A Howling Reproach to the World: Breendoggle and The Sexual Revolution

Recently, Deirdre Saoirse Moen–a SF/F writer with a blogosphere presence–has done a wonderful job blowing the top off two of the most scandalous figures in the history of science fiction: Marion Zimmer Bradley and her husband Walter Breen.

Here are the links to her relevant posts on this topic:

While Deirdre and I are not on the same page with our worldviews, I do provide a tip of the cap for her coverage of MZB and the “Breendoggle.”

Moira Greyland–the daughter of MZB and the late Walter Breen–confirmed what Deirdre reported, and offered her own input on that site. Others who had suffered catastrophic abuse also spoke of their experiences and struggles. I wish them all the best. Again, I thank Deirdre for her solid coverage.

On one of the threads, I had an exchange with Barbara, who herself–like Moira–suffered horrific abuses as a child. Here is one of her comments:

I just finished reading the Breendoggle document.

I am aghast. You know, generally the sexual revolution was a positive thing, (it helped us recognize that homosexuality isn’t a perversion, that women deserve sexual autonomy, that birth control is a good thing and that rape, incest and sexual abuse happen, and are bad and victims of same should be supported) but reading this document showed me the dark side of it all.

To have fully grown, adults who are obviously rational, discussing whether or not the publicly displayed sexual activity with a three year old harms the child—it blew my mind. BLEW my mind. Completely.

But, with all of the sexual experimentation that was happening, with the sexual openness–and with the fact that people still didn’t really talk about incest or sexual abuse openly, AND that there was a dearth of research into these matters, I could see this happening.

But it still made my heart stop. To listen to the author arguing with himself over the entire issue, and then seeing that he finally came to the conclusion that Breen was hurting kids, mostly based on his own moral conviction and going against that “free love” philosophy at the time was astounding.

That is the dark side of the hippie culture. And it affected and still affects SF/Fantasy culture, Geek culture, Gaming culture, Neo-Pagan culture and SCA–I know because I have been involved in all of these cultures at one time or another, and I swear that is part of where the whole, “But it’s evil to exclude someone! We’re all freaks, it’s just that so and so is a little more freaky!” excuses and fallacies came from.

In trying to include those who had been rejected by mainstream society, in trying to build a culture based on openness and love, in trying to be tolerant and understanding, these people–many of whom, like the author of that document–were trying to do the right thing—they collectively sacrificed the most vulnerable among them–their kids.

I wish I could go back in time and shake some of them.

But it was chilling to read people saying similar things then about banning a predator from a con that have been said about predators at modern cons. For God’s sake, have we not learned anything in the intervening decades?

Once more, Moira–my heart goes out to you. To have grown up with both parents being so sick was a horrible experience. I am sorry your childhood was so unsafe and I want you to know that even though you don’t know me, as another commenter on another thread said–I’ve got your back.

First, a word out to Barbara and Moira: over here, we have your backs, too. Same goes for Jay and Deirdre. While I am going to challenge you on a few things, Barbara, none of those things–in whole or part–take away from the fact that we empathize with your experiences and otherwise want the best for you. In fact, I am going to challenge you for that very reason.

Now, about the Sexual Revolution (SR)…

Barbara: what you call “the dark side” of the SR is actually its logical conclusion. By removing social restraints on sexual expression–which required repudiating the basis behind those restraints–the SR proponents created a whole new basis, which provided no objective, moral compass against which to restrain expressions that we would dismiss as abhorrent.

The SR was the culmination of a number of things: the hijacking of academia by progressive elements, the onslaught of the Kinsey Reports, the American Law Institute’s use of the Kinsey Reports to re-write common law and undermine the severity of sex crimes via the Model Penal Code, and the counter-cultural rebellion of the 1960s.

I find nothing positive to say about it.

