BREAKING: Man Burns When Man Burns [Updates]

[Update 9/5/17 0:45am PST]

There’s a Reddit thread with more eyewtiness accounts.

He had a history of trying to self-harm while on psychedelics (allegedly: friend of a friend saying)

[Source: Reddit]

[Update 9/4/17 11:43pm PST]

There was a chain-link fence surrounding the Temple when they burned it on Sunday night. The new normal?

From the RGJ:

More than 600 volunteers and staff ringed the perimeter of the Temple, backed up by a hastily installed metal security fence. The fence and additional security were new conditions sought by the federal land manager, said Burning Man co-founder Crimson Rose. 

 

…Rose said federal Bureau of Land Management officials wanted Burning Man to call off the Temple burn, the ceremonial finish to the weeklong festival of 70,000 people in the Nevada desert. She said the government wanted 350 extra security guards. Burning Man found nearly double that number.

 

“We are showing the government we can step forward,” Rose said as she joined with other perimeter guards. “It is a testament to our spirit. We have a ritual to complete”

 

[Source]

The show must go on, says the High Priestess. It’s a Radical Ritual of death and rebirth, so why let more death stop it?

An eyewitness account from a friend of Christina Duncan was posted on the official Burning Man Facebook page

Saturday of Burning Man, everyone in our group was pretty fed up with the desert and ready to be home with our families and pets. Then we went to the burn. We spun conclave in the middle of the great circle, looking out at the sea of people and art cars with their neon lights and bumping music. It was a rush unlike any other. Afterward we settled in to watch The Man go up in flames. We cheered as the biggest effigy to date produced an impressive fire works show and serious explosions. Laughing and joking, all of us talked about how we had earlier been ready to leave but after performing and watching The Man burn, maybe we ought to discuss coming next year after all. Then suddenly people were yelling. A man was barreling through the crowd right toward our fire group. Nick was on his feet and running after the guy, the perimeter people called at him to sit down so he pulled a baseball slide and tried to trip the runner, barely missing. The guy darted at the perimeter, a relatively tall man looking very in shape, he dodged the sandmen rushing him with incredible speed and agility. He was determined and bigger and faster than anyone chasing him. As he bolted to the fire, I kept thinking he wasn’t really going to make it. No way. But then he was running into the fire, the sandmen couldn’t follow him any more. The fire was hot as hell from where we were sitting so I can’t imagine being that close to it. He ran back out of the fire, circled back a bit and ran right into the middle and laid down (or tripped backward maybe). None of the firemen could go after him until a piece of the effigy fell, then they rushed into the fire and pulled him out and loaded him into an ambulance. I can’t even describe the emotions. I was crying, gasping for breath, saying “Oh my god, please no” over and over again, feeling a panic attack clenching my throat in a steel grip. We didn’t want to look but we couldn’t stop watching. I saw my friends crying as well, shoulders shaking, hands covering their faces, partners trying to comfort their loved ones while barely keep it together themselves. I couldn’t take it anymore. We asked the perimeter guards if we could leave and they graciously let us stand up and rush away. Nobody got to run around the fire that night. Instead we muscled our way through the crowd, sometimes hearing people ask if someone had run through the fire as we rushed out sobbing. Most people were too far back to know what happened and were partying and having the time of their lives. It was so disturbing to have just witnessed someone lay down in a massive fire then leave to see that the world went on like nothing had happened. Once back at camp, we had lengthy discussions about the happening. We wondered what the guy had taken, he was obviously neck deep in some sort of intense psychedelic experience. We wondered if he was already suicidal and chose that moment to end his human contract or if he was just so fucked up that he actually thought he could do it and live, driven by feelings of godliness. There was a lot of anger. If the man was suicidal, why did he have to do that to us? Was it necessary to imprint that horrifying scene into our minds for our entire lives? We expressed how lucky we were to have our tribe, to be confident that if one of us ever reached that point we would for sure wrestle the person to the cops or a med station even if it meant clubbing then upside the head and tying them up. Because really, who the fuck are this guy’s friends? Then there is the perimeter itself. It’s weak. The sandmen are spaced too far apart and aren’t big enough and strong enough to take on all types of potential runners. I know burners are about handling business themselves but damn, hire a trained security team of big beef cake meatheads in top notch health. It has happened before, multiple people run every year, some have even made it. And what about telling the crowd not to help? I get it to some extent, but several people in our group could have tackled that guy and restrained him until help arrived momentarily. Or at least slowed him enough for the sandmen to get into position to catch him. Maybe we are somewhat in the wrong for not trying anyway. A man’s life was on the line and everyone followed orders instead of doing the right thing. Why were the sandmen chasing him in circles instead of blocking the fire and creating a barrier? By doing that, they left the fire wide open for him to run into. This man tried THREE times to break perimeter. Three. Why aren’t people who do that escorted to safety and monitored and maybe even banned from burns in general? Now I am not blaming any one person directly. Someone that sets that sort of intention and makes such a decision is clearly at fault for the consequences of their actions. However, could the safety precautions being modified and strengthened? Ab-so-fucking-lutely. And they should be. Not only for the mentally unstable runners, but for the sake of the thousands of witnesses who are traumatized by such an event. Nobody go burnier than thou on me and defend Burning Man, especially if you didn’t see what we were forced to see. These sorts of events bring an already misunderstood event like Burning Man under the microscope scrutiny of police and government organizations who already disagree with people who live as freely as burners do together. What could possibly be more important than protecting the sacred oasis that is Burning Man and regionals, the only places that so many of us feel safe being who we truly are? I’m trying to sort through this. I don’t want to be dwelling on this and circling around it, talking about it, reading articles and looking at pictures of the guy of Aaron Mitchell and wondering what he was like and what made him snap but I am and it just won’t stop. I saw some of the most amazing art in the world, danced at incredible sound stages with fire sculptures breathing flames and towering speaker stacks throwing bass across the the playa. I got to see what can happen when creative people want to build something amazing to uplift those in their burn community, when people just want to make others happy and taken care of while encouraging them to become more self reliant. The Ten Principles really are the guidelines for building a truly free and sustainable community, I really believe that. I am in awe always over the potential and motivation of true burners. But…just to the forefront of all that wonder and magic is Aaron Mitchell, laying down in unfathomably hot blaze, the man who probably just took too strong of drugs and thought he could survive fire, the stranger who died and left a scar on our hearts forever. Honestly, that is burn life. It won’t always be fun, sometimes it’s incredibly hard and you’re forced to evaluate parts of the human experience that aren’t comfortable and it happens in between the moments of love and elation and connection that we all crave. I’m learning from this, I’m growing as a person and am reminded of how incredibly lucky I am to be alive and deeply loved. Thanks for reading. Hug your loved ones. If you need help, don’t be afraid to seek it out. If you think someone needs help, reach out and offer them some. I will abuse the cliche again and say that we truly have to be the change we wish to see in the world.

 

All my love.

 

[Source: Facebook]

[Update 9/4/17 9:27pm PST]

There’s video. WARNING. This is intense. The Man had burned but the Temple of The Man was still standing.

