A Message from the Publisher
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?
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?
Instead, he published a lengthy apologia on his website in which he purported to justify his appropriation of the Mega Society's name and trademarks. 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.
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 couterintuitive, 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 infringement claim.
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.
The Mega Society and Mega Society East
This submission was inadvertently left out of the original version
issue, and that's why it appears here, instead of in a separate file.
If the name "Mega Society" is not proprietary, based upon prior usage, then perhaps this principle of interpretation should be extented to include the "personal" names of each individual member of the Mega Society him- or herself. Each and every member should have the right to appropriate the "personal" names of each and every other member as his or her own "personal" name(s). This would be more democratic and inclusive, pluralistic and multicultural, and, of course, greatly simplify matters by providing a more general model for the present particular conflict. As one arbitrary, if somewhat unsettling, example, I could be both Kevin Langdon-east and Chris Langan-west. But obviously it is insufficient to confine the designations of the "Mega Societies" to two or even a few compass points in two-dimensional space. At very least a matrix of directional points in eleven (11) dimensional hyperspace should be established to replace the crudely restrictive and polarizing designations "east" and "west". Implementation of these ideas could have the futher advantage of confusing lawyers. But perhaps there are even simpler and more traditional approaches.