Quality of mailings at an all-time low.
If the immoral behaviour of the people running the Society has not stopped you from wanting to join, you are probably still wondering what you will get for your money.
As of February 2020, a £27.10 payment will give you membership to the Society for 1 year (from April to April (membership year starts on April Fools Day - yes, seriously), so if you join only a few months before that date your membership won't last long and you'll have to spend another £27.10). In return, you will receive 3 packages (each sent every 4 months). Each package contains a magazine ("Orange Alert "), and some additional leaflets selling you things. Any occasional events held by the Society require extra fees to be paid (previously free Society events have long-since been cancelled). This means each mailing is costing you a whopping £9.03 (much more if you do not live in the UK).
Whilst the current magazine looks very professional and is well-designed by editor Dave Coffey, the content (through no fault of the editor, who can only work with what they are sent) is not particularly good value for money, with a convention special guest interview transcription arguably the only interesting and unique content which pops up from time to time (and pretty worthless if you attended the event anyway).
Printed-on-demand (due to the dwindling membership) the magazine is mostly filled with self-referential pieces, with many written by Roger Langley (despite assurances that he was 'no longer involved with the magazine' (click HERE for more on this). Articles in this (and previous Society magazines "Contact Imminent" and "Six 4 Two ") have included a multi-page look at someone's Caterham car and how they built it, a 5 (yes 5) page feature on a member's wedding, reviews of episodes (have the episodes not been reviewed countless times before?), a 2 page article on Six of One's PO Box, and a 5 (yes, 5) page poem.
There is very little content concerning The Prisoner TV Series (other than the above mentioned interview), very original research, and have also been reprinting items without the consent of the original writer.
In 'Orange Alert' new depths have been plumbed with regards to photographs, with countless used without permission or license from the copyright holders, the magazine (incorrectly) claiming that 'fair use' entitles them to use copyrighted photos without permission or licnse. In 2018 the words 'Rex Features' appeared below some of the photographs, implying that permission had been granted by ITV/Rex/Shutterstock, who license stills from The Prisoner series. However, no such permission had been granted and in subsequent issues the wording was removed.
Cover design has improved since earlier incarnations of the magazine, after it reached new depths in 2012 when the names of living people were placed onto a gravestone on the cover in a particularly poor taste design moment;
What makes this all the more galling is that Six of One's poorly attended 2013 Convention included a "design a magazine cover masterclass" event from Contact Imminent's editor and designer Steve Raines.
Members have received little or no information regarding the plethora of merchandise and events that are created outside of the Society. (Click HERE to read more about this aspect of the Society's deplorable behaviour). Any Prisoner-related "news" is, of course, likely to be out of date by the time you receive your mailing.
Perhaps the fairest thing to do here would be to compare the current magazine ("Six 4 Two") and two of the recent magazines (Free For All (FFA) and Contact Imminent (CI)) with the previous Society magazine, "In The Village", produced during the Society's heyday.
Number of different contributors of articles in ITV26: 9
Number of different contributors of articles in FFA1: 6
Number of different contributors in CI7: 5
Number of different contributors in S4T1: 5
Number of non-coordinators contributing articles in ITV26: 8
Number of non-coordinators contributing articles in FFA1: 1
Number of non-coordinators contributing articles in CI7: 2
Number of non-coordinators contributing articles in S4T1: 2
Number of different contributors to letter's pages in ITV26: 14
Number of different contributors to letter's pages in FFA1: 0
Number of different contributors to letters pages in CI7: 0
Number of different contributors to letters pages in S4T1: 3
Number of Local Groups advertised in ITV26: 13
Number of Local Groups advertised in FFA1: 0
Number of Local Groups advertised in CI7: 0
Number of different contributors to letters pages in S4T1: 0
As you can see, ITV wins hands down on every aspect against the current and previous Six of One magazines. The quality of the editing of the magazine has also dipped dramatically since Dave Healey quit the Society. We are all entitled to make mistakes occasionally, but the misspelling of an actor's name (in this case Norman Mitchell) in a piece detailing the dates of important landmarks is quite unforgivable:
In FFA5 and CI7, over 50% of the magazine was written by Roger or Karen Langley. The quality has got no better with newer publication "Six 4 Two" which has been described as "awful" by members, although it must be said this is no fault of the editor who simply does not have any material to work with and is blameless as to the poor quality content.
Other recent articles published by the Society have included such things as a 1/4 page feature about a new map of Ipswich, a photograph sent in by a Max Hora of Hereford of an inflatable penguin called Percy sitting in a no.2 chair at Max's brother Rex's house, a photograph from Playboy magazine sent in by Bruce Clark of a model sitting in a no.2 chair, several pages filled with images of past magazines, adverts, video sleeves, no.6 models, countless plugs for the section of a 601 website where you can pay for various things and arguably the worst piece of literature ever printed about The Prisoner, in which they say that describing The Prisoner would be like trying to describe Africa as the episodes are so different:
".....as are, no doubt, the many Affrican (sic) states and provinces. Just as some episodes bear no relation to others, north and south regions of the continent are equally dissimilar."
Members have written to this site about the recent magazines;
"The magazine I have to admit "looked" good, but on reading it, there was very little of substance. The letters page was a complete joke....... Ho hum. The magazine is useless, they are unfriendly, and you can get more info on the Unmutuals site than you can from 6 of 1."
It is understood, based on the running costs of similar magazines, that each magazine costs approximately £2.50 to produce. Plus postage of around £0.88 per mailing (if franked). This adds up to a total of £10 per year. What happens to your other £15 no-one knows, as Six of One refuse to divulge their accounts and bank balance. Perhaps it is due to the economies of scale (IE it costs more to produce because the print-run is smaller). If this is the case, it is yet another example of the Society's dwindling membership.
So even if you don't care about the countless moral arguments against funding such an organisation and you still want to join, you hardly get your money's worth, do you? You are a Prisoner fan, though, so are there alternatives? Yes, especially in 2016! Click HERE.
Click HERE to return to the main page, where details of many other dirty deeds can be found.
This page updated March 2020