An artist who created a mural for the Washington, D.C., pizzeria that is ground zero for the Pizzagate conspiracy theories says Internet trolls have been harassing him and have even threatened to kill him.
Arrington de Dionyso, a painter and musician based in Washington, says that he has been entangled in the sprawling controversy simply because he created a mural that was briefly on the wall inside the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria several years ago.
He wrote in a post that the mural, which he finished in 2010 and the restaurant painted over a year later, was seized upon as a “clue” by online conspiracy theorists on Twitter, 4Chan and Reddit as “proof” that Hillary Clinton and members of her campaign were running a sex trafficking ring out of the pizzeria.
Most of Dionyso’s works are populated by tigers, birds, serpents, nude bodies and even severed heads. Those mythological references apparently left conspiracy theorists convinced that something horrific was taking place in the pizzeria that featured his works.
Dionyso says those same people have publicized private information about him and his family, and he calls the entire ordeal “terrifying.”
“These faceless Internet trolls have tracked down information about my family, including the livelihood of both of my parents, and have dug up old photos of my friends from nearly a decade ago, using them to back up their ‘theories.’ Everyone in my life has become a target of their blind hatred,” he writes.
Several videos were also posted on YouTube claiming that he is part of “fictitious satanic sex cabal.” One of them was taken down by YouTube.
— Brynn Thorssen (@BrynnThorssen) December 6, 2016
— CindyB (@cbrown57) December 10, 2016
The artist says that his works “celebrate the joy of being human” and “the magical gift of being alive.” He says he draws upon dreams and mythology, but there is nothing sinister about it.
— AveryGrace1776 (@Avery1776) November 26, 2016
For anyone serious about getting to the bottom of #pizzagate, please look closely at the mural in Denver International Airport
— Perry Flutedick (@rappingranny) December 6, 2016
Creepy mural at the end.
— Rene ☠ (@RampaigerRaven) December 1, 2016
— Brittany Pettibone (@BrittPettibone) December 6, 2016