed a total lark. The remainder resembled more or less the guts of an Anheuser-Busch distillery; in all, the machine contained over a staggering 5,000 parts, give or take a few.

But the Universal Microscope or “Wonder Machine,” as those who first saw its affects referred to it, was built with much more in mind than a future Twilight Zone episode. It was, rather—and this is where things get interesting—a machine that could, possibly, corral the world’s most diabolical viruses—in minutes.

The 1930s were a fertile decade for industrial patents and technology-driven inventions. Throughout the world, inventors and their dreams flourished. Frank Whittle and extensive knowledge of light and optics from his studies at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, Rife’s microscope was something special, amazingly powerful and complex. At the time light microscopes were limited by diffraction, a process by which a beam of light hits an obstacle and bends. This bend in the light wave affects the ability of the microscope to pull objects into focus, making it impossible to see living viruses. But, using a set of quartz prisms, his own patented light source, and other advanced materials, Rife created a microscope that eliminated nearly all light diffraction, allowing him to view live viruses in their natural form. According to Rife, if he could recognize living microbes using his technology, he could then employ the necessary techniques to kill them through intense frequency. That “employ,” was his Beam Ray Machine: A black, safe-deposit- looking contraption, radio-like, with nests of knobs and buttons, controlling 14,000 possible settings, light-socket powered with a 50 watt output tube (“X-ray tube”) filled with inert gas that powers intense frequency’s.

In essence, Rife’s Beam Ray Machine was designed to relentlessly bombard the identified virus with a light frequency, or vibratory rate that “devitalized” it while the surrounding healthy cells remained undamaged. Some in the know applauded. Others simply balked. Many dismissed it outright. But if Rife was right, this invention could potentially mean, while perhaps unbelievable, the end of disease.



1931: On a cool, crisp, Fall night in Pasadena, California, Dr. Milbank Johnson, a renowned medical doctor for the Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Company and former Professor of Physiology and Clinical Medicine at the University of Southern California, held a dinner at his sprawling estate. Johnson, a squat, bald, bespectacled man, with alabaster-white skin, was one of the more respected physicians in America. In attendance at the dinner were 44 doctors he assembled from around the country. They were there to honor two men: Dr. Arthur I. Kendall, Director of Medical Research at Northwestern University Medical School in Illinois, and the aforementioned Dr. Rife.

Kendall had invented a protein culture medium (“K Medium”), which enabled the “filtrable virus” portions of bacteria to be isolated and continue reproducing. In other words, these two men, together, were able to find a way to destroy all deadly microorganisms in diseased human tissue without using any drugs, radiation or snake oil voodoo. Dr. Milbank Johnson realized just how amazing these discoveries were and went so far as to dub the event, “The End to All Diseases.”

But Dr. Johnson and his guests weren’t the only physicians to see the potential of Dr. Rife’s invention; the scientific journals were dazzled. In the December issue of Science magazine, an article stated that Dr. Royal Rife’s microscope could see “exceedingly minute moving bodies” and that it had a “magnification power of 17,000 diameters”—more than one thousand times the norm. This was a very big endorsement at the time. Science, the leading publication in the industry, had strict and rigorous editorial standards and would not publish an article without absolute proof; their quality control board elevated the journal to being the most respected scientific journal in the free world. Popular Science followed with a feature claiming “the quartz glass, the glycerin tubes, the 2,000 candle power light source and the 12,000 magnification power” of Rife’s machine are truly revolutionary. Then in August, Science published an additional article, written by Dr. E.C. Rosenow, head bacteriologist for the Mayo Clinic. In the article, Dr. Rosenow talked about how he spent three days with Dr. Rife and got to “observe live viral particles” using Rife’s so-called “wonder” microscope.

But how much could such a miracle microscope cost? Rife—an expert machinist—manufactured and invented most of the parts himself, in addition to obtaining the incredible expensive quartz lenses, which brought the total cost of the device to a little over $30,000. The November 22, 1932, article in the Los Angeles Times read….”scientific discoveries of the greatest magnitude, including a discussion of the world’s most powerful microscope scientists predict will transcend the limits of optic science….”

A few days later, a picture appeared in the paper of Rife, Kendall and the microscope. The headline blazed: “THE WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL MICROSCOPE!” While The Evening Tribune’s screamed: “DREAD DISEASE GERMS DESTROYED BY RAYS, CLAIMS S.D. SCIENTIST!”

But not everybody was as ebullient and delighted as the doctors and newspaper editors.



