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I've been looking over this, some things that have really intrigued me include the monster and Richard (no this isn't a "The monster is Richard theory"). I have been thinking about what the monster actually does, yes, it judges, and kills those who fail. I've started to think about other possibilities. I think the monster doesn't just judge someone on "good" and "bad". I think it's alot more complicated than that. I think the monsters final punishment (not just physically hurting someone), is truly destroying them. Like the apparition of Alex said to Ben "if you even touch john locke, I will DESTROY YOU!" What do I mean by truly destroying them? I dont think we've seen the monster "destroy" someone, but I think it has been done and we've seen the circumstances. Look at Richard Alpert. I think for the monster to "destroy" someone, wouldn't be to kill them, it would be to give them eternal life. I think Richard Alpert is a victim of the monster, I think he did something in his past that was so wrong and evil that for the monster merely killing him wouldn't be enough. I know he seems like a good guy now, but maybe back long ago, he wasn't? I think the monster also judges the dead, such as Christian Shepard, I'm not sure just how bad he was, but I do know that he was drunk during surgery which resulted in a woman (and her unborn child, if im correct??) dieing, would this be enough for the monster to "destroy" him? I know he was dead but just like John Locke maybe he was given life, then the monster judged him and decided he was unworthy even of death, so it gave him a cursed but eternal life. This is just one of the purposes of the monster ( well I think, anyways). I also think Ben's judgment was a lot more complicated than : "You're forgiven, but don't hurt Locke and listen to him, or else!!!" I think when Ben came back to Locke and said "It let me live", that the monster DID let Ben live, but cursed him so now he can never age or die (Like Richard Alpert). I also think Ben will hear what he heard while he was being judged (Well the bad stuff from it) like he'll keep hearing Alex die over and over again, and see bad things from his past. Maybe he will have nightmares every night. I also just remembered with Widmore, Ben asked him when he started sleeping with a bottle of alcohol by his bed and he said, when the nightmares started, do you think his nightmares could be another form of punishement from the monster? And for some reason Widmore could die so when he does the nightmares will stop, but Ben's and Richards punishments are more sever so they'll never die and hence neither will the nightmares. What does everyone think?