Voodoo Doughnuts: just fun or the commodification of a minority religion?

TWH — The Portland-based doughnut company Voodoo Doughnuts announced earlier this year that it was expanding its brand to Orlando, Florida and would be offering its unique take on doughnuts at the Universal Studios theme park. Its regular doughnut offerings have names such as Voodoo Doll, Memphis Mafia, Gay Bar, and Cock-N-Balls. They also serve the ubiquitous powdered sugar cake doughnut as well. The store opened last week with limited hours, and will hold its grand opening sometime this spring. Voodoo Doughnuts is the brainchild of Kenneth “Cat Daddy” Pogson and Tres Shannon. According to their site, the two were friends and wanted to start a business that would “fit into an extraordinary Portland Oregon business climate.

Multiple reports of ritualistic torture in New England leave Voodoo practitioners cringing

MASSACHUSETTS –Two apparently unrelated cases of child torture and murder in this state have been attributed to Voodoo by the perpetrators, which has led to precisely the sort of negative attention in the media that practitioners of African traditional religions seek to avoid. The word “voodoo” is often used in the mainstream to refer to spiritual practices of the African diaspora that emerged in the Caribbean, and have strong elements of animism and magic use. The practices are also sometimes syncretized with Christianity. That six-letter spelling is mostly associated with Louisiana or New Orleans Voodoo, while practitioners of the Haitian variant prefer to spell it “Vodou” instead. Regardless of the spelling, it is a tradition that has been sensationalized in film and on television for close to a century, which leads many adherents to avoid interviews about their practices even if it’s for a positive reason.