Smithsonian A Hit: Qui Bono?

Is Burning Man cashing in from their Smithsonian exposure, right before the big cash-out of the “Original Founders”?

Here is some of the coverage of No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick gallery:

Smithsonian web site

Smithsonian magazine

Bloomberg

Billboard

CNN

DJ Mag

Fast Company

Architectural Record

Artsy

Washington.org

The New York Times asked “Will the Spirit of Burning Man Art Survive in Museums?”

Recently, they announced a deal with Intel and Linden Labs, creators of Second Life – home of the Burn2 cyberspace regional Burn.

Sansar and Intel remake the Smithsonian’s art of Burning Man exhibit in VR (updated)

Will there be a Burning Man: IMAX 3D now?

It is great that big corporations like Intel are patrons of the arts. To whom does that patronage flow? Qui bono: who benefits? Burners?

The Smithsonisan exhibit, all the media attention around it, and now immersive HD multimedia experiences are creating a lot of value.

Where is that value going? It is going to the brand. Who owns the brand? A private company. Who are the directors of that company? Well, it does not appear to be who they told us the controllers were when we first exposed the existence of Decommodifcation, LLC.

There’s been a bit of discussion in our recent Rockstar Librarian post by trolls who think if you are going to write about Burning Man on your blog, you should be expected to pay for other peoples’ art projects from your own pocket, and you must never criticize the founders.

All of the founders made millions of dollars from the corporatization of Burning Man, and I don’t begrudge them that. I’ve never criticized them for that. They chose to sell it for the lowest possible value to the Burning Man project, which did have the effect of increasing the size of the tax breaks they all received for donating the Org to the 501(c)3 – an organization controlled by themselves, with public reporting requirements, which never pays tax. That’s just a fact. There’s no need to doxx the founders’ financial situations, this was all information publicly discussed on their web site and in the newspapers at the time.

Did they earn a lot of money previously to that transaction, that they needed a tax break to cover? We may never know, but A Balanced Perspective has provided evidence to support his analysis that the annual salaries suddenly leaped from about 2 million a year in 2009 to about 8 million a year in 2010, where it stayed for a few years before the transition was “complete”. Where did all that money go? The workers? It definitely did not go to the artists.

We exposed in Decommodification, Inc and Clarification of Decommodification that what really went on with Burning Man’s “transition to a non-profit” was not entirely altruistic. Less well publicized was the creation of a private company in 2010 called Decommodifcation, LLC that held all the actual value of Burning Man. There were various statements made by various founders around the time. Here’s what Larry said. First:

I will address two lingering perplexities. It has been asked if we intend to reveal the financial records of Black Rock City LLC. The answer is yes; that too will happen at about the same time as the Burning Man Project reveals its information—these two entities will then become a clean well-lighted suite of rooms thrown open for inspection. But I cannot guaranty that even this amount of disclosure will satisfy everyone. Even then, I suppose that some will look for skeletons in closets, or search for sliding walls that might conceal a dungeon.

[Source: burningman.org]

This did not in fact happen. Black Rock LLC’s financial records are still secret. The new organization, The Burning Man Project, is required to disclose their IRS Form 990, which is a publicly available document. They revealed what they are required to by law, and very little more. They arranged a story in Philanthropy magazine that they then pointed to as “proof” that they became more transparent. See 2014 Afterburn Report: The Death of Transparency and A Balanced Perspective’s guest post Unlikely Leader in Transparency.

The public information reveals not so much a dungeon as a giant treasure chest. Enormous amounts of cash that are being kept in the coffers. The financial reports in prior years disclosed more to the community. And the reason they were public in the first place? Because the community makes Burning Man. We The People have a right to know, because our money creates the Org to deal with the cops and the road signs and the lighting of The Man. We want to be sure our money is well spent, and not wasted on international junkets to festivals by the year round staff. The new reporting format does not deliver this, at all. There appears to be absolutely zero oversight of these matters.

