CategoryHatch 23

Real Life DHARMA Initiative # 8: Oneida Community

dharma initiative brand food


The Oneida Community was a utopian commune that existed from 1848 until 1881.

Like the DHARMA Initiative, members of the Oneida Community were assigned jobs by the community. And like DHARMA, they produced their own line of products. In fact, although the commune has ceased to exist, their silverware business Oneida Limited continues today.

Wikipedia: Oneida Community

No episode tonight – smoke monster theories instead

Getting back to the more occult roots of this blog:

lost smoke monster egyptian

Popular Mechanics has an Egyptologist weigh in on the hieroglyphics from “Dead is Dead

Allen agrees that the animal-headed human in the hieroglyphic Ben is fixated on is probably based on Anubis, though he says in actuality, no Egyptian scene looks like what’s shown on Lost. “I suspect that the colossus is also meant to be Anubis, too,” he says. But he points out, it’s actually more of a hybrid of Anubis and Taweret, the demon-wife of the Apep, the Egyptian’s original god of evil. (It’s said that Apep was only present at night, and therefore any evil happenings during the daytime were attributed to Taweret). “The thing on the head definitely looks like Taweret’s, but she never wears a kilt, which is clearly there in the back shot of the colossus. The colossus is probably holding two ankh-signs, like the one Anubis holds in this image, but he’s holding them like Taweret holds the two signs she holds, which are ‘protection’ signs, not ankhs.” Allen also notes that “the four toes on the statue fragment are more Taweret than Anubis, who has a human body and therefore five toes.”

Popular Mechanics: Lost Channels Ancient Egyptian Legend to Explain Smoke Monster (via Electric Children)

Pretty interesting, no? Danny Chaoflux was actually the first person who suggested to me that the Monster might be Apep:


So perhaps the Others are a Taweret & Apep
cult. This is supported by the possibility that the four toed statue is Taweret:

Taweret lost four toed statue

(Image from Lostpedia)

From the Monster theories page of Lostpedia comes an alternate theory:

In Egyptian mythology, Ammit was the personification of divine retribution for all the wrongs one had committed in life. She dwelt in the Hall of Ma’at, who was the personification of the concept of truth, balance, and order.The hearts of the dead were weighed by Anubis against a feather from Ma’at’s headdress. The hearts of those who were heavy with wrongdoing failed the test were given to Ammit for her to devour. Those whose souls were devoured were not permitted to enter Aaru, having to be restless forever—effectively dying a second time. If the heart was lighter than a feather then the soul was judged by the god of the underworld, Osiris. With the strong Egyptian undertones, especially this season, the monster could be a personification of Ammit. When the monster poses as Yemi, it asks Eko if he is sorry for the wrongdoings in his life. When Eko says no, the monster kills him. We saw in “This Place is Death” that the monster lives in the Temple with the hieroglyphics on it. This temple, which goes underground, could represent the Hall of Ma’at where souls are judged.

I have another idea: the creators of LOST might be creating its own set of Egyptian deities.

Until “Dead is Dead” I was thinking that the Dharma Initiative might have been using Egyptian hieroglyphs as a code (the way the Others use Latin). But the hieroglyphs in the temple in “Dead is Dead” seem to rule that out.

It might also be worth noting that in “Some Like it Hoth,” the lesson Jack erases from the chalk board is on Egyptian hieroglyphs.

Obscure possible Lost influence: Odd John by Olaf Stapledon

Odd John by Olaf Stapledon

Here’s an, *ahem*, odd possible influence on Lost: Odd John by Olaf Stapledon, first published in 1935. I came across it while researching this timeline. I haven’t read the novel yet.

It’s the story of John Wainwright, a child prodigy of extreme intelligence who eventually develops telepathy. John eventually discovers some other mutant superhumans like himself, and founds a colony on an island. Here’s a summary of this last segment of the book from Wikipedia (includes book spoilers):
Continue reading

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and LOST

Wired: The League is interesting because of its dependence on that vast canon. Everything from pulp up through every novel that’s been written gets hologrammed.

Moore: In the first two volumes we were dealing mainly with characters from literature, because characters from literature were all that were around up until roughly the end of the 19th century. With this one, the first one set in 1910, we’re using characters from the stage as well as literature. We’re using the whole Threepenny Opera storyline. With the second one, set in 1969, we’ve got access to all of the films and television that were around then. The third part, set in the present day – 2008, 2009 – we have characters from all of the new media that have evolved over the past 30 years.

It is interesting – it is an expanding cast of characters, and I suppose we’re attempting to come up with a kind of unified field theory of culture that actually links up all of these various works, whether they’re high culture or low culture or no culture.

From: Wired interview with Alan Moore.

Interesting to me because of my theory that LOST is “every story.”

Also remember that Watchmen, written by Moore, was a huge influence on LOST.

