Shadow History of Burners Part 5b – Burning With The Man

The next installment of my Shadow History of Burners series with Jan Irvin is now out.

You can download the slides and notes here: PowerpointPDF of Slides | PDF of Notes

Previous episodes under Shadow History

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“It Wasn’t Me, It Was The Neighbors” – Satya Yuga Defense Begins

So far, Satya Yuga Collective founder Derrick Ion has not been charged with any crime in relation to the so-called “Oakland Ghost Ship Fire” which killed 36 people at the beginning of December. Nobody else has been charged either, and so far there is no evidence of arson. The various authorities have not yet concluded their investigation.

$200 million of civil suits have been filed against 9 people by families of the victims.

re-blogged from The Daily Californian:

The family members of two victims who perished in the Oakland warehouse fire Dec. 2, including UC Berkeley alumnus Griffin Madden, filed civil lawsuits in Alameda County Superior Court on Friday against several people associated with the “Ghost Ship” warehouse.

One lawsuit was filed on behalf of 23-year-old Madden, as first reported by KTVU, and another was filed on behalf of Michela Gregory, a 20-year-old San Francisco State University student who died clutching her boyfriend, Alex Vega. These are the first known suits filed in connection with the Oakland fire, according to the East Bay Times.

The suit filed by Madden’s parents, Michael and Catherine Madden, alleges that the defendants were negligent with regards to the safety conditions of the “Ghost Ship” warehouse and are liable for Madden’s death. It also alleges that the defendants did not obtain permits to convert the warehouse into a residential or public event space.

Nine defendants are listed in the suit, including Chor Nar Siu Ng, the owner of the warehouse; her daughter Eva Ng; warehouse managers Derick Ion Almena and Micah Allison; and warehouse lessors Daniel Lopez and Omar Vega. Joel Shanahan, the performer at the warehouse the night of the fire, known most commonly by the stage name Golden Donna; Jon Hrabko, who organized and promoted the event; and Los Angeles record label 100% Silk were also listed as defendants in the suit.

The Maddens are being represented by Mary Alexander & Associates, a San Francisco law firm. In their suit, the Maddens demanded a trial by jury…Ng has hired attorney Keith Bremer from the firm Bremer Whyte Brown & O’Meara to represent her, while Almena is being represented by attorney Tony Serra…

“Said defendants had mandatory and nondelegable duties to inspect and maintain said property in a safe and usable condition, and to repair any dangerous or unsafe conditions,” the lawsuit states. “Each of them, were somehow negligent or otherwise responsible for the injuries and death of Griffin Madden and the damages alleged herein.”

The suit calls the warehouse a “death trap,” alleging that it was poorly constructed and lacked a safe and accessible exit, as well as adequate fire-safety measures…

[Source]

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Attack Is The Best Form Of Defense

A 2015 mug shot of Derrick Ion Almena. Source: LA Times

A 2015 booking photo of Derrick Ion Almena. Source: Glendale Police Department via LA Times

In a two-pronged attack, this week the defense team released to the media a report from an anonymous “expert” suggesting neighboring properties, government agencies, and P G & E could have been at fault for the blaze; and at the same time, Micah Allison (Mrs Ion) took to the stage at a city council meeting to say how sorry they were and they wish that something could have been done sooner and she needs a house.

They got a crack lawyer who has represented the cream of the crop of Bay Area ruffians: the Black Panthers, the Hell’s Angels, the Symbionese Liberation Army, and Shrimp Boy. Describing the defense team leader Tony Serra as a “firebrand attorney” is perhaps in poor taste, LA Times. He seems to be earning his money, as the defense have come up with what seems like an attempt to create reasonable doubt in the minds of a jury: the fire didn’t even begin on his property, and he wasn’t even there, so how can he be culpable in any way?

On Monday, Almena’s lawyers said they had conducted their own inquiry into the fire. “Our investigation shows that Derick Almena committed no conduct amounting to criminal negligence

[Source: LA Times]

Hey, if his defense attorneys say he didn’t do it, he didn’t do it…right?

YMMV on whose fault it was that the junk piled up around the idols and altars, that staircases were constructed from wooden pallets, that 20+ people were residential sublet tenants, or that it was not a licensed venue for occult trance rituals all-night dance parties with DJs and live fire performances.


