Since its invention in Babylon around 4,000 years ago, money has changed from gold coins, to coins of lesser value; to paper notes/checks, plastic cards, and finally, silicon chips. Within the next few decades, it is looking more and more likely that there will be no more hard cash (coins/notes) left. By this point, the notion of using physical money will be for many people a distant memory tinged with disbelief. “How did we ever manage something so clumsy and backward?” many will say. We know people will say this because an increasing number of people are already saying similar things.In January, 2016, John Cryan, Chief Executive of one of Europe’s biggest banks, Deutsche Bank, predicted that: “Cash, I think, in ten years time probably won’t (exist). There is no need for it, it is terribly inefficient and expensive.”Most of the arguments for a cashless society sound sensible and logical, especially on first glance. People who argue against the ‘progress’ and ‘sense’ of this development have been accused of being backward, suspicious, or worse. In light of this, it is going to take considerable courage and character to refuse to conform to the inevitable process unfolding before our eyes. It is also going to take wisdom and discernment in order to disentangle the issues.This article explores five ways in which people are being heavily conditioned to accept the cashless society, and it concludes with what we need to do in order to take a stand against this.
The use of violent and aggressive language consistently gives the impression that Cash is something we need to treat as an enemy, and thus kill or make war against.
The headline to one article reads: One Swede Will Kill Cash Forever—Unless His Foe Saves It From Extinction.* The article features the story of Abba front man, Bjorn Ulvaeus, who became a key spokesperson for the cashless society after his son was robbed. Ulvaeus postulated that the chance of this happening would have been greatly reduced if paper money (exchanged for stolen items) did not exist.
It follows that if we argue against the cashless society we become a “foe” of the status quo, having aligned ourselves with criminals; or worse still, terrorists. This is not an exaggeration, as the following headline from The Guardian reveals: Crime, terrorism and tax evasion – why banks are waging war on cash.*
Rhetoric used to drum up support for the cashless society also echoes the scaremongering and propaganda used to galvanize public support for military action. Another newspaper headline about Sweden, the global forerunner of the cashless society, exclaims: Sweden wants to kill cash within 5 years, and it’s getting really close.*
Back in 2007, in an El Pais article titled The Great Advantage of a Cashless World*, Guillermo de la Dehesa, a Spanish economist, former senior civil servant and international advisor to Banco Santander and Goldman Sachs, condemned cash as the source of all crime and wrong-doing. He stated: “Without cash, we would live in a much safer, less violent world with enhanced social cohesion, since the major incentive fuelling all illegal activity… would disappear.”
Can the public really be convinced that changing the “form” that money takes will bring an end to greed? Obviously illegal activity will continue, even if much of it has to do with devising ways to work around a cashless society. But a bigger threat looms in the form of criminal use of the power that banks and governments will receive if they gain a total monopoly on all of our transactions. The world will be forced to accept whatever terms, charges or exchange rates the system wishes to implement, since there will be no way to withdraw our wealth and hide it in a mattress like we used to be able to do in the “good old days”.
The strategy being used by cashless proponents (like Guillermo de la Dehesa) is to allow no room for middle ground. We are being instructed to make a clear decision about whose side we are on. According to their terms, if we continue to use paper money we are probably doing something bad: if we choose to go cashless, only then will we have a chance of being accepted as one of the “good guys.”
While cash is repeatedly accused of being the Enemy, its replacements are continually romanticized. Jack Dorsey, founder of mobile payments provider, Square, shared the following take on mobile money: I think there is a general desire in American culture right now to find something that is more crafted, more personal. As anyone who’s ever received money as a gift will tell you, there’s nothing more impersonal (and, of course, more untraceable and anonymous) than cash. Mobile payments will fix that shortcoming.*
Once again, we are given a picture which assumes the lack of cash inside a birthday card will make a payment into your bank account seem more romantic by default. The impersonal nature of cash is certainly not resolved by using an even more impersonal electronic transfer. And Dorsey raises another issue, which, in fact, robs cash of quite a nice characteristic, and that is the ability for us to donate something anonymously.
