History is replete with fakery. We go from Stuart England to medieval Germany to Cardiff New York to find fakeries. We also look at fakery being perpetuated today that will be history tomorrow.
Fakery in History
"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."
― Mark Twain
"I'm not upset that you lied to me; I'm upset that I can't believe you from now on."
― Friedrich Nietzsche
"History is a set of lies agreed upon."
― Napoleon Bonaparte
In 1715, the rightful heir to the British throne, James Edward, landed in Britain to reclaim his birthright. However, James Edward was the son of James II, the Stuart King, forcefully replaced by his daughter Mary and her husband, William of Orange, in 1688. After deposing James II, they reigned as a pair, Mary II and William III. Upon William's death, his daughter Anne ruled until she died in 1714. George, Prince-Elector of Hanover, ascended the British throne as Anne's closest living Protestant relative under the Act of Settlement 1701. Not only was George a second cousin to Anne, but his first language, and love, were German and Germany, respectively.
This paved the way for what the Whigs dubbed the Old Pretender, James Edward, the son of James II of England, and his second wife, Mary of Modena. The issue according to the blog Historic UK, "his life began under a cloud of suspicion as his mother was judged to be too old for childbearing, and James was said to have been a child of Sir Theophilus Oglethorpe, who had been smuggled into the Queen's bedchamber in a warming-pan." This is the story, but Mary of Modena was only 30 years of age at James Edward's birth. For comparison, the average delivery age for mothers in the United States in 2021 was 26.3 years, though up from 24 years in 2000, it certainly puts Mary in a position to have given birth to James Edward. Now childbirth in the 17th century was a different thing from today. For roughly 4,900 years of written human history, childbirth was not a trial but a genuine mortal question. Even with that caveat, births at 30 were not uncommon. Philippa of Hainault, wife to King Edward III of England, gave birth to at least four children in the mid-1300s.
James Edward's landing was a bit of a fiasco. In tandem with Scotland, the French kingdom fomented rebellion in the North, and James Edward first sailed to that land in his own personal game of thrones. In 1715 uprisings began in Scotland and Cornwall to put "James III and VIII" on the throne. On 22 December 1715, James reached Scotland, but only after defeats at the Battle of Sheriffmuir. He landed at Peterhead and soon fell ill with fever, his illness made more severe by the icy Scottish winter. In January 1716, he set up court at Scone Palace. Learning of the approach of British government forces, he returned to France, sailing from Montrose on 5 February 1716. The abandonment of his rebel allies caused ill-feeling against him in Scotland, to say the least.
Assuming he indeed was the Stuart heir, and his mother's age was not in question, why did so many in Great Britain hew toward what was a foreign King in the person of George?
The honest answer was not as much about legitimacy but rather religion. James Edward's father, King James II, was a problem when he came to the throne as he was a devout Catholic, and his subjects were devout Protestants. This was why James II was hated by the people and was forced to flee to France with his Queen and his son in 1688. Rather than raise the specter of religion, much more straightforward to say that James Edward was not a Stuart at all, thus making George the favored protestant alternative and the rightful ruler by all definitions.
Ask a selection of friends when they think people first began accepting that the world was round. You'll get a cluster of answers that place it somewhere between the 15th and 17th centuries. In part, that's because many of us still believe that one of the reasons that Christopher Columbus headed west in 1492 was to prove that the Earth was round.
This was not the case. Proving that the Earth was a globe wasn't a priority because, in 1492, the vast majority of people knew that already. As most American students learn, native Americans were originally called Indians because of Columbus's mistaken belief that he had come to India. It was not a fear of falling off the Earth that kept non-Viking sailors from heading west from Europe, but rather the lack of knowledge of the distance in terms of running low on stores, the fear of storms, and the weatherly nature of their ships. Columbus is one of those historical figures whose fame comes from timing rather than innate ability. Had there been no Jesus, it is not inevitable that we would today have Christianity. But if there had been no Columbus, with the technological nature of shipbuilding in the 1400s, some European would have arrived in North and South America by 1550.
