George and Eileen Anderson

NOTE: It´s now 2003, which means this book is 24 years old. This means events have caught up with what we wrote in 1989. National Radio´s `Worldwatch´ recently featured north London residents clamouring for their children to be implanted with an electronicly trackable chip to mininise risk of kidnapping. Professor Kevin Warwick of Reading University <> tests implants on himself and his wife; currently he is scanned every four seconds by the cellular phone network to plot his location. And Digital Solutions <> have the cutely named Chipmobile cruising America to implant whole families (with discount for early registration) and are exporting $US9m-worth of microchips to Mexico to implant people there.

A cloud of dust on the horizon doesn't have to mean the Indians are attacking. But woe betide the watchman who waits until arrows whistle overhead before alerting the sleeping camp...

First published 1989 by Small Cords Press. Second edition September 1989. Third edition July 1990. Fourth edition September 1991 In this form on disk April 1994.
Copyright 1989 by. George and Eileen Anderson
ISBN O 9597816 6 8
This may be freely copied and given to friends as long as no changes are made.


to FRANCES and in grateful memory of KEN for their encouragements and promptings always at the right time.

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  1. ...THIS IS NOW



  2. IF SO - SO WHAT?



A book like this has its own special kinds of problems.

The sheer volume of information takes time to sort through and edit. Often the facts are in technical jargon; we have to translate them into readable English, yet not make them sound too Enid Blyton for the already-informed reader. And yesterday's startling science fiction can be ho-hum by tomorrow.

Writing this (authors always write the introduction last, did you know?) as the row blazes over Community Services Cards (a.k.a. Kiwicards and Smart Cards, we are conscious that our government (who are tossing around such terms as "hysterical" and "obstructive" about any who ask questions) might suddenly pretend to drop their ID scheme, or mount some public relations campaign to make every Kiwi wonder what the fuss was about.

The fuss is simply this: a few years ago, privacy was taken for granted in "western" countries. George Orwell's "1984" with its "Big Brother" catchphrase was merely a nightmare borrowed from communist regimes. Now? Now control by the state is a by-product of technology. Gone are the days when statesmen saw dangers in the laws they enacted, and so wrote safeguards and limits into those statutes lest they or those who followed after were tempted to exercise unreasonable and despotic power.

Okay, control can be said to be "good". It can prevent rip-offs, abuses, crimes - in the same way as a padded cell can be a literal lifesaver for a mentally disturbed patient. But controls multiply; surveillance increases. Greedy salesmen get rich by offering power-hungry bureaucrats the gadgets they want to control "the masses".

We are fed the lie that "computers never make mistakes, only the people who operate them". Neither do hammers or chisels, for that matter. So the Inland Revenue Department spends $41 million on a computer that churns out (currently) 70% rubbish - and in one day we receive seven letters, all different, all with reply envelopes, all on the wrong forms, all with wrong calculations.

Later in this book we show that the current obsession by governments for numbering and spying on their own citizens was predicted and warned against in the Bible some two thousand years ago. We are not involved in any way with any religious organisation, so our quoting of old prophecies isn't a ploy to get you to join anything. What we're saying is that the warning is serious; don't knock it. And - if you don't agree with us, at least be aware of the points we make.


-------SAFETY IN NUMBERS-------

D'you know what the Silly Season is?

It's a newspaper term for any time of year - usually around public holidays - when nothing is happening, politicians aren't leaking documents, there are no tear-jerking catastrophes - and editors look for anything, but anything to fill the columns.

Which was why we looked somewhat sceptically at a little item in the Advocate just before Christmas, 1988.

"DOG CHIPS URGED" was the caption. And, lest we should think it was New Zealand's answer to crabsticks, the item read:

End of news item.

It wasn't much. But Eileen got this bee in her bonnet about checking the story.

Was it just the Silly Season stuff? Was it only a Bright Idea by someone in the SPCA desperate for something - anything - to pad out a press release?

Or was it hard fact?

