Burning Man: America’s Largest Occult Festival Is A Celebration Of Weirdness And Hedonism

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Burning Man - Photo by Kyle Harmon70,000 people have descended upon a very bleak stretch of Nevada’s Black Rock Desert for what is perhaps the largest celebration of hedonism on the entire planet. Burning Man has been described as a “dystopian hellscape“, and that description is not too far from the truth. From August 25th to September 5th (Labor Day Monday), revelers from all over the world will dance, carouse and “express themselves” in a temporary city that has been created entirely by its citizens. This festival is part Mad Max, part Woodstock and part Eyes Wide Shut, and many “Burners” look forward all year long to these eight days of completely unrestrained hedonism.


30 years ago, Burning Man began as a small beach gathering in San Francisco. Initially held during the Summer Solstice, it quickly took on a life of its own and was moved to Nevada in 1990. Ever since then, this eight day party has not stopped growing, and people literally fly in from all over the world to witness one of the most bizarre spectacles in America.

To say that Burning Man is “weird” would not be doing it justice. In this very isolated corner of the Black Rock Desert, you will find nudists (lots of them), palm readers, neopagans, “ecosexuals”, witches, sorcerers, shamans, New Age gurus, “goddesses”, Satanists, “polyamorists” and just about every type of fetishist that you can possibly imagine.

The reason why the festival is called “Burning Man” is because of the gigantic effigy that is burned toward the end of the eight day celebration. Nobody is physically harmed during the burning of this enormous “wicker man”, but it does seem to parallel the human sacrifices that the Druids would do in ancient times. The following comes from Wikipedia

While other Roman writers of the time, such as Cicero, Suetonius, Lucan, Tacitus and Pliny the Elder, described human sacrifice among the Celts, only Caesar and the geographer Strabo mention the wicker man as one of many ways the Druids of Gaul performed sacrifices.[6] Caesar reports that some of the Gauls built the effigies out of sticks and placed living men inside, then set them on fire to pay tribute to the gods. Caesar writes that though the Druids generally used those found guilty of crimes deserving death, as they pleased the gods more, they sometimes used slaves and innocent men when no delinquents could be found.[7]

And even today, the burning of “wicker men” is very much associated with neopaganism. Here is more from that same Wikipedia article…

Wicker men are set ablaze during some neopagan festivities. A female effigy of wicker or other materials is burnt at the stake for the annual Danish celebration of Sankt Hans aften (Saint John‘s Eve). Typically, Celtic neopagans, Neo-druids, are those who use such a motif in their festivities because they, unlike other neopagan groups, are either inspired by, or follow a reconstructed form of, Celtic paganism[citation needed]. At other times, neopagans do not burn wicker men, but keep them as idols for protection, often merging them with the Green Man. Neopagan wicker men range from life sized to huge, humanoid, temporary sculptures that are set ablaze during a celebration, usually toward the end of the event. They are constructed with a wooden frame that is woven with flexible sticks such as willow often used in wicker furniture and fencing. Some wicker men are extremely complex and require days of construction.[9]

Of course the organizers of Burning Man strongly deny that it is an overtly occult festival, but it is undeniable that thousands upon thousands of occultists from all over the planet are drawn to this celebration each year.

However, there are many others that go to Burning Man just for the sex, drugs and techno music.

During these eight days people openly and freely use illegal drugs, and the authorities don’t seem to mind. Public nudity is also constantly on display, but once again law enforcement is nowhere to be found. Actually, if they are there it is usually to participate in the debauchery.

The biggest draw of all, however, is the casual sex that is absolutely rampant at Burning Man. And it isn’t just one on one sex that we are talking about. That would be way too boring. This is how the Daily Mail described what goes on during these eight days…

Sex between ‘Burners’, as festival-goers are known, is known variously as ‘dust love’ or ‘tent trysts’, and old hands suggest it is simply ‘selfish’ to stick to monogamy. Public nudity, especially by women, is actively encouraged, while orgies — or at the very least partner swapping, if not threesomes — have become just as much a feature of Burning Man as the ceremonial torching of a huge wooden effigy of a man to celebrate the summer solstice.

