Number of the OCD Beast

Here are some interesting facts about the sign of the beast:

  • 666 in Roman numerals is DCLXVI (which happens to be the first six characters of the Roman numerical system, reversed).
  • There is some debate over whether the “correct” number of the beast is 666 or actually 616. [1][2][3]
  • Numbers were used as disguises to represent people or political institutions; most seem to believe that the number referred to a Roman Emperor such as Nero[2] or Caligula.[3]
  • Some people attempt to interpret the Bible in terms of today, and thus try to the tie the number 666 to modern world leaders instead of anyone alive during Biblical times.
  • Former President Ronald Reagan once lived at “666 St. Cloud Road” (Nancy had the address changed to 668, just in case).

Some people are so freaked out about seeing the number 666 anywhere that if they’re out shopping and their total comes out to $6.66, they’ll go and add a stick of gum to their order so they come out with a different number.

Part of the reason for the fascination with the number 666 has to do with the number 3 (since there are, of course, three sixes.) Three is consistently seen as a “perfect” number. Christians who believe in the power of the Trinity (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) are already intimately familiar with this fact. In mathematics, Borromean rings (a set of three rings joined together) represent perfection because no one ring can be removed without the other two falling apart. In writing, the “Rule of Three” is used to stress that any time you provide an example of a concept, you should always use three examples. Two is just not enough, and four is overkill. Yet, three is perfect. Omne trium perfectum.

The other part of it has to do with the negativity of the number 6. Recently, Dr. Phil had on a guest with severe obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). She was constantly repeating rituals, and saying things to herself in her head three times. She had reported feeling that three was always her lucky number. She also stated, when asked, that the number six made her feel really uncomfortable and never knew why. It turns out, as Dr. Phil explained, that “almost every person suffering from OCD is seriously bothered by the number six.” [4]

The author of the Book of Revelation (who didn’t leave his name, but most commonly thought to be John) may have been living with OCD. Think about it: The number 6 is so abhorrent, and yet the number 3 is pure, so 666 must be pure evil.


  1. McHyde, T. (n.d.). 616 vs. 666: Which is the real number of the beast? Escape All These Things. Retrieved from http://www.escapeallthesethings.com/666-616-number-mark-of-the-beast.htm
  2. Pickett, P. K. (2013, August 12). The devil’s number is not 666. Knowledge Nuts. Retrieved from http://knowledgenuts.com/2013/08/12/the-devils-number-is-not-666/
  3. Wattie, C. (2005, May 4). Beast’s real mark devalued to “616”. Religion News Blog. Retrieved from http://www.religionnewsblog.com/11134/beasts-real-mark-devalued-to-616
  4. Grealy, B. T. (Writer), & Hermstad, L. C. (Director). (2014, April 23). Beauty and the OCD Beast [Television series episode]. In McGraw, P. (Producer), Dr. Phil. Santa Monica, CA: CBS Television Distribution.


  1. Jeffrey says:

    I can think of a couple of other good examples of three:

    • Tripods are the most stable thing for cameras
    • Many organizations use 3 principles to describe their core values (such as honor, courage, and commitment)
    • Using the rule of 3 in comedy: saying 2 things people will expect, and the last something completely unexpected. Example: Good morning, sir, may I get you anything for breakfast? A bagel, some coffee, a cyanide pill?

    Three’s the magic number!

    1. Justin Deering says:

      Excellent feedback! Now that you’ve got me thinking about it, here are a few more examples:

      • Superman stands for Truth, Justice, and the American Way
      • The “Code of the Street Fighter” is Discipline, Justice, and Commitment
      • In the Legend of Zelda, there is the all-powerful Triforce, which consists of the Triforce of Power, Triforce of Courage, and Triforce of Wisdom

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