URBAN LEGEND The Beast Of Brus

URBAN LEGEND The Beast Of Brus

By: Rob Green
URBAN LEGEND: The Beast Of Brussels
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Popular: 1973-78
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Heard from: Pulpits, radio – Particularly Pastor Robert Johnson, then of Montreal, now in Edmonton AB
Published as fact in: WW III by John Wesley White ..
Rumour:
The European Common Market has announced the existence of a large computer nicknamed BEAST in an unmarked building in downtown Brussels Belgium. This computer is three storeys tall and self programming. ..
The BEAST’s chief techie was named (but I’m doing this from memory, so I don’t recall) and stated that the machine had the capability to keep data on every person in the world and that they had already been loading the machine with data. He implied that this one machine would be used to approve all purchases and sales, and that all transactions would identify the participants. When asked what would happen if the computer did not have a record on one of the participants, he said, “The transaction would not be allowed”.
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Signs that this is an urban legend:
By the mid seventies, when this rumour was going around, it was already technically anachronistic. The idea of a super computer being three storeys tall was silly. And as far as being self-programming (an effort to give the beast his own life and personality), the type of application described for this thing is strictly data retrieval and credit approval of a kind. Even today AI is not where it was thought it would have been by now (AI is Artificial Intellegence). Also, this legend is too neat a fulfillment of Rev 13. Tailor made, if you like. The book WW III, by John Wesley White, mentions this rumour as fact. JWW is an associate evangelist of Billy Graham, and is base in Milliken ON. Pursuit of the legend:
I wrote to JWW asking him for the source of the story, but never received an answer. A couple of years later, I came a cross a mock front-page of a newspaper published by David Wilkerson. The newspaper was supposed to be for the day-after-the-rapture. Here, verbatim, was the Beast of Brussels story. At the bottom of the page was an old copyright notice, stating that all of the stories were fictional.
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One can only assume that perhaps one article was clipped from this phony paper and submitted and reprinted in a church bulletin or newsletter. As with most urban legends, this one took on a life of its own. ..
For a period of time, in some cities, Christians expended a lot of energy and talent spreading this rumour and assuring its validity. ..
This rumour ran out of steam when it was seen to be a fraud, even by the technically inept.

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