Consensual Slavery?

The Gorean Compass is a class given every Thursday by Master Gorm Runo.  Classes are held at the Gorean Campus and are given at noon and 6pm SLT.  All are encouraged to come and join in the amazing discussions. This class was held on October 11, 2018

Tal and greetings,

Often times we talk of the paradoxes of Gor. Slave girls are free only when they are in a collar. That is an example of a Gorean paradox. The definition of paradox is interesting.

“a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded or true.”

When we engage in discussions and listen to the input of girls who have chosen the role of Gorean slave girl, we find that happening. A seemingly absurd statement, after investigation, may well contain some truth. The role does “free” girls in ways that many people find hard to understand.

When we speak of Second Life Gor, we encounter the greatest of all the Gorean Paradoxes, consensual slavery.

When we speak of Second Life Gor, we encounter the greatest of all the Gorean Paradoxes, consensual slavery. .

One of the ways to explain it is called “The Gateway.” This theory says that slavery in Second Life Gor is consensual up to the point where you pass through the gate and enter it. You do not have to do it. It is a free and consensual choice to give up free and consensual choices. The gateway theory also tells us that it is a two way street. Once you enter, you really retain only one choice, and that is to leave.

The normal structure of Second Life Gor, especially in areas more devoted to roleplay was to retain all choices even inside the gate through the use of IC/OOC. The ability to jump from the role and out of it through the medium of private messages,, out of character, did not really mesh well with the idea of “The Gateway.”

Lately, a different approach to this is to eliminate IC/OOC in world. Logging into Second Life Gor is considered the gateway, and logging off is considered the exit. However, once inside you are consistent to your role. This method is creating even better role play, because the consistency allows a level of immersion that was impossible in the past.

All of this is actually process. I think a valid question when investigating consensual slavery is why would a girl chose to give up her opinions, or feelings, or beliefs, or likes and dislikes?

Why would she chose to become an unfeeling, unthinking, robot, serving the will of others?

Slavery, true slavery, where a person is forced against their will is an abhorrent thing. The Gorean novels are filled with examples of force. Our critics have mocked the books on the idea that a girl is dragged weeping and crying into slavery and then seems to love it every time. The way legal slavery as depicted in the novels is one of the strongest arguments for the Gorean compass idea that Gor sucked and Earth sucked, and only in some balanced middle ground can we live true to ourselves and to Natural order. Every time you see Goreans in the book resorting to bullying or brutality to enforce dominance, you are seeing “Gor sucks.” So, for there to be any middle ground to this, it seems like it will be found in consensual slavery.

But, what of the mind control, and the suppression of free thought? Isn’t that part of what makes slavery abhorrent to us?

Well, when you really understand the symbolism and the message, I think you start to find out that Gorean slavery is not about any of that. It is all about two main things.

Timing, and presentation. It is not about the things that go on inside your mind, it is about the external behaviors It is not about what you think, but how and when you express it. I think that a fundamental sense of timing and presentation is something that has helped human civilization rise above the animals to its dominate position. If you look at the behavior of apes, you are going to notice a lot of inappropriate behavior going on. For example, seeking privacy to relieve themselves, or to copulate. Of course, it might not be inappropriate behavior for the apes, but that is my point. We civilized ourselves by learning that there is a right time and a right place. When we violated that rule, violence and chaos was often the result.

So, the Higher Ground standard that is placed on a Gorean kajira is to become the poster child for timing and presentation. That is why we call them beacons. It has nothing to do with holding them back or pushing them down. It has everything to do with raising them up. Men can watch them in envy and awe. They move and act with a beauty and grace and sense of what is appropriate that softens the souls of men and also helps them battle the beasts that rage inside them. There is something exceptional in them. I have said that Gorean men know them to be the best females in the universe because they would settle for nothing less.

There is nothing in there that sounds like “mind control and Stepford wife”

Ah, but I know its hard, girls. It is hard to hold your tongue, and it is hard to know when the time is right. . It is hard to slow down and carefully select your words, so your thoughts and ideas are presented in a pleasing manner. If it was easy, everyone would be able to do it.

