BREAKING: Anonymous Terror Group Claims Responsibility For Burning Man Attacks [Updates]

anonymous fire

Last night somebody calling themselves “anonymous burner” left this comment on our Hooligans Attack and 2016 Scandals stories. The details indicate it is legitimate. They claim there are 4 in this terror cell, located around the world. They threaten continued attacks on White Ocean if they ever return, and on other elitist Burners and camps too.

Whats true and whats not…
There were no cables cut
yes super glue in key holes
yes chicken and beef cubes in rv resivoir
yes dye in rv water too
Dish soap added to shower water cubes
Yes water dumped
yes olive oil in the bathroom floors
no personal items were stolen
yes lug nuts off their art car were taken
Not connected to the hotel cube collapse

The four people that were targeted were Timur, Oliver,Eduardo, Kfir…. these rich seperatists think they are above the burning man ways.. they think they can stronge arm people with threats of violence from their connections to the russian mafia and or throw lawyers with lawsuits at you to force you to do what they want…. they hire mexican workers to do all the camp setup and breakdown for burning man and their other events(further future)… if they cant demand their way then they bribe it… why do you think they were even allowed back after the last few years…all they allow at their dinners are the rich and famous and they dont even bring food or water for the mexican workers they hired… them and their friends drug women and try to take advantage of them, and btw their drug mule is ########… they only put Paul okenfolds name on the camp so the bm community would “feel it”…. because what burner could really relate to a billionaire russian gangsters son? With all of the people tgey have fucked over and threatened over the 4 years they have been a compound at burning man they deserved some payback… This is just the beginning, every year they return people will mess with them and their camp… This should happen to all the elitest groups on and off the playa…
These rich entiteled bastards dont deserve to treat the playa like their own personal parties…. it is the communties…
This was done by 4 highly trained individuals who are spread out in the burning man community around the world listening to how the other elitest groups are treating their fellow burners… take your community back, stand up against these kinds of snobby bastards ruining burning man…

This is no conspiracy theory. The perpetrator – or someone close enough to them to be an at least an accomplice – is quite clearly telling us it is a conspiracy. What more do you need?

It seems unlikely that this is the same “Anonymous” as the hacker group, although they were very involved with the #occupy movement, as were many Burners in the Burn Wall Street project. This seems to be a new group of terrorists saboteurs, specifically targeting wealthy burners.

anonymous ferguson

The commenter calling themselves “anonymous burner” has the same IP address as an earlier commenter on this blog, who was upset with White Ocean’s red MOOP score in October 2015:

Im a part of White Ocean, we cleaned, everyday we cleaned up trash left from the partiers in our dance area… everyday of breakdown we had people doing their part cleaning, while the structure was be dismantled we made sure no bolts or washers or nuts were dropped… our core stayed a day after everyone else to moop the area(thursday)…… so understand that there are many reasons why we could red like this, and we are wondering why ourselves… also note that its been years since a corner got less than red on its dance floor(which u showed fur us, 2010, the only year that corner was clean) also look at how we took care of our area last year… we are trying….

Ps .. we actually made this huge grid n dropped all of the pooh n piss n other shit yall left fur us just to get the perfect red square….
n Fuck Off, n Fuck ur Day!!!

Pss…., ur a kunt…
I have posted my real name and email, if there is any issues with White Ocean or myself, please feel free to contact me, I wont hide behind a blog…:-)

I would never share the name of an informant who requested anonymity. I think I’ve proved that now in almost 5 years of blogging and 1657 posts. This is just a commenter, though. They didn’t contact me requesting anonymity before sharing information – as in the case of every other tip I’ve shared here from Anonymous Burner. Instead, they just posted here (twice) proclaiming themselves to be “anonymous burner” (lower case). This is less of a tip, and more of a confession to a crime and a threat of more crimes to come. And in the above case this commenter made quite a big deal over his desire to not be seen as “hiding behind a blog”.

Before any Ray Donovan types rush to bring this guy to the interrogation chamber, if you were the perp this would be a simple way to finger someone else for the blame (although he did post this last year). 2 posts from the same IP address are not evidence it is the same person – could be room-mates, or a company account. If you lose power or turn your modem off, your cable company might assign you a new IP address – but there is no way that 2 posts a year apart from the same address, both about White Ocean is an accident. If the police want to contact me I’d be happy to provide the IP address and other details (it is located in California).

Remember when Burning Man used to be about fun? It was just a party in the desert?

Perhaps this is why BMOrg need Flysalen now: a Gated Community for First Camp and the elite Burners, while the Black Rock City Communist Party (last post before BM2016: Psychedelic military attack) and the remnants of the Cacophony Society wreak anarchy and havoc at Burning Man. Leave The Man Burn to the cops and the plebs, watch everything on HDTV and just chopper in for fancy dinners with the Sheriff and meetings with promising startups.

anonymous leader further further peter ruprecht 2016

[Update 9/7/16 2:50pm]

Perhaps predictably, “anonymous” has now come forward to confirm his identity and his desire not to hide behind blogs. He claims to just be the messenger, not the perpetrator – and he “was just talking shit”. He just happened to be the one to answer the Playa telephone when the call came in with all the details of the crime, and wanted to share it on this blog so badly that he posted it twice. Interesting that nobody else has shared anywhere near this level of detail, even though by John’s account a lot of different people had them.




