On February 16, media outlet tvalsazrisi.ge published the interview with Karate instructor Kakha Kakabadze with the following headline: “Kakha Kakabadze: Be cautious! Ongoing Terroristic Special Operation “COVID-PANDEMIC”!”. In the article, Kakha Kakabaze speaks about thermal imaging and says that its primary function is scanning people instead of measuring temperature. He claims that this device will identify people "branded with the mark of the beast" granting them the right to purchase and sell products and other necessities. As the author claims, it’s also important to note that thermal imaging device COBRAID placed in supermarkets is shaped like a cobra. Moreover, the name of this "devising mechanism for Antichrist reign" is comprised of two parts – "Cobra" and ID” and its primary purpose is to "read the three-dimensional barcode using ultraviolet radiation"
Opinions voiced in the article are anecdotal evidence continuing the conspiracy theory alleging that pandemic was created to control people.
"Mark of the beast scanner" or one of the diagnostic measures in the COVID-19 pandemic?
Kakha Kakabadze’s claim alleging that thermal imaging device is used to scan people and identify "the mark of the beast" belongs to the group of conspiracy theories that connect the COVID-19 pandemic and its related issues with the "devil", "beast" and "Antichrist" perceiving it as an attempt at global control. In reality, such opinions aren’t backed up by scientific evidence and only aim to implement fear in society through religion.
The device that is presented as a measure to read "three-dimensional barcode-mark of the beast" actually only reads the human body temperature. The advantages of the device include its speed and the possibility of maintaining distance, which decreases the number of direct contracts during the pandemic and is especially important for the prevention of the virus in crowded places.
Kakha Kakabadze refers to company Kimatech’s device COBRAID as one of the examples of “Beast Barcode” reading devices. Kimatech’s device first appeared in the Georgian market in August 2020. On the webpage of distributing company, we read that COBRAID Go, a device designed for crowded places, doesn’t require identification, and instead of reading three-dimensional barcode, it offers the following "two-dimensional" assistance: temperature measurement and contactless disinfection. Whereas COBRAID AI, designed for companies where thermal screening is conducted according to the law, offers "three-dimensional" assistance – in addition to the above-mentioned services, it also identifies the employees of the establishment, measures temperature, and afterward, creates records on the page designed for the aforesaid company.
Mark of the beast conspiracies in foreign sources
Conspiracy alleging that the population is stamped with the “mark of the antichrist” using temperature-measuring devices is disseminated in Russian sources as well. This topic has been covered by conspiracy webpages pandoraopen.ru, zen.yandex.ru, cont.ws and pravdoiskanie.livejournal, where identical conspiracies have been disseminated at different times.
Conspiracies about the mark of the beast didn’t escape the attention of English sources as well. Cindy Jacobs is one of those individuals, who calls for Christians to avoid getting their temperature taken.
Members of a conspiracy group known as Qanon also disseminate conspiracies on this topic claiming that this is the device that reads the mark of the beast.
Conspiracy about “the mark of the beast” has been disseminated even before alleging its connection with vaccination and “Green Passports”. See detailed information in the article of “Myth Detector”:
- What does “Green Passport” Mean – Free movement or “the Mark of the Beast”?
Prepared by Tamar Chkhartishvili
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