Marion Zimmer Bradley’s son speaks out

After his sister, Moira Greyland, bravely came forward and publicly exposed her mother, the late Marion Zimmer Bradley, as a child abuser, her son has also stepped forward to confirm both her charges and the deposition of Elizabeth Waters. This is a brief selection; read the whole thing there.

CS: Do you think other people were aware of your mother’s abuse of you and your sister at the time? If so, in what ways did they respond?
MG: You assume that I would have felt free to say anything. There was always drama and there was always the invisible blade of what would happen if all of this dreadful secret got out. The atmosphere of fear of discovery was simply everywhere and there was no place to hide.

Worse, I was ashamed. When you are small you believe stuff, and I felt with my whole heart that I was responsible when she would go bad. There was absolutely no way I was gonna drag the mountain onto my head. And that made every day a drama, a thick clogged tube of waiting for the dreadful, the un-nameable horror.

And nobody spoke. Everything was always fine and that was my clown suit. I thought everyone knew and that I was such a bad person no one would speak to me. My echo chamber filled me with such fear of exposure I would do anything to make the shadow go away. And I did. The shame paints my world yellow and pink and brown. I don’t want to say these things any more….

CS: Who benefits from the sales of your mother’s books and the MZB trust?
MG: I was disinherited by language that sounded so unlike my mother that I knew she never wrote it, as was my sister and my half-brother who is now deceased.

The money went to the opera and to her lover.

“Nobody spoke.” That is the shame of the science fiction community then and now. Now that they can’t deny the fact of MZB’s abuse, they can still pretend that Ed Kramer isn’t a member of SFWA, they can still pretend that there aren’t a veritable United Nations of red flags waving around Sam Delany’s head, they can still try to brazen it out. But the truth is going to come out eventually, and their legacies will reflect the fact that they did their very best to sweep the ugly truth under the carpet as long as they thought they could get away with it.

SFWA still has not responded to my questions about its position on the eligibility of known and suspected child molesters for membership in the organization. Nor, to the best of my knowledge, has the organization that produced an 80-page investigative report on the subject of a single tweet done anything to discover who in the science fiction community knew what and when they knew it.

As for Mark and Moira, as difficult as it may be, they have the right to hold their heads up high. Unlike all the cowards, they were not afraid to speak. They were not afraid to expose the evildoers. One need not be a writer of fantasies to know, and to acknowledge, that such actions are indicative of the behavior of a hero, not a villain, and not a helpless victim.

If I could tell Mark one thing, it would be this: You did the right thing. You broke the spell of silence. You have made it harder for others to do what was done to you. You don’t have my pity or even my sympathy. You have my respect.