W. Post's Sally Quinn: Admitted Occultist, Placed Hexes on People

Michael W. Chapman | September 13, 2017 | 5:29pm EDT
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Sally Quinn and her husband, Ben

Bradlee, the former executive editor

of The Washington Post. 

(Photo: A Flippen Life blog)

In her new book, Finding Magic: A Spiritual Memoir, Washington Post journalist Sally Quinn, the widow of former Post Executive Editor Ben Bradlee (d.2014), admits that she believes in and has practiced the occult since childhood, and even placed hexes on people.

In the book, Quinn "confesses that, like her mother, she believes in the deadly power of hexes -- and suggests that she has harmed people by using them," states Pulitzer-Prize winning columnist Connie Schultz in a review for The Post's Outlook section

Sally Quinn's "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.," reports Schultz.

"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,'" said Schultz.

Quinn also used Tarot cards and did readings for herself and others. ABC's Martha Raddatz, as reported in the Washingtonian, said she first met Quinn and Bradlee right after Watergate. At that meeting, Quinn "took out the Tarot cards, and I was like, 'What the heck is she talking about?'"  

"Quinn describes spirits showing up to make breakfast before the family rose," reports Schultz.  "Years later, she writes, one welcomed her to Grey Gardens, a famous mansion in the Hamptons that she and Bradlee bought in 1979."  Quinn put the house on the market in 2017.

In one instance from the book, Quinn reveals that her mother was very angry with a veternarian who apparently refused to treat her sick dog. After the dog died in the car at the vet office, Quinn says, "I had never seen my mother so upset. I was devastated. My mother grabbed my hand, pulled me back to the office and started screaming at the SOB.

"'I hope you drop dead,' she sobbed." A few days later, according to Quinn, the veteranarian died. 

Connie Schultz writes, "Like mother, like daughter. In some of the most troubling passages of this book, she [Sally Quinn] describes casting hexes on people who later died. One was an attractive young woman who flirted with one of Quinn’s earlier boyfriends."

“I won’t say exactly what I did," states Quinn, "even now I think that would be bad luck for me — but I practiced what I learned and observed. I worked on the hex for several days until I felt that it would have some effect.”

"It did, she claims," reports Schultz. "The woman committed suicide. Quinn vowed never to cast a hex on someone else — a promise she did not keep."

"When New York magazine wrote an unfavorable profile of her, she 'decided to put a hex' on the magazine’s editor, Clay Felker," states Schultz.  "He later died of cancer. Not her fault, she told herself, 'but still, my embedded religion and my Southern upbringing made me believe otherwise.'"

"Quinn’s last hex came after a psychic gave her a 'devastatingly brutal' reading about her son," reports Schultz. "The woman dropped dead of a cerebral hemorrhage. 'I vowed once again never to put another hex on anyone,' she writes. 'Believe me, I haven’t, though I have to admit to being sorely tempted on occasion.'"

As reported in on Aug. 31, Quinn disclosed, “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.”

The Washingtonian concluded, Sally Quinn, 76, "outs herself as a believer in the occult and as an erstwhile practitioner of voodoo, and she packs the book with moments that have made anxious friends wonder: Are you sure you want to share that?"

Indeed. The liberal media and Washington insiders, incidentally, mocked Nancy Reagan for consulting an astrologer. Why were they so silent, for decades, about Sally Quinn and her occultism? 


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