While Dr. Rife was busy inventing his so-called cancer-killing instruments, Morris Fishbein, the editor of The Journal of American Medicine (JAMA), the state-backed official journal of The American Medical Association (AMA), was wielding his considerable power to bury Rife and his machines. At the time, the AMA was not accepting dues but was instead making its money through the sales of JAMA and advertising dollars.

Under this pay-to-play set-up, the AMA started giving certain products the “AMA seal of acceptance.”  The AMA would accept money from the manufacturers of medicine and medical devices and in exchange give them “the medical community’s seal of approval.” The AMA, in fact, had no testing facilities to prove any of the claims from the manufactures—Rife’s included.

A bull-necked man with dark, deep-set brown eyes, Fishbein began his career as a circus clown. But when he got his first paycheck, he decided it would be more lucrative to be a doctor. The problem was, he was a lousy student; he flunked anatomy and barely graduated medical school—never treating a single patient himself.

His ambition for power and money were, however, hardly curtailed by such minor roadblocks. Fishbein, through a series of almost unbelievable coincidences and in some cases outright cronyism, became the head of the state’s foremost professional medical organization, the AMA, in 1929. By 1934, he had acquired total ownership of all the organization’s outstanding shares.

In his new position, Fishbein was able to assume dictatorial control of the state licensing boards, and  make it as difficult as he could for any doctor who did not join the ranks of the AMA.

An example of Fishbein’s Gestapo-like stature occurred a few years earlier when Fishbein squashed the controversial cancer treatment, The Hoxsey Therapy. A mixture of herbs, the Hoxsey Therapy was first marketed as a purported cure for cancer in the 1920s by John Hoxsey, a former coal miner and insurance salesman. Hoxsey had traced the treatment and its alleged effects to his great-grandfather who had observed a horse with a tumor on its leg “cure” itself by grazing upon a particular selection of wild plants growing in a meadow. Hoxsey gathered these herbs and mixed them with other alternative remedies that had been used for cancer. Among the claims Hoxsey made in the book he authored on the subject, he purports his therapy aimed to restore “physiological normalcy” to a disturbed metabolism, with an “emphasis on purgation to help carry away waste from the tumors.” By 1936, he had opened some 17 clinics, treating over 7,000 patients, and with a reported income of over two-million dollars (the basic fee for treatment was $300 and went all the way up to $500).

According to court documents filed by Hoxsey, years into the successful operation of his clinics, and despite his claims that there existed substantial evidence to support the efficacy of his therapeutic treatments, he was approached by Fishbein and The AMA. They offered a simple deal: Fishbein and his associates would receive the total of all the profits resulting from Hoxsey’s businesses, clinics, therapies, etc. for a nine year “trial” term. During that period, Hoxsey would receive no monies whatsoever. At the end of the nine-year term, if Fishbein and The AMA were satisfied that Hoxsey’s treatments were effective, Hoxsey would begin to receive 10 percent of the profits.

When Hoxsey refused the offer, Fishbein used his political and medical connections to have Hoxsey arrested an astounding 125 times in a period of 16 months. Fishbein then continued to harass Hoxsey for the next 25 years. By the 50s, after enduring years of pressure over having to continuously prove the effectiveness of his remedies to Fishbein and the AMA, Hoxsey was finally made to abandon the sale of the Hoxsey Herbal Treatments and close all of his U.S. clinics. (In 1963, Mildred Nelson, a nurse who had worked closely with Hoxsey, established the Bio Medical Clinic in Tijuana, Mexico. The Clinic continues to operate in Tijuana today, as a successful alternative cancer care clinic, servicing patients from around the world.)

By 1937, Rife and a few colleagues established the company Beam Ray Corp to manufacture his machines en masse. In the first year alone they had built 14 machines. When made aware of Beam Ray, Fishbein immediately sent an “associate” to meet them. According to Benjamin Cullen, the largest shareholder and president of Ray Beam Corporation at the time, “A man came to visit us from Los Angeles and we had several meetings. Finally, he took us out to dinner and broached the subject of buying in completely. Well, we wouldn’t do it.”

Although no one knows for sure the exact terms of the alleged offer, it was most likely similar to the one Fishbein made to Harry Hoxsey. In other words, a bad deal.



