"Botany Bay," an E-mail Message from Chris Langan

Subject: FW: [MegaList] Botany Bay
Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2001 18:23:14 -0700
From: Langan [mailto:clangan@suffolk.lib.ny.us]
Sent: Tuesday, April 03, 2001 1:19 PM
To: MegaList@topica.com
Subject: Re: [MegaList] Botany Bay

On Tue, 3 Apr 2001, Steve Schuessler wrote:

> It is difficult to understand why there are such strong emotional
> attachments without knowing the historical background.
> Ron desperately wanted the group to have sustainable perpetuation. There
> weren't enough 197s on the so-called conventional tests to do that, so he
> started a group with 1/100,000 criteria, with the idea of eventually
> splitting off a 1 in an million subgroup after enough people joined. He
> even gave some people 3 chances to take his Mega Test, in an attempt to
> 'seed' or 'bootstrap' the society into existence.
> Instead of operating as a subgroup, the smaller Titan Society, then Hoeflin
> Research Group, then Noetic Society, (etc.) functioned as an independent
> Society from its onset, with a separate newsletter, first called Titanic,
> then Noesis. (Megarian was the name of the earlier group's newsletter.)
> Members took turns editing it for a while. Chris Langan did this,
> significantly during a period of low activity where, if not for the Omni
> Magazine article, the whole thing might have fizzled.

First, let me say that this is not an attempt to argue, and I don't expect
a response. This is an intellectual discussion list.

Actually, I took over the Titan Society just after Ron announced his
intention to let the Society die if no one would take responsibility,
and nobody but me was willing to do so. In other words, I took control
at a very special time...just after Ron Hoeflin announced that he'd let
the Society fold unless a permanent editor could be found. I was the only
volunteer. It was months later when Chris Cole began complaining to Ron
that *he* should have been put in charge. But had I not been there,
there'd have been no Titan Society around for Chris Cole to suddenly
get acquisitive over. Bear in mind that the original Mega Society was
already dead; because it never would have been resurrected without the
Titan-Mega merger, this whole thing is really about the Titan Society
(which is really what the present Mega Society is). And in that Society,
my stewardship of the journal predates Chris Cole's. (Of course - and I'm
not implying that Chris doesn't have his good points - it took a guy
like Chris Cole to declare himself "Publisher-for-Life".)

Anyway, Chris Cole and Kevin Langdon are currently asking Mega Society
members to vote on whether I should be sent a letter, which they've
already had drafted by a lawyer, threatening to sue me. That's
right...Cole and Langdon are threatening me with nuisance litigation
because I've dared to publish an alternative edition of Noesis (which, by
the way, I named over a decade ago). Not very cooperative on their part,
is it? After all, my version of Noesis is the one containing worthwhile
material. Theirs, on the other hand, contains ex post facto attempts to
legitimize Cole's decade of despotism by what might be termed "minority
democracy", in which no more than a third of the Society has ever
participated; threats of nuisance litigation; and all manner of
parliamentary hypocrisy that Chris Cole explicitly disallowed when he
originally "took charge". That's right - in the interests of "strong
leadership", he announced when he became Publisher-for-Life that no,
sorry, democracy just wasn't for us!

Even if Chris Cole and Kevin Langdon had the authority to call for an
official vote (which they most certainly do not), that vote would be
invalid. Why? Because when it comes to me (the competition), they've long
pursued a policy of secrecy and exclusion. E.g., they won't share their
version of the membership list and contact info with actual members so
that members can contact each other regarding electoral issues; they
refuse to answer correspondence from me, e.g. correspondence in which
I'm responding to requests for editorial assistance (they cite my tone as a
justification); they won't even acknowledge my application to the other
(so-called) "mega society email list". In other words, they are exercising
decidedly undemocratic control over the lines of organizational
communication necessary for democratic functions.

In order not to legitimize the unfair and divisive tactics of Cole and
Langdon, I personally ignore their "elections". But if any Mega Society
member plans to vote on the Cole/Langdon resolution to undertake nuisance
litigation against me for providing Mega Society members with a superior
product, plus ten times the publicity they managed to achieve in over a
decade, please vote NO. It's the least you can do to promote an atmosphere
of peace and cooperation in the upper echelons of the superHIQ community.

Best regards,

Chris Langan

This is the MegaList -- Discussion forum for members and friends of Mega
Society East.
To unsubscribe, send a blank email to MegaList-unsubscribe@topica.com