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The Hanso Foundation is an organization founded by Alvar Hanso, whose aim was to "reach out to a better tomorrow" by researching ways to preserve human life and promote well-being. It was established during the 1960s, with Hanso strangely moving from a successful background in munitions selling and weapons armament to becoming a philanthropic entrepreneur. Among other projects, the Foundation also financed the DHARMA Initiative.
Most of the information about the Foundation was acquired from The Lost Experience, though there have been some references to the company on the show. The Foundation's headquarters are located in Copenhagen, Denmark.
While the company typically goes by the name "Hanso Foundation" for altruistic projects, the name "Hanso Group" is sometimes also used for its business and industrial ventures. This includes control over the Apollo Candy Company and Allied Copenhagen Marine Merchants.
There have been four references to the foundation during the course of the show (excluding Lost Experience evidence). In "Orientation", the Swan Orientation film gives a brief history for the DHARMA Initiative, stating that the project was financed by Alvar Hanso, head of the Hanso Foundation.
There is also strong evidence to suggest that a conversation during a Sun flashback in "D.O.C." also mentioned the Foundation. Her father Mr. Paik discusses an issue with an employee as she comes into his office to see him. This was the only piece of Korean during the episode not subtitled. Translations suggest that Paik was actually discussing forged documents required to ship Paik Motors equipment ordered by the Hanso Foundation. The men speaking with Mr. Paik seem to have had trouble securing the necessary shipping papers, causing Mr. Paik to become agitated, and warn that the Hanso Foundation will be very angry (or possibly that he will be angry if the issue is not swiftly resolved) .
Allegations in The Lost Experience
As part of The Lost Experience, activist investigators Rachel Blake, DJ Dan and the late Gary Troup reached out to the public to present evidence and share information suggesting that Hanso ethics, human-subjects practices and financial ties to corporations may be inappropriate, immoral, illegal or all of the above.
The public relations arm of the Foundation has attempted to characterize these claims as part of a misguided, malicious misinformation campaign, and has tried to discredit the reports. However, the result of the Sri Lanka video and Missing Organs folder provided concrete evidence that the company was involved in both illegal biological substance testing on humans and illegal organ harvesting in third world nations. As a result, the acting CEO Thomas Werner Mittelwerk became a wanted criminal, and Alvar Hanso was rescued from imprisonment in Norway and reinstated as head of the Foundation. On the Hanso website, he vowed to right the wrongs Mittelwerk had caused and restore the company's name.
Hanso Group companies
In 1881, a company called New World Sea Traders, owned by Magnus Hanso, lost the Black Rock, a slave-ship which Hanso may have been captaining. After the Black Rock disappeared, New World Sea Traders was sold to a company called the East Ocean Trade Group. In the 1950s the East Ocean Trade Group was taken over by the Hanso Group, who renamed the company Allied Copenhagen Marine Merchants. (Rachel Blake Copenhagen 02)
The Apollo Candy Company is also a subsidiary of the Hanso Group, after Alvar Hanso saved the company from near bankruptcy in the early 1970s.
Projects within the Foundation
The Hanso Foundation proper operates at least seven active projects. According to Hanso spokesman Hugh McIntyre during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the DHARMA Initiative was also once a Hanso-funded project until its funding was cut in 1987.
- Mathematical Forecasting Initiative
- Worldwide Wellness and Prevention Development Program
- Mental Health Appeal
- Electromagnetic Research Initiative
- Institute for Genomic Advancement
- Life Extension Project
- Educational Outreach Imperative
These projects were run globally in special Hanso Foundation facilities.
- Alvar Hanso, CEO and Founder
- Thomas Mittelwerk, President and Chief Technologist
- Hugh McIntyre, Communications Director
- Peter Thompson, Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary
- Jacob Vanderfield, Director
- Liddy Wales, Director
- Lawrence Peck, Director
- Dick Cheever, Director
- Bill Flood, Director
- Sam Hicks, Director
The Hanso Foundation initially had a small website, offering little about the company bar the names of some of its projects. Many of these names would later be changed and so should not necessarily be seen as "canon".
The relaunched Hanso Foundation website, however, operated in conjunction with the Lost Experience, an alternate reality game that is intended to reveal more about the Lost universe mythology. The website was completely
revamped, with more sections and in-depth information about the Foundation, its projects, and its key personnel. Over time, the site was systemically hacked by Persephone, who exposed a number of shocking truths about the supposedly altruistic company.
However, with the revelation of a clue on June 16, the site was no longer accessible due to hacking by "malicious infiltrators," resulting in a lockdown of all pages. Shortly after the explosive DJ Dan Live Podcast with Rachel Blake and release of the Norway Video, a statement from [Alvar Hanso] was found on the main page on September 26th. This explanatory message issued his "endless regret [and] assurance...that the work of the Hanso Foundation has always been intended to bring rebirth to a dying land and a dying people." Thanks to his daughter, Rachel Blake, and the contributors to her cause, Hanso was freed to "dedicate his life and his Foundation...to building a future that can support, enrich, and cradle us all in peace and joy." Clicking on the word 'humanity' in the letter (end of the 3rd paragraph) changes the page to a hack by Thomas Mittelwerk saying "You've taken a battle, but that's all it was - a battle. Humanity needs me, now more than ever. I have the virus, I have the will and I will not fail."
Bad Twin description
In chapter six of Gary Troup's book Bad Twin, the Hanso Foundation is described as being located on the 42nd floor of the Widmore Building in New York City. According to the book, a plaque on the wall reads:
- "The Hanso Foundation stands at the vanguard of social and scientific research for the advancement of the human race. For forty years, the foundation has offered grants to worthy experiments designed to further the evolution of the human race and provide technological solutions to the most pressing problems of our time. The Hanso Foundation: a commitment to encouraging excellence in science and technology and furthering the cause of human development."
Also in chapter six, it is mentioned that googling Widmore Corporation pulls up "references to joint ventures with something called the Hanso Foundation..." In the last chapter, the Widmore Corporation board has Mittelwerk listed as a member from the Hanso Group.
- In J.J. Abrams's film Mission Impossible III, the Hanso Foundation received a special thanks in the closing credits.
- That film revolved around a Doomsday Weapon known as the Rabbit's Foot.
- The "mission statement" section of the Hanso website stated that the Foundation had been sponsoring projects for over 40 years, placing the company's establishment date around the 1960s mark. This is the only available source concerning the date of the company's foundation. It is possible that the company began in 1967 after Alvar Hanso heard of Valenzetti equation, launching the DHARMA Initiative in response.
- First Hanso Foundation Website
- All versions of the Hanso Foundation website
Second Hanso Foundation Website (offline) Archive of Hanso website when it was briefly shutdown (offline) Current Hanso Foundation Website (offline)