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Frauds & Hoaxes Trivia

Frauds & Hoaxes Trivia Quizzes

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30 quizzes and 315 trivia questions.
1.
Looking for Truth in all the Wrong Places
  Looking for Truth in all the Wrong Places   top quiz  
Photo Quiz
 10 Qns
The quest for truth can be hard and people are often led astray by unreliable sources, their own biases, or deliberate deception. This quiz looks at times when the truth became muddied with falsehoods.
Average, 10 Qns, agentofchaos, Mar 11 20
Average
agentofchaos gold member
Mar 11 20
837 plays
2.
Far From The Truth
  Far From The Truth   great trivia quiz  
Photo Quiz
 10 Qns
Based on the Snopes.com "Most Popular Urban Legends of 2015" list, here are some questions regarding the most widely circulated urban legends and hoaxes in that year that were far from the truth. Good luck!
Easier, 10 Qns, Lpez, May 22 18
Easier
Lpez
May 22 18
738 plays
3.
  Ask and Ye Shall Deceive!   best quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Things are not always as they seem. Sometimes people try to pull the wool over the eyes of the world. Here are some well-known and lesser known frauds and hoaxes.
Average, 10 Qns, ozzz2002, Sep 08 16
Average
ozzz2002 gold member
2874 plays
4.
  It'll Sell Like Hot Cakes - I Promise!   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
And if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you! Here are a few scams and hoodwinks that have been pulled over the years.
Average, 10 Qns, reedy, Nov 12 12
Average
reedy gold member
3595 plays
5.
  Famous Hoaxes   best quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Many hoaxes have been perpetrated on the public throughout history, some more famous than others. See how much you know about them.
Tough, 10 Qns, bullymom, Aug 19 05
Tough
bullymom
6064 plays
6.
  Hook, Line, and Sinker   best quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Over the years there have been many April Fool's Day hoaxes, perpetrated by some well respected organisations. This has led them to be swallowed 'hook, line and sinker' by the general public. Here are ten questions about some of the best.
Average, 10 Qns, rossian, Sep 16 11
Average
rossian editor
1916 plays
7.
  Can it Be Any More Dumb?   popular trivia quiz  
Match Quiz
 10 Qns
It appears that some people are willing to believe almost anything - no matter how improbable! Oh, spoiler alert - none of the exciting things listed is true!
Easier, 10 Qns, VegemiteKid, Apr 08 21
Easier
VegemiteKid gold member
Apr 08 21
536 plays
8.
  The Great Pretenders   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Here are some questions on great hoaxes and frauds that have been carried out throughout time. You may have heard of some of them and a few may be a little more obscure.
Average, 10 Qns, dcpddc478, Mar 05 12
Average
dcpddc478
1866 plays
9.
  Great Hoaxes, Fixes & Frauds in American History editor best quiz   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
No dark speculation in here about covert subversion by the Freemasons or the Trilateral Commission. Nope, just garden-variety historical scams and bamboozlements that have fooled most of the people, most of the time.
Difficult, 10 Qns, coolupway, Oct 06 21
Difficult
coolupway
Oct 06 21
10180 plays
10.
  It's a Hoax!   best quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
This quiz is about some of the better known hoaxes that have stunned the world. Enjoy!
Average, 10 Qns, Plodd, Dec 07 09
Average
Plodd
3444 plays
trivia question Quick Question
Mata Hari's name today is synonymous with espionage. In what war did she perform her spying?

From Quiz "Frauds and Mistakes in History"