Indeed, as far back as the fifth century BC, Aristotle and others were already trying to work out its circumference. One Greek, Eratosthenes, who lived in 200s BCE, had heard that in Syene, a city south of Alexandria, no vertical shadows were cast at noon on the summer solstice. This is because the sun was directly overhead. He wondered if this were also true in Alexandria. So, he planted a stick directly in the ground and waited to see if a shadow would be cast at noon. It turns out there was one. And it measured about 7 degrees. Now, if the sun's rays are coming in at the same angle at the same time of day, and a stick in Alexandria is casting a shadow while a stick in Syene is not, it must mean that the Earth's surface is curved. And Eratosthenes probably already knew that.
The idea of a spherical Earth was floated around by Pythagoras around 500 BC and validated by Aristotle a couple of centuries later. If the Earth was a sphere, Eratosthenes could use his observations to estimate the circumference of the entire planet.
Another piece of fakery in history was the role of Jews in the Black Death. The Museum of the Jewish People described that the disease spread throughout the Old World, killing 20-25 million Europeans and another 35 million Chinese within a decade. As soon as the disease arrived in Europe in 1346, some blamed the Jews for leisurely poisoning wells. When the disease's virulently destructive nature became clear – mainly in 1348-1349 – it was accepted as the fact that the Jews were to blame.
This was not a new notion. During the 500 years that preceded the plague, European demographics, urban trade centers, and major ports thrived, and Jews engaged mainly in local commerce. Jewish communities were subject to no lack of persecution, including the Crusades and prominent exiles from England and France in the late-13th and early-14th centuries. But the plague brought a completely different type of persecution. This was not just economic oppression, unfair taxation, or even marking Jews with a yellow or purple patch. This was real slaughter. The masses ignored Pope Clement VI's bull that the Jews were not to blame.
In 1290, some sixty years before the Black Death, the entire Jewish population of England (about 3,000 people) was expelled from the country on the orders of King Edward I. Jewish people had only been in England since the Norman Conquest, invited to settle there by William the Conqueror. From the late eleventh century onwards, the Jewish community quickly became essential to the English economy. Jewish lenders often sold on the debts owed to them by Christians, and the new owners of the debt pressured the debtors to pay up. As English knights became increasingly indebted, Jewish lenders got the blame. In Parliament, from the 1260s onwards, local representatives demanded measures to curb Jewish lending. These changes likely contributed to several thousand Jews deciding to leave England.
By 1275, Edward I decreed that Jews could no longer loan money for a living and would have to convert to being merchants, laborers, or owning farmland. This statute also confirmed long-standing rules for Jews, e.g., requiring Jews to wear badges (in the shape of stone tablets) to identify them. By 1290, Edward was under pressure: having run up large debts waging war abroad, he needed to negotiate a financial settlement. But Parliament's permission was required before a tax would be raised. One thing Edward was willing to barter was the remaining Jewish population. In return for an Edict of Expulsion, Parliament granted Edward a tax of £116,000 – one of the largest taxes of the Middle Ages. Jews did not return to England until the 1650s when they were invited to resettle by Oliver Cromwell.
Although historical records for England were more extensive than those of any other European country, it is still extremely difficult to establish the death toll with any degree of certainty. Difficulties involve uncertainty about the size of the total population, as described above, and issues regarding the proportion of the population that died from the plague. Modern historians estimate death rates ranging from around 25 percent to more than 60 percent of the total population. But of course, if the Jews were responsible for the plague, as many in Germany attested, how could it have occurred in England?
In Germany, A purely economic matter was at play here. Jewish property was perceived to belong to royalty or cities. Jews worked under licenses, trading, profiting, and earning their daily bread in the only occupations they permitted. Kingdoms and local authorities were thus empowered to announce when and where Jews could be killed, how their property would be divided, and by whom. But the masses did not obey the authorities. Extremist religious groups, local actions, religiously, economically, and socially based mass murders, and mainly unbridled hatred and fear of the Other ensued. Was the reason simple hatred of the Jews? This is one of those cases where there was not some clever political ulterior motive but rather a crisis that meets a pre-determined narrative with, among the genuine fear of the plague, economic gain for some was involved.