Royal “Roy” Raymond Rife was born on May 16, 1888 in Elkhorn, Nebraska. The son of a local mechanic, he was raised by his aunt until 1905. By all accounts he was a smart but shy boy who had a soft, gentle smile. A musician from a young age, Rife played the guitar and the horn and had even built a 100-string guitar as a teenager. Instead of playing outside with the other kids, he could often be found in his aunt’s basement taking apart and putting together transistors and other mechanical devices. It wasn’t until the age of 22, however, that Rife would begin to focus his interest on parasitology, the study of parasites, at the University of Heidelberg, where, after leaving John Hopkins Medical School, he found it to be far more interesting than medicine.

Rife commenced his life’s work by photographing specimens under standard microscopes for the University. Heidelberg was so impressed that they awarded him with an honorary doctorate in parasitology in 1914. Microscopy proved a key element in Rife’s studies. This led to his great interest in the area of optics, and, ultimately, to Rife’s decision to move to New York, where he could study alongside Hanz Lukel at Zeiss Optics, still considered one of the most advanced optic companies in the world. Rife married in 1913 and moved to California when World War I began. He joined the Navy and spent the remainder of the War using his training and expertise to spy on foreign laboratories for the US Government.

By October of 1929, as the stock market crash was paralyzing the nation, Rife had built the world’s first microscope strong enough to see a live virus. But the technology at the time was so limited that in order to focus the scope, Rife was frequently forced to painfully adjust his microscope for up to 24 hours just to get the specimen into focus. That year, The San Diego Union ran an article announcing that Dr. Royal Rife “has built a microscope capable of staining living viruses with light to make them visible.” By the end of the year, the paper reported, “Rife can destroy the typhus bacteria, the polio virus, the herpes virus, the cancer virus and other viruses in culture and in experimental animals.”

In 1933, after 12 years and five failures at building even more powerful microscopes, Rife perfected his technology by successfully constructing the largest and most powerful microscope in the world: The Universal Microscope.

Around this time, Henry H. Timken, a free-wheeling German-born inventor/millionaire and owner of Timken Roller Bearing Axle Co., which was supplying 90 percent of the country’s ball-bearings, came into Rife’s life. Timken’s marketing slogan was: “Wherever wheels and shafts turn.”  Just a few years earlier, Timken, a well-known philanthropist, was spending virtually a million dollars a week so that Dr. Orval James Cunningham of Kansas City, MO, could study and test his treatment of certain cases of diabetes, pernicious anemia and cancer by putting the patients in tanks filled with air under pressure. Timken spent $165,000 for a ten-acre plot of land on the Lake Erie shore to build a 64-foot steel tank for Dr. Cunningham’s studies.

Timken quickly realized the brilliance of Rife and commissioned him to build a motor to power his racing boat. Rife built Timken, whose boat was affectionately called “Mrs. America,” a 2,700 horse power motor, naming it “Kitty Hawk the Fifth.” With Rife behind the wheel, Timken won many open water races, sustaining 87 mph, a record that lasted more than 60 years.  Shortly after, during a friendly conversation, Timken told Rife that his company was losing millions of dollars due to defective parts caused by hairline fractures in the steel they were using. Rife decided to help Timken by building him the first x-ray eye capable of detecting hairline fractures in steel. With this early detection of faulty steel, Rife ended up saving Timken millions of dollars. As repayment, Timken gave Rife a lifetime stipend to help aid the research that Rife was so passionate about: bacteriology, parasitology, optics—and conquering cancer.



As far back as 1920, Rife had identified a virus that he believed caused cancer. He dubbed it the “BX virus.” He claimed, “It is not the bacteria themselves that produce the disease, but the chemical constituents of these micro-organisms enacting upon the unbalanced cell metabolism of the human body that, in actuality, produce the disease. We also believe if the metabolism of the human body is perfectly balanced or poised, it is susceptible to no disease.”

Rife claimed he made over 20,000 unsuccessful attempts to transform normal cells into tumor cells. His failures continued until he irradiated the virus, caught it in a porcelain filter, and injected it into lab animals. Using this technique, Rife created 400 tumors in a row. He then began subjecting the viruses to different radio frequencies to see if they had any effect on the virus.  These experiments led to Rife’s discovery of the “Mortal Oscillatory Rate” (MOR) of the virus. In simple terms, Rife believed that everything in nature contained its own, specific vibration frequency or resonance. Rife concluded that if he could subject a body or, in this case, a disease, to a resonance or vibrations high enough, he could, essentially, shatter a body—or disease—that operated at a more sensitive vibration. In practice, it’s something similar to the way a high frequency vibration can be used to shatter a wineglass. Rife believed that when he was finally able to isolate the specific resonance of a disease, he could simply shatter it. Using this technology, Rife claimed to have successfully cured cancer in his 400 experimental animals. And during this period of experimentation, Rife discovered the frequencies that destroyed herpes, polio, spinal meningitis, tetanus, influenza, and many other dangerous disease-causing organisms. All told, there were over 50 infectious diseases that he discovered cures for.



