LIES - About Proctor & Gamble and Madalyn Murray O'hair's FCC Petition

LIES - About Proctor & Gamble and Madalyn Murray O'hair's FCC Petition

By Rev. Jack Barr

Last update - 8/12/1999

The following is in response to a chain letter about PROCTOR & GAMBLE supporting Satanism.

See Also Procter & Gamble alters its controversial logo
And Also The latest round of this chain letter.
And Proctor & Gamble The Truth (To return from P & G, hit Back)

Subj: Re: ------------
Date: 06/10/98
To: name@service

Hi Son, from Dad


I have personally checked into this several years ago with the Donahue show. (I even had the segment number it was suppose to be on) The Donahue show flat denys that ANY such statements were ever made by anyone on any Donahue show. You realize don't you that it has been many years since there has been a Donahue show. That should tell you how long this has been going around.

Procter and Gamble found who started this ugly rumor and sued him in court and won. (Published in the newspapers at the time)

I would suggest that when you receive information like this that you check it out before even considering forwarding it. I know because I have been bit on one chain letter similar to this before I learned.

Letters like this one continue to be circulated by well meaning persons who are unaware that they are perpetuating a lie that was started by Satan. The cost in dollars to you has increased on many items because companies have to pay out very large sums of money to fight these lies, else they would be driven out of business. If you wonder sometime why the internet seems so slow at times, it is because of these chain letters, and junk advertising. There is just so much room on the lines at one time. You send to X number of people and they repeat it to X number of people each, etc. You can have a million copies of just this one letter moving on the internet lines at one time, and you wonder why you can't down load from the net.

There is still circulating one on Madalyn Murray O'hair about a FCC petition to stop the reading of the gospel on the air. There is a petition to be filled out and sent to the FCC. It too is a lie. The truth is that the petition # HH2493 or # RM2493 was received by the FCC on Dec. 6, 1974 and rejected by the FCC on Aug 2, 1975. (I called the FCC myself and asked about it, and learned the truth.) Many churches around here sent in the petitions.

Can you imagine the cost in dollars that is wasted, YOUR DOLLARS, out of your pocket. No, of course not. The FCC (in the early 90's) informed me, when I called them, that they had one entire floor of a building staffed with people to handle the phone calls and petitions on this false petition.

Even the American Atheists, Inc. rejects the claim as being totally false. I am going to include a publication from them on the subject. I am sure that you will come across this hoax and you should be forewarned. I do not claim to accept all that they say about the churches but there is much information in it.


Federal Communications Commission Petition #RM2493

At no time, during the past sixteen years has Madalyn Murray O'Hair, American Atheist, been involved in or associated with the famous Petition #RM2493 to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

Madalyn O'Hair has been one of the primary champions of Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press, and Freedom of Conscience in the United States for -- at least -- the last fifty years.

However, the Judo-Christian community in order to slander, malign, and defame this woman because of her advocacy of Atheism has spread the false and malicious rumor that Madalyn Murray O'Hair has a petition before the Federal Communications Commission to eliminate all religious broadcasting from the airways.

The truth is that Jeremy D. Lansman and Lorenzo W. Milan, on December 1, 1974 filed a petition for "rule making" with the FCC since, in their struggle to obtain airtime for minority groups, they had discovered that "religious, Christian, and sectarian schools, colleges, and institutes" were rapidly swallowing up "the reserved educational FM and TV channels" so that, often, one religious institution would own and control several radio and television stations in a given area. The two young men asked the FCC to regulate this religious entry into the communications market so that minority groups would have a chance to obtain access.

The petition was received by the FCC on December 6, 1974. The petition was rejected by the FCC on August 2, 1975.

Meanwhile, the National Religious Broadcasters and the Oklahoma Christian Crusade began a rumor that Madalyn O'Hair had filed the petition with the FCC and that it had contained 27,000 signatures. This was a bald faced lie. So active was the National Religious Broadcasters organization that the FCC had received 750,000 letters protesting the activities of Madalyn O'Hair by the summer of 1975. When the FCC rejected the Lansman-Milan petition it noted that the Madalyn O'Hair rumor was founded (1) "On a mistaken view" that Mrs. O'Hair was involved and (2) that the Lansman-Milan petition "proposed to ban all religious broadcasting." Neither of these were correct.

