EXCLUSIVE: ShelterCoin Founder Christian Weber

Screenshot 2017-09-01 11.55.57Screenshot 2017-09-01 12.02.22We have been a fan of the “inspired by Burning Man” SHIFTPODs since day one, and we have covered them before:

SHIFTPODs: The New Generation of Burnitecture

Where Did The SHIFTPOD Come From?

SHELTERCOIN is something new, and as far as I know, the first Initial Coin Offering (ICO) connected to a real company with real products. Most of the ones I’ve seen promise that something will be built a year or more in the future, hoping at that time there will be a community ready to use their digital tokens. This offering is drawing an existing community of stakeholders together to solve old problems in new ways.

This seems like an idea that has come at just the right time, as the devastation of Hurricane Harvey has shown us amazing scenes of citizens springing into action to help each other, instead of waiting for centralized authorities to get their bureaucracy together. The decentralized model works; the centralized model keeps failing us.

Last week, Fast Company magazine profiled the company behind SHELTERCOIN and SHIFTPOD, Advanced Shelter Systems Inc of Napa, CA

Screenshot 2017-08-29 12.12.52

Arriving in the desert that August, in 2015, I saw a SHIFTPOD for the first time. As someone who, like Weber, had explored countless Burning Man camping methods, I was intrigued by how a SHIFTPOD could both keep the dust out and be set up in less than five minutes. It looked like a lunar habitat–conversation piece!–and you didn’t freeze overnight. There’s nothing else like it. So prior to Burning Man 2016, I bought one.

In my camp alone last year, there were five SHIFTPODs and more than 1,000 on the playa. By then, Weber had sold his green-fracking operation and launched Advanced Shelter Systems Inc. (ASSI), the Napa-based company that’s turned his late-night Burning Man lodging idea into a multimillion-dollar business whose market extends far beyond the U.S. festival circuit—so far, in fact, that it requires an entirely new currency.

[Source: Fast Company]

The article caused  somewhat of a stir on the Burners.Me Facebook page, with some Burners screaming “Commodification!” and (predictably) “Burning Man is over!” and “ICOs are just a fad!”

Christian Weber, Sheltercoin Foundation

I got the chance to raise these concerns with company founder Christian Weber directly. The ShelterCoin Foundation’s Initial Coin Offering on the blockchain is actually inspired by giving shelter to those who need it most – which seems very compatible with Burner principles like Gifting, Immediacy, Civic Responsibility and Communal Effort.

 

B.Me: What is interesting about this story for Burners?

CW: One of the things I learned over 23 years out on the playa is to help people out if they needed it.  The Black Rock Desert is one of the most inhospitable places on Earth.  Back in the day, before chefs and camp producers the thing that really struck me was that everyone wanted to help the other have a better experience.  That has faded a bit but we all still bring extra parts and even heavy equipment to share with surrounding people and camps.  When you get right down to it, beyond ego and politics it feels good to help others.  Especially in times of need.  This is a natural extension of the burner ethos and experience.

B.Me: Just before Burning Man started this year, “Hell Storm” Hurricane Harvey hit Houston. Are you doing anything to help them?

Texas National Guard soldiers helping out in Houston. Image: defense.gov

CW: We already mobilizing product, family care hygiene kits and getting ready to load trucks and planes to get the goods down there.  We are in contact with FEMA, Team Rubicon and several other NGOs with boots on the ground to enlist help with distribution.  I have my chainsaw gassed up and ready to go. I can’t wait to get down there and help.  I just spoke to a friend and colleague who has been running a boat for 48 hours straight rescuing people.  After the initial rescue efforts subside he has committed to help run shelters and supplies for us.  Once we mobilize he will gather the people he is working with to help distribute and deliver the goods and material we bring in.

The need for shelter and supplies in Houston is huge, with more than 30,000 people in emergency shelters. People are reaching out to help their fellow citizens, regardless of skin color or political affiliation. Helping those who need it most is the American way, and that is what we are trying to do with this ICO.  The recovery is a massive task and unfortunately we will only be a small part of the solution, for now.

B.Me: Are your pods safe in a Hurricane?

