WHILE praying before the Blessed Sacrament twelve years ago, I had a sudden, strong and clear impression of an angel hovering above the world and shouting,
Since then, we have watched humanity literally being corralled like cattle into a digital matrix. Our phone calls, letters, purchases, banking, photographs, software, music, movies, books, health info, private messages, personal and business data, and soon, self-driving cars… it’s all being funnelled into “the cloud”, accessible through the Internet. It’s convenient, sure. But increasingly, the World Wide Web is becoming the only place to access these things as people adopt it as their sole means of communication and as companies move their products and services entirely online. In the meantime, more and more traditional retailers are folding their tents. In the U.S. alone, over 4000 retail outlets have announced closure in just 2019 thus far—nearly double compared to this time last year. They simply cannot compete with the likes of online retailers like Amazon, Alibaba, etc. sometimes leaving entire malls empty and retail blocs looking like ghost towns.
And it’s all globally connected. When I was in Rome recently, I had to withdraw some money at an ATM machine. I was reminded of how instant our connections are—from banking, to texts, emails, video messaging, etc. It’s a technological marvel—and a frightening step toward universal control of the population. We have arguably never had, until now, all the conditions necessary for the kind of control described by St. John 2000 years ago—and a world practically drooling for it:
Fascinated, the whole world followed after the beast… It forced all the people, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to be given a stamped image on their right hands or their foreheads, so that no one could buy or sell except one who had the stamped image of the beast’s name or the number that stood for its name. (Rev 13:16-17)
Of course, any talk of “beasts” or “antichrists” is enough to spur eye-rolling and head-shakes among a few. So let’s have an intelligent conversation about it centred on facts instead of letting fear and irrational conspiracy theory dominate the day.
The widespread reluctance on the part of many Catholic thinkers to enter into a profound examination of the apocalyptic elements of contemporary life is, I believe, part of the very problem which they seek to avoid. If apocalyptic thinking is left largely to those who have been subjectivized or who have fallen prey to the vertigo of cosmic terror, then the Christian community, indeed the whole human community, is radically impoverished. And that can be measured in terms of lost human souls. –Author, Michael O’Brien, Are We Living In Apocalyptic Times?
THE DIGITAL CORRAL
True control of the monetary system is only possible if society moves to a cashless system. And that has already begun in many places.  Bills are too easily counterfeited. Cash and coins are expensive to print and mint. They’re tainted with bacteria, drugs, and all manner of filth. And most of all, cash is untraceable—perfect for criminal activity and tax evasion. But then what? If I hold a dollar in my hand, I’m holding a dollar. But when my digital bank account says I have a dollar… the bank is “holding” it—somewhere out there in cyberspace.
Each time I purchase gasoline with a bank card, standing there, waiting for the “Approved” word to pop up, I am reminded that the transaction is not dependent only on whether or not I have the means. It depends on whether or not the connection works and if it allows me to buy. Many may not realize that banks have the right to close your account—for whatever reason. In the U.S., some with “conservative” views have already complained that credit card companies and banks are targeting them.  If you voted for the “wrong” person or take the “wrong” position… watch out. If you have cash stuffed under your bed, no problem. But if your account is closed because you are deemed “intolerant”, a “bigot” or a “terrorist” for your views…? It’s as easy as flipping a switch.
The cashless push has rapidly progressed. In a short time, we have gone from bank cards, to chips inside them, to now a cellphone or smartwatch completing the transaction with a mere “tap.” What’s next? It’s no longer a “conspiracy theory” to suggest that some kind of interface within or on the body is the next “safe”, “secure”, and “convenient” step…
…a stamped image on their right hands or their forehead…
People have literally begun lining up to have a computer chip injected into their skin.  No, it’s not mandatory for the general population—yet. But we are rapidly moving toward such an invasion of one’s body. Already, mandatory DNA sampling, iris scans, and even naked body scans in airports have been implemented virtually overnight “for security reasons.” And few seem to mind.
They all just lined up like cattle to have their bodies scanned with ionizing radiation. —Mike Adams, Natural News, October 19th, 2010
At the same time, voluntarily “tattooing” oneself has become a multi-billion dollar industry. It’s not a huge step, then, to inject a chip that can open doors, buy goods, find lost children, store health records, turn on lights, and a host of other “conveniences.”
Let’s throw the smartphones away and think about how humans interact with infrastructure. —Ari Pouttu, science professor at the University of Oulu, Finland; CNN.com, Feb. 28th, 2019
Indeed, all that’s left for governments “to close the corral gate” is to merge biometric data collection with the right to “buy and sell.” In fact, that gate is already beginning to swing…
THE TESTING GROUNDS?
