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DHARMA Initiative

CNN.com did an article on real life DHARMA initiatives and they interviewed me for it:

One person who has thought about this quite a bit is blogger Klint “Klintron” Finley, who has written about the concept of “real-life Dharma initiatives” extensively at Hatch23.com. “I think it stems from various trends and movements from the ’60s and ’70s,” he said. “More specifically, anywhere that two or more of the following intersected: Eastern spirituality, fringe science, defense spending, disturbing psychological research, experiments in utopian/communal living and experiments social control.”

He points to many possible influences for the Dharma concept but thinks there is one in particular that shares a lot with Dharma: the Esalen Institute. Made famous in a 1967 New York Times article, the institute began as a place where one could, as its website says, have “the intellectual freedom to consider systems of thought and feeling that lie beyond the current constraints of mainstream academia.”

It still serves as a retreat center at the beautiful Big Sur mountains to this day and, according to the website, has been devoted to the exploration of human potential since the 1960s. It’s here that the “Physics Consciousness Research Group” was allegedly co-founded in 1975 by theoretical physicist Jack Sarfatti. Sarfatti is the author of such works as “Progress in Post-Quantum Physics and Unified Field Theory” and “Super Cosmos: Through Studies Through the Stars.”

And what about Dharma’s benefactor, Hanso? Aside from maybe Richard Alpert and Charles Widmore, no one character has fascinated and mystified fans more. … In fact, much of the online “Lost Experience” a few years ago revolved around him. (According to Finley, Hanso may have been modeled after people like inventor Charles F. Kettering, who died in 1958.) In ABC’s game “The Lost Experience,” players found out that a main reason for his interest in the Dharma Initiative was the “Valenzetti Equation.” In “Lost” lore, this is a calculation of the exact date on which humankind would wipe itself out, consisting of the familiar “numbers” from the hatch, Hurley’s lottery ticket and, we now know, Jacob’s candidates. Dharma was trying to change these numbers in order to save the world.

So a big welcome to everyone’s who’s visiting here from CNN. My articles on real life DHARMA initiatives are here.

4 Comments

  1. Dude, this is a serious contender for the Most Awesome Site in the Cyberverse award. Bookmarked. Will come back and go deeper down the rabbit hole sometime. Thanks.

  2. Dude, this is a serious contender for the Most Awesome Site in the Cyberverse award. Bookmarked. Will come back and go deeper down the rabbit hole sometime. Thanks.
    +1

  3. Interesting stuff. Haven’t finished reviewing everything in the archives yet but I thought I’d suggest another candidate for your collection of real life Dharma Initiatives: The New Alchemy Institute (John Todd, Nancy Jack Todd) originating in the early 1970s on Cape Cod. Here are a couple of related links:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Alchemy_Institute

    http://www.oceanarks.org/

    http://www.thegreencenter.net/

    I first learned of them back in the early 1980s from an article in the Cousteau Almanac (out of print but may be able to find one on eBay). NAI’s purpose was to blend the best of both nature and technology to develop sustainable, self-sufficient, eco-sensitive solutions to support human existence.

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