High-IQ Societies and the Tests
They Accept for Admission Purposes

Kevin Langdon

 

Part 1

Many high-IQ societies have come and gone; quite a few are defunct. Some societies are simply jokes (some intentionally and some unintentionally). There are now more than a dozen active high-IQ societies, but they're not all the same, either. Some are not exactly high-IQ societies. Some are new and not quite underway, so it's not yet clear to which category they belong. Some are openly proprietary. Some are repressive. And some are democratic forums where ideas are exchanged freely. The joke and defunct societies are not listed here; information about the currently active high-IQ societies is presented in Part 1.

Basic information about the societies is given in Table 1 and Table 2, below, which are followed by some notes on the societies. The sources of this data include the societies' Web sites, e-mail inquiries, and published journals. The category to which I assign each society is listed in Table 2. Part 2 contains Table 3, showing the tests accepted by the various societies. Part 3 contains Table 4, providing information about each test (including my opinon as to which of them are real intelligence tests). Part 4 contains Table 5, showing comparative performance of high-IQ-society members on a variety of tests, Table 6, showing comparative performance on Polymath Systems tests, and some discussion of the implications of this data.

For more information about the societies listed here and various strange and defunct groups, including a "Short (and Bloody) History of the High-IQ Societies," see Darryl Miyaguchi's "Uncommonly Difficult IQ Tests" Web site <http://www.eskimo.com/~miyaguch/hard_iq.html>. For a snapshot of the turbulent events in the Triple Nine Society in the late 1980's, see the archive of documents relating to high-IQ-society history and governance which I have established on this site. Contributions to the archive are solicited. We need to keep an eye on the people occupying positions of power in the societies, for our own protection. Members of Triple Nine also have access to a correspondence archive covering events in the late 1990's on the society's Web site. And members of the various TNS listservs (and the theft_of_fire alternative listserv for Prometheus members) may access Web archives on Yahoo!Groups. I believe that study of the history of the societies is important as a way of educating society members about the manipulation of public opinion by certain members with a craving for power that has wracked and nearly wrecked the societies time and again.

Additions and corrections to the information presented here are solicited.

 

Table 1. Active High-IQ Societies

Percentile Name Address, E-mail, Web Site Journal (1) Dues (2)
95 International High-IQ Society P.O. Box 3882, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163,  membership@highiqsociety.org,   http://www.highiqsociety.org/ IQ Magazine $59.95 (lifetime)
97.7 Sigma II sigmasociety_info@yahoo.com.br, http://www.sigmasociety.org Malba Tahan (Portuguese) "€ 50 or equivalent in dollars or pounds"
98 Mensa 1229 Corporate Dr. W., Arlington, TX 76006; americanmensa@mensa.org; http://www.us.mensa.org

15 The Ivories, 6-8 Northampton St., Islington, London N1 2HY, U.K.; mensainternational@mensa.org; http://www.mensa.org

Mensa Bulletin

Mensa International Journal

$49/year

Varies                    

99 Top One Percent Society P.O. Box 539, New York, NY 10101; http://www.eskimo.com/~miyaguch/tops.html In-Genius $30/year
Intertel P.O. Box 1083, Tulsa, OK 74101; intertel@aol.com; http://www.intertel-iq.org/ Integra $39/year
99.5 Poetic Genius Society 136 Fulton Place, Windsor, CA 95492;  GGrove141@aol.com; http://www.poeticgenius.com Apotheosis $25/year
Colloquy Bridgester@aol.com; www.colloquysociety.org   Free
99.7 Cerebrals xavierjouve@cerebrals.com; http://www.cerebrals.com Cerebrals Online Journal Free
99.9 International Society for Philosophical Enquiry P.O. Box 68005, Prattville, AL 36068; poshea@smumn.edu; www.thethousand.com Telicom $45/year
Glia Society Pb 44, 5737 ZG Lieshout, Netherlands; http://www.eskimo.com/~miyaguch/glia.html Thoth $25/year
One-in-a- Thousand Society P.O. Box 539, New York, NY 10101; http://www.eskimo.com/~miyaguch/oath.html OATH $30/year
IQuadrivium Society 14417 SE Seventh Street, Vancouver, WA 98683; iquadrivium@s-2000.com
http://www.s-2000.com/iquadrivium
Phoenix $20/year
Triple Nine Society 2625 Renaissance Ct., West Linn, OR 97068; info@triplenine.org; http://www.triplenine.org Vidya $25/year (U.S.); $30 elsewhere
99.997
Prometheus Society 209-25 Villa Rd., Etobicoke, ON M8W 1M4, Canada; asimpson@culc.ca; http://www.prometheussociety.org (if unavailable see unofficial information page on the Polymath Systems site) Gift of Fire $20/year (U.S./Canada); $30 elsewhere
Four Sigma Society P.O. Box 795, Berkeley, CA 94701; info@foursigma.org; http://www.foursigma.org Four Sigma Bulletin (quarterly) Donation (3)
99.9999 (4) Pi Society 14 avenue Condorcet, 69100 Villeurbanne, France; Nik.Lygeros@desargues.univ-lyon1.fr; www.desargues.univ-lyon.fr/home/lygeros/Mensa/PI.html Perfection $20/year
Mega Society 13155 Wimberley Square #284, San Diego, CA 92128; info@megasociety.org; http://www.megasociety.org Noesis (irregular) $2/issue
  1. Frequencies are monthly to deciannual, except as noted. All the societies have active e-mail lists as well.
  2. Most of the societies also offer subscriptions to their journals to nonmembers, usually at the same rate as membership dues.
  3. Members; nonmember subscriptions are available at $10/4issues (U.S.), $15 elsewhere.
  4. Nominal cutoff percentile; it is very difficult to discriminate accurately at this level.