India recently launched the Aadhaar initiative for the entire country, perhaps the most invasive state-imposed collection of personal biometrics.
…each Indian citizen’s information, such as fingerprints and eye scans, [was collected into] a database linked to every part of that person’s digital footprint — bank account numbers, cellphone details, income-tax filings, voter IDs… —The Washington Post, March 25th, 2018
National Public Radio reported that “The rollout was accompanied by a big patriotic PR campaign, with TV ads showing smiling elderly people using Aadhaar to collect state pensions and villagers using it to collect food rations.” State governments introduced machines at ration shops, post offices, or enrollment centers to harvest people’s fingerprints, eye scans or cellphone numbers. Nearly all of the 1.3 billion population has participated in handing their biological information over to be stored on government servers. But privacy experts and activists, including Edward Snowden, the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor and whistleblower, fear that the information could be used to snoop on citizens or be easily leaked, hacked or utilized by private companies.
This is an incredible tool for surveillance. There is little benefit, and it is devastating for the welfare system. —Reetika Khera, an economist and social scientist, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi; The Washington Post, March 25th, 2018
At the same time, the government abruptly invalidated 86 percent of the cash in circulation, which led to widespread panic and a currency crisis. Indians were being corralled into a digital system whether they wanted it or not. Several “computer glitches” proved fatal as some people without proper ID cards were deprived of rations or services, and in some cases, starved to death. Ironically, Nandan Nilekaniis, the tech billionaire who is the architect of Aadhaar, said:
Our whole goal is to give people control. —NPR.org, October 1st, 2019
In China, it is the opposite: purposeful control. The Communist-controlled government launched a new “social credit system” that is “Orwellian” to say the least. A recent report  reveals that authorities have collected over 14.21 million pieces of information on the “untrustworthy conduct” of individuals and businesses. Everything from late payments, to arguments in public, or taking someone’s seat on a train, or tracking the kind of leisure activities they do… all this data is used to devise a “credit score” of the business’s or person’s “trustworthiness.” It’s hard to believe, but over 3.59 million Chinese enterprises were added to the official creditworthiness blacklist last year and thus banned from engaging in numerous kinds of business transactions. Furthermore, 17.46 million “discredited” people were restricted from buying plane tickets and 5.47 million were restricted from purchasing high-speed train passes. 
The fact is that we are all being surveilled by a “data industrial complex.” Our activities on computers, smartphones, smartwatches, social media, websites, etc. are being harvested from organizations like Cambridge Analytica, Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, is surprisingly blunt about it all:
Our own information—from the every day to the deeply personal—is being weaponized against us with military efficiency. These scraps of data, each one harmless enough on its own, are carefully assembled, synthesized, traded and sold. Taken to the extreme this process creates an enduring digital profile and lets companies know you better than you may know yourself… We shouldn’t sugarcoat the consequences. This is surveillance. —Keynote speech at the 40th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, October 24th, 2018, techcrunch.com
It’s almost bizarre how people are excited that Alexa, Siri, and other “services” can listen constantly for your next instruction. Smart appliances, smart bulbs, and such can now respond to your commands. Many have noted, including me, that words spoken around their devices suddenly generates spam emails or ads on websites for the specific thing they were discussing. Facial recognition technology is rapidly being adopted in stores, billboards and on every street corner (without our permission, I might add). The “Internet of Things” has arrived where increasingly everything we use, wear, watch or drive will monitor where we are and what we do.
Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters—all connected to the next-generation internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing, the latter now going to cloud computing, in many areas greater and greater supercomputing, and, ultimately, heading to quantum computing. —former CIA Director David Petraeus, March 12th, 2015; wired.com
That’s tech-speak for saying that we are close to the moment when every person will be tracked in real-time. This will be especially possible with the implementation of 5G (fifth generation) cellular networks and thousands of new satellites slated to be launched in the next decade that will not only make transfer of data almost instant, but will dramatically change the way we interact with each other and the “virtual world” (and here, I will not treat the serious health risks of 5G that include the possibility of mass mind control through the frequencies it will utilize.) Whether we know it or not, we are handing over our personal and national sovereignties on a platter.
Remember “the eye of Sauron” from the movie The Lord of the Rings? The only way it could see you is if you held a mystical globe and stared into it. The “eye” in turn could stare into your soul. What a parallel for our times as billions are daily transfixed on their smartphones, oblivious that the “eye” is also “watching” them. Ironic, too, that Sauron’s tower looks an awful lot like a cellphone tower (see inset).
Suddenly, the prophetic words of Blessed John Henry Newman take on a chilling relevance:
When we have cast ourselves upon the world and depend for protection upon it, and have given up our independence and our strength, then [Antichrist] may burst upon us in fury as far as God allows him. Then… Antichrist [may] appear as a persecutor, and the barbarous nations around break in. —Blessed John Henry Newman, Sermon IV: The Persecution of Antichrist
Who are the “barbarous nations”?
