Raniere claim of super-intelligence based on little known and controversial ‘take-home’ IQ test

Symbol of Keith Raniere's IQ

As I mentioned in my last post, one of the most basic claims of NXIVM is that its founder, Keith Raniere, is one of the smartest people in the world. This claim is based almost entirely on a single, unsupervised test he took in the 1980’s.

This is an extremely important claim since NXIVM purports to teach people life skills and deep truths about humanity and philosophy and success. Consequently if it is true that the leader is smarter than almost everyone else, he may know something that a student doesn’t.

If on the other hand, the claim is bogus, then the student could ask, what does he know that I don’t know that I should pay him?”

The super- intelligence claim is a bedrock claim of NXIVM.

The test that NXIVM uses to establish Raniere as one of the smartest men comes from the Mega Society, founded 1982. It is a so-called “High IQ society”
Its website http://www.megasociety.org.

The Mega society was founded by Ronald K. Hoeflin and it claims it is open to people who have scored at the one-in-a-million level of general intelligence on a test the society created.

The Mega Society claims is is able to discriminate at that one in a million level.

The popular Guinness Book of World Records once stated in its 1989 Australian edition that the Mega Society is the most elite ultra High IQ Society is the Mega Society with percentiles of 99.9999 or 1 in a million required for admission but offered no independent proof of this and based it evidently on the society’s own claim.

The Guinness Book of Records did not repeat the claim in subsequent editions and has failed to mention the Mega Society in any other edition since 1989.

The Mega Test was published in 1985 by Hoeflin.

Some notable people have taken the Mega Test, meeting the Mega Society entrance requirements which the society has used to validate its authority to judge the super intelligent. These prominent people include Chris Langan, author and columnist Marilyn vos Savant, mathematician Solomon W. Golomb, former governor of New Hampshire and former White House Chief of Staff John H. Sununu and and Raniere.

The problem with the Mega test is that it is a test that claims what it is without any one else agreeing.

No other professionally designed and validated IQ test claims to distinguish test-takers at a one-in-a-million level of rarity of score.

The standard score range of the Stanford-Binet IQ test is 40 to 160.

The standard scores on most other currently normed IQ tests fall in the same range.

A score of 160 corresponds to a rarity of about 1 person in 30,000.

The Mega claims its members achieved one in a million status or better.

The test author claims the tests have been normalized using standard statistical methods.

There is controversy about whether these tests have been properly validated. Some claim the the Mega test is a “nonstandardized test”.

Here’s part of the reason why: To qualify for membership in the Mega Society via the Mega Test, aspirants must earn a score corresponding to an IQ of 171 or more on a test accepted for admission by the society, although no currently normed and professionally validated IQ test yields such a score.

The society at one time had a journal, called Noesis. It is published on an irregular basis.

Another serious problem with the Mega Society test is that it accepts members on the basis of untimed, unsupervised IQ tests.

It seems obvious that if the test is unsupervised and an test taker can take up to a year to complete it, there is no guarantee that the person who claims he took the test did not get help from others or a team of people.

Raniere in an interview with the Times Union said that Mega test takers are on the honor system.

At the end of the day, an objective person might require more than this to conclude Raniere is among those humans with the highest intelligence.

What we have now is that Raniere took an unsupervised, take home, IQ test some 25 plus years ago designed by a largely unaccredited so-called IQ society with only a handful of members and a questionable method of selecting admission.



This is the logo of the Mega Society



About the author

Frank Parlato


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About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com