Cops Don’t Keep Festivals Clean: Hard Proof From Australia

Via The Village Voice

Via The Village Voice

I was sent this paper by a professor at NYU who I hold in the highest regard. While local authorities all around the world continue to argue about the best way to “secure” festivals, from crime and medical harm, the Aussies have done some real work. Published in this month’s International Journal of Drug Policy, Caitlin Elizabeth Hughes, Vivienne Moxham-Halla, Alison Rittera, Don Weatherburnb, Robert MacCounc of the National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New South Wales in Sydney have made a fascinating discovery. One that, while novel, will seem obvious immediately once you understand what they proved. The core assumption they sought to evaluate the validity of seems almost common sense, yet has been at the core of the West’s strategy : Police can deter, discourage or prevent drug offending/consumption. Given that we’ve already spent $1.2 Billion in 2017 already to police and prohibit, you’d hope that the core tenet of “Police presence reduces drug offense” would be bullet-proof.

Over 4000 people took part in a Drug Policing Survey over a 5 month period. This survey asked takers (who had self-identified as regular festival/club attendees who consumed recreational drugs or had friends who did) to evaluate how certain types of police presence at clubs and festivals would cause them to change their drug taking tactics. As opposed to treating party people as some skittish, crack-addicted group that couldn’t be reasoned with, Dr. Hughes & her team depended on the festival/club attendees to evaluate scenarios where evading law enforcement was the goal. This might seem a little subversive to Americans, but even in cybersecurity, probing weaknesses using data from blackhats is worth its weight in gold. And this study was no exception.

Five different experimental vignettes were presented to the surveytakers. They were hypothetical scenarios that included an assortment of policing strategies: High Visibility Policing, Riot Policing, Collaborative Policing & Policing with Drug Detection Dogs, and a control scenario (No police presence). Essentially, how would your drug consumption or purchasing change if one of these police presence schema was used at the club or festival you attended. While any police presence led to a 4.6% reduction in overall illicit drug offending, it led to merely a reduction in people willing to carry drugs into an event or carry them on their person. Which makes sense. Ask any party person you know, they’ll probably regale you with tales of very minor substance use inside the club, maybe a few key bumps or lines in the bathroom. Very few people have the cajones to bring drugs into festivals or clubs that have big time security. They just assume they’ll purchase whatever they need inside the venue. And that’s exactly what the researchers found.

Via The Village Voice

Via The Village Voice

Given police presence, purchasing of drugs increased significantly within festival grounds. High Visibility Policing reduced overall drug offending, while Drug Detection dogs reduced drug possession the most, which makes sense. If you can see cops everywhere, you’re less likely to engage in risky shit. However, if you see drug dogs, you’re more likely to not carry, especially into the festival. And here’s the kicker. While you’re less likely to carry, you’re much more likely to buy and consume at the event.

This leads to all sorts of terrible shit, as people don’t test drugs they buy to consume immediately. Moreover, when you buy drugs from a dealer you’re likely to never have contact with again, because you’re not a regular customer, it’s that much more likely they’re going to sell you some bunk. If you’re a regular reader, you can probably guess why this concerns me. The idea that policing is not only ineffective, but also increasing the chance that drug consumers are going to take untested, is a significant departure from the “police just send drug use underground” talking point that we’ve been dealing with for years.

The truth is way more complicated of course. People do drugs in the safest way they’re able, exposing themselves to as little liability as they can while still achieving their ends. If that means buying LSD and taking it while they’re standing in line, they do that. If they prefer a drug that’s got a shorter duration, like MDMA or cocaine, some might be down to bring drugs in, but most are not willing to take that risk. That leads to the massive market opportunity that drug dealers at festivals & clubs exploit. This is simple market economics that most prohibitionists are unwilling to admit. Dealers, like life in Jurassic Park, find a way. Neatly tethered to the events of BPM, criminals will always find a way to ensure they profit from market demand. And in this case, our insatiable demand for drugs can’t even be stopped by the “North Korea with neon lighting” levels of policing that events like Electric Zoo have put forth. High definition cameras to capture buys, drug dogs and high visibility severe response policing can put a damper on drug possession or even perhaps trafficking into the event, but these types of enforcement mechanisms can’t stop consumption.

If anyone believes these findings don’t apply to the USA, I’d love to hear your reasoning. This is the type of bipartisan, public-health focused research that I think we should be relying on. As we’ve seen over the last month, attempting to appeal to morality, ethics, or some form of value system will fail and fail hard during the reign of Orange Xerxes. The only chance we have at winning is to force the conversation entirely into data and effects of current policies on the ground. A study like this is something that police, “family first” organizations and even straight up anti-drug advocates have a hard time responding to. It allows us to move the conversation from “What should America be like?” to “What actually works?” By doing so, you neatly remove the “People shouldn’t be doing drugs!” talking point from the repertoire of the advocate you’re debating with. Even if you believe people shouldn’t be doing drugs, you can’t ignore the fact that the policing schemes that are discussed in the study simply don’t work to achieve those ends.

There will always be people whose cognitive dissonance is so large that this will fall on deaf ears. But, for those who are willing to listen, discussing this study might just be a step in the door with your cop uncle or Catholic cousin. We need all the help we can get, so tread softly, avoid people who steal your bandwidth, and find consensus wherever you can. 2017 demands it.

 

BPM & Ending The War on Drugs: Don’t You Dare Look Away Now

Narco-sign in Playa Del Carmen after BPM shooting

Photo By Trevor Dunn

Editorial/Analysis by Terry Gotham

I’ve spent the last week interviewing people and collecting information about the worst thing to happen in live events since Orlando. Last week, the BPM Festival suffered a terrible attack, leaving 5 dead and more than a dozen wounded. Long considered one of the crown jewels of the festival circuit, this heinous attack has resulted in the local government showing BPM and all other music festivals the door. As usual, most commentary on the causes or effects either totally misses the mark or descends into slap fighting.

Photo by Semanario Playa News Aqui y Ahora

Photo by Semanario Playa News Aqui y Ahora

Before I dig into this story any deeper, I need to make a strong caveat. This commentary is in no way blaming anyone who was shot at, injured or killed for the violence that was done to them. I cannot stress this enough. While macroeconomic forces, drug cartels and America’s ineffectual responses to the growing demands for legalization are to blame for this attack, blaming BPM or BPM ticketholders for narco-terrorism is tone-deaf to the point of brutality. While I assume people will believe that was my aim to engage in some classist/leftist/racist point that serves only to divide, I believe this can be a wake up call for everyone who parties, not just those who take drugs or care about legalization, but for all Americans who believe in Constitutional rights.

