CHRISTIAN URBAN LEGENDS
The dreaded implantable-chip
Advanced sub-dermal implantable devices have been developed that can be
inserted under a person's skin and used for identification purposes. Each device
contains a unique numerical code that can be read by a portable scanning device
from a distance of a few feet. Such devices have been used for some years to
track dogs and other household pets. They are typically implanted under the neck skin of the
animal. When the number is read by a portable, hand-held scanner, it can be used to consult a central data base
and extract information about the
pet, and its owner.
Some civil liberty and personal privacy groups like the American Civil
Liberties Union (ACLU) consider these devices would become a threat to individual
freedom and privacy, if they become implanted into humans. The ACLU called this
usage of the chips on humans "an outrage." The Black Radical Congress,
called it "a fascist technology." 1
Applied Digital Solutions Inc. has designed the VeriChip™, but did not
market it for human application pending a review by the FDA. The FDA decided on 2002-APR-4 that it was
an identification device, not a medical device. It works like the pet tracking
device. It only provides an identification number, not actual medical or other data. The
company expects to mass produce the chip and sell them
for about $200. A scanner that is capable of reading the number in the chip costs between $1,000 and $3,000. 11, 12
Although the ACLU and conservative
Christian groups have traditionally been bitter enemies, they both share concern
over these devices. 1 Many conservative
Protestants interpret the devices as the "mark of the beast" which was
prophesized in the book of Revelation. Some believe that implantable chips are
already available that will transmit their own position on earth, and thus
location of the person wearing the chip to a government agency. The devices
are believed to be roughly the size of a grain of rice. Fortunately
for the cause of individual freedom, the implantable human satellite tracking device is a
figment of people's imagination. It is not technically possible to build such a
device with today's technology. It is a Christian urban legend -- a belief that
many religious conservatives have, but which is not grounded in reality.
Use of the implants in humans:
In the meantime, these chips are occasionally being inserted into humans. The
Graafstra couple in Vancouver, BC have had chips implanted that they use to trigger
their door locks in their house. They also use them to unlock their computers in the place of
passwords. A few hundred doctors in the U.S. have bought chips for implantation
in their patients. The hope is that if the patients become ill and are taken to
hospital emergency rooms, they can be positively identified and their medical
history downloaded. Verichip suggests that they might be used in the future to
verify credit card purchases, and to identify immigrants and guest workers.
The state of Wisconsin passed a law during 2006-MAY making it illegal to
require an individual to receive a microchip. 16
Confusion between implantable chips and wearable tracking devices:
These implantable chips, as discussed in many conservative Christian venues,
have been confused with an entirely different device: a wearable tracking-pager
device. The latter are worn on the wrist like a massive watch. They are quite bulky,
being roughly the size of a small cell phone. The tracking part of the device is capable of
inputting data from Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites, determining the
wearer's precise location on earth, and transmitting that data to a remote
location. The device also incorporates a pager to alert the person wearing the
device. It is being sold primarily to parents who want to track the location of their
children. A second potential market is for individuals with Alzheimer's and
similar diseases, who might wander off and become lost.
Misinformation on the 'Left Behind' series web site:
Unfortunately, a number
of conservative Christian mailing lists, news sources, web sites, etc.
have apparently confused the two devices. A typical example is found in the Left
Behind® web site. It stated, on
"A school district in California, for example, recently used Radio
Frequency ID technology, to bring GPS surveillance to student ID cards."
The implication is that the school's student ID cards contain tags that
communicate with the Global Positioning System (GPS), continually compute the
location on earth of the card within a few meters or yards, and then transmit
the information back to the school monitoring equipment. One has the impression
that someone in the school could determine which students were in each room, who
was at the nearby mall, who was in the north-east corner of the playground, who
was on vacation in Europe, etc.
However, this is not true. The reference to an unidentified school district
in California may be to the Brittan Elementary School in Sutter, CA. The
school entered into a financial arrangement with the manufacturer to supply
Radio Frequency Identification-based
(RFID) student ID cards. These are read by portable scanners or with fixed scanners in
Some conservative Christian web sites and news sources continue to suggest that the technology in the large,
wearable tracking-pager devices has been shrunk down to the size of a grain of
rice so that it can be implanted
under the skin or embedded to an ID card. Such a development is quite impossible with today's technology.
The confusion is causing much alarm among individual conservative believers.
Some skeptics and manufacturers of sub-dermal implantable devices have accused
conservative Christian information sources of "intentionally publishing false
statements." 1 We
suspect that there is little or no truth in this accusation. It may well be some
conservative Christian information sources picking up information from another
Christian group that they trust and republishing it without first having checked
Claims of "spy coins" in Canada:
The Virginia-based Defense Security Service, a U.S. government defense
agency, claimed in their 2006 annual report that:
"On at least three separate occasions between October 2005 and January
2006, cleared defense contractor's employees traveling through Canada have
discovered radio frequency transmitters embedded in Canadian coins placed on
The agency was concerned that the specially doctored coins were being used to
steal sensitive military technology or to track defense industry personnel.