Many will argue about the double-standards and hypocrisy of Victorian-era sexual mores; in so doing, such critics forget that every era and epoch of history is fraught with double-standards. The elites, however, were not merely attacking Victorian-era prudery, but rather the Christian foundation for which the Victorians, whatever their shortcomings, stood. And make no mistake: the Bible was always the real target. Undermining that foundation was the aim of the SR.

The problem, invariably, becomes this: if you remove the Christian foundations that served as the basis for social mores–as well as law and justice–then that foundation will be replaced with something else. Over the last 50 years, we have seen what that something else is, and the future does not look particularly bright.

The SR is the product of a progressive model that Thomas Sowell called the “unrestrained view of Man” in his book A Conflict of Visions. In layman’s terms, the thinking goes this way: if we remove all cultural and religion-based restraint on society, then Man can reach the heights of human potential.

The problem with this thinking–from a purely worldly standpoint–is this: human potential works both ways.

While I would contend that the upside of human potential is maximized when God is honored–and I will provide an explication of that some other time–I also would contend that, removing God from society results in a world where there is no limit to the evil we can accomplish together.

We see this, at the basest level, in our understanding of sexuality.

I’ll sum up the Christian perspective in one paragraph:

To the Christian, sex is the act of the marriage covenant, a covenant heritage that extends all the way back to Creation. Marriage, in turn, is a covenant that represents a witness to the love of Christ for the Church. Marital faithfulness speaks to God’s faithfulness. The pleasures of sex speak of what God has done, is doing, and will do. This sexual expression often results in procreation, and that is also of theological importance. While childbearing–and child-rearing–are painful and challenging, the building of families speaks of a God who redeems and fashions for Himself a people who love Him.

This is why (a) marriage is between a man and a woman, (b) sex must be reserved for the marriage bed, and (c) any other expressions of sex are short of the glory.

Some will argue, “What about polygamy? Doesn’t the Bible endorse polygamy???”

That something is permitted does not mean that God endorsed it as a good thing. It is instructive to note that every instance of polygamy in Scripture was a case-study in severe dysfunction. When God created woman, He said, “for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife. (Notice the use of the singular.) In the pastoral epistles, Paul requires of would-be elders that they be “the husband of one wife.” (I.e., polygamists need not apply.)

That Christian perspective also rules out sex between members of the same sex. In fact, every instance in the Scriptures where it is mentioned, homosexual/lesbian sex–as with all sex outside of heterosexual marriage–is ALWAYS given negative coverage. I say this not to demonize homosexuals, but rather to point out that same-sex sexual relations are Biblically wrong, just as heterosexual sex outside of marriage is wrong.

Because sex is exclusively for marriage, that excludes children from sexual relations, as marriage is between a man and a woman. While there is no hard command as to the threshold for adulthood–and this varies from culture to culture–the Biblical position is clearly one that requires both parties to be of sufficient maturity to handle the challenges of marriage and family life. Simply-put: marriage is for grownups.

Now proponents of the SR will look at that and dismiss it as “narrow-minded” or “old-fashioned” or “Neanderthal” or “Medieval” or “Bronze Age”. Dismissing those boundaries is not so much a war on sex, but rather a war on the God who provided those standards for sex. That is what the SR was all about, and that is why the SR is so corrosive.

You see, if we take God out of the equation, then nothing–and I do mean nothing–is off the table. This is why–in the Breendoggle matter–so many SF/F writers and fans were so conflicted: while some had personal moral outrage, they had no objective basis for dismissing Breen. Breen and MZB would epitomize the rejection of all objective morality; in marriage, they took sexual license with their own children, and the children of others.

If you take our Christian foundations off the table, then pederasty–a common practice in the Greek culture of the New Testament era–remains on the table. It doesn’t matter that you and I otherwise find it objectionable, as it would not be our place to impose our morality on anyone else.

This would also explain why a fair share of SF/F writers and fans–such as Deborah J. Scott–continue to defend Marion Zimmer Bradley in spite of the objective evidence that Bradley was a child rapist and also covered for one.

