For millenialist Christians, symbols and code have supreme power. Ministers and preachers for centuries have tried to determine the return of Jesus Christ by interpreting the writings of the Bible, in particular the book of Revelation. Amongst whores riding beasts, rampaging supernatural horsemen, and evil inversions of Christ, one symbol stands out. 666, the number of the beast. 666 serves as a simple proxy, the mark that Satan, grand adversary to Christ, places on those who forsake His teachings. Featured in the Left Behind novels by Jerry B. Jenkins, the 1972 film “A Thief in the Night,” and the eponymous song by Iron Maiden. It plays on fears of a fascist state marking its citizens to control every aspect of their personal lives. On a symbolic level it is powerful, a way to remark on a corrupt godless world, and obviously the perversion of retail inventory systems. Yes, to some end times believers, 666 has infiltrated the very systems we use to buy groceries.
It’s a remarkable story, straining reasonable credulity. The head of a major international corporation goes on the air and on the record with a major broadcaster and reveals their contributions to a national organization of Satanists. What’s more, when asked how he could admit such an incendiary move, he declares “well, there are so few Christians left in America it’s not worth the trouble hiding it any longer.”
This outlandish story could easily have been an expose on Breitbart, or an unhinged screed on a distant relative’s Facebook. Except this story begins in the 80s, as the nation came to grips with a changing social and political world which many conservative communities blamed, perversely, on Satanists. Continue reading “Satanic Panic and Dish Soap Distribution”