Many companies, especially prominent ones, own all sorts of intellectual property and keep all sorts of trade secrets. If this information were to get out, their competitive positions in the market would be severely undermined. Governments also keep all kinds of secrets that they do not want the public to know for various reasons.

That’s why people who start or even leave jobs in such organizations are required to sign NDAs as a condition of either their employment or their release. An NDA, or Non-Disclosure Agreement, is a legal agreement that prohibits someone from revealing some kind of secret information to others, be that proprietary formulas, manufacturing techniques, trade secrets, or even a few underhanded practices.

But by the nature of things, NDAs don’t last forever. Sooner or later, they expire, and those who were bound by them come to be bound no longer.

Knowing this, one Redditor started a thread on r/AskReddit — one of Reddit’s largest communities, with more than 32 million members — a simple question: “What couldn’t you tell us, but now can?”

Here are just a small sample of the answers.

5 NDA Secrets Revealed

  1. Pet stores typically always tell customers that they get puppies and other animals from “reputable breeders.” Anything else might scandalize people. But according to one former worker at a nationally recognized pet store chain, the store would often get shipments of scared, malnourished, and frightened puppies brought to them in the middle of the night in large foreign trucks.

These animals came from puppy mills, and it’s anyone’s guess what they may have suffered before getting to the store.

  1. Many have long suspected that the cosmetics and fashion industries are fake and offer unrealistic promises. One model released from an NDA said the makeup she would wear while posing for advertisements was often not even the makeup being advertised. Clothes would also be held in place with secret pins to make them look like they fit better than they did.

  2. A translator who worked for both Marvel Comics and the US Military swears that Marvel actually had tighter security.

  3. One former worker at a Dairy Queen shared a particularly disgusting revelation. The DQ had a collection box to which people could donate. It was said that the money would go to children with cancer.

But the charity mentioned there had, in fact, no longer existed, and the manager was simply pocketing the money for himself. One wonders how many other places have similar secrets.

  1. You know all of those commercials that say, usually in small print on the screen, that the people in the commercial are not paid actors? Well, such statements may be lies. One person released from an NDA revealed that he was, in fact, a paid actor in a commercial that claimed that he wasn’t.