Happy Halloween: Burning Man is America’s Largest Pagan Ritual

Which idol are you worshipping, kiddies? Whose rituals are you really performing on All Hallow’s Eve?

Now The End Begins is a web site dedicated to welcoming in the End of Days. First we had Y2K, then we had 12/21/2012 and the Mayan Calendar, now it seems Burning Man itself is becoming the symbol of Armageddon…

“Then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.” Ezekiel 20:7

The adherents to this religion are appropriately called “burners”, and the Burning Man Pagan Festival began like this:

“Burning Man stems from a small group of free-spirited artists in the San Francisco area who got together to burn a wooden effigy on the beach in 1986; and the little beach event has grown to an annual gathering of nearly 70,000 attendees and has moved to the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, where hippies, yuppies and wannabe bohemians of every type meet up and enjoy a week of crazy self-expression, self-reliance and communal craziness.” source – Explorer News


But the reality of the Burning Man is much closer to worship of the gods of the underworld than it is to Woodstock. Every manner of perversion and occultic practice is on open display during the annual Labor Day Weekend extravaganza. This is Old Testament Baal worship on overdrive. Here is a report on this year’s Burning Man theme:

“By morning on Wednesday, there were 15 streets circling the temporary city created by attendees and the forecast remains free of dust storms. Many have been impressed by the size and look of this year’s Man Base, a structure that houses the iconic ‘Man’ figure burned each year near the event’s close. Inside a flying saucer under the Man is a multi-level structure with zoetropes, a giant chandelier and views of Black Rock City. Slides serve as exits. 


Now Is The End seem confused by “Cargo Cult”, and for some reason seem to associate aliens with the devil. So, angels aren’t aliens, but demons are? Or, both are aliens? Jesus was an alien? I get confused, but then there are half a dozen or so series’ worth of Ancient Aliens episodes, as well as years’ worth of YouTube stories, all with their own differing theories on the matter.

The art theme this year is ‘Cult Cargo’ and focuses on a strange being called John Frum. ’He is known to us by many names, this Visitor from Elsewhere, dispenser of endless abundance and wielder of mysterious technologies: John Frum, Quetzalcoatl, Osiris, “Bob,”‘ reads the website. ‘His cargo is splendid, his generosity boundless, his motives beyond our understanding. But across the ages and around the world, the stories all agree: one day he will return, bearing great gifts. ’Our theme this year asks three related questions; who is John Frum, where is he really from, and where, on spaceship Earth, are we all going?’”source – Daily Mail UK



“And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.” Revelation 13:13,14

Burning Man must be devil worship, because Hell is filled with fire. Hmmm…seems like somewhat of a non sequitur to me. That’s like saying the Sahara Desert must be Burning Man because there’s a lot of sand.

The Devil and all His followers are fascinated with fire and things burning. This is easy to understand as Hell is filled with fire and those there will burn forever and ever. The ironic twist to it all is that the Devil Himself will burn in the fires of His own Hell.


It is no coincidence that as we get closer to the end times events described in the Bible, that the dark underworld of Satan will dramatically rise and assume a larger and larger role in our everyday society. Everything that the Burning Man festivals stand for is described in the Bible as things that God hates. False gods, idol worship, the groves…all these things incurred God’s wrath on the practicers.

God hates Burning Man? So, God’s a hater? Oh dear, where’s the love?

Cradle of MIR Artist Arrested; Do You Have a Picture of Sasha Mironov?

by Whatsblem the Pro

Alexander 'Sasha' Mironov with a model of the MIR space station

Alexander ‘Sasha’ Mironov with a model of the MIR space station

Alexander ‘Sasha’ Mironov, artist behind The Cradle of MIR, is in jail in Los Angeles and needs any photos you may have of him at Burning Man.

The 38-year-old from Moscow, Russia was arrested by the California Highway Patrol at 10:20 PM on October 15th, 2013 on undisclosed felony charges. He was booked at the LAPD Pacific Division station near Los Angeles International Airport, and is currently being held in the North County Correctional Facility in Castaic, California, which is part of the Pitchess Detention Center, aka ‘Wayside.’ Mironov has not been granted bail; as a foreign national he may be considered a flight risk, and U.S. Immigration has a hold pending on him.

Mironov’s friends on The Cradle of MIR project are calling for any photographs you may have of him, as they may help provide evidence of the artist’s innocence in the case.

Dim Borisov writes:

WE NEED PHOTOS. Your photos!

