The Procter & Gamble Satan rumor is back, saying the ``president of Procter & Gamble'' was on "Sally Jesse Raphael" saying he gives company profits to the ``Church of Satan.'' My church members are circulating it trying to get everyone to boycott P&G products. It claims the P&G trademark, a ram's horn, will begin appearing in 2000, containing 666 -- Satan's number. -- N.N.P., Tulsa.
We dialed Satan's number and there was no ring and no answer!
- Satan rumor. Procter & Gamble has been plagued by this false rumor since winter 1980-81, when unknown people, acting on unknown motives, circulated the story that the ``president of P&G'' had come out of the closet on the Phil Donahue show, and later the Oprah Winfrey show, to say he contributed company profits to the Church of Satan. Talk show hosts denounced the rumor and published let ters saying no corporate representative from P&G had ever been on their shows and certainly not to shoot their company in the foot.
- Man in the Moon. P&G's trademark originated in 1851 when a dock worker painted a star on boxes of the company's Star brand candles. He couldn't read and the star was to help him remember which boxes to off-load down-river. In the 1860s, the star became 13 stars for the original 13 colonies, forming a circle enclosed by a thin, quarter moon whose outer rim extended to enclose the stars.
This enclosure became ``the man in the moon gazing at stars,'' the man in the moon being a symbol of benevolence in those times. It was registered with the U.S. Patent Office in 1882. The symbol continued to be improved, graphically, but remained the same concept until 1930 when a sculptor was commissioned to refine the symbol. The stars were clustered opposite the moon's face, forming a curve. In 1991, its look was simplified, but it has never been a ram's horn.
- Sally Jessy Raphael. Show Executive Producer Maurice Tunick responded in writing for the show: ``It seems impossible that the rumor of an appearance by the president of Procter & Gamble on the "Sally Jessy Raphael Show" is still circulating after more than a decade. There is absolutely nothing to this rumor. The president of P&G has never appeared on the show nor has any other P&G executive. Anyone who claims to have seen such a broadcast is either mistaken or lying.
- Christian condemnations. P&G's Web site -- www.pg.com/rumor -- features eight pages of letters from Christian organizations and leaders condemning the rumor as false and unworthy of concern by the Christian community. These include The General Council of the Assemblies of God, archbishop of Cincinnati, Jerry Falwell, the bishop of Southern Ohio, the Southern Baptist Convention and Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
- Write about wrong. If you don't have access to the Internet and still want to see these letters, write: The Procter & Gamble Co., P.O. Box 599, Cincinnati OH 45202 -- or call 1 (800) 331-3774.
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