George Orwell’s vision in his book 1984 of a world controlled by “Big Brother” will have its ultimate fulfillment in the Empire of the Beast. The technological revolution that has taken place in our generation has provided the world with capabilities in the art of surveillance that are even beyond what Orwell envisioned. Right now, electronic devices can keep track of your every move through GP coordinates and strategically positioned RFID scanners. In addition, smart phones can track your location anywhere there are cell towers and your activity online is constantly being monitored by companies and governments. RFID transponders commonly used in vehicles for automated toll payments are also being used to track cars and trucks on streets and highways, even in areas without toll requirements. A person’s movements can also be seen through cities and on interstate highways using an extensive system of surveillance cameras that are being positioned everywhere. Electronic monitors can even imprison people by notifying a central computer if an individual has wandered away from where he or she should be. Can you imagine what the structured order of the Antichrist will be like with all of these devices available for surveillance and control of the masses in a worldwide totalitarian society?
Corporations are even taking advantage of these technologies for electronic surveillance and control their employees, especially those that travel outside the office or use computers. Internet access is constantly monitored at companies where employees have online capabilities. Every site you access is reviewed by corporate minders who accumulate histories of internet data, which they can use against you at any time. In addition, RFID badges are used to control and monitor access to secure areas within building, thus creating a record of every door an employee opens. Michael Miller reported in the Wall Street Journal that “black boxes” electronically integrated and attached to company vehicles or to a trucking company’s trucks can record every move that a driver makes. The boss can monitor a vehicle’s trip in real time and know each moment a vehicle or truck was speeding or stopped too long at a cafe. Today, everything you do and everything you say often becomes a part of an electronic record that companies and governments can use for surveillance and control. Keeping tabs on people in real time by electronic monitoring is like constantly standing over your shoulders while you work. Continuous monitoring can cause stress even when someone is not doing anything wrong.
Firms that employ armies of office workers can now use their computer systems to monitor a worker’s productivity. The more productive they are, the better the bonus or raise they might expect, and the computer databases will contain every detail necessary to judge performance. The records identifying unproductive, slow, or inaccurate workers would result poor performance reviews or termination.
Early on many groups became concerned by the widespread use of electronic monitoring. One report issued in 1986 by the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment said,
“Over time the cumulative effect of widespread surveillance for law enforcement, intelligence, or other investigatory purposes could change the climate and fabric of society in fundamental ways”.
The developed nations of the Western Alliance, which often tout themselves as being the true representatives of “free” societies, are quickly becoming the most watched and controlled society the world has ever seen.
The Club of Rome predicted decades ago,
“The means will shortly exist for the electronic control of the activities and perhaps even the thoughts of everyone by ‘Big Brother’ dictators and societies.”
Microelectronics and Society, A Report to The Club of Rome, p.27, 1983, Pergamon Press, Inc., Elmsford, NY
The rise of an electronic, networked society incorporating cashless buying and selling has increased the potential for such surveillance and control many fold. David Burnham said in his book, The Rise of the Computer State,
“…the increased use of EFT [electronic funds transfer], as a substitute for cash, means more transactions could be monitored through electronic networks”.
Burnham went on to say,
“…as the speed of the various computerized banking systems increases, the potential for instantaneously learning the activities of an individual grows.”
Computer State, Burnham, p. 238, 1984, Vintage Books/Random House, NY
Burnham was completely accurate in this early assessment. Now thirty years later, the world has become so completely covered with monitoring networks that privacy has become almost impossible to maintain. Even with privacy laws supposedly limiting electronic surveillance and control, the preservation of true privacy is no longer feasible.
Perhaps the most ominous predictions, however, appeared in Anthony Sampson’s, The Money Lenders (The Money Lenders, Anthony Sampson, p. 244, 1981, Penguin Books Ltd., NY). Sampson said that once a complete network of POS terminals is constructed, the police will have the capability of knowing the whereabouts of any individual at the very instant they attempt to purchase something. Remember that throughout history buying and selling with currency left no tracks. No one but the parties involved with the transaction knew it was taking place and there was no way to track the purchase in real time. However, in our generation all of this has dramatically changed. Sampson saw this coming in the very early days as the electronic system was being constructed. In his book, he described a study that was conducted in 1971 on surveillance techniques. A group of experts was presented with this problem: “Suppose you are given the assignment of designing a system for the surveillance of all citizens and visitors within the boundaries of the Soviet Union. The system is not to be too obtrusive or obvious. What would be your decision?” Anthony Sampson said that after a couple days of discussion the group came to the conclusion that Electronic Funds Transfer would be the best system imaginable!
In our day, now that this electronic system is in place and we are beginning to function to a greater degree in a cashless society, populations can be monitored not merely through the more traditional use of military and police forces, but by the ever present nature of an electronic financial network, which was also perfected for surveillance and control.