Group sex is actively encouraged at so-called ‘theme camps’ — giant tent complexes where free bars encourage visitors to loosen up and participate. A popular venue is the so-called ‘Orgy Dome’, run by a group calling itself And Then There’s Only Love, though conventional notions of love are hardly what’s fostered inside its giant dome tent.

If the “Orgy Dome” is not your style, there are definitely other kinky activities available

The Orgy Dome is hardly alone. There is also a ‘Group Sex Bus’, the ‘Sex Libido Lounge’, and a Canadian-run club with an unprintable name where judges give points to amorous couples for ‘style’ and ‘inventive poses’.

To some of you reading this article, this may sound like paradise.

In fact, some of you might be thinking that you may want to attend Burning Man next year.

But the truth is that there is such an emptiness to this kind of reckless animal behavior. People “let loose” to try to give meaning to their otherwise meaningless lives, but any pleasures that are enjoyed are quite fleeting. In the end, many participants return to their “normal lives” feeling even emptier than before. This is how an editorial in the New York Post put it…

Sure, it looks fun to spend a few days enjoying a gift economy, listening to techno, cooling off in refrigeration trucks and gawking at surreal sculptures or taking in offbeat performance art. But, according to Daniel Yudkin, a social psychology Ph.D. candidate at New York University, as reported by Quartz, the eight days of decadent hedonism provide once-a-year opportunities for attendees to experience bona fide connections with others. All the other non-Burning days of their lives? Not so much.

Rather than reflecting how much fun Burning Man is, the reality of people spending thousands of dollars — on travel, accommodations, tickets and drugs — serves as proof that their non-Burner days are pathetically empty. “I think the fact that people invest so much of their own resources and time and energy to going to Burning Man suggests that there’s something missing, that there’s something Burning Man fulfills for them that they don’t get in day-to-day life,” Yudkin says.

Ultimately, the truth is that you are not going to find meaning in life through sex, drugs, public nudity, weird art and loud techno music.

You can try every pleasure under the sun, but it is still not going to fill that hole that you feel deep inside of you.

In America today, there is a greater spiritual void than ever before. People are searching for meaning and purpose in all sorts of places and not finding it.

Unfortunately, I think that this helps to explain the popularity of Burning Man. Multitudes of Americans are deeply dissatisfied with their regular lives, and they are searching for something real.

Sadly, the revelers at Burning Man are not going to find anything real to soothe their aching hearts. Instead, they will only find more pain, more frustration and more emptiness.

  • K

    There are some, who think this harmless fun. It can open the pathways to pure evil

  • MaxRockatansky33

    Nicolas Cage will be there.

    • Jim Davis

      That re-make sucked. The original Wicker Man is a classic.

    • TheLulzWarrior

      “No, not the bees! Not the beeees!”

  • RageHard84

    Looks like people have found a way to turn loose sexuality into a holiday event.

  • Guest

    Totally disgusting.

  • kfilly

    Yep, practicing the occult like other great socialist nations of the past (Nazi Germany, USSR). This won’t end well for religious people.

    • LOL

      Cloud cuckoo lander…

      • kfilly

        Why don’t you look it up comrade? BTW, Antonio Gramsci’s plan to make the Western World communist involved some great things like making society secular, destroying the traditional nuclear family, making people believe the government is the solution to all problems, and distracting with pop culture/sports. Those are all great qualities socialists promote. Karl Marx also wrote some poems dedicated to Satan. Saul Alinsky’s book “Rules for Radicals” has a dedication to the ultimate radical–Satan. On second thought, you will probably choose to remain ignorant.

        • iris

          Yes, I’ve read some of those writings you mentioned. This has been the plan since before the 1930’s in this country. The ball really started rolling in the 30’s, but was only in the upper echelons of society and academia. By the 50’s it had turned many churches in the mainline denominations into nothing more than clubs with a social gospel. By the 70’s the country as a whole was seeing the effects. But so much more has happened in the last 30 years in this inexorable march to dismantle what was once a law abiding, stable society. In fact, I believe that in many ways, we’ve already been dismantled, and it’s sad that the socialists and progressives out there are applauding, because it will have negative effects for them, perhaps worse, and I’m only referring to the physical ramifications, not the spiritual ones.

          • kfilly

            Yes, socialists will applaud their captors all the way until they are in shackles. They have the ultimate case of Stockholm Syndrome. Modern socialism is economic slavery imposed by “socialist” bankers.