The local SPCA (whuff, meow as background noise) knew nothing. But a call to the National Director yielded pure gold

Neil Wells had been to a conference in Canada. He had seen demonstrations of the implant to identify animals. It was an almost painless process, involving the injection of a rice- grain size transponder via a disposable hypodermic needle under the animal's skin. Mr. Wells would be happy for the injection himself to prove the lack of discomfort.

Already the implant is used in 150 Canadian animal shelters. Its small size makes it equally suitable for cats and birds.

The device is essentially a tiny transmitter capable of sending out a pre-coded number when triggered by a scanner. The scanner is linked to a national - or international - computer which looks up the animal's number in its database. The information it finds is instantly displayed on screen or printout. Facts relating to the animal - and its owner.

We asked Mr. Wells what range of numbers the chip could handle. His reply first disappointed us, then - as we pressed buttons on our calculator - electrified us.

"The microchip carries seven alpha-numeric characters".

Seven. Doesn't sound much. But hang on - a seven digit number goes up to 9,999,999. Almost ten million.

Alpha-numeric? That's the ten numbers (0-9) and 26 letters (A-Z). Thirty-six characters. In seven places. That gives - how many permutations?


Seventy-eight billion: 78,000,000,000.

Twenty times the population of the world.

We commented to Neil Wells that this was a bit of overkill for a few stray dogs. He gently chided us and said something that rang alarm bells.

"Don't make fun of it. Humans will be next. This implant could do away with all forms of ID, credit cards, even cash itself."

(Would you believe there's a bit in the Bible that says much the same thing?)

"Truth", bless 'em, picked it up and put it on their posters (that's how we found out, if you wanted to know...) and ran it on page 3, giving us full credit.

We wrote to three implant manufacturers asking for more details. Not being all anti-mark-of-the-beastish. Just writers wanting facts and enclosing international reply coupons. Standard journalistic procedure. Only one has replied. Saying tersely "this subject is currently under discussion". Someone, somewhere, has something to hide.

However, God has his kids in the right place at the right time...

Eight years ago (we wrote up some of this in "Beyond Murphy's Law") we went to Britain to find - among other things - there had been a big UFO flap in Wales. A well- researched book called "The Dyfed Enigma" (Coronet, 1981) by a local veterinary surgeon, Randall Jones Pugh impressed us by its factual approach, and we spent valuable hours with the author who is a Christian.

Where we could get no reply from implant firms, his professional qualifications have, in recent weeks, opened doors. He has provided us with technical literature that gives photographs of the implants, the microscopic induction coil and transducer embedded in glass, the syringe, depth limiter and scanner, and details of the recommended sites for the implants to be inserted. We noted that the literature said "implantation site under investigation" for primates - and the dictionary definition of "primates" is "highest order of mammals, including man".

Embassies were quite helpful. Switzerland enthusiastically told us that all zoo and other protected animals were being implanted. Ireland had made it compulsory to inject guard dogs with the microchip "after several children were attacked by guard dogs".

Then, news began filtering out of Britain. Odd news, that suggested a bit of a jack-up.

First, the British Department of Trade and Industry approved the voluntary system of dog implant registration.

Next, Margaret Thatcher complained that dog licensing didn't pay for itself. A pathetic 37p per poodle (that's less than $1.50 here) was lower than the bookkeeping costs.

What does any government do when a licensing scheme loses money? (Like our TV licences, f'rinstance.)

If you said "it puts the fee up", you're clever - and dead wrong.

Thatcher battled tooth and nail - incurring several "embarrassing knockbacks in the House of Lords", amid suggestions of "constitutional crises as the House of Lords considered testing its powers to curb the action of the government".

Thatcher, quite simply, abolished dog licences. And thus abolished all official identification of dogs.

Six-and-a-half million dogs in Britain, with no control. Half-a-million strays. And the RSPCA killing and burning a thousand a day.

Irresponsible government attitude, you reckon?

Hang in there.

The RSPCA has mounted a shock-horror-gasp advertising campaign that has only just scraped past the Advertising Standards Authority censor.

