Protecting Your Child from the Pedophiles of Science Fiction Fandom (Supplement I to the “Safe Space as Rape Room” Series)

Thursday , 24, December 2015 17 Comments

Considering how rampant the abuse has been historically and how leaders in the science fiction community have gone out of their way to enable and encourage the abusers, I can’t possibly recommend that you expose children in your care to science fiction conventions or other events where fans of science fiction might gather to form communities. It simply isn’t worth the risk. There are many reasons why science fiction fandom tends to attract, foster and encourage pedophiles to use their forums as a hunting ground, but it is impossible to deny that according to police, most pedophiles are drawn into certain fantasy worlds, such as Star Trek, and are therefore going to be a proportionately larger problem in science fiction than in the general culture.

Now, measures could be taken within fandom to not only make it a place unwelcoming to potential predators, but to condemn known predators more quickly and effectively. The point is — as Castalia House’s special series “Safe Space as Rape Room” has demonstrated — that the leadership of science fiction organizations have taken absolutely zero steps in this direction. In fact, that leadership has frequently come out on the side of defending pedophiles.

“This article is most emphatically a Do Not Print, Do Not Quote and Most Especially Do No Blab My Name When You Mention This Letter Substitute” – Breendoggle, 1963, early print evidence of the inability for voices in the science fiction community to swiftly and resolutely address and condemn child molestation in its ranks.

So, introduce your children to science fiction fandom at their own peril. However, if you think you are capable of protecting a child in your care while allowing them to participate at a convention or other science fiction event, you would be wise to understand the mind of a predator.

What follows is the strategy and philosophy of one of Science Fiction’s most notorious predators, who got away with serial abuse for more than 30 years before a victim finally endured the intense pressure of testifying against a man so prominent in the community. Read him carefully, because his approach was literally the only textbook on the subject for decades. All quotes are taken from Greek Love, his 516-page defense of “man-boy” love:

Walter Breen’s Plan for Pedophilia

Walter Breen, whose first arrest occurred in 1954, published Greek Love in 1964.

Shortly before the book came out, in 1963, the scandal broke in Science Fiction, known as the Breendoggle. Initially, his known victims included:

  • P–, a 3 year old girl.
  • S–‘s son, a 13 year old boy.
  • G–, 10 years old. (And onwards for several years.) (“Victim X”)
  • G2, 7 years old.
  • Several unnamed teenage minors, boys and girls.

In Greek Love, Breen details about twenty cases – known personally to him – of what he calls “Greek” or “Man-boy love.” He mentions another “forty odd” cases that he’s personally witnessed or had knowledge of of that he didn’t find particularly illustrative enough to include in his book. Yes, that’s a listing of no fewer than 60 unreported sex crimes. Breen was working with gifted children during that time, so it is unsettling to note a number of these child victims for whom he happened to have IQ test scores.

Conclusions he draws from his deep familiarity with the men and children include:

“In every instance known to me in which a boy takes a markedly active sexual role in a Greek love situation, or in which he initiates the sexual aspect, he is unusually mature and sophisticated for his years, and as a rule quite masculine.”

“I know of no instance whatever of Greek love in which the boy has later developed into a transvestite or even into a queen.”

“Neurotic traits displayed by boys involved in Greek love situations are diverse enough…so that one cannot ascertain a pattern of neurosis characteristic of, or in any way obviously related to, the Greek love relationship.”

“I shall also show that from ancient times through the early nineteenth century, the homosexual component of human sexual appetite manifested itself principally in attachments of the kind I call Greek love–between men and teen-age boys.”

“The only instances known to me of overt destructive or predatory delinquency following a Greek love relationship are boys who were traumatically torn away from their lovers.”

“In every case known to me, the boy benefitted by the relationship.”

“In a large number of instances…the man shows up as a friend in need, even a rescuer, at the outset; a solution to a boy’s emergent problems which might otherwise prove too much for the youngster.”

“Men who enter Greek love relationships and go as far as sexual involvement with their boyfriends are invariably capable of overt tenderness to a degree uncommon in this culture. No Mike Hammer types here.”

This last generalization is particularly damning. Breen died in prison for raping children so traumatized by his horrors that no fewer than three of them went public as adults to bring his crimes to light. No Mike Hammer indeed.

