Dharma booth video/Theories

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Main Article Theories about
Dharma booth video
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 Theories may be removed if ... 
  1. Stated as questions or possibilities (avoid question marks, "Maybe", "I think", etc).
  2. More appropriate for another article.
  3. Illogical or previously disproven.
  4. Proven by canon source, and moved to main article.
  5. Speculative and lacking any evidence to support arguments.
  6. Responding to another theory (use discussion page instead).
  • This does not include responses that can stand alone as its own theory.
  • Usage of an indented bullet does not imply the statement is a response.

See the Lostpedia theory policy for more details.

Changing the Past

Pierre Chang mentions that reconstituting the Dharma Iniative could help save him and his colleagues from The Purge. This statement, in conjunction with the flashbacks on the show point to the Island's ability to influence past events, not the future. Each character's flashback directly relates to the character's on-Island actions of that episode (ex. The Long Con, Walkabout, The 23rd Psalm, etc). This is a way of showing a character can correct mistakes or actions made in the past. In turn, the changing of past events could possibly change the Valenzetti Equation. Everything that has happened on the Island so far has happened because of past events, not to create future events. The best way to describe this is with Locke. Locke's whole life has been about coming to the Island. He was unsuccessfully recruited by Richard Alpert twice (as a child and teenager). He was supposed to be on the Island. When he finally crashed on the Island, some events of his past that would never have happened had he been on the Island (i.e. his broken back) were erased. Locke had relapses of paralysis until his father was killed, and the event was cleansed from his psyche.

  • To add to this (and possibly related to the Monster - The Monster acts as a sort of "policeman" as well. If a person is in position to change an event that is not supposed to be changed, the Monster is there to stop this from happening.
  • Desmond has (so far) been the only person who has had awareness of traveling to his own past, though when he tried to alter it (so as not to lose Penny), he was not successful then. Yet he has also been the only person to see future events (Charlie's death) and managed to stop it several times. Though one could argue that Charlie had to be kept alive so he could go to the Looking Glass, stop the jammer and make contact with Penny. So therefore, Desmond had to come to the Island and press the fail-safe button and save Charlie, therefore, he had to lose Penny in the past to commence his soul-searching and travels. So some events are important turning points that must not be changed. Desmond was actively stopped by Ms. Hawking in the shop. The producers have said she can time travel and is some kind of temporal policeman. Is she then Dharma, policing the important time nodal events?
  • Ms Hawking is related to the Monster or is the Monster, the unexplainable entity or force that prevents alterations of the past that would allow violation of causality.

The characters

Pierre Chang

  • Chang is normally seen wearing a lab coat or suit, but here he is dressed casually (dare I say, a "leisure suit"?), so this is un-official.
  • When the video starts, Chang seems calm and normal. As it progresses, he becomes agitated and more urgent.
    • As a scientist, he knows about the Island's properties. He is employed by DHARMA, so he knows what their ultimate goals are. He has shown in previous out-takes that he is a reluctant front man for the Orientation films. At the start of this video, he acknowledges that he has been using a fake name (perhaps a "stage name"), and then says "no point in games anymore, right?" This indicates he is aware (at least partially) of the overt and covert deceptions presented by DHARMA, and that he has been involved in that to some degree with the Orientation films.

