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Hoaxes & Myths

Inferred Violence

eMail, message board postings, and web sites that depict untrue, nonetheless disturbing, violent acts against animals and humans. If these depictions were true they wouild be prosecutable felonies.

Click on the title to see the complete hoax text, a description, brief history, reporting date in a new browser window. In many cases, the hoax description site may also include reactions from hoax subjects, an extensive history, and provide links to additional analysis and interviews.


Animal Cruelty

Bonsai Kittens Website - This web site was supposedly created as a "joke" by MIT students, it's premise - "the lost art of body modification in housepets" - was obviously a staged hoax. The staging of the site's scenes, however, bordered on animal abuse, and certainly the premise is cruel and inhumane, and would be considered "felony cruelty" in most locations. If copied or outdone, this "stunt" could easily result in the very real inhuman treatment of animals, if not tragedy.

The Humane Society of the United States has issued a statement, and the FBI investigated as reported in an article in Wired News, which also notes that the Massachusetts SPCA interrogated MIT administrators. provides links to other resources on this subject, including the text of a bill signed into law by former President Clinton (H.R. 1887, 12/9/1999). You can take the poll asking if you think that the Bonsai Kitten site encourages cruelty to animals. Unfortunately, this site is still open as of January 2003. Link to the offending site directly.


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