11.
  Dr. Quackery's Medicine Shop   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Medical quackery is the sale of fraudulent and/or unproven medical practices. This centuries long practice has a long and colorful history. Some instances of quackery were harmless, while others had devastating results.
Average, 10 Qns, dcpddc478, Aug 24 12
Average
dcpddc478
1665 plays
12.
  A Fatal Fraud: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion editor best quiz   best quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
This infamous literary forgery served as the pretext for much of the anti-Semitic violence of the twentieth century, including the Holocaust. Sadly, it is still very much with us.
Tough, 10 Qns, jouen58, Dec 23 11
Tough
jouen58
1280 plays
13.
  End of the World, This Year and Every Year After   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 25 Qns
I was tired of hearing end of the world predictions back in the year 2000, but clearly it's happening all over again in 2012. Here are some other famous dates and predictions!
Average, 25 Qns, drowsteel, Jun 20 23
Average
drowsteel
Jun 20 23
635 plays
14.
  Did It Really Happen?   top quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Hoaxes continue to fool and fascinate many people. Even after completing this quiz, some of you might even say, "Yeah, but...." Here is a look at some popular hoaxes.
Average, 10 Qns, RollTidewinner, Jan 19 13
Average
RollTidewinner
2179 plays
15.
  Frauds and Mistakes in History    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
History is replete with instances of fraud, deception, false beliefs, etc. Here are a few examples of people, places and things that were not what they were believed to be.
Average, 10 Qns, robert362, Mar 12 16
Average
robert362
7739 plays
16.
  I Pity the Fool!   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Mr. T has been around for a long time - perhaps even longer than one might imagine. And, he has had plenty of opportunities to bark out his catchphrase - "I pity the fool!" - and mean it. Shall we see what fools Mr. T has encountered?
Average, 10 Qns, beergirllaura, Dec 25 12
Average
beergirllaura
560 plays
17.
  Gotcha: Hoaxes - Famous and not-so Famous   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Humans have the unfortunate tendency to deceive others, and just as unfortunately they often find others who fervently believe their deceptions. How well do you remember some of these hoaxes?
Average, 10 Qns, SixShutouts66, Apr 15 19
Average
SixShutouts66 gold member
Apr 15 19
339 plays
18.
  Famous Conspiracy Theories.   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
We've all heard them - those stories from a 'friend of a friend' explaining away some of those oddities of history or bizarre and strange happenings. Welcome to the interesting, bizarre and slightly bonkers world of conspiracy theories.
Tough, 10 Qns, Tan72, Mar 09 13
Tough
Tan72
784 plays
19.
  Whispers in the Dark   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
A quiz on the history of seances and Spiritualism in English speaking countries during the 19th and 20th centuries. Many unscrupulous people made a living by scamming a gullible and naive public at a time when early death was much more common.
Average, 10 Qns, dcpddc478, Feb 26 13
Average
dcpddc478
506 plays
20.
  Moon Landings - Fact or Fiction?   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Did men really land on the moon? This quiz looks at the reasons put forward by the sceptics to try and prove that they didn't.
Tough, 10 Qns, StarStruck60, Jul 16 09
Tough
StarStruck60
1124 plays
21.
  Close Calls 2: Ten More Days The World Didn't End   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
The End Of The World As We Know It is more than a song by R.E.M. It's a concept that has haunted mankind seemingly forever. Here are ten more failed end of the world predictions that didn't work out.
Average, 10 Qns, wilbill, Nov 19 16
Average
wilbill
332 plays
22.
  Jim and Tammy: The Pearlygate Scandal   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
It was the Holy War of the 1980s, a battle royal of televangelists, a mix of religion, television, and corruption.
Average, 10 Qns, Eauhomme, Oct 30 16
Average
Eauhomme
202 plays
23.
  Close Calls 1: Ten Days The World Didn't End   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Throughout history there's been no shortage of prophets telling humanity when the world would end. So far these doomsayers have one thing in common - they've all been wrong. Here are ten times the world did not end despite predictions.
Tough, 10 Qns, wilbill, Nov 05 16
Tough
wilbill
307 plays
24.
  Hoaxes Through History   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Sometimes for self-aggrandizement, but usually just to make a quick buck, people have tried to pull all sorts of fast ones through history. Here are some of the most creative.
Tough, 10 Qns, RivkahChaya, Oct 29 15
Tough
RivkahChaya
718 plays
25.
  Fantastic Frauds   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Since the dawn of recorded history people have been trying to take advantage of one another's gullibility. Can you be fooled?
Difficult, 10 Qns, catamount, Jul 04 12
Difficult
catamount
1464 plays
26.
  That's Certainly Out of Context   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Many people have tried to pull the wool over others' eyes. When confronted, they often hem and haw and protest. Let's see how many of these situations you recall, in which the perpetrator could have easily claimed, "That's certainly out of context!"
Tough, 10 Qns, shuehorn, Apr 01 12
Tough
shuehorn gold member
457 plays
27.
  Dr. Quackery and His Friends    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Quackery is often defined as the promotion of fake or unproven medicines or treatments sold simply for profit. Here are ten of history's most famous quacks, most of whom made a fortune off the misfortunes of others.
Average, 10 Qns, dcpddc478, Sep 19 12
Average
dcpddc478
489 plays
28.
  Hoaxes through History: II    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Part I was more popular than I anticipated, so I decided to put together a Part II.
Tough, 10 Qns, RivkahChaya, Nov 03 15
Tough
RivkahChaya
392 plays
29.
  Great Conspiracies    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Here are some of my favorite 'plots'.
Tough, 10 Qns, robert362, Oct 30 13
Tough
robert362
2698 plays
30.
  Humbug!    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Throughout history people have tried to take advantage of people who believe in things involving magic and fantasy. The 19th century was a time of belief in ghosts and magic. Here is just a little of what was happening during those years.
Average, 10 Qns, chicochi3, Oct 21 09
Average
chicochi3
578 plays

