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Posted by3 months ago

**EDIT**

Okay everyone, after three hours of furiously answering questions - I'm out of here! Thanks for all of your lovely comments and so much support!

Sections:

  1. Supposed Fentanyl Laced Mushrooms

  2. Purple Molly

  3. Our History at EF, Treatment By The Event, & Our Ongoing Struggle to Help-History-Treatment-What You Can Do to Help

1) Supposed Fentanyl Laced Mushrooms

At 12:43am on the morning of Monday June 27th I received one of the most disturbing texts of my life from an EF EMT that I will not name to maintain their anonymity in order to protect them from any repercussions regarding nebulous “HIPAA violations”.

“We have had 4 fentanyl overdoses in the last 20 minutes. It’s a really high dose. It sounds like it may be from fentanyl laced mushrooms if you could please send out an alert.”

At this moment I was walking back from the Carousel stage. I called them back immediately but they were unreachable and I assumed they were responding to this emergency. I started running to the closest medical station which was near the Hanger. When I got there, I showed the three staff members (likely EMTs) at this location the text that I had received and asked for confirmation. They were not able to confirm but they did tell me that “things have been really bad today, we just had someone drop right in front of us.” At this point I asked them to take me to someone in charge so that I could receive further confirmation that there was a mass overdose event occurring. I needed direct confirmation because I was about to text over 5,000 people at the event on our BunkBot text messaging service and I can’t do that without verified information as it will undoubtedly cause a panic. The bizarre nature of this particular incident, specifically the fact that I couldn't believe that mushrooms contaminated with fentanyl would be involved, also led to me trying to gather as much confirmation as possible before sending out an alert. I asked them for a golf cart ride to the larger Ranch Arena medical tent (that is staffed full-time by a doctor) but they couldn’t leave their station. I then sprinted, full out, until I got there.

When I arrived at the Ranch Arena medical station I was greeted with nothing but resistance.

“We can’t release any patient information to you, it’s a HIPAA violation” is the summary of everything that was said by the EMT staff. They were angry at me for asking even after I told them that I had the ability to text 5,000 people information that would get them to stop taking substances that could be deadly. One of them even tried to grab my phone to look at the number that was texting me this information after I told them that another EMT staff member had told me about the situation. (Shame on this person. Your concern in a medical emergency situation is ratting out your co-worker?) I was finally directed to a doctor who was actually worse to deal with than the EMT staff. Surprisingly, these were his words: “I don’t take drugs, how should I know? You need to go back outside and figure it out”

WHAT. THE. FUCK.

I turned around and bolted out the door. I ran down vendor row to the end near the giving tree and sprinted past a security guard who tried to stop me. I had to yell “medical emergency” over and over again before he let me get through. After over a decade of harm reduction work at EF, I still only have normal access. I couldn’t get back to the main medical facility to ask them for confirmation so I had to do what was necessary to get in.

When I arrived, I was greeted by the same resistance. “HIPAA violation” was the only response I could get - until one of the EMTs, who thankfully knew me, broke rank, risked their job, and confirmed what was happening. “We think it’s in mushrooms, you need to put out an alert.”

So I did. This went out to over 5,000 Electric Forest attendees at 1:22am:

“STOP TAKING ANY MUSHROOMS IMMEDIATELY. SEVERAL PEOPLE HAVE OVERDOSED FROM FENTANYL ON MUSHROOMS”

39 minutes had elapsed from that first text until I was able to receive confirmation from the medical staff. 39 fucking minutes of me running through the venue, trying my best to reason with over a dozen bureaucratic EMTs, a doctor, and a security guard. Given the right circumstances where a dangerous substance was widely distributed and consumed - how many people could have died in that time while I had a way to stop it from happening?

I then received a call from the original EMT that had texted me. They informed me that there had been several overdoses at once. At least one person had received CPR / Narcan and was on a medical transport. At least two more had been revived with Narcan. The EMT told me that those three mentioned above reported to EMTs that they had only consumed mushrooms. There were other incidences that occurred at nearly the same time that they thought may have been connected.

