Humor Urban Legends Mondex Chip: Mark of the Beast? Share PINTEREST Email Print Urban Legends Classic & Historic Legends Urban Legends in the News Rumors & Hoaxes Animal Folklore Scary Stories By David Emery David Emery is an internet folklore expert, and debunker of urban legends, hoaxes, and popular misconceptions. He currently writes for Snopes.com. our editorial process David Emery Updated January 13, 2020 A forwarded slide show that is part of the Netlore archive claims microchips (biochips) used in Mondex smartcards are now being implanted in people's hands or foreheads, and constitute the "Mark of the Beast" prophesied in the Book of Revelation. 01 of 18 Slide #1 Description: Emailed slide showCirculating since: Feb. 2004Status: Mostly false 02 of 18 Slide #2 "It is the size of a grain of rice...". Analysis: The above image and those to follow comprise a slide show presentation of unknown origin circulating since February 2004, though some of the ideas it conveys have obviously been around much, much longer than that. Proceeding from a few very basic facts—e.g., the existence of a company called Mondex (a subsidiary of MasterCard International which manufactures "smart" bank cards with microprocessor chips for storing personal information), and the development of the "biochip" (a microchip designed specifically for implantation in human or animal subjects)—the anonymous authors of this presentation veer off into wild extrapolation, asserting, for example, that these new technologies fulfill apocalyptic prophecies in the Biblical Book of Revelation. Some of the claims to are demonstrably false. Others are little more than fanciful assumptions based on a literal, current events-based interpretation of scripture to which many respected theologians, not to mention rank-and-file Christians, do not subscribe. Could the so-called "Mondex bio-chip" really be the so-called "Mark of the Beast" predicted in the Bible? 03 of 18 Slide #3 "A new development which eliminates the necessity of using currency or credit cards!". Analysis: Sorry to spoil the suspense, but it is time to begin sorting out truth from fiction before it becomes too confusing to tell them apart. The device pictured above is, in fact, one example of a biochip (also known as a microchip implant, ID chip, RFID chip, etc.)—a tiny, implantable wireless transponder which emits a weak radio signal in the presence of a scanner and can transmit small amounts of information (e.g., identification numbers) to a receiver. It is indeed about the size of a grain of rice. That is not what the text of the slide show is describing, however. Intentionally or not, the author is confusing biochips (implantable microchips) with a different kind of microchip designed to be embedded in so-called "smart cards" to store personal information (e.g., your checking account balance). The smart card was conceived as an alternative to both paper money and ordinary credit cards, but we're still a ways off from the day it will replace them. Main point: The technology pictured above isn't the same as the technology described above. 04 of 18 Slide #4 "It is already being used by the wealthy as a tool to help prevent kidnapping. You will use it for it's [sic] advantages and to help prevent fraud and identity theft...". Analysis: True enough. In Mexico, where child abductions occur all too frequently, authorities are implementing a plan to use VeriChips implanted in kids as an anti-kidnapping measure. Because it enables instant, accurate identification of the bearer, the same product is also touted as a protection against fraud and identity theft. The VeriChip was approved by the FDA for use in humans in 2004. Please note, however, that—contrary to the depiction above (which, despite appearances, is not a real x-ray photograph)—such devices aren't normally implanted in the hands of human subjects. Rather, they're injected into the fleshy part of the upper arm, where the device is less visible, less obtrusive, and less likely to be damaged during everyday use. 05 of 18 Slide #5 "FLEE FROM IT!!! Find out why...". 06 of 18 Slide #6 "MOTOROLA is the company producing the microchip for MONDEX SMARTCARD. They develped several implants for humans using the 'Bio-chip.' TRANSPONDER is a system of storage for reading information in microchips. Reading occurs in waves...". Analysis: More misinformation. It's true that Motorola manufactures microchips for smart cards, but it's only one of several companies that do so (by the same token, Mondex isn't the only manufacturer of smart cards). Motorola also makes implantable biochips for medical applications, but please note (and this is very important): Mondex has nothing whatsoever to do with biochips—they're in the smart card business, period. Also, contrary to the information given above, a transponder is not a "storage system." It's simply a wireless communications device that sends and receives information. As for how biochips are powered, the implants now being used for applications like pet identification don't contain batteries at all; they're "passively powered," i.e., energized by close proximity to the appropriate scanning devices. 07 of 18 Slide #7 "MONDEX International: Remember this company name and logo!". 08 of 18 Slide #8 "More than 250 corporations and 20 countries are involved in the distribution of MONDEX to the world and many nations are 'privileged' to use this system...". Analysis: While this is not an attempt to verify the entire list of countries above, suffice it to say that smart card technology—produced by various companies, not just Mondex—is now widely available around the world. 