Next the National Association of Evangelicals got into the act as did the Roman Catholic Office for Film and Broadcasting. Counter "petitions" against Madalyn Murray O'Hair's non-existent RM-2493 began to arrive at the FCC. By March 1976, there were almost 4,000,000 letters in the hands of the FCC alone.

Lansman-Milan were enraged. Under a Freedom of Information request they were able to look at the letters and found that they were all worded the same. The Lutheran Church of America proudly proclaimed it, alone, would get one million letters to the FCC. The Episcopalians, the Presbyterians, the Churches of Christ, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), and the Rev. Carl Mcintire swore they would "stop Madalyn Murray O'Hair" and pledged millions of petitions against her. By February 1977, the FCC had 7,000,000 letters. The rumor was, by then, enlarged. Mrs. O'Hair was after children's show on television; she had gained a hearing before the FCC for her petition; she had managed to get a bill introduced into Congress to ban religious broadcasting.

In April 1977, the Senate in the Illinois Congress passed a resolution condemning Madalyn O'Hair. The Mormon Church picked up the rumor and went with it. Just the cost of individual stamps to put on all of these letters had by then passed the $1,650,000 mark. By 1979 the FCC had received 9,000,000 letters and they were coming in then at the rate of 8,000 a day. This does not include telephone calls, nor letters and petitions to legislative , judicial, and executive branches of government above indicated. The Federation of Women's Clubs then joined the letter writing. By September 1979 the FCC letters were up to 60,000 a day. But then, of course, the Boy Scouts had joined in the game. By January 1980. the FCC reported that 12,000,000 letters had been received. It was forced to go to the U.S. Congress to ask for a special appropriate of $250,000 to try to put the word out that the story of Madalyn O'Hair and RM-2493 was simply a rumor without substance. The FCC sent out 100,000 letters to leading proponents of the letter- writing campaign and to 30,000 religious leaders asking all of them to spread the word that the petition was an unfounded rumor.

In January 1982 on a visit to Washington, D.C., Jon Murray, the C.E.O. of American Atheists, stopped at the FCC to find that eight persons had been put on the staff just to answer the telephone for the RM-2493 queries and another five persons were added to do nothing but open the mail so that the RM-2493 petitioned and letters regarding Madalyn O'Hair could be separated out from ordinary FCC business mail. A minimum of 100 telephone calls a day were being channeled into the FCC Consumer's Assistance Office; letters were coming in at the rate of 100,000 a day and 13,000,000 letters had been counted. About then, the FCC simply gave up and only estimated the number of letters by the pound.

In the next eight years, the letters were to be doubled, and before the end of 1989, the estimated count of letters by the FCC was up 25,000,000. Another wave of this nonsense seized the nation in 1990 as the rumor swept from state to state. Factories carried information concerned with Madalyn Murray O'Hair's RM-2493 petition on bulletin boards in work places; churches featured the announcements; the information was passed out in religious and in public schools; clubs and fraternal organizations distributed handbills concerned with RM-2493; radio talk-back shows featured discussions of it; bridgeclubs and ladies' teas focused on the need for everyone to know about and to fight Madalyn O'Hair. Most reprehensible of all, (literally) hundreds of newspapers across the land carried the story in small articles, in advertisements, and in letters-to-the-editor without bothering to check if it were true with either the FCC or with Madalyn O'Hair. But always the churches pushed it -- in sermons, in social activities, in newsletters, in reports, in Sunday Schools, and in lectures for religion must have a devil; religion must have an outside focal point to combat; religion must rally the sheep.

End of letter from American Atheists


Now I know that what you sent me does not look like a chain letter, but any time that it tells you to send as many copies as you can, then it is a chain letter. As Christians we do have to be on our guard and to stand up for what we believe. But, first we must make sure that what we read or hear is the truth. Then we must examine our proposed response to see if it is biblical, that is, what would Jesus do if faced with the same situation. Only prayer can guide us on the right path.

We must always keep in mind the following:

Lev. 19:16 "Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people; neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbor. I am the Lord."

Don't spread slander

Ex. 23:1 "Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness."

Don't spread false reports -- don't help the wicked

Pr. 18:8 "The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly."