On 2007-JAN-12. the Defense Security Service posted a statement on their web
site stating that the coin claims were based on a report provided to the agency
which was later found to be unsubstantiated.
There are two problems that would make the use of RFID tags embedded in
coins impractical and unreliable:
||The person being tracked would most likely spend the coins within hours
||The monitoring group would have to have a massive network of readers to
track the individual wherever she or he went in the second largest country
in the world.
It is surprising that such a nonsensical idea got as far as to be included in
this agency's annual report. 17
What RFID tags are capable of doing:
The RFID-101.com web site lists four frequency ranges at which RFID systems
||125 to 148 KHz: These are used mainly in animal identification. They
cost about $1.00 and have a range of 3 feet/1 meter.
||13.56 MHz: These are used in library book identification, clothing
identification and smart cards, and also have a range of 3 feet/1 meter.
||915 MHz: These are used in industrial tracking of containers or
trailers. They have a range of about 25 feet or 8 meters.
||2.45 GHz: These are used for automated highway toll collection or
vehicle fleet identification and have a range of about 100 feet or 30
In each case, a portable or fixed scanner within range of the RFID tag sends
the tag a signal; the tag returns a signal to the scanner, and the scanner
decodes the tag's unique number.
These are vaguely similar to the tags found in merchandise sold by clothing
stores, books stores, etc. However, here the tag does not transmit a number back
to the scanner; it only indicates its presence as shoplifters attempt to leave
Interpretation of Revelation:
The book of Revelation is the final entry in the Christian Scriptures (New
Testament). It is the main example of apocalyptic literature in the Bible --
i.e. material dealing with the end of the world as we know it. A main theme of Revelation is the wrath or hatred of God towards those
individuals who are not Christians, or perhaps to those who were once Christians but have not remained true to the faith.
Revelation is a confusing book. There are at least four approaches to
||Religious liberals and secularists generally interpret the book:|
||Allegorically: The events in the book are to be understood
figuratively and symbolically, not as real events. 2
||Historically (a.k.a. Preterism): The events
have already happened and represent persecution of Christians by the Roman
government in the early history of the church. The purpose of Revelation was
to improve morale among believers in the early Christian movement
who were intermittently oppressed. 2
||Devoid of meaning: It is based on nightmares, hallucinations or
visions by the author. It is unrelated to past, present or future events.
||Fundamentalist and some other Evangelical Protestants who believe in the
inerrancy of the bible, often interpret passages in Revelation:|
Implantable devices, the Bible, and the "Mark of the Beast:"
an evil individual will rise and dominate the world economically, religiously
and politically. He is called the Antichrist. Dispensational
Premillennialists believe that he will
create a one-world economy, religion and government.
states that the Antichrist will require everyone to receive a mark on their
body. The option is to commit suicide by starving to death, because no person
without the mark will be able to buy food: The passage is translated in the
King James Version of the Bible as: "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." 3 Unfortunately, various translations of the Bible differ on
exactly where the mark is located:
||The King James Version specifies in their hand or in their
||The Amplified Version says on their hand or on their
forehead. So does the New American Bible, New American Standard Bible, New International Bible, New Revised Standard Version,
and Today's New International Version.
||The Rheims New Testament says in their hand or on their
A mark on the skin might be in the form of a brand or tattoo; a
mark in the hand or forehead might possibly be interpreted as implying an implantable chip.
||Revelation 14:9-11 states that God will express his hatred of
anyone who accepted the mark of the beast. Such individuals will be tortured
in Hell for all eternity, in the presence of Jesus (described here as the
Lamb) and the angels. The text is not
clear whether Jesus is present in Hell to personally torture the captives, or supervise
the punishment, or
merely to observe it. The text reads: "And the third angel followed them, saying with a
loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark
in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath
of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation;
and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy
angels, and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment
ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who
worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name."|
||Additional references to the mark of the beast is found in
Revelation 15:2; 16:1-2;
19:20; and 20:4. |
Conservative Protestants have suggested that the mark of the beast may take
the form of:
||A tattoo, perhaps an invisible mark that can only be detected by some
||A branding of the skin.
||A cashless society in which all financial transactions are done by debit
and credit cards.
||An identity chip implanted under the skin. 4
Many conservative Protestants monitor political and scientific developments
in an attempt to sense when Jesus will appear and the rapture will happen. Some
of their web sites are closely following the implantable chip concept, because
they feel that it may indicate how soon Jesus' second coming will happen.