Some Burners have claimed about the grammar of calling this a “terror” attack. When Pershing County Sheriff Jerry Allen warned of terror attacks at Burning Man 2 weeks ago, I’m not sure MOOPing the freshwater was quite what he had in mind. The word that has been widely used in headlines for these attacks is “sabotage”. Sabotage is the same thing as terrorism, just minus the violence. It’s easy to see how taking lug nuts off a car’s wheels or making a floor super-slippery might lead to people getting hurt. What was the point of this sabotage, if not terror? Entertainment? Education? Intimidation is the purpose.


Terrorism vs Sabotage: What’s the Difference?

[Update 9/8/16 8:40am


Click here to learn about the Logical Fallacy called “The False Dilemma”

“You’re either part of White Ocean and we’re gonna get you too, or you’re a true Burner and with the terrorists”. One Burner’s terrorist saboteur is another’s Freedom Fighter.

Sabotage is either a military action, or a terrorist action. And these are actually the same thing, it’s just the army has a different composition.

This is pretty low on the spectrum of terrorism – attacks aimed to intimidate psychologically, rather than through violence. As far as we know, there was no physical harm done – but by the sound of it there easily could have been.

It reminds me of the anti-Burning Man rancher’s expensive yacht mysteriously sinking in Tahoe when he was in a dispute with Burners. Nobody was harmed and no violence was involved in that act of sabotage. See Don’t Pick A Fight With A Burner

In my opinion this is a group, not a lone individual. They are operating covertly, with threats/plans to do more attacks. They try to “Leave No Trace”, choosing the type of attacks that are hard to photograph. This is a psychological operation. The purpose is to change White Ocean’s behavior and attitude, to conform more to a profile desired by the attackers.

“It’s a self service cult. Wash your own brain” – but if you don’t wash it the right way, expect sabotage and psychological warfare.


The report last night came from Sacramento. I note that the Sacramento Cacophony Society announced they were starting “the next phase of cacophony” in early December 2014. They changed their Facebook group from Closed to Secret and then kicked me out. At the same time Danger Ranger launched his anti-rich attack on me, and the Burning Man Facebook Group was overthrown in a coup which several long-term members suspect had the backing of both BMorg and Facebook Inc.



According to their web site today, “Project Mayhem” is underway with funding and personnel:



You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to suspect that “attack the rich” and “Project Mayhem” may be the same thing.

“If You’re 35 And Poor You Deserve It”

So says Jack Ma, the founder of, which went public last Friday in the biggest IPO in history. His stock, whose largest shareholder is the Billionaire Burner-founded company Yahoo, had a healthy 38% “first day pop”, though it was soon eclipsed by Burner-founded market disruptor Urbanise (ASX:UBN) which managed +50% in its public debut yesterday. A big congratulations to those soon-to-be Billionaire Burners, who hit a home run with this project inspired by using technology to promote better Communal Living and digital Self Reliance.

Jack Ma is a charismatic young leader, and now the richest man in China. If his advice applies to you, you might not like it; and if you’re already successful, you’ll probably agree with him.

Go big or go home: otherwise, you’re wasting your youth.

Jack Ma looking happy at the New York Stock Exchange.

Jack Ma looking happy at the New York Stock Exchange.

this is the face of a man who just made $16 billion.

this is the face of a man who just made $16 billion.


Re-blogged from ZeroHedge:

You are poor because you have no ambition.

by Jack Ma

Jack Ma: Before I founded Alibaba, I invited 24 friends to my house to discuss the business opportunity. After discussing for a full two hours, they were still confused — I have to say that I may not have put myself across in a clear manner manner then. The verdict: 23 out of the 24 people in the room told me to drop the idea, for a multitude of reasons, such as: ‘you do not know anything about the internet, and more prominently, you do not have the start-up capital for this’ etc etc.

There was only one friend (who was working in a bank then) who told me, “If you want to do it, just try it. If things don’t work out the way you expected it to, you can always revert back to what you were doing before.” I pondered upon this for one night, and by the next morning, I decided I would do it anyway, even if all of the 24 people opposed the idea.

Jack Ma founding members

When I first started Alibaba, I was immediately met with strong opposition from family and friends. Looking back, I realised that the biggest driving force for me then was not my confidence in the Internet and the potential it held, but more of this:  “No matter what one does, regardless of failure or success, the experience is a form of success in itself.” You have got to keep trying, and if it doesn’t work, you always can revert back to what you were doing before.

As with this quote by T.E. Lawrence – “All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream in the dark recesses of the night awake in the day to find all was vanity. But the dreamers of day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, and make it possible.”

jack ma serious

Jack Ma: People lose out in life because of these 4 reasons:

  1. Being myopic to opportunity
  2. Looking down on opportunities
  3. Lacking understanding
  4. Failing to act quickly enough

You are poor, because you have no ambition.

