This is an eschatological post. Beware, the end is near …of the post, at least.
But first some definitions:
- RFID – Radio Frequency Identification
- Left Behind – code words for how to make a gazillion dollars scaring the stuffing out of practicing and nominal Christians with your own personal understanding of the Book of Revelation.
- Subcutaneous – cute people on submarines applied under the skin
- Subcutaneous RFID Left Behind – a Radio Frequency Identification implant applied subcutaneously in your left… never mind
Wired reports on a new book from one of my favorite publishers, Thomas Nelson – “The Spychips Threat : Why Christians Should Resist RFID and Electronic Surveillance” by Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre.
…Albrecht and co-author Liz McIntyre have written an introduction that says that RFID chips, particularly the VeriChip subcutaneous implant designed for humans, bear an uncanny resemblance to “the mark” described in the Bible’s Book of Revelation.
If the VeriChip becomes a common payment device similar to the “contactless” payment system in the Exxon Mobil Speedpass, all who wish to buy and sell goods will be compelled “to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads,” as it says in Revelation, the Spychips Threat authors contend.
Another passage in Revelation describes a vision in which “a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.” Albrecht and McIntyre write, “”Interestingly, an implanted RFID device like the VeriChip could potentially cause such a tormenting sore if it is subjected to a strong source of electromagnetic radiation,” such as a directed energy weapon.
According to Wired, this book is a Christianized reworking of another book Nelson published last year, “Spychips : How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Move with RFID” also written by Albrecht and McIntyre (but the reworking is missing the intro from science fiction writer, Bruce Sterling, whose MIT Press book “Shaping Things, I’m in the middle of reading, right now.) From Nelson’s site on the first book:
…this mind-blowing book explains, plans and efforts are being made now by global corporations and the U.S government to turn this advanced technology, these spychips, into a way to track our daily activities-and keep us all on Big Brother’s short leash. Compiling massive amounts of research with firsthand knowledge, Spychips explains RFID technology and reveals the history and future of the master planners’ strategies to imbed these trackers on everything-from postage stamps to shoes to people themselves-and spy on Americans without our knowledge or consent. It also urgently encourages consumers to take action now-to protect their privacy and civil liberties before it’s too late.
Why is it that when I read stuff like this I hear Elmer Fudd saying, “Be afwaid, be vewy, vewy afwaid.” Fear sells. It drives news ratings. Attracts listeners to talk radio. Illuminates the pixels on millions of websites. And ink-stains the pages of thousands of books. (Just look at what a publishing phenomena Y2K provided for fear mongers.)
Do we need to be concerned about the intrusive nature of RFID and numerous other technologies that want to track our every move – whether in 3D or on-line – for profit and other nefarious motives? Of course. It’s one of the reasons I’m an EFF supporter. But I have a hard time believing that Western society will willingly lineup to have RFID chips subcutaneously implanted any time soon – unless, of course, they’re part of a new subcutaneous iPod.