For many months, Barclays bank in the UK romanticised cashless alternatives by bombarding customers with the slogan: “Learn to love your PIN”. Another major bank, HSBC, lined the walls of airport corridors with posters featuring a picture of someone’s finger with a QR code tattoo on it. The accompanying (creepy) slogan decreed: Your data will be your DNA… the future is full of opportunity.*
In addition to military and romantic rhetoric, competitive jargon has been used to give the impression that the end of cash is a goal toward which we are all striving. Headlines commonly refer to the race to become the first cashless society.*By making it a “race” to be the first person, business, or country to achieve the various steps toward a cashless society, the public is being conditioned to think that “winning” this race is necessarily a good thing, in every way. No thought is given to whether or not the race is what everyone wants, or indeed whether the course may end at the top of a cliff.
Clearly, the trumpet has sounded for all nations to jump aboard the transition to a cashless economy as quickly as possible – like a black hole sucking everyone into alignment and submission. Between the lines of each type of rhetoric being formulated to usher in the cashless society is a clear warning: if you wish to keep your wealth, lifestyle and reputation you must conform.
The media tends to ignore arguments and concerns that people have about the impending cashless society until or unless they can come up with a strong argument to challenge the concern. The benefits are touted in an effort to convince us that there is no reason at all to be concerned about un-named dangers. The dangers themselves – in particular Christians teaching about the Mark of the Beast – are generally ignored altogether. In this way, the public is being steered to make a choice that appears to have no basis for any concern. Here is a line from one Fox News report: “There is no credible cause for concern about implanting these tiny microchips under your skin.”
The number of reasons being given in favor of a cashless society feel weighty. Arguments have included such things as simplifying banking, with no more need to mess around counting or looking for loose change;* wiping out the drug trade and crippling terrorism;* improving the efficiency of immigration and law enforcement;* ending bribes;* hindering tax evasion; and creating a safer, more “transparent society”, where everything is accounted for and “above board.”*
Secondary reasons include such things as the environmental benefit of not using paper money, and increased hygiene in cases where paying for goods (like meat) with cash could potentially spread bacteria.*
In developing countries, cashless payment systems, like M-Pesa, have opened up banking services to people who would not otherwise have access to them; enabling individuals to wire money back to family members in rural Africa, for example.* Who would not wish to see poorer, less fortunate individuals benefit from opportunities like this?!
The younger generation – future voters and bread-winners – are being heavily primed. An increasing number of schools have incorporated biometric fingerprint scanners in daily lunch lines for kids, which reduce the need for personal identification numbers or cash. There is never a shortage of children agreeing to be interviewed saying this makes queuing up for lunch that much easier. One 14-year old stated: As long as there is money in my account, I won’t have to worry about anything.* But is this true? Do children have nothing to worry about as they are being conditioned to accept a cashless society, on the basis of unthinking convenience?
Recent articles have even included arguments that buskers* and homeless people* will be aided by the creation of cashless “apps” enabling them to exchange electronic donations for items like food, thereby eradicating the problem of physical cash gifts being used for drugs or other illegal activities.
Clearly a lot of thought is being put into convincing us that every aspect of the cashless society is being considered, and that all the necessary “solutions” are being found. Arguments are, of course, consistently chosen for the express purpose of pushing through the cashless society. We are being conditioned to believe that this is in our best interests – the dawning of a “brave new world” of convenience, efficiency and transparency.
While there are benefits to going cashless, the pay-off is definitely not a ‘profitable’ one. We are being encouraged to sign away our freedoms and to exercise blind faith in policy-makers and institutions that will bail out banks at the drop of a hat, while watching people’s pensions disappear down the plug hole.
As Ellen Brown wrote in her article “The War on Savings: The Panama Papers, Bail-Ins, and the Push to Go Cashless”: It’s all about knowing where the money is and who owns it, in order to tax it, regulate it, sanction it, or confiscate it.*
Understanding this deeper motivation, has led to several articles being written by people zeroing in on the issue of Negative Interest Rates and their relation to this push to go cashless at all costs. A negative interest rate allows the bank to charge interest on money kept in the bank. This naturally encourages people to withdraw their money. Without cash, people will be forced to keep their money in a bank and to pay the banks whatever they require. This separates people from their money while enabling the banks to reap enormous revenue streams.*
Contrary to what the public is being led to believe, the real “winners” of the war on cash are not the vast majority of the public. The winners are those individuals who stand to significantly profit from it – mainly the banking cartels and those who support their policies.
