Monday, June 8, 2020

Trademark of the Beast

This is one of 1122 articles in my book Now and Then Again, The Way We Were and the Way We Are, second edition. The book is available from Amazon for $20.95 print and $9.95 Kindle and also as an ebook from Apple, Kobo, and Scribd for $9.95. It's fixed format so it's better with a tablet, laptop, or computer. There are more articles from the book on another blog here. And there is a book preview website.

Trademark of the Beast
In the early 80’s, rumors began circulating that Procter and Gamble's logo with the man in the moon and 13 stars is secretly a satanic symbol with “666” concealed in the curls of the beard and that the hair and beard taper into devil’s horns.

The rumors also held that the president of P&G had come out as a Satanist on a talk show and that the company had given large sums to the Church of Satan. (There really is a Church of Satan.)

Boycotts of Procter and Gamble products were organized and hundreds of thousands of inquiries poured into the company from all over the world.

P&G sued a few individuals for spreading these rumors in the 1980’s. In 1990, P&G sued a Kansas couple who were Amway distributors (and P&G competitors), charging that they had distributed literature to their customers with the satanic rumors. P&G was awarded $75,000 in damages.

P&G found out that other Amway distributors had used the company's voicemail system to revive the satanic rumors and in 1995 sued Amway and some of its distributors. 

After 12 years of dismissals and appeals, Procter and Gamble won a judgement against four Amway distributors for $19.5 million in 2007. Procter and Gamble had retired the man-in-the-moon logo in 1985 due to the controversy.

The devil-under-the-bed types are still out there, though more liability conscious. One web site carefully insinuates satanic associations by posing questions for you to answer. Does the Lucent logo, a roughly drawn red circle, represent the flames of hell and does Apple's logo depict a bite out of the forbidden fruit? And it noted that the price of the first Apple in 1977 was $666 (it really was).

Even Disney is not immune. They prod you to find “666” in the curlicues of the Walt Disney signature. The Lucifer Lighting Company was automatically diabolical.

Speaking of Lucifer lighting, one of the first matches was patented in 1828 and sold under the name “Lucifer.” The name stuck. Even into the 20th century you could light your fag with a Lucifer, as immortalized in a World War I song.

                    Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag
                   Pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag,
                   And smile, smile, smile,
                   While you've a Lucifer to light your fag,
                   Smile, boys, that's the style.
                   What's the use of worrying?
                   It never was worth while, so
                   Pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag,
                   And smile, smile, smile.

Copyright © 2020 Joseph Mirsky

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