High-IQ Societies and the Tests
They Accept for Admission Purposes
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, email@example.com, http://www.highiqsociety.org/||IQ Magazine||$59.95 (lifetime)|
|97.7||Sigma IIfirstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.sigmasociety.org||Malba Tahan (Portuguese)||" 50 or equivalent in dollars or pounds"|
|98||Mensa||1229 Corporate Dr. W., Arlington, TX 76006; email@example.com; http://www.us.mensa.org||Mensa Bulletin
Mensa International Journal
|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; firstname.lastname@example.org; 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|
|99.7||Cerebralsemail@example.com; http://www.cerebrals.com||Cerebrals Online Journal||Free|
|99.9||International Society for Philosophical Enquiry||P.O. Box 68005, Prattville, AL 36068; firstname.lastname@example.org; 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; email@example.com;
|Triple Nine Society||2625 Renaissance Ct., West Linn, OR 97068; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.triplenine.org||Vidya||$25/year (U.S.); $30 elsewhere|
|Prometheus Society||209-25 Villa Rd., Etobicoke, ON M8W 1M4, Canada; email@example.com; 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; firstname.lastname@example.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; email@example.com; http://www.megasociety.org||Noesis (irregular)||$2/issue|
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|
|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|
|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|
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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