In Star Trek: Enterprise, Vulcans repeatedly give Archer grief for the destruction of their prized and ancient temple thing at P'Jem, and no one ever says the obvious thing that shuts down that stupid complaint: You Vulcans had violated a treaty by maintaining a secret military listening post there. If your monastery is so special and important, why did you put a military target under it?

No one ever calls them out on it. What gives?

  • 3
    The answer by Richard is totally right, but also Enterprise is a strange mix of some kind of weird emotional outbursts and confusion on behalf of all the characters on the show. Even the Vulcans on the show are weirdly angry and emotional. I think most fans will reduce the cause of this to poor writing, and I think there is a lot of merit in this claim, if you look at season four (when Manny Coto was in charge) versus the earlier ones. Season four is palatable, even enjoyable. Everything before that was bad, and strained credibility. Brannon Braga and Rick Berman have a certain reputation.
    – L0j1k
    Dec 14, 2015 at 4:36
  • I always thought of it that they made their temple be so super special because they hid something there.
    – PlasmaHH
    Dec 14, 2015 at 10:39
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    Vulcans give grief? Repeatedly? Seems the Vulcans today are not what Vulcans were used to be…
    – Holger
    Dec 14, 2015 at 11:21

1 Answer 1


They do mention it. It gets raised at the highest ambassadorial levels a few episodes later in ENT: Shadows of P'Jem when the Vulcan High Command use it as an excuse to recall T'Pol:

SOVAL: The loss to the Vulcan people is incalculable. P'Jem was one of our most revered sanctuaries.

FORREST: Ambassador, we are very sorry for your loss, but with all due respect the High Command has to take some responsibility. You were using the monastery as a surveillance station.

SOVAL: We were observing a dangerous and aggressive neighbour. The Andorians wouldn't have found the station if your people hadn't interfered. They've been in space for six months and they've already destabilised an entire sector.

FORREST: I'm afraid I can't agree with that, Ambassador. This was a volatile situation long before Starfleet got involved. Perhaps if you'd been a little more open with us, this tragedy might have been avoided.

As to why they put the listening station under the Monastery, the answer is that it was a convenient location with a legitimate excuse for regular visits from offworld and that the Vulcans are massively complacent about their ability to avoid detection.

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    I remember that scene, and you're right in that they mention some of why that complaint is silly, but I'm not satisfied. Soval needed to be reminded that they shouldn't have had a station at all. "The Andorians wouldn't have found the station if you'd honored the treaty... jerkface." Dec 14, 2015 at 2:46
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    @MackTuesday: I think the phrase is "diplomacy". :-) Dec 14, 2015 at 3:52
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    I really like how this was handled. Every time the Vulcans talk about P'Jem, the forget to mention that it was a surveillance station, and blame the Andorians and the Humans for everything. Their logic has not developed to the point where they talk about the issue fairly, accept responsibility for their actions, and acknowledge that the Andorian's have valid (and logical) reasons for their actions.
    – B Seven
    Apr 8, 2016 at 0:05

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