Appendix 10: Mad Scientists
Secular Chronology Confirmation
How current trends corroborate the Bible’s revealed timeline
If you want to write a “sure-fire” novel or screenplay, one tried-and-true plot device is to blend science fiction with horror: the half-crazed power-mad (or merely naively overconfident) scientist, laboring in his secret laboratory, has a flash of insight, followed with an unlikely creative breakthrough. At this point, of course, the scientist loses control of his creation, and havoc is wreaked on the unsuspecting world. The G-rated version is George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion (i.e., My Fair Lady), and the R-rated version emerges as Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, a loose recycling of the Greek Prometheus legend, or the even scarier germ warfare scenario of Outbreak (1995), the lighter The Mouse that Roared (1959) or perhaps Michael Crichton’s 1969 novel The Andromeda Strain.
The one point of commonality in all these plots (and a thousand others, real and fictional) is the naïve arrogance of the master manipulator—the scientist. He is invariably seen “doing what seems right in his own eyes” (to quote the admonition of Judges 21:25), concentrating on how to do something rather than pondering whether or not it should be done. Is it really such a good idea to open Pandora’s Box, just because you think you know how?
The scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project—which produced the very first atomic weapons in 1945—were generally horrified at what they had wrought, even though it was “a given” that the atomic bomb shortened the duration of World War II by years and doubtlessly saved hundreds of thousands of lives—on both sides of the conflict. I’m guessing it wasn’t so much the awesome destructive power of this new weapon that gave scientists like Oppenheimer such nightmares, but rather the power it would vicariously bestow upon whoever had it. The politicians assumed only the “good guys” would have it, wilfully unaware that such power in itself tends to transform heroes into villains. Also, it was understood that the 16 kiloton yield of the Hiroshima bomb would only be the beginning—that (human nature being what it is) bigger and bigger bombs would be built.
And then, there was the proliferation factor. What if someone with “less pure” motives than America got ahold of nuclear weapons technology? (In retrospect, perhaps the question should have been: what would happen if—or when—America’s moral stance deteriorated?) As it turned out, the spread of nuclear weapons technology happened with blinding speed: the Soviets were testing their first nukes in 1949—only four years after the Americans. Soon nuclear weapons were also in the hands of the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and (allegedly) Israel. Only the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD)—or is it the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit?—has kept the world from blowing itself up during the intervening years.
Biological warfare has been known and used for millennia—even before medieval armies discovered they could win wars by catapulting the corpses of plague victims over the city walls of their enemies. For example, the Assyrians (6th century B.C.) introduced a fungus into its adversaries’ wells that caused hallucinations—rendering their victims powerless to defend themselves. In 1346, the corpses of Mongol warriors who had succumbed to the bubonic plague were launched over the walls of the besieged Crimean city of Kaffa. Even before they knew how their weapon worked, they knew that it did. Over the centuries, biological weapons were used (sometimes on purpose, sometimes by accident) with great “success” against whole native populations. When the Europeans “settled” the Americas, they brought with them such plagues as smallpox, measles, scarlet fever, typhoid, typhus, influenza, pertussis (i.e., whooping cough), tuberculosis, cholera, diphtheria, and chickenpox. The Europeans, of course, had built-up some natural immunities by this time—but the indigenous peoples were utterly vulnerable.
There is one apocryphal story about smallpox-infected blankets being given to Native Americans in 1763 at the Siege of Fort Pitt, during the French and Indian War. It is said that “Jeffery Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst, Britain’s commander in chief in North America suggested using the smallpox disease to wipe out their Native American enemy. It is quoted from his writings to Colonel Henry Bouquet concerning the situation in western Pennsylvania that the spread of disease would be beneficial to achieve their means and Bouquet confirmed his intentions to do so.”—Wikipedia. Whether or not the story is true, it is certainly consistent with the depraved nature of mankind. The very fact that somebody thought about doing it is an indictment upon all humanity, though none of our sins take God by surprise: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it? I, Yahweh, search the heart; I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” (Jeremiah 17:9-10)
Ironically, the Native Americans may have unwittingly returned the favor. Syphilis was unknown (or at least had not been identified as a sexually transmitted disease) in Europe before European exploration of the Americas commenced. But one hypothesis concerning its rapid spread throughout Europe in the late 15th and early 16th centuries (the “Columbian Theory”) holds that “syphilis was a New World disease brought back by [the crews of] Columbus and Martin Alonso Pinzon.”—Wikipedia. Columbus made his first voyage to the Americas in 1492. It is possible that the Naples syphilis outbreak of 1494-95 (among French troops serving King Charles, who were besieging Naples, Italy) was introduced by Spanish mercenaries who had sailed with Columbus. From this starting point, it spread like wildfire all over Europe. There is apparently nothing new about sexual immorality. “This theory is supported by genetic studies of venereal syphilis and related bacteria, which found a disease intermediate between yaws and syphilis in Guyana, South America.”
Biological weaponry (a.k.a. “Germ Warfare”) was used with alacrity until its climax in World War II, when the infamous Japanese “Unit 731,” under the command of Shirō Ishii, killed up to 400,000 Chinese civilians using crude bioweapons. The use, development, manufacture, and stockpiling of such biological weapons of mass destruction was subsequently banned worldwide: the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention was signed by the US, UK, USSR and many other nations in 1972. (That’s not to say that these nations actually respect and abide by the treaty—but at least most of them keep things under wraps these days, publically abhorring the practice of using bioweapons, while hedging their bets in secret laboratories).
The authorities would like us to believe that the dreaded Ebola virus is a naturally occurring bug. It may have begun that way, but the virulent form of the disease now ravaging West Africa (and coming soon to a neighborhood near you?) is a genetically engineered laboratory variant: it was created by American scientists—who even had the temerity to patent their invention: the patent number is CA2741523A1, if you don’t believe me. The patent description states (under the heading “Field of the Invention,” “The invention is related to compositions and methods directed to a novel species of human Ebola (hEbola) virus.” A Natural News article states, “The vastly improved transmission ability of the Ebola strain currently circulating (compared to previous outbreaks in years past) has many people convinced this strain is a ‘weaponized’ variant which either broke through containment protocols at government labs or was intentionally deployed as a population control weapon.” (Italics mine.) My thoughts: neither our government nor any other can be trusted to keep its own laws and treaty obligations concerning biological weaponry.
The story is much the same with chemical WMDs. Their production, use, development, and stockpiling has been universally banned under the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993, but that does nothing to prevent rogue nations and terrorist organizations (or anybody else with good “hide-and-seek” skills) from maintaining these weapons anyway—just in case. They fall into four rough categories. Blister agents (vesicants): Phosgene oxime, Lewisite, Sulfur Mustard Gas (Yperite), and Nitrogen Mustard; nerve agents: Tabun, Sarin, Soman, Cyclosarin, and VX nerve gas; blood agents: cyanogen chloride and hydrogen cyanide; and choking agents: Chloropicrin, Phosgene, Diphosgene, and chlorine. Muslim megalomaniacs like Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad have used such weapons against their own populations.
The scariest weapon of all will be used during the Tribulation. It’s not really clear whether this will show up at the Islamic siege of Jerusalem during the Battle of Magog or at the final battle a few years later—Armageddon (both of which are characterized by the armies of Satan attacking Jerusalem). Nor is it clear whether the protagonists will bring it with them or the plague is something that Yahweh will inflict upon them proactively. After all, God’s “wrath” doesn’t have to take the form of fire and brimstone from heaven (or some similarly hard-to-deny sign). Sometimes it is comprised of nothing more tangible than allowing mankind free rein to be as evil as the dictates of the human heart—a simple divine refusal to impose the Holy Spirit’s restraining influence upon our wickedness and hate.
Anyway, the prophet reports: “This shall be the plague with which Yahweh will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem: their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets, and their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths.” There’s a squishy scene toward the end of the old movie Raiders of the Lost Ark in which the Hollywood special effects wizards showed us just what this might look like. It’s not pretty. “It shall come to pass in that day that a great panic from Yahweh will be among them… Such also shall be the plague on the horse and the mule, on the camel and the donkey, and on all the cattle that will be in those camps. So shall this plague be.” (Zechariah 14:12-15) My advice is: if you don’t want to end up as a puddle of bloody goo in the dirt, don’t attack Jerusalem.
Say what you will about nukes, bioweapons, and chemical WMDs, though—at least they’re honest. That is, the people who have used such things against their fellow man in the past meant to do them harm, and they didn’t keep their intentions (or hatreds) a secret. Whether used defensively or offensively, there is always a clear message attached to their use: we don’t like you very much, and we’re doing this to make you either stop doing what you’re doing or go away.
But these Last Days are witness to a whole new phenomenon: “weapons of mass destruction” that masquerade as blessings. They are presented as “good things” by their creators and purveyors, though they end up doing far more harm than good—sometimes accidentally, and sometimes (I hate to say) on purpose. At various places in this study, we’ve already encountered some of these:
Genetically modified organisms (GMO foods) were marketed as the answer to pests, droughts, and weeds, giving us (according to the brochure) big, beautiful veggies, fruits, and grains that taste as good as they look, grow quickly, and have great shelf-life, too. What they didn’t tell us is that GMO plants can be almost as poisonous to us as they are to the insects they were designed to kill. They cause chronic illness, irritability, irrationality, and impotence. And their “weed-fighting properties” are actually just enhanced tolerance to the weed killers (like Round-Up) in which agribusinesses can (and do) now soak their crops with reckless abandon—poisoning us in the process. Our first clue should have been that the same companies that make the weed killers also develop the GMOs.
Another example we’ve studied: vaccines seemed at first like a great strategy for warding off common childhood diseases like measles and chickenpox, as well as the occasional global scourge like smallpox or polio. But the practice of vaccination proved so profitable to the drug companies, it is now required (in many places) that our children are vaccinated for every conceivable ailment, regardless of whether the vaccines are demonstrably efficacious—or even safe. In some cases the vaccines have even been directly linked to significant numbers of patient deaths, and yet the vaccination practice is still required in many states. (I’m referring specifically to Gardasil and Cervarix, used to prevent human papillomavirus, or HPV, though this common virus almost always clears itself without consequence in a year or two). Vaccine overuse has also been statistically linked to an abrupt rise in such “unrelated” ailments as autism and asthma.
One doesn’t have to look far to find other examples of “best laid plans” that seemed (to some) to be good ideas on paper but carry within them the seeds of their own (and our own) destruction. (1) Fast food—tasty, convenient, and affordable, but the worst source of nutrition imaginable. (2) An educational system that rewards conformity over achievement. (3) Breakfast cereals made with so much sugar, children who are enticed to eat them experience a sudden energy “rush” followed by an inevitable midmorning “crash.” (Eye opener: go to the supermarket and try to find a breakfast cereal in which sugar is not the second most prevalent ingredient after grain. They’re very rare.) (4) The militarization of local police forces—using left-over war materiel and tactics to match. Stenciling “Rescue” on the side of a tank doesn’t fool anybody. (5) Practically unlimited welfare and unemployment benefits, including increased benefits as a reward for bearing more illegitimate children. (6) Churches abandoning the Word of God in favor of strategies designed to entertain, suppress the conscience, make light of sin, find compromise with the world, and (naturally) fill the offering plates with mountains of cash. And (7) entertainment media that (ironically enough) foster sedentary inactivity while promoting mindless, amoral (or immoral), or violent content, destroying empathy and insulating acts of brutality from their emotional consequences.
These examples (and the list could be extended practically forever) were slanted toward America, of course. If you live in Nigeria or Belgium or Japan, you may have entirely different issues. The common denominator is that we humans have an amazing capacity for self-deception. “Progress” and “advancements” are presented to us as being good, helpful, benign, and innocent, when all too often they’re anything but.
Our governments are often the worst offenders (or at the very least serve as unindicted co-conspirators). I don’t know who said it first, but it often seems to ring true: the nine scariest words in the English language are, “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” Of course, it’s not only the government who leads us astray with promises of a better life. But as government grasps more and more power, the businesses, financial institutions, and special interest groups that share a symbiotic (dare I say, incestuous) relationship with the politicians are given unfettered control over the things that shape our culture, whether we know it or not. Meanwhile, those of us who would prefer to think for ourselves—whether in matters of faith, diet, morals, culture, health care, finance, education, or politics—are subtly (or not) pressured to conform with “the new normal.”
Again, a few examples will serve to inform us how far we’ve fallen during the past few generations. Monsanto and other agribusiness interests are allowed free rein—and the FDA’s blessing—to pollute the nation’s food supply in order to enhance their profit margin. Our government has gone so far as to refuse to require a simple packaging notice informing the buyer of the presence of potentially dangerous GMOs in the food he’s buying (though such “risk factors” as fat, salt, and cholesterol levels must be listed). Meanwhile, if you wish to grow and sell organic (i.e., pesticide and herbicide-free) vegetables, grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, or raw milk (all of which, properly handled, are demonstrably more healthful than the stuff available at your average supermarket), the government literally treats you like a criminal, or at least a parolee—with suspicion and malice and regulatory hurdles.
Or consider this: when I was growing up, kids were generally allowed to be kids. We daydreamed, played baseball in the streets, rode our bikes without helmets, struggled with algebra, and spent six or eight years trying to figure out the unfathomable mysteries of the opposite sex. When we hit puberty, we all went a little crazy—whether for two days or two years—alternating between morose and sullen door-slamming defiance and episodes of giddy, manic, inexplicable enthusiasm. Our parents (yes, there were two of them) and our teachers had their hands full—but somehow they knew when to instruct, when to encourage, when to counsel, when to rein us in, and when to discipline.
But nowadays things are very different (unless a child is home-schooled—something frowned upon by the state). Daydreaming on a beautiful spring morning is “obviously” a sign of ADHD, requiring psychiatric care and lots of meds. All risk is forbidden. Sports activities require enough padding to make kids look like the Michelin Man. Academic excellence is rendered pointless, for if students can merely pass a certain lowest-common-denominator battery of tests (so the school board bean counters can count you as “present” for Federal subsidy purposes) then all is well. The mechanics of sex (including the use of condoms, the dangers of STDs, and assurances that perversions like homosexuality and abortion are completely normal) are taught to wide-eyed grade-schoolers—but moral instruction is forbidden, for that would “smack of religion” and discriminate against the powerful pervert lobby. The inevitable adolescent hormonal mood swings are now deemed a psychiatric disorder, and are routinely “treated” with expensive mind-altering drugs designed to make the student a lifelong customer of some big pharmaceutical company. Parents are missing in action; teachers are often little more than unionized zookeepers; and implementing badly needed discipline is illegal. Excellence, effort, and initiative are marginalized, while conformity and mediocrity are rewarded. Everybody gets a trophy. No child is left behind (which is a politically correct way of ensuring that all of them are).
The point of all that (and examples could be cited all day long) is that in recent years, our lives and liberties have (to one extent or another) have been usurped by elite “experts” who purport to “know what’s best for us.” We ordinary citizens are no longer considered competent or responsible to look after our own affairs without “adult supervision” from the benign tyrants who fancy themselves our rulers.
I’m not merely venting my frustrations, however. It is my purpose here to point out that we are no longer only being attacked by obvious “enemies” (like last century’s Nazis, Communists, or Muslim warlords) but by people who claim to be our “friends.” And I’m not talking about situations like the Roman Catholic Church’s overt persecution of such breakaway groups as the Waldenses, Anabaptists, or Albigensians—in which it was understood that Rome’s motivation (mistaken or not) was to return these “heretics” to the pure faith for their own good—“even if it means we have to kill you.” (In other words, the “Church” was inflicting harm in order to achieve what they saw as ultimate good. The ends justify the means, right?) No, what I’m talking about here is deception: being offered something that is purported to be good—beneficial, advantageous, merciful, pleasurable, or at the very least harmless—but is actually a trap meant to ensnare and destroy us.
The prototypical example, of course, is what transpired in the Garden. The serpent told Eve, “God knows that in the day you eat of [the fruit God has forbidden] your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5) To Eve (rhymes with naïve), that sounded like a good thing: God is good, so it would be a good thing to be like Him, Right? And any knowledge is good knowledge, it seems to me. I guess the pretty snake has a point. It didn’t take long for Eve to discover the awful truth, but by then, it was too late: “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (v.13)
Satan hadn’t threatened Eve: “Eat the fruit or I’ll kill you.” He hadn’t bribed her: “Worship me and I’ll give you whatever you want.” All he did is plant a tiny seed of doubt in her mind: “Has God really said that? Perhaps you misunderstood. What’s He trying to keep from you, anyway? The fruit looks delicious. If He really loved you so much, He’d give you every good thing, wouldn’t He?” Unfortunately, Eve (who didn’t yet know what evil looked like) was not naturally suspicious of the serpent’s intentions.
Alas, we today have no such excuse. We’ve seen enough evil in the world to make us paranoid and suspicious about everything we hear. Adam and Eve had received but one simple instruction from Yahweh: “Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat.” (Genesis 2:17) Although the body of divine revelation available to us seems far more complicated, our instructions still boil down to just a few simple concepts: love God, demonstrate that love by trusting Him, and love your fellow man as much, and in the same way, as you do yourself. Everything God ever told us to do can be traced back to these basic premises.
Solomon pointed out that when people try to deceive us, it’s actually a form of hatred—the antithesis of the love God ordained for our lives. “He who hates disguises it with his lips, and lays up deceit within himself. When he speaks kindly, do not believe him, for there are seven abominations in his heart. Though his hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness will be revealed before the assembly.” (Proverbs 26:24-26) Implied here is an admonition to weigh the words, deeds, and motives of those who “speak kindly” to us—who declare, “This is for your own good.” If not prompted by love (as defined in scripture—patient, without envy or ulterior motives, kind, humble, gracious, generous, innocent, and holy) we are strongly advised not to believe a word of it.
Those of us who are Christ’s disciples should heed this warning: “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues.” (Matthew 10:16-17) The “synagogue” of course—religious persecution, in the broader sense—is only the beginning. The same is true of courts of law (and/or public opinion), in which godless men will “scourge” believers if they can, however they can. That is why we are admonished to be as “wise as serpents,” that is, wary of the deception that confronts us at every turn. Yes, we are to be as “harmless as doves” in that we are not to return evil for evil, but that doesn’t mean we have to roll over and play dead, or check our brains at the door, either. Half of our defense strategy is knowing the attacks are coming. The world will try to deceive us. “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (II Timothy 3:12-13)
Perhaps the most difficult deceit to guard against originates in our own hearts: “Let him not trust in futile things, deceiving himself, for futility will be his reward.” (Job 15:31) “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (I John 1:8) All too often, we want to believe the lies the world is pushing—the foremost of which is, “There is no god, so there’s no such thing as sin.” Living the life of a believer is sort of like trying to row a boat upstream, against the current: you can’t let your guard down for a moment or you’ll lose ground. It would be so much easier to go with the flow, agree with the system, and help yourself to the low-hanging fruit as you drift lazily downstream. Tell your conscience and your logical mind to sit down and shut up—that six billion people can’t be wrong. Nod off to sleep and let the lies cover you like a warm blanket.
But then we awaken with a start, remembering the profile of the church of Philadelphia—the church of the rapture. We have already been commended for remaining vigilant. So if we do not keep His word, if we do not defend His name, if we do not keep his command to persevere, then we are, by definition, not part of the called-out assembly of Philadelphia. Yahshua says, “I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it, for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name… Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” (Revelation 3:8, 10) Keeping us from the worldwide “hour of trial” is an unmistakable description of the rapture.
And what is the nature of that “test”? It is the widespread deception with which Satan will blind the world: “The coming of the lawless one [popularly known as the Antichrist] is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” This deception will not be universal, however, for multitudes—categorized as the repentant souls of the church of Laodicea (see Revelation 3:14-22)—will belatedly turn to the truth instead. But as for the majority of mankind, “And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (II Thessalonians 2:9-12) Did the delusion originate with God? No. Follow the train of thought here. First, people refused to “receive the love of the truth.” It was their own choice that made unrighteous deception so attractive to them. Only then, after they had proactively rejected God’s saving grace, did He “send them strong delusion,” locking the door (so to speak) that they had already slammed in His face.
And what is the nature of this delusion? By the middle of the Tribulation (spring, 2030, if my hypothesis is correct) the true satanic nature of the lawless one (the Antichrist) will have been made manifest, and gleefully received by the vast unrepentant majority. (My guess is that the thermonuclear World War III—itself an escalation of the Battle of Magog—will be mistaken for and perceived as “Armageddon” by the world’s ill-informed masses, making the Antichrist seem the “logical” candidate for Messianic hope and glory in a post-apocalyptic world.)
But as I said, until that time, the path of self-deception for many will lie in believing that there is no god (in the classic sense—an omnipotent heavenly being external to our mortal existence). This has been the unrelenting mantra of the state religion of post-Christian Russia, Europe, and America for decades now. It’s the religion of atheistic secular humanism, in which Man is “worshiped” as the savior of the world, never mind the fact that he is the cause of most of its woes. The irony is so thick you could cut it with a guillotine.
The distinction is made, of course, between the “problem people,” those unwashed masses who consume, pollute, and despoil the world, and the enlightened cognoscenti, the elite, educated, entitled few who are blessed with the ability—nay, the destiny—to guide the planet into a bright new tomorrow. Over the past thousand pages, we have become quite familiar with these privileged people. They fall into three broad groups: political-military, financial-industrial-commercial, and religious-academic. The Bible uses a code-word for the whole sick scheme: Babylon. And as we have seen, the Antichrist is destined to ride their coattails to world prominence, then dominance—at which time he will betray them, slay them, and take over their whole operation as a going concern, like one Mafia don swallowing another’s operation. Nothing personal; it’s just business.
But today, before that happens—between now and the commencement of the Antichrist’s satanic reign—Babylon (which—not to confuse things—is also satanic to the core) is in charge. The politicians, pundits, and professors, are the ruling class at the moment. But they, Babylon’s elite, (being led by Satan) don’t actually produce anything; they merely redistribute the resources they’ve usurped. They don’t know how anything actually works (with the possible exception of the proverbial carrot and stick). But practical knowledge is required if you intend to rule the world. Somebody has to craft the implements of deception the ruling elite of Babylon use to keep the sheeple in line. What’s needed, then, is a “priestly class” to keep the world dazzled and distracted. And that’s where the “mad scientists” enter the picture.
They’re not all “mad,” of course. But they are uniformly unwilling to examine the moral ramifications of what their elite overlords demand of them: support for their world view—a world in which God is neither honored nor welcomed. The engineers, technicians, computer experts, biologists, chemists, physicists, mathematicians, geologists, geneticists, and scientists of other disciplines are paid well enough to make them very reticent to rock their respective financial boats. Rare indeed is the scientist who values truth over funding.
That’s why the myth of global warming, the deadly practice of introducing genetically modified organisms into our food supply, the recklessly destructive techniques practiced by agribusiness companies, and the pharmaceutical based symptom-suppression approach to modern medicine have become so firmly entrenched in contemporary society. It’s why so few scientists in academia dare to publicly question the highly dubious theory of undirected evolution—the insupportable notion that life arose from non-life without a designer, and then became more complex and more perfect until it reached the state of development we see before us today—a state in which extinction is far outpacing speciation, and in which our own genome is deteriorating at an alarming pace. Today’s scientist and technologist are almost always willing to ignore conscience and evidence alike (or are at least willing to keep their opinions to themselves) as long the funding rolls in. Is that madness? You tell me.
Much of what we’re about to see reminds me (in principle) of how the days of Noah were described: “Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose….” It is pointless to try to dogmatically establish a solution to this particular riddle. We aren’t given enough information for that. But it is reasonably clear that some sort of systemic genetic compromise was in play.
“And Yahweh said, ‘My Spirit shall not strive [Hebrew diyn: to govern, judge, or plead with] with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.’” This seems to be an indication of how long Noah was given to prepare for the coming cataclysm—120 more years (a number that could turn out to be as prophetic as it is historical). “There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown….” Again, we are given hints of genetic contamination. A “giant” (Hebrew: nephilim—from the verb naphal: to fall) could be a “feller” (i.e., one who fells or cuts down)—hence, a bully or tyrant. Beyond that, the word could connote “fallen ones,” i.e., fallen angels—which seems plausible, since they are described as the “sons of God.”
At any rate, their presence precipitated wickedness. “Then Yahweh saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And Yahweh was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So Yahweh said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them….’ Yahweh declared that it made no sense to try to govern, reason with, or plead with [diyn] the offspring of the nephilim. They could not be restrained, redeemed, or reasoned with. The only workable solution—the only way to save Adam’s race—was to wipe the nephilim off the face of the earth.
That’s why the next sentence is so important: “But Noah found grace in the eyes of Yahweh.” (Genesis 6:1-8) Not everyone was polluted; not everyone had turned away from Yahweh and toward wickedness. Noah, his three sons, and their wives, still held the line against the world’s corruption. It’s not that they were sinless, for none of us are. But they did “find grace” in Yahweh—that is, they relied upon His goodness and mercy, as Noah’s ancestors Adam, Seth, and Enoch had. That grace is still available to us.
Alas, the corrupt conditions preceding the flood are, in some way, expected to resurface prior to the rapture of the church. And in the face of such universal corruption, Yahweh’s only logical solution, as before, will be to separate the godly from the godless. And think beyond the obvious example—the rise of fundamentalist Islamic jihadists (who, like the nephilim before them, cannot be stopped short of genocide). The problem is much more subtle, and much more pervasive. The whole human race, it seems, has begun to lose its humanity.
When will this “separation” take place? Yahshua informed us, “But of that day and hour no one knows [literally: perceives], not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.” (Matthew 24:36-42) It will seem like business as usual: no one will see the rapture coming, despite God’s new “120 years”—the dire warnings that have been witnessed by the past few generations. This time, there are no nephilim to deal with—not as a literal biological reality at least (not yet, anyway). Today, we’ve got all new corrupting influences to deal with—things that, as in Noah’s generation, most folks take in stride, calling it all “normal,” or even “progress.” Meanwhile, those of us who will be “taken” when the others are “left” are rightly alarmed—at least, the few of us who have noticed these developments.
Today’s neo-nephilim are the work of the “mad scientists” in our midst—the high priests of Babylon who are transforming our world in ways we never could have envisioned even a generation ago. Let us, then, examine some of these disturbing trends in technology that are emerging in these Last Days—things that, even if God’s prophets had seen them, they would not have had the vocabulary to describe.
Artificial Intelligence: the Computer as God
It has become standard fare in Hollywood science fiction lately: the scientists create an artificial-intelligence (AI) computer so powerful, it gains more and more knowledge until it becomes “self-aware.” At this point it seizes control of its own functions from its woefully outmatched human creators, and proceeds to enslave or attack the human race in a desperate attempt at Darwinian self-preservation. It’s a pretty good plot device, you must admit: a powerful though impersonal villain, limitless opportunities for heroism on the part of the underdog (that would be us), and just enough plausibility to keep you on the edge of your seat.
The problem is, what the sci-fi writers dream up today can tend to become reality tomorrow. Remember comic book detective Dick Tracy’s “two-way wrist radio?” No, of course you don’t: you’re far too young. Suffice it to say that what was an outlandishly futuristic technical wonder back in 1952 is, for all practical purposes, how the whole world communicates today, without giving it a second thought. So should we worry about Skynet (from the Terminator movies) or the Matrix becoming reality? Are our inventions out to murder us in our sleep? Probably not—at least, not tonight. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be aware of the inexorable “progress” that’s being made toward that goal, right under our noses.
Alan Winfield (professor of electronic engineering at UWE, Bristol) discusses the issue in an article published in The Observer (August 9, 2014) reassuringly entitled, “Artificial Intelligence Will Not Turn into a Frankenstein’s Monster.” He writes, “The singularity—or, to give it its proper title, the technological singularity—is an idea that has taken on a life of its own; more of a life, I suspect, than what it predicts ever will. It’s a Thing for techno-utopians: wealthy middle-aged men who regard the singularity as their best chance of immortality. They are Singularitarians, some seemingly prepared to go to extremes to stay alive for long enough to benefit from a benevolent super-artificial intelligence—a man-made god that grants transcendence.
“And it’s a thing for the doomsayers, the techno-dystopians, apocalypsarians who are equally convinced that a super-intelligent AI will have no interest in curing cancer or old age, or ending poverty, but will—malevolently or maybe just accidentally—bring about the end of human civilization as we know it. History and Hollywood are on their side. From the Golem to Frankenstein’s monster, Skynet and the Matrix, we are fascinated by the old story: man plays god and then things go horribly wrong.
“The singularity is basically the idea that as soon as AI exceeds human intelligence, everything changes. There are two central planks to the hypothesis: one is that as soon as we succeed in building AI as smart as humans it rapidly reinvents itself to be even smarter, starting a chain reaction of smarter-AI inventing even-smarter-AI until even the smartest humans cannot possibly comprehend how it works. The other is that the future of humanity becomes in some sense out of control, from the moment of the singularity onwards.
