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Christian Urban Legends

4 more fictional events exposed by
the Institute for Creation Research

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Below are listed four more the Christian urban legends exposed as false by the Institute for Creation Research in their Science, Scripture and Salvation radio program on 1999-APR-17: 1

The Hell Hole:

TThe story seems to have been broadcast on three episodes of a Trinity Broadcasting Network program in the early 1990s. Trinity also published an article on their Internet mailing list. It was allegedly translated from the original Finnish newspaper Ammennusastia. The story involves a team of geologists in Siberia who were drilling a well 14.4 kilometers (9 miles) into the earth to study the makeup of the earth's crust. They allegedly lowered microphones into the hole and were stunned to hear the screams of people suffering in horrible agony. They could only assume that they had reached Hell and were listening to the suffering of countless billions of people being tortured without any hope of relief or mercy.

Project leader Dr. Azzacov allegedly said:

"The deep center of the earth is hollow!... Temperatures of 1,100 degrees C (2,000 degrees F) were reported...we could hear thousands, perhaps millions, in the background, of suffering souls screaming. The information we are gathering is so surprising, that we are sincerely afraid of what we might find down there."

Half of the scientists allegedly refused to continue drilling. A newspaper article in Finland picked up the story and added more details: A luminous gas shot up from the drill hole. A brilliant being with bat wings then coalesced, with the words in Russian: "I have conquered" visible against the sky. 2

The Ship of Fools website personnel traced the story back through a series of letters to editors and various Christian newsletters. The originator of the "bat out of hell" addition admitted that it was a fabrication, intended as a joke to prove how some religious folk will accept a totally outrageous story without checking it out. The Biblical Archaeology Review printed a story about the Well to Hell story, intending it to be humorous. They figured that the story was so outrageous that nobody would treat it seriously. But many of their readers did. Of course, there was no deep well to Hell, and no sounds of the damned. However, you can hear an online recording that is claimed to contain the screams of the inhabitants of Hell. 3

The story has been picked up by several individuals and groups who have created short videos and added them to You Tube. This is one of them. It received over a third of a million views between 2007-AUG and 2011-AUG -- almost a hundred thousand a year:

  7

The discovery of Noah's Ark:

If the Bible story of the flood is true then the ark touched down on one of the mountains of Ararat. One would expect some remains of the ark could be found by simply inspecting the mountains and locating the wreckage. The climate in the vicinity is dry. Some wood would survive intact. Many people have claimed to see the ark; some have even brought back wood samples. But strange things have happened: everyone's camera seems to have broken down after they found the evidence. Nobody seems able to recall exactly where the remains were found. There is, in fact, no hard evidence that the ark has been found. Perhaps, someday, someone will bring along a GPS location device when they find the ark. Then they could record precisely where it is within a few meters, and easily return to the site.

horizontal rule

Radio-carbon testing:

This is a reverse CUL; it is a rumor that is anti-conservative Christian in nature. Rather than support the estimates by many Christian and Jewish conservatives that the earth is between 5 and 10 millennia old, this legend says that radio-carbon dating has determined that the age of the earth is about 4.5 billion years. This is not true. Radio-carbon dating loses accuracy as you go farther back into the past. Beyond about 50,000 BCE, it is useless. Scientists compute older dates by using longer lived radio isotopes, like potassium-argon or iridium-lead.

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The Proctor & Gamble and Satanism link:

The P & G logo was originally a cross within a circle - a symbol used on one of their 19th century products: star candles. Over time, the cross evolved into a star, then the single star became 13 stars - one for each of the 13 American colonies. A man in the moon was added around the end of the 19th century; this was a widespread image at the time - something like the "smiley face" is today. The present logo design was created in 1930.

Rumors started to circulate in 1980 that P & G had been brought out by the Unification Church. The legend then took an sudden, interesting twist. The logo was said to be a Satanic symbol. The novel Michelle Remembers had been published about this time. It was presented as a documentary of Satanic Ritual Abuse, and triggered a Satanic panic throughout North America. The  P & G story expanded to include an allegation that the company was supporting Satanic cults with 10% of their profits. Then, an executive of the company was said to have admitted that "due to the openness of our society," he was announcing his company's connection with Satanism on a TV talk show. No one was quite able to specify exactly which show or which episode was involved. 

It was said that you could connect the 13 stars with lines that would spell out 666, the number associated with the Antichrist in the biblical Book of Revelation. Looking at the beard of the old man with a mirror, the number 666 is said to be visible. The chairman of the board of P & G was supposed to have sold his soul to the Devil.

"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." 2
By early 1991, the company had answered over 150,000 telephone calls and letters concerning the myth. In the early 1990's a couple in Kansas was found to have spread the rumor; P & G was awarded $75,000 in damages. They have filed at least 15 lawsuits against individual rumor mongers.

A trial began on 1999-MAY-3 in which Procter & Gamble are suing Amway distributors for allegedly reviving the Satanic rumors in 1995. 4 P & G spokesperson Elaine Plummer commented: "It's a malicious lie that erodes the trust of customers and has cost us  millions of dollars in sales."

Defense attorney Charles Babcock replied: "This rumor was started in churches...and Amway didn't have a thing to do with it. A few Amway independent distributors talked about the rumor - not in a mean-spirited way but in an informational way.''

The latest rumor is that the head of P&G appeared on the Sally Jesse Raphael Show on 1998-MAR-1. He allegedly repeated the 1980 comments: that his company was associated with the Church of Satan, that a large portion of their profits are donated to that Church. When asked whether this openness would cause economic consequences, he allegedly replied "There are not enough Christians in the United States to make a difference." The executive producer of "Sally" has issued a statement saying that no executive from P&G has eve appeared on the show.

Variations of this rumor involve Ray Kroc of McDonalds, and an executive from Liz Clairborn; both are alleged to have Satanic connections. Merv Griffin, 60 Minutes, and Oprah Winfrey are other shows where P&G interviews are alleged to have occurred. Every element of the rumor is completely baseless. 5,6

References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. The Institute of Creation Research (ICR) is a Fundamentalist Christian organization which promotes creation science: the belief that God created the earth, its life forms and the rest of the universe about six to ten thousand years ago. Their radio program, Science, Scripture and Salvation is heard on hundreds of conservative religious radio stations in the U.S. The episode on 1999-APR-17 dealt with what they called "Christian Urban Legends." Their web site is at: http://www.icr.org
  2. Toby Howard, "Logo Lunacy," The Skeptic, 5.2, at: http://www.cs.man.ac.uk/
  3. Terry Watkins, "The truth about Hell," at: http://www.av1611.org/ 
  4. "Federal Trial Opens Against Amway," Associated Press, 1999-MAY-3
  5. Procter and Gamble have an essay on the rumor, along with many letters from talk show hosts and religious leaders at: http://www.pg.com/ 
  6. The Ship of Fools web site has an article on Procter and Gamble CUL at: http://ship-of-fools.com/
  7. "Hell is a reality (Screaming of Damned)," uploaded by Requiemeternam on 2007-AUG-14, at: http://www.youtube.com/

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Copyright © 1999 to 2011 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2011-AUG-09
Author: B.A. Robinson

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