Frauds & Hoaxes Trivia Questions

1. Which culture's end-time myth is known as Ragnarok?

From Quiz
Close Calls 2: Ten More Days The World Didn't End

Answer: Norse

Ragnarok or 'Doom of the Gods' isn't identical to the Christian end of the world. It's the end of a mythological cycle which would be followed by a rebirth of both mankind and the gods. Richard Wagner used the name 'Twilight of the Gods' in the last of his Ring Cycle operas, 'Götterdämmerung'.

2. Probably the earliest written warning that the world was doomed was found near Nineveh on a clay tablet dating to about 2800 BC. Which early civilization's dire prediction is now almost 5,000 years overdue?

From Quiz Close Calls 1: Ten Days The World Didn't End

Answer: Assyrian

According to the tablet, "Our Earth is degenerate in these later days; there are signs that the world is speedily coming to an end; bribery and corruption are common; children no longer obey their parents; every man wants to write a book and the end of the world is evidently approaching." Despite obnoxious children and flagrant corruption, Assyria's best days were yet to come. The civilization lasted another 2,000 years.

3. In its peak year of 1987, Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's theme park was third in attendance nationwide after Disneyland and Disneyworld. What was the official name of this attraction?

From Quiz Jim and Tammy: The Pearlygate Scandal

Answer: Heritage USA

While the television network was called "The PTL Club", membership in the club made you a "PTL Partner", and the television network was "The PTL Network", the actual property was called "Heritage USA". Carowinds is a secular theme park a couple miles down the road straddling the North Carolina/South Carolina border. Heritage USA occupied 3.6 square miles in total, and was the largest employer in town, with about 2,500 total employees.

4. Which American president was known to have participated in seances in the White House?

From Quiz Whispers in the Dark

Answer: Abraham Lincoln

First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln was an avid believer in the supernatural. Shortly after moving into the White House, the 11 year old son of the President and First Lady died, plunging both of them into depression or melancholia. In 1863 the "Boston Gazette" published an article written by one of their correspondents who was present at one of these sittings. It is thought that Abraham Lincoln found the idea of seances to be a novelty, as did many other members of society. His wife, however, truly believed that she was in contact with their deceased son. For the rest of her life, when her health permitted it, she visited mediums in the firm belief she was in contact with both her son and her then-deceased husband.

5. This hoax took place in October 2009 in Colorado and involved the national news and a major police manhunt. A father claimed that his son was missing. What was claimed to be the means by which the boy disappeared?

From Quiz Did It Really Happen?

Answer: a balloon

The balloon story went that a six year old boy was trapped in a balloon and the balloon was traveling across Colorado. After the balloon was discovered to be empty, the manhunt continued because authorities thought he had fallen out during the flight. It was later revealed to be a hoax because the boy had been hiding in the attic at the time. The parents were believed to have set it up for the publicity, and both served jail time.

6. August, 1835. Over a week, "The New York Sun" published news of a series of astronomical discoveries by Sir John Herschel, including the discovery of life on which planetary body?

From Quiz It'll Sell Like Hot Cakes - I Promise!

Answer: The Moon

The creatures, dubbed Vespertilio-homo (bat men), were described as "covered, except on the face, with short and glossy copper-colored hair, and had wings composed of a thin membrane, without hair, lying snugly upon their backs." The faces of these creatures, Dr. Grant remarked, were "of a yellowish flesh color, was a slight improvement upon that of the large orang outang." The 'news' caused "The New York Sun's" circulation to nearly triple for a time, and the possibilities of life on the moon were widely discussed, with newspapers throughout America country picking up on the story and writing their own articles.

7. Clark Stanley called himself the "Rattlesnake King" and became rich and famous by selling which product that he claimed would cure just about anything?

