10 Worst Destructive Lies in Human History

Can you think of anything that society was told one day by the people in charge that turned out to be a lie the next? You've got company. Recently someone asked, “What has been the most destructive lie in human history?” The internet responded with these top-voted answers.

10. I will Do It Tomorrow


One user added, “Monday. Diet starts on Monday.” Another quoted Mr. Krabs from Spongebob, “But what is today but yesterday's tomorrow?” Another loosely quoted Benjamin Franklin, “Never put off until tomorrow, what can be done today,” before one joked, “Never put off until tomorrow that which can be put off indefinitely.” Finally, a user said, “I'll get gas in the morning.”

Related: Democrats Are ‘Crime Deniers, Inflation Deniers, and Education Deniers' Says GOP Chair

9. It is Not Sugar, It is Fats


One Redditor volunteered the lie, “Sugar isn't the problem; it's fats! So let's make everything fat-free and triple the sugar content!” 

“It's insane how prosperous the sugar industry is. Nobody talks about it, but the families that owned the most significant shares of the sugar industry made fat stacks from that era. They spent a ton on marketing and bogus research and changed the diet of an entire country (and the world) for the worse, and nobody blinked an eye.”

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8. Hong Xiuquan in 1843

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

Another volunteered, “There's a modern version of this movement in China right now. Instead, they believe Jesus is back as a random Chinese woman with mental issues called Yang Xiangbin.”

7. Oxycontin Is not Addictive


One of the biggest lies we are currently dealing with is that “Oxycontin isn't addictive.” “I was in a car accident and 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,” admitted one user. 

Another volunteered, “Percoset for six weeks, still kind of want one once in a while.” Everyone had similar stories with doctors and injuries. Finally, someone confessed, “Heroin for five years, and it began with oxy from wisdom teeth.” Watch Dopesick on Hulu and The Crime of the Century on HBO Max for more information on this damaging lie. The Pharmacist on Netflix is also a compelling story. 

6. They Are Not Us


A Redditor elaborated, “Different culture? They are not us. Let's kill them. Different religion? They are not us. Let's kill them, too. Different skin? They are not us! Let's kill some and enslave the rest! Over the millennia, quite a destructive lie indeed. The lie is that we aren't all humans.”

“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.

5. Disconnection From Our Environment


Over 18,000 people agreed, “One of the most insidious aspects of this, which I think people rebel/get defensive about the most, is that this separation is because we are ‘masters' of our environment. It feeds into the notion that we can technology our way through every problem. After all, if we are separate from our environment, we aren't part of nature.”

“In reality, we are fundamentally interconnected to our environment. We delude ourselves into that we aren't, we separate ourselves from it, and I genuinely feel this damage goes far beyond just physical. I think it harms our social and mental health in profound ways.”

“Suppose you don't have to care about your environment. Or take any responsibility, or care for the essential parts of our world we are interconnected and rely on. How can we connect with and care for others in deep and meaningful ways?”

4. Nestles Infant Formula


One user noted, “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.”

3. Smoking During Pregnancy

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The 1964 Surgeon General's report concluded that smoking cigarettes cause 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.

He said, ‘It's true that babies born from women who smoke are smaller, but they are just as healthy as those born to women who do not smoke. Some women would prefer to have smaller babies,' Wow.”

2. Plastic Is Easily Recyclable


One Redditor gave the number two-voted response stating, “Plastic is easily recyclable so long as the public does their duty to sort it and bring it to its designated waste area.” Another user replied, “This is, however, true of aluminum! Because it is separated from ore, it costs 90 percent less energy to use recycled aluminum than to separate new metal. Pretty cool.”

1. Lead in Gasoline


“The lead in this gasoline is perfectly safe!” was the number one voted response, with over 35,000 people agreeing. “The book Industrial Strength Denial by Barbara Freese does an excellent job retelling the story among other corporate evil doings in history,” added one user. 

Veritasium shared a thirty-minute video about this; I learned so much from it. It's crazy that people just openly ignored all of the warnings that putting lead in gasoline would be a terrible idea,” shared a second commenter. Finally, another admitted, “Thomas Midgley Jr. may have been the most damaging individual in history, and he did it mostly unwittingly.”

We hope you enjoyed this Reddit picks list of the worst destructive lies in human history. Check out these ten things that Americans aren't ready to hear, according to non-Americans.

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