The greatest lies
ever told to humanity

Some lies are exaggerations, some are oversimplifications and others are outright falsehoods. It’s the latter that form HARI’s Greatest Lies Every Told Collection, an archive of whoppers that have left a deep imprint on society.

 

It’s essential to not forget these deliberate deceits—lies that have caused social upheaval, widespread suffering, and, in some cases, millions of deaths. This collection gives art buyers an opportunity to commit these lies to collective historical memory.  Credits

greatest-lies-logo.png

Title

Edition

Big Tobacco’s Lie

100

Description

James W. Johnston, CEO of RJR Nabisco, submitted written testimony in a 1994 congressional hearing with an infamous quote, “Cigarette smoking is no more ‘addictive’ than coffee, tea or Twinkies.” Big tobacco was finally forced to run ads admitting the risks of smoking in 2017.

Title

Edition

Trump’s Election Lie

100

Description

Despite clearly losing the 2020 presidential election to President Biden (by a 306-232 margin in the decisive Electoral College vote), Donald Trump still falsely insists that he won and is the victim of voter fraud. This lie, supported by his followers, is fueling bitter division in American society.

Title

Edition

Cuba Missile Crisis

100

Description

In 1962 a U.S. reconnaissance plane found Soviet medium-range missiles in Cuba that could reach the East Coast of the U.S., despite Soviet claims that no such weapons were installed. The lie pushed the two to the brink of nuclear war that was finally averted by diplomacy.

Title

Edition

Charles Ponzi

100

Description

A charismatic Italian immigrant, Ponzi tricked 30,000 people into investing $10 million of their money in a postage stamp scheme, promising a 50-percent return in 45 days. For much of 1920, he was the toast of Boston. Then it all unraveled. He ended up serving 10.5 years in prison.

Title

Edition

Iraqi WMDs

100

Description

In 2002, President Bush told the nation that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had chemical and biological agents, and was building nuclear bombs—weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). The evidence used was false. In 2003 the U.S. launched war against Iraq that lasted eight years with great human and financial loss.

Title

Edition

Pentagon Papers

100

Description

The top-secret report, leaked by an analyst to the N.Y. Times and Washington Post, showed that the U.S. government had systematically lied about the reality that the U.S. was losing the Vietnam War. The revelations deeply damaged public trust in political institutions.

Title

Edition

The Lost Cause

100

Description

When the South lost the Civil War, white Southerners romanticized the “Old South” and the Confederate war effort, often distorting history. This led to the lie of the Lost Cause, which asserted that the fight had been honorable and righteous and not about maintaining slavery.

Title

Edition

Nazi’s "Big Lie"

100

Description

Using Jewish “betrayal” as a scapegoat for German defeat in World War I and the collapse of German society, Hitler and Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi minister of propaganda, devised “The Big Lie,” which ultimately led to the genocide of roughly six million Jews.

Title

Edition

Alan Turing and Ultra

100

Description

When Alan Turing broke the Enigma code used by Nazi Germany for military communications, the information gained was designated Ultra, from “Top Ultra Secret.” Allied intelligence used false messages about Ultra to help keep the Enigma discovery a secret, turning it into a key tactical weapon.

Title

Edition

McCarthy’s Red Scare

100

Description

From the late 1940s to early 1950s, Republican Senator Joseph R. McCarthy tried to expose communists and left-wing “loyalty risks” in the U.S. government and Hollywood, but almost all of his allegations were false. Still, more than 2,000 government staff lost their jobs as a result of his investigations.

Title

Edition

Stalin’s Great Purge

100

Description

Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin’s unfounded conspiracy theories of a vast, anti-government network intent on his assassination led to a brutal political campaign to eliminate dissent between 1936 and 1938.  About one million were killed and a million more sent to forced labor camps.

Title

Edition

Nixon and Watergate

100

Description

After the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate Hotel, Nixon denied he knew about it.  “I am not a crook” he told the press. While he may not have ordered the break-in, he lied to prevent its investigation, which led to his resignation in 1974.

Need help?  Let us know. 

HARI's team of collector and patron advisors will contact you within 24 hours in order to clarify any doubt you might have and help your with your digital art discovery.