[Update 9/12/17 11:26am PST]

A lot of censorship is being generated around this post. Thomson-Reuters gave me a takedown request for the photos, which we complied with, but that wasn’t good enough. They also objected to the screenshot of the Drudge Report headlines which incorporated one of their images. How far does this go: embedding a YouTube video, which may contain some of their photos? Linking to a Facebook discussion where somebody else posted the photos? At what point does non-profit, educational Fair Use become a consideration to MainStream Media #fakenews conglomerates? Remember, these are the people who brought us the 9/11 conspiracy and WMDs in Iraq, while profiting enormously. One wonders why free blog sites about Burning Man are so important to them.

We have shown already some of the Org’s attempts to shut down any discussion of this incident on social media, which has been backed by what appears to be co-ordinated troll attacks. Looks like there is an effort to take down all the related videos too. It would be nice to think they were doing this to prevent copycats and further sacrifices, but I suspect there are other motivations at work.

 

[Update 9/3/17 2:36pm PST] The man has been named as (Aaron) Joel Mitchell, 41

 

 

 


In a scene reminiscent of 2014’s tragic suicide at the Element11 regional in Utah, a man has run straight into the fire after the main event of Burning Man.

From the Las Vegas Review Journal:

About 10:30 p.m. Saturday, the man broke through safety perimeters at the Northern Nevada festival and ran straight into a fire, Burning Man officials said in a statement. Black Rock City firefighters entered the flames to rescue the festival-goer.

 

The man was treated on the scene before being transported to an on-site medical facility, officials said. He was later airlifted to a burn treatment center…

 

The man’s condition as of Sunday morning was unknown.

 

[Source]

Here’s the official statement from BMorg:

At approximately 10:30 p.m. Saturday evening, a male participant at the annual Burning Man event in Northern Nevada broke through a safety perimeter and ran into a fire. Black Rock City fire personnel rescued him from the fire.

 

The individual was treated on scene, transported to the on-site medical facility and airlifted to a burn treatment center.

 

We will share more information as it becomes available.

There has now been confirmation that the man is dead, our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones. In 2005, a man intentionally ran into the fire and survived. He went on to try to sue Burning Man for his stupidity, unsuccessfully.

As well as the 2014 Utah fire death, there were deaths by drowning at Regional events at Transformus 2015 (North Carolina) and Lakes of Fire 2016 (Michigan).

One of the Honorarium art installations this year was “The Pyramid of the Dead”   dedicated to celebrating death: “Death is a part of life as much as life is a part of Death, and we invite you to celebrate this relationship with us”

A couple of days ago RT ran a story “Beware of Fire: Deaths at Burning Man”. There seem to be far more deaths at this event than any other festival, including much larger ones. Of course, it’s just a coincidence that it’s an occult ritual burning a wooden effigy inside a pentagram celebrating death and rebirth, surrounded by Pyramids and Temples for the Dead, lit from a fire kept burning in a magic soul-cooking cauldron called El Diabla. There are many other large scale public occult rituals that go on without such deaths…oh wait. Sorry, my mistake. There are no other such rituals.

[Images from YourEDM removed at the request of Thomson Reuters]

[Update 3/9/17 5:44pm PST]

Some links to counseling information from BMorg. Many Burners are seriously traumatized about witnessing such an horrific event during the peak moment of the party:

Emotional support teams have been made available to participants and staff. For people on playa, the Zendo Project is providing peer counseling at their space at 5:15 & A. Support staff from our Emergency Services Department’s Crisis Intervention Team are stationed at 3:00 & C, 9:00 & C, and 5:30 & Esplanade. Please seek them out.

 

If you are not on playa and are feeling the need to talk to someone, don’t wait. You can reach 24/7 crisis and suicide hotlines at 1-800-273-8255 or 775-784-8090. You can also text LISTEN to 839863.

 

Now is a time for closeness, contact and community. Trauma needs processing. Promote calls, hugs, self-care, check-ins, and sleep. We have found this article helpful for understanding how trauma affects us: “A New Normal: Ten Things I’ve Learned About Trauma”.

 

[Source]

Some eyewitness accounts have shown up already on social media:

Screenshot 2017-09-04 12.38.01

Screenshot 2017-09-04 12.47.07

Source: Official Burning Man Facebook Page

The official Burning Man Facebook group is censoring reports and photos of the tragedy:

Screenshot 2017-09-04 12.43.35

There were originally comments on the BMorg official posting, these have been disabled too.

More as it comes in. BMorg said the Temple burn will continue as scheduled tonight…the show must go on.

[Update 9/3/17 6:23pm PST]

The Reno Gazette-Journal has more information about Joel Mitchell:

Update 4:45 p.m. Sunday: The mother of Aaron Joel Mitchell confirmed that her son was the man who died after running into flames at Burning Man on Saturday night…

 

Joel grew up in McAlester, Oklahoma but was living in Switzerland. 

 

“He’s 41, but they are always your baby,” said Johnnye Mitchell. “He was loving and a nice person…Joel liked hiking and outdoors, running.”

 

Mitchell said she saw her son on Aug. 1 before he headed to Oregon to go to an Eclipse festival.  She knew he was planning to go to Burning Man with friends and it was his first time to the annual festival. 

 

She said he is married but does not have any children. His wife is from Switzerland. He was working in construction.

 

“He was in great spirits when we saw him…We are just in shock, total shock,” she said. “We can’t believe this happened.”

 

…The Burning Man organization canceled scheduled burns through noon Sunday but will proceed with the scheduled Temple burn at 8 p.m.

 

[Source]

 

There is an investigation into his death. So far it is not known where he was camping.

 

 [Update 9/3/17 7:44pm PST]

The RGJ has some further details from the Sheriff:

The Pershing County Sheriff said Sunday night that the initial rescue efforts were hampered due to a portion of “the Man” falling at the time rescuers were attempting to retrieve Mitchell from the debris. 

 

“Rescuers had to leave him to allow the structure to fall and provide for rescuer safety before they could go back into the flames to extract Aaron from the debris,”…

 

It remains unclear whether Mitchell was trying to run into the fire or tripped and fell into it while trying to avoid security staff

 

One safety ranger who witnessed the incident teared up as she told her campmates early Sunday morning how she tried but failed to stop the man. 

 

Rangers who work the event are told in advance to look out for three kinds of people likely to rush toward the fire: people trying to get attention, people who are on drugs or intoxicated and don’t understand the danger, and the suicidal

 

Photo: Reno Gazette Journal

 

 

[Source: Reno Gazette Journal]

 

Joel was airlifted to the UC Davis Medical Center specialist burn unit, where he was pronounced dead

Some of the MSM coverage of the tragedy:

CNN

 

SFGate

 

The Guardian

 

The Sun

 

The Daily Mail

 

New York Post

 

Vulture

 

VICE

YouTube videos are starting to be made.

