WikiLeaks hosts an alleged email exchange involving Tony Podesta, John Podesta and Marina Abramovic. In the exchange, Marina invites the Podesta brothers to partake in what is referred to as a "Spirit Cooking" dinner. Quoting the WikiLeaks document:

From:[email protected]
To: [email protected]
Date: 2015-06-28 01:48
Subject: Fwd: Dinner

Are you in NYC Thursday July 9
Marina wants you to come to dinner

Sent from my iPhone
Begin forwarded message:

From: Marina Abramovic
<[email protected]:[email protected]>
Date: June 28, 2015 at 2:35:08 AM GMT+2
To: Tony Podesta <[email protected]:[email protected]>
Subject: Dinner

Dear Tony,

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


Many YouTube channels assume this email exchange to be authentic, sometimes presenting it as evidence for their own conspiracy theories.

Is this email exchange authentic?

  • 6
    I have edited to remove the subjective and spurious interpretations. Even the idea that the emails are unusual is subjective. (I see absolutely nothing out of the ordinary in mentioning your kids will be at a family pool party, or using hyperbole in what is obviously a joke about hoping for good luck - but I obviously can't provide empirical evidence to prove it is a joke)
    – Oddthinking
    Oct 4, 2020 at 4:36
  • 3
    I’m voting to close this question because it's a ramshackle ramble of conspiracy theories that fails to stay on one topic for more than a paragraph and doesn't seem to be much more than a stack of links to youtube channels of conspiracy theorists. Again.
    – Shadur
    Oct 4, 2020 at 9:02
  • 2
    The question of whether these emails were written by the person claimed is so uninteresting as to make them off topic. We are not here to fact check the provenance of every email organizing a family pool party, and I don't see any evidence that they are anything else. xmb, I'm pretty sure that if I had access to all your emails, and the ability to state that some words had secret meanings, I could prove that you were an Islamic terrorist - or anything else I liked. Oct 4, 2020 at 13:36
  • 6
    Not just "uninteresting" - trivial, irrelevant and pointless. The people in question have written millions of emails. These are no different, and not worth the time and effort of this site to verify. Also it is hard to escape the suspicion that there is an ulterior motive with this question, that you want to be able to propagate these horrific and ridiculous allegations, adding that "Skeptics.se has verified that the emails are authentic". Or more simply that you are using this site as a link farm to spread the message of this conspiracy theory. We won't be used like that. Oct 4, 2020 at 16:19
  • 2
    Do you even realize how spectacularly uninteresting this email exchange becomes once you strip out all the hysterical commentary from conspiracy theories? I'm fairly sure I remember the phrasing "spirit cooking dinner" from way before, associated with Southern-style cooking, but it's currently impossible to find any useful references because the conspiracy theorists have absolutely swamped the page rankings on google and DDG.
    – Shadur
    Oct 5, 2020 at 7:48

1 Answer 1


Marina Abramović - the performance artist in question - apparently confirmed the authenticity of the dinner invitation to the NYT:

Ms. Abramovic said the “Spirit Cooking” dinner, which had the same name as a book and a performance in which she painted absurd recipes in blood on the walls of an Italian gallery, actually involved her cooking a few simple dishes for about 20 people who had donated to her art institute.

“We had lots of fun,” she said. “There was no human blood, or baby serving, or sex orgies.” So when the conspiracy theories started popping up, Ms. Abramovic said, she thought it was “just insane.”

The interview is from 2020 and mirrors what Abramović said in 2016, as well as the kickstarter page for which the dinner was one of the possible rewards:

In an interview with Art News, Abramovic said that the dinner was “just a normal menu, which I call spirit cooking. There was no blood, no anything else. We just call things funny names, that’s all,” and that the dinner was a reward for donors to a recent Kickstarter campaign.

Here is how the dinner event — a reward for people who pledged $10,000 to her campaign — was described on her Kickstarter page:

A dinner night with Marina during which she will teach you and other backers at this level how to cook a series of traditional soups, which you will all enjoy together. The night will end with the making of a golden ball, a recipe given to Marina in a Tibetan monastery. Marina will bring to this dinner a Spirit Cooking memento for each backer to keep.

While this isn't hard proof that the emails have not been altered - or invented -, her description of inviting people to her home to cook for them does match the content of the emails.

Note that the email exchange was between Tony Podesta and Abramović. John Podesta never responded to the invitation, and did not attend the dinner.

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