Who's been leading the others?

Something that's been bothering me. Who was leading the others in the three years that Ben and Locke were off-island? Richard made specific mention to Locke in the fifties that the selection process for leadership was very specific and began at a very early age. It also begs the question, what would have happened if Ben had died from his tumor? Who would have led? Are there backups? Was Locke the backup? Ben refers to Richard as an advisor of sorts, but does he assume the mantle of leadership when there is a vacancy? Also, when Richard visits Locke as a child and gives him the Dali Lama test, Locke fails the test by choosing the knife. It seems to me that Locke just wanted the knife and wasn't making an honest choice. What changes after that, though? Middleos (sic) bioscience tried to recruit him as a teen, but he wanted to hunt and play sports. Is this all just self-fulfilling prophecy, because of Locke's time traveling? Christian asks Locke in the cabin if he knows why he's here. Locke replied, "because I was chosen to be." Christian said, "That's absolutely right." I like the theory that Locke is either going to replace Jacob or set him free from a long prison sentence of sorts. I agree with the previous post that the fact that the only words we've ever heard directly from Jacob were, "help me," is very leading. Maybe Jacob chose Locke because he knew he'd be the only one who could rescue him from imprisonment. Also, if the ash is keeping Jacob contained, then why can the cabin move? Any thoughts?

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