The other man or men

  • There are two other men whose voices are heard during the video. Based solely on familiarity with the voices:
    • The first unidentified speaker, who said, "None of that matters!" is Jack.
      • I hear only one voice, and don't think it's Jack's. Faraday is a better candidate.
    • The second unidentified speaker, who continues with "It doesn't matter. Just get to it. Please!" and later asks how to "turn this off", is Daniel.
  • There is only one man. In Chau's Lostpedia interview, he stated that it's someone we've seen before.
  • Actually Chau said "the cameraman" is someone we've seen before; he did not address the number of people in the room.
  • Sounds a lot like Faraday to me.
  • Faraday is the best candidate. Voice matches, we know he's been on the Island with Chang as of Season 5, he's knowledgeable on the topic of time travel, he may have traveled in time himself, and he could easily be the "reliable source" Chang mentions has informed him about who the President of the United States is, what the Internet is, etc. If we believe the show's creators that the cameraman is someone we've seen before, no one makes as much sense as Faraday.
  • It wouldn't be the first time voices have been edited to give viewers the wrong idea. An examples is the phone call between Sayid and Ben from "The Economist". Ben's voice is darker and slowed down, exactly to give viewers the wrong idea; however Ben only spoke two words.
I couldn't identify the voice and the fact is that Lost fans have a tendency to see connections where there are none (see apophenia). However, if we take Francois Chua's statement as accurate, I think the most likely candidate is Faraday. Faraday would know the information about the future which Chang relates, he would know about physics and so have reason to understand how tenuous the pinhole was. There have also been questions about what happened to Faraday when the Island moved, since he was neither on the Island nor clearly outside of the area of effect like the Oceanic Six were. There have also been rumors that season five will feature Faraday thrown backwards in time quite some ways. It's possible that Faraday ended up in the 1970's and is trying to fix things.
  • When the off-camera speaker says the word "off," a northeastern (perhaps Boston or New York) accent can be detected. Faraday does not speak with such an accent.
  • At 3:33, it sounds like Chang says, "LaFleur! What are you doing?" Sawyer was present or entered during the recording.
  • I can't believe no one has picked up on this yet, but I thought the cameraman sounded like Miles for the majority of the recording, particularly when he says 'None of that Matters!' at around 2:35. After The Variable, he is probably the most credible for the recording as well, he disappears after the group meeting with Jack, Daniel, etc and we don't know where he goes. The theory is he then goes to Pierre Chang's house (where it was confirmed in the episode that was where Pierre was) admits he is his son, tells him about all the things no one else would know (which is why Pierre says his source is credible - that's because his source is his son) and they decide to make a video.
    • I was starting to think this too, because during "Namaste" and "He's Our You" whenever we heard Miles on the walkie, I always initially thought it was Faraday, for some reason, so I think it could be him. Also, Miles being there could explain the static in the video, because Miles will be near Baby Miles.

The room

  • The room is underground, in one of the Stations.
  • The room is staged, as a set in a TV studio.
  • As this video is somehow broadcast out from the Island (though some tiny pinhole in time that Pierre or Daniel have organized), it was sent from the Flame Station, although the couch at The Flame was completely different from the one on this video.
  • By the light pattern on the video, could be one of the houses located at The Barracks.
  • It is a residential setting. Executive offices have couches, but this space has the "feel" of a living room. Chang is dressed for off-duty time. Lara being there with the unhappy child also makes residential more likely.
  • As the video ends, the camera angle turns to the right, showing a bookshelf and a picture on the wall. This would seem to indicate a residential setting.

Making The Video

  • The cameraman is using a color video camera, yet this is 30 years ago from 2004. That makes it around 1974. The only color video cameras around then were expensive professional sets, not very portable. Usually TV studio type pedestal cameras. This is why he has trouble working out how to turn it off.
    • If it is a camera that is supposed to be transmitting (like a TV signal), then you're right, there were only professional sets available. But this could also be just a regular handheld video camera (like Super 8mm) fitted with a color film. Those have been around for decades.
    • The camera is moving, like it is hand-held, not on a pedestal or tripod.
      • Actually, the camera used to shot Candle is probably not moving, the one moving is the one held by the guy shooting the screen.
        • Agreed - the video itself was shot with a camera on a tripod, with a slight zoom in towards Chang, and then a turn to the right at the end. It is Dan Bronson's handheld videocam which is moving around.
          • Another way to tell it is on a stand is that the cameraman gets up and passes in front of the lens as he tries to turn the camera off.
    • The camera is also recording sound, so it has its own microphone, and Chang does not seem to be fitted with any mike.
    • He says it's "roughly 30 years" which means could be more or less. As the other videos and films with Marvin are copyrighted as 1980, and assuming these were therefore filmed before that, the time for this video is after 1980.
      • He has used the pseudonym of Marvin Candle prior to this video, so this footage comes after 1980, but before the purge in 1992.
        • Not for certain - there is one orientation video that is copyrighted 1980 where he already has a prosthetic left hand, and signs off saying Namaste with only his right hand. So this "Reconstitute DHARMA" video was before that, and Chang has both hands.
          • The dates of the orientation videos are NOT known - all we know is they show copyright 1980 at the end. But they seem to be made before that, and some of them on film then transferred to video later. Some would have needed to exist when DHARMA first starts in the 70's (for the original staff to be 'orientated'). The point is, we can't pin down the time when this video was made. It is obviously some time after DHARMA has started, as Chang has lived there for many years. Also the video camera being used would indicate a date at the earliest in the early 80's.
          • Time travel doesn't seem to be very accurate (at least to the point we can control). His 30 estimate could just be wrong. It could be 20 years for all we know. Just because he says it is 30 years doesn't mean he is right.
            • He says that the president is George W. Bush, meaning that the time he was aiming for falls in either 1989-1993 or 2001-2009, probably 2001-2009 since the W is usually only included for the second Bush and 1963 seems too early.
  • The first George Bush was actually George H. W. Bush, not George W. Bush, so it must be 2001-2009.
  • Chang's source from the future brought a recent model camera back to 1974 to record Marvin/Pierre.
  • The interference appears to be analogue signals, so this video was make not using a digital video camera.
    • This may be pushing it, but the interference may not be intended to come from the camera, but from the transfer of the signal to the future.
      • The video signal is breaking in on an existing video signal, such as a security camera. So the embedded image is not placed there - it is the normal image for that security camera, and Chang has managed to get this video into that transmission.
  • The Betacam was introduced commercially in 1982. Test organizations (like DHARMA?) would have had access earlier.
  • Pierre Chang might have used DHARMA video equipment used to record The Orientation Films
    • We saw Ben play a Betamax tape for Locke at the Orchid station - this would have been the right technology for making this video.
  • The filming of this video will be seen in one of the episodes of season 5.