As A Balanced Perspective pointed out, in an interview with Scribe in the SF Bay Guardian at the time the transition was first announced in 2011 they mentioned a second payout:

Yet Harvey and the other board members, such as Michael Mikel and Marian Goodell, insist that the board plays an important role in shepherding the event and the culture that has grown up around it, which is why they plan on waiting three years to turn control of the event over to the new nonprofit, the Burning Man Project, and another three years after that until they liquidate their ownership of the name and associated trademarks and are paid for their value.

This certainly suggests a further payout is due, one based on the value of the trademarks (very high) rather than the operating business (quite low). Control of the event was handed over to the non-profit The three years mentioned coincides with the planned dissolution of Decommodification, LLC. Which should be now. I couldn’t find any mention of it at all in the 2017 Annual Report.

Back to Larry:

So let me make one last comment regarding Decommodification LLC, which is viewed by some as a sort of sinister outbuilding that is separate from both the event organization and the Burning Man Project. My fellow founders and I are the sole members of this entity whose chief property is the name “Burning Man”. This too will be transferred to the non-profit in three years time, unless the partners elect “not” to do so by a unanimous vote. This arrangement is designed to force our hand.

The Burning Man event organization has used this trademark power to protect our community’s culture from being exploited. We have done this very diligently over several years (it is a right of ownership that must exercised, or it will perish). Furthermore, we have not relied on licensing this intellectual property as a source of revenue. The reason for this 3-year interval is that even we do not invest blind faith in the new non-profit’s workings, and we want to be perfectly sure that it can be relied upon, in the face of temptations that arise within any organization when dealing with power or money, to pursue the policies that we have practiced.

[Source: burningman.org]

Larry is saying that unless the partners vote unanimously to stop it, the intellectual property held by Decommodification LLC transfers to the Burning Man Project this year – presumably triggering a large payout. Who are the partners? The story at the time was that this was the “6 Founders” of Burning Man. Who is it today? According to Corporation Wiki, something different.

Without Larry (may he Rest in Peace), that leaves Marian and Harley as managing members, along with Crimson Rose and Director of Finance Doug Robertson who seems to have been engineering this corporate restructure since he joined in 2009. Will they vote to pass all the intellectual property back to the Burning Man Project? Or will they vote to keep it where it is, in a private company with no oversight that owns assets worth (at least) tens of millions of dollars that they completely control? We know that Decommodification LLC earns royalties from the Burning Man Project for the use of the trademarks. As best we can tell, it’s $75,000 per year. How much do museums pay? How much gets earned from documentaries, soundtracks, calendars, and other users of the brand? This information is a closely guarded secret.

We have already seen the legal resources of The Burning Man Project being employed to protect the value of the intellectual property owned by Decommodification, LLC.

Time flies. “It’s already been a few years, what’s a few more”? From the 2014 thread discussing the transition at Burning Man’s site; my opinions have not changed in the past 4 years:

A great comment along these lines from Dave:

[Source: burningman.org]

One of the things mentioned at the time of the transition was the concept of a “Dead Man’s Switch”. Danger Ranger was rather proud of having inserted this:

The sole purpose of Decommodification LLC is to protect the Burning Man name and I’ve programmed it to automatically dissolve after its mission is completed. Larry has the last word on the Transition discussion. (But I am pleased to note that I am the one who programmed the deadman switch into Decommodification LLC.)

[Source: Danger Ranger Facebook post, 2014]

Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? “Don’t worry about anything because I programmed it to automatically dissolve”. It is easy for these people to say things, but you have to use logic, not just listen to the words. Organizations that deal in the truth don’t employ Ministers of Propaganda. From the Bylaws of the Burning Man Project:

The clause above says “nobody can make any money off Burning Man”, which is the argument One Who Doesn’t Know This Dude has been making. But…there’s a but. It also says “except the Founders”.

Here’s what Larry said at the BJ:

The truth is that the Burning Man Project now employs all but one of the former owners of Black Rock City LLC.

This means we have surrendered all rights of ownership.

But that wasn’t the truth. The truth is they didn’t surrender all rights of ownership. It’s there in black and white in the bylaws.

