Circling the wagons, poisoning the well

Colleen Doran points out one of the hidden costs of an abusive community:

I
have heard from many people in the last couple of days (men and women)
who had to deal with multiple incidents from multiple perps themselves,
and most said they got out of fandom because of it. Fans may think Bradley was a mighty fine writer, or that comic book
was a mighty fine comic, but consider all of the art we’ll never see and
books we’ll never read because the young people who might have wanted
to make them someday ran screaming from this community.

These people poisoned the well for generations of fans, and future
writers and artists. And the poison not only came from the perps, but
from the people who covered up for them, claiming if the outside world
knew what really goes on, “it might make fandom look bad.”

No folks, YOU did that. You did.

S. Andrew Swann adds:

What’s disheartening is that the general reaction of SF Fandom
to things like this echoes the reaction I’ve seen from just about any
organized group to this kind of thing, esp. when someone of some weight
and power in the community is involved in the abuse. Be it Jerry
Sandusky at Penn State, Jimmy Savile at the BBC, or the Catholic Church
to their own abusive priests. It’s like everyone has this script that
tells them they must continue to enable abuse to protect their own
little community.

After SFWA quickly leaped to wipe Ed Kramer from their online membership list on 24 June 2014 following my post of a screen capture proving Kramer’s SFWA membership yesterday, some of its fans and members began to pretend that Kramer’s apparent failure to pay his dues sometime between 2011 and 2013 somehow exculpates SFWA’s complete failure to do anything but publicly defend the child molester while he was “an active member of the Science Fiction Writer’s Association (SFWA) for more than two decades, and a past Nebula Awards host”. This is how they continue “to protect their own
little community”:

  • Vox attempting to defame with phony “screenshot” showing Ed Kramer still a member. – Thomas Wagner
  • Why should we keep talking about Kramer? Oh, right, because VD made up
    some fake bullshit to stir controversy. Not surprising at all. – Shaun Duke
  • The Naive Idiocy of Not Checking Your Facts Before Making Accusations Online – John Scalzi
  • Yeah. So Kramer isn’t actually a member of SFWA. (Though it looks like he was an associate member…four years ago.)

    #FactChecking  – Jim C Hines

  • Font in the link on his screenshot doesn’t look right to me, size difference. – JabberwockySR
  • I’m not a member, and when I do a search at the site Jim linked, I get 0 results found. Searched just “kramer.” – The Barbarienne
  • Nah, can’t be. Ed Kramer’s not currently a SFWA member. I mean, it’s not like the troll would *lie* about that. Or not have their facts in order before spouting off.” – Jazzfish
  • VD says the SFWA removed Kramer’s entry right after he posted, but I
    think he’s lying and the screen grab is a fake – Agent Mimi 
  • What a troll. Never could understand such petty BS. How small his soul must be to run a campaign of destruction of others. – Walter L. Fisher

If there are others, let me know. These people must be put on the record for their attempts to whitewash the problematic past. The screen capture is not a fake. Multiple readers here have testified that they saw Kramer on the list and SFWA has not denied the fact that Edward E. Kramer was on the SFWA.ORG membership list as of 5:04 AM EST, 24 June 2014. The fact is that Kramer was listed in the SFWA print directory in 2010 and I am still waiting to hear from someone who has the 2011 and 2012 directories. The fact is that Kramer himself said he was an SFWA member “for more than two decades”. And the fact is that numerous members of the science fiction community are attacking me and deceitfully claiming that I forged a screen capture rather than believe the well-documented truth: SFWA has harbored, defended, and celebrated child molesters for more than 50 years and is still doing so today.

Furthermore, even if Ed Kramer stopped paying his dues at some point between 2011 and 2014, how is that to SFWA’s credit? They did not criticize him. They did not investigate him. They did not expel him. They did not cut ties to him. They did not do any of these things even though Dragoncon began attempting to cut ties with the man 14 years ago! Instead, as I pointed out, SFWA defended him, and now its defenders are attempting to deny the undeniable evidence literally in front of their eyes rather than admit that SFWA has a real and ongoing problem with child molesters in its midst.

And, if Ed Kramer paid his dues tomorrow, he would again be an Active member in good standing. As he was for more than 20 years.

Consider how many SFWA people are doing exactly as their predecessors who defended Ed Kramer did in 2004 and 2006, only now they are pointing out that there isn’t any hard evidence that their new Grand Master ever put his words into action. Keeping in mind that the SFWA Board produced an 80-page investigative report on the basis of a single tweet last year, when did SFWA ever do a similar investigation of the author of Hogg: A Novel on the basis of his public support for NAMBLA or even this review of his book by Publisher’s Weekly?

Hugo-and Nebula Award-winner Delany – whose early books were fascinating but whose recent efforts have grown increasingly obtuse – has been trying to get this pornographic novel published since 1973. The main narrator here is an 11-year-old boy who joins up with a raping, murdering pederast named Hogg. Coprophiliac Hogg violates women for pay. He enlists the help of other pedophiliac murdering rapists – Nigg, Dago and Denny – and the group sets off to perform acts of hideous violence. After the attacks, a biker friend of Hogg’s sells the boy into sexual slavery to dockyard slum resident Big Sambo, who keeps his 12-year-old daughter for prostitution and his own perversions. The traumatized little girl is gang-raped by Hogg’s crew as well. Meanwhile, teenaged Denny goes on an insane mutilating and mass-murder spree, eludes the police and finally returns to Hogg and the hopelessly confused narrator, who has been “rescued” after Hogg murders Big Sambo. Gang-rape attacks and criminal sex orgies are detailed at excruciating length, with photographic realism.

That monstrosity is precisely what SFWA chose to celebrate in May 2014. SFWA President Steven Gould, who was personally responsible for the decision to select Delany,  was “delighted” to select the author of Hogg instead of Frank Herbert, Jerry Pournelle, Larry Niven, or other, much more deserving SF authors:

One of the perks of being SFWA president is the option of
selecting the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s next
Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master. One of the tragedies is we only get
to select one a year. That said, from the grains of sand in my pocket, I
am delighted to pull this star. Samuel R. Delany is one of science fiction’s most influential
authors, critics, and teachers and it is my great honor to announce his
selection. When discussing him as this year’s choice with the board,
past-presidents, and members, the most frequent response I received was,
“He’s not already?” Well he is now.

If Delany was truly “one of science fiction’s most influential
authors”, then science fiction would be in dire straits indeed. Fortunately, aside from a fairly small number of Pink SF/F freakshows like Gould, Delany isn’t even remotely influential. Virtually no one actually reads his perverted sewage: Dhalgren is #523,915 on Kindle, Nova is #381,524, and Hogg is #873,530. Unfortunately, there are those who unwittingly read the writers influenced by him. Writers like this one:

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has named Samuel R. Delany its newest Grand Master…. I will say this: This is an award both well chosen and well deserved.
 – John Scalzi, 4 December 2013

In light of what we have learned about the way in which the crimes of Walter Breen and Marion Zimmer Bradley were directly tied to the dark themes of their literary work, is it truly justifiable to give another award-winning author the benefit of the doubt and simply assume his innocence without asking any questions at all? Or will it eventually come out that the SF community is again doing what it has repeatedly done over the last 50 years and circled its wagons in defense of yet another celebrated child molester? I have invented nothing here. This is what they are.

To paraphrase Miss Doran: “Even when abuse is right in their faces, they will cover up and deny.”