Micah On The Mic

Micah Allison, the wife of Derrick Ion Almena, spoke publicly for the first time at a special meeting in Oakland on January 23.

She complained about unfair treatment from neighbors and the media, and that more had not been done earlier by the council – because now she and her husband have to carry a heavy weight on their shoulders.

She turned up at a special meeting of the City Council on Monday, where legislators were considering several proposals aimed at shoring up tenant protections and providing an emergency moratorium on evictions from unpermitted live/work spaces that spiked in the wake of the deadly blaze.

“The main thing I wanted to say is how sorry I am for what happened on Dec. 2,” Allison said, before thanking the activists and organizers at the meeting. “I wish that more had been done before because we carry a really heavy weight on our shoulders right now.”

But Allison spent the majority of her time at the podium decrying the treatment she said her family has received from the media and former neighbors, who she claimed thwarted a recent attempt to move back into an Oakland house where they had lived previously.

“It’s been pretty terrible what they’ve done to my family,” Allison said, speaking about media reports.

She continued, describing a former landlord who offered to let them stay in exchange for replacing windows and painting the older home.

“The neighbors, who were my friends during the entire time I lived in that house before, got wind that we were going to move back into the house because our landlord really loved us and wanted to help our family,” she said. “In a couple hours, or over a 24-hour period, they contacted the landlord and said that if they let us move back into the house that they would cause a lot of trouble for him over his house.”

The deal would have allowed the family some stability to enable them to “start changing this narrative that’s gone out about Satya Yuga, the Ghost Ship, my family, my husband, myself,” she said, referring to the art collective occupying the warehouse

Allison expressed frustration about trying to find a stable place to live while keeping her three children in their Fruitvale-area schools.

In order to keep my kids in school, I need a house,” she said

[Source: East Bay Times]

A house for the kids would have been a great idea, rather than a venue for underground raves all night DJ parties. 36 people including one minor might still be alive if that had occurred to them earlier. But is this really the City Council’s problem? They should be investigating this woman, not giving her a house. Her desire to “start changing this narrative” emerged the same day the defense team released their report. This act may have been more strategic than spontaneous.

Here is the anonymous expert report being used by the Defense team. It seems long on speculation and short on actual evidence.

A good report on the report from Matthias Gafni and Katrina Cameron at the San Jose Mercury News:

OAKLAND — The defense team for Derick Almena released a report Monday alleging that the deadly fire that killed 36 people last year started not in the now infamous Ghost Ship artists collective, but rather in an adjacent building.

In a 10-page report released Monday, prepared by an unnamed investigator hired by Almena’s defense team, also pointed the finger at PG&E for inadequate electrical inputs into the building. Almena’s attorneys argue the findings should relieve their client of any criminal liability. It is not the first time that Almena’s lawyers have sought to deflect blame from their client: last month they said government agencies were at fault.

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office has been investigating Almena, who was the master tenant at the Fruitvale warehouse, and others for possible criminal charges in the Dec. 2 blaze. The office declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation. But an expert who reviewed the evidence offered by Almena’s legal team, was not convinced.

The report, which cites various photos of the buildings on the 1300 block of 31st Avenue from street level and above, raises questions about how electricity was delivered to the warehouse and adjacent buildings. It has various conclusions, including that “there must have been enough heat PRIOR TO the entry into Ghost Ship section for fire to occur.”

“The defense team for Derick Ion Almena has received a reliable scientific report … indicating that the origin of the fire was at the building adjacent to the so-called Ghost Ship warehouse,” attorneys Jeffrey Krasnoff, Kyndra Miller and Tony Serra wrote in a statement. “Such should reasonably foreclose any criminal negligence charges against Mr. Almena. Recall that the ATF could not conclude where the fire originated. The reasonable doubt here is overwhelming.”

Dan Rapperport, a fire and explosion investigator and president of Rapperport Associates, reviewed the report and found the theory that the fire started next door a “stretch.”

They did not offer compelling evidence to me, as a fire investigator, that the origin of the fire started outside the Ghost Ship space,” he said in a phone interview. It is not surprising that the massive fire would create roof and other fire damage on adjacent buildings, he said.

