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Up to date as of February 07, 2010

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Main Article Theories about
The Purge
Main Discussion
 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.


Nature of the Purge

  • The Purge has developed an expanded concept in Season 5. The single event first depicted "The Man Behind the Curtain" is now know to be the termination of a longer war.
  • This war began:
    • From the DHARMA Initiative's perspective, when they were attacked by the people they came to refer to as The Hostiles.
    • From the Others' perspective, in 1954 when the United States introduced a nuclear weapon onto the Island. It went into high gear when DHARMA introduced a "permanent occupation force" onto the Island.
  • As of "Some Like It Hoth" the identity of the side that fired the first shot is unknown.
  • By the time Sawyer, et. al. finished time shifting and ended up in 1974, a truce had been established between the Others and DHARMA.
  • By 1977 (possibly earlier), DHARMA had been granted access to areas of the Island for a variety of areas (grids) for a variety of purposes, including construction of stations. Other areas (grids) were off limits.
  • The truce was violated on more than one occasion by both sides, but there were procedures for solving these problems.
  • One day, something happened that was too big to overlook.
    • If the occurrence of the Incident halted the ability for people to have children on the Island (Ethan Rom's birth being a marker for it being very possible pre-Incident), both parties would now rely on outside sources for further recruitment. Though the nature of recruiting Others remains a mystery (Post-Incident, but Pre-Purge), the process through which DHARMA recruits would only serve to tip the balance between the two factions.

Initiated by the Others

  • The Purge was between the natives of the island and the invading DHARMA personnel. The Others were only protecting their own island and after a long war went to extreme measures to wipe out DHARMA.


  • The DHARMA Initiative did not make the first move against the Others. Either Mikhail twisted the truth or was repeating the Others' version of events.
    • Or the events in Ben's flashback may not be the "purge" Mikhail was referring to. This was an unrelated attack on one of the DHARMA Initiative Stations during a long war.
      • Ben's flashbacks confirm that there were hostilities between Dharma and the natives since he arrived as a child, so it is possible the purge was initiated before he even arrived on the island, or began sometime in between his flashbacks and the beginnings of the purge were never shown.
        • The Purge was likely a lasting conflict and not just the release of the gas in the Tempest. It seems that the Purge is a mini-war rather than an incident(not to be confused with The Incident)
  • Since the Purge, the Others have been pretending to be the DHARMA Initiative to its support staff in the outside world.
  • Since the Purge, the Others have been recruiting "DHARMA" personnel that they need (i.e.: Juliet, Mikhail, and even Kelvin), and then absorbing these new people into their group.
  • The DHARMA staff took strong precautions against the Flame falling into the hands of The Others at the time of the Purge. The station was wired with large amounts of explosives and a special code triggering the demolition of the station if it were taken by the Hostiles.
      • Its unlikely that it was related to the incident, as the orientation film in the swan was in the early 80's or even from the late 70's, and we know that the purge happened in 1992.
  • The Purge was the Initiative's last chance to change the Valenzetti numbers. It is connected to what Thomas Mittelwerk tried to do in the Sri Lanka Video.
  • Oceanic Flight 815 was brought to the Island in an attempt by DHARMA to create another army that could fight against the Hostiles.
  • The DHARMA Initiative members were not merely a "bunch of scientists."
  • DHARMA members had military training.
  • DHARMA members had special weaponry developed by the Hanso Foundation.
  • DHARMA members had special abilities created, e.g., by genetic modification.
  • The DHARMA people were not run-of-the-mill scientists - that we know - but they were probably still scientists, albeit ones who, due to the ultra-sensitive nature of their work, required special training before being put on the Island. It is unlikely that the scientists themselves were genetically modified, but genetics may well have been part of their work.
  • The Monster helped the hostiles win the purge.
    • Alternatively, as with the C4 in the Flame, the Monster was a 'fail safe' system, set to become active in the event of DHARMA falling foul of the "Hostiles". It certainly appeared to have a distaste for Juliet...
      • The monster may have been a fail safe but it was not created by the Dharma initiative, it's "control room" out dates the Dharma initiative by centuries but the monster was probably an effective tool during the Purge, as for Smokey's distaste for Jules, it may be because she was marked by the others
  • The DHARMA Initiative released a virus during the purge that causes fatality during pregnancy.
    • The purge is what caused pregnant women on the island to die.
  • The Purge, from Mikhail's words, was an initiative from DHARMA, so it's not the killing of the Barracks' inhabitants: the Purge was the reaction from the DHARMA survivors at the other stations, but they lost the battle and the Hostiles killed them all.
  • By the time the Hostiles expunged DHARMA, the initiative was able to change the natural development of the universe. Since in "Flashes Before Your Eyes", Ms. Hawking stated that the universe has a way of "course correcting", the denouement of the purge could have been the universe's way to correct its own course.
  • The children (assuming there were children at the time) were in school just before DHARMA was purged, and were safely taken away.
  • Selected children were saved and later brainwashed in a similar way to Karl in Room 23
  • They were giving the same DHARMA shots out (presumably for the sickness) when Roger received his work assignment, well before the purge.
  • The Purge was not what was shown in The Man Behind the Curtain. Rousseau is part of another group of others who then led the Purge against what was then to believed to be DHARMA. The gassing of the barracks took place earlier then 1992. Rousseau has been lying about what she knows.
  • The DHARMA Initiative must still do something in the Future to cause the Purge. As seen in LaFleur, the Initiative has a truce with the Others and is also shown not wanting to kill any of them as that would put all people working for the DHARMA Initiative in danger.
  • The purge was not a gas attack by the Hostiles. Instead, the DHARMA Initiative was forcibly disconnected from time by Jacob/The Island/Whatever/Whoever and all died of brain aneurysms. Except Ben's dad who was killed with gas because Ben was supposed to kill his father.
  • Sawyer, Jack and the other Losties participated in the Purge. In Season 4 when Locke, Hurley and Ben come across the Dharma graveyard, Ben claims it was not his idea to wipe them out, and goes on to say that he was not in command of the Others when the Purge occurred. Sawyer is shown to be in a position of authority with Dharma in 1977. It's entirely possible that at some point in the Island's history the Losties uncover a Dharma plot to exploit the time travel properties of the Island and ally themselves with Richard and the Others to remove them. The decision to participate (on the part of the Losties) would probably fall to Sawyer given his new leadership role. Ben's revelation to Hurley is his way of subtly telling Hurley that it was in fact he and his friends who were responsible.

