If you scroll through the Facebook reviews for Voodoo Doughnut and its flagship Portland location, they start out straightforward enough. “Donuts were absolutely fantastic and very fun to try and eat,” one recent visitor wrote. “Make sure you get there early, the line grows very fast!” Another said he enjoyed his doughnuts, but hoped that it would soon have some gluten-free options.
Then: “They abuse children. You can’t hide from GOD,” a woman whose Facebook bio describes her as a “sinner-saved” commented on Monday. Wait, what?
Just when you thought you might never hear the word “Pizzagate” again, a right-wing conspiracy theorist has made a new, just-as-bonkers suggestion that Voodoo Doughnut in Portland is also a front for child traffickers and pedophiles. According to Media Matters, Michael Whelan—also known as VeganMikey on Twitter—made the allegation during an appearance on equally nutty Nathan Stolpman’s YouTube channel, Lift the Veil.
In the lengthy video, Whelan said that he had been a victim of satanic ritual abuse (SRA) and also that he’d been “made aware of people that were participating in sexual abuse and trafficking of children in the city of Portland, OR,” and that the children allegedly involved were taken to the home of Tres Shannon, Voodoo Doughnut’s owner.
The Lift the Veil video is new, and has been amplified and given a shoutout by Isaac Kappy, a dude who is way into QAnon, which is basically like Mad Libs for generating insane conspiracy theories about everything from the sinking of the Titanic, to Hillary Clinton (obvs), to how John F. Kennedy Jr. faked his own death. It has also circulated on 4Chan, which has prepared its own “CHILDREN BEWARE” flyer—and subreddits like r/greatawakening, r/conspiracy...and r/insanepeoplefacebook. The #Doughnutgate and #Donutgate are also increasingly prevalent on Twitter, with varying results.
In addition to Whelan’s allegations, the other “signs” for #doughnutgate believers are the ideas that Voodoo’s unconventional doughnuts are intended to represent worship of demons, childrens’ heads, phallic symbols, changelings, or feature symbols related to pedophilia. Yes, we’re all dumber for having read that sentence.
“This story seems to have holes in it,” one Media Matters commenter wrote. We hope that one day, once we’ve forgotten about HASHTAG DOUGHNUTGATE, we’ll think about that pun and laugh and laugh.
MUNCHIES has reached out to Voodoo Doughnut for comment but has not yet received a response.