Raniere speaks of his ‘high IQ’ on old blog

Symbol of Keith Raniere's IQ

Starting on December 25, 2007, Keith Raniere posted some information about his IQ on a blog: http://sequoianationalpark1980.blogspot.com/2007/12/test-your-iq-here.html 

Someone commented that Keith Raniere was in the Mega Society once and now runs a cult and is called “Vanguard” by his followers.

Keith made a response on the blog.

Symbol of Mega Society, Mega is Greek for “great”. Did Keith Raniere design the logo?


Keith A. Raniere on Tuesday, December 25, 2007 09:23

Oh! Don’t believe everything you read. I am called “Vanguard” as a title… I did not pick this… but a “cult?” Methinks a more detailed examination might be in order. Yes, I have one of those childhood silly scores. 120 is genius if the s.d. is small enough but I don’t think that is traditional. As far as Executive Success Programs is concerned: if you are a critical thinker, it is designed to provide endless hours of enjoyment. But if you do not like philosophy, situational ethics explorations or other cerebral pursuits you should take something else.

by Christelle on Tuesday, December 25, 2007 12:27

OK Keith ! And welcome here, Keith ! Happy Xmas to you Keith !

by Keith A. Raniere on Wednesday, December 26, 2007 01:04

You’re welcome and happy x-mas 2u2! Do you not believe I am the above referenced Keith Raniere?

by Christelle on Wednesday, December 26, 2007 08:53

I don’t know…

by Keith A. Raniere on Wednesday, December 26, 2007 12:25

Fair enough. I haven’t been active in either(?) of the Mega society groups in a few years. I came upon this board when I googled my name and found it on a test. This looks interesting… what is it/are you? I apologize for I have not “read around” yet to figure it out. Ok, information is just two clicks away… guess I failed exa-society entrance test number one… Gosh, I keep on editing this, I should just read it before I submit – but I suppose submission might be interesting in itself – especially if you are an alleged cult leader!

by Christelle on Wednesday, December 26, 2007 13:25

Are you a member of Mega society ? and if yes, by which iq test?


By Keith A. Raniere on Wednesday, December 26, 2007 21:09

??? I thought you knew who I was or at least who “Keith Raniere” was. I scored 46 out of 48 on the mega test, see above (depending on how it is normed) also there was another minor controversy. Knowing me I always get into trouble. I always thought my autobiography should be called either Any more bright ideas? or Keith Raniere: Unauthorized biography!

I was a member of the Old Mega society. I originally renamed it, The Hoeflin Research Group to brand it and let it be Ron’s without controversy (hoping to stop some of the foolishness associated with the HiIQ societies.) This was back in the day when Eric Hart and Chris Langan were still two different people (oops, I think I gave away another answer to the above!)

. . . .
by Anemone on Saturday, December 29, 2007 03:32

I actually have a question about this cult thing. Who is the librarian? A little background: I met a young woman at a do in Vancouver and she invited me (without knowing anything about me – none of this is her fault) to an introductory lecture on esp (executive success programs). When I got there, everyone was so friendly I thought “this has to be a cult”. It reminded me of a looong time a go when I was in an encounter group for teenagers called Matrimony: Jesus invites us to love which was a spinoff of Marriage Encounter. The poor dears thought if they just taught us good communication skills as teenagers, we would never need to worry about divorce. Not that simple. But I digress. Anyway, this was mostly film people in Vancouver. One guy got up and basically did a short standup routine then introduced our main speaker, Mark Vicente, who was on the production team for What the Bleep Do We Know? and I have no idea what he’s done since.

He told us about esp and its founders, one of whom is the smartest man (person???, or just man???) in the world, with an IQ of 240. Ok, instantly I am wondering who this is. Mark never said, so I had to look it up when I got home. And the answer is Keith Raniere, with a score on the Mega of 46/48. How this translates to a valid IQ score of 240 I leave others to debate for the moment, though I should point out that researchers since then have found that verbal analogies are the one verbal test item that men generally do better on than women, so regardless of how the Mega norms for men, it must be normed separately for women (sorry guys!). Mark Vicente goes on to describe two other supergeniuses, one of whom is a bouncer (Chris Langan?) who chooses not to think at all as his way of coping with his intelligence, the other, a woman, who is a librarian who chooses to associate with books rather than people.

