SAN DIEGO (AP) - Rumors that millionaire Ray Kroc donates part of the profits from his McDonald's hamburger chain to a San Francisco satanist church are "the most ridiculous thing I've heard in my life," the 76 year-old owner of the San Diego Padres fumes.
Kroc might sell his soul for a pennant , but he insisted "I'm a God-fearing, God-loving man" when asked Tuesday about the rumor ciculating in America's bible belt.
An McDonald's officials, fearing born-again believers will shun the golden arches, are mounting an effort in southern cities to qaush the allegation about the firm's founder and senior chairman.
Doug Timberlake, an officer at the Oak Brook, Illl, headquarters of Kroc's hamburger empire, said he appeared Monday before the Birmingham, Ala., Baptist ministers association. He said he made two similar appearances in other southern cities and plans to speak "to a few influential people" soon in Panama City, Fla.
Timberlake said that the rumor that Kroc contributes funds to the Church of Satan, a San Francisco-based cult founded in 1966, apparently began spreading shortly after Kroc appeared on the Phil Donahue television talk show in May 1977.
Letters accusing Kroc of being a devil worshipper began arriving shortly after the show was broadcast, Timberlake said, even though Donahue and Kroc insist religion was never mentioned.
The Kingman Daily Miner - Wednesday, October 11, 1978.