The 22 Most Successful Lies in the History of Humanity — Did You Believe Them?

We live in a world full of hard truths and easy lies. Some lies have been so successful that some people still believe them. Others have been debunked despite initially being a massive success. Let’s take a look.

1. “That Jesus Was White”

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Despite knowing that Jesus was an olive-to-medium-brown Middle Eastern Jew, the image in my mind is White Jesus. That lie has successfully been hung in homes, on crosses, and portrayed in film for so long that it’s one of the most successful lies in history. Regardless of skin color, we can all thank God for sending him.

2. “That America Is the Greatest Country in the World”

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This point isn’t about America bashing. So don’t let your flag undies get in a bunch. Still, the public school system ensures you grow up believing that America is the greatest country in the world, largely because of freedom.

World Population Review reports that 14 countries are freer than the U.S., including Switzerland, New Zealand, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Canada, Finland, Australia, Sweden, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Iceland, Norway, and the United Kingdom — and in that order.

3. “That Recycling Plastic Makes a Difference”

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The thread’s common theme is the idea that recycling plastic makes a difference. But, an environmentalist in the forum says, “Newsflash, the term carbon footprint, was created by BP, one of the biggest oil companies in the world, with the help of one of the biggest marketing companies in the world to shift the focus from industry to individual responsibility.”

The best way to help with plastic is to reduce, reuse, and recycle, in that order.

4. “That Milk Increases Bone Strength”

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Many milk myths have since been debunked; one of them is that milk strengthens bones. Multiple studies have been done, and there is no correlation between bone strength and drinking it.

5. “All People Are Bad Criminals in Jail”

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Another successful lie many people still believe is that people are in jail because they’re bad criminals. In reality, most people are in prison because they’re poor, and having people in jail is very profitable.”

6. “I Before E Except After C”

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I before E except after C, unless your foreign neighbor Keith offers you eight counterfeit sleighs from feisty caffeinated weightlifters. Weird. I remember learning this as a child and quickly discovering it was not a hard, fast rule.

7. “I Acknowledge That I Have Read and Agree to the Above Terms and Conditions”

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How many of us are guilty of skimming content that we aren’t really reading and then signing where it indicates, “Sign here?” Numerous commenters confess they don’t read it, while others say that’s wrong with the public school system.

8. “That Mainstream Media Is Giving Us Truthful News”

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According to Forbes, “Tucker Carlson was making between $15 million and $20 million a year hosting Tucker Carlson Tonight, Fox News’ staple one-hour-long nightly talk show.” Don Lemon made around $4 million annually at CNN. Don’t try to convince me this is anything more than what several others in the forum called “Dominant propaganda.” With a side of existential fear.

9. “One That We’ll Never Know Was a Lie”

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Countless individuals agree that this is the most accurate answer in the forum. “It says here in this history book that, luckily, the good guys have won every single time. What are the odds?” — Norm MacDonald.

10. “That Fat Is Harmful to Your Diet”

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Do you believe that fat is harmful to your diet? Several users suggest this is false information. Unfortunately, sugar companies funded the campaign to demonize fat. Ultimately, by replacing fats with sugar, obesity became an epidemic. One reminds us that there also used to be ads about how “not at all bad” high-fructose corn syrup is.

11. “The Lie of Two Parties”

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Another user states, “Republicans and Democrats. The lie that the two parties are not two branches of the same tree has successfully divided a global superpower. What’s worse is the majority of American citizens fall right into the trap.”

12. “Catch Me if You Can”

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Image Credit: DreamWorks Pictures.

The film Catch Me If You Can (Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks) was inspired by the story of con man Frank Abagnale Jr. However, it turns out his biggest con is his phony allegations being memorialized by Hollywood as fact.

While he did sit in the jumpseat on Pan American World Airways, it’s since come out that his claims of working as a doctor and lawyer aren’t plausible with his timeline of prison time. 

13. “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”

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The forum erupted after someone called out Santa Claus as the biggest lie in history. Multiple users agree; some even confess being angry with their parents for lying to them.

However, even more argue that humans need magic in their lives and there’s nothing wrong with experiencing it occasionally. Jesus is pretty miraculous if we want to go there. But remember  — he wasn’t White. Ha!

14. “That Diamonds Are Valuable”

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Diamonds being sold as rare and valuable is one of the biggest lies in the history of scam alerts. One notes it made one family very wealthy. However, many favor “less boring gemstones,” such as amethyst and sapphire.

