People Share Propaganda Efforts So Successful That People Still Believe Them Today

You’re not a sheep. You’re smart and intelligent. You fully research every fact and detail before you believe it and share it, and you never fall prey to propaganda… right? Well… that might not be the case. The people in these stories may crush your spirits with the prolific propaganda messages that people still believe today. Keep reading, keep learning, and keep yourself informed.

Don’t forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!

#1 Sugar Is Worse

The whole thing about avoiding fat in foods may seriously be the most blatant and effective use of propaganda in the modern era. It’s infuriating. Even though we now have the legitimate science and access to information on the subject, its become so built into our understanding of nutrition that people just can’t seem to fully accept that dietary fat isn’t gonna clog their arteries like grease down a drain.

#2 Who’s Lying Now?

That lie detector tests are accurate. They’re junk science at best. When the inventor of the device himself says, on record, that the technology is unreliable, we should probably listen. Looking at you, Florida, for allowing lie detector test results to be submitted as evidence in court. Something so unreliable should not be used in cases that determine people’s sentences and lives.

| Humaverse

#3 It’s Ancient History Now

Cleopatra was promiscuous who became powerful only by physical appeal. Contemporary and unbiased sources suggest she was rather plain, but it was her intellect and charming conversation that got her power. Also, as far as relations go, her affairs with Julius Caesar and Antony, as well as her traditional marriages to her brothers, aren’t bad compared to the well-known affairs of some other figures, especially Antony. Defaming Cleopatra made her easier to demonize and portray as a seductress ruling over Antony, making war easier for Octavian.

#4 So No More Donuts?

That you need to eat three (or more) large meals per day to be happy and healthy. It doesn’t always have to be split up that way—there are multiple diet set-ups you can follow that are more effective at feeding the body than just simply eating three times a day. Also, the most important meal of your day is not that sugary breakfast you eat in the morning.

#5 People Still Believe This?

I am from Germany and some of my grandparents still believe the stuff they were told about Jews. It’s some vile stuff. I can’t believe how they were spoonfed with this in their early years. I get that they had no control over what they were exposed to when they were younger, but part being human involves using one’s logic and morals to recognize what is right and wrong, then adapt to the former. They have not yet adapted.


#6 Everything Is A Conspiracy

Drinking fountains are unhealthy. The bottled beverage industry commissioned and publicized a series of studies in the early 1990s when they decided to get into the bottled water business. The problem was that their largest competitor was free and available in schools, parks, and public buildings everywhere. Anyone who took even a semester of biology knows that if you walk around and swab and culture anything, you’ll find that it’s covered in bacteria.

#7 Poor Babies

Nestle did a smear campaign, saying that formula feeding is best, They mainly did it in third-world countries. Nestle owns the majority of formula companies so they got rich and uneducated third world counties suffered. They would rather use this “healthier option” but only had access to dirty water. Many children died as a result, which is horrible since it could have all been avoided if they just stuck to breastfeeding.

#8 Well, It Is Traditional…

Apparently, in the ’80s, KFC ran a Christmas-themed ad in Japan. To this day, the Japanese eat KFC on Christmas.

#9 Here’s Hoping For Yellow Teeth

People should know that a healthy set of teeth doesn’t mean they’re perfectly white. Super white teeth are not even normal. Our enamel will slowly become more translucent as we age, revealing the color of the dentin (which is yellow) underneath it. That’s why as we get older, our teeth will become more yellow. That doesn’t mean they’re not healthy or unclean.

#10 Sounds Like A Lot Of Hot Rooms

Many Korean people believe that fans can cause death. Even my mother, who moved to America in her mid-teens, still prohibits me from leaving a fan on overnight for fear of death. There is a conspiracy theory that the South Korean government spread this myth as propaganda to prevent energy over-usage but its origins are unknown. It’s strange that many Koreans believe this myth considering it is one of the most technologically-advanced countries.

#11 Cold Air Is Dangerous Everywhere

The German concept of Zugluft. Zugluft exists where windows and doors are ajar and a movement of cold air proceeds to cause colds, stiff muscles, pneumonia, bronchitis, etc. This concept only exists in Germany and it is so typical for a German to not leave any doors and windows even slightly open out of fear of the alleged consequences.

#12 And Hallucinating Is Bad?

“Absinthe makes you hallucinate.” Such was propaganda effort because it was hurting the wine industry.
| Humaverse

#13 They Just Turn Your Skin Orange, Right?

Carrots make your vision better. This rumor was started in WWII to hide the invention of RADAR. The public was told that allied pilots found the German bombers during the blitz because they had good eyesight, which was a result of their high-carrot diets. But in reality, it was that the British had an early RADAR system in place that they did not want the Germans to find out about.