Mastercard, one of the main financial institutions propelling the cashless society, commissioned a billboard advertising their lead debit brand, Maestro, emblazoned with the slogan: “Cash is so last millennium!” Between the lines, users of cash were being labelled as archaic and behind the times.
To many people the colossal elephant in the room which is being missed is the prophecy in Revelation 13:16-18 and Revelation 14:9-11. The Bible warns of a future scenario where people are forced to make a choice about their relationship to the monetary system, with profound, eternal consequences, depending on what is decided. In the prophecy, a final world leader makes it compulsory for everyone to have some kind of mark in their right hand or in their forehead, without which they can neither buy nor sell. The Bible warns that God’s wrath will be poured out “without measure” on anyone who takes that mark. There really is no banking answer to this prophetic passage, apart from rejecting God and the Bible.
Obviously going cashless does not necessarily mean that one must accept a microchip implant. But this is where it is all heading. More and more people who do not accept the authority of the Bible are making peace with the idea that they will eventually be given a microchip implant. When shown the biblical prophecy, they often show surprise at such an amazing “coincidence”, that this should have been described so accurately nearly 2000 years ago.
In 2004, a handful of night clubs in Europe began offering their clients the “VeriChip” – a rice grain-sized RFID device which could be implanted inside a person’s body, to be used for all financial transactions within the club.* Since then there have been a handful of small experiments along similar lines.
As more people become aware of the prophecy, more attempts will be made to discredit it, and to discredit or ridicule anyone who believes in it. Was it just a coincidence that the first Apple computer was sold for $666, the number referred to in Revelation 13:18 as being linked with the Mark of the Beast?* Although individuals have argued that Apple’s logo (with a bite out of it) was not chosen as a flaunt to God (re Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden), it is hard to believe that the sale price and its direct relation to the Mark of the Beast prophecy, was not chosen without at least some foreknowledge of where it was all leading!
A recent article went much further, published with the title: Satan’s Credit Card: What The Mark of the Beast Taught Me About The Future Of Money.* The article is written by a guy who travels to Sweden to get implanted with a microchip credit card. The title speaks volumes: Here is a person who is obviously aware of the prophecy, and he is belittling its seriousness and asking others to do the same. The public is being conditioned to see a perfectly normal and healthy individual who is not burning in hell, with the obvious insinuation that there is nothing to worry about. This helps to make a mockery of the biblical warning, even though it blatantly overlooks the fact that the punishment promised in scripture will not come until some years later.
Another way in which a balanced discussion concerning the prophecy gets frustrated, comes from people within the institutional church itself. The media occasionally interviews “Christian” preachers, getting them to endorse and defend the chip with various reassurances. These have included arguments that the RFID chip is not the prophesied mark because it is currently being implanted in the left hand or the forearm, rather than in the right hand or forehead, as the prophecy states.
So, while some light is being brought to the subject, the underlying aim is to consistently discredit the genuine concerns people have about the prophecy and its relation to current developments. It is likely that we will see more and more of this ridicule and confusion as the global implementation of the cashless society unfolds.
Humans are suggestible: if you keep repeating a message with enough volume and frequency, the chances of someone giving it credence increases. (How many of us have caught ourselves humming the tune to a cheesy pop song with terrible lyrics?!)
Advertising experts know that if you repeat a message over and over, it becomes embedded in peoples’ consciousness. Banks, retailers, politicians, and other agencies who will benefit from the cashless society, have the funds and motivation to use media outlets and public spaces to sell their products and proclaim their views. This is where the rhetoric and reasoning for the cashless society is likely to be repetitively preached, wearing people down in a war of attrition.