          • iris

            So true, because they really believe the equity and freedom promised them will occur. But it always turns out like Orwell’s takes on it, 1984 and Animal Farm. Humanism, Socialism, Communism, all go the same way. The “tolerant” ones end up becoming the most intolerant of all, and it regresses to something more unreliable and violent than the oppression they were trying to overthrow, because that’s what people will do without the love and power of the Holy Spirit’s rule. We try to play God, but only He can make things truly equitable and peaceful. He will come back and make His world right again. waiting..

  • SRVES339

    Is this one of Bubba’s Foundation “Initiatives?”

  • guest

    Celebration of debauchery, as in the days of lot. Every sort of perversion, 24hr orgy tent, souls on Nitro-charged abandon, highway to hell.Burning man 2014, a man commits suicide or self sacrifice to demon entities by running into blazing bonfire.

  • Robert

    Sturgis? Daytona Bike Week (all black)? Key West festival? Spring break anywhere. This stuff happens all over annually. We live in a pagan culture and have for many years. Rome was pagan. Egypt. Babylon. Nazi Germany. All of Europe today. All same.

  • Ray S.

    The burning man is also depicting what will happen to their souls after this life… They will be burning in the eternal flames of hell. As all these spectators and participators celebrate this event, satan’s demonic army stands by laughing because they know that one day soon they will actually have them propped up just like the wicker man and burning forever in that lake of fire.

  • Dan Jones

    satan is so slick, however most people in America (including Christians) are under strong delusion because they do not want to leave their life of sin… pray for those who can still be reached because the number is getting smaller by the day…

    Always be a light that is shininginthedark.c

  • Chris Gerber

    I just want to know…. Do they have cookies?

    What a stark reality there is between the Kingdom of Heaven and God and the Secular pagan society known for being totally destroyed by a worldwide flood so long ago. I’ll bet the Nephalim were invited, but couldn’t come due to being locked up until their judgment comes.

  • Jim Davis

    Hey evangelicals, get a life! This is Nunyabizness!

    A) They aren’t bothering you or anyone else since there is no one around for miles who doesn’t want to be there.
    B) They aren’t asking for any tax money.

    • Paul Patriot


      Is that all you got?????

      Wow, you really don’t have a clue do you?????


    • Mistanick

      Jim, each of us has a responsibility to mold and shape our world that will make it a better place for our families and those who follow us. Debauchery such as is present at this “festival” at a minimum works to destroy virtuous behavior. Debauchery, nothing new as it has existed for thousands of years, destroys everything that comes in contact with it. That is why good men care about goes on around them.

      • Paul Patriot

        Well said. Some folks just don’t get it, and seem to think, “as long as it does not affect me, I could care less”

        As you correctly stated, this depravity will affect our culture and future if left unabated.

        • Mistanick

          Thank you. This is why the political philosophy of the Libertarians is so dangerous. They believe that most things should be… just ok. Hey man, doesn’t bother you so let it be. Drugs, prostitution and I presume all manner of other perversions such as beastiality, the legality of dangerous drugs including marijauna (medical use? No, other non- addictive alternatives exist and every drug head knows it) Multiple wives? Why not? The Libertarian limp wrists created a platform that validates their members own sin.

          • Jim Davis

            Beastiality? Who mentioned that? I think you may be projecting there.

          • iris

            Did you know that the American Psychiatric Association has been pushing for the last few to several years, for pedophilia to be considered normal behavior? That’s much worse than bestiality, albeit, that’s gross, imo, because now, we’re talking about innocent babies-not as innocent, but still very young comparatively, teenagers, being manipulated for a young-older adult’s pleasure and or money. Sometimes, child swapping is also included.

          • iris

            You’re possibly correct that the comment you replied to was off-topic, but when that event occurs, other things besides adult to adult interactions might be involved with it.

          • GV

            the religious authoritarian mind automatically goes to bestiality

          • GV

            but you people constantly claim that “god” gave everyone free will, so what are you complaining about?
            maybe you need to live in a more religious fundamentalist country, try Saudi Arabia

          • Mistanick

            God lays out that the primary duties and responsibilities of civil government are the protection of law abiding citizens and the punishment of law breaking criminals. Psalm 101 reminds us that the duty of God honoring rulers is to destroy the wicked, root out evil and to protect the law abiding. You have the choice and free will to obey the laws or break them as you wish.