And, of course, historical fakery does not necessarily have to do with grand political strategy or finding a reason for the horrible vagaries of life that often visit humanity.
Good old History.com even has a list. In one example, in 1999, National Geographic magazine touted the discovery of a feathered dinosaur fossil named Archaeoraptor, stating: "With arms of a primitive bird and the tail of a dinosaur, this creature found in Liaoning Province, China, is a true missing link in the complex chain that connects dinosaurs to birds." However, just months later, it was revealed that the celebrated Archaeoraptor fossil was a phony, made from pieces of unrelated fossils. An investigation determined the pieces were found in 1997 by a fossil-hunting Chinese farmer digging in a pit. He glued the fragments together and then sold the fossil to a Chinese dealer, who in 1999 sold it to the director of a dinosaur museum in the US for $80,000.
In 1896, the Louvre Museum in Paris paid Russian antiquities dealers a reported $50,000 for a gold tiara hailed as a masterpiece of the Hellenistic period, roughly 330 BCE to 30 CE, and believed to have been a gift from the ancient Greek colony of Olbia to a Scythian king, Saitaphernes. Only it was a fake. It was actually crafted in the now Ukrainian city of Odessa.
Later, the artistry was so impressive that the crafter of the Tiara got commissions for additional work.
In 1869, workers digging a well at a farm in Cardiff, New York, uncovered what seemed to be the body of an ancient, 10-foot-tall petrified man. The discovery quickly caused a public sensation, and some scientific experts were duped into thinking the so-called Cardiff Giant was historically significant. In fact, the giant was the brainchild of George Hull, a Binghamton, New York, cigar manufacturer and atheist, who was traveling for business in Iowa when he became embroiled in a debate with a minister about a passage from the Book of Genesis: "There were giants in the earth in those days." Hull decided to devise the giant as a way to poke fun at people like the minister who interpreted the Bible literally; he also figured he could make some money in the process
When it comes to estimating the size of demographic groups, Americans rarely get it right, and we see fakery in a host of figures. For example, in two recent YouGov polls, respondents were asked to guess the percentage (ranging from 0% to 100%) of American adults who are members of 43 different groups, including racial and religious groups, as well as other less frequently studied groups, such as pet owners and those who are left-handed.
When people's average perceptions of group sizes are compared to actual population estimates, an intriguing pattern emerges: Americans tend to vastly overestimate the size of minority groups. This holds for sexual minorities, including the proportion of gays and lesbians (estimate: 30%, actual: 3%), bisexuals (estimate: 29%, valid: 4%), and people who are transgender (estimate: 21%, accurate: 0.6%, less than 1% of the total us population).
It also applies to religious minorities, such as Muslim Americans (estimate: 27%, true: 1%) and Jewish Americans (estimate: 30%, valid: 2%). And we find the same sorts of overestimates for racial and ethnic minorities, such as Native Americans (estimate: 27%, actual: 1%), Asian Americans (estimate: 29%, accurate: 6%), and Black Americans (estimate: 41%, valid: 12%).
And this is not just about sizes, but actions, especially wherein lay a progressive narrative. A survey produced by Skeptic.com reveals that people who identify as liberal or very liberal believe police murdered 1,000 or more unarmed black men in 2019 – it should be noted the year before the George Floyd killing by police officer Derek Chauvin. According to the Washington Post database, that number was 12 compared to the perceived number of over 1,000. The Mapping Police Violence database says the number was 27.
