Reported suicide on the playa

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ThePhunnyGuy
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Sad...

Post by ThePhunnyGuy » Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:14 am

this may be in the worst taste...

but didnt anyone else find it a little funny that he did it at the "Comfort and Joy" camp....

guess it wasnt Comfortable nor Joyful.....

TPG

and on second thought, it isnt in bad taste....

Guest

Re: Sad...

Post by Guest » Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:40 am

[quote="ThePhunnyGuy"]this may be in the worst taste...

but didnt anyone else find it a little funny that he did it at the "Comfort and Joy" camp....

guess it wasnt Comfortable nor Joyful.....

TPG

and on second thought, it isnt in bad taste....[/quote]

There is no irony in this at all. My heart goes out to his family and friends. I respect his decision completely. He felt comfortable to do it. And he was not alone when he did. The ultimate art project: death. He will be missed.

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the fire elf
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...

Post by the fire elf » Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:49 am

[quote="spec·u·late"]Origin: 1590–1600; < L speculÄ
instantiate vacuous truth

ThePhunnyGuy
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Death...

Post by ThePhunnyGuy » Tue Sep 04, 2007 12:24 pm

The guy killed himself....I am sorry he did....

but he killed himself at the Comfort and Joy camp......

was that his message or did he just find someone place that would support the rope.....

he shouldnt have, i agree.....

TPG.....

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Isotopia
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Post by Isotopia » Tue Sep 04, 2007 1:52 pm

I am curious to know what was in his head.
Poor bastard probably had just one too many pieces of blinky moop 'gifted' to him this year.

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Eric
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Re: Reported suicide on the playa

Post by Eric » Tue Sep 04, 2007 2:15 pm

mensen wrote:Did someone see the suicide note? It said the following:

"I am doing this because I have chosen to die in a place I love. I know many of you are too self conscious to look up and see my rotting corpse. It is just not cool. I might be messing with you heads. I predict no one will notice me for awhile. Which is good. I die with a smile knowing that this cosmic joke has come to and end."
I'm curious where you got this. According to the Reno sheriffs department they don't have a suicide note.

As for it happening at Comfort & Joy- my heart goes out to the people in that camp. They spend so much energy trying to give exactly what their name says, and for this to happen to them is horrible. As far as I've heard the person wasn't with their camp, and no one saw the act.
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C187
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Post by C187 » Tue Sep 04, 2007 4:14 pm

Someone came by and told us about this on Friday, or was it burn day? Any way, if it truly was at Comfort and Joy, you have to giggle a little about it and take a drink in his name. Good trip; Bad trip; Performance art; or other. Nothing we can do now to bring that person back. All we can do is respect his choice, and hug our friends.
I have a little bit of Savannah with me. Shhh...

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Rich
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All very tragic etc.

Post by Rich » Tue Sep 04, 2007 4:28 pm

We had a campmate, really a village mate, 'try' to commit suicide this year.

The girl who found this person (conscious) had to deal with this, well, f...ing drama.

I mean, sweet jesus on the cross, what are 'Get out of Drama Free' cards for if not to get out of this sort of crap?

But no, our new friend was forced to 'gift' her kindness to this wanker, who got to visit the hospital in Reno, and then _came back_.

And this had a _major_ negative effect on our friend.

Sure, Alienfry is right when he/she wrote "suicide boils down to: pain outweighs coping mechanisms. and when that happens it can be very difficult to think logically."

But the problem is that the suicide has an impact on others. Suiciding in a dramatic public way impacts on lots of people, and my personal philosophy is that it is wrong for us to impose that cost on other people.

A reason for many public spectacle suicides is to create a spectacle, and to have an impact on others. This person was 'sad' and whatever else was going on for him. He probably has friends and loved ones. My sympathies to them.

BUT I believe that some/many/most people who commit suicide have a romantic and distorted view of suicide. They see the outpouring of emotion which follows suicides and twist it into thinking that they will get that love and emotion if they kill themselves.

And it works. C187's response reflects the normal healthy human response "All we can do is respect his choice, and hug our friends."