"This doggy bag contains a dead doggy". A full-page picture shows a mountain of dead dogs. "It doesn't take long to turn a Jock, Spot or Sandy into a small pile of ashes".

The result? It's rather neat, really.

Brits - who would have objected like crazy to any compulsory injection of electronic magic into their pets - are queueing up to demand that their dogs are identified by a transponder under the skin.



And psychologically, if the media carry tales of pets lost, found, and restored to their owners via the implant, the sentimental approach will soften up resistance to human implant.

In New Zealand, the media are currently running a steady trickle of complaints about "the growing number of strays". Quite a problem, people imagine, if they believe the reports. And door-to-door surveys are being made to count dogs, check on their accommodation, and carry off the uncared for canines.

That's for dogs. What about us?

It will come. It will enable banks to move totally away from cash to a wholly elect something will identify themselves at the point of sale by a scanner passed over the implanted chip, and the cost of their purchase will instantly be deducted from their account.

Colin Windsor is Databank's core banking manager in Wellington. He talked with us about the use of a microchip implant for people.

"A system of implants in a cashless society will stop muggings for money, of course. But here in Databank we are alert for executive embezzlement. Where the use of a false password makes it possible to transfer millions of dollars from one account to another".

Databank, being a "banker's bank" was less concerned with petty theft than with sophisticated fraud.

We asked Colin Windsor how far the banks had progressed with research into the implant.

"Banks don't actually develop anything. Take Visa and the other swipe cards. They were sold to us as a package deal - together with the demand for them - by a multinational corporation. So, find who sponsored research into the animal implants, and you have a lead into the multinational corporation who will sell us the concept of microchip identification."

Perhaps it is not surprising that the implant manufacturers have refused to reply to our letters or send us promotional literature. They will supply the RSPCA with computers, scanners and software free - but answer writers' questions? No way.

Odd, for a commercial enterprise. Understandable if they are purely a front for something much, much bigger.

Okay - all that we've written are the facts as we found them. Even the conjectures have largely come from the folk we've interviewed. And anyone with even the slightest bit of Biblical knowledge can see there's a link between the implant and the Mark of the Beast.

But how close is it?

We wrote an article on the Mark for "Grapevine". Publication was delayed until well past mid-April 1989. And the week that issue hit the streets - actually on Hitler's 100th anniversary - Dr. Cullen broadcast his bombshell.

He proposed giving every New Zealand citizen a social security number at birth. This would be a "common number system between all government departments" and would "control effectively all benefit fraud and abuse".

Okay - as citizens you may feel you have the right to know what is going on, and object if you think legislation is getting out of hand.

But God wants you to understand that if the numbers game gets to a point where you are offered a personal number on your body that determines your right to a normal social/commercial life - you MUST refuse.

Not "may". MUST.

Not because we say so. Because God says so.

Even if it means problems. Hardship. Death. Or the sniggers of big businessmen, which can be worse.

Even if you don't know who or what is at the back of it all and the only spokesperson is the nice lady from the Social Welfare, or some up-tempo banking commercial. ("Do be a pet: take the Mark of the Beast".)

Even if you've got nothing (nothing!) but faith to go on.

Some folk, right now, won't have those little plastic cards to play the money machines with. That makes a few difficulties for them. But it keeps the system at arm's length.

Decide - for yourself, while maybe you've got a bit of time - whether you would take the implant. (Or a tattoo, or laser, whatever.)

The question we get asked, again and again, is:

"How long have we got?"

There's a straight, accurate answer to that:

"Just long enough to get ready."

Think it through, talk to God - your Dad - about it. Make all the long-term plans and twenty-year goals you like. But realise that at any moment you might have to walk away from it all, with only the clothes you stand up in.

The Mark of the Beast will really be a number in or on our body.

Let's turn that sentence around a bit.

Any number system that goes in or on our body fits the description in an old prophecy found near the end of the Bible, in Revelation chapter 13. So, as far as we are concerned, if an implant comes in - we'd refuse it.

And so would an awful lot of other people.

Meanwhile, here are the statements God has made concerning the Mark of the Beast. We've not written them in full to pad this out, but so you don't miss the hair-trigger nature of the situation we're in.