If you have a photo that was taken on Friday, August 30, the day of “Cradle of Mir” burn, that has Alex on it PLEASE send it to us as soon as you can! This will serve as evidence for where he was at that moment. We need the originals, with the date the file was created, so it is clear when the photo was taken. The photos should be dated August 30, 2013.

Please email your photo to: mironov.ram@gmail.com

Help us, PLEASE, this is VERY IMPORTANT!!

I can’t speak about any details publicly, as any extra information could lead to complications while the case is ongoing. At time we’re just asking for photos, the rest will be disclosed and put to rest hopefully sooner than later.

We don’t know what Sasha Mironov is accused of, or how guilty or innocent he might be, but with evidence the truth will surely out. . . so if Mironov looks familiar to you, please check your photographs and videos from Burning Man.

Mironov in San Francisco

Mironov in San Francisco

Mironov (left) at the Cradle of MIR build site; Burning Man 2013

Mironov (left) at the Cradle of MIR build site; Burning Man 2013


The Cradle of MIR, Burning Man 2013

The Cradle of MIR, Burning Man 2013

Getting the Last Word: A Year After His Death, a Burner Speaks His Mind

by Whatsblem the Pro

Paul Addis -- PHOTO: SF Weekly

Paul Addis — PHOTO: SF Weekly

It has been a year now since Paul Addis, the man who went to prison for burning the Man early in 2007, leapt to a cruel death under the steel wheels of a BART train at Embarcadero Station in San Francisco.

So much has been said about Addis and his actions; people have expressed some very wide-ranging – and very strongly-held – opinions, calling him insane, a criminal, troubled, brilliant, a genius, a pointed performance artist, a bold rebel, and much more.

Whatever you might think of Addis, the response on the part of the corporation that runs Burning Man was very telling for a lot of people. . . many of whom stopped attending in protest after Addis was convicted and sent to prison on the strength of the testimony supplied by Burning Man’s leadership.

Love him, hate him, or wonder. . . but nobody who knows even part of the story has forgotten, or ever will forget, Paul Addis’ early burn.

There’s a lot we could say about all of it, a year after his suicide. Addis was barred from working in his rather lucrative chosen profession, thanks to his felony conviction for burning the Burning Man, and reduced to whatever minimum-wage jobs he could find as an ex-con on parole. One can only imagine the sense of helplessness and despair that led him to throw his body into the path of an oncoming subway train. Love him, hate him, or wonder, but in the end he was our fellow human being and our fellow burner, and deserving of at least some minimum of our sympathy in his darkest hour.

Spokespeople for the corporation that runs Burning Man – Marian Goodell in particular – have persistently claimed in public that Addis’ conviction was out of their hands, and expressed sadness that he was convicted of a felony serious enough to carry a prison sentence with it. . . but that claim remains one of the most glaring examples of slick, dishonest, corporate-style insincerity on the part of Burning Man’s executives in the event’s history. It doesn’t matter what you think of Paul Addis, who is gone forever. . . but it does matter what you think of the people who brought the hammer down on him. It matters a lot.

In the video below, Paul Addis speaks for himself from beyond the grave about the early burn, the response from those who hold the keys to our kingdom, and the comeuppance he received. We wish his friends and family an easy first anniversary of his death, and good closure going forward.

[Update from ed: 10/31/13] Thanks to Burner Dave for providing a link to radio traffic from the night after Paul Addis lit the Man.

Oakey-Eyed View of Burning Man [Update]

Paul Oakenfold is one of the few DJs who has been big in the 80’s, 90’s, Naughties, and is still going strong into the Teenies. He is as big today as he was 20 years ago, currently ranked the #69 DJ in the world. I don’t think he has ever been out of DJ Magazine’s Top 100 since the poll began. He has been the opening act for U2 and Madonna on their world tours, and remixed everything from Elvis to the James Bond theme. He also signed Salt-n-Pepa, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and “Fresh Prince” Will Smith when he was an A & R guy in New York, and he was the agent for the Beastie Boys in the UK before he was known as a DJ. He found the rave sound in Ibiza and Goa and spread it to every country in the world. He also threw the biggest rave ever in America, in Fresno.

DJ Paul Oakenfold at the Green Man, Burning Man 2007

DJ Paul Oakenfold at the Green Man, Burning Man 2007

I saw him playing in a stonehenge-type circle at Burning Man in 2004, playing whatever he wanted for about 7 hours to 50 or so people. It was one of the best nights I’ve ever had at Burning Man. He played a few times at Cargo Cult, I caught a bit of his set at White Ocean but was sadly disappointed. Simon Patterson and Asterix blew him out of the water, in my opinion. He is brilliant at playing to the crowd and he did seem to be giving them what they wanted. He’s one of the biggest names in the whole music business, in some circles even bigger than Diddy, and it’s great to have him still supporting the party.

