Let's Build a Mark

I’m going to engage in a bit of speculative theology in this post. Revelation 14:11:

And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.

I’m going to overinterpret the last clause as as a claim that anyone who receives the mark will become unsavable.

Why? It could be that anyone willing receive there Mark simply won’t be saved. But many people have been saved from deep sin.

Demons are out to destroy everything about God’s creation. One of those Good things about God’s creation is free will. Consider a Mark of the Beast that is not merely a skin tattoo, or an RFID chip, but something that actively destroys free will?

This post lays out a system that could be plausibly developed with just another 30-50 year’s worth of conservative technological development. To emphasize, I’m sticking to what I believe is almost inevitable, not something that requires any particular scientific breakthroughs or new principles.

If you are not a Christian, I invite you to consider this as a science-fiction piece about what transhumanism will look for you. Spoiler: Most technodystopias have been pulling their punches.

Has Free Will Been Attacked Before?

Some have proposed that the sin that brought on the flood was demonic possession as society’s organizing principle. “Mere” child sacrifice and many other abominations continue on into the modern times, so it has to be something even worse than that. The destruction of human free will could be that something worse. What’s the point of letting the human race carry on if there is no possibility of salvation, and it’s merely a machine for sending souls to Hell?

Some people even theorize we may see a return to this before the End of Days. It may not return as open possession, but it’s easy to believe that it could be pitched as cooperation with some trumped up aliens that visit Earth and offer to lift up individual humans by merging with them or something. (Predictive programming: The Goa’uld in Stargate, and especially the Tok’ra. The Borg. Anything else that involves lifting up humans to higher levels.)

If it failed once, though, one presumes that it is either forbidden or the demons won’t try again. In that case, why not try some technology?

The Mark Of The Best Circa 2060

  1. It monitors everything you see and hear. It will be able to monitor your ocular and auditory nerves and decode what was seen and heard. Direct monitoring of the nerves precludes any tomfoolery; no reading out of the corner of your eye or turning on your shower to block audio. It hears and sees what you hear and see.

    • Cochlear implants work by interpreting incoming sound and translating it into the signals the auditory nerve uses. This is off-the-shelf tech in 2021. You probably know someone who has one. If something can monitor your auditory nerve, knowing what you heard is just a matter of reversing it.
    • Directly stimulating the ocular nerve is not as far along, partially because it’s more complicated and partially just because it’s harder to get at. But it’s the same principle in the end. There’s no reason to believe this is somehow utterly unique per person.
  2. It has effectively unlimited support from “the cloud”. Even in 2060 I’m not sure how much local processing power will be available in the body, but between the equivalents of 8G (or whatever they’re up to) and some future Wifi variant, the Mark will be able to integrate with vast quantities of computation as-needed.

    • I don’t know if body-area networks have been used for much in practice, but if not it is only because we don’t have a need yet. A garage startup or a motivated technical Youtuber could build one today.

    • The “Internet of Things” is building the low power protocols that could be used to communicate outside the body. The cellular and Wifi-equivalent technologies will have been built for “Internet of Things” use cases, which will work for the Mark too.

    • Extracting small amounts of energy from the human body is already being studied. Depending on how exactly they manage to consume energy they can certainly get hundreds of milliwatts and possibly into the single digits of watts if they can directly burn glucose out of the blood. That’s already a lot today and will be even more in a few more decades.

      It could also be inductively powered.

  3. It will be in your brain.

    • The body has a biochemical map that controls what physical locations turn into what organs. Once you understand this biochemical map you can use it to navigate around, with the right receptors and engineering. This almost certainly includes not just navigating to specific organs, but specific parts of the organs, especially the brain.
    • Genetic engineering is, as it says right in the name, engineering. Engineering can work even when it only partially understands what’s going on, as long as we have functioning techniques1.
    • Putting the two of these things together, it shouldn’t be all that hard to produce engineered tools that can grow conductive paths to target portions of the body.
    • These may also grow things that wrap around the nerves of interest so they can use inductive sensing to track what goes through them.
  4. As a result it will be able to manipulate your emotional state. We already know how to encourage and inhibit portions of the brain; transcranial magnetic stimulation does it today from the outside of your brain. How much easier to do it from the inside?

