In existographies, Paul Cooijmans (c.1975-) (LH:5) is a Danish musician, writer, IQ test maker, and high IQ society founder, noted for his 1995 "Test for Genius", which he used to found his "Giga Society", which purports to assign his members with IQs in the 190 to 244 range, all amounting to fool's gold IQs, i.e. numbers way beyond the ceiling genius IQ range, which people can buy for a few dollars and several hours of test-taking effort. Cooijmans, in short, is the last in a long line, from Lancelot Ware (1946), Christopher Harding (1974), to Ronald Hoeflin (1984), of "paper IQ" makers, a sort of underground cottage cheese industry subculture, popular in the 20th century, which attempted to sell genius through short tests advertised in magazines, like Mensa International Journal and Omni magazine.
In early 1990s, Cooijmans, having been diagnosed with Tourette syndrome, Asperger syndrome, and being an outsider in school, wrote an essay on “giftedness”, for a psychology class, during which time he consulted an “expert in the field”, who advised him to join a “certain IQ society”, presumably Mensa, which he did.
In 1994, while teaching guitar, he made a scale to test for a guitarist’s level of advancedness, with a 300-point maximum scoring, as shown below, which amounted to him checking off various points, which he used to test about a hundred guitarists:
Cooijmans, emboldened with success with his personal guitar test, decided attempt to make an IQ test to test for genius.
In 1995, Cooijmans was selling his tests, via advertisements in the Mensa International Journal, early versions of which, he was getting almost 200 persons from 20 countries responded; he also was offering some sort $1200 prize for best scorer.
In 1995, Cooijmans joined Ronald Hoeflin’s high IQ society “One in a Thousand Society”.
In 1996, Cooijmans founded his own high IQ society “Giga Society”, presumably meant to be an upgrade to the Hoeflin society. The following is an example of someone citing their membership in Cooijmans society as a note-worthy distinction:
- “In 2003, Evangelos became the 6th member of the exclusive Giga high IQ society, with a minimum entrance requirement of an IQ if 190 (SD 15), which is statistically expected to be achieved only by one individual out of one-billion of the unselected population.”
- — Evangelos Katsioulis (2014), “Distinctions”, katsioulis.com
In this example, of note, we see Evangelos Katsioulis citing his membership Cooijmans society, as the second best intellectual accomplishment of his existence, behind a Yahoo Fiance article, listing him as the top IQ, of 16 names (none of which are notable), on the planet.
In 2020, Scott Jacobsen, in his The Giga Society Conversations, published Q&A compilation history of Cooijmans' IQ testing efforts and his Giga Society, which seems to report that Cooijmans was selling paper IQs in the 190 to 244 range (see: ceiling genius IQ):
- “The The Giga Society Conversations presents about half of the membership of the Giga Society with one opening interview with Cooijmans. The interviews ordered alphabetically by first name after the presentation of the interview with Cooijmans: Andreas Gunnarsson, Evangelos Katsioulis, Matthew Scillitani, Rick Rosner, and Thomas Wolf. If on an S.D. of 15, 16, or 24, then the Giga Society as a theoretical 6-sigma society implies IQs of 190, 196, or 244, respectively.”
- — Scott Jacobsen (2020), The Giga Society Conversations (pg. 12)
A read-through of this publication, e.g. Cooijmans talking about how his literary accomplishment was writing a science fiction book where the lead character gets dissolved in sulfuric acid; Gunnarsson talking about how it was too difficult to complete his MS in engineering physics; and Katsioulis talking about miracles and god:
- Jacobsen: As a final note to your award statement , you state, “Humans are biological beings, life is a mystery, creation is still unknown. We live a miracle and we can only maximize this miracle’s impact in every single moment of our existence.” What do you mean by “miracle”? Can you elaborate on the maximization of every moment of our existence?
- Katsioulis: Allow me to clearly mention that I do not wish to support any specific religion with my statement. I have the feeling that the advanced and complicated structure and function of life, considering even only a single cell, is itself a miracle. I am using the word ‘miracle’ since mathematicians have proved that it is rather impossible all cell components to accidentally find themselves in the proper position and start functioning as a cell within the total duration of universe existence. So the time elapsed since the creation of universe supports the non-accidental, thus miraculous nature of life. The specific rational for this miracle, a specific power, god, destiny, even the nature itself, has been a fascinating topic for many other specialists throughout all human history.
leads to the conclusion, if Cooijmans society is the cream of the crop, that all high IQ societies, being built with paper IQs, are but elaborate card houses, easily blown down with a puff of wind. All smoke and magic, so to say, with no actual "genius" behind curtains. In other words, just like Isaac Asimov observed in his experiences with Mensa Society, here we see very little intellectual meat or "substance", as compared to what actual real geniuses, such as listed in the top 2000 minds rankings, do with their time, in respect to their published statements, views, and accomplishments. All of this, in short, results in being a discredit to actual real respected intellects, like Newton or Goethe.
In c.1980, completed a BA in English literature and another BA in music, focused on guitar.
Quotes | On
The following are quotes on Cooijmans:
- “For a while, I have been interested in the topic of intelligence testing. I was astounded to find that there is something of a subculture, which probably exists almost entirely in ethereal (i.e. internet) form, of various self-professed high-IQ societies. I'm inclined to take Mensa seriously (although it appears that an awful lot of people score the requisite 130 on their tests), but what about arcane societies like ‘HellIQ’ or the ‘Mega Society’, or a plethora of societies founded by a certain Paul Cooijmans (who has even gone on to be interviewed by newspapers, despite having apparently no academic degree in any field related to psychology)? All of these societies' online presences seem to quote each other and make use of a very similar layout (apparently optimized for mid-90s Netscape Navigator), despite ostensibly having been founded by a variety of different individuals. And they all appear to offer homebrewed IQ tests of various kinds that they then offer to grade for a small donation. From the perspective of any psychologists here, am I correct in assessing the methods of these "societies" as junk science and at worst shady business, or is there some merit to their methods of assessment and consequently to their claimed cognitive exclusivity?”
- — u/Hoppetar (2017), “Can the Abundance of ‘High IQ societies’ be taken Seriously?”
- Omni (magazine) – Wikipedia.
- Cooijmans, Paul. (1996). “Letter: About Test for Genius”, PaulCooijmans.com.
- Cooijaman, Paul. (2014). “History of IQ Tests for the High Range” (Ѻ), iq-tests-for-the-high-range.com.
- Distinctions (2014) – Katsioulis.com.
- Spector, Dina; Spring, Shlomo. (2012). “The 16 Smartest People on Earth” (Ѻ), Yahoo Finance, Oct 24.
- Jacobsen, Scott. (2020). The Giga Society Conversations (forward: Paul Cooijmans) (pdf). Publisher.
- u/Hoppetar (2017), “Can the Abundance of ‘High IQ societies’ be taken Seriously?” (Ѻ), r/AskScienceDiscussion