Do you mind if we try and impress you with a little Greek?

The original word for MARK (as in MARK of the beast) is "CHARAGMA" - "that which is imprinted". It comes from the root word "CHARASSO" - "to make sharp or pointed, to cut by furrows, to engrave". And there's a common phrase "CHARAGMA ECHIDNES" - "the bite of a serpent" (see Grimm-Thayer's and Liddell and Scott's lexicons).

Get the inference? Whatever "the mark" turns out to be, the inference is that it involves cutting-in or injecting. Snakes inject. (No need to comment that "snake" typifies Satan.)

A tattoo would be appropriate. An electronic implant, injected via a hypodermic needle, would correspond precisely. Do you wonder why we think it's important you know about this?

And just take a moment to think of the tricky task that God had in getting John to write Revelation...

The verse that says that one of the effects of taking the Mark is a "noisome and grievous sore" (Rev 16.2) is medically interesting.

One problem with anything introduced into the human body is rejection. Even in "routine" transplant operations, the defence mechanism that reacts to the presence of anything foreign has to be carefully suppressed.

Stainless steel is okay. But that baffles attempts by scanners to read its coded contents, the metal creating a Faraday Cage around it. Glass is okay and is presently used to encase the transponders. But it is brittle and susceptible to damage, with possible serious consequences if minute slivers enter the bloodstream.

Then there are plastics. But the kind of plastic material that might be suitable during the relatively brief life of a "companion animal" could trigger severe reactions over the lifetime of a human.

Even before rejection can take place, there is another factor which is known to create medical hazards.


Already, girls operating scanners at supermarket checkouts are suffering skin complaints from stray laser emissions. Computer operators - troubled enough by RSI - have the added nuisance of electronically "dirty" computer screens. The repeated exposure to electromagnetic and other fields is known to cause human tissue to react.

How many times a day would the average housewife need to have her forehead scanned? If every shop, clinic, government department needed identification, payment, credit - the number of scannings and exposure to direct emissions would be significantly great.

It wouldn't take many shopping sprees or visits to the tax office before the cumulative effect of being scanned caused the area around the implant - whether forehead or hand - to break down into a sore.


"Noisome" just means it smells horrible. "Grievous" means it hurts terribly.

"Now, wait a minute", someone will say. "That's all very well. But Dr. Cullen has merely proposed one simple reference number for all government departments. And you two have made a great leap into warning about end-time prophecies".


It is a leap. That's our job, to try and stay one jump ahead of the sheriff. After all - it was no big deal to warn German Jews that Hitler was dangerous in 1941.

But it was a bit late. The warning was needed from 1935 to 1939. Some listened. Some laughed - and wept, later.

Have some more facts...

Remember the fuss about the proposed "Australia Card".

That was another numbers game "to prevent fraud".

It was promoted with lashings of hype, smooth patriotic nothing-to-hide salesmanship. There came a general election in which all the parties kept awfully quiet about the Card. Then Hawke's Labour Party swept in with an increased majority and claimed the polls had given them "a mandate" to bring in the Australia Card.

But the facts of the Card were very different from the hype.

And the public found it was being deceived.

For example...

An editorial in "Electronics Australia" originally supported the general concept of identity cards, taking the view that "tax evasion, social security fraud and law enforcement were serious problems and the average law- abiding person had little to fear from the introduction of ID cards."

Less than two years later, the editor of "Electronics Australia", Leo Simpson, had managed to get hold of the legislation for himself - and publicly retracted what he had written.

"I was wrong. I have now seen the Australia Card Bill 1986 and I am horrified. If this bill ever becomes law we will have Big Brother with a vengeance. The proposed legislation is more far-reaching and draconian than I had ever dreamt."

He discovered that all medical facilities, banking, real estate, rents, benefits, overseas travel, job applications were at the mercy of the Card - and clauses in the legislation allowed for the Card to be withdrawn.

The Card and its number thus became a licence for living where no licence had been needed before.

