The Null Device

Fanboys of Gor

Police in Durham have raided a BSDM sex cult after hearing that a woman was being held against her will.
The 29-year-old woman is said to have voluntarily attended the sect after finding out about it over the internet.
She later contacted a friend in United States, who then contacted the police, saying she wanted to leave but couldn't as she had burnt her passport and return ticket.
The Kaotians are apparently a group who keep to a master-slave lifestyle based on John Norman's Gor books, a series of BDSM-themed sword-and-sorcery novels published in the 1970s, fallen out of print (allegedly because of feminist groups putting pressure on the publishers), and now eagerly collected by an underground of gimp-masked acolytes across the world, many of whom see them as an ideal for living; in a sense, they've become a sort of Atlas Shrugged for the BDSM set.

I wonder how long, with this publicity, the Gor books are going to stay out of print. I imagine that, in today's post-political-correctness age, when everybody is free to hold whatever opinions they have, the more abrasive and "politically incorrect" the better, something like a kitschy-sounding pulp novel series with BDSM overtones would seem more like a hipster trash-culture collectible, to be filed quasi-ironically alongside one's Russ Meyer DVDs, 1970s European lesbian-vampire movies and copy of Wisconsin Death Trip, than a threat to womens' liberation. (In fact, it could perhaps even be argued that Gor would fit in with the regressive, neo-Hobbesian muscular-nihilist values of our times.) All some entrepreneurial soul would have to do is license the copyrights from the John Norman estate and run off a run, bound in fetishy leather and priced at a premium, and they'd effectively have a licence to print money.

More recently, I saw an unidentified tabloid's take on the story. It's interesting to note that they stressed that Norman was a university lecturer and philosopher, as if to suggest that the pernicious influence of academic/intellectual culture was somehow to blame for such grievious lapses of decency.

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