From Quiz Dr. Quackery's Medicine Shop

Answer: Snake oil

In 1879, ex-cowboy Clark Stanley began performing in front of large crowds by killing rattlesnakes in what he claimed was the first step in the process of making his mysterious cure-all 'snake-oil'. For 50 cents a bottle, quite a sum in those days, he claimed his patent medicine could cure migraines, toothaches, sprains, as well as a huge variety of other ailments. He made a small fortune selling his concoction. This was an example of the 'placebo effect'. About one third of those who bought his 'medicine' would experience some relief, simply because they expected to. In 1917, the Federal government seized a shipment of his snake oil and had it tested. It was found to contain 99% mineral oil with traces of red pepper, beef fat and turpentine thrown in to add color, flavor, and a medicinal smell. His factory was promptly shut down, but the term 'snake oil' survives.

8. Albert Abrams (1863-1924) was a quack who claimed he could cure almost anything by controlling which subatomic particle?

From Quiz Dr. Quackery and His Friends

Answer: Electrons

Albert Abrams was the epitome of the quack. For example, he claimed he could cure disease over the telephone, by examining a drop of blood, and by looking at the patient's handwriting. He made numerous fake medical machines, which he claimed manipulated electrons. He became very wealthy from the exorbitant prices he charged for them. Incredibly, both Upton Sinclair and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle publicly supported him and believed him to be a miracle worker in spite of the many deaths attributed to his advice and his machines. He was exposed publicly when another doctor sent him a blood sample asking for a diagnosis. Abrams advised that the patient had malaria, syphilis, diabetes, and cancer. At this time, the other physician went public with the fact the blood provided to Abrams was from a rooster. He died before his criminal trial for medical fraud could commence.

9. On 1 April 1996 Taco Bell caused outrage when it annnounced that it had purchased which American icon, which would be renamed to carry the company's logo and brand name?

From Quiz Hook, Line, and Sinker

Answer: Liberty Bell

A full page advertisement appeared in six newspapers, including the 'Washington Post' and 'New York Times', to announce the acquisition of the bell, which would be renamed the 'Taco Liberty Bell'. The purchase was Taco Bell's contribution towards reducing the national debt, according to the announcement, and the company encouraged other big corporations to follow suit. The hoax led to large numbers of telephone calls to both Taco Bell and to Philadelphia's National Park Service, who were not in on the joke. At noon a press release was issued, confessing to the hoax and announcing a donation of fifty thousand dollars towards the upkeep of the Bell.

10. Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths were two young cousins from England who both played part in a hoax that started in 1917. It involved a camera and cardboard cutouts. What is this hoax more commonly known as?

From Quiz It's a Hoax!

Answer: The Cottingley Fairies

Elsie was born in 1901 and Frances in 1907. Elsie was a gifted watercolour artist who attended Bradford Art College. She worked in a photographic laboratory during World War I. She was just 16 years old when she took the first two photos depicting her younger cousin surrounded by fairies. It was not until 1981 that both women admitted the fairies were a hoax using cardboard cutouts.

11. The American flag is one piece of evidence used by sceptics to prove the moon landing was a hoax. What do they say it shouldn't be able to do if it were actually on the moon?

From Quiz Moon Landings - Fact or Fiction?

Answer: Flutter in the lunar wind

Sceptics have pointed to the fact that the flag appears to flutter in a lunar wind, when there is actually no wind on the moon. The explanation is that the flag itself is wired so that it is fully extended, and the flutter effect was caused as these wires tightened as the flag was erected.

12. In 1995, Christian Spurling admitted to having helped fake a photo of this in 1934.

From Quiz Famous Hoaxes

Answer: the Loch Ness Monster

In the proverbial "deathbed confession", UK man Christian Spurling admitted in 1995 to having participated in a fake "sighting" of the Loch Ness Monster in 1934. On April 14, 1934, Spurling and his friend Robert Wilson were strolling along the shore of Scotland's Loch Ness when, lo and behold, up popped Nessie from the water (or so they said). "My God, it's the monster!" Spurling shouted, using a line right out of a B horror film. Wilson, who was conveniently carrying a camera, snapped a photo of an object in the water that appears to be the head and shoulders of a serpentine sea beast. The photo was printed in the London "Daily Mail" and appeared around the world, sparking Nessie fever. Many scientists believed the photo showed the real elusive beast that has believed to have inhabited the Loch for hundreds of years. However, in 1995, Spurling admitted that the whole thing was a stunt conceived by one Marmaduke Wetherell, a film maker who had been hired by the "Daily Mail" to search for Nessie. The "monster" was a toy submarine fitted with a phony sea-serpent head made by Spurling. Despite this single hoax, the Loch Ness Monster is still considered by many to actually exist.

