John Law Sues His Former Burning Man Partners

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.

Postby Lassen Forge » Fri Jan 12, 2007 2:35 pm

Back to ol' soapy!

My point was (and is) this...

If you are an OWNER of the business you are entitled to knowledge of the financial dealings of that company. If you are a ticket purchasing attendee (or un-attendee) of the event put on by the owners, aka Customer[ (or Participant, if that title makes you feel better, but you're still their customer), or an employee of the owners or their company, you do not. That simple. You buy a ticket for ONLY one purpose - to be allowed to attend BRC under the rules they set for their customers. Nothing else. Period.

But wait, we're talking business. So... Go to Esalen. NO, enroll in est (or whatever they're calling themselves now, I think it's Landmark Education, llc - LE for short.)

There's the prime example. Bingo. They're even an LLC. Sign up for LE, for however many hundreds (prolly thousands now) they demand for one of their "sessions". Show up (or don't), knowing what you're gonna go thru, or not. Become a "Graduate" (or whatever they call a graduate now). And DEMAND to know their finances, pore through their books, tell them how they invest their money and where, and see where it gets you.

Of course, trying to figure you somehow are "entitled" to their private affairs because you took their class, or participated in a workshop, or whatever, is kinda, well... :roll: . It doesn't matter if they tell you they give 110%% of their profits to purchase land for Iniuit Reindeer Herders, and another 125% to protect the Siberian Rain Forest, then go and buy themselves new Porsche's and cabins in the sierras and pay themselves $750K a year each in salaries, and give a goodly chunk to the Man-Boy love society and the Richard Cheney Defense Fund. They do what you paid for - allowed you on their land (subject to their rules). If you don't like the company - or what they do or who they support or whatever - leave. Or don't go. Otherwise, you got what you paid for (you consumer you!)...

bb
User avatar
Lassen Forge
 
Posts: 5322
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 10:35 pm
Location: Where it's always... Wednesday. Don't lose your head over it.

Postby blyslv » Fri Jan 12, 2007 2:53 pm

Bay Bridge Sue wrote:If you are an OWNER of the business you are entitled to knowledge of the financial dealings of that company. If you are a ticket purchasing attendee (or un-attendee) of the event put on by the owners, aka Customer[ (or Participant, if that title makes you feel better, but you're still their customer), or an employee of the owners or their company, you do not. That simple. You buy a ticket for ONLY one purpose - to be allowed to attend BRC under the rules they set for their customers. Nothing else. Period. bb



I don't think this is the issue at all. Law has colorable claims that he was an owner or former owner and he is asking the court to sort out those claims. He is not someone who has just bought tickets. That would be me, and I do not think I would have a right to simply ask to audit their books.
Fight for the fifth freedom!
blyslv
 
Posts: 1562
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 2:22 pm
Location: Fanta Se NM

Postby ZaphodBurner » Fri Jan 12, 2007 2:58 pm

Badger wrote:
Proof? Why? Why the hell should anyone really feel the need or give a fuck about books, income, purchases, etc. Honestly, it's no one's fucking business. The LLC provides a service, we the consumer make the choice to purchase a ticket (or not). ...

Again, fuck appeasement. If someone's whinging about profit (excess or otherwise) then let them show their displeasure by electing to not go to the event. It really is that simple.


God damn. A moment of clarity.

If people don't like it, they don't have to fucking go. I won't drop $100 to see some washed up classic rock band or the Jailblazers play at the local coliseum, but I don't demand to review their accounting and payroll either.

-zb
"The Red Baron is smart.. He never spends the whole night dancing and drinking root beer.. "-The WWI Flying Ace
User avatar
ZaphodBurner
 
Posts: 1336
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 3:05 pm
Location: Portland, OR
Burning Since: 2004
Camp Name: The Green Hour 2012 - 9:00 & D

Postby BAS » Fri Jan 12, 2007 2:59 pm

To be honest, it has crossed my mind that having Burning Man pay the salaries of Larry Harvey et al. is probably the greatest caco prank of all time.


