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.


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.


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

False Amber Alerts Imprison Thousands: 17 year old Missed Curfew, Gate Closed for 3 Hours

2016 exodus line

Image: Reddit

Burning Man was shut down twice when Burners wanted to leave, due to minors that could not be located by their parents. The first Amber alert happened after The Man burn, shutting the gate for at least 30 minutes. Then the Gate was closed on Sunday night for at least 3 hours when a 17 year old girl could not be located.

Here’s what happened:

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 9.37.23 PM


It’s a little hard to piece together, since the people here are discussing TWO Amber Alert incidents. Details were reported on BMIR that do not seem to match the actual event.

Reports on BMIR said the 17 year old was last seen at White Ocean. Was this a real incident, or another insider attack designed to “name and shame” those chosen for exclusion from Radical Inclusion?

It is reminiscent of a similar “false AMBER alert” incident in 2012.

Whether the girl was really missing or not, the procedure for “handling” it trapped tens of thousands of disgruntled Burners for most of the night in 18 lanes of Exodus. It foiled the plans of those who chose to skip out early before the Temple burn to beat traffic.

As one Burner said on Facebook “a 17 year old missed curfew! Lock down Los Angeles!”

The age of consent is 16 in Nevada.

Sign the petition to make the largest adult activities event in the world adults-only:

Burning Man exodus on 4 September 2016 was held up for more than three hours with exit to the highway completely blocked by the organization with no evident plan and in a manner that inconvenienced and endangered the lives of thousands queued to leave. Burning Man is a sometimes perilous adventure chock full of adult situations that should only be taken by those who are ready, willing, and able to care for themselves. As the organization clearly does not have well conceived plans for dealing with emergencies involving children and the event is not the place for those who cannot care for themselves, participants under the age of 18 should be banned.

[Sign here]

Why should every adult Burner suffer because of a teenage girl and an inattentive parent? Why should a ranger ignore the wishes of the parent, and punish all Burners?

There are further details on Reddit about the gate also being closed on Saturday night due to an Amber Alert:

Hmmm they had a Amber alert last night as well at 10:10pm after man burn. We got 7 cars from gate. Took about 30 mins. For that situation to resolve.

In 2013, a pedophile was found making plans on Facebook to kidnap a kid at Burning Man. Last year someone was arrested for kidnapping, and there was another arrest for a sex offender failing to register with the police. Then we have this…is it art? Ironic? Or just Creepy AF?

Perhaps it is another one of these frequently occurring coincidences that Hakim Bey, inventor of the Temporary Autonomous Zone and pen pal of Larry Harvey, writes man-boy love stories for NAMBLA. From his Wikipedia page:

Wilson’s freeform poetry, as Hakim Bey, has appeared in Exquisite Corpse, the Panthology and Acolyte Reader anthologies, Gayme, P.A.N., NAMBLA Bulletin, Ganymede,and various samizdat zines. Many of the poems were collected in an unpublished volume DogStar, praised by Burroughs and Ginsberg. Currently his works can be found regularly in publications like Fifth Estate and the NYC-based First of the Month.

self service cult slimEven if you believe that to be nothing more than a mysterious curiosity, the pedophiles have now found out about Burning Man. The annual TAZ city is an idyllic Pirate Utopia for them, as well as a fertile hunting ground for predators targeting impressionable minds of all ages.

We hear “pedophiles” and we think of monsters molesting infants and toddlers. But the real danger is “growing up too fast” teenagers, with hormones raging. It’s dark, it’s dusty, people are wearing makeup and masks and costumes…and let’s face it, 16 year olds want to fuck. Especially at Burning Man, where the 5000-person Orgy Dome is internationally renowned. Let’s not kid ourselves that Burning Man is all face painting and art galleries.

How important are children to our Sacred Principles? As important as nudity? As important as tripping?

Will Flysalen also feature this mix of children, nudity, hallucinogenic culture and self-service cult? Esalen trustee and BMP Director Chip Conley was tweeting from the Playa about bathhouses:

This year, tens of thousands of Burners had to suffer because of BMorg’s vision to mix teenagers, nudity and drugs together in the one government-supported venue.