However, Rapperport said, the report makes a valid point that PG&E’s conductors from outer power poles may have been undersized. The photos show “undersized wiring” leading into the building, meaning the PG&E capacity for electrical current from outside could have been below the inside capacity of the Ghost Ship wiring, he said. That could have led to overloaded wiring which could cause a short or ignite a fire, however that doesn’t mean PG&E is necessarily to blame, he added.

“There’s legacy wiring going into the place and if they’re using more power than PG&E ever anticipated, it’s up to the user to call PG&E to say I need more power,” Rapperport said.

Tamar Sarkissian, a PG&E spokeswoman, said records over the last decade-plus show no reports of “electric theft or any other anomaly from this location or the adjacent premises. We will await the findings of the official investigation.”

Sources have told this newspaper that the cause of the fire inside the warehouse art collective was overloaded electrical lines at the rear of the structure.

The Ghost Ship’s power sources — an ad hoc network of extension cords stretched through a maze of small dwelling units and studios — all fed from one line coming through a hole punched in the wall to a neighboring business, a person familiar with the wiring has said. The sources did not mention the fire started outside the warehouse.

Criminal defense attorney Dan Horowitz said Almena’s defense team are creating a jury defense to “humanize” their client.

Make him sad, sorry and pathetic. Have a cause that blames someone else ‘scientifically’. Then ignore the fact that the place was an illegal electrical nightmare and an accident waiting to happen,” he said. “Let’s say the fire came from the sky. A lightning bolt. Sprinklers, exit doors, clear pathways and the hellish death of dozens would have been avoided.”

A spokeswoman with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms declined to comment Monday on specifics, saying the Oakland Fire Department final report has not been completed.

In a statement late Monday, Karen Boyd, Oakland’s communications director, said that the ATF and the Oakland Fire Department are “collaborating on a comprehensive investigation of the 31st Avenue warehouse fire. The investigation will yield a report that addresses the cause and origin of the fire. That report will be forwarded to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office as part of the ongoing criminal investigation. It’s premature to speculate about the origin of the fire until all investigations are complete.”

Almena’s defense team declined to name the author of their report, but said he was an expert “qualified by both education and experience.”

[Source: Mercury News]

The witness account of the wiring coming through the wall conflicts with the images in the report, taken from the outside of the building.


Show Me The Money

Almost a million dollars was raised in a crowdfunding appeal for the victims, and now almost 2 months after the fire $0 from that has been handed out to them. The charity that took the money, Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, is deeply in bed with the Burning Man Project, which may explain the redistribution inefficiency. Money donated via the Oakland A’s, Raiders, and Warriors was distributed in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy.

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From the Gray Area January 25 2017 press release:

“The first phase of allocations for the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts’ Fund —set up as an immediate response to the Ghostship tragedy—have been reviewed by a research committee and program managers and approved by the Gray Area Board of Directors. As of January 25, 2017, 136 intake forms have been qualified. Documentation will be requested, and funds will be dispersed immediately upon receipt of qualification documentation.

To fully allocate the second phase of funds, Gray Area still needs those who may qualify to submit the required intake form. The form has been available since December 7, 2016, via the foundation’s site at http://grayarea.org/initiative/fire-relief-fund/. The deadline to complete an intake form has been established as March 7, 2017 (90 days from the publishing date).

In other words, coming soon.

Intake forms: the new burner profile? The whole process rhymes with Burning Man, that’s for sure.

Josette Melchor, Executive Director and Founder of Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, has been on the advisory board for the Burning Man Project since January 2012. In 2010 they received an Honorarium grant for Syzygryd, an art project for “Interpretive Arson”. Gray Area Chairman Peter Hirshberg wrote about Burning Man re-inventing money and governance in the recent book From Bitcoin To Burning Man And Beyond (worth a read).

Melchor didn’t waste any time getting the money after the tragedy:

“Every penny that is donated here should go to the fire victims’ funeral expenses, medical expenses and health-related expenses,” said Josette Melchor, founder of Gray Area Foundation for The Arts. Melchor spoke for the group intent on helping victims the Monday after the fire.

That’s our priority first and foremost,” she said.

