Double Bubble Tube   Phanotron Tube

What IS Rife technology, and how does it work?

(A work in progress .. Copyright 2006, all rights reserved, may not be reprinted or linked to without written permission of the author)  Updated 04/11/06

This is a work in progress on the technology behind - and the thoughts on how - Rife technology works.

See below for block diagrams of the popular "Rife" devices available.

Note: This document pertains to the classical model of Rife (or Bare-Rife, EMEM etc) machine which uses a plasma lamp. It does NOT pertain to pad-device machines which may or may not have any relationship to what Royal R. Rife created, and some of which are excellent devices. See the bottom of the page for information on John Crane, who joined Rife in 1950, and attempted to carry on his work.


The basics of a "Rife" machine are simple: An argon or helium plasma tube, excited by some form of high voltage, is modulated by audio modulations. Many theorize that it is the extremely high-harmonics of those modulations that, in some way, disrupts the cellular structure of various pathogens. The original Rife Ray machine used a helium plasma lamp, which was a used X-ray tube which had been filled with helium instead of having a high vacuum (there were NO X-rays from the tube when tested by an independent testing lab; X-rays being impossible at the voltages used for the Rife tubes, and with a low-pressure gas in the tube. X-Rays require very high voltages AND a very high vacuum.) Most experimenters use either short straight tubes available from many sources, and usually filled with argon, helium, or an argon-neon mixture, or a Phanotron tube, which somewhat resembles an old-style X-Ray tube. Straight tubes are available for around $100 US, while the Phanotrons usually cost more than twice that. (It is important to note that no X-Rays are generated from these devices; X-Rays require high voltages and hard vacuum for their generation.) The Phanotron is a bubble tube with electrodes, and seems to produce a more directional emission of the Rife effect. Some experimentors are using other gasses as well. Rife's original notes alternately said that he used helium and also argon.

In the Bare-Rife machine, an audio frequency generator (sometimes replaced by a personal computer running special frequency-generating programs) is used as the audio input to a high-voltage radio-frequency source. That modulated output is amplified, and "tuned" or coupled into an argon or other noble gas (helium etc) tube running a partial vacuum, just like a fluorescent tube or camera's flash lamp. When done properly, the tube will energize when the high-voltage source is turned on, and is modulated at audio frequencies as selected by the operator. Tuned properly, nearly all the energy is absorbed by the plasma lamp, and very little is radiated from the equipment. Parts cost runs around $1000 not including the programmable frequency generator.

In another model (the EMEM type machines), a power supply feeds an audio oscillator, which drives a high-voltage step-up transformer, such as a racing car ignition coil, and the output of that coil feeds the plasma lamp, energizing when the power supply is turned on. Being fairly simple devices, these units are fairly inexpensive, and can be built by anybody with a small amount of electronics or electrical knowledge. Parts cost runs around $500 not including the programmable frequency generator.

The last unit described here is the Beam-Ray machine, which might be described as a proprietary form of RF-driven Plasma Lamp machine with special electronics which energize the plasma lamp by fairly low voltages and running one or more carrier frequencies which are modulated by a special computer console. The computer console on the typical Beam-Ray machine is dedicated, and may not be used for other computer functions.

Both the EMEM and the Bare-Rife machines usually have the capability of bring driven from programmable frequency generators, or often from a laptop computer running a low-cost or "freeware" frequency generation program. The Beam-Ray, being highly proprietary, may only be run from its console.

It is important to realize that the devices currently on the market are NOT classic "Rife Ray Machines" as described in the popular press; there are none of those devices currently on the market, and if they were, their use would need to be restricted to well-screened and grounded metallic-screen rooms to prevent Radio-Frequency interference. It's a different world now than it was in the 1930's.

The "Rife Effect" energy is unknown; there are no sensors which currently detect the "Rife Energy". There are small and inexpensive devices which give an indication of the electro-static, magnetic, and radio-frequency fields, however these devices, at best, may only measure energies which may be related in some way to the "Rife Energy."

How it works:

There are, again, many theories why the plasma lamp disables pathogens. The following is my version of what's happening.

The plasma lamp, (click for sample image) when modulated, is normally energized by whatever high-voltage source is used and is coupled to the tube. When the modulation is applied on the high-voltage, the plasma lamp turns on and off at the same rate as the modulating frequency, as example, 1000 cycles per second, or 1000 Hertz. Each time the audio modulation turns on, the voltage across the lamp is increased, causing the lamp to also turn on. Plasma lamps don't just "turn on", there is a very short amount of time where the plasma is switching between ignition and not-quite ignition, and that switching transient time is both visible on a high-frequency oscilloscope, and important to the the functioning of the Rife machine.

