The man in this experiment is Christopher Langan, who has been hailed as “the world’s smartest man” by a number of journalists and publications. His IQ has reportedly been tested as between 190 and 210, and he has developed a theory of mind and reality that he calls the “Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe.” This theory seeks to offer explanations for aspects of the universe that science has previously been unable to quantify.
I first came across Christopher Langan’s story while reading Malcolm Gladwell’s fascinating book Outliers. This book addresses the question of why some people achieve success in life, and others do not. Gladwell posits that success has a lot less to do with talent and intelligence than is commonly believed. And to illustrate his theory, he uses the example of Langan as someone who is extremely intelligent but who has not achieved the success that is commensurate to his talents & IQ. Read on for the full scoop on this interesting guy…
Born in San Francisco in 1952, Langan is the son of an heiress who had been cut out of her family fortune. He has never known his biological father, who either died or left the family before he was born. As a result, the family lived in poverty, and moved around a great deal.
After having two more sons with a struggling Hollywood actor, Langan’s mother married a violent alcoholic, who abused Chris and his brothers throughout their childhood. He would line them up for faux military drills in which he threatened to hit them, and then actually did strike them if they flinched. Langan refers to this phase as “10 years of boot camp,” and he was constantly covered in bruises.
When Chris was 14, his stepfather woke him in the middle of the night by hitting him in the head with a belt wrapped around his fist. Chris, who had been training with weights as a form of self-empowerment, finally fought back and threw his stepfather out, telling him never to return. Thankfully, he didn’t.
Langan taught himself to read at three, and skipped the first two years of elementary school, beginning his education in the third grade. Due to his high intelligence, Chris was often singled out for being the teacher’s pet, and was subjected to bullying and beatings by his fellow students. He spent the later years of high school studying independently, teaching himself advanced subjects such as math, physics, and classical languages. Langan claims to have earned a perfect score on the SAT, even though he reportedly fell asleep at some point during the test.
Later Life and the CTMU
Christopher earned a scholarship to Reed College after high school. However, he lost that scholarship after just one semester because his mother forgot to submit his financial aid form. Next, he enrolled at Montana State University, but after one semester the transmission broke on his old car and he did not have the funds to repair it. This meant he had to walk fifteen miles every day in the wintertime and could not make it to his 8am classes. He asked to be transferred to the afternoon classes but his request was denied. As a result, Langan decided to abandon his University course. He was frustrated by his studies in any case, because he felt he knew more than his professors did.
Since then, Langan has written several papers on the origins of the universe, but without a degree, Langan found he was not taken seriously in the academic world. As a result, Langan’s adult years have been a long series of blue-collar jobs, including cowboy, firefighter, construction worker, and bouncer – an occupation which put his 6-foot, muscular frame to effective use. He currently owns a horse ranch in northern Missouri with his wife Gina, who is a clinical neuropsychologist with a reported IQ of 168.
Langan formed a collaborative nonprofit corporation called the Mega Foundation in 1999, with the aim of creating programs that “aid in the development of severely gifted individuals and their ideas.” The organization is designed for those with IQs of 164 or higher. He was contracted by Disney Research at one point, and also worked for a tech company called Virtual Logistix, where he produced original research in several advanced areas of mathematics.
In his spare time, Chris works on developing his Cognitive-Theoretical Model of the Universe, or CTMU (pronounced “cat-mew”). This theory suggests that science, which can technically only measure that which is real and observable, cannot do so without the involvement of the mind and mathematics, which are technically not real or observable. Therefore the mind is intrinsically bound up with reality, and cannot be separated from it.
Langan feels that the collective of all minds in the universe and their connection to reality constitutes proof of God and the soul, and that each person is a microcosm of the mind of God. Thus he believes that his theory encompasses philosophy, religion, and science in one cohesive explanation, which is something that other theories have failed to do.
Whether his ideas are supportable or not has not fully been established, and Langan has yet to find a publisher for his work. Many other scientists find his proposition to be controversial, and based at least partly in a reworking of the semantics of commonly known terms. But as with many complex theories, the jury is still out at this point, and Chris remains deeply passionate about his project.
As Ana2 pointed out, Langan’s early life was full of struggles and difficulty, and he was much closer to his mother than to his abusive stepfather. He did move frequently as he was growing up, and worked in construction at one point. Great work!
Mon was also correct in noting that Chris has a dominant personality, with very strong opinions. He worked for many years as a bouncer, and is known for strenuously defending his theories in lengthy and complex terms online. He is famed for his intelligence, was born in San Francisco, and spent most of his life in professions involving manual labor. Lots of specific hits there, so kudos!
Langan does indeed live on a farm with horses, as Mere Dreamer pointed out, and is also involved in mathematical and scientific pursuits. Several of you (such as Walter and Celeste) picked up on the double life that Chris leads, and the interesting dichotomy with his intellectual work. This is definitely a case in which you can only partly judge the book by its cover, so great work to those of you who were able to see either side of his character, and especially both!
Warren and Christina seemed to pick up on the essence of Langan’s research work, and Fritz Thommas is right in saying that Chris is concerned about the future of the planet. He is a proponent of “benign eugenics,” which he believes will help to combat the problem of overpopulation. Langan feels that people who possess the highest levels of intelligence are best suited to solving some of society’s most difficult dilemmas.
Overall there were too many hits to mention everyone individually, but I saw a lot of excellent work on this experiment!
How I Pick Up Information
There was an interesting question from a reader called Valda during the experiment, which was:
Hi Anna, Whenever I have participated in a workshop, learning how to do readings, I found I always shut my eyes…and opened my mouth to ‘rattle stuff off’. Or I wrote furiously.
I would love to know if you are influenced at all by studying your clients’ features (in photos) or do you simply work on what comes through to you…feelings, information etc? I realise everyone works differently but am particularly interested in how you ‘work’.
I wanted to post my response here as it might be helpful for those who take part in future experiments:
I might also notice things about the person’s superficial appearance right off the bat but I don’t study their features. Sometimes there is something superficial I notice that opens up the channel and yields more info. For example: “she has a lovely smile and looks quite sweet’ and then that leads me into more detailed info about the person’s life and character from there – it can be something that reinforces the impression gained from the physical appearance OR it may lead me away from that.
When that occurs, it is usually that the person is using a facade (these are energetic structures around the energy field, which beginners tend to be confused by, or tend not to get beyond in terms of information.)
Facades sound like there is an element of deception involved, but they are not necessarily sinister – most people use them, and they can sometimes be a result of social conditioning. An example: a lady whose photo I read projected a beautiful, almost angelic sweetness and gentleness. Seeing beyond that facade, it was also clear she had vast reserves of strength and courage. In addition, she could be ruthless and did not suffer fools. I imagine she would be underestimated by other people on a regular basis due to the personality facade she projects.
So that’s what I mean by being led away from initial impressions – we all contain multitudes and sometimes these multitudes conflict and we project something that might not represent very well the totality of who we are on the inside.
Having said all of that, how I pick up my information is rather irrelevant to these experiments. What matters most is how YOU pick up info. So here are my questions for you, dear reader:
- How do you pick up on info during these experiments
- Do you know your strongest clair? (visit this page to find out more about that!)
Please leave a response in the comments.
Want To Do Another Intuitive Experiment?
And finally, the more experienced you are in reading photos, the easier it becomes to get past facades and get to the heart of who someone really is. However, practice is not the only factor in reading people successfully – having a good technique helps, too! If you would like to learn the method I personally use for reading people, check out my Intuitive Awakening Course which has been taken by 1500+ intuitive developers.