The wheels of justice grind slowly, even if you have more than 20 billion-dollar brand-names in your corporate pocket. A dozen years ago P&G sued a bunch of Amway distributors in Utah who — it was alleged — repeated “a false rumor linking the household-products company to a Satanic church.” Closing arguments were heard Friday.
Best quote from the story:
The jurors will not be asked to determine whether the Satan-worship allegation is true – both sides have agreed it’s not – but whether the hellish rumor harmed sales of P&G products.
Too bad. I would much rather have had to decide on that first issue.
The defendants defense is also rather good: They were just repeating a rumor they believed to be true. I forget, is idiocy a valid defense?
P&G has been so dogged by this rumor that it has devoted an entire section of its website to denying it.
Snopes has a great section on the entire story, of course. All of this dates back to whenever it was that some loon or another decided he (you know it was a he) could see a 666 in the company’s man in the moon logo — WHICH ALSO HAS 13 STARS ON IT!!!
Since then the bizarre rumor has continued to resurface. Different versions have the president of P&G as saying he worshiped The Dark Prince during an appearance on either The Phil Donahue Show in 1994 or The Sally Jesse Raphael show in 1998. This is what makes the story so laughable. Anyone with half-a-brain could tell you that this sort of admission is ONLY done on Oprah.
The other thing that refutes this whole thing is also painfully obvious: If P&G were in charge of marketing the Church of Satan then the Church of Satan would now be synonymous with fun, perky and very clean. Also it would have a new smell — Goodbye sulfur, hello Firebreze®.
In the interests of full-disclosure: I have been to Mordor … er, Cincinnati … and interviewed both Saruman and Lord Voldemort several times (that’s what you get to call A.G. Lafley and Jim Stengel when they like you). So I’m probably part of the conspiracy, too. Don’t say I didn’t tell you.
UPDATE: We’ll that didn’t take long. P&G 1, Amway-Types 0. Actually P&G $19.25 million, Amway-Types 0UCH.