RFID – Apocalypse When?

kinnon —  March 2, 2006 — 3 Comments

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.
  • Subcutaneouscute people on submarines applied under the skin
  • Subcutaneous RFID Left Behind – a Radio Frequency Identification implant applied subcutaneously in your left… never mind

ThespychipsthreatWired 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.

SpychipsAccording 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.

However, if it does appear to be on the horizon – you might want to bone up on the Eschatology scenario of Jenkins and LaHaye. Sometimes even paranoids are right.

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kinnon

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A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

3 responses to RFID – Apocalypse When?

  1. Bi-vocational pastor that I am, my “other” job is at a large global company which manufactures parts for the automotive industry and I happen to work in the department which deals with the electronic identification of these parts. We use RFID in many distribution centers etc. It’s slick technology. In a world where “cookies” track my every move on the world-wide-web, it is not incomprehensible to me that there will be those who will be willing to hone RFID technology so that our every move in the “real world” of shopping is tracked as well (right now, it is simply cost-prohibitive but it is not at all difficult to do!). Of course, as always, we’ll be told that it is a service to US, not to those who want to make bigger bucks off of us. We might not be willing to have chips implanted under our skin, but we have plenty of items we carry with us virtually all the time such as credit cards, drivers’ licences and cell phones.

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  2. Bruce Rockwell March 4, 2006 at 6:44 pm

    Super great blog!

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  3. Bruce Rockwell March 4, 2006 at 7:03 pm

    Oops – I hit the wrong thing and ended before I wanted to end! If you were to bring up a head-turning piece labeled “Pretrib Rapture Diehards” (while Googling), you would learn why dispensationalism should be called dishonest-pensationalism. It’s astounding to learn at this late date that John Darby wasn’t first with the Gentile (or church) parenthesis, the literal method, the church/Israel separation (or dichotomy), and (believ it or not) the pretrib rapture! But if folks had known all along the long hidden facts about the rapture’s 1830 birth, then Lindsey, Falwell, and LaHaye never would have become famous and wealthy, and Scofield would have remained an unknown, two-bit forger and confidence man! Canadian prophecy author Grant Jeffrey recently admitted that the newly found facts about the popular rapture’s 1830 birth has caused many to abandon that escapist view! But, as someone once penned, there is nothing hidden that shall not be revealed. Bruce

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