The Flame

DHARMA Initiative Station #4

The Flame was a DHARMA Initiative communications station. Its name and symbol were first seen depicted on the blast door map. According to the DHARMA cabling map, the Flame was northeast of the Barracks, and about a day and a half north from the Survivors camp. The station has been completely destroyed by John Locke.

The Flame consisted of a large building with a roof-mounted satellite dish. The interior was divided up into a living / kitchen area, a storage facility and a separate computer room. A hidden trapdoor provided access to a basement storage facility. (“Enter 77”)


Sun (Fire)

Underworld

Death

War

Communication

Station History 

DHARMA Initiative

The Flame was constructed by the DHARMA Initiative some time before 1973 and was used as a means of communicating with other stations on the Island as well as the outside world. The Flame is described as being “the hub” with cables leading from the Flame out to other DHARMA facilities all over the Island. (“Enter 77”) In 1977, Stuart Radzinsky appeared to be the sole operator of the station – working, in his spare time, on a model for the ongoing construction of the Swan. At Jin’s request, he sent out an Island-wide broadcast to all DHARMA stations and facilities. Radzinsky, believing Sayid to be one of the Hostiles, imprisoned him briefly in the pantry area before transfering him to the Barracks. (“Namaste”)

   

Extremely concerned about a potential incursion by the Hostiles, the DHARMA Initiative had wired C-4 charges throughout the lower level of the Flame. The makeshift nature of the work appeared to suggest the charges were added later and were not included in the station’s initial design. The station computer contained a special security code (77), which, when entered by an operator, would trigger the C-4 on a short time-delay. (“Enter 77”) It is not clear why DHARMA preferred the destruction of the station to seeing it fall into the hands of the Hostiles, but it appears the Purge took place too swiftly for the explosives to be triggered.

The Others

   

Some time after the Purge, the Others installed Mikhail Bakunin at the station. Mikhail’s duties included monitoring, gathering intelligence and communicating with Others in the outside world. Mikhail also appeared to be somewhat tempermental and was apparently prone to shooting individuals who approached the station unannounced.

   

At Ben’s request, Mikhail opened a live off-island video feed from Richard Alpert in Miami, showing Juliet that her sister Rachel and Rachel’s baby were both alive and well. Mikhail also assembled detailed files on all of the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815. (“One of Us”)

The blast door map discovered at the Swan shows the Flame with a note that this was the station’s alleged location on the Island. As Radzinsky presumably would have known where the Flame was located, likely this notation was added later by Kelvin Inman. The blast door map suggests the station is number four of six.

Recent Events

Season 3 (Days 72-91)

   

When Locke, Sayid, Desmond, Nikki and Paulo visited the Pearl station, Sayid was able to patch into a live video surveillance feed to the Flame. Mikhail, wearing a DHARMA Initiative jumpsuit and eyepatch appeared, looking directly into the camera for a few moments before turning it off. (“The Cost of Living”) It is likely the activation of the camera at the Flame may have tipped off the Others to expect imminent visitors – hence the removal of the monitors and Mikhail’s elaborate cover story.

   

As a result of the discharge at the end of Season 2, the Others temporarily lost communication across the Island. A short time later Bea Klugh was sent to the Flame to talk to Mikhail and determine what was happening. Shortly thereafter a group including Kate, Locke, Sayid and Danielle came across the Flame station while looking for Jack. On approaching the station, Sayid was shot by Mikhail. Mikhail attempted to pass himself off as a surviving member of the DHARMA Initiative, but was ultimately unsuccessful.

   

Both Mikhail and Bea Klugh – who was found hiding in the basement of the Flame – were captured. In briefly breaking free, Mikhail shot Bea on her own orders and then attempted to shoot himself, but was overpowered by the castaways. Sayid located the DHARMA cabling map in searching the basement of the Flame which ultimately led them to the Barracks.

   

Meanwhile, Locke inadvertantly unlocked access to the video menus hidden behind the computer’s chess game and entered the 7-7 Code. Minutes later, upon departing the station, the Flame was destroyed. Mikhail’s cat and at least one of the cows survived the destruction of the station. (“Enter 77”)  (“Confirmed Dead”)

Later, in Day 90, Sayid uses the same map from the flame to locate another DHARMA station called The Looking Glass.

