In an election year already extraordinary for seeing outsider Donald Trump chosen by Republican voters and the Republican National Convention as the party’s presidential nominee, the WikiLeaks hacking organization has released an email that offers the most lurid connection yet to Hillary Clinton’s campaign staff, especially its chairman John Podesta.
 
Leaked from an email account associated with the Clinton campaign is an invitation to Podesta’s brother, Tony, to attend a so-called “spirit cooking dinner” by the celebrity performance artist Marina Abramovic that resembled occult rituals invented by the infamous Satanist Aleister Crowley.
In the leaked email of June 28, 2015, Abramovic – a native of Serbia – wrote to Tony Podesta, saying, “I am so looking forward to the Spirit Cooking dinner at my place. Do you think you will be able to let me know if your brother is joining? All my love, Marina.”
 
Forwarding the email to his brother John, Tony wrote,  “Are you in NYC Thursday July 9 Marina wants you to come to dinner.” 
 
 
A video dated June 1, 1997 on YouTube entitled “Spirit Cooking” shows Abramovic daubing the whitewashed interior walls of a building with brushes dipped in buckets filled with what appears to be blood. Some sources state that she used pig blood. Standing on a ladder, she daubs the recipe she uses for the paint and writes, “Mix fresh breast milk with fresh sperm milk drink on earthquake nights. With a sharp knife cut deeply into the middle finger of your left hand eat the pain.” She also scrawled, "Fresh Morning Urine Sprinkle Over Nightmare Dreams."
 
Abramovic also placed a small mummy-like human effigy in the corner of the large room, which she then splashes with a basin full of blood.  
Spirit Cooking shows influences from ancient pagan rituals and the occultism spawned by Satanist Alaister Crowley. Crowley founded a religion he called Thelema, which features rituals called the Gnostic Mass and the Mass of the Phoenix. Each required the consumption by the worshippers of a wafer – a Cake of Light – that consists of honey, oil, menstrual blood, and semen. 
 
Abramovic has long been known as the “grandmother” of performance art, having been produced installations and films that feature Abramovic and a male companion repeatedly slapping or screaming at each other. In a segment entitled “Balkan Erotic Epic” in the 2010 movie “Destricted” – which was a compilation of pornography – she depicted Serbian myths about genitals. Her performances had been attended by celebrities such as Madonna, Lady Gaga, and James Franco, while drawing long lines of fans.
 
 
Abramovic has said that the context in which one of her rituals is performed defines its intention. If her rituals are performed in an art gallery, then it can be considered a work of performance art. However, if it is performed in a private setting it is not then a work of performance art but a ceremony.
 
In an exchange on Reddit.com, when Abramovic was asked, "What place do you see the occult having within contemporary art; can magick be made (not simply appropriated/ performed)?" she answered, "Everything depends on which context you are doing what you are doing. If you are doing the occult magic in the context of art or in a gallery, then it is the art. If you are doing it in different context, in spiritual circles or private house or on TV shows, it is not art. The intention, the context for what is made, and where it is made defines what art is or not."
 
 “Abramovic is known for her often-gory art that confronts pain and ritual. Her first performance involved repeatedly, stabbing herself in her hands. The next performance featured her throwing her nails, toenails, and hair into a flaming five-point star — which she eventually jumped inside of, causing her to lose consciousness,” writes WeAreChange writer Cassandra Fairbanks.
 
Once the news about the Podesta email began to circulate, Abramovic became the subject of speculation and comment. On her Twitter feed, she appealed to her friends to stop pestering her about the invitation she extended to Tony Podesta to her Spirit Cooking ritual. Her Twitter account is Abramovic666. But she claimed in a tweet: "I'm not satanist! Stop it!"
 
 
Apart from her association with Tony Podesta through her campaign director, John Podesta, Hillary Clinton has reportedly dabbled with the occult herself. While she was First Lady in President Bill Clinton’s White House, Hillary Clinton reportedly held conversations with her dead predecessor Eleanor Roosevelt and other dead people as therapy, according to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward’s book about the Clintons, “The Choice.” Her advisor was Jean Houston – then co-director of the Foundation for Mind Research – which Woodward said studies the psychic experience and altered and expanded consciousness. Houston urged Clinton to write her book, "It Takes a Village and Other Lessons Children Teach Us," and worked closely with the First Lady in the White House. 
 
Joining Clinton in her conversations with dead people was Mary Catherine Bateson, the daughter of controversial anthropologist Margaret Mead. In a newspaper column, Hillary Clinton once wrote about her talks with Eleanor Roosevelt on living in the White House as First Lady. She wrote, "She usually responds by telling me to buck up, or at least to grow skin as thick as a rhinoceros."


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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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