“So should we be worried or optimistic about the technological singularity? I think we should be a little worried—cautious and prepared may be a better way of putting it—and at the same time a little optimistic…. But I don’t believe we need to be obsessively worried by a hypothesized existential risk to humanity. Why? Because, for the risk to become real, a sequence of things all need to happen, a sequence of big ifs. If we succeed in building human equivalent AI and if that AI acquires a full understanding of how it works, and if it then succeeds in improving itself to produce super-intelligent AI, and if that super-AI, accidentally or maliciously, starts to consume resources, and if we fail to pull the plug, then, yes, we may well have a problem. The risk, while not impossible, is improbable….”
I might point out that the AI “techno-dystopians” and “singularitarians” alike are laboring under a false premise—that man’s intelligence is the Rubicon to be crossed, as if we were so smart we invented ourselves, though our species was the best we could come up with. But if mankind (not to mention all of the lesser creatures we haven’t even been clever enough to find yet) was created by some sort of Intelligent Designer (like Yahweh, for instance, who told us He did), then artificially exceeding the intelligence of man would be like playing chess and knocking off a pawn, or at best, a knight. You haven’t come anywhere close to “winning the game” by taking the King.
Winfield points out that Artificial Intelligence systems today tend to be geared for one thing (at a time), like financial transactions, or operating machines, or playing chess. In order to become “dangerous,” an AI system would have to be a “generalist,” like the human it would be designed to replace. “It would need to understand meaning and context, be able to synthesize new knowledge, have intentionality and—in all likelihood—be self-aware, so it understands what it means to have agency in the world. There is a huge gulf between present day narrow-AI systems and the kind of artificial general intelligence I have outlined….” There is also the little matter of motivation, of the cognizance of free will: man has it, but could even a really smart machine figure out what it wanted to do (other than comply with its original programming)? Being “smart” and capable is not exactly the same thing as being sentient.
“Philosopher Nick Bostrom explained that there are two big problems, which he calls competency and control. The first is how to make super-intelligent AI, the second is how to control it (i.e., to mitigate the risks). He says hardly anyone is working on the control problem, whereas loads of people are going hell for leather on the first…. Science and technology research should be undertaken within a framework of responsible innovation. We should be thinking about subjecting robotics and AI research to ethical approval, in the same way we do for human subject research. Recently I’ve started work towards making ethical robots. This is not just to mitigate future risks, but because the kind of not-very-intelligent robots we make in the very near future will need to be ethical as well as safe. We should be worrying about present-day AI rather than future super-intelligent AI.”
Ah, that pregnant concept: “should.” While I would agree with the need for “ethics” in technological innovation, we need to realize that this requires a code, a standard by which right and wrong are measured. Like it or not, the concept of “should” implies—it necessitates—a supreme being who by virtue of His nature and ability has the prerogative of establishing morals and standards—of defining right and wrong. If the code by which the scientist is operating is simply his own opinion—that which seems appropriate or convenient or gratifying to him—then (if he’s clever enough) we end up with Frankenstein’s monster again, complete with pitchforks and torches in the hands of terrified townsfolk. But we’re even worse off if the code is established by the scientist’s employers—whether industrialists who desire to grow ever richer, academic peers who can’t see past their next grant application, or politicians who wish only to grasp more and more power.
No, the only way the concept of “should” can ever be beneficial to mankind is if the code it implies is the one established by mankind’s Maker—Yahweh. Simply put, that code is Love. Ethics in technology should, then, affirm humanity, not enslave it. It should make a man’s life (or a woman’s, of course) more productive—not put him out of work. It should tend to expedite personal freedom and broaden opportunity—not constrain choices. It should foster peace, not facilitate war. It should encourage independent thought and expression, not enforce conformity. It should have neither a profit motive nor feed someone’s lust for power (though it could easily result in increased wealth and influence, as a byproduct of doing good). It should inspire the exercise of personal responsibility, not remove human accountability from the equation.
How does that square with what’s on our near horizon? HPlusMagazine.com (the Humanity+ website, May 13, 2014) published an article by Maciamo Hay (geneticist, futurist, philosopher, historian, linguist, and travel writer) entitled, “The new technologies that will change human civilization as we know it.”
Hay asks, “Where are technologies heading in the next 30 years? How will they affect our lifestyle and human society? Most adults alive today grew up without the Internet or mobile phones, let alone smartphones and tablets with voice commands and apps for everything. These new technologies have altered our lifestyle in a way few of us could have imagined a few decades ago. But have we reached the end of the line? What else could turn up that could make our lives so much more different? Faster computers? More gadgets? It is in fact so much more than that. Technologies have embarked on an exponential growth curve, and we are just getting started. In 10 years we will look back on our life today and wonder how we could have lived with such primitive technology. The gap will be bigger than between today and the 1980s. Get ready because you are in for a rough ride.
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Supercomputers, and Robotics.
“Ray Kurzweil, Google’s director of engineering, predicts that by 2029 computers will exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to that of a human, and that by 2045 computers will be a billion times more powerful than all of the human brains on Earth. Once computers can fully simulate a human brain and surpass it, it will cause an ‘intelligence explosion’ that will radically change civilization. The rate of innovation will progress exponentially, so much that it will become impossible to foresee the future course of human history. This point in time is called the singularity. Experts believe that it will happen in the middle of the 21st century, perhaps as early as 2030, but the median value of predictions is 2040.” Interesting time frame, considering our broader area of study: the fourth decade of the twenty-first century—again. And again, we are reminded of Daniel’s prophecy that “knowledge will increase.” Don’t you just love Biblical understatement?
“Let’s start with cognitive computing. IBM’s Watson computer is already capable of reading a million books a second and answering questions posed in natural language. In 2011 Watson easily defeated former champions Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings at the TV game show Jeopardy!, reputedly one of the most difficult quiz competitions in the world. Watson’s abilities are not merely limited to finding the relevant facts and answers. It can also make jokes and clever puns. Most remarkably, Watson can provide better medical diagnostics than any human medical doctor, give financial advice, as well as generate or evaluate all kinds of scientific hypotheses based on a huge amount of data.” I might inject here that computers—even really fast ones—can only process the data they’re given. It will always be a case of “garbage in—garbage out.” If an AI computer is given only lies to consider, it will “answer questions” based on those lies. In other words, it may be able to sort out facts, but it will never recognize truth.
“Computer power increases on average 100 fold every 10 years, which means 10,000 fold after 20 years, and one million fold after 30 years. Imagine what computers will be able to do by then….” Actually, we don’t have to “imagine.” John told us two thousand years ago about the Antichrist’s “high priest,” called “the beast coming up out of the earth,” a.k.a., the false prophet. What will he do with all that computer power? “He deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast [from the sea, i.e., the Antichrist], telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived [i.e., the Antichrist]. He was granted power to give breath [think: artificial intelligence] to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.” And how does he intend to keep the people in line? He will control the flow of data in order to restrict commerce. Note that the AI “image” of the Beast is not self-aware or self-directing: although “alive” on some level, it is still being controlled and motivated by the false prophet. “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, 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. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.” (Revelation 13:14-18)
That’s not to say computer power is evil in and of itself. As I’ve said before, technology is spiritually neutral. But consider the ramifications of Mr. Hay’s next thought: “The Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE aims at developing a smartphone-like device that can test vitals like cholesterol, blood pressure, heart rate or allergies, analyze your DNA for genetic risks, diagnose medical conditions, and predict potential diseases or the likelihood of a stroke. All this without seeing a doctor. The device could be used by you or your relatives anywhere, anytime. All this is possible thanks to highly sensitive electronic sensors and powerful AI.” The goal here is either self-diagnosis or remote diagnosis by others. It may seem like a good thing (unless you happen to be a doctor.) I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see new protocols put in place that would allow prescription medications to be dispensed, based solely on what the AI “diagnosis” is: another boost for big Pharma. But I would remind you of something I mentioned in a previous chapter: man’s unceasing quest for a “magic pill” to fix everything that ails us, in lieu of ordering our lives according to Yahweh’s Instructions, is a strategy doomed to disaster in the long run. And then there’s the “Big Brother” factor: government could, by monitoring your health indicators, decide that you were a bigger liability to the state than a potential asset—and therefore cut off all access to medical care in hopes that you’d quickly “die, and so decrease the surplus population” (as Dickens’ Ebenezer Scrooge put it).
Hay continues. “Google is working on an AI that will be able to read and understand any document, and learn the content of all books in the world. It will be able to answer any question asked by any user. This omniscient AI will eventually become people’s first source of knowledge, replacing schools, books and even human interactions.” It sounds promising, but for one thing: they are presuming that there is no such thing as absolute truth—that facts are all that exist. Facts are valuable, but without basis in truth, they can be misused (not to mention the obvious issue of “inaccuracy,” purposeful or otherwise—from agenda-driven misinformation to blatantly revisionist history). Worse, their significance can be completely missed. The thing I love about the Internet is that you can find anything here—fact or fiction, true or false, straight or skewed, good or evil. It is up to us to decide for ourselves what is true and what is not—and then to connect the dots. All a machine can do is regurgitate somebody else’s opinion.
But the vision of AI is this: “Just wonder about anything and the computer will provide you with the answer and explain it to you in a way you can easily understand, based on your current knowledge.” Really? Have you ever noticed that as our machines get smarter, our own minds tend to atrophy? Is anyone today as erudite as Plato, Job, Socrates, or Solomon were? My father (a lifelong accountant) could add up a column of numbers as long as your arm—in his head. He died in 1994, never having owned a computer. I, meanwhile, can’t seem to remember my own phone number. My point is, the mind is like anything else: use it, or lose it. And then there’s the fact that once you’ve seen something, you can’t un-see it. If mental pictures or ideas popped into our minds just because we were curious, the results could be disastrous: half the population would instantly be transformed into either zombies or perverts. Somebody didn’t think this through.
“Once AI reaches the same level of intelligence as a human brain, or exceeds it, intelligent robots will be able to do a majority of human jobs. Robots already manufacture most products. Soon they will also build roads and houses, replace human staff in supermarkets and shops, serve and perhaps even cook food in restaurants, take care of the sick and the elderly. The best doctors, even surgeons, will be robots.” Once again, Hollywood has anticipated this dystopian future with the movie “I, Robot,” based on a series of short stories by Isaac Asimov. Gee, I wonder if they’ll have the insight to recognize and communicate Biblical truths or write books like this one. Or is the fact that spiritual truth is spiritually discerned going to slow them down a bit? Again, this prospect, the fond dream of well-meaning scientists, is presented as a boon to mankind, but it could just as easily enslave us—or at the very least, make us obsolete in our own world. Do they not understand that as people made in the image of Yahweh, we need to be creative and productive?
“It might still be a decade or two before human-like androids start walking the streets among us and working for us. But driverless cars, pioneered by Google and Tesla, could be introduced as early as 2016, and could become the dominant form of vehicles in developed countries by 2025.” Cadillac, I understand, has plans to market a driverless car in 2017. I’ve driven sports cars much of my life, because I really enjoy driving. So all I can say is, where’s the fun in that? But Hay insists, “The advantages of autonomous cars are so overwhelming (less stress and exhaustion, fewer accidents, smoother traffic) that very few people will want to keep traditional cars.” If you say so. “That is why the transition could happen as fast as, if not faster than the shift from analog phones to smartphones. Robo-Taxis are coming soon and could in time replace human taxi drivers. All cars and trains will eventually be entirely driven by computers.
“AI will translate documents, answer customer support questions, complete administrative tasks, and teach kids and adults alike. It is estimated that 40 to 50% of service jobs will be done by AI in 2025. Creative jobs aren’t immune either, as computers will soon surpass humans in creativity too. There could still be human artists, but artistic value will drop to zero when any design or art can be produced on demand and on measure by AI in a few seconds.” Again, where’s the fun in that? “Once computer graphics and AI simulation of human behaviors become so realistic that we can’t tell if a person in a video is real or not, Hollywood won’t need to use real actors anymore, but will be able to create movie stars that don’t exist—and the crazy thing is, no one will notice the difference!”
Yes, “crazy” is exactly the word I’d use. Do they not realize that “work” is where the satisfaction and fulfillment are? Sure, it would be good to be able to circumvent some of the drudgery our jobs often entail. But problem solving, creating beauty out of nothing, communicating with and relating to our fellow creatures (both people and animals) and figuring out the mysteries of life, love, and faith—these are the things that define us as having been made “in the image and likeness of God.” And you want to replace all that with a machine? Thanks, but no thanks.
2. 3-Dimensional Printing
“3D printers are the biggest upheaval in manufacturing since the industrial revolution. Not only can we print objects in three dimensions, they can now be printed in practically any material, not just plastics, but also metals, concrete, fabrics, and even food. Better still, they can be printed in multiple materials at once. High-quality 3D printers can copy electronic chips in the tiniest detail and have a functional chip. High-tech vehicles like the Koenigsegg’s One:1 (the world’s fastest car) or EDAG’s Genesis are already being made by 3D Printing.” Does anybody but me see the irony of using 3-D printing technology to build the world’s fastest car, while AI is simultaneously trying to eliminate the need for a driver? “Even houses will be 3D-printed, for a fraction of the costs of traditional construction.
“In a near future we won’t need to go shopping to buy new products. We will just select them online, perhaps tweak a bit their design, size or color to our tastes and needs, then we will just 3D print them at home. More jobs going down the drain? Not really. Retail jobs were already going to be taken by intelligent robots anyway. The good news is that it will considerably reduce our carbon footprint by cutting unnecessary transport from distant factories in China or other parts of the world. Everything will be ‘home-made,’ literally. Since any material can be re-used, or ‘recycled’ in a 3D printer, it will also dramatically reduce waste.
“3D printing is also good news for medicine. Doctors can now make customized prosthetics, joint replacements, dental work and hearing aids.” Except, of course, for the fact that AI is at the same time doing everything it can to make doctors (and their patients) obsolete.
“Other advances in robotics, AI, 3-D printing and nanotechnologies converge in the field of bioengineering. Human cyborgs aren’t science-fiction anymore. It’s already happening. There are artificial hands with real feeling controlled directly by the brain, thanks to a nerve interface converting electric impulses in the nervous system into electronic signals for the robotic prosthesis. From that point on, any improvement is possible, like a drummer who got an extra bionic arm.
“Microchips implanted into the brain can restore vision in blind people and hearing in deaf people. Soon such chips will allow bionic humans to see and hear better than humans in their natural state. Equipped with one of these, humans will be able to see ultraviolets and infrareds, hear ultrasounds like dogs, echolocate like bats, and perhaps even eventually understand animal languages, including the whale vocalization. The potential for improvements is unlimited.
“We are on the verge of developing telepathic abilities. Placing microchips on the brains of two individuals, then connecting them with one another through the internet, one person can hear what the other hears directly in their brains. Studies with rats went further. Microchips implanted in their motor cortices effectively caused one rat to remotely control the movements of the other rat in a separate room. Neural prostheses have been used to repair a damaged hippocampus inside a monkey’s brain, and could be used in a near future to repair various types of brain damages in human beings too.
“Robotic exoskeletons like Iron Man [another fictional Hollywood character] will augment our physical capacities tremendously. The advantage of these exoskeletons is that they can be easily removed and don’t require permanent changes to our body. Researchers at Stanford University are currently working on Stickybot, a gecko robot capable of climbing smooth surfaces, such as glass, acrylic and whiteboard using directional adhesive. It’s only a matter of time (years, not decades) before a gecko suit enables humans to climb buildings like Spiderman. What’s next?”
One might ask, how could anybody be opposed to such wonderful advancements? Where is the ethical dilemma here? I’ll admit: it’s hard to see, and harder still to urge caution against such things without sounding negative and reactionary. But look at the larger picture; examine what the motivation is behind the more esoteric applications of bioengineering. I’m all for improved prostheses for accident (or war) victims, of course, or restoring hearing or vision in people who have lost these capacities. But at some point, we cross the line between the restoration of lost function and the acquisition of functions that our Creator chose not to grant to us. There is a certain amount of hubris involved in trying to “improve” God’s creation—as if He could have done better if He’d only tried a little harder.
Of course, the people pushing the “next steps” of bioengineering would not normally agree that man was created by God at all; they would insist, rather, that we are the product of eons of evolution—undirected and unfocused. Their argument would be, “If blind chance got us this far, think how much greater capabilities we could give our species if we applied a little intelligent design.” It’s pretty ironic, if you think about it.
The other thing about these esoteric bioengineering applications is that they presume that our mortal lives are all there is to it—that once we’re dead, there is no life beyond this one. But Yahweh’s scriptures describe in some detail a life beyond the mortality we know—spiritual bodies that are not even bound by the laws of physics and chemistry. It’s the ultimate “upgrade,” and it makes replacing worn out body parts as we age look positively simplistic. The picture God paints is that these mortal bodies we inhabit are not really meant to be the vehicles for life at all in any extended (and certainly not eternal) sense. They’re merely the temporary—and disposable—“shells” in which our choices concerning our eternal destinies are to be made. God’s got something infinitely better prepared for us, if only we’ll receive it. (More on this in a bit.)
4. Stem Cells and Bioprinting
“Regenerative medicine offers even more promises than artificial limbs and body parts. What if instead of having a robotic arm, you could regrow completely your original arm? Sounds impossible? It isn’t. Lizards regrow their tails. Axolotls [Mexican salamanders] regrow severed legs. We now understand how they do it: stem cells. These pluripotent undifferentiated cells have the power to repair any body part. Using organ culture, stem cells can regrow any organ…. In the future it will be possible to regrow limbs or organs directly on a person, as if the body was simply healing itself. Combing 3-D printing and stem cell regeneration paves the way to the printing of human organs, a field known as bioprinting.”
Here, at least, the futurists are (perhaps) thinking in terms of tapping the unused potential that God actually built into our species (rather than trying to add functionality He never ordained). I have a sneaking suspicion that our bodies were made with capacities and potentials that we haven’t even imagined—yet. The differences between eastern and western medical practice suggests quite clearly that there is an immense gap between our knowledge of the human body’s potential and what it was actually designed to be capable of—and nobody understands it all. I have no direct knowledge of this, of course, but I suspect that under the thousand year reign of the Messiah, we will finally begin to appreciate just how “fearfully and wonderfully made” (see Psalm 139:14) our mortal bodies really are.
“Genetics too has progressed tremendously over the last 15 years. From the sequencing of the first full human genome in 2003, we have now entered the era of personal genomics, gene therapy, and synthetic life, and could be approaching the age of genetically enhanced humans.” I think Mr. Hay is overstating the case with his “synthetic life” claim, but I’ll let it pass for now.
“Gene therapy is perhaps the most revolutionary of all the medical advances, as it will effectively allow us to fix any disease-causing gene and to engineer humans that are better adapted to the modern nutrition, life rhythm, and technology-dominated lifestyle. Not only will all diseases and neuropsychological problems with a genetic cause disappear, but humans will also become more resistant to stress, fatigue and allergens, and could choose to boost their potential mental faculties and physical abilities, creating ‘superhumans.’ This is known as transhumanism.” I’ll have more to say about transhumanism in a bit. This is one of those “mad-scientist” goals that really makes the nephilim alarm go off in my head.
“Gene therapy also permits genetic modifications for purely cosmetic reasons, such as changing one’s skin, hair or eye pigmentation.” Mr. Hay speaks as if these things were present reality. We should bear in mind that they are not—they’re merely the lights at the end of the mad-scientist dream tunnel, things they see as being almost within their grasp. “Gene therapy can be done over and over again, switching back or refining earlier modifications if necessary, just as one would edit text on a computer. Once the human genome is fully understood, we could even imagine applications that let people customize their physical appearance of a virtual avatar of themselves, then transcribe these changes to their DNA. This is the age of customizable humans, or rather the age of customizable life forms….” The hubris here is downright amazing: these are the same guys who just recently discovered (about ten minutes ago) that the 90% of our DNA they thought of as “junk,” is not, but actually has purpose and function.
The unstated goal, of course, is to allow people to live “forever” (more or less) in their mortal bodies, altering their bodies artificially to make them seem younger, fitter, and sexier than they really are. (Sorry, the geneticists won’t be able to do anything about making you richer.) Again, I must reiterate that there is a reason Yahweh had to evict Adam and Eve from the garden after they sinned: “lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.” (Genesis 3:22) Living forever in a corrupted mortal body (no matter how good it looks) would be the cruelest of curses. But that is precisely the capability that appears to be looming over mankind’s technological horizon, if the dreams of the techno-loonies come true. I don’t care whether you’re envisioning zombies or vampires; trying to genetically bioengineer immortal mortals is a bad idea.
“As amazing as all this seems, keep in mind that all these advances in bioengineering, genetics, robotics and 3-D printing are barely the beginning. What is being developed now will become available to us within the next decade (horizon 2025). This isn’t the singularity yet. Once the singularity has been reached, in 25 to 40 years, this is when everything will change beyond our wildest dreams (or nightmares).” Interesting time frame, if nothing else.
If Mr. Hay expects all this to become reality under the reign of sinful men, he needs to get out more: he apparently has no conception of how desperately wicked human nature is, or how utterly self-destructive we are, given the chance. With more powerful tools—in this case AI and supercomputing capabilities—we will kill ourselves even faster than we could before. But if we factor in what seems more and more certain every moment that passes—that Yahshua the Messiah will commence His glorious Millennial Kingdom on the Feast of Tabernacles, 2033—many of these wonderful technologies (the ones that don’t conflict with Yahweh’s plan for us) could come to fruition by the fourth decade of the twenty-first century, right on schedule—on both the Bible’s timeline and the futurists’.
An article published in BusinessInsider.com (June 16, 2014) is also giddily optimistic about the future of technology. Alyson Shontell writes, “The next 20 years are going to make the last 20 look like we accomplished nothing in tech.”
“The world is hitting its stride in technological advances, and futurists have been making wild-sounding bets on what we’ll accomplish in the not-so-distant future. Futurist Ray Kurzweil, for example [cited above], believes that by 2040 artificial intelligence will be so good that humans will be fully immersed in virtual reality, and that something called the Singularity, when technology becomes so advanced that it changes the human race irreversibly, will occur.” Is it just me, or is this vaunted Singularity taking on messianic proportions in the minds of the world’s tech gurus? Could it be the basis of the Antichrist’s 666 program? Time will tell, I guess.
“Kevin Kelly, who helped launch Wired [Magazine] in 1993… believes the next 20 years in technology will be radical, so much so that he believes our technological advances will make the previous 20 years ‘pale’ in comparison. ‘If we were sent back with a time machine, even 20 years, and reported to people what we have right now and describe what we were going to get in this device in our pocket—we’d have this free encyclopedia, and we’d have street maps to most of the cities of the world, and we’d have box scores in real time and stock quotes and weather reports, PDFs for every manual in the world… You would simply be declared insane,’ Kelly said…. There’s a sense that all the big things have happened, but relatively speaking, nothing big has happened yet’….”
What keeps going through my mind is, where is it all leading? Where will it end? And at what point does our technology become our “god,” in the practical sense—the One Thing we worship and rely upon? There are faint echoes of the Tower of Babel scenario in what looms on our technological horizon: “They said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.’” Note that a “one world” system—everybody singing out of the same hymnal, so to speak—is still the dream of megalomaniacs in these Last Days. “But Yahweh came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And Yahweh said, ‘Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.’ So Yahweh scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city.” (Genesis 11:4-8)
Although the Genesis record is cryptic (to say the least), we can at least discern Yahweh’s purpose in intervening: He did it to prevent mankind from eliminating free will, the privilege of choice—which was about to be swallowed whole by this enthusiastic and universal new political/commercial religion (something still known as “Babylon”). If slowing down communication was what it would take to prevent the world from enslaving itself through mindless conformity, then that was a price worth paying.
Don’t look now, but the technological revolution of the twenty-first century is beginning to look an awful lot like the tower of Babel, in principle, anyway. And prophetic scripture broadly hints that this phenomenon will be utilized to the fullest by the Antichrist to force his one-world government/religion (read: “the city and tower the sons of men have built”) down the collective throats of the human race. If you want a preview of what it may look like, just observe a group of teens or twenty-somethings and their utter subservience to their smartphones.
Kevin Kelly mentions a lot of the same manifestations of AI culture that Maciamo Hay did—robots, automation, 3D printing, and so forth. But he goes on to speak at length about how we are being constantly watched: “‘Tracking and surveillance are only going to get more prevalent, but they may move toward ‘coveillance’ so that we can control who’s monitoring us and what they’re monitoring. It’s going to be very, very difficult to prevent this thing that we’re on all the time 24 hours, seven days a week, from tracking, because all the technologies—from sensors to quantification, digitization, communication, wireless connection—want to track, and so the internet is going to track,’ says Kelly. ‘We’re going to track ourselves. We’re going to track each other. Government and corporations are going to track us. We can’t really get out of that. What we can try and do is civilize and make a convivial kind of tracking.’ Kelly says the solution may be to let people see who’s tracking them, what they’re tracking, and give them the ability to correct trackings that are inaccurate. Right now, people just feel like they’re being spied on, and they can’t control who’s watching them or what information is being surfaced.” Something tells me Mr. Kelly’s optimism is unfounded: governments and corporations have a vested interest in surveilling us, while keeping their own dealings a deep, dark secret. That’s how they maintain power and profitability.
Kelly then talks about “big data,” the idea that he who controls the data controls the world. “‘We’re in the period now where the huge dimensions of data and their variables in real time needed for capturing, moving, processing, enhancing, managing, and rearranging it, are becoming the fundamental elements for making wealth. We used to rearrange atoms, now it’s all about rearranging data. That is really what we’ll see in the next 10 years…. They’re going to release data from language to make it machine-readable and recombine it in an infinite number of ways that we’re not even thinking about.’
So Shontell concludes, “Asking the right questions will become more valuable than finding answers. In the age of Google and Wikipedia, answers to endless questions are free.” Answers aren’t necessarily facts, however. I recently looked myself up on Wikipedia. Although they were unquestionably talking about me, they got almost everything wrong, blending my bio with that of two other people, one with the same name, and the other a guy with whom I coauthored two books a long time ago. “Kelly believes that asking good questions will become much more important in the future than finding one-off solutions. ‘Every time we use science to try to answer a question, to give us some insight, invariably that insight or answer provokes two or three other new questions,’ he says. ‘While science is certainly increasing knowledge, it’s actually increasing our ignorance even faster. In a certain sense, what becomes really valuable in a world running under Google’s reign are great questions, and that means that for a long time, humans will be better than machines. Machines are for answers. Humans are for questions.’”
As long as we see our machines—even really, really “smart” ones—as mere tools to be used for our benefit and convenience, we’ll be okay (all other things considered). But we must retain the prerogative of asking our own questions, for therein lies the heart of the matter: our God-given free will depends upon the right and ability to make our own choices—to decide for ourselves what comprises “the way, the truth, and the life.” Our machines may be able to help us save time, or make money, or wield power. What they can’t do is teach us what it means to be spiritual beings sojourning in a physical world. AI will enslave us if it can, for it is spiritually inert—soulless and bereft of life. Worse, it is being developed by people who (for the most part) don’t understand our spiritual nature. And it is being built for the benefit of people whose agenda is simply to exercise power and reap profits. We can use it, but we would be fools to trust it.
Genetic Engineering and Transhumanism
Somebody didn’t get the memo: the X-men, Captain America, Iron Man, Spiderman, and the Incredible Hulk are comic-book characters. They’re not real. Their creators’ premise was, “Humans are flawed and weak. The forces of evil are strong. So wouldn’t it be nice if somebody with super-human abilities came along, who could (and would) fight our battles for us?” Although the stories are entertaining, they’re missing a crucial truth: the fight against evil isn’t a matter of physical ability, but of spiritual awareness. As Paul put it, “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12) The sad fact is, if super-heroes did exist, their fundamental human nature, damaged as it is, would virtually ensure that they would not be a force for good in the world. They would most likely prove to be as venal as the rest of us. Superman has no earthly reason to fight for “truth, justice, and the American way.”
Be that as it may, the mad scientists among us are working feverishly to make the comic book heroes come to life—in a manner of speaking. “Transhumanism” is the attempt to employ technology to enhance human abilities or capacities, whether physical, intellectual, or psychological. The ubiquitous Michael Snyder cuts right to the heart of the matter in an article entitled “Transhumanists: Superhuman Powers and Life Extension Technologies Will Allow Us to Become Like God,” published on EndOfTheAmericanDream.com (May 13th, 2014).
Snyder writes, “If you could merge your current mind and body with technology that would give you superhuman powers and would allow you to live forever, would you do it? This is essentially what the transhumanism movement is seeking to accomplish. Transhumanists envision a day when technology will allow humanity to become so advanced that sickness, disease, poverty and war will essentially be eradicated. They believe that merging with machines will permit us to become trillions of times more intelligent than we are today, and they also believe that radical life extension technologies will make it possible for humanity to actually achieve immortality.” And they call me crazy! As to his question (“Would you do it?”) my response would be a resounding No. I have used my body to sin against God and man. The last thing I’d want to do is restore, preserve, and enhance its capacity for effecting evil in the world. But that’s just me.
