Ubars have always employed the Initiates as tools, some of the boldest even contending that the social function of the Initiates is to
keep the lower castes contented with their servile lot. Tarnsman of Gor, Page 188

Oddly enough, there was liattle religious instruction, other than to encourage awe of the Priest-Kings, and what there was, Torm
refused to administer, insisting it was the province of the Initiates. Religious matters on this world tend to be rather carefully guarded
by the Caste of Initiates, who allow members of other castes little participation in their sacrifices and ceremonies. I was given some
prayers to the Priest-Kings to memorize, but they were in Old Gorean, a language cultivated by the Initiates but not spoken generally
on the planet, and I never bothered to learn them. To my delight, I learned that Torm, whose memory was phenomenal, had
forgotten them years ago. I sensed that certain distrust existed between the Caste of Scribes and the Caste of Initiates. Outlaw of
Gor,  page 40

The Goreans generally, though there are exceptions, particularly the Caste of Initiates, do not believe in immortality. Accordingly, to
be of a city is, in a sense, to have been a part of something less perishable than oneself, something divine in the sense of undying,
Of course, as every Gorean knows, cities too are mortal, for cities can be destroyed as well as men. And this perhaps makes them
love their cities the more, for they know that their city, like themselves, is subject to mortal termination. Outlaw of Gor, page 22

Contests of arms, fought to the death, whereas they may not take place at the fairs are not unknown on Gor, and are popular in
some cities. Contests of this sort, most often involving criminals and impoverished soldiers of fortune, offer prizes of amnesty or gold
and are customarily sponsored by rich men to win the approval of the populace of their cities. Sometimes these men are merchants
who wish thereby to secure goodwill for their products; sometimes they are practitioners of law, who hope to sway the votes of jury
men; sometimes they are Ubars or High Initiates who find it in their interests to keep the crowds amused. Such contests, in which life
is lost, used to be popular at Ar, for example, being sponsored in that city by the Caste of Initiates, who regard themselves as being
the intermediaries between Priest-Kings and men, though I suspect that, at least on the whole, they know as little about the Priest-
Kings as do other men. These contests, it might be mentioned, were banned in Ar when Kazrak of Port Kar became administrator of
that city. It was not an action which was popular with the powerful Caste of Initiates. Priest-Kings of Gor, page 11

This pilgrimage to the Sardar, enjoyed by the Priest-Kings according to the Caste of the Initiates, undoubtedly plays its role in the
distribution of beauty among the hostile cities of Gor. Whereas the males who accompany a caravan are often killed in its defence or
driven off, this fate, fortunate or not, is seldom that of the caravan's women. It will be their sad lot to be stripped and fitted with the
collars and chains of slave girls and forced to follow the wagons on foot to the fair, or if the caravan's tharlarions have been killed or
driven off, they will carry its goods on their backs. Thus one practical effect of the edict of the Priest-Kings is that each Gorean girl
must, at least once in her life, leave her walls and take the very serious risk of becoming a slave girl, perhaps the prize of a pirate or
outlaw. Priest-Kings of Gor, page 12, 13

At the gate I was met by one of the Caste of Initiates, a dour, thin-lipped, drawn man with deep sunken eyes, clad in the pure white
robes of his caste. Priest-Kings of Gor page 15

"But what if the city has done no wrong?" I asked.

"So much the better," said Misk, "for the Men below the Mountains are then confused and fear us even more--but the members of the
Caste of Initiates, we have found, will produce an explanation of why the city was destroyed. They invent one and if it seems
plausible they soon believe it." Priest-Kings of Gor, page 123

The words were in archaic Gorean which I find very difficult to understand. On the surface it is spoken by none but the members of
the Caste of Initiates who use it primarily in their numerous and complex rituals. As nearly as I could make it out the song, though
sad, was a paean of some sort to Priest-Kings, and mentioned the Feast of Tola and Gur. The refrain, almost constantly repeated,
was something to the effect that We Have Come for Gur, On the Feast of Tola We Have Come for Gur, We Rejoice For on the Feast of
Tola We Have Come for Gur. Priest-Kings of Gor, page 165

"With most," he said, " it is as you think, and they are simple, believing members of my caste, and there are others who suspect the
truth and are tormented, or who suspect the truth and will pretend---but I, Om, High Initiate of Ar, and certain of the High Initiates
are like mome of these."