CW: We have put a lot of work into making our products highly wind, rain, and temperature resistant. We recently wind tested them up to 106 MPH sustained winds, which is above the highest level 12 of the Beaufort Scale. Hurricane Harvey was an unprecedented storm with some winds being recorded even higher than that.

B.Me: What is SHELTERCOIN?

CW: SHELTERCOIN is a new crypto-coin that will be used to build and supply emergency shelter, equipment and responders to people in need in disaster areas in advance, of and in times of need.  This is a natural extension of our “sell 20 donate one” program we have had in place from the beginning of our shelter company.  So far we have donated hundreds of SHIFTPODS all over the world including to the fire victims in California, Earthquake victims in Japan and Ecuador, victims in Haiti and to refugees on Lesvos, Greece.  We even donated to the earthquake victims in Nepal but these units got stuck in customs when the government wanted 100% tax on the full retail value before they would release them as gifts to the people.  Crazy.  Most recently we donated to the Nation of Hawaii to help with a homeless program there.  In this program the people will have to “pay rent” to live in the SHIFTPODS and they will pay this “rent” by taking classes on their heritage and working in the garden to grow their own food.  If successful the SHELTERCOIN will allow us to do more and build more product to donate to people in need.  It will also allow us to build and stage product in advance so when there is a disaster the units will be close or on site so there is no waiting for equipment to be shipped in from across the country.

B.Me: What can people use SHELTERCOIN for?

CW: Anyone can buy, trade and use SHELTERCOIN to make purchases, get discounts, make donations, to access new software or to store wealth. As we build our SHELTERCOIN community and eco-system we hope to have many vendors that will offer discounts on product purchased with SHELTERCOIN.  We will offer steep discounts on our products for both retail and large commercial buyers and we will show people how to convert to SHELTERCOIN on our check out page to get the instant discounts.  This is just one of the ways to support the demand for SHELTERCOIN.  The other use for SHELTERCOIN is to directly support missions to disaster areas.  Rather than donating to a normal NGO where less than 5% goes to the actual cause, we will use SHELTERCOIN to raise funds for a specific disaster or mission and then the donors will be able to track the use of funds almost in real time with transparency.  We hope to shift the donation and disaster response paradigm with the SHELTERCOIN. A decentralized solution on the blockchain lets us connect donors and responders more directly to people and areas in need, and much more efficiently than the centralized institutions who seem to take most of the money for overhead.

B.Me: Is this a for-profit, or altruistic venture?

CW: We have created the SHELTERCOIN Foundation to issue the tokens. SHELTERCOINs are an altruistic token, not an investment. When you buy them in the ICO there is no guarantee that they will go up in value or be worth anything in the future. Cryptocurrencies and alt-coins seem to generally be doing well, we think it is an exciting new trend with a lot of potential to fix old problems in new ways. If our idea works, more and more people will start using SHELTERCOIN and will donate to bring shelter rapidly to places where it is needed.

B.Me: Why would people buy a coin in an ICO if it was not tied to profits?

CW: We are seeing right now with Hurricane Harvey the immediate response from people stepping up who want to help. When you give money to a relief fund, the money is gone from you and most of it won’t reach the people who need the aid. When you give money to our ICO you get something in return: SHELTERCOINs.

Buying tokens in our ICO will help bring shelter in response to disasters. People who buy the coins will be able to get large discounts in our online store and VIP access to our latest products and disaster response software platform. They can also choose to use the coins to enable relief efforts, or hold on to them in the future.

Screenshot 2017-09-01 12.03.26B.Me: How does the price of an alt-coin get determined?

CW: there are many alt-coin exchanges around the world and we will endeavor to get SHELTERCOIN traded on as many as we can. The laws of supply and demand set the price, and we hope demand will grow over time. Our supply is fixed. We hope that as people become aware of what we are doing and see the success of a decentralized approach to disaster relief, demand will increase.

B.Me: So if a disaster strikes like Hurricane Harvey, people will be able to use SHELTERCOIN to send aid to people?

CW: Yes. We will be able to finance many units for the SHELTERCOIN FOUNDATION from the ICO, and future donations will help us pay for the first-responder personnel to get on site. The blockchain and our software platform lets us connect donors and first responders directly to the people, places and projects where shelter is needed.