The survey says that among the very liberal, more than 50% believe American law enforcement killed 1,000 or more unarmed black men in 2019. Nearly 8% of the very liberal respondents believe officers killed more than 10,000 unarmed black men in 2019. About 39% of self-identified liberal respondents said police killed 1,000 or more unarmed black men in 2019. The most liberal of the survey, about 5% of respondents said that number was more than 10,000. Some 26% of moderate respondents said police killed 1,000 or more unarmed black men in 2019, with a little more than 3% saying the number was more than 10,000. Yet whether one brings a liberal narrative, conservatives can be wrong as well, just not in so high of numbers.
More than 13% of Conservative respondents said police killed 1,000 or more unarmed black men in 2019, with 1% saying the number was more than 10,000. Approximately 20% of Respondents self-identifying as very conservative said police killed 1,000 or more in 2019, with 4% saying the number was more than 10,000. The correct number for the multiple-choice survey was "About 10." About 16% of very liberal respondents got it right, 22% of liberals, 34% of moderates, 46% of conservatives, and 46% of very conservatives.
I believe that these disconnects tell a lot less about the gullibility or ignorance of the American people and lot more about the type of information they receive on a monthly, weekly or daily basis. Progressive control or heavily influence much of the media, most of Hollywood and Big education. Look at a series of random advertising today, and you will see the estimated proportions more than the actual numbers as well. Yougov notes. "Misperceptions of the size of minority groups have been identified in prior surveys, which observers have often attributed to social causes: fear of out-groups, lack of personal exposure, or portrayals in the media. Yet consistent with prior research, we find that the tendency to misestimate the size of demographic groups is one instance of a broader tendency to overestimate small proportions and underestimate large ones, regardless of the topic." Okay, that may explain why we think African Americans are nearly half the population, but that does not explain why the belief in murderous police officers is high. And from these perceptions derive falsities every bit as fake as the Archaeoraptor or the Cardiff giant or James Edwards was a changeling. The reason is akin to those hoaxes.
Emanating from Investigative reporting by multiple outlets, including the Associated Press, has shown how Patrice Cullors, co-founder of the national Black Lives Matter and company, including her son and boyfriend, spent millions of dollars donated to Black Lives Matter.
As reported by Arjun Singh in the National Review, "After the death of George Floyd in 2020, BLM became one of America's biggest brands overnight. Corporations, organizations, and many on the left were tripping head over foot to throw money into BLM's coffers. Ordinary Americans also made donations because they believed it would help African Americans, some of whom genuinely need support. BLM went from owning peanuts to raking in $90 million within seven months. With that power, Cullors directed money to a range of expenses unrelated to activism. As the group's IRS Form 990 (required of all nonprofits) shows, less than half of its revenue was directed to victims' families, local chapters, and other programs for black empowerment. The remainder was for the organization's other expenses — including a $4 million operating budget (for two employees) and a $73,569 flight taken by Cullors on a private jet (later reimbursed once this expenditure became public) since been invested.
Most controversially, the group's expenses included a $6 million, 7,400-square-foot mansion in the Studio City neighborhood of Los Angeles, which it purchased tax-free because of its nonprofit status. The 1930s-era property — once visited by, among others, Marilyn Monroe and Humphrey Bogart — has six bedrooms, a swimming pool, a Jacuzzi, a two-person guest house, a music studio, and parking space for 20 cars. The purchase, from a televangelist, was made through a shell company created by the progressive law firm Perkins Coie."
A terrible incident involving a bad police officer, a career criminal. What was clear from the Derek Chauvin trial was that Chauvin was not motivated by race. Yet all of the activists, looking for a funding edge, spun the incident into the false narrative of police hunting young black men. Cullors and company were working the same scam as the Cardiff giant people, money. And just as it was politically expedient to declare James Edwards a changeling bastard, so did Democratic politicians jump on the police killing unarmed blacks hoax to spin up campaign donations and denigrate those who did not believe.
So many current hoaxes, so little time. I have addressed the hoax of voter suppression in a different podcast entitled Naked Cynicism. There is the giant hoax that teacher's unions care about students and parents. Then there are the hoaxes around population bombs. There is fakery from the transgender movement about everything from oppression to what constitutes men and women. That one is too big for a note here; it is podcast size, so that I will address that later. Same for the COVID pandemic, including the fakery around everything from masks to lockdowns. Again too big as a piece; it needs a whole podcast.