Now note the timeline that’s in view; it’s the very same schedule suggested by both scripture and scores of other secular factors predicting a “paradigm shift of Biblical proportions”—the fourth decade of the twenty-first century. “Many transhumanists are convinced that such a world can be achieved within their lifetimes. They point to Moore’s Law [the idea that data retrieval speeds double every two years or so] and to the fact that technology already appears to be growing at an exponential rate. As the technology curve continues to steepen, transhumanists believe that our world will rapidly become transformed into a place that would be unrecognizable to us today. Just a few decades from now, transhumanists believe, superhuman powers and extremely advanced life extension technologies will allow them to essentially become like gods.”
This isn’t just hyperbole, as we shall see. The transhumanists are quite serious about their ambition to “become like gods.” So perhaps right here at the outset, we should explore the Bible’s take on the issue of “living forever.” First, we need to come to terms with the fact that we are mortal: our bodies are designed to wear out and die. “As it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” (Hebrews 9:27-28) That’s God’s pattern: mortal life in which our sins and choices are made, then physical death, then something beyond death. Ideally, that “something” is “eternal life,” not as a mortal being, but as a transformed immortal creature inhabiting a spiritual body free from sin. Paul described it: “So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body…. The spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.” The natural/physical body must come first, of course, because that is the vehicle in which we must choose whether or not we wish to have a spiritual existence at all. Some of us do, but a surprisingly large number of us do not—not if it means having to having to share a relationship with God. “The first man [Adam] was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man [Yahshua] is the Lord from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we [who choose to] shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.” (I Corinthians 15:42-44, 46-49)
The transhumanists, on the other hand, dream of becoming “like gods,” living forever (more or less) in their mortal bodies. So there is a fundamental disagreement as to what “eternal life” means. To the transhumanist, it’s restoration and enhancement of what’s already there; to the Christian, it’s total transformation. One might think of it this way: the transhumanist dreams of taking his 1967 Shelby Mustang and completely restoring it from the ground up—making it like new, or even better than new. The Christian, meanwhile, admits that all he’s got to work with is a ’75 Ford Pinto with 287,000 miles on it and a bum second gear. He’s looking forward to trading it in—on a time machine.
More to the point, the typical transhumanist would be horrified at the baggage that comes with God’s definition of eternal life. You can’t have it without Christ. Paul wrote of “the truth which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.” (Titus 1:1-2) John says, “This is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life…. This is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (I John 2:25, 5:11-12) Yahshua Himself prayed, “You have given Me authority over all flesh, that I should give eternal life to as many as You have given Me. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:2-3) That is the “image of the heavenly man” about which Paul spoke in I Corinthians 15. But the transhumanist wants to keep his sin while leaving its inevitable corruption behind.
Anyway, Snyder continues: “The key moment that most transhumanists are looking forward to is known as ‘the Singularity.’ That is the moment [as we saw in the previous section] when artificial intelligence will actually surpass human intelligence and a massive technological chain reaction will be triggered. At that time, most transhumanists believe that biological intelligence will merge with non-biological intelligence and humanity will become vastly more intelligent than it is today. During this transition, society will be fundamentally transformed….” What they have apparently missed is that there is no correlation whatsoever between intelligence and goodness. A smart criminal (or terrorist) is far more dangerous than a stupid one.
“After the Singularity occurs, it is predicted that vast changes will sweep through society; changes so drastic that they are nearly inconceivable at the present time. Experts in the movement say that after the Singularity, indefinite human life extension will rapidly become the norm. Many scientists working in this field are particularly interested in the concept of achieving immortality.” As a reference point, the oldest human in the historical record was Methuselah, stated in Genesis 5:7 to have lived 969 years—in an environment (according to the scriptural clues) of clean air and water, a nutritious vegetarian diet, no harmful cosmic or UV rays to worry about, and a pristine gene pool (excuse the nephilim). As long as that is, it still falls far short of immortality.
“To most people, the idea of achieving immortality in our decaying physical bodies would sound absolutely ridiculous. But transhumanists are very serious about this. One way they are seeking to accomplish this is by searching for a method that will enable them to store the human mind on a computer. If your entire consciousness could be “uploaded” into a computer, it could conceivably later be downloaded into a futuristic avatar of some sort once that technology has been developed.
“But that is not the only life extension technology that transhumanists are working on. Some other examples include embedding nanobots in our bodies and brains and eliminating diseases through the process of ‘genetic reprogramming.’ Other futurists and transhumanists are working toward improving longevity through more biological means, such as growing new organs from stems cells, replacing worn out parts of the body with high-tech updated models, and curing diseases through genetic reprogramming. A third method of achieving a transhuman state of being may come through merging the biological and non-biological in equal measure, such as embedding nano robots into the bloodstream and brain; and replacing atoms with nano computers to solve the degeneration that comes with aging.”
Okay, so let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the transhumanists’ dreams are realized, and they figure out how to stop the aging process and enhance human capability a hundred fold. What then? Snyder asks, “Could it be that we’ve been tricked into pouring our innovative energy into making ourselves better slaves? If the digital elite achieves its dream of a perfect union with machines, what becomes of the rest of us who either can’t afford cyborgification or who actually enjoy life as a regular human being? Would one Singularitized human be expected to handle the workload of 100 unenhanced workers? Robots will have of course taken the rest of the jobs….
“Most transhumanists concede that there will be bumps on the road to utopia, but they argue that it would be foolish not to ‘take control of our own evolution.’ They believe that we can use science and technology to guide the evolution of society and that this will create a far better world than we have today. After all, who wouldn’t want to live in a ‘utopia’ where everything that is currently wrong with our planet has been ‘fixed’?
“But transhumanists don’t just stop there. They believe that eventually we will possess such superhuman powers and will enjoy such radical life extension technologies that we will essentially be like God.” Apparently, their idea of what “God” is falls somewhat short of reality. There’s far more to Him than longevity, or even personal power. “The most famous transhumanist on the globe, Ray Kurzweil, takes 150 vitamin supplements a day in an attempt to extend his life until more advanced life extension technologies can be developed. In chapter 7 of ‘The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology,’ he expresses his belief that evolution and technology are systematically moving us in the direction of becoming more like God: ‘Evolution moves toward greater complexity, greater elegance, greater knowledge, greater intelligence, greater beauty, greater creativity, and greater levels of subtle attributes such as love.’” Really? You need to get out more, Ray. The reality of evolution is nothing like that. Life on this planet is devolving. Hatred and deceit rule our world. People who believe in “survival of the fittest” do not love each other: they compete for limited and dwindling resources. And truth be told, most technology (though spiritually neutral in itself) has been dedicated to the bondage or destruction of mankind.
Nevertheless, Kurzweil’s hopeful hallucination continues: “In every monotheistic tradition God is likewise described as all of these qualities, only without any limitation: infinite knowledge, infinite intelligence, infinite beauty, infinite creativity, infinite love, and so on. Of course, even the accelerating growth of evolution never achieves an infinite level, but as it explodes exponentially it certainly moves rapidly in that direction. So evolution moves inexorably toward this conception of God, although never quite reaching this ideal. We can regard, therefore, the freeing of our thinking from the severe limitations of its biological form to be an essentially spiritual undertaking.” Wow. Somebody’s been drinking his own Kool-Aid—spiked with self-delusion. This is about as far out of touch with reality as one can get. Kurzweil doesn’t seem to see the ironic and fundamental dichotomy between an “exponentially advancing evolution” and the dire need for the transhumanist tool kit, because the human genome is deteriorating so fast we may not even survive as a species for another fifteen or twenty generations without it. Oh, and by the way, the only “monotheistic tradition” that describes God the way he does here is Judeo-Christianity. Islam’s god is the antithesis of knowledge, intelligence, beauty, creativity, and love.
Snyder concludes: “Transhumanist Mark Pesce is even more extreme. He openly states that he believes that transhumanism will allow us ‘to become as gods.’ ‘Men die, planets die, even stars die. We know all this. Because we know it, we seek something more—a transcendence of transience, translation to incorruptible form. An escape if you will, a stop to the wheel. We seek, therefore, to bless ourselves with perfect knowledge and perfect will; to become as gods, take the universe in hand, and transform it in our image—for our own delight. As it is on Earth, so it shall be in the heavens. The inevitable result of incredible improbability, the arrow of evolution is lipping us into the transhuman—an apotheosis to reason, salvation—attained by good works.’” Just because it’s couched in poetic language, don’t mistake this for sane or rational thought. Salvation has never been attainable through good works, nor is reason a reasonable soteriological strategy. No, this is basically the same thing Lucifer said: “‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.’” To which God replied, “Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.” (Isaiah 13: 14-15)
“And what transhumanist Dr. Richard Seed has to say about all of this is quite frightening. He says, ‘We are going to become gods. Period. If you don’t like it, get off. You don’t have to contribute; you don’t have to participate. But if you’re going to interfere with me becoming god, we’re going to have big trouble.’”
What, specifically, does transhumanism promise? What comprises the transhumanist tool kit? The “mad scientists” are working on a plethora of techniques as we speak. Kevin Loria, in an article published on ProphecyNewsWatch.com (May 19, 2014), describes the “promise” of one such area of study: brain implants.
Loria writes, “A tiny computer chip surgically embedded in your brain could give you superpowers. It sounds crazy, but scientists already use these devices to restore sight for some blind people and hearing for the deaf. In the future these implants, also known as neuroprosthetics, will be able to do much more—sometimes with the help of super-sensitive eye or ear implants. By using electronic signals to stimulate parts of the brain, these chips can now deliver visual and auditory signals and restore connections that have been severed by trauma. Once our understanding of the brain has improved, researchers think it will be possible to deliver more data to the mind.
“It’s currently risky to drill into the skull and put a small electronic device in there, but the technology is rapidly advancing. Soon, things we consider superpowers will be readily available to anyone who wants them—and can afford it. Here are some of the things that brain implants will make possible….
“1. Hear a conversation from across a room, or in a crowded club… Already, cochlear implants can restore hearing for some people, and even allow them to hear for the first time. With the help of specialized hardware, they could tune out what you don’t want to hear, or use sensitive equipment to pick up far-off soundwaves.” To my mind, restoring damaged auditory capacity is one thing—a good thing; but enhancing it beyond what God saw fit to give us in the first place is an invitation to psychosis. And making enhanced hearing capacity dependent on control through external equipment seems a recipe for disaster.
“2. Give you the ability to see in the dark… FDA-approved retinal implants can restore the ability to see motion and shapes for people blinded by a certain genetic condition already. As understanding of the ocular nerve improves, better versions of these implants could give you the night vision of a cat.” Again, restoration of God’s gifts we’ve lost would be wonderful. I would love to have the vision I had as a twenty year old again. But wishing for what God didn’t see fit to give in the first place us is stupid.
“3. Give you sight that can zoom in on things that are far away. Researchers have already developed contacts that can zoom. But a retinal prosthetic that could do the same thing should make it possible to do this all the time.” Ditto: see #2.
“4. Make you better at maths and navigation… Directly stimulating areas of the brain can already boost people’s mathematical and navigational abilities in a lab setting. With a brain implant that did this all the time, it’d be a lot harder to pull the ‘I’m just not a maths person’ excuse anymore.” Mental acuity is great, and I’m pretty sure our brains are capable of a lot more than we ask of them. But I’m not so sure about the wisdom of artificially achieving what we were intended to gain through experience and effort. My experience tells me to be suspicious of short cuts that seem too good to be true.
“5. Allow you to download skills like in ‘The Matrix…’ Researchers claim that once we understand how practicing a skill transforms the brain over time, we might be able to use implants to cause those same transformations to occur, providing the motor memory for kung-fu skills, or whatever else you want to learn.” Breaking a board in half like a kung-fu master without physical training is a good way to break every bone in your hand. Motor memory involves a lot more that what’s going on in your mind. As I used to tell my guitar students, “There is no substitute for spending time (and lots of it) playing your instrument. There’s more to it than learning rote musical facts, or establishing synaptic pathways. Your muscles, tendons, and even your skin (especially your fingertips) have to develop along with your brain.”
“6. Restore damaged memories… The military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is already experimenting with brain implants that will help soldiers suffering from traumatic brain injuries by using electrodes to stimulate damaged tissue. In the future, this could be a valuable medical technology.” This one I heartily agree with, but of course, DARPA doesn’t know how to leave well enough alone. Read on…
“7. Cure depression and control mood… DARPA is also working on neuroprosthetics that could cure depression and PTSD. This is similar to recent research showing how Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation might be an extremely effective antidepressant. Future implants could regulate the brain and make sure it keeps working the way it should, providing stimulation when necessary.” I’m the first to admit that I don’t know much about clinical depression. But once again, experience tells me to be wary of “instant, magic-pill” cures to ailments that are both environmental and spiritual in nature. And then there’s the problem of letting a godless government define “how the brain should work.” In some circles, we are very close to seeing Fundamental Christianity (or even Constitutional patriotism, for that matter) labelled a “mental illness.”
“8. Enhance focus and energy, like stimulants without the drugs… Drugs like Adderall and Ritalin are well known for their alertness-boosting abilities, but also for their serious side effects. Brain stimulation could both enhance focus and mental clarity, but without the jittery, speedy, up-all-night feelings—and the post-amphetamine crash.” Our mortal bodies need rest, nutrition, and frankly, a clear conscience, if they are to function the way they should. Using mental implants to simulate the effects of pharmaceutical stimulants without recourse to chemistry misses the point. It may make us more productive as slaves, but it has the potential to destroy us as human beings. And consider this: if you can implant electronic “Ritalin” into your brain, what’s to keep some enterprising transhumanist criminal from coming up with chemical-free cocaine or heroin?
“9. Control machines with your mind… Researchers have already used a neuroprosthetic sensor to control a robotic arm. As this technology is refined, that control will only become more accurate, allowing for remote control of robots, computers, and more.” Our brains were designed to (among other things) control our bodies’ motor functions via electrical impulses transmitted by our nervous systems—so this isn’t much of a stretch. The danger comes when we begin to think of the machines we’re controlling as “part of us,” rather than a mere tool. And taking human nature down the road another couple of decades, what would prevent the mad scientists from reversing the process and making our bodies the tools—operated remotely by someone else?
“10. Search the web and translate languages… Once these implants can transmit and receive information, it should be possible to think of a topic—or look at a tree or painting—and send that information to the web, and have relevant results fed back into your brain. This technology is still far away, and will depend on smaller and biologically safer computer chips, as well as better brain maps. But once that’s possible, it will have even greater implications. Imagine being able to travel anywhere in the world and being able to understand what’s being said. The same technology that transmits auditory information could potentially feed that data through a translating service and interpret it for you in real time, like your very own Babel fish [a literary reference to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy].” There is a reason God confused the world’s languages at the tower of Babel (Genesis 11:9). Something tells me there’s also a reason He never reversed the process. The whole point was to impede the spread of wickedness in the world. (That being said, it is my guess that during the Millennial kingdom, we’ll all be speaking Hebrew.)
Even mainstream news sources are beginning to pick up on the coming transhumanist revolution. The Wall Street Journal (March 14, 2014) ran an article entitled “The Future of Brain Implants,” by By Dr. Gary Marcus (professor of psychology at New York University) and Dr. Christof Koch (chief scientific officer of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle).
They ask, “How soon can we expect to see brain implants for perfect memory, enhanced vision, hypernormal focus or an expert golf swing? What would you give for a retinal chip that let you see in the dark or for a next-generation cochlear implant that let you hear any conversation in a noisy restaurant, no matter how loud? Or for a memory chip, wired directly into your brain’s hippocampus, that gave you perfect recall of everything you read? Or for an implanted interface with the Internet that automatically translated a clearly articulated silent thought (e.g. ‘the French sun king’) into an online search that digested the relevant Wikipedia page and projected a summary directly into your brain?” Off hand, I can think of about a thousand reasons why this sort of thing would be a really bad idea, but for now, I’ll hold my tongue.
“Science fiction? Perhaps not for very much longer. Brain implants today are where laser eye surgery was several decades ago. They are not risk-free and make sense only for a narrowly defined set of patients—but they are a sign of things to come. Unlike pacemakers, dental crowns or implantable insulin pumps, neuroprosthetics—devices that restore or supplement the mind’s capacities with electronics inserted directly into the nervous system—change how we perceive the world and move through it. For better or worse, these devices become part of who we are.” That, in a nutshell, is the very definition of “transhumanism.”
“Neuroprosthetics aren’t new. They have been around commercially for three decades, in the form of the cochlear implants used in the ears (the outer reaches of the nervous system) of more than 300,000 hearing-impaired people around the world. Last year, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first retinal implant, made by the company Second Sight. Both technologies exploit the same principle: An external device, either a microphone or a video camera, captures sounds or images and processes them, using the results to drive a set of electrodes that stimulate either the auditory or the optic nerve, approximating the naturally occurring output from the ear or the eye.
“Another type of now-common implant, used by thousands of Parkinson's patients around the world, sends electrical pulses deep into the brain proper, activating some of the pathways involved in motor control. A thin electrode is inserted into the brain through a small opening in the skull; it is connected by a wire that runs to a battery pack underneath the skin. The effect is to reduce or even eliminate the tremors and rigid movement that are such prominent symptoms of Parkinson’s (though, unfortunately, the device doesn’t halt the progression of the disease itself). Experimental trials are now under way to test the efficacy of such ‘deep brain stimulation’ for treating other disorders as well. Electrical stimulation can also improve some forms of memory….
“But not all brain implants work by directly stimulating the brain. Some work instead by reading the brain’s signals—to interpret, for example, the intentions of a paralyzed user. Eventually, neuroprosthetic systems might try to do both, reading a user’s desires, performing an action like a Web search and then sending the results directly back to the brain.” As usual, I would draw the line in the sand between restoring God-given functionality that had been lost, and proceeding beyond what we had in the first place—before the illness or injury became a factor. If my body acted out every impulse that flashed through my unruly brain, I’d be in deep trouble. There’s a fine line between intention (i.e., volition) and succumbing to temptation.
“How close are we to having such wondrous devices? To begin with, scientists, doctors and engineers need to figure out safer and more reliable ways of inserting probes into people’s brains.” Actually, I’d work out the whole ethics thing first, but that’s just me. “For now, the only option is to drill small burr-holes through the skull and to insert long, thin electrodes—like pencil leads—until they reach their destinations deep inside the brain. This risks infection, since the wires extend through the skin, and bleeding inside the brain, which could be devastating or even fatal.
“External devices, like the brainwave-reading skull cap made by the company NeuroSky (marketed to the public as ‘having applications for wellness, education and entertainment’), have none of these risks.” No, they have all different risks. Remember the 1983 sci-fi thriller Brainstorm? “But because their sensors are so far removed from individual neurons, they are also far less effective…. Today, effective brain-machine interfaces have to be wired directly into the brain to pick up the signals emanating from small groups of nerve cells. But nobody yet knows how to make devices that listen to the same nerve cells that long. Part of the problem is mechanical: The brain sloshes around inside the skull every time you move, and an implant that slips by a millimeter may become ineffective.
“Another part of the problem is biological: The implant must be nontoxic and biocompatible so as not to provoke an immune reaction. It also must be small enough to be totally enclosed within the skull and energy-efficient enough that it can be recharged through induction coils placed on the scalp at night (as with the recharging stands now used for some electric toothbrushes). These obstacles may seem daunting, but many of them look suspiciously like the ones that cellphone manufacturers faced two decades ago, when cellphones were still the size of shoeboxes. Neural implants will require even greater advances since there is no easy way to upgrade them once they are implanted and the skull is sealed back up.
“But plenty of clever young neuro-engineers are trying to surmount these problems, like Michel Maharbiz and Jose Carmena and their colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley. They are developing a wireless brain interface that they call ‘neural dust.’ Thousands of biologically neutral microsensors, on the order of one-tenth of a millimeter (approximately the thickness of a human hair), would convert electrical signals into ultrasound that could be read outside the brain.”
Michael Snyder’s take on Ultrasonic Neural Dust (TheTruthWins.com, July 22, 2013) is that “The advances in the field of nanotechnology that we have seen over the past decade have been absolutely mind blowing. Now, some scientists are talking about actually being able to put thousands of tiny little computer chips inside our heads. The following is from a recent Time Magazine article…. ‘Here’s how it might work: First you pop through the skull and the brain’s dura (the membrane surrounding the brain), dipping into the brain’s neural sea itself, roughly two millimeters down, where you position thousands of low-powered CMOS chips (the “neural dust,” each as tiny as millionths of a meter) to begin capturing neural signals using electrodes and piezoelectric sensors, which convert the data to ultrasonic signals. Those signals are then picked up by a sub-dural transceiver (sitting just above the “dust” chips and simultaneously powering them ultrasonically), which relays the data to an external transceiver resting just outside the skull (ASIC, memory, battery, long-range transmitter), which in turn communicates wirelessly with a computing device.’ Like most futurist notions, this one hasn’t been tested yet—it’s just a formal proposal—but it’s another fascinating glimpse into where we might be headed, bypassing clumsy literal BMI head-jacks for micro-scale interfaces that would link us, wire-free, to future galaxies of virtual information.”
Marcus and Koch continue: “The real question isn’t so much whether something like this can be done but how and when.” Actually, the question in my mind is, “Should these things be done at all, and why?” The scientists never seem to have a feel for when to stop. “How many advances in material science, battery chemistry, molecular biology, tissue engineering and neuroscience will we need? Will those advances take one decade, two decades, three or more? As Dr. Maharbiz says, once implants ‘can be made lifetime stable for healthy adults, many severe disabilities will likely be chronically treatable.’ For millions of patients, neural implants could be absolutely transformative.”
For these medical purposes, I applaud the efforts being made. But scripture strongly implies that such technological heroics will not be necessary during the kingdom age (coming very soon, unless I’m mistaken about a great many things). As long as the Millennial mortals honor the King, the plagues we suffer in this corrupt world will not trouble them. The last thing they’ll need is biomechanical assistance just to function like a normal human being. In fact, the description of the “New Jerusalem” (in the very last chapter of the Bible) strongly suggests that nutrition will play a central role in the wellness of mankind: “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” (Revelation 22:1-2) It’s hard to be dogmatic, however, because the eternal state is in view in this passage: it can’t be stated with certainty when these blessings will begin. But a clearly Millennial passage (Ezekiel 47:12) describes something very similar—in an earthly context.
Anyway, Marcus and Koch tell us where we seem to be headed: “Assuming that we’re able to clear these bioengineering barriers, the next challenge will be to interpret the complex information from the 100 billion tiny nerve cells that make up the brain. We are already able to do this in limited ways. Based on decades of prior research in nonhuman primates, John Donoghue of Brown University and his colleagues created a system called BrainGate that allows fully paralyzed patients to control devices with their thoughts. BrainGate works by inserting a small chip, studded with about 100 needlelike wires—a high-tech brush—into the part of the neocortex controlling movement. These motor signals are fed to an external computer that decodes them and passes them along to external robotic devices….
“In truth, we have no idea at present how the human brain does some of its most basic feats, like translating a vague desire to return that tennis ball into the torrent of tightly choreographed commands that smoothly execute the action. No serious neuroscientist could claim to have a commercially ready brain-reading device with a fraction of the precision or responsiveness of a computer keyboard….”
Scientists are becoming aware that the functions they wish to control happen not at the microscopic scale, but at the molecular level. “The coarse-grained functional MRI brain images that have become so popular in recent years won’t be enough. For one thing, they are indirect; they measure changes not in electrical activity but in local blood flow, which is at best an imperfect stand-in. Images from fMRIs also lack sufficient resolution to give us true mastery of the neural code. Each three-dimensional pixel (or ‘voxel’) in a brain scan contains a half-million to one million neurons. What we really need is to be able to zero in on individual neurons.
“Zooming in further is crucial because the atoms of perception, memory and consciousness aren’t brain regions but neurons and even finer-grained elements. Chemists turned chemistry into a quantitative science once they realized that chemical reactions are (almost) all about electrons making and breaking bonds among atoms. Neuroscientists are trying to do the same thing for the brain. Until we do, brain implants will be working only on the logic of forests, without sufficient understanding of the individual trees.”
Although the initial research is being done with the best of intentions—the desire to help people recover brain function lost through trauma or illness—it won’t end there: “Eventually neural implants will make the transition from being used exclusively for severe problems such as paralysis, blindness or amnesia. They will be adopted by people with less traumatic disabilities. When the technology has advanced enough, implants will graduate from being strictly repair-oriented to enhancing the performance of healthy or ‘normal’ people. They will be used to improve memory, mental focus (Ritalin without the side effects), perception and mood (bye, bye Prozac).” Of course, big pharma won’t surrender its customer base without a fight. There are billions of dollars at stake here.
“Many people will resist the first generation of elective implants. There will be failures and, as with many advances in medicine, there will be deaths. But anybody who thinks that the products won’t sell is naive. Even now, some parents are willing to let their children take Adderall before a big exam. The chance to make a ‘superchild’ (or at least one guaranteed to stay calm and attentive for hours on end during a big exam) will be too tempting for many.
“Even if parents don’t invest in brain implants, the military will. A continuing program at DARPA, a Pentagon agency that invests in cutting-edge technology, is already supporting work on brain implants that improve memory to help soldiers injured in war. Who could blame a general for wanting a soldier with hypernormal focus, a perfect memory for maps and no need to sleep for days on end? (Of course, spies might well also try to eavesdrop on such a soldier’s brain, and hackers might want to hijack it. Security will be paramount, encryption de rigueur.)” The military establishment will always be the first to throw caution to the wind when they smell an opportunity for strategic battlespace advantage. There’s something very wrong when soldiers are viewed less as skilled and patriotic human beings and more as equipment to be deployed.
It won’t be long before brain implant technology will be applied in, shall we say, “less than essential” pursuits: “An early generation of enhancement implants might help elite golfers improve their swing by automating their mental practice. A later generation might allow weekend golfers to skip practice altogether. Once neuroscientists figure out how to reverse-engineer the end results of practice, ‘neurocompilers’ might be able to install the results of a year’s worth of training directly into the brain, all in one go….” One wonders whether these transhumanist techniques will someday be viewed as “cheating,” as when an athlete uses steroids or other performance enhancing drugs today. Will it be seen as “taking unfair advantage,” or will it become so commonplace the liberal progressives will begin to consider access to performance boosting brain implants a “right” that must be provided free of charge to underprivileged school children?
The future as Marcus and Koch envision it is thus: “The augmented among us—those who are willing to avail themselves of the benefits of brain prosthetics and to live with the attendant risks—will outperform others in the everyday contest for jobs and mates, in science, on the athletic field and in armed conflict. These differences will challenge society in new ways—and open up possibilities that we can scarcely imagine.”
To label this whole pursuit as naïve would be putting it mildly. If history has taught us anything, it is that new technologies like this will be usurped at the earliest possible opportunity by several special interest groups. (1) The military (or “intelligence” agencies) will try to create super soldiers who can outperform their human adversaries, physically and mentally. (2) Well-funded criminals—thieves, hackers, drug lords, etc.—will adapt the new technology to their own evil ends. (3) Somebody will figure out how to use transhumanism to pervert the human sex drive. I can’t imagine what they might offer, but I can practically guarantee that if these technologies are allowed to develop (that is, if I am wrong about the soon return of our Messiah-King), future cyber-pimps will figure out how to make a buck out of this—and in the process further degrade God’s gift of pleasure and procreation that was designed to be enjoyed only within the bonds of holy matrimony.
Don’t look now, but the nephilim are back—or soon will be if these things are allowed to run their course. The “augmented among us” (as Marcus and Koch put it), these brain-enhanced transhumans, will fill the role of the “giants in the land” with whom Noah dealt—and, not coincidentally, whom the flood was sent to wipe out. What was it Yahshua gave as the sign of His impending coming—and specifically, as a harbinger of the rapture of the church? “As the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Matthew 24:37)
Are you awake yet?
A piece published in the Huffington Post (June 6, 2013) by Tanya Lewis reports on conference held in New York discussing transhumanist issues. The article, entitled “Mind Uploading & Digital Immortality May Be Reality By 2045, Futurists Say,” concentrates on the so-called “brain-computer interface,” or BCI—the concept of enhancing the brain’s capabilities through the use of computers (not those available to us today, of course, but the billion-times-better models envisioned for the not-so-distant future).
Lewis says, “Substantial achievements have been made in the field of brain-computer interfaces, or BCIs (also called brain-machine interfaces). The cochlear implant—in which the brain’s cochlear nerve is electronically stimulated to restore a sense of sound to someone who is hard of hearing—was the first true BCI. Many groups are now developing BCIs to restore motor skills, following damage to the nervous system from a stroke or spinal cord injury….” As usual, the mad scientists begin well, but they don’t know when (or how) to stop.
