In 1976, Christian Life Magazine printed a scary article. In the article, they claimed that a supercomputer that took up an entire three-story building and was self-programmable was designed to track the buying and selling of every person on earth. This supercomputer was called “The Beast” and was located in a building at the headquarters of the European Common Market.

This story had everything. It had a name from Revelation, dispensational end-time narratives, fear of modern day computers, the New World Order, the European Common Market, and most important of all, made up sources of information.

Writer Joe Musser contacted Christian Life Magazine and pointed out to them that there was no Beast of Belgium. The Beast was a piece of fiction created for his end time fantasy book Behold a Pale Horse. Apparently, someone read his book and started passing on his fiction as fact. In the late 1970s, I can remember reading about this supercomputer too.

It goes to show how that old devil called confirmation bias catches everyone. Since the rumor supported the dispensational narrative that they wanted to believe, Fundagelicals never questioned the sources that supported the story. The made-up conspiracy fed their end time paranoia. So, once again those who hold everyone else to high standards of truth failed to examine a rumor they passed on as truth.

Today, of course, we know that no computer would take up three stories of a building. Those old vacuum tube computers that took up whole rooms are a thing of the past. They had as much computing power as my Fitbit.  No, it’s all done in the cloud. Makes you wonder when the Jesus supercomputer rumor will start, after all, he’s supposed to come back with the clouds.(Revelation 1:7)

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