Ask yourself if the originator intended to hurt someone or some company such as the Procter and Gamble bit. (there was another one about their logo having the number 666 in it, total falsehood, (I saw the original logo which required a very long stretch of the imagination to believe the claim) it forced the company to change the logo. Probably started by a competitor of Proctor & Gamble.

Love Dad

Subj: From Dad
Date: 06/10/98
To: name@service

Hi Name, Continuing Proctor & Gamble information.

From the News Herald, Panama City, Florida Saturday, April 20, 1991 -- This Believing World by Earl Bailey, GCCC Religion Professor


Proctor & Gamble has won a $75,000 libel suit against James and Linda Newton for linking the company with satanism. The Newtons (Amway distributors) circulated allegations that the company's moon and stars trademark was a satanic symbol and claimed on national TV that the company provided financial support for the Church of Satan. The court forbade the Newtons from circulating false information about P&G products and required them to issue a retraction labeling the rumors as completely false. Plagued by such allegations over the past ten years, P&G has decided to step up prosecutions of individuals responsible for spreading them.

End of this article

The following is a word by word repeat of a transcript that I requested from 20/20 about the rumor of Proctor & Gamble.

ABC NEWS 20/20 TV show, November 18, 1982 - Transcript show #241


Hugh Downs: Fun. And they started doing that back when country wasn't cool.

Brown: A lot of the things they do on the show go back a long way before they learned to put it on television.

Downs: Yeah. That was great, thank you, Bob. Well next, the strange story of a man in the moon and 13 stars, and the ugly rumor that bedeviled one of America's biggest companies, right after this.

(commercial break)

Downs: One of the biggest companies in America, Proctor & Gamble, has spent the last two years battling a far-fetched rumor that its trademark was a symbol of Satan. The rumor even had it that P&G gave 10 percent of its earnings to Satanism to ensure financial success. Well, tonight we bring you this report by Steve Fox of P&G's efforts to convince the public that the corporation is as pure as one of its products, Ivory Snow.

Fox (voice-over): Proctor & Gamble products are in almost every American home. It is the nation's 23rd largest corporation, with annual sales totaling about $12 billion. P&G is also the country's largest advertiser, and odds are very good indeed that you're familiar with much of their merchandise. (on camera) Now, one of the things that made this rumor so intriguing to people was that it came equipped with a prop, what some folks considered a secret clue, which you can find on every one of their products -- Spic and Span, Mr. Clean, Top Job, Tide, Bold -- we're talking about the trademark, usually so tiny you had to search for it to see it.

(voice-over) So what's wrong with the P&G symbol? Well, nothing, really, but some determined and imaginative people have connected the stars, meant to represent the 13 original American colonies, and cone up with three 6's, which according to the Bible is the mark of the Antichrist, said to be a forerunner of the coming of Satan. Professor William Martin is a sociologist at Rive University in Houston. (to Prof. Martin) Is there anything intrinsically satanic about the logo?

Professor William Martin, socloiogist: I don't think so. It takes a good deal of ingenuity, actually, to try to get three 6's out of them.

Fox (voice over): Martin is himself a former fundamentalist minister.

Prof. Martin: a great many people in this country are actively concerned about the role of Satan, and this seems to be a very good sign. Here we have a major company that in fact seems to be dependent upon Satan for its success. rumors of this sort are apt to surface in times when people feel anxiety, uncertainty -- inflation, stress -- and so they are susceptible to it.

Fox (voice -over): Other sociologists agree, citing the willingness of some to find satanic signs everywhere, even in a Manhattan street address. The tremendous popularity of some recent movies also indicates wide interest in Satanism, an idea which genuinely worried many P&G customers.

(on camera) Here at 20/20 in New York we get hundreds of phone calls and letters about the rumor, like this letter we got from Regina Theodorson in San Pedro, California, who wrote:

Regina Theodorson (reading letter): Enclosed is a photocopy that was given to me by one of my local merchants. The reason I am sending it to you is perhaps you would be interested in investigating its validity. If in fact....

Fox (voice over): Mrs. Theodorson picked up the leaflet about the rumor inside this store, then brought it home and showed it to her neighborhood friends. (to women) And what is this then?

Mrs. Theodorson: This is a better drawing of it, taken off a can of Comet, under a magnifying glass.