Today, we live in the aftermath of the SR. No part of society–secular or religious–is unaffected. Our society has been inundated with sex, and this has been true for all age groups. Prominent clothing firms have even used sex to market products to girls and pre-teens. Whereas 30 years ago, one had to go to a book store, or a certain type of video store, or a certain section of a video store, or have cable television, to get pornography, today anyone is a mouseclick or smartphone away from the hardest-core pornography. Feminism has given us the “hookup culture”, which is fast-tracking many a sorority girl into a lifestyle that damages her chances of marrying well.

The SR has handed us a society in which more than 70% of black children and 40% of white children are born out of wedlock, thus forcing them to grow up without fathers. This, by the way, is one of the largest indicators of criminality. Cohabitation, the new “marriage”, is actually a very high indicator for child abuse.

And no discussion of the SR would be complete without mentioning the abortion holocaust, which has killed over 50 million children in the United States alone. And if you object to the use of the word “holocaust”, then pick a different name. Holocaust, genocide, or democide, you decide. What I won’t permit: any attempt to call that slaughter anything other than what it is.

But in an SF/F world where sexual license of all types is celebrated–and where more conservative authors (Vox Day, Larry Correia) are declared persona non grata–it is no surprise that Marion Zimmer Bradley and Walter Breen present such a conundrum to many fans and writers. The Breendoggle documents chronicle a stunning lack of moral clarity among the SF/F crowd, and yet–in a twisted way–they are aware of the dilemma even as they reject the solution.

Because the SF/F world is dominated by those who look at the SR as a good thing, the objective moral clarity is nonexistent.

12 thoughts on “A Howling Reproach to the World: Breendoggle and The Sexual Revolution

  1. Again, with the tired old “The Bible Is The Sole Legitimate Source Of Morality” argument.

    Child rape is rape because children are incapable of giving informed consent- the same reason they aren’t allowed to enter into legal contracts. I say this with a straight face as a survivor of what
    The Who immortalized as an “Uncle Ernie”.

    There are plenty of perfectly adequate secular bases for a functioning “moral code” that offer the same, if not better protections to individuals and groups as the Bible, yet Christians willfully refuse to consider them.

    I say “better” because the Old Testament prescribes specific punishments for crimes, how slaves may be taken and treated, and so on on the basis of racial origin among other things. It makes women the effective slaves of men, children responsible for the crimes of their fathers, and supports genocide for “lebensraum”. I don’t see such howling injustices being absent from current secular law as a bad thing.

    Homosexuality “gets negative coverage” in the Old Testament to the point of making it a capital crime. I can’t find any such in the Gospels, and those usually cited in the rest of the New Testament depend on how “malakoi” and “arsenokoitai” are translated. If you want to call yourself a Christian, perhaps you should take to heart what Jesus himself did and didn’t say rather than the attitudes of commentators and ancient Jewish patriarchs.

    The sexual revolution is like any other kind- it had its benefits, and its risks. Look at the Protestant Reformation- it was a revolution of the first water and has resulted in so much good. Would you undo that as well?

    All this is irrelevant to the main point though- Breendoggle didn’t go far enough in my opinion. I can’t figure out why MZB is still being published.

    • First off, I’m glad to see that we are in agreement that child rape is evil, even if your basis for saying so is flimsy, but more on that later…

      Secondly, I’m sorry that you endured the abuses you endured.

      Now, let’s get to the heart of the discussion, and I’ll handle your points in reverse order….

      (1) MZB is being published for the same reason a whole host of other authors–who promote hideous acts both sexual and non-sexual–get published: there’s a market for them. You and I won’t buy them, but lots of others will.

      In the SF/F world, many in that community still give a pass to pedophiles, as Vox Day has done a wonderful job illustrating. You have a community in which a critical mass, if not a majority, doesn’t care that MZB or Breen were pedophiles.

