Woe to you, oh earth and sea For the Devil sends the beast with wrath Because he knows the time is short Let him who hath understanding Reckon the number of the beast For it is a human number Its number is six hundred and sixty six
Yesterday, the blog’s Facebook page reached 666 fans. I asked the members what to do to celebrate such event and many said that nothing should be done, that number is nothing especial. They are right.
However, even though that number is just another one, it does mean something. Something that thanks, to the religious way of thinking, we all recognize. And this is not the only thing that can be perceived as evil or satanic. There are many more things that can be seen as “of the devil”, thanks to superstition and religion. If there is something that represents good (God) then there must be something that represents evil, and we have to look for that.
This is what happens with the 666. It appears in the Bible, which is supposed to be the “Word of God”, identified as the “Number of the Beast”. And that’s it. Everything that has to do with that number automatically becomes “of the Devil”. That’s the limited rationale of those who have the Bible as only guide for their lives, that everything has to have a purpose and that a number is not just a number.
This has been going on for centuries, but had a revival when “The Omen” came out in 1976.
Besides the number 666, the name “Damian” and the Rottweiler have been associated with the devil. That’s the power superstition has on the weak religious mind.
Few years later, in 1982, Iron Maiden released “The Number of the Beast.” The group had already drawn attention because of their music, their lyrics and their LPs. Given the nature of the group, it wasn’t surprising that they made a song about the “Number of the Beast”. Which was kind of surprising is that many saw them as satanic, just for a song.
Those around 40 might remember how dangerous and “taboo” was to listen to Iron Maiden. At least in my country there were many stories about outraged mothers who destroyed posters, cassettes and any paraphernalia related to Iron Maiden belonging to the teenage son.
That is how ignorance and religion play together. The song is about a nightmare one of the members had. Yet, it was only needed that it featured something described as “evil” in the Bible to be taken as evil and with a strong campaign against it.
I wasn’t born yet when “The Number of the Beast” came out, and I would be interested in it many years later. But I had to see first hand something very similar.
During the 90s there was a Dragon Ball fever in Latin America. Kids from my generation grew up along with Goku, seeing his quests, battles, friends and enemies. Goku was a good guy who fought against eveil and to be better and stronger. A real hero.
But its success also attracted the attention of several churches who, forgetting about their “Thou shalt not lie” commandment. A flyer circulated, accusing Dragon Ball of meaning “The coming of the beast”, saying that “Kakaroto” means “evil possession”, Saiyajin of meaning “Possessed by the Devil”, Kayo Ken of being some kind of evil energy. Pure bullshit, as you can see, but it was enough for many parents and teachers to declare war on the anime series. They did so without knowing exactly what was behind that on just taking as true a pamphlet claiming to be against the devil.
That is how religion works, it feeds on ignorance and fills it with false information that usually leads to suffering and hatred. The religious mind makes the persona a mindless zombie that will follow anything that has the “God” seal on it. The saddest thing is that it doesn’t limit to awesome bands and cartoons, but actually harms people.