And then we have Keith, who is not only a supergenius but actually socially normal, unlike the normal stereotype of the autistic genius (gee, thanks, Mark! – I, Anemone, am autistic and won’t deny the supergenius part either if anyone insists on it). I found this quite entertaining but figured if I actually asked who the librarian was in the question period I would be ostracized to say the least, since this is not what the meeting was about. So I looked it up, or at least tried to. Gina LoSasso (sp?) is a famous female Megan but I don’t know what she does for a living. (Marilyn Vos Savant is also a famous Megan but somehow I suspect she is not a candidate.) And Ron Hoeflin is a librarian but not female (at least not that I know of).

I found Chris Langan’s name as the bouncer (I’d heard of the bouncer but didn’t remember the name). But I still don’t actually know who the librarian is. So, tell us please, who is the librarian? Enquiring minds want to know.


by Keith A. Raniere on Saturday, December 29, 2007 15:12

So I spoke to Mark V. last night–we play volleyball together. It was his impression the “librarian” was male. He was repeating a story told to him by others. I suspect the “librarian” is Ron Hoeflin (who has never claimed he was of “Mega” level intelligence, but certainly of “genius” intelligence.)

I reject the use of such stories–and my childhood IQ–to illustrate anything ordinarily associated with a high IQ. An IQ of 240 is of course an obsurdity unless the S.D. and mean bring it within say 5 or 6 sigma. In actuality, I find it hard to believe any IQ test can distinguish anything above the 4 to 5 sigma range (there are not enough people to have taken such a test to establish such a result with any degree of confidence, and it is dubious as to what such tests actually demonstrate.)

I use my “high IQ” story to illustrate the opposite of what most people think of a high IQ. But enough of my drivel–for now. Is there anything else I can tell about my “cultish” activities or any rumors of sacrificed chickens or my somewhat poor but earnest volleyball skills?

by Christelle on Saturday, December 29, 2007 16:24

“And the answer is Keith Raniere, with a score on the Mega of 46/48. ” Keith Raniere, why haven’t you apply for Cerebral Fellow’s membership ?

by Anemone on Saturday, December 29, 2007 17:16

Maybe he hasn’t taken any of the right tests. …  Keith, my impression from Mark’s story is that he was enthralled by your high intelligence, and that it somehow made your work more credible. (I guess most people don’t find that idea as hilarious as I do. I’ve spent too much time in HIQ land to take it seriously.) . . . .

by Keith A. Raniere on Monday, December 31, 2007 14:59

Jumping backwards for a second (sorry)… Actually, my thoughts on my “intelligence” as measured through IQ tests go as follows: Some children play tennis from the time they are very little. When they grow up, if they have continued tennis obsessively, they will likely be able to outplay virtually all non-tennis playing opponents – and most of the tennis playing public. Such a person is quite rare with respect to tennis playing within the general population.

Of course a rarer activity will produce even a more rarified individual with even less effort. I have been an obsessive problem solver since I was very young, I also have a very good memory. Very, VERY, few people from the non-problem-solver realm stand a chance against me on one of those cute psychological instruments–they do not have the experience, they do not have the drive, they are like not “primed” to solve problems.

Someone like myself has had hundreds of obsessive analytical thoughts before breakfest, such a test is just a trivial extension of that process. A friend once asked me about an IQ test he took on the internet. He said, “There was one problem I found really tough. If you have 6 toothpicks how can you…” I interupted and said, “Make four triangles? Try using three dimensions.”

As I assume is true for most people on this board, normal IQ tests pose a variety of problems we have either seen or seen similar. Even if a problem is foreign, our highly developed and practiced process of problem solving provides a good road to the seemingly obvious answer. Do I think IQ tests are useful? Yes, to a degree. I believe they help identify certain types of individuals. Are high IQ societies useful? Yes, they help bring a bunch of us, with similar weird processes and obsessions, together in a world where we are statistically isolated.

When I took the Mega Test I did so because some of the problems looked interesting. At first glance I thought 42 of the problems were trivial, the other six required a little work. I solved 43 of the problems in about two straight hours the other 5 problems and proofs of some of my assertions took me about eight more hours spread out over the next 4 days. I was embarrassed it took me so long, but I am dyslexic and often careless when it comes to certain types of calculations (like the crystal problem; not hard, just tendious and prone to minor error.) There were also some items to which I objected (I got these correct but I still object to them.)

