Caution: Political Content (Part Three)
From: Langan [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Date: Sun 4/22/2001 12:51 AM
Subject: RE: [MegaList] Caution: Political Content
OK, here we go again.
Cole: 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.
CML: Why not save the private correspondence for the attorneys, should it
come to that? After all, we see below that Chris Cole has now dropped his
claim to have been "elected" in 1991 ("immediately after the merger") and
again in 1995. (The truth is, he functioned despotically for almost seven
years before "finding democracy" in a fit of ex post facto
self-legitimization.) This is smart of Cole; he can't exactly seem to
ride a shining white horse if he leaves too little space between his
tidbits of disinformation. In return, I'll refrain from making too much
of his slips and omissions. But readers should bear in mind that I'm only
trying to be nice, just in case Cole has an uncharacteristic change of
heart and turns over a new, cooperative leaf.
Cole: 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.
CML: Wrong again. The Society was not defunct when I published the first
six issues, largely because I permitted no lapses during that period. The
journal had become a "hot potato", no one wanted any part of it, and Ron
Hoeflin - who was initially reluctant to resume as publisher - agreed with
me that more than one Langan issue would be appropriate. Why did Ron
think this appropriate? Ron thought it appropriate because he had no
other takers (neither he nor anyone else was to hear from Ray Wise until
several months later). Indeed, after Ray's issue, Ron announced that it
would be curtains for the Society unless a suitable volunteer as publisher
could be found! That's when the seas calmed, the clouds parted, and Chris
Cole descended on a golden beam of light to bring his fellow members the
strong leadership he thought they craved. Unfortunately, although he and
his adjutant Rick Rosner managed to produce the journal on an erratic
schedule until early 1997, they ended their run with an unannounced,
unexplained 7-month lapse. Although there were other lapses, this
particular stretch of dead air was when Cole unmistakably became "defunct"
> 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
> 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.
CML: When I first took over as editor, the Society was merely *almost*
defunct. But by the time Ron resumed the editorship, something else had
transpired to make the Society anticipate a new lease on life. To wit,
Cole had begun complaining to Ron Hoeflin about my "long-winded" style as
editor, letting Ron know that maybe he, Chris Cole, could do a better job.
(Although I could go on, I'll stop here.)
> 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.
Cole: 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.
CML: Perhaps Cole means "the other members who didn't want to take
their turns". If so, perhaps what "confused" them was another member's
inexplicable willingness to do so onerous and thankless a job as publish
the Society journal at personal expense. If anyone knows this not to be
the case, why doesn't he step forward right now and tell everybody how I
"prevented" him from taking his turn?
Cole: 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.
CML: Here's how Ray Wise, who had dropped out of sight with a
suddenness and unpredictability rivalling that of Chris Cole himself,
explained it on the cover of his surprise issue. "After the shock dissipated,
I wondered why I hadn't received any of the (last) nine issues. (...) I must
have neglected to inform any of you of my change of address." Until he
came to this realization, it seems that even *he* had thought that the Society
Cole: 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."
CML: Right...that must be why Ron Hoeflin, in issue 54, described me as
"highly reliable" in an editorial capacity. (He also said that I was "too
focused on my own personal interests", but that was because nobody else
had bothered to contribute.) But why should I have to defend myself? If
there's one person on the planet who has absolutely no business badgering
anybody else about "late issues", it's Chris Cole.
Cole: 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
CML: That's because it wouldn't have been appropriate. But if your taste
runs to stark contrast, compare my six months of forebearance with Chris
Cole's seven years of arrogance. That's how long he reigned as Lord High
Publisher before deigning to subject himself to a vote, even in a medium
he exclusively controlled. And even then, he couldn't whip up a majority
of the Society to validate his rule.
Cole: 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.
CML: Cole knows very well that the merger was announced ex cathedra
by Rick Rosner in mid-1991, in issues 64 and 65. Cole didn't run for
election until late 1997 (since this was about the time he dropped the
ball for seven months, we're all a bit unclear on the exact timing of his
"inauguration"). Remember, Cole had taken over as publisher in January
1991. Don't be afraid to do the math - Cole played despot for almost 7
years before belatedly learning to feign a love of democracy.