BREAKING: Oakland Rave Turns Deadly, 34+ Dead or Missing After Fire [Updates]

oakland-fire-live

An horrific tragedy happened last night at 1305 31st Avenue in Fruitvale, the home of Satya Yuga Collective who seem to be into shamanism, magic, and manifestation. Just under 100 people were present at an event for Golden Donna “100% Silk/Not Not Fun” at an underground “rave cave”. At least 9 people are dead, with more than 25 missing and unaccounted for. 55 firefighters were on the scene battling the blaze. The cause of the fire is still unknown. There were no sprinklers in the building and firefighters saw no evidence that smoke detectors were activated. Our thoughts and prayers go to the victims of this disaster and their friends and families.


[Update 12/6/16 7:34am]

Today has a video interview with Derick Ion Almena. He admits that there were multiple people living on the site, including his children. He tries to paint himself as a hero of the arts, lured into this situation.

He says “I didn’t do anything ever in my life that would lead me up to this moment”…see below for some of the comments he has made in the past.

 

 


[Update 12/5/16 12:10pm]

The founder of the artists collective has made a public statement today (Monday). He has also taken down/made private his Facebook page.

“In my previous Facebook post, I had no idea there was a loss of life,” Almena’s statement to NBC Bay Area read. “This tragic event consumes me every moment. My heart is broken. My heartfelt condolences to the family and friends who have suffered the loss of loved ones.”…

According to a KGO-TV report, Almena and partner Micah Allison were seen at 10:45 p.m. Sunday in the Oakland Marriott City Center. Almena and Allison had checked into the hotel without using their names, and KGO reporter Lilian Kim and a camera person saw no sign of the pair’s three children.

[Source: San Jose Mercury News]

One of the videos I shared below which showed Derrick Ion at the property has been made private, did anyone get a copy?

Spare a thought for the horror of the firefighters and others who have to sift through this rubble identifiying bodies.

Work halted shortly after midnight Monday at the warehouse known as the Ghost Ship” because the building became unstable. According to Oakland Fire Battalion Chief Melinda Drayton, the front wall began to lean inward, creating a dangerous situation. 

“We will not put our firefighters in harm’s way, and we won’t put Alameda County Sheriff deputies in a precarious position,” Drayton said.

Work was expected to resume between noon and 2 p.m. Monday, Drayton said.

Police announced that a 12-hour power outage would affect the area of the warehouse, due to a large crane being brought in to assist the recovery effort. An estimated 50 to 500 customers would be affected, police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said. A team of city officials would contact residents in the area to check on whether they need additional resources to cope with the outage, she added.

City officials called for patience amid the slow progress and called for support from those awaiting answers.
“It’s really important to give the firefighters everything they need. This is very emotional and taxing work, not only physically but emotionally,” councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan said. “They deserve a lot of credit and support from that.”

The schoolmates of one of the juvenile victims are all in mourning:

On Monday administrators from Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, a prestigious public arts school in San Francisco, confirmed the 17-year-old victim was one of their own. The school did not release the victim’s name, but said he was in 11th grade.

The San Francisco Chronicle on Monday identified the student as Draven McGill.

“This is an incredibly unsettling and sad event – for the Asawa SOTA community, and especially for the victim’s family,” Principal Barnaby Payne wrote in a news release sent out by the school. “As sad as we are today, I know that how we react in challenging times is what defines us as a community. As parents, teachers, children, students, brothers, sisters, and friends, we share in the heartbreak of his family and will embrace them and each other as Asawa SOTA family. We must rise to this occasion and rally around each other with love, compassion and support.”

The school provided counseling for students and faculty Monday morning…

Weather conditions could pose a possible threat to the timely recovery of victims and evidence. According to the National Weather Service, dry but chilly conditions early this week are expected to yield to storm systems that could bring from one to three inches of rain to the region. Chances of rain could be highest Wednesday evening through Friday morning, followed by slight chances of rain Saturday night into Sunday morning.

[Source: San Jose Mercury News]

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms might seem an unusual addition to an event in which none of the three seem to be a major factor. Technically they are the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and they have a unique Fire Research Laboratory in Maryland for criminal arson.

 

Image: NBC Los Angeles

Image: NBC Los Angeles

 

ghost-ship-fire-nbc-news

Image: NBC News

Geri Ungurean has done some occult analysis of the “Hell House”:shiva-hell-house-best

I knew that if I dug deep enough, I would find Satan at the heart of the tragic fire which took the lives of dozens of people in Oakland, CA.

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words.  What I will show you about the “Warehouse” in Oakland will express more than I could ever write.

As you will see, Shiva – the god of destruction in Hinduism, was greatly revered by the lost souls who gathered and even lived at the warehouse.

One of the pictures of the “Oakland Ghost Ship” as it was called, clearly shows a woman in a ritualistic dance, with fire above her.  There were no smoke alarms nor was there a sprinkler system in place at this satanic gathering house. One could speculate that the inferno began during one of these dances.

fire-hell-house-1

[Source]

Read the full story here.

This angle really needs to be investigated by the police, there are many signs of intense interest in the occult on these peoples’ Facebook pages. They have the same statue as CERN in Switzerland, where a couple of months ago there was a Satanic ceremony: a ritual sacrifice to Shiva , the god of destruction. In this religion, Shiva the Destroyer ends the Kali Yuga, the age of suffering, to herald in Satya Yuga, the golden age in a fiery cataclysm:

“Kali” is the reigning lord of Kali Yuga and his nemesis is Sri Kalki, the tenth and final Avatar of Lord Vishnu. According to the Vishnu Purana, Kali is a negative manifestation working towards the cause of ‘the end’ or rather towards eventual rejuvenation of the universe.[15] Kali also serves as an antagonistic force in the Kalki Purana. It is said that towards the end of this yuga, Kalki will return riding on a white horse to do battle with Kali and his dark forces. The world will suffer a fiery cataclysm that will destroy all evil, and a new age (the next Satya Yuga of the following Mahayuga), will begin.

[Source]

There was a skull painted over the entrance, and they called it Ghost Ship and their collective Satya Yuga. It’s very hard to see this as just a coincidence, especially when they keep talking about all the “Alters” around – as you can see in this video by RichieFromBoston which builds upon Geri’s work.

“Unofficial Burners” recently held their own occult fire ritual about the birth of a new golden age. On the recent once-in-a-lifetime Super Moon, the ex-military group staged a multi-day-and-night occult ritual in front of the obelisk at the National Mall in Washington DC. It was about the phoenix and the Temple of Rebirth, an egg hatching a new age under the theme “Returning Home”…presumably they were expecting this to be a grand magickal celebration of Clinton’s victory, commencing as it did 32 days after the election – at 11:11 on 11/11.

Not saying that all these geographically separate rituals are directly connected to each other, but on an occult level they definitely are. Dabble with the dark gods and sacrifice and fire magick, you can expect death and destruction and mayhem as the result.

Image: burningman.org

Image: burningman.org

 

 


[Update 12/5/16 7:55am]

The death toll is now at 36, with parts of the building still unable to be searched. Only 35-40% has been searched.