An Upside Down Worldview

One of the reasons why a molester can get away with his crimes for so long, beyond exploiting the shame and fear of the victim to force the child to keep quiet, is the fact that his view of the world is so warped that normal people do not readily believe that anyone could think that way:

“…[T]he principles I have been trying to enumerate: the ripening of friendship into love, the boy’s specific needs, the guidance aspect…the frequency with which the boy is the actual seducer….”

“almost universal misunderstanding of Greek love–a misunderstanding taking all disguises from complete nonrecognition to…blind rage at “molesters” and “corrupters of minors”–a misunderstanding shared alike by psychiatrists, judges, police social workers, parents, teachers, professional apologists for adult homosexuality, reformers and do-gooders of all kinds.”

“…the most formidable antagonist of all to the Greek lover is the type of woman known as the Philip Wylie mom, whether or not she is a biological parent of the boy involved; jealous, possessive, holding firmly to the umbilical apron strings which she has done her best to tie around the boy’s neck, moralistic, obsessed with propriety and status regardless of the cost to anyone else in individual happiness or independence, she incarnates Mother Sereda and Mrs. Grund and cloaks hostility and destructiveness under do-goodery.”

The Breen Solution

He marks a historic reversal in the modern era, where homosexuality is expressed  more commonly between adults. In other words, he blames the modern “adultification” of homosexuality in part for the repression of pederasty.

“I expect to show that this reversal is largely a result of a sort of conspiracy of silence about boy-love, abetted by puritanical laws, anti-sexual mores and a gradual change in the role of the adolescent in this culture.”

“This conflict is very deeply rooted in this culture; I do not know how it can be resolved save by wholesale cultural changes.”

He takes the Mattachine Society to task for “advocacy of sexual freedom for adults only, distinguishing sharply between the kind of homosexuals who restrict their activities to adults and the individuals limited to prepuberal children as sexual objects.”

“‘Nothing done in love can be labelled a perversion’–and why limit this remark to adults?”

Breen’s How-to Guide

“It is an asymetrical relationship. The man has to be a guide-philosopher-friend and counselor to the boy, someone whom the boy can look up to and trust, someone who will answer his questions, someone in whom the boy can confide without fear of rebuff, ridicule or report back to parents…”

“very often it’s the younger boy who makes the first affection gesture, or even the first overtly sexual gesture to the older man.”

It is important to understand how the pedophile sees himself: as the victim of a child’s seduction, as friend to a child in need, a mentor in charge of an asymetrical relationship, one whose duty is to repay his sexual gratification to the child with mentorship. By thinking so abnormally, he is able to build trust, not only with vulnerable children, but vulnerable parents as well.

“many such boys….are going through what is called “prime” or “bloom”–which, as any painter could tell you often makes them objectively more beautiful than they ever were before or will be again.”

“Why are young children capable of orgasm long before their bodies start manufacturing spermatozoa or ova?”

“Did it ever occur to you why there aren’t enough Big Brothers?…Civic responsibility and concern about delinquencey obviously aren’t enough by themselves–if they were, we wouldn’t have a shortage of Big Brothers. There has to be some other incentive. And I suggest that the incentive is…a warm personal relationship growing into love. And why not?…Sex was often an incentive, true enough, but it was simply one part among others in a larger relationship…”

“…their behavior often enough indicates that they are well aware of the continuity between sex and other forms of physical display of affection, a continuity which they do not regard as threatening so long as their masculine self-image is not impugned.”

What’s the Harm?

“The danger in such situations comes from only three things, so far as I can see:

  1. physical harm if the man turns out to be asadist, or if the boy panics and threatens to tell all to authorities;
  2. guilt feelings imparted to the by by his contomporaries…
  3. the consequences of getting caught by the authorities. There are safeguards against all three of these, too.”

Breen’s defense of pedophilia is filled with quasi-rational lies. For example, he emphatically separates youth into categores of prepubescent and adolescent, and argues that in all cases known to him, it was only adolescents who were victimized. Of course, Breen’s crimes disprove this rather dramatically. His youngest known victim was three years old, and his wife (Marion Zimmer Bradley) included small children as her targets, as well.

Understanding how these predators warp both social expectations and quietly subvert the separate classes of victim and abuser may better help your awareness as you visit a convention or science fiction event with a child in your care. One thing you can count on is that you will be afforded no additional protection from the event organizers themselves.

17 Comments
  • […] in favor of NAMBLA. Shetterly posed good questions, and Delany answered them honestly (see also supplement 1 to this series. But no journalist had ever asked him these things before: it fell on the SF […]

  • Joe Katzman says:

    You’re doing great work here.

