Caution: Political Content (Part 2)

Chris Cole


From: "Chris Cole" <>
Delivered-To: mailing list
Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 20:05:41 -0700
Subject: [mega] RE: [MegaList] Caution: Political Content

This replies to Chris Langan's response to my comments. With minor
exceptions, Langan does not contradict the facts presented in my response.
In terms of the exceptions, if he believes that he proposed the name
"Noesis" in communications to which I was not a party, well, o.k. Such
assertions are all the better when supported by names, dates and quotations,
but it hardly matters.

In fact, Langan makes our case for us:

> From the viewpoints of Mega Society members other than Chris
> Cole and his confidants - and I neither know nor care what it takes to
> qualify for the position of Cole's "confidant" - this is an out-and-out
> falsehood. When people claiming to be in charge don't put out the journal
> for months on end, members begin use words like "defunct" to describe it.
> This has happened not just once, but several times. It may be true that
> because Chris Cole saw himself as continuously "in charge", he never
> personally regarded the Society as defunct. But from everyone else's
> viewpoint, Cole and company have been unconscionably lax.

Langan seems to claim that the Society was defunct either when he
published his six issues in 1990, or when he started publishing
"Noesis (East Coast Edition)" in 1997, or both.

> Perhaps Chris Cole needs to have his memory refreshed. Ron
> Hoeflin: "If there are no volunteers, this journal and society will
> probably be terminated...there is not sufficient intellectual or monetary
> feedback from the members to give me personally sufficient incentive to
> continue...".
> Although Ron didn't make this announcement until after he'd gotten me to
> hand the journal back to him, he'd made similar noises previously.

This is a pretty straight-forward admission that Ron resumed editing Noesis
from Langan and that the Society was not defunct at the time.

> After all, when I took over Noesis, the rotating editor system we were
> using had ground to a halt because no one wanted to volunteer for the next
> rotation.

There was no "next rotation" that "ground to a halt." Langan took over his
turn and expanded it to six issues. This confused the other members and
disrupted the rotation. As previously noted, one member who had moved and
did not receive Langan's issues, Ray Wise, went ahead and published his
issue in its proper sequence. In fact, Wise's issue had to be renumbered
later because Langan had been late in publishing his issues, which is a rich
irony when Langan calls such delays "unconscionable."

By the way, in the first of these six issues, Langan's first words are:
"This is the first of several issues of Noesis for which I have agreed
to be responsible." No mention here of permanently taking over the

Ron was running the Society in 1990 and resumed publishing Noesis after
Langan's six issues, so Ron clearly did not think the Society was defunct.
By 1997, there had been a merger with the original Mega Society and
elections for officers. The first appearance of the counterfeit Noesis
was met with consternation and demands to cease and desist. Again,
the Society was not defunct.

While it is true that Noesis was published sporadically, this is not
unusual for small volunteer organizations. The assertion that gaps
in its appearance signaled the demise of the Society are not supported
by contemporary evidence. And even if there was a possibility of
an honest misunderstanding on Langan's part, his continued publishing
of the counterfeit version proves he does not believe this is the
justification of his actions. Indeed, his actual justification is

> This is a smokescreen. In reality, there is no way to submit a
> proposition to Cole's version of Noesis without subjecting it to the
> customary spin-doctoring of Cole and Langdon.

Langan's true justification for publishing the counterfeit Noesis
is that he cannot get a fair hearing in the regular Noesis. But
in fact, there has never been any "spin-doctoring" of Langan's
submissions. All have been published, including in some cases
entire issues of his work. Not one word has been changed.

By the way, this is true for all submissions of Mega members.

Mega members have questioned and in some cases disagreed with Langan.
This is not "spin-doctoring." This is to be expected in a democracy.

The bottom line is that a functioning organization, The Mega Society,
exists, with membership, bylaws and a journal. This was the status
quo ante, before Langan began doing business as "Mega Society
East" and "Noesis - East Coast Edition." Those uses of our names infringe
intellectual property rights, as anyone can easily determine. We have the
right to defend our prior use, and will do so if necessary. I appreciate
Langan's appeal for friendship and cooperation and would like very much to
resolve all matters of disagreement that may exist on a mutually agreeable
basis. But the current state of affairs, in which there are two Mega
Societies and two Noesis journals, can't continue indefinitely. If Chris
Langan has a proposal, we'll be pleased to consider it. My own proposal is
that he rejoin the Mega Society and become an active participant in its
affairs, according to the democratic process that we have implemented. If
he is not interested in doing that, then we are not the ones who are causing
divisions in the society.