 

Table 2: Miscellaneous Data About High-IQ Societies

Percentile Society Code Society Type (1) Year Founded Founder(s) Members
95 IH International High-IQ Society Proprietary 2000 Nathan Haselbauer  
97.7 SG Sigma II   1999 Hindemburg Mel„o, Jr. 48
98 MN Mensa Democratic 1946 Roland Berrill and Lance Ware 100,000
99 TO Top One Percent Society Proprietary 1989 Ronald K. Hoeflin 275
IN Intertel Democratic 1966 Ralph Haines 1700
99.5 PG Poetic Genius Society Proprietary 1998 Gregory A. Grove 20
CO Colloquy (2) Democratic 1998 Julia Cybele Cachia 156
99.7 CE Cerebrals (2) (3) Proprietary 2000 Xavier Jouve 21
99.9 IS International Society for Philosophical Enquiry Repressive 1974 Christopher Harding 650
GL Glia Society Proprietary 1997 Paul Cooijmans "<100"
OT One-in-a-Thousand Society Proprietary 1992 Ronald K. Hoeflin 125
IQ IQuadrivium Society Proprietary 1994 Karyn A. Huntting 100
TN Triple Nine Society Democratic 1978 Richard Canty, Ronald K. Hoeflin, Kevin Langdon, Ronald Penner, and Edgar M. Van Vleck 370
99.997
PR Prometheus Society Democratic 1982 Ronald K. Hoeflin 65
FS Four Sigma Society Democratic 1977 Kevin Langdon 600 (4)
99.9999 PI Pi Society Proprietary 1999 Nik Lygeros 8
MG Mega Society (2) (5) Democratic 1982 Ronald K. Hoeflin 26
  1. A proprietary society is a society operated by one or a few individuals, not through democratic institutions. This is the default category when there is no evidence of democracy, such as a constitution or bylaws or mention of election of officers. A repressive society is one in which there may or may not be nominally democratic institutions but control is firmly in the hands of a ruling clique which seeks to impose its will on the membership, especially through restrictions on free speech. I strongly recommend avoiding repressive societies. Although it is in the nature of democracy to be imperfect and the societies listed as "democratic" above are certainly no exception, they provide a climate of freedom of thought lacking in the non-democratic societies.
  2. Internet-only society.
  3. Admission to Cerebrals requires three tests: a preliminary entrance test; the Omega Contemplative Items Pool, by Tommy Smith; and the G-Test, by Nik Lygeros. Cerebrals and the Omega test are not listed in Table 3.
  4. Anyone who has scored 164 or above on a Polymath Systems test is a member of the Four Sigma Society.
  5. There is no such thing as an "East Coast Faction" of the Mega Society; that was just Chris Langan, all by himself, publishing an imitation "Noesis," filled with his own writings, in which he presumed to speak for everyone else, completely ignoring the expressed will of the membership.

 

Brief Descriptions of the Various High-IQ Societies

International High-IQ Society (95th percentile)

An Internet-based society with a sizable membership and many activities.

Sigma II (97.7the percentile)

A small society whose primary communications are in European languages other than English. There are other levels of the Sigma Society, up to Sigma VI, but they make use of proprietary tests of questionable validity and are not listed here.