Casualties of the Purge

  • The Purge played a role in Radzinsky's suicide.
    • This would suggest Kelvin has been alone in Swan for around ten years. This is possible but unlikely.
  • The Purge was a full assault on the DHARMA people, but the gas attack was not the entire assault, as there were other casualties. In the DHARMA grave, there is a distinct shot of a dead DHARMA body, with a gunshot wound in his skull, suggesting he was shot, not gassed, so there are likely other events that take place in the Purge in addition to the gas attack, which likely did not wipe out ALL DHARMA people.
  • The purge is what kills the survivors and will be the end of the show.

Date of the Purge

  • The date of the Purge is December 19, 1992. This is based on December 19 being Ben's birthday (from the reasoning for the Lostpedia timeline) and the purge happened on his birthday. It was in 1992 because Horace said, in a vision, that he had been dead for 12 years (Cabin Fever).
  • Mikhail claims:
    • He had been at the Flame for eleven years
    • He was stationed there after the Purge. (Enter 77) We know many of his statements are untrue but this supports a 1992 Purge.
    • A problem with a 1992 Purge is the fact that Danielle's changed the radio tower message in 1988, with no one in DHARMA noticing for four years. (Pilot, Part 2)
      • Not necessarily. It was stated elsewhere that the radio tower had been abandoned by DHARMA for some time before the purge. If they abandoned it, they likely weren't monitoring it either.
    • The date of the Purge must be considered uncertain following the revelations in "Dead Is Dead." If Horace's apparition is the only evidence suggesting 1992 then there is more to learn.
    • Mikhail's statements are not inconsistent with the Purge being earlier than 1992.
      • Mikhail is an Other. There is nothing to lead us to believe that what he says is true. We have seen him lie in the past. Therefore we must believe the vision of Horace in Cabin Fever that the purge took place in 1992.
    • However, the DHARMA recruitment of Kelvin after the Gulf War suggests the purge was in the 90's.
    • Perhaps the tempest was a factory that made poison gas, but that was not its intent purpose. This would not contradict DARLTON'S comment confirming it "was a poison gas factory".The gas was probably a formula that was to assist in the forced brainwashing and phycology studies, {leading to utopian understanding} and DHARMA was going to use it on the hostiles. One of the hostiles "mole's/DHARMA traitor" maybe ben' told widmore and it infuriated him, the fact that they would go even further to change their island and the purge was a plan to take over the tempest change the formula and kill the dharma personel. Maybe the hostile "mole's" they had planted were high up {"E.G: u dont see much of olivia and the "sherriff" that comes to see juliet at the hydra looks similar."} and had the tempest built to serve for this purpose.

Leader of Others at this time

  • Widmore is the leader at the time of the Purge. Ben saw him off the island by way DHARMA's sub, which means that the Purge had already happened since the Other's were occupying Dharmaville. Also, Ben is shown with a young Alex on a swing in Dharmaville, just before going to see Charles off at the sub.

This article uses material from the "The Purge/Theories" article on the Lostpedia wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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