B.Me: What problems are you trying to solve with a new alt-coin?

CW: Well, with so many people forcibly displaced in the world and so many disasters happening all over the world many people want to help.  Most donate to large NGOs that have huge executive teams and lots of overhead. In most cases these NGOs only get less than 5% of what is raised to the actual people in need.  It is really astounding.  In the case of an NGO that raised hundreds of millions for Haiti, less than 1% actually made it to the people in Haiti.  This is a huge problem and there has to be a better way.  We hope SHELTERCOIN will be the first of many new tools built to decentralize disaster response.  We aim to create a response eco-system around the SHELTERCOIN that can move quickly and efficiently to get goods and services into disaster areas and to the actual people in need. Through technology we should be able to make the whole process more efficient and deliver more value to the actual cause.  In some cases we will also be able to get ahead of the curve and get shelters and equipment staged in problem areas in advance of the disasters.  This is a very exciting prospect.

B.Me: Most of the money goes to overhead, instead of going back out to those who need the charity? Sounds like Burning Man! How does your solution compare to the existing “big institution” approach to disaster relief?

CW: We believe software and crowd-sourcing can help with a lot of this. Much of the distribution can be done without a lot of executives and overhead.  A lot of systems and agencies get too top heavy over time to be really effective.  You need the people for an event but then you don’t want to get rid of them so you have to raise more money to keep them and the next thing you know you have a huge bureaucracy that only really works when there is a disaster.  The beast needs more and more fuel to continue.  We are not running an event or a year around bureaucracy and connecting people and disasters is something that can be done online.  The blockchain can be used to let people see were money raised for a specific campaign gets spent. Our hope and belief is most all of this can be done with much much less overhead than the traditional model.  This will allow more money to get to the hands that really need it.

As for the shelters, many tents the large NGOs are using are made of that same material as the standard blue tarp, not fabric but a cheap plastic material with no thermal or reflective qualities.  These do not last and when you consider many of the refugee camps are in place for 5 years or more, we need a better solution.  We believe our SHELTERPOD is the better mouse trap.  It sets up quickly, is large and spacious, it uses new long lasting fabric technologies and has great thermal and heat reflective characteristics.

One of the other issues in response to disasters is the time between the disaster, raising funds, manufacturing goods and then delivering them to the disaster zone.  This timeline can run many months and by that time the dire need has past.  We hope the SHELTERCOIN will help us and other vendors get ahead of the problem so we can manufacture and stage goods and equipment in or near areas that are prone to or expecting disasters.  This will reduce the delivery times and make more product available faster when it is needed.  Why wait?

Screenshot 2017-09-01 12.04.15

B.Me: Are ICOs just the latest fad?

CW: ICOs are getting very popular.  I believe we are at the very beginning of the alt-coin craze and over time some coins will fail and some will become community standards.  The alt-coins or tokens give people all over the world an unrestricted way to support projects and causes they believe in and the block chain can be a way to track efforts and spending.  The beauty of it is that they are really market supported.  If people believe in the project they will succeed, if not they will fall away into the abyss, the way it should be.  My Grandfather once said buy what you believe in.  With alt-coins it could not be more true.

 

B.Me: So if I buy the coin in the Initial Coin Offering, that enables shelter to get to people in need. But in return I get the coins, which still have value and may go up in value like BitCoin?

CW: Exactly.  They may go up or they may crash and completely lose all of their value.  They are really not a security and we do not have a crystal ball.  Sorry, had to put that out there to keep the lawyers happy.  How much is BitCoin today? If the value of SHELTERCOIN went up like that I think we might be able to solve the homeless issue all together.

 

B.Me: It’s philanthropy with upside!

CW: Yes. This is the beauty of alt-coins, it is a new way to crowd-source support for worthy projects where everyone is a winner.

sheltercoin image

B.Me: Do you think SHELTERCOINs might one day be worth as much as BitCoins?

CW: We are not trying to be or replace BitCoin or any other crypto-currency. Decentralization is a new world with a whole new financial model. There will be thousands of digital currencies, we want to use ours to bring together a community of shelter providers and disaster responders with our enthusiastic and fast-growing SHIFTPOD community.