If the “sole purpose” of Decommodification LLC was to dissolve itself once the transition to a non-profit was complete, there would be no reason for this exception clause to be in the bylaws that constitute the organization. It could be covered as part of the sale agreement, or the contract that the “three year dissolution” clause is in (if that is a different document). Instead, it appears that it was extremely important for the founders to put that in the bylaws. Their right to profit from the IP cannot be taken away, ever. I can’t find any mention in the bylaws of this Dead Man’s Switch, which is strange because the bylaws describe many other situations that require unanimous consent of the directors.

Likewise, if Decommodification LLC is designed to self-destruct as soon as the org has adjusted to being a non-profit, why did they amend the ticket terms and conditions with this?

Here’s what the Org said in their 2013 Afterburn Report

Burning Man is much bigger today than when the new Burning Man Project entity was announced in 2011 then announced as complete in 2014.

More than 4 years later, and the true value of Burning Man is still in a private company, not the non-profit. So how can the “transition to a non-profit” be complete?

IP = Intellectual Property = Intangible Assets. It is the brand of Burning Man that lets them charge $1200 a ticket to create Black Rock City. It is the brand that sells out the Smithsonian with lines around the block. And it is the brand that does a licensing deal with Intel and Second Life.

This exhibit is just the start. They can take that on the road, and with so much Burner art sitting in warehouses, they can curate multiple exhibits. When a museum hosts a Burning Man exhibit, is that gifted? If Intel makes promotional videos about virtual reality there, is that gifted? Do these corporations make a donation to the Burning Man Project? Or do they pay a royalty to Decommodification, LLC? Or both?

From the 2017 Annual Report:

Museums and Public Art

This feels like a new chapter in Burning Man’s history for multiple reasons. The fact that traditional arts and culture institutions are interested in curating Burning Man exhibitions is remarkable, but it’s important to note that these institutions came to us seeking a collaboration because they recognize Burning Man as an important arts and cultural movement (something we’ve all known for a long time). Not only are the work and stories produced by our culture seen as legitimate, they’re relevant, perhaps even necessary.

And it’s a healthy creative challenge to figure out how best to create a Burning Man experience for museum goers and participants outside of the great “tabula rasa” in the desert, while protecting and celebrating the things that make Burning Man so decidedly special and different. It has always been interesting to ask what the outside world finds meaningful about Burning Man, but given this new level of interest, there’s a new, more interesting question: What is it about this moment in history that makes Burning Man so relevant?

I hope that Larry’s vision as he originally explained it is realized, but that hasn’t happened yet. Instead it seems like the Burning Man experience is being packaged up for consumers in museums. Commodified.

If the year-round philosophy center at Fly Ranch gets built as it has been described to us for many years, awesome. If the road gets upgraded and local community concerns get addressed, awesome. If we can deal with the trash and environmental damage of 100,000 people, awesome. If everything owned by “Decommodification LLC” gets handed back from that private and secretive company to the registered non-profit, as was promised for 2018, awesome.

Until we see those things, the idea that “everything will be awesome!” is a LEGO kids movie. You have to consider the track record here. My opinions are formed carefully and backed with supporting evidence. Many of them have already proven true over the years. As for the ones above, I am hoping for “awesome”. Even after everything we have seen and discovered since my involvement began in the 90’s, I still hold out hope. Because Black Rock City is built by THE PEOPLE, not the fucking Org. It is the amazing artists who should be sharing in the spoils, not living year-round on the poverty line in dangerous fire trap warehouses, committing suicide in despair, etc. while a select few reap the rewards and the glory.

Larry Harvey said many times “Burning Man is a model for the future of civilization”. Synarchy is the wrong model.

31 comments on “Smithsonian A Hit: Qui Bono?

    • kudostoblahblah,

      Burning Man is an awesome crowd sourced event, it is an incredible party thrown by thousands of Burners. Near to two thirds of people on the playa are their first burn, or their second burn, and they pay their $500, or $900, or $1,200 ticket, and their camp levies, and expect to be entertained by the sound camps, mutant vehicles, and awesome art, without being of the realization that their ticket does not pay for it, Burners create the awesomeness of this crowd sourced party.

