Super secret rich dude summer camp is sued over labor violations

Originally published at: Super secret rich dude summer camp is sued over labor violations | Boing Boing


Perhaps I’m just too bad at coercion to be considered for membership in the sinister global elite; but this seems like one of those situations where having the help recognize working for you as a considerably better deal than working somewhere else with a similar job description would be comparatively cheap insurance in terms of things like maintaining discretion.

Sure, there are always oppressive NDAs, and those are probably in effect; but one can only expect a risk of civil penalties to do so much when dealing with people who, rounded down, have no money.


“Bohemian Grove” sounds like a great title for an A24 Movie, a gory slasher, of course; with the twist that no-one cares about the deaths of the 1% and the world is a better place.


Pitch it to Ari Aster. He might run with it.


Very disappointing. I was hoping for an invitation and now, if one arrived, I could not accept.


A gathering of the rich and powerful, and the help have shittier pay and hours than the local fast food joint.

It’d make me reconsider the funny taste in my cornflakes if I was them.


There are some interesting details in that article. Most notable to me is that the different “camps” have different hiring practices.


Burningman for even richer bros.


Harry Shearer made a satirical movie circa 2002 called Teddy Bear’s Picnic about a suspiciously similar camp called “Zambezi Glen.” Unfortunately the movie was a C at best but anyone who was personally familiar with Bohemian Grove was able to see it was inspired by his own time as a guest there. For example, the encampment’s opening ritual substituted the Grove’s “Cremation of Care” ceremony in front of a giant owl with the “Assassination of Time” ceremony in front of a big pelican.

ETA: Now that I’m thinking back one of the characters is a young staffer played by Justin Kirk (best known for his role as the slacker brother-in-law Andy Botwin in Weeds) who agrees to covertly capture photos and video of the camp for the news media.


That’s probably a relic of when it transitioned from a Burning Man type event to a rich campout. One year, a camp or several decided that they weren’t going to roast weenies on the fire, and brought in their own staffs. (A little bribery with the organizers, and it was all good.)

After that, it was tradition.


Major fail in the “super secret” department. The article’s definitely worth a read. The Clarence Thomas hearings over his sexual misconduct proved once & for all: Money & power don’t make you smart. At one point the Grove’s payroll head tried to get a member to process staff payments through his own company’s payroll. He agreed, then changed his mind.


The Grove people (probably) aren’t rich and powerful themselves, they’re just gatekeepers, but being so close must be a burning itch.


Eh, more “private” than “secret.” There are lots of well-documented accounts of the camp and what kinds of things go on there, the people who emphasize the “secrecy” part tend to be the conspiracy-minded folks like Alex Jones who insist the attendees are secretly engaging in human sacrifice and whatnot.

Here’s a pretty level-headed and well-researched primer on the place (h/t to @KathyPartdeux): Who Rules America: Social Cohesion & the Bohemian Grove

And here’s a map of the grove from the late 1990s that someone is selling on eBay:


Not to be confused with Cherry Grove. :wink:


I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if there was some overlapping membership between the two…


America does seem to be great a creating instant “traditions”; print some t-shirts, embroider some patches, pen a country and western tune, and you’ve got all the fixin’s for a tradition. :sunglasses::+1:


Bohemian Grove was orginally started by the actors, artists, writers, and journalists of San Francisco, including that known Socialist Jack London. That it has been usurped by the super-rich is sad but, somehow, just par for the course. Even more sadly, the super-rich treating “the help” badly is also just par for the course.


I love these hand drawn maps of attractions etc like this. The one used at the KC Ren Faire has been added to, but largely unchanged in ~30 years.

Er, do I want to know what Cherry Grove is?


Certainly drawn by Phil Frank, of Travels with Farley SF Chron comic fame.


Indeed it was. I’m guessing he was probably a member, the club likes to maintain a certain number of successful Bay Area artists, writers and performers among their membership.

Map just sold for $275 so I guess it won’t be adorning my wall any time soon.