Drew Sinton, a member of the Melbourne Church of Satan, says the church has planned low-key celebrations to mark June 6, and is "not fearing any global catastrophes". Photo: Craig Sillitoe
A date with the devil for some
By Rachel Wells, May 14, 2006
JUNE 6, 2006 — 06/06/06 — is just weeks away and a date that is generating frenzied discussion and debate around the globe, not seen since the eve of the new millenium.
Why? Because if you drop the 0's — you get 666 — the number of the beast, according to the Bible's Book of Revelation.
The internet is rife with speculation about the looming date with the devil. Doomsayers have declared it the day the Antichrist will be revealed, while the superstitious are fearing global catastrophes from earthquakes to terror attacks.
One website is selling "6/6/6 — the date of the beast" T-shirts, coffee mugs and bumper stickers and urges people to "get your T-shirts before it's too late!"
In the UK, some expectant mothers whose babies are due on June 6 are so concerned about giving birth on the date marked by the satanic number that they have scheduled caesareans and inductions beforehand.
Others are taking the ominous date less seriously.
The Netherlands national news agency, ANP, recently reported an unusually high number of couples planning to tie the knot on June 6 — which is unusual, given that it falls on a Tuesday.
The agency reported that in the Dutch city of Enschede, 17 couples had already applied to marry on June 6.
Normally, there are just two weddings in the city on any given Tuesday. One couple even requested to be married at 6:06am.
Others are planning to celebrate the once-in-a-century date.
American satanic radio station Radio Free Satan, for example, will celebrate the "sin-tennial" with Satan's Rockin' 666 Eve party, featuring performances by heavy metal and death metal bands, while the Church of Satan in Los Angeles is hosting a satanic high mass, which has already sold out.
Celebrations at the Melbourne branch of the Church of Satan will be somewhat more low-key.
"There's lots of stuff on the web … with people saying it is a date to fear for biblical reasons … and I read on one site that there have been at least 60 terrorist attacks on June 6 since 1970 … But we're not fearing any global catastrophes," said Drew Sinton, church member and author of The Antichrist Bible.
"I think it's quite exciting."
There are also those who are cashing in on the date, with marketers seizing the day to launch movies, books and albums with anti-religious or satanic themes. 20th Century Fox will release its remake of the 1976 horror film The Omen, retitled The Omen 666, on June 6.