ITT we talk about our experiences with the MENSA community. Mind you I am not some resentful snob who is angry that I can't join their club, I've never taken an IQ test and it's mostly 40 somethings anyway. Regardless, these people seem all too ready to whip out their MENSA card and show it to you at the slightest provocation and then explain how their IQ score ought to have been higher, but they had a headache or something.

You can't even count on them for an intelligent conversation either. I have met global warming deniers, ex-fundies, conspiracy theorists, and other quacks who are all thrilled to show me their MENSA card. It's not like anything productive is being accomplished at these meetings either. If your in the 98th percentile then why not use your intellect to make the world a better place instead of solving 100/100 sudoku puzzles?

I had a beer with one of these chumps the other day, and I'd like it if we could all rant together.

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Yeah, I qualify for Mensa, but upon looking into who they are, I realized it's just a club for the socially inept, because more often than not, intellects somehow wind up socially retarded.

Personally, I can't stand going to most intellectual conventions simply because of the stench alone. Somehow, a heightened IQ drives many away from bathing... I don't need to pay mensa dues just so I can marinate in someone elses body odor while playing an inevitable stalemate game of chess.

Besides, there's better things for us intellects to be doing... like building anything that comes to mind... now THAT turns my crank!
Oh, and to add...

Intelligence does not define wisdom nor delusion.

The intellectual are also susceptible to ignorance.
I've met some very intelligent racists for example.
I've taken the test twice and both times failed by 2 questions, so I'm a little biased.

I kinda like being part of an elitist and exclusive group... Mayhaps why I am a member here! ;-)
Welcome to the elitist club Jamila, lol. I also missed Mensa by two points. Johnsky (above) is right that high IQ does define wisdom or delusion.
I took the test 7 years ago and qualified. I never intended to join. Somehow being in a private club whose only cohesive 'glue' is to have a alleged high IQ seems rather retarded to me. IQ means as Johnsky said, IQ doesn't equal intelligence. Is no more than your score in a standardized test.
Some of the replies to this thread put me in mind of the old saw about "How can you tell there is a pilot in the room? They'll tell you!" It is great to hear about how some are qualified for membership, or nearly so but declined for one reason or another.

I spent a great deal of my working life among many intelligent and talented people. Never, once, did one of them try to settle an argument by whipping out a Mensa card. Over the years, I have become accustomed to judging a persons intelligence by their accomplishments, not by their credentials or lack thereof.
Mensa is worthless. REAL intellectuals use their intellect to gain respect. If you're the kind of worthless loser who needs to use that you're in a group to try to get respect, then you don't deserve any of said respect. Earn it in competition, mensa-ites, or gtfo.
That's a sweeping generalisation. There are thousands of Mensa members across the world, myself included. Many of them are philosophers, scientists, doctors, humanists, atheists, skeptics and rationalists who are working hard in many areas to improve the world. Every Mensan I've met understands that high IQ is just one talent and does not signify emotional stability, maturity, education, or even common sense. A high IQ simply means an ability to process and retain certain information at a level greater than the average person.

I agree that many Mensans love puzzles, but they see them as mental exercises, much as a singer might sing scales. That doesn't mean that's all they do. That's a ridiculous assumption. Mensa meetings are not meant to solve the world's problems. Mensa is a social outlet for people with high IQs - much like Atheist Nexus is a social network for atheists.

It is absolutely irrational to say "Mensa is for losers". It is as irrational as saying, "All Germans are Nazis" or "All African Americans are criminals". You could counter with, "Well all the ones I've met are ..." That doesn't make your assertion true.

Condemning a large international population of people based on your limited experience reflects a great deal more on your mental abilities that it does on theirs, I'm afraid.
"Condemning a large international population of people based on your limited experience reflects a great deal more on your mental abilities that it does on theirs, I'm afraid."

Brava. Yet I am still often abused for making the same observation of Islam and Christianity.