The first report was on Reddit, approx 9:30pm Sunday night:

They announced it on BMIR. 17 year old with 31 year old boyfriend (?!?!?!) missing since early Sunday morning. Last seen at White Ocean. About 5’5″, 110 lbs, last known items of clothing a white coat and black cat ears.

It seems the boyfriend was 21 or 22, but reported on BMIR as 31. 17 is a minor, and protocol dictates that every single person in the city must be held hostage until the lost minor is found. No medical, family, or work emergency is more important than a 17 year old’s curfew.

Although from Twitter it appears that the gate was only closed for 80 minutes, BMOrg themselves said “3 hours” and Burners who were in the line said “5 hours”, leading to Exodus times between 9 and 24 hours.


The woman just mentioned her missing daughter to a Ranger, thinking she might be able to drive around in someone’s vehicle and look for her. The risk-averse ranger called in the Amber Alert and locked the city down, pooping the party for thousands against the wishes of the parent.

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Burners were not impressed.

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On a lighter note, on Facebook Tim Mehoves came up with

10 ways to know the wrong people are going to Burning Man.

1. They complain about how hard it was to get their ticket…but they got a ticket.

2. They complain about the wait in line to get onto the playa.

3. They complain about the Portos

4. They complain that all the art projects and theme camps aren’t complete by the time they arrive.

5. They complain about the lack of cell charging stations and reception.

6. They complain about the dust.

7. They complain about the inability to sleep because of the sound camp they set up right next to.

8. They complain about the lines for coffee at center camp or ice at Artica.

9. They complain about Larry Harvey not making time to talk to them because “they drove all the way out there”.

10. They complain about the wait in line for Exodus.

TL:DR version…They complain.



Burning Man Through The Eyes of Kids

Fusion media/AM Tonight takes a look at Kidsville, the village-within-a-city. It seems you’re never too young to enter the Mad Max-style Thunderdome. “Two kids enter, one kid leaves“…get ’em into the Fight Club young, so they can grow up to join the dark army of dirtbags.

Kids at Burning Man, 2004. Image: Waltarrrr/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Kids at Burning Man, 2004. Image: Waltarrrr/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Parents who wish to save money on babysitters and take their kids out of school so they can party with all the freaks, should be aware that there are a number of registered sex offenders attending every year. In 2013 a child kidnapper in Colorado was arrested after breaking into a house and taking an 8-year old girl from her bedroom; police discovered that he had announced his plans to go to Burning Man to kidnap a kid on Facebook. A couple of years back, an Amber Alert was issued when a 15-year old girl ran away and was missing for 24 hours. The entire gate and airport were locked down, no-one could leave until the kid was located. A fun night without the parents for the girl; a hostage situation for everybody else.

Many adult Burners wonder if it really brings that many benefits to the rest of us, to radically include kids and expose them to all the dust, drugs, and debauchery.

All I Want For Christmas Is A Shout-Out

A guest post from reader Nicole Sparklecorn:


Considering I deal with the broken and the fucked up at the Burn, I have a good idea of what goes on. Yes, I help treat you when you need it. (Full disclosure- I am a medical supervisor and volunteer coordinator who is paid to go to Burning Man, who is paid to be on my A-game should you get hurt, so yes, the Bmorg signs my paycheck, but honestly- I don’t *need* to be paid and it’s what I do in real life, and I donated my time prior to being hired). Also, full disclosure, none of my opinions expressed here reflect the BMOrg in any way shape or form- and NO, they did not ask me to say that, I’ve just been around enough to know to state that.

In any case, be real, folks. It’s all anyone wants. Danger Ranger has always been a positive influence- and that’s my experience. Your mileage may vary. I trust his input. I’m sad his facebook page is gone.

Now, can we talk about a Burner in need? There’s a rad girl, her name is Kaisa, and she camped with BMIR– and she’s sick. I’ve asked The People of Burning Man to help me send a book to her (i’ll pay for it, no problem), but all she wants is cards from Burners.
Kasia at Burning Man

Here’s where we need your help. Kaisa is back in the hospital and has to be there through the holidays and all of January. It would be amazingly awesome if you could send her a card, some cool Burning Man swag, just a little note to let her know her playa family is thinking of her. Here is the address.