Actually, the greatest prank would be if Burning Man paid MY salary, since I don't have anything to do with organizing the event! :D (I'm not going to hold my breath for that one, though.)


I like the year the Onion reported that no one had shown up for Burning Man-- maybe that would be a good prank to pull...?


B. (a bit short on sleep)
"Nothing is withheld from us which we have conceived to do.
Do things that have never been done."
--Russell Kirsch
User avatar
BAS
 
Posts: 4237
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 7:46 pm
Location: Wisconsin
Burning Since: 2006

Postby geekster » Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:24 pm

All I know is the rhetoric used to justify its existence collapsed in on itself as soon as Larry started publishing his fireside chats.


On that DVD that comes with that Buring Man book there is an interview with Larry that is pretty revealing. Listen to what he says he was preoccupied with as a child and you will understand that it is what he has done. Remember to pay attention to part where he talks about creating "illusion".
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.
User avatar
geekster
 
Posts: 4870
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:53 pm
Location: Hospice For The Terminally Breathing

Postby blyslv » Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:28 pm

Can you give more of an synopsis for those of us unlikely to buy the book?
Fight for the fifth freedom!
blyslv
 
Posts: 1562
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 2:22 pm
Location: Fanta Se NM

Postby geekster » Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:31 pm

But the bottom line for me is that I really don't give a crap about org drama. My expectations are fairly simple: I want to be able to have a place to pitch my tent and not be assaulted or stolen from. That is about it. What they do with the money really isn't my concern. When the event becomes not worth it for me, I won't go. It still is worth it at this point.

I don't feel any specific "ownership" of the event. I don't feel any need to define it or control it. I simply want to be free to express what it inside me and as long as I can do that, I really don't care. To the extent that I have been allowed to do that, I give the org my thanks for making the opportunity available.

That might seem kinda silly becuse one could say that I am free to express myself at any time at any place but the difference is that at BRC I can do so in a venue where the others are also primed to receive that gift. So it has more to do with being in a place where people feel safe expressing themselves allowing that expression to be less inhibited than might be the case at home.

I still get a chuckle, though, out of the notion that a camping trip could fund someone's IRA.
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.
User avatar
geekster
 
Posts: 4870
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:53 pm
Location: Hospice For The Terminally Breathing

Postby geekster » Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:33 pm

blyslv, I wouldn't want to misquote it. Let me look at it again (will have the chance on Monday evening) before I post.
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.
User avatar
geekster
 
Posts: 4870
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:53 pm
Location: Hospice For The Terminally Breathing

Postby EvilDustBooger » Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:47 pm

"There`s one born every minute"
User avatar
EvilDustBooger
 
Posts: 3813
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2005 2:56 pm
Location: Outside the Box

Postby Badger » Fri Jan 12, 2007 4:16 pm

..the rhetoric used to justify its existence collapsed in on itself as soon as Larry started publishing his fireside chats.


And the Sunday morning radio addresses to the nation.
.
Desert dogs drink deep.

Image
.
User avatar
Badger
 
Posts: 3322
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 2:43 pm
Location: San Francisco

Postby The CO » Fri Jan 12, 2007 4:32 pm

I've gotta agree with geekster, BBSue & other similar sentiments. I know how to not support BM if I don't want to.

I ran into this problem a few years ago with an event that I run. People bitched when we started charging for tickets, after 4 years of free (& going in the hole every time) admission. I was accused of trying to fund my trip to Burning Man with the profits (the what? Our 7th year was the first we didn't wind up in the red, and then just barely). My response was... Fuck you. If you don't want to, don't go. I was just unable to keep operating at a loss as the event got bigger & costs increased.

