Shadow Banning: It’s Not Just Conservatives

Shadow Banning is in the news this week, with Silicon Valley tech giants Google (YouTube), Facebook, LinkedIn, and Apple all kicking Alex Jones off their platforms in a simultaneous multi-platform purge. Predictably, the Streisand Effect kicked in, sending Alex Jones’s InfoWars app trending to #3 on the download list at the App Store.

Twitter kept Jones on and CEO (and Burner?) Jack Dorsey went on Fox News’ Hannity talkshow, where he claimed they do not shadow ban accounts or target conservatives. If they don’t shadow ban accounts, then why is there this site shadowban.eu where you can type in your Twitter handle to test if you are shadow banned?

Google are good guys, aren’t they? Don’t be evil? They would never abuse their monopoly power to arbitrarily punish sites. They’re Burners, and used the Burning Man logo to promote their company to the tech industry. So they must love freedom, freedom of speech, and radical self expression, right? The goal of their search engine is to put you in touch with the best information…isn’t it?

Well maybe their vast powers of Artificial Intelligence can give me an explanation for what’s going on.

Burners.Me is by far the largest blog about Burning Man on the Internet, with almost 2000 stories written by 30 different people over 6.5 years. We have 270,000+ followers on Facebook, 15,000+ on Twitter, and tens of thousands more who subscribe to every post on email. We’ve been quoted by the New York Times, Bloomberg, The Guardian, VICE, and many other mainstream media outlets. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of other sites that link in to our articles.

We have been the #1 blog and #1 post on WordPress multiple times; and frequently in Top 100. This is not just about Burning Man, this is out of all blogs in the world. WordPress powers 27% of the Internet, 75 million blogs

So you would think that a search for “Burning Man blog” would bring this site up pretty quickly, yeah? For most of Burners.Me’s life, we were on page 1 of the search results for this. Now, it’s on the bottom of page 5, behind many smaller and abandoned blogs and some totally unrelated content.

 

What about a search for “Burning Man“? We have thousands and thousands of pages about every aspect of the event.

Bottom of page 11.

Hmmm. What about “burning man drugs” – we have scores of harm reduction posts by Terry Gotham. We have the actual data about drugs found at Burning Man and drug-related arrests from the Pershing County Sheriff’s office, as far as I know the only location on the Internet with that.

Funnily enough, if you search “Terry Gotham” Burners.Me is on page 1.

Use a proper search engine, duckduckgo.com, we come up 3rd for “Burning Man blog”. As it should be. Accurate search results, not Deep Mind controlled propaganda narratives.

This blog’s a hobby for me. My art project. I started it to share my opinion, not to get an audience. So the consequences of this particular search result manipulation are pretty minor. But think about what it means in context: someone from the Burning Man Project went to someone from Google – possibly direct to the Billionaire Burner founders – and said “do us a favor, mute this voice”? And they did it? No trial, no opportunity to mount a defense, no notification that anything at all had even happened. Not even the courtesy of a label like the “Fake News” people get. All you can see (if you pay attention to such things) is your web traffic go way down, for no apparent reason.

How many times a day does this happen to people that “They” don’t like, and how many messages and voices are getting invisibly tuned out of The Matrix like this? Do they do the same thing to me personally, to my friends, to my companies?

Is it right that corporations should have that kind of power? Is it right that a festival should? One that purports to be all about making the world a better place?

Perhaps there is a genuine explanation for why smaller blogs with less content rank higher. I’m all ears, Google.

What she said:

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.

The Arrival of Empress Zöe

Burning Man didn’t always have themes. For the first 10 or so Burns, the theme was “Burn The Man”, recreating the Wicker Man effigy burn rituals of the Druids.

the-wicker-man_0

Cult movie The Wicker Man, 1973

666-the-wicker-man-2

These Wicker Man burns had been going on in San Francisco for some time before the first Burning Man on Baker Beach.

beelzebub josh white snake theater

Snake Theater Beelzebub Burn, Sausalito 1979. Image: Bruce Forrester

timothy oneill wicker man

Timothy O’Neill (Gnosis Magazine) Wicker Man Ocean Beach burns, 1984-85. Flyer is for related art gallery exhibition, via Timothy O’Neill

satan man 1986 baker beach

The Man looked a little different back in 1986

In 1995 Burning Man dipped a toe in the thematrical waters with “Good And Evil”, then doubled down on the Evil with 1996‘s “Helco: The Inferno”

BRC_96

The 1996 year of Hell was also the year that Burning Man had the first of what would unfortunately be many deaths to come during the annual radical ritual.

