The FBI is reported to be investigating BonsaiKitten.com, the spoof Web
site which has got animal lovers and anti-cruelty campaigners in uproar.
The site was started last December by a student at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology. It was soon booted off MIT's servers and then
moved from host to host, with protesters following it every step of the
way. It has found a permanent home at Rotten.com, which routinely hosts
Now the FBI's Boston field office has served MIT with a grand jury
subpoena demanding information about who runs the site, according to a
report on Wired.
The Bonsai Kitten domain name was registered to a Dr Michael Wong Chang
in New York, presumably a fake name and address.
MIT lawyer Jeff Swope said the student would be notified of the
subpoena, as required by federal law, and then the university would hand
over the information.
It isn't yet known on what grounds the FBI is investigating the site.
Assistant US attorney Nadine Pellegrini, who signed the MIT subpoena, is
quoted only as saying: "I would assume there's a case, if there's a law,
but I'm not making any comment."
It is a federal felony to possess "a depiction of animal cruelty", but
only if there is an intention of commercial distribution over state
Criminal defense attorney Harvey Silverglate said he expected the FBI to
drop the case when invesitgators found Bonsai Kitten to be a joke.
He believes the FBI has been 'infected' by political correctness,
saying: "They want to be the good guys. They massively run rampant over
Americans' liberties but they want to be seen as nice fuzzy guys who
want to protect kittens."
Last month the US Humane Society said there was no evidence of actual
cruelty in the creation of BonsaiKitten.com, but that the site "depicts
and encourages cat cruelty".
A spokeswoman for the Humane Society told Wired: "If the FBI is looking
into this, that's great. Anything to discourage animal cruelty would be
"It's totally promoting animal cruelty. They consider it a sick joke.
People will take it seriously. Animal cruelty is not funny. Animal
torture is not funny. We would like bonsaikitten.com to be removed
People on Bonsai Kitten discussion sites and animal welfare forums have
posted responses from other animal welfare groups.
PETA said: "We appreciate your concern about this matter and agree that
this type of Web site should be shut down. Although after looking into
this Web site, we found it to be a 'joke,' we still feel that it is
inappropriate and certainly not funny. Unfortunately, it is legal to
operate such a Web site."
The ASPCA said: "We are also horrified by this and similar websites and
videos advocating animal cruelty. While technology has made a positive
contribution to our society, it has also resulted in the rapid expansion
of publicity for individuals who promote animal abuse."
Meanwhile, the joke continues, with an announcement on BonsaiKitten.com
seizing on research into brain-damaging parasites found in cat faeces.
"The keeping of unmodified cats puts people at risk of a host of
debilitating mental disorders," warns the sales pitch.
"No doubt this explains the crank e-mail we sometimes receive!"
"Your mental health is one of the most precious gifts you have -- don't
you owe it to yourself and your family to make the switch to a Bonsai
Kitten today? As a public service in response to this newly-discovered
health risk, for a limited time we will be offering free disposal of
your dangerous old cat with each purchase of a Bonsai Kitten." ®
Well, he's half right. The Bureau tramples on American liberties at every
opportunity, but its agents couldn't care less about being :"politically
correct" --hence the continual lawsuits for racial and sexual discrimination
inside the FBI and countless revelations of illegal
surveillance/harassment/etc. applied to various minorities.
This story absolutely amazes me. In the cat ngs, talk about this can't stop,
no matter how often "free speech" might come up. Now the FBI? This convinces
me the FBI is wasting my money AGAIN.
"Feminism is the radical notion that women are people."
OOOO! He hates the FBI don't he!
What's wrong Newton, did they shut down your little 'Orbit' operation?
Or did they catch you masturbating?
Read about Michael Newton being Joe1Orbit :
If the last url doesn't work for you, click from the first url to my
index page where you will find the link.
> This story absolutely amazes me. In the cat ngs, talk about this can't stop,
> no matter how often "free speech" might come up. Now the FBI? This convinces
> me the FBI is wasting my money AGAIN.
Has anyone actually gone to http://www.BonsaiKitten.com/ and looked at
this site? It's so obviously a joke.
1) I didn't see anything cruel being done to an animal. You must have
confused satire with real life.
2) Yes, the animal rights groups (power to the felines!) have seen and
responded to this. Did you read the article that started this thread?
3) Why don't we just call it black humor? Have you ever seen "Eating
Raoul?" How about "I Love You to Death?" How about "The Dark
To e-mail, replace "oi" with "i"
It's not real, Debby. A sick joke by an MIT student is what is being said
about it. It's called Black Humor and IMO, it *is* sick.
Sometimes the First Amendment sucks.
To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single
petitioner confessedly unworthy.
The Devil's Dictionary
No, I don't think the kitties were hurt. We used to stick our cat in a
paper bag with a hole cut in the end, then dangle a piece of yarn in front
of the hole. She would stick a paw out of the hole and try to grab the
yarn. But maybe that's sadistic, I don't know. The cat seemed to enjoy it.
I imagine the cats on the Bonsai Kitty site are loved pets. I can't swear
to that, though. What I consider really cruel is cutting the ears and tails
off dobermans, gassing less speedy greyhounds, doing burn tests on pigs.
Stuffing a cat into a jar for a few seconds to take a picture pales in
comparison. I'm not even a big fan of "fixing" pets, but I understand
why it's a good idea.
> What planet
> are you from???? Boy am I glad God never made me your pet. Debby
I'm from the planet KittyStuffer, and if you were my pet you'd probably
be trying to grab a piece of yarn out of a hole in a grocery bag. :)
>Geez, I hope it isn't real. Won't it give people ideas?>>>
Oh boy...Sick it may be, but if you're going to blame satire for "giving people
ideas" I certainly hope you've never read any Swift.
(feeling a little hungry, for those in on the reference... ;) )
The Nightmare never ends...
AGONY IN BLACK
Come worship at the new house of horrors
A> Debby commented:
>> Geez, I hope it isn't real. Won't it give people ideas?>>>
A> Oh boy...Sick it may be, but if you're going to blame satire for
A> "giving people ideas" I certainly hope you've never read any Swift.
A> Best, JM (feeling a little hungry, for those in on the reference...
A> ;) )
They are very good with mustard.
oh yes they are, but have you tried them in barbeque sauce?
> Oh boy...Sick it may be, but if you're going to blame satire for "giving people
> ideas" I certainly hope you've never read any Swift.
> (feeling a little hungry, for those in on the reference... ;) )
Are you picking on Maggie?
Martha, who can't help herself
>> Oh boy...Sick it may be, but if you're going to blame satire for "giving people
>> ideas" I certainly hope you've never read any Swift.
>> (feeling a little hungry, for those in on the reference... ;) )
>Are you picking on Maggie?
Too stringy and gamey. Have you no taste whatever?
>Martha, who can't help herself
Oh. Probably a prion you picked up somewhere.
This sort of thing has risks, you know.
BTW -- is your size six well marbled?
GB <-- conscientiously seeking innovative solutions to world hunger
Opinions above are NOT those of APAN, Inc. and are NOT legal advice.
"Hated by fools, and fools to hate,
Be that my motto, and my fate."
<< Dean Jonathan Swift, _To_Dr._Delany_ >>
>Somehow seeing those poor little kitties stuffed in glass jars upset me. Now
>reading posts about condoments you can have with kitties.>>
Close but no cigas with "kitties", Debby, but changing the "t"s would put you
back on track. What you've done is make a simple mistake, which can happen when
you're "not too *Swift.* ;)
(Pretty sure Debby will realize it's not a flame, but rather a pun I couldn't