Afd kindergeneeskunde
T.a.v. Kaisa van de Stadt
Kamer 9c14
Postbus 7057
1007 MB Amsterdam.
The Netherlands

If anyone wants to send her a card and/or some schwag, awesome.



If you do send her a card, please comment here and let us know. C’mon Burners, let’s do some good for the Holidays!


[Update 12/6/14 10:08am]

Bobzilla has added some background detail to this story:

Thank you for posting this. Kaisa and her family traveled from Amsterdam to attend the burn this year. This was their first time in BRC. They had wanted to come for some time but Kaisa is ill and was not healthy enough to travel. This year her doctors said she could make the trip. They sat on Gate Road for 24 hrs on Monday trapped in the rain but they made it in and had an amazing time. We met them a few days later when my wife Nicolette wife who is Dutch and also from Amsterdam spotted an Amsterdam city flag in their camp at Kidsville. They became part of the BMIR family.

Kaisa is back in the hospital and has to be there through the holidays and all January (Dec 2014 – Jan 2015). This little girl loved the playa and so did her parents. I’m in regular contact with her parents so I’ll let you know how she is doing. Thanks for sending some Burner love her way

Fun For All The Family?

At NPR, Audie Cornish and Will Stone from Reno Public Radio have a segment on parents who bring their kids to Burning Man. I am posting the transcript on my non-commercial blog so I can personally discuss it. You can listen here, or read the transcript:

The Burning Man festival has long attracted people to northern Nevada’s desert for a week of radical self-expression. Now, Reno Public Radio’s Will Stone reports that long-time “burners” are bringing their kids along to participate. But many burners questions that decision, saying that sex and drugs are everywhere and the fun should be reserved for adults.


Burning Man, the week long festival of radical self-expression kicks off later this month in the Nevada desert. It attracts college students, aging hippies, tech CEO’s, and suburban soccer moms. As the event has grown, so has the number of families bringing kids. And as we hear from Will Stone of Reno Public Radio, the burner community is conflicted about being family friendly.

WILL STONE, BYLINE: Zella Johnson was 4 years old when she experienced her first burn.

ZELLA JOHNSON: I keep a lot of stuff that lights up here. They’re, like, bracelets that light up at night.

STONE: Now at the ripe age of 9, she and her twin brother are veterans of the playa, the dry lake bed where the countercultural festival takes place. She produces a pair of feathered goggles, part of her furry Burning Man ensemble.

Z. JOHNSON: You have to wear goggles on because there can be sand blowing everywhere.

photo by Peter Ruprecht

photo by Peter Ruprecht

GUY JOHNSON: We’ve got our bikes pretty dialed in.

STONE: Zella’s father, Guy Johnson, who’s a real estate agent here in Reno – he’s showing off their garage, packed with generations of tricked-out bicycles. This year he’s constructed a yellow pedicab.

G. JOHNSON: The pedicab trailer has an umbrella on it, and I’ve also just a couple of days ago installed some speakers so that my passengers can have some music.

STONE: Ask Zella why she likes Burning Man and she lists dozens of activities that sound right out of an elaborate kid’s birthday party.

Z. JOHNSON: They took a giant playground equipment thing and filled it with foam. So you’d climb up on it, and then you’d fall into a bunch of foam.

STONE: She also has tales of peanut butter and jelly buffets and bouncing on trampolines in KidsVille, a family-friendly camp. Johnson and his wife, Lorri Nielsen, a nurse practitioner, say some people judge them harshly for bringing their kids. Burning Man attracts over 60,000 people, and many are there to let loose which can include nudity, sexual behavior, alcohol and drugs.

LORRI NIELSEN: People think everyone out there is running around naked, and that’s really not what it’s about. The occasional person you see like that but…

G. JOHNSON: Black Rock City’s just like any other city. I mean there are kid-friendly activities, but on the other hand there’s also adult-only – adult oriented activities and camps. And, you know, we just don’t take our kids to those.