The money I spend on a ticket is nothing compared to the money I spend on my own camp. About 4% of my total costs last year for BRC. And worth every fucking penny!
M*A*S*H 4207th: An army of fun.
I don't care what the borg says: feather-wearers will NOT be served in Rosie's Bar.
Yes, I am the arbiter of doing it right or wrong. Guess which one you are!
User avatar
The CO
 
Posts: 1570
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 10:56 am
Location: I-CORPS, M*A*S*H HQ
Burning Since: 1996
Camp Name: M*A*S*H 4207th/404: Error

Postby gyre » Fri Jan 12, 2007 4:36 pm

The 2006 budget reads just like Showco's.
At least, until you get to the pages and pages that have been blacked out under "Special Operations".
"Everything is more wonderful when you do it with a car, don't you think?"
-girl by the fire, watching a tree moved by car bumper in the bonfire

It would be a shame if I had to resort to self-deception to preserve my faith in objective reality.
User avatar
gyre
 
Posts: 15465
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 6:01 pm
Location: ΦάÏ

Postby Bob » Fri Jan 12, 2007 4:45 pm

Just as ya'll are free to ignore the explicit commercialism of an event which maintains it has none, why not trust our legal system to sort things out?

John Law has a complaint. A complaint, in legal parlance, is a prayer, in which one prays for a judgment & declaratory relief. Just a simple prayer, folks. Look it up -- http://dictionary.lp.findlaw.com/
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

"Let us say I suggest you may be human." -- Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam
User avatar
Bob
 
Posts: 6762
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 10:00 am
Location: San Francisco
Burning Since: 1986
Camp Name: Royaneh

Postby Isotopia » Fri Jan 12, 2007 5:20 pm

Three men enter....

Image
User avatar
Isotopia
 
Posts: 2836
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 11:26 am

Postby geekster » Fri Jan 12, 2007 6:04 pm

Just as ya'll are free to ignore the explicit commercialism of an event which maintains it has none


I suppose if Burning Man were a church that preached a doctrine and then I saw the preacher do things that seemed counter to that doctrine I might stop going to that church. But Burning Man isn't a church to me.

People might be trying to connect this to more than it is. I will try to draw an analogy to how I see things:

Imagine you have some objects and three people decide to put these objects in a safe deposit box and if they ever turn out to be worth anything in the future, the benefit will be shared equally by all.

One of the three has been using these objects and paying the annual rent for the safe deposit box. Then one year he doesn't pay. A different person who we will call M327 has been taking care of the paperwork and is the billing contact for the safe deposit box. He sues the other two to recover the costs of maintaining it. The third person decides that the first person has been using these objects and has built a pretty big operation around them. He then decides to see how much they might really be worth but when he looks in the safe deposit box he finds it (gasp!) empty! The first person has taken the objects and placed them into a different safe deposit box that the other two have no claim to or control over.

Maybe Person Number One says "that's okay, I thought I would do you a favor so we wouldn't have to keep paying for that other box since those objects are never going to be worth anything" and maybe person number three says "not so fast, lets get someone else to have a look at things and see just how much they might be worth".
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.
User avatar
geekster
 
Posts: 4870
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:53 pm
Location: Hospice For The Terminally Breathing

Postby ZaphodBurner » Fri Jan 12, 2007 6:14 pm

Isotopia wrote:Three men enter....

Image



How the hell does -that- work?! The -winner- gets sent into the desert and the losers have to stay in the city...

Good idea! Auntie Entity is wriggling her Acid Queen lips in delight.

-zb
"The Red Baron is smart.. He never spends the whole night dancing and drinking root beer.. "-The WWI Flying Ace
User avatar
ZaphodBurner
 
Posts: 1336
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 3:05 pm
Location: Portland, OR
Burning Since: 2004
Camp Name: The Green Hour 2012 - 9:00 & D

Postby Teo del Fuego » Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:04 pm

I think the general consensus here is correct: we as attendee/participants really dont have a right to peek into the LLC's books, and the financial summary in the Afterburn Report is over and above the call of duty regardless whether some see it as cursory. John Law does have a strong interest and a right to see the books.

