“Anyone who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about that famous quote, ordinarily attributed to Voltaire. When I brought up the quote on Twitter the other day, I was taken aback when a reader challenged its authenticity, citing this French-language Swiss source in which a Voltaire biographer writes it off as an internet myth. Had I, along with hundreds of others, gotten the origin of “absurdities . . . atrocities” wrong? Misattribution of famous quotes is rife online, after all, very much including the better-known line attributed to Voltaire, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” That most excellent maxim is best described as a paraphrase (rather than a translation) of the French philosopher’s views as rendered by English writer Evelyn Beatrice Hall in 1906.