The enclosed letter surfaced on my desk at work, and my co-workers and I would like to know if there is any truth to it. Since I read your column, I assured them that you could give us an answer.Alice Albright
Response: The letter, titled "The Challenge" and signed by an Annice Pipes, is part of a persistent, ugly and unfounded rumor that has been going around the country since the early 1980s. It recently surfaced again in Florida.
The letter states that the logo or trademark used by Procter & Gamble, which contains a man in the moon looking out at 13 stars, is a symbol of the Church of Satan. The letter goes on to claim that P&G officials admitted their company's satanic connections on national television. It asks consumers to boycott the company's products.
The statements in the letter are "malicious lies," P&G officials say. The rumor also has been refuted by officials of the television programs named in the letter. Evangelist Billy Graham called the rumor "absolutely false." And recently a Baptist minister in Citrus County, who had been distributing the letter and urging his flock to boycott P&G products, reversed his stance after the friend of a parishioner did some research and uncovered the truth.
P&G officials have tried hard to dispel the rumor, explaining that their 100-year-old logo has no hidden meaning, but still they get up to 200 phone calls a day on the topic.
We don't doubt that the rumor will surface again. Human nature being what it is, we love to repeat stories that shock our senses and allow us to wallow in self-righteousness, and we don't like to have all that fun spoiled with facts.
Not talking isn't cheap
Last July when I had eye trouble, my doctor sent me to Joslin Clinic in Boston. I paid $235 for my visit. Since then I have tried every way I can think of to collect from Medicare so I can forward it to my insurance company. So far, no luck.
Would appreciate your help.
L. A. L.
Response: We called the Medicare patient accounts department at Joslin, and they said the reason you didn't get paid by Medicare is because Joslin never filed a claim. The reason they didn't file a claim is because your receipt did not have your Medicare number on it. The reason they didn't ask you for it was probably because they have allowed their computerized billing system to replace their God-given communications system and have forgotten how to talk to patients.
Joslin now has your number. You'll be getting a check from them.
Plane tickets can't be fixed
In May 1989, we purchased four round-trip tickets for senior citizens from Delta Airlines. I told the girl we wanted to go to Boston in August 1989 and use the second set of tickets in August 1990.
This spring some friends told me that my tickets would be no good in August. I went down to Delta and questioned them. They said I had to use the last two tickets by May 31.
We wanted to visit our children on Labor Day to celebrate our 47th wedding anniversary. That's why we bought these particular tickets. But Delta says there is nothing they can do. The tickets are non-transferable so we can't even give them to somebody else.
My husband works part time and can't take the time off to use them now, and we can't afford to throw away tickets worth $400.
All I want to do is change the date so we can go up in September. I hope you can help us.
Mrs. Lorraine Sanchez & husband
Response: We're sorry.
Delta tells us their Young At Heart Fare booklets are valid only for one year from date of issuance. That restriction is printed in the Conditions of Contract in the front of each booklet.
While they regret any misunderstanding, they say they must abide by the terms of the plan in fairness to all their senior customers.
Perhaps your children will chip in to bring you home for your anniversary.
You asked me to let you know if Harwood Canadian responded within 30 days to my request for a $3 rebate. They both responded and sent a check.
I certainly do thank you.
Harry W. Taylor