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Here's proof that you can't stop an urban legend, not even in a court of law.
In 1997, Procter & Gamble filed the most recent in a series of lawsuits against Amway Corporation and several of its distributors for allegedly spreading rumors to the effect that P&G, maker of familiar household products such as Mr. Clean and Tide laundry detergent, is affiliated with the Church of Satan.
In evidence, P&G lawyers submitted the transcript of a voicemail message in which an Amway distributor could be heard relaying what they characterized as false and malicious statements about Procter & Gamble to associates, including the allegation that the president of the company had avowed his personal allegiance to Satan on a nationally-televised TV talk show.
The text of the voicemail recording appears been lifted practically verbatim from a flier that has been circling the globe for many years via fax, snail mail, and, more recently, email. The rumors upon which it is based have existed for close to three decades and are still running rampant despite Procter & Gamble's best efforts to combat them -- as evidenced by a forwarded email that showed up in my inbox just last week:
PLEASE MAKE A DIFFERENCE
The President of Procter & gamble appeared on the Phil Donahue Show on March 1, 1994. He announced that due to the openness of our society, he was coming out of the closet about his association with the church of Satan. He stated that a large portion of his profits from Procter & Gamble Products goes to support this satanic church. When asked by Donahue if stating this on t.v. would hurt his business, he replied, "THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH CHRISTIANS IN THE UNITED STATES TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE."
If you are not sure about the product, look for a Procter & Gamble written on the products, or the symbol of a ram's horn, which will appear on each product beginning on April. The ram's horn will form the 666, which is known as Satan's number. Christians should remember that if they purchase any of these products, they will be contributing to the church of Satan. Inform other Christians about this and STOP buying Procter & Gamble Products. Let's show Procter & Gamble that there are enough Christians to make a difference. On a previous Merv Griffin Show, the owner of Procter & Gamble said that if Satan would prosper he would give his heart and soul to him. Then he gave Satan credit for his riches.
When we think of hoaxes that relate to conspiracies that are being concocted against Christianity — in the case of Madalyn Murray O'Hair or Procter & Gamble — this is in some sense consistent with the Biblical understanding that a great war rages at a spiritual level. Certainly there are enemies of the faith. This does not mean that these hoaxes are real, but there will be resistance and enemies of Christianity. The Christian, with an understanding of the Biblical world view, is sensitive to these kinds of responses against the Christian faith. (Source: Christian Coalition Website)
In January 2003, the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's dismissal of Amway Corporation as a defendant in the lawsuit, chastising Procter & Gamble for "vague and confusing legal arguments."
In March 2007, Procter & Gamble was awarded $19 million in its lawsuit against four Amway distributors for disseminating rumors tying the company to Satanism.
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