IQ Ponzi scheme

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The IQ Ponzi scheme pyramid, wherein the bottom layer makes an IQ test and sells a share of it to buyers. Then someone from this layer makes their own tests and starts a new higher layer. Each layer purporting to yield a higher IQ than the former, albeit all the while based on fabricated investments from each lower layer, working to concoct fictional "above" ceiling range genius IQs at the top layer. These scheme grew, layer to layer, from 1946 to 1995, via Lancelot Ware, D.H. Ratcliffe, Ralph Haines, Chris Harding, Ronald Hoffman, to Paul Cooijmans; it continues online, presently, albeit not as prolific.

In genius studies, IQ Ponzi scheme (LH:2), aka “Ponzi IQ method”, refers to the technique wherein each higher "IQ society layer" becomes richer in "paper IQ" or "inflated IQ"[1], which they sell to new investors, who believe the IQs are coming from a legitimate source, all the while unaware or oblivious to the fact that the batch scores of other investors or IQ test takes are the source of the contrived IQ or non-real IQ, perpetuated by the test makers, in an elaborate half-century long build-up process of using mathematical toolism, words such as "percentile", "deviation" (15SD or 16SD), "distribution", and "norming", etc., to convince buyers that they have a genuine "genius IQ", bought and certified, and hence are a genius! The IQ Ponzi scheme, is similar, in concept, to the classic money "$" Ponzi scheme, named after Charles Ponzi (c.1922)[2], who swindled Americans out $250M (modern value), of albeit that, here, the person at the top gets richer, in their mind, in inflated paper "IQ", rather than inflated paper "$", while generating some money in addition, via annual fees and test scoring payments.


In 1946, Lancelot Ware, who during WWII had been assigned the job, as a medical researcher, of administering intelligence tests to soldiers, met Roland Berrill on a train, and gave him the same test, declaring that he had scored in the top 1% of all those he had tested. Together, the decided to make a “High IQ club”, as the called it, at Oxford, later calling it Mensa, for those who could score in the top 3% range on one of Ware’s tests, which the equated to an IQ of about 132+.

In 1960s, D.H. Ratcliffe, in Australia, previous having joined the Mensa society, founded his own society, called “The International Heurist Association” (IHA).

In 1966, Ralph Haines started "International Legion of Intelligence" (Intertel), aiming to capture testers in the top 1% of the population.[3]

Harding society

In 1974, Christopher Harding, having previously been a member of Ratcliffe's IHA, started making his own IQ tests, and started his own society called “International Society for Philosophical Enquiry” (ISPE) an later the “606 Society” (1981), which he believed would contain the "top 6" of ever 106 people (million people). During this period, he began making a “Multi-Max Test” claiming to yield IQs in the 200 to 211 range. He also founded a “One in a Thousand Society”.[4]

Hoeflin society

In 1982, Ronald Hoeflin, having been a former Mensa member, began making his own so-called “Mega Test” and formed his own society called the “Mega Society”, purporting to yield IQs in the 170s or 180+ range to above 200, based on how Hoeflin decided to “sigma norm” the batch of test results he obtained.

Savant scam

In the late 1980s, high IQ societies, as a sort of "cottage cheese" industry had developed, run via printing articles, in the backs of magazines, with offers for mail in IQ tests, curated by people such as: Ralph Haines (1966), Christopher Harding (1974), Kevin Langdon (1977), Ronald Hoeflin (1982), Scot Morris, Grady Towers, Rick Rosner (1992), Christopher Langan, Marilyn Savant (1980s), among others, all of whom making “societies” and “tests”, each one trying to best the former one, based on questions each of them made up, to yield “derived IQs”, based on these tests, that grew exponentially, until the whole thing became an imaginary intellectual house of cards, with no basis whatsoever, therefrom “selling” concocted IQ scores in the 170 to above 200 range, to basically a bunch of intellectual anons, with no actual real intellectual genius-level accomplishments.

