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Recently my colleague John Leyden wrote about chips from a company called Verichip which will be implanted in humans (. He expressed reservations about the privacy implications, as we turn ourselves into organic dogtags.

These Last Days Ministeries Inc, a mystical Marian group-cum-we-guess-from-the-inc-bit-business, objects to human-implantable chips from a different standpoint.

It's against Verichip and it's even more against a company called Applied Digital Solutions (ADSX), which has designed an human-implantable chip called The Digital Angel, on religious grounds.

ADSX "call it 'technology that cares'. We call it the Mark of the Beast," These Last Days Ministeries says on its web sites.

Here is some doctrinal background, helpfully published by These Last Days Ministeries:

Apocalypse Chapter 13: 15-18
And it was given him to give life to the image of the beast: and that the image of the beast should speak: and should cause that whosoever will not adore the image of the beast should be slain. 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:
.

Marks on the forehead is where we are heading with implantable chips, Gary Wohlscheid, the president of TLD Ministries, argues.

In an interview with Wired.com, he says: "Out of all the technologies with potential to be the mark of the beast, the VeriChip has got the best possibility right now. It's definitely not the final product, but it's a step toward it. Within three to four years, people will be required to use it. Those that reject it will be put to death."

So we're not there yet, but near - 667 the Neighbour of the Beast.

Unusually for an apocalyptic Christian group, These Last Days Ministeries comes from the Papist tradition. Its site is drenched with extreme Catholic imagery:

"For a Free Miraculous Medal and a Rose Petal
blessed by Jesus and Mary for cures and conversions,
printed material and an order form."

It's the kind of stuff my grandmother's mother went a bundle for - but twenty-first century human barcodes? For them it's already too late. ®

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