A Straight Dope Classic from Cecil's Storehouse of Human Knowledge

Do Hitler, Bill Clinton, and Bill Gates bear the mark of the beast?

July 28, 1995

Dear Cecil:

There is a numerology system for the English language that succeeds in linking the word "Hitler" to the famous number of the Beast, 666. If you take A as equal to 100, B to 101, etc., then the letters for HITLER equal 666. Bill Clinton was born Billy Blythe and adopted his stepfather's name Clinton as a teenager. You can say therefore that his real name is Blythe. This is interesting because using the same method as above BLYTHE = 666. How unusual is it for a leader's name to total 666?

Cecil replies:

Pretty unusual, I'd venture to say, for any leader whose name doesn't have six letters in it. But you're missing the boat by focusing on government leaders. If you've ever spent any time with computer nerds, you know the real Antichrist is Bill Gates, the head of Microsoft. Gates's full name is William Henry Gates III. According to one theory floating around the 'net, if you take BILL GATES 3 and convert to ASCII values, you get 66 + 73 + 76 + 76 + 71 + 65 + 84 + 69 + 83 + 3 = 666. As folklorist Bill Ellis points out, the only problem is that neither 3 nor III has the ASCII value 3. But you can bet that detail wouldn't bother the Antichrist, and I say it shouldn't bother us.

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