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.