RFID, which stands for Radio Frequency IDentification, consists of a small 'tags' and a transceiver unit. The mechanism is similar to that of the EZ-PASS toll collection system or the 'SpeedPay'-type devices at supermarket checkouts. The tag consists of a small amount of non-volatile computer memory, a radio-frequency transmitter, and a coil/capacitor arrangement for power. All this can be embedded in a very small package which can be secreted in product packaging or even implanted under the skin. To read the tag, the reading device sends a powerful radio signal of the correct frequency, which is picked up by the coil in the tag. This energy is used to power the tags transmitter in a brief pulse, during which the data in the tag's memory is transmitted back to the reading device. The range of the reading devices is generally on the order of an inch or two, but can be extended.
Normally, the RFID system would be used to manage inventory, simplify checkout, and prevent theft. Other applications may be limited only by the imagination. Your refrigerator and pantry could scan all the products placed in them, track dates, and prepare shopping lists for you. Your luggage could be tagged to alert you at airport baggage pick-ups. A popular industry journal where you can read about innovative uses of RFID can be found here. Here's an actual fan forum for RFID implant 'hacking'!
Legitimate security and privacy concerns over the widespread use of RFID have been voiced. Since the tags can be hidden in the products, a long-range reading device could hypothetically scan someone's home to detect the presence of those products. If placed in ID or credit cards, an array of sensors might be able to track the person's movements. The specter of hacking and spoofing haunts RFID technology as much as any electronic data system, limiting its robustness as a security device. One company has patented the technique of scanning a household's garbage to gather marketing data from the RFID tags in discarded packaging. This would probably make most people uncomfortable.
Certain criticisms of RFID, however, have taken a step or two beyond the rational. The spychips.com website appears at first glance to be concerned with privacy matters, and links to many mainstream articles, but the one of books written by the women who run the site is titled, "The Spychips Threat : Why Christians Should Resist RFID and Electronic Surveillance." Why Christians, indeed? RFID has tweaked the fertile imaginations of many, and has come to dovetail well with a couple of 'traditional' families of paranoid conspiracy theory. The first school of conspiracy centers on mind control by the CIA or other secretive government agencies. The second is related to prophesy derived from the Book of Revelations.
Government agencies such as the CIA have experimented with mind control and behavior modification. Someone who
claims to have been the unwilling subject of government mind control experiments may well be telling the truth. Many of these experiments focused on disrupting thought patterns or causing other physical and/or mental conditions that rendered the subjects unable to resist or fight. They were mainly battlefield or crowd control weapons, and did not seek to actually control a person's actions. Drugs, hypnosis, brain implants and beamed signals have all been proposed as mechanisms for this kind of control. There is no plausible evidence that the technology to actually control or 'program' a person's actions exists. This is not to say that government agencies did not attempt to do so, trying for a long shot. The likelihood that they made any progress, however, is very slim.
The paranoid schizophrenic variety of mind control favors microwaves, lasers or other beamed or broadcast methods as their vehicle of choice. This led to the popularization of the tin-foil hat as a mind-control protection device, first in earnest, then eventually as an ironic joke. This site sells EMF-shielded garments for all you paranoid protection needs, and is just full of implied pseudo-science! Proper RF practices suggest that the tin-foil hat makes a very poor Faraday cage. Implants placed in the body during surreptitious surgery are also very popular. One site has a link to a page describing a rifle that shoots 'GPS microchips' into a human subject and uses satellites to track the subject's movements. My quick assessment of that description leads me to believe that the product is not real, at least as described. A rifle that fires an RFID implant and takes a digital picture of the subject is plausible, but GPS tracking of a tiny implant is just not feasible. The smallest GPS receivers, which are quite complex, are larger than anything that could enter the body unnoticed, and is still only a <i>receiver</i>. A transmitter that could uplink to a satellite would be much bigger, and need a decent power supply. Also, a couple of the features of the sample software screenshots shout, "Bogus!"
Proponents of the existence of government mid-control seem to have close ties to the abducted-by-aliens faction of the paranoid schizophrenic crowd. Common elements among all these paranoid fantasies include the singling out of the individual for persecution and the collaboration of the majority of the population as part of the plot.
RFID fits well with these fantasies, mainly acting as a realization of the mind-control implant. The RFID implant could contain the data, or program, that would be 'injected' into the subjects mind in response to an external signal.