[Source: NBC Bay Area]

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She has a funny take on the meaning of “priority”. Hate to break it to you Josette, but people who need financial help for funerals need that in days after the death, not months. The same goes for people who have lost their home and all worldly possessions. I would imagine that was in the mind of any donor in the week or two  following the tragedy.
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Amazing how this organization was able to mobilize to rapidly that they were speaking to the press the Monday after the fire, and yet 2 months later still can’t figure out who the 36 victims were.
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NBC reports:

“Why is it taking so long?” asked Carmen Brito, a former resident of the Ghost Ship. “They know what we’re dealing with. They know we lost our home. They know we lost everything.”

Brito said she, as well as others who spoke with NBC Bay Area but declined to be identified, are in need of help. They say they received cash assistance hours after the fire from the Red Cross, which distributed money from a different fund led by the A’s, Warriors and Raiders.

But the Gray Area foundation has provided them no money.

“They kinda just didn’t seem to get it,” she said.

That surprised us. Because in December, Melchor, the Gray Area founder, said she was enlisting the Red Cross to help manage the fund.

“This is what they do. They’re good at it,” she said. “We’re not going to reinvent the wheel.”

But the Red Cross says Gray Area opted to manage the fund itself, on its own schedule.

“I would like to have seen an immediate handout,” Steele said.

NBC Bay Area has been asking Gray Area for information for weeks. On Thursday, the founder agreed to a follow-up interview. She confirmed that all the money is sitting idle in a bank account.

 “We haven’t spent a dime,” Melchor said.

Melchor said she has heard people’s concerns but assures them that Gray Area is beginning to approve applications.

“Eventually, they will be getting a check, in the next days to weeks,” she said. “So, to a certain point, I think they’ll begin to be thankful. And I think most people are thankful. They are just a few vocal people who are speaking out.”

As for why it’s taken close to two months, Melchor attributed the delays to getting records from the city and the coroner, which she says the Red Cross had immediate access to.

“There was just a huge hold up in us getting the information that we needed to serve the people that were affected,” she explained.

Our research found another hiccup: a call from the Attorney General’s Office.

Records we retrieved show the state sent Gray Area three different delinquency letters in 2016 for failing to file financial records. One notice, from August, warned of the state’s “intent to suspend or revoke” its registration as a charity.

Melchor told us Gray Area was unaware of the letters until late December – in the middle of fundraising – when the Attorney General’s Office called.

 “We cleared that up within 72 hours of the phone call with the Attorney General,” she said. “So, that is completely a non-issue.”

Not everyone agrees.

“That’s really a bad sign,” said Daniel Borochoff, president of CharityWatch, which scrutinizes and rates nonprofit organizations. Borochoff reviewed Gray Area’s filings as well as its online fundraiser.  

He asked: “If the group can’t even get it together to get their finances reported, their basic public disclosure documents provided to the state of California and the IRS, then how can they be expected to get it together to get this huge quick influx of funds to the needed victims?”

Borochoff questioned Gray Area’s decision to administer the fund.

“There are certainly groups in the Bay Area that are better equipped and have the experience to handle a disaster such as this warehouse fire,” he said.

Melchor said her group’s recent budget exceeds the balance of $901,000 relief fund, so it is capable of handling that much money. 

The victims and donors we talked to told us they just want Gray Area to distribute the money with the same urgency that the sympathetic public donated it.

“I don’t think anybody who gave money was like, ‘Yes I want this money to sit in a bank account of a foundation that’s dragging its feet.’” Brito said.

Steele agreed.

“I understand that it’s a difficult process. It’s a difficult process to weed out. But there’s got to be a way to make it happen faster,” Steele said.

Gray Area is still collecting donations. It has increased its fundraising goal several times and says it will continue to up its target

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Now that Gray Area got all the information they were waiting for, checks will be going out within days or weeks. How many checks are they writing? Surely 36 checks can be written in one hour. Two if you’re slow; not weeks.
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They’re still in the process of figuring out what they’re going to do with all the money. The good news is that they have formed a committee of “5 to 6” people. If the committee can’t even decide how many members it has, it’s probably not going to be super-hasty on all the other decisions. It seems that some of the Bay Area Burner spaces might end up with the cash, rather than the immediate victims:
they are in the process of determining whether to distribute the funds to just displaced residents and victims’ families, or to a larger swath of people impacted by the fire, including DIY spaces that need support making fire-safety improvements to their spaces.
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Hiding In The Shadows

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Another video has surfaced on YouTube purportedly showing these people indulging in bizarre, occult behavior. Derrick Almena is not visible, but (allegedly) his voice can be heard. He is one of the adults in the skull mask seeming to terrorize the child. YouTube comments identify the man whose face is shown as Michael Allison, Micah’s father.