In 1986, Hoeflin, Andrew Egendorf, an American lawyer who was writing a book on "high IQ societies", and Marilyn Savant, concocted the brainchild that they would send Savant's age 11 Stanford-Binet test score into Guinness Book, but tell them she was age 10 when she took the test, and claim that because of the "age ratio", that she had an IQ was 228, and that Hoeflin would back up the claim, per the weight of his "Mega Test" and "Mega Society". In 1989, Guinness Book, however, found out the whole thing was a scam, were forced to remove their once-entertaining "Highest IQ" category.[5] Nevertheless, for the few yeas, she was listed in the "highest IQ" category, her "228 IQ" became cultural folklore, whereby people to this day cite her as the smartest person ever.

Cooijmans society

In 1995, Paul Cooijmans, having previously joined Mensa, and having joined Hoeflin’s “One In A Thousand Society”, began making his own tests, selling them in the Mensa International Journal, and formed his own “Giga Society”, purporting to yield IQs of 190+ to 244, which are fictional values some 50+ points higher than established ceiling range genius IQs of classical geniuses.

A section from a 1999 feature article on Christopher Langan, in the Esquire Genius Issue, defining him as the "smartest person in America", with an IQ of 195, on par with Leonardo Vinci and Rene Descartes.[6] Langan's 195 IQ was the product of the IQ Ponzi scheme, Langan having been part of Ronald Hoeflin's Mega Society, believing that his IQ was 195 to 210, because he took Hoeflin's "Mega Test".

Smartest person in America?

In Nov 1999, Esquire magazine, in their genius issue, depicted Christopher Langan, as shown adjacent with the title "Smartest Man in America"[6], defined as having an IQ of 195, and being on par in intelligence Leonardo Vinci and Rene Descartes. The article also featured Steve Schuessier as having an IQ of 185, and Ronald Hoeflin has having an IQ of 164. Langan's 195 IQ was the product of the "IQ Ponzi scheme", Langan having been part of Hoeflin's Mega Society, believing that his IQ was 195 to 210, because he took Hoeflin's "Mega Test", and Hoeflin told him that was what is IQ was per Hoeflin's "norming" methods.

Ponzi | Puzzle pyramid

Hence, over the course of 50-years, the following Ponzi IQ pyramid scheme resulted, each later bolstered in confidence, as being a better "puzzle solver" and "puzzle maker" than the former, all situated on a precarious balance board at base foundation:

Cooijmans society (1995) | IQ:190s↑
Hoeflin society (1982) | IQ:170s↑
Harding society (1974) | IQ:140s↑
Haines society (1970) | IQ:137s↑
Ware society (1946) | IQ:132↑

Wobble board.png

Which basically amounts to the following:

“I do get disappointed that so many members spend so much time solving puzzles. It's a form of mental masturbation. Nothing comes of it.”
Lancelot Ware (1996), comments at 5th anniversary of Mensa founding[7]

In other words, the entire group is but a bunch of puzzle solvers, i.e. a bunch of "nobodies" (in the big picture historical genius sense of things), each higher level of puzzle solver "thinking" that their IQ, and hence their genius level, is higher than the former, based on the "norming" and "standard deviations" of the test batch they have graded, but in the end producing "nothing" (Ware, 1996). In plane speak, in the history of high IQ societies, nothing of intellectual note has ever come out of them.

Correctly, however, no historical genius ever became a genius by being a puzzle solver; albeit, unless it was an unsolved puzzle, e.g. Rosetta stone, Sator square, or scientific puzzles, "e.g. what happens if you run alongside a beam of light" or "why is the sky blue"?

End matter

See also


  1. Inflated IQ – Hmolpedia 2020.
  2. Ponzi scheme – Wikipedia.
  3. Intertel (group) –
  4. About –
  5. Guinness Book IQ – Hmolpedia 2020.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Sager, Mike (1999). “The Smartest Man in America” (WB), Esquire, Nov.
  7. Miyaguchi, Darrly. (2000). “A Short and Bloody History of High IQ Societies” (WB),

External links

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