Even with my care, I handed in my result sheet and found shortly thereafter I had copied one of my answers incorrectly (one of the easier problems on the test!) I called Ron who had missed my mistake. Although I had not received my score in the mail, I received a 46 depending on if you count the phone call with 1 answer changed as a second attempt. To me it felt more like closing the trunk of my car and, at the last minute, seeing my keys too late to stop my motion.

How many people could complete the Mega test but do not because it’s a few hours they care not to spend on puzzles in an Omni Magazine? Many.

How many people look at those problems, can solve many of them, but do not take the test? Many.

How many people took the test but weren’t driven to be more certain of their answers or push to solve all the problems? Many.

I have the problem solving skill, the emotional drive, and the obsessive-compulsive focus to score well on such tests. I thought 10 hours was inappropriately long (I thought I was really bending the “untimed” nature of the test), I later learned that was considered a short time. But, had there been a single problem I didn’t see–and I create and come across many such problems– I could have spent 100’s of hours taking the test, rocking in my chair, lying on the floor, until I found a solution and still enjoyed it! So my quick time was likely luck of the draw and my emotional obsessive-compulsive problem solving nature made me the perfect candidate to score high on such an exam. And that is exactly what is proved: I can score high on such an exam. If a tree falls in the woods and noone is there to hear… If a super-genius can solve all the problems on IQ tests and never contributes a solution that effects anyone else… well, you get the picture.

I believe it is not our intelligence that is important, it is what we do with it (coming from an infamous, alleged, “cult” leader and pyramid scheme operator this could be construed as either pathetic or funny!) Actually, our horse power is irrelevant, it is what we do with the plow. Of course, identifying and culturing the best horses for plowing is useful but not the essence of life.

I think joyful people, wise people, athletic people contribute in equally valuable ways to others. Intellect can be uniquely used to add to the accumulated technology of the world but I believe technology is not the end-all of existence and some of the best technological advances were not created by super-geniuses. OMG! I just wondered if I should submit such a longwinded stream of…?

But, I did write it so I guess it’s authentically me. To think, if I had not looked up I would have written more. I was just about to get into the sad politics of some HiIQ type societies. Hope I didn’t offend, bore, or exceed my welcome.


by Keith A. Raniere on Saturday, January 05, 2008 22:12

I have a number of opinions about the politics in HiIQ groups, but I also want to speak with honor; respecting all individuals and their differences of opinion. With respect to the Mega test, I would discuss some of the problems if they are already public knowledge and such discussion is non-objectionable to Ron Hoeflin. I respect Ron Hoeflin although we disagree on certain things relating to the Mega test (I suspect this is true of any two rational opinionated individuals.) I also created a series of problems which I have not released because I question the purpose and use of such things.

I have a different view on the history and politics of these groups for I had never been involved in a HiIQ society before my involvement with Mega in the late ’80s. I briefly resurfaced a few years ago and visited a meeting held by Christopher Langan.

Additionally, over the years, I’ve had a few positive conversations Kevin Langdon on the phone. I realize some of these people are at odds, so I find myself unaffiliated with any faction yet hopeful of creating friendships within the community (if I can keep from stepping on the toes of others.) I suspect the “cult” stuff has factored into some of the polite refusals I have experienced. Any thoughts or questions?


Note: Keith Raniere says above it took him five days to complete the test. He told the Albany Times Union in 1989, the Mega test took him two weeks to complete. Not a “big lie” but another lie nonetheless. Or maybe he just forgot how long it took and how many people helped him on the test?

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5 years ago

Can someone link the questions. I would love to see them. Answers not required. As a scientist myself I am always interested in metaphysics. As they look for one-in-a-million-guys, I would love to know how many tests were handed in in total after all. Some page said that there were 26 members of that exclusive club. Imagine there would only be a few hundred or thousand who actually ‘competed’ for membership in Mega. That would make KR’s claim a lot weaker.
I mean he did not show his relative IQ test in something standardized after all. I mean when you end up in medical examination before joining the army for instance there are all sorts of tests made and you get compared to literally thousands or even millions of people. If you stand out in something positive in such a test you can be proud about that.
In France for instance the final high school exams get published. Standing out as one of the best in 700 000 is something one can be proud of.

5 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

True. My kid brother took the MCATs and got a 42 out of 45. That was the highest score that year (it was 99%) and ~60 people scored it out of over 60-70K who took it that year. That’s something to be proud of.

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

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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.

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