#14 How Do Lemmings Die, Then?

The myth that lemmings end themselves by stampeding off cliffs. Disney made a documentary showing lemmings doing this for the first time, and it turned out the camera crews were staging the whole thing. If you search the documentary on YouTube, the behavior of the lemmings and the angles the camera used to capture the incidents are both really suspicious.

#15 More Toothpaste, More Problems

That big curvy line of toothpaste with a Dairy Queen curl we’ve seen in every toothpaste ad. You don’t need more than a pea-sized smear of paste on your brush. That curve is just a way to make the toothpaste look more appealing. Toothpaste is meant to foam up during use, which means you really don’t need to apply that much onto your toothbrush.

#16 I Make My Own MSG?

MSG will end you and it is horrible to ingest. That entire claim is a complete farce. Really, it is delicious and your body produces it naturally while breaking down regular salt. Some people do have sodium issues, and it may not be good for them, but that’s a tiny micro-percentage of people. So go ahead, enjoy your MSG-filled Chinese food.

#17 Bad Undercover Cop

“If you ask if someone is a cop, and they really are a cop, they are required to say they are.” That’s false. Of course, they aren’t required to, that defeats the entire purpose of working undercover! Where you need to be more careful is when they ask to search your property—without a warrant, they cannot lawfully enter,

#18 Don’t Be A Bully

Napoleon Bonaparte was short. He was 5’7″ tall, which is a little bit on the shorter side by modern standards, but it was around the average height for people back then. The idea that he was short actually stemmed from a British propaganda campaign to mock him. It’s unclear why they decided to roast him for his height, of all things.

#19 There’s Still A Good Reason Not To Do It

That turning the light on in the back seat of the car is illegal. Obviously, it’s distracting to other drivers if you turn it on while the car is in motion; however, in cases of emergency, you might have to turn on the light and that should be fine. I think the best rule of thumb to follow is to pull over if you need to turn on the light.

#20 It’s Just Really Annoying

Knuckle cracking gives you arthritis. That’s just scientifically not true. The only thing it may do is aggravate the people around you. In fact, it could very well be that the person who started that myth was simply annoyed at people cracking their knuckles in his or her presence. The only thing that knuckle cracking could potentially lead to is a decline in grip strength.

#21 Just Vaccinate Your Kids

Autism and vaccines. The original guy wanted to advertise his own vaccine but did not disclose this when he published a hit piece in a reputable journal. His alternative vaccine failed, which then led to his paper being bashed and ultimately retracted. Despite this, some people who are smart enough to work at Google still don’t vaccinate their kids.

#22 Powerful Stuff

The lie that nuclear power is terrible. It is worse than renewables, however, instead of chucking huge quantities of dangerous waste into the air like a coal power plant, it can all be contained, and 95% can be reprocessed into new fuel. In the ’60s and ’70s, a lot of oil giants used advertising to link its reputation to the very real danger of nuclear weapons, and if this hadn’t have happened, global warming would have been much less of an issue.

Very few people realize that coal power actually causes more deaths than nuclear power due to nitrous oxide emissions, even when Chenoble is included in the statistics. A lot of people are saying that nuclear is as good, or possibly better than renewables. I agree that at the moment, for baseline power, it is better, and we should be using it a lot more. In the long term though, I think that renewables are a better solution due to not needing refueling, and needing less oversight (once production of the power plants themselves becomes cleaner and better storage solutions are devised).

#23 He Wasn’t The Only Smart One (Or Bad One)

Columbus was the only person who believed the world was round. Literally, everyone who could read knew that the Earth was round. Nobody thought Columbus would ‘fall off the edge,’ they simply thought his crew would starve to death before reaching the East Indies…

#24 So Where Does The Water Go?

Camels don’t store water in their humps. They store fat in their humps.

#25 Diamonds Aren’t A Girl’s Best Friend

That a man should spend two months salary for his future wife’s wedding ring, which absolutely must be a diamond. Screw that, I spent a total of $150 for my wife’s ring and she freaking loves it. It’s a sapphire. Diamonds are no more precious than any other precious gem, and manufactured gems are way easier to come by. They’re also more perfect, and so much cheaper. As long as it’s an actual ruby, sapphire, emerald, etc., it will be just as good as one dug out of the ground. Fake ones are good for a teen gift, but they’ll shatter pretty easy compared to the real thing.