Other than entertainment value (and this discussion IS so much better than the vast majority of slow-season crap topics right now--including mine) are only real stake in the dispute is whether the trademark and trade name enter the public domain. Although Burning Man is something I try to spread to others, and I see it as being something that could, possibly, affect a positive influence in our society, I do want to keep the name and images associated with it exclusive.

Just out of my purient interest, does anyone know what Danger Ranger's beef with Harvey (i.e. demand for arbitration) was all about?
User avatar
Teo del Fuego
 
Posts: 1388
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:31 am
Location: Denver
Burning Since: 2005
Camp Name: Whiskey & Dust

Postby Bob » Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:18 pm

Excuse me, but aside from having a vote in the fucking boardroom, does Danger actually DO ANYTHING more than your average ticketholder?

Or Larry for that matter?
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

"Let us say I suggest you may be human." -- Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam
User avatar
Bob
 
Posts: 6762
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 10:00 am
Location: San Francisco
Burning Since: 1986
Camp Name: Royaneh

Postby geekster » Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:34 pm

Just out of my purient interest, does anyone know what Danger Ranger's beef with Harvey (i.e. demand for arbitration) was all about?


As far as I have been able to decipher from what John Law has posted on his blog, it has something to do with not paying the expenses for Paper Man which was the entity that used to hold all the magical talismans and amulets.
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.
User avatar
geekster
 
Posts: 4870
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:53 pm
Location: Hospice For The Terminally Breathing

Postby skygod » Fri Jan 12, 2007 8:00 pm

I can hear them fighting when I'm in bed at night.
"It will seem difficult in the beginning. But everything seems difficult in the beginning."- Musashi
User avatar
skygod
 
Posts: 743
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2005 9:50 am
Location: Twentynine Palms, CA

Postby Lassen Forge » Sat Jan 13, 2007 10:41 am

Bob wrote:Excuse me, but aside from having a vote in the fucking boardroom, does Danger actually DO ANYTHING more than your average ticketholder?

Or Larry for that matter?


They OWN the thing. That's a lot more than your average (or even above average) ticketholder.

I'm sorry... but that's like asking what Steve Jobs does at Apple more than your average Mac user. :roll: Seriously, you ARE joking, right?

Hmm... thinking about it, tho... maybe you should be on the BOD. This is the kind of thing one of them would post to stir shit up!

Or... wait a minnit... maybe you are.... Hmmm... Larry, is that really *you* behind the mask of Bob?? >giggles<

bb


________________
(edited numerous times for the heck of it - beware the spoon!)
User avatar
Lassen Forge
 
Posts: 5322
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 10:35 pm
Location: Where it's always... Wednesday. Don't lose your head over it.

Postby Bob » Sat Jan 13, 2007 12:33 pm

So sorry, but signing off on what other people do does not constitute DOING anything. The Man was designed a generation ago, and Larry only had a minimal hand in that. Someone else designs the Man base, which is still only a slight improvement over the straw bale pyramid, and he's had little to do with designing Black Rock City since 1997. Going on the lecture circuit also doesn't count as doing anything, unless you're expounding on how other people can win the Nobel Prize too. Deciding which crony artist is going to get their tenth or twelfth $40,000 art grant doesn't count as doing anything either, in my book. He doesn't build a camp. He doesn't decorate his own golf cart. He doesn't even drive his own RV.

Granted, the other board members don't really want him being anything but a Decider. Wouldn't be prudent.

At least Danger does something -- if you count parking your car & your Airstream in Walk-In Camping as being a doer. Oh, and every year he gets to pick a new shade of khaki for the Ranger uniforms.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

"Let us say I suggest you may be human." -- Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam
User avatar
Bob
 
Posts: 6762
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 10:00 am
Location: San Francisco
Burning Since: 1986
Camp Name: Royaneh

Postby Lassen Forge » Sat Jan 13, 2007 12:49 pm

Yep... thought so!

