This information was revealed in part through the third alternate reality game
Dharma Initiative Recruiting Project
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Clues · Comic-Con · CorrespondenceDharma booth video · Tests
Characters:   Dan Bronson · Daniel Faraday · Hans Van Eeghen · Lara · RuckusGuy
Websites: Octagon Global Recruiting · Dharma Wants You · Dharma Special Access

Hans Van Eeghen, also known as Black Swan, was Dharma's Head of Recruiting and the designer of the DharmaWantsYou.com tests. He was involved in a project run by his colleagues at Octagon Global Recruiting to find talented minds to join their voluntary scheme.

On June 19th, an email was sent to those who had signed up on the company's website. Whilst informing about an event at Comic-Con 2008, it was noticeable that the email contained a carbon copy address to <hansvaneeghen@octagonglobalrecruiting.com>. On July 18th, another email from Octagon Global Recruiting identified Hans Van Eeghen's role with the DHARMA Initiative. Hans also appeared in person at Comic-Con, and showed a select few from the testing procedure a secret video, which was recorded by Dan Bronson and shown to attendees at the Lost panel.

Since, Hans Van Eeghen has sent out a string of emails publicizing events surrounding the reconstituted Dharma Initiative and their new website, DharmaWantsYou.com. All his messages can be viewed at the Dharma correspondence page.

Hans Van Eeghen created the Black Swan as a test to find out which recruits did and did not cheat on the tests.

As of November 18 Hans announced that he has quit his job at DHARMA and suffers from a broken marriage, heavy casino debt and some unfounded police charges. He has a pending senior sales management job at a large multi-brand auto dealership in Dubai.

Main references

06/19 email

The full text of this email is also available at this page on the Octagon website.

From: info@octagonglobalrecruiting.com
CC: Hans Van Eeghen (hansvaneeghen@octagonglobalrecruiting.com)
Subject: Recruitment Information

Octagon Global Recruiting, on behalf of the Dharma Initiative, would like to thank you for registering your expression of interest in our latest volunteer recruitment drive.

We will be launching in San Diego on July 24th at Comic-Con International offering select registrants the opportunity to take an exciting aptitude test that will give applicants the chance to demonstrate their unique talents.

The Dharma Initiative hopes you will be able to join us to find out more about their ground-breaking new research project. We will contact you closer to the date with more information.

For those not able to join us in San Diego, Dharma's full recruitment program will be made available online to registered recruits after July 27th.

In the meantime, the Dharma Initiative urges you to spread the word. Invite your colleagues to join the team at www.octagonglobalrecruiting.com and take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity.

If you can't view the images in this email please click here

This message and its attachments are confidential and may contain information which is protected by copyright. It is intended solely for the named addressee. If you are not the authorised recipient (or responsible for delivery of the message to the authorised recipient), you must not use, disclose, print, copy or deliver this message or its attachments to anyone. If you receive this email in error, please contact the sender immediately and permanently delete this message and its attachments from your system. Any content of this message and its attachments that does not relate to the official business of the Dharma Initiative or its subsidiaries must be taken not to have been sent or endorsed by any of them. No representation is made that this email or its attachments are without defect or that the contents express views other than those of the sender.

07/18 email


Octagon Global Recruiting, on behalf of the Dharma Initiative, is pleased to announce that Dharma's Head of Recruiting, Mr. Hans Van Eeghen, has confirmed his availability for the launch of our latest recruiting drive at Comic-Con 2008.

"My colleagues at Octagon Global Recruiting assure me that Comic-con hosts some of the brightest minds in the country," said Mr. Van Eeghen. "As Head of Recruiting it is my intention to personally assess the very best of this talent in the hope that they may join us."

The Dharma Initiative will be conducting eligibility assessments at Booth 3529 at Comic-Con, San Diego between July 24th - 27th.

If you are attending Comic-Con and would like to submit your name for a randomly selected drawing to secure one of ten (10) pre-release appointments with one of our recruiting officers, please click here.

