This isnt so much a theory as it is a statement about how things are coming together if you really pay attention.
In the scene from “The Man Behind The Curtain”, when we learn of Ben Linus’s origin and how he came to be on the island presents a case of “wtf?”, that I think has been handled extremely well with the episode “Ab Aterno”.
When young Ben runs into Richard in the jungle, they have a conversation in regards to Ben seeing his mother on the island.
BEN: She’s dead.
RICHARD: Did she die here, on the Island?
BEN: No. When I was a baby.
RICHARD: Did you see her, out here, Ben, in the jungle?
BEN: She talked to me.
RICHARD: What did she say?
BEN: That I couldn’t come with her. She said it wasn’t time yet.
RICHARD: You should go home now, your people will be looking for you.
BEN: I don’t want to go back there! I hate it there! Take me with you.
RICHARD: Maybe that can happen, maybe. But if that’s what you really want, Ben, if that’s what you want, I want you to really think about that. And you’re gonna have to be very, very patient.
This is what i see. Richard at some point in the time period of Black Rock (hence his clothing, but his well spoken English is difficult to explain) is on the island when someone moves it/spins the wheel…it would be fun if one of the losties was somehow the one to do it…but my bets on someone else…
I think the island jumped through time, and Richard ended up in the seventies, with instructions from Jacob to see Ben Linus and start him on his path just after he sees his dead mother.
Richard learns that young Ben has experienced a very similar situation to what he had with Isabel upon shipwrecking on the island. Im guessing that Richard made the decision himself to allow Ben his eventual admittance into the “Others”, being he felt for a young boy who was experiencing the same fear and heartache he, himself has gone through.
Although if Jacob did indeed plan his own demise, than maybe Ben was chosen for a reason by him…but I really dont think it is the case.
I believe that Richard saw Ben during his jump to the future, and then flashed back to his normal time, having to wait out the years until he met again. He may have felt Ben was in some way special too, due to his speaking to the dead, and most likely a little early manipulation from Benjamin himself.
When Richard met John Locke in 1952, he learned that Locke was to be the leader eventually, and took in Ben to fullfill the role after Widmore is banished and before Lockes time arises.
Ben fooled everyone but Richard into believing that he had spoken to Jacob, and once Locke figured it out, Ben tried to kill him, in an effort that had been long ago decided by ‘fate’ that it was again…not yet John Lockes time to die.
We can say what we want about the island, and Jacob, and MIB…but one thing is for sure. In a tradgic chain of events, John Locke was given opportunity after opportunity to live his life. He was saved in about every way one can be saved. He has been protected for a reason, and I believe that reason has yet to arrive.
I believe that John is indeed special, and as i said before, MIB chose John for his ignorance and pathetic following…and Jacob revived and chose John for the very same reasons in my opinion…just different intentions…
I also believe that we will see the island be moved sometime during Richards stint of having long hair and shaggy clothes…again, I find the English he speaks difficult to explain in this theory.
Im interested to see if any of this pans out, and was happy to see how well the connection is made between these two episodes involving Richard Alpert.
I urge you to watch the scene with Alpert and Young Ben again, and really think about Ab Aterno when watching…You can feel Richards emotion upon hearing Ben say that he saw his mother, and can see that he almost wants to tell Ben he went through the same. Its an emotional scene and cannot be overlooked as the dots begin to truly connect.