Fox: Who made this copy?

Mrs. Theodorson: Gloria did.

Fox (voice over): None of these Southern California women are religious fundamentalist. But all were troubled by the rumor. (to women) What makes you uncomfortable?

1st woman: The thought of Satan being behind it.

2nd woman: I knew that I was going to use Cascade soap for my dishwasher before I ever got a dishwasher. I knew that I was going to use Pampers before I had kids. It's incredible now it has affected my mind -- and I never thought of using anything but Tide.

Fox: And you wonder what, whether there was some sort of mysterious draw to the products, is that it?

2nd woman: Yes, exactly.

Fox: Why has it been so difficult for you to defeat this rumor?

William Dobson, Proctor & Gamble spokesman: Rumors are by their very nature hard to get a grasp on.

Fox (voice over): William Dobson is a corporate spokesman for Proctor & Gamble.

Mr. Dobson: You're dealing with hearsay, you're dealing with gossip, you're dealing with storytelling and so on -- you're not dealing with fact.

Fox: Some people heard a variation of the rumor which had a Proctor & Gamble official appearing on 20/20. Now, this never happened, but none the less we got letters like this one from Pastor Ronald Corbin, of the Church of the Nazarene in El Paso, Texas, who wrote:

Ronald Corbin, pastor (reading letter): We understand that you recently did a program on this same subject. We would like to know the true position of the Proctor & Gamble Company. If these rumors are false, we'd like to help stop them.

Fox: Why do you think that it is your responsibility to find out the truth of this rumor?

Rev. Corbin: The Bible says that the truth shall set us free, and that's what we're trying to do -- trying to be set free from rumors and fear. There was some actual fear.

Fox (voice over): One of the first places the rumor hit in El Paso was this weight-lifting and fitness center. Spread by leaflet and by word of mouth, the rumor had a profound effect on the powerful body-builder who owns this place.

Gil Reyes: There was just the uncertainty of not knowing. It gave me the fear, I looked and I saw their logos on all the products, and it was fear.

Fox: Becky, were you there when this rumor first appeared?

Becky Villa: Well, I was there when this gentleman had said it, and I was scared.

Fox: Scared?

Ms. Villa: I was scared.

Fox (voice over): When Gay Reyes learned about the rumor, both from her husband Gil and from her friend and fellow church member Becky Villa:

Gay Reyes: And my first thought was, oh, throw them out, you know, and then I thought, well, thats a little foolish. Let's see if this is really true, you know, before I go throwing out half the things I have in the house.

Fox (voice over): Gay tracked the rumor back to a receptionist at a local medical center. hit a dead end, and then went to Rev. Corbin. Eventually his correspondence with 20/20 and P&G formed the basis for sermons and Sunday School classes which convinced his parishioners that the rumor was false.

Mrs. Reyes: It was a relief to me to know that it wasn't true, because I've always, you know, I've used a lot of their products and -- Crisco in particular, I kept thinking, what am I going to do without my Chrisco, you know.

Fox: Any idea why Proctor & Gamble was the target of this rumor?

Mr. Reyes: They're big.

Fox: They're big?

Mr. Reyes: They're big: they're in our everyday lives.

Fox (voice over): In the past conventional business wisdom dictated that a corporation should deal with rumors by ignoring them. At first P&G did that, but the rumor refused to die, and calls about it began coming into P&G from every state in the union. In fact, Proctor & Gable printed up a special information sheet to help the operators at their telephone center in Cincinnati deal with calls, which totaled 50,000 during a three-month period earlier this year.

P&G operator: Well first of all, the symbol you are referring to is not a symbol of Satan ....

Fox: Early this summer after two years of frustration, the rumors seemed to peak, and Proctor & Gamble changed its strategy and launched an aggressive counterattack. (voice over) first came a media blitz, which led to articles in leading columns and newspapers. P&G also sued seven people for spreading the rumor, including Atlanta TV weather man Guy Sharpe, who settled out of court, agreeing not to discuss the rumor any further. And the company sued William and Linda Moore of Pensacola, Florida. The Moores would not talk to us, but their lawyer did (to Nicholas Geeker) Do the Moores deny that they repeated the rumors?