According to Miguel Angel Pech Sen (district attorney of Quintana Roo, a Mexican state) at 2:30 AM, Monday morning, the security at Elrow’s closing party at the Blue Parrot was overwhelmed and the club was entered by an as-yet undetermined number of assailants. BPM declared that there was a lone gunman on the FB post about the shooting, but this has been called into question by a number of witnesses who spoke to Billboard and claimed they saw multiple shooters. The Attorney General later said it appeared there were “a lot of people carrying arms” in the club, and that many of those wounded were hit when security personnel were attempting to shoot the attacker. The attacker escaped, he said, and may have been assisted by a taxi in getting away. Three members of security died, a 4th, who seemed to be the target, and a fifth person died in the stampede to escape the club.

After the shooting at the Blue Parrot, the violence raged across Playa Del Carmen for the rest of the week. On Tuesday, a “Code Red” was activated in Cancun when the Control Center for Command, Computing & Communications was attacked by 10 armed men who arrived by motorcycle. Their goal was to extract a local drug cartel leader from holding, not kidding. Avenues in Cancun were attacked with fucking grenades, while shots were reported inside of the Plaza Las Americas Shopping Center. Narco-signs (messages from the cartels) sprang up, with the Zetas claiming responsibility and announcing that more violence was to come. Again, Playa Del Carmen banned not just BPM, but electronic music festivals, in case you had tickets to the Arena Festival, slated to go on in the beginning of February.

At this point, I hope it’s clear that this is a situation that the police and military do not have under control. While plenty of American and Canadian party people live blissfully unaware of the spiral of drug-fueled violence that Mexico is enduring, we need to stop pretending “this is fine.”

mexican-safety-map

Whether it’s the Fast & Furious gun program, Hillary’s refusal to support legalization, or the psychedelic libertarianism I’ve written about before, the indifference to legalization as a priority has put billions into the hands of cartels that have much of Latin America by the balls. MS13, the Zetas, the Sinaloa Cartel, and dozens of others we’ve probably never even heard of have rained suffering and death across so much of our hemisphere. Our continued inability to care about the problems that come with drugs, namely opiate abuse by the poor and swelling the coffers of organized crime, has all but ensured that tragedies like the one that befell the Blue Parrot will keep happening anywhere the drug war has touched.

I don’t want to hear that legalizing drugs will just cause the cartels to make money somewhere else. The revenue is non-trivial. Even before legalization hit, the RAND Corporation and the Mexican Institute of Competitiveness estimated that almost 30% of cartel revenue (not profit) came from cannabis. With legalization, we’re already seeing cannabis seizures drop:

In the Border Patrol’s San Diego sector, marijuana seizures fell to 8,158 pounds in fiscal 2015, an 88 percent drop compared to a decade-high of 68,825 pounds seized in fiscal 2011…As marijuana seizures have declined, other drugs including heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine are skyrocketing at the border. Traffickers are capitalizing on the growing opiate epidemic, as well as their ability to cheaply produce enormous amounts of pure meth from Chinese precursor chemicals in Mexican “superlabs.”
~San Diego Tribune

Source: Washington Post

It’s not just along the California border. According to the US Border Patrol, cannabis is just not showing up at numbers it used to be anywhere they’re seizing it:

But the amount of one drug — marijuana — seems to have finally fallen. U.S. Border Patrol has been seizing steadily smaller quantities of the drug, from 2.5 million pounds in 2011 to 1.9 million pounds in 2014. Mexico’s army has noted an even steeper decline, confiscating 664 tons of cannabis in 2014, a drop of 32% compared to year before.
~Time

The Zetas aren’t super-villains from the 50’s. They know how much money they can make getting certain substances over the border and into the hands of eager consumers. This connects back to parties almost depressingly well. How many people do we all know that expect there to be drugs for them to buy at parties? How many of them honestly give a fuck about whether they’re legal or not? Just think of the thousands of party people who demand farm to table, vegan/vegetarian or some other form of “I don’t consume things made unethically” cuisine, but then proceed to put $200 worth of possibly Peruvian Cocaine up their noses. I really think we should be more concerned about the lives of indigenous people living under cartels than whether our almond milk was sprayed with pesticide before it landed in my smoothie. As a dear friend put it, we couldn’t stop the Orlando mass shooting, but decriminalization/legalization probably would have stopped this shooting.

stratfor-map-2014

You need to ask yourself, if this shooting happened at a club on the beach that only Mexicans went to, and had nothing to do with BPM, would you have cared? Would you have even seen it on your news feeds? I’ve spoken to dozens of Clinton supporters over the last 18 months who strongly supported her not legalizing. If the Zetas weren’t able to wholesale pot into every city in America outside of a handful of states, would they be able to buy weapons and commit crime? Of course. But certainly not to the levels that they’ve been able to in the last several years.

Not a lot of people remember this, but over a decade ago, we deported a bunch of MS13 members, trying to break the back of the gang. This backfired so spectacularly that MS-13 chapters cropped up all across Latin America, accelerating its growth from a few thousand members in LA to an international cartel, possessing a massive supply chain and a network that rivals most intelligence services. We trained & funded the 34 commandos that eventually flipped the script & became Los Zetas. Remember them from earlier in the article? Yup, the very same. Our efforts to stop people from doing drugs are directly responsible for this shit. The blood of party people is on American hands.

But don’t think this is anything new. Whether it was Al Capone and the bootleggers profiting from prohibition, the evolution of disco and cocaine, house dealers in the superclubs of the 1990s & 2000s or the flood of adulterated psychoactive substances that find their way into the hundreds of music festivals occurring in North America every year, Americans have partied for decades without agitating for legalization. While the mob did move on to other illegal activities once Prohibition ended, you bet your ass they jumped right back into trafficking once drug prohibition returned in the 20th Century. Until we (whether we do drugs or not) demand decriminalization/legalization and an end to the DEA/ATF/FBI/CIA’s fuckery south of our border, we should expect things like this to keep happening. Some people are fine with throwing up our hands, giving up and only partying/consuming illegal drugs made within our national  borders, but that still resigns millions of our fellow citizens to a fate of incarceration, underemployment and a life controlled by the scarlet letter of conviction. People demand the ability to modulate the contents of our minds. We should allow them to, and join them in ensuring they can, legally…if only to ensure a horrific attack like this one never happens again.

Occult Evidence In Satya Yuga Fire [Updates]

[Update 12/15/16 1:49pm]
[Update 12/14/16 4:04pm]
[Update 12/14/16]

It seems my earlier post Resident of Oakland Firetrap Blames Burning Man Crowd has stirred up a lot of controversy on Facebook today. Some suggested that these people were not even Burners; see below for my response on that. We had trolls threatening violence and all kinds of SJW outrage because I dared to post something from breitbart.com – who wrote the headline about Burning Man.