    You might think, ah, it can manipulate with pain and pleasure, and that is true, but there are much better options available. It can stimulate love, any of the particular kinds you like. It can create a general feeling of wellness or sickness. Gentle nudges continuously applied can have a greater effect than bursts. It can encourage attentiveness or lack of effort. It can control your desire to move and control your desire to be sedentary. It can control anything in your brain that can be done with gross control, which probably precludes things like inserting memories directly via these techniques2 or directly reading your mind, but opens a lot of possibilities. It can probably induce trance states on command, or remove them.

    So we’re not just talking giving you simple bursts of pleasure for doing the right thing or simple zaps for the wrong. That is certainly a useful tool that will be heavily used, but it is also only the beginning of what can be done.

  5. It will be able to manipulate your emotional state based on the cloud and your sensory input. In the 20th century, Party propaganda was boring. Only a small subset of the population could be driven to fervent belief. The Mark will have no such limits. Propaganda can be combined with directed fervor, increased openness to ideas, hypnotic states, whatever the Beast likes.

    Did some crazy unMarked Christian try to come up to you and share the Good News? The Mark detects this, and stimulates disgust, fear, and whatever other negative emotions it likes, as well as inattentiveness or brain fog.

    Any situation that the Mark can identify can be paired with the Beast’s desired emotional response. The rationalizing human will do the rest of the work. Even modern AI would be good enough to seriously influence people this way. Another few decades of development and this will be irresistible.

  6. More than that, it will be able to ensure you don’t remember. It is easy to temporarily zap the portion of the brain that moves short-term into longer-term memory storage.

    If the Mark detects Christian influences, no matter how they are aurally or visually communicated to you, it can simply suppress the recording of the relevant memories. Your Gospel message will have only a brief window of time to penetrate the Marked’s disgust and brain fog before they’ve entirely forgotten it.

    From the subjective experience of the Marked person, the Mark is all carrot and no stick. It liberally applies the stick, even perhaps sadistically so, but the Marked don’t remember the stick3. The stick successfully affects their learned responses as the Beast system desires, though, because those persist even without memory.

    Which means the stick applied can be pretty darned strong.

  7. The masses want the Mark. It isn’t just the buying and the selling and the social pressure. That doesn’t hurt, but they want the mark, for reasons like what is shown in Brave New World or Ready Player One. They’re bored and full of ennui, and the Mark is the ultimate drug. Everyone who has one has all kinds of stories to tell about how good it makes them feel, and are literally incapable of saying anything bad about it.

    It isn’t hard to imagine the Marked end up with certain privileges, like access to exclusive sex clubs where all sorts of depravity is made to feel good by the Mark. Every one night stand is artificially Deep and Meaningful in the moment, and the next day, no complicated emotional baggage is permitted to bother you. Those silly unMarked like the Christians sure put a lot of work into creating deep and meaningful relationships that take decades… the Mark can give you ten such relationships in a week!

    It may not be able to make you a genius but it can do everything Adderall or anything similar does. It gives you motivation to exercise and makes quitting any bad habit (the Beast doesn’t like) easy. It truly turns You into a better You, just like You deserve.

    Depending on the level of subtlety of control it can get over the nerves it may also be able to inject visual and auditory input directly. With additional tendrils grown out it may also manipulate proprioception, balance, and the other senses. The Mark may be the best video game system in the history of Man. But if it can’t do it directly, it can certainly do it in conjunction with a Mark-compatible VR system.

    It also either is essentially a cell phone, or easily integrates with one, giving you a perfect sense of direction, a voice assistant that really does anticipate your requests (not to mention one that can manipulate your emotional responses to its prompts), and any other app you can imagine that could use this system. Advertising, if it is permitted on this system, won’t be selling influence, it’ll be selling guaranteed customers manipulated into whatever the advertiser desires.

  8. The Mark has the power of death over you. With a system like this the hard part will be not causing cardiac arrest. Doing it on purpose would be child’s play. Or causing brain death, or any number of creative ways of killing anyone who becomes very inconvenient to the Beast.

  9. And oh yeah, it has some sort of external communications port on either the right hand or the forehead. I’ve sometimes wondered if the forehead is just an accessibility thing since not everyone has a right hand. While the wireless systems will be able to move plenty of data, you can still get higher speed and another level of security from having an external port that you can physically hook up to.

    Along with the cited identity feature in the Bible, the video game aspects could require this, as well as other apps.

So What Do We Have Here?