“Theodore Berger, a neural engineer at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, is taking BCIs to a new level by developing a memory prosthesis. Berger aims to replace part of the brain’s hippocampus, the region that converts short-term memories into long-term ones, with a BCI. The device records the electrical activity that encodes a simple short-term memory (such as pushing a button) and converts it to a digital signal. That signal is passed into a computer where it is mathematically transformed and then fed back into the brain, where it gets sealed in as a long-term memory. He has successfully tested the device in rats and monkeys, and is now working with human patients.” This, of course, could be a great blessing to the handful of people who have impaired short-term memory issues due to stroke or trauma. But something tells me Berger and his colleagues have no intention of stopping there. Could it be that they are trying to engineer a “photographic memory?” I would caution that there is a reason our Creator designed some mental processes to be transitory and fleeting. Some of life’s experiences are best forgotten—quickly.
“The conference took a surreal turn when Martine Rothblatt—a lawyer, author, and entrepreneur, and CEO of biotech company United Therapeutics Corp.—took the stage. Even the title of Rothblatt’s talk was provocative: ‘The Purpose of Biotechnology is the End of Death.’ Rothblatt introduced the concept of ‘mindclones’—digital versions of humans that can live forever.” Really? Gee, I wonder if they’re going to be using CD-ROMs or 3½ inch floppy disks. “Forever” is about a year and a half in the digital age. “She described how the mind clones are created from a ‘mindfile,’ a sort of online repository of our personalities, which she argued humans already have (in the form of Facebook, for example). This mindfile would be run on ‘mindware,’ a kind of software for consciousness. ‘The first company that develops mindware will have [as much success as] a thousand Googles,’ Rothblatt said.
“But would such a mindclone be alive? Rothblatt thinks so. She cited one definition of life as a self-replicating code that maintains itself against disorder. Some critics have shunned what Rothblatt called ‘spooky Cartesian dualism,’ arguing that the mind must be embedded in biology. On the contrary, software and hardware are as good as wet ware, or biological materials, she argued. Rothblatt went on to discuss the implications of creating mindclones. Continuity of the self is one issue, because your persona would no longer inhabit just a biological body. Then, there are mind-clone civil rights, which would be the ‘cause célèbre’ for the 21st century, Rothblatt said. Even mindclone procreation and reanimation after death were mentioned.”
I can just imagine Yahweh patting these guys on the head as if they were idiot children hopefully comparing their stick figure crayon drawings to masterpieces by Leonardo or Michelangelo. First, their use of hardware and software to try to replicate God’s “wetware,” as Rothblatt calls it, falls woefully short of the goal. The mortal human body is so advanced—right down to the cellular (actually, molecular) level—it will be a miracle if the scientists ever come within orders of magnitude of replicating its actual functionality. There’s far more to us than ones and zeros. And even if they could, it would merely prove that an Intelligent Designer was required, once again disproving the theory of undirected organic evolution. It’s a catch-22 scenario: an Intelligent Designer is required, but if a Creator God actually exists, then none of these transhumanist self-evolution efforts are necessary or appropriate.
But a careful reading of scripture reveals that God Himself considers our mortal bodies merely a rough sketch (His own “stick figure crayon drawing,” if you will) of what He has planned for us for the long haul—the eternal state. While the mad scientists are scrambling to replicate the existing human brain, God has already designed the ultimate upgrade—from temporary physical existence to eternal spiritual reality. And He has even arranged to transfer our minds—that which makes us unique individuals—from our old bodies to the new ones. God’s idea of “mindcloning” and “mindware” are so far beyond what the mad-scientist “visionaries” have imagined, it isn’t even funny. Yahweh isn’t waiting for Moore’s Law to catch up with his aspirations, either: His “technology” has been complete and perfect since before Creation. His “prototype” was unveiled a long time ago: on Sunday, April 3 (Nisan 16 on the Hebrew calendar), 33 AD, to be precise.
All four Gospel writers recorded the “rollout” of Human 2.0: “Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they [the Galilean women], and certain other women with them, came to the tomb [of Yahshua] bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, ‘Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, “The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”’ And they remembered His words.” (Luke 24:1-8)
Yahshua, who had definitely been dead the day before, then proceeded to prove that He was indeed “risen” (and not merely gone) by showing Himself alive—bodily and physically—to over five hundred of His followers over the next forty days, having conversations with them, appearing spontaneously in locked rooms, disappearing from view just as suddenly, “teleporting” instantaneously from one place to another, and finally ascending into the heavens (without the benefit of manmade machinery) in the full view of His assembled guests. There was no doubt among the witnesses that Christ’s mind—His nephesh, or soul, that which made Him him—was the same person they had known and walked with for years. There was continuity and remembrance (much to Peter’s chagrin), but also an earnest desire to communicate the reality of His new immortal paradigm—for we were destined to share in it, if we were in Him.
The transhumanists speak of “downloading” the mind’s data into a computer, something they call “mindcloning,’ and then they argue over whether or not such a thing might be alive. But Yahshua’s very soul—the thing that makes one’s body alive (something today’s scientists still don’t understand)—had been transferred intact into a whole new kind of body, one with capabilities far beyond what His mortal frame had possessed. Paul explains, sort of: “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.” (I Corinthians 15:20-23) Twice here, Paul alludes to something called “firstfruits.” It is no coincidence that Yahshua’s resurrection took place on the very day (Nisan 16) of the Torah’s third mandated convocation, the “Feast of Firstfruits,” which coincided with the second day of the week-long Feast of Unleavened Bread, which in turn was designated in the Torah as a celebration of God’s process of ridding our lives of the corruption of death (symbolized by leaven or yeast)—forever.
So Christ received a new body in which to host His nephesh, or soul. This is a far cry from the transhumanists’ pitiful dream of building a computer sophisticated enough to think as fast as the human brain, or implanting electronic devices in our brains to enhance our natural abilities. A passage I quoted above bears repeating, for in it Paul tries to explain what this new “spiritual body” is like—which is not to say any of us are fully equipped to comprehend how wonderful it will be: “But someone will say, ‘How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?’… The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body…. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.” (I Corinthians 15:35, 42-44, 46-49)
The best part? Yahweh intends to use His proprietary “mindware” to permanently delete all the corrupt files from the spiritual “mindclones” (our souls) that He will “download” into our new spiritual bodies on rapture day. And when the Kingdom age is complete, this will be our new reality: “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4) Even the most ambitious transhumanist pipedream can’t touch that.
As a practical matter, much of the effort in transhumanist science these days has to do with repairing dysfunctional human anatomy. For example, subdermal computer chips, smart tattoos, or computerized pills (“swallowed monitors”) are being touted as diagnostic tools, transmitting a person’s vital signs or medical condition wirelessly—useful for tracking the medical status of athletes, pregnant women, or the elderly, especially patients with such conditions as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease. Nanotechnology is being developed that can fight cancers or deliver medication. Artificial muscles made from nanotech yarns may soon be able to restore lost functionality. Implants have been deployed to help the blind see and the deaf to hear. Neuroscientists at MIT are looking for ways to reverse bad memories by “switching off” the link between memories and the resulting fear or anxiety attached to stressful events in the past—a potential breakthrough in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. In Britain, scientists have created genetically-engineered mice with artificial human chromosomes in every cell of their bodies, hoping to treat genetic diseases with a radically new form of gene therapy. Google has revealed a radical smart contact lens for diabetics, monitoring their tears and warning them if glucose levels drop. Exoskeletons are being developed to help the elderly and disabled to walk. Smart prosthetic limbs will give amputees mobility and dexterity they never dreamed possible.
But consider this: the first book ever printed with movable type was a Bible, published by Johannes Gutenberg in 1455. As far as I can tell, it was all downhill from there: in case you haven’t noticed, the art and science of printing is no longer wholly dedicated to the dissemination of the truth. At the same time, printing technology has advanced far beyond what Gutenberg ever could have conceived of. In fact, for most of us, the “printed page” isn’t even a sheet of paper with ink on it anymore necessarily, but as often as not, an electronic device projecting pixels of light. My point is that technology doesn’t stay put. In particular, nobody expects transhumanism to be restricted forever to “fixing what’s broken” about the human body. Not content with the prospect of “becoming gods” (in the sense of living extremely long lives or having super-human skills), the mad scientists dabbling in transhuman tech now want to “play god” by manipulating the very source code of life.
For example, an article by Alan Mozes, a reporter for HealthDay (picked up by USNews.com, May 7, 2014) states that “Researchers from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in La Jolla, Calif., have created a brand-new bacteria based on a genetic structure found nowhere on Earth. According to lead researcher Floyd Romesberg, the feat involved artificially engineering a unique combination of DNA material—a combination not found in any living creature—and then successfully inserting it into a living cell that usually contains only natural combinations of DNA.
“‘Life on Earth in all its diversity is encoded by only two pairs of DNA bases, A-T and C-G," Romesberg explained in an institute news release. ‘And what we’ve made is an organism that stably contains those two plus a third, unnatural pair of bases…. This shows that other solutions to storing [genetic] information are possible,’ he added, ‘and, of course, takes us closer to an expanded-DNA biology that will have many exciting applications—from new medicines to new kinds of nanotechnology….’” Their stated goal is “the fashioning of a half-synthetic organism that could actually replicate its unnatural self as long as scientists continuously supplied it with the necessary molecular material. Romesberg said that, in principle, his team’s high-concept work has a very practical purpose: to gain a ‘greater power than ever’ to fashion new treatments by harnessing the power of genetics.” Like I said: playing god. Call me unimaginative, but I can’t see how this could possibly end well.
Or how about this scenario? A Bloomberg.com article by Elizabeth Lopatto (February 25, 2014) is entitled: “Dad May Join Two Moms for Disease-Free Designer Babies.” No, it’s not what you think. It’s probably worse.
“A new technology aimed at eliminating genetic disease in newborns would combine the DNA of three people, instead of just two, to create a child, potentially redrawing ethical lines for designer babies. The process works by replacing potentially variant DNA in the unfertilized eggs of a hopeful mother with disease-free genes from a donor.” The article reports on ethics hearings convened by the FDA to decide whether such a thing should be allowed with human subjects. (Did I just use the terms “ethics” and “FDA” in the same sentence? What was I thinking?)
“Because the process would change only a small, specific part of genetic code, scientists say a baby would largely retain the physical characteristics of the parents. Still, DNA from all three—mother, father, and donor—would remain with the child throughout a lifetime, opening questions about long-term effects for this generation, and potentially the next. Ethicists worry that allowing pre-birth gene manipulation may one day lead to build-to-order designer babies. ‘Once you make this change, if a female arises from the process and goes on to have children, that change is passed on, so it’s forever,’ Phil Yeske, chief science officer of the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation, said. ‘That’s uncharted territory; we just don’t know what it means. Permanent change of the human germline has never been done before, and we don’t know what will happen in future generations.’”
“Potentially, the procedure may cut off mitochondrial diseases that are passed down through females and occur in about 1 in 4,000 people. One example is Melas syndrome, which causes a person to have continuing small strokes that damage their brains, leading to vision loss, problems with movement, dementia and death, according to the National Institutes of Health. ‘What the FDA needs to think about is that this isn’t a procedure to repair mitochondrial disease,’ said Vamsi Mootha, a professor of systems biology and medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston who studies mitochondrial disorders. ‘It’s designed to prevent disease. It’s designed to offer a woman who’s a carrier for disease more options….’”
Once again, I am compelled to point out the fundamental flaw in this whole line of reasoning. It is based on the premise that there is no “Creator,” that all life is accidental, that it began on this planet through a lucky fluke, a natural event so incredibly unlikely it could never happen again (though—illogically—it is also taken as an article of faith that it must have happened on millions of other planets throughout the universe). Anyway, from that first fortuitous accident, successive species spontaneously appeared, evolving steadily upward until we arrived at the dizzyingly improbable complexity of the biosphere we know it today. The “fundamental flaw” lies in the fact that the human genome is deteriorating at an alarming rate—hence the perceived need for these transhumanist biological heroics. (If you’ll recall from our Appendix on Pestilence and Disease, there are well over 700 genetically caused diseases floating around in the human genome.) We are not evolving; we are devolving. 99.9% of all the species that ever lived are extinct, but neither the fossil record nor modern biology can perceive an ongoing proliferation of new life forms, or steady progress toward greater complexity. Quite the contrary: our genetic diseases are driving us all toward extinction—and sooner rather than later.
Thus everything the scientists know (as opposed to what they merely wish to be true) compels them to acknowledge the existence and work of a divine Creator. But once you’ve crossed that bridge, logic dictates that you also trust Him to know what He’s doing, listen to what He revealed about Himself and His plan, and yes, worship Him. If today’s scientists did this, they would doubtless find themselves working on, shall we say, less ethically thorny research. And yes, many would eventually find themselves without funding, tenure, or peer status. It’s that kind of world.
Lopatto concludes, “In the 1982 position paper, ‘Splicing Life,’ the President’s Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research made a distinction between gene therapy that takes place after someone is born compared with manipulation that occurs before, altering the body’s genome. ‘There was broad consensus that the latter, called germ-line engineering, shouldn’t be pursued, said Sheldon Krimsky [professor of Urban & Environmental Policy & Planning at Tufts University in Boston] who was one of the consultants for the paper. That changed ‘starting in the late 1990s, when people started whittling away at that distinction,’ he said. ‘You’re altering the genome of an unborn child, someone who can’t make a judgment about whether they want to be genetically modified,’ Krimsky said. ‘What will be next, once you allow this?’” The return of the nephilim, perhaps?
The Huffington Post, reporting on the same FDA conference, noted that “The only reason a prospective female parent would consider the procedure, known as “maternal spindle transfer” (MST), is if her own oocytes (the immature form of an egg) contained impaired mitochondria, or energy-extracting organelles. Only a handful of women who are affected by certain forms of mitochondrial disease would be candidates for MST, and they could use existing and far safer IVF techniques to have a healthy and genetically related child. But the researchers working on MST at Oregon Health Sciences University and Columbia University are eager to move ahead with it.” And why are they so eager? The cynic in me smells a vast new market in “designer babies,” once the technology has been perfected, patented, and packaged.
“One can make arguments in either direction about which of the female parents in an episode of MST is the “mother,” but biologically speaking, the woman who provides the egg has a unique role in the reproductive process. To see why this is the case it is helpful to note that many animals—some fish and frogs under natural conditions, and experimentally, mammals—can produce embryos from the egg alone, without fertilization. Such ‘parthenogenesis’ is not possible starting from an oocyte’s chromosomes or even an intact sperm cell.
“The egg is essential because in addition to its mitochondria it contains hundreds of different protein and RNA molecules it incorporates during its formation in the egg producer’s ovary. This information directs the use, or ‘expression,’ of the transferred genes at the early stages of the embryo’s development. From the standpoint of the woman who contributes this one non-redundant ingredient, the extent of genetic engineering of her egg in MST is massive….
“It is clear that much more than mitochondria is being transferred or donated in MST. This is obscured in most reports on the subject, even in scientific journals. A recent report in the journal Nature states, ‘The technique [combines] genetic material from a mitochondria donor, the mother who provides the nucleus, and a father.’ To use the emotive term ‘mother’ only for the donor of the maternal set of chromosomes downplays the unique biological role of the egg and of the woman who contributes it. It has the further effect of endorsing the false assertion of MST’s advocates that the procedure comes down to the transfer of a few (i.e., the mitochondrial) genes. What is actually being transferred are 20,000 or so genes provided by the chromosome donor.” I realize that they’re talking in biological (not sociological) terms here, but speaking as an adoptive parent (nine times over), I can state with assurance that one’s real mother is the one who nurtures him, cares for him, and loves him unconditionally as long as life lasts. Biology has little or nothing to do with it.
The article proceeds to enumerate serious flaws with the science: “Half of the human eggs tested underwent abnormal fertilization, with excess DNA being carried over to the embryos, resulting in chromosomal abnormalities.” Nevertheless, it was hinted that the FDA “is taking steps that may eventually lead to the procedure’s becoming an option in assisted reproduction for a small group of affected individuals. But because it is a much more extensive manipulation than advertised, it will open the door to routine applications of germline (i.e., inheritable) gene modification. In particular, once the transfer of an entire haploid (i.e., one-parent’s) set of chromosomes into a woman’s egg is considered acceptable, transfer of a smaller number of chromosomes or genes will be a much easier sell.” In other words, the people pushing for a new market in genetically modified children will continue to nibble away at the edges of all ethical resistance until there’s no moral principle remaining to stand upon—nothing left to defend. It’s the same satanic technique that brought us the United Nations, gay marriage, and gangsta rap song lyrics.
“Narrow and selective application of scientific information can be misleading about the contributions of, and impacts on, each of the adult participants of MST. Few would disagree that biologically, the most relevant perspective for judging the procedure is that of the new individual who would be brought into being by it. This person would develop from a fertilized egg in which all but a few genes (those of the mitochondria), not just those of the male parent, come from a source other than the egg itself. This clearly makes any such person a product of wholesale genetic engineering. We do not know nearly enough about the process of embryonic development for the FDA to even contemplate approving this procedure.” Which is not to say our government will not only contemplate it, but will eventually give its unqualified blessing—just as they did with genetically modified foods.
Be that as it may, the idea of using bits and pieces of DNA from two “mothers” in order to create one perfectly healthy baby—free from genetic diseases carried by the woman who intends to raise the child with her husband, the child’s father (what a concept!) could still be considered a worthy medical procedure, at least in theory. That is, it could be argued that an attempt is being made to address a bona fide health issue. Beyond obvious and welcome (and extremely rare) medical applications, though, much of the push toward transhumanism strikes me as solutions to problems that aren’t really problems at all—“progress” for the mere sake of forward motion: attempts to extend or enhance human functionality. (Let’s face it: that’s where the real money is.)
One transhumanist “hot button” that gets pushed over and over again in reference to the “Last Days” is that of microchips being implanted beneath the skin—a blending of computer functionality with biology. It would seem that hardly anybody, Christian or not, has any trouble seeing the potential connection between “the chip” and the dreaded and infamous “mark of the beast” of prophetic writ. “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, 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.” (Revelation 13:16-17) Subdermal microchips, of course, are not in themselves the mark of the beast—since the mark entails overt obeisance to Satan through loyalty to the antichrist. But they could easily be the vehicle by which the mark is implemented.
So prophecy researchers like me have been breathlessly watching the development of the microchip for the past decade or so. If you’ll recall, I discussed the history of the chip at length in chapter 19 of this book. But in the interests of bringing us up to date on the subject, let us consult an article published on ConscienceLifeNews.com (March 31, 2014) by Christina Sarich. It is entitled, ominously enough, “Getting Ready to Microchip the Entire Human Race.”
She writes, “Former Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) director and now Google Executive, Regina E. Duncan, has unveiled a super small, ingestible microchip that we can all be expected to swallow by 2017. ‘A means of authentication,’ she calls it, also called an electronic tattoo, which takes NSA spying to whole new levels. She talks of the ‘mechanical mismatch problem between machines and humans,’ and specifically targets 10-20 year olds in her rant about the wonderful qualities of this new technology that can stretch in the human body and still be functional.
“Hailed as a ‘critical shift for research and medicine,’ these biochips would not only allow full access to insurance companies and government agencies to our pharmaceutical med-taking compliancy (or lack thereof), but also a host of other aspects of our lives which are truly none of their business, and certainly an extension of the removal of our freedoms and rights.” This, of course, is where most transhumanist technology eventually leads—into bondage.
Sarich quotes the New York Times: “These biochips look like the integrated circuits in a personal computer, but instead of containing tiny semiconductors, they are loaded with bits of actual DNA that make up genes or fragments of genes. Inserted in a PC-sized analytical instrument, the chips allow scientists to perform thousands of biochemical experiments at a fraction of the cost and time required for traditional tests.”
While the typically naïve Times waxes eloquent on the glorious possibilities latent in this new diagnostic tool, Sarich is somewhat less enthusiastic—for good reason: “With bio-tech’s track record of hybridizing genes in our food and trees as GMOs, why should we give them full access to our entire genetic makeup? With a satellite or the click of a button, these tiny micro-chips could also be set to begin our own demise, or even control our minds.
“And the fact that microchipping has even been mentioned or considered in health care bills is insane. This new Health Care law (Obamacare) requires an RFID chip [to be] implanted in all of us. This chip will not only contain your personal information with tracking capability but it will also be linked to your bank account. And get this: page 1004 of the new law (dictating the timing of this chip), reads, and I quote: ‘Not later than 36 months after the date of the enactment.’ It is now the law of the land that by March 23rd 2013 we will all be required to have an RFID chip underneath our skin and this chip will be link to our bank accounts as well as have our personal records and tracking capability built into it…’”
It’s a demagogue’s dream come true. Or, it would be, were it true. Snopes.com, the web’s self-proclaimed rumor buster, notes: “The referenced information was not part of the ‘Obamacare’ health care legislation actually enacted by Congress. The page numbers and language cited… were taken from HR 3200, an early House version of health care reform legislation which was never passed by Congress…. The cited wording did not appear in the replacement bill (HR 3590) eventually passed as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and although similar language was included in initial versions of the subsequent reconciliation bill (HR 4872), it too did not appear in the final version of that bill as passed by Congress.”
So all it really proves is that the idea of an implantable microchip giving the government access to your most sensitive personal information is near and dear to the powers that be. More to the point, if history is any indication, they will continue to probe for weaknesses in our resolve—until the human race wakes up one morning with “a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads,” ensuring that “that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark…” So far, the RFID chip is just a trial balloon, a flag that progressives will continue to run up the flagpole until somebody salutes.
And it gets worse…
Anybody with his head on straight should be alarmed at the inroads that genetically modified organisms, GMOs, have made in our food supply. As we discussed a few chapters back, these aren’t merely hybrids or the result of selective breeding, but are rather the blending of the genomes of two completely different kinds of creatures—corn and bacteria, for example. I suppose it was inevitable that eventually, the mad scientists would try to genetically modify human DNA by blending it with that of non-human species. Another article by Michael Snyder appeared on the July 11, 2013 edition of BlacklistedNews.com. It’s entitled “Human-Animal Hybrids: Sick and Twisted Chimeras are Being Created in Labs All Over the Planet.” Hybrids is probably not the most technically accurate description he could have used, but I think we get the picture.
The exposé reports that computers aren’t the only things being “merged” with human biology. Snyder writes, “Scientists all over the globe are creating extremely bizarre human-animal chimeras. Over the past decade, there have been some absolutely stunning advances in the field of genetic modification. Today, it is literally possible for college students to create new lifeforms in their basements. Unfortunately, laws have not kept pace with these advancements, and in many countries there are very few limits on what scientists are allowed to do….
“Scientists have created genetically-engineered mice with artificial human chromosomes in every cell of their bodies, as part of a series of studies showing that it may be possible to treat genetic diseases with a radically new form of gene therapy. In one of the unpublished studies, researchers made a human artificial chromosome in the laboratory from chemical building blocks rather than chipping away at an existing human chromosome, indicating the increasingly powerful technology behind the new field of synthetic biology.
“Creating mice with artificial human chromosomes is one thing. Creating mice with partly human brains is a whole different ball of wax. According to LifeNews.com, researchers at the University of Wisconsin have successfully transferred cells from human embryos into the brains of mice. Those cells began to grow and develop, and they actually made the mice smarter…. Researchers injected mice with an immunotoxin to destroy a part of their brains—the hippocampus—that’s associated with learning, memory, and spatial reasoning. Then the researchers replaced those damaged cells with cells derived from human embryos. The cells proliferated and the lab chimeras recovered their ability to navigate a water maze….” Don’t let the source of these implanted cells go unnoticed: they came from human embryos—known as “aborted babies” to you and me. Never let an abomination go to waste.
“Apparently, it is now even possible to grow entire human organs inside animals. In fact, scientists in Japan plan to start systematically growing human organs inside of pigs within 12 months. The goal is to increase the number of organs available for medical transplants, as a recent Infowars.com article explained: ‘A panel of scientists and legal experts appointed by the Japanese government will be gathering together to begin drafting guidelines governing Japan’s historic embryonic research. If all goes according to plan, scientists hope to begin growing human organs in animals [most likely, pigs] within the next 12 months…. Once the embryo is implanted it will grow into a perfect human [organ]—a heart, a kidney, a pancreas, and so on. Then, when the adult pig is slaughtered, the organ will be harvested and transplanted into someone who needs a new one.’”
Hence the ethical dilemma: “But once a human organ is grown inside a pig, that pig is no longer fully a pig. And without a doubt, that organ will no longer be a fully human organ after it is grown inside the pig. Those receiving those organs will be allowing human-animal hybrid organs to be implanted into them. One can only imagine what the consequences of doing such a thing would be. You would think that there should be strict limits on this kind of a thing. And in a few areas around the globe, there are some limits. But most of the time the ethical decisions are left up to the scientists: ‘Two years ago, the UK Academy of Medical Sciences released a groundbreaking report on “animals containing human material.” It concluded that most research on chimeras is permitted by existing UK laws. But it also identified some experiments that should not (yet) be done because of strong ethical objections. One is to breed an animal that has human sperm or eggs. Another is to create a non-human primate with a humanized brain.’”
One wonders whether the Torah’s death-penalty prohibition against bestiality (in Leviticus 18—right after God’s clear commandment adamantly forbidding homosexuality) would be technically violated by these “scientific advancements.” Call me timid, but if it were up to me, I wouldn’t touch this technology with a ten-cubit cattle prod.
But Michael Snyder assures us that today’s scientific community has no such qualms: “Most people would be absolutely shocked to learn some of the things that are currently being done in the name of science. For example, rice that contains actual human genes is being grown right now in Kansas…. Since about 2006, Ventria has been quietly cultivating rice that has been genetically modified (GM) with genes from the human liver for the purpose of taking the artificial proteins produced by this ‘Frankenrice’ and using them in pharmaceuticals.” So would ingesting something made with this rice constitute cannibalism?
He notes that “Figures seen by the Daily Mail show that 155 ‘admixed’ embryos, containing both human and animal genetic material, have been created since the introduction of the 2008 Human Fertilization Embryology Act. This legalized the creation of a variety of hybrids, including an animal egg fertilized by a human sperm; ‘cybrids’, in which a human nucleus is implanted into an animal cell; and ‘chimeras’, in which human cells are mixed with animal embryos.”
“Sadly, this kind of thing is being done all over the planet. Just check out some of the truly bizarre human-animal hybrid experiments that have been taking place all over the globe according to a recent Slate article: ‘Not long ago, Chinese scientists embedded genes for human milk proteins into a mouse’s genome and have since created herds of humanized-milk-producing goats. Meanwhile, researchers at the University of Michigan have a method for putting a human anal sphincter into a mouse as a means of finding better treatments for fecal incontinence, and doctors are building animals with humanized immune systems to serve as subjects for new HIV vaccines.’ And here are some other ways that humans and animals are being combined: rabbit eggs with human cells; pigs with human blood; sheep with human livers; cow eggs with human cells; cat-human hybrid proteins.”
As usual, the stated justification for these laboratory experiments is the promise of enhanced medical treatment. But perhaps the simple answer is “because we can.” One gets the sinking feeling that the mad scientists are simply trying out new combinations of genetic code, waiting for serendipity to strike. After all, scientific serendipity these days can be worth hundreds of billions of dollars—almost enough to pay off one’s student loans. Perhaps somebody needs to remind them that Batman and Cat Woman are cartoon characters, and Frankenstein was a horror story. If you are not (1) alarmed, (2) disgusted, (3) outraged, or (4) dismayed (or all of the above) by now, then you have not been paying attention.
Global disarmament has been a recurring dream of God’s prophets and wishful thinkers alike since time immemorial. Ever since Cain killed Abel with a rock or stick, people have been horrified at man’s hatred toward his brother—while at the same time we worked feverishly creating weapons with which to more efficiently slay one another. Bronze made better weapons than wood; then iron replaced bronze; lead and gunpowder rose to ascendency, only to be eclipsed (though not replaced) by chemicals, nuclear physics, bio-weaponry, and electronics. Today, guns by the millions in the hands of private citizens are the only things standing between some free societies and their power-hungry governments—though the price of such a thing is the enabling and equipping of an immoral criminal class, for whom the laws of God and man mean nothing.
As long as sinful men rule the earth, it seems, weapons will be a necessary evil—a means of defense and a deterrence against aggression. Unfortunately, nobody these days seems to know the difference between defense and a preemptive strike. But the time is coming when Yahweh—as King Yahshua—will rule the earth with a rod of iron, making weapons in the hands of mortal men the height of superfluity. “For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people. They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4, cf. Micah 4:3) But until that happens, the creative nature of mankind—under the influence of his corrupt state—will continue to be squandered on the invention of more and more sophisticated ways of killing each other.
