Any clandestine organisation devoted to the illegal training of individuals in the use of psionic talents. Organisations of this nature have existed since before the advent of space travel, but 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, being 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 organised on most High Population worlds within the Imperium.
"Psionics Institute" is a generic name; each such institution was independently organised and maintained. Institutes were generally supported by that small portion of the population which had psionic talents; since that population was small, they were viable only on High Population worlds.
During the Psionics 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 elsewhere beyond the frontiers of the Imperium.
Active Imperial campaigns to eradicate the Institutes have been pursued for over 200 years.
(ADV-1, 1105; SUPP-11, 1107; MT-ENCYC, 1120)
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