What happened: Michael Knowles & Christopher Michael Langan?

Scott Douglas Jacobsen
5 min readFeb 22, 2024

Speech is politics. Politics is speech. When the left shuts down our speech, they are precluding us from politics. When the left equates speech with violence, they are ending our experiment in self-government, and they are replacing the persuasion of our fellow citizens with mere brute force, insisting that we can force our will onto others without even making a reasonable argument for that.

-Michael Knowles, speaking on cancel culture by the left and freedom of speech

One thing about discussing religion: misspelling peoples’ names can be interpreted as a passive-aggressive form of sacrilege. Take care to limit it.

-Christopher Michael Langan, when a follower benignly spelled his name “Mr.Lanan,” apparently by accident

Conservatives remain the kings of cancel culture, but liberals have their fair share. American conservative governmental agencies have assassinated leaders and overthrown democratically elected governments.

Governments are violent. A cohort of leftists shut down conservative speakers and occasionally attempted to commit violent acts, e.g., shouting down speakers like Charles Murray and attempting to stab Dave Chappelle, respectively.

There was one incident connected to the high-IQ community fringes not too long ago. It involved the Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles, a conservative commentator with a following and some respect within conservative circles and Christopher Michael Langan, President of the Mega Foundation — another person with a much smaller following but a modicum of respect within a tight-knit circle of followers.

In the high-IQ communities, some are more prominent relative to their community-building work. Not too many of them make a mark in a larger way in popular media; examples have been Marilyn vos Savant, Rick Rosner, Sho Yano, Michael Kearney, Evangelos Katsioulis, Christopher Michael Langan, Stephen Hawking, John H. Sununu, Kim Ung-Yong, Manahel Thabet, Christopher Hirata, Ivan Ivec, Keith Raniere, and others.

Out of those, the ones with more consistent, long-term minor prominence rather than spurts of medium-level prominence have been Marilyn Vos Savant, Keith Raniere, Stephen Hawking, Evangelos Katsioulis, and John H. Sununu.

John Sununu had a position as a long-term public official. So, it came with the job. Evangelos Katsioulis has had lots of play because of the extraordinary claims made about him. Stephen Hawking simply for consistent public science communication and academic prowess.

Keith Raniere has had a long, multi-decade career in media play and crime. Marilyn Vos Savant wrote a column for Parade Magazine with a “vast” audience — to quote her. Others seem more like minor to medium fame and spurts. Some are realistic about it. Others, not so much. Ivan Ivec was known for his testing and retired. Christopher Hirata was a prodigy, now an academic.

Manahel Thabet has been successful despite being both single and a woman in a society that values men more and married more — so kudos to her. She sets an example of an alternative path to success than those dictated by the larger society.

Kim Ung-Yong was claimed to have the highest IQ in South Korea. Michael Kearney was a record holder for the youngest college graduate. Sho Yano was a prodigy in academia, generally.

Rick Rosner has been obsessive and got on an Errol Morris documentary of highly unique people called First Person, Who Wants to be a Millionaire twice, Jeopardy, and wrote for Jimmy Kimmel as a comedy writer for 12 years, known for great scores on the Mega Test (44 first try, 47 second try) and the Titan Test (perfect score). If taking the recent Redvaldsen norms, an IQ is around 168+ to 170+ on SD16 if taking the second attempt on the Mega Test and the perfect score on the Titan Test.

Christopher Michael Langan was featured in Esquire magazine by Mike Sager and Errol Morris in First Person. There have been some other news, but those two seem larger. He is known for scores of 42 and 47 on the Mega Test, so an IQ sitting around or at Rick Rosner, or vice versa. Funnily enough, both were bouncers for a long time.

Nonetheless, those two have been the medium-level blips for him. Many gifted young men identify with him. Because many gifted people are not treated so well or given support, as he was abused and not given support in life.

His story has its triumphant side. He is married and has been married for a long time, built a community, and has outlets to express his thoughts on intellectual and social topics. Regardless of background, temperament, or views, for many, that is a feeling of fulfillment: Meaning.

In general, the picture is a mixed figure. Lots of talent, strange forays into personal theological relevance and sentiment expressed as in the quote at the start of the article, and a cool story that fits the cinematic universe of America, i.e., a bouncer with a genius-level intelligence being sidetracked on one side and sidelined in another. Americans love a Good Will Hunting story, albeit force-fit. Rosner and Langan have aspects of this mythos.

He has done illegitimate things, as with others in these communities, and then proclaimed this in an open victim mentality, too. A sense of persecution from cancellation as in self-proclamation as the ‘most cancelled person ever’ without irony.

He had a long argument with many in the Mega Society — these people, including him, are smart, which is not the issue. This fight was lost among a community of people with similar cognitive horsepower about the intellectual relevance of theological-metaphysical ideas — see older issues of Noesis: The Journal of the Mega Society, and then another big loss in a lawsuit with the Mega Society resulting in a lost court case, see here and here. I like his wife.

He won a six-figure sum at 1 v 100, too. That is a win. Is it cancel culture? So, was he a cancellation victim there, from Mike Sager to Errol Morris to a hearing of ideas (without acceptance, granted) in Noesis? He was a fellow of the leading now-defunct Intelligent Design creationism organization, the International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design (ISCID), published in its flagship journal, Progress in Complexity, Information, and Design. Is that cancellation?

I am aware of the subtle narrative lies told about leaving the United Sigma Intelligence Association, as he was an ‘installed’ president, but I digress. That was illegitimate if you’re in the know. But no, in an ironic twist of conservative media culture, the only real cancellation in real-time known to me, on a legitimate basis, of Langan was — and to the original point of this nearly meaningless article — by The Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles after an interview with him.

There was a long huff about the interview. Knowles conducted the whole interview — causing a whole lot of hassle to Gina Langan and Chris Langan, getting Chris out there, doing the interview, wasting their time, promising to publish the interview, putting an advertisement about the series with the “smartest man in the world” (an irresponsible style of journalism starting with Sager on this case, I’ve been guilty of the same on others), then simply not publishing the interview without a statement as to a rationale.

That’s mean and a huge pain in the ass. I am unaware of any explanation as to the reason for not putting the interview out. My critique here isn’t Chris. It’s Michael Knowles. My defence is Chris (and Gina) in this case. Knowles should issue a public apology and publish the interview.

Why wasn’t the interview published? To the quote at the start of the article, is Michael Knowles living to his avowed standards on cancel culture and free speech or succumbing to acting as, in his definition, a leftist precluding a conservative from politics in the domain of speech as “speech is politics” and vice versa?



Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight Publishing. Jacobsen supports science and human rights. Website: www.in-sightpublishing.com