Ambition is living a life of great ideals; a magnificent goal in life that must be realised.

In this world, there are things that are deemed unfathomable, but there is nothing in this world that cannot be done. The depth of one’s ambition determines the potential of one’ future.

By way of example:

The Story of Juliet Wu Shihong – one of China’s first-generation professional managers, who gained success by working her way up the ranks from a cleaner, a nurse, a marketing executive, through self-education and learning on the job.


Juliet Wu Shihong


She had been the general manager for the world’s most famous multinational IT groups’ Chinese branches (Microsoft 1985-1998; IBM 1998-1999). She is also China’s first successful international corporate executive to join the executive team of a domestic private firm. Wu was seen as a symbol of the new generation of business executives that China has produced in its economic reform and opening-up.


When Wu started off in a big company working from the lowest ranks, her daily job was to pour tea and sweep floors. Once, because she forgot her staff pass, the company’s guard stopped her at the door and denied her entry. She explained to the guard that she was indeed one of the company’s employees, and that she had merely left the building for a short while to purchase office supplies.


Despite her pleas, the guard still did not allow to enter. As she stood at the gate, she watched as those of similar age to her, but smartly dressed in business attire walking through without having to show their passes.


She asked the guard, “Why are these people allowed through without producing a pass?” The guard dismissed her coldly nonetheless.


That was the turning point for Wu – she felt great shame, her self-esteem trampled on.


She looked at herself, dressed in shabby clothes and pushing a dirty push cart. Looking back at those dressed in smart attire, her heart felt a deep ache from the sudden realization of the sorrow and grief from being discriminated. From that moment, she vowed never to allow herself to be shamed like this again, and to become world-famous.


Since then, she used every opportunity to enrich herself. Every day, she was the first to arrive at work, and the last one to leave. She made every second count, spending her time learning the ropes. Her efforts soon paid off; she was made a sales representative, and quickly progressed to being the regional general manager of this multinational company in China. Wu did not possess strong academic qualifications, and was revered as the ‘Queen of Part-timers’. Subsequently, she assumed the position of GM of IBM China. This is the Wu Shihong, the heroine in China’s business circle.


Juliet Wu Shihong

If not for the incident, Wu Shihong would not have had the ambition to become rich, and her life would have taken a very different path then.


  • You are poor because you do not have the desire to become successful.
  • You are poor because you lack foresight.
  • You are poor because you cannot overcome your cowardice.
  • You are poor because you lack the courage and determination.
  • With ambition you can overcome all inferiority and maximise your potential!
  • With ambition you can persevere, continuously learn new things and strive for perfection.
  • With ambition you can defy all odds, and create miracles when others daren’t.

No matter how poor your family is, do not doubt your own abilities and lose sight of your ambition.

  • When your family deems you worthless, no one will pity you.
  • When your parents do not have money to pay the medical bills, no one will pity you.
  • When you are beaten by your competitors, no one will pity you.
  • When your loved ones abandon you, no one will pity you.
  • When you have not accomplished anything by the time you are 35, no one will pity you.

Go big, or go home. Otherwise, you’re wasting your youth.


(Kiss) (ASS) It’s A Big Farce

clown burning manIt occurred to me that this sign-stealing incident, publicized by its author on various Burning Man facebook groups, happened after BMOrg announced before the Burn that because sign theft was so prevalent, Burners should treat signs as art and decorate them to jazz up their neighborhoods.

The name of the sign stealing-tackling project? ASS

The name of the now-famous tackled sign stealing prankster? David KISS

Kiss-Ass. On K Street.

Get it? Surely that’s way too much of a coincidence to be totally unrelated. Project ASS, my ass.

or, perhaps, God is a Burner, and this is His way of responding to those premature rumors about His death that were posted at

On 8/8/14 BMOrg spokeperson Will Chase said:

8thAndHeartSometimes, when the citizens of Black Rock City are confronted with a challenge, they turn it into an art project. This, ladies and gentlemen, is one of those times.

The street signs that adorn every corner of BRC are not only beautiful, they’re functional. Not only are they functional, they are critical to public safety. When that ambulance is looking to find YOU, they need to know what street they’re on. SO DON’T REMOVE STREET SIGNS!

Now, despite what we say, we know it’ll happen anyway. So let’s solve this with an art project! Here’s how …

Adopt a street corner in your neighborhood, and augment the street sign with aesthetically pleasing, informative signs of your own making!

We’re calling this the Adopt a Street Sign (ASS) project, because we’re 12-years old.

Radical Self-Expression, meet Communal Effort. BOOM. Make babies.

Of course, no-one could have anticipated that if you tell 70,000 anarchists “DON’T REMOVE STREET SIGNS”, that some of them would disobey.


another thief bragging on social media stole this

another thief bragging on social media stole this. Coming soon? Bike theft selfies



The cross-referencing aspiring DJ is happy to promote his upcoming gigs with Christ at I mean, really? Another coincidence? I would dismiss this as being not a real figure, except there is a David Kiss on our Facebook group trying to defend his sign-adopting actions by attacking us and dismissing the economic value of the sign.