Is it really them? Hard for me to say either way, but it would be an awful lot of trouble to go to just to troll somebody that is potentially under police and ATF investigation. The claims of drug and sex parties were also made in the Daily Mail. I couldn’t find Micah Allison on Etsy but they do sell voodoo dolls.

Image: Daily Mail

Michael Allison, Micah’s father. Image: Daily Mail

 

“Davos Is Burning Man With Clothes” – Sergey Brin

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Google Co-Founder and Billionaire Burner Sergey Brin, rumored to be one of the Anonymous donors backing Burning Man’s year round philosophy center/nude bathing retreat Flysalen, has chosen the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland to show off his “cool kid” Burning Man credentials.


re-blogged from The Hollywood Reporter (because Switzerland is so close to Los Angeles)

Google Co-Founder: Davos World Economic Forum Is Like Burning Man “Except We’re All Wearing Clothes”

Sergey Brin, the president of Google parent company Alphabet, on Thursday lauded the technology company and Silicon Valley’s culture of pursuing new ideas and businesses, even if they don’t succeed, arguing that it allows for innovation and creativity.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in a session that was live-streamed, he said his first visit to the event in eight years reminded him a bit of Burning Man in Nevada.

“Not having been to Davos in eight years, I’m even confused in a good way, because there are all these business executives and CEOs and everybody wondering how are people going to find purpose and what about all these refugees, what about income inequality,” he said before drawing laughs by adding. “I kind of feel like I’m at Burning Man — almost, except we’re all wearing clothes.”

On a more serious note, Brin told the Davos crowd on Thursday that outside of the Forum, “oftentimes, there is a very antagonistic [relationship] between government and business,” which he said is “very unhealthy.” He called on all to focus on tackling issues “in a real collaborative way.”

He was also questioned about the culture at Alphabet/Google and Silicon Valley in general. “We are just lucky to have the environment that tolerates making lots of risky bets and tolerating the failures that inevitably result,” he said about the company.

In that context, he also shared that he thought about the idea for Google as part of his graduate student project at Stanford University and asked his advisor whether he should become an entrepreneur or finish his PhD, the advisor said: “Why not!? Go for it, and then if it doesn’t work out, you come back, you finish your PhD, which I am still planning on doing.”

Brin said “that mentality permeates Silicon Valley, and I think that’s one of the strengths that it’s not viewed so negatively to try something even if it doesn’t work out.”

Asked about Alphabet/Google’s key values, he said: “For whatever weird reason, maybe it’s because we are San Francisco hippies, Google has always had a little bit of that social responsibility view.” And he added: “It can’t be the case that companies such as ours are just purely profit motivated. … You can’t just think narrowly, this is your business, you are just going to maximize earnings, it doesn’t matter what else is going on around you.”

Image: Noah Zerkin, Twitter

Image: Noah Zerkin, Twitter

Asked if he had any idea where Google would go when he started it, Brin said: “I could not possibly have imagined.” 

What’s his advice for young people? Brin said “you should have fun” instead of thinking about an IPO from the start or trying to be number one in their field on a global basis, explaining: “I certainly had no dreams of economic success.” He concluded: “I would encourage young folks to take chances and pursue their dreams and try to silence out the voices that say well, actually there are a thousand startups trying to solve self-riding bicycles or whatever they happen to be doing.”

[Source: Hollywood Reporter]


We know most Burners would rather talk about refugees and income equality than LSD and Molly. Right? We’re not just partying, we’re actually making the world a better place…by partying.

I guarantee you there are after parties at Davos where you can find naked people. Perhaps Brin isn’t “in”?

google-machine-gunWhen Sergey described the “very antagonistic relationship between Government and Business”, was that based on his company having 427 meetings at the Obama White House, a “hand in glove” arrangement with the State Department, and its Billionaire Burner CEO being chairman of the Pentagon’s technology board and the top outside advisor for Hillary Clinton’s Presidential run? If that is antagonistic, I’d hate to see what “in the pocket” looks like. The close collaboration between corporations and government Sergey dreams of is also known as  “fascism”.

