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Battling Rumors

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2014 07:53 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 46.9 
  • Words: 540
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The Procter & Gamble Company has been the target of a long-standing rumor linking them with Satanism. A rumor signifying that the company’s logo was a sign of satanic association urged a Christian boycott of dozens of Procter’s Products. The rumors essentially rooted from Procter's 132-year-old trademark, which shows the Man in the Moon and 13 stars representing the original colonies, is a symbol of Satanism and Devil worship. The rumors became so extensive and well-known that the company had to go to court to clear its name.   Procter & Gamble took a variety of approaches to handling the charges by filing lawsuits that took years to resolve.
Individuals in the Middle Western states indicated they heard that the Procter & Gamble Company was owned by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's followers. In November 1980, Procter felt compelled to answer the charges by writing to news organizations in those states. In December 1981, there were suddenly 1,152 queries, by the company's tally, mainly from the West Coast, and the focus shifted from the Moon church to the Devil.
Many have reported hearing that Procter's ''owner'' had appeared on a television talk show where he admitted selling his soul to the Devil in order to gain the company's success. Anonymous fliers, misspelling the company's name, began to appear at supermarkets. ''Proctor & Gamble,'' one said, ''announced on the Phil Donahue Show that they contribute 10% of their earnings to the Satanic Religion (which is Devil worship).'' There were reports of ministers, mainly in small Fundamentalist churches, attacking Procter from the pulpit and advising their congregations to boycott its products.
Due to the doubtful results of the news media campaign, John Smale, Procter's president, decided on a less public form of attack. The company wrote to local clergy and enclosed testaments of faith from prominent religious leaders, including preachers who led an earlier attack on Procter for sponsoring television shows of what...


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