Sweigart Report: The Devil In Your Energy Drink | Vol. 4 / No. 19.1

No not the TAZMANIAN devil in your– look, guys, just | Photo: Julia Koefender, CC BY 2.0

In which Katelyn takes a closer look at the crazy so you don’t have to. This week? “Demonic” energy drinks. *cue ominous music*


This particular conspiracy was posted around 2014. The presenter makes the claim that Monster Energy drinks are the work of Satan. And its obvious they do this spiel verbatim a lot. They sound like every expo booth salesperson I’ve ever heard (including myself, when I was hawking products at a raw foodie expo … there were, in fact, pyramid people there, FYI.)

Their evidence that Monster Energy is the work of Satan is as follows:

  1. The logo is actually the Hebrew letter Vav (ו), which is also the number 6, making it the Mark of the Beast, 666. Various advertising choices (drink is called Monster Energy, a slogan for it is “Unleash the Beast!”) highlights this theory.
  2. The stylized “o” in “Monster” is actually a cross, and when you drink it, turning the can upside down, it because an inverted cross, which is linked to Satan.

It became such a popular conspiracy that Snopes debunked it.

Here’s the debunking:

  1. The actual translation of “666” in Hebrew is actually written completely different. Six hundred and sixty-six is written “Tav Resh Samech Vav” not “Vav Vav Vav” (it works like Roman numerals, you add them up. Technically it’s 400+200+60+6). Also, the oldest known manuscript says the number is actually 616, so Bible-thumpers may have been barking up the wrong tree for a long time.
  2. The stylized o, if anything, is the Greek letter phi (Φ or Greek phi Didot.svg). It’s a fairly popular way to stylize “o” in angular typefaces. Also, the inverted cross is also known as the Petrine Cross, or St. Peter’s Cross. It’s a symbol of St. Peter, who was crucified upside down because he thought he wasn’t worthy to be crucified right-side up like Jesus (go figure). Apparently there is some debate on that, but that’s what the Catholics believe. It only recently became known as an anti-Christian symbol, by people who thought they were being clever with imagery.

Now, maybe, Monster Energy just was as bad at putting in clues to their Satanism as the person was translating it. But there are two kinds of Satanists: theistic and rationalistic. One is actually devil-worshiping cult based in Christianity, the other is actually atheistic and doesn’t seem all that bad and tests the boundaries of Christian-centric religious freedom in the US. We’ve written about their children’s programs here before!

And just before I go, to put down another energy drink myth: the energy drink ingredient taurine IS NOT  bull semen. Yes I just had to type that.

Happy Monday, all.


Katelyn Sweigart is a recovering woonatic and This Week In Tomorrow’s regular correspondent for your weekly dose of woo.


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