Nicholas Geeker, Attorney: No, they don't deny it, but what they have said is that they had heard statements concerning the trademark or logo of Proctor & Gamble and as a result discussions ensued, pretty much across the back fence with their neighbors.

Fox (voice-over): With its campaign of lawsuits and publicity, Proctor & Gamble seems to have broken new ground by proving that rumors can be aggressively attacked and defeated, even though it may not be possible to prevent them from up in the first place. (to Mr. Geeker) Are you in a sense defending people's right to hang around in their back yards and gossip with their neighbors?

Mr. Geeker: I suppose so. That's an American way of life. Rumor-mongering is part of the American scene as far as folklore and I do suppose it is a great American pastime.

Fox: If Proctor & Gamble is some day finally able to lay this rumor to rest, prove that it's false, do you think that there is going to be some people out there. Perhaps even a good number of people, who are disappointed?

Prof. Martin: Probably -- always hate to lose a good story.

Hugh Downs: If you're wondering why P&G didn't just change their trademark, they say that there is no guarantee if they did that, that another rumor wouldn't spring up. We'll be right back.

(commercial break) snip

And from the internet -- Friday March 14, 1997

Company logos have been in the news recently: from the multi-million pound re-invention of British Telecom, to the sad retirement of Nipper the fox-terrier, who for most of this century who cocked an ear to His Master's Voice. Far stranger, however, is the story of the corporate logo of Proctor & Gamble, parent company to such consumer favorites as Ariel, Fairy, and Vidal Sassoon, to name but a few. Here is a trademark with character; an old man's bearded face in the crescent moon, facing thirteen stars, all set within a circle. What does this odd-looking image mean? Who is the old man, why the moon, and why thirteen stars?

The first time the logo attracted attention was in 1980 when the company began to receive telephone calls and letters asking whether the company had been bought by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon. Proctor & gamble denied this outright. Through 1981, the number of enquiries escalated to thousands, and the accusations shifted towards Satanism: The logo was claimed to be an evil symbol declaring the company's support of a Satanic cult, to which it was allegedly contributing 10% of its annual turnover. Supposedly, at the top of the logo, the old man's hair forms a devil's horn, and the curls in his beard are revealed by a mirror to spell out 666, the mark of the beast. The thirteen stars, apparently, if joined up by lines in the correct way, also spell out 666. Another claim has it that an executive of the company had admitted the truth of a Satanic connection on a nationwide TV talk-show -- Donahue, The Tonight Show, or Davis Letterman, depending on the version of the rumor, in true Friend-Of-A-Friend urban folklore style. It was even claimed that the Chairman of the Board had sold his soul to the Devil in return for the guaranteed success of the company!

Understandably, Proctor & Gamble worked very hard to counteract the rumors, issuing press releases, instigating legal action and even soliciting the support of leading Christian fundamentalists who announced their faith in the purity of the company. But what is the story behind the strange logo? According to Proctor & Gamble, the Moonies and Satanism claims are - to borrow a phrase from Stephen Fry - pure tommy-cock and poppy-twaddle. In fact, the history of the logo is straightforward, and easy to document; it has its origins in a simple sketch of a cross in a circle, used to mark shipments of "Star Candles", one of the company's earliest products in 1851. Over time, this developed into a star in a circle, and later the single star was replaced by thirteen stars , in honor of the original thirteen colonies of the United States. The final embellishment was the addition of the man in the moon figure, which according to urban folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand was "a design as popular around the turn of the century as the happy face drawing became three-quarters of a century later " Finally, in 1930 a sculptor was commissioned to create the definitive design we see today.

Still, the rumors periodically resurface. According to a syndicated report of 20 March 1991, Proctor & Gamble has answered more than 150,000 telephone calls and letters relating to the Satanism myth in the last ten years. A recent Kansas court case ruled that a couple accused of spreading this satanic stupidity must pay Proctor & Gamble damages of $75,000. Small fry, perhaps, to a multinational whose UK operation alone had a turnover of £884 million for 1989/90, but a significant victory against modern ignorance and superstition.

by Toby Howard 1995

Name, I hope this helps you. As Christians, we must not help Satan spread rumors. Always suspect anything on the internet and most of what you read. Just because someone said it does not make it true.

Love Dad. Thats the end of what I will send on this subject.

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