Psionics Institute

Psionics Institutes are organizations devoted to research and training in the psionic sciences.  Such organizations have long existed, but reproducible results made psionics a teachable, learnable science only as recently as -1000.

The term is now used for any clandestine organization devoted to the illegal training of individuals in the use of psionics talents.  Active Imperial campaigns to eradicate the Institutes have been pursued for over 300 years.  Organizations of this nature have existed since before the advent of space travel, but they attained prominence only during the Long Night, when reproducible scientific discoveries made psionics a teachable, learnable science.

In the Imperial antebellum period, psionics institutes were rare, and they were formed only on a few scattered worlds which, for one reason or another, had an unusually high rate of psionic talents appearing, or which encouraged psionics for social, political, or commercial reasons.  In the years after the Civil War, institutes were organized on most high population worlds within the Imperium.

The term Psionics Institute is a generic name; each such institution was independently organized and maintained.  Institutes were generally supported by that portion of the population which had psionic talents; since that portion was small, they were viable only on high population worlds (approximately one billion or more).

During the psionic suppressions, the institutes' charters were revoked, and talented individuals were persecuted.  In some cases, the individuals fled to assume new identities on other worlds; in others, whole families emigrated to the Zhodani Consulate or to other places beyond the frontiers of the Imperium.

The number of Psionics Institutes in the Imperium in 800 (when the psionic suppressions hit) was 65; all were suppressed.  Following the psionics suppressions, there were theoretically no psionics institutes remaining.  In practice, however, illegal underground institutes are rumored to still remain on many worlds.  Today, every one of the original ones has purportedly been secretly reestablished, and dozens of additional institutes are rumored to have been formed since.

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