"But surely," I protested, "its
existence could be discovered. One can't hide a planet the size
of the Earth in our own solar system! It's impossible!"
"You underestimate the Priest-Kings and their science,"
said my father, smiling. "Any power that is capable
of moving a planet--and I believe the Priest-Kings possess
this power--is capable of effecting adjustments in the motion
of the planet, such adjustments as might allow it to use
the sun indefinitely as a concealing shield."
---Tarnsman of Gor, 2:33
Gor is the planet
of the Priest-Kings, a species of higher intelligence which
hides in the depths of the Sardar Mountains. It is believed
the planet shares the Earth's solar system but remains concealed
from Earth scientists by careful shielding.
was another possibility I mentioned to my father--perhaps
the planet had been in our system all the time, but had
been undiscovered, unlikely though that might be, given
the thousands of years of study of the skies by men, from
the shambling creatures of the Neander Valley to the brilliant
intellects of Mount Wilson and Palomar. To my surprise,
this absurd hypothesis was welcomed by my father.
"That," he said with animation, "is the Theory of the Sun
Shield." He added, "That is why I like to think of the planet
as the Counter-Earth, not only because of its resemblance
to our native world, but because, as a matter of fact, it
is placed as a counterpoise to the Earth. It has the same
plane of orbit and maintains its orbit in such a way as
always to keep The Central Fire between it and its planetary
sister, our Earth, even though this necessitates occasional
adjustments in its speed of revolution."
"But surely," I protested, 'its existence could be discovered.
One can't hide a planet the size of the Earth in our own
solar system! It's impossible!"
"You underestimate the Priest-Kings and their science,"
said my father, smiling. "Any power that is capable of moving
a planet--and I believe the Priest-Kings possess this power--is
capable of effecting adjustments in the motion of the planet,
such adjustments as might allow it to use the sun indefinitely
as a concealing shield."
"The orbits of the other planets would be affected," I pointed
"Gravitational perturbations," said my father, "can be neutralized."
His eyes shone. "It is my belief," he said, "that the Priest-Kings
can control the forces of gravity, at least in localized
areas, and, indeed, that they do so. In all probability
their control over the motion of the planet is somehow connected
with this capacity. Consider certain consequences of this
power. Physical evidence, such as light or radio waves,
which might reveal the presence of the planet, can be prevented
from doing so. The Priest-Kings might gravitationally warp
the space in their vicinity, causing light or radio waves
to be diffused, curved, or deflected in such a way as not
to expose their world."
I must have appeared unconvinced.
"Exploratory satellites can be similarly dealt with," added
my father. He paused. "Of course, I only propose hypotheses,
for what the Priest-Kings do and how it is done is known
only to them."
I drained the last sip of the heady wine in the metal goblet.
said my father, "there is evidence of the existence of the
looked at him.
natural signals in the radio band of the spectrum," said
astonishment must have been obvious.
"Yes," he said, "but since the hypothesis of another world
is regarded as so incredible, this evidence has been interpreted
to accord with other theories; sometimes even imperfections
in instrumentation have been supposed rather than admit
the presence of another world in our solar system."
"But why would this evidence not be understood?" I asked.
"Surely you know," he laughed, "one must distinguish between
the data to be interpreted and the interpretation of the
data, and one chooses, normally, the interpretation that
preserves as much as possible of the old world view, and,
in the thinking of the Earth, there is no place for Gor,
its true sister planet, the Counter-Earth."
---Tarnsman of Gor, 2:33-35
Some million years
before the journey of Tarl Cabot to the counter-earth, the
Priest-Kings brought the planet into the solar system it
now resided in by the manipulation of gravity.
myself was hatched," said Misk, "before we brought our world
into your solar system." He looked down at me. "That was
more than two million years ago," he said.
---Priest Kings of Gor, 15:118
Indeed, it is through the control of gravity that the Priest-Kings
had, long ago, brought their world into our system, an engineering
feat that might have been otherwise impossible without perhaps
the draining of the gleaming Thassa itself for its hydrogen
---Priest Kings of Gor, 28:241
Gor is a planet not unlike
Earth, though said to be smaller in size and different in mass,
making its gravity field lighter enough to have visible effects
on those of Earth. Like Earth, Gor has satellites it calls moons;
unlike Earth, these moons are three.
leaped to the top of the table almost as I would have climbed
a stair in the alumni house. It was different, a different
movement. Less gravity. It had to be. The planet, then,
was smaller than our earth, and, given the apparent size
of the sun, perhaps somewhat closer to it.
