Disgusted! That's how I feel. During my reading up on ways to break into the field of science fiction I have discovered some repulsive connections that should be brought to light!
Perhaps the foremost writing contest for amateur and aspiring authors of speculative fiction is the 'Writers of the Future' contest. I learned about this contest in Orson Scott Card's how-to manual 'How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy.' Many people will instantly recognize Orson Scott Card's name as the author behind 'Ender's Game' and related novels. He is quite literally a juggernaut in the world of Science Fiction, having won BOTH the Hugo and Nebula awards back-to-back. (sorta like the Grand Slam of sci-fi)
In his manual Card plugs the 'Writer's of the Future' contest as the place to start for amateur writers of sci-fi. Intrigued, I googled the contest name and found their website. To my visceral disgust I discovered that the true, official name of the contest is NOT 'Writers of the Future' as printed in Card's book, but rather 'L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future.' Being fully involved in the campaign to expose and oppose the Cult of $cientology as an evil fascist organization I was immediately sickened by the connection, and the subtle subterfuge that had brought me to a website connected with the most virulent cult around. But then I started to poke about the website, fascinated. Check it out yourself:
The most striking thing about both the contest itself, and the website that promotes it, is how it has managed to successfully elicit the support of a wide range of the "who's who" in science fiction, and interwoven their support and testimonials for THE CONTEST with support and promotion of L. Ron Hubbard, his career and his ideas. By lending their name to the contest, the very pinnacle of the Science Fiction elites - names such as Ann McAffrey, Terry Brooks, Neil Gaiman, and Robert J. Sawyer - have allowed themselves to be used by Scientology to bolster the reputation of L. Ron Hubbard. It is a transparent ploy to promote the Cult by promoting the founder.
Further more, I have discovered that the contest itself is owned and operated by a business subsidiary of the Cult... er... Church of Scientology. That means, to me, that the sales and proceeds of the anthology go into Scientology coffers. Every emerging author who submits and wins an award will have their work printed inside a book emblazoned with L. Ron Hubbard's name, the proceeds from sales of which will go to the Scientology war chest for spreading and promoting their fascist evil cult. The prize money is very high, so the monetary inducements are strong. Even I was tempted to submit to the contest, until I read the Wikipedia entry which made clear the connection between the contest and the Cult.
The next thing that I wondered was whether these literary giants were part of the Cult. This seems unlikely, but perhaps someone should ask them directly. But in the end their direct membership in the cult is irrelevant. Their good names and reputations are being overtly exploited to lend support to Scientology. They are choosing to associate themselves with Scientology and the Cult founder, and in so doing accept upon themselves responsibility for the Cult's growth and power, and by extension the moral ramifications of this fascist organization. That moral responsibility needs to be brought home to these individuals in no uncertain terms.
Having discovered this repulsive link, and having been at least partially involved in the worldwide protests against $cientology that were spearheaded by Anonymous, a couple things occurred to me:
1. A campaign of shame needs to be launched against the literary giants of science fiction who have allowed their name to be used to support and promote L. Ron Hubbard and his evil cult.
2. A campaign of awareness-raising needs to be launched within the science-fiction community concerning the connection between Scientology and the 'L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future' contest, so that emerging and amateur writers are not duped into supporting a fascist cult with their work.
I for one will not buy another book by Orson Scott Card, Anne McAffrey, Neil Gaiman, and Robert J. Sawyer until they withdraw their support for the contest and explicitly repudiate the Cult. Anyone who accepts money from the Cult of Scientology is accepting BLOOD MONEY. Anyone who supports the activities of the Cult assume moral responsibility for the Cult's behaviour. A worldwide boycott against these authors is the first step in undermining this insidious cult's power base in the literary world.
Please spread the word about the connection between Scientology, Orson Scott Card, Anne McAffrey, Neil Gaiman, Robert J. Sawyer and others through the 'Writers of the Future' contest.