The Cult

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The Cult was a "rotational" apa –- a rota of publishing members took turns publishing the Official Organ, which may have an individual title but was always subtitled Fantasy Rotator. The schedule was one issue every three weeks (so the individual publishing member only had to publish one FR every 39 weeks). Postmailings were called Fractional Rotator (f/r).

The Cult was letter-based. Members wrote to the publishing member, who compiled and published the entire FR rather than merely collating individual apazines as is common in most other apae.

It had an "active" waiting list of five members and an "inactive" waiting list of an indeterminate number. An overseeing officer was called the Official Arbiter. A former member is an Exult. Gatherings of Cult members were called Seances.

The Breenmark was a notation next to members’ names in the roster, indicating they were underage.

See also: Clut.


The apa was started August 29, 1954, by Peter Vorzimer. It was so named because it had 13 publishing members.

In the 1960s, the invective and venom flowed with such intensity that it would make a full-scale internet flame war look like a weenie roast, and for that reason the members began, not entirely tongue in cheek but self-deprecatingly, calling themselves the "13 Nastiest Bastards in Fandom." In 1967, Scotty Tapscott published a 35-page history called A Basketful of Bastards.

Fantasy Rotatators were sent out first-class to the members and active Waiting Listers (or WLers for short) – and as many or as few of the inactive WLers as the individual editor wished. The more-frequent-than-monthly schedule was considered high-speed fanac in the days before the internet and the local weekly apas. Members and active WLers were obliged to respond to at least every other issue.

The Cult faded out around the year 2000.

From Fancyclopedia 2, ca. 1959
Sort of a combination APA and chainletter, founded by Peter Vorzimer in late 1955. Thirteen members take part through publication of the Official Organ, The Fantasy Rotator, by each member in succession... frequency of publication, every three weeks, making 39 weeks for a "cycle" at the end of which a new Official Arbiter is elected. Copies go to all members and the top five ("active") waitinglisters; all must comment on at least every other FR to the following editor; failure means expulsion. Failure to publish in turn or at least give notice of delay (which cannot exceed 3 weeks) also means expulsion. The active waiting list serves either to prepare the prospective member for the Cult before he gets in or weed out deadwood before it gets tangled in the machinery. Early Cultists were strictly 7th Fandom types, handpicked by Vorzimer, and Little Peter's poorly written constitution combined with their inexperience to produce many official snarls and wrangles. Over 30 Amendments had to be passed; the last one turned out to have the effect of making amendments null and void (this turned out to be a misinterpretation), and the Cultists threw the whole thing out in disgust. Charles Wells wrote up a revised constitution that was accepted and worked for several years with few amendments (e.g. one setting up an Official Arbiter, anarchy having proved impractical) tho in early 1959 another Constitutional hassle began. The average Fantasy Rotator runs from 8 to 70 pages, averaging 20-30; it features members' letters plus, on occasion, editorials, features, and material of all kinds, mostly by Cult members. Each is given an individual title (tho some members repeat their own earlier titles) to which "Fantasy Rotator __" is a subtitle. A respectable amount of quality material has seen print first in the Cult, later appearing in fanzines of larger circulation.

Fantasy Rotator[edit]

Issues of Fantasy Rotator were edited by members of the Cult in rotation, and are numbered consecutively from Fantasy Rotator #1 published by Peter Vorzimer. In addition to the numbers, issues may have been given a name. Issues were entirely the responsibility of the issue's editor, but consist mostly of material submitted by the other members.

FR # Editor Name Date
1 Peter Vorzimer August 1954
29 Randy Brown Tacky 1956
129-B Don Fitch Honneur Soit Qui Mal Y Pense June 1963
296 Frank Denton January 1973

Peter J. Vorzimer Award[edit]

The Peter J. Vorzimer Award last presented to Johnny M. Lee at the Cult Seance at Noreascon 3 (it never made it to him). In addition to the bloody doll arms in the bucket, other things from Cult events were often added to the box such as condoms, Nolacon II doubloons, Noreascoins, and plastic ants.
Photo by Kirby Bartlett-Sloan

The Peter J. Vorzimer Award, named for the founder, was given annually by The Cult to the member who, within the apa, most exhibited the characteristics that earned the group the name "The 13 Nastiest Bastards in Fandom" -- in other words, fuggheadedness.

For example, Dick Smith received the award for publishing an issue of the Official Organ, The Fantasy Rotator, on microfilm.

The trophy was traditionally a miniature bucket full of bloody doll's parts and sometimes included various odds and end from previous "award ceremonies".



Members in order of joining (through the end of the 13th Cycle):













Waitlisters (people who had applied for membership but either dropped out before a slot opened or were still waiting as of the end of the 13th Cycle): Tom Piper, Gary Labowitz, Bill Courval, Thom Perry, George Young, Bob Burleson, John Trenholme, Larry McCombs, Otto Pfeifer, Bob Pavlat, Tom Condit, Andy Reiss, B. Joseph Fekete, Jr., Pat Lupoff, Dick Lupoff, Jon Winter, Rick Marcuse, Ed Clark,Eugenia Clark, Dean Dickensheet, Shirley Dickensheet, Pete Reinhart, Les Nirenberg, Calvin W. Demmon, Craig Cochran, Paul Stanbery, Milo Mason, Bill Martin, Lee Thorin, Ed Meskys, Gary Deindorfer, Tom Armistead, Kevin Langdon, Jon V, Shaw, James Lanctot, Darrell D. Best, Bill Osten, Enid Jacobs Osten, Dick Schultz, Earl E. Evers, Bill Blackbeard, F. M. Busby, Dave Hulan, Alva Rogers, Jack Chalker, Wrai Ballard, Richard Mann, Hank Stine, Jerry Arthur, Gretchen Schwenn, George R. Heap, James Wright, Ron Wilson, Barry D. Gold, Lee Jacobs, Cecile Williamson, and Rick Sneary. Note that some of these people subsequently became members.

Contributors and Apazines:[edit]

Official Arbiter:[edit]

Publication 19542000
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