By Keith Newman
Every other year some doomsayer trots out a new theory
about a conspiracy to control the world through a computer-based Big
Brother system, which brands us all with a mark as if we were so many
We are warned in Revelation 18, verse 13 of a time where ‘the beast’
– imagined as a beguiling antichrist figure - forces everyone to
receive "a mark in their right hand, or forehead" for all
buying and selling as part of a new despotic world order.
Apocalyptic end-time stories found new favour with each world war and
with every major uprising since - indeed this has been the violent
millennium with plenty of signs of ‘wars and rumours of wars’
through to the restoration of Israel and ‘knowledge increasing’.
The mark, or ‘number of the beast’ ( http://www.wordworx.co.nz/666.html
), familiar to every heavy metal fan as 666, the Devil’s number. In
the Omen series of movies for example the lead character Damien,
born to fulfil the antichrist prophecies, was depicted with the dreaded
digits on his head as a birthmark.
East London band Iron
Maiden's 1982 album and single Number of the Beast loosely
inspired by the Omen movies and a dream the bass player had after
a run in with a cult, cemented the dreaded number even further into
modern popular culture . The single was re-released as a single in the
UK in January 2005 where it quickly soaring to number three spot.
spoken introduction to the Number of the Beast, done by a Vincent Price
sound-alike quotes from Revelation 13:18 where the warning is given that
no man will be able to buy or sell without having 666, the number of the
beast, a mark on their right hand or forehead
one web site where fans discuss the songs it is claimed spooky things
went on during and after the recording by iron Maiden including their
manager being in a car crash with a buys full of nuns and the repair
costs coming to 666 pounds. Ironically the remake
of the film The Omen, featuring the character Damien modelled on the
anti-Christ theme with the strange 666 was released on June 6, 2006
(incidentally the author’s birthday) for promotional effect.
Imaginations have been further flamed by the exponential growth in
computer technology and communications, which have given rise to a whole
new set of possible interpretations of the prophecy.
modern day beast watchers the arrival of bar codes and plastic cards
were the first signs of what is to come. In the 70s and 80s numerous
books written about ‘the mark' had congregations around the world
mesmerised. Among the ‘evidence’ were bold statements in an article
on the United Press International wires in 1974. Dr Heindrick Eldeman,
chief analyst with the EC allegedly revealed a plan to computerise all
world trade with a digital numbering system for each human to be used
for all buying and selling. The system would begin with credit cards. Dr
Eldeman’s comments were made at the unveiling of a new mainframe
computer system, which took up three floors of the star shaped EC
headquarters in Brussels.
Many authors were convinced the ultimate cashless surveillance society
was at hand and the computer would eventually be able to track everyone
through an implantable chip or laser tattooed code. New Zealand’s
travelling evangelist Barry Smith and Australian Don Stanton were among
those who put all the newspaper clippings together and toured throughout
Asia Pacific warning of the ‘new world order’ and the coming mark.
Former NZ Herald reporter Jeff Fountain, now Youth With a Mission
(YWAM) European regional director, visited the star shaped European
Commission building in Berlaymont in 1991 and asked about the computer
center, which had been fondly nicknamed 'the beast'.
Mr Fountain, accompanied by his European leadership team, met with an
official to inquire about the EC (now the EU) in general. "We were
ushered into a basement meeting room and joked about being able to hear
the hum of the feared machine. Our Irish host arrived, shook our hands
and said, 'Gentlemen, shall we begin with prayer'. Our jaws dropped. Not
quite what we had expected from this bastion of secularism".
The official told the group he was leader of a prayer network of
European Commission staff. When reference was made to the omniscient
'beast', he laughed saying "if only people knew how inefficient we
are with our computers".
Today the average desktop PC has more power than the European computer
center and bar codes are harmless every day product tracking devices.
The EC building is currently draped in shrouds and undergoing major
renovation to remove asbestos in the ceilings.
The myth of the beast dies hard. Some interpretations down the
centuries, claim the prophecy of the beast was fulfilled within years of
Christ's death through the rise of successive despotic Roman emperors
who murdered millions of Christian and Jewish believers because they
wouldn’t bow down to them or their pagan images. Today such views are
outweighed by Christians who believe the events of Revelation are yet to
be fully and finally fulfilled in ‘the end-times’. Many believe
these are those times.
There is no known science for tracking prophecy other than time. Indeed
many have been fulfilled to the letter but many more have simply left
embarrassed believers in their wake. If it's shocking enough, any
variation on the beast theory will find a welcome home on the internet,
the biggest gossip, dis-information and propaganda network of all time.
Many of the wild theories imagine technology's reach and the public's
gullibility are limitless.
of the cowboys riding to infamy on the new wave of fear mongering is
Texe Marrs ( http://www.texemarrs.com/
). He has written a string of books including Mark of the New Age,
Days of Hunger, Days of Chaos and Project Lucid. He
names Motorola, smart card manufacturer Gem Plus, telecommunications
giant Lucent, the United Nations and a secret huddle of power brokers,
as co-conspirators in a plan to introduce a Universal Biometrics Card.