Billions of dollars worth of advertising is focusing only on the benefits, which are further enhanced through glossy looks, sex appeal, and other positive images. Consequently, people’s reality can become sufficiently blurred for us to all cave in. Repetitive advertising can easily deceive and condition people to buy something, or believe something, that they may otherwise not have. A good illustration of this is Coca Cola. Repeated surveys by Pepsi show that the public consistently favors Pepsi in a blind taste test, but when they see the Coke label, they change their position and say that they favor Coke.*
New articles (and marketing campaigns) about the impending cashless society are being commissioned on a daily basis. We have touched on how repetitive slogans, like “the war on cash”, and “the race to become cashless” are used. Additionally, statistics, facts, polls and dates are repeated. Over and over we have reports drummed into us that another country is “…aiming to go cashless by 2023;* or that: …A new study has revealed that a third of Brits believe cash will be ‘extinct’ within the next 15 years…* and so on.
These consistent plugs for the cashless society reinforce in people’s minds the idea that there is no way of escaping it; you may as well just bow down and accept it instead.
Peter McNamara, chief executive of NoteMachine, which runs 9,000 ATM’s across Britain and Germany said: “There is a real danger that the UK is being railroaded towards a cashless society, with the agenda driven hard by technology giants and card issuers who are keen to capitalize on the digital age – yet the evidence to support this suggests hype rather than reality.”*
Nevertheless, whatever the realities are about where the cashless society is taking us, there is another reality taking shape, which is becoming more and more impossible to change.
Spin created to exaggerate the weaknesses of cash, while exaggerating the benefits of cashless alternatives, is conditioning people to think differently in order to get them to act differently. But we are being conditioned to accept the cashless society even more deeply through circumstances themselves: The element of choice is quickly being eroded away.
In countries like Denmark thousands of ATM machines have been physically removed in recent years, making it more difficult for people to obtain cash there.*
In Ireland – a nation among the biggest users of cash and cheques in Europe – a charge on all ATM transactions has been introduced in an attempt to encourage people to go cashless.*
Even 10 years ago it would have been almost unheard of for cash payment of goods and services to be declined. However, these days, in various sectors of retail and commerce (especially the Internet), the use of cash is becoming increasingly more difficult, if not impossible.*
In a growing number of cities it is no longer possible to pay for certain forms of public transport using cash. Stockholm, for example, has outlawed cash for travel on its Metro, and in Central London customers are no longer permitted to pay bus drivers using cash. Alternative means of payment (e.g. contactless payment) are required for public transport in many major cities. In some cases where different payment options are still available, cashless options (e.g. London’s “Oystercard” or Sydney’s “Opal card”) are incentivized by making them considerably cheaper.*
It follows that the harder and more expensive it gets to use paper money and coins – as more tax is put on it, as fewer outlets allow it, and as retailers and authorities become more suspicious of it – the more people will be forced to use alternative forms of digital payment, if they wish to continue with their lifestyle.
In light of this, when we are told (for the umpteenth time) that “more and more people are choosing to go cashless?” we need to seriously question how honest a picture this is. For many people, the “choice” to go cashless is being dictated by circumstances that they have little or no control over.
Garry Duursma, the head of Market Development and Innovation for MasterCard, delivered a clear message to retailers in Australia (another leader in the race to go cashless): “As Australia marches towards a cashless future, the retail industry has increasingly sought to remove barriers to cashless transactions,” he said. “To remain relevant and competitive, it is essential for retailers of all sizes – indeed, any customer-driven business – to facilitate cashless transactions.”*
Retailers are being told that unless they provide cashless options their profits will suffer. Consumers are being told that unless they go cashless they will be seen as suspicious. It is easy to see how the reality of a cashless society is being determined by profit (greed) and respectability (fear), with both playing into the other, to create an inevitable outcome.
The way the cashless society is being presented and steered has, in fact, become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The motivation comes from those with wealth and power. The resources needed to push through such a society (e.g. media, technology etc.) already exist. And a growing percentage of the public are climbing on the bandwagon of these developments in order to maintain access to employment opportunities, goods and services.
