SPECIAL NOTE (5/26/2016): For those visitors looking for the fully compiled edition of this post as it had been intended to appear in the Hugo Packet, download the following PDF:
For the full story on the exclusion of this Hugo Award-nominated work from the Hugo Packet made available to all Worldcon members for voter consideration, visit Banned from the Hugo Packet.
“[T]here’s a part of me…who can understand why those men could rationalize a) not immediately acting in the interests of a child being raped, b) not immediately going to the police, c) doing only the minimum legal requirements, d) acting to keep from exposing their organization to a scandal. But here’s the thing: that part of me? That part of me is a coward.” — John Scalzi, former President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA)
“There were some things that only time could cure. Evil men could be destroyed, but nothing could be done with good men who were deluded.” — Arthur C. Clarke, Childhood’s End
“But why didn’t somebody say something! I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing it if I’d thought someone objected.” – Walter Breen, after molesting a 3-year-old girl in front of her parents at a party attended by prominent members of science fiction fandom.
As the World Fantasy Award abandons its iconic image and founding inspiration – H.P. Lovecraft – the obvious question is, “How can such an esoteric and minority voice get away with such a crime against their organization’s own interests?”
The answer is simple: vandalism and destruction is not the unintended consequence of the protesters, nor is the inactivity of the majority a sign of helplessness. It is not the vocal few who have torn down Lovecraft’s statue, but the seemingly passive majority within World Fantasy’s body who, through unvoiced cheers, have blessed the desecration.
The inactivity of the many provides cover for the crimes of the few. In science fiction circles, this principle does not only apply to such trifles as award ceremonies.
Having formed some disagreeable impressions connected with the name of Marsh, I did not welcome the news that it belonged on my own ancestral tree; nor was I pleased by Mr. Peabody’s suggestion that I had the true Marsh eyes myself. However, I was grateful for data which I knew would prove valuable; and took copious notes and lists of book references regarding the well-documented Orne family…
‘All in the band of the faithful – Order 0′ Dagon – an’ the children shud never die, but go back to the Mother Hydra an’ Father Dagon what we all come from onct … Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fhtagn! Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah-nagl fhtaga -‘ – The Shadow Over Innsmouth, by H.P. Lovecraft
In 1964 a pedophilia scandal rocked science fiction fandom, and most normal-thinking people would simply say it didn’t rock quite hard enough to shake off all the closet rapists from finding secret passages into a vulnerable fandom. The truth is the exact opposite: the scandal rocked science fiction — and, at least in some small way, society at large — toward an ethic of pro-pedophilia, toward a culture where child abuse is a virtue.
“Who cares what happens to the little bastard?” — A common (if not prevalent) sentiment of science fiction fans, in regards to a 10-year old victim of Walter Breen, circa 1964 – Breendoggle
Child abuse in science fiction fandom may have its literary roots in the early 1940s work of Marion Zimmer Bradley, but the first known, publicized and prosecuted acts and cases of adults using the allure of science fiction and fantasy to prey upon the vulnerable are exemplified in Walter Breen’s criminal acts of the 1950s and 1960s, as particularly noted in the tumult now known as the Breendoggle.
Breen may provide some of the better documented cases of the relationship between science fiction fandom and the subculture of pedophilia, although he is certainly not an isolated case.
Walter Breen – Primary subject of the infamous Breendoggle in science fiction, the husband of fantasy author Marion Zimmer Bradley was the pseudonymous author of “Greek Love,” a defense of homosexual pedophilia (from the Publisher: “The author of Greek Love believes that boy-love is a potential social force for good.”)
He was also employed in the 1950s to perform parapsychological experiments on gifted children at Columbia Medical School. Believe it or not, one component of those studies was to immerse the children into the culture of New York’s organized science fiction fandom. His experiments ended shortly before his arrest in 1954 in Atlantic City for pedophilia, which resulted in probation.
He was later convicted again of molestation, possibly in 1964, but definitely in 1990 (probation) and then finally of eight felony counts of molestation, and was sentenced to ten years in prison in 1991. He died, incarcerated, in 1993.
Ed Kramer -Kramer is a science fiction and horror editor, SFWA member and the co-founder of Dragon*Con (now Dragon Con), one of the more prominent of science fiction conventions in the U.S. The convention itself was named after Kramer’s computer, and it was in its 3rd year of existence in 1989 when Kramer cemented a friendship with Anne McCafferey, who was that year’s Guest of Honor. She would become one of his most prominent defenders after he was arrested for pedophilia about a decade later.
Mike Dillson, who served as Dragon*Con’s head of operations and security for nine years and oversaw a volunteer staff of 135, says Kramer “always had a legion of little boys following him around. ‘Ed’s boys’ — that’s what we called them.”
Kramer received a deferred adjudication (or First Offender) sentence for molesting three boys in Georgia. He is currently serving 34 months of house arrest, which could be transferred into a 60-year conviction should he violate any terms of his agreement, which includes $100,000 in restitution to each victim, or by having contact with any child.