Derick Ion said “I can proverbally get away with murder” several months ago. He, his wife and kids were not present at the property when the fire occurred.

Although some Burners have been saying on Facebook that “nobody lived there”, one of the residents said she escaped with her cat. Authorities believe the fire began at the rear of the building on the lower floor.

[Source: some good coverage at the San Jose Mercury Newsalso here and here.]

There were multiple minors killed in the fire. A criminal investigation has begun with Federal involvement:

Sgt. Ray Kelly, a spokesman for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department, said the majority of the victims were in their 20s and 30s, but that some were teenagers.

Kelly said the district attorney’s office has sent a team of criminal investigators to work alongside the sheriff’s arson task force and the Oakland Police Department. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has also sent representatives to help in the investigation, providing resources, forensics and laboratory work.

The investigators are working to uncover any potential criminal activity that may have led to the blaze.

[Source: LA Times]

The East Bay Express says Burning Man artists are worried that a crackdown on underground collectives that don’t live up to building code will hurt the arts community.  Sorry, but no art is worth 36 lives. You can’t host commercial events in places without fire exits and sprinklers, no matter how broke you are.

Some Burners are butt-hurt that the mainstream media described this all-night underground event with a lineup of DJs playing electronic dance music as a “rave”. Apparently glowsticks are offensive to them, and if there’s no glowsticks it can’t be a rave:

Let me explain something, and i’ll make it as simple as possible. This was not a rave, or an empty headed dance party, not a place people came to consume. This was a show, part of a vital and important underground world. The stakes are different and the connection level is intense. You want to talk families? These are chosen families. People with very little in common with the family they are born to, or choose to make their lives based on shared interest and values.

[Source]

Hmmm, wonder if those “shared interests and values” include LSD, meth, and ketamine?

People love to think of the bay area as a hotbed of creativity, but with a few very rare and notable exceptions our aboveboard venues are very conservative and trend risk averse to keep the doors open. Staying open is a daily battle. So when you talk of true innovation, it’s far more likely to happen at a place like Ghost Ship than a place like the Fox Theater

…these are our spaces, these are havens. These are the places where we make our culture happen and they matter. It’s a welcoming place to the marginalized, the oppressed, the freaks, the dorks, the last ones picked, those that don’t fit in anywhere and don’t have a whole lot of interest in complying.

[Source]

Silicon Valley is internationally renowned as a world center for innovation, but which specific inventions came out of the Oakland warehouse arts scene is a mystery to me. It seems that the creative talent of the Bay Area can work just fine when building codes are enforced. Even the freaks, the dorks, and the last ones picked deserve safety. Nobody deserves to die at a rave intellectual dance party, and “leave the junk-filled death traps the way they are and throw more dance parties” is not a solution.


[Update 12/4/16 9:05pm]

33 bodies have been found. 70% of the venue is yet to be searched. [Source: ABC]

Mayor Libby Schaaf suggested that there were juveniles found among the dead. Victims have been found in every section of the building.


 

[Update 12/4/16 1:54pm]

Beware of fundraisers relating to this event. This person Jonathan Lee Riches was caught trolling people on Derick Ion’s Facebook page and soliciting donations. Thanks Matt for the tip.


[Update 12/4/16 12:37pm]

Eyewitness account from Bob Mulé

 

Official death toll now at 30 [Source: CBS]

Source: Facebook

Source: Facebook


[Update 12/3/16 5:23pm]

They are now saying as many as 40 people were killed. 24 bodies have been recovered from the hellish scene [Source: LA Times].

The building was inspected just over 2 weeks ago, and ruled illegally unsafe. There had been multiple complaints. [Source: East Bay Express]

The owner of the warehouse was Chor Ng. [Source: East Bay Express]

The building was assessed at $86,000 – can you believe there is any building like that in the entire Bay Area? [Source: SF Chronicle]

NOTE: this fire has nothing to do with the Ghost Ship Halloween parties. It seems the Satya Yuga were calling themselves “the Oakland Ghost Ship”.

Notice he said “ceremony”. Different from “underground rave” or “Halloween party”. There is certainly a lot of occult imagery on the proprietors’ Facebook pages.

The owner of the business hosting the event has made a stunning comment on Facebook.

screenshot-2016-12-03-17-18-09

Understandably, the community is not impressed with this response. Selected comments at the end of this article. I’m disappointed that I have some amazing mutual friends with this guy.


[Update 12/3/16 7:46pm]

 

This list is from CBS:

Here is a list of names from the Oakland police of those who are believe to be missing from calls by family and friends.

  • Alana Kane
  • Alex Ghassen
  • Alex Vega
  • Amanda Kershaw
  • Ara Jo
  • Ben Runnels A/K/A Charlie Prowler
  • Cash Askew
  • Chelsea Faith (Dolan)
  • David Cline
  • Donna Kellogg
  • Edmind Lapine
  • Eliott Rattle
  • Griffin Sean Madden
  • hanna Hennikka Ruax
  • Ivania L. Chavarria Gonzalez
  • Jason Adrian McCarty
  • Jennifer Kiyomi Tanouye
  • Joey Matlock a/k/a Casio
  • Justin/Feral Fritz/Pines
  • Madison Machado
  • Michela Gregory
  • Naomi Riches
  • Nex/Chase Iuguolo/Wittenauer
  • Nicholas Walrath
  • Nick Gomez-Hall
  • Nicole “Denalda” R Siegrist
  • Peter Wadsworth
  • Travis Hough
  • Viktor Kastro

There were two reported to be treated at a local hospitals.

  • Samuel Maxwell
  • Tobi/Geyl Chase

[Source]

Derick Ion’s Facebook page and his wife Micah Allison’s are deeply disturbing, full of occult symbols and lengthy rants. It appears that the party-loving couple had their kids taken away by Child Protective Services several years ago. They were in a hotel room when this disaster happened. Now they are supposedly on the run:

screenshot-2016-12-03-19-49-33

They are Burners. A couple of the rants were targeted at Burning Man. See below.

 

 


Original story:

The first responders from @OaklandFireLive were there at 11:27. Half an hour later, the fire was out of control and all units were ordered to be evacuated

An eyewitness report:

It was too hot, too much smoke, I had to get out of there,’ Bob Mule, a photographer and artist who lives at the building and suffered minor burns, told the Times. 

‘I literally felt my skin peeling and my lungs being suffocated by smoke. I couldn’t get the fire extinguisher to work.’ 

Mule was able to make it out of the building that was engulfed in a matter of minutes.  

It’s unclear how the fire started, as it’s believed an artists’ collective that is adjacent to the warehouse was also engulfed in flames. Arson investigators will be called to the scene, officials said.  

[Source: Daily Mail]

The fire inspector has asked that people post the names of those known to be safe or missing at this Facebook thread. The police have asked for missing people’s photos and identifying features. Piercings, tattoos, clothing they were wearing, weight, birthday, hair color etc. There are more than 20 people listed here as missing, if you know any of them please try to get in touch and share their information on Facebook.

oakland-coroners-bureau

Only about half a dozen are confirmed to be OK. Someone posted the list from the hospital:

oakland-rave-list-accounted-for-dec-2-2106

These people are in the hospital

These people are still missing

These people are still missing

The list on the Facebook thread of missing people has more names. Many of the people seem to have pseudonyms, which complicates the search.