    My 2 cents re: this entry – it isn’t ready for prime time yet. Which is unfortunate, because it needs to become the capstone of the whole series.

    Overall: valuable but incomplete. Feels like the remainder of something that began as a different section.

    Offers Breen’s macro strategy, but it’s the micro strategy that’s relevant to a parent trying to protect their child. Also lacking a conclusion that ties Breen strategies into counter-techniques, beyond passing mention of a (distorted) opposing archetype. Perhaps because macro focus doesn’t really lend itself to that. Should have been a clue.

    It’s OK to circle back to this later, and do a v2.0 once the rest is done. Nothing wrong with throwing this one out there in the mean time. Just don’t make it your last word.

    • Daniel says:

      Thanks, Joe. This is considered “Supplement I” to the series. It is information that has never been published online before, and it will be used in future guidelines. It was important enough to the series to get it out in original form now.

      • Samuel Nock says:

        I agree with Joe’s comment above. This supplement, aside from identifying these people’s MO, could also provide a suggested road map for what parents should do: never allow children to atten alone, tell them to never to accept invitations to go anywhere with participants, report if anyone asks for your personal info (email, Facebook, etc). Maybe these are obvious, but would be a good cap on the series.

        This entire series was excellent and incredibly comprehensive, so apologies for what may seen like nit-picking.

      • Joe Katzman says:

        I agree that it was important.

        One add-on… when I say that it can be the capstone, I mean it could be something that gets widely circulated way beyond SF/F.

        Something that sets out the predator’s strategy, picks it apart, and offers counter-moves for parents could get huge and very consistent distribution. Over a span of years, not days or months.

        THAT is the potential I see. If you need help with something like that, I’d be willing.

  • bob k. mando says:

    if you’re not familiar with any of the listing of manipulation tactics that these kind of personalities regularly pull, i would recommend reading up on them a bit:
    http://www.daughtersofnarcissisticmothers.com/characteristics-of-narcissistic-mothers/

    one thing i’ve noted with several different neuro-deviants is an almost pathological need to shade the characterization of events in different ways depending upon the people they’re talking to and the action they want to induce.

    you’ve already noted how Breen states that “all” of his “known cases” involved post-pubescent boys, many times initiated by the boys themselves

    and yet his own personal behavior demonstrates that he personally violated children of both sexes against their will and down to well under 5 years of age.

    i believe you’ll find his life rife with this kind of habitual misrepresentation of the facts.

  • Aeoli Pera says:

    Interesting that the psychology is similar to hetero rapists. “She provoked me, was asking for it, was acting coy,” etc. Psychological projection of sexual attraction appears to be a universal male trait, particularly in those lacking empathy.

  • […] Supplement I – Defending Your Children: Understanding the Mindset and Tactics of a Pedophile […]

  • Moira Greyland Peat says:

    Hello, excellent, if emetic article: I am Breen’s daughter Moira Greyland, and I am glad to answer questions, though I cannot promise they will be less emetic than the article itself.

    Seriously, this is very upsetting subject matter. I cried when I read your article, though I’ve been steeped in this material for awhile. Reading my father’s words is most upsetting.

    I wish I knew a little less.

    • Wayne Earl says:

      Moira,

      I am a survivor of a similar Silence Culture – in 1980, at age 4, I was molested by military police officers in Ft. Hood Texas for two years. When this was discovered and stopped by my parents, my father was ordered not to press charges, the other men involved were simply transferred elsewhere. Beyond this, I’ve no know,edge of what occurred then or sense.

      I began attending SF conventions about 15 years ago. At that time, I was an officer of svlug, and knew this guy named Rick, who was just then starting to date this woman named Diedre.

      I’m sure you can connect the dots from here.

      I do not attend these conventions anymore, your courage put words to an uneasiness I experienced that I could not quite put my finger on. Yet I still have friends who do, people I’ve had conversations with at Greyhaven, engineers I’ve hired that are there often, who refuse to see, to listen, and to speak out.

      They disgust me. But I try to be forgiving, for my sake at least.

      I admire you. You are one of my heroes. In my own attempts at blotting out my early life, I found myself in daily need of a alcoholic reprieve. The 9th step promises talk about not regretting the past, but we will see how our experiences will benefit others.

      You have helped me. Thank you.

      • Rick Moen says:

        Wayne, back in 2001, the year you speak of, I was not ‘dating’ Deirdre Saoirse Moen. We had been married for a year at that point, my first and only marriage, her second (her having been widowed a few years before).

