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The biggest hoaxes in history

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Jun - 26 - 2011
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It is assumed that the truth sets us free, but for many, the deception is the key to the money, fame, revenge, or power. Here are some of the most significant and serious frauds in history. While this list may not be comprehensive, yet it covers various areas of life: politics, science and even art.

Trojan Horse


If war, as in love, all good, then the lie can be forgiven. When the Trojan Paris ran off with Helen, the wife of the king of Sparta, war broke out. It raged for 10 long years, when the Trojans believe that finally defeated the Greeks. However, they knew little, as the Greeks prepared for them another trick.

The Greeks built a huge wooden horse with a hollow belly, which hid soldiers. After the Greeks convinced his enemies that this peace gift, the Trojans gladly accepted it and “led” the horse in his fortified city. At night, when the Trojans were asleep, the Greeks emerged from his hiding place and attacked and defeated.

This was undoubtedly one of the largest and most successful techniques, known to history, unless of course it’s true. Homer mentions the horse in the “Iliad,” Virgil said of him in the “Aeneid.” Evidence suggests that Troy actually existed, that gives some certainty tales of Homer, and scientists have long examined how historically accurate are some of the details of his stories. According to one version, the historian Michael Wood (Michael Wood), just a Trojan horse was used as a battering ram to enter the city.

Han van Meegeren forgeries


This lie is the classic scenario in order to please the critics. This man was an artist, but felt undervalued. He thought he could do the trick for what experts Arts recognized him as a genius.

In the early 20th century, scientists argued about whether the series of works depicting biblical scenes, was written by the great painter Jan Vermeer Netherlands. Van Meegeren immediately took the opportunity and went to work, forging one of those controversial paintings, entitled “Disciples at Emmaus”. With the tireless attention to detail, he forged a crack and skillfully ages his creation. He deliberately played on the confirmation bias of critics who wanted to believe that Vermeer painted these pictures. And it worked: experts praised the picture, when they were authentic, and van Meegeren, meanwhile, began to sell more and more fake works of art. However, greed, apparently, has surpassed his desire to praise, so he decided not to impersonate.

Nevertheless, van Meegeren, who worked in the 1930s and 40s made a grave mistake. He sold one of his paintings a prominent member of the Nazi party in Germany. After the war, the allies found him a conspirator who sell “national treasure” to the enemy. In this regard, he had to reveal his secret, in order to remain at liberty. In order to prove that the painting sold to a German, was not a national treasure, he has forged yet another work of art in the presence of the authorities.

He received a sentence is easy enough, for a period of one year, but two months after the trial, he died of a heart attack.

Scheme Bernie Madoff


When Bernie Madoff (Bernie Madoff) admitted that his investment firm was “a big lie,” he’s a little slukavil. In 2008, he described how the possession of 50 billion dollars of investors who entrusted him with their savings. Madoff used Ponzi scheme to keep afloat of his company over 10 years.

This pattern of fraud named after Charles Ponzi (Charles Ponzi), who used similar tricks in the early 20th century. The system worked as follows: smooth operator promises investors high returns, but instead of investing the money, he leaves a part of their own, with the remainder used to repay the debt to other investors.

Madoff not invented this lie, he modified it a bit. First, he managed to extract a record amount of money by following this scheme. He also managed to turn the circuit record amount of time. Typically, these scam came to an end quickly, because it always had to find more and more investors. In addition, this lie is particularly shocking because Madoff was well respected and authoritative expert in the financial sector. Compare this to Charles Ponzi, who was a former prisoner, when came up with this scheme.

False Anastasia Anna Anderson


With the onslaught of the Russian revolution, the existence of the royal family sickened policy of the Bolsheviks. In 1918 they destroyed the royal Romanov family – Tsar Nicholas II, his wife, son and four daughters, with a view to a future none of the heirs has revived public rallies in support and in any way claim to power.

Soon rumors surfaced that some members of the royal family escaped and survived. As expected, the appearance of “one of them” not long in coming. Anna Anderson (Anna Anderson) was the most famous of all fake Anastasius. In 1920, Anderson was hospitalized after a suicide attempt, coming to himself, she admitted that she was Princess Anastasia, youngest daughter of the royal family. She stood out among the likes fake princesses that was very similar to the real Anastasia, knew many details about the family and life at court.