13. What questionable transactions led the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a broad-ranging and momentous decision in the case of Fletcher v. Peck?

From Quiz Great Hoaxes, Fixes & Frauds in American History

Answer: Land grants at bargain basement rates by a tainted legislature.

Jake Gittes and Noah Cross in "Chinatown", but in the early 19th century. A corrupt Georgia legislature sold public lands in Mississippi to private companies at ridiculously low rates; almost all the legislators had money invested in the companies picking up the real estate on the cheap. The next legislature canceled the dirty deal; on an appeal, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the original purchasers, thus striking a blow for contract rights, Federalism, and, unfortunately, a number of unscrupulous crooks.

14. Howard Hughes made news shortly before his death when an autobiography of him proved to be bogus. Who perpetrated the hoax?

From Quiz Frauds and Mistakes in History

Answer: Clifford Irving

Nice try - but it didn't fly.

15. In The PTL Club, what did PTL stand for?

From Quiz Jim and Tammy: The Pearlygate Scandal

Answer: Praise the Lord

"Pass the Loot" was a common joke before the scandal broke, in that there was a ton of money being spent at the park, and "Pay the Lady" became the joke once there were revelations of hush money being spent.

16. In 1979, a London radio station released a story that sucked in many gullible people. It was related to time, but what was the actual hoax?

From Quiz Ask and Ye Shall Deceive!

Answer: Two days in April were cancelled

April 5 and April 12 were the first two Fridays after April Fool's Day, and both were to be cancelled to bring British time in step with the rest of the world. Strangely enough, the concept of decimal time, with 100 seconds to the minute, 100 minutes in an hour and 10 hours in a day has been mooted, but not since the days of the French Revolution. The other two wrong options are just silly, but will probably be used as a April Fool's joke in the future.

17. Seances were a prominent part of which belief system or religion?

From Quiz Whispers in the Dark

Answer: Spiritualism

Spiritualism originated in the English-speaking countries in the mid-19th century. Communicating with the deceased was a central part of this belief system. Interestingly, most of the followers of Spiritualism were from the middle and upper classes. The use of human psychology was very evident, and very successful. It was also a belief system that allowed women to play a larger role than most of the other accepted belief systems found in the Judeo-Christian religions.

18. In the 19th century, 'Kopp's Baby Friend' was just one of the many baby medications that contained alcohol and which substance to help calm your sick baby?

From Quiz Dr. Quackery's Medicine Shop

Answer: Opium

During the 19th century there were no laws and standards controlling the sales of patent medications. Some medications that were sold were simply harmless scams, but others were very dangerous. 'Kopp's Baby Friend', 'Dr. Fahrney's Teething Syrup' and 'Hooper's Anodyne' were just a few of the medications sold to tired parents who were eager for a full night's sleep. They contained alcohol and opium and were pretty much guaranteed to put the baby to sleep. The labels advised increasing doses as the child grew (and developed a tolerance to the medication). Thousands of babies were turned into helpless opium addicts, and many died from overdoses of the medication. It was not until the American Medical Association publicized the dangers of these medications at the turn of the century that their popularity began to wane.

19. Bernard Jensen was a proponent of iridology, claiming that a person's health could be diagnosed by examining which body part?

From Quiz Dr. Quackery and His Friends

Answer: Iris patterns

Iridology was an alternative medicine technique which proposed the unique patterns found on a person's iris could provide valuable information to a persons present and future health. He was also a proponent of fasting, colon hydrotherapy and color therapy as a cures for almost any disorder. He owned at least three sanitariums which provided many alternative care methods for those desperate enough to shell out his high prices. Jensen was not a trained physician, but an entrepreneur who became wealthy in the field of alternative medicine. His name is synonymous with the term 'quack'.

20. "The Wine Spectator" is a wine magazine for connoisseurs that gives out "Awards of Excellence" to restaurants that have exceptional wine lists. How was this magazine embarrassingly hoaxed in 2008?

