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Routine Maintenance
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Please note that our server will be down for something like 45 minutes between midnight and 4AM MDT (GMT-6). While the server is down the site will be unavailable. This is for essential maintenance and is beyond our control.

Posted on: 8/3 3:41
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Re: Temporary website unavailability
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Apologies again to anyone who tried to access the site during parts of yesterday (March 19th 2010) and found it unavailable. This was caused by technical changes made by our hosts. As you can see, the site is back up and running as normal again now.

Simon

Posted on: 2010/3/20 2:32
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holly/meglovesian
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Tal, Folks.

Following is a copy of a post I made on July 11th, 2009, in our members-only "Non-Gorean Issues" Forum, which I think is important enough, to be published in this Forum, which is readable even by non-members of The Chronicles of Gor Website.

I regret to have to inform you, that I have just banned "holly" and her alter ego "meglovesian," and I've put up an IP block on all her IP addresses.

Admittedly, over the last few years, this was one of the hardest decisions I've had to make. I liked that girl, I loved that carefully chosen picture of her, I enjoyed her artfully crafted openness, and, even though I sometimes got a bit embarrassed about it, I was impressed by her seemingly polite and very, very respectful approach of, let us say, free men and women.

Presumably, most of you share my feelings and experiences in this respect.

The problem, dear friends, is that "holly" doesn't exist. She's not a respectful slave, not a mother of a infant, she's not 45 years old, and "Master Bruce" doesn't exist, either; she's a *character*, a carefully crafted and meticulously maintained illusion by an older woman, whom, for the sake of simplicity, we might best refer to as "Ellen".

Ellen is highly intelligent, and I do suspect, but, to be sure, this is only a personal assumption, that she might hold an university degree, in psychology, or such; Ellen is alone, I don't believe she ever was married, and Ellen has long passed the age at which a women is sure she can be attractive to every man. Ellen is a masterful "mirror," and a perfect organizer, she knows everything you ever made public, and whatever experience you might have, she has had the same experience, she can relate to it, and you end up telling her things you would have never shared with a real-life perfect stranger. She's the ideal of a kajira, but sadly, only in her dreams. Through the internet, she made her dream come true.

Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Well, this is not about Prize of Gor, this is about Chronicles of Gor, and this is real, it's a fantasy that became a reality, and we all fell for it.

So now, I've got to answer two questions. Firstly, how do I know this, how can I be sure; and secondly, perhaps, most importantly, is such a fraudulent behavior bad enough to be exposed and punished by lifelong banishment?

Most of you know, I have never called myself Gorean, but if I would, my name would be "Simon of CoG". This website, this harbor in Gorean waters, this defiant city to be recorded on her maps, this is my city, my home, the place where I keep my Home Stone. I don't own her, yet I've helped build her, brick by brick, and I know her better then anyone else. I am a webmaster, not a moderator, and unlike my fellow staff members, I own the keys to every lock in this city, I can be anywhere at once, and yes, night after night, I roam her streets, invisible, in the dark, just to keep her safe.

Over the years, I have run into some very disturbed and dangerous people, who tried to get into my city. A fellow, for example, who wanted to buy a small island off the American east coast, "import" a large number of Asian orphans, train them in a Gorean way, and sell them through the internet. In those cases, I track such a monster down, collect all the necessary evidence, and then inform both the local authorities and the American F.B.I.

In Ellen's case, I monitored her IP traffic once I began to suspect her, which proved she was also using a second userid, "meglovesian," and the sheer amount of time spent on this site, and the time when browsing under either user name, made clear that Ellen could never be a mother of an infant. I've got three daughters myself, I know what it's like. Independently, some others became suspicious about her, and, in this thread, a few confronted her with some of her public inconsistencies.

So, I did something, I've never done before. I downloaded all the private messages made since the start of this site, including the deleted ones; I filtered out Ellen's messages, and I read them all. She has PMed nearly every active member of this site, many, many times, and believe me, she has been a different person to each and every one of you.

To be sure, besides me, only the owner of the site, Simon of Tabor, has the ability to do this, and the only time I am aware of, that he, indeed, reviewed someone else's PM, was that of another Staff member to "holly," because "holly" had claimed that that message had been abusive to her and in violation of our ToS. Her claim, needless to say, was proven false. Webmasters can review such PMs for good cause, if necessary, in compliance with our ToS and applicable law, and would never do it otherwise.