Mensa (98th percentile)

The largest and oldest of the high-IQ societies, Mensa has chapters in major cities, and some smaller communities, throughout the industrialized world. With 100,000 members, there is, of course, no single "Mensa type," but many have found the atmosphere in Mensa not to their liking. There are many immature people, often with very little restraint. But within Mensa there are also many intelligent, thoughtful, and generous people. One must choose the activities one becomes involved in carefully to take advantage of what is of value without getting involved in a lot of nonsense.

Top One Percent Society and One-in-a-Thousand Society (99th and 99.9th percentile, respectively)

Basically, journals published by Ron Hoeflin. There is some good material, but there are more lively exchanges elsewhere.

Intertel (99th percentile)

Very much like Mensa, but smaller and more conservative.

Poetic Genius Society (99.5th percentile)

A small group with a primary emphasis on poetry.

Colloquy (99.5th percentile)

A lively, Internet-based society. I'd tell you more about it, but my application for membership was blackballed.

Cerebrals (99.7th percentile)

A small but active group, with an online journal, message boards, and an interesting Web site.

International Society for Philosophical Enquiry (99.9th percentile)

The most pretentious of all the high-IQ societies, and the least democratic. One joins the ISPE as an "Associate Member" and can only ascend to the higher levels of Member, Fellow, Senior Fellow, Senior Research Fellow, and Diplomate by submitting applications for promotion listing various "accomplishments," such as publications, degrees earned, correspondence with other members, etc., on which the ISPE officers pass judgement. The highest rank, "Philosopher," is awarded only to "deserving" members of the inner circle. Most ISPE "Associates" don't participate in this silly business, so the majority of ISPE affiliates are always Associates--but Associate Members can't vote. Everything is designed to concentrate power in the hands of a ruling clique. Officers' appointments and proposals affecting governance of the society are routinely rubber-stamped. Dissent is not tolerated. At least ten people have been expelled from the ISPE--including the five founders of TNS, for offering ISPE members a democratic alternative (we were expelled by a secret committee without being offered the opportunity for a defense and without a vote of the membership). The ISPE's slogan is "Quaere Verum." Queer indeed.

Glia (99.9th percentile)

A small society based in the Netherlands.

IQuadrivium (99.9th percentile)

A group originally concentrated in the U.S. Pacific Northwest but now including members in other areas as well. Not active at present.

Triple Nine Society (99.9th percentile)

Established in 1978 by five members of the ISPE tired of the oppressive policies of that society's leadership. TNS is an active group which publishes an interesting journal. There's an active unofficial e-mail list (and several official lists as well). An annual meeting is usually held at the time of American Mensa Annual Gathering. See the results of the 2000 Triple Nine Society Political Survey at http://www.triplenine.org/poll/index.html .

Prometheus Society (99.997th percentile)

An active society with a very interesting journal and an active e-mail list. Some Prometheus officers and some other members have strong objections to free speech in the society's communication channels; they don't want their specious arguments debunked and their misconduct exposed. I favor excluding only the legally problematical, ad hominem arguments, and crude sexual and scatological characterizatons of individuals. Fortunately, there is enough resistance to this movement that recent attempts to expel me from the society and to impose draconian standards of so-called "civility" have failed. Free expression in Prometheus seems to be in less danger than it was a short time ago.

Four Sigma Society (99.997th percentile)

A society founded on the basis of high scores on my Langdon Adult Intelligence Test. As a result of publication of this test in Omni in 1979, it has been taken by over 27,000 people. Members are also accepted on the basis of scores on other Polymath Systems tests. About 600 have made four-sigma-level scores. The society has been reactivated after a long period of dormancy.

Pi Society (99.9999th percentile)

A new society at the mega level.

Mega Society (99.9999th percentile)

The original Mega Society, founded by Ronald K. Hoeflin in 1982, is the successor to Chris Harding's 501 (one in 105) and 606 (six in 106) societies. At one point, early in the society's history, there was a dispute between Ron Hoeflin and a number of other members regarding whether the society would be democratic or run by Dr. Hoeflin. Dr. Hoeflin lost a membership vote, left Mega, and founded another society at the same level, known variously as the Mega Society, the One-in-a-Million Society, the Noetic Society, the Titan Society, and the Hoeflin Research Group. The two groups later recombined. For several years, until early 2004, member Chris Langan, who wished to use the society as a vehicle for his own projects, operated what he called the "Mega Society East"; the society obtained a court order prohibiting Mr. Langan from using the society's name and the name of its journal and won an ICANN arbitration over the domains megasociety.com and megasociety.net. Mega publishes an interesting but infrequent journal, Noesis, currently edited by Kevin Langdon.

 

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