More conservative Protestants and the imaginary implantable GPS chip:
Numerous conservative Protestant web sites teach that an implantable chip which
can track the location of individuals is
currently available . Such a device
would be rather complex. It would have to detect radio signals from four Global
Positioning System satellites, 10 compute its location on earth, and transmit the location
data and its identification number to a receiver many miles away. A few web sites
that discuss this type of nonexistent implantable chip are described below:
||The Mark of the Beast website states: "Relaying a steady stream of data on the location and health of its host to ground stations using the Global Positioning
System (GPS), the dime-sized chip is intended to be worn externally, such as on a wristwatch or implanted under the skin."
||Greater Things web site reported that: "Implanted Electronic Tag Can Track Terrorist Suspects - A tiny
chip, implanted under the skin, that can track the location of terrorist suspects;
'Big Brother' device raises serious
questions for civil liberties, as governments could use it to track innocent people."
||Texe Marrs, in his book Project L.U.C.I.D. stated that "In 1995, a
Buckingham Palace spokesman said that young Prince William, heir to the
British Throne, had a microchip implanted somewhere in his anatomy to
discourage would-be kidnappers." 7
||Dr. Carl W. Sanders is alleged to have appeared on TV, over radio, in
churches, and at
prophecy conferences for over a decade, explaining how he created an implantable microchip
that would track an individual's location. He allegedly claimed to have been born-again,
or saved. This apparently motivated him to reveal to the world the danger that the chip
represented. In 1994, a close associate, John S. Torell, is reported to have
detected that Sander's doctorate, his 32 years of engineering experience, his
meetings with Henry Kissinger, and his leadership of a 100 person team of
engineers who developed an implantable chip, never happened. Saunders
allegedly pleaded for forgiveness, promised to confess his deception to
his church, and decided to take a reprieve from the ministry. 8
||Jack Van Impe's web site contains a reference to "the Digital
Angel-the new, dime-sized implantable transceiver whose manufacturer, the
NASDAQ-traded Applied Digital Solutions, intends its global use for the
tracking and monitoring of humans. Emitting a homing beacon that can be
tracked by global positioning system satellites, it is being marketed as the
ultimate, tamper-proof means of personal identification. When implanted in
your body, the device is powered electromechanically through the movement of
muscles, and it can be activated either by the 'wearer' or by a monitoring
facility." 9 This essay shows a profound lack of
understanding of the GPS. In fact, any earth-bound tracking device does
not transmit a homing signal to GPS satellites. Rather, the GPS satellites
broadcast continual signals to all tracking devices on earth. These errors
are regrettable because many of the visitors to Impe's web site will
probably assume that his essays are carefully researched; and they will be
misinformed. We have sent a number of Emails to Impe's web site, suggesting that
they correct the error. They have not responded.
It would seem that one or more conservative Protestant web sites confused the
large, wearable world-wide child/adult tracking device with the tiny, implantable,
transponder chip that was developed to identify pets. They took the
functionality of the child-locater and assumed that the implantable chip can
perform in a similar fashion. Then, other conservative Christian web sites seem
to have picked up the
error, and passed it on to their readers without checking the story for
This may have happened in the case of WorldNetDaily (WND). According to a WND
report for 2002-APR-2, "The media-relations consultant for Applied Digital
Solutions and its subsidiary, Digital Angel.net, Inc., has accused WorldNetDaily
of intentionally publishing false statements about the company and its products.
In e-mail communications to WorldNetDaily, public relations representative
Matthew Cossolotto charges, 'Your reporters always seem to get the story wrong …
perhaps because they never bother to check on the facts before going to press,'
even suggesting that WND reporters 'intend on getting it wrong to sensationalize
the story.' " 1
WorldNetDaily describes themselves as "a fiercely
independent newssite [sic] committed to hard-hitting investigative reporting of
government waste, fraud and abuse." Judging by their articles on the
Bible, abortion access and equal rights for gays and lesbians, the news service
is decidedly very conservative, and Protestant.
Applied Digital Solutions produces the child locator system.
Related essays and menus in this web site:
"Implantable-chip company attacks WND: Digital Angel accusations come
as Whistleblower exposé is published,"
WorldNetDaily, 2002-APR-2, at:
- P.N. Benware,
"Survey of the New Testament," Moody Press, Chicago IL (1990)
- Book of Revelation, King James Version of the Christian Scriptures (New
David Loughran, "The Mark of the Beast," at:
"The Mark of the Beast," Bible-Prophecy.com at:
"Human implants already here," GreaterThings.com™, at:
Texe Marrs, "Project L.U.C.I.D.: The Beast 666 Universal Human Control
System," Rivercrest Publishing (1996), Page 111. Read
reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
'Inventor' Carl Sanders is a Fraud: Charlatan exposed seven years ago still
popular in Christian circles," at:
Jack Van Impe, "Mark of the Beast technology," at:
Peter Dana, "Global Positioning System Overview," at:
http://www.colorado.edu/ This essay describes the GPS
system and how it works.
"Company to sell implantable chip," Associated Press, 2002-APR-4, at:
The VeriChip™ web site is at:
Top 5 End Times
Signs of 2005?," Left Behind Series, 2005-DEC-01, at:
Marc Perton, "California school mandates RFID tags for students,"
Engadget, 2005-FEB-12, at:
"RFID system frequency ranges," RDIF-101, at:
From an editorial in the Edmonton Journal for 2006-JUN-14. Edited and published
in the editorial page of the Toronto Star, 2006-JUN-14.
"Canadian 'spy coin' claim isn't worth plugged nickel," The Toronto Star,
2007-JAN-14, Page A4.
Copyright © 2002 to 2007 by Ontario Consultants on
Creation date: 2002-APR-2
Last update: 2007-JAN-14
Author: B.A. Robinson