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Source: Quartz


Burning Man for Billionaire Bilderbergers

What other rave lets you see billionaire dicks swinging in the wind? If you want to see your Davos colleagues rock out with their shirt-cock out, invite them to Burning Man. Maybe they can connect with venture capitalists and hot new startups – even BMorg themselves have an incubator now, Black Rock Labs. Sergey will be there, sans vêtements, he’s the 13th richest guy in the world. Allegedly. If they’re lucky (or even unlucky, as long as they’re rich) then knowing the right insiders might swing them a VIP invite to the offsite. There’s a geyser (Ser-gey-ser?), where you can get naked in the hot springs. It’s called Radical Self Expression, and it’s life-changing. Transformative. You may be the CEO of a Fortune 100 company, but if you’ve never done Special K with supermodels at sunrise at Robot Heart then you’re living a false reality, a lie that you need to cast off so you can make the world a better place. Tune In to Larry Harvey and the Ten Principles, Turn On to liquid acid, and Drop Out of all those clothes that stop you from expressing who you really want to be. Come to the Burn, Man, and leave Transformed.

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How long until Google hosts an executive retreat at Flysalen? It’s probably already happened. Wonder if any goats were sacrificed.

 

Sergey’s speech this week is not the first time Burning Man has been linked to Davos, which has been called Burning Man for Billionaire Bilderbergers.

In 2014 BMorg told us about all the Burners at the World Economic Forum in Davos is Burning. Strangely, they didn’t think it was relevant to mention that Burning Man’s first Chief Technology Guru went from Black Rock City, Nevada to Davos, Switzerland, to set up all the tech for the World Economic Forum. A promotion for a job well done, perhaps?

hyperledger-s-executive-director-brian-behlendo-originalBrian Behlendorf, lead developer of Apache and creator of the SFRaves Mailing List, went from being Burning Man’s Chief Technology Guru to the same role for the World Economic Forum. Now he’s Chairman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (founded by CIA consultant John Perry Barlow) and on the board of crypto-messenger Wickr, along with Gilman Louie (founding CEO of CIA venture capital incubator In-Q-Tel, and former employer of Burning Man founders Carrie Galbraith and Kevin Evans), Jim Breyer (BBN Technologies, early Facebook investor), and former CIA man Joseph Detrani (President of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance). The CIA.gov web site runs on Brian’s Apache software.

Sergey Brin himself is no stranger to the CIA either. His claim above…

he thought about the idea for Google as part of his graduate student project at Stanford University and asked his advisor whether he should become an entrepreneur or finish his PhD, the advisor said: “Why not!? Go for it, and then if it doesn’t work out, you come back, you finish your PhD, which I am still planning on doing.”

Brin said “that mentality permeates Silicon Valley, and I think that’s one of the strengths that it’s not viewed so negatively to try something even if it doesn’t work out.”

…sounds sweet, and suits the mythology of Silicon Valley. A student was encouraged by his professor to drop out of college to become an entrepreneur, he took a risk and achieved great success through hard work, talent and luck. The American Dream! But he’s leaving out a pretty significant component, as Nafeez Ahmed from Insurge Intelligence revealed in his stunning 2015 report How The CIA Made Google: Inside The Secret Network Behind Mass Surveillance, Endless War, and SkyNet

The inside story of Google’s rise, revealed here for the first time, opens a can of worms that goes far beyond Google, unexpectedly shining a light on the existence of a parasitical network driving the evolution of the US national security apparatus, and profiting obscenely from its operation

Nafeez quoted Dr Bhavani Thuraisingham, who stated in 2013 “the Google founder Mr. Sergey Brin was partly funded by this program while he was a PhD student at Stanford”. After Nafeez’s article was published, Dr Thuraisingham dialed that back a little  – heat from the bosses, perhaps? This is from his revised update:

Prof. Jeffrey Ullman (at Stanford) and my colleague at MITRE Dr. Chris Clifton together with some others developed the Query Flocks System, as part of MDDS, which produced solutions for mining large amounts of data stored in databases. Also, Mr. Sergey Brin, the cofounder of Google, was part of Prof. Ullman’s research group at that time. I remember visiting Stanford with Dr. Rick Steinheiser from the Intelligence Community periodically and Mr. Brin would rush in on roller blades, give his presentation and rush out. During our last visit to Stanford in September 1998, Mr. Brin demonstrated to us his search engine which I believe became Google soon after.