From 1931 to 1934, Dr. Rife, along with Dr. Kendall and Dr. Johnson, tested the machine on hundreds of laboratory animals. By 1934, Dr. Johnson was getting anxious. He wanted the machine to be tested on humans with terminal cancer and tuberculosis. Dr. Rife, however, was extremely hesitant to begin any human testing, though he eventually agreed to the experiment if Dr. Johnson could arrange a research committee helmed by the top six medical men in The United States. Only then would he allow the testing to proceed.

“You have to understand,” says Barry Lynes, author of  Rife’s World of Electro Medicine, and The Cancer Cure That Actually Worked, “Dr Rife was a very careful and conservative scientist and doctor. He wanted to be sure it was all legitimate before plunging in.”

The committee was formed and consisted of Dr. Arthur I. Kendall, director of Northwestern Medical School, Dr. Alvin Foord, President of the American Association of Pathology, Dr. Wayland Morrison, Chief Surgeon Santa Fe Railway, Dr. George Dock, and Dr. James Couche. Rife insisted that the committee needed to be sanctioned by a university so Dr. Johnson arranged for the trial to be sponsored by the University of Southern California.

With the six doctors in place, the study on 16 terminally ill patients was green-lit. The experiment began in June 1934 and went for 70 days. At first, the patients were given three minutes of the appropriate frequency every day. The treatment consisted of the patients standing next to one of Rife’s generators, which irradiated them with frequencies. It was much the same as standing in front of a large fluorescent light. The researchers soon learned, however, this method provided too powerful a treatment. Suspecting the human body needed more time to dispose of the dead toxins the treatment produced, the team reduced the time to three minutes every third day. After the 90 days of treatment, the committee concluded that 14 of the patients had been completely cured. When the treatment was adjusted, the remaining two patients showed “positive response” within the next four weeks, though what “positive response” stipulates has never been recorded. According to Rife the total recovery rate using the Beam Ray Machine was “100 percent.” The treatment was painless, and the side effects, minimal, if any. Except for building the machines, the total cost was just a little electricity. Rife noted: “16 cases were treated at the clinic for many types of malignancy. After three months, 14 of these so-called hopeless cases were signed off as clinically cured by the staff of five medical doctors and Dr. Alvin G. Foord, M.D., pathologist for the group.”

According to Lynes, “The cancer was found to be caused by a micro-organism; the microorganism could then be painlessly destroyed in terminally ill cancer patients; and the effects of the disease could be reversed.”

He continues: “The absolute best evidence of the machines working were the very credible and respected doctors who witnessed it first hand.”

After the conclusion of the experiment, Rife opened his own laboratory and cancer clinic. To be sure, it looked more like a military bunker than a science lab; 15 inches of concrete made up the floor to stop any earthquake shock from interrupting his work, and a massive cellar was built to house The Beam Ray Machine. But despite its drab looks, this was a place where, if things happened as they reportedly did, miracles were taking place.

Dr. Couche remembered one “miracle” night particularly well in an interview with Science magazine: “We all gathered to look at the disease colon bacillus under a microscope and it was very active, very virulent. He then slipped the petri dish under the machine and blasted it for 15 minutes. He then asked us to come look at the bacillus and all of it had been killed…they were stacked up on the slide like a log raft jam coming down from the ocean.” Another time, Couche witnessed the machine “zap” a bad—and “seemingly hopeless”—case of facial butterfly lupus. “I had a few cases of lupus which were all succumbed by the machine,” he told a reporter.

Armed with these amazing results, Rife immediately began building more machines. In 1934, in a bid to increase awareness by lowering the cost to produce the machine, Rife entered into an agreement with a shady electronics engineer named Philip Hoyland. Hoyland claimed he could turn Rife’s plan into reality by producing many more machines, at a smaller, less bulky size—and a lot cheaper. Together, they built the smaller Rife Ray #4, which cost $1,000 to purchase.