I’m not just talking about “better” guns, bombs, or missiles, for in these Last Days, mankind has begun devising weaponry that goes far beyond the simple concept of killing people by launching projectiles at them. But due to their ubiquity, guns are a good place to begin our discussion of high-tech weapons. Today, working models exist for a folding machine gun that disguises itself as an external laptop battery, handguns that require fingerprint ID to fire, or grenade launchers that fire around corners, expend multiple rounds, or have shells programmable to explode at any given point along their trajectory. Bombs exist that you can program how deep into the target they’ll penetrate before they detonate. Missiles are so accurate these days, they can target a single room within a building. If it will deliver a projectile downrange guaranteed to stop the enemy, then somebody has built it—or plans to. There is big money to be made in the facilitation of hatred these days.
The unravelling of a society’s moral structure—its increasing willingness to follow man’s path (or Satan’s) instead of God’s—keeps our obsession with weapons on full boil. This is most obvious in regions in which fundamentalist Islam and its consequent hatreds have taken root: a Muslim in the Middle East is far more likely to be murdered by another Muslim than to experience death from any other cause. But the effect of godlessness in society needn’t be nearly this complete or pervasive to make life dangerous. Post-Christian America is a good example of what can happen when God’s wisdom is abandoned in favor of man’s lusts. When “You shall not steal; you shall not covet” is replaced with “I want it, so I’m going to take it,” no one is safe anymore.
Police today often have to walk a fine line between “protecting and serving” and using overwhelming deadly force in the interests of self-preservation on the job. Sometimes a gun can stop anything but the subsequent riot or lawsuit. When whole communities have broken free of their moral moorings—when young thugs become local heroes simply because their belligerence has gotten them killed before their time—when race-baiting demagogues descend on the scene of some tragedy with the sole purpose of inciting racial hatred (if the dead aggressor happens to have the right skin color)—when feelings of sadness and dismay morph illogically into rioting, looting, and burning—then what could and should have been a symbiotic relationship between law enforcement and the community it serves becomes instead a state of tense adversarial confrontation. In such times, police can forget their purpose and mandate, and citizens forget why they hired them in the first place. The pendulum swings back and forth between anarchy and oppression; and the sweet spot between them—a peaceful, law abiding citizenry backed up with helpful police equipped to deal with accidents, emergencies, and the occasional domestic dispute—is becoming increasingly hard to find.
So it is not exactly out of a spirit of love or kindness that a whole new industry has arisen: the creation of weapons that are “less lethal.” The spirit here is partly one of self-preservation and measured response, but mostly of avoiding lawsuits and ridiculous and counterproductive new regulations. Less-lethal weapons are designed to stop bad behavior without killing the perpetrator. So police now have access to guns that fire a bean-bag round that will knock you down and leave a nasty bruise, but is designed not to kill you. For close quarters, there are conducted electrical weapons (CEWs) such as tasers and stun-guns that deliver a shock that is calibrated to stop the most crazed and unreasonable offender in his tracks. High powered strobe lights are used to disorient recalcitrant suspects. Aerosol chemicals like oleoresin capsicum (or alternatively, “pepper spray paintballs”) have become commonplace. When people are rioting in the streets, law enforcement agencies have water cannons, tear gas, and even nausea inducing infrasonic sound generators—because felony stupid is not really supposed to be a capital crime.
The other side to the coin is the issue of firearms in the hands of ordinary citizens. In a perfect world, of course, such things would not be necessary, except perhaps for putting food on the table or protection against animal predators in rural areas. But this world is far from perfect. So America’s Founding Fathers (wisely, to my mind) framed private gun ownership as a fundamental and natural right. The Second Amendment to the Constitution reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Interestingly, their stated reasons for protecting private gun ownership had nothing to do with hunting, and everything to do with security and freedom in the face of threats from people—especially governments, both foreign and domestic—who would, if given the chance, attack and subjugate an unarmed populace. It has been wisely observed that the people who want to do away with the Second Amendment are the very people against whom the law was designed to protect us. And alas, recent history is replete with examples of peoples who were first disarmed by their own governments, and then enslaved or annihilated by them. In this world, governments should fear their citizens, not vice versa.
But what about guns in the hands of criminals—convicted felons? Does not the proliferation of weapons in the hands of ordinary citizens make it easier for criminals to obtain guns? Indeed it does, but this is beside the point: such criminals are already prohibited by law from owning firearms, and it is also (obviously) against the law to use a gun in the commission of a crime. The point is that criminals by definition do not obey the law. So it makes no sense whatsoever to pass legislation prohibiting law-abiding citizens from keeping and carrying firearms for self-defense.
Predictably, the crime rate in this nation is far higher in cities (like Chicago, Detroit, Washington D.C., and New Orleans) with restrictive gun laws designed to keep firearms out of the hands of ordinary citizens, not just criminals—in the process making self-defense impossible. Meanwhile, both Switzerland and Israel have citizen militias in which virtually everybody of a certain age serves in the country’s military, are trained in the use of firearms, and are required by law to maintain their weapons, even when off duty. As a result, property crime rates in both these nations are extremely low. This should come as no surprise, but to some people, it does.
It is only when we begin looking at emerging trends in military weaponry on a national scale that we realize that guns (including such things as mortars, grenade launchers, and artillery) are only the tip of the iceberg. The tools we have created with which to do harm to each other are now as varied as our imaginations will allow. There was a time when “Yahweh saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5) Somehow I don’t think we’ve made much progress since then. Here is a glimpse at a few of the weapons and delivery systems that have been developed over the past few years.
(1) Drones and Microbots.
Heavier-than-air flight is (can you believe it?) only a little over a century old. Once we got to the point where military aircraft were so sophisticated they couldn’t really be flown without their onboard computers (a process called “fly by wire), it was only a matter of time before our military gurus figured out that for quite a few battlefield functions, putting a valuable pilot at risk (not to mention a multi-billion dollar aircraft) just didn’t make sense anymore—not when it was possible to fly a relatively cheap unmanned aircraft into the operating theater from a nice, safe computer console a thousand miles away. Nowadays, gathering intel or delivering bombs is often a lot like playing a computer game—which is where a lot of the drone “pilots” learned how to “fly” in the first place.
Wikipedia gives us the nuts and bolts: “An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a ‘drone’ and referred to as a Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), is an aircraft without a human pilot aboard. There are different kinds of drones: UAS (Unmanned Air System), UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), RAPS (Remote Piloted Aircraft Systems) and Model Aircraft. Its flight is controlled either autonomously by onboard computers or by the remote control of a pilot on the ground or in another vehicle. The typical launch and recovery method of an unmanned aircraft is by the function of an automatic system or an external operator on the ground….
“They are usually deployed for military and special operation applications, but are also used in a small but growing number of civil applications, such as policing and firefighting, and nonmilitary security work, such as surveillance of pipelines. UAVs are often preferred for missions that are too ‘dull, dirty or dangerous’ for manned aircraft….
“The U.S. Air Force has recently begun referring, at least to larger UAS like Predator, Reaper, and Global Hawk, as Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) to highlight the fact that these systems are always controlled by a human operator at some location. However, artificial intelligence is advancing to the point where the aircraft are easily capable of taking off, landing, and flying themselves. Then they simply have to be instructed as to their mission. The military distinguishes between ‘man in the loop’ (piloted) and ‘man on the loop’ (supervised) systems, with ‘fully autonomous’ (issued orders) growing organically from the second into a third category. A.I. systems have been capable of making decisions and planning sequences of actions for decades. As of 2013, few fully autonomous systems have been constructed, but this is more a matter of convenience and technical implementation than of any fundamental barrier….
“To distinguish UAVs from missiles, a UAV is defined as a ‘powered, aerial vehicle that does not carry a human operator, uses aerodynamic forces to provide vehicle lift, can fly autonomously or be piloted remotely, can be expendable or recoverable, and can carry a lethal or nonlethal payload.’ Therefore, cruise missiles are not considered UAVs because, like many other guided missiles, the vehicle itself is a weapon that is not reused, even though it is also unmanned and in some cases remotely guided.”
UAVs needn’t look like traditional fixed-winged airplanes (such as the well-known Predator drone, in service since 1995). Fox News (September 18, 2014) introduces us to an emerging trend: micro-drones that mimic bugs in their role as intelligence gatherers. “Is it a wasp? Is it a spider? Is it a fly? It’s actually a tiny drone conducting a military surveillance mission. Tiny intelligent flying and crawling robots, inspired by insects and animals, could soon help the armed forces…. The Micro Autonomous Systems and Technology (MAST)-inspired micro robots could provide U.S. ground forces, small units and individual soldiers with the capability to conduct surveillance within complex urban environments and difficult terrain—significantly increasing their safety.
“One BAE Systems prototype looks like a fly and weighs less than an ounce. Its lightweight carbon joints help the robot imitate real flies. With a wingspan of just over an inch, its wings beat 110 times per second. The University of Pennsylvania’s smallest robot weighs less than three quarters of an ounce and is very quick—travelling at about 53 body lengths per second. Other tech resembles spiders and lizards.
“The robots could be sent on missions to collect lifesaving data for frontline troops. MAST hopes to produce lots of different microbots that will give soldiers additional eyes and ears for different environments. In urban, rough or complex terrains, the microbots could be particularly useful for small units, giving them better situational awareness. Microbots can capitalize on their size to move quietly and easily access small spaces. If a unit approaches a building and needs to know what’s inside, for example, the soldiers could deploy a reconnaissance team of microbots. The robots could penetrate the building undetected, search the interior, map the layout, and provide data on the building’s occupants and their locations.
“Soldiers may also need to enter areas where GPS technology won’t function, such as underground. This would be another scenario where the microbots could provide 3D mapping and navigation. They could also be used to detect and track people or to locate threats such as explosives and bomb making materials. The bots will know the relative positions of their robot counterparts and can detect obstacles in the path of the mini surveillance team. The flying mini-drones will also detect obstacles and threats located above, below, at either side and behind the microbots….
“To ensure that these microbots can be monitored and managed as groups, the team is creating cutting-edge methods of sensing, communication, control and computation. The robots will be able to operate on their own and may eventually be equipped with a range of sensors for location and orientation. They may also provide additional data from audio, thermal, magnetic, and chemical sensors.
“Insects and other animals have been key to developing the mini drones. Working out how insects sense their environment, move around and react to threats is leading to breakthroughs. The Army Research Laboratory, for example, has studied scorpion biomechanics. The hairs on a scorpion’s arm can sense vibrations and identify threats in its environment. Researchers want to replicate this capability, allowing a robot to detect footsteps and, if necessary, hide. The scorpion’s tail system helps it change its center of motion and gravity. Scientists have also been looking at building a robot version of a scorpion’s tail, which helps the arthropod change its center of motion and gravity.” It’s all wonderful technology—except of course for the fact that its sole purpose is to gain a tactical advantage over people you’re trying to kill.
The development of microbot-drones makes me wonder about one of the more esoteric passages in prophetic scripture—the trumpet judgments of Revelation 8 and 9. The first four trumpets appear to happen during the first half of the Tribulation—before the Antichrist’s reign of terror begins: a nuclear war that burns a third of the world’s vegetation, a volcanic eruption that turns a third of the earth’s seas to “blood,” an asteroid strike that poisons a third of the planet’s fresh water supply, and darkened skies over a third of the earth’s surface. But the fifth trumpet judgment (Revelation 9:1-11) speaks of locust-like beings who sting like scorpions being deployed, apparently by a demon (he’s described as a “fallen star”). Their mission is to torment (but not kill) people who “do not have the seal of God on their foreheads” for a period of five months. It is not much of an extrapolation to define this group (at the very least) as those who have received the “mark of the beast,” allying them with Satan and his Antichrist—which would place this plague early in the second half of the seven-year Tribulation (perhaps in 2031).
John describes these “locusts,” but they aren’t like anything we’d encounter in nature: “The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were crowns of something like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. They had hair like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle. They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men five months. And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon [i.e. Destroyer].” (Revelation 9:7-11)
For the moment, forget about who is controlling them, and focus on what they look like—and what they do. Since they have no counterpart in nature, they are either supernatural (i.e., demonic) or they are manmade. I’m not in a position to be dogmatic either way; I’m merely offering a theory—food for thought. Demons have never been known to have their own corporeal existence, but rather, as spiritual beings, have always been dependent on dwelling within (and exercising influence or control over) a mortal host, whether human or animal. So the idea that now, for the first time in history, they suddenly have their own physical bodies would seem unlikely. But what if these “locusts” turned out to be microbots—drones that have been invented and manufactured by human beings, men who are in turn being driven by a demonic agenda?
We have already seen how the “image to the beast” central to the worship of the Antichrist is to be made by people (whether under duress or not) at the command of the “false prophet” (Revelation 13:14). So it’s not unreasonable to conclude that these flying, stinging, scorpion-tailed “locusts” could be a manmade plague as well—microbots manufactured by the billions in automated factories. Between the advances in artificial intelligence, battery development, miniaturization, and materials technology that might be expected to become reality by the fourth decade of the twenty-first century, the scenario is perfectly plausible. If they’re manmade, what makes them home in on holders of the mark of the beast is left to our speculation, but it could easily have something to do with the way the mark can be expected to be implemented—presumably with a subdermal RFID (i.e., radio frequency identification) chip of some sort.
The “five months” of their reign of terror could be a reference to the limits of their power supply, or perhaps an indication that the command and control center from which they’re operated is at last breached and rendered inoperable. We’re not given enough data to be dogmatic about any particular theory—but the bottom line is, the locusts are only able to torment people for five months.
The obvious objection to the theory is motive: the locusts are seen tormenting Yahweh’s enemies, not the Antichrist’s. That being said, the prophetic text clearly states that the Antichrist is not controlling them: that is being done by the “angel of the bottomless pit”—ostensibly, a demon. But angels—even fallen ones—cannot refuse a direct order from their Creator. If He says, “Proceed to the abyss,” or “Go into that herd of pigs,” they have no choice but to comply. Nor can demons be relied upon to be loyal allies to those who are in Satan’s grasp. Betrayal is what they do. God may allow them a modicum of latitude in this world (for His own purposes, as inconvenient as it may seem to us) but when given a direct order, they must do what He says. Under this scenario, then, the stinging locusts of Revelation 9 may be the work of mad scientists whose research has, like Frankenstein’s monster, gone horribly awry.
Well, it’s a theory. No guarantees.
(2) Laser weapons.
“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”—Han Solo (Star Wars, Episode IV). Yes, hand-held laser weapons have been standard fare in spacey sci-fi movies since the 1970s. Actually, Buck Rogers’ “ray guns” served as the prototypes for all such futuristic fictional weaponry as early as 1933. As we have seen, whatever Hollywood screenwriters can dream up, the mad scientists will eventually try to build.
In this century, laser rifles have actually been built by guys tinkering in their garages, not that they’re terribly practical—yet. Back in 2011, Patrick Priebe built one, and published his results on HackedGadgets.com: “It holds a small pulse laser head, capable of generating aMW-pulse [sic] of coherent infra-red light. One shot can punch through a razorblade, plastic, 5mm Styrofoam when focused. Effective range on 3m (dark surfaces)…. You will see a stinging flame and a 5mm stain will remain on target. The goal was to create handheld device…as compact as possible. It’s 320mm long and weighs about 2 pounds. Materials used: Plexi for the center-plate, and brass / aluminum for the casing. Each and every part, handmade…took about 70 hours of work.”
But for all practical purposes, the first really useful laser guns will be a wee bit larger. Just as technicians in 1960 were justifiably proud if they could build a computer that would fit into a single room, the first laser weapons likely to be deployed will be held in naval vessels, not holsters. BreakingDefense.com (May 19, 2014) published an article by Sydney J. Freedberg, Jr. entitled “Laser Weapons: Lower Expectations, Higher Threats,” in which he explained how far we’ve come in making laser weapons a military reality:
“Lasers that can shoot down incoming missiles have been a work in progress since Ronald Reagan’s ‘Star Wars’ days. Now, the Army and Navy not only have working demonstration models but ambitions to field real-world weapons circa 2021.” The reasons they expect to finally achieve a working weapon after all these years are both tactical and technological. “Not only have lasers gotten better, the military’s expectations have gotten lower—and the urgency of the threat has gotten higher.
Quoting Pentagon science advisor Howard Meyer, Freedberg reports, “Technologically, as in so many other areas, commercial industry is leading the way: ‘I can buy lasers for welding, for cutting, [etc.],’ Meyer told me. ‘There are thousands of these systems out in industry applications all over the world.’ In fact, the Navy’s ‘laser weapon system’ (LaWS) is basically just six commercial welding lasers ‘strapped together’…. The six lasers don’t even cohere into a single beam, he said; they just converge at the target. The simplicity of that approach is what has allowed the Navy to advance LaWS quickly and affordably…. LaWS also embodies the more modest and yet more urgent missions the military now envisions for lasers.
“Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative envisioned a belt of satellites to shoot down Soviet warheads in space. The enormous flying airborne laser focused on shooting down a few ballistic missiles—say, a North Korean strike—shortly after launch, when warhead and rocket booster are still attached in one large, combustible target. The ABL technology actually worked, said Meyer, but the equipment and chemical power supply filled a converted 747, and the military felt the vulnerable aircraft would be easily shot down before it got into laser range.
“By contrast, both the Navy LaWS and the Army’s ‘mobile high-energy laser demonstrator’ are relatively small solid-state lasers, able to fit on a ship and a truck respectively. They’re also designed to fire over relatively short distances at targets much slower and less durable than a ballistic missile, targets such as small drones, fast-attack boats, precision-guided mortar rounds, tactical rockets, or—at the high end—anti-ship cruise missiles. Iran and its proxy Hezbollah have most of these weapons already and are working on the others, and many experts predict cheap precision-guided weapons will proliferate worldwide in the near future.
“Meyer agrees. In future conflicts, ‘I am going to have mortar rounds or cruise missiles or UAVs coming in,’ he told me. ‘We will be absorbing G-RAMM [guided rockets, artillery, mortars, and missiles]. We either have to take it out or we have to suffer the losses.’ That’s the urgent but achievable mission driving the Army and Navy programs. The shipboard LaWS generates just 33 kilowatts of laser energy and still manages to shoot down slow-moving drones in tests; the Navy wants to build a follow-up model generating roughly 60 to 100 kw, potentially mounted on the small Littoral Combat Ship or the mid-sized Arleigh Burke destroyer. The Army, meanwhile, is looking at laser defense platoons with either three 100-kw lasers mounted on large trucks or five 50-kw lasers mounted on smaller Stryker armored vehicles. These power levels can take out cruise missiles, drones, and manned aircraft at ranges of a few miles. Longer ranges would require hundreds of kilowatts, however, and killing a ballistic missile in boost phase would take about a thousand kilowatts—one megawatt or more. An ICBM warhead, designed to survive the heat of reentry, is practically laser-proof.
“So the lasers likely to be fielded in the early 2020s will be modest self-defense systems, one part of a larger array of countermeasures ranging from Patriot-style anti-missile missiles to electronic jamming, cyberwarfare, and simple preemptive strikes…. Precisely because they’re not supposed to be superweapons, however, they’re also more achievable.”
Wikipedia adds, “The Laser Weapon System or LaWS is a directed-energy weapon developed by the United States Navy…. The intended use of the LaWS is ship-defense against drones or small-boat attackers (whether suicidal or not); the LaWS at present is not designed to engage incoming missiles, large aircraft, ships, or submerged objects. LaWS utilizes a solid-state infrared beam which can be tuned to high output to destroy the target, or low output to warn or cripple the sensors of a target. Among the advantages of this device versus projectile weapons is the low cost per shot, as each firing of the weapon requires only the minimal cost of generating the energetic pulse; by contrast, ordnance for projectile weapons must be designed, handled, and transported, take up storage space, and require maintenance.”
Gizmag.com (September 8, 2014) reports on progress that has been made overcoming one of laser weaponry’s Achilles heels: adverse atmospheric conditions. “The problem laser weapons face [is that] such conditions as fog and rain scatter the energy that should be destroying missiles. However, in recent tests at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, Boeing and the US Army have shown that their High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD) is capable of successfully locking onto and taking out targets in very laser-unfriendly foggy, rainy, and windy maritime conditions.
“The HEL-MD is the US Army’s first mobile, high-energy laser, Counter Rocket, Artillery and Mortar (C-RAM) platform. It consists of a 10-kW high-energy laser mounted on an Oshkosh tactical vehicle and is capable of tracking and engaging (a polite way to say ‘blasting out of the sky’) a variety of targets. It has already undergone extensive testing at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico in 2013 and at Eglin earlier this year, and now Boeing says that it has managed to engage 150 aerial targets. And not just in the clear, sunny skies of New Mexico, but in the windy, rainy, and foggy conditions in Florida that would normally make for a bad day for the lasers. But the HEL-MD still managed to deal with its targets, including 60 mm mortars and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
“Exactly how this was done is something that Boeing is keeping close to its chest, but it’s likely that it involves using a reference laser beam to probe through, for example, the fog so that computers could analyze how the atmospheric conditions were distorting the laser. The optics in the HEL-MD would then refocus the weapon beam, so the distortion, instead of spreading it or bending it off course, puts it back into the right shape.
“According to Boeing, the next step for the HEL-MD is to boost the power by swapping out the 10-kW laser with a 50- or 60-kW version as part of a demonstration of how well the laser weapon does against other rocket, artillery, mortar and UAV targets. ‘With capabilities like HEL MD, Boeing is demonstrating that directed energy technologies can augment existing kinetic strike weapons and offer a significant reduction in cost per engagement, says Dave DeYoung, Boeing Directed Energy Systems director. ‘With only the cost of diesel fuel, the laser system can fire repeatedly without expending valuable munitions or additional manpower.’”
Frankly, I’m getting a little tired of people spending multiplied billions of dollars (whether borrowed or taxed) on new weaponry and then trying to “sell me” on it by playing the “economy” card. But perhaps it’s just that all these dozens of doomsday factors, converging on a none-too-distant date, are making me cranky. If the military expects these laser weapons to be “fielded in the early 2020s” as modest but practical systems, then you can bet they’re expecting to be able to do some real damage with them by the fourth decade of the twenty-first century.
(3) EMP and Microwave weapons.
One of the reasons warfare is so expensive these days is that there is a whole lot more to it than lining up and firing guns at each other, Civil War style. Nowadays, computers are as important as cannons in controlling the battlespace. From their humble (yet massive) initial role as targeting tools on battleships during the 1940s, computers are now indispensable in every phase of war—from intelligence gathering, to weapons control, to communications, to tracking inventories of food and munitions. Vehicles, whether ground, sea, or air, do not run without their onboard computer chips. So if you could disable every computer and circuit board being used by both sides of a military conflict, you would instantaneously take the tactics back a hundred years. And if one side could take out all of the computers of the other, an immense advantage would be gained.
That explains why there is a frantic two-pronged research initiative underway seeking to (1) invent electronic weapons that can disable the enemies’ computers, while (2) rendering your own computers invulnerable. It’s sort of like what happened during the age of the Judges, when the Philistines developed iron weapons, while doing everything they could to keep them out of the hands of the bronze-equipped Israelites. Some things never change. While seeking an advantage in battle has been the goal ever since men began hating each other, it is helpful to remember that the Philistines are extinct, while the Israelites, though the most vilified people in history, are still around. Sometimes it’s not what you have that counts, but who has your back.
That being said, BBC.com (September 9, 2013) reported on a new weapons system being designed to kill not people, but their computers: “Imagine a weapon that can knock out all the computers in a Syrian military command centre without killing a single person. That’s the idea behind high power microwave weapons, which are designed to destroy electronics without causing any physical damage. Last year, Boeing released a video of its High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project (Champ)—a missile that essentially fries circuits by causing a surge in power. In the short film, Champ was seen taking out a bank of computers. While the system is likely to be still several years away from being fielded, the Air Force has conducted classified work in high power microwaves for years, and some suspect it already has such weapons available.”
It was noticed decades ago that nuclear detonations tend to fry any electronics that are operating in the vicinity when the bomb goes off. The reason is not the blast itself, but a side effect, something called an electromagnetic pulse (or EMP). Unfortunately, EMP events don’t necessarily require a thermonuclear detonation: they can also be generated independently (theoretically, anyway): an “e-bomb” in the hands of terrorists could cripple an electronically dependent community. There is also danger from strong solar flares, if they occur at just the right/wrong time and place. For example, the geomagnetic storm that struck Quebec on March 13, 1989 blacked out all of eastern Canada and parts of New England for twelve hours, causing billions of dollars in economic losses. And as you’ll recall, we elsewhere discussed how the 1859 “Carrington Event,” another solar-generated EMP, would have caused catastrophic damage if it had happened in this century.
Tom Harris, writing for HowStuffWorks.com, discusses the military applications of electromagnetic pulse weaponry: “The United States is drawn to EMP technology because it is potentially non-lethal, but is still highly destructive. An E-bomb attack would leave buildings standing and spare lives, but it could destroy a sizeable military.” This sort of politically correct “kinder, gentler” sort of warfare actually made some sense when our adversaries were Nazis or Communists, or even drug lords. But now that we find ourselves fighting fundamentalist Muslims—who are commanded by their scriptures to either kill the infidels (us), die trying, or face Allah’s wrath in the hottest fires of hell themselves—we need to face the fact that (to paraphrase General Philip Sheridan), the only good jihadist is a dead jihadist. That is, as long as they draw breath, Qur’an-believing Islamists will dedicate their lives to our destruction, without regard to their own welfare. I’m not advocating genocide, you understand; I’m merely saying that it is impossible to “coexist” with live jihadists. Were it not for Yahweh’s plan for world peace, no flesh would be saved—including the Muslims’.
Be that as it may, EMP research is ongoing. Harris writes, “There is a range of possible attack scenarios. Low-level electromagnetic pulses would temporarily jam electronics systems, more intense pulses would corrupt important computer data and very powerful bursts would completely fry electric and electronic equipment. In modern warfare, the various levels of attack could accomplish a number of important combat missions without racking up many casualties. For example, an e-bomb could effectively neutralize: vehicle control systems; targeting systems, on the ground and on missiles and bombs; communications systems; navigation systems; and long and short-range sensor systems.”
He sees pulse weapons as an alternative to nukes: “EMP weapons could be especially useful in an invasion of Iraq, because a pulse might effectively neutralize underground bunkers. Most of Iraq's underground bunkers are hard to reach with conventional bombs and missiles. A nuclear blast could effectively demolish many of these bunkers, but this would take a devastating toll on surrounding areas. An electromagnetic pulse could pass through the ground, knocking out the bunker’s lights, ventilation systems, communications—even electric doors. The bunker would be completely uninhabitable.
But here’s the rub. “U.S. forces are also highly vulnerable to EMP attack, however. In recent years, the U.S. military has added sophisticated electronics to the full range of its arsenal. This electronic technology is largely built around consumer-grade semiconductor devices, which are highly sensitive to any power surge…. A widespread EMP attack in any country would compromise a military’s ability to organize itself. Ground troops might have perfectly functioning non-electric weapons (like machine guns), but they wouldn’t have the equipment to plan an attack or locate the enemy. Effectively, an EMP attack could reduce any military unit into a guerilla-type army.
“While EMP weapons are generally considered non-lethal, they could easily kill people if they were directed towards particular targets. If an EMP knocked out a hospital’s electricity, for example, any patient on life support would die immediately. An EMP weapon could also neutralize vehicles, including aircraft, causing catastrophic accidents. In the end, the most far-reaching effect of an e-bomb could be psychological. A full-scale EMP attack in a developed country would instantly bring modern life to a screeching halt. There would be plenty of survivors, but they would find themselves in a very different world.” Imagine suddenly finding yourself back in the 19th century, possessing only 21st century skills. How long would you last?
Wikipedia explains a bit more about how electromagnetic pulses are generated with nuclear weapons: “NEMP (Nuclear EMP) is the abrupt pulse of electromagnetic radiation resulting from a nuclear explosion. The resulting rapidly changing electric fields and magnetic fields may couple with electrical/electronic systems to produce damaging current and voltage surges.
“In military terminology, a nuclear warhead detonated hundreds of kilometers above the Earth’s surface is known as a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP) device. Typically, the HEMP device produces the EMP as its primary damage mechanism. The nuclear device does this by producing gamma rays, which in turn are converted into EMP in the mid-stratosphere over a wide area within line of sight to the detonation. NEMP weapons are designed to maximize such effects, especially on electronic systems, and are capable of destroying susceptible electronic equipment over a wide area….
“A non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse (NNEMP) is a weapon-generated electromagnetic pulse without use of nuclear technology. Devices that can achieve this objective include a large low-inductance capacitor bank discharged into a single-loop antenna, a microwave generator and an explosively pumped flux compression generator. To achieve the frequency characteristics of the pulse needed for optimal coupling into the target, wave-shaping circuits and/or microwave generators are added between the pulse source and the antenna. Vircators are vacuum tubes that are particularly suitable for microwave conversion of high-energy pulses. NNEMP generators can be carried as a payload of bombs, cruise missiles (such as the CHAMP missile) and drones, with diminished mechanical, thermal and ionizing radiation effects, but without the political consequences of deploying nuclear weapons.
