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A false document is a technique by which an author aims to increase
verisimilitude In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, l ...
in a work of fiction by inventing and inserting or mentioning documents that appear to be factual. The goal of a false document is to convince an audience that what is being presented is factual.


In politics

A
forged Forging is a manufacturing process Manufacturing is the creation or Production (economics), production of goods with the help of equipment, Work (human activity), labor, machines, tools, and chemical or biological processing or formulation ...
document, the Zinoviev Letter, helped bring the downfall of the first Labour Government in Britain. Conspiracies within secret intelligence services have occurred more recently, leading
Harold Wilson James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, (11 March 1916 – 24 May 1995) was a British politician who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The hea ...

Harold Wilson
to put in place rules to prevent in the 1960s
phone tapping Telephone tapping (also wire tapping or wiretapping in American English) is the Surveillance, monitoring of telephone and Internet-based conversations by a third party, often by covert means. The wire tap received its name because, historically, ...
of
members of Parliament A member of parliament (MP) is the representative of the people who live in their constituency An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative district, voting district, constituency, riding, ward, division, (election) ...
, for example. ''
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion#REDIRECT The Protocols of the Elders of Zion ''The Protocols of the Elders of Zion'' () or ''The Protocols of the Meetings of the Learned Elders of Zion'' is a antisemitic canard, fabricated antisemitic text purporting to describe a Jewish plan ...
'', purporting to describe a
Jew Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), ...

Jew
ish plan for global domination, was first published in Russia in 1903, translated into multiple languages, and disseminated internationally in the early part of the 20th century.


In art

Artist JSG Boggs's life and work have been extensively explored by author and journalist
Lawrence Weschler Lawrence Weschler (born 1952) is an author of works of creative nonfiction. A graduate of Cowell College of the University of California, Santa Cruz The University of California, Santa Cruz (UC Santa Cruz or UCSC) is a public land-grant res ...
. Boggs drew currency with exceptional care and accuracy, but he only ever drew one side. He then attempted to buy things with the piece of paper upon which he has drawn the currency. His goal was to pass each bill for its face value in common transactions. He bought lunch, clothes, and lodging in this manner, and after the transactions were complete, his bills fetched many times their face value on the art market. Boggs did not make any money from the much larger art market value of his work, only from reselling the goods bought, the change and receipts and other such materials. He was arrested in many countries, and there was much controversy surrounding his work.
Orson Welles George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was an American director, actor, screenwriter, and producer who is remembered for his innovative work in radio, theatre and film. He is considered to be among the greatest and most in ...

Orson Welles
' ''
F for Fake ''F for Fake'' (french: link=no, Vérités et mensonges, "Truths and lies") is a 1973 docudrama film co-written, directed by, and starring Orson Welles George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was an American actor, directo ...
'' is a prime example of a film which is both about falsification (
art forgery Art forgery is the creating and selling of works of art which are falsely credited to other, usually more famous artists. Art forgery can be extremely lucrative, but modern dating and analysis techniques have made the identification of forged art ...
and the journalism surrounding art forgery) as well as having falsified moments within the film. The movie follows the exploits of a famous art forger, his biographer
Clifford Irving Clifford Michael Irving (November 5, 1930 – December 19, 2017) was an American novelist and investigative reporter. Although he published 20 novels, he is best known for an "autobiography An autobiography (from the Greek#REDIRECT Gre ...
, and the subsequent fake
autobiography An autobiography (from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populati ...
of
Howard Hughes Howard Robard Hughes Jr. (December 24, 1905 – April 5, 1976) was an American business magnate, investor, record-setting pilot, engineer, film director, and Philanthropy, philanthropist, known during his lifetime as one of the most influential ...

Howard Hughes
that Irving tries to publish. The issues of veracity and forgery are explored in the film, while at the same time, Welles tricks the audience by incorporating fake bits of narrative alongside the documentary footage.


In cross-marketing

There is a long history of producers creating tie-in material to promote and merchandise movies and television shows. Tie-in materials as far-ranging as toys, games, lunch boxes, clothing and so on have all been created and in some cases generate as much or more revenue as the original programming. One big merchandising arena is publishing. In most cases such material is not considered
canon Canon or Canons may refer to: Places * Canon, Georgia Canon is a city in Franklin County, Georgia, Franklin and Hart County, Georgia, Hart counties in the U.S. state of Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia. The population was 804 at the 2010 census. H ...
within the show's mythology; however, in some instances the books, magazines, etc. are specifically designed by the creators to be canonical. With the rise of the Internet, in-canon online material has become more prominent.


Hoaxes

A number of
hoax A hoax is a falsehood deliberately fabricated to masquerade as the truth. It is distinguishable from errors in observation or judgment, rumor A rumor (American English), or rumour (British English; American and British English spelling dif ...

hoax
es have involved false documents: * Salamander Letter * ''
The Report From Iron Mountain ''The Report from Iron Mountain'' is a book published in 1967 in literature, 1967 (during the Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson, Johnson Administration) by Dial Press which puts itself forth as the report of a government panel. The book includes the ...
'' * The
Oera Linda Image:Manuscript Thet Oera Linda Bok, pagina 48.jpg, 280px, Page 48 of the Oera Linda manuscript The Oera Linda Book is a manuscript written in a form of Old Frisian, purporting to cover historical, mythological, and religious themes of remote ant ...
book * The
Hitler Diaries The Hitler Diaries (german: Hitler-Tagebücher) were a series of sixty volumes of journals purportedly written by Adolf Hitler, but forged by Konrad Kujau between 1981 and 1983. The diaries were purchased in 1983 for 9.3 million Deutsch ...
* The '' Dossiers Secrets d'Henri Lobineau''


See also

* Alternate reality game * A Racial Program for the Twentieth Century, an anti-Semitic forgery * Donation of Constantine * Epistolary novel * False documentation * Fictional book * Forgery * Frame tale * Literary forgery * Fictitious entry * Questioned document examination * Voynich manuscript


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:False Document Narratology False documents,