The “live/work collective space” seems like one of these Burner warehouse packed full of “stuff”. Their Facebook page describes the space as “An unprecedented fusion of earth home bomb bunker helter skelter spelunker shelters and indonesian straw huts rolling into valleys and down alleys”

satya-yuga-inside-2014

satya-yuga-guitars

satya-yuga-inside-4

satya-yuga-internal

screenshot-2016-12-03-07-47-13

Image: Google Streetview

Satya Yuga’s profile pic and other Facebook posts on Derrick Ion and his wife and children’s pages (yes, there were children living in this raver collective) suggest occult interests in dark magick and death:

satya-yuga-profile-pic

satya-yuga-facebook

screenshot-2016-12-03-07-37-53

screenshot-2016-12-03-07-39-15

screenshot-2016-12-03-10-58-34

Further coverage:

Daily Mail

San Jose Mercury News

East Bay Times

Russia Today

TMZ

Vice

4Chan


Event Details:

Golden Donna (100% SILK/ CGI Records/ Not Not Fun)
Golden Donna is the electronic outlet of Madison, Wisconsin’s Joel Shanahan. The project draws on genres ranging from psych to house music to create layered tracks built on powerful, danceable rhythms and bass lines and intricate, headphone-worthy synth composition.
“As Golden Donna, Madison, Wisc.’s Joel Shanahan makes synth-based instrumentals that slide from psychedelic workouts into the kind of soaring pop that evokes 1980s movie soundtracks.” —Marc Masters, Pitchfork
http://pitchfork.com/reviews/tracks/14875-machete-bathtub/
“In truth, it all comes off more as a composition than a track, the song’s six-minute run landing on a number of different musical sections, each with their own distinctive moods and melodic hooks.” —Glenn Jackson, XLR8R, on “Empty Charm Vessel”
http://www.xlr8r.com/mp3/2014/02/empty-charm-vessel
http://www.soundcloud.com/goldendonna

Cherushii (100% SILK / Run The Length Of Your Wildness)
Cherushii is Chelsea Faith, an electronic musician based in San Francisco, California. Her passion for dance music history is evident in her work, which takes cues from Detroit techno, Chicago house, and classic rave sounds. A multi-instrumentalist since childhood, Chelsea began experimenting with electronics as a teenager, which lead to playing live techno and house at underground raves in the 2000s. She has been working as a live performer, producer, DJ, and remixer for over a decade, using her gear savvy and innate musicianship to create lush, retro-futurist productions. Cherushii signed with LA-based dance music tastemakers 100% Silk in 2013, and released her second 12″ for the label “Far Away So Close” in November 2015.
http://www.soundcloud.com/cherushii

Nackt (100% SILK /Outpost/ Rare Form/ AYLI)
Nackt is a DJ, Producer, Lover, and Gentleman. As a co-founder of the Outpost, Rare Form and Deep East parties, he is committed to bringing excellent talent to Oakland and San Francisco.
Excited by the techno-influenced house and garage revival happening in the UK bass scene, Nackt plays techno, funky deep house, and forward-thinking bass music from across the globe… Nackt’s original productions and remixes have appeared on labels like 100% Silk, Chillin Music, Popgang, Don’t Say Techno, and 3AM Devices.
http://nacktmusic.com/

Russell E. L. Butler//Black Jeans (Opal Tapes/ Jacktone Records/ Intersection)
Russell Butler is an experimental artist and DJ based in Oakland, California. Originally from Bermuda, Russell has developed a process of improvisation that draws from a rich cultural of history rooted in their island and the black, queer diaspora.
“Oakland synth artist Russell E.L. Butler used to record heavy acid jams with a punk aesthetic under the name Black Jeans…He’s since delved further inside his machines, exploring a variety of techno expressions.” – The Fader
http://soundcloud.com/russellelbutler
http://www.thefader.com/2016/05/31/russell-butler-without-fear

OBSIDIAN BLADE (Oakland no-rave)
pomo post club from the oakland underground crafted for the purpose of facilitating ecstatic camaraderie and cyberdelic transcendence
https://soundcloud.com/obsidian-blade

PIANO RAIN (AJA VISION)
Rooted in Denver and flowered in Oakland, Aja Archuleta spins webs of sound and rhythm in a study of memory and the processing of trauma through our right to dance.
https://soundcloud.com/ajavision

R △ D △ Я
“RADAR is wired for innerspace sonics and mind to mind transmissions. RADAR is bent like light through water as it reaches us through time and space. RADAR hears us, sends us back to ourselves. RADAR has conjured who we’re becoming within ourselves together: RADAR programs synths and percussion sounds to the echoes of what we’ve become by the time RADAR’s heard us. RADAR is playing the warehouse rave on the space station. RADAR could be Jon Hrabko of Oakland, CA. RADAR could be electronics, corrosion, flavor crystals in permanent shadow.”
https://soundcloud.com/j0n-1/sets/r-d-ya_ya-3-m-1-x-3

Live Visuals provided by
VISUAL AIDS
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzZHJJge4PU

featuring Brook Munchhausen‘s “VIDEO CUBE”

**RAVE CAVE HAIR AND NAIL SALON PROVIDING CUSTOM LOOKS**

SECRET EAST OAKLAND LOCATION
ANNOUNCED DAY OF SHOW.
$10 before 11PM
$15 after

 


Comments from Derick Ion’s public Facebook page:

screenshot-2016-12-03-17-18-09

screenshot-2016-12-03-17-26-52

screenshot-2016-12-03-17-28-40screenshot-2016-12-03-17-31-02screenshot-2016-12-03-20-27-38screenshot-2016-12-03-20-31-19screenshot-2016-12-03-20-14-30

 

A couple of his rants were Burning Man related:

