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The Assless Chapel Newsletter #32: Radical Inclusion Edition

The Chaplain’s Weekly Screed

The Radical Inclusion principle is expressed as: “Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.” I take pride in our camp for living up to this. Our camp agreements on inclusion, included the following:

“The Assless Chapel welcomes everyone on his or her own merits. We have no requirements other than those set down in here.”


“We will view one another through the lens of a generosity of heart; try hard to be good campmates; and give of ourselves, to one another, the camp and the Playa. If a problem develops with someone else in the camp, then work it out with him or her directly, with humility and civility, and in a spirit of understanding, love and generosity.”

Because we have no camp dues, we keep socioeconomic criteria to a minimum. Anyone who wants to join and contribute is welcome. There was a couple from last year I didn’t invite again because Radical Inclusion has its limits, but all I – speaking just for myself – really need from someone is that s/he is trying to contribute and live the Ten Principles when on-Playa. More than any ideals we hold, however, what I’ve seen on the Playa – the inclusive instincts of you all – are what I’m really proud to be a part of.

That being said, Burning Man is not for everyone. We all want our friends to come, but once you understand Burning Man you understand that it’s not for everyone. That’s not about excluding anyone, but just understanding that not everyone will enjoy it and even some who may enjoy it could make it a lesser experience for others if they do shitty things. In fact, there are behaviors that we would not tolerate, if they deliberately, repeatedly and/or callously endanger peoples’ safety, put our camp’s good standing at risk, make life more difficult for those around them or intrude upon others’ mental well-being.

As a camp, I want us to bring in virgins when we can, but there’s also a limit to that. Too many virgins means too many people that may be a drag on the camp and a risk that we end up with too many unacculturated folks that take some of the Burning Man out of the Burn. I also like to have people I don’t really know join but, again, too many increases the chances things go awry. In actuality, though, I don’t worry about these things too much as I strongly believe that my burn is my burn.

I’m turning these unorganized thoughts over in mind because, as you may already know, we have 12 tickets, but with Stargazer, Dreammaker and Antony bowing out, we have 4 spots open. I am reaching out to everyone to discuss this issue. As of now, I’m thinking we should get a mix of people who we know and one or two new people. I think I’d like to bring in, at most, one more virgin. Please send me your thoughts.

Speaking of inclusion, here is Mr. Rogers’ statement on Radical Inclusion at Burning Man:

Group News

So, as some of you may know, Sia is going to enroll in massage school. Originally, she thought she would have to sit this burn out. Turns out, the program literally has a break from studies for everyone to go to Burning Man! I’m sure I can speak on behalf of all of us in congratulating her and wishing her a successful journey toward becoming a massage therapist.

Current list of campers:

1. Katie

2. Seamus

3. The Assless Chaplain

4. Red

5. Curtis

6. Becky

7. Squid

8. Sia

Still need to get me the signed agreements document:


Wedding Planning

As of now, I have two legal weddings planned. Neither will occur at camp. All are invited, but no one is required to come, except Red. I am not trying to add any other weddings. Our schedule is quite full and I already feel like I’m overbooked!

Black Rock City News

· The 2023 Survival Guide is out! Read it!

· Animalistic and Sunrise weddings will be in WhatWhereWhen. Soon I’ll post our other events to the online directory only.

Placement / Ticket News

Placement News

This section is repeated from last week for reference.

For the curious, here’s the Placement calendar:

July: Placement team announces neighbors

June 29: Last day to make changes to Work Access Pass requests (for theme camps/villages only)

Early August: Work Access Passes emailed to placed theme camps/villages

August 21: Placement begins on playa; camps arrive according to their WAP arrival date

August 27: Gate Opens @ 12:00 am (midnight) — BRC begins!

September 2: The Man burns

September 5: Camps must depart BRC and leave no trace!

October 25: Post-playa Report due

November: Statement of Intent opens for 2024 returning theme camps and villages

January 2024: 2023 Camp Standing announced to placed theme camps/villages

Ticket News

Ticket status:

· Mona’s two tickets will go to Curtis and Linda, along with the vehicle pass. It does include a vehicle pass, right Curtis?

· My BORG-issued ticket and vehicle pass has been issued to Katie.

· Seamus has two tickets but no vehicle pass. One ticket is up for grabs.

· Yosi has two tickets and a vehicle pass. One ticket is up for grabs, along with the vehicle pass.

· I have two tickets and a vehicle pass. One ticket is up for grabs, not the vehicle pass.

· Gianna has two tickets and a vehicle pass. One ticket will go to Sia, the other is up for grabs.

· Becky has a ticket from Main Sale. She does not need a vehicle pass. Becky, I know you were holding on to your vehicle pass for ‘just in case’, but it looks like we have what we need.

Again, let’s all marinate on this for the next week and then make some decisions and start distributing tickets.

Ticket Status: xxxxxxxxxxxx 150% of targeted tickets secured. 4 tickets need homes.

Current Pre-Build, Build Week, Burn Week and Exodus Schedule

This section contains the same, weekly updated schedule as the spreadsheet.

Over time, I’d like to add everyone else’s dates for when they plan to pack, head out and arrive on the Playa and, of course, when they plan to Exodus. I’ll also add in any pre-planned weddings. So, please let me know as you make your Burning Man plans.

Upcoming Tasks

· Curtis, please send me your signed agreements document.

· Everyone, please think about what we want to do with the 4 extra tickets.

· Curtis, please confirm that you’re getting a vehicle pass from Mona.

· Please update me on your travel and prep plans as you make them.

As always, I have attached the most recent organizer file.

Closing Thoughts

The easiest way to be a douche on the Playa is to exclude others. I know this because I’ve been guilty of it. [Redacted] I still feel bad about it, though I also need to remind myself not to take too much on myself.

One year, a campmate of mine put together Club Exclusivo. Beautiful entryway. Red velvet rope. Great music. But he didn’t let almost anyone in. And, of course, if you did get let in, there was just open Playa behind the door. It was great performance art and some folks got really into trying desperately to get in as part of the performance. I drafted some folks to act like paparazzi outside the club. If my friend did finally let someone in, we’d go crazy about how it’s Richard Gere or something like that. What made it hilarious was not just the absurdity that there was no club, but that we were touting exclusivity in a place that is generally devoid of exclusivity.

Conversely, those of us that experienced Sacbe last year cringed at the lack of inclusion. And that’s part of the reason BORG has banned them from the Playa. I’ve similarly seen Mutant Vehicle staff cherry pick who they’ll let on: generally, hot chicks. And they come off as douches.

Meanwhile, the Playa’s got some heroes, with some folks putting together Camp Mobility and an associated Mutant Vehicle. The Playa is a tough place for anyone. With a physical disability, it’s even harsher. So kudos to Camp Mobility for making it possible for those who might not be able to make it otherwise.

“I’ve learned never to expect people to be better than they are, but to always have faith that they can be more.”

-Larry Harvey

The Man Burns in 66 days!

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