One of the big productions that year was a live opera by Argentinian artist Pepe Ozan.

photo of Pepe Ozan

Here’s a version of the above video narrated by Paradox Pollock, a seemingly close associate of deadly occultist Derrick Ion Almena:

It has never been disclosed what happened to the goat, but Paradox Pollack’s description makes it seem like it was quite a hassle for them having to keep it alive until the performance.

Screenshot 2017-09-18 14.14.57.png

Live animal sacrifices at Burning Man are still happening today. In this case I’m not talking about 2017’s terrible burning man tragedy or the crushing by Lucifer, but Google executives decision to fly live lobsters in from Maine to be killed at the Radical Ritual.

Screenshot 2017-09-18 12.57.31Almena got the lawyer of Hell’s Angels and Shrimp Boy (SF head of the Chinese Freemasons), Tony Serra – “the Hippie Atticus Finch”.

Serra, who took a lifelong vow of poverty on an LSD trip, said “he’s been made a scapegoat for persons or entities culpable for this tragedy…our client has been demonized

Demonized like a goat by entities, huh? Perhaps like the Kali Yuga? These people sure have a strange way of speaking and thinking, which happens to be Aleister Crowley’s way too…but I digress.

Paradox has sp(l)iffed up his social media image since pulling down the video with Derrick that can be glimpsed in the skull-infested screenshot above.

Screenshot 2017-09-18 13.28.41

Suit or not, he’s still promoting Evil:

He was the Master of Ceremonies and Emissary Coreographer of the 1996 Burning Man occult sub-ritual.

the music, magnificently composed and played by Chris Cunningham, was sung by Lili Oldfield, Pat Bregant, Sean Steward and Todd Nelson. The representation of this legendary true story was incarnated by Emissaries Justin Miller as Empress Zoe and by Steffanos X as the High Priest of Hell. The Devil was enacted by the goat Sussy, and His wife by WarriorGirl. Master of Ceremonies was Emissary Choreographer Paradox Pollack. The Graces of Hell were represented by CC, Shari Greenfield, Martha Thomson and Susanne Couture. Deployment Secret Services were executed by Emissaries Sculptors Morgan Raimond, Al Honig, Denzil Meyers, and Leo Nash. Messenger Coordinator was Julieta Ozan.

[Source]

Here’s Ozan talking about his operas and how he was using these elaborate rituals to gather a Satanic sub-community of about 250 people out of the broader Burning Man group (1996 population: 8000):

 

This particular opera featured devils, demons and insects chanting the lyrics “devils’ delight, fire tonight” while dancing around a 40-foot towered sculpture with gargoyle heads called the City of Dis, named after one of the levels of hell in Dante’s Inferno. [Source: John Law]

temple of dis 1996

The Temple of Dis. Image: Burning Man Opera

This description of the Arrival of Empress Zöe is in the video itself:

“A tribal opera with a ballet of insects depicting the peculiar saga of a soul’s birth to death.

The hermaphrodite condition of Empress Zoe and her Lascivious Behavior in the Court has been revealed by Cardinal Petrocelli, one of her passive homosexual Lovers. Condemned by the Holy See to be drowned in the Bosphorous, the Empress manages to take to the waters the Light of the Casiksi Diamond which will assure her the favor of the Devils. Steffanos, the High Priest of Hell, is possessed by Desire at the sight of the Empress inciting the Jealousy of the Graces, who assist him in the Infinite Recreation of Fire.