THE RED DRAGON
Islam is continually presenting itself as a threat to Christianity, not only in the Middle East but in Europe (see The Crisis of the Refugee Crisis). But there is another, perhaps more ominous threat.
China is quickly rising to become the world’s next economic and military superpower. At the same time, they are increasingly crushing human rights and religious freedom, and with a vengeance. Stephen Mosher of the Population Research Institute summed it up best:
The reality is that as the Beijing regime grows wealthier, it is becoming ever more despotic at home and aggressive abroad. Dissidents who once would have been released following Western appeals for clemency remain in prison. Fragile democracies in Africa, Asia and Latin America are increasingly corrupted by China’s moneybags foreign policy. China’s leaders reject what they now publicly deride as “Western” values. Instead, they continue to promote their own conception of man as subservient to the state and possessing no inalienable rights. They are obviously convinced that China can be rich and powerful, while remaining a one-party dictatorship… China remains bound to a uniquely totalitarian view of the state. Hu and his colleagues remain determined not only to remain in power indefinitely, but to have the People’s Republic of China replace the U.S. as the reigning hegemon. All they need to do, as Deng Xiaoping once remarked, is “hide their capabilities and bide their time.” —Stephen Mosher, Population Research Institute, “We are Losing the Cold War with China — by Pretending It Doesn’t Exist”, Weekly Briefing, January 19th, 2011
What they are imposing on their nation’s people could easily be imposed on nations who are in their debt or under their military might. American Generals and intelligence analysts are increasingly warning that China is rapidly becoming the greatest threat to democracy. But early Church Father Lactantius (c. 250 – 325) foresaw this centuries ago:
Then the sword will traverse the world, mowing down everything, and laying low all things as a crop. And— my mind dreads to relate it, but I will relate it, because it is about to happen— the cause of this desolation and confusion will be this; because the Roman name, by which the world is now ruled, will be taken away from the earth, and the government return to Asia; and the East will again bear rule, and the West be reduced to servitude. —Lactantius, Fathers of the Church: The Divine Institutes, Book VII, Chapter 15, Catholic Encyclopedia; www.newadvent.org
Several years ago, I drove past a Chinese businessman walking down the sidewalk. I looked into his eyes, into a seemingly dark and empty void, and there was an aggression about him that disturbed me. In that moment (and it’s hard to explain), I seemed to be given an “understanding” that China was going to “invade” the West. This man seemed to represent the ideology or spirit behind China’s ruling party (not necessarily the Chinese people themselves, many who are faithful Christians in the underground Church there).
Recently, someone forwarded this message that carries the Magisterium’s Imprimatur:
I am gazing today with the eyes of mercy on this great nation of China, where my Adversary is reigning, the Red Dragon who has set up his kingdom here, enjoining all, by force, to repeat the satanic act of denial and of rebellion against God.—Our Lady allegedly to Fr. Stefano Gobbi, from the “Blue Book”, n. 365a
According to Revelation 12, this “red dragon” (Marxist, Communist ideologies, etc.) emerges particularly at a time When the Stars Fall. It spreads its errors throughout the world as a precursor to the rise of the beast to whom the dragon eventually gives its power. 
We see this power, the force of the red dragon… in new and different ways. It exists in the form of materialistic ideologies that tell us it is absurd to think of God; it is absurd to observe God’s commandments: they are a leftover from a time past. Life is only worth living for its own sake. Take everything we can get in this brief moment of life. Consumerism, selfishness, and entertainment alone are worthwhile. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Homily, August 15th, 2007, Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
In the years following that “infused” understanding through the man on that sidewalk, I read several prophecies about China.
Before mankind is able to change the calendar of this time you will have witnessed the financial collapse. It is only those who heed to My warnings that will be prepared. The North will attack the South as the two Koreas become at war with each other. Jerusalem will shake, America will fall and Russia will unite with China to become Dictators of the new world. I plead in warnings of love and mercy for I am Jesus and the hand of justice is soon to prevail. —Jesus allegedly to Jennifer, May 22nd, 2012; wordsfromjesus.com ; her messages were endorsed by Monsignor Pawel Ptasznik after he presented them to Pope John Paul II
You will go on falling. You will go on with your coalitions of evil, paving the way for the ‘Kings of the East,’ in other words the helpers of the Son of Evil. —Jesus to Maria Valtorta, The End Times, p. 50, Édition Paulines, 1994 (Note: the Church has not evaluted her writings on the “end times”, only the Poem of the Man God)
“I will set my foot down in the midst of the world and show you: that is America,” and then, [Our Lady] immediately points to another part, saying, “Manchuria—there will be tremendous insurrections.” I see Chinese marching, and a line which they are crossing. —Twenty Fifth Apparition, 10th December, 1950; The Messages of The Lady of All Nations, pg. 35. (Devotion to Our Lady of All Nations has been ecclesiastically approved.)