A political commentator that I follow has the habit of labeling his posts as either “good Trump” or “bad Trump” depending on his take on the issue. I suggest this is a good way to reread the novels, including the Slave girl novels. As you read the passages, think “Bad Gor”, and “Good Gor.” You will find that when you do this, you will be able to separate them easily, and will be able to focus on the passages that are important.

Here is an example of that process. You know that frequently, we hear that slave girls were kept ignorant. They are hooded when traveling, and their keepers stay very quiet about details. There are passages, that get quoted in these kinds of discussions, that suggest it is best to keep a slave girl ignorant to better control her. Bad Gor. Then, we hear that curiosity is unbecoming in a kajira. Is this an example of Bad Gor? Or is this really a timing and presentation issue. If you read the passages where it is used in the books, they usually represent the slave girl asking a question in an inappropriate time. Is this really a timing and presentation issue? Maybe the point is to encourage her to be patient, wait for the right moment and not immediately jump into the conversation with “what?” why? when? type of questions. So, I am going with Good Gor on this one.

I will remind you, we are Goreans, and we have to make these kinds of judgments individually, so I call that a process. You might come to a different conclusion.

So, in Second Life Gor, a girl could consent to slavery, and if she did it with a full commitment while inside the gateway, she would find herself more female than she had ever been before. She might find herself rising up and displaying talents and skills she did not even suspect she was capable of. She would be learning the most important matters of timing and presentation that were helping men tame the wild beasts of their own souls, and learning how to express her emotions and her thoughts in ways that soothed rather than provoked, and made the world more peaceful rather than more violent.

All and all , I think that is a pretty good deal, and I can understand why a girl would consent to it. So, our investigation shows consensual slavery is a true Paradox, because it might just well make a lot of sense after all.

The People of The Home Stone

The Gorean Compass is a class given every Thursday by Master Gorm Runo.  Classes are held at the Gorean Campus and are given at noon and 6pm SLT.  All are encouraged to come and join in the amazing discussions.  This class was held on September 20, 2018

Tal and greetings

Today is the final day of this seminar. I have called it: “The Gorean Compass, The Next Generation.” That was because it was the second series of talks that have found their way onto our blog. I mention this because several of the sessions dealt with the concept of Home Stone. I have been speaking over the past couple of weeks of my personal three most influential passages in the Gorean novels, and today’s final one deals with Home Stones.

This past summer, my home village found and placed their Home Stone and it would be a good idea to go back over some of the sessions held during that period. We talked about the three levels of Home Stone, and we talked about the seriousness of the concept and I think you would enjoy re-reading those posts and once again reflecting on the importance of the Home Stone idea to the Gorean.

The passage that I am going to speak of today comes from Raiders of Gor in the chapter titled “What occurred one night in Port Kar.” I say “passage”, but that isn’t exactly accurate. The whole chapter is the passage. Here is a brief summary of the chapter.

One night, word reaches Port Kar that the combined fleets of Cos and Tyros are bearing down on the city. Immediately, panic breaks out, and people begin to flee the city. The major captains are taking their ships and treasure and slaves and leaving. Tarl, perhaps recalling already his lost honor, questions why no one will stand and fight to defend their home. He realizes that no one is thinking of making a stand because Port Kar does not have a Home Stone. It is the only major Gorean city that does not have one.

When he asks his men if Port Kar might actually have a Home Stone, they laugh at him. Everyone knows, they tell him, that Port Kar does not have one. Then, one of his Captains speaks and suggests that maybe Port Kar does have a Home Stone. Tarl agrees and says that maybe it has not yet been found. He sends a slave boy named Fish out to find a rock, and when the boy brings him back a fist sized stone, he carves the initials of Port Kar onto it with his knife and holds it up. The men accept it as their Home Stone, and the word quickly spreads through the city and people stop their panicked fleeing and began to cheer and sometimes cry with the powerful emotion of, finally, having one.