        I’m not sure what ‘dots’ you are implying, but strongly suspect you utterly misunderstood Deirdre’s role in getting out Moira’s story, and imagined her some sort of shadowy oppressor or something. Deirdre had posted a blog post (http://deirdre.net/marion-zimmer-bradley-gave-us-new-perspectives-all-right/) sharply critical of a bland puff-piece by Leah Schnelbach about MZB. As Deirdre put it (http://deirdre.net/marion-zimmer-bradley/):

        “I wrote this response, which went viral. In the comments, someone called me out: surely I was misrepresenting who Ms. Bradley was?

        Because of the context, I felt that it was best to try to reach both Stephen Goldin, as well as Marion’s daughter, Moira Greyland. We’d had a long conversation exactly once and we’d met in passing a handful of times.

        She wrote me back, and I remember sitting there, stunned, after reading her short tale of her mother’s abuse of her. Then, after I gathered my wits, I wrote her back. With her permission, I posted Marion Zimmer Bradley: It’s Worse Than I Knew, and later added two pieces of Moira’s poetry written about her experience with her mother. They are horrifyingly difficult subject matter.

        As a result of this going even more viral, Alison Flood of The Guardian wrote a story. It took a few weeks to get to that point because we were all just exhausted and Moira had an opera to perform.”

        In other words, Deirdre has been fiercely a proponent of Moira, in the task of getting the word out about Bradley and Breen’s horrific misdeeds, and made very clear anyone committing or complicit in such deeds should be in prison, full stop. (I’ve been not involved except to support Deirdre.) After some stunned initial disbelief, everyone in fandom and SF-writing to my knowledge has grappled well with the new and unhappy information about MZB — that is, doing the decent thing by reassessing her legacy and expressing empathy towards Moira and her brother Mark.

        Yes, Deirdre and I attend literary SF conventions: Worldcons, Westercons, Loscon, and BayCon. Sorry to hear about whatever ‘uneasiness’ you experienced. If I ever observed anything particularly illegal / immoral at such a convention, especially involving children, I’d call the cops in a heartbeat, and hope you would, too.

        — Rick Moen

    • Andrew says:

      I’d like to echo the others here and say how much I admire your courage in stepping forward. I know when you admit to something like this it can change the way people see and interact with you. I don’t have other words that I mean more sincerely than those, so I’ll leave it there. I appreciate you.

  • Gordon says:

    Moira,

    I would not wish your experiences on anyone. I am grateful for your willingness to put yourself forward, and for your articulate and thoughtful words.

  • bob k. mando says:

    Moira, as a lifelong SciFi fan, though i never attended any cons, i would like to apologize for what was done to you and covered up in the name of “Science Fiction”.

  • DHM says:

    I’m also a survivor of child sex abuse, albeit in a different circle than sci fi. These file 700 defenders of the indefensible are vile scum. Thank-you for exposing this rank infestation of sci-fi, and those who snuggle up with it instead of lancing it and burning it out and saving he children.

    For those wanting more specifics on how pedophiles operate and how to protect your children, I’ve blogged about it some, and so has Jimmy Hinton, a pastor who discovered his own pastor father had been molesting kids for decade. Google him, click on the link in my name.

    Moira, I wish I was a tenth as brave as you. I told about my abuser twice. The first time the response was a confusing mixture of disbelief and blaming me. First, it wasn’t true, and it if was true, it was my fault for tempting him (the abuse happened when I was 8). The second time I told, the response was a betrayal I still can’t discuss. So I have kept my mouth shut for decades.

    Thank-you for this series even though i was wretchedly hard to read.

  • Moira Greyland Peat says:

    It is better to tell once than never. I understand how much it hurts to not be believed, and to live in one’s private hell feeling as though nobody else has ever gone through these things. And yet, even though the telling often doesn’t work and doesn’t help, it is an act of strength to be able to do it at all:

    My hope is that enough of us will speak out that no sex criminal will ever be able to pretend it doesn’t hurt us, since that is the excuse they use for continuing. You’ve done so much good just by speaking out here: who knows how many people will be able to speak out now because you did?

  • […] ‘sainted’ such persons as Walt Whitman, Allen Ginsberg, Harvey Milk, Samuel R. Delany, Walter Breen who organized Science Fiction conventions and abused children with the quiet support of sci-fi and […]

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