When life gives you conspiracies, make pies with extra cheese
How could we forget you?
In case you have forgotten, during the 2016 presidential election, fake news stories ran amok and rumors spread through social media that Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager, John Podesta, were running a child-trafficking ring in the basement of Comet Ping Pong, a pizza shop in Washington, DC.
How, exactly, did this come to be?
During the election, Podesta’s email account was hacked, and several of his emails were published on Wikileaks. A handful of said communications were between Podesta and James Alefantis, the owner of Comet Ping Pong, who was considering hosting a fundraiser for Clinton. Simple enough, but phrases like “large cheese” and “several slices” were for some reason interpreted by desperate fringe conservatives to be code words indicating, yes, an underground sex trade complete with kill rooms and ritual sacrifice (I wish I were kidding).
Two years later, Pizzagate is back—but this time it’s a good thing.
Oh, and Satanism really is involved.
“Pizzagate was really the satanic panic of recent times,” says Adam Dodge, the official chef of the Satanic Temple in Salem. “And so my next event is a pizza pop-up.”
Dodge hosted his first independent event, the Devil’s Dinner Party, at the Satanic Temple last month to officially and publicly marry his passion for cooking with his other love.
“Cooking and Satanism are about the same things,” Dodge says. “It’s about passion, it’s about romance, it’s about appreciating life and sharing that passion with others.”
From 10 pm to midnight this Thursday (Nov 29), Dodge will host Pizzagate: The Witching Hour Pop-up at the Frogmore in Jamaica Plain.
The premise: This amazing pizza place got death threats from strangers believing in these theories spread by Reddit, Infowars/Alex Jones and Donald Trump’s transition team member Michael T. Flynn, his designate for national security advisor, who actually tweeted that Podesta was drinking the blood and bodily fluids of his victims in satanic rituals.
The promise: Tasty devilish flatbreads, evil snacks, and cocktails from [his] upcoming cookbook.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Mass General Hospital Depression Clinical and Research Program, an acknowledgment of the mental health toll a career in the restaurant industry can take with its with long hours, lack of personal days, and high-stress work environment.
“It became super visible with [the death of] Anthony Bourdain, but there’s so many people in the industry who are battling mental health issues and don’t get to take mental health days, who are working overtime to keep their insurance,” Dodge says.
“This is something I can do to bring people together and highlight that struggle.” Don’t worry, there will be no ritual sacrifice.
“Satanists don’t hurt other people like that. We consider man to be an animal and we worship animals. Killing people is wrong. Like, that’s fairly universal, right?”
It’s not quite 45’s presidency on a platter, but hey: Who doesn’t love pizza?
Haley is an AAN Award-winning columnist for DigBoston and Mel magazine and has contributed to publications including the Boston Globe and helped found Homicide Watch Boston. She has spearheaded and led several Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism investigations including a landmark multipart series about the racialized history of liquor licensing in Massachusetts, and for three years wrote the column Terms of Service about restaurant industry issues from the perspective of workers.