From Quiz The Great Pretenders

Answer: They gave an award to a restaurant that did not exist

"The Wine Spectator" allows a restaurant to submit their wine list with a $250 entry fee for a chance to receive an "Award of Excellence". In 2008 it came out that Robin Goldstein, author of "The Wine Trials" sent the $250 entrance fee along with the name of a fake restaurant and a fake wine list and was awarded an "Award of Excellence". Goldstein had also made a fake website complete with reviews from fake clientele. The wine list included several of "The Wine Spectator's" lowest rated wines! He added he got the award as did 3/4 of the "restaurants" who applied. He admitted that he hoaxed the magazine who regularly hoaxed the public into thinking that their award actually meant something other than that the restaurant had paid $250 for it.

21. This pop act became popular in the late 1980's with songs such as "Girl, I'm Gonna Miss You". Success for them turned sour just after receiving their first Grammy award when it was revealed they were 'lip synching'. What is the name of this act?

From Quiz It's a Hoax!

Answer: Milli Vanilli

German music producer, Frank Farian, came up with the idea of Milli Vanilli. He recruited Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus to front the group but they did not sing the vocals. In 1990, Milli Vanilli won a 'Grammy' Award for Best New Artist, but this was withdrawn when it was discovered the duo were lip synching. Lawsuits were filed against Pilatus, Morvan and Arista Records, with approximately 10 million people eligible to claim back a refund.

22. What do the hoax theorists say is proof that man never walked on the moon and the whole thing took place in a film studio?

From Quiz Moon Landings - Fact or Fiction?

Answer: Multiple shadows

The sceptics say that the multiple shadows cast by the astronauts and their equipment point to there being multiple light sources, as would be found if big film studio lights were used. The explanation is that the photographs were taken in a brightly lit landscape with the sun low on the horizon and the contours of the ground produced the multiple shadows effect, much as you would get if you photographed someone on an uneven snow field.

23. In what country were the "Protocols" first published in 1905?

From Quiz A Fatal Fraud: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion

Answer: Russia

The "Protocols" were written in Paris somewhere between 1895 and 1899; opinion differs as to whether the author was Pytor Ivanovich Rachovsky (an agent of the Russian secret police, the Okhranka), Russian propogandist Mathieu Golovinski, or Russian journalist Ilya Tsion (whose name, ironically, means "Zion" in Russian). The general consensus, however, seems to be that the work originated amongst the Okhranka. The "Protocols" were first published by Sergei Nilius, one of Rachovsky's associates, in 1905 (An abbreviated version had appeared in the Russian newspaper "Znamia" two years earlier). The reasons for the work's creation were threefold; a very similar forgery had been making the rounds in Europe for some time which purported to be a Will and Testament drawn up by Peter the Great to the successive tsars of Russia, which consisted of a dictum to conquer and control the world. This forgery, which had appeared in France during the reign of Napoleon, fed into European fears of a "Russian threat" (not unlike the "Communist threat" which gripped the U.S. in the 1950s); the "Protocols" neatly subverted the "Russian threat" into a "Jewish threat". The Okhranka also hoped to use the work to make Jews the scapegoats for Russia's defeat in the Russo-Japanese war (much as Hitler would later make them the scapegoats for Germany's defeat in WWI); in this, they were horrifically successful. Finally, it was hoped that national fears inspired by the "Protocols" would shore up the flagging support for the reign of the weak-willed Nicholas II. Nicholas was the son of the virulently anti-Semitic Tsar Alexander III; in the first year of Alexander's reign alone, there were approximately two hundred pogroms among the Jews of Russia which left about forty people dead, numerous women raped and many others homeless and destitute. Many more pogroms followed throughout his reign. Alexander also enacted the "May laws" which drove Russian Jews back into the Pale of Settlement. Nicholas shared his father's regard for the Jews as a depraved race who bore the so-called "ancestral burden of deicide" as a result of the crucifixion of Christ; under his reign occured the single most horrific attack on Jews in Russian history during the week of October 18-25, 1905, when the Black Hundreds (an unofficial Russian police force) killed hundreds of Jews throughout Russia, destroyed countless homes and businesses, and left thousands wounded and injured. Over 200,000 Jews emigrated from Russia during this year alone. According to Edvard Radzinsky's biography of Nicholas ("The Last Tsar; the Life and Death of Nicholas II") the Tsar was delighted when the "Protocols" first appeared and accepted them as genuine. Later, he eventually recognized that they were a forgery (although both he and the tsarina were known to keep a copy at their bedside); by this time, however, the fuse had been lit.