screenshot-2016-12-03-20-49-51

FIRST… let me say ive said this all before… and now i will say it again…
And again and again…. because it cracks me the fuck up to see every year an endless line of hungry ghosts desperately getting in line for the ultimate ritualistic right of passage …. that they have been seeking thier entire lives….. So good to see that they have found it…… and remember…… we are not there with you.
WE ARE SATYA YUGA.
maybe you do not know what we do… it’s not … looking cool or participating in the very construct that has robbed BURNING MAN… run off the truly talented community that spent a generation plus… building a village free from the bullshit corporate wasteful ridiculously enormous ego driven mockery of participation.
I AM…. that barnacle of old stone and ancient wood and bones woven together with the family songs and cultural offerings tenderly stitched intimate upon the backside of never forever and no where now.
Not the present nightmare gaining momentum as I slip into honest dreams… it attempts to murder me with the horrific shouting of vomiting madness.
The pre recorded fabricated endless loop of a constant loving arrival … self importance systematically designed like video games for pathetic lonely 30 year olds… the childish tantrum for attention … as big money industry chains a monkey and drunk bum to the ableton serato virtual scratch live pro auto tune native mouth LIP SYNCED AS AGREED ARRANGEMENT … INVITATION TO ENDLESS IMPOSSIBLE SLOT MACHINES DRIPPING TREASURES GOLD HONEY ENDLESSLY COMING DONKEY KONG ALL NITE LONG MAINLINED DIRECT FED 25,000 WATTS ORGASMIC WADS OF POWER SUPREME…. FULL VISIONARY ASSAULT. LIKE GIANT MATRIX BRAND STEROIDAL TROPICAL FRUIT FLAVOR SHERBERT ICE CREAM EDIBLE UNDERWEAR BEING ATTACKED AND LICKED AND SUCKED ON ALL SIDES TO GET TO THE THE DELICIOUS CHEWY NECTAR OF IMMORALITIES CENTER STAGE… RED CARPET RUNWAY.. TO BE HERALDED AS DIVINE BEAUTY . THEN… LIGHT AS A SACRED NATIVE AMERICAN EAGLES FEATHER WITH DIGNITY… EAR-WING WORN COSMIC TANTRIC ALL WHITE PRAYER-FORMERS WITH PLATINUM GOLD TRIM SHIPIBO G STRINGS… LIFTED ME TOGETHER IN COMMUNAL ORGASM … SAMPLED AND LOOPED ME WITH JUST THE RIGHT FLANGIE DELAY THEN AUTO TUNED A REALTIME REMIX …. ALL OF US … THE ENTIRE 70,000 BROTHERS AND SISTERS INTERTWINED IN SACRED COMMUNAL HARMONY.. LIKE A VILLAGE… A small little village… that the devil had just visited and made us… forced to drink wine… he put his finger pointy and red … into the table… and when he pulled it out… wine as crimson as the lords sons tortured blood… sprang fourth like a fountain… of life… of forget… of passion and recklessness… we did it for jesus and spoke not of it ever again. BUT THE FUCKING BLOOM SERIES WAS THERE AND THEY ONLY FILMED THE REALLY NASTY PARTS AND BROADCASTED IT LIKE PIRATE WHALE KILLERS SEDUCING THE NEXT VICTIM WITH THE SAD YET JOYFUL SONGS OF BABY WHALES…(engineered at expressions audio arts school in emmeryville ca.) CRYSTAL CLEAR INTO EVERY DERANGED CROTCHLESS DRY HUMPER PLAYA PERVERTS EAR… IN SONIC FORCE SO LOW IN MISERABLE ATTEMPT TO REPLACE NATURAL RHYTHM… TIPPER $$Xryllix NASTY DUB STEP SY TRANCE NECROMANCE DRIVEN AS TURNCOAT ASSASSINS SELF PROMOTING MANAGER PAID TO ARRANGE THE PATHETIC FACADE OF RECKLESS AND WILD MIDDLE AGED DANGEROUS MASTER BACKER FAT ASS BUSTED BALI CROTCH BLOWN OUT FROM FUCKIN THREE BITCHES IN DESSERT POSITION … AS AGREED IN THE SIGNED CONTRACTS UNDER ALTERNATIVE GIFTING BUY IN PERCENTAGE VARIABLE OPTIONS OF SUBMISSIONS AND PERMISSIONS TO SELF AMEND THE TRADE FOR SERVICES AGAINST A SUBSTANTIAL MONETARY DEBT… DEPENDING OF COURSE ON EXISTING BENEFICIAL TO CIRCLE CONDITIONS…. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MAINSTAGE OR THAT DIRTY LITTLE CLUB IN THE MISSION. IT AINT LOVE OR LUCK ANYMORE… ITS BUSINESS … BOTH SIDES FUCKING TO THE MIDDLE FOR THAT LOVING MUTUALLY EARNED GIFT OF POSITION. CUP CAKE CHEESE AND CRACKER TONY BENNETT FRANK SINATRA DEAN MARTIN… CROONER.. OUT DATED VINTAGE OBSOLETE MOB BITCHES. DIFFERENT DAY… UPGRADED EXTERNAL MONKEY FINGER SPLICED ASS SIDE OF MULE FUELED INSTANT PARTY TOOL… JUST ADD APATHY… BURNING MAN AND CLEVER STERILITY… PRE PACKAGED WITH SHELF LIFE ADVERTISED…. DEEJAY… CULTURE KILLER. FACEBOOK BILLIONAIRE RENTAL ART CAR CRUISING THE STRIP NAME BRAND HOUSEHOLD FAMOUS DOOLAB HEADLINER SOUNDTRACK AS LURE CLAIMS THIS FLY BY NITE ILLUSION OF PRETTY LIGHTS DECREPIT ROLLING COVEN OF VAMPIRES… TO BE COOL… … HUNTING WITH A SOUNDTRACK… SACRIFICIAL PIT… AIR CON DOME.. SECRET SOCIAL VIP MIXERS … GUARDED… BY BLACK-WATER ARMED MERCENARY SECURITY INSTIGATE AS CHAIN OF COMMAND MATTER OF FACT K-HOLE ROLLED BIG TITTY RAVER GIRL SEDATED STERILITY PENETRATED AND GAPED THEN WET WIPED BY PERSONAL ASSISTANTS AND PAID CATERED EXECUTIVE ELITE . SOOOOO SENSITIVE SEXY FUNNY AWKWARDLY ATTRACTIVE HONEST AND QUIRKY THE LITTLE ANIMALS IT KILLS WITH “HERTZ” AND DATE RAPED SLIPPED INTO SIPPED DRINK BURNING MAN AS EPIDEMIC PROPORTIONS ghb 2cb ketamine lsd bath salt aderol legal speed doctor roberts studio 54 vitamin b eedie sedgewickes 1960 and velvet undergrounds nyc it will never be… only this… like a rerun of gomer pile. Wurlitzer crank organ… preloaded with spools of paper thin commands as holes… empty space ,,, organ music… if you can even call it that… that shit packed prosaic D.J. CRAP… THAT MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE YOUR “WINNING” ALL OF THE TIME. im sorry… and i apologize ahead of time for fucking being horrified by your pack mentality mindless regurgitation of nothing. great party.. real loud. real big. wow. what a waste of the fruits of desolation and struggle… that place commands reverence… not arrogance … not sing falsely as zombies thru a function one and little man with a laptop… void of truth and ability… broadcasting as a tonal weapon that kills real breathed nervous poetry and turkish banjos puppet shows prayers lovers confessions and gentle lessons that i as your GUEST … was treated as a man and father … like a dog. fed heaping potent sonic and pathetic portions of disrespect. throwing yourselves into perpetual celebrations of self glorification. where was your families blue grass salsa samba klezmer congo polka rumba punk ska buto blues dub funk jazz junk card trick pottery kungfu carnival gospel devotional tantric day of silence for all souls past…. PEPE… THE OPERA… WITH TOTALLY LIVE ORCHESTRAS AND THROAT SINGERS…. LOST LOVES THAT LISTEN FOR THAT GENUINE SONG… WITH FUCKING WORDS… LIKE SPELLS… DONNY HATHAWAY LAHSA celia eartha billy cave jim murphy iggy smiths bauhaus war curtis fela eekamouse agustus tubby miles dexter roshan coltrane souixse smith frankie elliot ben bob perry sade nina paul pena chet flea anthony sonic portis clash floyd moody zepplin janis oconnor reed marvin niel petty dylan cash extra action idiot flesh crash worship beyond race hamza lila yard dogs breakfast alix sun eenor tommy pagan sunru moondoggie xeno cooper austin ali akbar ravi shankar manu chow mandril palmerie cachao santamaria marlena shaw X vega hagen Howie bonno mike d beastie biggie curt saul williams harper fishbone Prince elliot also green screaming j barretto earl fatha hines carlos……
awe fuck. you got the point.
PEACE. Derick Ion