Tarl goes to the Counsel of Captains building and a large crowd gathers outside, and when Tarl goes out and holds up the simple rock, the people explode with joy and emotion. And of course, the city is saved.

In the course of the chapter, there are some questions asked. I want to talk about those questions today.

“It was true. Port Kar, of all the cities on Gor, was the only one that had no Home Stone. I did not know if men did not love her because she had no Home Stone, or she had no Home Stone because men did not love her.”
Page 250 Raiders of Gor

The rest of the chapter answers that question. It is obvious from the events of the night that men did love the city once it did have a Home Stone. On my radio show this week, I was reading from an essay by an early online Gorean named Marcus of Ar. He claimed Gor was all about love. I think he was spot on with that. I have talked about the idea that the biggest difference between Earth thinking and Counter Earth thinking is the idea of turning inward to the center and working out from there. You can see this difference on every level. Earth thinking is concerned, too often, about who other people are and what they are doing. Gorean thinking is concerned with self, and who and what you really are.

That is why we talk so much of personal responsibility. It is also why the Gorean world does not have the massive problems with race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation that are tearing Earth society apart. The Gorean is going to be concerned with his race, his ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation, and not really give much of a damn about someone else’s. And he will have pride. It is said that the most proud Caste on Gor is the one with the lowest economic status. The Caste of Peasants consider themselves the most important one of all. They are “the rock on which the Home Stone rests.”

My more liberal minded listeners will be surprised by this next statement. As much as I decry the victimization and intersectionality so common on Earth, I like to see such things that tend to upset some of my fellow conservatives. I love to see “Black Pride” month or “Italian Pride” days. I love St. Patrick’s day parades, and I even salute people who march openly to proclaim “Gay Pride.” That seems to me to be pure Gorean thinking. Do people, I ask, not love themselves because they have no Home Stone, or do they have no Home Stone because they do not love themselves. If Gor is about love, it is going to have to start with loving yourself, and work out from there.

The second question?

“How does a city obtain a Home Stone?” I asked.
“Men decide she shall have one,” said Tab.
“Yes, I said, “that is how a city obtains a Home Stone.”
Page 251 Raider of Gor

Once again, it is on us. We make this decision to change our thinking and we make the decision to become Goreans, the people of the Home Stone. This exists on every level. We make the decision to turn inward and begin to love and have pride in who and what we are, and we make the decision to accept our responsibilities for our slaves, our communities, our families, and to humanity itself. In the cave of Torvald in Marauders, Tarl says it is on us, and those like us.

And here is the quote that touches me the most deeply.

“There were great cheers, and cries, and shouts, and the lifting of torches and weapons. I saw men weep. And women. And I saw fathers lift their sons upon their shoulders that they might see the stone.”
Page 257 Raiders of Gor

From the first day I read this chapter, right up to this morning when I reread it to finish up this talk, I sensed that contained within it was the secret of Gor. Long ago, after reading it, I went outside and walked around my yard. Laying buried in the dirt and covered by weeds was a simple stone. I dug it out and cleaned it, and with a knife, carved a letter “G” and placed it on the mantle of my fireplace.

And I was with some friends and fellow believers this summer, when a simple slave girl named “lildevil” walked down to the edge of the marsh at Caer Cadarn, and came back with a simple stone. And men, and women, held it in their hand and said. “I accept the Home Stone of Caer Cadarn.”
I spent a lot of time deciding on the other two passages to call my favorite and most influential, but this chapter was a no brainer.

I want to end by thanking everyone who was involved in this seminar for the past year. Especially, the ones that attended and commented and even disagreed with me. I want to thank the people who built the Gorean Campus, and those that stepped up to keep it alive and growing. Marcus of Ar said Gor is about love. And he mentioned, the love of truth. That love is what I have tried to express here.