      I have never criticized the Burners throwing this crowd sourced party, they are awesome, the Gate, the BRC Rangers, the DPW, the EDM sound camps, the mutant vehicle crews, the camps whom provide entertainment and interactivity, and most of the Burners laboring for the BMOrg, except of their rubbish social media crew, one of whom has trolled this site for near to five years, utilizing different names. Kudos, and Gratitude, to all Burners throwing this crowd sourced party, and kudos towards all the Burners excited and preparing for the 2018 burn.

      All of my comments upon the prior post, except of one of my comments, and this post by burnersxxx, and all of the comments upon this post, are replies towards the troll..

      kudostoblahblah, might I present a few queries to you?
      Do you believe the BMOrg, from the near to $50 million dollars Burners pay for tickets, and levies, should pay the DPW laborers building, for weeks, the infrastructure of Black Rock City?
      Should the BMOrg pay the costs of the awesome artists, and the crews, doing the art?
      Should the BMOrg disclose their conflicts of interests, in detail, towards donors of cash, stock, art, labour, and entertainment to the ticket buyers?
      Should the Burners throwing this awesome crowd sourced party, and the regional events, have official power within the BMOrg, in the place of solely four, or five, people having near to total top down control over the crowd sourced party thrown by numerous others?
      Should the awesome Burner community be permitted to have a voice in the manner the party is ministered, in the place of being shut down by the BMOrg social media crew, and excluded from their community?
      I have done my share towards the throwing of this awesome crowd sourced party, have you done your share?
      Do you show Gratitude towards the numerous Burners throwing this awesome crowd sourced party?
      Those are my beliefs, kudostoblahblah, I am most curious of your answers.

      Burnersxxx stated it most brilliantly, in regards of a different festival, ‘Is this another example of the ticket sellers keeping the cash, while the content creators run on love?’

      Master Sodium, upon the guest post I desired, also stated most brilliantly, ‘Personally, I think those who say critics are missing the point of burning man, are missing the point of most critics. Sure, there are those who flat out attest burning man sucks now, but the majority of critics agree the community is awesome, and it is the org who has forgotton and/or stopped caring about the heart of burning man.’

  1. Not sure which post you are speaking about ABP, but there is this from the FAQ

    Why are there so many negative posts?
    This is not true. We have a category “Dark Path – Complaints Department” for critical posts. We believe that silence will not lead to improvement; we hope that criticism may. There are at least 10 non-critical posts for every critical one, which means 92% of our posts are positive. The critical posts strike a chord with many Burners who see Black Rock City as more than just a party, and care deeply about its future. Often, these loyal Burners will share posts they think are important with their followers on social media. This can create the impression that “Burners.Me has a lot of negative posts” because it’s the critical ones that get discussed the most. For some reason, Burners who want to criticize Burners.Me don’t notice the overwhelming majority of positive content here.

    We post more amusing and entertaining posts on our Facebook page.

    How can you criticize Burning Man if you love it?
    I almost never criticize Burning Man. Most criticism here is actually about BMOrg, the organization that makes money from all the Gifted efforts of Burners.

    I believe Burning Man is created by the Burners, not the Burning Man Project. To me, “criticizing BMOrg” is not the same as “criticizing Burning Man” – not at all. I call it like I see it, and if they do something that I don’t agree with I will say so.

    The founders of Burning Man have announced a hundred-year plan to spread Burner culture to the world, in the name of philanthropy. In their eyes all Burner culture everywhere belongs to them. I don’t agree, I think that it’s Burners who will spread Burner culture globally.

  2. ABP and I are not even in the same country. I have never paid him a dime.

    If you don’t like my art, you don’t have to look at it. If you don’t like my gifts, you don’t have to accept them. If you don’t like my evidence, you are most welcome to bury your head in the sand and ignore it. Enjoy your Kool Aid!

  3. Delusions of grandeur. This blog isn’t brave, or a “gift”. It’s just a forum for you to write your opinions. Anyone can do that about anything. It’s the internet and you’re just sitting there on your computer. You’re not causing any kind of burner revolution against the borg. You’re here complaining about suspected things that are definitely NOT going to cause people to line up outside burn HQ protesting, then getting hilariously defensive whenever someone criticizes you. You’ve been doing this for 6 years? That sucks.