Now we can all see a bit of what it’s like to be Oakey at Burning Man, thanks to the magic of Google Glass – yes, Oakey has joined the pack of Glassholes. Look for more “Burning Man from the DJ’s perspective” videos coming soon, I would like to see some Robot Heart sunrise ones perhaps.

The best place to see Paul Oakenfold is in Las Vegas, recently he was inducted into the Hard Rock Hotel Hall of Fame, for his services to Rehab…

[Update 11/19/13] Oakenfold has posted his set from Cargo Cult online.

2012 Financials [Update with Profit Estimate]

The Afterburn 2012 report has been published. The financials are there, but the census data isn’t. There may be other things missing too. I don’t have time tonight to go through keep the artistthe whole thing for y’all, but I did notice one thing that I wanted to point out. Currently, almost all of the art at Burning Man is community funded. The BMOrg awards art grants to a few dozen lucky artists a year, who get on average about $13,000. In 2012 the total amount of the grant was “more than $700,000”, according to Burning Man. They said it at the time in the JRS and they say it again here in this report. Well, the actual amount handed out according to the books is less than than that, $681k. What about that $19k, Burning Man? That could’ve funded 2 or 3 art projects for us to enjoy.

With the hundreds of art works and art cars coming to Burning Man each year, you’d think the BMOrg would find a way to hand that out some support to more than a chosen 47 artists. After all, they spent $84,000 on phone calls, in this age of Skype and Instagram and Snapchat…and $70,000 on uniforms and costumes (radical self-reliance at work?) I hope they enjoyed their $430,000 of travel, that’s $6 from each of us, and about $9000 per employee! Add to that another $1.27 million of meals, mmm, yummy!



2012 Cash Expenditures


Event-related expenditures:
BLM and other usage fees


Rental Equipment (heavy machinery, portable buildings, staff radio gear, cars and trucks)


Toilets (and related costs)


Honoraria provided to artists


Local Agencies (County law enforcement, Paiute Nation, Nevada Highway Patrol)


Materials and Supplies (shade structures, signage, lighting, décor, cleaning supplies, photography, archiving)


Cost of Goods for Ice, Café and Merch sales


Watering for dust abatement (equipment rental, contractor services)


Ticket sales/processing/printing fees paid to outside ticketing firm


The Man and Platform (materials, pyrotechnics, technicians, labor)


Medical Services and Supplies


Fire Safety




Small Equipment and Tools (including radio comm equip, safety & signage)


Printing (newsletter, survival guide, gate materials, postcards, stickers)


Vehicles (registration, repair, and maintenance)


Equipment Repairs, Maintenance, Cleaning


Costumes / Uniforms


Fees, Agency permits, royalties, Damages & Losses


Total event-related expenditures


Expense Categories that include both Event-related and Organizational:


Outside Services: Independent contractors


Insurance (property, liability, workers comp, vehicle)


Tax and Licenses (state and federal, payroll, misc)


Meals and Food (meetings, playa commissary, non travel)


Total Expense Categories that include both Event-related and Organizational


Total Outreach Expenses – Off-Playa Events, Regionals, Other


Year-round Expenditures of the Managing Corporation:
Outside Services (legal, consultants, accounting)


Facilities Rent


Travel (airfare, mileage reimbursements, food while traveling, accommodations for meetings, agency relations, public relations, training, etc)


Office and Computer Supplies


Utilities (San Francisco and Nevada)


Donations to local Nevada schools and organizations




Internet (hosting fees, POP accounts, high speed line)


Telephone (San Francisco and Nevada Offices, reimbursements, conference calls)


Shipping / Freight


Gifts, Promotions


Education and Training




Total year-round Expenditures of the Managing Corporation


Expenditures for Fixed Assets:


Computers and Electronics (including radio equipment)


Machinery and Equipment


Trailers and Portable Buildings


Land and Building Improvements


Furniture and Fixtures


Total Expenditures for Fixed Assets $444,631

Total Expenditures – 2012


Since BMOrg don’t want to share, we do the math, so you don’t have to.

