The Fiction

If you haven’t already realised, this site is not about a real orgainsation. It is about an organisation created by the internationally-published, award-winning, wonderfully talented Isobelle Carmody, as part of her Obernewtyn Chronicles.
The Obernewtyn Chronicles is post-apocalyptic sci-fi/fantasy, set well-after a holocaust referred to as The Great White.
The Reichler Clinic existed in ‘The Beforetime’; that is, before the holocaust.

The Beforetime Reichler Clinic

What exactly is the Reichler Clinic? The Obernewtyn Chronicles protagonist, Elspeth Gordie, first learns of the organisation’s existence in The Farseekers, when, while searching through a Beforetime city ruin, she locates a book called Powers of the Mind. Having always been fed the dogma that the mental abilities she and many of the characters have were freak mutations brought on by the holocaust, Elspeth is amazed to learn that Beforetimers not only believed in mental abilities, but studied them.

…The Reichler Clinic has conducted a progressive and serious examination of mental powers, and has produced infallible proofs that telepathy and precognitive powers are the future of mankind. Reichler’s experiments have taken mind powers out of the realms of fantasy and set them firmly in the probable future…

p207, The Farseekers

As the Chronicles progress, we are given further snippets of information regarding the mysterious clinic, and come to learn that Rushton Seraphim‘s (Master of Obernewtyn’s) ancestor, Hannah Seraphim, worked for the Reichler Clinic. A reception centre is discovered that once belonged to the clinic, in a ruined city under the cavernous Tor mountain, which we learn in the Beforetime was called Newrome.

From this reception centre, several documents are located, riddled with misinformation for a Beforetime governmental body interested in powers of the mind, as well as a wall plaque with an engraving of Obernewtyn valley, gifted from a wealthy benefactor (and Hannah’s supposed suitor), Jacob Obernewtyn. It is later revealed that this location was a refuge for talented people in the Beforetime, as it is in our protagonist’s time.

Mentions of the Reichler Clinic also come to us from the dreams of Elspeth Gordie, who often visions the Beforetimer Cassandra Duprey, in connection with her (and the series) greater Quest. Cassy was friends with Hannah Seraphim, and together they worked on freeing people and beasts with proper misfit abilities (called ‘paranormals’) from the government who would use them as weapons. The Reichler Clinic is exposed as a front for Hannah and Cassy’s true purpose.

In amongst the snippets of Hannah and Cassy’s story we learn that William Reichler, founder of the Reichler Clinic was a charlatan. A glossy salesman who falsified the research results of the Reichler Clinic, driven by desire for money. While references to him are scant, it is believed that prior to the holocaust, William Reichler was exposed for the fraud he was, though whether or not this was a public exposure or simply to Hannah herself is yet to be discovered…