Mark of the Vatican

RFID cannot be the mark of the beast if the Holy See is using it.
Published: December 20, 2012

I was recently sent a link to a video on NBC‘s Web site, which notes that the Vatican will “reportedly use RFID technology to begin tracking priests and employees…” The decision to deploy radio frequency identification was apparently made after a butler stole sensitive documents from Pope Benedict XVI’s apartment and provided them to the news media (School Considers Vatican-style Tracking Chips).

Craig Wood, the school district attorney of Northside Independent School District, in San Antonio, Texas, is quoted in the video in regard to this announcement, as his district is using a similar system to monitor students at John Jay High School. “It’s nice to know that one of the major religions of the world—who’ve had the opportunity to study the Bible and take into account its application in the real world—doesn’t believe that the RFID device has anything to do with Revelations,” he stated.

This should—but, no doubt, won’t—end speculation that RFID is the “mark of the beast.” For those who have not heard about this so-called “controversy,” let me provide a little background. In the Bible, Revelation 13 says, “He [the Devil] causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 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.”

The spread of the mark is a sign of the coming of the end of the world, the Bible purports. When bar codes were introduced in the 1970s and early 1980s, some claimed it represented the mark of the Devil, since you could not “buy or sell” without it. The world did not end. Now, some believe RFID is the mark of the beast. The Vatican’s use of the technology suggests otherwise.

I guess it doesn’t really matter, since the world is going to end tomorrow, according to the Mayan calendar. So tonight, I will pour myself a glass of single malt scotch and reflect on what a wonderful world it would have been if it had lasted long enough for RFID to cut efficiencies in every area of business.

Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. If you would like to comment on this article, click on the link below. To read more of Mark’s opinions, visit the RFID Journal Blog, the Editor’s Note archive or RFID Connect.