The people have spoken, Trump is the President. Get used to it. Fake news is a psyop, it’s not working any more. Only a fool would automatically believe anything on CNN, and automatically disbelieve anything on Breitbart or Infowars. Everyone else has the Internet, 90% realize the media is lying to them. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but we’re still there – Obama just sent even more troops. What, is Iraq threatening us? Or maybe it’s still full of oil. People on both the left and the right have outrageous opinions, that’s part of it. Fact check everything for yourself. Click the links here to go to original sources for all the information, and please do us the courtesy of reading our posts before you comment on them.

I have tried to provide the most comprehensive coverage on the Web of this terrible tragedy since I found out about it less than 8 hours after it happened. If anyone has done better, please let us know and we’ll link to it. We have brought you the facts from mainstream media outlets around the world and directly from eyewitnesses. Terry Gotham has shared his analysis and opinion, and so have I; we don’t have exactly the same opinions, but we are both bringing you the truth as best we can.

I have no idea what caused this fire, whose fault it was, if it was an accident or if it was something else. It seems like the place was not permitted for residents or all night music events.

One thing I do know a lot about is the occult, and I see many, many indicators of it here. We have eyewitnesses talking about “dark energy”, we have photographs of half-naked teenagers and children living in a temple to the god of destruction where they throw all-night dance parties. We have the builder of this temple talking about his family legacy of “Santaria and Palo Monte and killing” – and now 36 people are dead. Palo is “the world’s most powerful and feared form of black magic”, they are into grave robbing and using the remains of the dead in ceremonies.

Don’t take my word for it, read his posts and see for yourself. Much of the most relevant information has now been taken down from the Internet, but I managed to capture some of the black magick elements. I really think this needs to be fully investigated. I know the police are busy, I hope someone is looking into all aspects of this. I share the evidence I collected in case it might help.

Here’s the latest from the New York Times (today):

Investigators have not figured out how the fire erupted, but no evidence has suggested arson, they say. Scrutiny has centered on a possible electrical source. On Friday, officials ruled out an appliance that had seemed a likely culprit: a faulty refrigerator.

Jake Jacobitz, who did electrical work at the warehouse, told East Bay Times that all of the structure’s power came from a single line threaded through a wall. Electrical breakers blew out frequently, he said.

The authorities have warned we may never know for certain what caused the Dec. 2 blaze.

The owner: Chor Nar Siu Ng, the warehouse owner since 1988, has not been heard from.

Examining city records, The Times’s Julie Turkewitz learned that Ms. Ng owns a number of properties in Oakland and has been fined in the past for “nuisance or substandard or hazardous or injurious” conditions.

Several people who have stayed at the Ghost Ship said Ms. Ng had visited the warehouse, which was not permitted for residents. But it was unclear if she knew what was going on inside.

The master tenants: Derick Ion Almena and his wife, Micah Allison, who ran the Ghost Ship, have also avoided the public eye. Friends, associates and former tenants speaking in the news media have variously depicted the couple as misunderstood or manipulative.

In an anguished interview on “Today” last week, Mr. Almena was asked whether he should be held accountable. “Should I be held accountable?” he said. “I can barely stand here right now.”

[Source]

They also have analysis of how the layout of the “maze” was so deadly.

There is some discussion that this whole event was another crisis actor synthetic event. I don’t believe that to be the case, but I haven’t looked into it yet. I will, and if I find anything credible I will comment further. I have confirmation that people are really dead from channels other than the mainstream media (aka state-sponsored propaganda Fake News).

Here is video of an occult fire ritual going on inside the premises. The theme is Viva Muerta – “Living Dead”.

Below are screenshots I took on my phone as I was looking through the Facebook pages of Derick Ion, Micah Allison, and Satya Yuga collective. I wish I had saved more, I kept only the seriously creepy stuff. They are in no particular order.

This evidence needs to be considered.

They talk about the Phoenix, initiation into circles, his family legacy of Santaria and killing (black magick involving blood sacrifice), Shiva the God of Destruction, what people should write to the Child Protective Services agent about them, Burning Man, drugs…all kinds of stuff. If you have a bunch of Facebook friends who have a lot of this type of content on their wall, GFTO is my advice, FWIW.

2016-12-03-19-07-23

2016-12-03-19-24-06

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This kid is 17. Not sure if he is one of the minors who perished in the fire.

2016-12-03-19-30-03

“poisoning our community of witches”…”generations steeped in…Santaria and killing”

2016-12-03-19-38-12_derick-ion 2016-12-03-19-36-03 2016-12-03-19-35-36 2016-12-03-19-31-20 2016-12-03-19-30-34 2016-12-03-19-29-44 2016-12-03-19-29-35 2016-12-03-19-28-15 2016-12-03-19-27-12 2016-12-03-19-26-00 2016-12-03-19-25-24 2016-12-03-19-25-19

 

2016-12-03-19-24-26 2016-12-03-19-24-20 2016-12-03-19-24-16 2016-12-03-19-24-11  2016-12-03-19-23-58 2016-12-03-19-21-34   2016-12-03-19-19-53 2016-12-03-19-19-33 2016-12-03-19-18-47 2016-12-03-19-18-33 2016-12-03-19-18-17 2016-12-03-19-18-10 2016-12-03-19-17-21 2016-12-03-19-15-56  2016-12-03-19-14-12 2016-12-03-19-14-46 2016-12-03-19-13-03 2016-12-03-19-12-37 2016-12-03-19-11-34 2016-12-03-19-11-28   2016-12-03-19-10-00 2016-12-03-19-08-44 2016-12-03-19-07-40

This is one of his Burning Man rants. He talks about a coven of vampires, crimson as the lords sons tortured blood, the devil, and so on:

2016-12-03-18-58-43
2016-12-03-18-58-522016-12-03-19-04-22 2016-12-03-19-04-14 2016-12-03-19-04-05 2016-12-03-19-03-56        2016-12-03-18-56-49   2016-12-03-18-55-15 2016-12-03-18-54-53 2016-12-03-18-46-58   2016-12-03-18-46-31 2016-12-03-18-44-32


[Update 12/14/16 8:15am]

It seems Micah Allison’s Facebook page is still up. She shared a post in which Derick describes their vision for ghost ship as a “fucking vanguard chalice temple hideout bomb shelter of the soul” and “the true crossroads of culture and revolution”. He also talks about the “black pyramid of death” and says “I am Derick Ion the baby killer”. Note the comments linking the stairs and his brother’s burnt body.

screenshot-2016-12-14-08-08-37

“I am Derick Ion the Baby Killer”

This Paradox Pollack video filmed at Satya Yuga was pulled from the Internet, but is now back. They appear to be using drugs in front of children, and there is talk of growing marijuana – which could explain the unusual electrical setup at the site. When he says “the gods”, he points to the Altar of Skulls behind him. He talks about “the old days of Burning Man” at 6:30:

Sparkuhl shared their story of a violent/criminal run-in with Derick Almena that was reported to the police, apparently not the only such complaint:

Source: Facebook

Source: Facebook

The “Gom Jabbar” is from Frank Herbert’s Dune Series:

The Gom Jabbar, also known as “the high handed enemy”, was a meta-cyanide poisoned needle that sat upon a thimble, and could thus be attached to a person’s fingertip.