To many of you, after a few initial messages, she suggested continuing the correspondence using private email, because "the moderators might be listening". I don't know how many of you actually followed her advice, but why on earth would you be afraid of eavesdropping, when you're talking about the weather or what your holiday was like, not committing serious violations of the ToS or defrauding others? In any case, the number of inconsistencies in her private messages equates to a multitude of her public errors, which might explain both the number of her private messages and her eagerness to switch to email.

Now we come to the big question - what's wrong with pretending to be someone else?

First of all, it is clearly a matter of degree. I am 52 years old, but my picture is not what I look like now, but how I looked 6 or 7 years ago, and if I don't shave for a couple of weeks, none of you would ever recognize me if we met in real life. None of us has perfect memory, so if one looks closely enough, one can always find minor inconsistencies, even in my posts and stories. But those inconsistencies are accidental, they are superficial, easily explained, and, most importantly, they are not abusive.

But if one pretends to have had a certain experience, and, based on that shared experience, one creates an emotional bond, which, in turn, seduces the victim to reveal very private and personal information, one, effectively, creates a power relationship, where the victim becomes dependent, out of fear of disclosure. This *is* abuse, folks, because in legal terms, it is called "blackmail". It doesn't matter whether a blackmailer asks you for cold hard cash, or any kind of support in a given situation, if you are coerced into doing something out of fear, uncertainty or misinformation, whether it’s being whipped, as happened, and more, to a young woman from this site in recent history, or having your most private secrets given up and available for misuse, you are effectively in an abusive situation, and that is what I have been fighting against for over a decade, and something I will not tolerate within the boundaries of my own city in any way, shape or form.

So, each of you, who have been "friends" with Ellen, think about what you've told her, and how you might feel, if one day, she would email you, and say "I want you to do so and so, and if you don't...". We know now it's already happened to at least one member of this site. I will *not* let it happen again.

I rest my case.

Take care,
Simon

PS. We have also located a profile on another site associated with the email address "holly" had used in registering her account on CoG as "meglovesian." It was set up over four years ago and gives "meglovesian's" age as substantially older than the 45 years "holly" claims to be. We have also looked at another photo of "holly" that appears to us to be both the same woman, but, at least a decade older, although photos can be misleading, so we make no claims concerning it, nor will we post it. We have not responded publicly to this situation as quickly as we would have liked, but that is because we Staff have been conducting a diligent review of the data available to us and ensuring we do not violate our own ToS or Posting Guidelines. Therefore, we thank (some of) you for your patience.

To protect the privacy of our others members, the details of this situation, which can be found HERE, are only accessible to registered members. Registration is easy, and usually a matter of just a couple of minutes. If necessary, you can contact me at all time the following address: simonvanmeygaarden@gmail.com.

Posted on: 2009/7/13 18:35
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Temporary website unavailability
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Our apologies to those who attempted to log in to this site during the course of today (26th November 2008), only to find it unavailable.

The technical fault that caused the shutdown has now been fixed and there should be no further problems.

Simon

Posted on: 2008/11/27 12:40
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John Norman's presence here at CoG
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It has come to my attention that part of our site home page have led to misunderstandings. It previously read, "This is the new home of John Norman, and I'm delighted to say that John will be here from time to time. Every once in a while you will be able to read a message from him."

The second sentence there was meant to indicate the nature of John's presence here but it seems that this is not sufficiently clear. Our apologies for any misunderstandings that have arisen as a result, and I've now edited it.

To be quite clear, John Norman does not visit the site in person, but he has contributed to it and answered some questions from members that were passed to him, and he will be contributing further in the future.

Simon

Posted on: 2008/7/9 1:01
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Re: Age
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I won't discuss a particular case publicly, but I will make some general comments about how the system works.

When an ID is banned, that ID can only be reactivated by a member of Staff. There is no automatic reactivation. Whether or not a ban is temporary or permanent will depend on many factors, and we will make such decisions case by case.

Simon

Posted on: 2007/12/12 17:04
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Re: Age
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Greetings,

Ah, teenagers. This girl feels Hannah should be allowed to return when she is 18.

However, by then she will no doubt have moved on to a dozen other interests. It happened to me almost 18 years ago. At age 15 i had read a couple Gor novels, and didn't return to them until about 6 months ago.

Probably Hannah is gone for good. ;)

pettitoes

Posted on: 2007/12/12 15:45
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Re: Age
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Master Simom,

Out of curiosity, may I ask...After she is 18 will she be able to join the forum, or will the ban keep her out even after that? Or is she banned now because she broke the terms and tried to come in under the age of 18?