Cole: 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 below.
CML: Cole's self-righteous use of the epithet "counterfeit" never fails
to impress. If only he were able to show that he's using it correctly and
in the best interests of the group he claims to represent. (Unfortunately,
his despotic track record tells quite another story.)
> 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.
Cole: 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.
CML: And I let Chris Cole do his thing right up to the moment(s) that
this was no longer the case. But as I've already explained, it wasn't the
case the first time I edited Noesis. It certainly wasn't the case when
Chris Cole faded into the woodwork for over 7 months in 1997. And it
hasn't been the case since Cole appointed Kevin Langdon "editor". Even
now, Langdon is libeling me on his personal web site, calling the
charitable foundation I help run a "cult". Why on earth should I, or for
that matter anyone else, expect fair treatment under those conditions?
Even Cole, Ward and Langdon's home state of California subscribes to a
If nothing else, Cole's sanctimony tickles the memory. Let's take a straw
poll. How many of you would like to publish what you consider to be
serious work in a "journal" whose editorial page is likely as not to
contain the editor's personal masturbation schedule? Tasteless tales of
bimbos performing fellatio in elevators? A list of likely places to wipe
the boogers one picks from one's nose? Such was "the Mega Society
journal" in the days of Cole and Rosner.
Might that not have put an unattractive spin on the journal's contents?
You tell me.
Cole: 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.
CML: Once again, we find ourselves treated to Chris Cole's wisdom on the
subject of democracy. It's like being forced to attend a Bill Clinton
lecture on chastity.
Cole: 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."
CML: "Doing business?" Neither Gina nor I nor Bob Seitz, nor any of the
volunteers who have contributed time and material to the Mega Society East
or Noesis-E on behalf of the ultraHIQ community, has made a penny. By
definition, what *we're* doing is charity and public service. Want to know
who's "doing business"? The one who's pretending that he's been producing
and selling goods and services on a sufficiently consistent schedule, and
with a sufficient mandate, to have established a "commonlaw trademark" of
which we're in "violation". We're speaking, of course, about Chris Cole,
who is now surprising even me with his readiness to hoist himself on his
Cole: 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 cooperationd
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.
CML: I'll be issuing a statement. Meanwhile, Cole is making several
mistakes. The first is to confuse the plural possessive pronoun "our"
(...property rights) with the singular ("my"). The next is to think that
members of the Mega Society are stupid and vindictive enough to shoot
themselves in the feet by encouraging him to engage in personally-
motivated nuisance litigation using his own money in their good names.
The next is pretending that the Mega Society East has "damaged"
this community when it has done the exact opposite (and that includes
what he calls "the Mega Society", recently described by its own founder
Ron Hoeflin as "moribund"). His next error is to assume that I've stopped
being a Mega Society member and am therefore in need of "rejoining" it.
And most importantly, he is making the error of blatant inconsistency
before an intelligent audience. That is, even while claiming that he is
"not the one causing divisions in the society", he threatens to sue another
member for making a positive contribution to the community...a journal
rich in serious intellectual content and free of editorial booger-wiping,
masturbation schedules and between-floors blowjobs.
If Cole is sincere about friendship and cooperation, so am I, and so is
the Mega Society East. We've done something that he and his companions
couldn't do in over a decade, we're due our fair share credit for that,
and we're entitled to pursue as independent or affiliated a course as we
deem appropriate, under whatever name we choose (provided that it
generically describes our function and purpose). One solution would be
for each group to extend to the other a hand of friendship, agree that the
other is also a legitimate mega-level society with the right to name
itself accordingly, and while posting a cordial statement regarding its
uniqueness and independence, adopt a policy of mutual cooperation on
behalf of the ultraHIQ community.
Now, that's something that would make us *all* look good. And it would
do Cole's vociferous little faction the most good of all.
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