I don't know any Mensa members but accept elitism as part of the way the world works; all people are NOT equal,in any sense of the word..

I have only a rough idea of my own IQ as I've never taken a test.I've been told I'm " very clever, bright and brilliant" (take your pick) by a a range of professionals and others. I think I'm more cunning than really smart. I can seem quite bright about things which really interest me. If I have no interest,then I'm as dumb as a stump. I have no problem with my limitations,my observation is that the age of the polymath ended about 100 years ago.

To me the computer age is about learning what questions to ask and whom to ask.
(Psst! Kristy! It looks like Tarquin agrees with you.)
To quote Groucho Marx - "I don't want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member."

I've done a number of their tests and my pass/fail is a heads or tails call. The gist of the questions are tainted by the subjectivity of the creators and so translate differently across social demographics. They are no indicator of actual intellect. And the lists available of "famous" Mensans are more conspicuous for the absence, not glut, of "geniuses" in their ranks.

I'm sorry, and with all due respect to defenders, but "wankers" seems a far more appropriate title for the organisation than "Mensa".
The attitudes of people in this thread point to the reason people with extremely high IQs join Mensa. They are often treated like freaks by those of normal intelligence. Some have been very socially isolated because their extremely high IQs tend to come with below average social skills. Many have had to hide their intelligence and interests because, frankly, prattling on about astrophysics over a dinner party tends to piss most people off.

Believe me, many don't see high IQ as a gift, because of attitudes like yours, they have come to see it as a disability.

I am shocked to see such an anti-intellectual attitude here on AN. Why is joining a group which requires a certain IQ score any more elitist than being required to be a good football player to join a college football team?

For me, and many others, Mensa is simply a pleasant social club where you can meet intelligent, like-minded people. In that way, it's not much different from AN. Mensans (as a rule) do not judge other people based on their intelligence. Nor do they socialize only with Mensans. For most, it's only one part of their life - just as joining a choir might be for people with good singing voices.

Truly, I just can't get over the venom directed towards people who, through no fault of their own, happen to have been born with high IQs. They are not lobbying the government to discriminate against people with lower IQs, they are not claiming to be superior to anyone, they are simply joining a club to socialize with each other. That the club has an entry requirement is no different to any other club that requires a particular talent for entry.

I have made many good friends through Mensa. They have been intelligent, funny, hard-working people who have not only made me feel comfortable in their presence (and many of them are far, far more intelligent than me) but also my elderly mother. They have come from all walks of life, from shop keepers to scientists, from pensioners to millionaires - and I have only ever seen those people treated with dignity and respect. Even the most eccentric and sometimes quite mentally unstable members were treated with kindness and tolerance - something that many of them had never experienced in normal social circumstances.

I am ashamed that the people on this site who would be horrified if the same criticisms were made of any other minority group feel so intimidated by Mensans that they would continue this vicious attack on people they don't even know and whose circumstances they have clearly never thought out.

If you don't give a thought to the harm your intolerant attitudes do to the adults, consider the intellectually gifted children who have to face these kind of attitudes at school and, later, as they struggle to socialize in their teens. No wonder so many people with high IQs suffer from anxiety and depression. I have dealt with a number of children who purposefully under perform at school and hide their intelligence just to 'fit in' at school and avoid the abuse of their peers. Is this what you want?

Through Mensa I was able to help 'gifted' kids both practically and financially. I had also been teased and isolated at school and underperformed just to avoid being taunted as 'teacher's pet' in the schoolyard.

You wouldn't tolerate this kind of abuse of gays, nor would you rail against gays joining a club to share there own unique experiences. Why then is it OK to attack people who, through no choice or fault of their own, have been born with IQs that set them apart from a society which, for reasons which completely escape me, takes a perverse joy in making them feel bad.

I've heard more rational statements of abuse on Racists Say the Darndest Things. I'm disgusted with the lot of you.


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