By 1938, the Beam Ray Corporation was producing and selling the instruments to doctors worldwide, as long as they adhered to two principles mandated by Rife: One, they would follow Rife’s original principles and instructions governing the frequency instrument, and two, that each machine would be thoroughly tested to make sure it would kill the desired organism. Fourteen machines were built: two went to England; one to Dr. Richard Hamer of the Paradise Valley Sanitarium; one to Dr. Arthur Yale; two to Arizona doctors; and eight to Southern California doctors.

The Beam Ray Co. was officially in business.



By 1939, Dr. Hamer of San Diego was seeing 40 patients a day using two of the Beam Ray Machines. One of his patients, an 82-year-old man from Chicago, was ridden with skin cancer that had disfigured his face to what he described as “hamburger meat.”  After six months of treatment at Hamer’s clinic, the man’s skin cancer was seemingly cured and his face completely restored. As Dr. Johnson was gathering clinical evidence to fully support the Rife machine, he asked all patients to keep quiet about the treatment they were receiving.

Cullen claims: “Dr. Hamer ran an average of 40 cases a day through his place. He had to hire two operators. He trained them and watched them very closely. The case histories were mounting up very fast. Among them was this old man from Chicago. He had a malignancy all around his face and neck. It was a gory mass. It had taken off one eyelid at the bottom of the eye. It had taken off the bottom of the lower lobe of the ear and had also gone into the cheek area, nose and chin. But in six months all that was left was a little black spot on the side of his face. I’d never seen anything like it. Ever.”

Once back in Chicago, however, the old man was blabbering all about town and word of his so-called miracle reached another gentleman in the medical community: Morris Fishbein.

To be sure, a world without disease is not a profitable world if you are in the medical profession. Fishbein immediately went into overdrive. He and his team approached Hoyland, convincing him that he deserved to have complete control over Beam Ray. After all, wasn’t he the engineer and ultimately the man responsible for its current development? Hoyland caved.

In 1939, the AMA ostensibly bankrolled Philip Hoyland to sue for control of the company. According to the press, the entire trial was a three-ringed circus seemingly designed to slander and discredit Beam Ray Corporation and to make Dr. Rife look to be a crazed, off-the-reservation doctor. It put horrible and undue stress on Rife, his family and his professional reputation. Unable to cope with the “crazy scientist” and “quack” allegations in court, Rife crumbled. He turned to alcohol for escape and subsequently suffered through terrible panic attacks. He lost weight. His appearance changed. He began to look like the ravaged, crazed doctor that Fishbein had been portraying him as. Despite these ailments, Rife ultimately won the case. But the death-blow had been dealt; the legal bills bankrupted Beam Ray and Fishbein used his power within the AMA to halt any further investigation into Rife’s life’s work, all of which simply vanished overnight.



The Fishbein/Rife battle may have taken place over 70 years ago, but there are companies today that are using similar principles, grounded in Rife’s research. While there are many fake “Rife Machines” being marketed on the Internet, one company in particular, Quiet-Mind Research Group Inc., or Q-MRG, has been working in the field of frequency technology for the past 20 years. Currently, president’s Justin Bowman and Steve Snyder are investigating the effect of the Beam Ray Machine on human physiology and disease. Q-MRG’s team of doctors, bio-medical chemical engineers, and many more have performed experiments using their patented frequencies and methodology in regards to stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and fatigue. In the midst of their study, they proved with an extremely impressive success rate, using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI,) that the machine was able to help aid stress and anxiety by administering frequencies.

According to Bowman, his work is heavily influenced by Rife—to a degree. “What Rife did for science was remarkable,” Bowman says. “However, to this day it stands to be very controversial in the field of science and medicine. As for if he was ultimately right or not? Only time will tell. What people should get from the story of Royal Rife is that we all need to continue thinking outside the box and push harder to find new, innovative ways in which the body may benefit. The harder we push to find new ways to help the body, the better life will be for everyone on this planet.”

As for Q-MRG, they “only want to help people and alleviate suffering as best they can by using a resonance physics approach that kills nothing but encourages life.”

Scientist Stuart Andrews and his British Rife Group have allegedly restored and analyzed a recently discovered Rife-Hoyland Beam Ray Machine. Reportedly, they soon will be testing it in experiments. (Andrews and BRG were contacted but unavailable for further comment.)

There are also a number of new Rife-based machines one can use on an experimental basis, including the Rife/Bare machine. The Rife/Bare units use a Phanotron type glass tube emitting AM modulated frequencies—just like Rife. Canadian scientist Don Tunney has recently received approval to market the device on his website. Like Rife’s Beam Ray, the units use an audio function generator to modulate a spark gap broadband RF transmitter, which, in theory, zaps the virus. (Treats! was unable to actually verify or see a working machine and the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission are doing everything in their far-reaching power to stamp out anything associated with Rife and his machine.)