 

Despite Dr Thuraisingham’s milquetoast clarification, the story of Google’s intelligence community origins has been independently corroborated by a second source, 20+ year CIA veteran Robert David Steele. Julian Assange wrote an entire book about it, excerpted here: Google Is Not What It Seems.

google guys.pngJust like CIA contractor Timothy Leary was presented before crowds at the 1967 Human Be-In as a leading voice of the counter-culture, so CIA contractor Sergey Brin is presented at Burning Man for Billionaires as the leading voice of the tech world (and hippies). Flower power reigns supreme! If you think endless war and mass surveillance by A.I.’s is cool, then Google is a pretty cool company. Neat-o! Come to Flysalen and learn how to be just like Sergey. Naked.

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Doodle, by ABC.XYZ

Last year 62 people had as much wealth as the poorest 50% of the world. Thanks to monetarism, that’s now only 8. Of these, 3 are connected to Burning Man: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and Oracle founder Larry Ellison (his kids go). Of course, all of those have CIA ties as well. Zuckerberg went to an elite program for gifted children at the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth in Baltimore, Maryland – as did Sergey Brin and spirit cooking enthusiast Lady Gaga. Zuckerberg then “accidentally met on the street” Sean Parker, who was recruited by the CIA at 16. Parker introduced Zuckerberg to Don Graham, whose family owned the Washington Post – exposed by Carl Bernstein in 1977 as one of the key CIA propaganda assets in Operation MOCKINGBIRD. Graham took a board seat at Facebook, and later sold the Washington Post to Jeff Bezos for $250 million at almost exactly the same time that the CIA gave Amazon an unspecified $600 million deal  (just before Amazon released their Echo always-on listening device). Amazon CEO Bezos is also on the Pentagon technology board with Google CEO Eric Schmidt. Larry Ellison was working for Ampex and the CIA on a database project they named Oracle, after the popular counter-culture magazine that organized the Human Be-In. He left to start his own company funded by a juicy contract with Oracle’s first customer: the CIA.

Silicon Valley’s mantra of “it’s OK to fail” is definitely enhanced when you are working for the military/intelligence community with 55% of the country’s discretionary budget.

 

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Alphabet and Pentagon Innovation Board Chairman Eric Schmidt at the 2016 Further Future Festival in Nevada, organized by the owners of Robot Heart. He claimed in his speech that he was wearing a new generation of bullet/laser-proof vest, recommended by the Defense Department because of the threat of laser weapons. Perhaps he was joking, but the laser threat is no joke. A Burning Man ranger was permanently blinded by a handheld laser in 2014

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Preview: 50 Years of Flower Power

 

 

Jan and Joe invited Hans and I on their show UnSpun on the Conscious Consumer Network, to talk about our LIVE SPECIAL EVENT THIS SATURDAY JAN 14TH AT 12:00 NOON 

More information at 50 Years of Flower Power

 

Associated Press Misreports Pershing County Fees

by Whatsblem the Pro

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The Associated Press has released a correction to their November 11th story regarding Burning Man’s agreement with Pershing County, and it’s only fair that we acknowledge the correction as well, since we repeated it here in good faith.

Burners everywhere have been wondering what the real story might be regarding the agreed-upon payments to be made to Pershing County by the Burning Man organization, since the press release at Burningman.com gave different figures than were being reported in virtually every major news outlet around the globe.

The Associated Press’ correction reads as follows:

RENO, Nev. (AP) — RENO, Nev. (AP) — In a story Nov. 11 about security and insurance costs at the Burning Man counterculture festival, The Associated Press erroneously reported the terms of the agreement. The agreement estimates Burning Man will pay $240,000 a year over 10 years to Pershing County, with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s share covered in a separate agreement, not more than $600,000 a year to the county and BLM. Burning Man would be required to maintain up to $1 million in insurance coverage in the separate BLM agreement, not the agreement with the county.

While we wouldn’t have been surprised had the Org’s numbers turned out to be inaccurate and the Associated Press’ the reality, this is not the case. . . and since there are plenty of genuine issues to address regarding the Org and the way they run the event, we feel that it’s only right to go out of our way to point out the correction and do what we can to discourage people from citing the discrepancy as evidence of some kind of chicanery.