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Rule 6 was the most infamous and well known of a set of behavior rules imposed on participants at the 1991 San Jose, California Timecon science fiction convention by the hosting hotel (then a Red Lion Inn[1]). The rule read:

6. No physical contact other then [sic] holding hands, a quick hug or kiss will be tolerated. Any further actions will result in the subjects being asked to leave the property for the remaining time of the Con. [2]

Contents

Background

The rules came about due to a series of attendee misbehaviors at the earlier Baycon convention in 1991, involving abuses of liquor and several attendees being caught having sex in public within the hotel. [3]

The hotel manager later claimed [2] that he had been on vacation between the Baycon and the subsequent Timecon, and had unwittingly signed off on the rules prepared by overzealous junior staff upon his return to the hotel immediately prior to Timecon. Later investigation indicated that the rules had come down from the hotel chain corporate management as a result of a hostile letter from another major corporate CEO to the Red Lion CEO.

Complete rules

The complete set of rules imposed were:

Additional con rules that go into effect starting July 24, 1991
for the Time-Con Convention:

1.     All room parties are to be ended and vacated by all non-
registered guest by 2:00AM.  Violation of this rule will be subject
to automatic eviction from guest room and the remaining guest in
the room will be escorted off property for the rest of the
convention.

2.     On the first complaint of a party room, the room will be
evicted and all the occupants will be escorted off property.

3.     At anytime that any guest rooms (Other than suites) have more
than four occupants, the room will be evicted to prevent fire and
safety violations.  Maximum occupancy in a guest room is four.

4.     After 2AM, any room found having more occupants in the room
than it is actually registered to have will be forced to pay for
the additional guest or be evicted from the hotel.

5.     Any persons found sleeping anywhere in the hotel other then a
guest room will be escorted off preperty and not be allowed back 
for the rest of the Con.

6.     No physical contact other then holding hands, a quick hug or
kiss will be tolerated.  Any further actions will result in the 
subjects being asked to leave the property for the remaining time
of the Con.

7.     All non registered guest in the hotel will be asked to leave
the property between the hours of 2AM-5AM.

8.     A full dress code will go into effect requiring shoes and
shirts in all public areas except the pool.  All violators will be
escorted off property for the remaining time of the con.  Costumes
will be permitted.

9.     No pranfanity gestures will be allowed on any part of the
clothing.  Violators will be escorted off property for the
remainder of the Con.

10.    There is to be absolutely nothing sold out of any guest room.
Violators will escorted off property for the remainder of the
Con.

11.    The pool, jacuzzi and weight room are for registered hotel
guest only.  Violators found using our guest facilities will be
escorted off property for the rest of the Con.

12.    No beer kegs or home stereo systems will be allowed in any
guest rooms.  This is to assure that a party will not take place
in the room that might disturb other guest.

13.    Objects thrown from balconies:    Intentionally dropping,
throwing or projecting objects from room balconies is automatic
room eviction and escort off-property with No Refund.

14.    Safety violations:  Jumping or hopping from room balconies or
any other serious safety violation will result in removal from
hotel property and possible room eviction with NO REFUND.

15.    Alcohol:   Any minors consuming alcohol will be escorted off-
property.  If minors are observed consuming alcohol in the guest
rooms, the guest will be evicted from the room and escorted off-
property with NO REFUND.

16.    Vandalism:   Any guest who vandalizes the hotel property or
other guest property will be held responsible for the damages.
Outside police may be involved depending on the severity of
damages.  In all circumstance, the violator will be escorted off
property.

Reaction

Some of the rules were felt to be reasonable and common sense; others were perceived as offensive and overbearing. Attendees launched a campaign of civil disobedience in response.

The convention attendees reacted in a number of creative manners; buttons and t-shirts were created by the end of the first day of the convention that stated variations on "I break Rule #6", "Six Offender", "Promiscuous Hugger" and "666 - Menage a trois". [2]

Notoriety

The incident received widespread attention on the Usenet newsgroup rec.arts.sf.fandom; "Rule 6" was a cause celebre among fans for years afterwards. Buttons, T-shirts, and bumper stickers circulated widely and are still popularly recognized in the Science fiction fandom community.

Side effects

The 1991 Timecon was the last time that the convention was held under that name; it was run for one more year under the name "Con-Fusion", but then abandoned; the Rule 6 incident was not the only cause, but part of the overall reason. It had previously run from 1984.[4]

References

  1. ^ Red Lion Inns
  2. ^ a b c Timecon Follies, Aahz Maruch, 1991, accessed May 19, 2007
  3. ^ Found in Collection column, Christopher Garcia, Catchpenny Gazette 13, January 2006, accessed May 19, 2006
  4. ^ Timecon info?, Michael Wallis, June 3, 1992, Accessed May 19, 2007







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