Re: [MegaList] response to Chris Langan
From: Langan [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2001 3:02 AM
Subject: Re: [MegaList] response to Chris Langan
Cole: It is astonishing to see how often Chris Langan resorts to invective
when he lacks a substantive response. For my part, I have no interest in
insulting him or in responding further to his inaccurate and unfair
characterizations of people to whom he also, weirdly, claims to extend "the
hand of friendship." (It's pretty hard to do both at the same time, Chris.)
It is clear that the issues reduce to the following: (1) Shall there be one
Mega Society, in which we all can participate on an equal basis under a
common set of organizational rules, and one "Noesis" to which we can all
contribute on an equal basis? (2) If not, may the group now calling itself
"Mega Society East," and publishing "Noesis-E" continue to do so?
CML: Interesting point about the hand of friendship. In 1997, I
repeatedly tried putting in friendly calls to Cole and Jeff Ward to find
out their plans, given that they and Noesis appeared to have dropped off
the face of the earth. Cole at least had a functional answering machine; I
left my number on it each time I called. Cole never returned my calls.
Instead, he let me spend my money gearing up to rescue Noesis from what
very much looked like oblivion. Then, to everyone's boundless surprise, he
emerged from hiding and screamed like an eagle nudged off his perch.
The next time Cole had anything to say to me, it was a threat to sue me in
regard to the Langdon-Maxim brawl. I pointed out to him that the last thing
he wanted to do if he desired my cooperation, or the cooperation of any self-
respecting person, was summarily threaten to sue. But although he desisted,
he wasn't really listening. For sure enough, the next time he addressed me,
he again threatened to sue me. I really think he should have listened.
Now let me address Cole's numbered points.
(1) Regardless of whether Chris Cole ever wangles himself the right to
steer "the Mega Society" deeper into the hole it now inhabits, there will
never be "one Noesis to which we can all contribute on an equal basis"
under the editorship of Kevin Langdon. Langdon doesn't qualify for a mega
society, and he doesn't qualify to edit my material. He doesn't even
qualify to look at it. He sure as hell doesn't qualify to comment on it,
which he loves to do with the use of invectives like "crank" and
"crackpot". The situation is made a thousand times worse by the fact that
Langdon has been libeling me and the charitable foundation I help run for
the last year. Everybody knows it; the Prometheus Society cut the link to
his site. Yet Chris Cole continues to pretend that I can expect a fair
shake from him. If Cole really believes this, he doesn't belong in the
Mega Society. With all due respect, he belongs in reality therapy.
(2) Because of the situation I've just described, I have every right to
provide myself with a journal in which to publish the work that I might
otherwise have published in Cole's "Noesis". Am I obligated not to call it
"Noesis-E"? No, I am not. I have plenty of precedent for using that name.
If Cole wants me to contribute something to his "Noesis", the absolute
first step he must take is to get rid of Langdon. Meanwhile, he and every
other legitimately qualified member of his faction of the Mega Society may
consider themselves free to contribute to Noesis-E, the journal of the Mega
Cole: In prior posts, I've encouraged Chris Langan to join with those of
us to whom he refers as his "West Coast brethren." However, that is a
choice that only he can make. If his answer to the first question is "No,"
then we must confront the second question. In that regard, we should ask,
"Why 'Mega Society East' as opposed to some other, unique name? Why
'Noesis-E' as opposed to some other name, bearing no relation to any
pre-existing publication?" While only Chris Langan can explain the process
by which he arrived at those names, it seems obvious enough that he chose
them _because he wanted to hold his activities out as having an
organizational and/or historical connection with the pre-existing
organization (The Mega Society) and its journal (Noesis)_. If he wanted a
clean separation, he would scarcely have adopted these names, right?
CML: Gee, that's impressive. Chris Cole somehow "knows" that I chose the
names of the Mega Foundation and Mega Society East. He even knows my
motives! Unfortunately for his reputation as a psychic, I didn't choose
those names. Gina did. And I objected rather strenuously, because at that
point in time, I couldn't look anywhere in the direction of Kevin Langdon
without inspiring one of his mad-dog attacks. Consequently, I didn't feel
that it was appropriate to share all the publicity I was getting with
Langdon and his friends and/or handlers.
But Gina and others liked those names, and on reflection, I realized that
we had every right to use them. Yes, it seemed unfortunate that the names
might reflect credit on people who didn't deserve it - people like Langdon
and the litigation-happy Cole - but the terms "mega" and "noesis" are about
as generic as words can get. They are basic elements of a universal root
language, and the HIQ community has been using them generically for years.