Despite the fact that a very small number of relatives and friends who knew Anastasia, Anderson believed, the majority still thought her a liar. In 1927, the former roommate said her name was Francis Shankovska (Franziska Schanzkowska), but no, Anna, and, of course, not Anastasia. But that did not stop Anderson, she continued to pose as Anastasia in an attempt to cash in on it. In the end it just became entangled in legal proceedings that spanned decades, however, has not retracted his words, until his death in 1984. Many years later, the autopsy that was the remains of the royal family, the analysis of DNA confirmed that she had lied. In 2009, experts have finally confirmed that all the remains were discovered, and that no member of the royal family did not escape punishment in 1918.

Titus Oates to assassinate Charles II


By the time Titus Oates plot conceived, he had already tarnished reputation for trickery and deception of. He was expelled from several of the best schools in England, as well as teams from the Navy. Oates was convicted even of perjury, but escaped prison. However, it is the biggest lie was yet to come.

Grown Anabaptist preacher, and being a Protestant, Oates came to Cambridge to study Anglican mandate. After the commission of the offense, he was expelled, but was rotated in Catholic circles, with no showing off the best of his education and his pretending to be. With the support of his fellow anti-Catholic Tonga Israel (Israel Tonge), he got on “enemy territory”, entered the Catholic seminary. In fact, he enrolled in the two seminaries, but he was kicked out of both. But is not that important. By this time he has collected enough inside information and names to strike.

In 1678, Oates himself came up and supposedly he himself had revealed a conspiracy by which the Jesuits had planned the murder of King Charles II. The idea was that they wanted to replace his brother Charles at the Catholic James. Thereafter, for about three years, the panic did not abate, always hovered anti-Catholic sentiment, and were executed 35 people.

Once in 1685, Charles died, James became the ruler and gave Oates to court for libel. Oates was convicted, is tied to the pillory and imprisoned. He had time to spend in jail only a few years when in 1688 in England, a wave of revolution. James was removed, and Oates was pardoned and even appointed him to retire.

Piltdown man

After Charles Darwin published his revolutionary work “The Origin of Species” in 1859, scientists scrambled to find fossil evidence of extinct human ancestors. They sought to find the so-called “missing links” in order to fill existing gaps in time on the timeline of human evolution. While the archaeologist Charles Dawson (Charles Dawson) believed that he had found the very missing link in 1910, he actually came across one of the biggest hoaxes in history.

The discovery was Piltdown man. Then in the Piltdown quarry (Piltdown) in Sussex (England) were found in the skull and jaw with molars. Dawson brought his find-known paleontologist Arthur Smith Woodward (Arthur Smith Woodward), who spoke about the authenticity of the remains until his death. Although this discovery and has become known throughout the world, however, lies that underpinned the whole, little surfaced. In subsequent decades, other major finds have proved that Piltdown man did not fit into the history of human evolution. In 1950, tests showed that the skull of a total of about 600 years, and her jaw, apparently, belonged to an orangutan.

Some knowledgeable people all skillfully furnished.

The scientific world has been deceived. But who was behind all this fraud? There were many suspects, including himself, and Dawson. Today, most experts are inclined to believe that it was Martin Hinton (Martin Hinton), an employee of the museum, who was present at the discovery of the remains.

Dreyfus Affair


Similarly, a conspiracy invented by Titus Oates, the scandal has been built on lies, which greatly influenced the national policy, and the hatred generated by this lie, living for a long period of time. Alfred Dreyfus (Alfred Dreyfus) was a Jewish French army officer in the late 19th century, when he was accused of treason: selling military secrets to Germany.

After the publicity of his case, the government sentenced him to life imprisonment on Devil’s Island, and anti-Semitic groups have used his identity as an example of anti-state attitude of the Jews. Nevertheless, still suspect that incriminating letters were in fact fake, but the real culprit is a Major Esterhazy (Maj. Esterhazy). When the French government decided to hush up the matter, the writer Emile Zola accused the army of a cover of the criminal.