All the noble houses kept a Gom Jabbar of some sort, and used it to dispose of rivals and enemies…The gom jabbar test would be to determine whether an individual’s awareness was stronger than their instincts. If their awareness of the gom jabbar’s presence was strong enough, it would override their instincts to withdraw from the test, which usually involved great physical pain.

The origins of the device itself are not clear. Indeed, the origins of its name are also debatable. The first word, “Gom”, could stem from the ancient acronym “GOM”, which stood for “God’s Own Medicine”, and was often used in the context of a drug (particularly opium) or biological chemical on ancient Earth. The second part “Jabbar” comes clearly from the ancient Arabic word jabbār, meaning to use coercion to force something.

[Source]

“Particularly opium”. The needle used by the high houses.

 


Some of the mainstream media outlets have been speaking to family and friends of the couple, who personally confirm the dark and twisted picture painted by all the skulls and rants.

KRON4 News:

“Honestly, I don’t think he is capable of feeling any kind of remorse or guilt,” said Allison’s father, Michael Allison of Portland, Oregon. “I’ve never seen him ever really care about anyone else.”

He described the couple as users of methamphetamine, heroin and crack and said their three young children were taken away from them by social service authorities for several months beginning last year. The youngsters were found hungry, infested with lice and ill-clothed, he said.

Michael Allison recalled Almena and Micah overcome with laughter once when they told of a fire-breather accidentally setting himself on fire at one of their many parties at the building, which was widely known as the Ghost Ship.

Almena “surrounds himself with people who are going to treat him like he’s some sort of guru,” said Danielle Boudreaux, who said she was a friend of the couple for eight years. “He enjoyed having minions around to do his tasks for him and help build this great — he thinks he’s building this artistic empire.”

[Source]

SF Chronicle:

“Derick is manipulative, mean, scary,” said Shelley Mack, who in 2014 and 2015 rented one of the trailers that contributed to the end-to-end clutter of artists’ studios and living spaces in the warehouse. “He ran a death trap with bad wiring, fire danger, too much stuff everywhere, and then he threatened everybody who spoke up on anything.

“It was a horror house there, and he’s the reason for it.”

Almena and Allison met through mutual friends, spent time in the Los Angeles area and traveled the world together. After Allison became pregnant with the couple’s first child in the early 2000s, they moved to Mendocino County, where Almena ran a thriving marijuana farm in the Willits area until he got into some kind of dispute and left.

A May post on Allison’s Facebook page presumably describes the vision for the Ghost Ship. Photo: Screen Shoot, Facebook

A May post on Allison’s Facebook page presumably describes the vision for the Ghost Ship. Photo: Screen Shot, Facebook

Derick got run out of Mendocino,” said an artist who has been a friend of Allison’s since the 1990s. “He has a way of pissing people off.” The artist briefly lived at the Ghost Ship, but had a falling-out with the couple over business issues more than a year ago. Like many who ran afoul of the Almena circle, he doesn’t want to be named for fear of being hounded on social media, or worse.

“Derick can be a decent person and build community,” the artist said. “But his response to everything after a while is to yell and scream. He’s incredibly insecure. He doesn’t know how to run a business. He’s always seducing people with his talk, then abuses them and keeps their money and kicks them out.

“He attracts people who are weak. He checks them out first, people who are kind and weak, then goes about exploiting their desires and weaknesses. He’s a manipulator … very seductive, silver-tongued.”

He worried that Allison was dominated by Almena. “She has a soft spot for dark dudes … and Derick has a dark, dirty vibe about him,” the artist said.

A 47-year-old Sonoma County artist, who asked not to be identified out of fear of retribution from the couple’s supporters, said she considered Almena and Allison to be part of an upper tier of the alternative arts community that controls access to resources such as a place to live, simply by accumulating enough cash to get a lease on a building like the Ghost Ship.

Like many in this small creative community, she knew the couple only peripherally, having once applied to live in a warehouse space they created in San Francisco years ago. She formed a low opinion of them as profiteers who ran what amounted to a cult.

“This cult likes to siphon resources and then play power trips in the community,” she said. “They’re no different than the establishment that they’re fighting. In fact, they’re a little more voracious.”

SFist:

a number of [his friends] paint a picture of an arguably cult-y, charismatic manipulator with a “dark” side that may have grown darker in recent years. 

Neither Almena nor Allison appear to have been making a living in the arts, with Almena formerly practicing photography and describing himself lately as a “realms creator,” with the Ghost Ship space his primary piece of work, apparently begun in 2013. Allison apparently “danced, taught archery and ‘created art through everything she touched,'” according to one friend speaking to the Chronicle, but it does not appear she necessarily made any art. There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that the couple’s primary source of income was the rent they collected from subtenants in the space, which reportedly would range from $500 to $1000 per month…

…friend Zippy Lomax, a fellow photographer who says she was a great admirer of Almena’s work and has known him for twenty years, wrote this blog post earlier this week advocating for compassion. “Regardless what his track-record has been… he is still a human being, however lost we may have believed him to be,” she writes. “As a community, I believe we abandoned him long ago. We chose to stand disapprovingly at the edges, to judge his conduct from the sidelines, without daring to face the deeper issues that seeded his unfavorable demeanor.”

She and another friend of Almena and Allison’s who commented on that post speak vaguely of these “deeper issues” without being specific. Striking an angrier tone, a woman named Ariana writes, “I did my best in trying to save [Derick and Micah] from themselves, which was entirely what it was. Micah only wanted the help if Derick wanted the help and he was in complete denial that there was a even problem.” And she suggests that she was retaliated against by her former friends after some attempt to intervene in their lives. “I was not only blamed, I was threatened,” she says, “My family was threatened and he made up stories that people genuinely considered possible, he has done wrong by so many people, that is blunt truth. D had his swords out against the world, it was him vs everyone, even those who wanted to help.”

allison-photo.jpg
A recent photo inside the Ghost Ship by Micah Allison, posted to Facebook.