Cole: Instead, he published a lengthy apologia on his website in which he
purported to justify his appropriation of the Mega Society's name and
trademark. It follows that Chris Langan sought to trade on, or somehow
benefit from, the goodwill and name-recognition associated with the name
and marks of the pre-existing Society.
CML: First, Cole's faction of "the Mega Society" doesn't have a trademark.
They don't produce goods or services. If they consider their "Noesis" a
product, then it's one into which I put as much time and effort as they did
over the years. If, on the other hand, they consider their certification
of mega-level IQ a "product", that product has been "marketed" in violation
of the law. And Cole's contention that I seek to "trade on or somehow
benefit from" the booger-wiping, masturbation schedules and cheap
pornography that have sporadically appeared in his newsletter is a
ludicrous piece of self-flattery. Perhaps what he means to say is that
having been the most prolific (serious) contributor to "Noesis" in
pre-Langdon days, and having first served as its publisher twelve years
ago, I have the strange notion that I'm entitled to inhabit the ranks of
those who publish newletters or journals under the very same name.
By the way, almost every ounce of good will directed towards the name
"Mega" belongs to the Mega Foundation. Speaking for myself, I have never
met a person outside the ultraHIQ community who knew about "the Mega
Society" before I mentioned it. In contrast, I've been recognized and
asked about the Mega Foundation in shopping malls (this might have
something to do with all that national and international network television
and radio publicity I sometimes seem to attract).
Cole: In all fairness and honesty, Chris Langan should not do that. No one
has suggested that anyone ought to be free to adopt someone else's
established name (with or without minor variations) as a means of trading
on name-recognition previously established in the marketplace. I don't
think that there is anyone, other than Chris Langan and his non-member
associates, who would agree that it was o.k. for Langan to appropriate the
names "Mega Society" and "Noesis" for his own use, without getting the
authorization of the members of the Society. The faux legal arguments made
in Chris Langan's recently published "Position Statement" thus fall of
their own weight, including, for example, the notion that the term "mega"
as used in "The Mega Society" is merely descriptive, so that there could be
any number of Mega Societies and Foundations and Centers and Associations
and what-have-you in the market. That seems counterintuitive, doesn't it?
After analysis, the Position Statement merely represents a failed, post hoc
rationale for conduct that Chris Langan now realizes may expose him to an
CML: I'm not really sure why Chris Cole thinks that he can impress highly
intelligent people simply by repeating items of legal jargon ("trademark",
"name and mark", "marketplace") that he evidently picked up from the lawyer
he and his associates snookered into accepting this sorry excuse for a "case".
And I'm similarly confused by Cole's assertion that I need to get "the
authorization of the members of the Society" regarding an independent group
and journal, when even Cole himself didn't bother to get their authorization
before planting himself in their faces as presumptive regent for the last twelve
years. Am I missing something here? Does Chris Cole really think that
people on ego trips can legally monopolize ancient Greek lexemes?
Maybe he does, but that's not my problem. All I know is that if Cole
subjects me to legal harassment on account of his bruised and confused ego,
it will rapidly turn into *his* problem (after all, he's the one who presents
himself as deep of pocket).
Cole: So there we are. Once Chris Langan has finished beating his breast
and letting everyone know how badly he was treated (at least in his memory)
and calling me a despot and whatever else he thinks I deserve to be called,
we get back to the same basic problem. There was, and is, a society known
as "The Mega Society." It has published, and does publish, a journal known
as "Noesis." Any other society that is organized for a similar purpose should
not in all fairness and honesty incorporate the core term "Mega" in its name,
nor any variation of "Noesis" in the name of its publication. If it takes a court
to put a stop to such misappropriation, then o.k., but I would think that
bright, capable and honest people would recognize the reasonableness of
this analysis long before the controversy must reach that stage.
CML: That's rich, isn't it? Cole opens a dialogue with me by threatening
me with a lawsuit, then accuses me of "beating my breast" because I dare
respond to his threats with something other than immediate compliance. In
a way, I feel for him. Here, obviously, is a person with a boundless sense
of self-entitlement...a person who literally thinks that to look at the high tail of
a bell curve is to survey his dominion. What a blow it must be to him to realize
that not everyone automatically sees the rightness of his viewpoint!
Although Cole and his immediate associates might argue, most people know
me to be a reasonable man. I know, and a very large number of people on
three or four continents know, that Cole's faction of "the Mega Society" stands
to gain far more from me and the Mega Foundation than we from it. If Cole
doesn't want to admit that, there's nothing I can do about it but advise him to
relax and take some time to reflect on the advantages of which I speak. Even
if he can't discern them, the least he owes this community is to live and let live.
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