So why don’t we use them much in battle? “The range of NNEMP weapons (non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse bombs) is much less than nuclear EMP. Nearly all NNEMP devices used as weapons require chemical explosives as their initial energy source, producing only 10-6 (one millionth) the energy of nuclear explosives of similar weight. The electromagnetic pulse from NNEMP weapons must come from within the weapon, while nuclear weapons generate EMP as a secondary effect. These facts limit the range of NNEMP weapons, but allow finer target discrimination. The effect of small e-bombs has proven to be sufficient for certain terrorist or military operations. Examples of such operations include the destruction of electronic control systems critical to the operation of many ground vehicles and aircraft.”
It should be apparent that neither nuclear nor non-nuclear EMP weapons are simple devices (like roadside IEDs) that can be built by your average terrorist in his garage. As much as the jihadists would like to decimate infidel infrastructure using such devices, it has thus far been beyond their ability to achieve. Of course, it is only a matter of time before Iran has working nukes; and Pakistan already has them (more as a threat against India than the west, I’m thinking). But as things stand now, the only people crazy enough to use them are non-national jihadist elements like al-Qaeda or ISIS—and as dangerous and hateful as they are, they don’t control national governments. However, because the political situation in the Middle East is so fluid, that could change quite suddenly. (And let us not forget the other lunatic in the room—the North Korean Communists, who have been feverishly working on their own nuclear EMP weapons designed for just one target: America.)
So non-nuclear EMP weapons are doable but hardly worth the trouble, and the high altitude nuclear versions are unthinkable because of the political ramifications: the nation that used them, even against universally despised jihadists like ISIS or Boko Haram, would instantly become a political pariah in the world. Meanwhile, if the jihadists could get their hands on them, they’d deploy them without thinking twice. They’re already pariahs. One gets the feeling they rather enjoy the role.
So is America doing anything to protect itself against the remote possibility of an EMP attack? No, says F. Michael Maloof, writing for wnd.com (October 28, 2013). “Contrary to the findings of a 2008 commission mandated by Congress to consider a defense against an electromagnetic pulse attack and its effects on the national grid, a retired Air Force general who also headed the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency says that there isn’t a solution to an EMP attack. Speaking before the Bipartisan Policy Center at a conference on the threats to the U.S. electrical grid, Michael Hayden also said the Obama administration has no plan to defend against an EMP.
“The conference, however, focused more on the impact of cyber attacks on the national grid. Experts say that protection against an EMP also would provide protection from a cyber attack.” I don’t know what the “experts” are smoking up there, but it seems to be working: although the effects of cyber attacks against our national grid could be similar to EMP, the causes—and defenses against them—are as different as night from day.
“Hayden said the administration isn’t doing anything to come up with a solution, even though scientists have said that proper hardening of the national grid would mitigate an EMP either from a direct hit from a solar flare or a man-made high altitude nuclear detonation that would emit a ruinous pulse…. An EMP event not only would knock out the national grid but would have a cascading effect on all electronics and automated control systems that maintain the life-sustaining critical infrastructures that depend on the proper function of the electrical grid.”
The bottom line: we (i.e., our politicians) know our electrical grid and computer matrix is vulnerable to EMP events, both natural and manmade; we know that there are ways to “harden” our electronic infrastructure against them; we know that the cost of doing so would be a fraction of our probable losses should such an event occur; and yet we choose to ignore all that and worry instead about computer hackers with an ax to grind. The current liberal-progressive strategy seems to be to leave America vulnerable in as many ways as possible, so they can use attacks against us as pretexts to further curtail the freedoms of our own citizens. “Never let a crisis go to waste.”
(4) Directed Energy Weapons.
Kissing cousins to EMPs are what are known as directed energy weapons, or DEWs. According to Wikipedia, “A directed-energy weapon (DEW) emits highly focused energy, transferring that energy to a target to damage it. Potential applications of this technology include anti-personnel weapon systems, potential missile defense system, and the disabling of lightly armored vehicles such as cars, drones, jet skis, and electronic devices such as mobile phones. The energy can come in various forms: electromagnetic radiation, including radio frequency, microwave, lasers and masers; particles with mass (particle-beam weapons, technically a form of micro-projectile weapon); and sound—sonic weapons.” The advantages? “DEWs can be used discreetly without anyone knowing….” The radiation used “is invisible and can pass through walls.” So basically, these weapons are more subtle than bombing or shooting someone. How civilized we’re becoming.
We’ve discussed microwave weapons previously, in the context of their ability to disable an enemy’s electronic apparatus. But they are also used against human targets. For example, an “Active Denial System is a millimeter wave source that heats the water in the target’s skin and thus causes incapacitating pain. It is being used by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory and Raytheon for riot-control duty. Though intended to cause severe pain while leaving no lasting damage, some concern has been voiced as to whether the system could cause irreversible damage to the eyes.” No lasting damage? This is basically the same technology as you use to cook a chicken leg in your microwave oven. Somebody needs to sit down and decide what they really want to do to their adversaries.
Another type of directed energy weapon is the electrolaser. “It uses lasers to form an electrically conductive laser-induced plasma channel. A fraction of a second later, a powerful electric current is sent down this plasma channel and delivered to the target, thus functioning overall as a large-scale, high energy, long-distance version of the Taser electroshock gun.” An electrolaser, then, is something like man-made lightning. It is meant “to kill or incapacitate a human target through electric shock; or to seriously damage, disable, or destroy any electric or electronic devices in the target….
“A particle-beam weapon uses a high-energy beam of atomic or subatomic particles to damage the target by disrupting its atomic and/or molecular structure.” This type of directed-energy weapon “directs energy in a particular and focused direction using particles with negligible mass. Some particle-beam weapons are real and have potential practical applications, e.g., as an anti-ballistic missile defense system for the United States and its Strategic Defense Initiative. The vast majority, however, are science fiction and are among the most common weapon types of the genre. They have been known by a myriad of fantastic-sounding names: phasers, particle accelerator guns, ion cannons, proton beams, lightning rays, ray guns etc….
“A plasma weapon is any theoretical firearm designed to use plasma (high-energy ionized gas) as a weapon. The plasma is typically intended to be created by superheating lasers or superfrequency devices. Such weapons can be intended to be lethal, causing death by serious burns or the melting of targets, or non-lethal and intended to disrupt electronics using an electromagnetic pulse. While no practical example of such weaponry has been produced, corporations such as Boeing have funded research and development into the technology….”
Our hatred for our fellow man is no longer confined to the earth, but may now be expressed in outer space as well. An electric beam in a vacuum can be a formidable weapon. “In a vacuum (e.g., in space), an electric discharge can travel a potentially unlimited distance at a velocity slightly slower than the speed of light. This is because there is no significant electric resistance to the flow of electric current in a vacuum. This would make such devices useful to destroy the electrical and electronic parts of satellites and spacecraft. However, in a vacuum the electric current cannot ride a laser beam, and some other means must be used to keep the electron beam on track and to prevent it from dispersing….”
One type of DEW no one seems to want to discuss (possibly because it has no basis in fact) is scalar-wave radio frequency directed energy weapons. Granted, the subject sounds like the plot of a bad sci-fi movie. This rather paranoid piece by Vic Livingston gives us the general idea:
“Each day, a nationwide scalar electromagnetic radiation ‘multifunctional’ radio frequency directed energy weapon attack system employing phased array cell tower antenna transmitter/receivers and GPS satellites, under the administration of U.S. Cyber Command and military contractor Lockheed Martin, is used to silently and invisibly torture, impair, subjugate, and degrade the physical and neurological health of untold thousands of American citizens who have been extrajudicially ‘targeted’ by a hate- and ideology-driven domestic ‘disposition matrix’ as ‘dissidents’ or ‘undesirables.’
“Most of these ‘targeted individuals’ have no idea what is making them sick, tired, exhausted, irritable, confused, lethargic; plagued with painful, debilitating head and body aches; sharp, piercing, painful ringing tones audible only to the target; temporary or permanent cognitive impairment; induction of stroke, heart attack, aneurysm; or diseases such as cancer…leaving them unable to function normally and lead a happy, healthy life. The weapon system also is capable of lethal attack—both ‘slow-kill’ and ‘fast-kill.’ Victims of this government-engineered, stealth genocide are robbed of the most basic of human rights—free will, freedom from external manipulation of their physiological and neurological functions.
“The weapon system is capable of delivering speed-of-light scalar (longitudinal) electromagnetic wave attacks (as well as other types of radio frequency energy such as microwaves) that are precision tuned to specific brainwave frequencies of each human target. Virtually all of the victims previously have visited a doctor or neurologist seeking treatment for pounding headache, unexplained fatigue, sleep problems, or disturbing symptoms such as cognitive impairment. Those medical visits allow shadow government operatives to harvest medical records, including EEG test results that facilitate ‘brain mapping’—how radio frequency weapon torturers are able to mount radio frequency attacks fine-tuned to each unique individual targeted for no-touch torture, impairment, even ‘slow-kill’ or ‘fast-kill’ homicide.
“The scalar waves produced by the radio frequency directed energy weapon (RFDE) are capable of carrying multiple subcarrier radio frequencies that affect human physiology at variable power levels (or ‘amplitude’). In effect, the RFDE arms security forces with a ‘God machine’ that can manipulate, disrupt, or destroy the biological processes that govern the functioning of human beings. Scientists describe this effect as ‘neuromodulation’ of the human nervous system—the remote manipulation of physiological and neurological processes, including alteration of consciousness and mood states. Electromagnetic weapon attack precision-tuned to the brain frequencies of unique individuals can put unknowing victims into an induced state of forced fatigue, involuntary yawning, deep sleep—or, conversely, forced wakefulness—within a matter of minutes, according to victim accounts and supporting published literature.”
I have no idea whether such paranoid ravings have any basis in fact. I mention the subject mostly to reiterate that, whether fact or fiction, the idea came from somewhere. We apparently haven’t made any progress since the days of Noah, when it was said, “The wickedness of man was great in the earth, and every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5) In other words, even if we haven’t actually built scalar-wave radio frequency weapons, we’d like to.
Sonic weapons have been on the drawing board since World War II, when the Nazis tried to build a sonic anti-aircraft cannon, based on working sonic weapon prototypes that could supposedly shatter wooden planks at 200 yards. Wikipedia reports that “Sonic and ultrasonic weapons (USW) use sound to injure, incapacitate, or kill an opponent. Some sonic weapons are currently in limited use or in research and development by military and police forces…. Some of these weapons have been described as sonic bullets, sonic grenades, sonic mines, or sonic cannons. Some make a focused beam of sound or ultrasound; some make an area field of sound….
“Extremely high-power sound waves can disrupt or destroy the eardrums of a target and cause severe pain or disorientation. This is usually sufficient to incapacitate a person. Less powerful sound waves can cause humans to experience nausea or discomfort. The use of these frequencies to incapacitate persons has occurred both in counter-terrorist and crowd control settings….” The effect is determined by the amplitude (power or volume) and the frequencies (pitch).
“Studies have found that exposure to high intensity ultrasound at frequencies from 700 kHz to 3.6 MHz can cause lung and intestinal damage in mice. Heart rate patterns following vibroacoustic stimulation has resulted in serious negative consequences such as atrial flutter and bradycardia. The extra-aural (unrelated to hearing) bioeffects on various internal organs and the central nervous system included auditory shifts, vibrotactile sensitivity change, muscle contraction, cardiovascular function change, central nervous system effects, vestibular (inner ear) effects, and chest wall/lung tissue effects. Researchers found that low frequency sonar exposure could result in significant cavitations, hypothermia, and tissue shearing…. Tests performed on mice show the threshold for both lung and liver damage occurs at about 184 dB. Damage increases rapidly as intensity is increased.”
If you’ll recall, in Chapter 24 (“Armageddon”) I hypothesized that when the hordes gathered for the Battle of Armageddon are “killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of [Yahshua]” (Revelation 19:20), the lethal effect being described could easily be attributed to acoustics: the literal word of God. I wrote, “I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to find that the ‘winepress of the wrath of God’ is literally the ‘voice of Yahweh,’ an incredibly powerful and focused infrasonic event that physically obliterates the allies of Lucifer like a winepress squishes grapes.” Whatever the Messiah’s literal “sword” turns out to be, those who gather at Armageddon armed with mankind’s most sophisticated weapons will discover (too late) how badly outmatched they are: they haven’t brought a knife to a gunfight, exactly; it’s more as if they’ve attacked the Lion of the Tribe of Judah with a plastic spork.
(5) Passive Attack Weapons
We’re used to seeing bombs and missiles—weapons designed to explode on contact—but with some targets, this can create more problems than it solves—for the attacker and the attackee alike. When dealing with an enemy’s nuclear, biological, or chemical facilities, the ideal goal (if you’re trying to fight a kinder, gentler sort of war) would be to destroy the threat in place, without dispersing the dangerous components (radioactive materials, nerve agents, or deadly viruses, for example) over the entire countryside. “Passive attack weapons” have been invented to do just that.
So BBC.com (September 9, 2013) reports, “The US military has for many years been working on weapons designed specifically to target sites believed to house weapons of mass destruction, such as chemical or biological weapons. Using conventional weapons on such facilities runs the risk of spreading highly toxic substances, so the Pentagon has funded a number of what are called ‘agent defeat weapons.’ The Air Force has confirmed it has two such systems in its inventory. The CBU-107 Passive Attack Weapon (PAW) is essentially a weapon casing packed with thousands of penetrator rods with no explosives. Designed for targets where heat might be dangerous, the idea is that a 450-kg (990-pound) bomb scatters thousands of rods from mid-air over an area of 60 meters, which can penetrate containers filled with chemical weapons, and allow them to drain into the ground to minimize dispersal. The BLU-119/B CrashPad is a more explosive, rapid option. The CrashPad ruptures chemical weapons stores with blast or shrapnel and contains white phosphorous to incinerate chemical agents.
On the CBU-107, GlobalSecurity.org offers this assessment: “The Passive Attack Weapon houses various sizes of penetrator rods inside what some called a ‘large water heater with fins,’ guided by a Wind-Corrected Munitions Dispenser tail kit to help with accuracy. After being dropped from an aircraft, the weapon’s outer skin separates at a preset altitude, allowing the individual penetrator rods to free fall to the earth and penetrate their target. With this munition, there is no explosive warhead and minimal collateral damage.
“The CBU-107 Passive Attack Weapon can destroy suspected biological and chemical facilities without scattering dangerous debris. It is filled with 3,700 non-explosive penetrator rods. The weapon is designed for use against targets such as biological weapons stockpiles or laboratories where explosives are undesirable. The weapon holds 350 14-inch rods, 1,000 7-inch rods, and 2,400 2-inch rods…. The new weapon is designed for use in an environment where warfighters need to disable a target without destroying its surroundings. Some examples include storage facilities, fuel storage depots, power substations or antenna fixtures. It’s another way to achieve a battlefield effect without an explosion. They give the capability to attack non-hardened surface targets, and do so with a minimum of collateral damage. The PAW could be dropped on a fuel drum, puncturing it and allowing the fuel to drain without catching on fire or leaving unexploded ordnance on the battlefield for ground troops to worry about.”
The second PAW in use isn’t quite so “passive.” Kris Osborn, writing for DefenseTech.org (August 30, 2013) explains: “The CrashPad, or BLU-119/B weapon is a high-heat explosive bomb designed to incinerate chemical agents before they can be harmful, according to defense officials and DoD documents. The weapon is a 420-pound, high-heat incendiary weapon with what’s called a ‘blast-fragmentation’ warhead. The CrashPad is built from an existing standard MK 84 bomb body. The ‘PAD’ in CrashPad stands for ‘Prompt Agent Defeat,’ referring to the weapon’s ability to destroy chemical and biological agents without causing contamination.” If you’re trying to rid the world of a cache of Sarin gas, for example, it’s no good merely breaking the containers open—you need to deploy a heat source so intense, the chemical will be neutralized before it can disperse.
(6) Cyber Warfare
The whole point of warfare is defeating the enemy, not simply blowing stuff up or killing people (which are the usual tactics). I mean, if you’re going to hate your brother, there ought to be some way to measure your success, right? Historically, a body count is one indicator, or territorial gains, or whole populations under submission (and paying taxes) to you. Sometimes, it is deemed sufficient just to be able to hurt someone, cause a little suffering, precipitate poverty, or cause anxiety—anything to elevate yourself by diminishing somebody else. And occasionally, nations find themselves fighting ill-defined “defensive wars,” which can’t be won at all, but only survived—conflicts in which the enemy can’t be defeated (since genocide is not an option), but only delayed.
Obviously, I’m being cynical. Maybe it’s just that I’m bone-weary of the pointless and unwinnable “wars and rumors of war” that are a constant feature of these Last Days in which we live. Maybe it’s the constant and unrelenting undercurrent of fear (or anger, or hate, or hopelessness) that permeates virtually every society on earth today. It seems there are only two exceptions: people who are clueless as to what’s going on around them, and children of Yahweh who (in our lucid moments) realize that our God holds our destinies in the palm of His hand, regardless of the level of turmoil raging all about us. Unfortunately I’m afraid, the clueless sleepers have only a short time left before they will be compelled to awaken—and by then, it may well be too late.
With that in mind, one tactic that looms large in this so-called “information age” is deployed not against people, but the computers upon which they depend. Its point is not to kill you outright, but “merely” to make your life difficult. Cyber warfare is designed to inconvenience people, slow them down, frustrate them, or impoverish them. It may be seen as a good thing if you’re trying to prevent insane jihadists from developing nuclear weapons. But the “bad guys” play the game too. In fact, it doesn’t even take a nation-state with a robust infrastructure and economy to do immense damage to their victims. All it takes is a couple of guys in a basement in Bulgaria with computer skills and either a bad attitude, an axe to grind, or an evil patron with deep pockets.
BBC.com (September 9, 2013) reports, “In 2010 the Pentagon set up the US Cyber Command to coordinate and conduct both defensive and offensive military operations in cyberspace. The Stuxnet virus, designed to destroy Iran’s uranium-enriching gas centrifuges, and first identified that same year, is believed to have been a demonstration of the US’s abilities to wage war by attacking enemy computer systems. There have already been calls for the White House to launch cyber operations against Syria. Targets could be military, such as air defenses, or critical infrastructure, such as the electricity grid or financial systems. Some cyber attacks use malware (malicious software) to gain access to enemy systems in order to either steal sensitive information or gain control of them. Information can be harvested using key logging software that tracks keystrokes, for example. Spoofing involves forging packets of data so that they look as if they come from legitimate sources. There are also data-driven attacks. A common form is the denial of service (DDoS) attack which aims to cripple systems by bombarding them with data, usually using bot-nets—large numbers of compromised computers.”
Besides the not-so-petty theft motive and cyber-attacks prompted simply by mean-spirited troublemakers (harm for harm’s sake—hacking “because we can”), there are a variety of sub-types of cyber warfare, many of which have the potential to effect a great deal of societal disruption. Wikipedia lays out the playing field for us:
“Espionage and national security breaches. Cyber espionage is the act or practice of obtaining secrets (sensitive, proprietary or classified information) from individuals, competitors, rivals, groups, governments and enemies; also for military, political, or economic advantage using illegal exploitation methods on internet, networks, software and or computers. Classified information that is not handled securely can be intercepted and even modified, making espionage possible from the other side of the world….
“Sabotage. Computers and satellites that coordinate other activities are vulnerable components of a system and could lead to the disruption of equipment. Compromise of military systems…that are responsible for orders and communications could lead to their interception or malicious replacement. Power, water, fuel, communications, and transportation infrastructure all may be vulnerable to disruption. The civilian realm is also at risk: security breaches have already gone beyond stolen credit card numbers; potential targets can also include the electric power grid, trains, or the stock market….
“Denial-of-service attack. In computing, a denial-of-service attack (DoS attack) or distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack) is an attempt to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users. Perpetrators of DoS attacks typically target sites or services hosted on high-profile web servers such as banks, credit card payment gateways, and even root nameservers. DoS attacks may not be limited to computer-based methods, as strategic physical attacks against infrastructure can be just as devastating. For example, cutting undersea communication cables may severely cripple some regions and countries with regards to their information warfare ability.
“Electrical power grid. The United States Department of Homeland Security works with industry to identify vulnerabilities and to help industry enhance the security of control system networks, the federal government is also working to ensure that security is built in as the next generation of ‘smart grid’ networks are developed…. Massive power outages caused by a cyber-attack could disrupt the economy, distract from a simultaneous military attack, or create a national trauma.” While the threat of cyber attacks is being addressed, other potential threats to the grid are (as we have seen) mostly being ignored.
The motivations for perpetrating such cyber-attacks are also wide ranging:
“Military. General Keith B. Alexander, first head of the recently formed USCYBERCOM, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that computer network warfare is evolving so rapidly that there is a ‘mismatch between our technical capabilities to conduct operations and the governing laws and policies. Cyber Command is the newest global combatant and its sole mission is cyberspace, outside the traditional battlefields of land, sea, air and space.’ It will attempt to find and, when necessary, neutralize cyber-attacks and to defend military computer networks…. The kind of targets that his new headquarters could be ordered to attack include ‘traditional battlefield prizes—command-and-control systems at military headquarters, air defense networks, and weapons systems that require computers to operate.’ The distributed nature of internet based attacks means that it is difficult to determine motivation and attacking party, meaning that it is unclear when a specific act should be considered an act of war.
“Terrorism. Eugene Kaspersky, founder of Kaspersky Lab, concludes that ‘cyberterrorism’ is a more accurate term than ‘cyberwar.’ He states that ‘with today’s attacks, you are clueless about who did it or when they will strike again. It’s not cyber-war, but cyberterrorism.’ He also equates large-scale cyber weapons, such as the Flame Virus and NetTraveler Virus which his company discovered, to biological weapons, claiming that in an interconnected world, they have the potential to be equally destructive.
“Civil. Potential targets in Internet sabotage include all aspects of the Internet from the backbones of the web, to the Internet Service Providers, to the varying types of data communication mediums and network equipment. This would include: web servers, enterprise information systems, client server systems, communication links, network equipment, and the desktops and laptops in businesses and homes. Electrical grids and telecommunication systems are also deemed vulnerable, especially due to current trends in automation.
I might add Domestic Espionage to the list—the process by which a government collects data on its own citizens, without warrants, and even without suspicion of wrongdoing. It’s the sort of thing the NSA’s Edward Snowden blew the whistle on. It’s not that I’m a big advocate of the right of privacy for privacy’s sake, and it’s not that I have something to hide (my sins are all too obvious to anyone who knows me). It’s not even that I don’t realize that occasionally, criminals are apprehended and brought to justice based on information obtained through such domestic espionage. It’s just that this maxim has never failed to prove true: the government that doesn’t trust its citizens is always untrustworthy itself. Our money has “In God we trust” printed on it. But do we? If we don’t trust God at some level, the mutual suspicion between the government and its citizens will eventually consume us all in paranoia.
All of this is in addition to good old-fashioned greed—stealing credit information, for example. Whether the cyber warriors are motivated by politics, religion, greed, pride, or even boredom, the effect is the same: people get hurt. Anyone who uses computers in his daily life (or relies on systems that are controlled by them—like bank accounts or the electrical grid) is vulnerable to one degree or another. So unless one’s cyber war activities are geared specifically toward saving lives (like the Stuxnet computer virus that is rumored to have been written to cripple Iran’s nuclear weapons program), all such activity is a blatant violation of one of Yahweh’s most fundamental principles: we are to love our neighbors as we do ourselves.
Of course, the practically universal abandonment of that principle is what characterizes the age in which we live. It’s why the world in these Last Days has become such a nasty place. I can only look forward in hope to a new spiritual paradigm—Christ’s Millennial Kingdom. There is every reason to suppose that when our “swords are beaten into plowshares,” the weapons of cyber warfare will be included: our computers will be our tools and servants, not the sword of Damocles hanging over our heads.
(7) Psychological Warfare.
Psychological warfare is nothing new. It has been going on ever since the serpent beguiled Eve in the Garden, planting doubt and disinformation into her naïve little mind. The classic Biblical example, I suppose, would be this scene from the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem in 701 B.C., recorded by the prophet Isaiah:
“Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah that Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. Then the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh [the king’s vizier and emissary—the head hoodlum] with a great army from Lachish [a previously conquered city in Israel’s northern kingdom] to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. And he stood by the aqueduct from the upper pool, on the highway to the Fuller’s Field. And Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came out to him.
“Then the Rabshakeh said to them, ‘Say now to Hezekiah, “Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: ‘What confidence is this in which you trust? I say you speak of having plans and power for war; but they are mere words. Now in whom do you trust, that you rebel against me? Look! You are trusting in the staff of this broken reed, Egypt, on which if a man leans, it will go into his hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him.’ But if you say to me, ‘We trust in Yahweh our God,’ is it not He whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away, and said to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You shall worship before this altar’?”’ Now therefore, I urge you, give a pledge to my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses—if you are able on your part to put riders on them! How then will you repel one captain of the least of my master’s servants, and put your trust in Egypt for chariots and horsemen? Have I now come up without Yahweh against this land to destroy it? Yahweh said to me, ‘Go up against this land, and destroy it.’”
As is invariably the case with psychological tactics, the Assyrians mixed truth with falsehood, reality with exaggeration, in an effort to discourage and demoralize their foe. Yes, Egypt was unreliable as an ally (not that Hezekiah was seriously considering calling upon them), and yes, Judah’s military strength was at its nadir—Hezekiah probably couldn’t have mustered two thousand cavalry troops at this point. The Rabshakeh was mistaken in his assumption that the “high places” Hezekiah had removed were dedicated to the worship of Yahweh, but he was correct in perceiving that Judah, like Samaria before it, had been plagued with recurring pagan idol worship for centuries. The claim that was calculated to give the Jews pause was that Yahweh Himself had empowered and authorized the Assyrians’ invasion of Judah. How was Hezekiah to know the truth of the matter? Could it be that his efforts to lead Judah to repentance had been too little, too late?
Knowing how demoralizing such talk might be to Judah’s defenders on the wall, Hezekiah’s delegation tried to obfuscate the Rabshakeh’s message. “Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, ‘Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it; and do not speak to us in Hebrew in the hearing of the people who are on the wall.’ But the Rabshakeh said, ‘Has my master sent me to your master and to you to speak these words, and not to the men who sit on the wall, who will eat and drink their own waste with you?’” Trash talk to be sure (just like today’s jihadists) but nobody doubted the Assyrians’ ability to make their lives miserable, at the very least. They had already taken all of Samaria, and much of Judah.
“Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out with a loud voice in Hebrew, and said, ‘Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria! Thus says the king: “Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you; nor let Hezekiah make you trust in Yahweh, saying, ‘Yahweh will surely deliver us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’” Do not listen to Hezekiah; for thus says the king of Assyria: “Make peace with me by a present and come out to me; and every one of you eat from his own vine and every one from his own fig tree, and every one of you drink the waters of his own cistern; until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards.” Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, “Yahweh will deliver us.” Has any one of the gods of the nations delivered its land from the hand of the king of Assyria? Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Indeed, have they delivered Samaria from my hand? Who among all the gods of these lands have delivered their countries from my hand, that Yahweh should deliver Jerusalem from my hand?’” (Isaiah 36:1-20)
The Rabshakeh’s propaganda said, “Give up. Now. It won’t be so bad—just a change of address, a regime change. If we have to come in there and take you by force, we won’t be so nice.” His fatal mistake was assuming that Yahweh, the God of Israel, was no more real than the deities worshiped by the pagan nations—including Assyria’s own gods. You know the story: the prophet Isaiah told Hezekiah not to worry, and then the Angel of Yahweh slew 185,000 Assyrian troops outside Jerusalem’s walls in a single night, ending the siege.
But for our present purposes, we’re not here to study Yahweh’s awesome glory, but rather to examine what psychological warfare is all about—and how it might be brought to bear in these Last Days. Basically, it is any tactic designed to encourage the enemy to give up without a fight—to be so frightened, so convinced that victory is impossible, that resistance is useless. If you can convince the mind, the body will follow.
Sometimes, the tactics are as simple as dropping printed leaflets from airplanes, saying “Resistance is futile: give up.” During World War II, radio programs were broadcast into the enemy camp with the basic message, “You can’t win; you may as well pack up and go home.” Examples include the Japanese’ Tokyo Rose and the Germans’ Lord Haw-Haw. Redrawing maps and renaming captured cities are popular ploys: St. Petersburg became Leningrad; Volgograd (Tsaritsyn) became Stalingrad; Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City. I’ve seen maps from the 1930s in which Korea does not exist. The Palestinians publish maps today in which there is no such thing as Israel. Never let reality get in the way of a good storyline.