…former tenant Shelly Mack [said] “He was always selling this bullshit spirituality. That’s his schtick.” Indeed the Ghost Ship space was decorated with an eclectic mix of objects from various spiritual traditions, including Balinese statues, Hindu swastikas, and painted skulls a la Dia de los Muertos. 

…what the hell did Almena mean when, this past summer, he posted to Facebook, “I am the thriller love child of Manson, Pol Pot and Hitler“? He was perhaps referring to past or recent drug use and mandatory drug testing by Child Protective Services when he wrote, “Addictions never admitted armed me as revolutionary… as long as i seek help and healing, have current registration, pay my insurance, piss in a cup twice weekly … i can proverbally (sic) get away with murder.”

It’s one of multiple “dark and erratic” updates he posted, according to Lomax, and maybe we can read between the lines here about what contributed to this growing darkness…Allison’s father, Almena’s father-in-law, spoke to the Associated Press on Monday and made mention of methamphetamine, crack, and heroin use by the couple. “Honestly, I don’t think he is capable of feeling any kind of remorse or guilt,” said Michael Allison of Portland, Oregon. “I’ve never seen him ever really care about anyone else.” Allison added, perhaps referring to Almena’s influence on his daughter, “[Almena] was able to cast a spell on someone in a weird way that I just do not understand”

…These character analyses are ultimately moot, however — no one is arguing that Almena set out to intentionally harm people, and that is the implication of much of this talk. Discussion of this being a “commune” or “cult” ring false too — these were just die-hard Burners with a clichéd fetish for Eastern religions and an adolescent attitude toward safety.


[Update 12/14/16 4:04pm]

The youngest victim so far was a choir boy who had toured the world and appeared on America’s Got Talent – and the son of a cop.

OAKLAND (KTVU) —  The youngest of the Ghost Ship Warehouse victims so far is being described as a 17 year old boy, the son of an Alameda County Sheriff’s deputy, who was also a gifted singer.

Draven McGill was junior at Ruth Asawa High School of the Arts or SOTA in San Francisco, where friends describe him as the kindest and gentlest person they knew.
Officials at Pacifica Boychoir Academy of Oakland recall McGill as a unique and special boy. He spent five years performing and touring with the prestigious choir and even appeared on the show “America’s Got Talent.”

Photos provided by the Academy show McGill as a young boy as well as more recent photos of the 17 year old while on tour with the group in Sydney Australia.

17-YO victim of Oakland warehouse fire was son of Alameda Co. deputy
On the SOTA campus, the mood was somber. “I literally had class with him on Friday. We were working on our tests together and I said, ‘You know, see you after class!’ And I wasn’t expecting that, you know, that would be the last time I saw him,” said classmate, Caden Nemoff.

Word of McGill’s death spread quickly Saturday night on social media, just one day after the deadly fire that broke out at a party inside a warehouse in Oakland. Authorities say they have pulled 36 bodies from the rubble so far.

“[Draven’s] someone who’s so caring and loving and there’s not a mean or hurtful thing that I can recall him saying…he was just so genuinely nice to everyone,” classmate Cole Sisser said.

“Thinking over it… it was precious time I spent with him and I’d sing next to him,” said Cristian Rivas.

Classmates say McGill mentioned the Ghost Ship party to one friend, explaining that he had received a text message “last minute” which revealed a location for the bash. The friend apparently didn’t feel right about the party for some reason but didn’t dissuade him and now he regrets it.

Grief counselors were on hand today at the tight knit school which serves only 650 students. “As we started to hear news about the possibility [of Draven’s death] over the weekend we actually started to prepare for that this morning, first thing,” said Bill Sanderson, Assistant Superintendent for the SF Unified School District.

Paradox Pollack, the other “artist” in the Precipice Prescience video filmed at Satya Yuga with Derick Ion/Almena, has videos of Burning Man operas from 96,97, and 98 on his YouTube channel. It shows that these people are very much connected to Burning Man, and have been for decades. Download them now before he pulls them too.

 

 

In the “Precipice Prescience” video, Derrick Ion and Paradox Pollock discussed “old Burning Man”. These 3 videos are old Burning Man, it is very much occult as I have been exposing in my Shadow History series. Part 5 has been recorded and is being edited this week.

Here is Paradox Pollack pitching the “everything is one” message.

He says he ran away from home when he was 14,  almost died in a fire, and got involved in an underground cult at a very early age. This gave him the ability to speak different languages and play different characters and assume their shapes, which led him into the circus. I’m not kidding, watch for yourself, that’s just the introduction.

screenshot-2016-12-14-16-18-43

There is no technology more primal than fire, the first technology. Fire is the only one of the four elements that is made by combining others (earth and air).

The UK’s Daily Mail stories says that mind control and “blood rituals” were being done in Satya Yuga.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4010390/Inside-cultish-mind-control-world-Oakland-inferno-warehouse-organizer-tenants-tell-personal-charisma-threats-violence-rituals.html

Details of the sinister and sometimes cult-like atmosphere around the ‘artist’ who ran the Oakland warehouse can be revealed.
Derick Ion Almena was in charge of the illegal enclave, described variously as a collective or a commune, where 36 died in Friday night’s devastating fire.
He is facing a criminal investigation into the lead-up to the fire, which happened in a warehouse filled with junk and where Almena was raising his three children with his wife, Micah Allison.
Now details can be disclosed of the power Almena exercised over those who lived in the space he illegally rented to them, to the extent that one described him as ‘a cult leader’.
Almena, who appeared on NBC’s Today Show on Tuesday in a testy exchange with Matt Lauer in which he ranted about being ‘sorry’ but offered no explanations for the conditions in the warehouse, was accused of using threats of violence to get his way, and being able to flip from charming to threatening in a heartbeat.

