Among the acknowledged greatest and most disruptive grifts in the history of the Worlds is that perpetrated in the early 5800s by Murin Eldvell in the Annik Sodality. An executive for a fuel-manufacturing corporation specializing in the production of tritium and heavy (deuterated) water, Murin was inspired by the florid warnings required by the Sodality Hazardous Substances Authority to be placed upon their main products.
Noting the adverse health effects of the consumption of [pure] heavy water or semiheavy (partially deuterated) water, Murin pioneered the marketing of deuterium-free light water, a bulk byproduct of their manufacturing processes previously returned to the environment, as a healthy alternative to natural, mixed-isotope water.
His campaigns made a point of the toxicity of heavy and semiheavy water molecules, while refraining from dwelling excessively on the low prevalence of these in natural water. His guaranteed-heavy-hydrogen-free water products (including bottled water, water ice in a variety of forms, and eventually “light” versions of synthdrinks made using only light water) were a tremendous success, especially after his greatest anti-natural campaign which successfully convinced the Sodality electorate to demand warnings be placed on bottles, faucets, and other supplies of natural water.
The business eventually collapsed after six decades as sufficient reality finally penetrated the worldview of the Sodality, and people observed the continuing good state of health of the remaining light-water refuseniks. The collapse did a great deal of damage to the Sodality’s domestic heavy water industry (the increased imports lasted for over a century) and indeed to its deuterium-harvesting industry as collateral damage, and resulted in a number of controversial laws (since at no point in any of his campaigns did Murin state anything false) to prevent a reoccurrence.
It did not, however, prevent Murin himself from retiring to a private lunar retreat trillions of exval richer, fatter, smugger, and entirely safe from extradition.
(His autobiography, amusingly, points out that the ice moon on which his private retreat is built contains approximately six times as much deuterium, by concentration, as the oceans of Annia.)
– Artisans of the Grift: The Greatest Cons In History, Bad Stuff Press
The fact this happened to the Annik Sodality is just icing on the cake.
Yellow Kid Weil would like to have a word…
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