15 Most Successful Lies in the History of Man

What is the most successful lie in history? It is an interesting question that had my mind racing with myths and old wives’ tales I uncovered later in life as false. For example, that having the dome light on in the car is illegal. My dad really sold my sister and me on that fraudulent mumbo jumbo!

Recently, a man took to an internet forum with this question, and the subsequent discussion provided these answers.

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

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.

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

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.

3. “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.

4. “Catch Me If You Can.”

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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. 

5. “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.

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. “Santa Claus.”

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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 life and there’s nothing wrong with experiencing it occasionally. Jesus is pretty miraculous if we want to go there.

8. “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.

9. “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.”

10. “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!”

11. “That Hard Work Alone Will Bring You Success and Wealth.”

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Oof. I felt this one. Somebody suggests, “The reward for hard work is more work.” And I have felt that one too. Nevertheless, you may never see great financial success working hard. Still, if you do not work hard, you’ll most certainly be unsuccessful in life.

12. “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…?

13. “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 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.

14. “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.

15. “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.

Finally, one elaborates, “Worldwide on all sides. There are a few exceptions, but in general, they are not really helping the public.” What do you think?

10 Significant Things I Learned About Life in Active Addiction

Image Credit: Elizabeth Ervin @Sober Healing.

Between the stunted mental and emotional growth of early-age substance abuse and the general naiveness of the world around me, these were some hard lessons to learn in active addiction.

10 Real Things Men Confessed They Want More Than Anything

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Are you confused or curious about what men want? Then, we got you covered (ish), right? Of course, not all men can be stereotyped as a monolith. However, after someone surveyed men online, asking what they desire, these are the top-voted 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.