Who is the Master?

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 April 18, 2019.


Tal and greetings,

I was reading chapter 10 of Captive of Gor on my radio show this week. In this chapter, Elinor Brinton has a meeting with the slaver who had been involved in her abduction on Earth, and she learns, for the first time, the horrible reason for which she had been brought to Gor.

She has been brought to Gor to murder Tarl Cabot. However, the slaver makes it clear that if she would not have been selected for that job, she would have been brought to Gor anyway to serve as a common pleasure slave.

“I looked at him. “Why was I brought to this world?” I asked.

“We bring many women to this world, ” he remarked, “because they are beautiful, and it pleases us to make them slaves.”

I regarded him.

“Also, of course, ” he said, “they are valuable. They may be distributed or sold, as we please, to further our ends or increase our profits.”

Page 147 Captive of Gor

This would have been a useful quote to use in my class entitled, “They sell well.”

The slaver also tells her that she was first spotted when she was 17 years old, but she was watched for five full years before she was selected for abduction. This would have been another useful section to support my points in the class entitled, “You are how young?”

It was nice to see this consistency in the books. Here was a chapter I had not read for years, but it had two nice supportive sections to my overall Gorean Compass interpretation of the books.

But, the real reason Chapter 10 is important is because it marks the first point in the novels where we begin to understand the true nature of the Kur. This is obviously important to a symbolic interpretation of the conflict between the Priest-Kings and the Kur.

To me, this whole chapter reeks with symbolism. Even the slaver is not described as your typical Gorean man that overwhelms a female with his mere physical presence.

“Across the room, his back to me, bending over a shallow pan of water, with a towel about his neck was a small man. He turned to face me. He face was still the painted clown’s face, but he had put aside his silly robes, the tufted hat.”

Page 141 Captive of Gor

He was a small man, with his face painted as a clown. He is the mountebank that was displaying the Kur like a trained dancing bear for entertainment. He is the same man who tells Elinor that he engages in kidnapping young women for the noble reasons, of his own personal pleasure, and the furthering of “their ends, and the increasing of their profits.”

In another words, he is a scum bag. There are so many ways to describe this basic duality of man when you think of morality. We call things right or wrong, or good and bad, and we even acknowledge the dark side, and suggests it has cookies, to further lure us into its grasp.

The Gorean novels suggest that we see it as a conflict between the rational and the animal.

When we start out, being guided by our parents and then our teachers, we are introduced to the world of the rational first. Sure, little babies only want to eat and poop, and toddlers are little beasts, but the process begins to teach them basic human behavior.

The real dangerous animal nature is there though, inside them. In the books, Tarl goes through this process. He meets the Priest-Kings first, and comes to a full understanding of them and their nature in book 3. We first become aware of the animal side as “the others”, mysterious, but obviously evil. We know that some humans are serving them, without even understanding who or what they serve. And these humans usually come to a bad end, for example Saphrar of Turia, in Nomads.

Here in Chapter 10, the reader is introduced to the true nature of the others, and it is through the eyes of Elinor, a female slave, that it is done.

“Stop!” cried the man.

The beast looked at him, eyes blazing, its face drenched in blood.

“Obey your master! I cried. “Obey your master!”

The beast looked at me. I shall never forget the horror I felt.

“I am the master.” it said.

The man cried out and fled from the hut.

page 156 Captive of Gor

So, lets put my idea of this whole thing in its most simple form. The small man represents someone not in control of himself. He is not following a rational moral compass, and he isn’t pursing happiness by setting individual moral purposes and communal moral purposes. He is not bound by codes, and he certainly isn’t viewing his actions as having consequences that reach beyond his own selfish desires. Because of these weaknesses, he is not the master.

The idea that he dresses like a clown and he keeps the Kur in chains that the Kur can easily break when it gets into a feeding frenzy, shows how easy it is to fool yourself into thinking you are in control, when that is not the truth at all.

Those who know of what is called the “12 step” program, know that the first step is recognizing that the beast is, indeed, the Master. Until you recognize that, you can’t proceed any further down the path to recovery.

There are so many things that can be seen as “the Kur.” Addictive behaviors of all kinds are one example, and simple emotional impulses, such as anger, jealousy, selfishness, and lust are others. Even things that we normally view as positive are included in the animal side of our nature.

Love is a good example. Even though it is a non-cognitive word, we can argue that most of the emotions that we give that name to stem from deep rooted biological impulses, that were most likely evolution’s way of giving us some reason to stay as a mating couple long enough to raise this young human animal with such a large brain capacity.

So, there is a progression in the novels, as Tarl comes to understand the true nature of the Kur, and when he is in control of himself, he calls himself “Gorean”, and then he is ready to actually find common ground with the Kur, and “share paga.”

So, I wonder why John Norman chose to have this most revealing section in Chapter 10 take place in front of Elinor Brinton, and not Tarl Cabot.

I think it was because he recognized the importance of gender. We have talked about this before here. The moral Gorean compass works well for both males and females most of the time. What is the right azimuth for one, is usually the same for both, but not always.

There are times when we must look at things from the perspective of a female, and recognize the differences. This is why there were “slave girl” books in the series.

Elinor Brinton was battling her own demons in Captive of Gor, and she needed to learn some hard lessons, but she was also very much in a submissive situation. Aside from her own struggles, she was subject to the control and whims of Men. In fact, she was subject to the control and whims, in Chapter 10, of a small man, with the face of a clown, who fled in terror when he realized the beast had grown dangerous.

Here is a connection to Second Life Gor for us. Ever since the internet opened up the world of online Gor, females, much like Elinor, have been subject to the control and whims of small men. They are not always dressed as clowns, but they might as well be, and they do tend to run away and disappear at the first sign of trouble.

Here is the deal. If Gor is supposed to be a world dominated and run by males, those males need to be of a whole different type then the slaver in the hut.

I think every potential slave girl in Second Life should be required to read Chapter 10 of Captive of Gor.

The small man could talk the talk. He slapped her around, and made her lick his feet. She was like putty in his hands then, and she knew herself a slave.

But, when that beast was taking control, the little prick ran away in terror, and left her to deal with it. I know many who hear those words will be able to identify with the experience.

It really isn’t that bad a book as a Gorean morality tale. Elinor starts off as a bit of a spoiled bitch, too, but she meets real Gorean men such as Rask of Treve, and also, Tarl Cabot, himself. She learns to tell the difference between true dominance, and pretend dominance, and she is prepared to make the right moral choice when her time of testing comes.

The Men need to be able to look that snarling beast in the eye, as scary and large as it might be, and tell it that it is not the master. The females need to be watching these exchanges carefully, even if from their knees, and deciding who really is in control.

If you desire to be the slave of a Gorean man, make sure he is one, and not the kind that will flee the hut in terror when he realizes there is danger, or that everything does not happen solely to give him pleasure, or to further his ends, or to increase his profits.

In other words, hold us to High Standards. I don’t think any Kur is going to growl at me, and tell me he is my Master, and when not only my friends, and fellow Free hold me to high standards, but also the girls kneeling at my feet, that gives me the weapons I need to prove to him that, actually, I am the Master.

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