    I still suspect ABP is you posing as another person, in order to make it look like you have more people who agree with you. That person can’t be THAT much of a toadie, unless you’re compensating them somehow.

  4. “Burning Man is a staging ground for DARPA projects, and a massive social engineering machine based on the principles of Aleister Crowley – a British intelligence agent.”

    I mean, I guess I kinda knew that’s what you thought, but to have it typed out in a concise sentence like that really, to me, crystallizes how utterly paranoid you are. Dude, you know I appreciate some of your investigative reporting on BM over the years, but your central tenet is just nuts.

  5. Replying to “This Dude”‘s tired allegations of conspiracy theories. Just look at the evidence please! Refute it with evidence of your own if you can.

    A. The Project demanded it. What choice did they have? Their bizarre tontine structure created a “last one left owns everything” situation which favored the youngest member of the “6 Founders”.

    B. The amount of money given to artists has decreased, because they conflated it with The Man and now the various shopping mall structures they have around it to showcase the latest Silicon Valley tech. This year, robots. They assimilated Burners Without Borders, and reduced the amount of money it gives out. What happened to Black Rock Solar? BRAF? All absorbed into the Borg. The amount of money going to arts in total might be the same, in fact it is less as a percentage and the numbers are fudged by including the Man build costs.

    C. Everything is supported by evidence. The notes to each slide provide the citations for the claims made. https://burners.me/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/shadow-history-of-burners-part-7-final.pptx

    Here is just SOME of the evidence I presented about DARPA surveillance projects being developed and tested at Burning Man before use at the SuperBowl. You will note that I have named the specific projects I have presented proof of, I’m sure there are many others that we don’t know the name of. Note “GIS products” is Geospatial Information Systems, ie satellite tracking.

    D. The Satanism goes directly to the Founders. Danger Ranger “we’re Satanists with guns”. Crimson Rose is a fake name, taken from an Aleister Crowley poem about the 7 x 7. Marian’s family was directly connected to the Salem Witch trials. Watch my Shadow History series, particularly part 4 and part 6. Watch all the Helco video publised by others on YouTube – this is historical fact, not speculation of any kind.

    And let’s not forget it takes place in .666 of a circle, defined by a pentagram. Again, FACT.

    https://burners.me/2013/11/30/magic-on-a-grand-scale/

  6. I should say this…it is probably unfair for me to call what Burnersxxx says lies. I believe he has talked himself into, or has been talked into, believing the crazy stuff he spouts. So where I say lies I should probably say falsehoods.

    Also, I’m the turd in his punch bowl and he hasn’t blocked me, so there is some integrity there.

  7. Serious question: what do you guys like about Burning Man? All the negativity on this blog has really gotten old. Obviously you like Burning Man enough to keep talking about it so much, right? Although it’s hard to tell anymore..
    The thing is…nobody gives a shit. People will still go to the Burn, tickets will still be purchased, the event will (hopefully) keep happening despite increasing challenges. You want that, right? Or not. Nobody cares if you don’t go.

    • Anyone is welcome to write a guest post. Why is it that nobody can be bothered writing positive posts about Burning Man anymore? Why does This Dude spend so much time here arguing, when he could be writing a positive post about how great Burning Man is and why he loves it so much? We’d happily publish it. Why do people still read this blog and our Facebook page if nobody gives a shit? Why after 6 years of doing this is there still nowhere else on the Internet brave enough to criticize Burning Man?

  8. A. Thank you. For the four people who still read this blog, I am the “troll” of which the author speaks. Like our beloved president, the author defines “troll” as someone who presents ideas he doesn’t like. I am so proud my comment generated this post and the amount of time that went into it I’m gonna go buy myself a drink. I AM THE KING OF THE WORLD!!!!!

    B. Seriously. Just read my comments on the previous post and you will understand my position. Burnersxxx has maligned the character of the founders for years by presenting speculation based on information he chooses to interpret in the most prejudicial manner possible. There is no smoking gun. He keeps dumping so much information and tortured speculation into every post it would be impossible to come to any conclusion. If he actually had any proof he could present it in a couple of paragraphs. Sometimes he pulls poor ABP into his sick obsession. He’s sort of Robin to Burnersxxx’s confused Batman. They believe if you speculate long enough you get to treat your speculation as fact.