 

B.Me: You are literally making money. Is that what this is all about?

CW: This is about more than making money, which is why we created the SHELTERCOIN Foundation. This is about the decentralized, peer-to-peer model of the blockchain providing a more efficient way to get shelter to people who need it immediately, they don’t have time to wait for big bureaucracies to raise billions but never spend them. We are building a new system and community around SHELTERCOIN. We have emergency responders vetted and ready to get on planes with a moments notice.  If we can create value in an alt-coin it can support the mobilization of not only equipment but also people.  We have vendors we can engage to support the coin and the cause.  We can bring all of this together and use software and the Internet to take a lot of the cost out of the process.  The money we are creating is borderless and can be used to support projects all over the world.  It is all there and we can use SHELTERCOIN to bring it all together.

 

B.Me: Why use a SHIFTPOD for disaster relief? Aren’t they expensive?

CW: Expensive is relative.  Many of the “tents” used in disaster response can cost $5000 to $50,000 each.  Many of these take multiple people hours to set up.  We have the fastest shelter set up for the best price available on the market anywhere in the world.  We can deploy hundreds of units in a matter of hours for housing, triage units, and even operating rooms.   Our units can be dropped by plane or helicopter.  When you consider the mobility and speed of set up, durability and all we offer a very inexpensive option that is setting a new standard that is quickly being adopted.

Screenshot 2017-09-01 12.12.32

B.Me: Some Burners have said “this is just a glorified ice fishing tent”. How do you respond to that?

CW: Some ice fishing tents have a similar look and fiberglass poles but that is really where the similarity stops.  It is pretty funny when people think they can compare them especially for use in the desert.  The list of differences is very long but the most obvious ones are most ice fishing huts are a dark color and are designed to keep heat in, they do not have floors and they have velcro windows.  We have developed and patented a 5-layer composite fabric that reflects the heat of the sun in the daytime and keeps body heat in at night and engineered our units to be all weather and long term shelters.  Our patented shape sheds the wind and has been tested to 109MPH! We have created many other features make it possible to live comfortably for extended periods of time.  We have spend a lot of time and attention on the details of long term living, in some of the harshest environments in the world.  We currently have people in Hawaii living in our original unit for more than a year and we have units going to Iraq, South Sudan and Haiti for long term in-field testing.  We are building our current units for families to live in for up to five years.  This takes a lot of engineering.

 

B.Me: How can people participate in the ICO?

CW: Our ICO will be open to the public next month, and our white paper will be released at http://sheltercoin.io in the next few days. Sign up to our ICO mailing list there if you are interested. People can buy into the ICO with BitCoin, Ether, or by wiring fiat currency to the SHELTERCOIN bank account. To improve security and give us time to get the word out the ICO will happen in stages, with a lower coin price for earlier participants, just like our camp contributions.

Spread the word, buy, use, trade and store SHELTERCOIN and more importanly get involved in your community and help those around you.  Just get out there and make it happen.  Remember, everyone can make a difference and every second in life counts

B.Me: Thanks very much Christian for giving us this exclusive interview. It sounds like an exciting project and the right thing at the right time with so many victims of Hurricane Harvey needing shelter. Good luck down there!

 

Shadow History of Burners Part 7: Social Engineering on the Electronic Frontier

So far in this series we’ve gone through the Where, When, What, and Who. Now it’s time to wrap up with the Why and How. We broadcast this live at 1pm PST on Saturday, August 26 2017.

Download the Part 7 presentation as a powerpoint or PDF or PDF with notes.

Huge thanks to Jan Irvin of Gnostic Media for all of his work and help in getting this research out to the public. Draw your own conclusions, I have presented my case and supported it with citations and a large amount of evidence. If you have considered the evidence but drawn a different conclusion, I would be interested to hear it.

There are a lot of clips we didn’t get to play due to what appeared to be active hacking against the live show, which stopped when we called them out for it. The links to the clips are in the notes to each slide. If you enjoyed the show you might enjoy these clips too.

