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17 People Weigh In On History’s Most Destructive Lie

Lying is considered objectively bad, but most of us will make excuses for doing it once in a while for “good” reasons.

That said, most of the time lies are going to escape and run rampant in ways – and when you’re talking on a national or a global scale, that can often have disastrous effects.

And these 17 lies definitely got more than a little bit out of hand.

17. The world should have seen that coming.

I won’t invade Czechoslovakia” A. H.

16. They even doubled down.

“Radium paint isn’t poisonous.”

Thousands of watch-dial workers in the US used to apply radium brushes on their tongues to paint numbers on watch dials, and almost all of these workers were women.

As these workers were dying due to radiation poising, the companies brought in fake doctors and convinced the victims and their families that they have venereal diseases like Syphilis. As this was mostly affecting women, most were scared to share it with their families for fear of retaliation and abandonment.

The suffering endured by these women was extremely awful, their jaws fell off, their bones fractured, their hair was lost, and most lost eyesight until their eventual painful death.

These women were called “Radium Girls”. Eventually many fought back settled lawsuits and brought the entire Radium production industry down, unfortunately, many innocent women lost their lives before this evil industry was brought down.

15. Absolutely criminal.

Nestle — The Baby Killer Scandal. They deliberately lied to mothers in developing countries to sell their baby formula, telling them that their own milk was nutritionally insufficient and their babies would be unhealthy if they continued to breastfeed them.

The result of this marketing campaign was approximately 66,000 infant mortalities.

14. Why the snooze alarm was invented.

That you can wake up in the morning and “just rest your eyes”

13. The effects are still coming.

Oxycontin isn’t addictive.

I was in a car accident, was given a prescription for Oxycontin. Doc told me “get off it as soon as you can manage your pain with over the counter drugs.”

I was on it for ten days. Ten. Days. I experienced withdrawal symptoms when I quit.

12. Disaster beyond belief.

Thomas Midgley and General Motors lying that exposure to tetra-ethyl lead is harmless.

Tetra-ethyl lead was a gasoline additive present in all gasoline sold in the US until it was banned in the 70s. Almost every child growing up from 1920 to 1970 had lead poisoning to some degree.

Entire generations grew up with their minds being poisoned, unable to reach their potentials because of him. Not to mention the secondary effects, lead exposure is associated with criminal behaviors.

11. He was a real peach.

same guy also created freon which caused the hole in the ozone layer. an environmental historian said that thomas midgley “had a more adverse impact on the atmosphere than any other single organism in Earth’s history”

10. A straight-up lie.

Sugar isn’t the problem, it’s fats!

Let’s make everything “fat-free” & just triple the sugar content!

9. It lets the real responsible parties off the hook.

Plastic is easily recyclable so long as the public does their duty to sort it and bring it to its designated waste area.

8. Moderation is key.

Literally fat is good for your brain, skin, hair, memory, libido, muscles and can even help to BURN fat.

Sure, you can eat too much fat and gain weight. But this “war on fat” is bull and only conveniences the companies who want you to get hooked on their products by increasing the sugar and sodium content.

deep breathe in

Thank you for listening.

7. We’ve all said it.

“I’ll do it tomorrow”

6. It can still be more dangerous, though.

“Cigarette smoking is no more ‘addictive’ than coffee, tea, or Twinkies.” James W. Johnston

5. Cringe.

Work will set you free.

4. Is it a lie if you believe it?

A specific historical example: In 1843, a man called Hong Xiuquan claimed to be the younger brother of Jesus. This led to him starting the Taiping Rebellion, which caused the deaths of between 20 million and 70 million people.

Then again, he probably believed it, so it might not count as a lie.

3. Except…

“They” are not “us”

“It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone’s fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I’m one of Us. I must be. I’ve certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We’re always one of Us. It’s Them that do the bad things.” -Sir Terry Pratchett, Jingo

2. There are no words.

The 1964 Surgeon General’s report concluded that smoking cigarettes causes death and disease.

However, in a 1971 television interview, the president of Philip Morris denied the health risks that pregnant women and their babies face, saying that “It’s true that babies born from women who smoke are smaller, but they are just as healthy as the babies born to women who do not smoke. Some women would prefer to have smaller babies.”

1. It’s sad because it’s true.

“I’m fine”

“Living the dream…”

It’s just one of those dreams where you’re losing all your teeth

History is wild, right? If only we would learn from it.

Tell us in the comments what other historical lies you would drop on this list!