JD writes: “I’m from Mumbai, India and I just wanted to know – I have been hearing from some people about the Procter and Gamble Company’s link to occult and satanic activities and hence been told to refrain from their products. I have researched a bit on the web. But wanted a clearer view on the same topic. Could you please help me out with this?”
Thanks for a great question, JD, and the opportunity to refute a myth that has been circulating for decades.
According to the myth-busting site, Snopes.com, allegations that the company was involved with satanism began in 1981 when someone claimed the president of Proctor and Gamble (P&G) appeared on the Phil Donohue show and admitted that he gave a large portion of his profits from the sale of P&G products to the church of Satan. Donohue supposedly asked him if he feared that making such an admission on national television would hurt his company but the executive said no, “There are not enough Christians in the United States to make a difference.”
As Snopes explains, P&G is a publicly-traded corporation which means its finances are a matter of the public record. If it was giving money to the Church of Satan, this would be reflected in its records, and no such entries appear in their books.
These rumors also inspired people to scrutinize the company’s former “man in the moon” logo where they found evidence of devil horns and an inverted “666” mark of the beast. I was surprised to read that the company actually changed its logo to try to put a stop to the rumors and is now using only a simple P&G symbol. This is significant because their original logo dated back to the company’s origins in 1851 when creative designs were very important because not as many people could read and this was how they identified products.
According to this article appearing in Business Insider, P&G started out as a soap and candle company and used a star as a logo. This star was painted on cases of what became known as “Star Candles”. The symbol evolved to include the moon and the stars to symbolize the ability of the company’s products to touch the lives of consumers throughout multi-generations.
It wasn’t until the Satanism rumors began in 1981 that they had any trouble with the logo and were eventually felt forced to change it to a simple P&G.
The rumors continue to this day. Depending on the era, some versions have the P&G president appearing on the Sally Jesse Raphael show, the Jenny Jones show, etc. to make his shocking admission.
Later, the same story was used to incriminate designer Liz Claiborne and Ray Kroc of McDonalds who were also said to have appeared on major television shows and admit to donating to the church of Satan.
P&G has tried to put a stop to it. In 2007, a jury awarded the company $19.5 million in a civil lawsuit it filed against four Amway distributors who were caught spreading the rumors just to advance their own businesses.
Just last year, the company decided to create another logo, this one with a very slight moon on the edge in an effort to bring back at least a portion of its original and very unique design.