Mondex Chip
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The Mondex Digital Chip for Implanting in the Right hand or the Head-Mostly Fiction!

Summary of the eRumor
This eRumor comes in various forms including a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation. It describes new technology that can use tiny electronic chips to identify the person who has the chip and that it could be part of a future cashless society in which the chip would be used for financial exchanges instead of money.

The eRumor also claims that the chip can be implanted into people's bodies and that the two best places for it ware the right hand or the head.  The story hearkens to a Biblical passage in the book of Revelation that describes "The Mark of the Beast," a system in which buying and selling can take place only with the approval of a world ruler who requires his mark to be on the right hand or forehead of every living person.
 

 

 

 

The Truth

This issue is the result of concern over small electronic chips being used in the marketplace that store bits of information on them that can be identified by using a special device that can detect and read them.

An example is the "Speedpass" device that is used by Exxon and Mobil, among others, as a convenient way to make purchases.  The Speedpass is a small cylinder you can put on your key chain.
When you buy gas, just wave the Speedpass in front of the pump and the gas will be automatically charged to your account.  Other retailers have experimented with Speedpass as a way of taking payment.

These gizmos are known as RFID (radio frequency identification devices).  They are very small, can store information, and don't need batteries.  When one of them comes within range of another device that can read their information, the radio transmission of the reader energizes the RFID chip so that the exchange of information can take place.  Because the chips are small and relatively inexpensive, some companies have begun using them for inventory control and as a substitute for bar codes. There is some controversy over that and demands that if the chips are used on retail items, such as clothing, that they be deactivated when sold.  The typical distance between the chips and their readers is a few inches.

The PowerPoint presentation presents everything as being under the umbrella of "Mondex," which is actually just a part of the picture, and the story focuses on so called "smart cards," a credit card looking card that has actual cash amounts programmed into it. There is interest on the part of companies like MasterCard to see the smart card become popular but so far it is not clear how successful that is going to be.

The device being described in the PowerPoint presentation that is circulating on the Internet  is the Veri
Chip from Applied Digital Technology which promoted it as "miniaturized, implantable, identification technology."  It is a microchip encased in glass and is very tiny...about the size of the grain of rice.  When in the presence of a VeriChip reader, the information on the VeriChip can be retrieved.  One of the major purposes of the VeriChip would be to provide hospitals and medical teams any important information about yourself in an emergency.  The chip could tell them about your medical condition, any wishes you have regarding medical treatment, and other identifying information in case you are unconscious.  Another application is to identify children in case of kidnapping.

The eRumor claims that a lot of money was spent to determine that the two best places for placement of the chip on the body are the right hand and the head.  All the VeriChip literature states, however, that the chip is to be placed in a fleshy area such as behind the upper arm.  We've not found any evidence that research suggested the right hand or the head.

The eRumor claims that chips implanted into humans would be permanent and that there would be no way to get them out since any surgery designed to remove them would cause them to explode and contaminate their host.  One report claims that the attempted removal of the chip and the resulting explosion would cause radiation to enter the host's body because of the chip's lithium battery being destroyed.

We have not been able to find any substantiation of that.  The VeriChip, for example, does not have a battery and is predicted to last for about 20 years after which it could easily be replaced.

While the thought of having implanted chips seems to provide a lot of good things such as information for medical emergencies, tracking missing persons, and making purchases simpler, there are a lot of concerns to be overcome.  One is security.  How secure would your chip be from people you don't want reading it?
Plus, the conspiracy theorists do have a point:  Systems that have been enacted by governments for one purpose could be used for other, less honorable purposes.

Does all of this have Biblical significance.  It could if governments decided to adopt the technology and make it mandatory.  At present, it's commercial and voluntary.  But it's always good to be reminded that a "Mark of the Beast" type system isn't dependent on technology and could be implemented using something as simple as tattoos.


Posted 5/05/07

 


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