Is Keith Raniere’s claim on his biography on his website www.keithraniere.com to be one of the three top problem solvers in the world based on his own study?
The answer appears to be “yes.”
Raniere, along with a man named Dean Inada, did an actual study that came to the conclusion that Raniere, himself, was one of the 3 top problem solvers in the world.
Naturally, the concept itself is somewhat silly – who surveyed the entire world to make this determination?
What is even more suspect is that Raniere criteria for the study determined that he was tied with three others as the top problem solver in the world.
Reportedly, an obscure entity called “the Mega Society” published an article online entitled, “Who’s the Smartest Person on Earth” in which they gave a list of mostly unknown individuals, being qualified by their so-called “Mega Test”, as having, what they terms as “ratio IQs” of 204+: Their list included: Anthony Bruni, Arthur Kantrowitz (Mark Kantrowitz), Jim Ferry, John Sununu, Benoit Desjardins, Keith Raniere, Kevin Langdon, Paul Johns, Ferris Alger, Rick Rosner, Greg Treyling, Ronald Hoeflin (founder of the Mega Society), Solomon Golomb, Steve Schuessler.
According to Wikipedia, the Mega Society was founded in 1982 by Hoeflin and is a high IQ society “open to people who have scored at the one-in-a-million level on a test of general intelligence ‘claimed’ to be able to discriminate at that level.”
Mega members Raniere and Dean Inada developed their own means of pinpointing the mega (=one-in-a-million) level on an intelligence test by utilizing the percentage of people who can solve progressively more difficult problems in the test.
Raniere worked hard to prove he was one of the smartest people in the world going so far as to obtain from the chief Educational Testing Service statistician the SAT scores for students for the years 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, and 1988.
In other words, Raniere took a test from an obscure society then made his own calculations based on date he selected to decide how many people in the world would be able to solve problems at the level he scored on the test which then “proved” he was in the top three problem solvers in the world.
In short Raniere decided to do a study that would prove he was the smartest man in the world.
His one mention in the Guiness Book of Records, 1989 Australian edition, does not state he has the highest IQ in the world based on a standard IQ test. It refers to his score (under 50) and two others on the Mega Society test.
Guinness discontinued the Mega test the following year as an unreliable noting of a world record.