There are many theories as to why the plasma lamp disables or devitalizes pathogens (germs). It has been experimentally determined that the energy from the plasma lamp goes through walls (so the Rife effect is not light or photon energy), and there are suggestions that heavy aluminum foil or aluminum sheet metal may act as a reflector for the energy, but that other metals don't appear to be effective reflectors for the Rife energy.

My theory, supported by some in the Rife community, is that the extremely high harmonics of the audio-triggered ignition of the plasma lamp are so high in frequency, that they interfere with the cellular structure of the pathogen. As example, a 1000 Hertz modulating frequency may have harmonics from the plasma ignition which reach into the super-high frequency bands (perhaps even close to visible light). Indeed, it is well known that very exact frequencies of ultraviolet light will disrupt or damage the cell structure of certain organisms, but another UV light, different in frequency, will have different effects on the organism. The testing by Royal Rife, and many hundreds of experimenters in the years since, have determined that there is no damage of any kind to healthy tissues; indeed, experimenters usually enjoy greater health, with fewer if any colds, flu, or other common ailments. Some experimenters have even reported seeing cataracts clear up, reminscent of Dr. Milbank Johnson's cataract clinic at the Pasadena Home for the Aged in 1936 and 37, where he reports that there was nearly complete restoration of vision in 29 out of 30 cataract patients.

Another theory, which ties in with the above, is that possibly the Rife effect causes diseased cells to open the gates in their cell membrane somewhat, allowing the body's natural defensive macrophages to then recognise a diseased or damaged cell, and thus sweep in and dispose of the cell. As science is determining the various molecules (including phosphatidylserine and lysophosphatidylcholine) involved in apoptosis (cell death) possible interactions with Rife frequencies may become more clear. Many following the Rife movement feel that the Rife energy does more of its work by assisting the immune system than it does by damaging diseased cells or invaders. Possibly both are corrent.

BLOCK Diagrams of the popular "Rife" machines: EMEM, BARE-RIFE, BEAM-RAY

(Click on the pictures to see a larger version)


Note that these block diagrams are very approximate: some of the boxes indicating component diagrams are very complex.

Finding the frequencies:

This section removed on request of the author, and on advice of attornies. We hope to again be able to bring the basis for this work, and to show how the frequencies may be determined. Suffice to say that there seems to be mathematical relationships between the frequencies which seem to disable disease organisms and the physical properties of those organisms.

Does it work:

I know of people who have had overnight relief from the flu and from from canker sores, and longer sessions with the machines have helped bring easing of symptoms from hepatitis-C conditions, various cancers, etc. The prevailing theory is that this technology is NOT a cure for anything, but rather disables the pathogens sufficiently so that the body's immune system can start working again. Additionally, it has been found that an exposure starting at 3 minutes per frequency, and an entire series not to exceed 30 to 90 minutes, is best done not more than every third day - allowing the body to get rid of organisms which may have been devitalized or damaged.. Most experimenters also recommend internal and external cleansings, lots of pure water (without chlorine or fluorides!), sometimes nutritional support, and recommend that experimenters be working with their qualified medical professional when experimenting with this technology, especially if one is very ill or has a serious condition.

People instrumental in the Rife story...  Where possible, factual information has been used in the following descriptions, but other materials including passed-down stories about the Rife era has been used to attempt to piece the puzzle together.

John Crane:

John Crane, born on Sep. 11th, 1915, came to work for Royal Rife in 1950. Crane was a draftsman and designer, and became very interested in Rife's work. He reasoned that the radio transmitter type Plasma Lamp Ray Machine would be difficult to get licensed as a health device, and thought that a machine using contact electrodes, or pads, instead of the plasma lamp, would be possible.  After performing tests and finding some results, Crane began making frequency generator "Pad Machines" and called them Rife Machines.  Rife apparently agreed with this at some level, since Crane and Rife are heard in the late 1950's audiotapes (now on CD) talking about the machines. Later, Crane would resell standard audio function generators, but with their dial marked for particular conditions or diseases, and one report says that he added an amplifier to the output stage so that it would have sufficient drive.  In about 1960, Crane was sent to prison for "practicing medicine without a license" (reports say that the foreman/forewoman of the jury was an MD, and would not have been allowed on the jury in today's world.) Crane was released from prison three years later, but was watched closely by the San Diego police, and on at least one ocassion, after attending a meeting of the early San Diego Cancer Control Society, was picked up by police and taken to jail for violating his parole by attending such a meeting.   By the late 1980's, Crane had moved back to a radio-frequency driven plasma lamp, very similar to the Rife-Bare devices of today, but using up to 2000 watts of power. On one video which Crane produced, a patient of a hospital in Mexico is seen with a plasma lamp machine, and is thanking Crane - the machine had saved her life, she says, from cancer, and had relieved her of pain. She had been told, at a major health facility in western Los Angeles, that she would be on chemotherapy for the rest of her life, but using the machine, her tumors had healed, and she felt great. Crane died on June 5th, 1995 following a "minor" illness in San Diego.  We are hoping to be receiving more information on Crane.

References of those involved in bringing Rife technology to us:

Royal R. Rife, San Diego, inventor of the Rife Universal Microscope, the Rife Ray machine, and many other instruments of the period.

Milbank Johnson, M.D. Los Angeles. Medical doctor and attorney; certainly a member of the establishment in the medical circles in Los Angeles in the early 1900's thru the 1930's. Johnson ran several clinics using Rife Ray machines in the Los Angeles area in the 1930's, as well as the well-publicized La Jolla clinic in 1934. What is not certain is whether the La Jolla clinic actually treated 16 "terminal" cancer patients - Dr. Johnson wrote that he conducted this clinic on his own without any help - that statement is very odd if the patients were all "terminal". He also wrote that the results were "inconclusive", which both indicates that the clinic certainly did happen, but that the results may not agree with the books written on the Rife story. We are seeking factual evidence to support the clinic and the patients. It is important to note that the books about Rife were mostly developed from documents from John Crane, while at least one DVD about "The Rife Story" was developed also from audio tapes felt behind by John Crane and Royal Rife - these tapes were located in the attic of an MD in Ohio, who was interested in manufacturing the machines in the US.

Dr. Arthur I. Kendall, Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago. Researcher and first developer of a culture medium in which human cancer tissues could grow in the laboratory. At one time he was Dean of the Medical School. Biography in progress, outstanding researcher.

Richard Hamer, MD. Dr. Richard Thorley Hamer graduated from the Loma Linda College of Medical Evangelists in 1931, and interned at White Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles. He worked at the Paradise Valley Sanatarium in National City, California until about 1935, when he opened a private practice in National City, California, Southeast of San Diego. Approximately 1936 or 1937, he heard about the Rife machine, and was able to obtain one of the few machines Rife and Hoyland had built - possibly the #4 machine or it's successor, built by Philip Hoyland. This machine may have been the same device used by Dr. Milbank Johnson in his Pasadena Home for the Aged clinic, as there is no record of what happened to the machine Johnson was using.  In about 1940, Hamer was informed by either the California Medical Board or the California Medical Association to get rid of the machine or loose his medical license (as told to his son many years ago.) (Dr. Hamer, and very possibly several others using the Rife device, graduated from an outstanding medical facility, Loma Linda Medical School - associated with the Seventh Day Adventist faith. Friends of mine have indicated that, in many countries, the Seventh-Day Medical facilities, if available, are definitely the place to go if one needs medical assistance. Another photo of Dr. Hamer, probably one of his graduation photos from medical school, is here.)

Philip Hoyland  Builder of many of the Rife machines after about 1933. He was shown in a photo with Royal Rife in the San Diego Tribune on May 6th 1938. In the photo (here), it is Hoyland, on the right, pointing out some feature of the machine to Rife. Hoyland, shown in court documents as the co-inventor of the Rife Ray machine (or at least the mid-1930's model) sued the other directors of the "Beam Ray Corporation" in a dispute about licensing the construction of the machine to people in England, and in the battle, lost the lawsuit. For awhile, Hoyland, who had been President and manager of a Pasadena radio company before the Stock market crash of 1929, and who worked as a radio engineer and technician for a few years after that crash, owned a home in Altadena, Ca, near Pasadena, and was known by Dr. Milbank Johnson. After about 1937, Hoyland was living in the San Diego area, working on Rife machines, and following the failure of the lawsuit, moved back to Altadena, CA for just a year or two. He later is in the Ventura, California area. More about Hoyland is found in the story about Royal Rife.

Note: We are in search of further documentation about Rife technology, especially any documents pertaining to the 1934 "Cancer Clinic" run by Dr. Milbank Johnson in La Jolla, California. Anybody having information may contact the author at

Special thanks to:

Don Hamer, son of Dr. Richard Hamer

Northwestern Medical School

University of Southern California Archives

And volumes of letters from the 1930's concerning Rife technology.

Email the author, EMAIL