Society for Indecency to Naked Animals
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The Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, or SINA [pronounced "sinna"], was a satiric hoax perpetrated by comedian Alan Abel from 1959 to 1962. In 1959 Abel wrote a satirical story about this imaginary organization for The Saturday Evening Post but the editors rejected it. Abel then transformed his story into a series of press releases from the organization that garnered media attention. The group used the language and rhetoric of conservative moralists for the aim of clothing naked animals, including pets, barnyard animals, and large wildlife. An alleged debate within SINA was how large an animal had to be to require clothing. Slogans such as "Decency today means morality tomorrow" and "A nude horse is a rude horse" were offered. Abel persuaded the actor Buck Henry to play the group president, G. Clifford Prout, in public appearances, and Abel played the group vice president.
Support and Anthems
SINA actually acquired ardent supporters, some of whom attempted to contribute a great deal of money. That aided SINA's (false) claims of gaining momentum - at one time they claimed tens of thousands of members. They also published a newsletter, in an issue of which is this anthem:
- High on the wings of SINA / we fight for the future now;
- Let's clothe every pet and animal / whether dog, cat, horse or cow!
- G. Clifford Prout, our President / he works for you and me,
- So clothe all your pets and join the march / for worldwide Decency!
- S.I.N.A., that's our call / all for one and one for all.
- Hoist our flag for all to see / waving for Morality.
- Onward we strive together / stronger in every way,
- All mankind and his animal friends / for SINA, S-I-N-A!
The hoax was exposed when staff on Walter Cronkite's CBS television news show recognized Buck Henry while broadcasting an interview. A 1963 Time magazine article exposed the hoax. Alan Abel managed to keep the newsletter going for several more years, hoaxing members who had not seen or heard of that Cronkite episode. The hoax appears in a recording of the short-lived television series One Man Show in an episode hosted by Groucho Marx.
The Society for Indecency to Naked Animals hoax was chronicled in Alan Abel's book, The Great American Hoax, published in 1966.
- Abel, Alan (1966). The Great American Hoax. Trident Press
- Abel, Alan (1970). The Confessions of a Hoaxer. Macmillan Company