Wow. This is a huge find! Turns out that LOST didn't create the concept of the DHARMA Initiative. It was an actual research group from the 70s.
I know it's hard to believe, but Flickr user Hot Meteor recently uncovered a cache of vintage ads that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the DHARMA concept pre-dates LOST. Click through for a sampling of the ads, and then visit the entire archive here.