Pretending to help in the production of the Dust of Darkness to spray the Empress out of Existence, the Graces plot the Destruction of their Rival, the Hideous Lil-llik to ascend in the Hierarchy of the Ninth Circle. Satan, embodied by a goat to please his Wife, seems amused by the events that threaten the very Balance of the Universe”

The wording has changed slightly from the original video to the official web site:

It is the year of ll58AD. The structure of power of the Fire Lingam Project has briefly shifted from Babylon to the Byzantine Empire in Constantinople. The hermaphrodite condition of Empress Zoe has been revealed by Cardinal Petroccelly, one of her passive homosexual lovers. Condemned by the Holy See to be drowned in the Bosphorous, the Empress managed to take to the waters the Light of the Casiksi Diamond which assured her the favor of the Demons. Steffanos, the High Priest of Hell, possessed by desire at the site of the Empress, incites the jealousy of the Graces who assist him in the Infinite Recreation of Fire. Pretending to help in the production of the Dust of Darkness to spray the Empress out of existence, the Graces plot the destruction of their rival, the hideous Lil-llik to ascend in the Hierarchy of the Nine Circles. Satan, embodied in a goat to please His wife, is amused by the events that threaten the very Balance of the Universe. As Chaos erupted, the Mantra singing of 50 devotees and 1000 participating audience helped to save the Universe

The seemingly minor changes – Devils to Demons, Ninth Circle to Nine Circles – could be dismissed as irrelevant, if there were no significance to them. If demons are vices, then we all have demons – even atheists. Devils is explicitly Luciferian.

As for the Ninth Circle, this is the name of a Luciferian Pedo Cult linked to Jimmy Saville, the Jesuits, the Vatican, and many world leaders which has been operating for at least 300 years.

Saturnalia was an ancient Roman orgiastic festival that encouraged gift-giving and continual partying. The god Saturn is associated with black rock.

Of course, this is all just a big farce of pan-ic art and coincidences, they’re not crazy for doing it but I’m crazy for pointing any of it out…go about your day.

 

BURNILEAKS: The Lucifer Cover-Up

By now we are used to attempts from the Propaganda-meisters at BMorg to control every narrative relating to their event. This latest incident had us wondering, WHY? What are they trying to hide?

Thanks to Anonymous Burner for sharing this via Pastebin

Hello all,

Please read and do not respond to anything on social media. We want to keep names out of the media and not give any details out. It’s turning into a witch hunt, but the authorities and lawyers have been involved since the beginning, which has not been reported.
 
We wanted to update you on an incident that happened Monday evening post-event. At approximately 8 p.m., a male participant was struck by a Burning Man staff vehicle near 5:30 and K. The man was treated on the scene, transported to the on-site medical facility and airlifted to a Reno hospital. We’ve been told he is out of the intensive care unit and beginning his recovery.  
 
The incident has received some media coverage but at this time we are not issuing a public statement. There is an investigation underway and we are cooperating with the Pershing County Sheriff’s Office. We will share more information as it becomes available.
 
We ask you to please give thought before commenting on the incident on social media, as reporters may interpret what you say to be an official statement by Burning Man

.

Really? Reporters may interpret comments on Facebook to be official statements from BMorg? Has that ever actually happened? In this case, there is no official statement from BMorg. We are forced to piece together what information we can about the incident from, yes, the dreaded “social media”. Which now includes leaks of internal BMorg memos.

Lucifer, the Lamplighters Staff Vehicle. Image: Pershing County Sheriff’s Department

Will the Org truly share more information as it comes available, like they promised? Based on past performance, this seems unlikely.

Anonymous Burner says:

The community deserves transparency. Even if this is found to be an accident, with Burning Man and potential staffers blameless, the silence, even if meant to insulate those involved from the spotlight as investigations occur, is concerning. It brings up the potential that other incidents were kept quiet in the past, or that incidents in the future could be kept quiet as well
The community should be in a position to know what happened in a timely manner when incidents like this occur so that they can understand event related risks (whether as volunteers, staff, patrons, or participants). They deserve to know so they can be more prepared to mitigate incidents on their own behalf, and to, if needed, demand accountability and action on the part of Burning Man, or other entities, to avoid such incidents in the future.

.

The idea of a “witch hunt” is an interesting choice of words by the BMorg official. There has been none of that at Burners.Me; where do others discuss such things? I can’t find anything at Reddit, ePlaya, Burn.Life, or the official Burning Man Facebook group. So why are they thinking about witches?

