Conspiracy

The Devil Went Down to Tokyo

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Just to prove that Internet rumors don't have to involve Barack Obama, Snopes.com describes the best tale to attach itself to a corporate trademark since Proctor & Gamble had to scrub a Satanic moon man off its products:

Claim: A pact with the Devil to save a cancer-stricken child resulted in the creation of the Hello Kitty brand….

The rumor gained its start from a 2008 e-mail rendered in Spanish, which asserted that the frantic parents of a 12-year-old girl stricken with cancer of the mouth made a pact with the Devil to bring to worldwide fame a character alluring to children in exchange for their daughter's return to health. The fatuous account asserts "kitty" is a Chinese word meaning "demon," thus Hello Kitty means "hello demon"—that is, those who fall for the character's charms are welcoming the Devil and all his minions into their hearts….The e-mail also asserts that Hello Kitty's lack of a mouth stems from that fictitious 12-year-old's illness; the girl had cancer of the mouth, so the character created to spare her life lacks that feature.

Snopes rules the rumor "FALSE," but who do they think they're fooling? The site quotes a Hello Kitty spokesman explaining the cat's reverse-Cheshire face: "Without the mouth, it is easier for the person looking at Hello Kitty to project their feelings on to the character. The person can be happy or sad together with Hello Kitty." Sounds like an occult ritual to me. Snopes also informs us that "Hello Kitty is Japanese, not Chinese, in origin, and we're wholly unaware of any Chinese language (there are many) wherein 'kitty' means 'demon.'" Note that it carefully avoids telling us what "kitty" means in Japanese. I smell a cover-up.

Bonus rumor: "Cabbage Patch dolls were designed to get people accustomed to the appearance of mutants following a thermonuclear war."

[Via Infocult, from which I also poached the picture.]

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  1. If I ran snopes, about 1 in 20 articles would intentionally have the wrong result.

    False instead of True, True instead of False.

    People are far too accepting of snopes.

    1. Maybe. But it’s a good tool for shutting up idiots who think things like crystals hanging from your rearview mirror will blind other drivers.

    2. For the people who are far too accepting of forwarded emails full of bullshit, Snopes is quite a step up toward reality. It may not be perfect, but I like having a convenient place for debunking all the crap that gets passed around my office.

      1. My firm actually had to change it’s “To all users” email policy thanks to a firmwide debunking of some asshole partner’s email re: your ATM pin backwards will call the police.

      1. woof! priceless

      2. I read that before. Is that a fake Snopes posting or a mistake? Zebras are well known for being un-domesticable so I find it hard to believe that a zebra would be better than a horse. Plus a zebra in black and white would still look like a zebra, correct??

        1. Click on the “More information about this page” link at the end.

        2. I believe it. Of course he had to be a zebra. Everyone knows horses can’t talk.

      3. Sort of, except I wouldnt explain it. Plus, I wouldnt be that obvious. That was more parody than falsity.

    3. I’ve seen Snopes go wrong in opining on some political rumors, but they’re usually decent on things like Mars being as big in the sky as the Moon this month.

  2. The rumor is mostly true, it’s just that the product was Justin Bieber.

  3. Cabbage Patch dolls were designed to get people accustomed to the appearance of mutants following a thermonuclear war.

    I thought that was the Garbage Pail Kids.

    1. Both. Cabbage Patch Kids mostly only appealed to girls, so the Garbage Pail Kids were created for the boys.

  4. If one is into demons, they might want to start with Westboro Baptist Church.

    1. God hates Hello Kitty!!

  5. Should be classified as “partly true” (at least if Cthulhu is considered a demon), based on this long-running, er, documentary:

    http://hello-cthulhu.com

    1. ‘In his house at R’lyeh, plush Cthulhu waits dreaming…

  6. If I ran snopes, about 1 in 20 articles would intentionally have the wrong result.

    They do have the T.R.O.L.L. section, where outrageously false rumors are posted as true.