Nor would it stop fraud - because government departments were already unable to use the surplus of information they currently possessed. And the inherent lack of safety in computers (...bear in mind the editor was writing from a position of professional knowledge...) made the existence of a centralised database wide open to abuse.

The Australia Card was defeated only on a technicality. That doesn't mean it's dead and gone.) Just that it's on ice like the proverbial Frankenstein monster.

The trouble is - any measures to stop fraud and muggings sound good. Virtuous, even.

Anyone opposing them comes over as being on the side of crims, crooks and con-men.

"What have you got to hide?" say they.

Answer: everything.

A better question would be "What have we got to lose?"

The answer is still "everything". Like freedom.

Or look at it this way. If the government is so concerned that the average citizen is, at heart, a crook - let's agree for now.

We're all crooks at heart, like the government says.

So - what are the gallant government like? Are they some super-race, dripping high ideals and impeccable morality from their manicured fingertips? Do they absorb an overdose of sanctity and incorruptibility with each vote cast for them?

Or are MPs nothing more that Joe and Josephine Citizen. All crooks at heart, like they say we are.

If we need watching, so do they.

And, historically, the sins of governments are deadlier and more far-reaching than the sins of ordinary individuals. "Power corrupts" is a well-known phrase. Kissinger observed that "power is an aphrodisiac".

Power is addicting.

Currently, the Statistics Department are getting slightly over-enthusiastic. The "Herald" has printed letters from people plagued by phone calls from officials demanding personal information. Friends of ours have been rung - in the evening, at home - by someone claiming to work for the Statistics Department, insisting on a legal right to know facts and figures concerning the income and activities of the family and other occupants.

Over the phone?

"If you get a call like that, hang up promptly", advised one correspondent. It's sound advice.

Then there's the rather off-beat survey that the Department is tossing $1.8 million into. It's supposed to discover the degree of "community involvement" in New Zealand.

Ten thousand families have to fill in details of what they get up to - wait for it - every fifteen minutes for two whole days.

The mind boggles. Eileen says my replies wouldn't even be printable.

But seriously - there needs to be limits to power.

Like, right now. Where we say a firm "No!" Because personal freedom is awfully precious.

Plus - because God says so.

Even though we mayn't know who or what is behind all this.


-------BAA, BAH, BARCODE-------

"But", you may ask, "what have surveys and dog implants got to do with a world numbering system? Undesirable these things may be; but they're national, not universal."

Don't be so sure.

The world's a small place. Universal systems, not only compatible between one country and another, but compatible 'twixt one system and another, have been quietly establishing themselves for twenty years or more.

Take international car registration.

There was this bloke from overseas a few months ago. Arranging for an expensive system that put all New Zealand cars on a world computer network. Odd hot cars had found their way into this country (with loads of publicity after the event); and international registration would kill that dead in its tracks.

Then TV-addicts were jolted awake by a docu that cars with an international registration could be tracked via satellite and pinpointed to within a metre or so.


Take ISBNs.

They're not missiles. They're International Standard Book Numbers. There's one on the back cover of this booklet if we haven't decided to quit while we're still ahead.

A universal catalogue number. Showing the language, the publisher and the book.

Harmless? We thought so, which was why we joined.

Then we discovered that ISBNs are fully compatible with the bar-code on your grocery packets.

In fact - the bar-code seems to hold a lot of clues to what's going on. Like Poe's "Purloined Letter" it's out there in front of everyone, but few people have a clue concerning it.

(Just a digression: if the implant for dogs and the ID number for people cogs neatly with international car registration, ISBN and bar-codes... you've got quite a powerful little system that's already up and running to some extent in many countries.)

The bar-code.

Those thick and thin stripes set in a block with some numbers underneath. Almost all the goodies in the supermarket have bar-codes. Many checkouts have scanners that read them, operating the till automatically, keeping track of stock movements in no time flat.

Bar-code is only a slang term, though.

The correct title is "Universal Product Code".

And its administered by the "International Article Numbering Association", or EAN for short. That's right - EAN. Don't you spell International with an E? Or would you suspect the E should really stand for European?