"And how do you differ?" I asked.

"I---and some others---"he said, "wait for man." He looked at me." He is not ready yet. Priest-Kings of Gor, page 300

"In Treve," I said, " you might be ordered slain by members of the Caste of Initiates."

She looked up.

"Go to Ar," I said. "You will be safe there." And I added, "And I think it will be a better city for you than Treve." Priest-Kings of Gor,
page 205, 206

The Tuchuks and the other Wagon Peoples reverence Priest-Kings, but unlike the Goreans of the cities, with their castes of Initiates,
they do not extend to them the dignities of worship. I suppose the Tuchuks worship nothing, in the common sense of that word, but
it is true they hold many things holy, among them the bosk and the skills of arms, but chief of the things before which the proud
Tuchuk stands ready to remove his helmet is the sky, the simple, vast beautiful sky, from which fans the rain that, in his myths,
formed the earth, and the bosks, and the Tuchuks. It is to the sky that the Tuchuks pray when they pray, demanding victory and luck
for themselves, defeat and misery for their enemies. The Tuchuk, incidentally, like others of the Wagon Peoples prays only when
mounted, only when in the saddle and with weapons at hand; he prays to the sky not as a slave to a master, nor a servant-to a god,
but as warrior to a Ubar; the women of the Wagon Peoples, it might be mentioned, are not permitted to pray; many of them,
however, do patronize the haruspexes, who, besides foretelling the future with a greater or lesser degree of accuracy for generally
reasonable fees, provide an incredible assemblage of amulets, talismans, trinkets, philters, potions, spell papers, wonder-working
sleen teeth, marvellous powdered kailiauk horns, and colored, magic strings that, depending on the purpose, maybe knotted in
various ways and worn about the neck. Nomads of Gor, page 28

Beyond the wood, toward the city, Kuurus could see the procession. He was surprised for, judging from the colors of the garments of
those who marched, it contained men of many castes, perhaps all castes of the city, only that he did not see among them the white
of the Castes of Initiates. That puzzled Kuurus, for normally men of the Initiates are prominent in such events. Assassin of Gor, page 2

Kazrak had offended the Caste of Initiates primarily by levying taxes on their vast holdings throughout the city and had upon
occasion upholding the rulings of the administrative courts over the courts of the Initiates. The Initiates, in their interpretations of
sacrifices and in their preachments, primarily to the low castes, had led many of the city to fear that Kazrak might not long enjoy the
favor of the Priest-Kings.

It was from this time that Kazrak might clearly have been said, particularly among the lower castes, to have lost the confidence of the
city. Assassin of Gor, page 15

The initiates are an almost universal, well-organized, industrious caste. They have many monasteries, holy places and temples. An
initiate may often travel for hundreds of pasangs, and, each night, find himself in a house of initiates. They regard themselves as the
highest caste, and in many cities, are so regarded generally. There is often a tension between them and the civil authorities, for each
regards himself as supreme in matters of policy and law for their district. The initiates have their own laws, and courts, and certain of
them are well versed in the laws of the initiates. Their education, generally, is of little obvious practical value, with its attention to
authorized exegeses of dubious, difficult texts, purporting to be revelations of Priest-Kings, the details and observances of their own
calendars, their interminable involved rituals and so on, but paradoxically, this sort of learning, impractical though it seems, has a
subtle practical aspect. It tends to bind initiates together, making them interdependent, and muchly different from common men. It
sets them apart, and makes them feel important and wise, and specially privileged. There are many texts, of course, which are secret
to the caste, and not even available to scholars generally. In these it is rumoured there are marvellous spells and mighty magic,
particularly if read backwards on certain feast days. Whereas initiates tend not to be taken with great seriousness by the high
castes, or the more intelligent members of the population, except in matters of political alliance, their teachings and purported ability
to intercede with Priest-Kings, and further the welfare of their adherents, is taken with great seriousness by many of the lower
castes. And many men, who suspect that the initiates, in their claims and pretensions, are frauds, will nonetheless avoid coming into
conflict with the caste. This is particularly true of civil leaders who do not wish the power of the initiates to turn the lower castes
against them. And, after all, who knows much of Priest-Kings, other than the obvious fact that they exist. The invisible barrier about
the Sardar is evidence of that, and the policing, by flame death, of illegal weapons and inventions. The Gorean knows that there are
Priest-Kings. He does not, of course, know their nature. That is where the role of the initiates becomes most powerful, The Gorean
knows there are Priest-Kings, whoever or whatever they maybe. He is also confronted with a socially and economically powerful
caste that pretends to be able to intermediate between Priest-Kings and common folk. What if some of the claims of Initiates should
be correct? What if they do have influence with Priest-Kings? Marauders of Gor, page 28, 29