This Mark is a small device, powered by the body, placed somewhere in the head most likely. It is mass manufactured and at most an outpatient procedure, if not simply a glorified injection (albeit a rather painful one without some local anesthesia). An optional module installs into the right hand to make it more convenient to present where it is needed for buying and selling.

It takes a few days after installation to take full effect while the nanowires grow into place into the brain. Then, once it’s up and running, everything above kicks into effect, and You are your better You, who is the sole and singular possession of the Beast.

I’ve written all the above from a purely physical perspective. Of course there would be a spiritual aspect as well.

It seems like drugs make it easy for demons to influence or perhaps even posses people. Could the Mark do the same thing by modifying brain activity in the necessary ways? That’s above my pay grade. As is the question of how the soul interacts with all of this. I don’t know. All I do know is that when we see people with dementia or Alzheimer’s, or those who never attain the age of majority due to profound physical impairment, that there is clearly a very significant physical component to receiving, retaining, and operating on information.

This isn’t just “if you don’t get this you can’t buy and sell”. This is the offer Satan made to Jesus packaged for the masses; “bow down and I will make all this yours”.

It would take a miracle of Jesus to escape this system once you entered it. Could He do it? Absolutely! Would he do it? Again, above my pay grade. But my reading of the Bible says that if you walked into this voluntarily… it would at the very least be the exception, not the rule.

The marketing campaign that could be brought to bear on this boggles the mind, as well as the propaganda to get people to buy in. Who knows what else will already exist that makes this seem like the last incremental step in the future rather than the huge step it seems like to us now? (It’s already a lot less huge than it would have seemed a century ago…) The obvious way anyone complaining can be dismissed as conspiracy theorists. The exigencies of who knows what occurring during what may also be the Tribulation. Could they genetically engineer a brain disease that the Mark is the “cure” for, along with everything else it superficially seems to bring to the table?

And yet… and yet… just as with the COVID vaccine, which seems to be a type of the Mark, I expect it will be voluntary. Every coercion that can be brought to bear will be, except actually forcing you to get it. You must take it voluntarily. This will be the proof that it is ultimately spiritual in nature… a purely physical, purely human regime would not so limit itself.

Making MK-ULTRA A Lot Less Ultra

If you combine what I’m talking about here with some of the discussion in Broad Scale Mind Control, you can see that this sort of setup would also make it trivial to create personality fragments with even more strength than any trauma could possibly create. A baby with this system installed from birth could easily be fragmented into very distinct pieces with support from this hardware. A literal reading of a roughly seven-year period would suggest that there won’t be time for this, fortunately. Even some more figurative readings would suggest that the Mark won’t necessarily be around for long. Those with more expansive interpretations of how long this could all last are invited to pray that God does not let this last long.

Some have escaped from MK-ULTRA. I don’t think anyone could escape from this without an outright miracle.

How Serious Am I?

I don’t know myself.

I see no serious technological objections to any of this, though. The most questionable aspect is the self-guiding nanowires growing to specific regions of the brain, and along with the fact I think that will be possible, it is also possible that there will simply be some sort of permanent transcranial-magnetic stimulation setup, along with some other possibilities for obtaining the same level of control over the activity level of specific brain regions. That would require a lot more energy to run than just running wires in, but then maybe you combine this with a pervasive wireless power grid and it could work.

I do know I don’t mean this as a joke, and that there are a lot of ways this strikes me as a more realistic extrapolation of what the Mark will be than some little chip stuck under your skin that just has a number in it or a tattoo or something. I expect the Mark to be something more powerful than that, even if this is way off. I don’t think merely taking on a little RFID chip in your right hand is going to be enough to be the Mark of the Beast.

I expect something that will leave you unable to be saved.


  1. Remember that the COVID “vaccine” is dangerous precisely because it works, at least in the sense that it is designed to make the body produce a specific protein, and it does that. The rest of the engineering around it is somewhat unreliable as their control of where it is produced is not very good, and the idea of stimulating the immune system by presenting target foreign proteins on your own human cells is just insane… but it does basically work. ↩︎

  2. However, it can harmonize with any existing techniques for inserting memories of various sorts. There are already many well-studied practical techniques for at least bending people’s memories, and they all would work better with this level of contral. ↩︎

  3. Unless the elite sadistically wants them to remember. God help the elite’s favored victims. ↩︎