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When Business Meets Religion: Why I Signed a Contract With the Mark of the Beast

I signed a contract recently that said, "I, Jim Edwards, hereby grant Mark of the Beast (MOB) ... the absolute right and permission to create audio/visual recordings of me..." The language in the agreement was unusual only because it was a release form allowing a Christian film company to interview me for a documentary titled "Mark of the Beast," part of which will focus on PositiveID (PSID), the company that once manufactured microchip implants for humans with scannable RFID devices that can link to your medical records.

PositiveID is the subject of continuous dystopian speculation about whether Americans can be persuaded to carry their medical records in a chip under their skin. I appear in the documentary to explain that PositiveID almost certainly has nothing to do with biblical prophecy. It's just a lousy, loss-making company that doesn't even make the chips anymore.

For some Christians, PositiveID's VeriChip/VeriMed/Health Link product appears to be the fulfillment of a prophecy in Revelation 13:16-18 that describes the arrival of the antichrist:

And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
Satan's 10-Q?
If you're worried that I'm wrong -- and PositiveID CEO Scott Silverman is in league with Satan -- may I suggest you take a look at the company's Q1 2011 earnings statement, as filed with the SEC. It provides strong evidence that the devil has a long way to go in terms of implementing this particular section of the New Testament.

First note that the company no longer actively sells the chip for humans (page 21).

Next, PositiveID showed another net loss, this one for $2.3 million. That brings its accumulated deficit to $72 million (page 2). The company made a pitiful $593,000 in sales of non human implant products. Neither of its RFID chip deals with Siemens or Raytheon generated any revenues. Most of the cash the company made in the quarter -- $1.9 million -- came from the issuance of preferred shares.

One of the company's major expenses is "stock-based compensation," worth $971,000. On page 19, you can see that the company issued millions of new -- and mostly worthless -- shares to unnamed employees and directors of the company. Silverman now owns 27 percent of the common stock.

PositiveID also sold some preferred stock and warrants to two of Terren Peizer's venture capital outfits, Socius Technology and Optimus Technology Capital Partners. Peizer paid the company mostly with promissory notes, but CEO Silverman got $100,000 just for doing the deal (see page 9): The agreement required that Optimus be loaned PSID stock, and a Silverman-controlled entity named R&R Partners did the lending, for which it took the fee. Preferred stockholders received a dividend for their troubles; common stock holders, of course, did not.

In other words, PositiveID exists mostly to print stock certificates for its management, not to actually make medical products.

Surely if the Antichrist was behind PositiveID he'd be more competent than this.


Image of Mammon from Collin de Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal, Wikimedia, CC.
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