August Bequai wrote about this threat early in the development of this system, and he said,
“EFTS carry not only the potential for economic manipulation but also the real threat of subtle political control of the populace at large by a small, well-organized constituency”
The Cashless Society: EFTS at the Crossroads, August Bequai, p. 2, 1981, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
It is quite clear that the Final World Empire is going to monitor its citizens through an extensive network of electronic systems and devices, including EFT transactions, Internet communications, RFID scanning, video cameras, GPS positioning, cell tower triangulation, and biometric identification. The Mark of the Beast and the Number of the Beast will be the final digital characteristics that will brand citizens with a permanent identity for participation in society. These identifiers will be linked with every electronic method of surveillance and control to create an absolute and oppressive tyranny in the empire of the Antichrist.
The Ultimate in Crime Prevention
However, despite the cries and complaints about “Big Brother” and “1984” being fulfilled, the economic system of the Beast is not going to look bad or evil to the majority of the world. The proponents of EFT argue that in a totally cashless society crime could be drastically reduced or even eliminated. Financial institutions no longer would have to protect themselves against the ever-present threat of robbery. Security measures, which are said to cost billions of dollars annually, could be eliminated if there were no cash at teller windows and no cash in vaults or safes. A total cashless society also would eliminate home and personal robberies. The constant problem of burglaries, muggings, and armed robberies would instantly disappear if no one carried cash. August Bequai pointed out that “with no coins or currency to steal, a thief will have little incentive to rob merchants, financial institutions, or the average citizen”. He also went on to say,
“EFTS will curtail some organized criminal activity. ‘Fencing’ (the selling of stolen goods) and illegal gambling activities will be adversely affected by EFTS” (Cashless Society, Bequai, p. 7).
Not only will electronic buying and selling help to eliminate the theft of money, but it will also almost completely eliminate drug trafficking. How could anyone illegally buy or sell drugs or anything else if there’s no way to pay a person for the item? Only officially authorized people or businesses could tie into the EFT network for proper crediting or debiting of accounts—and then only for the selling of authorized merchandise or services. Every person buying an item will need positive identification through the Mark of the Beast before a transaction takes place, and all such activity would be recorded in electronic databases for review at any time. In addition, the selling of any item would have to be accompanied by an item number, such as a barcode, to complete the transaction. In a true cashless society, even routine personal transactions between people would have to be fully approved and recorded. No one could even have a weekend sale to get rid of junk without setting up an electronic method for payment.
The nationally syndicated columnist William Raspberry wrote an article in 1989 entitled, “Without Cash, Can Evil Survive?” Raspberry described a retired Foreign Service officer William G. Ridgeway’s plan to eliminate cash and move to the smart card system immediately. He quoted Ridgeway as saying that cash is “the very mother’s milk of the spy, the terrorist, the thief; the drug pusher, the drug user, the tax evader and the embezzler.” Ridgeway says that if we were to replace cash…
“…the sale of illegal drugs would stop, since no one would want a record of the transaction. The spread of AIDS would be curtailed, as drug use fades away. Stolen items could not be sold without a trace. Personal security would be assured. Little old ladies could walk in the park again.”
The momentum for the elimination of cash will come from all sectors of our society. The banks and financial institutions will see it as a way to increase productivity and make transactions easier. Individuals will applaud the speed and convenience of a single instantaneous way to pay for all goods and services. However, the unexpected benefit of reducing crime will propel EFT to world-wide acceptance faster than any other single rationale. No more muggers. No more drug pushers. No more tax evaders. No more robberies. No more prostitution. Fencing stolen goods will become impossible, so the theft of goods would be mostly curtailed. The high crime rates of the Western world will disappear almost overnight.
In the end, the economic system of the Final World Empire will look good and exciting to everyone—everyone, that is, except those who believe the Bible. The marketing campaign that will accompany the change to a cashless society and the Mark of the Beast will be the most flamboyant and influential ever conceived. Only the Word of God will stand in the way of the transition and reveal what is really happening.
Don’t expect the news to explain the details or truth behind the Mark or warn of the Antichrist. To those who reject the Bible and Jesus, the coming electronic system of buying and selling will seem completely harmless. On the surface, it will appear to be a fabulous technological advance for the betterment of society—perhaps the best thing to happen in the history of civilization! And in a sense, this appearance of harmlessness is true, because technology in itself cannot be good or evil. A computer system, an ATM machine, or the entire Internet could exist for all eternity and never do anything good or bad. Only the human beings behind the machines have the God-given capability to act in a moral sense and be responsible for their actions.
According to the Bible, the taking of the Mark by an individual will not be an insignificant or harmless act. In the Lord’s eyes it will constitute willful allegiance to the Empire of the Beast, the Antichrist, and ultimately to Satan himself. It will be construed as an open and defiant rejection of the love of God and the sacrifice of Christ. That one act will thus be an unforgivable sin from which there can be no return.