#26 Depressing Realism

That you are responsible for global warming, not the giant companies with billions of dollars to cover up their crimes. I’m sorry my friends, your efforts to prevent climate change affect almost nothing. Imagine filling all the oceans with pennies. The efforts you make in your life to fix our environment is like removing a single penny from all those pennies in the ocean. But if the government regulated giant companies like BP, Pfizer, and ExxonMobil, we could remove every single penny from something like the Pacific Ocean.


#27 Put The Bird Back

That touching a baby bird will make its mother reject it. LIES. PUT THE BABY BACK IN THE NEST, IF YOU CAN, specifically babies (hatchlings and nestlings). Don’t put fledglings back in the nest. When in doubt call a rehabber for advice. Just leave nature the way it is. That’s one aspect of it that you can actually decide not to meddle with.

#28 Even If You’re Dumb?

That you only use “10%” of your brain. In reality, you use pretty much all your brain capacity, so neuroscience has proven quite thoroughly.

#29 Do They Have Color Preferences?

People still believe dogs don’t see in color, when in fact they do. They see less of it than humans do, but they most definitely see in color.

#30 So Much Money, So Many Illicit Substances

The war on illicit substances. Many illicit substances we didn’t understand and hadn’t had the chance to do a lot of research on (psychedelics, etc) were automatically illegalized and created a black hole of misinformation and mistrust by the public. Now, we’re realizing that some illicit substances can have hugely positive effects when dealing with mental health.

#31 This Guy Knows What’s Up

That the British have bad teeth. They have a pretty low number of cavities, it’s just that the US has high standards of what are good teeth (completely white, bleached, etc.) while elsewhere, standards of what are good looking teeth are lower.


#32 It Just Helps Your Teeth

The idea that fluoridated drinking water was dangerous was started by the USSR. I should clarify—by saying “fluoridated drinking water is dangerous,” they were specifically promoting the idea that it was being used for mind and population control. Obviously, this is not the case, it was just a way to scare the public.


#33 E=Mc Socialism

It’s funny. Almost every North American child will grow up being taught about Albert Einstein, and all his scientific theories, but what they won’t teach about him was that he was a staunch anti-capitalist, and even wrote a book called “Why Socialism?” Now, that’s not to say that because he was extremely knowledgeable in one field we should wholeheartedly believe everything he says about every field. But it is very interesting how unknown that element of his life is compared to everything else about him.


#34 Smoky the Bear

The Smoky the Bear campaign. Fire is a natural part of the lifecycle of a forest. There are even several species that NEED fire like Jackpine (essential habitat for a species of birds called Jackpine Warblers) whose seeds only germinate after a fire. Fires clear away underbrush and detritus too, making the soil more fertile for surviving plantlife and successional life.

Unfortunately, the Smoky the Bear campaign, while well-intentioned, was SO successful that now we have massive buildups of highly flammable materials in the underbrush and fires can rage for much longer than they would under natural conditions. So next time a wildfire breaks out on the west coast, thank Smoky the Bear for it.


#35 Way To Go Taco Bell

That Taco Bell sells Grade “D” meat or that their ground beef is “equivalent to dog food.” In the last few years, Taco Bell has quickly become one of the healthiest fast-food chains – being one of the first to completely ban artificial ingredients. The comparison to dog food is ridiculous, as most commercial dog foods contain protein meal or byproduct composed of the leftover and diseased parts of old animals.


#36 Freedom Of Religion For All

That the US was founded as a Christian country. Most of the Founding Fathers were Deists. Just read Thomas Paine’s “The Age of Reason” to see what he thought of Christianity. The First Amendment doesn’t exist just for the sake of Christians.


#37 Let’s Research The Ocean

“We know more about the surface of the Moon than we do about the ocean floor.” In truth, this was a technically-true-but-misleading factoid made up by someone in the U.S. Navy who was tired of the Apollo program getting so much money. It was so successful that I’ve never been able to re-find the name of the official. Now, almost every time someone’s talking about how mysterious and unknown the deep ocean is, we get this old cliché.


#38 So Much Nazi Stuff

That Germany, compared to the allies, were superior in every way from better generals and superior efficiency to having better equipped and trained soldiers (which is true up to ~1942). If it was for the generals, they would have won, but that pesky German tyrant didn’t let them win. The German generals didn’t know about the Holocaust. The USSR used human wave tactics, that if it wasn’t for an unexpected force of nature (winter), Germany would have taken Moscow. This is all is a result of German propaganda after WWII when the West let German generals write their war memories.


#39 Go Ahead And Walk, Jay

Jaywalking. “Jay” is a slur against inexperienced people. It has some connotations of racism against black people. Streets used to be for everyone. No, it wasn’t perfect, but it was made to work, and it did. Then cars came along, and the term Jay-walker was coined by car companies to make people feel stupid for walking in the street like they always did. It worked. Codified in law, we have the huge swath of land used by cars we have today.


