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From: mary whalen <marewhalen@yahoo.com>
Subject: (urth)  Re:  Torturers as priests
Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 01:28:40 

This is Sean Whalen (prion).

Matt, I just added this as part of some of my previous posts of the
theory that the torturers are the Urth form of Catholic priests.

If they can change from being priests to being torturers, it seems
that along the way they could have evolved to include women in some
incarnation(s) of their function, and we don't even know if the women
had differing roles in the past.  I meant also that the fact that they
originally had no women (as priests), gained them (as jailers), and
then lost them again (after becoming torturers) is part of the
cyclic/repetitive structure Wolfe likes to use.

I also think this theory is part of the fact that Wolfe purposely
writes the plot and setting of New Sun to be an amalgam of every SF
cliche and standard there is.  A well-known current organization that
changes form in the far future to an ironic form is one of these.

Lastly, I just read on the Whorl archive list that when Gene Wolfe was
asked the question of "Is there a past, current, or future member of
the Order of Seekers of Truth and Penitence on the Whorl?", he says
"Yes, Silk.
"  I take it to mean that Silk is a member of this order because he's
a priest/worshipper of the Outsider (God), and this seems to indicate
that the torturers are, too.

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