  7. Hello Kitty doesn’t need a mouth to swallow your soul.

    1. That kind of turned me on a little.

  8. Sexy pic!

  9. I think it’s all a plot to make men sexually attracted to cats.

    1. And if that didn’t do it:

      http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/ho…..movie.html

  10. It doesn’t say what ‘kitty’ means in Japanese because it’s not a Japanese word. In Japanese you can’t have a ‘t’ sound in front of an ‘ee’ (as in ‘see’). It automatically turns into ‘ch’ (as in ‘cheese’).
    ‘Kitty’ is borrowed from English, where it means ‘kitty’. In fact, to spell it in katakana, the ‘alphabet’ used for writing borrowed words in Japanese, you have to use a special trick. You use the character for ‘keh’ ? followed by a tiny character for ‘ee’ ?
    So this is just plain nonsense.
    FWIW, you can’t have a ‘t’ before ‘ee’ in most Chinese languages either, so, as Jesse mentioned above, the Chinese bit is rubbish too.

    1. It doesn’t say what ‘kitty’ means in Japanese because it’s not a Japanese word.

      That’s what you think. Check the Japanese grimoires.

      1. Kitty = ??? = Kiti. There is no need for ? after ? as ? handles that syllable quite well, sankyuuberimacchi.

      2. Kitty = ??? = Kiti. There is no need for ? after ? as ? handles that syllable quite well, sankyuuberimacchi.

    2. Really? I know in Mandarin (not “most Chinese languages, yes, but certainly the most common”) there are several common words with the sound “ti.”

  11. Fuckin’ Japanese.

  12. “Without the mouth, it is easier for the person looking at Hello Kitty to project their feelings on to the character. The person can be happy or sad together with Hello Kitty.”

    So THAT’S where Obama learned that trick from…

  13. Snopes is a godsend. For some reason a subset of middle- and old-aged folks believe every single damn thing that shows up in their inbox and then forwards it to all acquaintances, including business contacts. I got two just the other day saying that Mars will appear as big as the moon, and another that said this is the only August with five Sundays for the next 200 years.

    Also, “kitty” means “kitty” in Japanese because it’s an English loan word. Technically, it can’t be an old Japanese word because they didn’t have the syllable “ti” (the closest thing is “chi”).

    Fun fact: Hello Kitty is Japan’s ambassador of tourism to China.

    1. Snopes is a godsend. For some reason a subset of middle- and old-aged folks believe every single damn thing that shows up in their inbox and then forwards it to all acquaintances, including business contacts.

      No shit! My mother in law is a sweet lady and I love her, but she has no bullshit detector at all, apparently. She’s a nice lady, but not terribly educated and doesn’t understand scientific stuff. She forwards me all kinds of idiocy and I’m constantly referring her to Snopes.

      Then she’ll send me something that says “Confirmed by Snopes!!” and when you actually go check Snopes, it doesn’t “confirm” it at all. It’s just whoever writes that crap figures if they say “confirmed by Snopes!!”, people will believe them more and won’t bother to actually go see what Snopes has to say about it.

      1. I get those too. But you have to admit, they WERE confirmed by Snopes. Confirmed lies…


    2. this is the only August with five Sundays for the next 200 years.

      Math is hard, but not that hard.

  14. Who knew – subliminal messaging via doll faces!

  15. This puts a whole new spin on the Hello Kitty USB toy I got for my boss for her birthday last year.

  16. I am always amazed at the creative ways these stories insert the devil into the origins of seemingly innocuous and popular consumer behaviors, products, and brands. The fact that it gets taken seriously by some…not so amazing.

  17. Don’t forget to accessorize

    http://www.kittyhell.com/2009/…..-p226-gun/

  18. Did you know that if you hold your cell phone near your car and someone else on the other end of your call clicks the remote door opener, it will unlock your car!

    http://www.ehow.com/how_472111…..phone.html

    This works because all microphones are able to receive and decode the RF signal from your key chain. At the other end, the RF signal is reconstituted from the audio signal and transmitted on the speaker wires.

    1. The face of Death
      http://www.kittyhell.com/2007/…..rot-cards/

  19. http://www.kittyhell.com

    This site is fuckin’ hilarious. Has Hello Kitty bondage sofas, guns, and vibrators. I lived in Japan for five years, and my mother is Japanese. My roommate in Japan was an English girl nicknamed Kitty for Katherine. Everyone tried to give her Hello Kitty shit. Man, did she hate that…

  20. …and Hello Kitty tanks and grenades and automatic weapons, in case you didnt believe this tory about Hello Kitty being the Devil incarnate…

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