From Phony Prophets to False Idols: 10 Infamous Deceptions

Imagine a lie so powerful, so insidious, that it has shaped the course of civilization, altered beliefs, and torn nations apart. A falsehood that has whispered through the corridors of time, leaving devastation and chaos in its wake.

Thanks to conversations on a popular internet forum, we're unraveling the enigma of the most destructive lie in human history, piercing through the veil of deceit to expose the true magnitude of its impact. Get ready to confront the unsettling truth that lurks behind the shadows of this pervasive deception, for the time to unmask the greatest lie has finally come.

1. “I Will Do It Tomorrow”

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Photo Credit: Gladskikh Tatiana/Shuttestock.

Users listed off popular procrastinating lies we all tell ourselves: The diet starts Monday. I'll get gas in the morning.

Thankfully, someone stepped in with some common sense, loosely quoting Benjamin Franklin: “Never put off until tomorrow what can be done today.”

2. Sugar vs Fat

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The diet industry's demonization of fat grates on another user. “Sugar isn't the problem; it's fats!” They wrote. “So let's make everything fat-free and triple the sugar content!” 

They added: “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.”

3. Hong Xiuquan in 1843

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History nerds may know that in In 1843, Hong Xiuquan claimed to be the younger brother of Jesus. What came next was the Taiping Rebellion, the cause of deaths numbering between 20 million and 70 million people.”

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

4. Oxycontin Is Not Addictive

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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,” one user shared. “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.”

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. 

5. They Are Not Us

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Photo Credit: Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock.

“Different culture? They are not us. Let's kill them. Different religion? They are not us. Different skin? They are not us! Over the millennia, quite a destructive lie indeed. The lie is that we aren't all humans,” writes one person. 

Another shared a quote from the book Jingo by Sir Terry Pratchett:

“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.”

6. Disconnection From Our Environment

Family on hiking trip in beautiful mountains.Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, Close to of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Family on hiking trip in beautiful mountains.Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, Close to of Santa Fe, New Mexico
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

One of the biggest deceptions many believe is that we need to disconnect from nature and be the “masters” of the world around us. According to one person (whose comment was upvoted 18,000 times), “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.”

They continued, “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.”

7. Nestles Infant Formula

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“Nestle — The Baby Killer Scandal,” another user noted. They shared that the company “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.”

Following the campaign, infant mortalities reached 66,000.

8. 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.”


9. Plastic Is Easily Recyclable

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We were all told that plastic can be recycled and was safe for single use. But as it turns out, there's a catch.

“Plastic is easily recyclable,” explains one person, “so long as the public does their duty to sort it and bring it to its designated waste area.”

10. Lead in Gasoline

Drivers Feeling Pump Pain Should Use Apps and Rewards Programs to Save on Gas
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“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.”

This thread inspired this article.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.