For now, arguably one of the greatest hoaxes today, one of the greatest scams, is that of climate change. The contention is clear, convert to green energies such as wind, hydro, and solar, or the Earth will be planet Krypton in a fortnight. There are proposals to spend in the neighborhood of $10 trillion to solve this. Yet I have defeated all green comers on Twitter and other platforms with a single word, nuclear. This is the only clean energy capable of replacing all fossil fuels and could probably due so in about 5-10 years. A big nuclear power plant would cost north of $20 billion, meaning we could build about 100 of these for what Biden wasted in his March COVID relief bill in March of 2021.
Forget a whole plant. A single reactor is equivalent to 3 million solar panels or 431 wind turbines – assuming the sign is shining and the wind is blowing, which, shocking, I know, not always happens. We currently get 20% of our power from 55 plants. Add the new ones, and we get close to 70% and presto, no more Earthling Jar Els sending babies into space to avoid mortal peril.
So why does not the left not embrace this? Nuclear is not perfect, of course. If it were, it would power everything. 1.5 percent of all nuclear power plants ever built have melted down to some degree. Meltdowns have been either catastrophic (Chornobyl, Russia in 1986; three reactors at Fukushima, Japan in 2011) or damaging (Three-Mile Island, Pennsylvania in 1979; Saint-Laurent France in 1980). As a result, the nuclear industry has proposed new reactor designs that they suggest are safer. However, these designs are generally untested, and there is no guarantee that the reactors will be designed, built, and operated correctly or that a natural disaster or act of terrorism, such as an airplane flying into a reactor, will not cause the reactor to fail, resulting in a major disaster. Now let's remove one of the myths about this narrative. In the case of Three-mile Island, there were no deaths, not one. In the case of Fukushima, there was a death from a heart attack. Chornobyl was a real disaster but also partially caused by the incompetence of the Soviet state. But there are other concerns.
The growth of nuclear energy has historically increased the ability of nations to obtain or harvest plutonium or enrich uranium to manufacture nuclear weapons. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recognizes this fact. The Executive Summary of their 2014 report on energy concluded with "robust evidence and high agreement" that nuclear weapons proliferation concern is a barrier and risk to the increasing development of nuclear power.
There is the vexing issue of waste. Consumed fuel rods from nuclear plants are radioactive waste. Most fuel rods are stored at the same site as the reactor that consumed them. This has given rise to hundreds of radioactive waste sites in many countries that must be maintained and funded for at least 200,000 years, far beyond the lifetimes of any nuclear power plant. The more nuclear waste that accumulates, the greater the risk of radioactive leaks, which can damage water supply, crops, animals, and humans
But again, we are doomed? These are big problems, but with the proper focus and management, there is a probability, whatever the odds, of solving them, but according to John Kerry Al Gore and some child in Sweden, we are toast. So why not give it a try? Because they do not really believe. Let me repeat; they do not really believe. Why would Gore sell his company to a media company supported by an oil emirate? Why would these people fly in a jet, Kerry in a 737? With almost every hoax we have looked at, scratch at the deception, and the money will soon appear. Al Gore turned himself into a multimillionaire through these schemes. Kerry already married an heiress, but he believes his relevancy emanates from this.
Is this to say never believe politicians? I am not (yet) to that level of cynicism, but it is enough to keep the old Russian proverb used by the great Reagan when talking about the Russians. Suzanne Massie, an American scholar, met with Ronald Reagan many times while he was president of the United States between 1984 and 1987. She taught him the Russian proverb Doveryai, no proveryai meaning' trust, but verify.' Believe inflation is a real problem? See whether they curb spending and raise interest rates, actual inflation fighters. Believe police are hunting a segment of society? Spend donations on verifying that research, not on mansions for personal use. And believe the world is facing Armageddon? Then, fly commercial and end the fakery.