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10. Protocols of the Elders of Zion (1903)
First published in Russia, this book is an antisemitic hoax claiming to document a secret Jewish plan to take over the world. Its authors remain unknown, but the contents were widely reported as fact throughout the world wit the likes of Henry Ford helping popularize it by distributing 5000,000 copies in America alone. Despite being exposed as fraudulent in 1921, the Protocols were used by several regimes as a reason to persecute Jews. In Nazi Germany, one of the first anti-Semitic measures was a boycott o Jewish stores in 1933, which was justified as a defense against the Elders of Zion.It also helped provide a basis for the atrocities committed during the holocaust as Hitler ensured the book was studied in classrooms as factual and referred to it in his speeches as well as in Mein Kampf. Even after World War Two the book has been repeatedly cited as real – in 2015 the Polish defense minister as it might be genuine.[/nextpage]
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9. Memoirs of Mr. Hempher (1868)
This fake autobiographical account of a British spy named Hempher, supposedly provides evidence of a British plan to destroy Islam and the Ottoman Empire. Published in Turkey, the memoir recounts Helper’s supposed mission to weaken Muslims morals by encouraging alcohol and fornication but also by trying to divide Muslims through the creation of a new ultra-conservative form of Islam called Wahhabism. The document even says that 5,000 British spies had infiltrated the Ottoman Empire, with 1000,000 more to follow. Used to foster hatred of British and Wahhabism, the document is still popular among-st Islamic Conspiracy theorists an it was used y Saddam Hussein’s regime to attack Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabist royal family.
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8. Tanaka Memorial (1927)
Japanese Prime Minister Tanaka Giichi is said the have authorized this alleged plan for World Domination on behalf of Emperor Hirohito. The plan lists the order of the countries Japan would conquer and, as the real event of Japaneses expansion during the war mirrored those in the document, it caused panic. Now considered a forgery, it was used in Western propaganda as a way to stir up anti-Japanese sentiment and encourage more volunteers for the war effort. Its true origins are still unknown, but it is rumored that it may have been a Russian plan to force the U.S. into conflict with Japan, saving Russia a war on two fronts.
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7. Remember the Maine (1890s)
As the Spanish Empire dwindled in the late 19th century American businessmen became concerned over their investments in Spanish colonies sugar, tobacco and iron industries.Newspapers, under the control of Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, began reporting fake news about Spanish death camps cannibalism and tortures to stir up public outrage at Spain. When the U.S.S. Maine battleship sank of unknown causes Hearst was fast to blame the Spanish. This helped to add the growing anti-Spanish sentiment and eventually public pressure forced politicians to declare war. Spain would loose the Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Guam to the USA in the ensuing conflict.
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6. Letter of Lentulus (1474)
The Letter of Lentulus is a fake document from the medieval era that was throught to accurately describe Jesus’ appearance. The letter was supposedly sent to the Roman Senate after being written by Publlus Lentuius, the governor of Judea prior to pontius Pilate.In it Jesus is described as tall, white an unblemished face and chestnut hair. Once considered an eyewitness account of Jesus, the letter is almost certainly fake as there are no records of a governor called Lentulus and the writing style doesn’t fit Roman conventions. Despite being exposed, it is largely responsible for how Jesus appearance is depicted – even to this day.
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5. Donation of Constantine (~750AD)
This forged Roman imperial document states that Emperor Constantine transferred authority of Rome and the western parts of the Roman Empire to the Pope. It provided the basis for Papal power in Italy and beyond for centuries, only problem was – it’s a complete fake. Dubbed history’s greatest forgery and thought to be created 400 years after Emperor Constantine’s death the Donation of Constantine’s helped to break apart the Roman and Orthodox Catholics. The East-West Schism followed shortly after Pope Leo IX used the document as proof that he was rightful head of all the Church. It was discovered as a fake in the 15th century when studies showed the grammar and spellings to be too modern.
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4. Zinoviev Letter (1924)
The Zinoviev Letter changed the face of British politics for 20 years & fundamentally damaged Anglo-Soviet relations in the lead up to World War Two. The document called for communist agitators to mobilize and take over the ruling Labour Party – essentially turning Britain into a Communist country. Supposedly written by senior Soviet official, Grigory Zinoviev, the letter was published just days before the British general elections – which the Labour party lost The anti-Communist backlash it caused also hardened relations between Britain and the Soviet Union, forcing the USSR into an isolationist policy with the West. Although the author remains unknown, it is likely it was written by counter-revolutionary Russians, but one explanations is that MI6 wrote the letter to oust the Labour Government.
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3. Operation Mincement (1943)
In 1943 during World War Two, the dead body of a British solder was found floating off the coast of Spain. A local German spy was informed and the corpse was found to be carrying top secret documents that revealed the Allies were going to invade Greece. Only they weren’t. The soldier was actually a dead tramp and the documents were complete forgeries, created by British intelligence to hide the real target of the Allied invasion – Sicily. It worked too and helped change the course of the war. Germany moved 90,000 soldiers to Greece, making the invasion of Sicily far easier and helping toppie Mussolini far faster. A dead tramp and some fake documents has essentially saved thousands of lives.
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2. Infektion (1983)
In 1983, an Indian newspaper published a report from an American scientist claiming that the AIDS virus was man-mande and had been created by the Pentagon. Two years later biophysicist, Dr. Jakob Segal, produced a report called AIDS – its nature and origins. In it he claimed AIDS has been developed by the USA and tested on gay prisoners. Both the newspaper and Dr. Jakob Segal were being operated by Soviet intelligence who were seeking to discredit the USA and distract the public from their own biological warfare testing. The AIDS story was reported worldwide, particularly the idea that the USA was using the disease to target black people or other ethnic minorities. Aside from damaging US credibility, the conspiracy is still widely believed today, with 10 to 15% of Americans still believing AIDS was created by the US Government.
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1. Yellowcake Uranium (2001)
As early as 2001, Italian Military Intelligence agency, SISMI, provided the CIA with documents claiming to show that Saddam Hussein was attempting to obtain yellowcake uranium from Niger to create WMDs. These documents would later be used, in part, to justify the invasion of Iraq by the US-led coalition. However, the documents were considered to be forgeries well before the conflict ever started. In 2002 even the CIA itself had concluded that the reports were inaccurate, while the international Atomic Energy Agency concluded they were forgeries. Yet the claim was still included in Geroge Bush’d State of the Union speech in 2003 – months later, the US, Britain and their allies began their invasion of Iraq.