The language of the last post said it all!

Thanks for the confirmation!!

bb
User avatar
Lassen Forge
 
Posts: 5322
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 10:35 pm
Location: Where it's always... Wednesday. Don't lose your head over it.

Postby Bob » Sat Jan 13, 2007 1:23 pm

Shirley, nobody famous has posted on the eplaya since Sumner Redstone, who apparently had some licensing beef with Larry too.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

"Let us say I suggest you may be human." -- Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam
User avatar
Bob
 
Posts: 6762
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 10:00 am
Location: San Francisco
Burning Since: 1986
Camp Name: Royaneh

Postby geekster » Sat Jan 13, 2007 2:34 pm

What I am trying to figure out is why anyone really cares. I mean that sincerely. Why all the bruhaha? The event is different than it was when it was small because now it is huge. I really couldn't care less if Larry Harvey made 16.74 zillion gigabucks off the event and stole change out of Marian's purse. Last year I paid my $200-some and had an enjoyable time. If someone in the org is something or does something I don't like, it doesn't make ME that thing by attending. I don't like that the Baltimore Orioles traded Steve Finley and Curt Shilling away on the same day for some goofball who never ammounted to a pinch of cat crap either, but I still see them when they come to town.

It is kinda like the Center Camp Cafe crap that comes around every year. I really don't care. If you don't like it, don't look at it and don't go there. Simple.
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.
User avatar
geekster
 
Posts: 4870
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:53 pm
Location: Hospice For The Terminally Breathing

Postby Bob » Sat Jan 13, 2007 3:07 pm

I never know what to say to people who barge into a room only to say they don't care why you're there, other than Fuck You.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

"Let us say I suggest you may be human." -- Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam
User avatar
Bob
 
Posts: 6762
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 10:00 am
Location: San Francisco
Burning Since: 1986
Camp Name: Royaneh

Postby haptotrope » Sat Jan 13, 2007 3:32 pm

Just catching up on all the Hoo-hah. And indeed.. who runs bartertown?

I figured this was inevitable. Money and power corrupt absolutely. Even our happy-go-lucky utopia. Trade/Servicemarks and a bitch and a half...
haptotrope
 
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2005 2:18 pm
Location: Boston,MA

Postby geekster » Sat Jan 13, 2007 5:25 pm

I didn't say I don't care why people are there, I said I don't care what individual members of the LLC do or what they have done with marks and logos. People are there for a myriad of reasons.
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.
User avatar
geekster
 
Posts: 4870
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:53 pm
Location: Hospice For The Terminally Breathing

Postby helitack » Sat Jan 13, 2007 7:23 pm

geekster wrote:But the bottom line for me is that I really don't give a crap about org drama...
...What I am trying to figure out is why anyone really cares. I mean that sincerely. Why all the bruhaha?


Since you don't give a crap, why do you post so much here and elsewhere about this "issue"?
User avatar
helitack
 
Posts: 4131
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2004 10:00 pm
Location: A secret, undisclosed location in TexMexistan...
Burning Since: 2004
Camp Name: Apokiliptika

Postby geekster » Sat Jan 13, 2007 7:53 pm

Because I am hoping someone might tell me why I am supposed to care or why they care. I am trying to figure out why this is a big deal to anyone besides the three people involved. It probably won't change the event at all any way it goes.

Burning Man is what each of us makes it in the spaces we control. The overall event is an aggregation of what we all do in these spaces. Whatever the people in the front office do isn't going to change what we do in our space or you in yours so overall the impact of front office hijinks is ... pretty limited.

If they license the marks or if they make them public domain ... or if they smear them with goat dung and hang them from a tree, it isn't going to change what goes on at BRC on the playa.
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.
User avatar
geekster
 
Posts: 4870
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:53 pm
Location: Hospice For The Terminally Breathing

PreviousNext

Return to Politics & Philosophy

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests