Fact Check: This Is NOT A Quote From Jacques Attali's 1981 Book 'Verbatim'

Fact Check

  • by: Courtney Kealy
Fact Check: This Is NOT A Quote From Jacques Attali's 1981 Book 'Verbatim' Fabricated

Does Jacques Attali's book "Verbatim," published in 1981, contain a prediction of a man-made pandemic that would eliminate the elderly and other vulnerable parts of the population? No, that's not true: There is no such quote in his book.

The claim appeared on Instagram on December 21, 2022. The caption read:

#pandemic #conspiracy#control #media #lies #viral #wow #fyp #reels

This is what it looked like at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2022-12-25 at 3.11.17 AM.png

(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Sun Dec 25 08:11:17 2022 UTC)

The post included a video with a narrator, who said the alleged quote was from Attali's book "Verbatim," recited:

'... the future will be about finding a way to reduce the people or build camps. We get rid of them by making them believe it is for their own good. We will find a real cause, a pandemic, targeting certain people, a real economic crisis or not, a virus affecting the old or the elderly, it doesn't matter. The weak and fearful will succumb to it. The stupid will believe in it and ask to be treated. We will have taken care of having panned the treatment, a treatment that will be a solution. The selection of idiots will therefore be done by itself. They will go to the slaughterhouse alone.'

This is a link to "Verbatim." Lead Stories searched its entirety for references to the future ("l'avenir"), a key word in the quote. There are multiple references, but none match the quote. Likewise, the book contains zero references to either "pandémie" or "pandémique," French words that reference pandemic.

"Verbatim" is described as a collection of Attali's memories, dialogues and routine activities. He was special adviser to French President François Mitterrand for 10 years and advised the secretary-general of the United Nations on the risks of nuclear proliferation, He has written 40 books, with over six million copies sold all over the world.

Lead Stories has reached out to Positive Planet, a nonprofit organization founded by Attali, and other organizations he is involved with for further comment. We will update this fact check accordingly.

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.


  Courtney Kealy

Courtney Kealy is a writer and fact-checker at Lead Stories. A graduate of Columbia University’s School of Journalism, she specializes in national and foreign affairs with more than two decades experience in the Middle East. Her work has appeared on FOX News, AlJazeera America, ABC News, the New York Times, Marie Claire, Time and Newsweek.

Read more about or contact Courtney Kealy

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