I would like you to take this opportunity today to critique how well this has been accomplished. What do you think of this seminar, and do you think we should continue to explore the Philosophy of Second Life Gor? Do you think this format of “short talk followed by discussion” works well? What changes should be made, and what topics should we pursue?

The Age of Ad Hominem

The Gorean Compass is a class given every Thursday by Master Gorm Runo.  Classes are held at the Gorean Campus and are given at noon and 6pm SLT.  All are encouraged to come and join in the amazing discussions. This class was held on October 4, 2018

Tal and greetings

Welcome back, everyone. I am really excited to begin this new series of classes and discussions. I have said that we would be calling this Seminar, “The Higher Ground” and we would be talking more about the type of superior person that John Norman introduced us to in the Gor Novels. This superior person would be balanced, rejecting both the “too soft” of Earth and the “too hard” of Gor to find a middle ground.

I wanted to start off by talking about a few things that prevent us reaching that higher middle ground. The first one is what is called “the ad hominem attack” “Ad Hominem” comes from Latin and means, “to the person.” Here is a definition from the dictionary.

1 : appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect an ad hominem argument

2 : marked by or being an attack on an opponent’s character rather than by an answer to the contentions made made an ad hominem personal attack on his rival

The first definition defines it as “appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect.” The second one talks of an attack on an opponent’s character, and I would like to suggest a third definition. Rather than an attack on a person’s character, it can also be support for an argument based on something positive.

In the famous tavern scene in Raiders of Gor, when the tavern keeper is defending Surbus’ decision to throw the slave girl to the urts in the canal, he makes this comment.—

“I have sold her for five,” said the proprietor, “to this noble gentleman. Do not interfere, Stranger, this man is Surbus.”
Surbus threw back his head and laughed. “Yes,” he said. “I am Surbus.”
“I am Bosk,” I said. “from the Marshes.”

Page 121 Raiders of Gor

This is an example of what I am calling the “positive ad hominem” argument. This argument claims that something is either right, or it is wrong, based on the standing of the person or persons involved, and not on the merits of the thing itself.

Back in the early days of online Gor, when a venue called AOL was one of the centers of Gorean interaction, a fellow opened up a really fancy message board to allow fans to discuss the Gorean novels. The problem was that this man hated Gor, and he hated anyone who thought of themselves as Gorean, especially if they claimed to be lifestylers of any sort. He used his message board to set them up, and then to tear them apart and embarrass them in his answering posts.

In one of our exchanges on the board, he claimed that a recent poll had established that 51% of the people polled had agreed with him, and only 48% with me, with 1% undecided. This, he claimed, proved that he was right and I was wrong. More people agreed with him.

This is an example of the “ad hominem” thinking. It was establishing the absolute right or wrong of a matter by taking a vote on it, and accepting if a few more people believed it, it had to be true.

I have always been amazed in our Earth society on the use of sports and entertainment celebrities not only to endorse products in advertising, but to become spokespersons for all manner of political and social causes. The idea seems to be that if a person is a good athlete, it automatically makes him a better judge of razor blades, or if he appeared as an actor in a successful motion picture, it automatically makes him an authority of social issues.

It is true that the Goreans in the novels did not have mass media, but, it is clear that they had heroes. We hear of great Kaissa players known planet wide, and the factions that supported Tarn racing in Ar appear no different than our Earth sports fans, and thus would have favorites and heroes. However, I get a very strong feeling that the average Gorean would not view them as authorities outside Kaissa or Tarn racing, and would not be looking to them for moral guidance and advice on shaving.

The inward looking approach of Goreans would work against looking outward for answers and truths that must be found by self examination, and not by hero worship. In the quote from Raiders, we see the proprietor making this kind of positive ad hominem claim. The argument can be made thusly:

“Surbus is a well known captain. He is a rich and powerful man. He is reputed to be the best swordsman in Port Kar. He does this kind of thing all the time, therefore, throwing slave girls to the urts for displeasing must be morally acceptable.”

