The Mark of the Beast
Vol: 26 Issue: 22 Saturday, November 22, 2003
“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Revelation 13:16-17)
The prophecy of the Mark of the Beast is one of the most universally recognized predictions contained in the New Testament. It doesn’t matter whether one is a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist or Taoist, mention the Mark of the Beast of ‘666’ and nobody is going to say to you, “Never heard of it!”.
The Mark of the Beast has been a Hollywood story line for years, going back to the ‘Omen’ trilogy in the 70’s right on through to last year’s ‘End of Days’ starring Governor Arnold Schwartzeneggar. (‘Governor’ — sounds weird)
Anyway, the point is that the Mark of the Beast is NOT something known only to initiates or Bible scholars or even Christians in general. It is pretty much a universal concept — just as most religions have their own form of antichrist and their own form of eschatology.
With that in mind, an American company announced a new syringe-injectable microchip implant for humans at a global security conference in Paris. The chip is designed to be used as a fraud-proof payment method for cash and credit-card transactions.
The chip is being touted as a defense to identity theft. Identity fraud costs the banking and financial industry some $48 billion a year, and consumers another $5 billion. That is a lot of incentive.
Scott R. Silverman, CEO of Applied Digital Solutions, called the chip a “loss-proof solution” and said that the chip’s “unique under-the-skin format” could be used for a variety of identification applications in the security and financial worlds.
Art Kranzley, senior vice president at MasterCard, commented on the Pay Pass system in a USA Today interview: “We’re certainly looking at designs like key fobs. It could be in a pen or a pair of earrings. Ultimately, it could be embedded in anything someday, maybe even under the skin.”
Back in 1992, I covered the CardTech/SecureTech Conference held in Washington, DC. The conference was similar to the one being held in Paris, but the technology was in its infancy. The conference attendees included some of the biggest names in banking and technology and the keynote speaker was former CIA Director William Colby.
I was able to interview a number of the attendees, from the then-director of Barclay’s Bank in England to the Netherlands smart card guru David Chaum.
There were two central themes to the conference. The first was to be expected — how to get the cost of the chips down (at that time, they were a prohibitively high $5.00 per chip) and, how to get the public to accept the technology by downplaying the ‘Mark of the Beast’ angle. (That’s what they really called it in the lectures.)
I’ve said it before — its amazing the difference a decade makes. What was being discussed in 1992 as a theoretic possibility is now reality. A decade ago, the conference attendees were bemoaning the fact many people were uncomfortable with ATM technology.
Now, they bemoan the fact ATM’s are insecure. A thief can force someone to discolose their PIN numbers, they argue, and drain the account. An implantable chip, they argue, will prevent that.
This is, of course, nonsense, since most ATM’s limit the amount of cash withdrawn in a single day. Back in 1992, the conference attendees were presented with the blueprint for a conditioning process to prepare society for the coming cashless revolution.
First debit cards, then credit card-branded debit cards, then value-added cards, until eventually, cash would become useless except for small purchases.
Ask yourself, how many times have you purchased a big ticket item, like a fridge, or a car, and paid for it in hard cash in the last decade? Today, if you tried to buy a $300 plane ticket for cash, you’d be sitting next to an FBI agent on your flight. (If you got on the plane at all)
Ten years ago, scoffers would say, ‘if somebody ever eliminates cash and demands a commercial ‘mark’ containing ‘666’ — then I will believe.
The Universal Pricing Code (UPC) has been on all products for two decades or more. ‘Universal’ means just what it says. No products can be sold in the US or EU commercially without it. In fact, in the EU, it is nicknamed the “EU Mark”.
Take any product you have in your cupboard out and look at the UPC barcode. It is a series of parallel lines readable by a computer. Notice that it begins with a little longer series of parallel lines, then there is an identical long one in the middle and another at the end. Each of those longer lines are read by computers as a ‘6’. (How many long lines are in YOUR barcode?)
In the early years of computers, it was determined that the perfect ‘divider’ (like a period in conventional writing) would be a multiple of three. For years, it wasn’t standardized. Some manufacturers would use 3’s, some would use 6’s and some used 9’s to separate the information represented by the bar code sequences.
To standardize it, the EU insisted that all manufacturers hoping to sell their producst in the EU use three 6’s on what they called the ‘EU Mark.’ Today, three sixes is the global standard.
So, there already IS a ‘mark’ for products that employs the mystery number 666. And cash is on the way out.
“Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” (Revelation 13:18)