While some say June 6, 2006, is a day to fear for its biblical significance, officials see little to dread.
With June 6, 2006, rapidly approaching, authorities in Colorado and elsewhere are carefully watching to see if that date – 6/6/06 – spurs demonstrations or violent activity.
They are aware that 666 signifies the Mark of the Beast or the Antichrist to some organizations and believe June 6 is a date that could trigger problems.
“It’s been a conscious question among some of our folks, so they’ve been on the lookout for something,” said Lance Clem, spokesman for the Colorado Department of Public Safety. “But they haven’t seen anything.”
Even so, some local police are being vigilant.
“The bottom line is that our intelligence unit is familiar with 666 and its significance, but we don’t have any information about anything taking place in Colorado Springs,” said Lt. Rafael Cintron of the Colorado Springs Police Department. “However, we are certainly keeping our feelers out to see if anything is happening.”
Some dates and anniversaries can be calls to action for white supremacists, racists, and conspiracy and prophecy theorists.
April 19, for example, is the anniversary of the raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas; the Oklahoma City bombing; and the raid on white separatist Randy Weaver’s home at Ruby Ridge, Idaho.
The Number of the Beast, 666, is mentioned in the Bible’s book of Revelation and is believed by some to be when the Antichrist will exercise power over Earth.
The Internet is full of websites that predict terrible things could happen June 6.
One website warns that the “Bible Code says 2006 A.D. is the Year of the Beast” and predicts that the Antichrist will reveal himself. It also says there may be a holy war against Israel and that the United States and Russia would be drawn into a dangerous conflict as a result.
Several major law enforcement agencies in the Denver metro area have seen no signs of trouble and aren’t planning to beef up manpower.
Since 1970, there have been 60 terrorist attacks on June 6, with just one in the U.S., according to the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism in Oklahoma City.
Ellis, the institute’s research and program coordinator, said he has seen nothing to indicate anything bad will happen June 6.
If something does develop, Ellis does not believe it would necessarily involve neo-Nazi, white- supremacist types. Rather it could be “anarchists and anti-globalists” who are tied into the counterculture and relish “the chance to stick their thumb in the eye of the establishment,” he said.
Laird Wilcox, a Kansas-based expert on domestic extremist groups, believes dates can be overemphasized. He cites in particular the concern about the year 2000.
“What I see happening is something like the millennium controversy where everybody was talking about it and then nothing happened,” he said. “I think this has occurred on every anniversary. Everybody anticipates some catastrophe, and nothing ever occurs.”
But Kerry Noble, a Texas businessman whose life has changed dramatically since the days he was second in command of a paramilitary religious group known as the Covenant, the Sword and the Arm of the Lord, said June 6 carries much significance to fringe groups that may be looking to make a statement.
“Numbers are important in the movement,” Noble said. “So anything you could interpret as being symbolic would be even more important. So a symbolic date like June 6 of this year, being 666, would have the equivalence of a 9/11 date or an April 19 date.”
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