Slide 3 – Social Engineering and Peer Pressure

Slide 6

TC003 Julian Assange on Silicon Valley’s wilful blindness

Slide 10 Pirate Utopias

Lift The Veil: MKULTRA, ElsaGate, Finders Cult particularly 5:27-9:30

 

Hey Kids I am AI 2.0 28s-3:02

Slide 21 Weaponized AI Propaganda

From Adam Curtis Hypernormalization

Slide 23

Full Robert Duncan presentation:

Slide 24 Effects Based Operations

Slide 28 Surveillance Capitalism

Slide 31 2:34-4:52 Google and the Creepy Line

Full Corbett Report episode on Sentient World Simulation – note, “Sentient”

Slide 32 Neural Lace connecting to your digital self

Slide 33 HAL’s a pussycat

 

Slide 35: Mossad Operatives LARPing as YouTube truthers

Slide 76 Stanford Links

 

Slide 78 Chaos Field Experiments

Slide 86 Burning Man and Google

complete Fred Turner lecture (Stanford CASBS)

 

 

 

RIP Lost Tom

Image: Facebook

The Burning Man blog has a lengthy eulogy about Tom LaPorte aka “Lost Tom”, a captain of the media team who passed away last week. Our thoughts and prayers go to his family and friends, vale Lost Tom from Burners. We will pour one out for another fallen comrade.

There aren’t enough adjectives in the English language to describe Tom and the effect he had on everyone who had the privilege to know him: Loving, kind, passionate, selfless, inspirational, collaborator, confidant, innovator, gentleman, mentor, the real deal, a class act, community organizer extraordinaire, an embracer of the chaos, “a grown-up amongst us kids,” and, to everyone, a dear friend. He truly loved people, individually and collectively. He found the best in everyone — and touched everyone.

…Tom’s first year at the Burn was 2005 as a member of Bop Camp, a fun-loving crew of Chicago Burners that had somehow achieved Esplanade frontage offering an ungainly jousting experience utilizing motorcycle helmets and stuffed animals duct taped to PVC pipes. He dove in with gusto, cheering the burning of the Man dressed as the ace of spades, his first and only costume of choice.

[Source]

According to Tom’s friends on Facebook, his first year at Burning Man was actually 2004.

He came up with the idea of broadcasting the BMIR radio station live from the Man base in 2009, the year he and his Chicago Crew took over Burners Without Borders camp and turned it into what it is today.

The playa was never big enough for what Tom had to offer. When participants left the event in 2005 to help communities ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, Tom followed. He immediately grasped how Burners could do work that matters not just in the desert but in the hearts of communities everywhere. In fact it was what he had been doing himself for years, bringing creativity to the streets of Chicago and creating unlikely connections.

Tom came back from Katrina and started promoting Burners Without Borders in Chicago, and suddenly all his projects became BWB projects. He was constantly pushing the boundaries of BWB. He initiated the Chicago takeover of BWB Camp in 2009 and turned the camp into what it is today.

He also started the Music Box Project, his attempt at explaining “Cultural First Response” to the world. Musicians could become first responders themselves and give the art of healing through music in the hardest of times.

[Source]

It doesn’t seem like anyone responded to the Cultural First Responder idea. I always thought Burners Without Borders was more about “send in DPW Heavy Machinery” than sending actual Burners in to, well, hang out and play guitar and stuff. Whatever it is we Burners do when in a group setting such as Burning Man, or the Standing Rock protests.

Coincidentally [ding], when Hurricane Katrina struck – being watched live via military satellite from the Playa – and Burners Without Borders was formed in response, Tom had gone to Burning Man to spend 2 weeks setting up an emergency broadcast system.

Image: Facebook

So his first second year at the Playa, he shows up with pre-recorded Public Service Announcements to hand out as part of a test of a pop-up emergency broadcast system in a place with no cell service. Because if it’s one thing everyone brings to Burning Man, it’s CD-ROM drives. This was an “art” project that several many people thought was worth spending 2+ weeks on. They tested it on Tuesday, Katrina hit on Thursday – and by Monday Tom was off to Katrina, large sum of money having been raised. Then he headed straight back to Chicago to found Burners Without Borders.

Where is that Emergency Public Service Announcement system today? Would’ve come in handy during last year’s false Amber Alert.

