VI. THE DOCUMENTS (Click to enlarge)
The first letter we received was from a reverend in Madison Wisconsin. On further reflection I get the feeling that this letter is a fake; it’s a little “over the top,” what with the “on a secular business trip” and the “from hand to Christian hand” business. Note the date; this was immediately following the Chattacon distribution.
The second, half-sized Crusade flyer was distributed at Magnum Opus Con V in March. Completely dispensing with the relatively even tone of the original, this flyer veered wildly into obvious parody territory, which didn't stop the attendees (which included SF author Brad Strickland, who stopped in the middle of a panel discussion to inquire what the audience knew about the CC) from making wild speculations concerning the group and its criminal activities, often right in front of us.
Magnum Opus Con, in the second issue of its “Fandom” newsletter, not only printed the “hoax” flyer in its entirety but devoted a page to its bold anti-Crusade stance, while promising more to come in its next issue.
Inspired by the revelation that the Crusade was all a hoax, Frank “Superman” B. penned this dramatic “Open Letter To The Crusade” that was sent to the PO box and printed in MOC’s Fandom #3. He makes several insightful comments and points out numerous flaws in our methodology, and then blows it all by referring to himself as “Superman.”
MOC’s Fandom #3 featured B.’s letter as well as this unsigned screed that accused both the Crusade and MOC of being “Hippocrates.” After the publication of this letter, the author later wrote the Christian Crusade to continue his accusations that MOC’s chairman was behind the Crusade after all. It was signed “Zepnutt.”
Mark F., purportedly the director of youth resources for his local church in Boulder Colorado (!!), wanted to know more about the deleterious effects of science fiction. Once again, real supporter or fake agent provocateur?
Larry B. continued to struggle against the Christian Crusade, this time in a letter to the Who’s Times newsletter published out of Athens GA in the fall of 1990 (cover date Jan 1991). He claims to have received letters from people who “know about the Crusade” (love to see those), then claims to have been a member of such groups himself, and finally engages in an aimless diatribe that touches on Christian parables and the legalization of marijuana. The editorial staff of Who’s Times asks people not to get mad.
By the winter of 1990 Larry B. had realized the nature of the hoax, thanks to the fact that another of his letters, proclaiming that the Crusaders he had “met” were lobbying Congress to brand Saturday morning cartoons as pornography, got published alongside our "it's a hoax" flyer in the MOC "Fandom" 'zine, and he felt compelled to unburden himself upon his tormentors, namely us. Despite his worries, seventeen years hence, sci-fi has yet to be outlawed.
A year after the original flyer’s release, one of them was sent back to us with a little editorial commentary delivered via colored marker. Advised to “fuck off” and “be realistic”, we can only ask, make up your minds!
In February of 1991 – two years after the original flyer – a letter from Texas comments on the flyer’s inclusion in an APA as well as the later addition of the “hoax” flyer. Sorry it took so long, Tom, but here are your results.
Eric T. from Milwaukee blessed us in April of ‘91 while expressing a desire to learn more about the kinds of books his kid is reading. Once again this letter sets off my BS detector. Maybe I’m paranoid.
Horror writer Nancy Collins took time out from her busy schedule to send us this charming postcard advising us to “get a life.” Wow Nancy, don’t strain yourself coming up with those original putdowns! Collins was later quoted as saying, regarding the arrest of Dragon Con head Ed Kramer, that “You’d almost think you were dealing with dope fiends because of the way people react when their little subculture is threatened.” Indeed.
Andrew took an envelope intended for registration at Chi-Con and instead wrote the Christian Crusade in the summer of 1991.
In the fall of 1991 we received this letter from Critical Wave, a British SF fanzine . This was the only letter that prompted a response; we wrote them back and told them in no uncertain terms that it was all a hoax and people should quit wasting time on it. Critical Wave did later feature an article on the Christian Crusade, hopefully spreading the truth, instead of spreading the hoax.
Letters continued to arrive. This sincere yet vaguely pissed off letter showed up in the fall of 1993, all the way from Victoria BC.
This last, rather perfunctory request for info is notable as it is postmarked September 1995 – more than five years after the first Christian Crusade flyer appeared. Note the Milwaukee address; we received an interesting percentage of mail from the Midwest. Perhaps an anonymous fellow prankster started his own crusade up that way.
We know that the Crusade was discussed in other APAs and fanzines; unfortunately, we were not given the courtesy of comp copies of these publications. If anyone out there with this material wishes to add to our collection, please contact us via this website.
drprlenado "at" gmail.com