    So let’s take a quick look at what they are proposing as best as I can tell. First, when the LLC turned over control of the event to the non-profit, each of the partners were entitled to $1.7 million, they took $49,000 and gifted the rest back. The author would have you believe this was some sort of underhanded scheme rather than a gift. In his mind, somehow, $1.7 million in tax write-offs is better that $1.7 in the bank. Apparently the LLC members were like the crew in Goodfellas…”don’t flash the money around” as when Larry died he lived in the same rent controlled apartment he lived in when he burned the man on the beach.

    What Burnersxxx could never get is, when you have found something, like putting on Burning Man, something that truly feeds your soul, money and luxury just don’t matter that much. Maybe after people yell at you for years you get your teeth fixed. Does anyone have any evidence of these people living high on the hog? I’ve never seen it.

    But maybe they are just biding their time. The still have Decommodification LLC that controls the IP of Burning Man. Now we could just accept that it is there for the very good reason the founders say they put it there, to protect the IP from exploitation, but we aren’t suckers. Obviously the founders have a ulterior motive here. They are going to make a huge profit when they turn over the IP to the non-profit. They are so clever that they waited until they are all in their sunset years and one of them has passed away because, who likes money when you are young enough to enjoy it? So they have pumped up the value of the IP by telling people you can’t ever use it to make a profit so IT ISN’T WORTH ANYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!! You know where Burnersxxx is getting a value of “at least $10 million”? Right out of his ass.

    I get it. I understand, in this fucked up world, it is really hard to believe there is a group of people who just get off on creating something, on giving something, and don’t give a shit about money. Burnersxxx believes people should be paid for the volunteer work they do for Burning Man, or the art they give. He doesn’t understand the greatest gift Burning Man has given all of us is the opportunity to give something without expecting something in return. But if you open your heart up to that it will truly change your life and you don’t have to waste a life chasing money or luxury because you have found something that gets you off for free. That’s the thing that changes people’s lives. I don’t know any of the people I’m defending here. I defend them because my life is appreciably better because of the space they have given me to find what life can truly be.

    I feel sorry for Burnersxxx because all this is right in front of him and he can’t trust it. I think he was successful at making money and it has trapped him into believing there is some kind of intrinsic value in making money. There isn’t. It’s what we create, it’s who we help, it’s what we value that makes the difference. There was a time when he created something that others saw as valuable and he made a lot of money. Awesome, but I think he took the wrong message away. It isn’t that he is a great maker of money, it’s that he is a creator. He could be a creator here, instead of someone who wants to tear down the creation of others. He clearly has the ability to care. He’s clearly very smart if not wise. Combine that with the ability to trust and who knows what wonderful things he could produce or whose lives’ he could change for the better.

    • Not sure why nested comments stopped working, sorry. ABP I updated the link for you.

      Thanks to This Dude for his pity. It really means a lot to me. I will change my life immediately.

      LOL.

      We should each do what we can to make the world a better place. To some, that is promoting the corporate agenda and statements of the Burning Man Organization. Let them maintain their lies, and charge more money every year while giving less to artists every year – and the world will be a better place!

      I am more interested in the truth. Burning Man is a staging ground for DARPA projects, and a massive social engineering machine based on the principles of Aleister Crowley – a British intelligence agent. I don’t point out the truth to make friends, I point out the truth because somebody has to. Who else is going to do it, if not me?

      I have presented facts, not speculation. It’s a FACT that there is nothing in the bylaws about the Dead Mans Trigger. It’s also a FACT that Larry lied when he said “we have surrendered all rights of ownership”. I have presented the evidence right here in this post.

      You want to believe that BMorg would never lie to Burners, that’s your right. It is not speculation on my part, it is regular behavior from them, I’ve caught them at it repeatedly. Anyone who thinks that everything these people tell them is true is a brainwashed cult member.