Last minute LOST theory round-up

  • ‘Lost’ is the opposite of ‘won’ Wadester23 suggests that the title LOST doesn’t mean the opposite of found, but the opposite of ‘won’ – as in the game Ben, Widmore, and possibly others are playing. Desmond might know about it via Penny now (“These people–they’re just usin’ us. They’re playing some kind of game, and we are just the pieces.” – Desmond in 316).
  • Ben tried to kill Penny, got beat up by Desmond (Lostpedia)
  • Charlie convinced Hurley to take flight 316. That’s why he has a guitar case. (Lostpedia)
  • Claire died in the explosion, it’s her ‘Island ghost’ self that people have been seeing since. (Lostpedia)What are your theories? Any ideas about what happened to Aaron, why Sayid was in custody, or how Lupitus has been able to fly commercial jets without being abducted and questioned by Widmore?
  • LOST and linearity

    It wasn’t until last week’s episode that I figured out what’s been bugging me about this season thus far: it’s too linear.

    Sure, there’s the time flashes that have helped us explore the island a little bit. But for the most part, the plot has been moving in a single forward motion. Contrast this with last season: we knew the “Oceanic 6” got off the island – but we didn’t know at first who the Oceanic 6 were. And until the very last episode, we didn’t know how they got off. We also didn’t know what happened to everyone else on the island. There created two narratives: the events on the Island, and the non-linear “flash forwards” about the Oceanic 6.

    Having part of the story already laid out and filling in the puzzle pieces non-linearly is one of LOST’s most compelling storytelling devices. We wanted to know what Kate did. How Locke ended up in a wheelchair. Why each character was in Sydney. (I still want to know if there’s more to Sawyer’s background than we know about.)

    Weirdly enough, this season we were for the first time being given more answers than questions. And it wasn’t nearly as exciting. Now we have some more puzzle pieces to fill in: How did Ben get beat up? Is Penny ok? Why was Sayid in custody? Why did Hurley decide to come along? Hopefully we’ll also start to see some of Daniel, Ben, Widmore, Richard, and Miles’s stories explored to create more tension.

    Thoughts on last night’s episode (316) – Gnosticism crops up again

    In the church, Ben talks about the Biblical disciple Thomas. What he doesn’t mention is that a principal gospel of Gnostic Christianity is the Gospel of Thomas.

    The “Locke as Jesus” theme is obvious, and the reference to Jack as Thomas shouldn’t be taken lightly.

    Most extensive article on LOST and Gnosticism that I know of.

    Theory: the Others are Cathars (Wikipedia entry on Catharism)

    Previous coverage of LOST and Gnosticism on Hatch 23

    Real life DHARMA Initiative # 7: DARPA and HAARP

    information awareness office

    Unlike DHARMA, DARPA is actually a US agency, not a private endeavor. But, in addition to the name, there are some projects worth considering – especially the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP).

    From Wikipedia’s DARPA entry:

    The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is an agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the development of new technology for use by the military. DARPA has been responsible for funding the development of many technologies which have had a major impact on the world, including computer networking, as well as NLS, which was both the first hypertext system, and an important precursor to the contemporary ubiquitous graphical user interface.

    Its original name was simply Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), but it was renamed DARPA (for Defense) on March 23, 1972, then back to ARPA on February 22, 1993, and then back to DARPA again on March 11, 1996.

    DARPA was established in 1958 (as ARPA) in response to the Soviet launching of Sputnik in 1957, with the mission of keeping U.S. military technology ahead of the nation’s enemies. […]

    DARPA is independent from other more conventional military R&D and reports directly to senior Department of Defense management. DARPA has around 240 personnel (about 140 technical) directly managing a $3.2 billion budget. These figures are “on average” since DARPA focuses on short-term (two to four-year) projects run by small, purpose-built teams.

    DARPA is known for creating the Internet and, more recently, for their paranoia inducing projects like Information Awareness Office and creating robotic insects.

    But no DARPA project has attracted as much interest from conspiracy analysts as HAARP. From 60 Greatest Conspiracies’s HAARP entry:

    In an Arctic compound 200 miles east of Anchorage, Alaska, the Pentagon has erected a powerful transmitter designed to beam more than a gigawatt of energy into the upper reaches of the atmosphere. Known as Project HAARP (High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program), the $30 million experiment involves the world’s largest “ionospheric heater,” a prototype device designed to zap the skies hundreds of miles above the earth with high-frequency radio waves.

    Why irradiate the charged particles of the ionosphere (which when energized by natural processes make up the lovely and famous phenomenon known as the Northern Lights)? According to the U.S. Navy and Air Force, co-sponsors of the project, “to observe the complex natural variations of Alaska’s ionosphere.” That, says the Pentagon, and also to develop new forms of communications and surveillance technologies that will enable the military to send signals to nuclear submarines and to peer deep underground.