I received another text with more information later when I asked for clarification on what happened.

“There were 6 opioid overdoses at Forest this year. All six people are fine. 4 of the 6 people say that they were told the pill they took was “Ecstasy.” The other two said that they only took mushrooms.”

**We have spoken with one person who was possibly affected by these mushrooms. I hesitate to share details until we have more information, and confirmation from other people, as the details of their story are EXTREMELY SERIOUS and would require us to work with the police if confirmed.**

IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED, PLEASE COME FORWARD. YOUR DETAILS REGARDING THIS INCIDENT MAY SAVE LIVES.

So here’s the big question that unfortunately might never be answered unless we receive more information. WAS THERE FENTANYL ON MUSHROOMS?

We don’t know. We were never able to procure a sample to evaluate. We had to send out that text in the heat of the moment in order to try and stop what appeared to be a mass overdose event - the exact scenario that we created BunkBot for. I made that call, and I will stand by it.

First, before I dissect this situation I would like to make a statement that should be one of the main points taken away from this post.

FENTANYL CONTAMINATION OF MUSHROOMS HAS NEVER HAPPENED. IF IT DID HAPPEN AT ELECTRIC FOREST IT WOULD BE THE FIRST TIME EVER.

I would also like to point out that we do not know for a fact that these overdoses were from fentanyl, even though multiple EMTs have confirmed this. We don’t have a toxicology report for those affected. There is a long history of people having a panic attack and mistaking it for a fentanyl overdose. A panic attack can even lead to someone passing out. Sometimes, in these scenarios, they will be given Narcan and simply the action of having something sprayed up their nose can bring them out of it. Beyond that, the placebo effect of having something “lifesaving” administered to you by an EMT during one of these events can stop the panic attack.

That all being said, what are the possibilities here if fentanyl WAS involved? What MIGHT have happened? Here are the scenarios I have considered and I will list them from most to least likely in my opinion.

  1. The people who overdosed felt shame about another substance they had used and decided not to tell EMTs about it. Heroin, xanax, pain pills, cocaine, or really any other recreational substance is MUCH MUCH more likely to have been contaminated with fentanyl than mushrooms. In my opinion, if fentanyl was actually involved, this is the MOST LIKELY situation by a HUGE margin.

  2. The mushrooms that were consumed by these individuals were placed on a surface that was used to mix / break down fentanyl or a fentanyl containing substance. In my opinion this is VERY unlikely but warrants mention as it is a possibility.

  3. The worst case scenario. Intentional adulteration of mushrooms with fentanyl for some unhinged and/or unfathomable reason. Options like attempted sexual assault come to mind. This is extremely unlikely but I'm leaving it on the table.

To answer another obvious question - do I think there is some sort of “conspiracy” that led to this happening? Absolutely not. There is no evidence that this would be the case.

We also sent out a text asking for information about the person selling or handing out these mushrooms. Why did we do this?

We had no intention of texting BunkBot subscribers this information if we received it. This would have created a vigilante-type situation that we don’t want any part of. However, in the case that scenario B or C (above) was in fact happening on a large scale, we have the ability to work directly with security to find this person if we have a description. We hate doing this and have only resorted to it twice since we created BunkBot in 2018. In both cases it resulted in someone who was KNOWINGLY distributing fentanyl-contaminated substances being confronted by security with the result of them being removed from the event.

2) Purple Molly

We sent out a text about purple-colored crystalline MDMA as well as pink “Tuci” at Electric Forest. From what I can tell there were two versions of purple MDMA going around - one was of a very dark blackish purple color in large crystalline chunks and another was a light lavender color in smaller crystalline pieces / powder. Why did we send out this alert?

