Reverend Jordan Brown, the pastor behind the lawsuit against Whole Foods over a cake he says was decorated with an anti-gay slur, has deleted posts in which he described the cake and spoke of his lawsuit. That’s not all that has disappeared. The reverend has deleted his Twitter account, and even some sermons from his church have been pulled offline.
Whole Foods released security footage on Monday that appeared to falsify the reverend’s claim regarding the cake — the video demonstrates that the clerk scanned the cake by running a hand scanner over the top of the box.
In the video that Reverend Brown’s attorneys released, however, the UPC symbol, which the clerk would have scanned, is at the side of the box, indicating it was moved before the video was taking, and suggesting the cake was tampered with after purchase.
You can see the UPC code on the side of the cake box in the still shot below, taken from the video above.
Whole Foods released a response in which they detailed the discrepancy between the location of the UPC when scanned and in Reverend Brown’s video, and announced their intention to stand behind the employee who decorated the cake, as well as to “…take legal action against both Mr. Brown and his attorney.”
It seems that the public response has driven the reverend, his church, and his attorneys into silence. The pastor’s Twitter account, an official account linked to his church’s website, has been deleted. The church, which was tangentially linked to the lawsuit, since the Whole Foods cake was allegedly for a member of the congregation, now bears no mention of the cake on its social media page — at least no official mention. It’s all visitors to the page can talk about. Further, Reverend Brown’s most recent sermon, which used to be here, has been removed.
Interestingly, weeks before the Whole Foods cake drama, the pastor, according to KXAN, was himself sued for allegedly defaulting on his student loan debt.
The chain has now gone from referring to the incident as a “hoax” to calling it “fraudulent” and a contradiction of “Whole Foods Market’s inclusive culture, which celebrates diversity.”
Perhaps Reverend Brown and his church are going quiet from shame, but it could also be that the level of negative feedback was just overwhelming. There’s no question that there is more than enough of that.
Kaplan Law Firm was representing the reverend, and on their social media pages, commenters are lashing out and making fun. Many accuse the firm of deliberately aiming to defraud Whole Foods, and others mock with jokes.
“The cake is a lie.. haha get it”
On the church’s page, more commenters demand to know the pastor’s side of the story, and call out the church for deletion of posts related to the lawsuit.
“Hey I was hoping you could explain why you felt you had to sue for that cake instead of just returning it and talking to a manager – and also why you’ve deleted all claims and references to the smear campaign cake that you made after news of the countersuit.”
There was also direct feedback to the claimant himself on social media.
The baker you libeled is also gay, @PasJordanBrown.
You are a horrible human being.
— Bob Owens (@bob_owens) April 19, 2016
@PasJordanBrown Pastor, you do know what the ninth commandment is, right? “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor”.
— It’s Not Me It’s You (@NotMeItsYou) April 19, 2016
With such a flood of attacks, the sudden silence from the church, pastor, and attorneys aren’t necessarily an admission of guilt. If they have any defense for their actions, stepping out of the public eye briefly could be a matter of respite. Though contacted for further statement about the Whole Foods cake, the lawsuit, and the deletion of claims, Reverend Brown has as yet given no response.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]