In just a matter of a few years we have seen how much of the developed world (and a growing percentage of the developing world) have been conditioned to become heavily dependent on mobile phones.* People now have the option of using technology like Google wallet, Apple Pay and Android Pay, to make payments through this means. Dave Birch, Director of Innovation at Consult Hyperion, which helped TfL (Transport for London) launch contactless payments, announced: “Smartphones are the final nail in the coffin for cash.”*
In a short space of time millions (if not billions) of people have transitioned from paying for goods and services with cash, to paying using Smartphones or contactless credit cards. It is easy to see how the public will come to accept the next logical “advancement” in the evolution of the monetary system – swiping a reader with an implantable RFID chip. While Smartphones can easily be lost or stolen, having an RFID credit card inside one’s hand will be more convenient and will appear to solve this security issue.
It is only a matter of time before cash really is a thing of the past.
Taking a stand
Some people argue that buying up gold or other forms of portable wealth is the solution to this development.* This is not true! The only way out of cashless conditioning is to develop a faith bigger than cash, whether hard or electronic. We cannot break the cycle by replacing one form of monetary dependency with another. This is something which Jesus recognized long before the Bible makes any mention of the Mark of the Beast. He said, “Take no thought for food or clothing, for after all these things do the nations of the world seek, but seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness, and all these [other material] things will be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:31-33)
Cash or no cash, it’s still a money-based mentality and a money-based society which makes electronic money such a powerful tool by which to control the masses. What we see happening now is just a move toward a cleaner, more convenient and advanced form of money. The human race has been conditioned over thousands of years, since Babylonian times, to accept the lie that money is what makes the world go round. People can only be conditioned to accept the cashless society because we have been conditioned to put our faith in money in the first place.
Seeing through the conditioning that is driving the world closer and closer to the Mark of the Beast, will help us to understand that money does not make the world go round. The Bible tells us that the love of money, whether physical or electronic, is responsible for all the evils and injustices in the world. (1 Timothy 6:10) These injustices and evils will not disappear simply through changing the appearance of cash – i.e. making it invisible by doing away with notes and coins, or eventually implanting the means of exchange inside our bodies. The problem can only be dealt with through a change of heart – confronting our fear, greed and attachments and replacing these with something more powerful and more spiritual. Developing trust in God and care for mankind leads us to want to take money out of our interactions and relationships because we are choosing to be motivated by something purer and deeper – i.e. Love.
Some people have found in the life and teachings of Jesus (e.g. Matthew 6:24-34) a way out of money-dependency. Jesus taught that it is impossible to serve two masters and that we would each need to make a choice between serving God or serving Mammon (i.e. money and what it can buy). He did not say that the choice would be between working for tangible, hard cash, as opposed to invisible, electronic cash!
In recent years, the media have shared stories of boundary-pushers (like Mark Boyle) who do not profess to be Christian but who have felt led to experiment with moneyless living.* It is likely that people of conscience will align more and more as circumstances force people into one of two camps – money-dependency or moneyless living – when cash is finally and permanently done away with in future. It is essential that we do not wait until this point before doing anything about it.
Taking a stand now means re-conditioning ourselves to think outside the box. This will lead us to refuse various forms of technology and identification required for smooth-sailing in the system. Recognizing the serious consequences at stake should help us to accept the inevitable inconvenience and marginalization we will face from choosing this course of action. However, we will be able to rest in the knowledge that our decisions and actions are grounded on what is right, and we will begin to experience more of what it means to have faith in God.
As the world races blindly towards its cashless and inevitable destination, we are being given only one choice: Stay on this runaway train ride to hell, or jump off the system conveyor belt now, before it is too late.
We have explored five ways in which the banks and their allies have been conditioning the world to accept the cashless society as the next, inevitable step toward the Mark of the Beast. They have used rhetoric to play on our fears and emotions; some impressive reasons to prove they have considered and dealt with all potential problems; ridicule to discredit opponents; and then they have brainwashed us by repeating these strategies over and over ad infinitum. The end result has been an over-powering reality which is going to force everyone to give in and do it their way in the end.
The only alternative is to learn how to live without money… by putting our faith in something bigger than money, as we brace to take a stand in this important and urgent end time battle for our souls.
article used by permission: endtimesurvivors.com/teachings/spiritual-survival/159-how-to-resist-conditioning-for-the-cashless-society