          • FUBO

            No, I’ll stay here in a country that was founded with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence,

      • Joe

        Christians always trying to force people to live a certain way.

    • Preacher62

      I…. I don´t have a life! Don´t you know that Wiccans can do real magic, that pokemons are demons and that Hogwarth really exist?!!

      BTW, Satan is why so many people thinks I am a nutjob, my own behaviour is not at fault.

  • Mistanick

    Good article Michael. Not much more to say about it all as your article covers the bases.

  • Eevie

    The warnings are out. Do not attend any huge gatherings of people the first half of this month, September. Things are planned and they aren’t good.

    • Mistanick

      Mock it at your peril Eevie.

      • Eevie

        Mock what? I’m serious. Stay away from crowds this month.

  • iris

    Praising the Lord for your testimony, thanks for sharing it. Now you have Him! It’s the same for all of us who have known what things looked like without Him. We went from death to life. Not all of us were addicted to drugs or were promiscuous, etc., but we were lost, empty, or restless, regardless. This our God, who loves sinners and came to save such. And even though I still have a way to go, He’s going to get me there. My hope and trust and confidence are in Him.

    • Paul Patriot

      Amen sister!!!! Thank you fir your beautiful comments.

      Grace be with you.

      • iris

        Thanks, and with you, too!

  • Carol

    This is the work of satan demons fill this place……..Evil satan is behind this he has all these lost souls, these lost souls sad to say will all probley take the mark of the beast 666 satans number…….. they are lost souls headed to hell the lake of fire……..THEY choose to live evil lives, and reject BEAUTIFUL JESUS CHRIST THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD ……..They will be sorry that they rejected JESUS ……Hell is hot fire for eternity that will never go out ……pain and suffering in pure torment……its not worth it JESUS CHRIST IS WORTH IT HE’S LIFE ETERNAL……….GOD I S LOVE……..

  • TheLulzWarrior

    What about the men?

    In any case Eric Cartman said he is going to bring Cthulu to trash the Burning Man festival because its full of hippies and, of course, crush Justin Bieber.

  • Denis Durashkin

    If Burning Man fest is so evil then why no violent crimes are reported when it takes place? More than 60,000 people gether together in one place and behave themselves peacefully. Doesn’t it speak for itself? And now imagine a typical paranoid prepper sitting in a bunker armed to the teeth and waiting when people outside start killing each other because God “say” they would. I can’t even imagine what a hole and spiritual void these people suffer inside. Poor crazy idiots.

    • Randy Rogers

      Not criminal per se, morally depraved, yes.

      • Denis Durashkin

        Evil people are always violent and aggressive, aren’t they? Spiritual emptiness comes when a person has no actual love to others in his heart. Such a person can be moral, in terms that he does not sin against moral rules. He just cannot love. He wants but cannot. Because evil lives in his soul, his soul is black, his soul is dead. Evil in his soul just takes another forms. Not sins but paranoia, panic attacks. FEAR. He is afraid of future which is dark and really-really frightening. He is afraid of satanists or masons or somebody else. Actually it doesn’t matter what he’s afraid of. Because it is always one and the same thing – it is emptiness inside of him.

        • iris

          Good observation, “Perfect love casts out fear”! Yet, we who do have God’s love, are also called to warn others about evil, because God loves them, as He loves those of us who know Him. To know and warn others that something evil is behind a certain event or pending event, is usually not related to fear, but love. If a building was on fire, I’d hope you’d want me to scream or call the police or knock really hard on your door, if you weren’t aware of it yet, and I knew you were inside.

          • Denis Durashkin

            Do you remember: How unsearchible are His judgements and how untreaceble are His ways! A man can not even count the stars on the sky. What a man can know about the ways of Him who is more than the Universe itself? Of cource you should scream and knock really hard if you saw a bulding was on fire. But first you should ask youself – do you really see that fire? Or may be you just want it to see? And you want it to see because you think it is God makes you see. STOP. How I can see things which only God can see? And I know for sure from the Bible that I cannot see what only God can see. Then why I’m trying to act as if it is me God? WHO makes me think such terrible and sinister things? And the only answer to this question DEVIL DOES.

