We recognize that the Gorean institution of slavery was described in the books as part of a fantasy setting and was used in that venue to entertain intelligent and thoughtful readers. Just as one might write a book describing a fictional crime for the entertainment of one's audience and yet not advocate committing the actual crime, so too did John Norman describe slavery for entertainment purposes while not advocating its actual practice.

        Slavery can be defined as: "The institution or social practice of owning human beings as property, especially for use as forced laborers." (

        The Thirteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution states that: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime where of the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." Other countries have similar prohibitions against slavery.

        Clearly, then, the institution of slavery is illegal and therefore the Silk & Steel does not advocate the practice of slavery.

        Slavery is and has always been both a social convention and an economic system, its existence mandated by complex cultural and economic variables. It has most notably existed in societies where human beings lived in strictly delineated communities, whose citizens were influenced by extremes of patriotic nationalism and imperialism into repeatedly engaging in aggressive warfare (which engendered conquered "enemy" populations whose material and territorial possessions were seized and absorbed by the conquering society); or within the descendant remnants of such societies-- i.e., the vestigial remains of empires.

        While Gorean philosophy understands and accepts the existence of specific biological socio-sexual underpinnings which invariably give rise to the institution of slavery under certain cultural and economic conditions, Goreans by no means consider "slavery" to be a mandatory condition or practice. Nor do Goreans believe that such a practice should exist when the other factors which contribute to its existence have been removed or altered.

        Even though we recognize certain points of view and practices as Gorean in nature, we exist in a greater society which is not Gorean, and are subject to the laws of that society in which we live. We believe that to disregard those laws would be unethical. To behave in such a fashion would not be consistent with our Credo.

        We find it critical to differentiate between the actual practice of slavery as it has existed historically and as it continues to exist, and the formation of social and personal relationships patterned after the Gorean model. The former is a criminal subjugation of human beings against their will. The latter is a voluntary activity between informed and consenting adults who make willing decisions about such relationships and conduct themselves according to the laws of the society in which they live. While we commonly use the terms "slave" or "kajira" interchangeably to describe a female who has made the voluntary decision to surrender herself fully to her biological feminine nature, we assert that this is only a popular term making reference to the fictional descriptions of slavery upon which our relationships are based, and not a reference to any actual state of complete subjection of one person to the will of another. This is illustrated by the fact that our "slaves" (as we will continue to refer to them as a matter of convenience) retain certain freedoms of action or will. Chief among those freedoms, and serving to clearly differentiate our relationships from actual slavery, is the ability to terminate the relationship.

        In conclusion, while we understand and model our philosophy after the Gorean society described in the books of Gor, we do not live on that fictional planet. We logically reconcile our Gorean beliefs with the society in which we exist, and choose to incur the ethical obligations and duties dictated by our shared Earth-based society in our daily lives.

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