It’s like any other city, with 1000 sound systems and more than 60,000 people on vacation and taking drugs. Like Cancun on Spring Break is just like any other city…if nudity was permitted and 10% of the population went to Orgy Dome. If there was a parade of 4000 topless or fully nude women on bicycles. If there were hundreds of art cars full of wasted people driving without any roads or obvious direction.

kids burning man 3STONE: While most burners say it’s about the spiritual and artistic experience, some, like Matt Peek, feel it’s still not appropriate for his own two young daughters.

MATT PEEK: The nudity is one thing. I’m certainly not a prude but little girls – and for that matter, little boys – don’t need to see naked men walking around.

STONE: Peek would never tell others not to bring their kids, but he’s volunteered in the middle tent there and seen intoxicated children. He recalls one time a mother brought her young son to him.

PEEK: Her story went something like, he said he grabbed a cup of something that he thought was juice and it tasted like gasoline, and then he started acting weird, and she brought him to the tent. What the hell was she thinking he would find in a red cup?

Exactly. And what were Burners thinking, to put down their drink? A kid might take that! Where’s the Civic Responsibility? It’s just like any other city, where every drink probably contains alcohol, and it’s in the middle of a hot, dry, dusty desert and there are no water fountains. Parents who can control their kids aren’t the problem. It’s parents who can’t teach their kids basic things – that should apply anywhere – like, don’t drink other peoples’ drinks. Don’t eat that chocolate brownie, it might be magic. It only takes one tragedy, to ruin it for everyone.

I’m all for intoxicated children. Is it worth the risk to everyone else? Is it fair that Burners miss out on tickets so these kids can sneak off and get wasted?

STONE: Along with safety concerns, some burners want it to be adults only because they feel having kids out there inhibits them.

JIM GRAHAM: If that’s what you’re looking for, then Burning Man is not for you. You might want to go find something else to do because this will always be a family-friendly event.

STONE: That’s Jim Graham, who works for Burning Man. He says, actually, kids have been at the event since the mid ’80s when it began, and anyone 12 and under gets in for free. But there are certain parts of the playa where minors aren’t allowed. 

Jim is sort of missing the point about this debate. It’s not just “should kids be part of our city or not”. It’s “now that cops are doing undercover stings, should the event be 21 and over” so that all Burners are protected? An all ages event, where booze is free, is just asking for problems – as the red cup story above shows. If a Burner gives a free drink to someone who’s 20, it’s them who’s going to get in trouble, not BMOrg. Sure, the idea in the beginning was to let kids come too. Most of the hippies back then couldn’t afford babysitters, and this is still a major factor for Mom-and-Pop Burners wanting to bring kids today. But the idea in the beginning was also to get away from authorities, to create a Temporary Autonomous Zone with its own rules. There was freedom, there was anarchy, there were “Satanists with Guns”. Did you know that the creator of the whole “TAZ” idea is a pedophile, who writes articles for the National American Man/Boy Love Association?

Kids get in for free. Presumably they are counted in the population cap. Is that what happened to the 9000 tickets between the 70,000 population cap and the 61,000 that were officially sold? Is that why Burners have to jump through all of these hoops of OMGSTEP, spending a year waiting in hope and being repeatedly disappointed? Just so that kids who can’t afford to gift anything can get in for free?

Kids love Burning Man because they can touch and climb all over things, in a way they can’t in the Default World:

kids faceSTONE: Back at the Johnson-Nielsen household, Lorri Nielsen says oftentimes parents come up to her asking, what’s it like to bring your kids?

NIELSEN: You know, when they first get there, they’re a little timid ’cause all the art is interactive. So, you know, here we’re always like don’t touch that. Sit down, behave. What do you hear at Burning Man? It’s Burning Man – do it.

Z. JOHNSON: Climb on it.

NIELSEN: Mess with it.

This makes no sense to me. In the default world, public structures have safety standards. In Burning Man, there’s little if any of that. The giant structures move around and shoot fire. Things get hot enough to burn the skin. An artist recently started a campaign to stop people messing with their art. Should kids just run around climbing and messing with stuff, because it’s Burning Man?

STONE: And that freedom is what appeals to so many burners, regardless of age. For NPR News, I’m Will Stone in Reno.

 …and to so many cops, looking to write tickets and set Burners up with undercover underage stings.