I found this article at the Illuminati Conspiracy Archive site, supposedly written by Rauni-Leena Luukanen-Kilde, a former Chief Medical Officer of Finland. It details a purported history of mind control and behavior modification via electronic implants. It's claims range from the plausible ("Implanted human beings can be followed anywhere.") to the wild ("Their brain functions can be remotely monitored by supercomputers...") to the insane ("...and even altered through the changing of frequencies."). Note the tell-tale use of the word 'frequency' to imply some sort of complex 'magical' characteristic of a signal, rather than simply a measure of it's speed of repetition. Another telling word usage is that of 'microchip'. Microchip is a slang term for an integrated circuit, a collection of (mainly) transistors etched into a semiconducting substrate, usually silicon. They can be fairly simple arrangements of a few logic gates, or very complex custom circuits with multiple functional modules on a single substrate, comprised of millions of transistors. However, when described by the conspiracy-minded paranoid, microchips seem to take on this quality of a wondrous 'black box' that can perform almost any function, whether or not it involves electrical signals. They also tend to include external devices such as optical sensors, displays, power supplies and radio transceivers as being part of a microchip, which normally they are not.
The article attempts to paint a picture of powerless victims whose lives are destroyed by an elite clique of 'mad scientists':
"Guinea pigs in secret experiments have included prisoners, soldiers, mental patients, handicapped children, deaf and blind people, homosexuals, single women, the elderly, school children, and any group of people considered "marginal" by the elite experimenters."
It's a cliche that recalls the clownish old TV commercials for Dianetics, where professors, scientists and psychiatrists are portrayed as evil comic-book caricatures, and only the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard can save humanity from them. Dr. Luukanen-Kilde also informs us that the mind-reading computer has already been developed:
"Every thought, reaction, hearing, and visual observation causes a certain neurological potential, spikes, and patterns in the brain and its electromagnetic fields, which can now be decoded into thoughts, pictures, and voices."
And British Royalty is not immune:
"The Washington Post reported in May 1995 that Prince William of Great Britain was implanted at the age of 12. Thus, if he were ever kidnapped, a radio wave with a specific frequency could be targeted to his microchip. The chip's signal would be routed through a satellite to the computer screen of police headquarters, where the Prince's movements could be followed. He could actually be located anywhere on the globe."
Wow, a microchip implanted along with satellite transmitter! Where did they put the big battery that it would need? And the antenna?
This paragraph tries to preempt a common criticism:
"One reason this technology has remained a state secret is the widespread prestige of the psychiatric Diagnostic Statistical Manual IV produced by the U.S. American Psychiatric Association (APA) and printed in 18 languages. Psychiatrists working for U.S. intelligence agencies no doubt participated in writing and revising this manual. This psychiatric "bible" covers up the secret development of MC technologies by labeling some of their effects as symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia."
The beliefs espoused by the article are so well-associated with paranoid schizophrenia that the author felt necessary to introduce a global conspiracy of psychiatrists.
RFID is not mentioned explicitly, but RFID fits the description of the microchip implants so well that the article almost seems prescient. On the whole, this article is too filled with wild, unsubstantiated claims, bogus technical cliches and non-sequiturs to be taken seriously by anyone with more than a slight technical background. But it could easily sound plausible to non-critical readers.
As an interesting aside, one page detailing the NSA's mind control activities had this to say about the Talking Heads:
"Talking Heads; a music group popular in the eighties, wrote a song explaining the scientific process of the NSA's brainwashing technology in a song called "Wild Wild Life". The song gave an example of what the audible transmission sounded like at the end of the song (like a tape on fast forward).
They mentioned in the song that "They (NSA) talk so fast..." and that the musical group had spent "All their time and money...Unsuccessfully trying to find a place that the NSA would not be able to harass them. The Talking Heads exposed the technology, gave an example of what it sounds like, scenarios of how the NSA might select you for the brainwashing, and the scope of the electronic surveillance system."
Well, the song (from the David Byrne movie, "True Stories") did have the phrase 'thought control' in it. The rest? I dunno...
This article is an introduction to various methods of mind control, and has to be read to be believed. It attributes all mind-control and behavioral modification research to a conspiracy of Illuminati. My favorite line is, "Bear in mind, public research is generally a cover for what has already been discovered." So all visible research today is a smokescreen that lets us pretend to not know what we already know. Oh...Kay.