He claims the internet is being used to 'cast a spidery spell over
humanity, inter-linking all intelligence and police apparatus on a
global scale'. He quotes an article allegedly found in US police
publication The Narc Officer (Sept-Oct 1995) which discloses an
intention to integrate satellites, remote data collection devices and
every computer bank on the planet to create a universal identification
He claims the UN-led initiative will be enabled through the introduction
of card containing digitised templates of the holders DNA genotype,
handprint and iris scan. Detailed dossiers are to be maintained on
everyone - every new baby will be issued with a card. Marrs claims it
will be issued from the same offices which issue driver’s licenses in the
Apparently ‘Project Lucid’ opens the way for global law enforcement
through the card to track our every move, transaction and acquaintance
as part of a single global government, religion and electronic economy.
Everything Marrs writes is sweeping and sensational with few supporting
facts. If you go looking on the internet, or within any
traditional source, to corroborate Marrs' sensational theories or
references to Project Lucid and its so-called Luciferian aims, there don’t
appear to be any. However his words have been picked up and replicated
across the web hundreds of times.
Another extravagant claim doing the rounds quotes Marrs rantings and
adds further revelation. Apparently Dr Carl
Sanders was asked to develop a microchip that could
be embedded safely into humans for economic and identification purposes.
The chip is apparently the size of a grain of rice. Dr Sanders,
allegedly has patents on medical and surveillance equipment used by the
CIA and FBI, Honeywell and Teledyne. On discovering prophecies in the
Bible he apparently became a Christian and now lectures on the topic.
If Marrs had named a few more so-called
sources and avoided wild speculation he may have been more credible. One diligent
check out this link
did manage to track down Carl Sanders and in a thorough investigation
totally discredited him. Ultimately it seems the man is liar,
thriving on the intrigue of being seen as knowledgeable in matters that
he had very little to do with and stretching the truth beyond
credibility in the process.
There is no doubt that technology is becoming pervasive and personal - and it's getting closer
all the time. However you don’t have to stretch the truth to show where
the potential threats lie. For example implantable tracking devices are
now commonplace for pets. Many cats and dogs have been implanted, as
have the animals at Auckland Zoo. The technology has been developed for
human use to track executives, or the children of the rich and famous in
case they are kidnapped.
I met a man a decade ago who owned a pet branding business and believed
pet tagging would soon become commonplace. To show how 'harmless' it was
my contact rolled his sleeve up revealing a small scar. He had one of
the pet chips in biologically safe glass implanted in his forearm. When
scanned at distance of a couple of metres the reader said
Professor Kevin Warwick of the Cybernetics department at the University
of Reading in the UK had a 4cm long chip implanted in his arm for a
10-day period in August 1999. It identified him to the university
computer network so doors opened as he walked through the campus and
computers greeted him verbally. He predicts this is the future of
communication between humans and computers.
While we would do well to be warned by what is possible as a novelty
factor at the leading edge of technology, sensational stories about
governments and technology houses collaborating to inject permanent ID
tags under our skin are wearing thin. Forced branding of individuals is
a naïve notion in an enlightened age concerned with personal freedoms.
Back in 1968 when former Databank general manager Gordon Hogg first put
the idea of a national ID card for New Zealand it was quickly thrown out
as it has on every other occasion when the subject has been raised. Look
at the fuss we made about the plastic license.
Originally (National 1999) communications minister Maurice Williamson
suggested a smart card – we ended up with dumb plastic, a barcode and
digital photo. While the license will undoubtedly become a de-facto ID
for proof of age or verifying cheques, to extend its use in any way
requires an act of Parliament. Kiwis are rightly cautious about any
invasion of privacy by the State.
The symbolism used by St John around AD90, when he took dictation from
Christ and the angels for the Book of Revelation, invites a more
symbolic and timeless understanding than informing us 1900 years later
we're about to become walking credit cards. The Bible makes it clear the
love of money is at the root of all evil, not swiping for your groceries
at the supermarket.
Here’s my crack at interpretation. Most people use their more capable
"right hand" to earn a living, unless of course they’re
"sinister" lefties like me. If you're academically inclined
you'll use your "forehead" or your brain to make your way in
life. Most of us use a bit of both.
At the most basic level, the human building block or
the carbon atom comprises 6 electrons, 6 protons and 6 neutrons. This is
the stuff from which we’re made. Ultimately six is the number of
humanity operating at its basic, physical, egoistic, beastly level.
While locked in the lower mind men and women remain seekers after
personal pleasure, opting for endless distractions to cover up the inner
desire for deeper, more meaningful engagement. In biblical terms this is
sinning, or according to the the origins as an ancient archery term,
'missing the mark. The challenge is to rise beyond the outward form and
its carnal instincts, to look at the target and aim higher at more
worthy and selfless mental and spiritual pursuits (Romans 7:23 / Jude
The mark, or the name of the beast, may have more to do with how we
apply our thoughts and actions than the machinations of some global
dictator tracking implanted chips. The number seven is the seal of God,
the seventh day of rest, and spiritually aware, responsible humanity in
right relationship with each other and in tune with creation.
Man was created "in the image of God" on the sixth day - 666
is selfish, humanity putting the creature before the Creator. The
alternative to 'beastly' behaviour is godly behaviour. I agree with both
Christians and extremists on one major point, don't take ‘the mark of