THE GREAT CORRALLING
The whole progression of these events must be haunting to Emeritus Pope Benedict who lived in Germany as a boy when the Nazis rose to power. When he became a Cardinal, he seemingly prophesied all that we are seeing now unfold:
The Apocalypse speaks about God’s antagonist, the beast. This animal does not have a name, but a number. In [the horror of the concentration camps], they cancel faces and history, transforming man into a number, reducing him to a cog in an enormous machine. Man is no more than a function. In our days, we should not forget that they prefigured the destiny of a world that runs the risk of adopting the same structure of the concentration camps, if the universal law of the machine is accepted. The machines that have been constructed impose the same law. According to this logic, man must be interpreted by a computer and this is only possible if translated into numbers. The beast is a number and transforms into numbers. God, however, has a name and calls by name. He is a person and looks for the person. —Cardinal Ratzinger, (POPE BENEDICT XVI) Palermo, March 15th, 2000 (emphasis mine)
My people, your time is now to prepare because the coming of the antichrist is near… You will be grazed and numbered like sheep by the authorities who work for this false messiah. Do not allow yourself to be counted among them for you are then allowing yourself to fall into this evil trap. It is I Jesus who is your true Messiah and I do not number My sheep because your Shepherd knows you each by name. —Jesus allegedly to Jennifer, August 10th, 2003, March 18th, 2004; wordsfromjesus.com
The purpose of this writing is not to scare anyone or to be sensational: Fear Not! Nor do I have any idea of timelines. Rather, it is to begin a serious reflection among the faithful regarding the “signs of the times” — and to encourage you to prepare and ready your heart to be faithful to Christ, no matter what tomorrow brings. As you may have read the other day, the Church has entered a very serious trial already that will “shake the faith of many believers” (see Resurrection, Not Reform).
Delay not your conversion to the LORD, put it not off from day to day. (Today’s first Mass reading)
My children, do not let yourselves be deceived by the false beauties of this world, do not stray from my Immaculate Heart. Children, there is no more time to delay, no more time to wait, now is the moment to decide: either you are with Christ or against Him; there is no more time, my children. —Our Lady of Zaro, Italy to Simona, February 26th, 2019; translation by Peter Bannister
Bear in mind that those who take the “mark of the beast”—whatever it is and whatever form it takes—lose their salvation, along with the “beast” who imposes it:
The beast was caught and with it the false prophet who had performed in its sight the signs by which he led astray those who had accepted the mark of the beast and those who had worshiped its image. The two were thrown alive into the fiery pool burning with sulfur. The rest were killed by the sword that came out of the mouth of the one riding the horse… there will be no relief day or night for those who worship the beast or its image or accept the mark of its name.” (Revelation 19:20-21; Rev 14:11)
There is some kind of compromise, a spiritually lethal exchange that will be demanded of all. In the words of the Catechism:
The persecution that accompanies [the Church’s] pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. —Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 675
The beast that rises up is the epitome of evil and falsehood, so that the full force of apostasy which it embodies can be cast into the fiery furnace. —St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Church Father (140–202 A.D.); Adversus Haereses, 5, 29
As the nations are being increasingly corralled and controlled, this is why, more than ever, we need to “watch and pray.” 
I know that all times are perilous, and that in every time serious and anxious minds, alive to the honor of God and the needs of man, are apt to consider no times so perilous as their own… still I think… ours has a darkness different in kind from any that has been before it. The special peril of the time before us is the spread of that plague of infidelity, that the Apostles and our Lord Himself have predicted as the worst calamity of the last times of the Church. And at least a shadow, a typical image of the last times is coming over the world.
—St. John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890 A.D.),
sermon at opening of St. Bernard’s Seminary,
October 2, 1873, The Infidelity of the Future
The Now Word is a full-time ministry that
continues by your support.
Bless you, and thank you.
To journey with Mark in The Now Word,
click on the banner below to subscribe.
Your email will not be shared with anyone.
- eg. “Denmark hopes to boost its economy by eliminating cash”, qz.com
- see “Why Killing Cash Makes Sense”, money.com
- cf. pjmedia.com, usbacklash.com, nytimes.com
- eg. see here and here and here
- cf. npr.org
- cf. The Washington Post, March 25th, 2018
- South China Morning Post, February 19th, 2019
- cf. When Communism Returns; Rev 13:2
- Mark 14:38