He even attempted to take a restraining order out against a tenant who complained about conditions in the warehouse.
The tenant, Shelley Mack, fell out with him in an angry dispute over the unsafe and unsanitary conditions in the ‘commune’.
In return he went to court, documents show that he went to court, alleging that she was illegally squatting at Ghost Ship and had falsely accused him of stealing a car, and also that she ‘repeatedly called CPS [child protective services] on fake accusations’.
Mack told DailyMail.com it was a lie to discredit her and described the strange atmosphere in the venue.
Describing him as a ‘cult leader’ she said Almena threatened her several times and one of his followers pulled a gun on her.
‘It was a cult if you believed what Derick had to say, but I didn’t,’ she said.
‘But there were people who did believe him though. If you didn’t follow him then they would threaten your life, pull guns on you, turn your electricity off.
‘They would block you from the bathroom, call the police and lie and make up reasons for you to get arrested
‘I had one friend in there who was a diabetic and Derick stole his medicine and his truck and kicked him out and called the police.
‘If you didn’t show that you were willing to do whatever he wanted you to do, you were on the out.
 ‘If you didn’t buy in to the way things were run they ostracized you, kicked you out and kept your money and your things.
The Ghost Ship building is littered with statues sinister-looking painted skulls and other religious symbols from Western and Eastern traditions – items collected by Almena and his wife Micah Allison during their travels
‘They would make it incredibly difficult, I had to call the police to get an escort out of there.
‘Derick would say this is a collective, we are building this spiritual, creative world, you had to buy in to that.’

Satya Yuga is a reference to Hindu theology, which sees it as the golden age at the start of time.
There is no evidence Almena was himself practicing the Hindu religion, but he appears to have picked from elements of it in his ‘art’ and his father-in-law had previously told DailyMail.com that he spent lengthy periods in Bali, the majority Hindu Indonesian island.
He wanted you to believe the whole Satya Yuga philosophy, spiritual, lyrical. He was into all this spiritual Yugi, Yogi bulls***,’ she said.
‘It wasn’t a religion but it was a belief. He’d give these big speeches, on and on and on. It was all poetic, a lot of it didn’t make any sense.
‘He would speak in lyrics a lot of the time, he would say we’re a family, we care about each other and we’re living off this vibe in this wonderful, beautiful artistic thing.’
Mack, who lived in the warehouse for four months, leaving in February 2015, said Almena considered himself a Yogi – a person dedicated to yoga practice and the tantra traditions of Hinduism.
Mack said Almena had a close circle of people around him who followed his commands.
‘He provided the appearance of a positive vibe, there was the words and the music and the art. He gave these people a place to stay and a space for their art and their creativity,‘ she said.
We had meetings, he would have his own long dialogue or he would send out three or four pages of texts, stuff that was so bizarre you couldn’t understand half of what he was saying, it was like somebody being on drugs and talking to you.’
Mack says Almena’s wife Micah Allison was always by his side.
Don’t forget his wife, she was there co-signing everything,’ she said.
Allison is self-described as the group’s ‘Mother Superior’ and in a May 2014 Facebook post, she described the Ghost Ship as ‘the true crossroads of culture and revolution in Oakland.’
She added: ‘Within the walls of the most beautiful temple living tribute tied bound nailed erected and held together with love and blood. It is the center of the universe.’
Mack said a man called Max Ohr – nicknamed ‘Warlord’ – was Almena’s right-hand man and would regularly do the leader’s bidding.
She added: ‘Derick would tell him [Max] what to do and he’d do it, he had a devout group around him that still believes in him and is still lying for him.’
It’s believed Ohr, who escaped the blaze on Friday, was running the door for the rave that night.
The violent side of the Almena’s group has also been exposed in court papers and by the testimony of other tenants who lived under Almena’s rule and visitors to the warehouse.

Philippe Lewis said that he rented the Ghost Ship for an event on January 3, 2015, but that Almena demanded extra money for the space.
When he refused to pay more, he says Almena became violent and stole his sound system ‘hiding it in the space.’
During the incident, it was claimed, Almena locked individuals into the converted warehouse and held them captive.
In a petition for a restraining order filed with the Alameda Superior Court, Lewis alleged that Almena threatened him.
‘I’m going to get my gun,’ he allegedly told Lewis, who had seen a box of new bullets while in the property.
He also claims he was attacked, sustained a dislocated shoulder and was kicked in the head by Almena’s henchmen – who assaulted Lewis on their leader’s orders.
He also says claims he saw evidence of a gun and bows and crossbow weapons on the property.
A friend of Lewis’, who asked not to be named, told DailyMail.com: ‘Philippe doesn’t want to have to deal with Almena any more than he has to, they are a violent group. He’s trying to protect his family right now.’
Another man who was at the party for the same dispute wrote in court documents that: ‘I was robbed of my iPhone & Philippe’s property at Derrick’s (sic) direction & beaten by his staff.’
Speaking to DailyMail.com, the man who asked not to be named, said: ‘I was at a party with a friend who had set up an event. I had never been there before.
‘There was an argument over money and Almena tried to beat my friend up and I videoed it on my phone. Almena ordered his people to attack me. They beat me up as well. I called the police but nothing was done.
‘It was very sinister and I spent a lot of time telling people not to go back there.

The man claims Almena made threats after the incident and that’s why he filed a restraining order, which ultimately wasn’t granted.
‘I showed up in court but it didn’t work out,’ he said.

Danielle Boudreaux, who has known Almena and his wife Allison for eight years, said Almena was charismatic and easily influenced those around him.
But she said she saw a ‘change’ in him due to drug use.
‘I knew Derick very well. The drugs made a big change in him. He was always this polar opposite person. One hand could be charming, making you feel you have great ideas, very able to persuade people in that way. There was always this dark vicious side underneath. That was never not present.
‘He was like a cult leader, he has that sort of charisma, draws people in.’
Almena promoted himself as a spiritual man and says on social media he’s a ‘student of the shadows’.
He purported to worship the Hindu gods Shiva and Kali.
In Hinduism our present time is Kali Yuga – ruled over by Kali, the demon who is the source of all evil.

Kali wears a garland of skulls and a skirt of dismembered arms, holds a sword in one hand and a severed head in the other.
The group’s Facebook page – presumably with Almena’s input – displays a drawing of Kali as its profile picture.
‘An unprecedented fusion of earth home bomb bunker helter skelter spelunker shelters and indonesian straw huts rolling into valleys and down alleys,’ is how Satya Yuga describes itself on the social media site.
In fact it was a warehouse near the railtracks, stuffed with junk and violating safety codes.
The Ghost Ship building is also littered with statues of Shiva and Kali and sinister looking painted skulls and other religious symbols from Western and Eastern traditions – items collected by Almena and his wife Micah Allison during their travels.
Shiva – the destroyer – is often depicted with four arms and a serpent around his neck.
The imagery raises questions over exactly what was happening in the building.
In a document seen by DailyMail.com in which Mack logged her grievances as a tenant at the time, she records a complaint about a fellow tenant called Lisa – a woman she says was close to Almena – saying she carried out ‘blood rituals’ in the warehouse.
She wrote: ‘Lisa is complaining about the TV but I’m not coming to you complaining when she is dripping blood in the sitting room after coming back from one of her rituals?’

