^Nothing in what I've said above has anything whatsoever to do with what the characters look
like. It's their names, their roles, their personalities, their interactions. It's the overall context they form around Benny Russell, which is too hugely coincidental to the context that exists around Ben Sisko to be anything but an allegorical recasting of his life.
And like I said, I'm just applying Occam's Razor, or the Principle of Elegance -- the notion that the most plausible hypothesis is the one that requires the fewest arbitrary, ad hoc
assumptions. Kepler explaining all planetary motion with three simple equations, or Newton explaining it with one, turned out to be truer than Ptolemy's adherents having to slap a thousand epicycles onto their circular model in order to force it to fit the evidence. Sure, you can find a way to make a "Benny was real" premise fit the evidence if you accrete enough epicycles onto it, but the premise that it was complete fantasy is a much easier fit to the evidence.