          • Paul Patriot

            “What a man can know about the ways of Him who is more than the Universe itself? ”

            By searching God’s word to learn of God’s will and ways……

            Christians are called to judge all things according to the scriptures…….

            Strange how often Christians are accused for being judgemental, when all they are doing is simply saying what the Bible has to say about sin and judgement.

          • GV

            stop your “moral” preening

        • Randy Rogers

          Not necessarily, I know many morally depraved individuals who aren’t violent or aggressive. Evil yes.

          • Denis Durashkin

            Then what is evil? A morally depraved person? And who can judge? Don’t forget that to judge other when they did not make any harm to anybody is strictly prohibited by God: Judge not, lest ye be judged

          • Paul Patriot

            Evil is any deviation of God’s moral law and principles. It does not have to involve physical violence. It can be fornication, lying, drunkenness, lusting, adultery, participation in witchcraft, divination or occult practices.

          • Randy Rogers

            Hypocritical judgement is forbidden by Jesus, see the context, “judge nut lest you be judged”, we all make judgements everyday.

  • Paul Patriot

    Gay veteran……where are you??? Come out come out wherever you are, your sarcastic comments towards those “intolerant” Christians and their books condemnation against sexual sin, and depravity is missed by all I am sure.

    • GV

      problems with Disqus.
      wonder why?
      btw, I’m amazed at how you people spend so much time on things like Burning Man when there is much good you could do in YOUR own communities.
      but carry on, pray loudly at that street corner

  • George Francis

    It’s depressing and offensive that the writer of this article does not understand the immense love and healing that happens at the event.

    Its fascinating that evangelicals are the ones searching and seeking out evil in the world, and calling other people’s lives pointless and empty. Do you actually know that? No. You’re assuming that because they do not hold your prescribed belief system, they are sad people.

    Grow up, child. You live in a city with strip clubs, drugs behind closed doors, and more “evil” that you can imagine. Instead you point out the one or two “orgy domes” at an event as an indicator of the entire festival which has no crime and people try to be happy and love each other. Most “burners” I know of don’t like the idea of an orgy or wont go to these places…just like you don’t go to a strip club.

    Shame on you for overlooking the love shared at the event. You make Christians look like fools. Shame on you. You aren’t loving these people. Jesus would be disappointed.

    Where is your love for the world? I can’t see it. I doubt you can either. Continue making pointless correlations about satanic rituals and assuming people are sad lonely and empty. Must make you feel better. Building stuff that is beautiful and setting it on fire is actually pretty awesome. Don’t you know Christmas got it’s traditions from paganism?

    Good way to get attention though!

    • Paul Patriot

      Wow!!! Yet another one who has no clue! No, Jesus would NOT be disappointed at his followers calling sin sin and preaching the gospel of repentance that he commanded his followers to preach and allowing the Holy Spirit, “who convicts the world of sin” to do his job to convict a sinful world to repent. True love for the world
      does that. It is not loving to not say anything and just sit back and sing kumbaya while people go to hell.

      Yes, Christmas is pagan….Christians should not celebrate it in the way our culture currently does…..and your point is???

      The reason many Christians know of the pointlessness and vanity is that they have been there themselves, thinking they were living a meaningfully , only until they come to know Jesus, do they realize how empty their lives were when engaged in activity contrary to the laws and precepts of God.

      • George Francis

        Notice that this person is using his faith to call me clueless. It’s the reason so many people have left the church, because they have found more love and meaning elsewhere.

        The focus of this website is to create content and attract visitors who enjoy finding reasons why the world is evil, instead of spreading love and acceptance to solve the world’s greatest problems.

        Burning Man is a place that will help humanity do that. It isn’t perfect, and attracts lots of attention. Healing happens there, and the pundits will never be able to see that, all the while pointing fingers and driving others away from the very faith they’re trying to advertise.

        • Paul Patriot

          Wow!!!! You really don’t get it do you???

          The natural man cannot understand the spiritual things unless the Holy Spirit reveals it, so your discernment is lacking when it comes to discerning good and evil, from God’s perspective.