The volunteer eligibility assessment will be available online from July 28th for a limited time at www.dharmawantsyou.com

The Dharma Initiative hopes you will spread the word. Invite your friends to join the team at www.octagonglobalrecruiting.com

11/18 email


I am pleased to announce that registered recruits can now log in and download your personalized Volunteer Assessment Dossier outlining your full test results as well as your position within the Dharma Initiative.

I want to personally congratulate you on behalf of everyone at the Dharma Initiative for your hard work and diligence during our testing process.

We hope that you are happy with your results. We certainly are. The tests were extremely challenging and the aptitude and excellence displayed far exceeded our expectations.

Now that you are in possession of your results I am sure you are asking the obvious question: what's next?

Our plan was that together we would commence a glorious adventure: the revival of the Dharma Initiative using the myriad talents of all our amazing new recruits. We imagined not just fulfilling long abandoned goals but taking the Dharma Initiative to a new level of greatness as an organization promoting the peaceful social and technological advancement of all humankind.

Then the financial crisis struck.

Sadly, our benefactors were not immune to this crisis. In fact, unconfirmed reports suggest that much of the money designated for the work of the new Dharma Initiative was tied up in highly leveraged mortgage derivatives. This, however, cannot be confirmed because, I am sorry to report, the principals representing the benefactors - my employers - have gone missing. Based on bills still coming into our office we believe they are somewhere in South America.

This stunning reversal of fortune has forced us to abandon our ambitious plans. In fact, absent this funding, the Dharma Initiative was forced to make the only sensible decision we had available: we sold the Dharma Initiative to the television show LOST.

While this might strike some of you as a shock, the reason for this was not simply that they were the only bidder. As the only remaining Dharma Initiative employee who had not fled the country, I felt that at the very least the show would be able to keep the spirit of the Dharma Initiative alive and in the public consciousness until such time as a reversal of the reversal of our economic fortunes occurs.

It is with a heavy heart that I must bid you farewell. Despite my fervent commitment to the mission of the Dharma Initiative, the realities of a broken marriage, heavy casino debt and some unfounded police charges have required that I change my present circumstances. It is with great excitement that I can inform you of my pending senior sales management job at a large multi-brand auto dealership in Dubai. I have enjoyed our brief association more than I can ever express, and if you are ever in the Middle East and need a car, please e-mail me for a special "Dharma rate".

In the meantime, you will hear shortly from LOST showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. They will explain to you their future plans for the Dharma Initiative and how these plans might affect you.

Thank you again, personally, for your unflagging commitment and support. I hope our paths will one day cross again. In the meantime may the spirit of the island guide you.


Hans Van Eeghen Head of Recruiting


Hans Van Eeghen appears about halfway through this video, before the main Lost panel is underway. Here he announces the recruits that have passed the test and moved on to phase 2.


Dan Bronson, one of the recruits that passed, is taken backstage to view an exclusive video not meant for anyone except the recruits to see. He is able to sneak a video camera and tape the secret video, which he then shows to fans at the Lost panel, after almost getting caught by Hans Van Eeghen.

08/08 email

In response to the events of Comic-Con, Hans Van Eeghen issued the following statement:


As many of you may be aware there have been a number of security breaches in recent days related to the nature of the Dharma Initiative's latest research.

This included the unauthorized release of sensitive video documentation during a sponsored panel discussion with the makers of the TV show "LOST" at Comic-Con 2008 in San Diego. Consequently, the person responsible for this breach, a promising recruit by the name of Dan Bronson, has been expelled from the volunteer program and had his Dharma membership permanently revoked. Furthermore, the Dharma Initiative has withdrawn their sponsorship from "LOST".

The Dharma Initiative must stress that the video material leaked at Comic-Con 2008 was viewed entirely out of context. Furthermore, the way in which the material was presented utterly distorted its significance and credibility as scientific data.

The Dharma Initiative is extremely disappointed with this outcome and has ordered a security audit of all departments. As part of this audit the DharmaWantsYou recruiting website will undergo a security upgrade in the next few days.