Incidentally, it is a teaching of the initiates that only initiates can obtain eternal life. The regimen for doing this has something to do
with learning mathematics, and with avoiding the impurities of meat and beans. This particular teaching of the initiates, it is
interesting to note, is that least taken seriously by the general population. The Gorean feeling generally is that there is no reason
why initiates or only initiates, should live forever. Initiates, though often feared by lower castes, are also regarded as being a bit
odd, and often figure in common, derisive jokes. No female, incidentally, may become an Initiate. It is a consequence, thusly, that no
female can obtain eternal life. I have often thought that the Initiates, if somewhat more clever, could have a much greater power
than they possess on Gor. For example, if they could fuse their superstitions and lore, and myths, with a genuine moral message of
one sort or another, they might appeal more seriously to the general population: if they spoke more sense people would be less
sensitive to, or disturbed by, the nonsense; further, they should teach that all Goreans might, by following their rituals, obtain eternal
life; that would broaden the appeal of their message, and subtly utilise the fear of death to further their projects; lastly, they should
make greater appeal to women than they do, for, in most Gorean cities, women, of one sort or another, care for and instruct the
children in the crucial first years. That would be the time to imprint them, while innocent and trusting, at the mother’s or nurseâ
€™s knee, with superstitions which might, in simpler brains, subtly control then the length of their lives. So simple an adjustment as
the promise of eternal life to women who behaved in accordance with their teachings, instructing the young and so on, might have
much effect. But the initiates, like many Gorean castes, were tradition bound. Besides, they were quite powerful as it was. Most
Goreans took with some seriousness their claim to be able to placate and influence Priest-Kings. That was more than they needed for
considerable power. Marauders of Gor, page 29, 30

The Companion Journey, then, when the auspices had been favorable, as they promptly were, these determined by the inspection of
the condition and nature of the liver of a sacrificial verr, examined by members of the caste of Initiates, had begun.Slavegirl of Gor,

The only Gorean caste which, as far as I know, officially believes in an afterlife is that of the Initiates, and they believe in it, it seems,
only for themselves, and seem to believe it is connected with such things as the performance of secret rites, the acquisition of secret
knowledges, mostly mathematical, and the avoidance of certain foods. Initiates commonly wear white and have their heads shaved.
They also, supposedly, and perhaps actually, on the whole, abstain from alcohol and women. They count as one of the five high
castes, the others being the Physicians, Scribes, Builders and Warriors. In some cities they are quite powerful, in others it seems they
are largely peripheral to the life of the community. I have never been in one of these temples. Slaves, like other animals, are not
allowed within. It is felt they would defile such places. They may wait, however, in special, small, walled areas outside the temples,
usually at the back or sides, where their presence will not prove distractive or offensive to free persons. I have looked within some of
these temples, from the street, through great opened doors, or through the open colonnades, such temples being roofed, but not
walled, upon occasion. Some are lavishly decorated, even ornately; others seem very austere. It depends on the city, I suppose, or
the tastes of the community of Initiates, those who care for the temples, in a given place. The Chief Initiate of Ar claims to be chief of
all the Initiates of all the cities, but the other Chief Initiates, in the other cities, do not, it seems, at least on the whole, acknowledge
this claim. I have gathered that in these temples there are no chairs or pews, or such, unless for Initiates near the altars. Goreans
perform their rites; recite their prayers, and such, standing. The Gorean tends to regard Priest-Kings not so much as his masters as
his potential allies, who might, if he is lucky, be flattered, wooed with gifts, and such. On the high altar in each temple there is
supposedly a large, golden circle, the symbol of Priest-Kings, a symbol of eternity, of a thing without beginning or end. The "sign of
the Priest-Kings," similarly, is made with a closed, circular motion. The teachings of the Initiates, their recommendations, exhortations,
and such, seem to b taken most seriously by the lower castes. Dancer of Gor, page 279, 280

An adult Initiate, in his flowing white robe, carried the staff surmounted with the golden circle, a figure with neither beginning nor
end, the symbol of Priest-Kings. He was followed by some ten or so Initiates, in double file. It was these who were chanting.

