Everything you're about to read is a lie. The previous sentence is true. Lying is an art, though people do it so commonly it's often nearly impossible to distinguish fact from fantasy. White lies save our butts all the time, but the really devilish falsehoods are harder to stop.

vince801 asked Reddit: What is the greatest lie ever told?

Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.



Cracking the Nazi Enigma was a massive feat of intelligence. And a huge secret.

Originally posted by /u/GrinningPariah here: http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/1iou8v/what_is_the_single_greatest_lie_ever_told_in/cb6r09j

My favorite lie is Ultra.

It's not really just one lie. It's a campaign of lies, probably more widespread and deep-routed than any in history, all leading to one collossal lie: Hiding the fact that the Allies broke the Enigma cipher. And, later, the Japanese "Purple" cipher, and the German Lorenz cipher, and the Italian C-38 cypher.

Basically, the Allies had blown every code the Axis used out of the water, thanks to the work of the Polish Cipher Bureau, and the Bletchley Park mathematicians including Alan Turing, and the American Signal Intelligence Service.

The collective intelligence from all these broken codes was called Ultra.

But what do you do when your code gets broken? You make a new, harder one. The allies couldn't let that happen, they couldn't let the axis know that their codes were broken. So how do you use data from a broken code without revealing that the code is broken? You lie.

If they wanted to take out an Axis supply ship after finding it through Ultra, they didn't just do that. They had a spy plane fly over where they knew the ship would be, then they sunk it. So the crew are all like "oh we got spotted." They also had to hide the broken codes from their own soldiers, lest they be revealed under careless talk. So they sent out other spy planes knowing nothing would be found, so crews wouldn't wonder how mission found an enemy every time.

They would never attack until they had a "cover story". Men undoubtedly died, by attacks the government knew were coming, because they would not compromise Ultra.

One of the few times they were forced to sink ships immediately, they covered it by sending a message in a code they knew the Germans had broken, to a spy in Naples, congratulating him of his success. The spy didn't exist, but the Germans intercepted the message and assumed everything was still good with Enigma.

The best part is, they didn't even reveal Ultra after the war. They saw to it that the Enigma machines were sold to potential enemies in the Third World, who continued to use the broken codes for years. Ultra wasn't revealed in its full extent until 1974, 29 years after the war. Never has a secret of such massive importance been so well kept for so long.

zgoodwin24

Fool me once...

Gregor MacGregor, the absolute madman, managed to convince a whole bunch of people not only to believe he was the king of an entirely fictional Central-American country, not only to invest in entirely fake government bonds for this fictional country, but also to sign up as colonists and freaking emigrate to the place!

Despite nearly 80% of the colonists dying after being dumped in a totally undeveloped jungle, a few of them made their way back to Britain and still spoke up in MacGregor's defense! Even after the French authorities finally arrested him, he was acquitted of all charges!

_kalia

Who would question this?

I tell people that I was my country's high school national Connect 4 champion. It's so random it never gets questioned though its also far from humanity's greatest lie ever told but it's definitely my personal favorite.

baconandeggsandbacon

I'm going to tell everyone.

"I won't tell anyone."

What they always mean: "I'll tell my best friend/ SO everything."

4StoryADay4

No it isn't and no you won't.

"Your call is important to us and we will be with you in a moment."

KingArthur973

Narrator: he hasn't.

I have read and accept the terms and conditions.

wayotalae

Bahahahahaha.

That you can grow up to be anything you want to be.

Ooowee_spaghetti

Lie.

I'm fine.

WrestlingWoman

Vaccines DO NOT CAUSE AUTISM.

Vaccines cause autism.

Andrew Wakefields completely bullsh*t, totally faked paper (for dirty money) has so far caused the death of thousands and thousands of people and rises in cases of diseases like measles, rubella, diphtheria and whooping cough.

I hope he wakes up every day with the weight of those dead children on his shoulders.

Fallenangel152

No but it can buy alcohol.

Money can't buy happiness.

how_not_to_reddit

Image by ANURAG1112 from Pixabay

Any engaged couple looks forward to the big day when after months of planning, they get to tie the knot and declare their love in front of family and friends.

Keep reading... Show less
Image by Robin Higgins from Pixabay

Sometimes I think back to a teacher I had when I was a kid who demanded to know whether any of us were "raised in a barn" in response to crappy behavior. Namely littering. She hated littering. Can you blame her? It's a horrible habit and some people do it with no sense of shame. She dedicated much of her time to telling students to pick up after themselves and dispose of things properly. For that, I'm thankful.

But why didn't anyone else get the memo? The trash I see on the streets is obscene.

People had lots of thoughts to share after Redditor SneakyStriedker876 asked the online community,

"What seemingly uncivilized thing is commonplace in society?"
Keep reading... Show less
Image by Cucu Petronela from Pixabay

I love presents. I try to hide my enthusiasm, and I do my best to appease the greater public by saying "it's the thought that counts." But that is a WHOLE lie. I don't just love gifts, I love great gifts. And if you go rogue from my lists, please keep a receipt. It's just plain rude to divert from what the recipient has requested.

This thought process has emerged from experience. I have received some trash presents over the years and now I'm too old to pretend you just went crazy while shopping. Like... "do you even know me?!"

Redditor u/sulemannkhann wanted to hear all about the presents some of us have received that we prayed, came with a receipt, by asking:

What's the worst birthday gift you ever got?
Keep reading... Show less
Image by Pawel86 from Pixabay

I'm still on the fence about this whole extraterrestrial situation. I need more proof. Now I'm not naive enough to think that in this vast, endless universe only the human race exists. I just need proof, tangible, solid, didn't see it from my trailer through beer goggles proof.

I also need proof about the afterlife, another out there topic. Truth be told, I've never been that into this whole conversation. I've got enough daily problems on this planet, let alone worrying about making Will Smith's biggest hits into documentaries and not just popcorn/comedy space farce.

But let's compare thoughts...

Redditor u/ValencikHannibal197 wanted to discuss life beyond this planet, what do we really think? They asked:

What's the best theory on UFOs or aliens you've ever heard??
Keep reading... Show less