“Temporary art serves its purpose, it goes away and mankind goes onto the next step. It’s like a shooting star, it’s really beautiful, then it goes away, but the poetry doesn’t stop. We’ve found a way to achieve collective poetry, to achieve creativity in a group. It’s no longer the age of the lone genius working in isolation, waiting for the great discovery. It’s people working together, discovering stuff together, realizing what they have, taking time to celebrate it, but wondering what’s around the next bend.”
-Tom LaPorte (1953-2017)

 

Lost Tom died of heart failure, aged 63. He previously had a heart attack on the Playa.

Colleagues and friends are mourning the passing of Tom LaPorte, a versatile and innovative communicator over four decades throughout Chicago media. LaPorte, who was 63, died Wednesday of heart failure, according to multiple reports. He most recently served as Chicago’s assistant water commissioner and spokesman for the department. Before that he was webmaster for CBS Radio all-news WBBM AM 780, webmaster, editor and managing editor of former all-news WMAQ, and producer and news editor for news/talk WIND AM 560. LaPorte also headed media relations for Burning Man Project, a nonprofit arts and performance festival, and taught broadcasting and production at Columbia College Chicago. A graduate of Southern Illinois University and six-time Peter Lisagor Award winner, he began his radio career as public affairs director and news anchor at WCIL in Carbondale, Illinois.

[Source]

Communications guru Tom LaPorte reveals the five steps of persuasion artists can use to win attention from collectors, the media, and the public. He also provides a plethora of other practical advice, from how to write a press release to how to incorporate video and live presentations into one’s marketing.

“Artists, by their natures, are often not drawn to aggressive self-promotion…. The ability to communicate through the conventional channels, to get your work known, to get yourself known as an artist and build your communities is something that takes a little bit of practice. Just as your art does.”

Tom LaPorte is a public relations and communications expert based in Chicago. LaPorte was born in Boston in 1953, and his family moved to Chicago in 1960. He earned a Associate of Arts degree in Speech Communication and Rhetoric from the College of DuPage in 1976, and Bachelor of Science in Speech Communications/Radio-TV from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale in 1979. LaPorte held positions in the radio industry for approximately twenty years, including as a writer, producer, and manager of a news room. In 1996 he began working with the Internet, spearheading an effort to audio stream that year’s Democratic National Convention. LaPorte worked as a writer, editor, and webmaster for WBBM-AM for several years before becoming Assistant Commissioner for the City of Chicago in public and media relations. He spent nearly thirteen years in the role before leaving to act as an independent consultant. Since 2004 LaPorte has also coordinated media relations for Burning Man, an annual festival which brings approximately 68,000 artist-attendees to the Nevada desert. Through the festival, LaPorte acts as a pro bono consultant for artists and creatives of all types.

[Source]

Lost Tom was an Elf to his college roommate Jim Belushi’s Santa-con:

Long before his interest in Burning Man, Tom was already a Chicago legend. As Jim Belushi’s college roommate and partner in mischief, he went around to the Albanian homes in the suburbs dressed as “Frostbite the Elf” to Jim’s blotto Albanian Santa.

[Source]

dartmouth10n-2-web

Tom encountered Abbie Hoffman of the Yippies (not Albert Hofmann of the Trippies) as a teen with a high school radio show, before rising up to use the infamous Chicago political machine as a force for good:

Tom embodied the best of Burning Man before he ever set foot on the playa. He was first and foremost a storyteller. Inspired by an interview he did with political and social activist Abbie Hoffman for his high school newspaper during the Chicago 7 trial, he pursued a career in journalism, working for some of the top Chicago media outlets, eventually working for the City of Chicago as Assistant Water Commissioner, where he honed his second strength — collaboration — working with residents, local businesses, community and church groups to leverage the infamous Chicago bureaucracy and political machinery for the forces of good. He always looked out for the less fortunate and those in need.

[Source]

Lost Tom was involved with trippy visuals for the Grateful Dead and something called The Human Avatar Project:

Tom was a founding member of the Burning Man Chicago Steering Committee, which gave rise to the local Burner 501c3 Bold Urban Renaissance Network. He created and led art teams at the Rothbury and Electric Forest music festivals; Second Thoughts, which made videos that opened up for Bob Dylan and the Dead; The Human Avatar Project and Einstein Moments, which created participatory creativity games.