But...if we 'respect his choice' we are tacitly encouraging others to do the same thing.

It is a horrible dilemma: offer honest human and humane sympathy and encourage more public suicide, or laugh at him. Mock him. Attempt to create the social 'agreement' that 'we just don't do that.'

A camp mate and I were talking about the street sign theft. I started to say "when we see a BM street sign at a friend's house...' and she interupted and said '-punch him in the face.'

In the same way, if your camp mate attempts suicide, look them in the face, sneer, and say 'you're doing it wrong you fucking whore.'

And if they succeed in killing themselves, then my spawn's answer in an earlier post is pretty close to my own feelings:

I'd drop her first line of "I think he's a dumbass and deserves to be mocked, not felt sorry for." He doesn't necessarily deserve to be mocked, and we are all human and deserve each other's care and sympathy, but the second line is dead on:

"Don't fucking kill yourself. It's stupid, and people will laugh at you."


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the fire elf
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...

Post by the fire elf » Tue Sep 04, 2007 5:16 pm

i projected suicidal thoughts onto the form of a tribe account,
then 'killed' it in a cathartic act of release...

if you're feeling suicidal, just gather some cyber friends and kill the account...

see if that helps...

if not, drink a couple gallons of water and sit around and think it through

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Re: All very tragic etc.

Post by skygod » Tue Sep 04, 2007 5:39 pm

Rich wrote:The girl who found this person (conscious) had to deal with this, well, f...ing drama.

I mean, sweet jesus on the cross, what are 'Get out of Drama Free' cards for if not to get out of this sort of crap?
[/b]
How are you going to be free of drama with 50K people around you? The only way to escape drama is to be alone. And even then you have to deal with yourself.
"It will seem difficult in the beginning. But everything seems difficult in the beginning."- Musashi

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Post by epaschold » Tue Sep 04, 2007 8:03 pm

His identity has been confirmed. His name is Jerm. He is our friend, our brother, and in so many ways- our son. I've known him for about 8 amazing years. He was an artist, a DJ, and an extremely magical being. Jerm loved Burning Man and he was called home to outer space where he came from. It's so sad that he's gone from this physical realm, but I know he will live on with us forever.

Please send love and support for all of his friends and family- Thank you.

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Post by diane o'thirst » Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:27 pm

You have, as ever, my heartfelt condolences. Would that it hadn't happened, would that he found the strength to stay with you, and us. Travelers' blessing.

Here's a hug.

(((((((((((((epaschold)))))))))))))))
[url=http://tinyurl.com/245sagf][img]http://tinyurl.com/2bbr28j/.gif[/img][/url][url=http://tinyurl.com/23753ws][img]http://tinyurl.com/2auqebj/.gif[/img][/url][url=http://tinyurl.com/m4y82q][img]http://tinyurl.com/l56rdn/.gif[/img][/url]

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Eric
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Post by Eric » Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:35 pm

my sincerest condolences. My sympathy goes out to you and your friends, as well as his family.
It's a camping trip in the desert, not the redemption of the fallen world - Cryptofishist

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MoisturePup
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Re: Sad...

Post by MoisturePup » Wed Sep 05, 2007 12:23 pm

ThePhunnyGuy wrote:this may be in the worst taste...

but didnt anyone else find it a little funny that he did it at the "Comfort and Joy" camp....

guess it wasnt Comfortable nor Joyful.....

TPG

and on second thought, it isnt in bad taste....

Hello everybody,

I'm back from the burn and I have to say this was the most chaotic and amazing year I've ever attended. The Man burning on Monday brought a sense of "anything could happen" early on in the week... and in fact it did.

On Thursday morning I woke up to the sound of a ranger outside my tent telling another camp mate that we were all being detained and needed to go to the kitchen, and that our residential tents were part of a crime scene. Startled I rolled out of bed and unzipped my tent, I was told to get dressed and to go to the kitchen. The Rangers would only say that there had been a death. It was frightening for all of us.