Here’s what we know:

  • the driver was female, 35
  • she was the tear down lead of the Lamplighters and a Burning Man employee
  • she was driving a 1970 Ford flatbed truck, the Lamplighters truck, a BMorg staff vehicle
  • she ran over a tent on Monday night (after The Temple burn) around 8pm – just 10 minutes after last light.
  • the tent was at 5:30 & K, the 45 year old man inside was sleeping
  • the vehicle went around a coned barricade and onto a non-roadway portion of the festival.
  • the tent was dark colored and had no lights (tents have lights?) – which should not have been a problem if the truck had its headlights on and the driver was paying attention to where they were going
  • according to Pershing County Sheriff Jerry Allen, the headlights of the truck were off
  • the victim received crushing injuries, placing him in a critical condition for 3 days. He was in severe pain when treated by the medical personnel
  • the victim was airlifted to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, Nevada
  • the driver flagged down medical assistance and has been co-operating with authorities in the investigation
  • she did not appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and submitted to a test
  • there is an investigation but as far as we know, no charges have been filed

Last year the Lamplighters set up manager was badly injured at Burning Man, requiring facial plastic surgery.

So – why the cover-up? Allow me to speculate as to the real reason:

Perhaps it is because at the Radical Ritual’s peak moment, thousands of Burners were forced to witness a public human sacrifice. This was bad enough in itself; but then another person almost died after being crushed by Lucifer. Exactly what sort of energies are being invoked with all these temples, shrines, and rituals?

The news of this accident was first broken by Rolling Stone, and since then there has been discussion of the story in People, Reno Gazette Journal, KTVN, Las Vegas Review Journal; most of these miss the detail that this was one of the Org’s workers driving a staff vehicle. All of them miss the detail that the truck was called Lucifer. It takes the fire from El Diabla (the Devil), the cauldron there to “cook the souls” of ritual participants.

Just another coincidence? Let’s take a look at some more coincidences this year.

The 2017 theme was Radical Ritual.

This year we will erect a temple that will commemorate the Golden Spike. Circles surrounding circles will converge immediately beneath the Man. We will mark this space with an omphalos, a sculpture that will represent the navel of our world, its central hub and gathering place. Passing through the spine of Burning Man, this axis will continue upward, emerging high above the temple as a golden spire. Participants are invited to contribute to this shrine, and to the hundred niches that will penetrate the temple’s walls.

In alignment with this theme, earlier in the year Burners in San Francisco hosted a session about it being OK that Burning Man is a cult

What are cults? Burning Man? Anusara? Landmark? One Taste? Heaven’s Gate? Hasidism? Are corporations cults? Is medicine a cult?

On-Playa events this year included “Not A Cult Initiation” (celebrating the “Radical Witchual”), A Sex Cult, Witches and Warlocks Teatime (brought to you by Servants of the Secret Fire), Sacrificial Altar to Dionysos, A Heathen Perspective On Ritual Slaughter.

For the first time, instead of standing free The Man was placed inside a temple-like structure.

Image: SFGate

The Man installation was called The Temple of the Golden Spike, signifying the moment that kicks off the construction of Black Rock City.

The Cauldron To Cook Their Souls is called El Diabla (The Devil), and is lit in a magickal ceremony

There were 30 additional shrines connected to The Man Temple.

At the center of Black Rock City, 20 Shrines will inscribe a circle around the Man base, known this year as the Temple of the Golden Spike. Throughout the week, the space will be energized with processions and rituals, inviting the denizens of BRC to explore what we as a community consider sacrosanct.

In addition to the 20 Shrines at the Man Pavilion, there will be 10 Shrines in the city Plazas, five in the 4:30 plaza and five at 7:30From traditional spirit houses offering protection to playful rituals; from shrines celebrating nature, water, and geographic regions to the exploration of dualities: mortal/divine, virgin/bitch, death/rebirth; from places of quiet reflection to those of simple action; from the importance of touch to the power within our own hands, all Shrines invite participants to engage with the sacred and leave offerings: written, thought, spoken, sung or secret. In the spirit of the sentiment, We don’t burn something to destroy it, we burn it to protect it,when the Man burns on Saturday night, these Shrines and the offerings made unto them will burn with it.

This year “The” Temple, which burns on the final Sunday night of the event, was itself made from dead trees “rising again” – see Dead Sierra Nevada Trees Rise Again in Burning Man Temple in Black Rock Desert (LA Times).

Image: IB Times

There was a Native American medicine Radical Ritual, bringing embers from the Standing Rock protest sacred fire, which caused controversy due to drugs, alcohol, and “bad medicine”

There were quite a few death-related art installations this year which received financial grants from Burning Man, including:

The Pyramid of the Dead

The Phoenix Rising

Image: Reddit

The Shrine of La Santisima Muerte: the Lady of Shadows, the Sacred Death.

