^An ancestor who had a girlfriend named Cassie and friends and coworkers whose names and attributes happened to resemble those of Sisko's friends and coworkers? My whole point is that it's not just about Benny himself; his whole context and environment is clearly a remix of Sisko's, to the extent that it would require a vast amount of Prophet intervention to distort so many people's lives for no apparent gain that couldn't be far more easily achieved just by fabricating the whole thing as an illusion.
I think it's safe to say that you and I are coming at this whole thing from different angles.
You're taking a hard, all or nothing, either it is or it isn't stance. Which I don't have a problem with to be sure.
But me I'm taking a softer approach. Now honestly I'm not exactly personally advocating for the idea that "Oh yes Benny Russel absolutely was real." I'm more playing devil's advocate.
But taking as a thought experiment the idea that Benny and Ben Sisko are both real people and they have been given glimpses into each others lives by the Prophets I tend to wonder if both men didn't see things in such a way that their minds took pieces that were kind of sort of like thing, people etc they were used to and just filled in the blanks.
Sort of the way someone can look at a cloud and see this shape or that shape. For example Benny worked with a head strong and outspoken female writer, she reminded Ben of Kira so to his mind that's who she looked like.
Basically neither man was quite perceiving the others life with complete fidelity but rather through the lens of their experiences.