The street prank has been publicly endorsed by “Founder” Peter Hirshberg as a “Cacophony-like prank” that I just didn’t get. It seems I’m far from the only one who doesn’t find theft from fellow Burners funny, whether it’s signs, bikes, or a beer from a cooler.

The self-publicization of this act by the prankster at this time is a convenient distraction away from the connection between plug-n-play camping and the non-profit Burning Man Project’s Board of Directors, some of whom appear to have financial interests in these types of camps. The story broke when Kiss published his Project ASS art piece antics on Facebook on Friday 9/5/14 at 2:02pm. The story about Jim Tananbaum broke on Facebook the night before, at 6:17pm in a smaller group and then was repeated at 7:37pm on the Burning Man unofficial group.

The choice of Star Star is interesting, since they seem to have had a lot to offer the Playa in comparison to others. There are rumors going on about an A-list hollywood actor being the money behind the camp, a gift to his campmates because he picked up the tab. I see nothing wrong with anything Star Star did in this story.

In a way, isn’t this whole “incident”  serving the purposes to promote star-star as the model for others to follow, and continue the discussion about Plug-n-Play camps which is proving so popular in the mainstream media? When we investigate this plug-n-play camp, we find performances being gifted and Burnerly behavior of discussion with the marauding vandal over Principles  – there are good guidelines in the story for how plug-n-players should behave when confronted with louts like this.

It promotes pranking and it promotes plug-n-play – while pretending to protest against it, it’s really just continuing the conversation about it. That’s the way it works with these pranks, irony or not, your attention is directed to a particular issue of the prankster’s choice. It encourages Burners to take out any frustrations they have with the governance of the city on each other, not BMOrg. It downplays the growing problem of theft as just another type of  art. Kiss’s actions and ASS’s purpose appear to be the same. Kiss-ASS united.

Where do you draw the line between prank, irony, satire, snark…and civilized behavior? BMOrg, it seems, is happy to say “stealing is going to happen, adopt your own, let’s turn it into art”.

For some time, I have been considering another potential motive behind the OMGSTEP and all the other seemingly bizarre decisions BMOrg makes with the ticketing and treatment of Veterans. Something more than just money.

What if this is all a prank to them? One big farce? With us as the patsies, set up in the petri dish for their amusement? “Let’s come up with a new rule, and see how they respond! It’s art! It’s pranking! We never said don’t be evil, in fact we launched this thing with Hellco and bought souls with contracts!” The more shit they can put on the community to make their burn worse, the more complaining there is about it on social media, the more suffering they can create – the more amusing it is to the Creators with the Power To Make Suffering. They sit in First Camp and network with 1%ers who paid $650 for tickets on the sly, who flew in on private planes and scooted over on Segways. They laugh at the unconnected Burners who spent the year in the STEP queue hoping for a chance to go, only to have tickets yanked out from the queue at the last minute for no apparent reason. They laugh at the Burnier-Than-Thous who refuse to buy tickets on the aftermarket and lecture others about it, out of some misguided sense of loyalty. “Ha ha, look at these Burners on Facebook trying to stop scalping, when we the borg are sending out emails trying to sell tickets above face value! In the name of charity, of course.”

In 2014 it was Sherpa Camps, for 2015 it looks like the next target may be Sound Camps – who according to BRC Weekly are going to be banned from posting DJ lineups.


Douchebag Burner Advocates Class War [Update]

The people next to you have an RV. Does that make it OK to steal their shit?

Obviously not, unless you’re an asshole. Which David Kiss clearly is. Not only to commit the acts he describes below, but then to go on to pen an article about it. And not only to write the article, but to post it all over Facebook.

Since when did the Tin Principles give Burners an excuse to ignore the basic moral conduct of goodness towards your fellow Burners?



written by David Kiss:

It’s been difficult to ignore the articles and discussions regarding the “plug and play” or “turnkey” billionaire camps in the weeks leading up to Burning Man this year. It was especially difficult to ignore them for me, as I’d camped at around 8:20 and L, right down the street from them.

As the week wore on and I got comfortable in my neighborhood, I couldn’t help but notice the billionaire camps, not just because of their million-dollar RVs and rows of tractor trailers parked so closely together, in a clear message for outsiders to stay out, but also because of the vibe I got as I rode down K street. It had a very different vibe than the rest of Black Rock City. There was no friendly interaction on the street. There was none of that community feeling.

There were plenty of impressive and elaborate “front yards” and art installations just beckoning to the curious burner to check out, yet all were empty.  I didn’t feel welcome. I kinda got the feeling that these were just there to look good, for lip service, maybe even as a subtle competition amongst these wealthy elite, come to the desert to get their taste of Burning Man.

