The cover looks suspiciously worn. Would you care to explain this to the committee?
It all started, Congressman, when I happened to see a review of the first book in this series, The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers and, since I had just become introduced to members of the Upper Chamber -- whose party was in the process of getting down to depositions on the impeachment crisis involving pizza, thong-flashing and distinguishing characteristics -- I acquired the book and kept it on the nightstand, with my Bible and Wallis and Edward: Letters 1931-1937. With chapters such as "Law 1: Never Outshine the Master," "Law 3: Conceal Your Intentions," "Law 4: Always Say Less Than Necessary," and "Law 18: Stir Up the Transgressive and Taboo," the Members of the Committee will begin to understand the intrinsic value of such a reference, for a woman such as myself, in context of the matter about which I have been called to appear before you today.
It therefore is a natural conclusion that, when the book by the same authors about which you have asked the question, The Art of Seduction, was published in 2001 the effectiveness of the practices detailed in the earlier volume had been personally verified by me, such that, to work out lingering technical problems -- much as has been the case with the F-35 fighter jet -- I had to grab and memorize this thing, stat.
Of particular importance to the Committee is Exhibit A, "Chapter 15: Isolate the Victim." May I read, in part:
An isolated person is weak. By slowly isolating your victims, you make them vulnerable to your influence. Their isolation may be psychological: by filling their field of vision through the pleasurable attention you pay them, you crowd out everything else in their mind. They see and think only of you. The isolation may also be physical: you take them away from their normal milieu, friends, family, home. Give them the sense of being marginalized, in limbo -- they are leaving one world behind and entering another. Once isolated like this, they have no outside support, and in their confusion they are easily led astray. Lure the seduced into your lair, where nothing is familiar.
With the added wisdom, throughout this book, of writings and quotations by historical political and military figures such as Machiavelli, Disraeli, Napoleon, and Moses in establishing precedents for the scenario under discussion, it was my frequent -- indeed, incessant -- practice to reference these books beginning immediately upon their acquisition; not purely out of self-interest, but to also mitigate the implications of being cropped out of event photographs in which wives, family members and major corporate donors also appeared. In this context, may I refer to such a historical quotation from Chapter 8, "Create Temptation":
Thou strong seducer,
Or to put it another way, I had accepted invitations by members to "stop by and say hello" when in town and was directly benefited from my reading, as were all concerned, to be able to say, "When aides act nervous around you, do not take it as a compliment." This has, in fact, been borne out so consistently that I have written to the authors as part of a proposal to collaborate with them on a new volume, working title The Art of Wreckage.
It is for these reasons, including an unfortunate incident in which a chief of staff burst into the Senate dining room, forcibly insinuated himself between me and the member, and hurled the book against the wall, that the book bears this appearance.
I thank the Select Committee for the opportunity to testify on this matter on my own behalf and, now that the Watergate Hotel's posh makeover has been indefinitely postponed due to financing issues involving Lehman Brothers and Dubai and that there are a record number of women being elected to the Senate, my entire Robert Greene library is now absolutely useless. I'm outta here.