Blood rituals and animal sacrifice can be used in Hinduism, which Hindus see as a way of honoring the Gods, but it is unclear if this was what ‘Lisa’ was doing. Mack declined to expand on her complaint.

Almena’s response to the fire has included language which suggested he saw himself as a father-figure.
‘They’re my children. They’re my friends, they’re my family, they’re my loves, they’re my future. What else do I have to say,’ he told San Francisco’s KGO-TV.

Investigators said they have told the fire and sheriff’s departments to treat the area as ‘a potential crime scene’. Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said Monday her office has just started its probe and has not yet determined whether a crime even occurred.

Source: Daily Mail

 



[Update 12/15/16 1:49pm]

Performer Morgan Sorne has contacted me via Facebook objecting to the use of the word “occult” in relation to their “Viva Muerta” (“Living Dead”) performance:

Morgan Sorne:

…are you serious? Were you there? Those women are Butoh dancers. The theme of the night was to honor the dead. Just because it was named viva muerta doesn’t mean that it was in any way an occult ritual. The only reason I am entertaining this dialogue is because you stand to do some good with your reach and influence. Those people are artists. Derick’s rants were designed to instigate and scare people. You are buying into his joke by reacting as you have in making the post. You are out of your depth and need to do some deeper investigating. I would encourage you to do some reading on the subjects, and if you are truly a burner you are missing a huge point regarding the nature of what the burn represents for people. Do you truly understand what the occult is? I know Derick and his family. He has three beautiful children who are suffering because of the tragedy and those wounds are deepened by posts like the one you made here. If you want a reading list start with books like Man and His Symbols by Carl Jung, Flash of the Spirit by Robert Farris Thompson and Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell. Watch Dance of Darkness on YouTube regarding the origins of Butoh in Japan. I don’t know what point you are trying to make with me but I am astounded that you would even try to counter with any argument as you were. Not. There. You are embarrassing yourself. The best thing you could do is to apologize to the public for the post and take it down.

He is talking about two women doing ritual fire dancing with multiple naked flames on their head, inside the junk-filled sprinkler-free premises that burned down killing 36 people. Watch the video, here it is again, you didn’t have to be there to see that this looks pretty dangerous – and quite spooky.

What is Butoh? The New York Times headline says “Dance of Darkness”:

BUTOH IS NOT FOR THE FRAIL. THE AVANT-garde dance form that today is Japan’s most startling cultural export does not aim to charm. Instead, it sets out to assault the senses. The hallmarks of this theater of protest include full body paint (white or dark or gold), near or complete nudity, shaved heads, grotesque costumes, clawed hands, rolled-up eyes and mouths opened in silent screams.

[Source: New York Times]

Nothing occult about the Dance of Darkness and clawed hands and grotesque masks in silent screams, is there? What other dance would one do, in a temple to Shiva the god of destruction?

We’ve discussed Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey mythology and its links to Esalen and the Stanford Research Institute.

Here is the preceding dialog with this DJ, some of which I already posted. They admitted that they did not organize the fire dance performance as part of their act – so how can they claim to know what meaning was in the ritual? They dodge the question about who did direct it (and fund it, assuming artists were getting paid for their art in this collective). Perhaps they are cognizant of the significant liability issues surrounding this disaster, the performance was more than a year ago so nobody is suggeting Morgan Sorne had any responsibility for it. But, occult is occult: you can’t convince me that doing the dance of darkness in front of a bunch of skulls and “alters” to the god of destruction is not an occult ritual. Sorry buddy.

Morgan
I am deeply hurt and offended by the way in which my performance from 2012 at a day of the dead showcase has been used in your post. This video has been abused and misused so many times since the tragic fire. I would appreciate it if you did not share it as a part of whatever agenda you have. To better inform you, the performance was an impromptu collaboration with the artists in that community. I wrote an opera called house of stone which was intended to be an experiential performance where audience and artists could collaborate with me. In no way was this an occult performance. A lot of people in this west coast community have used fire in their art. I personally don’t like it when people use sacred objects from other cultures (as many artists tend to do) as it wasn’t theirs to use in the first place, but I always have an open mind and heart even when the contribution is on the dark side. Without light there is no dark. Without dark there is no light. Artists explore all aspects of the human condition, light and dark with the intention of better understanding the self. Its often misinterpreted and misunderstood but the hope is that we can have an open mind to such dialogues. Your post doesn’t help that dialogue. It feeds a media frenzy. It feeds fear. I would encourage you to better research your source material.
Burners.Me
was your performance called “Viva Muerta”? Who provided the fire dancers?


Morgan

The event was called viva muerta – to honor day of the dead. There was a full line up of Bay Area bands and I was on tour passing through. Those were two belly dancers in the community who asked if they could join me on stage for a song and I always say yes when dancers ask me to join a performance

Tues 08:11

Burners.Me
So the Temple of Shiva provided their own dancers to Shiva.

Day of the dead is “Dia de los Muertos” , not “Viva Muerta”


[Update 12/15/16]

This is from the SF Chronicle, last week:

There is no easy way to untangle the story of Micah Allison from that of Derick Ion Almena — the wife and husband behind the Oakland warehouse art collective that burned down last week in the deadliest fire in the city’s history.

To their friends, that’s because the 17-year bond between “true soulmates” is impossible to break. To Allison’s father, Michael Allison, it’s because spending years under Almena’s dominating and unpredictable personality has corrupted the daughter he loved.

In posts on Facebook, Michael Allison said “my beautiful, sweet daughter” was “a good person at one time.” But he told The Chronicle this weekend that Almena isolated her from her family and friends with the manipulative arrogance that many say he displayed in running the Ghost Ship warehouse where 36 people died in a fire Dec. 2.

“I never liked Derick, and suspected drug use,” Michael Allison said. “But I didn’t know the extent of it. And I thought, like everyone did, that once the kids came along, they would step up and start being responsible.”

He added that he and his daughter, who is now 40, “had many long, hard talks about Derick. But she convinced me that things were looking up, and they would have a stable home and business, and the shenanigans would end.”

 

Neither Micah Allison nor Almena has been available for comment. Allison doted on her husband and their three children on social media, and Almena posted on Facebook before the fire that he had been drug-free for eight months. And in an August 2013 post lashing out at people he believed were attacking his “virtue,” Almena scoffed at the suggestion that he dominated Allison.

“I have been married to Micah since the moment eye (sic) saw her,” he wrote. “Never a woman in between. 14 years and 3 children that my aggressive violent angry abusive tender humbled honored thankful delicate hands did cradle from womb.”

Michael Allison said that when the couple told him of their plans for the art collective that became the Ghost Ship warehouse, he was optimistic for them.