My own opinion on these camps is this: if you can afford to hire coordinators, “sherpas”, and chefs,  rent movie trailer portapotties, live in a million-dollar RV, etc., then do it, by all means! If you’re giving someone a job, enabling them to pay their rent and feed their families, that’s amazing. If I were a billionaire, I’d probably do the same.

But be involved in the community. Don’t just write a check supporting an art project. Get your hands dirty. Engage. Get off your Segway and ride a bike, struggle in the soft playa sand, walk into other camps, and talk to people. Certainly don’t build a camp that is meant to keep people out.


One morning, after a particularly insane night of dancing and exploring, I wearily rode my bike down L street towards my camp with my friend. And then I noticed it. A sign that said “Service Entrance”, decorated in a burner-y motif. Service Entrance? Are they for real? I suddenly felt like I was backstage at a “real” music festival.

In a sudden fit of anger, I decided to steal the sign. Fuck it, I thought, if these guys are gonna have a fucking service entrance, they should expect their sign to be vandalized.

I yanked it off the trailer it was loosely attached to, and strode off, dragging it behind me like some sort of cross.

I got a few feet down the block before I heard someone yelling. Huffing towards me was a fat, rich-looking guy who was clearly not used to being defied. Spittle flying, he yelled at me that he was going to get me arrested, and that I’d better put that sign back immediately.

Now, I have a real problem with authority, so I laughed in his face and said, “Really?! You really can’t understand why someone might want to take this sign?! What do YOU care anyway!” He continued to yell, and talk to me as if he was king and I his servant.

At this point I changed my tone and tactic, and attempted to have a normal conversation with him. Here was my chance to engage with someone so different than me, and perhaps we’d both get something good out of this encounter. Maybe I could get him to see the ridiculousness of this, maybe he could get me to understand something here. Boy was I wrong. Dude proceeds to grab my bike, and proclaim that I could keep the sign and he’d keep the bike. This actually seemed like a good deal to me, and I laughed at the absurdity of the situation as we both started walking off.

At this point we’re interrupted by a young burner-looking dude wearing a radio. He manages to get rich guy to walk away, and then explains that this sign is here for safety reasons, and asks me politely to leave the sign. I do that, grab my bike and we walk away.

I couldn’t believe that these people couldn’t see the humor in what had happened, couldn’t understand that if you’re going to build a camp with a fucking service entrance at Burning Man, someone might be tempted to steal your precious sign which kinda symbolizes everything that is wrong with what you’re doing. So I walked back and grabbed the sign again. I was intent on taking that sign, putting it in my camp front yard, and burning it at some point.

I get about a block away, when a white pickup truck tears up, and the young burner-looking guy gets out, followed by a mean-looking security-type dude with a murderous glint in his eye. I look at both of them and can actually visualize my face getting clocked by this dude as he drags me through the dust.

“Do you understand why I’m taking this sign? Don’t you realize how you guys come off?”, I say.

This dude looks at me and says that he understands and that he’s a long-time burner. He then goes off on a nearly ten-minute rant listing all the reasons why this camp “isn’t like the other plug and play camps.” He talks about how much money the people in his camp donate to art cars and art projects. He mentions that him and his wife make “artisanal” something or other in the hills above San Francisco. He tells me that they’ve sponsored an art piece in the deep playa that has allowed an artist to have her first piece of an art at Burning Man. “Her first!”  He explains that there are people like the angry rich guy in this camp that haven’t been to Burning Man before and don’t fully get it yet.

I tuned him out very quickly as he went on and on, because I realized that he was really talking to himself to make himself feel better about working for these people, perverting the very ideas of Burning Man. I let him rattle on until he exhausted the topic, thanked him for explaining himself to me, that yes, I now understood why their camp was sooo important to Burning Man, and rode off. I knew he was a lost cause and I wasn’t interested in getting a beating over a damn sign.

And now I propose an art piece for next year: Camp Douchebag; a camp located on the open playa near 10:00 and L; a towering, wooden facade of RVs, trucks, giant generators, and abstract art, complete with wooden Segways and a bar staffed by people that studiously ignore you. If you can manage to get inside the piece, by climbing up and into it or maybe by getting in via the “service entrance”, you’ll find rows of pre-curated costumes, “Sherpa’s”, a chef preparing artisanal food, and perhaps a group of models that have been paid to come to Burning Man.

There seems to be real dilemma for the Burning Man organization regarding what to do about these plug and play camps. Well this is my solution. Bring it out front and center, stick it in everyone’s faces, and then…BURN it.

Back to Burners.Me writing now.

Radical judgement, radical narcissism, radical entitlement.

He had to look at a sign? Someone call this guy a Waambulance:


In an entire city built on Gifting, what sort of person feels the need to steal? And what, did he think they would just go down to Home Depot and get a new sign?

I’m still trying to get my head around how someone can justify something like this to themselves, let alone go and boast about it to others. The other Burners even tried to explain things to him, but in his arrogance their words were beneath his high and mighty ears. Listen to him – “I was like Jesus with my cross”. No you weren’t…”bro”.