    60 Greatest Conspiracies first reported on HAARP more than a year ago. Since then, inquiring Internauts have blamed the peculiar project for everything from UFO activity to major power outages in the Western United States, to, most recently, the downing of TWA Flight 800. (The Pentagon maintains that the HAARP array has been inactive since late last year.) Some have dubbed it the “Pentagon’s doomsday death ray.” Though many of these theories are, well, creatively amplified, an assortment of more grounded critics–environmentalists, Native Americans and Alaskan citizens among them–argue that the military does indeed have Strangelovian plans for this unusual hardware, applications ranging from “Star Wars” missile defense schemes to weather modification plots and perhaps even mind control experiments.

    Sounds oddly familiar, doesn’t it?

    Reality Bleed-Through: Kaiser Permanente doing strange fertility experiments?

    Cryptogon puts some rather strange pieces together regarding the birth of octuplets last month. Definitely take this with a grain of salt, and keep the concept of apophenia in mind. But if this is true, it’s something up there with the Dharma Initiative and Mittelos Bioscience.

    Full Story: Cryptogon

    Here is a summary via Above Top Secret:

    -Suicide note ended with a Masonic code-phrase signifying “distress”
    -The man worked for a company called Kaiser Permanente
    , which includes masonic symbolism in its logo
    -Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center was involved in a controversial recent multiple birth of eight kids (octuplets) to a single mother.
    -Lupoe also had twins…nothing conclusive to say about this, really, but as the author at the link notes, “What are the odds that one company (Kaiser Permanente) would be involved with two profoundly freakish stories involving twins at the same time?”

    Real life DHARMA Initiative # 6: Technocracy Incorporated

    technocracy incorporated monadthe swan hatch dharma initiative

    Technocracy Incorporated is one of the great vanishing acts of history. At the peak of its existence, Technocracy Inc. had half a million members in California alone and received extensive press. Today, they are virtually forgotten.

    technocracy sign

    (Above: a Technocracy sign in a Depression-era town)

    To over simplify: the goal of Technocracy Inc. was to create a socio-economic system run entirely by engineers. It was founded by Howard Scott, an engineer with dubious credentials.

    howard scott

    Above: Technocracy founder Howard Scott

    Scott’s basic idea was that all human endeavor could effectively be measured in terms of energy expended. Whatever it took to make anything could be translated into pure ergs and joules. Therefore, the first thing to do was to take a grand energy survey of all the nations industries, a project to which Rautenstrauch actually got Columbia’s venerable president Nicholas Murray Butler to lend his support. Once it was determined how much energy it took to make everything, the nation’s engineers could step in and eliminate the irrational “social motives” in business. That is, all the energy businessmen put into making luxury goodsor profits.

    Scott was always vague about just what would happen next. When pressed, he and his associates finally theorized that some sort of scrip, equivalent to the energy the nation used in a year, could be distributed on a perfectly equal basis to all U.S. citizens. To keep everything balanced and that pesky capital from accumulating, people would have to use up their “energy certificates” during the year or see them become worthless. The result, Loeb asserted in a book he rushed into print by early 1933, would be such abundance that no one would have to work more than four hours or so, four days a week. (Source)

    Sounds nice. But things got a little creepy.

    technocracy grey fleet

    Above: a fleet of official Technocracy gray cars, from this IWW profile of Scott.

    Technocracy’s program gained in popularity over the 1930s and 1940s, with members from all over North America. The organization gave lecture tours, study courses, and held motorcades, where hundreds of official “Technocracy Grey Cars” travelled all over the United States and Canada as part of the organization’s “symbolization” campaign. The Grey Cars sparked fears that Technocracy was a secret society with resources to create a fleet of vehicles in the midst of a depression. In reality, the organization only supplied grey paint so that members could customize their own vehicles. A grey suit became the organization’s uniform, and a red and grey monad its official symbol. (Source)

    technocracy fascist

    Names, too, were suspect for some reason so members of the movement in California were designated only by numbers. A speaker at one California rally was introduced only as 1x1809x56! (Source)

    Numbers instead of names. Gray cars and uniforms. A completely engineered vision of society. Oh my.

    To tie it back to the Dharma Initiative a bit, check out these training videos on YouTube:

    They are forgotten, but not gone. Technocracy Incorporated is alive and active today, but their numbers have diminished. Perhaps, as we enter a new depression and a crashing banking system they will be able to rise again. China actually accomplished part of what Technocracy Inc. sought: rule by engineers. As the United States and Europe’s economies melt down, we can no longer use practicality as a justification to avoid Chinese economic and political policies. Technocracy may well be in our future.

    More Info:

    Wikipedia entry

    Official Technocracy Incorporated web site

    Kevin Baker’s column on the Reform Party and Technocracy Inc.

    Time Magazine article on Scott from 1932.

    Tim Boucher’s article on technocracy

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