          The reason people are leaving the churches, is either one of two reasons:
          1) The compromised doctrine, similar to what you have reflected in your comments…..folks are tired of apostisized, compromised churches.
          2) folks don’t want to hear Truth of God’s word, and simply want to have their ears tickled, and be told that their sin is not “too bad” and that God will accept everyone just the way they are….

          Before you respond and call me a narrow minded, dogmatic, hater…..read the scriptures for yourself and see the whole character of God…..yes, he is loving and merciful……but, he is also a Holy, righteous judge that hates sin…

          • iris

            Truth be told, deep down, everyone who is sane, wants justice. It’s a God given desire. The problem is, that most of us want our understanding of it. God’s ways are far above our own, and while it’s difficult to see injustice in the world, those of us who know Him, can see light at the end of the tunnel, that there will indeed come a day when wrongs are righted, and tears are wiped away. He is Love, according to John, and love has no place with hate and self righteousness and unforgiveness. The Bible also says in James, that His mercy triumphs over His judgement. Those who reject Christ are choosing hell, which He died to rescue us from. Without believing in and accepting the mercy of God through Christ, we must be judged according to our works. Our works aside from God’s doing in us, will never be enough. He is a fair and merciful judge. In His fairness, those who have rejected the only way to escape God’s just punishment for sin, offered only through Christ Jesus, will consign themselves to their own ways, which will result in eternal suffering, especially spiritually and mentally, but also physically, because we are a combination of body and soul. His mercy will be greater than His judgement for them, but His fair judgement must occur.

    • Bethany Gingerich

      My thoughts exactly George Francis!! ❤️ This type of uninformed negativity is fodde for people who already think something is evil and just want their views validated. My Burning Man experience was positive and had nothing in common with the event this absurd article describes.

  • horse777res

    I heard that Bill Clinton is the Grand Marshall.

  • Tatiana Covington

    Avoid sexual intercourse.

  • Mlady_Raka

    There is a hole in man’s heart which only turning to the One who Created Him can fill…and that filler is His Holy Spirit…through the sacrifice His Holy Son has made to blot out our sin… There is no other choice…but man will continue to look here and there and everywhere but by the feet of Lord YHWH….because he’d rather DIE his own way, than live according to the guidelines of the One who created him… How selfish spite is….and how self destructive… He wants the freedom to choose his chains…and chained he is…instead of taking that step toward TRUE freedom…freedom FROM chains and one with His Creator in perfect love….

    • iris

      Yes, thank you!

  • Andrew

    There is no need for cynicism and skepticism . There is hope for America. Hedonism is surely not the answer. Pleasure cannot bring healing and peace to the deeply sick and troubled human.The answer has been given humankind.Turn to the Maker and Redeemer of all – Jesus Christ. He is the only one who can bring fulfillment and peace to every human soul.

    • iris

      So true!

  • shots autism

    Nudist is not a s. fetish or have ulterior motives. I was able to prove that last May/June when I did something extreme to stop my hair loss (I’m in my upper 20s and couldn’t stop it from falling out no matter how healthy I ate so I decided to beat nature). I lost all libido and everything related to it like even thinking some piercings are cute on girls. However I was still a nudist. If u want to know the lack of libido hormones simply got rid of the urge / strong desire to be naked like when I got home from work but I still was a nudist. Only after a close relative died and other things did I decide to follow the Lord. Worldly music was really tough to stop listening to, cussing even harder, giving up nudism was almost impossible. Games like Grand Theft Auto and Tomb Raider (she’s not dressed right) was hard to let go. The hardest thing is tithes (10%) because I’m poor and not being ashamed of Him. Also wearing pants because the southwest US where I live is incredibly hot without gonad hormones. I’m not sure about the wearing pants part like if God expects that because of my condition which makes life hard in heat. If I take then stop taking hormones could put me back into male menopause. Also following a dress code of anything to bed in Phx in summer not sure if I can next summer cause I couldn’t this summer. Not sure about that. No one should do what I did but I don’t know if I should regret it or not. Wish I had money to move to a cooler place.
    After awhile of getting closer to the Lord and quitting it the urge for music and certain games goes away but you just have to propose in your heart to give up everything and follow Him. I’m limited to doing certain things in the summer. It’s not worth it having a few years of pleasure. Also another thing I’m not sure about is red wine which is really healthy but I think the Bible says something about strong drink.