#40 Listen To Your Parents, Just Maybe Not About This

That a four-year college education is the only way you’ll succeed in life. My husband’s mom still gives him so much heck for his job even though he makes really good money for our area right now. He’s 24 and middle management for an industrial company. He will be making amazing money in about three years if everything keeps going the way it is.

He’s only been with this company for two-and-half years and he makes more than my sister does, who has a master’s degree, by the way. But nope, apparently to his mother, having no degree still makes him useless. Then, one day, we confronted her with one of his paycheques. Her eyes widened and her jaw dropped. Yeah, $8,000 a month ain’t too shabby. I get that some jobs require degrees but there are so many trades out there that are in demand and make good money. If your dream requires a degree, then go for it. But if you aren’t sure what you want to do yet, look at a trade school. See what they offer. You will be surprised.

#41 Those Burns Look Rough

That the old woman who sued McDonald’s over burning herself with her coffee was just money hungry. For clarity, an elderly woman was a passenger in a car, pulled over to add sugar after getting a coffee and it spilled all over her lap. It burned her really bad and she just set out to get McDonald’s to pay her hospital bills because they served the coffee way too hot. They ended up launching this whole PR campaign where they smeared this poor lady, even taking out spots in local papers over how silly and money hungry she was. Comedians, musicians, and radio hosts made fun of her and made her out to be money hungry instead of a victim.

#42 Women Can Do More Than Make Sandwiches

Propaganda against women after the second world war. A huge change had to take place so women could care for their countries while men had to fight. They took over men’s jobs proving that they were more capable than they had ever been allowed to be. After the war, the balance shift apparently had to be put back, advertisements were now portraying women as weak, stupid and needy.

It became all about the shape of their bodies, the way they looked and the new appliances men should buy to keep their women busy where they belonged. In a time when the world was faced towards true change and equality, they pushed women back to their “rightful place,” a place where many men still think they belong.


#43 It’s All Rigged

That standardized tests are the best way to check if a student understands material/hits the average. IQ tests were created to specifically cut out anyone who was not rich. You can actually study to get a higher score on an IQ test, which is not what is “supposed” to happen. It is supposed to be your “inherent merit” that is tested, not if you could buy study materials. Speaking of which…

The SAT, ACT, and other tests are run by companies that create the textbooks you use to study for those tests. Did the tests come from a need to see if students knew enough? Some nations outside of the United States exclude students below a certain average and/or cut them out of the school system entirely. The United States requires all students to take standardized tests unless they are un-enrolled from school.

If you test based on income level, there are states in the U.S.A. that score higher than anywhere else in the world. Because of the U.S.A. scores being lower, they try to create “incentives” for schools to score better. If they do not, they get their funding cut which means students have less time to study leading to… Students being taught to the test. There are now students entering college who are illiterate because their schools only taught the test and not critical thinking skills.


#44 Biblical Fan Fiction

The belief that in Christianity a monster runs his own spooky place in the underworld, where he tortures people for not obeying the rules. None of this is really present in the Bible. Christian church leaders used this tool to keep people in churches, but none of it is really in scripture. Jesus spoke about the underworld, which is translated from the word “Gehenna,” a place outside of Jerusalem.

This was said to be a cursed place, as people were burned and sacrificed there before the time of Jesus. When Jesus spoke of the underworld, he was saying that people who didn’t follow his tenants were as good as those in this cursed valley—basically lifeless to the world around them. Most views of the underworld come from “Dante’s Inferno,” and “Paradise Lost,” Christian fan fiction, if you will.


#45 There Was Probably A Better Way

Dropping the A-bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was necessary to end the war quickly. We’ll never know what might have happened if Truman (who wasn’t deemed fit to know of the Manhattan Project’s existence until after he became president) hadn’t dropped the bombs. But there is, I think, enough evidence to cast serious doubt on the idea that the bombs were the only thing that would have stopped the Japanese.

(And the very notion that the Japanese had to be stopped, indeed wiped from the Earth – rhetoric you won’t often find in relation to Germany or Italy – was based on the racist idea that the Japanese were uniquely genocidal and irrational.) The US essentially committed a war crime—not for the first time; nor was it the only country to do so—on a scale previously unimaginable by purposely targeting civilian areas that had been undamaged by firebombing in order to test the weapons’ effectiveness and create the greatest sense of shock. To this day, a rather consistent majority of Americans still believe that the A-bombs were necessary to hasten the war’s end.