Richard Alpert's items. ("Cabin Fever")
In 1961 or 1962, Richard Alpert presented a five-year-old John Locke with a test involving six items. Alpert placed a compass on a table with five other items, asking Locke to identify which "already belong to him". A time-traveling Locke had previously given Richard a compass, a compass that Richard would return him to Locke years later, in 2007.
Young John selected a container of granules and the compass before settling upon a knife. Disappointed, Richard collected the items and left, leaving a dejected Locke with his angry foster mother.
The comic book and knife. ("Cabin Fever")
- A brass compass ("Because You Left") ("Jughead") ("Follow the Leader")
- A baseball glove. In "What Kate Does", Jack walked into Dogen's area of the Temple and found him tossing a baseball into the air.
- An old book whose cover bore the title, "Book of Laws". In "What Kate Did" Eko told Locke a story about the "Book of Law", i.e., the Old Testament.
- A vial of granules
- A comic book, Mystery Tales issue 40 from April 1956 (right before Locke's birth), bearing the subtitle, "What was the secret of the mysterious 'HIDDEN LAND!'"
- A wood-handled knife
Richard Alpert's compass.
- The test given to young Locke by Richard Alpert resembled the Tibetan Buddhist ritual used to confirm a reincarnated tulku (the Dalai Lama being the most widely known). (Religion and ideologies)
- In the Season 3 DVD commentary for "The Man Behind the Curtain", Richard Alpert was described as someone who was not interested in leading the Others but was very influential in finding and selecting a leader. In the commentary for "The Man Behind the Curtain", he was described as being similar to a Panchen Lama choosing the next Dalai Lama. He and Ben kept each other in "check" by having the power to pick/veto each other's replacement on the Island. Ben's role would be to pick the next Panchen, should the need arise. This kept the two in a sort of balanced power relationship. They were allies, yet they had some measure of control over the other should one get out of hand.