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Oct 16 2007, 1:13 PM EDT (current) wetpaint 25 words added, 23 words deleted
Dec 13 2006, 10:29 AM EST wetpaint 12 words added


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The "island" is really some kind of a biosphere enclosed in a force field of some sort, set up in the beginning by the Dharma people to take advantage of the magnetic region near the south pole. [added 11/30/06: alternatively, the island is actually near Canada/Alaska and is being run by the people at the Dharma Institute's retreat center in British Columbia. Or maybe it's near Midway! :)] At the end of season 2 the 2 scientists called Penny to say they heard a signal (presumably from Desmond'sDesmond's boat's epirb?) - and they were calling her from a decidedly non-tropical locale. I think they were over the biosphere. The numbers and the button are somehow keeping the forcefield intact - when it goes down, "bad" things happen in the outside world, like planes and ships crashing into the island.island. (This happened several times before flight 815,815, even before Dharma - the biosphere exposed, for one thing, a slave ship that floated WAY off course.)

The Dharma people were all brought together to perform all kinds of experiments, both natural and paranormal, and those experiments along with the magnetism caused some huge "incident" which led to US government/military intervention. (Notice the GI quality of some of the equipment, including the US Army knife Ana Lucia noticed Goodwin having? And didn't he seem like a company man? And how about Kelvin, who was some kind of intelligence officer, PCSing from Iraq to the island?)island?)

I haven't seen it mentioned elsewhere - but I noticed something interesting when Kelvin is recruiting Sayid to torture Tariq to get information about an American pilot who was downed in Iraq.Iraq. He shows Sayid a video of a village being gassed with Sarin, a village in which some of Sayid'sSayid's relatives lived. On the screen during the video are the letters "DIA" - I believe this stands for Dharma Initiative Agency or Affairs or something like that. It is no coincidence that Sayid later ends up on the island.island.

The government is now attempting to work with the "Dharmans" who are still left to contain whatever force it is that they unleashed or discovered. Typically, there are some who wish to use the discoveries for the good, and some want to exploit it for warlike or power-hungry interests. When Henry/BenHenry/Ben says that they are the good guys, it is with the assurance of a man who is doing the unethical (experimenting on people against their will) because he thinks it serves the greater good, and it may well be true if the researchers are trying to undo some big mistake they created. The government is trying to harness the powers to be able to see and/or influence the minds of enemy combatants. It is no accident that the intelligence people are involved and that Kate'sKate's dad was also a recruiter.

The coincidences that have occurred and the "fate""fate" that led this particular group of people to the island are no such thing. They are the psychic influences of the Dharma experiments, which were heightened by the magnetism and the sciences they have employed like meteorology, etc. Their various powers (telekinesis, ESP, teleportation, etc.) extend outside the biosphere. By virtue of their own emotional/cognitive/spiritual state, each of the passengers on flight 815 was somehow drawn (unknowingly) to their "destiny" (as John Locke calls it). The Dharma people were trying to draw specific individuals to the island,island, and brought others along who happened to be on the same plane. The name Dharma, which references the teaching that all life is interconnected, shows that when they influence one person's life they affect many others.

The Dharma powers were working in each life before they arrived on the island (good luck and curses, miracles, etc.) and continue afterwards - the various healings and visions are all manifestations of the Dharma powers melding with the individual.

The researchers need children because they are more elastic and supposedly are more able to develop extra senses and powers. They zeroed in on Walt because he was always a special boy. (The researcher "Klugh" asked Michael if Walt ever appeared in places where he wasn't supposed to be, for example - and we know that he was appearing all over the island!).island!). They are attempting to breed or build a superpsychic race of humans and/or other species (hence all the animals) and in doing all of the genetic testing they unwittingly unleashed a virus that has since been contained.

The black smoke is a tangible expression of the psychic doings of the Dharma people. The cloud, or wisps of it, are often seen flying over and through the jungle. The experience of coming face to face with it seems subjective to me. First Locke encounters it, and says that he saw the nature of the island and it was beautiful. Later, it attempted to draw him down a hole and he wanted to go (this was in keeping with his desire for going on a spiritual walkabout and becoming one with the earth). When Eko encountered it, it was with his mindset (spoken to his brother earlier) that righteousness and evil do not exist far apart from each other. He basically took the attitude that he was immune to whatever fear there was in being probed by that cloud because he knew exactly what was inside of him.

The monster may be the results of "the incident" and is part of what the government wants to harness, in addition to the mind/nature powers that have been developed there.

In a con of its own the government has people thinking that the botton-pushing and other things are just skinnerlike experiments, when in actuality the button DOES do something - they just don't want people to know WHAT it does. They want people to think they're just doing it "just in case" and count on people having just enough doubt that they'll keep pushing it anyway. (The button pushing was set up initially as an experiment and it wasn't SUPPOSED to really do anything.)

The huge metal grinding noises and lights in the sky are caused by the biosphere being opened. The force field is also what made the bullet ricochet when Sawyer tried to shoot "Zeke."
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