The difference between this city and Beverly Hills, is it is made up of tens of thousands of RVs. Located in the stinking hot, dry and dusty desert, Black Rock is one of the largest RV cities in the world. RVs that are in remote locations for weeks at a time need to be serviced. Otherwise biohazards and outbreaks can occur. Service trucks need a road to get inside the camps, so that their hoses can reach the tanks. There needs to be a way to indicate to Burners not to pitch tents or dump their bikes on that road. Radical self reliance: make a sign. A clever way to make things easier for everyone.

Basically this dickhead is saying “it’s a city, and people steal shit in cities, so there. I’m a poor loser, so they deserved it”.

How the fuck does he know if people in a camp down the road from him “engaged” or “got their hands dirty”?

Here’s what Star Star actually did:


I got the scoop this year on what [Star Star] are about and it did somewhat ease my concerns about this particular slice of richie-richness at burning man. First and foremost this camp does contribute. All week they host live circus, music, and dance performances from some top notch Bay area talent on some of the most amazing mobile circus rigging you are likely to see anywhere, let alone at Burning Man. These are come-one come-all events. I’ve never seen a plug and play offer anything even close to that level of gift. Then I found out about the structure of the Camp. No one pays to camp there. One person pays for everything. It is a complete gift.

And here’s the description of their Theme Camp, which was there in the guide for any Burner who wanted to read, rather than vandalize:

Star Star – Live Music – Movement, Dance, Yoga classes daily. Lively shows and aerial performance throughout burn week on our gorgeous rustic stage with full daytime shade. Kick one back and come shake your business at the Star Star Roadhouse!
Hometown: All Over

Although some Burners seemed to support the actions, I’m not going to promote those trolls by sharing. It was on the snark group, so perhaps they weren’t being serious. But some serious Burners were:

Burner Marcus:

“Service Entrance” signs are pretty normal at most large theme camps and villages. As someone who seems to take pleasure in stealing other people’s shit, you seem pretty qualified to be a member of “camp douchebag.” I hope they press charges now that you’ve admitted that you stole something and only left it behind when you got chased down by the owners.

Burner Kristin:

Death Guild Thunderdome has a “Service Entrance” that we gate off with an iron fence and only open for pump trucks and our art cars. It’s there because we scrape together enough dough to have our own potties which people break into our camp to try and use, and because people don’t seem to understand that we run a performance art installation and our camp is where we, you know, camp. Running a camp on the Esplanade is a pain in the ass, because we get a fuck ton of drugged out hippies who think that walking into someone’s camp (we don’t have anything in our camp except our personal shit – if you want to interact hang out at our bar or come to dome fights) is the “burning man” thing to do. I personally hate the idea of walled off plug and play camps, but they’re out in the boonies and in general, if you want to hang out in the boonies with your paid staff and your professional chef, go for it. The idea that anybody’s camp (or their stuff) should be open for your use just because it’s there is ridiculous. Don’t steal shit. Stealing shit makes you a douchebag...I feel that people think rich people are going to edge out less-rich people. I’m unemployed and the only reason I was able to go is because I scraped together my budget for te burn when I was still employed – including my ticket, my 14 days there (7 days working, 7 days playing/working – DGTD is a working vacation for sure) my budget was $700. But stealing their shit is lame. It’s the lowest form of “pranking” – if you’re going to prank someone, make it funny. Hang out outside their camp and offer “star maps” or something. Take a megaphone and offer “advice” to people leaving (“Turn back now! It’s not safe out here!”). If you’re going to be an asshole, be a FUNNY asshole.



Burner Chris:

1st off, the guy stole a sign to something that had nothing to do with him and wasn’t effecting anything about his burn other then what he let it effect. 2nd, most every large camp on the Playa and a lot of the mid and smaller size ones have a service entrance. If you brought an RV, did you not create a lane or a way for the RV pump trucks to reach your grey and dark tank outlets ? Service entrance. Most of the large Esplanade camps made roads that go deep in their sea of RV’s…. Service entrance. The only difference I see is this camp made a sign that said it. So what. It didn’t say Private Property, Keep out.

Burner Tobias:

I like the idea of the satirical art project, but you handled this lamely. It seems like you had written them off from the beginning and refused to listen to anything they said. I bet those art projects and cars sure appreciated the donations!

Peter Hirshberg, who has been promoted as one of the Founders of Burning Man, saw this as a clever political statement, a throwback to the good old Cacophony Society days:

You missed the entire point of his art and reaction. He saw this faux nonparticipatory behavior in the hermetically sealed camp and pranked them. Sounds like cacophony society/ clever art behavior to me. The point of his piece wasn’t that he took a sign, it was a contemplation on this new form of not quite getting it fortress community- making

You bet I missed the point of his “piece”. I certainly got the point of the theft, and being a public nuisance. Is bike stealing an acceptable form of protest too, Peter? “oh look at that bike, it’s decorated so much, they must be rich! I deserve to take that. Stealing is an art“.

