A commonly seen internet rumor holds that the Monster Energy drink logo contains a satanic or occult meaning which resembles 666 in Hebrew characters.
In November 2014, a short YouTube video of an anonymous woman proselytizing the evils of Monster Energy drink went viral on social media. The popular video, which amassed 8 million views over one weekend, was covered as news by both the Huffington Post and The Independent. In the video, the woman makes a number of trivial and presumptive allegations regarding Monster’s marketing. Her conclusion, partially based on claims that Monster’s trademark “M” may actually be a reference to the Hebrew characters for 666, is that the energy drink is an anti-Christian beverage brimming with occult symbolism.
Apparently, the most negative force in the entire universe is appeased by pawning energy drinks to adolescents.
Rumors that the Monster emblem contains hidden meanings and symbols have been circulating in the urban legend department for several years. A search for “monster energy 666” on Google trends reveals results going back to fall of 2010. Preceding the current search surge, searches peaked in June of 2014.
Prior to the viral YouTube video, the primary vehicle for dissemination seemed to be a series of graphics posted on social media networks. One of these graphics shows Monster’s three-clawed trademark next to the written symbol for “6” in Hebrew. Monster’s “unleash the beast” motto is also cited as evidence of the unholy conspiracy.
The Biblical Mark of the Beast
Fears and superstitions in relation to the number “666” have their roots in the biblical New Testament Book of Revelation, a nearly indecipherable writing filled with apocalyptic prophecies. The feared numeral is mentioned in the 13th chapter of Revelation, specifically verse 18. Following is a quote from Revelation 13:11-18 (New Living Translation):
“11 Then I saw another beast come up out of the earth. He had two horns like those of a lamb, but he spoke with the voice of a dragon. 12 He exercised all the authority of the first beast. And he required all the earth and its people to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. 13 He did astounding miracles, even making fire flash down to earth from the sky while everyone was watching. 14 And with all the miracles he was allowed to perform on behalf of the first beast, he deceived all the people who belong to this world. He ordered the people to make a great statue of the first beast, who was fatally wounded and then came back to life. 15 He was then permitted to give life to this statue so that it could speak. Then the statue of the beast commanded that anyone refusing to worship it must die. 16 He required everyone—small and great, rich and poor, free and slave—to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. 17 And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark, which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name. 18 Wisdom is needed here. Let the one with understanding solve the meaning of the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is 666.”
There are several interpretations of these verses among various groups of Christian believers. However, readers will be spared from any apologetic explanations and exegesis.
Can You Count in Hebrew?
The crux of this conspiratorial rumor seems to rest on the fleeting likeness between the Monster logo and three “vavs”, a letter of the Hebrew alphabet which also represents the number “6”. Nevertheless, this understanding of Hebrew calculations is technically defective, as it is somewhat different than the numeric system we are familiar with. In Hebrew, 600 is known by a different glyph called “tav resh.” 60 is known by yet another symbol called “samech.” Therefore, the number “666” would not be depicted as three consecutive Hebrew “vavs”, but an entirely different glyph which would be known as “samech resh tav vav.” In addition, other combinations of Hebrew glyphs could be summed to create “666”, yet none of them would represent three “vavs.” Three “vavs” in Hebrew actually adds up to 18 (6 + 6 + 6).
The Monster Energy logo does not symbolize “666” in Hebrew numerical glyphs. Monster’s trademark is an “M” made to look like three claw marks. While this “M” does slightly resemble the Hebrew glyph for the numeral “6”, Hebrew numbers are expressed differently than the numeral system commonly used in modern Western civilization, and these three glyphs would actually represent the number “18” instead of “666.”
Updated September 13, 2015
Originally posted November 2014