Like the man himself, controversy swarms like a festering fungus around the Rife revival. In a 1996 case, the makers of a so-called “Rife Device,” who claimed to cure numerous diseases including cancer and AIDS, were convicted of felony health fraud. In 2002, John Bryon Krueger, who operated the Royal Rife Research Society was sent to jail for his alleged role in a murder. He received an additional two-and-a-half years for illegally selling his version of the Rife Machine. In 2009, a U.S. court convicted James Folsom for illegally selling Rife-like devices called “Nature-Tronics.” Folsom was offered a plea bargain to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and agree to never again sell his devices, but he declined. He is still in prison.

According to the FDA, several deaths have resulted from the use of Rife-like machines in place of standard medical treatment. In one case, a U.S. court found that the marketer of a Rife device had violated the law and that, as a result of her actions, a cancer patient had ceased chemotherapy and died. In another case, the FDA claimed, “Rife generator promoters claim that they can insert a person’s photograph into their device and diagnose medical conditions. The FDA has not approved the marketing of this device, nor is there any scientific basis for this claim.”

In Australia, the use of Rife machines have been blamed for the deaths of cancer patients who might have been cured with conventional therapy. In 1994, the American Cancer Society reported that Rife machines were being sold in a “pyramid-like, multilevel marketing scheme,” and “nonsensical hagiography.” In fact, even Lynes, who believes that Rife’s original machines had worked, thinks some of the new machines “are a clever marketing scheme,” and believes people “have died because they faithfully used the worthless black box instead of orthodox or alternative, non-conventional cancer therapies which actually worked.”

But Lynes seems to think that it’s not about duplicating the original instruments at all—it’s just knowing the methodology. “Let’s be clear: there is no working original Rife machine today that has 100 percent cure rates,” he says. “But there are some good alternatives, beyond the politics, that do zap the microbes with electro frequency and can help as an adjunct to other therapy.”

With such a juicy and labyrinthine storyline as Rife’s, why hasn’t there been a film made you ask? Well, there has. Canadian filmmaker Shawn Montgomery, who directed the documentary The Rise and Fall of a Scientific Genius: The Forgotten Story of Royal Raymond Rife, spent years accumulating data and research on Rife and provides maybe the clearest document of the man to date.

“I first read about Rife in an article in Nexus magazine in the early 1990s,” Montgomery says from his home in Toronto. “I then spent 10 years researching and making the film.”

The film garnered a small yet loyal following but was largely ignored by the mainstream press and film festivals. However, the film did ignite a flurry of scripts circulating in Hollywood about Rife, including one incarnation that had William H. Macy attached to star as Rife.



Although Rife suffered great anguish and multiple rehab visits after Fishbein discredited him, he continued to receive accolades for his work. A report from the Smithsonian Institution in 1944 seemed to validate Rife’s work. Titled “The New Microscope,” Dr. R.E. Seidel states, “Under the Universal Microscope disease organisms such as those of cancer… and other disease may be observed to succumb when exposed to certain lethal frequencies…”

In 1940, Arthur W. Yale, M.D. reported that, “Rife’s discoveries were an entirely new theory of the origin and cause of cancer, and the treatment and results have been so unique and unbelievable…that we may be able to eliminate the second largest cause of deaths in the United States.”

And Dr. Royal Lee of the Lee Foundation for nutritional research in Milwaukee, who spent many weekends with Rife and got to know him well, summed up Rife’s work—and tragedy—this way: “After the trial, no medical journal was ever permitted to report on Rife’s work… the iron curtain of Fishbein was effective.”

In 1950, Rife joined up with John Crane, an electrical engineer and self-professed master marketer. They worked together for 10 years to build more advanced frequency machines, often working for 72 hours straight, always trying to get word out. But Dr. Rife was still plagued by headaches, mysterious midnight phone calls, death threats and near-constant anxiety. Rife’s drinking worsened, as did his spirits.

Finally, in 1960, the AMA closed Rife down for good. It is alleged that John Crane’s laboratories were raided, although there was no search warrant, almost $50,000 worth of equipment and a large Rife machine were confiscated. Along with the equipment, records, reports, engineering data, tape recordings, pictures off the wall, invoices and private letters were also taken. Rife and Crane were arrested and ultimately released on bail.