If they had gone and stolen signs from First Camp, the protest might have meant something – because it was directed at the decision makers who have socially engineered our culture to be this way. A civilization is not built on the principle of “rob thy neighbor”. Making life harder for RV dumps for camps that put on free circus performances is not true to the Burner spirit in any way. If that kind of thing is acceptable at a Cacophony Society event, then take your theft and imitations of Christ to one of those.

Burner Noah:

I can’t believe I’m defending big money at burning man, but here’s a short list: Caliope, Mayan Warrior, Star-Star, Robot Heart…all huge money art or art cars. all amazing. And yes Embrace was also amazing and mayb e had more heart but nonetheless you can’t say millionaire brought nothing to burning man…

Yes it is all inclusive. Yes it is plug and play, and yes it is free for those camping there. On top of that the staff are paid decently and given tickets to the burn and have to work minimal hours during the event though I’m sure set up and breakdown are hellish with that level of infrastructure I don’t know how I feel about the “Service entrance” sign, that’s just out of place, but I guarantee you there are smaller poorer theme camps phoning it in and offering far less to the Burning man community than Star-Star. Plug and play theme camps that offer nothing to the public really should be denied placement. Star-Star, as much as you may resent the divide between rich and poor deserves to be there. One man has put a mountain of resources into giving something amazing to burning man and that in my estimation balances the scales given that radical self reliance is utterly and totally dismissed by the 30 guests that camp there.

Also, Our theme camp (which has a budget somewhere in the neighborhood of $6k, in other words theming on a shoestring), while not gated, is definitely set up to discourage randoms from walking around our back lot. We have a front of house and chill space that is welcome to all, but would really rather not have drugged out weirdos and undercover cops roaming and sniffing about our housing. Radical inclusion only goes so far. Where is the line? Am I expected to let strangers walk into my yurt open my cooler and drink my beer uninvited because radical inclusion?

There’s nothing stupid about security and privacy, in a party with tens of thousands of people roaming the city on illegal substances. Clearly, there are thieves and vagabonds about.


You’re not a real burner unless you’re sleeping in a rickety lean-to and subsisting on beef jerky and pickle juice. All of these “Shade structure” and “Sturdy tent” wannabes are ruining the burn


As in favor of class warfare as I am out in the everyday world I call this sort of thing bull shit!
If anything having the ultra-rich and politically conservative or libertarian attend and spending at least some time amongst the rest of us has a chance of bringing about just a little enlightenment. Inclusivity was one of the first things that drew me to burning man getting together working together with people you would never see let alone spend time with in the default world.
After the first year doesn’t the second year always bring out an even greater investment of time and money in preparations, or maybe joining a theme camp? Elaborate contraptions for making showers, water evaporator, and silt filters. Then there are those that get into food prep and elaborate meals, for a number of years the camp I was with put together a full thanks giving turkey feast for the camp members in the middle of the week. While we made living in the desert easier and more fun we also provided a better stocked full serves Bar for our neighbors and patrons theme nights a mutant vehicle, every year more. And yes the actual camping space was out of bounds to anyone who wasn’t invited. The more people can afford to spend the more they spend and the is the true burner way,…


Stealing is stealing, period. Just because he’s stealing from a plug-n-play asshat camp doesn’t make it right. Jeebus, people, I live my week in a tent and that doesn’t make me any holier or burnier than thou because I’m not in an RV. It’s not class warfare, it’s BS douchebaggery.


david kiss your a fucking douche bag!!!! Stealing and vandalism is just that… Regardless how much $ someone has, your actions bring you down to trailer trash. Im no billionaire but i would not associate with someone that wants to spray there negativity on the world. If you dont like what plug and plays, go spend your time with other amazing people on the playa. Black Rock is a city that is open to all, poor, rich, all nationalities, races and everyone in between. Fucking get over it!


I find it funny that people haven’t realized that there has always been a TON of money at burning. Theme camps aren’t cheap. Art cars, not cheap. The Man and Temple, not cheap and money spent literally for burning too. In the end, you make the burn what YOU want. If one is telling someone else how to burn, that person is in the wrong.

Welcome to the civilization of Burning Man: Millenial Edition. Where we protest against BMOrg’s policies by taking it out on each other.


THE POOR MAN’S BURNING MAN 2: The Glamorous Life of a Model

by Whatsblem the Pro

Houston, we have a Whatsblem.

Houston, we have a Whatsblem.

[Whatsblem the Pro is embedded in the International Arts Megacrew for the building of THE CONTROL TOWER, a sixty-foot “cargo cult” version of an FAA control tower, equipped with lasers and flame effects and other interactive features. This series of articles begins with The Poor Man’s Burning Man: Part One, and shows you how you can attend Burning Man even if you don’t sleep on a giant pile of money at night.]

The Control Tower project is still in fundraising/proof-of-concept mode at this relatively early date, which is possible because the actual build will be so much easier than a frame structure like the IAM’s Temple of Transition in 2011. The Tower’s main structural members are all bamboo, so there won’t be much to do for the hammer-swingers that made up the bulk of the crew for the Temple build. The Tower would represent a daunting challenge to an untested group, but it’s going to be a cakewalk of a build when compared with projects the IAM already has under its belt.

