Hoaxes of the earlier centuries?

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Daniel Saez Lorente
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Postby Daniel Saez Lorente » 1 decade 4 years ago (Fri Aug 19, 2005 4:08 am)

Gorgias wrote:I would like to discuss about comparable hoaxes as this "Hoax of the 20th centrury" is or may be.


There have been thousands of hoaxes, perhaps millions, it is probably the rule rather than the exception. Apart from the Donation of Constantine and starting a few wars, however, none has ever had an effect or scope comparable to that of the genocide of the Jews. I do not believe that this forum is the place to discuss such things, but far behind, in 2nd and 3d place, might be the genocide of the Armenians (see MUSLIMS AND MINORITIES by Justin McCarthy) and the hoax of the amputated hands in the Belgian Congo, spread about by Belgian's colonial rivals, chiefly the British. This lie was later recycled by the Belgians and used against the Germans. Most hoaxes are mean-spirited, spirited and small in scope, the motive being financial or dreamed up for purposes of revenge (the Cardiff Giant, the Piltdown Man, the Ticheborne Claimant, the Nursemaid Frog hoax of the 1920s, in which a German professor committed suicide when he found that his test results had been faked by his students, the David Starr Jordan "mental photograph of a cat" (intended as a joke), The War of the Worlds Broadcast (a mistake), thousands of art hoaxes, etc. some for cash and some by disgruntled artists unable to make a living with their own work, etc. Also included in this category would be millions of forgeries and literary hoaxes, etc. (Lincoln's Letter to Mrs Bixby, the John Ireland rediscovered "Shakespeare play" Hoax), etc. etc. The list is endless and this forum is really not the place to discuss these things. In politics we have the Perkin Warbeck Conspiracy, the False Demetrius (a phony Czar), the innumerable Lost Dauphin pretenders, phony King Sebastians of Portugal, etc. (King Sebastian of Portugal, a religious fanatic, was killed in the Battle of the Four Kings in North Africa in 1580 or thereabouts, as a result of which Sebastianism became a pseudo-religion last heard of in 1910. The last phony King Sebastian was an Italian, 130 years later, who could not even speak Portuguese. Then we have all the cases in which Macy Department Store balloons are mistaken for sea serpents, etc. Arthur Butz purposely used the word Hoax because most hoaxes are trivial, crass and vulgar. I think it fits.


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