---Tarnsman of Gor, 2:23
was aware again of the somewhat lesser gravity of the planet,
but this awareness would pass as my system accommodated
itself naturally to the new environment. Given the lesser
gravity, feats of prowess that might seem superhuman on
earth were commonplace on Gor. The sun, as I remembered
it, seemed a bit larger than it did when viewed from the
earth, but as before it was difficult to be altogether sure
---Outlaw of Gor, 2:19
The planet is populated
by various species brought to it via the voyages of acquisition,
from planets known to Priest-Kings. Earth is one of those
planets, and certainly appears to be the source of most
of Gor's population, though one needs to remember that most
of those brought from Earth to Gor came many years before
the spoilings of industrialization, and hence would remain
more akin to the men of ancient Earth civilizations than
they would be to the watered down version of the male species
we are more familiar with.
It is explained that the
Priest-Kings brought men of Earth to Gor because they found them
to be an interesting species and believed they would, on Earth at
least, end up destroying themselves. In essence, the intent explained
here is one of protection of the species.
keep in touch with the earth," said Misk, "for it might,
in time, become a threat to us and then we would have to
limit it, or destroy it or leave the solar system."
will you do?" I asked.
I suspect," said Misk. "According to our calculations, which
may of course be mistaken, life as you know it on the earth
will destroy itself within the next thousand years."
shook my head sadly.
I said," went on Misk, "man is sub rational. Consider what
would happen if we allowed him free technological development
on our world."
nodded. I could see that from the Priest-Kings' point of
view it would be more dangerous than handing out automatic
weapons to chimpanzees and gorillas. Man had not proved
himself worthy of a superior technology to the Priest-Kings.
I mused that man had not proved himself worthy of such a
technology even to himself.
said Misk, "it was partly because of this tendency that
we brought man to the Counter-Earth, for he is an interesting
species and it would be sad to us if he disappeared from
suppose we are to be grateful," I said.
said Misk, "we have similarly brought various species to
the Counter-Earth, from other locations."
---Priest-Kings of Gor, 16:124-125
tendencies of the men of Earth are believed by Priest-Kings
to be a direct result of access to advanced technologies,
and to prevent such tendencies from manifesting themselves,
such access on Gor is limited. Indeed, if the Holy Priests
remain hidden from the human eye, they keep tight and constant
control of man's access to technology, believing it to be
something man is not yet ready to handle safely. In areas
as simple as weaponry and sometimes as advanced as political
alliances, careful surveillance and intervention are maintained
and handled swiftly.
would have supposed that armor, or chain mail perhaps, would
have been a desirable addition to the accoutrements of the
Gorean warrior, but it had been forbidden by the Priest-Kings.
A possible hypothesis to explain this is that the Priest-Kings
may have wished war to be a biologically selective process
in which the weaker and slower perish and fail to reproduce
This might account for the relatively primitive weapons
allowed to the Men Below the Mountains. On Gor it was not
the case that a cavern-chested toothpick could close a switch
and devastate an army. Also, the primitive weapons guaranteed
that what selection went on would proceed with sufficient
slowness to establish its direction, and alter it, if necessary.
---Tarnsman of Gor, 3:48
Sarm's point of view of course your utilization there was
simply to curtail the spread of the Empire of Ar, for we
prefer humans to dwell in isolated communities. It is better
for observing their variations, from the scientific point
of view, and it is safer for us if they remain disunited,
for being rational they might develop a science, and being
sub rational it might be dangerous for us and for themselves
if they did so."
"That is the reason then for your limitations of their weaponry
course," said Misk...
---Priest-Kings of Gor, 16:123-124
--A savage world
where survival is ensured by strength and the ability of
man to take his place in the natural order of things, be
it in relation to other animal species, amongst the human
species or surviving the elements of nature, either alone
or via cultural and social standards-based primitive instincts.
On Gor, the strong survive, the weak die.
--A world where
incredible advances in medicine have essentially eliminated
disease and even aging, yet where men must walk or ride
journeys of thousands of pasangs without the help of a motor
and where predators of prehistoric size roam free to hold
their place in the food chain.