Right. But outside of the Common Market the European bit gets played down.

Now - we may get a wee bit technical in some of this. Seriously: if it gets tricky, ask your 12-year-old computer whizz to read it. But at least get the drift of what we're saying. There's a bit of a sting in the tail.

(And we've put the real technical details in the appendix so they're available to you, but won't clog the text.)

Thirteen digits make up the bar-code (12 in America, 8 on some tiny items, but they're all compatible... there's that word again).

Brussels administers that bar-code, gives out numbers to the world. Russia is 460, Britain is 50, Israel 729, Aussie 93, New Zealand 94. And so on.

The first two (or three) numbers of the code are the country, the next four (or five) are the manufacturer. The following five are the product number. And the last digit is a clever little answer to a sum that not only detects a wrong number, but would betray any crafty work on the bars and stripes with a felt-tip pen.

Most people have tried their hands at working out what those markings mean. It should be simple. After all, there's the answer printed neatly underneath.

Somehow, though, it doesn't seem to work out.

You may get the right-hand side sussed - but the left has a crazy logic all of its own. A four here isn't always like a four there. And the opening nine...

Courage! All will be revealed.

Including (if we were being sensational) the hidden numbers behind the numbers.

No kid. They're there, and show why any electronic form of numbering is awfully dodgy. Read on.

Each number in the bar-code is made up of a couple of lines and a couple of spaces. These vary in thickness between one and four units - and the total width of a set of two lines mustn't exceed seven units. On the left of the code the numbers start with a space, on the right, they start with a line.

Now - if you stop right there and go cross-eyed counting lines and spaces on the cornflakes packet, you'll discover that although there are thirteen digits printed under the code, the code itself only has enough stripes for twelve, plus three sets of long skinny pairs of bars at beginning, middle and end.

Aha! What's missing - or rather, hidden - is the very first number. A nine, for made-in-Godzone stuff.

The answers to "where is it?" and "why is the left-hand code impossible to read?" are one and the same.

There are three sets of code. Three ways of drawing the lines.

(Now you can look at the appendix and see the cute little table.)

One set of code - set C - only gets used at the right. The other two sets - set A and set B - are only used at the left. That's why it's difficult to work out their meaning.

And it's the order that the different styles are used that holds the hidden meaning. F'rinstance, if every left-hand number was coded in the style of set A, that tells the computer that the missing first number is a zero. If the styles came in the order of A,B,B,A,B,A - the computer recognises the missing first number as a nine.

There are 63 combinations of six As and Bs. Only ten are used at the moment. But if a fourth style were brought in on the right-hand side, that would bump the hidden carrying capacity to a whopping 4095.

What are we implying?

Simply that there's nothing sinister about a letter from the Inland Revenue saying you reference number is 123456/789012 or whatever. But the moment that number comes to you as a bar-code or a black magnetic strip on a plastic card, or an implant, you have no way of monitoring what subtle categories you are being put into.

Okay, there are only three styles used now. But give that twelve-year-old of yours ten minutes with pen and paper, and the kid'll have the fourth style invented, just like that. (You see: taking style A as the basis - style C is the negative of style A: spaces are lines, lines are spaces. And style B is the mirror image of style C. So a fourth style, call it D, would be a negative of style B - or a mirror image of style A. Both results are the same. But you'll need to draw it to prove it.)

Again - no new technology. Even if it's not already written into the software, a few lines of machine code is all that's needed. For interest, we sat down one evening and wrote a little programme in BASIC that works out the check digit and draws the bar-code on-screen. It'll even print the thing if you have a dot matrix. It may sound tricky, but it's low, low tech, and will work in the wilds of Whangarei or the Pacific islands as well as it will in down-town Auckland.

One final thought on the bar-code. Those longer, skinny pairs of lines at beginning, middle and end aren't part of the overall product number. "Guard bars", they're called, showing where the whole thing starts and finishes and where left becomes right. And they set the basic scale for the computer recognising how thick is thick, how thin is thin.

