I was just going to look for that link.
I listened to an interview on NPR about the FBI 'gang thing'. It's pretty obvious that they aren't a gang, but it doesn't seem a very healthy thing either.
I've never been to Burning Man, but I wonder what similarities and differences between Burning Man and The Gathering are.
IMO this type of phenomenon will always continue to exist. I think what makes The Gathering so difficult to watch is that it is populated by a very uneducated disenfranchised slice of the population, those that are derogatorily referred to as 'white trash'. I'm sure that those that get the strongest feelings of family from the 'Los are those that have had a tough time of it back in the real world.
Growing up poor in the US is rough. Not only do you have to deal with your own family's hardships, but there is a pollution of violence, sex, and drug abuse that comes at you at a very early age. We are social creatures, and we long for security and understanding, not only at home, but in our community.
IMO these communities are less about their actual nature, and more about the fact that they exist. "Juggalette for Life" That's why the side acts here are met with apathy or hostility, -they suggest that the event is actually about the event, which runs counter to the need that people are looking to fulfill. This probably extends even so far as the leaderless nature of the OWS movement.
When you are disenfranchised in the age of commercialism, you are fucked.