Date With the Devil
Those Who Seek 'the Number of the Beast' Need Look No Further Than Today's Calendar

By Joel Garreau
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Satan's spawn are having a lucrative old time today. The calendar says this is the 6th day of the 6th month of the millennium's 6th year.

According to the King James version of the Book of Revelation, 666 is "the number of the beast." Some interpret Chapter 13, Verse 18 as referring to the coming of the Antichrist, who will receive his power directly from Satan to establish a kingdom on Earth that will be the beginning of Armageddon.

Cue the spooky music.

Or at least the head-banging kind.

Slayer, the self-described "pioneers and undisputed kings of extreme speed/thrash metal," will release "Eternal Pyre," a limited edition EP, today. It will feature a live version of "Dead Skin Mask," which turns out not to be a Botox commercial.

Deicide (God killing -- get it?) is taking the opportunity to release a two-track downloadable EP that previews its latest album, "The Stench of Redemption," with the tender love ballads "Homage for Satan" and "Crucified for the Innocence."

Most heavily hyped is today's release of "The Omen," the remake of a 1976 film of the same name, in which Damien, that charming tyke, turns out to be the Antichrist. Subtle hints include his nanny hanging herself at his birthday party.

Ann Coulter, the leggy blond scourge of all things leftish, is releasing her latest book, "Godless: The Church of Liberalism," on this supposedly demonic day. In it, she asserts, "Of course liberalism is a religion. It has its own cosmology, its own miracles, its own beliefs in the supernatural, its own churches, its own high priests, its own saints, its own total worldview, and its own explanation of the existence of the universe."

It will compete with a "No Armageddon for Bush" antiwar rally in front of the White House, as well as the release of "The Rapture: In the Twinkling of an Eye, Countdown to the Earth's Last Days," the latest installment in the "Left Behind" apocalyptic books series, with more than 63 million in print.

You can even find a "Countdown to Your Damnation," at , that has been calculating the seconds, minutes, hours and days left until the big event.

In a city where the selling of souls is supposed to be the

main economic activity, you'd expect a fair amount of Beelzebub homage on this date. But punch "Washington Satan worship" into Google and you don't get much, although says that 666 is all over the map of the city.

"The U.S. government is linked to Satanism. The street design in Washington, D.C., has been laid out in such a manner that certain Luciferic symbols are depicted by the streets, cul-de-sacs and rotaries," we learn.

This revelation is accompanied by a map of downtown with the caption "Washington D.C. An untrained eye might not see the luciferic connection in this map."

But to the trained eye, the upside-down star, apparently known as the Devil's Goathead of Mendes, "one of the most important types of the five-pointed Devil's Pentagram," is right there staring at us, we are told. "There is 666 evident in the most important top three circles of the Goathead -- Dupont Circle, Scott Circle, and Logan Circle. Each of these streets has six major streets coming into them from all angles of the circle. This type of encoding is so typical of the occultist."

Most important, however, the "Southernmost point, the spiritual point, is precisely centered on the White House. . . . The meaning is all too clear."

Da da da daaaaaaah.

Nonetheless, there's not a whole lot going on here to mark the End of Days. Members of the Wiccan community, of which witches are a part, are really tired of being confused with Satanists. "The book of Revelations and the symbology that comes from that, like 666, is pretty much unique to Christianity," says Shea Thomas, chairma of the board of governors of the Open Hearth Foundation, which is a facility provider for the Washington area's greater pagan community. "It's like asking Muslim or Jewish people that question." Even belief in Satan is a Christian thing that is not part of paganism, Shea says.

So all those Salem witches accused of consorting with the Devil -- that was just a terrible misunderstanding?

Thomas laughs.

To be sure, 666 was the most popular bet yesterday in the three-digit DC Lucky Numbers midday drawing. It often is, says Bob Hainey, chief of communications for the D.C. Lottery. "It's pretty popular all the time, because of Revelations, the Number of the Beast," he says. (The other popular numbers yesterday were 555, 222 and 777.) For today's drawings, 666 is sufficiently hot that Hainey expects it to sell out. Does that make the lottery the tool of Satan?

"We are the tool of gambling," says Hainey. "Even Satan can lose playing the lottery. If it comes up 660, we're taking his money. Or her money. Or whatever the angel Lucifer has transformed into. We don't discriminate."

Meanwhile, at Asylum, a bar in Adams Morgan, tonight there will be a "She-Devil Smackdown" featuring eight lovelies wrestling in red gelatin for a purse of $666. But that's about running a bar that worships rock-and-roll more than Satan per se, says John Andrade, the owner. It's also an evolution from previous events that featured applesauce wrestling to mark the start of autumn, and pumpkin puree wrestling to mark Thanksgiving. "Vegan jello is a lot easier to clean up," Andrade says.

Apart from that, there's not much writhing in eternal agony.

The number of people wishing to advertise their demonic connections by indelibly etching the mark of the beast on their skin is scant, an informal survey of area tattoo parlors from Fredericksburg to Arlington to Silver Spring indicates. "Not seeing no black dudes doing crazy [stuff] like this," reports Mo Johnson, manager of Off Da Hook II on Georgia Avenue NW in the District.

Even a few days ago, not a single fiendish appointment had been made for today at Fatty's Custom Tattooz on Connecticut Avenue, says Steve Labofish, an artist there.

He did volunteer, however, that he was working on a pinup style combination tattoo of a devil girl and an angel girl requested by a woman in her late twenties who wanted her shoulder blade covered.

But he thought that was more about yin and yang than the Prince of Darkness.

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