March 29, 2007

Jury Nails Amway Distributors on P&G-Satanism Rumors

From the Associated Press on Tuesday, March 20 — It’s out of Salt Lake City; considering the amount of time this dragged on, the coverage of this event was, to me, surprisingly quiet:

Procter & Gamble Co. has won a jury award of $19.25 million in a civil lawsuit filed against four former Amway distributors accused of spreading false rumors linking the company to Satanism to advance their own business.

The U.S. District Court jury in Salt Lake City on Friday found in favor of the Cincinnati-based consumer products company in a lawsuit filed by P&G in 1995. It was one of several the company brought over rumors alleging a link with the company’s logo and Satanism.

Rumors had begun circulating as early as 1981 that the company’s logo – a bearded, crescent man-in-moon looking over a field of 13 stars – was a symbol of Satanism.

The company alleged that Amway Corp. distributors revived those rumors in 1995, using a voice mail system to tell thousands of customers that part of Procter & Gamble profits went to satanic cults.

….. The former Amway distributors thought they’d be exonerated and were shocked by the jury’s verdict late Friday, said Randy L. Haugen, one of the defendants.

“It’s hard to imagine they’d pursue it this long, especially after all the retractions we put out,” said Haugen, a 53-year-old Ogden, Utah, businessman who maintained P&G was never able to show how it was harmed by the rumors. “We are stunned. All of us.”

Only a long-time Amway Independent Business Owner Distributor top-of-the-heap exploiter would be “stunned” at the obvious. No wonder this guy didn’t want voters to know anything about his Amway connections (scroll to fifth item discussed) when he ran for Congress in Ohio’s Second District in 2005 and 2006.

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UPDATE, April 2: Okay, this is bizarre, and it may not be over.

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