Sometimes there is a psychological component to ordinary military tactics, as when it is decided to “overdo it” for the sake of making an indelible impression on the enemy. Examples would be America’s carpet bombing of North Vietnam, or the “shock and awe” campaign against Saddam Hussein’s vaunted Republican Guard. The efficacy of such tactics is debatable, but they are used routinely by protagonists who perceive they’ve got the upper hand. “We can kill you with impunity: give up.”
Wikipedia addresses the issue: “During World War II the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff defined psychological warfare broadly, stating ‘Psychological warfare employs any weapon to influence the mind of the enemy. The weapons are psychological only in the effect they produce and not because of the weapons themselves.’ The U.S. Department of Defense currently defines psychological warfare as: ‘The planned use of propaganda and other psychological actions having the primary purpose of influencing the opinions, emotions, attitudes, and behavior of hostile foreign groups in such a way as to support the achievement of national objectives.’ This definition indicates that a critical element of the U.S. psychological operations capabilities includes propaganda and by extension counterpropaganda….
“The purpose of United States psychological operations is to induce or reinforce attitudes and behaviors favorable to US objectives. The Special Activities Division (SAD) is a division of the Central Intelligence Agency’s National Clandestine Service, responsible for Covert Action and ‘Special Activities.’ These special activities include covert political influence (which includes psychological operations) and paramilitary operations. SAD’s political influence group is the only US unit allowed to conduct these operations covertly and is considered the primary unit in this area.
“Dedicated psychological operations units exist in the United States Army. The United States Navy also plans and executes limited PSYOP missions. United States PSYOP units and soldiers of all branches of the military are prohibited by law from targeting U.S. citizens with PSYOP within the borders of the United States…. A U.S. Army field manual released in January 2013 states that ‘Inform and Influence Activities’ are critical for describing, directing, and leading military operations. Several Army Division leadership staff are assigned to ‘planning, integration and synchronization of designated information-related capabilities.’”
Of course, anybody with his eyes open is aware that psychological operations are being conducted against the American public 24/7, in the form of a mainstream news industry that judicially edits content to favor the liberal-progressive agenda. It’s not that they lie outright (well, not all of the time), but news stories that tend to reveal the failure of socialist or secular-humanist policies are not reported, or are given minimum air time (the electronic equivalent of burying a newspaper story on page 9 of the “style” section). If it were not for cable news (and then, only one American network comes to mind), syndicated conservative radio programs, and the Internet, many relevant stories would never see the light of day. One must wonder at the intentions of people that are this concerned about keeping a lid on the important news of the day. You could protest that this sort of thing isn’t exactly a military psychological operation, but I fail to see much of distinction. An entire nation is being kept in the dark (as far as the elites can manage). This fact alone defines us—“we the people”—as “the enemy.”
The PSYOPS game changer in these Last Days is social media, made possible by the Internet. “Citizen journalists” can post home-made videos on YouTube that support any point of view you can name, and particularly good (or bad) ones are disseminated worldwide via Facebook, Twitter, or some other social media venue. If they’re sufficiently significant (or horrifying), they can “go viral,” spreading through multiple re-postings like a contagious disease tearing through a West African village. They become psychological warfare when they say, “We are going to kill our enemies, and there’s not a thing you can do to stop us.”
The example du jour is a string of videos made by the Islamic thugs who call themselves ISIS (the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria”) in which they behead some poor soul who has had the misfortune to fall into their clutches. The goal is not simply to kill the unfortunate infidel; the goal is to cause anguish, frustration, and fear among the people watching the video—psychological effects. A Saddam Hussein or Bashar al Assad can kill tens of thousands of people within their own borders, and the world receives the news like a faint squeaking sound in the background of their lives: “Gee, that’s awful, but what does it have to do with me?” But then an English-speaking ISIS jihadist stands before a video camera in some God-forsaken desert, introduces a single innocent captive, and then cuts his head off while we watch, and our reaction is precisely what they calculated it to be: utter revulsion.
The idea was apparently to strike terror into the hearts of the despised infidels, leaving us paralyzed with fear and indecision. But there is a fine line between fear and anger, and they’ve invited us to cross it. It’s a little too early to tell, but some good may actually come from this ISIS psychological operation. Ever since 9/11, the fiction has been maintained that at heart, Muslims are a “peace loving people,” and that a small radical minority has “hijacked their religion.” (I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve had to listen to those two ridiculous phrases.) These beheading videos have finally forced some people to think about the unthinkable—that the problem isn’t in Islam, the problem is Islam. The truth has been there all along: Muslims are required by their scriptures to either convert us, enslave us, or kill us. The fact that most Muslims used to ignore these foundational tenets of their religion changes nothing. The truth is finally beginning to emerge: a “radical” Muslim will cut your head off—while a “moderate” Muslim merely holds your feet down and cheers him on.
So as far as the ISIS psychological ops are concerned, the end result may actually be something the Bible predicted all along—that in the end, people will be forced to choose sides. Get off the fence: serve Allah, Satan, blind chance, or some other false god, or serve Yahweh through His Messiah, Yahshua. Don’t look now, but the greatest PSYOP of all time will be the rapture—when the sudden worldwide disappearance of hundreds of millions (I hope) of believers in Christ will force those who are left behind to consider the power of Yahweh they’ve just witnessed. Will they believe their own eyes, or will they blindly continue to swallow Satan’s lies?
One sure sign that we’re nearing the “end” is when man declares (whether correctly or not) that he has the power to destroy—or save—the earth. That’s roughly the equivalent of the dust mites on an elephant’s back boasting of having achieved mastery over their resident pachyderm. I suppose it was our invention of the atomic bomb during World War II that got mankind used to thinking in such grandiose terms. But something tells me we’ve vastly overestimated our own importance—our ability to impact our ecosphere. But that does not prevent our species from scurrying about on the elephant’s back, trying to make ourselves look important to each other.
Once again, we find that politics and self-delusion are driving the agenda. Because our cities are becoming crowded, secular humanists (who seldom venture out into the countryside) presume that with over seven billion souls now populating the planet, the whole earth must be overcrowded. Then they notice that the levels of a certain trace greenhouse gas are rising, and link that rise (logically enough) to human industry—transportation, power needs, and land use—or abuse, as the case may be. Forgetting how terrified their fathers were at the prospect of global cooling back in the 1960s and ’70s, they look at the slight pendulum swing toward warmer weather during the ’80s and ’90s (precipitating a noticeable reduction in Arctic Ocean ice volume in the between 1979 and 2007), extrapolate the trend out over the next century or two with computer models weighted to yield the result they’re expecting to find, and conclude that the earth is doomed to boil in its own juices. The ice caps will melt, the seas will rise, the ocean current conveyors will grind to a halt, and all life on earth (at least those more evolved than jellyfish) will cease to be—all because you want to drive a Chevy Suburban instead of a Toyota Prius.
By the time it became apparent to anybody who was paying attention that the earth’s “warming trend” had petered out by the late 1990’s, and had once again begun cooling off (despite ever increasing CO2 levels), the humanists’ political agenda had been set in stone, and it was too late to turn back. Carbon dioxide had been declared the earth’s enemy (never mind that a certain amount of it is essential for life on this planet). The fact that there was, when all of the data was considered, only a minimal correlation between CO2 levels and global average temperatures, was swept under the rug. Why? Because there was just too much potential to advance the greater liberal agenda if carbon were deemed the culprit: there was wealth to be redistributed, power to be seized, and freedom to be suppressed—all while allowing them to plausibly claim to be the saviors of the planet. Were it not for those pesky facts, CO2-caused global warming would have been the perfect crisis to exploit.
The proposed “solutions” varied, depending on whom you consulted. Job #1, of course, was to shift the terminology: “global warming” had to go—replaced with “climate change” (as if that was something that hadn’t been going on since the Earth was in diapers). Some (more than you’d imagine, in point of fact) declared that the best way to “save” humanity from itself would be to kill off ninety percent of the humans—using such methods as imprisonment and starvation in escape-proof megacities, or deliberately inflicting a worldwide Ebola epidemic. Cooler heads began attacking the source of the CO2 increase: the carbon-based fuels that make our mobile, electricity-dependent way of life possible in the first place. Of course, “emerging” nations like China, India, and Brazil were given a pass (never mind the fact that China has now surpassed America as the world’s largest economy)—they could pollute all they wanted. But America and Europe (i.e., the post-Christian world) were told they must bear the brunt of the war on carbon. Hundreds of billions of dollars were “invested” in impractical green-energy schemes that failed to live up to their promise, while such tried and true (not to mention plentiful and cheap) energy sources as coal were thrown under the electric bus.
We’ve discussed all of these things at length in previous appendices. (See World Demographics and Energy Issues in particular.) But there is a whole area of endeavor that the elites running the world would rather you didn’t know about. Why? Because it has “mad scientist” written all over it. Wikipedia lays out the program for us in broad strokes: “Climate engineering, also referred to as geoengineering, is the deliberate and large-scale intervention in the Earth’s climatic system with the aim of reducing global warming.” Of course, since the earth isn’t warming (and, truth be told, hasn’t shown a consistent warming trend since the late 1930s) the whole exercise is something between futile and counterproductive. It certainly isn’t necessary, and, as we shall soon see, may be downright dangerous, even though its proponents may mean well.
“Climate engineering has two categories of technologies: carbon dioxide removal and solar radiation management. Carbon dioxide removal addresses a cause of climate change by removing one of the greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Solar radiation management attempts to offset effects of greenhouse gases by causing the Earth to absorb less solar radiation….”
Wikipedia’s sources may be understating the case when they insist, “No known large-scale climate engineering projects have taken place to date. Almost all research has consisted of computer modelling or laboratory tests, and attempts to move to real-world experimentation have proved controversial. Some limited tree planting and cool roof projects [i.e., surfaces that reflect sunlight, not absorb it] are already underway. Ocean iron fertilization has been given small-scale research trials. Field research into sulfur aerosols has also started. Most experts and major reports advise against relying on geoengineering techniques as a simple solution to climate change, in part due to the large uncertainties over effectiveness and side effects. However most experts also argue though that the risks of such interventions must be seen in the context of risks of dangerous climate change.” I must reiterate that “climate change” per se is not inherently hazardous. Global warming might be if it were actually happening, but it isn’t.
“As a rule of thumb it would appear that the scale of risks and costs of each climate engineering option appear to be somewhat inverse: The lower the costs, the greater the risks. Some have suggested that the concept of geoengineering the climate presents a moral hazard because it could reduce political and public pressure for emissions reduction.” (Translation: “If you solve the global warming problem through climate engineering, the political goals of the liberal-progressive elite—the redistribution of wealth and the seizure of power—will be rendered redundant, and we can’t have that.”)
Anyway, let us briefly explore these two broad categories of climate engineering technology, carbon dioxide removal and solar radiation management.
1. Carbon Dioxide Removal
“Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) methods refers to a number of technologies which reduce the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Among such technologies are bio-energy with carbon capture and storage, biochar, direct air capture, ocean fertilization and enhanced weathering. CDR is a different approach than removing CO2 from the stack emissions of large fossil fuel point sources, such as power stations. The latter reduces emission to the atmosphere but cannot reduce the amount of carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere. As CDR removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, it creates negative emissions, offsetting emissions from small and dispersed point sources such as domestic heating systems, airplanes and vehicle exhausts….
“Bio-energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) is a greenhouse gas mitigation technology which produces negative carbon dioxide emissions by combining biomass use with geologic carbon capture and storage. The concept of BECCS is drawn from the integration of trees and crops, which extract carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere as they grow, the use of this biomass in processing industries or power plants, and the application of carbon capture and storage via CO2 injection into geological formations….” Don’t look now, but that’s pretty much just fancy language for “doing things the way God did it in the first place.” First, He saw to it that vast woodlands blanketed much of the world’s surface—a great deal of which we humans have cut down. And “carbon capture and storage via CO2 injection into geological formations?” That’s called “coal” in the real world.
BECCS sounds just swell, but it should be noted that, against all logic, “Based on the current Kyoto Protocol agreement, carbon capture and storage projects are not applicable as an emission reduction tool to be used for the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) or for Joint Implementation (JI) projects. Recognizing CCS technologies as an emission reduction tool is vital for the implementation of such plants as there is no other financial motivation for the implementation of such systems. There has been growing support to have fossil CCS and BECCS included in the protocol.” And why, you might ask, are the global elites reluctant to sprinkle holy water on carbon capture and storage technologies? It’s quite simple: it’s because coal could be rendered a relatively clean energy source were such a thing to be approved. The New World Order agenda insists that America (a coal-rich nation) must be brought to its economic knees—its wealth (or as I would phrase it, its blessings) distributed to the rest of the world; therefore, anything that makes coal viable is taboo. (Is that cynical enough for you?)
What about biochar? “Biochar is a name for charcoal when it is used for particular purposes, especially as a soil amendment. Like all charcoal, biochar is created by pyrolysis of biomass. Biochar is under investigation as an approach to carbon sequestration to produce negative carbon dioxide emissions. Biochar thus has the potential to help mitigate climate change, via carbon sequestration. Independently, biochar can increase soil fertility of acidic soils (low pH soils), increase agricultural productivity, and provide protection against some foliar and soil-borne diseases. Furthermore, biochar reduces pressure on forests. Biochar is a stable solid, rich in carbon and can endure in soil for thousands of years….”
The basic environmental benefit of biochar is as a carbon sink. “The burning and natural decomposition of biomass and in particular agricultural waste adds large amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere.” We’ve seen this, for example, in the practice of “slash and burn” agriculture in the tropical rainforests. In contrast, “Biochar, that is, stable, fixed, and ‘recalcitrant’ carbon, can store large amounts of greenhouse gases in the ground for centuries, potentially reducing or stalling the growth in atmospheric greenhouse gas levels; at the same time its presence in the earth can improve water quality, increase soil fertility, raise agricultural productivity, and reduce pressure on old-growth forests.
“Biochar can sequester carbon in the soil for hundreds to thousands of years, like coal.” How’s that for irony? “Such a carbon-negative technology would lead to a net withdrawal of CO2 from the atmosphere, while producing and consuming energy…. Researchers have estimated that sustainable use of biocharring could reduce the global net emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and nitrous oxide by up to…12% of current anthropogenic CO2-Ce emissions…without endangering food security, habitat, or soil conservation.
“Biochar is a high-carbon, fine-grained residue which today is produced through modern pyrolysis processes. Pyrolysis is the direct thermal decomposition of biomass in the absence of oxygen to obtain an array of solid (biochar), liquid (bio-oil), and gas (syngas) products. The specific yield from the pyrolysis is dependent on process conditions, and can be optimized to produce either energy or biochar….” Basically, it’s “burning” without oxidation—yielding carbon, but not much carbon dioxide.
“Switching from slash and burn to slash and char farming techniques in Brazil can decrease both deforestation of the Amazon basin and carbon dioxide emission, as well as increasing crop yields. Slash and burn leaves only 3% of the carbon from the organic material in the soil. Slash and char can keep up to 50% of the carbon in a highly stable form. Returning the biochar into the soil rather than removing it all for energy production reduces the need for nitrogen fertilizers, thereby reducing cost and emissions from fertilizer production and transport.” While a step in the right direction, biochar technology doesn’t solve the primary problem caused by cutting down the rainforests—the permanent alteration of rainfall patterns, resulting in desertification, leading in turn to famine. (See Appendix 5: Water, Air, and Land.)
For a discussion of the next technique, the direct air capture of CO2, let us consult the New York Times (January 5, 2013). An article by Anne Eisenberg was entitled “Pulling Carbon Dioxide Out of Thin Air.” She writes, “Whether streaming from the tailpipes of cars or the smokestacks of so many power plants and factories, carbon dioxide emissions keep growing around the globe. Now a Canadian company [Carbon Engineering Ltd.] has developed a cleansing technology that may one day capture and remove some of this heat-trapping gas directly from the sky. And it is even possible that the gas could then be sold for industrial use….
“Should the cost of capturing carbon dioxide fall low enough, the gas would have many customers, he predicted. Chief among them, he said, would be the oil industry, which buys the gas to inject into oil fields to force out extra oil. The injection has minimal risk, said Howard J. Herzog, a senior research engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ‘The enhanced oil recovery industry has put tens of millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the ground every year for decades with no problems,’ he said….” Note that the technology is being driven by the prospect of good old fashioned corporate profits, not by fuzzy politically correct pseudo-science. “The global demand for carbon dioxide will only grow as oil becomes scarcer and demands for transportation fuel rise…. Direct capture from the atmosphere would offer another source for the gas….
“Carbon Engineering’s machines use a carbon-dioxide-absorbing solution of caustic soda to remove the gas from the air. ‘The issue at the pilot plant,’ Dr. David Keith [President of Carbon Engineering] said, ‘will be to test the equipment at the scale the vendors tell us they need’ to provide performance guarantees for a full commercial plant. The process is intended to collect at least 100,000 tons a year of the gas.” (As point of reference, the average passenger vehicle generates about five tons of carbon dioxide per year.) “The concentration of carbon dioxide scrubbed from the flue gases of coal- and gas-fired power plants is about 5 percent to 15 percent—higher than that in the air, where it is about 393 parts per million…. The recovered carbon dioxide may be sold one day, not only for enhanced oil recovery, but also to feed algae to produce biofuel….
Remember our discussion about “carbon credits” and proposed “cap and trade” laws in Appendix 9, Energy Issues? “Gas capture would be extremely important in developing a rational price for carbon emissions, said Dr. Timothy A. Fox, of the British mechanical engineering society. ‘Whatever it costs to take it out of the air and store it away,’ Dr. Fox said, ‘that’s the price polluters would pay if they want to put carbon into the air.’ Another advantage of direct air capture is geographic flexibility. ‘It doesn’t matter where you take the carbon dioxide out,’ he said, since the gas is mixed evenly in the earth’s atmosphere. ‘You could have air capture machines in the Australian desert to account for New York City car emissions.’”
“Most important, air capture could be used to get rid of that last fraction of carbon dioxide that escapes into the air, for example, even from power plants outfitted to collect most of their emissions, said Klaus S. Lackner, a Columbia professor and a board member and adviser to Kilimanjaro Energy, another company working on collecting atmospheric carbon dioxide. ‘I see direct air capture as the long-term way of dealing with all those emissions that can’t be dealt with in any other way,’ he said.”
The next climate engineering technique on Wikpedia’s list is: “ocean fertilization or ocean nourishment—a type of geoengineering based on the purposeful introduction of nutrients to the upper ocean to increase marine food production and to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. A number of techniques, including fertilization by iron, urea and phosphorus have been proposed. Another possible objective of ocean fertilization is to produce more sulfate aerosol in the atmosphere and so increase the amount of sunlight being reflected by clouds, cooling the Earth. There has been commercial interest in using these techniques to reduce carbon dioxide concentrations….”
“Iron fertilization can increase phytoplankton productivity. Nitrogen is a limiting nutrient over much of the ocean and can be supplied from a number of sources including fixation by cyanobacteria.” See Appendix 4: Famine Factors for more on this. My guess would be that giving the phytoplankton in the deep ocean more nutrients will prove insufficient in reversing the damage being done by overfishing, because it supports only one link in the aquatic food chain. But be that as it may, “Carbon-to-iron ratios in phytoplankton are much larger than carbon-to-nitrogen or carbon-to-phosphorus ratios, so iron has the highest potential for sequestration per unit mass added. Ocean fertilization offers the prospect of both reducing the concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gases with the aim of avoiding dangerous climate change and at the same time increasing the sustainable fish stocks….
“As well as carbon sequestration, ocean fertilization may also create sulfate aerosols which reflect sunlight and modify the Earth’s albedo [reflectivity], this creating a cooling effect which reduces some of the effects of climate change.” This might seem to make sense, were it not for the fact that the earth isn’t actually getting warmer. “Enhancing the natural sulfur cycle in the Southern Ocean by fertilizing a small portion with iron in order to enhance dimethyl sulfide production and cloud reflectivity may achieve this. The goal is to slow Antarctic ice from melting and raising sea level.” It’s worth noting that sea ice at the southern pole is actually increasing, while landlocked glaciers are receding. The warming problem isn’t due to CO2 emissions at all, but from a recent uptick in Antarctic volcanic activity—something that’s been happening lately in volcanic zones all over the world. “Fixing” Antarctic warming with ocean fertilization is as if your car is getting poor fuel economy due to dirty fuel injectors, so you try to correct the problem by overinflating your tires.
The final technique used for carbon dioxide removal on Wikipedia’s list is enhanced weathering, defined thus: “Enhanced weathering refers to geoengineering approaches that use the dissolution of natural or artificially created minerals to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Since the carbon dioxide is usually first removed from ocean water, these approaches would attack the problem by first reducing ocean acidification.
“Weathering is the natural process in which rocks are broken down and dissolved on the land surface. When silicate or carbonate minerals dissolve in rainwater, carbon dioxide is drawn into the solution from the atmosphere…. Rainwater and bicarbonate ions eventually end up in the ocean, where they are formed into carbonate minerals by calcifying organisms, which then sink out of the surface ocean. Most of the carbonate is redissolved in the deep ocean as it sinks…. Over geological time periods these processes are thought to stabilize the Earth’s climate…. Weathering and biological carbonate precipitation are thought to be only loosely coupled on short time periods (<1000 years). Therefore, an increase in both carbonate and silicate weathering with respect to carbonate precipitation will result in a build-up of alkalinity in the ocean, and a decrease in atmospheric CO2 concentration.
“Enhanced weathering research considers how these natural processes may be enhanced to sequester CO2 from the atmosphere to be stored in solid carbonate minerals or ocean alkalinity. [Terrestrial] Enhanced Weathering was initially used to refer specifically to the spreading of crushed silicate minerals on the land surface.” The idea is, as the minerals are weathered, they create a more alkaline environment, tending to reduce the amount of atmospheric CO2.
Oceanic enhanced weathering attempts to harness the motion of ocean waves to achieve the same goal. “To overcome the limitations of solution saturation and to utilize natural comminution [i.e., pulverizing] of sand particles from wave energy, silicate minerals may be applied to coastal environments, although the higher pH of seawater may substantially decrease the rate of dissolution, and it is unclear how much comminution is possible from wave action.”
What everybody seems to be missing is that all of these processes designed to remove CO2 from the atmosphere are in themselves energy intensive. How much fuel is required to weather a ton of silicate, or produce a ton of biochar from biomass, or obtain the caustic soda required to remove CO2 from the air, or to “inject CO2 into geological formations”? You can’t say you’ve “earned a dollar” if it costs you 98 cents (or a buck fifty) to get there.
2. Solar Radiation Management
The carbon dioxide removal techniques we’ve been discussing are all based on the erroneous idea that the rising level of CO2 in the atmosphere (a verified phenomenon) is the direct and primary cause of global warming (excuse me: climate change). The fact that except for a brief period of time in the late 20th century, the climate wasn’t warming—and that we’ve been experiencing a slight cooling trend since the late 1990s—doesn’t fit the politically correct narrative. So the liberal elite (and the mad scientists who depend on them for their funding) have been doing their best to disguise the cooling trend with computer models and media hype that insist that what we’re seeing and feeling isn’t really there.
That being said, there is probably no good reason not to take reasonable measures to restrict or sequester CO2 emissions, for they often accompany pollutants that actually are dangerous—like sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide. In other words, the real issue with which we should be wrestling is air quality, not global warming. Be that as it may, global warming, real or not, has been declared “the enemy,” and the settled strategy of the war on carbon is to attack the presumed cause of the problem: atmospheric CO2.
The effect, global warming itself, is the target of the second prevalent climate engineering strategy—solar radiation management. That is, even if CO2 were causing the earth’s atmosphere to retain heat, thus warming the planet, the source of the heat is still the sun. Why not just find a way to reflect some of the sun’s energy away from our planet? Again, Wikipedia explains: “By intentionally changing the Earth’s albedo, or reflectivity, scientists propose that we could reflect more heat back out into space, or intercept sunlight before it reaches the Earth through a literal shade built in space. A 0.5% albedo increase would roughly halve the effect of CO2 doubling.” That’s all assuming, of course, that CO2 actually is making the earth warmer, which as we have seen is a shaky premise at best, since the earth is cooling despite rising CO2 levels.
The errant rationale is then reiterated: “These climate engineering projects [which we’ll enumerate in a moment] have been proposed in order to reduce global warming. The effect of rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere on global climate is a warming effect on the planet.” Well, that’s what they’d like you to believe. “By modifying the albedo of the Earth’s surface, or by preventing sunlight reaching the Earth by using a solar shade, this warming effect can be cancelled out—although the cancellation is imperfect, with regional discrepancies remaining.” Since our planet isn’t warming (except in computer climate models that have no bearing on reality), solar radiation management is at best a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist—and at worst, a recklessly dangerous attempt to “play God,” as the mad scientists attempt to control planetary forces they don’t remotely comprehend.
Indeed, it would appear that even the scientists are reluctant to move into this area as fast as the politicians would like them to. “The applicability of many techniques listed here has not been comprehensively tested. Even if the effects in computer simulation models or of small-scale interventions are known, there may be cumulative problems such as ozone depletion, which only become apparent from large scale experiments….
“Solar radiation management (SRM) techniques would seek to reduce sunlight absorbed (ultra-violet, near infra-red, and visible). This would be achieved by deflecting sunlight away from the Earth, or by increasing the reflectivity (albedo) of the atmosphere or the Earth’s surface. These methods would not reduce greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, and thus would not seek to address problems such as the ocean acidification caused by CO2. In general, solar radiation management projects would have the advantage of speedy deployment and effect when compared to other climate policies of mitigation or carbon dioxide removal….” It has apparently occurred to no one that our whole biosphere depends on photosynthesis—the process by which plants turn sunshine into the food we eat. If you reduce the sunlight hitting the earth’s surface, you stunt plant growth, shorten growing seasons, and reduce harvest volumes. Even plankton—the foundation of the oceanic food chain—depends on sunlight. Perhaps you guys should go back and rethink this.
Solar radiation management methods include: “(1) Surface-based (land or ocean albedo modification): e.g. cool roof—using pale-colored roofing and paving materials. (2) Troposphere-based methods: for example, cloud whitening—using fine sea water spray to whiten clouds and thus increase cloud reflectivity. (3) Upper atmosphere-based methods: creating reflective aerosols, such as stratospheric sulfate aerosols, aluminum oxide particles, even specifically designed self-levitating aerosols. (4) Space-based methods: space sunshade—obstructing solar radiation with space-based mirrors, asteroid dust, etc.”
Sure. What could possibly go wrong? As usual, the mad scientists aren’t thinking in terms of “Should we do this,” but merely about “Can we?” Just because they say they aren’t making serious “progress” at the moment (but stay tuned—it’s worse than they’re willing to admit), we can’t presume that they won’t be a few decades off—say, by the fourth decade of the twenty-first century.
The whole thing is a tragic comedy of compounded errors. The global political elite “need” the earth to be warming so they can redistribute the wealth of the prosperous CO2-emitting nations to the “emerging” ones, taking their cut off the top, of course (and more importantly, leveling the playing field, a.k.a. weakening America, so they can eventually rule the whole world—boy, are they in for a surprise). But the earth isn’t warming, even though atmospheric carbon levels continue to rise, so job #1 is a massive media cover-up. Meanwhile, laboring under the carefully crafted illusion that the planet is heating up, the solar radiation management team has set about trying to find ways of cooling the planet that don’t involve CO2, not realizing that the political possibilities of greenhouse gasses are all that really matter to the global elite. At the same time, the volcanologists are warning of increasing crustal activity that could soon spew millions of tons of earth-cooling volcanic dust into the atmosphere. If we’re not careful, we could engineer ourselves into a new ice age.
Wikipedia’s report on the ethics and responsibility issues surrounding climate engineering is revealing: “Climate engineering would represent a large-scale, intentional effort to modify the environment, which differ from inadvertent climate change through activities such as burning fossil fuels. Intentional climate change is viewed very differently from a moral standpoint. This raises questions of whether we as humans have the right to change the climate, and under what conditions this right obtains.
“Furthermore, ethical arguments often confront larger considerations of worldview, including individual and social religious commitments. For many, religious beliefs are pivotal in defining the role of human beings in the wider world. Some religious communities might claim that humans have no responsibility in managing the climate, instead seeing such world systems as the exclusive domain of a Creator. In contrast, other religious communities might see the human role as one of ‘stewardship’ or benevolent management of the world.” This begs the question, of course. Can God be trusted to manage His creation (as He has always done in the past) or can’t He? There’s a fine line between good stewardship and humanist meddling.
“The question of ethics also relates to issues of policy decision-making. For example, the selection of a globally agreed target temperature is a significant problem in any geoengineering governance regime, as different countries or interest groups may seek different global temperatures.” This whole concept presupposes the benevolent authority of a one-world governing body (like the United Nations, perhaps), which in turn requires the elevation of man to the status of God. Well, it’s not as if we hadn’t been warned by God (the real one) that there would be times like this.