Rife, then 72-years-old, fled to Mexico and went into hiding. Lynes believes Rife was too worn down to fight any longer.

“He was an old man and had been through so much,” he says. “Two trials and all that…he just needed to leave. I don’t believe he was forced to, though.”

John Crane was put on trial in the spring of 1961. None of the of scientific evidence that supported the effectiveness of their technology was allowed to be presented in court. Crane’s lawyers traveled to Mexico, where they interviewed Rife extensively. There were hundreds of questions. In his answers, Rife claimed that scientists, “Dr. Kendall, Grunner, Johnson, Couche, Copp, Burger, Cullen, Foord, Rosenow, Karl Meyer, Walker and a few others all watched the Beam Ray Machine zap and kill cancerous tumors.” He added that he had “…personally showed John Crane how to use the Beam Ray machine to kill like viruses.”

None of Rife’s deposition was allowed in court.

In the end, John Crane was sentenced to 10 years in prison even though a patient of his, James Hannibal, 76, testified that he “…was blind in one eye and after the session with the Beam Ray machine… my cataract dissolved and I could see…” Another patient testified that his “egg-sized tumor” on his spine completely disappeared after treatment. Dozens of others said their arthritis, varicose veins, colitis, tumors, prostate troubles and faulty bladders were all cured by the machine. Two of the three convictions were overturned by the California State Supreme Court on appeal, but Crane was imprisoned for three years and one month. (It was later revealed that the forewoman of the jury was an AMA doctor and not one of the jurors had above average medical knowledge.)



1971: Royal Rife, his face now ashen and deeply lined, died one balmy August night in Southern California, having gulped a handful of Valium washed down with a goblet of alcohol. That December, President Richard Nixon signed a $1.6 billion law to open the “war on cancer.” Rife’s obituary in The Daily California newspaper read:

SCIENTIFIC GENIUS DIES—”The scientific genius who built one of the world’s most powerful microscopes and invented a machine to treat cancer and other diseases was buried today in Mt. Hope Cemetery. Royal Raymond Rife, 83, whose Frequency Instrument—a method of electrocuting disease-causing organisms in the body—was the subject of intense debate during the 1950s, died Thursday. Alone and virtually penniless, he had been living in an El Cajon rest home since last year. Acclaimed by the scientific world in the 1930s for his invention of the Universal Microscope, a mechanical marvel containing 5,280 parts and a magnifying power 20 times as great as any then in existence, Rife lived to see some of what he considered his most important work discredited by the medical profession.”

Jason Ringas, the Director of the Online Royal Rife Forum, has spent his life studying and researching Dr. Rife and has largely been an advocate. However, he’s still not quite sure what Rife’s legacy is to this day: “I’m not sure what exactly his legacy is,” Ringas tells Treats!. “He was a pathfinder working for the benefit of humanity. But having said that, I don’t absolve him of all responsibility for how things turned out. His pride and inflated ego bear some responsibility.”

He continues: “He should have published his work every step of the way. Even when everything crashed, he still could have put all of his information together and published it for preservation. Instead, he left most of it in the hands of the likes of John Crane, who was incompetent to the task.”

And what became of those who supported and worked with Rife? Dr. Arthur Kendall accepted almost a quarter of a million dollars to suddenly “retire” and move to Mexico. Dr. George Dock was silenced with an enormous grant, along with the highest honors the AMA could bestow, the Distinguished Service Medal. In 1944, Dr. Milbank Johnson, who allegedly was about to announce the results of the 1934 study of the 16 cancer patients who were cured, was fatally poisoned and his papers were “lost.” Dr. Nemes, who had duplicated some of Rife’s experiments, was killed in a suspicious fire, along with his records. Dr. Raymond Seidel, who published a rather favorable paper on Rife in the influential Smithsonian Report in 1945, was the victim of a failed assassination attempt after which he never spoke publicly of Rife again. Doctors’ Cooperson & Clayton had their equipment and lab notes confiscated by the US government. Both died in 1940, officially from committing suicide, although pathological reports showed they had actually been poisoned. Professor I. Rosenow, a prominent bacteriologist who verified Rife’s theories, was accused of being a liar and charlatan by his peers and subsequently driven out of the business. And in June of 1996, John Crane died destitute and alone in San Diego County.