The article starts off with an attempted introduction to electricity and radio. It presents some accurate information and a whole lot of bullshit. The section on RFID classifies them as 'tracking implants', and the major threat seems to come from the government keeping geographic track of all citizens, all the time. But, it is related to mind control:
"While tracking implants are not mind-control per se, they will work hand in glove with actual mind-control to make sure no one under mind-control can effectively get away. Therefore all tracking devices must be seen in the broader context as being devices to assist in the implementation of total mind-control."
Since the author's seem to buy in to the New World Order conspiracy, much of the concern stems from the technology being used as a tool of societal control and repression via exhaustive data collection. The recent efforts of the US Government including the Total Information Awareness program and the NSA data-mining scandal are certainly fanning the flames of this particular brand of delusion.
Another line in the article, "They could also be used as a debit card for financial transactions, which is why they have gotten so much attention as the much feared Mark of the Beast," brings us to our second topic, RFID and the Book of Revelations.
The following quote from the Book of Revelation (or Apocalypse) is the link between Christian prophecy and RFID:
"And he shall make all, both little and great, rich and poor, freemen and bondmen, to have a character in their right hand or on their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, but he that hath the character, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."(Revelation Chapter 13: 16-17)
By the way, don't let that 'bondmen' thing fool you. This is just another example of the Bible's casual condoning of slavery.
By way of this prophecy, any system of identification that involves assigning IDs to people so they can participate in commerce becomes 'The Mark of the Beast'. RFID fits the bill perfectly because it can be implanted, perhaps in their right hand or forehead! I think it would be funny if the we developed a standard by which all RFID implants had to be injected into a buttock. That'll keep us safe from Satan!
This web page, part of a site that focuses on Apocalyptic prophesies of some woman in Queens, NY, just assumes that RFID implants are 'The Mark of the Beast', and lists legitimate stories about RFID implants with their Apocalyptic significance. The page states some valid (or possibly valid) information, then leaps immediately to unsupported conclusions. For example:
"Its a us federal sponsored initiative to track vehicles near certain highways feeding certain urban areas. Basically the FBI enters a rfid number into the database and then history of travel for the car pops up. The feds can also pre-enter rfids they want to watch after getting a reading off your parked car or from the Canadian-us customs border (where they already actively log the car rfids in the tires and associate them with plates) Your tires have a passive coil with 64 to 128 bit serial number emitter in them!"
The assumption is that the FBI maintains a continuous, nation-spanning net of RFID readers, pinging away continuously and feeding some massive database with the locations of all vehicles, 24 hours a day. This is very unlikely to be true, especially considering the recent wave of incompetence and fraud in building data-mining systems for national security. Of course, all that incompetence could just be a cover-up...
This page begins with a (lame) numerological explanation of the 666, the 'Number of the Beast'. How do you get the name 'Jesus' to add up to 888? It then describes RFID technology, and wonders if people will be forced to get implants. How these implants were connected to '666' or The Mark of the Beast is never explained. In fact, most of the web sites dealing with the topic list news articles about implanted RFID tags with dire implications, but fail to attempt any justification of their views.
Many seem to place great significance on the fact that the Bible verse specifies the mark as being in the hand or forehead, rather than on the hand or forehead. This is probably just a case of mistranslation. I'm not sure about the original Greek of the New Testament, but in Hebrew, the word 'in' (or 'b' in Hebrew, pronounced 'buh') is often used in the sense for which we would use the word 'on' ('al' in Hebrew). An Israeli would say that you have tattoo in your arm rather than tattoo on your arm.
On the whole, I was a little disappointed at the lack of attempts to link RFID and the Mark of the Beast using anything beyond the Revelations verse. There's just this generalized belief that the antichrist will have something to do with globalism and commerce, and the people who run the world economically and politically are engaged in bringing about the conditions necessary for the arrival of the antichrist. Any institution that is multi-national in nature, especially the United Nations, must be part of the plot. RFID must be the Mark of the Beast foretold in prophesy only because it involves commerce and numeric data, was developed to international standards, and can potentially be implanted in the hand or forehead. That seems to be sufficient 'proof' for many. The Jeremiah Project presents one of the more 'rational' essays linking technology and prophecy. At least, he believes that RFID is not yet the Mark of the Beast, but may well be used as the basis of it in the future.
A Google search will dredge up way more material than you can process on RFID-related conspiracies. In the smorgasbord of conspiracy theory, RFID finds a comfortable place between the Biblical End Times group, the CIA mind-control fans and the Totalitarian UN Black Helicopter crowd. Perhaps I should check on David Icke's site to see how the Reptilians will use RFID!