Image: Stephanie Deveau, via Facebook

La Santisima Muerte is the Patron Saint of drug-trafficking cartels.

Looking out from her Shrine, she rejects none, for all will come to her in the end. She represents the universality of death that generates a fundamental equality amongst all of human kind. Her Shrine is covered in symbols and imagery of our innovation and folly, our greatness of spirit and failures of character, our precious love and our violent hate

Violent hate, huh? Sounds like the sort of thing Satanists worship. I note that Derick Ion Almena, currently facing trial for the death of 36 people in an Oakland warehouse party last December, said “I come from a family lineage of Santaria and Palo Monte and killing”. This is basically the same death cult religion as Santa Muerte, with its roots in African voodoo coming to the New World via Caribbean slaves.

The Tomb of Nahtaivel

Ancient stories tell of the Leviathan [backwards: Nathaivel], believed to be a great beast, a demon or one of the Four Princes of Hell. We believe that this branch of lore represents the individual struggle between right and wrong, physically manifested in the real world. Sometimes facing personal problems can feel like you’re battling a great beast. This temple is about the external and internal forces that bring people together to create the world in which we all participate whether it be good or evil.

OK, a Tomb of the Princes of Hell, a temple about creating a world of evil. Nothing Satanic about that or anything.

And we saw the return of “rowing skeletons zoetrope”, aka Charon

Image: Peter Ruprecht

A gigantic 30′ spinning wheel with posed human skeletons mounted on its inner edge, Charon is fully powered by a minimum of 12 people working in unison. Participants are invited to pull a series of 6 ropes which cause the wheel to rotate progressively faster. When the rope pullers are coordinated enough to get the wheel spinning at the correct speed, a strobe is activated, revealing the skeletons’ animation. The animation tells the story of Charon, the mythological gondolier and ferryman of Hades who carried the souls of the recently departed across the river Styx, the last right of passage on the way to the afterlife.

River Styx, skeletons, Hades, the underworld…nothing to see here, move along.

Then we had Múcaro, a giant, Bohemian Grove-like owl. Apparently somebody fell off it and was seriously injured.

Cremation of Care, the effigy burn ritual at Bohemian Grove

At the peak moment of Burning Man 2017, tens of thousands of horrified Burners witnessed a real life human sacrifice as Aaron Joel Mitchell, 41, got up from where he was sitting and ran into the fire, evading multiple Sandmen trying to stop him. He was airlifted to California, where he was pronounced dead at 6:30am the next day.

People that hung out with him reported that he was on LSD for over 3 days, of his own choosing. They also reported that it was a pre-meditated action. He talked about it, and wouldn’t change his mind.

[Source: Burn.Life, comments]

Despite the tragedy, the show must go on. Burning Man’s fire priestess Crimson Rose harrumphed to the media “we have a ritual to complete”. Did she mean “the” Temple burn on Sunday night, or something else? Regardless, there was even more horrific disaster to come.

After Burning Man officially ended and the sun went down on Monday night, Lucifer claimed another victim. Quite literally: the staff vehicle used by the Lamplighters to spread the fire from El Diabla (“the cauldron to cook their souls”) is named Lucifer. It nearly killed someone, running over their tent and sending them to the Intensive Care Unit for at least 3 days with critical crushing injuries.

In summary, we have rituals and shrines dedicated to death, in a pentagram, lit by the fire of the Devil from a truck named Lucifer. And people die or get seriously injured – is this really surprising? You get what you pray for.

Maybe instead of worrying about people discussing things on social media (which has never killed anyone), They should reconsider the use of occult black magick rituals. Just a suggestion…

 

 

Dear Burning Man…

This video highlights the cultural appropriation issues, showing how some Burners really just don’t give a shit if some First Nations people are deeply offended by their antics.

Read the comments at Facebook…people are pretty upset about this. I’m not sure BMorg can take their usual approach of issuing a statement saying “we’ve listened to all of your concerns and we take them seriously”, then proceeding to do nothing whatsoever.

See also:

We Will Shut Down The Roads To Burning Man – Alarm at Cultural Appropriation

Dear White People, Standing Rock Is Not Burning Man

Standing Rock Coming To Black Rock