Thank you for your patience.
kylees

Posted on: 2007/12/12 14:37
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Copyright
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Hi folks,

I'd like to remind everyone that all material on this site is copyrighted unless specifically stated otherwise. In particular, John Norman retains copyright to all his letters published on this site. It is both a breach of our Terms of Service, and also illegal, to copy them to any other site, even if a link back to this site is provided, without permission to do so. Without that permission it's fine to post links to the letters, and to post quotes from them, but that's all. I would ask anyone who has copied any letter from this site to either remove it or to ensure that they obtain copyright permission. I found a copy of one letter posted on another site earlier on and I may well be contacting them to specifically request they remove the article in question.

Here at CoG we operate a very strict policy where copyright is concerned, and we never publish anything without permission. Over the past year I've contacted a number of people to request permission to publish their material and so far nobody has refused. Amongst that material are articles by David Alexander Smith, Jeffrey M. Elliott and most recently Steven Saylor (who even added a link on his own site to his article on this site). Having to get permission to post material written by others may seem like a pain, but usually all that is required is a simple email. It may also seem like a risk, as there's a chance the copyright holder might say no, but in my experience that's a risk well worth taking.

I've found that copyright holders very much appreciate it when people respect their rights, and hence they tend to grant the permission requested. On the other hand they can get rather annoyed if they find their articles copied illegally. As an example of what can happen if copyright is not properly respected it may be worth reading an open letter by Ursula K. Le Guin regarding the illegal posting of an article she had written. As the infringer involved there found, copyright infringement can damange your reputation, but in some respects he escaped quite lightly. Had Ms Le Guin issued a formal Notice of Infringement to his web hosts the infringement might have cost him his site.

The moral of all this is that asking permission will only enhance your reputation and you will usually find permission is granted, whereas posting something by someone else without permission will only damage your reputation, if you're lucky, and may cost you your site if you're not.

Simon

Posted on: 2007/11/3 18:32
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Re: The Chronicles of Gor Online Store
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I've now added an eBay search box for those looking to find Gor books (or anything else for that matter) on eBay.

Posted on: 2007/10/27 4:22
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Re: The Chronicles of Gor Online Store
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Simon of Tabor, I agree. Anyway, "t-shirts of Gor" sounds a little cheesy, anyway.

Richard

Posted on: 2007/10/20 8:39
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Re: The Chronicles of Gor Online Store
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Tal Richard,

We're in no danger of failing to break even.

As has been said we do not want this site to become a commercial operation, with all the overheads and pressures that entails. Simon explained well why we do not want to become dependent on sales income.

Running this site does involve some inevitable expenses, such as web hosting and domain registration fees, but we try to keep those essential costs to a minimum in order to help ensure that we will not be forced to close if we cannot meet those costs. In reality the commissions we're earning at the moment comfortably cover those costs, but even if they didn't, our essential running costs are small enough for us to cover ourselves if we need to.

As I have said we try to keep running costs to a mimimum, but that does not mean there aren't other ways in which we could use our income. It simply means those ways are not essential to the running of the site. Rest assured that we'll use any extra income we get for the good of the site.

We're here for the long term. In every decision we have taken we have tried to ensure that the site would survive no matter what happens, even if we never earnt another penny from any commissions. The site is not here to earn money, it's here to provide news and information to Gor fans, and a whole host of other resources related to the Gor books. The Online Store is simply one of those resources and we would have added something like it even if we did not earn any money by doing so. Although it isn't there to earn us money, I think it's a wise move on our part to use the opportunity provided to us to earn a little in commission, as that will not only help to ensure the long term survival of the site but it will provide us the means to make this an even better site than it is now.

Simon

Posted on: 2007/10/20 6:29
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Re: The Chronicles of Gor Online Store
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On the other hand, doing extras, as Veronika suggested, in order to make sure that the site at least breaks even may be worth considering.

I agree, it is a wonderful site, and I'm still exploring parts of it.

Richard

Posted on: 2007/10/20 0:30
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Re: Age
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A few members might have noticed that the recently banned member managed to make another brief post after we had supposedly banned her. We've identified the technical problem that prevented her banning from taking proper effect and rectified that, so she can no longer access the site. We very rarely have reason to ban people here, and the precise circumstances that caused the ban not to work on this occassion had never occurred before. We are now working on a permanent fix to that problem so that it will not happen again.

Posted on: 2007/10/19 23:35
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Re: The Chronicles of Gor Online Store
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Tal Simon and Lemuel,

Thank you for your answer. I understand the reasoning behind it. It is a wonderful site!

Veronika

Posted on: 2007/10/18 23:17
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Re: The Chronicles of Gor Online Store
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Greetings, Veronika.