      If you don’t like the opinions at this blog…start your own!

      PS – the brand “Burning Man” earns revenue of $45 million per year. A valuation of $10 million is on the low side for that. There was a rumor a few years back that they knocked back a $100 million buyout offer from Robert Sillerman / SFX https://www.complex.com/music/2013/12/sfx-acquisitions/

      Did they refuse the big bucks to just donate it instead because they are monks who swore a vow of poverty, and want to give back to the community? If so how come they didn’t give anything to the community in the 4 years since all this happened? Or was it because it wasn’t up to them: whoever really runs this government-hosted project made the decision?

      • Thank you, burnersxxx. I assume he is also penning his false statements, and false personal attacks, on the Facebook group he assimilated for the Borg, with complete support from BMOrg social media moderators. I am trying, at present, to not estimate the cash they are to gain for their Burning Man ™ trademarks, reporters must be querying the BMOrg in regards of full disclosure of the payments for their Burning Man ™ trademarks, but, in due of them hiding, for years, the cash they are to gain, while taking the pounding, and support trolls of his manner attempting to hide their cashout, the cash must be a big amount.

        • If you have to lie to prove your point then you are lying to yourself. If you have to believe I am some sort of plant because you have no answers for my criticism, that is sad. You have entered the realm of crazy paranoia and are wasting your life. For your information I’ve made about four comments on the one Facebook BM group I belong to in the last year.

          • ‘This Dude
            July 31, 2018 @ 11:11 am

            Wait, so what you are saying is you don’t like Burning Man’s model. You don’t agree that artists and those putting on the event should gift their efforts. You don’t believe in the powerful culture that forms when we all give and create the event without asking for anything. So basically you are saying Burning Man is bad because it’s Burning Man. For eight years I’ve volunteered for three or more hours a day to make the event great. I’m not connected to the org and I don’t get paid. I do it because, for fuck sake, something in this world needs to be about something other than about greed and money. WE DON’T WANT TO BE PAID!!!! That’s not what Burning Man is about. No one is getting rich off of Burning Man. You have never shown any evidence of people getting rich off of Burning Man. You are jealous of a phantom.’ bold added

          • Do you think I meant three hours every day of the year? I meant every day of the Burn. Like thousands I give my time at the Burn to help make it the best Burn possible. Everyday of the year? I ain’t got time for that. I work full time and am in grad school. I do try to share what I’ve learned at BM with others and try to live by the principles while at home. I’ve given up on Facebook BM groups for the most part. They are mostly for folks who love to snark, which is fine but can get a bit much. The other brand of BM page is for for people who want to spout weird paranoid conspiracy theories like this blog and commenting here pretty much take up all the time I have to give a shit about that.

          • Right. 3 hours a day of the burn. While I put into this FREE blog year round, for 6 years. Thanks for your contriubtion, dude! I’m sure it made a difference.

          • See I’m putting in three hours a day on playa building up the event. You spend all year tearing it down and pushing conspiracy theories.

          • burnersxxx, I must pooh, pooh his comments, I really must pooh, pooh them, what he is stating is not true. I never thought I might say this, but, burnersxxx, you must be more disbelieving, and more conspiracy minded. The same comments, utilizing the same words, have been penned for years

            Might you have a link to the Burner guest post most similar to kudostoblahblah’s comment, of why are some posts negative? My belief is it was within 2015, but I am not certain, You penned an awesome reply, and I desire to copy my reply too.

      • “Did they refuse the big bucks to just donate it instead because they are monks who swore a vow of poverty, and want to give back to the community? If so how come they didn’t give anything to the community in the 4 years since all this happened? Or was it because it wasn’t up to them: whoever really runs this government-hosted project made the decision?”

        Now you can’t even keep your own crazy straight.

        A. Yes, they refused the “big bucks” because they care about the community more than they care about having money. That is why they don’t have lavish lifestyles. They are fulfilled by what they create, not what they have.

