Somewhat eclipsed by other news this weekend was the explosion at the Formosa Water Park in Taiwan, where a colored powder ignited after being discharged onto the crowd during a festival.
No deaths were reported, but it has been confirmed that well over 200 people were severely burned by the substance after it was ignited.
It’s a pretty straightforward story that’s been corroborated by almost every respected news source. But the Internet’s most famous quack and founder of NaturalNews.com, Mike Adams, claims to have an angle to the tragic event that the “lying leftist media” doesn’t want you to know: the festival was actually a gay-pride event, and the substance that ignited was “rainbow colored clouds” that rained “down a firestorm of death upon hundreds of attendees who were burned alive.”
If you’re wondering where the hell Adams gleaned this take, it’s “exclusive information” from the “Natural News Taiwan office.”
When the article was posted to NN’s Facebook fan page this Sunday, a massive negative reaction vomited beneath in the comment thread, with hundreds of people (both trolls and fans) slamming the article for its bizarre homophobic overtones.
So what’s Adam’s evidence that it was a gay pride party? In a screenshot grabbed from a video on the organizer Color Play Asia’s Facebook page, Adams points to the logo of a corporate sponsor – which one could argue resembles a swimming sperm (See the upper right corner in the image below):
There you have it: sperm = gay. It turns out the logo is from a clothing company called New Urban Male, which, like Color Play Asia, has nothing to do with gay pride.
Adams then posts another photo from the festival, claiming that the “rainbow banners” signify the “gay pride” nature of the event.
Clearly as a result of the overwhelming negative reaction to the article, Adams updated the piece with a somewhat unhinged justification of his reporting, offering no new links or sources to back up his story, just his own interpretation of photos he posted:
Although the lying leftist media is desperately trying to state this event had nothing to do with “gay pride,” as the following photos show, it was sponsored by an openly gay organization featuring a sperm logo and gay men associated with an international gay modeling organization. I’m not blaming gays for this horrible tragedy, but let’s not be ridiculous and try to claim this gay pride rainbow party wasn’t a gay pride rainbow party. It clearly was. You’d have to be wildly delusional not to instantly recognize this. (Natural News is not an anti-gay publisher. We’ve long argued for universal tolerance for diversity. We are a “pro choice on almost everything” publisher with a social libertarian view, arguing that marriage shouldn’t be “licensed” by the government in the first place.)
And what about his claim that people were “burned alive” at the water park? According to Adams, he didn’t mislead anyone because the phrase “burned alive” means exactly that – the people were burned and were alive, or something:
UPDATE: Trolls and haters on social media are hilariously taking issue with the phrases “burned alive” and “Biblical-scale” used in the title of this story. The contrived outrage is absurd but also highly reflective of the very same kind of mob mentality we see ruling society these days. “Burned alive” means being burned while you are alive, which is precisely what this video shows and exactly what happened. People were alive and being burned while running for safety. They were not burned DEAD, they were burned ALIVE as they tried to escape. Secondly, the phrase “Biblical-scale” means “really, really big” which is precisely what we see in this video. Apparently, haters can’t even stand the site of the word “Biblical” when it’s used as part of an adjective for a very large catastrophe in which innocent people were harmed. “Biblical-scale” is an adjective of size, nothing more. Case closed.
This kind of behavior is obviously not the work of a journalist who’s confident in his research or sources, but rather a charlatan having to do constant patch-up work on the knee-jerk lies posted to a website with millions of followers and tons of traffic.
It’s well known that Mike Adams is kind of a ‘catch-all’ conspiracy theorist and purveyor of pseudoscience. Aside from his health-related quackery and anti-vaxxer rants, he promotes 9/11 conspiracies, AIDS denialism, and has even thrown his lot in with the Sandy Hook truthers. But his bizarre turn to blatantly homophobic hysteria with a biblical twist is a question mark into the mind of this career conspiracy nut.
There’s more and more evidence that the public tide is slowly turning against Internet quackery of this kind. If the overwhelming rebuke to Adams’ insanity is any indication, we can hold out hope that the ability of Natural News and others of its ilk to generate millions in revenue are living in numbered days.
[Update, 6/28/15, 10:44pm PST: Adams has updated his article numerous times since this DeadState piece was published, so the quotes cited above may not reflect the text of the NN article in its current state. To follow the article as Adams keeps changing it, you can click a link to it here. Also, Adams has posted two questionable Chinese language foreign news outlets as sources claiming that they back up his claims, but from my exhaustive research, there is still no evidence or corroborated reports that the tragedy in Taiwan happened at a gay pride event.]