Micah Allison was safely in a hotel room with her kids the night 33 people died in the fire in their “home”

 

 

Building the Revolutionary Community (Again)

“Take a moment to drop in, and imagine the world that you want to co-create.”

That’s the Burning Man 2.0 message, sent to me today by Social Alchemist Bear Kittay. He’s just given a talk – combined with escalating soothing live backing rhythms of digiridu and Ableton to emphasize his Esalen workshop-honed points – to the techno-hipster elite of Berlin at the 2016 Tech Open Air Inter-disciplinary Technology Festival

No offense to Bear, but the backing music reminds me of the Wayans Brothers movie I’m Gonna Git You Sucka

 

Bear says:

Creating physical spaces to prototype the design of our new civilization…That’s what we’re doing at these conferences and these festivals. We experience these immersive ways of life and we re-imagine who we are, what’s most important to us, how we should be reallocating our resources – through experience, through art, through participatory culture

Hmmm…so we’re not just tripping out and trying to find Dancetronauts?

BMOrg told us they’d bought Fly Ranch on June 10 2016.

6 weeks later, on July 21, they revealed some of the donor names:

The individuals that contributed funding for the purchase have one thing in common: they have been deeply moved and changed by their involvement in Burning Man, and they are invested in the future of this culture. One of our early supporters and driving forces behind this project is Burning Man Project Board Member Chip Conley (AirBnB), who has shared his motivations for contributing to this project on Fest300. Another is Ping Fu (3D Systems), who, like so many of you, is a dreamer and a maker. Her reasons for giving inspire all of us, and we have been working with Ping, Chip and others to share the reasons they felt called to contribute to this project.

Other donors you may hear from in the coming weeks and months include: Joe Gebbia (AirBnB Chief Product Officer), Bill Linton (ProMega – therapeutic magic mushrooms), Rob and Kristin Goldman (Facebook VP Product), Guy Laliberté (Cirque du Soleil), Farhad Mohit (Flipagram) and Nushin Sabet, Alex Moradi (ICO Group – Real Estate), Graham Schneider (Real Estate)  and Jonathan Teo (Binary Capital: Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat). A handful of donors have asked to remain anonymous, and we absolutely respect that choice. Just like in Black Rock City, we also celebrate and honor anonymous giving.

Thanks to everyone who donated. 12 names. Did they all give half a mil each, leaving 1 slot unaccounted for? Or did they all kick in $100k, and some Anonymous group wrote a check for the remaining $5.3 million?

Screenshot 2016-07-29 22.39.17

For all we know, El Chapo, Google or the Rothschilds are funding it.

Who pays the utilities and operating expenses? What’s the business model…or is it all just donation-supported, like public access television and radio? We’re coming up on two months since the big announcement – with Burning Man looming, and now opening earlier than ever – and this is the first we’ve heard of what they actually plan to do with the joint. We’ll probably have to wait til 2017 now for further details.

Bear described the vision:

bear canada

Image: Facebook

The overall valley is roughly the size of Manhattan – 20 square miles. Our property is 3800 acres, it includes beautiful hot springs, hot lakes that hundreds can swim in, and geysers, and a very very large Playa, this open tabula rasa, this context for re-imagining our civilization.

So now we own this property year round in the non profit organization. It’s really a gift for the community by the community. It’s been funded completely philanthropically by a group of Patrons who believe that the process of us coming together as a community and experimenting with what could happen there isn’t just something that’ll happen at this site at Fly Ranch, but ultimately that having these semi-permanent locations that are owned by community groups so that year round iterations in the same template much as we develop these technology tools that we can get one step closer, bringing more and more people into the experience of co-creating and manifesting what will work as we re-imagine and re-invent our civilization. Welcome to Fly Ranch. This is a new era for Burning Man. This is a gift from the Burning Man community as a social experiment for humankind in the 21st century.

I have to say I’m not really enlightened much further about what exactly will be going on out there in one of the most remote parts of the United States. OK, some rich people bought the pitch and ponied up the $6.5 million. Now what? Will there be art cars? DJs?

As fun as Burning Man is, I am still waiting for them to explain how living in the desert with porta-potties but no showers or clean drinking water on tap, no money and no trashcans is the new model for humanity. There are already billions on the planet living in those conditions, and I think we would be better served directing our energies towards helping them rise out of it, instead of turning our civilization backwards so we can join them!

What are the gifts that the Burning Man Project will bestow upon humankind from their desert base? Neo-feudalism? Blowjob Workshops? Group masturbation to childrens cartoons? Black Lives Matter?

Some of the many events on offer in the 2016 Playa Events Guide

Some of the many events on offer in the 2016 Playa Events Guide

Screenshot 2016-07-29 21.56.37

2015 black lives matter

2015 black rock lives matter

thanks to Parker for this photo

Image: Parker; from a prior year. Is she doing the devil horns? What’s up with that extra hand?

childrens story time vibrator

I mean, I’m sure this is fun and all…but is this really the next evolutionary step for civilization? Humanity depends on this? The future of Burning Man is to have all this sort of thing going on year round?

Today I was also lucky enough today to attend – if only for a short time – WIlliam Binzen’s exhibition at the Smith Andersen gallery in San Anselmo.

Screenshot 2016-07-29 22.11.01

Marin County is old timers like me (43). The Mission and 666 Alabama is where the young hipsters like Bear and the BMOrg 2.0 coterie hang out network. Tonight’s crowd skewed more towards hip replacement than:

man bun fedora

 

…but having said that, we were among the last to arrive and first to leave. Anyway, I managed to catch an equivalent segment of the talks in length to Bear’s presentation. It felt like the guts of it, if anyone who was there has a better video or recording please share. [Aside: As always at these things, like with my shaky phone recording of Eric Schmidt at Further Future 2016, there are dozens of professional looking cameras filming it but nobody ever shares, even on commercial videos. So who are all these people? And why are they recording?]

chris radcliffI couldn’t see the stage but I believe this is William Binzen talking and then John Law. They mention Chris Radcliff “imposing fellow with an SKS”…a name that has been erased from the official Burning Man history. You will hear about Cris(tina) in a future Shadow History episode. Part 4 is being edited now, Part 5 is coming soon, here’s Parts One, Two, and Three and my debunking of the first challenge to my research.