A free woman drew back her robes, hastily, frightened, lest they touch an Initiate. It is forbidden for Initiates to touch women, and, of
course, for women to touch them. Initiates also avoid meat and beans. A good deal of time, I gather, is devoted to sacrifices,
services, chants, prayers, and the perusal of mystic lore. By means of the study of mathematics they attempt to purify themselves.
Magicians of Gor, page 17

The crowd parted to my left and I saw, making its way through the crowd, some sort of  standard, a golden staff surmounted by a
golden circle. The circle I would later learn was the sign of the Priest-Kings, the symbol of eternity, that without beginning or end.
Emerging through the crowd first were two boys, one ringing the bells and the other shaking a censer, wafting fumes of the incense
about, Behind these two came another boy, he bearing the standard of golden circle. Behind him came a gaunt, hideous man. His
features frightened me. I did not doubt but what he was insane. Behind him, in double file, side by side, came some twenty other
men. Each carried, before him, a golden bowl. They made me uneasy. Something in their appearance seemed to me unhealthy. They
seemed pathological. Some looked simple. Others appeared of unsound mind. Some mumbled to themselves, prayers perhaps. They
certainly did not look much like the normal men of this world. They were too pale. Were they strangers to the sun and fresh air? They
moved poorly. Did they never leap and run, and wrestle? Were they ashamed of having  bodies, or of being alive? Had they somehow
sought refuge in pathetic lies? Did they think that absurdities conferred dignity upon them? Such, I thought, might not function well in
this demanding, hardy world. But then they had perhaps found a way of surviving. Perhaps they, who might otherwise have been
dismissed as pathetic misfits, as simple failures in nature, had managed to construct a social niche for themselves, perhaps by
inventing and providing service. They seemed so smug, so furtive, so sly, so sanctimonious, so hypocritical! How serious they were.
Did they fear that the world might suddenly find them out and burst into laughter? All these men had shaved heads. All wore robes of
glistening white. These were, I gathered, “Initiates,� supposedly the highest of the high castes.

How odd, I thought, that it should supposedly be they who had the ear of the mighty and mysterious Priest-Kings. If there were
Priest-Kings. I wondered if they knew about the caste of Initiates. Perhaps they would regard them as a joke. Why would the Priest-
Kings, I wondered if they really required intermediaries, and were unable to deal directly with men, and, indeed, if there was any
point in them dealing with men at all, have chosen to achieve this end with so eccentric and improbable a caste? Why would they not
have chosen some other caste, say, the Metal Workers o the Leather Workers, and intermediaries? Those castes, at least, seemed
to be populated with men. The leather workers were excellent at piercing our ears, for example, the metal workers at fitting shackles
to fair limbs. Witness of Gor, page 423, 424

I noticed that one of the shave-headed boys, the one with the bells, was eyeing one of the captives. She was one of those in the
lines. She was a small brunette� Her hands twisted a little behind her, in the shackles. She might have been a little younger then
he. I did not think she was aware of His gaze.

I did not scorn the lad for noticing her. If anything, I was pleased that he had. It made him seem a little more human. To be sure, I
supposed that he had best watch his step. Too, she had best watch hers. Though she was now a free woman, she was a stripped
captive, and would doubtless soon be slave. If he became involved with her I had little doubt that it would not be he, but it would be
she, particularly if she were a slave, who would be found at fault. In such a case I do not think any of her sisters in bondage would
envy her. But perhaps he would leave the case before it was too late, if it were not already too late, before, say, he took his final
vows, or performed whatever act or acts t might be by means of which his entry into the caste might be effected. Perhaps, before he
became much older, he would come to understand that there were two sexes, really, and that they are formed by nature, each in its
own way, for the other. The caste of Initiates, incidentally, provides a socially acceptable refuge for men who may not wish, for one
reason or another, to relate to women. It is probably a kindness for a society to provide mercies of this sort. This observation  is not
intended to reflect on the caste as a whole. It is my surmise, incidentally, that the great majority of Initiates, for better or for worse,
abide by, and respect, the regulations of their caste. Witness of Gor, page 427, 428
Caste of Initiates
This research is done on the series of books written by John Norman, the comments in italics are mine and my point of view.
Woman of Gor
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