And what of Rife’s machines and data? Parts of his instruments, photographs, film, and written records were stolen from his lab and the rest were allegedly swallowed by a fire—including papers documenting his clandestine cancer clinic. Lynes says, “Documents show the clinic existed and succeeded in curing cancer. And doctors who continued treating seriously ill people with success tell the real story, as do signed reports from cured cancer patients.” While Rife did attempt to reproduce his missing data in his later years, his microscopes, according to him, were vandalized and smashed to bits. And a fire destroyed the multi-million dollar Burnett Lab in New Jersey, just as the scientists there were allegedly preparing to announce confirmation of Rife’s work.

However, there is some evidence a few fully-intact machines still exist today. Technically, according to Lynes, he is the legal owner of the original Universal Microscope—and knows where it is. “In the late-80s I became the legal owner of the original Universal,” he says from his home in Southern California. “I know where it is today. I signed it over to some business partners so it could be replicated and they stole it.”

Another microscope, a smaller one, is in the London Museum, according to Lynes. “A good friend of mine, a very respected microscope authority, has seen it,” Lynes says. “That was in the early-90s.”

And what became of Morris Fishbein? The so-called “Mussolini of Medicine” would eventually be dethroned by the AMA in the 1949 Hoxsey/Hearst libel trial. According to the court reports, Fishbein had written an excoriating editorial in the journal entitled “Hoxsey—Cancer Charlatan.” To warn a wider audience, Fishbein had also co-authored an article called “Blood Money” for the Hearst chain’s weekly magazine. Fishbein repeated the phrase “cancer charlatan” in reference to Hoxsey and called his grandfather “a veterinarian and dabbler in faith cures” who had “himself succumbed to cancer after claiming to have found a cure for it.” Hoxsey promptly sued, asking a million dollars in libel damages. Hoxsey won. However, Fishbein, although disgraced and now a pariah, did not go into exile.  He simply moved on and in 1961 founded the Medical World News, a magazine for doctors. In 1970 he endowed the Morris Fishbein Center for the Study of the History of Science and Medicine at the University of Chicago. He died on September 27, 1976.

Late in his life, Rife gave a rare and candid interview hoping to shed light on his true motivations—ironically, the scientist now a devout Christian: “I hope I have helped humanity some. I am just an ordinary man, doing the best he can. We are all here to do our part. Each has a purpose as he lives it and thinks it. We need religion to balance scientific discovery, and the material and the spiritual must go side-by-side. Religion guides scientific discoveries. Religion is a stabilizer. I sincerely think and believe that our good Lord helps us in many ways to accomplish our desires. This has been proven in many cases where results obtained were from none other than our Almighty God. The most important thing I ever did was build a microscope. The things I’ve done have possibly helped humanity. I have tried to create and develop things for the good of the universe. I am grateful to God that he has allowed me to do the things I have done.”

Ringas agrees—sort of. “There’s been a great mythology grown around him [Rife],” he says. “It’s very difficult to tell fact from fiction…and I’ve learned over the years to become more rigorous rather than just blindly repeating the myth.”

Montgomery has a slightly different take:  “Today, Rife’s legacy is that of a painful lesson of how corrupt this world really is. All that painstaking scientific work, all that discovery, and all of his inventive genius…comes down to probably the most dramatic example of a David and Goliath story were David loses and Goliath triumphs.

But perhaps the strangest twist in the Royal Rife saga is this: As of the day of printing this article, a supposed fully intact AZ58 Rife Machine, an original “Universal Microscope, serial number 5”, has popped up on eBay. The price? $250,000.00. The real truth? Priceless.

Further important information:

A company is trying to incorporate frequency technology is Quiet-Mind Research Group Inc. (Q-MRG)/ MediTunes. Q-MRG/MediTunes has been working in the field of frequency technology for over the past 20 years determining its effect on human physiology. Q-MRG’s team is comprised of doctors, bio-medical chemical engineers and others, who have performed experiments using their frequency patterns and methodology in regards to stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and fatigue. In the midst of their study they proved, using the STAI (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory) that their technology could help aid stress and anxiety by having subjects listen to their patented frequencies. Q-MRG strives on helping people alleviate suffering as best they can by using a simple resonance physics approach that kills nothing but helps improve the overall quality of life. The company is about to launch its first products online under the brand MediTunes ( making it available to the public by means of membership to their site.

And Tinseltown may be calling, too. In the fight to eradicate cancer, President of Q-MRG/ MediTunes, Justin Bowman has written a screenplay called “The Wright Frequency,” which is currently in development.  Given the current economic devastation, rising health care costs and worldwide health problems this movie will help raise awareness about medical alternatives.


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