Jury: Church of Satan, Procter & Gamble rumors must stop

Urban legends die hard, especially that one about how Procter & Gamble lends financial support to the Church of Satan. The world’s top manufacturer of household and grooming products is hoping that a federal jury ruling against Amway, a competitor that P&G had accused of propagating the rumor via answering-machine messages, will finally put the legend ...

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Urban legends die hard, especially that one about how Procter & Gamble lends financial support to the Church of Satan.

The world's top manufacturer of household and grooming products is hoping that a federal jury ruling against Amway, a competitor that P&G had accused of propagating the rumor via answering-machine messages, will finally put the legend to rest. Wrapping up a 12-year trial, a jury for the U.S. district court in Salt Lake City ruled that four Amway employees should pay nearly $20 million in damages for leaving the anonymous voicemail messages. Real harm was done, says the London Times:

Since the rumours first appeared in 1981, the corporation has had to battle boycotts from Christian groups, cope with more than 200,000 telephone inquiries from customers and fight the ability of word-of-mouth — and latterly the internet — to disseminate them."

Urban legends die hard, especially that one about how Procter & Gamble lends financial support to the Church of Satan.

The world’s top manufacturer of household and grooming products is hoping that a federal jury ruling against Amway, a competitor that P&G had accused of propagating the rumor via answering-machine messages, will finally put the legend to rest. Wrapping up a 12-year trial, a jury for the U.S. district court in Salt Lake City ruled that four Amway employees should pay nearly $20 million in damages for leaving the anonymous voicemail messages. Real harm was done, says the London Times:

Since the rumours first appeared in 1981, the corporation has had to battle boycotts from Christian groups, cope with more than 200,000 telephone inquiries from customers and fight the ability of word-of-mouth — and latterly the internet — to disseminate them.”

And whence sprang these rumors?

The origins of this accusation are apparently based on a passage from the Book of Revelation in the Bible, stating: ‘And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.’

That’s not quite what P&G’s old logo looked like (see above right), but it was close enough for the fear mongers. Stephen Bybee, an Amway distributor, remains unapologetic:

My goal when I sent [the rumour] down was to fight the Church of Satan,” he said.

Mission accomplished?

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