It turns out that a young man had found our brand new beautiful Moroccan tent with its high peak, rafter, and chandelier and decided it was where he wanted to end his personal pain. He moved one of our furniture pieces under the chandelier, cut it down from the rope that held it, and then hung himself from that rope.

All this happened in the early morning hours of Thursday. We are a late night camp, so most of us were sleeping. My bed was less than 15 feet away and he was so quiet that none of us knew it was happening. It is my understanding that there was only an hour between when one of our camp mates had checked on the tent, and when another camp mate discovered the body. The young man came in alone during that hour and efficiently went to work.

After the boy had hung himself somebody (not part of our camp) came in to work out on the gym equipment we had at one end of the tent. Our gym equipment was painted pink as a joke, and he thought the hanging body was part of the joke, or a weird art piece (he thought the body wasn't real.) When my camp mates came in a few minutes later they thought it was a joke being played on us. He approached it and touched it and saw the face and knew it was no joke. We were camped less than 150 feet from the EMS and he ran to get them immediately. Despite what the SF Chronicle said, we did not leaving him hanging for hours. It only took seconds for our camp mate to realize it wasn't a joke.

And that is the about the time that I was awoken by the rangers voice.

We had the mental health team there to help us through this, and they were present when we made the decision to not take down the tent. None of us believe that this young man wanted to trouble us with his action, we just happened to have an open tent with a high enough rafter. We had worked hard to create our camp to provide comfort and joy to all the people of BRC. Some of our camp mates even felt that there was something to be said that this young man chose our space as the place where he would want to spend the last moments of his life.

After the coroner had left, and the police had reopened the space it was myself and another camp mate who put the space back to the way it had been. This was very upsetting for me and I wept openly with friends in my old camp.

David Best came by and suggested we contribute to the temple, and so we took down the rope and it went up with the temple on Sunday night.

I wanted to post this because there was a lot of criticism, and incorrect information in this thread, as well as in the SF Gate piece. I want you to know that for all the members of Comfort & Joy this incident was upsetting, and terrible. This young man inflicted a lot of pain on us in the process of ending his own pain. We made the choice to continue living, to make the day ours, because we don't think he wanted us hurt with his actions. This was solely about him ending his own pain, not about hurting others who didn't know him.

-Moist
Comfort & Joy

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Post by alienfry » Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:33 pm

I don't think you could have handled the situation any better. Thank you for a first-hand account of what happened. I am impressed by your strength.
awesome oppossum

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Post by epaschold » Wed Sep 05, 2007 3:28 pm

Thank you so much for explaining all of that. I am Jerm's very close friend. He has been living with my boyfriend and I of and on for the past 7 years. He'd been staying with us in Colorado since December. My boyfriend and I felt like his parents in so many ways. We fed him, provided shelter, got him a bike, and gave him love- constantly.

We did not attend BM this year, and we know he was excited about it for months and on the drive out there. I know he meant no harm to the Comfort and Joy campers. I feel like he was just searching for a place to be alone. He is so loved and typically, so happy and giving. He just ended up in a dark place, lost sight of the light, and desired to be free. He's always been a rather impulsive person, so I know he didn't think about his decision for long. I'm sure he didn't mean to harm us all and affect us so deeply and strongly through his choice.

Thank you for posting a first hand account. We all have so many questions- many of which will never be answered. But, every bit of light shed on the situation brings us that much more peace in our hearts. I know we will never achieve closure, but thank you to all the people that have offered useful information and love.

Thank you all.

Love and Light.
Erica

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kikidelosfeliz
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Post by kikidelosfeliz » Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:08 pm

I didn't know about this man's death until after the burn, but my heart goes out to him, as well as to the people who he affected.

My brother committed suicide some years ago, and I was left to deal with the physical and emotional horror. After the initial rage and anger, I finally realized that he was just in so much pain at that moment that he simply wasn't capable of thinking about the ugly aftermath.

It may be the ultimate art project, but the problem with suicide is that when you dead, you done.
cognitive dissident

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Re: Sad...

