Introduction to the Notebook Michael Hanttula's 'LOST' Notebook
Notes on the Inhabitants of the Island
The Dharma Initiative

Dharma Initiative

  • History
    • In the “Sri Lanka video” (as part of “The LOST Experience” game), Alvar Hanso reveals that “DHARMA” stands for “Deparment of Hueristics And Research on Material Applications” and “also stands for the one, true way”
    • In that same video, Hanso said that the purpose of the DHARMA Initiative was to save humanity from extinquishing itself (through war, overpopulation, changing environment, etc.)
    • In the “Swan Complex Orientation Film,” Dr. Marvin Candle provides a short introduction to the DHARMA Initiative as such: “The DHARMA Initiative was created in 1970, and is the brainchild of Gerald and Karen DeGroot” and was “imagined as a large-scale communal research compound where scientists and free-thinkers from around the globe could pursue research in meteorology, psychology, parapsychology, zoology, electromagnetism, and utopian social–“
  • Symbology:
    • The Shark with the Dharma Logo on its sideLogo on many items around the island (food in the storage area, all the computers, and even the shark that nearly attacks Jin & Sawyer)
    • Logo’s outer lines match the Bagua: “a fundamental philosophical concept in ancient China. It is an octagonal diagram with eight trigrams on each side. The concept of bagua is applied not only to Chinese Taoist thought and the I Ching, but is also used in other domains of Chinese culture, such as fengshui, martial arts , navigation, etc.
    • Possibly related: In mythology, Apollo has the six attributes of: swans, wolves, dolphins, bows and arrows, a laurel crown, the cithara (or lyre) and plectrum. (from
    • Each Dharma Initiative complex on the island has it’s own symbol.
    • The known complexes are:
      • The Swan (pictured above)
        The main complex inhabited by the survivors of Flight #815 and home to the infamous 108 Machine. This complex dealt with experiments in electro/bio-magnetical fields and was, apparently, destroyed by Desmond in an attempt to save humanity from the effects of the complex’s system overloading.
      • The Arrow
        The complex in which the tail-section survivors of Flight 815 originally took shelter. Inside, a glass eye & a bible containing portions of the Swan Complex’s orientation film were found.
        Logo for the Dharma Initiative's Arrow Complex
      • The Staff
        Known primarily for its medical facility, “The Staff” complex uses a “caduceus” in its symbol. This is the complex where Claire was taken during her stay with The Others. By the time other survivors of Flight #815 visited the complex, it has been vacated (except for a box of theatrical make-up).
      • The Pearl (the area marked with a “?” on the blacklight map) — the center of all the complexes; The Pearl contains monitors for viewing the “psychological experiments” going on in the other facilities. Although, it seems that these observations were also another experiment as the many notes gathered by the inhabitants were simply ejected to an area outside The Pearl complex.
        The Pearl Complex on ABC's LOST
      • The Hydra — a complex containing a large glass aquarium (for sharks & dolphins), with the observation rooms apparently being underwater. The empty glass aquarium now houses a metal table and is being used to hold a human subject for observation
        Hydra Complex Dharma Initiative
    • Notes for the potential of the “Caduceus” complex: Apollo gave to Mercury “a magic wand called the caduceus. Mercury used this to guide the souls of the dead to the Lower World. He also could control the living and the dead with it, or turn anything to gold.” (link)
  • Media:
    • The Dharma Initiative created this orientation film for individuals operating the “Swan” complex
    • Click to View the Full MapA “map” was revealed on a blast door when exposed to a black light. (click the image for a full-size, rather large version). More details being tracked on the map’s own page.

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Original Material: Copyright 2005 © Mike Hanttula & Spark3   All other material is the property of its respective copyright holder.