To stress Lemuel's words:

Good ideas, and yet... if we would turn this into a commercial enterprise, and start making real money, we would become dependant of that money, and then, if we would start losing money, this adventure and this site would end. Believe me, I've seen it happening more then once and been part of it.

No, let's just do this because we want to, instead of need to. Let this be an ideal, a common goal and a shared dream.

Merchants are a fine caste, but one shouldn't let them rule a city.
When profit is gone, they move on.
We won't.

Take care,
Simon the Elder

Posted on: 2007/10/18 20:57
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Re: The Chronicles of Gor Online Store
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Quote:

Veronika wrote:
Quote:
Simon_of_Tabor wrote:
I should stress that this site will never be a money making enterprise, even though we now have a small income. That income, as Lemuel said, will enable the site to run, and develop, without the need for myself and others to fund it as we did initially, though we will of course continue to put time and effort into the site entirely voluntarily, with no expectation of financial reward.


What about adding more items to the Online Store? Items other than books, such as cute T-shirts with Gor related print, cups, key chains? All gorean of course. These can be immensly popular. They can provide additional funds while being relatively inexpensive to make. Sorry if I am getting into something I am not supposed to. We do a lot of brainstorming at work for increased revenue ideas, and I couldn't help asking this question here. Sorrrrryy :)
I do like this store. It is VERY convenient; I'll get the rest of the series here.


Tal Veronkia,

As Simon said, this isn't a money making venture. We really aren't looking for ways to make more money - if the site is self sufficient that's more than enough.

Selling such products really isn't something we're interested in. It would distract from our central purpose. It's much more important to us that Mr. Norman's books are now back in print and we would like to be sure they stay in print so other people that might enjoy them can find them and read them.

I wish you well,

Lemuel

Posted on: 2007/10/18 20:52
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Re: The Chronicles of Gor Online Store
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Quote:
Simon_of_Tabor wrote:
I should stress that this site will never be a money making enterprise, even though we now have a small income. That income, as Lemuel said, will enable the site to run, and develop, without the need for myself and others to fund it as we did initially, though we will of course continue to put time and effort into the site entirely voluntarily, with no expectation of financial reward.


What about adding more items to the Online Store? Items other than books, such as cute T-shirts with Gor related print, cups, key chains? All gorean of course. These can be immensly popular. They can provide additional funds while being relatively inexpensive to make. Sorry if I am getting into something I am not supposed to. We do a lot of brainstorming at work for increased revenue ideas, and I couldn't help asking this question here. Sorrrrryy :)
I do like this store. It is VERY convenient; I'll get the rest of the series here.

Posted on: 2007/10/18 20:37
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Age
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Hi all,

Strictly speaking this is the wrong forum for this post, but I wanted to make sure it's read by as many as possible. We'll move it to the appropriate forum at a later date.

You will have spotted that we have just expelled a member after it came to our attention that she was under 18. I'd like to remind everyone that the members only areas of this site are strictly for those over 18. Every member of this site has agreed to our Terms of Service, which expressly state that members must be over 18. Should we become aware, or if we have sufficiently strong grounds to believe, that any member is under 18 then that member will be immediately expelled, without exception. If we are proved wrong then we will of course resinstate that member with an apology.

There are many reasons for taking such a strict line on that, some of them legal reasons, and others moral and ethical reasons. I won't go into all of them, but I will try to summarise them. To put it simply we have a responsibility to help ensure that minors are protected from harm. We owe that to their parents, to other members, but most importantly to the minors themselves. We take that responsibility very, very seriously, as you have now seen.

Please help us in this by letting us know of any evidence or suspicions you have, and of course by not inviting anyone you know to be under 18 to join this site, and instead urging them not to do so. Members found to be ignoring our age rules and actively inviting minors to join this site may also, at our discretion, be expelled from the site.

Simon

Posted on: 2007/10/18 17:30

Edited by Simon_of_Tabor on 2007/10/18 17:53:16
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Re: The Chronicles of Gor Online Store
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Quote:

Simon_of_Tabor wrote:
Greetings purpod,

You're welcome, and just between you and I the real reason I've been a little quiet recently is much more mundane than has been suggested. I've just been darn busy, it's as simple as that. If you happen to find a way of injecting a few hours of extra time into each day please let me know - that would be an enormous help.

Simon


Hey Simon,

We could apply to the Ministry of Magic to get you a Time-Turner then you'd...

~thwacks forehead~ Oh wait! That's a completely different series of books! ~winks & grins~

Be well,

Lem

Posted on: 2007/10/18 16:21
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