History teaches us so many valuable lessons. However, the most important one is that deceit has helped people acheive goals that they wouldnt have otherwise. People have manipulated societies with their lies and deceits resulting in earning power, fame and money at the price of loss of lives.
What follows is a mere summary of some of the biggest lies told in history whose impact far exceeds than what one might have imagined. These lies are diverse in nature and have affected not just politics but science and art too.
10. The Trojan Horse
Most of us have seen ‘Troy’. Greeks defeated Trojans via a scheme that was brilliant and quite effective. A peace offering was made to Trojans in the form of a gigantic wooden horse. Trojans were unaware of the fact that wooden horse’s belly was hollow and had Greek soldiers within it. The Greeks infiltrated fortified city under the disguise of peace offering and later on became victorious. The victory came as a relief for greeks since the war had been going on for ten long years. This incident has a paramount importance in history and serves as an example to be wary of enemies bearing gifts.
9. Han van Meegeren’s Vermeer Forgeries
Han van Meegeren, in the early 20th century exploited the religious scholars by capitalizing on the controversy regarding paintings of Biblical scenes. The topic of discussion was the question that whether Vermeer really painted a certain series of paintings that portrayed biblical scenes. Han van Meegeren was not appreciated enough and this became the driving factor for him and he decided to express his skills by tricking the art community. Van Meegeren created fake painting of ‘The Disciples at Emmaus’. Skillful, as he was, he managed to pull it off and the painting was certified to be authentic. The talented artist went on to make a number of these paintings and became quite famous indeed. This lie was unveiled when later on Han van Meegeren was charged with selling a ‘National Treasure’ to Nazis and had to paint another one in presence of authorities to prove that he has been making fakes all this time and no National Treasure had been lost.
8.Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi Scheme
Ever heard of Ponzi scheme? Simply put; you keep a fraction of money investors invest in your company and instead of investing it, you pay off earlier investors via the new funds. Its an ingenious scheme that can work for sometime as long as you keep getting more and more new investors. This is where Mr. Bernie Madoff comes in. He managed to con about $50 billion from investors by using this Ponzi scheme. You’d be surprised to know that he managed to keep up this lie for more than a decade. Invented by Charles Ponzi in the early 20th century, the genius Bernie took it to a new level. The next piece of information might come as a shock; Mr. Bernie Madoff was a former chairman of NASDAQ and was a respected expert of the financial field. Maybe that is the reason why he was able to get so many investors and keep this scam up for years!