But every time two skinny lines are separated by a single space in any of the styles - it means a "6". Three times on every bar-coded product in the world this figure six appears. The computer is ordered specifically to ignore it as a value, and only note it for place and size.

For us, however, three sixes superimposed on a universal code is directly in line with the number of the Beast in Revelation: 666.

And don't let anyone tell you that those guard bars can't be sixes because the computer doesn't read them as sixes. The fact is that computers can't understand anything apart from 0 and 1, or the off and on of an electrical signal. They have to be told what response to make to these ons and offs. So the 6-6-6 is not what goes on inside a computer - it's how people would read the symbols on a bar code.

You need to ask yourself: could you take a numbered implant of any kind, where the only certainty you have is that the authorities never, ever tell you the full facts?

Could you allow yourself to be marked with a bar-code whose beginning, middle and ending symbols were 666? Your personal number will be different, of course, but interlocked with the sixes that serve only to trigger into action a world-wide surveillance system. Remember that the Mark of the Beast may not be given forcibly. Revelation's wording suggests pressure. The way the world is going, force - brute force - is somewhat passe.

Psychological pressure is the in thing.

So decide against the Mark now. And be aware the softening up process has already begun. Directed at you. Us. Everyone.

While on the subject of numbers and data-gathering - there is one company that is worth watching.


You may have heard it mentioned or read of it in magazines. We wanted to find out for ourselves, and so we began making routine enquiries about the company. To our surprise, we received the following message via a mutual friend that said in essence:

"Don't trouble investigating Paxus. They are only a small concern. They are wholly owned by NZI which in turn is wholly New Zealand owned. And anyway, they are nothing to do with the Paxus owned by Henry Kissinger."

The message was friendly and positive.

However, it contained glaring inaccuracies which raised serious queries in our minds.

Here are facts concerning Paxus, either published by the company or else verifiable from equally reliable sources.

The price paid for Paxus shares is $33.5 million. It has 1435 employees in ten countries. That is not small.

NZI Group Services Australia Ltd. hold 59% of the shares.

NZI was not 100% New Zealand owned. According to its 1988 annual report, 10.6% was owned overseas.

Brierley held the controlling interest. However, Brierley have sold out to the Scottish firm known as General Accident Fire and Life Assurance Corporation.

Which means in simple terms that the ultimate control of Paxus has gone to a Common Market corporation.

Now: facts about the activities of Paxus.

It has bought up major databases, principally in New Zealand and Australia. The annual report for 1988 show for example that Idaps is owned 100% by Paxus and has a book value in excess of A$21 million.

Paxus Comnet alone estimates its 1989/1990 turnover to be $35 million, according to an announcement in the Herald of 21/3/89.

Also on the 21/3/89, Csironet - a "wholly owned subsidiary of Paxus Corporation Ltd" - said they won the second contract in two months for the Australia Department of Defence Project Jindalee. One contract develops software for the communications side of the radar system. The other includes a software systems analysis study for operational radar. The company works with the Defence Science and Technology Organisation in South Australia.

Paxus has bought New Zealand's health records. Hospitals are on-line to its mainframe all day, every day.

Contrast these facts with the message we were given, and puzzle over the disparities.

The facts themselves aren't sinister. The company is fairly free with details.

But be aware that it is highly influential in the area of acquiring, storing, manipulating and selling vast quantities of sophisticated information.

The Justice Department asked firms to register interest in "supplying computer equipment for a new information system" because "births, deaths and marriages are still registered and filed manually".

Paxus registered its interest and uplifted tender documents. Make a note to see if Paxus or a subsidiary wins the tender.

Meanwhile, Paxus has won a "significant facilities management contract" with Telecom. This includes the "Icms" telephone billing system, giving Paxus total surveillance over who-calls-whom-and-when throughout the nation.

In any nation-wide numbering system: watch Paxus. And if there's a similarity of name between a NZ database giant and something owned by Kissinger, ponder that.

A cloud of dust on the horizon doesn't have to mean the Indians are attacking. But woe betide the watchman who waits until the arrows whistle overhead before alerting the sleeping camp.


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