Time Warp

  • Pierre Chang met the survivors of flight 815 after Ben "moved" The Island and created a type of time warp, bringing the island back to the 1970's, the survivors knew the importance of this and went to find Dr Marvin Candle, as they knew him by that name from the films, they gave him this information about George Bush, etc, Resulting in him making the video, because he knew its serious whats going on.
    • We may possibly see changes to the future in Season 5 due to this, and they may be able to change events back then on the Island to prevent things such as the purge and/or bring back some dead characters.
  • Pierre Chang was able to send the video through time sort of like a time warp and was able to look into the present and future. The video was live, however the static was caused by problems with the time warp.
  • After Ben moved the Isle in '04, Faraday and other people were able to somehow appear 30 years in the Past, and Daniel being the only one from the raft with possibility to contact the Dharma Initiative, then active on the Island. He constructed a video link and somehow got it into the future, on the precise date he wanted, but was doubting it would work. Daniel is on the Island, 30 years ago. That's why he had so much info in his journal.
    • I agree that Daniel was transported into the past by thirty years when Ben turned the Orchid wheel. However, that would not explain why Daniel had so much information in his journal, unless Daniel received the information from Chang while unstuck in time.
    • This gets us back into the question of the time paradox. The Kerr Metric may let a person travel backward in time, but will it matter? Chang said that he knew he would die and that he could do nothing to prevent it. Knowing that, he sent a message forward in time -- a nonparadoxical act -- telling us to reconstitute the DHARMA Initiative.
    • Daniel was not transported back in time to make the video, but was actually on the Island before 2004. His time travel experiments with Eloise caught the eye of Richard Alpert, and he recruited Daniel to come to the Island. This explains Daniel's notebook full of Island related knowledge.
      • Another explanation - Daniel comes to the Island on the Kahana with his Journal, yet seems to using it to put some pieces together only then. So he had the Journal with notes in it already, but didn't know what they were for. I believe Daniel has flipped to his own past many times, and managed to make notes in his Journal on those occasions. His past self has held on to these notes, trying to apply the knowledge at the right time. This is how he recognized the name of the Orchid station (after over-hearing on the satellite phone that is where Keamy wants to land the helicopter) from the picture in his Journal. The same page seems to have some mathematical proofs involving "time-like properties" and "space-like properties", and near the picture of the Orchid logo, shows the word "Possible!" Therefore Daniel knew that some sort of major time shift event was about to happen, so tried hard to get people off the Island onto the ship.
  • Chang states in the video that "If you're watching this now, you already know that [...] my real name is Pierre Chang." We didn't know that, however, which leaves us with the question of whom he expected to be seeing the video, and why he expected them to know his real name. His statement qualifies as a duress code, similar to Naomi saying, "Tell my sister I love her," when she had no sister?
  • Chang also says that if "this transmission is successful" then the work he has been doing is valid. That is, the work investigating time displacement.
    • Chang is able to target 30 years ahead on purpose. He is aiming for people to see his plea after the Oceanic Six return to the Island, where Jack and Daniel somehow physically make it back in time to visit Chang. Therefore, the message can't be received before the O6 return, which might prevent Jack's and Daniel's time travel, this plea video would never get made.
      • So while it seems necessary need to avoid physical event paradox, is there also the need to avoid paradox of consciousness time displacement? The subject that Daniel has studied? Consciousness can only travel back (or forward) to where the person physically is at that time. And the person seems to have no memory of those events when the "visiting" consciousness is there. But it seems the person who's consciousness is visiting the past is not normally aware and not actively directing any change. Desmond has been the only one we've seen to try and actively change the past, but he was blocked, probably because the event was a nodal point too critical to change (but from whose point of view?). Chang seems to be asking for someone in a new DHARMA to visit the past and change some events to protect the original DHARMA.
        • If physical time transportation is out due to paradox, then Chang is trying to contact an original DHARMA member, for that person to perform consciousness time displacement to visit their own past and change some important event(s). But who?
          • Not Ben, or any of the Others. Someone still alive, yet who has been on the Island pre-Purge, or perhaps pre-Orientation films? Perhaps a child at that time?
  • From the combination of the behavior of the cameraman and Bronson's ejection from the room, it's hard to say whether Chang's complete message was about reconstituting DHARMA or if there was anything else he wanted to talk about.
  • The video is intended for ex-Dharma members, possibly Matthew Abaddon or Charles Widmore. The "30 Years" he refers to are 30 years prior to 2004, not 2008. Since Chang says that "it is imperative that the Dharma Initiative be reconstituted," it would seem that the person/people who received the video would be the ones to re-start Dharma as a result of viewing the video. If the video was made in 1974 and transmitted 30 years ahead to 2004, Abaddon would now be a part of the reconstituted Dharma Initiative, as would the Freighter Crew. This would explain the existence of the Secondary Protocol with the old Dharma Logo on the freighter, as the "new" Dharma Logo from Comic-Con doesn't yet exist in December 2004. Dharma received the video in 2004 but is showing the video to new recruits in 2008, which is why the August 8 Hans Van Eeghen email says the video "was viewed entirely out of context."
    • If Jack and Daniel are present, why use Pierre for the video? For credibility. He is the face that ALL Dharma people would know, yet only the higher echelon in Dharma would know his real name. That is who he is aiming the video at.
      • Pierre is obviously worried by some terrible news he has heard, as a means to get his help with the video. He knows about the Purge which will not happen until 1992. He rubs his left wrist, having been told his hand will be amputated.
        • This would mean that Jack and Daniel are also trying to engender assistance through Dharma - against Locke and the Others?
  • Locke mentions that things go horribly wrong after Jack left. That's because all of the survivors still on the island got sent back in time to prior to the Purge, and were also killed by the Purge.