Our main test kit for MDMA (Marquis) presents a purple color change that can be mimicked by a substance that is heavily colored with purple dye. To the trained eye, this trick is easily identifiable as it flashes a different color and then turns purple / black. It can also be easily identified by our other MDMA test kits (Mecke and Simon’s). To the untrained eye, just using the Marquis test kit - it can pass.

Here is a video of exactly this scenario, an untrained person using a Marquis test kit on purple MDMA, happening at Electric Forest ‘22. Notice the yellow / green flash of color and then the dye taking over and showing a purple reaction: https://vimeo.com/725283414.

This sample appears to actually be a synthetic cathinone (otherwise known as “bathsalts”) masked with purple dye to appear on the marquis test as MDMA. This is why we encourage people to use multiple test kits and also why we advise against considering purple MDMA.

We decided to mention pink “Tuci” in this text as well because it has been extremely prevalent for the last several months or more all over the planet. This was a preemptive move, we had not seen any of it at the event at that point but we were expecting it to make an appearance, and it did. It is NOT 2C-B. It has been lab tested as various mixtures of different substances. The pink color is nothing more than a marketing ploy by various South and Central American cartels.

To be 100% clear - almost all drugs, in their pure form, are either white powders or clear crystalline substances. DO NOT NOT TRUST ANYTHING THAT IS INTENTIONALLY COLORED.

3) Our History at EF, Treatment By The Event, & Our Ongoing Struggle to Help This Event Among Others

History at Electric Forest

The Bunk Police have been attending Electric Forest and providing testing-based harm reduction in a “guerilla” format since 2011. This is all we can get away with, as the event promoters prevent us (or anyone else for that matter) from doing more - to the point of even removing us and DanceSafe from the grounds a few years back. I have personally attended every single EF event and have done my very best to shape the culture among attendees into one that champions substance testing and safety above all else. We distribute thousands of test kits every year. Most of these kits contain 100 uses - meaning that, in total - we’ve placed the ability to perform over a million tests in the hands of EF attendees over the past decade. Something that many people don’t realize is that it’s not just me out there sitting under that pink parachute tent - we are a team of highly motivated individuals. These team members walk into EVERY campsite on the grounds with few exceptions each year. Because of our efforts, either through a visit to our tent or through a campsite visit by one of our staff, a very high percentage of EF attendees have a discussion about testing-based harm reduction every time Electric Forest has occurred.

Our Treatment by Electric Forest

Electric Forest staff, let me start this portion of my post by saying that we truly love the event that you’re clearly so passionate about. It is one of, if not the best, of its kind in the U.S.. You have created a place and a culture that is magical and conscious beyond words. You’ve also managed to keep that magic alive for over a decade when other events have gotten greedy, lazy, or have sold out. Congratulations on everything you have accomplished. We appreciate you for this beyond what words can express.

That being said - when it comes to the way you treat the harm reduction organizations that try and help your attendees keep themselves safe - I need to hold my tongue in order to prevent from spitting straight vitriol in your direction. Over 100,000 people died from overdoses last year and you know damn well that you are creating an environment that attracts recreational drug users. You also know that you could easily help these people protect themselves by allowing test kit and narcan based harm reduction. It doesn’t even cost you anything. Organizations like us and Dancesafe will do it for FREE.

We were forced to take our tent down and were thrown out of Electric Forest in 2017. Your security guards literally hung their heads in shame as they removed us from your property - and for what? Because we were trying to help the thousands of recreational drug users be safer about something they’re going to do no matter how much you search them or tell them not to? You tossed DanceSafe to the curb in 20__ as well. Why? Because you were concerned about your image or some nebulous and unfounded legal concern? Was it your insurance premiums? Angering your sponsors? How much money are human lives worth to you…?

I fully expected at least one person to die a preventable death from fentanyl this year, despite the fact that we distributed massive amounts of fentanyl test kits without your permission. From the reports coming from EMTs on your staff - six people came very close. One had to receive CPR. Imagine if they had been in their tents instead of in the venue where EMTs could access them quickly?