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Associated DHARMA Stations

   

Associated LOST Characters

Primary Symbolism: Sun (Fire) & Fertility Deities

Sun (Fire)

Fertility (Earth)

BAST

KENSUT

MNEVIS

HATHOR

RAET

ASTARTE

KHEPRI

THOTH

SERKET

Secondary SymbolismUnderworld & Death Deities

Underworld

Death

HADES

OSIRIS

NEPHTHYS

Secondary SymbolismWar Deities

War

MONTHU

SET

RESHEP




DHARMA STATION (Symbolic Deities Reference)

Decoded LOST Character (Stuart Radzinsky)

Hades (meaning “the unseen”) refers both to the ancient Greek underworld, the abode of Hades, and to the god of the underworld. Hades in Homer referred just to the god; the genitive ᾍδου, Haidou, was an elision to denote locality: “[the house/dominion] of Hades”. Eventually, the nominative, too, came to designate the abode of the dead.

In Greek mythology, Hades is the oldest male child of Kronus and Rhea. According to myth, he and his brothers Zeus and Poseidon defeated the Titans and claimed rulership over the universe ruling the underworld, air, and sea, respectively; the solid earth, long the province of Gaia, was available to all three concurrently. Because of his association with the underworld, Hades is often interpreted in modern times as the Grim Reaper, even though he was not.

By the Romans Hades was called Pluto, from his Greek epithet Πλούτων Ploutōn (πλοῦτος, wealth), meaning “Rich One”. In Roman mythology, Hades/Pluto was called Dis Pater and Orcus. The corresponding Etruscan god was Aita. Symbols associated with him are the Helm of Darkness and the three-headed dog, Cerberus.

The term hades in Christian theology (and in New Testament Greek) is parallel to Hebrew sheol (שאול, grave or dirt-pit), and refers to the abode of the dead. The Christian concept of hell is more akin to (and communicated by) the Greek concept of Tartarus, a deep, gloomy part of hades used as a dungeon of torment and suffering.

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Further Reading





Decoded LOST Character (Dr. Pierre Chang)

Hephaestus was a Greek god whose Roman equivalent was Vulcan. He is the son of Zeus and Hera, the King and Queen of the Gods (or perhaps of Hera alone). He was the god of technology, blacksmiths, craftsmen, artisans, sculptors, metals, metallurgy, fire, and volcanoes. Like other mythic smiths but unlike most other gods, Hephaestus was lame, which gave him a grotesque appearance in Greek eyes. He served as the blacksmith of the gods, and he was worshiped in the manufacturing and industrial centers of Greece, particularly in Athens. The center of his cult was in Lemnos. Hephaestus’s symbols are a smith’s hammer, an anvil and a pair of tongs, although sometimes he is portrayed holding an axe.

Volcano God

Hephaestus was identified by Greek colonists in southern Italy with the volcano gods Adranus of Mount Etna and Vulcanus of the Lipari islands. His forge was moved there by the poets. The first-century sage Apollonius of Tyana is said to have observed, “there are many other mountains all over the earth that are on fire, and yet we should never be done with it if we assigned to them giants and gods like Hephaestus”.

An Athenian founding myth tells that Athena refused a union with Hephaestus because of his unsightly appearance and crippled nature, and that when he became angry and forceful with her, she disappeared from the bed. His ejaculation landed on the earth, impregnating Gaia, who subsequently gave birth to Erichthonius of Athens; then the surrogate mother gave the child to Athena to foster, guarded by a serpent. Hyginus made an imaginative etymology for Erichthonius, of strife (Eris) between Athena and Hephaestus and the Earth-child (chthonios). There is a Temple of Hephaestus, the Hephaesteum miscalled the “Theseum”, located near the Athenian agora, or marketplace.

On the island of Lemnos, his consort was the sea nymph Cabeiro, by whom he was the father of two metalworking gods named the Cabeiri. In Sicily, his consort was the nymph Aetna, and his sons two gods of Sicilian geysers called Palici.

Homer makes Charis the wife of Hephaestus. However, according to most myths, Hephaestus is a husband of Aphrodite, who commits adultery with Ares.