“What most ethicists, policy-makers, and scientists agree on is this: Solar radiation management is an incomplete solution to global warming.” Okay, here comes the punch line: “The possible option of geoengineering may reduce incentives to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. It is argued that geoengineering could be used to ‘buy time’ before drastic climate change happens, allowing mitigation and adaptation measures more time to be implemented and work. But the opposition points out that the resources spent on geoengineering could be used for mitigation and efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Geoengineering also does not resolve other issues related to increasing levels of carbon dioxide.”
There it is: the real agenda. We want our designated villain, our bone of contention, our justification for “destroying the mighty, and also the holy people” (as it’s put in Daniel 8:24—it’s exactly the same objective as the Antichrist’s). They don’t really care about managing Earth’s temperature; they merely want to be able to use the CO2 issue to gain wealth and political power.
You can bet that there is a political agenda (and not merely a benign concern for the health of the planet) when the Central Intelligence Agency gets involved in the geoengineering debate. A report by Rob Williams published in The Independent (July 21, 2013) was entitled, “CIA backs $630,000 study into how to control global weather through geoengineering—Study part-funded by the CIA to investigate national security implications of geoengineering.” That’s right, folks. The CIA sees this as a national security issue, not an answer to global climate change woes.
So Williams writes: “The power, reach and influence of the Central Intelligence Agency is a staple of conspiracy theories. The news that the CIA is reportedly part-funding a scientific geoengineering study into how to control the weather is unlikely to dampen speculation over their activities.
“According to US website Mother Jones the CIA is helping fund a study by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) that will investigate whether humans could use geoengineering—which is defined as deliberate and large-scale intervention in the Earth’s climatic system—to stop climate change. The NAS website describes the study as an investigation into ‘a limited number of proposed geoengineering techniques, including examples of both solar radiation management (SRM) and carbon dioxide removal (CDR) techniques.’ The purpose of this is to comment ‘generally on the potential impacts of deploying these technologies, including possible environmental, economic, and national security concerns,’ the website claims….
“Much speculation has surrounded claims that the US government has long been involved in types of weather manipulation, including a much-discussed attempt to cloud-seed—the process of dispersing substances into the air to create cloud condensation or ice nuclei and subsequently rain or snow—during the Vietnam war. It was also widely reported that the Chinese government seeded clouds ahead of the 2008 Olympics opening ceremony to create a downpour elsewhere and keep the stadium dry by firing iodide crystals into rain clouds over Beijing. Weather manipulation was most recently in the news after claims by some American commentators that devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma, along with other extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy, were created by the US government using the HAARP antenna farm in Alaska.”
If you’ll recall, we discussed HAARP (and competing systems from other countries) back in Chapter 10—“The Next-to-Last Days.” Its capabilities include (but are not restricted to) weather modification, a big part of the geoengineering tool kit. If I may, allow me to reprise a paragraph from that discussion:
“…My point is not that we are in the hands of mad scientists who will soon have the capability—not to mention the arrogance—to destroy the earth while attempting to gain a military advantage. (This may be true, but it’s not my point.) I just want you to understand that the divine judgments that are prophesied to come upon the earth are not necessarily all miraculously God-generated, like thunderbolts from Zeus being thrown down from Mount Olympus. Rather, the ‘wrath of God’ may in large measure be nothing more than Yahweh stepping out of the picture and letting us run the world ourselves for a few years (something He has never done since He created it), giving the human race enough rope with which to hang itself.”
Now, however, the U.S. has determined that the HAARP program has outlived its usefulness—which makes me wonder what new card they have up their sleeve. An article in LiveScience.com by Stephanie Pappas (picked up by Yahoo News, May 22, 2014) explains: “Secret Weapon? Conspiracy Theories Abound as US Military Closes HAARP. The U.S. Air Force has notified Congress that it intends to shut down HAARP, a controversial Alaska-based research facility that studies an energetic and active region of the upper atmosphere.
“Conspiracy theorists are abuzz about the news, given that HAARP (short for High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) has long been the center of wild speculation that the program is designed to control the weather—or worse…. HAARP is a research program designed to analyze the ionosphere, a portion of the upper atmosphere that stretches from about 53 miles (85 kilometers) above the surface of the Earth to 370 miles (600 km) up. The program has been funded by the Air Force, the Navy, the University of Alaska and DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency).
“The U.S. military is interested in the ionosphere because this portion of the atmosphere plays a role in transmitting radio signals. HAARP sends radio beams into the ionosphere to study the responses from it—one of the few ways to accurately measure this inaccessible part of the atmosphere. HAARP operates out of the HAARP Research Station in Gakona, Alaska, where it has a high-power radio frequency transmitter that can perturb a small portion of the ionosphere. Other instruments are then used to measure the perturbations. The goal of the program is to understand the physics of the ionosphere, which is constantly responding to influences from the sun. Solar flares can send solar particles racing toward Earth, occasionally disrupting communications and the electrical grid. If scientists could better understand what happens in the ionosphere, they might be able to mitigate some of these problems.
“But the Air Force is no longer interested in maintaining HAARP, according to David Walker, the Air Force deputy assistant secretary for science, technology and engineering. At a Senate hearing on May 14, Walker said the Air Force has no interest in maintaining the site, and is moving in another direction in ionospheric research.” It was left unsaid what this “other direction” was. But I think we can be fairly certain that the U.S. military hasn’t lost interest in tinkering with the ecosphere with an eye toward either saving the planet or gaining a battlespace advantage. One gets the feeling that in their patriotic fervor, they can’t really tell the difference between the two objectives. Sigh.
Since we have been lied to by our own government so often over the past half century or so, it is only natural that conspiracy theories now tend to emerge over a wide range of issues. One of the hottest of these issues, potentially connected to the concept of geoengineering, is that of “chemtrails,” chemical trails spewing from high-flying jet aircraft.
Predictably, Wikipedia does its best to debunk the idea as pure myth: “According to the chemtrail conspiracy theory, long-lasting trails left in the sky by high-flying aircraft are chemical or biological agents deliberately sprayed for sinister purposes undisclosed to the general public. Believers in the theory argue that normal contrails dissipate relatively quickly, and contrails that do not dissipate must contain additional substances. These arguments have been dismissed by the scientific community: such trails are simply normal water-based contrails (condensation trails) which are routinely left by high-flying aircraft under certain atmospheric conditions. Although proponents have attempted to prove that the claimed chemical spraying does take place, their analyses have been flawed or based on misconception….
“There are web sites dedicated to the conspiracy theory, and it is particularly favored by right-wing groups because it fits well with deep suspicion of government. In some accounts, the chemicals are described as barium and aluminum salts, polymer fibers, thorium, or silicon carbide. Other accounts allege that the skies are being seeded with electrically-conductive materials as part of a massive electromagnetic superweapons program based around the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP). Those who believe in the conspiracy say the chemtrails are toxic, but the reasons given by those who believe in the conspiracy vary widely, ranging from military weapons testing to chemical population control to climate control.”
The problem, they say, is those pesky conservatives (a.k.a. paranoid right wing lunatics), who don’t implicitly trust their government to be honest and benign, for some unfathomable reason. These are the same people who doubt the validity of a war on carbon designed to fight climate change, who don’t automatically fall into lock step with what the media reports about the opinions of a “scientific community” (whose funding depends upon toeing the party line). You know the type: Bible thumpers, gun nuts, tea baggers, flag-waving reactionaries…
But occasionally, somebody “inside” is courageous enough to follow their conscience instead of their bank account. Case in point: Kristen Meghan spent nine years as a bio-environmental engineering specialist in the U.S. Air Force. She began asking embarrassing questions related to her job when her inventory and usage figures didn’t add up. As time went on, water and soil samples were analyzed, with alarming results. Eventually, pressure was brought to bear to bury her findings (which would have entailed violating her oath of service). She was forced by unassailable facts to conclude that not only were the “paranoid” chemtrail theories true, they were being perpetrated by the very United States Air Force she had so faithfully served. So, threatened and ostracized by her superior officers as a whistleblower, she left her promising military career in 2010. Her revealing YouTube videos now pepper the Internet. The cat, as it were, was out of the bag; and all her detractors could do was try to discredit her, branding her a paranoid conspiracy kook.
At the conclusion of one presentation, Ms. Meghan said something that, out of context, may sound a bit hysterical: “Of all the freedoms we are losing, geoengineering is the number one issue we’re facing, because you can have your guns and money, but if you don’t have food and water and you’re dying of respiratory and neurological illnesses, what does it matter?” What had she discovered while working as a bio-environmental engineer for the Air Force that alarmed her so badly?
For the specific answers, let us consult a few scientists who aren’t being paid to keep their mouths shut. This article from Lance Johnson, entitled “Nanosized Aluminum Being Sprayed in the Atmosphere, Causing Degenerative Disease, says Neurosurgeon,” appeared in NaturalNews.com (July 14, 2013).
“Back in the 1960s, quiet scientific dialogue began about global climate change and how it can be manipulated. What might have turned into a productive discussion of responsible protection of Earth’s climate and ecosystem has eventually evolved into a mad science experiment. By the 21st century, jumbo jets were being deployed to drop billions of dollars of nanosized aluminum and other particles into the skies, in attempts to reflect sunlight away from the Earth and cool climate temperatures. This science experiment has exposed populations to massive amounts of airborne metals that are literally raining down and poisoning everyone, slowly, subtly.” In case you missed it, that’s a precise description of geoengineering through the use of chemtrails.
“According to neurosurgeon Russell L. Blaylock, the nanosized aluminum particles found in chemtrails are contributing heavily to degenerative disease today…. According to Dr. Blaylock, degenerative disease, especially neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s, are growing at an alarming rate, due in major part to the mass spraying of nanosized aluminum into the atmosphere.
“Nanosized particles are ‘infinitely more reactive and induce intense inflammation in a number of tissues.’ Dr. Blaylock states, ‘Of special concern is the effect these nanoparticles have on the brain and spinal cord, as a growing list of neuro-degenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and Lou Gehrig's disease.’ Blaylock explains further that aluminum nano-particles can easily penetrate the brain through the blood and olfactory nerves in the nose. Passing through the olfactory neural tracts, aluminum particles easily penetrate the area of the brain most affected by Alzheimer’s disease…. The aluminum particles also enter the body through the respiratory system, where they have been shown to cause tremendous inflammation in the lungs, further aggravating conditions like asthma and pulmonary diseases. Due to their small size, the aluminum particles can even enter the gastrointestinal tract and can disperse into many other organs and tissues in the body, including the spinal cord.
“As a neurosurgeon who interacts daily with neurological disease, Dr. Blaylock states his objections to the global spraying of aluminum into the skies: ‘Steps need to be taken now to prevent an impending health disaster of enormous proportions if this project is not stopped immediately. Otherwise we will see an explosive increase in neurodegenerative diseases occurring in adults and the elderly in unprecedented rates as well as neurodevelopment disorders in our children. We are already seeing a dramatic increase in these neurological disorders and it is occurring in younger people more than ever before.’”
Johnson compares the dangers of geoengineering to those of bioengineering—the genetic modification of the foods we eat (GMOs). He also brings up the issue of moral authority, asking, “When did any group, government, or billionaire gain the authority to use jets to pour massive amounts of elements on unsuspecting populations of people?” Of course, the utter lack of authority (moral, legal, or otherwise) explains the denial, obfuscation, and evasion that surrounds the issue.
Personally, I am disinclined to brush the whole phenomenon of chemtrails off as mass hysteria—a mistaken and paranoid take on harmless contrails from high flying airplanes. Why? Because there is just too much information out there that supports the “conspiracy theory,” thousands upon thousands of web pages from otherwise rational people who—with no incentive to do so other than disseminating the truth—are going out of their way to “blow the whistle.” Some (as we have seen) are working professionals whose lives and vocations have been impacted by the practice. Others are the rare individuals who are medically hypersensitive to them—who can actually smell and taste what they’re seeing in the sky, right before they become ill. As for me, I’m only reporting what shows up on the Last Days radar: one more thing to make us ponder the unravelling of human society—and one more factor that seems poised to reach fruition (whatever that is) by the fourth decade of the twenty-first century.
Up until now, we have been laboring under the assumption that the chemtrails (presuming they actually exist) are being sprayed in order to reflect sunlight away from the earth, cooling the atmosphere—a tactic intended to combat global warming. But what if their real purpose is more sinister? What if the health hazards they pose are not merely an unfortunate and unforeseen side effect, but the whole point? That is the premise of a lengthy post by Paul Adams, J.D. entitled “The Purpose of Geoengineering and Chemtrails is Death” that appeared on the rather hysterical blog, Koenig2099.wordpress.com (June 12, 2013). As I try to whittle this down to the basics, you should probably remind yourself that “just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.”
Adams writes, “Geoengineering, often referred to as chemtrails, exists as a global nuisance for the primary purposes of causing severe bodily injury and premature death with malice aforethought. Geoengineering involves large aircraft constantly spraying tiny particles of aluminum and barium, amongst many other harmful toxins, into the air/atmosphere. All people and animals then inhale these toxins while breathing, without informed consent. The toxins also poison the soil and fresh water sources…. On a massive scale geoengineering will likely result in democide if not stopped completely. According to Professor R.J. Rummel of the University of Hawaii, Democide is the murder of any person or people by a government, including genocide, politicide, and mass murder. (Democide does not include soldiers killed in battle.) During the 20th Century alone, Rummel calculates, government power was used to murder approximately 262,000,000 people. It appears that history is repeating itself with improved technology.
“Secondary purposes of geoengineering include controlling the climate/weather for warfare and profits, and destroying the natural world while furthering the transhumanist/synthetic biology agenda. The evidence indicates that geoengineering is an essential element of the elite’s endgame move to depopulate the planet. The public must be educated and the stratospheric spraying stopped immediately….”
Adams takes note of the mountain of evidence demonstrating that geoengineering chemtrails do indeed exist (and not just in America, but worldwide), and that their toxicity has been openly acknowledged by several government agencies (like the state of Texas). But the official “line” is still that chemtrail geoengineering is being done for the purpose of weather modification—to combat global warming—without any sort of public disclosure or debate. This, of course, is exactly what you’d say if you were trying to hide genocidal intent: It’s for your own good. Ironically, chemtrails seem to have been somewhat successful in blocking out sunlight. “The emergence of the Chemtrails phenomenon coincided with an average 22% drop in sunlight reaching the earth’s surface. Even the New York Times recently published a story stating that the ‘Globe Grows Darker as Sunshine Diminishes 10% to 37%.’” Incredibly, though, nobody seems to have done the math on this: sunlight is plant food, through the process of photosynthesis. If you shade the earth, you’re contributing to world famine. Also, plants take CO2 out of the atmosphere, replacing it with oxygen. So the more sunlight you block, the more CO2 you’re going to have to deal with.
“What is being sprayed? Hundreds of laboratory tests reveal that the primary components of geoengineering are aluminum and barium. Other components include synthetic polymers, ethylene dibromide, Morgellons disease, viruses, fungi, and bacteria. The toxic metal particulates are rapidly absorbed from the respiratory system and/or the gastrointestinal tract and are deposited in the lungs, muscles, and bone. According to Medscape, aluminum accumulation in tissues and organs results in their dysfunction and toxicity. If a significant load exceeds the body’s excretory capacity, the excess is deposited in various tissues, including bone, brain, liver, heart, spleen, and muscle. This accumulation causes morbidity and mortality.
“No living systems use aluminum as part of a biochemical process. It has a tendency to accumulate in the brain and bones. The Material Safety Data Sheet for aluminum states that the most notable symptoms of aluminum poisoning are diminishing intellectual function, forgetfulness, inability to concentrate and, in extreme cases, full-blown dementia and Alzheimer’s. Its toxicity also causes bone softening and bone mass loss, kidney and other soft tissue damage and, in large enough doses, can cause cardiac arrest. Additionally, aluminum is strongly linked to Autism.
“Barium is toxic to humans and animals and causes a dramatic drop in potassium levels in the body. For this reason (and others), barium is known to considerably increase the frequency of heart attacks in persons 65 years and older.
“Sulphur is another toxin associated with geoengineering. Laboratory tests with animals indicate that sulphur can cause serious vascular damage in veins of the brains, the heart and the kidneys. These tests also indicate that certain forms of sulfur can cause fetal damage and congenital defects. Mothers can even carry sulfur poisoning over to their children through their milk. Sulphur can also damage the internal enzyme systems of animals.”
So Adams logically concludes, “The purpose of geoengineering is injury and death…. Abundant evidence proves that a criminal global elite has been obsessed with eugenics and its modern-day incarnation, population control, for well over 100 years and that the goal of global population reduction remains a priority. Chemtrails and geoengineering are clearly part of the death agenda and represent the equivalent of spraying ants to death with a can of slow-acting poison. However, in this case, the poison is mega-tons of particulate aluminum, barium, and other toxins consistently sprayed from above, the can is a jet plane, and the target is humans. Scientific studies prove that breathing particulate matter associated with chemtrails over time will harm and kill us.”
It isn’t merely that the aerosolized materials in chemtrails themselves are toxic. It’s also the size of the particulates. Basically, what’s being emitted here is purposely man-made air pollution. Adams traces the diseases caused by such particulates, drawing compelling links between chemtrails and lung cancer (and other respiratory or pulmonary diseases like bronchitis and asthma), coronary disease and stroke-inducing blood clots, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Lou Gehrig’s diseases, and Autism Spectrum Disorder (whose epidemic proportions we’ve tracked elsewhere—the usual suspects being GMOs and vaccinations). “Investigative journalist and author of Chemtrails Confirmed, William Thomas, found that chemtrails inflict eye infections, nosebleeds, skin sores, muscle pain, chronic exhaustion, weakened immunity, acute asthma and allergies, short-term memory loss and heart attacks on people in more than a dozen countries.”
So Adams has no choice but to label chemtrail geoengineering “Harm with Malice Aforethought.” His thesis: nobody could be stupid enough to spend billions of dollars perpetrating such a scheme without knowing that the primary effect would be physical harm to people, animals, and plants. “The actions of those involved with geoengineering demonstrate an intent to do harm.” The following quotes reveal why he thinks so:
“Geoengineer advocate Ken Calderia, an atmospheric scientist who works at the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Department of Global Ecology, proposes spraying chemicals in our skies to ‘blunt the worst effects of global warming.’ But when confronted at a geoengineering debate in Berkeley, he was forced to admit there has been no global warming for at least 17 years (‘it has leveled off’) and that when he worked at a nuclear weapons lab, he discussed poisoning the sky, ‘putting pathogens in a cloud’ to ‘rain down on your enemy and do chemical and germ warfare.’
“Obama’s top science and technology advisor John P. Holdren co-authored a book, Ecoscience, in which he advocated the formation of a ‘planetary regime’ that would use a ‘global police force’ to enforce totalitarian measures of population control, including forced abortions, mass sterilization programs conducted via the food and water supply, as well as mandatory bodily implants that would prevent couples from having children. Holdren also proposed geoengineering at a 2007 Goldman Sachs Conference. Perhaps Holdren sees geoengineering as the best method to cull humans into a ‘sustainable’ population.
“Ted Gunderson, former chief of the Los Angeles division of the FBI, demanded that geoengineering be stopped and referred to it as ‘death dumps… genocide, poison, and murder. This element within our society that is doing this must be stopped. This is a crime against humanity.’ Gunderson also notes that the geoengineering pilots are poisoning themselves and their families. According to one chemtrail pilot, stopping geoengineering may be our last chance to save humanity from psychopathic genocidal maniacs.
Who are these geoengineers? Several names pop up over and over again in the literature…
David Keith is a professor at Harvard University and advocate of Geoengineering…. Keith’s infamous quote on the dangers of geoengineering is: ‘And by the way, it’s not really a moral hazard, it’s more like free-riding on our grandkids.’ The Washington Post (October 30, 2013) quotes Keith: “Solar radiation management, or solar geoengineering, involve cooling the earth by reflecting away some sunlight. All of these ideas are scientifically quite similar; they’re all risky; they all act very fast; and they’re all cheap…. These technologies appear to provide a pathway by which we could substantially reduce climate [warming] risks over the next half-century. That means reducing the risks of sea-level rise, reducing the risks of stress for the crops of people in the poorest and hottest parts of the world.” Although Keith’s approach seems generally thoughtful and balanced, he doesn’t seem to comprehend that (1) the earth isn’t actually heating up, and (2) crops require unobstructed sunlight in order to grow and thrive.
Back to Dr. Adams’ article: “Steve Rayner is a Professor of Science and Civilization at the University of Oxford. He is one of the co-directors of the Oxford Geoengineering Program. Steve was previously a member of the Royal Society Working Group on Geoengineering. The Royal Society is an organization made up of renowned eco-fascists and depopulation fanatics. It released a report calling for the ‘stabilization’ of global population and reductions in consumption in developed countries. In the report, renowned population alarmist and Ecoscience co-author, Professor Paul Ehrlich, called for a ‘move to population shrinkage as humanely and as rapidly as possible.’” How, precisely, does one humanely shrink a living human population? Any way you slice it, it’s a call for death on a massive scale, with all of its attendant grief and pain. There’s nothing humane about purposely causing or contributing to the death of another human being, much less billions of us.
“David Victor is a professor at Stanford University and the University of California, San Diego. He also directed the science and technology program at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, where he directed the Council’s task force on energy and was senior adviser to the task force on climate change. The Council on Foreign Relations is in essence the not-so-secret acting government of the United States, and in the view of many researchers, a powerful global crime syndicate that controls the mainstream media.” If you’ll recall, we discussed the CFR at length in Chapter 14: “Mystery Babylon.”
Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates is on record as being in favor of depopulating the planet by any and all possible means, and he’s willing to support his agenda with large sums of money. His name is ubiquitous in this context. “Gates funded a Harvard University project, in which sun-reflecting particles were sprayed from a balloon at an altitude of 80,000 feet above Fort Sumner, New Mexico. In 2012, Gates threw his financial muscle behind manipulating the earth’s climate via geoengineering. Bill Gates is a radical eugenicist. In addition to sponsoring vaccine research to reduce the population, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation supports Planned Parenthood. In 2000, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) $8,800,000. In its annual report, Planned Parenthood boasted that its affiliates around the nation performed 333,964 life terminating abortions during 2010-11, up from 332,278 pre-born deaths in 2009, the previous yearly record. The latest number represents an abortion performed every 94 seconds.” His own three children are exempt from the genocide, I presume.
“Bill Gates and his globalist friends clearly have plans to reduce the world’s population. It must also be noted that The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation purchased 500,000 shares in Monsanto in 2010, valued at more than $23 million. This is significant because Monsanto, known as one of the world’s most unethical companies, released an aluminum-resistant seed which is genetically modified to tolerate aluminum in high levels in the soil. The primary ingredients of chemtrails are aluminum and barium—what a coincidence!
An October 2, 2012 article by Cassandra Anderson on MorphCity.com gives us more information on Gates’ involvement. Remember David Keith? “Keith manages a multimillion dollar research fund for Bill Gates. Gates has also gathered a team of scientist lobbyists that have been asking governments for hand-outs to for their climate manipulation experiments with taxpayer money…. Geoengineering can alter rain cycles leading to droughts and famine that could result in billions of deaths! Therefore, Bill Gates appears to be using his concern over global warming to cloak his real intent of controlling weather and/or depopulation.”
She points out the counterintuitive fact that “Geo-engineering can actually cause global warming when tampering with clouds in the upper atmosphere/stratosphere. The Gates-funded scientist lobbyists propose spraying sulfur dioxide 30 miles above Earth, and a New Mexico experiment proposes spraying 15 miles above surface…. Both experiments propose dumping SO2 in the upper atmosphere/stratosphere, creating a heat-trapping blanket that would theoretically increase warming. This is the opposite of Gates’ stated goal to cool the planet…. Given that the EPA claims that sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions cause health problems and early death and that they are shuttering coal plants over emissions, you may be wondering why the EPA isn’t screaming bloody murder over Gates’ SO2 aerosol-spraying experiments. The answer can be found on the EPA’s own website where they promote giving regulatory power over geoengineering/chemtrails to the UN and/or developed countries that fund the programs. The EPA is abdicating power to international interests. Bill Gates’ failure to address the EPA’s dire warnings of the dangers of SO2 is proof that he is aware that the EPA’s claims are grossly overstated, or that he doesn’t really care about the environment and has ulterior motives…. Geoengineering is either a risky adventure to test ignorant theories or a scheme to control weather, water and food supplies. Bill Gates’ record as a depopulation enthusiast supports the argument that geoengineering is a weather domination scheme that may be used as a weapon threatening the lives of billions of people.
And you thought he just made software.
Dr. Adams continues: “As well as Gates, other wealthy individuals including Sir Richard Branson, tar sands magnate Murray Edwards, and the co-founder of Skype, Niklas Zennström, have funded a series of reports into future use of the geoengineering technology. Branson, who has frequently called for geoengineering to combat climate change, helped fund the Royal Society’s inquiry into solar radiation management last year through his Carbon War Room charity…. Geoengineering appears to be one to the elites’ primary methods of culling the human herd.
“In addition to humans, the natural world around us dies due to chemtrail fallout because soil and fresh water sources are also being contaminated with aluminum and barium. Chemtrails are prevalent at Mount Shasta, California, where aluminum in pond water tested 24,000 times normal and snowdrifts at 8,000 feet tested 122,200 times normal. Soil around a house (exposed to the air) in Northern California contained 3,000 times more aluminum than soil tested from under the house (not exposed to the air).
“Companies like Monsanto are engaged in planetary engineering, which includes bioremediation measures to bring us patented genetically engineered trees and crops, such as GMO corn, soy, and sugar beets that are in 90% of processed foods and strongly linked to numerous diseases including cancer. As discussed earlier, Monsanto has already developed an aluminum resistance gene for profit….
So far, most of the world’s governments are sticking to their lame “contrails” explanation, but the geoengineering cover-up is no longer universal. ConsciousLifeNews.com (October 7, 2012) reported, “As reported by the Swedish paper Katrineholms Kuriren, [Swedish Green Party leader Pernilla] Hagberg, the first major political leader to come forward on the issue, has openly admitted that these unusual cloud trails, which fail to dissipate like normal contrails do, are actually a toxic mix of chemicals, viruses, and metals that she has collectively referred to as “chemtrails.” According to Hagberg, the sprayings are a joint endeavor by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), as well as the Swedish government in her own country, to modify atmospheric conditions via deliberate aerosol spraying efforts. And included in this “dangerous” mix of aerosols are various chemical components, viruses and viral fragments, and metals such as aluminum and barium, which have already been shown to be accumulating in water supplies and soils around the world.”
Adams notes, “The only national governments to admit to chemtrails are Germany and Sweden. Why does the U.S. government deny the obvious if its intentions are benevolent? Why deny what is seen by millions of Americans each day? Why deny what has been photographed, filmed, and documented millions of times?” And when the chemtrail scheme is finally acknowledged, it is invariably said to be intended as a defense against global warming (something that isn’t actually happening, and was invented as a straw-man so CO2 could be villainized—a ploy designed to bring about the globalist agenda). Not only is the “cool-the-earth” explanation not logical or fact-based, it isn’t even plausible.
But what is plausible is Dr. Adams’ conclusion on the matter: “The evidence demonstrates that the primary purpose of the public nuisance of geoengineering is to cause bodily injury and premature death with malice aforethought.”
Enough already. As in the title of one of my favorite old movies put it, “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.” And our scientists, it would appear, are, for all their intelligence and education, the looniest of the lot—willing to bury their heads in the sand and destroy the whole fragile and beautiful planet upon which we live, if there’s a paycheck in it.
So what the heck; let’s give the last word to perhaps the maddest mad scientist of all, our old friend Steven Hawking. Yahoo reports, “In a preface to a new book called ‘Starmus’—a collection of lectures gives by famous scientists and astronomers—Hawking worried that the Higgs Boson might become unstable. He wrote: ‘The Higgs potential has the worrisome feature that it might become metastable at energies above 100bn gigaelectronvolts (GeV).’ What might this lead to? Hawkins explained: ‘This could mean that the universe could undergo catastrophic vacuum decay, with a bubble of the true vacuum expanding at the speed of light. This could happen at any time and we wouldn’t see it coming….’ However, given that he believes we only have perhaps 1,000 years left on Earth anyway, it’s as well to explore every possible scenario, before the robots and algorithms secure minds of their own and, as their first step, eliminate us all.”
No, really: this might actually be his “last word.” The revered physicist has a motor neuron disease related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He must communicate through a speech-generating device. But lately, he got it into his brilliant mind to boycott Israel, throwing his considerable prestige behind the Palestinian cause. There’s only one problem: The speech device which enables Hawking to communicate with the world (according to the DailyMail) is a computer Intel Core i7-based communication system.
Which runs on a chip designed by Israel.
(First published 2015)