09 of 18 Slide #9 "There are other SMARTCARD systems being used through MONDEX, expecially since MasterCard bought 51% share of the company.". Analysis: It is a fact that MasterCard International acquired a 51% interest in Mondex in 1997. 10 of 18 Slide #10 "Then ask yourself... in the end, what does that have to do with me?". 11 of 18 Slide #11 "They spent more than $1.5 Million Dollars in research just to discover the best place to insert the 'bio-chip' into the human body. They only found two satisfactory and efficient places - THE HEAD, underneath the scalp, and the backside of the hand...". Analysis: The above claims are fabricated. Contrary to this alleged "research," the preferred location for the implantation of biochips in humans—with the probable exception of specific medical biochips, which may need to be placed elsewhere in the body depending on function—is the upper arm. 12 of 18 Slide #12 "He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.". Analysis: There's that phony x-ray again! (Note, by the way, that the image shows someone's left hand, not the right.) We're supposed to be quaking with fear right now, the obvious implication being that microchip implants constitute the "Mark of the Beast" prophesied in the Bible. However, as it was just pointed out, the type of biochip being touted for identification purposes is supposed to be implanted in the subject's upper arm, not in their hand or forehead. Moreover, many Biblical scholars take exception to such literal, current events-based interpretations of New Testament prophecy. For centuries folks have been pinning the "antichrist" label on contemporary personages and decrying new technologies as examples of "the Mark of the Beast" (e.g., it was supermarket bar codes, supposedly, before biochips came along), when, in fact, reputable scholars believe these Biblical references were meant to apply to the Roman Emperor of the time ("the Beast") and his imperial seal ("the Mark of the Beast"). These are matters upon which Christians of various stripes have long sincerely disagreed. 13 of 18 Slide #13 "NOT MUCH OF A COINCIDENCE?". 14 of 18 Slide #14 "One billion 'bio-chips' are being produced by MONDEX a year. It's been in production for at least a year. They discovered that if the chip would be in a card, they will encounter serious problems...". Analysis: Utter hogwash. Again, Mondex makes smart cards, not biochips (and certainly not a billion biochips!). Contrary to what is claimed, no "serious problems" have hindered the distribution or use of these smart cards. The statement "real money will be insecure in the general market" is nonsensical. Do you get the impression someone is making this up as they go along? Well, they are. And they're trying very hard to make you afraid. 15 of 18 Slide #15 "There is only one solution for this problem, embraced by MOTOROLA... implanting the 'bio-chip' in the right hand or the head, where it cannot be removed....". Analysis: Yet more bunk. Again, there is no such "problem" with smart cards, nor has anyone determined that the "solution" to the nonexistent problem is implanting chips in people's hands or heads. Biochip implants can be easily removed via a minor surgical procedure. The "capsule" won't burst if it is removed, nor does it contain lithium or any other hazardous substance likely to leak out and contaminate the subject. Nor, as the technology now stands, does any biochip contain a GPS (Global Positioning system). 16 of 18 Slide #16 "Will you take it serious [sic]?". 17 of 18 Slide #17 "If you find this message interesting, SPREAD THE WORD! Imagine your parents, friends and siblings, everyone you know... having to be 'marked.'". Analysis: In other words, please share these falsehoods and the hysteria with your loved ones. 18 of 18 Slide #18 "Now that you've been informed, but still doubt this information, do the following. Go to www.google.com. Search for the word 'VERICHIP' and read some of the links. Do the same with the words 'MONDEX SMARTCARD.'". The Final Analysis: Note that this is the first time the brand name "VeriChip" (a biochip manufacturer with no connection to Mondex) has been brought up within the presentation. Curious, isn't it? The authors would very much like you to confuse Mondex with VeriChip at this point, but the two companies are completely unrelated, as are the products they manufacture. Does the increasing use of biochip implants pose any real, substantive threat to humanity? This is an unknown for the time being, but a valid topic for debate. Some folks have raised legitimate concerns, mostly having to do with individual privacy vs. government or corporate surveillance, about the future use (or abuse) of the technology. Note, however, that you have not read a single word about those concerns in this entire presentation. Some Christians—not all—clearly believe that biochips are an unequivocal sign of the apocalypse, and that is their right. The problem is, they are trying very hard to convince all the rest of us of the same thing and evidently have no qualms about spreading misinformation to accomplish that. It is strongly recommended that you follow the instructions in the final slide above and doing your own research on the pertinent terms—just make sure you don't limit your research to the many scaremongering Websites that simply echo the material presented in this slide show. The further you explore, the better equipped you'll be to understand the issues, evaluate all these wild allegations and make up your own mind. It's well worth the time and effort.