Post by madmatt » Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:42 pm

MoisturePup wrote: ...On Thursday morning I woke up to the sound of a ranger outside my tent telling another camp mate that we were all being detained and needed to go to the kitchen, and that our residential tents were part of a crime scene....
Moisturepup - thanks for posting this first hand account. I'm always upset to hear about people dying at BM and I think suicide there is even more upsetting. I understand why someone who is suicidal would want to end it at BM. Also, you and all your friends have our biggest hugs and sympathies - our whole camp (Mystical Misfits) was talking about how hard that must have been on you guys and what a random kick in the nuts that must have been.

You did the right thing, and, thanks for not closing down. In previous years, we've enjoyed many great times at Comfort and Joy, you guys rule. Take care, Matt.

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Post by Toolmaker » Wed Sep 05, 2007 5:24 pm

Thank you MoisturePup for clearing up the disgusting rumors that have been perpetrated by some of our newer users on eplaya. I am soo sorry to hear about this at your camp and hope that you all make out ok in the long run.
This account has been closed as demanded by Wedeliver.

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skygod
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Post by skygod » Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:05 pm

yes, thank you Mpup.
My brother killed himself many years ago. I think it's harder to live than to die that way. Don't let his pain live in you, he can no longer use our compassion.
"It will seem difficult in the beginning. But everything seems difficult in the beginning."- Musashi

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Re: Sad...

Post by PurpleKoosh » Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:13 pm

MoisturePup wrote:David Best came by and suggested we contribute to the temple, and so we took down the rope and it went up with the temple on Sunday night.
There is beauty and balance in this. I hope it gave you some of the peace that Jermaine could not find.
Image
Anything purple is mine. Anything else can be dyed or painted.

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Absintine
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Post by Absintine » Thu Sep 06, 2007 1:18 pm

Trapped in the "real" world, I watch in horror as Fox broke the story hours after it happened. (how did they even find out?)
The report was full of terrible references to home....as well as racial comments....and just an overall mockery of journalism

[url]http://www.foxnews.com/video2/player06. ... &158&&&exp[/url]

I posted this in retaliation
Because I knew the citizens of the city could not respond...

It is within ourselves that we must find happiness.
It is the goal of compassion to spread that happiness & To wish that all people be free of their suffering.
That which causes our suffering are the things must abundant to us.
Money, Material Possessions, Social Status, Fossil Fuels, Predefined/Programmed Beliefs or Expectations.
These things Do not Exist in BRC.
To see such a place is to witness evolution in action.
Someday the world will be much different from what we now know, and It will be because we procrastinated in removing those things which cause us to suffer and live unhappy lives.
To eliminate them now would save us all.
Burningman is the only proof that *we will be able to do this.
The death of ONE man in this city is Devastating to *all* of its inhabitants.
Unlike in yours where tonight you will watch the news and think nothing of the countless lives lost, broadcasted every night....on terrible shows like this one.
To take what you hear and find your own truth through individual experience is all I can hope for anyone who sees this, and not just in this...but in all things.

....................What a strange year in BRC, sorry I missed it....................

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Post by MoisturePup » Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:44 pm

Absintine wrote:Trapped in the "real" world, I watch in horror as Fox broke the story hours after it happened. (how did they even find out?)
The report was full of terrible references to home....as well as racial comments....and just an overall mockery of journalism


....................What a strange year in BRC, sorry I missed it....................
That was disgusting. Here's a better link: http://search2.foxnews.com/search?acces ... 20suicide#

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Post by MoisturePup » Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:46 pm

One more time with film in the camera... here's a tinyurl

http://tinyurl.com/3cakmb

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skygod
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Post by skygod » Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:29 pm

I'm so sad to watch that, like we are living in Babylon.
But they are vampiring off our energy because we tackle the big ideas at BM.
"It will seem difficult in the beginning. But everything seems difficult in the beginning."- Musashi

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karr
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Post by karr » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:12 pm

Disgusted...where's the puke bucket?
I am the girl you will talk to and ask questions to and end up more confused than when you started.

