Wednesday, December 17, 2008

LT156: History of LOST – Dharma Initiative


The 1970’s was known as the “Me Generation” in the United States, but over in Denmark, Alvar Hanso was thinking “us” as in mankind…or was he?

Alvar’s influence was his family: Magnus and Tolvar. The Hanso’s always had a good business sense. I can picture a young Alvar sitting around the house during holidays and listening to stories about his family tree.

As Alvar grew older he inherited the family sense (or inherited the family fortune) and I believe this combination led him on a quest to get some definitive answers about his family. My imagination pictures a wild-eyed boy hearing about how great-great grandfather disappeared mysteriously…then how grand dad found this journal. My guess is that Alvar set his sights on getting some answers.


My theory is that Alvar Hanso began to research further into his family’s affairs and discovered some very shocking and interesting facts. Perhaps it was by fate, but I suspect Alvar was looking for Magnus’ ship, the Black Rock, and then found something even greater: the island.

Maybe Alvar felt his predecessors were also after this elusive Holy Grail and decided to take up the cause. Consider that a decade earlier, Enzo Valenzetti, was talking up this idea of Doomsday. I believe all this factors combined to motivate Alvar Hanso to seek the DeGroots and to launch the Dharma Initiative.


There is a scientific school of thought which approaches problem solving in a unique manner. Instead of using standard scientific method of observe, form theory, test theory and repeat…I believe Alvar stumbled on something else. I believe his approach focused on CONCENTRATION. One might say even obsession.

Where I’m from there was a newspaper boy who was snatched while delivering the Sunday paper. That was over 35 years ago and still his mother is obsessed with finding him. We get occasional updates which show the dedication and the extremes to which she is willing to go to find answers. This is how I envision Alvar Hanso and his foundation.

The key is focus and concentration. We really don’t need to think long to find tons of examples of where a coach urges, “Focus!”, or a teacher implores a student should concentrate on his studies. Someone once told me that if we would dedicate ourselves to any area of study for 30 minutes per day we could become an expert. But it takes that daily dedication of Larry Bird-like obsession to over-reach our potential. This is what I suggest Alvar Hanso was attempting to do once he discovered the island.

I’ll go out on the limb a little further and suggest that concentration is represented in Enzo Valenzetti’s Equation.


I struggle to explain my terminology, so let’s use an example we are more familiar with: faith. Many call it zeal while others call it obsession. It entails some people going to the extreme in their beliefs as they seem to focus and concentrate only on religion. Fanatics, if you will.

Some believe that with enough concentration the mind is able to bend spoons or walk on hot coals. Alvar had an ace up his sleeve: what if he had the electromagnetic properties of the island to combine with dedicated concentration? Could this lead a person with enough faith to then actually “rise and walk”? Can you say John Locke?


You’ve probably read the stories of parents who avoid medical treatment for a sick child. They pray and anoint and trust their faith to do the healing. On the island, these parents would see greater results.

We have noticed that Jack got sick on the island that is supposed to heal. Sawyer’s eyes needed glasses. But Rose and Locke were just fine. The soldier is known for unquestioning dedication on the task and Mr. Patchy was revived. Those who can focus and concentrate heal and those without faith, like Jack and Ben, do not.

It is this mind-body union that got Alvar’s attention and his money in the form of the Dharma Initiative in the 1970’s.


From the Swan Hatch Orientation video (and Hanso Foundation website) we have been given the six areas of study. Each one of these has been revealed to be critical points when the focused concentration is applied.

As mentioned already, medical studies have revealed what can happen if someone believes hard enough and when magnified by the island’s unique properties.

Another area of study was parapsychology – look at Walt and other’s ability to project themselves while on the island. The Dharma tests on Walt seem to scare the snot out of Juliet and the Others.


This concludes our history of LOST and sets the stage to make some assumptions based on that history. Well, mostly since we still need to touch on a couple of events in 1998, but that will come up as we form some historical theories.

It seems the more we learn about the Dharma Initiatives original motives, the more we learn about the why’s of LOST. We will focus on pre-Purge by examining post-Purge activity since that is mostly what the show reveals to us.

The goal is to show how the history of the island when taken in totality does reveal clues as to the purpose of the island and the people on it.

Even if I’m way off base, it should be some interesting contemplation which will lead us right up to Season 5.


If you enjoyed this post, please click on an ad on the way out. This lets me know what kind of subject matter you enjoy, as well as giving me a few pennies for a posting you really like. And please leave a comment if you have questions or thoughts on a topic.

Thanks for reading!



goooooood girl said...

your blog is feel good......

Anonymous said...

The stuff you have written on this blog is so thorough, I have to stop reading sometimes in case I get "spoiled" Amazing job! :)

And I wanted to let you know that I put your site on my blog roll of my "It's About Bunnies" LOST blog.

Just one month away! :)

Keep on bloggin',
Ms. Wendy
It's About Bunnies

KC said...

Thanks for the nice feedback. This show just grabbed me in a way that none other before has ever done, so it seems to come easy.

Thanks for the link! I do make a point not to post any SPOILERS intentionally. Now if I guess correctly about something, well that's part of the fun.

Be on the lookout for most postings above and beyond Wednesdays and Sundays as the show's return gets near!


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