|This article first appeared in: SIS Newsletter 1, April 1975|
Let me begin this first newsletter by welcoming those of you who have joined our Society. In the few weeks that have passed since we began our membership campaign you now number over fifty, with a number of "promises" still to come in. I hope that those of you who may still be wavering will soon decide in our favour: perhaps this newsletter will help you decide.
The four organisers of the Society met recently, near Middlesbrough, to discuss progress and to review immediate plans. One of our primary considerations was a name for the Society. The chief difficulty has been avoiding the use of the name 'Velikovsky'. The Doctor apparently does not approve of its use in this way, he feels, probably rightly, that such a formal use of it would produce an unnecessary adverse reaction amongst scientists and academics - a result of the earlier 'smear' campaign against his work. Another point is that such a title might seem to be too restrictive for the methods, aims and work that we are planning. We have decided upon 'THE INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDY GROUPS' as an interim title, though we will advise libraries that we exist as 'The Velikovsky Study Groups' to assist those seeking information.
We have resolved to call an official inaugural meeting as soon as we have completed the present membership campaign and we are at our initial full strength. At this meeting the Society will be formally constituted and ALL members will be able to confirm our title, or submit an alternative. A Draft Constitution is being prepared, based upon those for similar Learned Societies which will be offered for adoption. Officers and a working committee will be elected within the framework of the constitution. In the meantime, however, your organisers have formed a temporary ad hoc committee to see this formation period through. Perhaps I should introduce them, their addresses are below.
The idea behind this newsletter is to weld us into a cohesive group, and its success depends upon its readers. We invite comment, articles and letters, either for or against catastrophism, and we would encourage members to correspond between themselves. (Your committee must reserve the right not to publish any submission that can be construed as irrelevant, misleading, or false.) In these early days of our Society it is intended to distribute this newsletter to all interested in Velikovsky and catastrophism, in the hope that it will persuade others to join us.
We are aiming to call an informal meeting of members, possibly in May or June at a venue in London. This will give us an opportunity of meeting each other and exchanging ideas. We are investigating the possibility of showing the CBS television film on Velikovsky's work at this meeting. I might mention that this inaugural meeting will be held soon after this informal meeting.
The Society aims to become a forum for serious debate and discussion. We will encourage a rational approach from both sides. There is a place for academics, lay people and students. Specialists are not experts in fields other than their own, while students are the specialists of tomorrow. We can all learn from each other.
Many of you are already subscribing to the American journal PENSEE. This journal has been presenting the first detailed and rational appraisal of Dr. Velikovsky's works, and it announces the latest developments and discoveries connected with his ideas. It has been responsible for organising the symposia held in the U.S.A. and Canada, bringing his theories to the forefront of public attention in North America. The journal sells for two dollars in the States. It is our intention to distribute the first number in the series, called "Immanuel Velikovsky Reconsidered", FREE to all who have joined the Society, and we hope to send this out with the second newsletter. If you already receive PENSEE please let me know.
Finally, if you have an ideas to expand membership, or that can improve our methods, we would be pleased to hear from you. I am confident that I can count on all of you to join me in wishing us all luck with this new venture.