The Great Breen Boondoggle, Or All Berkeley Is Plunged Into War

From Fanlore
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Title: The Great Breen Boondoggle
Date(s): 1963, released before Pacificon in 1964
External Links:
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

The Great Breen Boondoggle, or All Berkeley is Plunged Into War is an 8-page publication produced in 1963 by Bill Donaho. Donaho was a Worldcon chairperson.

The zine detailed things that Walter Breen had done to young children and how these activities should preclude him from attending Pacificon II.

While the zine was marked "Do Not Quote," it was widely disseminated.

"The Great Breen Boondoggle" was accompanied by the more official Pacificon II Committee Report on the Cancellation of the Membership of Walter Breen.

Both publications called for Breen's ban at the con for fears that the con would be held liable if Breen molested children there. [1]

Ultimately Breen was not allowed to attend the con.

Some History

Walter Breen and his wife Marion Zimmer Bradley were fandom BNFs.

There had been rumors and suspicions for years that he had sexually molested young children, as well as a 1954 criminal charge. Fans in 1961 also tried to have Breen banned from Worldcon, but failed. In 1963, six years after the second Exclusion Act, the committee of Pacificon II committee successfully voted to ban him from the convention.

For more about Breen's crimes and activities, see Breendoggle.

Regarding the Part of the Zine's Title" "Plunged Into War"

The latter part of the zine's title is a reference to the phrase All Fandom Was Plunged Into War which is an old fannish phrase to describe contentious events in a fandom that lead to feuding and gafiation. Bill Donaho, in a letter to Tom Perry which was printed in Quark #7, wrote: "Yes, lines are going to be drawn very firmly on this situation. There is no necessity for anyone taking sides who doesn't want to do so. However, many people will take sides -- violently. I also expect that some fans will leave fandom because of this." In this letter, Donaho went on to say that in his opinion, this was more than just the committee vs. Breen: "It's going to go into `What should fandom be like?'"

Read the Zine Itself

The zine's text (names of minors redacted) has been posted online. This site used to have scans of the eight original pages, but they are no longer accessible.

See THE GREAT BREEN BOONDOGGLE OR ALL BERKELEY IS PLUNGED INTO WAR. Note: the article has been posted with a trigger warning.

Fan Comments

This zine caused much heated discussion, protests, and boycotts.

One of these publications was The Loyal Opposition, a zine published by Bjo Trimble and John Trimble that included comments by other BNFs in support of Breen.

There were, of course, MANY comments in zines and letters of the time.

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.


  1. ^ "The Pacificon II Committee has cancelled the membership of Walter Breen and it refuses to allow him to attend the 22nd World Science Fiction Convention. We have not done this because Walter Breen is allegedly a child molester, but because legal coun­sel lead to the conclusion that if he molests minors at the convention, legal action will probably be taken against us." -- Pacificon II Committee Report at Fancyclopedia