      (While Moira Greyland receives empathy and support here, as well as other blog spaces, her accounts are minimized in other venues.)

      (2) The Protestant Reformation–on balance–was a good thing. The net benefits–sound doctrine, exposure of corruption, a return to the Scriptures and a demotion of authority of tradition–outweighed the negative effects, particularly the fragmentation (which Luther sought to avoid).

      The same is not true of the Sexual Revolution, which undermined many protections for women, children, and families that existed in common law before the American Law Institute used the Kinsey Reports to weaken those protections.

      Today, illegitimacy rates are staggering–over 70% for blacks, with Whitey fast approaching at just north of 40%. Children growing up in such environments is a high indicator for poverty, physical and sexual abuse, and criminality. This is a product of the sexual revolution.

      Today, divorce rates are staggering–and this is a product of “no-fault divorce”, which itself is the result of the undermining of common law in light of the Kinsey Reports. This has made for a mother lode of one-parent families, as well as an overall decline of marriage.

      Barbara, in her comment on Deirdre’s blog, even mentioned the degree of sexual experimentation that was part and parcel with the Sexual Revolution. That is itself a negative thing.

      Ergo, I would contend that, on balance, the SR was a very bad thing.

      (3) Nice try, but your attempt to invoke Jesus in order to provide a Christian support of homosexuality is short of the glory.

      That Jesus didn’t specifically address a particular practice that was forbidden in the OT hardly makes that practice legit. Otherwise, using your approach, the pedophile and pederast could invoke Jesus as a canard for legitimacy. (And, trust me, they use exactly that approach. But more on that later.)

      Jesus did, however, discuss marriage when He was pressed about his thoughts on divorce. And how did He answer? He went all the way back to Genesis 2: he framed the issue in terms of creation. He established the operative principle around which marriage is to be understood, as He pointed out what God’s original intent was. That passage frames the basis for sex itself: marriage. Every time in the Bible that sex is mentioned in a positive light, it is within the context of marriage.

      Now let’s talk about what Jesus didn’t say…

      As Jesus was discussing marriage in His discussion with the Pharisees, that was His perfect opportunity to expand the tent to include same-sex relations. That would have had an excellent appeal to the Romans and Greeks of those days.

      That Jesus did not expand the tent of marriage is quite telling. In fact, He did something that frustrated everyone around Him: by framing marriage as He did–in terms of creation–He set the bar for so high that every Pharisaical camp, as well as the Disciples, were aghast. After all, Jesus had the audacity to say that divorce and remarriage constituted adultery.

      (In churches today, that issue is the cause of many spirited discussions.)

      So far, I have invoked no Jewish patriarchs.

      I am familiar with attempts to narrow the range of meaning of the Greek words malakoi and arsenokoitai. This is actually a revisionist ploy that was foreign across the board in the Church of the First Century.

      Again, none of this is to bash homosexuals; as I have said, they are no worse–or better–than the heterosexual who sleeps around. My differences with the homosexual are theological, not personal.

      And while there are very tough passages in the OT–which touches on issues of slavery and mass slaughter–keep in mind that it is best-understood in light of the NT.

      In the OT, we get a portrait of God that is very staggering: powerful, intelligent, loving, just, and very rigid. We also get a portrait of Man that is not particularly flattering: murderous, idolatrous, sexually licentious, violent, and not deserving of life.

      The Law gives us (a) a portrait of the human condition, (b) a portrait of what a holy and just God demands, (c) the futility of Man to make himself worthy of God, (d) the need for deliverance, and (e) a foreshadowing of what that deliverance entails.

      While we are in agreement about the evils of slavery, keep in mind that slavery–in the Scriptures–is a portrait of the human condition.

      In most cultures of that day, if you were a slave, then your master had absolute power–even power of death–over you.

      The OT, however, gives the Israelite no such power over slaves (at least not death). In fact, when you look at the Law, you see a marginal incentive to treat them well and even free them. (Freedom was required for Israelite slaves, but not foreigners.)