If you have been following the political arena in the United States, you have seen the majority of the discussion focused on the character, or lack thereof, of the President, and very little on the actually issues represented by the opposing sides. The policies, we are usually told, must be wrong, because the President is crude in his language and behavior. The policies of the previous President were much more valid because he was polished in his manner, and charismatic in his speeches. This, again, is pure ad hominem thinking.

I suppose all of this would be merely of passing interest, and not directly related to Second Life Gor if ad hominem thinking did not permeate our online interactions. Sadly, I believe that it does. I, personally, deal with it constantly both in the dealings with the slaves in my Slave House, and with my fellow citizens in my role as Administrator.

I am told that this girl must be wrong, because everyone knows she is a bitch. I am told that this man’s opinion is not valid because he is not well liked by certain people. It is so easy to fall into the ad hominem trap. Skin color, sexual orientation, gender, and a number of other factors are being factored into the moral arguments of Earth, and we tend to bring this baggage into our online Gorean world, despite the fact that the books seem to be telling us they have no place here.

The Alar, Hurtha, in Mercenaries of Gor, says he is not sure if there is any such thing as “right”, because he has never tasted it, or seen it, or felt it. Tarl responds by asking him if he has ever tasted or seen or felt Honor, and Hurta replies that he has seen it, felt it, and tasted it, although it was not like tasting bread or seeing a sword, or feeling a woman. Tarl suggests that, perhaps, right is like that.

I think right is like that. I have seen it, and I have tasted it, and I have felt it, and I suggest all of you have done the same. In our tavern scene, I have yet to hear one person argue that Surbus was in the right. It wasn’t even a 51% to 49% split, so maybe there was an absolute right involved there.

The quote that, to me, sums up our quest to become the type of person envisioned and promoted by John Norman, is found in Marauders of Gor.

“I envy sometimes the simplicities of those of Earth, and those of Gor, who creatures of their conditioning, are untroubled by such matters, but I would not be as either of them. If either is correct it is for them no more than a lucky coincidence. They would have fallen into truth, but to take truth for granted is not to know it. Truths not won are not possessed. We are not entitled to truths for which we have not fought.”

Page 7 Marauders of Gor

I fear that a major part of the conditioning of those of Earth is to jump too quickly into the ad hominem attack. As with much of this, that is the easy way. To reject something, and even to accept it based on who is saying it, and what you think, personally, of the speaker, frees us of the responsibility of fighting for the Truth.

One of the goals of “The Higher Ground” philosophy of Second Life Gor is to free us from this kind of conditioning and easy cop outs. We have to train ourselves to do this. I saw a movie when I was a young man, and have since forgotten the plot, or even who was in it, but I have always remembered the title. “The Singer, not the Song.” I think I began my own personal journey toward the rejection of ad hominem thinking by understanding what that meant.

This influenced my experience with Religion, for example. When people would talk about the hypocrisy of the Church, or the horrible behaviors of certain Christians, or of a certain Pastor who had been caught doing something horrible, I would hear a little voice telling me to stop listening to the singers who were butchering the melody, and couldn’t carry a tune, and start looking for the song itself.

I think this applies to Second Life Gor as well. The vision of Gor and the idea of superior people rising above the petty, shaking off their conditioning, embracing Natural Order, and seeking Truth is a beautiful song. The fact that for years it has been sung by some rotten singers should not be the criteria for judging the song itself, but it is what we do too often.

This might be a difficult mental adjustment for us to make. Not only do we tend to attack the singers, we are often stubborn and blind to our own positive ad hominem assertions. “Yes, he laughed, “ I am Surbus.” Do we do that? Are we arguing that we are right because we are us, and they are merely them? Do we replace logic and reason with personality and status?

I think Earth society is failing miserably to accomplish this. We are living in the “Age of ad hominem” down there. It is never about what is right or wrong anymore, but it is always about who said it, and who they are, and what group they belong to, and a host of other factors that, when you really understand this, have nothing to do with right or wrong, or with Truth.
I think we can be better than that here.