For years, the Washington establishment held up Sally Quinn, the wife of the late Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, as the society doyenne par excellence and a “serious” reporter. The Great and Good would gather at her mansion to bat around the issues of the day. Much talk of a sinister religiosity afoot in the land would ensue. But it turns out that Quinn, when not passing around drinks and appetizers to these self-proclaimed rationalists, was in the back playing with her tarot cards and concocting hexes for her enemies.In her new “spiritual memoir,” Finding Magic, Quinn discloses her ambitious forays into the world of the occult. The Washington Post, which had assigned Quinn to the religion beat late in her career, has greeted the revelations with understandable embarrassment. It assigned a review of her book to Senator Sherrod Brown’s wife, Connie Schultz, who reacts to the book with disdain:
Quinn’s memoir is peppered with references to youthful affairs and the past indiscretions of named colleagues and friends. Most alarming, she confesses that, like her mother, she believes in the deadly power of hexes — and suggests that she has harmed people by using them. If the hairs just stood up on the back of your neck, believe me, you aren’t alone.
Quinn was a Style writer and columnist at The Post, and a celebrated Washington hostess who, for decades, threw some of the biggest parties in town. She is also widely known as Bradlee’s third — and longtime — wife.
Her belief in magic and the occult began in early childhood in the 1940s, when she often lived with maternal relatives in Savannah and Statesboro, Ga. As she writes in the memoir, her great-aunt Ruth was a “nice Presbyterian lady” and “a devotee of Scottish mysticism,” and all of the black domestic staff members “were adherents of voodoo, which they practiced regularly.” Quinn describes spirits showing up to make breakfast before the family rose. Years later, she writes, one welcomed her to Grey Gardens, a famous mansion in the Hamptons that she and Bradlee bought in 1979.
Quinn seems to have few reservations about revealing her belief in the deadly power of hexes — her mother’s and her own.
Unmentioned in the review is Quinn’s comment that friends have approached her to put a deadly hex on Donald Trump. “You can’t imagine the number of people who have asked me to put a hex on Donald Trump — I mean, I have got friends lined up. This is my biggest restraint now,” she has said.