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About the recent incident at Comfort & Joy

Post by kitten_sf » Fri Sep 07, 2007 12:38 am

On the morning of Thursday, August 30th a young man from Colorado chose to end his life in the rafters of a public tent at Comfort & Joy.

Though he was unknown to us, in the wake of his passing we're learning from those who knew him that he was creative, kind, unconventional and smart, and that he was regarded with affection by many.

His final act, committed in solitude, has one lasting effect as it brings us together to mark his passing. To all who have offered our camp their sympathy and support during this time, thank you. To all who knew him, please accept our sincere condolences.

It is estimated that there was an one hour interval between the last visit to the tent by a camp member, and the discovery of the body by a second camp member. It is believed that the tent was unoccupied during this time, and that there were no witnesses to the suicide.

One other individual, not associated in any way with the camp, was in the tent at the time the body was discovered. Emergency personnel were immediately contacted by camp members. Authorities responded within minutes and closed the scene upon arrival.

The Black Rock City Rangers, Sheriffs and other law enforcement officials who assisted us with this incident were very professional, supportive, and helpful to us at a difficult time. We are grateful for their services. We are also thankful for the warm and organized support we have received from the grief counselors from the Black Rock City Mental Health Team. They helped us openly discuss what had happened and come to a shared understanding of the morning's events.

Much of our camp was quarantined while the coroners did their jobs and we canceled that day's events (a yoga class, a queer discussion group, glitter body painting and a watercolor painting workshop).

As a camp, we decided to make a contribution to David Best's Temple of Forgiveness, where people can mourn, remember, write messages and leave items to be ceremonially burned on Sunday night. We felt the rope the young man used represented the terrible violence he committed upon himself and the people around him. By sending the rope up in flames, we hoped to allow some of that pain to disperse. None of us believe that this young man wanted to trouble us with his actions.

The members of Comfort & Joy extend their deepest sympathy to all who knew this young man. Our hearts go out to his family, friends, and special people in his life. Although we will never know or understand him the way you did, he indeed touched us as well, made us grow, and hopefully become better individuals. May the rest of his journey be peaceful and lead him to the joy we all seek in our lives.

We look forward to continuing our mission of creating positive, warm and supportive queer community both in Black Rock City and the Bay Area.

With love and respect,

The Comfort & Joy Family
:: Comfort & Joy
:: http://www.playajoy.org

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starving_artist
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Heart Breaking...

Post by starving_artist » Mon Sep 10, 2007 11:32 am

Being that this was my first year on the Playa, I was stardled by how infectious the feeling of community took hold out myself out there. The story of this guy and the choice he made breaks my heart. I have no idea who this person was, nor do I know anyone that knows him. And yet, I really wish I could have met him prior to that evening. I really wish I could have bumped into him, fell into random conversation with him and perhaps, kept him busy long enough that he would have changed his mind.

I suspect loneliness over came him. While I have many positive things to say about the community that we call Burning Man, that is one feeling that I found myself overcome with sporatically throughout the week. There are so many people with such different backgrounds and personalities...it's hard not feel as though you're completely alone amongst the masses at times.

Though it does mystify me that someone would choose to die in a place so far removed from reality.

Anyways, I'd like to add to the well wishes towards the family and friends affected by this. I wish I knew you all as well.

Peace and hugs to all of you.
--Granola

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Greenltdistrict
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Thanks Moist

Post by Greenltdistrict » Fri Sep 14, 2007 10:49 am

I know you didn't know him but I'd like to offer my condolences to you and your camp. We also worked really hard on our camp(months of intense prep, planning, and taking the high road).To imagine something like this going down in our beautiful space, makes me appreciate that our biggest "worry" was getting people to recycle. From all that I have read here and what I have heard, you guys handled his departure respectfully and very compassionately. All the way down to the rope( The temple burn was quite beautiful). Much respect to Comfort and Joy for the presence of mind to keep celebrating life. Have an amazing 351 days...see ya' next year.

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Post by theCryptofishist » Fri Sep 14, 2007 11:02 am

[url-http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f ... US4SLF.DTL]SF Chron article on funeral, etc.[/url]
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Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

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