      That an Israelite slaveowner was allowed to beat–but not kill–a slave meant that he had an incentive to treat those slaves well. After all, one who owned a slave–who could not kill that slave–would have an incentive to make sure that the slave was in condition to provide the best productivity.

      That he could not kill a slave when he got older meant he would have to take care of that slave in advanced age. Ergo, an Israelite slaveowner jhad a marginal incentive to free even his foreign slaves.

      Oh, and Israelite slaves had an incentive to embrace their permitted freedom, as–even if he wanted to remain a slave–the penalty was severe: the slave had a spike driven through his ear into the doorpost, and that made him a slave for life.

      (That is a portrait of the redemption that Jesus provides for all of us who, minus Jesus, are enslaved by sin: the penalty for rejecting it is painful and permanent.)

      (4) While your consent argument–as a basis for banning adult-child/child-child sexual relations–has quite an appeal, it is short of the glory. Here is why…

      The purely secular scientist will make an argument that sounds like this: The only reason that any children are “harmed” by sexual relations is because of the cultural taboos–stemming from religion–that we have erected. As we rid our society of such taboos and superstitions, then matters such as incest and other adult-child relations will be widely-acceptable. We know this because science has shown that children are sexual from birth.

      The academic world is chock full of such defenders of sexual deviancy.

      Oh, and that argument–being made in a totally Naturalistic/evolutionist paradigm–carries weight as a perfectly testable hypothesis absent an objective standard for objection

      And that is my larger point here: on objective standard for morality. I am not suggesting that the Bible is the only standard for morality, but rather that

      (a) the Bible is the best and most reliable standard for objective morality;

      (b) our system of common law is rooted in that standard;

      (c) undermining that standard requires you to replace it with something else;

      (d) the burden of proof is on the would-be detractor to make the case that the “something else” is a better standard.

      Having said all that, the “dark side” of the sexual revolution was in fact its logical conclusion.

    • Oh, and a couple more things:

      (1) As you invoke the slavery canard, it would be short of the glory to not point out that it is the Christian who has freed the slaves. The Abolition movement was a Christian one, not an Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Pagan, or secular endeavor. Today, slavery is quite common in the less-Christian regions in the world: Africa, the Middle East, and even the Far East. It is also making a comeback in post-Christian Europe.

      That brings me to another thing:

      (2) From a purely morally-relativistic, secular paradigm, those who promote the Adult-child sexual relations have a substantial case, as this is very engrained in many cultures throughout history, from pre-Christian Europe (not just Greece and Rome) to the Middle East, Africa, and the Far East. In fact, Japan has only recently criminalized child pornography. In Afghanistan, sex between men and boys is very nonchalant.

      This is not a defense of said practices–after all, you and I are in agreement that they are evil–but rather to point out that, in a purely secular paradigm, our views are just opinions.

      This is because, in a purely Naturalist system, there is no compelling, objective requirement to treat people as anything more than commodities to be used by those with the most authority and power.

      As I often say, minus God, then right and wrong become a mere question of who has the better artillery.

  2. It seems the hippes and other like them thought that humans still belonged in eden. They seem blind to the sin nature of man attributing the corruption to purely social influence rather than the inherent corruption of the heart of man.

  3. Besides Amir’s lengthy reply, note that “consent” is a pretty flimsy concept, and rest assured, a society that will redefine the definitions of marriage and proper sexuality will also eventually get round to redefining “consent” and whether it’s really important in this day and age.

    • In other words, to say that this revolves around “consent” is to beg the question: *why* is “consent” important?

    • Yep. Minus an objective standard, then even the definitions of words are subject to the whims of the powers that be.

    • Yep. It certainly was.

      While I am not a huge SF/F fan, the SFWA’s handling of these matters explains how writers like MZB and Breen were coddled and promoted, in spite of their activities being a relatively-open secret.

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