Whoever is making the decisions that prevent The Bunk Police, DanceSafe, and organizations that distribute Narcan, from having official vending status on the grounds - you came a few labored breaths away from having the blood of six people on your hands. Other forward-thinking events in the U.S. like Lightning in a Bottle, Hulaween, Sonic Bloom, Tipper and Friends, and Resonance, among others, have taken the admirable step of allowing FTIR LABORATORY DRUG TESTING on their grounds.

The rest of the world is lightyears ahead of even that. Look towards Shambhala in Canada, which has been providing a bank of GC/MS laboratory testing machines worth $500k and a fully qualified outreach and laboratory staff to their patrons for over a decade. Inquire about THE LOOP who does the same for nearly all of the high-risk events within the U.K.. BOOM festival in Portugal draws in harm reduction organizations from all across Europe to protect THEIR patrons. Similar organizations operate all over South and Central America. It is unconscionable that you are not doing the same.

Meanwhile, we’re sneaking thousands of test kits into Double JJ Ranch in the middle of the night, creeping through the campgrounds to let people know they exist, and fearing that you could toss us to the curb at any moment. SHAME ON YOU. Do what it takes to allow harm reduction at Electric Forest 2023. Talk to your lawyers, insurance underwriters, local police, state level and federal authorities, or whoever you need to in order to make this happen. You’re behind the times and you’re going to kill people with your negligence if you don’t. What happens if someone sells 500 baggies of fentanyl-laced cocaine at EF ‘23? Some of these dealers walk campsite to campsite all day with zero knowledge or care for the destruction that occurs in their wake. These are the scenarios that haunt my dreams and THEY SHOULD HAUNT YOURS TOO.

What YOU, The Conscious and Caring Attendee, Can Do To Help

Electric Forest Attendees and the festival culture in general - If you’re as upset as we are that six of your brothers and sisters almost died this year at EF — if you’re pissed that life-saving organizations like The Bunk Police, DanceSafe, and those who distribute Narcan are STILL DISALLOWED at your beloved Electric Forest among many other events in the U.S. then THIS IS YOUR CALL TO ACTION:

PLEASE light up the following Insomniac, Madison House, LiveNation, and Goldenvoice event accounts on social media / contact pages & emails with a DEMAND that they allow harm reduction - specifically regarding FENTANYL TEST KITS and NARCAN. Each of these companies organize multiple events that disallow harm reduction almost completely.

These are the main offenders:

Electric Forest

Instagram: u/electric_forestTwitter: u/electric_forestFacebook: u/electricforestContact Page: https://electricforestfestival.com/contact/Insomniac Contact Page: https://www.insomniac.com/contact-us/Madison House Contact Email: info@madison-house.com

Electric Daisy Carnival

Instagram: u/edc_lasvegasTwitter: u/edc_lasvegasFacebook: u/electricdaisycarnivalContact Page: https://lasvegas.electricdaisycarnival.com/contact-us/Insomniac Events Contact Page: https://www.insomniac.com/contact-us/

Bonnaroo

Instagram: u/bonnarooTwitter: u/bonnarooFacebook: u/bonnarooContact email: info@bonnaroo.comLiveNation Contact Page: https://www.livenationentertainment.com/contact/

Coachella

Instagram: u/coachellaTwitter: u/coachellaFacebook: u/coachellaContact Email: info@coachella.comGoldenvoice Contact Page: https://www.goldenvoice.com/contact-us/

We will be attending Electric Forest again next year under any circumstance. If you’d like to have a say in the way that happens, EF higher-ups, then please get in contact. I am a qualified, kind, rational, and understanding person who runs a professional organization that is willing to work with you in any way that we can. Don’t want to deal with me? Fine. Reach out to Dancesafe. I don’t care how this happens as long as it does.

Thank you.

-=Adam Auctor=-

Founder - The Bunk Police

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