24. Declaring that "American blood" had been shed "on the American soil," President James K. Polk proceeded to declare war on Mexico in 1846. Why did then-congressman Abe Lincoln (and generations of subsequent historians) question Polk's candor?

From Quiz Great Hoaxes, Fixes & Frauds in American History

Answer: The U.S.'s claim to the soil on which the bloodshed occurred was questionable at best.

In what was essentially an imperialist land grab, and the apotheosis of Manifest Destiny, Polk, spoiling for a fight with our southern neighbors, sent U.S. troops into disputed territory between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande in what is now Texas. Lincoln, smelling a rat, stood in Congress to demand that Polk respond to interrogatories about the actual location of the bloodshed, but his outcry was seen as unpatriotic and as a result he was subjected to such scorn that he couldn't get himself reelected to Congress.

25. Dr. Samuel Mudd was suspected by many as being a conspirator in the assassination of Lincoln. What happened to Mudd?

From Quiz Great Conspiracies

Answer: Imprisoned and pardoned

It's unclear whether he got a raw deal or not ... but he did fix Booth's broken leg. After trial he was imprisoned. He was pardoned by President Johnson after peforming heroically in a yellow fever outbreak.

26. A so-called discovery of a new species of prehistoric man ultimately proved to be false. This 'discovery' was known as:

From Quiz Frauds and Mistakes in History

Answer: Piltdown Man

It looked good at first ... but faded.

27. One of the most famous poseurs was Anna Anderson. Who did she claim to be?

From Quiz Gotcha: Hoaxes - Famous and not-so Famous

Answer: Anastasia Nikolaevna

When Czar Nicholas of Russia and his family were murdered, the acidified bones of the family found in a mine were missing those of the crown prince and one of the daughters. Persistent rumors were circulated that the Grand Duchess Anastasia had escaped with the assistance of one of the guards. Several women claimed to be the missing duchess, but the most successful was Anna Anderson. Anderson had been institutionalized for mental illness in 1920 in Berlin and claimed to be Anastasia in 1922, a charade that she maintained until her death in 1984. Later research indicated that her name actually was Franziska Schanzkowska, a Polish factory worker with a history of mental illness. Despite the fact that many people close to the Russian royal family contested her claims, she kept many supporters to the very end. Later DNA testing proved the falsehood of her claim.

28. Jim and Tammy Bakker found a nice Southern town for their theme park, a town steeped in tradition in the middle of the Bible Belt. What was the name of this town?

From Quiz Jim and Tammy: The Pearlygate Scandal

Answer: Fort Mill, SC

Fort Mill is just on the south side of the North Carolina/South Carolina border off Interstate 77. It was also the site of the last Confederate Cabinet meeting just before the end of the Civil War. Jim and Tammy Bakker actually lived in the upscale suburb of Tega Cay, which is just west of Fort Mill on the shores of Lake Wylie.

29. The 'Magnetone' and the 'Theronoid', both guaranteed to cure a huge variety of ailments, were examples of what type of medical quackery?

From Quiz Dr. Quackery's Medicine Shop

Answer: Electromagnetic coil

Very popular from 1860-1940, the electromagnetic coil was touted to cure everything from cancer to the common cold. It was also said make you feel and look younger. These harmless devices claimed that an electromagnetic coil supercharged the iron in your body, assisting with the transference of oxygen between cells. They were usually sold in the form of a belt that contained a large coil of insulated wires. The buyer, in the privacy of their own home, would strap on the belt, plug it in, and receive the cure. It was painless, harmless, and depended completely on the 'placebo effect'.

30. This Australian Prime Minster disappeared in mysterious circumstances in December 1967. Was it a UFO? A Chinese midget submarine? Suicide? Or a tragic accident? Who was he?

From Quiz Famous Conspiracy Theories.

Answer: Harold Holt

Harold Holt held his office for barely two years. He disappeared while swimming in heavy surf off the coast of Victoria. Despite one of the largest searches in Australian history his body was never found. While it is likely he drowned, a number of rumours have circulated regarding his disappearance. Most recently, a book was published suggesting hat he committed suicide. Gough Whitlam also served a short period as Australian Prime Minister. He was dismissed in controversial circumstances in 1975 by the Governor General. Robert Menzies was the longest serving Prime Minister in Australian history (serving for 18 years, including 1949-1966). He was succeeded as Prime Minister by Harold Holt on January 26 1966. Interestingly, this date is Australia Day, commemorating the arrival of the 'First Fleet' of European settlers in 1788.

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