The purpose of this Video

  • The video is a call to resurrect the Dharma Initiative, yet in Pierre's time, it would have still existed. He must have been convinced it would be (almost) wiped out, or corrupted away from its original purpose.
    • Chang doesn't say resurrected, he specifically says "reconstituted", as in remade afresh, and not just re-built.
    • Pierre knows the Island's properties, and that "Time *is* the essence", so sees DI as the rational controlled way to study and understand it, even protect and police it. But what is unclear is - what is the risk if Dharma doesn't control it? Who else could manipulate or exploit the Island?
      • It may not be about who controls the Island, it's probably about the research they were doing. Dharma were trying to change the variables in the Valenzetti Equation and save the world, perhaps Chang sees the Island and the Dharma Initiative as the only possible way of preventing the end of the world.
      • Maybe Charles Widmore? We will not know anytime soon if there was more that Chang wanted to say.
    • If Hans Van Eeghen's email says the video "was viewed entirely out of context", what should have been the correct context?

Full Circle theory

This video was taped by Daniel, whose voice is clearly the other one stating it doesn't matter and that no one will hear it. The video makes it into the future with an entreaty to continue the research. Daniel somehow comes in contact with it, recognizing his own voice, and continues the research. As a result, it comes full circle, and Daniel actually winds up saving himself in the past from the future research because he solved whatever the problem was, and brought the information back with him in the time travels to the past in his journal. This is supported by the fact that Daniel is always frantic when he thinks he's misplaced the journal. He knows how important it is for him to have that journal because he knows from the tape what will happen to everyone if he fails.

Radiation Poisoning?

Call me crazy, but it sure would make a lot of sense if Dr. Chang grasps his hand in the video because of radiation poisoning from Jughead. Think about it -- the Dharma Initiative is digging in Hostiles territory, building the Swan, and what do they come across? The buried Jughead bomb from 23 years earlier, which has surely leaked enough radioactive material to injure anyone who comes into contact with it. We've already seen one of the Others with radiation poisoning -- I can't see this being a coincidence. Perhaps this is the reason for Chang's death, prior just to the "violent purge."

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