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DHARMA STATION (Religious Reference)

In many religious traditions, Hell is a place of suffering and punishment in the afterlife. Religions with a linear divine history often depict Hell as endless. Religions with a cyclic history often depict Hell as an intermediary period between incarnations. Typically these traditions locate Hell under the Earth’s external surface and often include entrances to Hell from the land of the living. Other afterlife destinations include Heaven, Purgatory, Paradise, Naraka, and Limbo.

Other traditions, which do not conceive of the afterlife as a place of punishment or reward, merely describe Hell as an abode of the dead – a neutral place located under the surface of Earth (for example, see sheol and Hades). Modern understandings of Hell often depict it abstractly, as a state of loss rather than as fiery torture literally underground, but this view of Hell can, in fact, be traced back into the ancient and medieval periods as well. Hell is often portrayed as populated with demons who torment the damned. Many are ruled by a death god, such as Nergal, Hades, Yama or the Christian/Islamic Devil (Satan or Lucifer). In Islam, the Devil does not actually reside in Hell.

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Christian views on Hell

Christian views on Hell vary, but in general traditionally agree that hell is a place or a state in which the souls of the unsaved suffer the consequences of sin.

Different Hebrew and Greek words are translated as “hell” in English-language Bibles. They include:

  • “Sheol” in the Hebrew Bible, and “Hades” in the New Testament. Many modern versions, such as the New International Version, translate Sheol as “grave” and simply transliterate “Hades”. It is generally agreed that both sheol and hades do not typically refer to the place of eternal punishment, but to the grave, the temporary abode of the dead, the underworld.
  • “Gehenna” in the New Testament, where it is described as a place where both soul and body could be destroyed (Matthew 10:28) in “unquenchable fire” (Mark 9:43). The word is translated “hell” or “hell fire” in almost all English versions.
  • The Greek verb “ταρταρῶ (tartarō)”, which occurs once in the New Testament (in 2 Peter 2:4). It is almost always translated by a phrase such as “thrown down to hell”. Exceptionally, the 2004 Holman Christian Standard Bible uses the word “Tartarus” and explains: “Tartarus is a Gk name for a subterranean place of divine punishment lower than Hades.”

Hell is generally defined as the eternal fate of unrepentant sinners after this life. Hell’s character is inferred from biblical teaching, which has often been understood literally. Souls are said to pass into Hell by God’s irrevocable judgment, either immediately after death (particular judgment) or in the general judgment. Modern theologians generally describe hell as the logical consequence of the soul using its free will to reject union with God. It is considered compatible with God’s justice and mercy because God will not interfere with the soul’s free choice.

Hell in the New Testament

The most common New Testament term translated as “hell” is γέεννα (gehenna), a direct loan of Hebrew ge-hinnom. Apart from one use in James 3:6, this term is found exclusively in the synoptic gospels. Gehenna is most frequently described as a place of fiery torment (e.g. Matthew 5:22, 18:8-9; Mark 9:43-49) although other passages mention darkness and “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (e.g. Matthew 8:12; 22:13).

Apart from the use of the term gehenna (translated as “hell” in all English translations of the bible), the Johannine writings refer to the destiny of the wicked in terms of “perishing”, “death” and “condemnation” or “judgment”. St. Paul speaks of “wrath” and “everlasting destruction” (cf. Romans 2:7-9; 2 Thessalonians 1:9), while the general epistles use a range of terms and images including “raging fire” (Hebrews 10:27), “destruction” (2 Peter 3:7), “eternal fire” (Jude 7) and “blackest darkness” (Jude 13). The Book of Revelation contains the image of a “lake of fire” and “burning sulphur” where “the devil, the beast, and false prophets” will be “tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation 20:10) along with those who worship the beast or receive its mark (Revelation 14:11).

The New Testament also uses the Greek word hades, usually to refer to the abode of the dead (e.g. Acts 2:31; Revelation 20:13). Only one passage describes hades as a place of torment, the parable of Lazarus and Dives (Luke 16:19-31). Jesus here depicts a wicked man suffering fiery torment in hades, which is contrasted with the bosom of Abraham, and explains that it is impossible to cross over from one to the other. Some scholars believe that this parable reflects the intertestamental Jewish view of hades (or sheol) as containing separate divisions for the wicked and righteous. In Revelation 20:13-14 hades is itself thrown into the “lake of fire” after being emptied of the dead.

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