        B. Duh. They didn’t give anything to the community in the last four years because THEY HAD ALREADY GIVEN THE COMMUNITY $1.65 MILLION and, I would assume, that didn’t leave them a lot to give. Also, they gave the community Burning Man. Also, NO, IT ISN’T UP TO THEM. That’s the whole point of the non-profit. It’s up to the board. Also, Art grants have gone up every year since the non-profit was formed.

        C. Supporting crazy conspiracy theories with even crazier conspiracy theories is not the best look.

        D. Are there satanists at Burning Man? I haven’t met them but I’m sure there are. Are there Christians? Yes. They have that great foot washing camp. Are there Buddhists? Lots. I meditate with them on a regular basis. Is there a group of people who worship a chrysanthemum named Bob? Probably. It’s a big city. We get all types.

    • BTW, based on available information and tax law, the highest paid of the founders could write off somewhere between $100k and $150 of their $1.7 million dollar gift to the community. Unless they each made $3.4 million that year while living in rent controlled apartments.

  9. And help Kal with his warehouse. It is a pittance for them to help him preserve space for the work that attracts people there in the first place.

  10. Awesome post, burnersxxx. The reason I have penned my comments is for Burners and for the Burner community. Larry stated, when they assimilated the Burning Man event, ‘To be a real city, Black Rock City must have a central meeting place, a newspaper, and a government, and they stepped forward to be the government.’ In due of the BMOrg desires reporting on their activities in the same manner as President Donald Trump desires reporting upon his activities, the BMOrg took the cash away from the newspaper, assimilated the Facebook groups within 2015, (Is that correct ‘The Dude’?), and stopped the Reno Gazette Journal from reporting upon these matters. Thank you, burnersxxx, for being the sole newspaper for the Burner Community. Most Burners are not of the realization of they are being gaslighted with the BMOrg Kool Aid, they are being lied to all the time.

    burnersxxx, might you edit this post a tad? The second cashout post I penned is embarassing, there were errors within the post, for which I apologized. Might you link the first cashout post in its place, it has stood up very well against the test of time, depending upon the amount they are to gain for their Burning Man ™ trademarks. My belief, at present, is it is at the low range of the estimate. When the salaries/payroll line of the afterburn report increased from $2.858 million dollars within 2009, to $7.283 million dollars within 2010, and Larry stated there were solely thirty employees to move to their new Market Street headquarters within 2011 January, their numbers plainly told us the six Black Rock City LLC owners were taking the missing four million dollars.

    When Danger Ranger discussed the ‘dead man trigger’, they changed the Burning Man trademarks are to be sold three five years after the transition to the Burning Man Project, it is now at the end of 2018, or the start of 2019. I do not have a link to this statement.

    The governing document of the Burning Man Project, the bylaws, are an amazing document penned by brilliant lawyers, giving near to all power to Larry and Marian, and none to the Burner community. I wish I penned a post on the bylaws. In addendum of what burnersxxx stated within this post, the bylaws permitted Larry, in due of his position of Chief Philosophical Officer, to evaluate, and propose towards the Board, ventures, and joint ventures. Who might know of the shenanigans done on the Fly Ranch Project, and other projects, in due of their perpetual utilization of the Burning Man ™ trademarks? The Project bylaws hide their conflicts of interest in a most brilliant manner.

    In the manner I stated numerous times, my belief is what is needed is the BMOrg, or reporters, fully disclose payments for the Burning Man ™ trademarks, pay all DPW workers building the city, pay the costs of the art instead of solely a small part of the costs of the art, and treat the Burner community in a fair manner. In addendum, in due of Larrys passing and health difficulties of two of the other BMOrg members, the Project bylaws are most in need of change, my belief is official power must be given to the Burner community, within the bylaws, in the manner Larry and Marian stated prior of their bait and switch of keeping near to all power to themselves.

    • You both have done good work, provided abundant source material to review and in general I agree with your conclusions especially regarding the lack honesty and integrity. I don’t find that surprising based on my own fact checking of BMorg’s statements.What they make and how the tax/retirement is structured is for the most part irrelevant for me. Dishonesty has become their norm and ANY statements they make should be questioned. Keep up the good work and expect that I might disagree with some of your conclusion as you might not always agree with me. Shine the light on hypocrisy and let the fact speak.

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