Upon completion of this upgrade a date will be announced for the official commencement of Volunteer Assessments.

All recruits are reminded that the unauthorized release of confidential information pertaining to the details of your activities within the Dharma Initiative will result in instant dismissal from the volunteer program.

Hans Van Eeghen
Head of Recruiting
The Dharma Initiative .

09/03 video

09/30 video

During the video that explained Test 7 of the Project, Hans Van Eeghen revealed that he is the Black Swan, and he has been putting the cheats into the various Dharma Wants You assessments.

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Black Swan

Black Swan was initially an unseen rogue presence during the Dharma Initiative Recruiting Project, but it was later revealed that he is Hans Van Eeghen.

Hans Van Eeghen warned candidates about the Black Swan, saying that it was trying to undermine the testing program. Later, it was revealed that the Black Swan was actually Hans who used the alias in order to test the honesty and integrity of the recruits.

The Black Swan option during Test 6

The name "Black Swan" was first mentioned on the September 2nd video announcement as an individual who was trying to undermine the testing program by distributing cheats for the tests. In the same video, a static image of a swan was briefly visible.

During Test 6, right-clicking on the test would list a menu that included an option labeled, "Black Swan". Choosing this would cause the correct answer to flash on the screen.

In Test 7, Hans revealed that he was the Black Swan and was supplying the cheats in order to determine which of the volunteers were suitable for DHARMA Initiative by testing their honesty and integrity. The honest were assigned to the White Swan group, the dishonest were assigned to the Black Swan group.

September 2nd video transcript

Namaste. My name is Hans Van Eeghen. Many of you will already know me. I am the Dharma Initiative's head of recruiting as well as the architect of the aptitude tests you have been undertaking in the last few weeks. Although we are not yet half way through the planned program, I am happy to report that the progress in the general cohort is, in my studied opinion, extremely encouraging. Indeed some of the results from the first two assessments have been nothing less then stunning. It is reassuring that recruits have managed to deliver such excellent results despite numerous attempts by the so called Black Swan to undermine the testing program. You are to be commended for your discipline. Keep up the good work and avoid contact with any insights distributed by this individual. I have reported your progress to my superiors and they are suitably encouraged. I look forward to your future efforts. Namaste.


It is possible that someone else has hijacked the persona of Black Swan from inside the Dharma initiative. During a video announcement released on September 10th, a data matrix was shown of an anagram of the name "Mittlewerk."



The Swan station logo

The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (UK cover)

  • The Swan is a DHARMA Initiative station whose logo features a swan.
  • Hans Van Eeghen is played by Wolf Muser, who fans of Alias will remember as Alliance Member Ramon Veloso in 5 episodes.
  • Hans shares his last name with Henk Van Eeghen, an editor on Lost.
  • "Gene Haven" (or Haven Gene) is a noteworthy anagram of Van Eeghen.
  • The Van Eeghen Group is one of the oldest family owned businesses in the world, mainly working in the industry of processing, trading and distributing food ingredients.

Hans' signature as seen in the assessment dossiers

  • The Van Eeghen Group is a member of a very exclusive club, The Henokiens
  • The casting call for the character was: Must have an accent - could be Dutch or Scandinavian, late 30s to early 60s. A smart, rigorous scientist, outspoken, determined with a sharp sense of the greater purpose to his life. He has struggled to bring back a respected scientific research group that had fallen into disrepute, and now is trying hard to staff it with the best possible people. [1]

Recurring themes

Cultural references

Literary references

  • The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable: Nassim Nicholas Taleb's book is a study of uncertainty and randomness. The book is centred around the black swan theory, which focuses on large-impact, hard-to-predict, and rare event that is beyond the realm of normal expectations. The book also has a chapter about a character called "Yevgenia" who rejects the distinction between fiction and non-fiction. This is something that the characters of 'Lost' and the players of the ARG must do as they interact with the DHARMA Initiative.