Originally, there were just 50,000 tickets in 2012. BMOrg’s gate revenue for that was $18.5 million. Then, the special permit was increased, meaning more tickets. But, the event didn’t actually sell out, in fact attendance was slightly down on the previous year. The final attendance was 56,149, so assuming that the extra 6,149 all paid full price of $390 and there were no cash gate sales in addition, then 2012 ticket sales were $20.9m.  Did Burning Man actually lose money in 2012, when attendance dropped after the lottery fiasco?  Remember they found another $1.3 million in revenues after the event, that they forgot to account for. I believe I have those numbers included in the 56,149.

This year Cargo Cult Burners forked out more than $1 million, just on ice at Arctica. In 2012, the cost of providing ice AND coffee was $369,000, meaning this is quite likely the most profitable cafe in the entire world.

We don’t know how much additional moolah was earned from photo shoots ($150k a pop), movie royalties, and YouTube viewings…let alone equipment rental, plug-n-play camping, utilities, commissions…the list goes on, and is not public. We have to infer some of these things, from the economy we can see out there. The BLM fee is 3% of BMOrg’s total take from the event on their land. Note that there is a separate accounting line item for the other authorities. The Feds get paid $1.9 million for the use of their little patch of desert, that would otherwise just be sitting there waiting for a few land sailors to show.

[Update 10/27/13] – we have gained some further information on the breakdown of costs. The BLM Permit states that Burning Man has to cover the Feds’ costs, AND pay a 3% cut on top of that, so not all of the $1.9 million is from the commercial use fee. Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the split:

“Black Rock City LLC is responsible for payment of the actual costs of administering the Special Recreation Permit, including all direct and indirect costs, in addition to the commercial use fees.  The fees that BLM collected for the designated event period in 2008, 2009 and 2010 ranged from $989,000 to nearly $1.3 million.  In 2010, the BLM’s cost recovery from BRC for issuing the permit totaled $795,533.55, and BRC’s commercial use fees totaled $500,483.98 (Aspen 2011).

Agency, city and county personnel get paid overtime, and Black Rock City reimburses this cost.”

(This means BLM employees get paid overtime and Black Rock City foots the bill.)  This almost seems like giving “bribes” to the agency, city and county, doesn’t it?

More from the June 2012 Environmental Assessment (EA) for Burning Man.

So, now we have some data on the 2010 cost recovery item. Total BLM costs were $1,296,017, and the total revenue for the 3% commercial fee calculation was $16,682,799. The commercial use fees are 38.6% of the total. Assuming that this ratio still holds true for 2012, this would give us commercial use fees of $721,379.

Bringing the total take including tickets, ice, coffee, and donations, to $24,045,986. A nice profit for Burning Man of  $1,934,406 – before taxes, but after they’ve taken out about $8.5 million in salaries.

Transformoney Tree

Transformoney Tree

The actual cost of putting on the party appears to have gone up substantially this year, to $8.1m – meaning it won’t be surprising if it exceeds $10 million for the first time when 2013’s results come out. This year’s numbers will be underpinned by higher attendance of almost 70,000, offset with higher legal costs and payments to authorities. Total take by the Feds and the local authorities, including Paiute Indians and donations to schools and other local organizations, was $2,779,887. Take that stuff out and really, it’s costing $5.3 million to put on a party for 70,000 people with no commerce that brings in  over $24 million.

youtube-moneyOf course, we don’t know how much revenue gets brought in from the year-round activities like photo licensing, merchandise sales, fine art, and broadcast and YouTube royalties. Presumably this is enough to offset at least some of the $2.7m in organizational overhead costs that are not event-related.

breaking bad moneyIt sure seems like several great big piles of dough, for a week in the inhospitable wilderness. Burning Man’s all grown up now, we don’t begrudge them any of it, it’s theirs to spend however they see fit. If they think the year round activities make the week of the party better, beyond the event costs, that’s their right. Hopefully when the event completes its transition to a non-profit, we can all see some public, audited accounts – just like other cities like San Francisco publish for their taxpayers. $390 is cheap when you consider that it’s tax AND rent combined.

One thing’s for sure: the banks are getting almost ALL of this money. As it flows into the community and back out, between us all and the BMOrg and Wal-Mart and Chevron and El Monte RV and so on in this symbiotic economy… the banks get paid, again and again and again.

Imagine what a different world we’d have, if instead of all the year-round activities, the Burning Man Organization just threw the week-long annual party, then invested half the profits in buying land and infrastructure in other places around the world for Burners to throw Regional events at. The founders could still pull out $8 million a year profits for themselves, and the Burner universe would be getting $8 million of new, permanent, cultural infrastructure every year. The event would be underpinned by permanent infrastructure and land that would appreciate in value over time, as Burners improved it and up-cycled it with new, more profitable uses.