We proved that in the last week by assembling a twelve-foot 1:5 scale model of the Tower, to test the ease of construction and structural integrity of the thing. Ken Rose opted to go with lengths of bamboo that are actually only two-thirds actual scale in diameter; if these are sufficient to build a solid model, then we can be supremely confident that the real thing at sixty feet tall will be generously overbuilt in terms of structural strength.

The Tower uncrowned, at 1:5 scale

The Tower uncrowned, at 1:5 scale

The model went up like a dream. A little light tugging and measuring was necessary to pull it into true, and then lashings of hemp rope were applied at the intersections of the bamboo poles. Even with only the lower lashings in place, you can reach out and give the thing a good shaking, without it needing to flex more than about a centimeter to absorb the shocks. The Tower will be light, but incredibly strong and flexible, and should be able to easily withstand even the strongest gusts of wind we might encounter.

The crew is still a small core group, with casual labor on hand when needed, mostly thanks to locals from the 2011 Temple crew. Right now it’s a matter of pulling together the top technical people – our laser expert, our flame effects specialist, our Arduino guy, etc. – with IAM’s architect, Ken Rose, and letting them hash out the best ways to accommodate each others’ work.

It’s also fundraising time. This project won’t happen without funding, and the Org has chosen not to give the IAM a grant this year. All the money has to come from the generous contributions of burners who have enjoyed the crew’s past work, and want to see more. As I write this, we’ve got just half of the $25,000 we’ll need, with only eleven days left on our Indiegogo campaign.

At this stage, my role has mostly been related to that need for funding. The IAM is a non-profit organization with a 501(3)(c) conduit that allows us to give a tax deduction on most donations of money, goods, or services; I spend my mornings and the early afternoons on the phone and the computer, calling business owners and managers and asking them to kick something, anything, into the pot that we can use to defray our costs. Computer parts. Welding rod. Bottled water for on-playa. Stuff we can raffle off at fundraisers, like dinner for two at a nice restaurant. Food for our crew.

A lot of people say no, but a good many say yes. The local mom-and-pops are as good to us as they can afford to be. Some big corporations say yes right away, but they have protocols in place that prevent them from helping out too much. Every little bit counts, so we take what we can get gratefully; still, it seems a shame that a giant “big box” store chain with literally billions in their coffers can only give us a maximum of $25 worth of goods, while a struggling local business can find a way to make underwriting hundreds or thousands of dollars of our expenses a net positive for them too.

Sometimes it’s a total win-win when you call someone on the phone and ask what they can do to help out with your project, even if they don’t have a lot of ready cash. I chanced on a company that makes solar water heating systems using a patented heating element they invented themselves; they’re still a start-up, and poised to expand, so they don’t have the liquid assets to just dump cash on us. . . but when I mention Burning Man, they tell me they have been wanting to build a self-contained water-recycling shower trailer using their solar heaters, so they’ll have something to take to festivals and show off. After a meeting with the company’s partners, the CEO, a gentleman in his sixties and a deacon at a local church, comes to visit us at our build site. He likes what he sees so much that he actually ends up signing a site waiver and climbing up a twelve-foot ladder to help assemble our scale model of the Control Tower. As we break for dinner and part ways, he shakes my hand and tells me they’ll build their shower trailer project for our crew to use on the playa. I let him know that he won’t be able to do any kind of advertising out there, but he’s fine with that; he wants to see Burning Man for himself and will put off using the shower trailer as a rolling billboard until he can haul it out to some other festival.

Architect Ken Rose -- Photo: Mark Hebert

Architect Ken Rose — Photo: Mark Hebert

There are just two snags: one is that they’ll need a little help with the labor; that’s no problem at all. The other is that they don’t have any cash to put into the shower trailer project, and they are lacking the filtration system they’ll need to turn greywater from the shower’s drains back into potable water ready to be used again. They’ve got everything else necessary to build the high-tech closed system they envision, but we’re going to have to come up with two different types of filter on our own. One type we can make ourselves cheaply and easily; the other type that we’ll need will be expensive.

On my way home, I stop at a large pool and spa store, and the owner happens to be there and not at all busy. We have a friendly talk and I tell her about the Control Tower; she’s been to Burning Man and promises me that once I figure out exactly what size and type of filter we need, she’ll donate it.

People are pretty generous, and just plain great in general, when you give them a good opportunity to be that way for a cause that excites their imaginations.

Aside from fundraising, I’ve been pitching in on things like painting the wooden parts for the scale model, or doing whatever else needs extra hands, but that’s been pretty light work.

I’ve also been gearing up to do some indirect fundraising, by making swag to give to people who donate to our Indiegogo. I hand-carve and tool leather, so I thought I’d decorate some leather panels and stitch them around metal liquor flasks. I finished my prototype yesterday; you can’t buy one at any price, but if you donate $250 to the Control Tower I’ll make one for you for free. . . and if you come to the Control Tower to collect it on-playa, I’ll even fill it with Scotch for you.