15. “Iraq Has Weapons of Mass Destruction”

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Remember when George W. Bush claimed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction? Someone in the forum states, “$3 trillion was spent on the war. Trillion. I knew the whole premise for the war was a lie when it started, as did many other people.

But it was a successful lie precisely because they got enough people to believe it to the point that they had massive public support for basically whatever they thought was necessary to do in the wake of 9/11.” We never found them.

People point out that war makes money. However, one argues the last couple of decades were the worst before another says people like you and me will never see the money. But it doesn’t mean that it’s not being made.

16. “The Harder You Work — The More You Will Get Paid”

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“The harder you work, the more you will get paid.” One notes the reality is that the highest-paying position in a company requires little to no work at all. No matter how hard you work, you can never get there.”

Another person shares, “You’re not paid according to how hard you work; otherwise, ditch-diggers would be millionaires. You’re paid according to how hard you are to replace. So make yourself hard to replace. It took me way too long in life to realize that.”

17. “Carrots Give You Good Eyesight”

Night sight carrots campaign WWII
Image Credit: Wiki Commons.

A World War II myth started about carrots improving eyesight, and it’s since spread and is believed by many today. While a WWII pilot started the lie, people in the forum believe vitamin A may not improve eyesight. Still, it can “help maintain it as part of a healthy diet.”

18. “It’s Not You — It’s Me”

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A massive dating and relationship lie is, “It’s not you. It’s me.” Some suggest it’s a polite way of ending things without hurting feelings. Others confess they’ve said it and meant it because they needed to work on themselves.

I can’t be the only one hearing George Costanza in their head screaming out, “You’re giving me the ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ routine? I invented ‘it’s not you, it’s me.’ Nobody tells me it’s them, not me. If it’s anybody, it’s me!”

19. “Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness”

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But it sure can rent you an awful lot of it. Countless individuals agree that money not buying happiness is a lie spun around by wealthy folks, so middle and lower-class people never go after it and buy into the delusion of cash not being the answer to their problems when it is.

Multiple people attest to never being happier than they are now that they’ve made it out of poverty and can buy whatever they want, whenever they want. It buys more happiness than some will ever know.

20. “That Politicians Are Genuinely Going to Help You Once They’re Elected”

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While some argue that they genuinely believe some politicians go in caring, the forum’s consensus is that they are all lying, money-hungry, say whatever they can to get your vote, scum. One elaborates, “Worldwide on all sides. There are a few exceptions, but in general, they are not really helping the public.”

21. “Trickle-Down Economics”

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Trickle-down economics isn’t as discussed as it once was, but Reaganomics proved to be a lie for many in this thread. Some can’t believe people are still “waiting on their trickle.”

A man suggests that kind of thinking is even more successfully exploited by multi-level marketing scams (MLMs). Finally, a kid admits his father believes in trickle-down economics but has also signed up for Amway twice, so…?

22. “The Election Was Stolen”

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Donald Trump’s crybaby antics of being unable to accept his loss led Americans to incite an insurrection. That’s going down in history as one of the worst lies sold successfully to an alarming number of people.

25 Groups of People That Society Has Absolutely No Sympathy For — Do You?

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Is there a group of people who you have zero respect or sympathy for today? You’re not alone. After someone polled a popular online community for examples of said groups, here is what they agreed on. Do you?

16 Super Creepy Things That Are Totally Legal — Why?

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Have you ever given thought to the creep factor on some things that are still legal today? There are quite a few. For example, everything on this list! After someone polled an online forum for examples of said things, here are their honest confessions. Do you agree?

Illegalize It Now: 18 Legal Things in America That Really Shouldn’t Be

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According to an online community, there are dozens, if not more, of legal things that should be illegalized immediately. Here are their top-voted suggestions. Do you agree?

22 Best Physical Sensations According to Women

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Nothing compares to the feeling of my toddler tickling her little fingers up and down my arm, mimicking when I tickle her arm to get her off to sleep. Accompanied with, “Mommy, I love you,” it melts my heart. There are hundreds of wonderful physical sensations in the world. Here are what women voted as the absolute best. Do you agree?

22 Behaviors That Warn Others You Are a Terrible Person

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Are there any telltale signs that someone is a terrible person in your eyes? You’re not alone. According to an online community, some undeniable signs signal to others when you are a horrible person. Here are THEIR honest confessions.

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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and Jesus.