[Source]

There is only one festival, Electric Forest which is in Rothbury, Michigan.

The Human Avatar Project is a way for billionaires to achieve immortality by merging with the Internet. It has been endorsed by the Dalai Lama. It seems like the same idea as the “Singularity” being promoted by Billionaire Burners Elon Musk and Those Wacky Google Guys.

Image: Daily Mail

Image: 2045.com

In Tom’s case I think it’s more likely they were talking about this art project:

Image: Facebook

Einstein is someone you should have Second Thoughts about for a moment. There are a couple of amazingly coincidental [ding ding] links between Einstein and the Sixties counter culture that spawned the Grateful Dead, as we explored in 50 Years of Flower Power. Wavy Gravy aka Hugh Romney used to take walks around the block with Einstein as a child; Ram Dass aka Richard Alpert’s father George founded the Albert Einstein College of Medicine…but that’s another story.

Lost Tom’s Einstein Moments was an Electric Forest art project, perhaps symbolic:

Image: Facebook

Sounds like Lost Tom was quite a character to be part of the Burning Man media team, rising in the ranks to Captain, and a pillar of the Chicago Burner community. Rest In Peace, or come back to be born into a new life and a better future. May your flame burn on forever.

 

Resident of Oakland Firetrap Blames Burning Man Crowd

Breitbart News brings a first hand report of the history of the Satya Yuga collective that appears to have rented the property as a warehouse, yet somehow for at least 2 years had as many as 20 residents plus children and pets. Only one of the tenants perished in the blaze, resident genius computer expert and homeless Harvard graduate Peter Wadsworth. The other 35 dead were there for the rave all night underground EDM event.

The “Ghost Ship,” the warehouse and artists’ colony where 36 people lost their lives in the Oakland fire last Friday night, was “a serious attempt to bring the Black Oakland culture back into the art scene,” former resident Alexander Doré told Breitbart News.
However, that vision was overrun by what Doré referred to as the “Burning Man crowd.

“We called it ‘the space,’” Doré said. He described himself as a close acquaintance of Derick Ion Almena, the man known as the leader of the community, and one of his wife Mika’s close friends.

We didn’t even give it a name. It was meant to be private. None of it was for sale,” Doré said. “[Almena] wanted me to be a partner and I was brought over to the space by some local musicians and a lady who lived there because I was the third bass player in Sly and the Family Stone,” a well-known American band from San Francisco that was very popular from the 1960s through the 1980s.

Of the owner of the building, Oakland landlord Chor Ng, Doré said: “He should have applied for the permits.” The building was found to lack sprinklers and fire alarms, and the city’s efforts to inspect the premises were unsuccessful — though critics charge that local officials were lax in their duty to enforce fire codes.

“Ending up at this warehouse was part of my, I don’t want to say ‘downfall,’ but I got lost,” Doré said. He later left the community.

“I decided to say goodbye to Derick because I felt there was too much dark energy there due to the people living there,” he said, including youth that he claimed were into drugs, and who took advantage of Almena’s comparatively reasonable — although allegedly illegal — living accommodations in an area where skyrocketing rents have pushed traditional residents out.

Doré explained to Breitbart News that the vision behind “the space” was to revitalize and harness the Bay Area’s seemingly lost African-American culture.

[Source]

What to some is perceived as a “serious attempt to bring the Black Oakland culture back into the art scene”, is seen by others as the classic gentrification model. The (mostly white) artists get sent in to drive the black families out of the neighborhoods. Black artists might get invited in to create the appearance of integration; maybe you find another Basquiat. Usually the ones that make it don’t stick around in the same neighborhoods they grew up in.