But although friends and other artists in the alternative arts community described the Ghost Ship as a creative hodgepodge of antiques, Balinese statues and makeshift wood structures, Danielle Boudreaux, a former friend of the couple’s, said the warehouse looked that way only for parties and events.

Most of the time, garbage, broken glass, nails, rotting food, cat feces and leftover glow sticks littered the warehouse’s concrete floors, where the couple’s children would run around barefoot, Boudreaux said.

She said that when she first met the couple in 2010, Allison was the sweet woman her father remembers. It was at a memorial for a mutual friend, and even though the two women didn’t know each other, when Boudreaux broke down in tears, Allison embraced her.

But Allison was changing by the time she and Almena moved to the Oakland warehouse in late 2013, Boudreaux said. Allison told her Almena wouldn’t let her call her mother, she said. At a dinner party in front of their kids, Boudreaux said, she watched him berate her and call her “every name in the book.”

Boudreaux suspected the couple were using drugs, and she and Allison’s family persuaded Allison to check into a rehab program last year. Within a few weeks, she says, Almena got her to leave it.

The couple’s children went to school with Boudreaux’s, but were chronically absent and infested with lice, she said. Boudreaux alerted Allison’s parents, who called Child Protective Services. Authorities briefly took the children in 2015, but Almena and Allison got them back.

Friends of the couple said these allegations are far from the truth. Isa Shisha, an artist who frequently performed at the Ghost Ship, said Almena and Allison were “true soulmates,” and Allison was a “badass mama who fiercely protects her family.”

“They have the family most of us dream of having,” Shisha said.

On Facebook, Allison asked her friends to write the judge involved in their CPS case and help her family from being “condemned on base of speculation and slander.” Both Boudreaux and Michael Allison say Micah never forgave them.

“Right when she went to rehab, she wrote me this long letter thanking me for getting her out,” Boudreaux said. “Then he went down there and pulled her out, and a few days later, she wrote me the exact opposite letter, asking me how I could dare plot against her husband. She is so loyal to him, to her own detriment. She is beyond having any personality of her own.”

Boudreaux continued, “When she was very young, she had aspirations of being a dancer, but the whole time we were friends, she never did anything like that. Neither of them worked the entire time I (knew) them, except to build stages for parties. When they got the Ghost Ship, everything changed. It all became about his dream.”

Allison’s father said he’s “holding out hope for her still.” But he and his daughter, he concedes, don’t talk anymore.

“She hates me for telling the truth about her life, and about Derick,” he said.

“This darkness, I don’t see any light at the end of it.”

[Source: SF Chronicle]

What’s Up With Low-Income Tickets This Year? 

A reader just sent me this. I have no answers, but it’s very well written, and I think they raise some puzzling questions. Hence, a guest post from Anonymous Impecunious.  Any ideas, Burners? Just more of the same? Or is there some method behind this madness?

Could this have anything to do with the Anonymous new owners of our tax-exempt Permanent Autonomous Zone?


—————–

I’m writing to you because you seem like the only person on the Internet who’s willing to acknowledge both the positive and the negative about Burning Man—or, rather, mostly about its management.
Do you have any idea what’s up with the low-income ticket program in the last few days? This seems like it could use some of your trademark investigative reporting. The BMorg recently announced that they MUST receive 8,000 applications in order to award the 4,000 tickets earmarked for LI. Why?? Why on earth would they need to reject fully 50% of applicants? And assuming there is some legit reason, why would they not have known (or chosen not to announce) this before late June?
There even seems to be some question as to whether they will award ANY low-income tickets if they don’t receive at least 8,000 applications. That could cause quite a problem for the 2,000+ people who have already been awarded a low-income ticket—or so they were told. I haven’t seen anything from BMorg assuring these people that the LI tickets already awarded will be honored, only that the Org MUST receive 8,000 applications if they are to award the 4,000 tickets. It doesn’t make any sense at all. 
As might be expected, after the announcement, hopefuls who hadn’t considered applying before are now throwing their hats (and their W-2s) into the application pool, yet many seem to be getting rejected, and getting rejected extremely quickly. Granted, I’m basing that mostly on posts to Reddit and Eplaya and replies to the BMorg’s original thread. So not only is that probably skewed towards the disgruntled, but, in the interests of full disclosure, I’m one of the rejects myself. 
I’d previously thought of the low-income program as for people who absolutely CANNOT afford a main sale ticket, in the same way that I absolutely CANNOT afford a DaVinci ticket. But once the Org started begging for applicants and noting that you could apply even while enrolled in STEP (which I am), I figured why not? I’m far from wealthy. Besides, I’ve quickly learned that, when it comes to obtaining Burning Man tickets, playing by the rules is for chumps. (To wit, dozens of people buy pre-sale or DaVinci tickets, then as soon as they obtain main sale tickets, they palm off their more expensive insurance policies. But God help you if you dare to pay $700 for a ticket on Ebay? Talk about situational ethics.)
Anyway, my LI application was rejected within a matter of days. The BMorg made their plea for more applicants on June 21; it’s only June 25 and I’ve already heard back, as have apparently many others. Meanwhile, some of those who applied back in March, April, and May are still waiting for a reply. So maybe I’m just bitter, but something about this whole situation stinks to high heaven! I just can’t put my finger on exactly what. 

Prior to the June 21 announcement, the Org had already received 6,000 applications. If fewer than 4,000 of those were eligible, then why not award fewer LI tickets and dump the rest into STEP, or into the OMG sale, or sell them for $1,200 to their special friends? Why the sudden and urgent NEED for double the number of LI applicants than there are LI tickets? 

For months, I’ve been reading your opinions of the BMorg with a skeptical eye, but this is the first time I’ve had cause to think that they’re as craven and corrupt as you’ve quite often demonstrated. Again, maybe I’m just bitter, but I’m actually bothered more by what seems like Org manipulation than about being turned down for a ticket program I had never planned to apply for in the first place.

I’ve never been to Burning Man before and this is making me wonder if I want to be any part of it. My only hope is that whatever the hell is going on with management does not trickle down to participants on the playa.

Burning Man As A Social Science Laboratory

Burning Man’s founders seem quite fond of telling us that it’s a social experiment, that they’re “social engineers”. What does that actually mean, though? UC Davis Professor Darrell Hamamoto made this video last year with his theory on it all. He explores similarities between Burning Man and the internment of the Japanese in concentration camps during World War II, using the classic movie Bad Day At Black Rock as the link.

The first movie that I’m aware of that was filmed in the Black Rock Desert was The Winning of Barbara Worth, in 1926.