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Benbeck's position in the colony was akin to that of a judge. It was his responsibility to interpret the original intent of the founders of the colony, and to act in the interests of that intent. In 2368, this position put him at odds with the colony's leader Aaron Conor. That year, a stellar core fragment of a collapsed neutron star threatened to destroy the colony. Conor, over Benbeck's protests, accepted help from the Federation. Benbeck argued that contact with anyone outside the colony for the first time in over 200 years could also destroy the colony.
Benbeck's predictions proved true when many colonists chose to leave the colony aboard the USS Enterprise-D. Their departure would be an enormous blow to the closed society. (TNG: "The Masterpiece Society")