Back in “The Whole Truth” (which seems like ages now), before we knew Ben’s name or much about his true identity, he read a quote from The Brothers Karamazov, a classic Dostoevsky novel about redemption:
GALE: “Men reject their prophets and slay them, but they love their martyrs and honor those whom they have slain.” So, what’s the difference between a martyr and a prophet?
JACK: Either way, it sounds like you end up dead.
GALE: That’s the spirit.
It’s been a while, but I think this topic deserves revisiting. Ben was obviously trying to hint at something ironic in his usual sly way. I believe he was saying that people do not often want to hear the real truth.
Clairvoyance, prescience and prophets have emerged as a major theme in LOST:
Richard Malkin, the ‘psychic’, seemed to know what was to happen to Claire, but then claimed to be a fraud… or was he?
Claire had several prophetic dreams while on the island, dreaming of Aaron being at risk, and the Oceanic mobile later seen in the Staff Station, and her dreams of the Black Rock in her diary.
Boone had a vision of Shannon being killed after Locke applied a mysterious paste to his wound.
Charlie had religious dreams of Aaron in danger.
Walt appeared to have clairvoyant abilities, and predicted something would happen to the raft.
Shannon had visions of Walt before she knew he was missing (and Walt in those visions appeared to try to warn her).
Hurley had a dream in which Walt was seen on the milk carton as a “Missing Person”, before he heard news he was missing.
Locke had several prophetic dreams, including the one of the finding of the Beechcraft/Boone dying, one where he was led to the location of the “?”, and the one self-induced drug trance (dreaming of Boone and the airport) which led him to find injured Eko.
Eko dreamt of Ana-Lucia shot, before he had news of her death.
Desmond most recently appears to have gained powers of precognition, as he predicts both Locke’s speech and lightening striking the area of Claire’s tent.
By “martyrs”, that could be anyone’s guess. The person that comes to my mind (besides Ben refering to himself willing to die for his cause) is Boone, who Locke said was a “sacrifice for the island”.
How do you interpret the Karamazov quote, and what Ben meant by using it?
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