2shortplanks mentions the "new heretics" in his latest journal. I thought it might be worthwhile explaining exactly what all this nonsense is about.
When we started london.pm, social meetings were always on the first Thursday of the month. We did make occasional exceptions (IIRC, the first time David Adler visited us he was in town the week after the meeting should have been - so we postponed it) but generally we kept to this rule.
At some point in the next year (and looking at cal 1999 I'm guessing it was July) the meeting was on the first of the month and unusually Greg McCarroll wasn't there. The following Wednesday Greg sent an email to the list saying "which pub are we all meeting in tomorrow?". We pointed out to him that the meeting had been the previous week and he complained loudly that having a meeting on the first of the month didn't give him time to realise that a new month had started. He proposed a new system whereby a meeting that would fall on the first of the month, would be moved to the eighth. This system became known as the McCarroll Heresy and Greg's followers became known as The Heretics.
Obviously, in most months the Heretics were happy to have a meeting on the same date of the rest of us, but in any given year, there is at least one month where the first is a Thursday. I'm not sure what happened in 2000 (there was only one problematic month - June), but in 2001 Greg started to promote Heretics Meetings that were held on the eighth. 2001 was blessed with three such months (February, March and November) so it was pretty much seen as an excuse for extra meetings.
Then Greg raised the stakes. He runs the auction that traditionally ends YAPC::Europe and this summer he asked me if he minded if he auctioned the right to decide the date of our meetings. Not being particularly attached to any particular date, I agreed.
There are plenty of descriptions of the auction in journals from YAPC::Europe (I even think there is a video) but in the end we let Greg win - it cost him a lot of money tho'. As a result, London.pm now follows the McCarroll Heresy when determining the dates of its official meetings. November 8th will be the first such meeting.
It didn't stop there tho'. A number of people were still attached to the "old ways" and wanted to continue holding meetings on the dates that their forebears did. So we now have a group of "New Heretics" who will always hold a meeting on the first Thurday of the month. Their first meeting was on November 1st.
Where will it end? Who knows. Hopefully we can avoid an out and out schism and continue to live in peace and harmony with people of such different beliefs.
This was later described as "london.pm meetings take place on the Thursday following the first Wednesday of the month."