It is interesting to hear the similar words and themes between the Burning Man 2016 future vision and what was going on at the Playa before Black Rock City LLC and The Burning Man Project ™ showed up. One of the many tributary streams that flowed into the city that was created for BMOrg to take over and steer toward the future. A future of ever increasing ticket prices, vehicle permits and monetizable transactions. It’s not just the future of Burning Man…it’s the future of civilization itself. That’s what these people are going to be designing at Flysalen. No votes. No transparency. No details. No plans. No vision. Anonymous donors giving untold millions. Unknown names making the list of items to check off. Details and vision not made up as we go, but “coming soon” once they’ve been cleared by the suits…

I wish I could have stayed longer tonight and mingled with what looked to be an amazing crowd. The real people who built Burning Man. I wish it was that crowd that was steering our culture towards the future, not a bunch of starry eyed Millenials with 3 Burns under their belt. Maybe I’m just getting old…

 

 

hero's journey

RIP Spoono [Update]

ticket 1998

One of the DPW crew and a founder of Black Rock Solar and Burners Without Borders, Scott Stephenson aka “Spoono” passed away on the Playa last night. He had been up in Gerlach and on the Playa since April. Pershing County officials said he appeared to have died of natural causes.

It sounds like he was a hard worker and generous to his mates. Our condolences to his family and friends.

Re-blogged from Voices of Burning Man:

Image: burningman.com

Image: burningman.com

Burning Man announced today the loss of beloved Department of Public Works staff member Scott “Spoono” Stephenson. Spoono passed away overnight on the playa, in the city he loved most.

Stephenson was in his late 50s and died of apparent natural causes, according to Pershing County officials. Stephenson had been in Gerlach and on the playa since April supporting construction of Black Rock City. His passing will have an enormous impact on the Burning Man community.

“Spoono has been a fixture of our DPW since 2005,” said Burning Man CEO Marian Goodell. “In 2005 he was one of the first to depart for Mississippi to help residents in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, working, among other things, as a cook for the team that grew to become Burners Without Borders. He will be missed by many of us including myself.”

Spoono was a founding crew member of Black Rock Solar, working tirelessly to install solar arrays across Nevada for those who would benefit most — schools, hospitals, tribes, and other non-profit organizations — for six years. He’d been a runner for DPW’s purchasing department for 10 years and cooked for work weekends for equally as long, as well as handling cooking for early arrival crews on the ranch for several years. He was on point to cook for the Man crew when we had to rebuild the man in 2007.

“Spoon was a deeply generous man, with a huge heart, who gave so much love and care though his food,”  said Tom Price, one of the founders of Burners Without Borders and founding Executive Director of Black Rock Solar. “He was a miracle worker with food — I once watched him feed 15 volunteers for a week with only $50. He always worked himself to exhaustion, but didn’t have a lick of quit in him — there was never a morning you woke up he didn’t have coffee on, strong enough to strip paint. And if you were really good, or really lucky, it came with a side of piping hot beignets.”

Spoono embodied the best of Burning Man values and culture. He was generous to a fault, giving all that he had to the community he loved. He will be missed by all who knew him.

Burning Man is providing support and grief counseling to staff and volunteers on the playa during this difficult time.

Plans for a celebration of life and memorial service will be announced shortly.

More coverage at the Reno Gazette-Journal.

[Update 8/22/15 11:26am]

NBC reports that the cause of death is under investigation.

Pershing County Sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Stephens told NBC News that a man died on the site, but declined to identify him and said the cause of death was under investigation.

DEA Approves Ecstasy for Clinical Trials [Update]

E Ecstasy pills or tablets close up studio shot methylenedioxymethamphetamine. Image shot 2004. Exact date unknown.

From YourNewsWire.com:

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has approved the first clinical trial of MDMA to treat anxiety and other psychological illnesses, amid a growing resurgence in therapeutic psychedelic drug usage in the medical community.

Aljazeera.com reports:

“The tide has changed for psychedelic research,” said Brad Burge, the communications director for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a California-based nonprofit research group that studies medicinal uses for psychedelics and marijuana and is sponsoring the study. The DEA approved the project on Friday, he said.

Unlike Ecstasy or Molly — names for MDMA sold on the street and often mixed with dangerous adulterants — pure MDMA has been proved “sufficiently safe” when taken a limited number of times in moderate doses, MAPS says on its website. The DEA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

MDMA can be useful in psychotherapy for people suffering from anxiety due to life-threatening illnesses because it produces in users a sense of calm, trust and confidence, Burge said. Unlike psychedelics such as LSD and psilocybin, MDMA does not produce hallucinations, he added.

The clinical trial will be held in Marin, California, in a psychologist’s office, as opposed to a hospital setting, Burge said. The patients will lie on a couch with a therapist nearby for support and conversation.

In the trial, 18 subjects diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses will attend months of psychotherapy, with MDMA being used in a few sessions in order to facilitate the process, he said. The outcome will be measured by whether using the psychedelic helps reduce people’s anxiety, which will be determined at the end of the sessions by the patient’s feedback and the therapist’s assessments.

Researchers hope that using MDMA alongside psychotherapy will let subjects confront their situation more clearly and allow the positive steps they take during the therapy to “stick,” Burge said. “It opens them up and makes them more comfortable with the therapist while reducing fear and making them more able to talk about difficult emotions.”

If the pilot is successful, MAPS plans to continue with further studies involving more subjects and different approaches. For now, researchers hope to establish basic safety and effectiveness, he said.

The trial is part of a larger $20 million plan to make MDMA an FDA-approved prescription medicine by 2021, Burge said. MAPS is the only organization in the world funding MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials, he added.

The institute has carried out successful pilot studies of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder, adding to the drug’s scientific credibility, he said. Other research by the institute includes ayahuasca-assisted therapy for drug addiction, LSD for cluster headaches and psilocybin for nicotine addiction.

Researchers hope to back up growing evidence that psychedelics have legitimate therapeutic uses — and to counter the narrative that has demonized them as mind-destroying drugs.

That’s what the really good science shows, despite decades of propaganda and government misinformation,” Burge said. “Just a couple weeks ago, a phenomenal study showed that there are no long-term associations between psychedelic use and mental illnesses.”

That study was published this month in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. In addition, a recent report by Johns Hopkins Medicine, a leading U.S. medical institution combining the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Hospital, showed that the use of psychedelic drugs — primarily psilocybin and LSD — could reduce psychological distress and suicidal thinking.

[Source]

ecstasy tongue

No link between psychedelics and mental illness? Tell that to this guy...

No link between psychedelics and mental illness? Tell that to this guy…

[Update 5/5/15 1:54pm]

This post is generating a lot of comments on Facebook, mostly positive but not everyone is supportive. Thanks to Maistresse Sybs for sharing this documentary. “This is a major event in drug history…the facts about ecstasy use are astonishing”.