Marion Zimmer Bradley – Originally cast as the unwitting spouse during the Breendoggle affair, and then later as a possible enabler of Walter Breen’s scores of child rapes, it has been more recently settled that Bradley herself was an avowed pedophile and child abuser who attempted to choke and drown her own young daughter in the bathtub for resisting her incestuous advances. Her once-acclaimed Darkover series was formerly acknowledged as a seminal work of feminist fantasy. At the age of 18 in the 1940s, Bradley authored The Catch Trap, a circus tale whose plot is centered on the positive portrayal of the non-consensual (by age of consent) homosexual relationship between two teenage performers.
Bradley’s advocacy for sexual relationships between adults and children remained relatively private for decades, despite The Catch Trap and her editorial work on Greek Love until it became a matter of public record in her testimony during the Breen case depositions.
Bradley on the factors determining the appropriateness of pedophilic acts: “The general maturity of the child in question, the fact whether the adult was the kind of person to be threatening. If the adult was generally a non-threatening person, I think my attitude would have been no harm in asking if he takes no for an answer.”
Bradley on protecting one of her husband’s victims after knowing the abuse was occuring: “Oh, please. The idea of me protecting little [Victim X], good heavens. “
Although Bradley scoffed at the idea of protecting children, she demonstrated to her friend Elisabeth Waters that she could control her own children, Patrick and Moira, quite easily: “Moira kept biting Patrick, and she [Marion Zimmer Bradley] couldn’t think of any way to stop her, so she tied her to a chair and threatened to pull out all of her teeth with pliers, and Moira became hysterical, and Marion untied her and let her go, and Moira never bit her brother again.”
Arthur C. Clarke — Although the newspaper later withdrew its claims under pressure from Clarke’s friend Rupert Murdoch, it was never sued for printing the direct, recorded quotes of Clarke regarding pederasty from an interview with him at his Sri Lankan Home:
“I have never had the slightest interest in children – boys or girls. They should be treated in the same way. But once they have reached the age of puberty, then it is OK. If the kids enjoy it and don’t mind it doesn’t do any harm … there is a hysteria about the whole thing in the West.” — Science Fiction grandmaster Arthur C. Clarke, as quoted in the Sunday Mirror, 1998.
“Yes, there is the possibility that humankind can outgrown[sic] its infantile tendencies, as I suggested in Childhood’s End. But it is amazing how childishly gullible humans are.” — Clarke, in a separate interview.
David Asimov -From the now defunct News Making News report:
“David Asimov, of Living Oak Court, Bennett Ridge, Santa Rosa, the son of the late science fiction writer Isaac Asimov, was sentenced on March 28, 2001 to six months’ home detention with electronic monitoring and three years federal probation for possessing child pornography.
U.S. District Court Judge Maxine M. Chesney sentenced Asimov after reviewing a series of sealed psychiatric reports, one of which was ordered by the court. Asimov who was charged with four federal counts of possession of child pornography with each count carrying a five year sentence, pled guilty to two counts in a plea bargain deal.
There was no forfeiture of any of Asimov’s assets in this case, despite his owning a home in Santa Rosa purchased in 1996 for $375,000, and despite his receiving $3,000 per month from his father’s estate.”
The plea bargain to six months’ home detention for a crime that involved what may have been the largest collection of child pornography in Sonoma County history (as many as 4000 tapes and thousands of computer files), including taping and duplicating equipment (suggesting that assaults were both filmed and distributed using Asimov’s equipment) raises suspicions that it was Asimov’s connection to his father and to science fiction that kept him from the harsher sentence that he had earned for himself.
“There were thousands of disks, thousands of videos,” said Sonoma County Deputy District Attorney Gary Medvigy, who personally referred to Asimov’s home as a “processing center” for child pornography. “Anything imaginable regarding sex between human beings and human beings, or human beings and animals, was there. Whatever your imagination can conjure up, he had it. It was like walking into a TV studio”
Interestingly, one of the elder Asimov’s biographers, Michael White, indicates that the relationship between father and son had been strained nearly since birth:
“Some have claimed that Isaac was unable to have a proper fatherly relationship with his only son, David. It is certainly clear from his own writing and comments that he absolutely doted on Robyn, while sparing little talk or ink on his son. Close friends of the family have suggested that Isaac found his son too mundane a character, that he lacked intellect, and therefore had become almost an embarrassment to the world-famous polymath and internationally acclaimed writer. Father and son did not see much of each other in later years, and some friend believe that Isaac did not care about his son simply because he was not his intellectual equal.“
Victor Salva -The director of the hit horror series Jeepers Creepers, Salva is a convicted pedophile who used his professional film equipment to record his attacks on a twelve-year actor during the filming of Clownhouse.
His victim protested the distribution of Salva’s science fiction movie Powder, whose main character was a youth who had been abused and neglected and had supernatural powers through his touch. The primary concern of the victim was that Salva should not have professional access to or contact with the underaged.
Instead, Disney enabled a director to film nude scenes of teenaged boys as well as a scene where an adult approaches the innocent main character to tell him:
“”You touched me and I’ve had better sex than I’ve had in ten years… I want to be a friend.”
“I think my art is just a way for this lost boy to tell the world how he felt, how he feels, and what he hopes for.” – Victor Salva
The full series of “Safe Space as Rape Room: Science Fiction Culture and Childhood’s End” will include the following: