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Psionics: The criminal use of mental powers for the manipulation of matter and energy and for communication. It has been demonstrated that minds (human or non-human, conscious or unconscious, intelligent or unintelligent) contain some capacity to operate without apparent use of physical facilities. For an individual to seek out such training is a criminal act.

Until circa -1000, psionics was little studied in most regions except on a disorganized level (parapsychology, the occult, spiritualism, and so on). It was known and practiced among the Zhodani and by some minor races, but it was by no means widespread.

However, during the Long Night, many races, (human and others) turned introspective. As a result, many finally began to engage in serious research in psionics, which revealed much about the empirical nature of the phenomenon, although the principles involved were, and remain, little understood.

However, even though it assumed scientific validity, psionics remained a backwater science until about 650, when it underwent a tremendous burst of popularity. Psionics within the Imperium reached its peak in the latter half of the 700s. In the 790s, however, the crest of popular opinion broke with the revelation of scandals within the Psionics Institutes; the result was the psionics suppressions (800 to 826), which shifted public opinion away from support of psionics. -ld IE