Creciendo en Gracia is an organization that's definitely divinely inspired, at least when it comes to working the press. After our take on Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda came outlast November
, various media outlets — not to mention an odd string of collegiate editorial writers — picked up on the story, but all of that quieted come January.
What's an attention-loving messiah to do? Easy...just up the controversy, which is what De Jesus did at the end of last month, declaring himself the Antichrist and showing off a slick new tattoo bearing the mark of the beast.
But that didn't garner enough press, apparently, because his followers soon began getting their own body ink.
One man's devil tattoo is an anomaly, we guess. But several people's devil tattoos, well, that's a story for CNN.
So it was last night, when three media outlets showed up at a tattoo parlor near Richmond and Fondren to watch a half dozen of De Jesus's followers get inked. Some, like believer Raul Castregon, a former Seventh Day Adventist who says he's been with De Jesus since 1996, got a cursive SSS, signifying Salve, Siempre Salve (Saved, Always Saved), while others went balls out and got the 666, just to make sure they wouldn't be misunderstood.
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Miguel Corrigeaux was part of the stringent contingent. When asked about De Jesus calling himself the Antichrist, Corrigeaux replied that his leader is just trying to make the point that the devil no longer exists, that De Jesus is setting himself up as antithetical to traditional church teachings. For proof, Corrigeux pointed to the way seiscientos sesenta y seis (666) has the same beginning letters as Salve, Siempre Salve. When it was noted that the same applies to setecientos setenta y siete (777), Corrigeaux kind of looked at the ground and didn't have much to say.
With additional reporting by Ishanee Parikh.