I’ve seen it happen over the last 20 years in the Tenderloin, SOMA, the Mission, Hayes Valley, Oakland, and in downtown LA. I’ve heard about it happening in places like Dallas and Houston too. First they send in the crack, and ruin the inner city neighborhoods, driving property values down and spreading poverty. Foreclosures boom, and buildings end up in the hands of the banks. Then, the artists come in, usually following the drugs and not caring about run-down buildings because they can paint them. They get away with more street art because the neighborhood is otherwise decrepit. Get enough artists together in one area and it can be marketed as a “colony”. Then the gays come in. They do all the houses up and make the neighborhood flourish with their higher disposable incomes and on-trend tastes. They don’t mind that the area is unsafe for children, since generally they don’t have them. Then the hipsters come, also without children. And then the rich yuppies. By then, the neighborhood has become safe for children again: private school children. Most of the people who built the community can no longer afford to live there and are no longer wanted. Then  comes the foreign money, looking for a blue chip home for their offshore investments. By this point the mortgages have been pooled and collateralized and synthesized and repackaged into bond and share offerings. The jobs left are service jobs, and if there is any art left is in high end galleries.

I’m sorry if anyone finds that description offensive, but it happens time and time again with such consistency that it cannot be coincidence. It is either a biological wiring, something in the DNA of humanity; or it is a long-term plan of social engineering – so successful that it keeps being repeated, regardless of the consequences. Hollywood itself began as one of these occult artists colonies. Qui bono? Follow the money. When an Oakland townhouse goes from $100,000 to $1 million, imagine what that does if you own 20-story buildings and entire city blocks.

My information is that the rent to be part of the Fruitvale Satya Yuga collective was $5,000 per month and the residents were paying $750 per month – which would be $15,000 per month if all 20 paid the same. If anyone can confirm or correct this please comment. The money clearly was not reinvested in safety, but it does indicate the potential real estate profits lurking darkly in the background of this and other tragic fires.

One resident, who had a fire extinguisher in hand and discarded it for a cat carrier, described the space as “amazing”, “beautiful”, and “family oriented”. YMMV.

Kelber woke up to hearing someone screaming “fire” and grabbed a fire extinguisher. She opened her gate and looked down the hallway and saw 15-foot flames, “a giant fireball.” 

She then tossed the fire extinguisher, realizing it wasn’t going to do her any good, and tried to grab her cat carrier from a loft area.

“I was almost knocked unconscious by the smoke,” she said. Then the power went out. The smoke pushed her window open, which let in air that fueled the fire.

She grabbed her cat and ran out. “The fire trucks still weren’t here so I went racing around the corner screaming ‘fire,’ carrying my cat.” 

Kelber and Frito said that they thought 22 or 23 people lived in the building, which was 10,000 square feet.

“It was one of the most amazing, beautiful spaces,” Kelber said.

She said somebody was always working on a different project, or cooking something.

“It was one of the most amazing, family-oriented spaces,” she said. “That’s why it was created.”

The idea that it is acceptable to have all night dance parties in family oriented spaces is not widely shared throughout the rest of the world. Even in Melbourne, arguably the world capital of warehouse parties, the “artists” would not try something like this. The police and family protection services would be there in a heartbeat. So why would it be socially acceptable in the San Francisco Bay Area?

This is an example of why the propaganda that “kids at Burning Man are fine” is dangerous. The argument goes like this: “All these smart billionaires go to Burning Man, and people take their kids to Burning Man, therefore it is smart to have all night dance parties around children”. This is a logical fallacy, a non sequitur.

I don’t see too many billionaires bringing their young children to Burning Man, why is that?

There is a great deal to be said for the good old-fashioned family unit. One man, one woman, and the biological children generated by mixing their genes together. Bringing the children up with good values, in an environment of love, promoting honesty and kindness. This model has taken humanity this far, why do we need to attack it? To go back to the Dark Ages? I am all for including other lifestyles, but surely nobody thinks it is OK that children lived in this place surrounded by skulls and occult imagery.

This music video was filmed at the Ghost Ship warehouse. It is full of occult symbolism and mind control visual techniques. The name “ROCChilds” seems like an almagamation of Rockefeller and Rothschild, as well as a nod to Illuminati rapper Jay-Z’s record label ROC-A-Fella records.

The song is not bad, with some impressive guitar work at the end. But the imagery is very concerning, in light of the holocaust that subsequently occurred at this temple to Shiva.

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Crypto-landlord Derick Ion Almena and his partner Micah Allison make a cameo in the video