This excerpt is from Harry Warner Jrs' History of '50s Fandom,
titled A Wealth of Fable.
© 1976, 1977, 1992 by Harry Warner, Jr., published by SciFi Press, Van Nuys, CA,
ISBN 0-9633099-0-0. This Hugo Award winning book is still available, new and used,
from several sellers (2017). This excerpt is from the book in the Musica Donavania archive -
published here under Fair Use (a very small part, non-commercial and for historical interest).
Then there was the Chesley Donovan Foundation [sic], a mystery to most of fandom. Its constitution might have frightened fans if they had a chance to read it because it spoke of members . .
"whose lives are dedicated to the pursuit of truth through the practice of the fine arts, philosophy and natural sciences. The purpose of the organization shall be to encourage persons to develop creative ability and to produce worthwhile works, to organize cooperative efforts and projects, and to aid members in receiving recognition for their products - thereby serving the community".
The Chesley Donovan Foundation had [sic] been formed in 1953 or possibly a bit earlier. For a while it maintained such a hectic pace that it met twice weekly, and it published for a while a fanzine called Magnitudes. However, the foundation had little direct contact with mainstream fandom, it was not exclusively a fannish group, and it might have remained even more obscure except for two facts. It sponsored some Westercons and it had some members who became active in general fandom, like Helen Urban, Jon Lackey, Ron Cobb, Ralph Stapenhorst and Larry Ware. Old time fan Roy Squires was an active member for a while too. There is a theory that this was the group which inspired the persistent rumor of a big elite fan group in Los Angeles which deliberately and successfully hid its existence from fandom in general.
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