The result was a scandal between the supporters of Dreyfus, who want to reopen the case, and his opponents. Moreover, both sides said little about the guilt or innocence of Dreyfus, it was more about principles. During the 12-year conflict, many anti-Semitic group disbanded, and the political priorities have changed.

After Major Hubert Joseph Henry (Hubert Joseph Henry) was admitted to the key materials of the case and committed suicide, the newly elected Cabinet finally reopened the case. The court found Dreyfus guilty again, but he later received a pardon from the president. A few years later, a civil appellate court found Dreyfus guilty, he continued his career in the army and fought with honor in World War II. Meanwhile, the scandal has changed the face of French politics.

Clinton and Lewinsky Case


In January 1998, journalist Matt Drudge (Matt Drudge) reported the sensational news, which turned out to be true. In the U.S. President, Bill Clinton had an affair with intern Monica Lewinsky. So far, all based solely on suspicion, Clinton publicly denied the charges, and he lied under oath and perjured, that was the basis for impeachment.

The truth came to light as follows. Paul Jones (Paula Jones) was a regular member of the firm in Arkansas, when then-Governor Bill Clinton allegedly molested her. She later sued him in court for sexual harassment. In an attempt to prove the guilt of lawyers Clinton, they came to the former White House secretary and confidant Linda Tripp Lewinsky (Linda Tripp). Tripp has been recorded telephone conversations with Monica, where she talked about her affair with Clinton. Lawyers then chased Clinton, asking many questions, and eventually forced him to tell the truth under oath, that he naturally did not.

During the publicity of the case, the court was caused by the prosecutor, Kenneth Starr (Kenneth Starr), and Bill Clinton finally confessed to everything. Based on the report of Starr, the House of Representatives voted to impeach Clinton not only because of the perjury, but also because of obstruction of justice. Despite the scandal, Clinton’s ratings among the American public is quite high at present. Later, the Senate acquitted him of charges. However, in the eyes of many Americans, his reputation remains tarnished.

Watergate scandal


In the two decades before the scandal, Clinton – Lewinsky, another American president came into the web of lies, and this story had on the country of devastating impact.

In the summer, shortly before a successful re-election of President Richard Nixon’s second term, was caught five men who broke into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, who was in the hotel “Watergate.” When next year came to light details of the case, it became clear that officials close to Nixon ordered the establishment of the listening equipment there. Then the question arose, whether Nixon knew about the case, whether they cover the same or himself masterminded the case.

In response to suspicion, showed in his address, Nixon claimed that he knew nothing, and that he did not cheat. However, this lie back. When it became clear that private conversations are recorded, too, the White House, the investigative committee released the tape. Nixon refusal on the basis of “executive privilege” to publicize the contents of a conversation brought the case before the U.S. Supreme Court, which decided to disclose the content of conversations.

As a result, we found that Nixon knew more about business than he spoke. After the initiation of impeachment, Nixon resigned. This scandal has left an indelible mark on American politics and helped to the presidency a few years later, to put it mildly, not very successful man Jimmy Carter.

Big Lie: Nazi propaganda


By that time, as in the 1930s in Germany originated Nazism, anti-Semitism is nothing new. Even then, the Jews suffered from the long history of persecution and violation of their rights. And even though the Nazis perpetuated his theory, this time lie had a devastating impact. More than ever, anti-Semitism began to appear in the broad national policy, which called for to eliminate Jews from the face of the earth.

To achieve this goal, Adolf Hitler and his propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels (Joseph Goebbels) launched a massive campaign to convince the German people that the Jews – it’s enemies. Having full control over the press, they blamed the Jews for all Germany’s problems, including a defeat in the First World War. They also claimed that in the Middle Ages, Jews engaged in ritual murder of Christian children and used their blood for the preparation of bread which is eaten at Easter.

Exposing the Jewish nation as a scapegoat, Hitler and his henchmen organized a “big lie”. This theory says that regardless of the scale lies, people will believe it if it is repeated several times. Hitler said that all people speak a little lie, but the colossal few dare. Due to the fact that the big lie seems so unreal, that people will believe it for sure. So reasoned Hitler.

This theory helps us understand why, throughout history, there were so many lies.

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